Welcome to Tri Robinson.com
As an author, Tri Robinson writes with a passion that embraces his diverse life experiences as the backdrop for the greater purpose to see the world changed for the better. At the very core of this cause is reformation on many fronts – a deep, authentic walk with God, innovative education, ethical godly leadership, and living a sustainable lifestyle that leaves a positive impact on the environment.
Driven by a strong faith and passion for the Kingdom of God, Tri has given the greater part of his adult life to Christian leadership. After a profound life-changing experience in 1980 while working among the Karen Hill Tribe people on the border of Burma and Thailand, he and Nancy made the decision that Tri would leave public education and enter fulltime ministry. They served for eight years as associate pastors for the Desert Vineyard in Lancaster, California. In 1989, they moved to Idaho to establish and build the Vineyard Christian Fellowship of Boise. Over the next 22 years Vineyard Boise grew into a strong outreaching church with a membership of about 3000 people. They have developed a 25 acre campus of facilities which serves the community around them as well as the world’s poor. During many of those years Tri served the greater Vineyard movement by sitting on the national board of directors and overseeing churches in fourteen different states. He shared his working insights for identifying and growing leaders in church throughout the regions he served. Tri became known for his organizational skills and leadership training. It was during this time that he wrote the book, Revolutionary Leadership, which illuminated seven main areas of leadership development. In addition to leadership training, Tri’s passion has always been to see others grow in their faith, becoming mature and authentic Christians. Out of that heart and desire came the book, Rooted in Good Soil – Cultivating and Sustaining Authentic Discipleship. While writing the book, Tri never dreamed it would be successfully used in churches across the country as an eight-week small group curriculum. For more on the “Rooted in Good Soil” small group video curriculum see www.rootedingoodsoil.com. In 2012, Tri and Nancy retired from their senior pastor position at Vineyard Boise to begin a new international ministry based within the local church for compassion and mercy. They are now the directors of i-61 Ministries which not only serves Vineyard Boise as a missions training and outreach center, but also networks eighty-five compassion mission ministries within the Vineyard USA movement as well. I-61 (based on the messianic passage of Isaiah 61) is focused on seven areas of world crises which most impact the world’s extreme poor. Although their main offices are located at Vineyard Boise, the i-61 training base is positioned in the heart of Managua, Nicaragua. For more on i-61 see www.i-61.org . Tri and Nancy have traveled the world not only to experience and understand the plight of the poor, but also to empower and encourage the church to become compassionately engaged in making a difference. They have sought the Lord through all their explorations, even when they made a personal spiritual journey in 2013, traveling to Spain to walk over 200 km of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage trail. For more on this see www.trirobinson.org.
Tri received his BA and MA degrees in education at the College of Idaho in the late 1960’s. After he graduated with a master’s degree in Administrative Education, the newlyweds moved back to Southern California where Tri began teaching at Park View Jr. High School in Lancaster, California. Although Tri personally suffered as a youth with the learning disability of dyslexia, ironically he was assigned the responsibility of teaching in the MGM (Mentally Gifted Minors) and GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) programs for twelve years. With numerous ‘outside the box’ class projects, Tri established a reputation for innovative and creative methodologies of teaching and was given the National Teacher of the Year Award in the mid 1970’s. In 2008 he received the President’s Medallion from the College of Idaho, being honored for his contributions as a teacher both in public education and in ministry. The Committee for the Reburial of Liver-eating Johnston is the first book Tri wrote in a three-part series called “Memoirs of a Dyslexic Teacher”. The heartfelt message behind this inspiring trilogy is to encourage educators who are passionate about their work to view each student as unique and individual, with individual needs rather than simply a part of the whole.
Tri is an avid outdoorsman who has spent much of his life hunting, fishing, backpacking, horse packing and working in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Idaho wilderness backcountry. He has a deep love and respect for nature which has given him a reputation as an advocate for for the environment. Tri and Nancy have continually modeled their love for God’s creation through their lifestyle of sustainability at their homestead in Idaho. As a young family they also spent many summers working on a crew constructing sections of the Pacific Crest Trail so others might see and enjoy the rugged beauty of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. At 17 years old, Tri received his pilot’s license which opened up a whole new vista to the beauty of creation. With a vintage 1943 J3 Cub he purchased for $1,200.00 from a crop duster, he spent several years exploring the mountains of Idaho and Eastern Oregon. In his adventures he observed wildlife, Indian dwellings, deep canyons and abandoned homesteads. All of this gave him a deep love and desire to experience Idaho as it was a hundred years ago. These observations nurtured a hunger to understand more about western history and lore which was reflected in his book, The Committee for the Reburial of Liver-eating Johnston. This inspiring tale reveals the creative approach Tri embraced in the desire to teach about the richness of the history he had learned to love and value so much. After writing the book, Saving God’s Green Earth, and leading his church in an aggressive program of environmental stewardship, Tri became known for his role as a leader and advocate for creation care throughout the evangelical church. The book was published by Ampelon Publishing in 2006, at a time when the word ‘environment’ was not popular in most evangelical circles. Even the subject of climate change was taboo among most Christians as it was seen as part of a liberal conspiracy. As a result, Tri experienced much pushback as he became a spokesperson for environmental stewardship in numerous video productions and many Christian magazines and blogs. His church, Vineyard Boise, was featured on the Bill Moyer’s PBS presentation, “Is God Green?” (http://www.pbs.org/moyers/moyersonamerica/green/index.html) It was during this time that that Tri was honored by the invitation to meet with Prince Philip and other global religious leaders at Windsor Castle. He also appeared on dozens of radio and television broadcasts; each time directing the conversation to the positive message of loving God’s creation. In addition to the book, Saving God’s Green Earth, written as an encouragement and exhortation for Christian leaders to embrace this critical issue, Tri also wrote a second book, Small Footprint, Big Handprint. This book compellingly communicated a message to readers that they could make a difference by simplifying their lifestyles. It inspired people to take a responsible approach in their way of living; to downsize their personal footprint on the earth so they might enlarge their hand print, or impact, on the greater humanity.
Tri and Nancy met on the College of Idaho campus in 1969. On their very first time together, they sat in the student union drinking hot chocolate and talking for hours about the kind of life they both wanted to live one day. They dreamt of living a unique life, a life of adventure, yet a simple life. A year later they were married and started living that dream – a dream which has lasted for over 40 years. After Tri completed graduate school they moved onto a rustic family ranch which served five generations of Robinsons. In the winter of 1971, they set up housekeeping in a simple cabin, packing their few belongings a quarter of a mile up the mountainside in three feet of snow. For fourteen years they lived without electricity and five years without any phone service. The cabin was supplied with spring-fed water that Tri’s great-grandfather had piped down the canyon years before. For some twenty years the Robinson Canyon Ranch was considered their humble home. They experienced a rich and simple life there, sharing the love of country living with their two children, Kate and Brook. Ranch life was a bit isolated, with the nearest town an hour away and the nearest neighbors a mile in one direction and five in the other. They learned to have a deep love for the land, for solitude, and for each other. For the first twelve years Tri was a secondary science and history teacher in Lancaster, which was an hour commute from their home. Living on the ranch proved to be its own educational experience, teaching them about organic vegetable gardens, orchards and even developing a commercial pine tree nursery. They raised their own meat and learned to use horses in harness for cultivating and snaking firewood off the mountainside. Out of necessity they developed many skills concerning sustainable living. They learned to value the richness of community as neighbors helped each other in times of need. They learned to trust the miraculous hand of God in seasons of trouble and despair. The old ranch truly was a training ground for life; not just for the life they lived in those days, but for the life they soon experienced as they ventured back to Idaho in 1989. At that time, they moved their family to Idaho to begin a new church, the Vineyard Christian Fellowship of Boise. This work initially required them to live in the city of Boise for several years. The work of growing the church was both rich and rewarding. Through it all, however, they never lost their love for the rural solitude of the organic and sustainable lifestyle they had lived in those early years. In 2005 they purchased a rural 80 acre piece of land in the hills an hour from Boise. They did so with the dream of someday building a new farmstead. That dream was realized in 2008 when they moved onto the land at the base of Timber Butte. Today, Timber Butte Ranch is a beautiful country homestead with a website that chronicles their experiences in developing a sustainable lifestyle. Many of their rich and even humorous homestead adventures have been published in their book, Chronicles of Sustainable Homesteading. It is their hope that these chronicles will serve as a means of education and encouragement to others who share a similar dream. For more information, please visit Tri’s homestead website at www.timberbuttehomestead.com.