Thursday, January 29, 2009

Long Over-due Post

Tomorrow marks 1 month that Greg has been gone. It's been so cool to see how God was preparing the way for him to come to Pretoria. Almost as soon as he arrived he melded into the ministries and programs Eastside is involved with or is starting this year. He's coaching soccer, building relationships with the teens and kids he's working with, and coaching mini-cricket! It's cricket for kindergarden-3rd grade, something like tee-ball is in America. He's learning lots of cool South African phrases and eating lots of interesting new foods.

We email most every day and get to talk on Skype every few days so we've been really lucky. It's still not easy, but it's easier knowing that we're where God wants each of us.

Over the past month God has been teaching me the incredible value of waiting. Today's society has given waiting the stigma that something must be wrong or broken. Think dial-up internet vs. high-speed cable. I get so annoyed when a page doesn't immediately load. What do you mean YouTube won't load?? You mean I have to wait to watch the vintage 21 jesus videos!?! (which, by the way, are hilarious and well worth the wait) But you get the idea.

I am starting to appreciate that good things become better things when you have to wait for them. I was teaching in NexGen the other day about patience and one of my kids said, "Yea - I know what you mean. My dad told me he wouldn't buy me a nice guitar until I learned to play my junky guitar well. I had to work hard for it, but once I earned it, I appreciate it way more than my friend who got a nice guitar right away." Aren't my middle schooler's smart?

One of my favorite Biblical examples is Jacob who meets Rachel and immediately falls in love with her. However, her father requires Jacob to work for him 7 years before he will consent to his daughter's marriage.

"So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her." Genesis 29:20

Jacob found a woman worth waiting for and wanted nothing less. If he had given up early, he would not have had the best.

So I am learning to wait patiently. Not only for Greg, but also for God's direction in my life. I know God has something big planned for me, but I must wait patiently for it to be revealed.

Waiting, however, does not mean I'm permitted to sit idly by. In the Bible, most of the time God did great things through people, it was only after a period of preparation and training.

God told Abram that he would bear a son but did not fulfill that promise for 25 years. God needed to prepare him to be not just Isaac's father, but the father of a great nation.

Therefore, I'm working this year to learn patience and humility and discipleship and scripture. God is doing incredible things with Fuse right now and if I am not careful, I could miss out on it.

So 1 month down, 11 months to go. I have a lot of learning yet to do. This journey should be fun =)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Life Successes!

I have stolen this idea. Flat out stolen. Heather Zempel who writes the blog "Wineskins for Discipleship" suggested this (and I think she got it from somewhere else too... so I have no idea the origin).

I'm calling it "Life Successes." At the time of the year when we start thinking about goals, it's also important to reflect on what we've accomplished. My list is surely not filled with "curing cancer" or "brokering peace agreements" but it's still a great way to reflect on cool stuff that I've done in my life.

I'm still working on my goals for the year, I"ll get those out soon. I'm sure I've forgotten stuff, and these are listed in no particular order, just as I thought of stuff... but here you go - here's my life successes list:

Skiied Salt Lake City
Scuba dived a ship wreck off BVI
Helped rescue stranded dolphins
Preached the Gospel through a translator
Helped found a ministry
Marched in the Disney Parade
Did a snow angel on the 50 yard line of the Super Dome
Played soccer for my high school
Worked set crew for a musical
Ate lunch in the Seattle Space Needle
Learned to flat foot at a real Appalachian barn dance
Saw my brother marry the perfect girl
Graduated from college
Led 2 mission trips
Helped rebuild New Orleans
Dipped my feet in Lake Tahoe
Played in a band
Made a CD
Worked as a camp councilor
Ate Ben & Jerry’s at their Vermont factory
Saw a show on Broadway
Ate real Chicago deep dish
Rode the Alaskan rail line from Anchorage to Seward
Ate real Boston clam chowder
Performed in the stage band for a production of “Cabaret”
Played basketball for my high school
Seen Nexgen grow from an average of 5 kids to an average of 20.
Seen Fuse grow from a 6 person Bible study to averaging almost 50.

Kind of fun to look at! (Is it bad that a lot of these have to do with food?)

What's your list?

Thursday, January 8, 2009


I'm just going to say I am EXTREMELY excited that I walked out of work today and IT WAS STILL LIGHT OUT! Now mind you, I left a bit earlier than I usually do, but still! I love winter, I really do. But I also love long days. Having the light outside gives me so much more energy to do everything whether it's inside or not.

Go earth go! Continue in your proper orbit around the sun to allow me to have more light!

That is all =)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Community Joy

1 week ago Greg arrived in South Africa. He is enjoying it already and we can already see God providing in many ways.

One thing that has absolutely blown my mind is the way I have handled this. I know that sounds odd, but the peace that I have had has been incredible. It is certainly out of no strength of mine. The two days before he left were really hard, but since then I have been so confident in us that I think I've shed 5 tears max.

I've also gotten to experience something that had not only never happened to me, it had never occurred to me that it would. Over the past few years God has shown me places where my obedience to Him has brought joy and blessing into my life. This week I experienced great joy over Greg's obedience. I had never known that would be possible. I think that this inter-connection would be what God would want among all His communities of followers, but the nature of our society makes this extremely rare. I want to work be so supportive and encouraging of those around me that their obedience and joy become mine, and mine theirs.