Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Blind Bart

Michael will be leaving May 11th for Berlin.  He is meeting up with 4 Palestinian Christians from Bethlehem who are coming to plant a church for the Arabic speaking population.  We are very excited to be a part of this venture.  Please pray for him while he is gone - God's favor, safety and the power of the Holy Spirit flood every step he takes.  The boys and I will stay back this time around. Pray for us too!

We are praying for our next step and what that will look like.  Please join us in prayer for open doors and the rest of our support to come in.  We are moving towards the goal needed to be raised financially but still lack enough to keep us from living in Europe full time.  Pray and ask God what part you can play in seeing his kingdom come to the lost and hopeless of Europe.  We have a number of ways you can give so head on over to imglobalnet.com and see what way fits you best.  Thank you in advance!

I was reading Mark the other day and read a very well known story.  Chapter 10:46-52 tells the story of blind Bartimaeus.  Now I know we have all heard sermons preached and Sunday school lessons taught on this passage BUT please indulge me....

Bart (hey easier then writing out his full name plus spell check doesn't like it) was sitting like he did every day along the road near Jericho.  He was blind and so had to beg for his daily bread.  Sitting there in the hot sun day after day after day after...oh you get the picture.  I bet sitting along a major road allowed him to hear the latest gossip of that day.

"Did you hear what that Jesus fellow did the other day?"
"No, do tell."
"He commanded a lame man to walk.  Told him pick up his bed and walk."
"Well, what happened?  Did he walk?"
"He sure did, the man jumped up, rolled up his bed and walked like nothin' was ever wrong with him."
"No way, I don't believe it."

They continue to swap stories as they set off  down the road towards town.

'I wonder who they are talking about.'  Bart muttered to himself.  'Well time to call it quits for the day.'

Another day another dollar.

Sitting in the hot sun, drowsy, Bart begins to nod off.

"Jesus mumble mumble healed."

"Excuse me sir."  Bart jolts awake.  "Did you just say Jesus healed again?"

"What, oh sorry, didn't notice you sitting there.  Yes.  Jesus healed again.  A leper this time.  He's healing people all over the place."

"Do you know if he's healed any blind men?"  Bart asked, a bit of hope growing in his chest.

"Sorry, good man, can't say as I've heard a story like that yet."

"Do you know if he's coming this way?"  Again Bart's hope begins to push upward.

"I don't think anyone can say where he'll show up.  This Jesus fellow just seems to wander all over the hillsides, in and out of towns along the way.  He's got this large crowd always following him...strangest thing I've ever seen"  The man continues to mutter to himself as he wanders away leaving Bart there in the hot sun.

'If only he would come my way.  If only I could ask, I just know he could heal my blind eyes.' 

Day after day he sits wondering if today will be the day Jesus passes through his town.  Many times he hears the stories of him.  Just 2 days ago he heard the amazing story of Jesus feeding 5000 men with just "5 loaves and 2 fish, can you believe it, 5 little loaves of bread and 2 dried out fish.  Why I tell you it was the best dinner I've had in a long time."  Bart replays that conversation over and over in his mind.

'If only I could get to the next town Jesus will be in.'  But Bart has no friends interested in chasing down a guy.  A somewhat mythical guy at that.

Day after day in the hot sun he sits.  Day after day he hopes again.

One morning he wakes up.  Somethings different about this day, Bart can feel it in his bones.  'This is my day!'  He gathers up his begging cup and stumbles to his usual spot along the road.

"Alms for the poor, help a blind man out."  Bart calls out over and over again.  The crowd noise grows louder.  Bart yells louder and louder.  'There must be a festival in town.'  He mutters to himself.  'This will be a good day indeed.'  New people in town always meant a little extra coins in his cup.

"Jesus over here."  "Look over here Jesus."  "This way, come this way, Jesus."

"WHAT,"  Bart's heart leaps.  "Please sir what is going on.  Can anyone tell me what is going on."  He reaches out and shakes a man's leg.

"Quiet, beggar, Jesus is over there and I don't want to be bothered with you.  This is my time to have a story to tell."  The man pushes Bart off his leg.

"JESUS! JESUS! JESUS over here. Oh please Jesus, you are my only hope.  Heal my blindness"  Bart yells.  He can't believe it.  This is HIS day.  Today he will get his healing.  The healing he has spent days, weeks, months dreaming of.  Mark 10:47

"JESUS, JESUS please heal me"

"Quiet fool.  He's already walked pass you.  Jesus doesn't have time for you.  Go away beggar."  Mark 10:48a

"no No NO this can't be.  This is my day my day to be healed."  Bart cries out in desperation. "JESUS PLEASE TURN AROUND.  PLEASE COME HERE."

The crowd is loud pushing Bart around as he sits in the dirt.  He is becoming disoriented and increasingly alarmed that he will miss the one chance he has to be healed.  He can't remain blind forever.  Never before had he any hope of seeing but then he heard of this man, Jesus.  Ever since he has hoped against all hope that this Jesus would pass his way and he would see.

"JESUS. PLEASE. HEAL. ME."  he screams at the top of his lungs. Mark 10:48b

"Stop being so desperate."  A man beside him scolds.  ~ How many of us have been quieted?  How many of us have loss hope in what God has spoken over us?  Who has lost dreams?  Who has been told to quiet down, stop being so desperate for more of God? ~

"JESUS HAVE MERCY ON ME"  He screams in one last attempt to receive his healing.

Suddenly he feels the crowd give way.  "What's going on?"  He asks a man beside him.  "It seems all your screaming has gotten you somewhere.  Cheer up, he's calling you."  The man slaps Bart on the shoulder.  Mark 10:49

"Jesus?"  Bart asks just above a whisper.  "Jesus heard me?  He wants me?  I'm going to be healed!  I matter to Jesus!"  

Bart throws off his coat, jumps up and goes to Jesus.  ~We could surmise a few things from this.  His coat might have had something to do with his class in the town.  Maybe it marked him as a beggar. Maybe nothing at all.  But it is curious that the Bible makes a point to state he threw it off.  Maybe it was a really expensive coat.  His only nice possession in life.  But he was willing to leave it all behind for his healing. Mark 10:50

Whatever the case is he doesn't stall or question or doubt.  He obeys instantly!! He doesn't turn to the man beside and say 'gee sir, I'm blind can you help me over to Jesus.'  Nor does he say 'Umm, hello Jesus, I'm blind you have to come to me.' (wow that could preach-perhaps another blog)

"What do you want me to do for you?"  Jesus ask Bart.  ~ He is asking you today what do you want me to do for you??  It's in these moments we must be very honest with ourselves and with Jesus. ~ The blind man didn't think to himself  'well come on now, can't you see from the milky whites of my eyes that I am blind?'

He BOLDLY spoke his need!!

"Good teacher, I want to see." Mark 10:51

No fear, no doubt, no questions.  Just an honest statement.  No beating around the bush, no playing games.  Pure honesty build with hope and trust.  He laid it all on the line.  He didn't say or ask for anything but what he had need and wanted the most.  "I WANT TO SEE!"  ~ I want to see.  I want to see others as God sees them.  I want to see myself as God sees me.  I want to fulfill all I was created to be.  I WANT TO SEE!!! ~

"GO for your faith has healed you!"  Jesus says to him. Mark 10:52a

Instantly Bart could see.  What a moment that had to be.  The word spoken.  His vision created.  What did he see first?  The blue of the sky, the dust from the crowd, the green trees in the distance.  Jesus face.  All this and more.  He saw where he had come from and he knew where he was going.  He never returned to his coat, his old spot on the road, his way of life before Jesus.  He knew where he was going.

"Instantly the man could see and he followed Jesus down the road." Mark 10:52 b

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

An hour's work for a full day's pay...is it fair?

I guess to say it's been awhile since last I wrote would be an understatement!

Things are going well.  We are still in the stage of raising the last bit of our support needed to be full time in Germany.  We have been over there numerous times and feel it is time for the long term to start.  I explained it to a friend the other day like this: We have all the building supplies ready to build a "house" now we just need to be there to do the work.  You can't start building and keep leaving the supplies and half a house out to the elements.  Once you start building it's vital to continue till the house is build!  We have been blessed to complete many short term goals and excited for the "supplies" we have ready for the long term goals. 

Please...if you've ever thought about giving to the ministry of reaching souls for Christ in Germany NOW is the time to give!!!  We need about $2000.00 more a month for the German government to be "ok" with us staying there long term.  We would love to have the money raised by March.  This is the deadline to get the boys into a good school there.  Head to our website imglobalnet.com and read more about 'why Germany' and 'about us'.  Then please pray and hit the donation button to see ways you can help!  We can't wait to be there full time.  Everyday we are here in the States wears on us...our hearts cry out to be doing the work we know God has called us to do in Germany.  Please help us!

As I have thought about writing a blog for the last few weeks I always think about writing of what God has been showing me.  It's been quite a while since my last blog so there are many things He has showed me.  I'll write about one of those things below.

Parable of the Vineyard Workers (Matthew 20:1-16)

IF ever there is an illustration that is hard to swallow it’s this one;

A landowner went into town early in the morning and hired a bunch of workers to work all day in his vineyard.

They agreed to the wage of a full day's work.

He went out again at 9:00 am, again at noon and at 3:00 to hire more workers.  At 5:00 pm he was back in town and found a few more workers that had not been hired by anyone for the day.

He told them to go ahead and work his vineyard till the end of the work day.

When time came to pay everyone he started with the ones just hired at 5:00.  He gave them a FULL day’s pay for an hour of work.  The ones hired first, who had worked the full day, saw this and probably whispered among themselves “wow, if he paid them a full day’s pay for an hour of work can you imagine what he is going to pay usI bet we will get double or even triple that amount.”

Their turn in line came and when they held out their hands the boss placed the same amount he had given to all the other workers.

What how can this be?? Have we not worked all day out in the hot sun for you?  You gave the ones that worked in the cool of the evening the same amount as you are now paying us.  This is NOT FAIR!  We expected more for the amount of work we did.”

But wait” the owner says “did you not agree to a set amount when you came here to work for me?  Why would I give you more?  Anyways it’s my money and I can do with it as I wish.  I wish to be kind!”

So many things are found here:

1)  What proof that it’s not about works that gets you a reward.  It’s not how hard you work that will get you into the kingdom.  It is only because of the shed blood of Christ and his kindness towards us.

2)  It's NEVER to late to start working for God!!  It's never to late to fulfill the call of God on your life!  I think this should excite many people!  Yes, ok, so you came to God late in life...he doesn't hold that against you!  You'll receive the same pay those that have worked in ministry their entire lives will receive.  Take heart!  Our God is KIND!!!

3)  Things are not always fair in the ministry world!!  People sometimes struggle their whole ministry life and to others it looks like it’s amounted to ‘nothing’.  Others are handed a golden ministry and seemingly did very little to obtain it.  Some seem at the right place at the right time.  The workers that started at 5 and only had to work an hour for a full days pay...WHAT??

But I can imagine how excited those workers were.  They had just about given up all hope of getting hired for the day. “No one hired us” they told the vineyard boss. They would have the dreaded job of returning home to their families and having to explain why they have no food for the table again that night.  When they did get hired I bet what went through their heads was “an hour’s pay is better then nothing.”  What a huge surprise and blessing it must have been to them to have received a full days wage for an hour's worth of work.

The harder I work for God does not equal more pay, more blessings, more favor.  That is such a human concept.

God already loves me and wants to bless me with all He has.  I don’t have to work for it.  I’ll get the same amount NO matter what.  When I feel others have been “blessed” more then me I can read in the Parable of the Vineyard workers that we all receive the same amount!! That we are rewarded out of the kindness of God's heart. 

Does this mean I just sit in my house with my head in the clouds waiting for the sweet by and by...NO ALL the workers still had to work their amount of time for the Vineyard Boss .  It just shows that as long as I am doing the will of God for MY life that is what pleases him.  It's a shame that we are so quick to judge in the church world.  We look at everyone else's ministry and either give our nod of approval or shake our heads, tight upper lip, wondering what is going on.  YES, we are to judge the FRUIT of one's ministry but let's be careful that that is all we are judging!
"Friend, I haven't been unfair! I wanted to pay these last workers the same as you. Should you be jealous because I am kind to others?" Matt 20:13-15









 


Saturday, May 30, 2015

Held Hostage

It's that time again...what time you ask? 

NEW BLOG TIME :)

Since last I wrote we have been busy!  Mike with travel and me with a part-time job.  The boys with school and a new hairy addition to our lives!

I took a seasonal job at Thanksgiving to 'meet people', 'have something more to do' and of course make some money to help supplement out simple way of life.  Well as usual that seasonal, fun, just because, job turned into management within 3 months.  Darn my good work ethics :)

I am store lead at the Children's Place.  I use to shop at that store all the time when the boys were little.  Now that they are way to big for the clothing there I get 30% off.  Oh the irony of life!  Besides the benefits to me that the store has offered, I find myself in the middle of many young women with empty hearts.  They have quickly gravitated to me and I've become the big sister they need!  I love how even in the middle of one ministry, if we open our hearts to others, God wants to use us on a daily bases to touch those HE BRINGS to us. LOOK around, who needs what you have??

The boys are winding down the school year.  They have both remained on the Honor Roll the entire school year.  I'm so glad for that after homeschooling last year and having to come into an entirely new district/state.  Joel was invited into the Junior Honor Society... proud mom moment!  Ethan will travel with Mike for over 2 weeks the end of June.  Joel the next month.  It will be nice for them to be back on the road and sharing in the vision again.

We have a very busy ministry schedule ahead of us.  There are so many amazing things that are playing out before our eyes.  Contacts we are making that can only be explained as a 'God thing'.  There are many exciting things in the 'works'.  We will share them as they come into play.    

Hairy addition...yes...I have not forgotten about that earlier statement!  About 3 weeks ago we brought home a 3 pound bouncy puppy boy.  He has been a much blessed addition to our lives.  He is a Boston Terrier the boys named Sieben (pronounced Z-bin), the German word for the number 7.  He is already bi-lingual.  We are teaching him all the commands in English and German.  We plan to take him with us when we move to Berlin so of course he must know German!!  He is super cute ;)

While reading my Bible the other morning I came across a verse that we all know, have heard and probably even used at one time or another to witness to someone.  But for some reason I read it with new eyes.

      'God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors.' -1st Peter 1:18- 

Without a relationship with Jesus it is an empty life.  Movie stars and people that 'have it all' are a great testament to this.  They have EVERYthing money can buy: beauty, fame, material things, money, the spotlight but still we see so many of them depressed, suicidal, divorced, on drugs and down right miserable.  Proving once and for all that money can't and won't buy happiness, nor can it fill the 'hole' we are all born with.  That hole is filled with 1 thing and 1 thing only- a personal, intimate, relationship with Jesus Christ.  Only He can fill the void of an empty life.  Only He can give purpose and a feeling of belonging.  Only He can show you that your life really does matter.

So many people wonder if God really wants them!  This verse along with countless others give proof to the fact that God wanted us and still wants us today. 

HE PAID A RANSOM FOR US.

Most hostage situations don't go as planned.  The negotiations are hindered with problems. The captor wants to much, the police are not willing to give in.  We have all watched movies on how it plays out.

In the above Bible story the captor wanted lives. Satan wanted to keep the lives of everyone on the earth.  He felt he was owed that much after his fall from Heaven.  But God wanted every life on earth too.  They were at a stand off.  A hostage situation.  But God knew something.  He knew that there was one life that Satan wanted even more then all the lives on earth.  One life that could quench the devils desire for revenge.  One life Satan wanted out of the way once and for all.

That life was Jesus Christ, God's own son. 

With Jesus gone Satan probably saw a 'help wanted' sign over the seat of God's right hand.  A step closer to taking God's throne.  Finally his life long dream of taking over Heaven would be fulfilled.

God in His infinite love for the human race did what negotiators are trained NEVER TO DO.  God paid the ransom.

          'It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.  God chose him as your ransom long before the world began.' -1st Peter 1:19,20-

        He gave over His beloved spotless, beautiful son.
        He gave over the crowned jewel of Heaven.
        He gave over His heart.
        He gave all He could give to pay the ransom for you and me.

Satan was beside himself.  He had the light of Heaven to torture and torment.  He suddenly had a win/win scenario.  He had won the stand off.  He had won the negotiations.  Or so he thought. 

        BUT HE HAD JUST LOST THE SOULS OF MANKIND!!!

God paid the ransom.  God gave all.  The requirement was met.  Man BELONGED to God.  With such a high ransom paid for you...

           'DON'T slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desire.  For you are a chosen people, God's VERY OWN POSSESIONS.  He called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.'.
                                                               -1st Peter 1:14, 2:9-

You are treasured.  You are loved.  You are owned by the creator of the universe. 
BELIEVE IT, LIVE IT, SHOW IT!





Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A Tale of Two Children

Geesh after rereading my last blog...I wonder how am I ever going to compete with that??

I am so blessed by all the messages I got from so many people about the blog "What are you waiting for".  Your openness touched me!  I want everyone to know that we all go through "those times".  Don't ever feel like you're alone.  That is how darkness works.  It makes us feel as if 'no one understands', 'no one else ever goes through things that I am going through'...LIES!!

We all do/have/will go through things.  It is important to bring those things to light.  To be open with someone about it.  In doing so you take away the power of the 'thing' you're going through.  You cause it to lose it's hold on you.  You make it weak!  Never hide pain, sin, or things that could so easily destroy you.  Share with someone you trust.  Find a Godly friend/mentor.  Open the hidden things.  Let's brighten up the house!

Since last I wrote we have been busy making contacts.  These last 2 months that has been the name of the game.  December and January found Mike 'cold' calling pastors all over the area.  NOT FUN!  But through those calls we have been able to connect with a few new contacts!  Relationship is so important and that is what takes up most of the time for us.  Sitting down with these men and woman and sharing our hearts and listening to theirs.  Mike will start back to 'long distance' trips next month.  This once again means he will be away for weeks at a time so please keep him in prayer (safety, favor and many SUCCESSFUL meetings).  For the boys and I, pray that we remain safe and the household runs smoothly while he is away! 

Christmas was particularly fun this year.  We had a friend (Isabel) from Brazil, that we met in Germany summer of '13, come to stay with us.  Her friend had moved to Washington, DC a while back from Brazil.  This was Isa's first time in the States so of course first American Christmas.  Oh boy...it would be putting it mildly to say I enjoyed every minute of buying her and her friend gifts and surprises so they could truly be a part of our culture's Christmas!  They were spoiled from the minute they arrived till they left ;)

We have also been able to connect with some of Mike's extended family that we might never have gotten to truly know.  It has been great to 'grow' family ties! 

We have continued to up-date our little townhouse. We had to tear out the kitchen from top to bottom, both bathtubs and bathroom sinks.  We had to replace flooring in many rooms and we are still working on painting EVERYthing :)  We have been able to do most the work ourselves.  It is coming together quite nicely.  It was a rental before...so yeah...

The boys continue to do very well in school.  They seem to have found a nice rhythm to pass the days.  They are happy to not have to do so much traveling...we are happy to not have them cramped in a small car for hours on end!  I do miss traveling and meeting so many amazing people but I have been able to do quite a bit of it these last 2 months with Mike keeping travel to NC.  I know it is important for the boys to have the stability of 'daily routine' so it works well this way!

I can't close a blog without something God has been showing me (it just wouldn't seem right :)

So I tell you tale.

A Tale of Two Children *Galatians 4:21-31 NLT*

We all know the story.  God promised Abraham a son but he was old and Sarah was barren.  They were both excited to say the least and probably 'went to town' trying to fulfill the promise or it could have been the opposite.  They didn't try to hard because they really couldn't see how God would fulfill the promise through them.

Either way they couldn't wait any longer and decided God's heavenly promise needed a little earthly help!  So Abe got a slave women pregnant. 

vs 23 -The son of a slave woman was a human attempt to bring about the fulfillment of God's promise-

THEN the heavenly promise came...

When we try to operate ahead of God's promises or try to give them earthly help bad things can happen!  We very easily could end up a 'slave' to those things instead of what God has promised us.  We need patience to see through to God's promises.  We of course have to do our part but that is all that is required of us.  Abraham and Sara had their part to play but they became easily discouraged and impatient.

Discouragement + Impatience = A Slave Child
Patience + Peace + Belief = A Free Child


vs 30 -So get rid of the slave and her son because they will not share the inheritance with the Free Woman's Son-

We must make every attempt to only BARE God's promises and not have a Slave Child!  We must hold fast and keep the faith.  We most believe the promises God has spoken over our lives.  We must be patient AND do our part.  We must bare Free Children!

vs 29 -The (free) child born by the power of the Holy Spirit-

My prayer after reading this has been -'Holy Spirit help me to only bare Free Children.  Help me to hold fast and keep steady the course set for me.  Father God, forgive me when I jump ahead and try to make things work before your time and bare slave children.  Keep me patient!'

chapter 5:1  -Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you STAY FREE-






Thursday, November 6, 2014

What are you waiting for?

When last I wrote we were still in Berlin.  It was with heavy hearts that we returned 'home'.  We wanted to stay and continue the works we are a part of.  We know Berlin is where we are to be.  There is not a doubt!  How it will all work out will be amazing to watch!!  We were blessed beyond measure with the favor we found at every turn there.  So many amazing people that are now forever a part of our lives. 

So much work to be done.

So few labors to harvest the fields.

We had been praying over the summer about setting up a home-base in the US.  Since we sold our NY home May of '13 we felt we needed somewhere to call our own whenever we are in the states.  As strongly as we wanted to stay in Germany this time we felt that we needed to return to set up a home-base and finish raising the support needed.  We looked at many locations and thought through the pros and cons of each area.  Finally we decided on Winston Salem, NC.  It is a great location for many reasons:  Mike's younger sister moved there a few months back.  So it has family.  We needed somewhere in the middle of all our contacts - old, new, and hopefuls - they span from NY to Florida.  This will make travel easier on us.  Plus the taxes are crazy low :)  We wanted to find something we wouldn't have to go in debt for...this is a Biggy for us!!

We arrived in NC not even 2 days after stepping off the plane and began looking at places to live.  Time was of the essence.  We had to first find a house in order to get the boys in school.  We had 2 weeks to pull it all off.  It was not easy - trying to pick the neighborhood, school district, home (with-in our limited budget) and all the other challenges that come with a new area. We didn't know how anything worked within the school system, so different then northern schools!  We found a small townhouse which will work best for when we are in Germany for the long periods of time.  We will not have to worry about maintenance of a large home and lawn.  The townhouse needed a ton of work though and more things we found as we settled into it.

When we went to pick up our belongings at the storage unit we found that they had been invaded by black mold while we were in Germany this summer.  Our clothing and appliances were for the most part in plastic storage bins so they were fine but all our wooden furniture (dressers, kitchen table, couch, book cases, ect) and beds were lost.  To make matters worse we needed to have purchased additional insurance for water damage.  We were not aware of this when we bought the insurance we thought we needed for the unit.  So nothing has been reimbursed. 

I felt like Job. 

Then I began to battle with styes on my eye lids.  Even as I write this I have a large one on my upper right lid that sent me to the eye doctor earlier this week.  I'm on antibiotics and he told me if I had not come in when I did I would have ended up in the hospital from the infection that set in along with the stye.

 There were so many questions raised in our minds as to why we had to fight so many battles from the moment we stepped off the plane (our luggage decided to take almost a week to find us).  I have only mentioned a few of the battles above.   Anybody that knows us can look back over our lives and say we have lived a life that seemed "golden".  Everything we had put our hands to has been successful.  It felt as if the bottom had dropped out and everything we touched was spoiling.  How do you continue to hold fast to the calling deep inside when it feels like things are crumbling down around you?  What does it say about God's will for your life when it looks like nothing is "going right"?  I know growing up the belief was unless things were "roses" then you were out of the will of God for your life...come on you all know what I'm talking about!!!
So getting back to Job...I just couldn't help but feel somewhat like he had.  Of course I was nowhere near his losses.  But at times I did feel like God was stepping back and watching it all unfold instead of stepping in to my rescue.  I felt almost bi-polar.  Moments I would be strong and have a hold of my emotions the next in tears.  How could my Champion abandon me in my time of need?  How could He sit back when I needed Him most?  Was I just wasting my time on a 'pipe dream'?

 I can tell you that only 3 months later (even with the large stye currently on my eye) I write this from a place of peace.  My God has NEVER failed me.  He used these past few months to continue to mold me into His image.  I am stronger for walking through the fire.  I was not burned, He held my hand.  He moved heaven and earth for me.  I am sitting in a beautiful home (still in need of some paint and repairs).  I have all I need.  Great kids.  A loving, faithful husband.  A calling that is so burned into my heart that I have NO doubt that full time missions work in Germany is where we are headed.  The late luggage turned into over $1200 worth of reimbursements from the airliner-the kids school clothing, outfits for Mike and I, new sneakers for all of us and many personal items I would have had to buy out of pocket.  The small ugly townhouse turned into a blessing in the rough.  With our ability to do most of the repairs ourselves and my creative eye it looks amazing and is "money" in the bank.  The schools for the boys have been just what they needed.  The styes in my eyes...well ok I'm still trying to figure out the blessing there...LOL...
Mike has been traveling all over the states and into Canada since our return.  God has been opening some amazing doors we never thought he would walk through.  Just a few weeks ago he sat down with the Swiss Ambassador!   He is going to Germany for a week this month and only had to buy the plane ticket.  He has sat down to lunch with many top leaders of different organizations.  I'm telling you God has some great things 'up His sleeve.’ There are many, many more cool stories I could share.  God opens the doors and we walk through them!!  Is it a wonder that we had such a struggle when we first returned?

I am being very opened and sharing from the heart.  I grew up in a very closed, private family.  I still fight the urge to "keep things behind closed doors".  I want my life to shout out loud that God is faithful.  He has so much more in store for each one of us.  Big things that we could never imagine or even believe.  I wrote this blog wanting to be open and honest with the struggles I have been going through.  I write from a very vulnerable place.  It is hard for me because I am strong! I have always had to be 'the strong one'.  I am telling you now I am weak...always have been!  It is my God, my heavenly Father, that is the strong one in me.  Without Him I am nothing.  Without Him I fall apart.  Without Him I can't survive.  He is my everything. 

I leave you with something I read this morning that grabbed me and propelled me to finally write this blog:

"So I take a new grip with my tired hands and strengthen my weak knees. 
I mark out a straight path for my feet so that those who ARE weak and lame will not fall but become strong."  Hebrew 12:12-13

I want to mark a straight path for others to follow.  I want to strengthen those that are weak and lame.  I want them to know my God.  I want to see them do things they could never do on their own.  To reach new heights.  To stop settling in life.  To stop graveling for small morsels.

I take a new grip.  YES...I'm tired but I can't let those coming behind fall!!!  I need them to see what God can do in and through a weak, frail shell.  I need them to understand that greater is He in me then he that seeks to destroy my life.
Take a new grip today, strengthen those tired knees.  Mark out a path for others to follow. 

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR???

Monday, June 30, 2014

Who are you?

Last blog we were living in the bungalow.  This blog finds us moved into the Sending House.  I wrote about the actual house last blog.  It has been a great move for us.  As much as we liked our bungalow we are now right in the middle of everything going on.  You all know how much we love people and to be right in the heart beat of what we want to do here has been amazing.

We have done many different outreaches with the Reach Global team that is living in the house with us for 7 weeks.  Our team from IHOP comes this week.  We are so excited to have OUR first official team come.  Having teams come from the states has been a dream since we started this whole process. We thought it would be at least another year or two before we would be able to see it fulfilled...God loves to surprise us :)  We will also be working closely with another team from the states for a week.  So this summer we have worked with 3 US teams (surprise)!!  

There is never a dull moment.  If we are not going on outreaches then we are spending our time getting to know the German family that lives in the house with us.  We are also very intentional to reach out to all the people we have met in the different house churches.  We have them over for dinner, go to events with them, or just hang out.  We enjoy just being with them, whatever that might look like.  Relationships have a very high value here and are so important to the German people.  We are happy to oblige.

Last Sunday we took the Reach Global team to a brunch filled with churched and non-churched Germans.  The 4 Reach Global teammates were sitting on the couch together.  A German was talking to me and asked where the Americans were he heard had come.  I pointed to the 4 teammates and said 'they are right there.'  He said 'oh ok so those are the Americans?!' Later I was thinking about it and had to laugh because Ummm Hello I am an American too... I love how comfortable I am here.  I really don't view myself as "different" then the Germans around me.  To me, he and I were just chatting and I didn't feel set apart...like 'Oh I am American and you are German'...why...should I? 

We will bring home many cool God stories from the outreaches and everyday life here.  God has walked with us step by step. We see His hand all around us.  He is so clever in all He does.  Oh a quick God story...I wrote about our "land lords" from the bungalow in my last blog...welllll they came to the German vs USA game party we had HERE at the Sending House a few nights ago.  They got to talk to all the church people here!!! They felt very welcomed and kept saying how much they enjoyed it.  We have invited them back over Friday night for a 4th of July cook out!  How cool is that?  We hope by the time we leave they will feel comfortable enough to start coming to church here.  We are in Germany for over a month and have already started bringing guest to church events!  I love it!

Now that "that part" of my blog is done let's get to the real reason your reading this ;)  I am so grateful and humbled to hear from so many of you about how these blogs reach out and minister to you or how God has been showing you the same things.  I love to hear your stories.  It really encourages me to keep writing. 

I have still been reading Acts (refer to last blog...lol I'm going to have you reading all the blogs to see how everything ties together before to long ;) and I stumbled over a very, very cool sentence. YES, of course, we have all read it and all heard messages preached on it but it hit me hard this time.

WHO ARE YOU?

Acts 19:13-16-quick story background-people were starting to really get into this Jesus fellow. Seven sons of a leading priest were trying to cast out evil spirits saying "I command you in the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches to come out."  But one time when they tried the evil spirit replied "I know Jesus, and I know Paul, but WHO ARE YOU?"  I am fixated by this question.  "I know and fear Jesus, and I know all about Paul-he is quite the guy walking in the full power of the spirit, BUT WHO ARE YOU-in other words who do you even think you are trying to come up against me." *ouch* that had to hurt..oh wait it did they got the snot beat out of them!!!

These guys thought they got it.  They wanted to borrow someone else's 'power'.  They didn't understand who Jesus could be in them.  That the same power that ran through Paul's veins could run through theirs.  They thought 'it works for Paul so we'll just throw his name in there and maybe it will work for us too.'

WHO ARE YOU?

What a loaded question!  I almost can't wrap my brain around that question.  Who am I?  Who was I created to be?  Who do others say I am?  Do the demons know my name?  Do I know who I am in Christ?  Do I understand the power inside of me or do I try to piggyback off the power of others?  Who am I? 

The next day after I read this Job, a German musician, came to lead morning worship.  He sang a song that really made this come alive even more to me.

      I don't want to ride on somebody else's passion.
      I don't want to find I'm just dry bones.
      I want to burn with unquenchable fire, deep down inside see it COMING ALIVE.
   
      Help me find my own flame.
      Help me find my own fire.
      I want the real thing.
      I want Your burning desire!  (Will Reagan)

WHO ARE YOU?

'We were born to rule-rule over creation, over darkness-to plunder hell and establish the rule of Jesus wherever we go by preaching the gospel of the Kingdom' Bill Johnson

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Berlin or Bust

I realize it has been a while since I have written a blog…a long while…shame on me!!  We are in Berlin, Tuesday makes a week.  We are very happy to be in Germany.  It has seemed very easy for us to fall back into the rhythm of things here.  The bungalow that we found is so awesome!!  It is double the size and almost half the price of all the ones we looked at on-line.  The week before we were to come to Berlin we took one last look to see if anything had opened up that would be more comfortable for our family.  This one popped up!  We found out later from the land lord that she had a ton of people want to rent it because it was such an amazing deal!! God orchestrated the timing perfectly for us to have it!!  The location is great.  It's a short walk to the tram so we can hop on and get anywhere we need to go.  There is a nice grocery store that we walk to.  Across the street is a very large pond that we enjoy a daily walk or 2 around.  In the mornings Mike and I walk around it to pray for everything and everyone.  Yes, we pray for YOU!!  

We have met up with many of our contacts and are making new ones almost daily.  Tuesday we spent the afternoon and evening at the Sending House working to repair it. The house is a 300 year old Gardener’s home.  In front of it is a large grocery store called Kaufland.  Where Kaufland is now use to be a castle!  The Gardener lived out back of the castle hence the name…  The castle was bombed out in the war and never rebuilt.  The Gardener’s home somehow escaped damage.  It is a large home with many rooms and bathrooms.  Old and in need of some major TLC but oh the possibilities!

Our land lord wants to have a cook out with us next week!  We have been praying for an opportunity to reach out to her and her family.  The boys have played with her little boy and we have talked to her a few times.  Today she asked if we could get together for a cook out…ummmmm no…just kidding :) God rocks!  

Be encouraged that your prayers and support are hard at work!  We could never be here if it were not for you.  We are humbled to have you stand beside us.  Please continue to keep us in your prayers and if you are not yet supporting us please ask God how you can help!

Stephen   

I have been reading the book of Acts.  I wanted to read it because I think that is what the church of today needs to look like once again.  We have strayed from our roots…in some cases far far from our roots!!  I read with excitement and at times my head hung low as I realize how far I have strayed.  I am also reading When Heaven Invades Earth -Bill Johnson.  Talk about a double whammy!! He is so blunt and factual about who we are in Christ and what we should be doing about it!  In a nutshell our daily walk should just be another chapter added to the book of Acts!  If you have never read any of his books I would encourage you to.

Getting back to Acts.  Among many of the cool things I have found one comes to mind as I write this.  Reading the story of Stephen I saw something I’ve not really noticed before.  We all know the story- Acts 6 found the apostles being asked to busy themselves in everyday church affairs.  They knew those things would easily burdened them down and hinder them from preaching the word of God.  They said to chose 7 men well respected and full of the Spirit to do the work.  Stephen was one of those “workers” chosen.  He would do the ‘servant things’ needed to keep order in the church.  Chapter 8 says “ Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, PERFORMED AMAZING MIRACLES AND SIGNS among the people.”  

So you say…what does this have to do with me???  So glad you asked!  Stephen was picked to work the feeding program for the church.  He was NOT an apostle nor held the office of one.  BUT he didn’t let that stop him from performing AMAZING miracles and signs.  EVERY PERSON in the church is called to PERFORM amazing miracles and signs.  He understood his reason for existence here on earth.  He knew it was his ultimate calling.  We are NOT off the hook.  We can’t say ‘well since I am not the pastor nor a leader I am off the hook for those kinds of things’.  Sorry it’s right there in black and white and I just pointed it out to you (LOL).  Why have we strayed so far away?  Why do we walk around so powerless?  What have we become?


I talked about waking the slumbering giant -the church- in my last blog.  This blog I am talking about waking US!!  Waking us to the possibilities that are already ours to operate in.  We are given dominion over everything the day we are born.  Jesus came to make that possible.  READ about it BELIEVE it WALK in it!!  No more excuses!!