Time does not stop

"Urban living" in Gresham

Well, this past year has been one of the most interesting for me and my family. Lots of bumps, lots of fun times, and lots of “what on earth are we doing!” moments. It seems, as though out of our control, time has decided to continue on. So many times in this last year it seemed like time was going by far to slow, it seemed we were waiting for something, but wasn’t quite sure. Now, time seems to be flying by, not because we’re having fun (we are far from having any kind of fun), but because all of sudden, we are at a place that we could’ve never imagined. It’s as if we woke up and our plane was hi-jacked, and no one announced what our new destination was.

For the most part we have been content not knowing the destination, after all, God likes to give assignments and adventures to his children. We are in no doubt that Poland is our ultimate, physical location and calling. However, God is definitely teaching us through the process, and while we walk through this desert experience, following God around, we will try to not complain about the mana. We have a lot to learn and know it will take time, time which is not stopping. So because time doesn’t want to stop for us, and we obviously can’t ignore that it moves on, we are focusing our energy.

God’s provision, protection, and love have been (as expected, yet hard to understand at times) overwhelmingly evident. We are surrounded by amazing friends, and we know the next year will be full of love, hope, and renewal. While time moves on, we will move with it, and we will move with God in his timing. God’s grace and truth is most important and this next year is to focus on those things, applying them in ways we know will be new and renewing.

Filtering life

A mobile post from the ride home, enjoy.

There is really only so much we can do in life, so making “life worth it” can seem overwhelming and unobtainable. There are a lot of different approaches, and to varying degrees I’ve watched many ways fail to bring about the “worth” people talk about. I’ve been a swinger (no not that kind) just rolling around from one thing to the next, unsure why I’m doing what I’m doing.

Now it’s different, there’s meaning, and sometimes that very meaning is what helps me realize – I never had any worth. At least I never had a need to seek worth, because I’ve always had access to it. Simply through God’s grace and sacrifice, which compels me to recognize my faults, and live for him.

So now I live life through that filter, a redeemed man of God who needs not seek worth, but live in God’s worth! I live my life filtered by God’s priorities, his grace, and love.

The hardships of this life are enormous, many of which I have been through and often felt angered at God for one selfish reason or another. From sexual abuse, family crisis, deaths, relational crisis, depression, and just about everything else you can imagine in the lives of those around me. It isn’t because God has protected me, nor is it some super power, nor is it because I’m smarter than the next person. The victory I have experienced is all due to the fact that I and we have made it a priority to put God first, every yes or no we say is because we have filtered it against our walk with God.

Of course we fail in this at times, of corse we get overwhelmed and make mistakes. Yet overall because of te intentional decisions to fiter our decisions to God we have been spared the worst of the consequences, consequences I know would be devastating.

Lunch time thoughts

I can’t wait until certain things are “official” – then I’ll be fairly free to write about all the amazing, cool, great, fantastic things going on… But until then – I’ll just have to wait, and you too.  So right now I’ll just post some random thoughts from my quick lunch “break”.

  • I can’t wait to someday live in the center of a city, I am a urban dweller by heart.
  • I have a huge travel bug in me right now, although we were just on a trip, I want to take a trip to some far away city somewhere.
  • Cars are not what people really think they are – you know how much I get done while riding the bus or train – A LOT.  Sure, slightly slower at times, and not “always” there – but the potential is there for amazing livability without cars.  I know some places “need” cars, maybe we should think about how we live and move around?
  • When thinking about the Church and ministry, and living a Christian life, I’ve got a lot of thoughts on that… just not sure where to start… maybe I shouldn’t care where I start?
  • Emma is growing SOOO fast, and I can’t seem to see her enough!
  • Alexis and I are working on a big idea… can’t wait to reveal it.

Thanks, that’s pretty much it for now – much more after “details” go official.

When projects control your mind

I’ve been wanting to redesign my blog, and work on a number of web projects for a while… so I decided that this evening would be at least the start of some of those projects.  I should’ve known it would take me past midnight… these kinds of things always do.

At least I’m happy with the new blog design, although I want to customize the header image, and make a few minor tweaks – overall I’m quite happy.  Next on my list is a major project to centralize all of our photos both in the cloud and on our computers, that’ll be fun… not.  I might actually start blogging some more once I feel like all of these projects are caught up on.

Los Angeles

Alexis, Emma, and I are in Los Angeles for a missionary training intensive with Foursquare – it has really been an amazing time and we are excited for what God has in store for us in the future.  We’ve been here since last Wednesday and don’t leave until next Sunday.  My parents are with us to watch Emma while we are in training sessions from 8am to 6pm each day, and that has been an incredible blessing for us.   Today we get to visit Foursquare first church – Angelus Temple, and that should be a pretty cool experience.

Some great things have happened here, we’re excited to see what God has in store and most of all we’re excited to get this ship to Poland sailing – right now the ship is docked preparing to sail.

I’ll continue my sexuality series when we return to Portland – there just isn’t enough time while we are here.  Maybe I’ll surprise myself… you can pray for me, I’ve had a sore throat each morning, and it pretty much goes away by the end of the day but I think it’s contributing to me being tired… Thanks!

New job and open doors

About a month ago I began thinking about why I had so much anxiety in regards to work, while I like the job, the tasks, that I do for my current employer, I really did not see any opportunity to move forward, not that I would with just about two years to go before the big move, but there wasn’t even the ability to move laterally and do something different if I felt like it.  Then some decisions and issues with the company began happening, shortly after our return from Kraków in October – and these things just added to the list, all of it in the area of employee-care -basically there was none.

I began praying and asking God for an open door, I didn’t post my resume anywhere, I didn’t knock on every IT firm out there – I simply prayed and God reminded me of one place…

So, I checked out a company that one of my former co-workers (form my current employer) is working for now.  And they had a position listed on their website – so I applied.  I contacted my old co-worker and he gave me a good reference – a few days later I had an interview, then a week later a final interview with the CEO.  On Saturday they gave me an offer, I counter offered (too much of a pay-cut even with the benefits being so much better) they came back with a very reasonable offer.  So starting on December 5th (strange a Friday, but gives me a good full week of real work instead of HR stuff) I will be employed by Smarsh, look at their website to get an idea of what they do.

Finish life update – back to the regularly scheduled program – oh wait – there hasn’t been any.

Emma’s dedication

Last night we dedicated Emma to the Lord.  See the pictures here. It was a beautiful moment.  However, I felt so discouraged and upset with myself afterwords because the words I wanted to say completely left my head, however, what was said was still pretty darn good, just not what I originally wanted. 

The enemy tried to use this against me the entire night, it took a while for me to shake the lies from my head.  Stuff like “You can’t talk in front of people”, “You fumble on the platform, and always will”… it really had me going, I was so distracted for the rest of the evening that I hardly heard the message, except a part about Moses… that my small group all laughed at… but only us.  DING (inside joke).

Here’s what I wanted to say, and will say and pray:

As God the father dedicated His son to do his work, we dedicate Emma to be in His hands, wholly modlable.  Because of his ultimate love may she see His handiwork throughout her life and live set apart for great things.  Empowered by Jesus beyond measure and without limit – in His kingdom here on earth!

I hate it.

One thing I have grown to loath is fund raising.  While it’s a pretty needed step in everything God has asked us to do, it isn’t easy.  The feeling I get with each request is that I feel like a beggar.  I hate it.  I know that most people don’t see it as begging, but the feeling doesn’t get better when the responses are either negative or nill.  We have had our share of negative responses from people who apparently do not know exactly what we are doing, and haven’t read the things we have done over the years.   Thankfully these kinds of responses have slowed down, and in fact the past couple of months we haven’t received a single one. 

However the lack of giving, and responses is the most de-motivating, and causes us to rethink our strategy, and especially in the hardest moments our calling. We have only had a handful of very large donations from very few people to support us the past five years, this is incredible and God has shown us amazing provision through this.  Yet I still want to believe in Acts, where all the believers shared in everything.  Not to toot our own horn and yet gracefully show a point – Alexis and I tithe to our home church and give offerings to four different missions projects, and soon a fifth.  We hope to always do this and be consistent, in both financial giving, prayers, and talking/encouraging with our friends abroad.
I’m not really sure what this entry is about, I guess it’s venting, I guess I have a small hope that it will motivate more people to give just a little.  It’s difficult to not be a bit discouraged, and believe me, Alexis and I know the truth, and plenty of people love to remind us (the pat statements, you know what I mean)… we know God will provide – it’s just the human factor we’re a bit unsure of right now, both in us, and others.