Share your life more and gain so much more!


Acts 2:46 NLT

They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity.

Everytome I read this verse my heart grieves because deep down it seems so right and yet deeply troubling to actually live out. I long for it, both Alexis and I do, it’s exactly what we feel is the core to our mission in Poland. But the “how” is enormously bigger than us. Which it’s that very reason we contend for it.

Imagine life in constant connection with fellow believers, the support, the encouragement, the love. You might be thinking “yeah right, I can hardly stand an hour in church!” This might be true but let me provide some perspective.

You see, we’re not talking about living in a commune, we’re talking about living intentionally. Living near one another, meeting daily for mutual encouragement and teaching. That could be 2 people for coffee/tea or that could be 20 to pick up garbage around the neighborhood. It could be having a discussion about God on Facebook or it could be sharring our arts and talents with our surrounding community.

I think we have a hard time imagining such a life because we live in the world on a day to day basis and meet together once for an hour. So the majority of us are surrounded with world influences which drain us and bring us to our ends. Having our passion fanned by fellow believers each day, while different and probably at times difficult, at least will allow for God to move (assuming we are genuinely surrendered to Him). It’s kind of scary, yet who can be against us when he is for us?

Be intentional, love, give, live. Then we may be equipped to reach our world, energized, in love, and full of love that is beyond this world’s understanding.

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!

Some much needed rest

Well with the imminent inclement weather on its way I’ll be enjoying a nice weekend with zero plans.  This is much needed as I have found myself feeling a bit frazzled and not motivated to spend time with other people.  A nice quiet house sounds nice, but I also want to get some things done and get some shopping finished too.  One day at a time, we just might get marooned at home for all I know!  Blessings, merry Christmas, and happy new year.

We’re officially kicking off our long term fund raisingin January, so that’s one BIG project I’m trying to get together.  We’re aiming for 100 people to give $30.35 per month until we leave (September 2010) or 200 people giving $15.29.  I think it’s very doable!  Start praying and we’ll let you know more after the New Year!

Trip debrief – finally

So I’m finally able to relax a bit, nothing is planned for tonight and I’ve done enough thinking and processing about our trip that I can finally put most of it into words.  In general I feel good about it, we spent significant time with people, creating new relationships, building up our existing ones, and ministering to our closest friends there.  Overall this was the most exhausting trip for Alexis and I, due to the fact that on most days we got up at 6am and didn’t get to bed until around 10pm.  We were getting up so early because we had about a 45 minute commute (via Bus and Tram) to the language school, which was from 9:30 to 2pm each day.  While we were in school the rest of our team tried to meet up with people (not very successfully), prayed for the city and churches, and explored possible future neighborhoods for us.

Speaking of language school, now that we’ve taken nearly a week break, we know we need to get back to studying – and hopefully, God providing, taking private lessons from the director of the Polish school here in Portland.  The course was very intensive and at times frustrating, however, I think we learned the concepts and with some review, and diligence on our part, God will help us get the fundamentals in our head.

Over the course of our first week we came up against some not so explainable health issues, on the first day Alexis got sick to her stomach on the tram to school, so much so she felt she was going to faint, instead she threw up.  Unfortunately the only thing she had to throw up into was Emma’s blanket, the rest of our fellow tram passengers didn’t offer much help, either because they didn’t know how, or the language barrier froze them, or both.  Eitherway I found myself a bit upset that no one offered any help – all I could do was pray, so that’s what I did.  By the time we were at the school Alexis felt better – one of the most stressful moments of my life I think!

Then on Tuesday (I think) Charis got sick (our friend who came to help watch Emma while we were in school) and threw up all night long.  After some prayer with her home-stay host she was able to sleep in, Aris and Brandon took over Emma duty that day at school and by the afternoon Charis joined us.  By then we knew something wasn’t quite right, because there wasn’t really anyway to explain these mysterious sicknesses.  The saga continues with me getting a very strange cramping in my stomach all day Thursday, Brandon getting a nasty head-cold also on Thursday, me having cramps again on Saturday, Aris with a migraine, and when Corey and Jenise joined us on Saturday, Corey got pretty sick around their second day as well.  Through prayer and endurance we didn’t miss what God called us to do, learn the language and build relationships.

In spite of all the sickness thrown at us, and some communication mishaps, God confirmed over and over and through multiple people that the Polish people, our friends, and those that we hardly know, are encouraged, excited, and ready to have more people in Kraków to work in God’s kingdom.  Our commitment to learn the language in advance of our move has spoken volumes to the Poles – and over and over we heard “the single biggest sign that God is calling you here is that he has opened the door for you to learn Polish and you are doing it” – many other missionaries in times past have not taken this important step.  Not to compare ourselves, but to contrast the difference in preparation that we feel God is very specifically asking us to do.

Enough of me blabbering – Brandon has some great photos up on facebook, below are the public links (you don’t need Facebook to see them).




Nowy Targ

Poland Day 5

Poland Day 2

Poland Day 1

Being real

A while back I wrote about how much I loathe the fund raising process, the ups and downs, the stress, and everything else that goes along with something based on faith.  Still, I have a philosophy about my Christian walk that I believe is important, and it’s being real.  While it may have a whiny tone, it may be jaded at times, I find it freeing to express myself (without slandering, hurting, or otherwise giving bad connotations about others), my doubts, my concerns, my opinions, and in this I find blessing from God.  I find that my relationship is something based communication and love, not just “knowledge”, pat answers, and “should haves”.

I believe too that because of this, this creates a relationship with God that I feel is real.  I am always aware of his voice, because I’m always telling him things, and hearing back how (at times) rediculous I am in my rantings.  Yet, it’s always a fatherly kind of thing (and sometimes motherly, in fact).

So what’s the result of all this?  Amazing trust, and a God who never fails to build my faith in Him.  Over the past 24 hours we have recieved four donations to our trip (which we leave on Saturday for) totaling, get this, $1,950!  I know it’s because I keep putting my faith where it belongs, even though my mind doubts, God knows our weaknesses, and He knows our stregnths, and he works in both!  Amen?  YES.


Wow… what can I say, it’s been busy, but a good kind of busy, the relational kind!  The best there is, if you ask me.  For the first time in about a month I’m not overwhelmed with much, the stress is somewhat low, life is good – we’re still trying to fund raise the last bit, I’m hoping to buy the last two tickets before we go on Wednesday.  

Peace be with you.

Polska w Portland

This Saturday Alexis and I (and I think some friends) will be at the Portland Polish Festival, this will be our first time there.  I’ve heard about every year and every year something has always trumped it, but this year, it’s a go!  Woot!  Can’t wait!  Then the following Saturday we’ll be flying out to Kraków!  

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about our trip, and both Alexis and I are very excited, to see our friends, see what God has in store for us and them, and most of all to be in our second home.

We’re still in need of fund raising close to $3,000 (at last official count), so be praying for that.

God has spoken!

I know this is long, but it’s a huge revelation for me, if you want to know where I am, to know more than just a tweet or facebook status update, take the time to read this.  Shall we know each other for the love we show to each other?  Are we known for the love we have for each other?  Let’s start, one person at a time.

Last night as I was laying in bed, attempting to fall asleep, I could not stop thinking about our upcoming trip to Poland.  Then I felt the Lord telling me, stop, be at peace, do not fear, everything will be okay.  Then I thought to myself, that’s just the pat Christian response, thinking I’m not trusting or having enough faith in God… 

And then I “really” heard him say “go throughout your day tomorrow and do not talk about, nor dwell on this coming trip” and so I tried my best, I had a few wondering thoughts, and did my best to think of other things (such as driving, doing my job, etc).  It has been really hard, very hard.

The other thing I heard God say was “I’ll have an answer for you tomorrow” (that being today) and that answer I believe came in my morning devotion, but in a way, could still be coming.

In my devotional I read Jeremiah 51:20-23:

20 “You are my battle-ax and sword,”
      says the Lord.
   “With you I will shatter nations
      and destroy many kingdoms.
 21 With you I will shatter armies-
      destroying the horse and rider,
      the chariot and charioteer.
 22 With you I will shatter men and women,
      old people and children,
      young men and maidens.
 23 With you I will shatter shepherds and flocks,
      farmers and oxen,
      captains and officers.

I felt God say to me – that is you, you are my battle-ax, you and your wife, your family, I will use to battle the enemy’s schemes, lies, and strongholds in Poland.  Wow, thanks God!  This is just what I needed, exactly the motivation.

But wait!  There’s more!

The next passage to read in my devotion was 3rd John, and verses 5-11 answered exactly the question I’ve had about fund raising (what’s right, what’s wrong, how do we fund raise?  Is it right to ask so much? etc, etc, etc).  You see, verses such as Acts 20:33-35, and 2 Corinthians 11:9, have plagued my thoughts, and made me doubt the whole fund raising process.  Then I think “we’re not asking from those we’re serving, from those we’ll be ministering to” (Paul made it clear not to ask or be a burden to those whom he was ministering to, for some reason people miss this distinction, and see that seeking support from your own church is in the same vain as what Paul says in those scriptures).  Still the enemy attacks, and brings doubts to my mind…

Then in 3rd John: 5-11 I read the following:

5 Dear friend, you are being faithful to God when you care for the traveling teachers who pass through, even though they are strangers to you. 6 They have told the church here of your loving friendship. Please continue providing for such teachers in a manner that pleases God. 7 For they are traveling for the Lord, and they accept nothing from people who are not believers. 8 So we ourselves should support them so that we can be their partners as they teach the truth.

 9 I wrote to the church about this, but Diotrephes, who loves to be the leader, refuses to have anything to do with us. 10 When I come, I will report some of the things he is doing and the evil accusations he is making against us. Not only does he refuse to welcome the traveling teachers, he also tells others not to help them. And when they do help, he puts them out of the church.

 11 Dear friend, don’t let this bad example influence you. Follow only what is good. Remember that those who do good prove that they are God’s children, and those who do evil prove that they do not know God.

HOW FREEING!  I can be free from the shame, guilt, whatever it is/has been that has been discouraging me from seeking people’s partnership in our ministry.

God has spoken!  And I know he speaks into your life as well!