November Ministry Update

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“COME HELP CHANGE THE WORLD”. Those words by Dr. Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, captured my heart as a college student almost 20 years ago when I first considered “full-time” ministry as a vocation. Now, in my 17th year on staff with Cru, that same invitation to “come help change the world” continues to capture my heart. But something has changed. (read more)

We also have a big announcement… (read more)

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Making Room for God

excerpt from Walking WIth God by John Eldredge

“Sometime earlier this year, I noticed I was drinking too often, or more precisely, drinking for the wrong reasons. I’d come home exhausted and frazzled from the day, and I’d turn to a glass of wine or a beer as a sort of refuge and relief, a way to find some peace. Some people use food. Or television. For me it was alcohol. And that’s not good. I began to see it as a reaching for joy – joy in a bottle, joy within my grasp. Yikes. This does not have a good future written on it.

And so God gave me a kind of grace to give it up. To make room in my life for him. It was really that simple. I noticed that when I came home frayed and weary, what I wouldn’t do was simply take a few moments to be with God and ask him to comfort me, to be my refuge and peace. I decided to try that instead.

And so something I’ve enjoyed over the years i gone now. And I have no idea if or when it will return. What I notice is a kind of spaciousness now in my soul in the evening. Room for God.”

I read this excerpt shortly after a conversation with some friends about drinking. I never experientially understood the statement, “I need a drink.” It made sense when I thought about people drinking away their troubles, translation – getting drunk. But when I hear people who I know don’t drink to the point of getting drunk say this, it didn’t make sense to me. I guess I’ve never experienced any kind of escape or calming comfort from a glass of wine or a beer.

But, I can TOTALLY identify to what Eldredge is talking about. But instead of a glass of wine or a beer, I turn to the TV or the 360. Instead of joy in a bottle, it’s joy in a box.

God, grant me the grace to give it up – to make room in my life for him. God, will You be my comfort, my refuge and peace.

His Love Never Quits

I am not a writer. I do not enjoy writing. And honestly, I don’t think I have any thoughts or nuggets of wisdom worth sharing through a blog. It’s not that I don’t have my fair share of thoughts. My wife will attest to that. Pretty much every conversation we have starts with me saying, “So, I was thinking…”

So, here’s a stab at sharing some of my thoughts through a medium I hate doing. (No one reads this anyway)

Since the end of February, Amber and I have pulled back from the mission field to focus our full time efforts on raising our financial support – which translates to Truman sending emails, making calls, and meeting with people, while Amber’s full time energy (and I mean FULL TIME energy) is spent making a baby.

Anyone who has been through pretty intense financial stress or has raised missionary funds knows that it’s pretty all-consuming. Needless to say, this is the reality of this season of life for us. And it’s HARD. Sometimes Often I wonder, will our support ever come in? God, don’t you hear our prayers? It’s YOUR work that we’re doing. Surely, You know that, right?

But I am thankful that I read this this morning:

“Thank God! He deserves your thanks. His love never quits. 
   Thank the God of all gods, 
      His love never quits. 
   Thank the Lord of all lords. 
      His love never quits. 

 4-22 Thank the miracle-working God, 
      His love never quits. 
   The God whose skill formed the cosmos, 
      His love never quits. 
   The God who laid out earth on ocean foundations, 
      His love never quits. 
   The God who filled the skies with light, 
      His love never quits. 
   The sun to watch over the day, 
      His love never quits. 
   Moon and stars as guardians of the night, 
      His love never quits. 
   The God who struck down the Egyptian firstborn, 
      His love never quits. 
   And rescued Israel from Egypt’s oppression, 
      His love never quits. 
   Took Israel in hand with his powerful hand, 
      His love never quits. 
   Split the Red Sea right in half, 
      His love never quits. 
   Led Israel right through the middle, 
      His love never quits. 
   Dumped Pharaoh and his army in the sea, 
      His love never quits. 
   The God who marched his people through the desert, 
      His love never quits. 
   Smashed huge kingdoms right and left, 
      His love never quits. 
   Struck down the famous kings, 
      His love never quits. 
   Struck Sihon the Amorite king, 
      His love never quits. 
   Struck Og the Bashanite king, 
      His love never quits. 
   Then distributed their land as booty, 
      His love never quits. 
   Handed the land over to Israel. 
      His love never quits. 

 23-26 God remembered us when we were down, 
      His love never quits. 
   Rescued us from the trampling boot, 
      His love never quits. 
   Takes care of everyone in time of need. 
      His love never quits. 
   Thank God, who did it all! 
      His love never quits!

Psalm 136 (from The Message translation)

I’m thankful to be reminded of this truth. Is it still hard? Yes. We’re still not at full support. Do I feel good about needing to scramble to figure out a way to pay our bills so we don’t go into credit card debt? Do I feel good thinking about what’s going to happen in September when Hudson comes into this world, and our financial situation hasn’t changed?

But, (and it’s a big BUT) I am thankful that I have a Father whose love never quits.

What would you do?


The other day, I was out running my typical grocery errand – aka partaking in Costco samples and a polish dog. However, this time, I was given something else – minor moral delimma. As I finished up, I wheeled my cart passed the lady who pretends to check your receipt and puts her stamp of approval, the official highlighter scribble. As I got to my car and unloaded everything into my trunk, out of no where, I thought: “I wonder if they forgot to ring up this item?” Part of me didn’t want to check the receipt and preferred not knowing – even though I knew I would eventually see as I updated our budget when I got home. So instead, I did check my receipt. And of course, they did indeed forget to ring up the item. Well done, lady-who-pretends-to-check-your-receipt!

So this is where the moral question comes into play. Do I thank God for this sweet gracious blessing and head on home? Do I get out of my car and walk back into the store and tell them about the mistake? What would you do? Would your answer change depending on the type of store you were at? Or the cost of the item they forgot to ring up?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

By the way, I did end up going back into the store to pay for the item.

Simple Devotional

Today in staff meeting, Emily led us through a very insightful exercise. Take a moment and go grab your Bible and something to write on (and obviously something to write with). Or if you prefer to type, you’re already set. Flip open your Bible over to Psalm 23 – very familiar passage, but go ahead and read it again. Now flip over to Matthew 8:23-27. Now write the 2 passages again as 1. You can use creative license to write it however you like.

I’m not much of a writer, but I’ll brave it and share mine:

And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”

And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep.

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

And they went and woke him, saying “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?”

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want, He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name sake.”

Then He rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”

FOR HIS NAME’S SAKE

Lastly, answer these 2 questions: What did you learn about God? What did you learn about yourself?

I would love to hear your responses. We spent time in our staff meeting having everyone share their own rendition and it was pretty powerful.

2 Month Drive-By

Much has happened since the last post. Especially since our last post was over two months ago. Here’s a quick review:

We wrapped up the school year;

UT Small Group End Year

said bye to friends, family, staff and students as we prepared to move to our new assignment in Denver;

Friends

travelled to Michigan for Stacey (one of Amber’s closest friends) and Paul Bulucz’s wedding;
Bulucz wedding

travelled to Ohio for Evan’s (Amber’s youngest brother) high school graduation;

family

packed up our house and loaded the truck;

moving van

drove for three days to our new home state;

colorado state line

started house hunting and saw God provide in an amazing way; and enjoyed our first July 4th weekend together in Denver, which culminated with a free symphony at the Red Rocks Amphiteater.

symphony at Red Rocks

Next stop, Fort Collins, for our national staff conference. But in the mean time, we’re busy trying to meet with people to find new families who will partner with us in ministry. Pray with us that we will continue to see God supply all of our needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus. We’ve lost over $500 in monthly support this past month, but we look forward to meeting those who God has raised up to partner with us.