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Beautiful Feet

Beautiful Feet

Beautiful Feet

In the Balkans, you take your shoes off when you enter a home. Always. Even if the host insists that you leave your shoes on. Always.

We remember the verse that tells us that ‘beautiful are the feet that bring Good News’. It is true. But, not because we are beautiful. Not because our feet are better or cleaner, but because they carry a story – a story of the transformational love of our Saviour.

Today, we begin a new journey – twenty of us as we travel to Sighisoara, Romania.

Orthodox Context

Orthodox Context

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We have new things to learn in an Orthodox context, where Easter is still three more Sundays away.

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History

History

We have something to learn about a history where Vlad the Impaler became a legend and a world that we only know from our history books become a reality: Transylvania.

Together

Together

Make this journey with us. Follow us for new photos and new stories. Use your hashtag: #sighisoaraspringbreak for Facebook and Instagram.

Pray for miracles and transformation.

Teanna tries to avoid the camera.

Words

Some days I sit at this 5:30 AM screen and I stare at the blinking cursor. There is so much clamoring within me to get out, to speak. “You are not ready … yet,” I say. “Wait a while. Today is not your day.”

And sometimes I cannot make the words behave. I fear that they will offend and frustrate. They are unruly – passionate. “People do not like that,” I tell them “so ride the waves of grace. Find a gentler way.”

The problem is that they are activists, every one of them. They believe that they are called to be a voice, to call out truth and to plead for action. Like toddlers that think that they hold the whole world in their tiny, clumsy bodies, they plead to be set free. They would say whatever was on their tongues, thinking that the entire planet should bend an ear to their phrases.

And often, very often, I do not know how to order them into an eloquence and an honesty that will be beneficial for those who have a moment to stop and to chat a while in the space of their busy, busy lives.

My unruly mob of voices see life on this planet through a lens. They are privileged to have that lens. They are better for that lens.

Today, I told them that they could only speak about their world through the camera that accompanies them almost everywhere we go.

This is what they choose to say today about the Europe they call home.

Some say Jesus doesn't have this generation. Some are wrong.

Some say Jesus doesn’t have this generation. Some are wrong.

Life is an act of poetry in motion ...

Life is an act of poetry in motion …

In the face of genius, borders are impotent.

In the face of genius, borders are impotent. Prague

Romania. Hungary. Czech Republic. One delicious idea.

Romania. Hungary. Czech Republic. One delicious idea.

All kinds of wonderful. Hungary

All kinds of wonderful. Hungary

People are important.

People are important.

Spending time together. Krakow

Spending time together. Krakow

births friendship. Krakow

births friendship. Krakow

The world is full of churches with doors ...

The world is full of churches with doors …

throw them open. Wide open.

throw them open. Wide open.

...trust God for the rest.

…trust God for the rest.

Look up.

Look up.

People are all kinds of beautiful

People are all kinds of beautiful

If you are too busy to stop a hear the music ... you are too busy.

If you are too busy to stop and hear the music … you are too busy.

 

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

   

   

  

 

     

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prague in the light





Prague. Some say it is the Paris of the East.

We sit in a coffee shop and cheerily debate over Budapest, Krakow, and Prague. ‘Which city is the coolest? Explain the vibe. Most livable? Best cafe culture?’

For best architecture, Prague probably wins. Every corner has a beautiful building stretching towards the sky. It earns the name, Paris of the East, and it wears it well.

Medieval. Ornate. Royal. Gothic.

I am learning about this Central European character in tiny sips, like a good espresso.

We began our lives in Moscow, Russia, fascinated by the Slavic language, the Cyrillic alphabet, the pride of a people, the deep rivers of art and intelligence and soul.

We spent a lifetime in Sofia, Bulgaria where the heart of the Balkan Peninsula beats strong and deep. And, we fell in love with her rhythms, her beauties, her flavors. She is a passionate soul with a touch of the East, and a touch of the Slavic – a jewel that sparkles and bids you to dance a while there.

Bulgaria, Albania, Kosova, Romania – the beautiful Balkans.

Croatia? The bridge between the Balkans and Central Europe, in my opinion. The artistic vibe in Zagreb breaks through my dam and floods my soul. The Adriatic, flirts and tugs at the toes of my spirit, begging me to come in and play for just one minute. Balkan? Yes. But, Balkan AND

So, we find ourselves here, now, in Central Europe. A short 4-year foray into the land of castles and architecture and the East that refused to be taken by communism. There is a stubbornness of spirit here that will not easily relinquish her history, her people, her character. I love that. I respect that. My soul soars here in new vistas:  Budapest. Krakow. Prague. Cities that welcome you as tourists, but to be more than an acquaintance? Prove yourself. Learn the language. Become a part.  Fall in love with her like a lover willing to lose yourself, your time, your life, your energy. Or, buy a ticket and move on.

Oh, the lessons that we learn about mission that cannot be taught in a classroom.

So, today, put away your books about reaching people for Jesus. Lay aside the strategy and the planning and just for a minute, breathe the air. Look around. How does your the heart of your neighborhood beat? Where is its pulse? How can you enter in?

I leave this post today to walk the streets of Prague with Jay’s words resonating in my heart. I John 1:7 –

For if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his son, purifies us from all sin.

Today, I want to stroll through the streets of Prague, admire castles, snap photos that can never do the ancient beauty justice, hear stories of her courageous history while I walk in the light of Christ. And, I believe that in those moments, the gift of fellowship, the prevenient grace of Christ is at work in me. There are opportunities for people to enter in, to feel the presence of a Savior who died for them. Seeds of grace today – let me seeds of grace sown among the cobblestones where thousands of tourists from a host of cultures will jostle my camera for the perfect shot.

Jay powerfully preached this word – an unexpected logic. ‘If we walk in the light of Christ, we have fellowship with one another. The light of Christ creates the opportunity for fellowship with others.’ What a beautiful word today for those that are lost. What a beautiful word today for those of us who know the Light – an opportunity to be grace.





Jenna poses behind bars in a memorial to Auschwitz

i need a church

IMGP1268It is early morning. Too early. The February freeze won’t loosen its grip and it creeps into this dark, before-the-sunrise home. Its cold, sharp fingers burn as I kiss Jay goodbye. He’s got a plane to catch. Bulgaria. More than half of my heart explodes as he closes the door.

Into the emptiness of the sleeping room, I tap out Ed Sheeran i see fire ukraine revolution and he sings me a song for this generation. A song that seems a prophetic voice for the revolution that is Ukraine right now. There are images of Maidan caressing his smooth voice –

honest, raw. war. our reality. pain. blood and death. fire. ice

This is the global neighborhood that I call home. Continue reading