As we weave through the streets of Budapest, the menorah catches my eye – a beautiful green that has been re-figured into a door. The breath fights to escape the prison of my throat for the symbolism there. Ancient reminders of a 20th century truth – we are the doorway for the next generation, we are the light though our wicks burn for only a minute in this pause before eternity. It is our responsibility to seek peace, to live holy, to be God’s people no matter the cost. Be the doorway for someone today.
Saturday morning dawns like a secret weapon in the middle of a heartstopping video game. Here at the completion of a whirlwind 9 day journey that left 3 sweet girls waiting at home and 1 young woman starting a new life across the ocean, with the bank account at zero and the school year set to ‘go’ and the house in shambles, just for a second Saturday morning with the scent of Fall on her breath beckons. I willingly hit PAUSE.
Sending a child away to college is much like making an old fashioned quilt. I do not mean a new, designer creation with planned color-blocks that you find at Pottery Barn. But, rather, the old kind that grandma hand-stitched from the remnants of her sewing box. The denim from the days when her boy searched for frogs and came back muddy. Lace from her baby-girl’s Sunday baptism dress. Soft, worn, pilly plaid from her husband’s work shirt. All pieced together with an uncoordinated, unplanned, mixture of heartbreak and pride and sewn together with the tears of parenthood.
College is a precious opportunity to grow into the person God created you to be. Do not waste it on learning facts. Study how to become the person God made you to be. Begin today.
THE 17-hours on three airplanes that you are convinced will lose a wing, an engine, or be struck by lightening because humans were not made to fly. And, the corny sense of humor of a faithful Creator who gives you a job that requires you to fly so that you can learn to say, ‘God is good all of the time.’
The feeling that comes AFTER you complete a run.
That feeling you have as you pull on your sneakers BEFORE the run.
Digging into literature with students and finding treasures of insight and connectivity.
Home again and cuddled into the busy craziness of family life and challenging ministry and puppy shenanigans and welcome guests, and cooking and cleaning. The heart-racing, heart-stopping, insanity of life at video-game pace.
Hit Play. The blog resumes with stories from the field of mission that is our home sweet home.
I wore a terracotta skirt to the Tenabrae service. The long, flowing, Bohemian kind. The room was dark and the candles were lit and the shadows they made waltzed in the room. The people were quiet and the scriptures were read and the voices they cried were from another Garden.
A night that reminds us of a Garden where a snake slithered silkily until it crashed into the crushing, crunching, heaviness of a heel. Splat. Violence. Blood everywhere.
They are not miracle workers.
They work with prostituted women. They live into the lives of Roma. They pastor families. They carve out Jesus moments in cultures that are post-Christian, post-modern, post-Communist. They move into communities that have all but forgotten that hope still smiles on people like them. And they blow.
They blow the breath of Christ right across a continent that is dry and brittle with thirst for a God they believe is dead or unconcerned or corrupted or against them.
Pastors, youth leaders, missionaries from eleven countries where living like Jesus taught us to is a daily obedience. Often, they feel that they walk this lonely road as single sojourners.
Which is why we are meeting together in a flowering garden on other side of Budapest at the end of this month. We are coming together to soak in the sun of God’s presence, to listen and to hear His voice, to re-think, re-commit, re-start for another season of hard labor.
While Jay winged his way home from a weekend of ministry in Bulgaria, I packed four women who have lived in eleven different countries into a van in Hungary and we drove to a place called Vajta. We laughed – those deep belly laughs. And we prayed – those deep, soul prayers. And we believed – those deep faith beliefs; that God is bringing leaders from eleven countries to this one sunny moment for a chance to speak into their lives in new ways about
God’s unique design
Coffee shop and thrift shop and anti-trafficking and Roma ministries
Discipleship and evangelism and missions
and Holiness of life
I have found that sometimes a day in my life looks a lot like just planning a conference but with eyes of faith, I believe there are miracles on the horizon.
‘What in the world do missionaries do?’
A difficult question to answer.
To some, missionary is a four-letter word. For others, it is one gigantic mystery: one of those words that we know by Webster definition but beyond that, we have no real context for understanding. Sure, if we are the church-going type, we know the Sunday School answer but that is still an ephemeral idea without a real body. Missionaries tell people about Jesus.
But, what does that actually look like? A day … what does one of your days look like? WHAT do you DO?
Our community recently suffered a tragic, tragic loss. The following are but words, but words that flow out of sorrow in death and tenacious hope birthed in community that is grounded in our faith. To the One who taught us how to live brokenly whole.
a mother heaves and shrieks and groans into being
that she did not knit together
and yet, somehow, she did Continue reading