Monthly Archives: March 2014

The Interview

I heard from the school and my interview with the leadership team there to discuss how the children and our family fit (or not) will be this coming Tuesday morning at 8:15AM. I am relieved to have the meeting scheduled and am now looking forward to it. Please continue to lift up the entire application process and for continued understanding and grace.

Educational Change

“Well, one good thing about a Christian school is that the kids can’t have a potty mouth.” said Luke reassuringly. “…or they get kicked out.”

Matt pondered that statement and then produced this gem, “Well then I’m just going to say a bad word so they’ll send me home!”

“Nice.” I responded. “You’re not even enrolled. This is just a placement test to see where you might fit.”

Today was tough. The placement test proved to be more a gauntlet of emotions to navigate rather than a knowledge challenge. I think we all cried at some point during the day.

I have no idea how they performed, I just know it was stressful on them all and that pulled on my heart. Yet, this feels like the right direction to go. I’ve been exploring this school for a couple of months now and have received a green light at every turn. Today was the next step in the application process. Now I’m waiting for a call from the school to set up an interview to go over the tests. Its my turn for a knot in my gut.

But that means I want this to work out. It is a 2 or 3 day per week program (depending on the grade) and the rest of the lessons are completed at home. Plus we can still be involved in our homeschool co-op. Could I ask for anything better?

Pray for grace…From the school, from the children and for our family. I think this is an environment where they could all really blossom and continue to excel. Its obviously a huge change for us. But its one we need to make.

Mission Accomplished

“To be honest, I’m not really ready to come home.” quipped Katie as I picked her and my parents up Saturday night. “I was just getting to know the students and staff and it was hard to leave.”

I’m sure it was. She witnessed several students and staff receive a healing touch from Father God through prayer, participated in multi-lingual worship, provided international babysitting, whipped up and served late night pancakes (twice) for the staff and students, and survived several Romanian cab rides, just to name a few highlights of the week!

I’m thankful to have Katie home, but more grateful still that she was able to meet and interact with an international cast of believers from Romania, Switzerland, Finland and The Netherlands. While my dad provided the primary teaching at the school for the week, Katie was in a support role, soaking up the Spirit and serving as needed.

I think maybe she realized that people are the best gift you get when traveling for mission work (or any travel). Its not the scenery or the adventure…the mission is the people. To connect with them is crucial if any ministry is to take place. And connect she did. I’m proud of her.

You go girl!

Mission Cluj

Katie and my parents are safely in Cluj, Romania for a week of teaching and ministry at the YWAM base there. You may remember that my dad and I made the same trip back in March 2012, right before Kristi was diagnosed. You can find a video and brief story about that trip by looking at this post from June of that year.

Please pray for all three of them this next week as they bless those around them with the love of Jesus. Pray that they would hear and respond to the leading of their Heavenly Father.

My dad is once again teaching on healing and the foundations of spiritual warfare. Pray for open hearts, open minds and an open atmosphere in which to minister.

B-Gone, B-9, B-Healed….Its what Jesus prayed.

Choose Yourself

You’ve been picked! You are chosen. The question is, will you choose back?

God, through Jesus, has chosen you. Awesome, right!? But here’s the catch so many miss. He’s waiting for you to choose back. Not just to choose him…that’s the message we hear all the time from the pulpit… but to choose yourself too. We love to say, “Yes, I choose God! Now He’s in control! I’m off the hook.” Its a “whatever happens now is God’s will for my life” outlook. Nice. You just embraced fate.

Your Father isn’t looking for fatalists. According to Jesus he’s looking for friends. Fatalists are a drag, constantly offloading responsibility. Friends walk side by side, sharing the load. Friends are mutually engaged in the relationship. But to genuinely and authentically engage another, you must first engage yourself. Choose to feel, choose to be open and vulnerable. Choose to commit. Choose to trust. After all, you can’t follow the command to love your neighbor if you don’t love yourself.

Kristi and I were friends. I think that’s what I miss most. One year ago today, her cancer showed up again after its brief hiatus. All the surgeries, the chemo, and the radiation had failed…utterly. It was a scary day. We started out the door that morning for her bone density scan when we got the call that her brain MRI was positive for a tumor. Stunned by the news we quickly changed plans and went to my parent’s place to process and pray. While there Kristi had a debilitating pain attack/seizure that demanded a 911 response and ambulance transfer to the ER. As I followed the ambulance on the freeway, tears soaked my shirt while I sobbed/screamed out “NO!” until I was hoarse.

I just looked back at my post that day. It was quite sedate compared to the emotions surging through me. I was frightened, I was hurting for my wife, and concerned about my children. I was angry too. But the crisis demanded focus to deal with the unfolding events. We got the worst possible diagnosis. It was nip and tuck as to whether she’d even pull through the first two or three days. I wept in the arms of friends and family as the process of losing my wife began.

After that she couldn’t choose herself anymore, relationally anyway. I understood. Her focus was on basic physical tasks. As she regressed from mobile adult to requiring infant level care over the next three and a half months, it was that loss of a friend that hurt most. That loss of intimate confidant. The loss of one who vested her full trust in me and I in her.

I’ll be honest, I still miss that today. I think that’s natural. But it left a big void. One that I’m just now starting to fathom in its entirety. And the thought of choosing myself again? Intimidating. Trusting a broken heart is like standing on a broken leg. The pain shoots out, the leg collapses involuntarily and down you go. Yet, making that choice is the only way forward. If I don’t choose myself, I can’t fully engage with my Father. Healing is there in that relationship. Hope and restoration are too. Those have all felt distant recently. Some nearness would be golden right about now.

So I’ll continue to do the heavy lifting of choosing me. Of being present and honest to not only my Heavenly Father but to myself. Choosing yourself means no hiding…especially from yourself.

The apostle John said “God is love.” His compatriot Paul said “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things…Love never fails.” That means that as I choose myself and Him, that he’ll bear me up when my strength falters, believe in me even when I don’t, impart hope when mine wanes and stand with me through all the hurt. He won’t fail me.

Kind of sounds like wedding vows doesn’t it? Hmm, maybe that’s why He instituted marriage! But that’s another topic for another day.

Will you choose yourself? If it feels too vulnerable or exposed, I get it. It feels like too much responsibility. But that’s life as a lover. Vulnerable, exposed and responsible.

God has made his choice. What’s yours going to be? Will you choose you? Choose love, choose life.

PS- If you hurt too much right now to be open and vulnerable, that’s ok. Start there. Choose yourself by simply sharing with Him how much you hurt. He’ll take that as a starting point. His specialty is restoring brokenness and healing the hurt. He’s dying to lead you out of that place… I for one am glad to be on that path!