Monthly Archives: May 2012

Staying Up Late Talking About Jesus

It was a late night yesterday for me–or an early morning, depending on how you measure it–but it was awesome!  I got home from the men’s group around 8:30, and I planned to talk with James and Seth about some issues going on.  They were both gone, so cooked up a pizza then grabbed my guitar and spent some time worshiping.  That was probably the best thing I could’ve done (the worship, not the pizza).

When they came home, I never got around to the issue I wanted to bring up.  (In fact, worshiping and getting my heart right had made it no longer an issue, anyhow.)  Instead, we talked about Jesus for the next 4 hours.  We prayed, laughed, cried some even, spent some time worshiping, shared how Jesus has been leading us, shared our concerns and questions…  It was great.  I got to encourage both of them with the calling on their lives and challenge them to give themselves fully to that call.  Man, it was great.

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But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness

Luke 5:15-16 tells us of the success of Jesus’ ministry in Israel:  “The report of his power spread even faster, and vast crowds came to hear him preach and to be healed of their diseases.  But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.”

Here he is, in the midst of a crazy busy ministry schedule, surrounded by people who are sick and dying and desperately in need of some help.  And he’s the only one capable of meeting their needs.  There’s pressure.  There are deadlines.  There are needs and wants and…. in the midst of it all, Jesus leaves.  And he leaves often.

I have found myself in need of some wilderness time lately.  I’ve been stressed from preparations for Romania, tired of working in the schools, worn out from ministering to people… and I need desperately to get to the wilderness, alone with God.

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Trying not to be anxious…

I’ve got just about two weeks left before I leave the country for a year, and I’m trying not to be anxious.

Key word:  trying.

I tend to worry a lot.  I think often about what might or might not happen.

And, you know what?  It doesn’t really help things turn out any better in the end.  Go figure.

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Are you sure you wanna leave?

“Are you really sure you wanna leave?”  I’ve been asked that question many times over the last few months.  Partly, I think it’s asked because people will miss me here, but also I think it’s asked because things are starting too get exciting here.

A few years ago, when I first began to seriously consider leaving, the desire was born more out of frustration than anything else.  I had grown tired of small town ministry, frustrated with watching people grow cold in their love for Jesus, and just plain weary of having few like-minded believers here.  Basically, I had grown tired of my post, wanted out, and was contemplating shooting myself in my foot to get an early discharge.

But, though I was stir-crazy and worn out, I didn’t sense God’s permission for me to leave.  So I hung in there.  I figured I’d give it a few more years so I could end with a nice round 10 years of service under my belt.

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Graduation… Always a Happy/Sad Time

I’m always really happy and really sad when graduation comes around.  With this being my last year in the River Valley, the feelings are definitely accentuated.  I’ve known some of the kids walking across the stage today since they were 10 years old.  Some I just met a few weeks ago.  Some I didn’t even know.  I’ve subbed for most, nearly all, of them at least once, and for many I’ve subbed numerous times.  Some I’ve gotten to know quite well, like younger brothers and sisters.  Some are still like strangers.  Some I’ve been able to help through difficult times in their lives.  Some I’ve seen grow in their spiritual life in remarkable ways.  Some I’ve seen make some major mistakes and then get back up and do okay in the end.  I’ve seen some screw up in little ways their whole lives and still not have things figured out.

Some I’ll see again, I’m sure, somewhere down the road.  Some I’ll never see again.  Some will have changed much, some for the better and some for the worse.  Some will pursue their dreams; some will fail miserably.

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Why I missed the last few days

I’ve been trying to post something every day, but the last few days have been just crazy.  In a good way.

For starters, this has been a full week subbing.  Counting when I head in today, it’ll be all five days.  With preparing for Romania and then my normal ministry responsibilities and wanting to spend time with God, it became difficult to get on here.

Things have been good with subbing, though.  I had a number of chances to talk to some of the staff about how I’ll be heading to Romania to work in missions.  The conversations I had were all very encouraging.  One of my biggest prayers, though, is that God would give me grace to use these conversations to spread the gospel.  I want to do more than just inform; I want to share in a way that would bring conviction of sin and selfishness.

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Leave Haran Behind

Ever know anyone who seemed unable to get over some issue?  Sometimes, it’s a big, life-changing thing, like when a baby is stillborn or when a brother becomes addicted to pills.  Other times, it’s kind of stupid, like when Uncle Rico who still believes he can be a football star some day:

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