Tag Archives: preparing

Guitars and Cheese

I learned a valuable lesson today:  being a talented Tetris player is usually a very valuable asset when packing, however, if you’re flying with a guitar and cheddar cheese, you may want to put that skill on hold.

For my flight to Bucharest, I had two extra check bags plus a guitar, and when I called Aer Lingus, they told me it would cost me $240 extra for all the extra bags. So, I figured, “Hey, I can probably pack some of that into my guitar case and spread the rest among the other bags, cutting down on one extra bag.” And thus my guitar found itself packed with cheese, good old Wisconsin cheddar cheese.

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I was “Too Much Coffee Man” yesterday, and boy did I get a lot done!

So, I was cleaning my cupboards yesterday, getting rid of just about everything in preparation for my move to Romania.  And I came across an old can of coffee.

I’m not a big coffee drinker, but I sure was yesterday.

I may have OD’d on coffee.

But, man, did I get a ton of stuff done!  I spent all day wrapping up odds-and-ends and getting things ready for Romania.  I squared things away with my bank and the post office, cleaned out all the old food, unpacked the pile of stuff left out the camping trip, called a ton of kids to come pick up their lost-and-found items, sorted and packed all my stuff into bags for the plane, and so much more!

Although the twitching hands made delicate tasks difficult (no open-heart surgery for sure), the sheer ability of coffee to get stuff done was awesome!  I couldn’t sit still.

So, yeah, I felt a little like a super hero yesterday.

And like a kid with ADHD.

When I get overwhelmed… I escape

Everybody responds differently when they feel overwhelmed.  Some people grit their teeth and just keep plugging away, doing what they’ve always done and beating the hare like the tortoise.  Others freak out and do something crazy, sometimes even ending up with awesome results.  Others are like me.  They flee.

When I get overwhelmed, I need to get away.  I need to take a breather, get away with God, find his perspective on things, and then come back full of the faith and confidence that he will do what he promised.

So this week, I took a couple days to relax, hang out with some of the guys, and seek God in the woods.

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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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thoughts on the last 8 years

As I’ve been getting ready to go to Romania, I’ve found myself from time to time thinking through the last 8 years here in the River Valley.  Sometimes, I find myself reminiscing, thinking about the kids I worked with who are now grown up.  Other times, I think about what I would have done different.  Other times, I think about how I’ve changed.

Tonight, I looked through my prayer letters, going all the way back to 2004 when I first started working here in Spring Green.  (I’m planning to put a section in my next month’s letter titled “8 years in review.”)  It was good to look back through the things that God has done.

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