Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A vulnerable need. A bold prayer.

There is only one thing harder than being patient.  Being vulnerable.  Well, that and being willing to fail.  I'm learning that these are the top three job requirements for missionaries.  Nobody told me that two years ago when I gave my heart over to this vision.  Now I know.  Three qualifications I don't have.  I'm not cut out for this job.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.   -James 1:2-4 

These past two years have been an intense lesson in the purpose of waiting.  Waiting produces growth that is watered by time.  Nurtured by the Spirit.  Pruned by the Word.  Waiting produces a steadfast faith.  Perfect and complete.  And in all this waiting, my soul finds purpose.  Fulfillment.  Passion.  Courage.  Hope.  Confidence.  Rest.  Life.  Joy.  Reckless abandon to the will of my Creator.

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.  At the same time pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ.   -Colossians 4:2-4

It's time for me to be something more than patient.  It's time to be vulnerable.  Time to express my need.  Time to leap with faith.

Currently, I have 30% of my monthly support.  I lack $2,500 a month.  I am asking for 50 pledges of $50 a month, $600 a year, for 3 years.  I am asking for individuals, small groups, and churches to partner with me in this vision for Dublin.  Share in this journey.  Join this work.  Your support provides a door for the word, that the mystery of Christ may be declared in Ireland!  

Let your reasonableness be known to everyone.  The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.   -Philippians 5:4-7

Jevovah Jireh.  Our God the Provider.  Your dreams are greater than our own.  You are faithful and generous in your provision.  I wait with excited anticipation.  I wait with faith-filled expectation.  You are at hand!  I ask all these things believing they have already been accomplished, in accordance with your will.  Amen.

Thank you for joining me in this prayer!  If you would like to share in this vision financially, I ask that you respond by January 31.  Hope your holiday season has been full of joy.  Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Counting sheep never works.

I can't sleep.  Dakota is snoring and twitching.  She must be chasing rabbits in a field of dreams (get it... field of dreams?).  Apparently she hasn't caught any yet.  Though Dakota is being quite obnoxious, I can't blame my sleepless-late-night-woes on her.  Wish I could.  Sometimes my mind gets stuck on things.  Then it refuses to do anything else... like sleep.  Tonight it's a song.  Playing over.  And over.  And over.  There's only one thing I can do.  Let it play itself out.  Listen for yourself or just keep reading.

The lyrics:
I can't find the words to pray.  I'm a little down today.  Can you help me?  Can you hold me?  I feel a million miles away, and I don't know what to say.  Can you hear me, anyway?

Lord move in a way that I've never seen before.  'Cuz there's a mountain in the way, and a lock on the door.  I'm drifting away, waves are crashing on the shore.  So Lord move, or move me.

I've looked everywhere to find a simple peace of mind.  I can't find nothing on my own.  So I gotta leave myself behind, take up this cross of mine, give away everything I hold on to.

Lord I know, the only way is through this.  Lord I know, I need you to help me do this.

Lord move in a way that I've never seen before.  'Cuz there's a mountain in the way, and a lock on the door.  I'm drifting away, waves are crashing on the shore.  So Lord move, or move me.

Mountains I can't climb.  Doors I can't open.  The way to Dublin seems impossible.  Lord, move.  Or move me.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Just your average rhino.

I just finished an awesome book.  The Barbarian Way, by Erwin Raphael McManus.  I don't typically like non-fiction.  In fact, I usually get bored around page 5 and call it quits.  Not this time.  I'll admit it took me a while, but I read every page.  Erwin said lots of things that resonated deeply, but my favorite part came 5 pages from the end.  Let me paraphrase.

Rhinoceroses can run 30 miles per hour!  Erwin points out that squirrels run up to 26 mph.  I'll add that the average male rhino weighs 4,500 pounds (my VW Beetle only weighs 3,656 pounds.  I looked it up).  The average squirrel weighs less than 2 pounds.  Fascinating, right?  One problem.  Rhinos have terrible eyesight.  They can only see 30 feet in front of them.  Erwin puts it this way:

"Can you imagine something that large plowing ahead at 30 mph with no idea what's at 31 feet?  You would think that they would be far too timid to pick up full steam, that their inability to see far enough ahead would paralyze them to immobility. But with that horn pointing the way, rhinos run forward full steam ahead with no apprehension..."

Those 3 sentences hit me like a ton of bricks (or should I say, "like a speeding rhino"?)  The dust settled.  The image sunk in.  One thought was left standing.  I'm a rhino.  My eyesight is terrible.  I have no idea what the future holds.  But it's time to start running.  Full-speed ahead.  With the horn of Truth pointing the way.  With the weight of Almighty God behind me.  A big, fat, unstoppable force for His Kingdom!

I'm preparing to send out new support letters this week.  I'm looking for 50 pledges of $50 a month.  Small potatoes from the Great Provider.  Join me in prayer as I plow forward.  Bad eyesight.  Full steam.  No apprehension.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Dear God. Amen.

I tried to pray about Ireland today.  Let me rephrase.  I pray for Ireland without ceasing.  In the back of my mind.  In the deep of my heart.  Today I tried to bring it all to the front.  To the surface.  Wrap it up in words and send it heavenward, officially.  But my heart had no words.  What to pray?  For another date?  For another sign?  For another dose of patience?  My heart was screaming one thought, How much longer?!?!?!?!  So I prayed for silence.  I prayed for the peace of God to drown out the scream.  And then I searched my heart.  This is what I found.

Complete adoration for Him.  Thankfulness for the vision before me.  Frustration with this season of waiting.  Anticipation of moving forward.  Fear that the moving will never happen.  Peace that He is in control.  Longing to go.  Guilt that I'm not doing enough.  Pressure to do more.  Sadness to leave my home.  My family.  My friends.  Excitement for impending adventure. 

Encouragement in His Word.  Affirmation through the actions of His faithful believers.  Comfort in His promises.  Assurance in His confirmation.  Fulfillment in His Spirit.  Bewilderment that He would choose me.  Ashamed by my inadequacy.  Grateful that His grace makes up the difference.  Desire to know His heart.  Hear His voice.  See His hand.  Allegiance to His Kingdom.  Willingness to do whatever it takes.  Doubt that I'll succeed.  Relief that my success isn't the point.   

Uncertainty.  Hesitation.  Hope.  Confidence.  Expectation.  Eagerness.  Restlessness.  Impatience.  A million conflicting emotions.  Drowned out by the heart of God.  Be still.  Know.  I am.