East Coast, here I come!

Tomorrow is day 1 of 23 of my trip to the East Coast. This trip will include stops in Charlotte, Charleston, Raleigh, Virginia Beach, Waldorf, DC, Altoona and Pittsburgh. It will involve over 200 miles of driving, four awesome hosts, possibly a commissioning service and meetings with people I know and people I have never met yet.

The main goal of this trip is to partner with people in those places to help get me to and keep me in Germany. The planning for this trip was like no other I have done. I have been relying on God to lead me more than just about any other time. It started a while back when two of my ministry partners in Charleston said they would set up some sort of meeting for me if I came back down. I never need an excuse for a trip to Charleston and since my step-sister  is awesome and graciously allowing me to stay with her I did not need anyone to talk me into that part.

The only problem was that I couldn’t really justify the expense of going to Charleston for one meeting. The next part was a total awesome God thing. I had been invited to two weddings in May that I did not think I would be able to attend because of the distance, but one is in between Charleston and Washington DC and the other is between DC and home with only two weeks in between.

Those two weeks in Waldorf (where I lived for 7 years, near DC) will allow me to reconnect with some partners, stay with three ridiculously awesome hosts, meet with some new people and possibly have my commissioning service from South Potomac Church. I found myself giving God a theoretical high-five on that one.

I decided to push forward with the plan and let God help me work out the details as they came. I knew I wanted to set up more meetings with people, but I didn’t know anyone in Charleston or anywhere on this trip really, except in the DC area, or so I thought. I felt led to re-look at all possibilities from my past, no matter how long it had been since I had talked to them. That led me to facebook and checking out where people lived. I found 9 more people with whom I had either graduated high school or college and a few from my time as a cook at Young Life Lake Saranac nine years ago. I contacted them and have a few meetings set up in a few different locations along the way. That, was awesome!

What is amazing is how the rest of the trip is coming to fruition, but not totally cemented yet and I am totally alright with that. If you know me or have read some of my old posts, you know I am a planner and love to plan out events to ensure success (like I can ever actually do that). I know God has got this trip and surprisingly I’m good with that.

What I would love from you all is prayer. I would love to have meetings every day during my trip, but right now that is not the case. I am working on not limiting God and His awesomeness so I would also love your prayers for God to provide all of the rest of my monthly support. That would be stinking awesome.

Thank you.

Tie a string on your finger

I have the most random memory in the world. Ok, maybe not the whole world, but definitely at least my family. There are times in the past where I have memorized all of the presidents names, their political party, what number they were and the years of their term(s). Then there are times I will have complete conversations with people that I completely forget I ever had. One time I was in Colorado and I went to a putt-putt/arcade place with my mom and then a few years later I wanted to go with my dad. I couldn’t remember the name of the place, but I did remember, and still do to this day, the street you took to get there. It wasn’t even the street it was on, just one on the way. Basically what I am saying is, my brain is messed up. It remembers what it wants to remember with total disregard to my wishes and desires.

Do you remember growing up and at least hearing the saying tie a string around your finger to remember, well I think my brain would like me to do that. If I ask someone to remember something for me, I won’t forget but if I tell myself to remember I will forget almost immediately. Thank goodness God works with my strengths and weaknesses, otherwise I might have to walk around with a string on each finger and that would look pretty ridiculous.

So here is where this post is going, I often forget that God has called me to Germany and that since He has called me, He will provide. I mean, I don’t totally forget, but I don’t always fully believe it sometimes when things aren’t going the way I had thought they would. What’s great is God has been sending me little reminders just like the strings to remind me I am doing His will. I wanted to share a couple of them that happened in the last week since I am more prone to remember if I share and so you too can get excited about God’s plan for me in Germany.

 I was at Plate 21 (I know surprise!) and I read my missionary friend’s status update about how a little girl came to their door to give them a contribution. I thought that it was so awesome, for her, if you know what I mean. I admit, I was a wee bit jealous of that and then literally about 5 minutes later the owner of Plate 21 gave me an envelope from a customer who heard I was doing mission’s work. She told me that the customer, who is in high school, wanted to help. I opened the envelope and in there was a letter and a contribution. It was almost like God was saying, “Shut-up, I called you too, so I will provide!” I don’t know if God would say shut-up, but I imagine He does.

Last week I was thinking about my Ministry Partner Development trip to the east coast coming up at the end of this week and I was trying to think of people I could contact to set up meetings. A name popped in my head that I hadn’t thought about before. They were already ministry partners, but I knew I could ask them to host a gathering of friends. So I e-mailed them and almost immediately got an e-mail back. The ministry partner told me that she was already looking for ways she could help and was looking into different venues where I could talk to people she knew even though she wasn’t going to be in town. That’s incredible!

These are just two of the stories. God is calling me to Germany and He will provide the partners for me. I just have to remember and keep doing what He has called me to do.

Resolutions, shmesolutions!

So I’ve been debating writing a resolution blog since Sunday. I thought, well maybe it would be good to talk about the desire to change, the want for a better you or world. Then I thought maybe I would write about my specific resolutions to maybe inspire others in a new fashion. Then I did a complete 180 and said I wouldn’t write one at all because everyone is writing one. Now, here I am, writing one. So which thought process did I follow? I chose option D, most of the above.

This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace. Colossians 1:6

Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a loyal spirit within me.
Do not banish me from your presence,
and don’t take your Holy Spiritfrom me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and make me willing to obey you.
Psalm 51:10-12

Whenever the New Year happens, people start talking about all of the grand plans they have for themselves in the New Year, as if by some magical changing of the digits we write for the year will allow them to have the drive, desire and fortitude to do something they have wanted to do for who knows how long. Does that even make sense? All of a sudden are you going to like food less, or like working out more? Are you going to love your family more or hate your job less because it is 2012 instead of 2011? Somehow I doubt it. No offense, but there is a reason that gyms have their highest attendance in January for the whole year. I have been going to the gym for a few years and every January it is a pain to go to the gym, but by February all is normal again.

Alone we have no strength and yet most of our resolutions start with the word I. Like we can do any of this on our own. I only have one resolution this year and that is to lean on God to constantly change in the way He wants me to change. There is nothing in me or you that is perfect so why limit ourselves. God has a plan for our lives and trying to make our own plan, just leads to disappointment when we fail.

I want to seek God daily to find out what His plans are for me each day, each week and throughout the rest of my life. I cannot hope to predict His plans for me, but I can seek His wisdom to know what next step to take. That is my only resolution, but not for 2012. This resolution is for the rest of my life, however long that is.

I wish you all the best this year and I hope that you are listening to the creator who changed you so much already and is the source of strength for us all.