"This life therefore, is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on. This is not the goal, but it is the right road. At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed." --Martin Luther

Monday, February 25, 2008


So it's been a week already since the last post! Sorry! We are in the midst of the craziness of packing and sorting and shopping to finally seal up the container and send it. I have two rooms left to go through, and neither will have much for us to send, so we are just about done with that. We are waiting on our propane refrigerator, steel for the roof, some flooring and some cabinets, and some mattresses. The container is getting full Brian says, we're hoping we can get it all in there! None of those big items will be coming until the end of this week, or next, so there isn't too much else Brian can pack until that stuff gets here.

So, in our craziness, we have decided to leave Thursday for the International House of Prayer for a weekend of prayer and rest. It's called "Weekends at IHOP" and there are some seminars that we will be going to and they have tracks for the kids too. I hope it will be refreshing!! We'll be staying with a family from the Willmar area who are now Intercessory Missionaries at IHOP, John & Cheryl Nielsen. I am sure it will be quite interesting in the house-they have 7 kids too! We kept hemming and ha-ing about whether or not to go (basically because we are cheap and didn't want to pay for hotel rooms). Saturday though, i decided that i needed to get serious about finding a hotel and let's just do it. Well, at exactly that same time, Brian broke out in a sweat and became so nauseous he could hardly make the 5 mile drive home. How's that for a little spiritual attack, and confirmation that we needed to go for the weekend!

So please pray for us the next two days, it seems the closer we get to an encouraging time of Christian fellowship and time with God, the easier it is to get annoyed, the kids to act up, little things to become big things. Pray also for Brian to have restful sleep.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Number 7!

Well if you have read the news letter you now know. We are expecting number 7 in August. Yes, we are excited. It was no accident (children are NEVER an accident) but it was a surprise. Does this change anything? NO not really. Back before the first of the year we had been experiencing some road blocks and hurdles. We did not know if it was the Lord slowing us down or the enemy trying to derail what God was doing. So we began praying and had others praying as well that we would know for sure if our Father was changing our time line to match His. On January 1 we found out that God changed our time line by blessing us with another child. God’s Word is clear that children are a blessing from Him and we believe that with all our heart. We see this blessing as gift for our obedience in following our Fathers call on our lives. And in that blessing He showed us clearly that He is in control and has a very specific plan. What a comfort to know that, to rest in that. So what is the time line now? We will be looking to go as a family in October (Lord willing).

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Thursday, February 7, 2008

just surviving

That is exactly what we have been doing. I don’t know when it happened but at some point in the last couple of weeks we went in survival mode. Just surviving is not good enough. Just surviving sucks. Kelly and I have not felt like we have been on the same page or I can put it another way, the chain in our relationship slipped a cog along the way and I didn’t recognize it right away and then I wasn’t exactly sure how to fix it. It has been very frustrating for both of us. We’ve had to ask a lot of forgiveness of one another lately. We each say things that we don’t think are hurtful but they wind up being. What we/people often say and we/people often hear are two very different things. This morning things came back into perspective for us. We got an email from one of our MTI family who happens to be in Uganda with Word Harvest Mission. She had just received word that some of her counterparts of WHM who are going through training at MTI were involved in a car accident. There were 6 people in the van from MTI heading to church in Denver. They were hit by another car and they rolled. 3 out of the 6 died, one of them was a 17month old. These people were all there for the SPLICE training. So for us just going through it in Dec. we know how close you become in those 3 weeks. Our prayer today is with our extended MTI family and for the instructors (Robin, Connie, George) who not only are mourning themselves but they are going to be the ones to help walk the others through this loss. I honestly cannot even imagine. It does not make sense. Here are a group of people that have said yes to GOD and are going into the mission field and now this. A dad seriously hurt, a mom in critical condition and there child is dead along with 2 others. One of the many things we learned at MTI is that GOD is not safe but HE is Faithful. Right now the only thing the people out there can do is to hang on to HIM. Interesting how tragedy always brings this life back into perspective. This life is short; who are you going to live for?

Saturday, February 2, 2008

what i'm learning

Part of what I’m to be doing is to journal what I’m learning and how will that help me in Zambia, both on the spiritual/biblical side of what I’m learning, and also the agricultural and cultural side of my studies. My main focus is going to be agriculture, but I’m also studying the early church, its design and function. What is the definition of a strong church? How do you strengthen the church? How were elders and leaders qualified, chosen, and what are their responsibilities? I have also been reading through the Bible. It has been very interesting/unsettling/concerning/frustrating/ and even, once in a while encouraging.

In a lot of areas what I am learning is not matching up with what I am seeing taking place in the church. I ask the question, WHY? One of the main reasons is because the church in America has become more of a corporate institution than the Bride of Christ she is. I have a commentary I did on James 4:4-10, but I have not had the courage to post it as of yet. There are those who would say the church has failed; I don’t believe that. Are there areas the church needs to desperately address, to get back to its first priority? YES. I have said it before and I will say it again: the church’s first priority is Prayer and the Word, as according to ACTS 6. Or you can go back to when Jesus cleared the temple. He said, “My Father’s house is to be a house of prayer”. Now I ask you: your church (where ever, whatever it is), is it a house of prayer? I think for it to be a house of prayer that would mean that prayer is what is taking place there the majority of the time (that does not include activities, programs, concerts, entertainment). How many churches still hold a prayer meeting in their church consistently? If you have such a church, count yourself blessed and thank GOD for it! How about your elders and leaders? Are they devoted to prayer together or does ‘business’ get in the way? None of the issues that the church is dealing with today are actually new. Just read through Acts and the Epistles, and you will see. It not only tells of the problems but how to deal with them.

As I have been writing this I was convicted by the Spirit that my family is a church (where 2 or 3 are gathered in my name). As I was writing where the church is lacking, GOD showed me that is exactly where I and my family are also lacking. We have been so busy doing ‘business’ (our studies, support raising, etc.) that we have neglected OUR first priority. And that is Prayer. We began to take care of that tonight (it is NOT a onetime thing). You could literally feel that the last thing satan wanted was for us to confess where we had failed, to praise our Father for what HE has done, and to strengthen the angels in the midst of the spiritual battle taking place. To sense the presence of GOD in the room, words do not do it justice to describe so I won’t try. The lesson here is that it needs to be done in the home first. If it is not done in the home it will not be done in the church. So the question: are you doing it in your home? If not, do not expect it to be done in the church. The responsibility lies on you/me to do it, then begin to work it out in the church as a whole.