Sunday, August 31, 2008


Kim and I are here to pray, plan, discuss, and dream with about 12 others from Western Europe, Canada, and the US, about bringing the reality of Jesus to every student here.
We got here Sat am and have spent the past 2 days sightseeing. Unfortunately, jet lag has won out tonight/this morning, and I've been up since 2:30. Kim, however, is sleeping just fine. So I just decided it was time to blog.
The bird statue with the man's head is at the entry to St. Chappelle church. No idea what that's about. Architect's humor? Who knows?
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless handheld.


Sent from my BlackBerry wireless handheld.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Rain, Sleet, Snow, (and Michael Phelps) at Copper Mountain

I'm sitting in Lefty's Mile High Grille at the Denver airport, about to enjoy my favorite tuna steak sandwich anywhere. On my way home from the '08 STINT Briefing conference at Copper Mountain. It's a gathering of over 300 young leaders, most of them having just graduated a couple of months ago.

To welcome them the first night, I spoke on Moses' encounter with God in the bush on fire on Mt. Horeb, and how God wants to surprise us, even when we feel like we are the least likely or adequate for being used by Him. (Remember, Moses was living pretty far at that time from his original vision of delivering Israel.)

All of these STINTers have heard from God - had their own Mt. Horeb moments marked by worship and full surrender to Christ. They shared where some of those had taken place; a coffee shop, a cemetery, on an airplane to Rome. The atmosphere is filled with a mixture of deep humility and great anticipation of God moving and leading and overpowering with His presence.

We experienced the drama of weather in the Rockies, from driving rain to sleet, a ground covering hailstorm, and a thunderstorm that dropped snow - all in about 24 hours. This has only added to the sense of majesty that we are in His hand, at the intersection of the finite and the eternal. And also being wet and cold a lot.

Each night there have been large gatherings in the lounge, watching the Olympics and cheering on Michael Phelps to his 8 gold medals. It feels like a certain sense of "team" is forming as we celebrate these moments together. And just maybe, we are breathing a bit of the truth from 1 Cor 9:25: "they sacrifice everything to receive a gold medal, but we live in surrender to Christ 24/7 to receive an eternal reward. (My paraphrase)

What a privilege to be together in God's presence, in His amazing creation, preparing to believe Him for spiritual movements to be launched all over the world this year.
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless handheld.

Friday, August 1, 2008

All in a day

How much could happen in one person's life on the same day in the calendar. Turns out quite a few. And all together they can produce a rollercoaster ride of emotions.

August 1 -

12 years ago. Freckles the Wonder Dog enters the world. Our kids pick him out of the litter in mid September. This happens because in a moment of sadness after Nike the Hamster dies we tell the kids they can upgrade to a real pet. Enter the Beagle.
10 years ago - My Dad dies of cancer at 69. It is hard to believe he has been gone for a decade. Trauma, tears, sadness. Remembering how bravely he fought the cancer, how he loved my mom, and me and my 3 brothers. How he tried to show up at every sports event we were in. How he helped build a swimming pool in our hometown cause kids needed a place to swim. School board president. City Council member. Mowed the yard with his tie on, at least once. Bad golfer. Funny guy.
4 years ago - our family with our load of worldly possessions loads up the truck and moves to...Orlando. Trauma, sadness in leaving friends, hopes for God's hand to be upon us, questions of how this will all pan out. Wondering a few times if it was all a big mistake. Confidence that God has revealed His will, even though its hard.
3 years ago - our son Matt starts dating Laura at the Daytona Beach Summer Project. And now, they get married in one week. Whoa. Weren't we just getting over Nike the Hamster?
Today - Megan our daughter drives home from FSU. Tons of great stories. Awesome to have her home. She's a leader and a story teller, and a great kid.

So, what do I make of this? It reminds me that our lives consist of so many different pieces and threads, no matter what day they fall on. Our lives are filled with simple joys and powerful grief, and everything in between. And it is God's presence which is the constant in every one of these moments. He is the One who is our Refuge, or Provider, or Peace, or Strength, or just Whatever we need at the moment. He not only is there, He is handcrafting each of our days to accomplish His good purposes for us. When they make sense, and when they don't. When they are filled with celebration, or filled with pain.

"In your book all the days of my life are written; The days that you planned for me before I lived any of them." Psalm 139:16

I'm reminded of the last lines from the song "One Day More" from Les Miserables - my favorite broadway play - where everyone is imagining what the next day will hold for them,

Tomorrow we'll discover
What our God in Heaven has in store!
One more dawn
One more day
One day more.

August 1.