Thursday, July 18, 2019

God Stories on a July Evening

On a day where I'd already been up at our training center at Malenovice, I took the opportunity to view it from a different angle this evening. 

Can't see it? How about now? 😁

Yes, it's a long ways over there from this side of the mountains!

What's crazy about being up here, seeing Malenovice over there, is that on this side of the mountain was the original building that we tried to buy back in 1996-98 when we were praying for a training center for JV.

If you've seen pictures of Malenovice today, you know that GOD KNEW we needed a much bigger place than that!

Back then we were also trying to buy the building next door. Years later, after we'd purchased Malenovice, that building burned to the ground and is still chained off so no one will go in.

What a good reminder that God knew then what we needed.

And knows now what we need as we continue to wait for the permits to build the event center at Malenovice. It's been 2 1/2 years since we first applied, which is about the amount of time it took us to wait on purchasing it in the first place!

I drove down from the top of the mountain, and stopped at Selah (JV's retreat house) where we were going to see some new friends.

Sven and Maria are missionaries in Germany that we've recently become acquainted with. They've been staying at Selah this week and invited Dave and I up for their last evening here.

Selah is another one of those God stories - a story of how God knew we needed something like this for our JV family so he put it on the hearts of our dear Mel and Amy, and then others, to make it happen.

It was a magical evening with this family, telling each other stories of God's faithfulness. I never tire of those kinds of stories!

July Afternoon

We're up at Malenovice today, welcoming some visitors who have come for the afternoon.

Amidst an English camp taking place here, a group of students from the States came to have lunch with us here today.

These are students from Manhattan Christian College in Kansas who are serving in Poland this summer under the leadership of Dave and Jen Cupery, former JV staff who lived in Estonia for seven years, loving and serving youth there.

We had such a good afternoon with them, hearing about their ministry in Poland this summer, working with the church and youth that Dan and Laura Hash (JV founders with us) lead in Mikołów.

And we got to tell stories, share some of our part in JV's history, and have a great discussion on the difference between doing ministry in a program manner or organically - something that Dave loves to talk about! Oh, and they're reading Dave's book "Father God" this summer, so they got to talk with him about that too.

Dave Cupery, their professor at the college, is back in the States for a few days so we didn't get to see him. But it was such a treat to be with his students, and with Jen who I've known now for nearly 18 years!

After lunch I invited all of them down to our house to give them a copy of my book on the condition that they would pass it on after reading it themselves. They said yes!

How I love a group of college students, living radically for Jesus on mission for Him, and pouring into young people with His good news. Can't think of a better way to spend a July afternoon!

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Know that He is Lord

Since last October I've been doing a chronological read-through of the Bible using an app called Bible Box. This app calculates how many chapters of which books I need to chronologically read each day, so that I can finish in a year. I'm 72% of the way through the Bible as of today!

What I've loved in doing a chronological read-through is gaining a new perspective on the whole sweep of the Bible. I've been reading since I was young, and have read through it many times. But somehow I'd never done a chronological read-through. It's been awesome!

I just finished Joel and am on to Daniel today. And if there's one thing that I've read over and over in the past weeks (through Jeremiah, Lamentations and Ezekial) it is this phrase:

"Then they will know that I am the Lord", or some version of that.

It's not always coupled with the nicest things that precede that phrase. Such as in Ezekiel 33 where it says, "Then they will know that I am the LORD, when I have made the land a desolate waste because of all the detestable things they have done.'"

We can't know for sure why it was so hard for the Israelites to remain steadfast in their trust and love for the Lord; for sure the pressures of society and the gods of other nations pressed in deeply on them. After all I recently saw in Greece and Turkey, and from what I've seen in Israel, I can understand a little better how hard it was to stand firm in faith when everything and everyone around you is enticing you to worship something else.

I've been thinking about how much I want to "know that He is Lord", and NOT find out through those kinds of dire circumstances!

That means sticking to the basics...spending time with Him, reading the Bible and living according to it, praying without ceasing and giving thanks in all circumstances.

When you write it out like that it doesn't seem so hard to do! But we know from history that it's not usually the big blow out that gets you off track, but rather the slow leak.

So today is yet another day of "raising my ebenezer", committing to remember how God has come to the rescue of his people, even to me, when they humbled themselves before him; and committing to live for Him, by His Spirit, doing all that He asks me to do.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Happy Moments

I once heard a quote that said, "A good life is a collection of happy moments".

Today I had one of those happy moments.

Ever since having grandchildren I've been thinking about making our patio into a better place for gathering with them, and their parents. But until now I haven't seen a table that fit our space, where we could all sit together for a meal, or just hang out and color pictures or build Legos!

But last week I stopped by a store nearby to run an errand, and lo and behold, there was this table...ON SALE! I've never seen anything like it here so was rather ecstatic about my find.

I came home with pictures of it to show Dave, but knew he'd need to go see it in person (and wrestle it in the car if he deemed it the right thing for us!).

Today was the day he had time to go see it, and...happy for me...he said yes, that it was the right thing to get!

So tonight I'm feeling so very thankful to the Lord for hearing the cry of this Nonnie's heart, and leading me to the right table. It might be a small thing to someone else, but to me, it's huge!

Life feels so good tonight!

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Discipling the Next Generation

Today was one of those "oh so perfect" mid summer days here in Czech!

The sun was shining, the air was crisp, our garden is growing and we had a friend over for the afternoon.

Dave has known Josef for 12+ years, from his years as a high schooler, and then as the youth leader in his church here in Czech.

One of Dave's favorite things to do is disciple young leaders, so the two of them had a great day talking about the Lord, his Word and what's next for Josef.

I love seeing Dave doing what God created him to do, and pray that there will be good fruit from it in Josef's life!