Saturday, August 20, 2016

Dream Big!

Sounds a bit cliche, but this has been a message for me this year.  It was on the sign that my sister gave me for Christmas.  It was covering an entire wall at the Vienna Airport as I left the conference with the direction to potentially join the team in Europe.  It was on a pillow at the home where I stayed the night before going to Indonesia.

Wall at Vienna Airport

As I've stepped out into what I believe God is calling me to, it's bigger than I would have chosen and even feel comfortable with.  At the same time, it's as though my dreams are coming true--and some of them I wasn't even aware that I had!

The first night I arrived in Malang, Indonesia, I felt such a thrill and joy to be surrounded by people of different nations and cultures as well as reuniting with those I've met within the last year from all over the world. It was quite surreal as we began 2+ weeks of meetings and EE's 3rd Congress of Nations.  As I sat with the team from Europe, I felt such a sense of belonging and being in my element. It's quite humbling really as I'm not European and have such little experience, but this was another level of affirmation.

Team Europe at Nation Building Specialist meetings in Indonesia

It was awe-inspiring and an honor to be present as 86 nations gathered together.  We were able to meet as a continent but also have many meetings with other countries and continents to see how to work together in the coming months and years to build up the ministry in Europe and throughout the rest of the world.  

Team Europe at Congress of Nations
 It's amazing to see God's hand choosing and placing people in positions at this time as 5 of the 6 Vice Presidents are "passing the baton" to someone new.  The timing of joining Europe is significant as there is much reform ahead!  I'll keep you posted in the future as to what those are, but I'm personally excited about the planning stages of getting things going in France.  Another task is that Europe has been assigned the next Congress of Nations in 2019!!!  

Former VP George has passed the baton to Helmut
As I have returned to my hometown to begin support-raising and prepping to return to Switzerland, I'm so amazed at our Lord of the Universe.  His heart for all to know Him is evident by the ways that He is at work!  I love how He inspires us and stirs our hearts to desire what will carry out His plan for our lives and for the world that He loves.  I'm finding it takes an open heart to "dream big," and as I am realizing the dreams He's placed within me, it causes a deep sense of awe, gratitude, and even worship.  

I hope that you will dream big too, the kind that screams,"Yes, this is what I was made for!"  The kind that is rooted in the One who created you and connects you to Him.  The kind that can and do come true. 

Monday, August 1, 2016

Open Doors

We hear the expression of "open" and "closed" doors a lot, or at least I do.  In the Bible, God acknowledges that He has placed an open door that no one can shut.  I think the context here is more of a spiritual/heavenly nature, but I also agree that life presents itself with "open" and "closed" doors.  

Doors in Luzern, Switzerland

I'm going to focus on the open doors in this post, though I believe that God can and does direct us through closed doors as much as He does the open ones.  I'm finding I sometimes expect "open doors" to be effortless and obvious. This summer (winter), I've been humbly reminded that this is not always the case.  

My first day in Switzerland, I encountered three doors that were "open"--or at least able to be opened, if only I could figure them out!  I should've remembered the locks in Europe are opposite and a bit more involved than those in the US, but it's been a while!  Needless to say, lefty loosy, righty tighty doesn't work there!  So, as I fumbled my way spinning and pulling, I had to accept that I didn't know how to open the door! 

When something in the natural happens three times in one day, it catches my attention; and I start considering spiritual lessons.  I think there is one.  Each of those physical doors that day--and repeatedly throughout the past couple months--were for me to go through, but I just didn't know how to open them! 

I don't think God teases us, but I do think He likes when we approach Him with our questions and ask for help!  So, as I am in a transition stage with some doors that need opening, my prayer is for help to know how and not give up at the first ..or third...sign of frustration and even incompetence.

Psalm 24 also reminds us of our part in a broader sense to open the doors and gates of our lives for God Himself as King to come in and bring His reign.  Yes to open doors--to Him and through Him!

Open gate in Asia