Friday, November 10, 2017


Last Saturday my boss told me to take Monday and Tuesday off since we’d had overtime the previous week in Berlin.  Though the mental to-do list was screaming out to me, my body which was starting to fight something, thanked him.  It was timely as so many matters of prayer were surfacing all at once; and the cold, rainy weather was not beckoning me to get out in the least.  Okay, I could give two days, and so I did.

But then it so happened that the Lord was asking/granting me more time as all 5 of my meetings from Wednesday to Friday were canceled, all for different reasons; and a lot of the remaining week’s workload depended on them.   Mensch!  (Aw, man!)  It could be nice if it hadn’t called for mostly cold rain every day and if I’d had more to do; but sometimes it takes these types of situations to get us in a place where we have to deal.  Deal with the inner issues that we’re tempted to ignore and are otherwise too busy to really examine and bring to the Lord.  The things that if left unaddressed burden us and hinder us and get in the way of our relationship both with God and with others.  The things that I would've gladly escaped through work or busy-ness, but wasn't afforded that option this time!

The Message version of the book of James tells us to "[consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides.  You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors.  So don't try to get out of anything prematurely.  Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way." (ch. 1, vs 2-4) That’s been this week for me. 

Now that I’m (trusting I'm) on the other side of it, I truly am thankful that the Lord loves us enough to let us get uncomfortable or even miserable if that’s what it takes to bring Him those places that need changing, but are unchangeable without His help.  

I’m also thankful that He’s a God who trains us so that we grow and get strong and are able to face the challenges that are ahead.   What a good Father we have who sticks with us in our times of need and helps us in every situation.   

Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life.     ~ James 1:12 (Message)

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Berlin and Back

 Another week come and gone.  It started off with me being venturous, wanting to try the third church on my list before I headed to the airport that afternoon.  In theory, it was an easy train ride; in reality, 
my getting there early was seemingly futile as I searched and searched for the place with no success.  
After asking a couple of people for help, I finally arrived late, but thankful to have made it!  Then that evening, I made it from the airport in two buses only to be dropped off at a bus stop with no hotel in sight.  Another wandering, yet again a thankful heart after finally finding it!

Remnants of the Berlin Wall

Then came Monday.  You may or may not know that just hearing the word conference drains me of energy, so I had a long week ahead.  We spent the morning setting up and then exploring Berlin a bit before the events formally began that evening.  The week had its ups and downs, but the ups were all being together as a team and getting to fellowship together.  We also made a lot of connections at our booth with pastors who are eager to train their people to share the Good News; so the time was valuable.

First day of the conference
Taking advantage of this opportunity to physically be in the same location, our team spent all of Thursday having productive meetings before we shared a meal together and departed Friday.

Fruitful time of discussion and prayer

While I truly enjoyed the camaraderie and love of the 12 men I spent the week with, it was timely to have a women's event to attend this morning where the speaker is from my home state and attended the same university where I got my grad degree!  The lady on one side of me has family in my hometown, and the lady on the other side greeted me in the elevator last week at the church I was visiting!  Needless to say, I felt well-connected.  And so here we are at the end of another week with  much to be thankful for.