Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Journal Entry for November 5, 2007
I thought I would share with you what God put on my heart that day.
It is obvious Lord that you have done work in my heart. I can tell because of my spontaneous responses:
Saturday as I drove to Krakow and the rain began to cross over into snow the thought "COOL!" flashed into my mind.
Then again today as I sat looking out the window at breakfast - the rain turned to hail and the roofs began to turn white "Thank you Lord for winter"
When I saw Mrs. Kolwalczyk - "Lord, bless her"
Then getting out of the shower this morning I felt like the "Barren Woman" from Isaiah who had had many children and that I was the Proverbs 31 woman whose children have raised up and called "her blessed".
Isaiah 40:2b Tell her that her sad days are gone and her sins are pardoned. Yes, the Lord has punished her twice over for all her sins.
Lord, thank you for your forgiveness. I really do sense that my sad days are gone. There is a lightness in my heart and a spring in my step even though the muscles in my leg are still a bit strained.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

It's snowing again!

The Road of Life

I found this poem while cleaning out one of the boxes I had in storage in Seattle. It is amazing the treasures we keep, all the while forgetting their value. I hope you will remember how to ride tandem with your Lord sitting in front.

At first, when I saw God as my observer,
my judge, keeping track of the things I did wrong,
so as to know whether I merited heaven or hell when I die.
He was out there sort of like a president.
I recognized his picture when I saw it, but I really didn't know him.
But later on when I met Christ, it seemed as though life were rather like a bike ride,
but it was a tandem bike, and I noticed that Christ was in the back, helping me pedal.
I don't know just when it was that we changed places, but life has not been the same since.
When I had control, I know the way.
It was rather boring, predictable....
It was the shortest distance between two points.
But when he took the lead,
He knew delightful long cuts,
up mountains, and through rocky places at breakneck speeds,
it was all I could do to hang on!
Even though it looked like madness,
He said, "Pedal!"
I worried and was anxious and asked,
"Where are you taking me?"
He laughed and didn't answer,
and I started to learn to trust.
I forgot my boring life and entered into the adventure.
And when I'd say, "I'm scared,"
He'd lean back and touch my hand.
He took me to people with gifts that I needed,
gifts of healing,
acceptance and joy.
They gave me gifts to take on my journey, my Lord's and mine.
And we were off again.
He said, "Give the gifts away;
they're extra baggage, too much weight."
So I did,
to the people we met,
and I found that in giving I received,
and still our burden was light.
I did not trust Him,
at first,
in control of my life.
I thought He'd wreck it;
but He knows bike secrets,
knows how to make it bend to take sharp corners,
knows how to jump to clear high rocks,
knows how to fly to shorten scary passages.
And I am learning to shut up
and pedal
in the strangest places,
and I'm beginning to enjoy the view
and the cool breeze on my face
with my delightful constant companion, Jesus Christ.
And when I'm sure I just can't do anymore,
He just smiles and says..."Pedal."
-Author unknown

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Today's Weather at 3:30 PM
0 C Snowing from time to time.

I wonder what kind of a winter it is going to this really the beginning? How long will it last? How much will we get? How cold with it be?
Do you have any predictions?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Listening for Jesus' Voice in Everyday Life

Us many of you know I just returned from 6 weeks in the US. Usually when I schedule a trip to the States I have almost every moment planned long before I leave Poland. This trip was different. For some strange reason, most of the people I would generally meet with were so relaxed or something that I couldn't anyone to make a concrete date. I thought Oh Well, something will work out.

Little did I know what would take place. I found myself on the road with inconsistent phone access, most of the time without a cell, and generally internet access. So how does one schedule time with other individuals? The old fashioned don' just show up. Just ask my brother.

To tell you the truth, it reminded me of traveling in Communist Eastern Europe. You would spend a lot of time listening to the Holy Spirit as to when, where and how you would meet the people God would have for you.

This morning when I was having breakfast with Jesus, I was sharing my frustration with feeling pressure to do and be a particular way. Then I had a "novel" idea, what if I just submit my day to Jesus. You know, actually give Him permission to direct my day and to re-plan my agenda.

Almost immediately, the person who I was supposed to meet with called, she said not to come because she was ill. I can't tell you what a relief I felt just not having to do that one thing. Then I made some phone calls that I would have procrastinated making when I was feeling overwhelmed. This resulted in a meaningful conversation with a friend, and scheduling some needed repairs.

I decided to walk into town to pay a bill and give some fliers to one of my students. On the way I read the community bulletin board (like usual). To my surprise there was an obituary of an older lady from the Pentecostal Church that I know well. Guess what! The funeral was today & I had just enough time to walk to the cemetery. Amazing! While there I saw many people I haven't seen in a long time. They were very glad to see me and encouraged me to contact them. And one of the older Sisters in the church was so glad to see me because she needed to ask my forgiveness for treating me badly a year or so ago. God is so good.

So, I started to trek home. By this time I was a bit frozen. The weather had been threatening snow the whole service (I was standing outside the entire time as the place was quite small). During the walk to the center I was debating whether or not I should stop for a drink of something hot before continuing home. At the last minute I thought what the heck why not. I walked in the door to the one and only cafe thinking I'll have to sit alone at the bar. To my surprise a friend was sitting alone in the first booth. How cool is that?!

I'm glad that Jesus is patient with me and He is willing to teach me old lessons again and again.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


It's been snowing all day :) I've had that happy anticipation of a snow covered world.

Being where I belong

Like many pastors my Sunday afternoons and Mondays are a time to chill out. Sometimes I wish I could just go home after church, take my dinner to the living room, and become a couch potato in front of the tube watching the game of the week. Ok, so sometimes I do all of the above except the game. I usually substitute a chick flick or 2. But this week I was adventurous.

First, I started by taking myself to dinner in town at my favorite cafe. Of course I shared my time with my Best Friend. Then I drove to Krakow for some shopping at IKEA. This may not sound like much to you but it was significant for me.

I found myself enjoying the drive, even more so than usual. It is those little quite voices within that speak the truth of our hearts. For me it was that words of delight when I realized that the rain was trying to be snow. The joy I felt for no particular reason. Followed by the amazement when I found myself on a new section of road.

You know you are where you should be when you find yourself in traffic and you still have a smile on your face that reaches to the deepest part of your heart.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Saints or spirits

Today most of you will be recovering from some form of Halloween celebrations. In an attempt to “clean up” our world we have chosen to embrace the Harvest Party tradition abandoning any connection with the spirit world. In this part of the world (Poland) Halloween has just begun to make its debut. The majority of the time it is only celebrated in school during English language classes.

However, today is a BIG Spiritual holiday of a different kind. It is one of those few days in the year when everything is closed. If you don’t have an orthodox background All Saint’s Day has as much meaning to you as an ipod would for a cave man.

Growing up in the Catholic church I remember going to Mass on All Saint’s Day but for me it was just another one of those days when I had to go to church when my protestant friends didn’t. From the time I was 16 on it marked the anniversary of the 1st time I had ever been stopped by the police. All in all there wasn’t much understanding as to what this day was about.

Here in Poland All Saint’s Day is a very big deal and for many people it is one of their favorite holidays. I’m still learning what the significance of this holiday is for the people whom I know. I think that one of the reasons for its popularity is that the preparation doesn’t include a big fancy meal that has tied the women to the kitchen for days. But it does entail a good grave cleaning and elaborate arrangements of flowers and candles. It is a family time of reflection of ones mortality, Christ’s redemption and honor paid to those “Saints” that have gone before us.

I don’t understand all the theological points of the various practices but I’m impressed by the practice of reflection and remembering all those who make up that great cloud of witnesses that give us hope of what lies ahead for us.

That our spirits will spend Eternal life with Jesus

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge cloud of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Hebrews 12:1-2a