Thursday, August 27, 2009

How will I be remembered?

Today, like many of you I was confronted with the passing of Ted Kennedy. His death marks the end of a dynasty. Although, Senator Kennedy was known as the "liberal lion of the senate & the haunted bearer of the Camelot torch". I was struck by the question, how will he/we/me be remembered?

I remember when President Kennedy was assinated & Bobby, too. I can remember hearing about all kinds of scandalist things surrounding the family. But who were these people really?

How will they "REALLY" be remembered?

I guess in the long run...How will I be remembered is the more important question?

I pray that I will be remembered for reflecting Christ's character in all that I do. That I never backed away from what Jesus asked of me. And that I was able to walk out my life in the power of the Holy Spirit, full of unwavering faith. I'm afraid I have a long way to go before I have achieved this.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sunday Drive

Today was a day of rest & relaxation.....

My roommate Sabina & I went for a drive from Nowy Targ to Ochotinca through Tymanowa to Szczawnica. Below are some of those scenes. I hope that you enjoy the "ride"

This is the road through Ochotnica

Rafting the Dunjac Memorial to John Paul II A floral Peacock

Friday, August 07, 2009

The Journey of Seasons

It is hard to believe that a year ago I was preparing for my longest furlough & longest absence from Poland since I first visited in 1986. I am in awe of what the Lord has done in my heart during that time & how it is a preparation for what he will do in the days ahead here. As I made the plans to be in the US for what I thought would be 6 months the Lord spoke to my heart that it was to be a season to rest the fields. Now, I’m not a farmer in any stretch of the imagination but I do get the concept. The Lord gave great peace, especially when people would ask about the length of time & was it a good idea. Deep inside somehow I was confident that Jesus knew what he was doing even if I didn’t.

The 9 months that follow was a season for me to grow in a new level of TRUST in the Lord. Did I/Do I trust Jesus…yes, of course…but. I discovered just how big the BUT was in my trust. To begin with he asked me to set aside my “usual” ways of “planning” my furlough time. He asked me to not plan ahead but to WAIT and TRUST HIM and HE would UNFOLD IT. If you as much of a planner & control freak as I am you understand just what a huge challenge of obedience He was asking of me. I wish I had time and space to share with you all the stories of my struggle with WAITING, TRUSTING and how HE UNFOLDED miracle after miracle of HIS AMAZING LOVE for me.

I saw how the Lord would put a desire in my heart…to go visit my friend Marilyn in Sequim January 19-21 but I just wasn’t able to get around to contacting her. Only to be invited by Pastor Don to a pastor’s conference those 3 days…in Sequim (this group had never been to Sequim before). It was an amazing time with those pastors, plus to be there when Pastors Mike & Marilyn broke ground for the camp that had been tied up in the courts for 8 years. That conference also turned out to be significant in building relationships with the new district supervisor & a number of pastors who have become friends. I couldn’t have planned it if I had tried.

By the end of February God upped the ante. I was all ready to “Go HOME”! I was tired of living out of a suitcase, traveling 2 weeks out of the month, sleeping on every kind of bed imaginable (gratefully) & being sick about 10 days out of the month. I felt the Lord say, “WAIT (I hate that word) for a Pentecost”.

COOL! A fresh anointing for what He would have for me! Yikes! My return ticket is for Wednesday! I have obligation/commitments in Poland!” “Just change the ticket!”

Little did I know what all the Lord would do in & through me in the following 3 months. Did you know that Pentecost is a HARVEST festival? But before there can be a season of harvest there has to be a season of planting. It was at this point that the Lord & his loving hand of discipline found its mark. I realized that I had an upside down perception of what I was to be doing. I always knew that “fundraising” was something that came out of relationship but not to the extent that the Lord was showing me. He took me to 2 Corinthians 9:6-10. We usually hear this passage when we are talking about giving. “But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop.” I became acutely aware that I had been “planting” the seeds of God’s work in Poland sparingly because of fear, disappointment & selfishness. He was calling me to be a wild seed throwing farmer. I guess, I had never realized that my service & experiences in Poland are a gift to others. I became so aware of the selfishness of my heart as I withheld the joy & relationships that could be possible, not only for me but also for the church in Poland. There was/is an element of fear… fear of disappointment… fear that I won’t be able to complete all that the Lord would have me to do… fear that those who I have share this gift won’t receive it with joy…etc. But I am challenged to listen to the voice of the Father more. The voice that says, “Trust Me”. “You can Trust MeTRust Me…TRUst Me… TRUSt…Me…TRUST Me…TRUST ME!

You know, The Lord’s ways are so special & unique to each one of us. I’m amazed at how well he knows how to get my attention & how to get at what really needs to be done.
I found that with each new opportunity to share about what God was doing in Poland my excitement grew, my trust strengthened, & my fears began to wane.

Pentecost…I returned to Poland 10 days after Pentecost Sunday in June. So… “What happened?” I learned that when the Hebrews celebrate Pentecost/Shavuot that they stay up all night reading the word & thanking God for it. That is what the disciples were doing when the Holy Spirit came. Today I find myself for the 6th day pursuing God with an intensity that I have never know. I’m literally compelled to be in His presence. I’m convinced that this is my upper room experience, though it is in the basement. Jesus has spoken to my heart that this new season is a time to plow the resting ground in the spirit. He has promised that I will see & harvest the fruit that is coming relationally, spiritually & financially. “For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer & then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide & increase your resources & then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous…So two good things will result from this ministry of giving-the needs of the believers …will be met & they will joyfully express their thanks to God.” 2Corinthians 9:10-12 NLT

Thank you for your partnership in God’s work in Poland & my life.
Pictures: 1 Lincoln City Oregon; 2 Pastor Mike ground breaking; 3 Krakow @ night; 4 Welcome home party; 5 Flower sellers Krakow; 6 Planty park Krakow