Thankful (Part Deux)

In keeping with this great holiday (and my wife's posting abilities), here is my list of things I am thankful for. These are pretty much the top ten things as they come to me, so if you are somehow not on the list, there's still plenty of love for you, these were just the things that were in my head (and pretty much stay there):

1. Jesus Christ - my Saviour and Redeemer, without Him, I'm a dead man, literally
2. The Bible
3. My beautiful wife and daughter - how can the Lord think it fit that I should lead my soulmate and that He should give us such a sweet blessing to lead and teach? Praise the Lord for His blessings and how He brings glory to Himself through them!
4. family
5. friends and supporters - the ones who believe in us and our work, especially with NEXT, help us get through the rough points of doing mission work
6. iTunes - cheaper albums that are all electronic, the abilities to find new bands... so great
7. Providence Church - we were "home" from the time we walked through the doors
8. moleskine notebooks - helping ADD intellects keep their thoughts since last century
9. good authors
10. good cigars

Again, those were top 10 as they came to me. There's so much more that I'm thankful for, sorry if it got left off!
Read more »

10 Things I am Thankful for:

1. My amazing husband. Kyle is passionate about protecting me and taking care of me. He seeks daily to lead me spiritually. I am so thankful.
2. My sweet baby. Laura Kate amazes me every day as she discovers the world around her. What a blessing it has been to be a mom. Nothing compares. I am so thankful.
3. My job. I LOVE NEXT WORLDWIDE!!!! We are immensely blessed that the Lord has put us in the place that we are with missions and our jobs. What a joy! We are unbelievably blessed with incredible ministry partners who support us in every way. I am so thankful.
4. My church. What an honor it is to worship at Providence with an incredibly gifted pastor, meaningful worship, wonderful home group, and amazing children's ministry (and really fun friends!!!). I am so thankful.
5. My ability to run. I have really enjoyed training for the Jog'r. It is a blessing to have the ability to run and to get healthy and in shape. I am so thankful.
6. The Twilight and Harry Potter series'. Thank you J.K. Rowling and Stephanie Meyer for writing books I have thoroughly enjoyed these past few months. I am so thankful.
7. My beautiful Home. We prayed and prayed that the Lord would provide a house for us to live in when we moved to Little Elm and He did. I am so thankful.
8. My family. I am so blessed to have a family that loves through thick and thin. I am so thankful.
9. My really great friends. The Lord continues to pour out His love for me through my friends, both old and new. I am so thankful.
10. Most importantly, for the ways the Lord redeems me with His unfailing love, day after day after day. How do you say thank you for that?Words don't do justice. But for lack of something better, I am SO thankful.
Read more »

Back From Romania and Germany

Talk about an encouraging trip! After numerous hours of airtime on Lufthansa airlines (wow... so great!), we hit the ground running in Timisoara, which if you can remember, was the birthplace of the Romanian Revolution of 1989. I can briefly remember snippets of this happening in my life, then as a six year old in front of a TV showing images of masses of people and lights, guns firing, and mean-looking men giving speeches in a language I didn't know. But, to actually be in the place where many people, children especially, were killed, was pretty heavy. We spent the night at the Hotel Perla in downtown Timisoara and then proceeded to the conference center in Surduc the next day.

We kicked off the conference on Saturday morning with a group of near 30 pastors and support staffers. I use the term "support staff" fairly loosely, because many of them were not payed, they were just there to learn how to promote the Church and spread the Gospel more within their villages. We had a great and very attentive group who were incredibly excited to take and put into practice the church-planting and leadership elements that we were teaching them over the span of the day. They posited many great questions on our views of church planting and different ways in which they might make more of an impact, as well.

On Sunday morning, we woke up to attend church at one of our main contact's, Ovidiu's, churches. Ovidiu is a young pastor in the village of Susani, just below the mountains of western-central Romania. Filled with some of the sweetest people I've been blessed to get to meet, we had an incredibly great time of worshipping Jesus with the Romanians. I even led worship for the group, at one point; not much was understood, though, since I was leading in English and they were thinking in Romanian!

Afterwards, and over the next couple of days, we would be discussing and planning out our two operations there, next summer, from a logistical standpoint. Setting up hotels, places to eat, safety and security issues, transportation, and the like. We also met with both Ovidiu and our other main contact, Catalin, to hash out the future work we have to continue in Romania over the next few years.

On Tuesday, we flew to Munich for a brief bit of R&R in the Bavarian capitol. Tuesday night found us on the main plaza, beneath the Rathaus government building, mingling with mobs of tourists and Germans alike. The booths were already set up all over the square in preparation of the Christkindlmarkt, which begins in two shorts weeks. After schnitzel, roasted cinnamon-sugar almonds, and a Turkish shave for yours truly, we took the S8 train back to Rosenheimer Platz to bed down and get ready for the grueling plane-ride back to Chicago and onward, home to DFW.

Thank you all, so so very much, for the great prayers over the course of the past month. This LDC went so incredibly smooth and was so very relevant to the pastors we got to serve! We, as an organization, are so incredibly blessed to be able to work alongside men such as Ovidiu and Catalin. We (Carrie and I), as a couple, are so incredibly blessed to be supported and loved by so many of you!
Read more »

Smooth(ish) Travel

Well, I am happy to report on behalf of my husband, that his trip to Romania has been so smooth and so good! The travel there was as perfect as you can expect, the teaching went great, and I think they've really enjoyed themselves. I'm sure Kyle will report more details soon!

As for LK and I, we are back in the land of wind. Our trip was not quite as smooth as Kyle's. I found out that Laura Kate and airplanes do not mix well. She loved the airport, but did NOT love the plane. She cried the whole last half of the flight!!

Please continue to pray for: Kyle's travel home to the states, and then his driving to Lubbock on Thursday.

Read more »

Headed to Romania

Romania is in the sights. Wes, Jason and I, along with the youth pastor at FBC Euless, TX, Kent Wells, are gearing up and are just about ready to go. Over the course of this weekend and early next week, please be in prayer about these things:

1. Catalyst teaching - this is the curriculum that we will be primarily focusing on teaching the Romanian pastors. Catalyst essentially focuses on Christian leadership and how to most effectively implement it into the Church. So, please pray for very clear understanding of the material in order for us to be able to teach (long flights and changes in time zones tend to mess with your thinking!), clear presentation of the teaching, and an urgency to bring the material to the people.
2. First Steps teaching - though the majority of our time will be spent teaching Catalyst, there will be a little time devoted to what is called First Steps, and is focused entirely on church-planting and discipleship; pray for these areas, too!
3. preaching - when we go on LDCs and Mission Trips, we often end up preaching in one of the host churches on Sunday morning or evening; we're not sure if this will be the case, but please lift all four of us up to clearly present the Gospel if we are called on to do so
4. Travel - please be in prayer for our travel; DFW to Chicago to Munich to Timisoara can get tiresome
5. Family - all four of us going on this LDC to Romania are husbands and daddies, so please pray for our wives and little ones who are going to be staying home

Thank you all for praying for us, both for this LDC and for Carrie and I as we continue our work with NEXT. We are so excited about seeing many of you in just a few short weeks!

Read more »