Monday, February 28, 2011

In the midst of chaos...is there peace?

What a month it has been!  I have been away from the blog for multiple weeks now and I feel like I am behind!

Over the past month I was sick, went to a great winter camp, continued with school at the seminary and got moving on the process of the relocation to HK! 

Stacia and I were blessed to also receive the Rosetta Stone to learn Mandarin.  Below is a short video of Stacia flying through lesson one!

video 

As we get closer and closer to the date, small milestones are happening that are slowly making the move become more real.  Stacia was asked for a letter of resignation from Mesa Middle School.  This was a humbling moment for her i think, realizing that she would not be with her sweet kids next year.  I think it was also a moment of excitement for her because of this new adventure we have in front of us!

Another small milestone is the search for the newest director of student ministries at PEPC.  God has brought together a great search committee that will be used in a mighty way in discerning who God wants to lead the SM.

Another milestone is that ministry is happening as usual.  Mission Trips are being planned, lessons are being taught, worship is screaming out of the student center, we are non stop.  On top of that, I was asked by Pastor Doug to preach in "big church" which was a great experience.  If you want to listen to the sermon you can click on the link below.  Once on the page click on the little play button next to "United with Christ"



So in this month of chaos I believe that we have found peace in the busyness.  We are not purposely making ourselves busy, but God is calling us in this month to be moving, preparing for what he has planned next, and it is awesome. 

Overall at this moment, the last day of February, God is working, excitment is in the air, and I have only shared a few events of our life!  More to come, hopefully sooner this time!

Be Blessed

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

"...pray without ceasing"

"When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men.  I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full...And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words"
-Matthew 6: 5&7

I have gotten into the habit recently of reading multiple books all at the same time.  Currently these are the three books I am working through:






Deep reading I know.  One is for Seminary, one is for staff development at the church, and one is for me and my curiosity when it comes to "christian living" especially in the faith context of my generation.  
Today I was reading the Christian Atheist by Craig Groeschel.  This is a really cool book. Very easy to read and to relate to.  I was reading the chapter called "When you Believe in God but Not in Prayer".  This chapter really hit me because I have been one who puts prayer last.  I'll find myself on a prayer high, really starting those conversations with God, and then others where I'll go weeks without praying.  This is the quote that got me, "But even when you don't see the results of your prayrs around you, you may still sense Go's loving presence as you grow to know him.  I've learned that any genuine communication to God may or may not change what God does, but your prayer will often change your heart or perspective.  Prayer reminds you that you're not in control and keeps you close to the one who is".

I am not in control.  I am not in control of where Stacia and I will be in 2 years after our contract in HK is up.  I am not in control of what is going to happen at HS winter camp in a week.  I am not in control of who will win the Super Bowl.  As much as I'd like to be, I'm not in control of what is going to happen tomorrow.  I have an idea of what might happen tomorrow, but in reality only God does.  

How many times have I sit and prayed and not received anything?  Yet I am still coming back to this God that holds my heart so close.  In November, Stacia was to be interviewed by another school in china.  This was an exciting time, the first interview at a school we were familiar with, and had contacts with.  In praying over the interview, I felt the overwhelming feeling that we weren't going to be working at that school.  I prayed that it would be the right fit, so all of the stress and anxioty would go away.  2 weeks after the interview they said that Stacia was great, but they went with someone else.  3 weeks after that we visited the school and some of the staff and God confirmed why we weren't supposed to be there.   

I was trying to convince myself that the voice in my heart was wrong.  Trying to hide the feeling of not getting that position deep within me so that we would receive the position.  I prayed that the message God was sending me was worng.  I prayed to God that God would be wrong.  God was right, and we are headed to the place we are called.  

Groeschel says, "Admittedly, when prayer becomes an empty, meaningless ritual, it is boring.  but when you remember who you're talking to when you acknowledge that the God of the universe is honestly, truly excited to hear from you that truth alone will change your attitude toward prayer.  Move the focus from yourself onto God. That's the beginning of making prayer fresh and exciting.  Even fun!  Then prayer is like talking to a close friend with whom you can share your heart, your fears and your dreams.  Then, suddenly, instead of a lifeless one way conversation, prayer with the Father becomes exhilarating."

I was praying with a focus on me, not on God.  

huh. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

It's Actually Going to Happen!

"Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
He will establish your plans."
Proverbs 16:3

As one of the coldest days that I have ever experienced, today was a special day.  Today we finished the first part of our paper work for ICS-HK. This is quite a day!  Even though we had already accepted the positions, signing the contracts, copying all of our documents, and rounding up transcripts and letters into one big pile was quite a feat.  After all of the copying and writing then we had to send it!  $75 to get it there in less than a week.  Totally worth it though.  We want to get everything in as soon as we can, making that good impression on our new employers.  

Here's a picture of our sending in our contracts day celebration.  Stacia went to B&N and picked up some books on Cantonese and Manderin along with a map of downtown Hong Kong!

Not only was today a day of celebration, but it was also a weird day.  I have been catching myself forgetting what is coming.  Today was one of those days.  It was quiet at the church, but I had a lot to do today.  It hit me when one of the guys at boot camp asked me when I was leaving and when pastor Doug told me hey had received a resume for my position.  This is getting real.

I placed Proverbs 16:3 at the top of my entry today because it is such a true statement with what we are doing.  God is in everything that we are preparing for, everything that we are doing.  Minus our crazy puppy.  She is restless and crazy!  But God is the center of this plan.  What we are about to embark on is laid out because of Him.  I also know that we will be leaning on Him and His strength through the transition that is coming!

What a great FREEZING day it was today! 

Taylor