Black Forrest Fire

Another difficult start to summer this year.

After a very cool and moist spring we find ourselves again watching wildfires encroach on our home. Last year we were never in any danger. This year the fire is close enough to our home that we decided to voluntarily evacuate before we are required to go.

Yesterday afternoon we the stuff we can’t replace and drove away from everything else.

We’re staying with our oldest son and watching the news very closely. In times like this you realize how blessed you really are. We are so grateful for our amazing community of friends as well as family who have reached out with offers for help.

Please continue to pray for those actively engaged in fighting this fire, those who are displaced, and those who have lost everything.

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Posted by Gary in Personal

Great Weekend in Nebraska

God is so good,

We packed up the family and headed to our hometown of Ainsworth Nebraska last Thursday looking forward to a very busy weekend.

It was Kim’s 25 year class reunion and I had planned to lead worship at the Ainsworth Assembly of God Church on Sunday morning and having the whole service on Sunday night.

We had dinner with the class on Friday night and enjoyed reconnecting with old friends over a steak dinner. Saturday was a great day of rehearsal and teaching while Kim went to the class picnic. Saturday night Kim was asked to pray at the banquet. Why is the honored 25 year class the one that does all the work? I’ve always wondered that.

Sunday morning was great. The boys were able to play on the worship team with me, which is something I have always hoped for, and the congregation of worshipers made it a really nice service. Kim spoke briefly at the E-Free Church so we were unable to be in church together again.

Sunday night we had more worship and I spoke about what is real worship. I love this topic. Monday was a day of rest enjoying a nice meal with my parents in Johnstown.

Now we are back in Colorado Springs preparing for the next trip. Thank you for your prayer and support. I wouldn’t want to do this without you.

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Posted by Gary in Personal

To Find Him Where He Can Be Found.

God speaks to me sometimes by sending the same message in different ways over a period of time and then I have what I call a coalescing moment where it all comes together.

I just had one of those when I received a my daily email from the Copelands and from a friend on Facebook from Zimbabwe. We have never met and I don’t know why he found me and asked me to be his friend. He has 6 friends and I am the only one not from Zumbabwe.

Since launching into ministry in January I have had an interesting ride. I am living the dream but have been plagued with fear and doubt shortly after making the decision. Building the kingdom has been in my heart for over 10 years. At a workshop for worship with Job Vijil I knew this is what I was born to do. God has always been faithful so why the worry?

I say He is my strength and my shield, my ever present help in time of need. I’m standing on the Word but I haven’t spoken in in weeks. Instead I have been speaking death. A couple weeks ago my amazing wife scolded me strongly for the way I’m talking and she is exactly right. She is such a blessing to me. The Word of God is the final word but I must put it to work by speaking it out.

I am reminded of a short prayer by Hans Ur von Balthasar I apologize if I’ve posted this before:

Harassed by life, exhausted, we look about us for somewhere to be quiet, to be genuine, a place of refreshment. We yearn to restore our spirits in God, to simply let go in him and gain new strength to go on living.

But we fail to look for him where he is waiting for us, where he is to be found; in his Son, who is his Word. Or else seek for God because there are a thousand things we want to ask him, and imagine that we cannot go on living unless they are answered. We inundate him with problems, with demands for information, for clues, for an easier path, forgetting that in his Word he has given us the solution to every problem and all the details we are capable of grasping in this life.

We fail to listen where God speaks; where God’s Word rang out in the world once for all, sufficient for all ages, inexhaustible. Or else we think that God’s Word has been heard on earth for so long that by now it is almost used up. That it is about time for some new word, as if we had the right to demand one. We fail to see that it is we ourselves who are used up and alienated, whereas the Word resounds with the same vitality and freshness as ever; it is just as near to us as it always was.

Hans Ur von Balthasar, Prayer. Trans. Graham Harrison (San Fancisco: Ignatius Press, 1986)

Today I committ to being in His Word and daily seeking Him in the secret place for His direction. I encourage you to do the same.

Blessings as you walk with Him.

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Posted by Gary in Bicycling, Civics, Faith, Intimacy W/God, Personal, Worship