Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Weekend in Germany

Anyone who knows me or has looked at my blog knows that I like traveling, discovering new things, and that I'm oddly and madly in love with Jesus.

These things combined to form a super awesome weekend trip to Germany. And really, it was super awesome. I went with a group of friends who have easily become one of my most cherished spiritual families here. I went to show support, but I also wanted to learn.

The father of this spiritual family was talking about the culture of honor, a term popularized in the Bethel Church in Redding, California. I cried so much that I was worried there was no water left in me. It's one of those experiences that you keep processing and seeing the effects of months later. I haven't figured anything out yet to write concrete examples of "what I learned". 

What I did notice though is that this culture of honor is very family centered, particularly father centered. It is also focused on forgiving and encouraging/building up others. It's about loving people, really, and choosing to look at and bring out the gems of who people are, instead of the gunk that often surrounds those gems. You can really honor someone when you take the time to get to know that person, and don't do and see things according to what you would like. People are different. Then there's also the issue that if someone does not explicitly say they want to become a Christian, do we still love that person? Or is our love conditional and based on the conversion agenda?

Folks, Jesus died for us whether or not we choose Him. If that's the model, we've got some work to do!

Anyway, Germany was awesome. Very few people will appreciate the excitement of entering a real Lidl supermarket. I think a few more might appreciate sleeping in a castle, warm sunlit walks admiring lovely architecture and landscaping, and really really good food.

Our hosts were incredibly generous and sacrificial and just amazing people. Worship and Word was anointed and just...good. So so good.

I've made tons of new friends and I'm just too tired to continue this post. Should I find a more interesting way to update you guys I will.

A quick prayer for clarity for decisions and provision for what God has planned for me would be greatly appreciated!
Muah! :*

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


There's something really special about softly melting icecream cones on warm days in Italy. I love seeing staunch men in suits become boys again as they clumsily eat gelato on lunch breaks or walks home.

I love seeing the young couples walking together. They snap and pop, full of energy, laughter, and playful taps and soft caresses.
I especially love the older couples full of a sort of knowing and a love that has endured.

On its paper holder, my own icecream cone reminds me: "Non esiste un ricordo che non abbia sapore." There doesn't exist a memory that does not have a flavor.
Though perhaps it would translate better to "Every memory has a flavor."

While not always true, I can say that in a country like Italy, this saying holds a certain special truth to it.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Presence (and hello there!)

It's been way too long since my last post. It's been busy folks. But a good busy. I've had some fun recently at the Milan House of Prayer (MiHOP), part of the IHOP Kansas 24/7 prayer and praise movement. Here's a reflection from one of the last times I was there.


This is where it's at.
                       Literally and figuratively.
I want to float on the stream of Your love,
be carried by the tide of wonderful places unknown.
But I'm afraid. Honestly, I'm afraid.
This means leaving what little familiarity I had
in this place that is unfamiliar.
This means pulling up every anchor I had
cast in a harbor that isn't you.

But I'd rather ride Your wild waves than
be tied down to something You don't want me tied down to.
So I'm cutting the ropes until there's only one anchor left.

I'll cast it in You.
There's no safer harbor.

I've had some awesome times supporting other Christians in their sessions and I've started playing a Friday session rather regularly. It's been suuuuuuper fun folks. Super.