Posts Tagged ‘Faith’

Well, we did it! We’re moved. And what an exciting ride so far. We apologize for the lack of posts for the last month. There certainly was enough fodder for good laughs and learnings, but for the last 3 1/2 weeks we were in the “packing, moving and staging zone.”

Lisa created a plan to pack and label boxes by room with a color coded sticker. On the back end of moving, that has really helped us organize the unpacking effort. But in the end, there were so many boxes that keeping track of where stuff was became impossible. I don’t know if it’s even possible to ever keep track of everything. But all things are possible with God. The really important stuff was moved last. Meaning, the stuff we rely on and use everyday: computers, TV, modems, wi-fi, prescriptions, keys, etc. And of course the cat was the last to get captured and put in the kitty carrier. Those are an eclectic mix of items, so we had to specially mark those boxes so we could find them easily when we arrived at the new house. The cat has been “freaked out” since the first box of stuff was sealed with tape. I think she was afraid she would be left behind as she witnessed all the items disappear into the garage before the move.

But the one critical element to this process has been God. We’ve been praying for 3 years about where we should live. We’ve been separated from our church by 40 miles since getting married which made it difficult to be actively involved there. Our prayer was that we’d be closer to church and manage a shorter commute to work at the same time. He accomplished both!

One of the reasons we signed the purchase agreement on our anniversary was due to hearing from God through the neighbor. While we were walking through the house for the second time, the neighbor walked past the window a couple times as he was cleaning up some items from the deck in the back. We’d begun that day like all others, by praying in the car as we set off on the commute together. We knew we were going to go back and look at the house for the second time after work, but we asked for confirmation that the house was the right place to be. We asked God to be part of the decision making process and asked for a clear message from him that it was the right decision to put money down.

When I noticed the neighbor, I went outside and began talking to him. Within minutes he was asking where I and Lisa worked. When he found out that Lisa worked for our church he inquired which church. Then he smiled and asked if we knew specific people and the names he mentioned were people we know (there are over 2,500 in the congregation, so it isn’t a given that we know them all.) He mentioned that he and his wife had attended the Christmas service at our church in December!

Then he looked at me and said, “My wife and I have been praying that fellow believers would move in next door.” And he talked about how exciting it would be for them if we were to consider moving next door. I couldn’t believe that he said that. I’d only just met the man. I didn’t tell him about our prayers, he had no idea what we’d been praying for. I asked him to repeat what he said to make sure I heard him correctly. Then he invited us to come over so we could see how he and his wife had decorated their place and give us a tour. No kidding!

So we went over and got the tour and met his wife. I must’ve had a strange look on my face when I came back inside after first meeting him. Lisa and our realtor asked me what happened. I was just staring into space and said they wouldn’t believe me. I told them the story and Lisa looked at me knowingly and smiled. They sent us encouraging text messages over the last month, sharing their prayers with us and reminding us how excited they were that we were going to move in.

It was so cool how God is involved in the intimate details of our move. There are more stories about how He showed up. I’ll save them for another post!



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If you think back to some of the deepest transformational seasons in your life, what were the contributing factors? What books, people, music or other influences informed and shaped those pivotal times?

U2 Fanzine-Early 80s

It was my later college years that were extremely pivotal for me. I felt as though I were perched on the edge of a diving board, contemplating the miry waters below, teetering and not quite convinced to take the plunge. While I wasn’t terribly committed in my faith, I did have numerous conversations with God at the time. In the midst of this, I felt drawn to change schools and direction in my junior year. That decision turned out to be a major turning point for me.

One of the backdrops to this time period was my deep love of music. My roommate and I spent hours keeping up on the latest songs and bands, and stories that went with them. Our dorm room had one of the few cable connections, so it became the gathering place when music videos debuted. I followed a number of bands, but U2 unquestionably topped the list.

1981 U2 Fanzine

This group from Northern Ireland seemed to provide a safe place to express and embrace my wobbly spiritual life. We’re talking concerts, posters and joining the U2 fan club in 1981. For a small fee, I got occasional mailings that were likely plunked out on a manual typewriter and cut and pasted into a rough newsletter with the latest concert schedule, news about the band, photocopied pictures and some song lyrics.

The lyrics from “40” became a sort of anthem for what I later recognized to be God’s most profound work in my life. Back then, I was so unfamiliar with the Bible that I didn’t actually realize “40” referred to Psalm 40 and was essentially taken right from this passage of Scripture!

U2 Fanzine

I waited patiently for the Lord
He inclined and heard my cry
He brought me up out of the pit
Out of the miry clay … I will sing a new song

I don’t know if my waiting was quite as “patient” as the Psalmist’s, but I did experience the unmistakable inclination of God hearing my cry and lifting me up. You’ll either highly relate, find it a sacrilege or think I’m goofy, but singing “40” a cappella with thousands of other concert-goers as we exited into the streets was nothing short of a spiritual experience for me. As unlikely a stage for spiritual transformation as a rock concert might be, God seems ready to use just about anything to speak to us.

I imagine some of my current theological and political views might clash a tiny bit with Bono, but I continue to admire his passion and heart and I’m thankful that God even used a rock band to draw me closer to him. An old Star Tribune clipping I’ve held on to since their ’85 tour described U2 as “a band that radiates faith.” Can’t think of a much greater honor to hold than that.

What have been the unlikely influencers in your life?

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Ok, so let me start with the preface that this post is by no means a theology lesson. I’ll leave that to the theologians. But I guess it is asking some theological questions. Brent and I like asking the kinds of questions that come out of everyday circumstances. You know, the kind of occurrences that make you pause and wonder. So, here’s the circumstance.

Karin's Pomegranate

I noticed a co-worker was eating a pomegranate recently. It intrigued me because, as I explained to her, a while back I was attempting to de-seed one of these yummy fruits and it turned into a huge mess with juice covering me and a good portion of my kitchen. (Picture a gruesome murder mystery. No, don’t picture that. Sorry.) And yet, here she was eating one at her desk in relative daintiness. I love pomegranate seeds and so I wondered what the secret was to peeling/eating them. We had a semi-lengthy discussion on this and then I went back to my desk to enjoy my own lunch. Now I had a craving for pomegranates.

Shortly after I left her office, another co-worker, Rob, entered. First, you have to understand that Rob has this great website, “Cooking with Dads,” so he knows a thing or two about food preparation. That’s why Karin suggested that it would be great if he did a segment on the best way to peel a pomegranate. Can you believe it? He told her he had been planning to create a video on that very thing the next day! What are the chances of that?

Karin and I asked that question ourselves. As believers, we know that God cares about us and he’s definitely involved intimately in our lives. But can we go so far as to believe he even cares about the less than important things that concern us on a daily basis? Surely, there are many more crucial things for him to pay attention to? However I wondered if, in hearing our conversation about wishing we knew the best way to peel a pomegranate, God might take the opportunity to show us he’s involved in the smallest details?

Stop and really think about it. In Luke, Christ says, “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows” (12:6, 7). Might he be reminding us, “If I care even about tiny things (like pomegranates), you can trust that I’m at least as involved in the big things, the things that really matter.”

As I thought ahead to a few serious concerns I had, I somehow felt a renewed peace that God had it all in his very capable hands.

What do you think? Does God care about the little things? Do you have some “pomegranate stories”?

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