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Monday, July 28, 2008

God of Wonders

What a great weekend with the youth of Grace!This was the incredible venue where we sang "God of Wonders" among other things. What a great hike, view and opportunity to worship the God of wonders who created everything!
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What's next in Curacao?

Read my thoughts on what I'd do differently on our next trip to Curacao.

Read my thoughts on where we're headed as we look ahead to Curacao in 2009. We're making plans and praying and we are looking for others to join us in this. This work is way bigger than us!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Looking for a job?



















Many of you know somebody looking for a job. So, here is a lead that could help the person looking for a first job or even a third job. Plus, it may give you a chance to meet a lot of people in a short amount of time (which is good if you like to meet people and share the love of Jesus with them while you're at it).

These jobs are for about 2 years.

Anyway, point someone here if they're looking. It may be a good fit.

If you have trouble reading my scans, just right click, save to your computer and open in any photo editing software to enlarge and print.

Addition: You may also be able to convert to a .pdf and read it better in Adobe or Preview.

Monday, July 21, 2008

PrisonAlert: What can I do?

I recently signed up to send letters to Christians who've been imprisoned because of their faith. I will be able to write them a letter of encouragement in their own language using a special website and then mail the letter myself. Below is the email I received after signing up for you to read and see what it entails. I encourage you to prayerfully consider doing the same thing as we "Remember those in bonds as bound with them." (Hebrews 13:3)

Registration Confirmation

Thank you for signing up for The Voice of the Martyrs' Prisoner Alert program. With this special interactive program, you will have the opportunity to help imprisoned Christians in nations like China, Vietnam, Turkey, and other countries, through...

1.) Prayer;
2.) Protesting to appropriate government officials;
3.) Writing an encouraging letter (You will even be able to translate your letter into the prisoner's native language); and
4.) Involving your Christian friends and watching the worldwide impact of the program.

Hebrews 13:3 encourages us to "remember those in bonds as bound with them." Through the Prisoner Alert program, you will be able to fulfill this vital scripture and tell the world that we will not let our Christian brothers and sisters suffer in silence.

A new prisoner profile or update goes out each month. In the meantime we invite you to visit www.prisoneralert.com and view the current prisoner profile and opportunities for involvement.

We also invite you to visit The Voice of the Martyrs website at www.persecution.com to learn more about today's persecuted church.

If you live in the USA and are not current receiving The Voice of the Martyrs monthly newsletter, we invite you subscribe here...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Churching portable & summer '09

The latest on 'church-ing' portable at Grace: Helps

The latest on Curacao '09 at Mission: Curacao

Moving Forward: Together below.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Moving forward...Together.

It can be frustrating to not be moving forward.

We were in line to board American airlines flight 939 from Curacao to Miami. We were in a long line. It wasn't moving very quickly either. Oh, and our flight was already boarding...

It didn't click with me until very late. We had decided to wait outside of security for a while after checking our bags so we could eat lunch at the available restaurants. We almost waited too long...

So I'm in line looking at a hundred people ahead of us and my watch is telling me that the plane leaves the gate in 20 min. I'm sweating bullets. Can we not move any faster?!

We like to be moving, don't we? It doesn't matter where we are. In traffic or in line at the grocery store. To sit still feels unproductive. Wasteful. Inconvenient.

But sometimes we move for the sake of moving. Like I've said to friends at amusement parks before, "I don't care where we go--let's just go!" Do we value movement over direction?

I've wrestled with this as we've appeared to stall in our building process. We haven't "moved forward" on any specific task in the master planning of our property for 7 months. It has felt like we didn't know where we were going or how to get there.

In a way that was true. But not because we didn't know what steps we could take. We just didn't have a strong conviction about how we felt God wanted us to move forward. We saw this in our church family where we heard passionate opinions about moving forward asap as well as continuing to be portable.

We knew that we could move forward and even how to based on how we'd seen it done in other places. But we weren't convinced that we knew how God wanted us to move forward. So we paused. We waited. We discussed.And we listened.

After much discussion & prayer, the Pastor-Elders of our church believe we have much clearer direction on where to go next and how to get there.

We have a conviction that God wants us to move forward on the property (although the time line is still unresolved). We also have a conviction that we are right where God wants us to be at the Sr. Center and that we could be there a while. We are figuring out that living by faith means living without all the answers and being okay with that. Hebrews 11:6 says it's impossible to please God without faith. We want to walk by faith.

Our next step is to share our thoughts with our church family and get your feedback.This will happen Sunday night at our Congregational Gathering.

I look forward to the discussion! It should be lively and should serve us well as we continue to watch God clarify the vision he has for us. I hope to see you at the club house Sunday at 5:30 "Prayed up" and ready to go.

May God's will be done every step of the way!

Darien

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Kardz by Kenz

Talk about an enterprising artist! Kenzie is just that. She makes her own greeting cards and sells them. Her goal is to give her first $1,000 to her favorite charity. Kenzie is 16 years old and she has Downs Syndrome. But don't tell her that! She's got work to do! Check her site out & buy a box of cards from her.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Pics




You can click on the slideshow on the mission-curacao blog to see more pics. We'll be adding to them daily until we get them all up. We took over 2000 as a group. We'll also upload our videos.

Singing in Curacao

A typical opening session for VBS. Most songs were not in English but this song is ("Every Move I Make").



Watch for more videos and pictures at our official Cura-blog.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Map of Key Church Locations


Map of our Home Groups & other key locations

New Thing

Twice a year our NewThing Lead Pastors get together to hang out and strategize about catalyzing a movement of reproducing churches. In May they all came to Chicago and we had a lot of fun; but during the fun we talked about just this question: what will it take to catalyze a movement? Everyone had their opinions, but ultimately we agreed on five components needed to catalyze a movement. Click here to read more.

This article/post is a great summary of what I believe God wants us to do at Grace. Growing by multiplication by investing in people. I love his audacious goals too! God is so big!

Thursday, July 03, 2008