Monthly Archives: January 2014


Home is a great place. There are several homes in which I can really relax and take a breath as I travel. But home is special. Glad to be home in USA for a few weeks with my Sweet Anna.

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Filed under travel notes

Last post from field #thankful

So as I sit at my gate waiting for my first of two flights home, I am thankful:

For the way God designed details of this trip that I could not imagine: frustrations that turned into blessing when I let Him be in charge; lessons that grew me when I fought him (so I could run the show) yet he showed me grace; for new partnerships in the gospel and the potential for more on the horizion; for well being and safety; great conversations; His guidance in teaching.

To God be the glory.

Please pray for uneventful journey home to my Sweet Anna.

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Filed under spiritual questions/musings/wonderings, travel notes

winter trip ’14 – almost finished

Almost finished. I’m checked in for tomorrow’s flights home. I checked in on line using the British Air app on my phone courtesy MAV railway free WiFi on the train to VAC. What a great time we live in for convenience.

Today has been a rule 1 day (bring no expectations). At 8 am my main meeting changed and shortened thus giving me 5 hours to myself. In Budapest. What a gift. Here’s how I felt as I went up to the castle…


Now I’m on one of only 3 solo train rides this trip. Looking bank with thanks to God is always a good thing.

These 19 days have flown by. They have been busy and productive (one can be busy without being productive and vice-versa). There have been many wonderful conversations and there was encouraging response to my teachings.

As I look back, I see that God had good things planned and details worked out that I couldn’t asked for or imagined. There are always things you wish you had gotten to but the unplanned awesome things on this trip are better than I could have planned. God’s just like that.

The other day I read about Jesus telling Peter to get behind him. Then he said “For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” Read Matt. 16:21-23 to get the whole picture.

Life is full of unpleasant, hard, even tragic things that happen because of the fall or because God allowed or designed them. We don’t always understand (Peter didn’t) and sometimes/many times God has a greater plan in mind than we could ask or imagine.

Our job? Pray and believe.

Is our focus on God’s plan? Or ours?


Filed under seeking understanding, spiritual questions/musings/wonderings

From mind to heart

This afternoon, before our final session we asked the participants to reflect on six questions from my sermons. Then they got into groups of 3-5 and shared with one another and finally pray together in those small groups.


I just prayed. Then, my friend arrived from Hungary who came down to bring me to Szeged. We went for tea at the neighboring cafe. Two leaders arrived and joined us. I was thrilled to hear that the folks back in the workshop were sharing openly and praying for those they needed to forgive and themselves to do so.

We discussed the similarity with the pastor’s meeting two days earlier and concluded that God was at work among His people. We gave thanks to God knowing that it must be Him creating such openness.

After a wrap up challenge from 1 Peter, we headed to Szeged thankful for the time in Toppola.
To God be the glory.

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gatheringOn a Friday afternoon where the cold had pushed away the spring and the snow had begun to fall, folks from as far away as Belgrade, from five or more churches, gathered for a Bible conference. Our assigned text is:

” if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

Last night we focused on who really are God’s people. Our attention was drawn to the sufficiency of the work of Jesus on the cross and in his resurrection.



I told a story of the work our Ukrainian partners have been doing for the sake of orphans and how they seek to see every orphan adopted! Then we considered what Paul teaches us about being adopted by God. I mentioned how expensive it is to adopt a child and then I reminded us of the GREAT price God paid to adopt us… the death of Jesus. Our sins put him on the cross, his righteousness imparted to us. His adoption of us planned by him, paid for by him, we simple receive… indeed, as we sang…




His grace IS enough.

Today at 9, 11, 4:30 and 5:30 pm we will continue (trust me, I DID NOT set up such a heavy schedule).

Please pray that God will continue to speak in and through us to one another as we study:

– humbling ourselves and repentance

– humility and forgiveness

– how will God use us as HE heals our land

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Filed under being a disciple, from the Balkans, photos along the way, spiritual questions/musings/wonderings



I took this picture yesterday as I walked across this bridge crossing the Danube river from Croatia to Serbia…

Peter talks about our being sojourners in this world. When I travel I am not a tourist, nor am I a “local.” I am not “just passin thru” with no cares or concerns. But I am also not tied to the places I go to and invest in. Indeed, if my heart is right there are things about each place, things that are compelling that are different than the others. Some places are more comfortable than others, some provoke more thought than others. I have to think about the way I relate to people culturally which is different, perhaps from the last place…

This is what Peter means in his first epistle about the way Christians ought to view this world. Being travelers who know and care but are not from there, we are from and belong to another place, yet as we visit, we care and we invest. How are you investing in the place you are visiting and the people therein?

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January 24, 2014 · 07:21