Yesterday we sold the kid’s swingset. AT noon I posted on craigslist, by 1pm I had cash in hand and someone was tearing down the big wooden structure. By 4pm the structure was gone. That was nice.

The kids came home in the middle of the deconstruction. I thought “oh this is gonna go badly.”
“Kids, remember that we’re moving.”
“and we can’t move our swingset with us.”
“and where we are going there will be new things to play on.”
“so we’re giving or rather, we’re selling your old swingset to some people who have grandchildren who’ll enjoy it while we’re gone.”

They then ran off, and were playing in the backyard where the swingset was… busy making a museum. Not a lick of sadness at all. I asked them what they were doing and they were very happy playing and said “now we have all this room to play in! We can play football, or make a museum or play tag!”

I love our kids. Another example of God preparing them for this ministry. They take change so well. My son is anxiously awaiting today when we give the neighbor his train table.

This morning at Breakfast, my daughter says “I planted four apple seeds in the place our swingset used to be. I got them from my Macintosh Apple.”
I sat there and stared at her, and thought “what mac? oh… that powerbook 100 I gave her as a toy… but why were there apple seeds in it? Did she store them in the…..OH!!! She means a REAL apple.”

That was a funny moment for me. I had forgotten my daughter knows her apple types well.

Ch Ch Ch Changes

Today I said goodbye to my vhs movie collection. I started it in 1991, in college I used to lend movies to people. As a young kid my mom used to say “you have a gift for remembering movie trivia.” And I did, and I do.

When people ask my hobbies I often say “film”. But I don’t say it with pride, I say it with shame.

When we’re sitting around talking and someone says “you know that guy.. in that one film… who did that thing?” and I quickly reply with all the relevant data. I don’t take joy in that.

Because I realize that inside my memory is more movie trivia than scripture. Something about “where my treasure is.”

Today as I began to toss out old vhs’s (no one wants them donated) I started to realize the futility of that hobby. This collection, one by one, going into the trash. It became an act of worship as each time I threw out a tape I was sad and then said “God you are more precious than that film.”

It was easy on some of the lame ones, and harder when I got to some of my favorite classics.

I was struck by a sobering thought. I looked at the futility of collecting these movies now on a nearly defunct medium, unloved for years, and finally put into the trash.
I felt sad, as if I had wasted a lot of time and energy.

And the thought that struck me, was this:

I wonder if this is a small fraction of what it would feel like to stand before God on judgement day and realize your entire life was spent chasing the wrong thing.

Lord, I don’t want to chase the wrong things. I know movies aren’t sinful, but I also know they're trifles, not things to be largely concerned with. God help me not to continue the habit of spending too much time on trifles. God give me a consuming fire for your Word. God I know myself and I know I have these moments of clarity that are later overridden by unbroken habits. God help me to break that habit.

Thanks for loving me.


God's Encouraging Confirmation

When we first started this adventure we had a list of prayer requests before God.
"God, these are the concerns on our heart, we will follow you and obey you regardless of whether or not these are answered, but we put them before you."

In the past year, that list has been systematically answered.

We still have petitions before Him, but He has graciously answered the chief concerns on our heart, and now we stand before the threshold ready to serve Him with an unburdened and unworried heart. It is such a wonderful confirmation that God would alleviate those concerns of ours.

Thank you for praying!


More updates

95.7% today.
We have all but 2 pieces of papers in to submit our visa application. We've been working hard on this. There are many doctor's visits and revisits to get all the papers we need. I'm anxiously awaiting one email so we can submit our visas.

We're starting to investigate air fare to Papua New Guinea! 95% is when you begin the final preparations!

--we still need free long term storage for our stuff.
--we still need around $160 more p/month to meet our criteria.

-God is working, he's comforting our last minute worries, He's providing for us in so many ways, He's even making work exodus go smoothly.

I had a dream last night that shook me a bit. I rarely pay attention to dreams, but you know sometimes they can affect you emotionally as you wake up and start your day. I woke up with questions and fears. Instinctively I turned to the Word. I grabbed my "Message" and walked outside after 6am and read it. Sometimes the Message is best for morning light reading. I prefer NKJ for the more mental exercises.

I decided I needed to spend some time praising God in the midst of my fears etc, so I turned to a random Psalm. Man what the perfect Psalm for my mood this morning:

Psalm 37.
I'll point out my fear and thought and the verse that calmed me:

--God what if I'm making a huge mistake? Should I keep my job?
7 Quiet down before God,
be prayerful before him.
Don't bother with those who climb the ladder,
who elbow their way to the top.

--God what about the spiritual attack I'll be putting my family under?

12-13 Bad guys have it in for the good guys,
obsessed with doing them in.
But God isn't losing any sleep; to him
they're a joke with no punch line.

--God what if I make a huge mistake and mess up my family's future?

23-24 Stalwart walks in step with God;
his path blazed by God, he's happy.
If he stumbles, he's not down for long;
God has a grip on his hand.

25-26 I once was young, now I'm a graybeard—
not once have I seen an abandoned believer,
or his kids out roaming the streets.
Every day he's out giving and lending,
his children making him proud.

--Okay I get it, but God how do I make sure I don't falter and mess things up? I'm only human.

30-31 Righteous chews on wisdom like a dog on a bone,
rolls virtue around on his tongue.
His heart pumps God's Word like blood through his veins;
his feet are as sure as a cat's.

34 Wait passionately for God,
don't leave the path.
He'll give you your place in the sun
while you watch the wicked lose it.

37-38 Keep your eye on the healthy soul,
scrutinize the straight life;
There's a future
in strenuous wholeness.
But the willful will soon be discarded;
insolent souls are on a dead-end street.

39-40 The spacious, free life is from God,
it's also protected and safe.
God-strengthened, we're delivered from evil—
when we run to him, he saves us.

God speaks to His people. I am very uplifted. I've been listening to John Piper and one thing he mentions is that there are two parts of the Christian faith.

one is believing God
the other is desiring God.

I tell you my passion is that God's Word would pump through my life like blood through my veins. WOW. I can't help but get excited about that. God is so good, so praiseworthy! Get excited about His stuff!