Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Different Kind of Thanksgiving

I am thankful for being in pain. 
It reminds me we are not long for this world and that what I am doing/going through will not be forgotten.
Revelation 22:12, Hebrew 6:10

I am thankful for the end of my own strength.
When I come to the end, I am forced to rely on Him. I often think I am, but it's only in these spots I see it most purely. He will always - through Him - make a way.
2 Corinthians 12:9, 1 Corinthians 10:13

I am thankful for need. 
I wouldn't have realized how precious His provision is if I hadn't needed it so bad. Did you know a random $18 check in the mail is God's way of letting us provide for our children's wants? Lauren finally say Mockingjay yesterday! The $100 someone gave us unexpectedly allowed me to get something I can eat for Thanksgiving and get hot chocolate at Six Flags - where we got in for free! We even had a free turkey show up at our house! Elijah needed a coat for the cold. 2 were dropped off! Were these crazy, random happenstances?? No. They were our Father providing.
Philippians 4:19, Matthew 6:25-33

I am thankful for those who think we are crazy for following God this way. 
It's funny. We actually get more flack from Christians than from non-Christians for following what God has told us to do - and it's all concerning issues we would expect from those who don't follow Christ! Yes, it's illogical. No, we are not saving away for college, retirement, vacations.... Yes, it's crazy. No, I can't explain. Yes, I often feel you are right.... These all remind me we are following Him, and not the world.
Isaiah 55:8, Romans 14:4

I am thankful for despair.
Without despair, I would never recognize the beauty, peace, and joy of hope. Hope comes alive even brighter when I have recognized the dark. And hope births love. Love for God and love for our fellow man.
Romans 5:1-11, Psalm 71:13-15

I am thankful for waiting.
Yep. That hurts to even type. Waiting has many layers. Like an onion- a stinky onion. You think you've peeled away a layer or two of waiting..... Until you've waited some more. But waiting reminds us we don't know all, can't see all, and know nothing at all! God's timing is perfect. To our eyes, perfectly stinky! But it is the essence and sent of perfection. :-)
Psalm 27:14, Isaiah 40:31

I am thankful for partners.
Yes, that is a good thing of the Lord, but a painful thing to our humanity! It reminds us that we can not do this on our own. That hurts our own pride. But, it also reminds us that with God, all things are possible! Even reaching the most expensive, influential city in the world, with the light of Christ. Even discipling, mentoring, and training young Christian leaders for 2-12 months. What an amazing opportunity, that we can only do through our partners! We are so blessed and thankful by those of you who make our call to God able to happen. Thank you!
Philippians 4:10-20, 2 Corinthians 8:1-15 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Active Waiting

It's so much easier to say, "Not my will, but Yours be done, Lord!" than to live it.

The last few months have been amazing!
Amazingly busy...
   Amazingly frustrating....
      Amazingly blessed.... humbling..... exciting.... sifting......
You name it - we've probably experienced it!

There has been so much excitement as we learn more and more about serving in the London Centre at Nasmith Court. Our family is working hard to gain partners who will come along side us financially in order to start serving there when the Centre opens next summer. At times it feels like it's going too fast and at other times way too slow.

I admit, I find myself getting anxious when seeing a fixed date for us to need be there, but we know God is in charge and sovereign in our lives. Over and over He has said, "Be still and know that I am God. Be faithful in acting, but stop trying to fight MY battles."

After 4 years of actively pursing God's call in our lives to serve in Europe we can get bogged down, but God showed me something special today: When reading about Christ's sacrifice for us - particularly concerning His anguish at Gethsemane - Oswald Chambers made the statement, "A thing is worth just what it costs."

Serving in Europe is costing us so much more than we realized it would, But oh, it will be worth it!! How humbled and blessed we are to know that what He has called our family to will impact the lives of so many people for Christ! We will be mentoring and helping train up young Christian leaders! We will be in the absolute best spot ever for influencing the world as we reach out to the community in downtown London!

Join us!!

Ruel, Roy (LCM), Tiffany & Bryan 

The London Centre at Nasmith Court!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Unsettled


Do you remember these? 


There was a certain terror and exhilaration when receiving a folded piece of paper and knowing you must answer. That special someone wanted to know!

That's often how we feel when calling people about partnership. "We really don't want to bug you too often, so....could you check one please?



We know that people get busy - so we want to help remind you! Also, some people don't want to say "No". If you feel you need to, that's fine. Just let us know.

Why do we need to know?
We really feel under an ever-growing compulsion. 

That's the best way to describe it. We love the people we are around! Our friends, GEM family, church family, the kids' school...but we just can't settle. We are almost sick with the compulsion in our souls to start serving in London. And we do truly believe it's God given. He knows us. We could easily settle in here, do great things for the Kingdom of God, have a wonderful church family, and let the kids go through an amazing school system - but we aren't suppose to get settled. We are passing through while knowing we will be back to visit often!

Yet in order to do that, we need people who want to see the body of Christ grow. Yes, it is getting harder, and harder to serve the millions who are in and going through London. That is why we feel so compelled to get there soon. There is a great need. We need people who can be the means by which we can minister there.

Will you join our team? 

There are several trips coming up where we would love for you to see London and all that God is doing there in small pockets of Light. Come with us to catch the vision

Would you also prayerfully consider being a part of our financial partnership

Just as important is that we want to share in this with you! Please contact us any time with questions, or just a, "Hey! I want to hear more...

We truly know this is a body of Christ and we can't work well without you!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Backtracking

Remember the golf tee puzzle at Cracker Barrel?

The goal is to leave only one tee after a series of rule-following jumps. I never could quite do it. Oh, I often left 3 or even 2, but it was really hard to get just one.

I remember one time on a road trip my dad was intensely moving, removing, and replacing tees while we waited for our meal. After 10 minutes or so he stopped and said, "Watch this..."

He played the game perfectly.

My brother and I quickly replaced the pegs and told him we bet he couldn't do it again. He did. A third, fourth, and even fifth time! I began noticed that each time he started with the same set up and followed the same pattern. When I asked him how he knew that he replied, "I started with only one peg and memorized the steps backwards. I just had to reverse them to win the game."

Of course my brother and I cried a foul and said he was cheating, but really he was a "Genius" as the game proclaimed. He just came at it from a different perspective.

Often in life we see a goal and forge our way to it in hopes of achieving it. That's commendable, but is that really the best way? What if we could find out the step right before the final goal? Then the step before that? Would it make sense to take advantage of that?
Why not backtrack from the goal? Christ.

I read an interesting Scripture passage this morning and can't wait to dive into it for a few days!
Ephesians 3:8-12

I got as far as the first half of the first verse today. :-)

"This grace was given to me - the least of all saints! - to proclaim to the Gentiles the incalculable riches of the Messiah..."

Proclaiming the Gospel, sharing Jesus with the lost, and all the other "Life giving" phrases Christians use are understandable, but scary. Yes, scary. Most Christians think  - or are taught to think - that you have to have several years of theology, seminary, or at least 10 Beth Moore Bible studies under your belt ;-) before you can "lead someone to Christ".  Why? We have begun to use those as paths to righteousness instead of the Bible. Oh, they are all used to study the Bible, but really what's so deep and hard to understand about "Love", "Seek", Go."?

We have made them too hard. And sometimes, if we are truthful, we have done that in order not to have to obey right now.

Today I read in God's Word that my goal is to "proclaim to the Gentiles (those who do not know Christ) the incalculable riches of the Messiah". Let's put that into other words:
Incalculable Riches - The rich gifts and blessings imparted by God or Christ which are unsearchable and impossible to be traced out. (Based on the Complete Word Study)

Or in more simple terms, "Tell everyone about the amazing, unexplainable things Christ has done in your life and in those around you." If you don't know of anything He has done, then ask Him to show you some and listen. Don't let the big words, vague phrases, and weight of eternity weigh on you so much you never tell anyone about the Messiah.

As we like to say in the South, K.I.S.S.
Keep
It
Simple
Sweetheart!



Tuesday, July 1, 2014

London Bound!

We have listened, prayed and accepted. We are moving our appointee status from Ireland to the UK: We are headed for London!
After much prayer, we have firmly heard the call for our family to serve through GEM in the UK. Though we still believe Ireland is in our future at some point far down the road, we are now fully committed to living in the great 8 million+ city of London! Our family will be a part of the new, and long prayed for, London Centre where we will serve not only the community around us, but also those who are coming to serve. See a quick synopsis below of what this Centre will be:
"An incredible addition to this unfolding story is a new project that was simply a dream until a few weeks ago....
We are presently requiring approx.. $2600 per month per Intern (Transport, Training, Food and Lodging) – primarily due to the high cost of even basic accommodation in urban centers of London.
This figure makes us expensive on the internship spectrum with most programs engaging third world projects around the $1500 per month mark. We’d love to somehow bring this costing down and make Europe affordable for our huge potential intake.
The dream: Having chased many rabbits, monasteries, church housing, campsites etc we’ve concluded that the ideal scenario would be to secure a rental property in a nearby borough of London (thus reducing transit costs and keep the team proximate to their mission partner)
It would also allow for accountable community to thrive, - to pool resources for food, encourage a learning community, offer reasonable safety to the predominant female intake etc. It’s great stewardship with numerous benefits all round.
Thus, GEM LONDON CENTRE - a Mission Training Residence, a hub for apprentice missionaries if you will."
An added goal will be to host short term teams, provide temporary housing for incoming Mid/Long Term Missionaries, and offer an affordable
weekend away/ministering for other serving missionaries in London. The Centre will also become a place for the community around it to gather, be discipled, and experience love through Christ.
We would love to talk with you more!! Please call or message us if you have ANY questions. We will be contacting as many of you as possible over the next few months to share all God is doing.
All our love- Ruel and Tiffany

Friday, March 14, 2014

Mid Month Update

Whew… Quite the life changing few weeks!

I just realized this morning that a little over two weeks ago, our family packed everything up and headed to a state and city we've never been, to work with people we didn't know, find a place *hopefully* to live,  find some part time jobs to pay for the unknown living quarters & food, and find a way to furnish it. Oh yeah, and impact the world for Christ even faster by diving head on into Mobilization!

No wonder we're still a little dazed ;-)

But what an amazing two weeks they have been!!

We have so many God stories we would never had the privilege to share if we hadn't taken this leap of faith we were called to.

We are really fitting in to McKinney. Thank you all for the prayers for the children and ourselves - They have made all the difference! I've already met a young lady who is on my heart to get to know locally, and we are known well enough by a local coffee shop - SNUG on the Square - that the owners wife recognized us and said Hello when we were at the Dallas Zoo the other day!

Here's a list of things we have experienced, learned, our needs, and some things you can pray:

Experienced


  • OK, we admit it. Texas is great! We are quite aware that it is not summer heat yet, but so far it's really growing on us.
  • This area is alive. I'm constantly amazed at the number of homes, apartments, shops and businesses there are here that are thriving. People are shopping, dining, and…. well, thriving! There is such an amazing opportunity to meet and work with people here.
  • Job hunting. It's been a while since I've been paid to work (Not since 2004!) and it's been interesting. I have a second interview scheduled for tomorrow and a few next week. Ruel was already offered a few and took one at Albertson's. He'll start either Wednesday or next Saturday.


Learned



  • We have jumped in head first to the Mobilization team here in McKinney. We were both in the office some the last two weeks hearing about all they are doing and working on. 
    • Ruel and I will both help with First Step: Talking to people who fill out the initial interest form with GEM for trips through long term missionaries. 
    • I have spent the last few days learning all that is involved with short term trips. (Let me tell you, the answer is ALOT!) We've decided I'm going to help and observe with the current trips already in progress and then take the lead on one that will be coming up late summer.
    • We have also been preparing for the trip to London the first week of April. We'll be in London most of the time, but will go to Manchester one day to meet with some local partners. 
    • It's going to be even busier around here! This year Mobilization is working with approximately 300 people for short term trips. Because of some things in the works, next year is projected to jump to over 1,000. We got here just in time!
  • It is expensive to live here! We have decided it is getting us prepared to live in Dublin. ;-) Because McKinney is growing so fast, there are very few 3 bedroom apartments available for rent, and those that are left are expensive! We were blessed to find a cheaper one in a great location that would come open March 24th and signed quickly. Yes, $1350 a month is good, believe it or not…


Needs



  • Furniture. I know most of you won't be able to bring a truck with some of your old furniture, but if you know anyone in this area who might be able to help provide, we could really use it. Message me for the list of things. (But pretty much…… everything from dressers to a vacuum cleaner to shower curtains.)
  • Provision. Yes, we will both be working jobs, but like we stated before, it's expensive here. 


Prayer

  • Provision goes here too. Pray for the Lord to provide for those who trust in Him.
  • The kids. With Ruel and I starting new jobs, working in the Mobilization office, and me going to London soon for a week, we are having to leave the kids a lot. I'm sure they will be fine and the apartment we got is really nice and has gates, but a momma will worry. Pray for their safety.
  • Partners. That is one of the major reasons we are here after all! Pray we find the people soon God has to partner with us in the ministry. 
If you have any questions about what we are doing, what we need, or would like our contact information and new apartment address, please email me!!