Friday, July 4, 2014


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.

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