Thank you to everyone who was able to make it out to the Nalos’ house Monday to join us in prayer!  It was so great to see you and reconnect!  It was such a joy to be able to share personally what God has been doing in Olympia with you!

For those of you who weren’t able to make it Monday, but are committed to praying for us (thank you!), here are the prayer requests I promised we’d be sharing with you:

  • Kate is pregnant!  If you haven’t heard on Facebook or elsewhere, we’re expecting baby number 3 to join us in early December!  🙂  The latter part of this year is going to be a pretty serious period of transition for us as we will be selling/buying our car, moving and having a baby (hopefully somewhat close to that order).
  • Leader training at REALITY: Our next missional leader training event here at REALITY has been moved to early June.  Pray that God puts this on people’s hearts in a clear way that leads to many being stirred for his purposes in their lives.
  • Missional Communities at REALITY: We are continuing to see communities of people living life as God’s family, putting him on display to the world in very exciting ways.  Please pray that our present missional communities would be sensitive to how the Spirit is leading each of them to live as communities shaped by the Gospel.
If I have left anything out or if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me through my Facebook, or the contact page on this blog.  You’re also welcome to visit any of REALITY’s gatherings if you’d like to get a closer look

What do your prayers reveal?

February 15, 2011

Here’s a little experiment I’d be curious to try (but probably won’t so, feel free to steal it and report back afterward).

  • Part 1: Find some church forsaken corner of the city you live in and ask the people there what they’d like you to pray for on their behalf.
  • Part 2: Find some overtly church inhabited corner of the city you live in and ask what’d they’d like you to pray for on their behalf.
  • Part 3: Compare the answers and ask, “Is there any discernible difference between the two sets of answers?”

Perhaps this isn’t a fair experiment.  In fact, I’d say it probably isn’t.  Still it gets me thinking…

Last week during REALITY’s gathering times Paul taught on the Gospel power.  This week as he was leading us through the Gospel purpose I found myself thinking, “What would it look like for our prayers to have equal parts Gospel power and Gospel purpose?”

Through my growing up years I remember prayer requests being heavily lopsided in the Gospel power direction.  That is, I believed something like, “Since God has extended his power to save me, why not spend my prayer life asking him to use his power for other things that would help me and add to my comfort?”  So, the classic, “Pray that I can get rid of this cold, do well on this test, win this game, read my Bible more, stop sinning so much, etc., etc., etc.”  My prayer life ratted me out.  I didn’t believe God had anything better for either of us to do, and my prayers revealed that.

I would venture that our prayers (or lack of them) reveal plenty about what we believe about God if we will bravely venture to let them speak.

You may remember a few months ago I began meeting with one of our friends at his school to pray and seek the Lord’s kingdom on campus.  Most of the time Andre and I met alone, a few times we would be joined by others.

HVC Staff

Today, at Andre’s invitation, I joined a new student led prayer group which was started only a couple weeks ago (to my knowledge), but saw around twenty students coming together!  While it was only a short first impression, I’m excited to see how God will work through this group of enthusiastic youths to bless their campus!

Please continue to pray for this group, especially that they could lock on to God’s heart for their school beyond the “boring classes” and “trouble with grades” type requests that typically claim center-stage in student life.

Thursday nights these days Kate and I trade off watching Jude and joining a small group of people in our church praying for and sharing about what the Lord is doing in and around us in the places we reside.  Last night was my turn to go to the prayer meeting.

At one point in the night between worship songs, I was reading Acts 4 where the saints are praying after the proclamation of the Gospel (mission) has gotten them in to trouble. Let me quote verses 29 and 30–

And now, Lord, pay attention to their threats, and grant to your servants to speak your message with great courage, even as you extend your hand to heal, and to bring about miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

I love this passage for a couple reasons.  1) we know that God values the situation we live in (i.e. “their threats”) because he came in to our situation in the Incarnation. 2) The praying believers ask only for courage to do what their life in Christ leads them to do–to speak the Good News.  3) It is God who does the healing; His action validates the claim upon which we, His followers, have staked our lives.  So good.
So, following our time of prayer it was great to hear the things the Lord is doing in people’s lives (even through my broken Dutch :)).  Some of you might remember about a month ago that I had asked for prayer for someone’s neighbor who was close to accepting Jesus.  Last night I heard that that person had come to faith in the last month!  Our Prayer in action as the heals in the name of his servant Jesus!

Your prayers are effective in the building of Christ’s Kingdom in Holland!


See you on Skype!

November 2, 2009

Hey everyone!  I know it is a bit short notice but I will be skyping the prayer group that meets today at 8:30 pm Pacific standard time.  If you do not know where our monthly prayer team meets and would like to come, please leave me a note in the comments so I can give you directions.  I’m looking forward to talking with you guys and connecting with you all!

“Ride out with me!”

October 10, 2009

Two weeks ago I sat across the table from a friend at local high school asking the question, “What is God doing here and how can we join him?”  Earlier that week I had been reading Neil Cole’s book Organic Church, which begins with a retelling of part of Peter Jackson’s portrayal of The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien.  It may be long, but I’ll quote Cole for you, as I did for my friend:

In…The Two Towers, we find that the good guys join up with the nation of Rohan, who are world-renowned as horsemen with agile and brave horses.  They face the advances of an evil army of Goblins, bent on the total destruction of all the people.

They find themselves in the throne room of Theoden, king of Rohan.  When the king comes to the realization that the enemy is on the move and bent on destroying his kingdom, he is faced with tough choices.  The counsel is to “ride out and meet them.”  But the king is concerned for the welfare of his people.  War is ugly and always accompanied by great loss.  In the past, they found safety behind the walls of a fortified castle known as Helm’s Deep.  With his shepherd’s heart and desire to protect those for whom he is responsible, Theoden announces, “I’ll not risk open war with my people.”  Aragorn, a warrior with the true heart of a king, responds, “Open war is upon you whether you would risk it or not.”

…Once in the fortress, the men feel a sense of security, but the walls are breached, so they retreat further to the keep.  Eventually the throngs of the enemy seize the entire fortress except for a small room with a barricaded door.

With the pounding of a battering ram against this last door separating the men from their annihilation, in helplessness King Theoden cries out, “What can men do against such reckless hate?”  Aragorn once again gives Theoden the answer he had brushed aside in earlier counsel: “Ride out with me.”

With backs against the wall, no way out, and no hope of victory against an army of ten thousand, this suggestion now comes across as only a way to die in a blaze of glory.  Theoden says, “Yes, for death and glory!’  Aragorn corrects him: “For your people.”  Theoden responds with passion, “Let this be the hour when we draw swords together!”  They mount up and charge the enemy on horseback, becoming the warriors they were always meant to be.  They meet the enemy head on.  As they plunge forward in reckless abandon, the enemy surprisingly falters at their boldness and stumbles back.  At that moment, reinforcements return to assist, and in the end the battle is won.  Evil is sent running, and victory belongs with the brave heroes who, against all odds, rode out to meet the enemy head on.”

At this moment our hope as ministers here in Holland is to be calling out the youth and church we work with for them to ride out with us, as we begin telling an alternative story where the universe-wide struggle between good and evil is already won, and we are ambassadors of the Victor King heralding his glorious, benevolent reign and rule in the world.

We ended our meeting dreaming together–“What is God doing here?  And how can we ride out with him?”  Sweet, exciting stuff…

Prayer On Mission

August 4, 2009

Reading the book Missional Renaissance this week by Reggie McNeal and wanted to share some specific ideas he has for engaging God’s redemptive mission in the world through prayer:

  • “Prayer-scaping” simply asking God to show you what he sees and where he is working so that we can join him
  • Prayer walking your neighborhood and letting people know you’re praying for them
  • Prayer booths and boxes and following up with emails and action
  • Adopting community leaders and servants for prayer–what are their challenges wishes and dreams for the community?
  • Praying for the community in worship services
  • Praying for hospitality staff in restaurants or other service industries
  • Community prayer meeting across denomination!  Whaaaa!?
  • Praying for the lost

Great book with some key ideas for many church people to mull over.  I’ll probably be posting more practical ideas of his in the future.  In the mean time, we’re going to try to start doing it!  Join us wherever you are in the world!

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