Tuesday, August 28, 2012

"He (God) relates to us in us-shaped ways." by: Mary DeMuth

He does.
He really does.

Friday last week: Concluded intensive language session B2
Friday last week: Invited the entire class over to my house for an Abschluss Fest.
Friday last week: packed to leave for Inductive Bible Study Course in Switzerland

Friday night last week:
Covered my head with my blankets and cried out in fear, "God how am I going to be able to do an Intensive Inductive Bible Study in German? There is so much I don't know about this language. - How can you possibly be able to use me? This is impossible"

Throwing my feet off of the side of the bed, they hit the floor and pace. My head swims, my dog sleeps, my heart pounds. Where do I go from here?

I tick off the list of things that are pressing in:
  • Travel tomorrow to an unknown place with unknown people
  • Group of women from Texas come in 5 weeks to stay and mission for 2 weeks (continual preparations)
  • Start new classes in German
  • Get phone fixed
  • Continue German tutoring
  • Call the massive list of people I need to call
  • Contact pastors from all the churches I am desiring to work with/confirm flyers
  • Design Flyers
  • Finish Everything Book
  • Write/send out newsletter
  • Wash car/clean house/walk dog/walk me/feed dog/feed me/breath
  • time with God??????
sleep comes with Bible reading

Saturday morning - Sunday evening

I don't know how, I don't know really... don't know how.

I understood almost everything said and done the entire weekend.
Exhausted? YES!
But God knows I have a need to be encouraged. He encouraged by allowing me to dance around in an intensive Inductive Bible Study of Galations IN GERMAN.

Being reminded this as well as so many other truths:
"But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise."  Galatians 3:23-29 NASV

We live by Grace
He is our Everything
He is all I Need
I am an heir to the promise

God knows that when I am spinning out of control - allowing me to swim in His word refreshes and restores me.
And this time, I am refreshed and restored in German.
Miracles Never Cease!

He relates to me in me-shaped ways... He relates to me in written words... He relates to me.
How did He relate to you this past weekend?
How did He relate to you?

Your Mutating Missionary
and Ebenezer

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

"If we obey God it is going to cost other people more than it costs us..." Chambers

“If we obey God it is going to cost other people more than it costs us, and that is where the sting comes in. We can disobey God if we choose, and it will bring immediate relief to the situation, but shall be a grief to our Lord. Whereas if we obey God, He will look after those who have been pressed into the consequences of our obedience. We have simply to obey and leave all consequences with Him." Oswald Chambers

I read this quote recently from the book I am reading by Mary DeMuth, entitled Everything

If you have read this blog for any length of time, you know that I consider Oswald Chambers one of my most long-standing mentors. I have been reading My Utmost for His Highest for over 25 years. I read it almost on a daily basis. It goes well with my Bible Study coffee time.

I call this devotional book My Utmost for His Highest by the author's first name, Oswald

I remember when I was going through a particularly dark time in my past and I lost Oswald. I searched everywhere for him. I was so sad when I couldn't put my hands on him. It was a few weeks before I finally gave up on finding him again. Of course, as God is the finder of lost things, I finally asked him where Oswald might be. That afternoon I vacuumed under my bed. Viola! Mysteriously where I had looked before and not seen, I saw with new eyes. He was there, a bit dusty, but there.  I dusted him off and have not let him out of my sight often since that time.

Upon reading this quote in Mary's book I thought,Thank you God that other people have gleaned so much from one of my favorites. It makes me feel like I am in a family of sorts. We are sharing the same information, being strengthened by the same encouragement.  We are in Your family.

I re-read the quote and put it aside for a while...

Fast forward to Sunday.

I was overwhelmed by the need to talk to my mom. If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you know I do not have a phone right now in my apartment. I have a cell phone, unfortunately it is too expensive to call on that.  I have skype, unfortunately my mom can't seem to make skype work on her computer. So we resort to e-mails.

I sent this last Sunday, mom was fast asleep in Texas:
 Date: Sun, 19 Aug 2012 10:37:43 +0200
Subject: I love you...
From: ...@googlemail.com

I love you... 

 “insert quote”
Oswald Chambers

I miss you – I don’t have a phone – I am sorry.

I love you.


My mom is 83 years old. She came from a very large German Mennonite family. She was gifted with a double cousin family... (that is where two sisters married two brothers).   Neat ... right :-)
That means at Grandma's and Grandpa's family reunions, these cousins were there. We were a tight knit group. 

As of just a few weeks ago the last two members of the double/cousin family passed away. My mom faces the fact that she (one of the older of the family) and her sister (the youngest of the family) are the only two of their generation still alive. It is grieving to us all, but especially to my mom. I think there is a question she asks, Why am I still here?

She wants to gather all her chicks around her at this stage of her life...

And her baby girl is half-way-across-the world! 

She wrote back within a few hours:
 "I am so happy to hear from you, __!!!  Itt's Sunday morning , I'm dressed for church and planned to email both you and C. this a.m. because I haven't heard from you and knew you have no phone.  What's going on with that?  I am so sorry. I know that is a hardship for you .
The word from O.C. is so true.  And so relieving.  What a treasure!"
 I thank you mom for reaching out to be so courageous.

mom's hands, 
the most personal part of our bodies
wipe tears away
share memories of love stories
comfort sick
cradle babies/grandbabies
bake the pie, the cake
hold the Word
our hands 
just might 
give us
a picture into our souls

I am blessed. My mom is not perfect. I am not perfect. But I am thankful for a mother that at age 83 still is able to praise God when a truth is shared.

How blessed I am to have a mother that I can share such powerful words with. I know that she hurts in my being so far away, but she receives it.

And I am thankful. However, it was done by God to allow her to have this peace - I am thankful.

I love you mom!

mutating missionary
and ebenezer

Sunday, August 12, 2012

I'm reading a book entitled Everything. By: Mary DeMuth.
It will be released to the public in October.

It is written by a woman that came to the mission field before I did. She's now back in the states and has been writing and writing and writing since then. Her 'writing' voice has changed a bit during these years. I have been privileged to watch from afar. 

A few weeks ago, I was accepted on her book launching team. Now as we all know, I am a bit technologically challenged. First, I constantly deal with a foreign language. And second, I have no sons or daughter here to explain the fine print! :-)

But, I was accepted. After the acceptance, I was allowed to download the book to read and comment on. I was asked to gather quotes and to come up with fresh ideas on ways to get the news out about the book. And I began to do just that. It has been a powerful read.

But, I wasn't expecting the book to be this kind of book. I don't know exactly what I was expecting, but not this.

At present, this book meets me in actively aware of my inability.

  • I am in an intensive German language course every morning from Monday - Friday. Every day this teacher assigns enough homework to split my head open. 
  • Every day I am called by someone that needs some kind of counsel in some type of way. 
  • And daily I am aware that in about 2 weeks I will begin an Intensive Bible Study in Switzerland - IN THE GERMAN language! 

"God doesn’t call us to bootstrap. He calls us to take off our boots because we stand on holy ground before Him."   Everything by: Mary DeMuth

In the book this quote wasn't hidden in-between the lines. It was up front and personal... but it hit me in my gut.
 Since my return from the 14-month stay in USA (required by law every 5 years...argh) -
  • I have been on this breakneck-speed-hurry-to-recapture the German language BETTER than I held it when I left in January 2011.  
  • I also returned trying to pick up with relationships where the relationships had been left off. I knew it would be different (in my head). And so sad that it really is different. (pastor's have left churches I had begun contacts with / people have changed churches / people have moved away/ etc. etc. etc.) 
  • I break into a new phase of ministry by having a group of women coming in October  to help ... All of this is going on right now and I am on the 'perfectionism' treadmill trying to be ALL that I can be... I am an American, RIGHT!

But God is ripping my boots off. He has me on the floor again.
Whispering deep within my soul, the God of the Universe calls:
 "you can't do this... MM ... you can't do this ...  only I can!"

All study, preparation, mission mindedness, bible reading, memorization, active or inactive relationship building and even prayer is obliged to step away in the wonder of the fact that it is God's hand.

I can do nothing.

And what amazes me: every time God reminds me of this and I truly take a back seat (not a cockpit co-pilot - helping God out seat) a tight little Audi 2-door/ maybe in Yellow, stuck in the trunk, seat. He maneuvers so quickly ... I mean like Autobahn speed and beyond.

Ohhhh praising God. The God who IS, as He reminds me to take off my boots.

He is Present!

Praising Him In These Moments of mystery!

Because He IS the I AM, i am
your mutating missionary
joined by faithful side-kick

Thursday, August 9, 2012

the Discipline 
 Mary DeMuth

A great quote.
It is one of many I have found in this powerful book Everything written by Mary DeMuth
We will be looking at this a lot in the next few days, because I have been accepted as a member of her Book Launching Team.

All of this is very new to me. But powerfully encouraging - the book, the team, Mary.

your mutating missionary
and ebenezer

Friday, August 3, 2012

He doesn't need me. He invites me to be a part of this Journey with Him! by Him! and for Him!

"Now therefore, if you will obey My voice in truth and keep My covenant, then you shall be my own peculiar possession and treasure from among and above all peoples; for all the earth is Mine."   Exodus 19:4

(so is a word I am not allowed to say when speaking in my German class... death I tell you... death!)

I have been thinking about these few things of late:

  1. Living in the understanding that God has supplied every thing He requires from me. - How do I completely do that all the time? 
  2. When I become overwhelmed with living in a foreign country, trying to speak a foreign language and even eating foreign food... How can I run to Him more quickly and more vigorously?
  3. What does it look like to be a woman that knows every moment that God is ENOUGH?
  4. I crave community. How do I remain patient as God brings community into my life? How do I remain patient in the reality that community will never look in Germany like it did in Texas.
  5. How do I exhibit the God who IS in my frailties and foibles?
  6. How do I exhibit the God who IS in my gross failures?
  7. When I see my existence in the entire scheme of things - I recognize it is not about me - I know that! And yet how does He resonate in me, because I also know He desires intimate relationship with me. He constrained Himself into a body to connect with His Children. That would be me too.
  8. Why do so many people have to be mean? - I know, I know... we live in a fallen world.  So, then why do Christians have to be so mean?
  9. Questioning and probing our personality traits is not only powerful, but healing. However, when we are in those ranks of 'not often seen'... we must say: God made me this way - God is Good - He gives His children good gifts. This must be one of those.  --- no matter what the rest of the world thinks. ... I find Him overjoyed at my peculiarities.
  10. I am more content in Him than ever before. I find Him with me in my questions. I find Him happy to see me in my red-prayer-chair. I find Him holding me in the piled up pillows and wound round blankets of my wondrous cast iron bed.
  11. How do I exhibit the God who IS in the successes that He grants along the way?
  12. How do I exhibit the God who IS to someone that I cannot speak to?

This last question is the humdinger! He alone can do this. And that dear reader, that is the most amazing thing. Why, you might ask.  Because, I ... little ole' me in this little ole' corner of this little ole' Black Forest in this corner of Europe... I have been up close and personal as He has done it.

And when I remember that - I think to myself: He doesn't need language - He just asks me to be available. Must I learn the language? Yes! But God doesn't need language. He doesn't need people. He doesn't need His children to share Himself.

He invites us in to be a part of the miracle. And because I can't always make myself understood through words, I get to see that in real-time.  In the USA I was able to only conjure up that reality in my mind - not experience. He doesn't need me. He invites me to be used by Him.

"For you are a holy people [set apart] to the Lord your God; and the Lord has chosen you to be a peculiar people to Himself, above all the nations on the earth." Deuteronomy 14:2

because He IS the I AM, i am
your mutating missionary
and ebenezer