“Whatcha got?”

The title comes from a sermon that Mark Gungor preached to the congregation at Celebration Church in Green Bay a few weeks ago. I like to listen to his daily Internet radio show on marriage, and I tune in to his sermons and Bible studies as well.

In this sermon, Pastor Mark talks about how we and God interact when it comes to life and plans and His will. Christians often wrestle with these things. In fact, we’re wrestling with them as we try to figure out how this transition from Texas to Germany will happen. Our house hasn’t sold yet, and that fact has weighed on our hearts and our heads. But as I listened to this sermon, I could hear God’s voice coming through Pastor Mark’s and feel it reaching into my mind.

The sermon focused on the accounts in the Bible in which we read about God’s eliciting ideas about how to approach the situation at hand. One such time is found in (and around) 1 Kings 22:19-22, in which God is looking for a good way to entice King Ahab to go to war. He apparently rejects other suggestions until one is proposed that He knows will succeed. Pastor Mark emphasized through this example, and others, that God is often watching us for our reactions and ideas. God chooses to work through us humans on purpose. (Consider 1 Corinthians 1:26-27.)

That’s the background for our decision to try a different approach with our house. Pastor Mark asked, “Whatcha got?” and I had to answer, “A house.” This thought dogged me. I had noticed fliers at the office advertising that someone from Wycliffe was now working with a real estate agency in the area of rental property management. The agency is owned and operated by a fellow we know from our homeschool group. “But Lord,” I said, “we don’t want to keep our house.” There are some phrases that you should avoid using with God, and “But Lord …” is one of them.

After looking into requirements and details of renting property with this rental agent, Katherine and I decided that we’ll put it up for lease while we move on toward Germany. We’re offering it up to God, trusting that He’ll approve this idea. Our plan is to work quickly on sorting through the remaining “stuff”, move out of the house into a Wycliffe apartment, and then have a few massive household sales. The house will then be emptied and readied for rental. When that’s done, we’ll leave Dallas and start on the road to Germany.

When you pray, please remember us and our struggle to free ourselves from the things that hold us back from serving the Lord our God with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength. Pray for efficiency, perseverance, and good renters!

Newsletter, April 2010

With all that’s been going on with home renovations, it’s been hard to pull away and write a bit. In the last newsletter I wrote (in December), our email project was about 50% complete. Now, a part of me can rest, since that project is 100% finished. Done! And so far, I haven’t seen much residual work.

So now the big push is to finish the sorting and selling and packing and fixing-up and planning and … you get the idea. Perhaps you’ve been through it yourself. In the newsletter, I describe what we’ve been up to and what lies ahead. In just a few weeks, we’re going to make our first major moving trip, and there’s a lot to do in the meantime.

Please enjoy the newsletter. You will notice that it mentions how much more support we need for our assignment in Germany. You may not be aware that all Wycliffe missionaries raise their own support. We’ll need to get the full amount before we can leave. And that, my friends, is part of what faith is for.

April 2010: A Liddle Good News (for reading on-screen)

April 2010: A Liddle Good News (for printing)

Tear it down, pull it up, sell it

“… let us throw off everything that hinders ….” (Hebrews 12:1)

When I look around our house, especially in its present state – Katherine would be furious if I put up pictures – it becomes all too clear that we have a lot in our life here that hinders us. Old things, books, toys, clothing, furniture, paperwork, the house itself – it all weighs us down. And the process of getting rid of it all, in one fashion or another, is pretty painful. It’s so easy to say, “It’s too much. I just can’t do it.”

There’s a lot that we’re trying to do simultaneously: sell or give away unneeded items, renovate parts of the house, set aside things to put in storage, and prepare for life in Germany. Oh, and while all that’s going on, there’s the daily grind of household and office. “Hey, welcome to real life.”

But is that the way the Liddles are supposed to live? “… let us throw off everything that hinders, and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” I’m not aiming to get preachy – it’s just that the message from God is the only instruction I can truly rely on, especially when struggles in life seem insurmountable. Katherine and I are convinced that God has marked out a race for us. Now He’s watching to see if we’ll run … or if we’ll hide.

Please pray for us to have this perseverance as we literally wade through everything that we’ve accumulated in our time in the U.S. Oh, how the enemy tries to take hold of us through our stuff! Jesus said, “Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.” Unfruitful? I do not want to be like that.

Pray for Katherine and me to have patience with one another as we persevere through this season of stress. A big move will always put stress on a marriage We want to demonstrate to each other, to our sons, to our families, and to anyone else who’s watching (even the enemy!) that the power and love of God can overcome all difficulties.

This week I’ll complete the removal of some of the carpet in the house, clearing the way for the new flooring. We’re setting aside a mountain of things to tag and haul off to a Just Between Friends sale next week. And Katherine and I will be sitting down together with our health records, application forms, and a German dictionary so that we can apply for health insurance over there. Gesundheit! Bitte, beten Sie!

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:2-3) BAM!

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