Love Dare – Day 16

SUCCESS!

Today was wonderful and simply. In spite of its simplicity, it was quite powerful. I was to pray for Kristin throughout the day.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. James 5:16

I’m not necessarily saying I’m righteous – at least on my own accord. Rather, as a believer, given the Holy Spirit to guide me, I can rest assured that God hears my prayers and is answering them according to His will.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Kristin, I hope you had a wonderful day! I will keep praying for you!

Organized Chaos

It’s funny the way, in such a short time, God has brought me to a point of acceptance of a future outside of Hong Kong. Less than a month ago, I was still in complete denial that I might ever leave the city that has captured my heart, provided me with deep community, and opened the gate to travel around Asia. The truly crazy part is that I’m talking as if this is a done deal. In reality, nothing is set, no decisions have been made, and I’m staying in Hong Kong indefinitely.

I realized the absurdity of how I’m talking about my future while at dinner with my accountability partner, Aaron. [SIDE NOTE shout out: Aaron is a tremendously, wonderful fellow that has made a better man out of me over the course of two years. Thanks Aaron.] Continuing, I’ve started speaking as if I’m planning to leave. And so has Kristin!

The signs certainly seem to point to us departing – Kristin submitted a fantastic application to Princeton Theological Seminary; all of her references already submitted stunning recommendations; her pastor is talking about gathering financial support for graduate school; our close friends and adopted parents are giving us the green light to go; my teaching license came through with swift efficiency and ease; my heart has been 'BIBLE IN OLD CHURCH' photo (c) 2009, carl & tracy gossett - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/changed about needing to stay in Hong Kong; I feel strangely content nurturing the idea of leaving youth ministry after such a ridiculously short stint; & Kristin is loving her online classes and only wants more class time. I’m sure there are more reasons, but I think any readers get the point.

As Aaron said, [I paraphrase] “sometimes God can be tremendously clear, and if all these things have come together for nothing, it would seem a rather cruel joke and ordeal.” Whatever happens, I know that God only has good plans and would never actually be cruel. I’m usually the one that needs to change my perspective!

Kristin and I have decided, long before most of this chaos, to dedicate the month of February to prayer. While praying, we’ve also committed to trusting all this to His hands. Please join us in the prayer as well. I’m excited to see where all this goes…

Falling Asleep in Prayer

It’s an awful, horrible, terrible, no good thing to do.

food decor

Unfortunately, I’ve been flirting with my inner eyelids a little too often recently, and I don’t feel that bad about it.

If I want to combat this “problem,” I’m sure that I simply need to change my posture from sitting to standing. However, I kind of like the idea of falling asleep in Jesus’ metaphysical arms. What better way to enter our dreams than with a little nudge from J.C. and a soft embrace from our Father?!

I mean, I want to accomplish and accumulate some serious prayer time by the end of the year, so I’ll work on getting to bed sooner. At the same time, I’m fairly certain Jesus is cool regarding my prayer shenanigans – as long as my heart is in the right place!

A Giant Sigh of Relief

Jumpphoto © 2011 Hamad AL-Mohannna | more info (via: Wylio)
Finally, after six months of searching, I now have a job for the upcoming school year.

Ironically, in spite of a dozen applications to schools in Hong Kong, I won’t actually be teaching. This was a situation where the job kind of fell into my lap.

Here’s a brief backstory for the new reader: In November of 2010, I decided there was something new in store for me after completing school year. Many thought this was strange because teaching at ICS is a stable job, the students are among the best, and my reputation is quite stellar. What more could a person ask for?

The reasons for leaving are a bit etherial, but here’s what I know: I feel like I’ve been a little stagnant. When you’re stuck, you just need to move. Also, I think it’s healthy for teachers to take a break from time to time. A person needs outside experiences to bring into the classroom. It keeps teachers fresh, relevant, and interesting.

smile!photo © 2006 Sean Jackson | more info (via: Wylio)
Furthermore, as a Christian, I’ve spent time in prayer. The answer (though not audible) I kept getting back was that there was something different from ICS and that I needed to take a step out in faith. I’ve done that, and now I know that it was right.

Next year, I’ll be the assistant youth director at Island ECC. I’ll be working alongside Marcus Kroese and Amanda Fung, and we’ll be building relationships with kids all over Hong Kong. More specifically, I get to work with the middle school age children. I’m really looking forward to a vibrant, high-energy profession and ministry.

As a final note, I want to thank all the people that have stood by me along the way. Thank you to those that prayed for me, encouraged me, and reminded me that something great would come along.