Monday, September 17, 2012

More Than We Could Ask or Imagine

We wanted to share with you all our exciting news! We are expecting a baby in early March, and we are absolutely THRILLED! I am currently at 16 weeks, and it has been such an adventure so far, processing together the fact that there is a little life growing inside of me. A life that we can’t wait to be a part of, sharing in adventures as a family, and discovering together the blessings of our Lord!

We wanted to share this with all of you to show how God has been faithful in answering prayers. This past year has been a year of grieving for us because Drew and I had two babies who went to be with the Lord before this one. Our first miscarriage happened in early July 2011 and the second happened in November 2011. Our hearts have been so broken over the loss of these two little lives. As we wrestled through all of this together we were shocked at how many families have faced this part of the brokenness of this world. As we shared our story with others Drew and I realized that many families who experience miscarriage often suffer in silence. The truth is that these two little lives are not just a loss for us, but a loss for our friends, our family, and the covenant community. We all miss out on meeting these little ones! It took a lot of time to work through all of our feelings, and trust that the Lord is good despite our loss. Miscarriage, just like all the brokenness of this world, was caused by the fall that we as humans caused. Drew and I had to confess our own sense of entitlement, believing that we deserved to have these babies because of the things we have done for the Lord. We came to realize that it is really by God’s grace that we have any blessing, and not out anything that we deserve. This past year we have learned more and more what it means to cling to the grace of God, and to confess our need for him. We have cried out to God so many times asking him to bless us with a child. Not just us, but so many friends and family have joined us in this prayer. It was such a joy to find out I was pregnant this summer, and from the beginning we have seen God’s grace continue to give us the ability to trust him and his protection of this child.

So why do I write all of this out? I wanted you all to rejoice with us and praise God for his faithfulness! Our God hears and answers prayers. The gospel is what gives us our hope knowing that Christ came to die for our sin and to heal the brokenness of this world. These are verses that we have really clung to:

Ephesians 3:14-21

“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

There are many families who grieve because they themselves have experienced miscarriage or infertility. My prayer is that Paul’s words in Ephesians bring you hope. God is able to do far more then we can even imagine. Let’s cling to the hope of his grace together.

-Lindsey

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Drew VS. Details

Linds and I sat down to look over our personal budget and financial situation for a little bit last night, and even I was a little shocked at how quickly my mind was feeling detached, floating aimlessly through the dark caverns of confusion and distraction. I'm not good with details; it can be a real struggle for me to hold on to all the little pieces. And thus when the complexities and meticulous things come up in life, I tend to step forward with trepidation and fear, expecting disaster.

Yeah, that's not so good.

Calvin comments on Psalm 16:8 that "David kept his mind so intently fixed upon the providence of God, as to be fully persuaded, that whenever any difficulty or distress should befall him, God would always be at hand to assist him." That's why David didn't run from lions, from giants, from maniacal hordes, or even from deranged homicidal kings.

Now I don't know too many lions, giants, hordes, or kings, but this morning I've got to figure out some tax stuff, and I'm scared stiff! AH! It is easy for me to trust the Lord as the God of outcomes, physical needs, and general providence, but I am ashamed of how little I trust him as the God of rows and columns, the God of forms, or the God of administrative tasks. Sometimes faith and trust don't require as much dramatic movement as they do patient focus.

Still, I think I'd often take a raving giant over these peripheral technicalities!

- Drew

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Alaska VS. Marriage

This last week Linds and I were privileged to celebrate our seventh anniversary! Now, through the gift of a week in a friend's condo, and the bazillion frequent flier miles we've racked up with our GYFM travels, we were able to celebrate with a trip to our nations most northern state, Alaska! Now that we are back, it strikes me how the state of Alaska and our marriage have several strong similarities:
  • It's DEFINITELY worth the effort: at every stop we've found ourselves going "Wow, we need to record this so we can remember it forever!"
  • It's not even close to being safe: we never know when we are going to round a corner and meet a danger - it is always wise to be "Bear Aware."
  • "Adventure is out there!": it just doesn't get old or boring, there are always new challenges, new pleasures, new disappointments, new opportunities.
  • It is constantly surprising: there is always more going on than we expected, and it is a great blessing to stop and explore all the details.
  • It requires a lot of you: it doesn't take long to experience sensory overload, and can take some extra umph to engage it well - and yet it's always worth it.
  • It is always a signpost: each new view inspires awe, not only at the beauty before us, but at the Designer who crafted it.
I could go on, but you get the picture. It's been an AMAZING past seven years of adventure to be married to my Lindsey Anne, and just like Alaska, I just don't ever seem to be able to get enough.


The town we stayed in

Picking wild daisies :)

The Alaska Train!

No kidding, we arrived on the day of the local Blueberry Festival!

A gorge on one of our hikes

The base of Byron Glacier

The inn where we stopped for lunch

No joke, I caught it with my bare hands!

This little guy just kept swimming circles past the window!

My Baby, the explorer

It was such a blessing to be able to be there!

- Drew

PS - Thanks to Matt for loaning us the camera we took all these photos with!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Suffering, and 2nd Timothy.

During a counseling class at Covenant Theological Seminary, a professor encouraged us to think in terms of "Systems Theory," viewing the network of family relationships like a delicate mobile. As long as everything stays the same and doesn't shift, balance can be maintained and everything flows, but you change one aspect, even just a little, and the whole system is rocked. The challenge is not for a person to START maturing, but rather for a person to MAINTAIN their maturity, because as soon as they renter the system, the whole thing is thrown off balance, the resulting chaos is then blamed and the one who is maturing, and each player in the system attempts to undo the changes in the one who has grown.

Reading through 2nd Timothy again, the theme of Paul's own "suffering" and the ways that he encourages Timothy to "share in suffering" began to make sense to me in light of System Theory. In Christ, when we begin to grow and act according to his design of things rather than according to the broader system of sin and fallenness, the balance is rocked, and the whole system begins to push back against the changes that are growing. For some this looks like imprisonment, for some like betrayal, for some like attack, for some like social rejection, for some like just never quite fitting in, for some like direct challenge in the workplace, for some like abandonment by families. However this suffering is experienced, the message of 2nd Timothy stands as strong and true todays as it did when Paul first penned it: "Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted...But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed...which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus" (2nd Timothy 3:12-15)

In the counseling room, while you warn clients that their growth will often bring about more challenges, the truth of the matter is that by maintaining their growth, they begin to change the system, and it is forced to recon with the same kind of health itself. Therefore, "share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling...which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted" (2nd Timothy 1:8-12).

-Drew

*Photo from Fine Art America of Carolyn Weir's Raindrops Kinetic Mobile Sculpture

Friday, July 20, 2012

Spokes

Now that I am a licensed preacher in the Presbyterian Church in America (half way to ordination, oh yeah!), I've had a few opportunities to prepare sermons for different congregations. Most recently, while traveling through California on a support raising trip, I was invited to preach at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Bakersfield, CA. It was a blast to be there, and it was wonderful to be able to meet face to face with many of the people throughout California who have been such an encouragement to us over these last few years. The challenging responsibility of all preaching is to ground each topic in the core of the gospel without getting distracted and tangled up in all the other overlapping concepts, truths, reflections, profundities, etc.. It is like trying to follow a single spoke of a bicycle wheel from the rim all the way to the hub without getting your vision caught up on all the others; to choose a single concept and trace out its roots simply and clearly down to the heart of the gospel in such a way that, so far from being crossed, confused, and wrapped up in the adjacent and overlapping concepts, the single thought actually elucidates the connected ideas, as well as the greater structure they form, all the more.

All that to say, one of the things I am learning right now is that truth of the statement that the hardest part of crafting a sermon is deciding what NOT to preach. The beauty of Scripture is that this is a REALLY hard challenge.

- Drew

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

GYFM Mentored Internships

God is doing amazing things through the GYFM team, and we are so excited to continue to share with you how God is using us to reach the next generation! This summer our team launched our first mentored internship program in Progreso Mexico. Team member Jonathan Taylor is heading up this part of the ministry and other GYFM staff will be there this summer to help support and train the interns. There are three college aged interns serving this summer in Progreso alongside MTW missionary David Correra and Iglesia Presbiteriana. The interns will be working with youth from this church as well as participating in mercy ministry. Throughout their six weeks they will be trained in spanish culture and language, youth culture and youth ministry principles, and cross cultural ministry. They will have many opportunities to process their experiences and reflect on what they see around them! Please pray for these interns this summer. We have already seen God do amazing things in the short time that they have been there. We are so excited about these interns and look forward to seeing how the Lord uses them.

Here is a picture of the interns being introduced to the youth group!

-Lindsey

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Laverne

I went on a hospital visitation the other day with one of the pastors from our church. Visitations are actually a pretty large part of this pastor’s job, and this was the second time I’ve been able to go out with him as he makes his rounds. As we walked up to the rehabilitation section of the nursing home I was given a little information on Laverne: she and her husband had lost a daughter in a car accident, the marriage began to fall apart, and a few years later he left her. She’s been a member at our church since that time 20 years ago, but her health is now bad enough that it is a challenge for her to leave her home.

We signed in at the front desk, walked down the hall, past a frail and fading gentleman who sat sleeping in his wheelchair, found the right room, scooted past the quiet occupant of the first bed, and met Laverne reclined in the second. Because I had been out with this pastor once before I knew a little of what to expect about how he would spend our time with Laverne, but it was still pretty amazing to observe. We walked in, and he spoke a few words, listened a lot, read a passage of Scripture, asked if there was anything he could do to help her out at all (we arranged to have communion administered to her in her home the next week), prayed, and then left. It was touchingly simple, and yet touchingly powerful. What particularly stood out to me was when the paster, an older gentleman with a deep weathered voice, read Ephesians 3, subbing in her name for all the appropriate personal pronouns:

For this reason I bow my knees before the father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant Laverne to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in her inner being, so that Christ may dwell in Laverne’s heart through faith - that she, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that Laverne may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Hearing to Word of God is a powerful thing. As he read, even the quiet occupant of the first bed tuned in to listen. When we had said our goodbyes to Laverne and were walking back out past the first bed, the occupant smiled and thanked us as warmly as if it had been her name in the Scripture rather than Laverne’s.

-Drew

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Beautiful Tradition





























This summer I am helping to lead a Bible study on the topic of hospitality.  We are hosting a "Supper Club" and gathering together to plan a meal, prepare it, and fellowship around the table while we enjoy the blessing of delicious food.  I am basing the study around the book Making Room, Recovering Hospitality as a Christin Tradition by Christine D. Pohl.  I am sitting at Barnes and Noble feasting on the authors words as she describes the beauty of the call to hospitality.  She describes how hospitality combines the practice of bearing God's image, helping to dignify that image in other people, as well as being reminded of the gospel as we welcome the needy and broken.  What a gift and blessing to practice this in our lives.  I thought I would give you a taste into what the author describes.  I am really looking forward to continuing to put this study together and then discussing this with other sisters in Christ.


"God's guest list includes a disconcerting number of poor and broken people, those who appear to bring little to any gathering except their need.  The distinctive quality of Christian hospitality is that it offers a generous welcome to the "least," without concern for advantage or benefit to the host.  Such hospitality reflects God's greater hospitality that welcomes the undeserving, provides the lonely with a home, and sets a banquet table for the hungry."

Praise God that because of Christ, we as broken, needy, and poor can now dine at his banquet table.  My prayer is that I learn more this summer how to respond to this grace that I have received, and bless others with this same love.

-Lindsey

Painting: Supper at Emmaus (Caravaggio), Milan

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Mystery.

-Naph Marshal, 5/3/12
"For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away... For now we see in a mirror dimly but then face to face.  Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been known."
- I Corinthians 13:9-12

I'm currently in the midst of studying for a pretty major exam that I will be taking (in just a few hours actually) as part of my licensure and ordination in the PCA.  Granted, I don't know if I would quite describe this as a "fun" ordeal, but it has certainly been a good one.  Studying for these exams have required me to cover such a broad scope of knowledge and reflections that, every once in a while, as I get lost in daydream or immersed in reflection, and I catch just a glimpse of the Grand Story, the Meta-Narrative, the Deep Gospel, and am stopped short at the glory of God's work in this world.  Not the whole thing, mind you - that would probably knock my socks off - but just enough to elicit deep pangs of longing and wonder about all the dots not connected, all the enigmas yet obscured, all the shards and pieces of this smudged and broken mirror that we are yet too fractured to properly reflect or observe - and all this coupled with the promise that one day, it will all be made new and brought into focus.  And yet, I imagine that will probably only deepen the mystery.  Mystery; to dream is a beautiful thing.

-Drew

Monday, April 30, 2012

Opening Doors in the Setting of Beautiful Mountains

Drew and I have been in Colorado for the last couple of days sharing about our call to work with GYFM.  It's been a really great trip and we have enjoyed reconnecting with so many friends.  We lived here during our first two years of marriage, and worked with the youth at Village Seven Church.  We have taken some time during this trip to drive around to both of our old apartments as well as some other favorite spots around the city, and it's been so neat to have a ton of memories flood back.  We were able to sit with friends over coffee and laugh about the old times, and cry about the hard things that have happened in the last five years of life.  Relationships are an amazing gift from the Lord.  Colorado is so beautiful, and this trip has reminded us again of God's goodness as we look at the amazing mountains outside.

Our goodbye party in 2007 with the youth from Village Seven!









Drew and I on top of Mount Belford in 2007.  It was important for us to climb a fourteener before we left Colorado for good!

One of the views of Pikes Peak that we had this weekend.
On Friday night we had a gathering of about 20 people over for a dessert at our friend Joe and Gwen's house.  We both felt so loved by the response we received from them about our ministry with GYFM, and it was so great to see so many familiar faces.  Yesterday at church we saw the Lord open doors and bring people in our path who we had known years ago, as well as new people who were immediately excited about our ministry.  We put a lot of work and time in setting up meetings for these trips, but I am so grateful when I see how the Lord opens up doors for conversations that I never saw coming.  We are grateful for all of the connections we have made here, and for those who are praying for us and committed to supporting us financially.


So thankful for everyone who came!
We are praying that the Lord establishes a great foundation of supporters here in the Springs so that we can continue to come back and deepen the relationships with our friends here for years and years to come!

-Lindsey

Friday, April 6, 2012

Celebrating Christ


The Promised Redeemer Has Come


Colossians 1:15-20

"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross."

I have been spending a lot of time in Colossians lately and I really love these verses.  Christ is preeminent and before all things!  Christ's death and resurrection, which we celebrate this weekend, is what gives us hope and was the event that forever changed the world.  The peace we have because of the cross is our only hope, and we wait in anticipation for his second return when he will reconcile all things to himself for the rest of eternity!  Christ has died, Christ has risen, and Christ will come again!

-Lindsey

Photo taken by our friend Wes while we were on the island of Mull in Scotland



Thursday, April 5, 2012

Transformation, What a Great Word!

My small group of Jr. High girls at an Area Retreat in Mexico
A few weeks ago I went to a Young Life Banquet and was reminded again how much I love youth ministry!  During the program about 15 high school students ran out from the back wearing neon colored t-shirts with expressions of love for young life.  They were all holding pieces of cardboard and proceeded to, one by one, come up on stage and display words expressing what their lives were like before Christ, and then turning over the cardboard the other side expressed what their life is like now that they know Jesus.  It was moving!  Later on the speaker made the comment that a young life leader doesn't just see a 12, 14, or 17 year old in the crowd at a young life meeting, but rather a changed marriage and a changed family.

Being at this banquet and seeing all these things reminded me of the word "transformation."  It's a word I love, and I think it does a great job of describing the gospel.  The students displayed with their signs how the gospel has transformed them.  The speakers word echoed the word transformation.  Students lives are forever changed when they see, experience, and receive Christ.

The word transformation is the whole reason we felt called to jon GYFM.  Reaching young people with the gospel is truly transformational ministry.  Not only is a person changed, but a whole generation is changed.  Scripture is clear that when we become believers that we are changed, transformed.

Colossians 1:13, "He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."

2 Corinthians 5:17: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold the  new has come."

God's word calls us to share the good news of his love with the next generation.

Psalm 145:4, "One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts."

Look for ways to share the love of God with the next generation and watch transformation happen!

-Lindsey

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Anchored


Linds and I just came back from a trip down to Cary, NC (visiting the people and the church where we met and fell in love), and it was truly a wonderful time of sharing our vision and calling and reconnecting with old friends. However, as with almost all trips, upon coming back home all the details and little things that had to wait while we were away seem to come flooding back over us, clouding out the joy and excitement we felt while away.

This is SO hard to fight! Anxieties feel as though they can seep in threatening to drown us no matter what is going on in life. In Jr. High I worried over fitting in and having friends; in high school I worried over romance and my emotions; in college I worried over my competency in my studies; after college I worried over the details of bills, money, and plans; in graduate school I worried over papers, deadlines, and my own personal calling; and now that seminary is done I find myself worrying over just about anything my mind can get it's hands on! AH! It's like trying to swim against an emotional rip-tide of doubt, feeling constantly on the verge of being inescapably swept away from solid ground into the deep dark depths of churning anxiety.

Being a subjective being in this life, I find it necessary to have anchors into the objective, ties that hold me into Truth that is greater than I am. It is in these times of uncertainty that I am reminded of Peter, and his response to Jesus after he had offered an extremely confusing rebuke to many would-be followers. Jesus turned to his disciples (who were just as confused as everyone else) and asked "Do you want to go away as well?" Peter laid all his cards on the table saying, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." The sea was rough and not much made sense, but Peter had an anchor and he clung to it. In these moments of dusk and shadows, when the tide is pulling and chaos threatens, the worst thing I can do is let go of my anchor. Through each of the life stages I mentioned above, as well as the anxieties that went with them, I have weathered the storm because I have an anchor that holds me fast; where else could I go?

As you think of us over the next few days, please pray for the vision to see through the busy details and on ahead to our destination. I'd be lying if I didn't confess that it's hard sometimes, but that is when my anchor in Christ and his Story proves its worth. Thank you for your prayers, and for doing so much to point us back to our anchor.

Drew

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Oh Me of Such Little Faith

If you haven't heard yet we are missionaries with Mission to the World, and therefore we are called to raise our own support in order to do this work that the Lord has called us to. We continually talk about, on our team, how we should not just see this support raising period as another waiting zone, but rather as a strategic time in our ministry. I am sure you can imagine that it doesn't always feel that way, and sometimes (a lot of times) we feel very discouraged. Well God has done a lot lately to remind us that this is his calling for us and that he will bless our efforts. He truly is faithful to us!

-A dear family member told us that she wanted to support us, but didn't have the money so she prayed that God would provide it. A few months later she received a raise and was able to begin to support us at $50 dollars a month.

-Our ministry is complicated to explain because it is outside the box of traditional missions work. Some friends here in Annapolis invited us over for dinner and we spent the next several hours laughing and sharing a meal together. As we explained our ministry their excitement was so evident and they even had new ideas for us and tangiable ways they could partner with us. They have committed to pray to see how the Lord will lead them to support us.

-While we were at Covenant we met a new friend and received the most uplifting and encouraging email from him letting us know how much he respected what we are doing and will be praying for us.

-Meeting with the missions committee at our church the man who prayed for us was brought to tears because of how much he longs to see us be fully funded and his own passion for reaching the next generation. Needless to say, this made us feel very loved.

-Then just today as I looked at our support account online my attitude was not very positive because it's not growing as quickly as we would like, but as I looked at another page I found 2 large one time gifts from dear friends and was almost brought to tears at God's provision.

We are so incredibly humbled by all of you who support us through financial gifts and prayers. The generosity of so many is truly humbling and reminds us of the importance of being a blessing to others.

Please continue to pray for us as we raise our support and look to the future of our ministry of reaching the nations and the next generation!

-Lindsey

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Checkin' Out Chatty

Linds and I had the privilege this last week of spending some time visiting Covenant College to explore a little more of what our life might look like when we have our support raised. It was a wonderful trip! While we were there we were able to meet with several people at Covenant who are already focused in on TCKs and MKs, and we were impressed by how much they have going on, and encouraged by the ways they were excited to have us coming!

Since much of the work we will be doing requires a lot of traveling to visit the mission sites of many of our MTW families, we have the privilege of being pretty flexible on the location where we would like to live. Because of this, living near a university that consistently draws TCK students is very attractive. Living near Covenant College would give us a pretty awesome position to minister not only when we are abroad, but gives us plenty of opportunities to do local ministry in our own backyard with many of the TCKs who have come back to the states for university.

It was pretty cool to dream about the ways that we could be a part of life around Covenant College. We had a great time getting to know some of the students, and are pretty excited about the doors that could open for us there! Please pray that our support raising efforts would be fruitful, that we would have donors coming on with monthly support, and that we would be launched into our work very soon!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Odd Reminder of Providence

So after spending a few hours studying in good ol' Barnes and Nobel yesterday, I walked out to my trusty steed of a Saturn and was surprised to find her not so trusty. Indeed, she let me down and would not even pretend to start. Dejected, I called USAA and had the old thing towed to our mechanic. Bummer.

It was weird though, because despite the inconvenience of being out of a mode of transportation for the day, I felt rather positive about the whole thing. After spending the last four years in school, any time something goes wrong with the car it means added debt, late papers, and less sleep. This time however, we had roadside assistance so the tow was no problem, the bill was a little steep to get to get it fixed, but we've got just enough money to cover it, and because we've got some good friends in the area (thanks Rachel!), we were still able to fill our responsibilities and make it to all of our appointments on time! Amazing! It actually felt pretty great to have the car break down, because we were very clearly reminded of the ways God provides for us even in the midst of these things.

Yes, we are still toiling away at several jobs and working hard on our support raising, but even in this time if transition God has blessed us, and it felt like love the ways that he enabled this problem to be a much smaller bump for us.

-Drew

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

On Childhood's End

Yesterday, while doing the dishes I wanted to listen to something a little more substantial than the usual Pandora stations I often put on (Edward Sharp & the Magnetic Zeros have done me well lately), and so I browsed through the different options I had available and settled on NPR's Youth Radio. Here I found a LOT of interesting snippets of things produced by, reflected on, and commentated about by, you guessed it, people within what we in GYFM are calling the 10/30 window, the unreached group of people between ten and thirty years of age.

I had a great time listening through many of the different programs, all about 5 minutes long, and was struck by the broad spectrum of issues there are to explore within this meta-culture. Just searching for the word 'adolescent' on their webpage brought up dozens of articles coving literary engagement, teen weight-loss surgery, sleep deficits, transgender convictions, juvenile antidepressants, and even the rising use of cholesterol drugs in children. However, what struck me the most was that while often observed and solicited, those within the 10/30 window are only rarely engaged; while they yet need to be so very direly!

While it is truly all well and good to explore what their interests are, where their challenges lie, and how they process their experiences, who is there to work with or even mentore them? To challenge them in their personal and spiritual development? To walk with them through their pain, shout with them in their anger, and jump up and down with them in their joys and success? Listen to the show I've linked to below. How will you follow the call to "proclaim [God's] might to another generation, [his] power to all those to come" (Psalm 71:18)? Please pour your heart out in prayer for those who will, and already are, rising up behind us, and consider whether you might support Lindsey and I in the work we are doing in the 10/30 window with GYFM.






- Drew

Monday, January 16, 2012

Harold Bloom and Common Grace

This morning I am looking out over the half frozen over Severn river and reading Harold Bloom's reflections on "The Art of Reading Poetry," the introduction to his collection of "The Greatest Poems of the English Language." Sitting here sipping on a slowly cooling cup of coffee, I am struck by several things. First, by the delight it is to revel in the artistry of the way God's nearly cloudless sky is yet transformed into a profoundly subtle shade of pink with the rising of his sun. Incredible! What lessons of his tender greatness we should draw from not only this artfully gentle fracturing of light, but also from the ways that mankind is universally drawn up in his tracks to, even if only for a moment, stand in wondering appreciation of it.

Second, the intricate ways that he has equipped mankind with the ability follow in his footsteps by both crafting and appreciating our own creations; truly this must be one of the most privileged aspects of being made in his own image. We often take this as the height of man's glory, and yet only rarely is it recognized and affirmed as signature of our author.

Finally, as the title of Dr. Bloom's introduction names, the appropriate observation of and engagement in another's creation is an art itself, and thus requires skill, intentionality, and effort. While the finest artists (both man and God) pour themselves selflessly out into the production of their works, it stands to reason that the observers (as we all cannot help but be), bear a responsibility to, while caught in fascination by what we have encountered, extend the effort to praise and be moved by the skill of the artist.

- Drew

*The photo of the Severn above, while taken on a summer's evening, still somehow bears rather similar coloration to what I observed this morning.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The 10/30 Window

After writing in and having his thoughts printed in WORLD magazine, Jonathan Taylor, a team mate of ours, inspired one of the journalists at the publication to dig a little deeper. As such, this month both Jonathan and our team leader, Eric Larsen, were interviewed by World Magazine about the "10/30 window" (the people between the ages of ten and thirty who now comprise over 50% of the globe's population), touching on issues of extended adolescence, generational divisions, and the globalization of youth culture. It's pretty neat to not only see the field we are working in gain recognition, but it is especially exciting to have the privilege of being a voice in the conversations about how to work in it well!

Take a moment to check out the article, The Other Unreached People Group, and tell us what you think about it. What do you think about the category of the "10/30 window?" Is this a helpful way to frame a people group?