welcome to the hike!

Working out the call!

I currently living in Millersburg or as God whispered in me ear four years ago in PA, "the land of my Fathers!" MILLERS - burg! OK! The best way to describe my life of late, is simply "Pastor-at-Large" I live "outside the box" of our usual expectation of life, family, employment and even culture. I live, breathe, and weave around a four county area as a local missionary and have learned of so many supportive faith communities. I meet people who contact me where they are in their 'hike 'o life."

The hats I wear are that of Life Coach, Writer, Speaker, Retreat Facilitator, Pastoral Supply, Prayer Counselor and well, whatever God calls on me to do (I actually get paid to do all of these things, which is awesome, unless you are helping me with my books!) I also work to "tent-make my mission work" as a church secretary for a sweet fellowship pastored by one of my favorite seminary prof's.

So what do I want to be when I grow up? Stay tuned! The goals are big and staying solvent month by month is a huge victory, but as I see my own heart and others hearts change and grow in my daily walk, I realize, I am not working for treasures on earth....I have direct deposit above. Guess that's a pretty sweet ride! Lacing up my hiking boots...on the hike o' life!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Fluttering by the Ocean Blue

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." ESV

By the goodness of some kind soul without a security password, my computer picked up internet access and I find myself feet up on the patio writing this blog, I am seeing, hearing, feeling and yes even smelling and tasting the Atlantic Ocean.

Our condo is right against the barrier dunes, we simply travel over the dunes on the wooden ramp about 100 feet to the beach and breaking waves. In the barrier dunes are all kinds of wonderful plants, birds, turtles and BUTTERFLIES.

My family has been having a grand time with butterflies all summer. Mom and dad volunteered at a butterfly exhibit and shared with us the wonder of the butterfly anew. We have been noticing butterflies feeding, laying eggs and even "puddling" (google it if you need to know!) over the last month. My sister as she prepared for a surgery as well has drawn strength and encouragement as she sees God at work in her life and in her family throught the butterflies around her.

My sister in sharing this on her her blog http://www.carepages.com/carepages/Marciajourney/updates/2742288 has lead to many people to see butterflies as prayer triggers for her recovery.

I have been purposefully and intentionally not contacting anyone back home during this time away and God indeed is doing deep and powerful things in my heart even as the waves continue without ceasing. But the butterflies are ever present in my seaside life. I have been noticing tiny yellows and big orange monarchs all in the wonderful barrier dunes between the condo and the water.

Even yesterday as we went to Wilmington to tour and shop, the butterflies were abundantly present in nature and in art. Every lawn I looked at and every store I shopped in there were snowglobes with butterflies, sand dollars with butterflies, t-shirts with butterflies, thimbles with butterflies, necklaces with butterflies and just big decorative BUTTERFLIES everywhere (no I did not purchase any of those!) However, just when I though I went into the shop that certainly would have no butterflies, a gourmet foods market lined with sauces, knives, cookbooks and wine, I looked out near the entry, and saw two gorgeous stained glass butterfly panels. The owner explained that they had belonged to his mother and now have great meaning to him.

Today as I pondered all the butterflies I have been seeing, I looked out again and started counting over 100 butterflies a minute passing to the north over the dunes. This move has been continual all day long regardless of wind or seagulls, sun or shade. These beautiful creatures are moving in their purpose to lay their eggs to begin the life cycle anew. Sis I have been praying for you a lot this week cause thatsa lotta flutterbies honey! And praying and listening I engaging in the truth of the butterfly in my own life as I transition from one stage to the next. I am fluttering I pray, in the right direction to the new life stage of my transformation in Christ.

I penned a little ditty as these thousands of "flying flowers" wove past me today.

Little yellow butterflies
Just gliding by the sea
without a care
their joy they share
as they bounce in the ocean breeze.

They reassure me of God's plan
all things are in His hands.
a purpose, my hopes the fate of man
will all safely and blessedly land.

Allow His word to guide you
Despite the powerful gale
Just trusting in His promises
and then you too can sail.

Through trial, through storm,
through the dark night.
His purposes are sealed
Just lean on Him continually
His great peace is your shield.

So then - as you wonder about on your hike o' life just remember the trusted butterfly. It may seem to only be just fluttering along but it is working out it's purposes all the way along! Peace!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

the ocean and GOD are calling!

I love being near the ocean.

The constancy of waves and tide and sand.

The pause of my journey, my hike, if you will, to stop and pause and see how wonderfully God created the universe.

The ocean is so much bigger than I - and as I try to sort out my life and where it was, where it is and where it is going, those waves are going to wash away all my worries and frustrations and help me focus on what is most important. Hearing what GOD thinks about all this and forgetting those things that really don't matter.

This is what He told Job "And who took charge of the ocean when it gushed forth like a baby from the womb? That was Me! I wrapped it in soft clouds, and tucked it in safely at night." Then I made a playpen for it, a stong playpen so it couldn't run loose, and said 'stay here, this is your place. Your wild tantrums are confined to this place." Job 38: 8-11 (the Message)

My last "big" word from God, was at a metaphorical body of water, as I read Virelle Kidder's book, "Meet Me at the Well." Drawing near to God immediately following my hospitalization last spring, as my parents brought me to their home to recuperate, I prayed and read and soaked in my "brook kerith" as Elijah did (1 Kings 17). He directed me during this time that I completed His call to me for the pastorate in PA. Soon there after I recieved comfirmation my own longing to "return to the land of my father (s).

God often speaks to me at bodies of water. It was at a lake in Kentucky that I truly surrendered my ministry to His terms not my own. It was at Pine Lake that the call and affirmation to serve two summers in the MCC SWAP program became clear. I have fasted and rested many times to oceans, rivers, streams and ponds - all to know more clearly how much God loves me.

So here I am been at a wonderful "Brook Kerith" at my folks home, resting, strengthening and so importantly renewing my spirit in God's care. I am enjoying this wonderful hospitality of my parents sometimes a little too much I think, but yet am beginning to eagerly wonder "what's next"?

And in my wondering, the ocean calls!

Totally out of the blue, a dear friend was gifted an ocean front home for several days and I was invited to enjoy in this blessed gift. So off to Carolina beach we go. Positioning myself in the surf before the vastness of creation, I will pray to clearly hear more on the "coordinates" of the next destination on this lil 'hike 'o life.

But more on that, much more I am sure to come, until then, rest at your brook kerith, and know the ravens will provide you with strength for your hike as well.