|10,000+ ft elevation quiet time!!!
It is fascinating how God speaks to us.
Our church’s men’s group held a Friday thru Saturday retreat at Bear Trap Ranch, a small church camp located at ~9,000 ft above sea level an hour from our home in Colorado Springs.
This wasn’t my first time to this camp.
|Can you find Jonny Mountain Man??? Bear Trap Ranch Summer Staff circa 1997
21 years ago, after my sophomore year of college, I participated in an intensive discipleship program through Inter Varsity Christian Fellowship. Roughly half of our summer was focused on being counselors for “Family Camps” where we held VBS-like camps for the children/teens and the other half was spent learning evangelism, Inductive Bible Study techniques and a variety of other Christian leadership “tools”.
Needless to say it was a very pivotal time of spiritual growth as I have since been involved in Christian leadership on campus, in the local church and on the mission field! I hold many fond memories of Bear Trap and never expected to return…
I arrived a day early for the retreat in order to spend some time alone with the Lord and to see if I could remember some of my experiences at BTR! This was a wonderful opportunity for me as our family has been walking through points of restoration and healing since our return to the United States.
As I hiked some of the old Bear Trap trails, I didn’t receive any neon signs or visions from the Lord, but a simple heart-spoken word that said “You are loved” and “enjoy My creation around you.”
It was a refreshing time, yet God wasn’t done speaking.
The next morning, during a study of Proverbs 2 & 3 that elevated Christ as the wisdom that all men seek and seek to become, God spoke profoundly to me.
We were asked to consider three questions as we studied Proverbs:
1) Who am I?
2) Who do I wish to be or become?
3) Am I willing to do what it takes to get there?
21 years ago life was a lot simpler. I was a student and a son – and my heart was to be more like Jesus! A LOT has happened since that camp experience. I became an employee, a husband, a father, a pastor and a missionary… and all the various roles that those “titles” include.
Though my desire has consistently been to become more like Christ, in that moment I realized that my aim had gone off target. With the accumulation of all these additional roles over the last 21 years, I’ve focused on the “titles” and NOT my identity. So, my well-intended focus on being a good father, husband, missionary, etc unintentionally caused me to lose sight of my one true goal and purpose: to be a child of God.
As Matthew 6:33 states, once I get my eye’s on Jesus & His kingdom all the other things will come into focus.
Life in ministry and on the mission field can leave you pretty beat up and focused on what you’re not and what you lack. This has led to some deep internal & mental battles over the last few years (aka “burn out”). What a relief to be reminded of the simple truth that my aim is to grow as a child of God (my identity) & He will bring the growth/change in those other areas of life.
I miss “home” deeply and the unfulfilled vision of Rancho Oasis for Youth still lingers, but I love our new church family and where God has placed us for this season of healing!
It is good to “Be still” and know that He is God!
Please continue to PRAY for us:
|Back in the saddle with Rosie!
- Marillyn & Naomi will be attending a women’s retreat in October. Please pray that God will minister as much to them as He did to me.
|Naomi Shalom: 12 years complete and counting!!!
- Preparation & breakthrough at the DAR Reentry Program in March 2019
|Tabitha Charis @ 10 years!!!
- Continued victory in counseling over some of the emotional, spiritual & psychological strongholds that we wrestle
|Recent painting job I finished... praying about more work in this area!
- Wisdom & discernment for our future source of income
& areas of service
- Though approved initially Marillyn is still waiting for the “go ahead” from Miracle Ear for a new hearing aid. (She needs a new one desperately!)
- For our children to continue to grow in the grace & knowledge of Christ and to understand their giftedness. (Here is great article to learn how to specifically to pray for "third-culture" kids.)
A R C H E R Y It’s so amazing watching her as she gets into position, raises her bow, and mentally quiets herself before letting that arrow fly. Her mind tends to fly all over the place when she quiets herself, but archery is teaching her to discipline and control that better. Her coach is truly a God-send and exactly the kind of coach she needs to be affirmed, challenged, and bettered as a person and as an archer
Never thought one of my kids would try archery and get so hooked into it. That’s exactly what Tabi did and she’s a natural! This is perfect sport for her and she’s already talking about qualifying for the Jr. Olympic team
We’ve been praying for each of our kids to find their sport/activity that will help them in a fun, therapeutic way. For years horse back riding was extremely therapeutic for me and I wanted that for each of my kids as they slowly transition to living in the US of A. So far, all the kids have found their place and doing so good... especially Tabi. She struggled the most in finding a sport that clicked with her. She tried a few different things before announcing, out of the blue (really), that she wanted to try archery. Honestly, it never crossed our minds to consider archery, but we signed her up for a few lessons and she was hooked from the very first lesson! If you look closely on her arm... you will see a henna tattoo done of the mocking jay symbol from Katniss of Hunger Games. Tabi hopes to shoot just as good as her.
|So grateful to keep some of our most prized possessions from life in Honduras!!!
- PRAISE for the arrival of our Honduran shipment; Prayer for
the courage to unpack it all!
- For Marillyn’s Young Living side-business
(Contact Marillyn @ firstname.lastname@example.org for more info on natural products & essential oils.)
|Christmas Tree Anyone???
- Trade School Jewelry Sales!!!
(Write Marillyn at email@example.com to PRE-ORDER your Christmas Trees TODAY!!!)
- PRAISE for a good start to homeschooling! (Mare is focusing on Naomi & Tabitha, I am with Tobias and Poema is with Brooke!)
|Late Summer Fun!!!
- A buyer for our donated 2005 mini-van & a four-door truck with comparable price and good mileage!
- A Christian individual/family/ministry to purchase our 17 acre property in Honduras.
- Grace & Peace as we share a home with Marillyn's parent's, Wayne & Brooke Goranson; PRAISE for the harmony we share!!!
S P A C E \\ this girl... no fence will stop her from exploring. In Honduras, she lived her whole life exploring open pastures and mountains with her siblings with the nearest neighbor being a good distance away. It’s strange to walk out to our backyard and have such a small space... to be “contained” within a fence and see 4 houses surrounding us. It sometimes feels slightly claustrophobic. We prefer the wide open spaces or at least to have more space between houses, but we are blessed to have this house with its small backyard... It’s home. It’s our safe haven. It’s perfect for what we need during this season of life for our family.
|Labor Day Lift Off - 2018 - Colorado Springs
AS ALWAYS, THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT, PRAYERS AND WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT!!!