Friday, July 24, 2009

2 days

So I'm heading home early!

so stoked!! I fly out of france sunday evening. spend the night in London, and then fly out at noon on monday arriving in NY at 2:20 EST.

Everyone is leaving so I rebooked my ticket. So $250 service fee (covered by my awesome grandfather), a few stupid fears, and an awesome God moving later, I get to be home 4 days early.

Stories everywhere. Love everywhere. Cannot wait to see all your faces

Sunday, July 19, 2009


My friend mike posted a "bucket list" note on facebook, and it got me thinking a lot about things. I don't really believe in trying to act as though you only have one year to live. Some of the best things in life come to you, and shouldn't be rushed, but the concept, coupled with my experience here in France, has stirred something in me. God is much less likely to give us what we want if we don't ask (either that, or we won't have eyes to see it because we don't know its what we want). So I've decided to make a bucket list of sorts. not because I see some impending doom on the horizon, but because I want to set my desires before God so that I see clearly what it is I want, and so that I can rejoice when each thing comes to pass. I'm probably not going to make the list completely public because "... when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you" (Matthew 6:6), but I may share a few as I see opportunites arise.

just kind of encouraging you to do the same. maybe? and if you already have, sweet!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Yes, I'm still alive haha

Last night I got back from a holiday weekend with the Peigné Family. The house we were at didn't have internet, so no blogging. I haven't not had internet for four days since I was like 14. It was good. I spent a lot of time outside. went for a couple hikes, read a lot (Josh, I finished the Breviary you gave. The last two chapters were the best), and wrote a few songs.

We went to a small town a couple of hours away from Marseilles called Chantillon. It was right by a small river called the Bez. The first day I was there I went under the bridge and just sat in the quiet with my feet in the water. awesome.

The next day we went to a nearby lake and had a picnic. cool stuff, super nice weather, even better food.

Saint etienne is not a big city, but there is plenty of light pollution, so no stars. Chantillon has a few streetlights, but not many, so sunday night I opened up my window to get some air and looked up, Bam. I was mesmerized, so I went outside to do some stargazing. I then realized that it was absurdly late. so I went back inside, but in trying to lock the door I got Mr Peigné's attention and he showed me what to do. (still don't know why he was sitting in the kitchen). I then remmembered the advice I had gotten from Cam again "do thing's you wouldn't ussually do" So I went back outside and walked around town for a while. There was a carnival type thing going on so I walked up to it and looked around. It was ok. Kind of trashy, way too much alcohol, so I walked back to where we were staying and went down on the edge of the Bez and started to just throw Rocks in the water and talk to God. It was refreshing and peaceful, and the stars were beautiful. Around 12:30 I went back up to the house and tried to open the door. It was locked.

I first considered sleeping behind the Peigné's van so I wouldn't have to disturb them, but then I realized that I was in France and didn't speak french, so If I got approached by the Police I'd be pretty screwed. So for the next hour or so I banged on the door and threw Rocks at windows, until Mrs P finally came down and unlocked the door. I went to bed laughing at how ridiculous the experience was. trials aren't all bad. The little ones can actually be quite humourous.

The next day we went up to a small waterfall and hung out for a while. It was really hot so to sit in the shade and enjoy the waterfall was super cool. That night I got invited to go on a long hike with Mr P the next day, so I decided I would.

Epic Hike. ended up being roughly 1000ft up, and it spanned over 4 hours. I didn't sleep well the night before so I quite literally hiked for as many hours as I slept. ok so this is crazy. an 83 year old woman came with us, and she could probably outhike me.

There was a lot of good times. these are highlights. Everything I talked about in the last blog has only been more confirmed.

2 weeks.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Titles are lame

It's starting to really hit me that things are winding down here. I just looked at my calendar. I can't believe I've been here for 6 weeks.

Three to Go

I have a ton of stories, lots of experiences, and above all, a broadened perspective on life. being out here has gotten me to push out of my own little world that I've been protecting for the last few years. I started reading the news pretty much daily, and I plan to continue to do so.

I'm pretty thankful that God broke my oath that I would never travel outside the U.S. again. Being here has definitely confirmed that, this side of heaven, my home is the United States, but now I definitely want to travel more in order to share the world with the country I'm called to. You don't realize how much a place means to you until you aren't there.

I've definitely felt the direction of my life take a slight shift, nothing drastic (at least in my head) but definitely a different direction, I'm more focused too. I've been around new families, and children every single day that I've been here. Séb has a 7 month old son that I've gotten to see grow over the past month. He's started to get the walking motion down when he's supported. God is awesome. Anyways, It's been confirmed to me from all of the time with young families, a lot of prayer, and a few other things, that being a father, and a husband is something that God has for me in my life. That's nothing new really, just confirmed

The shift is more in the sense of calling and work. Working for ECC last summer helped me to realize that the traditional role of pastor was not what I was called to do. Being here this summer has shown me that I don't really feel called to work in the church at all. I still love and support churches. I just don't want to work in them to support my family. I want to be out there, working among people who don't know Jesus. There is also the fact that I really have dreams of seeing the church be unified across denominations, so while I will likely attend one church regularly so that my family can have a consistant communiy of fellowship. I do not want all of my time to be obliged to that single group of God's Children. What's cool about all this is God has been setting things up for me to move forward with this revelation. as Some of you know I've committed to work alongside some friends that are starting a Christian Coffeehouse. the awesome thing is that they really hope to turn it into more than one shop over the next few years. I really feel like this road is one that fits who God is building me to be.

Get stoked on life with Jesus. I love that I'm only 22

Friday, July 3, 2009

getting past the halfway mark is like going down the hill on a sled after that long hike to the top of the hill.

Things are changing quickly here, Graham is back, which provides a new set of experiences. a lot of the friends I've made are gone now. Rosina, Audréy and Julien, and Claire left on wednesday. thankfully Claire is going to be back for the last few days that I'm here so I'll be able to say goodbye. I got the chance to hang out with a fellow american a few days ago which was really cool. Fried Chicken for dinner was a nice change I'm headed to Ireland in about a week and half as long as I can get my plane tickets. It should be a good time.

I've continued to learn more and more about my life, my heart, my God, and the world around me. Talking less and listening more has been a big part of that.

I've really enjoyed my time here, but I'm glad I get to go home soon. I've got so many Stories to tell, people to see, and dreams to live out. Life is pretty sweet

and oh. I was talking with my friend Sam, at some point when I get back I'm going to go surfing with him. get wrecked haha.

Love you all

Saturday, June 27, 2009

One month

I'm coming up on the end of my first month here in Europe. It's been an amazing month as long as I have let it be. There were some very hard times in the month, but they've caused me to grow, and to learn. I'm speaking a little more french now. Mind you, when I say little I really mean a tiny tiny bit, but its nice. I went to a café a few days ago and had a guy forcing me to speak in french, it was frustrating and refreshing at the same time. he taught me a few things though, so I'm grateful. His name was Pierre. It seems that Europeans take languages so much more seriously than Americans. they take upwards of 6 years of a single language, and take three or four languages a year during school. That is insane to me.

Last night was my friend Rosina's going away party. She's going home to England on Wednesday. She's been here for about a year, so a bunch of her friends got together and threw her a surprise party. It was a lot of fun: Plenty of food, bad Karaoke, small children everywhere, and great conversation. Probably the craziest thing was that the party lasted for 7 hours. we started around 7PM and didn't leave until 2AM. The french really know how to party haha.

This weekend is a big baptism celebration for Café Life. I think there are 3 or 4 people getting baptized. It's cool to see baptisms and remember mine. I can't believe that was 6 years ago. Time flies.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

World Traveler

This past weekend I went to Geneva Switzerland. It was really good. I went to Sébastien's parents house. They live right on the France/Switzerland border. Right in between the Alps and the Jura Mountain Ranges. I got to see the tallest mountain in Europe, The Mont Blanc. That was pretty amazing because it was covered by clouds till just before I left.

The weekend was pretty awesome (my weekends are sunday/monday). Séb's parents are really awesome people. His dad has lived all over the world, and his grandfather started a seminary in Brussels Belgium. His mom grew up in France. They were wonderfully hospitable people, and their house was very comfortable. I had more amazing food. Wild boar (like it was actually hunted and skinned by people that the family knows) soaked in a red wine sauce, and lots of homemade bread with Cherry Jam made from cherries from the tree in their back yard that hasn't borne fruit for at least 8 years. Best Cherries I've ever had.

I spent a few hours in Geneva on monday. I got to see Saint Pierre Cathedral, where the Reformation really began to take off. It was crazy to go in that building and think that people have been worshipping God there for centuries. Then we went back to the Winstons and I got to hang out with them, and have some really good conversations. I also got to take a Jacuzzi bath which was awesome.

Graham gets back tomorrow, which I am pretty excited about, I may get to go with him to Ireland, but I need to find a way to get some more money first. I only have 140 Euros left, and the ticket will cost up to 150, but I believe God will provide!