Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Oh, the Weather Outside

This morning was our first full day home from celebrating Christmas with family in Maine last week. We watched more and more snow fall outside on our balcony. Two feet this week alone.

Some wonderful opportunities await us here:
  • being more intentional about getting OUT. We plan to walk or ski more often to keep our bodies healthy. A Maine horseback ride reminded us of how out-of-shape we've become. Would you pray that we would choose to get outside, even in the snow, to take care of our bodies?
  • Dale is trying to finish a 6000 words section of our book, Faith and Friendship. He needs dedication this next week. Would you pray for his devotion to the task?
  • Jonalyn has recently been asked to participate in a video series on "Women in the Bible" for Zondervan. She has to choose the women she'll be presenting on in the next week. Would you pray that she would carve out time to think and pray about who to choose?
  • Two days we're taking OFF to celebrate Jesus's birth, our house church will be doing a Christmas Eve service. We are so glad the snow is falling outside!
Merry Christmas to you!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

p.s.

Dale is feeling much better and that allowed him to take a few more steps on the website.

Update on the grant inquiries we sent out: so far only received 2 letters back, both sharing that they cannot give at this time. So we leave it in God's hands and wait for the others.

Our home has been "looked at "a few times. A sale in the current economy would be a huge deal for us. We await.. and in the meanwhile rest :)

A Fun-filled Day

We speak twice today, already once this morning to the local Christian school in town, tonight to a local church youth group. This morning we worked through their questions they had given us last time. It was so fulfilling as they listened and responded attentively. As we pulled away Dale said, "I love speaking."

We're thankful to God for giving us these opportunities.

We had our bi-annual Soulation Board Meeting Saturday and they helped us strategize and guard the things Soulation needs to do. God is good to give us such faithful, whole people to help us! The most important thing we need prayer for is:

To keep the major things (writing bi-monthly Fledges, our blogs, email correspondence, speaking preparation, time and space to write well) major and the minor things (Retreat Center, new videos, new website up, new Soulation initiatives) on the back burner. We'll wait on these things until after our book is finished. For now we are glad to focus on "Faith and Friendship."

As there is so much to distract us: criticism (as I type Jonalyn has a critical email to respond to in her inbox), social engagements, discord between us, appointments, errands. We ask that God would teach us more about rest for the remaining weeks of Advent.

We have a handle on our writing (this last week Jonalyn pumped out two great articles, you can read about food and gossip on her blog) and feel we need to rest, would you pray that we would choose this good gift from God?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Snow Falling, Fingers Tapping

The snow is softly falling outside and we are grateful for it's beauty and cover.

Much writing lays before us, but we are excited to get our fingers tapping on the keys.

Jonalyn is finishing up two articles one on "Finding Your Voice" to be featured for MOPS leadership magazine, Fullfill and another for Christianity Today's women in leadership blog, Gifted for Leadership. Both editors gave her some extensions to get them done as some unexpected things came up (Dale got sick and our car had to be fixed in Denver i.e. 8 hour drive today).

Please pray for Jonalyn to have the inspiration to write these well.

Please pray for Dale to recover (he's at 75%) and find the strength these next to days to tackle the part of our book on "Lost Words." He will be writing on the topics of "sin" "glory" "faith" "love" in the next few days. Would you pray his energy and health would match the ideas he wants to get on paper?

Our home is on the market and we await a buyer, expecting God to network for us. Would you pray he would have our home sell by Valentine's Day? From our limited viewpoint, that would be ideal for our transition out to the cabin.

Our website is coming along, it's been exciting to see our new Library get updated as we are coding for a better search engine. We are so grateful that you are praying for us and the site's workers. Dale needs energy to look over the major changes to the Library this week.

Thank you for pouring your love and prayers into us!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Many Things

The sun has set on a beautifully, uncommonly warm day in Steamboat and Dale and I are feeling the first longing for snow. We have made some great progress in our book.

We thank God that our eye-strain is all gone. Dale's reading glasses, increasing our font size and regular breaks have helped a lot. We ask for broad, wholistic vision and excellent editing skills as this week we will be proof-reading the 1/3 we have written, our first batch to send off to our editor before Thanksgiving.

We made our first Soulation Fledge VIDEO EDITION yesterday on "How could a good God send people to hell?" Videos have been a goal for months now, so we're both proud that it's happened! Our video editor, Trevor, will be editing it for free broadcasting (we hope to put it on Youtube) hopefully soon. Would you pray for creavity for him?

We've begun having Soulation Business Meetings each Wednesday's over lunch, a committed time for us to bring up Soulation stuff to each other (which mostly means me making lists for Dale). We're getting much more done since beginning them, but also finding less time to relax, now. We're still finding our rythmn in our work load. Lately relaxing hasn't been making it on our schedule. Would you pray for us to find the courage to let some things go and really rest when we need it? Some of you have encouraged us to be really careful about not overcommittting. As we are in the process of writing, putting our house on the market, participating in an awesome house church, running Soulation and getting a cabin remodelled, we feel very, well, overwhelmed. We need to know what we can just let slide and be glad to be alive, together and loved by God and his family.

Tomorrow we drive to Colorado Springs for an interview with A.C.S.I.'s headquarters for their Early Christian Services. We each get 30 minutes and then a 30 min slot together. Since we'll be speaking mainly to preschool teachers, would you pray for us to be able to be practical and helpful as we share Soulation with teachers?

Glad you help us keep going!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Writing Begins in Earnest

Well today we plowed into writing. We felt energized and focused as we worked. Thank you for praying for our eye-strain (it's been better with regular breaks). this week please pray for
  1. Our grant application requests- Ellyn has been matching our needs with specific foundations (please pray for her today as she finishes that up). And we send out our initial inquiry letter this week. We need winsomeness and deftness in writing. Tomorrow we finish the letter, stuff and stamp and off they go. The response will dictate how many ways Soulation can expand next year. We ask for favor in their eyes.
  2. We have serious deadlines for our book coming up. Would you pray for us to remain fresh as we write. We want to write about how to share our faith without being accusatory, demanding or dry. We need the Spirit to be our Muse
  3. Our website has made enormous strides as Eric has been working steadily away with Joaquin and David. Daily, Dale is responding to ideas and fine-tuning. Please pray we might get the website LIVE by the end of this month.
Glad to be at work at home again!
Jonalyn and Dale

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Answers and Requests

This morning we wake up to more snow falling in Steamboat and our plates full of great things to do
  1. Would you thank God with us that we found a coder (our cousin, Eric) who has offered to help Soulation? YAY! We ask that God would give him, Joaquin and David the timeliness and energy to finish up our new web site THIS MONTH!
  2. Would you also thank God with us that our drive home was safe and no other mishap met us? We got home Monday evening and were SO glad to get our car under shelter. No rain/snow leaked through the torn roof. Three cheers for duct and packing tape! We're now beginning to start the process of getting it repaired, not easy or quick I'm afraid.
  3. Today we meet with Ellyn and Courtney to finish up our grant writing application request (stage 1 in this long process to ask for grant monies). Would you pray for us to be able to quickly get these requests sent off soon, for us to work harmoniously together with the limited, precious time we have?
  4. This is writing month! Dale and I have plotted times to just write and write away on our next book: Coffee Shop Conversations. Would you pray for our eyes? We're experiencing headaches and some eye-strain as we spend a lot of time behind our screens. We need to take breaks and still get this work done.
We value your prayers!
Jonalyn

Friday, October 31, 2008

Chicago crime

Last night in the heart of Chicago, someone tore our PT convertible top open, rifled through A LOT of valuable Soulation gear, passed up everything and stole my iPod. Besides feeling angry about the theft and vandalism we are glad to have had so little stolen. Would you pray for our drive home on Sun with a taped roof. And that our car would be protected from further attacks as it sits more vulnerable now?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

From the Road- the final stretch

Today we took a day of rest... it was wonderful after 5 days of writing (we did end up taking a writing retreat and it was most productive!).

This week, while Dale and I speak and travel for our last week, great things are a-brewing in other parts of the country . . .
  1. In Oregon, David (our artistic director, an amazing friend and volunteer) and crew are gearing up for a fall launch of our website. We hope to have it live within a month. Would you pray for David to find a capable programmer who also has the time and (the miraculously) willingness to do hard work for meager pay?
  2. In Steamboat Springs, Ellyn and Courtney, our volunteer grant writers are planning the first big steps for requesting foundations for granting monies. This week they will be picking the foundations and requesting applications. As we've heard from others, grant writing is hard and getting granted funds is even harder. We ask you to pray that the Spirit would guide them to the foundations that match Soulation's needs and will be the most gracious to our request. We need your prayer for this!
  3. In Chicago tomorrow morning we will be speaking to Timothy Christian High School about "Is God Real?" a brand new talk in response to a common question we get from teens, "How do I know God is real if I can't see him or feel him?" We are thrilled to do it, but need your prayer for us to be clear and persuasive.
  4. In Chicago from Thursday-Sunday, we will be attending the Ravi Zacharias International Ministries' Fundraising event for the year. Lots of people to meet. We ask for that extra boost of energy to be present with all we meet, to refuse to compare our ministry to others and to bask in God's love for us even in the busyness.
Glad we're on the last home stretch, eager for this week of speaking and networking and grateful for you!
Jonalyn (for us both)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Baker Book House and a few burdens

Tonight Dale and I speak at Baker Book House, a locally owned book store in Grand Rapids, Michigan. We have 30 minutes to present our book ideas, Soulation and then we'll be fielding questions and signing. We're excited to speak, though slightly weary from travel.

We've enjoyed plenty of adventures in our drive so far. We've seen Lake Michigan and a Bob Jones' van (in that order).

Dale's catching up on his sleep while I write this and I'm working through a VERY stiff neck from too many nights in strange beds. We're glad to be staying at the same hotel for 3 nights in a row as we attend the GospelCom conference at Calvin College this week, too.

So far we feel burdened to ask you for prayer for
  1. continued health though we begin to feel weary
  2. the strength for our web team to get our new Soulation site launched for Nov 1st (we've had some trouble meeting deadlines as our team has had to transition into new volunteers) Would you pray for us to get our new calendar and Ask LIVE! up and running by Nov 1st?
  3. our plans this next week are somewhat up in the air. We had hoped to drive to Canada, but our good friends recently received news of a death in their family. We're not sure where we'll go, but we want to make the most of the time and find the space to relax. Please pray for some good ideas to pop into our minds!
So far we feel healthy and glad to be together.
From the road,
Dale and Jonalyn

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Crazy, Wonderful Soulation Day

Here's a rundown of our fun, LONG first day of our 2 1/2 week road trip!

DAY ONE
  • 5:30am- wake up, feed and hug the corgis goodbye.
  • 6am- on the road driving from Steamboat to Colorado Springs ~4 hour drive
  • 10:15- arrive at our first book signing (a part of Journey 2008- a Colorado Springs initiative to connect Christian book stores, authors and customers) at Mardel. We arrive in time to make an important phone call to tie up loose ends on a project (i.e. Apologetics Study Bible) and received some good, hearty closure and unity. We felt both listened to and appreciated. Thankful for the unity, we walk into Mardel's.
  • 11am- we sit with a team of 11 other authors and spend 2 hours socializing (aka networking) where Jonalyn learns from a former Mrs. USA runner-up that she could compete in a Mrs. USA pageant (something that flatters Jonalyn until she realizes it goes against everything she stands for!) and Dale hears from a local old-timer author that it's impossible to really answer teens' questions! We do meet some interesting, lovely authors in our two hours.
  • 1pm- done with our first signing we drive one block to "On the Border" to meet with a new friend, an associate editor for an ACSI magazine. We talk about a future ACSI podcast interview. We share some good stories and take a sort of breather in our day.
  • 2:45- Jonalyn walks around the "On the Border" parking lot trying, unsuccessfully, to get a steady signal and to contact Zondervan to set up a radio interview for Monday morning. She has to coordinate a land line at a bed and breakfast on our trip with Zondervan who will pass the info to Moody Radio. Our cell phone continues to cut in and out and Jonalyn becomes VERY frustrated at everyone (Zondervan for waiting until the last minute to get the information, the phone for not working, but--because of God's goodness and some growth in her--she does not get mad at Dale! YAY!!)
  • 3pm- we drive to our book agent's headquarters to sign our names on the dotted line for "Coffee Shop Conversations" and enjoy meeting Cindy who helps us see the important things in the fine print. Jonalyn borrows the phone during the meeting to set up the radio details, gets through to the B & B and Zondervan (now after hours) and breathes a sigh of relief.
  • 4pm- we drive to the nearest AT&T store to finally get a cell phone that gets service and is reliable. We dub it our Soulation biz phone and smile at one another that we picked it out and got it set-up with a competent rep in under 30 min!
  • 4:45- we drive, get lost, but eventually find Woodmen Valley Chapel for our last signing. We find our seat, meet some more new authors, field questions and enjoy the trickle of people who want us to explain what our books are about.
  • 6:45- we shake hands all around and hit the road for Fort Collins (2 hours north). We feel tired, heavy-eyed and very hungry.
  • 9:30- we arrive at downtown Fort Collins where we stay up to type this update blog because we wanted you to know that today was a wonderful, crazy, good day for us, for Soulation....
and you had a lot to do with all that. Thank you for praying for us!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Stopping home...

We are hope for three days before launching out again.

Thanks for your prayers. The youth worker convention was a real success for us. Not only were all three of our seminars well attended and received, but we felt nourished, encouraged, and motivated to push forward more ideas and initiatives to help others see what it means to be appropriately human. All three of our talks are worth putting online and we'll be sending them to our editor, Dodd, for that right away.

We did not feel the discomfort of 'corporate' Christianity like we have in the past. And that's a real answer!

Jonalyn felt a special renewal during a session she attended on 'praying through poetry.' Several personal obstacles she had been wrestling with found themselves uprooted as she pushes forward in those areas.

Our coming trip will be three weeks on the road, first book-signing in Colorado Springs, then onto Grand Rapids for a convention, radio interview, bookstore presentation, then onto Canada to visit with some friends and an event coordinator for a possible future opportunity, then to Chicago for a large networking, ministry event before heading home.

We expect to be physically exhausted when we return. Do pray for safety on the road (we're driving!) and for connecting with the right people at these conventions. Many of you understand how meeting the right person in the right place can open up many other doors of opportunity, not only for us, but also for them.

Our appreciation goes out to you on our prayer blog; you give us a place jot down our needs, expectations and celebrations; and we know you are with us all the way.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Largest Event this Fall- Prayer Requests

Tomorrow we leave for our largest event this Fall, the Youth Specialties National Convention in Sacramento, CA.

We've been bustling around the house getting last minute things together, our outlines, our handouts, our powerpoints, our talks, our clothing, our recording equipment and our sanity.

We are tempted to be overwhelmed and discouraged by distractions today (lots of difficult emails today). Would you pray for God to comfort us as we face our emails, ready the house and prepare to leave?

We ask for these things specifically
  • Our seminars (Jonalyn's "Comfortable in My Own Skin: Identity and Body Image", Dale's "A New Kind of Apologetics: Emerging Questions From Today's Youth" and together "Why Healthy Youth Ministry Needs Both the Masculine and the Feminine") will be well received and well attended with those who need what we have been planning to share
  • Safety as we drive over 1000 miles tomorrow (and then back on Monday)
  • Spiritual armor to protect us from feeling we have nothing to offer, standing as we will be in the shadow of Corporate Christianity (which seems so big at conventions like this).
  • That we would partner in a way that inspires others to take up the male-female team model into their youth groups.
  • That no matter what criticism or praise we receive that we would love each other and grow to be more fully human because of this weekend.
Thank you!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

This Week- Update

As of now we are not writing a letter to the publisher about the Apologetics Study Bible situation. Right now we are pursuing another channel to properly resolve this. In the meanwhile, we can feel your prayers as we are at peace and even content with not being a part of this project (a very different emotion than we first experienced!)

We're excited for this week's work which will be including
  1. prepping for our 3 talks at the National Youth Pastor's Convention.
  • I will be working out my powerpoint for my talk "Comfortable in My Own Skin: Identity and Body Image" this Friday
  • We are working together on a talk "Why Healthy Youth Ministry Needs Both the Masculine and the Feminine".
  • Dale is doing his own "A New Kind of Apologetics: Emerging Questions from Today's Youth"
2. Beginning our manuscript for Coffeeshop Conversations. The contract is nearly signed and our agent told us, "START WRITING!" So we feel we need to begin plugging away. It's always a battle to begin integrating steady writing times into our schedule. If you think of us in the mornings (the typical writing time for us) please pray for the Holy Spirit to strengthen and direct us.

3. We have another meeting with our lawyer this Friday to further discuss how to make the Retreat work, how to begin fundraising and legally keep us "in the clear."

Would you pray for us as we write our talks, write our book together and attend meetings. We long to have fresh insight and creative energy, to be honest and winsome in the work we do.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Light Persecution

Today Dale received a very disappointing email that involves both of us.

A few months ago Sean McDowell invited us to write articles for the Apologetics Study Bible for Students and even asked Dale to serve with his imaginative writing skills as Associate Editor and contribute several more pieces for the Bible. It's a big project with an estimated reach of 100,000.

We've been writing and brainstorming with excitement to have this opportunity.

Dale wrote to clarify the vision with B & H publishing group today. His letter spurred the editorial staff to check SOulation out. So far, so good.

In reading our articles, the chief editor read our Unmuted article (which if you've read the article is not clearly egalitarian or complementarian) and wrote to tell us that we can no longer be contributors to this Apologetics Study Bible.

Needless to say we're shocked and discouraged that the apologetics insights we could have offered to this project have been curtailed because of our views that men and women can play partnership, opposed to hierarchical roles in a marriage or church. We're disappointed that this made/broke the deal.

The fine print of our contract did reveal that while the Bible is goin to be published by B & H, it seems this project is predominantly controlled by LifeWay Christian Resources of the Souther Baptist Convention.

Dale is working on a reply and then will sit on it for a day before he sends it.
  • Would you pray that we would have grace and truth as we respond?
  • Would you also pray that we would be willing to take the rejection of our ideas without capitulating in courage or integrity?
  • Would you also pray that we would not be excluded from this project if the kingdom of God would be further built by our inclusion?

We await on Him helping us.

Thank you for praying for us!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

God at Work

This week we received an invitation request from Portland, Oregon for this Spring. The amazing thing about this invite is that they wanted both of us and really understand how we love working side-by-side. That leads us to thank God.

People are realizing that we are a husband-wife team. YAY! Would you pray that more invitations would come to us requesting us together. We do not want to be divided in our speaking (which often happens when folks learn that Dale wrote a YOUTH book and I wrote a WOMAN's book, we expect this to shift after our co-written book comes out..but this won't be for at least another year).

On another note of thanksgiving, we received this email recently from a young college age woman. We wanted to share with you how Dale's book helped her trust God even while she faces a current physical trial. She wrote:

"I just finished Living With Questions and am certain that God exists and cares. The chapter on the value of humans rocked me as I have carried a feeling of unworthiness as long as I can remember, and although the feeling is not always absent, I am equipped to fight feelings and thoughts of unworthiness. I see unworthiness not returning for longer periods of time and laugh at how God has defeated evil. It is so rad. It's thrilling to me that your and Dale's ministry have eradicated evil through the power of the Almighty in my life because that means that truth is being reached by others who hear and read yours and Dale's work. Yeah!"

We want to ask you this week to thank God with us for these blessings.

God has been connecting us with the right business people to manage some challenges with our personal assets. We are trusting him with our future, Soulation's future and the ideas and plans we've had.

He is capable and we are full of hope!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Exciting News!

Would you thank God for helping us find a buyer for our Whittier home? The sale if FINAL!

SO EXCITING!

And we have the funds to begin moving forward with step 1 of this retreat center. Getting ready to sell our current home and move to the little cabin.

We also want to thank God for a great new dog-sitter who has donated his time to us, which will make our traveling easier. And for a great finish to our recording week, we feel thankful that we did not get sick or sore throats as we read hundreds of pages last week in Grand Rapids.

Please pray for us this week.....
  1. We are beginning our articles for The Apologetic Study Bible for Students edited by Sean McDowell, due Nov 1st. We need some fresh ways, with Biblical evidence to write about our topics
  2. We need to meet with our grant writing team. Would you pray for them to have the time to be able to do this hard work of writing Soulation grants?
Thank you for walking us through some uncertain times with the housing market and this amazing quick sell of our Los Angeles home.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Recording in Grand Rapids

Dale just finished recording Living with Questions and I've got 2 more hours to finish Ruby Slippers tomorrow. We are so thankful for
  1. our voices being strong and our minds attentive as we read
  2. that we have connected strongly and well with Zondervan's sound editor and reunited with several friends at Zondervan who have been helping us feel we are known and belong in their lives
  3. that we get to do this trip together.
While our voices have been holding up, but we're both feeling the strain of being in the city.

There is something that happens when you work among Christianity corporate and while we are grateful to be noticed and to be here, we also need protection.

We need your help to pray that
  1. our work together as a team would not be threatened by the pressure to brand ourselves separately
  2. that Dale would be encouraged that his work, his voice is needed.
  3. That God would bring us more evidence that this retreat center is the next step for Soulation and that it is okay to not have tons of BIG speaking engagements down the road.
We are glad to be here, but eager to fly back home to Steamboat tomorrow!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Recording our books!

Jonalyn and I leave for Zondervan headquarters in Grand Rapids Monday. We'll each be recording our books for audio release. We're praying that we would be in top form as we read. And I have a deep down desire to be 'discovered' as a reader so I could perhaps help with some other books in the future.

We are amazed at the volunteers that have emerged to help Soulation. God has been dramatically good. We'll have more updates on that as it unfolds.

Our lawyer is looking into creative ways for a Soulation retreat center on paper--liabilities, protections, balance sheets and all that. As I write this, we're loading the truck to go out to the property to do some afternoon work out in the woods.

Our Mark study finished well... We were encouraged to hear how the study shined a light. Several even thanked us for making the first Bible study they've had in their lives that wasn't boring. We averaged about 25 a week! I expected 5... it was great for us to be in the word, studying, every week!

Update on our CA home: some loan docs got bogged down on the buyer's end, so we expect to close this coming week. Pray it happens!!

Those are some updates and prayers this week. So glad you're in this with us.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

New Steps

Our lawyer meeting had to be moved to today. We will meet with Jeff in a few hours. Would you pray for us to remember all we need to ask him? We pray for a good, productive engagement with him. What we learn in this meeting will dictate so much of what we can and can't do with this land in the future.

We are grateful that God has directed Courtney to commit to helping Soulation with grant writing. We'll be operating on a trial basis, for both our sakes, for the next 4 months. Would you pray that God would continue to affirm her decision to give her time to us? We love her enthusiastic willingness.

Website continues to move forward. Joaquin and David have to find a way to make a map feature and a chatting feature work for our new website. Would you pray for them to be directed to find the best programs to meet our needs?

Our Los Angeles home's buyer got approval for his loan and we are switching utilities to his name as I type. We'll be done with escrow within 2 weeks and that means onward for our Retreat Center. Thanks to God!

My laptop did not recover, though I did not lose any information, just a lot of time. Work is a bit slower with an auxiliary keypad, but Dale has ordered me another laptop (mine was due for a replacement anyways). Would you pray that it would arrive intact and the transfer goes smoothly for us to keep on top of our work?

My family comes to visit tomorrow and this will slow down our work. I want to enjoy the precious time with them. We are excited about their participation during our final Bible study, next Monday, as well.

God has been so good to us this summer!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Orange Juice, Coffee Shop and Adrien

Well, after sharing some of the harder stuff last week (and being encouraged by those of you who wrote to buoy me up), I have to let you know that today has been another one of those roller-coaster days.
  1. We have had some amazing connections this last week, from getting connected with a lawyer in town who we can drill with all our questions about non-profit retreats (that meeting is next Tuesday, please pray for us to make the most of the time to tap his--Jeff's--expertise), to having a young adult offer her writing skills to help us with some grant writing. We pray for her, Courtney, to be willing to assist us with gathering funding for our retreat center.
  2. Please continue to pray for Joaquin and David on the website progress. I cannot wait to unveil it to you!
  3. Still in escrow on L.A. property and waiting...
  4. This morning, we attacked a growing pile that had amassed during our splendid, much needed day of rest. Somehow while working busily away on emails and the new Fledge a book fell over, knocked my full glass of pulpy orange juice all over my desk, including my laptop. So today has been spent backing up all I can, cleaning up the keyboard and trying to get my keys to work. At the moment all work except "u", "i", and "o" rather important keys. So this is being typed on Dale's computer. Would you pray that I could get my laptop in working order by tomorrow?
  5. Splendid news that brightened us up quite a bit, as I sat hunched with a vacuum cleaner over my laptop, is that a major publisher wants our book "Coffee-Shop Conversations: Making the Most of Your Spiritual Small Talk" and is planning on offering a lovely package deal to get us going. We thank God for this opportunity. We cannot wait to get started. Please pray for us to have wisdom about choosing a good deadline for the finished manuscript. We want to do it quickly to get these ideas out into the marketplace, but we also want to do a quality job, fine-tuning our sentences and ideas.
  6. We also heard from our agent that our ideas are wanted and continue to be needed for the publishing world. This puts fresh wind into our sails. I've finally finished my 1st chapter for my book "Walking in Her Shoes" and am priming up the introduction this week. Please pray for us to begin switching gears soon to put all our efforts into "Coffee." We need persistent teamwork as we will write it together.
  7. Our friend, Adrien, is visiting us this week and working on a portrait of Jonalyn. It's an honor to have her and see her expertise in our Soulation office on her easel. We love working alongside her and to see beauty being created in her brushstrokes. I've included a picture of how far she's come just in this first day. We would pray that God would use our downtime together this week to encourage each other in the often lonely work of creating (her in logging hours behind her canvases, us in logging hours behind our computer screens).
Glad to be in the mess and craziness of creating!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Prayer Requests

We have some fun news and prayer requests this week
  1. We've ironed out some communication problems with our web designers, David and Joaquin, who will be working like mad to get our website actually up and running within the month. Would you pray for them to focus on the essentials and meet their goal? We need to get the new site up sooner rather than later.
  2. We've recently found a large parcel of land that was available, affordable and attractive to us so we put in an offer on this piece of land in hopes of beginning a Soulation Retreat Center. The offer was accepted, we were granted much favor in the seller's eyes. And now we're now the proud, scared, excited owners of 100 acres, 20 miles south of Steamboat. Here's a picture of where we'll be moving within the year (from our current home in Steamboat to 800 sq feet) to begin dream-casting the details of this land we hope to invite many to find rest for their souls. We have plans for cabins, parsonage home with dining hall and meeting room, infrastructure, landscaping, new trails. We need prayer for we feel like we're 2 year olds who've discovered a Queen Mary. How do we run this thing?
  3. In spite of all the excitement, we feel the responsibility of these changes on our shoulders. We're trying to finish up selling our home in Los Angeles. We've found a buying quickly so we're in Escrow. Would you pray that we'd make it through this process soundly without compromising the value of our old home? We want to be able to use this money for the retreat center's beginnings.
  4. There are times in our lives we just feel crummy. Soulation, our writing, our work doesn't seem worthwhile and I can't find the energy to even ask for prayer. Yesterday was one of those days. Sometimes think I can sound like life and Soulation is all rosy, when in reality it's never all rosy. We'd ask for prayer as we face some of our Goliaths
    1. Dale will wrestle at times with wondering if he should even write his book on becoming appropriately human. He sometimes wonders if it's worth it, if it's all already been said, if his energy will find an audience. Pray for him to continue to persevere through those times, and that God would show him clearly how his message is valuable.
    2. I, Jonalyn, need wisdom to wade through the criticism and praise I regularly receive about her blog and her work. I need to know whose opinion to take to heart and who I need to listen to with caution. I don't want every critique to send me spiraling downward.
    3. We both need God's confidence to fill us!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Time Fleeting By

Would you pray for us this week
1-Jonalyn needs the time to push through her proposal for "Walking in Her Shoes" these next 15 days.
2- We both also want to be present with our family who is visiting us this week and enjoy the moments of being with them (including our nephew, who is growing big awfully quickly!)
3- We need God's assurance that he will not abandon or forget about us, even if we feel we're not working hard enough or fast enough.
4- We are in Escrow selling our home in Whittier, which will free up funds to begin pressing further in with Soulation dreams. Would you pray that if God would want us to use these funds for Soulation's growth we would not drop out of Escrow?

Thank you!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Opportunities

Well we've seen God's goodness this week. Thank you for praying

1- Dale got that Fledge out and we've had some great email responses from it
2- We had a stellar time with my sister, making great memories and enjoying life together
3- Our meeting with our agent was so encouraging. She liked ALL our ideas, including Dale's new one for his book (that means his golden thread weaving it all together works in her mind, too--always an encouragement to us).
4- The book we're working on together, working title is "Coffee Shop Conversations: Making the Most of Your Spiritual Small Talk", is getting some interest out there, so hopefully we'll have a chance to publish it. Would you pray that we'd be connected with an editor that understands us and our message? This weekend we wrote 4 mini-chapters in preparation for marketing it out to the publishing world. We're already enjoying the writing together, which was an unexpected surprise!
5- This week we will be plowing away on writing our individual books in the mornings. We're thankful you hold us up for diligence and zeal to continue to get our book proposals up and running. So far we're amazed at how much we've done with so much company!

God is good!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sister in Town and Requests

It always amazes me when I can have fun with friends (and this week with family) visiting and still get emails and blog posts, articles and chapters written. I see God's hand giving us strength to know how to enjoy every new task and devote time to each while enjoying company.

My sister, Jessica, is visiting this week and we are working on keeping on task with some projects AND enjoying her. Would you chat with God about some of these things for us?
  1. Dale wrote a wonderful Fledge (going out tomorrow) on casting our nets wide in prayer. It's a beautiful piece and I'm excited for him to finish it up, record it for the podcast and send it. Please pray for him to find time this evening to do that.
  2. Tomorrow we are carting Jessi with us to visit our agent in Denver, and show her the city. Would you pray for this meeting with our agent? We want to be able to help one another during this time. We need to be clear with her so she knows how to market our next book projects, and we need her help to know how our 1st writing samples need more work. We want this meeting to be so good for all involved.
  3. Thank God for the way Dale feels he has found his golden thread, the unifying idea for his next book. We hope our agent likes it and can market it well!
  4. We can see how your prayers give us added diligence and joy. Today I wrote 4 pages, a bizillion emails, several blog comments and found time to give piano lessons while Dale took Jessi fly-fishing for her first time. You can see how much fun they had (though Jessi thinks this picture makes her look like Gollum, but Dale can attest that she did NOT eat the fish raw) They're off for the evening feeding hours in a few hours.
  5. We love soaking up Steamboat with those who visit us. Thank you for praying for us to grow and enjoy, to love and live well.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Writing Projects and Living as Healthy Souls

I just sent the editor of Today's Christian Woman my completed article. It felt good to be done and Dale ran his eyes over it to make sure it was grammatically respectable.

We are loving working as a team this summer during our Monday night Bible studies and writing projects. Thank you for praying for our team spirit :)

This week we need prayer about
  1. Morning writing time, we've found some more coffee-shop options for writing around town. Please pray that we would be disciplined enough to commit to these mornings away from home to work. Writing this article has put me behind on my book, so I'm excited to jump back in tomorrow morning. We are both getting better about guarding our mornings.
  2. Please pray for us to individually work even if the other is distracted by other things. We both need to focus even if it's without the other.
  3. Please pray for us to have integrity in the ways our work, our writing, our reading are intersecting our lives at the moment. Jonalyn has some challenging conversations to engage in this week (all dealing with her next book's topic ranging from interviews to confrontations) so she needs added wisdom and humility. Dale has continued financial decisions to make that he needs added wisdom and peace.
Thank you!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Writing Answers and Requests

Today we said good-bye to a wonderful family that visited for 2 days and we plopped ourselves down to finish up some writing. Here's how you can pray for us this week
  1. Jonalyn has an article to write on Spiritual Gifts for Today' Christian Women Magazine. It's due July 15th. So far, she has been able to gather some great research. But please pray for her to be able to explain 3 theologically confusing points within her word limit, while enjoying the process. Writing can be fun, (we try to remind ourselves) but we need the Holy Spirit's help to make that possible. Please pray for joy as she works and the deadline approaches.
  2. Dale is working on his next book. As he hammers out more pages, he's realizing he needs a clearer picture of the goal for this book. Is it memoir? Is it spiritual autobiography? Is it meditation? He needs guidance and clarity. Would you pray that God's Spirit would lead him to the niche his book will fill?
  3. We both need the continued discipline to make the most of our days (Summer is 1/2 over and we can't really fathom that!) to write in the mornings. Since Sunday we've been able to do that (minus a few days off for company). We long to continue this regime.
  4. And as if we didn't have enough to write :).. we have a new book proposal on making the most of spiritual small-talk that we want to write together. Our agent is marketing Coffee Shop Conversations: Bringing Apologetics to Ordinary Life to potential publishers this week. We need an editor/publisher to want this idea.
Thank you for helping us make it through the tasks of this summer!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Bible Study- Articles and Writing

This week we are hosting friends from New Hampshire and learning to fall in love with Steamboat all over again. It's been fun showing them the places we've come to enjoy and having them attend our Mark Bible study last night. We're still so grateful for the many who attend and the way we get to enjoy the same group week after week (instead of having to fly away).

In the midst we are finding times to do Soulation work. We could use your prayer for these:

1- Jonalyn has the opportunity to write an article for Today's Christian Women on Spiritual Gifts. She needs prayer to juggle the many requirements for the article as well as research and determine her view before putting it on paper. It's due July 15th

2- Dale has been finishing up a longer article on his investigation into Ephesians 5. He's titled it "The Mystery of Submission" and now needs to do the work of finding a home for this piece. Please pray for him to be connected with someone who'd like to publish this work

3- We need endurance to work hard and stay on top of our emails

Thank you!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Weekly Study and writing

First, let me say that Jonalyn's request to find resources for her article has been met in an unexpected way. On our camping trip, we stopped in the Telluride library. Who would have thought some needed resources were sitting right there on their shelves. You never expect to find much in small mountain towns, but God led us right in.

In other news...

Our weekly Bible study on the book of Mark is going remarkably well. Jonalyn prayed boldly for 12 people to attend each week (I expected 5). So far, our attendance has gone from 20 to 25 to 31! Our little living room is packed out (but there is always room for more!).

And our audio editor is making these lessons our top priority so we can make each study available right way. So far Mark 1 & 2 are on online (www.soulation.org) and Mark 3-4 will be done tomorrow!

Pray for this endeavor. We'd love to have as many come as we can possibly fit in our home. Also pray for those who don't know Jesus to find their way here to hear more about the real Jesus. Our study is open to the public, anyone who wants to come. And if you're passing through CO this summer, do drop in!

Also pray for our writing and diligence. Every morning we see our schedules already packed with emailing, maintaining soulation, writing bills, updating blogs and websites, writing updates (the Seasonal goes out today), etc, that it saps some of our motivation and creativity to write for our books (which really is our best writing and probably our most lasting contribution). The enemy knows this. So pray for new bursts of imagination and desire to put our hand to the plow and put God's goodness into words.

Thanks for praying for us and celebrating with us. It's a team effort. And we're glad to report that fruit is abounding and God's name is made great!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

When God Hears

It's been a week since I've flown to Long Beach. Along the way, I learned several things
  1. God loves to answer our prayers, even the detailed stuff. I was exhausted before speaking on Tuesday evening, but from somewhere (you know where) I got the energy afterwards to meet women and sign books for a steady 1 and 1/2 hours. One woman wrote me afterwards and noted "Thank you so very much for time this evening. You took such careful time to hear everyone, and gave each woman your undivided attention. What a blessing you are to us, and others around the world....very special ministry you have created...answering all the hard questions that sometimes are confusing! Thank you for that." And my family came to hear me (aunt, mom, me, grandma) and support me, too! :)
  2. I can get stranded for long hours at a time in airports and not get stressed out. My trip home gave me an unexpected four hours of waiting time, not knowing if I'd be in Denver overnight, but eventually and gratefully made it to Steamboat
  3. It is imperative to have time before speaking engagements to pray and seek God about what he'd like me to share. I sensed God wanting me to share about the need for rest. This was before I knew that the audience was made up of mostly affluent, intelligent and busy women. And even the night of my talk, when my head felt fuzzy and I admitted from the stage that I felt like I was in Oz (that morning I had watched the sun rise over 2 elks who walked in a field next to me while I pulled my luggage into the terminal, flown to Denver, Phoenix then Long Beach, swam, napped, showered and now was on a stage speaking) God used my words. The coordinator of the event wrote me afterwards, "I prayed for a speaker in regard to women's self worth, according to God's word. You have allowed God to lead you in this direction and prayed for the evening and what to say. And there you were giving women (because of God's direction) exactly what they needed to hear. God is good!
  • Would you pray for us this week....
    1. I have to find some good resources (where can I find a good library when you live in Steamboat??) for an article I'm writing (yes it's the one that was due last week and I finished, but the editor has asked me to add on to it with some more exciting, but time consuming research comparing the way the founder's of major religions treated women).
    2. Starting this Monday we will begin writing our books (about 5 hours each day). I want to plunge right in and so does Dale. Please pray for dedication and excitement to get started!
    3. Finishing up our vacation this week (we're camping through Colorado--tonight in Telluride) that we would love one another and relax with each other. It's so easy to turn vacation into work time.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Request and answer - RS Dessert Gala

Jonalyn just called, telling me she landed safely and has been able to rest since she arrived in Long Beach, CA. In fact, she spent some time by the pool and even got in a nap. On the phone, she was driving to the Ruby Slippers Dessert Gala and asked me to post up a request that she would be full of energy from beginning to end, including the important one-on-one connecting time afterwards. She'll be signing lots of books afterwards and that can zap the last bits of your energy just as much as giving a public performance.

Last night was our first study in Mark. I was humbled that 20 people packed into our living room. Many shared how much they enjoyed it (but that doubtful side of me always wonders, "Where they just being nice?"). That was an answer to prayer (we were praying specifically for 12!) Our next one is in two weeks on Mark 2.

We are trying to get the recording on our website in time for the next one... so that those who cannot attend can still listen their way through the book of Mark with us this summer. So when you think of it, pray our video editor will have the time to edit these technical recordings.

Now it's raining in Steamboat and I'm enjoying the mysterious clouds thunder down on the swelling river below!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Three Potential Anxieties/Opportunities

I woke this morning with a pit of anxiety in my stomach. I realized what it was as I got ready for the day.
  1. Next Tuesday I fly to Long Beach to speak for a church in Cypress that evening. The event is an amazing one-of-a-kind desert gala centered around Ruby Slippers. I'll speak for 30 min and then sign books. The reason I feel anxiety is two-fold:
    1. Due to mis-communication and the airlines adding one more layover, I have 3 stops before arriving in Long Beach. This means that there is a larger potential for delays and me to not get into town in time. It's so frustrating when the airlines change your ticket without notice and even more so when I want to have the energy, clarity and excitement for the evening event.
    2. I will be traveling alone, which is always more stressful for me. You have to monitor your own safety, unwanted male attention, connections, etc. I need to have confidence and energy for that day.
  2. This week Dale and I are finishing our chapters for an apologetics compilation book, edited by Sean McDowell. Needless to say we want to do this well. The deadline is fast-approaching, but we are seeing how much work we've already done. We are both writing about 5 hours a day to finish in time. Thank you for praying for diligence, we've seen God giving this to us. It's coming together, but it is labor-intensive. Please pray for us to want to help each other with editing and ideas and not just focus on our own chapter.
  3. This Monday, the night before I fly out, is our inaugural Mark Bible Study. We've cleared our schedule this summer (except for the Cypress event) so we can serve in Steamboat. We've decided upon the venue of "Seeing Jesus through the eyes of Mark," teaching every Monday night this summer. I'm eager to begin, but want to find the time to meditate further and put together my thoughts with Dale. Please pray for us to coordinate our ideas and for at least 10 people from the community to make it a priority to come.
It's strange but as I write this, the anxiety has evaporated. Thank you for carrying our burdens with us. We know that much of this weight is evidence of answered prayer. God is using our efforts. We want to savor these opportunities as they come.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Answer! --and request for writing

We finished our two week trip well. When we returned, our bodies certainly felt fatigue. Always on. Getting into the thick of other people's suffering. Always under spiritual attack. It takes a toll.

And your prayers helped. Even after returning, our souls felt strong. We felt that we were doing exactly what we were made to do. People's lives were changed, souls were built. We watched God moving among his people just by our being present with them and using the gifts he's given us. We've already received many student emails from the past two weeks... God give us wisdom to respond to some hard issues these student's face.

That's an answer to pray that we finished strong and that souls were moved. And to top it off, before we even reached home, we watched God's hand in motion. On our long drive from Denver airport back to Steamboat, we decided to grab some lunch at Pei Wei on the West side of Denver. After enjoying a healthy meal (fresh vegetables always seem to be sparse when traveling), we stepped into the coffee shop next door. Waiting for our drinks, a man turned to us and asked, "Are you guys from Steamboat?" Well, yes.

His name is Joda (pronounced "Ho-da") and he had attended one our "Loving God with All of You" seminars in Steamboat earlier this spring. He happened to be in our coffee shop with his father-in-law. After a pleasant discussion revolving around the goodness of God and serving Him, Joda prayed for us. It deeply touched us that wherever we are, God continues to remind us that he is for us.

As he continues to remind us he is for us, Jonalyn and I are each working on a chapter for a book on apologetics for a new generation. Jonalyn's chapter is on apologetics and gender. Mine is on apologetics as soul formation. Our due date is June 1.

We ask for prayer that our thoughts would be organized. We have lots of material and only 4,000 words to cram it into. So pray we would be economical with our words. Clear. Organized. Engaging. Creative. That our words would be the kind that would stir others to action and growth.

We're thrilled to be doing this project, edited by our friend, Sean McDowell (Josh's son). We'll be finishing up our articles this coming week.

Again, thanks for standing with us and reaching the world through your prayers. It makes a difference.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Request from Copperas Cove, TX

Jonalyn and I tallied up our speaking presentations since leaving home for this trip. This morning's talk on how to read the Bible put us at talk number 22. Tonight is our final talk before flying home tomorrow!

Our time in San Antonio finished strong with many students going out of their way with appreciation. Many were refreshed with a larger vision of Jesus and how every faculty of the human person is called into a meaningful walk of love with the Savior. (But we were disappointed in the Prince Caspian movie, which even the teens thought fell short of their hopes and undermined our favorite character, Aslan... but that's a topic for other blogs!).

We are tired and want to finish well. Tonight's talk has a city-wide invitation so there is no predictor on how many will show up. "Living with Questions" is our theme followed by Q&A. It is an open forum event, so who knows what will happen.

Our prayer is for strength and clarity. That we would tell the truth with courage. That the thoughts would flow through our weary minds (I just took a power-nap in the car while we're parked at Starbucks because I just couldn't focus). And that those who come will be inspired to find the King more meaningful than ever before and worth following across this broad world into eternity.

And also pray for a safe return flight home tomorrow. We can't wait to see the "ladies" (our corgis) and our big soft bed.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Requests from San Antonio

Well, Forest Lake School turned into a marvelous week. Parents, teachers and students flooded us with appreciation. It's been one of the best responses we've ever received.

This from one student on Thursday (halfway through the week)

"I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to you and Dale speak to us in chapel today and yesterday. I can't wait for tomorrow as well!" She then went on to email us some questions of a more private nature. Other teens have been writing in this weekend with gratitude, more questions, or wanting to be our friends on facebook.com. One girl wrote, "I am listening to you at Forest Lake Christian and I love you guys! Especially the first day of Spiritual emphasis was spectacular! That was most likely the best sermon/chapel I have ever listened to before! Thank you both soooo much for coming and for all that you do! I can\'t wait to hear you tomorrow! Keep up the great work!


We've been built up by their eagerness. And the vice-principal has extended a return visit invitation to be speakers for the Senior Bible Retreat this September. Even the principal announced during the Parent-Teacher night (Dale and I shared about what it means to help your students live with their questions) that he'd like to recruit us to join the faculty at his school if we'd ever consider moving. We were thrilled they enjoyed us so much! Here's a pic of us before our final talk, at our Soulation table (the flowers were from a student).

This morning we woke up at what to our bodies was 4 o'clock (what Dale calls "0-dark thirty") but really only 6 am San Antonio time to begin our Spiritual Emphasis week at Harvest Christian Academy.

Our hostess had already laid out a delicious coffee cake spread and we felt nourished though still tired as we followed her to our next school. We spent from 8:30- 12:25 with about 40 teens, grades 7-12. It was a very good first meeting. Dale was his splendid self, lightening up the atmosphere, sharing and acting out the humorous bits in our talks and fielding questions.

In this next week we have left here's how we need your help. Would you pray for us
  • Though we are tired we've had some time to rest this afternoon. I took a 3 hour nap and it was exactly what I needed. I haven't felt this tired since finals at UVA 4th year. Please pray that we'd sleep adequately and remain healthy!
  • We need the kind of personal, inquisitive, attentiveness for these students as we will be spending all morning for 5 days with them. There's such potential for them to open up their minds and hearts to us, but we must remain attentive for the opportunities. Please pray for us to be "on" when we need to be.
  • Each night this week we have events or dinners planned and we are excited for these, but also need endurance.
  • Sunday we speak in the morning and evening at a church about 2 hours away. Please pray for us to finish this week well as we work with the adults and teens.
We need you to be like Moses' friends, who held his hands up when he was weary.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Prayer Request- Lake Tahoe

Thank you for praying. We feel healthy, rested, well-fed and on the same page as we begin speaking this week. (And I'm 1/2 way through the Chronicles of Narnia!)

We have not been involved in working in very conservative Christian circles in a while, so this week as we minister to our brothers and sisters (both students and parents) at this Christian school we ask for
  • sensitivity to not offend as we also challenge them to think about Jesus in new ways
  • strength as we have a packed few days here, tonight we meet with the teens on student council, tomorrow we meet with the parents to share with them the questions teens are asking, Saturday as we potentially meet with some Christian leaders regarding future events, and during every day we are doing chapels and meeting in classrooms with students.
This morning we shared about faith with the junior highers. We only had 15 minutes, so it felt like a whirlwind, but we managed to step on some toes by sharing the story that Jonalyn left her Christian school to be a missionary to a public school.

God give us grace to know when to make waves and when to be still.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Big Praise and Request s for CA and TX events

Well, Dale just shouted up from the new office in our basement that I should tell you all he has a BIG PRAISE that we were able to really rest last week. We took a 4 day trip to Moab, Utah (the off-roading capital of the world) with my parents (my Dad has a Jeep, too and he and my mom are great off-roading companions) and tent camped and enjoyed the outdoors. Here's how we do off-roading (notice the corgis and Dale's new license plate!).

Sunburned, but happy and rested we returned home to pick up where we left off with bills, emails, speaking events and writing. We were able to jump right in and I want to thank you for that ease. We were able to relax and we were able to return to our work with added enthusiasm.

This next week we'll be gearing up for another 2 week trip (we've realized this will be our 3rd 2 week trip this Spring and we don't think we'll be doing such intense, long trips again). This time we head out to Lake Tahoe area to speak for a Spiritual Emphasis week at Forest Lake Christian. Then we fly to San Antonio, Texas to speak for another Spiritual Emphasis week at Harvest Schools where we'll be speaking about C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia and the way Lewis refreshes our understanding of who Jesus is. We'll be enjoying the premier of Prince Caspian with the teens that week as well.

In preparation we ask for
  • continued eagerness to finish the Chronicles of Narnia so they are fresh to share.
  • as the days will be long with the teens (classroom visitations, lunch impromptu meetings, dinners with new friends) please pray for us to stay healthy and build up strength to give to others.
  • we will be developing several new talks together, please pray for us to have creativity and work ability with one another (Dale and I have different styles of organizing our talks) so that our strengths are building up each.
Thank you for praying with us!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Possible Bookkeeper

We have both made much of our week of rest, blogging about hot topics, catching up (on older emails, amazed at how many new emails come in, aligning details for upcoming speaking events and realizing how helpful a bookkeeper/office manager would be.

On that note we have a possible lead for a bookkeeper, though we wish God would just answer all our needs at once, we're excited to follow this up, which won't be until we return from plenty of traveling, an entire month from now.

We'll keep you posted. For now, would you pray that God would coordinate our needs with the person who can help us in the most cost-effective way?

Tomorrow, Dale and I travel to Moab, Utah for some true R & R with my parents. We're really looking forward to it!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Request- Home and Resting

Well we made it home, safe, sound and exhausted.

This week we need prayer for rest that we'd take time to recharge ourselves, to read in the evenings, to build up our minds and hearts with truth and friendship and relaxation.

Jonalyn is still working through her cold, almost better, but not quite.

We both ask for the ability to reconnect well with our friends, to swiftly plunge back into knowing and being known.

Thank you for praying with us!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Request- Valley Christian High School, San Jose


We've been on the road 8 days and we feel like sponges that have been all wrung out. It's a good feeling to be used, but we know we need your prayers to keep going with energy, creativity and love for these students.

Last week was wonderful, spending time connecting with both Christian school teachers and their students. We had asked for the clarity to know who wanted to learn and those students found us, either through purchasing our books, signing up for our email apologetic devotional (Fledge) or through grabbing us between classes. We felt we connected even better this year than last year. And on our way out the principal asked to book us again for 2009.

This week, we're doing another spiritual emphasis week, but 10 times larger and all week long. We collected 2,500 questions from these students yesterday and sifted through them last night. There is something heavy and hard about reading question after question and hearing their pain and confusion and knowing you can only answer and help so much.

It is also hard with so much of a secular worldview dominate their assumptions about the Christian God. It's like you have to construct a new context for them to even begin thinking about an answer.

We have 3 more chapels ("Why Should I Trust the Bible?" "Faith, Feelings and our Father's Presence", and "God Wants the Broken" this time with a different story thrown in). This is their spiritual emphasis week. Each day we're also visiting 2-4 different classrooms to do more talking, interacting, question answering. It is draining, but it is good. We are also inviting them to join us in the gym during lunch if they want to discuss more questions and go deeper. Today was the first day we tried it and about 20 students came engaged, open, hungry!

We ask for the ability to find those who want to go deeper, to be bold to challenge them (This is a wealthy area, wealthy school, we want them to be left with more questions to go deeper with God), to maintain our health and love for each other as we work side by side.

Now we're off to watch their baseball team (ranked 11th in the nation for division IV!) play a challenging rival this afternoon. It's this entering into their world and being part of their story that makes our time well spent.

Thank you for supporting us so well!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Requests from San Jose

Yesterday we piled our 3 corgis, suitcases and lots of books into our truck and headed out west. We drove 1100 miles until we pulled into Fremont. Little wonder we slept very well.

For the next 3 days we speak at Fremont Christian School, a student body made up both those who follow Jesus and those who do not. In just one hour Dale will speak on "Is God with Me?" challenging the teens to doubt their squirrelly feelings and get real with God's nearness even if they don't feel him. Tomorrow I'll be speaking on "Loving God with Your Soul" and finishing up with a version of "God Wants the Broken."

Every day after we speak we're scheduled to do some Q and A time in individual Bible classrooms. Since we're only here for 3 days please pray for us:

1- to find and connect swiftly with those who are hungry to grow
2- that God's message, his love for these teens would really come through our words
3- for us to pace ourselves as we have another full week of Spiritual Emphasis at another Christian High school starting next Monday. We want to be sure to have some energy left for them :)

Thank you for holding us up!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

New Ideas for Soulation

Quick note: Jonalyn's Biola chapel "God Wants the Broken" is online in video form at Biola's Centennial Chapel Series.

It has become increasingly obvious that we need help with Soulation. We've been praying for financial partners for Soulation for awhile. Some have jumped on board and encouraged us with financial support. But we realize we need to share this need with you.

We need financial partners, people who can help fund the ideas we have in the hopper:
  • office manager so we can work on what we do best
  • funding for our sound editor, to edit our talks so we can continue to build our Soulation Library.
  • a video editor to create regular mini videos of us answering questions, posted in our Soulation library and freely available on YouTube
  • web help (our website is nearing completion, but we will need funds to upkeep management of it)
  • we've found we can get on the radio in Los Angeles on KKLA, but need funding.
The original fund raising letter we sent out for Christmas was a wonderful way to get this Prayer Blog started, but as of now we don't have the funds for most of our new ideas. Some of you helped us get some new talks out in our library (THANK YOU!!) and even made it possible for Dale to have a promotional video by giving to our general expenses. We appreciate how you've supported us.

A lot of our research and writing time is gobbled up by travel arrangements, book-keeping and IT work. To share the gospel is going to require that we involve more hands on deck.

Would you please pray for us to figure out what to do? We need God's direction to find people to financially support us, or to show us how to allocate our finances for these things.
Thank you!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Ruby Slippers Luncheon Talk ONLINE

I thought you might want to hear the talk I gave for the Ruby Slippers Luncheon. It's online at Soulation. Or you can watch it. Thank you again for praying!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Home from Biola Chapel

Was it really only 24 hours ago? I never expected to feel so calm as I walked into the middle of Chase Gymnasium at Biola University and looked up into the thousands of students, some teachers and one big video camera stage center right in front of me.

I had been praying and thinking about this message for over a month. Biola had flown me into LAX for this moment and, amazingly, I felt no fear or anxiety... I believe that was because of you, your prayers and our God's provision.

My message was "God Wants the Broken" (it will be podcast on iTunes under Biola chapel, Mar 17th in about a month) a tapestry of three stories: St. Patrick, my broken engagement and Mary of Magdala. I went overtime about 5 minutes but no one moved. Afterwards I did not feel anything but deep joy... I did what I was asked to do. I know God used it.

At the end I invited students to sign-up on our Soulation table and take any of the free CDs. By the time I got to the table (and I hoofed it to get there), all the CDs were gone and a hoard of students surrounded the little table. I felt overwhelmed and amazed. Students came up saying things like, "God has been showing me how much he values brokeness, your story just reminded me to press into that with God." "If I were your husband I would be so encouraged. You honored him so much by what you said." One couple who supports Soulation both with finances and prayer came up with these words, "We prayed for you for 15 minutes while we were on the freeway yesterday, that God would give you calm."

Boy did He ever! I've never felt so at peace in a presentation and I've never spoken to a crowd of that size. I called Dale afterwards letting him know we got 68 new Soulation "Fledge" sign-ups, almost all students. Other details, like connecting flights, rental car, hotel, navigation all went so smoothly. I even bumped into a hotel manager who had attended the Ruby Slippers Luncheon last week. She wrote a kind and meaningful note telling me how much Dale and I inspire her to find "balance in her soul."

So what can I say? I'm still all aglow from that engagement, those 24 hours in Los Angeles. Now, back to the work of inputting these names, reading, praying, thinking about our next bout of talks. Please pray for us as . . .
1- We finish up our local 4 part series on Loving God with all of You, Thursday, Mar 27, after Easter. We need to carve out time to write this talk in the next week and 1/2.
2- Our new Soulation website it coming together very well, but we'd ask for prayer for David (artistic director/designer) and Joaquin (programmer) as they push through in these final stages. We can't wait to show it to you!
3- We need discipline to carve out time for emails, writing blogs, writing Fledges, but most especially time for writing our books and reading. We have company arriving tomorrow, so I'm not exactly sure how this is going to get done. But I'd ask for wisdom for both of us. Wisdom to know when we need to just relax a bit and when we need to buckle down and work.

Thank you for being the ones who lift us up!