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.