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!

  • 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.