Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Resting/Writing

It is so good to be home, again, for a full two weeks. HOORAY!

We've both found inspiration to work on writing, new blogs this last week, new book ideas. We want to ask you to thank God for a wonderful last week of travels, too.

Jonalyn's talks both in San Diego and Vail went wonderfully well, even with a few kerfuffles in travel, she finished strong. One woman wrote Jonalyn today. We wanted you to see some of her words to know how God answered our prayers:

I was blessed to be in the audience at _______ Women's Dessert. You have the amazing gift of encouragement and inspiration. Your message touched my heart in more ways than you know. I have been a stressed out, burned out social worker for the last few months. How I needed to hear your words!

In addition, my husband and I have also been struggling to have a child for several years. I dont think it was an accident to not only hear your wonderful insights, but to hear them while you are glowing with a baby! It was a reminder to me...to HAVE FAITH and to "walk humbly with my GOD!"

A million thank yous.


This week we ask your prayers for:
  1. Jonalyn's agent to work through her recent book proposal on women's friendships and that the process of finding a publisher for her next book would go swiftly. Jonalyn wants to work on this book in the next few months before the baby arrives, but it all depends on the book finding a good home with a publisher.
  2. Dale to be given a clear vision for his next book. He asks for an excellent memory and the cheerleaders to continue to come along side for this next project.
Thank you!
Jonalyn

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Rest and Energy... last talk before Christmas

Jonalyn is on the plane traveling to San Diego (Carlsbad) for her last speaking event before Christmas.  It's been a long stretch of pregnancy and travel over the last month.  She's holding up well, but asks for prayer that she's able to get some rest during her travel day and have lots of energy for tonight.  She returns home tomorrow.

As always when public speaking, pray she will tell the truth clearly, personally, and imaginatively.  This talk, "Mary and Minute Rice" has a lot of power that will resonate with her audience.  Pray also for openness and some breakthroughs for these women who will easily neglect their souls over the expectation to be superheroes this Christmas season.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Carlsbad and Vail

This week we're thankful to share that Jonalyn has finally got a diagnosis on her cold. She's actually been suffering from a sinus infection and now has all the meds she needs to get better. She's already feeling a lot more energy and back to herself, which is good because . . .

She and Dale travel to San Diego this Tuesday and then Vail on Friday and then back to San Diego the following Tuesday, all for overnight speaking trips for women's Christmas events.

Would you pray for Jonalyn to have sufficient energy to speak with a clear mind as her day begins at 4 am tomorrow and she speaks late tomorrow evening after a full day of travel? Her message is entitled "Mary and Minute Rice" and she hopes to inspire the women to resting and walking humbly with Jesus this Christmas season.

Friday, she will be speaking for an outreach event entitled "When Love is a Person" again a Christmas event. She's glad Dale is along to help her on both these trips, as it's harder to move these days. So far our baby boy is doing very well, he's just growing a lot! :)

Would you also pray for those who will receive this Christmas' Soulation Seasonal? We’ve written out most of the content and are very pleased with the result.

We are asking God for more financial donors to join Soulation this year. If we received $15,000 this year we'd both feel encouraged that Soulation is growing (but we hope and can use much more). Would you petition him to move the hearts of those who believe in Soulation to give this year?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bethel Report and this Week's Work

Bethel was a delight, the students came out in droves to support us at optional events, their questions were honest, intensively interesting and kept us thankful for each other to back us each up. You may enjoy reading their comments at our facebook fan page. One email stood out that we want to share with you

Thank you so much for sharing at Bethel this week! After hearing you at Vespers, I was just praying that the Lord would teach me to model 1 Peter 3:15 like you two do by being prepared to give answers with gentleness and respect. Wow. And I loved to see your beautiful partnership. We can read all the relationship books in the world and never learn half as much as we did just by seeing you two love and honor each other. You're like a living metaphor!


Thank you so much for praying for this trip!

Jonalyn's health is stronger, though she still is fighting the last vestiges of her cold.

This week our main task is writing out a Fledge and a Seasonal for Christmas. Many of you will also be receiving a hard copy of the latter. This will be our most important seasonal this year as far as the future of Soulation is concerned. We need to communicate our need for financial backers if Soulation's free resources and work is to continue. As we combine and synthesize so many events into stories of our time on the road, as we try to adequately explain what we do, we ask for your prayers.

We need clarity to explain our work, a good memory to recall the stories we know others want to hear and the diligence to write, write, write.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Off to Indiana!

We're speaking at Bethel College (see our map) this week on soul-growth, relationships, and gender.  Two chapels, a leadership lunch discussion, two gender sessions, and an evening Q&A.  We're eager for this opportunity to speak to the student body (about 1000) and feel ready with some fresh ideas.

Jonalyn is feeling fatigued.  She's been fighting the sniffles and the antibiotics aren't working their magic.  She feels tired going into this full week, carrying her pregnancy well, but needing some energy and health.

Today, Dale had his stitches removed from surgery last week. The doctor is very pleased with the healing.  He'll be writing more reflections on his surgery on his blog... coming soon.  He's feeling pretty tip-top.

Thanks for praying for us; we can sense it.  We anticipate a great week with the students and look forward to sharing the report!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dale's Surgery News

I have wonderful news to share about Dale’s surgery. It went INCREDIBLY well. The doctor got all the cancer on the first surgery and he was super cool and helpful the whole time. Dale never went into anxiety or shock. We were amazed and feel enormously thankful for your prayers. This was an overall very very good experience, which is good as Dale will probably have more of these in the future. The good news: all the cancer is gone. God is so good!

Now we're in the recovery stage as we get ready for our next week of talks at Bethel College in Indiana. Would you pray for Dale's full recovery?



We also ask for insight and fresh ideas as we write up talks for the college students next week.
Thank you!
Jonalyn and Dale

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Surgery Tomorrow

Tomorrow Dale and I will spend the day at the skin doctor's office for his out-patient surgery. As Dale often suffers from anxiety attacks at doctor's offices would you pray for him to sense God's peace and comfort.

We also ask that all the cancerous cells would be removed.

We look forward to this day being a time God shows himself near to us.

Thank you for praying!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Mountain and Then a Valley




Have you ever noticed how after a mountain the valley is quickly beyond it? After a tremendous time in Dallas, better than we've encountered at any church event in terms of participation, enthusiasm and feedback, we've slid down into a valley. Dallas gave us time to meet with teens (read more at the previous blog), staff and women (hear Jonalyn on the Sexuality Panel) who were engaged, excited and thankful for the ideas we shared. They made us feel so grateful that we are running Soulation and doing this work.

But we don't feel so tip-top right now.

It probably began when we missed our flight due to plugging in another airport's address. After a 4am rising time for standby, we are still catching up on sleep. Jonalyn is beginning to feel the drain of having a more cumbersome body to move around. And we hit the ground running when we arrived back in Steamboat because our house in town is officially being sold. Escrow closes this Thursday. This makes us enormously grateful, too, though the packing feels like a lot right now.

Would you pray for....

  1. A few weeks ago, Dale went to the dermatologist to have a small growth removed from his eyebrow. He thought it would be routine, since a similar one was removed last year. This year, the doctor was more cautious and sent a biopsy to the lab. The results returned that it was a form of skin cancer. For now all is fine in that it has not spread, but this Tuesday, Nov 3, Dale will go in for a MOHS surgical procedure to remove any remnants of the skin cancer. This procedure is as cosmetically non-invasive as possible, while still removing the entire cancer. He can use your prayer that not only will all the cancer be removed, but that his anxiety (with medical procedures) will be minimized.
  2. We have to pack up our in town house by Thursday. Would you pray for us to find capable, quality conscious movers to help us?
  3. We've faced a series of difficult encounters on a personal front, the details we cannot share. It has discouraged us at our core. Would you pray that we would experience God's peace and pleasure in us these next few days?
  4. Jonalyn has been bombarded with Buddhist comments on her blog (read the post "Jesus Outshines Buddha") and has finally decided to set some ground rules for the discussion. Would you pray for the Buddhists who have attacked or misunderstood Jesus in these posts? We see how they need Jesus' love and greater humility, but we feel inadequate to know how to communicate it. We want to let the Holy Spirit take over and rest in his power.
We're thankful to have you praying for us... it's been hard even getting to the computer to write out this prayer request. We're glad we finally did it, as we feel the need for prayer this week!

Thank you for holding us up,
Jonalyn and Dale


Monday, October 26, 2009

Answered Prayer

We had our evening with the teens last night. We were so grateful that David, the youth pastor, allowed us to speak at a well-organized and well attended event. Parents sat in the back and the questions the teens asked were honest, eye-opening and universal. These are the questions, the adult-like questions, that we hear all over the country.

Jonalyn felt a little weak at first and her head felt muddy, but Dale said her presentation was excellent. Nice to know it came through. We stayed for an extra hour afterward to talk with teens individually, so far our strength is holding up.

Though it's been less than 12 hours later, we've already received emails and facebook requests to connect and go further into answering questions with them. Thought you'd enjoy some pictures.

Today at noon we speak to the staff about homosexuality. Please pray for us to work well as a team, to listen and speak with humility about what we've learned.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Trip to Dallas

We are approaching a busy month of November's travels, which we kick off with a three day PACKED trip to Dallas.

We ask for your prayers specifically...
  1. That we'd be able to connect with Irving Bible Church culture swiftly as we'll be speaking to the youth, staff and women.
  2. That we have wisdom to answer difficult and often considered "too personal" questions on Christianity and sexuality. We're also leading a staff discussion on homosexuality. We ask for humility and gentleness.
  3. Protection from the H1N1 flu especially as Jonalyn's pregnancy makes her more vulnerable
  4. Jonalyn will be on a panel (pic from last year's panel she participated in) along with a theologian and a sex expert to discuss sexuality for the women's Bible study both this coming Monday evening and Tuesday morning. As she will have already spoken twice that weekend and will be near the end of our Dallas stay, would you pray for her to have energy and succinct and fresh ways to share the holism of sexual experience and clearly explain why God cares about sex?
In other news: We are so grateful to report that some key road building has been happening in these precious weeks before the snow comes. Our land is beginning to take the shape to dream up where future Soulation retreat cabins will go. Thank you for praying for us to have favor with capable workers in town, several of which have given us a non-profit discount. HOORAY!



Would you pray that we'd also have favor in the eyes of the county planning commission?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

DVD Answers

Today was Jonalyn's video shoot and it went incredibly well! We've included a few photos so you can see her on set. The director was very impressed with delivery and poise. She was totally relaxed and actually really enjoyed the process. The coordinator for the process was in tears after Jonalyn finished her first story. Everyone just loved her style and material.

God is good!

It will be so neat to be able to have this curriculum on Rebekah and Mary Magdalene available for women more easily.

Thank you so much for praying, she felt carried through the process and like she was able to deliver her best. It was an amazing experience.

Also, the day was just GORGEOUS, so they were able to do some shots of her walking through the woods and some amazing views from the land. Great for promoting the retreat down the road :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Few Requests

  1. So far so good on selling our home! Thank you for praying, we still await the bank and getting the loans.
  2. We've seen Salvation Army people coming to more healing this week. Amazing correspondences with them online. Thank you for praying!
  3. Jonalyn responded to the Buddhist monk and feels very good about the time and energy she put into her words.
  4. Jonalyn is all geared up for her film shoot tomorrow. What with the caterer and make-up artist and film crew there is enough to get her all nervous. Would you pray she would be relaxed as she works with the team tomorrow? She'll be shooting from 8am -5pm
  5. Dale's blog continues as he found time to write an excellent post. He continues to receive great feedback. Please pray for him to begin work on his next book project.
We are putting in our first major road in the White Woods and this is a significant chunk of cash for us in this tight time. We will soon need donors to help us develop this land, so we pray in expectation of who God will bring to us to help us shoulder the cost of the retreat center. Would you pray that God would begin grooming those who will financially support us?

We ask for continued good health as we work at home these next few weeks. Jonalyn's belly is GROWING and we're thankful her health has been good and the baby is completely healthy, too.

God is good and we sense his protection this fall!
Dale and Jonalyn

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Can you believe it?

Wonderful news to report:

  1. We entered contract on our house in town this Monday. HOORAY!! This housing deal involves a condo swap as well. We're now working through loan documents and waiting to hear what the banks word will be. Please pray for us as we shift around our finances and begin to prepare for the future retreat. We need favor in the eyes of the bank (as does the buyer).
  2. Salvation Army time was just amazing. We had one of the most profitable Question and Answer sessions (hopefully we will get the recording mounted and online soon) that went over 1 1/2 hours. The audience was very engaged for our talks and we're still in contact with them online. Would you pray for the broken people we spoke with, that they will follow Jesus into places of spiritual and emotional health? We have some pictures of our time at our facebook fan page:
  3. Jonalyn received several more blog comments on a blog she wrote about Buddhism. The commenter is somewhat aggressive and accusatory. Would you pray for her to find additional help to answer these technical Buddhist questions (read more here)? She also needs courage to not give up under the many other tasks at hand.
  4. Next week Jonalyn will be filmed for a DVD Women's Bible Study curriculuum (published through Zondervan). The filming team will work all day next Wednesday on location at our cabin in Steamboat Springs. We're thrilled our cabin and Jonalyn will be a part of this, but the coordinating, not to mentioned being "on" all day will involve lots of preparation. Please pray for Jonalyn to be herself when on camera and wisdom as she outlines her material.
  5. Dale recently posted a wildly popular blog on the meaning of church (read more here) He has been moderating many comments and needs the time to post another entry. Please pray for him to find the time to continue writing this important series.
The work continues, even though we're home we feel busy and glad it's gorgeous outside. We love taking breaks and breathing all this fresh, crisp air!

Happy Fall,
Dale and Jonalyn

Friday, October 2, 2009

Quick Requests from the Road

We have more good news
  1. The sale of our house in town looks more and more possible. We expect an offer soon (our realtor has been amazing getting this sale to move forward!) and we ask that God would allow the many details of these early negotiations to be ironed out. There are many ways the sale could disintegrate. We're also asking God to put up a road block for us if this sale is not going to be a good move for us as we plan to build the retreat center.
  2. We woke up at 4:45am this morning to catch a flight with 3 legs to get us to Dallas in time for our first talk this evening with the Salvation Army. Our talks are all printed and ready, we're reviewing them. We ask specifically for prayer Saturday evening when we spend 1 hour at open mics fielding questions from these young adults (ages 18-35) ask any question. This Q & A times can be enormously useful IF the audience feels free to ask their heart questions. Would you pray for them to have boldness to ask and for us to have sensitivity as we answer?
  3. We also speak Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday morning. We'd value your prayers during any of these times as we're always presenting new material!
From our Salt Lake City layover,
Dale and Jonalyn

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Preparing for Another Trip

Good afternoon!

Dale and I have some lovely news. We're thanking God for
  1. A couple who is very interested in our home in town. They've looked at it 3 times and we're moving toward an offer in the next few days. Please pray that as we begin appraisals and negotiations that we'd be able to sell our house in town without compromising funds we need to start the retreat center. We ask God for wisdom as we move forward.
  2. A fantastic meeting with the county planning committee. This was our initial meeting and we began to clarify what we need to do to make this retreat a reality.
  3. A surveyor/road builder who found out that we are "doing good just to do good" as he put it, has offered his services at his non-profit discount, 40% off. We're thrilled we'll be able to build some key roads for much less than we had anticipated.
We ask prayer for
  1. our upcoming trip. We'll be speaking for the Salvation Army Young Adult Retreat. Hundreds of 18-35 year olds will be attending and we'll be organizing the schedule and our talks in the next few days. We ask for clarity in speaking and developing talks that will allow these young adults to see the freedom Jesus offers.
  2. traveling mercies as we fly to Oregon and Dallas and food is always a bit of an issue as Jonalyn is very dependent on eating regularly and sometimes this can be tricky in terminals and airplane food courts. We ask for some good, healthy food to keep us going!
Thank you,
Jonalyn and Dale

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Hopeful News

Our time in New Hampshire surprised us with the way God uses us when we feel most needy and weak. Dale and I connected so swiftly with the high school students, noticing how many were hungry to know what God valued in them. One student told Dale after a talk, "You didn't tell us how we're awful and sinful like so many speakers do. Thank you for showing us why we're valuable." We've been enjoying connecting with them over email the last few weeks.

Perhaps the most unexpected part of our time in New Hampshire was the invitation our friends (who serve as president of the school we spoke at) extended to us to speak again, all last minute like, for the young adult Sunday School class. We were in town for an extra few days to enjoy time with our friends, so we threw together a talk using stories from our lives we have not, to date, shared publicly.

The response was overwhelmingly positive. We've been in contact with several of these people as well. We only wished we had recorded it, but know we'll be doing talks like this (covering spiritual abuse and how God's love sets us free) again and again.

These next few weeks we're home and enjoying summer turning to fall. We need your prayer for
  1. preparing for three talks for the Salvation Army's Young Adult (13-35) Retreat in Dallas
  2. our house in town is showing right now and since the market has been so slow, we pray that these people who love it and want to buy it!
  3. rest and strength as our baby grows and Jonalyn is starting to really notice :) We want to leave for our next trip with full health.
  4. Thankfulness that God met us in New Hampshire!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

New Hampshire Speaking

We're back on the road again, this time for a return trip to a Spiritual Retreat in New Hampshire. This week, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday Dale and I will speak six times to a group of 50 high schoolers, to kick of their spiritual lives for the school year.

This is our second time speaking to this group, some of the seniors remembered our talks from four years ago. Their coming up to us, within the first few hours of our arrival and reminding us of what they had still remembered and continued practicing encouraged us to pour our energy into these next few days with them.

Dale speaks once more tonight on the power and uniqueness of Jesus in healing the paralyzed man. Tomorrow morning I speak on God and brokeness. Then Dale and I speak Thursday evening, Friday morning and Friday evening. If you would be willing to commit time to praying for one of these events, we will be greater emboldened and strengthened.

Specifically we'd like prayer for
  1. Jonalyn's health as she is 4 months pregnant now... (baby Fincher due Feb 25, 2010--HOORAY!) and feeling some residue nausea from her first trimester. Pray for her strength and memory to communicate the important ideas tomorrow morning.
  2. Dale to have courage to speak boldly as this event is a very conservative audience and he wants to stay focused on speaking Jesus' freedom and showing the teens that God cares about their questions.
We have a very busy fall coming up and with expecting a little one and learning to continue relying of Jesus to give us strength, we know we need to remember Jesus' power surrounds us.

Thank you for your prayers!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Hooray

We are pleased to tell you that we finished our last BIG edit for our book. We're so thankful to have that chapter done for now so we can turn our eyes onto the next 2 weeks. We hope to have more word about the book in the next few weeks. Our editors will be working their magic to get it the right word length and grammatically sound.

Dale and I will be on a 14 day road trip, driving first to Orcas Island, off the coast of Seattle, for something called "Kindling's Fest" hosted by Dick Staub. We are hoping to enjoy some retreating of our own as well as reuniting with friends and Soulation connections. And you better believe we'll be taking notes about good things to adapt for our retreats.

One week from tomorrow we leave Seattle area and head south to mid-California region to speak for a week long Water Ski High School Church Camp.

Here's what we need prayer for:
  1. Strength, we had very little turn around time between events/deadlines this summer. Even though we've been home for 1 full month we've moved, hosted a retreat and finished our 1st book together. We want to feel both refreshed by our retreat time and prepared to help the teens think more deeply about their faith. We need strength to let ourselves relax and gear up.
  2. Joy as we drive, relax, network and speak together. It's been about a month since we've been on the road, and as we gear up to go back out, we want to remember why we really love doing this
  3. Preparation for teen's hearts to be receptive as this camp is at least 15% un-churched. Our theme is re-introducing Jesus. We hope they will love him more when the week is over.
  4. Safety and creativity- we're taking our corgis with us on this one and we need both safety for all of us as we drive, but also creativity to keep everyone cool enough during these warm weeks. We look forward to watching our little Ladies run in the fields at a little dog-friendly farm we found on Orcas Island.

Off to pack!
Jonalyn (for Dale, too).

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Soulation Retreat

Our Soulation retreat finished up last Sunday and it went incredibly, beautifully well. Dale and I felt so affirmed by how our guests bonded, contributed, helped and loved. We feel like retreats are in our future as Soulation and look forward to see how God will give us the space to make them happen.


To see a cool slide show one photographer attendee put together watch here. Through her eyes you will get a taste of our land and the fun people who came out! They breathed courage and joy into us, even though we felt slightly stressed with our book deadline and our move.

GOOD NEWS:

I (Jonalyn) have finished my final proof read of our book: Coffee Shop Conversations. Dale is doing his final read through and we are VERY VERY grateful to be near the end.


Would you pray for him to

  • notice the things I missed as he sharpens up this final draft
  • enjoy the final read through even as he has other things clamoring for his attention
  • creativity

We are finishing up our time with guests. This week Joseph, a friend from our travels, has flown out to help us with trail-making. He is working hard and Dale asks for some time to enjoy working and hanging out with him. So far, I (Jonalyn) am so impressed by how much Dale can do. He is amazing! :)


Thank you for making a tangible difference in our lives with your prayers!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Soulation Retreat around the corner!

Only three more days till our first Soulation retreat. Much has been prepared, much more still to do. Nine are descending our our mountain town refreshing their souls with conversation, the outdoors, and friendship. Our anticipation is high.

Heave upon this excitement and preparation our book project. Our editor sent us back our book to be edited and sharpened once again. This time, Jonalyn and I are doing it together, paragraph by paragraph. Each day we've spent about 4 hours to do 15 pages. It's slow, but very helpful work. The book is shaping up nicely. But couple that schedule and new deadline with the retreat and we've got very full plates.

We ask for patience as we work together. Working on a book so closely can frustrate us both, but we keep remembering the special opportunity to put our ideas into writing so better the world. We also ask for endurance as we carve out time this next week, giving all our guests our presence while also using our free time to edit, edit, edit. We will be exhausted come next Sunday, but rewarded. We also pray for an overflow of thanksgiving for our opportunities and the abilities to do seize them.

Our on the land, the forest consultants are working up our agricultural plan. All needed steps as we walk forward toward our plans for the retreat center.

I am continuing therapy... you can pray that the insights and honesty continue to flow. I'm in the middle of Scott Peck's book, "The Road Less Traveled." I'm stunned nobody has recommended this book to me before. It's a keeper, deeply resonant, and one you'd serve your own spiritual growth well by picking up (how's that for a plug in a prayer blog!)...

We look forward to sharing a good report for next week!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Big to Small

Tonight is our last night in our spacious home. We've been working so hard to transition over. Tomorrow a slew of realtors will be visiting our home to see if they'd want to suggest it to their clients. So on top of packing we've been cleaning, too.

Whew!

As we move into the cabin, sometimes it feels like everything will fit well, sometimes I feel like Cinderella's stepsister trying to get a huge foot into a small shoe. Will everything we need fit? Where? How? And perhaps we don't need to worry as much as just take it a step at a time.

Would you pray for our first night at the cabin, tomorrow evening? We'll be sleeping on a blow-up mattress and doing our best to sleep well. We're mostly excited :)

We felt so loved tonight when a dear friend offered to bring us our first meal tomorrow evening along with a visit with her girls. Thankful for you all who pray for us and help us through this transition!

More to come!
Jonalyn (for Dale)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Moving Into the Wild

Two nights ago I (Jonalyn) met a porcupine, a HUGE one on our land. It was about the size of a 40 inch TV, but much pokey-er and heftily raising it's quills. Our corgi, Lucy, helped me see him, but thankfully, she did not get too close to the hind quarters. The encounter makes both Dale and I very glad she is obedient when we called her sharply to "COME!". Afterwards, I felt all jittery about moving out of town into the great wild.

So I for your prayers for me as we make this move. Though that cabin is lovely, comfortable and very suited to our tastes, we're still "out there." And I'm not entirely comfortable with the idea of porcupines meeting our dogs nor the idea of bears and mountain lions prowling about. God give me strength for this new adventure.

Dale has "changed lanes" so to speak into a more committed endeavor to simplify his life and focus on writing regularly. Would you pray for him to build the discipline and long-endurance to put his thoughts into blogs, essays and book ideas?

We have been moving slowly and spending lots of time reading and writing. This feels blessed to us, we want to enjoy the leisure to develop more thoughts without the distraction of book deadlines or speaking engagements.

And, of course, our home continues to sit on the market. We await God's plans. Meanwhile, we also await the county assessor's office to grant us agricultural status on our land that we move to. If we find favor in their eyes, we will have more funds to build the land. Would you pray for Routt County's favor?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Moving on

This last weekend we sent our fully edited manuscript of Coffee Shop Conversations off to our editor to finish up. While we know there will still be a final read through, we felt a huge amount of satisfaction knowing we had finished well. The editing was grueling last week, but each day we had moments of rest, a walk, a walk to get mail, a good movie to relax to at least for a few hours each day.

We both felt your prayers. I (Jonalyn) felt really thankful that I didn't feel as stressed and frustrated as normal. Dale put in an additional read through the entire book before sending it. We think the work will pay off as we've given the manuscript the best that we have in ourselves, at this time. Thank you for helping us finish.

Now it's out of our hands for awhile and we're cheerfully turning toward moving to our cabin this month. We ask your prayer for
  • wisdom about attaining agricultural status on our land. We need favor in the eyes of the assessor board to make this happen.
  • deep contenment about our house remaining un-sold
  • wisdom about what to do with our house:drop price? continue waiting? get renters? We need God's guidance about what would be the best move. Pray that he would guide us.
Our times with our house church in town have been particularly rich lately and we feel nourished and thankful to live here in Steamboat. We very excited to be moving into our little cabin.

Happy Summer!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Coffee Shop- final week

Ohio was wonderful, we felt united as we spoke, fully present and we even got time to work on our book. The flights were perfectly smooth. We're still getting emails from thankful people in the audiences.

This week we need your prayers for writing. We're down to the last 4 days of editing Coffee Shop Conversations: Making the Most of Spiritual Small Talk.

Please pray for us to have creativity and clarity as we edit. We both know that the small changes we make this week will have long-term consequences for help or confusion. We want the former. :)

Putting in 8-10 hours each day to do our final (5th) read through of the manuscript has been grueling. Please pray for us to still like each other at the end of the day, too. :) So far, we've found the work very rewarding, but we're only 1/4 of the way through this final read.

Dale is doing a lot of work editing on our "being" verbs and cutting the manuscript down another 7000 words. I (Jonalyn) am doing the final, final read through. We're both feeling the pressure of our Saturday deadline.

Thank you so much for helping us make it through!
D & J
p.s. you might enjoy reading my blog where I give an example of coffee shop type conversations.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Malibu Answers, Writing and Ohio

We're home from Malibu and I (Jonalyn) am so excited to share with you some amazing things God did.

First, God answered your prayers about helping me strike a chord with the women and open up a new way of thinking. My books sold out, the women were eager to listen and apply the talks and small group time and I was delighted by their feedback. At the end of the retreat when they specifically thanked me and prayed for me, I was in tears. It was a very meaningful time.

At the end of the retreat we enjoyed a time of corporate prayer and women thanked God specifically for things we had discussed and I had shared that weekend. Things like, "God thank you for giving me a way to see the ugliness inside of me" , "Thank you for freedom from guilt and shame", "Thank you for giving me a way back home" all themes in the talks. When I heard the women owning the idea that Jesus can help them, and wanting to walk more boldly into Jesus' arms for help.... I felt I just had to tell you how much God helped us all. It's weekends like this that make me love this work. THANK YOU for praying for me.... I sensed the Spirit's help this weekend.

And Dale had a very productive, good time, too. He got through round 2 of edits and even found time to connect with friends. Even after a long weekend of working, our time was amazingly refreshing!

This week we begin the next stage of editing together. We've been through the manuscript 2 times. We hope to do another 2 in the next 2 weeks. Given that we also fly to Ohio for several speaking events (Friday-Monday), we're hoping to be very diligent in the next 3 days and then next week before our May 30th deadline.

Would you pray for us?
  • to sleep well so we can awake refreshed each morning
  • to trust one another to make the book better
  • to trust God to be able to give us the words to connect with our audience.
  • as we write new talks for this weekend that we'll be given fresh ideas and organization
Thank you for helping us do this work!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

On to Malibu

As I write this, Jonalyn has just finished packing the Soulation supplies and books and putting the finishing relish on her suitcase.

In the early morning, we set off for Malibu, the land of celebrity second homes. Jonalyn will be speaking three times, twice in Saturday, once on Sunday. I will be doing some networking and visiting a local cafe to continue editing our book.

Pray for safe travels, that Jonalyn will strike a real chord with the ladies, that souls will be open to change and new ways of seeing things, that my meetings will be fruitful and nourishing, and that we'll lap in as much of the sea as we can before heading back to the mountains.

We return home late Sunday night!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Editing

Our next book, Coffee Shop Conversations: Making the Most of Spiritual Small Talk, will be coming out in Winter, 2010. We even have a new beautiful cover design which is helping motivate us. See attachment :)

But the work of writing and editing happen now. Today and every day of this month (except when we travel for speaking), Dale and I are editing our manuscript.

We need prayer specifically this month for our partnership dynamic. Dale and I both have strong ideas about where each section of the book needs to go. Sometimes we agree, sometimes we don't. We ask you to pray for:
  • trust in one another as we edit, crop and delete each other's hard work
  • humility as we receive critiques from our editor and each other
  • zeal and determination to insert new stories so as to make the reading more enjoyable
  • desire to get to bed at a decent hour so we have enough morning hours to write well
  • A quick memory to recall all that we've talked about with each other and on the road to add to this manucript
Our deadline is May 30th. Back to work!
Jonalyn and Dale

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Walking in Memphis

We are in Memphis Tennessee this week, speaking together Monday night and Tuesday for a luncheon and a dinner.

As we're arrived safe and sound, we wanted to send you a few prayer requests
  1. We hope to recuperate our rest tonight so we are geared up to speak together Monday evening for a Q and A with the church's leadership team.
  2. Jonalyn speaks twice on Tuesday. She asks for you to pray that the Spirit give her words of truth with love. She will be presenting on the freedom for women to discover their calling (i.e. their personalized body and souls' calling in the kingdom). There will be non-believers attending, so she asks for wisdom to both introduce Jesus to those who do not follow him as well as refresh the believers ideas of what Jesus means to their womanhood.
  3. We fly home Wednesday, please pray for our safety.
Our house was seen, but no word, yet. We await God's work in our lives in any way he sees fit. This week, we want to be fully present in Memphis.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

One Request

We have received the beginning of an answer to our prayers to sell our house.

Tomorrow we have a house showing from 10:30-11:30. That in and of itself is an answer.

But it's hard to remain faithful to pray when God has said,"No" so many times to it selling. We ask you to pray with us that his family would want our home.

Thank you!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Radio and Dallas Answers

Radio update- the interview went great. We love being on radio! As of now we don't have access to the recording, but we're trying to get it so we can post on our website and you can hear it. Our interviewer was excited about us and Soulation. She was young and asked us perfectly accessible questions that we took and ran with. We didn't interrupt each other (YAY!) and felt clear (I, Jonalyn, only had one brainfreeze that I don't think anyone noticed).

I'd say we weren't quite as whimsical as we could have been, but it's hard to pack it all into 15 minutes. After the interview, the host said she'd love to connect again. That is very good for us and for Soulation. Thank you for praying!

Dallas update:
Sometimes it can be hard to know if and how you've made an impact, but this last weekend in Dallas was not one of those times. Two ways we gauge how effectively we've communicated Jesus:
1- How many want to know more and come sign up or talk more with us afterward
2- How many write to us after the event is done and over with.

Both happened in Dallas and are happening now. We're still answering emails from eager teens and young adults. Our hosts wrote us afterward and told us "You really met a need in the discipleship of our young adults that has been hit or miss for some time. Thanks for your willingness to listen and be present for the teens and young adults."

And our time with the potential director of development was amazing. He has volunteered his time to help us brainstorm new ways to ask for funding. We are encouraged to know he wants to join our team, even though we do not have the funds to pay him right now.

Our prayer for these next two weeks is that God would bring us a buyer for our home in Steamboat so we can begin our retreat center plans in earnest. Would you focus your prayer with us on this request?

Radio Today

We want to share the good news of our trip (we just got home last night from Dallas), but first, can we ask for your prayer today?

We'll be interviewed by Moody Bible Radio at 11am (Mountain Time) on the subject of the resurrection. It will be a 15 minute interview.

We're very excited, but need your prayers for
  1. clear thinking as we have limited time
  2. respect for each other as we're being interviewed at the same time
  3. whimsy and humor so that this broadcast will be picked up by other stations around the country
We'll update you on how everything went tomorrow!
Dale and Jonalyn

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Five Days of Rest

We are so thankful to be home.

HUGE THANKS to God for finding us a web programmer. His name is Joaquin (you may have remembered him as he helped us before) and he has agreed to shoulder many new responsibilities for us. Would you pray for him to stay on task as he wades through a long to-do list for the website?

Highlights of our 10 day speaking trip include hearing students remind us of things we taught them last year (nice to know some things stuck with them), walking the emerald green hills during a break, Jonalyn feeling cold symptoms vanish after one good night's rest, soon enough to keep up our energy (thank you for praying for endurance!) and some very unique questions and answer sessions in classrooms. We can tell you prayed for us to have creativity as we got some new questions we had to navigate.

One of the best things about Steamboat is that our friends know when we have been gone and they welcome us back when we return. We love that.

Would you pray for us this week and weekend? We are flying to Dallas, TX Friday and will be gone through Tuesday. Jonalyn is sick with the cold that returned with a vengeance (must have been that 17 hour drive home on Saturday) and has kept her in bed trying to recover. We ask for her body to be completely recovered before we board our flight Friday morning.

We'll be speaking to youth (teens to 29 year olds) this weekend. We both need sensitivity to the wide range of ages and boldness as we'll be doing some gender break-out sessions with guys and girls as well as a main session and a Q and A time. Would you pray that this weekend many young people would find new tools and boldness to share their faith?

Monday we'll be meeting with a possible director of development for Soulation. Please pray for our time with him, that we would know if this is a lead we need to follow-up on.

From a land where the snow has fallen in feet in the last few days!
Dale and Jonalyn
p.s. our home is still on the market, no bites. Please pray for us to continue to feel peaceful as we wait.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Half-way CA!

On the road, we count the times we hit the pillow to see how long before we head home... last night was the halfway point.

Jonalyn's first two talks to two different women's groups were very well received. Jonalyn is more convinced than ever of the topic of her new book regarding female friendships is needed. This is just what she needs to get motivated to re-work her proposal when we get home. Her evangelistic message was really appreciated by the leadership and many women thanked her specifically for being clear, gentle, firm, honest, giving truth, offering rest through Jesus and affirming the freedom Jesus offers women.

This second talk in Anaheim went so well, it further confirmed Jonalyn as a moving, eloquent speaker in her own right. She needs to hear that, so we were both grateful!

The days were very packed, but we're still feeling healthy and energetic.

Sunday, Dale lead the church through Nehemiah 2... he enjoys speaking through a text of Scripture, mining out the larger context of how it fits into our stories. Nehemiah is no different. Several old friends and new came forward to thank him.

We hope to have the above three talks online in the near future.

Our journey north after the church service was loooong. Seemed everyone up north was returning home from spring break (or people in the south were leaving for spring break)! Living in the mountains makes you forget just how many automobiles we have and the long lines we can make with them. We arrived at our hotel after 11PM and jumped out of bed for a morning chapel at a small ACSI school in Medicino County. The students were eager to have us... we shared with them how they are souls and how we love God with our souls.

Now we're writing from Fremont where we spoke this morning on the realness of God. Already we note a respectfulness and eagerness from the students. This is our third year in a row to share for spiritual emphasis week. One girl, the chaplain from 3 years ago, already graduated, came back to sit in the back and hear us speak. It's little significant moment like this that keep us going.

The next two days we'll be in classrooms with the students as well as do chapel each day the rest of the week. We need endurance and creativity to answer their questions.

We drive home early morning Saturday.

Pray for these kids, that they will release the guards on their hearts and let God's love meet them. Many are anxious over graduation and college applications and fears for the future. Many are ripe to rest into God while others are still asking questions whether God is good enough to rest into... It's a spiritual battle, even in the Christian school. Many of the students do not follow Jesus at all, so it is a balancing act on how to engage everyone at multiple levels.

Thanks for praying! You're making a difference in this kingdom work.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

California, Here We Come

We leave tomorrow at 4am for a long drive to Carlsbad, California. So begins our longest speaking trip of this Spring. We are very excited!!

For this prayer update, we decided to list each event. It would help us so much to know that you will be praying for each of these events. We invite you to choose one or two to commit to praying for. Here's how we often pray for ourselves:

God give us the clarity to show your truth, help us to explain how beautiful, good and free you are. Make us attentive to show love to those here by being present with everyone we speak to.

Friday evening- Jonalyn gives an inaugural talk on Women and Friendship for a women's ministry group in Carlsbad

Saturday morning- Jonalyn speaks at her first Outreach event. She will be presenting the way Jesus allows women to rest and offering women a chance to receive Jesus in Anaheim.

Sunday morning- Dale preaches at our old home church in Laguna Beach. He'll be speaking on Nehemiah

Sunday afternoon we drive to San Francisco

Monday morning- We speak together on Loving God with all Your Soul to Deep Valley Christian. Pray for good conversation afterward as we'll be sharing lunch with the high schoolers.

Tuesday-Friday- We speak together at Fremont Christian School each day for their Spiritual Emphasis Week. We'll also, energy permitting, be visiting individual classrooms for some Q & A time.

Saturday- we drive home.

We want to give California the best we have to offer, but we also need God's helps to take this trip one opportunity at a time. We cannot wait to see how God will use us to help others become more appropriately human.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Off to Kansas City

Thank you for praying for our talks for this week in Kansas City. We both feel excited about what we'll be sharing. Dale will be kicking off the Conference Friday evening and Jonalyn will start the day Saturday morning. Would you pray for us? It makes an amazing difference when people pray for us while we speak.

We ask for strength tomorrow as we get up early, drive to Denver, catch a flight and then meet and greet and rest a bit and then BAM! Dale goes on stage. Please pray for energy for us both.

Our house has gotten very few offers, not really even nibbles. As our cabin gets closer to being done, we ask that God would time a buyer for us so that we can move smoothly into the cabin and not let our house sit empty. We are really eager to use the funds to begin building toward the retreat center. It is hard to wait, isn't it?! We're learning about faithfulness, God's faithfulness and our need to continue with the work before us.

We've been reading lots. Thank you for praying for the time!

The webmaster lead didn't work out, but we have another one that we're pursuing. Please pray for us to find a web programmer to help us with the Soulation website.

We're off to pack for our trip! Thank you for helping us with your prayers,
Jonalyn and Dale

Friday, March 6, 2009

Back in the Swing

Dale and I returned from Seattle last week to meet a host of hard things, deaths in our community, personal struggles of friends, many emails with needs of people looking to Soulation for help. It's amazing to us at how many people are hurting.

Jonalyn and Sally's class ended very well. The last meeting was amazing, a true climax to our time. We look forward to doing it again!

We want to thank you for praying for our time in Seattle. We found so many amazing new friends, meeting up with radio personalities, homeless shelter directors, gender justice advocates and enjoying the quirky people we found at Pike Street. To see some pictures of our trip visit here. We came home rested in mind, but tired in body (since we drove both ways). This last Monday we both took a much needed Sabbath where we did not look at our emails. It was exactly what we needed.

This week we ask your prayer for
  1. Dale and I will be doing a large apologetic conference in Overland Park, Kansas the 13-14. Please pray for us as we organize our talks this week, we want to be very clear in our presentations.
  2. We have a possible lead for a webmaster. We are so excited that this might work out because it means our website will be regularly updated, more information available to others. Would you pray for her as she looks over the job description and tasks we need help with that she would know if this would be a good fit? Please pray for clarity and a good working relationship
  3. As we await the edits on our Faith and Friendship book, we've both been dedicating more time to reading. Would you pray that we would both find the desire and carve out the time to read?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Rest and Peace

Dale and I are remembering, once again, why we love this little town. This week has been so restful and good for us both. Thank you for praying for our RPM's to slow down :) We know we're relaxing as we've both been able to enjoy hobbies we really love!

This weekend we look forward to meeting with our house church. Jonalyn will be sharing. Please pray for her preparation.

Monday night is Jonalyn's final class with the women in town. The opportunity has been enormously satisfying, educational and fun. She and Sally are working well as a team! Would you pray for their final meeting to empower the women to be salt and light in this town?

Next week we take a trip up to Seattle for networking and relaxation. Would you pray for us as we plan out our itinerary. We need the right mix or vacation and meetings.

Glad to have weeks like this!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Finished

Our book, first FULL draft, is DONE!!!! YAY. So good to get it off.

We both feel very good about the product we churned out. For the last few days Dale has been the WRITING/EDITING master. Yesterday he edited over 140 pages, so that last night, fresh off a plan from Dallas, I, Jonalyn, could focus my last inklings of energy to go through about 40 pages, finish up edits, compile and click SEND.

I know we did our best. Now we await our editor's red pen.

Now, we want to rest. Jonalyn has a sore throat, Dale is well, but his back and eyes are tired from computer strain.

We are celebrating with some days to relax and avoid our laptops (though as you can tell, I, Jonalyn, am not doing such a good job at that). Dale is tinkering with his Jeep and I'm about to get back to a good novel.

I flew home late last night from Dallas with a satisfied heart (and a sore throat).

I haven't felt that thrilled to be speaking on my own in a long time. It's usually very hard to be separated from Dale, and I feel more nervous traveling as a single female. But, the trip out was smooth (I found good food and enough peaceful time to still my soul). Even though I didn't see my hotel room until midnight--I landed and went straight to a dinner event, changed clothes at this home, arrived at the church got wired up, went on stage, I was at peace, really relaxed!

The panel discussion was delightful, full of grace and truth for each other and the attendees were so thankful and responsive. I saw some key answers to prayer I wanted to share with you:
  • Several women thanked me specifially for my wisdom and honesty.
  • I was not nervous, almost giddy with peace (is that possible?). The stage was set like a living room with couches and I felt so relaxed up there. Even though the lights gave me a suntan.
  • I had lots of energy, but also a willingness to be silent for some answers to allow the others to speak. I feel that is the beginning of wisdom, too.
  • I felt valued, listened to and courageous.
  • The women I got to meet and learn from were so enriching to my life.
  • Scores of women loved what we said, asked further questions, got books, opened up with their stories of doubt and faith. On this note please pray for the many women who wanted to go further in discussion questions, who I invited to email me. Often biz cards get lost, the passion to know fades. I want to pray that these women would contact me and that we could push further in to know the Lord.
  • Here's what one attendee wrote: her blog.
  • THANK YOU FOR PRAYING FOR US!!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Dallas and First Finished Draft

  • Big potential news: we have a couple looking at our home this weekend (Saturday at 3pm) interested in viewing the house. This is their 1st viewing so we don't want to get our hopes up, and yet we do. Would you pray for this opportunity to materialize into a great offer?
  • We have been pumping out chapters. Jonalyn is done YAY! editing like mad now. Dale is meeting all his goals. Please pray we would finish this book strong. It would be easy to get tired, but we want to turn in our 1st draft proud of the work we've done.
  • Jonalyn is feeling God's love and wisdom pouring down on her. She also feels humbled by how little she knows. Perhaps this is the perfect answer to prayer as this coming Monday (Feb 2) she flies to Dallas to participate in an apologetic panel for a large women's Bible study.
  • While Dale finishes up the book Jonalyn will be flying to Dallas. Please pray for Jonalyn to have courage, serenity and peace for this trip. Her flight must be ontime (both legs) if she is to arrive in time to speak Monday evening. It's a whirlwind trip, she's only staying one night. Would you pray for her to find peace and poise after her day of travel to speak Monday evening and Tuesday morning? Travel can be so frazzling, she will be doing 2 booksignings, lots of mingling and she already feels pressure as she's the youngest on the panel.
Yours in the work,
Jonalyn and Dale

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Coming Home after a Weekend High

Well, we're home again and have much to be grateful for.

  1. The Messianic youth leader retreat was truly amazing, enriching time. Our flights were a breeze, clear, sunny skies both ways (I, Jonalyn, did make it back in time for my Monday night class). We both felt replenished, even though Dale was sick with a cold 1/2 the weekend. He is on the mend, now! I was so touched that I wrote an entire blog about the time with our Messianic brothers and sisters. To read see my blog.
  2. No action on our house, yet!
  3. Dale and I see the end of our writing for this book, we both sat down yesterday and pumped out a short chapter each, which was rather surprising and encouraging. Would you pray specifically for Dale as he will be carrying the main responsibility for the final chapters? We ask God to give him fresh ideas as he writes. I need steady awareness as I do a few more chapters and a lot of editing.
  4. I need extra wisdom. Lately, I've been unhappily aware of how little I truly have. I need your prayers here. I want to seek wisdom. Would you pray that God would help me find wisdom for several areas in my life?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Website News and Youth Retreat

Good morning!
  1. We have wonderful news--our new website is LIVE. View it and be certain to check out our new calendar (click "Get in Touch" and select "Our Calendar"). The Library is also a new feature, we're so thrilled that people will be able to search for what they need and find it much more easily. Thank you very much for praying for this venture!
  2. Last night we had our weekly Soulation Chat. We are very thankful to God for the strength he gave me, Jonalyn, to discuss some very heavy topics.
  3. Tomorrow we head to Atlanta to speak to the Young Jewish Messianic Alliance, a retreat of Messianic youth pastors. We will be presenting on worldview and gender. Would you pray for our flight (out of snow country) to be on time both going and coming? Dale has mentioned that our particular concern for this speaking engagement is that our own views woudl be expanded as we learn from this group of Messianic Jews.
  4. Please pray for our house to sell. We have received no bites so far and that is disappointing (but not unforeseen).
  5. Our writing has been going so well. We're nearing completion and right on schedule. Thank you for praying for us in this!
  6. The first class I, Jonalyn, taught with Sally in town, "Reviving the Soul in the Chill of Winter" was a joy to co-teach. The participants were excited and engaged. As our second class is next Monday evening, the day we fly home from Atlanta, we pray for no mishaps on the flight.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Snow, writing, and a surprise....

This is my second winter in the snow... I never thought it was be this much fun. Growing up in a sunny place (Florida) and then transplanting to another sunny place (Los Angeles), everyone had an opinion of the snow and how glad they were not in it. Maybe that will be my tune one day, but for now this powdery stuff is a wonderland, a good workout on snowshoes, a scenic landscape out the window, and a veritable obstacle course on the roads! Yesterday we received 16". It's so fluffy, Jonalyn opened a path to the cat door (for "Spout") by simply stomping down the snow. The wall of snow beside the path is about 30"... that's how fluffy it is. I "shoveled" off the front steps with a broom!

With this backdrop, we're busy writing every morning. Since our last post, I have completed my 6000 word section for our new book (it ended up being 8000 words) and am onto the next serious of chapters. Jonalyn is as well.

Writing is hard work. If there's one thing a writer needs prayer for it is a playful imagination. All the info is in the head (mostly). But it has to get onto the page in a way that will carry people along, help them see the world through new lenses, help them be glad again to be human... that they do fit into the world.

We can use prayer to that end.

Jonalyn begins her class with her friend Sally this week called "Reviving the Soul in the Chill of Winter." The class is booked full! That's always a great encouragement when people pay for a class. This is the first time Jonalyn and Sally will be teaching together, so they need good chemistry and teamwork as they share.

Next week we're headed to the national Messianic youth worker retreat. We feel a particular affinity with the Messianics and look forward to learning from them as much as teaching them Soulation-style apologetics for youth.

One more thing: I opened up our Soulation mailbox yesterday, stunned to find donations for Soulation. We didn't sent out a fundraiser letter this year, yet we raised two thirds of what we raised last year without it! This is what our God is often like, surprising us in special ways, using his sons and daughters as vehicles of his goodness. So many thanks to you for encouraging us with your prayers and support. We stretch every dollar to the max (and hope we don't waste any prayers of yours either!).

The God of Israel is our comfort, help, and hope. Thanks for walking this road with us.