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