If we are not earnest in our religion, and if our wills and inclinations are not strongly exercised, we are nothing.

- Jonathan Edwards

“Our lives are full, often complicated, and it seems we spend so much time attempting to fit God into our story that we don’t allow ourselves to be lifted up into His story–an epic narrative that is mysterious, compelling and utterly transforming.”

Larry Crabb

For some time now I’ve felt that I’m not the lead character of my own story.  My formation in Christ is really about Christ being formed in me.  My spiritual growth is best reflected in looking more and more like Him.  When I act in a godly manner, it’s because of His story getting worked out within me and through me.  I’m just a conduit.

Yet, the curious thing about all this is that I never cease to be me in the process.  Through His transforming presence, I still have a dry sense of humor – it’s just getting cleaner.  I still enjoy adventure movies, reading, exercise and time with my family.  I’m still an introvert.  I am still ‘me’ but in reality I am becoming the real me He always intended.

And so it is with everyone ‘in Christ’.  Our story, if properly (can I say, Biblically?) understood is really about Him; His salvation, His grace, His love worked out within each of us.  Thank you for giving us a glimpse of Him.

Because He Is Near,



NOTE:  Lu Hawley begins her ‘new life’ in Chiang Mai, Thailand this month while Wendy finalizes her move from Chiang Mai back to Sarajevo, Bosnia (Wendy and Diana plan to move into Bosnia sometime early fall).  The Stirling’s and Gibson’s are keeping busy with many out of town guests asking for soul care as well as their regular meetings with folks in town.  The Hall’s, as well, continue to share the gospel with all they meet forming new believers into discipleship and Bible study groups.  The Moore’s have been assisting at a Willow Creek conference in Germany and are gearing up for a new year.  The Blackwells‘ are in full swing with their fund development (as is Diana) in hopes of arriving in Chiang Mai before school starts this fall.  The Shepherd’s have had to set aside some ministry opportunities until their support strengthens.

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