Wednesday, February 21, 2007

on the mend

We now have a functioning furnace in our house, Hooray!! Hopefully today the plumbers will be back to fill in the hole in front of our house too. They replaced our old gas line so now all is well and we don't have to worry about our house blowing up.

Naty and Marcus are also feeling somewhat better, but both still have nasty coughs. Thankfully the weather is warming up so that may help us get back to normal. I really don't want any more snow days now either or else we will have to have more school on days we are supposed to have off.

Thank you for your prayers.

Monday, February 19, 2007

what a weekend!

We just came through a very sickly weekend. Naty and Marcus were both sick with fever and flu. Then, Marcus also broke out in hives to top that off! Pobrecito! I took him to the doctor today and the Doc said that he thinks Marcus must be allergic to Penecillin. It kind of seems like a wierd diagnosis because he has taken it before without any problem, but who knows?

Naty doesn't have hives, but she does have a constant fever and lots of aches and pains to go along with her runny nose and sore throat. Thankfully I had off work today for President's Day so I could take care of everybody, so that helped a lot. I am very grategul to God for good health and the privelege of being able to help out.

To add insult to injury (or in our case infermity) we found a gas leak in the line that goes from the street to our house so our gas is no turned off for the night and there are plummers coming to fix it tomorrow. With many thanks to Jim and Maria, from our house church group, we have a nice space heater to use tonight to keep us all warm. Otherwise I'm sure it would have gotten pretty chilly.
Speaking of chilly, I had some great chilli yesterday when I went next door to watch the Daytona 500 with Jim our neighbor. We were both very happy to see a DEI driver take the checkered flag with a finsh that I never expected. I would have been happy if Mark Martin would have won too, especially since he is now driving a Chevy!
Saturday night was also an amazing experience of prayer. We had a prayer night at Joe and Janice's as Mim led us in prayers to Seek God for the City. ( My biggest challenge from God that started the day before at Aldi's is to bebroken enough to see the value of EVERY SINGLE HUMAN BEING. Today as I went to Kroger again I found myself making conversation with an elderly lady who parked next to me. Granted I had to say what I said three times because she couldn't hear me, but then again I'm sure she never expected some nice looking young man to actually slow down to talk with her.
The value of each person is making me into a more dedicated pray-er. Oh, I have so far to go.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

catching up

The past two days I've had off work because of snow. We had about 6-8 inches and a little more than an inch of ice too. This has definitely been the worst winter that we've had since moving to Ohio. Even though I've had off I still don't feel like I'm keeping up with all that we have to do!
As the previous post shows, we have been officially appointed to serve as missionaries in Venezuela with RMM. We are very excited about this vision and calling coming to fruition one step at a time. God has been faithful in leading us this far and now we are trusting Him to provide for us financially as well as we begin fundraising.

This past weekend we presented at our sixth Engaged Encounter in Dover, OH. Engaged Encounter is a weekend seminar for engaged couples to share and discuss how they can best prepare for their pending marriage and not just make plans for their wedding. The theme of EE is that "A wedding is only a day but a marriage lasts a lifetime." We presented with Bob and Naomi, the "senior couple" who have been married for 40+ years. It was once again a blessing to be able to meet and share with several engaged couples. It was also a blessing to have time for Naty and I to focus on our relationship as well.

I have also been enjoying discipleship via 2 new Life Transformation Groups with two friends. LTGs are a practical way to do discipleship in groups of 2 or 3. They consist of reading scripture, accountability and prayer for the lost. We have been reading the Gospel of Matthew which has been an incredible experience in itself. Jesus just keeps blowing me away with all that He teaches and lives.

Then just this afternoon my friend Aram came over and we had a great conversation trying to figure out (we didn't) what the Kingdom of God is. We listed sort of a Top Ten (we only got to six) list of the most important things that Jesus seemed to focus on in what he did in his time here on earth. Here's what we came up with. This is still a work in progress:

  1. Prayer/connection with God

  2. Healing/feeding etc.

  3. Teaching

  4. Communal living/discipleship

  5. Abandoning possessions

  6. Suffering

The crux of our conversation was that these are things that Jesus spent most of his time doing so how much of our time do we spend doing them? How do we do them today? The other question that we want to keep answering is more of an open ended definition. "The Kingdom of God is _____fill_in_the_blank________." What would you say?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Seeking Support

Naty and I have been approved to serve as missionaries with Rosedale Mennonite Missions ( beginning August 1, 2007. If you would like to support us financially and/or receive update letters from us, just send me an E-mail, which is listed under my profile.
The following is a letter from our missions agency:

Dear Friend:

Greetings from Rosedale Mennonite Missions!

God is at work in Dion and Naty Peachey’s life. It has been a privilege to walk with them over the past two years as they have focused on preparation and training for their call to church planting in Venezuela.

There are few evangelicals in Venezuela and latest figures state that it remains less than 2% Christian. Though claiming to be a bastion of Catholicism, the majority of the population is nominal and Venezuela is one of the least church-going nations in all Latin America. New age spirituality is increasing and 85% of the population are involved to a lesser or greater extent in some form of spiritist practice.

The Catholic Church opposes mission activity and visas are hard to obtain for missionaries. As Dion and Naty processed their vision with us here at RMM, it became clear that bi-vocational ministry would be best in this context. The Peacheys are exploring teaching jobs, and one university has expressed interest in hiring Dion already. They also are interested in perhaps starting a coffeehouse/Internet café in the city they locate in.

The job description for their first two-year assignment is to seek gainful employment and develop the business plan/feasibility study for possibility of a café, while discipling individuals and facilitating the formation of a network of small groups/fellowships.

This is a big task but we feel God is in this and that they are up to it! The Peachey’s need your prayers and financial support. Would you stand with them in this mission? Enclosed with this letter, is a response form for you to indicate your support. Unless you instruct us otherwise, the Peacheys will receive a copy of the top part of this form (so they’re aware of how you want to partner with them through prayer, finances, and/or newsletter updates). On the bottom is a confidential information form for you to use indicating if you desire RMM to use an electronic transfer of funds.

I thank you in advance and pray that God would richly bless you!

Paul Kurtz
Director of Global Missions

Monday, February 5, 2007

Einstein's Top Ten

I must admit it, occationally I watch the The Late Show with David Leterman, so sometimes I see his Top Ten lists. This one is much better, I found it a my new friend Guy's blog .

These are great to reflect on in thinking about planting new churches. Enjoy.

10. "The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them."

9. "Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."

8. "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

7. "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."

6. "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."

5. "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious."

4. "Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."

3. "Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile."

2. "The important thing is not to stop questioning."

1. "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

Life is Good (and COLD!)

I woke up early this morning and decided to take a walk w/ Coffee (our Collie/Lab) after my devos. It was so cold that my breath froze around my scarf and hoodie! Coffee had icicles hanging off her snout too! I hadn't walked for several days and decided that I needed to quit making excuses because of the weather. After my walk this morning, I don't think it could get any colder so I can't make excuses anymore! When I got home and read the paper it said that temps were supposed to reach 9 degrees as a high and wind chills were supposed to be about 10-20 below! After a hot shower and breakfast I headed to school at PV and when I got there the parking lot was EMPTY! I couldn't believe it. The principal was there and he told me that classes were cancelled because of the cold wind chills. So life is great as a teacher, you never know when you're going to get a day off! Classes are already cancelled for tomorrow too!

This picture isn't from today, but it shows Coffee and the kids. Gaby and Marcus didn't even go outside today!

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Practicing BELLS

We had a wonderful time with our house church on Friday night after not getting together for two weeks. After a wonderful meal together God led us in worship to reflect on His love as he promises to lift us up on "eagle's wings". We wandered at the peace that we can have in trusting and waiting on Him. Great stuff!
In luau of a scripture study Naty and I shared some of the things that we learned at the Organic Church conference in CA. Naty talked about God's provision for us on the metro train in LA. I'll share the abbreviated version here...
When the train arrived to pick us up at the Metro stop near the LAX airport a burly black guy with a wheeled cooler mauled over an elderly (seemingly drunk) man of 60-70, almost knocking him down onto the tracks! The assailant then began kicking and cussing the guy because he didn't get out of his way! Another passenger and I helped the elderly man to his feet and got him into the train before it took off. Two stops later the elderly gentleman got up to get off and as he did he looked at the burly bruiser and just shook his head. "Bruiser" then started yelling cussing him out even more! Threatening to really mess him up... The man got off at the stop with no further incidents, and Bruiser got off at the next stop.
Quite a "welcome" to LA... After catching our breath, we started to chat with a "grandma aged" lady with three suitcases in the seat behind us. After asking where we were from and where we were going she told us that she was from Long Beach, which is where we were going for the conference. We told her that we were planning to transfer to a different train at another metro stop and take a taxi to our motel in Long Beach. She promptly told us that she didn't think that was a very good idea and offered to give us a ride to our motel because it wasn't too far from her house. She said her daughter was going to pick her up at end of the train line and she would have room for us too. Naty right away said, "Yes, let's do that and we can help you with your suitcases." She later told me that she had been praying that God would make a way so that we wouldn't have to take the other metro and a taxi. God answered her prayer!

On the LA Metro on our way home

Back to our sharing w/ our house church...
I talked about my new enlivened passion for what it means to be a disciple and disciple others and we discussed the meaning of "Disciple" for a while.
After that I talked about something that Alan Hirsch lays out in his must-read book The Forgotten Ways, which he also talked about at the conference. He said that he hasn't been to an Evangelical church yet that has a "Core Values" statement that he doesn't agree with. They are all so broad and fluffy that almost any born again believer could go along with them. He said that what we really need to think about are "Practices" not core values. Core values are great to think about, but what really matters are our PRACTICES. What we DO really shows what we believe, so why bother stating what we believe when what really matters is what we practice. Great point right?
Anyway, he laid out the practices of one church that he knows which uses the acronym: "BELLS" These are ways that the church practices BELLS each week.

  • B - BLESS: Specifically BLESS 3 people throughout each week

  • E - EAT: EAT with someone else at least 3 times a week

  • L - LISTEN: Spend at least one hour each week in silence to LISTEN to God

  • L - LEARNING: Read the Bible and other books to LEARN more about the Christian life

  • S - SENT: Remember that in all that you do during the week you are SENT into the world

Every time they meet together they also practice BELLS

  • BLESS- they bless each other as they share their lives when they come together

  • EAT- they eat a meal together each time they meet

  • LISTEN- when they worship they practice silence to hear God speak to them

  • LEARNING- when they share scripture there is time for people to share what they learned during the week

  • SENT- they go from the meeting knowing that what they do for Jesus while they are away from each other is just as important as what they do together.

After talking about all of this we decided that we want to give BELLS a try as and apply it to our house church. We are going to weekly focus on a new element in the BELLS formula for the next several weeks until we are practicing them all as well. We aren't going to be able to meet together for 2 weeks so in the meantime we are all going to try to EAT with someone else that we usually don't eat with. And when we meet again the next time we will share how it went and focus on BLESSING for the next week.

I'm excited about what God is going to do.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Marriage = Discipleship too

Tonight we were blessed to meet with a couple who is going to be getting married in May. We are excited to be able to be their "mentors". Next to seeing people come to Jesus, the next best thing for Naty and I is helping guide people to healthy marriages. It is amazing how God uses marriage as a way to shape us into who He wants us to be.
Since marrying Naty May 20, 2000, we have been discipling each other in a truly unique way that no one else can. Proverbs says "as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." It's also true that a wife sharpens a husband and vice versa. Thank you Honeycita for all you do to sharpen me! Te amo!