Well it's New Year's eve here, it's a little after 5:00pm Pacific Stand Time right now. 2007 was full of all kinds of events and news that changes the course of many people's lives. Alexis and I concieved Emma who will be born in just over three months, we've been to France, Poland, and Germany, yet again with another trip to Poland not to far away, we got an additional car... I say all of this because they are all things which took faith in our finances...
None of these events were overly planned, we didn't put away for any of these specifically, nor did we consult our investors, we made a conscience desicision to give some things to God that we knew were either practical needs or ministry desires, and in Emma's case, a heart desire. On paper and ledgers, we didn't have the resources to make any of it happen.
We have and will always put our faith in God to provide for us, he always has, and always will. Sure it gets scary, sure we've used our "own" resources at times when we thought others would donate, but in the end it's always Him who gets the glory. It's all about Him.
While I would love the comfort of knowing that our financial resources were something that we didn't have to monitor, I know at the same time we would be so distracted by our own desires that leaving for our calling would be much more hard, if even possible to fufill.
Happy New Year, may you build your faith in Him and expierence the joy of serving in His kingdom this year - even when your resources are low, or negative (such as ours have been many times).
Monday, December 31, 2007
Well it's New Year's eve here, it's a little after 5:00pm Pacific Stand Time right now. 2007 was full of all kinds of events and news that changes the course of many people's lives. Alexis and I concieved Emma who will be born in just over three months, we've been to France, Poland, and Germany, yet again with another trip to Poland not to far away, we got an additional car... I say all of this because they are all things which took faith in our finances...
Friday, December 28, 2007
LOST STARTS on January 31st, NOT February!
The TV gods have been pleased by something...
Okay, not life changing, but exciting!
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Boy time is flying by....
Thanksgiving - done
Christmas - done
New Years - less than a week
Trip to Poland - just over 1 month (still need $$)
Baby Emma - March 30th... coming soon!
Monday, December 17, 2007
So I've been thinking about the future a lot recently. Dreaming of tram riding and central radiator heating as a part of every-day life. Thinking of speaking in a language far removed from my native tongue. But most of all, envisioning following Christ on a daily basis in Kraków, Poland (Polska).
Here are the steps we must take to see all of this come to fruition.
- Obtain our pastoral licenses which is a 6-8 month process that only starts once we are "accepted" into a position.
- Both Alexis and I in a 20-hour paid or non-paid pastoral "position"
- After two years of those positions we will seek "ordination", which in our denomination is for life, pastoral licensing is dependent on a position.
- Seek much language school and language learning during this time
- After ordination we will be sent
- After we arrive, either through invitation by the existing church, or a job opening we will seek to create a small group, or home church fellowship.
- We will seek a home, but fully expect to be in temporary housing for up to two years.
- Buying a home/apartment might require more time, but it is possible for us to buy now if we can financially afford it.
- Eventually we want to train up small group leaders to run groups in their own homes
- We also envision mission teams going to other Polish and European cities and beyond.
- Our ultimate goal is to see Polish people ministering to their own people with their visions, dreams, and holy-spirit lead ministries, in Poland and beyond.
Read the Wikipedia article on Krakow, it has great information, history, and pictures!
Also, here is an idea of what we would DREAM to have in Poland for a home. Of course the description doesn't say exactly where in the city it is, it's a pretty good deal from the appearance. But for the equivalent of $272,000 it's certainly a dream right now.
In Jesus' name let the dreams begin!
Sunday, December 09, 2007
I could go on about the stereo type Christmas that many Americans try to adhere to. I could go on about the Christmas I try to adhere to. But I will not. Instead I want to simply give a public thank you to everyone that made it our Christmas party tonight. I wish we had been able to get the word out to more people, as there were many that simply didn't know, and I wish that those that couldn't make it, could have.
Christmas is a season about celebrating friends, family, and the fact that we are all brought together by God in special ways. The miracle I saw tonight was many people under one roof, with incredibly different backgrounds, some with ugly pasts, others with amazing pasts, and some that have randomly come together through God's providence on our lives.
At some point or another some of these people are ones that I have either been annoyed by, frustrated with, or would have rather "un-invited" in the past. But today I celebrated the fact that we were all together, enjoying one-another, loving on-another, and most of all simply having meaningful fun.
Friday, December 07, 2007
5 Years ago I was fairly flaky about things... the only constant was being with friends
4 Years ago I began getting serious about tithing
3 Years ago I began getting serious about offerings
2 Years ago I began creating boundaries for my day
1 Year ago I got serious about making priorities a reality
Out of all of this, I have always had what I needed, always made it through the hard times, always had wise council through confusion and have always been able to see through the fog.
Becoming consistent in life with my words, thoughts, and actions and making my yes be yes, and my no be no, has brought nothing but peace and love into my life. I never waver on the things I listed above, and the less I waver about life the less messy life is.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Well I am going to finally decalre an official miracle has happened in my life. The super-natural event doesn't come with much fanfare, except that in my own life it's been amazing.
I've been reading, learning, and journaling from my Bible every weekday morning for over a month now! This is the longest and most consistent I've ever been.
A little over a month ago a buddy of mine who just recently went through a divorce asked me to join him for his morning coffee time at a Starbucks near by... at first my flesh freaked out 6:30 in the morning! No way.
But then I was convincted, because here I am saying no to two things. 1. My need and desire to be in the Word of God more often. and 2. A time to fellowship, encourage, and be encouraged by a fellow brother on a regular basis.
So I said yes.
Thankfully it was the day that the clocks changed, so it felt to my body like it was 7:30 instead of 6:30... :P Good time to start... but that whole spring forward thing will suck :P
Not the abridged version.
Telling people your full life story and iluminating the areas where God's hand is on it, is, in my opinion, of the best gifts a person could recieve.
The story of how God touches our lives is one of the most touching things a person could hear.
The good, the bad, and the ugly.
More to come.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Not sure who is actually reading this these days... But I know those that do will pray and spread the word.
We have raised about $1,000 out of the $3,200 that we need. We'll be there for 10 days in late February serving at a retreat in the snow-covered mountains in the south. Essentially we just need $20 from the 120 people that recieve my updates... I haven't sent out an update yet... but be praying for this. Thanks!
Saturday, November 17, 2007
In my observation of the 20 something group of people here in America there seems to be a slight lack, or at least an apathy towards faith. We speak it, we talk about it, we sometimes do things by faith. But do we live by it? Do we truly say "I know God has this for me so will live towards that promise"? Most of the time I hear "I don't really know what God wants" or "God promised me this, but first I ned to... (fill in the blank, job, house, family, etc)", I am just as guilty as the next.
I want to live by faith, I want to make it a point that everything I do is about what God has promised me. In my case, God has called my family to Poland, to disciple, train up, and equip. So, what are we doing while we wait for the departure day? We're leading a small group, encouarging, discipling, training and equipping. We're co-leading our young adult's group doing the same. Therefore everything we do and say is exactly what we'll be doing in Poland.
How do we know when we'll be leaving? When the people we have submitted ourselves to, the ones that help equip and disciple us, release us and commission us and ordain us. There's a process, don't quote me on this, but I believe it took Paul 7 years before he went on his first trip. While Alexis and I have been to Poland for a combined total of nearly 16 months of "in country time" we know that for us to move there we have things here in our "Jurusalem" to take care of and God will provide. We know it, and we strive to live it.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Alexis is in Frankfurt until next Monday.... 7 days without her. Not long when compared to the first year we were apart and across the world from each other. But it's the longest since we've been married and it's significant with her being pregnant and all.
Thankfully I have a lot of friends to go do things with, and a lot of things around the house that I want to work on. There's a feeling of some kind of expectancy for this week, I believe it'll be spiritual... So that sounds cool!
More later... I've got the time and the thoughts flowing in.
Friday, November 09, 2007
There's this man I know who has very strong convictions, not just "religious" ones, but ones that help people be better people. He normally thinks the best of people and most of the time he sees hope in their lives. As he encounters people he strives to bring them into deeper relationships, most of the time it's relationships with people that go awry. Sometimes though people have either a philosophical problem, or a knowledge problem when it comes to them and God. It's these questions that this man has a tough time with, and lately, it seems to be more difficult to address these.
You see, this man is no ordinary man, he's a disciple, he knows the Lord Jesus, and he loves the Lord with his whole self. Yet, there is a deep dark corner of his life that breaks through all to often. He's been incredibly open, spilling his entire life story to everyone he ever meets. He's been honest with those he is closest with. Everyone who knows him usually describes him as a "man of faith" or "a Godly man" - yet he's not so sure. He's accepted God's grace to fill these dark corners. One at a time the light has pierced the darkness and the good news has inhabited those places. But then the bugs come in, the house cleaners leave, and darkness begins to creep back in.
The man screams, he fights, he doesn't understand why it seems impossible to keep these places in his life filled with God's light. The voice of the world, the enemy, says life isn't worth living if you can't live up to Jesus' standard. But the spirit makes it clear that live is still, and always, worth living.
This emotional roller coaster he feels is beginning to take its toll, anger, frustration is met with passionate repentance. Repentance is met with overwhelming temptation, temptation is met with the power of God. There is victory in his life, then there is defeat. Victory... defeat... victory... defeat. When does it end?
He screams to his Lord: Father! Father! Why do I feel forsaken? Where does my tempter go? Where is your strength? I "know" you, I live for you. I declare victory in your name, I speak in your authority NO MORE DEFEAT. I want your connection, I want your spirit to fill mine. Praise your name that you would use me, I am but a man, a broken vessel, simply willing to be used by you! Help me oh God, help me to know and understand within my soul the strength which is in my weakness. Change me oh God.
And with that the man sought after the glow, the dim subtle glow deep within his heart. The tiny burning flame that pierced the dark place. He fanned it, and added fuel to it. He sat by it, he listened, he wept, he felt the flames warmth. As if on a bitter cold winter night, in solitude with just his creator, the man stared into the flame and pondered these things.
This man, he is no normal man, this man is a child of God. Any child of God is not normal, he is uniquely crafted for a mission bigger them himself, and far "under qualified" in the the Accuser's and world's standards.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
I have a very empty tank today, and the most frustrating part is that I know it's my own doing. I kept moving at full force with out taking a good long time to soak in the Spirit. I've let my spirit run dry, and now every ounce of God time is used up faster than I can take it in. I'm in such a strange place that I can physically feel the emptiness, it's not a darkness, or a depression feeling, it's like having your stomach empty for over a day. I'm hungry for the good stuff, for fellowship, life, the meat of life. I'm ready to soak it in and keep it there, hopefully overflowing with God's grace to seriously hurt hell.
I'm getting into my daily devotions on a much more consistent level, I'm even meeting a buddy each morning BEFORE work, that in itself is a miracle. Yet I know something is missing, I've been pouring out too much, and now there's nothing to poor except regurgitated stuff (that by God's grace still touches lives).
Thankfully this weekend has nothing special, I'll get to spend good time with Alexis, and use all of Sunday to hopefully become a sponge again.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Did you know that the speed of life doesn't ever slow down nor speed up? It's constant. It's constantly moving, unable to go backward, unable to sprint, unable to crawl.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Alexis and I have finally created a new newsletter, you can find it here! Love you all, thanks!
Thursday, October 04, 2007
If there is one thing I have learned over the past few years it is that I can't stop running. The instant I stop, is the very instant a funk begins to form around me. Of course as a part of this running there is rest involved as well. But I'm talking about the spiritual race, the one with the ultimate prize. As Paul writes about, it is the one where I must have faith and endurance. I must persevere and never let go of what I know God has promised.
There are all kinds of things that could lead me off track, so many ideas, and so many people with their own ideas. But what God has told me directly is the only thing that will produce fruit.
Am I open to hearing advice from others, of course, am I open to looking at different paths that end in the same plance, of course. But what I am not willing is to not walk out the path God has given me. I am not willing to finish someone's elses work, I am willing to encourage others, and I am willing to support others. God has a plan, that is good, gives hope, and he will bring it to full fruit.
Love God, Love People, and work it out in full truth and grace.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Below are the lyrics to a song by Jeremy Camp, called "Beyond Measure" I can only give Thanks to God for everything I have in my life, and give him every ounce of credit for all of it. You can hear it on my MySpace profile.
The fog has finally cleared to see,
The beautiful life you’ve given me To
feel the breeze of my newborn’s gentle breath
With one to walk hand in hand,
To share this life that you have planned
It’s like a storybook with dreams
That are meant to see every next step is an extraordinary scene
I know that I’ve been,
Given more than beyond measure,
I come alive when,
I see beyond my fears
I know that I’ve been given more than earthly treasure,
I come alive when
I’ve broken down and given you control
I’ve faced a great tragedy,
But have seen the works of what you bring
A display of faith that you give,
I don’t know if I will ever understand
The depth of what it is you’ve done inside,
But I know that I will won’t find any worth apart from you
Everything that I have
Has been given so unselfishly
And shown that even when I don’t deserve
You always show the fullness of your love
Saturday, September 22, 2007
In recent months, I have had both external and internal confirmations urging me to take a hold of my proper authority, both authority as in status and authority in wisdom and knowledge. I believe now that the stagnation that I have felt over the past few months has been mostly due to me failing to step into this authority. Half of me does not know how and the other half is scared of this. I know in my head what it looks like, but my heart is weary and unsure. Moving the knowledge from my head into my heart and then actually asserting this authority is a scary thing. The Lord is urging me to do this quickly, deep down I know in some strange way it is only I that has this authority.
To step into this new territory is going to require a lot of administration, emails, scheduling, and much prayer. Some of it I am walking into completely blind, feeling as if I have no tools (weapons in some cases) to be victorious, yet I know that He never lets go. A mentor of mine gave me Isaiah 30:15 a couple of weeks ago, I have taken until just a few minutes ago to read it. This is what it says (click the verse reference for the content):
This is what the Sovereign LORD,In the full content of the chapter, I realize that God’s grace is fully sufficient to cover the unknown into this new authority, and to cover whatever areas I “feel” unequipped to do. I must step forward, and say “here I am, use me.” My natural instinct is to wait until I am approached by someone to step into ministry, however I believe the time has come for me to step up to the plate on my own.
the Holy One of Israel, says
"In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
but you would have none of it.
Lord, here I am, use me, I accept this new responsibility and authority. I receive your grace, and praise you. May I walk in your strength, authority, wisdom, and power in the areas where I know you have called me. Grant me boldness to speak, with wisdom and grace, and proclaim to my fellow soldiers that you have called me and I am not waiting for human confirmation any longer. In Your son Jesus’ name, AMEN.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
If I had a battering ram to knock down the wall that I'm up against right now, I would be so happy.
But for now, I'm searching for the stregnth to pick up a battering ram first, and then I'll try to find the right wall to knock down.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
I'm speaking out our young adults group tonight. It was originally scheduled for next Thursday, but other things sped it up to today. The combination of my PDA/Phone nont syncing with my server at work, let me to over-book myself for today and this week, leading to a not-prepared speaker.
I have a very vague idea as to what to talk about tonight. It's just after 4pm, I speak in 3 hours. There must be something to talk about.
I'm not all that freaked out right now, I was yesterday, so God must have something in plan.
Saturday, September 08, 2007
I have a horrible time choosing gifts for people, most of the time I don't get anything, and if I do I get gift cards. However, choosing something for my bride, that's a different story... and a very hard choice as well.
I'm glad God figured out the perfect gift.
Saturday, September 01, 2007
Some day I hope Alexis and I can actually visit the Slot festival, which is a yearly festival for believers that happens in Poland each year. I have a blog that I've been reading since I lived in Poland called "Tall Skinny Kiwi", it has a post up about it.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Wow a lot has happened in the 10 days since we returned. We find out we're having a baby, our head pastors change (we knew about this for over a year though), and my company has the equivalent of a divorce (long story, might mention some other time).
However, the most significant thing (the baby thing) is so wonderful the other things are overshadowed (and only one of the other things is bad, the job thing). In this time since we have returned we've had some culture shock that happens each year, yet this time it seemed more surreal.
You see, the church we attend has nearly 5,000 people each weekend walking through its doors. The church we help with in Poland, has probably close to 5 on average, and 15 on a good day. The difference? Nothing, they are both part of the church of Jesus. The biggest difference is that while most people in our home church have a "shopping" mentality (despite the urgency of our leaders and pastors to plug in, take ownership, even if its at another church), a lot of people in this culture see church as something to "get something from". I hear the phrases "I just didn't get anything from the sermon" or "I just don't get into worship", or a number of other "I just don't get...." all too often.
However in Poland, yes there's a few choices, nearly all are seen as a sect or cult (in American terms, cult is more of the perspective). Even the small church plant we work with is seen as a sect, and the local religious radio station has warned parents and adults to "be ware" of our activities we could be out for "brainwashing" them. Of the choices of Christian, bible believing and teaching communities, there's a large schism between them. Some are ultra Pentecostal in the scary "what you see on TV" kind of way, others are very closed, and preach to people that they should "repent of their Catholicism" (in a country that identifies themselves as more than 90% Catholic this is not a grace based teaching).
For Polish Christians to find, a safe place, where all are accepted, even when their are disagreements, where some still identify to be Catholic, is extremely rare.
Then Alexis and I come home, and we reenter our home church for a worship service with 1,000 other people, it brings us to tears each time. For us to take this place for granted would be for us to commit the same act as Judas.
Never forsake the fellowship, even though it may drive you crazy, that person driving you crazy is put there by God, to grow grace and character in you. Some people don't have the liberty to simply choose a place. The church is all we have, love it, as Christ loves it.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
The news of 2007 is:
Alexis and I are having a baby!!!
Back on our anniversary we thought we may have been pregnant, although we were on the "pill", Alexis took a few different pregnancy tests, all came out negative. Then on our trip there were a few symptoms that we decided Alexis should see the doctor, so on Tuesday of this past week she did exactly that.
By Wednesday at 9am she found out, she is 12 weeks pregnant! Which means our little one has already been to France and Poland :P
The baby is due March 11th at this point. It's crazy, it's kinda fast, but we were ready to start trying in September anyway! So God's provision we know is coming!
Love you all! Thanks for your prayers and support!
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Poland is a wonderful place. Thanks to everyone who has sent encouraging words, yes it's a little tough, but then I am reminded that God's creation is beautiful even the parts that irritate me, I am simply human. I am reminded that we are here for a reason, a reason that surpasses my understanding and the feelings around me. We are here for his work, his amazing, glorious work. We have friends here, true friends, and we have brothers and sisters in Him, the two are not necessarily the same, most of the time yes, some of the time not. It's the some of the time that get's me irritated. Alexis and I should go and take a walk, enjoy the God's creation, and simply be, instead of trying to do, that seems to be God's desire for the moment.
Alexis and I are in Poland right now, I find myself very tired at the moment, irritable, and I simply want to be away from people. Normally I like to be with others, but even people like me have a limit to how much time you can be around people. So as we spend time with our friends here, we realize the need for healing and restoration here. If only people were aware of the freedom that true grace brings, not just here in Poland, but all around the world. God's grace is 100% sufficient for everyone. Problems occur and fellowship is distrupted when hurt people hurt other hurting people, most of the time this is caused by people not knowing what their identity is as a Christian. We have authority, we are created in God's image, not other's, and most of all we choose to be like Christ. No one can tell you what Christ has given you, only we can choose that for ourselves, we choose to believe it, and to walk into it. We submit to Christ, we allow his counsel, his hands, and feet (this is the church) to mentor us, through mutual friends, our pastors, and his Spirit. This is what our ministry in Poland is based on. Applying His word to our lives, living as Christ did, and walking out grace. There is hope.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
We're here in Poland now, been here since Wednesday. The youth camp in France went very well, I plan on posting some videos and pictures soon. The theme of the camp was "Coming together, going deeper", each night (except one) a French pastor spoke to the campers. Before we left I felt the Lord tell me to have no expections, and simply observe, this is precisly what I did. It was good, although at times I wanted to minister and wanted to feel God's touch, just to recieve, yet none of that happened. Instead the Lord had me obeserve, and intercede for others. God is creating in me a sense of peace through all of this, I'm learning to process things, and listen to his instructions, instead of jumping on knowledge and instinct.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Posted by TravisM @ 4:09 AM |
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Well Alexis and I are almost packed, just a few things to put away before we head to the airport tomorrow morning! Thanks for all of your prayers, financial support, and simply being our friends! While we are in France and Poland we'll be seeing many of our friends there, many whom we only see about once a year. Our hearts are to encourage them in their faith and walk with God. As Paul says in Romans 1:12 (NLT) - "I'm eager to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours. In this way, each of us will be a blessing to the other."
We are still in need of financial support, all of the bare minimum things are paid for, such as transportation and lodging, and food for most of the trip. However, due to a strong Euro and weaker US Dollar, and an unanticipated two night hotel stay in Lyon (due to overbooking at the camp's location) our team is short by about 1,000 Euros (that's $1,370.8996). We know God will provide for us, if it's through people's donations or through provisions in other ways we are confident that God's will is at hand. Any amount would help us in offsetting this deficit for the rest of the team.
To donate please send a check payable to "Mission Dispatch" and put "Mielonen" on the memo line. OR donate via PayPal on the right!
RE: Travis & Alexis Mielonen
21911 76th Ave W., Suite 211
Edmonds, WA 98026
Monday, July 23, 2007
For everyone who hasn't seen our house, we've uploaded a tour to You Tube. It's a mega blessing, that I'll post the story to soon.
In other news, we leave for our mission trip on Thursday!
In spring of 2004 I had the opportunity to go to our denominational meeting for Europe, it just so happened to be in Emmeton (I think I butchered the spelling), Switzerland (near Luzerne). During that time I was privileged to hear from the outgoing European leadership, who were Americans living in Frankfurt, Germany. The Shaws had been living in Germany for 16 years, first as missionaries to plant churches in Germany, than as the head of Foursquare Europe.
Friday, July 20, 2007
I was driving to the next town, about 20 minutes from where I lived in Zakopane, Poland and listening to a CD that a friend had sent me, of this group that at the time I had never heard of called "Casting Crowns". Then it happened, track three came on "Voice of truth".
You see I was by my self that week, the missionaries I was helping were off in Switzerland for a sabbatical. I was on my way to pick up a couple of people for our Wednesday night meeting with young adults. Earlier in the day a number of people had pretty much cancled, and the two I was going to pick up weren't even really sure they wanted to be there. I was very upset, and when that song came on it's like a flood gate of emotions came out. I so badly wanted these friends of mine to understand the relationship that Jesus wants with them. I also was feeling rejection, unqualified, and not so motivated to be in a place that seemed so dray, so unforgiving, and uninteretsed in the ONE that I love without condition.
On that day I learned a valuable lesson, that Jesus is the voice of truth, I can not let the opinions, actions, and words of people sway the calling on my life. In the short year that I was there I went from being very excited and optimistic, to down right depressed. Yet God was quietly spoke the truth of who he was calling me to be. Although I ranted and raved and told God I hated the country, He created an even bigger passion than I thought I could ever have, and I love Poland, her people, her history, and everything about her in a way that only God could ever lay on a person's heart. Alexis is right here with me in the same boat reading the same page, it's a journey and a promise bigger than us, keeping us humble for his service.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
I am now on facebook.com, so much better than MySpace, I never enjoyed being subjected to random pictures of human anatomy. I'm not abandoning this thing at all, in fact, I'm just enhancing this blogs presence by joining facebook. It is here, and here alone where I will write my thoughts, share our stories about Poland and missions, and continue to encourage others.
Our online presence is growing, we're now on blogger, MySpace, Facebook, and You Tube... Our you tube profile doesn't have much in it yet, but soon it will have our wedding video, a tour of our place here in Gresham, and when we return, tid bits from our upcoming trip.
So stand by....
Monday, July 16, 2007
I've noticed something about people, we either react to choices or we respond. Those who react, normally leave a wake of "drama drama drama" behind them, and those who respond, leave a trail of wisdom.
We all know that life throws crazy things at us, deaths, divorces, unmet expectations. We all know the people that have reacted or do react poorly to these kinds of things. These are the ones that have the tendency to get up and leave, they drop their commitments, never to be heard of again, if so it's long afterwards and "as if it never happened" they are hard to trust, and even harder to know.
Then we have the people who respond, they take these crazy times, and yes maybe they react at first, but then they take the opportunity to grow through it. They stick it through with patient endurance and cling onto the promises in life that God has given them. It is these people who can be trusted when nothing else makes sense, when life is falling apart, even around them, they can minister to the heart of another broken person, because they've put their faith in the Lord.
I've been on both sides of the fence, many times. When life gets rocky, I dig in, but sometimes I just want to run. However, these past four years have taught me an invaluable lesson, always move forward with what God has told me. The second I stop, is the second that I lose motivation, and meaning. Sure, if I react and do a quick "course correction" in order to gain stability, life seems okay, but soon I realize that my calling is to be in his grace and not in my own works.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Alexis and I are slowing gaining momentum in our missions plans. This coming March/February we'll be going back to Poland, and only Poland, with possibly 8 others. This is great because it allows us to begin creating a network of people, to serve, and to serve with. As more people begin to see our vision for Poland the momentum will gain.
There is another couple who have been instrumental in the entire Poland process since day one, they have created a new initiative called "12x12" which is to have 12 new church plants by the year 2012 in Europe, specifically Germany, Poland, and Holland. They want to help build up leaders, train, equip, and release them to do ministry in their homelands... sounds familiar, it is, this is what Alexis and I have been saying all along about Poland. This couple is teaming up with us right here in our home church, along with their vision and skills, we can see that God is bringing all kinds of people together to build His church.
We will soon be fundraising year round, it's huge, it's way bigger than us. Best of all it is so exciting and we know and are confident in our direction, the details are coming into place, and the support base is building. Thanks for all your prayers and support, in both finances, and in wisdom.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Sometimes I get stuck on coming up with a title for these blog posts... which then detours me from even starting a post. Anyway, recently I have been feeling a lot of "wow" moments, moments where God is very real. As real as if He were right there with me giving me a picture of his perspective. The funny thing is that I can't recall a single one of those right now.... it's frustrating, but I'm okay with it too because I know He's there.
There is a lot that I could say wow too, but when God gives you his perspectiv, there isn't much to say, except "wow".
Alexis and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary this past weekend (yesterday was the actual day), it was great! We went to Seaside and Cannon Beach both in Oregon and loved it, the weather was pretty good, although a little overcast (while Portland was baking, today it's reaching 100!). I'll post pictures as soon as I think about it, I didn't even think of using my phone to post pictures and videos, we were just having that much fun :P
Thanks for all your prayers and support, see you later!
PS. We leave for France/Poland on the 26th, just a couple of weeks! We've fund raised $8,000 of the $9,000 we need, the rest is coming out of our own pockets, hopefully a few more donations come in so our time in Poland is free of money stress. Thanks again!
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Recently I've had the topic of "why go anywhere when people are so lost here?" come up in conversation a number of times. My opinion on this topic (and sometimes very hot) is that most of us are pretty comfortable in our own back yards. I have not many people are who evangelists on their own, the kind of people who can, just by nature, talk to people and gracefully tell them about faith in Jesus. If that were true then missions wouldn't be needed, we'd all either be believing, or always talking about our faith. The truth is, this just isn't how Jesus has made the church. Some people have it in them to move around, experience new cultures, and most of all, have a tendency to reach a different culture much easier than their own.
For me I have noticed that I have a much easier time talking to Poles about my faith than I do to other Christians here in my own workplace! Not to mention non-believers. We are all made different, some are feet, some are eyes, but we all have a job and a mission. The church was designed to function on interdependancy of its members. When this failes, the church does not move on, when it is working the church moves. It's biblical, and it's proven.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
From the Warsaw Voice.
PM Kaczynski says Poland would have more power in EU if Germany had not reduced the population in WWII
June 22, 2007
Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski said on public radio that Poland is essentially challenging the new EU voting mechanism on grounds that Poland would have a higher population if Germans had not killed so many Poles during WWII."If Poland had not had to live through the years of 1939-45, Poland would be today looking at the demographics of a country of 66 million," Kaczynski said. "We are only demanding one thing, that we get back what was taken from us." While the PM's comments have a good deal of truth to them - namely that Poland would be a very different country if not for WWII - they are very undiplomatic. The EU is considering a voting system that takes into account each country's population - it says a majority is formed by 55% of member states accounting for 65% of the EU's population.Poland has proposed using the square roots of national populations to narrow the voting power gap between large states like Germany and smaller ones.
Friday, June 22, 2007
Recently I've been intrigued by a few posts on other blogs, one recently got me right where God is working on me. As I see where God has placed me (and my wife) I realize that it is nearly a miracle to be invovled in such an amazing group of people in the real world, and that it appears that the many Christian's mind sets are very boxed in. It all brings me to John 17.
Back in February Alexis and I were in Seattle enjoying ourselves in the wonderful mess that is Seattle traffic, and we ran across this motrocycle driver who went straight between us and the cars in the next lane, at quite a high speed. When I honked at him (since it was quite dangerous at that point) he turned around, let go of both handle bars and pretended to cry, then took off at an even higher speed. But yesterday the Washington State Patrol finally caught the guy, best of all they took his motorbike away!
Sunday, June 17, 2007
There is an Episcopal priest in Seattle claiming to be both Muslim and Christian... As I am a far cry from Episcopalian I have a hard time saying that she is a true believer in who Jesus is and what he did and does for us.
While I do believe that the extreme basics of Muslim and Christianity (in terms of the way of life and surrendering to God) are similar, the main issue (which many water down because the reality is too difficult to stomach) is the heaven and hell question. Hell is not what Hollywood pro trays, and it isn't what we traditionally have made it, it is complete separation from everything, for eternity. That is the issue, and that is why Jesus made it simple, accept him and his sacrifice for us and our fallen nature, or deny him and live in a fallen state alone forever.
In the article she talks about how she was moved by the Muslim leader's prayer, and kneeling to the floor and surrendering his entire prayer and body. This is not unheard of in Christianity, maybe in Episcopalian circles, but certainly not in the book of Acts and the first believers. At the church my wife and I attend this is completely accepted, and it is encouraged, while many don't feel this need since our musical worship time allows us to express in many ways, within order, to surrender our entire lives to God as a daily walk. I could go on, but for me this is my life with God, it is complete surrender, and being reminded to do that... not as a works related issue, but as a lifestyle, and the blessings and relationship with God has been nothing short of stunningly amazing.
Actually I do know what to say, and I've said it.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
All I have is my own experience to speak about, but grieves me to see so many people, Christians and not, who don't understand submission, meekness, and humility. Even the Lord, with all of his power, submitted, was meek and is meek (he even allows us to do our will despite his power), and was/is humble (even though he has all the reason to tell us off).
Some may say that my life looks religious, it's a far cry from anything religious, I don't do what I do because I feel guilty, or I might, or I'm trying to "earn my way" for anyone, anything, heaven, nor God. I do what I do because when I do things my way, my life just isn't full, I find myself climbing and going down, I look around running towards something but ending up where I started, and I try to get close to people and end up further away.
I am submitted to my job, not to "show off", not even to "move ahead", I'm submitted because Jesus says to love your neighbor, and when you do, peace is at hand. I am meek, meaning I am confident yet do not overuse what I know or what power I do have, because encouraging others and helping others helps everyone. I would like to say I'm humble, and with most external things I am, I know where I could exert myself but I restrain, because after years (and much more time is needed) of climbing up and going down, I have learned that turning the other cheek, not gloating about myself, and living in a fallen world and not complaining has brought a peace that only comes by living humbly. I mess this up on an almost daily basis, but even catching myself allows His light to shine.
For me, I submit because I have learned that serving others is extremely rewarding, not in a material way (although the Lord has blessed us immensely, and I know it has been because we choose to submit to His will and serve our neighbors, and because he's gracious, that's actually the first reason). The blessings of submission lead to life long relationships, peace, understanding, authentic forgiveness, and keep us where we belong, focused on the Lord, Others, and it allows Him to use us and provide for us.
Monday, June 11, 2007
He called me out
And I could not believe
He called me out
To touch for Him
To walk for Him
But why me?
For no better time exists
It's his will, let mine be beat
All my woes, all my foes
Are taken by Him
And so I will go
So I will touch
'Cause it is He who I trust
And it is He whom I am in
I am never going to school again, unless God says so. I will only go to another classroom to participate in conversation and learn that way, I do not want to ever, voluntarily, write another paper, do another project, or whatever else school may throw my way. I hate it, and the stress just isn't worth it!
This comes out of my frustration that I've procrastinated this last quarter for my one last credited class... although we graduated last year we had decided that we would take Biblical Counseling II this year (classes are only offered once a year), even though we don't need it, we took it anyway for credit since maybe someday we will continue... (at this point I don't think so!). By the end of tonight I will have started, written, and completed in full, an eight page paper, a two page paper, and about 70 pages of a workbook. Woe is me.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Some more ideas...
- Intern traning program - this is actually the framework for everything else. It will be church, it will be fellowship, it will be school, all in one. Live together, pray together, eat together, Acts 2 meets Ephesians 4
- Mission trips - trips with Poles and others, to other places outside of Poland.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
This is simply a list, a cloud of ideas that somehow I want to, eventually, incorporate into our Poland missions, both our short term, and our long term trips.
- Genesis process - how to prevent addictive cycles (drugs, alcohol, sex, food, avoidance, and much, much, more) before they happen, and how to deal with current addictive issues.
- Wounded by shame and healed by grace - Shifting from a shame based lifestyle/paradigm, to a grace filled one. Deals with child-hood issues that filter how we view the world, and most importantly our relationships with others.
- Healing of the father wound - How the absence (either spiritually, mentally, physically, etc) of a father affects our relationship with our Heavenly father.
- Boundaries - How to create healthy boundaries that actually promote amazing relationships, creating doors/gates and not walls. Not allowing the guilt trips of others to control you, nor allowing the guilt of your past to control you either.
- FMO/FWO (For Men Only and For Women Only) purity groups. Not just sexual purity groups, not just accountability groups, not just "post-crisis" groups, these are groups that hold us to the high road. Groups that promote grace-filled truth telling, holding us to our priorities for the call that God has you in that particular season, weather that be a stay-at-home mom, or dad, an employee, a minister (which we all are), a disciple of Christ (which we all are), a friend, etc...
As I mentioned above, these are all a "cloud" of ideas, the actual time line for these things is not in stone, although elements of all of them will be used on all occasions. I will always put myself through these processes each time, as I know God has something new to reveal through them each time. How each thing will look, I have no clue, but I do know that these areas are trans-cultural, it's kingdom culture based, it's biblical, the delivery will certainly be different though.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
This kind of stuff happens on smaller scales all the time throughout Central & Eastern Europe, and sometimes on larger scales but never reported. Poland, at least to this point, appears to be more tolerant, however, there is still resistance, mostly from the established church at this point. Legally it is very hard to register a protestant church in Poland, but many non-registered fellowships exist without any government intervention...
Persecution comes in many other forms though, such as propaganda from religious radio stations stating that protestant churches are running Bible camps to brain wash their children... We've been on the receiving end of that one... not too much of an affect though, praise God. When I lived in Poland my roommate lost his job at a college because he was simply accused of "converting" or "attempting to convert", he simply was inviting people to our fellowship, but that was enough... poof he lost his job. Most people in Poland have begun looking other places, pray that they look at a relationship with Jesus.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Posted by TravisM @ 7:04 PM |
Thursday, May 24, 2007
You just gotta let your hair down. Sometimes, your hair comes down without you asking... With three babies in the house, and none of them in harmony yet, I've had to let go of some things. But we like 'em, and now it helps us keep the house clean.
Monday, May 21, 2007
Today at work, I went to open my lunch, and behold, I had no sandwich. I kind of laughed, thinking Alexis forgot, which was fine, I asked her in an instant message and she said that since we were running late she didn't have time to make one. Okay, that's fine. So I went to our break room and found instant "beef noodle" soup... yuck. It was okay, but, after about 3 min, it was yuck. Anyway, a co-worker asked me what I was eating and I told them what had happened, he came back a few minutes later and offered me half his sandwich... Awesome.
If God will provide my lunch through someone I really don't know too well, who is a good man, not sure where he stands with Jesus, but none-the-less, he is my neighbor, then he'll provide for the next $2,000 and much more for what he has called us to!
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Man, sometimes I am so ashamed of myself, in a good healthy way. Let me explain, many times I dodge, withhold, or otherwise avoid talking about Jesus in a real way. Yeah I'll mention what I believe, what I think, and at times give simple encouragements. BUT, it's always in a very politically correct, benign kind of way. He is so real, and he has and does so much for me, I should talk about what he does as if it were my parents doing something great for me. He deserves even more praise! He is great, and his name shall reign the earth. Yet I inhibit myself all the time... this I shall investigate, this I shall dig into. I want him to be apparent in my life.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
God is providing every bit, we've gone from needing $2,860 to just $650 for our airfare which is due at the end of this week. The next chunk is due by June 15th, which is our France piece, and we still need $1500 for that. Quick math, means we need just $22 from 100 people and we are done!
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Should not the news be reporting things such as this? This is something that I have heard of only from other service people, friends who have been in Iraq, etc... Apparently if you are actually in the war you can see why to support it, imagine that.
Now, before you sign me off as a 100% Bush supporter, just know that I am in the middle on nearly everything regarding politics. Do I think it's been awfully long? YES. Do I think people deserve freedom? YES. My question is where does our responsibility start and theirs begin? How much of this is a culture issue that we may not understand? Because I do not know the circumstance I will trust those that see it in first person, in 3D, and allow God the control. I wish we were not there, I wish it were over, but it isn't, and I'm sure the families of our people and the Iraqi families all feel the same. The enemy (the spiritual enemy) obviously as a strong hold there... Danial chapter 10?
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
About ten minutes ago I received an email from our travel agent, final payment for our airfare is due on May 18th (she says she can extend it, I would rather not). We'll see what our faith in God looks like in the next week. We need about $2,050 more for the three of us. I am so happy to know that this is the last time we pay this much for airfare (since we'll be going in the winter from now on), well maybe not the last time, but probably the last time we'll have multiple destinations and an inflexible window. I know God will come through HE HAS ALWAYS come through. It's my faith that is weak.
Father, give me the faith to believe in your provision. Give me the courage, and humble my pride, so that I may ask in your name for prayer from others. Thank you Lord for what you do, what you provide, and that we are 100% partners in all of this. In Jesus' name - Amen.
I hate it when blogger or my computer (in this case) freak out after I've typed at finely worded post. I guess it just wasn't meant to be. So this is take two.
I've been following Polish politics for a little bit, and I'm glad to see that Poland's government is on the road to creating a real identity for their country. Poland has been lorded over, split up, been the battle field for other's conflicts, had her people stolen, killed, mocked, and then "freed" by a regime that controlled her for nearly 50 years. It's good to see that in these two articles that her new leaders, while not perfect, and at times overly proud, do see the importance of creating an identity that reflects Poland and not her past occupants (she'll always have that, but moving forward with a fresh identity that embraces both history, yet removes the things that can are monuments to something which does not exsist anymore).
The first article explains what the government is doing with Nazi and Soviet monuments, the second one talks about Russia's some-what negative reaction.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Here is an article I found when I Googled "missions in Poland", which gives you a huge amount of resources about missions in Poland. The article reflects much of what we have experienced, in my year of living there and our subsequent trips. Take a look, learn, and have God open your eyes to a completely different place, other than the "sexy" mission field of the 3rd world (which is in dire need of God, equally as much, just many people see it as "really" needing God, everyone needs God's grace just as much, it's the same Gospel for all, including the USA).
Alexis and I are at the Dentist right now. I haven't been for 3 years and she for 6; I have two more cavities and most likely need one of my wisdom teeth removed because it has a cavity and is coming in side ways. Overall though pretty good. I was a little nervous about going to a new dentist but I liked him. We'll see how Alexis is in about an hour.
Reason number 80 to get another car. Sitting in a dental office without much to do when I could be working or at least doing something else.
Sunday, May 06, 2007
I actually timed that it takes just under 3 min to read this, please do :)
A quick update on our Poland & France mission trip this summer; we are experiencing God's financial provision in his amazing ways, last month we raised another $1000 towards the trip, we now need just $2,860 (donation information below). We praise God for his work in all of this, and for the past two trips we have made with East Hill to the U-Turn summer camp to serve and disciple youth. Our excitement grows stronger with each trip, and our love for Poland, her people, and God's heart for them, grows stronger and more compassionate with each step we take.
This is, to date, the most expensive trip we have made, and in light of this we have done some praying and thinking about future trips. We are currently in the process of applying to be mission team leaders sent out of East Hill. This means that we will be leading teams to Poland on our own, giving us much more flexibility and allowing us to dig in deeper with the relationships we are building. Please pray for us through this process, for discernment in choosing team members, and in casting our vision and passion for our future in Poland. The most exciting part is that we are tentatively building up for a much less expensive trip (currently looks like $1,200 per person, verses the $3,000 per person for this trip) in February/March of 2008. As we plan out the details of this trip we hope to communicate a more focused vision for all of you to tangibly partner in.
Blessings and thanks for your prayerful support,
If you would like to financially support us:
Just $30 from each recipient of this email would pave the way for both of us.
Look to the right for "Poland Mission Information" and click on the PayPal donation button. Sorry not tax-deductible.
For tax deductible donations:
Send a check made out to “Mission Dispatch" to:
Travis & Alexis Mielonen
C/O Mission Dispatch
21911 76th AVE W. Suite 211
Edmonds, WA 98020--
Enemy-occupied territory – that is what this world is. – C. S. Lewis
Saturday, May 05, 2007
So last night and this morning I attended a Men’s conference, it was pretty good, put on by our church. It’s actually the first one I’ve ever been to. My heart wasn’t really wrenched, but that’s okay I don’t have to always experience emotions for something to be good. What I really came home with was the fact that I still focus and desire to have approval from others. It’s very hard to get beyond. However, rather than being disappointed and frustrated I am choosing to “just do it” to go forward and take hold of the calling God has placed on my life. One step at a time, little by little the vision will be cast and people will catch. The Lord is awesome, faithful, good, and he is in control.
Also I can feel a new passion coming, a new love of life, and this time the catalyst is me choosing it, rather than a random external motivator. Slowly but surely I know life will line up, more than I could ever explain at this moment. In a way I feel like a character on Lost, accept that I am found, washed clean, and I trust this place that I seem to have randomly ended up on, actually I trust The Lord not this place.
Friday, May 04, 2007
I am so glad it's Friday. Tonight I get to go to a Men's conference, essentially my first, can't wait. I just want to be out of here (work) and get my brain off of troubleshooting and diagnosing... nothing ever seems to get accomplished in this line of work. A few projects, but those are few and far between, it's almost always "maintenance".
Monday, April 30, 2007
Someone please tell me what the secret to contentment is? I consider myself pretty good at being content, and maybe this is just a venting session, which I think is allowed. I understand where I am, I am actually really happy with where I am, but when I think about where God is taking us, then I have this internal fire that gets frustrated. I think it's actually motivation, if I didn't have this drive then nothing would happen. So, I'm not really discontent, I'm just really excited about the future and want to be there. It isn't because I think the grass is greener on the other side, because I know it isn't, it's because it's an adventure!
Thank you Lord for calling us to such an adventure, for loving us in every detail, for limiting yourself so that you need us. Yes I get frustrated with seeing where I am and where I will be and I know that it is your will that will prevail. Lord grant me the patience, wisdom, and insight to take each moment and see it with your perspective, to see things that lead to my frustration, and to see frustration before it comes. Most of all I ask that in your name my heart be contending for contentment.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Yep, just click here. Wouldn't it be interesting if we did find some kind of life on another planet? Not to mention actual intelligent life? What would that mean for the faiths of the world, not to mention my own!? What parts of scripture would the church try to figure out? What would fall apart? Very, very, interesting...
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
I get so frustrated with myself over things. On one hand I love the feeling of be productive, getting things accomplished, but on the other I just don't want to, I'm not motivated enough, and I would rather "veg" all day. I love being out doors, and I love riding my bike, going running, etc, but most days I just "don't feel like it". I love building new things, learning about new things, studying how things are done, but most of the time I don't want to do it myself. Pretty much everything I love to do, I only really like to do when other people will do it with me. So pretty much I've come to the conclusion that doing it on my own isn't really fun, but I know I need to get over that. It isn't that I don't like myself, I'm actually quite happy and content with myself. I'm just not content being alone, when I am alone, I lose motivation.
I have to be very motivated to do something on my own. Don't get me wrong I'll do things at work on my own, that's about 90% of my job. Yet, I always find myself much happier when I have someone to share it with. However, blogging is the one thing that I prefer to do alone, it would be very annoying to have someone else giving their two cents along the way. Although blogging is a bit different from other journaling, as others can comment if they wish, I 'spose that's one motivator behind it.
Lord Jesus, thanks for loving me for who I am, for giving me these strange idiosyncrasies, and simply making me this way. The more I become okay with it, and more importantly, being okay with doing stuff with you, the more content I know I will be.
In your name, Amen.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Being disciplined is so hard. A few weeks ago Alexis and I wrote out our priorities, we took what God has called us to in this season and wrote out how we would process those things into a tangible real-life schedule. We put in our devotion times, our exercise times, our solitude times, fellowship time, etc... It has been about three weeks of "implementation", we certainly need to tweak it, well specifically my schedule, I find my after work exercise and devotion times to always be the things that get knocked out or diminished. However, even with that I have found that my stress levels are much less, which has lead me to being stronger against temptation, not just sexually but also in anger and frustration as well. So as long as I can get a hold on my schedule and be able to say no and yes when appropriate so that these priorities happen, I know I'll at least be more aware of stress. Even though we have pretty predictable schedules from week to week I'm seeing a need to sit down at least once every week and a half or so and go over the coming weeks so that we are on the same page.
Lord, thank you for putting these disciplines into our lives, your grace alongside discipline has proven to be a blessing that I know will continue into the rest of our lives. I praise you for your work and your love. In Jesus' name - amen.
Monday, April 16, 2007
I've been married for nine months now! It's absolutely awesome, and I can truly say that I can't ever go back. Although I am quite independent, and it drives me mad that I must communicate "my" entire life to someone else now... It's also so very comforting that someone cares for in a way that all other humans will never be able to. It's been a very bumpy road, God has been going over-time in drilling me to be a husband and head of a household, and many times I felt like a five-year-old throwing a temper tantrum, however, it is all worth it. I've been embarrassed, I've been very pissed off, I've been so selfish that if God were actually "strike 'em dead" kind of God many see him as, I would be dead.
I know there are many more bumps in the road, but they are all amazing bumps... just a hint of what it is to love as Christ loves the church.
And PS. No babies... yet. :P
I've been trying to figure out what this blog is really about. What direction I want to take it. Well, I've decided to take it the same direction as when I started. It's about me. It's about me and my walk with Jesus. It's about me and my relationships. It's about me. Why me? Because when I focus on the inner thoughts, my outer expressions are closer to Godly expressions. When I take the time to think, process, ponder on my stuff, I find that I can give more to others. It's about loving others AS I LOVE MYSELF... I've been bad at this, and I need to start paying attention. So... I'm going to write a lot about myself, in fact those are the blogs I find the most interesting... the open, sickly honest ones about people's inner thoughts. That's what this life is about... learning from each other's interactions with others, themselves, and most of all with their Creator.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Yes it's that time of year again, Alexis and I are well on our way to going back to Poland again, this being our fourth time, for a total of almost 15 months now. Below you'll find our support letter, with where are hearts are, and prayer/finanical support information. Oh yeah, we're going with this year's interns to France as well to serve at the European youth camp for our denomination. Our Polish friends will be there too!
You may read our support letter here.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
That's what a friend told me today. And boy doesn't it seem true! When we were/are ignorant life seems "happy", and when we are immature, we have more "personality".
Of course we can be aware and not ignorant and still be in bliss, but it takes a lot of work to get there. And of course we can be mature and have personality, but again it takes a lot of work (a lot more). The truth is, awareness is true bliss, when we are aware of our short fallings and our blunders we can seek God's truth, and be free of causing further harm to ourselves and others. The truth is, maturity brings strong, integral character, and that kind of character leads people into awareness.
I am so glad it is spring time right now, otherwise I think I could become seriously depressed. It seems that all my flesh desires is old patterns. The old nature just keeps creeping up, creating a tension that sneaks up and bites me in the rear, too often than not. Thankfully I figure it out quick enough that the bite is hardly noticeable after a day or two. I try think back to the "good 'ol times" the times when I felt like I was at the top of the world, when friends were all around, and life just seemed good. But the funny thing about those times, is that I was just as tempted, and fell more often to temptation (weather it be sexual, anger, isolation, etc) than I do now. Ignorance was truly bliss, but now that I am aware, now that I have tools, experience, etc...
Now I must be disciplined, accountable, etc, now the fight begins.
Father, may I bring honor to your name, may your will be done in my life, may I forgive others as you forgive me. May I seek your daily bread, and may I find the bread you set before me. Lord, to be with you, to know you, and to love all that you do, that is my desire.
In Jesus' name - Amen.
Saturday, March 31, 2007
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
My brain feels like mush. Somewhere between soggy cereal and rotting cabbages.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Okay, I've been such a slacker (but I don't feel like it, it's just there isn't any proof otherwise, I think that's what we call getting close to burnout)...
We need to raise $9,000 for three of us to go to France and Poland this summer (the cost seems way high to me as well, but when it's broken down, there isn't anything to cut out). At this point the rough estimate that we have is around $1,500.
We leave on July 26th, and return on August 17th. One week in France, the rest in Poland.
Donation info on the right!
I promise more info coming soon, and a real piece of tangible mail for those I have on file! :) If you are interested let me know your address thanks!
So, last Thursday at work I setup a couple of new servers, well yesterday I went back to them to continue setup... in my genius attempt to make a good password, I forgot, and I apparently didn't write it down correctly. So, now I have two options, hope and pray that one of the password crackers that I have at the office will work, or reinstall it all over again, times 2 servers. Oh well. Worse has happened, their brand new and in no rush, thank God.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
- Jesus brings truth, and that truth sets me free
- God the father is full of grace, that grace sets me free
- The Holy Spirit guides me in authority and power, that authority and power sets me free
- Who I am is not based on any one's opinions, ideas, culture, etc - Who I am is what The Lord has made me
- I am broken, but He is healing me, from glory to glory and one day I will see Him face to face in all of His glory and I'll be in all of mine as well.
- I worship the Lord my God will all my heart, soul, mind, and strength and His joy fills my heart
- Sometimes there is not a "heeby jeeby" moment, sometimes there is, but at any time I hear his voice, feel his presence, or know that His Spirit has spoken, I obey, sometimes kicking and screaming, and at times ignoring, but when I obey I never regret and always am more amazed by his mercy and grace.
I don't have the words to describe how amazing the men's group that I go to on Saturday mornings is. It isn't just a "guy's talking about their problems" group, it's a truly loving group, completely sincere in purely desiring God. Because of this group I have tools that have made me so much more aware of why I do the things I don't want to do and why I don't do what I do want to do. I have so much more of a life because of what God has done for me, using these men, using relationships that a mere 5 years ago I would have thought to be impossible. While I still struggle in doing things I do not want to do, I at least know that my desire to be pure and set apart is where God wants me to be. I'm beginning to get a slight glimpse of where God wants to direct me, in the mean time before Poland.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Reflect a little, give Him your ear.
I just might change the outlook of the rest of this hour, the day, the week, the month, the year, the rest of your life. I have never once been disappointed when I actually listen and reflect on what I hear/feel God saying.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
I know I can do the things that need to be done, but I just don't want to do them, but I want them done. Things like writing support letters, printing them, stamping them, sending them, buying everything that needs to be done for them. Scheduling time with people to talk about missions. The list could go on and on, I had plenty of time to do it yesterday after work, but since it was after work I was fried and simply wanted to rest, and that I did, sort of, if you call investigating ATSC and QAM HDTV signals resting... Tonight is booked, date time with Alexis, but I feel under preasure to get this done!
Friday, February 16, 2007
Just in case anyone forgets, we are moving to Poland, depending on God's timing anywhere from 4-5 years (or whatever He makes it). For some reason I have this thing inside, something that makes me think people don't care about our vision for Poland. I guess it's all of the "oh that's cool" reactions, with hardly (I'm counting 4 so far) anyone showing any more interest than they would a little child who wants to be an astronaut, and actually I feel like that child would get more attention. I'm stopping here, one because we're at a friends house, and two because I want to sound upset, well, because I am, and I do not want to cover it up with what I know is the truth. I know what the truth is, and I also know how I feel. All we want is to have some people show some strong interest in the vision. Remember I know the truth, I know that this lack of interest does not change our calling.
Father, hear our cry for this nation, raise up people to come along side with support and to support. Thank you for those that are showing more than a casual interest. We know it is your will, praise you Lord for who you are and all that you are doing now. In Jesus' name I pray for a passion of your name in Poland and for Poland. Amen.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Posted by TravisM @ 3:45 PM |
Ugh... with everything I'm trying to do to stay sane, it seems it's making life go by even faster, but that's better than going by slowly, and depressingly... God has been pretty amazing, nothing really super-duper amazing, but steadily moving forward. Forward motion, one step at a time. I like this pace, it's so fast that I don't know what's going on, and it's not so slow that I get freaked out. It's good.
Of course I'll need to do some fine tuning, but I'll let it marinate at this pace for a little while longer. Actually allow some good habits to form and be habits, then I'll try some fine tuning.
Saturday, February 10, 2007
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
I'm not sure how I feel these days. There is something that is a bit dry, yet when I scan my systems, most things are in check... yet I'm not content... what is the key to contentment? I'm not sure.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Today while reading the scripture for my daily deovotional I came across something interesting, the passage was Exodus 27, the making of the tabernacle. The interesting part was in all the minute details that God asked be put into the tabernacle and the ark of the covenant. I have heard from all kinds of people, believers, and pre-believers alike that God doesn't care about the glamar, the vanity, etc. Nope he doesn't, but he does care about small details, the little things that enhance life, make it nicer. I think that just as he asked the Isralites to craft such details for the tabernacle, God also asks us to be excellent in all we do, crafting our lives to shine. It's all woven together.
Later on I read Acts 6, and came across the piece about Stephen, one of the seven the Apostles chose to help serve the widows food. Two different times within a paragraph of each other, Acts points out that Stephen was a man full of God's grace, God's power, full of the Spirit and man full of faith. We should assume that the others were also full of the Spirit, as that was one of the requirments to be in this serving position. Yet, why point out Stephen... maybe because the author (Luke) was introducing the reader because Stephen would be persecuted in the paragraphs to follow, or is there something more here? What I heard God tell me is that his character, his attention to detail and integrity is what made him Shine, and in turn caused people to see Christ, and Christ was able to work through him....
Monday, January 29, 2007
Ever desired something so badly, so deeply, yet you knew it was the wrong thing? Ever desired something so badly, so deeply, yet you were afraid of it, even though it was right? Ever desired something so badly, so deeply, yet you were apathetic to go after it? Ever feel like your desires make you insane? Ever do what you either hate to do or don't want to do, and you don't do the things you really desire to do? What shall we do as human beings? Stop doing. We are not human doings, we are human beings. So, stop doing, and start being.
I desire to have an amazing, wonderful, sex life with my wife. Why? Because that intimacy is something that I can only say is a touch of heaven's love. I desire to be myself, and be comfortable being quirky. I desire to stop doing things for myself, and start being myself for others. I desire to walk by the power of the Holy Spirit, and stop walking by the fears of the enemy. I desire to sacrifice my will for His, not so that I can simply "do" more works, but so I can live simply in His will that I know is good.
I desire simplicity.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
One of my biggest pet peeves is non commitment! It drives me nuts when people change from church to church, place to place, group to group, or just don't go for some "feeling". We talk about giving our lives to Christ, 100%, but then we let the whims of our flesh decide our path. Now, of course I'm not talking about being sick, going on vacation, etc. I'm talking about the person who doesn't know from week to week (or whatever the case may be) what they will commit to for that week. "Oh, yeah, that sounds great, my friends will be there so I'll go." You know that's great for checking something out, or even maybe supporting a friend in making some changes... but our faith is not in people, people will always disappoint, always, at some point. Our faith is in Jesus, the creator of everything, I do believe he will guide us, he created everything we see, he can and does certainly create our paths, when we let Him, to be magnificent.
When the church I was saved in (I don't like the term saved, but it's the easiest to use, rather than, the church where I gave my life to Jesus, lol, I said it anyway) went through a pastoral change I was devastated, I wasn't sure where or what I would do. So, amazingly (wish I did it more these days) prayed to God for a direction, he specifically said wait six months. After that six months, I began going to another church's young adults group (where I met Alexis a year later), however God asked me to stay in the old church for yet another six months; although I was being fed at the new church. If I hadn't listed to God, and hadn't set my last Sunday for September 1st, 2002, I would have never heard Carol and Denise speak about Poland. In addition, if I hadn't listened to God about staying in Poland after I so desperately wanted to return home I would have never met Dan Russell, which in turn means Alexis and I would have never come to Gresham and experienced the life changing place of East Hill Church, where Alexis and I call home now... I'm not even sure Alexis and I would be married... but that's for God and not me to know :)
You see, I know that because I let God draw those paths, and let Him tell me where to be committed, even though it was hard, the best has come of it. It is so frustrating for me, especially with people around my age, it seems day to day "commitments" are always changing, not to mention things like relationships! That's a whole different post.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
If this turns out to be as stable and feasible as they think it is, I would buy a car driven by this technology in a heart beat... assuming I could afford it. I've been eyeing the Toyota Prius for quite a while, however, it's a bit out of our price range, so most likely we'll end up with a traditional gasoline powered vehicle as our second car. The implications of this kind of technology is extraordinary.
Monday, January 22, 2007
I'm so tired that I can't even really get to sleep! My mind is overactive and I have a feeling of dullness inside. Probably this is all due to being over-tired... I should get to sleep. I'm having another rough start to a week, it seems Mondays bring around at least opression, if not a bit of depression, I'm just fried by this time of the week. These are the days that I MUST (but have no desire) get into God, reading His word, being in prayer, and being open with people, but instead my flesh takes over, and my spirit seems dry.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
I'm realizing more and more that we need deep, meaningful relationships. We simply need them. I know a lot of people go about their entire lives w/o these kinds of relationships, holding everyone at arm's length, claiming that they are "good" when you ask them "how are you?". Yet, I know that they simply can not be good, they are only feeling as good as they have ever felt, but if they would allow someone inside, they would know that GOOD can be so much better. The even stranger thing is that the key to that deep/meaningful relationship door seems to be only through our heavenly Father. It seems to me that people who have not been touched by Him really have a hard time being truly open, and willing to discuss personal issues. I believe this is true because only our God is graceful and merciful. With grace and mercy, comes real freedom.
Last night I had an amazing opportunity to talk with a friend, God had put it on my hear that I needed to talk with him. I didn't know why, just needed too. I know that God used him to open my door a bit wider, lately it's been simply ajar, and hard to see into. I'm excited but still a bit scared to share things again, but I know it's the right thing to do.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Major freeways are blocked, the main one I take to get to work has no on ramps open... fun.
Monday, January 15, 2007
I know some of you would pay to be bored, I would pay to be doing something that I have a passion to do. The grass is always greener on the other side. This season that God has us in also has me in a very trying state of "wait". It's a good place and I know that it will require much patience. I feel as though there is something that I must give birth to, but I have no idea when, and only a hint of the "what". I know God has something very exciting and that this waiting season is a key ingredient for full gestation to occur. In the mean time I must hunker down and write technical documents are server migrations and more fun stuff like that.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
I could talk about boundaries and transparency until the Lord returns. Over at Sister’s Weblog Susan recently was looking back at transparency. This got me thinking about a couple of things. First, many people, and most Christians are so afraid of absolute transparency that they have locked themselves into a pseudo prison of shame and guilt. The funny thing is, the more transparent we are the less guilt and shame we need to deal with, we must still repent and always listen to the Holy Spirit for conviction, but guilt and shame are simply tools of the enemy. In Susan’s post, she highlights a number of verses that support the idea that God deeply desires our transparency. When we are transparent with what we are struggling with, with our issues, it brings awareness to the situation so that God can use his people to bring his healing, his wisdom, and most of all his love. I know this is true, because in my own life I have experienced this, and every time I become more transparent I have greater freedom to be who I truly am.
God uses people to do his work, read the Bible and you’ll see that, the idea that God does things unexpectedly is not 100% accurate, yes it some aspects, but the overwhelming majority of scripture shows that God uses people to get his work done. Inversely, the enemy does the same thing… Thank God that only one third of the angels followed Satan, and that the Lord still has the other two thirds bringing messages to us to do His work!
Now why did I mention boundaries? Well, because many people do not truly understand why saying “no” brings true freedom. You see, if we live by our God given priorities (i.e. staying in His word, praying/listening for Him, loving/protecting guiding our families, doing the things that support our calling, and the list goes on) we will experience freedom that only God can create. Alexis and I are learning this now, we have many things that come up, ministry opportunities, trips, many “fun and exciting” things, however, we have made the decision to honor God first by always filtering all opportunities through our priorities which we know are from Him. Because of this we do not feel guilt/shame if we have to say no to someone/something because we know that God has an amazing plan for us, one that will prosper us, and not bring us harm.
Together if we ask God for his priorities in our life, support them with boundaries, and are continually transparent with God and his bride (the church, other believers) we can experience a life of freedom from doubt, shame, and guilt. Believe me it is not easy, in fact sometimes it is incredibly hard, but the consequences are life-giving instead of life-taking.
Lord, I ask you to continue working in me, open my mind to be open with my brothers and sisters. Help me to get to the root cause of my struggles, and to be aware of the things in my life that may cause me to fall into my struggles. Lord I thank you for my friends that push me to be aware of the triggers and allow God to work in it. I thank you for your endless mercy and grace, I know at times I feel as though I’ve reached some kind of limit, but I know that it is only that old dragon’s influence turning the truth into a lie.
So, I tried posting this entry from my phone a couple of times the other day and it just never made it. On Thursday morning I witnessed one of the most amazing sun rises over Mt. Hood, it was fantastic. I was humbled because the sunrise reminded me of God's full goodness; and most of the time I do not give him enough credit for all of the amazing, big and small, things he does in my life, and in the world each and every day. Instead I tend to focus on what the enemy is/has/will/seems to be doing. While it is important to discern what is from God and what is from the enemy, I want to be a person who focuses on God's work, it is much more encouraging and gives me energy.
I praise God that he has sent his Holy Spirit to all of his believers, to guide me and all of us into the true light. So, take a moment and give God what he deserves, your praise. He is good.
Lord, I know your grace is enough, it is all I need. My flesh must be cut away and my spirit must come fourth if I am to fully embrace your goodness. May my choices bring honor and glory to you. May my choices be your will as what is done in heaven. May my choices be of forgiveness, grace, and mercy as you have endleslly given us. May I choose to eat of your bread each day. May my choices give you glory, honor, and power. In Jesus' name - Amen.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
So I am having one of those nights, where I don't know which way is up. I feel stressed, but when I think about it, I cannot think of anything that is causing the stress. So, then I wonder if it is the enemy “just” pushing my buttons, or if it is “simply” the fact that I am feel physically exhausted. When all of those things happen my journaling/life lesson doesn’t happen, such was the case today, which in turn created a number of other issues (that longing to connect with God didn’t happen, wasting time on nothing particular and really not that exciting either, etc, etc). The list can on and on.
Simply put, I feel defeated, and the fact of the matter is, the enemy is the root cause. My sin nature wants to satisfy the flesh, and my spirit gets the short end of the stick. This could easily turn into a depression time, and at the moment it’s a ticked off time (in which my wife gets the short end of the stick, hence a fight with me tonight). Bottom line, Travis no feel good. Travis need to do priorities.
Father, so much inside of me is spinning around, it feels as if something nasty is about to be birthed out of me, or as if I could puke the black plague out. Lord, I need you, and I know you are here. I thank you for your Holy Spirit, that you can bring my flesh under control when I cannot. Lord I am asking for your wisdom and your fellowship. I thank you for this venue of venting. May you control my lips, my heart, and my spirit, multiply your fruit in me, and may your humility guide me. In Jesus’ name – AMEN.