first, in the way of updates: (1) i'm back in NC for a few weeks before kamp starts on may 21. i have a few road trips planned to Chattanooga and Chapel Hill & the rest of my time will be spent here in Asheville. (2) in the fall i'll be working about 30 hours a week in Joe White's office like i have been this spring. i'll also be helping coach Branson High volleyball again, and probably working part-time somewhere like NIKE or New Balance as some additional income to fund my crazy road trips and adventures. (3) i have good news about my friend Willie. he recently got a job in the kitchen at the prison so that will provide some income for his account there. he'll be able to use that money in various ways (hopefully more letters!!). which reminds me, i heard from him about a month ago and was very encouraged. God has brought him to a place where his mindset is ministry. he's had some great conversations with other men there, but said he would go into detail in his next letter. he still has not had his sentencing and we're not sure when that will be. but i'm encouraged by his optimism and ability to see God's hand working in this situation. he's a man with a mission. please keep praying for him!!!!
now moving on...
this week i've been reminded in several ways just how blessed we are to live in such an awesome country. i was standing in the line at wal-mart a few days ago and realized that 2 of the large floor tiles in wal-mart alone are bigger than the houses of my kids in Viet Nam. and then as i was filling up my water cup at Panera, i was struck with the reminder that in many countries, fresh water isn't so easy to come by....and ice is out of the question.
i'm just so thankful for the opportunity to live in a country where my daily physical needs aren't even a consideration. that's a blessing, but also a challenge. i take these blessings for granted. i need these reminders to bring me back to a mindset of gratitute that leads to giving.
it's so easy to get trapped in a mindset that times are tough. putting it back in perspective...no they're not. i'm doing just fine. i would hate to get to the Bema (judgment) seat of Christ only to find out that i wasted the resources He's given me because i never thought i had enough to give...that i had to hold onto it for my own comfort and security. what a waste! i want to get to that day and find out that i used every ounce of the blessings He's given me--be they physical, material, emotional, spiritual, you name it. i want to be completely spent for His sake. and the very fact that i will spend eternity with my God makes me richer than many.
regardless, i've decided that i'm never going to operate from the mindset that "once this is finished, or once i get through this, then i'll do that." why not now? if i keep waiting for the right time to come, i'll be waiting an entire lifetime. i don't want to waste a lifetime waiting. i want to give now and live now.
final thought...please keep my friend Joy in your prayers. she leaves Sunday for Lusaka, Zambia and will be there all summer. she and the rest of her team would appreciate your prayers. and i selfishly would appreciate your prayers that she would be able to find the little girl i sponsor. i would love for Joy to get to love on Helen in a way that i physically can't.
thanks y'all!! enjoy your weekend!!
so the world may know,
live for Jesus. laugh uncontrollably. love unconditionally.