Huh....try to sum up three and a half months in a short time...okay...yeah right! It seems like years of stuff has happened in such a short time. Although I don't always realize it, when I look back, I have a seriously rocking life thanks to God's grace. Okay, I'll try to cram all the stuff in without you having to read a super long blog (I've learned they're intimidating to read). Anywho....post Grand Canyon.
After I came back from my epic trip down the Big Ditch, God continued to blast open doors for us on campus. We continued to go out every Wednesday at the table and good conversations seemed to pour out for us. One of the brothers who was with us had his schedule changed and couldn't make it. So the other DP and I changed tactics slightly. Instead of sitting at the table waiting for people to come to us, we decided to go to them. We “stole” an awesome method from some of our amazing brothers in Utah who spend all their time witnessing to Mormons. One of the big issues with Mormons is getting them to see their sinfulness in the light of God's righteousness. It's the mindset that says, “well, I'm a pretty good person, so I'll be okay.” Well, as we talked with people on campus, we've found this is the underlying theme with pretty much everyone. Our brothers in Utah created a “good person” survey which takes people through the Ten Commandments and shows them how they are really doing at “being good.” We did this for several weeks and had many great conversations with not only students, but workers on campus as well. Praise God! I could fill up the whole blog if I were to write out each of these stories. So incredible!
Then I started to work at the ski area and couldn't go out on Wednesdays anymore. Working has been really fun and really interesting. It certainly has a whole culture of it's own up there. I jokingly say that there are probably more devout Hindus in Crested Butte than in India. Anyways, work was pretty slow, but has started to pick up more. There have been some small conversations there though which is encouraging. I was learning from a co-worker one day and I got to ask him if he went to church anywhere. He said he watched a preacher on the TV. This was not particularly encouraging but it opened up some talks later. This guy later asked me at lunch, “So...are you like super-religious or what?” I told him it depends on how you define religion. I never really got to explain what I meant, but it was okay. Later, a friend who I raft with in the summer came up to me and said one of his friends had posted something about God and suffering as her status and he didn't get it. Another co-worker went to a coffee shop with me to read and then asked what I was reading. At the time, it was “Not a Fan” which is a great book about not just being a fan of Jesus but a follower (yeah, there's my little book plug—available now at any Christian bookstore worth it's Jesus bracelets for only $14.99! haha, jk, but seriously, it's a good book and not too long.). So....I had the opportunity to share with him what that difference was. Then one day I was taking a couple free runs when there was no work and rode up with a different co-worker. She asked me what I did in Gunny and I explained Rick's ministry and Saturday night then asked her if she ever went to church or anything. She gave me her story and then I asked her where she was at with God right now. It was short, but still a cool opportunity. There's also just some hilarious stories that happen when dealing with kids. One that sticks out was being assigned to the two year olds and having the supervisor say, “We have one kid today who doesn't speak any English...only Japanese.” Oh, sure, no problem, cause I know how to say....um.....nothing in Japanese. Fortunately, (and I say this as humbly as possible) I'm the bomb at charades. The kid didn't do too bad and had fun. Haha.
Yep, who'd a guessed. On January 4th I proposed to my girlfriend and she was crazy enough to say “Yes!” Yeah, I know, poor girl. So yeah, that was kind of a big deal and I hear it changes life a little. She's an awesome woman of God and a huge blessing in my life....and she makes really good pie which is also a plus! We're getting hitched in late March (yeah...this year) and are super stoked for it. God has shown us sooo much already in just the wedding planning. Lots of good stuff about trust and humility and grace...it's been..painful at times, but really awesome over all! So the typical question most people were asking was “How did you propose?” To which my answer is “I got down on one knee, pulled out the ring, and asked.” This answer doesn't go over too well with the female inquirers. So then I say, “well, I took her out to McDonald's and bought her a cheeseburger, stuck the ring in it, and brought it back to her. After singing her the cheeseburger song from VeggieTales, I knelt down and opened the box, revealing the ring in the top of the burger and asked her.” To this I get mixed reactions until I tell the real story about how we went down by the river walk and then pulled off by a SUPER-ROMANTIC spot and then I busted out the ring and popped the question.
About a month or so ago, I was hanging out at the B-fizz and the new Mormon missionaries came by. We have struck up a great friendship with them and have had some good talks at least once a week and they haven't run away yet! Please be praying for these dear friends, that their eyes would be open and that they would see the wonderful grace of God. It's definitely a cool opportunity to get to meet with them every week and try to share the true Jesus with them.
This has been fun as well. Rick and I started a bible study at the ski area every Monday after work and it's been great to see some believers and seekers show up to that. Tuesday nights we have a 5 Minute Theologian class in town which is a good intro class to theology (and yes, 5 minute theologian is the name of the book...the actual class takes more than five minutes.) Wednesday nights there are a few faithful believers at my other church who pray...that is just an awesome time. Thursday morning ministry breakfast has been interesting. It's changed a lot..some ways for the better, and some ways, maybe not so good, but people are growing. Please pray for the direction this should take. Saturday night service has been wonderful...we actually have unbelievers coming and inviting other unbelievers! Haha, how often does that happen?!?! God is so good! One of my roommates who was leading music left in January which was a bummer, but we're stoked to see how God is leading him. So, I was then put “in charge of music.” Haha, which if you know me, this sounds like the punchline of a joke because music is not exactly my gifting. However, I am surrounded by some great guys who can play and sing louder than me so the people don't run away before the message. Haha. The trouble I have right now is that all this stuff is great, but I feel like I'm overloaded and end up not being able to anything really well and everything suffers. I expressed this one Wednesday night at prayer and one of the elders simply said, “Man, you need to learn to say 'no.'” I think this is sound advice, the tricky part is just what to cut out. So, please be praying for me that I would be able to do the work that God has for me, but also that I would have the courage to cut out the things that are only distracting from His true work for me. Yeah, that would be great.
Anyway, thanks to all of you who still read my blog that I don't update nearly enough. Thanks so much for praying for me and standing with me.
“This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The Lord's lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. 'The Lord is my portion,' says my soul, 'therefore I have hope in Him.'” Lamentations 3:21-24
--Direction for Ministry Breakfast
--Mormon Missionaries—that they would see the Truth.
--Direction/wisdom for me
--All the wedding jazz
--All the wonderful opportunities!
--An amazing fiancee' (hmm.....however you spell it)
--God's continued faithfulness.