The title for my car came in the mail today!
Editors note: If you’re looking for a more superficial post on the technical details of MinistryTECH and the Spring RoundTable, move along now. That is NOT what this is going to be.
Warning: Deep Philosophical Stuff Ahead
The last four days have just flew by and I’m sad that MinistryTECH and the Spring RoundTable are now over. I always leave these times together with a heavy heart, much like the heavy heart I had Monday morning of this past week when I boarded Delta flight 47 to head back home from Moscow, Russia. There is just something so incredibly special about the relationships that are formed and strengthened at a CITRT event.
We had several first-timers this week and I’d love for some of you to leave a comment on your impressions. Someone usually asks the question “What was the most meaningful thing about this event for you?” and since 9/10 of us are hardcore geeks who thrive on the latest and greatest shiny gadgets, the answer usually surprises me. It comes in different forms and worded in different ways, but it all boils down to one thing: The People. And “The People” doesn’t just mean our “A-Listers” like Tony Dye, Jason Powell, Clif Guy, and Jason Lee – it’s the effect of the full group all meeting together and encouraging one another while discussing technology and spiritual things. It’s been said before, but I’ll repeat it here: We really have something special here! Sure, we have the common bond of technology and things surrounding it, but I honestly think if we took that away today, we would still have a great community and still be friends.
I wish there was a better way to let all of you know what an encouragement you are to me – both professionally and spiritually. I consider it an honor anytime I get to participate in (or even just listen to) “big picture” conversations like I did last night at dinner with Clif, Tony, JasonL, and JasonP and again this morning over breakfast with Tony and JasonP. I truly feel that my thoughts and opinions are valued and I always walk away feeling blessed by knowing all of you. I really look forward to the day when I can join you guys in ministry.
A little over three year’s ago, I partnered with my credit union to purchase a new ride. It was a four-year loan and the first payment was made on March 28 in 2005.
Since January, we made additional payments on principal on two different occasions and just a few moments ago, I got to make an awesome phone call. I called my friend Matt who works at one of the credit union’s branches and had him transfer the funds to pay off the car note – a full one-year early. So far, it seems surreal, but when the title comes in the mail next week, there will be some shouting at my mailbox!
I must first thank God for setting Bonnie and I on the right financial course about 15 months ago, Dave Ramsey and FPU for helping us get really focused about five months ago, my employer for their weekly contributions to my bank account, and last but certainly not least, my wife for her continuous encouragement and partnership as we inch our way towards financial freedom.
Finally got a few minutes. Things are going great so far. Can’t wait to get back and share what God has been doing here in Northern Moscow with everyone. Myself and the rest of the team can really feel your prayers, so keep them coming! I don’t have time to write a full post now, so I’m stealing the email Jeremy just sent back to Crestview folks. Actually, I don’t even have time to read it – so I hope he didn’t say anything embarrassing about me!
Hello Everyone! We finally have email access for about an hour! Everyone is doing great and things are going smoothly so far! I will have to say from my perspective this is one of the best trips if not the best we have ever taken from Crestview.
Friday- Thank goodness everything was here when we arrived and we got checked into the hotel fairly smoothly. Just a little problem exchanging money. We made it to Red Square and prayerwalked as we toured with a few from the Golovinski Church. I took them to MooMoo! which is a Russian cafe. We made it to bed early and crashed!
Saturday – We went to Ismailovsky Park and did a little shopping! We enjoyed shishkabobs for lunch. We then had an incredible opening meeting with the Golovinski Church. It was an incredible time in the spirit! Nothing could compare from the past for how the Lord moved in all of us during this time. We will explain more later.
Sunday – We enjoyed worshipping with the Golovinski church. However, it was a little lengthy at almost 3 hours! Dan gave his testimony and I spoke for a few minutes and sang a song! There was a guest pastor from Genady’s home town. He is the man who led Genady to the Lord. I am glad we got to meet and hear from him. On Sunday night, the ladies conference went very well. I think they had a hard time getting started on time, but that goes with the territory. Diane did a GREAT job i am told. Olga and I went to deliver a gift to Constantine, who is Brad and Lori’s elderly neighbor. He is pretty much confined to his home and lays down most of the day. He was very appreciative of the gift and wants Brad and Lori to come back soon. The guys met and brainstormed about men’s ministries at Mark’s apartment with 3 of the Golovinski men. We had a lot of good conversation and they were very interested in Dan’s testimony about his Emmaus experience and his accountability group.
Monday – We prayerwalked the Golovinski region, which is our partner region and gave out some Bibles. The Babushka party went excellent! There were 31 ladies there. We were a little rushed and late beginning but everything turned out fine.
Tuesday – We have prayerwalked the Levoboreshni region today, which is a neighboring region to Golovinski, It is also the region where the church meets. Everyone did a GREAT job again today. Wendy and Joy got to deliver a Bible to an elderly lady with Mark and I think they had an interesting time there. Tonight we will be having a prayer service with the Golovinski church.
Interpreters are awesome! Olga did a GREAT job getting us 3 interpreters that basically stay with us at all times! It makes things so much easier! Please pray for them. They are all Christians, but i am sure they are mentally and physically exhausted. Their names are Tanya, Natasha, and Lena
Mark is a great leader. He has been great at helping us get things done.
Please continue to pray for everything. Everyone is doing awesome and we are having a life-changing experience. We are praying for you on this end as well.
We’re minutes away from going to bed. We’ll be waking up around 3:30AM on Thursday morning to head to church to meet up with our mission team and leave for the airport. Yes, that time will probably already have passed by the time you read this. This will be our third trip to Moscow, the previous two in March of 2005 and October of 2006. Those if you quick with math will see that Crestview is averaging sending a team about every 18-months to assist with the church plant in the Golovinski region of Northern Moscow.
We’re super excited about the work God is doing there. If you go back and read this Four Things post from two years ago, you’ll see that one of the things I wanted to do before I die was “Attend church in the Golovinski region of Moscow, Russia.” That may sound rather simple, but two years ago, there was no Protestant, Christ-following church in the region. In October of 2006, I did it. Interestingly enough, I think I’m more excited to go back this time and take part in a much more mature body of believers.
Now the sort of sad part – I’ll likely be 100% off the grid for the next eleven days. No phone, no email, no #citrt, no internet of any kind. If you need to get in touch, I highly suggest you do it before 4:00 PM EST which is the time I’m scheduled to board the flight to Moscow @ JFK in New York. Otherwise, pray for a divine message to be delivered to me.
We’ll be back home on Monday night, March 31st and I’ll have a quick one-day turnaround before heading to Oklahoma City for Spring Church IT RoundTable. These next two-and-a-half weeks are going to be one tremendous experience and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me, Bonnie, and the rest of our mission team. I hope you will all be praying for God to move in a mighty way in Moscow.
Since I met Ian Beyer last fall at the Church IT RoundTable in Kansas City, I’ve been humbled by his incredible geekiness. The guy is running VLANs at home and has both private and public wifi as well. It’s definitely the most enterprise-y home network I’ve heard about so far. Anyhow…
While sure to be controversial, I have to say that he has hit the nail on the head with The Carbon Credit Crunch. In his post, he pokes fun at Al Gore and other climate change Henny Pennys.
Carbon credits are nothing more than 21st-century indulgences.
It’s simply not acceptable and almost seems hypocritical to buy these carbon credits as a response to your ever-increasing carbon footprint. The point should be to change your behaviors not offset them. It’s quite similar to something I’ve heard Dave Ramsey say regarding personal finances: you don’t need to treat the SYMPTOM (the debt), you need to fix the PROBLEM (spending more than you make).
I’m gonna go join Ian now to chop up some trees. For more reading, check out Brandon’s ongoing post about
“global warming” climate change.