Project 52: 2017: #28


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Plan goodness. Reading the foreward, written by Dr. Henry Cloud, to John Ortberg’s book,2017-07-13 Soul Keeping, this two word phrase caught my heart. Plan goodness. 

I looked over the last week in my mind. Had I planned goodness?

The majority of the week had been given over to training new ReachGlobal staff moving across the world. Full of teaching and encouragement, listening and praying, those days had definitely been busy…and good.

2017-07-15 brought the delight of family celebrating a birthday. Turning 3 years old is a big deal! And, of course, there was planning…a cake, ice cream, gifts.


What does it mean to plan goodness? Am I intentional in my relationships to plan goodnessAm I willing to plan goodness? How do I plan goodness? All of this, and more, pulls at my heart.

Plan goodness.



Project 52: 2017: #27


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2017-07-08 in toward me across the counter our youngest grandson was ready for a conversation. Never mind that he didn’t really say anything. He was leaning. Moving toward me. Talking with his body. His eyes. Ready to just be with me. I knew what Tucker was saying without the use of words.

I love that boy. He doesn’t have to talk. His actions speak to me.

Ah. Hmmm. It seems there may be a bit of encouragement here to which I need to pay attention. That is, in my conversations with the One who loves me the most, the One who understands my coming and going, I would be wise to move toward Him. To allow my actions do the speaking.

My Lord knows what I am saying without the use of words. And, that is a gift.

Project 52: 2017: #26


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Singing out with their banjo-like quality, the green frogs of Pipe Lake accompanied our2017-06-30 meandering pontoon ride through cattails and lily pads. Daily life had been deliciously interrupted with the sweet rhythms of a 36 hour get-away. Get away with Me.

The rhythm of a lazy breakfast…take a real rest...punctuated with good conversation…you’ll recover your life. The cadence of simple chats mixed with long talks. Come to Me. 

Opening Scripture. Watch how I do it. Questioning. Sharing. Praying. Walk with me and work with me.

Savoring the precious pattern of friendship. Earthly and heavenly. Forgiveness and reconciliation. To understand and be understood. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. 

Measured breezes slowly pushed our pontoon across the glassy lake. Occasional raindrops broke the afternoon sunshine. Clouds, white and gray, nudged across the sky. A time of respite. Of thought. Of conversation. Of rhythm that brings life. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.

Note: Italicized words are from Matthew 11:28-30, The Message.





Project 52: 2017: #25


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2017. inside is a heartfelt prayer. Bubbling to the surface, this prayer explodes with joy, praise, and also petition.

O Lord, our hearts lift in praise to you for life! Our own lives. The lives of our children. And our children’s children. We long to praise you for all our days. And, may it be so for each generation of our family. To walk in your ways. To live our lives immersed in you. 

From generation to generation. Let each generation tell its children what glorious things he does. Psalm 145:4

Generation to generation. The birth of Sonja Joan. The daughter of Anna. The daughter of Brian and Diane. Sonja Joan. The daughter of Dan. The son of Dennis and Joan. From generation to generation. O Lord, how great are your works! The gift of life. The gift of joy. May we, and each generation, walk in your ways. Delighting in you for all of our days.

Sonja Joan. Born June 23rd at 12:19 p.m. 6 pounds 13 ounces. 20 inches long. Beautiful!

Project 52: 2017: #23


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2017-05-20 07.45.21There she was. Sitting quietly, cane in hand, just inside the cathedral entrance.

I have thought about her for three weeks now. Who is she? Is she lonely? What has she seen in her lifetime, there in Austria? Has she always lived in Vienna? Does she have a family? Was she waiting for someone beside the glowing candles? Or, was she simply sitting in her ordinary place, pausing in her day. There in the midst of the tourist rush. In her church. In her place of worship. In the place where she sits with God.

People swirling about her. Languages bouncing through the air. Stained glass reflecting rays of sunlight. Architectural beauty all around. She seemed unaware. Calm. Still. Untroubled. Waiting.

“I pray to God—my life a prayer— and wait for what he’ll say and do.” Psalm 130:5


Project 52: 2017: #22


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Strength. A one word description for each of our sons-in-law. Yet. Each has his ownSons-in-law fortitude. Courage. Tenacity. His own unique strength to do life. His own personal dependence on the God of life.

In that strength, in that relationship with God, our daughters flourish. Our grandchildren grow. And. We find ourselves strengthened too.

Dan. An. Darren. “…our sons…like sturdy oak trees.” Psalm 144:12

Project 52: 2017: #21


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Some days are simply meant for joy. Celebratory joy. Such a day was ours,Graduation.1 shared with our son-in-law Dan and daughter Anna.

A black gown covering the heart of a remarkable man. A heart which has experienced hard work. Obstacles. Difficulties. More hard work. Struggles. Grief. And now triumph. Ten years older than most of the graduates walking the aisle, Dan shook the hand of the college president and received his hard-earned degree.

And we celebrated!

Project 52: 2017: #20


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2017-05-14 and I pastor. Meaning we care for others. Spiritual care. Providing for those who are working with ReachGlobal as missionaries.

Usually the spiritual care is one-on-one, or in small groups. But, every once in awhile Brian’s heart skips a beat when he is asked to preach. After years of preaching or teaching every Sunday it is a particular joy for him to step back into the pulpit.

In this 20th week of 2017 Brian was asked to preach at the Innsbruck Free Church. Standing before the congregation and opening the Word of God to them was a cherished responsibility. With our friend Catherin Osterhus translating, Brian had a sweet time.

“Preach the word of God. Be prepared…encourage your people with good teaching.”  2 Timothy 4:2, New Living Translation

Project 52: 2017: #19


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Co dům dá. Czech for, “what the house gives,” this simple phrase refers generally2017. to  “whatever you have that can create a meal, put it in the pot”. Sometimes those really are the best meals and those are the best times of coming together as friends.

We have been in Prague for a week, visiting with workers/friends throughout the city. Discovering what God is doing. Where He is working. Along the way we have laughed. Teased. Prayed. Experienced cdům dá. Each one brings what they can to the meal. The meal of friendship. The meal of God’s work. The meal of life.

Co dům dá. A week of life in the home of Trca. Ritch and Susan Trca give of their hospitality to us. A place to stay. Sweet, and sometimes challenging, conversations. Family. Rest. Open doors and open arms.

This day, before we leave for Innsbruck, we experienced cdům dá at the table. A meal was created with leftovers. Conversation was shared with friends, one via Skype. And it was good. “What the house gives.” Co dům dá. God working through us. Giving to each other. It is good!