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I am…

February 10, 2011

To put it simply…

I am Edmund.

I could go on and on going pretty deep into what I mean but in the most basic form of it, I am Edmund.  Lured away by the thought of treasure and being spoiled and treated as a king.  I wanted to be “the man” the one who ruled it all and wanted to be in control so I made choices that led me down that path only to be rescued and redeemed.  True love brings genuine repentance (seems like I’ve read that somewhere) and I am a walking example of that.  I feel it’s time to not sit in the back sulking in my pride being hurt and instead start living up to the follower, leader, king that I am destined to be.

This morning all of this was emotionally evident in my drive to work as a collection of thoughts that I’ve had the past several weeks and months culminated in a very real and powerful time.  You see, I think I can finally see how I’ve been waiting for the opportunity, as if the opportunity is going to come and I’m going magically just become who I want to be, automatically turn on who I am supposed to be.  No, this morning it was more than evident that instead I need to devote myself, my all to becoming the man who I am called to be regardless of the job, the situation, and regardless of where in life I am.  It’s called perseverance.  It’s not so much trying to reach an end goal but more about the process of changing the reality around me and really changing the lenses that I see the world through.  So when I see that blind woman walking out around town this morning my actions and reaction doesn’t change with the season, with my timing, with my core.  No, I can learn to be a true follower, thus leading even when I’m not in a place of “leadership.”   Sounds like a good time to me.

It’s been awhile…

May 18, 2010

It may seem to some of you that I (or we) haven’t had any deep thoughts or news in quite a long time, however that is far from true.  God has had quite a few surprises in store for us and well…we want people to know what God is doing, calling us to, and where our adventure is heading.  A man who I respect very much reminded me the other day of the importance of looking back at where God has taken us and seeing how all the dots are now connected.  It occurred to me right there as I was talking to him that the purpose of this blog was to give an account to others but instead I really need to put these words down, make them solidified thoughts, thus giving myself the ability to look back and see.  So, expect a few more thoughts and accounts in the next several days and weeks and I would be thrilled to have you read them and let me know what you think, however know that this open journal can’t contain all the excitement and emotion so feel free to ask me about anything you read as it would do me (or us) some good to share it with you.

Moving along…

Here is a letter that we just sent out this week informing people of a few things…

Our Journey in this Magnificent Abyss

May, 2010

Greetings:

As we are preparing for the summer months in Ellensburg we wanted to take the time to thoroughly update all of you who have been generously supporting us in our adventure with Extreme Nazarene. It has been almost a year since we first thought seriously about partnering with Extreme and we have realized that we haven’t updated all of you as often as we had planned, so we would like to lay out where God has taken us and where we are headed starting this summer.

Extreme Update:

On June 19th, Extreme will host the biggest evangelical event to ever happen in Arequipa Peru and as I write this there is a team of over 30 people planning to host over 10,000 people for a day of festivities, food, and a chance to present the gospel. These are exciting times, exciting days as we are seeing people come to Christ by the hundreds in Peru and because of your support over 50 people from the state of Washington will be making the trip down to be a part of the transformation of a city and potentially a nation. Because you have supported us, people all over Washington state have heard the vision, and they are responding. Communities in Peru will never be the same as several churches in Washington have decided to adopt them, thus paving the way for a missionary to set foot in that area. Many of those communities have never been presented with the gospel and currently we are seeing 1 out of every 4 people we reach accept the gospel. That is exciting and something to celebrate. Thank you for helping us fulfill our roles with Extreme Nazarene as it is making a difference.

What’s Next:

While I spent a week down in Los Angeles with the rest of the mobilization staff we began brainstorming and putting ideas down on how we could better represent Extreme in the launch of our next project starting this coming July. Those meetings came at a time when I was really feeling God call me to become a person who’s foundation was prayer. We were looking and examining church models and it seemed like every place I looked I saw that whatever was taking place, whether it be in a church model, a ministry, a revival, or a revolution, they all were starting with the intent to seek God intentionally through prayer. I began to see how I needed to latch on to this idea and by the time Lent came around I was hoping to put this into practice in my personal life. Little did I know how uncomfortable and challenging that was going to be.

God has called us to a life of prayer. That may seem elementary but that statement is really shaking up our lives here in Ellensburg. It is because of this that we have been called to step down from Extreme Nazarene and move to Seattle to began working with Church of the Undignified on Capitol Hill (http://www.churchoftheundignified.com/). It is because of this calling that I am having to put down all of my presuppositions and be up front with God on many things that would normally make me very uncomfortable. We have come to the realization that if God is in something, we want to be a part of it even if it makes us uncomfortable. What is very interesting to see though, is the fact that what God has called us too continues to connect several of the dots that have never made much sense. We are starting to see more of the details for our lives and while it is exciting, it is also very uncomfortable because we still haven’t seen the big picture. We know, however, that God is directing us, God has a plan, and we are seeking to do anything and everything to run towards Him.

Your Involvement:

Many of you have supported us financially and have been very generous to us as we have been working for and with Extreme Nazarene. We want you to know that you have been an encouragement to us and not one day has gone by where we realized that God has definitely provided through you in miraculous ways. From needing to pay a bill and a check coming in the mail, to wondering how we are going to do something special for one another, your generosity has been a “God thing” many times. We realize that if it wasn’t for the opportunity to work for Extreme, we would not be where we are today and we would not have been able to make the decision to move to Capitol Hill. Living by faith has challenged us and forced us to re-evaluate our priorities, thus paving the way for great things to come.

My position with Extreme Nazarene will end on June 1st, 2010 and from there we are in the process of putting together a plan to move to Seattle. Steph will still be a full-time student with Central Washington University, finishing up her degree in Elementary and Special Education, but she will be doing her student teachings in the Seattle area, so we will be saying “Goodbye” to Ellensburg this Summer. As a part of that plan, we are looking into the opportunities for you to continue supporting us as we work at Church of the Undignified, and we will make those known as soon as the details are solidified. The one area we would really like to emphasize is prayer. We may not have a ton of details at this point but we do know that we are going to be working and living in an area that is one of the darkest areas of Seattle. God is doing great things there; things are happening, but Capitol Hill has its challenges. We are in the process of putting together the details such as housing and potential part time employment knowing that God has something planned for us, but the pieces still need to fall into place. Would you make an intentional effort with us for the months of May and June to seek God for the details of this transition? Would you begin to pray and seek God for a clearer picture for us? Would you began to ask God if there are ways that you can commit to supporting us as we make this transition?

We know that if it wasn’t for people like you who have invested in us as a couple, we would not be in the same place that we are in. We would not be ready to step up to the challenge that God has called us to. God has taken care of us. God has provided. We are excited to make this transition and we want you to know how grateful we are for the part that you played. You have not only affected us, you have affected numerous people and communities in Peru, and you are preparing the way for great things to happen on Capitol Hill. Thank you for partnering with us.

In Christ’s love,

Jeff & Stephanie Shaw

Plans for Our Future.

March 10, 2010

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the LORD… (Jeremiah 29:11-14).

I’ve heard that verse (the first part of it, at least) more often than I can count. It seems as though it is one of the first verses memorized by those whom are memorizing verses. The words have always been good, but have somehow never seemed to connect too deeply with me until now.
Read more…

#2

January 21, 2010
tags: ,

2.

Great God, with wonder and with praise

On all thy works I look!

But still thy wisdom, pow’r, and grace,

Shine brightest in thy Book. Read more…

The Promise

January 20, 2010

First off, it has been awhile since I have posted something pondered, and for that I am sorry. Not apologizing so much to you the reader, but to the concept and thought that I have let the my emotions dictate my attitude. If you only read these four lines of what I have written today, this would be my profound thought: Do not let your emotions dictate the joy, peace, and hope that live within…instead let the joy, peace, and hope dictate your emotions and attitude towards others.

But what I really need to write about is far different than what I am going to write about so here goes my attempt to cover my bases before I go off on something that I’ve been thinking about for the past couple weeks…

Since the last time I wrote Steph and I have been through a lot of crazy things and we have truly been blessed. Blessed to spend so much time with our families. Blessed to be loved by people we barely know. Blessed to have things we don’t need, and blessed to be taken care of. It is humbling to have to approach people and ask them for their hard earned dollar and while we have had to do that on occasion, people have often just given without even having us mention anything. It’s like they just know it’s really amazing. We now have a kitchen table that was given to us and we were given some money to invite our friends over, so that’s what we did. It was like a mini-celebration for us as we were quite excited that we could host a dinner at our house, and it was all because people have loved us. Combine that with some food that we given to us by a very local friend and well, we haven’t had to go actual grocery shopping since we have been back. It’s amazing the way in which God takes care of us, and in a time of stress, it’s a rather forward confirmation that this is where God wants us to be right now. Read more…

To aid your dreams…

January 20, 2010

It has been quite awhile since I have written and much has changed over the past month, but I just wanted to write this out tonight before I head off to bed….

This is taken from the Sunday School Union “Hymn-book: Consisting of Devotional Hymns, for the use of Sunday Schools.” It was given to me by my Grandpa and it’s dated 1827 and filled with amazing wisdom.

Devotional Hymns, for Sunday Schools.

The Scriptures.

Hymn 1

Father of mercies, in thy word

What endless glory shines?

For ever be thy name ador’d,

For these celestial lines. Read more…

Standing in New Shoes

December 8, 2009

Written by Stephanie

When I got my first job I saved 50% of each paycheck, simply because I didn’t need that much money. When I decided to work with Youth With A Mission (YWAM), I was glad I had saved and had nearly enough to pay for the whole trip. These days life is a little different. I am a full time student with no time for a job. My husband is a full time missionary who has no income. Yet we still have the same bills as an average couple in addition to school expenses and loans to pay off. We are in this position because we believe that we are walking in God’s will and that He will provide for us. Well, He is providing, but it is certainly not the most comfortable ride.

Have you ever received a letter printed on “red” (though it’s really more of a pink) paper from a company to whom you owe money? Up until quite recently I thought that I would never be in that position, but when I got the mail the other day, I suddenly found myself reading our “FINAL NOTICE” from our utilities provider. Read more…