Good to get away

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So far this year there has been a whole lot of planning. We brought in our directors from Moldova and Slovakia here to discuss in further details what we’ll be doing in those countries and some of our team flew to Bulgaria to meet with our partners there. The surprising thing about planning is how many possibilities there are and how stressful potential possibilities and problems can become. But starting in April we will be moving from plans to actions.

Colmar, France

Before the action happens, however, we took a reprise from it all. Last week we had staff retreat in the picturesque town of Colmar, France. If you have driven a stick shift, I would compare the trip to the pressing of the clutch that allows you to change gears – In our case from plans to actions. One of the most important things from that week, though, was a lesson we believe came straight from God.

We had a team member lead devotionals and she talked about the importance of following after Jesus first and everything else second. What tends to happen is we try to chase the results of following God and try to achieve it on our own. But then the pressure is only on us and we get burnt out because there is no way we can compare to God’s results. As she was talking, an accordion player set up outside of where we were staying and started playing random polka like songs – it was very distracting. As our discussion continued the topic turned to what Jesus did for us. That Jesus shed his blood for us and that was all we need. At that moment, the accordion player began playing the old hymn “Pow’r in the Blood.”

A verse and the chorus go like this:

Would you do service for Jesus your King?
There’s pow’r in the blood, pow’r in the blood;
Would you live daily His praises to sing?
There’s wonderful pow’r in the blood.

There is pow’r, pow’r, wonder-working pow’r
In the blood of the Lamb;
There is pow’r, pow’r, wonder-working pow’r
In the precious blood of the Lamb.

Now, this is an old old hymn from 1899 and France is among the most secular countries in the world today. Yet here was an old man right outside our window playing a song that was directly related to what we were talking about. It was a very surreal experience and we all know that it was God working through an old Frenchman and his accordion to speak to us.

So as the gear shifts from planning to action, we will move seeking God above any results and trusting him to do better than we could have planned in the first place.

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