Day 7 & 8 – Deutschland 2010 – Rest, Talks, & Study

Day 7, #2 –
Martin & Sandra came & picked me up around 8:30 p.m. to take me to one of Sandra’s favorite hangouts from her university days. It’s a wine & cheese bar around the corner from the U of Frankfurt, & it’s located in a cozy cellar lit mostly by candles. My kind of place.

We sat at a communal table, meaning there were other people seated at the same table as us, having their own little ‘date’ & going about their own evening. This is a pretty common practice (sharing the space) here, though it wouldn’t fly at home. I mean really, sharing a table with a stranger? Who does that? :) One might even make a new friend.

Had a chance to catch up with Martin & Sandra over a Spanish Navarra red wine; it reminded me of a great zinfandel. Martin ordered us pretzels (yes!) & a vorspeise (appetizer) plate that came with hummus, bread, sun-dried tomatoes, some white beans (don’t know what they were but they tasted good,) black & green olives, parmesan cheeze, & some salami. Ahh.

Interesting talks about our kids – their oldest daughter, (2nd grade) is facing some pretty tough stuff right now & has a classmate who is seemingly well-versed & connected in the occult; her mom is a practitioner of the dark arts. Sandra & Martin were trying to figure out what they could do to address the situation; they can’t just forbid their daughter from seeing the classmate because they can’t move her out of that class. So, we talked about praying for our kids &  “blessing & cursing” – speaking life, God’s protection, & physical/spiritual covering over their daughter; basically taking a firm stand in the spiritual world.

The night was over way too quickly, & they dropped me off around 11, just in time for me to crawl under the covers & go to sleep.

DAY 8 –

I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the shutters on a German home; I mean the kind that you lower at night for protection, heat retention, & ‘blacking out’ the room. Well, I must have lowered the shutters all the way, because I slept until 10:30 this morning – there were no tell-tale rays of sun coming in to alert me that the day had arrived. Must have been tired as well. I do know that I dreamed quite a bit.  :)

Had my morning coffee, then prepared for my only appointment of the day, a visit to Koriander (the Italian restaurant that has a killer pepperoni/pineapple pizza) with Tobias. We had a great time getting to know each other better over lunch. A large part of our conversation deal with the Sabbath (he went to the seminar last Saturday.)

He also had a lot of questions about Foursquare – I’m finding that many pastors & leaders in the Foursquare Deutschland churches are looking for a global perspective, insight if you will, on the movement that they’re apart of. Each person that has asked me questions about the Foursquare family has stated that they’re incredibly thankful to be a part of something bigger than just them & their church. They want to hear the “family stories.” It reminds me a lot of my daughter, theWeez, asking my mom to tell her stories about her own life growing up, & about the family & how it came to be like it is. These questions, (& the stories that follow,) give a piece of solidity & groundedness to us, & build a bit of confidence about our ‘world’ & our place in it. If that makes sense. It does to me. :)

I’ve walked Leipziger Strasse at least 100 times in my life – never have I seen what I saw today: Jacque’s Wine Shop. I stumbled into it & found a collection of wines from all over the world… except the USA. I’d been planning on going by the Aldi or the Penny Markt, to buy wine for Julia’s family for when I see them on Saturday, but Jacque’s provided a better alternative with a great selection. The pictures don’t do the store justice, but I think I was making the proprietor nervous. I know one of the other customers just about lost it when I pulled my phone out to take pictures. He gave me the Look of Doom, & shook his head at me just like my old German teacher Frau Carson used to do in order to show her displeasure at my inability to put the verb in the right place in the sentence. Ah, dear Frau Carson, I do miss thee.

Ended up getting a Spanish Tempranillo/Crianza for Eddy & Laura, & an Italian Primitivo for the family Kern. I could have spent a couple of hours (& a couple hundred euro) in Jacque’s but alas, I needed to get home so that I could study for my speeching on Saturday & Sunday.

Spent the afternoon/early evening going over my notes for “Foursquare Friends Day” – a multi-church celebration in Engstingen where I get to share ‘my heart’ – meaning what I believe is important & close to God’s heart. I’ll be talking at least 2 times (about 45 minutes a shot): the first will be about the Monday Morning Church; the second is about living the Spirit-filled life… which is HOW we live as the Monday Morning Church in the 1st place.

Sunday, I’ll be in Ottersweier (where Julia lives) & talking from John 13:34,35 about living a simple life. And Julia gets to translate for me. That will be some good fun. :)

The time flew by, & I ended up studying for several hours… it got dark & the rains came again. But by the time I finished my studies, I needed to get out & walk – so I did, rain & all. The rain & cold have left my right knee achy,  especially where the screw from my ACL repair goes into the bone.


Getting out & walking helps a bit & keeps most of the stiffness away. I had hoped for some running, but I’m not nearly hard-core enough to run in the dark, rain, & cold. :)

Day 7 – Deutschland Fall 2010 – #1

Today was the last day of the conference, which I started off with my traditional “Youth Hostel” breakfast of coffee, cherry quark & chocolate mueslix. Ahh. I will miss this.  We gathered for worship & then Jan taught on the declaration of the gospel (good news, God’s message,) from the book of Jonah. He talked about the selfishness & self-focus of Jonah, who didn’t want to declare the message given to him for the Ninevites. What really jumped out at me was the need for faithfulness & perseverance in the life of Christ-followers in living & speaking the gospel… & not just to those people for whom it is convenient/preferred for us to interact with.

The conference time closed with the “blessing of breaking of bread” – not communion, but a time where each person takes a piece of bread (the good, dark, dense German bread,) & goes to another person to pray a blessings over them.

I felt prompted to pray with Ryan, a guy from Connecticut by way of Newburgh, New York. He & his wife Rebecca are attending this conference in the final stages of praying about moving to Germany to serve in the Gau Algesheim church. It sounds like if they’re able to get jobs, they will relocate in January 2011. My heart is totally full, & I felt very encouraged to hear Ryan & Rebecca’s story – their heart for Germany & the German people, their desire to give their lives away here. I told them that they were answers to prayer: prayers that I (& I know others) prayed, asking God to send workers to serve in Germany… talked to them a little about the 6 pastors’ conferences that I’ve been to, praying & looking for ways to encourage, help, support, & ‘cheer on’ the pastors & leaders. I can remember at our first conference in November 2005 sitting in my room with Joni, praying for workers for the harvest. Ryan told me that it was 6 years ago that he & Rebecca, out of the blue, felt a pull & a stirring towards Germany. They’d never really had any inclination that way before, but in 2005 it started. Hmm.

I wept.

Prayed for favor, acceptance, & provision for them. That the LORD would bind the 2 of them together & pour them out (kinda like a never-ending pitcher of cool refreshing water pouring into the glasses of thirsty people…)

A couple of people prayed for & blessed me too.

Lunchtime was the final event before everyone piled into their cars (or onto the trains) & headed towards home. Eddy & I gave a ride to Rene (TPLF’s youth pastor, ) & to Stefan (the youth pastor of ICHTHYS church in Frankfurt, the church that TPLF was planted out of.)  I love youth pastors. And these 2 guys are good ones who love youth & love their city.

It has been absolutely POURING this afternoon – with the kind of cold that chills you to the bone. Laura made a “challah” & some coffee, & we all sat down, (along with a neighbor of theirs,) for hot drinks on a cold afternoon. Of course, it was at that point that I started yawning my face off, & excused myself to take a nap. I’ve got a ‘getaway’ planned late this evening (about 9 p.m.) with Martin & Sandra to catch up with them, & to check out one of Sandra’s favorite wine shops. Don’t know how late we’ll be out, & I’ve been to bed late & up early for the last few days, so squeezing in a nap seemed like a good idea.

I woke up to the 6 p.m. bells from the Catholic church across the street – though they’re loud, they’re also cheerful, welcoming, & they bring me joy. For reals. Once my brain clicks on, I will definitely see if it’s stopped raining long enough to get out & stretch my legs with a brisk walk around the block.

My upcoming schedule:

  • Tomorrow, Thursday is a ‘free’ day for the most part, which means studying for my “Foursquare Friends Day” in Engstingen, with Juergen & Guedrun Zeeh. I do have a lunch appointment with Tobias (who Matty stayed with last year,) so that will be fun.
  • Friday is a ‘rest’ day; I’ll be traveling to Engstingen via train about 4 p.m. & will spend the evening there with a planned celebration with lots of people from their church, as well as good food & drink. I’m greatly looking forward to it; it’ll be my first time there.
  • Saturday is “Friends Day,” a celebration at the Shelter Alb Foursquare Church – followed by lunch. In the later afternoon, I’m on another train to Baden-Baden to see Yoooooooouuuuuullllleeeeeeeeee-AHHHHHH! & her family. Good times WILL be had by all.
  • Sunday morning, I’ll be speaking at Julia’s church (the Arche Ottersweier, pastored by Roland & Manu Lorenz) then spending the afternoon with family & food. Did I mention food?
  • Monday, Julia & I will take a train towards Frankfurt; I get to stop off & meet (for lunch!) with Jan, the pastor of the enChristo Church in Mainz. He’s also the Foursquare Deutschland national leader, & I’m looking forward to talking & planning with him.
  • Finally, it’s back on the train to Frankfurt!

  • I’m not sure what my internet connection situation will be starting Friday afternoon, but at the very least, I will be blogging & posting upon my return to Frankfurt on Monday. Blessings to you, & thank you for your prayers.

Day 6 – Deutschland 2010

Day 6 –

I woke up this morning mostly rested, with enough time to shave & shower today (hooray!) Headed out with Eddy & Laura to the youth hostel where the conference is being held. Fortunately, we arrived in time for breakfast – which for me means copious amounts of German coffee, & mueslix (kind of a home made granola,) with cherry quark (kinda like yogurt, except creamier, with no fake sugar aftertaste.) Unbelievable.

We all gathered together for worship & teaching – Volker Heitz  talked from Matthew 14 (from the story about the feeding of the multitude with the 2 fish & 5 loaves of bread,) as well as from John 2 (Jesus turning water into wine at a wedding.)

What stood out to me from Matthew 14:

  • Don’t focus on what you DON’T have, but rather on what you DO have: God will use it & will multiply it
  • Faith is trusting that what God has provided will be enough for you to do what God asks of you
  • Be thankful for what you have – complaining poisons your heart & makes your eyes bad… & even what you have will be lost

John 2 –

  • A shortage or lack is an opportunity for a miracle (Mary saw this)
  • The only way a miracle ‘fails’ is if the workers don’t obey (no faith)
  • Thankfulness & faith gives Jesus room to work

We weren’t going home during the afternoon break, so Steve & I decided to take a walk through the streets of old Bad Homburg. I got a chance to know Steve better & hear his story. He’s ‘bent’ toward the area of evangelism & worship – & has an incredible sense of humor that keeps everyone around him laughing. He’s truly a joy to be around.

I ate lunch with a couple of pastors that are from an independent church that is in the process of exploring whether or not they will become a Foursquare Church. In Germany, that process takes a couple of years & has several defined phases. At any time during any of the phases, its possible for either one or both parties (the church & the Foursquare Deutschland leadership) to stop the process completely or to put it on hold. The Foursquare leadership really wants to make sure that any non-denominational church thinking of joining the movement really understands what it is they’re doing – what the ‘DNA’ of Foursquare is, & what it means to be in relationship & accountability with the other churches & leadership.

The couple I was talking to asked a lot of questions about Foursquare history in the US; they were especially interested in knowing about Aimee Semple McPherson & the stance of the Foursquare Church towards Germany during World War 2. Fortunately, I have collected a few publications over the years that were produced by Foursquare in the ‘war years’ & was able to communicate that Foursquare was staunchly anti-Nazi, but for the German people. And since I’ve been around the Foursquare world a while, I was able to pass on some interesting stories that helped clarify some thought processes they’re working through. They also loved that Joni’s paternal grandparents were married by Sister Aimee, a fact that earned me some ‘Oooohs’ & ‘Ahhhhhs’.

This evening is the traditional celebration banquet, though instead of eating at the hostel as we usually do (& have done over the past few years worth of conferences,) we’re being shuttled to a nice restaurant in one of the nearby castle. (I must be tired because I’m cracking up at the idea of there being a plethora of castles nearby. Castles. We don’t really have those at home.)

I had the opportunity (& the invitations) to set up a few meetings over the weekend & Monday – I’m thankful for the increased favor that I continue to experience, & the opportunity to give input to & encourage pastors in their work & in their families. Its especially cool when something I’ve lived through can be used to help others.

Dinner was great & the fellowship was priceless. Life is beautiful.

Day 4 & 5 – Deutschland Fall 2010 – Conference

DAY 4 –

Sunday began early with homemade biscuits & coffee. The biscuits were melt in your mouth flaky, & tasted absolutely heavenly coupled with Oma’s (grandma’s) apple marmalade. Goodness. I could get used to those.

Eddy & I headed over to the church for early morning prayer & fellowship – it was great to be able to see many familiar faces, but even better to see how many there were that I didn’t recognize… it’s a great thing to come back to TPLF after a 6 month break & see a living, growing, vibrant group of people gathered to grow in Christ. It’s a testimony to a good pastor & also to a people that are dedicated to reaching their friends, neighbors, & co-workers.

We worshiped, celebrated communion, & had some “good news” (testimonies) about what God is doing in peoples’ lives. It was a lot like being at Hillside, minus the comedy routine that theBean, Ben, & company usually do during the announcements. :)

I spoke on Philippians 3:17-4:1 – Paul’s call to the church to follow him (& others living like him) in their pursuit of growing in Christ, & in pressing on to the goal of maturity & fullness in Christ (Philippians 3:12-16 talks about that.) I was translated by Steve G (a native of England) & was thankful for his skill & flexibility to ‘enter into” the message with me as co-preacher. Cause it doesn’t matter what I say in English (or American – according to Steve, I speak American, which is definitely NOT the Queen’s English.)

After church & more fellowship, I was invited to a restaurant with Sam Clayton (& my goddaughter, Rebecca!) & Petra Lindner… We ended up going to “Koriander” – & ended up with… more pizza. (That makes 4 days in a row.) Initially, we were going to get Turkish doener, but the restaurant was too full. So pepperoni pizza (with pineapple) it was. Fortunately, its so different than pizza at home I’m not tired of it. Yet. Also, we ran into Martin & Sandra Mueller-Berg & I got a chance to firm up some plans to meet with them before the week was through.

Rested for a while at home, then Eddy, Steve, & I headed over to pick up Rene (the youth pastor) so we could head out to the Pastors’ conference. Its being held in a place about 20 minutes out of Frankfurt called “Bad Homburg” – got checked in & took the opportunity to greet people I knew as they trickled in from all over Germany. Had some great fun catching up with some people that I hadn’t seen in years, & also with Melanie, who was with us (& the Meredith’s) in Reno just a few weeks ago.

I enjoyed the enthusiastic worship time (with Melanie’s team from Mainz – she’s on keyboard in the picture) & then Jan (pastor from Mainz & the National Leader of Foursquare Deutschland,) took the time to invite all the people to come up who were attending the conference for the first time (one of my favorite things.)

Eddy was the speaker for the 1st night – talked from Philippians 2. What stood out to me was one line from an encounter with the LORD that he’d had: “I’ve already given you everything you need to do what I’ve called you to do. You are enough.” It made me think about home & Hillside – & the temptation that we can have to covet – the things (people, resources, etc.) that we don’t have &/or we think we need… You know what I mean, the “if only I had…” I felt very reassured in the “you are enough.”

Afterwards, we made our way to the café for a beer & fellowship – truly one of the best times about the conference where friendships begin & are deepened, & the sounds of deep belly laughs permeate the room. I had a chance to talk to a guy that hadn’t been at the Revolution seminar the day before, but that had a million questions about learning to rest. It was an awesome night.

We finally dragged off to the car for the ride home about 11:30 p.m., which meant a short night’s sleep. After a long weekend, its not the optimum way to kick off a week.


I dragged myself out of bed just in time to splash water on my face & get dressed. I must have looked as tired as I felt, because I was greeted over & over with, “Oh. You ok?” Coffee helped.

So did the message. The keynote speaker for the conference is Volker Heitz, a pastor from Bern, & the national leader from Foursquare Switzerland. He spoke this morning on discipleship, & 4 of the main areas he is looking at & looking for in people he’s working with inside his church & in the Swiss movement:

S – Servanthood

T – Teachability

A – Accountability

R – Repentance

Volker has spent a lot of time with Daniel Brown, & as Daniel has been very influential in my life, he was speaking my ‘language;” I feel that I was able to grasp quickly a lot of the things that was talking about.

If only I could keep my eyes open… I bribed Eddy with promises of undying love & devotion forever if he’d skip the afternoon session with me & take me home so I could take a nap. Fortunately, he also was “toast” & was more than willing to drive me home. As soon as I got in the door, I staggered to my room & crashed.

Next thing, I knew, it was 2 hours later, & I awoke feeling terrific, like a new man. We didn’t have to leave for a bit, so I went for a walk in the increasingly brisk early evening. Made my way over to the Penny Market to get some gum to combat the “I feel like licked the sidewalk” taste from my mouth. Mission accomplished.

Got home, & then Eddy & I drove back to the conference, arriving just in time for dinner. I got to sit with Stephen, a pastor from a town in the SE of Germany called Erlangen. TheBean & I sat with him & his wife Sylvia a couple years ago, & I hadn’t seen him since. Turns out he’d had a major motorcycle accident & it’d taken about 18 months for his recovery. It was wonderful to catch up with him, but even more to hear him talk about his city, church, & to see the very obvious love he has for both.

There are a couple other Americans at the conference, Ryan & Rebecca, a husband & wife from New York. They’re visiting with a church in Gau Algesheim, exploring the possibility of moving to Germany to be a part of what God is doing here. Makes me happy to hear this.

After dinner & before the service, I finally had a bit of free time to write this blog. Ahhh. Feels so relaxing to get the words out & to process through what’s in my head as I write.

I’m thankful for the opportunities I’ve had already to sit, listen, & talk with several people – real, meaningful talks. It reminds me of why I’m here, & makes me feel like the travel, tiredness, difficulties, & missing home is worth it. Hearing how many people/pastors feel lonely & disconnected makes me incredibly thankful for my friends, family, & Hillside church family. I am truly blessed.

This evening, we had an evening of praise & prayer – then hung out in the cafe again until it was deemed sufficiently late (12 midnight) then back to Eddy’s. Tomorrow is a new day.

Day 3 – Deutschland Fall 2010 – Revolution of the Soul

I woke up early today, mostly due to the 24-hour road construction that began around 11 p.m. last night. The City of Frankfurt U-Bahn/rail system is taking out the pavers that surround the rails in certain parts of the city, & replacing it with asphalt. The “perfect storm” has happened & the next few days have the section of street in front of the Dueck’s home getting asphalt-ed. Fortunately I made it to about 5 a.m. before the backhoe in the street woke me up by dumping pavers into the metal dumpster 10 meters from me. I have to believe that the LORD gives sweet sleep to those He loves.:)

Had coffee & prayer with Eddy, then we headed over to the rooms that TPLF had rented for the “Revolution of the Soul” seminar – it was truly a great space in a phenomenal building. It reminded me a lot of the building in  “The Office” episode where Michael falls into a koi pond. Because it had a KOI POND Booyah. Major excitement from This Guy.

The seminar went well – I told my own story of God’s dealing with me about the Sabbath. Talked about being thankful & content. The affect of adrenaline & stress on the body, & the built in need for rest we have. The talk about adrenaline & stress probably got the most response – it seemed that many had never really heard how our bodies work – that when we have a ‘high demand’ time where we produce a lot of adrenaline to meet the demand, it’s followed by a ‘low time’, which is our bodies natural resting & restoring property – though during the rest & restoring time we usually feel “blah.” Irritated. Down. Like something is ‘off’. And all it is is the ‘normal’ process that our body uses to heal itself. It just feels so different from the ‘on,’ adrenalized, up version of us that it feels something is wrong.

With Christians it can be worse, because in the down times, we think something is wrong with us, & that we’re doing something wrong. So we try harder to ‘get right’. Pray more. Read more. Do more. Thinking that it will cause our ‘low’ to turn around.

One lady shared with tears in her eyes that for the first time she realized something WASN’T wrong with her when she experienced her post-adrenaline lull. That it was just her body recovering.

I had a lot of fun today, in part because the majority of people there were from TPLF &/or were people I’ve known for many years. It was very gratifying to be able to share with others  something that God has used so powerfully to work inside of me. Also, dear Julia! who lived with us for almost 6 months, drove for 2 hours from her home to be there. I love that girl. What a special treat!

At the end of a long day with way too much of me talking, I am spent. Looking back, I would do things a lot different today, most notably have more opportunities for people to interact amongst themselves. Still, it went very, very good. Eddy was on his way to a kindergarten party, so he dropped me off at the house. I Skyped the beautiful Bean, (I miss that woman!) & then made my way down the street to the corner Pizza Parlor for a pepperoni & pineapple pizza with a dunkleweizen. Ahhh. Life is beautiful.

Tomorrow is church with our TPLF family. I can’t wait.

Day 2 – Deutschland Fall 2010

Today was Eddy’s day off, which perfectly coincided with my day too. I woke up at 7:15 to the sound of the Brandenburg Concertos, my preferred alarm. (It’s hard to be grumpy hearing the sound of Bach, even in the morning when one’s body is telling you that its really 11:15 p.m. & you should be GOING to bed, not getting up. But I digress.)

Laura made pancakes, Eddy-style, meaning they were filled with almonds, apple, & coconut. I ate to my hearts’ content, using syrup, Nutella, & apple marmalade as toppings for different rounds of pancake-ery. Good times. The coffee was excellent as well.

Beings as it was the day off & the two oldest kids were at school, it seemed like a good idea to take a nap. So I laid down on the couch with a favorite book, (Heschel’s The Sabbath,) & read/napped for about an hour. I think. :)

Woke up in time for lunch, which was raviolis. Eddy & family headed off to a birthday party & I set myself for an afternoon of solitude. Which is my favorite. Read & dozed for a bit, then decided to head towards the city, through Bockenheim, which is where the church is located. Walked past the White Tower, which is located near the university. It used to be a watch tower, a line of defense for the city of Frankfurt.

Made my way past the familar cafe’s & university dorm-style apartments towards the city center. It was quite a ways away… further than I’d remembered, which is funny, because I usually take the U-bahn downtown. And now I remember why.

This is the “Hammering Man” – he symbolizes the 24/7 work ethic represented within the city of Frankfurt.

He’s about 45 feet tall – makes me think about the Sabbath & the need for rest. (Probably because this is where God first ‘convicted’ me about my own work-a-holism…) To me, Hammer Man stands for the worst parts of humanity,  Western Civilization & how we so easily work ourselves to an early grave, valuing each other only based on what we make or produce. I know its just a sculpture, but it stands out in my mind as a symbol of what God has rescued me from.

It also makes me think about tomorrow – I’m giving a presentation called, “A Revolution of the Soul” on the topic of living life in all its fullness; talking about rest, life rhythm, & the Sabbath. I have butterflies in my stomach just thinking about it. :) Truly, God’s work in my life in this particular area has been one of the most impactful things that has ever happened to me, & the thought that I get to share what He’s done in me, & what I’ve been taught & what I’ve learned brings tears to my eyes. Sometimes I get weepy. It happens.

Came home from my walk just in time for pizza & movie night with Eddy, Laura & the boys. Then to bed early so I can get good rest & be ready for the day tomorrow.

Blessings to you!

Day 1 – Deutschland Fall 2010 – Travels

Left early on Wednesday morning for the airport with my favorite Transporter, theBean, in the drivers seat. We had the full gamut of emotions on the trip, from laughing to tears. It’s hard to leave home.

My flight from Reno the LAX was uneventful, but the gate for my LAX  to Washington-Dulles flight was on the other side of the concourse. Which meant a sprint. And a prayer to hope that the baggage handlers were sprinting too… :)

On my flight, I felt the LORD dealing with me about faith & believing – specifically in regard to anxiety that I have had about this trip, most pointedly about the “Revolution of the Soul” mini-seminar I’ll be doing in Frankfurt this Saturday. I’d like to say that I’ve been the picture of a man of faith, full of resolve & confidence about what I’m doing, & about what is happening. But if I said that, it wouldn’t be true. I’ve been anxious. Worried. Stressed. About the unknown. And even some of the known.

I felt the LORD saying that He’s given me everything that I need for what I’ll be doing – the mini-seminar included. And that by worrying, stressing, & being anxious, I was not believing Him for that provision, for the words, for the direction, & that somehow, someway, whatever happened good or bad, was somehow MY responsibility.

Ooh. Not good.

So I repented. Asked forgiveness for my ego-centrism, worry & preoccupation. Prayed for a heart & mind  renewal. Thanked God for what He’s preparing for Saturday… & that I get to be a part of it.

After my 4 1/2 hour flight to Washington Dulles, I looked around to see what gate my Washington-Frankfurt flight would be departing from. It wasn’t listed. That made me a little nervous, so I checked with a couple of United personnel to see if they had a clue. No dice. I pushed away my anxiety, & thanked God for the peace that I knew He gave & will give, a peace that I determined to contend for.

Walked to the other end of the C Concourse to the United Customer Service desk – & on the way, called United Customer Service as well. The automated ‘agent’ on the phone was very helpful & told me exactly what I needed to know, & where to go. The personnel at the airport were having some troubles locating the airplane & gate, & my flight never did end up showing up on the Departures board. I did however board my flight. Right where the automated agent said it would be. Thanks Hal!

Landed in Frankfurt, & picked up my bag (Yes!) then headed out to meet Eddy, the pastor of our sister church, Treffpunkt Leben Foursquare Church (TPLF.) We took a few minutes to catch up as he drove us back in to town to pick up his 2 oldest boys from school. On the way, he took me by the site of the old TPLF building – there is literally NOTHING there – The entire building, all the way down into the ground, was torn down & the rubble removed. A new building will be built in its place as soon as a new foundation is being poured. I hope to get a picture or 2 of it when I go on my walk this afternoon.

We took a brief foray by the new TPLF church offices, said hello to the multi-talented & imminently gifted Elena, then made our way back to Eddy (& Laura’s)  house for lunch. I have to confess: one of my favorite things about staying with Eddy & Laura is the FOOD. Spaghetti & meatballs. So. Good.

It was about at that time that I passed out on the couch, & woke up… slowly. It took me a while to realize who (let alone) where I was. Turns out, I slept for about 30 minutes, then stumbled around groggily to get my bearings. Took my daily “EmergenC” & myVitality. And my brain turned on, & I took a few minutes to catch up on the election coverage from the vote Tuesday, & decided to blog a bit.

The sum up: I’m well, encouraged, jet-laggy, in a safe place with great friends, in one of my favorite cities & places in the world. Praying for focus, clarity, & the ability to see what is really important for me to pay attention to & do today. I’ll post pictures later, God-willing.