Updates from Abbey Meyer and Charlie Strange
September 15, 2014
Greetings from the northern woods of Minnesota:
I am over halfway through my 40 day leadership training and want to highlight a couple of the things I've learned so far. This is a quote from one of our assigned readings in Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, "We are silent at the beginning of the day because God should have the first word, and we are silent before going to sleep because the last word also belongs to God."
This quote has really stuck with me and it is something I hope to do for the rest of my life. By starting each day with God we set our minds on what really matters and have our eyes opened to how he is going to work. Ending each day with God allows us to give God the glory for what happened in the day and thank him for being present and blessing us throughout the whole day. Psalm 92:2 sums it up pretty well, "Proclaiming your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night."
Spending time alone with God has allowed my time in community to be that much richer, which is another thing I've learned. If I'm not hearing a word from God and being filled up with him I can't contribute or be blessed by time in fellowship. But, because I am spending time with God on my own I have gained so much from my time in community as well. It has been amazing to get to know the 8 other Young Daniels. They have challenged and encouraged me in my faith daily and it is such a fun group of believers to be surrounded by every day. I want to thank you all so much for your support both financially and through your prayers which has enabled me to be here. I have been so blessed by my time here so far and am excited to see what God has in store for the next 20 days and the rest of the year. I also want to challenge you all and encourage you to try what the Psalm says, to start and end each day with God in whatever way that might look like for you. It makes your day so much better and your time in community so much richer. Please continue to keep me in your prayers and know that you are in mine. Love, Abbey
As I write this I am sitting in a rocking chair in a loft in northern Minnesota. It's been quite a journey and it's just getting started. The last 20 plus days have been spent in a myriad of ways. Whether it be in daily training sessions, giving devotionals, helping lead worship, or getting sea sick on Lake Superior, it has been a busy few weeks. I couldn't be more thankful to be here though, and God has truly been working in my life and the lives of everyone here. This place is a place of new habits and ideas. A place to let go of the past and reach for the future. A place where it is easier to find clarity in what God has for our lives. It has been really unique and impacting to hear other people open up and share how God has worked in and through them.
In addition to all that I stated above, God has been growing me and others in leadership. How do you talk to people you have never met? How to you engage strangers in meaningful discussions? How do you give a long talk in front of people with an impact? How do you get teenagers involved in a leadership program? How do you prepare for a Christ centered marriage? How do you become a life long learner? These are just a few of the questions we have been diving into. God has truly been showing me that His grace is sufficient in my life and that I need to rely solely on Him. It has been fantastic to be stretched in ways that I never thought possible. To get out of my comfort zone and learn about new and exciting things. Let me share one specific example. Last week we went on a three day sailing trip. Now if you don't know, sailing is not exactly at the top of my favorite things to do list. I easily get sea sick, and deep water is one of my biggest fears. Putting those two things together, sailing on Lake Superior didn't really get my very excited. Sure enough I got sea sick the first night out and I really struggled through that, but God was at work. One of my friends helped me memorize a few applicable scripture verses as I fell asleep and when I woke up the sea sickness had gone. The following days I barely felt sick at all and I was able to enjoy the trip after that. God really used a circumstance in which I was not comfortable at all to grow me in my trust and reliance in Him. If I had not gone on that sailing trip I may not have memorized those verses, and I would not have grown closer to Him in those ways. I also want to say that I am extremely thankful to all of you who are reading this. I would not be here, learning these things, if it wasn't for your help and prayers. I can't wait to be back at my home that is called "the Church." Thank you again for your prayers and I look forward to seeing you all soon.
In His grace, Charlie