Thursday, August 23, 2007

I have heard from increasing numbers of you that you can no longer leave messages...that somehow the blog feature that is used to write, will no longer accept your attempts. I do still want those of you interested to have access, so feel free to write us at or

God has done so much in the last two years. When I look back, I am just amazed at all that has happened, and at His provision. In many ways, things have changed so much that there is simply no way to ever go back.

We are not supposed to go back, I know, but comfort sometimes follows the idea of being able to return to what used to be. Going back to a place where memories flourish, and can be almost touched by an extended hand.

When we look back even to our homes in Indiana and the friendships, we still have immense love for the people, but we are aware that their circumstances have changed a great deal, too. The churches we were involved in have changed significantly. The faces of staff and even members are different.

There was a time when we took our leap of faith to come here, that I clung to the idea of being able to return if things did not work out. That was something I thought about quite a bit. I know we could still return and love on the same family and friends, but when things change, so do the familiarity, and the connection points.

It is said that "hindsight is 20/20." I know that is true for looking back and fixing what didn't work. I know it's often true for looking back and glimpsing what was. It does not work for looking back and returning to what used to be.

I am not saying I want to return, that things have not worked out. I am saying the comfort of thinking I could has mostly evaporated as the lives and circumstances that once were have changed.

For me it feels like I've been walking on a rope bridge between two cliff faces...over a deep chasm. Within the rope bridge were secured planks of wood for footing. Each step we've taken is sure, but for some reason, each plank splinters and falls as pressure is released from it.

Of course all of this is an illusion. None of it is real. If the Lord directed our return it would happen and the opportunities that He desired would be open. We carry no expectation of such.

I know that this time of year is difficult and has our minds resting in gardens of the past. Colors are always brighter and truer in those places. Things always seem less complicated, more serene, when you look back.

When you are walking through them...they are not.

This journey is and always will be about faith and obedience. What I have to do in my own mind to keep looking forward will likely always have an element of being attached to the past as part of its process and motivation.

The Lord brings comfort by and through the most unusual of circumstances. I thank Him for this, and will continue to follow His lead.



At 11:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The church is a community of believers, right?? The community often changes. People move or get discontented and are led where growth can continue. It is life. There is nothing wrong with "old" relationships, especially those where Christ was and is the center. Sometimes after a time away from each other, the relationship grows as each brings their personal journeys and experiences to a higher level when they reconnect. And that is powerful and can be used to further His kingdom, too! Moving forward doesn't always have to be moving and staying away from friends and family that can grow together in Christ, right? It wouldn't be "comfortable" to return where a church family is in the midst of trials, however, maybe, just maybe, Christ is leading you home to assist in the healing and development or growth with the very church family that you hold so dear. Either way, He will lead, and we should follow.

At 11:44 PM, Blogger Marti Pieper said...

We know that He will lead you to walk by faith--not fear--and to continue following in the obedience that brought you where you are today. Looking back is not wrong as long as you are looking back on HIS work. Looking ahead is not wrong, either, as long as you are saying, "As the Lord wills, we shall do this or that."

I know you are. I know you will. And I know He will continue to use you mightily!

Remembering you always, and especially through these days,

with tender love
and prayers in pink

(and the other Piepers, too)

At 8:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praying you through the HIStory that He has given you and the future He has for you.

Praying with you for His work and the call of everything being about Him for you & us.

What a blessing to watch Him work through your obedience. As we walk through the circumstances that He gives us so that it might be all about a relationship close to Him it is such a blessing to have others to cheer on, join in the cheering, and lift us up as well.

We love you all. Hebrews 12:1-3 comes to my mind on these coming days!

All to His glory!

At 12:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blessings to you!


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