Stepping Through Fear

“If you are willing to trust God and step through fear, He will show up in power; your faith will grow, and you will be able to take on greater challenges in the future.” (David Pierce of Steiger)


Is fear a debilitating force in your spiritual life? Do you freeze up and remain silent in situations where you feel led to be open about your faith? I know I do! As I reflect on my past there are far more instances where I lacked the courage to present the Good News of Jesus, than examples of how I stepped through fear to boldly shared my faith.

While that reality is clearly evident in my past, I am resolute in my desire to continue growing in that area of my spiritual life. I may never embody the level of reckless abandon and boldness that I see in Todd White, or in my friend Chad Johnson, but I know that part of my calling is to step through fear for the sake of the Gospel. It’s the best news available to mankind, and sadly it’s often most Christian’s best kept secret, myself included.

So how am I venturing to overcome fear in my spiritual life?

Starting spiritual conversations:  Over the past year I’ve attended several training events on catalyzing Gospel Movements. One of my key takeaways from these events was related to the necessity and art form of initiating spiritual conversations. Doing so can be as simple as a leading question like, “So where are you at in your faith journey?” or as natural as offering up a personal truth (i.e. a miracle story, testimony, or a scripture reference that’s impacted you). The bottomline as I see it is that without taking the step of faith to introduce matters of spirituality into your interactions you’re unlikely to find many opportunities to share your beliefs.

Teaming up with others: Over the past five months I’ve been leading a team of missional-minded musicians who live as I do, straddling the cultural divide between the Church and the musician community. Together we’ve formed a strong bond around our shared desire to be bold in sharing our faith, and seeking to see a spiritual awakening in the Phoenix music scene. The accountability and camaraderie that’s developed serves as a natural motivator to step through the fear that would otherwise prevent me, and the rest of my team, from living in accordance with our calling.

One of the resources we worked through together, a book called Revolutionary, has had a profound impact in all of our lives. The book outlines a number of principles which were derived from the firsthand experiences of a musician who has traveled the globe the past 30 years to use his platform of cultural influence to share the Gospel in some of the most hostile environments imaginable. The stories alone are inspiring, but the principles they’re tied to offered great practical guidance.

Getting serious about prayer: Since the start of this year my wife and I have consistently taken turns prayer walking our neighborhood on a daily basis. Additionally, we committed to each other that once a month we’ll each have a personal retreat day where we can enjoy an extended period of time in solitude to care for our souls by connecting with Jesus. The inclusion of these activities into our family’s schedule has sharpened my sensitivity to the spiritual environment around me, and increased my ability to hear from God. As a result my faith has grown, as well as my confidence in taking risks for Jesus.

 

Will you join me in venturing to step through your fear?

If so, I encourage you to consider what lifestyles changes you need to make in order to do so. Together we can turn our “best kept secret” into the greatest blessing we have to offer.

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Opposite Ends of the Artist Spectrum

Last month I had two starkly contrasting artist experiences that left me with a mix of emotions and a call to prayer…

It was Sunday night and Johanna was about to sit the kids down to eat as I said my goodbyes and began my drive out to a dinner party in Peoria, AZ (a northwest suburb of Phoenix). The party was being hosted in honor of my friend Micah and his band Wild Earth. The purpose of this gathering was to engage Micah’s process of dreaming about the Kingdom impact his band could have in 2017.

Over dinner Micah shared his story with the intimate group of us who were invited to attend the event. Micah explained the calling he felt from the Lord to pursue a different platform for sharing his life and music; far different than the national touring he had done with a band for several years. Micah went on to chronicle how Wild Earth emerged through his desire to pull back out of an active touring lifestyle and to enter into more of a grassroots and localized experience. Micah desires to allow the Lord to open doors for him. Micah also desires to work through his own fears and inhibitions and take steps of faith to direct people’s attention away from him and towards God with his music.

Once Micah finished sharing his story he invited us to speak into his journey. Creative ideas and words of encouragement were shared. Ultimately we surrounded him and prayed blessing over his endeavors to pioneer a different way of stewarding his talents as an artist; different than what the music industry would prescribe. I left the event excited about what the Lord had in store for Micah and brimming over with expectation for a growing number of musicians to embrace the same type of self-sacrifice and surrender that was evident in Micah’s story.

Two nights later the inspiring experience at Micah’s dinner party was starkly contrasted by the experience I had attending a concert in downtown Phoenix. I went to the Crescent Ballroom, a venue I had gone to once before. The previous time was to see Micah perform as a local opening act for a tour that was coming through town. This experience, however, was greatly different. 

I arrived early and found a seat to wait in until the show started. Once the concert began I made my way to the front. Throughout the show the lead singer made several references to his depressing lyrics and talked openly about how his lack of self-confidence clashes with his narcissism. His spirit was heavy and I could sense he was weighed down by years of hardship and disappointment. I drove home with mixed emotions. I was broken hearted for this artist and the life he was living off stage, while also feeling even more grateful for my friendship with Micah and for the experience I’d had at his dinner event two nights prior.

These contrasting experiences left me with a clear call to prayer. If you share my passion to see an awakening of faith, identity, and purpose among musicians then I invite you to pray as I am:

  • Pray for my friend Micah. Pray that the Lord would continue to lead Him into greater arenas of cultural influence, and ask God for a fresh outpouring of creativity as he works to complete his sophomore album with Wild Earth.
  • Pray for the RYFO Phoenix team I’m leading. Pray that together we can bridge the divide between the Church and the musician community, in order to birth a movement of hope within our city’s music scene.

Essential Oils: Deserving of a second chance

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My journey with oils began 3 years ago when trusted friends of mine started using them on a regular basis. Trying to avoid the hype, I was skeptical at best. At some point I eventually dipped my toes in the water. I purchased a YoungLiving starter kit and got to work researching, using, and testing the oils. However, once my kit ran dry it was a full two years before I purchased another oil.

At first glance, I found oils pleasing in their aroma. I enjoyed the scents of Lavender and even used it during my labor with Judah. Once Judah was born, I tried using oils multiple times to deter sickness and build immunity naturally. However, I was missing an important component of oils. My perspective on oils was all wrong and because of my faulty views I grew increasingly more and more disappointed with the results. Enter the two year hiatus from oil use.

So what went wrong? And why did I decide to give oils a second chance? 

During the two “dry” years, I found myself saying multiple times, “I wish I had an oil for this!” Illness, fevers, and mystery sicknesses caused me to feel desperation and reevaluate my beliefs on oils. Before, I didn’t believe oils crossed the blood-brain barrier so I didn’t understand their acute effectiveness. I also didn’t understand that the more often and frequently you use oils the more effective they become. I viewed oils as “a one drop wonder” and expected them to work magically the first time I used them. Because I used them infrequently and didn’t understand the nature of oils, I rarely saw results. It took me close to 6 months to utilize all of my starter kit (that’s 11 5ml oil bottles).

Eventually, my desperation led me to try again. I reached out to my trusted friend who had continued using oils successfully for 3 years. She had many testimonies of effectiveness to share and began educating me more about oils. I approached oils with more of an open mind and started turning to experts on the subjects to inform me of their properties, uses, and benefits. I reordered a second starter kit and within 6 weeks I had almost depleted my stock. I was blown away at the difference the oils were making. I started mini-challenges for myself including detoxing from caffeine, going ALL natural in beauty products, and slowly detoxifying my home from chemically-laden toxins. I now use oils daily and often. I no longer see them as a one drop wonder to take out of the medicine cabinet when there’s a need. I use them for preventative health measures, to boost wellness, to balance my mind, body, and soul and when there is a need, I double up on the oil usage and I’m amazed each time at how quickly the oils work.

This is a journey I am excited to share. Why? Simply put, they work. Oils are an incredible alternative for health in the world of healthy living. Join me in my journey,  essential oil skeptics and enthusiasts welcome! I’ll be posting weekly about my personal EO challenges as well as webinars to educate and inform on EO’s.

When it comes to Essential Oils, they are truly worth a first, second, and third chance.

I am now a Young Living independent distributor. If you are interested in oils, I would love to help you on your journey to wellness!

Young Living Sign Up

You can also view my testimony about using EOs here: My story with Essential Oils

An Eternal Perspective on JOY

HEBREWS 12:2 | Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the JOY set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.


For most, the Advent and Christmas season is a joy-filled time of the year. From the festivities to the decorations to the time off of work and school, there are simply many reasons people associate this holiday season with an increased level of joyfulness.

As followers of Christ, this season is especially joy-filled because we are celebrating the coming of our King. In Hebrews 12:2 we gain great insight on the motivating power of joy as it played out in Jesus’s life. Our Savior was able to endure the greatest hardship imaginable because he knew what it would produce. He took on the weight of sin because of what he foresaw. Jesus clearly had an eternal perspective on joy. It was much more than a fleeting experience of personal happiness; it was the fulfillment of his greatest desire for humanity—to be reunited with the Father—and that was a motivating reality. Jesus was willing to do anything necessary to realize that joy-filled vision.

As a missionary focused on bridging the divide between the Church and the musician community, I often find myself overwhelmed. The music world is viewed by many Christians as Satan’s playground, and therefore often overlooked as a mission field. A vision for gospel transformation in the musician community is seen by most as an unlikely reality, or an impossible aspiration. In my moments of discouragement and doubt I turn to the JOY I’ve seen and the JOY I dream to see. As I shift my reflections from the hardships of my assignment to the testimony of how God has already begun to establish his Kingdom in the music world, I am motivated to persevere.

Take for example my friends in the gospel reggae band, Christafari. After years as a working band, they began re-imagine their ministry, turning to the JOY they dreamt to see. As a result, they adopted a lifestyle as “Musicianaries” where they began to raise funds to take the good news of Jesus around the world to reach the lost. To say God has shown them favor in this step of faith would be a major understatement. In just the last year they’ve counted over 120,000 decisions for Jesus through their tours around the world.

Seeing this startling movement of God, I find myself dreaming about a new normal for the next generation of musicians. I long to see them walking in an unshakeable faith and with a clarity of calling unlike anything that’s been seen before. As I fix my eyes on the JOY of Jesus, I can endure my own current challenges and have great hope for what God can and will do.

This Advent I challenge you to embrace an eternal perspective on JOY. Take inventory of what’s broken in your life (or in the situations around you) and pray for God to show you what it would look like for his will to be accomplished in light of the brokenness you perceive. Ask him to fill you with joy from Heaven. Dream big. Look for ways that you can partner with God, the hope of the world, to see joy produced out of painful and impossible situations.

Faith Building Vision

Recently I had the pleasure of attending a leadership development trip with 26 other CRM missionaries. The week long trip took place on Lake Powell (see picture below) and was hosted on two house boats. My personal priority heading into the trip was for rest and spiritual renewal, but what I walked away with was so much more than that.

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A God-sized Vision Emerges

Leading up to the trip everyone was asked to reflect on the past 10 years, and to dream about the next 25. As you can imagine it was easier to reflect on the past decade than it was to cast a vision for the next quarter of a century. The challenge didn’t stop there. We were asked to dream about the next 25 years using the lens of Ephesians 3:20 (“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…”). So that’s exactly what I did, and the result was both overwhelming and exciting.

I started my reflection by looking at the mission and vision of RYFO and asking the questions: What if God supernaturally intervened and our mission was able to be accomplished in 25 years? How would culture be influenced? What would things look like for the next generation of musicians? How many people would become committed followers of Jesus?

As I wrestled in prayer with these questions I began to see a picture of the future, a picture that was much bigger than what I could ever “ask or imagine.” It was this picture (described below) that I carried with me to the Lake Powell trip in order to share it with my fellow CRM leaders. The magnitude of this vision was personally inspiring and motivating, but also so grand that I was actually afraid to share it.

Faith Building & Personal Discovery

Prior to my opportunity to share I discussed the vision privately with one of the leaders and admitted my fear to him. In response to my lack of confidence he challenged me to boldly share the vision God had given me, and specifically highlighted the fact that sharing it would cause faith to rise up in other leaders. So I did, and the response was resounding! Several leaders went so far as to publicly note their desire to help me accomplish the vision God had given me, and a couple mentioned to me that they thought what I shared was actually undershooting the ministry impact God was prepared to unleash.

Through this experience I’ve begun to fully own my role as an inspirational leader; a gifting which I’ve often dismissed in the passed. The response of my fellow missionary leaders revealed to me the fact that what God shows me prophetically is meant to be shared broadly as an inspiration to others, and a rallying cry for what He seeks to accomplish. Big vision isn’t prideful unless we fall prey to the temptation to believe we can accomplish it on our own. God reveals what would otherwise seem overly ambitious for the sake of His children working together to establish His Kingdom. Through our partnership with Him and each other His power is able to be freely released to accomplish the immeasurable.


In 25 years I believe…

(1) The cultural divide between the Church and the musician community will be eliminated, and that through RYFO’s strategic partnership with missionally-minded musicians we will see 20,000,000 new committed followers of Jesus (disciples making disciples).

(2) The next generation of musicians will be released into ministry with a new normal that looks like this:

-Musicians operate out of an unshakeable faith that’s supported by a healthy identity and a clarity of their calling/purpose

-The church no longer use artists for their talents, but rather partners with them to spread the Gospel, and supports them in growing in their artistic creativity and spiritual maturity

-Territorial spiritual strongholds within the musician community are torn down and the idolatry of artists becomes an anomaly

-As musicians head out on tour their church commissions/blesses them in their departure, prays for them while their gone, and when they return home there’s a fully developed process for reintegrating them back into community


In light of the way God has recently been at work in my life I’m compelled to challenge you to dream with the same level of faith I was asked to:

What do you envision could be if God were to bless and honor your calling in an Ephesians 3:20 way?

Converging into a Kingdom Alliance

God is at work in a uniquely beautiful way in our time. The Father is revealing the truth of His identity to His children, while simultaneously unifying His body by moving us away from competition and theological divisiveness. The Holy Spirit is moving the Church into a place of convergence that supersedes the entrenchment of denominations, and this movement is producing Kingdom Alliances. The following personal testimonies offer a glimpse of this reality at work in my own life. As you read on, I beseech you to consider how God is working in your life to bring unification for the Kingdom as well.


Testimony #1

3 years ago God led me out the comfort and consistency of my corporate job of 6+ years and into a vocational ministry role as a missionary to the musician community and the Executive Director of RYFO. Shortly after taking that step of faith I reached out to Sam Metcalf, President of CRM (Church Resource Ministries), to seek his wisdom on how to lead a ministry that’s geographically wide reaching. That conversation unexpectedly turned into a dialogue about RYFO coming under the covering of CRM in partnership to advance the shared mission God had given us.

Through this process I saw the sovereign plan of God played out as He aligned RYFO with a partner that would provide resources to empower our unique assignment to eliminate the cultural divide between the Church and the musician community. The partnership with CRM wasn’t an acquisition or a merger, it was a mutually beneficial Kingdom Alliance.

RYFO + CRM = Kingdom Alliance

Testimony #2

A year or so after RYFO joined CRM, I began talking with my friend Chad Johnson about a similar work God was doing between the artist ministry he was leading (Come&Live), and another organization which shared their DNA and values (Steiger Intl). In Steiger, Chad had discovered a partnership opportunity that could resource and refine the vision God had given him without manipulating or altering it. Through the process of this organizational partnership God began to reveal opportunities for RYFO to also link arms with this new Kingdom Alliance, and that’s exactly what we’ve done! As RYFO is serving the broader musician community we are positioned to identify artists who desire to have an eternal Kingdom impact through their art. In doing so we are able to provide a natural referral to our allies in C&L. Similarly the C&L community is positioned to refer individuals to RYFO who want to help bridge the divide between the Church and the musician community.

RYFO + CRM + C&L + Steiger Intl = An Expanded Kingdom Alliance

Testimony #3

In mid April my family moved from Anaheim, CA to Phoenix, AZ. This relocation occurred as the result of a long season of prayerfully discerning God’s leading for our family and for RYFO. As we’ve settled into life here in Phoenix, God has confirmed our relocation decision in a variety of ways. By way of example, I’ve begun developing relationship with a church (Axiom) that is comprised of a group of missional communities around the valley. This church is being led by a group of young leaders/artists who share my burden to reach and influence the musician community. The alignment and opportunities for ministry partnership that have already been identified are astounding! 

In addition, I’ve been developing relationship with the leaders of the RENEW community. This grassroots movement emerged organically out of a burning desire for revival that lived within a small group of friends who had experienced the miraculous work of God in their lives. As with Axiom, the opportunities for personal and organizational ministry collaboration with Renew are undeniable. The spiritual landscape of what God is developing here in Phoenix has me brimming over with excitement and expectancy.

RYFO + CRM + C&L + Steiger Intl + Axiom + Renew = A Kingdom Alliance with Greater Kingdom Impact


The Bottomline

I believe the Kingdom Alliances I’ve begun to experience are directly connected to a prophetic vision God gave to Heidi Baker of Iris Global several years ago. God showed Heidi a massive net that was pulling in a huge number of fish. Initially Heidi interpreted this picture as being representative of the collective work of her ministry, but as she discussed it with God He revealed to her that the net was His unified body and that her ministry was only a small part of it. I believe that this unifying work has begun to happen all around the world and it’s humbling to see the evidence displayed in my own life. God is moving and a great awakening is coming!!

Now What?

I encourage you to reflect on your own story and to look for signs of convergence and unification. As you reflect, I encourage you to also be on the look out for your own Kingdom allies, or to prayerfully consider how you might join the alliances God has been forming around me and my work with RYFO and others. Who, what, and where is God working in your life and where can you partner for greater impact?

You + ______ = a Kingdom Alliance with Greater Kingdom Impact

Walk in Unity (Ephesians 4:11-16) And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. 

Our Own Glory Stories

Big News

 

For those of you who have been following our journey on the RYFO Road Tour you know that we made it safely back to California yesterday. You also know that we have been sharing Glory Stories of God’s goodness while traveling (#GloryStory). While on the road, we learned some major life lessons and we can safely say that our family has changed since first leaving on May 6th. It’s time for us to share two of our very own Glory Stories!

Four and a half months on the road brings changes, challenges, and blessings. We expected life on the road to be difficult. We expected to be met with challenges that stretched and grew our faith in God; and we were blown away by God’s constant care for us and blessings He had planned for us along the way. What we didn’t expect was to have dramatic heart changes about our own capacity and desires.

As we spend time the first few days at home processing what exactly all of this means, we are excited to share 2 major updates with you. The first is in regards to something we have been praying about since last November; where we would like to move next. The second is in regards to a big heart change that God orchestrated on the road.

Where are the Lohrmann’s going?

Many of you have been praying for us as we have sought God’s direction on where we should live after the RYFO road tour ended. While traveling, we narrowed our locations down to two: Nashville, TN and Phoenix, AZ. Obviously both locations are dramatically different and we wanted to  move to them for different reasons. Convinced God was going to speak on the subject, we waited and prayed, prayed and waited for Him to respond. As our tour came to a close, Simeon began to feel strongly that God was inviting us to make the final decision. As a couple, we sat down and made a comprehensive Pros and Cons list and began to see God’s design for our family in the details. What emerged from this exercise was surprising. While we thought we would be making the best move if we went to Nashville, it turns out that God is actually leading us to PHOENIX! There are still a number of details to figure out, such as when we will move, where exactly we will move and so on. We have loads of peace and confidence that God is providing a way for our family in this next season.

A change of heart

Before starting the tour, we had multiple conversations regarding the growth of our family. We had determined that it wouldn’t be wise to try for a second child until we had moved and settled into a new home after the tour. While on the road, God began to speak to our hearts separately about this topic. Both of us began to sense that our own plan of “waiting until the time was right” wasn’t God’s plan at all. We felt led to let go of our plan and to completely trust God with His design for our family. Which brings us to our second, huge announcement: WE ARE PREGNANT! Johanna is currently 14 weeks pregnant and both Mom and baby are doing great. Our estimated due date is 3.25.2016 (just 3 days before Judah’s birth day!).

The following verses have taken on concrete meanings for us:

Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust the Lord with all your heart, and don’t depend on your own understanding. Remember the Lord in all you do, and he will give you success.

Proverbs 16:9: People make plans in their mind, but the Lord decides what they will do.

Joshua 1:9: Remember, I commanded you to be strong and brave. Don’t be afraid, because the Lord your God will be with you everywhere you go.

It brings great joy to us to share our exciting news, thank you for journeying along side of us and praying with us. We trust in God with all of our hearts for where He is leading us.

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Stories from the road

This week we were honored to be featured in the ChurchNEXT ONEthing newsletter update. We were so encouraged by the update that we wanted to share it with you! Here’s a few stories from the road as written by Steve Hoke, Director of Team Development with ChurchNEXT.

RYFO transforms the lives of musicians outside of the local church through creating movements of discipleship, reaching an often overlooked mission field—the music industry!

“The vision for this tour came to us at the WWC in Cancun— to deepen our relationship with RYFO’s existing host families and to expand the reach of our network into new regions of the country. So far we’ve stayed with 25 different families.” – Simeon

When RYFO team leaders Simeon and Johanna (+Judah – 16 months) Lohrmann departed OC in May for a 5-month road trip across the country, they didn’t realize how much gold they would discover at every stop along the way!

Phoning in from the half-way spot—NYC in July—Simeon shared his amazement at the divine appointments encountered daily. Here are a few of them:

  • “In each stop so far the Spirit has done something significantly different—from encouragement for weary Christ-followers, to opportunities to share Christ with strangers, and $3500 in unexpected supernatural financial provision.”

▪ “A host home in NC reported they were hosting a Christian band and a non-Christian group together. One of the crew members of the Christian band was a new believer and unfamiliar with baptism. After discussing the significance of this public proclamation of faith, he asked to be baptized and was baptized on-the-spot—in the host family’s pool. The non-Christian band observed all of this and was amazed.”

▪ “A faith-stretching late-night dialogue with a host family about how they had fully committed their every belonging to the Lord, despite partial deafness with the husband, chronic pain in the wife, and regular ministry to addicts. We saw Christ in every aspect of their lives, in addition to being a host family to itinerant musicians!”

▪ “We’ve had numerous God-moments in prayer with our host families and with strangers we’ve met along the way. The Spirit seeded a vision for being catalysts among our host families—and it’s played out differently in every locale.’

▪ “Most exciting has been how the Spirit inspired us to launch a chaplain’s ministry to these transient artists. These chaplains will provide soul care to local and touring musicians who are desperate for the transformative ministry of discipleship in their lives.”

 

Pray this Week:

Pray for the Lohrmanns as they continue this tour to increase the impact of RYFO.

Specifically, they asked that we pray for:

1) Continued safety for their travel as a family.

2) Sensitivity to the intervention and voice of the Spirit as they follow his lead from city to city and family to family.

TRIP Overview (as of 8/4/2015): 

# of stays: 30

# of RYFO events: 8

# of hours traveled: 126

States visited: 13

Distance Covered: 5,511 miles

WHAT’S NEXT? 

August travel plans

 

Prolific Thinker

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I’m sure you have heard the term prolific writer at least once in your life. When someone is called a prolific writer it means that words, poems, songs, books, etc just come flowing out of them, like a waterfall.

I’ve always wanted to be a prolific writer.

But, I’m more like a prolific thinker.

I think a lot, non stop. I have tons of creative ideas and dreams. Lots of projects I want to start. Blogs I want to write. Book titles I have thought of. I dream of inspiring people with my words.

When we were planning this trip I had a goal of writing updates on a regular basis. Updates about travel, what being on tour is like, and what we are learning and seeing God do with our lives.

With our current lifestyle of living on tour, the demands of parenting, and well, that’s enough, I haven’t quite had the ability to write and inspire as much as I thought I would have.

I’ve written 2 updates, in 2 1/2 months. Not exactly the prolific writer I had hoped to be. That’s ok. Life doesn’t always work out exactly as I think it will and sometimes playing blocks with my 15 month old is far more important than writing a blog.

So, in a nutshell, here’s a few things that have been impactful in our lives on the road lately:

  • God is going before us and making a way. When we show up to a new place, God has something designed for us that is unique and specific to our location. We are seeing multiple blessings with the RYFO host homes we stay with.
  • We are seeing a movement of God in the music community. God has a strategic plan to impact the lives of musicians and we are getting a great picture of what that looks like.
  • When God calls us to it, He gets us through it.  God continues to surprise us with His constant care for us. Every time we get blessed with a financial gift, or we see God do something amazing, we know that He is leading the way and helping us through His plans for us.
  • There’s something freeing and life giving about living in God’s will.
  • There’s an art to hosting others, and an art to being hosted! I have a whole blog planned on this but in short, there is certainly an art to being a good guest.

So, this is a snap shot for now. I’ve written down most of my ideas as my thoughts are much like a waterfall and I hope to share more soon. Until next time my friends!

A big update for a BIG state

A-Texans-Map

We spent a total of 12 days in Texas. We visited multiple places and had 6 stays. Our time in Texas felt like a whirlwind as we packed up and ventured on to a new place every 2 days. We were so blessed by our time in TX and by the people we got to be with. We even survived multiple “severe” thunder storms, flash floods, and a handful of tornado warnings! Our days of constant sunshine and beach visits feel so very far away.

During our time in TX we also had the opportunity to have 2 RYFO events hosted by two of our RYFO homes. Through these events we met local contacts that had an interest in RYFO. We believe that these events served as seed planting opportunities as we spread awareness and extended invitations for new people to join RYFO.

Unfortunately our time in TX did not lend us a lot of free time to explore the different cities we stayed in. The majority of our time in Texas was spent indoors due to inclement weather and one very sick child. Judah caught some kind of virus that caused him to be the sickest he’s ever been in his life. While we battled Judah’s sickness we also battled our first bout of travel “tiredness.” At one point we realized our limitations and decided to make changes to our tour dates by booking a night off at a hotel. We had the opportunity to rest, swim, and get some much needed family time in the heart of Houston. This was also our first opportunity to do some exploring as Judah finally felt better and we felt rejuvenated and revitalized.

If there’s one major lesson we’re learning right now it’s how to be flexible and to live life ONE DAY AT A TIME. We’re learning to slow WAY down and to be open to plans changing at a moment’s notice. We’re also learning the grand importance of letting go of ownership over our belongings. While staying with our Host families and hearing their stories and hearts for hosting we heard the following phrase multiple times, “what I have is not my own.” This phrase continues to echo through our hearts…

What we have is not our own. It doesn’t belong to us. Everything we own belongs to our Father and we want to live with open hands that do not hold on to our “stuff.” Not having an address right now is one of the most freeing experiences we’ve had. We’ve even begun to discuss the possibility of extending our time on the road! It’s hard to put into words what’s stirring in our hearts but it begins with the simple idea that life can be lived at a slower pace with less belongings, more flexibility, and with open hands.

Lastly, if you’ve never been to TX, you should know that locals take their homeland pretty seriously. The above image is satirical in nature but believe you me, lots of people from TX see the world through Texas colored lenses. It was refreshing to be in a place where people take pride in their home. If you visit, just remember…DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS 😉

TRIP Overview (as of 5/23/2015): 

# of stays: 11

# of RYFO events: 2

# of hours traveled: 62

States visited: 5

Distance Covered: 2,249 miles