May 29, 2011

Beautiful Slave/Healing is in Your Hands

Morgan did a benefit concert last week to help raise funds for her to get to Thailand in a couple of weeks.  She will minister to those who are caught in the grip of human trafficking.  We are so excited about what God is doing in her life, and how He will use her during this time.  While we have parental fears for safety, we have been reassured that where she will be going is safer than many parts of the United States.  We have also had a year to adjust to the thought of sending our child into a situation that we must rely on the oft-quoted adage that the safest place to be is in the center of God's will. 

The Lyon City Team has recently partnered with the French evangelical churches to establish an organization to reach out to the many women trafficked within the city of Lyon.  With Morgan’s experience in Thailand, we hope to gain a better perspective on effectively reaching out to these women.

Please join with us in praying for Morgan and the team from Adventure in Missions as they minister in Thailand from June 16 through July 15.  Morgan still needs about $1,000 to raise in the next 10 days. God has been so good to provide through gifts from so many of our friends and family.  If you are interested in giving toward her ministry in Thailand, you may do so online -  “Choose Program” = Ambassador; then type in “Morgan Dahlgren” and the amount you would like to donate.  Then follow the remaining steps to complete the transaction.  You may also send your gifts directly to AIM in the mail.  Please make checks payable to Adventures In Missions and write “Morgan Dahlgren – Thailand” in the memo line, then mail the check to Adventures In Missions, PO Box 534470, Atlanta, GA 30353-4470.

May 28, 2011

The Years Pass Quickly

Graduation... a time to reflect on the beautiful woman of God that is ending one era of her life and walking into a new era.

A mere 18 years ago, on May 10th, Morgan Elizabeth Dahlgren was born in Modesto, California.  Our first born.  Beautiful... sweet... adorable...

She was a spitter-upper, thus most pictures included a bib!  Pacifiers were also a "must"!  The diaper bag was always stocked with multiple outfits, bibs and pacifiers.

Soon her world was filled with two sisters and one brother, all before she turned five.  Her leadership, caring & nurturing qualities quickly emerged and shown brightly as she helped us out in so many ways.

As a child who grew up - literally - in church, she came to know Jesus as her Lord & Savior at a young age.  Her love for Jesus is displayed in her care for others.  Often you'll find her going to a friend's house at all hours of the day and night to listen to their hurts and praying for them.  Music has become an amazing gift that Morgan uses to worship God and lead others to the presence of God.

On Friday, June 3rd, Morgan along with the Class of 2011 of NorthWood High School will be graduating.  We are so proud of all she has accomplished through her schools years, the choices she's made and the testimony she's displayed consistently, and the woman of God that she has become.  We're praying God will continue to guide and protect her, and give her wonderful years of ministry.

In two weeks she'll be heading out to Thailand with Adventures In Missions for a month-long missions experience reaching out to the young women caught in the human trafficking scene.  Our prayer is that God would protect Morgan and each gal on the team, and that His love will be shown in very practical and caring ways to the young gals they spend time with each day.  Please join us in praying for this team - June 16th through July 15th.

May 20, 2011

Take My Life… Here I Am, All of Me

Quiet… aah!  That doesn’t happen much in our house.  Tonight is a different story.  Steve, Morgan and Bailey headed to Chicago this afternoon with the high school vocal jazz/dawning generation group, where they’ll be competing tomorrow morning.  Steve went along to accompany from the piano.  Easton was at church all afternoon and evening with a few friends helping the leaders set up for the dodgeball tournaments this weekend.  That left Spencer and me at home.  After enjoying a bite to eat at Cook’s Pizza uptown, we came home to do laundry, clean up the house, and work on support team building stuff.

Spencer loves to listen to Rhapsody while working… often singing along as it plays rather loudly to carry through the house.  I normally get quite annoyed with the volume, often hearing my mother’s words spoken through me.  I must be getting older! J  At any rate, I was signing more letters to be mailed out while enjoying a few worship songs playing.  I found myself actually listening to the words and began to worship God in a special, quiet way that I haven’t taken time to do in a while other than on Sunday mornings.  It was so refreshing… soothing… quenching my soul.  It also pierced my soul… challenged me… convicted me. 

I realized how often I just rush through every day trying to accomplish all the endless list of things that need to be done.  Here we are at the end of another school year, yet it’s different.  Our oldest, Morgan, is graduating.  With this wondrous event come multiple more items to accomplish on my “To Do” list. 

My list seems endless and unattainable right now… it includes: 
·         Both of us working full-time…
·         Four teenagers in Jr. High and High School…
·         Easton in soccer AND baseball… lots of games and practices during each week…
·         Graduation open house…  invitations, food, house, outside…
·         College decisions… research, applications, forms…
·         Kids in 4-H with sheep… retinal scanning, feed, clean pen, work with them, meetings…
·         Bailey – completing 4-H ceramics project… lots of “painting” sessions…
·         Two musicals, one play, two spring choir concerts – FINALLY DONE (and well done)… Yeah!
·         Kids going to friends’ houses and inviting friends over…
·         Laundry… laundry… laundry…
·         Getting to Lyon France… sending info to families, churches… creating newsletters… entering blog posts… calling people for visits… visiting & sharing our ministry plans… praying… trusting…

By nature, I am quite self-sufficient.  As I look at the list above, in my own strength, I know it cannot all be accomplished.  Yet I find myself trying all the more to make it all work.  The more I try, the more I feel like I’m spinning out of control.

God is using the quiet of tonight and the time of worship to speak to me.  He’s reminding me that He is in control, not me.  My life is HIS, not my own.  He will give me strength in my weakness.  And, He is interceding for me.  Wow, how cool is that?! 

“Don't panic. I'm with you.  There's no need to fear for I'm your God.  I'll give you strength. I'll help you.  I'll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.”
(Isaiah 41:10, The Message)

“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”
(Rom. 8:26, ESV)

So, as I close, I thought you may enjoy one of the songs that challenged me again tonight, performed by Chris Tomlin – ‘Take My Life’.  As I let go of my “To Do” list and give it all to Him, I am learning anew what it means to trust Him fully and allow Him to work in and through me.

Here are the lyrics:
Take my life and let it be consecrated Lord, to thee.
Take my moments and my days, let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands and let them move at the impulse of thy love.
Take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for thee.

Take my voice and let me sing always, only for my king.
Take my lips and let them be filled with messages from thee.
Take my silver and my gold not a might would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use every power as you choose.

Here am I, all of me.
Take my life, it's all for thee.

Take my will and make it Thine it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart it is thine own; it shall be thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord I pour at your feet its treasure store
Take myself and I will be ever, only all for thee,
Take myself and I will be ever, only all for thee.

Here am I, All of me.
Take my life, It's all for thee.

May God remind us again that our life is not our own, but His.  May He be glorified in all we do!

May 19, 2011

I Have No Medicine For You

I've been thinking a lot lately about who is worthy of salvation.  No... not from God's eyes.  I mean from a business stand-point.  Wise business people talk a lot about Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA), to weigh the total anticipated cost against the total anticipated benefit.  There's merit in these types of assessments, because prudent thinking does not typically spend loads of money on something that will not have tangible (read: $$) results. 

As we have been sharing our vision for the ministry that we will have in France, the proverbial "elephant in the room" was finally spoken out loud the other day.  It was good that they had the courage to say what some others might be thinking.  Greatly paraphrased, the thought was that "your monthly support is difficult to justify, when there are many other places in the world that someone could send a mere fraction of that money and it would be much more cost-effective and better stewardship of God's money in regard to people getting saved."  This was spoken in utmost love, and I appreciate the courage that it must have taken to share the thought. 

That conversation, and others like it, reminded me of an exercise I had seen on TV many years ago.  Down in the depths of my basement, I've been saving an old VHS tape which I was able to convert to a digital format.  I believe it was around 2002 when Dr. Phil McGraw was still doing his weekly visits on Tuesdays on the Oprah show.  It shows a clip of a show where he
used a now controversial 'game' called "I Have No Medicine for You".

For years, I've thought about this episode because it just reminded me how every day we make choices about who we are going to give Christ’s ‘medicine’ to.  Frankly, as witnessing Christians, we have THE most powerful medicine available known to man, and we either make the choice to offer the medicine saying, "I have medicine for you", or we, through our inaction, silently say, "I have no medicine for you".  I suppose that sometimes, we also are forced to make very tough decisions about who we will send the medicine to around the world through missions.  Unfortunately, there are areas of the world, however dark and needing of the ultimate antidote they are, that we conscientiously make the incredibly difficult choice to say, "I have no medicine for you", because the ministry cost seems too great in relation to other areas of the world. 

We don't take our cues from Dr. Phil or Oprah, but as he says in the clip, the good news is that THIS exercise is only a game.  I suppose what is missing from his "Get Real Challenge" is any sense that the REAL exercise is about taking the REAL antidote to every tongue, every tribe, every nation, and every people group so that there can begin a movement of disciples who can then work at evangelizing their entire people. We feel passionate about the work in Lyon, France, but the mandate is global.  Hey world!  We have medicine for you.

May 11, 2011

"Deja View" - Our Newsletter...

In an attempt to keep everyone up-to-date with our progress, we are going to try to commit to sending out a monthly/bi-monthly newsletter.  If you are interested in receiving this newsletter via email, please send us your email address via Facebook messaging, email or voice message.

We've uploaded our May Newsletter to Picasa for you to read:

Deja View - May 2011

May 9, 2011

Random Family Pics While Visiting Lyon in April

Here is a small video of some pictures of our family during our time in Lyon, France.  As you can see, we had great fun while learning about the city of Lyon, French people & culture, and ministries that are going on with our Lyon City Team.  Enjoy!