I’ve been blessed this month with lots of guitar playing. I’ve had a lot of uninterrupted time to practice. Up until recently though I haven’t put this much effort in.

A couple years ago (our first year in Indonesia) I bought a guitar because I wanted some way to express myself musically. I’m a trumpet player but carrying a trumpet around with me everywhere traveling is kind of heavy. And not knowing where I was going to end up I thought a trumpet might not be appreciated by neighbors and people around us. It’s not a very subtle instrument if you know what I mean. So a guitar was more appropriate.

In my search for Christian music and songs I could play I came across this website called e-chords.com. They have a ton of songs but even more than that the songs can be transposed to fit the key (and, ah-hem, skill level). And there are quite a few instructional videos on how to play some pretty cool songs from people like U2, REM, Scorpions, and a bunch of other people. So anyway, learning guitar has been rewarding this month. It’s a musical outlet for me, another way to worship and lead worship for me and Kim, and a way to play some of my favorite songs.

We’re just about in the middle of fasting month, or “bulan puasa” as we call it. It’s been a surprisingly fantastic month overall. Honestly we were a little unsure about this month, a little hesitant. It was at this time last year that we felt a pretty heavy weight on our hearts. It was a very dark time spiritually speaking and pretty depressing. Kim also started to get quite sick last year right as this month started. So we were a little hesitant.

But it’s been going well. We’ve been really blessed being able to spend so much time with the Lord. It’s been a discipline for sure. One of the biggest things we’ve been praying for this month is just that God would teach us HOW to pray and HOW to fast. See, this doesn’t come naturally for me. This is something I’ve had to develop. But prayerfully asking God to help me remove all the distractions in my life has helped me focus on Him. And fasting from food all day helps me focus better too.

It’s been a very unique month. A very sweet month. I almost don’t want fasting month to end because I’m learning so much. It’s been healthy for us to lay our burdens down. To REALLY trust that God is moving in response to our prayers. And to really trust that He is the one who can and will work here and in the hearts of the people around us. It’s His work and the more we realize this the better off we are. We feel more free to be ourselves- and wait for His timing. But in the meantime praying like there’s no tomorrow! One thing we’re realizing more and more is that PRAYER IS THE WORK. We’ve already seen God move in response to the things we pray for. And not only that but we are starting to get a reputation amongst our neighbors that God listens to us- he actually answers our prayers. If our neighbors can see this why can’t we? So I believe right now prayer is the work. There’s nothing more “productive” for us right now than putting our face to the ground, laying it all out there and asking that God would work here. In a book I’m reading right now it was described as “laying hold of God”. That’s precisely what we want to do this month and every month- lay hold of God. Beg Him to work. Ask Him to come. Invite Him to move in the hearts and lives of the people. And then wait and expect Him to answer. It’s one thing to believe something. It’s another thing to act in response to that belief. Faith in action. So we’re praying, and waiting/expecting God to show up. Because at the end of the day we aren’t the ones who get stuff done here. We’re only in a position to watch the action. I believe God wants to move here. I believe God wants people to know Him. And so we’re praying a connection with Him will be made.