Self-Reliance vs. Submission

Pray and Obey

"And [Jesus] said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” - Mark 14:36

Yesterday was our first Sunday back at Faith Community after a fun, life-giving summer (read more below!). We're approaching the end of our sermon series in Mark, which means we're coming to the end of Jesus' earthly ministry. Right before Jesus prays this remarkable prayer of submission in the garden, Peter displays his arrogant self-reliance as he declares to Jesus, "Even though they all fall away, I will not."

It is a convicting juxtaposition of the attitude we usually have, versus the submission we should have. I often believe, or at least live like I believe, that I have the power within me to change the way I live. I trust in my own strength and willpower first, as opposed to trusting Jesus first. I say to myself, "If I just try harder, I can ______." This never really seems to work out!

Instead, Jesus shows us in his prayer that I need to say, "God, help me. Help me trust, and then help me obey. Even if it's difficult or uncomfortable."

I'm excited about what God is going to do in our church, our city, and my life this fall - but it starts with me submitting to God's will and asking Him to help me!

Thank you for praying for us to be more dependent upon Jesus and his strength. Please read on for more about what's been going on and other ways you can pray for us.

A Summer to Celebrate

Summers in Prague are so different from the rest of the year. The sun sets really late, the pace is slower, but many people are away! We were here for July and in the US for most of August.

July was marked by watching World Cup matches, enjoying time with our church staff and fellow Serge mission team, and hanging out with friends who were here.

Our annual Davis beach trip to Ocean Isle, NC, was in August and the day after we returned, my (Phil's) grandmother (101 years old) passed away. We changed our return tickets for a later date and were able to stay in Richmond for her funeral. It was a heartfelt celebration for an amazing woman who impacted many people.

We were so glad that we were able to be in the US for her funeral, and she will be greatly missed!

We returned to Prague last week and have been getting ready for the fall and first day of school, which was today (who needs Labor Day?).

A Fall to Anticipate

The fall looks to be full of great things in life and ministry: - Lucy starts junior high school (gulp)! - Trip to Brussels, Belgium, to look more closely at the possibility of joining the International Presbyterian Church (IPC) denomination - Renewed Czech lessons - New community group Bible studies at church - City to City church-planting conference in Paris in October - Fall Kickoff Sunday next week (7 September) at church

But again, with all these possibilities, we want to make sure we submit our plans to God and that it's His will we're following.

Will you pray for us in these endeavors, that God will be glorified in us, our ministry, and our church?


As always, thanks for your prayers and support. We need them!

In Christ, Phil, Shanna, Lucy, Clark, and Piper

(See the original post--with pictures!--here.)