Saturday, June 5, 2010

Hello all -

Welcome to the first post of Czecherboarding! As an English major, I would like to point out that the -ing ending at the end of the blog name signals action and movement - an adventure, if you will. Although Prague is still months away, the adventure of getting there sparkles in front of me.

All this simply because the original name - "Czecherboard" - had been taken.

As many of you know, I am planning to teach high school English at the Christian International School of Prague for two years. I intend to keep my friends updated on my progress using this blog, first as I raise support and then as I teach in Prague. Additionally, I also intend to let my English side spill over - perhaps a tribute now and again to Milton, or to T.S. Eliot. I will likely update the blog once every two weeks (or slightly less frequently) until I leave for Prague, at which point the posts are likely to increase.

For now, however, thank you for your interest in my plans for ministry. I want to leave you on this very first post with a story, about why I am pursuing this opportunity. Three years ago, I spent a summer assisting missionaries in Berlin. Any future plans were still hazy at that point, a mere wisp of cloud on the horizon. A church leader there challenged me to consider devoting significant time to overseas ministry (as opposed to a Stateside job), reminding me of Romans 12:1-2, which reads:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
All my life, Christian leaders have reminded me that having been redeemed "by the mercies of God" my entire life - body and soul - belongs properly to God as a sacrifice. In recent months, however, this verse has returned to inspire me - and with it, the memory of the challenge that my friend Dan gave me in Berlin. What God expects of us as believers is to "present" ourselves as a "sacrifice" - ready to give up our plans, our talents, our entire being for Him. What makes this possible is "the renewing of our mind" - a process in which we learn to think the way God does, trading the priorities of the world for the priorities of God.

All of us have opportunities to flourish physically and financially, here in the world (I have had these opportunities as well), but the question - the one that Dan left me with, that hot day in Berlin - is what course of action best supports our relationship with Christ, and His work in the world. Whether the choice is one aligned with the world's priorities as well, or not, this course of action is the best to take. And that is the course that I have tried to take, in committing to two years at the Christian International School of Prague.

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