GOSPELREST

John and Elaine Mehn

Archive for May, 2012

May Updates

May 23rd, 2012 by John

John’s Mother Home with the Lord

John’s mom suffered a massive stroke and passed away on April 14th. At the time, we were on our way to Colorado for a 6 week tour of our partnering churches there. The memorial service held last Saturday, May 19th was well attended and celebrated 90 years of Alma Mehn’s life.  John shared in the service of the confidence that she was in heaven. Continue to pray as the family grieves this great loss and John serves as the trustee for all the estate arrangements.

Rocky Mountain High

John and Elaine spent many weeks visiting the mountains of Colorado and the plains of Wyoming as they visited their partnering churches in Converge Rocky Mountain. There were many highlights of church gatherings and potlucks, visiting a pastor/wives retreat, resting in mountain valleys, visiting some relatives and friends, and being snowed on in the mountains. John also presented a formal paper for the Evangelical Missiological Assoc. at the Rocky Mountain regional meeting. The tour of the Rocky Mountain district had to be cut short to return early and prepare for John’s mother’s memorial service.

Needed Support

We finished last year at 86% of our needed financing, Ouch! Signs are improving for this coming year, which began this month. One church just began partnering with us, another church doubled our support, and individual supporters that began giving at $50, $50 and $100 respectively per month. We are still looking for more ministry partners, which can give online or by check, one time or per month (see http://www.gospelrest.com/give/). As we could be delayed in our return to Japan in early August, please pray that God would supply all needed financial support very soon.

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Giving to the Mehns

May 23rd, 2012 by John

Giving to the Mehns

Support Account # 49651

Several have asked how to give to our financial support account. We would appreciate regular monthly support or a one-time gift.

1)      Online Giving can be made at:

http://www.convergeworldwide.org/give/49651

2)      Checks can be sent to:

So it is credited accurately, please include our 1) name and 2) account number #49651 with the check.

Converge Worldwide (BGC)

Mail Code 1000

100 Hart Lake Road

Orlando, FL 32832

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Soaring Hawks

May 22nd, 2012 by John

Soaring Hawks

Thoughts Along the Way©

Elaine Mehn

But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

Today I saw two hawks swooping and soaring on the air currents. The hawks could very easily have ignored the currents and flown where they wanted to go, but they were allowing the air currents to guide their flight. They were so free and from my human perspective seemed to by having such fun. Just watching them made my own heart feel light and want to join them in their aerial play. Such a wonderful gift God has given them to be able to lift off from this earth and fly. For them it is absolutely natural but for us earth bound creatures it is amazing and wonderful.

When I think of God’s promise that we will soar like eagles, it is something that is beyond my understanding. Yes, I know that God is not talking about us physically taking flight the way an eagle does but rather He is talking about that lightness of spirit in which the burdens and cares of this world fall away and we are able to soar with the Spirit of God. Oh, what glories await those who will trust God to guide their ways into paths of faith filled living.

Spiritual soaring does not always come when things are smooth and easy in my life but often times, comes when I am willing to trust God during the really hard times of life. When my heart is breaking and tears are running down my face, God comes and takes me on a flight of faith that gives me comfort and peace in the midst of the sorrow and doubt. I can’t take credit for making this happen. I can’t even take credit for the faith it requires because I can’t produce it. But God freely gives what I need, when I need it.

Sadly I must confess that I don’t often experience this spiritual soaring. I don’t think I can blame God for not keeping His promises. I think the fault falls squarely on my shoulders for not being willing to let the Holy Spirit carry me away. Strangely I am both an emotional slob and a person who wants to emotionally stay in control. It is impossible to be carried away and still be in control. The times that I have experienced the soaring of the Holy Spirit have been times when God caught me unawares. I was surprised by both the emotions and the joy of knowing the love and freedom of Christ. I am so very thankful that God does choose to surprise me in this way and also saddened to realize that I have probably missed so much that God wanted to share with me because of my need to be in control.

Prayer: Father, please give me greater faith to give full control of my life to You. I realize that life is not just times of spiritual soaring but help me to look to You in both times of joy and times of sorrow, times that seem easy and times that are hard. Help me to trust You in times when I think I can handle life and times when I know I can’t. May You be glorified in my life.

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Just Breathe – Thoughts Along the Way

May 3rd, 2012 by John

Just Breathe

Thoughts Along the Way©

Elaine Mehn

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

We are spending several weeks in the mountains of Colorado and are once again discovering that the air is much thinner than we are used to breathing. The air is so wonderfully clean and in the morning crisp as it fills my lungs. Granted I would like more oxygen in it. This smaller amount of oxygen is forcing me to be quiet and physically slow down. What a simple and natural thing – breathing. But there are times when breathing does not seem so easy. Tokyo can be such a high-paced and high-stressed place that slowing down seems oddly uncomfortable.

Thin air is not the only time that I have to remind myself to breath. There have been times of pain, sorrow, and/or stress where remembering to take deep breaths was essential. Times when I need to remember to rest in Christ and just breathe.

At present I am thinking especially about stress and how it makes me feel wound so tightly that I feel like I am shaking inside. Yes, taking a few deep breaths may help for the moment but I need to look at the causes for the stress. Is it a response to what is happening in my life? Is it fear of what might happen? Is it concern over what others may think? For me it is often all of the above.

But the deeper reason is that I have forgotten whose I am. I have taken on responsibility for my life and forgotten that God now has that responsibility. God has not moved, changed, or forgotten His promises. He is still my Father who loves me. He loves me not only with an eternal love but with a real today love that I can trust. I need to not only take deep physically refreshing breaths but also deep satisfying soul breaths. I need to let myself be quiet before God and just breathe. Breathe in His love, acceptance, comfort, joy and peace. To let Him be the essence of who I am. I am His and I can trust Him with every breath I take.

Unfortunately, I live too much of my life Spirit deprived which leaves me tired, weak, and self-centered. I need times to intentionally breathe in the pure love of Christ. To let the Holy Spirit refresh my spirit. This spiritual breathing leaves me both intensely satisfied and also wanting more. I feel closer to the Father not for what He can do for me but for who He is. I am learning anew the joys of just breathing.

Prayer: Father, I am so thankful that You love me too much to simply let me wander into self-reliance. Thank You for using times of stress to remind me that I am not alone. Help me to turn from my self-effort and turn in faith to Your Holy Spirit. Refresh my spirit once again and fill me with the fruit of Your Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

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Praying Through May

May 1st, 2012 by John

  1. Uplift John as he grieves the heavenly home going of his dear mother Alma on April 14th. Especially pray for strength as he preaches a Mother’s Day sermon.
  2. Thank you for praying for travel safety out west and please continue.
  3. Ask God to give us His words as we speak both in public forums and in private conversations.
  4. Pray for wisdom and creativity as we seek to get up to full financial support. Pray that we will always desire God’s blessing and relationships more than the necessary finances.
  5. Our church visits in Colorado have been wonderful but we are greatly missing time with family. Pray as we seek to keep a balance between church visits and family gatherings later in the month.
  6. We are excited to share God’s love and His mission for Japan with our partnering churching. At the same time our hearts miss Japan. Pray that we will see God at work in both places.
  7. Thank God for an extremely successful disaster response team from Sylvan Way church near Seattle. Thank God too that one injury was not as severe as it could be.
  8. Pray for the preparations for the next disaster response team arriving in Japan in late May.

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May Tour Schedule

May 1st, 2012 by John

  • May 1-4   ¾ day work, ½ day enjoy the mountains/rest in Colorado.
  • May 4 – visit John’s aunt, travel to Village Church Thornton, Co
  • May 5 – John speak at the men’s breakfast, Elaine speak at the women’s tea
  • May 6 – preach/teach at Village Church also an evening meeting
  • May 7 – meet with pastor at Conifer Community Church to make video for the church
  • May 7-11 – ¾ day work, ½ day enjoy the mountains/rest, 5/10 Elaine mentors missionary in Japan via Skype
  • May 12 – lunch with Bethel Baptist Greeley Colorado then travel to Albin, WY
  • May 13 – (Mother’s Day) preach/teach at Albin Baptist Church
  • May 13-14 – travel back to Rockford, IL
  • May 19 – Memorial service for John’s mom (Alma Mehn)

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