Tuesday, September 17, 2019

New Things to Come; Old Things to Remain

On this unusually hot September afternoon, I'm reminded of an old song: "Make new friends, but keep the old! One is silver and the other gold!" My life at the moment feels like it's full of silver and gold! There are only two things I know for sure -- Life goes on, and God is faithful. 

My assumption is that everyone reading this will have heard by now that Dave went to be with the Lord on the evening of March 25, 2019, after a very intense 8 month battle with cancer. I realized today that the last entry on this blog was made by Dave himself last August 30 as he headed into what proved to be a 16-hr. surgery. For those of you who are receiving this news for the first time, I chronicled our journey this past year in great detail at https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/daveshealthupdates

Some have asked if I will continue his ministry endeavors, and the answer to that is complicated. While we worked very separately, we always supported each other and served as sounding boards for new ideas. However, Dave and I were very different, and our ministry calling and gifting is not even in the same ballpark! It would be impossible for me to do what Dave did! Not only am I not gifted for it, I simply have no anointing in those areas, and am wired very differently! Dave was a strategist, a world class networker, and an activator who started things, handed them off, and moved on. I will stay in touch with some of them, as I can also teach Step Up To Life, and workshops on Prayerwalking. However, I won't be leading the First Responders Prayerwalking team. God is raising up others to do that. I will still create and deliver prayer shawls to those who use them in ministry at those prayer walks.

To stay updated on the cultural issues, I'd suggest that you utilize the website for the Nebraska Family Alliance. They do a fantastic job of keeping us informed and engaged with cultural issues both in the state and nation.

My gifting and anointing lies more specifically in working with individuals to make sure that they have all the tools, resources, weapons, and mentoring that they need to successfully become what God has called them to be and to accomplish what He has called them to do. In light of that, there are several things I'm planning for the months ahead, and I want to share them with you here.

You will notice that I've begun editing this blog to reflect Dave's passing, but once I post this update, things will begin to change. Subsequent to my journaling this past year, many have suggested to me that I should write a book....a confirmation of something that's been on my heart for quite some time. My first step will be to create a new blog that will not only keep you updated as to my involvements in ministry, but will include thoughts and meditations to challenge our thinking and move us closer to the Father. This existing blog will likely remain "as is" so that you can read the many posts Dave wrote to challenge the Church both to prayer and involvement with the culture. They are still valuable!

My new blog will be called "Shoelaces: the things that tie us together", so watch for that in the near future. The name comes from a comment made at Dave's memorial service that he was like the small child who ties your shoelaces together, connecting things that normally wouldn't be connected!

I'll still be working with Christ For the City International as an urban missionary in Omaha. I'll continue to be involved with city networks addressing violence prevention and intervention, and will be part of the CFCI Omaha team. I will still need to raise support, so donations can continue to be sent to CFCI, notated as "Gehrls Support". I've been so thankful for those of you who have continued to support me through this time of transition, as I'm reliant on your financial help. Things are pretty stable, but I've lost approximately $500/month since Dave's death, so will need to find ways to make that up.

One of those ways will be to begin a part-time business called Gehrls Coaching & Consulting. I've finished my certification to do Gallup Strengths Coaching, and will be doing that in a dual capacity. My financial support thru CFCI will allow me to do some of this as a ministry contribution to specific churches and/or non-profits. Some of it will be done as individual/team coaching, for which I will invoice. This will provide some supplemental income.

Many have asked how they can help me. There are some practical things with the house and lawn....remembering that I'm not a spring chicken anymore!....as well as the additional financial support. Another opportunity has opened up that will provide additional income for me. Everybody buys printing for some reason!! My daughter and son-in-law own a large printing company in Cedar Falls, IA, that can provide any printed matter that you might need for your church or your business. Woolverton Printing Company would like the opportunity to bid your jobs. They are a fourth generation company, founded in the early 1900's, and have a church department that services 15,000 churches across the country. They can also do direct mail, as well as storage & fulfillment for your promotional items. John has offered to pay me a commission on any print jobs that I can send their way. This is a very specific way you can help with my financial needs that won't cost you anything additional -- and could very possibly save you money! 

Please prayerfully consider the options I've shared with you? Dave and I never imagined that he would be gone at this age. It's been a time of great uncertainty for me, but I've been surrounded by hundreds of you who are caring for me in so many ways. My kids and grandkids have been amazing in the ways that they have stepped in to help. Please forgive me if you get a couple of duplicate emails, etc., during this time. I'm working hard to clean up email contacts that come from both Dave and me. He wasn't an administrator, so it's been pretty challenging. I realize this has been long, but felt it was necessary to communicate with all of you as to both the present and the future. 

Thanks again for the outpouring of love and care during this time of transition. The whole last year was one huge traumatic experience, but we're through it now, and facing all those "anniversary dates" for the next 8 months. Please pray for continued wisdom as I make many decisions in the year ahead, and for grace to walk it out without my soulmate and cheerleader!


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