Dave Gullett

a miscellanea

Back Home Again

Hey Everyone,

Thanks so much for your prayers this summer. I arrived in Cleveland yesterday around noon…just in time to make it to my brother’s wedding at 2PM. It was a wonderful wedding and there was an enjoyable reception afterwards…and now my brother and new sister in law are on their way to Jamaica for their honeymoon… Yesterday was also the first time in about three years when my brothers and I were in the same place at the same time…not that we don’t want to be…its just how life has worked out. It was so much fun to be together again. I’d like to share a couple of prayer requests with all of you. First, please pray for me in the short term, as it appears that i will be moving back to Ohio from Kentucky to work at a different office than I have been lately. This is good news as it puts me closer to my church and family, and hopefully will help me financially. Secondly, in the long term, please pray for me as I begin the process of applying to membership with Wycliffe Bible translators and begin to raise support to go back to Indonesia as part of the team there. Also, due to the cost and upkeep I’ll be moving the online posts of my updates from Typepad to a page on Blogger….here’s the link http://davegullett.blogspot.com Thanks again for your support this summer, and for keeping myself and the others on the trip in prayer,

Heading Home

In a little less than two hours, I head for the airport to make the journey home. I am leaving a little earlier than expected in order to make it to Ohio in time for my brother’s wedding. Please pray for safe and swift flights and good connections, for I am scheduled to arrive in Cleveland around noon on Sunday, and the wedding is at 2PM….it’s cutting it close, but it is the best flight combination that could be arranged. Thanks to all of you for you prayers and support this summer. It has been a wonderful blessing to serve our Father here in Indonesia this summer as part of Discovery 2007. I look forward to sharing some more about the summer as the opportunity arises, and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

Sermon to Myself

Go and sell all you have and follow Me.

How much more clear can a call get? There are no terms and conditions. No fine print. No sub-clauses and addenda. No contracts. It isn’t “Let’s make a Deal” or “The Price is Right”.

Follow Me.

But get rid of all your crap first.

Sell it. Give the money to the poor.

No man can serve two masters…You cannot serve God and Wealth.

No man can serve two masters, but God knows we try. But it cannot be done.

It is hard for you to kick against the goads

We are all stubborn mules. We want our own way. Our own control. To be in charge.

There is a way that seems right to man.

And if we follow it, we get what we deserve.

Let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me

What part do I not understand?

The call is clear, my foolishness is apparent.

Lay aside every weight

All my crap must go. Everything that hinders.

For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2Co 4:17-18)

How can I try and hold God’s call in one hand and weigh it against the things I think I love in this world.

Then I try to put them both in my pants pockets.

God doesn’t fit in the one and the mass of stuff in the other pocket makes my pants fall down embarrassing us both.

You have a hard time walking with dignity with your pants at your knees. And don’t even try to run.

Let us run with endurance the race

Not shuffle, saunter, stroll, sashay, mosey, walk, crawl, amble, jog, hop, skip, jump.

We are called to run.

I hate running. Running is for emergencies.

But run I must.

The call is clear.

I can avoid it no longer. No more playing Jonah. No more hiding.

I am sick of it anyways. And I think I have made Him sick too.

You’re not cold, you’re not hot—far better to be either cold or hot!

You’re stale. You’re stagnant. You make me want to vomit.

Lukewarm…like stale bread, spoiled milk or yesterday’s soup.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

(2Co 12:9-10)

His grace is all I need. His power is what I can depend on. Everything else is crap, trash, scum. It’s that simple.

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ (Philippians 3:8)

Moving Day

Difficult situations tend to present us with difficult choices.

The Translation Center at UKIT, for several months has operated in exile.

The University has been under turmoil for some time, strife between the Synod and the government leadership. I do not know you is right or who is wrong or if it can even be simplified that much. But because of the situation the Center hade to leave the campus and moved its operations to one of the staff’s homes. This was a temporary fix and came at a great cost of inconvenience and stress for the staff as well as other consequences.

However, through God’s providence the Center was given a place back on the campus in a good location for its offices.

It is a tremendous blessing and a tremendous task to relocate back. All the furniture, computers, books, files…everything had to go back. And the building itself needed some work. A carpenter did much of the basic work before the moving day.

There were still a lot of things that needed tending to, so we spent a few days helping the staff get everything ready. So, after visiting the Kindergarten that Friday morning, we began the exodus back.

Fortunately, despite the needs of the clove harvest, someone provided us with a large truck to move the furniture. Without this the task would have been impossible. There were several large desks, tables, several large bookcases and many chairs. Also, there were the laptops, PC’s, printers and all the obvious accessories. A couch and coffee table, water coolers, plants….all manner of things had to be trucked back across town and carried up the hill to the building. All of the reference books and many of the translated works along with other materials needed to be moved, thankfully the intermittent rain held off while they were being transported.

After loading the truck for the first trip, most of us climbed on top, to stabilize the load and hitch a ride to the office. As we road through town we were quite the sight….only laborers ride in the back of trucks…not office people, especially not westerners. After all was unloaded and the staff began to get things arranged and settled in, the office began to feel like their new home.

We had to spend the rest of Friday teaching English, and had other adventures planned for the weekend, but we returned on Monday to help wrap up the odds and ends of moving in. There were weeds to pull, windows to wash and some electrical wiring to be done. The roof needed patched and library books sorted. It was our pleasure to help the Translation staff get everything in order so they can resume their work. It was a good time of hard work and great fellowship.

And while there was still much work to be done by the time we had to leave for Bali, there had been a good deal accomplished as well. Moving is never easy, even under the best of circumstances and it was great to see God work out all the details of this move. So many details that none or even all of us could have put it all together.

Please pray for the translators and staff at the center. They are laboring to bring the Word to people who do not yet have it in their own language. It is long difficult work, mentally and spiritually tiring. But the result is of eternal importance.

17.8.07

So I am playing at being the typical American. Felt I needed to be reminded of the comforts of home. It’s a holiday morning, Indonesian Independence Day, and I am sitting at Dunkin Donuts, eating a couple of them and drinking some pretty decent coffee. (I know that I shouldn’t be eating them, but how can one resist the call of fresh doughnuts and coffee?) Even though its an American chain, the store is heavily flavored by Indonesian culture. In the corner, hanging form the ceiling is a TV playing SCTV, the Indonesian soap opera channel. I am fairly certain that people here watch far more TV than in the US, and much of it is cheesy and fluffy….just like the doughnuts.

Yep. Even the doughnuts are cheesy. Not all of them obviously, they have chocolate, Boston cream, Bavarian cream, French Crullers, various frosted and other “normal” flavors. There is also Lychee Blackcurrant, Red bean (yep, as in Kidney Bean), Banana, strawberry, orange, lemon, sriyaka and, though I don’t see any here today. Durian. There are also cheese covered donuts. Not like cream cheese. Think Kraft singles. And there are some with margarine and cheese sprinkles.

Some of the “normal” selections don’t exactly have normal tastes, as well. And some of the “different” ones are surprisingly good.

(Not that I eat a lot of doughnuts…really, I just come for the coffee….)

Some of the choices, though, fly straight to the heart of ones cultural expectations.

Doughnuts are supposed to be sweet. That is the point. I believe they were created to keep people from having to profane their coffee with things like sugar and milk.

Cheese is not ordinarily sweet. It is more salty. So why is it on a doughnut? And melon? And what is srikaya anyways?

All this is of course petty and foolish….but it reflects the greater truth of our preconceived cultural notions that affect and drive us, and our response without us really realizing it. There is nothing right or wrong about different cultures (and the flavors of doughnuts), unless something conflicts with the Word of God, otherwise culture just is.

Sometimes, even while a stranger in a strange land, I forget this. I forget that I am thousands of miles from where I was born, where I learned to live and interact with others, where I thought I understood the world.

Back there, and it feels as far away as here does when I am there, I feel safe, secure…I know how to act, the right things to say to get what I want….to do what I please. Like a soft leather sofa my culture wraps around me, taking me in, conforming around me, lulling me to slumber and inactivity. Saying “Wouldn’t just a little nap, maybe just a few minutes, days, years just feel so nice? After all its been a long day, hasn’t it?”

Here every day is a long day. Though, in truth, I walk easier now than I once did, but still it’s a long walk, up many hills. And when it is time to rest it feels like I am sleeping on the floor (and sometimes I have). Rest comes more slowly, if it comes at all.

Why? Because I am looking for the comfort and security of “home”. This idea in my brain that I should fit somewhere, back there….and not here. It is true of course that I do not fit here, but, did I really fit there? Or was a thin veneer of comfort, of false security hiding the truth from me? I think it was, and is, and will probably deceive me again.

Comfort can not come from this world. Not in an easy chair in my grandma’s living room in Ohio or a couch in a coffee shop in Jakarta. Nor anyplace else in between. No matter how much I want it….and I do.

Security is an illusion. I could get mugged on the Metro mini, a volcano could erupt, another devastating tsunami could destroy untold numbers including my self. I could get hit by a car crossing Gallia St. or choke on my cappuccino.

“This world has nothing for me, This world has everything, All that I could want and nothing that I need.” –Caedmons

Comfort comes only from the Spirit. How I wish I could always remember that. Rest only comes from the Son. And security is only in the hand of our Sovereign God.

When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” (Joh 17:1-26)

I am His. You are His. Nothing else really matters.