27 November 2009

Fellowship of European International Churches

Hope everyone had a terrific Thanksgiving.

The other day when I posted the story of my new car, I realized that I had forgotten to update you after my trip to Vienna, Austria and the Fellowship of European International Churches ( www.feic.org ) Summit meeting.

So better late than never, here's a brief update with links to photos and a video clip. My Facebook Friends have seen the video clip but my blog followers have probably not.

The meeting was in mid-October and held in a small retreat center up in the mountains about two hour ride from Vienna. It was attended by 60+ Assembly of God missionary pastors. They pastor churches located all over Europe from Finland to Greece to the Canary Islands.

I was invited to attend by Sebaastian Van Wessem, a Dutch pastor that I work with on the church planting group, Europe Advance. www.europeadvance.org

During our times of fellowship we discussed what God was doing in Europe and shared about our churches and ministries. They graciously allowed me share about First Step Ministries and my heart to help kids learn to pray.

We were all caught off guard when an unseasonably early snow storm moved in and dumped about 18 inches over two days. As it turned out, it seems it was an answer to prayer from a little seven year old missionary girl, named Olivia, from the Canary Islands. She asked her parents if they would see snow up in the mountains. The parents told her to pray and ask God. Guess he answered her prayers. Thankfully, He also answered our prayers to get us off the mountain safely without snow tires so we could catch our flights back home. He did.

It was great to make new friends and new ministry connections. I'm sure I'll be involved with them in future.

Here's the link to the FEIC photos:

FEIC Video:

(Just copy and paste the above URLs to your web browser to connect to the photos or video.)

Rev. Lawrence Blakeslee
Missionary to Europe & Asia

15 November 2009

Christmas Came Early

For me, Christmas came early this year. So early that I will be able to celebrate again on December 25th. Actually, the German's celebrate two days of Christmas and if that's not enough, the Dutch have three days of Christmas.

It's The Solution
Think about it. Just having more Christmas days is the ultimate solution to an ever present problem. Which friends, family, "in-laws" or parents you are going to celebrate Christmas Day with this year? Well I digress...

My Christmas came a few weeks ago when someone called me and said they wanted to bless me with a car. It was a total surprise. In fact I was speechless. (You who really know me, know that doesn't happen very often.) They wanted the car to be used for the ministry. No problem! I think I can make that happen. It took a few weeks to get everything organized. And I finally picked up it last Monday in The Netherlands and drove it home.

It has been a real process to get it registered and inspected with the German government but thanks to a couple of German friends that helped get me through the "red tape", it was uneventful. Thank God for German public transportation. But waiting for trains and buses outside in the German winter is not all that it is cracked up to be.

The First Car
Some of you might remember my first European car. It was a little, red, 20+ year old Opel Kadette that was given to me five years ago. It had a lot of "experience" but I got two good years of use from it. When it came time for the every two year German car inspection, it would have cost me more to get it to pass inspection that the actual value of the car. So it was time to get rid of it.

The Opel Kadette, like this car, was a total gift from God and I proclaimed it as such to everyone, saved and unsaved. To the amazement of many of my German friends, it got me all over Europe without fail. The Chevy is also going to be put to good use for The Lord and ministry. If you feel led, you can be in agreement with me for the car's expenses to be met.

The Sermonette
There is a "sermonette" in this story. It is never give up on your dream(s). No matter how tough it looks, just never give up on God. The dream may not come in your timing but it will come in His. The Bible talks about "Give and it will be given unto you..." (Luke 6:38) He's not kidding.

My Thanksgiving
The family that blessed me with this gift will be blessed by God for giving it. My friends that have made it possible for me to stay on the mission field all these years and especially during these tough economic times, have been and will continue to be blessed for their faithfulness. I know Him and I know His Word it is true. By the way, so do they...

Thank you to all those that have been used by God to make the "impossible" come true. It has already been an exciting and interesting 2009 for me. I can hardly wait to see what is in store for 2010.

Happy Thanksgiving America. We still have a lot to be thankful for in our lives. If there was ever a time to pray for our country and the world, it is now.

Love ya,
Rev. Lawrence Blakeslee
Missionary to Europe & Asia

29 September 2009

New Great News

Just wanted to let my faithful blog readers know some great news I just received. In fact you are nearly the first know, right after my two sons and a couple of very close friends. I haven't even Facebooked this news yet.

Literally a few minutes ago, I received a reply to an email I recently sent to the publisher of Christian Mens Magazine in Finland. My email proposed an idea to write either a single article or a series of articles for his four color, "Charisma" style magazine. The "How To" articles would encourage men to teach their children to pray.

He accepted the proposal and is excited about the idea. And instead of just one article, he wants to do a series over the next year. The first article will be published in the upcoming December issue. The magazine will translate my articles. He teasingly suggested that I start to learn Finnish. Okay... My German friends will be "pleased" to see that I am going to try to add one of the worlds most difficult languages to my list of "linguistic inability".

Honestly I am excited and nervous at the very same time. God is my strength and ability. He certainly opened this door and made this God Intersection. The Holy Spirit will give me the words and concepts to communicate His heart to these men in Finland but still pray for me.

Thank you Lord for this and every opportunity to minister to your children of all ages.

Will keep you posted as things progress.

Rev. Lawrence Blakeslee
Missionary to Europe (including Finland) and Asia

16 September 2009

Just Behind A "Little"

Hi Everyone,
It just occurred to me to check my blog for the date of my last posting. OH MAN! It was the end of July!

Face Book
Well you can blame it on Face Book. Or I can blame it on Face Book. I was a "late comer" on FB but I love it. Found and reconnected with so many people from my past. What an incredible way to keep in easy touch with those you know and love, no matter where they live in the world.

What about Twitter?
No, this is where I draw the line. I am pretty positive that nobody really cares that I am riding the train to go grocery shopping or taking out the trash. I'll spare everyone that stuff in my life.

The last month has been absolutely crazy busy but I love it. It is almost 1:00 a.m., I can hardly keep my eyes open but have decided to "wing it" and post something for all of you that don't see the stuff on my Face Book Wall. Wouldn't want to leave you out or anything.

So the "winging it" part is that I'm going to take a few minutes to update you. And leave with a promise to really put a more adequate posting up next week sometime.

In short here is what's been happening and it's all good.

Europe Advance (Church Planting Project in Europe)
Continue to work with Pastors Sabaastian from The Netherlands and Desmond from Zurich. It's moving slowly right now for my part of the activities but the other two guys are busy doing what they need to do right now. So it's all okay. My "turn" and work will kick in soon.

Christian Men's Network
I was the keynote speaker at a regional leadership meeting in Solingen, Germany for CMN last Saturday. My message was to encourage the other 60+ men and pastors to see and develop the gifts and callings in their children. I spoke on my First Step Ministries, Kids Prayer Program and how it had the potential to grow and influence children to have a deep relationship with our Heavenly Father.

We had men from Brussels, Finland, The Netherlands and of course Germany attend the one day event. I was blessed to meet a lot of new pastors and men that are not afraid to openly love and serve God.

John Maxwell's EQUIP "Train The Trainers"
Thursday afternoon, I'm heading down to Zurich, Switzerland to attend this trainers meeting. An American from Maxwell's ministry in Georgia will be training us to be able to go out and raise up pastors using John Maxwell's time tested principles. It should be great.

Rhema Bible Church Bonn, Germany
This has been my overseas church since I arrived in Germany 7+ years ago. This summer I volunteered to step in and help teach every other week in our children's church. During summer, everyone is out of town on vacation so the extra help was needed and a blessing for me and them. Since then, I've signed up to become a regular teacher with the 6-12 year olds. They're learning. I'm learning. We're all, always learning aren't we. It's been fun and a blessing.

Church Summit near Vienna
In mid-October I am planning on attending a meeting of a new group of English speaking International churches. This group has a number of churches throughout Europe. They are new to me, so I was excited to get the invitation and meet new people. It will increase my network. I don't know much more about it but will post something after I return.

Doing the Stuff

In the mean time, I've been working on the photos I took at these meetings and promise to post them shortly. By that time, I'll have the Zurich photos ready also. Continue to work on and improve the 26 weeks of Kids Prayer Program curriculum. It seems never to be ready or not need some little improvement.

Summer in Germany
WOW!!!! God answered my spring time prayer for a warm and wonderful summer. It has been amazingly beautiful, warm, with limited rain. You "almost" welcomed the rain the few days it came. "Almost" is an operative word.

Got a lot of summer time bicycle riding in this year. It was great. Only the last few days have been overcast but still warm in temperature. This is okay with me. Warm weather, yes, "This too shall pass," usually by November. But by then, it will have been a wonderful memory to hang onto when the temps drop to the 40's and below with constant rain or drizzle. Let's not think about that right now. I'd rather live in denial.

So Blessed
Yes, I'm a geek. Always have been, always will. So this year, I've been really blessed with some important geek tools of the trade. So far, The Lord has blessed me with some neat but important tools of the "missionary trade". I got a new Dell laptop that is a real "race car" for not much money. My seven year old one was not and could not keep up. Bless it's darling heart, it tried but how much can you remember has changed in the computer world in seven years or seven weeks.

I was also blessed to get a new Canon 50D digital camera with a couple of good usable lens. I've had cameras in my hands since I was 1o years old. If you've known me at all, you know that I click, click, click all the time on every trip I go. I've worn out two digital cameras before getting my little Canon PowerShot two years ago. It continues to be a little work horse but the new "real" 50D just warms a photographer's heart.

Just the other day, I was blessed with a new 22 inch monitor to use with my laptop. I love my laptop but when you're working with PhotoShop, MS Word and my audio editing program, it just didn't have the "real estate" needed to work.

Why am I telling you this? Not to brag, you know me better than that but to brag on my Heavenly Father. Sometimes when things or circumstances are the darkest, things are about to change and the sun really is going to come up in the morning. You just can't quit. You have got to stay in the fight or you really will loose and never see the victory you set out to have.

This stuff is wonderful but it is still just stuff. Yes, it makes my life and work a lot easier but it is just stuff. But God even cares about our stuff and to help us do better, quicker and easier. Hang in there and never, never give up on your dream. It will come to pass.

So this is an extemporaneous blog posting. I'm not going to look back and start correcting, editing and tweaking. I will spell check it, that's easy to do. But I'm moving on to "Save" and the push "Publish Post" buttons. I kinda like taking these "writing risks".

Love you all. Will catch up later. Check out my Face Book page or add me as a friend. It's under Larry Blakeslee / Germany

Rev. Lawrence Blakeslee
Missionary to Europe and Asia

25 July 2009

Healing in Disneyland, Really!

I am so thankful a friend here in Germany sent this to me. It touched me so much that I had to post it on my blog.

If you want to see see the power God working in a public place like Disneyland, answering the prayers of a bunch of bold teenagers, check this video out.

It's almost ten minutes long so don't bail-out early. Watch the entire thing. It bless you.

Copy and paste this link into your browser: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rpdoge4KSug

Or click on the video here if you can see it.

Rev. Lawrence Blakeslee
Missionary to Europe and Asia

17 July 2009

Future Church Planting in Europe

Last Wednesday, I attended a meeting with three pastors in Koblenz, Germany. We met to discuss creating a European network to proactively assist in the planting more churches in Europe.

Two pastors were from Europe, Desmond Frey, Power House Church in Zurich, Switzerland and Sebastiaan van Wessem, Hilversum International Christian Church, in Hilversum, Netherlands. The other pastor was Steve Hickey, from Church at the Gate, Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Pastor Hickey works with a non-denominational organization in America that has been successfully involved in church planting in America for a number of years. As part of that organization, Steve believes that it is time to assist in the creation of a similar program in Europe.

At this first meeting, the group discussed the steps to put the process in motion. The consensus is that Europe, which is wholly "unsaved", needs to hear The Gospel. It needs local churches that are alive with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not just huge beautiful buildings from a past era. The best way to develop churches is partner directly with nationals during the start-up and initial growth period. To stand, support and be available to them as they establish themselves in the community.

It is exciting to be involved in planting more local churches and utilizing the experience and strength of the non-denominational American organization here in Europe.

All this is so new that there is not more to share at this time. Will keep you updated as we all walk this project out.

Rev. Lawrence Blakeslee
Missionary to Europe & Asia

30 June 2009

Christus Gemeinde - Jena, Germany

What an incredible time of ministry in Jena, Germany. I was at Christus Gemeinde pastored by Mark and Sandi Copper. The weekend started off with a seven hour, pleasant train ride that had very few train connections but a myriad of stops for the first three hours of travel.

By accident, I happened to pick the slowest train possible for the first half of the trip. It was a "milk run" commuter train that stopped about every seven minutes, at literally every stop from my station to my first connecting train stop 90 miles away in Mainz.

After I realized my mistake, I just relaxed and enjoyed the ride. No amount of wishing would make the train move any faster or get me there sooner. As it turned out it did give me time to read, listen to my iPod and enjoy a beautiful early summer day train ride.

About four hours into the trip, I crossed over the former East/West German border. As you enter into the old East German region, you can still see many differences between the East and West. The East continues to improve but slowly.

Saturday, Pastor Mark and Sandi took me to church to get ready for the morning sessions with the children. On Saturday, I did the Kids Prayer Program and Sunday preached in adult church.

I found out they are located in a former Baptist church that existed during the old East German, D.D.R. days. The sacrifice the former Baptist congregation must have made to even exist as a church during the Communist rule must have been incredible.

The Copper's were concerned that because summer vacation had started the day before, they were not sure how many kids would attend. They have a small church so we were pleasantly surprised to see about fifteen kids and ten adults show up for the meetings. We even had adults who were not parents show up. They just wanted to sit in on the class. The classes went great. By the end of the morning, they all had learned something, had a few laughs and found out how much God really loves them.

The Sunday service was unbelievable. Worship was incredible and everyone could feel the presence of God in the service. Instead of doing my sermon first, with permission from Pastor Mark, I switched to praying for people right after worship and then sharing some remarks about how God wants to have a deep relationship with us.

Nearly everyone stayed around after the service just to socialize. It turned into a great unplanned fellowship. I think everyone was blessed. I know that I was. God is faithful and good.

Monday, I was back on the train to head back home to Rolandseck. It was another beautiful day out to enjoy the ride back.

Rev. Lawrence Blakeslee
Missionary to Europe and Asia

03 June 2009

Starting Eight Years

On the evening of 2 June 2002, I boarded a Lufthansa jet in Phoenix for an overnight, trans-Atlantic flight to Germany and the start a new chapter in my life as an overseas missionary.

It is amazing that I am starting my eighth year. God has given me an incredible opportunity in so many areas. He has given me opportunities to be a blessing and be blessed. Leaving the security of nearly ten years with a company and job that I loved, leaving family, friends, moving to a new country, new culture, unfamiliar language and starting a new life will test the best.

Why did I do it? It had to be God. Timing is everything. Well God's timing is really everything. It was a part of God's plan for my life. During the past seven years, God fulfilled a number of my dreams. Plus He gave me new ones. He allowed me minister in countries beyond my imagination. Minister to people groups that I never thought I had a heart for until I got there. Guess He knew.

A Growing Extended Family
Leaving my two adult natural sons and at that time, one granddaughter in Florida was tough. But God would expand my extended family with new "sons, daughters and grand children", all with a variety of ethnic backgrounds. It has been remarkable.

Has it been worth it?
I would say emphatically "Yes". Everything is a learning experience if we allow ourselves to go through the process. We can learn a lot about our God and ourselves.

At the Airport
With luggage and boxes piled high at the airline check-in counter, I turned to my best friend David and told him, "I'll either be back in six days, six weeks, six months or six years." Either way, I need to do this while I'm young enough and avoid the regrets of not following my heart, later in life. I can honestly report seven years later... no regrets.

In biblical numerology, "seven" is God's number and the number of completion. "Eight" represents new beginnings. My goal was to be on the mission field for five years.

Earlier this year, when I was itinerating in the America, I had a string of connected prophecies from unconnected people. They all spoke about upcoming change during the next phase of life and ministry. It is two years past that goal and I wonder what God's plans are for me as I start my eighth year.

What Have I Learned?
Whatever the upcoming years bring, in the deepest part of my spirit and soul, I know that I can trust my Heavenly Father. He is faithful. He is with me as we go forward together to fulfill His plans for me. I know that the Holy Spirit will guide me as He has done in the past. It is what a loving father does for His children. The Word talks about planting for the future but living one day at a time. Well Carpe Diem.

A Special Thanks
Thanks and blessings to those friends, both Believers and non-Believers that have stood with me these years. Thanks to those that supported me both prayerfully and financially. Your faithfulness is remarkable. Let's continue to link arms and go forward into a challenging and promising future.

Rev. Lawrence Blakeslee
Missionary to Europe and Asia

28 April 2009

The Missing Plumb Line

Something struck me when I was at the Adobe Mountain Youth Detention Facility in Phoenix recently. It was the apparent lack of a "plumb line" early in the lives of the young men that were serving time there.

As Christians, our "plumb line" is the Bible. All people, worldwide need something to use as a gauge for excellence or error. These young men are serving time in this detention facility because they either didn't have or ignored the "plumb line" in their lives.

One young man, I will call "Robert" stood out to me. At 15 years old, he told me that all of his family had been or is currently in jail. Since he is a minor, his "error" in judgment got him sentenced to Adobe instead of adult jail or prison. I don't know how "Robert" ended up making his wrong decision but apparently no one in his immediate family had exercised good judgment either, so society "exercised" it for all of them.

There was another young man who had nearly completed his time and was soon to be released and re-enter society. He seemed genuinely concerned that once released, he would not be able to make the correct decisions that would keep him out of jail. You wonder how either "Robert" or this other young man had no foundation for their decisions. I think I have at least a partial answer.

Politically Correct
We live in an era when it is more important to be politically correct than to take a stand for actual moral correctness. Our schools, our politicians and even some Christian denominations are all "gray". Everything except gravity and for now, sports, is "gray". No one is allowed to win or lose... well almost no one.

We talk a good game with our fellow Believers but when it comes to diplomatically challenging unbiblical principles with our friends or the world, we fall short. We know that what we believe is counter-culture to our increasingly permissive society.

We are "told" that we are in the minority and we are shrinking. But what's worse is we are afraid to stand up for what is right based on God's Word, fearing that we might offend someone. We don't need to be offensive but we do need to take a moral stand.

Inch by inch, year by year, we move farther away from what is biblically correct, further into the gray. Are these changes a result of prayer being eliminated from our schools? I think so. I think it has contributed.

Applied Logic
I am really not sorry that I might offend someone by stating my views. Guess you might "offend" a child when you yell at him that the stove is hot and not touch it. After all, is it "our" responsibility? Is it obvious to anyone else that we have got to get our horse-sense back into all levels of this world including politics?

Politically correct or not, we have got to be confident and loving enough to share with the world that there really is a moral anchor available to mankind. Yes, it will probably limit their permissiveness but it is good overall for everyone.

Back To "Robert"
It seems that no one bothered to yell at "Robert" and warn him that the "stove would burn" him. Maybe his family didn't care. Maybe they didn't want to limit his "exploration and development" as a child or teenager. Maybe they were just complacent and wrapped up in their own bad decisions. Never-the-less, "Robert" is now locked up.

Now he spends his teenage days hearing the locks on steel doors controlling his every move. He could have been attending a high school football game, ordering a burger & fries at a fast food joint or being able to "text" his friends. He now hears the guards telling him when to get up, when to go to bed, when to eat and when to take a shower, when to whatever...

It seems that "Robert" had nothing going for him as a child. He has little going for him as a teenager except that we all hope he learned a life lesson or a lesson that will change his life.

On a positive note, the Word is being "planted and watered" in him through a weekly Bible study that he is choosing to attend. The Word promises that it will grow fruit in anyone's life. It is still everyone's choice to spend time reading it and having a relationship with its author, our Heavenly Father by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. For "Robert"... now he has an honest chance of succeeding.

"Robert" will finish serving his time. Because of the level of his crime and that he was a minor when he offended, he will get a fresh start at life. His family environment certainly does not guarantee his success "outside". Knowing some Bible verses doesn't ensure success but it does start to provide the "plumb line" he was missing earlier in his life.

Like all of us, in various ways, "Robert" has been given another chance. As Christians, our Heavenly Father forgives us and gives us another chance. For Unbelievers, salvation and forgiveness is available to them also.

Mankind's Ultimate "Plumb Line"
There is life after death. Where you spend eternity is your free will choice. But the only way to avoid eternal life in hell is by accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.

The Challenge
Who do you know that is missing a "plumb line" in their life?
Will you love them enough to have the courage to share the answer with them?
Will you take time to pray for them?

God's blessings,
Rev. Lawrence Blakeslee
Missionary to Europe & Asia

14 April 2009

Still Need A Smile?

Sometimes you just love technology and the learning curve it puts us through.

I learned something yesterday. The people that subscribed to my blog got their personal emailed blog posting just like usual. The problem was that finding the video or the link was a challenge because of the way it was posted on my blog site itself.

So, in lieu of any of my faithful subscribers missing out on the opportunity to "Smile" I've posted a direct link to the video below. This ensures that if you have an interest, you will find it. Sorry about that...

Click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vq6b9bMBXpg&feature=player_embedded

If not, you can just go to the Blakeslee Blog itself, as some did yesterday. Where you can't possibly miss it.


I just hope this works or I'll have to go back to the proverbial drawing board.

New blessings for a new day,

13 April 2009

Need a Smile?

Take 4 minutes out of you busy day and click below to see what happened in the main train station at Antwerp, The Netherlands.

Rev. Lawrence Blakeslee

07 April 2009

Back In Bonn

I'm back in Bonn, Germany; arrived uneventfully last Wednesday night.

Spring Has Sprung
I was delighted to find the forecast for rain and snow, predicted a few days before, did not happen. Wearing my down jacket, I wheeled my piled high luggage trolley outside the airport expecting to get hit with a blast of cold air. I didn't. It was breezy, with the ever present German winter overcast and around 53 degrees. Amazing.

The next morning to my surprise, there was not a cloud in the sky, as the sun blasted bright into my apartment as it rose over the small mountain range across the valley.

The next surprise was to see 56 degrees on my outside thermometer. While I was gone, the Bonn and Germany as a whole had one of the hardest winters. Now in contrast, it looks like spring has sprung... just in time. After months of enjoying short sleeve shirts and shorts, I was grateful I didn't have to bundle up just go to the grocery store to restock my empty kitchen. I had been spoiled with mostly great weather while traveling in the U.S. this year.

The Economy
During my time in America, I saw how the entire country was affected by the poor economy. It was evident that everyone has been hit by it. This resulted in an obvious drop in giving to churches and ministries which have slowed or stopped everyone including me. Churches and ministries, large and small were either laying off staff or returning from the mission field. We always look to the Lord as our source. This has never been truer for everyone right now, missionary or not.

Not Unaffected Here
As I rode my bike to the post office today, I saw a couple of businesses closed. Apparently the poor economy has had an impact on Europe too. My return airline ticket to Germany was the cheapest it has ever been in the seven years I've made the trip. Guess this is due to the overall drop in international travel and tourism in both directions. Still not "cheap", the low price couldn't have come at a better time for me.

Where Are We Going?
I think as this economy continues to take its toll on everyone, Christian or not, people are assessing what's important in their lives and their futures. If the future continues to get tougher, hopefully we will all get closer to God. It is an opportunity to find true solace in His Word and prayer. He is the only one that can provide answers to pending questions about what to do and how to do it. This certainly is the case in my life and ministry.

Pray for me. I'll be praying for you.

Rev. Lawrence Blakeslee
Missionary to Europe and Asia

22 March 2009

Keep It Real... Really

Last Tuesday night I had the opportunity to teach at Adobe Mountain, a youth detention facility in Phoenix. It was my first time to minister there. It was great. A small group of boys from the ages of 14 to 17 attended the weekly Bible study. These particular young men were serving time for drug violations.

My close friend Nathan Hale has been leading this Bible study for more than a year. Nathan is a young man I've known for years. He has lots of energy and the boys relate to him. He cares for these guys and they know it. Another guy on the team, Ron, shared a little about the history and importance of reading the Bible. Nathan's wife, Debora, helped with the music.

We gathered in a small Day Room and started the meeting with Praise & Worship. Each boy was able to pick a song they liked and wanted the group to sing. It also happened to be movie night in the cottage. All the boys in this unit had to choose to either watch the movie or attend the Bible study.

Later on, after the movie ended, some of those boys, had to return to their locked rooms, but watched and listened through the windows in their doors.

One Shot
With only about thirty minutes to make an impact, what was the most important thing that God wanted me to talk about? Communicate how real God is and how they could have a tangible relationship with Him.

We discussed how doing this is no different than with anyone else on earth. When I asked them if they had a girl friend, somehow they could then easily relate. Instantly a few friendly jabs and elbows were exchanged with each other. Imagine that, teenage boys relating to girls!

Yes, somebody talks. Somebody listens and then you swap. They began to understand that we don't have to use theological terms. We don't have to be religious. Prayer is just talk. Talk develops relationship. Relationship develops love.

God Is All Knowing
"Well, doesn't God already know everything about me?" Of course He does but He still wants a one-on-one relationship. Our Heavenly Father is always waiting for us to "phone home" and share our day. He wants to hear our worries, problems, and victories. Remember, this is the very reason He created mankind. It is no different than what we want on this earth with the people we love.

Keep It Real... Really
During the discussion, one of the boys piped up with a terrific phrase. He said, "So you mean, 'Keep it real... really' ". That says it all. We sometimes get off track on what prayer is or how to pray. Yes, as we mature in our walk with the Lord, there are times we get more "technical" by quoting specific scriptures for specific reasons. But for now, with these young men, it was just keep it simple and "Keep it real... really."

After the meeting, one of the boys came up to me and told me how he liked what he heard. He said he never thought that praying was just talking to God. His "ahha" moment made it all worthwhile for me. From the other boy's questions and responses, I think they got it.

The point with all of us is to understand that we have a real Heavenly Father, who loves us, who wants to communicate that to us. Who is waiting for us to communicate with Him.

Talk to God, just talk. Listen and don't be surprised if He talks back.

Rev. Lawrence Blakeslee
Missionary to Europe & Asia

14 March 2009

Reaching Out in Phoenix, Arizona

Mini International Outreach

Kids & Ballons = Fun! My New Friends from Bhutan

Last weekend I was invited to participate in a kids outreach. It was held at a large apartment complex that houses many refugees from other nations.

The kids were "wired" especially when one of the team members brought a live lamb from their farm, as an object lesson.

The object lesson. There IS a lamb in there.

The kids had fun but I'm not sure the lamb thought it was such a great idea. It got more attention in 90 minutes than it has ever had in its young life.

Refugees from Bhutan, Nepal, Syria, the Middle East and India showed up to turn it international outreach in the middle of the city of Phoenix.

Behavioral Problems
The next morning I was able to minister at a home for children with serious behavior problems. About 18 kids showed up for a puppet show, mini-message and bible study on the power of our words, and of course, treats.

The ages of both boys and girls ranged from 9 to 17 years old. Many of these kid's problems stemmed from their mothers being on drugs during their pregnancy. This is not to big for God. These kids can be healed just like any other medical issue.

Youth Detention Facility
This Tuesday evening, I am scheduled to minister at the boys section of a youth detention facility in North Phoenix. So far, I haven't heard from the Arizona Department of Corrections about my clearance to enter but don't expect a problem.

Be in agreement that these young men have open hearts to hear and respond to God's Word.

Rev. Lawrence Blakeslee

02 March 2009

The Road Continues In the USA

Hi Everyone,
A little over a month ago, I started my annual trek across the country from Phoenix to Florida and back.

The trip started in Phoenix as I headed to Florida and to see my youngest son William, his wife Stephanie and their children. It was great to see all of them especially the newest addition to the Blakeslee Clan, Hailey Aliese born in October.

Hailey is a quiet baby and within minutes of coming into the world, had a grin on her face. She continues to grin and coo on a regular basis. Where Hailey is quiet, her "older" brother Bradley is, shall we say, a typical boy. Both children came "fully equipped" with a full head of hair right out of the womb.

Learning to walk and climb at 12 months and now at 14 months, Bradley is a busy toddler. He makes the most expressive faces all day long and seems to like being entertainment for the adults around him. His favorite face, with the prompting of his father, is to do the Incredible Hulk face, with all the huffing & puffing that goes with it. He is tooo cute. The Lord has blessed William and Stephanie with a wonderful family.

Sandwiched between my visits with William's family in the south and Shawn's in the north, I was able to have a short visit with my close friends, Doris Hack, Steve & Elaine Cottrell in Daytona Beach. I met Doris and Elaine at Christian Adventures International Ministries years ago.

You Did What?
Yes, as strange as it might seem for an Arizona boy, I decided to take the Amtrak train from the southern part of Florida to Jacksonville with stop near Daytona Beach. It's not like I don't get enough of trains living in Europe, especially without having a car but it seemed the practical thing to do and I was really surprised at how well it worked.

After using trains all over Europe for the last seven years, it was impossible not to compare. It was economical, pleasant and they ran pretty close to "on-time" for American or Amtrak trains. In fact, next year, I am going to work out my travel plans to include taking Antonella on her first train ride.

Florida: South to North
On to Jacksonville, to my oldest son Shawn and his daughter, Antonella. At 8 1/2 years old, she has turned into quite the little girl. Doing great in second grade, reading at a fourth grade level, she is doing well in school. Active is an understatement. She is her father's daughter.

Thank God for email, webcams and technology. It allows Antonella and I to grow in our relationship even with 2,500 miles of Atlantic Ocean between us. I can see that her Grandma Debbie Glenn has had a Godly woman's influence on Antonella already.

It's a blessing to see my son's doing well overall as they face the same challenges of life and the economy as everyone else today.

Independence & Tulsa
I arrived in Kansas City to visit my close friends Tim & Wendy Vogel and their family. They pastor Independence Four Square Church in Independence, Missouri. From there it was on to Tulsa, Oklahoma for Rhema Bible Training Center's annual Winter Bible Seminar. This year's theme was dedicated to an International Homecoming. Graduates from Rhema's schools worldwide gathered for this first time event. We had nearly 200 graduates from Europe alone make the trek to Tulsa.

American Christian Writers Association, OKC, OK
I left Tulsa a day early to attend an American Christian Writers Association Writer Conference in Oklahoma City. This was my first of many writers conference to come. I wasn't sure what to expect but I knew that I wanted to improve my writings skills and learn more about publishing.

The two day conference "downloaded" a lot of information about all aspects of writing. One of my reasons to attend was to learn how to publish the Kids Prayer Program Curriculum which will be happening in the near future. Plus I believe that The Lord will have me do more writing in a number of areas.

Currently I'm back in Phoenix and will be here for about two more weeks. Today's temperature high reached nearly 90F degrees. At the same time back in Rolandseck, Germany, it reached 46F degrees for a high with rain and snow in the forecast. Honestly, can you blame me for wanting to stay in shorts, t-shirts & flip flops as long as possible?

Even though a return date has not yet been selected, duty calls back in Europe and I'll be back to my other home in less than and month. I predict it is going to be a busy 2009.

My heart this year is to be able to return to Asia some where plus the normal ministry in Europe. I'm still not clear where in Asia but it seems to be calling again in my heart. It has been January, 2007 since I have been there. Would you be in prayer agreement for where, when and how.

Also, while you are praying for me, include that more doors to open in Europe for the Kids Prayer Program and Healing Meetings.

Miscellaneous Stuff
Again, I am experiencing some formatting problems with this blog so I haven't been as creative as possible with my pictures. I may be making some changes.

Just a few weeks ago, I found out that my automatic subscription service to my blog had been broken and were unable to subscribe. I have no idea how long this has been happening but it is fixed now. Can I recommend that you subscribe? Now that it is fixed, every new posting on this blog will show up as a simple email in your Inbox. I promise no spam.

You can subscribe by scrolling down this page and look on the right hand side column for the subscription box. Follow the simple instructions. Please let me know if you have difficulty.

Enjoy the current pictures of my family below. I know you'll be able to figure out who is who.

Rev. Lawrence Blakeslee
Missionary to Europe & Asia

22 January 2009

Back In the U.S. of A.

Long First Day of Travel
Last Friday started of my annual trip to the America. After a 90 minute train ride from my apartment to the airport, my flight departed on time from Dusseldorf, Germany but then had a 90 minute take-off delay in Paris. The pilot attributed the delay to missing about 100 passengers that were stuck going through a final jetway security check.

The take-off delay combined with headwinds caused me to miss my connection in Atlanta. After making it through U.S. Customs, I was able to grab the last seat, on the last flight to Phoenix that night. The total travel time took 23 hours, door to door. It was a long day.

Visiting the Grand Kids
I'll be leaving Phoenix early Monday morning for Florida to see my family. I will be visiting my youngest son, William and Stephanie and my "nearly new" baby granddaughter, Hailey for the first time and her 13 month old baby brother Bradley. After that I'll be heading out to visit some ministries and of course my oldest son, Shawn and granddaughter Antonella.

The cross country trip continues to the Kansas City area to minister, Tulsa, Oklahoma for a visit to my Alma mater, Rhema Bible Training Center and to Oklahoma City.

American Christian Writers Workshop
A new activity for me will be to attend a two day American Christian Writers Workshop in Oklahoma City before returning to Phoenix. I am really looking forward to learning all I can and improving my writing skills.

Returning to Phoenix by mid February, I'll be doing more ministry and some last minute shopping before returning to Europe. As my travels progress, check back to see the latest pictures of my family and especially the grand kids.

Pray for safe travel and open ministry doors as I make my way from one end of the country to the other.

Rev. Lawrence Blakeslee
Missionary to Europe and Asia