Unsatisfied By Average

The Musings of a Stubborn Believer

Category: Europe (page 1 of 2)

God’s Fortress

“…It’s not even American young people and European young people working together–“

“We’re Adventist young people.”
I sit and listen, fidget while tingles play tag up and down my spine. I brush tears away; squeeze fists together tight till my forearms bulge. 
I’m watching stone walls generations old crack before my eyes.
I’m watching the sun dip low on the heyday of materialism, secularism, postmodernism. 
Yes, even on the continent.
I’m watching a generation wake up and decide all those things are empty and they’ve had enough.
I am one of them.
Oh, and I don’t mean to say we’ll win without paying the ultimate price.
But I am saying, it’s as good as over. 
We can’t lose.
. . . .
I recline early, book in hand under soft glow of christmas lights that grace my office year-round. (Jet lag in my favor, I’m bright and eager at 0200)
My eyes hesitate at the end of this phrase, retrace and return. Revel:
“The church is God’s fortress”
 Acts of the Apostles p.11 | photo: JN

GYC Europe (From the i of my Phone)

Can’t be weary in this place. Nope.
Even when I am tired. 🙂

I pinch myself over and over. Is this Europe? Is that our logo?
And am I really here?

I am. And it is.

I tingle. We all do. I have seen —I am seeing something great.
Something history will remember always.

It’s a blur. But I’m doing my best to remember every waking detail.

coming home from outreach
friends from home 🙂

Another Great Awakening

A half-dozen Nebbletts merge into the foot traffic while checking apps for the departure gate. 
Charlie twenty-two.
We’ve got three hours. There’s no hurry. 
Soft, the hum of smooth wheels on polished floors fills my ears. 
These sights and sounds are almost familiar enough to be home, but still there’s a spark. I recognize wonder in it all… 
I watch faces. Note destinations. 
Count three 747s in a row, all in preflight at the terminal’s heart. 

Manilla, Narita, Seoul, 
London, Amsterdam…
From Detroit?
Suddenly, I’m struck.
The world is so small.
So small…

I finally settle into a sun-bathed seat at C22 after extracting a vibrating iPhone from my pocket.
And I’m reminded just how large is the family of faith we belong to…
Big family, small world.
That email was typed in Europe. As were the 6 before it. And 40 others like it I’ve received today. They’re proof that something is happening on the other side of the Atlantic, and around the globe, something it’s our privilege, our duty, to be a part of…
I call it another great awakening.
And it’s fueled by prayers, and tears, and sweat, and blood…
The question is, is it fueled by me?

In a few months time, I’ll be among the number flying to Austria for GYC in Europe. I hope some of you will too… 
But do you know what I hope even more?
I hope somehow we’ll all come to understand how small the world is. 
How much we need to pray for one another.

And I hope you’ll fuel the awakening in Europe especially, with your prayers, with your friends.
In your bible study group. Or youth group. Or on Skype. Whatever. 
Let’s fuel the fire, and change the world. 

Taste of the Tour

Words fail of conveying sufficient depth and gravity.
Clichés like: “I’ll never be the same” apply, but still don’t tell it like it is…

I throb thankfulness while I grope for expressions worthy, and finally conclude-

Our best statements are understatements.

Because once again, our God has outdone Himself, blessing when we went to bless.
How I needed the quiet. How I needed to see the rocks that cried red. How I needed the battle to refocus. How I needed to be broken and healed, raised up out of weakness, charged to fight…
Reminded that I am nothing.
Reminded that “All things work together for good…”

All things.

Thank You Jesus.
Thank you, beautiful friends from all over the continent…

We love you…

Taste of the Tour from Sean Nebblett on Vimeo.

Full Cups and New Friends…

I learned today how to make a full cup fuller…
Surround yourself with european friends three tiers high, and talk about war.

Seriously, guys… Why do we have to nearly starve before we’re ready for bread?

friends: three tiers high
sermon notes. (green version)
Marcel manipulating languages
Frank Fournier: fellow “American” and new friend 🙂
This one is for the Fords. 😉
more friends
my pal again. (fun to take pictures of!)
we interrupted a birthday party on outreach. Second from left there got Happy Birthday, and Always Cheerful.
the neighborhood natives lead the way
p.s. you don’t have to speak the same language to be friends…


I love it when a group of kids knocks on the door, and after they have finished singing and the owner has selected a Great Controversy (of all things!) from their stash of “free gifts,” they offer to pray for blessings on that house, and the owner crashes in with his own beautiful prayer of blessing for them…

I love it when a simple songs strikes a solid chord because the heart was made soft by a brother’s recent passing…

I love it when the neighborhood kids get excited right along with us, and wait with huge smiles with their scooters and unicycle for us to pick them up each afternoon to sing to he rest of the town.

I love it when those same neighborhood kids tell me all the english phrases they’ve learned in school, while I stretch my poor tongue to make German sounds back, and we all laugh, friends.

It is hard not to love this place.

we set out
that’s my pal there
and his harmonica is a big hit
neighborhood girls
surrounded by friends
(most of whom have names difficult to pronounce)
this is real fun
next door
see my friends with the wheels?
how beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news…

Speak, Dear Jesus…

Let every word count; every action count. 
Speak through our eyes with the language of Heaven when we can’t speak with our tongues the language of this beautiful land.
We love You…
And we love these Your children. 

The famous Edelweiß, only in the Alps.
odd man out.
If you’ve never had German bread… Well, you’ve never had bread.
Nebblett & Nebblett

Church in Three Languages

Love it. 🙂
And we love meeting young people in other parts of the world that have the same fire burning in their souls that burns in ours. The army is growing… 

Halfway to Heaven?

Spent hours this morning in a warm little Austrian living room, talking of Heaven… (While the clouds were deciding whether or not to cry.) Now my heart carries a peculiar little twinge.

I want to go Home…

But then I look out the window and remember where I am, and what I have left to do before it’s time to leave. 
Heaven is my home, but earth is my workplace.

And it’s not yet time to go…
. . . . . . . . .
I live on a cursed planet, thanks to my first father’s ingratitude.  
But I think the curse rests more heavily in some places than others. 
This place is unreal. The pictures are pitiful.
I’ve never been to a place where the curse seems to rest more lightly.
Look, the sun just came out.

But We Know Better

We were loathe to leave.

Something made me linger in the entrance of the Waldensian temple clutching the side of the Alps. And I wasn’t alone…

. . . . . . .

I turn again to face the pulpit, camera in one hand:

“La Croce é la potenza di Dio Noi predichiamo Cristo crocifisso”

The place still rings from our last song… But once more my lips part:

Because the Lord our God is good,
His mercy is forever sure
His truth at all times firmly stood
And shall from age to age endure…

Shouldn’t we always end with the Doxology?

My hear throbs fullness as I walk once more towards the door.

What a day! 
– Breakfast in the shadow of the cliff where 19 year old boys, and 14 year old girls, and mothers with their babies sealed their testimonies and the rocks cried red. 
– The school that young men left never to come home unless they dropped of exhaustion before they died at the stake. 
– The stone table, [the very table!] where they copied line after line of scripture with cold fingers all winter long so that the next generation wouldn’t have to die in darkness. 
– The canyon fog rolled down. 
– The pool where the mocking captain filled his lungs with freezing water instead of air, while the insults were still on his tongue...

My fist closes around the iron gate, lungs take in air hard.
My gaze fixes afar. 
Natasha steps up behind me; silent.

“‘His truth at all times firmly stood.'”
“And shall from age to age endure.”

“Some thought it was nearly gone…”

I step around to watch water pour timelessly out of the fountain before the door. 
(Some of you know that fountain: I saw your names in the guestbook.)

“But the flame was still there.”

My gaze wanders up to windows high.

“They thought men and devils had it nearly snuffed out.”

My shutter sounds.

“But we know better.”

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