Unsatisfied By Average

The Musings of a Stubborn Believer

Category: ministry (page 1 of 3)

Australia in Retrospect [This is My Confidence]

The highest heights are often to be found in the least expected places…
Least expected, that is, to a world quantifying success with finite formulas.

I’ve been to the heights. And not standing on a stage before thousands. Nor on some glittering crest of conquest. (As high as those honors are…)

One thing is always the same. I’m always shorter on the highest heights… By the distance of heel to knee.

PC: James Tregenza doanddare.org

This time, it was on a dusty bit of ground surrounded by benches, throbbing hearts, deep attention.
I have never climbed higher. Never seen the world wider than I saw it then. Never looked smaller in my own eyes. Never felt closer to Heaven.

No surprise.

To those who have found eyes for higher glory, though the beauty of the high places always surpasses our dreams, it is never entirely unexpected…

“As long as I live, I will remember his words– 

‘…Mostly, I’ve met God properly.’

That broke me wide open As though standing on holiest ground, I was filled with a smallness; a trembling… How is it that I am even allowed to touch what is this holy?“*

Though every memory fades at least a bit eventually, my wonder will never cease.
Nor will love for new friends with a beautiful foreign accent.
Nor will firm faith that we’ll meet again, if not on this round earth, then inside pearly gates.

“Hey– remember when…?”

Yes, I remember.

morning stars: checkout | PC: Jasmine Tregenza

Before it was over I had the opportunity to try to crunch the essence of 40 pages of worship notes and days and days of prayer and pondering onto 5 minutes of film. 

This is my confidence.

morning and miracle bend
later: snowy mountain living
friends in Victoria

*journal entry, January 20, 2014

The Power of the Personal Gospel

“There are some themes, some messages that stir me to the depths of my soul, and cause me to be gripped with a great quiet… Almost immobilized by the weight of truth; driven to my knees to simply be before God, utterly silent. 

There are themes that bring silent tears to my eager eyes, make my soul soar as if on wings of eagles… 

There are some themes that call forth an exultation so overpowering my fist shoots up and it is all I can do to get it down again.

And then there are those themes that awaken in me at once a passionate dissatisfaction, and a steel-clad resolve; words that invariably get me out of my seat to pace back and forth like a caged lion in my office. From french doors to bookshelf and back, on my knees, on my feet, on my face…

And I’m just warning you, this is one of those.

You see, I have this thought: (overly simple as it may seem–)

That God has a right to that which belongs to Him.

That after all He has suffered, after all He has lost, He’s worthy of receiving His own with interest. 
That His beautiful dreams– (which are all for the happiness of others, by the way) –there is no reason why He should be denied them; 
Why the universe should be denied them….

But you know, God is often denied what is due Him. 

Perhaps most notably, by those who call themselves His friends…”


I don’t preach anything I don’t first love. 
But this truth is my absolute all-time favorite. 

Up And Away

Sunrise already finds me far from home, in an unfamiliar hub, bound for an unfamiliar continent.
But this feeling is familiar… This “it-never-gets-old” sense we always get when we’re perched on the edge of some new territory. Together.

Off we go. And not for a week or two, but for a month. Not sure if this trip goes by the label of ministry or mission… Probably some of both.

Pray for us in Bolivia, speaking first, then spending time in orphanages in the mountains. Pray we’ll have an over-abundance of love to give away in a land where the concept of family has been almost entirely destroyed.
And while you’re at it, pray we’ll find enough internet to post a photo or two between now and the middle of March. 🙂

Irresistible Road

All the way down row 12 on an MD90 homeward bound, laps are filled with open Bibles– still, at 11:00 am.

We are totally sold on this Gospel of the Kingdom. Totally sold.
This ship sails, and clouds slip silently beneath us, the only indication that miles pass quickly by.
We sail with a plane load of strangers all going to the same place, but for totally different reasons…
Our hearts remember cold so cold the lungs reject your first breath when stepping out the door. We remember handshakes long, embraces warm, faces eager, Bibles open, questions cards, brunch lines, and hearts softened by the Spirit…
Including our own.
Our hearts, our prayers soar, and the world gets strangely distant below us… behind us. A glance earthward reminds me time is slipping quickly by. 
We leave a gym full of friends going to the same place, for the same reason: 
This world is not our home.
This road is beautiful in solitude, irresistible in company.
So glad we can travel it with friends…

Because We Love the Songs You Love. [Next CD Project]

Quiet, I watch jays and juncos flutter through freshly fallen snow in search of seed.
I hear in their contented chirps a song I’ve been learning over months of treasure hunts my own–
His way is peace… and perfect freedom.
I heard the same thing in the summer when the birds sang at dusk as well as dawn
(We’ve got a few lessons to learn.)
We do a fair bit of singing in this house. (epic understatement.)
And not because it’s always sunny… 
It’s because it fills our sails for the storm. 
Actually, when we’re all together on one level, 2 minutes is often the most we go between snatches of some sonnet.
And that is grace to us… Because we also often feel like we’re sailing high seas in half a cider barrel a piece. 
Oh, we’ve swallowed our share of salt water to be sure… 
But we’re learning to laugh at the waves. 
And somehow, these cider barrels are proving unsinkable.
But see, that’s why the song means so much to us…
_ _ _
So we’ve got a question. Next month marks a year since I Cannot Tell was tracked in our basement studio. And next month, we will be recording again… We’ve got a list of songs our hearts love to sing, but we want to hear the list your hearts love.
And they could be songs you’ve heard us sing, or favorites we’ve never heard before…
Just do one of three things. 🙂
1.)  Comment on this blogpost with your requests/suggestions
2.)  Post a comment in Google+ with the same (if you’re reading from there)
3.)  Drop us an email at thenebblettfamily[at]gmail[dot]com
As a little thank you, we’ll put your names in a hat and when the CD is done in a few months time, we will give away a dozen copies. 

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.

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.”

Asking to Give

Because my heart is full, but my hands are empty. My pockets are empty.
My words are empty.

I lie on my back trusting weight to white cotton rope.
And I stare up at glistening green needles against blue.
And I wonder.
24 hours and I’ll be in Atlanta.
24 more hours and I’ll be in the Alps again…

Large loom the many lessons that have recently precipitated out of rough water around here, but these two are paramount:
All that is human is flawed; futile. And,
Heaven alone is worth living for.

Then Lord of Glory, fill your people through our emptiness… 
With Your Own overflowing heart. 

No Time for Bungling…

Once again the Passports are pulled out and dusted off. The Nebbletts are revving up for 2+ weeks in Europe. And while we look forward to visiting the Alps in Italy, and beloved friends in Austria and Germany, there’s more to this than that.
Last Sabbath we had a chance to give our home church a sneak preview of opening night at campmeeting in Germany…
This is just a taste of that preview.

No Time for Bungling (Message Preview) from Sean Nebblett on Vimeo.

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