Monthly Archives: July 2012

Destination Longmont

The Snyder’s are moving to Longmont, CO to pursue full time mission work with Unbound Ministries. It’s been quite a journey from window cleaning in 2003 until today. So by way of the long version, here’s a chronology of the last few months relating to our move to Colorado. As it relates to praying and feeling like we heard something specific from the Spirit, those ideas or thoughts are in quotes.

1. January, Unbound Ministries board meeting. Praying about what opportunities to pursue for 2012. All five board members hear some version of “pursue the opportunities you have in Colorado.”

2. February, Heather and I are praying about the spring and summer, specifically asking if I should go to the Ransomed Heart boot camp in May. We both hear “Go to Colorado, but not for boot camp.”

3. March 1, we hear from the owners of the house we’re currently house-sitting that they will be returning on August 19th.

4.  A few days later, asking where or what we should do next, Heather and I both hear “Move to Colorado.”

5.  We ask four different trusted friends to confirm that we’re hearing correctly. The first three say yes. Then I sit down with my close friend Travis and say ‘I have an important question to ask you.’ He grins and says (long story short) ‘this is the part where you ask me to confirm if you’re supposed to move to CO and I say yes!’ Turns out he heard the Lord say “I’m going to move the Snyder’s to Colorado. But don’t tell them yet. Wait until they ask you to confirm.” He heard that in January at the Unbound board meeting.

6. Mid-March, Heather and I sit down to ask ‘so where should we move?’ And before we start praying, we both feel a strong sense not to ask that question. We confirm that with the Lord who says to me “I’ll make it obvious in June” and to Heather “It’ll be clear in June.” At this time, we have nothing scheduled for June in Colorado.

7. March 21, a church in Longmont, CO sends me an email with the final confirmation that Heather and I are both being invited to come speak and that the dates are June 8-9-10 for the Unbound retreat and June 11 for the women’s event.

8. Mid-March to May. Throughout Heather and my prayer time over the retreat and the women’s event, we hear clearly over and over again that the Lord will make it absolutely clear during our trip where he wants us to move.

9. Arriving in Longmont, both Heather and I have the same first reaction…’we’re probably not moving here.’

10. During the men’s retreat, I feel an unusually strong sense of community among the men and with me. As I share about our journey and upcoming move, there is (what feels like) an abnormally strong reaction and several guys directly say ‘consider Longmont’ or ‘think about moving here’ or ‘we’d love to have you here.’

11. During the women’s event, we share our journey and that we’re moving to Colorado but we don’t know where. Again, the community response is surprising and inspiring to us. Lots of ‘check out Longmont’ and ‘we’d love to have you here.’

12.   Near the end as we’re preparing to leave the women’s event, the women’s ministry leader is thanking us for coming. She is sharing with us how, ‘the Lord has been preparing the women for five years for this.’ Then she looks directly at me and says ‘the next thing that is going to happen at Calvary is with the men.’

13. The next couple days as we check out Longmont, we’re wrestling with the strong sense of community we’re feeling from Calvary Church and if we’re supposed to commit right now. We keep asking, ‘is it obvious yet?’ In the background, we know there might be some kind of opportunity at some point in the future at the church, but it’s a total unknown. I ask Jesus what he thinks about us going to the church and he says to me, “Well, I went to Calvary….and so can you.” I tell Heather and we’re both laughing until we cry, loving his sense of humor.

14. We spent Monday afternoon, Tuesday, and Wednesday morning just driving through Longmont, checking it out. Over and over again, all these hilarious little “coincidences” keep popping up. We pull over for a coffee and end up in the parking lot of a grocery store that we both love and can’t wait to shop at. We’re dumbfounded and extremely pleased with the prices of everything from groceries to gas. Significantly lower than Washington state. Then we’re checking out home school co-op programs, especially a music program for our 7 year old girl. We find one, then realize that the teacher is the same woman who taught me choir when I was 8 years old! There are about six other little tiny but hugely significant feeling connections like this.

15. We decide to take a couple days in Colorado Springs, which is where our brains would have told us to move (more ministry connections, know more people). As we’re driving into the city, we both feel a strong sense that it isn’t the place for us. We have a great couple days visiting and checking it out, but deep down, we keep getting confirmations that this isn’t the place for us.

16. July. Our hearts know we’re supposed to go to Longmont. We don’t have all the details worked out, but we know it’s where we’re meant to be next. The word from a close friend has been ‘wait on the Lord.’ So helpful! Not a passive waiting, but actively moving toward Longmont while asking the Lord for continued confirmations of that direction. Just a few days ago, as we were asking for some help with housing, we got an email from the music teacher mentioned above. She and her husband offered their basement for our whole family to stay in while we look for housing after we arrive September 7th!

So, that’s the long version. It’s a beautiful, wonderful story of mystery, walking with God, and trusting that he’s got a fantastic plan for our lives. Even when we don’t know what that plan is!

Thanks for walking with us, praying for us, and encouraging us. This journey would be less without friends and allies like you!

– Ezra & Heather

Why you should care that pornography is #1 on Wikipedia.

This isn’t a wiki-bashing blog. Wikipedia can be a helpful tool in today’s world. My sister would suggest not relying on it to diagnose why you feel sick today, but for many folks, it’s the first stop on a research project.

This blog is about why it matters that porn is the most popular content on Wikipedia.

According to Focus on the Family and the London School of Economics, the average age of first exposure to pornography is eight years old.

  • (The Pastor’s Weekly Briefing, with H.B. London, Jr., Focus on the Family, May 5, 2000 and Sara Gaines. “Why Sex Still Leads the Net,” 28 Feb 2002. Research by London School of Economics, January 2002.)

In 2010, Focus on the Family published that more than 50% of the calls to their Pastoral Care Line described pornography as “a problem in the home.”

A few decades ago, if you wanted to look at porn, you had to go find it. Today, it finds you. The younger the better. Porn is everywhere, available anytime, at the touch of a button.

I was recently speaking to a group of women about this topic. When I shared the next thought, there were literally gasps around the room. If you’re a man reading this, you already know that the next thing I’m going to say is true because you’ve experienced it yourself. But if you’re a woman, you may not know this.

The reason seeing porn for the first time matters is that men don’t ever forget it.

In years of working with men on this topic, I have never ever met a man who couldn’t tell me in vivid detail about the first time he saw porn.

What to do afterward, how to help the young boy or young man when he sees porn for the first time, how to walk with him…these are all great questions that we’ll cover elsewhere.

The point of this blog is to simply say:

For the love of your son, grandson, nephew, cousin, neighbor’s kid, or any other young boy you know, please install a filter on your computer!

It’s not about isolation. (Has that ever worked, anyway?) It’s not about trying to hide it from him. It’s simply common sense. If you are walking through a gunfight and you have the option of a bulletproof vest, wouldn’t you put it on? Wouldn’t you put it on your young son? It’s no guarantee, but if it helps keep him protected for another week, another six months, another three years, isn’t that worth it?

People ask me all the time, ‘Ezra, do you use a filter on your computer?’ I think what they really want to know is…you’re teaching this stuff, why would you need one? The truth is that I’m in a place in my life where I don’t think I “need” a filter in the sense they are thinking – that somehow without one I’m doomed to fail.

The reason I use a filter is simple: I don’t want to be surprised.

My observation about the state of the world is that pornography isn’t just out there innocuously waiting to be discovered. It is actively hunting, infiltrating innocent search results, seeking to force itself on me. And part of my battle plan is to wear some armor.

Check out the full article here: http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2012/06/05/co-founder-larry-sanger-wikipedia-is-virtual-porn-hub/

I’ve used http://www.bsecure.com for the last seven years or so and have been extremely satisfied with it. And they have a filter for the iPhone and iPod!