Sometime in August, a thought popped into my head, “THE BLOG! WHAT HAPPENED TO THE BLOG?!?!”
I headed over to my website to see if it was still up and running and found that everything was ok. AI didn’t magically write a bunch of posts in my absence, but everything was still there.
In my last blog post (February 2023) I announced a major life change.; leaving Mandan Public Schools and joining staff with Fellowship of Christian Athletes as the Area Director in Bismarck-Central North Dakota.
People often mark different events in their lives to remember what they’ve experienced in the future. The lack of blog posts is one of the many markers of the past year.
You might be wondering, what are the other markers of the past year? What has kept Ryne so busy that he neglected to write for over 11 months? (Honestly, I highly doubt that anyone is asking that question, but at least it’s fun to think about.)
Abe Matthew was born 03.13.23 and is a healthy nearly 10-month-old right now. I shared in November 2022 that we were expecting (read that post here) and it is such a joy to have him in our family. Abe's smile is infectious. He's a crawler and a stander who loves exploring whatever he can reach. He loves food. And then there is that giggle.
Linnea is the biggest fan of Abe and is an amazing big sister. No matter how tired she is when she wakes up in the morning, the quickest way to get a smile to cross her face is for her to spend time with Abe.
Elias is also a huge fan of his brother. At first, Elias was concerned that Abe would destroy the trains he builds daily. He was pleasantly surprised to find out that for the first eight months, Abe didn’t move much. Soon though, the crawler will walk and eventually Abe will be the destroyer of at least one of Elias's elaborate train layouts.
When I posted that Rachel was pregnant, I included the picture of Abe as an embryo - which makes clear the amazing intricacy of the smallest details of God’s creation. As I look at Abe today, I am even more amazed - knowing that the little embryo developed and grew (and is still growing) into a person who has thoughts, needs, desires, and a personality.
On February 5th I boarded a plane in Bismarck and landed at the airport in Kansas City, not understanding the journey God would take me on over the next four months. I remember thinking, as I took the 10 steps to walk from the plane to the FCA pick-up location in the old Kansas City airport, “What am I doing here? Am I supposed to be here?”
The next three days changed my life. Over sixty prospective FCA staff were in Kansas City for Boot Camp, Support Raising Training. Over the two days of training the questions I had when I walked off the plane went away.
Q: What am I doing here?
A: Learning what God teaches about being a minister of the Gospel, how to live on support, and how to build a partnership with donors to ensure that the Good News goes out to coaches and athletes.
Q: Am I supposed to be here?
A: YES! God called me into this ministry. He doesn’t call the equipped, he equips the called!
Boot Camp wasn't only focused on learning and refining the skills of support raising. Boot Camp, especially for me, was also a time God used to confirm my calling into ministry.
The best example happened towards the end of the second day of Boot Camp. One of the final two culminating events is writing down a goal date to reach full funding for year 1. All Boot Camp built up to this point. The goal was fully funded in 100 days, with the caveat that if we are working a full-time job the goal should be further into the future.
When the time came I started writing 6/30/2… My thinking was logical.
I have a full-time job still at Mandan Public Schools
We are having a kid sometime in March
I would have three weeks from the time when work ended at MPS in early June to “finish support raising”
We are having a kid sometime in March
But our trainer stopped us. “Look at your date and ask, 'is it a date that you think you can accomplish the work of support raising by? OR is it a God Ask date? Is it a date that the only way it can happen is if God is in it, leading you?'”
I immediately felt convicted to rethink my date. June was going to be the time when I could finish support raising. What if God wanted to challenge my faith even more? What if God had something bigger planned?
I flipped through my calendar, went 100 days out from the start of the next week, and it landed me smack in the middle of the last week of school.
So that's the date I wrote down.
And then the craziest thing happened. Over the next 100 days, before each meeting with a potential donor, I knew that I needed to pray that God provide…it would not have been possible for me to accomplish that goal on my own.
And God provided. Over and over again, he provided - and continues to provide.
An email hit my inbox the morning of 5/24/23:
“Ryne Jungling is Fully Funded!”
Praise God! It’s all him and all for his glory!
In a support-raising ministry, raising the necessary funds for year one was the start of the work.
Over the past seven months working for FCA, it has been awesome to see God moving regularly. Every week I hear story after story of lives changed by the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. People are hungry for the truth of the Gospel.
Out of the dozens of stories I’ve heard and experienced my favorite is a testimonial of God at work in one local middle school:
An FCA staff person was visiting a middle school huddle when one of the huddle leaders introduced the staff person to two middle schoolers. Every other day of the week these two students ride the bus to school. But, their bus would get them to school after FCA, so they had been walking to school on the morning of FCA for the previous few weeks.
The huddle leader asked them what time they left in the morning to get to FCA - “6:30” one of them said.
Read that again, two middle schoolers find enough value in the FCA huddle at their school that they not only choose to walk to school BUT also choose to leave their house at 6:30 am!
We serve a living God who is impacting people through the Word and others!
Choosing a One Word (and a corresponding One Verse) for the year has been a practice for me for around ten years now. It has been the past seven years that I have taken the process more seriously. From the book One Word that will change your life (Dan Britton, Jimmy Page, Jon Gordon), the idea is to choose a word that will be a focus for the year, a word about who you want to be at the end of the year.
One Word has replaced New Year’s Resolutions for me. When I was making resolutions, I would, like many people, slip up one day and then give up on the resolution altogether. I would make a resolution to do something radically different (workout more, get up 30 minutes earlier, go to bed at a consistent time), and then after one failed day (or week) I would give up.
Instead, with One Word, it is more about GROWTH over time.
My One Word for 2024: RHYTHM
My Verse for 2024: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” -Psalm 19:14
At the end of 2024, I desire to have more healthy rhythms in my life with my faith, family and calling with FCA. The who I desire to be (and the who I think God has called me to be) is more intentional in my time spent in the Word and in prayer, more intentional in the time spent with my family, and my time spent working with and on the ministry of FCA.
Do you have a One Word? What is it?
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