In Uncategorized on July 31, 2009 at 8:22 am
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
I was reading a book this morning that really made this verse stand out to me. In my life I want to be the person God created me to be. I want to live up to my calling to imitate and point others to Christ. I am desperate sometimes to not be the imperfect person that I see every morning in the mirror; or hear speaking in conversation with others; or see living in a way that seeks personal glory.
The thing is this morning I was reminded to hope. I was reminded that our salvation is more than simply being directed into the good line once we die. My salvation is a promise that God will transform me and that God can transform the entire world. It is a promise that I can live life where I have an attitude that wants for nothing…For the Lord is my shepherd.
May the Lord, our Shepherd, be with you today.
In Uncategorized on July 30, 2009 at 3:17 pm
Random thought of the day…and also a quick distraction on my analysis of an NGO hospital in Santo Domingo:
I love them.
I am working on said paper in a local coffee shop here in Richmond called Crossroads that always guarantees me a continual display of some of Richmond’s most creative and elaborate tattoos. I see these people with all of their great tattoos and I am reminded yet again that I would really love to have a couple of tattoos. I already have them planned out actually.
The problem is that me getting a tattoo creates a personal, ethical conflict. My understanding is that tattoos cost a good amount of money. Money that could be spent on much more important things… such as helping those who are simply hoping to eat today, or my friends who are in missions all around the world…much more important things for sure. I will probably never have a half sleeve and this is why. I sometimes wonder if it would be okay to splurge for a birthday or some other special occasion. I just don’t know. We’ll have to see won’t we.
Until then I will simply enjoy the tattoos of the girl standing behind the counter.
In Uncategorized on July 28, 2009 at 4:24 pm
Ohhh what a time it has been. We have been home for about two full days now and well it has been a bit of a crazy time. Cambodia and Thailand were so many things…incredible, heartbreaking, eye-opening, inspiring, hot, full of wonderful people, places where God is showing his/her faithfulness in awe-inspiring ways…the list could go on. Both Phil and I plan to share soon about what we experienced and learned. For now though I will simply talk about the trial that has been the return home. It all began on the 12 hour flight from Tokyo to Atlanta. Phil had been talking about not feeling well and during the flight he began running a fever of 102. The fever got us escorted off the airplane in Atlanta by paramedics and almost quarantined. Thankfully we were allowed to continue on with simply the promise that we would be receiving a call from the Center for Disease Control in a few days.
All of this would have been simply a funny story if Phil had gotten better soon after…but he hasn’t. It is Tuesday evening and his fever is still going. He can barely get out of bed sometimes much less make it to work. The doctors have been rather frustrating giving us prescriptions without telling us what they are for, sending us in for an x-ray and then closing up for the day without calling to give us the results. I struggle with worrying. Sickness and disease are painful memories for me. I hate to see my wonderful husband suffering. I know God is here. I am thankful for his/her peace. It is just becoming one of those weeks. I have two major papers to get written by Friday and literally 6 loads of laundry on my couch with more clothes to be washed. Ohhh and I am also a little sick myself. Do I have Phil’s mystery illness? I think not…but I have enough to make me feel pretty overwhelmed.
This is one of the many reasons I despise Satan. He is always trying to disrupt what God is doing. He is always trying to bring chaos into our lives. He has been doing a pretty good job this week. I pray that God will give both Phil and I the grace to overcome these attacks though. I will trust. In the meantime if you read this please pray for my dear friend Phil. He makes for quite the pathetic sight lying in bed, tossing and turning, and constantly hot from his fever. Thank you friends. Be blessed.
In Uncategorized on July 15, 2009 at 9:00 am
I am sitting in a small little upholstered chair in the corner of Ellwoods Coffee this morning. I just had a pretty good everything bagel with vegan cream cheese and my kombucha is wonderful as usual. As I sit here I have a lot of thoughts racing through my head. First there is the to-do list- write paper, write blog, pick up t-shirts, hang out with Allison, vacuum out car, finish Cambodia devotional…Every couple of seconds I think “Cambodia” and several thoughts and emotions follow. I feel both excited and a little scared. I feel humbled to be going. I feel anticipation and longing to meet everyone and learn from them and God. I feel a little panicked about the to-do list. With all of these things to do Istart to feel a little frantic as though I need to get up immediately and race around. I begin to feel rather confused about what order I need to do everything in. And so I have decided to stop thinking about these things and even blogging about them. God is not a God of confusion. I know he/she wants me to be present right here where I am. I think that busyness is one of the biggest tools Satan uses against all of us, and I can certainly see how he has been using it against Phillip and I as we try and prepare our hearts for Cambodia. So on to other things…
One of the things I love about mission trips is that in the months and especially weeks leading up to it I always press deeper into God. I wish I did this as a lifestyle. I need to do this as a lifestyle. Either way though I believe that God begins to stir up his/her people more before these times. There are three teams going out on missions trips this week and so all three teams got prayed over during all three services at church this Sunday. I have started to feel the anointing that comes from this. It becomes easier to walk in the spirit. It was such a blessing and a need to receive so much prayer. I began to feel so much peace about the trip and a God-given expectation that God will move in powerful ways. Last night as I spent time with God he/she reminded me of the need for a spirit of humility when going to Cambodia. That I am not going there to teach anyone anything but to instead learn. To learn about these people-their faith, lives, experiences, beliefs, joys, questions, and doubts. To learn what God looks like to Cambodians and what he/she looks like though them. I was reminded that Jesus came and took on the position of a servant and a slave and that I need to do the same. I am so thankful that God speaks to us. Without him/her I would most assuredly be the biggest, most self-absorbed, scared of everything jerk. Little by little though God chips this stuff off of me. I really would be so lost without you Jesus.
This will be both Phillip and I’s first mission trip as a married couple. I am fuzzy on what this is supposed to look like and I think that is precisely one of the reasons God has us going. I look forward to him/her teaching us how to work along side each other. It is going to be interesting though because we will not be allowed to touch each other. In Cambodian culture married couple show no affection in public. No hand holding. No hugs. And certainly no kissing. This shall be another fun part of the adventure and truly I do not mind it since we are going to serve Cambodians in the context of their culture. It will simply be an adjustment. Another adjustment will also be the food. I have heard it was good and I pray that all goes well with my stomach. Hopefully there will not be too much meat; either way though the food will be eaten. I have never had Cambodian food but Thai food is one of my favorites and so I am pretty pumped to have Thai food in Thailand.
Geez what a summer so far. It is flying past. I realized the other day that this is my last “summer” in terms of having it off for the most part. Next year God will have hopefully led me to a job. In this regard I feel my youth slipping away and my feelings are rather mixed. I do not mind growing older. In fact I cherish it. It is simply such an unknown. For now I will enjoy every single morning that I get to spend tucked into a corner of your local coffee shop.
We have a blog that will give updates on our trip. Check it out! http://www.cornerstonemissions2009.blogspot.com/
I pray that you all have a great couple of weeks. I pray that you will walk in peace and joy no matter your circumstances. I pray for an end to the violence in our world- Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, Honduras, US, Georgia…all over. I pray that people would rethink the need for firearms. I pray for the woman that was shot with one four blocks from my house. I pray for the members of the U.S. military that their hearts and minds would be healed from the acts of violence they are being asked to commit. May the families of the many soldiers who are committing suicide every day be comforted. May your church Lord be a voice of light in the midst of this darkness. The Lord be with you all.
In Uncategorized on July 12, 2009 at 3:42 pm
A film we should all watch. I do not have all the answers but I do feel that Christians must speak up and against this.
The Lord be with us all.
In Uncategorized on July 8, 2009 at 10:53 am
I came across this the other day in a Children’s Sabbath manual from the Children’s Defense Fund. I found it to be too beautiful to not share.
“When God wants an important thing done in this world or a wrong righted, God goes about it in a very singular way. God simply has a tiny baby born, perhaps of a very humble home, perhaps of a very humble mother. And she puts it in the baby’s mind, and then- God waits…The great events of this world are not battles and elections and earthquakes and thunderbolts. The great events are babies, for each child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged with humanity, but is still expecting gooodwill to become incarnate in each human life.”
Thank you Edmond McDonald, a methodist minister, for your words of hope. As Christians in the middle of a world that has no hope our role becomes more clear. As Desmond Tutu once said “We are prisoners of hope”.
Thank you God even more for not having grown too tired of us and of all the ways we rebell against the world you first created. May we continue to be hopeful, walk under the mercy, and may we turn from our selfishness to pursue your kingdom not ours.
In Uncategorized on July 6, 2009 at 7:46 pm
some random thoughts:
1. we just got home from a beach vacation and it is so good to be back. the beach is nice but the only food you find there is seafood and steaks…neither of which work for us.
2. Jimmy Carter. the more I hear about him the more I am interested to know more. on the flip side. Ronald Reagan…the more I learn about him the more I sigh.
3. Phillip recently cut all of his hair off. it hasn’t been this short since we began dating. he looks quite handsome if I do say so myself.
4. We have started to eat local and organic. its a longer story that hopefully I’ll talk about later.
5. I’m looking forward to seeing Food. Inc this Saturday and then going to a discussion panel on it at Whole Foods…if you want to come let me know.
6. Cambodia is coming up real soon. i’m so excited to see what God has planned.
7. I get to see one of my best friends there. becca I love and miss you and cannot wait to see you!
8. I have decided that working in a pre-school is a great way to spend the summer. I get to spend my days loving on children and trying to see things from their perspective. I think that we get caught up with kids being simply “children” and neglect the meaningful conversations we can have with them. plus there is nothing like waking up six adorable two year olds from their naps with hugs and kisses…also nothing like one of them telling you he pooped and then when you go to change him he forewarns you that “it was a big one”…nothing like it. I love this job.
9. our home is a mess and I should go start cleaning…here are some rather recent pictures. No vacations pictures though…apparantly I was on vacation from taking pictures as well.
A lovely nun.
El Conde, Santo Domingo
lazy nights and "vegen" meals as Cole calls them
crazy new hair!!
good friends, good fun
I haven't always been this friendly with fences