Sunday, April 29, 2012

An Ode to Friends

Mine, not the TV show.

Friends run into your kitchen to search for a mouse.
Friends want to trade "our" car in for that Jeep on the side of the road.
Friends attack 2" cockroaches so you don't have to.
Friends walk in and do your dishes.
Friends mop your floor saying, "I want to show you that I love you."
Friends go to a doctor's appointment with you, just so you don't have to go alone. 
Friends encourage you when you've got nothing left.
Friends correct the same word you've pronounced wrong...for the fifth
Friends try to Skype you in to long-distance weddings.
Friends answer the phone at 4:30 in the morning.
Friends lend their washing machine for an unspecified amount of time.
Friends share their families.
Friends know they can say "I need a place to sleep tonight."
Friends travel alongside you and see you at your worst--and sometimes your best.
Friends bring you thoughtful gifts--like SoftLips.
Friends run around your house hanging curtains and frames while you run around town shopping.
Friends proof-read things you mail out from 5,000+ miles away.

I was going to say that God's not the only one taking care of me here, but the longer I thought about it, the more I realized--He's the One doing the caring, He's just being creative in how He manifests that.  He's been faithful to provide friends who've taken care of me in the past (some are mentioned here), He's being faithful to provide friends who are currently taking care of me, and I have no doubt He'll continue to provide friends in the future to take care of me.

Praising God today for a myriad of friends!

Sunday, April 22, 2012


The benefit of hearing a sermon which is being translated live, is that I get to hear the English version and with a split-second delay hear the Spanish version.  The benefit--I hear the same sermon twice.  Double-edification?  I think so.  Last night our youth & singles group went to a rally, and got to hear a great preacher and--praise God--a great translator.  (This task is not nearly as easy as you would think, it's not as easy as just changing the word.)  So last night, I got to hear Rebecca's Story twice, once in English and again in Spanish.  Here's a summarized English version with a little Carrie-flare to it:

       Imagine that you are at the wedding feast of Christ.  We've all arrived--every person who has ever trusted Christ, from all time, from every place.  Imagine all the sounds and languages.  Languages which have been extinct for hundreds of years, you're understanding languages from all over the world, from all time (Disclaimer: We really don't know what "language" will be spoken in heaven.  Why not be speaking each in our own heart language, with everyone understanding?  It could happen.  Or maybe we won't be bound anymore by languages created as a result of sin on earth!  One could only hope!)  So you're sitting there at the table, and the angels are starting to serve up all the food--think of your favorite meal, multiply the flavors by infinity, and you've got some pretty tasty stuff.  You look down the table and think..."Is that ABRAHAM?  THE Abraham?  I think it is...and he's talking to PAUL.  The apostle."  Then you look across the table from you, and see a girl.  
       "Hi, I'm (insert your name here.) did you get here?"  
       "Well, I really don't have a great story."
       "Tell me anyway, I'd like to hear it."
       "Well, my parents worked for Caesar..."
       "CAESAR??  As in, you're from the time of the Romans?"
       "Yes, they worked for Caesar.  One day they came back to the house and said they had heard a man named Paul teaching."  (Your eyes wander down the table at the man you recognized as Paul.)  "When they came home from hearing him, they told us everything they had heard.  They had become Christians, and my brother and I did, too.  Things got a lot better after that.  My dad used to beat us when he drank, and things were hard.  But he never beat us after that, and things were good.  Then one morning, the soldiers came to the house and dragged my parents away.   I woke up my brother and said, 'They've taken our parents, we must follow them!'  So we followed them to the Colosseum.  When we got inside, we saw our parents standing in the middle of the stadium, and Caesar told them that if they would deny Christ, then they would live.  They said they would never deny Christ, and Caesar raised his hand, and pointed his thumb down.  Immediately, gates were opened and animals we had never seen before ran towards my parents, and tore them apart.  My brother and I ran back to the house, and tried to hide.  The next day the soldiers returned, and said they knew that we had been at the Colosseum.  They told us the same thing that Caesar had told our parents.  That if we denied Christ, we would live.  My brother and I were both taken to the Colosseum that day.  That's how I got here.
        "What about you?  How did you get here?"  she asked me.

How will you answer Rebecca?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Easter Rest: He is Risen!

 Over Easter weekend, I was able to take a lot of time to rest--which is exactly what I needed.  On Good Friday some friends and I went to a neighborhood nearby and observed a "walking theater" of sorts put on by the local Catholic church.  I was really impressed at how well it followed scripture, and through 14 different stations, or stops, would present a short part of the story and read or quote scripture.  As the walked from station to station, they would recite or sing prayers.  It was a really great opportunity to see a traditional neighborhood event for Easter. 

Jesus before Pilate

This is just a portion of the group

In a small plaza in the middle of the neighborhood, there was an area set up to mimic the crucifixion.

I hope you had a good Easter weekend and had the opportunity to reflect on what the Lord has done for us!

Monday, April 09, 2012

Silence Isn't Always Golden

This morning I woke up. 
I've been waking up for quite a few mornings now, but recently, it just hasn't felt like enough.  The past few months it has seriously felt like the gravity of the earth increased and no one told me that I would require extra effort to get out of bed.  I had a good laugh when I found this, and realized it was just how I've felt:

Don't worry, I still got out of bed, and got things done--but definitely not at 100% of my normal energy nor 100% quality.  Over the weekend and Semana Santa (Holy Week), I rested a lot, and decided that Monday morning I was starting over.  New records, new attitude, new desire to study, new everything.  And would you believe--I woke up, and even had energy.  So I used it all up, and I'm looking forward to waking up tomorrow with energy, but first, I must go to bed. :-)

Please take a few moments to pray for your missionary friends, that they would have energy through the day to accomplish all they need to do,  and that they would be able to rest in the Lord during all the busy-ness of cross-cultural communication.