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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Lady Diana & Mother Teresa



Awhile ago I came across the following in a book called culture making. The author related how Princess Diana and Mother Teresa died the same week. And how much of the world would give anything to be famous like Diana but so few will even come close yet almost all of us could easily be giving of ourselves...



....The moralistic turn to take at this point to urge us all to become more like Mother-to take up the vocation of service and among the poor, foregoing the accumulation of possessions and privilege. And there is no doubt that when Jesus met at least one young man of privilege, he invited him to do exactly that. There’s a difference, as the black preacher said between having a title and a testimony. Diana had the title, I can hear him say, “But Mother had the testimony.”
Furthermore, there is an unsettling asymmetry between the Princess and the Mother. I dare say that precisely no readers of this book ever could, in any possible scenario, take Princess Dianas place-either her royal station, her worldwide celebrity or her magnetic grip on every nearby camera. Leaving aside the fact that most of us are not subjects of the British Crown, you and I are simply not cut out for the job. Princess Diana’s singular life was just that, singular. There will be, in our lifetime, an absolutely tiny number of women (or men) who will charm the cameras and manipulate the celebrity press so effectively that they reach her level of fame. For the rest of us to chase that kind of popularity and visibility would be both foolish and futile. Of course, the sad conclusion of Dianas short life is that even for them to chase that kind of popularity and visibility would be both foolish and futile.
And yet there is nothing-absolutely nothing-stopping us from taking Mother Teresa’s place. None of the intrinsic barriers to taking up the life of a celebrity princess apply to those who might want to take up the life of a servant to the poor. As I write there are hundreds of people volunteering at the Missionaries of Charitys home for the dying in Calcutta. Some have been there for a day or two; others have stayed for years or decades. Hey obviously will not necessarily achieve Mother’s worldwide recognition but they are living, in every material respect the life she lived. At the end Mother Teresa was a wizened old woman whose face bore a crease for very year of her life, with all the plastic surgery money could buy, you or I will never look like Princess Diana in her prime-but for absolutely no cost except a life of love, we could look like Mother Teresa. For nearly all of us, becoming a celebrity is completely, categorically impossible. For all of us, becoming a saint is completely, categorically possible. So why are so many trying to become a celebrity and so few trying to become a saint?

Culture Making- Andy Crouch

JUST Read this...

Throughout the past few months I have discussed with family and friends the use of the words JUST. I looked it up a few different places and a friend of mine emails me the definition “Definition of "just": fair; right. It’s such a small word that is over used in conversations but especially in prayer. And I think it’s safe to say it’s in prayer so much we don’t even realize it. And usually after a “just” we follow up with a healing, blessing, a saving of a life. Ex: “We JUST ask that you give complete healing.”. We just ask that you bless us financially (and perhaps overlook the ways we blew money and bought things we didn’t need-okay with that we JUST ask for mercy as well). Just seems a difference to me in asking a doctor to JUST give his opinion and just give me a triple bypass or a lobotomy. Nothing to it. I don’t hear people saying just lend me a dollar after a just it’s usually followed up with triple to four digits money amount. Such a loaded word from “Just do it” to “Just sign on the line and its yours”-be it the TV, car, house, surgery, etc… How about “can we just be friends?” Or “oh I forgot there’s just one last thing” I know this is next to meaningless but I also know this word to me is always follow by a major request or suggestion. Anyway thanks for reading this now if you choose to reply please Just follow up your reply with a blank check..

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Got Milk? (Long Version of Short(en) Kenya Trip..



To say I’m writing this in a tired state of mind would be a huge understatement. As within the last 2 days I may have accomplished to shut my eyes for 6 hrs. or so as we prepared and made our way back from Kenya. At least 23 hours of traveling is one thing but with a 18th month old it adds a bit more. We had planned for a 3 week mission trip which had a few “bumps” then interrupted due to milk. It more than seems our son cannot handle the milk sold in Kenya. Anyway to make a long story longer our flight went surprisingly well being Noah’s first flight ever. Two 7 hour plus flights and a four hour layover didn’t bother Noah as he would sleep a few hours and wake up smiling and clapping. But he did consume the milk (more than usual) and during the flight he fell and was favoring his right leg. And so the crying began and Adriane picked him up and carried him around on the plane. Meanwhile putting back Noah’s “all in one tv/phone” plane remote I accidently click the call button and my first thought was well I can’t blame Noah on this one. And as the stewardess showed up I went to explain what happen but she informed me that I was needed by my wife as my son had thrown up all over her. I suppose this wasn’t a desperate attempt by wife to get a new shirt at out layover in Amsterdam (which by the way she did get a new shirt).
So one flight down and one to go…as with the first one there was no turbulence from the airplane and none from Noah as well. We landed, got our luggage and were off to our first destination. After being there just one day Noah’s leg seem to be bothering him so his mom wanted to get it check and so there we are at a clinic waiting to get my sons leg checked meanwhile Im outside chasing after him. I told my wife it seems a bit odd to me that Noah Is here to get his leg checked and yet he is out here walking around taking off from me with no problem (Yes he was fine). Without going into details the first place of stay it just didn’t work out so within 3 days we moved in with our former host from past years Judah & Salma. In the past years they lived close to downtown but now to get to their house it’s a 45min to one hour drive. This is where I mention nothing compares to the traffic in Nairobi. We were told no fellow Kenyan would give how far they are from you in distance but only in time because one could be just a few blocks away but it could take 15-20 minutes to get there. So anyway we are now relaxing out in the country but that night Noah starts throwing up again So from Saturday afternoon through Monday morning we stay in and let Noah rest. So finally our second chance to restart our focus on ministry and we return to New Life orphanage (the place where we met Jimmy among others) and the main reason I wanted Noah there to get a opportunity to interact with the children. But upon our arrival Adriane notice a sign warning of a chickenpox outbreak. And after inquiring about it we were told to wait at least 2 weeks which cancel six meetings at New Life.
The next day we went to a park to have a team meeting and some prayer time then lunch at Pizza Inn which means it’s a Tuesday because its buy one get one at Pizza Inn. Their pizza is actually a favorite for Kenyans and Americans (my wife prefers it over American pizza). After lunch we go to Cheryl’s which is a home/school for abandon children. Class we went to was about 25 kids and Noah made be the first little munzugu they had ever seen. The kids said they wanted to meet him first. He clapped when the kids clapped which led to laughter from Noah and the kids. The teacher had to ask the class to focus on him and less on Noah
We were to return there at least 3 times as well. The next day was perhaps the reason we returned to Kenya. We met for several hours with Peter(Director of SYN) and put together a 2 week program for next year. This will be for a team of no more than 8-10 members and we will concentrate on one place. Peter says the conditions of this school are “deplorable” So we will plan to do work on the building and interact with the 75 or so kids that live there. More on that in future blogs. Meanwhile that morning Noah ate oatmeal that was boiled in milk so on our return to “home” Noah threw up a couple of times. During the evening and through the night he was given water and even went to sleep on water instead of his formula milk. We had a doctors appointment for 11am. But soon after waking up Noah started to get sick and begin throwing up water and shaking. So the doctor was contacted and we would meet her as soon as we got in town which was apx 8:30am. The doctor checked Noah and said he was dehydrated and needed to be put in the hospital. At the hospital they attempted to put IVs in him 4 times but could not find a vein. We requested a plan B which was to take medicine orally (our version of
Pedialyte )
But Noah would have nothing to do with the medicine. Meanwhile he took some water and eventually fell asleep. Judah took me back to the house to get clothing and such for the night. While I was away Adie said Noah had eaten a lot of baby food and had lots of water and was back to sleep. I told Judah I would know everything was okay when I saw Noah smile again (Salma had commented earlier she knew Noah wasn’t well because he wasn’t smiling.
Later that night he was very active and was back to normal. By morning he continued his eating binge. By 11am the doctor returned and said he was dehydrated and had a strain of rotavirus. So within 24 hours Noah was okay and ready for release in recovering from the entire ordeal. And his medicine was prayer, water, rest and more prayer! We are so thankful for the Lord in His healing hand and more than seeing us through all of this even unto our safe return home. Thanks to a friend of mine taking a call 2:30 in the morning to simply listen to me. It was good to hear a voice from back home. So we left the hospital and prepared to stay in a local hotel to avoid the daily 2 hours of travel and prepare to return home. We had to change our flight plans so that along with the cost of staying at the hotels (place didn’t accept credit cards) we found ourselves physically, mentally, financially and spiritually drained. But again through it all God is always near and saw us through as he continues to do so. Upon our arrival I told Peter that I wasn’t sure why we came this year besides keeping in contact and preparing for something next year that could be Big. On our way to the airport Peter told us he believed this trip was indeed to build for next year and he believes something beautiful will come out of next years’ work. He left us with this word
James 1:2-5
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

That was the word the Lord gave me for you on this trip. That even though it looked as though all has gone wrong, God was still at work behind the curtains to produce us as a perfect work.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Whos Your Daddy?







Here in the home of Judah and Salma,,,a thunder storm is taking place, and im listening to disciple, a kid in a candy shop wouldn’t be any happier. Meanwhile looking at a blog from our last visit in Kenya and this part got me once again.One thing that really got me was when a SYN staff member was sharing about when one commits a crime their parents don’t want to claim them. She then asked who would claim a child that was a thief or even done worst? And only 2 or 3 raised their hands. So she called on one of the boys and asked him, so you would still claim your child, why would you claim him? He replied because you can’t forsake your own child” (Speechless, nothing more needs to be said)
As Randy shared about a Fathers love the Sunday before we left for here. And as he mentioned imagined a dog attacking your child or grandchild you would be on that dog until its death to save your love one and that’s how God is with us and sin. He desires to destroy ALL of sin that is in us because we are His hearts desire, He cherishes us. Afterwards I mention to Randy I was flipping channels and came across a b&w “cheesy” Christian movie and the son had done something very wrong and he said to his dad do you hate me? Father answered no son , how could I ever hate you , to hate you would also be hating myself” (not so cheesy) and that blew me away thinking that’s God speaking to me. So much there to grasp. The Fathers heart of God is definitely indescribable. Combine All the dads in the world that were “perfect” to their families and in comparison that would be like dropping an ounce of water in the ocean. Growing up in a single parent home (dysfunctional perhaps but I have yet to meet a family that is not..) I don’t have a clear picture of a father/daddy to say the very least. So there is a struggle for most if not all when relating God as your loving Father. I came across this book where the author was wondering of all things why did Jesus say refer to God as your Abba Father aka Daddy when He knew there would be so much abuse of this name/title. Yet at the same there is no comparison in His love which is the only love that is yet goes beyond unconditional. Till this day I struggle, I stumble, doubt and believe and at the same time but Always find His love is greater and there is no place I should want to be than close to a God I can call Abba Father, my Daddy
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