Tuesday, July 31, 2007

God Speaks..."Ho"

God speaks English.

This makes perfect sense to those millions of us who have grown up in the States with multiple Bible translations and churches available to us. We never considered that God would not speak our language. We are ethnocentric.

And even in our ethnocentricity, we are not surprised to hear that God speaks
and French,
and Mandarin,
Swahili and Tagalog.

But Chru (14,000* speakers, mostly in Viet Nam),
(11,000* speakers, mostly in Mali),
(120,000* speakers, mostly in the Philippines),
(11,000* speakers, mostly in Costa Rica)
or Ho (1,077,000* speakers, mostly in India)?

God is the creator of all peoples and cultures and therefore speaks all languages perfectly. I'm convinced, however, that a person does not believe that God speaks her language until she "hears" Him speak.

This summer, through the medium of the JESUS Film, God is speaking Ho. The release of this film marks the 1000th language for which the JESUS Film has been produced. To read more about it, click on the TITLE of this blog and you'll be taken to a press release on the Christian news wire.

(*Information taken from the Ethnologue -- on-line edition.)

Saturday, July 28, 2007

COOTIE @ Camp Hub (009)

Cootie has gone home with her family. Her last week of camp was filled with thunder storms and many normal camping activities. She did want me to tell you about one last class she took: Photoshop 101. She asked me to write this, I believe, because she didn't want you to think that the other images of her at camp had been "faked" in any way. I assure you that they were not. The only Photoshop work done in them was the addition of titles.

This is a typical response from anyone newly introduced to the power of Photoshop software -- suspicion that most images we see have been fixed in some way.

Anyhow, I'll put Cootie's class assignment project here for you to see. She thought it was fun.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Sangre de Christo Mountains

This mountain range is one I actually recognize. When I was a kid, we lived in Denver and spent time in this valley and a the foot of Horn Mountain in this range at Horn Creek Ranch. If you look at the photo and identify what appears to be the tallest peak, that's Horn Peak.

We moved away from Colorado when I was in 3rd grade -- returning a few times in the years following for a visit to this place.

Then, after graduating from college, I spent the summer here working at the Lodge. Great summer. But, that was more than 20 years ago and I've not been back since then.

Last week I was looking at some images on Flickr.com and wondered what I'd find if I did a search of places I've visited or lived and found it really interesting. I've decided that when I travel, if I have one of those "oh, the only photo I took of that one building or monument or stream is blurrrrrry!" experiences, I'm gong to look on Flickr and see if I can find what I missed. But, I digress.

I searched for "Westcliffe, Colorado" and found this and other images of places and things I recognize -- including the Sangre de Christo mountain range. Beautiful.

Technically, the range I've always known as the Sangre de Christos is the northern most range in a larger "family" of ranges stretching from Colorado to New Mexico known as the Sangres. Who knew? Thanks to the WWW, I do now. I also read that "The majestic Sangre de Cristo Mountains provide a scenic backdrop for ranching activities of the adjacent Wet Mountain Valley. The Sangre peaks pictured here are part of the 226,455 acre Sangre de Cristo Wilderness Area, designated by Congress in 1993."

Monday, July 23, 2007

COOTIE @ Camp Hub (008)

I know what I want to do next summer instead of this camp: I want to be the next Food Network Star!!

Since the season 3 finale was on television last night, I tried to watch as much of the season in rerun as I was allowed on Sunday.

I suppose this is a good time to tell you that I was asked to not come back to the etymology class after a rather unfortunate incident involving spiders. So I switched to the culinary arts and have found my niche in the universe.

I've made (or at least smelled while it was being made and I was wearing an apron, which has to count for something) curry chicken and rice with vegetables and a meatball sandwich on asiago cheese bread. I can't wait to find out what is on the menu today!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

COOTIE @ Camp Hub (007)

I don't understand how everyone knows I had a banana for breakfast...

Friday, July 20, 2007

COOTIE: @ Camp Hub (006)

They remembered!

My birthday began early, with a walk around Myrtle Creek (a subdivision, not an actual creek...only ponds here and a golf course) at sunrise.

Then, after a short rest, I had breakfast on the patio. It was a lovely morning to eat outside. My trusty blanket reminded me just how truly loved I am -- even if my family has abandoned me to this Camp for two weeks.

As is traditional at the camp, breakfast was followed by my official birthday portrait.

You can see in my eyes that I was thinking of my family.

Oh how I miss them all.

Then I opened my gift -- a brand new rawhide bone. My favorite. It was a wonderful surprise to have this token of love and then to find out that my family had arranged for all of this -- what a wonderful day!!

Don't you love my hat?!!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Micah 6:8

COOTIE @ Camp Hub (005)

I've spent a good portion of the past two days chasing thunder. Pesky stuff, thunder. Loud. Unpatterned and therefore unpredictable. I could have caught up with it and made it stop, but it stays out there in the rain and I can't risk the wetness.

Tonight was game night at Camp Hub. I spent most of the time playing word games because I know quite a few words. I am now officially the Camp Hub Big Boggle Champion.

Tomorrow is my birthday. I wonder if anyone will remember....


I was catching up on my Time Magazine reading yesterday and read an article about lolcats. I'd suggest you read it yourself (click the title of this blog and you'll be magically transported to the article on Time's website). After reading it, I did Google lolcats and found, as they suggested I would, a number of places to experience this part of our culture. I found this particular image on flickr.com.

While I am admittedly "more" of a "dog person" than a "cat person," I do find cats to be more sophisticated in their expressions of opinion. And, since Cootie keeps hijacking my blog to write about her time at camp, I felt the need to at least begin to balance things out for the sake of you who are "cat people" -- and you know who you are.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

July 18th E.Postcard Update

As before, if you click on the image above, it will open in the browser window at it's full size which is easier to read on the screen.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

COOTIE: @ Camp Hub (004)

Tuesday night at Camp is Movie Nite and since I totally behaved myself at meals and cleaned up my toys and even retrieved my blanket when I was told, I got to select the movies.

First, we watched Lady and the Tramp. Tramp is a kind of "bad dog" character who doesn't come from privilege like Lady does. Or like I do, for that matter.

Next, we watched Call of the Wild. I find that story so inspirational. Really, behind every great man, is a greater canine.

Then 101 Dalmations. That woman is frightening. If we would have ended with this one, I'd be having nightmares tonight, but we did not.

The late movie will be Turner and Hooch. I took this time between movies to get on line and blog a bit. I also took one of the humans here on a walk. If it wasn't for me, she would miss all the significant things along the way. It's like she can't smell anything! Humans can be so helpless.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Mission Camp: Wycliffe Hungary

"...You are the God who sees me..." (Genesis 16:13, NLT).

The tenth Wycliffe Mission Camp Hungary happens next week, July 22-28. I heard about this biannual event which has proven to be Wycliffe Hungary's most effective recruitment tool when I was in Eger, Hungary earlier this year. The Camp is designed to introduce participants to the work of Wycliffe and includes a look at missions, as well as linguistic and cross-cultural basic training.

Wycliffe Hungary leadership shared the following prayer opportunities and I thought I'd pass them on to anyone who may happen by my blog:
  • Praise God! The 22 participants' desire to attend this event is evidence that God is already at work in their lives. Thank Him for speaking to their hearts about missions and preparing them for this day.
  • Ask the LORD to call them into Bible translation work. Pray that they will wholeheartedly pursue an active role.
  • Pray for the staff of Wycliffe Hungary along with three guests speakers who will be teaching the sessions.
  • Give thanks to God for making Himself known to us as El-roi, the God who sees (Genesis 16:13) and Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord who provides (Genesis 22:14). He sees our need for more workers to reach Vision 2025 ,and we can trust Him to provide.
[The photo above is of the Chairman of the Wycliffe Hungary Board and the Director of Wycliffe Hungary.]

COOTIE: @ Camp Hub (003)

I started my entomology classes today. I spend part of the morning (between naps) learning about insects. The image to the right is the teacher's beetle collection. It is very impressive. At first I thought they were chew toys, but someone told me otherwise just in time.

In the afternoon, we go outside amidst the flora and fauna and look for specimens. I know that my size and ferocious demeanor can frighten most bugs if they see me coming. So, I got to thinking (during one of my extended naps) about how I could get the upper hand.

My solution? Disguise. I'm sure I'll blend right in with all the other insects in the garden now.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Wycliffe's WordSpring

Wycliffe's WordSpring Discovery Center in Orlando, Florida is the place to discover the amazing story of the Bible and to grow in your understanding of Wycliffe's passion: The glory of God through the translation of His Word for all the peoples of the earth in the language and medium they understand best.

Discover how the Bible has been preserved and shared throughout history. Encounter people, languages, and cultures.

WordSpring honors the diverse peoples of the world.

WordSpring showcases the art and science of language development, including Bible translation.

WordSpring celebrates God and His Word.

If you're interested in knowing more, click the title above which will link you to the WordSpring website.

[WordSpring opened just months after I started working with Wycliffe. I arrived in time to provide some "voice" work for a couple of the interactive programs. I've also been involved in the development of new things. If you are planning a central Florida vacation -- Disney, Universal, Sea World, Kennedy Space Center, Cocoa Beach -- you may want to plan a day that includes Wycliffe's WordSpring as well as a tour of the JESUS Film Master Studios just across the pond. Literally. We're neighbors.]

COOTIE: @ Camp Hub (002)

I'm so glad that I brought my bright floral scarf. It was perfect for church this morning. I attended the First Church of the Backyard Garden here at Camp Hub. Everyone told me how much the colors in this simple accessory bring out the brightness in my eyes. I've always said that well chosen accessories make the outfit!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

COOTIE: @ Camp Hub (001)

Hi. My name is Cootie and I live with my people, the Borlands, most of the time. Occasionally I just need to get away from it all and so I make the journey to Camp Hub where I am properly entertained and pampered. This Camp is really more like a spa than a camp.

I thought I'd give you a glimpse into my vacation through this blog that Camp Hub's Owner/Operator Ruth maintains.

I arrived today around noon and spent most of the day taking it easy. One of my favorite things is a good NAP. I try to get as many of those in a day as possible.

I did, however, enjoy a short safari. I so wanted to find the apes and let them know that I'm back in Camp. As you can see, I did make contact with Mama Ape and her youngest. I'm pleased to report that they are doing well and send their greetings.


I've spent a portion of my morning reading websites and trying to find a solution to my latest challenge as a homeowner.

Last night when I went out to grab a COLD diet 7-Up from the mini-fridge on the patio, I could tell something was wrong. The soda was warm. I checked to be sure that it wasn't an issue of the fridge itself or the surge protector. It was the outlet.

This morning I've checked the circuit breaker switch (had to do some guessing there -- but eventually determined that this outlet and one the front stoop are both served by a breaker labeled "weatherproof") and it was not tripped. Shut it off and on and re-tried the outlet (using a radio -- I don't have a voltage tester gizmo).

I pulled the outlet out of it's box and checked the wires to be sure they were not loose. They are not -- but I did find out that they are "stabbed" which I've now read is not preferred by the electricians who post comments to bulletin boards on-line.

I also did the same for the outlet on the front of the house, understanding that if these two are part of the same circuit, the upstream one will impact the down stream one. No issues found there either.

At this point, I'm not sure what my next action should be.

I'm guessing I'll be wise to go purchase a voltage tester gizmo and test all the outlets in the house (and, while doing that, "map" all my circuits) so I can determine if any other outlets are affected.


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Aileen Agoncillo

This is my friend, Aileen. She came to Orlando about a month after I did in 2002. I'd joined the design team and she the electronic media team -- both in Communications.

Since that time we have each said "yes" to God's call into new leadership roles more than once. We have planned and worked, dreamed and prayed, laughed and cried together.

This past year, Aileen has been making the transition from a salaried staff position into a fully supported staff role -- a journey that is reaching what is feeling like a crisis point to me. In the next couple of weeks, she'll complete her service with the Communications department for Wycliffe USA and will begin a season of training and relationship building before moving into a role with Wycliffe Asia/Pacific.

What's the crisis? She's moving away!

I know, I know. I should be used to it. I should expect it, even. It "comes with the territory" of full time ministry. True, all of it. BUT, that does not change the fact that sometimes it is costly, this obedience. This is one of the "costs."


As soon as she is "released" to an assignment (something that will happen once she has commitments for 100% of the financial and prayer support she needs to live and work in Manila where she's taking her first assignment), she'll circle to the other side of the globe and join the Monsoon team.

I'm 100% supportive of this move -- it's a great fit for Aileen. I've seen God working in her life, preparing her for this next challenge and adventure.

Still, it makes me sad to see her go.

If you're interested in knowing more about what Aileen will be doing as a project manager for Monsoon or if want to receive updates and prayer requests from Aileen so you can join her support team -- in prayer and/or with your financial resources -- let me know and I'll help make the connection.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Why translate the Bible into the Heart Language?

When Pastor Emmanuel Doe was first asked about being a translator for the Burunge people, he didn’t see any need for it. In Tanzania, people use Swahili.

Then one day God convicted him to preach in his mother tongue, Burunge. He could see the church members nodding as he spoke.

After the service, the older women called him over and asked, “Why don’t you always preach using Burunge?” He realized then how people respond to hearing God’s message in their own language.

He is now a translator for the Burunge New Testament project.

[The illustration above is of a Burunge man. It is one image of what will one day be a collection of thousands of artist's renderings, each representing one of the 6912 language communities in the world.]

Monday, July 09, 2007

Psalm 25:4,5

Posted by Picasa

Like the other things I've labeled "wallpaper" in this blog, you can click on the image and it will open full size in the browser window. You can then right click and save or drag and drop (depending on your operating system, i suppose) and use this image for wall paper if you want. Not like I'll know if you do or not, so you won't hurt my feelings if you don't. This is an older one. I'll put more on here from time to time. I'll label these "wallpaper." Clever, I am.

Kids Can!

Along with age-graded Bright Ideas!, five Prayer Lessons, and a twelve-lesson curriculum entitled Steps to Bible Translation, you may download a brand new kids-helping-kids series of lessons for free!

Within a week of it being featured on Wycliffe’s web site, two vacation Bible schools (VBS) wrote to say they were using the Senegal Giving Project lessons this summer. From one VBS we’ve already heard that the children had a great time, learned a lot about Senegal and the need for reading classes, plus they gave over $550.

It costs $65 to provide an entire year of literacy classes for one child in Senegal, so these US children are helping give a year’s worth of schooling to more than eight Senegalese children.

For your free lessons click the title of this blog. You'll be transported to Wycliffe's website to the very pages where you'll find these resources.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Free Folk Concert @ Leu Gardens

This afternoon Jewel, Aileen and I went to a free folk concert at the Leu Gardens. It was...educational. Entertaining, even. And a wee bit disturbing.

Folk music fans (some more faithful in their fanhood than others) gathered for a 2:30p start and waited patiently in the hallway beyond that time while sound checks were completed. It became apparent rather quickly that many there knew one another and no one had any intention of standing on formalities. One guy welcomed everyone and held up a mildly weather Starbucks bag which he intended to pass around for a collection.

A small stage and a small collection of instruments, most of them in the guitar family, sat at the front of the room which was lit by florescent overhead lights. The music began.

Act 1: a 70-year-old guy with a guitar sang a collection of fairly traditional folk songs. His voice was pleasant and the lyrics were mostly entertaining. The one with the chorus that said, "I don't look so good neck-ked any more" was quite funny.

Act 2: a woman with a delightful sense of audience and self, accompanied by a bass player who was very good and one other guy on guitar who was a good musician but who needed to not talk was next. She warned us at the start that the set was going to be "sad." The songs were rather sad, but it was still generally entertaining.

Cookie break.

Act 3: The good musician guy who shouldn't talk was the focus of the next set -- accompanied by the woman in act 2 and her bass player, the woman who was the MC for the afternoon, and a percussion guy who made all his own instruments. He continued to talk way too much. He was trying to be funny and wasn't. He was, rather, offensive. The music -- when he finally sang -- was pretty good (when the lyrics weren't offensive).

Act 4: a ad hoc band supporting the singer guy who had been the sound man for the first 3 acts sang some blatantly new age/humanistic/spiritual numbers. I felt bad for them, really -- they thought they were deep and spiritual and sharing truth so honestly, but they sounded so lost and confused. I think I felt sad mostly because they thought they were so enlightened.

If you see a blind person walking around in a room, denying her lack of eyesight while running into furniture and bruising shins and stubbing toes, it is judgmental to call the person blind just because she claims not to be?

I'm glad we went. No kidding. I needed to be reminded of how hard people are trying to be happy and feel loved and valued -- how much we all need Jesus.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

May I Have This Dance?

Dance with Him
-- and let Him lead.

Even when you
don't hear the music.

Even when your
feet are tired.

Even when you feel like
you don't have the right dress
or your hair isn't in place.

Even when no one else is dancing.

I'm praying that you
will find the strength and peace
every day to say "yes" to his
"may I have this dance."

This is a portion of a prayer I wrote for a friend in an email. When I read it later, I found myself praying it for myself and others. Oh, that we will always say YES when God asks!

[ALSO, the date and time stamp below...I did not actually post this at that time...but was talking about how it would have been cool to post something at that time and decided to manipulate the post just for fun. I have the technology.]

More Spiritual than God

One of the blunders religious people are particularly fond of making is the attempt to be more spiritual than God. -Frederick Buechner

I love Buechner's ability to tell a story that is full and rich with life. I also like his ability to translate truth into words that pierce deeply.

I'd love to argue "No, never. Not me!" but I can not. My response, instead, must be, "Forgive me, Father. Once again, I'm trying to be you and we both know how ridiculous that is."

Friday, July 06, 2007

Tree Seed Pods

When I was in Jamaica this Spring there were trees on the YWAM property that had long seed pods in them and falling on the ground beneath. The ones on the ground were popped open. I asked a few of them to line up shoulder to shoulder so I could take their photo.


Don't check this at dictionary.com, you'll only affirm what you're suspecting already: I made it up.

when I fear becoming isolated
because of some pending or probable
future separation

and then I elevate that anticipated emotion

so as to numb myself to it
and thereby enable myself to face the looming crisis
without falling to pieces.

The word is “new” but the behavior is classic me. Maybe it's classic you, too.

Over the years I've recognized this behavior and learned how to deal with it. But, knowing and doing are two different things. Sometimes I need a nudge in the right direction. Sometimes it takes a friend with a 2x4.

Thank God for friends and 2x4s and lunch plans and yards to weed and all the many other things He provides to help us connect when we get disconnected!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

about FEAR

If you click on the title of this blog, you'll be transported to the blog of a friend (and former student of mine) who is on a grand string of adventures this year. I've been reading her blog -- catching up with her travels -- and found this entry from a few months ago. It's good stuff. Insightful. Challenging. Honest.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


I owned this album (yes, I said album...it's all we had "when I was a kid") and played it frequently for a few years. I got it after my 8th grade class took a field trip to the theater (imagine my delight, having rarely entered a REAL movie theater in my life). I was a bit shocked that our teachers came up with this plan all on their own considering how UN-educational it felt to be sitting in those flip-down seats munching hot buttered popcorn and watching a movie musical with the word "hell" in one of more memorable songs. We were sure that they must have made a mistake. It was, however, 1976 and we were working ourselves into a national lather to be sure we properly celebrated our nation's 200th birthday.

I loved the movie and especially the music. I honestly think I understood an era of history better after seeing it sung and danced that I ever had from a lecture or text book. I didn't know then that there were such things as learning styles.

Years later I ran across a VHS copy of the movie on sale somewhere (probably Blockbuster selling its previously viewed inventory) and snatched it up for posterity.

I plan to watch it today.

I went on Amazon.com to get the image of the album and see that a DVD version of the film (Director's Cut, Fully Restored) is available and that a NEW Broadway cast has recorded the music, now available on CD. Capitalism continues to flourish on line.

I pulled the following text from the movie review, in case you want to know.

Plot Synopsis: The film version of the Broadway musical comedy of the same name. In the days leading up to July 4, 1776, Continental Congressmen John Adams and Benjamin Franklin coerce Thomas Jefferson into writing the Declaration of Independence as a delaying tactic as they try to persuade the American colonies to support a resolution on independence. As George Washington sends depressing messages describing one military disaster after another, the businessmen, landowners and slave holders in Congress all stand in the way of the Declaration, and a single "nay" vote will forever end the question of independence. Large portions of spoken and sung dialog are taken directly from the letters and memoirs of the actual participants.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

July 4th E.Postcard Update

Click on the e.postcard image above and it will open full-sized in your browser window.

Monday, July 02, 2007


I've signed the ONE Declaration committing myself to help fight the emergency of global AIDS and extreme poverty. I actually did this about six months ago -- but didn't think to blog about it until this week as I'm thinking of ways to "celebrate" freedom.

ONE is a new effort by Americans to rally Americans - one by one. So far, over two million have signed the declaration in support of a historic pact for compassion and justice to help the poorest people of the world.

Does your name belongs on that declaration, too? You can put it there by visiting one.org.

I know that the issues that contribute to poverty and AIDS are not simple & cannot be solved by signing declarations or wearing wristbands. Smart people have tried to figure out ways to "fix" the problems of the world for centuries -- tried, and failed.

Other smart people have tried to figure out how to rule the world, how to own the world, how to destroy the world as we know it. They have all failed too (though they've made a horrid mess trying).

Ultimately, only God is able to do any of it.

In Luke 4, we have record of Jesus reading from Isaiah:

"The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to release the oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Declaration of Independence

ONE of the things I miss from the years I taught -- an annual cycling through highlights of great American literature, including documents like the Declaration of Independence and Lincoln's Gettysburgh Address. Have you read the Declaration lately? It's a rather powerful document. I'm including a few of my favorite passages below. If you click on the TITLE above, it will take you to the Library of Congress page with the whole text -- in case you're interested.

WHEN, in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's GOD entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the Causes which impel them to the Separation.

We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their CREATOR, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

[That was the beginning of the document...and this is the end.]

WE, therefore, the Representatives of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in GENERAL CONGRESS Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly Publish and Declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be, FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES; that they are absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political Connexion between them and the State of Great-Britain, is, and ought to be, totally dissolved; and that as FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which INDEPENDENT STATES may of Right do. And for the Support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of DIVINE PROVIDENCE, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honour.