Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Saturday, October 27, 2007

not so bloggy

October has not been much of a blogging month. Maybe it's due, in part at least, to FaceBook and Scrabulous -- the FaceBook online Scrabble-like game that I do enjoy. It's also just me not writing much of anything to anyone. I do that (or, more correctly, DON'T do that) sometimes.

I've also not been doing any flower arranging this month. In fact, there are a lot of things I've not done in October:

bowling
roller skating
bread or cake baking
swimming
weaving (baskets or blankets -- though I did weave in and out of traffic one day)
model airplane building
oil changing or tire rotating

There is, in fact, a longer list of things I didn't do in October then of things I did. And that is perfectly fine by me.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Jeepnees


Have you ever asked yourself the question "If Jesus...what would he...?

Ever since those WWJD? bracelets were all the rage, I'm sure most of us have at least considered it. Well, I think that if Jesus lived in the Philippines today, he would ride in jeepnees.

I spent just over a week in the Philippines (Manila and Bagabag) a couple of years ago and I can give witness to the fact that jeepnees were everywhere I went. They are a kind of jeep looking vehicle -- long -- with room for more passengers than you'd probably imagine. Each one sports custom decor and, if I remember correctly, custom "horn" songs. They look like a party on four wheels. They are a fairly cheap form of reliable transportation.

They are one of the sights and sounds I'm looking forward to encountering once again when I return to the Philippines in April. Wycliffe is hosting a Vision Trip to Manila and Puerto Princesa where we will attend a huge celebration with the Kagayanen-speaking community as they receive the New Testament and Genesis. But that is a story for a different day.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Old Friends @ Some Guy's

No kidding, I think the kitchen crew was suspicious of this table full of women carrying on like, well, like there was no way we were just drinking water with lemon with our pizza.

This past weekend I was in Indy and on Thursday night I met some friends at Some Guy's Pizza for dinner. We were there for three hours. I've not laughed that hard, that much for a very long time. I love these women. I love they ways they follow hard after God and long for those around them to love Him and follow Him too. They don't pretend to have it all "together" and they don't blame everyone else for their "stuff." Each one, one step at a time, is moving closer and closer to the wholeness that comes through suffering and celebrating. They count on grace. They wallow in the wonder of Christ's love.

(One woman who was there but left before the photo was taken and a couple others who couldn't come...I'm talking about them, too.)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Names of Jesus





This past week I was struck by a passage from Matthew 1 that speaks of two of His names: JESUS and IMMANUEL. "Jesus" because he would save his people from their sins. "Immanuel" which means "God with us" because He is the incarnation of God himself. I love that these two names are declared of Him at birth and practically in the same breath of text.

He is not a God who hangs around me because He is ignorant of my lostness -- He knows full well that I need to be saved and is the only One who can. And He does.

He is also not a God who comes to save me from my mess and then leaves me alone to figure out what to do next. He remains. "I am with you...always. To the end." He promised.

Jesus. Immanuel. I love those names.

This graphic is something I designed a few years ago for the Women of Solid Faith Retreat in Indiana.

PL'ing is a good thing...

This past Saturday I traveled with some friends to the Tampa area for a high school cross country meet. When I was in school (you'll notice I did NOT say, "when I ran cross country") our runners used to have dual meets on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. They competed all the time, it seemed. (Good for yearbook photographers like me -- we could wait for a sunny afternoon with little homework to get those riveting shots of people running past. Not so good for runners who competed more that trained once the season began.) There were dozens of schools there -- Varsity and JV, boys and girls. Apparently this is how they do it here in Florida and I think it's brilliant.

My friends' two kids both run for Timber Creek Timber Wolves.

Ellen is a freshman and runs JV -- her team described their race as "we were all just a little off today." They usually compete in the morning and this was a late afternoon meet in the Florida heat and humidity. We were all just a little off when they ran at 4:45pm. Personally I thought they looked pretty strong and competed well. And really, any one who can run over 3 miles and still smile gets my vote.

David, the first born, is captain of the boys' varsity team but he didn't run on Saturday. He was at Yale in a debate tournament. (I'm still trying to get my head around that. I did learn that it's a good thing when your kid is in debate and sends a text message saying "WE BROKE." It means they made it through the first elimination -- in the top half, I think.)

Anyhow, we watched the other races with Timber Creek students competing and at a cross country meet you don't sit on a bench and watch -- you move from place to place on the course and watch then run past. One mile mark. Two mile mark. Finish line.

(Oh, we did sit for a short spell while other races were being run and that ended in a rain storm. I'll not give you those details -- but if you'd have seen us, you would have laughed.)

Both the girls' and boys' varsity teams won their races. It was quite extraordinary to watch. All seven of the runners on the girls' team finished in the first 35 runners. (Yes, I was counting.) And the boys all PL'd (I think that means they got their personal low time -- or I know that's what it means, I just think that's what the letters stand for. "Personal Low.")

So, I have a few things to say about all of this:
  1. There may be a lot of crazy people who do stupid, bad stuff and get in the news for it and it can feel like "kids these days" are so bad. There are kids who are pretty cool and who do great things -- like encourage team mates and compete hard and receive praise with a fair mix of satisfaction and humility.
  2. Yes, sometimes I do miss teaching.
  3. Go Wolves!