Friday, June 27, 2008
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
That day became a defining moment for me. As I continued to grow into adolescence and into adulthood, when I had lost perspective in one way or another, my mom would ask me whether or not I though this might be a Knott's Berry Farm kind of thing. When it was, just realizing that often enough gave me the strength to "keep standing in line and to take that first bite."
These days, my Knott's Berry Farm experiences usually relate to meals that are figurative rather than literal. Sometimes they come when I am too busy to be consistently and deeply connecting with God through his Word.
While some people seem to think that when we are good, God pours out his blessing, I've found that God pours out his blessing NOT AT ALL based on my goodness or badness, but according to his character. It is not about me at all -- though it is an invitation for me to join him in the pouring, to be a vessel or channel of himself in the lives of others.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
I think one of the reasons that this statement spoke to me is that I have found coffe everywhere I've ever traveled (a limited list, mind you -- certanily not making any blanket "everywhere" statements myself) -- and I've found that it is commonly available. That is, regular people in the course of their lives consume coffee. While a Mocha Frap at Starbucks can be out of reach financially to the average person in the places where it is sold, a regular cup of joe is fairly accessible.
Just got me thinking. When I think, I often doodle (either on paper with a pen or on a computer screen using PhotoShop).
I found the image of the coffee cup on a website (using Google Image Search) for Fair Trade Norfolk. It was on their DOWNLOAD page with this information:
Coffee with a conscience - linking producers and consumers the world over.
Dimensions (in pixels): 2007 x 1772
Size: 487 KB
Copyright: Co-operative College
I found the statement on a colleagues's blog and really liked it. I do not know if it was original with them or if they heard it somewhere else. If I find out, I'll let you all know. I like to give credit for things when I am able to do so and dont' want to take credit for things that aren't mine.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
...can I post on my blog before you all revolt?
I've been engaged in a thing with Wycliffe for the past few months called the "Member Support Initiative." (Hey, when it is an internal deal, we don't try so hard to name things in ways that people not involved with the will understand. Sorry.) Essentially it is an initiative with the goal of making Wycliffe's supported staff (of which there are thousands working world-wide) more effective and more efficient in the part of their ministry that is "deputized fundraising."
I started to try to explain what all we are doing and realized that the details are not that interesting unless you are inside the process or deeply impacted by it. (Aren't we all grateful for the DELETE key?)
Yesterday we heard reports from the teams that make up the two working groups and I was greatly encouraged by the careful, creative and courageous thinking, exploration and planning that is going into this. It is fun to watch.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Saturday, June 14, 2008
As I kid, I met Jo (and her husband, Don and their two daughters -- who were "way" younger that I) a number of times. I felt like I knew them (especially Jo) more than I did because of Mom's stories.
Then, when we moved to Indianapolis in 1976 (as I entered high school) we connected again. Fields lived in that city. Jo and the girls (Becky and Debi) took Mom and I to the important places in Indy that first year we were there -- the Tea Room at Lazarus downtown, the shoe store (what was the name of that place?) where the shoes flew in wire baskets up to the second level -- places like that. Maybe even the Art Museum.
Eventually (1991-ish) I ended up at Faith Church where Fields had been going "forever." There I grew to appreciate Jo's keen intellect and wit, her warm and unpretentious hospitality, and her deep love for God and his Word.
I remember going over to their house one Sunday for dinner. I was accustomed to people feeling the need to impress one another -- even if they didn't admit it out loud -- by serving fancy recipes on the best dishes in their clean-for-company house. Jo was running around the house barefoot, there was a little dust on the piano, and we ate regular food at a regular table.
And it was WONDERFUL.
She engaged help in the kitchen -- put people to work -- and made sure that everyone was included in conversation. I'm not sure I'd ever met anyone who was less impressed with title, rank, age or social standing or more engaged with people as valuable, beloved image-bearers.
I eventually learned to call her JoAnne (like everyone else at the church) without hesitation. Somehow, though, when I received the email from Debi saying that she died midday on Wednesday of this week, my heart and mind returned to Jo.
Jo taught me how to do inductive Bible study. I imagine that the group gathering at Faith Church this morning will include dozens upon dozens of people who can say the same thing. Jo love the Word and taught others to love it as well - and to love the One whose Word it is. She also taught (and wrote) on Personhood which impacted me personally and which I've often used in training I present for others.
Jo was one of the people who, when she came to visit at the hospital just after mom's stroke, Mom received with joy. Jo would come to the doorway and knock and identify herself. Mom would respond, "spit and slide under." And they would laugh and the stories would start.
This "spit and slide under" thing started back when they were at Bethel.
So, when Debi sent me this color photo (taken in 1991 when they all gathered in Indy for Debi's wedding) on Wednesday afternoon, she share a thought that I'd already had.
It was a mental picture of my mom meeting hers at the "gates" and the two of them going through this ritual.
Knock, knock. "It's Jo Fields."
"Spit and slide under..."
Laughter. Laughter without any more of the pain or uncertainty. And I don't think it has stopped yet.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
It arrived just minutes ago. I watched it on one monitor while Skype-ing with her (now home in Dallas) on the other monitor from my office in Orlando. I laughed out loud. More than once.
I really do hate being separated from friends and family -- time and space can be rather annoying limitations on our human lives -- but technology is making it more possible to connect. Love that.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Nard told his story -- a story of a gracious and powerful God who is on mission -- in our weekly gather at the Wycliffe office in Orlando this morning. I won't try to re-tell his story since you can read it for yourself online if you are interested.
Here is my take-away, the thing that God impressed on my heart and mind as I listened to this story: GOD IS ON MISSION. He is not surprised by the events that knock us off our feet.
And the other thing? GOD CALL SOME OF THE MOST UNLIKELY PEOPLE TO JOIN HIM IN THAT MISSION.
Nard -- a young man from a headhunting , isolated language community -- called to be a missionary pilot for a season and now serving as "Strategic Partnership Faciliator" for Wycliffe International for the Asia-Pacific area.
Me -- a woman if very northern European decent who grew up in communities where the klan was active -- serving with Wycliffe in a leadership role that includes responsibility for strategies that move us toward "building a multi-ethnic workforce and becoming a biblically inclusive community. "
What about you? What molds has he broken in your calling? What expectations did he explode to get you into your current place of service?
I wish I could say (honestly) that I wake up every morning with a song in my heart (or even my mind), but I don't. Morning is not my specialty. I have to get up earlier than some people who are better at morning because it takes me so long to ramp up for the day. Those of you who see me before 9 AM with any regularity may find it hard to believe that I've already been working at being awake and conversant by then.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Other than time for lunch yesterday and a break right now of about 30 minutes, I have essentially been in meetings since Monday morning at 8:30. I'm not complaining, just stating a fact. I can only complain at my own choice to drink Diet Coke rather than water 5 out of 7 times I went for a beverage...
Sunday, June 08, 2008
Friday, June 06, 2008
Thursday, June 05, 2008
If you've had the small, individually wrapped Dove chocolates any time recently, you're likely familiar with the fact that messages are written on the inside of the wrappers. I've had a few different messages in my life that I found noteworthy. Most of them are relatively lame.
Today, as our afternoon session was beginning, Russ wandered over to my table and tossed this wrapper my way. It didn't really hold any meaning for him, but he has read enough of my blog to know that I thought the 150 bhat/hour foot massage was one of the best bonus features of our meetings in Thailand.
Sandy...Maralee...Pam...anyone else...meet me at the Pink Shirts in 30 minutes and bring your bhat!
Bob Creson, Wycliffe USA President (and my boss), interviewed for the show Christian World News produced by CBN (the Christian Broadcasting Network of 700 Club fame) this morning. CBN distributes this show through a variety of outlets across the States and around the world, including TBN where it will air on Saturday (06-07) at 4:30 pm Eastern time. We also understand that the show will be posted on the CBN website on Friday afternoon where it will remain for the week.
I received the request for this interview on Tuesday just before 5 pm. Thanks to a team effort and a window of opportunity, as well as recently upgraded technology on our media team, we were able to pull things together and get this done. Around 15 people from five organizations living in at least three time zones contributed on our side of the equation.