Friday, January 30, 2009

What's in a name...TAKE 2

Mouse realizes that NAMING DAY is approaching and so he was going over the list of recommendations from the blog a few days ago and Facebook. He asked me to write them all down in a list so he could imagine each one as his own.  I just thought you needed to know that the process continues. I think he will be ready to make an announcement as early as tomorrow.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Language Development Impacts Health Issues

One of the great opportunities that Wycliffe has in sharing the story of our work is that it is a much bigger story than most people imagine. The LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT work that is essential for good Bible translation is also fundamental for many other important things. When the impact of various things are measured (an admittedly tricky business), we learn that teaching one woman in a marginalized language community to read has a greater possitive impact on the health of that woman, her children, and her whole community than providing a doctor to that same community.

Consider all of the ways that having information in the language YOU speak and then being able to read that language ensures your better health...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

They're off!

Heather (on the left) and her husband Jeff arrived in Nairobi (their new "home") about a week ago. Aileen (on the right) leaves tomorrow for Manila (her new "home").  I worked with both of these women in Communications for about five years. As I was transitioning into my latest role, they were both transitioning out of their jobs and into a process Wycliffe calls "Partnership Development" as they became part of our supported staff. 

I've gotten used to not having them in Orlando as they've been gone from here for a good while already. In fact, the plan was for both of them to be in their new roles long before now -- that is, "our" plan was for that. God had other plans. Both of them delayed departure for their overseas assignments in order to serve their families as Heather's dad and Aileen's mom faced some pretty dramatic health challenges.  

January 2009 is a time to celebrate God's faithfulness in both of their lives! 

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Why drive an SUV? Number 1:

My commute to the office is super easy in every way. Truly, the only "hardship" is that in the winter months the sun is low enough on the horizon that it shines in my eyes for about half of the three mile journey.

Matt and Liz Wisbey deal with more challenging travel opportunities. No, this is not their daily commute, but it's not as uncommon as you might wish. You can read their blog and get the story directly from them if you'd like.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

What is in a name?

Yes, I have been "gone" for a while. I'm planning on being back, but time will tell. 

In the meantime, I have been inspired by Spa Lady Duck and Flat Stanley to find  my own travel gnome of sorts. Last weekend I found this little guy (don't ask me how, I just know that this mouse is male) at IKEA and he's been tagging along. I'll share some of the photos in blog posts as I get back into the habit of putting ideas (opinions, adventures, ramblings, blatherings, and other such nonsense) into words.

However, it seems that he needs a  name and, well, I've not found his name yet. 

Maybe you can help. Any suggestions?  

He has a brown and a black brother (yet at IKEA, but I may need to go get them and set them free to join me) in case you want to name a trio of mice instead of this single rodent.  

Let's see... fabulous prizes? Yes, I suppose there should be something. Perhaps you'd like your own mouse friend. Yes, that's it. You could pick your color and everything. the COMMENT feature and I'll choose something by February 1.

Friday, January 09, 2009


When Vanessa was here she had a new game with her called Blokus. I liked it quite a lot. It is an interesting mix of a non-animated Tetris and that old Dots game we used to play on the bulletin in church sometimes. Sort of. 

After Vanessa left and took her game with her, I decided to at least find out where I could purchase one of these games for myself if the need arises and, with Google, that was a breeze. I not only found many sources, but also a number of options of versions AND I found where I can play for FREE on line. 

Great, one more way to fritter away my days and nights. :)  (Like most games that catch my fancy, I have to give myself rules about when and how often and for how long I can play. I even have consequences for myself if I overstep the boundaries I set. I need discipline.)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Happy Birthday, Lisa

Sometimes I buy a birthday card from Hallmark and send it in the mail. Sometimes I send a free electronic card from DaySpring. Sometimes I make my own card with crafty materials I have around the house. Sometimes, well... sometimes this

I figured if I could combine all sorts of different technology and social media as part of the greeting, it would speak Lisa's heart language...or one of them, at least. 

Happy Birthday, Lisa.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Reflections on Reflections

"I believe in Christianity as I believe the sun has risen -- not only because I can see it, but becasue by it, I see everything else."

Because I'd set out to see God's character expressed in Creation yesterday, I became mildly frustrated with my own reality that I just don't get out much during daylight hours this time of year. I was about to use that as an excuse...

On winter afternoons, the sun starts to shine with great intensity into my office around 3 pm. (If I am there until 6 or so, I sometimes get to witness spectacular sunsets.) Knowing this and loving the way the sun's light reflects off of and through glass and water, I keep my view of Lake Tyndale fairly unobstructed. I also have places a few things on my work area to catch that light. Yesterday the brilliance of the light reflecting off of and through these things was breathtakingly beautiful to me.

I noticed. I even photographed.

It wasn't, however, until I was driving home from BSF that I saw God in it. (I know, I am slow to see sometimes.) We were in Exodus 33-34 this past week -- a part of Moses' story that I've heard many times (the glowing face and veil story) but have never really considered as more than cool God-special-effects. Moses relationship with God was so intimate that he reflected God's glory in ways that we can only imagine. I want to be more like Moses in that -- not so people can be impressed with my glow-face, but so God can be seen by people who can't look directly at Him yet.

There is something about the relationship that glass and water have with the sun that is also intimate. I can't really look at the sun unless it is filtered significantly. The way I primarily enjoy the beauty and light of the sun is in how it is reflected off and shines through other things. Glass. Water. The moon.

In fact, since my eyesight is dependent on light reflecting off of things, it is only because of this light that I can enjoy the visible beauty of anything or anyone.

Lewis also said, "A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell."


I recently had a Flat Stanley with me and took his photo with my water bottles in the window. More about those another day.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Slum Dog Millionaire

"Great story, very well told..."
-Ruth Hubbard from Hubbard's Cupboard

On Saturday evening I went with friends to see Slumdog Millionaire. When Nancy asked me if I wanted to see this film, I asked her if it was about a rapper. Once she told me a little about it, I recalled reading a review in Time, but I didn't remember much.

I generally don't do movie reviews on my blog (both because I don't see all that many movies early enough in their life to be saying anything that hasn't already been said a thousand times and because I don't like to ruin the experience for those who want, yet, to see the movie). So, this is not a review.

This is simply me saying that this film may not be easy to watch (parts are downright disturbing), but it should be watched. See it in a theater if you have a chance. It earns it's rating, but does not "try" to do so like some movies seem to do.

As the credits rolled at the end of the film, I found myself simultaneously wanting to buy the soundtrack, make a donation to International Justice Mission (IJM), and find friends to take with me to see it again. I suppose this blog is one way to do that last part.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Romans 1:20

I sent the below message from my phone in the middle of church -- posted it directly via email to Blogger. I was struck by the passage and wanted to remember to think about it later. I guess it worked, 'cuz here I am.

You can follow the link to YouVersion (a cool website worth some investigation if you've not been there before) or you can read the NIV translation of the passage here:

For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

When I've read that before, I was too busy looking at the fact that people who don't know God don't have an excuse for their ignorance -- it was a weapon I could use to whomp those who were far from God over the head in case they got unruly. I'm not sure I actually did a lot of head-whomping, but I thought about it.

Today I heard that God's character is made visible in creation. I've know that, but I'm hearing it new. Joel Hunter gave us homework for the week -- to take the time to not only see God in creation every day this week, but to name it out loud.

I'm planning to do that; I may even do it in the blog.

Check out this verse on

I thought of you when I came across this verse. See it at


Sent from my iPhone

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Goofing Off

Vanessa arrived Monday evening. She's been traveling for over a week -- visiting family and friends in Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, etc. This was her last stop before heading back to Pittsburgh (today -- she is traveling as I write) and a last semester of classwork that begins Monday.

What did we do?
Goofed off.

We sat on the patio and read. We sat in the house (often in PJ's) and watched movies. We played Blokus and Sequence. We baked and cooked and ate.
When Vanessa arrived, she introduced me to her travel gnome, Spa Lady Duck (a little rubber duck that is wearing a pink robe and has a pink towel wrapped around her head). As we did all the things we did (or didn't do), we took photos of Miss Duck to keep record of our time.

I'll refrain from listing all the movies we watched -- but they ranged from Roman Holiday to Emma. And then there was a little televission (thanks to a DVD, we did that on our own terms) -- Diners, Drive Ins and Dives for one.
Yesterday we had our most active day -- we did "free" Disney (or what some call Missionary Disney). We parked at Downtown Disney and proceeded to wander through the space (resorts, free shopping areas, etc.) using free transportation. We spent a few hours looking at beautiful things, riding on boats and monirails and even busses, and taking pictures of Spa Lady Duck. The weather was perfect for this kind of goofing off.

Great days. Very relaxing. What a fantastic way to end one year and start the next!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

2009: Day One

The NEW is here.

I love new.

New shoes. New car smell. New potatoes. New and improved laundry detergent.

If course, not all new things are good any more than all old things are beyond their usefulness or value.

Truth is, I love old, too.

Old jeans. Old books. Old memories. Old friends.

As I look to a new year, I find myself looking ahead with a kind of enthusiastic anticipation for what God has in store. I look ahead to a great blend of old and new -- all built upon the foundation of the Eternal.

I'm certainly not looking ahead with expectations of ease and comfort exactly -- though I do believe that there may be a bit of that from time to time. Goodness, I'm learning, is not meausred in those things.

I expect that 2009 may well bring rather a generous share of challenge. The thing is, the more I know of the God of the Universe who is also the One who draws near to us as Immanuel and who lives within us as the Spirit of the Living God, the more I am confident that the days ahead will be truly good even in their most difficult because He will be in them.