Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Building Resources to Reach the World

Wycliffe's president (and my boss...and friend) has an article that is featured in the Feb/Mar issue of OUTCOMES magazine. The article is now also on their website. If you click on image to the right, it will serve as a link to that article.

The article addresses the challenges that we face as an organization as we work to mobilze resources for Bible translation. If you are looking for a 40,000 foot view of Wycliffe's work, this is one great source of information and inspiration.

Building Resources to Reach the World
Wycliffe Bible Translators launches the Last Languages Campaign
Bob Creson Outcomes, Feb/Mar 2009

Two years ago, I sat across the table from a donor and listened as he told me about his passionate interest in a certain country. "I want to see that country transformed by the power of God, and I believe Bible translation is an important key," he said. "If I gave you $100 million for your work there, what would you accomplish? How would the country be different?"

To read the rest of the article, follow the link.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

John Rutter: Requiem & Magnificat

Things that happen around the edges are sometimes most delicious. Take yesterday, for example. When I did my morning "status update check" on Facebook to see what people are saying about themselves, I noted Catherine's reference to the "requiem."  I commented on her update that I am particularly fond of Mozart's and she responded at some time later that she was specifically enjoying John Rutter's work and I should check it out on YouTube.

John Rutter. I was introduced to his work while studying at Bethel University where I sang in the Women's Choir under the direction of Mary Fall. I'm quite sure we did some of Rutter's Christmas music at the annual festival of Christmas. It was then and there that I grew to appreciate (through understanding and experience) and then love choral music. 

With this reminder from Catherine I did what I had to do. (Okay, that may be slightly exaggerated, but only slightly.) I logged onto my account on iTunes where I had almost enough remaining on account from Christmas gifts to purchase one album. I search, I sampled, I selected. Type in password for confirmation of purchase and the downloading began. In a few minutes, I was listening to this wonderful work which has since been loaded onto my Nano for the flight this morning. (Fortunately for everyone on the plane who will be sitting near me, I don't yet know this work well enough to sing along. I really should travel with warning labels.)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Facebook and You Tube

Over the past couple of weeks I've been preparing a workshop on Facebook that I'll share on Saturday in Indianapolis at a 1-day women's retreat.

This evening, while sitting around waiting for the flu to pass and having just the right amount of energy for web-surfing but not enough for much of anything else, I found this video on You Tube. I was there looking for one I remembered from about a year ago -- which I also found -- but liked this one more.

If you don't Facebook, this really won't be that funny for you. If you do...well...may it at least put a smile on your face.

The Word

"The Word" from Northland Video on Vimeo.

I loved this song the first time I heard the recording by Sara Groves. These three (regular members of Northland's worship team) shared the song in our worship service a couple of weeks ago and (no surprise) I loved it. How cool that I can actually share it with you!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Filbert Valentine

My friend Nancy sent me a Valentine on Friday (her husband, Tom, dropped it off when he came into the office). She used a lovely ribbon to tie everything together -- a few pieces of chocolate, a sweet note, a hand-decorated envelope, a single yellow rose. It was just so very much a Nancy presentation. 

Filbert...he is bit of a scavenger and he loves colors. He is not at all of the mind that bright pink is girly (especially if it is the colored foil that is wrapped around Dove chocolate. So, while I was working diligently this morning, he was...playing. 

Silly mouse.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Wikipedia and Google

Sitting in meetings this week, I admit to checking Facebook at a break and finding there a word I was not familiar with on Nathan Caldwell's status update. What did I do?  Googled the word and followed the link to Wikipedia. 

Filbert helped. 

(Well, not really. But he wanted to help. His keyboard skills are not even as good as mine, so he mostly watches and cheers me on in these types of ventures.)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Filbert Goes to the SLT Meeting

Once a month (usually on the 2nd Tuesday of the month) Wycliffe USA's Senior Leadership Team (SLT) meets. Bob Creson (our President) refers to this group as the guiding coalition for Wycliffe USA. Essentially, the "buck stops here."

A regular meetings includes a time in the Word and in prayer together, updates (on the month past and the next things -- could be anything from a report on the Board meeting we just held to a reminder of events ahead, from celebrations of goals met to discussions about how we need to rethink goals in the future) and strategic planning. 

Because we each prepare monthly reports and share those ahead of time, we don't have to spend endless hours in the details. 

Anyhow, Filbert road along in my computer bag this week and thought it was a very interesting discussion. His favorite part, predictably, was the break snack which included cheese cubes.

Monday, February 09, 2009


David Anderson's book titled Gracism has captured me again. I picked it up without much thought over the weekend and read the introduction. I'd encountered this book before -- had read it's principles many months ago. I'd even purchased a case of the book and shared them with Wycliffe's leadership. Funny how time and circumstances and whatever else God is doing in me has changed me so that I heard these words anew. I love that.

Anyhow, it was a metaphor that Anderson used that took my breath away. He was laying a foundation for his book -- sharing how the Kingdom of God is diverse and unified and that therefore the Church is diverse and unified and should better reflect that reality. The statement that caught me was that in heaven "there will be one church and it will be multicultural. One bride, not a harem...."

I'm slowly making my way through the book -- chewing over each morsle and trying to digest it into application and not just informaiton this time. I'll tell you how that goes.

In the mean time, if you want to read an interview with Anderson you can do that here.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Piggly Wiggly Water

When I was in Columbia, North Carolina last month, I stopped by a local grocery store to pick up some bottled water and some microwave popcorn. The store I found as I was on my way to supper the first night in town was a Piggly Wiggly. I had time, so I did a wide sweep around the store -- through produce and in front of the meat counter -- before landing in the beverages aisle. I like to see what you can learn about a community by it's grocery store. 

I got my water and popcorn (and Diet Coke, which got added to my list on impulse) and headed to the check out stand. The check-out woman asked me a question which I guessed was about having a Piggly Wiggly card (North Carolina is far more "south" than Florida and I wasn't listening as well as I should have been when the conversation started).

I responded and then we exchanged the required nice talk before she said with a bit of a laugh, "You're not from around these parts, are you?"  

"No ma'am, I'm not."

More giggles. "Have you ever even shopped in a Piggly Wiggly before?"

"No ma'am, I have not."

The grin on her face made me think that she knew something that was amusing about this and that she also knew I apparently did not know what it was. I smiled, ignorant, but enjoying her amusement none the less.

She sent me out into the evening with a standard blessing to "have a good evening" and I was on my way. 

Thursday, February 05, 2009


You're not surprised that I know the English grammar rules that govern the use of singular and plural nouns as well as how to establish and maintain noun & verb agreement in a sentence. This blog is not about that. (You can thank me later.)

With a Graphic Arts/Journalism degree from Bethel University and a desire to teach, I enrolled in classes at IUPUI (Indiana University/Purdue University--Indianapolis). One of the classes that the State of Indiana required before they would Certify me (a good thing in this case) was called EDUCATION IN PLURALISTIC SOCIETY. If I would have better understood then what I am beginning to understand now, I would have been a better student in that class. 

Truth is, God used that class and a few of my fumbles as a student in it as part of the process of growth that has been (and I hope continues to be) my life. 


I'm a big picture thinker -- I see the whole and how it works more easily than I see the individual pieces that make up the whole. My natural bent is to therefore generalize. This is a strength and a weakness (like most natural bents). When I was young and (how did Joel Hunter put it a few weeks ago) brass -- when those who didn't agree with me were either idiots or villains, that meant that people were either good or evil and I got to pick the criteria. Oh, I based it on biblical truth, so I thought I had Jesus on my side...but, I'm learning that there are faults in that worldview.

This played out in practical terms as I mentally lumped people into neatly organized boxes either to be honored and valued or to be avoided and taken out for trash pick-up. (Oh, I'm sure I did not think in quite those terms at the time -- but if you looked at the root of my attitudes, it was about that ugly. Maybe worse.)

I do believe that God's Word is clear on the fact that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life and that no one can enter a relationship with God except through Jesus. Period. God may use a whole lot of creative ways to draw people to himself, but in the end, those ways all lead to the cross of Christ who gave His life as a ransom for sinners -- and we are all sinners. I am not a spiritual pluralist -- but I don't believe that any single denomination has a corner on the market when it comes to clarity of vision. 

I am rather fond, however of political pluralism and, in a whole other way, religious pluralism. That is, I love what emerges when a group of people with diverse perspectives and opinions and convictions  comes together to discuss and even debate ideas. 

So, some of my more dogmatic friends would suggest that I've lost my sense of Truth and that all of this wallowing in the cloudiness of supposed "grey" has me forgetting that life is black and white. At the same time, some of my less modern and anything-but-linear friends would say that I'm arrogant to think that there is any sort of absolute truth.  

In this spectrum I find some of my greatest joy and a bit of my greatest frustration.

Now, I've been rambling on this topic for many more words than I intended and I'm not sure yet that I've landed anywhere. I'd best post this and take cover and then consider writing more later. Or not. 

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Filbert Comes to the Office

My days at the office are full as we ready ourselves for the "invasion" of the Wycliffe USA Board for their February meetings. I LOVE when the Board is here!!

Last night I had my regular Monday night Bible Study Fellowship downtown -- I am so blessed by the insight God has given to our teaching leader. Who would have thought that I could love studying Leviticus this much?

...and Dorothea arrived from Portland while I was at BSF. She is in town for other meetings and I'm so glad she's staying here or I'd hardly see her at all.


Tonight we are going out to supper with Wycliffe Associate friends who I met in Panama over a year ago and we've been saying for all this time "we should go out to dinner some time" -- we finally found a date that works. :)

So...when I say that life is a little busy, I'm not in any way complaining. I love this kind of busyness.

And thankfully, Filbert likes to come to the office some days to help. He likes to say that "two mice on the desk are better than one in the potted plants." Yeah, I'm not sure what that means either.

He needs his naps every day (don't we all) and has found a perfect spot for catching 40 when he's with me at work. He is a clever guy, I'll say that.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Filbert & Friends

After reading and thinking through all of the names suggested for my new mouse friend -- and after letting the mouse imagine each of the recommendations as his own name -- we chose Filbert. In some ways you might say that Filbert chose the mouse. It just fit.

Part of the decision process including doing some research about nuts. If one is about to share his name with a nut, one should know something about nuts in general and that nut in particular. Of course, the mouse's decision had far more to do with the way the name looks in print and how it sounds.

"Nut" is a general term for the large, dry, oily seeds or fruit of some plants. While a wide variety of dried seeds and fruits are called nuts, only a certain number of them are considered by biologists to be true nuts. Nuts are an important source of nutrients for both humans and wildlife.

All nuts are seeds, but not all seeds are nuts. Nuts are both the seed and the fruit, and cannot be separated. Seeds come from fruit, and can be removed from the fruit, like almonds, cashews, walnuts, and pistachios, which were once inside fruit.

The Filbert is part of the hazelnut family and the mouse likes the character Hazel on TV Land reruns, so that may have had some influence.

And when you Google "nut" and "filbert" it is not long until another definition pops up in the discussion which the mouse finds most amusing. Wikipedia puts it this way: "a lunatic; an individual wholly unhinged; predominant neurotic tendencies."

Filbert also liked the idea suggested by an anonymous reader to name other mouse friends by other nut names. That reader made some specific suggestions and then Filbert did some name-hunting of his own.

We did find a grey friend and a brown friend at IKEA (the bin was half full of brown mice...I had to dig in other bins to find a grey one...white ones were all gone) and they have made their home with us. Filbert will remain my primary travel gnome -- but these fellows will make occasional appearances, especially around Orlando. They don't have passports.  

The brown colored one has been given the name Kluwak. 

An interesting Malaysian "nut" (actually a seed) is called "buah keluak" or "kluwak nut." Kluwak nuts come from the kepayang tree of Indonesia & Malaysia. The oily, hard-shelled seeds superficially resemble Brazil nuts. Meaty seeds are edible after the poisonous hydrocyanic acid is removed by soaking and boiling them in water. Fermented kluwak nuts become chocolate-brown, greasy and very slippery. Cooked seeds are used in a number of popular Malaysian and Indonesian dishes.

Filbert noticed early on that Kluwak is a bit, well, sneaky and so a name of a nut that is "chocolate brown" and "slippery" seemed to suit him just fine.

The grey (or, as he likes to call it, "silver") mouse has been given the name Mac (short for Macadamia). Filbert told me that with Hawaii getting so much attention these days because it was one of the homes of our new President, he wanted to jump on the bandwagon. He thinks it's a trendy name and the silver mouse is surely trendy. I told him that the Mac also refers to my preferred computer which only served to encourage this name choice. 

While Kluwak is a little bit devious (don't leave any food unguarded), Mac is a whole lot of warmth and words.

So...Filbert, Kluwak, and Mac.