repeat if necessary

October 29, 2006

Tonight, my roommate Jodi marched in to battle her stuck-up sink with a hefty bottle of Drano gel in hand. She emerged a few minutes later laughing, telling me about the directions.

Pour a quarter bottle slowly into the drain. Allow to work for 15 minutes, 30 minutes for tough clogs. Flush with hot water. Repeat steps if necessary.

Did they really need to tell the user that? As if we’d stare at the drain that was still clogged and, immobilized, say, “Well, that must be what it’s going to be like. There’s no hope.”

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weekend in naples

October 28, 2006

So as fun as it would have been to go to Naples, Italy, my weekend consisted of a fabulous roadtrip with girlfriend, Jodi, to Naples, Florida.

Twice a year, Jazzercise instructors from around Florida gather for a day of meetings. Here are five instructor friends from Orlando. Daryl, on the left, was my instructor when I was first a student.

Oh, on the way, Jodi and I stopped at a scary gas station for the restroom. Besides witnessing a mom who wouldn’t win any kind of parent award and a Subway counter (inside the gas station) that might well have motived me to never put my mouth around anything they offer….we saw this sign on the bathroom door:

Please don’t lean against the sink, because its loose. It might come off the wall and hurt someone.
Pam Weeks

Why am I surprised they spelled “it’s” wrong? And who is Pam Weeks? If I had a sink falling off the wall in my bathroom, I’d try to remain as anonymous as possible.


intimacy

October 27, 2006

One of my life-giving friends, Jennifer, rocked my world with this thought about intimacy and fruit yesterday. I told her she need to write it down; the concept is such a rich one that I’d buy her book…when she writes it. (Oh, and car rides…why is that when a lot of great conversation goes down?)


freedom

October 25, 2006

“Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal” (John 12, The Message).”

Everything in me fights against dying to self. I take pretty good care of myself. I think about myself. I watch out for myself.

So to think like a seed and die to the idea of the “plant” I want to be – and let God decide – is scary. Yet the alternative is even scarier: to remain just a seed. I long for so much more, and I know that my Father, the wise-with-a-good-plan farmer, put that longing there. And so I’m coming to learn this incredibly ironic and intoxicating truth:

Freedom comes through surrender.


october’s newsletter: the beginning of something

October 23, 2006


A jack-and-the-beanstalk-type tomato plant sits on our back porch. It’s humongous.

But it didn’t start out big. My roommate, Jodi, tucked the tiny plant into the soil like a child at bedtime. Now she tends it. She secures it to stakes as it stretches in the Florida sun. She faithfully waters it. (I have a black thumb so I’m grateful for her cultivation skills.)

The cherry tomatoes are just about red. It’s been a long wait. But the fruit will be sweet.

I felt that same anxious-farmer feeling after being in Budapest, Hungary

The conference rallied together men and women who serve in a large-scope role in either HR, technology, finance or communications.

And there were six of us communicators. Six people representing four countries. And we have 25,000 missionaries around the world. Granted, a few people were missing, but we were—nonetheless—diminutive.

So we’re starting small, trusting that God will grow our group. Not for the purpose of simply being greater in number. Rather, because God is at work around the world and we want to communicate some of those stories to our missionaries and to the larger body of believers through various media. It’s exciting. And painfully slow.

This is when I remember that God is the Gardener. It’s His job to grow things. Yet He allows me—us—to be a part of it all. And people coming to know Jesus…what sweet fruit that is!

Read more about my trip to Hungary.


prayer requests/answers to prayer

October 23, 2006

  • That God would raise up more communicators. Communicators to tell of His incredible works around the world and to help streamline communications between our offices and our missionaries.
  • For the six of us as we serve well where we’re planted. Left to right we are: Paul (Germany), Eva (Hungary), Marie (South Africa), me, Bill (Germany), Judy (U.S.)
  • Praise: God provided the $1,000 I needed for my new insulin pump! I’m so grateful!


lazarus

October 21, 2006

I’m enjoying the book of John these days – the good news is really good. Today I was in John 11 and imagining myself clad in dusty sandals alongside Mary and Martha. Two sisters distraught over the fact that their brother, Lazarus, was dead. Two of the a-has I had:

  • It’s all about Jesus. Think about the lines you’d have to learn if you played Lazarus in a church play. (Has that ever been done? LOL) You would have…um…no words. Lazarus didn’t do anything. Especially once he was dead. 🙂 His life is documented here in Scripture because of what Jesus did in his life.
  • Jesus receives more glory when there’s no plan B. Lazarus was dead….4-days-worth dead. Had Jesus come and healed him while he was sick…or 5 minutes after he died, I don’t know that people would have responded the same way. It makes me think…what challenge am I facing where God doesn’t seem to be showing up the way I’d hoped? Perhaps He’s waiting so that all my Plan B’s will be in the ditch and He’ll show up and raise something from the dead and I’ll say, “You are worthy of my praise, my Jesus!”