Archive for August, 2009

August 31, 2009

scattered.

Sitting in Starbucks with my laptop and a coffee.  I feel like I should have on thick-rimmed glasses and start listening to indie music.  Instead I’m listening to an Albert Mohler podcast.  He’s talking with Kevin DeYoung (pastor and co-author of Why We’re Not Emergent and Why We Love The Church.)  He’s talking about the latter book he wrote with Ted Kluck… Although, he wrote both of those books with him.. Whatever.  If you get a chance to read this book, I highly recommend it.

Meeting with Sharee and Kat a bit later to grab a bite at Empanada Mama and catch up.  We’ve got the whole crew (minus Rejana.. I don’t wanna talk about it :( WAHHH) coming to visit this weekend.  I can’t wait to see them.  It’s too bad the reunion can’t happen back in Ethiopia.

Been thinking a lot lately about what’s next for me.  I want to be patient and wait on the Lord for this, yet I’m noticing myself growing antsy with the same old routine.  I keep thinking up ideas of grandeur… Go to Africa for a year… Okay, that’s the only idea of real grandeur I suppose.

I’m frustrated with the financial situation I’ve put myself in after years of overspending and a general lack of responsibility with my money.  I wish I could click my heels and have my debt erased.  Thankfully I’m able to pay my bills, but it doesn’t make the debt any easier to live with.  I feel like it’s consistently unsettling.

I want to go back to school but don’t know how that will happen without taking out more loans… Which then results in more debt.  Which, of course, leads to further financial anxiety.

Oh, man.

This is why I need to wait on Him.  His plan will be perfect and it might not be easy but I have a feeling I won’t be so scatter-brained about it.  It’s the patience part that always gets me.  I want His best now.  I just need to keep reminding myself that it’s worth waiting for.

This post feels a lot like my thoughts as of late- ALL OVER THE PLACE.

One thing I know is that I’m excited about what’s to come.  I’m excited about taking on whatever He has for me.

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August 21, 2009

His great love.

If I could stop dwelling on how much I don’t deserve it, perhaps that would leave me free to accept it.

August 21, 2009

simplicity

Last night when I got home, I started working on a pasta salad for tonight’s home fellowship and put on a Boundless podcast to listen to while I was at it.  First off, I love the Boundless website and podcasts.  Okay, now that we’ve got that out of the way- they were interviewing Phil Joel and his wife Heather.  I would never have known Phil Joel was formerly of the Newsboys if they hadn’t said it.  I’m not an old-school Christian, so I don’t really know much, if anything, about the Newsboys.  Anywho, the two of them were sharing about a time in their lives when they realized God had lost priority in their lives.  He was somewhere far down the list and ahead of Him were all of these seemingly good things, but they were pretty meaningless if He didn’t come first.

It really spoke to how I’ve been feeling lately.  If my relationship with Christ is not number one, it doesn’t matter how many “Christian things” I’m doing.  I can load up my schedule with Bible studies and church services and fellowship and it won’t matter if I haven’t been seeking Him myself.  Those things aren’t bad in-and-of themselves, of course.  They just need to be done with the right heart.

I think God is affirming what I’d already been feeling- that I need to look at my schedule and see what maybe doesn’t need to be there so that I can spend more time with Him.  More time reading the Bible, more time in prayer.  More time with just me and the Lord.  If I desire that, how much more does He?

Needless to say, I had a good night.  I was able to mull over some things and also make this delicious pasta salad to share at home fellowship tonight:
24636144Speaking of simple, this totally was:

penne rigate
fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed
grape tomatoes, halved
fresh basil, roughly chopped
olive oil

YUM!

August 21, 2009

go in peace

bettyThis is Betty. I gave her a pedicure on our first day at Women At Risk.  I knew enough Amharic to be able to ask her name.  Then I asked how old she was- she’s 18. During our time at Women At Risk, Betty was awfully quiet. I’d often see her go off to the side by herself and just sit and observe. That day I decided to join her. We didn’t have much to say given the language barrier, but I think it was okay. It broke my heart that this sweet girl had been through things I couldn’t imagine. Here I was, five years her senior, and yet this girl had seen the hardest of times. When I was 18 I went to college. My parents provided. I had no cares or worries. Meeting Betty put things into perspective.  I pray that whatever pain and hurt she has suffered, whatever shame she may feel, that she would truly know and grasp the amazing love with which Jesus loves her- that just as Jesus said to the prostitute who washed His feet with her tears, He will say to Betty, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

August 20, 2009

hope for addis.

I met a beautiful woman at Women At Risk. Her name is Addis, and she has two wonderful daughters. Addis was quiet but so loving. She told me she wished she could come back to New York with me. Funny, because I would have rather stayed in Ethiopia with her. I think about Addis often, praying that she continues forward in the path that God has laid out for her, and experiencing His joy and peace. I am so thankful to Women At Risk for the work they are doing, and for reaching out to people like Addis. It is for her that I have started a new Mocha Club team (in addition to my team supporting Orphan Care & Vulnerable Children).

Please join my new team, Hope For Addis. As little as $7 a month can change lives. Hope For Addis is supporting the Child Mothers & Women At Risk projects through Mocha Club.

August 19, 2009

this changes everything.

I’ve been going to a Bible study on Tuesday nights for the past few weeks.  We’re going through Mark and looking at Jesus’ life and ministry.  Mike (who leads the study) was talking about an outreach he had done in France once.  He had been talking to these two German guys afterward and as he was sharing the Gospel with them, they were getting really worked up and Mike thought they wanted to fight him.  He assured them that it was cool and they could chill.  Turns out these guys had no intention to fight Mike.  What they responded with was this:

“If what you’re saying is true, it changes EVERYTHING.”

They were getting so tense and worked up because they realized the implications of what Mike was sharing with them.  They knew that if it was true, their lives would not (and could not) ever look the same.

Mike’s point in sharing the story was this: there is no middle ground with Jesus.  He’s either Lord of ALL or He’s a crazy person.  In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis put it this way:

“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God.” That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a good moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic-on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg-or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great moral teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

August 14, 2009

love across oceans.

Check out the guest blog I wrote for Mocha Club!

August 14, 2009

fun fact.

I can’t believe I didn’t share this earlier:

The day we arrived at the school in Ambo, tons of kids surrounded our bus as we were getting off. There were so many sweet faces. The first child I locked eyes with looked familiar. It hit me in that moment:

THIS is him.

The boy I just happened to use a picture of on this blog was smiling right at me. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to take a picture of him myself. But it was such a beautiful moment to see that familiar face– to connect what I’d simply seen online with a real, sweet little boy. I had him in my English class a couple days later. He was so smart and eager to learn. He raised his hand to answer almost every question.

It was such a blessing.

August 12, 2009

I miss you.

I miss you.

I miss you, Addis. I miss you, Abrahet. I miss you, Selam. I miss you, Segarada. I miss you, Howee. I miss you, Giftikia. I miss you, Tura. I miss you, Surafel. I miss you, Tadios. I miss you, Donawhet. I miss you, Romiya. I miss you, Derebe. I miss you, Tgist. I miss you, Sefen. I miss you, Genet. I miss you, Rael. I miss every face, every voice, every story.

I miss you, Africa.

[Warning: Several name spellings were butchered in the making of this blog post.]