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Showing posts from January, 2010

Community

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I haven't been posting much.  Really haven't known what to say.  Armchair QB is tired.  Blog Carnival has been throwing out difficult words.  Happenings in Haiti make me wonder whether Uganda Mission will happen, or should happen.  That leaves me with a blog that beckons and nothing to say.

My thoughts have been focused on community lately.  For those who are unaware, we left our home church due to distance to try to find a more local community.  My husband and kids have succeeded.  I continue to struggle.  I want them to connect, to be comfortable.  And they are.  I am having the trouble.  I text my community while I am in this church an hour away, because I know they will hear me and because if we were sitting beside each other, a hug, a smile, a quick word, or just watching the other worship is all I need to know that God is among us.  Our home church is no longer home, and while that validates the journey, it does not calm the ache.  I know my church is where my community…

What do we see?

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If you have been reading for a little, you know I feel a bit lost.  There are no clear sign posts.  No big hand in the sky pointing the way.  Have you ever prayed and felt like you were just talking to yourself?  Or as a dear sister recently put it, "The prayer just bounces off the ceiling?"  Worse yet is when God doesn't seem to take notice of some desperate need.  What does that mean?  Is he not there?  Does he just not like me?

During my study this past week, I have been looking at the process of deliverance for the Israelites from Egypt.  The first chapter of Exodus talks about the changes in their lives.  From being favored due to the wisdom of Joseph, now they were enslaved since Egypt was afraid that the family had grown too numerous.  They could become a threat, maybe lead a revolt.  The Pharaoh even had the baby boys killed to control the population.  It was not a pleasant or safe time to be a descendant of Jacob.

But the writer of Exodus says God heard their c…

Gracious Uncertainty

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My guest blogger today is Oswald Chambers, with an excerpt from My Utmost for His Highest.

Our natural inclination is to be so precise— trying always to forecast accurately what will happen next— that we look upon uncertainty as a bad thing. We think that we must reach some predetermined goal, but that is not the nature of the spiritual life. The nature of the spiritual life is that we are certain in our uncertainty. Consequently, we do not put down roots. Our common sense says, "Well, what if I were in that circumstance?" We cannot presume to see ourselves in any circumstance in which we have never been.




Certainty is the mark of the commonsense life— gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life. To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, not knowing what tomorrow may bring. This is generally expressed with a sigh of sadness, but it should be an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God. …

Uganda

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Another one of those Crowned Cranes

76% of the population of the country lives slightly below the international poverty line of US $2.00 a day (statistics from the Human Development Indices)

The life expectancy at birth in 2004 was 48 for men and 51 for women according to the World Health Organization.




Confessional

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I have been struggling with something lately.  Gnawing on something lately.

I am thinking...beginning to wonder...if I have not limited him, not made him impotent, this Star Breather, this Word of Life.  The words, my cerebral beliefs, are less real when I do not live in that power.

It's still difficult to put into words, to process what is forming.  I just know that I am more than willing to give God the credit, but I do not expect Him to do the work.  I know He put things into motion, but then I thank him politely with an, "I'll take it from here now."

Perhaps giving him the credit is partly about being able to blame him when things don't happen, altho I don't do that.  Can I, should I, take any credit?  Should I take more of the blame?

What would living in his power, at his mercy, in his mercy look like?

Do I not already thank him when I wake up in the morning still able to gulp air into my lungs?  But what about midday when things are spiraling out of co…

The In-Between

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In her dimly lit room she rested in the wrinkled hospital bed that seemed to swallow her pale, thin frame.  Her mood was somber as she considered the doctor's words giving her the treatment options to delay and dodge the inevitable prize that cancer had claimed.  "We can continue," he offered when she stopped him. 


"What's the use really?  Who is that for?"  She continued bravely, piercing the darkness before her, "I have my faith, and it is not the end that bothers me.  It is the in-between that stinks."


Listening in while I waited to care for her, tears arrived, unwelcome, but not unfamiliar.

The In-Between does stink.

At Christmas, I think about the hundreds of years without a peep from God when the people waited for a Messiah, for relief, for hope.  In our small group last night we talked about Egypt where the Hebrews were ruthlessly enslaved to control them, while they waited between the history of a man called Joseph and God's next thing.

Armchair QB

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May God bless you with discomfort at
easy answers, half truths, and
superficial relationships
so that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression
and exploitation of people
so that you may work for justice,
freedom and peace.

May God bless you with tears to shed
for those who suffer pain, rejection,
hunger and war so that you may reach out your hand
to comfort them
and to turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless you with
enough foolishness
to believe
that you can make a difference in the world
so that you can do
what others claim cannot be done
to bring justice and kindness
to all our children and the poor.


A Franciscan Benediction



Family went to visit with the Victorious people Sunday.  We have not settled on a church, but Victory is definitely comfortable enough to rest at as we continue this journey. And truthfully, the message seems to keep pace with where the blog has been going lately....goals, priorities, dreams, burdens.

A blessed lif…

What's your priority?

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I have been hiding lately.  While watching mind-numbing TV as I crochet or fold laundry, I have found myself needing to hide from these ASPCA or ORCA commercials that show pathetic, thin, neglected animals with some music meant to stir the emotions.



I am an animal lover.  I have plenty of them.  But what disturbs me are the nagging questions...

Should I give my $20 bucks a month to sponsor a dog in need, or a child in another country?  Are animals, typically brought into the world without homes and people who care for them and then used by humans in many despicable manners from puppy mills to dog fighting, more needy than a child in poverty?  What about the children, not the women but the little girls, who are sold into sex trafficking?  What about the child soldier who belongs to no one now?  What about the elderly being warehoused in a nursing facility?  If we respect life, really, shouldn't that mean that we respect all life?  And, do we really respect life?

What makes someone v…

New Year's Resolutions?

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Happy New Year to all my blog buddies!

Most years I resolve NOT to have New Year's Resolutions.  Doesn't seem right to set myself up for failure, but out of my rebellious, adventurous spirit, this year I am making some resolutions...to count.

1) I want to count my blessings more than my frustrations, even if I hear the frustrations rise up first.

2) I want to count points/calories to become a wee bit healthier.

3) I want to count steps, mostly baby steps, as I attempt to exercise into a wee bit healthier self.  Not up to a running club yet.  Maybe next year, Janet. 

4) I also want to be daring and try things that make those moments, that make life count.  Like those weird pickle wrapped things that Valerie makes.  Wouldn't have been New Years if they weren't there.  And going to Uganda.  And getting started on that writing project that is taking shape in the back of my brain.

Ok, altho I want things to "count," I am not going to do this huge, crazy list.  I …