Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Berlin

I don't know how to say this city (Stadt) name correctly. I say it Berlin, they say it Bare-lean! Just one of the many adjustments in my new language. The bricks laid on the street... The Berlin Wall Line. A normal day in Berlin. Posted by Picasa The constant reminder of this country's separation in history's time line.





A brick line on the ground representing the wall and a memorial of the Holocaust. These are the two things that settled over me from my visit to Berlin...
They linger still.







On a lighter note. I was thrilled with the opportunity to enjoy a dessert with my friend in Berlin. Hey, Missy -- can you guess what this is?

Isn't it beautiful???????
If I had only known that marshmellow fondue with chocolate was included in the meal, I would never have indulged!

Obviously, the Autobahn didn't do me in...

However, it did take more than 7 hours on the way up. Three 'Staus' later - I arrived by 9:30 pm. The trip home was much more enjoyable and schnell (quick)!

My children might read this blog spot - I won't reveal the speed that my trusty Volvo and I were able to slip into on the Autobahn - :0)
Mutating missionary

Friday, November 17, 2006

Bahn Outing

One more week for this semester of language school...

Driving to Berlin leaving in about 2 hours - 7 hour drive.


Why is it that every German I say this to gets a look of total terror on their face?

"You are driving?

Your auto?

On the Bahn?

Oh, MM...
take care!!!!!!!"

I guess you guys should pray!
:-)

Back on Sunday to homework and watching as God continues to build relationships with my classmates.

Mutating Missionary
a.k.a. Nascar Mom -- does it really take 7 hours?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

a date to remember

today
i
understood
the sermon

mutating missionary
reaching up from beneath basically a 4 year old's language skills and smiling!!!!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Sharing my celebration with you: I had some folks over for my 50th B-day...
Actually it wasn't just for the B-day - we are an international crew. We are all learning German together. "Hey, could someone bring in the chairs, it's time to eat KingRanchGeorgeBushGermanTexasChicken."

Why has it been renamed?
I couldn't get all the ingredients needed to make King Ranch Chicken!

Why was it renamed the above name?

Words in German have a tendency to be long. Why? It is simple. German's define a word by using other words. For instance, a glove is simply taking two words that were already define (hand and shoe) and putting them together to form a new word: handshoe = handschuhe. Think about it, it does make sense. Why come up with a whole new word when you can simply take the idea of a shoe being used on your hand and have a word that everyone understands :-) Of course you also let yourself in for some really LONG words.

The George Bush part? Well, you see he is not well liked in my neck of the woods. Once people find out that I am from USA they give me a hard time about George. When they find out I am from Texas -- it is never ending!!!!! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 4, 2006

prevaricate: to depart from or evade the truth.

Alone I stand before God

Obedience. Who is called to be obedient? I am.

We are not our own. He paid the price for us. Obedience is an act of relationship in Him. We are not apart from the body of Christ, and each choice we make has a ripple effect. This is true. But the most important ripple is in relationship to Him.

I am watching a situation right now. I know all the parties involved and love them. I have encouraged, as best I could, to stand firm ‘God hates divorce.’ But the parties have made other decisions. (in Germany it takes an entire year for a divorce to be complete – in Texas only 3 months)

Does that change the Truth? Does that change my own decision making process? Oh my goodness! I pray not! Does it change my love for them? Oh my goodness! I pray not!

God’s ‘rules’ are not RULES! Now, let me repeat that. The standards that are set down in the word of God are set down for a reason. They are to call us to Him. He will not force us to act on them. He will not, He will not, He will not. They are offerings.

“If I obey Jesus Christ, the Redemption of God will rush through me to other lives, because behind the deed of obedience is the Reality of Almighty God.” Oswald Chambers

Jesus walked with His disciples sharing parables. One such parable most believers have heard since they were children, ‘Sowing Seeds’.

If you have forgotten, He shared the mystery first with the multitude. Many were confused by His words. After sharing with the multitude His followers questioned Him more specifically and He shared the insights with them.

Mark 4

13-20 And He said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? And how will you understand all the parables?

“The sower sows the word.
(seed fell beside the road)
“And these are the ones who are beside the road where the word is sown; and when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them.
(seed fell on the rocky ground)
“And in a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who when they hear the word immediately receive it with joy; and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away.
(seed fell among the thorns)
And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word, and the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word and it becomes unfruitful.
(seed fell into the good soil)
“And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; and they hear the word and accept it, and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”

“HE WHO HAS EARS, LET HIM HEAR!” Mark 4:9

On page 57 in my New Testament, there is much ink, there are many tear stains. I have underlined on this page of my Bible the words that are in BOLD in this blog. They are words that I have cried over during midnight meditations.

I had to beg Him to keep me from being unfruitful. I didn’t want the road He was calling me down. I did not and still do not believe in divorce. I made a covenent with God and would not file for a divorce. I didn’t want to be the ex-wife of an unfaithful husband. I didn’t want it – It was THORNY! Worry sometimes overtook me – that has been my grip! I worried and worried and worried. I remember one night in particular (the night that I underlined each word separately "He who has ears, let him hear" - In my journal I wrote, "Oh God please let me listen and hear godly counsel."

Moment by moment he gently pried each of my fingers away from the ‘worries of this world.’ How? In obedience I came and begged Him to. I didn’t want to be unfruitful. That was the word that sent shivers up my spine. Has my grip completely loosened – No! But, I relish in my time with Him, and He is doing it moment by moment still.

“The Lord does not give me rules, He makes His standard very clear, and if my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says without any hesitation. If I hesitate, it is because I love someone else in competition with Him, myself. Jesus Christ will not help me to obey Him, I must obey Him; and when I do obey Him, I fulfill my spiritual destiny.” Oswald Chambers

The word muss - must in German is a power word. It means something that rises up within us. It is a word that defines character.

Alone I stand before God. No one else, just me, standing there, holding my choices.

It does not matter at that point what anyone else has decided to do.

It does not matter what anyone else has chosen.

It does not matter what anyone else has said to do and then done differently themselves.

It only matters – did I obey?
Did I trust Him with His standards?

mutating missionary

Thursday, November 2, 2006

The I AM says I Am

What do you seek Jesus for?

I have these words scribbled into the margin of my bible - John 6:24. This is right after the disciples and Jesus had feed the five thousand with five barley loaves and two fish. It is right after Jesus' disciples left without Him in a boat and He decided to take the quicker trip by walking on the water!

24 The next day the multitude that stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other small boat there, except one, and that Jesus had not entered with His disciples into the boat, but that his disciples had gone away alone. There came other small boats from Tiberias near to the place where they ate the bread after the Lord had given thanks.

25 When the multitude therefore saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they themselves got into the small boats, and came to Capernaum, seeking Jesus.
(emphasis mine)

What would they want? What would you want? What would I want?

They had just experienced the food overflowing - do you think they were hungry?

and what is Jesus' reply?
"Truly, truly I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves, and were filled.
Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man shall give to you, for on Him the Father, even God, has set His seal."

They said therefore to Him, "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?"

Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent."

It is all about Him folks.

Whatever we want to focus on:
Food
Security
Relationship ...
the list goes on!

Think about the Food: i.e. I AM the BREAD!
He isn't the bread that is given for us to eat. He IS the bread. I thought it interesting when a teacher I was listening to tonight said, "think about the manna in the wilderness" Is the manna in the Old Testament a symbol of Christ to come?

small = humility
white = purity
round = eternity
new every morning = intimate daily relationship

Interesting.

This I know. Jesus does not give us something to eat - HE IS what we eat. He's not a fast food restaurant. Chewing on Him is what meditation is all about! He wants us to sit down at His banquet...

He doesn't give us a door for security - He IS the door. He is the way - He doesn't want to tell us how to get someplace - He wants to take us there! Resting in Him.

He doesn't want to give us a vine to build into, He wants to be the vine we are in. The living breathing Jesus, so intimate He will meet us for coffee.

One other thing:
His manna was showered down new every morning...
don't let it go bad
fill up on Him daily!

He's not something to stick in your pocket and save for tomorrow, or the next day, or the next. I know that when I 'talk' about Him, He waits patiently on top of 'the train' I meet Him on.

He meets me there and I am saddened at the moments that I forged forward without Him.

May we feast on the bread (Him) in the mornings.
May we find the door (Him) securely protecting us from harm during the day.
May we florish in the vine (Him) as we grow through our lives.

If I seek physical well-being I will die.
If I seek HIM I will eat.

If I seek protection from this world, I will be bowled over by the evil that is in it.
If I secure myself in Him as my door of protection, nothing can harm me at my core.

If I seek future and all that holds, I will find myself coming and going and become sick to death of myself.
If I seek Him I will LIVE life worth living.

Because He is the I AM, i am
roro
mutating missionary
He IS the Bread, He IS the Door, He IS the Vine - HE IS THE I AM

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I cry out for Thy hand of mercy.

I'm a simple woman.

I'm a missionary in an incredibly beautiful place, a picture puzzle; if you will. Some might wonder...
"Why mission work in Europe (i.e. Germany)? There is no lack of food, people are educated, clothing is sufficient, life is good in Germany.

I must admit, I questioned it too. But, I was called, and as Oswald says: "Never choose to be a worker, but if God has put his call on you, woe be to you if you turn to the right hand or the left."

"Why Europe?" you might ask, "the need isn't great." You are right, the physical necessaties they 'got'!

Germany has oh so many things that I admire.

  • I like the way that life stops at 12:00 noon and doesn't start again until 2:00 pm.
  • I like that stores close and families walk around on Sunday afternoons TOGETHER.
  • I like that men and women hold hands, walk, talk, have a coffee, sit and visit, bring flowers, grow flowers.
  • I like that Walmart went out of business here - because it didn't meet the needs of the people.
  • I like that you can drive as fast as you want on many miles of the Autobahn.
  • I like that I can actually enjoy a train ride and not pay for gas. I can read a book, or do my homework instead of driving.
  • I like that when I listen to conversations (in restaurants, on the Zug, in the street) I hear German, French, Swiss/German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, and even every once in a while English.
  • I like that eating is considered a social event - with not much food - but lots of talking.
  • I like that I can walk around in the larger town north of me, the town I work in, and even my own hometown at all hours of the night and not be afraid that I will be harmed in any way.

Yes, there are many good things about this place. One might actually think that Germany doesn't need a missionary to come, live, work, minister, or even pray.

UNTIL, you have been here for a while. After scratching the surface of the 'looks' of things. One finds a very hollow Germany. A Germany that is trying desparately to 'hold it all together.' A Germany that is cracking under the many years of rebellion against God. God is not only old fashioned, the majority of young people in Germany have never even heard the name of Jesus Christ, except as used in movies as a 'curse.'

Recently, there was a news cast from Germany asking young people on the street who Jesus was. They didn't know.

A far cry from Luther, don't you think?

When looking at the reality of missions, I must go to the call that Jesus left us with. You know the one. The great commission, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and low, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Matt 28:18-20

Jesus doesn't say,

  • "Go and give the people food." even though this is an incredibly important thing to do.

He doesn't say,

  • "Go and make sure that people have clothes to wear." even though we need to do this.

He doesn't say,

  • "Go and make sure that people have a roof over their heads." even though it is unthinkable to walk away from helping those without a home.

He doesn't say,

  • "Stick to the 10/40 window" even though it is important for those to know Him. (hope I'm not stepping on too many toes here - but covering the 10/40 window does not ensure the coming of the Jesus we know and love. - all means all - those of you in the USA - that means you too. :0))

He said: "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you."

When looking at the reality of need. People NEED Jesus. The need is not to elavate people to a certain status, health, or cultural acceptance. The NEED is Jesus.

I am a simple woman - I don't know much - but I do know that I would rather be here, away from all that I know and love on this earth - willing to share HIM to those who have long since buried Him with their forefathers.

Taking one step of faith moment by moment.

Desiring to be obedient in this walk of life.

Searching the scriptures, singing His praise, weeping for those that know Him not. Those that live above me, beside me, under me, around me.

Please Lord, give me this language.

mutating missionary

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

OUCH! Ahhhh!

tunnel vision

it is what i get sometimes

yesterday afternoon i called and talked to a friend from the US for about an hour and a half. i usually can't catch her - so talking to her was a pleasant gift from God.

Don't worry, calling to Germany from the US is expensive. Calling from here to the US is only 2 cents a minute! Dang Skippy!

i digress

she was so good to me
we prayed
i vented about some of the frustrations that i am dealing with in a foreign country, i.e. some of the ways God pushes and prods me!

And then she said exactly what I needed to hear.
"You know roro, He is a big God and if He is calling you into _______ He is bigger than that circumstance. He will be there with you."

Now, how old am I?
How long have God and I been strolling down this path together?
I was absolutely astonished at how relieved I felt to hear this truth that I KNOW!

Isn't it wonderful to be in a body. A body that has no physical boundaries. A body that pinches itself and says, "Hey... remember... HE IS GOD - you can relax!"

I'm glad that i have friends that do that.
even in a foriegn country
on the side of a mountain
looking out











Over the Schwarz Wald

Or walking down a cobble stone street or beside my neighbors fairy tale cottage...

looking down...

not up...

I'm thankful that I can get a reminder that God is way bigger than my circumstances

Ahhh

Looking up again

Walking IN HIM

until I need a good pinching again.

loving the body of Christ

as fallible as we are

glad I'm here

mutating misionary

Saturday, October 21, 2006

"Church Put on Notice...

"to say this thing we do in the name of the creator, God, is a daily, hourly event, and we've got to be eyes wide open, bare-naked to the world, saying 'Here we are.'" Mike Yaconelli

I found this on a friend of mine's website. We've known each other since high school. Some of you might know his writings. He is 'The Senior Moment Editor' of the Door - (Senior Moment Editor title is a Door thing). The Wittenburg Door

What does "bare-naked to the world, saying 'Here we are." look like?

I'm pondering this.

This fit so well with something I read in Oswald this morning:

"All that Jesus made possible is made mine by the free loving gift of God on the ground of what He performed, my attitude as a saved and sanctified soul is that of profound humble holiness (there is no such thing as proud holiness)..."

What does 'profound humble holiness' look like?

Pondering this too.

Hearts open and honest.
No agenda - just REAL.
My real doesn't have to look like your real.
And your real doesn't have to look like mine.
Just being real -

Humm I wonder what that would look like.

I think Oswald would have liked Mike. - I bet their having a grand time hangin' out together now!

mutating missionary

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Sweating over the wrong job

Sweating -
I'm in a country that likes to work. They are workers, these Germans. I myself like a good hard challenge. Obviously: I'm learning a new language, living in a new culture, investigating new relationships, investing in intense relationship with God.

But, what about sweating? I've read that little book, "Don't Sweat the Little Things." It had some interesting thoughts, although most I found fairly unrevolutionary, some I completely disagreed with. But sweating? When I think of hard work, I think of good hard work.

Lately, I've been thinking about working - working for God. Do I really need to work? What is really important? What does Christ say about working?

From what I can discover, Christ isn't really into hard labor over the same things that we have a tendency to be 'working on - i.e. sweating over'

He made it clear that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. So, why do I insist on falling into that 'hardworking' model?

I've come to the conclusion it is because I don't work on what He wants me to work on.

What does He want me to be working on? Relationship with Him. That's it. Prayer, communion in Him, sliding into my red prayer chair and going to that place where we commune together, or as Jill Briscoe told me once, "Learn how to close your eyes and see Him right there with you."

I want to make a difference for Him.

Counter to my thought process:

spending time with Him
REALLY spending it with Him
WORK at spending time with HIM
Commit to spending time with him
On my knees
In my chair
Face on the floor
Journaling to HIM in a cafe
Sharing a thought with HIM
Sharing ALL thoughts with HIM
Loving Him
Snuggling with HIM
Desiring Him
Meditating on Him
On His word
On His promises

This is the WORK that makes a difference for HIM!
I want to learn how to sweat in my enjoyment of Him.

Good Grief! He's doing the big stuff.

mutating missionary

Saturday, October 7, 2006

CELEBRATE

I will be coming home around May!

I will be coming home to celebrate!

My eldest son (i.e. firefighter) has asked

a wonderful young lady (i.e. firefighter)

to be his wife!

And guess what!

She said yes!

And guess what!

I know her really well! - I had the privilege of mentoring her in the US before I came here.

And guess what!

One of the things that I had given up in coming here: to know and love the next daughter-in-law as well as I know and love my first daughter-in-law!

And guess what!

I do!

I know her and I love her - I've known her and loved her before they were ever even a possibility. Isn't God good?

And guess what!

I have no reservations.

And guess what!

I REALLY WANT TO CELEBRATE!
and so do they.

So even though the last few weeks have been ever so hard - where marriage is concerned. I have held this information in for several weeks to allow time for a tiny bit of healing to go on. I
believe that now is the time.

Thank you for joining me in the celebration of God's second greatest gift to mankind - the holy and beautiful and exciting gift of marriage...

Holy
Beautiful
Precious
Treasured
Cherished
Committed
Romantic
Life-long
Marriage

Let us celebrate!

mutating missionary
proud mama of incredible children
ps. The first and greatest gift that God gave mankind? Jesus Christ

Thursday, October 5, 2006

ANNOUNCEMENT

I have an announcement to make!

Are you listening?

Mutating Missionary
Stay tuned :-)

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Did you ever...

Have you ever had one of those days when you really didn't know if you could make it home fast enough?

Maybe you have.

I know that on Friday of last week, I hit one of those days. The past few weeks had been interesting to say the least.There were incredibly wonderful things happening, there were horrendously horrible things happening; there were classes completely filled with brain wracking new concepts, and evenings filled with homework I was trying to decipher while feeling a huge heaviness in my heart one minute and a joy in my heart the next.

It was a jumble of thoughts - of prayers - of studies - of life.

Sleep had escaped me for the better part of 3 weeks (never a good sign). And, I really wanted a hug from someone. Now, the real clincher, I wanted a hug from someone I knew.

I have hugs from a few of the people that I work with. My boss is such a sweetie to be aware that after every meeting I need a hug. She stands about 5’ 2” and she still insists on this 5'7" woman getting a hug from her as we leave each other. I am glad for that - but she has only known me for 9 months. Several of the women I work with meet once a week for a Bible Study and we each give hugs to each other after meeting. It is a great way to encourage each other. But we have known each other for less time.

I needed a hug from someone that knew me, that knew my many quirks, that knew that I like safe hugs, that I believe that hugs make life better, that I value hugs both from people and value giving hugs for almost anything from a headache to a heartache.

I wanted a hug from a loved one.

I called my son as I was headed to the bed (it was 3:30 pm) after returning home from school. We talked about some financial business and he shared a few thoughts of some absolutely wonderful events going on in my family, and for no reason whatsoever, I started to cry. Now, anyone that knows me knows that one of my many quirks is - I know how to cry! I cry from my toenails. It surges through me and cleanses every cell. I began to cry (something I hadn't done enough lately) and my son simply listened.

Finally, a very still quiet voice crept across the phone lines.

"Mom… What are you thankful for?"
I couldn't think of a thing.

"Mom… What are you thankful for?"

Finally - "I'm thankful for my children, and where they are in their lives."

Silence from him - tears from me

"Mom. What are you thankful for?"

Finally - "I'm thankful for ---"

Silence

"Mom. Are you thankful for your kitchen?"
I laughed! "Yes, I am!"

"Mom… What are you thankful for?"and then it began.

The laughter, the thankful spirit, the beautiful game we have been playing for 20 years, the encouragement game being played back from my child to me, instead of vice versa. I was being hugged - hugged by someone that knows me, knows my quirks, knows my weaknesses, knows my strengths. Someone who has been there through the hard times, through the joyous times, through the living of life.

I got a hug from my youngest adult son; I slept like a baby for over 12 hours.

The secret of abundance is found not in what we have, but in what we enjoy (or are thankful for). • Paul expressed this in his letter to the Philippians (ch. 4). Nothing produces wealth more quickly or certainly than a heart of gratefulness.

mutating missionary
Because HE IS the I AM

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Mutations

Psalm 131 - Childlike Trust in the Lord - In just 3 verses:

1.Oh Lord, my heart is not proud
(check it MM/roro, is it?
Ponder this - break it down...)
Nor my eyes haughty
(check it MM/roro are they?
remembering my own sin, NO, I can be above no one.)
Nor do I involve myself in great matters, or in things too difficult for me.
(check it MM/roro - do you?
I can't - they ARE to difficult for me, they ARE.
I am a simple woman)
2. Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; like a weaned child rests against his mother.
(check it MM/roro - have you?
This takes time - have I composed & quieted my soul?
or am I just controlled?
I remember one of my children repeatedly coming and resting on me
after he was weaned - I'm glad I have that visual in my mind.
It was such a sweet reassurance to him -
'Yes, Mom's still here, I'm safe. She's here,
She's solid, She sees, I can move forward.'
and off he would run in security.
Yes, God I'm Here, resting on You, I'm quieted, I'm composed
I'm out of control,
You are here -
I check my steps with Your word
I move forward.)
3. O Israel hope in the LORD.
From this time forth and forever.
(Check it MM/roro - where does your HOPE lie?
My hope is in You
You are Hope Filled
You are Hope Fulfilled
forever, and forever, and forever...)
Mutation process
Mutating Missionary

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Big Burly Bloke

Lately, I've been frustrated with evil in the world. Not that evil hasn't frustrated me before, but lately I've seen this fallen world and its 'fallenness' on a whole new level.

I am called into the army to fight in this evil. I am surrounded by it. It brushes up against me and I recoil. It oozes up and I hear the whisperings of deceit, observe the devastation of a defrauding spirit, slip on the reality and finality of suicide.

What is interesting to me? This evil is attacking different locations/cities/churches/countries/families that I know and love. Several have said that we are in the end times. I'm not sure about this - maybe it is - maybe it isn't. Selfishly, I pray for Him to come - but when I really think about it, I really don't want it to be (too many people that don't know Him yet.)

I love it when God brings a passage across our path when we are blinded in our sorrow. I love it when He brings that same passage across our path when we are simply walking down the street. It really gets serendipity when He brings it up in a conversation across the world. And, when we are lucky enough to get an e-mail dealing with the same scripture - if we don't go and look up that scripture and read the context with which God has placed that scripture - WE ARE REALLY STUPID!

I don't want to be a stupid woman - so, I opened my Bible today and pondered on the passage that had been seeping in around my world for the last few days.

In 2 Kings 6

1 Now the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, "Behold now, the place before you where we are living is too limited for us.

2 Please let us go to the Jordan, and each of us take from there a beam, and let us make a place there for ourselves where we may live." So he said, "Go."

3 Then one said, "Please be willing to go with your servants." and he answered, "I shall go."

4 So he went with them; and when they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees.

5 But as one was felling a beam, the axe head fell into the water; and he cried out and said, "Alas, my master! For it was borrowed."

6 Then the man of God said, "Where did it fall?" And when he showed him the place, he cut off a stick, and threw it in there, and made the iron float.

7 And he said, "Take it up for yourself." So he put out his hand and took it.

8 Now the king of Aram was warring against Israel; and he counseled with his servants saying, "In such and such a place shall be my camp."

9 And the man of God sent word to the king of Israel saying, "Beware that you do not pass this place, for the Arameans are coming down there."

10 And the king of Israel sent to the place about which the man of God had told him; thus he warned him, so that he guarded himself there, more than once or twice.

11 Now the heart of the king of Aram was enraged over this thing; and he called his servants and said to them, "Will you tell me which of us is for the king of Israel?"

12 And one of his servants said, "No, my lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom."

13 So he said, "Go and see where he is, that I may send and take him." And it was told him, saying, "Behold, he is in Dothan."

14 And he sent horses an chariots and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city.

15 Now when the attendant of the man of God had risen early and gone out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was circling the city. And his servant said to him, "Alas, my master! What shall we do?"

16 So he answered, "Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them."

17 Then Elisha prayed and said, "O LORD I pray, open his eyes that he may see." And the LORD opened the servant's eyes, and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.


We're in the Army now. We are in the thick of the evil. It doesn't feel good, or look good. We are standing at the door of our tent and saying, "Oh No! While we were asleep the big bad boys came and moved in all around us! - Can we run away?"

And Jesus in His most wonderful Big Burly Bloke voice says, "Don't you see? Don't you know? Do NOT fear. Those that are with you are greater than those who are with them!!!!"

My Jesus IS.

mutating missionary
Praying that we open our eyes that we may see.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

been thinking of a phrase i used when i was in my teen years:

I'm too pooped to pop!

This phrase is to be used when one has experienced so much over stimulation of any type and is really just too tired.

Well, I am there :-)

Anyone else there with me?
Please share

Meine Kopf ist voll!

your mutating missionary

Sunday, September 24, 2006

I am a sinner

I want to run when I encounter sin. I want to climb into my bed, pull the blankets over my head, slide down into a fetal position and cry my eyes out. I want to do this, whether I encounter sin in myself or in someone I love/admire.

I don't like the pain, I don't like the hurt, I am saddened by dissappoinment.

But, reality! We live in a fallen world. We all walk with feet of clay.

We fall down and when we finally cry out to the God of the Universe, He picks us up and sets us aright again. The in between time is the pits.

I've been there in years past - I pray that He keeps me from doing anything too stupid in the future. I've done things that I said I would NEVER do... So one of my mantras for the last 15 years: Oh Sweet Jesus - protect me from myself!

Good grief, I'm a divorced woman that doesn't believe in divorce! And, trust me divorce is one of the least shocking things I have done in my past. I am a sinner saved by Grace.

But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. And early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people were coming to Him; and He sat down and began to teach them. And the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the midst, they said to Him, "Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. "Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?" And they were saying this, testing Him, in order that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down, and with His finger wrote on the ground. But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them,

"He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."

And again He stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And when they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she had been, in the midst." John 8 1-9

Jesus.
Stooping down.
Scratching something in the ground.
With His finger.
Guilty in the midst
You/me US! we are all guilty of sin.

Shooting our wounded?
Shame on us!
Dissappointment comes when we place others in positions they do not belong in!
HE ALONE will not dissappoint.
HE ALONE is worthy.

I am a sinner saved by grace -
I am a saint through His holy spilt blood.

mutating missionary

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Important as it is that we recognize God working in us, I would yet warn against a too-great preoccupation with the thought. It is a sure road to passivity.
God will not hold us responsible to understand the mysteries of election, predestination and the divine sovereignty. The best and safest way to deal with these truths is to raise our eyes to God and in deepest reverence say, 'O Lord, Thou knowest.' Those things belong to the deep and mysterious Profound of God's omniscience. Prying into them may make theologians, but it will never make saints.
--A. W. Tozer

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

tests/tough times/temptations

So, tomorrow I have a test. I have spent most of my time this last 3 weeks pounding German nouns and their genders, verben and their conjugations, interesting phrases like 'tut mir leid' and 'schau mal' and even 'Schade' into my brain.

I do not know how my testing abilities will fare. I am not a great test taker. But, this I know. I am beginning to understand SOME of the sentence structure. I make no promises at being a German speaker in 12 weeks, but I do know that God is doing a great work in my brain.

Two night ago, I was down at the Chinese Restaurant with a Pepsi Lite, table strewn with paper, books, German/English Worterbuech and my journal. This last Monday, I found out an old friend of mine had committed suicide. We had been friends in another 'life' - you know... BD - Before Divorce.

It was on the heels of this news that I heard from several other friends and family members of different things going on at home -- these bits and pieces of news ranged from extremely disconcerting to absolutely joyful. My brain felt like the rattlers I remember on the land my parents own in East Texas. I was set to go off! So much to think about.

Suddenly, the words I read from the earlier morning devotional rang in my ear:

"Temptation is a suggested short cut to the realization of the highest at which I aim - not towards what I understand as evil but towards what I understand as good. Temptation is something that completely baffles me for a while, I do not know whether the thing is right or wrong. Temptation yielded to is lust deified, and is a proof that it was timidity that prevented the sin before.
Temptation is not something we may escape, it is essential to the full-orbed man. Beware lest you think you are tempted as no one else is tempted; what you go through is the common inheritance of the race, not something no one ever went through before. God does not save us from temptations; He succours us in the midst of them. (Heb 2:18) Oswald Chambers

My temptation? I have oh so many of them. But at that moment, my temptation was to concern myself with things that were not mine to concern myself with. From the absolutely joyous news, to the frustrating - God had me sitting at a table in Germany, beckoning me to keep my mind on this language learning. I had a choice: allowing the temptation to surround me and drag me down a side-street in my mind... a side street with hissing rattlers! Or, buck up and write the conjugation for sprechen/mochten/mussen/weissen/betretten... one more time!

Sounds like a simple decision. But, truth be told - it is the simple decision that testifies to the greater ones. Please pray for my simple decisions. Let me know how I can pray for yours.

ich muss / du musst / er,sie,es,man muss / wir mussen / ihr musst / sie, Sie mussen (umlaut not available :-)

mutating missionary
Tschuess!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Feet

There are a few things that I really like about my body. Now, it must be admitted that it has taken almost 50 years to be able to say that.

I like my hair - it is colored by God. And, I like it long - it makes me feel feminine. Trust me, feeling feminine after being by oneself for almost 18 years rearing a family is a huge accomplishment!!!! giggle.

I appreciate my more than adequate bum - my muscles get me around in this European lifestyle and I praise God that my bum muscles work!

My hands have always been a comfort to me - I never had to work hard on nail care, I have long fingers that can fly over keyboards, and I absolutely marvel at the sense of touch.

I like my eyes - they work so hard for me. And...

I like my feet.

"Feet?"

Yes, my feet. I have several family traits that are revealed by my feet. First, I have a second toe that is longer than my big toe. I have been told from early on that this is a sign of strength... I don't know if I believe it or not. I rarely 'feel' strong. In my weakness, my God has been strong for me. I think that is more the case for me, as opposed to my being strong.

I have a slight web in my two second toes, and I have a very strange little toe that has been caught on everything from headboards to ottomans, from stairs to doorframes. My children have spent many a 'shaking head moment' with me, pulling my little toe back into socket because it would be sticking out of the side of my foot at a 90 degree angle! It looks absolutely war torn! But, I like it.

I enjoy my feet. However, on Thursday I did not take care. Running up the steps at die Bahnhof (the train station) trying recklessly to catch the tram for class, I tripped and fell forward. It was a quick moment of hesitation and I continued on, up the steps, on the tram, into the classroom. After unloading books, pens, pencils, notebooks, wordbook, workbooks, and an apple for snack, I began to feel a slight throb in my big toenail. By the end of the day, the throb had turned to pain. I have toenail polish on my toes, so I could not tell if there was damage - but it sure felt like it. I came home, took the polish off and found my toenail was mangled. It was filled with this purple/blue/black color. I might loose a toenail. I have been dealing with the reality that I am vain about my toes. I never realized it before, but God has been talking to me about feet ever sense.

Feet: stink when they are in the same shoes too long and haven't been taken out and washed!
Feet: grow longer after every child
Feet: get a beating and are rarely appreciated
Feet: Christ washed the feet of the disciples
Feet: how beautiful are the feet of those who 'bring Good News"...

Feet: CHRIST is the ONLY one whose steps are worthy to follow - all other people's steps are simply men's; men who have clay feet like yours and mine. Putting our feet in their footsteps (i.e. desiring to follow them, be like them, think like them, ... you know the drill) simply reveals our own lack of wisdom. Love 'em - don't follow 'em.

Feet: Following Christ: now there are some feet worthy of following! And what a journey!

Your Mutating Missionary
Following where Christ leads

Friday, September 15, 2006

Crisis

"The great crisis comes spiritually when a man has to emerge a bit farther on than the creed he has accepted."
Oswald Chambers

Monday, September 11, 2006

September 11

I live in a place that doesn't necessarily like the US of A. Some people are very fond of us, others can't stand us. They are not shy about voicing their opinions. I know that some of you will be surprised about this, but it only comes up when they ask, "Wo kommen Sie?" Where do you come from? When I say, "Ich komme auf den USA." I hear one way or the other. Then, when I announce I am from Texas! WHEW!!!!!

I have lived an entire September 11 with not one person talking about it. I on the other hand, stopped when I dated my Hausaufgabe (homework) today. Slipping that pen over my right hand side of the paper, crafting the September 11 in my best handwriting, stopping and praying for those that still slept in my home country; I sighed.

I have a class of 7 Japanese, 1 Tunisian, 1 Italian, 1 Columbian and me! It was interesting.

September 11 holds many memories. A dear friend lost her baby around that time, several hardships occurred with other loved ones.

Today, another sad remembrance was added - Hearing from a friend from my past (she is my youngest son's god mama!) I learned that her ex-husband had committed suicide in June.

The news affected me in an interesting way. I did not flinch, I just felt a weight in my heart. He had been angry with God for years. I am sad that he choose to take this route.

Aligning this information with September 11?????

News about death on September 11 - leaves one numb.
Knowing that God is in control - allows one to praise Him in the midst of the assault.

Your mutating missionary.

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

'handsfull on purpose'

My daughter leaves DFW in 7 hours.

Problem: I leave for Hungary only two days after she gets here.

It was a decision we made. She would come and I would leave.

In two days I hope to show her how to get to the bus station, to the train station, to the hospital. I hope she can read all of the notes I have left on the washer and dryer, at the sink, and on the door.

I have some German friends that have promised to be available in case of a problem. One of them has offered to have her over several times for dinner, to take her to an exercise cycling class, to check in on her.

My downstairs neighbor owns the Chinese Restaurant below me. She has offered to be there in case of emergency.

I called a friend in the United States, "Would you mind just making sure she has these things for the trip: ear plugs, eye blinders, Neosporin for her nose, melatonin for some sleep..."

SHE IS 25!

This past Saturday night, my youngest son's best friend got married. He married an incredible woman. This coming week another dear young friend is getting married. They are all grown up.

Question: How is it that if I am still this involved with my adult children, desiring to hear how their friends are doing, wanting to know if they are ok in their jobs, listening to the relationships that are developing, and basically praying for them as they live life…

If I, this completely inept mom, from across the ocean desire to stay in tune with her kids – how much more does our Heavenly Father desire to stay in tune with us?

I’ve been meditating a lot lately on something Major Ian Thomas says.

“What do you do when you get up in the morning?” spoken in strong British accent. Taking his cane, sliding it on his arm, turning his hand toward the sky as if he is receiving something, “Thank You Jesus.” Other hand moves in similar fashion, “Thank you Jesus.” Moving back to other hand, lifting it outward, “Thank You Jesus.”

Openhanded! That is how we receive the good gifts of the LORD.

Listening to another dear saint as she gave a topical study on the book of Ruth, I heard these words, “Isn’t it wonderful that God gives us ‘handsfull on purpose’ Handsfull of blessings.”

I am looking forward to ‘handsful on purpose’ from God while my daughter is here; while I travel to Hungary without her, while she takes this time to be alone with God, while I spend another week just soaking her up.

mutating missionary

Saturday, August 5, 2006

Fruit?

Met with a few single women last night from the area.

The mix? All Christians, one German national, one American returning to Germany as a Christian after living here 8 years in her BC stage of life -fluent in German, one American that majored in German in university, albeit some time ago - never lived here, and me.

The conversation was wonderful. A little German, a little English, and from me: a little Germish.

I must share a fun language blunder:

The word for fruit in German is obst or Fruechte (that is with an umlauted U for anyone interested).

When discussing the need for patience in this ministry, one of the women made a reference to the 'Gemuse' of the spirit.

We all stopped for a second, including the woman that had made the statement, and broke into riotous laughter.

Gemuse? = vegetables


In regards to my previous blog - the core of the thought was when I wrote this paragraph:

"Granted, facts are important. We don’t place our faith on some shady wobbly wall. But facts are not the only information that needs to be shared with the non-believer. Without a step of faith, people/humanity/man is still in darkness and is drawn to the darkness and the LIGHT cannot come in."

I was fishing around this through the entire monologue. Faith is an active step. It is an action. But anyone that has taken a step of Faith into becoming a Christ follower cannot tell me that it is based on facts alone - because we step out onto something that we really cannot see - i.e. GOD.

The mystery is that once we HAVE taken that step of Faith EVERYTHING becomes more clear. We have entered into the Light that allows us to see the darkness. While we are in the darkness we are drawn to the darkness - we need the facts, we need the witnesses, but this fact remains as well: we must take that step all by ourselves, in our own hearts, and no one can do it for us.

No amount of facts produces salvation. It is truly a choice, an action, a step into the unknown. Otherwise it would not be called Faith. A non-believer must be told that without that step of faith - no matter how many times they read the Bible or go to a Bible study they are academically engaged but not heart engaged. And our Lord is the LORD of our hearts not only our brains.

The difference lay in the FRUIT!

Loving the God Who IS
your mutating missionary

Thursday, August 3, 2006

So WHO DECIDED it was OK to take the mystical out of the mystery of GOD!

I'm frustrated. Miffed. Ticked. Confused. AND more than slightly irritated!

I just received an e-mail from someone that is interested in the 'darkness that seems more interesting and looks more powerful than Christianity with its Bible studies and reading of the Bible.'

I'm frustrated:
When did it become OK to formulate the God of the Universe?
To break Him down into bite sized pieces?
To keep Him in some FACTUAL informational tube where He makes sense to US?

This person states in his e-mail it appears to him 'there is more power in the darkness. Islam faith is more for the strong and Christianity seems to be more for the weak.'

Why are Christians so afraid of mystery? Of mysticism? Of mystics?

Good grief the reality is Christ is a mystery: tell me have you heard of a virgin birth lately?

The Trinity is a mystery: THREE in ONE… breaks all of the mathematical rules my dad used to try to hammer into my brain!

Why do we need it to ONLY be facts. Who are we really afraid of?

For heavens sake: 2 Corinthians 5:7

7 for we walk by faith, not by sight--

Granted, facts are important. We don’t place our faith on some shady wobbly wall. But facts are not the only information that needs to be shared with the non-believer. Without a step of faith, people/humanity/man is still in darkness and is drawn to the darkness and the LIGHT cannot come in.

I mean come on now – don’t these following verses from that same chapter sound a bit mystical to you?

9Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.
10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
11Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men, but we are made manifest to God; and I hope that we are made manifest also in your consciences.
12We are not again commending ourselves to you but are giving you an occasion to be proud of us, so that you will have an answer for those who take pride in appearance and not in heart.
13For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are of sound mind, it is for you.
14For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died;
15and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.
16Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer.
17Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come
18Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation,
19namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
20Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
21He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

And this is just a PART of ONE CHAPTER of this incredible, mysterious, wonderful, fascinating, NEVER TO BE FIGURED OUT Holy Bible.

I guess what I'm saying is if we don't recognize that our God is a mystery, a powerful mystical being, we cannot address anyone who rightly recognizes that Satan is a powerful being.

So, I guess I'm questioning the Christians that I know.

Do you believe that God is a mystical God?
Do you believe that Satan is alive and well?
Do you believe that by trying to put God in a box and by null and voiding the truth that there is a spiritual God - Satan is enjoying it?
Have we sanitized Christianity so much we can't see there is an evil world?
Can we stop fighting each other long enough to realize we are getting snipped in our foxholes and unite together to fight the good fight?

I'm so tired of hearing, "I don't want to be the kind of Christian that sees Satan behind every bush!" Dang it, it has come to the point where Christians are afraid of saying that they see Satan at ALL!

I leave you with my family's life verse:

I Peter 5: 6
"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the poper time, casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your bretheren who are in the world. And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To HIM be dominion forever and ever. Amen."

Mystical isn't it?
mutating missionary

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

I'm missing Texas

Listening to a song today caused a bit of memory walking...It didn't take long, but I escaped there for a while.

Interesting isn’t it: a kaffee, a few bites of dark Swiss Chocolate (from Switzerland - Dang Skippy), an unexpected connection to a San Antonio buddy, and a Clay Walker CD stopped me dead in my tracks for about 30 minutes.

The phrase in the song that sent me back:"I'd say that's right as the rain on a tin roof Texas night. "

Whew! As right as rain on a tin roof Texas night.

Closing my eyes I can hear it,
The wind whipping around in the grand pecan trees.
The sweet air settling across my senses - from touch to scent...
Oh, how I loved the pelting rain hitting the tin roof
Oh, how I loved that hand sawed wooden floor,
the smell of lye still lingering in the air from Granma's scrubbing
Oh, how I loved those hand sewn quilts
the wood stove
the water pump and its battered cup hanging from the string

Oh the memories Grandma's East Texas world.

I wonder if the life that I lead with open windows, rain so close regularly, wind whipping through the house, fresh scents of hydrangea, pine, and magnolia, the inside so entwined with the outside caused the memory to be right on the tip of my brain?

Isn't God good to allow us to go back and remember?

Think about it, without memory we would have to be learning the same words over and over, nothing would be available to come back and protect us, we would constantly touch that fire and get burned!!!!

And He says, "REMEMBER ME!"He has given us the Word to steer us clear of so many pitfalls, and then He gives us our own road to steer us clear of more.

What a good God we serve.
My thoughts these days are simple.
I have no answers, more questions, and lots of love for Him.
Just a Texas girl in Germany.

mutating missionary

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Agendas

My father was a super man on many levels... He was a crummy man on a few levels too. Alas, enter humanity - we all smack of it. But, there is one thing that I have always appreciated about my dad.

He loved people. He was never too busy to talk and he enjoyed hearing all sides. He received people right where they were - and they knew it. He was a hard worker, but he realized that it was important to have a dream, and to work toward that.

We (my mom, and three sisters) kinda' messed up his perfect dream; He wanted to be a beach bum. Since we were in the picture, he left this world employed by ARAMCO as the project engineer of the largest natural gas refinery in the world.

I used to think that my dad didn't have an agenda when he met people. Now, I know that he did...That is where this blog comes in.
I don't want an agenda for meeting people. I have always loved people - it must come with the genes, or maybe it was God given. I don't think that it is necessarily a spiritual trait; whether it is or isn't, I praise God for it.

I am no theologian. I just love people and I love God. I was in Holland a few weeks ago. I went back to connect with some wonderful people that I know there. I have been trying to get there for months. Finally, I was able to go at the same time they were home. There was no agenda. I just wanted to see them, to enjoy their love, to laugh, cry, and praise God together.

While I was there I visited a church – there was a Dutch man that is a missionary to another country that was sharing. He talked about relationships.

I’m glad I like relationships with people – whether it is a gift from my earthly daddy with all of his bumps and bruises, or from my heavenly Daddy in all of His perfection. I am just glad I like relationship with people.

mutating missionary
recognizing my inadequacy and His sufficiency daily

PS my dad settled for a 'dream' cabin in the East Texas Big Thicket

I think I like the castle that God gave me better! giggle --
I also think Dad would understand that better now.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Two interesting conversations in the past few weeks

"I just want what I want, when I want it."
Quote taken from a US Citizen after being in Germany for 3 weeks. She was ready to go home. Her nails hadn't been done in 3 weeks, her hair needed a trim, and bi-gum-bi-golly if she wanted a bottle of water in the middle of the night from a neighborhood grocery - one SHOULD be open!

"I like God. At least the part of Him I like. I will take the part of Him I like and not take the part of Him I don't." middle age German man
"Well, that is not really how God works. God is an either all or nothing kind of God. He says He would rather us be hot or cold, if we are lukewarm He will spit us out." missionary friend of said man and his wife
"I don't like that." middle age German man
"Too bad, that is what God says, not what say. The reality is: either you take ALL of God or nothing at all." missionary friend says with a German raspberry (one of the first German phrases I learned - :-)
"But, I don't want to take none of God. What if He really is real. If I don't take some of Him I might not go to heaven." shock and concern settle over said middle age German man's forehead

Pondering the above conversations brought me to this conclusion.
Is it possible - our problem with God could be narrowed down to these two thought processes?

Core issue?

Pride

I don't know about you, but in reality many of my discussions with God remind me of the first quote. Yep, saying I'm sorry God, I'm doing it again - I'm stomping my foot on the inside - I'm wanting my way - I am not listening to your still small voice. Please forgive me.

I am thankful that I desire to know God in full - not that I understand Him at all, but I do want to know Him. Somewhere in the last 15 years this became a burning desire. I don't just want to see His hand, I want to touch His face. I was thinking about that also today when I was studying my German. I go over the same exercises repeatedly... over and over and over again. I am getting to know them so quickly that my hand slides across the keys of my computer keyboard quite rapidly, my voice can almost mimic the sound of the German speaker in the microphone. And then, I add another exercise. I stumble through it, and the process begins again.

A lover knows their lover's face not only by sight, but by touch. A scar here, a mole there, a cleft in a chin here, his hairline is just so! I want to know my Lover's face so intimately - I can touch it. I know that I could not handle His glory, I know that He cannot reveal all of Himself to me - I would die at the slightest revelation. But, I also know He is thrilled that I want it. He delights that I desire Him so.

So here I sit, studying this German that He has called me to, looking out from my balkon (balcony) toward the Black Forest - praising HIM!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A Castle? Who'd 'uv Thunk?


EVERY WOMAN SHOULD HAVE A CASTLE OUTSIDE HER BEDROOM BALCONY WINDOW


Entering the town I work in - April

Come On To My HOUSE! Many have asked to see a picture of my Yellow Nest. Well, here it is covered in snow.

Granted, it doesn't have even a bit of coldness surrounding it at this point in time. I only dream of those days.

This is actually taken from the back of the building. My flat's windows are the two on the left of the portico. The flat is actually built into a mountain and the windows you think to be level to the ground are actually 3 stories up from the front of the building.

I pushed a few buttons and something happened


Well,
I don't know what I did, but I pushed some buttons and the pictures are downloading. Now, here are a few I would like to share and have not been able to...


A Typical German Breakfast

The Castle from my bedroom window.

Please read the other posts - I added a few more pictures.


Monday, July 24, 2006

Wasser - too much, too little, too late

A dear Dutch friend gave me a sunflower plant.
I brought it home in the backseat of my car. It sits on my balcony. She wanted to give me something that would be a reminder of our time together in Holland.


The sunflower found a home in a big blue flower pot I brought from home. My friend from Texas discovered the pot in my flat and set the plastic pot inside - it was a delightful match. The greens in the leaves and the yellow in the petals of the sunflower pop around the deep blue pot. I moved it tonight from my bedroom balkon to my essenzimmer balkon (dining room balcony) to add to the VanGogh theme that developed in this eating room.

It is hot in Germany right now. Sitting at the essentisch (eating table) I peer out at the stars dancing in the sky above the sunflowers.

I love sunflowers: blues, yellows, greens, reds, and especially black accents. God's design is so interesting. This sunflower that sits blinking at me from across the way doesn't last long without water. My friend discovered that and began watering it regularly - in fact REALLY regularly... so much so that it began to wilt from too much water. You see the blue pot doesn't have a hole in the bottom. It collects water and doesn't allow it to drain properly. It was great to find that the water needed to be dumped out - dumping allowed the plant to plump right back up and it was absolutely gorgeous the next day with several more flowers popping out!

Alas, I took my friend back to the airport today, worked on e-mails, practiced my German, made dinner, and contacted some co-workers and friends...
I opened my shutters this evening to find it wilted! It was wonderful last night - wilted this morning.

Spiritual conclusions I've been drawing from this scenario.
  • Water is necessary for life - Jesus is the Living Water
  • If we don't spread Him around we just clog up and get waterlogged! - Let His water flow
  • Left alone we will wilt from the heat of the world - the Living Water must consistently flow through/around/in us.

Don't keep Him on the balcony with the shutters closed :-)

Guten Abend - just wanted to give you a wink and share a little of the fun! The sunflower plant received water only three hours ago and is once again smiling!

Sunday, July 9, 2006

What does one say about the Swiss Alps?


So.
The Alps.
WOW!



Some of you have experienced this grand expression of God’s grandeur. The word ‘awesome’ has been so overused, it seems almost trite. And yet, when I try to describe this mountain range, that word is the closest word I can come up with. AWESOME!

I confess. I did not want to go. I stomped around my flat for several minutes on Sunday of last week. “Why do I have to go God? I’m just so tired.”

After repeatedly throwing a fit with my Heavenly Father, (who by the way, can always handle our fits – He knows what we are thinking anyway, might as well admit it to Him, get it out in the open, and move into real relationship with Him!) I came to a dead stillness in the middle of my bedroom floor. Looking out across my little town to the castle staring back at me, I was reminded of my family’s church attendance barometer.

If there is a Sunday that you are feeling the need to NOT go to church, ask yourself these three questions:
1. Do I not want to go to church because I have another commitment that is hanging over my head, and I believe that it is my responsibility to handle this commitment? Stay home and get the job done.
2. Do I not want to go to church because I am honestly physically ill or exhausted? Stay home and get some rest.
3. Do I not want to go to church because I REALLY don’t WANT to go???? Then, get up, stand up, get dressed and GO! This is the time that God has something to say to you; Satan doesn’t want you to hear it… GO! GO! GO!

Standing in this little flat I realized – I am tired, but the pervading feeling is: “I just don’t want to go!” Hummmm, Go! Go! Go!

God is so good. The information shared at this ‘retreat/conference’ was so timely. Strategies on language learning, relating to our culture, staying pure in body/soul/spirit, remaining in community, stress relievers, and much more. It was exactly what I needed. Fancy that :-)Worshiping God through song, study, and long hikes in the Alps was just what was needed for all of us.

Climbing up the mountain, I watch my young new friends {one living in Romania, one in Slovenia} slide behind a waterfall coming from the glacier waters above – I sit on a humongous rock beside the stream, the cold spray covering my face, my hair, my clothes! Looking up into the clear cornflower blue sky I see this King of Glory pursuing me with His love.

Knowing that I am not alone in this journey is a wonderful peaceful gift from the giver of good gifts – my Father.

I love Him so.

mutating missionary
mutating/mutating/mutating

Sunday, July 2, 2006

Yesterday I posted a piece that I had written back in April. I thought it interesting.

Today, I leave for Switzerland. My home is still not completely settled; my kitchen arrived after Deutsch Schule began. I would much rather stay home and get some things settled than head off to the Alps -- Now I ask you, "What is wrong with this picture?" I long to stay put for just a few weeks and settle in...

I'm a nester. I cannot deny it. It is the way God made me. I nest. I snuggle in and dig a taproot. I did so in my home in Texas, and I am doing it here in Germany. But, I must leave this nest and travel down to Switzerland, up into the Alps and sleep in an unknown bed, shower in an unknown shower, and read in an unknown chair. It is supposed to be a retreat, so I am trying not to take too much stuff - i.e. computer, work stuff, GERMAN!

What do you take to a place that you don't know, to be with people that you don't know, to be questioned on things you really don't know about?

I resort to my favorites: books, journals, pens, computer, camera, tea, personal cup, more clothes than I need, slippers, and my pillows...
I'm glad we are driving ;-)

I'm wondering...
Do I just end up taking my nest with me???????
I won't be on the internet for at least a week - I'll check in when I get back.
Hummmmm - what does one wear to the Alps? "The hills are alive..." sung in my very own impression of Maria!

May God be able to tap on this heart, as I seek rest and rejuvenation with HIM.

mutating missionary
ps AW TOZER comes in a few days!!!!!!!!!!! (i.e. my kitty)

Saturday, July 1, 2006

typed April 25 - didn't get around to getting it on the computer!!!! :0)

No comments on how long it has been since I have BLOGged!

In two days the crate comes from the United States. THE crate, filled with all of the things that are missed… OK, maybe not filled with all of the things missed, but, at least with my Red Prayer Chair, and my own warm and snuggly bed – the other things that are missed: my children, my family, my friends, and of course A.W. Tozer! These, unfortunately, are not in the crate. Unfortunately for me, fortunately for them!

Much of what will be deposited in this tiny flat in Badenweiler, are things that I don’t even remember. I have pictures of my home in Flower Mound. In fact, I have spent a few minutes this morning going over them; trying to remember what I brought, what I left. Will it fit? I don’t think so.

Speaking of pictures, yes, the pictures of my life will be nice to have. Starting a new life is always a time of reflecting on the old.

When I got married, I spent some time looking at Daddy’s pictures of our life. Getting a divorce I spent some time contemplating burning some pictures of my life. I think I might have even burned a few… I really can’t remember. (If I did, the evidence is long goneJ) When Grant got married last year at this time, I took time to organize pictures again. And now, I will be either receiving my pictures, or they will have been left! I really can’t remember packing them. Isn’t that interesting?

Of course, for anyone that was around me at that point in time, you know that my world was reeling. I know that I started traveling at the end of October, 2005. I was gone the majority of the time from that point on. So, as I sit here on this bed, on this floor, in this apartment, in Badenweiler, in Germany. I realize that I have lived out of suitcases for, hummmmmmm for seven months. Seven months? Over half a year!

What has God done in these seven months? His workings are too immeasurable to enumerate.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Apprehended

“Never choose to be a worker; but when once God has put His call on you, woe be to you if you turn to the right hand or the left. We are not here to work for God because we have chosen to do so, but because God has apprehended us.” Oswald Chambers

Apprehended: to seize 1. to arrest, to seize 2 to become aware of: perceive 3. to grasp with understanding: recognize the meaning of.

He seized, I became aware, He grasped – I hold on – HE HOLDS ME.

I am called not just to bear testimony, but to preach the gospel.
You are called not just to bear testimony, but to preach the gospel.
We are called not just to bear testimony, but to preach the gospel.

Sinners, saved by GRACE.

I cannot say that I fully grasp with understanding my God. I do not completely recognize the meaning of HIM who made, came, redeemed, restored, related. I cannot. I hold on to the truths that He has walked me through. I pick up the rocks of remembrance and put them in my pocket – they remind me of His wonder, His provision, His love. I discover new truths as we travel this road together; intimate truths, blessed truths, frightening truths. I share Him with any and everyone that opens the door. But, I can only share the Him that I know. The Word shares all of Him to them. Therefore, I point to the Bible and ask them to open it, read it, meditate on it. He will apprehend them where they are. He is calling His sheep. Are we listening?

Monday, June 26, 2006

Schwarzwald Kirsche Torte

Yesterday afternoon and evening, I drove up into the Schwarzwald. (The Black Forest) A woman that I have gotten acquainted with at language school asked me to take her. She had a research assignment due...

The research: Finding the likes and differences in Schwarzwald Kirsche Torte (Black Forest Cherry Cake) – the REAL Black Forest Cake – made fresh daily in the forest!

Likes/Compare:
All have a delicious German chocolate cake
All have cream frosting to die for
All have cherries
All have liquor poured on them somewhere

Differences/Contrast:
Layers - 3, 4 (I have seen one 5 layer, but not on this trip)
Fresh Cherries vs. Bottled Cherries (Fresh are best!)
Liquor mixed into the cream to give a nice taste - but some stop you in mid bite and yell - ALCOHOL! – NO it was not an immense amount – just a taste – but all concentrated in one area… Nicht so gut!
However, I would not send any of them back to the kitchen!!!!!!

Now for those of you that might think that was an ill-spent day, please remember – I am in class daily with nothing but German going into my head and out my mouth. I have German seeping in my windows, through my ceiling (from upstairs nachbarin, i.e. neighbor, from the floor [both Chinese and German come from there]).

Enjoying a pleasant conversation with a Kindergarten teacher from DALLAS, (yes, God surprises me all the time with how small the world is) traipsing through the Black Forest discovering Titesee, St. Georgian Clouster, and St. Magreet’s ancient church; it was delightful.

I stopped awhile in the church and enjoyed a moment with my Lover!

Celebrations are going on all over Germany. It is summer (sommer). And the small dorfs in the mountains are not any different. My friend enjoyed wurst und pommes – and I chose chicken und pommes.

An interesting aside. These festivals always have food and drinks. But, when you get the food/drinks – they are served with real silver ware, breakable plates, and wonderful glasses! The consumer is charged One to Two Euros for each item. Upon returning the item, the consumer gets the money back! This is a great way to keep the trash down and to enjoy a nice picnic meal (no wet laps!) – But, I am amazed at the people in the far corner, the people taking care of the dishes that have been returned. What a service. Remember these are community events – so I doubt they are being paid.

Now that I have rambled for a while, you are probably asking – what is the point?

Black Forest Cake
There is a recipe; but with each, a different end product.
Hand made stuff is always best.

I am glad that each and every one of us is different. I am looking forward to the people that God is bringing into my world that look and act differently than me, than my friends, than my family. It will be fun to discover the likes and differences. And what is so comforting: God has a recipe that has required ingredients – they are few, but they are important – to fill that ‘God-shaped void.’ Knowing that recipe brings wholeness. That is actually the only recipe that does.

Your mutating missionary
PS we only tried 3 cakes – and we split every one of them – didn’t eat all of any!
PS 2 I am making a photo site - please stay tuned for location!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Germany Celebrates

Germany won. This is worth a two in one day post.

I am caught in the excitement of it all. I didn't see the game - don't own a TV. Didn't hear the game on the radio - haven't paid the radio tax. I simply went to the grocery store after the game was over. The spirit of the town was delightful. The honking, the Black/Red/Yellow everywhere, the flags. It was a joy to see this country celebrate.

Many of the older friends that I have met have commented on the fact that this is the first time there has been an all over country pride since the war. It is a good thing to celebrate. A healthy thing. I am glad they won.

It has been interesting to go to school in the larger town north of here. The game excitement is palpable at all times there. I have been on the Gleis waiting for my train on several occasions after a game. It has been delightful to watch the old and young alike join in the festivities.

I must go, there is a group of cars below driving through my dorf - honking and shouting Berlin, Berlin, Berlin - and singing Deutschland, Deutschland...
I head out to my balcony to watch below!

Guten Abend

His mercies are new every morning.

The most common comment that I hear from those that I talk to in America...
"I hear birds, are you around birds?"

Welcome to the Black Forest. Schwarz Wald! My windows remain open both day and night, I look out of my bedroom (schlaffzimmer) window. Below me is a small cobbled street, across from me lay the trees of another mountain, and to the left of me atop a ridge is the Castle. The sky is usually either intense Cornflower Colorado Blue or slightly overcast. Today it is Cornflower Colorado Blue. Every room in my flat is filled with light from large windows or French Doors. The windows in my home are rarely shut at this time of year. I live 3 flights up, so even when I head out to Deutsch Schule, I leave them open. The birds are incredible. I hear them all. They begin early (4:30 to 5:00 am) and don't stop until late in the evening. It begins to actually get dark here about 10:00 pm.

There is constant visiting below me. I hear the German's discussing all sorts of things. At present I can only pick out a few words (progess - 2 months ago it was only one or two!) On Wednesdays the fresh market comes and I enjoy the bantering that goes on from my balcony.
It is a new day every day - a beautiful day every day - and I am reminded of what I commented on last night. I am thankful for 'do overs.'

Every day I have an opportunity to climb out of bed and snuggle in with Him.

Recently the daily grind began to get to me. I was tired, frustrated, and basically whining. (by the way, this becomes a really easy thing to do when you can't speak above the age of a 2 year old!)

My kitchen had been delivered, installed and still unusable; someone at the factory had mislabled an oven hood as a fridge! So, instead of an oven hood and a fridge, I got two oven hoods! I was without a kitchen - but more than that I was without energy to function well.

I realized that I had spent the last several days focused on learning the German language and had little time with my Lord. Why do we do this????? What are we thinking???? I don't know, am I the only one in the world that finds myself three steps into life without the Life Giver?

Once again I participated in earning my camel knees!!!!!
Lord how can you be so patient with me?

Since then I have been meditating on God's wonderful love, His patience, and His promise that His mercies are new every morning.

I am thankful for do overs - and once again I hear the birds sing.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Do Over

I am thankful for do overs.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Wetter

The 'wetter' here in Germany is HEISST! ( this double ss is one of those fun letters that I can't make with my typewriter)
OK, don't know if either of those words are spelled correctly in German. If anyone ever told you it usually only reaches in the 80s in Germany - they are speaking truth. What they fail to disclose is that with NO airconditioning one never cools off - HOT! I am thankful that I live in the mountains and my nights are at least cooler. In the Rhine valley it can be stiffling. Especially in the city.

I had an interesting conversation with the ZIVI (young man that handles activities at the Goethe Institut). He was a youth regional leader in a EVE church in Baden-Baden.

Each time I speak to a person that has been involved in any church experience I come away with the same words. "There is nothing but words from the pastors. They get paid from the government taxes of the people and no one really is concerned about whether or not the congregation is learning or growing - or even accepting Christ." The pastors/churches are taken care of and live well - financially. These are Germans speaking of German churches - with no prompting, just a simple question, "So, how are the churches in Germany?"

I encouraged him to go to a church south of here. I will enjoy getting to know him and his young girlfriend - from Korea. She, on the other hand, has a firm grasp of the importance of Who Christ is in her life...

I find that fascinating, exciting, challenging, and encouraging.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Wie geht es?

It has begun. Attending classes has sent me back to days gone by. I recall sweaty palms, head spinning, and heart palpatating -- test anxiety? I think that they wrote the book about me - giggle!
I am thankful that there is only one test upon entry into the Kingdom...
Do I KNOW HIM?
answer - Yes!

Geothe Institut hits the language hard, uses good learning strategies, and is interested in giving a full enculturation experience. I sit with many young people from the USA, a Candian, an Italian, and one young girl from Oman. There are twelve in the class. The four week program is halfway through. This has been great. I had enough of the culture/language to have some questions, some hooks to put the language learning into, and for my learning style - this has been the best way to go. I will take what I learn from this four weeks, implement it and return again for another class for four weeks later. Language learning is very difficult. Some come by it naturally, others of us... pray a lot!

Must get back to homework.

mutating missionary
Guten Abend

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Success???? Oh contrar! (sp? - it is French ya know!)

I just had to share!

The order with the German man -- Yeh! That order that I thought I had done successfully- Friday last week! NOT!

I waited at home all morning, from 7:00 to 12:00. No SHOW! I called the number, begged for someone that spoke English and found out - no order had ever been put on the books!

After many tears (while waiting for the call from the English speaking guy) I finally got a return phone call - I had 3 promises of return calls earlier from German speakers, but they didn't call back, one even just kept repeating a number REALLY fast and hung up. It was exasperating.

I cannot blame the Germans - I am a visitor in their country. It is my job to learn the language - I just wish that so many things didn't have to be done without my mastering the language yet. And mastering it is a loose term - without my even grabbing it for a few seconds!

My daughter keeps saying, "Mom, you've only been there for 4 months." I know, I know, I know. But oh how I want to talk to the man at the Bakery, and TALK to the Butcher, and TALK to the waitress at my local cafe'. I'm asking God for patience in the same breath I am asking Him for knowledge of this language.

It appears that the English speaking guy realized that I was needing help. He called back. We set up an appointment for next Thursday. They will come and put my shrunks together and my bookcases.

I told the guy how much I appreciated his kindness. I told him that I was sorry I didn't know the language any better. I told him I would try to learn it. I told him if he was close I would buy him lunch! He grinned (I heard the grin on the phone!) and said Guten Tag!

Maybe by Wednesday of next week I won't have 24 boxes in my living room :-)

I'm just thankful I have 24 boxes, have a living room, have a bed - found an English Speaker!!!!!

your mutating missionary

Sunday, May 21, 2006

PLUGGED IN

I’m dealing with another desire to ‘media’ myself to death. What I mean by that is that I want to cave in and go to my ‘cave announcing to myself that I need cave time, but not really getting cave time, but ‘plugging in’ and getting media overload!

Internet is a great thing, DVDs are to be celebrated, but when they become your friends they are to be avoided. When I would rather watch a movie than walk to the nearest café because I will have to interact with a culture I don’t know or feel comfortable in, I must rethink my media temptation.
When I would rather read BLOGS of people that I don’t even know, than write my own, my creativity is being jeopardized.

Loneliness is tough. But I wonder if the purpose of loneliness is to drive us into community. When we fill our time with movies, radio, music, or simply come home from work and ‘PLUG IN’ we forfeit real life relationships. On the internet we can BLOG but can we catch the quiver in the voice? The tiny wisp of a tear? The hunger in an eye? Or even receive the much craved hug?

One of the first sentences I am learning here in Germany is, “Ich brauche eine Umarmung.” .A child in Grade 3 taught me this sentence. It is not said often in Germany, but my friends here are hearing it often from me.

Friday catapulted me into a ‘PLUGGED IN’ evening. Going to the local grocery store I put my bravado together – you know this face – you have probably used it upon going in for a job interview, entering the first day of class, or going to a new church or group of some kind. I must use this it anytime I step out of my door. It is the face that faces the unknown. Every time I leave my house (unless I am headed into the office) I must put this ‘bravado’ on!

I call it – OK God, it’s You and me!

Well, this past Friday I went into the grocery store with a bit more confidence than usual. Pulling into the parking lot with Carol King’s Tapestry humming from the CD player, feeling the incredible evening air and pretty much thinkin’ – ‘I’m doing pretty good.’ The day had been comfortable. I’d been to the office. I’d spent the day living and breathing ‘America’ within those safe walls.

I had successfully set up an appointment with a German for assembling some shrunks (closets) from IKEA, by PHONE, unable to see his frustration with my limited German; I came away only a tiny bit scathed.

So all in all, it had been a great day. Entering the parking lot, as I said, with ‘I feel the earth move under my feet’ playing and pretty much feeling like the 15 year old memorizing the lyrics for the first time – I was feeling life ‘plugged in.’

I confidently took my euro from its holding place in my car
Check! Yes, euro needed for shopping cart!
Cultural experience #1 mastered!
Check! Yes, shopping bag in the trunk – ready and waiting!
Cultural experience #2 mastered!
Check! Milk, crackers, soap, laundry detergent, weighing and pricing the veggies, knowing what words mean when I look at the jars of jelly, packages of cheese. Even the cleaning items weren’t so scary.

I approached the meat counter, hackfleisch – hummmmmmm would I really want more chili or should I go for broke and get rind hackfleisch and make a burger for the evening?

And then I saw it. A seasoned ‘Texas Steak.’ Now, I wasn’t as naive as I had been 3 months ago. I read the small lettering underneath ‘schinkensteake’ which let me know that no matter what the seasoning might be on this ’Texas Steak’ the meat was from a pig and pigs cannot be camouflaged as ‘sweet Texas beef’ after the palate gets hold of it. I digress…

I ordered the Texas Steak knowing what I was getting. The butcher didn’t even blink giving it to me and saying something about the meat and to have a great day. Ah! Sweet success – she had not discovered I KNOW nothing! I smiled and wished her a ‘Gute Abend’ pushing my cart to the register. Placing everything on the conveyor belt I got the bill, paid it with confidence, bagged my groceries into my own sack…
Check! Yes, it all fits in one sack (meaning I had not waited too long to go to
the store this time :-))
Cultural experience #3 mastered!

Heading for the bread counter, I looked down. The meat! It sat there in the corner of the cart! It sat there and I had not paid for it.

Turning around I saw the lines of people at the cash register, Friday after work, people preparing for 3 days of groceries instead of 2 – I couldn’t leave without paying. So, I walked back “Enschuldigung, I didn’t pay for my meat.”

Then it happened…
The blank look I have come so to recognize
She doesn’t speak English. My heart sank. After much scrambling an English speaker was dragged out of the back holding a carton of Pringles, imagine that! He translated, the woman disagreed, the crowds stared, escape was considered – but finally it was tackled and I left – shaken.

All the way home I beat myself up over just 7 words. “I need to pay for my meat.” Put in a tough situation I had frozen, I couldn’t even remember the word for meat, much less for pay. In fact, NOTHING had come up from my gray matter except “Enschuldigung!” over and over again.

I spent Friday night ‘PLUGGED IN’ - NO German, NO going out, NO walking.

Saturday morning I ‘PLUGGED IN’ again. I unpacked boxes, and listened to music. AMERICAN music!

Finally, I got a bit hungry and went downstairs for a cup of soup ‘PLUGGED IN’ with my nano. My Chinese friend had to tap me on the shoulder to get my order. A German shopkeeper I am getting acquainted with came over to sit with me, but I was ‘PLUGGED IN’ and she didn’t disturb me – and I was glad – I was soooo tired of German! Not Germans, but German!

Eating, listening to David Grey ‘White Ladder’ writing and waiting for my soup I wrote in my journal OH GOD, I NEED a hug!
Ich brauche eine Umarmung. I wrote it in English and in German.

I returned home to a note hanging on my mail box. “Robyn, I brought Kaffee and schokolade kuchen. I will be back, went for a walk 14:20. (signed -- one of my German friends)

I cried! Isn’t God good? Isn’t flesh and blood, heart and soul relationship better than any internet, radio, TV, movie, or even Carol King or David Grey?

Later that day my friend downloaded lots of stuff needing lots of prayer – when she left I said “Ich brauche eine Umarmung.”

She needed one too.

? I don't ever want to be too 'PLUGGED IN!'