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.