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