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