Thursday, March 29, 2007

cooked


"Unfortunately, people think of sleep as an irresponsible activity. It's as if they are being macho, and want to prove how busy and important their lives are. I predict someday that attitude will be as socially unacceptable as smoking."
By Carlin Flora
Psychology Today © Copyright 1991 - 2006


The oral report fertig ist. (is finished)

I'm done with this week's craziness!


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

10 Top Joys in last 10 days



Top 10 Joys of the last 10 days (not counting God and family):
not in order of importance


  1. My Red Chair: times of rest and rejuvenation.


  2. Getting a Valentine's package from San Antonio. She sent it before Valentine's Day, and I received it on Saturday of this week (March 24th) - giggle


  3. Sharing a Coffee with my tandem partner at my dining table, after standing and breathing in the cool brisk air on my balcony, soaking in the view.


  4. Studying the Bible with A***on a wonderful Wednesday Afternoon


  5. Sermon in Freiburg on Wednesday night (humbling)


  6. Preparing for trip back to USA, mentally and spiritually.


  7. Having my Jewish friend tell me a mutual friend gave him a Bible, because Ancient Hebrew is so difficult. He finally agrees that the Old Testament might be the same as the Torah. May God guide him where he needs to go - whether Old or New Testaments... And then him telling me if I have a smaller one - well, he would like to have one of those so he could take it around with him and read it on the run... dang skippy!


  8. Finishing a 10 week Personal Bible study - it was a fantastic study


  9. Studying German by a window at 'Oscar's' a cafe' shop in Freiburg that snuggles along a fluss.


  10. The night sky on Tuesday night - coming back from Freiburg... so clear, so gorgeous.

Empty/Full

Sometimes:
Life comes at us. We are hit with some dissappointments.
We are empty.
We might have been overflowing earlier. We might have been simply brimming over. In fact, we might still be able to see the cup with the remains. But now, we are empty.
I am so thankful that I know where to go 'wann meine Schale ist leer.' (when my cup is empty)
This is a life-time learning process.
Last night, my tandem partner came over for some tea and cake. We are making a really wonderful team.
We met one year ago at an Easter Service. She played the harp. We met again on der Zug (the train) sometime in October. Then, I went to her church's harvest service on November 5 (my birthday) and we made a decision to meet together. She is a believer - she desires to study the Bible with me - she is a wonderful seeking soul.
We talked for hours -- albeit broken English and broken German. But we got our hearts across. It is lonely to be a believer in this country. So few believers here. She has had a hard life...
We shared, we cried, we laughed.
She and her husband head out this weekend to a large city for a harp festival. Her husband is an 'hölzerner Künstler' (wood artist). He crafts harps for a living. I pray that they sell one, two, or three!
Waving goodbye at my door, I returned to my flat. Curling up in my red chair, I settled in for some much needed refueling. The new Bible that Sh&St gave me for Christmas is being broken in. Turning to Isaiah 66 I read...
Thus says the Lord,
"Heaven is My throne, and the earth is my footstool Where then is a house you could build for Me? And where is a place that I may rest? For My hand made all these things Thus all these things came into being," declares the Lord.
"But to this one I will look.
To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word."
And then He draws me into:
"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances."
He does it.
He does it.
He does it.
He does it.
He does it...
and the table set before me is filled!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

what do i see in the mirror?

So...
You're driving home from school You round the curve in the Schwarzwald, and low and behold...
there is some oncoming traffic.


Some days I must stop my car and allow the herd to go by. Some days it is cattle, some days it is sheep. But, the cattle know where they are going - the sheep? They need a shephard to guide them through.
Do you ever wonder why Jesus refers to us as sheep??????
your mutating missionary

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Grief




Yesterday I grieved
I took off a day and I grieved
God gave me a snow day
And I grieved

Because I am an American – I needed a snow day to stop, to stop and grieve a friend. But, after a day of doing incredibly stupid things (I turned the wrong way on an arrow at an intersection, I found my lettuce in the freezer, and I left my keys in the door of my flat – don’t worry mom, my flat door is in my yellow house and my yellow house has a door that automatically locks.) All the signs were there --- STOP!

I have said this before and I say it again.
Here in Germany there are many things done that are against what God calls them to do. They have walked away from relationship with Christ, they have allowed se*ual abhorrent behaviors to be accepted and received as normal, and racsim runs rampant – it is hidden here, under a smoke screen of passivism and tolerance / which is a social dichotomy. There are many things that I believe are done poorly here - the list could go on.

Yet, I also maintain that they do some things well.

It is ok to grieve here.
I didn’t go in to school, I turned off my cell phone, I didn’t answer the home phone, I walked down and sat at the Chinese Restaurant. My Chinese friend knew that I had lost my friend and sat a wonderful table by the window for me, I sat there for hours. I studied my German.

You would probably expect me to say I read my Bible, wrote in my journal, remembered my friend. You would probably expect me to say I wrote about the first time I met her, the times that I observed her. I observed her as a mother, I observed her as a wife. And she was a great mother and she was an incredible wife. You would probably expect me to say I grieved for her husband – her husband that absolutely loves her. Such a rare gift – marriage, and I believe my friend and her husband did it well. You probably would expect me to say I grieved for her daughter – her daughter that adored her. I lost my dad at 22 – it is too young to loose a parent (but then again is there ever an easy time?)
You would probably expect me to say I grieved in all of these ways – and to be honest – I could have. I could have. These things are true and valid and honest.

But, I didn’t grieve in these ways. I sat at a table; I wrote German words and definitions for hours. Two restaurant patrons came in and we talked about learning German in German. They left. My friend and all of her employees ate their lunch and then left. The restaurant closed for a Mittag Schlaf. My friend allowed me to sit there – she made a pot of tea and allowed me to sit there. I did. They opened again at 5:00 pm. I sat longer. They made a cappuccino for me, a great cappuccino – with lots of Sahne. And I wrote German nouns and their definitions. I watched the snow continue to fall all day. I thought, even the weather is agreeing with me.

I thought it interesting that I didn’t feel like I needed to apologize. I didn’t feel like I needed to work (even though I got a lot accomplished). I didn’t feel like I needed to do anything. I just grieved. I grieved and wrote German.

When I came home I chose not to go up the back stairwell. I walked through the snow. I walked and took pictures of all things. I walked and walked and walked. The sun had not yet gone down and the streets were still quiet. I really didn’t think about anything. Finally, I got cold and came home to my toasty yellow nest.

I read, checked some e-mails, enjoyed another cup of tea – and knew I had spent the day grieving. I went to bed late.

In days of old, grief was received as normal. Crying, tearing clothes, aching - received. But today in the US we try to hide it. We might get a day off if the person who passed is a husband, child, or parent. Otherwise, forget it.

I woke up this morning. I am still sad, but there is not that heavy weight in my spirit. Granted, I did not know my friend as her husband knows her, as her daughter knows her, as her very best friends know her.

I wish that her husband, her daughter, her friends could be allowed in our ‘get moving – get on with it’ society to grieve. I am praying that somehow, they be able to do this. It will take longer for them. A day would not be sufficient. And here in Germany it is OK to take longer for the family and close friends. That, I believe, they do right. I might find myself putting the lettuce in the freezer again - i don't know. But if I do - I will allow myself to grieve. I pray you do to. The snow here has not stopped falling.
Your Mutating Missionary

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A Friend Goes to be with Jesus

She was handpicked.

The Body is the looser,

Heaven gained a Saint.

At approximately 7:00 CST

March 20

My friend's life was complete.

She didn't live too short a life.

She lived the length of time that God determined.

And so She lived a Complete Life.

She wins

We wait

She was handpicked.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Dwell



I thought it would be fun to give you a taste of Germany when I blog. So, from now on I will download a pic from my very unusual self. I like lines, curves, catching the common, and offcentered visuals. So - that is what I will be posting. If you are a person that needs people in your pics that you know - well that is just not me, sorry. The pics are a gift from me to you - they will not necessarily blend with the theme of the blog - but they will be mine :-) I might throw one in now and again that does satisfy all of those criteria that are normally satisfied - but don't count on it giggle.


Dwell -


I meet with a young woman about once a week to study the Bible. She is from Spain. On a cold October night she accepted the Lord, on a stoop, in a University Stadt (town) in Germany, with me. We are studying a book about prayer. It takes us a bit longer because we must really make sure that she understands all of the vocabulary in the book. The book is in english! I bought her a Bible in Spanish and we sometimes read my German Bible! It is exciting.


The word that she is having a really hard time with is Dwell. She finds it everywhere and has a hard time wrapping her head around the meaning.


I've been thinking about the word as well.


Before I began studying German as a way of life, I never thought about the difficulty that someone might have in understanding a word. But, sometimes it is difficult.


When my daughter was here we went to a German Church. She sat on a very hard pew, in a very cold and very large and very empty church, and didn't understand a word of the service. Afterwards she told me it was the longest sermon she had ever sat through. But she also said, "Now I understand why non-believers have a hard time in church. They don't understand the language."


I dwell in a flat in Germany. But who dwells in me? Do I desire to understand His language? Do I desire to struggle through the difficult translation - or the fun translation - or the confusing translation... in this life that he is walking me through? Will I ever get it all? NO! But I believe that He finds pleasure in my desire to understand. I believe that He finds pleasure in the fact that I desire for HIM to dwell in me (make Himself at home) - while I dwell in this yellownest called home.

So this is the front of the pic above: my jackets, coats, scarfs, hats, and sometimes my purse hang on this in my entry way. It is a wonderful iron art piece. The pink hangers? A house warming gift from my friend in the USA Ms. G...
Thanks - I enjoy them daily.
Because He is the I AM, i am
your mutating missionary

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Question for you...

She stands a few heads taller than me. A beautiful blue - eyed blond believer.
None of this is unusual in Germany except the believer part.

We met last Friday for a coffee. I blogged a moment about it, but I can't seem to leave the thoughts. My new friend shared several stories on that day. But the one that keeps coming back to my mind was her questioning my being divorced. The conversation went something like this - with more German thrown in.

"Also...you weren't a believer when you married?"
"No, I was a believer."
"So your husband was a believer auch (also)?"
"Nein, I thought he was but he only met my definition of believer at that time. He is a cultural Christian. My definition of a believer at that time: you had to say you were a Christian, and you had to go to church already... My ex- said he was a Christian, and he also was going to church at that time I met him. What I didn't know (until I was too far gone) he went to church because he was dating a girl at that church. Like I said, he was a cultural Christian"
"Also... we don't have those here in Germany. I dated a man from the United States once. He too was a cultural Christian. He said he was a Christian, but he really didn't believe in Christ. It was uberaschung(surprising). Here in Germany a person doesn't say that they are a Christian unless they are. They might say that they are Lutheran or Catholic. But a Christian... no, they would not say that."

So, I've been wondering - when will the United States move from being a culturally Christian society to being just plain non-Christian????? Are we there yet?

Interesting, don't you think?

And which is better?

Think about it. It is easier to spot a Christian here...
I don't know - I've just been thinking about that whole "be either hot or cold" verse...
I don't know...
maybe getting an e-mail from someone that I don't doubt is a Christian - but has really made some BAD decisions of late... I don't know... it has just got me thinking...

any input?????

Friday, March 16, 2007

the body

I met a German woman in town today. We had a coffee by the river. We have been praying for the same person. We shared and prayed and prayed and shared. She leaves soon to go to Israel to live.

How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news.

From America to Germany to Israel to...

Isn't the Body of Christ Beautiful? His Church, His Bride, His Love...

Thursday, March 15, 2007

copy of e-mail sent out to friends and family

Many of you have made request for an update.
Thank you for your prayers – I have incredible peace and I know your prayers are a part of that.
First allow me to correct the 4 CT scan statement.
I understood that had been what had happened; I just found out last night there were not 4.

Please forgive me. I do not ever want to misinform anyone and steer clear of specifics in prayer requests that I have made before, because I didn’t know all the details. I have simply said – God knows – so please pray…
I should have said that in this one as well – it is a lesson I have learned.

I wrote this down from my daughter last night:
· All tests so far have come back negative (which is positive – they can find nothing)
· There is another test
· The episodes are under control.
So, please continue to pray – God knows all of the details.
Ask Him to superintend healing, He knows!
And maybe, just maybe when you bring her name to Him…
bring your concerns to Him, bring your specifics to Him, bring your love to Him – I oh, so hope that you do.
God has allowed me to stay calm in this situation: most of the time…
I did have one afternoon that I called a dear pastor friend in the USA – and then there was one day when I was REALLY mad at someone for how they were handling this. But, even that turned out to be a positive (i.e. my baseboards are clean – giggle)
As I said before, I can DO nothing except pray and trust God.
I go to German school, go to work, mentor, build relationships, attend church – I trust God. I covet your prayers!!!!!!
Because He IS the I AM, i am
mm

Thursday, March 8, 2007

My daughter has been the hospital off and on since Thursday of last week. I didn't know about some of these visits - just the one last week... until last night. I got a message from my oldest son last night. She is back, has had 4 CT scans in the last week and they still don't know what is going on. It has something to do with her spinal cord - all very unknown, can't figure out kind of stuff. I can DO absolutely nothing here. I could DO absolutely nothing there.

But as I stop this day to get with my Lord, My GOD - to lay this mother's heart down before Him. I pray for her healing - He is the God of the unknowns. Please join me in praying that we as a family will be wooed to:

Love the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind and with all our strength.

This I trust. For if we can do this - all else will be in line.

I thought it interesting this morning when I opened my e-mails to send out a prayer request to all of my friends and family - I found this from a dear friend in Baltimore. It is one of those 'silly pass it on e-mails' but the cord that it struck in the very depths of my heart this morning made me decide to pass it on to you - because - it brought all of the love that I have for my daughter to rise up and overflow from my tear-filled eyes. If you are not a mother, just know this is from a mother's heart...

Prettiest Moms!
Before I was a Mom I never tripped over toys or forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn't worry whether or not my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.
Before I was a Mom - I had never been puked on.
Pooped on.
Chewed on.
Peed on.
I had complete control of my mind and my thoughts.
I slept all night.
Before I was a Mom I never held down a screaming child so doctors could do tests.
Or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.
Before I was a Mom I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn't want to put them down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn't stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom.
Before I was a Mom - I didn't know the feeling of having my heart outside my body.
I didn't know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond between a mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small could make me feel so important and happy.
Before I was a Mom - I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth, the joy, the love, the heartache, the wonderment or the satisfaction of being a Mom.
I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much,
before I was a Mom.

Well, that just about says it all - all except this:
Laying my mother's heart down before the God of the Universe - I do know that He loves her even more than I do.
And He is trustworthy, faithful, good. He is ALL Trustworthiness, All Faithfulness, All Goodness, All Power and Might, All LOVE!

And after 26 years, and more joy than one mother has the right to have for one daughter - this mother's heart desires to Love the Lord My God with all of my heart and my soul and my mind and my strength...

May He be glorified in our days
my eyes brim over -
tears spill out

mm

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Hurt by Jesus?

Hurt by Jesus?
Have you ever been hurt by Jesus? People don't like that question. They immediately think: "Hey now, Jesus is love, He's my friend, He's kindness, He's…well… He's nice. Jesus wouldn't hurt me."I wonder if Peter would answer in the same way.

Recently, I have been hurt by Jesus. Now, hold on - don't leave before I have a chance to explain.Let's begin by going back to the night that Jesus spoke to Peter:

Jesus appeared once again to the disciples after His resurrection

“Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”
“No,” they answered.
He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.”
When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter. “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.
Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.”
Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. Jesus said to them “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.

When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?”
He answered, Yes, Lord, you now that I love you.”
Jesus said “Take care of my sheep.”
The third time he said to him,, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him a third time, “Do you love me?” He said “Lord you know all things; you now that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”… The he said to him “Follow Me!”

I don’t particularly like this fact: of all the disciples, I identify with Peter.

And in this particular situation in my life – I find myself identifying with him again.

A commentary will clarify in this passage Peter was ‘reinstated.’ I don’t disagree with that, but there is something that goes on here that is of such depth of emotion – I cry when I read it.

Peter had denied Christ 3 times and now he was answering Christ 3 times with an 'I Love You' statement. But, think about this. Peter answered each time and each time a deeper understanding of his inadequacies arouse. Each time he remembered his failure to show (live out) the love that he had for Jesus.

I find myself in that position.

I have lived 50 years on this earth. Not all of those years have I ‘lived out’ the love that I have for Jesus. I have made some really bad mistakes. I have walked my own way – so many times. I have sometimes made decisions in a fog and woken up to find that I was living in a nightmare. I have failed my Lord.

At this stage of my life – I understand Peter better.

Recently, I came to Germany and left all of the life that I had carved out for myself behind. I came because He asked, “MM do you love me?” I answered “You know I love You, Jesus.” And He said “Feed my lambs.” I came to feed His lambs.

Then, I moved slowly into realizing that I was here for the long hard haul, that I was going to have to give up even the very thing that I consider to be my strength -‘the English language.’ He asked me, “MM do you love me?” I answered “You now I love You, Jesus.” And He said “Feed my sheep.” I learn German to feed His sheep.”

Now, my son is getting married, my daughter has been in the hospital, and my youngest son is investigating buying a house. All of these are significant events in my children’s lives. I am not a part of them. I go to sprach schule, go to meetings, and church services that they would not even want to attend, because they would not even begin to know the language. I talk to people that they could not communicate with. I pray for people that they do not know. I live a life that my children are not a part of. And it hurts. It hurts bad!!!!!!

And my Jesus says, “MM, do you love me?” and that hurts more! Do you understand? For Jesus to have to ask that question of me… Oh I hurt that hurt that is so deep. And I say to Him: “Lord you know all things; you know that I love you.”

And He says, “Feed my sheep…Follow Me!”

I live in germany.

your mutating missionary