Sunday, March 30, 2008

A conversation Psalm 141






I've been re-reading and pondering Psalm 141.
In my NASB it has a heading: An Evening Prayer for Sanctification and Protection...
I usually don't look at the headings of the chapters in the bible. I find that it gives me a pre-conceived idea of what the theme of the chapter is. I like to determine the theme from my own reading - my own conversation with God.

1. O Lord, I call upon Thee; hasten to me! Give ear to my voice when I call to Thee!

Oh my Lord I am begging for you to be here God. Hasten to me. I am calling to You. I need Your help, Your guidance, Your wisdom, Your protection. I need You. Please Lord God, I am asking for haste here. I know that You are always in control of timing - but I am making a request for a more speedy answer.

2. May my prayer be counted as incense before Thee; The lifting up of my hands as the evening offering.

Lord may I be a sweet aroma for your precious nostrils. May You count my prayer to be precious to You. and oh my God - I lift my hands before you - I lift them HIGH! I pray a prayer of love and one of purity.

3. Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.

Father - I beg of YOU! shut my mouth when I am not supposed to say something. I find this is my most beloved prayer these days. I so often do not know what to say. Slam my lip-doors SHUT!!!! if I am not supposed to say something. Open them when I am supposed to say something. Help me...

4. Do not incline my heart to any evil thing, to practice deeds of wickedness with men/women who do iniquity; and do not let me eat of their delicacies.

Protect me from evil people Lord... protect me from both women and men that would manipulate, use me, or use those I care about. Protect me from allowing myself to become embroiled in their wickedness - do not allow me to consider their words of 'charm/fun/flirtation' as anything other than what it is - manipulation for their personal gratification and for their own way.

5. Let the righteous smite me in kindness and reprove me; It is oil upon the head; Do not let my head refuse it. For still my prayer is against their wicked deeds.

Keep me close with my brothers and sisters that you have given me to continue in relationship with. Allow me to place them as iron sharpening iron friends and consider them in my life. Allow them to speak to me - and I to them - freely, as we work out relationship together. I do make the request once again: please Lord allow me to learn GENTLY. Teach me gently. I've had to learn the hard way too many times. I don't want to be there. Let me learn gently.

6. Their judges are thrown down by the sides of the rock, and they hear my words, for they are pleasant. As when one plows and breaks open the earth, our bones have been scattered at the mouth of Sheol.

I know that I could look up in several commentaries or do a bit of digging and see if I could hear what you have to say to me with this particular verse, but Lord - I don't want to have someone's words and I would simply like to ponder this verse for a little longer - before I try to figure it out. I honestly don't know what it means.

8. For my eyes are toward Thee, O God, the LORD; IN THEE I take refuge; do not leave me defenseless.

Yes, my eyes are toward You my God. My LORD; My refuge is found in You. I find my comfort in Your Words, in Your wings, In you LORD. Some might not understand this, and well, I know it doesn't sound possible - but it is - You are my refuge.

9. Keep me from the jaws of the trap which they have set for me, and from the snares of those who do iniquity.
10. Let the wicked fall into their own nets, while I pass by safely.

I leave myself in Your Worthy hands my Lord - protect me from those who do not believe me, who do not trust me, who desire to use me, to manipulate, to mangle, to tire, to frustrate what you desire to give me in your wonderful way.
Allow me to be in a safe haven - please - and remind me that this is given to me as a walking text. 'while I pass by safely'... that means I must be moving to receive this safe haven. I must move in my mind and in my thoughts, - in my day in and day out life. This does not go against your planting me, your planting me and not uprooting me...but in my mind and in my thoughts I must move on. In my day in and day out life. Allow me to move more quickly where you want me to be. Please Lord help me in this. Please remove this fear that resides in my spirit. You do not give us a spirit of fear.
Well -- I guess I really did journal a bit on the blog tonight...
What do I get out of this passage?
God listens, shuts my mouth, opens my mouth (if I ask Him to and allow Him to) protects me from evil doers, gives me relationships that strengthen and encourage me, He is my refuge, my defender and HE keeps me safely passing by.
mutating missionary



If you look carefully you will see a double rainbow
If I had a wide lens you would see that this rainbow was a complete one.
We saw both of them all the way across the horizon.
Humm a double promise :-).

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

hospitality

















Hospitality means we take people into the space that is our lives and our minds and our hearts and our work and our efforts. Hospitality is the way we come out of ourselves. It is the step toward dismantling the barriers of the world. Hospitality is the way we turn a prejudiced world around, one heart at a time.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

sharing a silly, but funny e-mail

I received this e-mail from a german/english friend. She has lived in Germany with her German husband for about 30 years. So she considers herself fairly in the German mix. All of her boys (4 children) speak more German than English. I thought it was so funny, I hope you don't mind me sharing a forwarded e-mail...

European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility. As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5- year phase-in plan that would become known as "Euro-English". In the first year, "s" will replace the soft "c". Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy. The hard "c" will be dropped in favour of "k". This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter. There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced with "f". This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter. In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre
that the horibl mes of the silent "e" in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away. By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" with "z" and "w" with "v". During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou" and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensi bl rite n styl. Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru. Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas. If zis mad you smil, pleas pas on to oza pepl.


mutating missionary

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

top 6


Top six moments of this last few days:




6. not going to Croatia - having car issues on the way to the airport and having to send my colleague on without me - knowing that God was in control the entire time - the car issues were not serious


5. having coffee at the Red Coffee Box - it is finally re-opened after a 3 month vacation time


4. studying German at the Red Coffee Box, at the Bakarei, at the Chinese Restaurant, at the top of the mountain, in my car, and in my house


3. going on Friday with my dear friend P** to discover new places. Because we have both been sick with this yuck virus for weeks - we needed some fresh air. Driving to a nearby Munster we took a walk up the mountain and observed the historic sites. I needed a day for my artsy juices to flow.
2. Pre-season baseball began


1. SUNDAY - truly one of those days that I will hold in my heart for years to come. A blessing in so many ways. A young friend was confirmed, we celebrated, 3 women, 3 men (OK 2 women and 1 girl - 2 men and 1 young man) -- but we celebrated. We went to a Special Sunday Spot for Sunday dinner, we went back to friends house for coffee and music playing, and playing and playing, we walked in the Black Forest - we threw snowballs (remembering once again why I am amazed I am involved with baseball on any level ... I have NO throwing skills) we walked in the valley - in the dark - balls thrown - dog walked - conversation pleasant, God there.


I guess you could just say - the German flowed wonderfully, the laughter came easily, the love was apparent and bathed in. And God walked among us.
and naturally - the picture downloading on blogger just froze...
oh well
i will add some more later
your mutating missionary

Friday, March 7, 2008

But God...

God is the rock to give your time to.

He brings everything into focus.

He's not always cheery, but He is always beautiful!

He IS the light in the dark.

Ich bin krank. Ja. Ich hatte Kopfschmerzen und ein bißchen Schwindel. Es ist ein Virus. Ich habe keine Geduld mehr für ihn. Aber ich glaube, es ist hier zu bleiben.

Translation: I have been sick. Yes. I have had a headache and a bit of dizziness. It is a virus. I have no more patience for it. But I believe, it is here to stay.

I'm in the process of making some decisions for summer plans. I am very excited about the possibilities. God is moving in some mighty interesting ways in my job world.

What does the future look like. WOW!

God orchestrates my life so beautifully. I cannot be too sad about the little virus I have.

"Once one is called, financial security, location, notoriety, applause, and power become increasingly less important. Obedience becomes the primary issue."

You know 'the call'. "When Eric Liddle, in Chariots of Fire, said to his sister, "When I run, I feel God's pleasure." When one lives obediently in the center of a call, one feels God's pleasure; one knows a strange joy." Gordon MacDonald in A Resilient Life.

And that is what I have been struggling with for the last few months. I know that when I am with the German people, sharing life, sharing love, and sharing God, I am in the center of His call. When I am teaching, or writing, I am in the center of His Call. So, when anything causes me to be derailed from those - it causes me sleepless nights. It wears me down.
But God...

(Loving the 'But God' thing.)


But God, saw me and He did it. He heard me and He did it. He loves me that much. He is amazingly loving. Even through the confusion - He covers. Even through the frustration - He loves.

Your mutating missionary




Saturday, March 1, 2008

Because of Him - i am




Doesn't matter how many years it has been, every February 29 is hard.

Remembering Edmon Monroe Eastham, engineer, husband of one, father of four, grandfather of 6 (only 3 he knew), was just a man, with many sorrows, many wounds, many positives - i loved him...

Last job: Saudi Arabia, project engineer over largest natural gas refinery in the world,
Last time I saw him: for 10 minutes before open heart surgery (he had been flown back under emergency care and stayed in a hospital in Houston for over a week, but family didn't want to 'worry me'...

time stopped when Dr. Michael E. Debakey operated, God took him home.
He was my dad.
I was 22.

It doesn't help that February 29 came after losing a friend of over 20 years a few weeks ago.

How do people do this without knowing God?

Only because of Him can I say - "an adventure begins today".