Thursday, August 20, 2009

what is in a name?

Names are very important to me. They stand for something. I have three children and much thought and prayer was given before I named each one.
My oldest (Bryce Derek = Breach and Swift Moving: I thought that appropriate since he was a breach birth and 3 months premature) / (Erin Leigh = Peaceful Meadow: and she truly is our conflict resolution specialist) / (Grant Douglas = Great Provider: He has provided us with more than money sense during his short life on this earth. At about 13 years old he won a tough guy award because he didn't cry from being stung by a wasp on a boyscout camp out. He climbed into the car afterward and told me, "Mom, it isn't hard not to cry about a wasp sting. Wasp stings go away. What really hurts and is the pain in a person's heart. That pain isn't so easy not to cry about.")
Names are very important.
Today in my readings I came across Gideon. Gideon, you probably have heard about him. He was the guy that God called to get Israel back on track. He was chosen by God to get the Midianites out of control. He destroyed a temple of Baal (his father's) and gave an offering to the one True God. And God was pleased. But, the neighbors were not!
They sought out the culprit that destroyed the temple and found out it was Gideon. They went after him and his dad 'protected (?)' him. The story goes like this:
"They said to one another, "Who did this thing? And when they searched about and inquired, they said, "Gideon the son of Joash did this thing." Then the men of the city said to Joash. "Bring out your son, that he may die, for he has torn down the altar of Baal, and indeed, he has cut down the Asherah which was beside it." But Joash said to all who stood against him, "Will you contend for Baal, or will you deliver him?" Whoever will plead for him shall be put to death by the morning if he is a god, let him contend for himself, because someone has torn down his altar."
Therefore on that day he named him Jerubbaal, that is to say "Let Baal contend against him." because he had torn down his alter." Judges 6:29-32 (read more about the way that God helped Gideon in Judges... but then later in chapter 7 it begins:
"Then Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) and all the people who were with him rose early and camped beside the spring of Harod; and the camp of Midian was on the north side of them by the hill of Moreh in the valley. The LORD said to GIDEON (emphasis mine), "The people who are with you are too many for Me to give Midian into ther hands. for Israel would become boastful, saying, "My own power has delivered me."
GREAT stories!!!
But back to the point of this blogspot. Names. This morning, I found it interesting that people changed Gideon's name, but God still called him Gideon! There are times in the word where God has changed people's names. Sara, Saul, etc. etc. And He also tells us that He has given us a secret name that only He knows. This name He will give us when He sees us face to face and I believe our hearts will leap when He calls us by this name.
But this is the only place that I have taken notice of people giving someone a name and God not going along with it.
How often do we give people names? labels? How often do we give ourselves names? labels? What names does our God call us?
Mine is rre: chosen daughter of the king! Not: woman who has left her own 'successful'career and life to become a 2 year old in a foreign land unable to converse over the smallest and most simple theological truths!!!!!!! ---- this is so often what I feel like.
However, I can certainly get none of the glory for any fruit that is being harvested!!!!!!!! AND His Name is being glorifyed as fruit is being harvested!!!
and I am so excited that He allows me to worship and adore Him. May I do it the rest of my life.
mutating missionary
& ebenezer

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

"The men of Judah attacked Jerusalem also and took it. They put the city to the sword and set it on fire. After that the men of Judah went down to fight against the Canaanites living in the hill country, the Negev and the western foothills. They advanced against Canaanites living in Hebron ...and defeated Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai. From there they advanced against the people living in Debir.... And Caleb said, 'I will give my daughter Acsah in marriage to the man that attacks and captures Kerith Sepher." Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother, took it. So Caleb gave his daughter Acsah to him in marriage.
One day when she came to Othniel she urged him to ask her father for a field. When she got off her donkey, Caleb asked her, "What can I do for you?"
She replied, "Do me a special favor. Since you have given me land in the Negev, give me also springs of water."
Then Caleb gave her the upper and lower springs. Judges 1:8-15

I am really amazed sometimes at how much I don't know the word of God. I don't know how many times I have read this passage. I don't know how many times I have skimmed this passage. But, I have never been captured by these verses before. Was Acsah greedy? Spoiled? Worried?
As I read the verses I see much war, much uncomfortableness, much going on. I know for me seeing those I love go off and not come back from a war situation is disconcerting. I remember Viet Nam, The Gulf War, and now what is going on in the middle east...
But, this woman was bound to a warrier. He had conquered and she was his reward. I don't see her as spoiled. She did what her father required. (I don't see anywhere that anyone asked her who she wanted to marry) She was obedient to her father and married the guy. But then she asks her husband to ask for land. He does and Caleb gives it. I wonder was she aware of the brevity of life and wondering how to make sure that she was taken care of. She asks her father and he gives her what she asks. I don't think this was wrong or selfish. I think that she was thinking of her needs and making sure she and any descendents she had would be taken care of. Remember he husband was a warrier...
I am not going into all of the ins and outs of this scripture... Just pondering it.
I might come back and say none of this was correct, she was a jerkett and she was selfish as is evidenced later in this verse and that verse...
But, right now I am pondering that fact that she was provided for. Not only that she was provided for but she realized that she needed springs - springs of running water. When she got off her donkey, I can just imagine Caleb seeing a concern in her face. Because he asks her, "What can I do for you?' Have you ever heard God ask that? I have.

I am asking God to give me springs of water. He has given me SO much. I am thankful. But there is a disturbance within me. I want Him even more. I am asking Him to pour Himself over me with fresh springs of living water and for me to swim in the love that I know He has for me.
And I am asking for springs of water from my heavenly Father who has already given me land. I am asking because He is asking me, "What can I do for you?" I ask for more of Him.

mutating missionary
& ebenezer

Friday, August 14, 2009

that wonderful quote:
Bloom where you are planted!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

It has been a while since I last posted. I have now returned from Czech Republic, looking forward to a short visit with company from the USA, work has been exhilarating and a bit taxing and I've been pondering in the wee hours L-I-F-E when L-I-F-E hasn't been moving at an ICE Zug's speed! (the fast train in Europe)...

When I get several notices from friends and family that they are worried about me because of this long absence, and they are ready for some new thoughts and pictures... I must admit it causes me to wonder - what shall I write about?

The work that is going on here?

The new avenues God is bringing me down?

The old cracked roads He is mending?

The smiles, the tears, the laughter, the joy? (which as we all know the latter may or may not consist of happiness...)

I honestly don't know. There are so many facets in my life right now. So much that is happening. And yet most of it is too personal and too intimate to share on an internet site. Too many people living life in a new way and seeing God's hand move in their hearts and their lives.

And yet, some say, they still would like to hear what is happening in my heart, in my life, in my world.

And there I stop. My world. It has so expanded and so exploded in the last few years. And yet, has it changed? I still wake each morning glad for another day, interested in what it holds in store, intrigued at the different nuances and the fun new angles He brings.

Relationships are, as always, difficult. They mean that one must remove themselves of their pre-suppositions and receive what is offered. I learned long ago not to judge a book by it's cover (so trite and yet so true). Some very 'normal' people are not normal and some very 'abnormal' people are as right as rain. I've never enjoyed the labels the world attaches to almost any and every person.

And so you have it... another random ranting from your mutating missionary (giggles, laughs, sighs, a few tears, and a great big hug to the world that God has given me to love!)

mutating missionary
& ebenezer

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A few pictures, a few words, a wonderful chapter of wisdom. Sharing with you my world:


June and July are missing -- Does anyone know where it went?

I become more and more aware of the scriptures that deal with the brevity of life as I sometimes live too fast on this world. And yet, the scriptures that deal with life are the ones that I have been meditating on.

May was a time of remembrances for me. I enjoyed a 'conversation' of sorts on this blogspot with my sister and a cousin of ours. We rambled down memory lane and I completely swam in the reality that one cannot get away from one's gene pool.

One comment on the blogspot made the assumption that we were English teachers - and if we were that would make these comments sensible. Alas, no ... we are none of us English Teachers. My sister did major in English during her second stent at University, and I am a Reading/Writing specialist and a Creative Workshop Writer Trainer - but English Teacher - No!!!!! We are not.

One might ask, "Why not?" The answer is simple: She because writing is her love, and I because creativity is mine ;-)

No, we are simply Eas***m girls. We enjoy words. We enjoy the play, the toil, and even the surprises that words ignite.
However, my Aha! moment came upon my cousin's entry. We have rarely seen each other in our grown-up years. And yet here on the cyber-page her words were warm and melodic. They echoed my sister's and mine. It caused me to ponder for a long time over gene-pools! That, with the words written on the last post, has set me down a new road, a road to remember and take hold of the truths of this Proverb: (most of you will stop reading now... because what I write is the entire chapter of Proberbs 3 - das ist schade = that is a pity = that is too bad. My prayer is that you read and contemplate where God is speaking to you. I know I have.

Proverbs 3
My son, do not forget my teachings, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be overflowing and your vats will brim over with new wine. My son do not despise the LORD's discipline, and do not resent His rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those He loves as a father, the son he delights in. Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who embrace her; those who lay hold of her will be blessed. By wisdom the LORD laid the earth's foundations, by understanding he sat the heavens in place; by His knowledge the deeps were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew. My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life to you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety; your foot will not stumble; when you lie down you will not be afraid; when you lie down your sleep will be sweet. Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared. Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, "Come back later, I will give it to you tomorrow" when you have it with you. Do not plot harm to your neighbor, who lives trustfully near you. Do not accuse a man for no reason, when he has done you no harm. Do not envy a violent many or chose any of his ways, for the LORD detests a perverse man but takes the upright into his confidence. The LORD's curse is on the house of the wicked, but He blesses the home of the righteous. He mocks proud mockers, but gives grace to the humble. The wise inherit honor, but fools he holds up to shame.

Now, I stop today and thank my LORD. I thank Him for my gene pool, for my life, for my love, for my days, for my ebenezer. I thank HIM and beg Him to create in me the person that can read this chapter and sleep well.
mutating, mutating, mutating missionary
by the way did you hear the angels sing about a week ago? One of the women I am mentoring made a life surrendering commitment to our LORD! We went to a small chapel, prayed together, and she hasn't stopped smiling since.