Friday, October 8, 2010





7.Oktober.2010

I have been reading again. When I went back to the states at the beginning of the year I visited a dear friend/supporter of mine in Portland, Oregon. I will never forget the look on her face when she heard that I had read only 2 or 3 books in the years that I have been here in Germany. The reason, of course, was to stay away from English and enter into the language of the land, German. The end result… not so good.

You see I am a reader. I usually have 7-10 books going at once. I love to read. Reading is a favorite pastime. Since the early 90’s I have not owned a television (not to say anything negative about people that do – ours just kept blowing up!) I got used to no TV and replaced the time with community, reading, and writing.

Anyway, while in the states she challenged me to begin reading again. The German is far enough along, I need some food for thought, and thus I am reading again.

One of the pastors I met with gave me a book entitled The Wounded Healer By: Henri Nouwen.

I have always enjoyed Nouwen's books. Nouwen had a way with stepping away from the norm and reaching out. I have always enjoyed his depth and his simplicity.

Some ideas on compassion and contemplatives:

“The compassionate man who points to the possibility of forgiveness helps others to free themselves from chains of their restrictive shame, allows them to experience their own guilt, and restores their hope for a future in which the lamb and the lion can sleep together.

But here we must be aware of the great temptation that will face the Christian minister of the future. Everywhere Christian leaders, men and women alike, have become increasingly aware of the need for more specific training and formation. This need is realistic and the desire for more professionalism in the ministry is understandable. But the danger is that instead of becoming free to let the spirit grow, the future minister may entangle himself in the complications of his own assumed competence and use his specialism as an excuse to avoid the much more difficult task of being compassionate. … the danger is that his skillful diagnostic eye will become more an eye for distance and detailed analysis then the eye of a compassionate partner. And if priests and ministers of tomorrow think that more skill training is the solution for the problem of Christian leadership for the future generations, they may end up being more frustrated and disappointed than the leaders of today. More training and structure are just as necessary as more bread for the hungry. But just as bread given without love can bring war instead of peace, professionalism without compassion will turn forgiveness into a gimmick, and the kingdom to come into a blindfold.

The minister as contemplative man

It is not the task of the Christian leader to go around nervously trying to redeem people, to save them at the last minute, to put them on the right track. For we are redeemed once and for all. The Christian leader is called to help others affirm this great news, and to make visible in daily events the fact that behind the dirty curtain of our painful symptoms there is something great to be seen; the face of Him in whose image we are shaped. In this way the contemplative can be a leader for a convulsive generation because he can break through the vicious circle of immediate needs asking for immediate satisfaction. He can direct the eyes of those who want to look beyond their impulses and steer their erratic energy into creative channels.

… The contemplative is not needy or greedy for human contacts, but is guided by a vision of what he has seen beyond the trivial concerns of a possessive world. He does not bounce up and down with the fashions of the moment, because he is in contact with what is basic, central and ultimate. He does not allow anybody to worship idols, and he constantly invites his fellow man to ask real, often painful and upsetting questions, to look behind the surface of smooth behavior, and to take away all the obstacles that prevent him from getting to the heart of the matter. The contemplative critic takes away the illusory mask of the manipulative world and has the courage to show what the true situation is. He knows that he is considered by many as a fool, a madman, a danger to society and a threat to mankind. But he is not afraid to die, since his vision makes him transcend the difference between life and death and makes him free to do what has to be done here and now, notwithstanding the risks involved.

More than anything else, he will look for signs of hope and promise in the situation in which he finds himself. The contemplative critic has the sensibility to notice the small mustard seed and trust to believe that “when it has grown it is the biggest shrub of all and becomes a tree so that the birds of the air come and shelter in its branches.” (Mt. 13.31-32)” excerpts from The Wounded Healer by Nouwen

Good stuff.

Also finished the book The Rest of God by Mark Buchanan. Will share what hit me in that book later.

And the answer is: Le Louvre.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Saturday, September 11, 2010

shreds being shread

No pictures today ---

The last few days have been, hummmm, how shall I say this? Interesting.

When I moved here I gave up much (not written in order of importance):
  • cat
  • home
  • car
  • accumulated stuff
  • piano
  • job I loved
  • career
  • feeling of accomplishment
  • friends
  • church family
  • my siblings-mom
  • and of course regular visitings with children

When one enters the mission field, one must count the cost - right?

I did and I packed 4 big suitcases and left. I had no idea how long I would really be gone and didn't have a clue what Germany even looked like. I had never been here.

But for some reason there was a shred, just shred of something that I held on to. And this shred tied me to the states. In the last few weeks that shred has been sheared.

Not a bad thing. Just a realization that I didn't even realize it was there. I am in awe of God as He removes all that we place as more important than He Himself!

So, after four and a half years here I know that He is still molding me. I am still mutating.

A life-long process. I am thankful that He is patient.

Your Mutating Missionary

& Ebenezer

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Speaking from our Divine Center

I've been wondering lately on how best to live my life where my mouth is concerned. Have you ever wondered that? I mean... how do I encourage?... how do I build bridges where hurts have occurred? ...how do I help when I really don't know how to?... when do I speak?... when do I keep silent?

I want to be a person that others can know: her yes is a yes and her no is a no.

But sometimes I just don't know how to help. I've been re-reading a book entitled Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster. It is one of those reads that I try with all my might to read every year. It is not on how to be disciplined... it is on the Spiritual Disciplines and how to enter into them more on a daily basis. zB. : Prayer, Solitude, Simplicity, Meditation, etc.

Last evening I was aware of how much I must learn about speaking. I actually went to God in prayer and asked Him to give me some direction. This morning during my reading time I came up on this in his chapter on Simplicity:
"Plain speech is difficult because we so seldom live out of the divine Center, so seldom respond only to heavenly promptings. Often fear of what others may think or a hundred other motives determine our "yes" or "no" rather than obedience to divine urgings. Then if a more attractive opportunity arises we quickly reverse our decision. But if our speech come out of obedience to the divine Center, we will find no reason to turn our "yes" into "no" and our "no" into "yes." We will be living in simplicity of speech because our words will have only one Source." Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster

This has been such an important thought during my day today. Are my words spoken after sending a quick prayer up to my Lord? So many people have the initials WWJD plastered from car bumpers to necklaces to keychains... But do we actually ask Him. What would you say? What would you do? This is something I have been thinking about today. And you? What do you think?

May we lock our mouths as we walk down unknown paths. May we pray that He open our mouths as we walk down paths that He levels and He attends.

mutating missionary
& ebenezer
ps i have a problem with computer right now - please know i will be back on with more frequent postings... ASAP!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

core





watering our core
so often we must remove and water

He promises His presence
in the doing, the being, the moment.

Let me walk into the promise of His presence
as Moses in his insecurity walked.

Let me move into the calling
look fear in the face
call it out
and
walk
with
fearless abandon
to the call
knitted together only because of this promise
HIS promise
of
His presence
in the call

Your mutating missionary
& ebenezer
written while in Poland as God unravels my fears and asserts His presence.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Einfahrt... and Ausfahrt in just a few days!


A few words from Vienna, sitting in a layover on my way to Krakow, Poland.

Looking forward to coming back on the 5th of August with wonderful friends from the states. Sharing a bit of my home with them. Then after they leave on the 13th of August...

I am home for a while!!!!!!

Thankful for quotes to ponder. Here are a few:


Silence propagates itself, and the longer talk has been suspended, the more difficult it is to find anything to say. - Samuel Johnson
The most erroneous stories are those we think we know best - and therefore never scrutinize or question. - Stephen Jay Gould
If you can count your money, you don't have a billion dollars. - J. Paul Getty

Your Mutating Missionary
& Ebenezer

Sunday, July 25, 2010

sabboth



I've been contemplating Sabbath. and Sabbath Rest...

Looking forward to reading a book about it.

What is it?

What does it look like?

Is it important to know about the Sabbath?

Do we sometimes work harder on the Sabbath than on any other day?

Who are we in Christ and what does He want us to do with the Sabbath?

Why was it wrong when I was growing up to have stores open on Sunday?

Is it wrong to have stores open everyday all day?

Why is it in a culture that has long ago stopped going to church with any regularity or fervor, have stores closed and many restaurants? Even the parents teach their children that they must get their homework done and all work done on Saturday because Sunday is to be a day of rest.

Why are some of our ten commandments more adhered to than others?

Is is really true that the old testament was thrown out when the new testament was written?

Who am I concerning my identity where the Sabbath is concerned?

What does my body say about the Sabbath Rest????

Questions -

I'll read the book and we'll talk...

Mutating Missionary
&Ebenezer

Saturday, July 17, 2010

a few of my favorite people and a 'semi-complaint blogspot'

Blogspot 14.Juli.2010

This was written and saved to be downloaded today from my own house. Why???? Because I have no internet connection, no phone connection, no television, no radio reception, no handy (cell phone) reception, and no screens on the most important window in the tiny apartment where I am attending language school. Really not trying to complain here - but must let out a few frustrations:


  1. Heat: Sitting in a building several 100's of years old trying to concentrate and learn a foreign language... with no air conditioning, Temps at 102 F. - and a professor that refuses to open the windows all the way because of the noise of trucks coming by every so often. This same professor also refusing to turn on the fan because he swears that fans give people colds. -- and I love this guy's style of teaching - he's amazing - but the idiosyncrasies of genius #@#@@#$#$#%
  2. Mosquitoes: I despise these little critters!!!! It probably comes from a life-time of being their one and only source of food any time I am outside. It is like I have written on my whole entire body: come and eat me... my blood is just what you are looking for. I 've had many people tell me that it just means I am too sweet --- well dang it --- could I get some sour some place?????
  3. And this night we were threatened by a rain storm. I thought: GREAT - some cool breeze - and I opened my windows. Mind you two of the windows in this little apartment I am stying in while at school have screens on them (a definite plus) but the big one... the one that I live in, the one that I would really love to be open every minute of the evening... it has no screens. And tonight I was foolish enough to open it wide!!!! AT THIS MOMENT I HAVE 12 mosquito bites and have killed 10 mosquitoes. That was 11 minutes ago.
  4. Make that 13...splat - right between the ole' palms... computer screens seem to be a great temptation for these little guys :-)
  5. Dang it!!! 14... and on the ceiling I see many more --- looks like it is going to be a long night.
  6. Have you ever tried to walk a dog when there are so many mosquitoes in the road they literally land 10 to 15 at a time on you AND on your dog?????
  7. My son told me to go to bed with a wet towel wrapped around my head in this heat. I did and came out looking like some weed-eater had taken leave on it's own and attacked my hair! There was no taming the beast the next morning for lack of a hair dryer (and well in reality who wants to heat the place up so quickly????) - so I went to school and thought I would face the amazing and shocked looks. I forgot. I live in Germany - hair and off-centered, displaced, uneven, bi-tri- or even quadrupled colors are the norm here. I think I might have actually fit in --- giggle!
  8. And finally --- language... I'm so thankful that I am trusting God to give me this language and I put it all in His hands --- the desire and hope that I can --- and then to leave the rest to Him. The reality of 4 years of learning culture and several months of going to school seems overwhelming to me. And yet, HE has allowed me to make it through and actually come to an understanding of how this language works. Now learning the strategies to make it work for me :-) HE WILL ACCOMPLISH It!!!
  9. 15....
Your mutating missionary
& Ebenezer
.....16



Monday, June 21, 2010

opening new doors... again!






I'm leaving in less than a week. Opening the door again to language school. I have to complete the level of C1 before I can begin teaching the inductive bible studies I have a vision to teach throughout Germany. Yes, I am already teaching bible studies - but not the vision I have for Germany... C1 is at the beginning of University level. I must be able to speak, write, read and understand at this level. I begin C1 this coming week. I am opening the door.

I have never liked change. I don't like it now. I was told years ago by my ex-husband that I could put a tap-root down quicker than any person he knew. I'm that way. I want so badly for a schedule to arise and things to move at a steady rate - but days fly by and I am rarely in any one spot for more than 3 months at a time. It is wearing me down.

I am 53 years old. I have moved - Silsbee, Pasadena, Baytown (3), Hot Springs, Angleton, New Port News, Woodville (2), Beaumont (5), Woodville, College Station (2), Dayton (2), Connecticut (2), Cincinnati (2), Highland Village (3), Flower Mound, Germany (5). and that doesn't include school changes...

I'm tired of change. I am crying out to God as I open the door one more time and climb up those steps, leaving my hat and coat behind...

vulnerable - ragged - worn - and gloriously waiting for Him to come in and strongly support. Because He says He will - and He always has. The only one I have with me all the time - my one constant. HIM. Praising that fact and soaking in Him this moment.

Because HE IS the I AM,
i am
your mutating missionary
... & Ebenezer goes with me - thank you God.

Friday, June 18, 2010

growing older with Him



Wonderful things about growing older with God in your life:
  • You understand that life comes to an end
  • Your aches and pains are there for a reason and each one signifies one day closer to seeing Him face to face!
  • You know that people are people and we all make mistakes
  • You realize that you are still being formed in the image of Him but you are a bit more gentle with yourself - knowing that He must do that work and you must get out of the way- and that is not so easy to do.
  • You love both the good days and the bad, because they remind you that you will have a point when you will have neither and those that you love will be sad to see you go - you will be dancing however and so you look forward to it.
  • You rejoice with every glimmer of someone's eyes when they begin to see that Jesus is the one and only. Just the beginnings of this realization set you on a high.
  • You really get that it can't be easy to live with each other and marvel at the fact that God put it into us to want to do it.
  • You smile at the simplest things and sometimes spend days just smiling - even when there is no reason.
  • You marvel at the ease of the young to jump, run, stand, sit, lie down on the floor immediately when they rise from the bed and are just thrilled to make it through the day without having a joint hurt... any or all :-)
  • You love your gray hair and giggle at your jiggles
  • When you meet with your loved one in your red-prayer chair (yours might be pink, purple, or green) nothing comes between you and Him and you can sit for long periods of time just soaking up His grace and mercy - because you know you need it.
  • You laugh at yourself more
  • You cry for others more
  • You sing with the windows down, stick your hands out of the windows during a rain and giggle when you realize you have slowed down to look at the cows! - without even noticing the cars behind you filled with racing rangers - on their way to somewhere, anywhere FAST!
  • You sleep easily every night and wake up with a smile on your lips and a song in your head.
  • hummmm
  • One day closer to the one that I call Husband, Lover of my soul, Friend, LORD, Master, Father, Mighty, Great, All Goodness and my beloved.
May today remind you that you are one day closer to the One that IS.

Your mutating missionary
and Ebenezer

Thursday, June 10, 2010

he made me - he's making me


I'm kinda' an artsy fartsy kinda girl. I have a love for the eye-catcher. When traveling in the Netherlands and having the opportunity to see the Van Gogh museum another young girl and I were left behind as we studied and admired the nuances of each of the paintings. I love creativity. This particular house is owned by a famous writer. I won't say who she is, but she lives in San Antonio.

Today was filled with a lot of head-achy kinds of things for me. Paper work, paper trails, numbers, loose ends... Things that never make me happy - only give me a headache - only cause me to feel incredibly inadequate and full of angst.

It began years ago. Has never gotten settled. Hit a HIGH at the beginning of this year and EXPLODED about a month ago. I have been leaning heavily on the one who IS. I am waiting and watching as on thing after another goes wrong and God still comes through - with a peace and a calmness that no one should have during these times. I attribute it all to Him. He is graciously seeing me through this. Not because I deserve it - I have failed over and over again - not because I worked hard to make it happen - I have dealt time and time again with forgetfulness and health issues and time constraints and fears and... and... and... But simply because He is gracious and loving and knows my weaknesses and fills my inadequacies with His wonderful grace.

This morning I am praising Him as I watch Him hold me. Thank you LORD, thank you and help me to be transformed into more than what I can see of myself - and into what You can do through this broken imperfect me. Do this through me - all the while not allowing me to loose one singe iota of creativity, sassyness, and pluck that You have bestowed in me. That is miracle stuff. Thank you for the miraculous.

Your mutating missionary
& Ebenezer

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Remembering A. W. Tozer





I have a cat.

Well, maybe I should say that I had a cat.

Well, maybe I should say that I had a cat and when I came to Germany I couldn't bring my cat; I asked my son and his wife to take care of my cat until I could bring him over with me;

Well, maybe I should say that I had a cat and when I came to Germany I couldn't bring my cat; I asked my son and his wife to take care of my cat until I could bring him over with me; I tried 4 times to get him here and they all failed; He was the neatest cat ever! I don't know why God never allowed him to come and live with me here; but he loved Grant and Amanda too.

Well, maybe I should say that I had a cat and when I came to Germany I couldn't bring my cat; I asked my son and his wife to take care of my cat until I could bring him over with me; I tried 4 times to get him here and they all failed; He was the neatest cat ever! I don't know why God never allowed him to come and live with me here; but he loved Grant and Amanda too. A.W.Tozer, my cat, died yesterday.

This cat was the first of many animals in my life that I chose that chose me too. Do you understand that? I have had animals all of my life. Some were supposed to be mine - but they found more joy with another member of my family. Some were supposed to be theirs - but they found more joy with me. A. W. Tozer was the first animal that I fell in love with that loved me back. He would sit on the large arm of my red prayer chair and curl into this little ball while I read, wrote or prayed. Anytime a book lay on my bed or ottoman, he would try to open it and lay on it. He loved books. He would sit on my headboard and try to catch the ceiling fan that never was turned off in my bedroom at 5309 Crawford Ct. house. He would follow me around. He was fast as lightening and so dad-gum smart. He opened doors, cabinets, and traveled everywhere with me. He was the first cat that I had a box for and we would go to Starbucks and he would sit in my lap while I drank a coffee and read. He never left my lap when we were sitting out and about. We traveled to Colorado for a jazz festival. We went on walks, he went with me on a leash. He met me at the door and when I wasn't home he would sit on the red prayer chair and wait for me. He was a love of a cat.

I thought about bringing him home with me when I came back from USA this time, but my daughter-in-love admitted she and my son would miss him. So I left him there. They loved AW Tozer and they cared for him in such a wonderful way. They had already seen him through a tough sickness and while I was home I saw the love and care that they demonstrated to AW. He slept in their room, on their prayer chair, and when they were home and snuggled into bed... he usually was right in the middle of the foot of that bed... purring.!!! My son would come home and they would play chase through the house and A. W. Tozer loved living with these two loving and giving people.

A dog attacked him and the puncture wounds were too drastic to heal. He passed into a world I only imagine.

Do I believe there will be animals in heaven. I don't know but I believe so. Do I believe there will be animals in the new world! YES! And A. W. Tozer - I believe will be there for me. Because he was a being that God gave me to experience a tiny little bit of heaven right here on earth. And I will miss him.

If you don't believe that animals go to heaven. If you find my belief offensive - don't comment. It makes no difference to me what you believe about this topic. It is not a salvation issue and anything that is not a salvation issue - I really don't have a desire to debate, be worried about, or spend time pondering. I believe that the love I had for my A. W. Tozer is a love that God gave me and He will handle whether I will see that little guy or not. I will trust Him with that - but no person can determine that. So - don't waste your energy.

Ebenezer lies on his bed before me. Ebenezer is another animal I love and he loves me. God gave me this animal to protect me, give me joy, allow me to be concerned for something on a daily basis other than myself, and that reminds me: responsibility has rewards, relationship can be worth all the inconvenience, and life is just wonderfully fun with an God-created being that we can be in dominion over... and all that that means. Are we good care-takers of what God has given us to care for?

Goodbye my dear one - see you when I get there.

Mutating Missionary
&Ebenezer

Thursday, April 29, 2010

life...life...living...life!!!!!



Returning from the United States about 24 hours ago, I find myself a bit tired. The flight was not as long as normal. I left from Atlanta instead of Dallas Fort Worth. The difference of a 12 hour vs. 8 hour flight. nice...

Ebenezer did well on the trip. He travels like a trooper. He rolls with the changes. How well can I do that? Isn't it interesting that the reality of everything always being in some sort of change is a good thing for us, but would be a bad thing for our God... God being outside of Time is immutable. With Time comes change. I left 3 months ago for the United States. I return to a changed environment, a changed group of individuals, and changed season. I left snow-covered mountains and housetops, and return to sunshine and blooming flowers. And remembering that the homes I left behind are now in some kind of metamorphosis reminds me that when I return all will have changed in the USA.

So, here and now, what does this change mean for me in my little world here in Germany. I don't know. I only know that the sovereign God who covers all things and stands still in the midst of chaos and change will bring about His order and His design. I have seen it over and over and over again. I know my God to be faithful to those who love Him and I know Him to be involved in their lives. So these lives that are intertwined with mine will be moving me toward a wonderful new place of worship and commitment in Him. It will be exciting to see how God uses the changes in this world to enhance my walk. Because He is immutable I rest in the assurance that our Relationship (dependant upon Him not me) is steadfast and true. I relish in the time spent In Him and with His children. Some are dealing with new challenges - challenges they would have never imagined to be in their lives 4 or 5 months ago. Some are celebrating endings and new beginnings. Some are wounded and walking around feeling rejected - trying desperately to control situations.

I know only this. That within the pages of His Word nuggets of wealth lie dormant to be discovered. When we allow Him to take us there and are open to searching His word, He will reveal all sorts of Himself to us and a peace that passes all understanding will cover us in these times of change.

Change is inevitable. With God change isn't so scary and we realize in short form that time and change are unable to be controlled. And as we recognize this truth we enjoy the beautiful blooms that burst forth into our lives and surprise us.

In other words, what we thought would be sometimes isn't and what we thought could never happen breaks us out of our nostalgic non-chalance and explodes into our lives in bold colors.

your mutating missionary
& ebenezer

Sunday, April 18, 2010

more on manners?




I do understand all of this going and coming and jobs and ifs and 'we just don't know' situations...

Good grief I put myself in the ball of those that wait to make a commitment because I just 'don't know'!

But, that is my question - what happened?

Will we ever get it back - I don't think so?

I'm not angry - or frustrated - just confused about our society. I think as time goes on we will morph into something else - and handle the problem in some other way - I was just pondering... how would Jesus handle the problem. Societies come up with problems and they must morph - wouldn't it be wonderful if we would purposefully morph thinking about how Jesus would handle things - I know... it is impossible - because we are ... hummm not Jesus - but I was just wondering.

and then of course I think dogs have the life - and as Ebenezer and Scout sit very patiently this morning waiting for my son to come out of his bedroom... giggle - I think: now that is the life ;-)

mutating missionary
& ebenezer

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Manners



I leave for home in less than 10 days. There are a few women and men that have come together to give this ministry a benefit fund-raiser and I am so thankful for their efforts.

But in all honesty I wish I could be more like Ebenezer. He lies on the floor, belly up, spread out for all to see. He is such a delight to me. I am thankful all of his paperwork is done and we are ready to fly back home in 10 days. Such red-tape!!! and then there is this whole volcanic ash issue - hopefully it will all be cleared in the amount of time I am ready to fly.

But then there is the flight from DFW to Montgomery. YIKES! Why do airlines just not take animals into the airport upon arrival - instead of denying them because of the weather. They could be the last ones on and the first ones off. Am I the only one that sees that as logistically not a problem?

I am dealing with many emotions upon this return. When asked what kinds of emotions, I must admit 'confusion' ranks right up there. I have all of these wonderful people that are supporting this benefit and only a few have sent an rsvp. I don't understand what is so difficult about shooting an e-mail or giving a call and saying, "Yes, I can come - no I can not come." Where have our manners gone?

Are we so individualistic that we cannot make a commitment to come to something until the last moment. I am reminded of when my children were younger and they would make a commitment to go with a friend somewhere. Then another opportunity would arise doing something way more fun and they would want to drop their previous commitment and go the the other thing. And to be honest most of their friends did just that.

My generation has come to be just as self-absorbed. We don't make a commitment until we see what all the options are. Then we do it at the last minute or even more self-absorbed we just show up thinking we are expected to be there. And I am just as bad as all of the rest. What has happened to our manners? Can we get them back?

I have a little keychain that my son gave me on this trip - he actually just picked it up because someone was selling them I think at his school or something. It is a little pink and green string of beads that has the WWJD beads in it. I took it because a friend is allowing me to use her son's truck and it had a chain that kept breaking. Anyway, I am wondering what would Jesus do in this culture, in this age, with this problem?

hummm

I kinda wish I could just be like ebenezer lying on the floor belly-up! Or maybe my 1 year old son taking his first steps...

Maybe I'll post something much more uplifting later - but for now these are my thoughts :)

mutating missionary
&ebenezer

Saturday, April 3, 2010

remembering

The eternity within me longs for the eternal home with Him. So glad I am blessed with knowing my family will join me. Pondering on this cool mid-moment morning in which we remember:

What must it have been like on the morning after? For mother, for friends, for family... It must have been so painful. This place of death, separation, anguish, shame. Mary once again – the mother - shamed by the world’s standards. Her beloved son...crucified. I wonder how it must have been to know that you held the savior of the world in your womb ... saw Him rejoiced over with Palms and Praising... And then, then trying to hold on to that truth in the midst of the reality of death. What pain Jesus Christ probably went through in knowing and watching her pain. He has such a warm heart for His own mother, for mothers, for women, for family. It must have been hard to watch them struggle during this time He was conquering DEATH!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

ok

Looks like it has something to do with pictures... YIKES!
Computer challenged: that's me :-)

why?

This morning as I was once again asking God, "Why are we going down this road, God?" I was reminded how I don't really feel comfortable asking God "why?".

Then I was reminded: David sought for understanding constantly in his psalms and God said that David was a man after God's own heart.
I tend to associate questioning God with Job... Remember Job??? The guy that was really a good guy but Satan was allowed to attack him. The purpose being, a hope that Job would deny God. It didn't work. God knew better.
Job didn't turn away from God, but he did question Him. Job's questions were tinted, I believe, with the ever pleading "WHY ME, GOD?" You know the kind. "What have I done to deserve this?" I wonder if that is why God came back with "WHERE WERE YOU when I laid the foundations of the earth?" Hummm... Not a really good idea to question God.
But in Proverbs 4 we read:
"Hear, O sons, the instruction of a father, and give attention that you may gain understanding. For I give
you sound teaching; do not abandon my instruction. When I was a son to my father, tender and the only
son in the sight of my mother, then he taught me and said to me, "Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments and live; acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding! Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth."
"Do not forsake her, and she will guard you; love her, and she will watch over you."
"The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom; and with all your acquiring, get understanding." "Prize her, and she will exalt you; she will honor you if you embrace her. She will place on your head a garland of grace; she will present you with a crown of beauty."
Proverbs 4:1-9
This brings me to wondering why I am so afraid to ask God, "Why?" I am not asking because I am questioning GOD! I am asking because I want to acquire understanding. I don't question what God is doing. I know that He is doing exactly what He is because He has a plan, I am in the plan, I am part of the plan, I am not the main actress, nor the bit part - I am the only one that can play this role that He has laid out for my life. I am important in that way, but other than that --- not so much! But, He delights in my asking, "Why?" "Why are You doing it this way? Is there something you want me to learn, to see, to change, to experience with YOU???"
Because of this I think I will continue to ask God, "Why?" and enjoy His teaching me through these days that aren't so clear in the moment. In these days that we wait for Him to return.
And I end with the last part of Chapter 4 of Proverbs:
"My son, give attention to my words, incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your
sight, keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their whole body. Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life. Put away from
you a deceitful mouth and put devious lips far from you. Let your eyes look directly ahead, and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. Watch the path of your feet, and all your ways will be established.
Do not turn to the right nor to the left; Turn your foot from evil."=
Once again asking God to let me experience Him in my "Why?" 'schritt vor schritt (step by step)
Your mutating missionary
and ebenezer
I am having all sorts of trouble making this blogspot work... I have done something that I don't understand doing...

Friday, February 19, 2010

coming to the water's edge



How long has it been since you've come to the water's edge?

She sat across from me, her piercing blue eyes thrusting me back to years of memories of a friendship that has always been one of iron sharpening iron.

She asked, "Do we have the right to hold on to our shame and guilt?"

We had attended a mentoring class earlier that morning and had been challenged to look at our purposes for mentoring. It was a great class. The brainstorming of 'Who I Am' and 'Who I Am Not" as a mentor, was fun to watch. I sat in an American Church, a group of believers I knew not, and a wonderful warmth of honey oozed over me. The questions of each of the leaders were provoking and they prodded us to think beyond the 'standard verbage' and force the attendants to dig deeper. I soaked it in.

Later that evening we sat in my friend's living room. She was sharing what had been the topic the last time this group gathered. And this provoking question, "Do we have the right to hold on to our shame and guilt?" she pitched out to me.

Hummmm....Do we have the right to hold on to our shame and guilt? How have we stopped short of the full Gospel with those we mentor? Those that come to the cross and accept Him in their hearts with us as their guide? Have we brought them to what I call 'the water's edge' and walked them through accepting Christ's forgiveness for their sin but stopped short in explaining that in His sacrifice and atonement the sins are no more. If the sins are no more than there is no need to hold on to the shame and guilt they have produced - in essence didn't Christ's death put an end to our shame and guilt as well? Why do we insist on holding on to it? What are we gaining from holding on to it? What does holding on to it create within us? Are we walking in Christ if we choose to hold on to it?

Am I walking IN Christ if I choose to hold on to it?

I didn't really like this question. It jarred me. My first response: "Hey now! Don't mess with my shame and guilt. I got a lot and I ponder over it often." I mean I know that I'm saved by Grace and should be walking in freedom, but come on now... I wallow often! And I wallow in those waters long and hard with my Sweet Jesus.

And here it was. A proposition of water's opening and walking across on dry land. For the first time I pondered the possibility that by not entering into the fullness and letting go completely could I be hurting my Lord's heart. I don't know why I haven't thought about that before. Yes, I have thought about and owned how He died from my sins, that I am IN HIM, that He has washed me clean... but clean from my sins. I think I have held on to some shame in the process... some guilt in the process... WHY? Not to say I haven't intellectually thought of all of this - but it so often takes a new perspective to see a depth and force us to walk to the water's edge. Am I willing to stick my toe in and believe that His blood sacrifice in washing away my sin dissolved my shame and guilt?

I come to the water's edge.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

im remembering my first days...






in my apartment in Germany. They were days of confustion. Days filled with, "How did I get here?" "God will the furniture ever come?", "God will the language ever be understandable?" "God are you sure you meant me?... I am so unworthy, not really capable of speaking, don't have all the answers, in fact more questions than answers are in my head... God... Where are we going?"

But, now after 4 years I am so excited to see where He has lead, how He has lead and where He is leading! It is a miracle of sorts. So, as I sit in my son's home in Grapevine, Texas and contemplate the greatness of this God that I serve, I know that He has it all in His hands. I see that the last few years have been from His design in His way.

I gave a talk tonight and I heard a talk tonight. It was really great for me to hear. It confirmed so many things about my being in Germany. I was almost dancing on the table to have a man from another mission organization, with another mission vision, (but really the same), stand up and speak with such love and concern, such understanding of exactly where I am in Germany without him speaking about Germany at all. Yes, he was talking about another culture, another language, another ministry. But not. The most important thing in a culture is to learn their culture, their language, and then to teach them about the Bible... not about our own culture...I don't want to impose my Americanisms on any culture... I want to teach about things that transcend culture and also how to teach the bible... so they can teach... the nationals can teach the nationals... and we get out of the way and let God reveal Himself through the word... that they learn how test all that come after and see what God says in the Word about those philosophies... and then... and then... and then prayerfully the following generations will know Him and will seek Him! This is my prayer... this is my desire... this is my goal. And I will move forward and ask, "Who are you Lord?" and "What do you want from me?" over and over and over again. May He reveal Himself to me step by step. May He lead me in His paths and protect my steps. I love Him so and am so thankful to Him for His mercies that are new every morning. Can it be that He would love one such as I???? Can it be??? What a miracle - What a GOD!

your mutating missionary
& ebenezer