Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Real Update Coming Soon...

I am going to update soon, I promise!! I have lots going on...mostly I am crazy busy reading and researching and finding articles, etc. It's lots of fun. I'll fill you in soon :)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Jesus, the Motilone

"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, 'Your God reigns.'" Isaiah 52:7

Just a small part of a story I really like...

"...If you are big and powerful, you have to become small and weak in order to work with other weak beings. It was a perfect parallel for what God had done in Jesus.
But there were so many unknown factors in the way the Motilones reasoned. How could I be sure that I would convey the right thing?
I couldn't. Yet I felt sure God had given me this time to speak. So i took the word for "becoming like an ant" and used it for incarnation. "God is incarnated into man," I said.
They gasped. There was a tense, hushed silence. The idea that God had become a man stunned them.
'Where did He walk?' the witch doctor asked in a whisper.
Every Motilone has his own trail. it is his personal point of identity. You walk on someone's trail if you want to find him. God would have a trail, too. If you want to find God, you walk on His trail.
My blood was racing, my heart pounding. 'Jesus Christ is God become man,' I said. 'He can show you God's trail.'
A look of astonishment, almost fear, spread over their faces. the man who had been shouting into the hole looked at me.
'Show us Christ,' he said in a coarse whisper.
I fumbled for an answer. 'You killed Christ,' I said. 'You destroyed God.'
His eyes got big. 'I killed Christ? I did that? How did I do that? And how can God be killed?'
I wanted to tell them that Jesus' death had freed them from meaninglessness, from death and the powers of evil.
'How do evil, death and deception find power over the Motilone people?' I asked.
'Through the ears,' Bobby answered, because language is so important to the Motilones. it is the essence of life. If evil language comes through the ears, it means death.
'Do you remember,' I said, 'how after a hunt for wild boars the leader cuts the skin from the animal and puts it over his head to cover his ears and keep the evil spirits of the jungle out?'
They nodded, listening closely.
'Jesus Christ was murdered,' I said. 'But just as you pull the skin over the chieftain's head to hide his ears, so Jesus--when He died --pulled His blood over your deception and hides it from the sight of God.'
I stood looking at them, hoping desperately that they would understand. then I saw on their faces that they did.
I told them Jesus was buried. A wave of grief swept over them. The man who was searching for his brother's language began to weep.It was the first time I had ever seen a Motilone cry. But the thought that God was dead, that they were lost, brought tears and sobs.
I picked up my Bible, opened it and said, 'The Bible speaks that Jesus came alive after death and is alive today.'
One of the men grabbed the Bible from my hand and put it to his ear. 'I can't hear a thing,' he said.
I took it back. 'the way the bible speaks does not change,' I said. 'It is like the papers of your speech that I have. They say the same word one day to the next. The Bible sayd that Jesus came to life. It is God's banana stalk.'
I showed him the page and told him that the little black markings had meaning.
'No one has ever come back from the dead in all Motilone history,' he said.
'I know,' I replied. 'But Jesus did. It is proof that He is really God's Son.'
They asked many more questions. Some I didn't fully understand. But I was sure that God had spoken through me. That night I prayed, 'god, give validity to Your Word. Make it touch these lives.' I claimed God's promise that His Word would not return to Him without any response.
Yet there didn't seem to be any response. I continued to walk the trails with Bobby, giving medicine to the witch doctors and showing them how to do their work more effectively.
One evening, though, Bobby began to ask questions. We were sitting around a fire. The light flicked over him. His face was serious.
'How can I walk on Jesus' trail?' he asked. 'No Motilone has ever done it. it's a new thing. There is no other Motilone to tell how to do it.'
I remembered the problems I had had as a boy, how it sometimes appeared impossible to keep on believing in Jesus when my family and friends were so opposed to my commitment. That was what Bobby was going through.
'Bobby,' I said, 'do you remember my first Festival of the Arrows, the first time I had seen all the Motilones gathered to sing their song?' the festival was the most important ceremony in the Motilone culture.
He nodded. The fire flared up momentarily, and I could see his eyes, staring intently at me.
'Do you remember that I was afraid to climb in the high hammocks to sing, for fear that the rope would break? And I told you that I would sing only if I could have one foot in the hammock and one foot on the ground?'
'Yes, Bruchko.'
'And what did you say to me?'
He laughed. "I told you you had to have both feet in the hammock. You have to be suspended,' I said."
'Yes,' I said. 'You have to be suspended. That is how it is when you follow Jesus, Bobby. No man can tell you how to walk His trail. Only Jesus can. But to find out you have to tie your hammock strings into Him and be suspended in God.'
Bobby said nothing. The fire danced in his eyes.Then he stood up and walked off into the darkness.
The next day he came to me, 'Bruchko,' he said, 'I want to tie my hammock strings into Jesus Christ.But how can I? I can't see Him or touch Him.'
'You have talked to spirits, haven't you?
'Oh,' he said. 'I see now.'
The next day he had a big grin on his face. 'Bruchko, I've tied my hammock strings into Jesus. Now I speak a new language.'
I didn't understand what he meant. 'Have you learned some of the Spanish I speak?'
He laughed a clean, sweet laugh. 'No, Bruchko, I speak a new language.'
Then I understood. To a Motilone, language is life. If Bobby had a new life, he had a new way of speaking. His speech would be Christ-oriented.
We put our hands on each other's shoulders. My mind swept back to the first time I had met Jesus and the life I had felt flow into me. Now my brother Bobby was experiencing Jesus himself, in the same way. He had begun to walk with Jesus.
'Jesus Christ has risen from the dead!' Bobby shouted, so that the sound filtered far off into the jungle. 'He has walked our trails! I have met Him!'
From that day our friendship was enhanced by our love for Jesus. We talked constantly about Him, and Bobby asked me many questions. But he never asked the color of Jesus' hair or whether He had blue eyes. To Bobby, the answers were obvious: Jesus had dark skin, and His eyes were black. He wore a G-string and hunted with bows and arrows.
Jesus was a Motilone."

"The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves." Luke 10:2, 3

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Wondering What Movie to Rent?...

I recommend "A Time To Kill" with Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock, Samuel L. Jackson, Kevin Spacey, Ashley Judd, etc...

I haven't cried that hard during a movie in a long time. It is a great film.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I lift my eyes up to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord...maker of heaven and earth.

The earth is so beautiful. I miss the spring flowers but the mountains are astounding. It has been semi rainy the past few clouds, lightning behind the mountains. Sigh...its breathtaking.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Here It Is

Here's the book list I promised. I decided to make a fairly extensive one, though I am sure I left some out. Oh well. This way you have lots to choose from (at least lots of ideas!!). I guess that's all. It's late and I am ready for bed...Happy reading :)

Oh!...and let me know if you have other ideas of books not on any of my lists. I'm always looking for new ones. thanks!

Books I am Currently Reading:
The Return of the Prodigal Son (Henri Nouwen)
Future Grace (John Piper)
With Justice for All (John Perkins)

Books I Recommend:
As I Lay Dying (William Faulkner)
Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
Crime and Punishment (Dostoevsky)
Peace Like a River (Leif Enger)
Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
1984 (George Orwell)
Animal Farm (George Orwell)
The Lord of the Flies (William Golding)
Cry, the Beloved Country (Alan Paton)
To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
The Immoralist (Andre Gide)
The Chosen (Chaim Potok)
The Promise (Chaim Potok)
My Name is Asher Lev (Chaim Potok)
Through Gates of Splendor (Elizabeth Elliot)
These Strange Ashes (Elizabeth Elliot)
Bruchko (Bruce Olsen)
Shadow of the Almighty (Elizabeth Elliot)
The Four Quartets (T.S. Eliot)
Don't Waste Your Life (John Piper)
The Holiness of God (RC Sproul)
Surprised by Joy (C.S. Lewis)
A Grief Observed (C.S. Lewis)
A Severe Mercy (Sheldon Vanauken)
Passion and Purity (Elizabeth Elliot)

Books on My List:
Beyond Charity: The Call to Christian Community Development (John Perkins)
The Urban Face of Mission (Harvie M. Conn)
He Shines in all That's Fair: Culture and Common Grace (Richard Mouw)
Eternity in Their Hearts (Don Richardson)
Hinds Feet in High Places (Hannah Hurnard)
The Great Divorce (C.S. Lewis)
The Problem of Pain (C.S. Lewis)
Till We Have Faces (C.S. Lewis)
Poems (C.S. Lewis)
Cat's Cradle (Kurt Vonnegut)
The Violent Bear it Away (Flannery O'Conner)
The Mill on The Floss (George Eliot)
Anna Karenina (Leo Tolstoy)
The Wasteland (T.S. Eliot)
Guns, Germs and Steel (Jared Diamond...i think?)
The Crisis of Islam (Bernard Lewis)
The Gulag Archipelago (Alexander Solzhenitsyn)
Anthem (Ayn Rand)
Diary or David Brainerd
The God Who is There (Francis Schaeffer)
A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael (Elizabeth Elliot)
Let the Nations Be Glad (John Piper)
Desiring God (John Piper)

Easy Reading I Recommend:
The Chronicles of Narnia (C.S. Lewis)
The Westing Game (ellen Raskin)
A Wrinkle in Time (Madeline L' Engle)
The Witch of Blackbird Pond (Elizabeth George Spear)
The Bronze Bow (Elizabeth George Spear)
Secret of the Andes (Ann Nolan Clark)
Johnny Tremain (Esther Forbes)
Wind in the Willows (Kenneth Grahame)
Across Five Aprils (Irene Hunt)
Banner in the Sky (James Ramsey Ulman)
Mara, Daughter of the Nile (Eloise Jarvis McGraw)
The Jungle Series (Ron Snell)
Little House on the Prairie Series (Laura Ingalls Wilder)

Sunday, May 14, 2006

A Night At Home

It has been a wonderful Mother's Day. Jay and Kristen came over after Church and we all made lunch for mom. Kristen made Indian fry bread (YUM!!) and we had Navajo tacos. Oh my...I have missed these kinds of meals :) Then mom opened her presents (a therma-ret pillow and swiss army knife for camping). They all went up to the neighbor's to swim and I stayed home and wrote letters. It was so wonderful to catch up on things. I have been spending most of my time at home so far, which has been really nice. I have finished deep cleaning my room--getting rid of old stuff and moving new stuff in. It feels so good to start fresh at home.

I am still job searching. I picked up a bunch of applications on Sat. for health food stores. Tomorrow I am going to drop them all off and perhaps talk with a manager or two (wish me luck!...and please pray that it will go well!!). I hate doing stuff like this. Grrr...I hope I find a job soon.

Tomorrow Kristen and I are also hanging out. We're going to run a few errands and go thrift store shopping (woohoo!!). Perhaps we'll make it to the Unicef store :)

Wednesday I am having dinner with Sarah (can't wait). I don't have anything else planned this week. I babysit on Sunday (a nice bit of money while I am out of a job). I really miss the health food store. Sad...I wish I could have brought it with me and worked at it here. Alas...

I am going to start into my reading. I can't wait. I am beginning Henri Nouwen's "The Return of the Prodigal Son" and so far (though I have read very little) it is good. I am also planning on reading Flannery O'Conner's "The Violent Bear it Away" along with more T.S. Eliot poetry and a few other books. I'll keep you posted on my reading progress :) Perhaps one of these days I will post a recommended reading list, for those of you that need ideas :)

I hope the beginning of summer finds you all well! I pray it is a time of good thinking and lots of growth...

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Back in tucson

I'm back in Arizona. It feels so weird. I can't really explain it. I don't really like the all. Sigh....

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Oh My

Exactly three minutes ago I walked out of my last final...American Heritage with Dr. Birzer. Whew..I am officially FINISHED with my freshman year of college. weird. I can't believe it! I am so tired and jittery.

This has been such an amazing year.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

don't lie to me
tell me something true
'cause i'm only free
when i look at you

and you look so good it hurts
and love, i come undone

but i don’t want medication
just give me liberation
even if it cuts my legs right out from underneath
don’t give me medication
i want the real sensation
even when living feels just like death to me

don't paint my face
i need to see the scars
so i don't forget
the back of my tutor's arm

'cause i just can't keep it straight
which kills and which one saves

‘cause the truth is i need you just like the air i breathe
just like a freight train needs the tracks beneath
so i’d rather suffer my whole life and be this rich man’s wife
if loving you means suffering

(Medication by Derek Webb)

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Think on these words...

Be still, my soul:
the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently
the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God
to order and provide;
In every change,
He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul:
thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways
leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul:
thy God doth undertake
To guide the future,
as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence
let nothing shake;
All now mysterious
shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul:
the waves and winds
still know His voice
Who ruled them
while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul:
when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened
in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know
His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe
thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul:
thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness
all He takes away.

Be still, my soul:
the hour is hastening on
When we shall be
forever with the Lord.
When disappointment,
grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot,
love's purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul:
when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed
we shall meet at last.

Be still, my soul:
begin the song of praise
On earth, believing,
to thy Lord on high;
Acknowledge Him
in all thy works and ways,
So shall He view
thee with a well-pleased eye.
Be still, my soul:
the Sun of life divine
Through passing clouds
shall but more brightly shine.
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This is such a beautiful hymn. There is such convicting truth in these words...
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Friday, May 05, 2006

Roommate Date!!!

I love finals. No extra busy work--just study and get tested. Plenty of time to hang out and do fun and crazy things.

Today was so much fun!!! After our 8 AM religion final, Hallie and I had a special adventure...

First of all...a special thanks to our good friend Josh for letting us use his CAR!!! I took Hallie to the North Woods Coffee Co. in Coldwater for lunch. It was so amazing. I LOVE that bring back so many memories of when Kristen was here. Sigh.

Anyway, we brought along the road-trip mix and listened to it with the windows down (including the SUN ROOF!...oh man :)). It is a beautiful sunny day and the air is so warm and fresh. The country was beautiful...I love driving. We had a wonderful chat over lunch and then we got coffee and chatted some more...and sang along to the road-trip mix as it was blaring out the windows the whole way home.....aaah what fun. These are the times we'll remember most...Spontaneous, out of the same-old same-old, togetherness FUN!

PS I really miss driving. I haven't driven since spring break...and I even brought Josh's car back in one piece. yay.
PSS I can't wait to listen to the road-trip mix driving around tucson this summer. It really is a wonderful collection :)

Josh's COOL sunglasses.... ;)

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Random Thoughts

Instead of studying...

I had my last class with Dr. Birzer yesterday. It was a bit sad. I enjoyed that class SO MUCH. It was a great last class. Birzer shared some really wonderful quotes with us that I wanted post:

John Paul II called Auschwitz the “Golgotha of the modern world. . . . built for the negation of faith—faith in God and faith in man. . . . [meant] to trample radically not only on love but on all signs of human dignity, of humanity . . . . built on hatred and contempt for man in the name of a crazed ideology.”

In assessing a century of ideological terror, John Paul II concluded: “It is by uniting their sufferings for the sake of truth and freedom to the sufferings of . . . the cross that man is able to accomplish the miracle of peace and is in a position to discern the often narrow path between cowardice which gives in to evil and the violence which, under the illusion of fighting evil, only makes it worse.”

Russell Kirk: "At the back of every discussion of the good society lies this question, What is the object of human life? The enlightened conservative does not believe that the end or aim of life is competition; or success; or enjoyment; or longevity; or power; or possessions. He believes, instead, that the object of life is Love. He knows that the just and ordered society is that in which Love governs us, so far as Love ever can reign in this world of sorrows; and he knows that the anarchical or the tyrannical society is that in which Love lies corrupt. He has learnt that Love is the source of all being, and that Hell itself is ordained by Love. He understands that Death, when we have finished the part that was assigned to us, is the reward of Love. And he apprehends the truth that the greatest happiness ever granted to a man is the privilege of being happy in the hour of his death."

Also. I am in the middle of reading this wonderful article by Piper about John G. Paton. Here is the link, I highly recommend it.

And lastly...another thing I've been thinking about and wrestling with:
"I find I must drive myself to study, following the 'ought' of conscience to gain anything at all from the Scripture, lacking any desire at times. it is important to learn respect and obedience to the 'inner must' if godliness is to be a state of soul with me. I may no longer depend on pleasant impulses to bring me before the Lord. I must rather respond to principles I know to be right, whether I feel them to be enjoyable or not." -Jim Elliot

There are my random thoughts for the day :) Enjoy!
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Since I am still bored and trying to avoid studying for finals (probably a bad idea ;)), I have decided to post some pictures...

Oh, Brother!!

Luke got a new kayak! He calls it the love of his life...haha. I like him. He's so super cool.

It's a really nice one!!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

A Special Day!

Today is my sister's birthday! She is 24...I love her SO much. I wish I could be with her today to celebrate. Alas...i will go home soon and we will go on MANY sister dates. (and this is her first birthday as a married woman...crazy!)

Tonight is the last night the guys will be able to hang out in our room...ever. And tomorrow night is the first time we can be in theirs. It's a little weird. I'm going to get sad packing up my room. sigh...

I'm so tired. I need sleep. Finals start friday (for me) and then i go home wednesday. Time flies!!

T.S. Eliot

"Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
The cycles of Heaven in twenty centuries
Bring us farther from God and nearer to the Dust."
-TS Eliot (The Rock)

...My love for his work grows...

I recommend the Four Quartets. Read it and reread it. Over and is so rich and so alive.