Monday, May 28, 2007

Journey Into My Cerebrum

Did Jesus ever say, “I love you?” I don’t think he did. He certainly implied it through verses such as “the greatest gift is to lay down a life for a friend” and he, obviously, did just that. “Love one another as I have loved you”, and many more, but did he actually say those three words? Theory: our culture = too much emphasis on words and not enough on action. Did Jesus SHOW his love? Absolutely. Daily.

“Special” is both an inclusive and exclusive term from God’s perspective. We are all uniquely known and loved by God, making each of us exclusively special to Him, but if all of us are “special” to God, the term seems to lose it’s exclusive tendencies and becomes inclusive….for several billion people. Interesting. Not exactly how our selfish culture would want to view that term, for doesn’t each one of us secretly want to be The Special One to someone, whether it be romantic, or professional, or on a friendship level? Hence the exclusive nature of the term in our very selfish culture, but is it wrong to want to be that to someone? And is it necessary? Does what it really come down to is questioning the value in being an “individual”, an idea that our culture promotes, when really aren’t we called to live collectively? Convoluted.

Celibacy. Why not? The Western Church promotion = get married, and get married young. After recently reading “Sex God” by Rob Bell, I am challenged on that point and reminded that God basically promotes celibacy over marriage to those who are able. Interesting. We missed that memo at some point in history and seem to advocate for the very opposite, whilst pointing the finger at singles, especially “older” singles, deeming them “undesirable” or asking, “what’s wrong with you?”. I reject that North American mentality. Completely.

“Child Labor.” Don’t even pretend to understand it, because you don’t. And neither do I, but I might understand a little more than you do, just enough to pass on the wisdom of Ken, one of our leaders: There’s ALWAYS two sides to every story. So the $5 wage/day in another country, yeah, it’s shocking in comparison to our standards, and we want to fight it, and throw our opinions around (as I am currently doing), and be revolutionists and CHANGE THE WORLD! but just think if the world was “elevated” to our standards of living, food, and economy. Face it, it could never happen. It’s no secret that the world would never sustain itself if the Western culture set the bar. Conclusion: we need the $5 a day workers. Swallow it. And change your lifestyle because of it. Second Conclusion: wow, that’s pretty bleak. Christian perspective: clearly all is hopeless without Jesus, the redeemer of all things. So better times are coming. But not yet. And for this time, here on this bleak earth, let’s focus on those things eternal. God. People. And watch a sunset when you can and know that nothing is really in the palm of your hand anyway. It’s in much better hands.

Pretend there is a stunning picture of a sunset I'm having a bloody difficult time uploading photos and it has delayed the posting of this entry for far too long and so....there shall simply be no photo. Tragic. To make up for it, I will give you all an asparagus recipe.

Deep Fried Asparagus.
(Asparagus Tip #13 of 14)

1 lb. fresh asparagus
Tempura/vegatable batter

Wet asparagus stalks with water and coat with flour, then dip into a tempura or vegetable batter. Deep fry until golden
brown. Serve with ranch dipping dressing.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Quick Facts in Black & White

Fact: Lounging in the cherry fields for four hours on my Sabbath

Fact: Jenna playing the happy birthday song on her accordian for Natalie’s birthday

Fact: tractor rides through the cherry fields

Fact: 12 hour days in the asparagus barn

Fact: 12 hour days in the asparagus barn lead to....hilarious antics around the breakfast, lunch and dinner table.

Fact: my ironic promotion to brew captain of President’s Choice coffee for 130 barn staff. They made me.Fact: Enjoying how photogenic southern Ontario is. Here is the "white way of delight" of the cherry fields and a first self-portrait on one exceptionnally foggy evening.

Fact: having my language deteriorate to barn lingo. Hmmmmm. I purge my mouth with hyssop!

Fact: Ordering 2 lbs of red wiggler worms for our pilot vermicompost. They should arrive at our door…tomorrow.

Fact: firmly reprimanding rebellious Mexican Mennonite girls for not wearing their hairnets according to regulations; they’re really hot, I don’t know what their problem is.

Fact: Dale having to wear a beard net.

Fact: Our cook Marisa, having to see her husband shave his moustache off for the first time since she’s known him (they’ve been married a long time) because he couldn’t bear the beard net. He was….less than impressed when the HACCP elite came to inspect the barn and the men weren’t wearing beard nets. Apparently it’s a grey area. He could’ve kept his moustache. I think John may have hidden a shotgun in his office if those HACCP men ever show they’re perfectly stashed faces ever again.

Fact: making daily screw-ups on the precious sheets that I fill out. Numbers. Numbers representing boxes. Numbers representing farmers. Numbers representing boxes for a numbered farmer which directly affects the number on their paycheques. Pray that I would keep my head.

Fact. Swaying quietly in the hammock listening to the bird sanctuary that is our backyard.

Fact: curling up in bed on Sunday mornings with a cup of tea listening to audio sermons.

Fact: I am thoroughly enjoying the members of this team. It's memorable already.

Love from Erie, Kat

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Family

Well, the whole team is here now and that has been superb. Last week was filled with odd jobs as the asparagus season only started on Monday…more on that in the next blog...Kris and I have also been in beaucoup de meetings pertaining to our time in Guatemala and also future planning for the organization. Global Shore has bought some land up in the mountains of the village in Guaté and is currently in the beginning stages of planning a school. A full-fledged, government-approved Guatemalan school, from kindergarden all the way up. It’s pretty exciting, and a bit overwhelming for our leaders as they don’t know how the heck to start a school. They’re in the agriculture business not the education system. But it is like everything else here: you feel a leading in a certain direction, say a prayer for wisdom and direction, and take steps forward. It’s an honor to be involved.Here’s our first family photo. They (well, I suppose it’s the guys really), have taken to calling me “Mom”…interesting…and Kris “Dad.” Ahh, surrogate parents of ten children, that’s new. They are very wonderful children though, I can hardly complain. Names: top row: Dale, Cam, Jenna, Ashley, Jenna, Ashley, Steph, Natalie, Andrew, Jen, and on the bottom we have John and Nick. We went out to the most delightful icecream shop in the Northern Hemisphere called “Twins”. We took the team out to reward them for the stellar job they did on the crazed scavenger hunt we sent them on the other day. Two teams, hunting for 15 flags around the fields and in the sand cliffs. It was quite the adventure planting those flags, I came back looking…well, I don’t know what, freakishly wild like a female John the Baptist after eating some locusts and wild honey in the wilderness for a year.

Hmmm, I suppose I’ll let the world in on some prayer requests. 1) my theme song for the summer has this great line “beholding is becoming” and that’s what I want. To behold Jesus and therefore become like him. That goes along with the “seek” word for the summer that I mentioned earlier. What else. 2) According to John, I look like a space case half the time, meaning, he’s concerned that I’m not quite me and need to delegate more and shouldn’t burn out….which is not quite accurate, I have simply had a week of trying to find balance in this new leadership role. And whose standards am I trying to meet here? And the answer needs to be God’s otherwise I’m screwed and will get caught up in trying to impress and trying to be everything and simply finding that I cannot. So for that as well. Seek God and lead for God.

That's all for now.

Your Imbalanced Kat