Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas to you all!

i am back in Abbotsford for a few days here over the holidays and it has been a great time. Superb to be back in my home church, see some great friends and visit with my fantastic family.

something that i was struck by in the Christmas Eve service last night was the fact that it was the Holy Spirit who conceived Jesus in the womb. Well of course it was, you may say, but i never thought about it in the way that it is by the work of the Holy Spirit that Jesus is "birthed" in our hearts and lives too.

yes?

that is a good thought.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

I am back in my coffee shop.

I only caught the tale end of a sermon today and the tale end was this:

"You make a difference in my life." If I've failed to tell you that before, there it is. It's true. To the ten that I know of, thus far, who commented on that last post, I speak that to each of you.

I'm going to do a book review on today's blog post. or review(S). On C.S.Lewis' "Cosmic Space Trilogy" which includes, Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, That Hideous Strength. I inhaled these three books in a matter of a week. For good reason.

My favorite of the three was Perelandra. It was Lewis' take on the fall of man, except not THE fall of man, but the potential second fall of man, but this time not on earth, but rather on Perelandra. Otherwise known as Venus. There are some truly terrifying conversations between the temptor and the sinless character of the Eve-like woman. I am often staggered by Lewis' profound understanding of both the gospel and of the deceptive nature of satan.

A truly imaginative account of a world yet untainted by the destructive invasion of sin. I do recommend.

That Hideous Strength. Terrifying. I babysat my boss' kids the other weekend and the third time little Mackenzie came down crying and saying she missed her folks, I marched her back upstairs, said she could bunk with me for the night and made her pray to Jesus to make her brave and to allow her to sleep well in the tragic absence of her parents. She did. She slept well. The funny thing was, three hours after reading about the Hideous strength of our earthly enemy, I too was just TERRIFIED and every creak and groan of the house was amplified in my now hyper-sensitive mind. I too had to pray for Jesus to make me brave!

Anyways, if you like Clive Staples and can hack Sci-fi, do read. You won't regret it.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

a series of current facts:

1. this is the 100th blog post on this site. It's true. I feel like throwing a party. Some of you weren't reading in the early days when I had clever titles like...(i can't remember the first one), but then there was....Return of the Erie Spaniard (I always thought that was particularly clever), then there was The Third Floor, then there was a. gain. then...My Life be Like...and now this one. Here is my birthday-of-1oo posts request: write me a congratulatory note. please????? It'd be fun.

2. Robert has converted me to eating horseradish with everything. It is tasty. I never knew.

3. Robert has also converted me to snacking on whole-wheat soda crackers (they have to be w.w) with a little corner of butter on the edge. You wouldn't believe the difference that little bit of saltiness makes.

4. i have failed miserably in my newest tradition. it's not my fault though...duty called. this is where i was this past weekend: port rowan, kitchener, guelph, kitchener, waterloo, guelph, cambridge, tillsonburg, home. the best of which was...Guelph. that city rocks (see point 5). It was a great weekend, but it did, unfortuately, cause me to bail on my newly founded tradition of downloads, lunch and coffee culture.

5. Robert Munsch lives there.

6. Today I wrote Robert Munsch a 3-page, single-spaced, typed, letter. Don't ask me why. I just did. If I hear back, you'll be sure to know.

7. George Müller is an inspiring guy.

8. I drive, somewhat terrified, home on the dark country roads on some nights. I prayed for safety when I drove around on my scooter, yes i did, but this is an entirely different kind of prayer, it's more a prayer/monologue, lunacy thing going on. Last night it sounded like this, "Lord, I am awake. yes I am awake. Keep me very very alert. yes. 10 and 2. I'm not going to swerve. I am not going to swerve. I am not going to swerve. I am not going to shriek..." all of this induced by a bunny that I almost killed the other night, and then a possum that I almost killed the other night and then a deer that almost killed me the other night...gives a totally different meaning to "night terrors"...

9. I have taken to lighting a candle on my desk each day, it sits there, flickering, wholly and completely symbolic of the flame of the Holy Spirit in my life.

10. I have also taken to bringing my coffee to work in a Timmy Ho's thermos, though not to be mistaken to be holding Timmy Ho's coffee.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I've started a new tradition. It only started today. It is actually still going on and I guess I will have to wait and see if it really, truly is an activity that will have the tenacity that "tradition" requires.

It begins with church in Tillsonburg. I attended a church this morning that I enjoyed. The Word was preached and the Spirit was welcomed. I will return next week I think. After church I drive the block or two to the local Coffee Culture. They have free internet. It is primarily because of this that I come here. And the fact that it's the only decent place to have a coffee around here (that I have yet discovered. I would be pleased to find a hole-in-the-wall, local establishment with a good brew, but since I know of none, this will suffice.)

I have purchased lunch because some friends of mine who own a Coffee Culture in Chatham recently lamented to me of the customers who come and abuse the internet and buy nothing other than a small coffee and then proceed to sit for hours and hours, taking up a table and using the internet.

I don't want to be one of "those" customers.

And so today I tried the Chicken and Roasted Veggies European Sandwich. It was pretty good. There was eggplant in it I think. Maybe I will get a coffee yet. Coffee-to-go for the 20-minute drive home. So they'll make some money off of me.

My use of the internet here is primarily to download. I can't download anything at the office or at the house as it slows our rural internet connection down. But downloading I must do as I want to keep up with the sermons back home. Right now I am downloading the second sermon from the Series of James that the church did back in the summer when I was, you guessed it, abroad. And I will download the one from last Sunday too. So I will live life exactly one week behind my church back home. But in all other things, I am exactly 3 hours ahead of them in life at all times. How 'bout that.

I have also decided to add to my tradition the updating of my blog. So here it is. You can expect to hear of the new lunch item that I have tried, what sermon I am downloading and maybe a thing or two from my week.

On another note, I will take the opportunity to shamelessly promote two other blogs that you should check out...the first is on our newly-launched website here at Global Shore: Check it out...there's already one post there, by yours truly.

The second is my church blog back होम। ... होम। होम। ...वह??? फॉर सम that is interesting. for some reason things decided to go into Hindi for a second there. As I was saying.... the second is my church blog back home. All of the pastors contribute to this blog and I may or may not read from all of them, but I do usually follow what Jeff writes as he is both a good writer and a guy out to stir the pot for the faith. interesting really the range of topics that enter that guy's brain, the range so far extends from food to a blast at young adults to be committed and the most recent being entitled, "The Internet is Eating my Brain." Although to that latest one I would say that I am most assuredly not the one and only person who stands out from the masses and can follow, and thoroughly enjoy, Clive Staples and his Mere Christianity. I know many who can and have. But, then again, maybe my poll is being taken from the post-secondary crowd and the theologians and isn't a proper cross-section of our culture.

My feet are cold and my third sermon download is almost done, so I will be off for my cappuccino and drive home.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

i am checking out of the Frazer Valley. An odd emotionless, yet very emotional time. it's bizare. I think i am grieving, but i don't really know????? There has definitely been stuff to grieve over this fall, the releasing of a grandfather to heaven, the releasing of a sister to marriage and now the releasing of one aspect of my home, my church, my family. but I am also to gain all of those things as well, out East in Ontario, but we are talking about a different type of home, church, family.

i really have hardly the faintest clue who checks this blog, but if you are local here in BC, I have probably called you "friend" at some point and as such I thank you for your time in my life. May it continue now from afar. The Good Lord is sovereign and wise and had a plan in our lives touching. Be blessed.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I cannot remember having a fall with such stunning colors as we are experiencing right now. It is so beautiful in fact, that I am going to go on a scooter ride just for the heck of it, to reap it in while it lasts.

I would say it is almost so beautiful that the newly-weds in the form of my sister and William were actually mistaken in their choice of Kauai, because it has taken them to the rainiest area on the earth and away from these golden colors which are life and healing and heaven to my senses.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

I am reading in Kings at the moment.

I came across a passage that made my forehead furrow. It is in 1 kings 13: 11 and onwards. if anyone has any helpful insight on that passage, I am all ears.

on another note, i like how Elijah arrives on the scene. From what i can tell, he was a non-entity to the general public until his grand entrance of a prediction of a drought (but not a non-entity to God...what does THAT mean Einstein). Thereafter that prophetic event, he sorta dominates the scene. raises someone from the dead. has a showdown with the prophets of Baal. Has some run-ins with Jez. what a guy. BAM. Elijah.

BAM.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Strange.
.unusual or surprising in a way that is unsettling or hard to understand.

strange.
.not previously visited, seen or encountered; unfamiliar or alien.

I've been going through boxes. little by little. Jess packed up my life this summer and moved me up and out of my abode of six years and there my boxes sit. in the garage here at the house. so, i've been picking through them. and it's been interesting.

i have these three memory boxes that i've filled up with letters and cards and pictures from over the years. it takes me the longest to go through those boxes. I have to sit down to go through those boxes.

it is a strange process.

i found a box of snowdomes. i used to collect snowdomes when I was a child. I had something like 18 of them at one point but i guess i sorted through them somewhere over the years and am left with only 7. which is now down to 4. i just have to hold on to some of those. which is strange. because i'm not a packrat by any means and have been turfing stuff left, right and centre. but these...i don't know.

I have two favorites: one with a zebra inside, and the other has two kittens. I had forgotten the music that they played, but when i twisted the knob, there. There is was. it came back to me. A melodic memory long dormant. incredible how it didn't really ever leave.

I read through a few letters from a friend that i used to correspond with quite frequently. it seems from the letter that we, at some point, had some type of falling out. i don't really remember that. i hope it was resolved. we're not in touch anymore. so maybe it wasn't. but i don't remember.

it was interesting to open cards and recognize the writing of friends from over a decade ago. A decade ago! but the writing...i remember it.

and to find school photos of friends from high school. from when i lived in Edmonton. and most of those people i have never seen since. and to me, they are still 13 years old.

isn't that strange?

and it was bizarre to read sentimental notes from people. directed at me and some type of positive influence that i, guess, had over their lives. but many of those friendships no longer exist. and some that do are different. somewhat foreign. somehow changed. friendships of season. many are that way.

the whole process of maturing and "finding yourself" and experiencing life with some and not with others is a strange reality with strange effects.

photos of me. strange. i hardly recognize myself. yes, it is clearly me in the photo, but how did the person that i am today come from that strange, strange adolescent in those photos.

it is all very strange, there is some type of emotion here but i am not sure what. can "strange" be an emotion?

it just feels like my life. is just different now.

i remember a forgotten friend who briefly, very briefly, came into my life again a few years ago and I remarked how different he looked and yet, oddly the same. and he said a line that I'll never forget:

I'm just a variation of the same theme.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Today.

Praying for these children


That they would be free from this religion


and any other hindrances in their lives

preventing them from knowing the Living Jesus.

Praying for protection as they are taught to walk in the way of Jesus.


Especially praying for this guy: He's my responsibility.


Blessings this Good Friday.

(anybody wanna give me a free installment of photoshop so that I can make sweet diptychs' like Tanner?)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I stumbled across the most beautiful thing today. It was a church. Like you've never seen a church before. I say "stumbled" but that's really synonymous for: orchestrated by God.

That's what these last few days have seemed like to me.

Man, life with Jesus simply rocks.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

i have a dull pain in my shoulder. i am not sure why.

my grandpa's body is invaded a little bit more everyday by cancerous cells. I managed to pack on ten pounds this summer, but he has lost many more since I last saw him in April. At this point, every day is a gift.

i stopped by their place the other day and they recounted to me the sweetest story I have heard in a while. I can see it playing out in my mind as though I were there and I can see my grandma's face go all crinkly with laughter and she probably threw her hands on her face and giggled the way she does and i can see it in my mind's eye.

Gramps sleeps in the pink lazyboy in the living room these days as it is more comfortable than sleeping in the bed. Grandma had just come home from the bridal shower that we threw for my sister, and she leaned over to give him a good-night kiss. well, the chair was all the way back, horizontal, and as she leaned over, her foot slipped and she crashed on top of him causing the chair and go straight back. gramps bumped his head on the elderly grandfather clock that inhabits the corner, his feet went straight up in the air and there he was: stuck! Grandma smacked her knee on the ground and there they were, struggling in their geriatric way to right themselves, but laughing the whole while. grandma managed to get up, but she couldn't get him up and in order for him to be able to get out of the chair, she had to pull the chair forward. so there she was, tugging away at the pink lazyboy, but she STILL couldn't upright it, so gramps said, "well Betty, I think i can manage to roll myself out," which he did, onto the floor and they laughed and laughed as they told me and grandma said,

"what a bunch of old foggies we are."

which is funny. because it's true and somehow old age has crept up, and the mind is strong and the heart is strong, but the body is quickly fading. it is a strange thing and I think that despite how age slowly and subtly creeps up, one doesn't realize that it is creeping until one day literally nothing works anymore and you can't do what you want to do even though your mind is still strong. and we are very blessed that my gramps is still my gramps in every way in his mind and heart, but. his body fades.

and so, we are preparing for him to go to his golden home. Which is an envious place to be, although we will miss him here with us.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Good morning World,

Life is wrapping up here in the Guat but there is so much yet to happen. This Sunday, the majority of our team will be attending an "Encuentro" here at the school that is run through the church. It is called "breaking chains." And boy will there be some chains broken! It is basically an intense day, a full, intense day of teaching and "ministración" with lots of freedom for the Spirit to work and liberate some lives. Please send up a prayer for that! for openness of hearts.

ALSO, next week we are going on a "campamento" with our student body here at the colegio. Our whole team, as well as our teachers are going with the school for an overnight spiritual retreat...it is an "encuentro" of sorts as well, but geared towards kids. We will be going as ministers. I feel that this time will be extremely potent and full of the glory of God. Wow, what the Lord can and will do through these children, what a blessing to be part of that. We are taking Tuesday to fast and pray and prepare our hearts to be ministers to these children. If you feel at all led to join us in that and pray for our preparation as well....I welcome you!

Last Sunday I preached in church. what???!?!?!? CRAZY. Our apostle, Jacobo, invited me to preach and I sorta laughed it off at first thinking he was joking, but, Jacobo doesn't really joke about stuff like that. So i had to say yes. Who wants to say no to their spiritual authority. Not I. So I preached. It was an inauguration of sorts in my life, I think. Spiritually speaking.

This morning I was reading a bit through Joshua....SUPER book. Check it out. And when I preached the other day, i touched on Moses' time up the mountain. And both these men had something in common...they were courageous in and for the Lord. Picture this: a mountain, smoking from the top, dark clouds surrounding it, thunder and lightning. It'd be like one of these volcanoes down here about to blow. And God was there. And the people trembled at the base of the mountain. But Moses? He high-tailed it to the top to meet with God.

Joshua. Is walking along with tens of thousands at his back and there he sees a man with a sword raised. A man standing there with a sword raised high. I myself would not be prone to walk up to a man with a weapon posed to strike and ask, "hey...are you for us or against us?" But...Joshua did. And he met the Commander of the Lord's Army.

hellooo??????

May that I be courageous for my Lord to the point that I walk into his frightening maybe even terrifying presence and come away with face aglow.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

My Bible was MIA for 24 hours and it was terrible.

but i found it. Gracias a Dios.

In my mind, I've updated three more times that what has actually come to pass.

Recent recurring thoughts:

1. It is both ugly and beautiful to both be in process myself and to walk alongside those in process. It is both a privilege and a trial. Is it not a privilege that God has entrusted to me those that he is refining? But that refining process, as with gold, brings the impurities to the SURFACE. And I live on that surface. My ministry is on that surface. And so it is a great privilege. And a trial. But my prayer, as of last night, is for the Lord to discipline me. In a harsh sort of way. None of this "slow and steady" business, no, let's get out the rod and do some beating and some repenting and some character-forming and re-shaping. Yes? Dangerous prayer? Yeah. Let's pray that I recognize the discipline as discipline and respond accordingly. So that is to say....I am in heavy processing as well. God help all of us as we be this body of Christ together. For His glory.

Mary has the craziest laugh, and she is laughing right now as I type this. Oh Munya, hija preciosa del Señor todo poderoso.

2. God is gracious to me. In two ways specifically: He has, without fail, provided my spiritual curriculum for over a year now. He's just...got me covered. I was in a used/traveler's book corner the other day in Antigua with my Spanish teacher. a little corner at the back of this traditional store with books in several languages spanning several genres and there, on the shelf, i happened upon this book entitled...ok, i can't remember the title, and I've gone and lent it out already, but it is a witness account of how the Holy Spirit poured out on an orphanage in China some ten years ago and the countless visions that the children received. H.A.Baker was the missionary and author of this little book. There is a reason why the content of this book is relevant to me: it has to do with the fact that we are involved in Christian education. with children. and will soon be going on a spiritual retreat with them. I am anticipating an extremely powerful retreat with these children. We are instructed to be like children you know. and the lovely thing about children is that they are...already...children. bam.

also. God is gracious to expose the tactics of the enemy when he is trying to take my team out in their health and in our unity. La sangre de Cristo tiene poder.

Ahmen!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I had the most lovely Sunday just two sleeps ago.

I had a rude awakening at quarter to seven in the peak of Cinderella's castle the other day in Jocotenango; i had spent the night at Juls' place and was looking forward to a leisurely morning of awakening to no sound in particular, brewing the early morning brew and savoring a fresh volcanic peak before church. my phone, however, rang. twice. and then a third time. i finally got in on the third ring and it was one of the host families in Tizate calling. a student was sick. would i please come.

but of course.

so off i went to no particularly terrifying ailment, just an explosive digestive system that had blown the breaker a good many times throughout the night. and then i had some time to kill and my keys were off in the paws of another student and i thought, now what should i be doing at this particular moment in time, 7:30 on a Sunday morning. and i was standing in the middle of this wee little town here, and i looked ahead to where my abode lay, and i looked back over my shoulder to the house up the 55 steps that i lived in during my first summer some three years ago now, and i wondered. hmmmm. Ana-Julia, breakfast at Tiffany's, Ana-Julia's, breakfast at Tiffany's.... and i started toward the 55 steps.

and it was lovely and i had a wonderful visit with this wonderful woman who is still described by many as one who possesses an enormous heart which may, in fact, be the biggest heart in all of Guatemala.

and i found later in the day as I sat by a road-side stand with some friends from last summer, Helena and Miguel, that i was on my second unexpected-yet-lovely visit of the day.

and then, at 8:30, when I went to put in an order for some sweet cushions for my table en aire libre, that I found myself with Marco & Clara for ninety minutes of wonderful and divinely appointed discussion.

I am in a training mode. Thus the Lord has Spoken.

and it was a great day seeing many of my very favorite people of this wee little town that has not a sign and is often a mere spattering of cinder blocks to the traffic blazing by that is set on the side of a road and across a little yellow bridge in the broccoli of hills called Guatemala.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Begotten & Created. Who knew there was a difference. Clive did. i am begotten, a begotten daughter and so are you (or son) if you know the living Jesus. check out pagina 134-136 in mere.Christ.ianity when you have a momento.

Estamos aqui en Guatemala.

for almost a week now.

it is good to be in my third home again.

i'm trying to think up some little ditty that I can put a bible verse to for the VBS we're running this morning.

we just came back from Tactic last night. we spent some time with our friends/fellow missionaries/fellow Christian education compadres. Super valuable time to say the least.

today i'm taking the group on a tour of Antigua. Hopefully i can find a minute or two to brush up on my facts: Pedro de Alavardo. Bad guy. 1776. one of many massive and destructive earthquakes that destroyed Antigua. Santiago. The former name of the city, after the patron saint of Spain, St. James.

Santiago...James...Santiago...James. I never could figure that one out.

please pray for health for our team and also for next week as we jump full swing into our schedule down here...

i think i found a ditty.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

looks like two blog posts is possible this week. yes.

we leave for Guat in four sleeps. yes.

i will be living independently this year. yes. this i am looking forward to. a room, bathroom, utilities room, kitchen and open porch table for my use. i will be my own cook. i've already determined my menu for the summer: fruit meusli for breakfast, veggie wrap for lunch and grilled bean wrap for dinner. every day. with maybe an egg-on-bread thrown in there.

i can't wait!

I will tell you what I did on Tuesday by a series of clues:

dot. T.

11 caves.

discovery: a location somewhere between an above-average altitude city and a below-average altitude sea.

fragments meticulously placed together. over decades.

lack of sun, lack of moisture. preserved for toothousand years.

not written in English.

nearest settlement now in ruins: a pottery? a scriptoral library? a sect of Essenes?

.....

....

.....

......



......

Sunday, June 28, 2009

I like this photo. There is something harmonious about it to me, even balanced I would say. That is probably due to the suspended cinder block. And something about the way the light catches the rope and how there is green and red and end-of-the-day light. Thanks Kandace for this photo.


I've been reading some Clive Staples lately. There was an old edition of "mere christianity" kicking around here and the cover had an almost cartoon-ish scene of baby Jesus in a manger with a cow and ass looking at him. I liked it. But it tore off. I like the book better cover-less. I don't know why, it seems naked to me and perhaps that's appropriate as I am thoroughly enjoying the very excellent content inside. it is a good and honest look at christianity.

often in moments of stillness, which in and of themselves do not occur often enough, i recognize discrepancies in my life. the one that comes to mind at this moment is that i can be very hard on people and circumstances and wave some standard of.... i don't know what nor whose standard it is, but it is there... and i wave it around with little to no compassion in me. and then, sometimes, a gentler person is around me and reminds me of an alternative perspective. which is one that i knew of. which is one that i can see the basis of and validity to. which is the perspective that i should, in fact, hold instead of the standard i am waving.

and so, development is needed.

this is not really a thought process particulary triggered by anything from this day. well, maybe there was. or of recent days. Clive Staples is really and truly a fantastic creator of words. He is a master of language if I ever read one. I am thankful that we are privileged to have him as an English author and therefore do not lose any nuance in translation.

i look forward to meeting the man in the heavenlies one day, but here on earth at this time i perceive him to have been one of humble nature. he probably started as one of pride, like the most of us do, and along the way got broken down, learned surrender and was transformed into a man of humility. it comes through strongly in his writing. he easily speaks of how his previously defiant views of christianity were wrong and he addresses the errors that he held. that takes some good humility to do that.

i am sure he wrote this from his own experience and it makes such fantastically simple logic to me that i must share it with you:

we all want progress. but progress means getting nearer to the place where you want to be. and if you have taken a wrong turning, then to go forward does not get you any nearer. if you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man.

Friday, June 12, 2009

“For grace is given not because we have done good works, but in order that we may be able to do them.” - Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430)

I have the opportunity to represent GSO at a church in St. Catharine's this upcoming Sunday night. To represent GSO is not just to talk about Guatemala but it means... Sharing. Witnessing. Bringing some Jesus Word. Encouraging the body. Stirring up some faith.

As such, I find myself acting as preacher-girl today as i sit up in my kitty-corner and work on a "sermon" of sorts. WHat?????

And I thought to myself, I should be a preacher. Not because I do or do not have any particular propensity towards preaching, but because I'm just sitting here reading God's word, checking up some Greek, perusing through some commentaries and LEARNING! Hallelu-jah!

So, I will fine-tune my thoughts on this one particular aspect of this petite sermonette so as to clarify and prepare for Sunday.

“For grace is given not because we have done good works, but in order that we may be able to do them.” - Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430)

Just now in reading a bit through Romans I have had a new take on verses such as, "But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace."

....


Sorry. this is an unfinished post. and the event has come and gone. it went well. so i will leave the post unfinished.

we went canoeing one day. it was a while ago now. i like this photo.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

थौघ्ट्स ओं एक्सोदुस

what...a mid-week post, what is going on...

I am not sure why/how my title converted to...some type of asian language. I like.

i'm pretty stoked about B.Mo #5 tonight. If you have no idea who B.Mo is, she is a southern bell who brings the truth of Jesus. Beth. Moore.

check it.

This is what I have learned recently: ......where to start.

I'm in Exodus right now. That's not true, I just finished Exodus this morning and will now commence Leviticus. Exodus is interesting because it is when the tabernacle was introduced. God with His people. Some things to note:

1. The description of the tabernacle, the various instruments of the priests, etc, reminded me of the description of the throne room in heaven described in Revelation. Similarities like...a lampstand. Jewels. Things of gold. the Presence of God.

2. The priests. What a stunning parallel to Jesus as our high priest. Exodus introduces the role of the priest, what they are to wear and whatnot. Here is the most stunning thing I read, "You shall take two onyx stones, and engrave on them the names of the sons of Israel, six of their names on the one stone, and the names of the remaining six on the other stone, in the order of their birth...Ans you shall set the two stones on the shoulder pieces of the ephod, as stones of remembrance for the sons of Israel. And Aaron shall bear their names before the LORD on his two shoulders for remembrance....So Aaron shall bear the names of the sons of Israel in the bresastpiece of judgment on his heart, when he goes into the Holy Place, to bring them to regular remembrance before the LORD."

made me think of Jesus. Interesting how the OT points to Jesus. How he now, with our names, stands before the Father, ever causing remembrance to the LORD for us on our behalf. Halle-lu-JAH.

3. Moses. shiny face man. He wore a veil when he was amongst the people of Israel, but when he went back up on the mountain, he removed the veil. Of course he did. Veils veils veils. and now that veil is gone for us too. Halle-lu-JAH.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Writing well really depends on the mood that one is in and what occupies one’s mind in that particular moment in time. If the sun was striking the road or cherry fields in a profoundly soft way, or if it was 6am and the birds were waking up the earth and all it’s inhabitants or if I had just come from having some deep stirring in my heart of hearts and some enlightenment deep in the recesses of my very being…then maybe I could write something staggering.

Or maybe I could just make beautiful the daily moments of life in rural Ontario. Because I find nothing to be more beautiful than something a lot of the time.

Nothing like the lack of activities to do in Houghton Centre, a hovel of seven houses and an asparagus pack house in the middle of no-where, So Much Nothing, in fact, that people are reading their Bibles. Because they have time. Because bibles often come last in our culture except the v.v. beautiful and subtle transformation that is occurring is that m.m. of the students are choosing the Living Jesus these days. So I praise God for nothing to do.

Nothing like the bike posse that has developed. The group started with one bike, than two, three, four, five as families were called and bikes were dropped off. Half the team bikes the 200m to work every day. And then there’s the daily evening lazy cycles down the road. Where shall they go today? To the left or to the right? There are really only two directions to go…how about left again? No, we went left yesterday…and the day before…and the day before…

Nothing like creating art out of lugs and wire fences and deformed mailboxes and roadkill.

Nothing like let’s go for a walk or maybe just all sit in the same room not saying anything at all, but just being and reading and being and reading and maybe chuckling out-loud at the outrageous scene in your Anne of Green Gables book, and someone is plucking away at a guitar somewhere near-by and just doing a lot of nothing and yet some significant something.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

o man, s-a-tur-day... NITE! S-a-tur-day...NITE!

first week of spears is DONE.

bueno.

life in Ontario. it is excellent. today i discovered something new. it was tremendous. i went for one of those i-gotta-burn-some-excess-energy-in-a-non-violent-sorta-way type of runs. and the wind was just ferocious, which was alright, because i was good and ready to battle this particular foe and then! i came across the piercing shadows of the wind-tower blades. the sun was just in the right place to cast the most stunning shadows of the three blades slicing not only the air, but the shadows through the grass. I looked a fool as i jumped and skipped the advancing shadows in my pent-up, iPod-blaring state of determined exhaustion. I think there were a few yelps and war cries along the way, but that is one of the singularly most magnificent things about rural landscapes. there is no one around to react in any sort of way at all. solitude. give me a little creation. and me in it. creation joining with creation for some good Jesus time, some good "being" time and some good ridiculous and riotous fun time and nobody will know. except in writing. which is hardly knowing at all.

shadow skipping. it's my new favorite activity.

I had another phenomenal time in creation last night. but that was a Divine moment and one that I will not minimize to words.

I've become a morning person. As in very early mornings. With the Lord. I am practicing the Secret Place. I like it there. I'm making use of the leadership thing and the group is required to have three early mornings, pre-asparagus barn, time with the Lord. They will thank me in four months when they have a firm foundation to stand upon when they return back to life and the world. Giving the Lord our best, right? They've responded well. We're making a collective, yet individual, effort to know our Lord. the Lord of the Bible.

Ah-men.

Monday, April 27, 2009

It is good to be back in Ontario. Life in Places Rural runs in my blood. Green grass, clean air, silky sand, early bird songs, two-toned aqua blues are a buffet for my senses. I was never meant for a third floor.

It is good to be with the church of my heart. A small small small body of nobody's pursuing Jesus together because He's changed our lives, all at the same time, remarkably, and breathed his Spirit upon these dry bones. Let there be Light! And it was good.

Our team minus one has arrived. It is a good group. The Lord has some fairly large things on his divine agenda for this summer.

Because I just talked about this with someone, here is some Bible advice for you if this description characterizes your life: if you are wondering what your purpose is, or what the purpose of life is, what you should do, where you should go, what you are good at, what things of impact you can possibly offer this world, if you are desperate. if you are confused. pick up your bible and read it. Just do it. There is an enemy who would throw any number of distractions your way to prevent you from seeking the One who can answer those questions/disappointments/longings/dreams. Seek the Lord. Love Him First above all else.

And then....

your life will most assuredly change. Most. Assuredly. Change.

Start in the New T. and look for some promises. they're everywhere. And know that God is the same today as He ever was as He ever will be.






post script. you should check out this http://www.leahtanblog.com/ on a regular basis for photos of life this summer because Leah is exponentially more talented at photography than I ever will be and she is far more committed to it.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

He is Jesus.

The One and Only.

Transcendent over all else.

To know Him is to love Him.

To love Him is to long for Him.

To long for Him is to finally reach

soul hands into the One true thing

we need never get enough of.

Jesus.

Take all you want.

Take all you need.

Till soul is fed.

and spirit freed.

Till dust is dust.

And Face you see.

Jesus Christ.

He's all you need.

(I bought a new book today. It's going to be good)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

One of my very favorite sites online is Strong's Concordance. You've heard me go off on the Greek stuff before...it's from here. Brilliant. A must-use for every Bible-reader. very interesting what you will find. Learn to use it, I IMPLORE you. That is...if you are reading your bible. If you are not, learn to read your Bible first and only then supplement it with some good ol' Greek/Hebrew.

So, on this site I was just perusing it looking, if you are interested, in what the Hebrew word for Strong's number 5162 is. I am reading in Genesis and it perplexes me as to why God would ever find himself in a place where he was "sorry that he had made man on the earth" (Story of the flood.) The Hebrew word for "sorry" (5162) was interesting but not conclusive in answering this thought. If anyone has any thoughts, please, do share.

I came across a different section on this website that posed a particular question that had bothered me quite a bit in high school. The question is, admittedly, an immature question in the faith but, regardless, is one that I had and one that I never really found a satisfying answer to. Anyways, I found this to be...good. I liked it. Here ya go.

Question:
Isn't God prideful to demand that we worship him?

Answer:

Often, in my youth, I thought smugly to myself, "Sure, God's big and perfect and everything, but isn't it rather arrogant of Him to send us to hell for not worshipping Him?" It was an honest question. Ignorant to be sure, but honest just the same. So then why is it okay for God to require we revere Him? It may be best to look at the reasons behind why the same would be wrong of us.

The sin of pride is only a sin because it involves raising the perception of our value above that which it truly is. For man, this is a fairly common event; we are constantly elevating ourselves in our own estimation. We, being corrupt and petty, have an almost insatiable appetite for valuing ourselves more highly than we ought. And this is impossible for God to do.

God, being the non-metaphorical model of perfection cannot be better than He is. In fact, nothing can—for one cannot improve upon perfection. Since God is perfect, there is neither anything wrong with His acknowledging such nor any reason He should not require our worship.

God is infinitely worthy of our honor and glory; He deserves our praise. For Him to allow that anything else can be praised in His place would demonstrate Him to be less than perfect. It would be as if He were to say, "Yes, I truly am the only thing in all existence that is worthy of exaltation; but 'No,' I do not mind that you exalt a reddish-brown brick over Me." Now that would just be silly, wouldn't it?

For these reasons, we do not call God arrogant or prideful when He demands worship.


Strong's website for your bookmarking is:
http://www.eliyah.com/lexicon.html

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Hybrids


Sweeeeeeet,

Well, this last Guat trip was phenomaenal. You know, I don’t even think I’ve written a concise run-down of what the Billy is going on in my life. Okay, brief synopsis:

I am now employed full-time with GSO. Global Shore. Opportunities. The LORD is doing a TREMENDOUS WORK, some of which you have already read about. Well, it is true and I just can’t say it enough. GSO is a non-profit missions organization working in Guat-e-mala. That’s probably not news to you either. I’ve been involved with them for the past three summers and seeing now that my degree is terminado (boo-yah), which was completed in December, I started full-time on March 1.

What do I do? Buena pregunta. Well, it’s a bit of everything really, but the primary thrust at the moment is fundraising. Because well, the world ain’t free and neither is operating a school. Yow! So that’s what I’m doing and that looks like a lot of different things…speaking engagements, presentations, developing short-term groups to come down to Guatemala, finding sponsors for our students….praying the funds in, we are praying the funds in. I look at it like this: This is the Lord’s work. He’s got our backs and it’s a simple (not so simple), yet ultimately simple task of accessing the Lord’s storehouses here on earth. Yes? Because all that we have is not really our own to begin with. So it’s a matter of putting the need out, finding people who want to participate in this particular work of the Lord and give from their particular stash of the Lord’s wealth that has been entrusted to them.

Anybody? Anybody?

Do you even know what I mean when I say “school?” Ah man. This is why I need to update more. Alright, so, we have a school running down here, grades K-3 at the moment. Every year we will add a grade to follow the progress of the oldest students. Our school is called Colegio Cristiano Avivando El Fuego and the vision is simple: raise these children up in the Lord. Jesus is the best thing that we could give them and so that is who we are introducing them too. If you could be in our morning devotional, your heart would be touched, guaranteed. So that is what I’m raising funds for. Students to know Jesus.

Anybody? Anybody?

Talk to me. I dare you.

Love kat photos:
1. Cristopher Luis. a.k.a: Calvin & Hobbes hybrid.
2. "missionary" shot.
3. The Ball Room. great fieldtrip.
4. Just cuz???? it's Guatemala.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Stones of Remembrance

Friends abroad,

The Lord and I put on a smashing event last night. I cried most of the way through it. It was about Jesus and Guatemala and Miracles and Faith and Stories to remember His Faithfulness.

In short.

SO, here is an email that I zapped off to our leadership team this morning. Just for you Tom, I posted this just for you (and others who were not able to make it due to distance/schedules, etc.)

Enjoy.

-----------
So there I was. With Leah Tan in tow (she came out from Vancouver for the event last night) and my friend Annalisa. We were heading to the church early to set up. I needed to find some stones to set up as a visual example, because the title of the event, Stones of Remembrance, is taken out of Joshua 4 where the take stones from the river, set them up so that they will remember what the Lord had just done in their midst, remember how it was just like when he parted the Red Sea, and how in remembering these things they would know "the might of the Lord.' So i needed to find some stones.

So we're cruising along Gladwin road en route to the church and we see a parking lot and we're like, "hey, there might be stones there!" but there were not. but now we are on a side road and so we cruise along there, back behind a school, a road that none of us knew. and we pass this v.v.v.large house set on several acres of property and they had thousands of stones as part of the landscaping. there were some even up in the ditch at the front. there were cars in the drive and a man trimming some bushes. Annalisa said, "let's go ask him for some stones!" we hemmed and hawed at how weird that was but, in the end, drove up the drive and out I jumped with this "very weird request sir, but I'm throwing this event tonight and I need a visual example for what I'm speaking on..." He said, "Where's the event?" "At N.view Community Church." "What's it about?" "Oh, well, I'm going to be sharing about Guatemala and what the Lord's been doing." "Cool. yeah, take some stones. God bless."

SWEET. That man loves Jesus, I thought. So, we took 12 nice sized stones, like softball size, and off we zoomed to the church. fastforward to 7pm. There is this man sitting amongst my 40 chairs set with two other, younger, people. I say, "are you the stone man?" He said, "yeah, I went inside and looked at my calendar and I didn't have anything up tonight, so I brought these two along and we'd love to hear about going on in Guatemala." YEAH YOU DO!!! WHAT????????????

RESPALDO DE DIOS.

Back up 24 hours. I am transitioning out of the Cyrus Centre, this youth shelter I've worked out, so I helped them out and covered two overnight shifts this weekend. On Saturday night, one of the two residents, Lisa, and I had a SWEET hour long conversation about Jesus, the Bible, Christianity, I shared some stories from my experiences, she started reflecting on her own life and how maybe God has been trying to get her attention, she tells me about her relationship with her boyfriend and some of the unbelievably sweet things he says to her and I tell her, "Lisa, that's what God says about you too" and I'm going to cry as I write this... Anyway, i ended up giving her some "homework" to read some bible passages when she went to bed and I had really felt like I wanted to invite her and her boyfriend Joel to the event. So I did. And she wanted to come. Because the LORD HAS A PLAN FOR HER LIFE. (seriously, she's going to get rocked.)

next morning, I was gone when she woke up but apparently she sprung out of bed and said to the workers there, "Katrina said that God loves me and she thinks He's speaking to me!!!" and she apparently had devoured that Bible that night.

ANYWAYS, the short of it was that a volunteer brought her and her boyfriend to the event last night. there they were, front row. You gotta know the redemption that the Lord is doing here, they both just got out of prison about three weeks ago. Crazy criminal activity. Crazy redemption on the horizon. GOD IS DOING A MIRACLE IN THEIR LIVES!!!!!

The presentation went from 7-8:30 or so. I just preached it guys. The Lord just gave me the words. I had an outline there, but had not run through it, but the Lord just made a way. I lost it about 10 minutes in when describing about that first devotional we were at, and proceeded to cry on and off throughout the next hour. We ended with worship and I've never wept through a worship set before, but I did. there were times when i couldn't sing. I cut the last song because I was a complete wreck and couldn't make it through it. There were 40+ people who came, I was so delighted, it was fantastic. some people were prevented from coming (there's an enemy at work out there) and some people were last minute shows. People were touched. People were encouraged. People cried along with me, (especially my little delinqant friends in the front row...Joel cried through the whole thing.)

To be honest, I think most people were stunned. They were greatly encouraged. God was there.

When the last of us left at 9:30p or so, wouldn't you know it, it was SOOOOO windy last night. Like, uncommonly windy. v.v.v.v.v.v windy. Interestingly, "wind" and "spirit" come from the same Greek word. Coincidence????

I . Don't. Think. So.

thanks for listening. it's another stone.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Time for Coffee

I will have to start thinking of a great new name for my blog as another summer approaches. I admit that the current "The Third Floor" has been my favorite from amongst all of the others.

I have some friends who have/are depicting "one week in my life" through photos of their feet and where they go. Well, my life has been more virtual lately as I do quite a lot of emailing and working on presentations right here on my computadora. so, here is a photo of my hand for my hands do a lot more work than my feet.


There are several stories associated with this hand for example: the ring. Not The Ring as in THE RING, but...this ring. It has been on my hand for two years. See my good friend Annalizzza had slept at my place one day and left her rings here. I wore them around for a week waiting until i saw her again in order to give them back. In the span of that week, I decided I quite liked this one particular ring and didn't it look nice upon my finger? She said I could have it. Which was a nice gesture as it became a friendship reminder as I was leaving for the summer and then she was scheduled to depart for Corhia. It has been lost once, where upon Mr. Nick discovered it lying dismally abandoned upon the asparagus floor. Squished and deformed, it certainly would not fit upon my finger. He offered it to me in silence as there were no appropriate words of comfort to offer in light of this great misfortune.

It was a dark hour.

Robert, however, is man-extraordinaire and he fixed it for me. So it has found it's home again upon my little finger.

Second: the thick, gaudy pink nailpolish. Last night was the first of two over-night shifts at the at-risk youth center that I have been involved at. Last night one of the residents and I found some make-up and I proceeded to glob it on my fingers as we watched Jason Bourne work his cleverness on the tele. I will have to remove it before Monday when I fly because last time I went down, Juls didn't have any remover and so I had ugly, chipping nails for three whole weeks.

How's that for a light post. Here is a title, you can read for yourself, which is a delightful read. The writing is absolutely superb. It surprised me really, but I've been enjoying my slow plod through this novel. It's a beautiful old edition with colored pics that I found in Antigua.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

It's for True

I don't know what my issue is. I enjoy writing. I enjoy posting. But I just simply never do. I think what it is, is that there's so much going on that to adequately stay up with it all, I'd have to post several times a week and THAT'S never gonna happen and so I just never know where to start and so...I don't. Lame. I will try and do better.

It is a winter-wonderland outside my window. Down came the manna all day yesterday, who knew? I for one had no idea the forecast was for snow. I love the snow, but I can't get around anywhere as my scoot scoot does not do snow. But it is lovely none-the-less. I was supposed to go to my grandparents bible study tonight. They have a really tight-knit group of friends that meets every two weeks. Tonight one of the guys who is a Greek scholar was going to be leading the discussion and I was formally invited because I, as you know, am interested in Greek. I was very excited to go. But then my cold, which was just minor on Tuesday, got out of hand and now I am sick. Not dreadfully sick, but sick enough that I cannot go as I could potentially do serious damage to my G-pa who is vulnerable in his health due to chemo treatments. So now I cannot go. I am disappointed, but am hopeful that I will be right as rain for the next one in two weeks.

I have been learning lots in this Christian walk lately. A lot of it has to do with the cost of discipleship. There is a cost. I was sitting with a friend in a certain corporate coffee shop the other day and as I sat there thumping my finger on my bible, I said, "this thing is going to cost me my life." And it's true. This Jesus thing is much more serious than I ever realized. The gospel demands absolutely everything. It is a good thing my friends, a good thing. It is truth and it is worth it. I just never realized before. Like never really really realized the implications of the gospel.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Cristo Vive!

For several days now I've been meaning to update. There is much to tell. But I cannot possibly tell that which I would like to.

Carolyn and I were discussing what the word "witness" means. I said that I would look it up in the Greek, but I have not done that yet. Hang on.

It is difficult to articulate exactly what is going on here. We've been talking about that too. How can one describe the things of God? It will inevitably cheapen it because it goes beyond language. We are called to witness, but why? The Greek does not really add any insight but dialogue around this has brought me to this conclusion: we are called to witness because in the act of sharing with one who has not seen, has not experienced, has not received or lived the same Jesus type of things causes a yearning for the same. right? One hears stories of encounters with angels and one thinks, hey, I want to encounter an angel. Or one hears of a limb growing back and he or she thinks, hey I want to see a limb grow back. Do we not desire to see our God act in the miraculous ways in which we give lip service to believing?

I do not feel like articulating everything. Here is a short synopsis which is the general foundation of everything:

I have spent several days touring myself around all of the monuments and churches in Antigua to better understand the cultural/spiritual/historical climate of this region. There are 33 churches from Colonial Guatemala all within 15 square blocks or so. They are from the days when Spain first charged in and colonized the area. The religious influence is Catholic. As a result of this touring, I have looked at dead Jesus after dead Jesus after dead Jesus. The Catholic church down here is rather fond of Jesus hanging on a cross. I am rather fond of the Resurrected Lord. There is a very big difference between the two.

On Sunday night, I had just wrapped up a long day of looking and scrutinizing various churches with dead and bloodied Jesus' hanging on crosses and the contrast was stark when I got off the bus at El Calvario and entered into a time of praise with 500+ people singing Cristo Vive! at the top of their lungs. That means "Christ is alive!" It was the biggest Jesus party I've ever been to. The fact that our Lord lives is worth celebrating, let me tell you. It's the only real reason to celebrate at all.

The Risen Lord and all of the implications of that fact is the theme of this trip. My faith has jumped several octaves.

Monday, January 19, 2009

God Bless Kat

dear Friends,

This is a quick shout out to ask for some prayer coverage. Tomorrow, at 8am, I am flying away to Ontario and then on Thursday, five of us are flying down to Guatemala for two and half weeks. The purpose of the trip is for our leadership to all be together to have meetings to discuss the incredible work of the Lord!!! both this past summer and in the present and in the expected future. We will be discussing everything about everything in relation to Global Shore.

One whole agenda item is the topic of myself and my future involvement with the program. I will very likely be working with this organization on a full-time basis starting in May and following another summer of the usual Ontario/Guatemala split, the questions for next fall become: what will Kat do? Where will Kat live? When will Kat move? Etc. So the significance of the trip is up there.

If I cross your mind, mumble a "God bless Kat and team." And by saying that, you will be asking for God to have favour on me and our group. A very minor Greek lesson for today is that one of the meanings of the word "bless", which in the Greek is εὐλογέω, is to have favour on one. And we do indeed desire the favour of the Lord upon us.

thanks.