Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What it's like....

Well, I lied.  I meant to come back and start a series next, but a friend put up a blog post that I want to share.  It's an excellent expression of what it's like for women and the thought processes you are forced to go through in 'our' part of the city that we've been living in. It's by a friend in a much loved, sister business to FS. 

It's something the females in our family have faced to some extent, and we haven't enjoyed it.  But it's the life-long reality of women that we love there.  While not pleasant, it's given us a small glimpse of understanding into their lives.  And it's ALL of their lives. Not just when they choose to be there like us.  

Don't read if you're easily offended--but it's reality and it will challenge you.

My favorite part of the blog:

"It is not just my experience. It is my community’s. It is an entire population’s. And I am aching to know how to bring change to it."

Click the link below to read:

Beth's Blog

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Main Thing

I was asked to speak somewhere last Sunday for Mother's Day.  I thought about what to say, got a few ideas rolling in my head, and finally sat down at my computer to write something down.  So I sat down and procrastinated a bit (as you do!) by checking email, etc, first.  Waiting for me in my inbox was a photo sent by an old friend that I don't ever remember seeing before:

This is me at about 17.  Young, idealistic, full of dreams and hopes for the future!

So I based my Mother's Day message about some of the 'majors' that I would go back and say to her if I could.  Things that would give her a head start on life.  Things that I wished I had grasped earlier--or am still learning!  

I spoke briefly on a number of subjects and felt like I could say more on each. I've decided to start my first ever 'series' of posts and write them down here.  

But first here's something else I rediscovered a while back.  This is a poem I wrote a couple of years before the above photo was taken based around Galatians 2:20  “I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me.  And the life I live now in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave up Himself up for me.” 

I wonder where my life would lead
If I would live not giving head
To all my wants and my desires
I dare not listen to worldly liars
I cannot let my life my life slip by
Just trudging on and wondering why
I must not live it as lie

No, I must die, not physically
A better kind, eternally
A kind where I find life in death
A kind that gives me life and breath
A death where someone else comes in
That Someone wants me free from sin
I’ve found that I am dead with Him

But as He did I too arise
His light and love to fill the skies
And I myself will not grow dim
‘Cause I’m becoming more like Him
Hand and hand we’ll walk the road
And He will take the heavy load
Until I am like Him

I write this here not because it's a great literary masterpiece--it's not!--but because it was the cry of my heart then.  It's still the cry of my heart today.  It's the MAIN THING.  

So next post I'll begin to share some of the other 'majors' that I've learned along the road on the way........

You're invited to walk with me!

Reflections on (or reflection of!) Light

"I am the light of the world.  If you follow me, you won't have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life."     -John 8:12

Dispels darkness
Soft glowing iridescent
Shines brighter in the absence of

"You light a lamp for me.  The Lord, my God, lights up my darkness."
 -Ps. 18:28

"I am the moon with no light of my own
Still you have made me to shine
And as I go in this cold, dark, night
I know I can't be a light unless I turn my face to You.
You are the sun."
                                 -Sarah Groves

Divine Exposure

does not
choose to make
the shadow, and Christ
does not choose to judge the 
world; but goodness, it's
roots deep in God,
always exposes
                                     -Richard Kidd

"Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble.  Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon."  
-Is. 58:10


Monday, May 6, 2013

Valuable in Him

We've all done it. We've looked at the evening news, seen tragedy foreign to us and not seen the people as, well, REALLY people. We've seen that filthy homeless person with obvious mental problems and when we catch a whiff of his unwashed-for-some-time body, recoiled like he's more animalistic than human.   

I read this this morning:

"In this new life, it doesn't matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave or free.  Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us."  Col. 3:11

He may not live in them YET, but he wants to.  Just as much as He wants to live in you and me.  

One of my favorite stories of love is kind of gross.  One of our brothers from where we've been living the past few years saw a drunk man on his face drowning in urine. Yup, you read that right.  There are places all over the city where men turn towards a wall and use it as a public urinal. One of these is the side of our local Metro stop that faces the street.  There is literally a small pond of urine there all the time.  

Other people saw this man choking as well, but just walked by.  Our co-worker didn't hesitate but reached into the liquid and pulled him out.   That's what love looks like people.  Real love.

I recently found this quote that is one of the best I've ever seen about reaching out to others.

"People in the poorest countries that rely heaviest on aid are human beings—quite often, very thoughtful human beings—with equally valuable and important places at the table of God's mission in the world as anyone else......Jesus was not known as one who dished out meals to prostitutes and other vulnerable sinners. He sat with them and ate with them. Doing mission, then, probably needs to look more like a shared meal than a soup kitchen, with none of us bound in gratitude except to God alone." 
 -Rachel Marie Stone


That leads beautifully into this quote that Hannah put up on Facebook the other day:

I believe in Justice,
But I am not a preacher of the gospel of Justice
But the gospel of Christ who calls us to Justice
I Believe in Love
But I am not a preacher of the gospel of Love
But the gospel of Christ who calls us to Love
I Am committed to Peace
But I am not a preacher of the gospel of Peace
But the gospel of Christ who calls us to Peace
I believe in the value of the simple life
But I am not a preacher of the simple life
But the gospel of Christ that calls us to the simple life
Let us be aware of the ultimate plagiarism of borrowing some great concepts from Jesus, then running off proclaiming these concepts and not sharing the Christ that empowers these concepts.  

-Myron S. Augsburger

It's all Him.  Any gratitude belongs to Him, both of the receiver and the one privileged to give in His name.  Any presentation of peace, love, justice, hope, freedom is hollow without pointing the way to Him and giving credit where credit is due.

Him.  In us, but NOT us.  No one better than the next---but infinitely valuable all the same.
"And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.........Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ."  Col. 3: 17, 24