Friday, June 30, 2006

Prayer needed, and answered

Within the past 36 hours I have heard that two of my loved ones have been affected by nature. My sister, her husband and their baby live dead center in the flood zone of the PA/NY riverbeds that are overflowing with the deluge of rain they have received. Denise is on the tippy top of one of the mountains in the NY Catskills - so the flooding hasn't affected them directly - but it has washed out roads and made access to supplies, and providing help for others near impossible. Their lovely 7 month old daughter Marybeth was down to two cans of formula when I heard of their need.

We started to pray. I received an email from Denise that said she was thinking about using milk and the memories of tiny baby stomach aches from my own experience with my kids was not a good one. Denise got down to the final can and 15 minutes later got a phone call from the local fire department - confirming that yes, she did have a baby on the top of the mountain - and they provided 2 cans of formula, 2 packs of pampers and 2 dozen bottles of water. This big sister's shoulders are a lot less tense this morning.

We also found out that our Compassion son in Indonesia was affected by the last earthquake there. He and his family survived, but the roof of their home did not. We would like to help. We are contacting compassion today to find out if that is possible. We have no idea the cost. We just know that little Yeremiah and his loved ones have been rocked and need to know they are safe again. I can't imagine enduring such an incredible shaking of the very foundations of your life.

Any prayers for both of these situations would be greatly appreciated.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Look what I did!!

I have been busy assisting my new friend Dan Wilt on establishing a blogger blog for the newly born Institute for Contemporary & Emerging Worship Studies (ICEWS).

It has been so much fun!!

Contemporary & Emerging Worship Blog

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Kindred Souls

Oh the joy of meeting a kindred spirit. It has been long since I have had one living nearby. So many of my friends in blogland are kindreds, but you are all so very far away! I have made a new friend and we have much in common, but many ways in which we will stretch and compliment each other. I am so very excited!

Her church of origin is the same as mine, and her giftings and call are very similar - she is a strong woman with a powerful voice - and understands fully what it was like to be silenced (with a silent God) for far too long. We already have a short-hand of knowing this similar path that allows for a deep resonance in our souls.

I picked her up from the airport on Tuesday and we were able to spend much time since then getting to know each other and sharing our stories. Yesterday she stopped me in my kitchen to say how leaving her last community was so difficult, but she never imagined that coming to a new place that there would already be family and friends waiting. It's wonderful to know that she felt that kindred bond too.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Creating Divisions

I fear far too many of us have been given bad information and instruction in the areas of evangelism. I love this quote from Nouwen because it restores the truth of 1 Peter 3:15 - "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have, but do this with gentleness and respect." or as Peterson puts it:

"Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you're living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy."

That means we live in close enough contact with those seeking truth, and in such a way that they see us living a life worth asking questions of - not us knocking on their doors and asking questions of virtual strangers.

The Fruit of the Spirit

How does the Spirit of God manifest itself through us? Often we think that to witness means to speak up in defense of God. This idea can make us very self-conscious. We wonder where and how we can make God the topic of our conversations and how to convince our families, friends, neighbors, and colleagues of God's presence in their lives. But this explicit missionary endeavour often comes from an insecure heart and, therefore, easily creates divisions.

The way God's Spirit manifests itself most convincingly is through its fruits: "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness and self-control" (Galatians 5:22). These fruits speak for themselves. It is therefore always better to raise the question "How can I grow in the Spirit?" than the question "How can I make others believe in the Spirit?"
Henri Nouwen

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

3 days and counting

Okay, I'm on my second batch of antibiotic and the bronchitis is still holding on. I'm not feeling as weak as I was, but a couple runs up and down the stairs can about do me in. Hard to move without doing stairs. Would appreciate prayers that the meds kick it out before Saturday. (well actually since you're praying, how 'bout Friday - we'll be doing a lot that day too!)

Just a couple of chair seats to re-cover and some last coats of paint on the table top and closet doors today and everything at the new place will be ready for move in. Keith changed all of the light fixtures around - we replaced the bedrooms and living room with ceiling fans and moved the pretty antique fixtures into the other rooms that had ugly fixtures. Almost all of the art is on the walls (except for the pieces that need furniture to be in place so I can see what height I want it at - I'm running out of wallspace though... Some of it might have to go into storage...)

We've almost got permission from the landlord to reno the room at the back into an office - so that will be project #1 once we're moved in. I know it will definitely help my writing to get the computer into a more private space. I get to distracted by the noise to hold my thoughts together when it's in the middle of everything.

The kids rooms look amazing and we're really having fun watching them enjoy and plan their lives in them. Alinea is so dreamy when she gets into her's. She spins and smiles and is just so grateful - it definitely has made the work worth it. I'll post pictures once the furniture goes in.

Hope this finds you all well! Thanks for your prayers!

Monday, June 05, 2006

The Floating Bed Company

Okay, it must be round things - first the rotating kitchen, now the floating bed - doesn't this look heavenly???

The Floating Bed Company