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Showing posts from September, 2011

Chronicles of the Colorado Adventure: Day 2

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Sunday was accent day. We went to church with Uncle Greg, and I was blissfully happy listening to the worship leader's Australian accent. Then after church, we went out to eat at Smokin' Dave's Bar-B-Que. Apparently, Smokin' Dave likes to hire internationals. Our orders were taken by an obviously foreign man, whose accent I was unable to trace. I employed my time in watching the other waiters, trying to figure out each one's nationality. I kept up a whispered commentary to my table mates. "That one's Russian, definitely Russian. Don't know what area of Russia, though. And he's probably from India. And that guy...Hmmm...Italian, maybe?" Mom has gotten used to my strangeness, but Uncle Greg and Aunt Kelly probably thought that their niece was just a little on the crazy side.

My accent obsession did come in handy, however. When the food was served at last, the server asked Aunt Kelly whether she had ordered 'reebs'. Poor Aunt Kelly looke…

Chronicles of the Colorado Adventure: Day 1

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I have many obsessions and addictions. Travel falls into both categories. Therefore, you may try your dead-level best (and probably fail) to imagine my extreme delight when Mom announced she and Aunt Kelly and myself were going to Colorado to visit Uncle Greg.

My Chronicle opens on Saturday (September 24), when we were all rested up and ready to go after the previous day's 14 or 15 hour drive from Missouri to Colorado. Since the weather was utterly, astoundingly beautiful, Uncle Greg decided to take us to Rocky Mountain National Park. Our outing started well, with a bear sighting before we even got into the park.
There he was, just sitting in his tree and looking at us all. Several cars were pulled onto the shoulder, and people were frantically snapping pictures. A few policemen and park rangers were there to protect the bear from the tourists. We took a few photos, and then continued on our way. 
The road went up. And up. And up. My ears were popping, and so were my eyes as I to…

Many Partings: A Sniffle Over the End of the Staff Retreat

The worst part about wonderful weekends is that they are soon over... yes, the Fellowship has parted ways, and I'm a little heartsore over it. In case you haven't clued in, I'm referring  to my Camp David comrades. The insane, lovable brothers and sisters with whom I have laughed, cried, sung, played, worked, prayed, and who somehow manage to love and accept the not-always-lovable me.

We had an amazing retreat weekend, in spite of the cold, rainy weather. We discussed the role of women in the church, spiders, guillotines, and everything in between. We quoted the Bible, and we quoted Julian Smith. We laughed a lot, cried a little (or at least, I did), and got a very small amount of sleep. And now it's over. We have said our goodbyes and gone our separate ways, and we will not, in all probability, be together again for many months. Or maybe never.

That thought has been haunting me, and casting an even greater gloom over my soul. Times change. People change. Life goes on…

Oh the Joys of Flea Marketing!

I realize that I am an easily entertained individual. Wandering amidst piles of random stuff that no-one else really wants makes me happy. That is the reason why I like flea markets. It is a good thing that I don't go to such places very frequently, because if I did, I probably wouldn't have mountains of books, old jewelry, and the like spilling out of every nook and cranny.

Mom and I want flea marketing the other day. Poor Mom! Flea markets have the ability to bring out the wild, creative, spendthrift of a visionary in me, and Mom's attempts at talking reason are sadly wasted. The following conversation is only slightly embellished for dramatic effect.
"Mom! Look at this necklace! It's only fifty cents!"
"Umm...would you actually wear that?"
"Oh no! I'd take it apart and use the beads for a different project."
"But you already have lots of beads."
"I know, but I don't have any like this! Oooh! And look at these can…

Heavenly Thoughts

'Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul.'
1 Peter 2:11

'I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.'
John 17:14

A foreigner. That's what I felt like in Mozambique. Don't get me wrong, I loved it there. But I never felt quite 'at home'. In spite of the joy, happiness, and fellowship, there was always a slight undercurrent of 'un-belonging'. Then, there came the day when I got back home. I stepped into my house, and immediately had the peaceful feeling of home.

Until today, I had never before thought of Heaven in terms of being a home. I had always thought of it as a beautiful place. A perfect place. But it is more than that. The thought hit me today, 'going to Heaven will be like coming home from Mozambique. Only, it will be better, because going to Heaven will be a perfect homecoming, un-…

Grumblings of a Bum

Yes, I am a bum. Out of school, jobless, and living with my parents. I came back from Mozambique with such high expectations. I'd go work at Camp David of the Ozarks all summer, and then I'd find something awesome to do. I'd get an enjoyable job, working at a horse barn, or doing photography, or something of the kind. Or maybe God would miraculously fatten my emaciated wallet and send me off to do more mission work. Whatever happened, I felt like I was ready for it. The one thing I wasn't ready for was...nothing...and, of course, nothing is what happened. I lack both the cash and the desire to go to college. I feel pretty much directionless, and, oftentimes, useless. My prayer of 'here I am, send me' seems to have gone unanswered. I'm tempted to ask God what He's doing, to shout angry questions. "You know I'm willing to go where You send me, God, so why are You leaving me to stagnate here? Why? Why? Why? What is the purpose of all this? I'…

I'll Take Your Promises With Me

This is one of those songs that grabs you and makes you think. It's probably especially meaningful to me, because I've been there. To a place there death becomes personal, and you see funeral processions every time you drive to town. Where you realize that violence and hatred and demons really are real, and that they're all around you. And where you find hope, laughter, and happiness springing out of simple mud huts, blossoming along dusty village streets, and blunting the grim edge of poverty. Where people, faced with life's harshest realities, find a 'peace that passeth understanding'.

I'll Take Your Promises With Me