Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Snowy Day

As you can see, we haven't gotten very much snow this year (yet). But it's been quite cold for the past few weeks.


This is the actual view from our kitchen window. The sign is neon at night, so if I wander into the kitchen after dark, I get to see a huge sign and pictures of giant food staring at me. Also, our entrance is technically in the courtyard, so I have to go all the way around the building to get to the grocery store. I've thought more than once about installing a slide or rope swing.

Meanwhile, if you look closely, you can see a guy selling balloons on the far left. At one point I looked out and he didn't even have gloves on. It's 15 degrees Fahrenheit outside!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Keeping on

Today I was thinking about how friends often grow apart, and how that's okay and not necessarily painful or unhealthy.

But then I was reminded of times when it IS painful...when someone withdraws. I mean the cases when it's not just withdrawal from you, it's from the Church. There is grief there. Maybe it's a mixture of pain from rejection, but it's also the pain of knowing that this person may be choosing spiritual death. Don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about a little tiff over worship style. I mean those times when you feel in your heart that someone is lost.

For some reason I remembered the film "Fiddler on the Roof" and the father's emphatic "She is DEAD" when his daughter marries out of their faith. His outburst sounds extreme to some, and I wondered if the outburst in my heart was over the top. But I really felt like I lost a family member.

Later, the faces of some teenagers at church popped into my head, and I remembered from another point in the film when the wife (or someone) says, in an effort to move forward with life, "There are OTHER children." Trivial, perhaps?

Jesus went back for one lost sheep... and yet, the disciples were encouraged to go around to different groups of people. There will always be more...but we don't have to forget, do we?


Saturday, February 11, 2012

My Good Samaritans

So, I had a little episode in the metro the other day.... let's just say I wasn't really ready to be taking public transportation again after being sick.

Cut to the passersby stopping to see if I was okay. There was a nicely dressed middle-aged woman, and a couple of homeless (!) guys (or druggies or whatever...sorry to be overgeneralizing, but just the kind of person you would normally see passed out or stumbling along).

We found a place to sit down and I lost a little of my breakfast and I thought, God sent me the perfect helpers: a mother, with a nurturing spirit, and two young men who are not freaked out at all by this type of thing. Strange, but true.

I had left for work that morning with a great sense of peace that God was watching over me.

Once the two guys saw I was going to be okay, they said goodbye. "Here's your stuff," said one of them. I hadn't even realized that I had handed over my belongings to a total stranger.

The lady gave me a sweet Clementine to eat, so juicy and refreshing. Then we walked down the stairs and went our separate ways.

I'm humbled every time I think back to how they stopped and helped me. How many times have I walked right by someone in need? How many times have I turned away for someone who looked dirty or disheveled? But they didn't pass ME by.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Why the hate?

I've been reading a little bit about gay marriage in the news. Hmmm, hard to decide what to write as my next sentence.

It goes back to a book review I once wrote discussing a few issues with modern church movements. One fallacy I noted was the "Praise for Uncertainty" issue, including denying the ability to know God and refusing to take a stand on important issues.

Yet what do we do when various "Christian" churches DO take a stand...but on different sides?

I noticed today that CNN had posted articles from two different Christian pastors who were either "for" or "against" gay marriage.

Lots of ignorant, ranting remarks in the comment section. But one actually struck me as insightful:

(paraphrased): I don't get how both articles are written by pastors of Christian churches, yet represent opposing viewpoints?


This person didn't try to attack and defend the Bible or biblical interpretation. It was just an honest observation.

Why, Christians? Why do we have opposite points of view? Is there a chance for the Truth to speak through us, or are the "issues" and "doctrines" all that people see?


Thursday, February 9, 2012

An orphan gets published

For those of you interested in orphan ministry, or simply in reading an amazing testimony of God's grace, here is a link to an autobiographical account of an orphan who grew up in St. Petersburg and is now involved in orphan ministry himself after his life got turned around.

It's exciting especially if you've been to St. Petersburg and visited the churches and orphanages mentioned in the story. This is life here, and here's how a life could turn out, with the right intervention.



You can buy this book for your Kindle (free for Prime members), and it's also available in paperback. http://www.amazon.com/Infinitely-More-ebook/dp/B004U6WQOS/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1329591371&sr=8-2