Sunday, August 31, 2008

Resting in Papa's Hands....

I have been re-reading The Shack over the past week, when our family was shocked with the news that my brother's wife had a brain tumor. The surgery today was long but successful ... but the prognosis is grim, at best. This kind of tumor is called an astrocytoma -- and there is no cure, because even when surgically removed, it almost always returns.

I've spent a lot of time today reading about this horrific type of cancer on the web ... and talking with Papa about how fond I know they are of my sister-in-law, my brother, and their three daughters. And even though I have been praying as aggressively as I know the surgeons went after as much of that tumor as they could reach, I have been asking that Sarayu has been wrapping her loving arms around the entire family. I have been asking that the family be acutely aware of Papa's love, Sarayu's power and Jesus's presence with each of them as they walk through this shadowy valley.

If you find the Spirit prompting you to pray for this precious family, know that you have my gratitude. In the meantime, I'm entrusting the entire situation to Papa....

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Everyone Needs These Glasses....

There is a book discussion Scot McKnight is leading over at Jesus Creed about what makes a great teacher. Even though he's talking about college level, it really applies to every level.

Today's post saw a college science professor, and one of the significant players at McK's One T Saloon who goes by RJS, state that "The goal of a good teacher is to create peers out of students." Well done RJS! There are a number of other good comments. This entire series is very helpful -- please take the opportunity to check it out.

Down at comment #18, The Abbess chimed in with this:

"Great discussion, friends!

Following T's comments in #15, I think Jesus is the greatest example (no surprise there) of this. While acknowledging that he is the master/teacher, he does not call us slave/student, but friend/brother. And he expects us to do the same with each other.

This is different from "self-taught" ... we are to be Spirit led and taught. And the Spirit frequently uses us to teach each other -- using the foolish to confound the wise. It is the reciprocity of community where each is valued because each has something of value to bring to the table. We just have to recalibrate our value system....

Lifelong learners and lifelong teachers are the two lenses to the glasses we must all wear if we are to see with proper focus and clarity ... as well as proper humility and proper responsibility."

* * * * * * *

And, if course, as soon as I submitted my comment, something rang true in my heart that I needed to bring back here ... to go with my cHesed glasses, of course! Here it is:

Perception is reality -- as much as people resist it. Now, the Ultimate Reality is that which God perceives ... which is why we want to constantly be aligning our perceptions with Theirs! But just as a different dimension that is not visible to the human eye requires special "glasses", I believe that my cHesed Glasses can be further explained like this:

  • Lifelong learners and lifelong teachers are the two lenses to the glasses we must all wear if we are to see with proper focus and clarity. Peripheral vision isn't to be trusted; we are to keep our eyes on the target -- loving God and loving others.
  • These lenses are held together by the rims of Restraint.
  • The nose pads, that keep our glasses from slipping as well as from digging into our skin, are the knowledge that Papa is especially fond of each one of us.
  • The lenses are tinted with the color Purple because we are called to see life through the eyes of our Suffering Servant King ... the servant is not better than the master ... and frequently when we are weakest, God is strongest!
  • Proper humility on the left and proper responsibility on the right are the arms that attach to the lenses and keep our glasses from falling off the noses right on the front of our faces. We don't think more (or less!) of ourselves than we ought -- and we take responsibility for what we see (or ignore!) and what we learn (or deny) and what we do (or don't), not shifting responsibility for our actions to others.
...and when the New Heaven and New Earth are revealed, part of our Imperishable Bodies will be healed sight that no longer needs this kind of correction.

In the meantime ... I plan to keep my cHesed Glasses on when I'm awake, clean them frequently, and set them down carefully when I they don't get lost or sat on or run over or stepped on.

Blessedly Bespectacled....

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Praise for the Pijin Bible!

I was thrilled to get the report from my cousin, Bob Carter, concerning the ceremonies around the publication of the entire Bible in the Pijin language of the Solomon Islands.

We were honored to be able to partner with Bob and his family and the translation team during the past 10 years and reading the stories and seeing the pictures was a wonderful thing to behold.

God is at work, friends, and it has been awesome to watch. Take a few minutes to rejoice with those who rejoice!

Hope is alive and well in the South Pacific!


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Seven Facts Meme

This is from a meme of my friend Diane from Jesus Creed, who has a new blog called EmergingQuaker. I warned her that I have already tagged most of my friends way too many times, but I will respond to this meme just for her. ;^)

Here are the rules of the meme:

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
5. Present an image of martial discord (as in "war," not marital as in "marriage") from whatever period or situation you’d like.

1. Since we're talking about martial discord (I'm still not sure why?), let me share this random fact: when I was a senior in high school, I was a finalist for the state ROTC college scholarship. I had dreams about being the first woman general and straightening out the army's organizational mess. LOL! Fortunately, I didn't make it. :^) (Although I have a friend who said I could have made a difference, I probably would have run into trouble for insubordination in my much sassier youth.)

2. My three boys had head circumference measurements that were all above the top of the curve (the top being 36 cm, the bottom being 32 cm): #1 was 37 cm; #2 was 38 cm; and #3 was 36.5 (he came a week early, or who knows how much bigger he would have grown.) With my second son, my OB said something along the lines of "it was like delivering a bowling ball." And that was just from her perspective. :^)

3. I am what my friend Brad calls an Interpolator -- which is a fancy way of saying that there are a number of good reasons why I'm a bit, well, AbiNormal! :^)

4. As the newsletter chair for my local PTSA, I design and publish a newsletter called the Howlings ... where, as our school mascot is a wolf, I spend a lot of time using vocabulary like tracking and sniffing and howling and packs and dens. Fortunately, it's a middle school PTSA, so I can get away with it.

5. Growing up in Western Michigan, I spent time every summer on the dunes of Lake Michigan at Grand Haven. So when we moved to California just before my junior year of high school, none of my new friends in Long Beach could believe that I thought Lake Michigan had better beaches and looked just about the same. They all exclaimed: but it's just a lake ... yeah, right. Just a lake....

6. During the time I was a missionary in Thailand, I was still allergic to onions and peppers. Ever tried to eat spicy Thai food without running afoul of the onions and peppers (and we're talking every variety of pepper)? Fortunately, I have since been able to resolve those allergies -- and church potlucks and dinner invitations are so much more pleasant.

7. Just about every serious injury in my younger days was associated with playing softball. At 11, I was hit in the mouth with a baseball bat in front of my house while we were waiting to start a game (please remember to check around you before you swing a bat carelessly). One broken tooth and 21 stitches later were the makings for lots of stories. At 18, while pitching in a co-ed dorm game, I was hit in the inner thigh by a line drive right to the mound. It was weeks before that bruise healed up...the stitches from the ball were imprinted on the skin! Very bad! The guy who did it was so embarrassed he couldn't look me in the eyes the rest of the year. And when I was 34, while screaming into home base so as not to be run into by a guy who hit a home run that was not out of the park, I decided to run full steam across the plate and catch myself on the back-up fence...only the cross bars were on the INSIDE and were not attached to the fence. So, my hands just kept going as the fence sagged and my glasses caught the horizontal bar and exploded in the upper right corner. That one was six stitches right along the bone of my upper eyelid. I don't play ball anymore -- for obvious reasons!

So, there's my list of random tidbits. And here's my image of martial conflict: "The Gods Descending Into Battle" is from this site, just in case it doesn't show up here... the Abbess is sometimes very technically challenged!

I'm not quite sure why we're looking for images in martial discord...especially coming from my pacifist friend???

So, in an act of peace toward my blog-friends...I will let them choose to be tagged or not! If you feel inspired--consider yourself tagged :^)


Saturday, August 2, 2008

Some links about The Shack....

Updated update ... you must watch this video of Paul speaking at a church last week. You must.

* * * * * * *

There have been lots of things popping up about The Shack lately. Here's a couple of links:

This one is from The Columbian. Some new insights come out -- especially that the "Missy" character is also a representation of the author, in addition to Mack. Read this article, please!

And Bob Hyatt has a whole bunch of posts on his blog about talking with Paul. Don't miss any of them.

Update: just finished listening to the OPB interview. Please take the time to listen!