Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Recently, I noticed one day this past month a worn, discarded pair of athletic shoes thrown over the electrical wires just outside our gate and over the road that bisects the orphanage and the camp.  I thought nothing of it, just something to do when an item is no longer needed.  I had seen it a thousand times growing up outside Philadelphia (I was sure we invented this non-nonsensical, juvenile act of rebellion) until yesterday when a local friend informed me of its cultural meaning.  It never occurred to me that it was a sign, signal to others for a purpose.

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."  Matt 6:34

Recently, my thoughts have inclined toward preparing, saving enough money and sending Maggie off to college in 8 short months.  I'm not alone in this, (a friend recently shared the same concern he had for his kids in that regard).   Today's concerns, blessings and challenges take up more than enough conscious thought that 'worrying' about that which is out of our control makes no sense.  Should we plan ahead, absolutely!  How many times have we understood our current circumstances much clearer down the road through the prism of passing time.  But, the God of truth sees it all from 50,000 feet and we are just standing in the road.  One can see the curvature of the earth, the other as far as the corner.  He has prepared us to navigate our terrain, not HIS.  Our choice is worry or peace!  

The Lord has brought workers to help us to build both a physical and spiritual platform to share the gospel here.  In addition, he is closing some doors and opening others.  He has done it through people that neither asked, expected nor thought they could be used.  He has done it in ways that has challenged me to put my complete faith in Him and not in others, their abilities or the action or inaction of local leaders.  I love a common prayer here: "Muestrame tus sendas" (Teach me your paths).  Please continue to pray for specific needs that I believe follow that path: a local national Camp Director, expansion of the soccer league to younger kids, addition of a hockey/youth night on campus, a job for a worker leaving - Jesus, further development of other local national partners and locations to share the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ!

"Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace."  Ephesians 6:14-15

Right now, we are thankful to have the resources, workers and blessings of God through His people to develop the camp.  This is enough for today. There is no need for Him to show me tomorrow.  We do have the choice of how we walk.  We can wear those 'shoes' fitted for his purposes or our selfish, self-satisfying ones.  Scripture assures me that the power to walk is found in the peace only He can bring. 

Our busy lives can blind us to the obvious markers or signals that we are given.  Sometimes, they sit directly in front of or over/above us without even knowing their meaning.
Those abandoned shoes hanging on the power line outside our gate were a cultural signal to let others know that there are things worth stealing inside. 
That may or may not be the reason the shoes were there.  It could just kids being kids.  I am thankful though for the friend who brought it to my attention and a little curious about the silence of others.  Most of all, I'm grateful that all of life's answers aren't found just 'hanging' around, blowing in the wind or based on our desires but are found bound in the truth of His Word.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

2013 - the Year of Communication

Although I am not one to make New Year's resolutions, I will, however be more intentional in the way that I communicate. Case in point:I am now FaceBook offical. (my kids are now groaning...can you hear them?) FB does not excuse the fact that I do not email regularly (news to some of you, I'm sure), my blogs posts are notoriously few and far between and my verbal skills could use some clarity. We have all heard it said, "communication is key." As much as I know and believe this to be true, I find myself at times having extremely poor communication with others.  Not only do I have "issues" with the whole English-Spanish thing going on, but there are times with my family, in my marriage, and with friends and co-workers that I feel I am Rapunzel locked in the Tower of Babbel. I am communicating in a babbling language. People may look at me, cock their head to one side, eyes contemplatively glancing upward, as if to say, "I have no idea what she is saying or where she is coming from." I, of course, have full knowledge of where I am coming from and in my mind am making perfect sense....why can't they understand ???
Our high school will be performing Godspell this spring. As musical director I have been pouring over the musical score. The opening song is Tower of Babble. Hmmm...pretty intriguing in my current state, wouldn't you say? The song begins with one philosopher from history (in this case, Socrates) and turns into a cacophony of various philosophers throughout the ages. Each of them is singing fragments of their respective philosophies: Nietzsche, Da Vinci, Luther. As the sounds and counterpoint build, the character of John the Baptist enters and blows the shofar 3 times to call the community to order. He then begins to sing a slow, quiet appeal: Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord.
Am I a cacophony of sound in God's ears? Am I relentlessly chanting my 'philosophies' and opinions? You betcha. God, in His mercy send a warning shot over the bow. A "3-blast shofar", if you will. Although my tiresome requests and somewhat unintelligible communication may be "babble" to others, God knows me. He understands me. He is patient with me. And of course when I need a "shofar time-out", I know His discipline in my life is always good. Abba Father is teaching me to be more intentional with my conversations. More patient in my listening. Like Rapunzel, I need out of the tower. 

Prepare Ye the Way of the that's simple and clear communication!