December 25, 2005

Today was Sunday.

I woke up this morning and celebrated Christmas just like most of America and Europe, December 25th, 2005, Sunday. I’ve done this for over twenty years and never really thought about it, but today was different. You see, today was Sunday, that’s all, just Sunday. Not Christmas, not the Sabbath, nothing special, just another Sunday. Over ninety nine percent of the country woke up today with nothing special on their minds. It was just another day for them, just a regular weekend day. I woke up with the minority, that .09% that was celebrating the birth of the Savior of the World. How amazing is it that God would become “Emmanuel”, God with us. That term has meant so much to me this past month. I looked out the window this morning and was heartbroken that no one here knew. It’s not the day I wish they knew about, it’s Emmanuel I want them to know. Yet there were over 3 billion people today that lived just another Sunday. God is with us, yet they don’t know. I went to a restaurant today and met a man that had never heard of Jesus Christ. He knew nothing about him. If this stark reality doesn’t grip your soul, then you are not being obedient to the Great Commission and the Great Command. Who is going to tell them??......

December 21, 2005

Gospel of Power or just of talk

Paul says in Corinthians that the Kingdom of God is one of power not just of talk. He also says in Thessalonians that the Gospel came to them not just with words but also with power. I see things here that are different and I wonder, have we reduced the Gospel to one of just talk in our own North American culture. I have no answers, only thoughts, but something seems different between some of the "Gospel" presentations at home and the Gospel that I see being spread here.

December 16, 2005

My Christmas Bush

Of course I have to have a Christmas tree! Even if it does give Charlie Brown's tree a run for his money. I found this tree in my apartment although I'm pretty sure it is missing a top...yeah, I'm positive about that. It's more like my Christmas bush.

December 15, 2005

Danger Ahead!

Would God purposefully put us in danger…of course. If it is for a higher purpose or a nobler purpose. Our life may be in danger, but our soul is secure.

December 14, 2005

"I'm Mick and I love Jesus"

That is what it all boils down to. The older we get, the smaller our world gets, until we see it clearly and it is just about loving Jesus. This is what matters. We tend to make things complicated, but in the end this is it. I want to be known for nothing else.

"i'm josh and i love Jesus"

December 13, 2005


Let me try to place you in the mysterious place where I was over Thanksgiving weekend, and where we have all been many times in our life. I found myself standing on the top of this large hill in a sheep pasture. There were no lights to be seen and the sky was crisp and clear. I love the stars but on this night I saw more stars than I have ever seen before. I saw stars in the Orion constellation that I can’t see at my house in Pennsylvania. My mind was blown yet again. As I stood there I realized that the stars have caused so many questions since the beginning of time, and zero answers. They are one of the biggest mysteries, and when I look at them I too sense the mystery. The stars seem to prompt in me a longing for the divine, as I’m sure they have in many people since there were people. I have no answers and I don’t think I want answers, cause when I look at the stars I feel so small, yet at the same time so very loved because I know the hand that made the vast array of stars took more time and effort in forming me. And that is good enough for me.

December 12, 2005

That's a lot of Power!

Sometimes I have hard days where I don’t want to be where I am and I don’t want to do what I’m doing. But I’ve been constantly reminded and I can’t shake the thought of the billions of people who have never heard of Jesus and even more billions who maybe have heard of him but within the context of their own religion, like Islam. When those billions of people have names to them, it sinks in. Take Emin for example. He knew there were two parts to the Bible, and that some of it was written by Abraham. And that’s all. He doesn’t know the claims Jesus made, he just considers him a prophet. At moments like these, if the Holy Spirit is guiding you, your heart feels burdened and overwhelmed with love, just like God’s heart. You mind wonders where to begin and the thought of teaching him everything seems so hopeless, but then you are reminded of the power of God and the power of Cross. I don’t speak with fancy-schmancy words to persuade and convince. I simply tell of Jesus and the cross.

December 10, 2005


The Call of Jesus is not a cattle call.

December 9, 2005

December 7, 2005

Mr. 'Time'

God does not and has not changed. The God of the first testament is the same God of the second testament. He is just as just and just as merciful. Sometimes the God we see written about in the first testament is very difficult to understand, especially when there are verses that seem that God is being too harsh on people who don't have a chance. There is a very clear picture of the just side of God. The merciful side of God is also very evident. When the second testament comes into play, we are surrounded with love and mercy. (These are very very quick sketches). In some sense God appears to be different, but I know this to be not true.

When a human is born he enters a unending cycle of learning. From the moment he starts crying he is flooded with information and he learns. This never stops, and the older he gets the more of life he sees which helps him to understand it better. He will never know all there is to know, but he does continue to learn. Maybe all of time is like one person's life. When 'time' was born there was Adam and then Abraham and Moses and God started with who he was and that 'Sin is Bad.' There was nothing written, only the experiences of a few men. As 'time' grew older, he learned more about God as God was continually teaching about himself and revealing himself. God revealed himself to the full extent in Jesus, and 'time' is still learning and understanding him. 'Time' will never have God figured out, because if he were to figure out and understand God, then God would cease being God

December 5, 2005

Full Circle Part 2

Power in Simplicity and Mystery. In the past, I have taken the power out of the Good News by trying to explain everything down to a T (don't get me wrong, knowledge is good and we should know what we are talking about). However, tonight I realized something.

God gave me the opportuninty to share the Good News by explaining why I celebrate Christmas, to my lifting partner and his younger sister. With the language barrier I told of the Good News of God coming to live with us, to save us. Sure there is more to it, but this is the Gospel message. The power of the Gospel is not in my clear and full explanation, but in God's Spirit. I will do my part and obey God's Spirit and it is God that will explode His words in their soul when they least expect it.

December 4, 2005

The Cirlce

Sometimes I come full circle and realize that studying and reading all the time is really of no point. As Ecclesiastes says, the most important thing is To fear God and obey what he says. And that single thought is so very refreshing.

December 3, 2005

The Real Church

Jesus' Invitation: Come and Follow
Jesus' Closing Mandate: Go

Some 'churches' invitation: Come and Listen
Some 'churches' closing mandate: No

It seems we build churches that become nothing more than hiding places for the faithful while pretending that our actions are for the good of the world.

I'm glad I have no 'church' to hide in right now.

*These thoughts come from a book I just finished reading*

December 2, 2005

Sweet Sausage with Walnuts....I DON'T THINK SO!

It's not what you think it is. This really is food, at least I hope it is because I ate half of it.

“Ingrdients: Walnut, sucrose, grope juice, flour, starch, acid’s regulator. NUTRITION USEFUL: It’s rich with the protein, Fat, B vitamins, phosphorus and potassium. It affected as a blood maker, and nutritive for brain cells, because cantaining of E vitamins, un saturated fat and Flovanoides. Of energy. Its perfect source.

Store in a cool dry place away from strog light & odours. Production is appropriate to Turkish food codex.”

I typed this exactly as it was written. I don’t know about you, but that ‘grope juice’ sounds kinda scary. I ate the thing and I’m not sure what is going to happen to me. I'll keep you posted should I begin to grow any beefy arms or lose any valuable body parts.

December 1, 2005

Unecesary Prayer

Maybe we spend to much time praying for ourselves just because we are blind to what God has done.

"I AM dead and buried with Christ, and risen too and ascended....God reckons (to consider as being) me so and tells me to reckon myself so."

Often we pray when we need not. And because we need not, we see no results and because we see no results we pray more all the while we didn't need to pray to begin with.

November 30, 2005

Not Dead.

Word on the street is that I have died (thanks Chris Massie), but actually I've just been without the internet for over a week. Things don't always work here like they work in North America. But at least I haven't lost my electricity in a while.

Here are some pictures of my everyday surroundings.

A common sight. Fruit is plentiful and very very good!


A beautiful fall day. Yesterday it was almost 60 degrees.

November 23, 2005

The Edge

Jon and Rob---This is mainly for you guys. But for everyone else, this picture was taken while I was standing on the edge of a 1600 year old castle wall......And honestly the sky really was that color!?!

November 22, 2005

The poor and the rich and the Rich

Spending any time in a culture other than America will prompt thinking about material possessions. It seems our culture breeds greed. I didn't think it affected me, and then my eyes were opened. Here you see people living with much less than I have. You also see street beggers everyday. This grabs your heart and makes you think. No matter how much you give away there will always be someone with less, but I realized that is the wrong mindset.

Yes, there will always be people that have more money than you and there will always be people that will have less than you. The material things must be viewed second to that of the Spirit. It needs to be second behind my true spiritual riches of Christ.....It's something I've known, but to actually live that way...I never have, I just said I did. Now I don't care what I do with my money (I'm still wise) but I really do see it as not my money. I think this is what they call contentment and I'm convinced that when one is content God can use them fully.

November 21, 2005

"Should have made a movie of this 80's cartoon" of the day!

So all of my friends have this cool thing on their blogs where they give a Word of the Day, or a Song of the Day, or a Link of the Day or something else really cool of the day. So I thought I would jump on the bandwagon (at least for today). Here's my "Should have made this 80's cartoon into a movie" Of The Day.

SILVERHAWKS! This would have made Spielberg even more money. Think about it. Guys that are made of silver and other shiny metals (I like shinky things) fly around in outerspace and fight the bad guy. The plot and story is ingenius. You have characters such as

Bluegrass: A young colonel who is perhaps the most laid-back of the Silverhawks. Bluegrass is a guitar playing pilot who can handle anything with wings. Blugrass, unlike the other silverhawks, has no wings. His weapon is Hot Licks a sonic blasting guitar. Who could possibly think of a better weapon than a sonic blasting guitar. Christopher Walken would be excellent at this part.

Copperkid: A mathematical genius from the Planet of the Mimes, who communicates through a complex system of tones. FROM THE PLANTET OF MIMES. This might have been where the cartoon stretched just a bit. I mean, who can seriously believe in a planet of just mimes. I bet that is where all of those ridiculous jokes originate. As far as casting, you could go kidnap any mime in any city park and I'm sure they'd play the part just fine. But maybe if Data's kid (the droid from Star Trek) can't talk really good, we could teach him how to be a mime.

How about "The Bad Guys"

Melodia: Mistress of evil notes, her musical power has shattering consequences. How can you be any more evil? Whoopi Goldberg comes to mind.

Windhammer: The storm master, with his dreadful tuning fork what can summon lightning and other meteorological anomalies. I'd definitely choose a tuning fork as weapon in a fight to the death. One man and one man only could play this role...Owen Wilson

This is my "fill in the blank" Of The Day

November 20, 2005

Realization of the Day

God created you so that your life would count, not so that you could count the days of your life.

November 19, 2005


I *think* that anyone can be desensitized to anything.

I make this statement looking at my life, some observations from this culture and certain instances in history.

But I do believe (no thinking here), that with God's Spirit living inside of me, he can keep my mind sharp and my heart keen.

November 17, 2005

Languge of Christ.

I never realized how much of my so called faith relyed upon words. If someone asked me in America what “religion” I was. I would be able to explain to them that I was a Christian and I followed Jesus. If we got into a deeper conversation then I would probably tell them about how it is not religion but a relationship and it is not about rules and laws but about love. We all know and believe this, but action shows what we truly believe. In America, since we can explain what we “say” we believe, often times we do not truly examine what it is we are actually believing (Our actions show our true belief.) In this culture, I when someone asks me what “religion” I am, and I respond that I am a Christian and I follow Jesus. That answer is tainted by years of poor examples and wrong perspectives. The Crusades are perhaps one of the worst examples of “Christianity” yet one of the most prominent in many peoples minds. Remember there has not been a Christian presence here for many many years. So how do you explain it?...You don’t. You live it. And even that answer has been thrown around in North American culture for years, but I think we’ve almost lost it’s meaning. When they only way to convey the message of the Gospel is through your actions, this becomes foremost in your mind, as it has mine.
I’ve come to understand what James says about Faith and Deeds in his second chapter.

November 16, 2005

We're French!

We're French! Why do you sink we haz disz outrageous accent? You silly King!

November 14, 2005

Bible, Language and Jesus...stuff

I come to write with two brand new thoughts in my head. However, the second though diminishes the first one greatly, as you will see.

I’m learning a little about the Greek language and I’m sure anyone who has actually studied it can attest to this. Greek is a very complex and descriptive language. There are many different tenses, especially when you are talking about verbs. It is an ideal language to describe anything in because you can be very very specific. The language I am studying now is not that way (although I’m still having a hard time learning it). English is another language that is very vague. Since I’ve been teaching English I’ve realized how vague it is. It is a very creative language but meanings can be construed in so many different ways. It makes even more sense that of all the languages God chose to have the New Testament written in, he chose Greek. No language is perfect and we have our problems with the Greek, but I cannot even imagine what it would have been like if it would have been written in English.

The second intriguing thought comes from the idea that Jesus never claimed to be God while he was on earth. We know that Jesus never came out and said this but we understand the implications that he made. (Some were just as strong or stronger than actually saying it.) But think about this reason; if he would have claimed to be God…what word would he have used?? In the time of day when Jesus lived “El” was the most common word for God and the most generic. But it still referred to the God of the Temple. He could have said “Adonai” or “Elohim”, but again he would have been referring to the God of the temple, and we understand that Jesus is not the God of the temple. He is God, but different than God the Father. No word existed that encompassed what Jesus was. So he showed us that word. (The Word became flesh…is now an interesting new thought too)
It would be like trying to explain to Abraham the Internet. You can’t use the definition “The Internet is a telecommunications network connecting millions of computers around the world.” While that is correct, it just wouldn’t help. You’d have to talk in language he could understand, and that is what Jesus did. I am the bread of life, I am the light of the world, I am the gate.

My mind continues to be blown with God.
(Some of these thoughts come from reading the book “The Gospel According to Moses”)

November 12, 2005


This title seems absurd and almost a mockery. But that is to the Western mindset. It is true. God is still at work. Here is the story:

A local friend of mine and I went for a walk down on the waterfront the other night. He is a believer and how that happened is a result of an interesting event. The man is in his mid 20’s and when he was in his late teens and early 20’s he served in the military for two years. While serving in the military he had a dream, a dream that scared him. It did not just happen once but it happened four times over the course of two years. In this dream, he was laying down and standing before him was Jesus, dressed all in white. He didn’t speak and all he did was motion toward my friend to come. Everytime my friend would awake scared. He began to think and and ponder and wrestle with the idea of and thought of Jesus really being the true way. About a year and a half after having these dreams he chose to begin to follow Jesus. When I met him he had been believing for about five months.
I had heard that these things happened although I had never met anyone whom they happened to. Coming from a Western culture this kind of thing intriques us because there is not much stock placed in dreams. In this culture dreams and visions are important and do happen. Perhaps God chooses to use that means here because they will be accepted and our Western thought has put God in a box. Anyhow, I don’t know, but I did ask him the question, “Before you had the dreams had you ever heard about people having dreams where Jesus appeared to them.” To this he replied he did not know and when I told him that he was surprised.
The God of the First Testament and the God of the Second Testament and the God of Today is the same God. He still reveals himself and is still drawing people to him. It blows my mind to think that the same God that created the entire world and all the billions of people, cares enough about us to show up while we sleep in our dreams. Amazing Love!

November 11, 2005


Upon recommendation from Brando's blog, I went out and picked up the movie "Saved." It was criticizied by many "Christians" so this was another reason why I wanted to watch it. Without going into detail about the movie, because I suggest you watch it as well, I want to comment on my reaction.

The movie does not apply well to the culture that I am living in now, but I couldn't help but notice the question that was floating in my mind the entire movie. As someone who does follow Jesus, the movie begs the question, "Who am I really following?" and "What things do I believe that are not scriptural, but rather just cultural or worse..personal biases." The movie, a long with many other factors that have been occuring in my life (like the spiritual realm), made me step back and look at what I believe. As I posted a few days ago, what we truly belive is shown by our actions.

So watch the movie. Not as a Critical Evangelical, but rather as someone who believes in Jesus and is getting an inside look into how some people perceive us. Let is change you.

Thicker than Dale Earnhardt's Moustache

Canadians think they know what peach juice is like, I have come to find out otherwise. In the country where I live, the peach juice is so thick it clings to the inside of the glass. It is the most incredible delightful juice the world has ever seen. It coats your throat the whole way down with sweet nectar of life. I am in utter awe of the thickness and sheer joy that is delivered to my tastebuds. It is a mix between drinking and eating and Oh what a mix it is.

November 8, 2005

Build an Ark!

Building an ark was a ridiculous and time consuming task. I've come to understand how crazy it was, how time consuming it was, and just how ridiculous the request from God was at the time. But it was something big, I mean God had a complete plan and in the long run it made sense. I've often wondered why no one builds arks today. Obviously I don't mean a literal ark, but I mean the crazy things that don't make sense. How often have I just written those ideas off as fanaticism. Am I sure they are not Gos speaking to me. (Not to downplay God's power, but I also realize that only one ark was built in all of time. Everyday God is not going to ask us to do wild and crazy things.) Part of life is the everyday, "normal" life (normal life is a whole other topic). Anyhow, I've come to the point where I believe in God's power and I'm asking him to make it clear if he wants me to 'build an ark.' I'm here and I'm willing to believe whatever it is God wants me to believe, no matter how stupid and ridiculous it sounds to a human mind. Perhaps, I'll live my whole life faithfully serving him and I won't 'build an ark', and that is fine. I just need to be at the spot where I will do whatever it is God wants. That's the important thing.

November 7, 2005

It does not matter what we say we believe. Our beliefs are shown by our actions or lack of actions. May what I say I believe and what I truly believe continually agree more and more, as long as I am decreasing and Jesus the Christ is increasing.

November 6, 2005

Caught in Jewish Thought

Sin. This is an area where Jews and Christians share surprising similarities. If a Jew sins, or when they realize their sin, the first thing they must do is to confess the sin. The same is true in Christianity. The next thing that happens, for both a Jew and a Christian, is repentence. Complete abandonment to sin and full turning and devotion to God. The third thing/step is where the two faiths part ways. If an orthodox Jew works on the Sabbath without realizing it, he must do something to make his sin right (pray, study the Torah, or fast). Jews must make right their sin. This is where the sacrifice system came into play. As Christians we also believe that our sin must be made right, but we believe that Jesus was that one time sacrifice that made things right with God. Yet, if I am true and honest with myself, I must admit that at times in the past I have had a Jewish mindset. I understood Christ’s sacrifice and even though I said I accepted it…I subconsciously would do something more. It usually came in the form or praying more or reading my Bible more. These are good things, but they didn’t always last. Although it wasn’t a conscious thought, my actions were saying that I only needed to be ‘superspiritual’ for a bit and then everything would be back to normal. I think a lot of it was a pride issue. I am completely helpless to take care of my sin. Just like a baby is not capable of cleaning up their own messes, I also must rely on someone fully.

The sacrifice of Jesus was enough for Justice. The thing we Christians must do is accept it, and sometimes that can be much more difficult than it seems.

November 4, 2005

Who Protected Josh?

Today was a national holiday. It was the ending of Ramazan (or Ramadan as we say in English). That meant that I did not have language class and I did not have to teach (Hoo-rah). So....Jeremy, Tracie, Michelle and I took a road trip two hours north of where we live to visit what was probably one of the coolest historical places I've ever been to. We had to go 4WD and hike a kilometer to get to the ruins of a 1600 year old castle. The name for the castle translates into English as Lamp Castle. If you saw Lord of the Rings and recall when the beacon fires were lit you will understand the function of this castle. It sits on a hill 1200meters above sea level (4000 feet) and was used to signal and warn of approaching enemy armies. I sat on the wall and looked out toward the sea amazed at the history and beginning to understand the deeper meaning of the Lord being my fortress, my strong tower, my place of refuge, my protector. Words can not do justice and sometimes even an image can not do justice, I did not know that minutes later I would experience firsthand the Lord being my protector.

Being my adventurous self and being in a Big kids playground. (Unlike America where a castle would be roped off and you would only be close enough to it to take pictures. Here there wasn't a soul around and you could do whatever you wanted.) I went off exploring the ruins and climbing around. The castle sits way up on top of a giant rock that is on top of a mountain. What that means is that there are a lot of places to climb. (You can see where this is going). Right when we decided to leave I thought I'd climb completely around the castle. I came to a steep part where I had to climb down using the rocks on the castle wall. I grabbed onto a large rock in the wall (don't trust 1600year old rocks), one that looked sturdy and swung my legs down to begin to climb down. When I did that the rock gave way and I fell. I hit the ground about eight feet below and began to slide down the rocks. It seemed that eveything was going in slow motion. As I was sliding the rock that had fallen out of the wall, a 60 pound rock that was about the size of a computer monitor (not a flat screen, but the old 17 inch ones) came down behind me and smashed off my arm as it continued its ever increasing dash down the mountain. I came to a stop at the edge of a forty foot cliff. My arm was cut up and bruised but it should have been broken. I should have been hurt more than I was...but I wasn't. I sat there, shaking, for a few minutes and praised God for protecting me. I believe and know that it was God that saved me. God was my protector today. He is and will continue to be my strong tower and my fortress for as long as I shall live. That is my proclamation of faith!

November 2, 2005

Tabloid Headlines Read:


Yesterday local scientists discovered what the unknown object that had been perplexing Americans was. My friends, the object pictured below is....Toilet Paper! Yes, that's right. Good ol' TP. In the Islamic culture no one shakes with their left hand and this picture is the reason why. They pour with thier right hand get the idea. There is a proverb here (that actually makes a lot of sense), it goes, "Two men were arguing and to decide who was right the one man suggested that they both cover their beards in honey. One would use paper to try to get the honey out and the other would use water."

Next time nature call, think about this...

November 1, 2005

Name that object.

This is a little game called NAME THAT OBJECT. But I must warn you, things are not as they seem. The answer will be posted in two days. Happy gaming!

October 31, 2005

Nominal Faith

They wake up in the morning, get dressed in normal clothes, eat breakfast, say goodbye to their normal families, which they love. They go to work or school and do the normal work and school things. They have normal friends, who think like normal people. They have normal problems, that they try to solve in the normal way. They eat a normal lunch, and a normal supper. They go back home to their family (who is still normal). They watch normal TV. They talk in the normal way and about normal things; weather, religion, politics, and their families. Oh and they go to bed and sleep in the normal way (whatever that is). Who are these normal people? They are actually two types of normal people who are very more alike than they realize. In fact, they have more similarities than they do differences. They are the normal nominal Joe Christian and Rashad Muslim. (This is not true of all Islamic cultures, but I am speaking from my experience in this culture) Joe Christian is a good person, is a moral person…so is Rashad Muslim, in fact, Rashad might even be more moral than Joe (the western mind might find this hard to grasp). Rashad loves his family just as much as Joe does, in fact, Rashad probably has a higher respect for family. Joe does the whole Easter and Christmas ‘go to church’ thing, and Rashad likewise does his once or twice fast during Ramadan and reads the Koran about as much as Joe goes to Church. Joe is so ingrained with culture that it is hard for him to see the real God, Rashad is just as ingrained and it is hard for him to see the real God. Both need Jesus exactly the same. Both will spend an eternity void of the real God. In all reality, Joe and Rashad are the same person.

October 30, 2005

Public Transportation

One of the great benefits of public transportation here is that I can go just about anywhere in this three million large city for less than twenty cents. The bus is the second cheapest form of transportation, right behind the metro which is only 5 cents. (Gas only costs 45 cents a litre and Diesel is only 25 cents a litre. For you Americans that is about 1.70 for one gallon of gas and 94 cents for a gallon of Diesel). Anyhow, that being said, it seems that teh bus would be the way to. However, the bus is also the perfect place for pickpockets to make a living, which I am now helping them do. On Tuesday, I woke up late for my language class and I decided to go to the second half of the class. I took the bus, as usual, and it was jam packed, as usual. (When I say jam packed, I mean the doors don't shut and there is most likely someone hanging out the door. Oddly enough, that person hanging out was not me for a change. This time I actually got to sit down. But that is where the magic happened. I don't know how, or when, but my cell phone was stolen out of my front right pocket. Kudos to the man (or woman) who was stealthy enough to swipe it. I am thoroughly impressed. So much so, that if I was rich, I would purposely try to have things stolen just so I could see how they do it.

Apparently this happens to many people here. Of the twenty students that I teach English, ten of them have had their cell phone stolen on the bus. (That sort of makes me feel better). And among our team here, six cell phones have been stolen on the bus. So I am considering this my official initiation.

If you have any valuable items that you would like to donate to the underworld, you can send them to me and I will willingly place them in my pockets and ride the bus. It's kinda like donating to your favorite charity, except it's not a charity and it's stealing.

October 27, 2005

My Cell Phone

My Mobile Phone Number Is:
496 23 53
374 92 32
496 37 88
Oh wait, my mobile phone was stolen on the bus!!


Free polls from

Light....or no light (as is the situation now)

I am sitting in my apartment right now, eating what is perhaps the best mandarin I have ever eaten (fruit here is 10 times better than the United States) and I am thanking God for light. Electricity here is as reliable as the Canadian Post Office! (For you Americans it would be like as reliable as a dead get the idea) Things change when the lights go off. This is what I realized tonight;

"I write this by the light of a single candle that is illuminating my living room in my apartment. It is incredible how much of life depends on light. The spiritual parallels are innumerable. Life slows down, or so it seems, when the power goes out. Maybe that is because we take light forgranted and it is only then that we appreciate and understand its value and importance. One dim light in a dark room is more important than one bright spotlight in a city of lights. One dim light in a dark room is being used to its full potential. One dim light in a dark room makes a difference, even if it doesn't light up the entire room.
Light also brings comfort. I believe that no one truly enjoys and loves the darkness. Some may say they do, but there is no comfort. When my lights went out, my first instinctive response was to go light a candle. Why....predominantly for comfort. We don't like what we can not see. The unknown is not comfortable. Sure it is an adventure and it is challenging, but isn't one of our goals in the adventure is to shed light upon the unknown or to act out the part light plays. To discover is like being light (in a way) This candle brings comfort, not because it is a candle but because of its effect."

When there is one light, it seems to bring things into perspective and simplify things.


The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials. --Chinese Proverb

October 26, 2005


Have you ever played the game frogger? The idea for this game had to have come from the culture that I am living in now. I am a real life frog and everyday I must beat many many levels because my life depends on it. Driving here is atrocious. The rules for driving here are as follows: Be first, no matter what the consequences, even if it means driving on the sidewalk. Honk your horn and honk often. Hitting pedestrians is bonus points (so far while I've been living here, I've riden in two vehicles that have hit people). Try to make other people mad with your driving. Oh and be first, no matter what the consequences.

These unwritten rules have made for some interesting levels of frogger in my life. I've been stuck in the middle of the road with rearview mirrors just missing my torso while I've been strategically planning which gaps to jump at. However, unlike frogger where you receive multiple lives, I'm playing the extreme version where you have only one life. So far so good...

October 25, 2005

Hide and Go Seek

Do you remember playing hide and go seek when you were a child. It was one of my favorite games when I was young, and I still think I would love to play it, if I could play with the right people. (Most of the times when I was young, hide and seek involved toy guns and knives...oh well) One of the reasons I loved the game was because I was good at it. I could always find the best hiding spots where no one would ever look, and I had sniper skills when I was six. I would lay motionless for hours upon hours not moving a muscle. Actually, it was probably 15 minutes at the max, but I was still good. I was also good at finding, because I knew all of the good hiding spots. As a six year old, I had an iron will. I would never give up until I found them. In fact, I loved finding people more than I like hiding. I liked the anticipation of never knowing when I might find them. I loved the chase, and just desperately searching. You may think I'm glorifying hide and go seek, but maybe you just never played like we played.

-Pause- Sometimes life is hard, but it can be explained in very easy terms. I don't think we always need big words, or complicated theology. Sometimes those big words and complicated theologies are scapegoats for people who don't want to accept the simple, the things that are right in front of their face, the things that are hard to do, but simple to understand.

Right now, I feel as if God is saying to me, "Let's play hide and seek. Come find me!" But to be blunt and honest, I have not played with the same enthusiasm as when I was a kid. Yet everyday I feel like he is urging me to play. Even as I write this, I sense the Spirit prodding me to come and find him. To let everything go, and desperately and anxioulsy search for him. The thought keeps floating in my head, "Well, what if it takes a long time, or what if you never find him?" Both of them are possible (although the second one is only possible if I quit searching). Both of these were possible when I was a kid playing hide and seek too. Except, I never thought of them. I never analyzed the game and weighed the pros and cons. I just abandoned everything and jumped into the game. I realize as I type this that I've been putting this off for a few days now and if I were to continue to type, I would just be prolonging it even more. So I'm off to play hide and seek.

October 23, 2005

Love & Discipline, Faith and Law

Sometimes the balance in these issues is so hard to find. Sometimes there is not a balance. Sometimes both are exhibited to the full extent at the same time. Sometimes our theology is messed up and we don't know what is going on. Sometimes quick cute answers on these topics do not cut it. Sometimes one must just wrestle with them, like Jacob wrestled with God. I think part of our relationship with God is just questioning and questioning him. Now before you go jumping up and yelling heresy (because as Christians we like to do that a lot), look at the Scriptures.
DISCLAIMER: I don't mean questioning God when he asks us to do something. If we did that, Noah would have slept on the idea of building the Ark and probably been one day too late when the rains came and we all would have been up poop creek without a paddle

God calls Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, to him. God is asking Abraham to do something that seems to go against God himself. Sacrificing children is what other nations were doing at that time to their false Gods.

God tells Abraham to make a bronze Snake and put it on a pole. Then he commands the Israelites to look at the snake so they can be healed. Doesn't this seem odd. He is asking them to look at a man made image for healing. Perhaps there is more though?

There are other paradox's (don't get excited over that word, like most of you probably just did when you read it). You have to face it, there are paradoxs' in the Bible. God tells Adam and Eve to be fruitfull and multiply, yet he choses a barren woman, Sarah, to carry out his plan. And this follows with Rebekah and Rachel.

We top out wiht the paradox that Jesus is both fully man and fully God. Our minds can not understand this and we see it as a paradox.

Yet behind all of these I think God is trying to get us to look to the deeper issue. Faith?? What was God wanting the Israelites to see and do when they looked at the image. Believe that God could heal them?

And behind all of these trust is interwoven.

If God is the one who created everything and made this world, then certainly he is capable of defying human logic. In fact, I want him to defy human logic.

These things I don't understand and seem to oppose each other have only strengthed my faith.
Wow God!

A Word to the Stupid (Because the Wise don't need a word)

Never pass up an opportunity to keep your mouth shut!

October 21, 2005


I have come to the conclusion that when I was a child, too young to remember, or perhaps I don't remember for this reason, I must have had a lobotomy. The doctors must have thought it amusing to remove the part of my brain that is in charge of language learning. Because of this, I have never spoke real good English, and/or/but it is making learning a foreign language a lots very harder. Some peoples said that to learned a nother way to talk is like drinkings from a firehose. I am convniecd taht it is mroe likes Hruriacne Katrina. I am aslo cnonviecd taht it msut hvae been a wmoan taht ivnneted langguae. No man in his rgiht mnid wulod hvae eevr been albe to tihnk of soemtihng so cmopelx. We wuold sitll be uisng nioses, wihch is fnie wtih me. Gurnts and piontnig semeed to wrok fnie for the cveamen. If it wroked for tehm, why not for me.

October 20, 2005

Song Recommendation of the Week

Chris Rice: My Tree

Beautiful Lyrics of God's Love. At least listen to it once.


The culture that I am living in at this present time revolves around bribes. Growing up in America, we know the word bribe, but you can not really understand it until you have experienced it. Here, everyone knows and has probably used bribes many many times. In fact it is culturally accepted to give bribes, even when they are not asked for or demanded. How would that affect you growing up, knowing that if you wanted anything you would have to pay a bribe. Even to get your drivers license, you are expected to pay a bribe. Nothing is just straight up. Even if you lend something to someone, they don't understand that you are just being nice and require nothing in return. Free, does not exist. We joke in America that nothing is really free, and sometimes that is true. But here, I bet they even pay a bribe to get it to rain.

This is the good part. This is where contextualization of the Gospel comes into play. You can't imagine how difficult it is to grasp the free gift of salvation to a local person. But when they do, the good news becomes even...dare I use improper grammer and say gooder. If all you have known is bribes, and finally, you hear of something that is free. It is so foreign to your thought that it has to be explained again and again. How good is that! That could possibly be the best news you've ever heard. Oh what we have lost in our culture, and what is waiting for those of this culture!

October 16, 2005

The Preverbial 'First Post'

Our culture teaches us that first impressions are of utmost importance.

Commercials are always short and catchy. They want you to remember.

Last words are also usually short and sometimes sum up a persons life.

Kangaroo's can jump up to 30 feet in a single bound. (Seriously)

What else is there in life but writing thoughts and having friends and random people read them and find mild entertainment or minute brain stimulation. This is the secret to life.

On a serious note (I thought that sounded like a good thing to say), however confusing and complicated life gets. Or no matter what I face in life, the single most comforting words ever spoken are 'Immanuel.' God with us........