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!