Tuesday, August 16, 2011

SA Journal #5

7/26/2011, 7:15AM, Quiet Time

Lord, remind me to continually be aware of areas I can be a witness to you. Whether it's an encouraging word to a team member or praying with someone who's dying or debating/conversing with someone who needs Jesus and is fighting Him.

Would you also reign in me today? Would Your Holy Spirit take me over so completely that I don't do or say anything that isn't from You or for Your purposes. Teach me how to listen intently to Your voice and lead me in all my ways. Remove any fear, anxiety, or apprehension I may have about any situation I find myself in today so that I can love everyone I come into contact with, with Your love. Show me people the way You see them. Let ther continue to be unity in the group, remind us to continually put You ahead of our wants and desires. Let us serve Your purposes. Also, let the Children's Home people (Megan and Dara) enjoy themselves, teach well, cling to Your strength, and love on the people who this culture has given up on.

Vingercrawwl Highlights
1st Room at the School: Anna, a student with a fantastic voice. "Let us go and praise the Lord" prayers to use her talents to glorify God.

2nd Room: To proclaim Christ as boldly as Jan does is something I want. To continue to push/pursue. It's too important! The spirit is moving in this class, and it's such a priviledge to proclaim Christ openly in a classroom!

4th Room: I'm so proud of my wife and the bravery she's displayed to be vunerable to a group of teenagers she doesn't know!

5th Room: Over the board-"Compete with Total", on the door-"One Day is One Day" (Luke 9:23)

1st House in the Village: Awani-dying of HIV, husband has already passed, two adult children don't visit her. Very proud of David to follow the Holy Spirit's guiding in the situation. I need to continually pray for her even after this trip.

Fun to watch Ashton and Pat with their "fan club"

Got our servant's heart tested (as well as physical strength and attitude in stressful situations) when we had to repair two flat tires, one with a bicycle pump!

Beautiful sunset.

SA Journal #4

7/25/2011 Evening Journal

Amazingly enough, I'm ready to sleep again. The dizziness I'm experiencing hasn't fully gone away yet, but food helped. I'm looking forward to spending time tomorrow in the mission field that Jan and Erika have worked so diligently in. It was a treat to sit and eat dinner with them tonight. The opportunity I got to sit and pick their brains about the ministry was a priceless one.

I'm praying that I lean not on my own understanding tomorrow, but on the Holy Spirit's. I want to be bold, I want to show faith, I want to be humble, I want to listen, I want to serve. I also desire to be supernaturally rested so I can do everything God has called me to do. I ask that my wife would get rest and be energized and that anxiety would melt away from her. I've asked for weeks for God to give me something impossible as well as for something that is undeniably Him, and I feel I may get an answer to both those prayers tomorrow. I pray the God would continue the unity of spirit that is in our group, that Caleb's aches from his fainting spell would ease. I'm asking that God would give Kayla and I a deeper bond and direction in growing our family, and to keep Brenna safe and happy. God, show me the next step after Africa's completion. Give me boldness to ask the hard questions, because if it truly matters as much as I say it does, then nothing, not even my fear, apprehension, and insecurities can stand in the way. Continually remind me that it's not about me or my preferences, but about Christ's goals for me. I am a slave for Christ.

Friday, August 5, 2011

SA Journal Entry #3

7/25/2011, 1:00PM, Bela-Bela

Highlights from today include listening to the Graceland album on the way to SA, hearing Ladysmith Black Mambazo over the PA after touchdown, and meeting up with Jan and Erika at the airport. This was a huge relief to finally see someone you know and knows you and is as excited as you are for the journy we're about to embark on. Also enjoyable driving through Johannesburg and Pretoria on the way to Bela-Bela, having Jan tell us a little about what we were seeing and the culture surrounding the city. Very cool also to see the embassies of the different countries including the US. The two traffic differences we saw were that there is not a lot of room in between lanes (3-5 in.), and when there are taxis that are vacant, they incessantly honk their horns to let people on the street know they're vacant.

I'm having dizzy spells and have felt physically uncomfortable for about a day, but am still excited to be in SA. The unity of the group is still high, but I am concerned that the trip is turning more towards a tourist trip than a mission trip. I'm praying that God would give me strength and bravery to engage people on thigs that matter (including those on the team). I can't wait for group time tonight as well as our first prayer session!

SA Journal Entry #2

7/24/2011, 1:30PM, London, Baby!

Well, the 1st leg is complete. Sleep was attained and nerves weren't awful during the flight. I'm finding a bit of a struggle to stay planted in the Word so far. Right now, it feels more like a trip than a missional calling. At this stage of the game, I think that's okay, but before too long we're going to need to get our game faces on and prepare ourselves for the work Christ has for us all. It's been enjoyable for me to see and be a part of conversations we've had in the airports so far. I'm praying for boldness to be able to start some conversations myself. We met a wonderful couple flying back to England and I'm kicking myself for not asking them for prayer requests. God, increase my boldness. Airports are always a challenge for me because of the people-watching aspect. God, let me pay attention so my heart is guarded. There is continued harmony in the group, but there is potential for clicks to form. I'm trying to find where and how I fit into the group. This is a fine line I find myself walking between wanting to find my place in the group and wating to be part of the entire group and spending time with everyone.

One of the highlights while sitting at lunch were watching Fawlty Towers, listening to Rolling Stones, and finding irony in the fact that the song is Sympathy for the Devil.

SA Journal Entry #1

While we were in South Africa, the mission team was strongly encouraged to journal for two main reasons: 1)to have a recording of what happened, 2)to see how God moved during the trip. This is my first entry.

7/23/2011, 7:00 PM, Houston Airport

I'm really excited and aprehensive for the trip to truly begin. I've been pleasantly surprised at the level of harmony and unity from the group so far. Although we're tired (not nearly as much as we're going to be), everyone is in a good mood and enjoying one another. A few are concerned over flying because they've never done it before, and for that I'm hoping to appear braver than I actually am.

The trip over was crammed, but enjoyable. The back seat of Ashton, Caleb, Kayla, and Beth were entertaining, more from lack of air conditioning than anything else. I was in between Jason and David and between the three of us fashioned some simple devices that passed air back to the back seat. After that, they were quieter and happier.

1 Cor. 10:12-Therefore, let anyone who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.
God, remind me to remain humble and destroy my prideful heart.

Monday, August 2, 2010

February?!!! Really?!!! But It's Hot Outside!!!

Okay, so for those who thought I fell off the face of the planet; I didn't. For those who thought I was going to complete the Decade in Review post, it's over; move on.
So, there are a few things that have happened since February.

#1: Home Sweet Home

In April of this year, we finally became people who allow a bank to own the place where we live! We love the space that we now have in our new house, and while we miss the excitement of being on "main street" and certainly miss our neighbors, we do love that we're in a quiet part of town where the fire siren doesn't wake Brenna up every time it goes off, we love not having to worry about bugs (now it's snakes!), and as I said we do love all the space we have now. It seems like everything has a place now.

#2: Short Term?
When I started the job here in the bustling burg of KC, Kayla and I both thought it was going to be a resume filler as well as a job that would provide for the needs of our family for a one to two year period. I am now about to enter my 4th year of teaching at KCJH. That's twice as long as the max time I was thinking we'd be here. I love the kids I get to work with, I love the teachers I get to work with, and now...

#3: A New Era
I've got a new co-worker this year. I think that our personalities mesh well together and hopefully that will translate into success for our students. He has also been teaching for almost as long as I've been alive, so I'm hoping to also continue learning a lot from someone who's done it a lot.

#4: Miscellaneous:
I turned 30, Kayla had an anniversary of turning 30, Brenna turned 4!!!, my parents and brother came for a visit, we lost a wonderful lady, Kayla got an iPad, I got an iPod Touch and had a very relaxing trip down to the mosquito infested coast of Texas.

#5: Nothing says "Happy Anniversary" like ????
Kayla and my (and Billy and Stephanie's) anniversary is tomorrow (magic #8), and to celebrate, Kayla is going to work, I'm going to band camp and it's bath day for Brenna. Woo-Hoo!!! It seems like celebrations were a lot more exciting when we were younger. Thank you, I'll take that walker now.

And that's all the news you need to know. Hopefully it won't be another half a year before another blog post! I mean, I'm bound to break a bass drum head or something, right?!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Thoughts on the New We Are the World

1) Who in the heck is Justin whatshisface? And how in the world did he get Richie's part?

2) Liked how they kept Michael's part, and how Jamie Foxx brought Ray Charles into it.

3) It's painful watching anytime Celine Dion tries to outsing anyone.

4) People complained about Wyclef singing off key, and while that's true did everyone forget Willie Nelson's part in the original one?

5) Someone else's comment: Funny how when we need God the most, he's left out of this song.

6) Liked guitars and the rap added, just a natural addition in my opinion.

7) The group idea of a chorus and harmony is very foreign to these people.

8) Good chord selection for the rap selection (same one used in Michael's verse 2nd appearance)

9) Very little chorus filming, a lot more of individual singers.

10) Every list has to have 10 things, so here's number 10: WHO THE HECK IS JUSTIN WHATSHISFACE?!!!