Friday, March 30, 2007

More Thoughts on AIDS

I'm reading a great new book called "The Hope Factor: Engaging the Church in the HIV/AIDS Crisis". I'm preparing for a fundraising dinner tomorrow night and trying to figure out what to say.

John Piper has an article in book. He's given me a lot to think about.
"The fact that any of us is healthy after sinning is owing to Christ's mercy. Therefore, the fact that some are sick after sinning should bring out Christian mercy. And there is need for extraordinary mercy. Christians should pray and work toward research into cures, medical and hospice care, orphan ministries, education, moral challenges for abstinence and recovery, and above all, the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ."
It's something I don't think a lot of us consider. It's not a matter of some people deserving to have a disease because of their sin. We all deserve reserve consequences of sin. Some of us just don't get it. Rather than looking down at those who have a disease, we need to be thankful for God's mercy in our own lives and extend that mercy to others.

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

How Much Are Your Eyes Worth?

I just got back from the eye doctor. Bad news - everything the doctor told me last year is true. Actually, it's worse. This doctor thinks I've had these problems my whole life. They did a bunch of testing and my eyes are healthy, they just don't know how to work together. That's bad news.

So, I have a series of future appointments for more testing and then to start therapy on my eyes. Whoo hoo.

The downside? My insurance doesn't cover it and the tag is going to be $1000+.

How much is your sight worth to you?

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

End of a Long Day

Ever have one of those days that is VERY VERY important, but ends up being a big letdown? What's worse, the long, tense drive and general horribleness of the day have made me groggy and numb. The terribleness is over and I can't seem to shake it to go out and enjoy the rest of the day!


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Further Proof That God Has a Sense of Humor

As if I needed more proof....

Yesterday I was running late on everything and I was about to go into a meeting, but I really needed to print out the UPS shipping slips for the latest round of Caregiver Kit boxes. Of course, I couldn't find the sheet with the list of how many kits were in each box. I knew I had brought it that morning and I remembered putting it in my purse.

Of course, being in a hurry, I couldn't find anything. I grew more and more frantic as I started tearing apart my office in search of the scrap of paper (anyone who's seen my office will know that's a bit of a fruitless search).

As I'm becoming more frantic I realize I've got a song stuck in my head, in the bad way. I'm too busy to figure out what it is because, darn it, I'm busy. And frantic. THIS IS IMPORTANT.

Finally I take a breath and stop to figure out what it is. It's "Great is Thy Faithfulness". Over and over in my head. While I'm tearing up my office and getting increasingly angry at why there have been so many little stumbles on this project and why it keeps eating up more and more of my time.

Finally I see the irony in my franticness, frustration and the song in my head.

And, of course, immediately I find the slip of paper.

Sigh. You would think that I'd learn. It was like God giving me a smack and saying "Listen Goober".


Monday, March 26, 2007

Books Books Books

For those who love to stock up on books as much as I do (and hopefully you do a better job of reading them all!), you need to check out the Relevant book sale. Red Moon Rising is there for $5.99 as well as many other great deals. They even have some classics in there for really reasonable prices. Enjoy!

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

Freedom Day

March 25 has been declared Freedom Day to spread the word about human trafficking and to work to eliminate modern slavery. Tell a friend, tell two. Pray! Sign the global declaration.

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Physically versus Spiritually Tired

Here's a great quote from Louie Giglio's blog last night:

We are officially wiped...but God has never been intimidated by our weakness, rather He relishes in the opportunity to breathe through weary vessels. And, as though there was ever any question, once a night like tonight is done it is clear that anything of power that was left behind is of God and not of man.

It was the second to last night of their tour (Chris Tomlin, Louie Giglio, Matt Redman).

Having been so wiped out this week after the Caregiver Kit project, this quote really hit home. There's a lot in there about being physically tired, but still being willing. I had been feeling weird this week about being so tired out by serving. Shouldn't I have unending energy for serving God if I'm doing it for the right reasons? What about Isaiah 40 ("run and not grow weary"). This quote was a good reminder that of course we're going to get physically tired at times, that's just human weakness. It's a matter of not letting that get in the way of God using you.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Product Alert

In the category of "what would ever possess you to buy a product that does this???" is a sandal with a flask in the heel. I know, some of you may be thinking "oooo, instant access to alcohol in any circumstances". However, I'm hoping that's soon followed by "Dude, I'm not drinking something that I pour out of my sandal."

I'm really scared to know who would buy this...

Does it come with a free membership to AA? A coupon for stomach pumping?

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Exhaustion Sets In Part II

I thought a good night's sleep had cured me earlier in the week, but it's pretty obvious today that I'm not. I'm getting tired and achy, which is a pretty good sign that fibromyalgia is flaring up. Not entirely unexpected (since it's March), but still painful. And there are a lot of things (like packaging up the Caregiver Kits to get them to World Vision, an upcoming visit from the parents and other projects) that really need energy. Energy that I just don't have right now.

So, if I disappear for a little while, that's why. Work is demanding a lot more from me and that may take every ounce I have for a while.

My preference, sleep for a month and then re-emerge ready to take things on.

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Friends

Got some interesting shots of the friends at a party last weekend.

These are the folks that keep me sane (note, not all the friends are here - these are just the best shots).

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Truth by Committee

Have you had one of those experiences when you read the title of a blog entry and you do a little dance of joy? I had one of those last night when I checked David Sliker's blog. The entry was The Dangers of Consensus and it pulled together a lot of thoughts that have been running through my head.

Our world decides truth by consensus. Whatever the most people think is what has to be true. For example, global warming. It's on all of our televisions, it must be the most important issue. If most people don't have a problem with abortion, why shouldn't we allow it? All of politics seems to revolve around influencing public opinion to allow politicians to do what they want.

The dangers of this are a whole other blog (how do you establish universal human rights in a moral vacuum? by majority opinion? by the rule of the world superpowers?).

My real concern is this as an issue in the church. The people who are supposed to believe in absolute truth now seem obsessed with the rule of the majority. Our meetings are by congregational vote. We make our decisions by consensus.

Now, I'm not advocating a human dictatorship (absolute power corrupts absolutely), but I don't see anywhere in the Bible where we have a right to air our opinions or that we each have a right to an equal voice in decisions. In fact, in the Beatitudes I see a lifestyle of walking away from your rights and letting God fight for you. Throughout Acts I see a community that valued God's guidance and followed the teachings of those annointed by God. I see no public opinion polls. And before the arrival of the Holy Spirit they used lots, believing that God would control the outcome of the lots.

The thing is that we have the truth. Why do we still stumble around in the dark as if we don't know how to find the truth? Why do we act as if God's leading is just one option in our decision making process? Why do we have to hurry along God's leading by deciding by consensus? If we aren't getting leading, why aren't why looking in to why not? Why are we working on back up plans for God?

I've got this on my brain this week after this week's class in the Omega study where we learned about the final 7 years of the earch and how as the anti-christ brings a false peace and prosperity to the earth. The church will take a stand that will be unpopular and even within the church, the stand against the anti-christ will be unpopular, to take tough stands. If we don't believe in the truth internally, how can we stand for it in the world? If we're more worried about our rights in the church, how can we demonstrate a Sermon on the Mount lifestyle to the outside world? If we don't stand for anything solid now, how will we stand when the heat is on?

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Exhaustion Sets In

Something went wrong today and I burst into tears. In Panera. In front of a bunch of people. Fantastic.

Looks like all the events of the last few weeks have worn me out more than I realized. Time to catch up on some sleep and grab some down time.

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Monday, March 19, 2007

A Great Quote

John Piper is always good for a quote:

The greatest enemy of hunger for God is not poison but apple pie. It is not the banquet of the wicked that dulls our appetite for heaven, but endless nibbling at the table of the world. It is not the X-rated video, but the prime-time dribble of triviality we drink in every night.

–John Piper (A Hunger for God)

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Not For the Faint of Heart

So, today was the celebration Sunday for our Caregiver Kit project. 174 kits and counting. It's a pretty big pile of boxes. And exciting when you think of the 174 (at least) people that they will help.

Pretty simple - an exciting day to celebrate the end of a project that has exceeded all my expectations, right?

Not quite so easy. The problems started with a big snowstorm on Friday and the supplies for the boxes didn't come until we were well into the storm. After we got the truck unloaded, it took 2 hours to drive what would take 20 minutes on a clear day. Then I watched and waited to see if the storm would stop before our party to assemble the kits. It did and I dug out my car for a half hour only to find that instead of starting it made a nice clicking sound.

For some reason this threw me into a complete panic that I didn't really recover from all night. Add to that some smelly soap going into the kits and a party that went until pretty late (I was exhausted) and I wasn't in good shape by the time I got home (note, car is still dead at this point).

Overnight I couldn't sleep and whenever I'd snatch a moment of sleep I'd hear nasty things. And they were nasty things that built on the nightmares I've been having for the last couple of days. And the nasty things go something like "If you don't drop this Africa project, you won't be getting any more sleep" and "if you continue with the campus stuff we're going to kill you". Evidently spiritual warfare wasn't working, so we've switched over to spiritual terrorism.

Over the last few weeks I had started having some doubts and wondering if maybe consumerism was really so bad. Wondering if the sacrifices were worth it. Wondering if I was taking things to seriously.

This is not a joke. This is not a test. This is the real deal. This is a war and any weakness will be used. Pretending you can be a half-hearted Christian is a joke. Faith as a spiritual insurance policy is a joke. All this stuff happening is more than a coincidence. I realized this morning that I have to stop letting myself get isolated and just trying to deal with it on my own. This is serious stuff and I have to treat it seriously. I had some friends pray over me this morning. The good news is, I already know I have Victory on my side.

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Justice Part I

Since last November I've had justice on my mind. It's taken different forms - the Caregiver Kit project, researching fair trade with my small group, reading whatever I can get my hands on to get a better grasp on how to balance social justice within all that I've been learning on prayer and holiness, and learning more about Africa and the many layered crisis there.

The first book I read was Pete Greig's "Awakening Cry". The book traces the historical patterns of revival and ties it in with what we know of God's character and intent for our relationship with Him. The book was amazing for that, and then I got to the chapter on social justice. I have always had a heart for social justice, but I never really understood exactly why. Greig ties together revival and social justice as inseparable. He says that if you're praying and preparing for revival, you can't separate that from working for social justice. Revolutionary.

I feel like there's a whole library of materials I still need to read. Where to turn next?

My current crisis is just being overwhelmed. The Caregiver Kit project is a nice start to mobilize and educate the church, but it's a really short term project. The more I read about the crisis in Africa, the more overwhelmed I feel. Like this article. How can I read this stuff without screaming? And watching the movie Amazing Grace didn't help much. How did Wilberforce do it? And I'm no Wilberforce. How do you take on the huge issues of our world?

I'm praying for guidance, vision and next steps. I'm also praying for what I'm going to say to my church on Sunday to build on the momentum on the AIDS/Africa issue.

Any advice?

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

You Know You Need To Slow Down When....

Only half the clocks in your life reflect the actual time. The other half are in another time zone somewhere. I think that zone is called either "I'm too lazy to manually change my clock" or "I'm too lazy to download the Microsoft patch".


Monday, March 12, 2007


In looking over my blog on the weekend I realized I've had very little of substance lately in my blog. I assure you that it doesn't mean I've gone all shallow (I was there to begin with) and have had a couple of good deep conversations lately. However, my thoughts always seem to be in the process of forming and they never seem ready to write down. Also, I seem to have a sinus infection. I'm sure there were a few days of health in between the Great Flu of February and the Sinus Misery of March, but right now I don't remember them. Add to that a healthy dose of "too-much-work-to-do" and you get my life.

A couple of things:

- The Caregiver Kit project is wrapping up this week. Still some details to nail down, but it looks like we'll have lots of kits. We're doing a big celebration on Sunday.

- With the Caregiver Kits project coming to an end (at least part of it), I'm left wondering where the stage 2 vision is. Of course, right now I don't think I'd recognize vision if I tripped over it. Unless of course it came in a box of Kleenex. Then I might find it.

- I've discovered an interesting new blog:
He tries to be controversial, but there's a lot of good teaching in there.

- I've determined my good humor is dependent on my consumption of sugar. Check back with me after Easter.

- Storkbryt thinks sugar is evil. Ha!

- I have to figure out what to do about vacation this year. Originally I thought I'd go to Seattle, but that seems less likely. Don't know whether to go up to Canada or try for something more exotic. Or, save the money because I'm clearly heading to Africa sooner rather than later.

That should bring things up to date. I'll let you know when I start thinking again.

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

For Fans of Jack Bauer

Some funny things (stolen from Facebook):

Killing Jack Bauer doesn't make him dead. It just makes him angry.

If Jack Bauer was in a room with Hitler, Stalin, and Nina Meyers, and he had a gun with 2 bullets, he'd shoot Nina twice.

If you wake up in the morning, it's because Jack Bauer spared your life.

Superman wears Jack Bauer pajamas.

If it tastes like chicken, looks like chicken, and feels like chicken, but Jack Bauer says its beef. Then you better believe it's beef.

1.6 billion Chinese are angry with Jack Bauer. Sounds like a fair fight.

Jack Bauer was never addicted to heroin. Heroin was addicted to Jack Bauer.

Jack Bauer played Russian Roulette with a fully loaded gun and won.

When life gave Jack Bauer lemons, he used them to kill terrorists. Jack Bauer hates lemonade.

Jack Bauer once won a game of Connect 4 in 3 moves.

Osama bin Laden's recent proposal for truce is a direct result of him finding out that Jack Bauer is, in fact, still alive.

When you open a can of whoop-ass, Jack Bauer jumps out.

When the boogie man goes to sleep, he checks his closet for Jack Bauer.

Every mathematical inequality officially ends with "< Jack Bauer".

Jack Bauer killed so many terrorists that at one point, the #5 CIA Most Wanted fugitive was an 18-year-old teenager in Malaysia who downloaded the movie Dodgeball.

In kindergarten, Jack Bauer killed a terrorist for Show and Tell.

What color is Jack Bauer's blood? Trick question. Jack Bauer does not bleed.

Guns dont kill people, Jack Bauer kills people.

If Jack and MacGyver were locked in a room together, Jack would make a bomb out of MacGyver and get out.

People with amnesia still remember Jack Bauer.

Jack Bauer literally died for his country, and lived to tell about it.

Jack Bauer has been to Mars. That's why there's no life on Mars.

Superman's only weakness is Kryptonite. Jack Bauer laughs at Superman for having a weakness.

When Batman is in trouble, he turns on the Jack Bauer signal.

If Jack Bauer was gay, his name would be Chuck Norris.

Jack Bauer was conceived by torturing the other sperm until they gave up the location of the egg.

The State of the Union Address was originally scheduled for Monday night. Jack Bauer made the President change it to Tuesday.

Jack Bauer makes onions cry.

Jack Bauer once ate an entire bottle of sleeping pills. They made him blink.

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Friday, March 09, 2007

Get Involved

Ever wondered how ONE person could do something to help with the issues of AIDS and Africa (besides putting together a Caregiver Kit, of course)? The ONE campaign is organizing people to meet with their Federal representatives while they're in their districts on recess. They're organizing the whole thing, you just let them know you want to be involved. Never underestimate the power of a personal visit! It's worth many many emails!

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

An Inevitable Result

For the last couple of weeks I've been VERY stressed out at work. Too much to do and too much criticism of everything gets done. It's frustrating for me. Plus, it's always hard to constantly be working in "emergency" conditions.

Today we had an important event and ..... surprise, surprise .... I'm sick. Nothing too serious. A cold (though my sinuses hurt) and nausea. My body's way of saying "Enough is enough". Time to catch up on sleep and take it easy.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

My Favorite New Crusader

I don't think she wears a cape, but my friend Janet has become a crusader. Proof that telling the story, even if you think it will make you look extreme, is worth it.

It's funny when you read those things about how important it is to raise awareness, but it always seem like too small a thing. However, that's how things get changed, one person at a time.


Did You Know???

Mohegan Sun is having an exclusive pre-sale on Heaven and Hell tickets?

I swear I didn't see the word "pre-sale" anywhere in Revelations and I just finished reading it. I also didn't know there would be tickets. I got the idea somewhere that there was a book. With writing in it.

I'm also a little sketchy on how Mohegan Sun got the exclusive on Heaven presale tickets. Hell.... well, yes, I can see those going through a casino. I'm a little surprised about Heaven though....

Time to go to bed!


Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Never underestimate the power of a strong windchill. Just sayin'.


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Monday, March 05, 2007

A New Theory

Here's my new theory formulated while walking back from a meeting. It's about fasting.

No food = hungry = cranky = tick off friends and co-workers = alienate friends = no one to hang out with or talk to = more time for God

I'm not entirely sure this is the ideal set up for getting closer to God, but it definitely does the trick.

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Thursday, March 01, 2007


Is it just me, or are weather forecasters put on this earth to cause me stress? Do they have to pass some kind of test to prove that they can over react to anything? Do they feel their worth is proven by their power to make us cower on command?

I ask because seems to be having some kind of a fit. Yesterday I checked and there was something yellow across the top of my screen. And it was blinking. In effect the message is "hey idiot - if you haven't been paying attention something's going to happen soon." This I find useful. This tells me to be careful what I plan and make sure I'm wearing suitable shoes (that could be my mantra for every morning).

This morning the banner is flashing orange and tells me something major is about to happen. So, I go and read the warning. 3 inches of snow. Okay, I'll bring my laptop home tonight and be prepared. Not exactly what I would call major. And why must everything flash?

Now I went on and there's a red blinking banner telling me there's a SEVERE WEATHER ALERT. Same storm as this morning, upgraded to 5 inches.

While I appreciate that I should take some precautions, is this really SEVER WEATHER? Seriously? Where does that leave us to go with say tornadoes, hurricanes, major flooding or anything else that might be severe? How do you make it more attention getting than red and blinking?

I appreciate that the kind folks at are trying to warn me, but given the state of my nerves this week, flashing something that indicates that the world is going to end is a little too much drama for 5 inches of snow.

Or maybe it's just that I'm Canadian.

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