Wednesday, September 23, 2009

One afternoon in Japan

Today, sitting in the sunlight in the sand, I took in some of the Japanese way of life. Shutting my eyes I heard the tiny voices of children talking, the cheering of a crowd watching a volleyball game, voices singing in harmony because of a won volley, and laughter everywhere.

These are the sounds of a peaceful people.

My eyes still closed, I smelled the Japanese flesh popsicles(YUM!!), a smell that reminds me of home and mom's bbq. I also smelled the salt of the sea as the waves crashed against the sandy shore.

Opening my eyes I saw families far and wide, scattered on the beach enjoying each others company. Children of all ages digging in the sand , running, and splashing in the water. Young and old alike, floating on intertubes in the water. A group of college age students sitting under a gazebo like tent drinking, laughing, enjoying life.

A culture of such tradition, of such modesty, closely knit to family, finding enjoyment in life.

I am brought to curiosity...Do they ever work?'s 2pm? Do the teenagers actually like spending time with their parents? Why don't the women wear swimsuits but instead shorts and long sleeve shirts? What are they talking about? ...

What a beautiful culture, full of life, tradition, and mystery. I can only speculate what aspects of God's character are shown to the world through this people. Maybe patience. Maybe peace and serenity...

Give me grace to learn and to adapt O God.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Battle for True Beauty

Yesterday I was faced with a harsh reality. Yet again the situation I loathe finds its way back into my life, playing games with my mind. Ever since I can remember I've been against the American concept of beauty, the idea that to be beautiful one has to be thin. It doesn't matter the content of the person's character or even the beauty in their face. The sole deciding factor of beauty in America is a thin body.

Throughout my life I've been challenged to forgo my thoughts and convictions concerning this, but I have stood strong. Just recently though, I'm beginning to think that as I deal with Americans, my fictitious ideals of beauty are not reality. Because this world is fallen, because the people in it are fallen, the reality that supersedes all others, is that thin is more beautiful. What a lie the devil hass weaved into the whole of society.

When this reality keeps its distance from my personal life, I can bear it. Even at times, I can fight against it. When this reality invades my space like a bad smell, its not as easy to keep my hands up.

So the question remaining is, What does one do? Conform? Retaliate despite the cost? Dismiss it like it nothing to be bothered with? Or run away as far as one can go?

What is one drop of water going upstream while an entire river flows down?

Do I do it for him? He is an American to the very core. His ideas of beauty follow that of the mainstream.

Is it pride that keeps me from it? Is it obedience to a different lifestyle?

Can one mere person change the cultural norm of a nation?

I would like to believe so, but for now, the battle in my mind remains. There will be no resolution tonight.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Falling Star

Where has her voice gone?
Used for worship, expressing the depths of her heart to the Lord.
Praise, Adoration, Truth.
Why is she afraid? Why is she ashamed?
The last time she sang, she was in the limelight. Worship is what she did, who she was.
What happens when star falls?
Guilt, Shame, Hypocrisy.

Finding herself in Jesus, the Healer, holding her world in His hands.
Her portion, her strength. All she needs. Finding forgiveness as far as the East is from the West.
Healer, You are holding my world in your hands. Nothing is impossible for You.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Life and Peace

"the mind set on the spirit is life and peace..." Romans 8:6

life and peace. life and peace.
a world where life and peace reign; what would that look like?
life. no death. no decay. life.
vibrant. free.
life. wholeness. newness. life.
breath. essence.
a world where life and peace reign; what would that look like?
peace. no hate. no want. peace.
tranquility. order.
peace. rest. security. peace.
unity. harmony.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Light and Life

I just read an email from some friends in Aman, Jordan. The Lord told them to go to Aman to be missionaries and to live among a people that seems to be so against the gospel. At the beginning of their journey they got discouraged often because of the difficult language training and the few people that they encountered. They left their homes, their way of life in America, to up and move to this foreign country and NOTHING was happening. Yet they remained hopeful that they were not there in vain and the Lord had a reason for sending them.

Now months later, the Lord is opening up opportunities to share the gospel with these traditionally Muslim people. There are definite seeds that have been planted. They get to practice their Arabic by reading the Bible to devout Muslims!!! The Lord moves in mysterious ways for sure.

Its amazing to me that the Lord puts people in specific places, at specific times, to touch the lives of specific people, whom he loves so dearly. I can barely think about it without tearing up. We have a Father who loves people, His people, SO much that he pursues them, and he uses US, the people in His Church, to speak truth and love to the hurting and broken.

People everyone need to know about Jesus. He lives in me and therefore I am a light, whether I like that fact or not, whether I feel like it or not. People who are slaves to sin and living life for themselves watch me, either consciously or subconsciously, because I have LIFE and I know the way to life.

It is so easy to think that my life is about ME. Or to become angry or upset because I am not in the place, physically, where I think I should be. Or that I would be more effective if only I lived here and was with X people group. The TRUTH is that Jesus has me where I am for a purpose! I am working the job I am for a purpose! I am on the path that is best for me because Jesus wants the best for me! There is someone in my life, even if just one person in my life, that Jesus wants to speak to. Will I really be so consumed with me that I lose the chance to be used by Jesus to change the eternity of someone else?

"You are a the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden..." Matthew 5:14