Saturday, October 25, 2008

Jigsaw falling into place

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In 23 days I'll be beginning the multiple flights with the end destination of Chiang Mai, Thailand. I'll be traveling with one of my dearest friends, Jill. She and I both spent time overseas during the same season, and often daydreamed about what it would be like to be working together in those faraway places. We'll be traveling for 2 weeks, visiting ministries and hopefully doing a little sightseeing. We'll be staying in a home for mothers and children as well as a guest house in Bangkok, where we'll hopefully be able to visit some street-style/relational ministries.

I've wanted to see Asia for a while now, and I'm not entirely sure why. I have friends that simply love it, and it makes me think I would too. This trip has been a while in the making, maybe a year long process of daydream turned reality. And Thailand has kind of chosen us: we contacted a number of ministries in Southeast Asia and received only one response from those contacts. So to Thailand we will go!

I like to look at this opportunity as a way not only to explore and allow God to show me what He seems to be trying to, but also to encourage those ministries that exist in those hard places.

This is one of those things that is a part of the jigsaw, I think. I don't know what to expect from this trip and haven't formed an agenda for the time as far as what will come out of it. But I'm excited for the opportunity and doing my best to abide in Him and know that whatever the outcome, apart from Him I can't do anything.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

if you want me to...

this past weekend my rooms and i went to akron to visit our dear friend, jill. it was a weekend of celebrating fall and friendship and i came home refreshed. on friday afternoon i got a text from jill asking if i was interested in going for a run on saturday, which i was. she then asked how i would feel if it were to be a part of the akron marathon :) apparently her family had planned to run the marathon as a relay team and no one but her brother was prepared. so, we quickly assembled a 5 person relay and did it! it was fun to run a race again, i hadn't since last october, and i'd never run a relay... it's definitely more complicated but provides a fun "communal" aspect to things. and it was a lovely day. so, all in all, good times in akron.

on sunday morning we visited the church jill is a part of and they had a guest speak, tom randall. his message was so encouraging and challenging that i wanted to share it. or listen here. perhaps it was one of those things where what someone is saying is relevant to me but not to you, but i'm not sure... everyone i was sitting with was able to identify their risk afterward. so, listen in and let's get risky. i think you cyclists will enjoy it, he has a cool riding story :)

hearing tom speak made me think of what it would be like to receive letters from paul as a church. how inspiring it is to hear stories of what God is doing in the life of a friend who has chosen to follow Him closely and take risks that perhaps others haven't. i'm reading Life on the Vine by Philip Kenneson in house church and just finished the chapter on joy. he talks about God's people pursuing something different than what the culture says will make you happy. and he talks about re-imagining life according to scripture.
he says,
"I am firmly convinced that one of the greatest obstacles to living the Christian life in contemporary society is an impoverished imagination. Most of us will find it difficult to live a life we cannot imagine. (This, by the way, is the same principle that makes advertising so effective: ads help you imagine what your life would be like with such and such a product.) But how will we imagine a life different from the one we are currently living if we do not immerse ourselves in a different set of narratives that display life and its purposes differently?" p.76

perhaps this all just speaks loudly to what i've been thinking about and working through. perhaps it is something we are always working through.