Monday, February 28

The Biblical character that Christian men "hate" hopefully "hate" is too strong of a word and not applicable whatsoever.
However it occurred to me today, in church, that in my mind, Boaz is the perfect Biblical man (besides Jesus, of course). Not literally perfect because only Christ was and is perfect. But figuratively perfect.

He is the "Mr. Right" of the Bible...the man's man who had prestige, integrity, and respect in his community.

He was devoted to following God and doing what was right. We see that in how he obeyed the laws of allowing widows and strangers to glean the edges of fields or the grains that had fallen to the ground. We see that in how he took care of Ruth, offering her both food and protection, upon learning that that she was a widow supporting her widow mother-in-law. We see that in how he honored the kinsman-redeemer laws.

Moreover, in the short book of Ruth, we see attributes of kindness, leadership, and wisdom. As a single girl, I can't help but think "I want a Boaz too." He is the Biblical Mr. Charming.

I think because of that we, and I mean I, tend to read this as the ultimate love story. However, I think it's easy to overlook the reality for the romance. Beyond providing for Ruth (and Naomi), did Boaz have any affection for Ruth? We don't really see any action or pursuit out of Boaz until Ruth mentions his kinsman redeemer role. Did he not pursue anything out of lack of interested? Was it a lack of belief that Ruth would be remotely interested? Or was he simply too busy overseeing his harvest that it just wasn't the right time?

Another element is that Boaz was the cousin of Ruth's father-in-law. We have no clue on the age span between Ruth and Boaz but it could have easily been 20-40 years. While Boaz might make me swoon, did Ruth have any interest in this guy or just pursue marriage to him to obey Jewish laws and find societal protection? And for the sake of this post, let's say she didn't have any romantic thoughts towards Boaz when she married him. Did they come to have a deep love for one another? Did Ruth realize that Boaz was a gift to her? Did Boaz realize Ruth was a gift to him? Perhaps this story will be fleshed out when we get to heaven...I sure hope so!

But the part of the story that I do know and love the most is the part that isn't written in the book of Ruth. Why was Boaz so kind and accepting of an outsider? Why did he so quickly welcome her in, without really knowing her first? Because of his parents.

You see, his mom was also an outsider to the Jewish family. His mom was Rahab, a prostitute who recognized that the God of the Hebrews was the only true God and asked two spies for protection and salvation. Once the walls of Jericho and its inhabitants were destroyed, only Rahab and her family were saved however because they were outsiders (and Rahab was a prostitute!) they set the family outside the camp. However, in Joshua 6, we see that Rahab remained with the Israelites and ended up marrying one of them.

If you go to Bible Gateway and do a search on Rahab, of all the references that speak about her, the only time we see any mention of her WITHOUT her former profession tied to her name is in Jesus' lineage, in Matthew 1:5. Every other time, she is Rahab the prostitute. Does this mean that even though she married into the Jewish family and accepted their God as her God, that most people only saw her for who she was? Perhaps. If so, Boaz grew up seeing his mom treated as an outsider. But he would have also seen his dad treat Rahab as his chosen wife and a part of God's chosen. What a legacy they left him! God prepared Boaz to meet and marry Ruth through the orchestration of his own lineage. I love that!

The book of Ruth provides a great story and perfect or not, it gives men today a wonderful godly example in the life of Boaz.

Tomorrow, the Biblical character that Christian women hate. :)

Friday, February 25

Thesis paper...personal application

You don't what you've got til it's gone...
Absence makes the heart grow fonder...

Wednesday morning
Sitting at work...doing my thing...minding my own business.
I stand to fax an order when my back starts having spasms.
I clutch my desk quickly, holding on for dear life
Telling myself to breathe slowly while simultaneously thinking "NOOOOO" and "OOOOWWWW"

(Two years ago, I had this happen for the first time ever.
I think I was laid up for about a week but in pain for about a month.
I started going to a chiropractor, at my sister's recommendation and have gone ever since.
He keeps me aligned. And pain-free. And moving.)

I called my chiropractor and asked demanded pleaded for a squeezed-in appointment.
It took me 15 minutes to get up from my desk and ready to move out to the parking lot.
Then next morning was worse.
It took me 40 minutes to get up from bed and moving, to get ready.

Today, I am (thankfully and mercifully) about 50% better. I can move more freely. Spasms are less frequent (thank you Jesus!) and I am padded with ice packs and prayer!

Like most times of pain and suffering, when you go through something, you become that much more grateful for the times when you don't. Having a whacked-out back makes thankful for the usual circumstances when I don't even have to think about my back, when I can move freely without wondering what will trigger the next spasm. Also, this minor (hopefully) passing incident makes me more sensitive to others who deal with back pain or any other bodily pain.

Now, I know people out there go through significantly greater times of suffering than my current back woes, so please don't think I'm trying to boast myself up. But I guess what I am learning, not only in my thesis paper studies but also in life, is that in the midst of pain, I am mostly grateful that God knows my pain, is very much present and in control, and will use it (however big or small) to bring glory to Him!

To that, I say, amen and amen!

Wednesday, February 23

The Winds of Change

My friends are leaving.

I've talked about my good friends, Brian and Erin, who go to my church (our church's youth pastors) and are missionary candidates like me. While I knew them and enjoyed their company prior to my German experience, it was after I came back that these two became among my closest friends. They have offered me so much laughter, encouragement, prayers, and fellowship in the last five years.

And they confirmed to me three weeks ago that they have accepted a missions position in Ensenada, Mexico.

The church is being emailed today and an official announcement made on Sunday.
Their last day at my church will be March 26th.
They have to be in Ensenada by May 1st.
The countdown has officially begun.

Honestly, I'm thrilled for them. And I have every intention of trying to visit Ensenada at some point or two in the future. And our church will see them again as we will become one of their supporters. And this is what they have been waiting for...I'm happy to be their cheerleader!

(Yes, this means that my church will soon be without a senior pastor and youth pastor...ahh, transition!)

This change will bring sadness, of course, but overall, it feels okay. I guess it's because I trusting/hoping that there is change on my horizon too...a shift into full-time ministry some time this year. But I'm still waiting for God to reveal that path to me.

Monday, February 21

Destruction with a promise of redemption

Yesterday I had a little surprise.

(My church has two services: 9am and 10:45am. If I'm not slated to teach Sunday school, then I normally go to the first service, as I did yesterday.)

I sat down in the sanctuary, ready to be there and to worship. But I never had the chance. A couple moments before the service started, a friend came up to me and asked if I was aware that I was supposed to teach Sunday school for the middle schoolers today.

Me: WHAT??? No!!! (I started laughing)
Okay, so what I am teaching on?

Friend: Joel and Obadiah (oh sure...piece of cake...I last studied these about umm....5 years ago or more!!!)

Me: (still laughing) Okay then...let's do this.

So I walked into the room full of expectant youth and told them I only just learned that I was supposed to teach so I have nothing planned. Therefore, we were going to dive into the books and learn together. Between the two books, there are only four chapters. So I broke the group into four groups and had each group tackle one chapter to determine what the message and main points are, if there are any key verses, and if there is any application to be seen!

(They did such a good job. And God did a good job of providing a lesson where there hadn't been one...reiterating that His word is living and active!)

Anyhow, one of the youth was explaining Joel 2 and she said that the theme of that chapter was "destruction with a promise of redemption." I loved that...could not have said it better myself!

The book of Joel opens with a picture:
What the locust swarm has left the great locusts have eaten;
what the great locusts have left the young locusts have eaten;
what the young locusts have left other locusts have eaten. Joel 1:4
A picture of barrenness. The vegetation of the land was stripped bare. No longer was there any sustenance. But then there is the promise:
I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm—my great army that I sent among you.
You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the LORD your God, who has worked wonders for you; Joel 2:25-26
The land that was destined for deprivation, longing, and even death, now becomes a land for the living. A land of promise and life. A land full of abundant provision.

I love this imagery. I know there are times when I feel like I'm stripped bare...empty...nothing to offer. Whether it is emotional emptiness (too tired, no creativity, no community, stressed relationships, not worshipping God) or physical emptiness (loss of job or unsatisfied with job, not enough finances to meet needs, injuries/illnesses, car/house problems, overtaxed with commitments), it takes a toll. We wonder if we'll survive, if things will ever get easier/better, if this is all we're made for, and where is God is all this!?!

What Joel teaches us is that God has not forgotten His people!
Earlier in chapter 2, Joel reminds us of what God is like:
Gracious...even when we don't deserve it.
Compassionate...He knows our frustrations. He can be our oasis...our healing balm.
Slow to anger...goodness knows, when I'm tired and empty, I am usually quick to anger.
Abounding in love...not just a little but abounding, overflowing with love for you and me.
Quick to forgive...all I can say is thank goodness!

As we choose to trust Him and to worship Him, He fills us. This doesn't mean that our problems necessarily go away but there is support, encouragement, peace and wisdom where there once was not. Suddenly we open our eyes and find that life isn't so dry and barren around us but lush and full!

If you are in a time where it feels like there is nothing left to offer, I pray that God will repay you that time and you'll find yourself amazed with His restoration, as He promised. In the meanwhile, I pray that you will continue to trust in Him and spend time in worship. He has not forgotten you!

Thursday, February 17

Sweet Discussions

Warning: more awana stories...are you sick of them yet?

I had such a great time at Awana last night. Two years ago, I was an Awana leader for the first time and loved it! But this year, I'm loving it in different and better ways.

This year I've tried to be more intentional about talking to the girls about the verses they are memorizing and quoting to me.

You see, for every section they say, which has approximately 2 verses, they get one "Awana dollar." They save these dollars and then have store twice a year in which they can spend their dollars for prizes. Of course, the goals of us leaders and the program itself, is that they take these verses to heart. That they remember them for the rest of their life.

So last night, one girl quote me:
"We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God."
II Corinthians 5:20
I asked her if she understood that verse to which she said "no idea." So we talked about what reconciliation means and what ambassadors mean and what that verse means to us. I loved seeing it all click together in her eyes.

Another girl quoted:
"Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written." John 21:25
I asked her "isn't it cool to know that Jesus did so much more than what is written here? Maybe when we go to Heaven we can watch everything He did on a movie screen?" She laughed delightedly.

And a third girl was working on her section and lended over to ask me what redemption meant. So we talked about buying back and how when someone is redeemed they suddenly have a purpose, a belonging, and a future. I don't know if I explained this well to her but I love the fact that Awana gives me these little opportunities to share Christ with them and to help make these verses go from their heads to their hearts.

Tuesday, February 15

The day that was

Yesterday ended up not being too bad.
My boss treated us to Valentine's donuts and lattes.
I ended up not feeling too well and left work around 3pm and came home to sleep for an hour.
Then went to babysit sleeping kids while watching The Last Song...a mostly cheesy movie although part of the story line was good.
Oh, then I came home and found out my sister bought me Cinnamon favorite!
Yesterday ended up not being too bad.

Sunday, however, was not too good.
I think it was the anticipation of Valentine's Day.
Of course, it didn't help that I was watching cheesy Hallmark movies.
And then facebook starts the whole "paste a picture of your sweetheart and say how long you've been together."
Oh well, Sunday and Monday have passed.
I'm still single.
I'm still me.
I'm still waiting.
I'm still loved (by God, family, and friends).

Yesterday, I found a couple of the blogs that I regularly frequent to be encouraging: Jason Vana (read Monday's and Tuesday's) and A Cup of Jo.

Anyhow, happy there's-364-days-until-Valentines-comes-again day!

Monday, February 14

A love song

How deep the Father's love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
And make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the man upon the cross
My sin upon His shoulder
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

by Stuart Townsend

Thursday, February 10

blessing of friendship

blessings come through fellowship
by being around those who know you, understand you
want to hear you, and who share themselves with you

blessings come though re-routing plans
the drive that didn't originally include me
to suddenly a last-minute, much-wanted connection
even though both schedules were full

blessings come through friendship
knowing that no matter what paths we're on
no matter the distance and the time between visits
that when we're together, there is love, prayer, and laughter
sending us off incredibly blessed to have been together

Wednesday, February 9

The waiting

A couple days ago, I mentioned that I was listening to Sara Groves. On my way home, another of her songs struck me afresh: Cave of Adullam.

The cave of Adullam is where David hid with his men when being chased by King Saul, who was out to kill David. You see, King Saul made a huge mistake so God decided that He would choose another man to be king, hence how David comes into the picture.

Jealous over David's popularity and threatened by David's anointing, King Saul starts this long period of threatening and chasing David all around the Israelis countryside.

The premise of the song is what David might have been thinking while on the run. Here he has been anointed, chosen by God, to be king. This happened when David was still a youth. (Okay, to be fair, in Biblical times, youth could mean anywhere from 13-30 years old...but let's assume that he was 15-18, since he wasn't off fighting in the Philistine wars, like his brothers and we know that he was on the run for a couple years at least). According to II Samuel 5, David was 30 when he finally became king.

So David was called and chosen to be king at a young age...and saw the realization of that anointing/calling at 30. What this means is that David had to wait 7-15 years for God to bring about the calling that He had given to David. David probably questioned a time or two if he heard right, if he understood God correctly, if his kingship would ever come to pass. We know his faith in God prevailed through it all however this wasn't the life he imagined. It wasn't the process he predicted. Here he was...hiding in a cave, running around the countryside trying to avoid being killed by the maniac king, separated from his family and his closest friend, and at times, even begging for food.

And yet through this, God turned a shepherd boy into a King.
The calling never changed. God hadn't made a mistake or hadn't forgotten His promises.
God uses the waiting periods to shape, mold, use, and teach us in ways we can't understand until the promise has been fulfilled. That doesn't mean the calling was wrong or just means that God is still at work.

Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.
I Thessalonians 5:24

Monday, February 7

Interview Q&A

**I thought I'd take an opportunity to answer some much asked questions about myself.
Okay, nobody is asking me anything but I'm still willing to share the answers to the questions you, or at least I, might be thinking.**

You've mentioned a time or two about possible involvement in missions. Is that something you're still interested in?
Yes...very much so. But let me elaborate. I have a heart for missions, which I think is something that God wants of us all. I love to hear about what God is doing around the excites me greatly. God is doing great things! And I love being a part of missions...whether through supporting missionaries, agencies doing a good work, encouraging missionaries, or even participating on short-term missions.

So do you think you'll ever do long-term missions?
Perhaps. I'm very much open to the idea of living overseas, learning a new language and culture, and putting the talents that God has given me to share the gospel with others.

Are you pursuing a missionary career?
This is a tricky one. Technically, yes. I am a missionary candidate with the Christian & Missionary Alliance and my soon-to-be-completed Master's degree is one of Career Missionary requirements. Next requirement on the list is serving in a church for two years.

However, as my degree has progressed, I've become less certain of what God wants me to do. As I said, I'm still willing to go overseas. But in the last year, I've also become willing to serve with any agency (not just the C&MA) and to even stay state-side, if God wants me here. This naturally allows for God to provide any opportunity He wants but makes me more clueless in the process.

What's your Master's degree in again?
Intercultural Leadership through Crown's all online and has been a great program. I'd recommend it highly to anyone who asked.

Now that you're almost done, do you have anything in the works for what is next?
Yes and no...I'm pretty much open to anything at time point. So I've applied to a few non-profit organizations in the USA, to no avail, as of yet. Also, I'm considering the whole 2 year church service thing. Beyond those, I feel clueless...just waiting on God and His timing.

You seem pretty clueless about your there anything that you are certain of? know, there is one thing. And when I get discouraged on this whole clueless/timing thing, I keep coming back to this...I know God has called me into ministry and He has given me a missional heart.

How do you know God called you into ministry?
I had a moment with God. Back when I was 20, I was attending community college full time, working part time, and serving in my church as a youth leader. That was pretty much my life. One day, I was driving from school to work and was thinking about my life. I was frustrated that my input into youth ministry was limited by school and work. It occurred to me that if I could do anything I wanted, I'd quit school and my job and just work as a youth leader full-time! When that thought occurred to me, it was as if a light bulb came on and I knew...I knew that God was calling me into ministry...that I was created to serve in ministry, in some form, at some point in time.

Have you done any ministry since that calling?
If you mean in a "paid" position, yes. I interned at my church for seven month as part of my Bachelor's degree. I also had the privilege of working at the Black Forest Academy in Germany for two years. However, with the exception of those almost-three years, all other ministry has been as an unpaid lay-volunteer in my church, which is a consistent part of my life.

Anything other questions? Just let me know! :)

Tidbits from Saturday to Monday

I submitted the rough draft for the first three chapters of my thesis paper, on Saturday. I hit the send button around 2pm and then spent the rest of Saturday and Sunday basking in sweet relief.

Now I'm waiting...waiting for my advisor to send me back the rough draft with his thoughts and the probable thousand markups! Then it's back to the drawing board...tweaking, re-writing, re-wording myself, adding, subtracting and then moving onto chapter four.

I think, in some ways, I've added too much of my own voice into this academic paper. But we'll see what the advisor says. I'm not sure what will come from this simple paper on suffering but I would really love to try my hand at a devotional, a book, or a Bible Study. However, then part of me wonders what do I possibly have to offer when I have so minimally suffered myself...

Today, my parents have been married for 35 years!
I love that! And I love them.
They got married in 1976, the bi-centennial year of our country's independence. So their wedding colors were red, white and blue. hahaha! Needless to say, my mom was the white-dressed member of her party! And so was my dad, come to think of it.

I am mildly jealous that they are jetting off to warm, sunny Hawaii while I remain in cool, wet Washington. But I won't complain as I already have my fun trip planned for the end of March.

I've shared before that a verse that my mentor gave to me was Habakkuk 2:3:
For the vision is yet for the appointed time;
It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail
Though it tarries, wait for it;
For it will certainly come, it will not delay.
The missionary who spoke at my church yesterday, preached on this verse. Her theme was:
"Delays does not mean denials. Victories are always wrapped up in struggles."

I think she was preaching only to me. :)

Saturday, February 5

A Mark of Faith

This week is missions week at my church. One missionary who spoke last night shared an interactive sermon from II Kings 4:1-7, a story about Elisha and a widow. If you're not familiar with the story, I provided the link so that you can go read it! But I'm happy to share the paraphrased version with you as well.

Essentially, a widow comes to Elisha and tells him that since her husband's death, the creditors are coming to collect on his debts and will take her two sons as slaves, for compensation. Elisha, in turn, asks her what she has available to which she replies, a small jar of oil. He then tells her to go to her neighbors and collect all the empty jars that she can and "don't ask for just a few." Once she has all these jars in her house, she is then to pour her little oil and watch as God miraculous fills up all the empty jars. Then she can sell the oil, pay off her debts and live off the remainder.

What stood out to me in this teaching was the part where Elisha challenges her to "don't ask for just a few." He essentially was telling her to expect God to provide greatly! But God was only going to provide greatly if the widow expected greatly. If she stopped asking after obtaining two or three empty jars, then she would have only seen God provide two or three jars of oil. If she asked and asked until she obtained an abundance of jars, then she would get to see God provide accordingly. The degree of her faith in God would mirror the outcome of God's provision.

The widow came to Elisha seeking help. She almost accuses Elisha as being responsible for her well-being since her husband, a prophet of God, was a servant (figuratively, most likely?) of Elisha's. Elisha doesn't succumb to her "guilt trip" but in turn, charges her into action. Would she put her faith in God, like her husband did? Would she worship and seek Him too? Or would she be a victim of her circumstances?

The woman could have walked away, dismayed at Elisha's lack of assistance. The man of God did not provide money, wisdom, or assistance...he only offered counsel, strange and unconventional counsel. She did not have to ask for any jars. She could have sought out the next man of God, for a second opinion. And yet, she choose to obey. When she had all the empty jars in her house, and she picked up her flask of oil, what ran through her head? Did she just expect the little amount to multiply or to just see her little amount now sitting in a big borrowed jar?

Who knows?

We are not told how many jars she ended up collecting. We are not told her thoughts and if she even considered not following Elisha's counsel. Instead, we see her faith enriched as she obeyed Elisha and got to witness God's provision for her and her sons!

I pray that I never make God too small to provide in big ways, due to my own small faith. I also pray that I never take away an opportunity to encourage the expansion of someone else's faith by stepping in to help where God Himself could do great things.

Friday, February 4

Spending time with God

People are getting fit for truth like they're buying a new tailored suit
Does it fit across the shoulders, will it fade when it gets older
We throw ideas that aren't in style in the Salvation Army pile
And search for something more to meet our needs
These lyrics are from a Sara Groves of my favorites artists. I was listening to her Conversations cd on my way to work this morning when the song The Word came on, with the above lyrics.

I can't speak from in-depth experience. My time in church leadership was considerably short in longevity, to speak with absolute authority. However, from my perspective, it seems as if the church likes quick fixes.

I suppose that is a condition of our society in general. Since the days of the Great Depression when people lived with nothing, our North American society has swung to the other side of the pendulum to a life of stuff and life of entitlement. [The US has the world's largest debt. The average person has 3.5 credit cards and the average household has over $15,000 of credit card debt (*as of 2008).] This, I believe, has given us a "quick fix" society: you don't have something, go and buy it immediately, no need to save; you want to lose 20 lbs in 1 week, try this pill, this plan, this tool; your church is in a slump, buy this book, adopt that program, bring in that speaker, plan this activity...

We try out a program, hoping that it was double our congregation or breathe spiritual fervor into the people and maybe it does. However how long until it passes? And people resort back to who they were? How long until the church reaches for the "big next thing" that will enrich the church and their relationship with God?

It was, what, four years ago? that churches were on the Rick Warren's Purpose Driven Church bandwagon, including my own church. There were home groups, corresponding sermons, signs, excitement and now it's Rick Warren who? Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating just a bit but I bet you that the vast majority in my church cannot even tell you the main principles of the book...I know I can't (granted, I didn't finish the book...but still.)

The point is the health of the church is directly related to each person's relationship with God. Having a closer relationship with God won't necessarily come through great speakers, great books, or great seminars (although He may choose to use them in your life) but rather it comes through time with God. Soaking in His words. Listening to what He has to say. Discovering more about Him. Worship and adoration. If we compromise on this, then our relationship with God become shallow and weak.

I know because I'm there. Despite being called to ministry, despite working on a missions degree, despite regular church attendance and participation, despite anything...I struggle with consistently spending time with God. I get into the phases where I can sadly go months without reading my Bible, outside of the Sunday sermon. Not good. And then, when I am convicted and dry and weary, I open my Bible for just even a drop of God's presence and I find myself surprised when God meets me there and I walk away refreshed. It's not that my daily circumstances have changed, it's just that my mind has been refocused onto Him and He ministers to me in the process. I am most alive when I am in the presence of God!

I don't want to compromise time with God for a "new suit" that will end up not meeting my needs in the long run or giving God the glory He is due. I don't want to be satisfied with mediocre temporal truths but to dwell in the lasting Truth. I hope you seek that too!

Thursday, February 3

Coffee Connection

I would love to own or run a coffee shop.

I'm not sure I'd be great at it. I don't have a huge love or understanding of business, capitalism, or economics. In fact, I readily admit that in order for this to be successful, I'd need a business-minded partner to keep me grounded.

But the making...the creating...the connections. Yes, I'd pretty much have to work around the clock. But I'd be game. I think I'd love least I love the time before I worked in a coffee shop as a barista!

I have this vision...okay, two visions...

First, a coffee shop that has a big space with even a few room in the back or side. There could be a smallish stage for entertainment. One room could have books, desks, and a couple computers. Another room could have games or artsy things. And a kitchen in the back. But the point of this vision would be to hire teenagers who either need a little purpose, responsibility, or money while working in the shop. To have teens learn to roast coffee beans, to clean, to serve, and to give them a chance to display and sell their art (or baked goods), work on their education in the library room, and maybe even have a music board thing to practice running sound and being a stagehand and/or preformer. All this to show them that they are important, can contribute and dream in big ways, and in the process, learn about Jesus.

My second vision is have a coffee shop overseas. There would be a big space with a couple rooms. Keep the computers and the books...they could be a place for people to learn computer skills and to learn English. Also rooms could be used for Bible Studies. The big seating area would need to have tables and chairs that would be easy to move because on Sundays, a smallish congregation can meet there. People in great need could be hired to cook, clean, serve, and roast coffee beans. nights...craft nights....whatever activity to bring the community in and use to share about Christ.

These thoughts amuse me and spark my imagination and creativity. I keep thinking of what if and what could be. I find myself sitting with a happy drunk-like smile on my face.

But then the questions come. What about the much money would it take to start even a simple coffee shop? Where would I possibly get the money? Who could I find to possibly partner with me as I would definitely need help? How does one even start a business? And keep it alive? And growing? Would I start this and then hate it? Would I actually have the courage to walk this journey?

This whole thing is a giant question mark.
Only God knows if this will ever to come to be, to any degree.
But it's fun to daydream in the process.

Tuesday, February 1

Why I'll never name my son Chris...

...because I often mis-type and spell Christ, instead.
I would hate to give the kid a complex or have him think I was swearing at him, which I guess if he knew me at all, he would know that it would NOT be the latter.

The complex thing would only work if it made him more Christ-like. It would not work if it made him act like he had all the authority of God. Or that every knee should bow in heaven and on earth. Or that everyone should confess he is Lord. Definitely would not work...

I do this all the time at work. I start my email "Good afternoon Christ" and then of course, realize my typo and back up one space. But I always wonder what kind of reaction I'd get if I didn't catch my mistake.

I suppose it's a good thing that typing Christ comes so naturally to me.
But I'm still not naming my son Christ...I mean, Chris.