a Touch of Heaven!

I’m super EXCITED to be back in Bangladesh for the 2nd time this year!! Not only do I love the people here, but I also LOVE getting to work with a wide diversity of people! My team for this trip consists of an American, Irish, Khmer & Bengali – a wide assortment of cultures, mindsets & abilities! Thankfully, all of them are very patient with me & eager for our grand adventure! We’re opening nightcare here very soon & very eager to provide a shelter with nurture & protection for the babies & toddlers of sex workers, while their moms work.
Last time I was here, they let me know that 7/10 babies & toddlers are on the bed with their mom as she works. So I’m very humbled & honored to provide a shelter to protect & look after these lovely babies!
Saving Moses is expanding nightcare this year & Bangledesh is on our immediate horizon!
I’ll keep you posted over the next few days!

Emily – no bats in the closet at the TD, this time ,)

people watching

I seriously love to watch people.  I love to watch their facial expressions, the way they interact with others, the creative clothing combinations and lots more!  I love to see that despite our best efforts to fit in, we each have our distinct individuality – reflections of our infinitely creative Divine Designer.  When I listen to people, I hear ideas & perspectives that I’ve never considered before, leaving me sometimes awestruck.

All of this leaves me fully appreciating the reality that we are each fearfully & wonderfully made, in the image of God, valuable far beyond any human estimation or transaction.  All of this originates from the fundamental premise that we are unconditionally loved by our Creator.

Today, I celebrate YOU!!!

🙂

A Weekend in Singapore

 Seems to me that if we get away for a weekend, we tend to stay close to home. For me, I’ve spent this weekend in Singapore & it’s been an amazing trip in many different ways:

  • Sleep – yea, not so much
  • Food – so MUCH FUN!! I seriously love trying new stuff & no I don’t ask what it is 🙂
  • People – what an total honor getting to minister in this totally incredible country; I love how open & receptive the people are to jump into the Bible!!! I spoke 4times in about 2days so it was intense but FUN!

Singapore is one of the most melting pot & blending cultures that I’ve ever visited & I LOVE IT!!!!! A couple interesting facts:
Singapore received its independence from being a British colony 50 years ago in August. This country is an incredible example of blending diversity for completing strengths rather than competing division. During this visit, the Premiers of China & Taiwan came to Singapore to make an historic conversation between these nations that have been virtual enemies for many decades. 

Of course I totally love Asia & I find myself totally falling in love with the Singaporeans even more than I have in the past. Love this place & the people here!!

Are clones evidence of unity?

Scientists have been working for many years to create clones – sheep, monkeys, birds, etc. When they announced that they had cloned a sheep & named her Dolly, it was considered an amazing scientific achievement.
In my thinking, the whole idea of clones is nothing less than creepy & anti-creation. It only takes a second to look around & see that God digs diversity. Everywhere, all the time there’s creative expression happening & I think that’s crazy cool. What gets me even more excited is when I think about how much God enjoys not only such creative diversity but even more how God has hardwired into creation synergy, unity & teamwork. In Jesus’ last meal with His followers, He prayed no less than 4times that His followers would walk in unity – not clones but unity:
*teamwork,
*complementary rather than competing strengths,
*mutual building up,
*improvement through diversity more than division 🙂

Hot Topic: Happy Cinco de Mayo!!

YAHOOOOO!!!  Today is Cinco de Mayo – the 5th of May (after the official Star Wars May the 4th be with you).  This is a day when we commemorate the history of freedom and democracy, along with celebrating Hispanic culture, achievements and heritage.   Having grown up in Denver, Colorado and making innumerable vacations with my parents in New Mexico, I particularly enjoy this holiday and honor the achievements of my latin amigos!

When I think about cultural diversity on a more universal scale, I think that heaven will be a completely OUTRAGEOUS celebration of diversity, blending of cultural strengths and honoring the amazing diverse beauty that our Creator has designed into the fabric of humanity throughout all time.  Today, we honor our latin friends and we are also reminded that we are each fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God – such breathtaking beauty, captivating and consuming!

tasty

My son told me that he ate half of a rolly polly yesterday – I think this was during recess, but I didn’t ask for too many details.  For most of us Americans, this sounds pretty gross, but it’s my own fault because I introduced him to eating beetles and grasshoppers when we were in Cambodia last year.  Clearly, he’s overcome the standard Amercian resistance to eating insects & now he has a wider range of protein options ,)

So perhaps we can learn from my son’s expanding dietary pallette and pray that God would instill in us a taste & hunger for spiritual things more than natural things.  Just something to consider on this lovely Fall day 🙂

People Watching in London

I’m currently making my way to Rome to join mom for ourFall group trip, with a layover in London. One of the great things about traveling is the magnificent opportunities to watch people & London is one of the best places for people watching. When I watch people as I travel, I see & experience lots if things:
*an overwhelming display of God’s outrageous creativity
*a diversity of beauty in people: beautiful eyes, beautiful hands, beautiful travel hair, beautiful wrinkles and so much more
*despite the hustle & bustle of making flight connections, gate changes, luggage challenges, etc, I can experience an internal peace & serenity that can still my foggy yet whirling thoughts

prayer & results

 I’ve been thinking about prayer lately & the wide spectrum of what prayer means to us.  In my mind, prayer has LOTS of applications.  Prayer is about:

  • being persistent
  • exploring God’s promises
  • confessing struggles, failures & shortcomings
  • walking in and through Genuine Love
  • expressing frustrations, uncertainties, misunderstandings
  • being vulnerable & honest
  • listening
  • asking God to help others (intercession)
  • being present with God (some call this “keeping company”)
  • learning Who God is and about God’s will, preferences & priorities
  • giving voice to our gratitude for what God does & Who God is
  • presenting requests to God
  • candid conversation
  • a quick HELP!!!!

Let’s be careful to allow prayer to have a WIDE array of expression & relevance throughout our lives 🙂

Something that helps me connect w God

Today, we get to have a family day with some skiing & fun family activities. One of the things I love about my family is the diversity of ways that love is expressed among ourselves, despite the normal teasing that can go w siblings. Nevertheless, it’s lots of fun to see how my 8 year old son expresses love & how this is different from how my 11 year old daughter expresses love.
This has all got me to thinking about God’s love. It’s an absolutely outrageous adventure when I begin to think about God’s love. The more I think about God’s love & the diverse ways that His love is expressed the more captivated & riveting this love becomes to me.
* God’s love is expressed to us through our various relationships
*God’s love is expressed to us in various situations
*God’s love is expressed to us in our desires to help others & to be a blessing
What are some more ways that you’ve experienced God’s love?

celebrating differences

 My husband & I are discussing the different kinds of gifts that our kids want for Christmas:  the boys want air hogs (a hovering helicopter that can shoot missiles, or something like that) & American Girl doll stuff.  He’s commenting that the American Girl doll stuff is lame & I can just envision my boys remote controlling a helicopter to shoot missiles at me while I cook – not so much :/

Here are some great things about these differences:

  • they add variety – if the world were all dolls or hovering helicopters, we’d complain about the monotony
  • growing opportunities – it seems to me that we often grow the most when things are very different from our expectations & norms
  • new perspectives & deeper understanding – when I don’t dismiss differences, I open the door to understand someone else more deeply
  • genuine love – not because someone is like us, but rather because we want to see them enjoy what is not harmful & what they like
  • respect – appreciating diversity allows us to show respect & helps foster relationships

Vive’ la difference! 🙂

differences are valuable

Although my husband & I share very similar values & priorities, we are quite different. Generally, that works out well for us. Sometimes if we’re not careful, however, we can let our differences be divisive rather than complementary – like the idea of acute & obtuse in Geometry ,)
But here’s my thinking on this topic of differences in relationship: it seems to me that some of the best relationships are not between people who are clones, but rather between people who allow for differences in personality & style. I think that having relationships that tolerate differences are very important because they can help you appreciate the many different ways that God loves you & the diversity of ways in which He communicates with us. Diversity can have some rich potential 🙂

variety doesn’t mean empty

  My boys woke up fairly early this morning & we’ve been sitting together reading a little bit.  They were just discussing between them what we could make for breakfast, given what we’ve had over the last few days (french toast, bacon, pancakes, etc).  They’re thinking of making cinnamon toast & I’m pushing for scrambled eggs for a protein boost.  Nevertheless, there are many different options for today’s breakfast 🙂

The same is true for God’s provisions in our lives.  I’m learning that God’s provisions for me come in lots of different ways.  Here are some of the varieties of ways that God provides in our lives:

  • time (unexpected cancelled activities, something takes less time than expected)
  • wisdom (creative ideas, insights, solutions, etc)
  • energy (strength in what has been draining)
  • quiet & still (these can be very rejuvenating)
  • encouragement & direction (even in small amounts & with 1 step at a time)
  • God’s presence – for me, there’s nothing more sustaining than when I am with God

So if you’re in a season that seems short on supply, perhaps it might be an interesting exercise to reconsider the various ways that God does supply for us 🙂

fellowship with Jesus

I’m pretty turned on with Jesus – He makes my heart palpitate & captivates my attention.  I love to have fellowship with Him, be around Him, recognize His work, listen for His whispers, think about His preferences . . . .  I’m simply & happily absorbed by Him.

But here’s the fun part of my relationship with Jesus – it takes place not only in my quiet & private prayer time with Him, but I’m experiencing & aware of Him, more and more, throughout my day.  This is interesting because my days have such tremendous diversity.  On any given day, I might be studying for a sermon, cooking some experimental dish, trying to settle a conflict (among my kids, in a misunderstanding at work, . . . . ), trying to develop my video editing skills, talking about helping starving babies in Angola, getting on a plane to go minister somewhere, getting makeup put on for TV taping, wearing an orange safety vest for my crossing guard fun, . . . . . . .  What I’m finding to be so magnificent is that I get to experience & interact with Jesus in all of these contexts & even more.  I used to get frustrated about my relationship with Jesus because it seemed very limited & one dimensional – almost like I couldn’t seem to export Him from my prayer time into the daily living.

Of late, I haven’t had this struggle.  I’m sensing Jesus throughout my days & the fellowship with Him is rich beyond description.  Please check out Psalms 25 & consider reading it slowly, with some reflection 🙂