Thursday, January 31, 2008

The most amazing thing is how much I am loved no matter what...

"Over and over and over and over again
I will stir up my soul to lay hold of You

Over and over and over and over again
I will stir up my soul
To lay hold of that which I cannot comprehend

Over and over and over and over again
Over and over and over and over again

And then I’ll just lean into sovereignty
I’ll embrace a mystery
And I’ll just rest in You
As I bathe in truth

Over and over and over and over again
This is my simple devotion
My walk of faith, day by day
Over and over and over and over again

And then I hear You say
As You gaze over the balcony of heaven
I hear You say as You peer through the lattice of time
I hear You say as You stand in heaven
I hear You say as You rejoice over me

“O Angels! O Angels! Look and see!
Through that dark night of faith
She is gazing at Me!

O Angels! O Angels! Look and see!
Through that cloud of unknowing
She’s gazing at Me!

And You have ravished My heart
My sister, My bride
With one glance of your eye!”

Over and over and over and over again…"

(Misty Edwards-Simple Devotion--Eternity CD)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

As promised...

Time to share one of Melissa's (Mia's Mommy) favorite humanitarian groups who work in Vietnam. Since she very clearly shared their focus and work, I'll let her tell you about them.
"...One of my all time favorite ministries that I pray for is called Giving It Back To Kids. The guy that runs it, Robert, is a great guy and they cover so many bases in VN.

They do everything from partnering with Free Wheelchair Mission, to opening an orphanage, running a school, running a street children's shelter, doing vitamin and preventative health inoculations, building homes for the poor, heart surgeries, and my favorite an unwed teen mother's home called The Father's House. They're pretty darn cool. Their website is www.givingitbacktokids.com."

I visited their website and they do, indeed, look amazing! They divide their projects into the essential categories of housing, medical, education and nutrition, but they also have a general fund to contribute monetarily. I have included a few photos from these projects, so you can just get an idea of the life-changing work these folks do.




The two projects I thought were most inventive and far-reaching were the Bicycle Project and the Piggie Project. Of course, surgeries, nutrition and housing, things we take completely for granted are exciting, too.

Mostly, I'd just want to go back and love on the children (and bring home a dozen or so). lol

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

In case anyone else is wondering...

Thanks to my new cyber-friend, Melissa (whose blog, BTW, has been completely redecorated--gorgeous) for answering my question regarding organizations working in Viet Nam---especially in the area of caring for disadvantaged children. She provided some of her personal favorites.

I have visited each organization's website and thought I'd share one of Melissa's favorites per week, including highlighting Hope Haven International Ministries again. Send me your favorite and I may feature it, as well!
Hope Haven International Ministries is based in NW Iowa. They are the organization that introduced Mark and I to the beauty of VN.

We love, love, love, these people and their worldwide mission to deliver wheelchairs (and the love of God) to needy children and adults. Since Mark is a physical therapist, he is using his skills and talents to help others and that is so gratifying.

And since Hope Haven International is so efficient at what they do, employing only 2 paid staff (the volunteers that contribute their time and resources to this ministry are truly phenomenal), they are able to deliver and fit thousands of recipients with chairs each year. Amen and wha-hoooo!

I will try to post a few photos of our trip(s) to VN, as soon as I can. Thanks for listening.

Newest Statement

The newest statement regarding VN adoption can be found here.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Blue Dragon

Been following this group for awhile. They look amazing.

Anyone have any input about this organization?

Here's their blog...

http://vietnamstreets.blogspot.com/

And they are mentioned here, as well
(scroll down to the second post on the page, titled, "A very, very worthy blog").

There is one other organization I am researching.

Are there others?

Finally.

Today,
after watching
just one half
of the documentary called,
"The Dying Room",
I have been able
to ask the Lord,
without sadness or grief,
"If not adoption,
then what?
How am I to help?
To contribute? To love?"

I cannot
happily exist
knowing,

without
doing.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Musing the Commute

I have never (repeat never) lived and worked in the same city. My commute to work (for 20 years) has included a drive of 30 minutes to 60 minutes each way. Currently (and for the last 8 years), my drive has been 30 minutes each way.

I am convinced that God has done this to allow me to worship, pray, listen and meditate. The two places I most often "hear" God are during my commute and during the mundane practice of brushing my teeth (yeah. go figure).

Anyway. I used to listen exclusively to Christian worship CDs. Very good way to begin the day.

Of late, I have (apparently) been feeling a bit nostalgic and motivated by the rick-bottom pricing of CDs from artists of my youth, I have been listening to a sprinkling of ::ahem:: "oldies".

Currently, in my stylin' mini-van, I have the following collection of music: John Denver, The Cars, Styx, Queen, Willie Nelson, 38 Special, Garth Brooks, 80's Party Starter, Loverboy, Michael Jackson, Simon and Garfunkle, Bryan Adams, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Jackson Brown---all Greatest Hits; Bruce Springsteen (The Rising).

Aaannnnnd I have: Barlow Girl, O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack, WOW Worship, Nicole C. Mullen, Jason Upton-Faith; Misty Edwards, Mark Lowry-Twenty Stories Tall, Michael Card-The Promise; Vineyard-My Redeemer Lives; Worship Together, Petra-Praise.

What I have noticed is that...music that I listened to in my youth (prior to becoming a Christian at age 30) at first, makes me a bit uncomfortable (I can remember where I was and who I was with and oh dear--what we were *doing*), but then, the music (most of it) morphs into something that fits where I am at today (and for the last 15 years).

The secular becomes the sacred. Yup. It's true. Most music (for me) now has sacred undertones. God, for me, *is* everywhere. Even in my mis-spent, mis-guided youth.

Ahhh...Redemption.


(fyi-i linked the Christian artists, as i felt they were probably less well-known. pretty sure y'all know who michael jackson is lol)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Just Like You--added link--

I tried to walk on the water
and found myself under the sea
So with water up my nose
I felt your hand come close to save me
I’ve tried to cast out the demons
I’ve gone to the darkest of regions
When fear has me shaking
you suddenly break in
to save me

I desire
To be like you
Like any son or daughter
I want to be like my Father
I desire to be like you
You promised to never forsake me
So I’ll risk it all if you’ll make me like You

You stand beside me just waiting
while I try to go it alone
Smiling You say, Son come here
won’t you let me just help you."
But frustrated I try to make it
cause I’ve just got something to prove
Not knowing it is my weakness
that perfects your power


(music and lyrics by Jason Upton--IHOP)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

List of Things to Post

1). How Parenting Constantly Teaches Me about God's Character

2). Is God Put Off or Out by Our Faults and/Tantrums?

3). Pop Songs as Worship--anyone else do this?

4). Desert Discussion--How'd I end up here? How the heck do I get out?

5). The Re-Invention of Myself--How to Spend My Next 45 years

6). Testimony--Radically Changed

7). Life List of Things to Do--Facebook ate my List!

8). Anyone Else Annoyed by Paul?

9). The Unknown and Secret Life of Women (things that frighten me)

10. Books

So many things to journal about. Where to start? Anyone have a vote? Anyone else find clarity through writing things out?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Aslan is on the move

Committed

"Until one is committed,
there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back--
Concerning all acts of
initiative (and creation),
there is one elementary truth
that ignorance of which kills countless
ideas and splendid plans:
that the moment one definitely commits oneself,
then Providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one that
would never otherwise have occurred.

A whole stream of events issues from the decision,
raising in one's favor all manner of
unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance,
which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.
Whatever you can do,
or dream you can do,
begin it.
Boldness has genius,
power, and magic in it.
Begin it now."

William H. Murray, The Scottish Himalaya Expedition, 1951

("...taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ...")

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I may be over the worst of it

You know how sometimes when you've been sick with the flu, how after a few days of being sick, you can't even remember what it is like to feel well and good?

That's how my spirit has been of late. Wounded. Aching. Groaning.

Today, as I did something so mundane as brushing my teeth, as I leaned over the sink bowl to spit (TMI?); I slowly realized...

I feel some better. I don't ache as much.


I had temporarily forgotten I was the walking wounded, because I *wasn't* oozing hurt with each breath, each step.

I have been asking, whimpering, really; for strength and grace and direction. Healing.

Pitiful prayers. Heck, I felt sorry for me how could God not? lol

(eyes closed--deep sigh) Thank you, Lord.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

L'Abri

Mark and I will be headed *north* to Rochester, MN for a L'Abri Fellowship Conference soon. Here is some information on the conference and L'Abri.

We will be staying at a niiice place and enjoying time away with one another.

I sort of expect to meet God there. I mean, He did issue me a personal invitation

We'll see what He does next...

Friday, January 18, 2008

Updated Status

Continuing to follow the status of adoptions in Vietnam. http://hanoi.usembassy.gov/pre_approval_notice.html

Trying to see the bigger plan

I think I have neglected to blog about the fact that one week ago, we found out that our trip to Vietnam will not be happening. Sigh.

The wheelchairs that we were to help deliver and distribute have arrived in VN, but they have not been released from the port.

Therefore, we cannot be certain that the chairs will be delivered to Nha Trang within the original time frame and with a trip to Laos planned immediately following, there is no wiggle room in the itinerary.

So, the trip will not happen in February; maybe, just maybe in March or April and maybe not till Fall 2008.

I am quite disappointed, but trying to remember that there is a plan, in all things.

When Pop Culture Lyrics Meet a Thirsty Spirit..--link added--


Thanks to the band "Styx" for today's heart's cry...
"Show Me the Way"

CHORUS
Show me the way,
show me the way
Take me tonight to the river
And wash my illusions away
Show me the way

And as I slowly drift to sleep,
for a moment dreams are sacred...
And I keep on hoping for a sign,
so afraid that I just won't know

Show me the way, show me the way
Take me tonight to the mountain
And take my confusion away

And if I see a light, should I believe
Tell me how will I know

Show me the way, show me the way
Give me the strength and the courage
To believe that Ill get there someday
Show me the way

Every night I say a prayer
Cuz I know that theres a God in heaven...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Or "And Then God *SCREAMED*...

Ever had those times where you are just not at all sure where the Lord is taking you and you feel lost, disoriented, confused, then frustrated and resigned?

At the point of frustration, I usually sit down and "harrrumph" at God. I tantrum a bit. I passionately exclaim and explain my plight.

I ask rhetorical questions like, "How am I supposed to live like this?" (humbly submitted, in complete trust; confident that I will care for you in all things) or "What *exactly* do you want from me?" (for you to love Me with all your mind, soul, heart and strength). The questions are rhetorical, because I already know the answers. They never change.

After the tantrum may come a stoney silence (from ME, never God). This length of this period of my walk varies, but when I've finally had enough of being separated (by ME) from God, I will issue a child-like pout, "I wish you'd tell me/show me CLEARLY what You want. I need a "sign" so clear I could not possibly miss that it is You directing my path." please.

Been waiting for that (not very long, cuz the tantrum part of things took a while).

Then, BAM!

Got it. Last night. Screaming through a megaphone. May as well have used neon lights.

God, You took an "inside" bit of knowledge, an affirming spirit-life experience, that existed only between You and me and you visually represented it EXACTLY as I had (using the exact same photo I had used on one of my blog posts).

When my husband, who never has read any of my blogs, brought this opportunity to me and I saw the BiLlBoArD you used, I knew.

I knew.

Just as I had asked. Just as You had always desired. I heard and saw You and Your love for me shine through. No illusion. No mirage. No mistake.

Yes, Lord. I will go.

And Papa? Thank You.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Friday, January 11, 2008

Dreams--link added--

"Surrender" by Barlow Girl

My hands hold safely to my dreams
Clutching tightly not one has fallen.
So many years Ive shaped each one
Reflecting my heart, showing who I am.
Now youre asking me to show
What Im holding Oh so tightly.
Cant open my hand; cant let go
Does it matter?
Should I show you?
Cant you let me go?
Chorus
Surrender, surrender
You whisper gently
You say I will be free
I know but cant you see
My dreams are me, My dreams are me
Say you have a plan for me
And that you want the best for my life.
Told me the world has yet to see
What you can do with one
Thats committed to your call.
I know of course what I should do
That I cant hold these dreams forever.
But if I give them now to you
Will you take them
Away forever?
Or can I dream again?

Sunday, January 6, 2008

::Ding Dong::

Nope.

Nope.
Nope.

My recurring tornado dream!!! This time starring both Alannah and I.

So weird.

Anyone have an interpretation?

Saturday, January 5, 2008

An imminent purchase

Nebulous, Nagging, Nudge

Sometimes, when I can't decide what to study, I just open the Bible and whatever I see, I ponder.

Obviously, not the best study method, but "on the fly" is sometimes where I am with devotions.

So...here was today's "point and shoot"...

Proverbs 14:1
" Every wise woman builds her house,
But the foolish pulls it down with her hands"

Why does it feel like the Lord is about to reveal something, I've been unable to see?
I ask to be made wise, O Lord.
Ouchie alert?



Friday, January 4, 2008

My 100th Post


was two whole posts ago!

Seems like a milestone of somesort...is there a Hallmark card for this?


The One rattling around in my head--added link--

Thou the Promise--by Michael Card

Thou the Promise
And Keeper of the promise
Our Salvation
And our only Saviour
Our redemption
Our Redeemer
Thou art ours
And we are Thine

Savior, Servant
Deliver, Messiah
Our great King, Desire of all Nations
Tired eyes at last can see You
Longing lips can speak Your name

Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ

Thou the Lamb
And yet the Shepherd
Thou the Lamb
And yet the Lion
Thou great Judge
And selfsame Savior
In wonder we cry out to thee

Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ

Thou the promise
And Keeper of the promise
Our salvation
And our only Savior
Our redemption
Our Redeemer
Thou art ours
Thou art ours
And we are Thine

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Trip Overview



It is my understanding from Val B., that we will be going to Nha Trang to distribute 400 hundred wheelchairs.

A group will then head on to Laos to continue to distribute more wheelchairs.


Mark and I were in Nha Trang briefly back in 2001. It is gorgeous. I am so excited to be going back. Here is a link to the Wikipedia and Wikitravel sites. Lots of info.

Can't wait!! Squeeeeal!!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Stop me if you've already heard this...

"This is what the LORD says—
he who made a way through the sea,
a path through the mighty waters,
"Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up;
do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland."

(Isaiah 43:16, 18-19)

I think I have posted this on my Facebook, my 365 Blog and now here.
How 'bout in my heart, next?
Huh. Ya think?
Perfect for New Year 2008.

Link

So many children. So many hopeful parents-to-be.

Seems like everyone should be a winner, but that is not the case at all...

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=dSBN4uR2kB4

The problems are many. The heartbreak is awful
.