Sunday, August 26, 2007

Gratitude, Nichole Nordeman Tradução

(I realize the video shows Portugues...just listen to the words)
I was thinking about how much importance we, as a culture, place on safety. How is it we long so much for something that we can never have? Then I came to a thought that perhaps it was a shadow mission. Perhaps our longing for safety is really a strong desire that leads us to learn how to God.

Here are the words in English:
Send some rain, would You send some rain?
'Cause the earth is dry and needs to drink again
And the sun is high and we are sinking in the shade
Would You send a cloud, thunder long and loud?
Let the sky grow black and send some mercy down
Surely You can see that we are thirsty and afraid
But maybe not, not today
Maybe You'll provide in other ways
And if that's the case . . .


We'll give thanks to You
With gratitude
For lessons learned in how to thirst for You
How to bless the very sun that warms our face
If You never send us rain

Daily bread, give us daily bread
Bless our bodies, keep our children fed
Fill our cups, then fill them up again tonight
Wrap us up and warm us through
Tucked away beneath our sturdy roofs
Let us slumber safe from danger's view this time
Or maybe not, not today
Maybe You'll provide in other ways
And if that's the case . . .


We'll give thanks to You
With gratitude
A lesson learned to hunger after You
That a starry sky offers a better view if no roof is overhead And if we never taste that bread

Oh, the differences that often are between
What we want and what we really need

So grant us peace, Jesus, grant us peace
Move our hearts to hear a single beat
Between alibis and enemies tonight
Or maybe not, not today
Peace might be another world away
And if that's the case . . .


We'll give thanks to You
With gratitude
For lessons learned in how to trust in You
That we are blessed beyond what we could ever dream
In abundance or in need
And if You never grant us peace

But Jesus, would You please . . .

Monday, August 20, 2007

Acuna matta, acuna matta, acuna matta It means no worries For the rest of your dddaaayyyys

Over the last little while...well I would say the last...well since I became a mother...I think that I have become too serious. I have been grappling with the responsibilities of life. The things like...we now have 2 wee children who depend on us solely for everything, I am to be an example, I ask myself am I succeeding or failing them every second of the day and then at the end of the did the day go? Was I the best mother I could be today? So there was that. Then the responsibility of being a wife...does my husband still find me beautiful? Was I the best wife that I could be to him today? etc. Then my responsibility to family, friends, strangers to show kindness and love. My relationship with God...I must finish well and what about the poor and the oppressed? Have I done enough today? When I stand before God will He say "well done" or "depart from me I never knew you"?

Inevitably the answer to all those questions was..."well you could have done better". What a strange way to look at life...I mean taking responsibility for MY actions is important. But carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders is silly.

Matthew 11:28-30 " Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly. "

That is truth...that is freedom...that is joy...that is what we all long for. That is where Jesus comes in...our Saviour, our burden bearer...wonder when I'll actually allow Him to do what He longs to do.

I have heard it said that "fun and laughter is like a spice that's added to life". I've also heard that "Fun on it's own, being determined to seek out fun has an inverted rate of return". Or another way to say that is...we never sit down and eat a bowl of all spices. But food without any spice is terrible. "We never run from reality but laughter is the spice of life as we face reality". [John Fichtner]

I will keep pondering these things. And reprogram myself. The potential for JOY (not happiness...that is a fleeting thing, an emotion...but true deep abiding joy no matter what the circumstance that can only ever be found in God) is exponential if I pay attention to that Matthew 11 passage and take it to heart and actually apply it to my life. hmmmmmmmmm

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Priviledge of birth?

ok here's one...We just finished watching a movie called "Shooting Dogs" (In the Us it is called "Beyond the Gates" ( It is a movie based on actual events, filmed in the actual location the events happened and with survivors of the event. Here is a web page with a history of the Rwandan Genocide ( It made Shaun and I think...
Since I was born in North America at this time and not in, ohhhh say, Rwanda or Darfur or in abject poverty does that mean that I get to grow up be a "good" person. Live a "nice" life? Raise a "nice" family? Buy LOTS of "nice" stuff? Be a REALLY "nice" neighbor? I don't know maybe that means believing in God, maybe it doesn't. Maybe it just means being a moral person. Perhaps it means being a good parent and raising contributing members to MY society. Whatever it means to you...and then I raise my children to be the same and they raise their children to be the get the picture. It's a nice little cycle of patting ourselves on the back and saying "well done me!" And all the time the orphans, the widows, the poor...the people for whom all my wealth (and YES I am extremely wealthy compared to them) do not benefit one bit from me having been born. Their lives are left untouched.

What happens (just for ONE example of the many) if you are born into a Tutsi family and were alive in Rwanda at the time of the genocide there in 1994? You know that genocide that all of us were alive for but we couldn't decide what to call it and therefore didn't step and stop it...the UN bickered about a term to call what was happening in a completely stoppable genocide (I THINK we were the ones who said "never again" after Hitler...) for oh at least 4 MONTHS 800,000 people were hacked to death with by virtue of birth their lives were rendered meaningless while my middle class life was going very nicely...thank you very much and therefore MY life was of high seems. For I was allowed to virtue of birth.

OR could it be that by virtue of birth I was put here so that I could be Christ's Ambassador.

Why do innocent people suffer? Well in part...
The Bible says that God has given this world over to Satan. 1 John 5:19 says, " We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one" We live in a fallen world. Satan is master. God will not step in until that day...that final day of Judgement. A true judge always judges completely, fully and fairly. When we ask "God why did you allow...whatever?" What we are really saying is God be my puppet on a string and judge what I want judged. When Jesus comes again He WILL judge totally (Rev. 19:14-16) ... In the mean time, according to the Bible, we (who believe the Bible and in Jesus) are supposed to be Christ's Ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:16-20). We understand that term very well...We have all sorts of Ambassadors in our governments. To give you the context...2 Corinthians 5 says this:
"1-5For instance, we know that when these bodies of ours are taken down like tents and folded away, they will be replaced by resurrection bodies in heaven—God-made, not handmade—and we'll never have to relocate our "tents" again. Sometimes we can hardly wait to move—and so we cry out in frustration. Compared to what's coming, living conditions around here seem like a stopover in an unfurnished shack, and we're tired of it! We've been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home, our resurrection bodies! The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what's ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we'll never settle for less.
6-8That's why we live with such good cheer. You won't see us drooping our heads or dragging our feet! Cramped conditions here don't get us down. They only remind us of the spacious living conditions ahead. It's what we trust in but don't yet see that keeps us going. Do you suppose a few ruts in the road or rocks in the path are going to stop us? When the time comes, we'll be plenty ready to exchange exile for homecoming.
9-10But neither exile nor homecoming is the main thing. Cheerfully pleasing God is the main thing, and that's what we aim to do, regardless of our conditions. Sooner or later we'll all have to face God, regardless of our conditions. We will appear before Christ and take what's coming to us as a result of our actions, either good or bad.
11-14That keeps us vigilant, you can be sure. It's no light thing to know that we'll all one day stand in that place of Judgment. That's why we work urgently with everyone we meet to get them ready to face God. God alone knows how well we do this, but I hope you realize how much and deeply we care. We're not saying this to make ourselves look good to you. We just thought it would make you feel good, proud even, that we're on your side and not just nice to your face as so many people are. If I acted crazy, I did it for God; if I acted overly serious, I did it for you. Christ's love has moved me to such extremes. His love has the first and last word in everything we do.
A New Life 14-15Our firm decision is to work from this focused center: One man died for everyone. That puts everyone in the same boat. He included everyone in his death so that everyone could also be included in his life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own.
16-20Because of this decision we don't evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don't look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We're Christ's representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God's work of making things right between them. We're speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he's already a friend with you.
21How? you ask. In Christ. God put the wrong on him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God.

So if I believe the Bible as I say I do...that means that my so called "privilege of birth" is for a know....if you have been reading my blog for any amount of time...that Shaun and I are pursuing a way to raise awareness of literal slavery in our present day world (27 million virtue of birth...). I was thinking 2 days ago about how the majority of people get into slavery...poverty! That is the bottom line for the majority who become enslaved. Disease isn't the only side effect to poverty.

I heard this one story of a Ukrainian woman (present day... there are several parts to this PBS Frontline) who's family lives near Chernobyl. Her sister has tumors on her face, her brother's appendix ruptured, she has children to care for. They borrowed money to try and pay for the medical bills. The lender called in the debt. So she went to the city with a "trusted" acquaintance...who sold her into the "rape for profit" business. Were she was kept was raided. She was deported back home. Her young brother was dying (from the ruptured appendix I believe...rotting from the inside out) so she went back to that same city in Turkey, this time as a prostitute...the brothel was raided...she was sent home...still had a sick sister but her brother died...they still owed the debt. Do you know how much money they owed? $200! $200? I can blow $200 in about 10 seconds with a purchase...or even a really REALLY nice dinner or a semi nice outfit. For $200 she went through all that. Poverty! There are millions of stories (at LEAST 27 million) like that. So does that mean that their lives have less value? That it's their problem? Let's walk on by shall we?!

In Matthew 25:31-46 Jesus talks about "that day"...the end of time... when life is over...when we stand before our Judge. This is what Jesus said:
31-33"When he finally arrives, blazing in beauty and all his angels with him, the Son of Man will take his place on his glorious throne. Then all the nations will be arranged before him and he will sort the people out, much as a shepherd sorts out sheep and goats, putting sheep to his right and goats to his left.
34-36"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what's coming to you in this kingdom. It's been ready for you since the world's foundation. And here's why: I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was homeless and you gave me a room, I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was sick and you stopped to visit, I was in prison and you came to me.'
37-40"Then those 'sheep' are going to say, 'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?' Then the King will say, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.'
41-43"Then he will turn to the 'goats,' the ones on his left, and say, 'Get out, worthless goats! You're good for nothing but the fires of hell. And why? Because— I was hungry and you gave me no meal, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was homeless and you gave me no bed, I was shivering and you gave me no clothes, Sick and in prison, and you never visited.'
44"Then those 'goats' are going to say, 'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or homeless or shivering or sick or in prison and didn't help?'
45"He will answer them, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was me—you failed to do it to me.'
46"Then those 'goats' will be herded to their eternal doom, but the 'sheep' to their eternal reward."

I tend to believe the Bible...I mean I take it literally. So I can't just walk on by any more...but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord by serving the overlooked. Shaun and I have purposed to make a path for our children so that when they go down this path they will have even more tools to accomplish this mandate. It will be an easier trail, this one of caring for the poor, the orphans, and widows. They will have seen it all their lives. At the end of this movie we just watched one of the survivors says something like "we are blessed...we've been given more time...what will we do with it?"

Monday, August 13, 2007


This song says exactly my goals in life...