Friday, December 19, 2008

finally got my Christmas tree up this week

international ornaments this year. well first of all the red, white and green thing behind the tree is from spain, and then camel and little people ornaments are from a kabul market, and some handpainted ball ornaments from India and then there are some bright red/pink little baskets from Honduras, and then the red flower lights I bought at a hardware store in Honduras also, ha. oh and there are three finger puppets from Romania (one's on top of the tree). and some of my usual stuff thrown on there.
Merry Christmas!

the future...

I'm not sure if I blogged about this before, but I'm pretty sure I did. How one day I was teaching ENglish in Kabul, Afghanistan and discussing using degrees of certainty, and we were discussing the different tenses. And there was distinct confusion and disagreement and when I kept trying to say things like, " I"m certain I'll see you later," or "She's positive that the plane will land safely." etc....
and they said no, you can't say that!! so, as the English expert in the room, I was impressing upon them that YES, yes you can, you can. and they said, no you can never be certain about the future, and I'm like "why not?"having no idea what they were talking about... well eventually they explained that as muslims, they ALWAYS always say "God willing" or "En SHallah" when speaking about the future, that it can never be certain, and how could you dare say something was....SO we had an understanding, ahhh ok, huge culture gap there in the degrees of certainty lesson. and i told them, well in ENglish we don't say that every time when discussing the future... please!
well anyway, so this can be an easy way actually of mocking the muslim culture, en shallah, everything is "God willing". and in truth, they seem to say it more as rule and habit and maybe some truly mean it, maybe some just going through the motions. There is also a sort of passive blaze way of living they have of just letting things happen as if that's the way God intended....all true.
Well I've been reading James chapter 4 this week, revisiting some sermon notes from a church in Honduras I attended 3 or 4 times in November and the preaching was right on. this morning I began to focus on the verses 13-17 and it has a little subtitle in my NIV version, Boasting About Tomorrow.
13Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." 14Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." 16As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. 17Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins.
I began thinking, aren't I too demanded to consider future only in terms of if God is willing? not just long term, but it says "today or tomorrow." How beautiful it would be to speak of the future in terms of God's will. Is it possilbe to do in every conversation? can we make it a practice? Are we in the AMerican culture so afraid of sticking out as Christians, or offending others or trying to sound like a "joe bible"? Are we afraid of sounding too rote and unfeeling, as the muslims may appear to some. I don't know but it seems I'm commanded to do so, maybe Christians think "well of course I realize everything is according to God's will or not, I don't have to say it out loud evertime..." perhaps true, but what opportunities are we missing out on in sharing who we are and what we believe to others by including that one thought, putting ourselves out there, out loud. well just a thought I had while reading this morning.
I think people forget to completely rely on God for everything, and what could be a better daily reminder of dependence in God in our lives. Especially in an American rich culture of "me", and making money and saving money and buying more things. etc etc.. blah
Getting a glimpse at my students' culture was a wonderful thing. I believe their culture is a lot closer to the sort of culture in the bible, and it's interesting to me to consider that when I read verses. what Mohammad had done with the Koran is rewritten a lot of the bible but twisted it completely to his own beliefs and means. I could discuss all the same bible stories with my students, they know Daniel and the lions, Noah, Moses, etc etc.. all, and I hope as they learn ENglish they may someday get the chance to read the actual real old testament version.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Jami Smith....

went to a Jami Smith concert tonight. it was awesome, I've enjoyed Jami's music ever since a couple years ago when she used to lead worship at Life Church every now and then, nowadays she leads music at the 10:45 service at Crossings, which is the alternative more contemporary service. I could go into a diatribe about our "have it your way" culture and why should different styles of worship be provided to the body of the church but I won't. I jsut wanted to say I loved the concert and got the Christmas CD.

getting better

I have had a good week, I'm not sure if you can see in the pic above but there was a horse and buggy wanting to cross the highway that I passed while coming home last weekend. there is a sort of amish/mennonite community in NorthEast oklahoma. I'm trying to post a picture but its blurry cause I was driving and pointing behind me at the same time.
this week is getting better, I have things put away in the kitchen, and a Christmas tree up in my house. so I'm getting things done. today I plan to go to storage and bringing more stuff back to my place. I took a Drixoral decongestant yesterday and that helped me sleep without a sore throat so things are feeling better. I failed to make it to my bible study last night because of the road conditions and being sick. tonight I am MAYBE going to a jami smith concert if the roads are not too bad.
I am also trying to contact SNU today about job openings if any, even for next fall, what to do etc..

Monday, December 15, 2008

cold blast

I'm back from ARkansas. and what a wonderful weekend although brief.
Trish's party was a lot of fun Saturday night, lots of people I knew from college there and some new friends trish has made in town. THe best part was getting to visit with people and chill without being rushed during a homecoming visit. Max and maria conroy, rob netherton and wife, and john and Kara Lasater there. Becky blue of course and Jenna and her friend jayna, todd and heather G. and my good buddy JEff N there. JEff and I spent the afternoon running around Fayetteville which was fun just having time to hang out and catch up, also I got to do a bit of furntiture shopping at a store I like in fayetteville called IO, or somehting like that.
I also met some new JBU profs from the art department and this guy named Freedom and his wife that work at dayspring. lots of fun and I stayed with jamey and shannon so it was great getting to play with their kids that are growing up so fast!
today I'm home, I wasn't called to sub today which is a good thing cause I woke up feeling awful the same as the last two morning in AR. sore throat the cold kind, low growly voice again today. yuck. but I'm moving around this morning and trying not to fell overwhelmbed by all the boxes from storage sitting around. today's mottow is "A place for everything, everything in its place!".
easy to say......??
if I DO get it all away, then I'll reward myself by putting the tree up possibly.
I can't let feeling sick get me down because on the drive yesterday home I decided I"m currently missing a lot of joy in my life, and I'm disapointed because I want my Faith in God to be reflected by the joy in my life. SO I have got to get back into my regular quiet time and prayer to encourage me. otherwise, without a steady job right now I start to lack purpose and motivation to do anything, and all those questions in the back of ones mind about where am I headed in life anyway! ha
But keeping up with God in prayer and relationship helps one get by day by day more than anything.
now that breakfast is over with, I'm going to down a few glasses of cran/pomegranate juice and get started.....

Saturday, December 13, 2008

deck the hills....

I'm nestled into the foothills of the ozarks this weekend... SIloam Springs!
drove up here yesterday, Friday, after subbing at Bethany High School. College friend TRish is having a big shabang Christmas party tonight. I'm staying with jamey and SHannon Clayberg. last night had a great time catching up with my best friend Jeff Nichols and his wife EMily. THey made a great pasta dinner and i got to see their little one year old daughter. later Jeff and I went to Walmart which was fun.
this morning I"ll be meeting with EMily's sister and husband at 10 at the downtown coffee shop. THey are leaving to live in Turkey and I've wanted to discuss my visit with them..
I will have lunch at Fatigas and then do a bit of shopping around with JEff possibly if time, and then tonight the CHristmas party. i woke up with a very dry throat and a very low voice, hoping it improves after I get out of bed and move around we shall see. ;?.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Feliz Navidad

well i put this tree up in my house today, with some handpainted ornaments from india that I thought looked pretty cool.and then the nativity is pewter i broght back from honduras. I always wanted one and couldn't afford it when I lived there, but this last time I was able to get me one. so I'm starting to get a little Christmas decor up in the house, but stil la LOT of cleaning up and putting away before I get the big tree out, and just wait til you see the around the world stuff I got ready for that one, ha should be cool.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

trying to get back into the game...

not easy, but I feel a little more homey now that I've done some yardwork. I was really productive this weekend raking up all the leaves in the back and front and in the flower beds, and stuffing 'em in some garbage bags, then using some shredded leaves mulched back over, also dug up a yucca plant, and planted a tricolor beach tree. also made it to storage and brought back lots of boxes and a table.. blah
I was at a Birthday party for my friend Scott here in okc Friday night, and then Saturday night watched a movie "stardust memories" and then afterwards on tv, "annie hall".
I subbed 2 and a half days last week at Bethany so I was able to walk there and back 2 blocks away. I'll wait and see if they call this week I guess, and I'm also in the system at Mustang. this week my goal is to get to the OSU junior college and see if there are any openings for nightclass instructors next spring, although that's not very lucrative to be honest.but better than nothing.