Sunday, January 30, 2011

Update for Jen

I just got an update via facebook (Thank you, God, for social networking) that my friend Jen is going to leave Cairo on Monday morning her time and head to Cypress. So thankful that she will be in a safer place for the time being. Keep those prayers coming, friends. This isn't looking to be over any time soon!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Prayers for Egypt

I'll have to admit that for years I've not kept up with the news. To state the obvious, it is scary and depressing with very little unbias. I've been happy to keep my head in the sand. Then a few months ago, I made the decision to get rid of television all together. Only then did I make two important realizations: 1) It is hard to be relevant when you have NO idea what is going on in the world or in entertainment and 2) You really can get a lot of the news from commercials. In an attempt to be able to carry on a conversation with anyone, I decided to make CNN my homepage. I'm surprised to say this but I'm really glad I did! Especially this past week....

I've been keeping an eye on what has been going on in Cairo. I'm no expert and I most likely can't even hold a decent conversation about it. But I know what is going on - I've seen video and read articles about it. But CNN isn't the only place I'm getting updates. You see, I know someone who lives there. Her name is Jen and she teaches at an international school there. According to a facebook post via her mom (internet is completely down over there right now), she is hunkered down in a friend's second story apartment because there is gunfire outside her first floor apartment windows and teargas. Until the past day or two, she has been removed from the protests and now they are knocking on her door. She has been in contact with the American Embassy but has been told there are 70,000 Americans in Egypt. Her chances of getting out are not looking too good.

So today I ask you to pray for Egypt. Pray for the protesters and the government. Pray that Mubarak will do the right thing. Pray that the nation can withstand this.

But personally, pray for my friend Jen.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Back Where I Come From

This week, part of our bible study homework had us reflect on our childhood. I've been thinking about things I remember and I thought I would share a few memories. Thanks for walking down memory lane with me:

- We always ate dinner together at the table. Every night. Not many people can say that but we would wait until everyone was home together before sitting down at the table to eat. However, every once in a while, my very wise parents would spread a round table cloth on the floor of the living room and we could eat dinner while we watched a movie. It was like an indoor picnic. Who can blame them? Do you want primary and elementary aged kids eating on your living room carpet?

- For years, part of our bedtime routine was a bedtime story. Usually Mom did the reading and one of us would pick the book. For a short time, Dad read to us. We took turns with whose bed we would read in but each night, Dad read us a chapter of Old Mother West Wind. I don't remember much about the book but I remember loving Dad reading to us before bed.

- After my first year of camp, my family picked me up and we headed from to Texas Hill Country to the Rocky Mountains. We drove the whole way. To pass the time, we had books, games, colors, walkmans, and all sorts of other distractions. What did we do? We sang camp songs the WHOLE. WAY. THERE. AND. BACK. My poor father.....

- One time, the city came out to drain the fire hydrant on our street. They opened it up and that water came gushing out. Erin, Casey, and I ran inside to tell Mom and next thing we know, Mom is snapping pictures of us playing in the fire hydrant. Probably not the most sanitary but so much fun!

- My whole life, my grandparents have slept in different beds. Including when they came to visit us. I loved it. My parents, bless their hearts, would either have to give up walk ways in their bedroom or their entire closet to make pads for Erin and I to sleep on. The closet was the best.

- Many summers when we were little, Mom would pull the card table out and we would put together a huge puzzle while we watched movies. For days, we would work on that thing until we finished it.

- The year we got a Nintendo for Christmas, I was pretty excited. Shortly after the ground rules for the game were laid, we dove in. Later that night, I woke up to a quiet house but a glow coming from the living room. I peeked around the corner and there say Mom, taking on the fireball spitting Venus Fly Traps.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Beautiful Heartache

This is going to be one of those lovely vague posts that everyone loves to read. I'm sorry in advance.

There is a people group that has been burdening me the past few weeks. They have actually been on my mind on and off for years but this time it is different. It's a heavy, heartbreaking burden that increases daily. I think about them all of the time - ALL. OF. THE. TIME. As I lay in bed, thoughts of them send me to sleep. When I wake up, they greet me with the new day. The children's eyes, the mothers' hands, the fathers' brows. Their home looks nothing like the city around me but in my mind's eye, I see it clear as day. They make my everyday seem insignificant/vacant. It's almost suffocating. In a way, I want it to stop because it seems too much to bear. At the same time, I don't want it to stop. It feels meaningful and important. But....I don't know what it means. So what do you do when your heart breaks (aches) for someone you've never met? What do you do when you're waiting? How do you go about everyday life when they are all you can think about?

Oh Lord, quiet my spirit and give me ears to hear....

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Only an Hour and a Half?

A few weeks ago, our minister delivered a message about scripture - where it came from and its importance. You can hear the full message HERE. In it, he shared a statistic that really has stuck with me. At the adult average reading rate, it takes 70 hours to read the entire Bible. It only takes 18 hours to read the entire New Testament. That is an hour and a half a month. What!? That is all? I am sad to admit that I did not read the entire New Testament last year (let alone the whole Bible). However, I often watched more that an hour and a half of TV a day or read an entire novel in a day. I was (and continue to be) fully convicted.

At the end of 2011, I don't want to make the same confession. This year, I am going to go through the entire bible using a chronological plan. As I have glanced at it, it only ends up being about 2-5 chapters a day. That is all! So far, I'm please to tell you that I am on track and have kept up with the daily reading. :) I would love to hear from you now and then to keep me accountable. If you would like to join me, feel free to look HERE at the schedule.

Let's not waste our time this year. It only takes a few minutes a day. Let's let the scriptures master us in 2011.