Sunday, August 24, 2008

Note to self.


When you get some time write a blog about; John 8, Suicide, and Povitica.



PS Get time soon.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

On empty.

A little over a month ago I wrote a blog that was based around the song "Even Now," by the band Foolish Things. An MP3 that was given to me by a friend that knew I was going through a tough stretch. With that said I had to come back to that song today.

I am not doing well. Life doesnt make sense right now. There are a couple things that get me through the day; JC of course, my girlfriend that doesnt let me forget that He is "the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6), and my family that seems to stay pretty steady at all times no matter what. -- I have now been home for a week, I have now had a chance to get used to America again. I have had the chance to move my stuff back to Manhattan, play golf, get a beer with the boys, drive on the right side of the rode, etc... The thing is that little makes sense right now. Not that there is some particular thing(s) that seem over the top or completely different now, no. I just feel out of place.

There are so many things in life that seem unfair, that seem like they shouldnt be possible let alone happen all at once to one person. I cant say that that is even happening to me right now but what I can say is that I am overwhelmed. What I can say is that in the past few days I have, over and over, in my mind been asking why? This summer was an experience that is for sure. War-stricken Sudanese, literally starving Zimbabwean people, communist marches in Johannesburg, nine weeks of out of body emotions. I am restless, confused, at times sick to my stomach. Its real and what seems to be the worst part is that, when I came home, I came back to life, I came back to reality... my problems didnt disappear they just became that much more real and they pull, at my heart, twice as hard now.

I am lost, I am confused, and I am running on empty. Somehow though even when nothing is seeming right I am constantly reminded that God is good, that God is Sovereign, that I am never alone, that when I return to him no matter the outcome of my situations He will calm my heart and succeed. -- My life is being molded, God's presence when allowed only changes for the better. I just have to turn, trust, and follow.

Joel 2: 12-14 (the Message)

12 But there's also this, it's not too late—
God's personal Message!—
"Come back to me and really mean it!
Come fasting and weeping, sorry for your sins!"

13-14Change your life, not just your clothes.
Come back to God, your God.
And here's why: God is kind and merciful.
He takes a deep breath, puts up with a lot,
This most patient God, extravagant in love,
always ready to cancel catastrophe.
Who knows? Maybe he'll do it now,
maybe he'll turn around and show pity.
Maybe, when all's said and done,
there'll be blessings full and robust for your God!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Take Off.

Well it is finally here, the moment that i thought I would be waiting for two months ago, but now the moment that I have mixed emotions about happening. I am sitting in the airport in Johannesburg at the NEWSCAFE waiting for our plane to arrive so that we can make the 30 hours of travel journey back to the states. The funny thing is that in the past eight weeks I have been exposed to more than I can even think about processing right now. To tell you the truth it is a very weird feeling that I am not going back to Uganda. The past three flights that I have been on have returned to Kampala. Kampala, a city that is in no means my favorite place, a city that is incredibly dirty and disorganized, but a place that for some reason i feel like I should be returning to.

In the past two months, I found a home, I realized my ignorance and experienced the true size of the God that I serve. My family will always be with the my folks, no matter what, my home will always partially be with them, but this summer I realized that home expands farther than that... home truly is where the heart is. This summer my heart was shared with special people, one person in particular and I had the epiphany that home is truly a mobile term. As far as my ignorance, we as (the rest of the world) are more concerned about seeing what is done rather than what is really being done (we would rather build buildings because they are tangible than mobilize people that can really make a difference... i.e. schools in Sudan). And for the realization that our God is huge... well I saw him in parts of the world that I didn't even know existed... enough said.

I have a lot of different emotions/feelings about leaving this place. Mainly that it is time to go home and love on my family and friends but also that it will be a struggle to get on that plane realizing I am leaving a world that is amazing and part of my heart forever.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Quiet Time

Well I have nine days left in Botswana and I cannot even start to explain how incredible this summer has been. How often do you get to go to two countries having silent civil wars and four others that are 5000 miles away from your home?... Oh yeah and do it in 9 short, short weeks.
Anyway, I am sure that I will have posts that reference these experiences, and travels for may months to come. The processing through, Uganda, Sudan, Rwanda, Botswana, and Zimbabwe are just begging and I cannot wait to share those thoughts with you as they come.
Today though my post is completely based around the quiet time that I had today, really with nothing much about Africa at all except for the fact that I did it here.

It was based on Matthew 10:34-39. I have been trucking through Matthew 10 consistently for the past two months and it just so happened that I bit off a huge chunk of it today that consisted of what I am confident in saying the most influential 6 verses of Matthew to me. So here it goes:

Matthew 10:34-39 (New International Version)

34"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35For I have come to turn
" 'a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
36a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.’

37"Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

We have a basic commitment. It is as simple as that. The commitment isn’t simple but the idea; the principle if you will is a simple statement. -- I take my cross and follow. -- No rocket science, nothing earth shattering complicated, just a statement that can be summed up by three delicate words that I must enact. Trust, Turn, and Follow.

Trust, turn, and follow. Three terms that we use when explaining Romans 3:26, three terms that explain how we shall submit to lordship, three terms that without a doubt can single-handedly change our lives.

Trust, Turn, and Follow.

Trust that Christ is the incarnate of a father who is greater than all. A father who is just with no prejudice, a father who can never be compared to any earthly relative because He is much too great.

Turn away from the old putting all temptation, desires, impurities, anger, rage, and malice (Colossians 3:5-10) on the cross. Not only putting them there but also turning to that cross acknowledging its power and allowing its forgiveness to release our burdens.

Follow out with our commitment, Not being ignorant to the fact that we are human, imperfect, sinners; and still relentlessly pursuing a God who is above that, who judges none of his children but loves unconditionally. Clothing ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience (Colossians 3:12). Following in the shadow of our maker wanting nothing more than to be persuaded by the being that has been consistently by our side longer than any one person could ever attempt. -- Our gracious, Abba, Father.

Friday, August 1, 2008

From Botswana to Zimbabwe.

Hey yall, It has been a crazy past few days but I have got a second so I would like to quickly fill yall in on what has been happening.

We got to Botswana and last weekend spent four days working with a feeding project that is just outside Gaborone, Botswana. Its purpose is to give underprivileged kids in the Village of Gamadubu(sp) a place to hang out and get a meal on Saturdays. That was cool, I will be there tomorrow, the kids are adorable as well.

On Sunday night we left on a train and headed to Zimbabwe. We went to Victoria Falls but also got to see the country and how it has been effected by the current political struggle. It is nuts, I will write more about it later, but for now wrap your mind around this; the exchange rate is 100 billion Zim dollars to ever 1 American dollar. The government has stopped all food production so the grocery sores sit empty and people are forced to buy produce from black markets at about 1000 times the price that it should normally be.

The week has been exciting and interesting. Robert Mugabe is not a very popular man and I have to agree with his opposition now that I have seen what he has done to his people first hand.

I will post as often as I can in the coming weeks.