Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Sometimes brave means packing up your stuff in 2 suitcases and moving to a 3rd world country.

And sometimes brave can mean staying put for a bit and settling down, acquiring skills and learning a new trade.

Just came from another interview after about 2 weeks full of applying to local businesses.

I'm excited to put myself out there and try something new. So here's to doing a new brave thing!!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Continuing to learn

I think that my learning about God has to do with finding him and letting him go.
I'll expand- We learn about God and we store those things we learn about him in our heads and hearts, but I think that we get so academic about it that we fill our minds then decide we know enough. Then we become stagnant like spiritual swamps and become (wether we admit it or not) bored with our religion.

I'm not talking about abandoning doctrines that are vital to our belief about the core essence of who God is  but I am talking about carrying him around with us and forgetting that he is everywhere. He is something to be sought but never really found to the point where the seeking ends.

If there's one thing that I have learned about spirituality from traveling, it's that you can't take God places. I have a problem with missions agencies that talk about "unreached people groups". As if God were not everywhere and working everywhere in his Spirit. If you go to a place with the mindset of - "I'm going to go and take God to these people" you're insinuating that he is not already there. And it's an insult to what he is already doing there and those people through whom he is doing amazing things. The apostles never stopped being disciples and being a disciple means continuing learning under a rabbi. Perpetual student.

I think its more important to focus on seeking God than sharing him. Because when you seek him you'll find other seekers who will want to glean knowledge from you, and you will find that you are sharing him. If everyone goes to only share, who is going to learn anything? No one, rightly, can be only a teacher. No mind can have a monopoly on the knowledge of God.

God in his perfect creativity made cultures and then he hid his image in them, and I think part of finding God, at least in my journey, has been learning about other cultures.
Before you know it, you see him everywhere.

The Bible is awesome and is great for foundational truth. But why stop there? Nature, art, beauty, dance, mathematics, music, law, social media, fabric, words, food. He is there in it all. We need to not think he's only there if there are Bible verses plastered over it or if we bring him to these things ourselves.

So what do I mean about finding him and letting him go? I mean letting myself "forget" stuff in order that arrogance and the illusion of having found him wont prevent me from continuing to seek him and find him. Not hanging on to things as if I might lose him, but continually seeking him, seeing him, and re-seeking him.

I think some people (hey, I've done it before) in fear of adopting un-truths, get to a point where they feel they know it, and then they stop learning. Dead faith driven by fear. I believe a living faith is characterized by freedom from fear and a love for looking and learning and being unsatisfied with what we know and see about him. "Where are you?! I want to see you!" instead of "I got you, I'm ok, we're safe."

Be still... but still moving.

Be still and know that I am God.    Psalm 46:10

but dance and know that I am Joy.

and be free and know that I broke your fear.

and reach out to others and know that I am Love.

go beyond your small world and know that I am everywhere.

and create and know that I am Creator.

Live and know that I will get you where you need to be.

Be still, but trust my sovereignty and don't be timid about life.

Be still... but still moving.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Back in the US

I've been back in the US for a couple of weeks now. A lot of people have asked about reverse culture shock, and I'd have to say it's been a smooth transition. It was a good idea to go to Portugal for a week between re-entry week at the MCC headquarters in Akron PA and coming back to Arizona.

When I landed in Philadelphia after two long days of traveling I was greeted by my Mom's cousins and their kids. So great to have people there to welcome me home. It was a total surprise and the best way to come home. Signs, hugs, kisses... Seriously, I have the best family.

Re-entry was great and I'm so glad I went. Initially I was weary about spending 5 days in limbo between Indonesia and home, but in the end the sessions MCC had planned and the time I got to hear other people's stories and share my own was really great. That said, the heat in PA that week was miserable. I couldn't believe how hot is was... Hotter than Indonesia, it felt like!

Portugal.... What can I say, being in Portugal is always a blast and always so, so hard to leave. Spent days on the beach, nights in town, and sleep just did not happen very often. Amanda was there as well as the boys and getting to spend time with them was so good.

I've had some funny incidents being back... I realized that not understanding Bahasa Indonesian when spoken quickly or in long stretches (for example, church services) made me really good at zoning out mentally. I cannot for the life of me pay attention to someone for longer then 10 minutes anymore. Re-entry sessions, church services... Even though they're in English! My mind wanders really fast.

Also making decisions. If someone asks me where I want to go out to, I just get so overwhelmed with all the choices that I really do get mentally paralyzed and can't choose a place. That has been frustrating. I can't BELIEVE all the restaurants there are here in Phoenix! And not just restaurants- I walk into a store wanting to buy one thing and I get to the area of the store where it's at and there are 47 different brands and 3 different choices in each of the brand for the same stinking product.

And everything is huge. The bottles of shampoo, the meal portions, the cars, the houses, the streets, the mountains, the distances between places, the bills.... I didn't remember everything being just so big.

Ah but I'm enjoying things I missed. The Arizona landscape, meat and cheese galore, air conditioning, a dryer, a big fridge. People. People who I can relate to and talk to without avoiding certain subjects because I don't know how to say certain words in their language. And showing skin. Tanks tops, two pieces, shorts... Running and no one staring at me... I'm really enjoying it all. A lot.

I didn't end up applying for the job in Palestine after I got back. I need to take a break from traveling internationally for a bit and focus on acquiring some marketable skills that I can then take back overseas.

In the mean time I'll blog back on here once in a while as I process being in America again, and possibly will start posting some interesting development stuff I've been finding.