09 April 2014

Should Christians read the Qur'an?


A great question - should Christians read the Qur'an? I think the answer for me to give would be it depends. It depends on your own spiritual walk and your reasons for reading it. Study it - probably not. Read it? Sure. Remember, it doesn't hold power. The Bible has power. This article is an interesting one that contains 3 views of why or why not.

http://projectegypt.org/2014/04/08/should-christians-read-the-quran/

17 March 2014

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Saint Patrick? What? It is a known fact my favorite color is green - is that why I post about Saint Patrick's day? Why should I put that on my blog? Well, I came across an interesting article. I don't know much about Saint Patrick's Day except to wear green so I wouldn't get pinched. I hope you enjoy this article and think differently about Saint Patrick's Day from now on.

http://theresurgence.com/2010/03/17/st-patrick-one-of-the-greatest-missionaries-who-ever-lived


It's always interesting to learn about the history of missions and people who had a part in it. This article truly surprised me. So, go wear your green and perhaps pray for a country and/or a missionary today.


*remember: eat the fish, spit out the bones

13 January 2014

The Process (& Frustrations) of Setting-Up (part 2)

If you haven't already, read part 1 first.

I finally purchased my couch, a love seat, a bed, 2 nightstands, (fridge already purchased before I arrived thanks to my amazing team members), microwave, and oven. Everything I need to survive, I now have. Then it turned cold. Yes, cold. I had no blankets. So, I went to the store and scoffed at the prices, but bought a blanket. (just to be fair, I probably would have scoffed at the prices in the States, too - that’s just how I am). 

Every week I realize there is something else I don’t have. 
  • I was going to set a drink on my nightstand when I realized I did not have coasters. 
  • I was going to cut up my already cooked chicken when I realized I only have cooking knives - not any steak knives to set at the table (and I still have not purchased any lol). 
  • I spilled something, i know - not surprising, and realized I did not have a bucket of old towels. At home, we always kept a  container of old towels for cleaning up spills or other dirty jobs. I didn’t want to use brand new ones!
  • I wanted some pretty flowers for my house and realized I have nothing to put them in - no vase or glass glasses.
  • The power went out and I only had one candle and 2 small flashlights: No lantern or lamp (our power is very good here - it was due to a breaker wearing out and had to be replaced)

Some of the adjustment of settling in is just being out of my comfort zone. I know it sounds silly, but the small things make just as much impact as the big ones. I am having to use new objects to do old things - and it takes adjustment. This may sound silly, but at home we have these long spoons that are tea spoons. No, not the cooking measurement. They are used in tall glasses to stir. I used those spoons for everything. I don't have those anymore. I can't tell you how many times I've looked at my silverware and just thought "I miss those spoons." They were handy for so many things. No - I really don't need them. Because I used them so much, they were comfortable. It was my process. I didn't have to think about what to grab to do that task. Right now, I'm learning a new normal - developing a new process, a new comfortable. It's not really that it's hard. It is just...different. 


This whole scenario reminds me that this is my temporary home. I will be spending eternity in Heaven, and living in this world just a small amount of time. I want to have what I need to be settled here in a new place, but that is not the major emphasis of my life. If I can remember to keep my eyes on Christ, everything else will fall into place. 

07 January 2014

The Process (& Frustrations) of Setting-Up

Before I moved overseas, I thought setting up would be great! I’d already saved money for my furniture and house, so I could just go, pick it out some awesomely amazing stuff that matched my style and what I wanted, and be done. After all, I’d done my part for years saving (with the help of many others too) and it was going to be so much fun!

WRONG!!!

First of all, I do not have a car. Secondly, I have no clue where said furniture store(s) is(are). Third, I had no clue that the style in North Africa would NOT be my style at all. Fourth, I wanted comfortable for me furniture - which can be difficult since I am so short (yes, I usually have to choose to have my feet touch the floor, have my back touch the back of the couch, or do the awkward half reclining thing).

So, in order to even go shopping, I had to rely on my gracious team members to take me to the stores (since I had no idea where they were and how to get there). They took so much time helping me I cannot say thanks enough. I sat on many couches. I gasped at the prices. Granted, I have never purchased furniture, but it was expensive. I did find a beautiful couch with a chase lounge on the end - but it was not in my budget. Too expensive. I seriously began to wonder how people here can afford anything. They make less money that the average American, and yet the prices very often are more expensive.

In the end, I did find a reasonable couch and love seat that worked for me. It just took several days of searching. Oh wait! I need more furniture that just that!! You see where this is going, right? It takes time. A lot of time, actually. What I’ve told you about so far is about getting those big items, but sometimes it’s the little ones that make a huge difference.

Even through these things, the Lord teaches me lessons. Patience. Discipline to stick to a budget. Thankfulness to those who help. And when you find something that works just right, it's just like a gift, wrapped with a bow on top from the Lord. I know these are just things, but it means a lot to me. 

Why do I write about this? Just to give a glimpse of what it's like to move overseas. Some of the joys and frustrations that do come with it. It is truly the most incredible things the Lord has allowed me to do - but it is not all perfect. It really doesn't matter where you live. Life goes on with its good and its bad. I want to learn from the bad and rejoice in the good. 


Next post, I’ll let you know about a few little things that can make a big difference.

15 November 2013

Contagious Chain

I serve an amazing God!! This story caught my attention and I really enjoyed reading it. It's so easy to miss links in people's lives. Take a look at how God created a chain reaction going on for inspiring people to reach the world. Read it here.

One thought to add:
How many others were influenced that we don't know about? Just something to ponder.

16 October 2013

Not Just Pots and Pans





I brought a few pots and pans with me to North Africa. These are not just any pots and pans. These are Pampered Chef pots and pans. But that’s not the greatest thing about them. The greatest thing is the story behind these pots and pans.

When I was just out of college and teaching at a Christian academy,  I had the opportunity to be the girls dorm supervisor of a small college. I would live in the house with them. The problem was I had nothing. No household items at all. I didn’t have any extra money to purchase anything either - I did mention teaching at a Christian Academy, right??  I remember praying “how am I going to move out without even pots and pans to cook in?”

This was right around the time the fair came to town. Our church always has a booth at the fair to witness and invite people to church. During a break one night at the fair, I went to the booths and one was a Pampered Chef booth. I spoke to the ladies, got a recipe (always good, right?) and entered to win a brand new set of pots and pans. After I filled out the card, I prayed the Lord would allow me to win them. Strangest thing, I knew God was going to give them to me. I don’t know why, I just knew. I guess you can just call it confident faith. 

A few weeks later I get a phone call saying I won the pots and pans. I think the lady was a little disappointed because I wasn’t surprised. I know, what a let down. The Lord gave me a set of non-stick pots and pans. One caveat, they couldn’t be put in the dishwasher. They cleaned up so easily it really didn’t bother me. 

Fast forward to moving to North Africa. They do have pots and pans here - and I didn’t bring all the ones I won from Pampered Chef. One thing that is really nice about them: they clean up easily and can’t be put in a dishwasher. Well, that’s good since I’m not going to have a dishwasher here - the Lord took care of even the smallest detail. Ok, the guys might not care about this, but I sure do!

Each time I look at those pots and pans, I remember how the Lord provided. It’s a gentle reminder that the Lord knows and the Lord cares even about something so simple as pots and pans.

08 October 2013

First Impressions




I’ve officially been here for 17 days. Some first impressions of living here:
  • things aren’t necessarily better or worse, just different
  • it takes time to figure things out
  • it takes time to find things you like/don’t like (like Marwa water is the best tasting)
  • traffic is bad
  • there aren’t many traffic laws except don’t run a red light - our taxi driver got a ticket for running a red light (yes, the first time a friend and I went out by ourselves this happened)
  • some frustration comes from just having to change. We are creatures of habit. Something as simple as there not being Aussie Volumizing Shampoo or Tresumme, or almost anything familiar. You have to try all new products.
  • laundry takes longer - no dryer and the washer is smaller
  • there are many restaurants and you can get food to go, since there really isn’t any fast food
  • I don’t stick out as much here compared to the other country in North Africa I’ve been to - I don’t get stared at constantly.
  • many things are not necessarily about NOT being in the States
  • being sick is no fun in the states and it’s no fun elsewhere either
  • it will be really nice when all my furniture is in place and I have somewhere to sit other than my borrowed bed and everything is not in piles on the floor. (again, this happens when you move in the States too)
  • it is really nice to be able to walk to a small grocery store
  • it is NOT really nice to try to carry really heavy bags of groceries home from said grocery store
  • prices on many things are more expensive here
  • furniture is very modern - not really my style