Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Maybe it’s time to stop being a saint…

A Sunday morning is such a good time to just sit and listen. I think about what Jesus said… the Sabbath was made for the man, not the man for the Sabbath. SO last Sunday I didn’t go to church… yep I’m a heathen. My favorite place in the world on Sunday mornings is on the roof of my house. There isn’t anyone in my house. All the good church people have already left for church and all the rest are sleeping off their hang over (hey, I’m just being honest). All that to say, this Sunday, I went up on the roof at about 10 in the morning and as I sat down to have my time with Jesus, he told me to listen. I decided to write down all the things I heard… here’s my list:

Birds singing (2 different kinds!)
Church Bells
Wind through the trees
Door slamming
Cars racing down the street
Engines roaring
Water rushing
Dogs whining
Music blaring

If you were to sit on your roof, I’m sure you’re hear something different, but no matter where in the world you are there is noise. Whether that noise is coming from within or without depends on who you are and where you’re at. Either way, the Lord is probably trying to speak to you the same way he was trying to speak to me…Slow down, close your eyes, listen, be still, be silent. Allow me to speak. I love you. More than you can comprehend, imagine or dream. My love goes beyond yours for your family, ministry or significant other. What I say I love you more than life itself, they aren’t just words, I proved it by doing just that… laying down my life ALL FOR YOU.
Maybe you, like me need to spend some time being a heathen… stop doing things FOR God and starting getting to KNOW God.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Too much luggage...

A team of 15 from Brookwood arrived in Quito on Thursday, October 8. I couldn’t help but jump for joy when I saw them! That night as I laid in bed, I also couldn’t help but mull over the details of the following days in my mind, including how to get SO much luggage on the next flight without getting charged $200. This is something I had been mulling over and trying to figure out for the past couple of weeks. I thought… well I could send Daniel to the counter because he doesn’t speak any Spanish, so it’ll be so frustrating to them that they’ll just let us through. But then I thought that was pretty mean to the people at the front desk and to Daniel! OR I could just pretend I couldn’t speak Spanish… but then I figured that was a little deceitful.
As I laid there, the Lord said, Walk up to the front desk, put down all the passports and let me handle the rest. I thought I heard him wrong. There is no way it could be that simple.
The next morning before we ever went into the airport, I got the team together and said, “Look guys, we have about 20 kilos over each person… so we’re just going to have to pray and let the Lord do the rest.” We prayed, walked in, and I set the passports on the counter. The lady behind the counter marked each piece of luggage with weight and everything. Every single bag was over and we had about 3 extra bags, on top of 3 guitars and a keyboard. She handed me the tickets and said, “Have a good flight.”
That was it… all my fretting and the Lord already had it all figured out. Sometimes the simplest answer is best one.

Monday, October 19, 2009

A dead fish over chicken and rice…

This weekend after the team left, I got to spend a few days in Quito resting up from the 8 days of ongoing work. One night as we were walking home from dinner, we saw the same lady we had seen going to dinner sitting on a little wooden plank. My heart broke for this woman and we decided to go and buy her a little dinner.
My heart was bursting with joy as we offered her chicken and rice… my heart broke as she scowled and refused the offer. I asked her if maybe her family would like it. Through gritted teeth she said, “This is all my family needs,” as she pulled out a dead, gross fish from under the board she was sitting on. We walked away with a wonderful dinner as she sat there clutching her old fish.
As we walked down the road, it hit me… this is all of us. Here is Jesus offering beautiful, delicious grace, but we would rather cling to our own way of doing it. Instead of graciously accepting the free gift that he offers, our pride makes us hold onto our works and what we can do to “earn” our own salvation. Oh how it broke my heart to walk away from this women… but just a block down was a little boy, Joe begging for food. He hungrily and excitedly accepted our small offering. As we walked away he called out to us, “Chau!” I turned around to see the biggest smile I have ever seen and a little hand stretched out to the heavens waving emphatically.
“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” – Mark 10:14-15

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Today I went to court....

Yep… that’s right. Today was cultural experience #197302. Here’s how it all started. In June my roommate Nicole came back from band practice with a black eye and no saxophone. She was supposed to play that weekend and was walking home after practice with the guys from the band. A car full of guys jumped out and one of the guys grabbed her sax. If you know Nicole at all, she is the most laid back person you will ever meet… UNLESS you try and steal her sax. My sassy friend fought her little heart and got a nice little shiner for her trouble. As they drove off, a friend of hers pulled up and they all jumped in the car and had themselves a nice little car chase in Loja! It turns out the guys got caught at the bus terminal trying to rob some other lady. What does all this have to do with me you ask?
NOTHING… except that we had to go in and testify that the sax did indeed belong to Nicole.
Yesterday (3 month later!) I received a phone call asking for Nicole. I explained to them that she wasn’t here and the man explained to me that she had to be here to testify. I then explained to him that she couldn’t because she was living in a different country and not coming back. He then informed me that I had to go in AGAIN to say that indeed the sax belonged to Nicole, even though I had already done that 3 months ago.
All that led up to this morning when Colin, Steven and I (the “witnesses” to Nicole’s sax) had to go in and testify in front of a judge and in front of the guys who robbed Nicole. The entire time I was completely nervous thinking that I wouldn’t understand the “formal” words, but it turned out to be quite funny having to stand up with my right hand up saying that I would tell the truth in Spanish (first time I’d ever done that in English or Spanish!) and explain why Nicole no longer lived in Ecuador.
Yeah… as Steven put it, I think we’ve now been through every cultural experience that there is… funerals, robberies, weddings, baby showers, and now the judicial system. Oh the life I lead :).