Friday, June 30, 2006

perfect 10

I was a judge at this year's Kamp Kursa Bellyflop Contest.

I've never seen anything quite so perfect. Ah, the wonders of photography.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

are you English?

In the middle of one my sessions I looked at this little girl and blurted out,

"Are you English?!"


"Yes, you."

"Um, yeah. My dad is!"

"I knew it!"

And then I went on with the rest of the lesson. Weird, I know.

Afterwards, she came up to me.

"How did you know?"

"Your head."

"My head?"

"Your blond hair, lovely freckles, and your face ... your face just looks English."

That didn't seem to be enough for her. She came back to me a number of times during the younger kids camp and asked how it was I knew.

I've been known to mess with kids heads before ... it just happens ... i don't stop and think ... the words just come out!

"It says so on your forehead."


"Here, I'll show you."

I took the little girl to a mirror.

"See the little blue veins in your forehead. They spell out the word 'English'."


"See the 'E' here?" I traced out an "E" with my finger over a group of veins that very well could resemble a letter "E".


This morning before she left camp I offered to trace out the veins that spelled "English" in ink for her.

I'm just glad I won't be there when she explains to her dad why she has the word "English" written on her forehead.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

session 2

At the beginning of session two we emphasized the importance of practice in preparing for a soccer game. I lined the teams up outside and we practiced drills. These active introductions were super beneficial in successfully wearing out the kiddos enough to sit still during the discussion times.

(What the kids never found out was ... sh! I hate playing soccer. I loathe running. That's where my acting skills came in handy.)

After the drills and a race dribbling (kicking) the ball around the outside of the chapel, they returned to their seats. Practice helps prepare players for the real game. It helps them know how to react during particular situations on the field.

I shared the story about my friend C.B. when he was a missionary in Uganda. He formed a soccer team with a couple of the village kids. But they were not ordinary kids. They were orphans, unloved. No one talked to them. No one wanted to touch them. And yet, he loved them.

Here's his story:

""Soccer is the universal language spoken around the world. And so, when I began talking with Pat about starting a soccer team she was ecstatic. Just who was "Pat?" Pat was an older, retired woman from Canada who had devoted the rest of her life to the street kids of the village in Africa where I lived. The street kids (as they were affectionately known) where not only orphans, but the outcast of African society. Pat, though, would often have them stay in her home. But one past time kept them off the street and engaged in wholesome fun: you guessed it, SOCCER!

"Knowing this, Pat and I organized a makeshift soccer team consisting only of 'Pat's Kids.' After scraping together a few Uganda Shillings to buy some soccer balls and basic equipment we began to have practices at the local "pitch" (i.e.
soccer field). Needless to say, we were the talk of the town and it wasn't long before we had some formidable competition. The field was lined, the players were dripping with enthusiasm and we had one of the top referees around (me, of course) as we began our first match. I honestly cannot remember who won the game. I do recall, however, that fun was had by all.
This is the story of a couple of street kids and myself who united around a common language--soccer."

"Do you know of another person ... someone from the Bible ... that came as a "stranger" to love the unlovely, touch the untouchable, and speak to the outcasts?"

Jesus, of course.

We then read 2 Timothy 1:7-8 together followed by a discussion on what the verses mean.

7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God,

"Do you think missionaries are ever afraid?"

Discussed some things that may cause them fear.

"Do you think they are ever timid to live and speak the Gospel?"

First of all, what *is* the Gospel?

After the truth of the Gospel was clear, I moved the discussion toward why other people may cause missionaries to be afraid.

"They might be afraid of what others think of them."

"Yes, what else?"

"Some people might get angry and kill them."

"Sounds kind of like what the people did to Jesus, doesn't it?"

John 15:18-25
18 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. 21 But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. 25 But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’

"But if missionaries are living and telling the *Good News*, why would people hate them? Isn't it *good* news?"

"They hate missionaries because they are telling the people the opposite of what they want to believe."

Everyone is a sinner, which is basically a traitor against the King of kings. Man has the attitude of "I'm god. This is *my* world. And I will do things my way."

Along comes a missionary and tells them, "God made the world. Jesus is King. You belong to Him. This is what He did for you. Submit to Him as Ruler. Rely on His death and resurrection."

Uh, oh. That means that they don't get to be "god" anymore.

Return to the verse and emphasize why we do not need to fear. Fear of the world is not of God.

How can missionaries (and the kids) live in power, love, and self-control?


Read the Lesson together:
Do not be ashamed of God. Do not fear the world, but obey and love God.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

session 1

Click here for pictures of camp.

Admitedly, I was a bit pessimistic going into the whole matter. The songs were fluff. I thought the raising and lowering of the flag, accompanied by the pledge of allegiance, was inappropriate for Bible Camp. Oh ... and I was teaching kids and not women.

I'm ashamed of my nasty attitude. But ... it only lasted the first afternoon. After I began leading the kids' Missions Session, I was energized and gung ho to be used of God to reach these kids by living and speaking the Gospel in front of them.

While the girls were at craft time, I had the boys.

Seeing how the World Cup was being played in Germany (my home), I decided to use the World Cup and Soccer as my themes.

I split the boys up into two teams, had them choose a country and a fan cheer for when their team scores a goal.

Some of the countries/cheers they came up with:

South Korea - Kimchi Kimchi Goal Goal Goal
Mexico - Taco!
Italy - SpaghetiOH!
China - Shout to the Lord (the girls were trying to spiritual about it all)
Madegascar - Lemur! (I like to move it move it!)

Then I took them out to the basketball court.

What do we need to play soccer?

The kids named all sorts of things ... often shouting that a ball was needed (a plea I faithfully ignored) ... We essentially had everything we needed (except the ball) and I had half the kids on the field and the other half playing the part of the fans. Finally, it was to play.

"But, Kious! We don't have a ball!"

Smack forehead ... "Ha ha ... silly me ... um, let's see ..." Looking around all I had was a water bottle. "Here! Play with this!"

The kids kicked the water bottle around for a bit ... continuing even when the thing exploded after a particularly mighty kick, spraying water into one little boy's face ... eh, it was hot outside. No biggie!

After a couple of minutes, we headed back to the chapel.

"There are some areas of the world where children are too poor to buy a soccer ball. But that doesn't stop them from playing a sport they love. The find other things to make do, like a tin can, for example."

I had the children look up the following verses followed by a discussion:

Philippians 4:11-12
11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.

I then asked them to help me make a list of things that they LOVED about the United States.

Pizza, Hot Dogs, Movies, English, Family, Electricity, etc.

"Now, imagine you're a missionary kid in a completely different country. It's so easy for missionaries to be sad and miss the things back in their home country. How would you feel if you didn't have these things we listed over here?"


"Exactly, but if we are to be like Paul and be content (by this time the word had been defined), what can we do so that we are not focussing on what we don't have and being thankful for what God has given us?"

"You can learn the language!"

"You can eat that country's food and learn to like it just as much as you like pizza!"

etc ... the kids were brilliant.

We ended the session by reading the lesson out loud together.

"Be thankful for what God has blessed you with and do not focus on what you do not have."

Monday, June 26, 2006

kids camp

bear with me folks. i'm leaving for kids camp ... today won't be back till Saturday.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

what men want ...

1. she's hot

2. she enjoys laughing and knows how to make me laugh

3. she is my ally and support when i feel helpless

4. she is ministry-focused ... in her family, personal life, and community

5. she

get ready for this ...

"completes me"


hash it out for yourselves ... this is sort of a collaborative experiment ...

Mike thinks he knows what women want ...

I think I know what men want.

We want to see if we're right.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

i hate youth lock-ins

... but the sunrise made it all worth it ... and chatting all night with friends who were up anyway ...

Thursday, June 22, 2006

such pathetic whining ... it's pitiful

My friend Casey and I were discussing the pitiful state of popular music today (i won't even go into Christian music here!) ... particularly that song "You're Beautiful ... such pathetic whining! ugh!

That's when she made me aware of this parody.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

moment of despair

“I Do”
by Late Tuesday

I do … for a while
I promise you … at least for now
And I’ll love you forever … or until I say otherwise
But I do … for now …

Don’t these lyrics describe our culture today? We may not say these words when we vow our undying devotion but don’t our actions scream that these words are actually true?!! The world today is not the same as my mother’s or my grandmother’s. Women today are confused and lost. Where do we belong? So many of us do not fit into the traditional roles of the women who went before us.

Carolyn Cutris James, author of Lost Women of the Bible, is not afraid to ask the hard questions … questions my heart has sought answers for but out of fear has not vocalized them.

“Is there only one biblical track for women, or does God intend and take delight in our great diversity? Are women second-class citizens in God’s family, or does he value us as much as he does our husbands and brothers? Does God have large purposes for his daughters, or does his Word limit our options? Is the Bible relevant for women in the third millennium, or have we outgrown its message?”

Carolyn grew up with every intention of following the traditional steps of her foremothers.

“My life plan was clear. I would be the next in a long line of women devoted to husband, home, and hearth, volunteering countless hours of ministry in the church.”

But when ring still wasn’t on her finger after she graduated from college, she got lost.

Had God forgotten her?

“I played by the rules, dated only Christians, wasn’t wild or rebellious, read my Bible, prayed, and faithfully served the church. Yet, instead of building my life around a husband and children, I was on my own, protecting and providing for myself. Who was I as a woman and what was my purpose in life if I never married or had a family? Had I misread the Bible’s teaching about women or was something wrong with me?”

When I read these words, my heart rushed. I felt cold sweat beads form on my brow. Like Carolyn, I grew up hoping for a husband, marriage, children, ministry. Like her, I graduated from college with no prospects. Like her, I entered the workforce. Like her, I pursued a Master’s degree at seminary. Instead of caring for a home and husband, I face a life of caring only for myself.

After ten years of independence, Carolyn married. Yet, even then her ideas of traditional helpmeet were questioned.

“My husband appreciated a fine meal as much as any man. But he wanted more of me than cooking, cleaning house, and raising kids. He wanted (he says ‘needed’) the experience and knowledge I brought into our marriage. He sought and valued my interaction in his work, my counsel in decisions, and my collaboration in tackling the problems that came our way. He wanted a partner, not a dependent. Instead of rendering my career temporary, unnecessary, or possibly a threat, marriage gave my vocation, gifts, and contributions a new sense of mission.”

By this time, I was driven to my knees. Yes, Christ is sufficient … but in a moment of despair I yearned for what Carolyn had. Did I dare hope, pray for, such a man? A man who valued what I had to bring to the marriage. Or am I to continue on this journey alone?

Over the years I have invested much into the lives of others. I believed in them. Championed them. Friends, like my dearest little Dolly, were always there to return the devotion. Some, however, sucked me dry, leaving me cracked and broken.

As I contemplate this lonely road ahead of me, who will sustain me? Who will me MY ezer, my ally, my champion?

“When our lives turn out differently than we expect, when we believe we’ve missed our true calling as women or that our contributions aren’t important, it’s easy to get lost. The questions that trouble us when we’re lost in our own lives take us deeper in our relationship with God.”

Psalm 13

1 How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

3 Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
4 lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.

5 But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
6 I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

men get all gushy when they fall in love

This is an IM conversation I had earlier today:

friend says:
ha, i just heard [Ben Jelen's Christine] the other day. did you know there is also a Five Iron Frenzy song that mentions you?..

Christine says:
no ... i'll have to see if i can find it
what do you think ... is that one about me, too ... or some other chick with my name?
i can't find it
which song?

friend says:
ha, okay, so i have heard this song for years and thought the lyrics were "christine i miss you" but evidently it is "christie i miss you." The song is "Ugly Day."

I can't believe this ever happened,
I didn't think it ever could,
I'm the author of sappy love songs,
Trading in my bachelorhood.
Something snapped deep inside me,
Something that somebody said,
I felt the brush of angels wings then,
Your voice echoed in my head.

Ugly Day the sun is shining,
Every cloud's got a silver lining.
Ugly day the skies are blue,
Now every day is ugly without you.

Are the one pure thing,
That I've always prayed for.
Scales are falling from my eyes,
I must have been so blind before.
I would lie down on the street,
To keep the dust off of your feet,
I would kneel each time I kissed you,
Anything Christie I miss you.

Today was an ugly one,
Just like all the others.
All the flowers and the birds,
Making me feel smothered.
I would lie down on the street,
To keep the dust off your feet,
I would kneel each time I kissed you,
Anything Christine I miss you.

Christine says:
i always wondered that about guys
why do they get all gushy when they fall in love
it's as if ... bam! ... they all of a sudden wax eloquent
and feel a need to write poetry

friend says:
its the miracle of the inspirational muse.

Christine says:
hmm ... i'm not sure girls catch that same muse
i think they always have it
they dream of it ... etc.

friend says:
guys need inspiration. girls are it.

Christine says:
makes sense

What do you think? Why do guys get all eloquent when they fall in love?

Monday, June 19, 2006

summer update 2.0

ckhnat 2006

Sunday, June 18
return of the Dating Nazi

Saturday, June 17
the fan

Friday, June 16
charity and UFOs

Thursday, June 15
slang flashcards

Wednesday, June 14

Tuesday, June 13

Tuesday, June 13
waving at Australia

Monday, June 12
International House of Pancakes

The kids get out of school this week so things ought to be getting a bit more lively.

return of the Dating Nazi

ckhnat 2006

Sigh … there comes a time when every superhero has to reach back into the closet and dust off and iron their superhero outfit. Either the city has slumped back into a decadent state of affairs or another city is pleading for your assistance. It’s a hard life.

More and more I’m convinced that most of the dating problems in typical youth groups in churches across Christendom is more a discipleship issue than anything else. Mark Driscoll in his sermon about the Samaritan woman at the well makes an interesting insight. He states that the woman worshipped men! Her time, actions, thoughts, everything were consumed with men. Of course, it’s all speculative, but isn’t that what so many teenage girls (and single women) are consumed with.

The sufficiency of Christ is incomprehensible to them.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

the fan

ckhnat 2006

Disclaimer: You know those annoying fans that stalk their favorite band? I’m not one of those.

The first thing I did when I knew that it was certain I’d be flying out here to the Northwest was to look up Late Tuesday’s concert schedule.

June 17 – Marysville’s Strawberry Festival.

Strawberries? Excellent music? Sounds like the recipe for a fantastic day … or a great birthday gift to myself.

I woke up at six to beautiful rays of sunshine streaming through my window. It was a sign! (The odd thing about Washington is that whenever a patch of sunshine reveals itself someone in a crowded building can look out the window and point, “Look! Sun!” People have been trampled in the mass attempt to exit the building to enjoy the fleeting bit of sun … even if it was only around for mere seconds.)

Sadly, it was difficult to find a strawberry among all the hullabaloo at the festival.

Anyway … I highly recommend their latest album … even if Nathan isn’t their manager anymore … After the concert, no one was really hanging around so I went up to talk to the girls while they were taking down their equipment. Ha! It was wonderful to find out that the artists behind the lyrics that so spoke my own heart’s thoughts were as wonderful in person as I imagined them to be.

Jocelyn, Tara, and Dana are each magnificent girls. (roll eyes) I’m not just saying that from a few second conversation while getting them to sign my CD cover.

No, the girls ASKED if they could eat lunch with me. Later, we went to the outlet mall together. (No, I wasn't stalking them. "Hey! Imagine seeing you girls here!")

Saturday, June 17, 2006

charity and UFOs

Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's.

Ministries that lack proper funding break my heart. Today we went out to a women's home to help renovate a couple of the rooms. Driving up to the property the facilities were positively gorgeous! What a blessing to have such space and beauty! But upon closer inspection, the ministry would be better served if the entire facility was stripped down and completely re-built. It is a complete wreck!

And ... ahh ... what they could do with a new building!

Shame on me for pinching my pennies when it comes to furthering of the Gospel! Made me want to go on a mad rampage like Christ in the temple.

... oh, and I no longer believe that Mt. Rainier is a UFO, hovering in and out of clouds at whim like a mythical space craft. I saw it today. My bad.

Julie, an old chum from my college days, lives in Olympia and we both enjoyed the site of the distant mountain's snowy peak bathed in rose-colored rays of the sunset as we drove into town. But obviously not enough to take a picture ... so, this picture I took of the state capitol building will have to suffice.
ckhnat 2006

Friday, June 16, 2006

slang flashcards

“Kious, you have a birthday package.”

I took the parcel out of the pastor’s nieces hands and looked at the return address. January! Ahhhh! How sweet!

I ripped open the wrapping to discover a box of Slang Flashcards! Brilliant. Each looked like those goofy elementary school flashcards with the vocabulary word on the one side and then the definition, example sentence, and picture on the other side.

They provided several minutes of pure entertainment.

Imagine, if you will a 90s black and white clip art picture of a grandmother hugging a grandpa who is beaming at a birthday cake lit with candles.

The word is: Yo.

Sample sentence: "Yo! After all these years, you’re still my mack daddy!"

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Lost ...

You can say that again. I don’t know where I belong. I’m here at a church that has a total of eight youth and already has three youth workers! I feel useless, except for my warm body that is only needed to act as a chaperone on the occasional youth outing.


So, I decided to become proactive.

“Pastor Dan?”

“What is it, Kious?”

“I really long to use the gifts and calling the Lord has given me for His honor and glory. I want to help with the youth … I really do. But you’ve already got three youth workers … plus, Amanda. What if I led a midweek Bible study for women? A study that concentrated on a different woman of the Bible each session focusing on God’s grace in each of their lives. I see it becoming an evangelistic opportunity where the study could meet in one of the women’s homes and they could invite their non-Christian friends to a non-threatening environment where they can see the Gospel not only taught each time but also lived through the lives of each of the women.”

How could a pastor say ”no” …

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

modest swimwear update

Are you a woman who desires to enjoy the warmth of summer and a cool swim at the pool and hanging out with the guys?

Do you feel uncomfortable in modern swimwear because otherwise you would NEVER flit around in your underwear in public?

Have you looked online for modest swimwear but have only found something like this?

Looking for something modest but trendy or sporty?

Well, have I found the swimwear for you!

rash guard



ckhnat 2006

It’s definitely logging country up here. I snapped this shot on the way up to see the Ocean. The trucks lugging the logs reminded me of Brian Regan’s sketch about logs.

"You see weird things driving... I've never understood log trucks, sometimes you'll be out on the highway, you see two big giant trucks loaded up with logs, and they pass each other on the highway... I don't understand it. I mean, if they need logs over there... and they need 'em over there, you'd think a phone call would save 'em a whole lot of trouble."

Brian Regan

waving at Australia

It wasn’t even lunchtime by the time we finished delivering the sewing machines to the women at the half-way house.

“Fern, are we going to drive up to Bremerton and take the ferry over to Seattle, now?”

Fern turned around to see my impish, twinkling eyes. “Are you saying you want to take the long way home?”

“Oh, please!”

“Would you like to see the ocean?”

I feel like I’ve been hanging out with old women since I got here. Fern, Fran, and Gieve … we’re like a club. On the way to the ocean I asked Gieve (who is 88 years old) if she brought her bikini.

Tee hee … no, I passed that stage of my life 70 years ago! But then again I never wore a bikini then either …

No, I don’t suppose women wore bikinis in the 1930s and 1940s.

So, I saw the Pacific Ocean today (again). Amanda can vouch for me … I wasn’t waving at any hot surfer dudes … I was waving to all my friends in Australia.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

International House of Pancakes

ckhnat 2006

“What kind of food do you enjoy eating, Kious?”

This is after making a face when someone mentioned McDonalds or some other death trap.

“Oh, fruits … and vegetables … and oh, anything really … especially ethnic foods … anything that’s well-prepared I can appreciate.”

“What about fast food?”

“Salads are fast.”

Then we had our youth worker’s meeting to go over the summer calendar at IHOP.

Grease. Pancakes. Sausages. Bacon. Eggs. Syrup.

Bleh. Too much.

Is it odd to plan to go see the midnight viewing of Pirates of the Caribbean II as an official church youth event?

Just wondering.

Monday, June 12, 2006

summer update 1.0

ckhnat 2006

June 6: sleep like a Calvinist

June 7: i'm a friendly nerd

June 8: Northwest Baptist Convention

June 8: fish counter

June 9: Fern

June 10: talk like old folks

June 11: typical Southern Baptists

typical Southern Baptists

Amanda (my summer missions partner) and Kious (me)

“Good Morning.”

“Good Morning!” (congregation)

“Please turn in your hymnals to ‘Only Believe.’”

The congregation began flipping through the pages of the hymnal as the pianist and organist began the introduction. I took a breath to join in the singing exactly when a strange noise erupted behind me.

I winced, mind racing to label what makes a noise like that.

My eyes opened wide … a harmonica!

Someone behind me had whipped out his harmonica to join the music.

These older people are so adorable.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

talk like old folks

ckhnat 2006

The “One Step Closer to Seeing Jesus” Sunday School class had a picnic today. Fern and I took her van to pick up Gieve, Fran, Joan … and … um, someone else with a name from that generation. I’m convinced elderly people are all experts in anatomy, always talking about body parts and medicine.

Fern turned to me with a look of annoyance, “I hate it when they talk like old folks.”

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Washington, it's just like home

Watch out I may decide to stay.

So ... I had an opportunity to check my blog at the convention office yesterday.

Really ... cage fighting?

Who would have thought that my blog would ever become the environment for such a discussion!

I hope to give you a minimum of a weekly update.

the lamas say, hi.




If I had to choose an older woman to live with for a summer, it would be Fern. For a woman in her 70s, she’s spunky, active, and well-travelled (flew to Thailand last year for missions work) … did I mention spunky? … and has fruit trees galore.

Friday, June 09, 2006

fish counter

ckhnat 2006

“How many do you count at a time?”


“Is it good money?”

“Really good.”

“How long have you been at this job?”

“Seven years.”

“Ugh! I’d go crazy. Does your job require special training or a university degree?”

“Hold on … (at that moment a plethora of salmon swam through the narrow window) … no, no degree … just have to be able to count and correctly identify the salmon.”

“I counted 27 that time … was I right?”


Northwest Baptist Convention

ckhnat 2006
Multnomah Falls

“What is it exactly that you do here, Kim?” I asked.

Kim got a bit of a twinkle in her eye. “Missions Education and Women’s Ministry.”

“Shut up! Are you kidding me?”

“I know. Pretty crazy.”

As my friend Casey would say, “It’s positively providential.”

To think that we had driven all the way from the airport to the retreat center together and our mutual vocational passions never came up. Kim and I will be meeting later in the summer to “talk shop”.

Then I met both the Executive Director of the Northwest Baptist Convention and the Editor of the Northwest Baptist Witness. We excitedly discussed the move the convention was taking towards a more missional focus in church planting and ministry.

“How do you feel about church planting?” asked the E.D.

“It’s where my heart is.”

Thursday, June 08, 2006

i'm a friendly nerd

Summer Missionaries

I knew it! I knew it would be positively gorgeous. Last night as the plane began its decent, we passed Mt. Jefferson on the left just as the rose rays of sunset rested on the snow-covered peak. Breathtaking.

I was met at the airport by a lovely woman from the Northwest convention office. As we drove to the retreat center, we spoke of everything from the two years she ministered in Perth, Australia, to our mutual appreciation for ethnic food. I had made an immediate friend.

In the morning, the group of summer missionaries … ah yes, on a side note: I am the oldest one here … spent a better part of the day assessing our God-given talents and strengths, making it easier to determine how our time and energy might best be used for ministry of the gospel of Christ.

To summarize:

My communication talents:
Writing words (10 out of 10)
Conversing (9)
Acting (5)

My relational talent:
Multi-relational (bonding quickly to form new friendships within minutes or hours)

My functional talents:
Promoting (10)
Quick Reflex (10)
Analyzing (8)
Research (8)
Imagining (7)
Initiating (7)
Solving Problems (7)

There you have it. I’m a friendly nerd.

I’m concerned for most of these kids. The overwhelming majority of them are from either Texas or Mississippi. How many of them even know have ever experienced a Post-Christian or Postmodern culture? Will they know how to relate to the people here? To love them. To listen to their stories. To speak the Truth in love to a region that has largely rejected the validity of the Truth.

If anything, these college kids will grow and see God work in ways they could have never dreamed of back home.

To God be the glory.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

sleep like a Calvinist

ckhnat 2006

What time does your flight leave?

Who’s taking you to the airport?

Are you excited?

All questions people ask me during the days before I depart on my next big adventure.

I don’t know.

That’s generally my answer. “I don’t know.” I know the day but not the time. No one has volunteered nor have I asked anyone. Excitement? Excitement is relative. If you mean “looking forward to,” then sure. But butterflies in the stomack, the nervous, rhythmic bouncing of the knee, the inability to sit still … if that’s what you mean … then, no, I’m not excited.

To borrow the words from Mark Driscoll in his Confessions:

I sleep like a Calvinist.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

summer reading

I was humming and had had a bounce in my step all morning. In the afternoon I stopped by the campus bookstore to pick up some Summer reading ... anyone know Paul Barnett? ...

I decided to meander over to the new academic book section ...

buh buh buuhhhhhh (music of dread)

As my eye caught the books tagged with our seminary president's (Al Mohler of Together for the Gospel fame) endorsments, I noticed he said

"Every young person ought to read ..."

Getting Serious About Getting Married: Rethinking the Gift of Singleness

"Hi, Christine."

Jimmy, who works at the bookstore, walked up behind me observing my dumbfounded face.

"Jimmy, Al and Debbie are trying to marry me off!!! Why?!"

Monday, June 05, 2006

“The Single Servant of God” - 1 Cor. 7:32

“The Single Servant of God” - 1 Cor. 7:32
Dr. Howard Dial

To listen to the sermon click here.

1Corintians 7:25-35
25 Now concerning the betrothed, I have no command from the Lord, but I give my judgment as one who by the Lord's mercy is trustworthy. 26 I think that in view of the present distress it is good for a person to remain as he is. 27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife. 28 But if you do marry, you have not sinned, and if a betrothed woman marries, she has not sinned. Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that. 29 This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, 30 and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, 31 and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.

32 I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. 33 But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, 34 and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. 35 I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.

Is your gospel making a good, strong, clear witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ?


1 Corinthians 7:1-24

Paul is answering a series of questions. We don't have the questions the Corinthians had asked, just Paul's answers.

"It is good for a man not to touch a woman."

Some Corinthians advocating celebacy ... even within marriage.

Problems in the culture.
1. Matter/Physcial body is evil. Whatever the body does doesn't matter. Satisfy its appetites. Body dies at death, the soul lives on in purity. Immorality was rampant.
2. Asceticism - isolation. Removal from culture. Self-denial for self-denial sake to achieve a higher degree of holiness.

Paul is not putting down marriage in Chapter 7. Giving principals for Christians to chart their way through these issues.

vv. 1-24

(1-9) - There are sexual obligations in marriage. If you can't control your sexual desire, get married.
(10-24) - Divorce. Will not create happiness in life by simply changing your circumstances. Learn to serve God where you are. You are not going to create the joy of God in your heart by your own manipulation, your own arrangement of a new relationship.

3 Points for Singles:

1. The single life is to be lived for the exaltation of Jesus Christ.
a. our lives are to be lived for the glory of God because God is committed to His own glory. ("Be holy for I am holy.")
b. a life that's rich in the wealth of God's grace in Christ, is to be spent for God's pleasure.
c. Singles think that till they get married, something is wrong. Apt to place marriage in the place of God.
d. A life lived for the pursuit of saving one's life is a wasted life.

Mark 8:34-35
34 And he called to him the crowd with his disciples and said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it.

2. lived with one's sexuality submitted to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
a. our sexuality is a gift from God. We are created to be sexual beings in order that we may know him more fully. God describes our relationship with through sexual terminology: marriage, divorce, horedom, etc.
b. sexuality must be guarded and guided by God's Word
c. your body is not your own.

3. The single life presents challenges and temptations in order to experience the sufficiency of Christ.
a. the challenge of undisciplined living

advantages to being single - more freedom and independence; more control over your time; more control over your money; don't have to tolerate someone else's annoying habits; not as many emotional rollercoaster rides

self-discipline - is the desire to please God with all your time and resources because you love Him and want to honor him
b. the challenge of sexual temptation
knowing God deeply will protect your sexuality
c. challenge of accountability
don't live so isolated, independent, that your freedom is the occasion to sin
d. loneliness
communion with God and the company of kindred spirits
loneliness is not good but being alone may be necessary; solitude to communion with God; meditate, etc.
If you think that marriage will solve the problem of loneliness, you're on thin ice. Marriage has become an idol if you do not find your satisfaction in God.

(vv. 25-35)
4. The single life is rich with open doors for God exalted living.

Paul is aware that the Christian life is identification with Christ. Along with that comes suffering.

Severe persecution coming.

The single life provides advantages in times of adversity.

Think and Wait Principle.

not tied down; mobility and freedom; special opportunities in ministry

If you are lamenting your single life ... WHY?!!

Single life is the time for the preparation for marriage, yes.
1. need to savor your contentment in Christ
2. learn how to distinguish the wise from the foolish (read people)
3. serve God where you are
4. check your baggage through security - past hurts, sexual sin, alcoholism, submit it all to the authority of Christ and deal with it; seek godly counsel.

Marriage has its advantages. Singleness has its advantages. They are gifts.

The single life has the ability to give special attention to spiritual matters.

Time's running out. Redeeming the time before the return of Christ. Live free from the control of this age.

Life is more than marriage. Devotion to Christ comes first. Ought not to reduce devotion to Christ.

Grief - don't let sadness/emotions define you

Pause and think in the headlong rush to get married, are you really where you ought to be in relation to God? Satisfied in Christ? Using your time, money, and abilities for the honor and glory of God?

Sunday, June 04, 2006

links to me

Mike and I are attempting to come up with a proper name for his link to my blog.

I'm not a particularly enthusiastic fan of his present link title:

The Chrisian Feminazi

It's meant to be ironic.

I suggested Smashingly Witty International Woman.

He thought it was a bit too over the top.

But his next option wasn't any better ... 6 ft. Man-Eater?!!

I don't eat red meat that often.

(Do people really think of me that way?!! ... or is that just irony ... because I really do *try* to be pleasant and encouraging ... I may lack tolerance here and there ... but ... [fading off])

Well, perhaps you can help us.

Here's what others have used as their link title:

Christine is Green

Christine the Tall Girl

Christine is probably famous

My second choice was Lilting Lady of Laughter from a Place Near Lueneburg.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

prayer request

I had every reason to believe I'd be teaching high school art at a local Christian school beginning this August (except for a signed contract). I just received word from the principal *today* that the woman who taught it last year, but left for personal reasons, has decided to return to her position. My services are no longer needed.

I was disappointed. I was so looking forward to teaching art again.

But that's not the worst of it.

My lease on the apartment depends on the occupants' combined salary equalling at least three times the amount of the monthly rent. The current lease ends at the end of June. The three of us don't qualify ... not without my job.

Sure I could get a job at Starbucks ... but I leave on TUESDAY for the Pacific Northwest!

I will not return till the beginning of August.

My stuff stays ... I leave.

Please pray for me.

God is faithful ... He's proven that to me time and again. I have so many stories to tell of how He has provided for me in *impossible* moments ... not because I deserved it ... I am a sinner deserving of nothing!

Plus, my dad *and* my pastor's wife said ... "It's not like you haven't been through something like this before." (aka. have a job lined up and ready to move to a new place, 3 days before flying to new place get a call to say that the school i'd be teaching at is closing, arrive in the city with *nothing* on a Saturday. By God's grace, signed a contract with another school on Tuesday. Moved into an apartment on Thursday. and visited my next church home that Sunday.)

God is good all the time.

I need wisdom and discernment, however.

If there is any sin in me, Lord, and I am blinded toward it ... search me, O God ... reveal my iniquities to me so that I may confess and repent. Guide me and direct my steps so that I may share the glory of what you have done in my life with others. May I use my home to administer hospitality and the Gospel of our Lord Jesus. May all who enter find peace and hope. You are the Lord of this home.


Friday, June 02, 2006

the other side

Thoughts coming from the other side. At times it's appropriate to know where the person you disagree with is coming from. Particularly when it comes to issues of interpreting Scripture.

what is it like to be tall?

What are your thoughts on tall people?

For you tall individuals who read this, what are some common questions or comments people make toward you?

What are the pros and cons of being tall?

Do you have any tips for tall persons?

For those of you who are not ... do you know one? or have you seen one before?

I'm 6+ and have some funny stories, but I'd like to hear your's first.

guess who

via the Borg

Thursday, June 01, 2006

lack of faith?

My flatmate and I are unsure of ourselves about this. Thus, we wanted to bring it up to see what others thought. While both of us have a number of friends who swear by it, we hesitate because it appears to lack faith in God's provision and providence.

Why could God not use technology to work His perfect wil, you ask?

good question.

But for now, she and I are completely hands off ... she swears that she would never resort to it ... even when she turns 30.

I'm a little more open-minded ... but not much.

I'm expecting a few anonymous comments out of this post. Few people like to admit they dabble in online dating services.

Piper's do's ... not don'ts ... for women in ministry

Below is John Piper's list of "do's" found in his article A Challenge to Women. Naturally, his advice is not solely for women. However, many women often find themselves floundering about with a desire to minister to God's people but unsure of how to use their gifts and talents. At the end of his article, Piper includes a long list of ministry opportunities for women.

1 That all of your life—in whatever calling—be devoted to the glory of God.

2 That the promises of Christ be trusted so fully that peace and joy and strength fill your soul to overflowing.

3 That this fullness of God overflow in daily acts of love so that people might see your good deeds and give glory to your Father in heaven.

4 That you be women of the Book, who love and study and obey the Bible in every area of its teaching. That meditation on Biblical truth be the source of hope and faith. And that you continue to grow in understanding through all the chapters of your life, never thinking that study and growth are only for others.

5 That you be women of prayer, so that the Word of God would open to you; and the power of faith and holiness would descend upon you; and your spiritual influence would increase at home and at church and in the world.

6 That you be women who have a deep grasp of the sovereign grace of God undergirding all these spiritual processes, that you be deep thinkers about the doctrines of grace, and even deeper lovers and believers of these things.

7 That you be totally committed to ministry, whatever your specific role, that you not fritter your time away on soaps or ladies magazines or aimless hobbies, any more than men should fritter theirs away on excessive sports or aimless diddling in the garage. That you redeem the time for Christ and his Kingdom.

8 That, if you are single, you exploit your singleness to the full in devotion to Christ and not be paralyzed by the desire to be married.

9 That, if you are married, you creatively and intelligently and sincerely support the leadership of your husband as deeply as obedience to Christ will allow; that you encourage him in his God-appointed role as head; that you influence him spiritually primarily through your fearless tranquility and holiness and prayer.

10 That, if you have children, you accept responsibility with your husband (or alone if necessary) to raise up children who hope in the triumph of God, sharing with him the teaching and discipline of the children, and giving to the children that special nurturing touch and care that you are uniquely fitted to give.

11 That you not assume that secular employment is a greater challenge or a better use of your life than the countless opportunities of service and witness in the home the neighborhood, the community, the church, and the world. That you not only pose the question: Career vs. full time mom? But that you ask as seriously: Full time career vs. freedom for ministry? That you ask: Which would be greater for the Kingdom— to be in the employ of someone telling you what to do to make his business prosper, or to be God's free agent dreaming your own dream about how your time and your home and your creativity could make God's business prosper? And that in all this you make your choices not on the basis of secular trends or yuppie lifestyle expectations, but on the basis of what will strengthen the family and advance the cause of Christ.

12 That you step back and (with your husband, if you are married) plan the various forms of your life's ministry in chapters. Chapters are divided by various things—age, strength, singleness, marriage, employment choices, children at home, children in college, grandchildren, retirement, etc. No chapter has all the joys. Finite life is a series of tradeoffs. Finding God's will, and living for the glory of Christ to the full in every chapter is what makes it a success, not whether it reads like somebody else's chapter or whether it has in it what chapter five will have.

13 That you develop a wartime mentality and lifestyle; that you never forget that life is short, that billions of people hang in the balance of heaven and hell every day, that the love of money is spiritual suicide, that the goals of upward mobility (nicer clothes, cars, houses, vacations, food, hobbies) are a poor and dangerous substitute for the goals of living for Christ with all your might, and maximizing your joy in ministry to people's needs.

14 That in all your relationships with men you seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit in applying the Biblical vision of manhood and womanhood; that you develop a style and demeanor that does justice to the unique role God has given to man to feel responsible for gracious leadership in relation to women—a leadership which involves elements of protection and care and initiative. That you think creatively and with cultural sensitivity (just as he must do) in shaping the style and setting the tone of your interaction with men.

15 That you see Biblical guidelines for what is appropriate and inappropriate for men and women in relation to each other not as arbitrary constraints on freedom but as wise and gracious prescriptions for how to discover the true freedom of God's ideal of complementarity. That you not measure your potential by the few roles withheld but by the countless roles offered. That you turn off the TV and Radio and think about...

The awesome significance of motherhood

Complementing a man's life as his wife

participate and change

"A boy looks on and observes the world. A man participates and brings about change."

quote courtesy of the Borg