Tuesday, September 25, 2007
...harshly torn apart, separated for two weeks...reunited under the same of name of community...
They looked upon each other with sheer delight & rejoiced at the beauty of their friendships
Until that cold, dreary Tuesday morning...
Rehearsal was progressing nicely. There was a strong camaraderie between the teams
...or so they thought.
It all changed when the lunch bell rang. They exchanged delightful comments during the course of their noontime meal...both basking in the beauty of the lunch meat, pretzels, and eliquent conversation.
A group of individuals vacated the building, leaving good memories with the people still inside....BUT thieft was fresh on their minds...In walking outside, the individuals began to covet after a particular motorized vehicle, kindly known as Luther.
(* Let the record show...that Luther was a very special motorized vehicle and so the group of coveting thieves were overcome with emotional bitterness at the cold reality that Luther would never be theirs. They struggled with the acceptance of reality and in a moment of weakness....allowed their bitterness and feelings of strong emotion take over)
Unbeknownst to the owners, their beloved Luther was taken right out of their grasp. They soon realized upon exiting the building, that they had been seriously and unforgivably wronged. Being the mature individuals that they were, they decided that anger would not be the path they would chose to tread, but instead, revenge, sweet revenge.
Nocholantly the scheming began. It was obvious to the wronged, that the thieves needed to be taught a lesson. No one, I mean, NO one, could steal a piece of their heart and get away with it.
As these poor distressed individuals arrived at their destination in a beat up, deterioriting, sadly pathetic, and floor stained motorized vehicle, they purposefully parked in a most inconvinient and remote area of the deserted parking lot.
Joy filled their hearts when they saw that Luther, although traumatized, was still alive and well! Knowing full well, the extent of the malicious behavior of the thieves, they decided, as a preacaution, and safe guard against further attack, to temporarily sacrifice the ability for Luther, to fulfill his man made duty. And so, wires were to be crossed. It was difficult to cause pain to a dearly loved motorized vehicle, but they knew, it was for the best.
With eager anticipation they ran through the doors of the religious building, happy that Luther was safe and their future looked bright. But then, they remembered, times of sweet fellowship, of kping, and playing apples to apples, and laptop parties at coffee houses and the pain that being seperated for two weeks had caused these two groups of people. So, being, the amazing and benevolent individuals they were, they decided, to...... green line!
So they treated the thieves with kindness, and love, and compassion and remembered above all, to never gloat about having the newest, biggest, and best, motorized vehicle ever.
Life lesson= Jesus.
Even though... I'm pretty sure the answer is squirrels!
We love you guys! Consider yourselves Pung yaued!
To all thieves and wronged,
Vanita and Michelle ( 2 out of 4 coolest homeschoolers in the Full Time program)
Thursday, September 20, 2007
We played at our first correctional center today. It was so sweet to worship with these guys who love God with all thier hearts. It was also so humbling to be there. You go in thinking that you have some corner on God or Christianity. At least for me I've never been to jail or "sinned" that much. I mean, I was homeschooled, I'm perfect right... ;) But then I realized after seeing these men who love God so much that thier faith is much more child-like and honest than mine has ever been. They know that they NEED God. I'm rather jelous of them, I wish I had that kind of faith.
I guess I kind of knew what to expect. I've done prison ministry with CTI in Mexico and have been blessed. Still, it continues to astound me how God fills me up with His love and grace in these moments.
We simply sang a few songs, performed a drama, not that big a deal. But the appreciation on these men's faces was sincere. I guess I should say, MY appreciation for them and their ministry was sincere.
These men come from all different backrounds, they've made all sorts of choices, choices that I make everyday as well. Who knows but God all their lives have entailed?
As I listened to their prayers, prayers for their children, for soldiers in Iraq, for Israel, for us.... yes they were praying for US and our ministry and for the people we will be ministering too, I almost cried. God is so amazing isn't he? His grace amazed me tonight. So how fitting to close the evening out we sang about it
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
that saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I'm found was blind
but now I see
Hallelujah grace like rain
falls down on me
hallelujah all my stains
are washed away
I feel encouraged now to return to training. My purpose is clearer, it's simply this: to be available for God, whatever He wants of me...
Knowing full well in all of this, without His grace...I am nothing... Paz todos!
Can't wait to see 14:21 and chat about your road experience!
this is Vanita signing off....
On another note, I came across this in devo's today and really wanted to share.
1 O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
Dang son, The God who created everything in existence is in LOVE with you. Do you know that?
I forget it far too often.
Monday, September 17, 2007
Saturday, September 15, 2007
1. We ate dinner at the world's first Pizza Ranch. (Hull, IA)
2. Vanita had her very first cafeteria lunch.
3. We went over Sioux Falls in a barrel (Well.. okay... maybe we didn't go over them... but we did see them..)!
4. We witnessed the Iowa Firefighters Convention parade. This is a once a decade opportunity!
5. We've learned to communicate using only a series of gurgles, squawking noises and eye contact.
Oh... there are so many more things we've done that I can't capture in this blog. On a more serious note though, there have been tons of things we've just in this short week. Personally, I am totally overwhelmed by the hospitality we've received. In the towns we've been to, there were always people there, waiting to open their homes to us and offer us love for the short time we're there. If you were to ask me how I've seen God moving in this past week, I would tell you it was through the people we encounter. Whether it was the host families, the contacts we've had at churches and schools, or just the people we talk to after a concert, I've heard God speak to me through those people. Sometimes it's words of encouragement, shared wisdom, or just an enthusiasm about our message, but in all of it, I am reminded that God is moving all over this world, and we are privileged to be part of the movement. It's also great to know that it's a universal movement and that you are all part of it as well! Ta ta for now!
P.S. To 1421- Vanita is about to post a picture from me to let you know we were thinking of y'all. To all of the non-Canadians on the team, you're included in this... we just didn't think to take a picture of the American flag as well!
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Monday, September 10, 2007
LAURA... (well, just Laura I guess):
MATT (IL) SHOWS CORN TO JOE (CA) AND JOE (NY):
GOMEZ GETS SCHOOLED:
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video must be worth... well... a lot more:
Friday, September 07, 2007
As I write this from the "front" desk at the cti ministry building I can see Eliot and Matt playing hackie sack outside, Michelle is walking back and forth in front of me with her macbook, Vanita is walking up the stairs singing, Deshi is in her cubicle behind me "working" (i say "working" because having just got a wallpost on facebook from her I wonder how much work goes on in there ;) ) and there is an unmistakable buzz in the building because we are hitting the road for our first tour tomorrow!
There are so many things going on right now, and I don't have anywhere close to the amount of downtime to write them out on here...but I just want to ask for your prayers for the team and myself as we head out into the literal unknown to gain "context" on what we've been having drilled into us for the last 3 weeks of training.
Brooke just High fived me for buying her the tackiest socks ever at the dollar store.
David Lanning just walked by, poked his head into Chris Reeds office, looked at his watch, and then ran down the stairs.
I never ever ever thought I could be one for insane schedules and pressure, for 3 hour long recruiting meetings, or for ALOT of hard work day in and day out (packing up and loading stages into trailers, constant errands, paper work, rehearsal, concerts, recruiting, and rinse and repeat)...but as michelle walks in the front door and flashes her awkward home schooler smile, and as eliot comes in...followed by brad probably heading down to the hangout spot in the team room, I can sit back and know that amidst all this craziness, I am finally home.
Anyways, here are a very SMALL amount of pics of life at training the last 3 weeks through my eyes...
Monday, September 03, 2007