Saturday, October 31, 2015

Book Notes: No Fear

By Tony Perkins

This book challenged me to think about my faith in the context of political activism, and the fact that I have a right to my belief in God. I'm about as non-confrontational as they come, so my first reaction is to exercise my faith quietly. Being a Christian is becoming more and more counter-cultural, but Perkins reminded me that I still have the freedom to choose. It is okay to stand up to the majority, although not easy. Many of the people he highlights were just going about their lives. What if in my daily life I have an opportunity to stand for Christ? Would I do it? Knowing that I have the political right to stand up for what I believe, on top of the moral obligation, is encouraging.  

Not all of the stories resonated with me, but I think that the main message is true: if you stand up for your faith, you are going to get criticized and possibly persecuted politically and/or financially, but it is a God-given and Constitutional right, however unpopular it may be. Ultimately, this book dared me to have more reverence for God than fear of man.

My favorite quotes:

"For some it is little more than the inconvenience of having to stand up and defend your right to express your belief in God."

"...seeking the right to pray in public — whether you are a principal, a student, or a politician — is not an attempt to impose religion on a community or the country; it is exercising our God-given rights to live out our faith in a real and tangible way."

"There's a way to take a stand for your faith without attacking others. That doesn't mean we back down from our convictions, but that we hold to them in a loving way - in a way that respects even those who oppose us." - Rebekah 

"We need to make sure our stand for Jesus honors Jesus!"

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Beauty in the mess

Today was a messy day. Not quite a horrible awful move to Australia day, but almost. Tonight when half the chaos went to the airport and the other half fell asleep, I looked at my counter. My brain saw the mess and dirty dishes, but also these amazing roses I bought for $3.

Life is like that. All mixed up together. And I am grateful for my two little hurricanes, even on the rough days.

Raccoon is getting so big. He's six now and I can see my little boy evolving into a young man. He's still very serious but is thoughtful as well, and very giving of himself. My little man.

Kitty. I call her lay-lay, an affectionate diminutive of noisy nelly. She has her preacher grandpa's voice and is not afraid to use it! Tonight she kept asking me, "Are you fine?" and "I love you, Mama." She keeps trying to get away with calling me by my first name.

They weren't the only ones who were grumpy today but it all ended with hugs and apologies. Tomorrow we begin again.

Beautiful and crazy. My life.

P.S. Two days until Nanowrimo. No nablopomo this year. I have 50k words to write!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

How Can People Say...

...that there is no God?

This TED talk blew my mind. It is exciting and freaky all at the same time. To think of the things going on at a micro level, and the beauty and precision that God created even though we are just now able to see some of it. Amazing.

Jennifer Doudna: We can now edit our DNA. But let's do it wisely

But here is the scary part, designer babies. The wanted ones who are born is one thing, assuming there are no unintended consequences, but what about the other lives that may be discarded in the search for a certain eye or hair color? What about world-changing people like Stephen Hawking or my baby girl SB who may never be born? Where will the search for perfection take us?

Jennifer Doudna is calling for a worldwide moratorium on genome editing in embryos. I hope the scientific community will listen. She says that she feels uncomfortable outside of the lab,  on the world stage,  but she feels responsible for the technology that she co-discovered. Bravo, Ms. Doudna, thank-you.

Sunday, October 11, 2015


Kitty loves berries. I've planted 6 berry bushes for her and two mulberry trees. A friend has some bushes as well, so we went berry hunting, only to discover this large spider instead.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Living Near an Active Volcano

This last month has been stressful, to say the least. Ministry changes, illness and illness again, uncertainty about our next furlough, and personal challenges created a perfect storm of miserableness. I think, I hope, I may, see the sun peeking through the clouds tonight.

We figured out Kitty's uncharacteristic bad moods of late - 2 year molars, hives, and tummy problems. I don't know what caused the full body hives, since she hasn't had or been near any shellfish. Another allergy mystery to figure out. But she seemed happier today, especially once I stuck my finger in her mouth snd felt her swollen gums. Poor baby.

Raccoon is excited about his upcoming party. Tomorrow we will kill our turkey and two ducks in preparation for Friday's feast. We're doing a family-only party this year, since the turkey was originally meant for Christmas.

Why the premature turkey sacrifice? That question brings me to the title of this post. Our volcano neighbor has been quiet of late on the surface, but seismically active which means something is cooking. The daily government censored reports are vague, but they do list some of the scientific measurements.  Hello crash course in volcanology. VTs lessening, LPs increasing, but only slightly.

So life goes on, shopping and school and hints that a large eruption is more likely than not, brings us to last night. The King gets a late night message from a woman we've helped over the years. She says that her cousin works at the IG, our national monitoring station. Supposedly,  the experts want to raise the alert level to orange and that they expect a catastrophic eruption within the next two weeks, but the government won't change the alert because they want to avoid a panic. Then the same woman leaves us another mesaage today, distraught, that she met with her cousin today and we should evacuate to Quito if possible.

So now what? Anxiety churns my stomach even as I write this. We could go stay with my mother-in-law, us and our five dogs and a cat, for a few weeks. We are planning to go to the US for furlough in November anyway. Or do we stay home, stock up on more supplies and just avoid the most dangerous nearby town? Is this just another rumor? Can we trust the government?  Will even the experts know in time? Will the volcano behave as it's done in the past?

The problem with prophets is that only time proves them right or wrong. But we don't get to make this decision after we know, we have to choose now. Or nowish.

For tomorrow, we will stay home. Tuesday we may go to a farther away city than usual to do our errands.

What would I do if I knew for sure it was going to blow this week? Or next? I'm not sure. Lord, we need peace and a clear plan of action.

Mom, if you read this, don't stress. We're fine.

But tonight I took a slow walk around Lighthill (our land), savoring the beauty. Just in case the world has changed by morning.