17 November 2007

quote of the day

Reinhold Niebuhr's, in his book The Irony of American History, wrote, "Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore, we must be saved by hope. Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore, we must be saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, could be accomplished alone; therefore, we must be saved by love. No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as it is from our own standpoint; therefore, we must be saved by the final form of love, which is forgiveness."

13 November 2007

first morning back

I had to agree with Maia when she mentioned this morning that she finds it hard to believe that we are actually going to live here in the USA. So far it feels like a holiday. I enjoyed watching TV this morning, especially the commercials. Feels like New Zealand on speed. Everything is bigger, brighter, newer, faster. Is that good or bad? It depends. Some of it I welcome, like food convenience and shopping choices. Other things are a bit scary, like how much fast and junk food are readily available and how easy it is to get caught up in a shopping frenzy. Our virtues are also our vices. It's quite exhilarating. Walking the isles of Target, I can feel the adrenaline start to pump throughout my body.

Tara has mentioned a verse that has resurfaced in her life. I believe it is from Ezekiel, but I’m not certain. I’ll have to ask her. But it mentions God bringing “showers of blessing.” It hasn’t been a stretch for her to interpret many of the events of the past couple of weeks as blessings. We have had many people reach out to us at this time -- neighbors, friends, church people and co-workers. We've also seen many things “go our way.” Don't you think: it’s so easy to blame Creator God when our desperate requests are ignored or messy situations only appear to get worse. So I guess it's only fair to “fault” him when life seems to go our way or our path get smoothed out and suddenly feels straightened out a bit. If nothing else, it should humble us, and make us reticent to cast blame. We have to affirm, “God is good. All his intentions toward us are good.” (Ezekiel 34:26)

a willingness to move

November 3, 2007

A short time ago, the high school small group that Asia attends did a little exercise. They were asked to prioritise into two columns what they were looking for in a future mate: essential and desired. The first entry in Asia’s desired column was “a willingness to move.” Poor child, she has little chance of being a normal American suburbanite housewife.

One week to go. 10 November we get on a plane back where we came from -- San Francisco, accompanied by our approximately 12 pieces of luggage. Not only are we nomadic, our possessions are transient. Last weekend we hosted a two-day garage sale. The first day, our possessions were flying out of here. Since then, we have dedicated ourselves to getting rid of nearly all we own. Nothing is exempt -- clothes, books, CDs, TV, stereo, dishes, and even stuffed animals and magnetic Pollys.

Photo "gleaned" from http://www.elaineling.com/photo_gobi_family.html