Thursday, February 26, 2009

12-year-old speaks out on the issue of abortion

Despite being threatened with disqualification for her controversial topic, 12-year-old Lia chose to deliver this speech for competition at her public school in Toronto — and won! Now her eloquent defense of life has been viewed almost 400,000 times on YouTube — and even saved a baby’s life.

Funny or Not? Vol. 14

I Love things like this...Enjoy!

1. On a blanket from Taiwan - NOT TO BE USED AS PROTECTION FROM A TORNADO.

2. On a helmet mounted mirror used by US cyclists - REMEMBER, OBJECTS IN THE MIRROR ARE ACTUALLY BEHIND YOU.

3. On a Taiwanese shampoo - USE REPEATEDLY FOR SEVERE DAMAGE.

4. On the bottle-top of a (UK) flavoured milk drink - AFTER OPENING, KEEP UPRIGHT.

5. On a New Zealand insect spray - THIS PRODUCT NOT TESTED ON ANIMALS.

6. In a US guide to setting up a new computer - TO AVOID CONDENSATION FORMING,

8. In some countries, on the bottom of Coke bottles - OPEN OTHER END.


10. On a Sears hairdryer - DO NOT USE WHILE SLEEPING.

11. On a bag of Frito's - YOU COULD BE A WINNER! NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. DETAILS INSIDE. (The shoplifter special?!?)

12. On a bar of Dial soap - DIRECTIONS - USE LIKE REGULAR SOAP. (And that would be how?)

13. On Tesco's Tiramisu dessert (printed on bottom of the box) - DO NOT TURN UPSIDE DOWN. (Too late! You lose!)

14. On Marks & Spencer Bread Pudding - PRODUCT WILL BE HOT AFTER HEATING. (Are you sure? Let's experiment.)

15. On a Korean kitchen knife - WARNING: KEEP OUT OF CHILDREN.

16. On a string of Chinese-made Christmas lights - FOR INDOOR OR OUTDOOR USE ONLY. (As opposed to what?...use in outer space?)

17. On a Japanese food processor - NOT TO BE USED FOR THE OTHER USE. (Now I'm curious.)

18. On Sainsbury's peanuts - WARNING - CONTAINS NUTS. (Really? Peanuts contain nuts?)

19. On an American Airlines packet of nuts INSTRUCTIONS - OPEN PACKET, EAT NUTS. (I'm glad they cleared that up.)

20. On a Swedish chainsaw - DO NOT ATTEMPT TO STOP CHAIN WITH YOUR HANDS. (What kind of consumer phone-call led to this warning?)

21. On a child's superman costume - WEARING OF THIS GARMENT DOES NOT ENABLE YOU TO FLY. (That's right, destroy a universal childhood fantasy!)

22. On some frozen dinners: SERVING SUGGESTION: DEFROST. ( OK lets eat it frozen!!!)

23. On a hotel provided shower cap in a box: FITS ONE HEAD.

24. On packaging for a Rowenta iron: DO NOT IRON CLOTHES ON BODY.

25. On Boot's "Children's" cough medicine: DO NOT DRIVE CAR OR OPERATE MACHINERY.(Kids no more driving)

26. On Nightly sleep aid: WARNING: MAY CAUSE DROWSINESS. (Duh!)

Do Hard Things Challenge 6

I find collaboration to be one of the toughest things. Dealing with different personalities, who gets the credit, dividing responsibilities, trusting others to carry their weight can make us want to say “I’ll just do it on my own.” Let's look at why we should be willing to collaborate, the benefits of collaboration and the dangers of doing things "Lone Ranger" style.

The Truth about Collaboration

Truth 1: God made us relational (Genesis 2:18)
-Having a mate would make Adam’s job in the garden more easily accomplished
-Adam was given a “helper”

Truth 2: Isolation breeds self-centeredness and conceit (Proverbs 18:1)
-self-centeredness-seeks his own desire
-conceit-thinks he knows well enough to ignore wise advice

Truth 3: Collaboration has advantages
a. Higher return on investment of time and energy (Ecclesiastes 4:9)
b. Practical support (Ecclesiastes 4:11)
c. Strength to stand against opposition (Ecclesiastes 4:12)
d. Accountability (2 Timothy 2:21-22)
e. Motivation (Hebrews 10:24)
f. Encouragement (Hebrews 10:25)

Do you think 2 Timothy 2:22 limits who we should collaborate with? Obviously some short term projects can be accomplished with almost anyone. Collaborate on a school project with whoever the teacher assigns you to work with. Repair a broken toilet with any neighbor or friend.

Psalm 1:1-2 and Proverbs 13:20 also give us some insight into the question of who to collaborate with. I think the Bible is very clear that long-term, life consuming, extended collaboration needs to be with brothers and sisters in Christ. Some examples would be bands, business partnerships and marriage. If you collaborate with people who do not know Christ then you forfeit a majority of the advantages discussed before (encouragement, accountability, and strength to stand against opposition for instance).

When you collaborate, think about what will motivate and encourage the church and what will bring Glory to God.

Is there anything you have always wanted to do but just seemed too big for you to do it on your own?

Joey Update Vol. 9

Hello all. I have returned from a journey, a necessary journey off the very
continent where I live and work. I traveled to another country to received
the next of the "just in time" training so important to my task. This was
held in AMS, my frequent way station, and was very much appreciated. It was
a break from my five month stretch in country as well as a time of good
learning. Let me tell you a bit a about it.

We began with stories. We are all story driven people or so we will hope we
become as this project continues. All the training was done orally, in story
format, and writing was not allowed past drawing pictures as a memory aid-
badly, by me. We storied through the Acts in hopes of learning some of the
great nuggets the Book has to teach about planting reproducing house groups.
It was a lesson in modeling the stories and the very method of learning,
which we were to take back to our respective lands and put into practice.
This was taken over two weeks and the climate change was very different both
ways. Cold and rainy (and sometimes even snowy) directly opposed to the hot
and dry clime where I live and work. Still I was happy to see the snow this
year and thanked the Father for sending me some. The in between times of
listening to stories and learning others to tell, was spent in good
fellowship or sightseeing and p'ayerwalking. This we did most every day as
it is a most vital part of our work. It is about having a conversation
between partners (who are seen plainly) and between the Wind (Who is not
seen as plainly).

So, after this training time, we boarded a few planes (the second of which
was the smoothest transition I've yet known- praise Him!) and returned to
our land. We set almost immediately to implementing those things we learned
at training. Already our goal of having a story told, recorded and
translated back to a tongue nearer to our native one is roughly
accomplished. We are excited for the process and the progress and already we
have seen a few good signs that the process works. Let me explain.

As we told the first story, we asked a few basic questions that some of you
have heard already. The first person we told them to answered the questions
and pulled out other questions we had not even considered! This happens in
storytelling of course but it is always amazing to me that it consistently
happens. We all learn together through the questions and each person with
their point of view brings out a new element we did not know was even there.
But my favourite part of this first session was when he asked his own
questions and that he was free to ask! This last part is the most important
as it might be a clash with the culture that relies more on rote
memorization and less on asking questions.

Needless to say, I was encouraged
as the process began.

In this please be lifting up our work. Here's the du'as:
-further language learning -always
-the Process of telling and retelling and recording and translating back and
testing stories- we're story driven see?
-for still more people of our PG with which to meet and build relationships

As for the Hamdu's, they are many but here are the basics:
-Peace reigns in our land, which was not case last year.
-The first of the process has gone well and looks promising.
-On their way back to country, a family was coming who had a little girl. At
the airport, not a few hours from departure, the little girl had a seizure.
They went to the hospital and stayed doing tests in Fr. For a few weeks
before returning to the US. The doctors in Fr. advised they stay out of
country permanently as seizures cannot be treated well here. The US doctor
did further tests and as a second opinion said there were no abnormalities
to be found in the little girl. This, the doctor said, could give them
clearance to return to country after a month of seizure free time. So far so
good. The interesting thing though is the US doctor said there was something
in the room in Fr. that caused this scan to come up abnormal. Again the scan
taken in the US was clear of any abnormalities. Perhaps the p'ayers offered
up consistently for this family banished the presence of those
abnormalities. In any case, it is still a request but still a praise at this
good turn of news.

Thank you all for bearing with me. I will write again when I have

-Youssef Mungare

PS: This last epithet I have chosen myself. It means "son of the king" which
indeed I am, if only by that great adoption. I chose it in preference over
Youssef Dungus, a name clapped me by one who called himself "prince". This
last name is rather common here and means "trash pit", a sort of luck charm
against pride and other harmful things- the thought being if you're named
"dungus" you'll be less noticeable to those evil forces.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Immersed in Verse Vol. 2

"Until There is no Tomorrow"
From the Album Deconstruction
by Justin McRoberts

Sing like sparrows, Dream like heroes
And love like the bright sun
Ever warm, ever present.

Live your days in grace
May you die in that same way
Until there is no faith and no hope is known
Until there is no more tomorrow

Sleep unguarded but guard the sleepless
And love like the rain does
Never mind which ones are righteous

May you die in grace
May you live in that same way
Until there is no faith and no hope is known
Until there is no more tomorrow

Father glorious
To the Spirit and the Son
As You ever were so You will ever be
In a world without ending

Do Hard Things Challenge 5

So often we live with a VERY LOW bar of expectation. We find ourselves continually meeting expectations, but never raising the bar to a new level of challenge. Instead we do whatever we can to get away with doing the least we can and still "succeed". This may be in our school work, chores, relationships, obedience, or in our walk with Christ. We choose not to be challenged. We choose not to raise the bar. We choose not to live up to Christ's expectations.

But what are Christ's expectations? What do they look like? We get a good feel for what Christ expects when we look at Matthew 5:38-48

Truth 1: Christ’s expectations are opposite (v39, 44, 46-47)
-different from, and often opposite to, man’s expectations
-Key Phrase: “But I say to you”

Truth 2: Christ’s expectations are selfless (v39-42)
-lead us to consider a person’s spiritual and physical needs over our own.
-not retaliating as an example of Christ in our lives, giving freely, praying for someone that others would say “don’t deserve it.”
-Christ's commands to "Love your neighbor as yourself" and "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" are impossible if we are living selfishly.

Truth 3: Christ’s expectations reflect God’s character (v44-45)
-Key Phrase-”so you can be sons of your father in heaven”-Have you ever heard the phrase "you are your father's son"? It basically means that, based on the characteristics I see in you, I know who's you are. Shouldn't people be able to see God our Father in us so much that they say "you are your Father's son"?

Truth 4: Christ’s expectations are individually unreachable (v48)
-That’s why he gave us the Holy Spirit and the Church! But how often do we really rely on the Helper that Christ promised us and delivered to us? How often do we lean on the Body of Christ during the week (outside of Wednesdays and Sundays or people in our immediate family?) We can't expect to live up to the HIGH bar that Christ has set without utilizing the helpers Christ has given us.

You might be wondering where in your life you have failed to raise the bar at all, let alone to a Christlike level. These 5 questions provided by the authors of Do Hard Things (Alex and Brett Harris) will help you see where you need to raise the bar. I challenge you to do it and see what happens!

5 Questions for Evaluation

1. What areas of my life do I not care about that I know I should care about?

2. In what areas have I fallen short of God’s standards and my own potential?

3. In what areas have I settled for just getting by when I know I could do better if I really tried?

4. In what areas have I decided that things “will always be this way” without ever putting in the kind of effort that really changes things?

5. If you decided to measure every area of your life by “excellence, not excuses,” what kinds of changes would the people around you start to notice?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Contemplate & Consider Vol. 7

From How People Change by Timothy S. Lane & Paul David Tripp

A good "poem" to start your day:

Each morning that greets me is full of hope
Not because I am successful at what I am doing,
Or because the people near me appreciate me,
Or because circumstances are easy,
But because God is, and he is my Father.
To look at the morning any other way
Is to believe a lie.
To live in hope is to live in truth;
To live in truth is to bring him glory;
To bring God glory in my daily living
Is the highest form of worship.

How People Change. Timothy S. Lane & Paul David Tripp. 2006 and 2008 New Growth Press. Page 195.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Immersed in Verse Vol 1.

Here is a new feature where I will post song lyrics or poetry. Read it, contemplate it, and comment on it. Some will be good "Biblical" ideas and some may not, so don't go into this narrow minded or naive. Really think and let us know what that thinking is!

"Four Word Letter (Pt. Two)" by mewithoutyou
From the Album Chase for Us the Foxes

I wrote a four word letter... with post-script in crooked lines,
"Though I'd lived I'd never been alive."
And you know who I am... you held my hem as I traveled blind,
Listening to the whispering in my ear, soft but getting stronger,
Telling me th
e only purpose of my being here is to stay a bit longer.
Stealing a bicycle chain as the handlebars crashed to the ground,
And the back wheel detached from the frame, it kept rolling, yeah,
But aimlessly drifting around.

Oh, doubters, let's go down... let's go down, won't you come on down?
Oh, doubters, let's go down... down to the river to pray.
"Oh, but I'm so small I can barely be seen... how can this great love be inside of me?"
Look at your eyes.... they're small in size, but they see enormous things.

Wearing black canvas slippers in our frog-on-a-lily-pad pose,
We sewed buttons and zippers to Chinese pink silk and olive night clothes.
If you could someday stop by somehow we'll show you the pictures and fix you some tea...
See, my dad's getting a bit older now, and just unimaginably lonely!

Oh, pretenders, let's go down... let's go down, won't you come on down?
Oh, pretenders, let's go down... down to the river to pray.
"Oh, but I'm so afraid" or "I'm set in my ways"
But He'll make the rabbits and rocks sing His praise.
"Oh, but I'm too tired, I won't last long."
No, He'll use the weak to overcome the strong!
Oh, Amanda, let's go down... let's go down, won't you come on down?
Mama, Nana, let's go down... down in the dirt by the river to pray.

(A wick to fit the wax... wood to fit the wire)

You strike the match... why not be utterly changed to fire?
To sacrifice the shadow and the mist of a brief life you never much liked?
So if you'd care to come along, we're gonna curb all our never-ending, clever complaining,
As who's ever heard of a singer criticized by his song?
Though we hunger, though all that we eat brings us little relief,
We don't know quite what else to do;
We have all our beliefs, but we don't want our beliefs...
God of Peace, we want You.

Do Hard Things Challenge 4

This week's challenge is to get out of that comfort zone you've been in for so long. Here are a few thoughts about comfort zones:

1: Fear hinders faith but Faith overcomes fear
2: Your willingness or unwillingness to leave your comfort zones is a measure of the depth of your Faith.
3: Your excuses for not stepping outside your comfort zone speaks volumes of what you believe about God.
4: "God works through our weaknesses to accomplish his big plans"
5: "Courage is not the absence of fear"
6: "You can’t get to success without risking failure"

There were some great quotes in Do Hard Things last week. Here are a few for you to ponder.

"...our comfort zones [are] nearly always built of fear.” (p69)
“ can’t live by fear and live by faith at the same time. “ (p69)
“...fears are usually just well-concealed lies.” (p69)
“...a comfort zone is actually a miserable place.” (p70)
Staying inside your comfort zone is “essentially refusing to surrender [your] life fully to God.” (p70)
“And by our actions, we’re also saying that God isn’t good and powerful enough to help us do what we can’t comfortably do on our own.” (p71)
“shyness is a form of selfishness” (p72)
“Letting fear control your actions is a statement of distrust in the goodness of God” (p77)

Finally, what are we really saying when we stay in our comfort zones?

When I Say:
1. I’m not as good at something as someone else (p72)
2. I don’t have all the resources I think I need (p72)
3. I figure that the chances of failing and looking like a loser are too high. (p72)

I am Really Saying:
1. God only uses the best and brightest (p72)
2. He only uses me when every last thing is in place (p72
3. He only brings glory to Himself when I...bring glory to myself (p72)

This week be a zone breaker. Have that conversation you’ve been avoiding. Sit with that person you’ve been ignoring. Tell your parents what you appreciate about them. Confront that sin you’ve been coddling. Start that project that seems beyond you. Remember this is the first step to doing hard things!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Contemplate & Consider Vol. 6

From How People Change by Timothy S. Lane & Paul David Tripp

On how the church helps us live with integrity:

"The cross not only frees me from my slavery to sin, it opens me up to the resources of God's grace. One of those resources is the body of Christ. If I am encouraged that the ultimate Helper lives within me, I will take advantage of all the resources he gives me in the body of Christ. I will not live independently. I will take advantage of biblical teaching available to me. I will seek the fellowship of a small group. I will ask to be shepherded by my elders. I will pursue the wisdom of mature brothers and sisters. I will try to benefit from the accountability a close friend can provide. And I will take advantage of all of these resources by being honest about my struggles of heart and behavior."

How People Change. Timothy S. Land & Paul David Tripp. 2006 and 2008 New Growth Press. Page 190.