Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Baby Blue Hope

Dryness. stark. crumbling walls. The brown road was empty except for the baby blue car. It stood out in pointed contrast against the drab scenery. The car seemed to have been washed and polished for the occasion and the hood was crowned with a lavish bouquet of flowers. The marriage car for a newly wedded Iraqi couple.

Looking over Phoebe's shoulder at the creamy photo album I listened closely to the young woman's accented English as she recounted the events of her wedding day. There were many pictures of this Middle Eastern beauty in her shimmering wedding gown, and of all her many relatives dressed in their best Iraqi garb.

"Did you know your husband before you married him?" I asked
"No, I met him when he came to ask my family for my hand." She seemed happy and content - married this man for now three years with two little children.

In the space of three years she became a wife to a man she didn't know, set aside her career as a chemical engineer, became a mother of two boys, and entered this strange country of America as a refugee.

I wonder about the shy tired hope in her eyes. Her life journey from the baby blue flower-decked car, and her heart. I wondered about her heart most of all. For much of it is entwined with the other side of the globe - with the family she left. The world is exponentially wider and more unknown, yet I can see the baby blue hope of a new life blossoming again.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Singer on the Sand

Preface: I have decided to do a series of blogs on inspiring books. Some of my favorites as wel as current literature explorations.

Singer on the Sand is (to-date) my all-time favorite mission story. I have read it every few years throughout my life - most recently this past summer to my junior girls at Camp Cherokee.

It begins with this beautiful description of an island sunrise...

"The sun had not yet risen above the hills of Great Sangir, but already the first bright light touched the volcano and tipped it with purple fire. The lower part of the smoking mountain still lay in shadow, and its buttresses ran out into the ocean like the green, mossed-over roots of a giant stump, rotted away to a dull point."

And so begins the day of the arrival of a missionary family to this remote tropical island. This peaceful begining soon churns into an incredible acount of a spiritual battle that climaxes in a volcanic eruption and a massive tidal wave that threatens to destroy the entire village.

This story brings a whole new meaning to Martin Luther's "A might fortress is our God." You will find yourself singing the island translation; "A mighty mountain is our God. A wall that will not falter", and believing with a deeper level of faith then you previously thought possible.

Click here for the first several chapters in the book Singer on the Sand for a more complete prelude. Or look for it in a library near you!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


At the beginning of the summer my little brother and I decided to do the triathalon together, and we've talked about it off and on since then.
This sabbath when I went to his concert at GCA I asked "Are you ready for tomorrow?"
"What's tomorrow?" He nonchalantly replied.
I love my Nathan!
Pumped to be racing!
Shaila running Nathan in
Joel running Christy in
1/2 a mile swim, 18 miles mountain biking, and 4 miles of running later....
Proud to be done!
Minnows Gullet - my last minute team - am I the minnow? I forgot to ask how they came up with the name!
To: God for the ability to race - and who inspires my heart every step!
To: my family who always cheers me on!
To: brother Nathan - my lifelong buddy!
To: my amazing roommate for all the great tips and borrowed gear!

GCA Sabbath

My sisters adopted siblings

Angelina - the youngest trying not to be photogenic

Nathan / quartet - I love hearing my little brother sing!

Sneaky Friends!

My sister has incredible friends! And I am blessed to know them! During that I was pondering what to do for her birthday I was invited to her birthday party hosted by her music theory buddies :)

They wanted to keep it small and surprise her - and surprised she was!
As she got out of the car after being kid-napped to the student park she was greeted by a congregational Happy Birthday from across the street at the In Tents meetings!
It was for Anaya - Dr. Parkers little girl - but we couldn't hear whose name they said!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sheer Gratitude

The maestro strides onto the stage to the applause of the thousands seated in the concert hall. The orchestra members stand to their feet (except the cellos) and at the sweep of his arm and begin to play the rousing melody of our national anthem. It is the opening night of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra concert season.

From where I am seated at the top of the second balcony I join the audience as they surge to their feet in response. The voices of thousands spontaneously join the instruments and the hall reverberates with the resounding chorus. My voice blends into the cascading sound of voices - so many ethnicities who have found America to be the "land of the free, and the home of the brave."

The air is tangibly charged with an electric excitement as the last chord fades into the stillness. And so the stage is set for an exquisite concert of the Russian composers Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff.

My heart attempts to picture the arcs of heaven resounding with the voices of those who finally reach our homeland. The powerful beauty of heavenly music is incomprehensible - if human minds could write such stirring works of art - who can imagine the angelic orchestra and choir? A feeling far deeper then idealistic patriotism will race through our being. The tender soul-thrilling melodies will envelop us into the essence of the song.

I try to imagine my voice blending into the soaring wings of that music. So many ethnicities who have found Heaven to be the land of the free.

Sheer gratitude.

I do not deserve to hear such glorious sound, let alone be one of the singers, but the Maestro has composed notes for me to sing.

So I shall sing them.

"I looked again. I saw a huge crowd, too huge to count. Everyone was there - all nations and tribes, all races and languages. And they were standing, dressed in white robes and waving palm branches , standing before the throne of the Lamb and heartily singing: Salvation to our God on His Throne!
Salvation to the Lamb!"

Revelation 7:9, 10 ~ The Message