Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Peekaboo in the Highchair

Isaiah and Marian enjoy each other so much these days...

Near or Far- these things really matter

A few days ago, after big events in the southern part of this country influenced a gathering of students on our university, a block from our apartment complex, my heart was more broken than ever for this land. When things like this happen and piercing words are spoken just a block from our home, it tends to hit harder than when I just read about it far away. Right away I wrote a flaming blog draft, bursting with emotion, blazingly bold with risk... and my husband wisely cautioned me from posting it.

We're not here as political activists (the ones who this gov't are most eager to "show the door"), although we are here to work, bringing peace and hope. Since I don't have a full understanding of what's going on in the south, whose behind the good and the bad of what's happening there, I can't comment on it. But I do know that there is some awful stuff that's going on and I know that matters deeply to the heart of God.

As Christians, we are called to let these kinds of events- ones near and far- affect us and move us to action- to prayer and to work. In a study recently on the book of Romans, our group noted Paul's powerful example to us in praying for the Romans.... though he had never met them. I don't think this is natural. Most of us are far more concerned with the stuff in our own backyards, of course. But I think we all need to lift our eyes a bit... I know I do.

I haven't been to the south, but I am writing from the capital to tell you: PRAY. Believe me when I say there are needs worth imploring our gracious God to intervene for. There are people here, well over a billion of them (1 in 4 on the earth) and they are worth asking for Him to protect, give peace to and deliver. And I know there are needs around your corner of the earth too.

I've been thinking of Jesus telling us to be persistent, to trust him, to submit our requests for his glory and I know its good... but it does feel way beyond me. It is... it's well beyond all of us. I don't pray like I'd like... But thanks be to God for His grace. We do have "all his energy, which so powerfully works in us." (Col.1:29)

I want for me and I hope for you too, to take initiative to educate myself and bring to God the good and the bad that we learn of what's happening in the world... and as we pray for people, may God anchor us with his own great love and make our hearts more like his, full of love (the ready to go, give, serve, suffer, and die kind of love). Move us with your compassion Lord! Move us to action! Bring your peace.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Fish Party

Could it be that our baby boy is so close to manhood already? Well, manhood is a stretch ... but he is clearly well beyond "baby". Pieces fell together (by fantastic sovereign arrangement!) for Nainai ("grandma"- Matt's mom, Mary) to come for a visit and so we celebrated Isaiah's second birthday a little early with her.

Our boy is pretty into fish these days so we had a fish party. The evening started with seven of his little friends collaborating on an ocean scene on poster paper and then each contributing a fish to make the scene complete. Then we moved on to eating like fish... bobbing for apples. It didn't go over all that well, but a few brave ones followed Matt's lead to launch into the deep in search of their apples and a few were victorious! Lastly, each of the kids got to go fishing for toys- with the broom handle that Matt had rigged up quite nicely as a fishing pole. It was quite a fun evening... only would have been better to have all Isaiah's buddies and family from the states join in!

Isaiah recieved several fantastic gifts for his birthday... not that the boy was really lacking anything before- but it was still fun! His favorites: the guitar from Nainai, a bag of balls, "Mikos Town" (Isaiah's word for Music... the toy is actually "Alphabet Town", a great ABC toy imported by Nainai) and a scooter ("kuzu" to Isaiah) from Mama and Papa... we think he'll grow into it by summer :)