Wednesday, December 21, 2005

a homecoming

in my mind's eye: "Hometown Boy" by Over the Rhine...


HPIM0079 HPIM0080


Sitting in Cafe Chocolate in Lititz, Pennsylvania. Santa Baby, Chocolate Fountain and a steaming hot Mocha, snow on the ground and small-town Christmas cheer. Life is good. This is the time to cherish, to enjoy that hometownishness that is Lititz, where i spent the first 18 years of my life. To relish and remember every bit of family and old friends and keep it fresh in my memory - the one thing i can take with me to Namibia that i don't have to find a space in my bags for. which reminds me...I BOUGHT LUGGAGE! its so real now i can feel it. Coffee with a dear from from high school last night was priceless - meeting her two little ones and reminiscing, sharing the years of life which we have spent miles from one another, and rekindling a kinship that seems never to have ended. joy is mixed with sadness, knowing that this week at home (the home that will always be referred to as home, even though it's not - it somehow still is) will be the last for quite some time. and the joyful moments sharing time and space with moments that don't hold much joy, like spending yesterday in the hospital with my grandpa. so small, in pain and bewildered, eyes that for the moment they were open, searced my face looking for the tiniest bit he could recognize. i left with a touch of melancholy traced with hope, the kind that is stirred up by seeing a marriage full of endurance, grace and love that is so rarely witnessed in this age and culture of divorce - the American equivalent of polygamy. but the legacy i see in my family is a dear gift. i hope that no matter where you are as you read this, you are enjoying every bit of this time of year, when the air fills with Christmas, and we actually recognize it. So thankful for the birth of my Savior today...and the song that i hear right now reinforces the joy of His world...

"the colors of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky are also on the faces of people going by. i see friends shaking hands, saying how do you do, they're really saying, 'i love you'..."

so often you hear this song in conjunction with images of destruction and devastation, to somehow forcefeed sarcasm and irony. but now today, as i sit here in hometown, USA, a child of the King Jesus, saved by His gift of grace, i don't think saracasm.

i think to myself, what a wonderful world.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Rejoice! Rejoice!

Rejoice! Rejoice!

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
and ransom Captive Israel
that mourns in lowly exile here
until the Son of God appears...

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel has come to thee, O Israel!

Monday, November 21, 2005

independance day

t minus 3 and counting...

independance day is coming. lots of thoughts come to mind:
embarking on a new journey of faith. joining rank with my Church and becoming unemployed. having some things in my life finally off "hold". sleep. glorious sleep. packing and lots of it. Word of God engulf me. family Holiday time. amberpants wedding and white and smoochiemonkeyface. frequent flier miles and getting very aquainted with the skies. bring it.
sweet freedom.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Your color personality is: Yellow

Like yellow's strongest symbol, the sun, you radiate warmth. Others love to be around you because you have a gift for always looking on the bright side, and your ready smile can be infectious. Chances are your calendar is packed -- yellow lovers tend to be always on the go!
Your signature color indicates someone imaginative and creative, so don't be afraid to express yourself through the way you dress and the way you decorate your home. Cheerful yellow is the ideal hue for a kitchen, laundry room, or any room that needs some extra brightness.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

i think i broke my bum...

don't laugh. ok, you can laugh, i would if it had happened to you. ok, for real i won't say that i broke my bum, but let's just say that i can't really sit right now...i'm like leaning to the side as i type and icing the other side. i think i'm gonna have the biggest bruise ever! are you intrigued or what? ok, so i was drving up my street this morning and as i was getting close to my house i saw two dogs wandering around the road and through the yards of the houses. now they looked like dogs that somebody owns and takes care of b/c the looked clean and well groomed and they both had collars with tags. so i decided that i was would be the conscientious neighbor and animal-lover that i am, and try to get these little guys back home where they belonged. so i get home, fill a bowl with some dog food and set off down the street. after a few attempts, one of the dogs (the younger one) sees that i have food and comes right up to me, and wolfs down the food. as he was eating i got the chance to read his registration tags. i called the animal shelter and gave them the registration number and they told me the phone number and address of the dog's owner, which ended up being just two houses down and on the other side of the street from me. so i start walking down the steps with the little dog tagging behind me...then all of the sudden the dog decided he wanted to bound down the steps right in front of me and directly under my foot as it was accelerating down towards the next step. needless to say, my foot did not connect with the next step (i didn't step on the dog either, and i'm not sure how he escaped that). the next thing i do know is that i was careening down the flight of stairs, narrowly missing a fresh pile of doggy doo right next to the last step. i got up and brushed my self off, wondering just how many early-risers in the neighborhood got the pleasure of seeing that stunt. i limped accross the street, delivered the pups back home, and limped back accross the street; along with: #1) the knowledge that i had fulfilled my neighborly duty, and #2) a freaking huge bruise on my bum.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Everything's Zen

Currently reading: Utopia by Thomas More

So, I’ve been horrible at posting lately, a trend a intend to remedy right now, as I actually have plenty to wax rhapsodic about, and it is now exactly 15 minutes into FALL, the best season ever! Autumn is one of those things treasured in the Creighton household. Simply hint at changing leaf colors and hot apple cider and any one of us ladies will be putty. What could possibly be better than a season filled with crisp, cool evenings - the air scented with wood smoke, a kaleidoscope countryside of treetops, bright orange pumpkins and prickly hay bales. The soft swish, swish of leaves underfoot, strolling along bundled in a cozy sweater, just the tip of the nose slightly chilly…anticipating a good old-fashioned bonfire with S’more’s and cider and the lull of guitars late into the night. Pure joy.


The newness I’m enjoying:

About three months away from Namibia.
Striving to be a godly girlfriend. Whoa! (It’s such a good “whoa”)
Downsizing and realizing that nothing I own embodies me.
Trusting God with a lot of unknowns, understanding He has to come through.
Thankful for God’s promises, having ridden out the storm at work.
Understanding, “Vengeance is MINE, says the LORD. It is mine to repay.”
Autumn. (Of course!)

Friday, September 02, 2005

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

car for sale!

2000 FORD Focus ZX3


Color: Yellow

Engine: 4-Cyl. 2.0 Liter 16V
Trans: 5 Speed Manual
Drive: FWD
Mileage: 90,000

Air ConditioningPower SteeringPower Door Locks
Tilt WheelCruise ControlAM/FM Stereo
Single Compact DiscDual Front Air BagsAlloy Wheels

Consumer Rated Condition: Good
"Good" condition means that the vehicle is free of any major defects. This vehicle has a clean title history
, the paint, body and interior have only minor (if any) blemishes, and there are no major mechanical problems. There should be little or no rust on this vehicle. The tires match and have substantial tread wear left. A "good" vehicle will need some reconditioning to be sold at retail. Most consumer owned vehicles fall into this category.

Price: $4,330

if anyone's interested, or knows someone who's interested, let me know!

Friday, August 05, 2005

Thursday, August 04, 2005

the wild wild world of amanda

things that make me smile these days:

unexpected heart to hearts with rarely seen roomates
indian food leftovers
stifling hot and still climbing at the gym
friends' engagements
plans to visit my parents
text messages from africa
a rediscovered mix cd long left in amber's car
random questions every day
pretend hide and seek with lila in my livingroom
wedding cake blunders and eating the outcome for breakfast
the phrase "for reals" and totally made-up words like "marryable" and "upsetness"
flat-out Spirit-led WORSHIP during what we call practice

Sunday, July 24, 2005

to seize a divine moment

some of my favorites slices from "Seizing Your Divine Moment":

"The odds are irrelevant to God."

"If we are going to seize our divine moments, we must accept the reality that we have no control over many things. We have no control over when we die or how we die. We must instead take responsibility for what we do have control over - how we choose to live."

In battle: "Even when we live, it doesn't mean that the victory comes without suffering."

"The realm of uncertainty is the place of miracles."

"In fact, we are told that if our prayers do not result in an affrimative answer, it is because we didn't have enough faith. We didn't believe strongly enough... The promise of Jesus that if we ask anything in His name, He will do it, is fueled not by how strongly we believe in something, but by how we represent God's purpose and intention."

"The door we fear going through the most may be the very one where we will meet God most profoundly."

"We must remember that if we are thrown into the lion's den and we get eaten, God is still faithful."

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

carpe deim

Had coffee with j. tonight. I went to E’s early and just spent some time reading and staring out the window for a while, then he met up with me later on in the evening. its small and eclectic and it’s a nice alternative to the corporate giant and social hub that starbucks has become. plus, you can go and remain anonymous, relax, sip a latte and read a book and no one will bother you. Whereas in starbucks its nearly impossible to go without running into someone you know, usually from apex, who will chat with you. When I want socialization I go to starbucks, when I want solitude or uninterrupted conversation, I go to E’s.
So, I’m nearly finished with “Seizing Your Divine Moment” just a few more chapters I think. Its been really good, and this is the theme line that has been repeating over and over in my brain since I read it: “The realm of uncertainty is the place of miracles.” God has already been using it to call to mind a lot of moments He is placing in my path, where often I could have chosen the way of risk (which may produce failure, yet leaves uncertainty for God to act in) or the way of mundane safety. Sadly, I saw a moment tonight in which I chose safety. There was a religious debate going on amongst three women a few tables away – I sensed a good opportunity for me to go introduce myself, ask to join them, share Truth. And I sat there, doing nothing, well not nothing – I decided to pray – but I was praying when I should have been acting. I chose safety over divine opportunity. Do I use prayer to stall obedience? Yes, I could have been stone cold rejected, fallen flat on my spiritual face as it were, but I would have been failing while I moved in line with the heart of God. Instead I stayed safe, anonymous, and disobedient.

Faith is all about character, trusting in the character of God, being certain in WHO GOD IS and following Him into the unknown.”

It’s a scary thing to fall into the hands of Almighty God.

Monday, July 11, 2005

the sky was ablaze

i saw a brilliant display of God's artistry this morning. the sunrise. the clouds were blazing pink, red, and orange, and set against the brightest blue sky that, in contrast, made them appear to be on fire. it was so exactly what i was hoping for from God today. isn't He just so good like that? i wonder if long ago in the mind of God, He omnipotently knew that on the night before july 11th i would be aching for a display of His artistic spleandor, so perhaps He planned it all out, weather patterns and sunrise time, and even put the thought into a coworker's mind to walk down the hall at precisely the moment when the sunrise was at its most glorious, and announce to all of us, "you have to come see this!" and i wondered as i sat watching the light grow and the sky change colors, could God have done this whole thing with the delight of a perfect father in His heart, knowing that His child would be so happy and thankful and want to worship Him even more?
i feel so loved right now.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

the theme of the week is grace

have you ever noticed a subtle (or blatantly obvious) theme running through your days for a period of time? well i certainly have these past few days, and it is undoubtedly "grace". monday began with a "James Chapter One" day.

"Consider it joy when you face trials of any kind, for you know it is for the perfecting of your faith"

isn't it great how God arms you with scripture right when you're going to need it most and when you're about to see it play out in application to your life? as if returning to work when half of me is still in Africa wasn't difficult enough, adding trial to the workplace wasn't what i had hoped for. i'm currently reading "Seizing Your Divine Moment" by Erwin McManus. without detail, let me say that the other night at work i was faced with one of those moments. it was a moment when the Truth was being twisted before my very eyes and i could have chosen to do nothing, but instead i acted. and it wasn't the easy road. it brought about a lot of tension. have you ever had a disagreement with someone who feels that any disagreement is a personal attack? but the Holy Spirit in me was reflecting God's anger at that moment -- anger towards pride, hypocrisy, judgementalism, self-righteousness, legalism, and just plain wrong theology. i don't know if you've felt it as well, but God's righteous anger feels physically different to me than when i myself just get angery about something. the type of righteous anger i'm talking about feels like a fire in my core that is burning so hot i feel like i'll explode, not at a person, but at the ugliness of sin, in this case the obscuring of God's Truth. i'm not one to be easily angered personally, and when i am angry, it doesn't ever feel like that. but the thought i my mind was, "the Truth in love. the Truth in love." yet no matter how calm and loving my words of Truth were, they hit the lies like an explosion. when Light enters the picture, darkness has to flee, and let me tell you, it didn't want to give in. praise the Almightly God for His promise, "I will give you the words to speak" praise Him for the instruction of "always be prepared to give an answer for the faith that you have." He is faithful. and darkness had nothing to back it up.

the conflict: the old law, rules that we must aboey to be considered "right with God"

the lies: Jesus didn't bring with Him a new law. we are still bound to the old (yet somehow only certain old laws are ones we need to to pay attention to; how that's determined, "i don't know")

the truth: Ephesians 2:15 and so much more

so that was monday. tuesday brought a non-theological type of legalism. what i means is simply this: people making up their own rules and expecting others to know and follow their rules when there is no basis for them. now hear this: i'm not much of a lover of rules. i'll be honest. funny thing is i've never been much of the rebel. when a rule makes sense to me, i have absolutely no problem obeying it. but when it doesn't make any sense to me, look out. i'm a policy girl. i make sure i know the policies at work, because if i'm breaking one, i at least want to know it. i am fine with consequences for my actions when i am overtly breaking a rule. it's to be expected, and i would expect no less. even if i disagree with the rule and think it's ridiculous, i have no problem reaping what i've sowed, if i choose to be outside the lines. the problem comes when others try to put extra rules on me that are not policy, and dress it up to sound like it is. i do not appreciate being called on the carpet about something, and scolded for breaking a rule that isn't even a rule. that's what i LOVE about Jesus. He called all those pharisees out for doing just that, putting extra burdens on the people that God didn't intend.

so that's how work was for me last night. twice. as one of my coworkers observed, "amanda, it seems like you are the designated 'crap catcher' this week." and i say, "bring it on. consider it joy. pray for those that persecute you. speak the truth in love, bless and do not curse. turn the other cheek. love others as you love yourself."


Wednesday, July 06, 2005

image memories of Namibia

some images that tell the story of my time in Namibia...







Namibia Multi-purpose building Namibia Multi-purpose building

Here I come!


Hungry elephants at Etosha National Park

Zebras at Etosha National Park

Namibia173 Namibia181





Saturday, July 02, 2005

random free-form thought-flow...

3am Ohio time = 8am Namibia time. i'm exhausted. why the heck couldn't i sleep today? lila is cute. dogs barking in the afternoon sucks. my feet are cold. i think it's funny that i type so fast using two fingers. i had a dog named sam until i was 16years old then he passed away. it's crazy that my parents are such cat-people now. i can't believe lila calls jedi "the crazy cat" because phil told her that's what jedi was. i wonder if cracking your knuckles actually fosters arthritis or if that's one of those urban myths. i'm tired. it'd really quiet here now. i can't believe they pay me to do this. the nights have been so slow. is it really only halfway thru my shift? relating to God as a King is nearly impossible to me, i have no clue how to act in front of a king. i wonder how Jesus really feels about tattoos. j. is so cool. i'm so glad he's my friend. super-quick deep chats over coffee - so frustrating to have to leave right when it's getting good. i need $1,000 to fix the plumbing. this sweater is itchy. i should have invited amanda to church when she asked about apex. i wonder if she's interested. i want to invite her and and have her bring her son. that was cool reading his blog and seeing how it has impacted so many people worldwide. i wonder how jon is. i'm so glad i know how to text now. need to ask for jenny's number. i have so much to do to get ready to leave this place. i wonder if edith will write that letter i asked her about. my stomach is full. i ate too much. how is it that i can fill myself and not even think about how half the world had nothing to eat tonight? i am selfish. my motivation sucks most of the time, if i really press myself to think about what's behind my actions. i wonder if anyone really does that. i kind of like this thought-flow thing. it's amazing to look back and see how my brain works and what toughts run together - how i got from one place to the next. God is so intricate in His planning of how the human mind works. that was one crazy beautiful storm last night. i hope there are more this summer. i want to be somewhere where i can see better next time. it's crazy how j. and i were thinking about the same stuff last night when in the midst of the thunder. i'm so thankful for apex. i want to be in namibia right now. i wonder what experience is doing? or ambrosious, or tuleni. the next team will be home on sunday. i want to meet them at the airport. need to find out what time they arrive. i wonder if someone sent something for me. i need to get to the post-office and send those letters...

Friday, July 01, 2005

who is this man that even the wind and waves obey his voice?

there was a glorious thunderstorm tonight. i hope you were able to bask in its enjoyment as i did. continuous thunder, brilliant lightning powerful wind, and drenching rain. the perfect summer cocktail. i turned off all the lights in my house and just sat there in the living room in the dark. the etherial light danced across the walls as i listened to the crashing thunder rumbling amidst the sound of rain slamming into the house on all sides. i wanted it to last forever. and the artist God smiled at His creation.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

parting is such sweet sorrow

well, here i am having returned home, yet leaving pieces of me on another continent for the second time. shakespeare said it best i think whe he said, "parting is such sweet sorrow." that's how i feel about now. the sweetness of the relationships built that still lingers, the joy of reuniting with my friends and family, mingled with the sorrow of saying goodbye...again. i cannot begin to sum up the wholeness of what God did and is doing this time around, so i will leave you with one-word impressions of my last three weeks:

bananas. dust. hugs. tears. rebirth. Spirit. teaching. truth. laughter. insecurity. observation. letters. salvation. sowing. prayer. openess. vulnerability. reunions. guitars. music. culture. dirt. creation. volleyball. miracles. Beautiful. hope. stars. friendship. elephants. pictures. victory camp. polaroids. glitter. rosa. ambrosius. tuleni. experience. sam. jennifer. goodbyes. cold. table mountain. driving. quiet. tea. journaling. airports. wet. clutter. pubs. green. U2. luggage.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

oh, the places you will go!

off to Namibia...

please pray for us to act as God's chosen people to take His message into all the world!

i am humbled, in awe of the fact You chose me.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

and GOD was in the most unlikely place

i am convinced that my roomate, amber, is one of the best writers i know. honestly, if she wasn't such a brilliant massage therapist, i'd say she missed her calling as an author. i was blown away when i read this on her blog, and felt the need to quote it so that more people can be impacted as i was. thanks for continuing to challenge me.

"When we play it safe, we squeeze God out of the formula. If we go where we know and do what we're certain will succeed, we remove our need for God. Whenever we take on a God-sized challenge, self-sufficiency is no longer an option. It is having no idea whether or not God will act on your behalf in a particular engagement--but knowing who God is. Knowing that if you seek God, you will live, even if you die in the trying. It is ironic that we run to God to keep us safe when He calls us to a dangerous faith. He will shake loose everything in which we place our trust outside of His and teach us how to thrive in a future unknown. There is only One who is certain. Wanting miracles but consistently avoiding needing them.Our religious integration of Christianity with capitalism and consumerism has resulted in a view of life that says if God is in it, it comes easily. Then when the inevitable difficulties come, when we hit the wall, we either assume God is not in it or conclude we've made a wrong decision in our pursuit."

oh,this is SO where i am right now.

"...has resulted in a view of life that says, 'if God is in it, it comes easily.'" what a skewed view we often have! God has been stretching me lately to understand the beauty of suffering. the joy of trial. the gift of martyrdom. how is it that i can see the Lord in the suffering of Stephen, of Job, of Paul, and i ask Him, "will You find me worthy of the gift of suffering for You?" i long to be found worthy of it, yet how do i react to the small bits of suffering He has given me? if I am found to gripe and complain when i have to wait on something i know is His leading, or when i believe wholeheartedly that He will do something and He does not, and i look foolish...who am i? to whom much has been given much will be required...and to him who has been faithful with a little, more will be given. teach me how to be faithful with the little bits of "suffering" that You allow me, Jesus. maybe confusing , but i love this: everything easy is not necessarily of the the Lord, and everything difficult is not necessarily not of the Lord. show me You in every difficult thing, that i may praise Your mighty Name. amen.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

where have all the adventurers gone?


if i could, i would see it all...every place Your hand created. i think i'd like to start right there. so close to You that the kiss of the clouds breathes like You on my neck. i feel like i'm dreaming just looking at this place. Jesus, let me live the dream.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

my recent life, in short

a friend of mine from the Doulos, one of the beloved Aussies, wrote me out the blue the other day. i haven't heard from her since october when we parted in Italy. she went on traveling for another month or so, and i returned to the States. she asked the usual question, "so what have you been up to since then?" and i was faced with turning the question on myself. what have i been up to since then??

here is what floods my mind as i ponder the last 7 months (in no particular order):

catching up with good friends
drinking coffee
taking a class on world missions
lots of rock climbing
taking pictures
traveling to California
more climbing
getting rid of my debts so i can be prepared to "GO!"
making jewelry
being blown away by the Word
walking away from the Word
returning to the Word
being challenged in an amazingly HUGE "SmiG"
preparing to "lead" a team to Namibia
being happy with being single
being frustrated with being single
being overwhelmed with God's provision
driving in a blizzard
returning to Youth ministry
singing whenever possible
emailing people all over the world
working night shift
sleeping during the day
losing a lot of sleep
eating ethnic food
being called "Schmanda" a lot
quoting Napoleon Dynamite
did i mention rock climbing?
cutting my hair
enjoying my church
getting a new tattoo...

yeah, that's pretty much what i've been up to, i guess.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

ask and i'll give the nations to you

and He has! praise God for our new sister, Kimiko from Japan!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

need to let someone down lightly?

afraid of confrontation?

call this number: 1 (202) 452-7468


Wednesday, May 18, 2005

random tuesday night caffiene and conversation

good coffee.
great friend.
challenging conversation.

a terriffic trio. thanks, K.

a cool spring evening was the perfect setting for a long-overdue roomie chat. the sun began its decent and slowly fell into night as Kristi and i perched on our stools overlooking the brick-hewn streets of the Oregon District. sipping hot cappucinos we gazed through the glass of the Fifth Street fishbowl as college kids giggled and flirted at their street-side tables, and "tighty-whitey" man peddled by on his bike. (technically, they were red, not white, but i digress, and kristi still gets points for "best-fitting nickname of a stranger") conversation flowed as easily as the coffee was poured, and i'm reminded of countless evenings at Barnes and Noble, discussing the Word and dreaming up decor for the house i was sure someday to buy and of course we'd be roomates. hey, come on...the other half of my brain, right? or the infamous canada road trip with PB&J from the backseat and gas station threats that have now become so comical. or random times at gloria's house painting the fence, taking summer walks and visiting AJ, or making collages upstairs.

and again, God demonstrates that sisters in Christ never have far to walk back toward one another, even when the distance and time seems to have flown by. love you girl.


Sunday, May 15, 2005

pray for germany



There are numerous signs of spiritual ill-health in the nation. The catastrophic impact of Marxist ideology in the Communist 'Democratic' Republic (GDR) accelerated the secularization and de-Christianization of society. The Church is widely perceived as irrelevant and marginalized. Although 70% of the people claim to be christian, only 45% believe in a personal God, and mere 8% worship regularly. There is increased open hostility to anything Christian. The occult, alcoholism, Satanism and a New Age worldview are on the rise. Pray that the spiritual blindness of most of the nation may be removed and these trends reversed. The post-war exodus from organized Christianity accelerated during the last decades of the 20th Century. This is worst in the old GDR where 80% are unchurched. By 2000 only 5% of the protestant membership and 18% of the Catholics were active participants in church life. Overall, only 3% of German men are actively involved in the Church.

praises to my God for giving His money to send me to Africa! at the start of the week, i still owed $1,012 towards my trip. (due on May 25th) between monday and friday He gave me $800! that means (for all you non-math types) only $212 left! and guess what else He has done? today He provided a profit sharing check (under the guise of Kettering Hospital - my employer) that is $288. so, in one week, God gave me over $1,000. isn't He good? anyone want to sit there and tell me that our Heavenly Daddy doesn't want to lavish good gifts on us? In one week, He reinforced to me that the earth is His, and ALL that is in it. He has made it perfectly clear to me that He is able to pay off my student loan debt as quickly as He would like, and that when He does, I will be moving. and i don't think its too much for me to believe that He might just want to do that before the end of this year. bring it!

this is me strapped in, and holding on tight for the ride!

Saturday, May 14, 2005

pray for georgia

not the state, the country! its in Asia, on the northern border of Turkey and Armenia.



ANSWERS TO PRAYER:Since independance in 1991, interest in spiritual things and the Christian faith in particular has increased greatly. The former department of Atheism at the national university is now a theological faculty.

CHALLENGES FOR PRAYER:Evangelical ministries have been repressed, their work maligned as sectarian. They had had problems in acquiring buildings and the necessary permits for holding meetings. There have been incidents of meetings broken up, sometimes violently, and materials confiscated. Pray for true religious freedom, as some Orthodox leaders have sought to deny non-Orthodox Christians the opportunity to build churches and evangelize openly. Pray also for healing of the deep divide and disunity between the Baptists and the Pentecostals, which form the major component of the evangelical witness in Georgia.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

silence is golden



77% of Gabon is dense tropical rain forest. The official language is French. Exports are wood, oil and minerals.

CHALLENGES FOR PRAYER: Gabonese Christians need teaching and pastoring to mature, but the first step is to train national pastors and leaders for this. Pray that God might raise up those equipped for the task. Pray for the mission agencies working among the people of Gabon. The Babinga people
, or Pygmies, live in the virgin forest and are despised by the other peoples.
The CMA and Deeper Life are working among them and are seeing
much responsiveness to the gospel and many conversions.

cheep! cheep! cheep!

has anyone ever seen "The Music Man"? at work tonight i felt like i was stuck in the middle of the gaggle of women who sing that song above...*sigh* it time to go home yet??? i am reminded of the Word where it says that a woman's beauty is in the inner quiet spirit. i think that a godly woman's beauty lies in her quiet spirit because that is where Jesus lies. because without Christ, i think that a woman's tendancy is toward talk like the above - gossip, backstabbing and boasting to ease their insecurities. i've seen it in just about every secular social circle i've been a part of and definitely in my workplace - past and present - a field in which there is a high percentage of female workers. it's absolutely draining!

but what a breath of fresh air it is to be around my sisters in Christ. the whole atmosphere is... just different. i appreciate you ladies and your willingness to allow Christ to change that natural bent toward those tendencies that i often see within women. and praise be to God for giving light to my eyes, so that i may not sin against Him. praise to Him for calling me out, setting me apart, and giving light to my eyes to see the darkness of those "gaggle" type conversations.

Jesus, give me wisdom and show me how to respond. show me how to not only keep myself pure, but how to approach the darkness and bring the light.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

not that i make it a point to quote paris hilton, but...

yes, i'm going to. it'll come, just wait.

a constant battle...

ego vs. Holy Spirit
self vs. God

any wise believer can look at those odds and in a second determine the winner. but some days i choose to align myself with the losing side.

case in point - sunday night i linked arms with my ego and made myself comfortable in self-pity. i sank into my couch and mulled over the thoughts swarming through my head, getting ready to do battle aginst the One who never loses. the battleground was this statement:

"Singles, the way for you to be fruitful and multiply is through evangelism."

ok, i know that to many people the above statement gave them peace, a sense of understanding, a realization of sorts. not me. in all honesty, i was angry. i felt slighted. wronged. i wanted to stand up and shout, "what the heck? that's your answer? Unfair!" it just seemed too simplistic to me; a pat-on-the-back easy answer to satisfy the elephant-in-the-room question that so many had. why? because everyone is commanded to produce spiritual offspring through evangelism, right? how is it that evangelism is my "substitute" for marriage and children when those who are married with children also get it too? it felt like i was getting either/or, while they get both/and. round one of self.

i think Rob hit it exactly right when he said this: "our culture has elevated an act of sexuality to the point of defining us." and that we "deify sex." if i may be so bold i will add on that we deify romantic relationships in general, sex being a progression of the former. i have lived for 28 years being conditioned to believe just this. it's so difficult to divorce myself not only from the conditioning of my culture, but from even my Christian brothers and sisters who, although well intentioned and often full of joy, have made statements to the effect of the following: "once i experienced the birth of my child, i had a deeper understanding of God, an understanding i just couldn't grasp before becoming a father/mother." it sounds beautiful, but let's hope this isn't true. for if it is, than how is a single person ever to reach that "deeper understanding ungraspable" without being a parent? it's so difficult to hear things like this and not feel as though on a "lower plain" of understanding. we live in a culture that elevates relationships to the status of completion. here's the paris hilton quote: "i want to have kids in the next two years because i know that completes your life." no lie. that is what she said. and i venture to say that whether they'd admit it or not, many people would agree. it's hard not to buy into the thought that this world is about searching for that someone, and when you find them, success!

because marriage is seemingly placed on a pedastal above singleness, i find myself thinking that the worship experience and outcome of sex in a godly marriage is somehow higher on the ladder than glorifying Him through song, or prayer, or evangelism. and i in my self-pity thought, "i may never be able to experience God and worship Him like!"

and a voice spoke to my heart that said, "since when is one person's worship better than another? or one type of worship higher than another, amanda?
is not worship based on the heart, not matter how it is expressed? and you speak of unfairness...there is a man who longs to dance for joy and worship Me as david did, but he is in a wheelchair. is it fair? there is a woman who hears how sunsets display My spleandor and show my artistic side - but she doesn't know what they look like, for she is blind. is it fair? there was a king who was beaten and hung on a cross for those who think mostly of themselves. of which you are one. He died in place of you. is it fair? but even so, I have given countless ways for you to worship - many that you don't even take advantage of...and yet you long for the one way I have not given you."

how like a child am i - having millions of toys, yet longing for that which she sees others have. have i been faithful in worshipping with what i have? if not, how can i even begin to call out, "unfair" when i see what others have that God has not seen fit to give me? and when i think of His return, or the day i shall stand before Him in His glory, awaiting His perfect judgement of the life lived, none shall stand there with husband or wife.

alone with Christ.
all will be single.

Isaiah 65:17 - "For behold, I create a new heavens and a new earth. and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind."

as beautiful a gift that godly earthly marriages are, they will not be remembered or come to mind. no pedastal. only Christ.

Friday, May 06, 2005

to those who understand the phrase, "Hummer it."



Challenges for prayer - Pray for a fresh movement of the Holy Spirit. Although the Faeroes have complete freedom of religion and the majority claim Christianity, they are part of a largely nominal state Lutheran Church. Pray that God would make the Faeroes worshippers in Spirit and in Truth, not merely in name only. Also, Christian growth is hampered by a lack of trained, godly, leaders, and secularization.

*the Doulos had recently left the Faeroes when i began my time onboard. it was a highlight for many of the ship's company. everyone told me how beautiful this place is. and most of the fish we ate onboard came from their time in the Faeroes, as fishing is the country's major industry. there are several Faeroese believers who made a decision join the ship's company following the Doulos' visit to their country.

things that are making me smile today:

emails from the Swede who's melting in the hottest parts of the world
bear threats: "Gimmie all your food!"
becoming more aware of prayer
emma williams
home-cooked breakfasts by similar-souled friends
one more day till the weekend!
my mom and dad

Thursday, May 05, 2005

the winds of change



The main export is coffee. Pray for Ethiopia when you drink your morning brew!
Challenges for prayer - the muslim advance. their numbers are growing significantly, with converts from animism and the Orthodox Church. muslims strengthened their position under Marxism, and have launched a massive campaign for the Islamization of Ethiopia by penetrating Christian areas with the offer of bribes and mosque-building programes - many were reported to have been built during the time that many Christian churches were being closed. pray for breakthroughs among the muslim peoples.

i love those days when God breathes down your neck all day long and you can't wait to meet with Him. and when you finally steal a moment away it's like at long last you're with the one who has been courting you and you can breathe deep of Him and rest in His arms.


i've missed it so much. why in the world do i settle for the call of lovers much less wild?

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

and worshipped

"therefore David said to his servants, 'is the child dead?' and they said, 'he is dead.' so david arose from the ground, washed and annointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he went into the house of the Lord and worshipped." - 2 Samuel 12:19-20

and worshipped. his son had just died due to the consequences of his sin. God told him that his sin would cause the death of his son. david prayed, fasted and mourned anyway, hoping God would spare the son. when He did not and the child died, david worshipped. am i as stubbornly hopeful? am i as faithful after my own wrong choices to sin? do i hope for grace, yet in seeing justice, am i filled with worship? can i obediently worship and accept God's justice and grace?

Jesus, show me how to worship through my bad choices and my sin. show me how to accept grace and worship the God of this grace instead of allowing the enemy to guilt me into silence - to sulk away ashamed. i am a child of the King. a prodigal. YOU have been awaiting my return and rejoice with dancing when i turn homeward. Thank YOU for remaining faithful in the midst of my unfaithfulness. YOU are faithful.

Isaiah 49:7
1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

Friday, April 29, 2005

I need words...

an excerpt from my written chronicles:

i'm infatuated with travel. it has seduced me and i am smitten. i love everything about it...the airports-the sitting and waiting, watching wearied starangers - some scurrying, others ambling along laden with beatnik rugged packs or upscale briefcases. i adore my passive nook where i perch now, cross-legged, listening to my travel companion, Damien, as he croons in my ears - the melodies mixing with periodic flight departure announcements and intermittent terrorist paranoia. what a feeling to play the guessing game of "where has she been? where is he headed?" and the joy of airport coffee - caffiene and sugar mixed with anticipation and culture. mmmmm. there's something beautifully simple about throwing the bare necessities in a pack and stepping out into the world - ready for anything. home is wherever i am. for the I AM is my home and He is always near. sandals. blank film - aching to be etched with sunsets and rock, desert and sky. blank pages yet to be written. well-traveled kahkis, and an ID and passport that no longer resemble me...

onward adventure!

pics from the adventure...


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I need words as wide as the sky
I need a language large as this longing inside
I need a voice that's bigger than mine
I need a song to sing You that I've yet to find
I need You
I need You
I need You
To be here now
To be here now
To hear me now