Friday, March 25, 2005

you're not a witch or something are you?

ok, so some of you have heard the story, but i feel the need to expound on this one. i'm sure most of you that know amber and myself have probably seen and more than likely commented on the rock necklaces that we often wear. i purchased the original two necklaces from a young qypsy woman in Gibraltar who daily spreads out a little blanket along the roadside and adeptly loops wire around small jewels and rocks while passersby stand and watch.

since then, both she and i have made our own, and while wearing any of these lovely creations, both my roomie and i are constantly getting comments. the remarks run the gammut from amber being grabbed by the shoulders by a perfumed, big-haired southern baptist lady to my encounter with a security guard in the grocery store parking lot. the latter is the one i shall now explain.

so amber and i are in my car pulling out of a parking space at the grocery store and heading towards to exit. a security guard is walking towards us and motioning with his hands. i slow the car and roll down the window. he approaches.

security guard: wow, that's a really pretty necklace.

amanda: (inner monologue: this is weird) uh, thanks.

security guard: does it mean something?

amanda: (inner monologue: you stopped me to talk about my necklace?) no...

security guard: oh, ok...i though maybe you were a witch or something. didn't know if i should ask about it...thought maybe you'd turn me green or something!

amanda:'s just a pretty necklace. (inner monologue: let's get out of here!)

i roll up the window and make a quick exit. i look at amber.

amber: you should have said yes and pretended to put a spell on him.

well, all that to say this: you too could own your very own witch necklace.
i am making them as a way to raise funds for my africa mission trip in June. they're $10 a piece so if you're interested, feel free to post here or talk to me the next time you see me. if you don't know what i'm talking about, i'll post some pics of a few here soon so you can get a idea. tell friends, neighbors, coworkers, family...anybody you can think of, and the money will be going towards the mission trip. and if they give their name, i can even get them a receipt from the church if they would like for tax purposes.

here's me in the afore mentioned "witch necklace"...

amanda 2

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Feeling December

i'm feeling December lately. bewildered, chilly, bleak and worthy of a long nap. (did i mention that i slept continuously for 14 hours yesterday). there are moments of snowlit excitement in the air, fresh-faced evenings of firelight and tinsel. but also long dark days of day-in-day-out trudging through snow with uncertainty of when spring will come. i feel so uninspired. where is the spark of creativity...the time when words flow and God feels nearer then my heartbeat, whispering peices of Himself into my ear? humdrum plateau days are necessary, but the need for them doesn't make them any less blah. December isn't a bad place to be, just sometimes too long for me. i know the newness of my January has got to be right around the bend...

just need to ride this sleigh a bit longer.

i found this picture on a public photo posting...just seems to capture the...i don't know...i just think it's beautiful.

the beauty of spring

i think i would title this photo "The Beauty of Hope"

Monday, March 21, 2005

ashes and snow

this is so beautiful. check it out.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

oh the randomness of life

things that make me smile:

7am phone calls to agree that, yes, my roomate is indeed cute and really cool
packed livingrooms full of Jesus-loving people
super short hair
a wedding date sure to be full of laughter
$8.00 still left on my Thai 9 card
Easter weekend camping plans -here's to sharing a tent and Jesus
premium pay
forever flip flops
ink written on the first page of my next journal
old friendships rekindled
Sequoia National Park
"I Hate Mexico" the musical : original score by Amber Barger
Dominos and coffee
sunrises after work
awkward hugs
sleeping at night once a week
turkish tea
the warmth of spring around the corner...

Friday, March 11, 2005

seriously, this is fo' rizzle....

ok, go to

type a webpage into the search engine and click "translate page" or you can look at one of the popular gizoogled sites...or try your own blog!

it translates sites into "snoop dogg"'s an example:

"it looked a lot coola in person, but you can still see tha caked blood, so that's gots`ta be wizzay sum-m sum-m. so yeah, in addition ta thizzat i was climb'n a new 5.10 that nate had like a billion takes on tha first tizzy he climbed it (-N-to-tha-izzot ta brag, but i put him ta shame, by tha way. he admitted it.) n mah fizzy slipped off a hold n i cracked mah ankle on anotha hold. yeah, thiznat hizzay . They call me tha black folks president. i figured it'd just be anotha crazy bruise added ta tha dozens i've already gots fizzle various climbs, but shot calla tonight wizzy i wizzle up from mah before work nap, i realized tizzle it had swollen ta tha point that, well, let's jizzle say if you tizzy a baseball n cut it in half, thiznat was `bout how swollen it was."

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

those who never dare to climb may never fall, but also never see the beauty at the top

so i took the statement, "beat your body into submission" a little too literally today. i spent a few hours at UK and climbed mainly 5.10's with nate...praise the Lord for giving me improved skills, because its so much fun!! the challenge always pays off when you finally figure out which sequence (aka the beta) you need to complete your nemesis...anyway, i climbed hard today and i had some trophy bloody hands that would make my partner proud. (are you laughing, neil?) i actually took a picture to share the joy...


it looked a lot cooler in person, but you can still see the caked blood, so that's gotta be worth something. so yeah, in addition to that i was climbing a new 5.10 that nate had like a billion takes on the first time he climbed it (not to brag, but i put him to shame, by the way. he admitted it.) and my foot slipped off a hold and i cracked my ankle on another hold. yeah, that hurt. i figured it'd just be another crazy bruise added to the dozens i've already got from various climbs, but later tonight when i woke up from my before work nap, i realized that it had swollen to the point that, well, let's just say if you took a baseball and cut it in half, that was about how swollen it was. gross. i should've taken a picture of that too. ha.

as i was thinking about all this, and feeling the cracked skin on my hands, the swollen ankle and the aching muscles, i thought about why i climb. the answer is in the end result. the pain experienced is so miniscule in comparison to the joy felt when the task is accomplished. "But for the JOY set before Him, He endured the cross, scorning its shame..."

with Jesus, only when i dare to follow Him, can i experience the joy that is a Christ-filled life. i love my life. i love it because it is filled with Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit every step of the way. and yet i know that the joy set before me is so much sweeter. and for that, i will keep climbing.

press on.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

ok, i admit it...

tonight i cried while listening to Five Iron Frenzy. and no, it's not the first time either. now before you think i'm out of my mind for getting teary over upbeat SKA songs, just let these lyrics (that i've heard hundreds of times, mind you) penetrate your heart for a bit:

"Dear Father, I need You, Your strength my heart to mend
I want to fly higher, every new day again.
Man Vs. himself, man Vs. machine, man Vs. the world, mankind Vs. me...
the struggles go on, the wisdom i lack... the struggles keep piling up on my back...
it's so hard to breathe, to take the next step. the mountain is high, i wait in the depths
yearning for grace, and hoping for peace
Dear God, increase
Jesus Christ, Light of the World burning bright within our souls forever
Freedom, Peace, Love, without condition
without a begining or an end
here's my heart, let it be forever Yours
Only You can make every new day seem so new."

- FIF "Every New Day"

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

planning to go, willing to stay

for those of you who are in Perspectives right now, you've probably already read part of what i'm going to post here, but for those of you who don't have the privelege of attending the class, i wanted to share some of the stuff that really resounds with my heart right now, and how it has caused me to reflect on where i was and where i am. i totally recommend this class to any believer. especially if you want God to expand your horizons, change your ideas, and challenge your 'perspective'.

Apostolic Passion:

"passion" - from the Latin paserre, meaning "to suffer"; whatever a person is willing to suffer for

"aposle" - sent one, a messenger

"Apostolic passion", therefore, is a deliberate, intentional choice to live for the worship of Jesus in the nations. it has to do with being committed (to the point of death) to spreading His glory.

"Those who have apostolic passion are planning to go, but willing to stay. You know you have it when you are deeply disappointed that God has not called you to leave your home and get out among those who have never heard His name."

"Present your gifts, vocations and talents to the Lord. Press into God. Stay there until you long to go out in His name. Remain there and nurture the longing to see the earth bathed with His praise. Only then will you be able to trust your heart if you hear God say, "stay". Only those who long to broadcast His glory to the nations have the right to stay...If you have apostolic passion, you are one of the most dangerous people on the planet. The world no longer rules your heart. You are no longer seduced by getting and gaining but devoted to spreading and proclaiming the glory of God in the nations. You live as a pilgrim, unattached to the cares of this world. You are not afraid of loss. You even dare to believe you may be given the privelege of dying to spread His fame on the earth...Your greatest dream is that His name will be praised in languages never before heard in Heaven."

- Floyd McClung "Apostolic Passion" from Perspectives on the World Christian Movement

reading this made my heart leap! it made me so thankful to God for what He has done in my heart in the last several years. i used to be afraid of evangelism, before i realized that that big word just means living my life in the pursuit of Jesus Christ and telling people about Him. i used to think that i wasn't someone that God would ever want to use as a "missionary". that seemed so foreign, like a "higher calling" or something. missionaries were "those people" who "had a 'burden' for the people of China or something.
i specifically remember writing in my journal about 4 years ago these words, "i am going to be an evangelist". and i was completely terrified! i remember praying, "God, if you want this for me, You are going to have to do something big and get my heart in line with Yours, because that is SO NOT ME!"
its amazing what God does when you make a deliberate, intentional choice to live for the worship of Jesus in the nations. God took that step of faith, and brought my own heart into line with His. seriously. i can't say how He did it, or when it occurred, rather it was a process and now, as i look back i see such a difference in how my mind, and my heart think and act. the things i think, the ways i react...i never would have responded in such a way prior to His working in me, which was His faithful answer to my prayer 4 years ago. God has granted me Apostolic Passion. one of the highlighted lines above from McClung's article, the one that says, "you know you have it when..." OH MY! i feel like i would burst if i were to hear God say, "stay". i was talking with two friends a few weeks ago, one of whom will be going to serve the Lord overseas for an extended period of time, (as will i, Lord willing) and one who is not. the one who is not, asked both of us if it was scary to think about going so far away and leaving family, friends, and much that is familiar behind. i answered this way: "what scares me more is that God might ask me to stay." i know that sharing about Jesus is just as much needed here as anywhere else and i am taking as many opportunities as i am seeing to be salt and light among my own people and culture, but i have such a burning inside to go. would God ever choose me to stay as a way to "suffer" for Him? could i have joy though my heart longs to be elsewhere serving? let this be resounding in my heart:

"Though He slay me, yet I will praise Him."

planning to go, willing to stay. only if He says so.

amanda copy