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Sunday, 21 October 2007

I love how God reveals Himself to me!

So this weekend I am taking care of a dog... Aliya is a 10 month old golden retriever.

Still a puppy...this is the first time that her owners have left her with someone else. She is a very obedient dog. Very friendly too.

She loves to play and go for walks and fetch sticks... she does not know how to bring them back to the thrower... that part of the retriever is still to be developed. :-)

I have watched her not eat and sulk around all weekend. It breaks my heart. She eventually eats and she has moments of joy... but she won't always play with me...it is as if her heart is not fully in it.


This morning I sat with her, and as I was telling her that I understand what it is like to have those who know you best leave... and how it feels lonely and if something is not right... I felt like God gently tapped me on the shoulder and cleared His throat... "um... my precious child..."

Sigh... I know when the Lord is pursuing me... and He is so gentle about it. Here I am, back in a place that I love, with people that I love... and yet... I am doing what Aliya is doing to me this weekend... Enjoying it... but half-heartedly. Not always... but more often than I desire.

I opened my journal back to July 19th... the Lord gave me a verse that day which struck me as an odd verse. 2 Corinthians 6:13... "as a fair exchange--I speak as to my children--open wide your hearts also." Paul was telling the Corinthians that he had been very open with his affection for them and he was asking that they return the favor... so to speak. I remember being very puzzled by this verse. Why would God take me to that verse? I am generally very open with my affections!

Ah... but Aliya showed me something... She lets me pet her and play with her... and feigns (I am sure part is genuine) response. How much better would it be if she would fully enjoy the love that I want to give to her?

And how much better would it be if I were to fully engage in and enjoy the love that is extended to me from people on this side of the ocean (and the States) and more importantly from God! And when I say fully... I mean my heart too.

Don't get me wrong... My heart is fully involved in my job here! I love that I get to full-time work toward Western Europe coming back to Christ! But it is my fault that I feel lonely here. It is my fault that I am not engaging fully. And since I desire to live fully in every moment that God has placed me... something needs to change.

I know that settling into a new environment and culture and language takes time. And I am so thankful that God is patient and that time is in His hands alone.

Okay, so there is one of my more personal posts. You get those once in a while. :-)

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Explaining this blog

Hi readers!

I was thinking... I should from time to time explain the components of this site. So here goes...

On the right... I will be putting a photo of some current event in my family or friends life... ie: my brother's wedding, my friend's birthday...

Under that, I will be keeping you up to date on prayer requests and financial needs

Under that is a link to give financially to help me do what God has called me to do here in Western Europe. It constantly humbles and amazes me to know that you make it possible for me to do this here. I hope you are learning more about God through your partnership with me!

Under that a current cultural photo

Under that a couple lists... one of ways you can support me other than financially and one with items that I would love to show up in my email in box or my mailbox. :-)

Under that... a photo of some of my friends here in Western Europe... this may change as a category... but maybe not. :-)

Under that the links of my friends all over the world who have blogs or websites. Granted... all the sites that I know are not listed... but it is a pretty extensive list... If you want to know what is happening in a certain area of the world or just want the thoughts of someone from another part of the world... there it is!

under that is another photo of my choice. :-)

Under that are links to other websites that I like to visit... cool photos or my stateside home church, or fun bubble wrap that you can pop with your mouse.

And the whole left side... with new posts... hopefully once/week.. will contain random thoughts and stories of what I experience on this adventure!

And... if you make it to the bottom of the page...there will be a photo of some part of God's amazing creation that I have been privileged to capture.

Enjoy! And let me know what you think as you peruse. :-)

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Festivals

The Fall here in the Kandern Area is a time of rejoicing over the harvest that has come. I have been privileged to go to a couple fests in the area and I will share some of my favorite photos here with you. this first video is part of the Auggen Parade. It was unarguably the most fun I have had to date at a "cultural event". The hands you see clapping along... belong to a man who seemed to know everyone in the parade. He was great! And his wife was precious too.
video

so... here are some photos from the Auggen Parade....
I remember pictures like this in my books when I was young... it was great to see that it is real! :-)
the dance group that nicely skirted the dirty patch in the road... but look at the woman keeping the little ones away from the offending pile. :-)
Each region that was represented had a different traditional costume... I liked the BIG bows from this region... I wish I could recall which region it was... :-)
Flag girls... and boys. :-)
blowing a horn is hard work!

And here is the festival from Muenstertal where we saw the cows coming home...
They come down the hill... following the band...
The cows are decked in flowers... not sure if they are happy about that or not....
This cow... is saying something....
Then the alpenhorns played a song... it really great to hear and see this live! although.. the modern cars and ambulance in the background felt kind of strange.
and this girl was just too cute not to put her in my blog.

I am getting settled in... I have a working oven and hot water in my kitchen... Photos coming soon!