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Monday, 20 December 2010

Philemon 6

some thoughts on
Philemon 6
"I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ".

I was reading Philemon the other day and was really struck by this verse. 
I read it in the NIV and when I looked it up on Bible Gateway in the NIV 2010 this was the verse: 

"I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ."

hmmm.. well, either way... I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith and I pray that your partnership with me in the faith will lead you to a deeper understanding of every good thing we have in Christ! 

It is true isn't it? 

the more we actively share the hope that we have in Jesus Christ, the more we understand every good thing we have in Christ.
and the more we partner together in sharing this hope, the more deeply we understand how God created us to be in relationship with Him.

It is actually happening!

My Italian visa arrived and I am moving to Rome, Italy!
The visa arrived 5 days after I applied for it in person in San Francisco
God is good!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

traveling up the 101

I chose to drive up Highway 101 as I made my way back from Sacramento. I have random memories of Hwy 101 from childhood, and I realize that I am enjoying revisiting places like that. 
The first day I drove from Sacramento to Kelseyville in California and stayed with dear friends. I got to see their daughter again and meet their new son. And her mom and dad were visiting too!  These people are such a blessing to me! here is an amusing clip of an evening. The adults getting dinner ready... the dog running on the treadmill.
video

Then Sunday morning I began the drive up Hwy 101. 
As I drove past the amazing redwood trees I kept marveling at the variety that God has given us. Seriously! How many different variety of trees do we have? 
In the drive up Hwy 101, I saw a couple rainbows, loads of Redwoods and a lot of mist and fog, I drove over the tallest bridge on the west coast. 
#I drove through Crescent City and I think that is where I stopped at Starbucks. Actually I went through the drive through. The barista asked me where I was from. He did not recognize my accent. :-) I shared that I am from Portland, went to college in the midwest, and have lived 5 years in Germany. He concluded that he really liked the combination. Aw... that was nice.  
I stayed in Gold Beach, OR on Sunday night. (I remember a girl in a pageant that I was part of, came from this town). I love the place I got to stay!  Pacific Reef Resort. The room was fantastic! The staff were great! I recommend them to anyone needing a place to stay in Gold Beach.
I realized that Waldport whose tag line of "Where the forest meets the ocean" was quite possibly founded by Germans.. because Wald means forest. And when I looked it up this morning... It was indeed founded by Germans.. in 1879.
 I drove off the Hwy to the entry level for the Heceta lighthouse. I did not go up to the lighthouse but I did love the ruggedness of the area. 


 Last night I got to stay with a dear girl in Newport. A crazy storm battered the windows overnight and when I was woken by the sound, I marveled at how God gives humans the ability to know how to make windows that don't just break into a thousand pieces when battered by storms. 
There are some great bridges on Hwy 101. And there are amazing scenes... even when there is heavy fog. I am so glad that I got to drive up Hwy 101. 
Today I will finish the drive turning toward Portland near Lincoln City. Wow... I just thank God for allowing me to do this.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Applying for my Italian visa


Last Friday I drove my car from Kandern, Germany to Rome, Italy. this was the moon the morning I left Kandern.
In my car were 3 suitcases, 7 houseplants, 2 paintings (1 from spain, one from a great aunt) and some other breakables. Also in the passenger seat was my dear friend Shelly Gilmore. That was a blessing!  We had a 12+ hours drive that day. 

Then I came back to the states on Monday because I needed to apply for my Italian visa in San Francisco. So, I landed in Portland, Oregon on Monday night after about 18 hours of flying. 

Wednesday morning I began the drive down to Central California. I thank God for the ministry partners who lent me a vehicle to make this trip. That was a good 10+hour drive. Through snow, rain, sun, fog, I saw three rainbows, crossed multiple rivers (The Sacramento river 3 times), and traversed the highest point on I-5.  

I arrived at the home of my dear friend Cheryl and her husband Matt that evening. Jet-lag and drive-lag set in.. but I was so thankful to be with a dear friend. 
Thursday morning I said goodbye to Cheryl and Matt. And drove to the home of Lina Hughes, the amazing attorney who worked on my visa application. Once there we went over the application and I realized that I left my Oregon ID card in a box at my mom's house in Portland. Oops...Well, the copy was in the file so we decided to try anyway to apply.

We drove the hour and half from her house into downtown San Francisco and had great conversations on the way. You know how sometimes you just connect with someone? I am so thankful to God for Lina! We found parking in a 30 min meter parking spot... walked across to a french style cafe and had lunch.. Lina went and fed the meter 1/2 way through lunch. I had creamy mushroom soup and we split a delicious lemon tart.

Then it was on to the consulate...The line was already forming… I could guess why each person was seeking an Italian visa. Some people seemed nervous while others seemed cocky. We all lined up alongside the building.. in front of three motor cycles. After a moment a woman from inside the consulate came out to tell us that we needed to make sure we had a money order for the fee and our driver's license and passports to show them. 

hmmm... my German driver's license is not needed here. And my Oregon ID card is in Oregon. Also...I had cash not a money order because on their website it stated that cash is accepted. I would be lying if I said that slight panic did not set in. :-)

We were finally allowed inside the consulate and as is typical in America we eventually were all talking with each other. What are you going to Italy for? Where is the nearest place to get a money order? You have tried how many times to get the visa? 

We were about 5th in line. And as the people in front of me went one by one up to the counter and were turned away, I got more nervous. Over and over people were asking to get an extension of the 90 day maximum you can (as an American) be in Schengen countries. Marco (working at the counter) kept having to tell people "there is nothing I can do to change this for you." 

My turn... I walk up and smile at Marco. And as I hand him the packet that Lina has put together, she explains that she is the attorney representing the organization that is sending me to Italy. Marco is more than impressed by the packet she has put together. We joke back and forth a bit. He enters info into the computer, tells me that it will be ready in 10 days and they would send it to me. I say grazie and arrivederci we smile and leave the consulate. WHAT? No issues?! No need for me to show my original ID card?! No missing forms?! A smile?! Friendly banter?!   AMAZING!!!

The live tree in Union Square San Francisco.
I think it went so smoothly because of Lina's amazing preparations. She said it was my blue eyes. Can we call it a good partnership?! :-)

Today I begin the drive back to Oregon via the homes of some dear ministry partners. I am just in awe of God. Time with good friends, new friends, favour with the consulate, oh... and I got to see my brother Michael in San Francisco because he was visiting there too. God is good!

Thursday, 2 December 2010

sigh

Tonight I went to the Kandern Weihnacht Aktion in the Blumenplatz. I took it all in... snow, fires to warm by, choirs singing, friends around, grillwürst to eat glüwein to drink. And some last goodbyes. Sigh.. I am so sad.

Today I had the help of great people who have helped me move a few times in the past 5 years. And they helped get everything down from the attic that is going into the moving truck Monday morning. One pile for the moving truck, one pile for my car, and one pile to be given/sold to others. 

So tomorrow. 7am, my dear friend Shelly and I will drive from Kandern. I am so thankful that main roads are kept very clear because we have had a lot of snow over here these days.

Pray for me... for safety in driving, for no car issues. For my breaking heart as I leave people I love again...