Monthly Archives: September 2014

Two extremes of self-interest

“This passion empties one of self.  One does not “self-empty” by focusing upon oneself.  One is emptied of self to the degree one is overcome by the needs, pain, hopes and desires of others.  When concern for others takes one utterly beyond self-interest, beyond obsession with achievements and self-obsessing guilt over failures, beyond self, then one receives of the comfort of an Easter “yes” so overwhelming, unconditional, undeniable, and absolute that it is experienced as unfailing and forever–a yes more potent and enduring than any imaginable no” (Reflection on Phil. 2:1-13 by William Greenway in Daily Feast Devotional)

Continue reading Two extremes of self-interest

As the sun rises…

I’ve discovered a new park from which to watch the sun rise.  I stop at the Starbucks across the street and get a refill of the Veranda Blend coffee, and then head over to the parking lot of the park.  I like this park because there are actually picnic tables on the deck where I can sit and see the ocean.  This eliminates the need to lug the chair that lives in the trunk of my car down to the sand.

Continue reading As the sun rises…

Thursday in Jamaica: the hugging lady and high school soccer matches

Today’s word was “salvation.”  In the sense, I think, of who is it that needs salvation?  We talked a lot about the role of Sunday morning worship in either serving the believers, or equipping them to go out to the rest of the week.  I just found that the way I think about Sunday morning worship and the way pastors I know think about it didn’t fit into the categories and labels we were evaluating.  I don’t know how much of that has to do with the difference between Lutheran ecclesiology (understanding of the church) and conservative Evangelical ecclesiology.  But something is different.

Continue reading Thursday in Jamaica: the hugging lady and high school soccer matches

Wednesday in Jamaica: Maroons and Blue Mountain coffee

Today’s word was ‘sacrifice,’ and our conversation over breakfast circulated again around Phil. 2.  My reflection is that acts of sacrifice are important…adopting kids, selling everything to move overseas, living on one income to spend more time volunteering, etc.  yes…perhaps we should do that more often as Christians.  But what struck me from the text is that it says, “your ATTITUDE should be the same as that of Christ Jesus…who did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing..”  More than acts of sacrifice, I think scripture calls for attitudes of sacrifice.  And that doesn’t have to mean big things.  That can mean letting someone have the last word in a discussion.  It can mean being patient with interruptions to the schedule.  It can mean consistently putting others before yourself.  That will probably lead to some acts…but it starts with attitude.

Continue reading Wednesday in Jamaica: Maroons and Blue Mountain coffee

Tuesday in Jamaica: goats, cold showers and plantains

I slept like a rock.  The rain meant a cooler evening, and the constant humming of the fan drowned out noises.  The house doesn’t have air conditioning or hot water.  A water pump has to be turned on to get running water.  There’s no internet service.  If it was on the beach it would remind me a lot of where we would stay as a family in Mombasa.

I woke up to a work-related dream…something about an honest letter from someone leaving the church being read at a council meeting, followed by some analysis of the weaknesses the letter brought up.  This is founded in reality–and part of the reason this trip is really timely.  Others in the group were already up, and over a breakfast of instant coffee and cereal, we began some conversation to frame the day. Continue reading Tuesday in Jamaica: goats, cold showers and plantains

Is it time for furlough?

Being a missionary kid comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.  Advantages include an ability to walk between worlds and validate people’s perspectives and diversity.  Advantages include a broader view of the world and a certain amount of self-sufficiency that contributes to success and independence.  Advantages include an appreciation for chai, chapatis, and dhal.

Continue reading Is it time for furlough?