I have to say that ONE of my most wasteful habits has to be email. No matter how much I fight against it, I get sucked in by the myriad invitations to “come visit my website – I have fun, interesting stuff to show you!!” I fight it by closing down the tab so that I have to make at least some effort to check email.
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The first day of the lectureships has started off well. And it looks like the weather will be nice this year, although I will miss the snow.
Come see me! I have seen Paolo de Luca, but no one else, yet.
I woke up a little depressed this morning.
I paid my rent. Two more whole months to go before returning home. Something is wrong with my water bill at home… it is twice as much as it should be, which means I have a problem somewhere. Other nagging problems that need to be taken care of, but I can’t handle them for two more months!
Tonight is the Bible study at sister Aide’s house. She is Nicaraguan and talks so fast that I can’t understand very much of what she says. And the ladies in the Bible class are country, and I can barely understand what they say. Oh, and of course, the preacher speaks Spanish too, and when he is teaching, he talks very fast, and sometimes I totally lose track.
And I wonder if I am doing any good, struggling so much with the language. I smile and nod my head a lot when I don’t understand. I smile some more when they say to each other that I didn’t understand, because I DO understand the words for “she doesn’t understand”!
But tonight at the Bible study, Aida said, in Spanish, that she didn’t want me to go back to the US because she would miss me.
So I am feeling a little depressed, because I only have two more months here.
Thanks for listening. I feel better now :)
I like routine. I like to get up at the same time every day, eat the same breakfast, be at my desk at the same time, have my schedule for the day at my fingertips. And I sometimes can get very aggravated at interruptions.
But I also like spontaneity. If someone calls and says, “Hey, do you want to …?”, I am always ready to go, do, see or help!
I am a rain-day girl. I love the rain. So for me, days and days of slow drizzle are wonderful!
When I pray in English, I usually say, “Father”. For me, that shows the respect that I have for him as creator and ruler of my house and the desire for a close relationship. When I pray in Spanish, I usually say, “Señor” because Padre sounds too much like I am talking to a priest instead of to God.
I finally took some time to go to downtown San José this morning. I am very careful about how I travel, so I had some of my money in my front pocket with my IPhone, and some in a secret pocket. My backpack is the obvious target, so I only had my camera in one of the pockets, but nothing much else in the rest of it.
While walking down the Avenida Central, I noticed this good-looking guy watching me. Well, I know I am cute (not really!), but good-looking guys don´t look at old ladies! So I was instantly on the alert and aware that I might be a target.
Sure enough, as I was getting ready to go into a bookstore, I heard my pack zipper. I instantly pulled my pack around to the front, and caught this lady in the act! She turned up to a counter and acted like she was looking for something. There was a guard at the door, and I pointed to her and showed him my unzipped pack, but he just shook his head and grinned. So we just stood there and watched her until finally she hurried away.
The moral of the story: be alert! for you don’t know at what hour the thief may come!
OK, Chick-Fil-A is a hands-down winner for car food. I love those little chicken nuggets. That said, though, my most frequented spot is McDonald’s. Their coffee is usually good and though their fries aren’t as good as they were back in the 60′s when lard was still a cooking option, they are still the best of show! Also, here in Costa Rica, the McCafe is not just a coffee making machine, it is a whole room where you can get Starbucks-type desserts with your fancy coffee.
“Our people must also learn to engage in good deeds to meet pressing needs, so that they will not be unfruitful.”
Titus is a great book for studying about responsibility. From qualifications for the shepherds of the church right down to each member.
We are going through a series right now about community. The early church grew strong because they were in communion with each other. They supplied the needs of that God-given community. That is what we are as a church, a place to go to have the stripes of the world bound up, to be healed. Jesus had community. David, because he stayed home and didn’t go out to war the way other kings did, lost community and sinned.
Often when we feel needy, we isolate ourselves. I would suggest that we throw ourselves head-long and heart-long back into community with the family that God has given us.
I have to have pencil and paper to survive. I carry a mechanical pencil and a stick eraser everywhere. I have notebooks for everything… vocabulary lists, summaries of stuff I study… I love paper!
I have always wanted to be a speaker, to be able to put together a good talk and deliver it – in Spanish! Then, of course, there is the desire to be a good writer. And then I wish I could … , oh, sorry, you said another talent, not others, plural.
Well, my stuff is not in a closet, since I have been in the process of house renewal for the last four years. So my stuff is stored in boxes in an old shed. Stuff that I have lived without for four years. Granted, most of it is books, but still…
A system of rules, conduct and belief that allows man to feel plugged into a world that, without it, is pointless, terrifying, and beyond his control and understanding.
I love knives. I guess I should say bladed-weapons. I have some very interesting weapons, some hundreds of years old! I have swords, sais, a balisong, and a wide assortment of other weapons.
But the last thing I did with a knife was cut an orange.
My life has had its ups and downs. But I have usually shown a good face on the outside. I am pretty consistently in a good humor even when things are not great. It is hard to be depressed when there are so many beautiful, funny, interesting things to admire, laugh at and ponder.
It would have to be a picture of a very small head with curly hair. (I have to be careful around my friends not to say that my brain is feeling fuzzy.)
I prefer real, but I only do fake right now. Mostly because I am still only living in half of my house and don’t have a nice living room to put one up in (Yikes! Editor needed for that sentence!).
My trees (a small one in the kitchen/office, and a tiny one in my bedroom) are usually decorated with disorganized gusto. I like tinsel and lots of lights that stay on constantly… none of this blinking stuff for me!
Of course, some day when my house is finished, I want to get a real tree. There is always that question of destroying trees, although, since Christmas trees are grown specifically for that purpose and replanted on a renewable cycle, I don’t think it is any different than the millions of poinsettias that we let die on our dining room tables before New Year’s eve!
Personally, I keep mine alive and plant them in my flower garden in the spring, where they can die with dignity. :)
Is what I am doing today a reflection of a life committed to God?
I use a retractable eraser. Enough said :)
Well, OK, maybe that is not quite right. Actually, I see the apartment across the court yard. But I always step out the door so that I can see this little garden area. Just because what I see is not pretty doesn’t mean I can’t change my view.
I am the only one who can touch my computers without my express permission. All my computers are work computers. I am all business because it is too easy to lose stuff even when you are being careful.I’m an easy-going person, and I think that life is great. You can crease my paperback spine, which you know I really hate. You can say my fuzzy brain is because of my fuzzy hair. But when it comes to my computers, I am like a roaring bear!
I am pretty wired. But I have a pretty good excuse. I started out as a computer programmer when computers first made their desk-top appearance.
My IPhone has over 100 apps, I have a desk-top computer, notebook, and laptop, and an old Mac computer (can’t remember what it is called).
I use XMarks to keep all my bookmarks synced, Dropbox to keep all my files accessible, Skype to keep me connected to people when it is too expensive to call internationally, ZoneAlarm to keep my computers safe, Webshots to keep me from getting bored with my desktop picts, and MySpeed to slow down the speaking speed when I am listening to foreign language stuff.
I have my own website, which I very seldom update, and have accounts with Twitter and Facebook, which I very seldom visit.
I have friends I have never seen, or even heard their voices. But I have heard their thoughts through their keyboards, and I love them. For that I am very thankful that I am wired!
I will be a clown! We are having children’s Bible classes the first week of July in Alajuela, Costa Rica, and I will be dressed as a clown, going through the neighborhoods enticing kids to come to the classes.
The next week, I will be a counselor/devotional leader at a camp designed specifically for evangelism.
This all takes place during the two-week break in the school year here in Costa Rica. It is kind of like the Christmas break in the USA.
Well, I have to admit that I had to ask a friend about this, because I couldn’t think of anything unique about myself or my life.
But according to my friends, I am a leaper. Some people have to be secure. They have to have enough dollars and a house and other things that ground them physically and emotionally.
Me, all I have to have is a chance. I leaped at the chance to go to Saskatchewan, Canada after college to do mission work on the Indian reservations, and then I leaped at the chance to go to India for a year and a half. I worked in international banking for 12 years, and then I leaped at the chance to start my own business at the beginning of the new desktop computer craze (Yes, I am very old.) Then I leaped at the chance to get back into mission work.
When someone offered to help support me if I came to Costa Rica to learn more Spanish and help the church here, I leaped at the chance.
So, that has made my life unique.
I’m a leaper. Just give me a chance!
I was always a cat person, until this little red dog came into my life.
I promise, I had no idea she was a poodle. She had straight red hair and when I walked by the store where she was, she followed me with her eyes. So, of course, I went in to look at her. I asked the lady if I could hold her. As soon as I picked her up she put her head on my shoulder (the dog, not the lady). I asked the lady what kind of dog she was and she said a poodle. I turned to the friend who was with me and said, “Oh, no. I am in love with a poodle!”
So for the next 15 years, I had the best pet anyone could ever have. She was so smart that you wouldn’t believe it if I told you. She didn’t act like the typical poodle, no shaking (except when she got a haircut and was cold), no yapping. I have been without her for three years this month and I (and some of my friends – she was that well loved) will still cry about it if we talk about her.
So now I am a dog person, with strong cat tendencies :)
Oh, and I met this really cool rabbit here in Costa Rica, so I also might like a rabbit.
I am definitely an introvert with strong hermit tendencies. It requires a lot of effort on my part to get out and meet and greet. If left to my own devises, I would probably never leave the house!
That said, because I am a Christian, I fight that tendency. It is very hard, but it has to be done. And sometimes I am so good at hiding it that some people actually think I am an extrovert!
He’s my brother.
Last night after English class the preacher in Sabanilla drove one of my students to San Jose where he caught a bus to continue his journey home. My student is very rough looking, a bit of an attitude, but very smart. He has a drug problem and thinks the world owes him.
So when the preacher told me that he was his brother, I was totally surprised! Two boys from the same house. One chose a life of dissipation and the other chose God.
It’s all about choices.
I am studying with a lady that we taught last year in beginner’s English classes here in Costa Rica. I am afraid I will be faced with a question brought up incidently in the book we will be studying from (How to Be a True Christian – that is how I am translating it… I don’t know the correct English title).
It brings up the point that there is no purgatory, that when you die or when Jesus comes, our destiny is decided for eternity then. There are no scripture references in the book to back this up, and because this is a Catholic country, I am afraid there will be questions regarding life/afterlife.
Anyone got some quick scriptures I can use to address this subject? I have a few, but I am not sure I am ready to face questions without some extra help.
Home has never been a part of my vocabulary because of my background. I never used the word home. Instead, I stayed. I stayed with these people, or those people. Finally, I lived with my mother. When I got older and moved out of state, I went to visit her and my other relatives. But even then, I never went “home”.
But then, a few years ago the preacher asked the question in a Bible class. It was an “Aha!” moment for me when I realized that I finally knew the answer. Home was right there. Home is being with my brethren on Sunday and Wednesday, and any other time we decide to get together.
Home is where my brothers and sisters in Christ are.
I am going to Costa Rica, Lord willing, on March 22 and will not be returning until July 19. I have been really worried about the money, because someone who said that they were going to help with the expenses has not been forthcoming, so my money is very tight right now.
On Monday, I was having work done on a very painful tooth. Dr. Atkins who was working on the tooth said the roots were too small for him to work on, so he wanted to send me to an endodontist. When they called to make the appointment, I was told that it would cost $1088!! I told the assistant at Dr. Atkins’ office that we would have to just pull the tooth because I could not afford that. She made the appointment anyway, saying that she would talk to Dr. Atkins and have him talk to Dr. Shoemaker about a discounted price.
When I got to Dr. Shoemaker’s office, he started the process (I am getting the actual root canal done today) and when I went to the payment counter to find out what I owed, the office manager said that Dr. Shoemaker was going to give me a 50% discount, and that Dr. Atkins was going to pay the other 50%!! I was totally shocked!
Then the office manager said, “The work you are doing is very important.”
I couldn’t help it. I started to cry.
I have to admit that I spent too many years having a bad attitude. But then one day I heard a speaker say that when you had a bad attitude about something that someone else did, you were letting that person rule you. As a single woman, I have quite an aversion to being ruled :) So this was an important revelation to me.
His solution was to let yourself fuss and fume for one half hour. That’s all. Just 30 minutes. And then get back to doing what you were doing and being what you wanted to be.
Sounds easy. But it’s not. How do you make that 30 minute transformation?
Here are some of the things that I think about to get myself on the right track:
I remember how short my life is and that I don’t want to waste a minute of it feeling down or upset.
I remember my purpose: to serve God. And I can’t do that effectively if I don’t have a good attitude.
I remember that I have more power to overcome than I ever take advantage of just by a whispered prayer.
And in a totally pragmatic way, I remember that activity heals.
Time to get back to work.
I am definitely a night person. I can stay up until the wee hours of the morning reading and studying, but if I have to get up early… no brain.
I use the NASV because I find it easier when I am doing comparative readings in Spanish or Greek. I like my new ESV, though, especially since it is so cute!
I have been concentrating on the letter of Titus and impressed with the many references to doing good deeds. In Titus 3:5, it says that “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy…” But verse eight says that Titus is to speak confidently, “so that those who have believed God will be careful to engage in good deeds.”
We are saved by the mercy of God, but we need to “be ready for every good deed” (Titus 3:1).