Monday, June 27, 2005

Another Passage From the Book I'm Reading...

"I have learned one absolute principle in calculating God's presence or absence, and that is that I cannot. God, invisible, sovereign, who according to the psalmist, 'does whatever pleases Him,' sets the terms of the relationship. As the theologian Karl Barth insisted so fiercely, God is free: free to reveal himself or conceal himself, to intervene or not intervene, to work within nature or outside it, to rule over the world or even to be despised and rejected by the world, to display himself or limit himself. Our own human freedom derives from a God who cherishes freedom.

I cannot control such a God. At best I can put myself in the proper frame to meet him. I can confess sin, remove hindrances, purify my life, wait expectantly, and-perhaps hardest of all- seek solitude and silence. I offer no guaranteed method to obtain God's presence, for God alone governs that. Solitude and silence merely supply the state most conducive to attending to the still, small voice of God. There is, however, a sure way to promote God's absence. C.S. Lewis sets it out clearly:

'Avoid silence, avoid solitude, avoid any train of thought that leads off the beaten track. Concentrate on money, sex, status, health and (above all) on your own grievances. Keep the radio on. Live in a crowd. Use plenty of sedation. If you must read books, select them very carefully. But you'd be safer to stick to the papers. You'll find the advertisements helpful; especially those with a sexy or a snobbish appeal.' "
Reaching for the Invisible God
By Philip Yancey
Hmmmm.....wonder why God feels so far away these days.......? Gotta go find me a quiet, solitary place.
Bye

Monday, June 20, 2005

Perspective

I had a really good Sunday. Though I have been battling mild flu-like symptoms for a week (malaria???), I still enjoyed it. I first had coffee with my pastor/brother/friend/fellow journeyer, Rob. Now, he is just an all around cool guy and he gets me. He helps me see things in perspective and perspective is a VERY valuable thing! So I realized my need to be easier on myself, allow myself time to chill, to not be afraid to feel and express the various emotions I have been feeling. I left that meeting more positive and way more encouraged that this is all part of the plan. Like my blog says, it's all about the Journey.

So then I went to this Sudanese church with my friend Shannon. I have to say, Sudanese people are Gorgeous! Tall and very dark and regal. They were so happy to have visitors and we chatted with some of them. We were introduced to one of the church elders, Gabriel, who I realized I'd met last year when I was volunteering with a refugee family. He remembered me too which was awesome and I just started to really relax. It felt familiar.... a nice feeling. Genuine lovers of Jesus, colourful clothes, dancing, clapping (no djembi though).... I might have to go back.

And after that we went to my mom's house to celebrate Father's Day with my stepdad Rolly. It is a strange thing to be celebrating Father's Day again after quite a few years of not and for someone who's not my biological dad. But Rolly has been a healing balm in all our lives; he's an answer to prayer and I'm very happy to let him know how thankful I am for him.

Ciao!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Make It Last

I know I need to update. I just don't know what to write. Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!

Ok, so, the DTS students came back from their outreaches and have their de-briefing this week in and graduation at Beautiful Gate and all of a sudden, I am insanely jealous that they'll be all together again and having fun in the training centre. Beth and Annelies will be back in our dorm room, but I won't be there! I really miss having bunches of people to hang out with!

BUT....really cool thing I'm looking forward to, though small I feel it is important, I'm going to the Sudanese church this afternoon with my friend Shannon. Yah! Africans! Cool!

Masalama, Chokran (not the correct spelling of the only Arabic words I know),
Nicole

Friday, June 10, 2005

Re: Question for Discussion

In regards to the question for discussion (thank you Heidi for your thoughts, you Rock!):

Maybe I have posed the wrong question. Maybe the question should be, How do we make marriage work and last and be fulfilling to both people? And how do we love those who have been hurt by marriage and how can God use us to bring healing to their hearts?

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Question for Discussion

Ok, I receieved an e-mail from a dear friend of mine who is struggling right now with this issue and I'm just curious and wondered what people's views/thoughts are on the whole marriage thing, specifically, marriage after divorce. Like, in light of Scripture, how do you interpret that? Is it ok for a Christian to marry a person who has been divorced? Under what circumstances is it ok or not ok? Throw your thoughts out there, that is if anyone is out there reading this!

Personally, I think it becomes a very personal decision between the two people and God. And I think it has a lot to do with what circumstances surrounded the divorce in the first place. Was the person abandoned, cheated on, abused? Not a Christian at the time? Then I think God is big and redeems all situations if we allow Him into our lives and desires for us to be fulfilled and happy. Not that marriage should take the place of God in our lives who wants to fulfill us Himself, but an extension of His blessing in our lives as we seek to know Him. And that's as far as I'm gonna go right now cuz I haven't actually sat down and studied the Scripture or asked God what He thinks. :-)

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!!!!


What my mom taught me....there is always a reason to laugh! Life is hard but it is also fun! Posted by Hello

Monday, June 06, 2005

I'm in A London Fog


His Love is Deeper Posted by Hello
So, I'm at work, making coffee, being polite, blah, blah, when 2 people come in. Sonja (my boss) and I chat with them a little (we like to chat with people). They order, I start making their drinks and I overhear the girl say she was visiting Rhodes Memorial in South Africa when she first had Rooibos tea. So, of course, I excitedly turn to her and say, you were just in South Africa? I just came back from there too! She casually looked in my direction and made some sort of noise similar to "huh" and continued talking to the guy she was with. Now, at first I was just like, ok, whatever, carry on. But then I hear them talking some more and realize these guys are Christians and as I am facing the espresso bar steaming milk, I just feel this overwhelming sense of sadness because I just really wanted to talk to them ya know? Share a couple stories in a brief moment. Connect. And you know, there are probably plenty of reasons why she was so indifferent and plenty of reasons why I'm so upset about it. I mean, it has nothing to do with her and everything to do with me. Why did it strike at such a tender area of my heart? Maybe because I know I had something to offer in that moment and believe me, working in a coffee shop, any chance I have to offer who I really am is rare. And I just wish, beyond all wishing, that relationships between Christians could be so much more than they are. Am I expecting too much?Meh, I might be making more of this than necessary but does anyone understand? I'm not sure if I even do. Just wanted to spill.....

Friday, June 03, 2005

Lord, To Whom Shall I Go?

So, the job's goin' ok, except today I spilled boiling water over my hand and was out of commission for a good half hour during the busiest time of our day! Grrrrr!!!! That was dumb! Well, all the more reason to look forward to spending the weekend at my friend's cabin in the mountains of BC!

Thought I'd share a passage from a book a very wise leader and good friend gave to me before I left South Africa. It's from "Reaching for the Invisible God" by Philip Yancey...

"Examining my own periods of faithlessness, I see in them all manner of unbelief. Sometimes I shy away for lack of evidence, sometimes I slink away in hurt or disillusionment, and sometimes I turn aside in willful disobedience. Something, though, keeps drawing me back to God. What? I ask myself.

'This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?' said Jesus' disciples in words that resonate in every doubter. Jesus' listeners found themselves simultaneously attracted and repelled, like a compass needle brought close to a magnet. As his words sank in, one by one the crowd of onlookers and followers slouched away, leaving only the Twelve. 'You do not want to leave too, do you?' Jesus asked them in a tone somewhere between plaintiveness and resignation. As usual, Simon Peter spoke up: 'Lord, to whom shall we go?'

That, for me, is the bottom-line answer to why I stick around. To my shame, I admit that one of the strongest reasons I stay in the fold is the lack of good alternatives, many of which I have tried. 'Lord, to whom shall I go?' The only thing more difficult than having a relationship with an invisible God is having no such relationship."

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

If At First You Don't Succeed....

Ok, so it has only taken me a whole week, maybe more to figure this posting photos to my blogspot thing. But, I did it! I figured it out and now I think I need to go outside and not stare at this screen any longer!

I will update later. With pics! Hope evereyone is well. Hope you're actually reading this!