Thursday, March 25, 2010

Really good food

"'My food,' said Jesus, 'is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work...'"
Why do we eat food?
  • it gives us energy to keep going
  • it satisfies us completely
  • it tastes good and makes us happy
  • it nourishes and strengthen us
  • it brings people together

How is being in God's will like food?

It energizes us and keeps us going! There is nothing more exhilarating, nothing that makes your heart pump harder than realizing you are exactly where God wants you to be, doing exactly what he wants you to do - it's a feeling of fulfillment and satisfaction to know you are who you were created to be. When you are in it, you don't need anything else to complete you! It feels so right - it tastes so good - and all your joy and contentment is wrapped up in living life to the fullest it can be. It nourishes your relationship with God, so that you get stronger and closer to him the longer you follow him and do his will. And God can use it to bring people together, as I wrote about the other night: God's will brings many hands and feet together to accomplish his plans that are bigger than any of us on our own.

"'My food,' said Jesus, 'is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work...'"

Can you say that? Do you depend on God's will daily, crave it like really good food? Does it make your stomach growl just longing for it? Taste and see how good His will is!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A sparrow's grass in holiday socks!

Translation: Asparagus in hollanday sauce. Tonight was quite an exotic event at the Spoon Drop Inn! We're all pretty sure it's the first time Mom has prepared asparagus for dinner, and no one would have guessed it would be because I asked for it. But it was really good! Dad said all he could think of was how about 45 years ago he sat for two hours at the table, having a staring contest with a stalk of asparagus on his plate. Apparently we were having a "very Chandler meal," what with asparagus and shepherd's pie... I think my Grandma Chandler would be proud. :)

Since I start full-time work after Easter, today was my last tutoring session with my cute little second grade fella. I got to be quite fond of him, and hope that I'll be able to hear how he's doing now and then. I also went to my last ESL volunteer session at Calvary tonight... that was difficult. I'm getting pretty attached to the Karenni kids there, too. I wrote about them when I first met them (read this entry), and it's been a very slow development of trust and familiarity. Lately I've had the opportunity to practice conversation and teach some grammar to the teenagers, which I love doing. Maybe I don't have to completely say good-bye to them yet... maybe I can muster up the energy to go back again sometimes.

I'm really amazed at how, just in the past year, I have had such a broad scope of experiences with teaching: tutoring American and Hispanic elementary school kids in all subjects, teaching pre-school kids from Egypt, Vietnam, Iran, and Mexico, teaching Hispanic and Karenni teenagers, helping my adult Egyptian friend with school work, and teaching ESL to Hispanic women. WOW! And I still have so much to learn. It is exciting though, to know that God continues to lead and guide me and gives me so many wonderful friendships and opportunities to serve.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


My hair whipped around me wildly today, sticking to my lips and harrassing my face, as I struggled to see clearly enough to get from the car to the entrance of the YMCA. En route, an older woman in a jogging suit, leaning heavily on a walker, passed me and cheerfully exclaimed, "Isn't that wind exhilarating!" Now that you mention it, it does take my breath away, makes my skin tingle, and smells like spring. Exhilarating? why yes, in fact it is! Thanks for the perspective check.

While drying my hair after a good swim, another woman asked me if I had Spina Bifida; I reminded her of her neice who has SB and is very strong and athletic, "strong as a horse," she said... anyone who knows me and also has a friend with SB out there may wonder at this point what it is about me that reminded her of her niece. Is it the undeveloped legs, or the massive chest and arm muscles?? Actually, probably the short torso... I come from a family of women with little feet and short torsos. But she seemed very nice and sincere enough, if not very persceptive, so I smiled and let her talk, as I imagined her niece might have blonde hair... that and the wheelchair seem to be the memory triggers for many people.

On my way out of the YMCA and into my car, a big muscular bald man came up to my car door and told me that he was an army man and how much he admired me... in exhilarating army-man terms. I tell ya, swearing doesn't seem quite so offensive when it's used as a compliment! I think he must have been referring to my apparent dedication to health and strength, or my intrepidly brave outlook on life... I get that a lot at the Y. Apparently there is something inspiring to others about a kid in a wheelchair working out in public. I just do it so my feet can get some circulation and my waistline won't get too flabby. But hey, if it inspires someone, that's good too.

After he waved good-bye and the door closed, I thought I should have called after him, "And isn't that wind exhilarating?!"

Monday, March 22, 2010

All His hands and feet

One of my favorite things about doing ministry is connecting with other people who love to do ministry too, who are passionate about serving and blessing people, just the way Jesus is.

Tonight at the Spoon Drop Inn sat a couple who pastor a Quaker church nearby and are involved and excited about the community. They are partnering with us as we welcome the Watoto Children's Choir from Uganda in a couple weeks. The Choir is an energetic bunch of kids who love the Lord and love the people in their homeland, and they travel the world to tell the story of the needs of the orphaned and the sick, as well as bring a message of joy and hope to everyone who hears them.

This is a community event... something much bigger than our little church with a rented room can handle on its own. It's an exciting project that requires many hands and feet, resources and talents and gifts that can only be gathered sufficiently from a whole community of believers. And I love it because it reminds us that we need each other, that kingdom work is cannot be built on an island. It proves once again that we are created for relationship... and bringing others into relationship with Christ requires that we be in relationship with him and with each other, demonstrating his love in the way we work together to accomplish something great and something beautiful... something that will bring glory to his name. So thank you to those of you who are doing that - who are my partners in the gospel.