Saturday, 25 February 2012

I'm not sure how I kept a straight face today...

It was bad enough when my student read "pick up dry branches" as "picked up dry banana peels" but it got worse:

"The era of the crowboy came to an end as a result of changes in the cattle business. When crows roamed the vast ranges of the Southwest...."

Monday, 20 February 2012

To Care for Widows and Orphans

I'd like to introduce you to Warm Blankets Orphan Care, They care for widows and orphans in third world countries by starting churches and orphanages; the orphanages are staffed by the widows.

I like what they do and how they care for the children. They are dedicated to caring for both their spiritual and physical needs. They also keep them in their own communities as much as possible; at the very least, they are in their own countries. That way, there is a generation raised knowing God and ready to work and live in their country where they can in turn minister to others.

If you head over to their website, you can learn more about them. I would also encourage you to check out how to become a prayer guardian: someone who will pray for one of the orphans.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Computers, God, Trust

Last Monday my computer at work decided not to work properly. It refused to let me do anything work-related (although the internet still worked, so it wasn't all bad). I spoke first to a very patronizing tech support guy who explained to me where to find the "my computer" icon and to click on it then it was open and I was waiting. He also told me how to restart the server, the same way as you restart any computer. In the end he couldn't fix things and I felt too happy about that.
Anyway, I spoke with tech support 4 days last week (mostly letting them have remote access and then waiting for it to be fixed). By then parts of it worked and other parts worked sometimes. Friday I was off, Saturday was too busy to deal with tech support (and the parts that didn't work caused a lot of trouble and extra work for a lot of people as they helped me deal with stuff), and Sunday I was off. Monday I called tech support again and Tuesday our internal computer guy was able to come and call tech support himself (after taking about 5 minutes to figure out what was tying up my server so it wouldn't work). By the end of Tuesday, everything worked. Well...almost everything, but it only took tech support about 20 minutes Wednesday morning to fix the last glich.
I am pleased to say that for about 24 hours everything worked perfectly. By then, though, I was tired of tech support and I was able to live without the other parts for a while. Next week, I will have to deal with it again, but I'm thinking that out internal guy can come and deal with it for me.
All of these issues have left me way behind on paperwork and reports and stuff. So far, in fact, that I've pretty much given up on catching up. Maybe if I could get just one day without anything new to deal with there would be some hope. As it is, I've been working long, long days just trying to keep up and deal with tech support.

And so I have been tired and frustrated and grumpy. It's been very, very hard to trust God in the midst of wanting to yell at my computer or maybe introduce it to a baseball bat.
By last weekend I knew I was in a very bad way. I was snapping at kids and being impatient with our internal tech guy who was trying to be helpful. I was also excusing myself: I was tired and things weren't going well and if the computer would work and I could work fewer hours everything would be okay.
It isn't true though. Things weren't okay until I admitted that my attitude and behaviour were sinful and I needed to confess and repent and spend more time in prayer and less time complaining.
This past week has been much better. I'm still tired and there are still computer issues and I may never catch up on paperwork... but this week I prayed more when I was frustrated and accepted that God is sovereign even over computers and didn't take my frustration out on people or bottle it up. This week was better.

Still... I am very, very happy for a 3-day weekend.

Sunday, 12 February 2012


I really, really planned to write more but life gets in the way. I spoke with tech support at work 4 days this past week, and the only reason it wasn't more was that I was off Friday and no one has time to deal with tech support on a Saturday. The first guy was very condescending and explained things so carefully that I usually ended up a step ahead. In the end, he couldn't fix things so I was bumped up to level 3 tech support. This guy is much nicer but may be tired of talking to me! Anyway, it's made for very long days and I've been getting home too tired to think.

There are things to write about. I want to tell you about the missionary biographies I've read and do a review of The World-Tilting Gospel (although I'm still not quite done it, partly because I've been too tired to focus and partly because, as a friend of mine said, it's a good book and we don't want it to end). There are thoughts from Bible Study to expand upon, and new ones from today's sermon. There are little things and big things that I've thought about and spoken with people about....maybe next week will be better and I'll write more.

For today, I give you a line from the small elf who sits with me Sunday mornings. Today's sermon was from Mark 10, about divorce. This is what she got from it: "When a man marries a woman they become 1 flesh instead of being 2 fleshes."

Have a lovely week!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

On Not Being Silent

Before you read what I have to say, head on over to Biblical Christianityand read what Dan Phillips had to say today. He says it well and he's making me think. After you read him, you can come back and read my thoughts.

Okay? My thoughts are going in 2 directions on this, outward and inward.

First the outward. When the kids want to talk about things, I listen. I let them tell me about school and TV shows and books and dreams and whatever is on their minds. They can tell me the same stories over and over and talk about the same topics everyday and I listen because I love them and even if I'm not interested in the topic, I'm interested in the people talking.
How much more should I want to listen to people who are talking about the bigger things in life. If someone I respect is talking (or writing) about the same thing for the fifth time (and not just whining or complaining but actually thinking) then maybe it's time to listen even more closely. Even if the issue isn't important to me, it is to him, and maybe by listening carefully I can find out why it should be important to me and what (if anything) I can do about it.

Then the inward: If the issues are big enough, what should I be doing? Listening is all well and good, but it won't change anything. The thing is, doing means work. It means knowing and understanding what's happening in the world that might affect my little world. It also means risking and being prepared for arguments and dissent. It's easier to talk about things that people agree about and to talk about the big issues in the safety of a group who agrees with me.
It's easy to rationalize silence, too. I'm a completely unknown person who writes sporadically on a blog with about 7 readers. I'm not about to change the world, and I'm not sure anyone outside of my little circle would even listen to me.
There's a bit of a poem, though, that's stuck with me for years. From "A Litany for Survival" by Audre Lorde:

and when we speak we are afraid
our words will not be heard
nor welcomed
but when we are silent
we are still afraid

So maybe it's time to speak up more and risk not being heard rather than risk not speaking words that need to be said.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

It is with great joy...

...that I announce the birth of nephew #7. Ever Wayne Gerald Gillings-Wassenaar was born early this morning and weighed in at 8lbs, 14ozs, He made his mom wait a full week (at least) before making his appearance. Rumor has it that his hair might account for some of that weight.

I now have 7 nephews and 6 nieces and I think that's going to be it. That's good. I can tell you their names, and with some thinking (and math) I can figure out their ages, and usually I can remember what month they were born, but that's it. I cannot remember most of their birthdays.

What I do remember is to love them and pray for them.