Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Bliss of the Animals

For the bliss of the animals lies in this, that, on their lower level, they shadow the bliss of those—few at any moment on the earth—who do not “look before and after, and pine for what is not,” but live in the holy carelessness of the eternal now.”  (Sir Gibbie by George MacDonald)

thebarnyardbigst6Claire and Isaiah just watched the animated version of Charlotte’s Web and it hit me that Wilbur was not one of those “blissful” animals.  Once he learned that he was destined for the dinner table, he lost the will to live.  Neither his comfy mud hole, his well-supplied feeding trough, nor even his barnyard friends could cox him out his misery.  How could he enjoy a good roll in the mud knowing what autumn had in store for him?  Not that I blame him….

I’ve got plenty of less ominous concerns that often keep me from enjoying today:

  • We’ve got a house in VA that no longer feels like home.  No houseplants to die while we’re gone, no scented candles or d├ęcor to match the current season, and even the kids’ artwork on the fridge is saying, “I’m so last year!”
  • When asked, “Where will you be?” or “What will you be doing?” I have to just shrug my shoulders instead of pulling out my day-planner like the well-organized person I’d like to be.
  • I can’t shop for bulk-sized groceries items like thrifty Americans should because the cereal will go stale before we get home again to finish it, and there isn’t room in the van to take it with us.
  • I have to run to Wal-mart during the first snowfall with the rest of the unprepared mob to buy boots, hats and mittens instead of finding them months in advance at a thrift store or garage sale.  Who was to know that we’d even be in a place where we’d need winter gear?

This not knowing what or where we’ll be from one day to the next sometimes drives me crazy!  I find myself wanting to argue with God, “How am I supposed to plan what we’re going to eat and drink and wear like a responsible wife and mother when I don’t know where you’re going to send us next?”

Oh wait…something about that sounds familiar.  Didn’t Jesus already say something about that?  Yeah, here it is in Matthew 6:31-34.  “So don’t worry about these things, saying ‘What will we eat?  What will we drink?  What will we wear?’  These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.  Seek the Kingdom of God above all else and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.  So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries.  Today’s trouble is enough for today.

wilburThat’s a pretty straight-forward answer!  The worrying about (and dare I say) the organized planning of my future is NOT MY JOB!  It’s God’s responsibility and when I look back it’s easy to see he has done a right fine job of it too.  I’ve never wanted or lacked that which I truly needed, and I’ve been blessed with a whole lot more besides.

So what is my job?  To “live in the holy carelessness of the eternal now”—seeking God’s Kingdom and living righteously.  Whew!  That gives me a lot of freedom to enjoy today and whatever God puts in my path—the fun and the challenging.  With God’s enabling…this I can do.

Friday, October 15, 2010

“It Just Sounds So Good”

Since 2004, the Taylors have been living and working with the Nukna, a Bibleless people of Papua New Guinea (PNG). They recently completed a revision of the Nukna translation of Genesis 12-22, and the next step in the process is called “village-checking”. The translated portions are read aloud to the people in the village to test the clarity and flow of the text. We’ve been receiving email updates from the Taylors while they have been in the village, and we want to share how God has been speaking to the Nukna people through the newly translated Scripture. The Taylors write:

“It was so exciting to be reading a passage, and hear the people laughing at the right spots, or smiling as I or one of the village men read. I would ask them, ‘Why are you all smiling?’ And they would answer, ‘Because it just sounds so good. We've heard this story before in Tok Pisin (the trade language), but we've never heard it like this before!’

NuknaAs we were checking Genesis chapter 21, which tells the story of Hagar and Ishmael dying of thirst in the desert, and God hearing their cries and revealing a well of water to save them, a large downpour with thunder and lightning hit the village, the first heavy rain in almost three weeks.

One of the village leaders said to me, ‘It has been so dry lately, and we have been very worried that the food growing in our gardens would dry up and die. But just like God heard Hagar's cries for water, He has heard our cries for water and sent this rain.’

Wow, great timing, God!”

Reading Matt’s story renews our excitement for Bible translation, and we look forward to returning to PNG to support the work through aviation.  Ask us how you can help bring God’s Word to the Nukna people and other Bibleless people of Papua New Guinea.  Bible translation requires a lot of team work, and God uses ordinary people like you and me to accomplish this task.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pink Glasses are Chic

13 Oct 10 (8)13 Oct 10Look who got glasses today!

After several weeks of reoccurring headaches, and complaints that reading made her tired, we decided to get Claire’s eyes checked.  She’s a bit farsighted, has astigmatism, and needs to wear her glasses all the time…BUT we think she’s even cuter than she was before!  

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Teamwork on Two Wheels

So sometimes the kids do get along.  Actually, they usually play together pretty well, but this made me just plain proud of them….