Saturday, May 16, 2009

Movie Review: 17 Again

I just got home from seeing 17 Again with my friend Jane. It's a cute movie overall. Probably not worth $9.25 but it was clean and Zac Efron is easy on the eyes. :-) It's all about how Matthew Perry's character has screwed up his life and gets a chance to have a "do-over." and reconnect with his wife. It was definitely a comedy and very predictable but since it was clean, that makes it a good movie in my book.

It did get me thinking that I would not do high school over again for all the gold in Fort Knox. This movie reminded me of why. High school is a growing experience, sure, but I didn't like my high school years. I was the geek, goody-goody, overweight girl who never got invited to things. Doesn't really bother me now but then it was miserable. All I wanted was to graduate and move on to college. I imagine things are only tougher today. I admire kids, girls especially, who are able to avoid the pitfalls that are high school. So many of the girls I've met lately are comfortable with who they are and whose they are and that's all that matters. Maybe my bad experience with high school is why I have such a burden for discipling girls and young women.

Done with the reliving of high school. Bottom line on the movie, if you want a cute, clean movie, catch this one in a matinee. Hollywood needs more people to support clean movies.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Time to Get Busy!!

We had staff retreat this week and it was a wonderful time of review, prayer, renewal and vision-casting. One of the overwhelming things I came away with was a hurting for the rest of the world.

Jonathan B., our new Pastor of Global Disciple-Making spoke on Friday and gave some amazingly sobering statistics and stories. One of his stories hit me so deeply that I had to share it. He spoke of a trip he took to remote Vietnam several years back. They travelled into areas seldom seen by anyone, missionaries or otherwise. They were doing some ethnographic work and as part of it, were asking one extremely group of extremely remote villagers what they believed...did they believe in spirits in the forest...nope; did they believe in ancestor worship...nope. Then they asked how the crops grew - the villagers responded that the rain made the crops grow. He then asked about the sun coming up. The villagers said they just hoped. Hoped in what they were asked? We don't know they responded, no one has told us that yet. The next day, Jonathan and his team went to a little shack that served as a store that sold soap and other sundries. The first thing they were asked was whether or not they would like a Coke. Yep, in the middle of the remote village, some suits from Atlanta had introduced their product. What an indictment of the western Church! Suits selling sugar water found this remote village but we're too busy arguing about carpet colors, preaching styles, worship styles, etc. to bother sharing the life-saving message of the Gospel with a lost and dying world.

Consider please these facts and see if it doesn't prick your heart and change your perspective:

*There are over 12,000 people groups in the world today. 6,475 of them are unreached (less than 2% evangelical believers). Approximately 5,845 are unreached and unengaged (no one working to reach that people group). That 5,845 represents 1.6 BILLION people.

*Greater than 90% of the personnel and resources (time, people, money) of North American missions agencies goes to ministry among the reached.

*One child dies every SIX seconds from hunger-related causes.

*Almost 1 BILLION people regularly suffer from hunger, most are women and children.

*65% of the world's hungry live in only 7 countries: India, China, Democratic Republic of Congo, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan and Ethopia.

Watch this video (done by Gene Mason from BH) for even more statistics:

Lord, help us, help me remember James 1:27: "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep onself from being polluted by the world." Remind me that "stuff" is fleeting and doesn't matter. Give me a desperation for the poor and the lost around the world.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Random Thoughts

Just a few random thoughts for a Monday evening...

I had a wonderful team meeting last night with my AIDS Hospice Team. God has brought together such an interesting mix of people for this team and I absolutely cannot wait to see how He is going to move through these people. We had a great training session with a local infectious disease doc to learn more about HIV/AIDS. What's so neat about this guy is that he is a veteran of medical mission trips and could give more than just AIDS info. He gave some great spiritual prep. information and is more than willing to share his knowledge with anyone that asks. My team is also great about adapting and going with the flow. Delta added a $50 fee for the second bag on international flights (grr!) and that was really putting a crimp in my supplies budget. My team's response? "Why can't we just leave our second bag over there? That cuts the cost in half." That's a servant heart for you. :-)

I also found a great prayer today. It's from a book by Lynn Hybels called "Nice Girls Don't Change the World." (Side note: sounds like my kind of book.) This is such a great prayer and so powerful. Process this prayer, internalize it, act on it.

Dear God,
please make us dangerous women.
May we be women who acknowledge our power
to change and grow, and be radically alive for God.
May we be healers of wounds and righters of wrongs.
May we weep with those who weep and
speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.
May we cherish children, embrace the elderly,
and empower the poor.
May we pray deeply and teach wisely.
May we be strong gentle leaders.
May we sing songs of joy and talk down fear.
May we never hesitate to let passion push us,
conviction compel us, and righteous anger energize us.
May we strike fear into all that is unjust
and evil in the world.
May we dismantle abusive systems and silence lies with truth.
May we shine like stars in a darkened generation.
May we overflow with goodness in the name of God
and by the power of Jesus.
And in that name and by that power,
may we change the world.
Dear God, please make us dangerous women.

That's all for now...time for dinner.