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Catching My Attention

Here are a few posts that have caught my interest this week.

Apparently this picture has gone viral, though today is the first time I've seen it.
 This blog was posted four months ago, but the story behind the picture is worth reading. You can read it here. 

Lisa Jo Baker (of Five Minute Friday fame) guest-blogged at A Holy Experience on the subject of hospitality.  Hospitality is something I do a lot of, but honestly, some days I just don't feel like it.  For me it has more to do with tiredness and energy than with worrying about how my house will look.  But if you struggle with the whole hospitality thing, you'll find this blog encouraging.

Another thing I struggle with, but at which I'm getting better....saying "no".  Even if it makes you unpopular.  Even if people give you the guilt trip treatment.  Remember, saying "no" to one thing is saying "yes" to another thing.
 Not So Random Stuff talks about this on her blog.

We hear a lot about young people leaving the church during and after high school.  Larry Alex Taunton interviewed young atheists and asked them, "What led you to become an atheist?"  Their answers may surprise you.  This article is a great reminder to not water down what we have to offer.

Here's one for the teachers out there. A favorite book of kids has long been Where the Wild Things Are. Apparently there is a movie based on the book (released in 2009?? .... I obviously know little about movies!).  Relevant Magazine has an article on the 
movie (and by default the book) about the deeper meaning of the book.  The author writes, "It’s a good trick, but hard to learn—how to be mad without being bitter and keep your catharsis from being a crutch. ... Go ahead. Be mad. Shout your questions. Punch a wall. Color with red and black. Go to where the wild things are. But dock your boat, mark your trail and remember your own weakness. You could never be half as mad at God as He is in love with you."

I can make some basic spread sheets on Excel, just enough to help keep me organized.  I know very little about formulas, though I'd like to learn more.  But who ever thought you could make art using Excel?! Believe it or not, this picture was created in Excel!  Tatsuo Horiuchi is a 73-year old artist who had never used Excel at work, but saw others using it and thought it would be possible to create pictures in Excel.  For more examples of his art work, go to this web site.

And finally, when you were a kid did you ever spin the globe, put your finger down randomly, and say that was where you would travel?  There is now an on-line game called GeoGuessr that lets you play the game in an up-dated format.  Google Earth gives you five locations and you click on a map to indicate where you think the location is.  You get points depending on how close you are to the real location.  After five locations, you start over.  It's challenging to look for clues such as the flora of the area, the direction cars are going, style of houses, etc.  It's also addicting.


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Practice Hospitality

My mother-in-law, Jean, is an amazing person with many gifts.  One of the first things I noticed about her when I was but a young bride, was her gift of hospitality.  It was nothing for her to invite a large group of people over, make each one feel welcome, cook a big meal,and seemingly do it without stressing herself out.  I don't know if hospitality just came naturally to her or if she learned it.  In this picture you can see Jean throwing a party for a class she taught in Nigeria.  

I believe that for me it has been a learned skill.  My parents were hospitable and it wasn't unusual for us to have guests over (though usually not as many at a time as my mother-in-law would do!).  But when I started living on my own, I had to learn hospitality.  The first time I invited somebody over for a meal, the lid got stuck on the pot of vegetables, I put too much salt or soda or something in the muffins, and I forgot to serve milk and sugar with the hot drinks.  I've gotten much bett…

Graduation Season

It's the season for graduations!  Yesterday I attended two graduations.  Thankfully one was in the morning and one was in the evening.  There were differences and similarities.  

The morning graduation was at the flight controller and meteorologist training school.  Six of the graduates attended our Bible study regularly and a seventh came occasionally.  We grew to dearly love this group.  

The evening ceremony was at our MK school and all of the graduates this year were missionary kids and one pastor's kids; the majority of the missionary kids were from our mission.  So I've known most of these kids since they were little. 

The similarities were:
1.  Both groups were fairly small (30 for the flight controller school and 13 for our mission school).  Both groups were very close to each other; at the flight controller school they have all classes together and live in dorms together for 14 months with only a few days off and no real vacations; at the mission school the kids have …

Beyond Our Ability to Endure

I've been working on our home assignment audio-visual presentation.  It's been a lot of work, especially since it requires sorting through hundreds of pictures to choose the ones we want to use.  I was hoping to put together something that would be really "Wow!"  Well, in the end it's just a power point with some music and a few slides coming in with a fancy spin.  But it's our story, and our story is nothing more than God's story when it comes right down to it.  In fact, I have used Big Daddy Weave's song, My Story in part of the presentation.  If you're not familiar with the song, you can listen to it here
As I looked over the past four years of this term there were days that we felt we had reached our ability to endure.  We started the term in July 2013 and we were still recovering from the flood of 2012.  We have all of our "normal" stresses such as living in an extremely hot climate, living in the poorest country of the world, livi…