Monday, March 24, 2008


Imagine if you lived with about this many people in a one-room house that's smaller than your current bedroom.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

attention, nerds...

first of all, congratulations to nathan and stacie on the birth of their baby boy, luke nathan. that's pretty awesome!

secondly, i took my laptop, howard, into best buy today and showed it to a very nice geek squad man with no nametag. it seems the reason my cd's and dvd's are skipping is that i need a new cd/dvd drive. but there's a problem. i can't find the receipt for the original purchase which includes an extended warranty (which we're pretty sure it does) and there's no record of an extended warranty purchase in the computer at best buy. also, there's no record of any customer service employees at best buy ever actually being nice and/or approachable. the geek squad, however, were all excellent people. especially no-nametag-guy.

so actually, since i don't have the lappy covered under warranty, very nice geek squad man suggested that rather than having him send it out to the manufacturer, i try to find a local place that can repair it, since sometimes with the shipping and all, data can be lost. only, he didn't know of any places...

so i'm wondering...does anyone have any suggestions of where i might be able to get howard repaired for not too too expensive?

Thursday, March 06, 2008

plans? what are those?

i wish this stage in the mission-trip planning was more interesting and that i could share lots of exciting things with it goes, here's my exciting news:

1. my video camera arrived

2. the battery charger works

so there you go. i still need to buy some tapes before i will know if the camera itself actually works. i'm hoping it does.

what's really going on is that i have been bombarded by distraction after distraction and have not planned as much as i could have planned by now...but i'll tell you what...i have never been more certain that what i am doing is right. i guess i should explain what i mean...

well, i've been wanting to go to ecuador since june when marcelo invited me to come back and stay a while in ecuador. but i didn't really begin to plan the big things and ask myself the big questions (i.e. where do i open a bank account? what, specifically, do i hope to accomplish in ecuador? can i really do this???) until i got an affirmation that this trip was a good, right idea. that affirmation came in the form of my home church deciding to send me there, which was awesome! so...that was at the end of January, which coincidentally* is when all the distractions began.

i was all ready to start investigating and finding answers to my questions and planning this trip. and then all of a sudden, my granddad has cancer. i hate cancer. i hate it. hate. don't hear me (read me?) wrong. i am not suggesting that my granddad got cancer somehow because the devil wanted to distract me from planning a trip. i am not the center of everything. but you know what? the devil certainly knows that my response to cancer once before was to shut down emotionally and spiritually for a couple years. so what do you think i was tempted to do for a few days? if you guessed "be mad at the world and just stay in bed and not think about anything or talk to anyone" you'd be right.

that was a pretty big distraction. i'll be honest, i didn't really get anything done for a few days. anything. i mean, i'm not even sure i bathed or like...brushed my hair...or teeth. i don't remember. you know? and that was just the beginning. i mean satan really pulled out the big guns. one thing after another. little things and big things, tough issues surfaced this month, from way down deep in my heart...things i hadn't dealt with in years. someone close to me went through a terrible heartbreak. i got so sick i couldn't function for a week (seriously). it was just one thing on top of the other. and it was hard. really hard. i was tempted, a lot actually, to be unfaithful to my God; to let the world pollute me. and maybe all the circumstances and situations, mentioned and unmentioned, weren't from the devil. maybe some things were God's way of adding a little more wisdom to my life. and maybe some things were from the devil, but intended by God for good. and maybe some were just the result of life and germs. the neat thing is that in any case, i am not discouraged as satan would have me be. i am encouraged. i am encouraged that God would invest in me and grow me; that He thinks i'm worth it. that must mean i am doing something right, right? and i am encouraged that i might be enough of a threat to my enemy that he would assault me with hurtful things, hoping to make me back down. that must really mean i am doing something right. don't you think? and no kidding, i am most definitely encouraged by DayQuil, Tylenol Cold, and Tropicana. they are for sure doing something right.

but the point is God is so faithful...and so good (isn't that always the point?) and it doesn't matter where the trials or distractions come from, whether from God or from my enemy... i have learned in a very real way during this last month that the only worthwhile response is to press on...

so, that is what i am doing. a little later than i had originally hoped. but all according to God's timing, i suppose.

i would so appreciate your prayers over the plans that need to be made still. banking plans, goals for the trip, determining how much cold medicine i might need for six months...

i'm so glad you're a part of this.

*italics denote sarcasm