Jun 26, 2006

A different perspective

Usually my blog is pretty egocentric. I generlly post photos of our family and talk about things that are going on with me, Chad and Ava. I love this form of communication and being able to share with friends and family via the web. I still plan on posting photos of Ava and letting you in on our daily happenings. Today's post will be a little different though.

Lately, I've been thinking and praying alot about my role in the bigger picture. I think that it's so easy in America to allow things to become routine, comfortable, sheltered even. For some reason, Chad and I have both had a heart for Africa in recent months, but not just Africa-- Iraq, Isreal, nations living through war. I don't have any answers for war, but I think that being sheltered from it is not what we are called to do. I enjoy listening to Christian radio, but the "safe and fun" mantra seems to spill over into our Christian living. I don't think that Jesus called us to live "safe and fun" lives. He called us into the world. He called us to be salt and light. Jesus lived a dangerous and uncomfortable life. When I ask myself honestly, "What would Jesus do?" I am frightened by the answer because I'm not sure that my life is truly a reflection of his. I love him, that is certain. I attend church, bible studies, I serve in ministry. I love others in His name, but is that enough? I am still very comfortble. When I see children living in poverty in need of things I take for granted, I am haunted by the fact that this would not happen in America. And yet these children are loved by their parents and God just as much as I love Ava.

A couple of months ago, Chad and I participated in a "Global Night Commute" to help raise awareness for the "invisible children" living in the Sudan. These children are being captured by the LRA (Lord's Resistance Army) and forced to kill. We first saw a documentary about this in Fort Worth. It brought us both to tears, but we didn't know what to do. Right after we moved to Abilene, we attended a forum at Highland and met some young people who were on a national tour to raise awareness for the invisible children. Since then, we receive e-mail updates, and have been in prayer for these kids. The Global Night Commute consisted of people all over the U.S. who walked from their homes (or in our case, ACU) to a downtown area and literally spent the night in parking lots to raise awareness and publicity. Click here for a video clip about the Global Night Commute . I also have a link on my blog to the main invisible children website.

If you know my family even a little bit, you probably know that my father marches to the beat of a different drummer. Right now he is in Israel on an archeological dig for a month. He found a group online and joined their team. They have been excavating an area in Maggedo; he is living in a Jewish Kabbutz (communal living area), and eating Kosher. I have always admired his spirit of adventure. He deliberately seeks out experiences that are not comfortable and familiar. For more on his travels, check out his blog at jkpierson.blogspot.com His experiences in Israel have gotten me paying more attention to international affairs in Israel and Palestine as well.

This is alot of type for a blog so I'll sum up. I want to be more consiously aware of global issues. I don't want to live too comfortably. I want to be intentional about the way I treat others, even others I don't know across the world. I appreciate and admire families like the Vaughns, who don't just talk about this, but act on it, and go to Africa to live like Jesus. Great is their reward. I am inspired by that kind of courage and I pray that God will help me to be more courageous and less comfortable in my faith.

Jun 16, 2006

Big fun in Fort Worth

Ava and I just got back from a six day trip to Fort Worth where we visited family and friends and attended Summer Spectacular. I can't believe it has already been six months since we moved. It was so good to reconnect with everyone. In our short stay we managed to squeeze in dinner with the Micks, Quanzes, and Walters, a birthday lunch with Aunt Teressa, a baby shower for Amy Carder, helping decorate for Summer Spectacular, a two night trip to Decatur for Ava, a play date with several friends at the Critz's house, a trip to the Roanoake pool with Emma and Julia, and Summer Spectacular! We had a great time. Here are a few pictures from the trip:

Emma was so sweet to Ava all week, and Ava loved playing with a big girl! In this picture, Emma catches some air!

The girls had fun at the pool! Ava finally got brave enough to ride the slide!

Ava pats a bunny at Summer Spectacular!

Karaline, Ava, Aunt Teressa & Melissa at Summer Spectacular. Ava spotted Teressa on the stage & was very excited!

Play date: Jack Pinson, John Critz, Abby Railsback, Jack & Hayley Willbanks, Emma Russell, Garrett Walton & Ava.

Ava and Hayley love each other! I told Ava to give Hayley a hug and they held this pose for about a minute. It was so cute!