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Entries from March 2007

Flutter-bys

"Fresh, unexpected thoughts will "pop" into your head. Steve calls these "flutter-bys" -- fleeting, almost imperceptible whispers of God's still, small voice flickering through your head."

That is from Steve Sjogren and Dave Ping's book Outflow, chapter (reading) 6. They sent me this book for free so I decided to read it. I am on the 6th chapter now and I can see why the book was free.

When I read that statement about flutter-bys I stopped and just looked at the book. I got a mental image of Steve Sjogren as a guy sitting in front of his computer wearing a white shirt with puffy sleeves and purple pants. I imagined a guy who combs his hair at least 4 times in the morning before leaving the bathroom. A soft nice easy going person. In other words a sissy. I ask the ladies who read this blog to not take that the wrong way. Sissy does not equal feminine, because woman can be just as tough as men. A sissy belongs neither to the man tribe nor the woman tribe. Sissies fall somewhere in between.

Come on where are the men in the world of Christendom? Where are the guys who shave their heads just so they will not have to comb them? Where are the guys who know how to drink beer and grunt? I cannot imagine a guy who uses the phrase "flutter-bys" as even knowing what a grunt is.

Take a look at our meetings, and be honest about it. The decor of most churches is geared towards the softer side of life. Flowers, carpets, and cute pastels. Most of the people that are featured on the platforms are nice, clean shaven, polite and well sissified guys. The music, don't get me started on the music, just listen to the words this Sunday and you will see how little it relates to a man.

I want all the real men to stand up for masculinity this week. Take back the church from the sissy leaders that we have been cursed with. Lets skip shaving this Sunday. Lets skip wearing suits with matching socks this Sunday. Those of you who lead worship how about you channel a little Axl this Sunday? Preachers how about you recognize that God created us male and female?

Who said you have to be a sissy to love God?

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Life Without Water

Water.

It's amazing how much we need and use water!

When we first moved into our current house in Nakuru, Kenya, we went an entire month without water. The kids were filthy. I was in the early weeks of pregnancy so the smell of the unflushed toilets made me 'unswallow' even more than usual. It was tough. We all got very sick, but we made it through.

You see, water is rationed here in Kenya. We don't get water every day, and on the days we do get water, it's only for a couple of hours. Sometimes there's no pressure, and the water doesn't even make it up to the kitchen sink. So we've installed a tank to catch the water when it comes. Then we have a small pump that pumps it up to a small tank in our attic. It then trickles down into the pipes throughout the house.

For 3 days this week, we didn't get any water. Our tank was dry. The kids were filthy. Johnny and I both reeked! The baby had black stuff between her fingers, and all of Nakuru was (and still is) as dusty as a dried up lake! There is so much dust blowing in our house that you can see our foot prints on the floor! We sweep daily. It's the dry season here in Kenya, and since there hasn't been any rain, the water is rationed. Fortunately, yesterday water came and filled up the tank! Yeah. We all took showers and are HAPPILY washing dishes and clothes!!

You don't know how important something is sometimes until you don't have it. The majority of Kenyans don't have running water in their homes. They have to search for water daily, carrying it from the source to their homes.

~Kate


Listen To Me, Satan!

This book was sent to me sometime back by some new friends from America (Thank you very much by the way. Please do not let my feelings about the book stop you from ever sending another book.), and it took me some time to decide to read it. I was also uncertain about posting this review. I know many people have strong feelings about the devil and the subject of revival. I just have to be myself.

Carlos Annacondia, a Christian leader from Argentina, wrote a book called Listen To Me, Satan! Before I even opened up the book I had issues. I am not big on praying to Satan. After giving it some thought I just could not think of anything I would want to say to him or her or it.

In part one of the book Annacondia writes about his call from God to go and preach the Gospel. Fairly typical Pentecostal stuff. One interesting aspect of the book is that he put in many testimonies from different people. I found them interesting because in many ways they are typical of Pentecostals here in Kenya. They tend to be full of stories of witches, spells, warlocks, demons, and voices in your head. Unfortunately these stories do not feel like the truth. It is kind of hard to explain, but it seems that uneducated people are assuming that all evils are caused by a devil and the supposed Christian leaders are agreeing with them. Just a feeling I have. I have had some experience with these "supernatural" episodes in America and here in Kenya. I can say that the majority of them have nothing to do with God or Satan. They are just people working themselves up into an emotional frenzy and acting out.

In part two we are taught about the signs that will accompany those that believe. I found it interesting that this man has based his entire ministry on a portion of text from Mark that is disputed. There are many scholars who feel that the end of Mark was added by someone other than the original author. His methods of keeping the anointing, or God's power, are nothing new or noteworthy.

Part three is were things go from bad to worse. Several chapters are full of what can only be classified as fanciful stories about demons. He even has two chapters dedicated to demonology, but I did not learn anything. Clearly teaching is not is gift in life.

Parts four, five, and six continue with healing's, miracles, and speaking in tongues. He makes a funny comment about praying or speaking to Satan. Annacondia thinks that if we say the same thing to the devil he will not listen. Now I do not believe Satan is as powerful as Annacondia does, but if I was the devil I would really like people like Annacondia.

Guys like this distract believers from what is important. Satan is a defeated foe folks, we do not battle him by praying to him. We battle evil by doing good. Like feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and visiting those held captive.


Legos on the Mission Field

Recently I rearranged the bedrooms. We have 4 children, and we live in a 3 bedroom house. Per Andrew's request, I moved him into the 'bedroom' (see picture 160). So now we have a master bed room, the kids' bedroom, and now a playroom.

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Thanks to my parents and a friend, we have approximately 2000 Legos. The kids (including Johnny, the biggest kid) LOVE to build with Legos.

Recently, they have been building 'bombs'. They shut themselves in the playroom, build buildings out of the blocks, and then they build HUGE 'bombs' by building a sort of 'box' around 4 or 5 marbles. Then they proceed to THROW these bombs at each others buildings! The Legos bust open, and marbles fly out crashing the Lego buildings. I can hear Legos splatting against the walls as I type! CRASH! BOOM and squeals and laughter. They're crazy in there! Ha!

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~Kate


Unexpected

Yesterday I didn't get to take my shower until 4 o'clock in the afternoon. Having a newborn baby does that to you. I finally got so stinky from sweating (remember we don't have AC here on the equator in Kenya). Holding Emma made me even hotter and stickier, and I had spit up and breast milk all over me, too.

So at 4ish in the afternoon I finally handed the baby to Johnny and jumped in the shower. I put on my nightgown and proceeded to sit on the couch to nurse Emma. (I'm going somewhere with this, trust me.)

In Kenyan culture, people just POP over any time they like, unannounced. I am used to people calling before coming over, and still have not adjusted to these unexpected visits. So as I sat on the couch in my nightie breast feeding Emma, I hear someone walking into the living room--- GASP--- It's a visitor!! I jump up completely exposed (fortunately breasts are not a 'sexual' thing here, and I could go topless, and it wouldn't really matter, except that I'm very WHITE and would scare people! But that is not the point). I was in my nightgown, which is too short to be seen by visitors, feeding Emma in the living room while watching the television when a visitor (not a close friend but the land lady from a house we stayed in for a mere 2 months) decides to come in and 'see the baby'.

Visitors are great, but I prefer being prepared for one! She came with her children, one of which had snot oozing down his face. His eyes were watering, and he had a horrible cough!

Before the interruption, Emma was just getting her eyes closed as she sucked the nice, warm milk. Of course, when I had to jump up and run to the bedroom to change my clothes so I could entertain these guests, Emma woke up completely so I couldn't just leave her on the bed and keep her away from the 'germs' coming from one of  our visitors.

I went back in to the living room holding Emma and explained to the mother that I noticed her son was very sick and therefore, I did not want to expose the baby to it. She looked at her son and then wiped his nose with a hanky and then asked to hold the baby. I persisted in not passing Emma to her unless she washed the boogers off her hands. She understood and just chatted with us for a while as I held Emma.

I am a 'people person'. I love people, but I don't like being surprised by people I don't know. If a close friend wants to pop over, then I'm sure she wouldn't mind seeing me in my PJ's breast feeding.

It is not uncommon for Kenyans to travel miles and miles to 'visit' someone without calling first. They are usually welcomed in the home and fed very well for as long as they stay, which could be weeks or even months! Some people find us Americans offensive when we offer drinks and snacks instead of full meals, but that's just a difference in culture. When we visit Kenyans, we adapt to their culture, and when they visit us, they adjust to ours.

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Christianity the Religion?

I have had a conversation over the past few years with different folks on the topic of Christianity. The exchange usually starts off with me asking the question; "Did Jesus really found the Christian religion?" I do not believe Jesus started any religion, in fact, looks to me like he practiced Judaism, which in case you did not know is not Christianity.

There is a point where Jesus is discussing the Law with some folks and makes the comment; "I did not come to destroy the Law or the Prophets but instead I came to fulfill them." I like to think of the Law as religion which it was, a religious code. Jesus came to fulfill religion and so after his mission, there is no longer a need for religion. I do not know about you, but that frees me to be who God created me to be.

Religion tells you what you cannot do. It has rules and obligations that we must adhere to or else we will displease the god we are serving. Jesus did not come with doctrinal statements that we had to agree with. He did not write any books that we had to memorize and try to live by. He instead gave himself.

I am not saying it is impossible to know Jesus and still practice a religion. What I am saying is that it really does not make any sense to live in bondage when freedom is walking and breathing amongst us.

By the way, these thoughts were inspired by the folks at www.familyroommedia.com. They produced a podcast related to this topic this past week.

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The Case For Faith

I just finished reading a book by Lee Strobel called The Case for Faith. In this book Strobel presents what he calls the 8 toughest objections to Christianity. Each objection is presented and Strobel interviews an expert on that subject. I am not going to list them all here, as you can go get the book and read it for yourself.

I have mixed feelings about this book. I enjoyed the style it was written in and thought that the arguments, at least most of them, made sense to my mind. What I did not like about it was the arrogance of the so called experts. They came across as I am right you are wrong. I just do not like that kind of attitude. Plus they were all conservative scholars, and I tend to gravitate towards those that are less than conservative.

Apologetics is a field I have never understood. I came to Christ not because some historian proved to me that he really lived in Palestine, but instead I came to know him. A relationship was key to me developing faith, not facts and figures. So it is hard for me to understand those who need the proof. If you need proof, this book will not give you all you need, but may put you on the right path. If you want relationship talk to God, also known as prayer, and then maybe read the Gospel of John to get started.

O, and thanks to Treva for sending this book my way. It is good to have friends and family who are willing to keep an eye out for books to send us here in Kenya.


Moving Ahead

I wanted to let everyone know, especially since we have not written about it much lately, that we are still working towards opening an orphanage here in Kenya. Our goal is to cater to girls and create a future and a hope for them.

So far the biggest obstacles to us right now are location and money. We still have not been able to find the right property yet. There is one in Siaya, a small town in Western Kenya, that we could purchase for $16,500 U.S. dollars. Which takes us to the second biggest obstacle; money.

Barenaked Ladies' If I Had a Million Dollars is playing on my computer right now; if I had a million dollars.......