Monday, March 31, 2008

Marching On...

Today, March 31st, marks Sophie 8th month. She is growing very quickly. She is now mobile and we have had to re-arrange our living space to make it "Sophie-friendly." She has mastered the art of crawling, and is walking around the furniture. Daniella is having a lot fun playing with her. They even race around the house.

As for me, I should complete the first draft of chapter 5 tomorrow, God's willing. That leaves me with one more chapter to write. In the meantime, I will also be making corrections and adding a few things here and there to chapter 4. Overall, I am on target to submit the thesis by (or before) May 15. That's the plan. It has been a grueling, but rewarding process.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Commercializing Easter too!

Because Haiti is officially a Roman Catholic country, events in the Church's calendar permeate our lives and culture. Some times (e.g., celebration of the patron saint of a city) the polemic "Protestant versus Roman Catholic" is felt strongly, but at other times there is great unity (e.g., Christmas, Lent, Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter are big moments of religious celebration).
While living in the US, I have heard Christians complain about how much Christmas has been commercialized. What I did not realize was how much Easter had fallen into that same category. We went grocery shopping a couple of weeks ago and saw huge baskets with toys in them at the store. Since they were placed strategically, I drew closer to see what they were and the labels read: Easter Basket! Same toys given at Christmas, but during Easter season. Because Daniella keeps outgrowing her clothes (she is wearing 4-T!) we went to Kohl's, later that week to take advantage of some deals they were having. While there, I heard the following: "Easter is around the corner. Show your friends and family how you love them by giving them a gift card from Kohl's. Kohl's gift cards make the perfect gift at Easter. Kohl's gift cards are available in any denomination." I thought I was through dealing with culture shock.


Maria's (Lara's mom) enjoys reading and sharing jokes. She shared the one below to Lara this afternoon.

One day at kindergarten the teacher said to the class of 5-year-olds, 'I'll give $10 to the child who can tell me who was the most famous man who ever lived.'
A little Irish boy put his hand up and said, 'It was St. Patrick.' The teacher said, 'I'm sorry Sean, that's not correct.'
Then a little Scottish boy put his hand up and said, 'It was St. Andrew.' The teacher replied, 'I'm sorry, Hamish, that's not right either.
'Finally a little Jewish boy raised his hand and said, 'It was Jesus Christ.' The teacher said, 'That's absolutely right, Mikhail. Come up here and I'll give you the $10.'As the teacher was giving Mikhail his money, she said, 'You know, Mikhail, since you're Jewish, I was very surprised you said 'Jesus Christ.''
Mikhail replied, 'Yeah. In my heart, I knew it was Moses -- but Business is Business.'

Saturday, March 01, 2008

My First Love!

One of the greatest things my parents did for me was to see to it that I learned music. So in many ways, music is my first love. Before I knew I would pursue PhD studies, before I accepted God's call to ministry, and agreed to become a missionary, I was/am a musician. However, the busyness of life has caused music to play a much lesser role in my life. Sometimes, I struggle with the idea that I have underachieved as a musician.
I have been thinking about what I will/should be doing to keep myself busy once I complete my thesis (I have an April 15th, self imposed deadline), and I have decided to start playing again. So while we were in Jamaica, I dusted off my violin and Dale and I played together. We then decided to play in chapel. We played "O the Deep Deep Love of Jesus." I chose that partly because it was easy to play, partly because this is one of my favorite hymns. Well, it turned out that we performed on Valentine's Day. Coincidence? Perhaps. But the more I thought about it after I played that day, the more I became overwhelmed of God's love for me, and realized that it was actually a great blessing to be able to do other things that I love as much as music, and that ultimately, He is my first love.