Monthly Archives: December 2006

Happy New Year

in advance, Happy New Year!
may 2007 find us all in good health
finding contentment in the place He has posted us
and enjoying the journey toward knowing Him more deeply!
and if not, may we be thankful nonetheless!

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lighting the way through the shadowlands

sometimes we experience darker shadows than usual…
in my experience, it is because we have stepped away from the light…
but this life is a life of navigating the shadows…
moving through the shadows toward the Real life, there, with Him…
for in His presence, there are no shadows…
just His perfect light…
here, there are shadows through which we must navigate using the light he has given us…
that light comes from the Word of God…
this is, i think, why the psalmist says “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet”…
it is good to have the Word…
it is better to read and dwell in the Word…
it is refreshing to come to drink deeply of the Word and find such great refreshment…
it is strength when we are weak…
water when thirsty…
food when hungry…
through it the presence of the living God speaks comfort to those who are lonely…
so, realizing this… why do we fail to go to the Word?
why indeed…

some of my favorite texts can be read by clicking and going back to click the next in a post called “signposts…” for the purposes of this post, I should call it streetlamps… because I often use these texts when I am feeling the darkness of the “shadowlands” pressing around me… these signposts, these lamps show me the way… thank you God for your word which soothes my soul.

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Christmas has begun

Christmas is, of course, a day. . . but what many don’t realize, it is also a season of the Christian year which began anew with Advent, now Advent is over, for Christ is born!! Merry Christmas!

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"The Good Shepherd"

Last Friday a friend called and wanted me to go with some others to see a movie… we were headed to see some movie, which I can’t remember, but when we got there the managers had both quit and there would be no ten o’clock show… that was weird… so we went downtown and saw “The Good Shepherd” I found it to be intriguing… the back and forth of time, getting into the heads of spies and spy-masters… even though fictional, it was a very interesting look at the “founding” of the CIA. Be warned, it is loooong, and requires a lot more thinking than a bond flick. OH, I rented “From Russia with Love”… that one never gets old…

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the story continues

is this story new to you? go to the beginning

His passport now gone, Scott stood dumbfounded wanting to do something. The border guard stared at him waiting to see what he would do next. He had a gun and looked like he would be willing to use it.
“You’d better do as he said” Barnabas said quietly to his friend. Embarrassed, Scott sat down.
“He has taken my passport, I was just going where my passport went..” Scott said in a not-so-sure tone.
“Yes, but he didn’t ask you questions and he did not look through your bag. They may just be jumpy because of the girl they took off. The best thing for us to do right now is to sit quietly and see what happens. This train isn’t going anywhere anytime soon anyway. The best thing for us to do would be to pray.” At this both men silently prayed that God would intervene into this situation and that it would work out for them.
The first guard noted the men had decided to sit quietly and the tension on his face and in his posture seemed to relax. He went on to the next passenger. Soon, he was almost through the car and would be moving on to the next car.
Scott pulled his prayer book out to read the Psalter. All his Christian life he had found comfort in the Psalms, now was a time where he needed comfort. As he read Psalm forty-six he was reminded that God is indeed his refuge. He began to calm down.
The guard left the car and went to the next car. Scott was looking out the window at the station and his mind wandered to the overnight trains that stopped at borders and the border guards got on with great noise and fanfare. They fling open the door to each compartment, turn on the blinding light and sternly said “PASSPORT.” Each occupant would then have to look at the guard and verify that his sleepy face was indeed the same one pictured in the document. Then they would leave with the light left on and the door open. Scott would always warn the members of his groups what would happen and for them to not be concerned. He always made a practice of standing in the doorway and silently observing and reminding his group members what was expected of them.
He remembered one such night traveling into Slovakia from Hungary, when there was a commotion because an American woman and her teenage daughter occupied a compartment alone and the woman didn’t know what was going on so she would not open the door and the guards became more belligerent than usual, finally the girl figured out what was going on and unlocked the door just as the porter was coming with the key. They were yelled at in Slovak but were none the worse for wear after it was over.
Suddenly he noticed a presence next to him and then Barnabas nudged him with his foot and Scott looked up to see a new guard looking from his passport to his face and back to the passport. Suddenly he spoke in English “Where do you enter Serbia?”
“At a country border crossing from Hungary near Romania.” Scott answered.
“Why is no date in visa?” The guard asked.
“I do not know, the guard did not speak English”
“You have letter?” The guard continued to query Scott. It occurred to Scott that in his fatigue during those first hours that he had never examined his passport to see that there was a proper stamp. Increasingly there were less stamps in Europe but this was not true of the non-EU countries. He regretted not having looked at the passport and began to worry about what would happen next.
“Did you enter by car?” The guard asked.
“Yes”
“Where is the car now?”
“I don’t know; I was given a ride. I am returning to Budapest by train” Scott offered.
“Why were you in Serbia?”
“I took medicine to the refugee camp near Beograd”
The guard looked him over again and stamped the passport and handed it to him. “Be careful with passport stamps next time in Serbia”
Scott had an urge to argue with him but thought better of it. He took the passport and thanked the guard. The guard left the car in the direction that the first guard had left. Scott let out an audible sigh. He was very relieved.
“That was pretty stupid of me,” he said to Barnabas “I should have made sure that visa stamp was right.”
“Its over now.” Barnabas replied with a yawn. The friends sat quietly.
Soon the Hungarian border police visited the car. They were more efficient and paid little attention to either man. They were more interested in the Serbs. When Hungary entered the European Union and their borders had been tightened. The people entering must have the proper visas. Americans had entered and left freely from Hungary for a long time now.
After about an hour later, the train left the station and traveled north. It was now one thirty in the morning. The incidents of the last few hours now over, Scott and his friend were sound asleep in their compartment the rest of the way to Budapest.

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007

I just realized that I didn’t post about Casino Royale which I saw a couple of weeks ago! Ok, this is def. a movie not a film, I didn‘t go to this expecting to be challenged in some way to be more committed to changing the world or have better morals or make spiritual connections. I went to this because I have been watching Bond movies all my life. I can remember getting a 007 briefcase with all kinds of gadgets from… hmmm… was it ‘From Russia with Love?’ I would have been about 9, that sounds right…(with great train scenes through the then Yugoslavia… I need to go rent that)…
ANYWAY… I found this to be as tastefully done as any of the Bond flicks… I think that Dame Judi is a smashing ‘M’ and the new guy now has my vote for the second best… Connery will always be Bond. I do miss ‘Q’ though… it was great seeing the ’64 A-M again… I’m told the original is in the Spy Museum in DC. The story was great… but, if you’ve seen the movie.. Montenegro does not have trains like that. I was reminded of the aforementioned ‘From Russia with Love’ a couple of times: the train, the scenery, the Adriatic… I went for fun, and was given such!

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exam season

well, exam season is almost over and the break will begin soon…

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