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To  my friends, old and new.  I am blessed by you.

“The Arrow and the Song”

I shot an arrow into the air,

It fell to earth, I knew not where;

For, so swiftly it flew, the sight

Could not follow it in its flight.

.

I breathed a song into the air,

It fell to earth, I knew not where;

For who has sight to keen and strong,

That it can follow the flight of song?

.

Long, long aftreward, in an oak

I found the arrow, still unbroke;

And the song, form beginning to end,

I found again in the heart of a friend.

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These are two really great documentaries chronicling the impact that technology and media has on our society.  The first is one about kids-a must see for every parent.  The second video is about adults.  Pretty interesting stuff.  (They’re kinda long, so view when you have time.)

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/kidsonline/view/

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/digitalnation/view/

My whole life I have struggled with doubt; I get so uncomfortable from it.  One of my greatest struggles is my ability to perform-or at least to perform at an acceptable level.  I doubt my abilities. It doesn’t logically make sense, since most of my life I have enjoyed a reasonable amount of success.  Why do I find myself with a lack of confidence in what I can do?  I think I am often insecure in who I am, and I find myself timid and hesitant when I should move forward with confidence.

I also struggle with doubting the truth written in the Bible.  Sometimes I feel so sure, and then other times, when I haven’t been a “good Christian”, I doubt my salvation or I doubt that God could still love me.  To be honest, sometimes I think what the Bible says about Jesus is too good to be true.  I mean, could it be possible that there is a God that anyone can know (John 3:16), who will forgive all my sins (Psalm 32:5), who can give me life (John 14:6 and 20:31), who says that nothing can separate me from his love (Romans 8:38-39), and who says He will always be with me (Hebrews 13:5 and Matthew 28:20)?  I don’t know why I doubt all this, because the Bible says He never lies (Numbers 23:19).

Last night I journaled these words to Jesus: “I want to ask where are you?…Can I see you tomorrow?  I want to know where you are.  You’ve got to be in more places than just the Bible.  I think you’re with Becky, but will you be with me too?”

This morning as I was checking my email, guess who was on?  Becky.  Over in South Africa.  These were the first words she messaged to me: “Rachael…nothing can seperate you from the LOVE of Christ.”

It literally made me cry.

I often feel like the man in the Bible in  Mark 9:24, who said, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!

Why do I still doubt?

Here’s a fun, nonsensical poem that I’ve always enjoyed.  It’s a great one for teaching kids about elements of poetry.

Jabberwocky

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought —
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

“And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!’
He chortled in his joy.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Last year around this time, Matt and I signed up to be a “host family” for an international student studying at the University of Texas.  I heard that there are thousands of students who come to America to study and learn about American culture, but most of the time many of them never even get to step foot into an American home!  This disappointed me and made me feel ashamed of my country.  So, I signed up to be a “host”.  IMG_4724

Initally, we were paired with a Turkish couple, Mahsuni and Seher.  Mahsuni is studying Engineering at UT, while Seher came along as his wife to be with him and learn English.   Throughout the past year, Mahsuni and Seher have shared their culture with us as we have shared ours with them.  While I hope that they gained from meeting with us, I feel as if I’m the lucky person, having the chance to get to know someone from another culture which is very different from my own.

Did you know that many of the international students who come to study at Texas are some of the smartest, most dedicated, or influential people in their country?  How do you think they get the opportunity to study at such great American schools?  And yet, there are hundreds of students who sign up to have a “host” family but don’t get one because there aren’t enough Americans to be hospitable to them.

It’s September, the start of the school year, and I signed up to “host” another international student.  Of course we still meet with Mahsuni and Seher-they are our friends.  But there is a need and a chance for me to learn and grow, so I took it.   Would you consider this as well?

You can find more information here, or by simply asking me!