06 May 2011

Mullings & Musings

  • "Water polo, anyone? In Afghanistan?" (found an update from last week... this one is only about a year old and there's a link to a web site on the last page... and since today is the first day of our swimming/water polo physical education unit at Sahel Academy, it seemed appropriate!)

"Bahram Hojreh... knows Piasecki [the reserve army marine who is coach] from their competitive swimming days in college and, as an Iranian American, feels a regional kinship with the Afghans.

'It's three steps forward and two steps back,' Hojreh said. 'There aren't a lot of Afghan millionaires in the U.S. ready to step forward with money.'

One of those steps backward might be Piasecki's recent reassignment by the military. This year he'll join Marine forces based in Stuttgart, Germany.

He'll continue fundraising efforts via e-mail and long-distance phone calls. In the meantime, some of the Afghan players are practicing their swimming strokes and water polo shots in a pool at Camp Shorabak, next to Camp Leatherneck.

Even with dirty water and with some athletes missing practice because they were on missions, Piasecki said in an e-mail that the team recently had a great workout because the players were in the pool, and it offered an escape from war.

'If anybody can do it, Jeremy can,' Hojreh said. 'He's always been a crazy guy, in a good way.' "

  • "Take Four Missions Trips for Fifty Bucks" (I've not watched the videos - they take forever to load... and then the power goes out... so I gave up. If you do, let me know what you think. But I did appreciate what he said... especially the quote I've included below.)
"I remember being counseled, in 1993, to create a 15-17 minute presentation of my mission work. In 2000, I was to shoot for under ten minutes. Now, I hear calls for presentations under five minutes. This is not necessarily a bad thing, because it's good to be forced to become more concise and efficient.

That said, five minutes of missionary commercials every month or so will do little to impassion the hearts of Christian people, much less to educate them about global realities and confront them with an icy splash of discomfort. We need to ruminate on missions without being rushed. We need exposure to the great mission fields of the world."

  • "Of Risk and Words" (I'm a word person... I understand exactly what the author is saying...)
"These days I just feel so small. He is God and everywhere, the holy ground, and who am I to stand at all? Him bent with my sin, bent down in love, bent to rescue the fallen down dead.

Who to whisper any words in the dark — when we already have The Word, infallible, pure and sure. The world so full of so many sure ones, and me only of Him, Truth.

Who to scratch out anything at all — when all that matters is that He scratched out something in the sand, words that made the ones with stones, go. The world, with stone-throwers. Who to scribble down anything, down to the granite underneath? Sometimes… simple silence best."

"The more saturated fat one ate, the more cholesterol one ate, the more calories one ate, the lower the person’s serum [blood] cholesterol….we found that the people who ate the most cholesterol, ate the most saturated fat, ate the most calories, weighed the least and were the most physically active." (Framingham Heart Study, quoted in blog post.)

  • "Encouragement for the Doers" (God always sends something like this along my way just when I start getting discouraged regarding the different choices we've made for our family this term... worrying wondering how in the world all of the ends are going to meet... and it brings me back, once again, to trusting...)
"If you have given up all of the praise of the world to serve your husband, family, and community and you do it cheerfully because you love it and you know you are blessed, then all praise be to God."

Shepherd photo by AC.

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