Monday, October 31, 2011

What to do when there's no internet

Due to the wonderful snowfall we've had these past couple of days, we have been without internet here since thursday.  Here are some activities to do when there is no internet available:

Activity #221: Spend actual face to face time (not facetime) with people by going on a hay ride in the middle of the night and having a bon fire.

Activity #144: Go outside with people and enjoy God's creation.

Job 37: 5-6 God thundereth marvellously with his voice; great things doeth he, which we cannot comprehend. For he saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth; likewise to the small rain, and to the great rain of his strength.

Photo by: Carla Borges, ZFI

Photo by: Carla Borges, ZFI

Photo by: Carla Borges, ZFI

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Is it snowing bob-eh?

While I was out chopping some wood, I noticed some thick rain drops coming down, a bit lighter than the other ones.  I said: are those flurries bob-eh?  Stayed pondering the thought as it was not too clear.  30 seconds later, "its snowing bob-eh!" Bob-eh replies: well would you look at that.  It unexpectedly snowed a bit today.  Enjoyed my work time in the snow, despite my frozen hands and ears.  We then had a couple snowball fights throughout the day, enjoying the snow while its still enjoyable.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Last minute

Its seems at times here, there is not much to do.  Looking at the schedule there are huge breaks in between activities, yet I find myself quite busy all the time.  Sometimes just in my room reading or running around campus.  Somehow homework slips to the end of the "to-do" list.  Nevertheless, as always it got done.  This past week I got to enjoy another great game of soccer before the deadly cold grabs a hold of us.  Although the air is a bit dry for my taste, it was  lots of fun.  I think I pulled something in my leg, but it is healing quickly, almost ready for another game. We then headed over to watch some youth soccer.
             There are many spots on the mountain to just head out and enjoy nature while attempting to meet your homework deadlines.  This week I enjoyed the lake house and its cool breeze.  I was happy to see my friend sunny, he brought his friend heat with him making it a picture perfect day. So much freedom here, yet so much responsibility as well.  Sounds a lot like our God given free will.  So much freedom, yet so much responsibility.  I've always liked how Paul considered himself a slave for Christ.  He freely chose to serve Christ with all he had. Committing to Christ is no light thing. In Luke we see Jesus said: "But Jesus told him, "Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God."  It is a great calling spiritually and physically.  Some of the experiences here in ZMI definitely prepare you for both during a ministry.  Rev. Daniel Caram said in his book about Thessalonians that in bible school, you can tell who will make it in the ministry by how they manage their work and money.  I think I need to work a bit more on my discipline to prevent last minute moments.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

He is קִנֵּ֧אתִי for me

So the angel that talked with me said unto me, Cry, saying, Thus says the LORD of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy. (Zechariah 1:14)

Have you ever starred at the stars, perhaps having the privilege of using a telescope?  These little objects decorate our nights, time after time.  The lion king describes them as our ancestors looking down at us, I don't think thats accurate, but nevertheless entertaining.  We can use these high powered microscopes to enjoy the sight of them from afar, from a safe distance.  Stare at them, examine their features, certain behaviors, you can almost get to know them without really having any communication or contact with them.  We stand in awe, down here, lightyears away.  So now lets change the object of our attention, and put God in it.  Have you ever starred at God, perhaps having the privilege of using the Holy Spirit to reveal Him?  He decorates our nights with these little objects, time after time.  The bible describes Him as the God of Abraham and Isaac  and Jacob...and ours, accurate I feel.  We can use the Holy Spirit to enjoy the sight of Him...from afar, from a "safe distance."  Stare at Him, examine His features, certain behaviors, almost getting to know Him without really having any communication or contact with Him.  We stand in awe, down here, one prayer away.  Bring a star close to us and we shall realize quickly just how immense and powerful they are.  Big balls of fire.  Bring God close today, we shall realize quickly just how immense and glorious and awesome and beautiful and loving and tender and warm...He really is.  And yet, in the midst of my hardness, while, like Jerusalem being tried in the book of Zechariah, I was being purified and pressured while my enemies were at rest such as Jerusalem's, He spoke, softly, clearly, humbly, "I am jealous for you." The I am, jealous about me?! After everything?! Yes, as a father would be of His beloved ones so is He of us.  For we were created for His pleasure, to bring a smile to His face, to bring sunshine to the one who commands the sun to rise every morning.  Sometimes, while we are being roughed up and we sit and receive correction and groan, our enemies are at rest, almost in peace, but He has not forgotten us, for His jealousy burns for what is His.  But we cannot stare at Him from a "safe distance," we must dive into the pool of His glory.  An area so dangerous the priest in Moses' time would wear bells and a rope to make sure they're still alive after being in the very presence of God.  The messages here at ZMI, during chapel this week, have one clear message, are we daring enough to press into the one who loves us so, risking it all as we may never come back from His presence, getting lost in who He is and giving more than before?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A mal tiempo, buena salsa

Today I took on a challenge, to make some traditional spicy dip.  In the morning some of us headed down to the the soccer park, for some fun in the su...never mind, it was cloudy and cold, but fun nevertheless, we had a great time.  My lungs took quite a beating from the dry air that came out to play with us.  Afterwards I headed down to the local supermarket "Tops," bought the ingredients I needed, (vegetables are quite expensive here, or perhaps I just never noticed), and made my way to do some cooking.  I took advantage that some of the girls were cooking so they can make sure I don't burn down ZMI.  I began to worry after I started cooking though, as the blender and I were having theological discussion on who is the servant and who is the master, things got twisted and pureed and in the end I won.  Many came in and asked me: what are you making? All I could respond for a while was: a mess!! Once the final product was ready, I wondered, is this right? I grabbed some chips and took a dip in the creation and success! It was just right, and my panel of judges all agreed!  Afterwards, one of the girls here had made Oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookies for dessert, 'nuff said.

Friday, October 14, 2011

My hiding place

The day was calling me to take a walk into my new backyard.  Then all of a sudden, the heavens opened up and the rain poured down, and the temperature dropped.  Nevertheless I set myself to answer natures call to visit her.  I strapped on my boots, packed a couple of essentials in my camel pack, threw on a warm weatherproof jacket, and headed out the door.  The rain calmed down for a bit, apparently to gather up strength for later on in the afternoon.  I have found that up here, with no overpopulation, loud cars, blaring music, or noisy neighbors, everything seems to sound louder.  The wind howls at you, sometimes with a fierce roar, not knowing where it comes from, or where its going.  As I dove into the forest, the wind changed her voice, to more of a hiss as the leafs were being rustled.  My walk was nice, occasionally catching some rain drops on my head.  I followed some ready made trails and then took my own route down the hill, deeper still.  Twas fun heading down, enjoying the many colored confetti that adorned the floor and the sound of my music.  Took some pictures of a few things I saw. I reached a point though where it all seemed the same, up was down, down was up, right was left, and left was right.  I figured if I just headed upwards I would eventually reach some kind of civilization, and I did.  I found  a nice spot to sit and read for a bit as well.  Got to enjoy the stillness of the day, while the rain creeped in and out around me.  I laughed a bit, as I thought there was someone coming up behind me, I felt like a child playing hide and seek, thinking I would get discovered.  But no, twas just the leaves making music.  This week, as we learned about prayer, one of the key points is stillness.  Its quite astonishing how much one can perceive as we sit, silent, in expectancy.  Nature speaks louder in the natural, and God speaks louder in spiritual when we are still in His presence.  I think I found a nice office for the moment to offer me the perfect setting to hear new things.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Log splitting

One of the fun jobs I have had here at ZMI is splitting some wood.  I am very thankful someone invented the gas splitter, otherwise things would be a tad bit tuffer.  Either way, it is quite a fun job, watching the wood just crack under the immense pressure.  Perhaps your thinking, lame, but it does entertain and helps pass the time.  The fun parts are working your way around the mushrooms and slugs and other fun critters that inhabit the area.  Sometimes they are at the wrong place and wrong time.  The shed was empty at the beginning of the semester, so we have been busy splitting before the snow hits.  The wood here is used to heat the building, so needless to say, its gotta get done.  My partner for my work days has been Bobby, or as I call him Bob-eh, due to the fact that he's canadian. I met him over in Costa Rica and its been great working with him and chatting, a pretty wise man.  What's their next stop? The furnace of affliction! Yikes...

Monday, October 10, 2011

Beautiful morning...

Today I had nice run down the mountain, and a not so nice one coming up.  Its like 20,000 ft above sea level or something, quite a workout.  This week the weather has been behaving well and was able to enjoy the outdoors with no fear of freezing.  But winter is showing her signs that shes coming, the trees are changing all sorts of colors, yellow, brown, red, orange, quite a festival to announce her coming.  Im getting ready with hot cocoa mix and heating blankets, bring it on.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

I've got to get to the wells of joy

Today has been an amazing day!  To begin with, it was hot! I actually broke a sweat! Im not sure of the temperature but perhaps close to the 80's.  The air here is pretty dry so it was quite comfortable.  The morning began with some delicious chilaquiles for breakfast, quite spicy and yummy!  Then a few of us had a little class field trip to a place called "buttermilk falls." As we walked towards the entrance, the roar of the falls greeted us with a refreshing, misty hello.  It was very much appreciated as it started to get hot out in the sun.  The water was tempting me to get in but I resisted, mainly because I did not want to get my friend Carla's car all wet, maybe next time.  As we made our walk up the mountain, the lack of exercise was beginning to have its affect, legs feeling warm, feet aching, back straining, I think you get the point.  The excitement of it all though soon took over and nullified the pain.  At certain points some of us crossed through the falls, extremely cold, and slippery! Someone should put a sign thats says slippery when wet!  I really enjoyed everyones company that went.  Had different opportunities to chat with each one and just have fun trying not to get lost in the trails.  It is a great area to have a real nature walk and enjoy a friendly reminder that God creates the stillness of the night and the roaring of waterfalls.