haiti update

hey guys, just a real quick update...only have a second. the experience here is absolutely amazing (as if i would say any different right?). actually up to this point it's been a struggle dealing with how things have been going and how stuff is done. however just today we've had this huge breakthrough with experiences surrounding people and worship. tonight we sat in this worship service. the beginning of the service was a little awkward since there were 25 strange "blanc" (white) people coming in and not to mention the language barrier. however they started to sing "lord i life your name on high" in english and things broke loose. now i know you're sayign "gee, that song is so old" but for some reason it just came to life. so often i have this misconstrued understading that "well here we go, we're gunna take jesus to haiti..." ha. how rediculous. as if we can do any good on our own....

tonight was simply a reminder and huge awakening experience to the fact that (1) um jesus pretty much created haiti first and so HE'S ALREADY HERE and (2) these people we ran into night worship the same God that we attempt to worship in our homes and churches. tonight we experienced a beautiful vision of what worship truly looks like -- across cultural boundaries, across language barriers, despite color: all the same God, all the same love, all the same worship...unbelievable!



i think there's a total of two people that every read this, but for the two of you, i say thanks! i leave in the morning (6am--i don't think that's considered morning, rather some kind of pre-morning), which really means i have to leave my house at 3.30am...wow, that's exciting! anyways, i'm going to haiti this next week to work with newmissions. they are an organization that supports children in various villages throughout the Leogane plane. it is just 25 miles southwest of the capital of haiti. the mission supports over 6,000 students and their education.

needless to say this needs prayer. i have to be honest and say i'm being very selfish right now. i'm finding myself about to hit an emotional wall. the last 2-3 weeks have been completely insane and emotionally/physically draining. i hate going into a situation like this that will no doubt suck me dry already dry. i have so much on my heart and mind and want to be completely there emotionally/spiritually/physically. i would hate to be there for this experience and have my focus back here at home! so i appreciate your prayers and thoughts so much. talk to you in a week...



i'm wondering why everything is constituted by time. it seems as though we allow our lives to be ruled by the inevitible ticking of the clock. everything around us is reduced to a schedule. we eat not when we're hungry but when its mean time, we know what time our favorite show is on and what needs to be done so that we can be with so and so to watch it, i live my life looking forward to the weekend and in every moment longing for a time that is not ruled by to-do lists and deadlines. as the end of the semester approaches i find that i have not been very dilegent with my lists and now am drowning in a torential sea of papers and due dates.

but there's more to this life yeah? (i've noticed that i've recently started adding yeah to the end of my sentence, a cross cultural experiment combining the 90's equivilant of yes and the inflective nature of the canadian 'eh?'....odd i know). i digress. there's more right? there has to be. there has to be more to what i'm doing then writing papers, having meetings, eating three square meals a day (okay mom i only eat two), and seeing how long i can stretch the latest batch of laundry!

and then there's love. i've recently been asking God to help me love people more. saturday i'm flying to haiti as an "experiment" in love. i have no idea what i'll be doing, no agenda, no motive, no expectations or alternative selfish motives...just love. but what kind of love could i possibly offer the people i come in contact with when i am in a current state of being emotionally, spiritually, and honestly physically drained? why have i chosen to spread myself so thin that i am now as vibrant as a giant glass of sweet tea in which all the ice has melted and all that remains is a pitifull glass containing mere hints of the once gloriously apetizing substance. when will we truly "cease striving and see God"? check this out from psalms 46:9-11

He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear,
he burns the shields with fire.

"Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."

The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

the NASB translates verse 10 to say "cease striving, and know that i am God." and now to those of us who have to many to-do lists, to many papers to write, diapers to change, meetings to attent, relationships to attend to...may we turn to God, cease our striving, and live in the awarness of his God-ness!


how great...

it's never ceases to amaze me how so often God can be experienced in some of the most bizaar instances. i remember this summer experiencing the most intense moment of his presence in the face of a mentally disabled child as i spoon-fed her in one of mother teresa's care homes in india. never before have i ever so closely felt the presence and face of Christ right in front of me...and above all of that in the most unlikely circumstances. then today: i attended a memorial service on baylor's campus today for a nineteen year old freshman girl who tragically died while traveling back to school from seeing her boyfriend at another college. today i walked in and we began to sing songs that sang of God's greatness and majesty. i was absolutely dumbfounded as i watched the mother of this girl who had just lost her baby, with joy and intense worship singing with tears in her eyes:

how great is our god, sing with me how great is our god, all will see how great, how great is our god...then sing my soul my savoir God to thee; how great thou are, how great thou are!



it's funny how it often takes a divine slap across the face to get you back to reality. some call this a reality check, i call it ouch. i tend to think that i have everything under control and 'life' all figured out until i realize once again that i have no control over anything whatsoever and in fact relying on myself leads me nowhere beyond myself. a couple years ago i found myself in a place i wasn't supposed to be [we're talking about stuff dealing with walk, talk, behavior, lifestyle kind of stuff here]. i was even approached by this very large intimidating woman who very prophetically had the audacity to tell me to my face that she knew i wasn't where i was supposed to be and that i was trapped in a life that wasn't fulfilling or bringing glory to anyone but myself. so i started to wrestle with this whole identity crisis i was facing, knowing for certain that there was nothing good about the 'place' in life i found myself.

i was talking to a friend one day, expressing how desparate i was to be on the 'right path' and he gently said, 'so why don't you ask God to put you there?' he continued by adding, 'tim, if you're really desparate to be where God wants you to be then you've got to ask him to do whatever it takes to get you there.' i laughed it off and said, 'yeah i'll get right on that.'

in august of 2004 i went to go see/hear my brother's band play in austin at a student event. i was running late because that's what i do of course and when i showed up i could tell the band was already playing and i had obviously missed out on quiet a bit. i listened as they were playing one of their new songs i had only heard once before. the lyrics go like this...


all to my God and king
all to my God and king
it's the glory of your majesty
it's the mystery of your love for me

my heart will say, my heart will sing
you are the Christ, you are the king
it's the glory of your majesty
it's the mystery of your love for me

i find my worth in your majesty
i find my worth in your majesty
i find myself in you've captured me
i find myself in you've captured me

as i approached the door i could tell it was the soft melodic 'come to jesus' part in the song where the lyrics ceased and the wise exhortations of my brother proceeded. the first words i heard from his mouth as i walked in the door were these: 'so what are you finding your worth it? are you finding your worth in relationships, success, possessions? all of these let you down, but the only true place to find our worth is in him, in his majesty, in the fact that he has captured us and sacrificed himself for us...'

[que the sound effect for the divine slap in the face] that night i remember very vididly asking God to do whatever it takes to bring me to that place of finding my worth solely in him: even if that means stripping every comfort i have and everything i rely on for worth and bringing me to my knees in desparation if that's what it takes.

**general warning: if you ever pray that God would strip away everything that is getting in the way, be forewarned that he might follow through on this prayer and actually strip you of every comfort in life taking away whatever is in the way brining you to you to a faceplant of desparation before his majesty and eternal worth...consider yourself warned**

even as i listen to the song right now to make sure i have the lyrics right, my heart is swept away to this moment of truth, to this life changing moment i exerienced 2 years ago and still encounter daily, this moment when we realize that we too often place our worth in everything that loses value. even Christ straight up told us not to store up treasures [the idea of having worth and meaning] in things of this world where moth and rust destroy but instead we are to store up tresures in heaven where nothing is destroyed. see, the harsh reality is that when this life fades and the music of our life's symphony hits the final sustaining note on the cello [a romantic idea of death isn't it?] everything we've placed our worth and value in other than those things of above, are meaningless. the things we've found worth in become absolutely worth-less. yet why is it that i continually try and place and find my worth in material possessions, relationships, success, or some sort of fame: all of which in the end let me down at some point and leave me drowning in my own cesspool of emptiness. what is it going to take to finally realize that the thing i should consistantly and constantly find my worth in is the one who will never let me down, who will never fail, who promises to never leave me or forsake me!