Friday, October 25, 2013


So this morning I donned a new pair of Lee casual khaki pants to do my grocery shopping and errands. This is the first time to wear them and they didn't need to be shortened or taken in at the waist. Jackpot! While I was (ahem) in the powder room I noticed that the lining in the front and for the pockets were scribbled with lines of affirmation: "You are valued", "You are creative", "You are inspiring", "You are confident", and "You are successful". Great. One would think you would find such affirmations in a pair of dress/career slacks. That would be helpful. But here these are casual affirmation pants. Perhaps, one needs to be reminded of these things even on a day off!
I confess I feel a little intimidated by them. I'm not so sure I can live up to those statements. We shall see!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


I just finished reading, "I am Malala", on my kindle. I spent the weekend and a couple days to read it.
I found the writing similar to Three Cups of Tea, which was not the best written book. However, there were some lyrical descriptions and parts. It was a fascinating read of all Malala grew up with and in the Swat Valley. I admire her courage and she is an amazing and remarkable young woman who has not given up on encouraging, demanding education for all children, especially girls. Pakistan has had much political and socio-economic upheaval. I admire the love of her father and mother. It is a miracle that she is still alive and survived being shot. Thanks be to God. I pray that she will live into her calling and be a force for good in her country, in the world. I know she is exiled at the moment with a bounty on her head. She has kept faith and trust and has a world of support for her.
I am so glad to have read her book and to have been drawn into the struggle against the Taliban and the forces that continue to oppress people. I too, pray that peace will come again to Pakistan, the Swat Valley and in all corners of the world.
Although she did not win the Nobel Peace Prize, she has won the hearts of the world.

Thursday, October 03, 2013


Thinking about the Gospel lesson from Luke for this Sunday, having mustard seed-sized faith, I am drawn to the mustard seed faith around me. With mustard seed faith, the church I'm serving began a Sunday school for children (there are about 3 with potential for a couple more), and actually had 4 respond to taking turns teaching. And it's happening.
My niece, working on her doctoral project as a medical student in Ethiopia, sent an email, this past week, regarding an 8 year old girl, she walked for 4 hours to see and do an assessment. This little girl is unable walk. After another 4 hour trek back, presenting all her findings to the surgeon, he strongly believes that with surgery this little girl can walk. So, my niece, who is well aware of "unsustainable charity projects" has been moved to a mustard seed faith - by sending an appeal out via social media - for donations to help this little one get her needed surgery to be able to walk. Included in the cost was $50.00 to rent a mule (roundtrip) to bring the girl to Gimbi for surgery and home again. About half of the $650.00 needed has already been raised.
With mustard seed faith, this little girl's family, her mother wearing jelly shoes over rough terrain, along with the girl's entire family carried her in a chair to Gimbi - so part of the mule cost is no longer needed - where this little girl, whose whole life was spent sitting on her porch, is awaiting surgery. With hope and faith, this girl's family bore her all the way to town, taking turns carrying the chair.
With mustard seed faith, I have sent in my donation, and many prayers that all the money will be raised, that the surgery will be successful, and this little girl will have a new life.
I believe that mustard seed faith can transform lives one at a time, in small ways. That my niece has taken this on, being baptized, raised and confirmed Presbyterian, who has had little patience for church, but does have some spirituality, points to a mustard sized seed of faith in her after all. I can't wait to hear about the surgery and the unfolding of new life for this little girl.
Thanks be to God for just mustard seed-sized faith for it is enough and then some.