The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.

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i am humbled and empowered all at the same time.  on the one hand, i am greatly humbled that god would see fit to send me and others to romania to teach god’s word.  i still have problems getting my arms around this.  there are actually people with names, families, homes, jobs, and all the complications of life waiting for me to greet them and begin talking with them about bible principles.  it is humbling and i don’t know what to think.  on the other hand, i feel so invigorated and empowered.  and for many of the same reasons.  god trusts me!  god believes i can do this and i find much happiness and satisfaction in knowing that god is going to let me touch the lives of others with his word.  it’s like god has given me a sword to use.  he has given me a tool to tweak lives with.  he has given me my driver’s license.  it is just such a comforting feeling to know that god trusts me.  and finally, i am taking regina.  last year this time she was just waking from a little over one week of drug induced sleep following major heart surgery.  you know the story.  one year ago, regina could not even get out of bed…the therapists and i had to re-teach regina how to rise up out of bed.  but in a few hours from now, regina will be walking into a big ol’ plane and will be jetting off with me and others into who knows what!  maybe we will do this many more times…or just one more time.  but one more time is good enough.  regina deserves this.  she is a miracle girl.  when someone says they can’t do something…i think of regina.  it can be done if you put your mind to it like her and believe that you can.  this year’s trip is a celebration of maybe a few more years of life.  god is good.  so…this trip is one of opportunities, emotions, international friendships, christian friendships, blessings, chances, risks, and faith.  step aside, please.  i am ready…let god begin! 

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Regina at Stafford Starbucks

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Leaving work for Romania…yippee!

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Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.

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I absolutely love it. They’re “Christians” going out and telling other people that pornography is bad and that sex is shameful meanwhile this preacher had pornography on his computer and had his wife performing degrading sex acts. Or so as she puts it. You Christians need to stop judging us nonbelievers. YOU’RE NOT PERFECT EITHER. And for the most of you who are hypocrites don’t condemn us for what we supposedly are doing wrong take a darn good look at yourself once in a whle…And for some of you on this board I am a female.

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The 787, which features carbon-fiber composites that reduce weight and improve fuel efficiency, will begin test flights around early September, and delivery of the first plane to a customer is slated for May 2008. “We have no intention of being late into service,” Bair said at a news conference in Seattle on July 6. The unveiling day is symbolic: 7/8/07. Also, 60 years ago to the day, Boeing’s 377 Stratocruiser, its first plane to sell successfully to non-U.S. airlines, flew for the first time. The Stratocruiser used cutting-edge technology of the period, cabin pressure, letting it fly above the weather.

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I’d like to believe that people in general are kind and generous and care about people in the world. It is my hope that our seeming indifference (and don’t quote to me statistics about the amount of money Americans or Westerners donate each year to the Developing World) to the suffering and the pain in the world comes from a fundamental ignorance. Yes, we “know” that horrible things are happening in Sudan, and in other places around the world, but that’s different from knowing that it’s happening. Something happens to people who are exposed to that sort of suffering. It’s why the images of David Leeson and James Nachtwey and others are so powerful: they expose the reality of the suffering. There’s a difference between understanding that bombs cause injuries and death, and KNOWING what they can do to a four-year-old girl [Warning: Very Graphic Image..do not view if squeamish!!!]  –  kendallball.com

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a friend said today that a special person had left after a visit and my friend was despondent since there had not been an opportunity to “share the word”.  another friend tells that a close friend to my friend was married today…in a civil union.  two females.  a third friend has family that has separated…moved out!  one spouse left the other spouse.  no phone contact or knowledge of where the removed spouse has gone to.  and yet a fourth friend’s wife was found to have “a cyst the size of a grapefruit” inside of her.  the understatement of the day…”the doctors were a bit surprised!”  all today!  since this morning when i rose out of bed!  now, i am not sharing these anecdotes for empathy or sympathy but, rather, to make the point that i made with even another friend just a few days ago…a person can deny any complications in life, it is just an “attitude”, it is all ok “because jesus is with me”.  and on and on and on…  but how naive!  life hurts!  life is painful!  and if you or i are not feeling the burn, then maybe we have our eyes closed, ears plugged, and senses numbed out.  people hurt even if you or i don’t think we do or that they do.  i am reminded of “jesus wept”.  i am reminded of jesus calling out for exception…the pain was going to be too much.  i am reminded of jesus praying for his disciples…then and now.  yes, the world is tough, ugly, painful, hurtful.  and i need – really bad – church community to keep me focused on, attentiveto , and grateful for all of the good that is in this world and beyond.  and there is much!  if i think the smoke and fog is all there is then i am doomed.  but church community life can keep me strong, prepared, and sharp.  how about you?  do you need some honest, authentic, and caring support?  let’s talk.  

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regina knows what this cartoon is about!

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