This is a blog about my life as a missionary. The problem is this: I am in the U.S. right now and, let’s be honest, my life is not that interesting.
Last week, I spent time with my 91 year-old grandma in the hospital, ate lots of terrible food on the way to and from the hospital, did not finish a bunch of overdue paperwork, lay in bed at night stressing about said paperwork and grandmother and food. Then I hung out with my friend’s two fabulous little girls, saw an old friend, decorated a Christmas tree and felt better. Are you interested in knowing more? Probably not, because it’s not that different from your life.
Thankfully, there are other people who are writing and saying things that are interesting. Here are a few I have seen recently.
In case you missed it, TIME magazine’s Person of the Year is the Ebola Fighter. Let’s be honest: these people did not go to work in small, obscure hospitals and clinics in West Africa because they thought they might end up on the cover of a magazine one day. They are not the kind of people who are working for fame or attention– or even a decent salary. And yet there they are. Good choice, TIME Magazine. It’s about time we started honoring real heroes.
Inspired by the Ebola Fighters? Check out World Gospel Mission’s Great Commission Catalog. A great way to give differently this Christmas.
I just listened to David Platt’s “Why People Don’t Make Disciples”. I am still pondering it.
Mike Patz on the stupidity of envy. Short and true. He wrote it almost two years ago and I still go back and read it periodically when the green-eyed monster rears it’s ugly head. I should probably print it out and tape it to my fridge. Actually, I am going to stop writing this blog and go do just that. You can also do yourself a favor a take a stroll through Mike’s archives. You won’t regret it. He is a very good writer and usually has important things to say.
The Micah Challenge has put together a gift-giving guide for those who want to spend their money more wisely this Christmas– or at any time of the year.
Rachel Pieh Jones’s Yes, We Know it’s Christmas in Africa. “This is not ISIS, Muslims killing Christians. It isn’t Band-Aid 30, rich white westerners saving a dark continent filled with nameless poor and ignorant heathen. It is real people in real relationship, respecting and honoring each other across differences.” As a missionary, I meet a lot of people who have a lot of ideas about life in Africa. I have a lot of ideas about life in Africa. This is a poignant and convicting reminder that life is about real people, no matter where you live.
I also love this talk from Jose Miguel Sokoloff on how his ad agency used Christmas lights (and other innovative tactics) to encourage guerrilla fighters to put down their weapons and come home for Christmas. If that doesn’t put you in the holiday spirit, I don’t know what will. (Also, it’s proof that you don’t have be a doctor in Africa to make a difference in the world. You could be an advertising executive, of all things.)
I can lose hours on Colossal, a blog dedicated to exploring art and visual culture. It sounds intimidating, but really, it’s just about fascinating things people are doing and making. Seriously, I never cease to be amazed by the scope of human creativity. If you want to be inspired, look around for a few minutes. Some of it’s incredible, some of it’s weird, some of it will make you laugh, and all of it will make you appreciate artists and inventors who just keeping thinking of new ideas, even if they are a bit strange. I am sure there is a blog post in here somewhere about God’s creativity, Imago Dei, and the human drive to create. I’ll work on that.