Friday, November 30, 2012

We are called to Love

For the past two days I have been reading this book called The Irresistible Revolution.  And then this morning in our Liturgy of the hours we read Romans 12:13-21.  It's something that I've read many many many times before, and it's always been like:
"Yeah, it's a nice reading." And then I forget about it.      But today, it spoke to me an a whole new level. Here's what it says.

 Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.  Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.  Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.  Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.  If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord.  On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head."  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
And this reading struck me because this is what we are called to do. Share with those in need. Live in harmony with one another.  It's so easy, and I am guilty of this myself, to simply believe it's just something to read and then forget.  But Paul wrote this to the Romans, telling them this is the way they had to live.   If they had to live it? Why don't we?   
I lived in the ghetto of St. Lucia, where people were murdered across the street and we heard the gunshots.  I've lived in the dirt, in the trash, with people who could be called "unloveable''.  It wasn't fun for me, it wasn't easy.   It's easy to want to go back to the states, get married live a ''good Christian life'', raise ''good Christian kids.''   How do I do what I know I'm supposed to do?   The only answer I can come up with, and one I find echoed in The Irresistible Revolution, is to love.
If you love someone you're willing to do anything for them.  I have to love God in order to love that Romans verse.
My human love is not strong enough for that.  I pray that God gives me more of His love.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A whole post about truth.

This might take the form of a rant of sorts so I apologize in advance.

Last night when we were at the bible study I sat there looking around asking myself,

“What am I doing here?” The truth of the matter is I shouldn’t be here; I’m the last person who should be in mission. The truth is that I don’t like being a missionary; I don’t like having to give up my school schedule to help people. I don’t like having a shower that’s just a pipe in a wall. I don’t like living without some comforts. The truth is I complain and I get disagreeable when these things happen.

The truth is I get mad at God for asking me to do things like this. The truth is some days I just want to ignore him. The truth is my life gets messed up.

A missionary should be perfect right? They should be a saint, a shining example of Jesus Christ.

That’s not me. A missionary should pray every single day and read the Bible for hours on end right? Well I don’t do that, I try, but some days I forget to pray, some days I don’t want to pray.

But the truth is also that I am here in the Philippines. And I am a missionary at this time in my life. So there must be an answer to my question.

“What am I doing here?”

Something interesting happened last night at the Bible study. The building that we go to is called the Barangay Hall, behind and around it are the houses of people who live in this Barangay, which are basically different sections of land where people live. As we are white we stick out A LOT here in the Philippines. So of course some people came out to watch us just because of that fact, but by the time the meeting started they had gone back inside their house. Soon it got dark and we started the meeting with singing. And I saw someone creep out of the house and hide behind a tree to watch us. But this person, I think it was a woman, wasn’t standing in a place where she could see us Americans very well. She could hear us though. I saw in her not a curiosity of white people, but of what we were doing here.

Who are these white people who sing?

I don’t know the full answer to the question, “Why am I here.” But I have an idea, and I have a story. The story is about my family, who according to a lot of people are crazy. We have ten children, we moved from our home, our farm, our family and our job to live with the poor in the Philippines.

They sing these white people with guitars. They dance with us, these white people. They act like fools and they don’t mind. These white people, they tell us of a man who says He loves us. These white people. They are different.

I’m going to start to tell my stories; every week at least I’m going to plan on finding a story. Not because you need to hear them, but because I need to remind myself why I’m here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Pictures of the Philippines

Mass at the monastery
Monastery bells.
Alvarez's porch

Stairs at the Alvarez's House                                Bible Study night

Street outside the house
More at the monastery.

Isla Bonita

More later!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I post!

Isaiah 49:1 Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations: Before I was born the LORD called me; from my birth he has made mention of my name. 

We are here in the Philippines!  It still seems kinda crazy that I'm on the other side of the world. As of yet I don't have very many pictures or stories, but those will come soon. The weather here is really nice, and the people are so friendly and excited to see us. And the food is good too. ;)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Tommy Philips

Time to introduce you to another character from my nano novel The PianoMan.  Meet Tommy Philips.  He's easy going, fun to be with, always making jokes, and all around good guy.  He's done some acting before, but mostly he just hangs around with Stephan and helps his friend write scripts.
Then Jamie comes, and he sees that she can use some extra help.   He becomes someone whom Jamie can talk to, someone whom she feels she can be normal around.
At first I didn't really like him as much as Stephan and Jamie, but in the last few days he's really been a help to me.  I'm getting in a lot of scenes with him and Jamie, and then him and Stephan. He's a perfect middle man.  Which is unfortunate since he's in love with Jamie. I feel sorry for him, but it can't be helped.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Snippets of Nano

Hey peoples!  Yes nano has made me disappear for awhile, sorry about that.  But here I am, here to tell you that my writing is going...okay.  I won't say great because I've been stuck a lot.  I knew Historical Fiction was going to be harder, because when you're stuck in Fantasy all you have to do to get ''un-stuck'' is through in monsters, or ninjas or something like that. :)   So it's been going okay, I'm to 13k and I should be at 15k.  At least its only day 9. ;)   And  I love my characters, Jamie is amazing and I need to do more scenes with her acting.  Stephan is...well he's a bit of a jerk but that's only because he can only think about himself and his movies.  Tommy is a darling, his heart is going to be broken, I'm sorry Tommy.

Before I leave again here is a snippet of chapter 1.

Chapter 1

He sat morosely playing the piano, his black suit spotless and without wrinkle, his beautifully sculptured hands moving along the black and white keys with perfect grace. The scene was a pleasant one, on top of the black piano was a lamp, under the man’s feet was a Persian rug. The cottage house was quite, the keeper of the house; an old woman in her early sixties rocked in her chair with cat on her lap and knitting in her hands, she smiled at the sounds coming out of the piano.

The man had a dreamy look in his honey brown eyes; he had a touch of a smile on his face. He was a handsome man, with a dark melancholy face, high eyebrows, chiseled nose, and a mouth that endeared one to it; he was in his early thirties but he looked not older than twenty.

The music stopped abruptly, the man pulled out a cigarette and lit it, then began where he left off.

“That’s a nice tune dear, what is it?” The woman asked, her voice pure British English.

He sighed and said, “Oh just a jingle I made up.” He was clearly American.

“Well it’s still nice.”

The man glanced over at her with a smile, she was a silly old thing, but he didn’t mind her, she was after all his great aunt. He didn’t know her very well, only seen her once or twice at family gatherings, but he was a busy man so he paid little attention to old Aunt Jemina who knitted and talked in a high pitched voice and lived in the English country side of Dalwood.

Why had he left America? For the last twenty years of his life he had been working, first as an actor and now mostly as a director, he composed music, wrote plays and scripts, and was even working on a novel. The fact was he was tired. He was tired of the people, he was tired of the movies, he was tired of the paparazzi, he was just tired. One day in his office when every page of his novel was wrong, and all his actors idiots, he decided to leave. And leave he did, the next morning he bought a ticket to Dalwood, Devonshire England. He arrived on the door step of his aunt’s cottage with no warning and even less baggage. But she was happy to have him, and he soon bought more clothes. He had been in England for three days.