Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Servanthood and Honoring God

Okay, today, as I was reading my Bible and writing down my notes from the reading (I take my notes on the Devo Notes blog above), God revealed to me something incredible about the life of Abraham, particularly about the attitude of a servant in honoring God.

Now, I don't usually advertise by Devo Notes blog like this, but I'd recommend reading today's Devo Notes (28 Dec. 2011) as this is where I posted this revelation and I believe it is something of which all of us should be made aware.

Monday, December 19, 2011

I'll Be Home for Christmas (or a merry TCK Christmas)

Okay, for those of you who might be unaware, I'm heading home (finally) for Christmas.

Those of you who know me are probably hyperventilating right now on my behalf. Those of you who don't are probably thinking, "What the heck? I'm heading home for Christmas, too. What's so special about that?"

My response to the latter is simply, "You live near 'home', don't you?"

Imagine living in one place for most of your life then moving away, by yourself, to some place far enough away that the chance to visit "home" and see your friends and family is rare. Welcome to a part* of my world (and of many a TCK, too). Just to put things into perspective: the shortest trip home takes 18 hours...

... by plane.

Before you ask, no, I can't drive there either. That is, unless you've invented an amphibious car for me to use.

So, for me, heading home is a big deal. I'll be able to see family, friends and familiar sights. I'll be back in my comfort zone, in an area in which, despite the crime, I feel relatively safe.

Now, I begin my trip home tomorrow afternoon. If you all could please pray for safe travels and an enjoyable time being home, it'd be much appreciated.

Merry Christmas and God bless!

*I say part because my 'home' story is a slight bit more convoluted than that, as most TCKs can attest.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

New TCM Family Member!

Two points of order:

  1. You may have noticed some posts here dated back to much earlier this year/last year/earlier. Those are blog posts from my pre-Blogger days that were initially posted on Facebook's Notes app. I saw them recently and decided to integrate them to the TCM family.
  2. You might have noticed a second tab on the top of the blog. That is a tab introducing and possessing a link to a new blog in the TCM family. Devo Notes is two things: a collection of my previous Devo Notes posts from my Facebook Notes days and the continuation of that project, namely the posting of what I'm reading in my daily quiet time and what I'm learning from it.

USAargh! - 13 Dec. 2008

the USA trip... Woohoo!!!? 
yeah, wasn't too psyched before I left - I was trading interhouse basketball & summer& beaches for winter in a place which is home in name only and i don't really know anyone anymore 

the only thing I was looking forward to at the beginning was snow... 
still waiting... 
anytime now, God... 

we arrived in our small hometown, only to see that it wasn't really small anymore, most of my good friends had moved away & so the only people I knew were my parents' friends and the odd acquaintance - fun 

we then left to Tennessee to visit Grandparents - it's not too bad. 

doesn't mean I'm not missing friends and mk camp... 

the biggest mission: 
da da daaaaaaaaaa! 

such a mission... 
not that it's bad or anything, it's actually given me a chance to look at the universities I'm looking at, meet with some of the professors in my possible majors and give me a chance to get a feel of the different schools 

looked at Carson-Newman & Belmont so far 
I like Carson newman's small town feel, but Belmont also has that but since they're also a little bigger, they have better courses and they have good premed (thumbs up) and a Commercial music major (2 thumbs up) 

leanin towards Belmont - gut feeling and It just feels right, but, unfortunately, it's a bit more expensive - major pressure for scholarships - I want to go there, but If I don't get any... 
out the window :-( 

overall: had a ho hum hols so far: 
saw family - nice 
missing friends - bleak 
missing mk camp & once-a-year friends - bleak 
missing sun, beaches & SUMMER break - bleak 
no snow - BLEAK BLEAK BLEAK BLEAK BLEAK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

oh well, it can only get better, right?

home? - 10 Jan. 2009

when i was little home was something easy to describe. Home was that largish brick house where i lived with mom & dad. i'd walk in after getting off the school bus and see mom in the kitchen making a snack, or when i was a little older i made the snack myself. 

but then i moved to another country. South Africa was another world entirely from what i'd known and when time came for our 1st furlough i couldn't wait to be back in the usa. but as time went on i guess i just got acclimatized and now i've come to the us and it doesn't feel like home at all. no friends to hang at the beach with, no beach, completely different worldviews, the food's different i can't work in farenheight, pounds, ounces and quarts anymore, it's like complete gibberish to me. and the us isn't the us i used to call home when i was 8. 

so i've begun to do some thinking, 
home isn't where you were born 
home isn't where you're from 
home isn't even where you currently live 

i used to call home where you stayed for the night 

but home isn't any of these things. home has nothing to do with geographic locations... 

home is where your friends are, where you have people that you would trust like your own family, where you feel comfortable, where you have a place that you feel that the puzzle piece that's you fits perfectly, where you have a deep gut feeling that this is home 

i guess, the old adage is right... 

"home is where the heart is" and the heart changes, it adapts, it grows and as it does so i guess it changes it's feeling of "home" to the gap you've grown into 

and, i guess, right now, that home is in South Africa 

but why do i still have this nagging feeling of a sort of concrete responsibility to the usa? a sense of patriotism to a country that i don't really have any emotional ties left with? 

i feel like i'm being torn between my old "home" and my new one. one's a tie of a perceived sense of responsibility, patriotism & citizenship, the other's a tie of the heart... 


i'm confused 

i wanna go home... 


The One about Respect (or why we shouldn't call Obama Nobama) - 20 Jan. 2011

In today's society people tout tolerance and respect and expect you to go along with it because that is what's "right." What disturbs me, however, is the recent disrespecting of certain individuals in offices of power.

Most people would agree that respect is something that is either earned or part of an office or position. Respect, as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary, is, " Deferential regard or esteem felt or shown towards a person, thing, or quality."* A person is said to earn respect by completing deeds which are considered good, acting in an honorable fashion or being honest. A person also earns respect by being placed into a position which ranks above someone else. For example, a teacher, because of her position, deserves respect from her pupils, regardless of her ability; likewise a manager should receive respect from those he has hired because of his job position if for nothing else. I, in turn, respect the fire marshal and the police chief. I have never met either of them. I do not even know their names, but because of their position, I give them respect.

Following suit, should not a governor receive more respect than a mayor, a senator more than a governor, a head of senate more than a senator and a president more than a head of senate? Why then do people continually disrespect our current president? Yes, I may not agree with everything he has accomplished during his term so far. Yes, I believe he has made some serious mistakes. the question arises, however, should I begin calling him Nobama or disrespecting him in another form? No! While I may not agree with his actions and while he may not have garnered much deeds-based respect from me, I will still attribute to him the respect and honor due to the office of the President of the United States of America. Likewise I will do what I can to uphold his presidency by not devaluing it and running it through the dirt. 

If we disrespect the office with one president, what is to prevent us from doing this again? What is to prevent us from robbing the office from any power whatsoever because the title "President" has become ignored due to our disrespect?
Think about this; and think twice before disrespecting those to whom respect is due.

*"Respect." Oxford English Dictonary. def. 10a. Web.20/1/11.

Blog Transfer!

So, over then next short while, I will be transferring blogs.

Let me clarify: I used to use Facebook as my blog site, posting notes there about some serious issues. Recently, I decided to move all of these posts (the blog ones only, not the random ones) to TCM.


Also, I have a whole Devotional Post series that I might post as a different page. Watch this space!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Peace on Earth

To much of modern thought, a vacuum could be considered the most peaceful concept in existence. Consider this, a vacuum is never at rest - it is constantly straining against its bounds trying to fill itself.

Similarly, Peace is a void inside the soul of Man, a vacuum, if you will. Essentially then, the quest for peace boils down to attempting to satiate that hunger which consumes the void.

Depending on one's philosophy or religion, filling the void is attempted through diverse means:

  • Eastern philosophies following Buddhist thinking seek peace, essentially, through emptiness. This, however, does not fill the void, but add to it.
  • Those Eastern philosophies following Hindu thought seek peace through moral neutrality, which lends itself to either emptiness, like Buddhism, or a works-based system, which will be explained just now.
  • Islamic philosophy seeks peace through works. The main problem with works-based attempts at peace is that, while contributing to the filling of the void, it doesn't fill quite completely, leaving a sense that there must be more, and a sense, ultimately, of futility.
  • Jewish philosophy, while similar in this matter to Islam's works-based mindset, seeks peace through observance of the law. Again, the void is only partially filled and can lead to a sense of futility and disillusion.
  • Western philosophies, particularly those falling under nihilist and egotist or hedonist thinking, promote a very selfish view which manifests itself respectively as either a resignation to futility (and therefore a lack of effort to address the void) or an attempt to fill the void with personal desires, which still leaves a sense that there is something more.
  • Philanthropic or altruistic Western philosophies seek peace through the betterment of others and, while this may possibly be the most satisfying of the philosophies, it does not quite fill the void. It instead falls, eventually, into the same pit that all works-based philosophies fall.
What, then, can fill this void? Every human concept seems, at best, to be able to only partially fill the void. What, then, can perfectly fill that gap? If one considers humans imperfect, as all philosophies (of which I am aware) do, then can anything originating from Man possibly come close?

Of course not.

Only that which is perfect can fill the void, can perfectly bring perfect peace. What else is perfect other than God? Christ Himself has been called the "Prince of Peace" (Isa 9:6), God has been called the "God of Peace" (Rom 15:33, 16:20, 1 Cor 14:33, etc), and the Bible even speaks of "peace... in the Holy Spirit" (Rom 14:17).

God. Is. Peace.

So, during this Christmas season, one of "peace, goodwill to men" (Luk 2:14), remember the real source of peace, not any artifice or thought of Man, but the perfect being and sacrifice of God.


Bob Owira
6 August 1991 - 5 December 2011

Dude, I can't believe you're gone. I want to say this is a cruel joke, but, sadly, I know it's not. Rest in Peace, my friend.

To the Owira Family, my prayers are with you.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Finals Week! (and general prayer requests)

Yes, the dreaded Finals Week is almost upon me, so life's getting full of studying (or, at least, it should be). Regardless, it's here and, along with needing to study, I also need much prayer.

  1. Organic chemistry (AKA: The GPA Breaker) - I currently have a "C" in the class and I really need to move it up to a "B"
  2. Genetics: I have a "B" right now, which is passable, but I'd prefer to have an "A", which is still in reach.
  3. Continued prayer for the Brazil Missions trip - I'm still short for Monday's deadline, so I need prayer. If you feel called to, you can even donate here. -> click me!
  4. I'm flying back home for the Christmas, so please pray for travel safety and a restful and enjoyable break.
Well, without much ado, here's the exam schedule:

9 Dec.
10:30am-12:30pm - Calculus 2
1:00pm-3:00pm - Communications 101

12 Dec.
8:00am-10:00am - Organic Chemistry

14 Dec.
8:00am-10:00am - Genetics