06 February 2012

our brilliant boy

Garty at dinner: "Daddy, I'm really smart. I know plus, minus, and eagle."

Our little guy may be good at math, but we really need to work on English.

17 January 2012

one reason we do what we do

I'm re-reading Theirs is the Kingdom, a wisdom-packed little book of stories about life in inner city Atlanta. As I read the preface, I felt so humbled and overwhelmed by the truth of it as we live and work here in Norristown:

My wife and I saw the city as a mission field and ourselves as missionaries carrying the light of the gospel into the darkness of the ghetto. How surprised we were when we discovered that the One who had called us already preceded us. Those to whom we came to share our faith frequently had more faith than we did. They had learned to depend on God for their daily bread, and answers to their prayers were often miraculous. Their capacity to care sacrificially for neighbors and family members made our scheduled, metered acts of service sometimes seem trite and even self-serving.

After 6 years in Norristown, I still have so much to learn. It's hard to imagine living anywhere else, yet I often feel out of place. I'm so thankful to be here and to have the opportunity to invite others to come and experience Norristown as well. There is still so much to learn!

16 January 2012

it's funny because it's true

In a discussion about about how old we are, Joshua just said, "I'll round 38 to 40..." So he evidently has decent math skills but not enough common sense to stay in our good graces.

07 January 2012

sometimes kids really are cute

While sitting at the dinner table, Joshua asked if Peter would tell the story of how he proposed to me. Then he added, "and don't leave anything out." Garty chimed in and said, "not even the kissing part!"

05 December 2011

shop well

Are you like me and not yet done Christmas shopping? Here's an important thought and then some shopping ideas to get things moving.

"Every time you spend money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want."
(Anne Lappe) 

This is true for food, office supplies, toys, and more. And it's complicated. There are so many factors to consider. You can make yourself crazy analyzing your purchases. I've been there and done that many times.

As you prepare for Christmas, don't overanalyze, but consider making at least a purchase or two that will cast a vote for a better world. Here are some cool options, and I'd love to see more ideas in the comments if you have them.

Hearts for Hearts Girls: buy a doll and help girls around the world

Made by Survivors: an organization that is fighting slavery around the world and selling all kinds of products

Gobena Coffee: organic, fair trade, fresh roasted coffee that supports orphans in Ethiopia...and it's really good

Roma Boots and Toms Shoes: buy a pair, and they donate a pair to someone in need somewhere in the world

Sari Bari: bags, blankets, pillow, scarves, and baby gear made from recycled Indian saris and marked with the name of the woman who made it, a woman who has been freed from Kolkata's sex industry (Keep checking back if you don't see anything available that you like. They restock somewhere around the 10th of each month.)

And if you haven't found something on the list so far, you can peruse this Ethical Holiday Shopping Guide for other ideas or go to the store and buy some fair trade chocolate to stuff in stockings.

Happy shopping!

01 December 2011

day 5 of advent

Well, we're 5 days into Advent, and I still haven't gotten my act together. I know that Christmas is more meaningful for me and for our family when we prepare for it, but it snuck up on me this year. So, I have a choice. I can give up and try again next year or I can jump in a few days late and make the most of it. I'm going to choose the latter. If you want to join our family in celebrating Advent, here are some great resources:

a great 2 minute video to introduce advent

a family-friendly advent devotional guide

a fun website for learning about Christmas around the world

As I find more ideas, I'll share. The important point though is that it's never too late to prepare for the birth of Jesus. Happy Advent to you!