Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Good Energy

The coolest moment of my trip to Croatia over the long Easter weekend was walking very solemnly into the ruins Diocletian's seaside colosseum. Here were the seats for the rulers, there were the doors for the wild animals, and the doors where the martyrs and gladiators entered, and that hole there in the middle of the floor was for taking the dead bodies out. No doubt there was an energy in that place, and I was so full of emotion that I ran out into the grass in the middle and did a cartwheel. A few minutes later a balding, sunburnt German man named Pete walked up to tell me I had 'good energy,' even in this 'empty' place. He walked around the arena with his notebook and pencil stuffed in his black jeans, his black shirt sleeves rolled up, and has palms stretched out to the ground to 'sense the readings.' He came back again to talk about energy and I started to form an idea but I chickened out. And the 3rd time I went up to him and said something like, 'Listen Pete. Here's MY theory about energy: there's a spirit inside of me which is so full of life that cannot be restrained even from cartwheeling over a place where people have died, because I know that the carcass hole in the floor is not the end of what's living in me. Death is not the end! It doesn't win! Death itself has been conquered and I am rescued by a Jesus who LIVES! Cartwheel around for joy!

Jan Feb March April Pictures

Images of Slovakia

Sunday, January 11, 2009

a bit of fall semester

Fall Semester 2008

Newsy news

In November my family purchased a surprise last minute ticket home for Christmas, so I have just returned from 2 weeks doing nothing except sleeping, resting, sitting, eating, replenishing, playing, soaking, touching, hugging, listening, talking, being home with family.

I finished the last of my coursework for Azusa Pacific University just before Christmas, so January is the first month in 19.5 years that I haven't been officially enrolled in any kind of school, and I feel wonderfully wonderfully free. Get this- with all my free time I plan on TEACHING English, STUDYING Slovak, LEARNING how to play my lovely new guitar and READING and WRITING whatever I darn well please. Let the education begin!

January 1st also marks Slovakia's adoption of Euro currency in the final stage of EU participation. I am a bit sad to see the old money(since 1993)go, but I kind of like paying for a meal with "just change."

In other news, Russia was withholding natural gas from Ukrainian pipelines which supply 100% of Slovakia and much of Europe. Some countries farther south were already completely in the cold, Slovaks had shut down a few major factories and schools to conserve, and electric heaters were sold out all over town. Solutions ranged from firing up a recently retired nuclear power plant in central Slovakia, to borrowing from our Czech neighbors, to closing schools and businesses all together and finding a cabin in the country where we could build a fire. I was kind of hoping for the last option, fondly remembering the good old days of blizzards in North Dakota holed up with family, painting all the walls, and eating hot from-scratch vanilla pudding from our propane camping stove. But, our friend the EU marched right over to the Russians and Ukrainians and said, now you boys better start sharing, and why don't you pick on someone your own size, and don't make us come over there...So we haven't lost heat yet and the future is looking...warmer...which is good because it looks like this outside today:

Actually just kidding. My roommate just came in to report that Russia said the deal was off. So we shall see. Maybe more of this to come:

The future is coming. By March, I need to submit my decision whether to stay at my current position at this school, or in Slovakia, or not next year. And if not, what should I do with myself? I think about it every day. Please pray with me that my heart and ears would be open to hear what God has to say about all this.