Archive for the 'mercy' Category


Praying for Burma

Rangoon Cyclone Aftermath

Any number value assigned to loss of life is one too many. It is difficult to grasp how in one town 10,000 souls can be lost. The number currently stands at 22,000 lives lost and another 41,000 missing.
Pray. Give. Be informed. Be involved.

Andrew Kirkwood, Save the Children’s country director for Burma, said that responding to the devastation would be a major logistical feat, requiring boats, helicopters and trucks.
“There are seven townships in the southwest of the delta region in which we think 90 to 95% of homes have been wiped out,” he said.

“The problem is that no-one can get there. There are no roads in the region that are functional so access is primarily by boat, but many boats have been destroyed.”
“The main needs that we can estimate right now are for shelter, food, essential drugs, mosquito nets and water purification tablets.”

Download PDF, UN map showing worst-hit areas, based on satellite imagery [1.13MB]

Here are some of the major aid agencies working inside Burma
Intl. Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent
World Food Programme
Save the Children
World Vision
International Rescue Committee
International Medical Corps

More Links
NYTimes Slideshow
The Aid Challenge


love hurts ::.

love hurts ::. swollen fingers. achy joints. splinters. fatigue. a beat up pair of nikes. nasty tanlines. the result of a ten hour drive to lima, ohio across miles of farmland with 15 passengers. we all took part in a pilot faith-builders service program through habitat for humanity. it was a great week where we actually built something from nothing. it was not just a house but a home. my own spiritual house was under construction. i got to understand more deeply that love does often require pain in the offering.

we may find ourselves living day to day, especially as we get older and experienced in life, raising formidable walls in order not to get hurt or allow others to expose our true state of weakness, the real us. to love and to even be loved requires that we become vulnerable to potential pain, to being hurt, to come just as we are. naked and bare. we may find that doing so allows us to remain true to ourselves. perhaps, in our age of broken relationships we just don’t want to be hurt again because it runs so deep and long. we cannot build a great house on top of our weak, broken, or damaged past contructions. these need to be either torn down completely or restored with precision and expertise by a master builder. to love others in life begs us to be unraveled, twisted, uncomfortable. it’s alright because it is love. this poetic reality is experienced in the sanctity of the marriage bed. women can understand the nature of this much more than men. i realize increasingly how fragile my wife was before she married me and in many ways she still is. how easy it is to exploit and attack one other’s weaknesses. it is all too easy to hurt instead of love.

My hands are tied / My body bruised, she’s got me with
Nothing to win and / Nothing left to lose
And you give yourself away / And you give yourself away
And you give / And you give / And you give yourself away
with or without you — u2 — the joshua tree

i’m still finding new bruises today and i just smile. every slight pain brings a sense of pleasure and satisfaction of having spent a week with people i hardly know, laboring hard to build a house for someone we never met. don’t i sound masochistic in all this? we became acquianted with each other’s habits and annoyances. we looked pass shortcomings and tried to become servants. i’m deeply in love with a crew of teenagers, peers, and a woman who deserves a home and not just a house.

Narrator: The first step to eternal life is you have to die. I just don’t want to die without a few scars.

— Fight Club (Palahniuk)

Habitat 2 Rupert and Dan The Girls of Habitat

Uma  Thumin  Olga
UMA [my hammer::thin, graceful, deadly] :: THUMIN :: OLGA


humbled ::.

humbled ::. so it’s over and i got rocked. but i’m done. finals are over. a stark realization that came through this experience is how much i still don’t know. i’ve been a xian now for over half my life plus i’m a seminarian which means i cram as much bible into my head as possible and yet when it comes to being examined on what i know, i truly don’t know a whole lot. the bottomline is that i don’t read the bible nearly enough.

.:: we often get to this place where we get stuck in our journey, when it’s really all about learning to love like Jesus. from henri nouwen who writes about the peak of his profession;

{{ everyone was saying i was doing well, but something inside was telling me that my success was putting my own soul in danger. i found myself praying poorly, living somewhat isolated from other people, and very much preoccupied with burning issues. i woke up one day with the realization that i was living in a very dark place. in the midst of this i kept praying, “lord show me where you want me to go and i will follow you, but please be clear and unambiguous about it!” well, God was. in the person of jean vanier, the founder of l’arche communities for mentally handicapped people, God said, “go and live among the poor in spirit, and they will heal you.” so i moved from harvard to l’arche, from the best and the brightest wanting to rule the world, to men and women who had few or no words and were considered at best, marginal to the needs of our society. it was a very hard and painful move. }}

paul miller adds about nouwen, he left a successful and prestigious career for disabled adults. in order to love the disabled, he had to go to where they were. to do that, he had to leave where he was. he humbled himself. he had to go low in order to love. love and humility are inseparable. love isn’t a one shot sortie into someone else’s need. it gets involved, it doesn’t stay clean and separate.

love requires us, as Jesus demonstrated, to go low.
{{ when you’re in the lowest place, people don’t listen to you. they often don’t take time with you, because they don’t think you can give them much. they walk over you. they don’t thank you. in the lowest place you may be used, overlooked or discounted. you feel invisible.
people take the lowest place for two reasons. either others chose it for us or we chose if for ourselves. when others have forced us to take the lower place, we are humiliated:
someone dismisses our feelings, saying, “oh you are just being touchy”
. . someone criticizes us regularly.
. . . someone publicly mocks us.
. . . . we are excluded from a group or a meeting.
but when we choose to take the lower place, we express humility.
we don’t explain ourselves because to do so would hurt someone else.
. we forgive someone rather than making an issue of it.
. . we give to someone in a way that no one will ever know.
humility is a quality of the soul, something we do from inside. humiliation is the situation where we learn humility.

// love on //
. . .

xian marketing ::. great NYT article on the challenge of marketing saved!
– test screening gets alot of mixed reviews. but that’s expected. is the church ready for this?
i say bring it on

[american born chinese pastor]
seeks to be that third place for those who are american born chinese [abc] in ministry.
here we may explore issues unique to the chinese church and doing ministry in that context
expand the intersection of asian american culture and christian faith
or simply expose what goes on in the mind of this abcpastor

this may be a bit ambitious or even naiive but i do hope that through the posts we can bring together different faith communities, passions for the advancement of the Gospel and the equipping of the body of Christ.

if you are an abc pastor or have any suggestions or would like to contribute to make this space evolve, just comment.


Feed the Ego

Laurence Tom's Facebook profile

Add to Technorati Favorites