Thursday, June 28, 2007

Editing Time

It's crunch time. 10 images for the Globe by monday. I have every image I want culled from the pack for editing and possible submission... all 383 of them. I am currently putting a copy of them in a separate folder in order to narrow my focus to one area of the computer...

You see, I originally took more than 1,300 photos on this trip. That's a lot of information I at one time deemed important enough to record. Isn't it amazing what we think is important at the time that we end up tossing later for something better? We are such a fickle sort, we humans.

Listening to: Mozart's 9th (in either Austrian or German... it all sounds the same when warbled out like that...)

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A rock or The Rock?

I recently hit a rock. I don't know how else to explain it, except by pointing you to this post.

See, I used to think that the Christian life was different than what I am discovering. I didn't think the troubles would be the way they are. I thought they would come mostly from the outside, but I find that the toughest times come from the inside. The last few days have been spent in some misery. And I found myself reading and praying to Isaiah 56-59... now I know why some call Isaiah "the 5th gospel". And I can't possibly fathom reading John anymore without reading Isaiah first.

I never thought that I'd be in anguish over seeking the face of the Lord, where He seemed to be hiding His face from me, and I felt as though I was struggling not only with temptations, but also with the reality of my sins. I thought this was supposed to go away, at least after I "accepted Christ". I didn't think that I would be so broken over the reality, so consistently, afterward. I thought that I could just confess (read; admit) that what I did was wrong, but I still wrestle with the guilt, and still find myself on my knees in tears with the Word open, seeking the Truth, seeking forgiveness, seeking the face of the Lord. Fighting the battle the enemy poses that I'm apostate and there's no way God could bring me back now. I'm through with, a walking dead man, despair on every side.

Afterward, though, I learn more about His grace, His mercy, and I'm more amazed. I know how weak the flesh is, and how only by the hand of the Lord can I withstand the pressure (2 Cor 4:8-9). I'm also humbled by the fact that He chooses to chastize and discipline. Why me? Why is He leading me through this grueling journey, showing me how incapable I am of making it without Him?

Anyway, I was refreshed not only by the Word yesterday afternoon, but by the responses within the comments section of the post I mentioned above.

Finally, the Lord has been leading me to become much more closely involved with my local church body, actually becoming a part of the body. I am looking for someone to mentor me, someone much older, someone I can be held accountable to with my personal study and scripture memorization, and how I live my life. I have so many many questions that I have not even begun to air here on 'r&r'. I am to take advantage of the shepherding that God has placed in my proximity, and to learn that I cannot function without regularly meeting with other members on more than just a once-a-week basis. We come together every sunday to worship God, but I feel that there is an element of fellowship that is desperately lacking in my life.

Monday, June 18, 2007

From US Customs

I just got in from Cancun. It's beautiful, really. I never knew water could be so blue. My coworker took my camera to take my picture with it, and I think I'm just standing there pointing with my mouth agape, I couldn't believe what I was seeing. The water was so blue!

Okay, enough about the blue water.

I was very alert during the immigration procedures. I didn't want to cause any bad blood between the two countries. Apparently, in Mexico, whether you have your stuff inspected as you enter is nothing less than a game of roulette. You push a button on a pole that has two lights, similar to a traffic crossing light. I got a green light that said "PASE". So I didn't get searched. I walked away dumbfounded... "was that immigration and customs, or a casino game???"

On the way back, I was just as cautious to list everything I was bringing back. As I had my passport stamped upon reentry, I walked away to the words, "Welcome Home". It struck me with a sweetness that I cannot describe, nor can I recreate. How much of a shadow was that sweetness of the sweetness to come. As I read Pilgrim's Progress, I am absorbing the allegory of many of the things that I have faced, and am still facing. The book has really caused me to quicken my pace and my attitude about some things that are indeed sinful, and to turn from them asking for forgiveness. We are foreigners on this earth, and we are headed Home. Where are we making ourselves comfortable here? Where are we staking claims? No, this is not our home, and we must hold back from adopting worldly patterns, because one day we will leave this all behind. One day we will hear those precious words that will put an end to all of our sorrow and sadness...

"Welcome Home"

Friday, June 15, 2007

Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Cancun

The plane departs in seven hours, and I've just put the finishing touches on all of my 3 oz. liquid containers. They're carefully arranged in my quart-sized zip-loc baggie, like a game of 3D Tetris. Thank you, TSA, for shedding light on a skill I never knew I had.

The books are packed, as I plan to use my beach-time productively. I hope to finish Pilgrim's Progress, as well as take a good look at the Greek-English interlinear New Testament my friend gave me. I also packed my Spanish-English Dictionary for emergencies, and the intellectually curious. And I need to finish Jenna's book, Those Who Save Us.

I admit that I balked hard at the idea of Cancun, instead, asking my boss to allow me another week on the plains to chase. I figured the passport would be a hassle (I received it only days ago) and I don't particularly care for beach culture. I would be more pleased with a road trip to a cabin in Eastern Oklahoma for four days with a book, a camera and a thirst for adventure. But he kept pressing me, he and his wife, so I think I'm supposed to go. I'm bringing some good books, a beach towel, and an open heart. After all, it isn't about me.

Please pray that I will have a giving spirit this weekend, not focusing on the things that I don't like about beach culture (and the list is long) but that I will focus on how I can serve my coworkers and my boss. He is paying for this trip, after all.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Because I can...

I've had such little time for blogging lately.

Working on the pictures.

Memorizing Bible verses.

Leaving for Cancun in 36 hours.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Voice of Vision's Ingredient List

This is really worth reading and re-reading.

Boys of Tempest

Our Fearless Leaders

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Saturday, June 09, 2007

The Tornado Alley Leg

So, what did we do on our trip? Erik Trinidad was there, with an eagle eye and a great sense of humor. Check his blog of our trip at The Global Trip.

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Mark 9:24

24Immediately the father of the child cried out[a] and said, "I believe; help my unbelief!"

OUN Sounding Analysis

No CINH. All CAPE. I am probably the only one finding this stuff fascinating. Thanks to Matt for a very detailed analysis of how this all works. I'm still reviewing my copy paper.

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

And this is what I saw

The watermark is an evil necessity until I get a certificate from the copyright office.

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I was there

Just in case you didn't easily swallow that whole "storm-chasing" story, here it is...

Monday, June 04, 2007

Tornado Count

I'd have to say a total of at least 2. Plus one landspout (its tornado classification is still being debated). Plus a gustnado (yes, that's the technical term).

Pictures forthcoming. Sleep imminent.