Deciding to live vulnerable with God
* A little ending that fits on almost any word to increase its cool factor.
Deciding to live vulnerable with God
* A little ending that fits on almost any word to increase its cool factor.
When I told my dad we were going to Egypt, his reply was this: “Will you learn how to walk like one?” Oh, Dad. But the answer was yes. Our camel guide at the pyramids made a joke about walking like Egyptians afterwards, and I thought he meant some version of being bow-legged. Now I realize he meant the day after riding a camel. I hobbled around wondering why my inner thighs felt like they might snap at any moment, and then I remembered the two-hour camel ride, which I’ve concluded is great training for anyone interested in rodeo. There’s a fair amount of “clinging” required whenever the camel kneels for human dismount, not to mention the camel stride is 20x more wallopy than a horse’s. The Egyptian motto should be “Mummies of gold, adductors of steel.” Our first evening in Egypt was, as always, confusing as we tried to figure out a place to obtain a map and a guidebook. But we managed to knock out a few simple scavenges and made friends with a collection of guys working in an electronic store—which began simply by asking where the metro was and pointing to a map, and culminated into fifteen […]
Before arriving to Sri Lanka, The Lawyers Without Borders told us we needed to climb Adam’s Peak at sunrise if it was a scavenge. Lo and behold, it was. I’ve only hiked one other mountain (volcano, technically) at sunrise, and it was an amazing experience. But man, it was tough hiking the cone of a volcano in the dark. And there were so many people in the group we had to keep stopping, and I grew angry in my impatience (who wears heeled flip flops on a hike?), and it was freezing at the top, and I looked like death in all the photos–but the payoff was worth it. So, I was expecting this to be the same, but it was a totally different experience. To begin: I could write an entire blog on the car ride TO the base of Adam’s Peak. We were in a taxi van driven by two Sri Lankans who spoke very little English, and I questioned whether or not the driver had actually ever driven stick-shift before. And I’m not a car person, but I can guarantee whatever is meant by the word “shocks,” this van did not have them. The road was swerving and bumpy […]
This is also true about online dating sites. They are also self esteem boosters. This may be why people you message do not respond to your message or wink or smile. Even if you have a simple message to respond to, which you should. The thrill for this type of person was that someone found him/her matchable or attractive. That is quite the satisfying feeling, isn’t it? Even if this is not why you have braved up and put yourself on a dating site. It still is nice to get that wink. You get that self esteem boost. There are many on these sites who use these sites just for that self esteem boost. Not really dateable material there. Just move on. None of this behavior is about you. You are enough. So go on. Write a bio that reflects who you are (blog coming up with useful tips!). Use that natural-looking snap of you as your profile picture. Add those pics of you and your friends and family that say “this is who I am.” Write a general first message that surmises you safely as well as gives an entry point for someone to respond back. Stay in the […]
A report from Mark again. Jenny’s follows. We have been on the move again and we have reached the midway point through the trip. The last four days were spent in Sri Lanka with a “par 6” leg. Such a long leg meant that getting out of the main city of Colombo was not only optional but also necessary in order to do well for that leg. We left for Colombo on the first day in Sri Lanka. In the booklet of challenges there are different types of challenges or scavenges. There are approximately 30-40 generic scavenges that I have written about from previous legs. There are typically three to five “mandatory” scavenges which are frequently food related and we are provided a long list with a “do four of eight” type instructions. We also have the global scavenges. Lastly, there are “bonus” challenges that are much more involved and worth higher point values. Our focus for Sri Lanka was on the bonus challenges. The first bonus challenge that we completed was to go to Anuradhapura and visit a series of relics from the ancient world. One element that was included in this bonus challenge was that we had to […]
Yesterday evening marked the halfway point, conveniently while we were still halfway around the world. Today, we traveled to Cairo, Egypt. This is the place of the Pyramids, guys!!! “You’re wondering what is a place like me doing in a girl like this?” “Uh, yeah, something like that.” (Let’s just say I watched the movie The Mummy enough times to quote the entire thing.) But as we’re awaiting the results of our Sri Lankan leg of the adventure, and waiting to receive our booklet for Cairo, which will inevitably start another whirlwind of activity, I wanted to post my joyful moment so far, and that is this: I made a commemorative video of our first half of the trip. It’s only 7 minutes long, and it’s the first time I’ve ever used iMovie–on my phone no less–so please humor me and pretend like it’s awesome. And feel free to share it with your friends. Donate. Thanks Bravester folks! I know you are helping!
This is a video story I happened upon from my brother’s church. (The same one doing this coincidentally.) It is a beautifully gripping testimony of the pain of cancer and the pain of fatherlessness and the beauty that comes from both. So moving. Can you feel the holy tension in the questions raised? But most of all, can you see the bravery in this one man? A man who didn’t go to church or have a faith until the cancer diagnosis. Who then has grown so brave in his faith to love another so. I want to be this man. I’m sure he is flawed and cracked. Yet it is the pain that is making him beautiful. Love pries open your chest and pulls open the door of your heart so someone can walk right in and make this mess that remakes you into something more beautiful. –Ann Voskamp, The Broken Way, p. 131 Our Missionary Momma Sarah is in the midst of the pains of grief. She has been vulnerably sharing her growth, backward steps, and pain since her father’s sudden death. She was already this brave missionary living and raising three children in Botswana. We have all admired that. […]
This is a report from Mark because he explains why. I am writing this from Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. I am also writing it using my iPhone because we left our laptops behind in Colombo. Let me first explain how we got here. Friday was a very long and busy day. The day started with breakfast at our beautiful hotel in Hanoi. From there it was a bus ride to the airport where we boarded a flight to Bangkok. Bangkok was not known to us until we got on the bus as it was our layover city en route to Colombo, Sri Lanka. We arrived into Bangkok at 1:00 PM and our departing flight was at 10:10 PM. After a group meeting and instructions, that gave us about 8 hours for a par 1 layover leg in Bangkok, Thailand. Jenny and I had a great day in Bangkok. The list of challenges for the layover leg was simple with about 10 items and none of the global scavengers that I highlighted in my Vietnam post. There was one special scavenge awarded to the first team to take a photo of an elephant. Immediately after getting off of the Airlink train, Jenny […]
Today was the best day of my trip so far. Instead of participating in scavenges, I left at 7am to visit Halong Bay, which is three hours away from Hanoi and one of the most beautifully depicted seascapes I’ve ever seen. Seven years ago, visiting Halong Bay was a scavenge on the Global Scavenger Hunt, but because of our limited time in Vietnam, Bill decided not to include it. Unfortunately, it was the only thing I could think about from the moment we received our scavenge booklet—I wanted to go so badly. And we were so close to it. And I don’t know when my next visit to Vietnam will be; getting to Southeast Asia from America isn’t exactly a quick hop away. I thought about it. I fretted. I justified. I pleaded with Mark to go. He and I stood firmly on either side of the chasm, and his rationale makes perfect sense, but I was afraid I’d really regret not going. My friend Lauren has a Three-Time shopping rule. “Are you going to think about it more than three times if you don’t buy it? If yes, get it.” And the answer was inexplicably yes. I know this […]
ICYMI: the answer to yesterday’s riddle was Vietnam. Our second leg of the journey takes place in Hanoi, Vietnam. But before I talk about the country, I need to set the stage for why I’m the most horrible teammate in the world. An hour after we arrived, our score sheets were tallied and we learned our standing in the competition: Team Thundersnow is 6th (of 10) places. We weren’t surprised, and this is why (granted, one leg of the journey is not enough to make a sweeping judgment call, but this is our general first impression): Money isn’t everything….but it helps a whole lot – There are many scavenges, and they range in price. Some are free, (going on a hike, for instance), but transportation costs money, entrance fees cost money, food cost money, challenges that require you to buy something cost money, bonus challenges cost money…. And if you have greater amount of expendable income, it’s less of a concern to do them all. Having money also makes a team more expedient—instead of walking or using the city bus, they can use a taxi or high speed ferry. It’s especially difficult not knowing in advance how much a scavenge […]
Online dating is definitely a part of today’s dating landscape. It is one of the tools we have available to help you “get your numbers up” to meet people. Yes, dating is a numbers game. You need to meet a number of people to find a good match. Don’t let that defeat you while at the same time get that picture out of your head of that daydream prayer you have. You know the one. The one of entering into a coffee shop one day and you will see “him” and know it is “him” because there is a glowing light over his head which signifies immediately that this is the one God has for you. You will then walk over to him and he will say something clever and you will know he is the one because you will respond with something clever and cute and not stumble over your words while hating yourself on the inside for being so “stupid.” The whole scene will be movie-clever-perfect. Not going to happen. Dating is a numbers game. You are going to meet a lot of people to find your match. Notice I didn’t say date a lot of people. You […]
Brenda has been teaching the messages of Bravester for over 25 years. She is available to come to your group event. People have found her vulnerability and storytelling mixed with the Bible to be inspirational and life changing.
“You have had a significant influence on how I view brokenness, forgiveness, and the role God plays through all of that through a very difficult time in my life. Since that year at CRC, I have taken significant steps to getting bitterness out of my heart… You have had a significant impact on my life. I really do not think I would be the woman I am today if it were not for the lessons you taught me. You are a strong instrument of God and his word.” –Sara, former camp counselor and now inner-city missionary
Brenda can be joined by her husband John. They have a back-and-forth dialog that mixes in John’s beautifully written music. John is also available to lead worship for the event.
From Brenda’s 35 years of youth ministry experience, she has become a Brave Dating Coach. She has a lot of good things to say to help her many grown teens be coached into marriage. She is also available to teach on these many good things for your group event.