sleeping with the enemy

As some of you know Brooke started a new job last week. It pains me to broadcast this on the internet but her new employer is Starbucks. There, I said it. Admitting the problem is the first step to dealing with it. Since I've discussed it before I won't go into all the details of why I don't care much for Starbucks. I just don't.

However, I have to admit that Starbucks is growing on me. First of all they are providing my wife with temporary (I emphasize temporary) employment. We need money and they're giving her a paycheck so I can't complain too much. Second, we have been without any health insurance for over a month now and we need some. After two months of part-time employment Brooke will qualify to receive health benefits so that's another plus I can't argue with. Third (and most importantly), Starbucks has been the place where I can get a drink most similiar to a Flat White. Mmmmm.... Flat White.

I guess at the end of the day even though she's a slave to the multi-national, corporate machine responsible for globalizing bad coffee I still love her.



We spent last week in Pittsburgh, PA, having a Covenant Seminary reunion with several friends. We had a geat time catching up with several folks we haven't seen in quite awhile. We did quite a bit of hanging out, playing games and seeing sites. A couple of us also had the chance to see a few movies as well as get caught up on misssed episodes of Grey's Anatomy.

Brooke and I really enjoyed Pittsburgh. It's an old city with interesting architecture. On Friday we visited the local botanical gardens which were quite nice. They had a Thailand exhibit which had few ferns and other plants that reminded me of walking at Totara Park in Auckland. That night we had dinner a Quaker Steak and Lube, which is apparently a local icon, and then went up one of the historic inclines to the top of a big hill where we were able to look across the river to the city lights. After that there was a suprise baby shower and a counter-suprise birthday.

We really enjoyed our time with friends. It was great to hear about what's been going well and what's not been going so well in their lives. It was a time of giving and receiving encouragement, a time of talking, listening and laughing. It is brought back to me again that one of the mercy's of God is that when he rescues us he not only calls us into relationship with himself but with others. Living life with a community of friends is like tasting grace.

Brooke will probably post a lot of pictures of our friends so I figured I would post a picture of another special friend I haven't seen in a while. Lucy is Jon and Meagan's Boxer and we used to watch here when they lived in St. Louis. She is absolutely crazy and she's one of my favorite dogs. It was good to catch up with her as well.


one month ago

We have been back in the U.S. for one month today. The last thirty days have brought up many thoughts, emotions and struggles. It has been good to reconnect with old friends but we have missed our new friends in New Zealand. There has been comfort in in being back in a familiar city but discomfort due to the fact that I miss Auckland. I have been able to rest after a tiring three months but I have also wrestled with a sense of purposelessness as we have been trying to figure out what’s next. These are just a few of the inner tensions that have been taking place in the last month.

Finding a mission agency to work with as we seek to return to Auckland has been more difficult than we anticipated. This has forced me to wrestle head on with my relentless impatience as well as my general disdain for organizational bureaucracy. Brooke and I have toyed with the idea of applying for non-profit status and starting our own mission agency in an attempt to cut through all the red tape. Of course that sounds as appealing as having shards of glass rubbed in my eyes.

So yeah this month has been an interesting one filled with happiness and sadness, rest and stress, encouragement alongside of discouragement and a lot of questions without immediate answers. The result of all this is that our jokes about living as nomads aren’t nearly as funny as they used to be.

At the risk of sounding cliché I must confess though that God has been good in the midst of all this. He has provided us a place to live with an amazing family that is generous, understanding, and a model of hospitality. He has also connected us with a great pastor who is working very hard to help us get back to New Zealand. He has also gifted us with many wonderful friends who love us and are willing to walk alongside us as we try to figure life out. With all those things what do I really have to complain about?

It comes down to living out what I say I believe. I believe that there is an all-powerful God who is in control of all things and who is personally and intimately involved in our lives. I believe that this God loves us, has rescued us from ourselves, and has called us to serve him. If he wants us to serve him in New Zealand then we will make it back there. If he doesn’t, we won’t. It may sound naïve or simplistic but this is the only thing that gives me hope as we enter into our second month of existence in limbo.