Wednesday, March 25, 2015

River of Life

Spontaneous inspiration from the Amazon that resulted in me writing a poem in one night. These are the surprising results.

I saw the river 
And on either side
Was lush spots of flowers
Amidst the greeny leaves reflecting their light
Watered by the river 
Called the Giver of Life 

I saw the river
Roaring with all its might
There was a woody sliver
Carrying goods for good as it made its flight
Pushed by the river
Called Sustainer of Life 

I saw the river 
Struggling in its strife
A lack of filter
As we polluted this amazing sight
Taken by the river
Called Sacrifice of Life 

Peru Adventures pt. 2

Day Uno (I don't know Spanish)

So far today we have...
Eaten good food
Rode in a motor-tricycle carraige thing in crazy traffic
Visited the market
Tried new fruit
Met some people living in the city
Got lost on the way to our service project
Walked in the rain to get our service project
Got really muddy digging trenches for our service project (for the foundation of the patio for a POPP's new clinic)
Met and entertained the kids at VBS

So its been eventful. I'm sure Pastor Troy and Mr. Bokov and my classmates have been keeping you posted on many of these. One of the things that stuck out to me was in the market. So many different and new fruit, plant noodles, weird merchandise, the meat market, and the jungle pharmacy were only the items on sale. Add in a whole section of water streets with little kayaks, a whole other language, and a drunk man stumbling over the steps. Also the booths were literally just a table. In many places tarp was laid overhead as a canopy for the sun and rain.

But I think the thing that stood out to me the most was the dogs and cats. Living in America, we are accustomed to having and keeping these creatures as pets, some almost to an obsession. Yet here in Iquoitos, they seem... forgotten. But us tourists, we see this tiny little kitten about the size of our feet, and say, "Oh so cute! I want to take you home!" We saw about 4 cats and 20 dogs in that market. Some sick. Some starving. Some shooed away. All wandering. All ignored. All forgotten.

Later on the way to the work site the next morning, we saw two dogs, just rummaging through the garbage like... dogs? It was sad. A friend had told me that as they were walking through the market, they saw a little kitten curled with its tail, everyone around it hustling by, almost stepping on it. For us tourists, our compassion had filled up. One of my good friends even went so far to ask, "Why do we care more about the animals than we do for humans?"
The only reply to break the silence was heard as, "We tend to humanize animals, but dehumanize humans."

Jesus often walked in the market. He probably saw some of the very same things I did, though I'd like to think their sewege system was much better. One thing I know He saw that I didn't was the sacrifical market. Caged birds and lambs and goats. So many of them forgotten after they were slaughtered at the temple. Perhaps this is what prompted Jesus to say, "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And one of them will not fall to the ground without the knowledge anr consent of your Father. And even the hairs of your head are numbered! Therefore do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows" (Matt 10:29-31, LEB).

Of course God cares for that kitten whose body was almosted stomped to the ground, and for the starving and sick dogs, and even for the sparrows, just as we do, for they also are His creatures. Yet many times, like Iquoitos has done for their animals, we have forgotten about God's creation. But this time, I'm not talking about pet species or meat species or even endangered species, though they are important as well. I'm talking about those whose hairs are numbered. Too many times we forget about our brothers and sisters, whether in Peru,or Indonesia, and even back in the States. Especially those who are our neighbors. We forget about them. We forget they struggle, that they have issues, that God is working to have them back. By the time we leave, some of us will forget the people here, what God has done here. We forget, like the priest and the Levite, about the wounded we pass by.

Josh's Good Samaritan impression 
Too often we forget to be the good Samaritan. Too often we pass by those who hurt, who we know are hurting, but we still step over them like that little kitten. But Jesus won't pass by. And I'm glad that we all can find comfort in that.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Peru Adventures (otw)

I know this isn't the regular poem, but lately my poems have been pretty dark. Because I am currently on a mission trip in Peru (yay!) I decided to jot down a few experiences with with the intent of sharing with you :).
My first experience actually wasn't even when we started mission work. It was on the plane. I was reading this book that my dad had given to me to read. It's called The Green Cord Dream, by Alex Bryan. This specific chapter is about The Great Controversy, a term many of you may be familiar with. It pretty much refers to the much bigger conflict between God and Satan. This is the part that stuck out to me.

Munson just for kicks

This is the passage that brought me to tears. Not just teary eyed. Sobbing, blinding tears. How true is it! The number one thing we long for as humans is to feel loved, to be loved and to belong. Satan has been trying to take this basic part of humanity away from us in anyway possible, by accusing God's commands as unjust and restrictive, using our sufferings as proof that either God is distant and doesn't care or that He doesn't exist at all. And finally, the one I personally have been struggling with recently, Satan points to my sinfulness and my flaws. He reminds me of how messed up I am and tells me that God can't love me, that His mercy has limits. Satan's basic, simplified, universal arguement is and always has been that God DOESN'T love me. And far too many times, I believe him.

When doubt of God's love for you presses upon your mind, Satan's "evidences" may seem possible, even likely. But do you know what's the one thing Satan will NEVER tell you as fact?
That Immanuel came to earth, to suffer as one of us, to die just so that He can have us.
No, Source of Life... gave up life just so that He could have us?
Wait, the Father and Spirit, gave up Their Son, literally a part of Them, the closest Being to Them, given up... to have me?

Go ahead. Tell me my God doesn't love me.

Saturday, March 14, 2015


My love, where do I start?
The countless times I've shattered your heart?
Or blinded by your beauty 
Began making my speech change towards yours?
I can't ever know why you'd want me
Even love me despite my remorse
I can have no other but you
By becoming weak for me
You became strength to me
I will have no other but You
You, who let Love run through its cursed course
I can't ever know why You'd save me
But for my image to be returned to Yours
To be awed by Your glory
Still for me, You have poured out Your heart?
My God, where do I start? 

Inspiration drawn from:
Romans 5:8
Ephesians 5:25
2 Corinthians 3:18

Friday, March 6, 2015

Spiritual Warfare

You know God, sometimes
Life gets me to tire
Caught up in this spiritual mire
Always under fire
Oh wait
This is MORE than just sometimes

You know God, sometimes
Temptation is thrown left and right
At me, all through the night
Next day too fatigued to fight
Oh wait
This is MORE than just sometimes

You know God, sometimes
I fail
My attempts go as far as a snail
My efforts a pathetic wail
Oh wait
This is MORE than just sometimes

You know God, sometimes
my day dreads with doubt
I doubt your love
even your existence
and my brain unravels in confusions
Wait God
This is MORE than just sometimes!

"I do know
But sometimes
You forget Me
And My miracles of strength
You forget that I forgive your crimes
And how I AM love
You forget that I continue 
To lay My life down for you
You forget I went a great length 
For you to be Mine
So please don't forget 
That I also
Am MORE than just sometimes"