Monday, January 23, 2012

The blessing of being flexible is hot chocolate.



London -  January 22nd, 2:40pm - I’m basically too cheap to purchase Wi-Fi during my layover, so this will probably post once I arrive in Cape Town. 

If you’ve been paying attention you’ll note my location and date stamp might appear to be a mistake.  As United originally planned, I was going to make a connection in Frankfurt, Germany.  However, with weather delays, United Airlines took it upon itself to switch my flights routing me through London – Heathrow then on to Cape Town on South African Airlines.
As I was mentally readjusting, I immediately thought of a widely used mission trip motto “Blessed are the flexible for they will not get bent out of shape.” I took a deep breathe and prayed for the best.
Instead of “getting bent out of shape”, I decided to smile at the frustrated gate agent trying to get my luggage and tickets sorted out.  In polite and mutually encouraging conversation I found out she was going to miss her sister’s 50th birthday bash because she had to stay in Raleigh overnight due to the weather.  In comparison, I felt blessed that I was actually going to make it to my destination on time.  
Still I would miss my day in Frankfurt with Gloria.  Rats!  I would also miss flying the last leg with her.  Double rats! I don’t know if this was God’s plan, but the little Baptist girl in me did wonder if enjoying a proper cup of tea alone could be His preference over a glass of German beer with my buddy. (Seriously, I feel strongly God is not anti-brewski, so I’m looking forward to that glass on the return trip.)  Again, I’m bending and staying loose.
So, about that proper cup of tea? Well, I will more than likely buy a box of stout and strong Earl Grey at the Duty Free shop to take and share in SA.  Yum!
Instead, I treated myself to a cup of hot chocolate….the most decadent cup of hot chocolate I’ve EVER tasted!  After the first taste of this confection, I decided to savor the dark, lush, velvety and only slightly sweet nectar spoonful by spoonful. I do believe we had a moment together.  Suffice it to say I will NEVER drink another cup of Swiss Miss and I will not rest until I recreate this elixir when I return to the states.  Heavenly!  I think I’m finally convinced that dark chocolate is one of God’s most indulgent creations.
Today, the blessing of being flexible was hot chocolate.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Count down to Cape Town - PP&G

The countdown to Cape Town is less than one week. Saturday, Gloria Lee and I begin our journey halfway across the world.  Admittedly, my prayer life has been crowded by the practical and logistical challenges of international travel.  With only six days to go, I realize I owe God and this project some kneeling time before I take that first step onto that United flight to Chicago, then Frankfurt, then Cape Town.

To make that a reality, I'm going to add another "To Do" list to my iPhone.  (Lovely little App even allows me to set where and when reminders for each task. How can I fail?)

I am going to title this list -  PP&G "Prayerful Praise & Gratitude"  My goal is to match every day's list of planning task with a prayer focus and scripture.

Lisa's PP&G

Sunday (that's today) - I've decided today I will pray for my ministry partner - Gloria Lee. Without her invitation, encouragement and contagious enthusiasm, I wouldn't be going to South Africa at all!  I am praying for God provisions for HER journey and praising God for putting Gloria in my life!  I think I will use Proverbs 31 to guide my praise for this virtuous woman of God. 

Monday - Among other things, I'm celebrating God's gift of lifelong friendships! I will join my BFF's Elecia and Ann for Elecia's birthday lunch. I am eternally grateful for thirty years of friendship with E&A. It's a rare and precious gift I do NOT deserve.  (Just ask THEM. They will concur!)  Since these luncheon gab fests can get out of hand, I'll focus on Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Philippians 4:8  

Tuesday - I will be grateful for health and strength!  Today, I get to work out with my wise, tough and beautiful trainer, Joni. She's not only helped me stay in good physical shape, but through her experience as a missionary to Cape Town with Habitat for Humanity she's advised me on practical planning. Her suggestions have been timely and specific. I am so grateful to know her.  Proverbs 3:5-12

Wednesday - Final Thank You notes will go out by email and snail mail to those joining us in this ministry with their prayers and financial support. I've been overwhelmed by the joy and excitement expressed in notes and emails. Today I express my thankfulness as I pray over my friends and family my favorite blessing - Paul's Prayer for the Ephesians, Ephesians 3:14-21. That says it ALL!

Thursday? Friday? Saturday? I will pray assurances of God's provision regardless of the day's challenges and "To Do" list. Mark 10:27 "Everything is Possible with God!"

Thursday - I will continue preparations and follow up for events and projects that will commence when I return.  "EVERYTHING is possible with God!"

Friday - Laundry, housekeeping, packing, etc...  "Everything is possible WITH GOD!

Saturday - The joy of flying... praying for connections, fair weather, etc. "Everything is POSSIBLE with God!

So, there's my PP&G Countdown to Cape Town!  I would be most humbled if you would send up a prayer that I will be faithful to this "To Do" list!

Go Ahead - Google it!