Friday, May 25, 2007

Friday Photo

Two of my favorites. The last day in Bangkok we visited a slum. On Tuesday's Sadie and her husband Daniel visit this slum and teach English and guitar, respectively. All of the kids were beyond beautiful.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Land of The Free (part 1)

My parents lived in Chicago during the early part of their marriage. One of their friends was a guy named Mo, who always told the same joke. Whenever he wore a tie he would ask my mom if she knew where he got the tie. His response was always the same, "Thailand! Get it? 'Tie'-land!" I always thought it was an easy play on words, but now I know they really sell a lot of ties over there.

The past ten days of my life were spent in Thailand, seeing much of the work that God is doing over there. It was incredible and I miss it already. All of my mission experience had been in Latin America, where I knew the language and had a grasp of the culture. This was the first time I entered into a culture where I had know understanding of what was going on, nor did I speak the language. This was less of a challenge for me than what I thought it would be and although Spanish came out even when I didn't want it too, I was minimally frustrated by not being able to communicate with the Thais.

The team's and my primary task was to see what God is doing there and how North Park can build a lasting relationship with some of the ministries there until Jesus comes back. We saw two fish farms (one fresh- and one salt-water), a 3rd-culture church, and a foundation that has its hands in everything.

Much of my processing is still going on and I haven't even begun to work on my photos yet (all 600 of them), but as I further debrief and process, I'll be posting here.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day

About a month ago now, I gathered all my photo gear and drove over to a near by cemetery one Saturday evening. I walked through the rows of headstones taking pictures of the more interesting ones. Some died very young, while a few (still living) had already set up their eventual resting place. There were tall statues of soldiers and hundreds of mourning angels. One grave had a blank headstone that barely stood 10 inches tall. Other families had set up massive tombs, immensely decorated for the lack of the living.

Amongst all these monuments, one struck me. Bearing the name of the deceased and the dates of her life, it simply described her as, "Mother." Of all the things that this woman wanted to be known for, it was her motherhood. I think it struck me because so many women are trying to separate themselves from the title of "mom," when this was all she wanted to be remembered by.

In 2 Timothy, Paul wrote to Timothy, "I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well" (1:5).

Timothy's life was greatly influenced by his mother and the faith that he inherited from her. In the same way, my mom has been immensely influenced by her faith and the pattern of her life. I have been challenged and encouraged. I have been disciplined and loved. I have been blessed and supported.

So today, I honor my mom, Susan Grapengater, and thank her for all she has done in my life and her faithfulness to God through Jesus in shaping me to be the man He desires me to be.

If you haven't already, call your momma today.


I haven't been posting recently and even missed Photo Friday, but I've been incredibly busy finishing up the semester early so that I could...

Go to Thailand. I'm leading a mission trip with some undergrads at North Park to visit some ministries in Thailand in hopes to establish long term relationships. Please be praying for us during the next week and a half; we get back the 24th of May. I'll let you know how it went when I get back and all my photos I plan on taking.

Saturday, May 5, 2007


Having lived on both sides of the Mason Dixon line, I often get the "Oh, you're from Oklahoma? I can hear your accent." Most of the time I think people are pretending to hear something that's not there. My voice tends to fluctuate depending on who I hang out with. My Minnesotan friends have blessed me with a longer "o." And my Chicagoan friends have given me a longer "a." But being from Oklahoma, I still call my mom "Momma."

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The West
The South
The Inland North
North Central
The Northeast
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Friday, May 4, 2007

Friday Photo

Chris on the way back from Umin appreciation dinner. You may remember another picture I put up of him. And the seats at Wrigley.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Pop Jesus

Every time I walk into Border's I pause at the new books tables, meandering them to see if there's anything worth giving a further look. One of the books that's been continually catching my eye is Dick Staub's The Culturally Savvy Christian, but since I have no time to get the reading done that's required for class, I'm not quite ready to pick up this one. So I was pleased to find that The Resurgence had interviewed Staub.

In these two videos he talks about culture's need for icons and its love affair, torrid or otherwise, with Jesus.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

While I wasn't studying....

I stumbled upon this:

Jason, a friend who's a missionary in Brazil, found an art project Icaro Doria, a Brazilian, has done to make social statements about each country. Click on them to read the guide.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Free Book

The last thing that I want to do right now is to read another book, at least for the next couple of weeks. I about have a book to write in essays and that's before the exams and presentations I have to do. But I can't resist a free book, especially one that doesn't require any actual reading.

Christian is giving away Richard Baxter's The Reformed Pastor in audio form. Upon check out all you have to do is type MAY2007 into the coupon line and start your mp3 download. The really neat thing is that they got Richard to read it. Pretty sweet really.