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March 2009

Rise Early

Rise earlyDSCF7632a
when summer darkness
still enwraps the trees.
Walk into the dark forest
with only your attentive heart.
Gaze toward the east,
take a deep breath, and wait.

After a short while you will see God
carrying a lantern through the forest,
bits of light bobbing up and down
in and out, higher and higher
the light climbs, spilling over
into the spaces between the leaves
and on into the world
beyond the forest.

Then the beautiful darkness
hands you over to the light.
It slips away reverently
into the bark of the tree trunks
into the black earth
into all those other countries
that wait for its return.

Lift your face to the day-star now.
Experience the coming of dawn.
Bathed in morning light, pray
that the lantern of your life
will move gently this day
into all those places
where light is needed.

⌐ Macrina Wiederkehr

Keep Practicing

To all of you out there struggling to learn how to play the guitar.  Keep practicing!  The hard work will pay off and it will be so worth it.  You never know the opportunities that God might give you as you make yourself available to Him.

He might even give you the amazing privilege of playing and singing with some precious children at an orphanage in India!


All His

_DSC5406 If you want to have a spiritual life you must unify your life.

A life is either all spiritual or not spiritual at all.
  No man can serve two masters.

Your life is shaped by the end you live for.

You are made in the image of what you desire.

 ...Thomas Merton
Thoughts In Solitude

Picture by Craig Gordon, Bangalore, India

Worship with Friends

DSCF7632 I (Ryan) set my alarm to go off early every morning in India.  I didn’t want to miss a sunrise.  Each morning, after a cold bucket shower, I made myself a cup of instant coffee and while everyone else on our team was sleeping I tiptoed out the front door and into another day in the amazing country of India. The living area that our mission team stayed in exited out onto the roof of the main orphanage building.  From the rooftop I could see the surrounding countryside and as the sun made its appearance on the horizon I watched the children of the Beulah Home and the people and the animals living on the farms outside the walls of the orphanage wake up and begin their day._DSC5708

During my week in India I had no access to the Internet, the television or a cell phone—it was wonderful.  All I had was my journal, my Bible and a book that I was reading.   My early mornings in India were delightful—the cool morning air, the calling of birds, the sights, the sounds and…the boys.

On my second morning in India, I was sitting in a plastic chair on the roof watching the sunrise and thanking God for a new day when much to my surprise I saw two sets of hands come up over the edge of the wall.  The sets of hands were followed by the heads, the bodies and the smiles of two of the boys from the _DSC6010orphanage.  Yung Mat and Talu quickly became my motivation to rise early on my remaining mornings in India.

Yung Mat (age 15) and Talu (age 14) are two of the finest young guys I have ever met.  They are the “men” of the orphanage and do a wonderful job serving as leaders at the facility.  They are so kind and caring towards all of the younger children at the orphanage and they are very responsible when it comes to helping the lady that is in charge of the Beulah Home.

My early mornings in India were graced with the presence of Talu and Yung Mat.  As the sun inched its way into the sky, the boys and I spent the mornings becoming friends—sharing our stories, talking of God and considering scripture together.  On one of the mornings we read Psalm 15:1-2 together:

 “Who may worship in your sanctuary, LORD? 
Who may enter your presence on your holy hill?
Those wh
o lead blameless lives and do what is right,
Speaking the
_DSC5913 truth from sincere hearts.”

As I waited in the predawn stillness of Southern India and watched the sun rise each morning, I stood in the midst of “blameless lives” and “sincere hearts” and…I worshipped.  It was a blessed time.

The Beauty of Friendship

Below are some pictures of India that were taken by my friend Craig.  As you can see, he is an artist with the camera.
Becca and her friend playing on the equipment.
Ryan with two precious young men.

(All of the photographs in this post are the product and property of Craig Gordon.)

They believe it...and so do I

Below is a video of the kids at the orphanage in India singing the chorus, "He Knows My Name."  As you can see, they sing this song with hope and joy.
(for better viewing click on play and then click on the up arrow on the lower right corner of the screen and click on the HQ to watch it in "high quality")

He Knows My Name

Words and Music by Tommy Walker
© 1996 Doulos Publishing   

I have a Maker
He formed my heart
Before even time began
My life was in his hands

He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
and He hears me when I call

I have a Father
He calls me His own
He'll never leave me
No matter where I go

He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
and He hears me when I call

Home from India...Thankful

DSCF7479 Geographically I returned home from India last night, yet I hold in my heart and mind, now, more than ever, that this is not home.  Home is with Jesus, in the final chapter of the story of the Kingdom of God.  Where there are only tears of joy and no more goodbyes.

Talu, a 12 year old boy, at an orphanage in India, said to me this past week, "I am glad that I am poor and thankful that I live here at the orphanage--because if I wasn't poor and didn't live here, then I would never know God."

I am home from India and thankful.  Someday, Talu and I will live together in heaven, but until then I must be about Kingdom living here on earth.