Monthly Archives: January 2017

Don’t Call Me Missionary – Guest Post

Today’s guest is Chad Owens who has a very honest take on being a…gulp.

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For me the most surprising thing about publishing a book has been the large amount of positive responses I’ve received. When I wrote Don’t Call Me Missionary I didn’t expect anyone would read it. I thought if anyone did ever read it, they would dislike it. So when I started getting emails and comments about how much people enjoyed the book instead of angry emails, I was very surprised.

You might wonder why I would write something that I thought people would dislike. You have to understand that I never really wanted to become a missionary. When you prepare to become one, there can be a lot of training involved. I was never the type who liked school. In high school I did as little reading as I could to still get decent grades. In college I had to do so much reading, I never read for fun. To me, books were work and I hadn’t developed an interest in recreational reading until I moved to the land of no streaming internet, no television, and precious few movies. (Things have changed now of course).

Because I didn’t like all this training and reading to become a missionary, I became very selective about what material I would engage with on the topic of moving overseas. So when I finally moved overseas I started realizing that the experiential things I was learning, had not been mentioned before in any of my training. I wondered if this was all part of it? Had I been tricked? Were these things some sort of odd initiation ritual? Or were there simply some things you just aren’t supposed to say out loud?

Don't call me missionary

$2.99 on Kindle

My book says those things out loud. Which is why I suspected people would not like it, especially missionaries. I mean no offense to the wonderful men and women working in missions work today, but I never wrote the book for you. Several of you already know what it’s like to risk your life to use the toilet, or to pick bugs out of your rice. I wrote this for the people like me, who hate reading, hate training, and even when they are forced to train, don’t believe nor like what they’re told anyway, because they suspect the real story is being hidden.

My audience is someone who wants to know the reality of missions work, without the work of having to go overseas to find it out. I sort of expected that attitude to offend people. But to my surprise, people have actually enjoyed the book. Before publishing I had to ask myself, “Is this really something you want to release into the world, Chad?” After praying over it, I came to the conclusion that it was. I have been very happy to discover the lives it has already touched. The testimonials that have been shared with me have been wonderful. This book seems to be striking a chord with a much larger audience than I ever anticipated.

I have been sincerely delighted and surprised at the positive comments people have shared with me, and I hope that many others can find it a useful addition to their book list.

I’d like to thank Bev for giving me a chance to share some of my thoughts on the process and for hosting me on her blog!

-Chad Owens
http://dontcallmemissionary.weebly.com

You’re welcome, Chad. I haven’t read the book yet, but it’s def on my TBR now! Let me know what you think, readers!

Bev out.

Top 5 Reasons to Live Abroad – Guest Post

As you may already know, Gary and I lived in England for three years thanks to the US Air Force, so when I was approached by Alex to host him on the topic of living abroad, I was intrigued. If you’ve ever thought of doing just that, today I’m pleased to host Alex Park, who is backpacking in Thailand right now, with his thoughts on living in a foreign country and how it can be a life enhancing experience.

Top 5 Reasons to Live Abroad at Least Once in Your Life

The world beyond our borders is home to millions of other people. Just like you, they all have their own reasons for choosing to live in their respective areas. There are very many reasons people dream of relocating to a foreign land. This can either be due to work, volunteer, study, pursue other opportunities or retire. Moving into a new country can be a rich and rewarding experience. This can either be permanently or temporarily.

Furthermore, it can be really hard particularly if you move into a country based on a dream without considering the responsibilities and risks. The step to leave familiar surroundings and adapt to another social and cultural environment should not be taken lightly. This decision requires a thorough research, knowledge and good planning. The better you are prepared before leaving your country for a foreign environment, the better your experience abroad will turn out to be.

284484_361073073967978_518768910_nHere are my five reasons why everyone should find the energy to pack up and move abroad:

  1. You become adaptable and open-minded

When you move to a foreign country everything basically becomes mixed up. From road rules, choices to choose from in the daily activities, to people’s attitudes and common behaviors. Due to these facts, you definitely have to stay positive and continue to learn new things. This is like going to school again, social etiquettes, healthcare system, the education system, the country’s history, cultural beliefs and traditions.

The moment that you know you are not afraid of change is when you learn to embrace it.

The moment that you know you are not afraid of change is when you learn to embrace it. You will thrive on change. Stagnancy and complacency becomes your worst enemy. One of the best way to improve yourself is to do the things that you are most scared of.

It is not as difficult as it sounds. No matter how difficult it sounds you will become your own cheerleader.

  1. You know yourself better

One of the best relationships in this life is the relationship you have with yourself. Nothing brings you closer to building an intimate relationship with yourself and getting to know yourself better when you move from your normal environment to a new country. This gives you the freedom to discover who you are, what you want and what you really don’t want without the influence of your family or friends. This makes you your own boss.

Staying abroad is a huge eye opener especially if the place is far removed from where you originally came from. This gives you the ability to observe things from an outsider’s perspective. This makes you to rethink the way you know and understand your culture and your own self from inside.

IMG_0037This whole process helps you as a person to start questioning your original values and beliefs, attitudes, and the values that were influenced by your upbringing. With different perspectives coming back and forth you are able to shape yourself into a strong, independent character which helps you to find your purpose in life.

  1. Career enhancing

One of the most important advantages of living abroad career wise is that it enhances or gives you a competitive edge in a tough job market. This enables clients or employees to gauge you due to the fact that you have different perspectives on things. The employers/clients feel that with an individual’s hands-on understanding of cultural and business nuances you are better prepared to localize their products for the homelands job markets.

In case it is not possible to work abroad due to visa restrictions or family issues during your stay abroad, this is the ideal time to get new qualifications that may go a long way in improving your credentials.

In addition to this, living abroad greatly improves your negotiation skills. You will learn how to establish a good rapport with people from different nationalities and improve your language skills. Showing that you have successfully lived abroad gives your resume the edge it needs in a very serious competitive job market.

Moreover, a lot of hiring in the modern world comes from referrals. When you establish yourself in a new country, you are forced to pick up a skill set which is the ability to build a connection and an ability to break into a circle of tight connections and fit in.

  1. Culturally immersive

iStock_000017545021SmallMoving abroad gives you a great chance to observe a country in its own raw environment. This gives you the ability to know new techniques of doing things and understanding. You will also immerse yourself in the local language. This not only improves your grasp of the native language but also your communication skills. By immersing yourself with the local way of living, you can comprehend how and why these customs came to be. Adopting them further makes you feel home away from home.

You will have the time to visit more areas that you would not have covered in the few days as a tourist compared to you being like one of the locals.

Living abroad gives you the chance to travel slowly so you learn about the country, just like the locals. You have the time to visit more areas that you would not have covered in the few days as a tourist compared to you being like one of the locals. One of my favorite activities in Thailand was learning to kayak. It helped me experience the surrounding island and just appreciate the beautiful landscape in front of me.

  1. New friends and building a new identity

Barley MowThe distance created by moving away from home makes it hard for you to interact with your friends and family. In some instances, you may be tired of your friends. Moving abroad opens the avenue for you to meet different people. This is always an exciting time for most people. New friends will become your family so you should choose them wisely.

Moreover, there is no better way to start fresh than moving to a new state. You become a new brand. People don’t know who you are or where you come from. No one basically cares about your background. This gives you the space to put your travel backpack to use and do what you want and be who you want to be. This inspires you to explore and create new things without outside influence from family and friends. A new job, a new house, a new car and new neighbors are all that you need. You don’t have to change yourself to please your parents or friends.

References

Pascoe, R. (2009). A broad abroad : the expat wife’s guide to successful living abroad. Vancouver, BC: Expatriate Press.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ginny-copestake/heres-why-you-should-live_b_8682674.html

Massey, B. (2006). Where in the world do I belong. Place of publication not identified: Jetlag Press.

Find Alex at  www.authorizedboots.com

 

 

Bible Origami

Bible Origami

Origami based on Biblical stories is such a great idea. When our son was four years old and waiting to have a broken arm set in the ER, a pediatric nurse calmed him by folding a paper crane, and presented him with it. We still have it to this day and it reminds us of the nurse’s kindness on an otherwise stressful day.

The author of Bible Origami, Todd Huisken, suggests that kids can do origami while sitting in church instead of fidgeting. To me though, folding paper is a form of fidgeting so I don’t necessarily agree with that, but I do like the concept of teaching the art while drawing on stories from scripture. He’s included designs from the Old Testament including Noah’s Ark, Jonah and the Whale, the Ark of the Covenant, and from the New including a fishing boat, a dove, and fishes and loaves.

Huisken has indicated the levels of difficulty from 1-3, and the drawings are good and relatively easy to follow, but after fooling around with a couple of levels, I think the activities are better suited for a group situation than expecting a child to be able to follow the directions on their own until they’re adept at the task.

“Did you know” trivia accompanies each design and I can imagine homeschoolers, Sunday school teachers, and grandparents would find origami a great way to teach and also spend some going over the Bible concepts in a visual way. If you’ve never folded before, I suggest practicing first before introducing the activity, but I think all ages will really enjoy the craft that’s also a beautiful art.

I really like the concept and recommend Bible Origami .