Thursday, February 26, 2009

Collegiate Conversation

This is a conversation my roommate Tori and I had with our friend April literally, 2 minutes ago.

april says "guys, don't you ever wish that you could go to a school where they teach really useful, everyday skills?"

me and tori say "sure ape- like what?"

april says "I dont know, like....wilderness survival...or bead work!"

i say "wait april- bead work? really?!"

april says "ya- or like pottery, i would LOVE to make pots. Do you know how great it would be to do a class on vitamins? I would LOVE to know how many calories are in like...say.. a carrot."

tori  says "i learned about transfats the other day. your body can't break it down"

April "ya, like gum it just sits there and no one knows what to do with it. see brock(her brother) and i today were talking about like what we are going to do if this recession makes people go nuts and people try to destroy the world, and like people will just flood into canada. its 3000 dollars to buy a food kit and we're going to move to northern BC and i'm going to fish and plant a garden and Brock will probably just sleep and eat, and he said 'as long as mom comes, we're fine' and i said "mom's not going to want to live in the wilderness'... i don't know if we'll survive the winter though, we'll have a party before we go and get hardcore winter wear. i don't even like to camp normally! i'm not a big camper. i like the cottage but really...i don't even care, we don't even need running water, but i'd really like a bed, a roof and not bugs."

I swear we're smart people. I swear we're actually all university students learning valuable things. But sometimes you just need to have moments i guess right!?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Micah 6:1-8

In church on sunday we started going through the minor prophets. We learned about the famous verse in Micah "what does the Lord require of you...."

First of all- this church is SWEET. Its in a classroom at a college in town and the seats are so comfy and its small (maybe 50ish people) and it feels like every week is a family reunion. We sing beautiful hymns and songs i've never heard and have coffee breaks were we 'go connect'.  I'm talking like i've been going forever but really last week was my 3rd sunday :) 

So Dave gives us background of the passage and whats happening. Its a court scene with God as the prosecutor, Israel as the defense and creation as the jury. The charge is that Israel has grown tired of God and wants to go their own way so  Israel is asking "God, what does it take to make you happy?"

God says "hey people....what have i done to you? how have I burdened YOU? I took you from Egypt, took care of you in the 40 years you were wandering about, sent good men and women to lead you, saved you from people who wanted to destroy you!"

And Israel responds sarcastically , adding to the laws "What do you want God? What do i need to give to come before you? Do you want me to give you burnt offerings? Will thousands of rams please you? Want some 10 thousand rivers of oil? ....(and the kicker...) How about i kill my firstborn for my transgressions?" 

To this God gets a little ticked and says "ok- thats enough- you KNOW what i require of you but here, let me tell you yet again. 3 things guys- act JUSTLY, LOVE mercy and put aside your pride and walk humbly with me." Thats it.

Those 3 things can't be separate though. They are one and to walk humbly with God, we must be doing the other 2 as well.
Mercy without justice is chaos. Justice apart from mercy is cruel. And pride of oneself above God is destructive. We need to be justice DOERS not peace talkers. Acting justly doesn't only apply to situations AFTER the injustice has taken place. We must be actively seeking to help people to spare them from acts of justice- acting justly before any injustice even takes place. 

There were 8 levels of charity according to Jewish law back in the day. (level 8 being worst, 1 being best)
8- giving to the poor unwillingly
7- giving to the poor gladly
6- giving to the poor after being asked to
5- giving to the poor before being asked to 
4- giving to to someone you don't know but the recipient knows you gave it to them
3- giving to someone you know, but the recipient doesn't know you.
2- giving to someone you don't know and the recipient doesn't know you either
1- strengthening someone by giving a loan, making a partnership, finding them a job etc, so that you help raise them out of the poverty they are in and no longer will be in need. 

Interesting stuff. I came home from church and did what i normally do...check the blogs, and i read Katie's blog about Sumini's sister Zuula and i just sat at my desk and cried. At the end of the post she asks her readers one question "are you doing what makes your heart sing? are we living generously and expansively?"

She closes with this verse that sums it up nicely. "Dear dear corinthians, I can't tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. We didn't fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren't small, but you're living them in a small way. I'm speaking as plainly as i can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!" - 2 Cor 6:11-13 (the message)

To live openly and expansively, for Christ, requires us to care for those around us. The ones that are visible and the ones we have to look a little deeper to see. We need to act justly, to love mercy and walk humbly with our God. 

Nana Cameron- You can get to your dear Katies blog by clicking HERE. love you!

Monday, February 23, 2009

It takes 2 to go to war but only 1 to fall in love.

Copeland- You are my sunshine. Chillest album ever. So good. Leigh- I THINK (but i'm not too sure) that you'd like it. 

I don't have a whole lot to say but my sister is apparently desperate for a new post.

- i HATE basil. it was my roommates birthday tonight and SHE made US supper. Nice right? My internal reaction of "EEEEEWWWW!!!"..... not so nice. 

- sometimes i really really want to litter but i think of my best friend bethany and how disappointed she'd be so i don't. 

- i just paused my music (copeland) and heard on the tv... "tours of Toronto's dirtiest bathrooms". thats gross. 

- yesturday there was a really weird freak 20 minute blizzard and i saw this boxer playing with his 2 owners and it made me SO happy to see the dog so happy. and then i thought how WEIRD it was that i felt that way. and then i got excited because as soon as i get married i'm definietly getting a dog and naming it Scout!

- if i had won the giant 52 million lottery this weekend i would do the following.
- give erin and scott whatever they wanted so they could get to uganda ASAP
- get my parents a really nice bungalow so they dont have to walk up and down stairs when they get old
- i'd get highlights for the heck of it! YAY!!!!
- i'd buy a horse and bring it to uganda with me with a beautiful english saddle and 
a western one too for trekking the hills. 
- i'd build a cute clinic and treat sick people in Uganda
- i'd give a ton to Katie because shes out of this world awesome and has the biggest heart possible
- i'd take care of all immediate family and my nana and buppa and nana and grampy 
but i guarantee they'd want me to use it for africa because thats just how cool and awesome and loving they all are!!!
- then i'd get my financial advisor, curtis, to invest it so that i'd make so much off the interest that i would be able to tithe and give away like 99.9% every year and live off of the bare minimum. 

- my friend curtis bet me 250 dollars that i couldn't not eat mcdonalds for 365 days. today is day 53 and i can't wait till 11:59:59 of dec 31, 2009 when i can put my hand out and accept 250 big ones. 

- today was dollar days at No Frills and my most expensive purchase was 4 sweet potatoes. 

- i'm ridiculously exited for the bachelor next week. seriously. i've been waiting 7 weeks now for Deanna to come back and finally she does next week. 

- i randomly messaged a youth from the bridge to go for coffee and she called and said she'd been going through the toughest few weeks ever and really needed to chat. THEN at No Frills i saw a sweet friend and we're going out for coffee this week cause I really need it. I love how God works like that!!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Family Day in P-Town!

Here are my friends. They are awesome wonderful hilarious people. Left to right is....
Sam, Bea, April, Me, Michael, Brock and Mike!
Preston is added and April is minused in this one. 

Friday, February 20, 2009

If you haven't already.....

you NEED to see Slumdog Millionaire. 

Thursday, February 19, 2009


guess what!!!

after 4 days of stressing and worrying about where i'm going to find 250 extra bucks laying around to get a new student card and bus pass.....a good Samaritan left it outside my door!!!

now the only question left in my head is who was this person who left it at my door and if they dont know do they know where i live???

either way, its a def answer to prayer and i'm PUMPED!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

All Points Bulletin

I lost my keys that are attached to my student card that open my house and my room.

My student card has my bus pass integrated into it and leave it to me to lose it. To replace it would cost 70 dollars for the student card portion (that i need to write 2 exams, one monday and one wednesday) and the word on the street is that the bus portion is 200 dollars give or take.

I'm losing my mind. So far i've filled out lost item reports at the university security office, the local police station and called every single place i've been to or even in the vicinity of in since friday evening.

I'm praying suuuuuuuuuuper hard! I NEED to find these!

Webale Mukwano's!

Monday, February 16, 2009

I LOVE my life here.

I was at The Bridge on saturday night like always and it was AWESOME. During debrief we all talk about the night- highs and lows, good convo's that sort of thing- and our supervisor C was talking about a convo he had with a kid. This kid had just gotten out of jail and had a baby and a girlfriend and was trying to turn his life around after he hit rock bottom. So we're talking about this and C says "in these situations i love to pull out Psalm 66 and talk to the kids about it." So he grabs his bible and starts going through psalm 66 with this kid (lets call him R )

10 For you, O God, tested us;
you refined us like silver.

11 You brought us into prison
and laid burdens on our backs.

12 You let men ride over our heads;
we went through fire and water,
but you brought us to a place of abundance.

So C asks R what being refined means and he explains that its like smelting.... you burn something to the point where all the crap falls to the bottom and all the goodness rises to the top. God sent R to prison and let men ride over his head and to a place where he got to see exactly what he needed to in order to desire change. Then after this refining process, the Lord takes R and brings him to a place of abundance... to a place where his desire is to be a good father and boyfriend and get his life straight. So cool!

Then this other kid who was such a bad kid that he got banned from the city (how that happens i have NO idea) but anyway- this kid comes back and where does he go every time he comes back to visit......THE BRIDGE. and why? Because his friend C is there who he knows loves him unconditionally and where he feels affirmed and loved.

I had a good talk with this boy who just sat down with a bible in his hand and said to me "i think i want to know more about this...i feel like i have a hole in my life" and i got to tell him what it means to be a follower of Christ, what that looks like, and how Christ changes you. So cool.

While we were praying at the end of the night, i just mentioned how awesome it was that through working at the bridge, and forming relationships with these awesome awesome kids, that my faith is affirmed, and my love for Christ, and for serving him is affirmed. awesome. i love this place.

Tomorrow its a work day at the bridge and me and about 6 other girls are going to spend the day cleaning and organizing and making it look awesome. I'm so excited for it!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

My day so far.

Wake up after 6.5 hours of 3 phone calls from Uganda that woke up me between those 6.5 hours.

Woke up to realize i had a sweet dream but can't remember it and that is a RARE thing around these parts.

Sat at my desk and didn't move an inch for 5 hours until i was so overcome with frustration i pounded my fists on my desk, yelled out loud, and held my APA book over my head ready to throw it across the room and stopped suddenly. "Amy- you are much to old to throw a temper tantrum now. Get back to work"

Got to school only to realize i had no money in my account to print. Logged onto skype and send emergency message to my hero preston who went and bought a muffin to break a bill so i could have 70 cents to print.

Went to seminar in my Pj's, something I always swear i never do. Thats just lazy! But off i went with old scrub pants, giant west edmonton mall tee and rain coat, hair in a clip from last night, face NOT washed.

Got picked to explain to the class the ONE question I could not get my head around. (honestly- try googling post-necrotic cirrhosis and see how much info you get...BRUTAL!)

In desperate need of MORE money on my printing account at school but had no change. had to take out 20 dollars (21.25 with machine charges).

stood in line for 15 minutes at tim hortons where i ordered a small coffee one cream one sugar.

Finally...i can relax.....or so i thought.

Anyone want a coffee one sugar no cream...because i certainly don't!


Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I am going to bed with a smile on my face.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


This morning i so desperately wanted to sleep in. But my aging self woke up at the crack of 830 and i made my way to the kitchen for some oatmeal.

I left the kitchen 2 minutes ago. a full 2 hours and 43 minutes from the exact second i entered. what did i do for 2 hours and 43 minutes?

Apart from holding down vomit, i washed (no SCRUBBED) grease off walls, off the stove, off the cupboards, off chairs, of tables, cleaned the microwave, coffee pot, organized the pantry, cleaned the inside of cupboards and organized the tupperware, did all the dishes, took out the trash, washed the garbage pail, dusted, and was on my hands and knees for a FULL 30 MINUTES washing the 4 month old crap off the floor.

Then i swept a large cat's worth of hair from the hallway and organized the shoes and cleaned the front hallway.

Am i abnormal in my thinking that a clean house should be the norm? If not clean then how about tidy? Or if not tidy then how about just not a dump?


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

100th post....

Well january 31 marked my 1 year anniversary of the last day my feet were covered in the wonderful red dirt of UG. Feb 1 marked my 1 year being back on canadian soil.

So this 100th post is going to be a photo highlight post. AND this time i'm not just going to chose photos where i look good :)
Let's begin!

Uganda is the place where I felt useless and broken and learned that I wanted to be nurse

Uganda is where i met some of my best friends in the world. It's where I met Rachel and Arielle who i share a very special and particular bond with that I don't think i have with anyone one else....(except shell and beth and for the same reason...)

Uganda is where I met THIS GIRL. Katie Davis. She helped me learn just how jealous i can be of my best friend and just how useful one can be when they are walking in the ways of the Lord.

This tiny kid taught me more about myself more about hope and more about love than knew in 22 years prior.

UG is where i met my Ugandan Mama. She taught me the importance of welcoming guests, loving people just as they are, and opening a home to anyone in need.

Ug is where i met my Ugandan Papa. He's married to Mama and he taught me the importance of a quiet and gentle spirit, one that is always seeking to love Christ deeper, serve him more effectively, and love the lost more fiercly.

Uganda is where I met these 2. Raoul Mugosa taught me more about being culturally sensitive than anyone else. He taught me about the importance of a deep and unwavering faith even in the midst of struggle and hardship. He taught me how to be a better leader and how to love those who persecute you. Uganda is where i met Michelle and where we became as close as sisters.

Uganda is where i met this couple, Pastor and Mrs. Mwesegwa. He pastors Jinja Deliverance Church and being a part of this church taught me the importance of truly living in a different culture. This place taught me that should i ever live or work or volunteer or do missions overseas, that i would only be happy being as deeply involved in the culture as my blazingly white skin would let me. This church opened their arms to Bethany and I and loved us as their own. This church prayed faithfully for me when i left to have my surgery, they laid hands on my before i left and praised the Lord with me upon my return.

Uganda taught me patience. Sitting around for 6 hours waiting to sing in our choir with all our Ugandan friends and then ending up not being able to sing sucks. But it'll teach you patience thats for sure!!

Uganda is where Bethany and I met THIS guy. John Paul Okwi. A gifted gifted speaker, a talented leader, a faithful friend, a fervent follower of Christ. JP lifted our spirits when we missed home, played countless cards games at our house on no power nights, let us use his car all the time (YAY!!!!) and understood our love for his countries kids.

Uganda is where i attended the best bible study I had ever been to and will ever go to! This group of friends prayed for each other, we learned with each other, we grew with each other, we sang and praised the Lord with each other. This photo is of Bethany and I cutting my "wellcome back cake" that Mama made for me after i came back from my surgery.

Uganda is where Bethany and I met one of the most spectacular people I've ever met. Hope Little. Uganda is also where Bethany and I took care of her precious precious son, Phineas for 5 weeks while she took care of business in the states.

Uganda is where we met THIS guy, David Eyotia (son of our ugandan ma and pa). A friend who took care of us, came to our rescue after being hit by a car (ha!) and who took us under his wing. We spent Christmas at his families house, would hang out with his parents for dinner and little bbc world news and encouragement.

Oh Uganda. Some days I try not to think about you so much. My life would be easier without you i think. It'd be simple and I'd be able to get expensive jeans and stuff at regular price. I'd be able to sit in a church service and focus on what they were saying instead of dreaming i was holding a baby on my lap in the hot hot heat of jinja DC.

But and your people and your people's Lord changed me. you softened my heart. opened my eyes. deepened my faith. you took me and shook me upside down and let all my old self fall away. You swept it up and threw it out because you knew i'd never need my old self again. You showed me what its like to be selfless. you gave me trials to test my resolve. you showed me people with nothing to show me that i had everything and because i had everything that i really needed nothing. you introduced me to people and situations that would make me so so very angry and you taught me how to respond in love and tact and respect.

Lord you changed me but you put me back together. you took my feet and molded them to the red earth, you took the comfort and softness out of them and exchanged it for a desire for more of you more of uganda more of the red dirt. you took my heart and melted the ice and picked the brick wall apart one by one. you replaced each brick with love and softness and openness. you took my mind and erased selfish ambition and planted seeds of selfless love that you're growing in me. you took eyes that bypassed hurt and poverty and highlighted a deeper compassion for the ones you love.

Uganda is where you turned my heart back to you.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sunday Sermon

This morning my awesome friend Preston got baptized and it brought back all the awesome memories of my baptism a few months ago in the freezing cold river surrounded by my best peterborough friends! awesome! THe church i've started to attend, Auburn Bible Chapel is great. Tons of students from my university go there and for the last 5 weeks there's been this amazing guy speaking. He's been speaking on spiritual disciplines and this weeks was worship and it was so awesome and so challenging and so great that i took notes like a mad woman so i could post them on here! so enjoy! it might be a little scatterbrained but thats just how my mind works:)


What kind of person is free to come into God's presence? Who can stay? Psalm 15 tells us pretty clearly.

LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary?
Who may live on your holy hill?
2 He whose walk is blameless
and who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from his heart

3 and has no slander on his tongue,
who does his neighbor no wrong
and casts no slur on his fellowman,

4 who despises a vile man
but honors those who fear the LORD,
who keeps his oath
even when it hurts,

5 who lends his money without usury
and does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things
will never be shaken.

When Brent first said psalm 15 i flipped to it expecting the normal uplifting beautiful psalm and was kind of blindsided by this. My first thought was "brutal!!!!!"

There are 10 descriptions of the person who is free to come into God's presence.

1) a blameless walk -> the way they live their live- one who is perfect in obedience to God
2) actions are righteous-> live lives of perfect integrity
3) speaks truth- -> truth and integrity at their core
4) does not slander -> no gossip!
5) casts no slur -> doesn't make hurtful remarks
6) despises vile -> response to evil
7) keeps oaths -> even when it hurts!
8) lends $ without interest -> no rip offs! doesn't take advantage
9) not accept brides -> doesn't take advantage for selfish gain
10) whoever does these things will not be shaken.

Whoever does these things (all of which seem to me to be impossible!!!) will NOT be shaken.....BUUUT this confronts us with the holiness of God. We have to beware of the temptation to move towards 2 extremes. 1 is to give up, thinking its too much and we'll never be able to do those things psalm 15 days so why even try and the 2nd is to cling to God so familiarly like we're throwing an arm around his shoulder and giving him a pat on the back which reminded me of the song "i am a friend of God" thats i'm violently opposed to but thats another story;)

Whats the answer to our hopeless state then? Psalm 15 reminds the worshiper of their inability.
The Israelites needed a sacrifice, the shedding of to cover sings. We're living in NT times and the requirement is the same but different. God provided the spotless lamb. Hebrews 9 talks about that. There's an importance to preparation. In preparation we sense his instruction. its serious business. Yes- come as you are to Christ for salvation. but examine/cleanse/purify ourselves when we come into His presence.

Practicing spiritual disciplines on our own and expecting to improve our relationships with Christ doesn't work. It needs to be a component of a deep commitment and with the ultimate desire of knowing Him and living like Him. Because at the very core of what we so and who we are is Jesus.

***I dont know if that makes sense to anyone out there and i guarantee it sounds better first hand but the principle is the same and it was challenging as all get out!