Tag Archives: 2011

twin grievings

Ten years ago I was in Chiang Mai, Thailand, just like I am tonight.

I was 14 on September 11, 2001. Now, I’m 24 (I’m great at math, can’t you tell?) and I am back in the Land of Smiles on September 11, 2011.

I was getting ready for bed when the planes hit the Twin Towers. It was Sunday evening our time, we’re 12 hours ahead, and I was preparing for another school day at my international school. My parents called me in the living room to watch the coverage. I plodded out in my PJs and sat cross-legged on our couch and watched in horror as the buildings crumbled like sand castles under the weight of a wave. I also watched the reports on the Pentagon and the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania.

I grieved over the lost lives and the men and women who met their eternity without knowing Christ.

Today a friend and I visited my friend John’s home and met his 83-year old grandmother. John works in the red light district. He recently became a believer.

I grieved today again for those who lost their lives but also for John grandmother.

She’s a wisp of a woman–she looks if you hug her too hard she might break. She’s missing all of her teeth, but that doesn’t stop her from smiling.

I couldn’t help but notice the veins in her arms and hands. They tell of a long life– a life without knowing her Creator.

They’ve lived in this house all of John’s life.

A poster of a senior monk hangs over her bed. His grandmother talks about going to the wat, or temple, whenever she’s able, which isn’t as often as her earlier years because of her age.

We shared, but mostly John shared, about how we believe in God and go to church instead of the temple.

It’s all good, she said, all religions are good.

She showed us pictures from her and John’s youth. She struggled to keep her reading glasses on her nose as she flipped through the worn photos.

“He’s so cute,” she said. “Such a big baby he was.”

We talked about life and memories. We did a lot of smiling and laughing.

Before we left, we said a prayer over her. She held our hands and strained to listen to our English and broken Thai. She came over and hugged me, laying her head on my chest. This surprised me, hugging isn’t too common in Thai society.

Her sweet hug is a moment I’ll always remember.

I pray that she’ll love Jesus. My heart grieves to think of her not. It’s not too late–her eternity hasn’t come. But, like the fateful day 10 years ago, we’re never guaranteed another day.

Today is the day to share with that person your heart grieves for.


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Filed under Life

last year, in books

“A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face. It is one of the few havens remaining where a man’s mind can get both provocation and privacy,” Edward P. Morgan

Here are the books I’ve read in the past year that I remember. They are in no particular order:

“A Thousand Miles in a Millions Years,” Donald Miller
“Searching for God Knows What,” Donald Miller
“The Grace of God,” Andy Stanley
“Radical,” David Platt
“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” J.K. Rowling
“Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” J.K. Rowling
“Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” J.K. Rowling
“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” J.K. Rowling
“Three Cups of Tea,” Greg Mortenson
“Water for Elephants,” Jacob Jankowski
“The History of Love,” Nicole Krauss
“Percy Jackson and the Olympians,” Rick Riordan
“Percy Jackson and the Lightning Theif,” Rick Riordan
“Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters,” Rick Riordan
“Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse,” Rick Riordan
“Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth,” Rick Riordan
“Three Weeks with My Brother,” Nicholas Sparks
“1984,” George Orwell
“Chasing Fireflies,” Charles Martin
“White Tiger,” Aravind Adiga
“The Bonesetter’s Daughter,” Amy Tan
“Run to Overcome,” Meb Keflezighi
“Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half With America’s Cheapest Family,”Steve and Annette Economides
“Transforming Church in Rural America,” Shannon O’Dell
“The Voice,” editors include Chris Seay, Lauren Winner, Brian McLaren, Greg Garrett, David B. Capes
“Uncle Sam’s Plantation,” Star Parker
“Immanuel’s Veins,” Ted Dekker
“Outlive Your Life,” Max Lucado
‘The Butterfly Effect,” Andy Andrews
“The Boy Who Changed the World,” Andy Andrews
“Cast of Characters,” Max Lucado
“Istanbul,” Orhan Pamuk
“Snow,” Orhan Pamuk
“Life of Luther,” Barnas Sears, D.D.
“Mornings and Evenings,” Charles Spurgeon
“Outliers,” Malcom Gladwell
“The Mysterious Benedict Society,” Trenton Lee Stewart
“And Then There Were None,” Agatha Christie
“Windows of the Soul,” Ken Gire
“Humility,” Andrew Murray
“The Best American Travel Writing, 2008,” Anthony Bourdain
“The Sacred Romance,” John Eldredge
“The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society,” Mary Ann Shafer and Annie Barrows

Have you read any of these? Any recommendations?

I’ll leave you with two more book quotes:

“Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book,” Author Unknown

“A good book should leave you… slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading it,” William Styron, interview, Writers at Work, 1958


Filed under Book Reviews

52 books in 52 weeks

My friend Holly and I are taking on this challenge: read 52 books in 52 weeks. That’s a book a week this next year.

I’ll be posting what books I’m reading here on my blog and you can check out what’s on my reading list by clicking on the “What I’m Reading” tab.

Check out the global challenge:  http://www.read52booksin52weeks.com/

What I’ve read this year so far: “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” by J.K. Rowling

What I’m reading this week: “The Wisdom of Stability: Rooting Faith in a Mobile Culture,” by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, Kathleen Norris.


Filed under Book Reviews, Life