Saturday, September 16, 2006

Politics and the world we live in

Even though I am from Iraq, (and all Iraqis somehow manage to get involved in politics - it's like in their genes or something), I do try and stay away from talking about politics, especially on my blog.

However, I am making an exception today. I found out this afternoon that a couple of months ago, one of my dad's brothers had been kidnapped by a group of terrorists in Baghdad. They had demanded $50,000 from my uncle's family for his release. My poor uncle is in his 70's and a lovely man and a really hard working honest man.

Eventually, my cousin managed to negotiate with the terrorists and get them to agree to lower the ransom amount to $10,000, as that was all that he could possibly raise, from all his friends and family members. Thankfully they did release my uncle when they got the money.

Isn't it so sick and disgusting that so many people's hard work earnings' go to people that will use that money to just further inflict terror on others? I am so thankful that my uncle is still alive, but what a horrible experience.

The world has fallen so so so far short from the glory of God, that human beings can choose to bring terror to others, and treat the rest of humanity in such a despicable way. Contrast that with Jesus choosing to lay down his life for others.

One of my favourite verses at the moment is John 15:13 where Jesus says: 'Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.' The world desperately needs people who are full of God's love, people who will choose to lay their lives down for their friends, instead of people who think nothing of taking other people's lives for their own selfish personal gain.

Speaking of the world we live in, I thought that I was a well travelled person until I did this world map thing, and I realised that I've only been to 9% of the world (21 countries). I guess I need to travel the world a bit more. I love travelling and meeting people from different parts of the world.

create your own visited countries map

Try it yourself and see how much of the world you have been to. I got this from AJ's blog. Thanks AJ.

Friday, September 15, 2006


I decided to take photos of all the new additions to our household. First of, is a photo of some of Tasha's fish in her fish tank. The black one is my favourite.

Then these love birds - also belonging to Tasha. They are so cute! The male one is the one with the brighter and darker colour chest.

This is a photo of Gina's rabbit Owen. He is very noisy at times. He is a full size dwarf bunny.

These are photos of Anja's very cute hamster Cody in his little hamster ball so that he can roll around (well the ball rolls, he walks) around in the living room.

Over the summer, I took the girls to this really nice beach, the water was a bit chilly, but the beach was beautiful and clean and there were hardly any people there - it was like having your own private beach. I took this photo there a few weeks ago.

Last Sunday at church I talked about the prayer of a man named Jabez in the bible. He prayed a really short but powerful prayer and God answered his prayer. The story of Jabez can be found in 1 Chronicles 4 v 9-10 ( Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, "I gave birth to him in pain." Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, "Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." And God granted his request).

So this week I've been praying that prayer every day, and keeping a daily record of the ways that God is blessing me and it's so cool and amazing because God has totally blessed me every single day. Yesterday I had 3 blessings. I was taken out to lunch, and someone's buying me a pair of Crocs (shoes) to wear, and I got taken out on my own private ride on a speed boat on our lake - it was sooooooooooooo cool!

My very first post when I started this blog last year was about stacking wood, and now it has come round to that time of year again. We had this load of wood delivered this week, and I started a couple of days ago to chuck it down the basement and then stack it down there. It's a race against time again, because I'd like to get it all down there and stacked, while we have nice weather and before it rains. I've only done a quarter of it so far, so it's probably going to take me the best part of next week to try and get it all done, so I'm praying that we'll have nice weather this week.

I really enjoyed stacking wood last year and the novelty hasn't worn off yet, infact I love stacking wood - it's a really rewarding job, because you can see the pile get bigger as you stack, and you feel like you did a good job. I get such a sense of satisfaction when I stack the last piece of a huge pile that I had thrown down the basement earlier that day. I also listen to worship songs on my mp3 player as I stack, so I enjoy singing along as I work and it keeps me really happy.

Friday, September 08, 2006

It's been a whole year!

Wow! It has been exactly one whole year today since I came to Nova Scotia to work for the church here. How can time go by so quickly? I don't even feel like we've had a proper summer here and now the girls are back at school. So, what can I tell you about this past year?

This has been a very wonderful and beautiful place to live, even though, we have had our fair share of tough times and things going wrong. Yet God has always been with us even though He has been closing some doors and opening others, and I have decided to stay here one more year.

It was quite tough financially this last year, so for this coming year, I am hoping to 'tent-make' (this is a biblical expression meaning to get another job to support me financially while I carry on working for the church). I am currently trying to apply to change my work permit and get a Nova Scotia Teaching License. I hope to get some teaching work here. I think it will take a few months though to get it all sorted out.

Our house church is going well. We had felt the Lord encourage us to put greater emphasis on a more family centred service, and that is what we have been doing. On the one hand, some church members couldn’t quite cope with this transition and have left the church. On the other hand, the kids and their parents are loving church more than ever before, and they seem to not want to miss the service. So we do feel encouraged that God wants to do something new in this place.

We had some lovely friends come and visit us from England for a couple of weeks and they went back yesterday. It was very nice to have them with us, even though, they had to experience our well water running out yesterday and our car engine totally ceasing last weekend which mean't we were car less all week. We are now trusting God for another car. So for those of you prayer warriors out there, please pray for Jesus to give us a new car soon.

It was the twins' birthday a couple of weeks ago. They turned nine. Gina got a rabbit and called it 'Owen' and Anja got a hamster and called it 'Cody'. Unfortunately though, Tasha's guinea pig 'Max' died last week. Today she got a pair of love birds. I think she's going to name them 'Elvis & Priscilla'. They are really cute!

I am looking forward to another year here (even though I know it will have plenty of challenges - but nothing is too big for God to handle and God is providing in so many amazing ways). So thanks for listening and stop by again some time.