Friday, November 12, 2010

One month back in Huntsville

    One month back in Hville.
    Making observations about adjustment and life differences between the US and South Asia.  Something I didn't expect: that buying on credit and debit cards would feel weird, and that giving talks on my experiences to churches and groups would begin to make me feel like a rock-star. 
    I'm often amazed by the computerization of U.S. life.   Buying meals at Burger King or McD's with a credit card is something new to me.   Cell-phones have progressed a lot as well, and the smart phone is the big thing now.   I still like the "dumb phones"  and flip phones. 
    I did acclimate back to driving a car fairly quickly, and within two weeks I was driving my own car again.   I missed that greatly in India, though I did enjoy walking around in Indian communities a lot and built my bargaining powers with the auto-rickshaw drivers.
   I almost got a ticket on the Parkway when I didn't slow down in the right lane as I passed a police car and another car on the side.   The officer told me when he pulled me over that you are supposed to either slow down or move to the left lane.  I told him that I didn't realize that, and he asked me where I had been the last couple of years.   I told him that I've been out of the country, living in India the last two years!   The officer looked at me funny and then told me the law has been on the book for a while, but he was giving me a warning this time and to drive more carefully.   Thankfully, I didn't get a ticket, and I bet that officer had a good story to tell!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Home Again Home Again

             I'm home in the States again.  Catching up with old friends and learning all the new stuff that's changed in the US, Alabama, Huntsville, my church, and people's lives.   I've been expecting all the new things, and am slightly and pleasantly surprised by the things that have stayed the same.   1 week and 4 days into being home, and I'm getting used to the world about me.   I think my greatest anxiety is in getting a new job soon, preferably in a ministry position.  Haven't been in a Wal-Mart yet, so I can't say if other's experience at being overwhelmed by the choices and choices and choices of Wal-Mart will hold true for me.  (I rather think it won't).   I do miss the slower-paced life and the ability to just walk down a street and buy whatever I think I might need and just talk to the wallahs/vendors on the road.    I am happy to notice that the Southerner hospitality and friendliness is still there in our communty, despite our U.S. orientation towards time rather than event and our strong sense of self-reliance.   Strong community and family values and an orientation towards warm human relations are common points between Indian and US South culture.   I've now attended my home churches' big church setting of worship service and of Sunday School/ Life Groups and haven't been weirded out (yet).   I do note the strong emphasis on programs and timeliness that is present in the church settings as well as in the American culture at large.   But really, the best part of coming back for me has been reconnecting with friends here in Huntsville.   My greater life-journey will continue, though my journeys in South Asia have been completed for now. 

Grace and Peace in Jesus to all,
Paul Lanier

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sunday's Grace and Being a Traveller Away from Home

17 Days left as a pilgrim in a foreign land.  A place I now think of as home.
Well, it's been an interesting Sunday and day of rest and worship.  
Got up early to do a Sunday school lesson at L&S's place Karunya Ministries.   Expecting my roomie to join me.   Seems like he stayed up all night and into the early morning dong videographing stuff.  So, off to Karunya I went alone.  Sat through the first service, and no Sunday school lesson because the older kids weren't there yet.   Second service, Latha asks me if I'm going to give a message, and I say, sure.  So, extemporaneously, when Suresh gets up and after singing, and turns over the service to me, I give a message on Mark 5 story of Jesus delivering the Gerasene man from demons.   It went well, and I was thinking I'm glad I have told this story many times, and am able to speak it from memory and give it some commentary on the side.   I am grateful God gave me wisdom and memory for this message. 
Then later, I join friends for the afternoon lunch with roomie, at Chilis.  Hadn't seen these friends in several months.  Enjoy being out with good friends!
Home again, and thinking about going to my US home, in just a little while (17 days).  Which makes me think of the great homecoming of Christians when they come home to heaven and fellowship with Jesus.   Seems like a long time aways some times, but in view of eternity, its really a short time.   Like a couple years away from one's hometown and native country.   We are all pilgrims in this land, in the long run!
The question I guess to be asked, is are we ready to come home yet? 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Monsoons and Reservoirs

Halfway through June the month of monsoons.  This will continue into July.   Lots of rain here in Blore.  Not as much as on the coasts, but we do get our fair share of water.    Interesting point here.   Not only does the water keep the crops growing, it feels the reservoirs that power the water and give it drinking water.    The storms of the monsoons have ultimately a productive effect.   I suppose that this could be like the storms and troubles in our lives, if we allow God to grow the fruits of the Spirit in us and if we build reservoirs of watchfulness and listening to God, and allow the Spirit to harness the power gathered to great and marvelous things in our lives and the lives of others!

Thursday, June 10, 2010