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Archive for the ‘Us’ Category

A Change

Coffee cherries on coffee plant (Coffea arabica)

Coffee cherries (Image via Wikipedia)

Life has changed a bit for James and I. James is still studying and mapping in the Geography Program, and I must say he is doing a fine job. I, on the other hand, have taken a full time position at the coffeehouse. I am absolutely loving it right now. Currently my position with the CCO has changed to associate status (meaning I’m working roughly 10hrs a week with campus ministry). I believe this was a good decision and I am looking forward to this year as I strive to learn all things local business and everything I can about the bean. We are in the process of sending out our final newsletter. I look forward to sharing more with you and explaining it more in depth if you would like.

Therefore I am taking over this blog. I want to share my thoughts and ideas. I want to be more intentional about recording life here in this town and sharing the fun things that I am finding and learning. I hope this is intriguing and thought provoking. I do not think much will change, but I hope there can be a bit of inspiration here.

Enjoy.

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Out of the Wilderness

What an amazing trip!  What a fantastic spring break!

We had perfect weather, mostly sunny in the 70’s. There were a few nights of rain and towards the end it was cold, but great weather over all. Some students even cliff jumped into the cold river. That’s how sunny and warm it was.

The trip was framed around Henri Nowen’s book “In the Name of Jesus“. We walked through the temptations of Jesus in the wilderness, the temptation to be relevant, powerful, and spectacular. Each day a group of students assumed leadership by taking the map, watch, and being in charge of getting us from point a to point b. At the end of their day we would sit around and debrief their leadership and day. It was great to see how students spoke to one another, encouraged each other, and learned from others experiences. Truly there was a difference from the way the group interacted at the start of the trip to the way they bonded at the end. It is such a blessing to see that night and day difference. We were truly honored to have these students be on this trip, they were so much fun and taught us a lot in the process.

Thank you for all your thoughts, prayers, and support. We would not have been able to do this without you. Here are some pictures taken from various students:

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Arkansas or Bust!

As many of you know we are heading to Arkansas for Spring Break. Twelve students came to our apartment last night to pack all the food. And what a show it was!!  We had granola, pancake mix, chocolate covered espresso beans, pasta, cous cous, hummus, mounds of cheese, and so much more spread across the table.  I made potato soup and it was a food packing party. And did we pack food, o yes!

We have been a little behind on the details for our trip and poor James has a test and a lot of work in the midst of it all. But we are pulling through and I am getting excited. Especially to be going on this trip with these particular students. They are a diverse group and we have only gotten a glimpse of them interacting together. This is going to be good.

May we learn about leadership and community. May we seek to learn in the worlds largest classroom: The Wilderness. May we ask tough questions and may  we hear God speak in the stillness. May it NOT rain, and not care if it does.

As I have written to many of you and what has impacted me lately is Psalm 115:1 “Not to us, O’ Lord, not to us, but to Your name be the glory because of Your love and faithfulness.” O’ what good news this is indeed.

To Him be the Glory forever and ever, Amen.

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A Weekend in Pittsburgh

It is that time of year, Jubilee is upon us. And I am reminded that we are truly in the midst of it. I reminded students last night about the year of jubilee, what it stands for, and how we are called to live in the redeeming process NOW. If you don’t remember the call on the Israeli’s lives to redeem the earth, to set everything back to its original state — go check it out (Lev. 25). It is an amazing call — to set the captives free, to give the properties back to their original owners, to let the land rest and trust that the Lord will provide their daily sustenance. This, in theory, was to diminish the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer — it also was supposed to show the people that the Lord is their sustainer and provider, to rest. And now we have this call on our lives, that we are living in Jubilee now.

This is what Jubilee is about. Or at least what it strives for.

If you end up coming to Jubilee (if you in the area, Sunday morning is free to the public!) know that my favorite person is going to be there: John Perkins. The man that helped me realize the value of community and reconciliation. He saw his brother die at the hands of white men beacuse his brother was standing in line at a movie theater, moved away from Mississippi and vowed never to return, fell in love with his wife and God, felt the call to return back to his home town (the heart of Mississippi during the civil rights movement), educated black students and gave them opportunities to study scripture and be in community, almost killed by white police who tricked him in Jackson, MS., and he said to the Lord, as he was getting a fork stuck up his nose by these men, “if I make it out of here alive I realize that my job is not only to educate black men but also white.”

He is worth learning more about.

Thank you all for your support, for being a part of Jubilee with us….not just the conference that is happening this weekend but in the whole redeming process that God has called us to until His return.

And if you in Pittsburgh this weekend, come on Sunday! It’s a great time to be surrounded by college students, go check out some excellent books and have great conversations.

Until next time…

-Al

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Arkansas?

We just got out of a meeting with 11 students who are signed up to go on our ASB Trip with IUP. That’s right!  James and I are taking, actually 12, students to Arkansas with the Alternative Spring Break Program through Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

What is in Arkansas? The beautiful Ozark mountains, waterfalls, bluffs, cliff jumping, rock climbing…and so much more. These students have willingly signed up for a week in the woods, to carry their food and clothing on their backs, hike about 20 miles, and all that with the Whitacre’s. This is fun! They also know that we are intentionally framing the trip around leadership and faith.

I just wanted to share all that with you…this is why I haven’t been posting, because we have and are planning!

(this is a picture of our campsite. James and I scouted Buffalo National River Arkansas at the beginning of January. It was bitter cold, but excellent information for our trip. It was also a good confidence booster for me…not only knowing that I can camp out in single digit weather…but also a reminder of what it means to be in the woods).

Till next time….

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A New Year

The holidays were packed full with traveling, family, and scouting for our spring break trip. This was our first Christmas together and third New Years Eve. Now we start 2010! This year brings an array of events, such as Jubilee, Spring Break to Arkansas, Bible Study on Monday nights, James graduate work, and more. No wonder I feel lightly overwhelmed, already.

One thing that I wanted share about was what our theme for study will be this semester. Patrick (my co-worker) and I are very excited about it. It will be a bit of a challenge, yet a good one. We are going to do a character study of various people in the Old Testament. Patrick is going to present the males, potentially starting off with Noah. And I am going to present the females, starting off with Eve (I think). I hope this approach will allow students to learn about the Old Testament and to study some major themes. I am interested in experiencing where this goes and how this will teach us in the process. So here are some questions for you…

Do you have any favorite characters in the Old Testament? Any that have taught you or that you love reading about? What themes do you see repeated in the OT?

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A Whitacre Christmas

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

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