Friday, July 22, 2005

suitcase


suitcase
Originally uploaded by alannka.

so this is what the bottom of my big suitcase looks like... please pray i don't have problems with security and customs!

contents:

- 12 cans of portagen powder (ack!) formula for premature babies; i've been told it's life-saving stuff

- 2 extra-chunky peanut butters for friends over there (can't get peanut butter there)

- 15 bottles of vitamins for friends there

next i have to overlay it with my own clothes, and a laptop for the folks there.

i've done vitamins before, i'm most concerned about the formula. please pray it breezes through.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

last day

first of all, the chronicles of narnia books are way way way too addictive. next, i leave tomorrow for a (short! so short!) 16-day stint in belarus. i'm helping out with the first-ever messianic jewish summer camp there for teenagers... we have a team of a dozen or so "westerners" coming to be a part of the camp, some as helpers and some as campers. my job will basically be to coordinate and take care of the foreigners, while doing other odds and ends for the camp in general and probably other projects that i won't find out about until i get there. it's odd this time around, because it's such a short trip, and because going to belarus is almost routine for me now. plus, i have been so busy lately that i've hardly had time to think about it. so until yesterday, when people asked if i was excited or nervous, i said something along the lines about "about what?" but now i'm leaving tomorrow. and there are a lot of things i have to do before i leave. so i would appreciate any prayers and whatnot. there is a lot going on right now. i don't know if i believe in "too much of a good thing," really, but i certainly feel "too many good things going on at once!" from time to time.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

leadership

during our college / career prayer meeting last night, which i led, the following occurred to me: i don't want people to think of me as a leader. i do want people to follow me (when i'm following G-d, that is). strange thinking for me. even acknowledging that i sometimes have something worth following is a difficult step for me to take. but during the M05 conference i noticed interesting trends regarding this. the kids didn't usually respond to me because i was a "leader," in fact a few times they forgot that i was one. however, they seemed to follow me on certain things. the late-night prayer on the last night (3.30am-5am) was an example. it was very strange for me to be leading a little "following" of four people to this prayer meeting, but they were following me, and since i was following the L-rd's leading in that moment, it seemed right that it should be so. during the prayer meeting last night i found myself feeling very much not like a leader, but like someone who was encouraging the discussion and prayers. it occurred to me that this is always what i strive for when leading prayer meetings. somehow that very sense led me to give some "parting shots" about increasing intercession, as it was my last meeting before i'm gone in belarus for a few weeks. it IS my prayer that people DO increase intercession. but not because the "leader" of the prayer meeting said so, but because it's a good thing to do in this place and time. i think it's something that G-d has been talking to me about, and it's worth it for others to follow in that direction. i was reminded of this article that i read a few months ago: Kingdom Leadership in the Postmodern Era by Leonard Hjalmarson. A bit wordy but good reading for the bus.

t-bird

i finally installed thunderbird at work and at home. i love it so far. can't believe it took me this long to install it. it even ported all my ten or so years' worth of netscape mail quickly and properly. three cheers.

Friday, July 15, 2005

for my birthday...


Picture014.jpg
Originally uploaded by alannka.

for my birthday, i get the premiere of Battlestar Galactica's season 2 tonight. yay!

also i got a crazy win by the phillies last night. our seats were fabulous (see photo), and we won 13-6 or something like that. which is great, since the marlins usually beat us. it was a fabulous time. lots of home runs.

lastly, if you ignore some of the "french," this page is about the funniest thing ever: episode iii: the backstroke of the west.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

phillies tonight

i will stop posting soon, i promise. one of these days i will get a more regular rhythm to my blogging. but i have to gloat a little bit... through work i got 4 free tickets to the phillies game tonight. we have good seats, in section 131 of the park (see seating chart -- these are good seats). and for free. with preferred parking. did i mention, y'know, free? so i'm excited to see how the fans react to bobby abreu at the first game after the break, and to be at a game that i can actually sort of see. just praying it doesn't get rained out, of course.

saturday and sunday and...

saturday i got up at 9:30 for the youth torah service, which was great, the marvellous matt krainess shared an amazing and convicting word. after a blur of an afternoon and evening of getting to play percussion with the brilliant and lovely adrielle hanes (oh yeah and there were others in the band too), i stayed up all night saturday for the YMJA "lock-in." i think i was basically sleepwalking. but it was great. the highlight of that for me was a 1.5-hour prayer meeting that lasted 'til about 5am, with 4 amazing prayer warriors and myself. good stuff. sunday i finally returned to narberth around 10.30am and my apartment was a total disaster. the photos below don't nearly do it justice, as they were taken before my landlord tore out my old kitchen and distributed it throughout my apartment. so after a 2-hour nap i had to clean construction dust off of my every possession, and move all of my kitchen supplies into their new homes in my new kitchen... i was the walking dead but i got it mostly done. and the kitchen looks fabulous. i collapsed into bed around 9pm. then started this week, which so far has been delightfully normal. in spite of working and whatnot, it feels quite a bit like i'm on vacation or something.

friday

friday was a good time, in the afternoon we had a 2-hour free worship session. i'm quite sure that a lot of the "kids" there received prophetic words from the L-rd. a few of them shared those but i think there were more that weren't shared. gradually the prophetic comes forth in these generations... friday night at midnight we had a sort of prophetic / intercessory drum circle session, this one not at all related to the YMJA activities. hanging out with adults! what a notion! that lasted 'til 3am. and... what is a drum circle if not a chance to get in hot water with security guards? though we had all the proper permissions and really nobody could hear us, one overzealous security guard came and threatened to take our instruments away around 1am. it was rather amusing because we knew there was no chance that would happen. all the more amusing, however, was the fact that while he was chewing us out for being "so loud," the loudest train ever came by and totally drowned out his voice. i have been going to this conference for 26 years and have been on that campus many other times. at no point, ever, did a train roll by campus this loudly. its horn was on full blast for at least a solid minute and it was nearly deafening. the poor security guard was completely inaudible. even so, we put our drums away, and continued for another hour and a half a capella. which was probably even better than if we had had the drums. friday night was also my big chance to stay up and hang out with melissa, my brother's girlfriend, who was at the conference all week but i barely saw her. so i went back to her hotel and we chatted 'til 5am.

final recap

well, i've been recovering rather well. quick rundown of the last few days of the conference. i guess i'll split up the posts by day to avoid one long post. thursday we had our final instalment of the Amazing Race for the teens, which was pretty insane. i don't think i'm the right person to run such an activity. especially since i wanted to spend most of my energies on the college students and just-older-than-college age folk. however, it was my idea, and i wanted to be a part of the first annual TAR. i do hope they do it again next year... without me! in the afternoon we held our "Yeshuapalooza" outdoor event, which caused me a sunburn and got me very very wet (slip & slide and the dunk tank! whee!). a great time. Remnant11, our band, played, but playing is a bit tricky when you have no time to practice or hardly even see each other for two weeks. at that point i was so comfortable and feeling so much like i was just surfing through the week, though, that i enjoyed myself anyway.

Friday, July 08, 2005

erev shabbat

about to leave for the erev shabbat service at this conference. i'm thinking, in the beginning of the week the days seemed so long... there was so much to do and it felt like it never ended. the last few days, however, have gone by incredibly fast. i don't know how it could have become friday night. interestingly, the best thing about this conference for me so far is that everything seems to work out constantly. little things, too numerous to detail here, but "chance" encounters and items or even people just appearing when i needed them. even the weather has worked out in a great and bizarre way. and as it turns out, i seem to be the countercultural point person. for the kids who don't quite fit in and whatnot, who dress strangely or seem into strange things... i've had some amazing opportunities to connect with those kids. mostly teens in that vein. and then there are just some amazing people in the college / twentysomething group, who just thrill me with their depth, humour, uniqueness, and love for G-d. good stuff. the news from london, however, is just awful.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

wednesday

so, i've been doing a great job of blogging this conference so far, obviously. um. other than a version of the Amazing Race with the teens this week (three sessions over five days), which is 30-minute blocks of intense insanity, i've been quite calm. getting nearly six hours of sleep a night, and kind of surfing through the days in a mostly relaxed state. i have that lovely feeling that if everything falls apart, it's not the end of the world and G-d knows what He's doing, and i don't have to impress anyone. it's wonderful to be able to trust Him that way, and it certainly is not my natural state. all of my events seem to come together while they're happening. almost everything i've planned has morphed significantly in the doing. when i mentioned that i felt i was flying by the seat of my pants to a friend, she pointed out that this is probably because i learned a lot about ministering in the former soviet union. hmm, good point. it's fun. it's certainly not as hard as organizing the ministry trips over there have been. that said, i still feel like i'm missing a lot... not only the "adult" events but more importantly the real connection with people i meet, &c. actually i've had quite a bit of it, which is great (and an answer to prayer), but i always want more. and it'd be lovely to have more flexibility to join in on random things at random times. now it's on to the biennial business meeting for the YMJA, where elections will be held and whatnot. i probably will just sit in the back and pray for the meeting through most of it. life is good.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

grantham

i've arrived in grantham, pa for this conference. got here at about 11:30 after stopping at my congregation to play/sing one song with some friends at the service. i did stop at my apartment briefly after work, and my landlord has totally torn apart my kitchen. the photos i posted yesterday are nothing compared to the way my apartment looks now. my fridge, oven, sink, cupboards... all are filling up my livingroom and bedroom, jammed solid so that i had to climb over everything to grab a couple of CDs out of the player. my landlord figured, if he was going to do any of it, he may as well do all of it. so i'm getting a totally redone kitchen, from the ground up. he thinks i'll be thrilled with it. i'm very excited. i'm a little less excited about coming home from a week-long exhaustionfest to a kitchen that still needs to be refilled with everything, but hey, i've lived in disarray before. very excited re: coming week. and i hope my city is doing well today, what with live 8 and all...

Friday, July 01, 2005

kitchen1


kitchen1
Originally uploaded by alannka.

my kitchen, in my livingroom.

kitchen2


kitchen2
Originally uploaded by alannka.

my kitchen, in my livingroom.