January 20, 2009

so i didn’t take notes with pen…but i watched and listened and felt hopeful as president obama addressed our country and the world.  i felt wonderfully connected knowing that so so many people have been anticipating this day for such a long long time; i felt connected knowing that throughout the world people stopped to watch and listen to our new president…

alright. time to dig in, compadres…time to make tough decisions and lead signigicant lives and work together to do justice and love mercy and to clear the way for generations to come.  now, shannon, do what you’re saying….  🙂

some ramblings:

a significant life…don’t we all want to live a life of significance?  we fight for justice and for the freedom of those who are oppressed so that the oppressed might have the opportunity to pursue their dreams.  will a significant life always entail fighting for the freedom of others?  is it enough for the liberated to lead a simple, peaceful life? 

“For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it.”

ok.  how do i lose my life? 



January 20, 2009

january 20th.  today mr. obama and mr. biden will be sworn into office…the whole world watching, waiting…

i’ll be watching the whole thing on my television here in just a bit…

i’m gonna get my journal out and write down my thoughts as he gives his speech…

gotta go watch now…

reality bitten.

November 26, 2008

on our 16 hour car ride from Cape Town, South Africa back to the Thrive base, we somehow got on the topic of slam dancing. that got me thinking back on a music festival in orlando, fl that i went to a few years ago– my first (and only) experience with slam dancing.  bands like underoath and mewithoutyou spurred on the wild thrashing of arms and legs and….body parts… i remember seeing the slam dancing and talking so big about how i was gonna jump into the mix next chance i got.  hahaha.  ok, shan.  get it.  my chance came…directly in front of me some flailing and thrashing started up.  here we go!  sike.  i learned a bit about my instincts in that moment–i turned and ‘ran’! my friends made fun of me for that, and rightly so…

so slam dancing and the reality check that i tend to talk bigger than i dance got me thinkin’… do i have the same tendencies in other areas of my life?  am i quick to talk and slow to act?  yes, i think in many ways, yes… shame.

and i mean, i guess if my first response was to give a swift karate kick to the air and flail around like a banshee when the slam dancing had broken out around me a black eye or bruised hip or broken toe could have resulted— but imagine the contagious energy i would have been part of if i would’ve thrashed!

there are some things i have always thought (and said) i’d be quick to say “yes” to… yet i find myself hesitating, “running”… when i consider the lives of those who said yes to Jesus, I see a faith-response that i wish i could say distinguishes my life, too… but does it in reality?

reality is that i’ve got the doubting symptoms that thomas had…and i’d never have described myself that way…reality bites

good news:  reality is great.  reality is where true transformation can happen…so i’m glad to have been bitten…

the run down

October 26, 2008

this is a story about a shoplifter and his failed attempt at a five-finger discount…

on monday we went to the Super Spar (a grocery store) in the Setsing shopping center in Qwa Qwa, and shortly after we got out of the car two men ran by us, one chasing the other.  the one who was doing the chasing appeared to be trying to hit the other man. they were moving so slowly, however, that i thought it was a sham– I thought they were “play fighting”…nope.  the man doing the chasing caught the other man’s shirt a few feet from us and began hitting him.  Ah! At that point everyone around us had stopped to point, stare, and “oohh, awwww” at these two men who clearly weren’t “play fighting”.  in a burst of adrenaline-aided movement, the shoplifter weaseled away from the other man and took off running again.  by that time other men had joined the chase and were trying to trip the running man.  they eventually did trip him as he was running away, and he landed hard.  the police scooped him up from there.

as if that wasn’t excitement enough, about ten minutes later another shoplifter took off running followed by about 60 onlookers trying to sneak a peak at all the commotion…

before all that excitement took place, me and jace and matt m. got to teach the Leadership Summit coaches and hang out with some high schoolers… although there was nothing like a shoplifting, the time with the coaches was exciting in its own, more legal way:)

New Ripples

October 16, 2008

so last weekend we got to go to Durban, which is on the east coast of South Africa….beautiful city, durban. I can now say that i’ve stuck my toes in the Atlantic, the Pacific, and the Indian Ocean.  I was so excited to see the ocean, to play on the beach; i could have stayed in that ocean and swam all day! Staying on the beach felt like home…(i fell asleep at night to the sound of ocean waves–that’s just how beachside we were).  Every morning a group of us got up early to brave the stinkin strong, ginormous waves of the Indian Ocean.  I caught a glimpse of my arm yesterday and–POW– i actually have new muscle ripples on my arms from all the furious swimming!  For  my family– this Ocean ain’t nothin’ like the Gulf of Mexico where you can take a nice leisurely dip in the sparkling, emerald waters…no siree…once you’re in the waves, it’s a FIGHT to get back on shore–the waves are huge and the undertow strong (and with all the rocks hidden under the crashing waves close to the shore, ya really gotta watch your shin bones when riding a wave).  I loved every bit of it.  We had a blast on that beach.

We went to Durban for a two-day conference…we joined together with hundreds from around South Africa to learn ourselves some leadership…the conference was Willow Creek’s (a church in Chicago, IL) 2008 Leadership Summit. For all of us at the conference in Durban, the Leadership Summit was experienced via recording–the conference actually took place in Chicago in August, I believe; it was recorded, and now nations across the world facilitate the recorded sessions.  I guess it sounds kinda lame that there were no live speakers, but the church did provide a live band and a host, and ultimately the sessions were insightful and we all took away many things that we can apply to our lives.

Thrive Trip Video

October 6, 2008

Ok, so you’ve seen some pictures and heard just a little bit about Thrive Trip, or as I referred to it, the mission- trip-inside- the-mission-trip (this past July I got to be a cabin leader for Thrive Trip, Thrive Africa’s two week mission trip that they host and facilitate…i packed a suitcase and moved out of my own cabin down the mountain into another cabin where i lived with 7 teen-aged girls for two weeks)….well by golly glawry, here is a little visual/audio enjoyment for you…put together by a fellow intern, Matt Moline…well done, sir:)   

if you look closely you might just catch a glimpse of me dancing with a little girl in the background of one of the shots… don’t blink!   Enjoy!


inaugural post!

October 5, 2008

…welcome friends and readers and reader friends, this is where i will journal for the world to see…..

so now that the first post is posted….

here we go!