Friday, September 30, 2011

God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.

I've often been told God's timeline of doing things isn't my own. Amen to that. Patience is a virtue for a reason.

I haven’t set many records in my lifetime; however, in the short two months I’ve been here, I’ve already broken more records than I ever would’ve dreamed this girl was capable of.

1. Longest I’ve been out of the country (I knew that was going to happen, but still cool to realize!)
2. Most miles walked in a day for practical reasons
3. Highest number of visits to the post office in a week
4. Longest day streak without a shower
5. Most amount of lizard sightings
6. Most homemade meals

Those are only a few to name, and I'm interested to discover what others await me, but there is now one more to add to the list. A 20-day streak without power. It’s the longest power outage I’ve ever lived through and apparently the longest one in Nkokonjeru (the part of Mbarara we live in) according to missionaries who have spent the last 10 years here. I don’t know if it’s honor to be a part of history or an insult that they decided to wait until we moved in to make that happen. Either way, it’s now a part of my history, and one more thing to add to my record list. Carolyn and I actually did some calculations, and between this record breaking streak and the otherwise “regular” power outages due to load shedding, we’ve spent more time in Mbarara without power than we have with power. I’m hoping and praying that that statistic quickly becomes outdated.

Tonight started out pretty typical as Carolyn and I sat in our lightless kitchen eating dinner. Since it’s Friday, and we haven’t had much to eat without anywhere to store food, we decided to make some cookies to lift our spirits. The first batch had finished baking, so I walked over to the counter to prepare the next round for the oven. Thank goodness for moms who send the cookie mixes! I was carefully dropping the spoonfuls of dough onto the cookie sheet when all of a sudden I saw the most beautiful sight I’d seen in a while.

None other than the little orange light on the coffee pot light lit up. What a glorious sign to show us that power had been restored! Sometimes I really appreciate God’s humor. He knows my heart so well.

Needless to say, the sounds of rejoicing that followed the discovery could be heard throughout all of Mbarara. It took our neighbor all of three minutes to run to our house to see if we’d made the discovery yet. The joy in my heart is still soaring, and I am very much enjoying the lighted living room, fully charged computer, and the cookies :) Can’t wait to step into the hot shower later! As of now, I’m letting the anticipation build.

Living in the moment yields itself new meanings to me every day. To just stop, take a step outside of my life and look, makes me realize what a blessing God has gifted me with to be here in Uganda. I want to make the most of what I've been give whether I am here or in America. While I love thinking about the "greater" themes and meanings and insights of life and what a single moment in time might become on the timeline of my lifetime, today I am simply enjoying this moment. A moment with power in my home is one more moment than I had the last two and a half weeks, and wow, am I cherishing that. It's more than enough to put a smile on my face today.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine.

“Patience pays, but pains,” said the man who earnestly tried, with no success, to fix the generator.

Day 16 without power.

The power company has reported that there isn't a transformer in the country to fix the problem. I don't know what that means as far as ever having power again. Here is a picture of where the previous transformer was located:

Many things about not having power make life simpler. My nights end much earlier because there isn’t a whole lot to do in a pitch black house. I enjoy reading or writing by lantern light, but even after a couple hours of that it’s only 8:30 pm. My cooking skills have also been put to the challenge to see what you can whip up without having any refrigerated items in the house. Yesterday, I was quite delighted in the muffins I whipped up! However, I’m not too prideful to admit that I miss having a charged computer at my house. That being said, my selfish and number one prayer request for the week is that someday very soon either the power will be fixed or the generator will start working.

Every day I am learning, growing and being stretched. I’ve even unconsciously added a few Ugandan mannerisms to my behavior. I don’t know how to describe it, but there is an “Ah!” response you can give in specific situations. Today, I was talking with a young woman and without noticing responded with it. She said, “That was very African of you!” The other day I signaled a boda boda by raising my eyebrows. He looked at me, I raised my eyebrows and he stopped. Absolutely amazing! The use of these little signals helps me to feel a little bit more African, which helps me to feel like I fit in a little more. It is very refreshing to not always stick out like a sore thumb. Now, if only I could master a little more of the language learning, that would help dramatically. It’s very interesting how passionate I am about education, and yet, how poor of a student I am. Something has to change!

Lately, I’ve been challenged to trust God. To trust that He is not only working in me, but using me here. To trust that there will be a day when power lights up the house again. To trust that God's purpose for my life is good. It is a very interesting concept to me because for so many of us it seems so self-explanatory. Duh, why wouldn’t I trust the God of the universe? It’s on American money, “In God we trust.” So basic, and yet so difficult at times. I believe that God is sovereign. He is over all things and in complete control. Because I believe that, that means that everything in my life is at the disposal of His will. Do I trust in God’s goodness? Do I believe that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him …” (Romans 8:28)? I think that God’s “good” and my “good” might look different at times. Can I trust that He wants what is good for me? It’s a hard thing to swallow. Especially in the face of adversity. Especially when you see things in the world that break and claw at your heart. God, are you in control? What a silly question. Yes. He is. And, for whatever that means, I’m willing to make a sincere effort to trust in that.

“If God is for us, then who can be against us?” Romans 8:31

If the God of the universe, the all-powerful and all-knowing God, who is in control of everything is for me, then nothing in all of creation can be against me because it is all working “according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will …” (Ephesians 1:11). How dare I doubt that?!

Last week I was challenged to hold the things entrusted to me with an open hand. After all, they are God’s to give and take away. I pray for peace in entrusting all the things in my hand to God.

And, I also pray for peace that though I do not understand why power is still refusing to enter into our home, that the God of the universe has it under control, and is working in even the tiniest of details out to the conformity of His will.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

All your works praise you, Lord

Growing up in Waterloo, Nebraska, I went to Waterloo Public School from kindergarten through my freshman year of high school. The whole kindergarten through twelfth grade school was in one building and had less than 150 students combined. On days that I discovered we were having a pep rally, assembly, or a speaker I was filled with excitement. I loved watching the entire school file into the gymnasium to listen to either idolized upperclassmen or the highlighted speaker for the afternoon.

Martise Ivy is a name none of you probably recognize. Yet, I remember being in middle school and listening to the WNBA player speak to us about motivation and striving for excellence. As I sat there I was transfixed by her words of encouragement and believed with all that I was I could persevere to become what I wanted to be. At that time, I think I was hoping to play in the Olympics for the U.S.A. Women’s Hockey Team. I remember thinking to myself how cool it would be to motivate students the way she was with my words.

This weekend I got to live my long lost childhood dream, not by playing in the Olympics, but by speaking to an assembly of girls at Kyiezooba Girls’ Secondary School about the God I love and worship.

Saturday morning, Seb, Primrose and I piled into a matatu (taxi bus) that we tracked down near the post office. These public taxis are designed to hold 12-15 passengers; however, it isn’t uncommon to see 25 people packed in. I was pleased when ours had 20 passengers. When I was ushered into the front seat, I breathed a heavy sigh of relief. Despite that fact that the front seat is typically the most dangerous in the event of an accident, it was a risk I was willing to take. Only so many people can squeeze up there making my ride a little less uncomfortable than those sandwiched in the back. After a rather uneventful and quick ride, we arrived at our destination and were welcomed by the administration of the school. We enjoyed a Ugandan lunch, and then the three of us were led to the hall where the fellowship we would be speaking at would take place. I was informed that the crowd I was speaking to would be of about 200 girls. As I entered the hall, I was greeted with the sound of ethnic drums and an array of beautiful praise songs. It didn’t take long to realize the entire hall was packed, making the audience closer to 800 girls. What an introduction to public speaking.

Praise be to God that I was comfortable and confident before them! It was a touching moment when I realized that I had once dreamed about being a public speaker, and that dream was coming true in Uganda. God works in such unique ways and truly loves to give us the desires of our hearts!

The weekend was such a delight for me. After our speeches that afternoon, we retreated for tea before going back to meet with girls individually. As girls lined up to ask questions, seek advice and share their hearts, I was overwhelmed at the responsibility that comes with leadership. Truly a humbling experience and it made me realize my true level of dependency on God.

Saturday evening ended with a viewing of “Evan Almighty”. The sound system made the dialogue of the movie difficult to hear, so we tried putting on the captions. Despite how bad the sound was, in this “Ugandan version” of the movie the captions were worse. Quickly, we turned them off, but the girls chanted for them to be put back up. I don’t know if the movie itself was more entertaining or the awful interpretation of English that accompanied it.

I know I’ve spoken more than my share about my dismay for the many English variations here, but as the only American on this weekend excursion, my language patience was put to the ultimate test. The chaplain of the school continuously commented on my “complex” American accent. It made me want to pull my hair out. Doesn’t everyone know that Americans from the Midwest speak the clearest, least accented English in the entire world?!

Sunday morning, Seb gave the message and took advantage of opportunities to share truth. Following the sermon, we gave girls another chance to ask questions and discuss. It was so encouraging to be able to counteract lies with truth!

As our weekend in Kyeizooba came to a close, we were asked to visit and share an encouraging word with a family who had lost a son that week. I was very thankful that I wasn’t the one to share because I don’t know what you say in a moment like that.

Back in Mbarara, the power is still out. More rumors have circulated through as to the cause of it, but the most commonly confirmed one is that of the children throwing stones at the transformer. Our neighbor reported yesterday that Sunday there was a heated conversation that took place up the road between disgruntled civilians and the power company. Promises have been made that the problem will be fixed this week. I’m not holding my breath.

Yesterday, I discovered a little joint in town called “California Nails”. I had my first Ugandan pedicure, and I was overjoyed! It was a treasure of a find.

This week I’ve also discovered another pearl in town...a coffee shop! Yesterday, I went there to hide out for a while and have some quiet time. The owner sat down with me to talk about coffee shops in America. He went on to tell me about his difficulty in learning to steam milk. I jumped at the opportunity to offer my assistance, and today I went back to experiment with their espresso machine! The owner told me that anytime I’m in there and want to make my own creation, I’m more than welcome! How exciting! I think I may have just found myself a recreational job for the next year!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Let light shine out of darkness.

For anyone that knows me well, you know that I’ve often expressed my dream to travel the Oregon Trail. That dream is dead.

Every day I’m without power, I realize how much I enjoy the modern convenience of having it. Don’t misunderstand me, I still enjoy writing by lantern light, enjoying candlelight dinners with Carolyn and having it absolute dark at night. But, hauling my laptop places to charge it (only to have it die an hour later), cold showers, and rotten vegetables just aren’t floating my boat these days.

As tough as I think I am, I praise God that I’m not in the African bush, and that I’m not living in the days of the great American frontier.

Rumor has it power will be out for a month. I’m not sure how dependable word of mouth is around here, but I don’t think there are other sources to rely on either, so we’ll see. While the power outages we were previously experiencing every other night were due to what is called “load shedding”, this power outage has two possible causes. One rumor going around is that somebody stole a piece of the transformer. Must’ve needed a little extra cash. The other circulating story is that children were throwing rocks at the transformer and broke it. Either one of those makes the situation a little bit more frustrating because both are completely preventable! On the positive side, because it was just the transformer in our area, it has literally affected our home and maybe 10 others. The rest of Mbarara is still up and running. Therefore, other members of our team have power and have been extremely hospitable to those of us without. I’m not sure if there is a “greater purpose” for this experience or not. However, I find it a little bit strange that we have a generator in our backyard that’s main purpose is to tease us. The generator fires up and runs perfectly fine, except that for some reason it isn’t delivering power to our house. I’m hoping whatever lesson I’m supposed to learn from this experience hits me quickly so things can return to “normal”.

Some creatures I haven’t quite adjusted to yet here are the lizards. Despite my attempts to keep my bedroom door closed and the doors in and out of the house closed, the sneaky monsters find a way in. Fortunately for me, I’ve acquired a brotherly relationship with the young man who lives on our compound in a little house of his own. Justus has had to come remove a lizard or two from my room and is no longer shocked to hear my screams due to the unexpected sighting of one. The other night he popped in to talk, and I saw a lizard. “Justus!” I yelled. He went ahead and shooed the lizard out, and then sat me down to talk. He proceeded to tell me that he would commit me to his prayers that I would learn to better appreciate God’s creation. After all, God did create man and told him specifically to look after the rest of creation, including the “cute” lizards. I don’t want to underestimate God, but I think it might take a few more of you praying for this to become a reality.

Other than those minor inconveniences, life in Mbarara is going well. Every Wednesday and Friday afternoon, Carolyn and I have the pleasure of spending a couple of hours with our friend Sophie who has become our language teacher. Sophie was one of the first Ugandans we met in Mbarara when she approached us our first Sunday at church. Her smile was contagious then, and keeps me smiling every time I’m with her. Sophie is a patient teacher, and she has to be with my delayed ability to learn language. In the time we’ve been able to spend with her, we have learned much more from her than just language. Last Wednesday, as we were finishing up our language lesson, we were talking about dancing and having a girls’ night where I teach the Ugandans country line dances and they teach me and Carolyn traditional Ugandan dances. That is when Sophie saw the drum in our living room. It didn’t take long for her to fire up her rhythm and begin a traditional beat. It was a fun afternoon trying to catch on and learn a few steps to go along with it. Sophie’s patience prevailed as we can now keep the traditional beat for about ten seconds without her help. One more thing to add to my list of things to continue learning.

While I tend to struggle a bit with language learning in Runyankole, I think it is even more challenging to communicate in English. I think the major contributing factor is that you would think it would be easy to converse in a country that has named English as one of its national languages. However, despite common knowledge there are many variations of my mother tongue. Coming here, I knew that Uganda had been colonized by the British. I expected to come into a culture that used British English, so I was prepared for something a little bit different. Ugandan English is not a little bit different. There is already a cultural gap between me and my British teammates. I’ve had to have a few conversations with them to let them know it is not okay to greet me in the morning with their popular saying, “Are you alright?” It makes me wonder what appears to be wrong with me. Yet, Ugandan English feels like a different language altogether. Many times I wonder what I’ve said that day that was interpreted in a completely different way than I intended. I try to speak slowly, but that only gives the impression that I don’t know what I’m talking about. It’s amazing how many people try to explain English words to me as if it isn’t my first language. I feel more self-conscious speaking English than I do Runyankole, and I only know about 15 words in that language.

That being said, this weekend I’m travelling out of town to Kyizoba for a conference at an all girls’ secondary school. It’ll be my first large group speaking engagement, so any prayers you want to devote to it would be very much appreciated! I look forward to updating you all on the experience.

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.” Colossians 4:2-4

That, my friends, is my prayer for this weekend. Feel free to deviate as you feel led :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Give me oil in my lamp. Keep me burning.

Give me oil in my lamp. Keep me burning.

The lyrics from my childhood are permeating my brain as I fill my kerosene lantern and pray that it will last another night.

For the last 36 hours Carolyn and I, along with everyone else who lives on our road, have been without power. Unfortunately, there is no light in sight.

Yesterday, I poured coffee grounds into the machine, carefully measured out the precise amount of water and added it in. Excited to enjoy a hot cup of freshly brewed joy, I flipped the switch to brew my coffee. Much to my disappointment, nothing happened. Right, I thought. No power. It was at this point in time that I was thankful for my 4 years of barista training at Scooter’s coffeehouse. I resorted to other methods of brewing coffee and still enjoyed my hot cup of delight.

The other day Carolyn and I were sitting in our dining room enjoying our self-proclaimed, Craft Day. As we were exerting our God-given, not necessarily gifted, art skills we heard a loud buzzing sound. We looked at each other wondering what we had just heard. “Could that have been a doorbell?” Carolyn asked. As quickly as the sound had interrupted our thoughts, it was gone and we got back to work. Yesterday, we were sitting out on the front porch and Carolyn found a button that slightly resembled a door bell. Could this be the source of the mystery sound we heard?! Carolyn pressed it, and I volunteered to go inside and listen for any possible sound. As she pressed it, and I anxiously awaited, I peered back outside. Nothing. Right, I thought again. No power. Whether or not we have a door bell and if that was the sound we heard remains an unsolved mystery as of now.

The past hours have also been a reminder of how dependent I am on modern conveniences. I had begun to think I was doing well without many conveniences such as not having a car, having to be home before dark, and power outages every other night. However, in this continuous power outage, I’ve realized how many conveniences I still have when the power is on and how much I enjoy them.

Fortunately for me, there are members on our team who live just down the hill and have a generator! God is good. All the time.

One question that I’ve been challenged with since being here is what church is going to be my home this year. It’s a very interesting thing to think through and experience, especially in a culture that is not your own. As I continue to ponder what my purpose is in attending church and what I am hoping to see through being involved in a church, I’ve had the opportunity to visit many different places of worship. This previous Sunday I went to a service held at an all-girls boarding school. My intention in going there wasn’t necessarily for church, but to connect with some of the young women at the school. What a blessing it turned into to worship with these girls. Hundreds of young women worshipping God. It was a blast. At one point in the worship, the dancing intensified. I thought to myself, what triggered that? The look on my face must’ve said it because the person next to me whispered, “This is a traditional dance beat here.” The enthusiasm behind the way they worshipped was contagious. It was alive. It was a blessing to be in their midst.

The answer to my question still remains open, and that’s okay. Just like so many other things here, I take it day by day. God is sovereign and is working in me in more ways that I alone can see. I was reading a book today about faithfulness. The author was addressing a reader’s concern in being faithful to one person forever. The author responded, “Can you be faithful to that person today?” The reader responded, “Well, of course I can today. It’s the future that I’m worried about.” The author then said, “Life is just a series of todays over and over again.” And, I’m going to let that be my response to living, too. I don’t have to have the answers for what is going to happen 3 months from now or 3 years from now. But, can I be faithful to what God is asking me to do today? Yes. And, the rest will take care of itself.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Live by faith, not by sight.

Well, today was my first day as the official home school teacher of one of the missionary children on the team, Dara!

My morning started off on an interesting note when I awoke from dreams of a Scooter’s carmelicious and a Relevant Sunday service. If anyone can figure out how to package me up one of those delicious treats and send it my way, I’d be very much appreciative! My dream was so realistic; I could taste the smoothness of the espresso, the cold of the whip cream, and the warmth of the perfectly steamed milk. It was even a medium, a 16 ounce, my favorite size. Ah, it was, of course, too good to be true. As for my dream about Relevant, I hope and pray that the faces I saw in my dream really will be there one day!

After rising to reality, I walked over to the Skinner’s house to begin the school year. It was my first time walking that distance, and I was so proud that I could navigate the entire way. I knew that they lived on a hill, but that hill seemed much more like a mountain as I climbed it with five books on my back. A nice way to get a little extra morning exercise, I guess.

The day went smoothly and filled me with so much excitement for the year! There is just something so strong that ticks within me about education. I crave it! So, having the opportunity to do some teaching is such a blessing.

I realized last night that I still have a long way to go as far as acclimating myself to Africa. It’s usually just when I think I’m adjusting that I’m not. Yesterday, I found a gecko in my room. I’ve been trying so hard to keep those squirmy things out and alas to no avail. I purposefully keep my door closed and quickly shut it behind me when entering and leaving. It was a crushing blow to find the lizard in my room. Low and behold, the faithful young man who lives behind us came to save the day when I called for him. Through what seemed like a treacherously long search for the little monster, we found him. He was, not so kindly, escorted out of my bedroom and not welcomed back!

This week is really kicking off my daily life here as my schedule is filling up with homeschooling, discipleship meetings, and language learning. I would really appreciate prayer for clarity on how to best focus my time while I’m here.

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly as I should.” Ephesians 6:18-20

I don’t know all of the details of what I’m doing here, but I would love prayer for strength that no matter where I am I would be able to speak fearlessly and in truth the gospel message.

“When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.” Luke 12:11-12

“This is my command: Love each other.” John 15:17

I pray that no matter where I am or what I am doing that it would all be out of love.

"We live by faith, not by sight." 2 Corinthians 5:7

I have faith that even though I can't see what God is using me for that I am bringing glory to Him.

I also have faith that even though I can't see it now, I will have that caramelicious in my hand as I walk into Relevant Community Church one day. Until then I'll keep dreaming :)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Tell me and I'll forget. Show me, and I may not remember. Involve me, and I'll understand.

Many, many topics ignite fiery passion within me, but one that never fails to yield a strong opinion on my behalf is that of education. As school is starting back up in America and students here in Uganda prepare to enter their third term, the part of me that loves to teach is stirring for action.

Last, Saturday I discovered that Sunday after church I would have the opportunity to travel 2 ½ hours to a village out in the Kamwenge district of Uganda to stay for a few days. Typically, home stays for our team members are done closer to Mbarara, but because our unit leader knew Beth, a teacher with vision and knowledge that gives life to education, Carolyn and I were blessed with the chance to stay with her. Not only did I have the wonderful counsel of Beth on the subject of school education, but I lived a hands-on experience of what it takes to live in Africa.

After spending 3 days in Kamwenge village with that woman and sharing and learning from her, my fire for education has been relit.

Beth is involved in a ministry that was inspired by a local man here in Mbarara. His vision for the people in Kamwenge is contagious. Especially when you see his inspiration and motivation behind everything they are doing in that village. Beth has begun a primary school that in just one year has wrangled in more than 50 local children. In addition to the early education primary school, Kamwenge Secondary Vocational School is also located on the same plot of land. Here, students are challenged to go through the formal education system or to engage in vocational industries. In everything that is happening in this village, sharing the love of Jesus Christ is at the center. In only a few short days of being out there, I was reminded of what my motivation for every second of every day should be! Sharing the love of Christ and making disciples.

During my time there, I was able to experience some of the “real Africa”. I learned to cook over a charcoal stove in the great outdoors. Making chapatti, boiling water, cooking g-nut sauce… whatever is baked, fried, or steamed, it all happens over the fire.

I walked like an African woman as we traveled from place to place on foot. During our walks, I observed African village life and practiced my struggling Runyankole with the locals. The smiles on their faces never fail to bring me joy when I greet them in their language. However, I’ve noticed that I know just enough of an introduction to make them think I know the language. It’s very deceptive. As soon as they begin responding, I’m lost. But, this upcoming week I’m going to begin language learning again, hopefully it will take root in my brain! Much to my delight, at the end of our stay with Beth, we were dubbed with the title of “Real African Women”. Women of Africa are “women of substance”, therefore, the honor was one that was not easily earned and is of high value to me!

Out of all of the wonderful experiences I had among Beth’s family and village, my favorite memories are from our evening fellowships. Between singing along to a live recording of Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton and practicing our African speeches through role playing, the laughs we shared will not be soon forgotten. Culture is an interesting thing, and my thoughts about it are continually evolving. So many different factors contribute to what makes up a culture and though we are separated by so many of those things, the love of Jesus Christ and universal qualities of humankind unite us.

Discussing Ugandan education with Beth, reminded me of how much I truly care about it worldwide. I don’t care what people say, I think there is some inherit value in learning alone. There is power to it. I believe the more we know, the smaller we become and the more we are aware of how much we actually don’t know. While there is power in education and it holds the keys to so many of the world’s issues, the vastness of it leads me back to our Savior. There is so much to understand, and the more I try to understand it, the more I become aware of the greatness of my Creator. It is only through Him that I am able to comprehend anything at all! Truly all learning is a gift, and I will continue to seek it! If you think you have a grasp on education, I would venture to say you’ve missed the point of it. The second that you think you can understand the many wonders of our God, is the moment that you’ve created a different god. He’s simply too infinite to understand.

“My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds, of your saving acts all day long – though I know not how to relate them all. I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, Sovereign Lord; I will proclaim your righteous deeds, yours alone. Since my youth, God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come.” Psalm 71:15-18

“By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place; by his knowledge the deeps were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew. My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck.” Proverbs 3:19-22

“For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding… Then you will understand what is right and just and fair – every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your sou. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you…” Proverbs 2:8, 9-11