Sheri McConnell: April 2006

Saturday, April 29

Washington, DC

Have been in DC since Wednesday Night, it has been an incredible time. Have connected with an organization called 'International Justice Mission' www.ijm.org

Absolutely incredible the work that is going on through the ministry of these lives in the areas of slavery, human trafficking, citizenship rights, childhood prostitution. Andrey Sawchenko my dear cousin, is the Director of operations for the Thailand base in Chiang Mai. He and his wife Jen moved there approx. a year and half ago and the work that is happening over there and in many other countries of the world is so incredible! Currently, I am at the annual global prayer gathering for IJM and for the first couple of days David, Doug and I met with a few key IJM leaders to talk about various partnership ways that we can work together in the area of Justice as this is a personal mandate from the Lord that we are putting our hands to in the context of what we are pioneering in our current Los Angeles context (Basileia) and then into the International scope. Of course we also spent a full day/evening touring DC -wow what a place! The monuments/museums/parks/waterfront and restaurants (Georgetown). Definately a fun day was had!!

Today so far I have spent time in the prayer rooms with IJM Thailand, Rwanda, Kolkutta and the UK. Tonight we are gathering together for worship/prayer and then late tonight heading over to 'the capital' for a night vigil of prayer.

It has been a "extra special blessing" to be able to hang with Andrey/Jen, Marilyn and Lou. There are new things that the Lord is stirring in my heart and a reminder again of that which He already placed in my heart years ago.

Thank you Jesus!

Note: Be sure to pick up a copy of Gary Haughn's book "The Good News About Injustice". A definate must read.

If you are a believer of Christ - your heart and life compass must be focused towards Justice.
The worship of Christ and mandate of His mission for us as His followers leaves no room for compromise or inactivity in this area. We must be men and women who seek God and who seek Justice. This is integral to the life of a follower of Christ! Micah 6:8, Isa. 5:6-8,12/Psalm 37/Psalm 12/Mathew 23
Sheri at 11:32 AM
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Tuesday, April 25

Pictures -Part 2






I couldn't upload them all in one hit - so here are some more! Enjoy
Sheri at 8:39 AM
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Pictures






Here ya' go - a few of my pad and also our new hang "The Loft" also really known as our "Living Room" a place of sanctuary!
Sheri at 8:34 AM
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Thursday, April 20

Thanks James

your email of a couple weeks ago really spoke into my heart! I have been meaning to write you back - it is coming soon. This quote you sent me has really captured something in me ... I am still thinking through it...Thank you. I really appreciate the way you think and then in turn walk it out. You are an inspiration. Blessings.

Your friend.

"We have been silent witnesses of evil deeds; we have been drenched by many storms; we have learnt the arts of equivocation and pretense; experience has made us suspicious of others and kept us from being truthful and open; intolerable conflicts have worn us down and even made us cynical. Are we still of any use?" - Dietrich Bonhoeffer, After Ten Years, 1932.
Sheri at 12:17 PM
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Wednesday, April 19

LABELS

Ok ... So, I have really been thinking about this whole topic lately. LABELS.

The concept of "labels". Why is it that it is so easy to "label" people and the expectations or the lack thereof they as individuals will or will not fulfill in our life. Our humanity and survival instincts seem to easily box or stereotype the mix of our day to day relationships so quickly and so conveniently. I can so easily assess, rub shoulders with an individual and quickly figure out where this person will fit into my world (that is if they make "the cut") based on looks, interests and personality. Does this person "fit" what I deem as a current need or desire in my life -now? Funny, how we perhaps don't particularly assimilate thought this way in approaching individuals and yet if one was to analyze it even just a little bit - isn't this what we do every day by our actions or expressions in one way or another with each other? Whether it is the grocery clerk, the homeless person on the street, an old friend or new acquaintance. Labels. Boxes. Stereotypes.

I have been thinking how I can so easily miss the richness of the gift of a conversation or a life so far beyond even my expectation of the moment or perceived "take away".

I so want to walk into each conversation not assuming the ending or the conclusion of a conversation but, take in the whole narrative and all the little bits in between. I want to reach for "the mystery" and the gifts that emerge out of a new encounter and in an old relationship. I want to hear the musings and uncover a new dynamic of a stirring soul.

In many ways I feel like I am on the receiving end of labels which deem me capable or incapable of regard, intimacy, relationship, desire, longing and honesty. It is angered me as of late cause often it feels like it borders on an injustice of it's own accord. Though I have to say ...my current thought through this process is tho' I cannot change another human thought or opinion towards me. I can change my heart to how I respond to others and so this is therefore my heart response in the midst of this current frustration.

I had a new friend call me out of the blue a couple weeks ago -just to talk. He didn't want anything in particular. He wasn't looking for some insight, answer or resolve. He just wanted to talk. It caught me off-guard cause I remember getting off the phone and asking myself mmm...I wonder what so and so wanted? and then i realized that he gave me a gift in that moment of conversation. A gift that I feel is so rare in my life. He just wanted to talk, have a laugh, shoot the breeze, catch up and perhaps in those moments of innocence, a deeper-far more rarer gift would be found. I know that I found a gift. I found it in his phone call that day and it poured over my soul in such a rich way.

The longing "to know" and then in turn to truly "be known" - it is in all of us. There is a treasure in your soul that is waiting to be unlocked and given away, just as it is in each one who we meet. Sometimes it is awkward, perhaps a little uncomfortable but, as I look over my life I see that if I am willing to search for that which is so rare in the life of one who is in front of me a whole new world is opened up that is beautiful and unique. Funny how many times the very "thing" that has connected us together is not even the gift that the Lord wants to give us in the midst of the connect. It is so much deeper - far more rare - definately at times difficult to find but, if we can push to the core of the soul and that which stirs the deep places there is a piece that will awaken, bring life, refresh, push us past our selfish motives and agendas. We will come alive in and through relationship in depth and meaning. Perhaps being able to give and receive love in a way that is more pure and available. Perhaps being the face, hands and voice of understanding, life and love. At least I can honestly say, I really hope so. I want the labels gone, the boxes shattered. This is my prayer right now... To uncover the mystery's of a human soul and to be uncovered in all it's complexities and mystery.
Sheri at 12:26 AM
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Sunday, April 16

Busy Busy Girl ...

'Tis the season ...or should I say month for being busy!

Xpuctoc Vockpec! (from russian translation "Christ is Risen!")
Happy Easter everyone!

As I say above this month has been super busy hence the reality that I have not updated my blog for some time. Thank you to everyone who have been praying for this young adult girl whom anita and I have befriended and working with. No further updates as of yet however, I will keep you posted as circumstances evolve and gradually unfold.

I was in Yuba City last wknd. (45 minutes outside Sacramento) with a great group of people who were hosting an arts conference with David and a small team from Basileia. This past week my parents sailed in from Abbotsford, Canada. I met them in San Diego for a couple days where we visited with family/friends and took in a day at SeaWorld! Funfun... we headed back up to LA this past friday and spent the wknd. transforming my patio -literally! It went from one big cement block to a really nice little area, bistro patio table and chairs included (an early birthday present). It is so nice now ... breakfast on the patio takes on a whole new meaning! Thanks mom and dad -you guys seriously rock! (PS. as soon as mom sends me some of the pictures -I will post them up here on the blog for you all to see-cause I know most of you have not seen my place)

Last night, we celebrated mom and dad's 40th anniversary at an amazing steakhouse called 'Houstons' in Pasadena. Hard to believe 40 years wow ... perhaps I am not the only one but, my parents have been frozen in time a few years back so, to think "40 years" yikes reminds me firstly that I am getting older ...which funny enough -I have myself freeze framed a few years back to 20 something! hahaha ... is that always what happens? Though it also causes me to think WOW- 40 years to be married to the same person and actually enjoy being married to the same person is such a beautiful testimony to this sacred covenant! My brother Kevin and I have been priviledged to be raised in a godly family where stability and the word 'divorce' was never an option! I pray that one day I too will model this type of covenant. What a blessing!

Tonight we had dinner with David and Anita -which was a highlight for my parents to meet and get to know 2 very dear friends who I have partnered with down here and now we are home and they are busy packing to begin their next leg of the final part of this journey. The amtrack train first thing tomorrow morning! One thing I have to say is that our family sure knows how to do holidays up right! Perhaps this is where my travelling bug was birthed...:)

Tomorrow will be regroup/cleaning/laundry day and then Tuesday AM I have 3 friends coming in from Canada who are dancing on our next live recording and DVD project upcoming next month. We are taking this week as a creative prep/ground laying and breaking for our community here. Should be a very FULL and yet FUN week! Can hardly wait to see more fellow Canadian friends.

Gotta jet ...time to load up some luggage into my car.
love to you all. peaceout a town!
Sheri at 6:34 PM
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