11.25.07

We’re thinking of naming it “quattro”

Posted in family, kids at 3:56 pm

Well, the news is slowly leaking out, so we might as well tell the world.

Baby’s First Photo

A surprise to us all … baby number four is on the way. Due June 18th. We’re learning all about the Italian health care system

11.24.07

I accidentally said something intelligent

Posted in church, culture at 6:53 pm

During a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner, I started telling my friend about another friend who I am attempting to tutor in English. I know nothing about teaching English, and I think I’m convinced that knowing how to speak English is not enough to know how to teach it. Anyway, my friend knows English grammar better than I do (I think he likes to play “Stump the Teacher”), and I commented how I think he needs to quit studying and just talk.

Jason stopped me with that “Quick! Get a pen! look in his eyes.” He said in many ways that is the situation we face here in Italy. Lots of people who know a little (or a lot) about Christianity, but who really need to stop learning about the Gospel, and start living the Gospel. Which is really what our Life Groups are all about. We want to place less emphasis on being Bible-smart, and give people a chance to be accountable to each other, and care for each other, and use their gifts.

Not bad for an accidentally-intelligent thing, huh?

11.11.07

The Authority of a Stranger

Posted in church, culture at 12:20 pm

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day about leading a church as a foreigner here in Italy. I told him that our plan all along has been to train Italians to take over as soon as possible. We know that no matter how hard we try, anything that we do here is still going to have a hint of “American” in it. And so we think it’s wise to let Italians take over so that they can plant a truly Italian (the missionary word is indigenous) church.

My friend stopped me and said that he disagreed. He said as foreigners, we can say things to Italians that another Italian couldn’t say. In a sense, we have an authority that an Italian wouldn’t have.

I’m pretty sure that I disagree with him. But I do see his point. Jesus himself said that a prophet is without honor in his own town (Mark 6:4). Maybe initially a foreigner would have more authority over someone “home grown.” But I would think that there would be a point where the foreigner simply can’t learn to relate to the culture anymore. And at that point, I think the native takes over and goes where the foreigner can’t. Or maybe it’s backwards. I’m not really sure. But I’d love to keep talking about it (pssstt… that means you should leave an insightful comment). :)

11.03.07

Vegetables as Expletives

Posted in kids, language at 4:56 pm

I have to say it … one of the most fascinating parts of learning Italian has been learning the more colorful phrases. Obviously, our kids have picked up some pretty good ones. There’s an expression in Italian: Che cavolo! Literally, what cabbage! It’s not a bad thing to say, and in fact is even a sort of childish expression. It’s probably closest in English to “What on earth?” or maybe “Oh my!” But it’s a hard thing to translate.

Except for Trey, who I heard say in English the other day (without batting an eye), “What cabbage!”