29 November 2007

The Firm - John Grisham

I just finished John Grisham's second novel, The Firm. I know that this book was written in the early 90's and the movie with Tom Cruise was made soon after, but it seems amazing that there have been SO many changes in the intervening time. In this book, there is no Internet, no cell phones, and simple wire tap surveillance... I mean the book is great, but it just amazed me that things were that different in only15-17 years... the story centers around a genius law student named Mitchell McDeere... Mitch is wooed by a very rich and generous law firm in Memphis, Tennessee... because he grew up in very poor circumstances, he jumps at the chance to move up in the world... but his allegiance to the law firm soon comes into question when he is confronted with the knowledge of murders, the presence of the FBI, and possible tax fraud that swirl
around the the firm of Bendini, Lambert and Locke.

25 November 2007

Loving a Person - Sara Groves

Here are some lyrics that are really sticking in my mind lately... by Sara Groves...

Loving a Person - Sara Groves
Loving a person just the way they are, it's no small thing
It takes some time to see things through
Sometimes things change, sometimes we're waiting
We need grace either way

Hold on to me
I'll hold on to you
Let's find out the beauty of seeing things through

There's a lot of pain in reaching out and trying
It's a vulnerable place to be
Love and pride can't occupy the same spaces baby
Only one makes you free

Hold on to me
I'll hold on to you
Let's find out the beauty of seeing things through

If we go looking for offense
We're going to find it
If we go looking for real love
We're going to find it

22 November 2007

New Rhumba

This is one of my favorite early jazz recordings/videos... from 1959, Miles Davis and the music of Gil Evans... I love seeing Jimmy Cobb playing the drums... he is just one of the coolest looking cats around... at that time nobody wore a goatee (sp?) like that unless they were "on the fringe"... a great song... As talented as Gil Evans was as a composer, I kind of laugh at his conducting style... here is "New Rhumba".

20 November 2007

OSU 14, Michigan 3

It is always good to end the regular season with a win against Michigan... I can remember having a broken heart throughout the 90's when we consistently got our head handed to us by some Michigan running back... nice to be on the other side of that... here is a decent video of it, although I can not stand Aerosmith... defense ruled on both sides (23 punts between the two teams)... you have to love the Vernon Gholston hit on Chad Henne...

Khmer Rouge tribunal holds 1st hearing

There are a few interesting bits in this article about the Khmer Rouge trials finally (?) beginning.... Here is the link... and here is another link...

Water Festival, Motos, New Buildings and more...

Well, this week is the annual Water Festival in Phnom Penh... and yes it is a huge step up from the Lexington Blueberry Festival... Actually the city will swell by, get this, 2 to 3 MILLION PEOPLE! Amazing... it seems that a very large percentage of Cambodia's rural population make the journey to the big city to see the boat races, buy and sell things at discounted prices, go to concerts and just have a regular good 'ole time... I can not imagine it, but I have been told by some people that it is literally packed body to body in many places along the Riverfront... Traffic is already crazy as it is... I can not imagine 2-3 million MORE people being here... I will be taking some pictures as we walk (shuffle?) around....

More moto news... what happens when your arm is nearly healed, there are three people driving two motos, and someone has saved up $600? The answer is, I ended up buying another moto for myself... don't worry... the long story short is that I only own one, sold my other one to someone it worked better for, and bought a Honda... Always stick with Honda...

About a year ago, a friend of Asia's Hope, Narin Chey, began a new church in Phnom Penh. It has been steadily growing, and the current building will not suffice the needs of the congregation. So, Asia's Hope and Gospel Commission Fellowship are partnering to have a rented building to house the church as well as the college students from Asia's Hope. I think that everyone is excited about the change... I saw the house today, and it is in need of a lot of work, but please pray that everything will be needed when it is time for the church to meet there, as well as the students to move in.

At Pannasastra University, I am getting ready to finish my first three month term, and get started on another one. I have learned a lot this term, but I can also see that I can improve. We will have about a week break and then get back to school. I had entertained the idea of coming home to the US for Christmas, but with some things to do with Asia's Hope Christian School, the travel time, trying to cram everything into a short week in the US and then fight jet lag just before going back to teach became a little too overwhelming to battle.It does look like I will be taking a trip back to Vietnam for another visa renewal.

As far as prayer requests, several thousand miles away, my sister has given birth to a second son... to make a very long story short, there are some real concerns with his health. Please pray for him... thank you.

And finally... it always good to have a Buckeyes win over Michigan!

May God bless you with a great Thanksgiving. Graham

14 November 2007

Who is Poirot?

For those of you who have often wondered what Poirot is... here is the trailer from the BBC TV show...

09 November 2007

News and Views and Life, November 2007

November... it really doesn't seem possible that tomorrow I will have been here for 5 months. There have been some really good times and some really rough ones, but in the end, I keep coming back to the fact that as I pray about it, I still feel that God has me where He wants me right now. That is definitely a comfort.

When I first started here this past June, life was necessarily focused around the Asia's Hope trips and serving in the best way that I could there... since then life has been more focused on learning and teaching... learning the Khmer language and teaching the English one...

While teaching has not been very difficult in itself (learning a new curriculum, running a classroom), the schedule has been a little inconvenient at times. No big deal, but my classes stretch over parts of the morning, afternoon and evening... sometimes it has been hard to get needed things done in the "free" times... this current term will be over at the end of this month/beginning of next month (depending on the class)... so I am going to try to get a schedule for the next term that is a little more conducive to getting things done in the evening with the orphans or the college students...

I have continued to study Khmer, and I am indeed getting better at it... I even almost got into an argument with a moto driver in Khmer... almost... anyway, I thank you for your prayers with this as well... sometimes when I pray about what God wants to use me for in Cambodia, one of the things that keeps coming to my mind, is "stick with the language"... don't give up, even when it becomes difficult... I have been spending most of my time learning phonetic conversation, but I am considering beginning to learn the alphabet and some basic spelling soon...

I have been walking through the book of John with the college students, and we are in chapter 4 right now... I know that sometimes they do not grasp every part of it, but I know that it is good to expose them (and myself) to a section by section study of this book.

For those of you who have been praying for my recovery from the moto accident, my arm is doing much better. It has not been easy for the last (almost) 6 weeks... the sling, the wrist (I think that I have some ligament damage in my wrist that will take longer to heal), and the arm itself have all had difficult times... I can not straighten the arm out yet, but it is definitely getting better each week. I will probably be back on moto full time next week... one of the students has been VERY helpful in driving me around to my classes when he is available. This has saved me some money, which I am very grateful for. You can pray for Cambodians as well in this regard... in the last nine months, +/- 1000 Cambodians have died on moto, and +/- 4000 have been in the hospital... that does not even include people like me who just gimp around for a month and half...

I hope that you will also check out my blog... I have put a LOT of pictures on there in the last few weeks... the web address is at the bottom of my email...

I think that is about it for now... thank your for your continued encouragement and prayers... I always enjoy hearing from people... have a great week and may God bless you in every way... Graham

01 November 2007

Let it Be

A classic video of the greatest rock band of all time (please don't debate me on this)... The Beatles at a time when, even though they were at odds almost constantly, were creating some of the greatest rock music... yours to enjoy... maybe I will have a posting sometime that explains why they were and are the greatest ever...