The Encouraging Word Blog
Author: Rich Rudowske Created: 7/30/2007 9:14 PM
Welcome to the blog! Our family will post updates, musings, and other fun stuff from our experiences in Botswana to work in the ministry of Bible Translation.

Planning & Experience
By Rich Rudowske on 4/25/2008 8:48 PM

"We plan life looking forward and experience it looking backward."  Kierkegaard

This week has given me pause to plan on what's coming up next - I got our U-haul trailer rented for an end of July move to Saint Louis, got several speaking engagements for the summer on the calendar, and got a checklist of things we must do at minimum six months before departure for Botswana.  Doing a lot of planning right now - looking forward.

This week also gave me pause to look back - to recall fondly my experiences as Associate/Administrative Pastor at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Kettering OH - to feel joy at changes that I got to see in people's lives - to feel satisfaction about things that I had a hand in starting or facilitating - to feel a feeling I don't know how to name about things that were unrealized opportunities.  On Tuesday, Emmanuel received a new associate pastor at the seminary call day - another Richard - Richard Sc ...

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The Redemptive Nature of Leviticus
By Rich Rudowske on 4/18/2008 10:03 PM

I know that is not the most engaging title for a blog entry, but as Christopher and I continue our chapter by chapter reading of the Bible, we finished up the book of Exodus this week and began the book of Leviticus.  When I was pastoring at Emmanuel, I had a few folks at various points decide to start reading through the entire Bible, which is a significant decision to make.  And they would start at Genesis and cruise along pretty good - Creation, Cain & Abel, the flood, Tower of Babel, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph.  All Sunday school stuff for the most part, although there are more details there that don't make the Sunday school curriculum (with good reason).  Then people get to Exodus.  No biggie - you saw the movie with Charlton Heston.  Then Leviticus.  Very detailed instructions on how to do various ritual sacrifices and rites.  VERY detailed.  And that was where most of my readers would sort of peeter out ...

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Keep Moving Forward
By Rich Rudowske on 4/11/2008 10:50 PM

Dumela rra (to the gents) or Dumela mma (to the ladies),

The end of another week.  I returned from my whirlwind speaking stop in Ann Arbor MI on Sunday evening and hit the ground running to finish the session here at GIAL.  I finished strong, and after a long nap, finished some more on Wednesday, enjoying a break before starting class again on Thursday.  New slogan:  GIAL - We don't need no stinkin' breaks!

This session I am taking Semantic Analysis and Language Program Design and Management.  That will wrap up advanced training when it finishes in June.  As mentioned previously, Maya finished her pre-field lingusitics work on Tuesday (Woot!) and is enjoying being mom again.  She will take a two week Primary Health Care course near the end of June, but that will be more hands on and less book.

We have fire ants invading our lawn and I think the time is come that I will have to en ...

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Grace & Peace
By Rich Rudowske on 4/1/2008 10:33 PM

Some of you have noticed that we sign a lot of our correspondence with 'Grace & Peace' before our names.  The Apostle Paul began everyone of his letters with those words, 'grace and peace'.  It was an interesting twist on the standard greeting in greek 'xarin'.  Instead, he says 'xaris kai iraynay' - grace and peace.  I got to thinking, What if we always started everything with grace and peace?  What if in our approach to each other, in our greetings and parting ways we began and ended with the foundation of grace and peace?  Of course grace and peace have become words that sound churchy but really have lost their impact in my opinion.  Grace - iraynay - means God's undesevered favor and love to you, God's goodwill, which he has always had for you, may you experience that.  It means joy, satisfaction, fulfillment, contentment, every good thing.  And Peace - iraynay or Hebrew shalom - meaning peace and wholeness i ...

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Spring 08 Newsletter Posted
By Rich Rudowske on 3/26/2008 4:08 AM

 Howdy all you faithful blog readers.  A special note to you that the Spring 08 Encouraging Word Prayer letter has been posted on the 'Newsletters' Tab.  The rest of the e-world won't find out about it until April 1st.  Don't ya just love being an insider? 

Enjoy!

Rich & Maya

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Christ is Risen!
By Rich Rudowske on 3/24/2008 10:26 PM

May we who live in the post-resurrection of Christ era of world history ever be mindful that each day we waken, we may still proclaim that Jesus Christ is Risen Today - Hallelujah!  This is the Day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!  Our family had a great day celebrating the resurrection from the sunrise service and breakfast at our church to the Easter egg hunt with the Youth Group to the sabbath rest of Sunday afternoon.  What joy there is in Easter!  As we pick up our vocations of students and missionaries in training, we do so anew and refreshed (recentered?) in our place as people of God living in the light of the resurrection.  The course of the universe changed that first Easter and we are free to live our lives in joyful response as He leads.  May I keep that in mind as I finish papers and presentations and travel to speak - all of this finds its roots in Easter - for if Christ is not raised it is all foolishness, b ...

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Just Like You
By Rich Rudowske on 3/20/2008 4:22 AM

This past weekend was not one of my finest.  I was sick.  Every muscle associated with coughing ached from overuse.  My coursework was falling behind.  I had PD stuff to plan.  And I just felt bad.  And when I got home on Saturday evening I felt really bad.  And I was mean to my family, had a real short temper, and just not real pleasant to be around.  Not my finest showing.

Thankfully, my family is flexible and very forgiving.  And on Monday, Joshua and I were playing around and out of the blue he looks at me with those wide blue eyes and says, "I want to be just like you, Dad!"  Can you imagine?!  Just like me?!  That's like the LAST thing I would wish on anybody!  But I scooped that little dude up and gave him a hug at which time he was acting super silly and I said to him, "I think you already might be, a little."< ...

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Cross Cultural Incident
By Rich Rudowske on 3/13/2008 10:29 PM

Yup,

You read that right.  Not cross-cultural 'experience'.  Cross-cultural 'incident'.  Thursday evening we trekked across the street to the home of our new neighbors Absalom and Esther.  Absalom is a pastor from Tanzania, East Africa and Eshter is his wife.  Absalom has been here in the United States for four and a half years.  His wife and two sons were finally able to join him here last month.  Maya and Absalom had spoken with each other and agreed on a time that they wanted to have us over.  'Tomorrow' he had told her on Wednesday afternoon.

So, we showed up at the door and knocked.  Esther answered the door and said, "Oh how wonderful come in, come in, so good to see you and we all introduced ourselves and she took our coats and we talked for a little bit and she showed us into the living room where she invited us to sit, and the kids were all playing and she spoke w ...

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Back in the Saddle
By Rich Rudowske on 3/7/2008 12:36 AM

It's been an unusual week here in big D.  We had snow on Monday night.  At 10PM.  And the whole neighborhood came alive with kids going out to build snowmen etc.  It was very excellent packing snow.  It's supposed to snow again tonight.  Meanwhile I have been battling the biggest head and chest cold that has ever descended upon me.  It is just taking a while to run its course, and although I was slowed down by it some the last couple of days, I am feeling quite a bit better today.

But that's not the reason I called this entry 'Back in the Saddle'.  I called it that because I was blessed with the opportunity to preach at our church home away from home this past Sunday - Faith Lutheran, Grand Prairie TX www.faithlutherantx.org

It was such a good feeling to have the opportunity to preach and share the gospel with God's people.& ...

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Compromises
By Rich Rudowske on 2/29/2008 1:06 AM

The word compromise generally has a negative connotation like if you engage in this activity you are selling out on what you really believe and so if you really believed it you would fight for it to the bitter end.  One of the most joyful aspects of my week is teaching my son and as we have studied American History - just turning the corner on the close of the 1700's and into the early 1800's the thing that has struck me so much about our history was that the men tasked with designing our government, while they had strongly held beliefs, also had the good of the country and their freedom 'for themselves and their posterity' in mind at the forefront of all discussion.  They were remarkable outside the box thinkers and brilliant in the ways they compromised on significant issues as things that we now take for granted but had never before existed came into being.  Things like a bicameral legislature based on popular representation as well as equal representation per state - th ...

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