Rainbows and Reassurance

A Personal Reminder and a Lesson in Trust At the beginning of August, I found myself in Northeastern Italy. I had just come from a conference and took the opportunity of being in the north to visit a few friends. Just before my trip, I had a meeting with some local friends here in Sicily…

Out of the Ashes

“Out of the ashes, I rise better” In 1669, Mt. Etna, the large stratovolcano located on the east coast of Sicily, and europe’s most active volcano, had it’s largest, most destructive eruption in recorded history. The eruption destroyed at least 10 villages on the southern slopes of the mountain and the lava flow eventually reached…

S.U.P.

Every year, around the time of my birthday, I try to make a point to do something on my bucket list.  For example, on my 21st birthday, I went sky diving and for my 25th, I went on a hot air ballon ride. I really don’t like talk without action. I don’t always want to…

Serve the City

There was a college student I once knew who was, for the most part, your typical 20-something. She had a full load of university classes, was working two part-time jobs, trying to balance homework and time with friends and keep up with her share of her chores at the apartment she shared with her roommate.…

Butterflies and Blackberries

I am currently in Bobbio Pellice for our annual all-european summer staff conference. Never heard of Bobbio Pellice? Well… “It’s where Jesus lost his shoes.” This is my first time to this corner of Italy and it is absolutely stunning here. The weather has been great, the time connecting with friends and colleagues refreshing. This…

Hesitation

Recently I hesitated… it’s one thing to hesitate when you are pulling out into traffic or in deciding whether or not to make a big purchase but this was different… It was lunchtime on a holiday and the small town I live in felt like a ghost town. I had gone for a walk and…

Church Buildings

I don’t know why but some of my greatest epiphanies come while I am in the shower. Today’s epiphany? Buildings were never meant to be called “church”… Sure, tens of thousands of buildings in the world are referred to as church buildings; they are dedicated places where people gather to encounter God and those who…

Stuff

I just returned from a trip to Portugal a few days ago. Three days ago, to be exact. It was a great trip on the whole. I really enjoyed those I met there for the first time while also reconnecting with colleagues who I’ve met at previous conferences. Alan and Deborah Hirsch were the keynote speakers and…

From The Kitchen Of: Felicita Fichera

The first time I tried my friend’s homemade Sicilian pesto was about a year ago and I have been wanting to share it with you here ever since. It’s super easy and incredibly delicious, just be sure to use fresh, good quality ingredients. Fresh ricotta cheese is a very common ingredient here. You can find…

Guilt and Grace

The following second-hand banana story was written by my mom, Monica Burney. As she says, this story is a great reminder of how much God loves to bless His children and for me, it is also a fresh reminder that: guilt and grace are like water and oil. They don’t mix.   Satan loves to…

Epiphany

epiphany ɪˈpɪf(ə)ni,ɛ-/ noun the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi (Matthew 2:1-12). a moment of sudden and great revelation or realization.   Today is a holiday in Italy. It is Epiphany or “Epifania,” the celebration of the wise men coming to worship the Christ-child. Sometimes I can be really slow…