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25 cent tour.

Please allow me to paint you a Mongolian picture.

Peace Avenue is the main road running through the city. Naturally so, when I want to go sit somewhere to read on a beautiful day like today, I need to travel this oh-so-busy road.

So imagine, this road with me. It all starts here... "I need to go to the Post Office" or "I want to look for some new white board markers" or "Let's go sit and read at Cafe Amsterdam" or any other thought that might go through your mind. 9 times out of 10, you need to go down Peace Avenue for all your desires. There are countless schools, The Wrestling Palace, The State Department Store, Sukhbaatar Square (the main square downtown), restaurants, a Louis Vuitton store (necessity, right? not for me), the main Post Office for the country, etc. You name it, it's on Peace Avenue.

Along with all these places, there is the public transportation system. Now there is the picture's center piece...the transportation system and me. Together, we're a pair.

There are a lot of buses here. Some are yellow, some green, blue, red, white, even pink. And they all have a rather mysterious destination. I say mysterious only because it's mysterious to me. Everyone else seems to know exactly which bus they should get on. I just cross my fingers and get on hoping that the mysterious destination in the name isn't quite as mysterious anymore.

By trial and error Erin and I have conquered many situations with a bus that costs about 25 cents rather than a taxi that costs nearly 2 dollars (we're really cheap). And we're even better than the very beginning of our time here when I'm fairly certain we walked about 20 miles in two days because we were afraid of all other forms of transportation.

Erin and I are by no means bus experts but we have gotten braver by the day. We now take nearly any bus that we think will get us where we want to go. Thus said, we find ourselves in some interesting situations.

My pretty frequent situation is a silent scream (it's really loud in my head!) that my bus will not turn next to tbe post office--off of Peace Avenue. I'll give you a guess at how often that screaming works. If you guessed "not so often" or "never" you're pretty accurate.

The bus almost always turns when I don't want it to. If you know me well, you'll probably think that is funny because you can guess my reaction. Although everything is silent, my face tells it all.

Thankfully, I'm used to it now and I know all the little shortcuts for when it does turn. I actually expect it to turn and it's like a little gift when it doesn't. It's always an adventure.

If you'd like to have a fun bus experience with Holli and Erin. We have tours, the going rate is 25 cents. We'd love to have you.

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The Prayer of the Empty Water Jar

Jesus, I come into the warmth of your presence
knowing that you are
the very emptiness of God.

I come before you
holding the water jar of my life.

Your eyes meet mine
and I know what I'd rather not know.

I came to be filled
but I am already full.

I am too full
This is my sickness

I am full of things
that crowd out
your healing presence.

A holy knowing steals inside my heart
and I see a painful truth.

I don't need more
I need less
I am too full.

I am full of things that block out
your golden grace.

I am smothered by gods of my own creation
I am lost in the forest of my false self
I am full of my own opinions and narrow attitudes
full of fear, resentments, control
full of self-pity, and arrogance.

Slowly this terrible truth
pierces my heart
I am so full there is no room for you.

Contemplatively, and with compassion
you ask me to reach into my water jar.

One by one, Jesus, you enable me
to lift out the things
that are a hindrance to my wholeness.

I take each one to my heart and