Thoughts on life by Teri McCarthy


Am I Free or Just Loose?

Posted by admin in March 3rd, 2011 | 3 comments 
Published in freedom, obedience

Annie Dillard makes a very interesting distinction between freedom and just being loose in her book An American Childhood. Daryl is reading this book to me as part of our evening ritual. Dillard’s phrase, (used to describe her father that quit his job to travel the river), keeps rolling around in my head, “He wasn’t free so much as loose.”

So I have to ask, what’s the difference between free and loose? I think it’s a very important question. It makes me think of the Chinese legend about the Jealous Empress and the Favored Concubine.

The Empress hated the Concubine because she was the Emperor’s favorite. The Concubine was always happy and singing and she was a beautiful dancer. Every night the Emperor would ask the Concubine to dance and sing for him. She was doted on by all of the Palace because she was pleasant and kind and happy and beautiful. The Empress was beautiful too, and of excellent royal breeding, but people didn’t dote on her. So in a fit of jealousy and anger she had the Concubine kidnapped and hidden away in a prison-like fortress many days’ journey from the Capital. On occasion the Empress would […] Continue Reading…

Epaphroditus and Fibroid Tumors

Posted by admin in February 18th, 2011 | 2 comments 
Published in Blessings, faith, gratitude, missions, prayer, Uncategorized

Some things I’ll just never understand this side of heaven. A friend said to me recently, “I don’t want to go to hell over a mystery.” I know exactly what he was saying even though I believe once saved always saved. If I edited that statement and made it mine it’d go like this: “I don’t want to lose my love relationship with Abba Father and His peace that passes understanding just because I can’t figure out why He said no to something I earnestly asked Him for.” Yeah. That’s more my take on it.

Daryl and I love Lithuania. I can’t explain loving a piece of land. We love the people too, even though we don’t know each and every one of the three million there personally. But I can definitely say I love the ones we met. I love teaching and my students carried me away into one of the sweetest dreams I’ve ever known. But…and in my life there are some pretty big buts…

My body started going through a process that every woman in the world can relate to in one way or another. I thought my process was pretty well complete and I was on the […] Continue Reading…

They Shall Be Comforted (Rerun)

Posted by admin in December 27th, 2010 | 5 comments 
Published in Uncategorized

On December 11, 2010, my Dad went to be with the Lord. His time of death is estimated at 6:35 AM (CST) on that Saturday morning, the exact moment that my and Daryl’s airplane was lifting off from the Palanga Airport in Lithuania heading back to the States to see him. He was 77 years old.

I am rerunning this blog post from February of this year in honor of my Dad. But with an important postscript: My Dad made things right with his family before he died. He found peace, love and forgiveness. My sister said his face changed, his spirit sweetened and his words of affirmation were like honey poured forth. He and my Mom experienced true healing in their marriage those final weeks of his life. His last day on earth he couldn’t take his eyes off of her and could only mouth the words, “I love you” to her. We thank God for Dad’s life, his healing and now his perfect renewal. Daryl said that when my Dad looked upon Heaven he said, “Finally, a city that’s built right!” Amen to that.

Mourning isn’t just about loss of life. We can also mourn the loss […] Continue Reading…

Loving Lithuania: A Newsletter

Posted by admin in October 30th, 2010 | 2 comments 
Published in Uncategorized

Serving in Klaipeda, Lithuania, with LCC International University

Daryl and I have been in Klaipeda for nine weeks now. (Daryl’s time is a little less because he travels back and forth to the U.S. occasionally, but for the most part, he’s here).

Three things we’ve noticed about Lithuania in our short time here:
1. Lithuanians are kind to strange foreigners. We’ve had elderly grandmothers point out the better bargain at the grocery store, even though we couldn’t understand a word being said, we’ve had women take us by the hand and point out a cheaper, equally-as-good brand. That is a very nice thing.
2. Human beings can live without cars! Yes, it is possible to exist, thrive and even be happy without a motor vehicle of your very own. Klaipeda has a very good public transportation system that is affordable, runs on time and gets us anywhere we need to go. Thank You Lord for that!
3. Lithuanians are resilient. Weather doesn’t stop them; oppressive regimes don’t stop them and tough economic times don’t stop them. Young and old alike are out riding bikes, going fishing, taking their children on walks in the park…life goes forward as it has for centuries. Klaipeda (population 187,000) […] Continue Reading…

Don’t Miss A Thing!

Posted by admin in October 24th, 2010 | 5 comments 
Published in faith, obedience

We just finished our eighth week in Klaipeda, Lithuania, and we love it more each day. Someone asked me what I miss most of our lives in the U.S. Things? No, not “things”. I don’t miss movies or TV or restaurants or shopping malls or having a car. I don’t miss our house or the dry cleaners or the grocery stores or even Starbucks. I don’t miss any “thing.” I do, however miss people. I miss my Mom and Dad. My Dad has been very sick since we’ve been here. He was in the hospital for three weeks battling pneumonia. Now he’s back at the VA center in Norman, Oklahoma, because he still needs ‘round the clock medical care. His prognosis doesn’t look too good, but he’s a survivor and he’s always done things on his own terms. It’s been tough though being so far away from him and wondering every single day, “Is this his last?”

I miss my sister who has always taken care of all of us and continues to do so. Cindy is made of some very strong stuff. If she was a metal she would be platinum: breathtakingly beautiful, one of the rarest elements on […] Continue Reading…

Gentle Whispers and Unvisited Tombs

Posted by admin in September 18th, 2010 | 3 comments 
Published in faith, obedience

“The growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs” (George Eliot, 1861, Middlemarch).

I hope and pray that I can be found faithful in an ordinary life expressing God’s goodness and mercy in ordinary ways. A young Corrie ten Boom once heard an evangelist from India preach about all the miracles that were occurring on the subcontinent. After his preaching Corrie went up to him and exclaimed, “How I wish I could see such miracles. What faith you must have!”

The Indian preacher kindly smiled at the young Corrie and said, “In truth your faith must be greater. Jesus said blessed are they that have not seen and yet believe” (John 20:29). Blessed are those who faithfully follow Jesus without a lot of hoopla and fanfare but quietly walk in obedience to Him and serve Him faithfully, gladly and quietly. I think it takes more faith to walk consistently like that than to see the dead raised back to life. Once you’ve seen the big […] Continue Reading…

Java Jive and Other Bad Habits to Break

Posted by admin in September 4th, 2010 | 8 comments 
Published in faith, prayer

Wow. Crossing an ocean didn’t make me better! That’s a shock! Somehow I thought if I could get overseas just once more then I’d become a better follower of Jesus. But the truth of the matter is I still struggle with the same ol’ same ol’.

For example, prayer. Why is it so hard to pray? It takes discipline, which I sadly lack. It takes concentration, which I sadly lack. It takes selflessness, which, yes, I sadly lack.

Another example of my stupid struggling is I’m still assuming the worst of people. Why do I do that?!? Why am I not inclined to always assume the best? Paul tells me to! Scripture makes it clear, “Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse…Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies” (Phil. 4:8-9). I want to be a part of God’s most excellent harmonies—not sure exactly what that means, but I want it. It sounds, well, most excellent!

Please know […] Continue Reading…

It’s More Than a Journey

Posted by admin in August 19th, 2010 | 1 comment 
Published in faith, missions, obedience

There is a time in all of our lives, no matter how old or young we are, that we need to stop and evaluate things—do a sort of assessment of where we are and why we are doing what we are doing. Friends said to me once they always felt kind of guilty when hanging around missionaries. Like they themselves weren’t doing enough for the Kingdom. I think “doing enough for the Kingdom” isn’t really the point. I think the point is whatever we’re doing we do out of obedience. A guy in an accounting firm in Chicago is not any less called than the brave missionary couple who boards the plane for Africa with three small kids. And the missionary couple can actually be disobedient if God hasn’t called them to Africa, but they are going out of guilt, piety, or a wrong sense of duty.

Our journey with God in Christ Jesus isn’t about formulas, checklists, dos and don’ts. Our journey with God in Christ Jesus is about a relationship that calls us into holy obedience where we say to our Savior, “Yes Lord, to anything You ask!” For some of us that might mean getting […] Continue Reading…

The McCarthys’ Newsletter

Posted by admin in August 13th, 2010 | 1 comment 
Published in faith, missions, obedience, teaching

Okay guys! Please forgive me in advance for using the blog for a newsletter. Daryl was in the hospital for five days! He’s never been in the hospital in his life! (Yes, birth, but that’s all). We’ve lost two weeks of prep time getting him well. He still has a little infection and is on a heavy-duty antibiotic. We need your prayers. Our VISAs came. Praise God. We’re getting packed. Praise God. IICS has hired a new EVP. Praise God. But I have 13,000 readers on this blog and I need to let folks know the details of our transition and what it all will look like. I hope you’ll forgive me! I will keep blogging while we’re overseas. Blessings and thanks. We need your prayers! Teri

Dear Family and Friends:

The McCarthys are moving to Klaipeda, Lithuania, on August 26! After years of recruiting and deploying Christian professors to teach in universities abroad, we finally get to go! And we are very excited.

This summer Teri taught a class at Lithuania International University (formerly Lithuania Christian College, www.lcc.lt ) and she fell in love with the place. When the university offered her a fulltime position as the English […] Continue Reading…

Lithuania is the Place to Be (Green Acres)

Posted by admin in July 21st, 2010 | 8 comments 
Published in Uncategorized

We leave in five weeks. FIVE WEEKS! Penkias savaites! (Uh…that’s Lithuanian for five weeks.) Honestly, I can’t believe it. We’re heading to Klaipeda. Klaipeda of all places. Klaipeda, Lithuania. We leave August 26th. I’m so excited and I can’t wait to get in the classroom and meet my students and get into the culture and learn new things. But, and this is a pretty big but, there’s a whole lot to do before August 26th. Please be praying for Daryl and me. We want to sell our house, but don’t have enough time to get everything clean, cleared and fixed before we go. We need to raise some mula, but need to go ahead and start classes before the cash arrives. (Is this faith?) There are doctors’ appointments (Lithuania needs to see a clean bill of health before we join their socialized medical system). There are dinners and lunches with good friends to say good bye. There’s outfitting to do ‘cause Klaipeda’s got some very cold winters and I haven’t owned a winter coat for years! We have checklists and details and mail holds and paper cancelations and so much stuff zooming through our heads that I actually fear […] Continue Reading…

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