7 July 2008 - not what we had expected

from my favorite college class, "...And it didn't matter that it was different than what we had thought. How much better the unexpected twist, the surge of flavor coming from the unexpected ingredient in what we already thought was great food."
also reading a surprise book find i picked up at tenth. it talks about how God's saving plan of restoration surprisingly begins by three curses on each of those involved in the fall. But the curses were not merely punitive, but ultimately redemptive. the poison that would enter the relationship between man and woman would have only one antidote. and That too came through a painful birth, bringing the One whose bruised heel would one day crush sin once and for all.

5 July 2008 - grace upon grace upon grace

in 1 Peter and James it says "God opposes the proud". and can you think of a worse thing, than to have the all-powerful God against you. and yet what about the inverse- to have the all-loving God bestow favor on you, what could be better. and seeing His grace, so undeserved, grows my love for Him.

2 July 2008 - don't miss the point

at RLC, we talked about how back in the day those trying to be religious and follow the law would set up 'fences' so that they wouldn't even come close to breaking the actual law (if it was- don't walk 1.5 miles, they wouldn't walk more than 1 mile). but all that intentionality was not good enough at restraining doing what was wrong. you can do the right thing on the outside, but still have the wrong heart. it is easier to do the right thing in the right way when you see behind the intention of the law. which the Word made flesh came to show. it is the inside that is able to transform the outside.
"Woe to you, teachers of the law... You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former."

29 June 2008 - singing and the nations

got to go to Bethlehem Baptist with my parents. JP spoke on missions and singing (i wish i could do the intonations for you) from psalm 96. being called to something so large as all the nations can seem almost exhausting not exhilarating. but it is a singing call that we were made for. and you can't call others to sing if you are not singing.

24 June 2008 - one day, free like play!

finished 'letters to malcolm'. one of the things that i love about cs lewis is how he discusses things i've thought about before, but either didn't know what to make of or just couldn't express anywhere close to as well. some topics come up in various ways in his different works. like he talks about play and how it can seem frivolous here, because of the life we were placed here to live. but we live in an upside down world, and in a better country this may not be so. and play does allow us to picture what is unimpeded, and thus delightful. and one day- praise God- evil will no longer be such an impediment on our many other activities. like prayer. but that doesn't mean we don't do it. to always do so spontaneously and with delight is not yet possible. this the paradox of Christianity. commanded to do things we cannot rightly do. yet are our duty to do. but our school days are not a loss. for those few moments of natural delighted prayer are rich in themselves... and yet those prayers least supported by devotional feeling might not be our worst prayers. being nearly all will and coming from a deeper level than feeling, these may please God as well by what is in many ways better.

19 June 2008 - you're standing in it

too much i could say about a night with favourite friends, listening to keller on wisdom... but in short- a continuing of things i've been thinking about, and things i need to hear. the boat in the storm. responsible, free, but can relax. because everything under control of God. in reality, you never become wise in 30 minutes. you don't really learn by being told, but by being shown. oh to unconditionally trust God for everything that happens in my life. even craziness. and of course, joseph. don't think you will figure out what is going on for a long time. but know if the thing doesn't happen, that God is preparing you for something you cannot envision. but don't you care? only One ever rolled everything onto the Father... took the storm with no navigation. . .and sunk. if you knew all of a parent's love, you would never question the care, even in the super windy and oh is it raining-ness.

18 June 2008 - everyday awe

good things in our lives, like kids and spouses and jobs can become labourious at times obviously, because they are full-time, and they require taking the rough with the smooth, and we are far from perfect. playing a bit role as an outsider it is much easier to see the situation with awe. but thankful that there are moments for us all that allow us to see the thing for what it was meant to be. and that there are outsiders to support the weary. and reminders to see all as such a gift and meanwhile live in the deepness that comes only through prolonged time and experience.

17 June 2008 - comfort, comfort

job's friends are oft maligned. in fact, it is hard for me to remember them being mentioned outside of such a context. but at the beginning, at least, they probably did a better job of comforting than many do in their attempts these days. they met together and journeyed to comfort him. they wept with him, mourned with him. "Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was."
thinking too about the other instances of comfort in the Bible. and how we are comforted in our troubles so that we can comfort others with the comfort we have received from God.

16 June 2008 - sighters are not afraid

a favorite book series of mine tells the tale of one who even though known as Little Child goes into dark abandoned buildings where it didn't seem possible anyone could still live in. . .and tells stories about the King. because sighters are not afraid. and he started with his own story of a little child who was lost and frightened but had found his way out. and all of a sudden the room was filled with children who were no longer quite as afraid. and he told them of Bright City, where all the children belong to someone. and he had discovered his place just doing something he had always been good at. and he was soon off in search for more.
oh to walk this life by faith and not by fear. to be one that sees the King all the time in every place.

15 June 2008 - the cost He paid for my redemption

read isaiah 53 and 54 from the Message outloud. oh my. talk about free flow. what consolation there is to be found in God's Word.
"...We thought he brought it on himself, that God was punishing him for his own failures. But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him--our sins! He took the punishment, and that made us whole. . .Sing, barren woman, who has never had a baby. Fill the air with song, you who've never experienced childbirth! You're ending up with far more children than all those childbearing women... You're going to need lots of elbow room for your growing family...all the indignities of being a widow will fade from memory. For your Maker is your bridegroom...Your Redeemer is the Holy of Israel, known as God of the whole earth... even if the mountains walk away and the hills fall to pieces, My love won't walk away from you."

14 June 2008 - good reading

reading 'Letters to Malcolm chiefly on prayer', discovered the source and context of some cs lewis quotes i have long appreciated, as well as found new ones. great book, so this a mere free sample:
"Bemused and besotted as we are, we still dimly know at heart that nothing which is at all times and in every way agreeable to us can have objective reality. It is of the very nature of the real that it should have sharp corners and rough edges, that it should be resistant, should be itself. Dream furniture is the only kind on which you never stub your toe or bang your knee."
"it seems to me that we often, almost sulkily, reject the good that God offers us because, at that moment, we expected some other good."
i don't even know how to trim this epic passage down well, but here goes, "[naturey things he saw] were no doubt very minor blessings compared with "the means of grace and the hope of glory." But then they were manifest. . .pleasures are shafts of glory as it strikes our sensibility. . .I have tried, since that moment, to make every pleasure into a channel of adoration. . .This heavenly fruit is instantly redolent of the orchard where it grew. The sweet air whispers of the country from whence it blows. It is a message. We know we are being touched by a finger of that right hand at which there are pleasures evermore. . . One's mind runs back up the sunbeam to the sun."

13 June 2008 - the mother love of God

i remember when it was first revelatory. and i shared at the guy's ecf leader meeting (all 5 of us...) about how i was struck by the mother love of God. God's love is too big to be contained by one picture image. and as we add more layers in our lives, from marriage to parenting we are able to grasp and understand a few more facets of the most multi-splendored thing there is. and we stayed in the car to listen to the end of a keller sermon. and he was talking about the women who came to solomon over the debated baby. and how the real mother was in a sense risking her life to let her child live by telling the king the fake mother was the real mother. and it was pictured again... can a mother forget the baby at her breast. . . though she can, there is One who will not only not forget, but gave up life, so that we would not be cut in half.

10 June 2008 - all that and bulgogi too

thankful and desirous for friends who ask good questions. thankful that sometimes they come along right when needed, with helpful reminders too. my strengths will long be my strengths. thinking about ecclessiastes and how sometimes wisdom is way simpler than my complexity.

9 June 2008 - sometimes you have to focus on what you do know

lot of good inputs of late. read a favorite book of some people i really respect. the parts that most encouraged me were the roles of prayer in missions, as well as that of suffering. i guess those topics should come as no surprise. God should be sought in everything. that said, there are some things- like other people, that are not only worth praying long for (years and years) but also we should be encouraged with fresh earnestness to give ourselves to prayer for, when you can be sure you ask for things that are for the glory of God. the sovereign God whose promises are true.
as for suffering, the cost must already be counted. oh for the joyfully sacrificial life that is all the more fragrant. and it is sometimes in the cost that seeing is really done, bestowing life or boldness to others.
not even space to get to sinclair talking on faith vs. works. which leads to- even as knowledge grows and grows, and grows and grows, you still never get to an enough point. you just can't know it all. which is why faithwalking is so essential. The data will never be fully reconciled. but there is One who guides our steps. who takes us down new roads... i have never experienced anything like this before. but i pray His promises. and take it for certain that He's working for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.

8 June 2008 - at some point you stop counting

i scrawled little notes as i sat in a little chair after a walk from the train station, but alas i cannot find them. earlier in the day, had another interesting walk, in chinatown.
sometimes a search for a lost button can yield nothing except all sorts of other kinds of buttons. but then those buttons found by a friend can be turned into a gift. couldn't put down frog and toad. isn't friendship beautiful?

6 June 2008 - what does the gospel say to. . .

back at sg. it was good to brainstorm practically how the gospel runs counter to things we struggle with. there are inevitably areas in our lives where we do not fully believe the truth of the gospel. but for each of them whether it be envy, wanting to be loved, perfectionism and on and on there is good news. really, really, good news.

4 June 2008 - how we really view things

sinclair's been preaching on the book of James and i have been listening. reminded how prayerlessness is practical atheism. and then this was put well, "bad things don't happen to good people. there are no good people. but bad things happen to God's people." sf

2 June 2008 - but surprises can be good

"now I have a word for you who brashly announce, "Today—at the latest, tomorrow—we're off to such and such a city for the year. We're going to start a business and make a lot of money." You don't know the first thing about tomorrow..." from the Message
what would it be like.. if we knew exactly what was going to happen each day? thankfully, that is not our lot. but it requires us to walk by faith. it is okay if the road is not clear, we can still take one step forward at a time, knowing the One who holds it all, and who makes everything glorious, in the midst of imperfections, faltering prayers, we can be brought to the place where the following statement is an exclamation- you do not know what a day may bring!

1 June 2008 - kinsman-Redeemer

back from a full trip home, ibnlt dairy queen with my brother and evie's dedication.
a long time ago in israel the practice of kinsman-redeemer's was common. essentially it was when a person's relative pays a debt that the person is unable to pay. sometimes the next of kin wouldn't do it, because it would endanger their own inheritance. but the practice pointed to One who would come many years later. One who would willingly pay the price of our redemption, and to take us, widowed and poor until then, into His family.

30 May 2008 - three, four, oh my x2

"Trust God from the bottom of your heart, don't try to figure out everything on your own. . .Don't assume that you know it all." thankful for the roof and how Joseph was hated more because of the dream and how they never thought it would happen and then later how he kept weeping and having to turn away.

28 May 2008 - once, a million, twice, 109:32

"The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law." deuteronomy 29:29
we are never told that we have to find God's secret will. His revealed will is evident, and we can always go on that. we should only ask God if we are actually ready to do His will. sometimes we want to hear something -now-, ...but God makes us wait because He knows the blessing of waiting.

27 May 2008 - when good men do nothing

finished 'good news about injustice'. a book dealing with a hard subject quite capably. "No statement, theological or otherwise, should be made that would not be credible in the presence of burning children." IG For some, the depth of human suffering in the world precludes them from believing in a loving God. John Stott, meanwhile, frames another view well, "I could never myself believe in a God, if it were not for the cross...In a real world of pain, how could one worship a God who was immune to it?...I have turned instead to that lonely, twisted tortured figure on the cross, nails through hands and feet, back lacerated, limbs wrenched, brow bleeding from thorn pricks, mouth dry and intolerably thirsty, plunged in God forsaken darkness...He laid aside his immunity to pain, He entered into our world of flesh and blood, tears and death. He suffered for us. Our suffering became more manageable in light of his."
but what to do about such evil that brings up such questions. for one, we should not believe that conditions in the world will not change. Bosch describing the patient impatience of the Christian hope, "Christian hope is both possession and yearning, repose and activity, arrival and being on the way." it is one thing to say- thank you for the protection and freedom you have given me. quite another altogether to say- what have you given me that i might help those who don't have power, who don't have protection, who don't have freedom, who don't have justice? even if it is just five breads and two fish. maybe there is a reason for not just that but any skills, whether it be filmmaking, writing, or where might i be used to be a part of the change? and how wonderful that is, to be a part.

25 May 2008 - suddenly everything has changed

their faces were downcast. it seemed everything was for nothing. fears realized, friends abandoned without hope, a palpable sadness spread thick through the air. . .but then something stirred in the awful fire. and then dancing! and smiles started to spread from one to the next as they realized what was happening, like a flame making its way through a piece of paper, like statues slowly coming to life, like a song whose tune you have always known but weren't able to sing until now. Oh how He must love them so. . .
and when it came, it came quick. Such can be how He works. Sometimes even when you think you know where you are going you don't know what you will find there.

18 May 2008 - my cup overflows

off to chicago, again at last, after a great weekend home that itself was long awaited, yet managed to exceed expectations. so it is with God's goodness, not stinted but an abundance. overflowing, enough for me and my friends too. such a bountiful benefactor is God to all His people. m. henry's words on psalm 23 ring true. the continuance, those whom God loves He loves to the end. the constancy, new every morning. the certainty, surely.

15 May 2008 - the man left for dead

exam over. leading went really good. and another year gone by. how could i talk about mercy and not touch on grace. wounded, hurting, alone and left for dead. but that was not my ultimate fate. bandaged, sanitized, carried, paid for, sheltered, shown mercy compassion and love. though He was rich, for my sake became poor, so that I might be rich. . . and then sent back down that dangerous road.

11 May 2008 - compassion permanence

started reading 'Good News About Injustice' by the head of IJM, i recommend you read it. one thing he talks about is compassion permanence. if you have ever played with a baby, you can see how they are transfixed on what is right in front of their eyes. but if it is moved away, they lose all interest. they have not developed an understanding that objects exist even when they are out of sight. we too can forget about something happening in the world when it is no longer the headline news we are reading. it would be better to learn how to develop a capicity to remember the needs of an unjust world even when they are out of sight. this is undoubtedly a hard calling, but even less undoubtedly our calling. called to remember those mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. we would not want to be forgotten. and a life of faith includes the unseen, and is one of more tears, not less. that said, it is funny that i am intrigued by this concept when i am so far from it... i have trouble having compassion when the thing is right before my eyes. but am longing to have more, like the most compassionate One of all.

8 May 2008 - the underlying answer to prayer

if you don't remember what you ordered when eating out, you won't know if they got the order wrong. and what if it is different than you think. you can't just take it back.
how can you know if something was going to happen anyway, or even what caused what... awe itself is not proof. "those who best know a man best know whether, when he did what they asked, he did it because they asked." cs lewis. and that is just it- just looking at answers to prayer misses the point-- seeing more of Him. and through that, back to learning what He does. and it is such with anything we do, we are given the dignity of causality in all things, yet His purposes still stand. and sometimes the greater comes through the lesser, the real through the nominal, as romans 8:28 becomes romans 8:29. and as we pray, our life can become a prayer, that He may be glorified in everything.

7 May 2008 - all i need is You

it is interesting to have the same walk home, many years later. i should say same but different. song of the month- "You hold the universe, You hold every one of us..."
and runner up- "Your love will never fail. ‘Cause I know You gave, the world Your only Son for us to know Your Name, to live within the Saviour's love and He took my place, knowing He’d be crucified and You loved.. You loved, a people undeserving!"

04 May 2008 - go and do likewise

sundays are the best. from sinclair, who was unwittingly helping out with my study prep, "Mercy relieves the consequences of sin in the lives of others (both sinners and those sinned against)... Mercy is getting down on your hands and knees and doing what you can to restore dignity to someone whose life has been broken by sin."

29 April 2008 - isn't He good?

six years and a day since i first biked the loop on a rainy day i got to run it. after another rainy day. but this day was sunny and nice. at times reminding me of the summer i trained every day for soccer...
i realize promises of presence (like deut. 31:6) are much better comfort in suffering than oh it's not that bad, it'll get better soon. i mean sometimes you can't even read the signs, and you just don't know what a day will bring.
that and i don't think i will ever get tired of recalling how my God has never left my side, how He has carried me, been with me, helped me those moments i didn't think i could go on. been a real and present help. makes me want to run this race well, all the way to the end. to run in such a way as to get the prize.

25 April 2008 - this is our inheritance

still amazed by the internet. among other things, been listening to a whole lot of music videos of late that i just google. from hosanna and other worship songs to previously unheard songs by bands i like to classics. maybe you'll get a link someday. maybe. for now, somehow related quotes.
"...I'm surrounded by suffering and sickness So I'm working tearing back the roof. . .I can't stand to love alone And love alone is not enough to hold us up We've got to touch your robe So swing your robe down low" Caedmon's Call
"they have become rich and powerful and have grown fat and sleek. Their evil deeds have no limit; they do not plead the case of the fatherless to win it, they do not defend the rights of the poor. Should I not punish them for this?" declares the LORD." from Jeremiah 5

21 April 2008 - the King on a tractor

a pastor paul sermon a great help to me... just like the triumphal entry, we can project our expectations, and then see failure where there was re-definition, as opposed to seeing Jesus as who He is. but our expectations can be too small. His faithfulness shouldn't be measured by whatever is akin to our political oppression. not by how He helps our indigestion, but by the life saving surgery He came to provide. so we need to see Jesus as He actually is. who stripped Himself, to give Himself for us in the humblest of loves. the greater that proves the lesser.

18 April 2008 - slowness and sleep

I have posted this before, it was even included in my now over 5 year old accountability partner handbook, but still a lesson i need to learn... "A disciplined person is someone who can do the right things at the right time with the right spirit. Not someone who exercises many disciplines. For some of you reading this book, perhaps the single most spiritual thing you could do right now is put the book down and take a nap." John Ortberg
"even godly 'busyness' can be destructive" bill hybels

14 April 2008 - good to be home

once again sooo glad to be back from the mass of humanity that is nyc. singing this song on the walk home, "So if you are longing for a place of belonging, The home you've dreamed of is waiting for you. Where no one will ever be hungry or cold, No one will hurt or will ever grow old; No one will die and leave someone alone, That's when I'll know I'm home. Forever no pain or disease, all will be equal, and all will be free. True love will come and we'll fall at his feet. That's when I'll know I'm home."

13 April 2008 - they will enter Zion with singing

got to attend Redeemer before heading back, and so glad i did. singing- it is all over the Bible. from col. 3:16, eph. 5:19, all throughout the psalms, it is no point to even try to make a full list. what is more powerful than music? which is perhaps why it is the second most mentioned practice, to prayer. it energizes, helps us see more of reality, meaning beyond what we can see. let us sing praises... to the One who rejoices over you with singing! how smart for us to be called to sing too, such a joyful and deep practice. Sing to the Lord a new song, all the earth.

12 April 2008 - deferred

first colombia, now columbia. similar, yet different feelings. i tried to take some photos but they just wouldn't come out, no matter what setting i tried.

8 April 2008 - babette's feast

ahhh thankful for good friends... who listen, who urge you to keep on Biblical lenses, who tell funny stories of what shared mythos does not look like, who encourage amidst messiness nowhere near what it could be, should be, who buy 4 dishes for the two of you, and best of all, pray for you.

2 April 2008 - in order that we may also share in his glory

in lieu of leading on my often covered subject...we may never know why we are going through what we go through. but because of God entering into the pain and what the cross tells us, if we are suffering the one thing we know is that it is not because God doesn't care.
if we don't transform our suffering/pain, we will transmit it.

1 April 2008 - smiling nonetheless

"wondering why some similarites are just coincidence and others end up being deep and true."

31 March 2008 - A or B? oh i see...

sometimes the question of A or B leads us to C. our eyes see ourselves and such a small picture view. but He has ways of showing us the greater things. and through that, those reluctant heroes we read about become far from ordinary. at which point our concerns become absurd in the light of what God can do. that something special that won't just be about me.
and somehow this all gets back to- i gave you My Son, won't you trust Me? the pictures from the Benjamin story that became real size in the cross whose implications are translated yet again to me these days where i glimpse fatherhood and its care up close. that the ultimate union of love showed ultimate love. "You would have been just fine on Your own, but on my own I would have died." not content to be content, but rather showed greater love. and so should we. and in giving up Benjamin, Jacob got Joseph back.

30 March 2008 - loving through the specificities

all sorts of helpful inputs this sunday, from a topical book to a keller talk. good to remember that it is still a chance to apply the greatest commandments, to grow in grace, to love your neighbor as yourself, and at least try to ensure it was a spiritual beneficial experience for all. yet meanwhile control what is inordinate. and know that sometimes the details of calling develop even fuller in that new context. to pray specifically, yet then leave it there. thus praying likewise... but not my will, Your will be done.

25 March 2008 - a day of no mores

"There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”  (Rev 21:4) add to that list: no more contacts, tiredness, aging and bodies breaking down, disease, drought, poverty, abandoned children, computers crashing and whatever else you might particularly want to add. Nothing will be broken any more. And it is not just that, of course. After years of longing for a better country, we'll go home... and be with our Daddy, at last!
"No more tears of pain in our eyes. No more fear or shame, For we will be with You, Yes, we will be with You"
p. paul, vineyard, and now katy on the subject..."the pain of life it cannot hold her she knows what her lover told her… in all the suffering you think that she'd know better But she knows he's coming back to get her. her body dances, her eyes sing, she's got a mouth that laughs at what the days will bring, her heart is thumping, throbbing, pounding her love, he comes on eagle's wings and they will fly."
"the ending's even better than a children's story... King Jesus, come back soon"

22 March 2008 - tears to joy

but they had been told that their grief would turn to joy. "Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy" the events had to be explained based on how it would affect them. in such moments you can do nothing, or you can do something. be it something of love, or something of faith. something left them soon running to the tomb expectantly.

20 March 2008 - early spring

His friends were sleeping from sorrow.
the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him.

19 March 2008 - everlasting God

strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord. proverbs 16 and on. two recurring concepts. "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails." "All a man's ways seem right to him, but the LORD weighs the heart."

17 March 2008 - a rest in longing

You know when I sit and when I rise...You discern my going out and lying down... You know each stretch of road...especially Chestnut street at night... For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb...All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be... You know exactly why i am the way that i am, my uniqueness and my longings... You have searched me and you know me. You know.

16 March 2008 - when the praise flows

"when times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made one as well as the other. Therefore a man cannot discover anything about his future." Ecc. 7:14
there are times when the praise just flows. like this For God so Loves the World Day night, biking philly streets singing songs from the college days. also this song. i have a distinct memory of listening to it in the car at a good time in '99, knowing things would not always be that good. but all this time later knowing i have tasted even more of His goodness the sentiment still rings true.
"If I never get to see another rainbow Or share another life with a friend If I never stand barefoot by the ocean Or get to kiss my child goodnight again If I never have another prayer that's answered Or have another blessing come my way If this is all I know of heaven's kindness Father I would still have to say... You have been good You have been good... So many ways You've been good to me"

14 March 2008 - the beauty of kingslove

"Remember Your children Remember Your promise Oh God..."
for now we don't know. we don't have all the answers, and have to walk along by faith. the days of longing drag on. and we make it the best we can. but a day comes when we will see the full beauty of kingslove. where our tears will be wiped away and we will just cry all the more. where there will be a great shout. where we will get what we don't deserve, the great reversal. where it will be better than the best surprise when we join the great celebration.
"...Someday I’ll trade in this guitar for a city of golden praise. . .
Someday... but this is what I have been given And I will make the best I can There’s a joy we find in living And a love that’s in Your hand"

13 March 2008 - heard

heard. and what a difference it makes. God heard the groaning of the Israelites in Exodus. Meanwhile, the Baal prophets cried out from morning till noon but there was no response, no one answered. Elijah was able to suggest that maybe Baal was busy, deep in thought, traveling, or perhaps sleeping, because he knew there would be no answer. they shouted louder and even slashed themselves until blood flowed. "But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention." if you send an e-mail to an account that does not exist, you will not get a reply, regardless of the earnestness of the e-mail. But when you get even a short reply, you know that your message was received. "I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live." psalm 116
there are two types of rejoicing… when Elijah's prayer was answered so dramatically, how could there not be praise and worship... but when Hannah poured out her tears she could rejoice before even the time where she saw with her own eyes the amazing answer to prayer… for she knew regardless, the Lord had heard her weeping.

11 March 2008 - on realness leading to real prayer

a day off afforded a rare afternoon on the roof and the chance to sneak some lewis in. "it is no use to ask God with factitious earnestness for A when our whole mind is in reality filled with the desire for B. We must lay before Him what is in us, not what ought to be in us. . .If we lay all the cards on the table, God will help us to moderate the excesses." small part of a longer passage that didn't really hit me till later. sometimes we have to plough through what is at hand to get to the rest. this can even free us from distractions and get us to what is golden.

9 March 2008 - oh kneel me down again

i love how God is mighty to save. how He even can take someone so defined by struggle and pull him along to freedom and worth. which makes me think of ice cube trays. not to mention undeserved reputations. and i realize it can be humbling to look back and see ways in which we have seemed to regress. but that should just move us to get back to that. yet that recognition in itself is not enough. it takes--> grace, which He gives. the One who hears our calls for help. But doesn't just pull us out... lavishes us with undeserved gifts. and what a salvation that is.
"You are the God of the broken
The friend of the weak
You wash the feet of the weary
Embrace the ones in need
I want to be like You, Jesus
To have this heart in me...
You are the humble king"

7 March 2008 - goodness and Love

i'm so glad i walk to and from work. even just for those walks home from work where everything comes out. i know the ones. like today where i remembered/realized that God's goodness is sometimes better seen not by things in my life and how they appear to be going as much as the other proofs of it that aren't influenced at all by feelings which by their nature are all over the place. it doesn't change from those days where i glimpse it so. and oh how He loves me. those days where i can't express feelings and those days where it is free flow. just as He's carried me through... just as the car at night with the ladder on top... "Even to your old age I am He, and even to hair white with age will I carry you. I have made, and I will bear: yes, I will carry and will save you." isaiah 46:4

4 March 2008 - love one person

love is such a force that even if you just love one person it can be great
whether it secretly bombarding someone you know with prayer for a week
or brainstorming ways to care for someone that may need it
or even just faithfully loving those that have been in your life for that purpose

there are many ways love can seem overwhelming. because there are so many people. and even for one person, love can be a very long road to walk. but it is good to remember that it is still something precious we can give, all the more to those who have been given much. which is why i want to remember
and learn how to live my life in such a way that it is felt
whether or not it is seen or understood
pointing to greater answers to greater questions

29 February 2008 - on receptivity

a good day to post- because days like this only come around so often. . .
been thinking about respect and its transmission powers. while it is still possible when it is absent, it takes a far better horse than the one i got. and as a wise someone once said- it is the meekest horse that wins the race.

26 February 2008 - there is a coming

they had been waiting so long. For the one who would come. And then just like that it was over.
"we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel"
what sad words those were. Except that they were said to the One that had already come back, and is going to come back again. How interesting that we too are waiting for the One who will come and make things right. The return of the king. More than the longing for someone, or some event in the near future, more than the longing for the spring, is the longing for the One that the spring only hints at, that the creation is bound in frustration waiting for, the angels longing themselves to look into so great a salvation. where it then says- set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ
waterdeep lyrics:
He will come. He will come
He will comfort all that’s hardened
Change the deserts into gardens
And we all will see His face

All you watchmen lift your voices
Then every boy and girl rejoices
when we’ll all be overwhelmed

He will come. He will come…

23 February 2008 - particulars

looking forward to may when i can at last exchange my actuarial reading for my christmas books. for now, one more cs lewis poem to tide us over.
Yes, you are always everywhere. But I,
Hunting in such immeasurable forests,
Could never bring the noble Hart to bay.

The scent was too perplexing for my hounds;
Nowhere sometimes, then again everywhere.
Other scents, too, seemed to them almost the same.

Therefore I turn my back on the unapproachable
Stars and horizons and all musical sounds,
Poetry itself, and the winding stair of thought.

Leaving the forests where you are pursued in vain
--Often a mere white gleam-- I turn instead
To the appointed place where you pursue.

Not in Nature, not even in Man, but in one
Particular Man, with a date, so tall, weighing
So much, talking Aramaic, having learned a trade;

Not in all food, not in all bread and wine
(Not, I mean, as my littleness requires)
But this wine, this bread. . .no beauty we could desire

20 February 2008 - a real help, because He suffered

got to lead. it's been a while. leading is good as it forces you to go deep into the treasure trove of God's Word.
"No man knows how bad he is until he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. That is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is....Christ, because He was the only Man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only Man who knows to the full what temptation means." lewis

14 February 2008 - pondering great Love

ah yes, still one of my favorite holidays. because love is something to celebrate. it was a fantastic eating day... and we even decorated heart shaped cookies at church. beyond that, it is good to make time, whenever it may be, to ponder great Love. the kind that brings you to tears the moments you actually get it. whether it is the carrying love, the took-my-place love, the even-greater-than-we-have-seen-here love, or the love it speaks of deeper than ocean depths, higher than skies of bluest blue, longer than the road that seems endless, wider than arms stretched out forsaken. wide enough to elsewhere promise that no height nor depth nor anything else in all creation could separate us from it.

10 February 2008 - but i know You and that is enough

nice trip home. even got to babysit!
"show me Your heart, show me Your way, show me Your glory" i don't know and it's ok. the past nor the future... but i have a progressive going on with the One on whom I throw my life. "And I’ll wait upon You now Dedicated to Your will To this love that will remain A love that never fails"

8 February 2008 - pleasing activities or pleasing heart?

"oh, to want one thing! purity of heart is to want one thing." mwY
it can be easy to lose the wonder of it all amidst another crowded week. the- i don't deserve this. to revel in it. to please God- this actually the weight of glory which lewis speaks of. this, the far more important. the prospect. to be 'delighted in as an arist delights in his work or a father in a son'. and yet i can't escape busy busy-ness. you'd almost be tempted to think my life's about getting through a schedule. rather than ____. oh to trust Him with the prospect of aching alone. the modern's great fear we fill up our lives to avoid. it is actually the moments of stepping out in faith where this is all far easier. "Someday i'll love for real after all this mess." katy

7 February 2008 - how the song goes

good time at band practice. delighting in coming in to a song and ending a song at just the right moment. realizing i could come in at another part of the song, but it wouldn't sound as good. part of the reason it can sound so nice is because of how the djembe meshes with the other instruments, with the words, with the flow of the song... and while i could play it differently, that is not how the song is meant to go. and it is not just music and timing where the rests and crescendos are able to intertwine into something beautiful. there is a time for everything.

1 February 2008 - on being slow to learn lessons

"who complains of the pain of the sting when I'm lucky I got out alive!" mwY
it is one thing to be surrounded by bees and escape, quite another to make it out, but with many stings. in each case, the moment is daunting. but the difference is the aftermath. the impact of some moments can irrevocably change us. others just scare us into awareness (that often quickly fades). both have advantages- no lasting marks vs. rock in shoe reminders. but i would tender that it is far better to learn lessons or remember convictions upon facing the potentiality of bees than to risk facing their return.

29 January 2008 - what is said about you

what a doctor says about your health is far more important than what some passerby says. for it is based in a context of knowledge. what God says about you is far more important than what others may say... the naysayers who cry out over and over - scarboy! but God not only knows about what will be, He _is_ the restoration bringer. the one that says to those called 'not my people', 'You are my people' to her who was not beloved, 'My beloved'. because He is a name changer, it is important for us to join in that pursuit as well. to reinforce the calling of those who were not as if they were because He is making all things right. things are not always as they seem. He knows that even our weakness can be the conduit to incredible strength.

27 January 2008 - how vast beyond all measure

three for three, with the double today, but i'll take it. pastor steve bringing it, in his last message. then tonight at tenth, walking out of the kitchen, actually joining in on the last stanza, "...Why should I gain from his reward? I cannot give an answer. But this I know with all my heart: his wounds have paid my ransom"

17 January 2008 - the longing for home

have you ever had an 'are you kidding me' week? another rainy walk home from work where the rain proved useful, singing about one of these days that i can only imagine and how heaven is my home and they'll be no refugees...

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