Thursday, November 27, 2008

We are feeling incredibly thankful in this season of our lives. Like Larry said this morning, we are proud to be part of a nation that sets a day aside in remembrance of the blessings we have. The only reason to give thanks is if you recognize that there is someone who's given you what you are thankful for. Today we set aside time to deliberately give recognition to God for the many blessings in our lives. I hope today you have found countless things to be thankful for and found the One to whom we owe such thanks.

Blessings on you all.

On a lighter note, here are some photos from our day. Enjoy and smile :)

All pictures from the day can be viewed here:

Thanksgiving 2008


Monday, November 24, 2008

I love the experience of having a God breakthrough. I had yet another one this week-- less personal, so I thought I'd share. Our highly esteemed Rev. DBurke was sharing about pain. No easy topic. I found myself throughout the talk frustrated and fighting against my own questions.

Yes, all pain will one day be redeemed. This we are promised (Rev 17:17).

Yes, one day we will know in full what today we have only known in part (1 Cor 13:12).

But what about the circumstances and individuals that God says that he loves (Romans 8:37)-- and I believe Him!-- yet do not know the end to suffering. How am I to bring light of the love of God in someone's life who has experienced inexcusable pain done to them. How can I speak of redemption when it is someone else's sin that has brought such abuse into their lives??


Yes, he is the Sunday School answer. As of Tuesday I understand why He is the answer to this question as well. DBurke walked us through a very troubling story of abuse. How one woman who had been abused beyond description had to walk right into the depths of the abuse to encounter Jesus. There, in the depth of the sea of her hurt, she was asked by this professor of DBurke's to picture Jesus in the room in the midst of her suffering. Then she was to picture Jesus walking towards her. Then, in the very act of abuse, she was asked to picture Jesus taking her place. The substitutionary sacrifice.

Now I get it.

Jesus not only provides redemption for us in the eternal sense (Heb 9:28). The provision of his death not only covers our sins (Romans 6:1-4). The provision of his suffering is also substitutionary for the sins caused against us (1 John 2:1-2 + the truth of living in the reality of the kingdom of God now-- a whole other discussion per Dallas Willard). He takes on this suffering. He died that we might have life and have it in abundance (John 10:10)! He has already, continues to, and will take on the suffering of the entire world. So to you who is experiencing more than your share of heartache-- you whose entire sense of today has been shaped by abuses of your past-- you who are looking ahead to months with a diagnosis of pain-- know that Jesus died that you might know now Christ himself and the redemption his death has purchased.

He cares for you so much.

Rev 4:8 "And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!"

May we all say this in amazement.

Picking up something new

Monday, November 17, 2008

Last Friday night I had 2 options while waiting for my poor, free pass flyin', stuck in Florida traveling parents to finally make it in:

a. Fall asleep at 9:30
b. Start a project

With 3 hours or so of waiting to go-- it was project time. The mountain gets shrouded in this INCREDIBLY thick fog in the fall. If someone's walking just a bit too fast in front of you, you're not going to see them. One sweet lady at church who's probably experienced at least 60 years of this phenomenon had a wonderful thing to say about it. She said she used to be anxiuos in this "fog from hell," but then found in comfort in knowing that the presence of God himself descends on the earth in a cloud (Ex 13:21, Ex 19:9, 1 Kings 8;10-11,Ps 18:9, Isaiah 19:1, Matt 17:5, Rev 10:1 to name a few!!). So this intense fog is like being straight in the middle of the mist (midst) of God. I hope that helps you truly enjoy that thick cloud of fog the next time it descends!

Back to Friday-- I thought this would be a fun time to get my camera out and try some light shooting! (Thanks Larry for the help interpreting the manual!) Pretty crazy effect, huh?!

Larry calls this the "alien invasion"


What project would you have started with an extra 3 hours in your weekend?

Learning from Dune

Saturday, November 15, 2008

So Larry and I just completed a book trade. I don't know if you've noticed or not, but on my reading list of late has been Dune by Frank Herbert. Not exactly what you'd expect me to read, I know. I have to admit-- I did really enjoy the book. Not enough to read all of the ecology on worms or religion offered in the epilogue, but enough to zip through it fairly quickly.

There was one lesson I wanted to bring from it (and from Kelly Minter's No Other Gods). One of the characters revealed early on the book is a traitor. I won't give his name away in case you decide to pick up the book one day-- no spoiler alerts from me! Anywho-- the traitor finds himself at the mercy of a Truthsayer. According to the author, a Truthsayer has been trained from a young age to be able to know what is true from what is untrue. Praise the Lord we have the Holy Spirit to give us such discernment, but I digress... Back to the scene. The character finds himself in the audience of the Truthsayer and likely to be found out of his grand scheme. His strategy to avoid being caught (known via internal dialogue) is to always say what is true, but never what is truth. There's only one solution for him. He thinks, "There's only one solution: tell the truth as far as I can."


How many have times have we pushed the truth as far as we can? Let's say that again-- the way to not be caught in a lie is to always say what is true, but never what is truth. Kelly Minter points out in her Bible study that this is a tool of the enemy. Satan has made a disgusting art form in trapping us with what is (seemingly) true, but never declaring truth. This revelation has really challenged me to see a. What is truth coming out of secular avenues like Dune, and b. What I have allowed in my life that may be true but not truth.