Sunday, February 27, 2011
though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet i will rejoice in the LORD,
i will be joyful in God my Savior.
this is my honesty.
i'm not going to pretend that life is simple
or that i can make it what i wish it were.
i so need to learn more to trust Him who is faithful.
there is rest in that
and peace that i forget.
but something has to change
because i have every reason to rejoice amidst hardship.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
is a city in turkey
it was known for its natural hot springs and we enjoyed it.
one night we stayed at a hotel with pools and springs
and i remember having a great time with everyone that night.
i even remember specifically some of the things we talked about
and some of the really odd comments that were made...
i treasured that community.
and i treasured the one at focus,
the one on the westside,
and this one at crossroads, though things have changed a bit.
i remember pieces from each experience
pieces that i love and wish i could have again
and pieces that i wish hadn't had such an impact.
i loved the common vision that we shared in these places.
i loved the like-mindedness.
i loved the humility that i met.
i miss these qualities.
i miss mallory.
i miss katie russell.
i miss the friends at the west campus.
so much has changed
and i sometimes miss how things were.
but - i'm glad for the time that has gone by
because of how much i've changed.
in 4 years since i came home from israel.
in 6 months since i moved from the westside.
in 2 months since i've been home from colorado.
i'm not who i was
and these precious communities have had such an impact.
so i mourn what was
while realizing that had it not been
what will be could not be hoped for either.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
there are so many who have taught me
many who have shown me what the word means.
the smallest details that no one but me would necessarily value.
a friend who speaks kind words
such that i come close to tears later that night
a friend who asks just to talk
and who doesn't let me pay.
and friend who isn't concerned that i make mistakes.
and those friends who, so committed to their wives, can still care about me
and treat me in every interaction like as if they can see the hope in my future.
friends who teach and teach and teach
men who are men
only because they are committed to Jesus.
they ask questions.
they help me to answer
and they give such wonderful advice.
men who are a big deal
yet they know what's going on in my life.
thank you for a kind word spoken
thank you for a moment taken to ask how i am
thank you for showing me what can be
thank you for the sacrifices you have made to love others well
thank you for the ways that you have safeguarded and worked to love your wives and children
thank you for setting a standard.
thank you for gently caring for your little boy who is so sick.
thank you for admitting to your wife that you made a mistake, for saying you're sorry.
thank you for picking up that girlfriend of yours for that special date...even though she lives far away.
thank you for loving your wife through that challenging pregnancy.
thank you for quitting your job to take care of her as she struggles for life at the end.
thank you for working so hard to understand why she's hurting.
thank you for making time for her.
thank you for communicating your frustrations rather than choosing passivity.
thank you for being so committed to your marriage.
thank you for taking that precious little girl to the daddy daughter dance because it meant so much to her.
thank you for showing me so boldly what "man" means.
i've been so blessed by so many of you.
thank you for being like Jesus.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
what is it?
that thing for which God has designed YOU?
passion, calling, purpose, whatever you might call it,
that thing that we search after...
it can come out of a life of learning.
or it can come as a forerunner to a life of learning.
i know girls who have wanted to be nurses since they were 6. and now, they are nurses; they are amazing at it; they know that this was the design that God had in mind for them.
i know people who have discovered that very thing after retirement.
one reason for this is that people are so vastly different. our stories are so meticulously incomparable...there is no mold to which a life must conform to answer this question.
and i know people who are still so curious...
but these people handle this one of two ways.
either, they act as if they have it all together; they "know" what their life's purpose is; they seem so confident.
yet, they fear and they worry and they never feel good enough.
but they act like they do. they have answers to people's questions. they have plans that they share when asked, even if they don't really believe in them themselves. actually oftentimes, they inwardly struggle to share these plans with others because of the extent to which they lack belief in it.
they pick something, probably a thing in which people have affirmed them, and they decide that this thing must be that which God has designed them for.
but they know sleepless nights too often. they know tears whether they manifest in physicality or not.
i've been here; this is why i can talk like this. and i think that sometimes i still am there, but one thing, at least, has changed. i don't feel the pressure to know the outine of my life like i'm somehow in control of it.
i am learning to accept that for someone who has been called into relationship with Jesus Christ, it is okay not to know. because He does. and in His time, He will make evident all that we need to know.
and he offers this beautiful freedom, taking one step at a time, because of the depth to which you know the grace that He gives, the sovereignty that He holds, the love that He defines which ties everything else together in perfect unity.
He's good. and His plans are for our good.
and we bring glory to Him when we rest in this reality.
and this is the other way that people handle the not-knowing. and these people are far more rare. but they experience so much more joy. and as john piper points out, God commands that we not merely seek Him, but that we seek JOY in Him. and this fruit is a huge deal.
this is how you [and i] can rest in the unsureness. find peace in the waiting. yet, work with diligence and hope, knowing that He who has called you to Himself is faithful, that His design for our world includes you in such a precious space that is only yours to fill.
be humble. be persistent. ask questions and know Truth from falsehood.
let Him be sovereign.
seek the invaluable vulnerability within a community of people who are seeking after God. talk about your fears. ask for prayer. let people speak into your life. study God's promises. know and be known.
let Him transform and teach and guide.
believe that "your genius lies in your calling" and that He created that genius.
trust Him and be obedient when and only when He leads.