Sunday, May 19, 2013

Going to Thailand!

Tomorrow morning, I leave for Thailand again for three weeks. I cannot wait to share stories of the Lord's work and glory and grace. I may get a chance to post here, but more than likely, posts will only go up on our team blog:
Join me there - and please pray for our team!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Weekend Links 5/18

Stop Hustling and Get Your Life Back - I love this.

Preparing for the Future in the Age of Facebook - "But an endless assortment of instantly-available media and non-stop social interactions are making uninterrupted study less common for young adults in our day (and for all of us). Such distractions radically short-circuit the learning process, preventing students from reaching their God-given potential for usefulness in the kingdom and workplace."

Ain't Got No Rhythm - An incredibly insightful post from Kevin DeYoung. "Many of us are less busy than we think, but life feels con­stantly overwhelming because our days and weeks and years have no rhythm."

All the Single Ladies. And Men. - "Dear single ladies and single men, the church needs you."

Women Teaching with Authority - I appreciate Wendy's thoughts here, although I'm not sure whether or not I agree. Thought-provoking in a good way, though.  "Today I'm thinking about 1 Timothy 2."

How Far is to Far? - "Everyone has had to ask or answer the question at one time or another: When it comes to the physical component of a dating relationship, how far is too far? Can we hold hands? Can we kiss? Can we do a little bit more than kiss? Should we even explore the physical relationship a little bit to ensure we are compatible?"

Another Alseny - "Big brown eyes and a milky mouth; my kind of baby. Alseny was here to have his cleft palate repaired, but when I opened the chart, another photo fell out, one from before his cleft lip surgery. As I started to look through the rest of his paperwork, Alseny's beautiful story unfolded in photos and graphs and page after page of careful notes."

Friday, May 10, 2013

Weekend Links 5/11

Mysticism and Freedom - "But, I was the oldest in the room and it became apparent to me that, in some ways, I was seeing things quite differently. I think there are probably three general phases in Christian growth."

Words from a Gay Student to His Classmates - "Moody Students, we are among you, beside you and rooming with you. Give us grace as we struggle for holiness and sometimes fail. Give us your prayers, not just for today, but throughout your ministry here on earth."

The Best Book - "What was wrong is that at some point along the way my hunger for God's word was replaced with a hunger for mere knowledge. I longed for truths more than the truth. It didn't take long for the word of God to become something I used to simply footnote what I was reading in other books."

Ordinary: Christian Living for the Rest of Us - "It is about being ordinarily excellent, ordinarily passionate, ordinarily godly. It is about trusting that such ordinary saints are saints indeed, fully acceptable, fully accepted, fully pleasing to the One who created and called us."

On Mother's Day, Remember the Infertile - "We must recognize though that many infertile women find this day almost unbearable. This is not because these women are (necessarily) bitter or covetous or envious. The day is simply a reminder of unfulfilled longings, longings that are good."

This Sin but Not That Sin - "Last week I wrote about how Christians should respond to NBA player Jason Collins coming out as gay. Later a young gay man challenged me as to why Christians feel the need to respond with such bold clarity to homosexuality while not doing the same to other cultural sins."

Half Marathon: Accomplished

Well, we did it! My brother and I both finished the half marathon; I have the blisters and sore muscles to prove it. David did great, of course. He had his usual energy afterwards. I can't imagine not being tired and sore after running 13 miles, but somehow he seems to manage just fine.

It was a hard course (even the top finishers were slower than usual), with several mile-long uphill portions. When I finished, I didn't think I would never do another one. It was probably the most challenging thing I have ever done, both physically and emotionally. But now that I am 5 days out, I've convinced myself that it wasn't half as bad as I remember, and I'm pretty sure I will do another year. Time to take a long-distance running break and focus on shorter distances for a while. I'm sure my knees will thank me.

I'm really thankful that David was able to come down to SD and run with me. It was great to spend the weekend with him and my mom. And now another item has officially been checked off of my bucket list!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Song: Holy (Wedding Day)

This is what we long for.

This is the story of the Son of God
Hanging on the cross for me
But it ends with a bride and groom
And a wedding by a glassy sea
O death where is your sting
Cause I'll be there singing
Holy Holy Holy
Is the Lord

This is the story of a bride in white
Waiting on her wedding day
Anticipation welling up inside
While the groom is crowned as king
O death where is your sting
Cause we'll be there singing
Holy Holy Holy is the Lord

Holy Holy Holy Holy Holy Holy
Is the Lord Almighty
Holy Holy Holy Holy Holy Holy
Is the Lord Almighty
Who was and is and is to come
Who was and is and is to come

This is the story of the Son of God
Hanging on the cross for me
And it ends with a bride and groom
And a wedding by a glassy sea

This is the story of the a bride in white
Singing on her wedding day
Of the God who was and is to stand before a bride who sings
Holy Holy Holy Holy Holy Holy is the Lord Almighty

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Follow our Thailand Trip

Only 12 days until I leave for Thailand! Our team will be updating a blog while we are there. If you would like to follow us, the first post about this trip is up:
Hope to see you there!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Weekend Links 5/4

Brace Yourself for Suffering: Lessons from a Broken Leg - "A couple of weeks ago, my youngest brother, Weston, broke his right leg during a soccer game. It was horrible. He spent eight nights in the hospital and underwent four surgeries."

Something Beautiful - "God is not silent. He is not idle. He weaves our lives together in the most unexpected and intricate ways, laboring tirelessly on behalf of the small and the forgotten. Humbled, I watch Him work, holding on to my end of the thread as He takes it and makes it into something beautiful." There is a Part 2 of this story as well, though. This one is much harder to hear.

Where Are You? - "But God approaches them. Why? Why doesn't he just banish them and let them waste away in their now dying bodies, contaminated by their sin? Why not just give them over to Satan? Or why not wipe them off the earth and create a new, pure couple?"'

Eat It or Love It - "This is a command they cannot complete, no matter how badly they want to. They could will themselves to eat they fish; they cannot will their love of it. In fact, in order for them to be obedient to this command from their father, they need something internal to change. They need more than mere will power; they need new taste buds."

May We Use Commentaries Written by Women? - I so appreciated Jared Wilson's thoughts on this subject.

How Older Members Brighten the Future of the Church - "We sometimes act as if older members have no role vital to the future of the church. But actually they are absolutely essential, indispensable."

Dear Mr. President - A mom writes a letter to the President after sharing with her children the realities of abortion.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Song: Upon a Life I Did Not Live

I have really been enjoying this song from Indelible Grace.

Upon a Life I Did Not Live

Upon a life I have not lived,
Upon a death I did not die,
Another’s life; Another’s death,
I stake my whole eternity.

Not on the tears which I have shed,
Not on the sorrows I have known,
Another’s tears; Another’s griefs,
On these I rest, on these alone.

O Jesus, Son of God, I build on what Thy cross has done for me;
There both my life and death I read, my guilt, and pardon there I see.

Lord, I believe; O deal with me,
As one who has Thy Word believed!
I take the gift, Lord, look on me,
As one who has Thy gift received.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Not Enough to Go Around

After Bible study on Sunday night, I stayed to just chat with a few friends. The couple who was hosting us all that night has a almost three-year-old son who was downstairs playing while we talked. At one point, he noticed that his dad had used a second chair to create a footrest for himself. Michael thought this was a great idea, so he picked up a folding chair (that was taller than he was) and moved it over by the couch.

Satisfied with himself, he sat down and smiled. But then he noticed - there were still people missing out on this glorious footrest! So he proceeded to move the two remaining folding chairs in front of his mom and another lady in the group, grunting the whole time with the effort. It was so sweet. He finally sat down and sighed in satisfaction. All was well...

Until his mom pointed out that there were still two of us who didn't have footrests. But there were no more chairs left! So he spent the next ten minutes shifting chairs over and over again. He would move one from his mom to me, and then from himself to his mom, and then from the other lady to himself, and so on and so forth. I think he was hoping that eventually, if he just moved the chairs quickly enough, there would be enough chairs to go around.

Sometimes I feel like Michael; there isn't enough of me to go around, but I'm hoping that if I just keep trying, more energy and time will magically appear. Sadly, it doesn't. And instead, I just end up tired and worn out from never taking time to rest.

Sometimes, saying no is a good thing. It allows us to focus our energies where they should be focused. Rather than doing a myriad of things halfheartedly, we can do a few things well.