Thursday, May 31, 2012


Mexico 2008

How can we see, how can we understand the way we should?

Everything becomes relative... the horrific becomes history, rendering it commonplace. The deaths of 6 soldiers who died fighting in Afghanistan have a greater impact on us than the deaths of 6 million Jews during the holocaust or the 53 million victims of Roe v. Wade - but soon even last week's casualties grow old, and we become jaded to the sorrow others face. We can't afford to dwell on it, to let ourselves take on the cares of the world, can we? How would we be able to enjoy life?

Waiting 20 minutes at a restaurant for our food to arrive makes us more upset than the fact that 20,000 children died that day of malnutrition.

You say, "I had a horrible day," because the rain ruined your hair or you didn't pass a test. Not because your father was thrown in prison for being a Christian, or because you lost your home in a tsunami.

Is it all relative? No, it's not like the pain we face should be ignored or belittled because someone else is experiencing a greater pain. But maybe, just maybe, we are becoming so fixated on the petty trials of the North American middle class that we are closed off to the greatest needs. Are we just doing what's easy? Only what will ease our consciences?

Are we becoming dull to real needs? We need to look outward. The gospel must be central, but if we say we love God, 1 John says we WILL love those who are made in God's image, not only those who help boost our image.

Jesus preached a message of repentance. His first concern was for spiritual things. But this was the miracle of the incarnation - that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. He carried our afflictions, healed our diseases, fed the hungry, gave sight to the blind, and brought the dead back to life. Shouldn't we also care about those kinds of needs? In Matthew 9:36, it says Jesus felt compassion for the people who were like sheep without a Shepherd. These were people to whom He offered the "gospel of the kingdom," and whom He also healed and fed physically. Jesus said, "Whatever you do to the least of these, you did it to me." That isn't just a positive statement, because He also said,  

"Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:41-46)

What is our perspective?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


For all you techies out there, check out the latest....
The iCrochet.
Yep, that's right.

iCrochet dish cloths.

And it - I mean "i" - also does tea cozies.

I thought that was funny.
But then again, maybe not.
I'm in a random mood tonight.

I have a more serious post scheduled for tomorrow though. :) It was a draft from a long time ago that I found still totally resonated with some things God's been putting on my heart lately. For now, I'll say goodnight. :)

Saturday, May 26, 2012


Patchwork, because this post is going to contain a crazy, mismatched blend of what I've been up to lately. Just as a heads up! (Unfortunately nothing to do with actual quilts, although I'd love to make one someday!) I'm rather sad that I haven't been able to blog regularly, but that's just the way life is sometimes... so this is a bit of an update.

Working... I got a job a few weeks back at Staples! It's been a challenge, but definitely an answer to prayer, and I'm very thankful. I'm praying for opportunities and boldness to share Christ there. It can be really hard sometimes, because I don't know what to say, or how to start. But I know God has put me there, and I know He will grow me and use me in that.

Reading... Let's see... over the past few weeks I've read several great books.
  • "The Secret of Father Brown" by GK Chesterton. Yes, I finally got to it! Thanks mainly to Amanda who commented on a post a while back and prompted me to make that my next read. I love his writing style, and for the life of me I couldn't figure out a single mystery before Father Brown started untangling it! A great book.
  •  "The Pastor's Wife" by Sabina Wurmbrand. I'm almost left without words after reading Mrs. Wurmbrand's testimony in these pages. An incredible account of suffering on behalf of Christ. I'm struck with the marvel of Christ's beauty being revealed in God's children through suffering. The beautiful spirit of Sabina Wurmbrand is a true inspiration to me.
  • "Miracle for Jen" by Linda Barrick. This is the true story of a 15 year old girl who suffered a horrible brain injury when her family's vehicle was struck by a drunk driver. Through her pain and physical brokenness, her spiritual side was completely untouched. I was so encouraged and challenged by her faith, and the ways in which God is using her to minister to others.
Memorizing... 1 Peter 1. I started memorizing this passage quite a while ago, and got up to verse 12. I've been wanting to memorize more, and I love 1 Peter, so I'm reviewing and moving on to the next verses. :) This past week, it's been so good to have those verses ready in my mind to strengthen me throughout the day at work. His word is so necessary, so life-giving, helping my mind and my energy to focus on what He says, rather than on my emotions or the things that come at me from the world. "Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed." (1 Peter 1:13) Even in that one verse, I'm recalled to an eternal perspective, and reminded of my call to obey Christ.

I think I'll wrap up this post there... I have a lot to do today, but I do have some post ideas for next week. :) God bless you all!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Cross-Centered Discipleship


Follow Me. Matt 4:19a


And I will make you... Matt 4:19b

Deny yourself, take up your cross. Matt 16:24

And I will raise [you]... John 6:44

It is a call worthy of great contemplation. It is a call that is impossible. A call that is irresistible. Not irresistible because it promises pleasure or attraction to us, but because of the authority of the One who calls.

It bids us come and die.


The Living Water is a deadly drink indeed. It means that all we valued before the call becomes a rotting corpse.

Suddenly, none of that matters, because we see the appalling sight of His glorious, perfect life becoming sin at Calvary.

We see our sin transformed into His glorious life as He rises from the grave.

What grace this is, to be called to Him! It is a loss of all things, to gain that One thing. A reality almost impossible to express, because it cannot be fully understood. Even in suffering, His grace is what leads us. We are called to be disciples; but He is the one who makes us so. We are called to deny ourselves; but He is our resurrection. Without His call, we would still be living in death, but now we die with a great and glorious hope! Praise Him, for He has done it.

This is the gospel I must fix my mind on, because in Him, even though I may fall, I have been raised to life.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Truth, Sin, and the Cross

 We've been reading "The Cost of Discipleship" by Dietrich Bonhoeffer as a family, and we read a portion the other night which really stood out to me, especially as I've also been reading "Living The Cross Centered Life" by CJ Mahaney. I took the book to my room last night to reread that passage, and I ended up staying up way too late, as I couldn't help reading ahead. :P Sooo good. But anyways, since I don't have anything longer and more original, and I wanted to post something today, I thought I'd share a bit of it. The bulk of the book is an exposition on the sermon on the mount, and this particular chapter was focusing in on Matthew 5:33-37.

The commandment of truthfulness is really only another name for the totality of discipleship. Only those who follow Jesus and cleave to him are living in complete truthfulness. Such men have nothing to hide from their Lord. Their life is revealed before him, Jesus has recognized them and led them into the way of truth. They cannot hide their sinfulness from Jesus, for they have not revealed themselves to Jesus, but he has revealed himself to them by calling them to follow him. At the moment of their call, Jesus showed up their sin and made them aware of it. Complete truthfulness is only possible where sin has been uncovered, and forgiven by Jesus. Only those who are in a state of truthfulness through the confession of their sin to Jesus are not afraid to tell the truth wherever it must be told. The truthfulness which Jesus demands from his followers is the self-abnegation which does not hide sin. Nothing is hidden, everything is brought forth to the light of day.

In this question of truthfulness, what matters first and last is that a man's whole being should be exposed, his whole evil laid bare in the sight of God. But sinful men do not like this kind of truthfulness, and they resist it with all their might. That is why they persecute it and crucify it. It is only because we follow Jesus that we can be genuinely truthful, for then he reveals to us our sin upon the cross. The cross is God's truth about us, and therefore it is the only power which can make us truthful. When we know the cross we are no longer afraid of the truth. We need no more oaths to confirm the truth of our utterances, for we live in the perfect truth of God.
("The Cost of Discipleship" by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, pg. 138-139)

How clear this is, that only those who know Jesus Christ and have looked to the cross can be unafraid of truth. The cross, the place where we see the depths of the horror of our sin as we realize the cost of the atonement through the sacrifice of God's only Son, is a place of mockery for those who love their sin.

God's truth about us. What a heavy thing, for that truth reveals us as completely ugly, completely unworthy. And yet, where that sin is revealed, it is also atoned! This two-fold truth about sin and sanctification is the marvel of the cross, the crowning jewel of the revelation of God's truth, and the foundation of our faith. This is the truth Christ calls us to live in every day. I was really encouraged by this passage, and I hope you were too. :) Let us be encouraged that even when others revile us for clinging to the truth, it is for the sake of Christ.

"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, 
and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin." (1 John 1:7)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

19 and Counting

Please forgive me for putting such a weird picture in there, right at the get-go. That cupcake was pretty special, but I have to confess it didn't assuage my weirdness in the least. ;)

I just celebrated my birthday on Sunday - another year has come and gone. Nineteen seems unreal in some ways. I find myself reminiscing about things 10 or so years ago, and it seems like the time has flown by. I'm reminded to treasure each moment and not let it slip by in complacency. I'm also reminded of the faithfulness of my God - He truly uses everything for good, even the painful and the ugly. It's good to think back and remember.

It was a beautiful day... though it was a bit gray and rainy in the morning, and I complained because my birthdays have been sunny for as far as I can remember. And on a SUNday, no less! Absolutely unforgivable! But I jest. :P The afternoon actually turned out quite nice, and I went outside to pick myself some cherry blossoms and tulips from the garden. Really, the weather wasn't the only factor in it being a beautiful day.

God orchestrated it exactly the way I needed it, I think - to not let the focus be entirely on me. Going to church in the morning, worshiping God and being reminded what a holy, holy, holy God I serve... I needed that. There is such joy in seeing His glory - truly, that joy is the greatest of all joys! After lunch, going back out to play hymns on the organ (eep) at a retirement home. Organs scare me, quite frankly. All those unlabeled pedals and buttons and switches. :S But ultimately it turned out fine, though by no means perfect!

Back home, to have a spot of tea and a relaxed family meal at last. My lovely mom prepared a simple, but exceptionally tasty supper of chicken strips, baked potato, and peas and carrots, as per my request. And for dessert - me oh my! The most rich and scrumptious iced cream cake I've ever tasted, homemade to dark chocolate perfection, eaten while watching an old Wallace and Gromit movie, The Wrong Trousers. Coincidentally, it was premiered the year of my birth. It's been a while since I've plugged in an old VHS like that!

Okay, so that was an overload of description, but I don't want to forget. ;)

As for what the next year holds? Only God knows for sure. How thankful I am that He does know, because I might else feel as if things were falling apart, should my plans somehow fail. Lord willing, I'll still be a daughter, a student, a teacher, and all this is in His hands.