Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas post

I know its a little bit late but I wanted to post my annual Christmas blog. I usually talk about how we need to make Jesus glorified with our gift giving, which is true, but this year I decided to go with another thought.
I've heard the Christmas story every year of my life. Every year it seams to become more wondrous. Instead of getting old and tired I find the story getting more amazing and enthralling. Every year something new jumps out and this year is no different. As the story was being shared in church some thing struck me for the first time. It was... yep that. The ... between Malachi 4:6 and Matthew 1:1. It was the first time I ever connected the birth of Jesus with the 400 years of silence. If you haven't read Malachi in a while stop reading this and go read that right now! Its really short! Trust me I can wait. Amazing isn't alright no go read Luke Chapters 1 and 2! Is that no incredible. The last thing God says is
5 See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. 6 He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.
That's um...great. I'm going to send Elijah and he is either going to bring delicious redemption or I'm gonna destroy everything.

400 years. Then
10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
No I know that technical this isn't the breaking of the silence but lets be honest how many people do you think heard about Zechariah's little interaction in the Holy of Holies? This is Gods first mass communication with common people and man is it amazing. Lights, sirens, all the bells and whistles. Today the savior has been born! Today! 400 years of is God every going to speak again? Is he every going to send the anointed one? Will he every deliver us? God answers that with one grand announcement.

Today it is here!

I think that is really awesome.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Coming to terms

Children begin by loving their parents. After a time they judge them. Rarely, if ever, do they forgive them. – Oscar Wilde

This was the Random quote of the day on my blog and while I didn't intend on writing on the topic I was so struck by this quote and a few other events of the day that this blog happened as a result.
I have to reactions to Wilde's statement. The first is simple. I love my parents. I only hope that the understand the depth of love I have for them, how honored I am to be there son. I feel like I fail to comunicate the depth of respect I have for them and the sacrafices they made to give me the upbringing I had. I think that I can never express my thankfulness to them to make the hard decisions I couldn't and doing with out so my immaturity and appetites could be appeased. I am beginning to understand that not only is this what love is about but also the struggle of being some ones child/parent. On one hand as a parent there is no end to sacrifice and no true way to be thanked. On the other there is no way that I as a son can every really give back or even begin to thank my parents for what they have done. My only hope is that by carrying on the cycle my parents might understand how much they mean to me and how proud I am to be their child.
The second thought is along the same vein but relates to how we view God. Justin McRobets (a long time favorite) has long challenged my through his writing to set in the tension between a sovereign good God and the evil that is rampant on the earth. (Check out his blog. The link is on the right! Just right click and open in a new tab.) That and for some reason Ellie Wiesel's writings came to mind. His story is a great and remarkable one but for this instance its his journey of faith that is the most pertinent. He begins life as a good Jewish boy devoting his life to the Torah and then the "night" happens and it is a long journey from despair and judgement. His memoirs are a great read.
I've learned that first stage of reconciling the "problem of evil" is that God no more needs my forgiveness then he does my permission. Because forgiveness implies that I am owed some reconciliation that I have some authority to judge. This brings me back to sitting in the tension of a good God and a broken world, sitting with a frustrated, angry and broken heart.
If I ever get past the first step I'll let you know.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


One of the reasons I find myself not writing as much as I used to, as I'd like to, is that I try to be witty. Well at least what I think is witty which usually passes of as one of those half silent one sound chuckles. I'm not even sure how to write that sound to fully explain to all you readers what it sounds like in my head. So...I'll just assume you understand.
That is basically my way of saying what I'm about to give you is raw thought. I've had thoughts running around my head for awhile and the never made it to paper because I couldn't take the time to make them witty and fun. My writing in general has suffered from this read: no new poetry :( This is the reason there isn't some catchy title at the top of my entry. I wanted to finally get this stuff out.
I recently lead a small missions team over to the Czech. As I prepared and planned to lead this team I took stock of all my past trips. I thought about my first time over and how awesome it was to see what God was doing there. I remember how excited all of us where. Many of us from the trip wanted to continue partnering with JV, few of us have. Which isn't a bad thing because being a missionary to an Atheist country isn't for every one and lets been honesty as Christians we should get excited to see what God is doing and want to be a part of it. I remember that first summer, only two of us from that spring trip went back. And to my knowledge Josh and I were some of the first Moody Students to pursue internships with JV because of the spring break trips. Yet I have seen God use those trips to form a strong bond between Moody and Josiah Venture. While it may be unspoken it is encouraging to see my friends from my trip and the following spring breaks partnering with God and his work in Josiah Venture.
During my time in '08 JV was starting this thing called the 2x3 campaign. The purpose of this was to double the fruit of the ministry in 3 years. I was planning on moving to Czech and being a big part of this God had other plans for me. My involvement with JV became less and my plans changed.
Then towards the end of the campaign God brought me back to this place. In his good timing he brought me and my wife to lead a new team of 3 people who had never even heard of Josiah Venture till We asked them to join the trip. We were supported by two churches who were discovering what God is doing in the Czech for the first time. One of which had never sent a missions team until our trip! That's 4 new people, 2 new churches and all to work with 1 new Czech church. Not bad for a 2x3 Campaign drop out.
It was a blessing to share my passion not only with my wife but our team and see them develop a similar passion for the God's work. I loved getting to introduce two Churches to the need of the Czech Republic in hope that those relationships become something deep and lasting.
Most importantly I loved sharing the part of my life with my wife and turning the one missionary in training spot into two. Please partner with us on our journey.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

call me...Husband-man

I love super heroes. I find no same in that. I'm a sucker for a comic based movie although the usually stink and for Christmas most of my list was filled with ideas about Batman or Spider-man (yes the hyphen is the proper spelling). I love the idea. I've often dreamed about running around saving people with some emblem emblazoned on my chest and a cape draped across my shoulder. I think the one thing that always attracted me to the masked men of comic lore was the idea of protecting the weak. I just finished reading Kingdom Come, highly recommended, it begins in a world where the heroes have stopped protecting and started doing what ever they wanted. It really illustrated how important it is for the heart of a hero to choose to protect, to choose life. It also showed the destruction that can happen when those with responsibility forget to do what is right.
Its not that I'm a super hero but I am married. Although I don't have a large city to protect or a galaxy to defend I have a wife. I feel that in some ways the long standing desire I have to be a caped crusader is fulfilled in my marriage. I need to protect my wife, its my duty as her husband so it is all the more heart breaking when I choose to act in a selfish manner. Not only do I not protect her I'm the one that actually hurts her. I go from super hero to evil villain, although I enjoy a well written amoral hero, thats not cool. I hate hurting her.
So to my wife I'm sorry. I'll try harder to be the superhero you deserve