Thank You, Lord, for this day, another completed year of learning, growing, loving, and being. One year ago, I was not yet a father, not yet a homeowner, not yet…
It brings us great joy to see Will and Sarah embark on this wonderful journey of adoption, and as their friends, we want to help and encourage them along the way. As you and we know, asking for help of any form can be very humbling and often a bit awkward, particularly with finances. Thus, we’ve asked our dear friends to let us write a few words and advocate on their behalf.
For years, Will and Sarah have been dreaming and working towards this end of bringing a child into their home–to be parents. We’ve watched them prepare and yearn and hope. Now they have stepped out and it’s our turn as those who know and love them to cheer and pave parts of the way.
This week of Thanksgiving has been filled with more events, people, and emotions than most in the months preceding. Expectations have been joyfully upended, while others were left wanting. And a myriad words remain to describe it.
In The Valley of Vision moments ago, I read a few of those words that aptly serve as a backdrop. It is titled, “Contentment”:
If I should suffer need, and go unclothed, and be in poverty,
make my heart prize thy love,
know it, be constrained by it,
though I be denied all blessings.
It is thy mercy to afflict and try me with wants,
for by these trials I see my sins,
and desire severance from them.
Let me willingly accept misery, sorrows, temptations,
if I can thereby feel sin as the greatest evil,
and be delivered from it with gratitude to thee,
acknowledging this as the highest testimony of thy love.
When they Son, Jesus, came into my soul instead of sin, he became more dear to me than sin had formerly been;
his kindly rule replaced sin’s tyranny.
Four weeks ago today, I married my bride, and it has been better and harder than I imagined. We’re still settling in–our apartment, our routines, our preferences, and our love.…
Sometimes in life, we ask God to lead us, to speak through others, and we truly want Him to answer. But when He does, and what we hear is different…
The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice…
…His lightnings light up the world;
the earth sees and trembles.
“Wait.” What child likes to hear that? I remember as a child on road trips asking, “Are we there yet??” I would have given anything for the answer to be “Yes!” But nearly every time it was instead, “Not yet. Be patient.”
Twenty years have passed since that time, and as an adult, I’ve learned to suppress the audible expression, but my heart still asks the question. Unlike a child, though, I foolishly think that I can improve upon the answer. Maybe the Lord just needs help. I must have misheard Him. Wait? Surely not…
Eight friends and I returned from the Far East today after more than a week of rich ministry and testifying to the glory and grace of God. I entered the trip in a better place than my last international venture, but I think I was still walking mostly in my own strength. I wrestled with God’s independent, active, passionate movement among the nations, and at the same time, His passionate response to the prayers of His people. How does His sovereignty interface with the prayers of His people, of which He says they avail much when fervent (James 5:16)?
Day by day He broke my heart. Sometimes my Father softened it through the love of the local church shining in such a dark place. At other moments, what worked on the knots in my heart was my teammate who prayed for God to surprise her and believed that He would. Still more, my precious Lord opened my heart as we patiently waited on Him to awaken dead lives with the gospel…and then saw Him do it! I struggled with distractions that I thought would tarnish my memory of the trip, but now see that God was humbling me there, too.
I left off in Part 1 with the immensity of worship and truth that we received in the 50 hours known as Launch Retreat 2011 – Around The World. But that didn’t cover the other half of relationship building and fun that exploded from the times in between.
It’s not often that I become a cheerleader for things, but this year’s Launch Retreat of The Porch at Sky Ranch leaves me no choice but to be that voice. What else can I do when I’ve been filled with three days of worship, service, friends, fun, outdoors, competition, music, and so much more??
Finding satisfaction in Christ is a running theme and chorus in my life these days. Whether it is the “Boy Meets Girl” series at The Porch or the song playing in my car, the message is that I don’t need anything more than Jesus. And “satisfaction” is the key word, not just “contentment”. When I think about contentment, it strikes me as just enough and a state of pause or rest, which I suppose fits well with the metaphor of food and eating as well as biblical contentment. But in satisfaction, I see a joy and even an overflowing that stirs a response like that of the song, “You”, by Patrick Ryan Clark (excerpt below).
I don’t need anything / I don’t need anything / I don’t need anything more than You / You’re sufficient / You’re complete / Your power is full when I am weak