15 January 2008


Laziness flies from all risk. Discretion flies from useless risk: but urges us on to take the risks that faith and the grace of God demand of us. For when Jesus said the kingdom of heaven was to be won by violence, He meant that it could only be bought at the price of certain risks. And sooner or later, if we follow Christ we have to risk everything in order to gain everything. We have to gamble on the invisible and risk all that we can see and taste and feel. But we know the risk is worth it, because there is nothing more insecure than the transient world. 1 Corinthians 7:31--And those who deal with this world [overusing the enjoyments of this life] as though they were not absorbed by it and as if they had no dealings with it. For the outward form of this world (the present world order) is passing away.

Without courage we can never attain to true simplicity. Cowardice keeps us “double minded”—hesitating between the world and God. In this hesitation, there is no true faith—faith remains an opinion. We are never certain, because we never quite give in to the authority of an invisible God. This hesitation is the death of hope. We never let go of those visible supports which, we well know, must one day surely fail us. And this hesitation makes true prayer impossible—it never quite dares to ask for anything, or if it asks, it is so uncertain of being heard that in the very act of asking, it surreptitiously seeks by human prudence to construct a make-shift answer (James 1:5-8)

What is the use of praying if at the very moment of prayer, we have so little confidence in God that we are busy planning out own kind of answer to our prayer?

--words of Thomas Merton--

one of my dear friends introduced me to a monk named Merton a little while ago and it is safe to say that he has inspired me quite a bit--i have fallen in love with his words--they have caused many thoughts and ramblings in my heart recently...

if you have never heard of him or read his writings, you should.

do yourself a favor and go to barnes and noble :)

not just for merton but because that place is pure solace...maybe it is just for me. if i'm stressed or just out of breath from life-- walking into barnes and noble always brings me comfort.


07 January 2008

sit with me and tell me once again...

"..gratitude is so central to the life God made us for. Until we can center ourselves on what we do have, on what God has given us, onthe life we do get to live, we'll constantly be looking for another life. That is why the word 'remember' occurs again and again in the Bible. God commands his people to remember who they are, where they've been, what they've seen, what's been done for them. If we stop remembering, we may forget. And that's when the trouble comes." --rob bell (sex god)

[Excerpt from our Romanian blog last Christmas.]

Our "romanian" story is a hard one to explain.

Sometimes when I sit down with people and talk with them about it I honestly don't have the words to describe or somehow relay to them what the trip is all about.

I suppose it is because Jenn and I honestly don't know…

Psalm 139:6 --“such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.”

The planning of this trip has taught me a lot about humility. I am left on my knees. I can’t count the amount of times I have had to throw my hands up and realize that my finite mind, my stupid agenda, my selfish desire—it all crumbles when compared to Him.

His plan.

His glory.

How dare I throw at Him these things, whining that I don’t grasp what He is doing and then demand He show me exactly what he is doing--before I take the step he has already asked me to take…

Faith is hard.

Not understanding is hard. Not seeing the big picture is hard.

Trusting that theLord knows what he is doing, regardless of how I feel--- is hard.

But it is beautiful. It is beautiful to see how the Lord gently pursues me, disciplines me, and refines me. He knows I get frustrated when I don’t “see” what is going on, He knows that makes me uncomfortable—yet He has asked me to jump in every facet of my life....

Without knowing what is at the bottom

Without knowing when he is going to catch me

But having faith that in his timing-- He will.

So, here we are. Jenn and I are boarding a plan on December 27th at 10:30 p.m. God has handed us this amazing opportunity to go for two weeks, to immerse ourselves in a world so unlike ours, to see children who have nothing, to encourage the believers there who love them every day, to rip off the lenses that we have always looked at the world through and attempt to see it a different way.

I cannot wrap my mind around the fact that that was me one year ago…

I went back and re-read our whole Romanian blog.

There is nothing short of amazing and odd and incredible and really just plain crazy that the Lord has done in the past year.

I had never ever thought about Romania before last fall. Probably couldn’t have even pointed it out on a map. That trip was never on my agenda. Never etched in my planner. It just happened. Really. One day I met Jenn in class and the next thing I know I’m buying plane tickets to Romania? And I flew back this summer by myself!?! really?

My God is so spontaneous. Just crazy. That is one thing I love about our Creator is I never know what is going to happen next—I can never think as high as he is.

It drives me crazy.

the ‘not-knowing’ (not much has changed in that area...)

But, honestly would I ever really want to live another way?

It invigorates me when I feel a dream in my heart and I don’t know why, or how, or where, or when…

I’ll be the first to admit that I struggle terribly with worry and fear and doubt…But even now while I have been struggling more recently than in a long time.
I look back.
And it is so obvious. He was in front of me and behind me this entire past year embodying Alpha and Omega

Psalm 139: 4-7
For there is not a word in my tongue [still unuttered], but, behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. You have beset me and shut me in--behind and before, and You have laid Your hand upon me. Your [infinite] knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high above me, I cannot reach it. Where could I go from Your Spirit? Or where could I flee from Your presence?
the thing is.
I DON'T know.

I have to swallow that His infinite knowledge is too wonderful for me—I can’t grasp it.

The first song we learned there, likely that it is not spelt correctly
"Dumnezeu e taria mea
Adapost pentru sufpetup meu
ajutor cand povara e grea
Dumnezeu le taria mea"

translation: "Our God is an Awesome God He reigns from heaven above with wisdom, power, and love--Our God is an Awesome God!"