Sunday, September 30, 2012

Costly Grace

"Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock. Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: 'Ye were bought at a price', and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God"              Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The highlighted line is the one that's been running through my head for days. The cross is real. The blood is real. The pain, the suffering, the agony, the sacrifice are all real. Sin is real, and the cross became the only way. Every day, I see how my motives are still wrong, how sin is in my life. If it weren't for Christ, I would be a dead man walking. 

But because of Christ, I am the recipient of grace. The Amplified Bible amplifies grace with "unmerited favor" or "blessing" I love reading that. It is only grace that makes the filthy clean. It is that unmerited favor that helps the helpless into the promise. Writes Andrew Murray in Abide in Christ, "You knew what sin was, but had not the power to conquer, because you did not know or believe how entirely Jesus would take charge of you to keep and to help you"  

For fun, I looked up "justify" in the dictionary. This is what I found: 

1. to show (an act, claim, statement, etc) to be just or right
2. to defend or uphold as warranted or well-grounded
3. to declare innocent or guiltless; absolve; acquit. 

You are saved once, but Christ stands ever at the throne declaring you innocent before His Father. He continues to show us to be just, to be right. Jesus is our defender. And thus, the costly grace is not needed once, but daily. Our iniquity must be revealed, our sin condemned, so that we recognize the grace that's been given. 

Lecrae in "Boasting" says it like this:  

"Every glance, every dance, every note of a song.It's all a gift undeserved that I shouldn't have known.Every day that I lie, every moment I covetI'm deserving to die, I'm just earning your judgment.I, without the cross there's only condemnation.If Jesus wasn't executed there's no celebration."

"God has never been obligated to give us life.
If we fought for our rights, we'd be in hell tonight.Mere sinners owed nothing but a fierce hand.
We never loved him, we pushed away his pierced hands.
I rejected his love, grace, kindness, and mercy.
Dying of thirst, yet, willing to die thirsty.
Eternally worthy, how could I live for less?
Patiently you turned my heart away from selfishness.
I volunteer for your sanctifying surgery.
I know the Spirit's purging me of everything that's hurting me.

Needtobreathe in "Keep Your Eyes Open"

"I know pain is just a place the will has been broken"

I'm pretty sure I've talked about "Boasting" in the past, but did you catch that line that's so conveniently enlarged for you? "If we fought for our rights, we'd be in hell tonight". If we tried to do it our way, we would fail! Do we need to talk about Adam and Eve. We are inept. To fight against the grace of God is turn down the gift of life. And to do so is to struggle with our wills, which is why I love the Needtobreathe lyric so much. The grace that God gives through Christ is costly. Costly grace hurts. It certainly hurt Christ. Costly grace forces the acknowledgment of sin; if you were not a sinner, what need would you have for grace? But when we hurt, when we feel the pain of our sin, our will has finally been broken. God's will has been revealed through the power of the Holy Spirit's conviction. 

Grace will cost you your old habits, your secret sins, your pride, your time, your money, your opinions, and your life. But it cost our heavenly Father the life of His Only Son. Jesus gave His life so you could have one. That's costly grace. 

Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments and was standing before the angel [of the Lord]. And He spoke, to those who stood before Him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And He said to [Joshua], Behold, I have caused your iniquity to pass from you, and I will clothe you with rich apparel. Zechariah 3:3-4

When God's Goodness Gets Old

You've all heard it, the phrase, "God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good" Or even just "God is good". It never gets any less true. God is never any less good. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, tomorrow and forever. Praise the Lord!

But sometimes saying "God is good" makes it feel stale. The pizza we ordered was good. The movie was good. The book was good. She's a good friend. The lecture was good. The candle smells good. Pizza and God just aren't even on the same level.

Despite the fact that I've been out of Senegal for nearly five months now, I find myself saying, "Yalla bax na" as I pray, as I text friends, as I read the Bible, as I worship, as I pause through out my day. Yalla bax na. It's special for me. It means the exact same thing - God is good - but I don't run around all day saying, "this book bax na" It's something sacred, reserved for the Holy One.

We visited another church today, we talked about the Lord giving grace for us to dig deep into our iniquity and to walk from darkness into light.

Thank God that in darkness, the light looks even brighter.

Yalla bax na

For once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of Light Ephesians 5:8 

This is what I drew as the pastor finished his message 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Grace To Obey

(Quick shout out to Beloit College! Happy Homecoming, especially to the lucky runners hitting my favorite course tomorrow! And a thank you to Beloit, who is giving me a more fulfilling education than I ever could have imagined)

Because the last 9 months or so have been so incredibly chaotic (did you realize I've moved 4 times, and lived with a total of five families?!) I hope it doesn't come as a terrible surprise that I am still processing and putting pieces together.

I was thinking about how I often felt dry this summer. I was teaching Sunday school and reading/talking theology with my pastor and his wife and playing guitar for worship and studying the Bible and praying - overall, I was more plugged into the church than I have ever been and yet, God felt the least real to me as He ever has. I am so thankful that it is not based on how I feel, but on the fact that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. He gave me the faith to worship and love and trust and serve Him even during that thirsty time, but I knew I needed more.

Being in Senegal, I daily depended on God to be my comfort, deliverer, strength and provider. He was my Father and best friend. I went on ministry trips, and worshiped with the minority every Sunday. I attended quad-lingual Bible studies twice a week. I saw people so desperate for the Lord Jesus that they were willing to turn their backs on parts of their culture, their families, everything they knew. I shared the gospel with people who had never heard it. It was extraordinary, and like nothing else I'd ever before experienced. So when I stepped back into American Christianity in your average, mostly white, traditional, Evangelical Free setting, it all felt different. That felt more foreign to me than singing besub tey jii yalla moo ko def.

And now I'm here. Mangi fii. I still say yalla bax na when I read a wonderful verse or have a great time of prayer and worship. But I'm just saying, the Spirit is moving here. There's an authenticity, characterized by vulnerability and gut wrenching revelations of deep, cherished iniquity. It's a painful process, to be stripped bare before the throne of God, but He is able to fill me with His goodness and truth. He has the power to conform my heart and mind to His own perfect will, through obedience to the Holy Spirit.

I read The School of Obedience by Andrew Murray, and in it he says,
"Christ's obedience is the treasury out of which, not only the debt of our past disobedience is paid, but out of which the grace for our present obedience is supplied"

And on the slow process of knowing God, Rick Joyner gave a lecture to us in which he said,
"It took them one night to get out of Egypt, but forty years to get the Egypt out of them"

We are given the grace to love God, and to live according to His purposes, but we are not immediately perfected. The work Christ began will be brought to completion, but not yet.

Here are some verses God's been working into my heart lately. I'm loving the Amplified. Can't help it.

Let him sit alone uncomplaining and keeping silent [in hope], because [God] has laid [the yoke] upon him [for his benefit]. Lamentations 3:28 

Mary took a pound of ointment of pure liquid nard [a rare perfume] that was very expensive, and she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her hair. And the whole house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. John 12:3. My friend Lady V had that one for me during group prayer the other day, and it so speaks to my heart right now! 

Establish my steps and direct them by [means of] Your word; let not any iniquity have dominion over me. Psalm 119:133

He restores my soul. He leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Psalm 23:3 

Therefore also now, says the Lord, turn and keep on coming to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning [until every hindrance is removed and the broken fellowship is restored]. Joel 2:12

This last one is particularly strong. God is relentless in our pursuit of us, but also in His process of sanctification. At the start of a new journal, I always pray for a verse for the season of my life that it will be for. This is the verse that I got. 

I know I've posted it before, but Aaron Keyes' "Sovereign Over Us" is so good. No matter how hard it feels, His plans are still to prosper! 

Oh, and here are the books I've read lately: Jesus Plus Nothing Equals Everything, The Knowledge of the Holy, Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Prophet, Martyr, Spy, The School of Obedience, Miniskirts Mothers and Muslims, There Were Two Trees in the Garden, and I'm currently reading Abide in Christ and The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

God Answers

A Poem by John Piper

Is there a word to help us feel
     the weight of Adam's fall?
How heavy will this burden weigh,
     (Spare not!) on those who fell?
O Lord, so great this forfeiture!
     Was there sufficient reason?
Then whence could any traitor hope
     before your burning face?
But surely that will cost beyond
     our wage. How is it priced?
Entirely paid? By him? O God,
     and is that gift for me?
I would receive this gift, O Lord!
     How soon would you allow?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Whet the Appetite

I have a lot to say, I promise. I just don't have any time to say it here. So here are some points for your consideration in the meantime.

If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me. Psalm 66:18

Ezekiel 28. Seriously, it's worth reading the whole thing. There's a link and it'll even open in a separate window for you.

"It is not imitation that makes sons; it is sonship that makes imitators" Martin Luther

The pride of your heart deceives you... Obadiah 1:3a

Sunday, September 23, 2012

When Jonah Got Duped, Nineveh Got Grace

When I was a child, I loved the story of Jonah and the great fish. I mean, who wouldn't? A man got eaten by a fish and then the fish puked him back up. That's pretty epic. But now, I love Jonah's story because I see how it's my story. I've never been eaten by a giant fish, but I have been disobedient to God, and that's what this story is really about: disobedience, and God's sovereignty.

In the first three verses of this book, the Lord tells Jonah to go to Nineveh, and Jonah immediately flees from the presence of God. Jonah was close enough to hear God speak to him, but he didn't like what he heard, so he up and left. But as Jonah tried to escape, he got trumped by the sovereign Lord. God sent a great storm upon the sea. What I found interesting was that when Jonah is asked who he is and what he does, his answer is, "I fear and worship the Lord" (1:8-9). His identity is held within the Lord, yet he fled from his presence. He claims to worship God, but he does so only when it's convenient. I'm sure none of you are like this, but it's sure nailing me.

To continue, in verse 17, it says that the Lord prepared the great fish to swallow up Jonah. God knew. Jonah was cast out from God's presence (2:3-4). And then, what really gets interesting, is when Jonah speaks out against idolatry. Jonah loved his own comforts and his life more than serving the Lord. Yet this is what he says about those who worship idols:

Those who pay regard to false, useless, and worthless idols forsake their own [Source of] mercy and loving-kindness. 2:8

Does he even realize that's exactly what he did? He had the Lord ever before him, and didn't even want Him. 

Yet, there is repentance. He sacrifices with the voice of thanksgiving, and the Lord causes the fish to vomit him out (2:9-10). 

And after this whole debacle, God tells Jonah again, Go to Nineveh, and preach the words I tell you. And this time, Jonah gets up and goes (3:1-3). Jonah's way better than I am. It only took two prompts from the Lord. It's often taken me many more than that. In any event, Nineveh's people turn from their evil works and believe in God after no time at all, and God revokes His anger from them (3:8-10). 

Jonah loved God. Now the people of Nineveh loved God. And that made Jonah angry (4:1). As he saw it, he'd been punished by God for being disobedient, and those crummy Ninevehans had their sentence revoked with no consequence. 

I think this is perfect illustration of legalism vs grace. Legalism tells us that if we are good enough, if we just praise God and follow His statutes, we will escape judgment and wrath. Grace tells us that Jesus was good enough for us. He overcame our wickedness. He took the wrath of God so that we wouldn't know it. When our lives are hidden within the lives of Christ, we no longer have to struggle to do the right things in order to be free. No, it is that very freedom of the Holy Spirit that propels us towards the righteousness of following the Lord. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Therefore I Will Punish You

Yesterday, we had a class on the five patterns of iniquity outlined in Isaiah 14 (verses 13-14).

1) "I will ascend into heaven" This is when we try to earn our salvation through works.

2) "I will exalt my throne above the stars of God" This is competitiveness, self-exaltation, and stopping at nothing to be the best .

3) "I will also sit on the mount of the congregation" This is the deep desire to be the center of attention, and the feeling of entitlement to everyone's full captivation.

4) "I will ascend about the heights of the clouds"This is all about escapism. It is easier to check out of this world than to follow Christ in it; life is lived in a fantasy world.

5) "I will be like the Most High" This is the attempt to place ourselves on equal ground with God. This is a disregard for authority at its worst.

We talked about how iniquity is a motives issue. It's about our wills. We also talked about how God disciplines and corrects us because of His love for us. He really is like a father in that sense.

 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:7-11

The Holy Spirit so wants us to be like Jesus that anything less than correction is not love. God's love will not be magnified in us if the motives of our hearts do not change. 

Then this morning I read Amos 3:2

You only have I known (chosen, sympathized with, and loved) of all the families of the earth; therefore I will visit upon you all your wickedness and punish you for all your iniquities. (AMP) 

Often we hear parents explain, "We still love you, but we are going to punish you". But God says, "I love you, so I am going to punish you" 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Faithful Holy One

I just read Hosea 11 and it made me sit there and go "wow". I mean really really wow. I don't even know where to start.

In verse 2, it says,

The more [the prophets] called to them, the more they went from them; they kept sacrificing to the Baals and burning incense to the graven images.

No one could get through to these people. No holy person, no righteous follower of the Law, no lover or servant of God, no awesome preacher or teacher or anyone else was going to get through here. It only made them more inclined to Baal worship. 

Then in verse 3 it says, 

Yet I taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by their arms ortaking them up in My arms, but they did not know that I healed them.

God shows us how to do everything. He carries us through our darkest nights, and we don't even show one ounce of appreciation, or heck, even recognition! 

Verse 4 describes just how He loved us, 

I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love, and I was to them as one who lifts up and eases the yoke over their cheeks, and I bent down to them and gently laid food before them.

Every good gift. The Lord gave more of Himself. He gave perfect love. He took our yokes and carried our burdens. He lifted us up. He kneeled before us, and satisfied us with food. 

And we didn't care. 

Verse 6 says, 

 And the sword shall rage against and fall upon their cities and shall consume the bars of their gates and shall make an end [of their defenses], because of their own counsels and devices. 

We are so stupid. It's the desire to follow our own wills and whims and desires that kills us. It's the fact that we think we know it all, when in reality we know NOTHING! We are like the high school punk who takes a psychology class and thinks he's qualified to psychoanalyze everyone. We get a taste, and think that's all we need. 

Verse 7 hit me even harder, 

My people are bent on backsliding from Me; though [the prophets] call them to Him Who is on high, none at all will exalt Him or lift himself up [to come to Him]. 

My people are bent on backsliding from Me. Not just My people are backsliding from Me, or My people are inclined to backslide from Me, but My people are bent on backsliding for Me. We are INCAPABLE of loving and choosing God because we are just THAT opposed to Him. Nothing in us wants Him. 

And as verse 7 speaks to our unbelievable rebellion, so verse 9 speaks to the unbelievable grace offered to us through Christ's death on the cross, 

I will not execute the fierceness of My anger; I will not bring back Ephraim to nothing or again destroy him. For I am God and not man, the Holy One in the midst of you, and I will not come in wrath or enter into the city.

Verse 12 sums up who God is so concisely and marvelously, 

Ephraim surrounds Me with lies and the house of Israel with deceit, and Judah is not yet steadfast with God, with the faithful Holy One

We have nothing to offer God. We are disgusting, deceitful, stained and poor. But He is perfect, just and righteous. Holy and faithful, He is the One who is and was and always will be. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

One of Those Days

You know what I'm talking about. Those days where you feel like poop and can't seem to shake it. The ones where you want to go back to bed and pretend you don't exist. Or in my case, when you just want to pack up and go home.

I have been on such a roller coaster this past week. From being confident and excited to doubting everything and feeling miserable. I feel like I'm saying and doing the wrong things, or not saying and doing the right things. I don't know why I'm here, and guess what? The things I've given up to be here keep haunting me. Everything I'm feeling is easily fixed by just one silly easy run conversation or a commons dinner or a visit to a friend's room or even a walk around the river downtown.

I was reading in The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment yesterday about complaining to God, and how it is possible to address your grievances without losing your contentment. It involves coming before the Lord with a submissive, quiet, humble spirit and heart and making your concerns known to Him. I still don't know what this is going to look like practically for me.

For now, I have a list of things waiting to be done and done they will be.

For thus says the Lord, ‘You shall not see wind or rain, but that streambed shall be filled with water, so that you shall drink, you, your livestock, and your animals.’ 2 Kings 3:17 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Father Speaks

Amid the eternal silences
None heard but He who always spake, 
And the silence was unbroken.

O marvellous! O worshipful!
No song or sound is heard, 
But everywhere and every hour
In love, in wisdom, and in power,
The Father speaks His dear Eternal Word.

Frederick W Faber 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Yet I Will Trust Him

This afternoon, when we were in the car, I read Habakkuk and a lot of it spoke to me, but I have to say, I just finished a study on Job, and one of my currently favorite songs is Even If, by Kutless, so I was deeply affected by 3:17-18

Though the fig tree should not blossom,
    nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
    and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
    and there be no herd in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
    I will take joy in the God of my salvation.

Perhaps not everyone is familiar with the quote from Job 13:15, "Though he slay me, yet I will trust him", but I love what that says. It doesn't matter what the Lord wants to put me through; He is still sovereign. He is still Creator and Master. Jesus is victor. The passages from Habakkuk say the same thing. Even if my harvests fail, even if everything falls apart in my eyes, I still have a reason to rejoice. Salvation will always, no matter what, be a cause for joy. 

There are a lot of broken pieces and souls in my life that continue struggle. I want them to be transformed by Jesus. I want God to reveal Himself to them. I want Him to reach out and heal them of their iniquity, to remove their struggle and alleviate their pain. I know people with chronic health problems who need help. I want the Holy Spirit to intervene and speak undeniable, unwavering, blatantly clear truth into these lives and problems. And I have faith that God is perfectly capable of doing these things. 

But I also know that God is still good, even if the healing the doesn't come. 

Even If - Kutless

Sometimes all we have to hold on to 
Is what we know is true of who You are 
So when the heartache hits like a hurricane 
That could never change who You are 
And we trust in who You are 
Even if the healing doesn't come 
And life falls apart 
And dreams are still undone 
You are God You are good 
Forever faithful One 
Even if the healing 
Even if the healing doesn't come 

Lord we know your ways are not our ways 
So we set our faith in who You are 
Even though You reign high above us 
You tenderly love us 
We know Your heart 
And we rest in who You are 
You're still the Great and Mighty One 
We trust You always 
You're working all things for our good 
We'll sing your praise 

You are God and we will bless You 
As the Good and Faithful One 
You are God and we will bless You 
Even if the healing doesn't come 
Even if the healing doesn't come

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Away We Go

Today was the first official day with all of the J127 students, and we kept things relatively relaxed, doing our chapel and devotions, with more of a fun intro class time, personality test, long walk, and general get to know you type things. I also snuck in the time to write a bunch of my first paper (due Monday) and continue to read for said paper. I'm amazed, though, at how God really prepared me this summer. So much of writing like this is a lot of reading, and most of the grunt work is already done - books have been read and saved, notes have been taken, and praise the Lord, old papers have been found, including research I didn't use then but will absolutely be using now! I'm organized, but also a compulsive delete-r, which I think actually goes hand in hand if you really think about it. I am ultra excited for everything that's going to be happening.

On another more serious note, last night and this morning in prayer, God really convicted me on the way I approached this semester. I went because I felt like He was telling me to, and then instead of listening to His heart on this, I justified it with my own logic. I would have a great time with people I love. I would get to travel. I would be able to write a unique paper and integrate it into my final thesis. I would be doing my Beloit education in a way that hasn't really been done, yet is so completely Beloit. And the part that really sickens me is that it was a total spiritual leader power trip. I would be in charge of discipling the young adults who would come to the program.

On this point, I remembered the leadership training series we did with InterVarsity awhile back. It gave characteristics of leaders, and the one that stuck out to me was "Leader as Patient". What I gained from that study was that when you lead, you have to be aware of your brokenness and your own need of healing. You need to know that it has to be the Spirit of God moving through you in order for it to work. You need to recognize that God does not need you. I was particularly struck by this thought early this morning. This program would be running, regardless of whether or not I were here. I realized that I really have no clue what I'm doing, and I will deeply need my Savior and King to guide me through this season.

The verse I got late last night that prompted all of this was:
At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children;  Matthew 11:25 

I spent so much of this summer academically and theologically engaged, that I really need to be brought back to that child-like faith level. 

Lord Jesus, bring me to my knees. Let my heart bow down before you, for you alone are worthy. With you is all wisdom, and you will reign forevermore. You have perfected love, my King; show it to me, deeper and deeper. Let me rely on you and your Spirit for every word that comes out of my mouth, that I would reflect your glory and that lives would be changed by the power of the cross and your great name. Lord, be present, and be my center. Be my all in all. Thank you for hearing my prayers. Thank you for dying that my prayers would be heard and would be answered. Thank you, Lord, for everything you are about to do. In Jesus' Name, Amen 

Monday, September 10, 2012

And Then They Came For Me

I'm reading a stellar biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and I'm at the part shortly after Hitler was elected (for anyone who loves world history, politics, theology, and/or church history, this is pretty much the best book ever). The German church was being infiltrated by the Nazi state, and it was decision time. Who would conform, and who would speak out? The "German Christians" were passing resolutions to bar converted Jews to the ministry, while the "Confessing Church" (earlier, the "Pastors Emergency League") was speaking out for the rights of their Jewish brothers. One of Bonhoeffer's friends and colleagues, Martin Niemoller knew that what the state was doing to the church was slandering the true gospel of Jesus Christ, but he separated issues of church and state. He even congratulated Hitler and swore loyalty to him.

Bonhoeffer and others in that camp were shocked and appalled. Years later, Niemoller would see the errors of his reasoning. He spent eight years in concentration camps as the personal prisoner of Adolf Hitler, and he wrote these words:

First they came for the Socialists and I did not speak out - 
because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out - 
because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out - 
because I was not a Jew. 
And then they came for me - 
and there was no one left to speak to me. 

These words were particularly striking to me because this semester, I am helping to lead a gap program that takes its name from James 1:27

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

I am sure that as this semester progresses, different and more complete meanings behind this verse will manifest themselves to me, but right now, reading Niemoller's words alongside this, I saw this tremendous need to be an advocate. This morning I read one of my favorite verses, Amplified, and it was all coming together - 

And [now] they sing a new song, saying, You are worthy to take the scroll and to break the seals that are on it, for You were slain (sacrificed), and with Your blood You purchased men unto God from every tribe and language and people and nation. Revelation 5:9 

From every tongue, there are ransomed men. We have brothers and sisters around the world who are suffering, but who are with us in Christ's kingdom. Our church is so much more than the people we see each Sunday. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Filled With Good Things

Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
    for his wondrous works to the children of man!
For he satisfies the longing soul,
    and the hungry soul he fills with good things.
Psalm 107:8-9

Last night we had the first worship night of the new season. I forgot how much I love worship here!

Good things:
worship nights
delicious food
tree covered hills
old buildings
fascinating books

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Hitting the Ground Running

So I'm here in New York, and have been busy already. Students come next week, and there's a huge renovation project on our building, so we've been finishing floors and putting together cabinets in preparation for this weekend's project. One of my co-leaders is flying home from Singapore today so we will be doing a lot of planning coming up. I had to fill out an Institutional Review Board form, as the last step in my academic prep for now. My first paper is due in just under two weeks! I know those deadlines are going to come at me fast.

I'm really excited for everything, and will update more as we get going.