Friday, September 22, 2017

Leave no stone unturned

I’m in a desert season.  You know the kind where all around you feels dry, dusty, parched. It’s desolate - a wasteland for miles.  The sun overhead is insufferable.  The only water for miles is that of the salty tears that frequently flow downward from dry and weary eyes.  Legs ache.  Hearts ache even more.  Hope set long ago at dusk and hasn’t risen since.  Dreams lay broken in a million parts like the sand.  I long for God but all I can see around me looks Godforsaken.  The road ahead is blurry as heat waves rise from the ground before me.  My compass of promises in His Word are all I cling to, straining to make sense, to make headway.

I’m searching for Him, all around. I can’t afford to go through life looking for billboards and banners that blast brilliantly of Him.  No. I’ve taken to turning over every rock, searching for Him. Desperate for Him to show up.  Looking high and low. Although mostly low. Searching in insignificant places and unlikely spaces.  I want to find Him.  I need to find Him. He shows up when we need Him most, right?  In our broken-heartedness? Scaffolding up crushed spirits?

Tonight I found Him. Or rather I heard Him. In the midst of the mundane muscling of laundry into loaded drawers, I heard a sound carried on the wind.  Melodious music whose rhythmic cadence and familiar tune lilted into my ears. It took a moment for my mind to pause, to really hear.  But at last when I’d taken time for the tune - back hunching over, ear pressing into the cool window screen, mind turning over this unlikely stone - my heart opened up to what my ears were hearing.  The language was unfamiliar but I knew the tune by heart.  “What can wash away my sin?  Nothing but the blood of Jesus.”  This song for me is a soul song - one of those hymns which the Holy Spirit has so impressed upon my soul, using it at pivotal and paramount times to speak peace, comfort, and grace to me.  It’s a song that no matter how much air time it gets, moves me to lift hands and voice to Him in praise.


Neighbors on the street behind must have been holding a study or service of some kind in their home, and “nothing but the blood” would do.  As their foreign tongues belted out all the verses of this beloved hymn, my heart and mind sang with them.  This blood that cleanses all my sins, that makes me whole again, that is all my hope and peace, that is all my righteousness - is not only personal but powerful. This blood has spoken into every tongue of its wonder-working power. I am not the only one rejoicing, searching, clinging.  This blood is beloved the world over and its praises sung in all the four corners.  There is no other fount we know. Let it’s praises ring eternal, carried on the evening backyard air.

Interesting Zoo Animals

Interesting Zoo Animals 
by Jordan R.


Some interesting zoo animals are tigers and wolves.  Here are some facts about wolves.  Wolf pups are born with their eyes shut. Breeding season is February to March and female wolves are pregnant for sixty-three days!  Wolves have forty-two teeth.

Speaking of teeth, let’s move on to tigers.  Here are some facts about tigers.  A tiger’s tail is 1 meter long.  Tigers have been known to eat up to twenty-seven kilograms of meat in one night! Tigers weigh up to six hundred pounds. Thanks for going on the safari with me! 




Thursday, June 15, 2017

My favorite color

This is an essay by our daughter, the cat lover.

My Favorite color
By Jordan
     I have one favorite color.  My favorite color is turquoise.  It remind me of PWOC.  My mom is a member of PWOC. Turquoise represents the presence of God.  Also, turquoise is the color of my grandma's phone case. I love her very much.  Turquoise is a cool color. That's why I like it. It's very peaceful like the sky.

Monday, April 3, 2017

"Sovereign"

In the midst of contemplating the sovereignty of God recently (read about it in this post), this song came into my life.  The lyrics grip me - such an eloquent expression of the faithfulness of my sovereign God.  Enjoy! {"Sovereign" written by Chris Tomlin Jason Ingram Jonas Myrin Martin Chalk Matt Redman}


Saturday, March 25, 2017

Wheat, weeds, and sovereignty


Recent months have sent me through a reform, of sorts.  I used to come to the Bible hungering and thirsting for what I could find about myself and apply to myself.  I approached the Bible as if it were a book about me.  But it is not.  The Bible is a book about God, first.  It contains truth and application for me, oh yes.  But the first thing the Bible speaks of is not myself, but God.  There is no true knowledge of self apart from the knowledge of God.

So this time when I read through the kingdom parable of the wheat and the weeds, I went looking for God.  Where is He in this story?  What speaks to me of His character and nature? Instead of focusing in on the wheat vs. weeds and their significance, I looked at the characters in this parable. (Matthew 13:24-30)

The owner of the field strikes me as the god-figure.  God sowing good seed in His kingdom field would not be out of character for Him at all.  In fact, the book of James tells us that every good and perfect gift - including wisdom! - comes to us from our Father, God.  

Additionally an enemy is spoken of in this story, one who molests by planting weeds among the wheat in the darkness of night.  So typical of our adversary Satan; the resemblance is striking.  And in his typical form, he does his deed and leaves.  Our enemy seeks to steal, kill, and destroy - and might I add, abandon?  It is only the Lord who promises to “never leave us, nor forsake us.”  

The parable also mentions the owner’s servants which I believe are symbolic of the children of God, believers and followers of the gospel.  You and me, sisters and brothers in Christ.  I love what the text has to say about what they said. “Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field?  Where then did the weeds come from?”  

If I may paraphrase: “God, aren’t you a good and loving god? How can there be evil and suffering in this world? Who is responsible? How can a good God allow bad things to happen? Can’t you do something, God?!”

While this question is a legitimate one, it teeters into the realm of assault - assault on the very character of God. The sovereign God of the universe called himself El Shaddai in order that we might be made aware of the omnipotence and omniscience he possesses.  At the heart of this question, I believe, is partly the human desire to understand. But also it can be seen as partly a desire for justification of all the injustice we see in our world.  God’s reply is swift and accurate, spoken by the owner of the field.

“An enemy did this,” he replied.

What God is doing here is not blame-shifting or passing the buck on the “weeds in his field”, the evils of the world.  God is rightly declaring the origin of the evil of this world to be a direct result of the hands of Satan at work.  The perpetuation of evil and wickedness throughout history is evidence of the continued schemes of the devil and the plan he has set in motion - to include countless human lives and souls, only to be counted and fully known at the day of harvest.

But the parable does not end here.  The owner of the field doesn’t throw up his hands and pack it in for the season, leaving his field and good seed to choke.  He doesn’t drag out the plow and till it all up - wheat, weeds, and what-not.  But the servants had a mind to ask the field owner’s permission to go weed-eating, to pull out the weeds mixed in and amongst the wheat.  We do much the same when our hearts long for a god who would rid this world of all ills and evils TODAY.  (Not tomorrow or in His time, but now.)  We do much the same when we cannot perceive of a world where a sovereign God can handle both the wheat and the weeds, weaving them into a perfect master plan.  We, like the servants, ask for a pulling of the weeds.

The field owner says, “No, not yet.”  God says to our question of injustice, of suffering, of His sovereignty, “No, not yet.”  God has a beautiful and glorious plan for the wheat He planted in His field.  Nothing can thwart that plan.  He is sovereign enough to handle the weeds, to redeem their existence.  For believers, everything sad is going to come untrue and it will somehow be greater for having once been broken and lost.2  In fact, He is all-sovereign enough to handle both the wheat and the weeds existing and growing at the same time.

“No,” he answered, “because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them.  Let both grow together until the harvest.  At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.”

What this parable reveals to me about God is the depth and height of His beautiful sovereignty.  God isn’t bound or limited by the existence of evil “weeds” in the world.  And while he isn’t responsible for them, He is a God of redemption.  He is omnipotent and by His righteous right hand He will usher in a magnificent victory that preserves the wheat and punishes the weeds.  And what knowledge of self can I glean from this story?  May the vapor of my life produce wheat for the barnhouse of the Lord.

1 “Women of the Word”, by Jen Wilkins
2 “The Reason for God”, by Tim Keller

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Clarity and faithfulness

This man. I love him so.  He is a faithful father.  A minister of the gospel.  An amazing husband.  A world class soldier.  He is willing to go to the ends of the earth (and has!) to advance the Kingdom of God.  He has a call on his life to proclaim good news and eternal hope to all who will listen.


Last Sunday he had the privilege to preach yet again at our chapel.  This is not a calling or opportunity he takes lightly.  He labors and prepares diligently.  I love his heart and rejoice in seeing his spiritual gift of prophecy (declaring right from wrong) in action.  After preaching his sermon twice (for both services) he had one question on his mind.  He asked me, "Was it clear?  Did I make it clear?"  Not sure what he was referencing, I asked him to clarify.  "The gospel. Did I make it clear enough?"  Such passion.  After all was said and done, the greatest desire of his heart was to make Christ known as clearly and practically as possible.  Thank you, Lord, for faithful men who will stand and declare truth, who bear well the burden of "did I make it clear?"

Thursday, February 9, 2017

NEW EARTH

Hi, I'm DJ, Jennifer's son. This is an essay that I wrote for school.  Enjoy! :-)


New Earth


One day, in the year 2999, the Boomer family decided to live on Mars. Earth was crowded with people and they wanted to have more space.  So they built a space ship/station. The SuperShipStation(S.S.S.) traveled ten times the speed of light! So they got in and … LIFT OFF!!!!


They arrived a day later and built a mansion, some helper-bots, a greenhouse, and some teleporters for going to Earth. The helper-bots built factories, air tubes, roads, and a Meteor Ray Shield (M.R.S.).

The town prospered and became known as Technoville. World President Fuji Corners sent Military Astronauts (M.A.) to keep it safe and to build Military Mar Bases (M.M.B.).

The town soon became a state, and, in the year 3016, it became “New Earth”. It will be there until the end of the world. 

Or will it?………………… KABOOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!