Friday, August 29, 2014

Thursday, August 21, 2014

What's red, white and black allover?

The Allure

The allure of lattice is that inner contents are
semi-concealed, semi-seen.
Fritz did a good job photographing the yumminess.  Hope you have had your dessert.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Ours for a Day

All the art of the Metropolitan Musuem belonged to us for a day.



Sunday, August 10, 2014

My Ladders in Life


Since Alex is taller than me, he needs no ladder.  The rest are growing quickly and may overtake me in due time.  All lined up the kids are like rungs on a ladder.  Each a little taller than the next. 

Gift Sand

Even though Ben and I lived on an island for four years, we don't like sand.  Sand has no manners.  It has no respect.  It clings to you and rubs you raw.  It hitches a ride in socks and shoes, bags and belongings.  Sand is a messy house guest that comes and never departs.   It strews its fine grit on every floor and counter, between bedsheets and couch cushions, in the corners of showers and the recesses of the car.  In our minds, sand and menace were spelled the same way.  Therefore, it is strange that today sand became a gift.  

Sand is much more than a beach on Bora Bora.   Sand is a visual promise from the Great Promise Keeper.   When He created the world and separated the sea from the firmament, God knew that the people he created would be prone to doubt.  He spoke sand into existence and said, "This is good." 

Isn't God good to give us something that is tenacious like sand.  Sand never gives up, because it has a duty to speak a heart-jolting message.  Sand was created for the purpose of us to see the One of Abundance, the One Immeasurable and the One Uncountable.  I never thought of sand shouting, "Look at me and believe.  Look at me and see the measure with which God will bless you."  God blesses in the measure of himself.  Did you hear that?

Abraham's promise of descendants as numerous as the sand on the shores would have been null if God himself wasn't like sand.  What's more, sand invades your personal space, sand messes with your comfort, sand scratches everything you once held sacred, but sand will never leave you nor forsake you.   How remarkable that Jesus like sand enters in uninvited with Saul and Zacchaeus.  You just have read their stories to see that Jesus will become such a fine grit in our lives, that when our soles touch the floor in the morning we will start to praise him.  When we begin to prepare our food, our hands will brush his goodness on the counter tops.  When we sleep at night and when we sprawl on the couch, even there we will be mindful of his blessings.   When we think Jesus isn't there in the mundane or when we drive in the pouring rain, Jesus lets us reach into the corner so that our hand might come back gloved in the assurance of his abiding presence. 

God not only desired to bless Abraham, he gave Abraham something physical at which to look.  In the long years of waiting for the promise, I bet God placed sand in Abraham sandals everyday and sand in his bed every night as if to tell him, "I am the God of Over Abundance and you will never want in Me."  How could I have ever doubted that sand was a gift?

Thursday, August 07, 2014

When Words and Worlds Collide

This is a powerful testament to God's hand on a family of Chinese Vietnamese refugees.  The wind in the title can be none other than the breath of the Almighty.   Jesus' mercies are new every morning and it is so intimately portrayed in this touching memoir.  The author has remarkable ability to speak humor and deep lessons in the recounting of his difficult journey and settling in a foreign land.  Loved this book.  Wish there were more like it.

Oh, how I can relate to the title.  I, too, once questioned the sanity of God.  This book takes some grit to read the first half.  It is a humanly depressing account of "absent" God in a land of desperate need where a missionary family just wanted to obey Jesus.   Obedience came at a great personal lost.  I think if you haven't questioned God's goodness before, the author's words might cause your safe little perceptions a jolt.   In the second half of the book the author visits with the persecuted church, and his faith is indeed resurrected as only God can do.  Through the darkest of places, Jesus can teach us to speak in confidence that He deals wondrously with each of us. 
Joel 2:25-27 sums it up.
"So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten....
26 You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
And praise the name of the Lord your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you;
And My people shall never be put to shame.
27 Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel:
I am the Lord your God
And there is no other.
My people shall never be put to shame."

As in the conclusion of The Insanity of God, Jesus reveals himself where you least expect him to be.  Jesus is the very real sustainer and protector of these two Iranian Christian girls who spend many harrowing days in Evin Prison in Tehran for distributing the Word of Life.  Loving the unlovely, sharing the Peace of Christ with their fellow prisoners make this book a glowing account of how God places Christians exactly where he wants for a season to minister.  Prison walls mean nothing to Christ.  After all, Jesus has already released the captives.  These girls knew they were freer in prison than in public and used their time in prison to proclaim the Hope of the World to the hopeless.  To western Christians the book begs a question...Is Jesus worth loss of reputation, loss of freedom, loss of homeland, loss of choice, loss of health, loss of family, loss of privacy, loss of nourishment?  May we have the same courage as these lovely girls and answer in the assertive.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Savoring the Last Week

Next week school starts, I am going to miss my morning walking buddy.