Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Saying Goodbye

We've had to say goodbye to several families from our church this summer. That's one of the drawbacks of living in a seminary town and going to a "seminary church." Everyone is here for a season and then moves on.

Last week we had to say goodbye to one of my dearest and closest friends in Louisville and her son who is Katie's best bud. Here are some photos of us relishing our last days together.
(Notice Katie's big girl ponytail!!!)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A foretaste of heaven found in a surprising place...YouTube

This YouTube video has been all over the web recently, but I watched it for the first time tonight. I would have completely missed the beautiful spiritual reality it represents if my husband hadn't been watching it with me.

"The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them." Isaiah 11

Come soon, Lord Jesus.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Book plug

Do you have books that you always associate with other people? For example, whenever I think of Brennan Manning's Ruthless Trust, my next thought is always of my dear friends Jenny and Hannah (pictured on right). Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship makes me think of Andrew Bostrom, and C.S. Lewis' The Great Divorce reminds me of Ricky Hardison.

Recently, as I was remembering my dear friend Carolyn who was on our team in China, I also remembered a book she carried with her during our Spring Festival travels across southern China and Thailand. The book was John Baillie's A Diary of Private Prayer, and every morning and evening she would read the daily prayer to our small band of travelers. I'm not sure if I shared with her at the time how much those prayers meant to me. But they clearly made an impact since the mere remembrance of the book 4 years later was enough to make me run down to the Christian Book Nook and buy it. Interestingly, this little book was another one of those books of my mom's. As in the case of Stepping Heavenward, I should've paid more attention to this one as well.

A Diary of Private Prayer is organized by day (1st day of the month through the 30th day), with both a morning prayer and an evening prayer, as well as a blank page opposite the printed prayer on which you can record your own prayers or answers to prayer. Here's a sample of one of the prayers:
(I have "translated" and the Thees, Thous, didsts, arts, etc.)

Morning, Day 11
Here I am, O God, of little power and of mean estate, yet lifting up heart and voice to You before whom all created things are as dust and a vapor. You are hidden behind the curtain of sense, incomprehensible in Your greatness, mysteriously in Your almighty power; yet here I speak with You familiarly as child to parent, as friend to friend. If I could not so speak to You, then were I indeed without hope in the world. For it is little that I have power to do or to ordain. Not of my own will am I here, not of my own will shall I soon pass hence. Of all that shall come to me this day, very little will be such as I have chosen for myself. It is You, O Hiddne One, who does appoint my lot and determine the bounds of my habitation. It is You who has put power in my hand to do one work and has withheld the skill to do another. It is You who keeps in Your grasp the threads of this day's life and who alone knows what lies before me to do or to suffer. But because You are my Father, I am not afraid. Because it is Your own Spirit that stirs within my spirit's inmost room, I know that all is well. What I desire for myself I canot attain, but what You desire in me You can attain for me. The good that I would do not, but the good that You will in me, that You can give me power to do.

Dear Father, take this day's life into Your own keeping. Control all my thoughts and feelings. Direct all my energies. Instruct my mind. Sustain my will. Take my hands and make them skillful to serve You. Take my feet and make them swift to do Your bidding. Take my eyes and keep them fixed upon Your everlasting beauty. Take my mouth and make it eloquent in testimony to Your love. Make this day a day of obedience, a day of spiritual joy and peace. Make this day's work a little part of the work of the Kingdon of my Lord Christ, in whose name these my prayers are said. Amen.