Archive for ‘How God Works’

January 21, 2010

journaling the journey

Long have I felt the need to journal my thoughts and my prayers, my lows and my highs, though I am not dedicated to daily diaries just for the sake of writing them. Instead, I keep a few journals around the house and jot down major thoughts or strong impressions that seem important to document. Sometimes I don’t even realize it’s important but I find myself needing an outlet to quiet my mind. Through the years I have learned that even without daily entries my life is a record to be studied and learned from anew. I can open any of the journals from any previous year and find words of joy and despair and anguish and celebration. More often than not, my journal pages are filled with extreme emotions rather than mundane details of daily life. And yet, even without the balanced times in between, I can see clearly the journey I am taking.
Just this morning I was reminded once again of how important this is for me. Rereading the pages from 2009 reminded me how faithful God was to deliver my spirit from despair and worry during a year of unknowns and uncertainty. My life is an open book of fulfilled promise. I remember only moments now that peace and joy have been restored, but my journal is a reminder that every day counts toward the bigger picture of God’s faithfulness. Without those written words, this would be easy to forget.
God took that lesson further this morning when I closed my journal and opened His Word:

I love you, God — you make me strong.
God is bedrock under my feet, the castle in which I live, my rescuing knight.
God made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before him.
When I got my act together, he gave me a fresh start.
Now I’m alert to God’s ways; I don’t take God for granted.
Every day I review the ways he works; I try not to miss a trick.
I feel put back together, and I’m watching my step.
God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.

Psalm 18:1, 20-24 (The Message)


January 19, 2010


All eyes are on Haiti. Hearts have opened up, minds have focused in on this tiny little country that has so much less than most people will ever realize. Suddenly, people everywhere are studying Haiti. People everywhere are learning about poverty in a way they’ve never considered before. Hearts are broken, tears continue to fall a week later. All eyes are fixed and compassion has been ignited.
The state of Haiti is worsened now, but Haiti has been devastated for quite some time. Most of the people have nothing at all, many live on less than $2.00 per day and sleep in lean-to shacks made of discarded materials. There is corruption and starvation and epidemic of disease, and this has been the case for so long that few even realize it continues. But now, all eyes are on Haiti, and the world is seeing the reality.
Though the word “punishment” has been bandied about, I wonder instead if God allows such devastation not for the people who suffer it as much as for those who do not. I wonder if natural disaster, destruction, oppression and suffering occur so that all hearts are made aware. To show us what we do not see, to teach us what we fail to learn for ourselves. “God does not punish the helpless. True judgment begins with the family of God” (Jeff Warren).
When disaster strikes, hearts are made aware. People begin to act, to move, to pray and deliver hope. Would that we do all this without such devastation. May compassion and service be on our hearts without global events spurring us to action. And may God’s restoration come quickly to the Haitian people. A mighty work has begun.

December 25, 2009

the Gift

The Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’—which means, ‘God with us.’
NativityThe time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Three wise men came from the east, following a star which stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.


A great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.


Documenting the days of Christmas was inspired by Ali Edwards’s December Daily project and the Holidays in Hand class by Jessica Sprague.
December 11, 2009

The Story of Jesus Christ

Each year my church presents Christmas Journey, a presentation of the life of Christ represented in individual scenes with dramatization. Visitors drive past each scene and hear narration from the Bible, as well as the voices of the actors in each scene. It is a powerful medium for sharing the story of our Savior, and thousands upon thousands come to bear witness. No matter the weather, the Journey goes on. And each year it seems a little more poignant than the last. It’s easy to forget that I’m watching friends and family portray characters. Instead, I see Jesus and Apostles and Roman soldiers and Pharisees, as well as persons afflicted with illnesses and disabilities who come to Jesus to be healed. And witnessing the healing is more powerful than one could ever imagine. It’s very easy to put myself in ancient times, to see myself in a crowd of observers being amazed and overwhelmed by visible evidence of the power of God. The Christmas Journey is our gift to the communities surrounding us, and each year I am more thankful for the people who sacrifice their time and energy for these weeks in November and December. And though I have never managed to get clear in-focus images from the Journey scenes, I do not fret over it. Being in motion makes photos challenging, but it does not diminish the power of Jesus Christ and the life he lived to provide salvation for you and me.
   click image to see the entire album and read the story of Christ
Christmas Journey: The Story of Jesus Christ

Documenting the days of Christmas was inspired by Ali Edwards’s December Daily project and the Holidays in Hand class by Jessica Sprague.