love.

10 12 2015

What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellowman.
This is the entire Law;
all the rest is commentary.

-Talmud, Shabbat 3id





146,000 silent nights

8 12 2015

Malachi 3:1  “’I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,’ says the LORD Almighty.”

These were last words God spoke.  For 400 years.

The people waited.
And they kept waiting.
400 years passed;
God was silent.
146,000 silent nights.
But all the people were watching and waiting,
and watching some more.

They were not fighting each other.
They were not worshipping other gods…
for the first time in a LONG time.

They knew God was with them as they watched and waited,
but, the promise…
from the prophet Isaiah:
For unto us a son is born
Unto us a son is given
The peace, justice, righteousness…
they knew these were coming.
They knew HE was coming.

But, do you think the people wanted to give up?
Did they get tired of waiting?
Did they think God’s promises weren’t going to come to be?

Maybe.

But the next time God spoke, it wasn’t through a judge, king or prophet.
It was in the cry of a Baby.
God would break the silent nights, with a not so silent night,
through the screaming cry of a baby.
The Son of God,
Emmanuel,
GOD WITH US.

Two people waited expectantly day and night in the temple worshipping God, waiting for the Messiah, or the Christ.

Luke 2:25-32  “There was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, looking forward to Israel’s consolation, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he saw the Lord’s Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, he entered the temple complex. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform for Him what was customary under the law, Simeon took Him up in his arms, praised God, and said:
‘Now, Master, You can dismiss Your slave in peace, as You promised.
For my eyes have seen Your salvation. You have prepared it in the presence of all peoples— a light for revelation to the Gentiles and glory to Your people Israel.'”

Luke 2:36-38  “There was also a prophetess, Anna […] . She was well along in years, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and was a widow for 84 years. She did not leave the temple complex, serving God night and day with fasting and prayers. At that very moment, she came up and began to thank God and to speak about Him to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.”

Simeon and Anna both were waiting,
and after waiting so long, they finally gazed into the eyes of God-
a baby.

Someone asked me last week – why do we celebrate Jesus coming at Christmas time so much? What’s so special about it?

Jesus was and still is the hope of all mankind.
Jesus was and is God – who came to earth to live as one of us,
to share in our sufferings, our struggles,
to live as we live,
and years later – this baby, now a man
would die on a cross and rise again
because of one reason:

LOVE.

God’s love for us – you and I and this entire world
is so big that he didn’t leave us alone,
He didn’t leave us to walk this life alone
He came to be with us,
He came to rescue us.

And that indeed is good news,
the good news of love
that was worth waiting for all those years.

Love.

 

bbdf071cbdcf1b865a17dafd0623a156.jpg





until it happens

17 11 2015

Isn’t it funny?
Everything seems like a great idea
until it happens.

Move across the country and attend seminary..
but leave all your friends and family behind.
Move across the country so you can [potentially] meet your spouse..
but have everyone you’ve loved and longed for leave or let you down.
Move across the world to do ministry and be near your family…
but live with questions and fears whether it was really the right thing.

I live in the tension
of the life I long to live
and the life I’m living right now.
As if these two were so different
but sometimes they are in my mind.

Faced with a choice and decision that will impact the destination of the next chapter.

Move back to the land of barrenness and heartache…
to perhaps grasp what I’ve been reaching for.
Move to a land unknown full of possibilities…
only to be left alone, with myself and my thoughts.

Reaching forward and reaching back
cannot be done at the same time,
you must choose: future or past.
Which will dictate your path?
The choices you didn’t choose, or the chances you did take?

Perhaps all that we long for and all that we hope,
are right in front of us, right under our nose.
Perhaps the person we are and the person we long to be
are one in the same,
and the tension of both can become one.

It’s not really funny
many things seem like great ideas
until reality sets in
until it happens.
But the true treasure lies in your moments and days
embracing today while it is still called “today.”

Life-Love-Quotes-Start-living-Today.jpg





“you know just enough to be dangerous”

8 11 2015

Those words still echo through my mind, spoken by a professor friend of mine.

I walked (maybe even skipped) across the big stage to receive my degree from Dallas Seminary in May but in that moment, I couldn’t help but feel like I wasn’t done yet.  There was more left to know and learn.

I know enough to be dangerous, but I know I need more.

Which is why I’m up blogging at 2:49am instead of sleeping.





Prayer to Creator God

13 10 2015

Father God,
Creator of all things –
the sun, the sky, the trees and all that we see,
the one whose voice said “let there BE,”
And there was.

The one whose voice still speaks to us today.

We open our hearts and our ears to hear you speak again
for You are God alone
and we are humbled to be in your presence today.

God,
who creates
will you create in us today a new understanding of who you are,
so that we may love you in a new way today, and each day.

Thank you for your creative work all around us
and thank you for creating us to also create
and do good works through Your Son, Jesus Christ and we pray these things in His name,

Amen.

creation





from death to life

19 09 2015

Let-Go

Letting go.
Letting things die
so i can live..
so I can really live, again.

There is life, even in death
because some things need to die, so other things can live
like dreams

But why do we keep praying for clarity?
We are never promised clarity
But … but
we can walk by faith, and not by sight
we can choose trust instead of the questions

And somehow in the mess
there is beauty
in the ashes
and in the end
we may experience a joy that only comes from Him in the midst of the
madness, chaos, confusion and doubt..

and a seed of joy is planted
growing bit by bit
sprouting into a tree.  A tree of life.  Again.





So… what do you want to do with that?

3 09 2015

What do you want to do with that degree?
Is this [job] what you were hoping to do as a career?
How long are you planning to stay?

The questions we ask people about life, whether it be careers, marriage, children, hobbies, etc… often are the wrong questions to ask.  During day one of orientation for my Master’s degree at Dallas Theological Seminary I was asked numerous times, “What degree program are you in?” closely followed by the question, “Oh, great, so what do you hope to do with that?”  Or, “What kind of ministry are you planning to serve in after you finish?”

So many of our questions are leading questions.  We intend to lead people to a specific type of answer.  An answer that belongs in a neatly organized box.  And not only that, but these questions do not focus on the heart of who the person we are conversing with, rather, we are forcing people to answer in a particular way so that we can categorize them.

Since my move here to Seoul, I have been asked too many times, “Oh, so is this job what you were wanting to do when you attended seminary?”

Um, no.  It isn’t.  Wasn’t.

I had no clue I would be here.
I have no clue how long I will be here.
I have no clue where I will go next.

God only knows.

And that’s the thing about all our grand plans: they aren’t ours.  We can plan all day until our faces are blue and our fingers are bleeding with callouses: we cannot know the future.

Proverbs rightly reminds us: “A person plans his course, but the Lord directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9, NET)








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