Raising Daughters

Posted in Reflections.

familyThere was so much work to be done. There are people everywhere. The last fifty-two days have been surreal for Philip. The range of emotions has almost overwhelmed him. One of his best friends was killed over fifty days ago and the whole world changed from that point for Philip. That day lived long in his memory.
But that first day of the new week changed everything. Suddenly, his friend wasn't dead anymore and everything he knew of this world changed.

He had followed this friend for quite a while and had believed that He would change the world. He just didn't know that it was going to be THIS way.

On this day, people are flooding into Jerusalem in droves. The day of Pentecost is at hand. They came here to celebrate a festival and yet....something is different this time. There is a buzz in the air and everyone can feel it. There is something different about this year's festival. They didn't know what was about to hit them.

Then everything changed.

I want to KNOW Jesus

Posted in Reflections.

jesus

I want to know Jesus.

Even as I type out these simple words, I find them not enough. They are not eloquent enough. They don't speak in a manner that bespeaks the intensity and intimacy I am seeking. They do not do justice to that which is my aim. They are simple words that say way too little. They are supposed to mean more.

Some look at these words and see nothing more than knowledge. They see a relationship with Jesus based solely on knowing everything possible about Him and the word of God, the Bible. Knowing the Bible becomes "knowing Jesus." Even as I write this, I cringe because I want so badly to follow this up with, "This is partially true and we do need to "know" the Bible." But here is my problem.

You think YOUR family is messed up?

Posted in Reflections.

honeyplease

There are some pretty messed up families in the Bible. I mean REALLY messed up. Here is a list of just a few.

1. One man blamed his wife for something that they BOTH did, which caused both of them to be evicted from their home.
2. One man offered up his daughters to a mob of angry men to appease them.
3. One man lied about his wife to another man, which caused a plague to come over his entire household.
4. One family had two sons. His father loved the first son more, while his mother loved the other more. The mother lied and tricked her husband, so her beloved son would get the family blessing and inheritance that was owed to his favorite son.
5. One family took their father's favorite son and sold him into slavery. SLAVERY.
6. One man stole one of his best friend's wives, had his best friend killed, and then married her.

Remembering is hard....

Posted in Reflections.

elephant

Some days I forget. I forget some of the simplest things in the world. I forget names, dates, appointments, and places.

Some days I simply forget.

I do realize that I am not alone in this. In fact, I dare say we all forget things. We forget things all the time. Every day we forget birthdays and anniversaries. Ah...one should never forget anniversaries!

Well, we all do it. And honestly, it is not always a bad thing to be forgetful. I've always found that being able to forget people's faults is a wonderful thing. The ability to forgive and forget is an absolutely wonderful trait to have!

But I also think that our ability to forget can cause us to miss out on some of the greatest moments in history.

The Real Story....

Posted in Reflections.

daniel

Cowering in a corner, the little boy hid from the soldiers that came his way. He cried as he held his knees tight to his chest. Tears ran down his dirty face and he couldn't help but pray. He prayed for safety and for his family. He didn't know where his mom and dad were. They were probably dead, but he didn't want to think about that. All he knew was that the enemy was here and this was not going to be a good day.

The soldiers burst in the door. They started ransacking the home until they ran across the little boy. They grabbed him by his arms as he screamed for his life. He struggled and did his best to run. He just had no energy left.

They placed him with the other boys his age. They led him in chains toward the slave cart and threw him inside with the others. He was going to be a slave.

Time together...

Posted in Reflections.

sunrise

You can tell the health of a church by how long people stick around after the worship service.

There are many "churches" today that come together on the first day of the week for worship that simply haven't figured out a major aspect of what it means to be a "church." They come together and fulfill all of the major aspects of worship but they miss out on one of the main components of being together.

Imagine with me for a minute. Imagine the first century and its daily life. Think of the first century church. They did not meet in a specific building with a sign outside the door that read "Meeting place of the Church of Christ." They met in houses. They met in private places hidden from sight. They met privately because of the persecution.

She asked the right question...

Posted in Reflections.

china

My time in China was great. I truly loved being there and I truly love the people. The thousands of students I met. The millions of chinese who stared at me. The hundreds that I became friends with. This is just a little exerpt from my life from that time for the teens at Buford and all of the rest of you who stumbled upon this.
When we landed in Wuhan on that beautiful fall day, I was amazed at how far out in the middle of nowhere the airport was. Having flown all over the world, this was by far the most distant airport from its stated city of landing. Once we arrived at our apartments on campus, I started unpacking and getting ready for our meeting with the school officials the next day. Not knowing what to expect, I was going over my contract on what I might be asked to teach, how many hours, what my schedule would look like, etc. I have to say I was a bit worried because Id heard that sometimes they like to push the foreign teachers when it comes to hours. But alas, my thoughts were interrupted by a knock on my door.

My Soul Sings forth....

Posted in Reflections.

beach

I closed my eyes and felt the warm breeze. I could feel the sand underneath me as I dug my feet deep within it. Warmth. The perfect temperature seemed to just engulf me.

I was tired. Exhausted. Completely drained of all energy. It had been a long winter in China.

Now, as I sat on a beach in Vietnam, every burden seemed to be flying away from my shoulders.

Nine underground churches to work with. Classes to teach. Bible studies to do. People coming to and also rejecting God. My phone was bugged and I was being watched each and every day. I was tired. Emotionally tired. I missed seeing my family. In fact, I had just missed my little sister's wedding.

The first day....

Posted in Reflections.

praise

My alarm is going off.
It's ringing over and over. My mind doesn't want to acknowledge it.
Just stop ringing already. Seriously. Stop.
I finally reach over and grab my phone, stare at the screen for a second as I try to remember my passcode. I groggily type in my password. 1-2-3-4. Nope...that's not it.
I finally remember my passcode, get into my iPhone, and find the alarm app.
Snooze or turn off the alarm.
Oh, the decision.

What a Savior!

Posted in Scriptural Encouragement.

jesus

Every once in a while I read something that really hits me. I was reading from the book of Luke the other day and I had one of those moments. Luke 10:21 says, "At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, 'I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.'"

It is not so much the context that struck me. It was the words.

Jesus stops and prays. He stops His conversation with His disciples and speaks to His Father.

"I PRAISE YOU, FATHER."

Praying in China

Posted in Reflections.

china

I remember very vividly the dark, cold night that I am about to tell you about. I remember the smell in the air and what I was wearing. This memory is burned into my mind.

It was really dark outside as I walked outside of my apartment in China. REALLY dark. The power at my apartment was off and it was obvious that the power to everything else on the campus was off also. I could tell that the power outside of the campus was on as I saw the glow from a distance. I zipped up my jacket, pulled my hat down further on my head, and headed towards the food district. You can't cook without power and I was hungry. Time to get some street food.

Do you pray weird?

Posted in Reflections.

small

Have you ever sat down and listened to yourself pray? I was asked this question recently and I found myself saying and doing some things while I prayed that I had never noticed before. So, I sat down and thought about how I was communicating with God and I realized the following things.

I use the word "just" a LOT! In fact, most of the time it is as a transition. "Lord I just...and just please....and just give us peace.....and "just be with us." It has become my go to word! Crazy, right? I just want for my prayers to be meaningful....oh wait, I just did it again. Man! I did it again! So, I'm going to work on this one.

Communicate Clearly

Posted in Reflections.

film

My little one absolutely loves movies. She really loves watching Disney princess movies, Pixar animation, and cartoons. She's a typical four year old! Most mornings she loves to climb in bed with us and watch Mickey Mouse Club-house.

Well, we sat down to watch a movie the other day and I was excited about this one. This is one of my favorite movies and I was really hoping that she would love it. I love movies and film and wanted to share with her some of my favorites. Side note – I love film so much that I actually taught a class in China called "American Culture through movies," so that I could teach the Chinese students about Caseblanca, The Wizard of Oz, and other classics. So, I put in the movie with a lot riding on this.

In love with Jesus

Posted in Reflections.

jesuslove

Love is something that is hard to explain to someone who has never experienced it.
And I am pretty sure that every parent I know has said the words, "You aren't really in love with them - You are just infatuated", to an exasperated teenager. At this point, every teenager I know has rolled their eyes and said, "You don't understand. You don't understand us and our love." This is followed by a lot of tears, storming out of the room, throwing themselves on their beds and burying their heads in their pillows. This goes for both parents and teens. Same exact scene in two different rooms in the same house.
Love is a strange fiend that is rarely understood until truly practiced. Love is not just an emotion. It is a choice that a person makes. But the feeling of love is something that has confused mankind since the beginning of time.

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