Friday, April 27, 2007

Dinner Lesson

Awhile back, Emily and I were invited to eat dinner with a student at his favorite restaurant. Throughout the meal, several of the wait staff and managers came up to our table to say hi and chat with this young man. You know that old theme song from Cheers, “Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name?” Well in this case they actually did—and it was obvious he had formed some neat relationships with an entire restaurant just by showing up there to eat every Wednesday night.

What made the whole experience extra special is that I got to witness one of our young men bring the light of Christ into that restaurant. And all it took was a warm smile and kind spirit, week after week. This had become a part of his rhythm of life.

There's a lot of talk in Christian circles these days about the concept of missioinal living. How humbling and yet refreshing to see it exemplified in a 12-year-old.

So I ask myself, am I carrying the love of Christ into my daily circles of life. Do the people who cut my hair, sell me groceries, change my oil, serve me food, see Christ in me? Lord, thank you for blessing my life with students who teach me how to live more like Jesus.
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Thursday, April 19, 2007


Last night in my junior high class we discussed the Virginia Tech massacre, and I asked my kids a simple question: why? Why did this happen? What ensued was an interesting and honest conversation, and I was fascinated by some of their insights.

There's a tiny book of the Bible written by a man named Habakkuk, who's dialogue with God Almighty includes him asking God some very tough and honest questions. As you read the book you can almost here the frustration in his words as Habakkuk brings up some difficult issues to God. He knows that God is compassionate and merciful by nature, and yet he is baffled by the injustice and evil that often prevails in the world.

The very fact that Habakkuk (as well as us today in the aftermath of Monday's events) is enraged at what he sees going on around him in the world points us to the fact that there is some other standard by which we live, one higher and purer that what we currently exist in. Last night I told my kids that it is ok to feel sad and confused and even a bit angry, because God's response to Habakkuk is the same as his response to us today.

The righteous will live by faith.

We know God is not responsible for the events of Monday (I'm so tired of hearing people say, "God must have been trying to teach us a lesson.") It grieves God when He sees sin/evil (the results of humanity's rejection of Him) reeking havoc on His people.

But we must respond with faith, trusting that He is waiting to come take us home, not waiting to extend our suffering, but only so He can extend His mercy to those who don't know his Son. We must find peace in the fact that He is not slow in keeping his promises.

Lord this is a tough time, with lots of tough questions. Thank you for being with us during times like this, thank you for giving us peace even when we don't understand, thank you for giving us faith to trust in your unfailing love for this world.
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Friday, April 13, 2007

(Good) Changes

Loving it.

More to come...
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