Monthly Archives: July 2014

A vigil

Watch this to see one boy’s salute to those who died on D-day 1944.

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Filed under seeking understanding

Decisions

Just over 35 years ago I made a decision to marry the woman who would become my wife.

Each year about this time when I think back, I remember all the officials warning us that cross-cultural marriages fail more than they succeed. I’m convinced it was less hard for us than for those couples who don’t know The Lord. See, by the grace of God, before our first anniversary, we had heard and responded to the gospel of Jesus.

It is His grace that has seen us through the hard times as well as the good. We decided to marry and then, slowly, as we grew together and in Him, we decided to have the gospel influence us each day. It is about deciding to do the things that make marriage last.

I read once that stronger marriages are ones that the couple uses pet names (honey, sweetie and yobo).

I read in another place where stronger marriages find the couple going to bed at the same time.

I know how important prayer together is, and I also know how hard that can be.

As I do premarital teaching prior to a wedding, I emphasize commitment. Deciding to be there: when the seas are smooth and when they are rough, to never give up, to seek Godly counsel and press on together, especially when you don’t feel like it. It’s not about feelings, it’s about decisions.

Anna, my Yobo, has never given up on me. She has pushed me to be a better human and tolerated me when I am at my stupidest and most selfish (far too often). She has pushed me onward, God has used her in my life in such incredible ways, I cannot imagine where I would be without her.

We have made decisions to, in God’s strength, empowered by his Spirit, keep on together, for 35 years.

Thanks be to God for my Sweet Anna.

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Filed under being a disciple, disciple making

Seeking depth

Like the Pacific Ocean is a broad and deep body of water, the body of Christ is a broad and deep body of followers of Jesus,
There are no individual drops in the ocean except when the surface wind and tide may cause drops to be thrown onto a passing ship or onto a rock or shore line of rock or sand. That which is deep or not on the edge is less susceptible to separation.
To seek depth by abiding in Jesus brings well being. Be deep. Be in the midst. Don’t risk being alone on the fringe, in the shallow.
This means abiding in Him and being in Christian community.

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Filed under being a disciple, disciple making, seeking understanding, spiritual questions/musings/wonderings

blinded by money and power

More Europeans are now supportive of various kinds of sanctions against Russia. But it took the killing of a plane full of people to get them to this point.

I’ve read two articles about ideas to punish Russia and Putin. Earlier in the week a German politician floated the idea of FIFA taking the World Cup away from Russia. Yeah right, like FIFA has a moral compass.

Today the Post has an article along these lines READ HERE about a businessman from Holland.

My question is, with all that has gone on in the last 8 months (and long before ) of Russia imposing itself on Ukraine, in a long line of impositions on former Soviet states, why did it take the murder of 298 people to make leaders (of all kinds), except apparently the French, who push forward with a military ship sale to Russia, to wake up to the reality of what Putin really is and wants?

I suggest it is the love of money and the need for power.

These two are two of the greatest stumbling blocks of humankind.

Which forces me to ask myself, what are the ways I’m being blinded by money and/or power in my own life and community? What about you?

What tragedy will it take to get us to awake from the denials of our lives?

We don’t need to be slaves to the desire for money and/ or power. Jesus died and rose again to give us the opportunity to be freed from such slavery in our own lives. We just need to wake up and realize that turning to him will guide us toward what is right. He offers us freedom and direction based on what is right, not on what works or has the best outcome for the most people. To follow his path is freedom indeed.

What are the ways I need to turn to him and away from slavery to money and/or power?

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Filed under being a disciple, culture, definitions, Eastern Europe, seeking understanding, spiritual questions/musings/wonderings, things Central European, Ukraine

being in denial can be like dwelling in evil

We must recognize the truth about our life, especially that our lives are more messed up that we will admit to those we love or, even, to ourselves.

Miroslav Volf, in Exculsion and Embrace tells us that “evil is capable not only of creating an illusion of well-being, but of shaping reality in such a way that the lie about “well-being” appears as playing verity. Much of the power of evil lies in the perverse truth that it tells about the warped well-being it creates.” (p. 89)

Let’s tell ourselves the truth about our life. Until we do we live a lie and allow evil to dominate us. We are broken. We need Christ. Let’s admit it and respond to him and receive his mercy.

 

 

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Filed under being a disciple, disciple making, seeking understanding, spiritual questions/musings/wonderings

Briggs on rest

Here’s another rest post, this from Alan Briggs in CO. Read HERE

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Filed under being a disciple, disciple making, rest, seeking understanding, spiritual questions/musings/wonderings, the self

“Putin’s Crime, Europe’s Cowardice”

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a reTweet by David Brooks, until just now. This opinion (from France?) is from the New York Times. It is, as I see it, an accurate analysis of the facts.

You know, a 100 years ago right now there was all kinds of back and forth between diplomats and politicians in Europe in the wake of the shooting of two people in Sarajevo. What of today’s events? That dilly-dallying led to the First World War. Will anyone have the moral courage to stand up to Russia now? Only, it appears, the lonely president of Ukraine has the courage to speak the truth and act upon it. Will anyone stand with him?

Read the opinion HERE.

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Filed under Eastern Europe, Ukraine