Thoughts from the Month of May 2003

May 29, 2003 - love
"I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord..." Hosea 2:19-20.

There are more beautiful whispers of love written in these pages. These words speak to the heart of a woman. I don't know what passages really captivate the brothers out there, but I know which one captures mine. As I read these verses today, I realize again how sweet the Lord's love is. He really longs for me to adore Him like my "husband" (v. 16), to commit and to be faithful. He wants to allure me, even. And I realized this, the only way for me to be faithful to Him and respond to Him in love like that and forget about all other lesser "loves" is by KNOWING intimately His greater Love. In these pages of Scripture, my heart is informed of this Greater Love.

May 12, 2003 - Letter to my Readers
Sorry I haven't updated as regularly. In case I still have any faithful readers, I thought I should post the newsflash that my China trip got cancelled due to the SARS pandemic.

Many people have asked me if I feel like I heard God incorrectly or was confused by His seeming leading for me to go overseas. Well, to be honest, I was never really "sure" that God was leading me to China this summer. I made the choice to go because the doors were open. I told God that I would keep on going until He gave me a red light.

As SARS kept spreading, and as I prayed about it, I could sense in my gut that I wouldn't end up in China this summer. But until God closed the last door (i.e. when my missions agency said the trip was cancelled), I was willing to go and lay my life down. In fact, that was the last thing He required of me right before my trip cancelled. In the face of the very real possibility of death, I made the choice of dying for Christ rather than living for smaller dreams. :)

But only "good" can come of a "decoy" missions' trip. The result of my willingness to follow God to "anywhere" was that wonderful conversation I had with my parents. For that, I would be willing to go through the weeks and weeks of uncertainty ANY day. :) God knew what He was doing when He led me down this road; I don't believe it was a mistake at all that I was under the impression that I was going to China...

And honestly, that night when I drove home to talk to my parents, I wasn't sure about China at all. I wasn't even gonna bring China up. My parents were the ones who did. The only thing I was sure about that night was quitting my job. And with that, I am STILL sure! :) My last day of work is still June 13th. Praise God for the freedom in Christ. What's next? I don't know...

May 8, 2003 - eleven
One of my most favorite short stories is one called "Eleven." I like this story because there is truth to it. When you're eleven, you're also ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two and one. Read here.

May 5, 2003 - biblical success
All paul's life, he had striven to attain worldly success. But then he had a turning point on the road to Damascus, and from that moment on, he understood what true success is -- it is gaining Christ. His life was dramatically altered after that, because he lived for something entirely different. (Phil 3:4-11) So if Biblical success is gaining Christ, what does it mean to gain Christ? According to Romans 8:29 and 2 Cor 3:18, we learn that "gaining Christ" is being like Christ, being transformed into Christ. So the conclusion? Biblical success is being Christ. On a daily basis for us? It means becoming more and more like Christ day by day. What was Christ like? That's the question.

May 1, 2003 - all that I've been searching for
Luke 5:1-11 - In a single instance, Jesus gives Peter an abundance of what he had been searching for not only all that night, but all his life. As he does so, He is also saying to Peter, "If this is all that you are looking for, I can certainly give you that!" But He also shows him that He can offer him so much more than just lotsa fish, enough wages to satisfy him for the week, etc. Jesus shows him that He can give Peter a greater treasure to search for, a greater purpose for life, a greater vision. Peter realizes it, and that's why even though he had in his possession all that he'd been searching for his whole life, he left it behind to follow Jesus.

I know I have to hold loosely the things I think I want, because I'm certain that He has a better vision for me. I don't want to grapple after the lowest common denominator. Even the idea of "missions" could be a low denominator if it's "missions" that I'm pursuing rather than Jesus. The vision He has for me could be more widespread and farther reaching. Not that it's "BIGGER" necessarily, but its scope could be more encompassing. I don't know. But the heart of the matter is this: whatever He has for me - and doesn't choose to give me - He can give me it all... He's not lacking in provision... but He's not going to give me just "anything", He wants to give me BEST. And so I must be willing to give up all that I've been searching for, in order to have all the best that He's been planning for me.

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