Saturday, December 29, 2007


I began reading “Ruthless Trust” today written by one of my favorite authors, Brennan Manning.

Brennan shares this powerful story about a man planning to work at the "house of the dieing" for three months in Calcutta hoping to find an answer as to how he might live the rest of his life. On the first morning he saw Mother Teresa and asked her to pray for him.

He asked her to pray that he would have clarity for his future.

Her response was “No, I will not do that. Clarity is the last thing you are clinging to and must let go of.” After the man said that it seemed to him as though she always had clarity she laughed and said, “I have never had clarity; what I have always had is trust. So I will pray that you trust God.”

Lately, since I am going to be graduating soon from the university, I have turned some of my thoughts and prayers towards finding clarity about what's next in life, especially after I return from Peru. So much will happen in those four months.

Mother Teresa challenges me to consider that perhaps the pursuit for clarity is exactly what I need to let go of, that there is more to life than knowing what's going to happen next, that perhaps learning to trust God regardless of the circumstances is more important.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Loving, Listening, and Holding

I was talking with a very good friend of mine tonight and Deuteronomy was brought up : ) This reminded me of what I read the other day that was really great, and I have yet to really take enough time to meditate on it, or maybe I have tried too hard to think about it.

It's simple.

First, Moses writes a little summary of the past many chapters and he basically says to the nation of Israel, "I have laid out for you a choice. If you love the LORD your God, walk in His ways, and keep His covenant for your relationship (His commands, decrees, and laws), then you will live and be blessed in all the ways I have described for you. If your hearts turn from His love, if you choose to disobey and you turn to other things to fulfill you, you will be cursed in all the ways I have described. So I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses."

Ok, now check this out. He says "So now, choose life that you may love the LORD your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him."

We are called to love, listen, and hold fast.

Friday, December 14, 2007

I just got done with finals this Wed. and moved out of my dorm room cause I won't be there in the spring. It was kind of weird. I'm gonna miss people, though I'm glad to get to know the people that I'll be going to Peru with and the opportunity to learn and grow while we are in Peru. This is such an awesome opportunity we have. It just hit me today how much God has given me so that I can bless those who do not have access to all I do since I am from this country of abundance.

I hope I don't squander what I have to build my own world that won't matter when I die. I hope that I will use the abundance I have been blessed with to provide life to others who need what I might squander.

I recently heard that there was a scientific study of 2,400 hours of television to find out what the message of television was? Here's the message. "You are the most important thing on the earth. Your immediate desires are important. Do it your way."

Jesus' message is so much more redeeming. "This is my command: that you love each other."

The main message of the American media to the world is that to be happy we need 'things', that life is about you getting what You want in YOUR world. Does indulging really produce long-lasting happiness? Jesus tells me to love others (even my enemies), to help the people who are in need, to hold the hand of an elderly woman in a nursing home and be with her, to smile at someone and sincerely ask them how they are doing?

May I learn to live by what I need, and to give what I don't. I struggle so much with such a task.

Sunday, December 9, 2007



This past week was insane.

I handed in one 20 page paper and another 25 page paper and I had a 7 page research paper, plus preparing for WCF for that week (but I like that) and whatnot (I only say this so that you know what I mean when I say insane and in case this week was the same for you so you know I can empathize with you...I know others had craziness too).

Monday I was able to spend time with some friends to catch up and I tried to do work, and got a little done, but it wasn't good in the end. When I got to my room at night I told my roommate and realized that something had been missing. I forgot about God. In all I was doing I simply forgot about Him. I prayed that He would not let me forget again and the next day He reminded me and I spent about an hour with Him.

One thing He told me was that while I am swimming under the water trying to get everything done for school and stuff, that He still wants to show things. He told me to remember to come to the surface, breathe, and look around at the sky.

It makes sense since that taking a breath would calm the anxiety of trying to get everything done 'under the water.' I did remember. That day God gave me such a peace and an ability to focus. It was good.

And I remembered to go up and breathe every now and then to 'be' with Him throughout the week. It wasn't a perfect week. I was not always at peace and I was not always happy, but I knew God was with me and He wanted to show me amazing things, and He did.

So when you are 'under the water,' deep in business, remember that God still wants to show you amazing things. He still wants to teach you to love. Maybe He will comfort you so you can comfort others.

Go up. Breathe. Look around at the sky.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Apostle Paul once wrote, "put no confidence in the flesh" (and by flesh he means his own abilities and accomplishments). Then he continues, "If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more" (then he lists off all of his abilities and accomplishments before he knew Jesus, which pretty much announced that he was "The Man" in his time...he had everything). THEN he says, "But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ."

It's been hard considering the loss of closeness with a lot of my friends here at school while I'm in Peru. When Paul realized that Jesus was real, when he realized that his whole concept of religion and God was way off (even though he was considered a very religious man at that time), he let go of everything because he knew that Jesus was it. He had to let go of friends, popular culture, possessions, status, security, familiarity, etc. to seek after the Truth that Jesus had revealed to him. Even the people who followed Jesus wouldn't accept him because of his past with persecuting them (putting them in prison, etc.). He had nearly no one when he chose to follow Jesus. Ten years went by before he was accepted by the followers of Jesus. I know nothing of great accomplishment followed by great loss as Paul did. And Paul chose to lose it all.

My heart is still being prepared to go, slowly. Right now I am learning to let go.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Last night I was walking back to Nate's place after the coffee shop closed and I decided to wander around Wheaton randomly to talk with God. He told me to "Be still." I knew it wasn't literal, so I kept walking, but I let my mind rest. I thought simply about Him and nothing at same time. Then I was reminded "seek first the kingdom of God." This was a big lesson God was teaching me last year that I needed to be reminded of. As I let myself be in these simple thoughts, I felt peace about things in my life that I did not understand.

As I walked I asked myself what I would do if all I had was my backpack and no place to stay for the night...if I did not have a home. I thought about how it would feel. I started to wonder what the street kids felt like in Lima, where their mind went sniffing glue in the day and while they were sleeping in trash at night. It's something I cannot understand.

I thought about where I would sleep. I found a nice place behind some tall bushes behind a wall. There were still leaves there and it was pretty hidden, so I would have padding from the ground to keep more heat in my body and I couldn't get found and kicked out by a cop or something. Then I thought about looking for a shelter where I could get help in finding a job and getting back on my feet somehow. That would have to happen the next day.

Then I kept walking and took a seat on a bench to "Be still." I talked more with God. Even with the good times, thanksgiving break was hard.

No matter how dark it gets, within a matter of time the sun will rise.