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Posts Tagged ‘Family’

Teaching my son to crawl

July 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Cricket by simon nekdo.jpg

Do you know how I taught my son to crawl?  Not be telling him to crawl!  First, I tried crawling so he would follow me.  He would wiggle and rock back and forth, wanting to follow but unable to launch himself forward.

At the time, during the sweltering heat of a Dallas summer, we had been invaded by many unloved crickets.  After gently apprehending one of our visitors, I strategically posed one of the pulsating creatures mere inches beyond the reach of my son’s trembling fingers. Fascinated as the cricket skipped away, my son’s arms and legs discovered a rhythm previously unknown and off my son set in pursuit of what would soon become his prey.

Andrew had began his crawl towards becoming the man of whom I am proud today.

Please Be My Strength

February 21, 2010 Leave a comment

Sad morning.  A young MK from our mission and a long-time friend of ours (another missionary) died in the night.  John wrote, “We’re numb, shattered hearts and yet our soul is anchored by the firm foundation of Jesus, the author and completor of our faith.  I remember Lynn and celebrate a life well lived. With hearts surrrendered to His eternal purposes”

Found this song by Gungor last night.  Beautifully expresses what I am sure both families have experienced in recent days.  May these two families continue to know God being their strength.

Please Be My Strength
I’ve tried to stand my ground
I’ve tried to understand
but I can’t seem to find my faith again

like water on the sand
or grasping at the wind
I keep on falling short

please be my strength
please be my strength
I don’t have anymore
I don’t have anymore

I’m looking for a place
where I can plant my faith
one thing I know for sure

I cannot create it
I cannot sustain it
It’s Your love that’s keeping (captured) me

Please be my strength…

at my final breath
I hope that I can say
I’ve fought the good fight of faith

I pray your glory shines
in this doubting heart of mine
and all would know that You

You are my strength
You and You alone
Keep bringin me back home

You are my strength

You are my strength

You and You alone
Keep bringin me back home

Here is the Gungor myspace and their own website Unfortunately, I could not find the song above so you will need to go to itunes or another similar site. I did download it and the melody fits well with the words.

Tiger’ Great Confession

February 19, 2010 1 comment

Tiger Woods may be remembered as the best golfer of all time but after listening to his apology today, he may also be remembered as giving one of the best apologies of all time for a modern public  figure.

Since we are leaving town today, I was home and happened to walk by as the  Tiger was speaking.  Missed the first few minutes but from what I heard and from the tears I saw on my wife’s face, Tiger hit it right on the head of the proverbial nail!  What did I hear?

1. An acknowledgement of wrong–multiple times and in a variety of ways, Tiger confessed that he had failed, that he had done wrong.  I didn’t hear him say that he had sinned but with his Buddhist confession, that is maybe not so surprising.

2. Admitted an understanding of the way he had hurt others by his wrongdoings–his wife, his kids, his mom, his fans, sponsors, Foundation etc. He realized that he had violated the trust given to him, that he had failed to show respect to others (including his fellow golfers and the game itself), that he had brought shame on others by his misdeeds.

3.  Expressed a desire to change. Tiger said that he did not want to repeat his failings, that he was getting help to do so, that it would be a long road to recovery.

4. Possessed an appropriate level of emotion. No, he didn’t cry but from my standpoint this was not easy for him and there was a genuine level of contrition. Part of that, no doubt, was the public humiliation and damage done to his pride and reputation.

Read what a Christian suggested for a good Tiger confession. He wrote this before Tiger spoke publicly.  Except for the part about trusting Christ and seeking the help of other Christians/Pastors/golfers, I think he could not have done better.

Of course, I am sad that Tiger believes that Buddhism offers him the power to transform his life.  No disrespect intended but removing desire from my life has never worked for me or anyone else I know nor has self-discipline by itself.  I do know that change is possible as Jesus Christ transforms my desires, longings, thoughts and ultimately my actions.  But, according to the Bible, that battle between lusts of the flesh and the life of the Spirit is a continual one until we go to heaven.  I do wish Tiger the best with the demons with which he is doing battle.  But, I fear that apart from a daily desperate dependence on Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit he can never win  the battles ahead.  Transformation, not reformation is what is needed.

Thank you Tiger for leading the way with this courageous and I believe honest confession.  I am one that is rooting for you.

Pressures Korean women face

January 6, 2010 Leave a comment

Ever since I was able to listen to lectures by Dr. Jenny Pak, I have been looking for her book, Korean American Women: Stories of Acculturation and Changing Selves. It is easy enough to locate on Amazon but at over $100, I have been trying to find other options.  Well, I found it at the library where I am studying yesterday and checked it out.

Jenny was one of our lectures at the member care and counseling seminar my wife and I attend last November and she is a great story teller as well as being a scholar.  Since we have a number of Koreans in our mission, I thought this book would be helpful.  Jenny is writing about the challenges of Korean (women) immigrants face as they live in the U.S.  Instead of fitting into both worlds (American and traditional Korean), they struggle to fit in both.

Here is a quote from chapter two of the book.

We have seen how the contrasting traditional characters of “warrior-like household priestess” and “other-oriented, selfless self” have been fused to form Korean immigrant women’s identities as other-oriented, selfless warrior mothers and wives who would do any and all things to improve the economic security of their family in America.” 42

Heavenly Adoption

December 1, 2009 Leave a comment

I had written the following on a scrap of paper that I found as we were packing and sorting this week.  I think it came out of our conference in Chaing Mai a few weeks ago?

The question concerns the difference between heavenly adoption and earthly adoption.  When we have human adoption, is there not always some kind of loss?  But in heavenly adoption, rather than a loss, is there not a gain we receive? But for us to receive a heavenly adoption, Jesus had to suffer a grevious loss. And then, the question, “Do our losses here not stimulate a desire for a heavenly adoption?”

Responses welcome

Discipleship or spiritual formation?

May 22, 2009 2 comments

Just had an interesting conversation with an old friend just as she was about to depart from where I am staying.  When she asked me what kind of training my wife and I do, I told her that my area was spiritual formation and/or spiritual direction.  “Do you mean discipleship?”, she asked, as in the training the Navs give.   How do you answer such a question in a few minutes? This is not the first time I have had this conversation.  Here is what I started to say plus, plus.

The assumption for most of us growing up in the evangelical church is that if we just read our Bible and pray every day, we will grow, grow, grow. Right?   Well, I think for a lot of people, reading the Bible is just not getting it done in terms of leading to a spiritual intimacy with God.  I think that I could summarize what I am trying to do is to walk with people in their journey with God and to help them enjoy their relationship with God.

Perhaps using the metaphor of journey for the spiritual life changes the way we view things.  We never arrive–yet we are always arriving?  We recognize that we all journey differently and so we should consider personality types as we journey with God.  We are on a journey with God but also with other pilgrims.  As our life and environment change, we may need to travel differently and growth will not always look the same.

One thing that we always need is input from the Word but the best way to get that will be different for each one of us.  I personally love the traditional discipleship model of quiet, reflective reading and study of the Word, combined with Scripture memory and prayer.  But, is it possible that may not be the best way for everyone?  That is why I tend to avoid the use of “quiet time” or “devotional time” to describe my time alone with God.  Perhaps there is an awareness that God is present in all of my life and I am to be aware of his presence and to enjoy it 24/7 not just during an hour in the morning. That is not to say that people ever said that we were not to live our life as an integrated whole under the Lordship of Christ.  But, for many of us it just didn’t work out that way.

I suppose the biggest change in my thinking has been in the area of seeking to help people enjoy their relationship with God.  Maybe this reflects a narcissistic tendency in me?  But, have we not been invited to enjoy (in some way, at some level) the fellowship between Father, Son and Spirit?  Perhaps that is why I enjoyed reading The Shack so much.  Although flawed from the moment anytime someone tries to depict relationships within the Trinity, I think William Young is onto something as he describes the comfortable and genuine relationships that Mack observes and participates in during the book.

That is not to say that there will always be felt enjoyment or consolations in our enjoyment with God.  God may have taught me far more in the times when I only experienced the seeming absence of God or desolations.  Sometimes, we the main thing is to keep on the journey when the way around us is dark.  Well, many have written on this eloquently and I won’t even attempt to do so here.  The point I am trying to make is that we are always on a grace-filled journey with God.

I have learned and grown so much over recent years and am grateful for the many spiritual friends and mentors and yes, spiritual directors that have helped me in my journey with the Lord Jesus.  As I try to honestly reflect on what is happening in my ruach journey, may this blog encourage a few others fellow-sojourners!

Giving Permission to Die

January 12, 2009 Leave a comment

From one of the newsletters I get.  Sorry, can’t remember which one.  This seems to fit after reading updates by our friend David who recently lost his wife to cancer. To read his comments, here is a link to his blog.

One of the greatest gifts we can offer our family and friends is helping them to die well. Sometimes they are ready to go to God but we have a hard time letting them go. But there is a moment in which we need to give those we love the permission to return to God, from whom they came. We have to sit quietly with them and say: “Do not be afraid … I love you, God loves you … it’s time for you to go in peace. … I won’t cling to you any longer … I set you free to go home … go gently, go with my love.” Saying this from our heart is a true gift. It is the greatest gift love can give.

When Jesus died he said: “Father, into your hands I commit my Spirit” (Luke 23:46). It is good to repeat these words often with our dying friends. With these words on their lips or in their hearts, they can make the passage as Jesus did.

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