A Prayer

This morning I read Ephesians 1 in the Message translation. Verse 11 says, “It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for.” This is the prayer that came from reflecting on that verse:

God of wonders,
how good of you to love me.
To make me with care,
to shepherd my soul,
to bear with my pride, my ignorance,
my cowardice.

Father of lights,
creator of stars,
would you shine on me.
Let me never forget the cracks and flaws I bear;
let me never imagine my beauty or goodness is anything
more than your Spirit shining through my brokenness;

Read more ...

A Camping Adventure

This week our family shared our first camping trip! It was my third time camping EVER, and the first time I’ve ever hiked into a campsite, and Torre spent his first night in a tent with great success. Originally I had booked a day off work so that Matt could go camping with friends and I would stay home with Torre, but at the last minute some people decided not to go, and I asked Matt if it would be too crazy for me to jump in last minute (and by last minute I mean at 9:30pm the night before their 6am departure time!). Matt was up for it, and so was our friend Benson, so Matt rearranged the supplies to make one backpack as light as possible so I could carry it while wearing Torre on my front, we grabbed a couple hours of sleep and hit the road bright and early.

Torre in car

How could you not be a morning person when you wake up to this smile!?

The campsite we reserved was an 8km hike from the trail head, but due to a road closure we had to leave the car at the park office and started our adventure with a “bonus hike” of about 2km. Matt set a quick pace so we could make it to our campsite before the rain that was forecast, although we stopped at a few lookouts on the way to take in the beautiful scenery.

Read more ...

Good Friday Reflections

Now at the feast [Pilate] used to release for them one prisoner for whom they asked. And among the rebels in prison, who had committed murder in the insurrection, there was  a man called Barabbas. And the crowd came up and began to ask Pilate to do as he usually did for them. And he answered them, saying “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” For he perceived that it was out of envy that the chief priests had delivered him up. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release for them Barabbas instead. And Pilate again said to them, “Then what shall I do with the man you call the King of the Jews?” And they cried out again, “Crucify him.” And Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him.” So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified. (Mark 15:6-15)

Today as this passage was read at our Good Friday service, I was haunted by the contrast between Jesus and the crowd. My own attitude and response to circumstances are so much closer to the fickle crowd, stirred up and impatient for results. Jesus was the Messiah they didn’t want, proclaiming a kingdom that is like the grain of a mustard seed, the smallest of all the seeds on the earth (Mark 4:31). The Jews were tired of living off crumbs, under the thumb of violent oppressors, and the people were not interested in a leader who was beaten and spit upon without offering any retaliation. It doesn’t seem that anyone was under the impression Barabbas was the Messiah, but at least he was a man of action, someone who was willing to shed blood for the cause of his people.

Jesus had taught his disciples, “Unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3), but the crowd had lived through Herod’s slaughter of the innocents when every baby boy under 2 was killed in Bethlehem and the whole region. Who in their right mind would become like a child to pursue God’s kingdom? No, there must be some other way, and the people’s rejection of Jesus could buy them time, helping them appear loyal to the Roman empire while they waited for God to send someone to actually deliver them. The high priest advised the people that it would be expedient that one man should die for the people. (John 18:14)

So today I was slapped in the face because my response is the same as the crowds: I choose to believe God if I think it will work.

Read more ...