27 October 2010

Intimacy[with Christ]

Some of you have truly been brought by God to believe in Jesus. Yet you have no abiding peace, and very little growth in holiness. Why is this? It is because your eye is fixed anywhere but on Christ. You are so busy looking at books, or looking at men, or looking at the world, that you have no time, no heart, for looking at Christ. No wonder you have little peace and joy in believing. No wonder you live so inconsistent and unholy a life. Change your plan. Consider the greatness and glory of Christ, who has undertaken all in the stead of sinners, and you would find it quite impossible to walk in darkness, or to walk in sin. Oh, what low, despicable thoughts you have of the glorious Immanuel! Lift your eyes from your own bosom, downcast believer - look upon Jesus. It is good to consider your ways, but it is far better to consider Jesus. Oh, believer, consider Jesus. Meditate on these things. Look and look again, until your peace flows like a river.
Robert Murray M’Cheyne

I'm always so torn when I read thoughts like these.  On one level, they cut straight to my heart and make so much sense to me.  But on another, more practical level, they seem so distant and unobtainable. For instance, how do I actually work this out in my life?  How can I take hold of this peace and joy that I know exists? I mean, I know I experience this peace and joy at times, but generally speaking, I have this sense that it is missing from my life -- is this the Spirit speaking truth into my heart, or am I just being too hard on myself and feeding the lies of Satan?  How do we measure this?  How should we?

I don't know the answer, but I'm reminded of a story that is only told in John's narrative of the gospel.  It occurs very late in Jesus' ministry on earth. He appears to his disciples for the third time after being raised from the dead, provides them with a large catch of fish and then shares a meal with them.

After the meal, Peter and Jesus share a moment together, alone. Jesus asks him, three times, "Do you love me?" After the third time, we are told that Peter is hurt, and we see that reflected in his answer: "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you!" At this, Jesus responds, for the third time, "Feed my sheep" and then adds that Peter's life used to be his own; but now his life belongs to Jesus (and that Peter will die to glorify God).

And just as Jesus so instructs, John comes up behind them. Peter catches a glimpse of him and asks, "Lord, what about him?"  To which Jesus replies, "[His life] is not your business. You follow me" (emphasis added).

How quickly we lose sight of our Saviour.
How easily we turn to books and music and movies and magazines and various online portals (like this blog) for answers to satisfy the cravings of our souls.
How earnestly we seek to validate our own worth by comparing our actions to those of another.

All to which Jesus simply(?) replies, "You follow me."

I urge you to continue the discussion...    

10 October 2010


So here's my 101010 shot.

Rough day for the little man as far as being photogenic. I took something like 65 shots of him. He was either crying or being Mr. Grumpo (but not the cute Mr. Grumpo) in all but like 5 of them. But I guess that speaks loudly of real life -- its not a happy, perfect photo shoot everyday.

As the title says, this was the day we all said goodbye to Aunt Manny. After living with us for about six weeks, she left today for Ohio, her wedding day is less than a week away. Big changes on the horizon for all of us.

We truly thank the Lord for giving us this time with her. She moved in a few days before he was born, was able to encourage Angie in the early stages of labor and then was here to help out with Tian in those early weeks. And she got plenty of playtime in with Tian as well. It was really cool to listen to her sing to him, watch her read to him and pull out various toys to engage him. 

We will definitely miss you, Amanda. All our love...

06 October 2010

101010: Do Something

This Sunday is October 10, 2010 [aka 10/10/10], so everyone on the Internet is getting excited.

I read in the newspaper(!) that something like 35,000 couples will be married this Sunday. The most couples getting married on a single day since 08/08/08.  But if getting married is not you're thing, here are a few other ideas.

Take a photograph.
And join me in posting it for the world to see:
October 10th, A most auspicious day

Or upload it to another flickr group for all to see.

Make a film.
Help document the World's Story. One Day On Earth is probably the largest gathering of creative minds on one day.  

Visit your family, or a friend, or a neighbor you've never met.

Draw a picture.
Sorry, no links for this one.  But if this is your thing, draw a picture and share it with your friends/family, or take a photo of it and post it to one of the groups mentioned above!

Do something you're passionate about, especially if you haven't done that in a while.

Take your kids to the park, or their favorite place to eat.

Do something out of the ordinary, to remind yourself that you're still alive.

02 October 2010


 Waynesboro, PA . Photo: Concierge Auctions

Renfrew Park, Waynesboro, PA . Photo: Brian Toro

ADELE . Hometown Glory [follow link to mp3]

I don't know if its the kid, or the song, or what, but I'm feeling pretty nostalgic these days.  I'm thinking its sad that so many of those in my generation moved away from their hometowns. I suspect its a trend that will only continue to increase.  And although I've included pictures of my hometown, its not the town I miss, so much as the family I left behind. 

And now with the boy, its crazy to think he will grow up living quite a distance from his grandparents. In contrast, I grew up in the same town as both of my grandparents -- no more than 10 minutes from either set of them.  The way they helped shape me and the memories I hold of our times together are just priceless.

Although I'm sure there will be summer weeks spent visiting both of his grandparents (and aunts/uncles/cousins!) and extended holiday gatherings and some family vacations with all of the above...
It just won't be the same. 

But maybe it can be just as special. 

I guess that's my charge as Tian's father.  To give him the same opportunity I had to experience life to its fullest, which in our family, includes special times with those that God has placed in his life, regardless of the physical distance that separates them.