Language (dis)connection

All around me are people, squished and squeezed and packed in tightly, seat by seat, row by row, waiting for takeoff.

The woman next to me looks so lost, like she’s frightened a bit and just wishing the trip was over. It seems she knows no English, and I am struck by how my own experience these last days in Lebanon helps me to empathize with her. To be alone in a sea of incomprehensible words, unable to read the signs and instructions around you, to be forced to rely only on the most basic of grunts and gestures – that is a frightening thing in any culture.

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Prayer for 09/14/10

Lord, thank you for overwhelming me with the power and beauty of your presence.

You move me to tears and silence when your Spirit touches mine.
The closer you approach across the vastness of your eternity, the smaller I feel.
I tremble in spirit at the thought of your majesty, but my heart is giddy to think of your gracious love.

You are my song and my guiding star. You, O Jesus, are indeed my light and my salvation, and the joy you share with me is like none other I’ve ever known.

Thank you, Adonai, Abba.

Expectation

“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.” -Psalm 130:5-6 (ESV)

I walked in to the sanctuary of the large Korean Assemblies of God church and I could feel it in an instant. Thick in the air among the gathered people was a feeling of anticipation, of excitement, of knowing that GOD would show up that morning.

This was not my first time to visit Promise Church in Flushing, NY, and because I had been there before, I had not just a hope, not just a desire, but an expectation that something special would happen that morning. I started to think though, “I’ve been here before but many of these others haven’t. They’ve not heard the choir sing and the band play or seen the dancers dance, so what is this expectation I sense from them?”

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Small town snapshots

Small to mid-sized towns have a certain charm about them. Perhaps it’s the sense of homey community, or the feeling of history behind each landmark.

With big cities, it’s easy to get so focused on the new things and the energy of mass population that you lose sight of the place itself.

Not so with the small town. It draws you in, whispers stories from the shadows. The small town not only *has* character, it IS one.

Every Morning

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning, great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23

Two days ago I returned home from an incredible and inspiring summit of leaders in children’s ministry from around the world.

For me, coming back from great gatherings of amazing people is always a mixed bag of emotions. On the one hand, it’s always nice to come home; familiar faces, consistency, routine, but on the other hand it can be such a letdown. After days spent stirring up vision and passion and motivation, of meeting people with whom you share so much in common, to come back “down to earth” is often a difficult thing.

It’s all just so… normal.

BUT, praise be to our Savior, who is ALWAYS faithful to his children! In times of great trial and hardship it’s easy to feel our deep need for the help and presence of God. For me, though, the truth that his mercies are new “every morning” is one I need now more than ever, because sometimes I think we need him even more, on the ordinary days.

Fishes in the Sky

I’m sitting in a straight-back chair with a fastened safety belt, 35,000 feet up on a hot summer day. All around me are clouds; the white, puffy, cotton-ball clouds that give young imaginations the best fodder you could ask for.

I remember clouds like this from summer afternoons as a boy; from long, hot, lazy days filled with lemonade and basketball games. No matter what games we played, though, it seems we almost always found time and a patch of grass to just lie down and watch. Dragons and ships and fish and who knows what else we’d see; anything could happen when the clouds were just right.

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