Thursday, September 23, 2010


i originally logged on to post a note that goes something like this:

can somebody just tell me what to do?! i'm so tired of not knowing how to handle anything!! seriously, just give me the word and i'll do it. anything. so long as it doesn't stem from my own judgment.

mm. silly huh? the sad part is i still wish someone would just give me the script cards to read off of. save me the pressure of living through my own consequences, i guess.

fortunately (or unfortunately) i know better and that's not the way to go. a friend reminds me that perseverance builds character. and character is what i want. soo... rather than copping out and wanting to pick up and start over elsewhere, i pray that the holy spirit surges through me with wisdom and courage.

although if anyone of you has any advice to give, you can either write it out on big poster board for me or just leave a message in the comment box.


When you scan the biblical story you can’t help concluding that following God brings a life of surprises. Whatever plans God’s people made and however they tried to figure out God’s plans, they were constantly greeted with surprises. They faced turns in the story that they never would have anticipated. God’s plan again and again included things that would not have been included in the story if his people had been doing the planning.

One of the reasons for this is that we human beings tend to focus on outcomes. We simply want things to go well and turn out right. God surely does care about the end of all things, but he is graciously at work in the process as well.

The surprises along the way are God’s surprises. He is never caught off guard or unprepared. He calls us to follow him beyond the boundaries of our wisdom, strength and character. The waiting we have to do and the surprises that we face are meant by him to be tools of grace. They are designed to release us from our self-reliance and the hold our dreams for our lives have on us.

In those moments of surprise, it is important to remember that you may be confused, but God isn’t. In this moment when you are not sure what is going on, you haven’t been abandoned. No, the opposite is true: you are being rescued. But living this way is hard for us.

As pseudo-sovereigns, we hate waiting, disappointment, obstacles, and failure. We struggle to accept the fact that these things exist in a world that is under the wisest and most benevolent rule possible. C. S. Lewis comments that a hardy belief in the truths of Christianity actually makes your experience of pain more painful. It is bad enough to have to endure pain, but as a believer you must say that it was not an accident and that it was sent by a God who declares himself to be good!

To us, often God's order looks like disorder, and his wisdom looks like foolishness. God's lovingkindness often seems to be anything but loving, and definitely not kind. All of this has to do with one humbling thing that we all have to admit: as sinners, we want our own way. We want life to work according to our plan. We don’t want to have to face the unexpected or deal with disappointment. We want life to be smooth and predictable. And we want all of this because we are more concerned about our comfort and ease than we are about the processes of grace that are at work in us.

It is hard to rest in the rulership of the King when our hearts and minds are so preoccupied with the success of our own little kingdoms.

Life surprises us with the reality of who is king and how different his will and way are from ours. We have lived day after day, month after month and year after year in the world of our needs, our wants, and our dreams. We have nurtured the illusion that if God really does love us, he will give the things that we have determined are good to us.

We have convinced ourselves that if we obey, God will keep his part of the bargain and send “the good life” our way. We thought that if we parented well, then all of our children would turn out the way we hoped. We thought that if we worked faithfully then we would harvest the seeds of our investments in our later years. We thought that if we kept our bodies under subjection then the Lord would bless us with good health. We thought that if we followed the Lord in personal devotion and public worship and ministry, then our lives would be spiritually rich.

Remember, you are not alone, God's people have always struggled with the shock of his rule. The kingdom of darkness is being destroyed by the kingdom of light, and none of us can escape being affected by the carnage.

Deep beneath every struggle of doubt and confusion is a collision of kingdoms. The theology of God’s unshakable sovereignty is easier to verbalize than it is to live. The truth that a God of relentless grace is after the total transformation of our hearts, is easier to conceptualize than it is to rest in at street level.

Require yourself to be brutally honest in this moment. What is it that you really want out of life? What is it that you want from God’s hand? What is the true dream for which you have been working? What are the joys that captivate your eyes and control your heart? What is your, "If I only had , then I would be happy?"

How much have your dreams been personal, earthbound, physical, and here-and-now? Have you been motivated by your kingdom more than God's Kingdom? How is your present discouragement, disappointment, confusion or grief a window on what has actually captured your heart? Have you really wanted God to be your wise and loving Father who brings into your life what he considers best, or have you wanted him to be a divine waiter, the all-powerful deliverer of your dreams?

Could it be that you have prayed for grace, but that you don’t really like the grace that you have been given? Divine grace doesn’t always make your life simple or your pathway clear. God’s grace doesn’t always provide you with release or relief. God’s grace often brings you hardship, confusion, and surprises. These things are sent to you, not by a God who is messing with you because he’s more powerful than you, but from the hand of a God a glorious grace, who is exercising his power for the purpose of your transformation.

So, the next time God surprises you, don’t doubt his goodness, faithfulness, and love. No, lift your hands to the heavens and celebrate. You are being rescued. You are being loved. You are being delivered. You are being transformed. And be thankful that since nothing can separate you from his love, there are more gracious surprises to come!

lord, help me to embrace your surprises.

Monday, September 20, 2010

okay, now press play.

"In my distress I called to the LORD,
and he answered me.
From the depths of the grave I called for help,
and you listened to my cry.

3 You hurled me into the deep,
into the very heart of the seas,
and the currents swirled about me;
all your waves and breakers
swept over me.

4 I said, 'I have been banished
from your sight;
yet I will look again
toward your holy temple.'

5 The engulfing waters threatened me,
the deep surrounded me;
seaweed was wrapped around my head.

6 To the roots of the mountains I sank down;
the earth beneath barred me in forever.
But you brought my life up from the pit,
O LORD my God.

7 "When my life was ebbing away,
I remembered you, LORD,
and my prayer rose to you,
to your holy temple.

i dunno why i doubt so much when i know that my father is always faithful. i'm filled with joy knowing that this life he's put in my possession is still under his sovereign control. all these little things are nothing compared to this ever growing map of my life, earth and eternal, that he is painting for me as i write. my prayer today is that i never lose sight of this.. joy comes in the morning!

Friday, September 10, 2010

side bangs.

I cut my bangs yesterday because they were way past my maximum length standard.  you see once they start getting as long as my sideburns, matters must be taken into my own hands.

so crouched above my garbage can with a pair of scissors, presumably acquired from a trip to the dollar store, I proceeded to snip away at this mess of hair.  unfortunately neither do I know what I'm doing nor can I even see what's going on. (glasses get in the way of hair cutting and it was too early in the morning for my contacts to be in)

if you can imagine, the outcome was not desirable.

the reason why I tell you all this is because here I am at work.. and my sidebangs keep getting in the way.  whether I'm trying to look at the computer screen or talking to a patient I'm constantly trying to sweep my bangs into place behind my ear.  except that they misbehave and fall back.

worst yet, there's about 13 strands of hair that always go astray and fall right in front of my nose.  extremely inconvenient.  its like having someone stick feathers in your nose.  makes me look like I'm picking my nose or something when all I'm doing is scratching my nose like crazy cuz the hairs keep flying up my nostrils.


I always have the worst of luck with my hair.