Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Faithful Women & Their Extraordinary God

I just completed reading Faithful Women & Their Extraordinary God by Noël Piper. The book contains five short biographies of women who were faithful to the Lord in different circumstances. Mrs. Piper tells us about the lives of Sarah Edwards, Lilias Trotter, Gladys Aylward, Esther Ahn Kim, and Helen Roseveare. Of the five I related most to Helen Roseveare.

Roseveare and I are similar in our sins and spiritual struggles. For me deep seeded things that I am grateful to learn from the experiences of a faithful woman.

From early childhood, Helen bore the weight of 'the absorbing necessity of being loved and wanted' -of being good enough...The child Helen was already plagued by the very doubts, insecurity, and pride that would be the core of most of her recurring spiritual struggle as an adult.”

Roseveare was a missionary doctor in the Congo. She experienced many long hours – ministering, writing textbooks, building a new hospital. I could resonate to a certain degree the long hours and labor one puts into a ministry.

The Work-load and consequent inability to take a night off-duty, or to go away for a weekend, brought out in me an irritability and shortness of temper that often caused me considerable loss of sleep. I'd always had a hasty temper, but this had largely been under control...since my conversion to Christ. Now the hot and angry word would burst out again, before I could control it, and to my shame.”

Helen continually dealt with the spiritual consequences of exhaustion and overwork. This apparently was another of the lessons for which God had brought her to Africa...”

Roseveare was taught many lessons while in Africa, the Lord is using her story and lessons to also teach me.

She was working and studying too many hours in a day, which meant she wasn't getting enough sleep. Her Vulnerability to 'unhappiness, loneliness, fear, inferiority' came from two directions: from her exhaustion and from her lack of spiritual energy. Her spiritual life dragged because she was exhausted and she was exhausted because of her low spiritual life. In other words, it was all one tangle.

...We need to make good choices about sleeping and eating and other things that affect our health, so that we don't open ourselves to sin that undermines our spiritual well-being.

And from the other side, we need to work hard to keep our connection with God strong, through his Word and our prayer, so that we have the perception to see when we are sliding into bad attitudes and the likelihood of glossing over and justifying sin in our lives.”

Saturday, March 22, 2008

A day at the zoo

Last weekend Britt, Liz, Jayme, and I met up with the Elbourne's at the zoo in New Orleans. Here's just a few pictures to show the fun that was had.
Hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil..
Crazy toucan
This is us posing with a gator..I'm sure he or she thought we were crazyBritt even loves the plastic bear sign
This is my favorite animal...this giant pelican looks grumpy sitting there all by itself

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A week in the dirt

These past couple weeks have flown by. This week we've had 225 people at the church working at about every site we have and many additional clean up sites. Here's just a few pictures.
We love the gnats

Monday, March 10, 2008

Grace to an ill-deserving sinner

When I reflect on the past 25 years and see how the graceful and merciful the Lord has been to me I cannot help but drop to my knees in thanksgiving and praise. I see his mighty work in the common grace that was shown to me when I was nothing besides an enemy of God. He provided food to eat, a place to stay, clothing, school, rain and sunshine, and a multitude of other things though I was no where near of deserving it.

He extended to me saving grace when he opened my blind eyes and gave me a heart that desired to please, to worship Him. Up to that point I lived only for myself, for my own pleasures, and my own gain. Never did I think about really worshiping God as creator of all things and savior of the world. But the Lord moved in my heart. The creator of the world, God himself, chose by no good measure on my part to show mercy on this ill deserving sinner. But the punishment I so deserve is eternal separation from God, eternal punishment – hell, damnation. There is nothing I can to here on earth to pay for the sins I've committed. No good deed would ever get me to heaven. But the God who is rich in mercy sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to be the payment for my my sins that were against the creator. Through Christ's death on the cross, my sins were paid for and forgiven. Through that forgiveness I've been brought into a right relationship with God.

I wish I could say every moment I'm doing great and making steps that strive to grow in Christ. There are times I am plain rebellious. But praise the Lord, He convicts me of that sin, helps me fight temptations and flee from sin at other times, and helps me to grow even though I still sometimes choose to sin against him.