Monday, January 25, 2010

God is in the details.

What does one do with a Masters degree, a faith in the Almighty God, and a ¾ time job in retail? Easy-- the wise words of Micah the prophet (6:8): act justly, love mercy , and walk humbly with God. So simple. Right?

This last semester I have been struggling a lot with trusting my future job and career to God. . . I keep telling myself that God will provide, just be patient. But in doing so, I think I forgot to look at where I am now. I get so wrapped up in the future that I lose focus on the present. (Which is really funny since I am usually very wrapped up in the past—as a history major). . . Anyway, what’s that verse that talks about worry? Oh yeah,

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? . . . But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” –Matthew 6:25-27, 33

I need to read that more often. And take time to slow down and dwell on God’s promises. So guess what happened? I got sick. I caught a bug and it made me slow down. It made me take time to rest. And in the process I was able to see God’s hand at work--the small details that my Heavenly Father delights in. The same details that I too often over look, or at least take for granted.

Last Thursday instead of going to small group Bible Study, I was able to sit on my couch and read through my notes from Urbana (Intervarsity Christian Fellowship’s missions convention that I attended the last week in December). God spoke in powerful ways at that conference. But how much good are powerful words when they are trapped inside a notebook. On Saturday I was able to sit down and read . . . something I haven’t had the patience for in a while.
And today, instead of standing at a cash register telling students that it was too late to return textbooks, I sat on the couch and listened to a sermon by Mark Driscoll. But this was not just any sermon. Together with a fellow pastor and a media team, Driscoll created an organization (Churches Helping Churches) and implemented a trip to Haiti. The goal: to bring awareness of the need and the perseverance of believers in Haiti, and to create a conduit for churches around the world to serve the Church in Haiti. It was a very powerful message; one that made my own worries and problems seem so trivial and selfish.

God is in the details. We may never know why He allowed destruction to strike an already devastated country. But I do know that God will and has used every event in history for His purpose. Just as with the cross, it takes death to bring life. Out of the brokenness, our Creator will breathe life. We just have to let Him. We can worry and wallow in the world’s pain, or we can choose to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with our God. He will do the rest. Promise.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Glimpses of God's Glory

Yesterday I decided to visit the Art Institute of Chicago. I love that place, but I haven’t been there since last spring when I graduated. I had high hopes that by this time I would be employed at a place like the Art Institute, but it seems that God has had other plans.
There’s something almost sacred about the art-lined halls. The pieces not only depict beauty, but they tell history, evoke emotion, and ultimately, show a glimpse of God’s glory. No matter what I end up doing with my life, I do know that art will be a part of it. From an early age I saw my parent using their artistic abilities and visual creations as both worship and a means to share God’s goodness with others. So why would less be expected of me?
When I see an image that truly evokes God’s glory (often without crosses and Jesus fishes—imagine that!), I feel great joy. This is creation, designed by humans, divinely inspired by their Creator God. One of my professors at North Park often spoke of God as Creator. Being in the arts, this was the way he best thought of God. I have often reflected on that characteristic. The very first thing God did for us was create. From there, every other good thing was able to be revealed to His creation.

It is often said that a picture is worth a thousand words. I have seen many images for which this is true; many pieces of art, photographs, sculptures, monuments that evoke great emotion.  From the Gospel of John we know that the image of God is captured by just one Word.  God’s voice is made flesh in His Son, Jesus Christ. What a glorious image!

Friday, January 15, 2010

A new year . . . a new blog, well sort of.

It has been almost a million years since I last wrote on this blog . . . but not really, since I transferred my old blog to this new address last week. And during the month of December I created a different site altogether for my Advent Blog (

But fear not, dear friends and semi-devoted readers. I am back. I have made it a new year's resolution to write on a regular basis. Not just to record my often-monotonous existence, but to transcribe life's mediocrity into glorious possibilities. I make no promises of eloquence or finesse, but I do hope that my thoughts and reflections will bring you inspiration and affirmation. Most of all, I am using this space to process the ways that God is working in my own life. I write, knowing in faith that I will be drawn closer to Him and the plans He has for my life.

But this blog is not just about giving. In this process I hope to receive as well. As you read, I encourage you to leave comments and words of affirmation. This will help to keep me disciplined, and might even spur dialogue--always a good side effect of blogging.
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