daily thoughts

/Tag: daily thoughts

February

I’m almost six months into my new job. Some parts still feel new to me, but I’m grateful and blessed by my coworker’s words that accurate describe my happy situation:

“It’s like God put a Kaitlyn-shaped hole right here at church, and you’ve just fit right in.”

One of my favorite parts of my job is corresponding and caring for our 75+ missionaries around the world. Several of them are retired after serving faithfully for many years–in Africa, in the US doing rural church planting, in the untouched places of South America. I deeply admire their commitment, resolving to follow God’s call as fresh twenty-somethings who, sometimes with their spouses, sometimes alone, ventured out on ships to translate the Bible and teach it when being a missionary meant living in a dirt hut and taking malaria medicine that makes you lose your hearing.

One of our dear ladies I decided to call and

February2018-02-09T03:37:32+00:00

Church Conflict 101

“I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life” (Philippians 4:2-3).

The Body of Christ is a blessed place, a community, a family to be in and a part of. Paul shows us, though, throughout his letters that church conflict is unfortunately normative. We are still sinners, awaiting the return of Christ and desperately needing his grace in the meantime.

My home church recently toiled through some ugly conflict. The pattern is sadly typical in our lives as Christians. Feelings get hurt, we want control, pride is injured, or perhaps we do not understand proper biblical leadership. We hold grudges, we gossip, we act out, we point fingers.

Church Conflict 1012019-10-08T02:29:18+00:00

Reflections and Cardboard

My mind seeks to organize life in boxes. That’s how I work, and it’s great for many things.

This year has certainly been one to break the boxes. I’ve been challenged, humbled, confronted, and forced to process much–my own sin, my own fears, my own judgments about others that are incorrect and wrong.

I’ve cycled through the topics of race and gender roles and Christians needing to vote too many times to count; I’ve read Matthew, Acts, Hosea, Joel, Luke, Obadiah, and Amos; I’ve completed and started another year of Bible college; I’ve said goodbye to friends and welcomed new ones; I’ve walked with other through mental illness, relational difficulties, anxiety, and a lot of prayer for more faith that God will provide; I’ve been heartbroken over the state of sin in the world more than ever; I’ve discovered a desire to hone my teaching skills; I’ve begun dating a wonderfully complicated

Reflections and Cardboard2019-10-08T02:29:18+00:00

Jacob and the Ladder

How many people does it take to tell you something and actually believe it is true?

To tell you that the objective of life is not to just escape through with the least amount of scars, and to bemoan the ones you carry?

To tell you that you are beautiful, a treasure, worth a suffering and a sacrifice?

To tell you that your sins and flaws and edges and grotesque deformities don’t negate unconditional love from your Father in heaven?

 

Wrestling with the truth leaves you tired. I’ve been mulling over all these things, which have come to light this semester as I’ve been reading and writing and contemplating my life and post-Year-4 existence. I’ve been studying Ruth and Hosea and Genesis and 1 Samuel and realizing the same God who was there in the beginning has always been relational and has always mourned the disobedience of his people.

I have read examples over and

Jacob and the Ladder2016-10-24T03:37:56+00:00

Proper Lives Lived

“‘Dear God,’ she prayed, ‘let me be something every minute of every hour of my life.’”
—Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

 

 

Her parents started a major missions organization that impacts thousands of Eastern European youth each year and has ignited a gospel hunger where the Iron Curtain once hung. Her mom wrote a book detailing the life story of their family and how the mission happened by God’s grace and leading. I am privileged to call this dear sister a very close friend. Her faith and contentment inspire me.

As I skimmed the memoir her mom wrote of saying “Yes” to God, I’ve been thinking about how every fiber of my being longs to live a life of “Yes”– to God’s plan, will, and promises.

The hard part about saying, “I surrender all” to God is that there’s a ton of suffering that accompanies that, because God uses trials to shape us,

Proper Lives Lived2019-10-08T02:29:18+00:00

So, Does this Outfit Make Me Look Relevant…?

“Do you have Instagram?”

I looked at the man across the counter of the donut shop and shook my head. He was trying to connect me with the store’s coupon offer. Needless to say, I couldn’t jump on the bus.

I twaddle back and forth with the lingering frustration that I don’t fit in to my generation. Oh sure, in many ways, I am certainly a Millennial:

-I remember when terrorism wasn’t a thing

-I remember the advent of cell phones and pre-HD days (hey there, 2004, nice slow-mo effect in that movie)

Despite shared life experiences, in many ways, I feel irrelevant among my demographic. This unfortunately can extend to the Bible College cafeteria.

Problem 1: I have a deep heart for the lost of my generation. And I struggle to connect with them.

Subpoint B: How can I preach the Gospel to Millennials if I loathe social media?

Must I become all things to all people

So, Does this Outfit Make Me Look Relevant…?2019-10-08T02:29:18+00:00

The Door Opener

It’s funny how He does it.

My life has consisted of a progressive unfolding, a journey of steps and many, many doors. My heart has been rent and reformed dozens of times–expectations derailed, God switching my direction, people hurting me, me hurting people, disillusionment, and other assorted inconsistencies with my fallen logic about how things are supposed to be. The Lord always uses it to grow me into a deeper disciple.

This moment is a moment of sweetness, a door that has been steadily opening in segments with little slits of light peeking through. God has been showing me glimpses of the future by intersecting my present: affirmations that I am gifted and blessed, future plans falling into place, expressions of love by my family and dearest friends, reminders that our God is the Lord of all.

I sometimes stare into space, mentally pinching myself because it’s hard to believe that I am

The Door Opener2019-10-08T02:29:19+00:00

Pieces

Crumbs. Pieces. Fragments. Slices.

The Bible, when you think about it, doesn’t offer us that much. This book is, by its own attestation, God’s complete self-revelation, everything he believes is necessary for us to know about him, ourselves, and this world in order to live the way we were meant to. And all we have? Some history of an obscure people group in the Middle East, poetry, strange prophecies from even stranger times, and some random letters written by preachers on the run. Not much.

But this is everything. Life, truth, light. We can KNOW GOD through these seemingly-random desert scribblings. This is how the Creator and Redeemer of the universe has decreed it, and the fact that he used the vehicle of language is shocking. When you examine the Bible through the lens of humility, of knowing God, this is what you see.

Currently, I am staring at a dusty passage from

Pieces2016-01-29T20:07:41+00:00

Wonderstruck and Bothering

I’ve been pondering this one phrase that has so completely captured my imagination:

God bothered.

This Incarnation Celebration Season, aka Christmas, we rave about the commercialism and the church services, the cookies and the presents, even our fiercely-held traditions of being with family or reading the Story itself, but shame on us if we neglect the powerful condescension that fuels this entire thing.

There is a God, and he has bothered to make himself known to us. There is a God, and he has called himself our Father in Heaven. There is a God, and he came.

As J.I Packer writes so plainly and beautifully in his book, Knowing God, despite the magnanimity of Him, we have made God so common, so base–we have lost the sense of awe and reverence for him. God has bothered! The fact that the God of the entire universe wants to know us demands a response of absolute love

Wonderstruck and Bothering2015-12-25T05:03:49+00:00

They held feasts in their homes on their birthdays

Tragedy comes in different packages.

It’s a suicide bomber at a Parisian concert hall. It’s a phone call that dad has brain damage from a slip on the linoleum. It’s a cursory glance at the Bible instead of a long drink. It’s an alcoholic beverage or a frosted sugar cookie or one more click on the computer even though you vowed to stop and “just do today” in God’s grace. It’s realizing that you got something really, really wrong.

For Job, tragedy was a gaggle of breathless messengers who delivered the worst news of his life. I wouldn’t ever be able to hear running feet the same way again if I had been him.

His life had been idyllic, blessed by the hand of God for being obedient. And yet, in his sovereignty, God destroyed his life: his children, his material wealth, his personal wellness.

Friends came, sat in silence for an eternal seven

They held feasts in their homes on their birthdays2019-10-08T02:29:19+00:00