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Showing posts from February, 2011

Contentment Part 2

“For I have learned in whatsoever state I am therewith to be content.”This is one of my theme verses of life.I have every reason to whine and complain, but I can learn contentment.I can choose joy, and I make this my goal.I’ll never be the bubbly-smiley type.But I can treasure joy in my soul.I can dwell on all that God is and does and lay all my worries and fears before Him.I can wrap my anxieties in a box and deposit them with God and get a good night’s sleep.I know, this sounds Pollyanna-ish.But it’s what I think, if only for today.What I’m after is joy.I want joyful joy – not niceties.I want a life within that overflows with joy.I have this life.God has given it to me.It is now mine to realise, but I realise it will take work to dig through the dust that has cluttered my soul.And I have the courage to do it, but laziness is an obstacle.Inertia of life is an obstacle that draws me away from the actual and into the soul numbing virtual which is so not real, but distracting nonetheles…

How I Met Sam Part 28

On the weekends Sam and I would talk non-stop until late at night. We shared our lives, our struggles, our journey. We had many similar experiences with teenage depression and spiritual struggles of purpose. I remember Sam telling me that he longed for a wife, whom he would aim to treat as a queen. When he said that I longed to be that wife! But at that point we hardly knew each other and he was not even considering me as an option! I will say that some of his words in passing were casual and innocent - not hinting at anything in any way. I knew that he was not suggesting anything, even though I really wished he were. This knowledge, that I was sitting talking to a wonderful man who longed to treat his future wife like his queen, but who didn't mean anything by it was difficult for me to stomach. I mean that literally. About a half hour after he said these things I began to vomit. Being the very noble gentleman that he was, he followed me into the throne room while I knelt…

How I Met Sam Part 27

I am trying to tell this story as completely as I can - and my memory for this time in my life is pretty good. They say what imprints the brain with memories has to do with adrenaline. This makes sense to me, since there are specific details that stand out in my mind. Another side of this could be that I have told and re-told this story many times and have probably cemented the memories created by adrenaline!
I guess I had left out the part about when Sam got stitched up. Sorry for the following gory details. We sat in the E.R. and they called Sam into the same room where I had my stitches done the previous month (after the brick-clobbering incident). When I had had my stitches they told my Dad to wait outside - so I endured the ordeal alone. I just assumed they'd tell me to stay outside too, but I guess multiple stab wounds gets more sympathy than just a single gash to the skull. They invited me inside, and I hesitated. I asked Sam if he wanted me there, sure he would say…

How I Met Sam Part 26

So we had our first couple of emails. They were inspiring. They warmed my heart. But I knew that Sam was just a purely nice guy who was trying to be an encouragement to me and I guessed he was trying his best to make sure nothing other than an offer of friendship was communicated. Though I guess I hoped differently!

Although what with the crazy sleep patterns and lack of eating I was such a wreck I couldn't sort out any emotion or register any kind of emotion other than numbness and fear. After all the events of the following few weeks people's impressions were that it was a 'whirlwind romance' and that I was head-over-heels and the relationship was all consuming. Well, I will grant it did kind of become all consuming, as relationships tend to be at the outset (and following, depending!) But as for head-over-heels - sorry all you romantics out there - but that I was not.

Let me take you back to the night of the burglary. I had HAD an interest in Sam, our handsome housegu…

A letter to Missionary Kids

“Dear Friends, we should love each other, because love comes from God.” 1 John 4:7aDear Fellow M.K,The other day I was watering my garden – a novel thing for me since I grew up in a concrete jungle.I really don’t know much about gardening, and I’m learning as I go!Did you know you can over water a garden?I didn’t.And I have the rotting squash to prove it!Apparently, the roots took in too much water and the ‘fruit’ couldn’t grow properly and the squash went kaput.So, I took a break from watering for a few days.I felt sorry for my plants, not getting all that wonderful nourishment, but I just envisioned those roots creeping further and deeper into the soil, causing them to get good and strong and learn to find richer nourishment from the deeper, moister soil.I decided that the best thing for my plants was no water for a little while so they could grow stronger and develop better, more wholesome ‘fruit’ (okay, I guess they’re really vegetables)!!It made me think of my life as an M.K.I lo…

Musings on Grace

What I find when I honestly look inside myself is a resistance to shed the flesh of self-indulgence and hesitance to live in the grace of spiritual service to God – which requires motion, not inaction.The things I’m learning about grace are powerful – as I grow in grace I realise that grace is not just this passive existence of vacationing with God.It has demands.Not judgmental demands like, ‘Do this or you’ll suffer.’Grace does not demand with frowning, suspicion, or patronizing words.No, but it does say that if you understand and live in it, you will be active.Active in doing the things God has called you to do.And I feel I am preaching myself a sermon here.I am too passive in my understanding of grace – and too passionless.If I truly knew the depths of grace I would live with such a different outlook and perspective.What would it look like?I guess that’s a question I’ll have to ponder and write on some other time…

Have a little Joy. Even if it hurts.

I am learning to have joy even when others are joyless.I revel in, bask in, rejoice in, walk in, drown in the love, mercy and grace of God.It gives me joy – joy unspeakable.It gives me a bubbling well in my soul to realize that I am loved, that I am treasured.That when God looks at me He doesn’t see all my rotten sin, but sees the righteousness of Christ.If I am in Christ, and remain in Christ I am filled with utmost joy.If others around me act as if they’ve been sucking lemons, they are welcome to just try to steal my joy.I refuse to surrender it – it is God’s gift to me and I will keep it and exude it because God is my treasure, my companion, my hope and I will live in His love and not be moved from standing in His grace.

Lessons from little ones

A couple of recorded memories - how many of these did I forget to record!?
Sept 20 '06Priscilla wanted to blow up the green inflatable chair but it had a leak in it. I said, 'I'm sorry Priscilla but this is broken.'Priscilla responded, 'Well, we can just give it to Jesus.'Thinking Priscilla needed a lesson in giving our treasure to Jesus and not our junk, I almost went into a lecture to that effect.Just before doing this I thought to ask, 'Why should we give it to Jesus?'To which Priscilla replied, 'Because Jesus can fix broken things.'Good thing I asked.Oct 18 06 CalebI was a little late picking up Caleb from school - intentionally - I go about five minutes late to avoid all the cars in the way etc.When I got there to the door, which is glass, I saw Caleb on his knees, head bowed, eyes scrunched closed and his mouth moving.When he opened his eyes he saw me and jumped up and yelled for his teacher to come open the door as I had arrived.He was so…

Weed-Like Faith

What do I mean when I talk about faith? Often the term is tossed about loosely - hinting at vague sentiments and irrational belief. The kind of faith I seek to have is the faith that saves - delivers, rescues and changes me from within. That kind of faith is simple, humble, realistic, honest before God.That faith is like an arm reaching out and grasping the only thing that provides any true hope – a faith that actively and aggressively holds onto what has been revealed.Mustard seed faith takes root and grows like a weed, refusing to give over ground that it dominates.Where faith stakes its territory there is room for nothing else. This is the kind of faith I pray the Lord blesses me with – as a gift from His hand.

Our Family Prayer

The Logan Family PrayerMay we be as fruit-bearing trees planted by the life-sustaining water of the Word of God.May the Living Word be on our tongue, in our hearts and Be our truest Guide in life.May we be rooted and established in the love we realize in the Lord Jesus Christ.Let our purpose be to know, love and serve our Creator with Ever-increasing joy and devotion. We ask You, our Father, to bless us as we daily live for Your honour. For the glory of our risen King:Amen.

Thoughts on loving God

What has troubled me regarding the 'heart' (be that mind + emotions or a co-mingling, undistinguishable unit that is the core of one's conscious personhood), is that I feel that I love God. Also, there are times of solitude when this passion - this awakening at the core of myself - rejoices in the love I feel towards God. Sometimes these feelings are accompanied by music that flows from either a radio, singing around a campfire, a hymn or otherwise. Music certainly can lift the soul. And I see and know that others experience a deep love for God (that's how it's described; they feel love for God), especially during times of 'worship' (=music and singing corporately).
Why is it troubling that I 'feel' love for God? I guess because I wonder how my feelings reflect reality. I mean, if I truly do love God, my whole life would be centred on Him. Is it? I can't say that I know the answer to this. What troubles me is that I see that many of us…

How I Met Sam - Journals from that time

Instead of continuing with the story, which I will do, I will include from time to time reflections and snippets from my journals written during these months, so you, dear reader, can better understand the workings of my heart. The details and highlights of the story are exciting enough and so I expect these sections may not be read as much, but for my own record I will put them here so the tale is told with complete openness and from the heart and perspective I had at the time that these events so dramatically changed my life.
23 September 1999
"Hope is the thing with feathers That perches in the soul And sings the tune without the words And never stops at all." - Emily Dickinson
I am writing here in H.K. I need not relate the fact that the writing urge has been quite absent for some time. (Last entry: 17 May!) I know this is sad. Only in the past few weeks have I begun to 'wake up' in a sense. I wonder if God has allowed all the calamity of recent days (referri…

Hymn to the Trinity

Sung to the tune: Sandringham - usually known as 'O Perfect Love'
Almighty Father, we your people praise You,
For You have shown Your greatness, Majesty;
Beyond our grasping, higher than the heavens,
Yet still You see and know our deepest need.Sovereign, Immense, Vast beyond comprehension,
Descending to mankind in human form.
Incarnate Saviour, bringer of salvation,
Revealing God the Father through the Son.O Holy Spirit, help and comfort giver,
Regenerater, Shepherd of our souls!
Filling, inspiring, moving us to service,
Giving us conq'ring pow'r against the foe.O Holy Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
Triune, mysterious, God whom we adore!
Humbly we worship; lay our lives before You,
Receive all praise and glory evermore!


How I Met Sam Part 25

Oct 5 1999 4:51 p.m.
Dear Sam,
How are you doing? Are you sleeping alright? I saved you some newspaper articles - 7 total. You make a good picture. :)

sarah

Octo 5 1999 7:03 p.m.

Thanks Sarah for your note.

I wanted so bad to call you guys Sunday night when I got back here to make sure you are all OK. Then again yesterday and today, but so many others to call and write to that I never got round to it. Believe me, I've been thinking of you guys a ton, and been talking to our Father lots, esp. that you will sleep well. Your dad said you aren't, I'm sorry. I wish you could, wish I could do something to help you sleep better.

Remember, our Dad [references to God were always in this language because he wanted to be sensitive to the screeners of email in China] is shaping us, into the kids He wants us to be. His plan is so perfect, and your relationship with Him will have changed after this event. It will either draw you towards Him or away from Him. I'm confident that it will be t…

How I Met Sam Part 24

I think most of us have struggled with fear of some kind, and maybe still do. I think fear of many things is really a way of exposing our vulnerability and revealing where our trust and confidence lies. After the burglary I wrestled with fear - gripping fear - on a daily basis. It was fine during the days but the nights were very hard.

This was the house I had grown up in and even as a child I had significant fear. I never told anyone about it much as a kid - just figured it was normal to be afraid of the dark. If I wanted a drink of water from downstairs at night I would quietly tiptoe down, get the drink as fast as I could and suddenly my heart would start racing and I would bolt up the stairs 2 or 3 at a time like lightning! We had had other burglaries but they were always in absentia - or in the middle of the night and they would come and go before we knew it. So maybe I was afraid I'd walk in on a burglary or step on a cockroach (yech!) or some such thing. Cockroaches alone g…

IDOLS

Genesis 22:1-17 What Do We worship? C.S. Lewis "God is the eternal iconoclast" – Idol destroyer Abraham had begun in a household of pagan idolatry. He also had opportunity to worship his own wealth and security. God called him out from his pagan roots and to reject pagan idols. Then God called him to leave the security of his wealth and home – when he took the lesser land. Then God called him to give up his 'pious idol' – his own son whom he viewed as God's fulfillment of promise. God is not satisfied with our worship of anything other than Him. Often we like to think we are worshiping God alone, but our lives prove otherwise and betray our truest devotions. Our devotion to God is not merely external – as in the things we do each day – but also internal – the things we value, rely upon, desire, strive for. Looking at Abraham we may have thought he was devoted enough to God. He had already proved his devotion a number of times and seems to have been walking by faith e…

Worship and Missions

Why do we worship?Habit?To look good?For fun?Is worship something we do for us or do we do it for God – for His glory?I propose that the reason for our worship is to lift God high above all else.We set Him apart, we ascribe worth to Him.In this is our worship:We want to see God glorified in our worship and not in our worship only, but in the lives of others.This is why we send out missionaries and why we proclaim Him to the lost – our aim is that others, who do not know Him would turn to Him in worship also.As people come to Him they too will lift up the name of Jesus:John 12:32 says, “But I when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.”Our worship lifts up Jesus and He will draw others to Him as we lift Him up.The words of the hymn go, “Lift High the Cross, the Love of Christ proclaim, till all the world adores His sacred name.”One verse says, “O Lord once lifted on the tree of pain, draw all the world to seek You once again.”Let this be our prayer, as we worship H…

Psalm 23

Psalm 23BecauseThe Lord is my ShepherdMy Father-figure, my guide,I shall not want.I shall not lack anything – for the Lord will provide all I need.He maketh me to lie down in green pastures,He gives sweet rest and comfort in Him.He leadeth me beside the still waters.He calms my heart with the refreshing water of His Word.He restoreth my soul.Where I have been broken – He healed, and heals.Where I had lost touch with Him, He brought me back.He leadeth me in the paths of righteousnessHe keeps me from sin and leads me in the way I should go,as a father does for His son, and as a Shepherd guides His sheep.For His name’s sake.So that I cannot take any pride in my own righteousness, but that in all I do,My Shepherd would receive all glory.Yea, though I walk through the valleyThe dark, lonesome valleyOf the Shadow of DeathThough death threatens my very being,I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me.Because my Shepherd leads, I have no reason to fear for my life.Thy rod and thy staff, they c…

How I Met Sam Part 23

After having some family reading time, I commented to Mom - 'Hey, we've never been up THIS early for Church - we're even ahead of schedule!' Since we had planned to be at church (oh, and set up everything, unlock the building, play piano etc.) we decided to proceed as planned. I guess Sam didn't want to feel left out and would be rather lonely laying in bed at home, so he came too.

It's kind of an odd feeling when others walk into church and nod and smile and say, 'How are you?' and you just witnessed a brutal stabbing/burglary all night. What do you say, 'Oh, we're fine, NOW.' Or do you say, 'I had a rough night.' Or do you say, 'Do you REALLY want to know?' Or, 'I've had better days...'

Anyways, halfway through church Sam didn't feel so great and had to lie down. So when church was over we took him home and let him rest. Sam, still being very self-confident decided he still needed to return to China for work t…

My Heart's Desire

My heart longs for Thy presence Lord,I want to see Thy faceThat I may live and follow Thee,And do what Thy Word says.That I may live and follow Thee,And do what Thy Word says.
Thy love to me, so vast, so greatIts depth I’ll never knowUntil I come to be with TheeAnd in Thy presence bow. Until I come to be with TheeAnd in Thy presence bow.
Please Father may I love Thee more,And live to honour TheeThat I might be a vessel forThy love to flow through me.That I might be a vessel forThy love to flow through me.
To the tune: Brother James' Air

How I Met Sam Part 22

(For those who get lost in these posts here is the link to PART 1: How I Met Sam - Part 1)




The story isn't over yet. There's still the bit about the fire yet to come.

Did you read Psalm 56? Here are a few quotes:
"Men hotly pursue me..." (of course when I heard those words I thought "How ironic! - if I'd read this yesterday I would've been saying, 'I wish!'")

"All day long they press their attack...many are attacking me.
When I am afraid, I put my trust in You...In God I trust and am not afraid, what can mere mortals do to me?...They conspire, they lurk, they watch my steps, hoping to take my life...
You have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling"
The feet from stumbling part was what got me - how appropriate! I had been afraid to jump off the balcony since I had only been off crutches for a week and my ankle was still weak. Literally, God HAD kept my feet from stumbling.
The last two lines of the Psalm have meant a lot to …

Dan Dan Mien

One of my favourite Chinese dishes is impossible to find this side of the big pond! So I looked up recipes and this is what we had for supper. It may not be to the average American taste, so just look it over before you try it! :)
5 cloves garlic, minced 1 T minced ginger 1/2 c. water salt (a few sprinkles, more or less to your taste)
Put those all in a pot on the stove, and let it sit and begin to simmer.
1/4 c. tahini (cheaper at Asian food stores) 1/4 c. peanut butter (I think the natural or non-sweetened kind would work better, but we just had the normal stuff) 1 bullion cube (chicken flavour) - or you can just use more salt or chicken broth
Dump all that into the flavour base on the stove.
In a separate pot boil up your Chinese egg noodles in some chicken broth, or water.
Add some chopped up spring onions - as much as you like, and 1-2 T of sesame oil (good flavour).
Traditionally this is a spicy hot dish, and recipes call for chili oil and chili flakes. I skip that, but you might like th…

Contentment Part 1

This is one of the 'great' themes of my life - Contentment. If there is any subject that I like to ponder, speak on, and write about it is this. I intend to write more on it here on this blog.Sixteen catalogues sit on my desktop beckoning me to peruse their contents and patiently wait for my unidivided attention. From their flimsy and glossy pages, plastic and perfectly touched-up models smile at me – begging me to consider their wares. Flashy smiles with artificially whitened teeth demurely point to the lack of lustre of my own not-so-pearly whites. “Why do these companies waste so many trees and so much money on postage just to pollute my mailbox with more junk for the recycling?” I think to myself. The struggle against discontent mounts with every new ad-packet or sale brochure. Coupons make it difficult to resist the urge to splurge on the latest fashions, accessories or novelties. No wonder discontent is so quick to set in and take root in my life. No wonder my …