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Showing posts from November, 2011

Don't be a control freak - Trust God Part 2

The happiest Christians are those who have relinquished all rights and yielded themselves entirely to Christ. Can you think of ONE thing that is truly your 'right' as a Christian? I can think of one: to boldly enter the throneroom of grace to find the help we need! There aren't many more than that!
"But," I hear people say, "I have the right to do what I please with MY spare time." Really? When I got married, this was perhaps the hardest area for me to address in myself. When I was single generally I had complete freedom as to what I did in my free time - watching T.V., reading novels, surfing the internet. Funny, isn't it, how we often end up marrying someone SO opposite from us?! These three activities were not merely a preference issue to my husband, but on occasion he viewed them as moral issues (like, it's morally wrong to waste time)! (Hope Sam doesn't mind that I share this - don't worry people - he has totally changed and…

Don't be a control freak - Trust God Part 1

Okay, I'll admit, a few of my blogs have been merely transferrals of my pre-blogging days. It seems I have the writing streak in me because anytime I get irritated with people I try to figure out what it is that is bugging me and I begin to write my own lectures to them - either in a notebook or now, in this blog.
Well, it seems that I've been around enough irritating people to give me fuel for many many pages of writing! As I analyzed what was wrong with people I think I basically narrowed it down to one thing: discontent. I would not be far off the mark, because complaining (which is basically the outward display of the inward truth of discontent) was/is SO grievous to God! One of our oft-quoted verses is 'When the people complained the Lord was displeased and He sent a plague among them...' So, I had set out to write a book on the matter of contentment because it seemed the Christian book industry had overlooked this topic. I can understand why. Why market co…

Gratitude

"Let's have an attitude of gratitude, and fill our hearts with praise,
'Thank you Lord!' we'll say to whatever comes our way
and with our attitude of gratitude, our lives will tell our friends,
That something special happens
When Jesus lives within!"

This is part of a song from a kids tape I used to listen to (by Joni and Friends - if you want to reflect on gratitude just take a look at her life and be amazed!).
We try to teach kids manners - please and thank you - but it's an entirely different thing to cultivate gratefulness. We can say 'thank you' and not mean it, but since God knows our hearts there's no point in thanking him unless we deeply sense a debt of gratitude towards Him. As the song above says, 'something special happens when Jesus lives within.' Does something special happen when Jesus lives within? What is that special 'something'? It could be many things, one of the most important being gratitude. Are you gratefu…

Thanksgiving - for real

As it is the day before Thanksgiving I thought I should share what my impressions of Thanksgiving have been throughout the years.

Growing up in Hong Kong and attending British schools, it was not customary to have a day off for Thanksgiving - a purely American celebration (and, just a bit anti-British if you think of why they had a Thanksgiving in the first place). However, though my parents were religious about school attendance - and I mean religious, (you had to have a provable condition to miss school), they saw the importance of religiously celebrating Thanksgiving.

I am grateful today for their prioritizing this 'holiday' (read: holy day) because it has profoundly impacted my life.

Because one forms views and ideas of what it must be to be an American in the 'home'land when one grows up outside of said homeland, I formed my ideals around the ways we celebrated as a family in Hong Kong. I wrongly assumed we were just doing what all Americans do for Thanksgiving.…

Caleb's Query

The other day Caleb was asking me if God is always gracious. I said, 'Yes, He is.' Then he asked if God is always just. I said, 'Yes, He is.' Then he said, 'Is God unchanging?' I said, 'Yes, He is.' Then he wanted to know how this can be possible - he views graciousness as being a little bit unjust. And then, if He is truly unchanging, well, how can He be doing both the grace thing and the just thing all at the same time!? Very confusing - not just for a 10 year old.

We discussed it a little bit and I said, 'Caleb, I have the answer. Do you want to know what it is?' 'Sure!' he said.

'The Trinity.'

At first he thought it was a joke - kind of like where my Dad asks, 'If a chicken and half laid an egg and a half in a day and a half, then how many pancakes would it take to shingle a doghouse?' (If you want the answer, ask my Dad).

But it wasn't a joke - in that genre anyways.

Here is my answer:
Caleb, if God punished…

Anxiety

Worry. Fear. Guilt. Woulda, coulda, shoulda - what ifs... Do these rule your life? What causes us to have anxiety issues?

On the personal front we have worries that nag at our thoughts: what might others think of me if they knew XYZ? We have guilt: 'I shouldn't have________, I wish I hadn't __________' We have regrets: 'I could've done things differently. We have fears - of the unknown: 'What if I/he/she gets sick? What if I/they face pain or difficulty? What if God moves us from this place? What if my circumstances change? What if something goes wrong? What if I fail?'

Fear, anxiety and worry must be universal to being human. I, for one, thought I had enough worry-ers about me that I thought I could take a pass - I thought, 'I don't struggle with this!' But, having children, especially having them living inside your own body for a while, lends itself very naturally to fear, worry and anxiety.

I wonder, what does God's Word tell …

Anger in Parenting Part 2

I posted on the dilemma of anger as a parent back in July. I just read a great blog on why it is right for us to be angry when injustice is done (by Bryan Hodge at www.theologicalsushi.blogspot.com).

I was glad to hear back from so many of you on the subject - some with verses and reminders and general ideas on the matter.

I don't know if there is a one-size-fits-all approach to this. So much of parenting seems to need constant nuanced adjustments - like steering on a road. Each kid is different and some can hear through the blunders and others require perfectly measured doses of child-sized wisdom to be applied to their hearts.

So that raises the question - do the easy kids (who get things quicker, take it in sooner, respond to your input promptly...) somehow get the brunt of it? Do they get short-changed because they weren't being squeaky wheels?

I am realizing that anger in parenting is/can be definitely harmful and sinful. How can I expect my children to display sel…

Hannah's Trust

Can she feel my love for her?
Does it wash over her in waves of emotion,
the way it washes over me?

She rests in my arms,
Content -
Fully relaxed - fearing nothing, aware of nothing
But the gentle rocking,
the warmth of my body
and the sound of Grandma reading the train book to Andrew.

I wonder if this is why we are told to have faith
as little children do.

She fully trusts all her needs will be met.
She rests peacefully, neither sorrowful for the past,
nor anxious for the future.

In hunger, she cries - and is fed.
When restless, she murmurs and a bleary-eyed Mommy
Lifts her from her lonely bed.

This is what it means to trust -
to know and rest in the confidence
of future comfort.

Let this rest be mine, I pray.
This peace,
this hope,
this trust,
All because I am loved -
With waves that wash over me
From a Father Who loves me
as His precious child.

On a side note...a poem I wrote while teaching English

During the whole time I was day-dreaming about Sam I was also taking classes to be certified in TESL via Cambridge University's program in Hong Kong's British Council. I was also teaching little kids - 3-6 year olds and high school kids conversational English. The little kids had worksheets to practice reading and writing. I was just sorting through a folder to give Timo one that wasn't falling apart and came across this one I had for the young children who could read. I had filled it in to show them how to write sentences with particular words. The first one is basic:
bat, sat, hat, mat, fat, rat, that, cat, mat:

There was a bat who sat
On a hat on a mat,
Then a fat rat sat on that mat -
But the cat ate the rat
That was sitting on that mat.

Then, the next list of words was:
sing, ring, thing, bring, sting, king

Here's what I wrote:

I want a ring,
Then I'll sing.
What a thing, to have a ring.
Bring me a ring, but without a string.
The ring won't sting,
An…

How I met Sam - Our first 'dates' 3

On that walk home, I asked one question, and the rest of the time, Sam talked. I asked him to tell me about his life.

He began with growing up in Zambia, and told me about his family. He had three older sisters (who doted on him with all manner of affection one would expect from having three older sisters). I don't remember all he told me, but he did tell stories of his growing up years. It sounded like he came from a wonderful family - stable, loving, nurturing and who sincerely loved the Lord and sought to serve Him with all of their beings.

He talked of going off to boarding school at Sakeji, when he was just 5 years old. It sounded absolutely horrifying to me - thinking of a little tyke going away for three months at a time! At least for his comfort he did have loving big sisters to cry on and look after him.

Then he told of coming to the U.S. to live for a while, because his Dad had developed some headaches and needed medical attention. He was 12 when he left Zambia…

How I met Sam - Our first 'dates' 2

I wasn't going to be so rude as to say no I won't, but I did have an internal battle going on.

I had told myself I would not date - that I was determined to not let myself fall down the slippery slope of emotional entanglements. This sounds quite silly and reveals something about me which I'm not too shy to share publicly! That at the core I was scared of being hurt - of loving without being loved in return. I recognized the weakness of my own heart and sought to protect myself by remaining aloof from male companionship. However, against my better judgement, I often failed. I couldn't help but to be openly curious. (Curiosity and I have a love/hate relationship!) But it was troubling nonetheless to break one of my personal rules about going on dates. I told myself this was merely being a good hostess and that was the extent of it.

Anyway, we got to the mall, and we began to walk around. Contrary to what my Mom had said, I didn't know of a lot of places …

How I met Sam - Our first 'dates'

I will continue to tell our story - can't believe I've only gotten as far as one week into it - with 32 parts. So I guess that was all like Chapter 1 and this is Chapter 2 - or some such thing.

If you've been following along, I shared some of our emails so you get the picture of what our communication was like.

The second weekend following the burglary, Sam again needed to be picked up from the train station. I don't think I was driving in Hong Kong yet, so my Mom was going to get him. Of course I was a little excited about him coming a second weekend. I wasn't sure how often he'd come, or what our friendship would amount to, but it was a warm and pleasant thought to have a friend - even if our friendship would be minimal - around for a day or two. I also did not anticipate the underhanded, crafty ways of my Mother (for which I am now quite thankful in retrospect - who knows, without her gentle suggestions, we may not be where we are today!)

What am I ref…

The Logan Family Prayer

May 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.

Marriage Thoughts - for those who bother

I've always said there's two kinds of people in this world - those who bother and those who are bothered. I'd like to be neither. Unfortunately I fall on the side of a botherer much more than a bothered person! Pity those who have to live with me! Therefore, my preliminary comments are made to those with my particular kind of weakness (and as much a reminder to me as to anyone else who will read this):

1. When told you are bothering, or when someone is nit-picky and wants you not to do something, or to do it a different way, try not to be defensive. Try to see beyond how a thing is said, and begin to wonder if this added information/input/request could be helpful to your further growth and change. Do not take others and their botherances personally.

2. Consider how you might accommodate those who are bothered by you and the things you do. Once you have done due dilligence and sought to improve, do not live in anxiety or self-discouragement for not living up to others' s…

Heaven

What will I do when I get there?
When I leave the shadows of this earthly sphere,
And arrive at the place reserved for me there -
What will be my occupation - How will I serve
My God, my Maker?

Will He give me talents unknown here,
To magnify His glories in verse and song?
Will I paint His beauties with skill untold,
Or simply worship Him - will it never grow old?

Will my tongue be unleashed with His fathomless grace,
Will I be struck dumb to behold His face?
He hasn't shown me how great it will be,
But still - I imagine the splendour to see -
And wonder with wandering thoughts of that place -
How I'll spend all eternity praising His name.