Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Happy 61st Anniversary to Gram & Paw!

:o) & (o:
celebrating them here with words from my bro Jonathan's proposal poem from this weekend:

this is an invitation to interdependence,
as two become one and all Glory goes to the Son.
praise due, not to us but to the Lamb who cried, "it is done!"
– because of love.

not an only-for-this-season love,
or a he-bought-this-for-me type love,
not a we’re-both-from-the-barrio,
or here’s-the-prenup type of love,
but an excessive affection that sees
future, present and retrospective.
patient, kind, protective, common and elective,
ever-pushing and pursuing,
ever drawing the same conclusion:
that He is the ultimate bridegroom
who died for me, and for you.

and though He couldn’t bend his knee
because of the nails in His feet,
he dropped His head and proposed –
will you marry me?
and today in this way
miss pan, i humbly do the same:
will you marry me?
and with MJ & MJ's very different weekend
remembering that we are still all a part of the same story,
the same invitation to celebrate to feast to be one with the One.
i believe in happily ever after.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Learning to be a child, 5.

Lovely Thanksgiving at Ave Z, where the sidewalk ends in Brooklyn. It was a PCA dinner, the liquor poured freely. Kept getting summoned by Orli to the kids' table with her big brother and five of their cousins. Miss Esther can you please open this bottle for me? or to carve some turkey or reach the high shelf or to tag Noah because he was too fast and kept declaring no tag-backs or to pull some cransauce out of her hair... Delightful.

So it is I think with childlike prayerfulness. Not manipulating the Father into obliging the request by way of puppy eyes and pouty whines...

But please Daddy! I have no power to do this on my own. It's help! I am not big enough!

not capable enough? for what?

i fall to my knees and pray to the Father...
i pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources
he will empower you with inner strength...
may you have the power to understand
how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is...
then you will be made complete
with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

// Eph 3, NLT

not able enough to grasp His great love for me.
the King's Table is His Kids' Table--and there is joy! much joy.
in basking in Love we are too small and frail on our own to know.
too unknowing to feel how established, rooted, moored, secure we are.

Love we are too much His children to thwart.
Love that will not let us go.
there's power and help here, gifts for the asking,
to begin tasting, seeing, sensing what "surpasses knowledge":
the love of Christ. the filling with fullness.
how He loves us. the King, He loves me.

Daddy, do more. do more than all we ask or imagine.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

when i forget my name, remind me.

God dignifies us with our True Identity.
Especially when the only images we can see are the veiled corrupt mimicries. 
Especially when wrestling the self and facing sin--both my own and those done unto me, and all the things that persist on earth to steal, kill, and destroy... The loss, death, ruins... oh they could crush our hearts.
Especially in real warfare, the darkness threatens to overtake the light by which the image of God is perceived.
God dignifies us with our True Identity.

Unless I glance at my sin and gaze upon my Savior, in whom my true self holds and is hidden--engraved on His heart that calls and draws me by name. My real name, it is written on His hands, in His wounds that heal me. When I forget my name, remind me.

Your sins do not define you.
Your identity is as a redeemed,
reconciled, justified, cleansed
son or daughter of our loving Father.

dearest MJ & MJ, who remind me my name. i'll remind you too.
so be that, in faith.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Love of a jealous kind, 9.

8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Envious love is basically selfish, it's basically about you. It starts being upset because I've lost love, but it ends in nothing but destructive anger. It's all about your ego, it's all about your hurt pride. Therefore what happens is love gets replaced by anger. Love goes away and you get very angry and you can even attack the person whose love you lost because you're so angry at them.

But then there's godly jealousy... In 2 Corinthians 11 Paul is being sarcastic, strong, confrontive, angry. Paul's love for them is angered love... His love is angered love, but it's godly because it stays love. Godly jealousy is angered love that stays love--and it's not so much about you and your hurt pride--it's about the loss of the relationship. 
Put another way: Godly jealousy is love fighting extinction; normal jealousy is love gone extinct because of your self-centeredness and because of your hurt pride... and now you just hate the person who loved you before. But godly jealousy is angered love that stays love, and stays committed to rescuing that crumbling love relationship and getting that person back.  
What provokes His jealousy is idolatry. 
Envious human jealousy, when you push, replaces love with anger... The selfishness and the pride just take the love and destroy it, you don't love them anymore. You just hate them... Godly love gets angry, but stays love. 
Human love, if pushed, will kill the lover who rejects. But God's love, when pushed, will die for the one who rejects Him. Will die--and has died, He has given Himself for us... Why is it in spite of our spiritual adultery can God stay with us and not reject us? How could God's angered love stay love? Because He died for us.
// "The Jealousy of God," Tim Keller's 2011 March 27 sermon on Exodus 20:1-6.

thank You for rescuing, reclaiming, loving me
for severe mercies that wound vanity until it is slain
for *loving-kindness and unrelenting pursuit after my heart.
Lord create in me a heart after Yours.
one that becomes more like Your heart in the seeking/seeing of it
*Love is something more stern and splendid than mere kindness (CS Lewis, The Problem of Pain).

Friday, November 18, 2011

where Love was always leading me

it’s okay, this is just the end
don’t be afraid, this is where it begins
everything here had to fall apart

but in the ruins of a broken heart, i found peace like a river to attend my soul...
i found it here at the end of me

we don’t have to fight the very things that might lead us back home
every wound here is a place to start the healing of a broken heart

the end of me is not the enemy; it’s where mercy gets the better part of me

// joel hanson & jason gray

Monday, November 14, 2011

I still have a dumbphone. And an iPod that I don't use as an iPod. And friends who do the same.

"I keep a running list of the names of people I meet. Look, there's you."

"Daang you meet a lot of people! Is this so that you can look em up real discreetly in your iPod when you forget their names cuz that happens to me... Always awkward." Sometimes when people friend me on Facebook I don't remember having met them in person, it's a real problem.

"You know what else, I keep track of the things I do every day in this note--"

I scroll quickly through the places, dates, sentence fragments. "Wow, I once knew a guy who did that!"

"Really?" He winked and nudged, "He must have been really cool."

"Yes." I pause. "The very best."

GMH. A happy memory trace. Non-flashback. I smile. The psych class has been too demanding and puts me in a bit of a credits pickle for graduation. Would love to stay the fall for Dalli Jen Monet MeOak Sophia too but I don't think I can justify that. I can put away my playthings and grow into my Taiwan dreams.

A child's anticipation.

tell me, if love and patient joy are the only weapons against darkness and long despair:
what is patient joy? long-suffering joy?
is hope its fuel?

:') watched this 10x this morning teehee

hope is the tree that bears the fruit of Joy, Steph said.
patient Joy... it grasps onto hope and True Promises.

so we work and watch and wait.
with hope in our hearts.
anticipation in our pee-bags.

for this season to change.

in the meantime there are yellow boots, pendulum swings, morning chocolates, and many sunrises to help you stay a child at play. to help you be certain. it won't be long.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sola Gratia

7. Resolved, to persevere in pleading for the souls I love, in trust that Your love and plans for my friends are exceedingly greater than my ambitions for them. In Your power to work immeasurably more than all I ask or imagine, and in frank recognition that You display this power in such a way that You will not share Your glory with another... Resolved, to pray for friends the miracle of conversion, especially for those who seem "impossible," as though it ever takes any less than a miracle. With You, all things are possible.

8. Resolved, when tempted to give up laboring hope for someone's salvation or to count evangelism futile, to take heart--to remember my baptism and be grateful. Remember, once you were dead. Remember, you who once hated Him are now a trophy of his mercy. Remember Saul turned Paul.  Forgetful heart, how can good news--and believing in it--be futile?

Friday, November 4, 2011

falling tears from failing eyes

how is faith to endure, O God, when you allow all this scraping and tearing on us? You have allowed rivers of blood to flow, mountains of suffering to pile up, sobs to become humanity’s song — all without lifting a finger that we could see. you have allowed bonds of love beyond number to be painfully snapped. Ii you have not abandoned us, explain yourself...

we strain to hear. but instead of hearing an answer we catch sight of God himself scraped and torn. through our tears we see the tears of God.

// Nicholas Wolterstorff. Lament for a Son. Eerdmans: 1987, p. 70.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Who then are the mourners?

The mourners are those who have caught a glimpse of God's new day, who ache with all their being for that day's coming, and who break out into tears when confronted with its absence... The mourners are aching visionaries. Such people Jesus blesses; he hails them, he salutes them. And he gives them the promise that the new day for whose absence they ache will come. They will be comforted. The Stoics of antiquity said: Be calm. Disengage yourself. Neither laugh nor weep. Jesus says: Be open to the wounds of the world. Mourn humanity's mourning, weep over humanity's weeping, be wounded by humanity's wounds, be in agony over humanity's agony. But do so in the good cheer that a day of peace is coming.

// Nicholas Wolterstorff, Lament for a Son.