Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Days Gone By

As I was looking through some old pictures, I could hardly believe how quickly autumn came and went! We enjoyed beautiful weather and falling leaves, even though winter came a little prematurely with a snowfall in October this year. Here are a few pictures from the passing season--and a Psalm of Moses for reflection, and for reminding us that our God is from everlasting to everlasting... and our sins are ever before Him... but through His great mercy, we can sing and be glad! 

See me? I'm in the red coat, turned to the side.

Lord, you have been our help, generation after generation.
Before the mountains were born, before you birthed the earth and the world--
From everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God.
You tell us to return to what we were; you change us back to dust.
A thousand years to you are like one day; 
They are like yesterday, already gone.

You put our sins right in front of you, 
Our secret sins in the light of your countenance.
Seventy years is all we have--eighty years, if we are strong;
Yet all they bring us is trouble and sorrow; life is soon over, and we fly away.
Who can comprehend the power of your anger?
The honor that is due you corresponds to your wrath.
Teach us to number our days so we may become wise.

Fill us full every morning with Thy mercy, 
That we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Let your servants see your mighty deeds;
Let their descendants see your glorious might.
And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us.

(a selection of Psalm 90 from various translations)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Panorama

On Friday, Jady and I ventured out to the Queens Museum of Art to see the world's largest scale model of NYC. It took 100 workers building for 3 years to finish this project to present at the 1964 World's Fair, and now it resides in a huge 9000 sq. ft. room for visitors to see. I think the scale is 1 inch = 1,200 inches, or 100 feet. So the Empire State Building is 15 inches... and a person would be the size of the period at the end of this sentence. :)




As cool as it was to see this masterpiece, and to find our apartment and friends' apartments in the city, and to see all the boroughs from a new perspective... I couldn't help but wonder what the real NYC--and the entire earth--must look like to our Lord and Creator. And to think that He didn't need 100 workers for 3 years to create it. Just His Word. In just 6 days.

The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; 
for He founded it on the seas and established it on the waters.
(Psalm 24:1-2)


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Back in Action

I've returned! After several months of not blogging, I'll try to recap some of what we've been doing and learning. God continues to take good care of us, and we truly consider ourselves blessed to be a part of the work here. 

We spent Thanksgiving in Kentucky with my family, spent Christmas in Florida with Jady's family, spent 3 days in 1 Samuel during the Year End Studies, and spent New Years Eve asleep in our apartment after a post-holiday trek (by taxi, plane, bus, and car!) through 5 different states to see nearly everyone we know!

I cooked my first whole chicken and made broth (something that always sounded so intimidating!!), taught our ladies Bible class on James 5 (something else that seemed intimidating!), and shared Bible stories with our high school student each Sunday.

We hosted a talent show for the Christians here, enjoyed a study of the Law of Moses, spent good time with our church family, and reconnected with dear friends.

A few things God has been teaching me:

I'm learning that souls are fragile. New Christians coming from the world are fighting against so much more than I've ever experienced. It's taken me over a year to get used to living in a new place; I can only imagine it taking even longer to get used to living a new LIFE but in the same place. Building new  friendships, rearranging schedules, breaking old habits, growing in God's Word... these all take time and patience!

I'm learning the importance of being in the Bible. It was so good to spend time studying 1 Samuel! It's easy for me to think that certain parts of God's word are boring and only slightly relevant... instead of trusting in God's wisdom in what He's revealed as providing ALL things pertaining to life and godliness. There are countless lessons in these stories about God's unchanging nature, how men find favor in His sight, what God expects, and so on. The more I study the Bible, the more I see that history is HIS story.

Jady and I recently looked at gluttony, self-control, and idolatry related to our appetites in the Bible. Fascinating, challenging, and sobering study! 

Speaking of Jady, I'm falling more and more in love with him as I grow to respect and submit to His leadership.

And after living here over a year, I'm starting to develop a thicker skin as I interact with NY-ers each day at work, on the phone and in person!

I'm also developing a more international focus and appreciation of cultural diversity--not in a humanistic, Epcot, tolerance-touting kind of way... simply trying to be thoughtful and prayerful of souls all over the world, seeking to eradicate any ethnocentrism I may have, and desiring to be all things to all men.

So much more to write about, but that is sufficient for an update!

I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant... Gen. 32:10