Thursday, May 22, 2008

Packing and Diet Cherry Coke!

Nothing goes better with packing then Diet Cherry Coke! That's what I'm doing today and for the rest of the weekend...packing with some Diet Cherry Coke breaks and perhaps a couple of friend breaks too! That's the latest for me!

AND yes, I'm still waiting to hear back from the job....I've called a lot and haven't got any responses back....maybe this is a closed door? Pray for me, that the Lord would make it clear, so I can start looking else where if I need to!? I really would enjoy this new job! I haven't given details about it yet b/c its not for sure I have it?! Hopefully I will know either way by the end of this week! Please Pray! .....back to the fun-filled day of packing until I work tonight! eeeee!! Thankfully the Lord really knows and holds all things together, especially when it feels very gray on a lot of fronts! Oh for more grace to trust Him! :)

Monday, May 19, 2008


The Lord is so gracious to me! And all my days I will sing of His everlasting Faithfulness, through His providing Grace! No matter what the circumstances may be, we know that He is good and upright and faithful to keep us firm until the very friend on the phone this morning reminded me that God's Word is what remains and will never fade away. Pointing me to Mark 13:31 in where it says: "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away." What confidence we have in our Creator God who will never be shaken, even if at the time we feel a little bit shaken! Thank you to my friend, who reminded me of the Gospel...very timely words!

Change is all around me! Which, I do invite but can be hard when its happening all at the same time! I feel a little shaky with the changes, yet I know that it will be for my benefit and growth and that my Anchor in Christ is secure!
  • New Job, which means training should start next couple of weeks....more on that later!
  • Moving from my campus apartment into a house with a family! This is such a blessing because I didn't ask for this, but the Lord open the door for me! Its a young couple from my church who lives 5 houses down from our church! They recently renovated their entire house and have the upstairs ready for two boarders! There are two rooms upstairs for me and another single girl! So, it will be extremely nice and just all around a great environment to live in! Yet, I do feel a little bitter-sweet b/c I'm going to miss my room-mate now...but we are ending on a good note and she understands that this is going to be helpful for me b/c I will be able to save money and live more cheaply! Such a grace for our Lord! Just really want to payback my school loans as quickly as I can!
  • And there is something else, but don't feel free quite yet to blog about it...will eventually, Lord willing! If you know me well you prob. know what the scoop I ask that you'd pray for wisdom in this as well! :)

In total, these aren't the craziest changes ever, but enough to make me not too comfortable, so that the Lord would use this to grow me up and make me mature in Him! And, often I have to admit, when things become too comfortable I can become complacent and less reliant on our Lord...which is the very thing that He is wanting to prevent! I just need more trust, grace, and rest in Christ!

Also, thanks for your prayers because my parents arrived home safely this past Thursday night! They got back to McKinney, TX very simply! Now, they are in Colorado because Dad is receiving some award from his old job...but at least they are back state-side and have access to their cell phones! I've enjoyed talking to them both several times and have heard interesting stories from their travels! Until later....grace and peace in Christ, friends!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Oh to the harder providences of God...

I ask that you'd pray for my parents and that the Gospel of Christ would go forward through this earthquake disaster! My parents have been in China these past several weeks, right in the area of where the earthquake hit! Thankfully, the Lord has protected them and their friends who are there. However, records show that there is a shocking 10 Thousand + who have been killed as a result! There is utter chaos all around them and shortage on food, water, and medical supplies. This is beyond anything I have ever seen in real life, the pictures I've seen look like a movie! I am sobered and reminded of how much we need our Lord to intervene, not only for my parents but for the Chinese Christian church to be bold in witness and declare the glory of God in the face of Christ! That the Kingdom would advance through this natural disaster! Thank you for your prayers! My parents are scheduled to fly home tomorrow (May 15th) yet we are not sure there will be many flights available! Pray that they would be able to return safely and that they'd be bold in faith in the midst of seeing so much tragedy!

So what do I do now? I turn to the One who hears our prayers and is faithful to care for His children! In my dad's email, he mentioned Psalm 46, it couldn't be more fitting to meditate on!

"God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

Come, behold the works of the Lord,
how he has brought desolations on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.
“Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,I will be exalted in the earth!”
The Lord of hosts is with us;the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

Saturday, May 10, 2008

movin' on up...

guess what?

I may get a different job! Yes, I think I am surprised by this too! I'll let you in on the details soon! For now, please pray for God's wisdom and direction! Just been enjoying and reading in James this past little bit and it's full of nice truth reminding me to pray with-out doubt for God's wisdom, that He is faithful to provide and lead us forward! Totally need His perfect wisdom and insight! This is kind of bitter-sweet...not sure if I'm ready to have a grown up job? eeeeee!! I'll keep you posted...

"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways."
-James 1:5-8

"But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace."
-James 3:17-18

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

loving is costly, but worth it

"There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket — safe, dark, motionless, airless — it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell. I believe that the most lawless and inordinate loves are less contrary to God’s will than a self-invited and self-protective lovelessness…We shall draw nearer to God, not by trying to avoid the sufferings inherent in all loves, but by accepting them and offering them to Him; throwing away all defensive armour. If our hearts need to be broken, and if He chooses this as a way in which they should break, so be it."
-CS Lewis, "The Four Loves"

My dear friend/mentor, Patti Wither's shared this quote with me the other day when I was meeting with her. Reminding me that it is FAR better to love then to walk away. We are called as Christians to be known for our love. Perhaps, that is not the first thing on my mind, I am quick to be so self-centered in love. Oh how I long to point people to the love that has been given to me in Christ. That I would resolve at every station I find myself in to love. Regardless of how I feel, how busy I think I am, or how risky it may seem. It is completely worth it.

How? Why?
Well, now are able to love each other well, unto the glory of God. This is only possible through the work of Christ. He has given us a new heart and has written on our new heart His law (Ezekiel 36:26-28), which can be summed up by "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself"(Luke 10:27). Therefore, we are new creations, the old is gone and the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17-18). What hope this brings because the Lord is going to continue to provide all the grace I need to love. This is freeing because it's not a love that is built in my strength or my vanity or for my glory. He will cause me to love, despite who I naturally am. In order to point to the One who has the power to change sinners and make them love in the way the Christ has loved us first. This is the mystery of the power of the Gospel at work!

Let us grow in love for each other by bearing with each other and even learning to love when the love is not returned. For ultimately that is the Gospel. Christ loved at all cost. He never stopped going forward to the Cross until His love for His people was fully expressed through the shedding of His own blood. Christ is the ultimate display of love. Therefore, we have hope that He will teach us to love each other and learn to prefer each other over our own interest.

May He give us grace to walk worthy in the manner of which He has called us. May He pour grace over our lives and remind us of the love He has given us, so that we may in turn and love those He has placed around us. Not in vain but simply so we may reflect His love!

"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing." 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

Friday, May 2, 2008

sad news...but always Hope in the Gospel

Last night I heard some very sad and sobering news (this is post is long, but stay with me) about my Grandpa Rogers (my Mom's dad). I have to say that it didn't come in the timing I thought and in the way I expected, perhaps it never does. Truthfully, I haven't thought of my Grandpa in a good while. That's sad to say, but true. He lived in Long Beach, Oregon all my life...and I hardly knew him.

Now saying all that, this grieves me now when I tell you that he passed away the morning of April 30th. Here's what my Dad and Mom wrote in an email that we all received the other night (and to be honest, I learned more about him through this brief summary of his life...for those who know me well--I have a fascination with Canada, and He's Canadian...I had no idea) :

"On April 30, Manis "Rog" Rogers - your grandfather, passed away. Your grandfather was born November 20, 1916 in Canada. As you are aware he lived a very tough life on a farm and left home after his Mother remarried. He made his way to Iowa and became a baker, later joining the Army during WWII. He spent time in the European theater and at the conclusion of the war came back to Oregon, where he met your grandmother Estella Rogers. Pam was born in 1950 and lived in Beaverton, Oregon where she attended elementary and High school. Rog and Estella had one son (Eddy who lived a hard life... after school working in the commercial fishery industry in Washington). Pam's father left Estella and his family for a life to be lived out along the Washington coast. He became a charter boat Captain, later worked as a commercial fisherman on his own boat. When being a commercial fisherman became to tough physically, as he advanced in years, he received training in auto mechanics and opened his own shop in Long Beach, WA. After selling his mechanics shop he spent part of his time as a gold prospector traveling the West coast panning, and hydro-sluicing, with very modest results. He enjoyed the out of doors and this provided him time to travel and be engaged in the excitement of discovery. His small plot of land in Long Beach, where we all visited, was a special spot for him and in later years became his central pleasure and pass-time. We enjoyed annual visits with him during this later part of his life. In '06, he told us just prior to arriving in Long beach, that he did not want us to visit him because he felt too embarrassed about his loss of a considerable amount of mobility. When we visited him in the Fall of '07 we did not tell him that we were going to visit him... we just showed up and ended up having a good visit.

The executor of his will, Jan Ross and her husband who lives in the Long Beach area, have been wonderful friends for over 40 years. Pam and I spent time with Jan during each visit, and communicated fairly regularly with her about Dad's needs and condition. Justin, Eddy's son, called us a week or so before we left on this current trip letting us know that Dad had again experienced a turn for the worst. Upon medical testing they had discovered growths on his lung and ribs - likely cancerous - though he was not strong enough at that time to have them biopsied. We thought this might have been completed if he had regained his strength (which was uncertain). As we communicated with you, the doctors felt he had six months or so to live, and after discussion with both Jan and Justin we made plans to visit him in Long Beach next month (June). Another complication was that Grandpa Rog had a stroke which hindered his ability to speak - no one was certain if this would be permanent or temporary.

The first morning, after arriving in China, we received an email from Justin letting us know that Grandpa Rogers had passed-on (April 30, 2008). Grandpa Roger had expressed to both of us his earnest desire to not suffer long when it was his time to "go" - he got his wish. Jan and Justin had visited him everyday during his very brief hospital and nursing home stay. It was his explicit wishes that there be no funeral or memorial service for him. He had voiced this to us several times and had even left these instructions in his will. We had discussed his wishes with him about leaving his property in Long Beach to Jan and her husband for their long and faithful care and friendship (40 years) - he once told us, "you guys don't need this little plot of land in Washington". Throughout our married life we prayed for your Grandpa Roger's salvation. Over the last years, we visited him annually and numerous times attempted to share with him about the redemption that could be his in our Lord. To our knowledge, we are unaware of him receiving the Lord Jesus as his savior. Over the last day we have taken time to grieve and pray... his passing no doubt will take time to process, but we have peace that our righteous and loving Lord, who knows each man's heart and their eternal destiny, will show his wisdom throughout his entire creation. We now trust Grandpa Rogers into our Eternal God's hands! Pam and I have been comforted by the words of a verse from an old song and wish to share them with you....

Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day;
Earth's joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

By His mercy we remain with you in His abiding presence! Be comforted in the fact that your Grandpa Rogers did not suffer, lived a long life and had a wonderful daughter, your Mom - Pam. Please pray for her over the next days; we'll be praying for you as well! We look forward to seeing you when we return - we will attempt to call you in the next few days as conditions permit. Attached are two photos which we thought you'd like to have from our last visit with your Grandfather.
All our love,
Dad & Mom"

Wasn't he cute?

Here's a sweet-tender Gospel-centered song:
I Have a Shelter
"I have a shelter in the storm
When troubles pour upon me
Though fears are rising like a flood
My soul can rest securely
O Jesus, I will hide in You
My place of peace and solace
No trial is deeper than Your love
That comforts all my sorrows

I have a shelter in the storm
When all my sins accuse me
Though justice charges me with guilt
Your grace will not refuse me
O Jesus, I will hide in You
Who bore my condemnation
I find my refuge in Your wounds
For there I find salvation

I have a shelter in the storm
When constant winds would break me
For in my weakness, I have learned
Your strength will not forsake me
O Jesus, I will hide in You
The One who bears my burdens
With faithful hands that cannot fail
You’ll bring me home to heaven"

Today, I do feel better. I am reminded of our Father's goodness. That we can really look at God's character and find complete rest. Even though we do not know where Grandpa Roger is today, we do know we have a gracious God who loves sinners. It's a mystery of what actually happened on his death bed. What he was thinking about and if the Lord led him to repentance and faith in Christ. Yet, I don't have to know. And, I guess I'm actually okay with that.

I was pretty low yesterday and more so last night. I was glad that my parents called from China to check on me and see how I was feeling. They know me well, and that I verbally process my thoughts out loud. They were a good listeners to me as I was processing my thoughts. Thank you Mom and Dad for your care for me! And for my sister, April. She was so gracious to me last night as well. She let me cry and explain all the thoughts that were clouding my mind (both rational and irrational) . I love to see the Lord's care and how His care always comes in the right way. Looking at God and His character brings rest. Being reminded of the beauty of the Gospel and that I have a Redeemer, brings deep rest.

The most challenging thing my sisters and I discussed is that we never really had any form of relationship with him. I feel challenged that I never tried to pursue anything with him. We did live on opposite sides of the country...but still. I have this precious gift of the Gospel and I regret not going and sharing it with him, personally. My sisterfriend, Jenn reminded me the other day that people believing the Gospel in not dependent on me. Yes, we are called to go and share, but then to leave it in God's wisdom and hands in leading them to repentance and faith in Christ. The power rest in God alone. Not little Anna! Thank goodness! Thanks Jenn for reminding me of this truth! The Lord is providential and "knew this day long before he made me out of dirt." And I can have rest and have confidence that God is good in all of this and COMPLETELY Sovereign.

The Lord has reminded me how often I don't live life in the right perspective. Death always reminds us that this life is not our home...James 4:13-15 says it best:

"Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes."

I pray that we would live in such a way--radical obedience and boldness of sharing the goodness of Christ, until He takes us Home! May He give us the sweet grace to do so, for His great Glory!