Monday, 04/27/15

What does it mean that God is loving and good?

I took a picture of my shoe next to tattered bits of clothing in the caked dirt of the killing fields in Cambodia where hundreds of thousands were slaughtered with machetes. I walked past a tower of skulls and looked in on the cells where they were tortured. Later I gazed at the pictures of inhuman experiments as I walked the barracks of Dachau where thirty thousand of the people of Israel were executed.

What does it mean that God is loving and good?

My first born son was born by emergency C-section; vaginal birth would likely have killed him. I thanked God for saving his life, but a friend asked, “what about the children God didn’t save?” Through my wife I am once removed from the tragedies of families losing children through drownings, car accidents, illnesses and boyfriends shaking baby’s to death.

What does it mean that God is loving and good?

I have met people in other countries who live on less than $2 a day. They represent half of the world’s population. They do not know our protection of the rule of law. Widow’s houses and market stalls are seized by greedy neighbors because they do not have husbands to defend their property rights. Daily, girls are taken and raped; an estimated 30 million are enslaved.

What does it mean that God is loving and good? How do I turn in trust to One who fails to stop such evil? How do I entrust my future and the lives of my children to One who allows rain to fall on the good and the bad?

I turn to the One who is bringing about His kingdom on earth. In my perception of time His reconciliation of all things to Himself is mysteriously slow. I cry out, Maranatha, Come, Lord Jesus, and bring an end to this evil. I lay down my life to be part of His kingdom work. Jesus, show me where you are working and let me join in that work. I know I will not be spared from all evil but you will be with me. Your rod and your staff, they will comfort me. I want to be a part of your work of making things right, of bringing people, situations and institutions to your plan for them, under your reign. May your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

My wife’s ministry is caring for and saving lives of children as a pediatric intensive care doctor. Her salary allows me to be a volunteer CFO for a Christian camp that brings thousands a year to the mountains to learn to be disciples of Jesus Christ, to join Christ in his kingdom work. What does it mean that God is loving and good? It does not mean that God saves us from all evil. Rather, it means God is with us in the midst of the brokenness of our world. It means that He invites us to join him in his work of reconciling this fallen world to himself.

Monday, 04/13/15

The arc of the lives of the heroes of faith

As I read scripture from the daily office this morning I was struck by the following thought.

The arc of the lives of the heroes of faith who have gone before us was not one of ease and continuous victory. Rather it was one of struggle, persecution, exile and death. They are our heroes not because of their victorious accomplishments, but because they were faithful and righteous even in the face of death; because they turned to God even when it appeared God had forsaken them and prayed, please take this cup from me, but not my will but your will be done.
In so doing they found the ram provided in the bush, the sea parted before them, the empty tomb, the palace guard receiving the gospel proclaimed from a prison cell. They found God with them, calling them forward toward His glorious future.

Scripture does not promise an easy life, but a life under the loving reign of God. In God's kingdom we are not free from death, struggle and uncertainty. Rather, our trials are a crucible in which we are forged. In the face of concern and sorrow, may we seek God. Like the martyrs who went before us, in the face of distress may we take the hard path that is right rather than the easy path that would allay our fears. And may we continue to be formed into the people we were created to be.

Monday, 08/23/10

Asher's 1st Day of Kindergarten

Mom, how many pictures do you have to take?

Asher seemed mostly excited about his first day of kindergarten this morning. He really liked the idea of having his own backpack and lunch box. On the drive there he was telling me what a good idea it was to not go back to preschool.

Signing into class, one of his great teachers in the background

A: "I already know everything in preschool, so if I went back I would just do everything perfect."
Me: "Hmm, well it's a good thing you're going to kindergarten instead. You can learn more about reading and math and science, maybe even art."
A: "But mom, I already know everything about math."
Me: "Oh really? Well maybe there are a few big numbers you don't know about yet."
A: "Oh yeah, some of the big numbers are harder."
Me: "Like what about 200+200 ?"
A: "Oh mom, that's for college! That's like the last DAY of college!"

We aim high for secondary education around here. Think we may be able to start cutting back on our college savings plan.

Monday, 08/16/10

The most important food group

Liam today at noon trying to convince me to make his lunch before everyone else, even though he just ate a BIG piece of pumpkin chocolate bread with my mom: "Something with chocolate isn't lunch!"

I have definitely dropped the ball on his education. How could he have gone so far astray???

Thursday, 06/03/10

Kids being cute.

Liam sitting on the floor playing his leap-pad.

Liam: Come sit next to me.

Asher: Why?

Liam: Because I like it when you are next to me.

Tuesday, 05/04/10

Asher Soccer

Not much into teamwork yet, I am afraid.

Tuesday, 04/27/10

Miles' First Haircut

Sunday, 04/25/10

Dance Without Limits SlideShow

Saturday, 04/24/10

Asher's Kitchen Band Video

Asher's Kitchen Band from Bill Ekhardt on Vimeo.

Saturday, 04/17/10

Park Pictures