Tuesday, August 14, 2007

this is the truth

in the introduction to his message on sunday, pastor w played a powerful and provocative video as a part of his message entitled 'how can i overcome self-defeating attitudes?' it's only 3 minutes long and well worth a viewing. take a look at it here.

obviously, it is clever and artfully done — the kind of thing i love. but my experience of seeing it for the first time was illuminating. i found that many of the messages in the video were actually quite familiar, as if i had heard them many times before. in fact, i'm sure that i have.

it's a funny thing. when the video started playing, i knew instantly that it didn't sound right. some of that is context — why would w want us to hear something so negative? — but mostly, i've read and studied and meditated on the word of God long enough to recognize the voice of the enemy (hebrews 5:14).

so why is it that i sometimes allow such thoughts to rattle around in my head unchallenged? they're so familiar that they seem commonplace, even normal. and that's evil.

"the safest road to hell is the gradual one—the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts."
(c.s. lewis,
the screwtape letters)

though we walk in the flesh,
we do not war according to the flesh,
for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh,
but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.
we are destroying speculations
and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God,
and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

(2 corinthians 10:3-5)

Saturday, August 04, 2007

settling in

after a huge road trip like the one we took, ordinary life can seem a little mundane. but we are settling into our new home and learning to find our way around.

b and n got registered for school yesterday. it now appears that b will be a part of a program called running start, which will enable her to take at least some (maybe all) of her classes at a local community college. with school offices (both the one locally and the one in montreal) open only intermittently during the summer, this was a long time coming, and we're grateful to have it done.

all of us have been doing a bit of unpacking, though we are only partially done due to the late arrival of our shipment (delayed ten days from what we had been told). we're also hoping to do a bit of painting, which makes it hard to be very motivated to unpack.

m has been shopping for furniture, an important thing to do since we left about half of our furniture back in montreal and regardless, were moving from a smallish apartment to an actual house. she has also put the finishing touches on our final inter-varsity prayer letter — a milestone.

in addition to getting settled into my office and preaching my first sermon at lighthouse, i've been settling various financial concerns — past, present, and future. the exit from canada has not been entirely smooth, and i am still embroiled in a conflict with the canadian revenue agency over a form that i filed late. even though they agree that i didn't owe any money, they have fined me $3000. i'm trying to appeal, but our accounting firm on that end said it didn't look good. i know that one of the costs of being a missionary is running into these kinds of problems, where you don't understand all of the rules in another country, but i have to say that those guys aren't very… hospitable. otherwise, i am opening bank accounts, setting up payments, filling out tax forms, and the like. on a lighter note, i've also been working on setting up the computer network, a/v, and such in our home.

we are facing a busy week. early this morning, b left for campus by the sea on catalina island, where she'll be a camp counselor at intervarsity's alumni week. later today, we have stanford friends visiting. on monday, we'll host s and d, our first visitors from montreal, and tuesday, cousin t will come up from southern california for a couple of weeks. at the end of the week, m and i will participate in the willow creek leadership summit.

more news as it's available. in the meantime, we would appreciate your prayers during our busy transition.