Thursday, March 25, 2010

how long, o Lord?

as many of you know, m and i are both under the weather physically. it's one of those seasons -- conspicuous in its severity and in the close proximity of alternately scary and perplexing events. (i've been reading and reflecting recently on spiritual warfare and growing in my resolve to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. hmm...). but even in this condition, one of the things we can do is worship together, and that's what we did tonight.

m was tired out from carting me around to the doctors today, and is still (a week later) experiencing pain. among a constellation of problems, my mouth is swollen and full of sores, making singing awkward and a bit painful. but no matter -- what a glorious time! m's suggestion that we worship with hymns was inspired, and i felt my heart strengthened and lifted in God's presence.

we covered a lot of ground from classic favorites like i cannot tell and my Jesus, i love thee to r & b arrangements of blessed assurance and nothing but the blood. one of my favorites from the evening was an instrumental version of a modern hymn, written by british worship leader stuart townend, which expresses some of the deep longings in my heart.

we have sung our songs of victory,
we have prayed to you for rain;
we have cried for your compassion
to renew the land again.

now we’re standing in your presence,

more hungry than before;

now we’re on your steps of mercy,

and we’re knocking at your door.

how long before you drench the barren land?
how long before we see your righteous hand?
how long before your name is lifted high?

how long before the weeping turns to songs of joy?

Lord, we know your heart is broken
by the evil that you see,
and you’ve stayed your hand of judgment

for you plan to set men free.

but the land is still in darkness,
and we’ve fled from what is right;

we have failed the silent children
who will never see the light.

but i know a day is coming

when the deaf will hear his voice,

when the blind will see their saviour,

and the lame will leap for joy.

when the widow finds a husband
who will always love his bride,

and the orphan finds a father
who will never leave her side.

how long before your glory lights the skies?

how long before your radiance lifts our eyes?

how long before your fragrance fills the air?

how long before the earth resounds with songs of joy?


the Spirit and the bride say, "come."

and let the one who hears say, "come."

and let the one who is thirsty come;

let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost....

he who testifies to these things says,

"yes, i am coming quickly."

amen. come, Lord Jesus!

revelation 22:17, 20

Monday, March 01, 2010


first, i want to apologize for the long blog silence. there are reasons for this. the 'link' feature of facebook, which allows the user to post links to interesting content along with a brief comment, is one of them; as i've done this on a regular basis, the need to write longer, original blog posts has been muted somewhat. but more importantly, i find myself conflicted about how much to share about the ministry and people with which i'm involved now. with respect to the former, it seems like a lot of the same events over and over again compared to the constantly changing events and schedule of our campus ministry. as for the latter, i become increasingly concerned that the people i share about might be identifiable by some folks who access the blog, and that has made me reluctant to say much. it's a challenge figuring out how to share enough so that people can know what's going on and how to pray intelligently, while protecting the privacy of those we serve. i'm sure we'll figure it out eventually. in the meantime, thanks for your patience and prayers. you're always welcome to join our e-mail prayer list (see the form on this blog) or e-mail us if you want a private update.

my girls are as busy as ever. i never cease to be amazed by their flexibility, resilience, and productivity.
  • m continues with her studies at fuller seminary. it is essentially a full-time pursuit, though she has still found time to deliver meals to a family with a baby and to be a part of the inner healing prayer group. the good news is that she seems to be enjoying herself for the most part, and her grades have been very good; we're proud of her. her classes this quarter: medieval church history (loves it) and postmodern culture and theology in film (makes her crazy). winter quarter ends this week.
  • b has discovered that it really is possible to have too much of a good thing (in her case, extracurricular activities), and recently elected to forgo her involvement at the columbia spectator. of course, that still leaves her mentoring youth in harlem, co-leading her intervarsity bible study, and running in a half marathon to raise money for world vision. in her spare time, she studies. :-)
  • n is counting the days until her senior presentation, completes her winter quarter at bellevue college at the end of march, and will be hearing back from universities on april 1 (she's already 'in' at the university of hawaii). prayer request: she's also waiting to hear on her scholarship applications. with m in school, n has been cooking more and loves to get creative in the kitchen. the results have been delicious!
i am busily engaged in the various aspects of my role at lighthouse. a few highlights:
  • i had the chance to preach in our current message series, embracing a dangerous gospel. you can hear the message here. before that, i also preached the last message of 2009. obviously, i'm not preaching nearly often as i have in the past, but the response has been powerful.
  • i led a 4-week class (a DSL in lighthouse terminology -- 'discipleship seminar at lighthouse') on inductive Bible study. the original friday night class attracted 30 participants, so we opened a second section on sundays, which picked up another 10. the response to the training was varied -- some folks loved it, others not so much. but i am praying that we will get a critical mass of people who are enjoying the transforming power of God's Word on a regular basis and trained and eager to lead others in that same experience.
  • i've been involved directly in a number of the different ministries i oversee: having dinner with a small group and helping them learn to study the Bible (many of them studying the Bible for the first time), serving with our HARBOR ministry (repairing the homes of those in need) and the Lord's Table (feeding the homeless), and IMPACT (a small group sponsoring projects and learning around issues of social justice).
how you can pray: one of the great challenges of my current role is it feels like the year is passing very quickly. i want very much for God to make my time at lighthouse fruitful, especially in the developing of leaders and the multiplication of ministry, and would appreciate your prayers along those lines. i am also beginning to explore what God might have for me next. i would be grateful for your prayers for guidance, and if you have a lead on a position you think i should consider, this would be a great time to tell me!