"This life therefore, is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on. This is not the goal, but it is the right road. At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed." --Martin Luther

Sunday, March 22, 2009


I didn’t get a chance to post these quotes before. But I thought they were good ones, so I wanted to get them up anyway. While going through the first few months of being here and transitioning, I happened to pick up Barbara Johnson’s, “Pack Up Your Gloomies in a Great Big Box, Then Sit on the Lid and Laugh!” I had never read any of her stuff before; I thought she was more of a comedic writer. It turns out it was a great time for me to read it. Most of it didn’t apply, but I caught some things here or there that made me think, or encouraged me. So I decide I would throw them out to you all. Maybe we’ll get some discussion.

“When the flood waters of the cesspool have come up to your very soul, you don’t need challenges; you need COMFORT. You need a friend to come alongside and say, “I am hurting with you...I am standing with you…I am weeping with you. I am undergirding you as best I can. Link your shield of faith with mine and somehow we will make it together.” Pg. 13

Thank you to all that did this with us during our tough times. You don’t know how far your words of support went. I am sure it got a little depressing to read, wondering why we were even here if nothing good was happening. Thank you for supporting us by your clicks on the website to know that you still cared and were praying. We know you got just a small taste of the realities of living on the mission field in the first term.

“Whatever comes to any of us is sent or allowed by God.” p.15

Ouch-that’s a tough one! Do you agree?

“Do you use God to solve your problems? Or do you use your problems to find God?” p.15

“When we believe that nothing comes to us except through our heavenly Father, then suffering begins to make a little sense to us-not much, I admit, but a little bit, and that’s all God needs to work in our lives, just a mustard seed of faith. Then we can see that God is using our pain to work something in us that is redemptive. Every trial or broken relationship goes into God’s oven and eventually we begin to “smell” like cake or fresh bread. Even our suffering counts for something!” p.17

“God calls us to be faithful; He did not promise we would be successful.” P.101

Another very tough one to reconcile. This could lead us to Roman 8:28, “but we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purposes.” Just who decides what “the good” is? Are we willing to let God decide that? Or is He suppose to live and abide by our standards of success? And is God bigger than our mistakes? Our running ahead of Him? Sure, we know He is. But it says He works for our good. Does that also mean sometimes He lets us suffer the consequences of our mistakes or premature leading? In school the kids are talking choices and consequences, using the Peacemakers material. Whose choice is it? Is it a good choice or bad choice? If it is your choice, whose consequences is it? YOURS! Will they be good consequences or bad consequences (from an earthly perspective)? Are not the bad ones also a way that God uses to allow good things for us? God is sovereign and just and He loves us. As an earthly parent, I love my kids enough to discipline them. How much more does God the Perfect Father who loves us to let us suffer through the ramifications of our pride, lust, our sin so that He might be able to work out the good for us?

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