Friday, April 23, 2010

Marvelous Mystery

Engagement picture March 2009

Wedding day April 24, 2009

Washington D.C November 2009

Joel and I have been married for 364 days today! Tomorrow is our first anniversary. The weather is supposed to be dreary, but we will celebrate together what God has done with us since last April- and, really, since we met in December of 2006.
22Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30for we are members of his body. 31"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." 32This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband."

Ephesians 5:22-33

Yes, it is such a "profound mystery" and one that we have not fully grasped as of yet. We have faced our fair share of misunderstandings, arguments and frustrations. We have also had a great many laughs, hours of dreaming, ministering together and enjoying each others presence.

God is teaching us so much about Him, ourselves, one another, ministry, work, love, patience, faithfulness, money, children, missions and much more!

It has been a wonderful year.

The next one will be even better.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The School of Prayer

On occasion Joel and I like to browse through used book selections at thrift stores or stop in at tiny used book stores to scour the loaded shelves. There is something relaxing and beautiful about looking at shelves and shelves of books! And, two hours later, even if we leave emptied handed it does not feel like a total waste of time.

The last time we stopped at the Arc Thrift Store, after our Saturday morning breakfast date at Chik-fil-a, we found several treasures we are quickly devouring:

I am reading with Christ in the School of Prayer by Andrew Murray and Joel is reading Tortured for Christ by Richard Wurmbrand. There was a 50% off sale- total spent on these two books- $1.

Andrew Murray must have been an amazing man. He has written convicting and heart-stopping classics (Absolute Surrender and Humility to name just two) that every believer needs to read at least once in a lifetime a year. I know I wish I did!

It seems that the theme of my spiritual growth the last two years has been prayer. My heart longs to know what prayer is, how to pray and at the end of most days I just cry, with the disciples in Luke 11, "Lord, teach me to pray!"

And He is.

Prayer seems easy when it is reduced to petty self-centered petitions that revolve around our wants and materialistic minded "needs." I am harsh, I know, but this reflects most of my prayer life. I was shocked and spiritually traumatized when I met Helen Cox, Caroline Stickley, Eileen Kuhn and Louis Almond. OMF retired missionaries who spent their lives in foreign countries for the sake of the Gospel and who now continue to be poured out for the nations by praying.

If you were able to sit through one prayer meeting with these saints (and they meet twice a day together) you would never pray the same again, I am sure. As they prayed I felt so out of place- like I was eavesdropping on an intimate conversation between Creator and creation!

I want to pray like them, with them and for Him. In prayer I want to throw all my dependence upon the One who knows all and find myself in line with His will.

And now, I'll let Andrew Murray say the rest:
"It is one of the terrible marks of the diseased state of the Christian life in these days (written 1953), that there are so many who rest content without the distinct experience of answer to prayer. They pray daily, they ask many things, and trust that some of them will be heard, but know little of direct definite answer to prayer as the rule of daily life. And it is this the Father wills: He seeks daily intercourse with His children in listening to and granting their petitions. He wills that I should come to Him day by day with distinct requests; He wills day by day to do for me what I ask. It was in His answer to prayer that the saints of old learned to know God as the Living One, and were stirred to praise and love (Psalms 34, 66:29, 116:1). Our Teacher waits to imprint this upon our minds: prayer and its answer, the child asking and the father giving, belong to each other."

with Christ in the School of Prayer
Andrew Murray
Lesson Five- Ask and It Shall Be Given You

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Stages of Life

Dawn and I used to blog ALL the time. It seems that Facebook has more than definitely taken the place of our good, old fashioned, blogging days. Still, for me, there is something about writing and reading something profound that pointless status updates will never satisfy.

So, in order to launch into a new blogging season of life I have changed the name of my blog to reflect my life verse:

"You are My witnesses," declares the Lord, "
and My servant whom I have chosen,
to know and believe Me
and understand that I am He.
Before Me no god was formed
nor will there be one after Me."
Isaiah 43:10

May the Lord be glorified in all that is written here.