Praise be to God.
I sit here humbled at the grace and mercy the Lord extends. While I am weak and deficient, thick-brained and muddling through an understanding of His word in preparation to lead a Bible study, He yet releases a trickle of breathless beauty and heavenly majesty from His word, enough to quench my thirst and more than enough to share with those who thirst after righteousness.
Praise be to God.
Before the month slips away, here in our first few hours of Autumn 2016, I'm sharing a favorite post from last September (9/5/15). It's a bittersweet season for me. I love my PSLs and plaids and boots and scarves, but as Summer slides away, so does the last of any delusion that life can remain the same.
Children are grown, the rooms are silent, the calendar even more sparse with entries. A new season to find grace in change, joy in service, hope in an identity rooted in Christ alone and not . . . my season.
The following is a commemorative re-post of an article I wrote last year for 9/11.
In the days following 9/11, there was story after story about heroes.
Here's mine of my failure.
"Are you watching TV? Go turn on your TV."
It was an hour into our school day and 4 weeks since my knee injury which rendered me somewhat limited in certain activities, climbing stairs being one of them.
But climb the stairs I did because the urgency in my friend's voice compelled me to go, go now. I pushed the button and saw the World Trade Center tower with smoke billowing out of its side. All immediate sensations went numb; I blinked and looked more closely at the screen, sure I was watching some morbid daytime advertising mistake, and through the confusion in my brain I heard the footsteps of the 3- and 5-year olds hit the landing two-thirds of the way up the stairs.
When I was in college, there was always that one guy. He’d stand in the same spot every day in Freedom Square, passing out flyers or post-it note-sized screeds-of-the-week, most of which ended up on walkways and in stairwells all over campus.
College student protests are not new. But thanks to the media’s virtue signalling, the angst and posturing of some of our best-and-brightest is reserved for the appropriation of ethnic dishes in the dining hall and political graffiti on campus sidewalks. (Really? In the midst of everything else going on?) And the nation’s experts on hand-holding and sighing, a.k.a., those media-exalted professionals, build the case (otherwise known as an advertising strategy) against triggers -- any images, words or events that might cause a client or patient to reflect or ponder hardship or pain -- and call for safe spaces, where people who might be mean are prohibited from venturing near people who might get offended.
The authorities are still processing the scene, assessing the data, addressing the media in Nice, France.
Who can put a timeline to when the survivors will be able to process, assess and address their trauma and sorrow? Who feels qualified to comment on the weightiness of the event there this week, the attacks last fall, the fact that France has been attacked three times in 18 months? Who could enter into the fear, revulsion, hopelessness, anxiety the people of Nice are feeling right now?
But something must be said. We the Church are encountering a wave of these feelings worldwide, perhaps in miniscule measures, but in some degree, without question. Not just my mom, or Thumper's mom, but everybody's mom has this saying, "If you can't saying anything nice, don't say anything at all."
As Nice edges other passions, causes, concerns out of the forefront of our minds this weekend, consider words that are more than nice. Consider grace.
Every day the gifts come. They are all so perfectly suited, so delightful, so helpful and functional. They cheer me, comfort me, and provoke me to thought and sometimes to action.
The avalanche of gifts makes it seem like Christmas every day. In fact, it would be totally appropriate for me to start singing right now, “In the sixth month of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . . “ I mean, really, are we going to let a little thing like a calendar stand in the way of having gifts upon gifts heaped upon us every day? What’s the big deal? What really is the difference between July and December when it comes to gifts of an eternal and spiritual nature?
Now the Lord is the Spirit,
and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
2 Corinthians 3:17 ESV
The Gospel Coalition International Outreach offers a means for churches, mission organizations, ministries and individuals to participate in providing theological famine relief to pastors and ministry organizations overseas through their Packing Hope projects. This story about how the Lord used the resources provided through Packing Hope to bear fruit in Mbale, Uganda, first appeared on TGC's website on June 27, 2016. Details about Packing Hope follow this article. More information about TGC-IO's efforts is available at their website.
Devouring God's Word in Uganda
The request made the mission leaders pause. Why did the woman want an English-language Bible if she couldn’t read English?
June 27, 2016: In light of today's SCOTUS conjecture about protecting lives, it seems right to repost this piece about defining life. This was originally posted January 22, 2016
It was nearly dawn, and the September sunrise squeezed early morning light around the edges of dark, heavy curtains. The rays filtered in in feathery trickles at first, and then they strengthened into a blinding streak dividing the room.
And just like that, I knew.
I was pregnant.
When was the last time you felt really outraged?
Maybe it was the guy who cut you off on the highway and nearly caused an accident. It's not just anger over your injustice, but it's concern for all the other people on the road he obviously doesn't care about.
Maybe it's images of ridiculous talking heads discussing whether Christians ought to be held accountable for the mass shooting in Orlando. It's not like you don't think God can be in control in that situation -- of course He is, but you're righteously angry over the offense to His name. Of course you are.
From Thanks 2 Giving:
a dubsmash of musings about the Season of Incarnation
© lauraenglandmiller, #thereyougothinkingagain, Laura E Miller
2015-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of written material and images without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to #thereyougothinkingagain, lauraenglandmiller, or Laura E Miller with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.