Tuesday, December 29

Jabez's Prayer and Mine

*Verses in italics taken from 1 Chronicles 4:9,10

I've not studied the prayer of Jabez much before, but it intrigues me. It seems slightly random in the midst of a long genealogy, which implies to me that it must have great significance, important enough to interrupt what was being written.

Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, 'Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.'

God has many names. Maybe this isn't significant, but I find it interesting that Jabez cried out to the God of Israel. Not the Lord Almighty, but God of Israel. Jabez made it personal; he cried out to the God of his heritage, the God who made a covenant with his ancestor, Israel.

I like his request also. He asks for God's blessing, for life abundant, but what's more is that he solicits God's presence-- Let your hand be with me.

But the most interesting part to me is Jabez's last petition-- and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain. The reason this means so much has to do with Jabez's name. Jabez is very similar to the Hebrew word for pain.

His mother had named him Jabez, saying, 'I gave birth to him in pain.'

Jabez's plea is to be free from pain, free from his born identity. In this request, I see Jabez's desire to be free from his past and his destined future from birth. Though his mother named him pain, Jabez wants a new name, a new future.

I, too, was born with an inherited name: Sinner. And like Jabez, I can cry out to the God of Israel, the God who made a covenant to redeem sinners and place enmity between sin and His children. I can entreat God to bless me with life abundant, to grace me with His presence, and to grant me freedom from sin.

And God granted [Jabez's] request.

"He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it." ~Revelation 2:17

Saturday, December 26


Peter, measuring the snow

Clark, camouflaged

Megan, mostly buried

Gilbert, stuck

A rather sad snowman, Tom



Cricket loves snow

But not that much...

It's ok, she got revenge :)

My favorite tree at home

Mom and me

Saturday, December 12

Post Hoc

This is directly stolen from Christen's Creative Writing blog. It makes me laugh, and I thought I would share because we could all use a laugh now and then. I love my roommate.

Kristin: So in statistics there are two post-hoc tests that we run. The first one is called Bonferroni, which sounds like some misfit type of pasta, and the second is the Tukey test, which always looks like "turkey" mispelled, and sounds like you're calling a toucan. "Here, tukey, tukey, tukey, tukey."

Christen: (laughing uncontrollably)

Thursday, December 3

Truly Alive

The world has lost a beautiful soul and a bright light for Christ. I went to Kirsten Wolcott's memorial service tonight and finally allowed what happened to sink in.

I didn't know her, but I wish I had. Every description given of Kirsten gave the impression of a young woman just bursting with life and love. She loved the outdoors, she was active, she was kind, cheerful, spontaneous, and full of adventure. I know that at memorial services, we tend to focus only on the positive, but I truly got the impression that Kirsten was a wholehearted servant of God who loved life and loved others.

As I sat there, I asked the question that everyone must have asked when they first heard the news. "God, why her?" But I asked for a different reason.

I didn't ask God why because Kirsten was a good person and awful things shouldn't happen to God's servants. I asked because it seemed like a strategically bad move to me on God's part in this great controversy. And I know deep down that God sees the beginning and the end; He has the whole picture already, and He knows best. But I couldn't help but think it for one reason. Because I asked God, "why not me?"

As I listened to the word pictures of who Kirsten was, I couldn't help but think that she had so much to offer the world. And the thought crossed my mind that her life sounds like a much better testimony of God than I feel that my life currently is. And so I thought, "God, why not me?"

But I realized that God has a plan in this mess, and I'm still here while Kirsten is resting from this sin-sick world. And it was at that point that I made a decision. It's a decision I've made before to be sure, so I suppose it was more of a re-commitment.

I want to be a light. I want my life to make a difference to every individual God places in my path. I want to be cheerful, uplifting, and vibrant for God. I want to make the most of this life that God has given me. Because I'm still here, and that must mean that God still has big plans for my life.

In honor of Kirsten, in honor of Kaleb, in honor of all God's beloved children laid to rest, I want to be truly alive in Christ.