Thursday, September 11, 2008

mid week prayer

Thanks to all of you who have enquired about the test. I am waiting for the results to come in the mail any day.

I am trying to get in a rhythm with the blog with posting prayer requests mid week and doing a journal/devotional beginning of the week. I hope it will keep you all updated and also encouraged.

So... mid week prayer....
-praise God that He always meets our needs... there always seems to be the random opportunity or photo shoot around the corner ever time we need it... we are learning to live in His faithfulness.
- i am also trying to pick up a half shift at work... pray that will be available and not take away to much time and energy from study
- Kassie is going to a woman's retreat at church this weekend... pray that will be a good time to connect with other woman in the church and be refreshed.
- my big prayer right now is energy. i am really struggling to be rested and fresh every day. i can tell it is really affecting my studies and i feel like i am slipping behind more and more. i have a pretty well regulated schedule of diet, exercise, rest, etc...but i just feel really run down and that is not a good place to be with two more classes coming in the mail yesterday. i dont know if it is just the long days that i am pulling with work and study, or allergies or what.. pray i know what adjustments to make....

thanks for your thoughts and prayers as always...

pete, and kassie

Monday, September 8, 2008

It seems like babies are everywhere these days. No, we don’t have one, but everyone else seems to. We joke a lot with our friends because it seems like our small group at church went from the “newlywed” group to the “young parent group” in a matter of months…well about 9 months to be exact. At the same time, we added two nieces to our family in the last year, and have one on the way in November. It seems like every time I log into a blog or go to church it is another announcement of “we're pregnant!” or “he/she is here!” And though Kassie and I are not yet parents, in a lot of ways we have felt the affects heavily in our life. Whether it is looking more forward to that day ourselves, missing our nieces and nephews that are out of town, or having our whole social world rearranged by the affects of kids on the lives of our friends or the time that we spend with our friends. It is great, amazing in fact. I love that the world we move in is constantly being inundated with new life and growth. It blows my mind to go to our church small group every week and see these little people that were just yesterday laying there begin to crawl, stand, take a step, walk.

I think that because these new little lives are all around, that my Scripture reading this morning had a whole new meaning. I have been reading through Psalms to start my day. As I was just cruising along from verse to verse this morning, this one just reached up and tripped my mind. It made my brain stutter a little bit and forced me to go back and ponder at the ancient thought that I had just fallen over.

“Through the praise of children and infants, you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.” Psalm 8:2

What an amazing and odd, yet powerful and mesmerizing mental picture. My mind went to ideas - mostly from movies - of these images of ancient cities surrounded by tall stone fortresses. These fortresses have their gates drawn because some neighboring, uncivil, really hairy tribe with big clubs and bad oral hygiene have come to wage war and steal all that is good from this civil, fortified city. And at that moment when all seems lost and the big hairy men in need of Listerine are about to break through, this natural phenomenon occurs….all the babies in the city start to make this gosh darn awful sound that they do at three in the morning when they are hungry and have pooped all over themselves. (Now I have spent the night with friends and family and experienced this situation, but not yet having had the experience of being the one who had to get up and do something about it I can not fully associate with my own analogy here…but I am sure that many of you reading feel the full weight of this “3AM reality”...and if you are reading this at 3AM it may be because the mental image is all too fresh in your mind!) Back to the story…In my mind's eye these barbarians stop, and listen to this cry of babies, these shrill screams of infants who have needs to be met. As they pause from their warning the sound grows and grows, but not only does it grow, it changes. It changes from annoying and burdensome to beautiful and magnificent. The cries of these children leave this warring nation with no choice, they must flee the city. Not because the thought of changing diapers is too much to bear, but because the worship of a mighty creator is so compelling that they no longer have a desire to do evil.

Now I don’t know if what went through my mind this morning is what the Psalmist had in mind for this passage. However, the imagery of the poem is one that beckons us to invite a special kind of peace into our lives, a peace that comes when we realize that God does things completely backwards than the way we do. I find the imagery beautiful. At the point in life when my nature is to pick up a bow and arrow and sword and fight the mangy invader, God says “No, wait, I have a better idea….I am going to make all the babies cry…”

I love it when I find these little subtle paradoxes in Scripture. These evidences that God’s plan of redemption was not a mistake or something conjured up at the last minute. Instead it was well thought out and he gives us hints of his nature from the beginning of His Word to the end. We think our answer is a king on a throne with sword and power, He provides a son to hang naked and abused on a cross…We stake our security on the labor of our hands and the power of our wits, He establishes strongholds on “the praise of children and infants.”

May the Paradox of the Lord’s power dwell richly in your hearts this week.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Thanks to all of you guys for praying for the test. I think it went well. It definitely had its challenging parts, but over all I was not surprised by anything. I am not really sure how I did, but I have a clear idea and picture of what my weak areas are and how to really start prepping and studying as the course gets harder and harder. It was a confidence booster that even if I did not do well, I know how to do better.

Thanks again.... Stay tuned to the blog.... Now that I have this first test under my belt I hope to be able to spruce this page up a bit with some more thought provoking writings and some pics for your enjoyment!