Saturday, February 17, 2007


i'm going to have to stop reading at night, because i'm having trouble falling asleep. maybe if i would read boring books, or books that numb my mind instead of switching it into overdrive, i'd be ok. but that's not what i've found myself reading the past few weeks. i'm pretty much reading books about revolutions, which definitely don't lull my mind into dreamworld. as i mentioned a few posts ago, i've been reading blue like jazz for a while now. i'm almost done - i think i have 3 chapters left.

if that isn't enough to get my brain sensors firing, i've been reading this book call revolutionary generosity. it's by this guy who has 3 children, and all of them are in full-time ministry. his daughter did medical missions in the sudan and narrowly escaped death. one of his sons is still in the sudan, and plans to be there for a long time. he records the stories of Christians all over the country of sudan who have either seen family members and Christian brothers and sisters killed for their faith, or churches that have been burned down, etc. his job is to make sure ALL of their stories are recorded, and everyday he risks his life to record the stories of the saints in sudan.

and then i just started reading the irresistible revolution. as if the other two books weren't radical enough, i had to go and get myself hooked on this one. (i really just have some incredible friends back home to thank for that - you know who you are ;-) lindsay told me when i started reading it that i should "be prepared to feel uncomfortable" and she was SO right. if you can read that book on a soft sofa in a heated apartment without feeling uncomfortable, there's something wrong with you. i really just want to hop in my car, drive to the nearest "community" (read the book and you'll know what i'm talking about), and move in.

so when i read these books at night, my mind races with thoughts and ideas and deep longings that i can't really explain to anyone who doesn't know what i mean, and for those who do there's no need explaining. last week it took me over an hour to fall asleep one night beacause i just couldn't shut my brain down. it reminds me of when i was a teenager. i used to lie on my top bunk trying to keep things as dark as i could so my sister wouldn't yell at me for keeping her awake. i even made her a curtian with blankets so i could keep the light on longer. i would read my Bible and read Chrisian magazines and write in my journal and pray . . . and i could stay awake for hours just thinking and wondering and praying and crying about how i wanted my life to count for something. then i went to college, and since then the nights have been few and far between when i didn't fall asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. not that falling asleep easily is a bad thing, but i have somewhat missed the rapid-firing of brain cells when i'm "supposed" to be in dreamland. the bad thing is, it's not so great if i fall asleep during the day because my brain wouldn't shut down at night. so maybe i'll read some nights, and get some sleep others. what i do know is that my brain feels alive, and my heart feels alive in a way it hasn't in a while. it's a good feeling, like i'm on the brink of some amazing revolution, and just like i prayed for as a teenager, i'm hoping God will use me in the revolution so that my life will count for something - not for my own glory, but for my own disappearance in Christ and His revolutionary plans.

Saturday, February 3, 2007


why are americans obsessed with safety? i really think the heart of the "american dream" is safety. our comfort depends on living in a safe neighborhood, driving a safe enough car that has a high enough crash test rating, walking downtown at a safe enough distance from the homeless people that might be along a certain path, and the list could go on and on. everything we do must be safe. as some of you already know (and some may not) i am currently in the process of applying to spend a year in northern iraq with the kurds (more to come later). over the past few weeks people have asked me lots of questions, but the most popular seems to be along the lines of "why would you go there? it's not safe. there are guns and stuff." so i guess people in unsafe places don't need to hear about Jesus? is that how it works? i could be wrong, but it might be that telling people in the "unsafe" places about Jesus should be the church's top priority. don't get me wrong, safety is a blessing and God grants safety to His children SOMETIMES. but how can i, just because i was born in America, believe that safety is my right? i have Christian brothers and sisters all over the world who have never known what it means to be safe. how can i refuse to join them in the name of safety if i feel God is calling me to go? Jesus' closest friends, the ones who traveled with Him, the ones He chose to begin the work of reaching the nations, His beloved apostles - they renounced their own saftey the minute they chose to proclaim the reality of the risen Messiah. and all of them except one died for their Messiah (and they didn't die "safe" deaths). Paul was beaten numerous times and should have died long before he actually did. from the time he encountered Jesus on the road to damascus until the time he died, i don't think he was ever safe.

my mind is racing with much more on this topic, but perhaps the best thing to do is to refer to good ole c.s. lewis. he answers the question i've been asking myself about whether or not God really values safety with words from a few talking beavers. so here goes the conversation from "the lion, the witch, and the wardrobe":

Mr. Beaver: "...Aslan is a lion - the Lion, the great Lion."

Susan: "I'd thought he was a man. Is he - quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion."

Mrs. Beaver: "That you will, dearie, and no mistake, if there's anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they're either braver than most or else just silly."

Lucy: "Then he isn't safe?"

Mr. Beaver: "Safe, don't you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe?
'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you."

so if my Jesus isn't safe, how can i expect that i should be safe? He in fact has promised that life with Him won't be safe. but it surely will be good! like mr. beaver said, "who said anyting about safe?" but i know for sure life with Christ is good, and i want to follow that goodness nomatter where it leads.

This blog is a testimony to the work that God is perpetually acting in my life. I am learning that when I think I've given enough of myself, I've barely begun. My prayer is that as God continues to grab hold of my life, not only will He become greater and I become less, but He will become ultimately supreme and I will vanish. This Holy Disappearance will be a lifelong journey in which, by the grace of God, I will become so wrapped up in Him that all of me will disappear and all of Him will SHINE