{The Husband Writes} The Jar is Half Full

August 19, 2011 § 2 Comments

Here is a guest blog from my husband, Ben. I thoroughly enjoyed this little piece he wrote and found myself relating to these feelings. I hope you enjoy it too!

 
If I’m not careful, I will find almost any excuse to complain.  Here are some common complaints:
– I didn’t get enough sleep
– I didn’t relax on vacation
– I didn’t get enough time alone with my wife
– I don’t like a certain part of my job
– I can’t believe how bad our government is
– my wife isn’t doing something the way I want
– etc, etc, etc

One of my favorite truths to proclaim is that we are sinful people who live in a sinful world.  And based upon that truth, I pout and focus on how sinful things are and how terrible things have become.  However, I am realizing that I often miss the point.  Like a camera that is out of focus, I fail to capture the beautiful landscape that is before me because I am fixated on a single distraction in the periphery of my picture.

I frequently ask myself: why has everything gone so wrong?  A better question to ask: why should anything go right?

If I take my thoughts about sin, in isolation, to their logical conclusion, I will find many fantastic reasons to be depressed.  But if I take my thoughts of sin to the cross and remember what Jesus did about MY sins, I find myself speechless with gratitude and wonder.  I am forgiven!  I am free from sin and empowered to live by the Holy Spirit living inside of me.  Starting from that point, I can see countless examples of God’s grace in my life – beautiful relationships He has given me, wonderful memories to cherish, the privilege of being used by Him to shine His light wherever I go.

Lord, help me to be thankful.  You deserve so much gratitude for all that you have done for me – help me to honor you by living a life filled with thanksgiving and praise to your Holy Name.

{Movie Monday} Church at Qwest

April 25, 2011 § Leave a comment

Mars Hill Church hosted their 2011 Easter Service at Qwest Field.  I haven’t been feeling well these last few days but did muster up the energy to attend the service. It was very cool to be all together as a church and Pastor Mark Driscoll preached a great and Gospel centered message. The video is from aerial shots that were taken during the service. We’re on the 300 level on the north side…I can just barely see myself 😉

{Quotables} On Living in Africa

April 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

“Education has been given us from above for the purpose of bringing to the benighted the knowledge of the Saviour. If you knew the satisfaction of performing a duty, as well as the gratitude to God which the missionary must always feel in being chosen for so noble and sacred a calling, you would feel no hesitation in embracing it. For my own part I have never ceased to rejoice that God has appointed me to such an office. People talk of the sacrifice I have made in spending so much of my life in Africa. Can that be called a sacrifice which is simply paid back as a small part of a great debt owing to our God, which we can never repay?”

– David Livingstone

*After this post, now everyone understands why most of my Quotables lately have been about missionary life and Africa…it’s been on my mind! :)*

Menenberg News: We’re moving to Africa!

April 19, 2011 § 4 Comments

Wow, I can’t believe I’m actually writing this post. Ben and I have wanted to move to Africa for the past year or so and when we visited in September (see here and here), we fell in love with the land, the people, and the life we could have there.  Now, we’re going!! Here’s the details of what we know right now:

WHEN

Map of the African continent.

Image via Wikipedia

World Vision is sending us for an initial trip of 3 weeks in May. After packing up our earthly possessions, we’ll likely be leaving for good in summer of 2011 (exact date of departure TBD). The initial contract is for one year.

WHERE

We’ll be headed for Lusaka, Zambia, which is located in mid-Southern Africa. It will be the cold-dry season when we get there, highs in the 80s, lows in the 50s-60s. We will probably end up trying to rent a furnished house or apartment with plenty of room for guests. Also, there’s an Acts 29 Church that is in the process of being planted in Lusaka so we may even be able to help with that, as well.

WHAT

Ben will be working in the finance department at World Vision. I will initially take care of our household. Food is almost completely made from scratch (with no microwave dinners in sight) and you hang your laundry out to dry on a line in the sun. In some ways, it sounds the romantic old-fashioned life I’ve always wanted. I could anticipate volunteering as a nurse in some capacity but I think it’s unlikely that I’ll hold a proper job there. I’m also considering the possibility of going back to school with some online programs. I have no doubt that plenty of volunteer nursing opportunities will readily present themselves.

HOW

As you can imagine, as our big move is only a few weeks or so away, we are furiously preparing for our departure. My to-do list is growing by the minute. The story of how we got here is quite amazing. As I stated before, we had been wanting to go for quite some time but nothing seemed to be opening up. Because we hadn’t heard anything, we started calling the apartment office where we live to sign another year lease as well as attempting to make numerous commitments here in Seattle. Miraculously, no one called us back. In fact, Ben and I were starting to get pretty frustrated at the lack of response we got from our leasing office. It was only after we heard from World Vision about us going that we realized that the Lord had stayed our hand so that we would be ready to go. We were so thankful.

My plan is to continue this blog while we are living over there although I know for a fact the internet is not as reliable as it is here. Stay tuned for updates!

{Quotables} Poem ‘My Choice’

April 15, 2011 § Leave a comment

My Choice
By Bill McChesney

I want my breakfast served at eight
With ham and eggs upon the plate.
A well-broiled steak I’ll eat at one
And dine again when day is done.

I want an ultramodern home
And in each room a telephone;
Soft carpets, too, upon the floors
And pretty drapes to grace the doors.
A cozy place of lovely things,
Like easy chairs with inner springs,

And then, I’ll get a nice T.V.
– Of course, I’m careful what I see.

I want my wardrobe, too, to be
Of neatest, finest quality,
With latest style in suit and vest
Why should not Christians have the best?

But then the Master I can hear
In no uncertain voice, so clear:
“I bid you come and follow Me,
The lowly Man of Galilee.”

“Birds of the air have made their nest
And foxes in their holes find rest,
But I can offer you no bed;
No place have I to lay my head.”

In shame I hung my head and cried,
How could I spurn the Crucified?
Could I forget the way He went,
The sleepless nights in prayer He spent?

For forty days without a bite,
Alone He fasted day and night;
Despised, rejected – on He went,
and did not stop till veil He rent!

A man of sorrows and of grief
No earthly friend to bring relief;
“Smitten of God,” the prophet said
Mocked, beaten, bruised, His blood ran red.
If He be God, and died for me,
No sacrifice too great can be
For me; a mortal man, to make;
I’ll do it all for Jesus’ sake.

Yes, I will tread the path He trod,
No other way will please my God,
So, henceforth, this my choice shall be,
My choice for all eternity.

{Quotables} on missions

April 15, 2011 § Leave a comment

“I hope you will be a missionary wherever your lot is cast … it makes but little difference after all where we spend these few fleeting years, if they are only spent for the glory of God.  Be assured there is nothing else worth living for.”

– Elizabeth Freeman

{Movie Monday} Jesus wants the Rose

April 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

I love how Matt Chandler lays out the gospel message in this video…how can we as a church live our lives so that people have opportunities to choose Jesus (and are not trampled on by His followers??)

 

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