"He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young."
~ Isaiah 40: 11

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Life is getting a bit hectic and crazy as I scramble around and try to get everything done before I leave. Last weekend I attended the Missions Conference at First Presbyterian Church at Fort Oglethorpe, GA. The conference was encouraging and a good experience as I head off to the field. The speakers reminded my heart of the refuge and rest that the Gospel of grace offers because I no longer have to strive to prove myself. One missionary said "God doesn't demand us to do anything that His holiness does not already provide for us." What a promise. All of the rich blessings in Christ Jesus are mine to grasp including forgiveness. I can be honest with God and not afraid of His judgement or guilt because when He looks at me He sees Jesus' righteousness. I want these truths to provide me with peace and comfort as I go to a forgein land with a different culture. The next year seems a bit daunting to me because I feel so unprepared. My faith is weak. Yet it is a comfort to realize that when I board the plane God will not wave goodbye but He will get on the plane with me. He will not leave nor forsake me no matter how I feel or what I encounter in Taiwan. I do not want to forget that.

The church body at First Presbyterian was gracious, warming, and extremely kind. They are prayer warriors and it is incredibly encouraging to know that people are praying for me and for God's work at Christ's College.

I also had the opportunity to visit Chattanooga while I was at the conference. I stayed with my friend Harriet Bond. We had a good time catching up and praying for one another. I also was able to go and see Covenant College - my alma mater. The campus is changing dramatically with new building projects and lots of change. I had fun seeing my professors and Coach Duble, my soccer coach. I also saw some of my teammates that were freshmen when I was a senior and now they are seniors - wow how time flies!

Now, I have 9 days to get everything ready and in order before I leave. I am trying to cram in doctor's appointments, meetings with friends to say goodbye, and time with family. I am a bit overwhelmed but also finding time to enjoy each moment.

Two things that God has put on my heart: Do I enjoy Him? Why do I struggle with anxiety and worry so much? I will let you know what I discover about myself and my heart as I wrestle with these questions.

Until next time,


Friday, August 10, 2007

Joy in Sorrow

My family and I have encountered sorrow at the passing of my grandmother who we lovingly called "Mama Lou." She died Friday, August 3, 2007 at 79 yrs. old. I have been numb this entire week and only able to cry a few times. I already miss her. She was a good friend. I could always count her to do things with me like go to a classical concert or a play or a market. I will miss her wave, her smile, the way she answered the telephone, and her stories. I loved her stories since I was little.

My soul is in mourning more over the permanence of death. She is in heaven and I praise God for that but I miss her. I have been clinging to the hymn "Be Still my Soul" especially the third verse. What joy and what comfort to know that our God understands death, has tasted death, has defeated death, and knows what it is like to lose a friend to death. I mourn the loss of very special woman - a sinful saint and child of God. I am not alone - God beckons me to come and hide my tears in His bosom. He welcomes my laments and my sorrow. In the cross, in the tears of Jesus are my comfort because death is not the end but just the beginning. Jesus faced death, cried out to God and was rejected so that when I cry out to Him I am received and so that when Mama Lou entered into death she was received into eternity. I desire my sorrow and my tears to produce joy. I want Mama Lou's death to somehow bring glory to God. May God be glorified.
"Be Still, My Soul"
by Catharina von Schlegel
1. Be still, my soul; the Lord is on thy side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul; thy best, thy heavenly, Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

2. Be still, my soul; thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.

3. Be still, my soul, though dearest friends depart
And all is darkened in the vale of tears;
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrows and thy fears.
Be still, my soul; thy Jesus can repay
From His own fulness all He takes away.

4. Be still, my soul; the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.