Thursday, December 18, 2008

speechless


I've been pondering LOVE quite a bit lately. One of my missionary friends http://www.youmustbekidding.blogspot.com/copied a blog entry from a friend of hers.http://davidroper.blogspot.com/.. hummmm sounds a little bit like, he said, she said... but it is not. Anyway. I am copying this man's words about Zephaniah because it so captured my heart:

"So, from David Roper, something wonderful to ponder.

Lovesick and Dumbfounded

Carolyn and I often spend our quiet times reading from A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and Other Servants, an Upper Room publication (If you've visited Shepherd's Rest you've seen the copies in each bedroom.) The Old Testament passage for this morning was Zephaniah 3:17.
With apologies to Zephaniah and Bruce Waltke, my old Hebrew professor, here is my translation...The LORD, your God is with you--your hero, mighty to save!He takes great delight in you.
He is speechless with love for you.
Every time he thinks of you he breaks into joyful song!-Zephaniah 3:17

I'm awed by the notion that God takes great delight in me and breaks into song each time he thinks of my name. But it's the phrase I render, "He is speechless with love for you" that captivated me.

The verse is usually translated, "He will be quiet in his love," or in some translations, "He will quiet you." But the verb doesn't suggest tranquility or rest. It actually means, "to strike dumb."[1] And since the verb is in parallel with other verbs that suggest God's strong emotions ("takes great delight," and "breaks into joyful song") it must point to what He himself feels.

I wonder then: Could the analogy be that of a lovesick swain who is bowled-over, flabbergasted and dumb-founded by his love for the beloved-so overcome with fondness that he is tongue-tied? Is God, in some inexplicable, anthropomorphic way, "struck dumb" with love each time he thinks of us? If so, to be loved like this is, in turn, to be rendered speechless. As Isaiah would say, "I am undone."And who is it that God so loves? One who is strong and able, brilliant, and breathtakingly beautiful? No, it is one who is "weak and the weary... who takes refuge in the name of the LORD" (Zephaniah 3:12). "

...He is speechless with love for you.
...He is speechless with love for you.
...He is speechless with love for you.
I'm pondering.
mutating missionary

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Love







To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want ot make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it careful round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in your casket -- safe, dark, motionless, airless -- it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable... The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers ... of love is Hell. (C. S. Lewis. 'The Four Loves')
Isn't it amazing that one of the descriptions of our God is just the opposite of 'locked up love'.

Many see I Corinthians 13 as a marriage verse - a description of marriage. I myself have long since changed my view on that. If it is a marriage verse - it is one that is to be strived for and never completely achieved. Just as I believe it is a life verse and is to strive for and never completely achieved.

But, as I told my dear young woman that faces her church ceremony after a year and a half of being legally married here in Germany. This to me is a description of our God. And what an awesome God we serve.

You see: God is love.

Love is patient,
Love is kind,
and is not jealous;
love does not brag
and is not arrogant,
does not act unbecomingly;
it does not seeek its own,
is not provoked,
does not take into account a wrong sufered,
does not rejoice in unrighteousness,
but rejoices with the truth;
bears all things,
believes all things,
hopes all things,
endures all things.
Love never fails.
I Corinthians 4-8
What a wonderful description of our Jesus. Of our Lord Jesus Christ and His offering to the world. He came as a baby. And He showed us all of these acts of lov
God is said to be a jealous God, but even in that He is all good in it. He is jealous for us to love Him because He knows that is the only true way for our wholeness and our well-being.

What a lovely God we serve.
mutating missionary

Friday, December 12, 2008

Bright Light




Christmas in Germany is the highlight of the year. Almost every Stadt und Dorf (Town and Village) sets up a Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas Market) in a central area. I drove to Mannheim last night to pick up a friend that needed a lift back down to this area... (a story all in itself) While there, we decided to experience the Mannheim Weihnachtsmarkt, pick up some culturally unusual Christmas presents for my children and a few friends back home, and enjoy a wonderful mug of warm Gluehwein with a couple of friends. The wind was cold, the air wet, and there was a hummm in the air. All of the Ferris wheels, the children's rides, the market booths had lights that were accenting the fest.
We drove to the center of town, found a parking spot, walked the entire area, bought really cool presents, looked at even more really cool artsy fartsy stuff, laughed, talked, and basically enjoyed the hubbub. As the evening wore on, the crowds became thicker; we were ready to head home. It had been a fun night - but a bit tiring - for us all. With so many people, so much stimuli around, ones head gets a little bumfuzzled.
We piled back into the car. Driving south we inevitably came up on the snow I had left earlier that morning. The wind picked up even more and the night became a white veiled sheath. We finally arrived back in my little area of Schwarzwald. I had the option of taking my last passenger/friend home or taking him up to see the heavier snowfall in my little mountain Dorf. He opted to see the snow – no matter what the hour. The Dorf was completely silent. Snow lay in 10 inch layers on the ground, and heavy layers on the evergreens and hardwoods. The town's white twinkling lights outlining the trees were everywhere. The quiet stillness, the light reflecting off the snowy branches, the snows purity on the hillside…it was all breathtaking. Later, I stopped several times just to breath it in.
Light. Bright Light. The lights at the Mannheim Weihnachtsmarkt were exciting. They flashed, they drew attention, and they created an expectancy, fun, frivolity. But the lights were dulled by the hubbub, the activity, the hustle, the bustle. They had their place - but one grew weary.
In the stillness of the night in my tiny kurort (health resort town), I found the tiny twinkling of lights wound within the white snow filled branches penetrating. They shone in the night so bright. Nothing took away from their beauty. They were peaceful, calming, still. When I stopped, looked, I wanted to simply be. They were illuminating.
Illuminating. In the stillness of a tiny stable a baby who was Christ the King was born. The hubbub of the crowd was there. There was no more room for them in the Inn. But, in the stillness of a tiny stable/cave the Savior illuminated His earth.
And HIS Bright Light illuminates.
Il-lu-mi-nate (verb) [I loomi nayt] Definitions from Encarta English Dictionary
1. Shine light on somebody or something: to make somebody or something visible or bright with light, or be lit up
2. Decorate something with lights: to decorate something with lights for a celebration
3. Clarify something: to make something easier to understand
4. Cause somebody to look happy: to make something, especially somebody’s face, look happy and animated
5. Enlighten somebody: to provide somebody with knowledge or with intellectual or spiritual enlightenment
mutating missionary

He IS

Emmanuel. God is with us.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=om5-95_Byjo

thanks Kathy

mutating missionary

hummmm thinking...



In the United States there is more space where nobody is than where anybody is. That is what makes America what it is. - Gertrude Stein
The opposite of the religious fanatic is not the fanatical atheist but the gentle cynic who cares not whether there is a god or not. - Eric Hoffer
Reality is the leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it. - Jane Wagner

guerdon \GUR-duhn\, noun:1. a reward
verb:1. to reward, pay back
YEP... I think I'll head to the red-coffee-box and think some more... Ahhhhhh leather chairs, ottomans, blankies, coffee and a good book - today with snow to my ankles... yep that is the ticket... Fridays - gotta love em.
PS... these fotos are not taken from the red-coffee-box - but sitting in the little coffee shop I dicovered in the town I was in recently for language school, sitting in this window corner spot I watched all sorts of life happen around me, studied and took pictures :-) - a friend had prayed for an enjoyable coffee shop and God granted his request. Sometimes God just wants to bless us with over and beyond.
Now - I walk in snow to the church down the road, drop off some things for a wedding next week, and then walk to the red-coffee-box... cold - but beautiful... I think I just might take along the ole' camera on this trip - the snow is unbelievably beautiful.
mutating missionary