I’ve Looked at Clouds that Way

There are clouds in human life, shadowing, refreshing, and sometimes draping it in blackness of night; but there is never a cloud without its bright light. “I do set my bow in the cloud!”
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If we could see the clouds from the other side where they lie in billowy glory, bathed in the light they intercept, like heaped ranges of Alps, we should be amazed at their splendid magnificence.
We look at their under side; but who shall describe the bright light that bathes their summits and searches their valleys and is reflected from every pinnacle of their expanse? Is not every drop drinking in health-giving qualities, which it will carry to the earth?
O child of God! If you could see your sorrows and troubles from the other side; if instead of looking up at them from earth, you would look down on them from the heavenly places where you sit with Christ; if you knew how they are reflecting in prismatic beauty before the gaze of Heaven, the bright light of Christ’s face, you would be content that they should cast their deep shadows over the mountain slopes of existence. Only remember that clouds are always moving and passing before God’s cleansing wind.
Streams in the Desert, May 15

Girls Are Not Really So Scary

africangirlsOutside the western world, education is not “free.”  For those living in the underdeveloped world, education is most often funded by fees charged to parents. For many families, school is an expensive privilege that they spend day in and day out clamoring to provide for their children. However, the reality is –there is never enough money to cover all the fees, so if there is money available –it often goes to pay for the schooling of the sons.

Even then, because gathering semester fees is so far out of the reach of a family, boys go to school erratically and often sit out for several semesters at a time while a family seeks to gather the money. While living in Uganda I watched family after family dealing with the weighty burden of collecting money that would cover boarding costs, food costs, uniform costs, exam sitting costs, supply costs and teacher’s salary costs.

For girls to make it to school, they often have to have an outside sponsor who will commit to provide the cost. Whenever circumstances work out just right and a girl gets the chance to go to school, you have a very motivated student!

For societies all over the world educating girls is a stabilizing proposition but Boko Haram finds it more scary than stabilizing as detailed in this New York Times article by Nicholas Kristof.

 

 

Why Educate Girls?

0507Nigeria1Living in the West this seems like a ridiculous question–one that was settled long ago.

However, after living in Uganda, my eyes were opened to the truth that much of the world does not see the value in educating their girls.

John Piper in a post entitled Why We Educate Our Girls does a great job of explaining from a biblical world view.

Buried Treasure

sunken-treasure-shipTreasure hunters have recently recovered 1,ooo ounces of gold worth 1.3 million dollars from a ship that was wrecked during a hurricane in 1857. The ship was carrying 21 tons of freshly minted gold coins and raw gold from the mines in California. All of that treasure sank with the ship and until recently has remained at the bottom of the sea.

Treasure is of no value unless it is discovered.

For mothers of young children whose lives are consumed with:

  • sleepless nights because your child is scared of monsters in the dark
  • piles of dirty laundry that seem to rise up and judge you
  • incessant fights between siblings over which DVD they’ll watch
  • cleaning up the juice box spill when your child squeezed it and sprayed the headliner of your van
  • trying to cover up the fact that you have had no time to shower…again.
  • unending tears due to an earache that your pediatrician tells you has nothing to do with teething,

buried treasure is of no interest and can stay buried! The ship of a mother’s life is directed at surviving the preschool storms of the day and at arriving in the calm waters called “bedtime.” If there is treasure lying below the surface of her sea she is often too tired to want to explore it!  How would a Mom’s life be changed if she “accidently” found that there is treasure very near her?

 God’s kingdom is like a treasure hidden in a field for years and then accidently found by a trespasser. The finder is ecstatic—what a find!—and proceeds to sell everything he owns to raise money and buy that field. 
Matthew 13:44

The apostle Paul was ecstatic when he discovered a treasure in this life of such surpassing greatness that all other pursuits paled in comparison. In fact he proclaimed,

Yes, furthermore, I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege (the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth, and supreme advantage) of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him [of perceiving and recognizing and understanding Him more fully and clearly]. For His sake I have lost everything and consider it all to be mere rubbish (refuse, dregs), in order that I may win (gain) Christ (the Anointed One)
Philippians 3:8

Oh young mothers, please do not waste your time thinking my goal is to heap on more “Mom guilt” because you are not able to find the time to sit quietly with coffee and your Bible in this season of life. No, I am not calling you to anything that requires you to expend more planning effort. What I am calling you to is a perspective change. I am calling you to realize that as you navigate the beautiful mess that is your life, the life that seems to be ruled by a preschooler who thinks they are king, that you live aware of the real truth–the ecstatic truth–the most valuable and empowering truth. Precious treasure is very near every moment of your day. The treasure is your caring King who brought you into His kingdom for your good and His glory!

“The Almighty himself will be your treasure. He will be your precious silver!

Job 22:25

Treasure is of no value unless it is discovered.

 

 

 

“Anti-Social” Media

Gary Tuck has nailed it in this video in which he highlights how we are becoming more anti-social as we rely on social media.

2014 Women’s Conference

overview-bannerRecently, a pastor at our church shared that if we had never studied the book of Nehemiah— we were missing something enriching to our souls. The next day I ran across the promotion for this year’s Gospel Coalition Conference for Women. The topic for this year is Nehemiah and a new Bible study written by Kathleen Nielsen will be introduced.

As a woman in ministry, it is so encouraging that the Gospel Coalition is providing these annual conferences to strengthen and equip women in the Word so that they may minister in the Body of Christ.