Friday, April 27, 2007

I Can Only Imagine

It's been one of those days where friends and my brother have sent me amusing video clips to watch. Dozens of fish just jumping out of the water at night toward a light and landing into a rowboat (somewhere in South America I believe). "Evangelism Linebacker," a spoof commercial on an effective witnessing program where wimps, who will not tell others the good news, get body slammed by an NFL-type who appears out of nowhere. So when my brother sent another one, I expected at my lunch break to have another laugh. Instead, I sobbed.

Why? Click here, read an incredible story, and be sure to watch the video.

Earlier this morning I had read the story of Mephibosheth. He was the grandson of King Saul who had been crippled as a child in an accident. When David took the throne of Israel, instead of having this family member of his enemy put to death, he returned Mephibosheth's inheritance to him and had this lame man dine at his table. I had thought that morning of how gracious my heavenly Father has been to me, a fallen sinner who has been invited to the King of heaven's table, but to be honest it only landed upon my heart as a familiar truth rather than hit me as a special one.

But the combination of being opened up by laughter then being "assaulted" by this powerful father/son story broke me down. The story is extremely touching. Yet what about the greater truth it illustrates?

Do you remember that Jesus said if earthly fathers, being evil, know how to give good gifts to their children, how much more will our heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask Him (Matthew 7:11).

As the song stated, I can only imagine, yes. But in Christ I already taste, and this story helps picture, what love the true Father has for us (John 17:23-26)! How He strives in me to urge and carry this struggling, disabled son of His onward to the goal of this life's race.

Friday, April 06, 2007

My Irish Eyes are Smiling

Or at least my eyes are smiling upon Ireland.

Following our arrival on Wednesday, Miriam and I spent a day with the Donnellys. On Thursday they brought us to the northern coast where we saw the spectacular Giant's Causeway. This area of the coast contains thousands of natural four and six-sided stone columns that form stepping stones you can climb upon, with rising cliffs behind them and grassy pastures on the top. They then dropped us off for a two-day stay at Portrush, which you can see at the center top of the map to the left.

The weather here has been extremely unusual the locals say, as the several straight days of sunniness and temperatures in the mid-sixties are even making headlines. Today we walked along the coast to Portstewart, which a sign said was six miles from Portrush. The path wound along the top and sides of cliffs of black rock. Laying upon grassy hillocks in the warm sun watching the foamy waves break and run over the rocks below was most relaxing. When we reached Portstewart we spent the afternoon going in and out of the seaside shops.

The surprise of the day was when Miriam glanced into a small restaurant and exclaimed, "Is that not Matt Kingswood?" Indeed it was! Matt and his wife Tara and their five children are here from Canada for three months, as Matt is filling the Trinity RPC pulpit for Ted Donnelly. His family was there for the day enjoying the sites as well. We had some great fellowship with them for a while as they ate their lunch, and look forward to worshiping with them and hearing Matt preach this weekend.

This evening we walked back and stopped occasionally as Miriam took more pictures. We again saw the sun setting over Donegal, a mountainous peninsula across from these towns that is in the gray area in the map above. If you would like to see a few more pictures, go here to the Kodak Gallery and hit "View Slideshow."

Here's one more. Miriam and I are sitting in what is known as "The Wishing Chair" at the Giant's Causeway. Certainly on this trip our wish has come true! We thank the Lord for the beauty of His earth and the love of His people that has made this time possible.