17 June 2006
A number of years ago, a good reformed friend of mine decided he wanted to stop using the phrase “good luck” because he wasn’t sure that luck was harmonious with the idea of a completely sovereign God. So instead he began wishing people “providential blessings”. At the time, I liked the phrase and began using it as well and it seems to have stuck with me. I’m still not sure what I think about luck but the more I think about it, I really do want others (and myself) to experience the good providence of our Lord in life. And I think that using the phrase sounds all cool and theological and stuff. OK, all of this is preface for my real point.
When I took the trip to Israel with my mother (pictured with me), I remember being incredibly grateful to God that He allowed me to see all of the places that I saw. But now, three months later, I am even more grateful that He allowed me to see those things with my mother. On Tuesday, my wonderful mom was diagnosed with advanced stage lung cancer. Having lost my father to the same disease twelve years ago, it was very hard news to hear. We don’t know how long we will have with mom, but I am so grateful to God that I got to see the places where Jesus walked with the woman who first took me to church and helped lay the foundation for me coming to know Christ myself. I will never forget walking the streets of Jerusalem with mom and eating falafel at a little restaurant. That time with her seeing those things was a providential blessing in the truest sense of the phrase. Thanks, Lord. I pray that You will give us many more in the time we have left together.
This picture was taken on 28 March 2006. I only recently acquired it from a friend. This is from the trip to Israel and it was taken at the end of our last day there. We were staying in a hotel on the Dead Sea and some of us couldn’t resist the opportunity to actually float in the famous body of water (I’m on the right). It was a truly unique experience. The water is so full of minerals that you can’t sink. We basically walked out until it was up past our waists and then leaned back like we were reclining in a chair – and that’s about as far as we got. If you float on your stomach it is almost impossible to get your feet under you and touch bottom. You are better off rolling onto your back and standing up that way. It was an amazing evening. The sun was setting, the water was warm and in the distance we could see towns on the opposite shore of the Sea in the country of Jordan. How often do you get to do that? Very cool.
10 June 2006
OK, so I have much I want to write about, some serious and some fun. I hope over the next few days to get a little of both on the blog, but for today I thought I’d try a fun one.
My friend, Chris, over at Nihilfit is right: if you are trying to keep track of more than a couple of blogs, you really need to sign up for a Bloglines account. It is free and allows you to track all of your blogs from one page (click on image for a better view). In two clicks you can see who has posted that day and who hasn’t, saving you the trouble of manually checking each blog for updates. Subscribing to blogs is fairly easy and you can even have the site add a “Subscribe with Bloglines” button in your browser bar so that when you stumble across a new blog you can add it to your list of feeds in two clicks.
The site allows you to read the posts straight from the Bloglines page or you can go to the blog itself. Bloglines doesn’t give you all of the formatting of the actual blog, but it does include any posted pictures. It is simply one of the best tools on the internet that I have seen. So sign up!