Thursday, January 22, 2009


I will sing a new song to you, O God; on the ten-stringed lyre I will make music to you, to the One who gives victory to kings, who delivers his servant David from the deadly sword.

Deliver me and rescue me from the hands of foreigners whose mouths are full of lies, whose right hands are deceitful.

Then our sons in their youth will be like well-nurtured plants, and our daughters will be like pillars carved to adorn a palace.

Our barns will be filled with every kind of provision. Our sheep will increase by thousands, by tens of thousands in our fields; our oxen will draw heavy loads. There will be no breaching of walls, no going into captivity, no cry of distress in our streets.

Blessed are the people of whom this is true; blessed are the people whose God is the LORD.

Psalm 144:9-15 (bold added)

I’d forgotten how to play Candyland. Apparently you draw a card with a color-square on it and move to the next square with the corresponding shade. If there are two color-squares you move twice. Once you add in the candy cane card (and maybe a peanut card or two) you move forward or backwards with the luck of a draw.

I played a few days ago with two of our repeating visitors, and the game disintegrated as the 7-year old boy started arbitrarily jumping blocks. I tried {inserting-a-message-on-cheating,} but I’m sure my attempts to build character fell on distracted ears. While the older girl designed her own Barbie Fashion line on my lap top, our 7-year old friend and I:

1) Danced

2) Played aforementioned game

3) Played “swing”

4) Drew flowers…& portraits…& then rolled up the paper and hit me with it…

5) Ate snacks

It made me remember that most little boys require a lot of physical energy whilst their female counterparts usually require more visual attention. (Sorry if generalizations make you uncomfortable.) He challenged me to be constructively creative, attentive, firm, and physically strong all at once. Most of all, as children do, he called me to be fully present with him in every way possible.

All this occurred as Sara tutored an older girl through an extensive chemistry workbook.

We are back in full force in the South Bronx, with a beautiful new addition in Meredith, and a renewed commitment to community through the love of Christ. We met for breakfast last week to build community inside our walls as we continue to welcome others in.

Today Meredith and I welcomed five of the kids to an afterschool snack and homework session. It was Meredith’s first time with most of the crew, and I’ll let her give her own account. ;) It took a lot of energy, but within a few hours we had five young scholars with completed homework and apple w/ peanut butter filled bellies.

I often find myself playing disciplinarian, but I pray to continue to do so with grace, patience, and the love of God. I admittedly have an agenda: I hope to instill good character so that our time spent here is not self-contained, but proves fruitful for many generations to come.

And yes, an unforeseen candy-cane card might pull us a couple paces back once in a while, but we all keep our eyes on the finish line of victory.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Our Epistle

Hey Friends,

Sara and I spoke at our Navigators large group tonight. We wrote an epistle to our community and since that includes you I though we'd post it here. Its 9 pages long though so it won't actually let me. Maybe we'll do installments or something but if you'd like to read the whole thing just comment and I'll email it to you!


Sunday, January 11, 2009

We're Full!

Hi Friends and Family,

I just heard a fantastic message on the authority that Jesus has won for us in his defeat of death. It's blowing my mind once again that Satan has no power over us nor do the lies of the world because we are claimed under the Kingdom of Jesus! That's not exactly why I'm writing this though. I am writing to let you all know of our final addition to our community...

The lovely Meredith Janke! She'll be joining us on Tuesday fresh from a semester abroad in Florence and I am so beyond thrilled for her unique presence here. She has been such a vehicle of growth and the heart of Jesus to me in the last year and I think she is going to fit in and grow with us in an incredible way.

I am also so thrilled to have a full house finally! I can't believe that we had planned on beginning with four people but its taken us this long to get that, but I know God has determined our comings and goings and I'm so so excited to see what He has in store for us now that he's got us all here! It is really encouraging to see His provision here. Our own community within our home has always been a huge priority for us but with there being only two of us for so long it has not been the way we'd envisioned.

Would you pray with us along the lines of Phillipians 1:9 that our love for each other would grow with knowledge and depth of insight. True community and living with other people is always something to work at and I know God only grows us here so I can't wait! Pray with us also for Meredith as she reintegrates into New York and becomes a part of our community that God would strengthen her and not overwhelm her. Sara will be back from a month away also on Wednesday so it'll be the first time in a while back for us all to be together. Praise the Lord folks, He is good!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Praise the Lord O my soul

Hi Fam,

I hope you all are enjoying peace these days! With the new year I decided to start doing the daily lectionary from the book of common prayer. A bunch of people at Trinity Grace all read the Bible this way and it has been such a blessing these last few days. Just click the title of this post for the link to the website if you want to do it with me!

Also this morning the first Psalm to read was 103 and it just gave me such joy as I started off my rainy day so I thought I'd share it with you all...

1 Praise the LORD, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.

2 Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits-

3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,

4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,

5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

6 The LORD works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.

7 He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:

8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.

9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;

10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.

11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;

12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

13 As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;

14 for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.

15 As for man, his days are like grass,
he flourishes like a flower of the field;

16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.

17 But from everlasting to everlasting
the LORD's love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children's children-

18 with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.

19 The LORD has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.

20 Praise the LORD, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.

21 Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.

22 Praise the LORD, all his works
everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the LORD, O my soul.

There's really nothing more I could ever say!