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Archive for May, 2008

For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy places by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.                 Hebrews 13:11-16

Recently, while teaching on 2 Thessalonians, my pastor made reference to the above passage in Hebrews. He was speaking of standing firm in the promises of the gospel in the midst of persecution (1:1-12). He had recently attended a conference where John Piper spoke on the Hebrew passage and asked whether we are willing to go outside the gate. What does that say about us in America that we don’t know persecution? There are many passages that speak of it. It seems it should be something to be expected if we are following Christ (John 15:18-25). But here in this place, whether in the city, the suburbs, or the country, do we really ever suffer persecution? Why is that? Is it because we are not willing to go outside the gate and “bear the reproach He endured?”

I am very convicted on this as I have struggled with whether to proceed with becoming foster parents. But my delimna is that my husband, who is the leader of this family, has not taken the lead on that front. I’ve been wondering whether that is my “outside the gate” or not. I could easily move forward and complete the paperwork on my own, schedule the interviews and tell him when to be here. But is that the right thing to do? None the less, I have to admit I have not been willing to find that gate and proceed out of it to endure the sufferrings of Christ.

Whether or not the foster care is what we are supposed to be doing at this moment in time, I know there is something. But I haven’t really wanted to find it that badly. I’ve been perfectly content to carry on in my own little comfort zone.  God clearly spoke to us back in October during our church’s Missions Conference that our mission field is right here. But I’m still not sure I’m on the right track for that calling. Since G has a deployment on the horizon and his parents are having some health challenges requiring our attention, I’m not sure that foster care is for this time. I have gotten involved in a local food pantry and work there with B each week. Perhaps the gate is there? Or is it at the new Pregnancy Resource Center that just opened nearby? Is it a neighbor that is struggling with cancer? Or is it right in my own family caring for aging parents? Whatever it is, am I willing to go outside the gate?

I am not the only one pondering these things. There’s a discussion on the FIAR boards, where someone mentioned this blog post: What Can We Do? That is what spurred me on here. She brings up some issues that I haven’t even considered. We have become so detached, so unaware of what is going on in our own cities, much less across the world. Sure, we all say how busy and overwhelmed we are. But are we filling up our time and our minds with the right things? What is really important? And how much of what we are consumed with is just “fluff?” It seems we put up barriers to the gate to block our view of it and avoid it altogether. Are we content in the city of destruction (for here we have no lasting city) or are we seeking the “city that is to come?” Where is the gate, and what will it take to go through it?

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I have arrived

I have alluded more than once on this blog that 40 was out there, on the horizon. Well, today I finally arrived. I have entered my 4th decade.

That’s all I have to say about that.

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