Monday, May 16, 2011

A Glimpse of Heaven

Matt and I have been reading Randy Alcorn's book, Heaven, together recently.  The Lord has really used it to encourage both of us to look more deeply at the Scriptures and to be encouraged about all that can be found about our eternal home.  I love that the author refuses to write things about heaven that can't be found in Scripture and that he gives a very thorough treatment to the many facets of what lies ahead of us.

A few days ago in our reading, Alcorn included a quote from Martin Luther that seemed especially significant given the spring season:

 "Our Lord has written the promise of the resurrection not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime"

Flowers at 7 Mile Creek park during a recent hike
I LOVE that. Yesterday, I went out for a run before church and was struck anew by the significance of that quote.  My favorite trail near our house (Red Jacket for those of you familiar with Mankato), seemed to have come alive.  We were out of town for about a week and while there was plenty of new growth a week ago, it almost felt like the scenery had exploded into spring.  What grace that God gives us this wonderful hint of heaven every year.  As winter slowly fades away - usually lingering a little longer that most of us would like - spring slowly takes its place, gaining momentum as each week passes, until the world seems to have transformed.  Color, warm air, and new life takes the place of the black/brown/white winter palate and gives us new hope.

May you have ample opportunity to enjoy the magnificence of spring and may you hope ever more deeply for the eternal home Christ is preparing for us.  A place more marvelous than the most beautiful spring our eyes have witnessed.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

It's a girl!

We had our big 21 wk ultrasound last week and found out that we're having a girl!  We're excited to know the gender of our little baby and to start preparing her room and thinking of names.  Here's a pic - pretty sure she's sucking her thumb :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Helping Japan

As the clean up and rebuilding continues in Japan, Campus Crusade wants to be available to be the hands and feet of Christ to this earthquake/tsunami-ravaged country.  Here's some information on how you could actually go and bring the hope of Christ to the people of Japan - a people who are in desperate spiritual and physical need. I'm passing on an email from Tommy Dyo, who coordinates Campus Crusade's EPIC ministry to Asian American students:

Dear Friends,
The EPIC movement has led the USCM in a key partnership with CRASH (Christian Relief, Assistance, Support and Hope) Japan and Japan CCC to send at least three waves of rebuilding teams beginning June 27th. The work to be done has not yet been specifically outlined, but daily work likely will include debris removal, cooking, cleaning and children’s ministry.

The cost for a person to participate will be approximately $4500. As of right now, the first three project dates will be as follows:

-          Project A: June 27-July 19 (deadline to apply: May 10)
-          Project B: July 13-August 4 (deadline to apply: May 18)
-          Project C: August 1-August 23 (deadline to apply: June 1)

Due to the nature of the work, as well as the conditions on the ground where we will be working, participants will need to be in good overall physical, psychological and emotional health.

Though not required for every applicant, we have special needs that will be considered when processing applications. For example, in order for our teams to be able to work effectively, we need Japanese speakers to serve as translators. Special skill sets related to rebuilding would also be helpful (e.g. you might have students who have worked in construction who you could encourage to go).

Please note that we are continuing to monitor the radiation situation and will not intentionally put anyone in danger. Also, we have invited a number of Japanese churches and organizations to participate in sending with the USCM as well, as they will likely be able to help more significantly with providing translators and other resources that are needed. Therefore, the teams will not be made up entirely of students and campus ministry staff.

As the time is short, please encourage interested students, faculty, volunteers to apply quickly! To apply, direct them to and have them look for Japan Rebuild: Project A, B and C.

Thank you for participating as we help to rebuild Japan on the foundation of Jesus!

Tommy Dyo
Executive Director – Epic Movement

You can also check out Japan Rebuild for more information.