Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Most Costly Investment

It's funny how God can use any situation to speak truth to us humans.

Recently, I helped a fellow classmate with an essay. Since I like English and composition, I did not mind editing and drafting the paper. In fact, I spent a considerable amount of time and thought on the task of improving the piece of writing. I found myself thinking about the essay when I was in the shower and when I was in bed. I woke up in the morning thinking of it. Part of me wondered, "Why do I care so much? Ultimately, I am not responsible for this student's grade. So why I am so caught up in this?" Was it because I easily stress over my own schoolwork and this was merely an extention of that? Perhaps. But then another thought struck me. I was invested in this. I poured time, engery, thought, and emotion into this task.

After I had given the student my suggestions for the paper, I read a second draft written after my notes. I was so excited to see that the student had made the changes I suggested! Since I had put forth effort I was pleased to see that it was not in vain. The student also expressed gratitude. That made my efforts worthwhile as well. I think I learned something about the Lord in the process.

He made the greatest investment--the costliest investment--of all time when He sacrificed Jesus on our behalf. If we are happy when people respond to when we invest in them, how much more must He delight when we respond to Him? How much must He delight we when react to His sacrifice by loving His Son? How much must He value our gratitude? My investment consisted of several hours of reading an essay and a few more in thought and prayer. Jesus' investment consisted of bearing the sin of the world--bearing our sin. Can anyone possibly invest in us more than He has? The question is, how then shall we respond?

Saturday, October 29, 2011


I love autumn. I love cupping my hands around a warm mug of hot apple cider. The brisk air breathes freshness into my lungs. The colors on the trees light up my eyes. Fall practice reminds me of my love of baseball. Crackling fires and family time make me smile. This is a sweet season.

Yet, this autumn, Fall 2011, has also been a time of transition for my family. The transition is very good, but, like all change, is not easy. There are moments when I do not want the world to change. I want to fire the moment and live in it. But, things do change. Life does move on. Like most unknown things, the future sometimes appears frightening. I think of what a good, rich childhood I had and wonder, "Can it get any better? Or are my best days already gone?" I was having this conversation with my sister, each of us dialoging how change is hard for us. But then, I mentioned to her a thought that I have been having: "God has been the author of our story this far and it's been good. He's still the One writing our story, so we know it's going to be good!" And the most important thing is that...It's Him being our Author...and our Anchor. How sweet it is that He does not change. And with new seasons of life comes new opportunities to love our Lord more and grow in Him.

I have been reading in Exodus, and a verse caught my attention. The Israelites, upon leaving Egypt, faced a huge transition. Even though it was an exciting time for them, it was probably also somewhat shocking to go, overnight, from slavery to freedom. Moses reports about the night of the Israelite's departure from Egypt--and from all they had ever known, that "the LORD kept vigil that night to bring them out of Egypt" (Exodus 12: 42). I love that image...of Almighty God keeping watch over His kids in a time of big change for them. It gives the feeling of a protective father. God does not change. It's comforting to know that our Father, today, is protective of us. And in seasons of transition...I imagine He keeps vigil over us too.

So I can enjoy that cup of hot cider...knowing that my Father has me in His gaze. And I can anticipate the days ahead...knowing that He's writing my story...and the Ending will be Good.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hope Rising

Here is a book which people who would be better if they read: Hope Rising by Kim Meeder. I'm not yet half way (I am a rather slow reader) but I can say already that I like it. Several times already, I have found myself crying at the tender stories of horses and humans and the amazing works God can accomplish between them.

The book is organized into an easy read, with short chapters recounting individual stories. The stories do not depend on one another so this book can fit nicely into busy schedules. (In fact, if your schedule is very full, this is a perfect book to read that will help you slow down). The stories are simple but rich. What do you get when broken horses come face to face with wounded children? A gentle miracle...

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Light of My Eyes

After reading Elisabeth Elliot's Through Gates of Splendor...

May Your Kingdom always be the light of my eyes
Your Spirit the leading Guide of my life
Your love the burning flame of my heart
Your joy the melodious song of my soul

May my gaze every be fixed on You
Steadfast, steady, resolute
My ear and will bent to Your voice
My God send me out a jewel--
A jewel in the crown of Your joy

Unswayed by the winds of sorrow and change
Keep me steadfast in Your palm
O where in life shall be my place?
In Your arms where I belong

My God make me your arrow--
Your flame, even if expendable
Assign me any lot or chore
Only let me be known as one of Yours

Let me see with faith and not by eyes
Bolster me with courage, afraid not to die
Make me willing Your command to obey
Always moving forward, never straying from the Way

Whether You take my hand to join it with another
Or reserve it solely for Yourself
Let my heart not love a lover
Before I love Yourself

My King always, Lord do be
Opening my eyes ever to see
Your worth, the wealth of Your kingdom in store
A life eternal shared with You my Lord

When I reach the end of my earthen days
And stand upon the golden shore
Let me hear the words for my aching heart
"Well done, servant; receive your LORD."

Hannah Shoop. 2011.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Significant Life

Last night, although a day late, I read the Declaration of Independence aloud to that of my family that was in town. If any document will try your linguistic abilities this one will! It's a tongue twister; the vocabulary of the eighteenth century is much higher than our typical, modern-day American lingo! But looking past the fancy words, I was struck by the weight and the seriousness of the document. The men who signed the Declaration were staking their lives, their fortune, and their honor (their reputation) on what they believed. Talk about conviction. I mentioned this to my family and we chatted briefly, contrasting their purposeful lifestyle with that of our pop culture, where the preoccupation seems to be largely with entertainment. It makes me wonder what it would have been like to live "back then."
I have also been reading Elisabeth Elliot's book, Through Gates of Splendor, the account of some missionaries to South America in the 50s. She describes the culture of a fierce tribe of Indians, a people group that would turn most people off. They were killers. Yet the missionaries made it their goal to reach the Indians with the gospel of Jesus. One of the missionaries, Pete Fleming wrote, "I know that this may be the most important decision of my life, but I have a quiet peace about it."
I love the conviction of both the signers of the Declaration and of the missionaries to South America. I don't know that I'll ever live in as dramatic circumstances as they, but I hope that I'll live a significant life.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Lion

Since 'In the Lion's steps was named after this Lion, I thought it appropriate to post a picture of Him. I want to be the girl standing with Him!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Being within three weeks of finishing with my first year of college, there are a few things that have crossed my mind. One of these things is how thankful I am to have had a solid foundation laid during my elementary and high school years in what I believe. My parents are largely to credit for this. In the majority of my classes, I have been the audience to lectures containing values with which I disagree. I've realized how different my worldview is from so many around me! I might be tempted to think that something is wrong with my views, and that the majority, or the educated faculty must always be correct. But while I have certainly been challenged to think, I haven't wanted in the least to alter my beliefs...because I know who I've learned them from. There are things other than a PhD that create credibility (a word that has been pounded into me since entering college!). I don't mean to discredit my professors; I have learned a lot from them and am so blessed to be attending a college! Yet, if I can state this with all humility, there will always be people I trust more than them. My parents. My pastors. Those who are parents in the faith. And even those who are no longer living, but who have left works behind them that attest to the kind of lives they lived. I know the fruit of these people's lives. I see the stark contrast of those who have the Lord...and those who do not. And I know what I want for my life. But I don't think it's enough to stop there. Roots are so important. A strong foundation is invaluable. But they are for the purpose of bearing fruit. I pray that God will help me bring others into His kingdom...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

This Blog

I did not think that I would be one to start a blog, but some gentle prodding convinced me otherwise. After I met with a lady who directs a local publishing house, I was intrigued by her advice. One stepping stone on the path toward a career in authoring or publishing, that she suggested, was to start a blog. So here goes! I cannot say for certain what it will look like, or how frequently it will be updated! As of now, it will simply be a place for me to record some thoughts, post bits of my writing, and WRITE! As always, it is my hope that all content will be honoring to Christ, hence the title of this blog. Like many other children, my imagination was captured by C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia, particularly the unforgettable lion that walks those pages. I continue to marvel at Lewis's writing capacities, but more importantly, I've learned to love the Lion. So as I begin this simple endeavor, it is my hope that my scribblings will point to Him.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Glory and Grace

The clouds glide across the sky as wind peals through the trees

The song and colors of the distant stars sing in praise

undimmed by human years

A single capsule of a citrus orange bursts

It too is the design of an ingenious Mind

Eternity's song moves through the galaxies

It whispers in the wind

"Be still...listen...know"

O Mortal stand and be still

O one bound by the walls of flesh consider

There is more to you than a carbon cage

Although it too is fearfully made

More to you there is than a sagging tent

Yet even it bears a fingerprint

of splendor, yes splendor

O quiet now as you observe the dusk sky

and stand on the water's edge

Yet even these are dwarfed by the great expanse

of galaxies far

An inkling dawns..."so small"

Yes, so small, but not too small

Not too small to escape the heart eyes of One

Yes One who spoke these into being

Stand before Him



Yet rejoice O small one

Exult and delight, relish for you

one so small have been sealed by His gaze

And you, blood-covered one, you are not only in His sight

You are by Him, yes Him, called

"You are mine"