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January 2009
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March 2009

February 2009

Off to India

3295310224_14779b7615_b Becca and Ryan are off to India.  From February 21-28 they will be in Bangalore, India working/serving at an orphanage called the Beulah Home.  There are over 90 children that live at the Beulah Home Orphanage with ages ranging from 3 years old to 16 years old. 

Becca and Ryan's trip to India is part of the "Love All Serve All" (LASA) mission trips sponsored through the Student Ministries Department of Taejon Christian International School.  This last week of February is a school vacation (Winter Break) and during this week there are four LASA trips taking place.  There is the India/orphanage trip, a Borneo trip where a team of students will serve as an evangelical team moving from village to village sharing the Gospel, there is a Habitat for Humanity trip to the Philippines and a trip to Boracay, Thailand where students will work with a local missionary, helping and serving in various ways.India_country_map

There will be no access to the Internet for the week so this blog will be silent for a while.  On March 1 please check back for details about our trip to India.  In the meantime...every time you think about checking our blog this week, please pray for us instead.


Do the Next Thing

I first heard the phrase, “Do the next thing,” from Oswald Chambers.  It comes up numerous times in his biography, Abandoned to God, and it stands as a simple, yet profound, “working out” of his life and trust in God.  I came across this old poem and I suspect it is one that Oswald read at one time or another in his life.

 

From an old English parsonage down by the sea

There came in the twilight a message to me;

Its quaint Saxon legend, deeply engraven,

Hath, it seems to me, teaching from Heaven.

And on through the doors the quiet words ring

Like a low inspiration: “DOE THE NEXTE THYNGE.”2926130961_fbee56152e_b

 

Many a questioning, many a fear,

Many a doubt, hath its quieting here.

Moment by moment, let down from Heaven,

Time, opportunity, and guidance are given.

Fear not tomorrows, child of the King,

Thrust them with Jesus, doe the nexte thynge.

 

Do it immediately, do it with prayer;

Do it reliantly, casting all care;

Do it with reverence, tracing His hand

Who placed it before thee with earnest command.

Stayed on Omnipotence, safe ‘neath His wing,

Leave all results, doe the nexte thynge

 

Looking for Jesus, ever serener,

Working or suffering, be thy demeanor;

In His dear presence, the rest of His calm,

The light of His countenance be thy psalm,

Strong in His faithfulness, praise and sing.

Then, as He beckons thee, doe the nexte thynge.

 

--author unknown

 

I can hardly consider the phrase "Do the next thing" without also thinking about the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:33, "Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need." (NLT)


Friends nearby...

As I sit here at my desk this morning I find that I am surrounded by "friends"--books.  Some are standing erect, nicely shelved on the small shelf nearby, but most of the books that surround me are stacked in a somewhat haphazard manner.  There are tall stacks and short stacks, made up of small books and thick books.  (My wife says it is a bit messy, but thankfully she puts up with me.)

The books, on and around my desk, represent only a small portion of the books that I own.  Most of my books "stand at the ready" on the bookshelves in the other room.  I am thankful for all of my books, but for now the books that are on and around my desk are the ones that I consider "friends."

They are friends because they, the authors, their words, (and the Holy Spirit) are speaking into my heart and life.  On the books that surround me I read the names: Oswald Chambers, Eugene Peterson, N.T. Wright, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, David Roper and William Willimon, and in the center of it all I see my open Bible.

This morning I am thankful for the words of Eugene Peterson.  His comments on Matthew 5:20 are a blessing, encouragement and challenge to me today.

"For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."  Matthew 5:20

"Religion that is a matter of careful, moral calculation is all wrong.  The gospel requires a leap of faith.  Christ does not counsel a safe, manageable morality that anyone can learn in ten easy lessons, but a reckless adventurous life of commitment."  -Eugene Peterson

Good words from a good friend.


Put In My Time

DSCF7355 “Spiritual maturity is not reached by the passing of the years, but by obedience.”
                    --Oswald Chambers

As I look in the mirror I see that the little bit of hair that I have left on my head is turning gray.  I would like to think that these signs of silver are a harbinger of wisdom in my life, but I know myself too well to know that sadly, this is not the case.  I am a bit disappointed, because I thought for sure that by the time that I reached the age that I am, I would have it all together—but I don’t.

I have been a follower of Jesus Christ for nearly 29 years.  That almost sounds impressive.   As they say, “I put in my time.”  Surely, all those years have served to mold me into a wise, gray haired man of spiritual maturity—nope.  That is not the way things work in the Kingdom of God.  In the Korean culture age yields respect; in the American culture it yields Social Security, but in the Kingdom of God age yields…wrinkles?

God is unimpressed with age; He knows that He is the only source of real security and He doesn’t notice wrinkles.  God is interested in one thing—our hearts.  Our hearts are timeless.  Humans are created in the image of God and are eternal beings.  Chronology has no effect on the human heart.

In the Kingdom of God the heart of a Christ follower is to have a “childlike” quality about it.    The maturing heart of a Christian is realized not by years of experience but rather by acts of obedience—childlike obedience.  When I think of childlike obedience the following descriptors come to mind:  joyful, unreserved, risking, trusting, hopeful, selfless, unquestioning, faithful, committed and absolute.  Some of those descriptors sound…scary.

Jesus says, “If you love me you will obey me.”  John 14:21

Can’t I just put in my time?

©2009 Ryan M. Roberts


Hopeful Notes

As I was filing and sorting through the stack of “important” papers that covered my messy desk, I came across a piece of paper from a yellow legal pad upon which I had scratched out some notes in blue ink.

 

I don’t remember when I wrote these things down and I don’t know the source of the notes (I am sure that they are not my original thoughts).  But after reading them, I do know why I wrote them down.  For what it is worth, I share the “random” notes, as they were “scrawled” out, with you below:

 

Living by hope…

 

About the economy and the recession…

 

Are you optimistic? pessimistic? or hopeful?

 

As a Christ follower and organizational leader how am I considering things?

Pessimistically? Optimistically? or Hopefully?

 

“Fear is the antithesis of hope.”

 

Hope resides in the fact that nothing that happens escapes the gaze of God.

 

*It just came to me...I took the above notes from an article by Gordon MacDonald in LEADERSHIP JOURNAL--good stuff.


Praying

I have been going through N.T. Wright’s book, Simply Christian, with a group of guys in a morning study and this week we went through the chapter on “Prayer.” I really like Wright’s rendition of the Lord’s Prayer.

Dear Father,
"Jesus has caught me in the net of his good news.


I want to be part of his kingdom-movement.  3266479164_1b3ff05058_b


I find myself drawn into his heaven-on-earth way of living.


I want to be part of his bread-for-the-world agenda, for myself and for others.


I need forgiveness for myself—from sin, from debt, from every weight around my neck—and I intend to live with forgiveness in my heart and in my own dealings with others.


And because I live in the real world, where evil is still powerful, I need protecting and rescuing.


And, in and through it all, I acknowledge and celebrate the Father’s kingdom, power and glory."