Saturday, June 30, 2007

The love of God in a culture of disinterest

I had one of my most profound experiences of the love of God recently. 4 days ago Erica and I arrived in Minneapolis, our new home, and have been living with my parents. A couple days ago we spent an evening at my sister and brother-in-laws house and we brought Junia. The day before she had spent pretty much all day in the car and was pretty wiped out and confused at life. We tried to put her to sleep in the pack and play, but she just kept waking up so we would go in and give her her pacifier. This did not do any good, so eventually I just went in there to hold her which always calms her down. This time my holding her did absolutely nothing. Her little face just turned bright red as she screamed and cried into my face. It went back and forth between those yelping screams and the long sustained ones that sound like a lung is going to fall out. So, this went on for about 20 minutes and by the time Erica came I was crying with Junia because I simply had no idea how to provide for whatever her need was. I ended up throwing her pacifier against the wall because I was so saddened by the fact that I could not help this little girl I am responsible for. Once I composed myself and got the tears out of my eyes we left and Junia was dead asleep when we got home.

As I think through that night I am struck by what must be the incredible love that God feels for us. I just got this picture that as we make choices that fall away from the plan of God, God is holding us tight as he cries with our sadness and our mistakes. It is this immense love that overflows out of the person of God and should flow out of each one of us as we love the rest of the world. I need to weep more for the weeping of the world.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Flux Capacitor

I am in that flux time in between when I should have gone to bed and before Junia will wake up to do her feeding thing so I thought I might as well make a quick post here. Personally, I am also in a pretty distinct place of fluctuation in life. I have finished my seminary degree, which I have been looking forward to for some time, but I think I am truly beginning to understand the sad place that leaves me in. The reality is that by finishing that I am moving on to a different place in life. One filled with many joys I am sure, but also one that leaves me apprehensive at the tasks and responsibilities I am to fulfill without anything to convey that I am truly capable. I am also beginning to miss my friends here in Denver before I have actually left them. This is truly a reason to mourn and rejoice. I am so thankful for those people I have had the privilege to know here, but am starkly aware of the reality that meaningful, blunt relationships are not easy to find. In flux is also the job search as I am saddened more than I find reasons to hope.

I have been thinking about Psalm 118 lately, particularly verse 25, which states, "YHWH, please save us now. YHWH please grant us success now." This is where we get the word, "Hosannah". It comes from a Hiphil Imperative of the verb "yasha", the same place we get Yeshua. This verse is a desperate cry to YHWH for his salvation in the midst of difficult circumstances. The writer is physically beaten and emotionally banged up and screams to God for his salvation. There is a refrain in verses 14 and 21 that note that YHWH "has become his salvation." It is almost as if these trying times made the writer realize the saving God who was already there. The writer has realized that YHWH is his salvation and, now seeing this, cries out to YHWH for the salvation that he knows is there.

It is my prayer that I might learn to understand this salvation more deeply. I need it.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Reflections on a Lack of Sleep

Junia is now a little over a week old and her presence in our life is quite unmistakable, particularly during the hours of 1 to 6 in the morning. She has not, as the doctor puts it, changed her internal clock to believe the night time is sleep time, but rather maintains the opposite. This happens to be really cute during the day when she is sleeping, but becomes considerably less cute at 4 in the morning. On the bright side, I have been able to watch more SportsCenter and CNN which is making me feel more adept at current events, at least the current events that CNN finds mildly entertaining. Overall, I am still in awe at the fact that Junia is truly our daughter. Erica's mom and sister left yesterday which allowed me to remain in the confused state of prolonged babysitting, but this morning was much more profound. I am humbled by this task and feel quite insecure about my inability to be the kind of father that she deserves. This becomes compounded as I think through my need to find a job and support our family, a task that I also feel pretty inadequate to complete (as of right now I am a bit jaded by opportunities that have seemed like good fits, but for whatever reason do not come to fruition). But, the good news is that I have been reading portions of Dietrich Bonhoeffer to Junia late at night and I am almost positive she is truly grasping the beauty of his thoughts and writing. Well, those are my random reflections in the midst of no sleep. If anyone else has random reflections feel free to share them or if you have a kid and truly understand the lack of sleep thought processes, please share. Cheers

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Junia Charlotte Morrow

I am writing this from the hospital room. Our beautiful daughter has been born. She is a big girl and is 8 lbs, 14 oz. She was born on Saturday at 12:18 PM. More to follow on the event, but here are some pictures.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Marker of Confusion...

Sorry, that is not our child, even though I am bit angered that you thought our child would be that awkward looking.

Our daughter is due today and like 90% of all people who get pregnant, the baby has not come on the due day. I am realizing an element of my pettiness and desire to control everything as I have this desire to just have the doctor induce Erica because it would fit better in our lives and then I could finally meet this girl. We have walked probably 15 miles in the last couple days (mostly in malls which is the most depressing experience ever, but on the upside I do know more about fashion, and particularly Madras shorts, than a few days ago, they are VERY in right now) in hopes of helping the baby along out of the cervix. So, no such luck. I have been praying that God would bring the baby soon and also praying that God's will would be done and not mine, but I have this sneaking suspicion that God knows I would prefer my will to be done. It is truly a struggle to desire one thing and hope for the will of God while also hoping that His will is the same as mine.

One final note, which relates to the title of this post, is how oblivious people are if they have not gone through a pregnancy close to others. We were at the eye doctor's office today and the woman asked when Erica was due and she said "today" so the doctor naturally freaked out and pretty much asked us to leave because she didn't want to be in charge of dialing 911 if Erica went into labor. Hmm... Also, I told our realtor today that the baby was due and he asked why we weren't at the hospital and I gently explained that you don't go unless the baby actually arrives.

Well, pray that the baby comes soon and if God tells you His will is something different please tell me even if I get mildly irritated.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Christ is REALLY Victorious!!

Over the past month I have had the wonderful privilege of hearing sermons on the topic of Christus Victor. In conjunction with this profound act of God, my staff pick at the bookstore for the past month has been Gustaf Aulen's Christus Victor. In honor of this rare coming together of all things good and beautiful I thought I might provide some links for any and all who are interested in listening to these sermons. I shall call these my annotated links:
This is my brother-in-laws blog with sermons from the church he pastors and his May 9th sermon is a comparison between the temptation of Jesus and the authority given to the disciples in the Great Comission. I would highly recommend this to you all.
This link will take you to Mars Hill church in Michigan. If you know me at all, you know that I have been rather infatuated with Rob Bell for about the past 5 years and this sermon is the bringing together of 2 wonderful things: Rob Bell and Greg Boyd. Boyd does a masterful job of elucidating the main ideas of Christus Victor in the April 29th sermon. Sit back, relax, and enjoy.
This was a sermon done yesterday at our home church. We attend an amazing Anglican church and this week we were celebrating the ascension and our pastor connected the idea of the ascension to Christus Victor. I really like this church and greatly appreciate its passionate heart to be doers and learners of the Word of God. A bit less refined than Boyd's, but who isn't less thought through than Greg Boyd (feel free to respond if you totally disagree with that statement).

Finally, my friend Ryan told me that his church, Pathways, will be engaging the topic of Christus Victor this coming Sunday. Here is the link where it will be:

If you have thoughts on this topic I'd love to know your reservations or other thoughts (I just noticed that the calculater we use in the bookstore is made by a company called "Victor." If that isn't the sovereignty of God I am baffled). Cheers

Friday, May 18, 2007

Who are you going to vote for? Does it matter?

One of my favorite discussions to have with my friend Ryan are related to politics. If you know Ryan you are well aware that he has serious Mennonite leanings that usually pull him out of the political debate. I struggle a lot with this issue, not least because I graduated with a Political Science major in undergrad and spent a summer in Washington D.C., but I am attempting to determine what the role of Christians should be in that political arena. I truly believe that it must be seen as a double-edged sword that must be understood carefully. On one hand, the Kingdoms of this world, and specifically the United States, is not representative of the Kingdom of God and when it gets misconstrued in that direction we have a serious problem. On the other hand, we have to pay taxes (unless you're like the militia group I was reading about in the latest Jack Reacher novel who avoid taxes, but also stockpile arms and kill lots of people. They have more problems than could be mentioned here. If you are part of a militia group please respond and we can sort through these things.). These tax dollars go to a government and this government sometimes asks my opinion for how to spend that money. In light of that I feel as though I would be remiss to not take advantage of the change to share what I think.

More specifically, I grew up in a home that voted consistently Republican and have been shaped by that, but am in the midst of struggling through that issue. For this blog I want to focus on the main Democratic candidates, Barak and Hillary. Who would you vote for? Why? Is it difficult to get around the abortion issue in the midst of candidates who seem to cry out against the unjust loss of life in the other areas? I looking for help on this...