Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Year One: the learning curve

Valerie and I celebrated our one year anniversary yesterday! Hooray! I just want to say that it has been the most amazing year of my adult life! I cannot believe that God has brought such a beautiful, intelligent, wise, hard-working, prudent, loving, and godly woman into my life! There are a couple of verses from Proverbs that immediately come to mind when I think of Valerie:

Proverbs 18:22 "He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord."

Proverbs 19:14 "House and wealth are an inheritance from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the Lord." Add Image

I can say confidently that God has given me a fantastic woman with whom I am very excited about spending the rest of my life with! She is my best friend in the world!

However, I did not blog to just brag about my wife and how awesome she is :), but I am writing about a couple lessons and experiences that I have had these last 12 months.

Valerie and I have gone through 3 major changes in our lives within the last year of being married:
1. Being married. It is a drastic change from being single, as you can well imagine.
2. Valerie quitting her job as a teacher and joining me on Navigator staff.
3. Moving to San Diego to help restart the ministry at SDSU!

Each of these changes in and of themselves are huge, and to experience them all in one year made this year seem to go by quickly and slowly simultaneaously! Valerie and I have learned many lessons about ourselves and God through each of these big changes but the three that most stick out to me are:
1. His sovereignty
2. His goodness
3. His faithfulness

Each one of these experiences made me confront each of these aspects of God's character in a new way. Every time Valerie and I experienced one of these big changes I asked God different questions because I doubted that He would act in accordance to His nature. For instance: "God, are you really going to provide for us to be married?" or, "God, do you REALLY want us to move to San Diego now? We thought that the plan was to move 2 years from now!" or, "God, will you REALLY provide for us to move to San Diego and minister on the campus of SDSU?"

These are just examples of the myriad of questions that both Valerie and I asked God this year. And you know what we found to be true? That God will ALWAYS be true to His nature! It may not line of with what we think we need or want in the moment, but God is faithful to turn our hearts to His ways and to rest and wait upon the Lord!

I would like to end with a few more verses that remind me of God's sovereign plan for our marriage.

Psalm 139:16b "...And in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them."

Jeremiah 29:11 " 'For I know the plans that I have for you', declares the Lord, ' plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope."

Even though these are from the Old Testament, I think that the underlying truth is that God has already written all the days of mine and Valerie's life, and He is faithful to bring them about. He is also in the process of making sure that the plan that He has for us happens, and that it is for His ultimate glory and our good! I look forward to the day when our future and hope with Jesus Christ is finally fully consummated in us being with Him in His presence forever and ever!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Purpose and Potential

by Val,
Snow is a funny thing...

This summer I kinda felt like snow. Not cold and white, but rather unmoving and fragile. Whereas water gushes and flows, snow sits silently while it waits. It sits there for who knows how long just waiting to melt.

This summer I forgot that snow melts. Also, that snow has a purpose, and a potential. You see, without the cold of snow, the internal mechanism of some plants would never allow them to germinate. The seeds become plants only after they have been touched by the frost of snow. God also had a purpose for my time of snow. He never wastes time ever,He always has a purpose for what he is doing.

Snow also has the potential to become life giving water. The funny thing is though, snow can't just will itself to magically become water. It has to wait on the sun to melt it. In a similar way, no matter how much I wanted to move, it didn't make a difference because I still had to wait for God to provide the funding.

So now here we are at the next chapter. Now that we are moved, how will I use this time? When snow melts sometimes it still just sits there in a puddle. Other times it mixes with dirt and creates messy mud sludges. However, other times this water seeps into the ground, to where it is no longer seen and gives life to the grass and plants around it. It dies to itself.

John 12
24I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.

My prayer is that Ryan and I learn to die to self while at San Diego State. That we model Christ in serventhood, grace and truth. Our goal is to make our house a place of refuge where students can come and experience Jesus everytime. That "in everything we would set the students an example by doing what is good." Titus 2:7. That I would "teach what is good. " Titus 2:5 to the younger women. That we would both be "active in sharing our faith, so that we would have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ." Philemon 6.

We ask that you would keep these verse in mind while you pray with us.
John 12:24
Titus 2:7
Titus 2:3
Philemon 6