Growth and the Kingdom

This summer at Christ Church Edinburgh the sermon series has been exploring a portion of the book of Acts. As the sequel to Luke, Acts is an interesting book. Where the Gospel of Luke tells us the beginning of Jesus' story Acts tells us the continuation. As we have looked at the spread of the Gospel in those early days of the New Testament church, a couple things have stood out to me.

Increase and Decrease

Doing a PhD can get into your head. Sometimes I think that what I am doing is amazing. Other times I think that what I am doing isn't all that interesting, and I will be happy just to pass the viva at the end of all this. Pretty much every day is a rollercoaster of highs and lows. Pretty much everyday I am tempted to think that what I do will change the world. Pretty much everyday I am ready to give up and move on.

Suffering, Adversity, and Controversy

Though many may not know this by looking at me, I like to workout. I often say that the gym is the only place I feel like I can turn my brain off and just lift heavy things. I am not the best athlete. It is often a long hard slog, but for the hour that I am in the gym, I enjoy it. Usually, as the day moves on, I find that my muscles are sore and I feel the repercussions of having had a hard workout, yet I go back the next day to do it again. During the workouts I often want to quit, yet it is the encouragement of those around me and the knowledge of the end goal that keeps me going.

Slow to Speak

Living in another culture always gives you moments where you learn about yourself or you grow in a way that has been difficult in your home context. Every time I have moved to a new culture (Colombia, Scotland, Middle Tennessee), I have found that there are aspects of my personality that change. The one aspect that regularly gets morphed is a slowness in responding to people.

Waiting

Before we moved, a sweet family gave Calvin the book Oh, the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss. I am sure most people know it and have read it. It is all about the future and what it holds and all the adventures and unknowns that lie ahead.

Family, Church, and Belonging

The one thing that has been hanging around in my head, however, from this paragraph is that Bavinck reminds us that we are promised these things "Yet even now, in this life...". It seems so strange to think about that. The fact that we promised these things in this life. But where in this life can we say that we have received these things?

The Good Bye of Friends

We have some of our good friends leaving Edinburgh over the next few months. It has been odd saying good-bye. In all honesty, we haven't known any of them for too long. However, we have walked through this time in Edinburgh with each of them, and the shared experience has united us. It will be hard to say good-bye. Yet, the more that Taryn, Calvin, and I move, the more we realize how much good-byes are a part of our life.

Where to Begin?

This quote from Bavinck has been running around in my head for weeks now. The last few days, I have found it at the forefront of my mind. We are currently spending some time with good friends. Conversations have inevitably turned to life, stories about the past, and how Calvin is growing up. Regarding Calvin, we inevitably talk about things that we are doing to raise him; ways in which we are cognizant of the little things to help guide toward good choices in the big things.

A Reason to Hope

Every year around this time my denomination, the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), meets at its General Assembly (GA). During this time, I get reflective. I reflect on the state of the PCA. I reflect on how the Lord is preparing me even more to work in his church. I also reflect on the ways in which I was prepared to do this work before I even entered full-time vocational ministry. I am always amazed at how quickly I move from the organization of the PCA to specific people.