Friday, January 29, 2010

International Justice Mission

I had the privilege of speaking to some young people on the admin staff at International Justice Mission (IJM). These incredible people in their 20's and 30's moved to Washington DC from all over the US and several other countries as well. I sensed such a love for God and a desire to serve Him through serving others.

I shared the opening devotion before they began a full day of training. Our topic was What Happens When You Put "Both Feet In" To Follow God? Using the story of Peter walking on water, we looked at 6 points from scripture -- 6 things we need to know about being fully committed to God.

These young men and women were so responsive in sharing bits of their lives in the short time we had together. They were ready to hear a message from God and attentive to His Word. I was so touched that I plan to continue to pray for them each week. And I came away encouraged. Funny how ministry is --I am often the one most blessed when I serve.

I also came away impressed by IJM as an organization of excellence that cares for its people. Ongoing training, daily personal quiet time and group prayer time are provided. No wonder they are doing such incredible work around the world. Here's some information from their website:

International Justice Mission is a human rights agency that secures justice for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. IJM lawyers, investigators and aftercare professionals work with local governments to ensure victim rescue, to prosecute perpetrators and to strengthen the community and civic factors that promote functioning public justice systems.

IJM's justice professionals work in their communities in 12 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America to secure tangible and sustainable protection of national laws through local court systems.

I'm so proud of the young men and women I met. I know God has great plans for their lives.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

CPC Women's Retreat

Just returned from speaking at a women's retreat in picturesque Middleburg. God is our ROCK, our foundation, our petra. He is huge and immovable and safe and secure, but He is so much more. We studied building stones and living stones and capstones in a lodge-like room with stone walls. Only God could arrange such a setting -- of course, He is the Master Builder.

Had the privilege of meeting some giving, caring, growing, joyful, hurting, living, active women who love God. They invited me into their community and their lives, and I will not forget them. I gain so much from a retreat weekend, including a new memory and new friends.

Still singing "Jesus You're Beautiful" in my mind. Thanks women of Centreville Presbyterian Church! Thank you God.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Family Christmas?

Well, it's been a month since I last blogged. Life just caught up with me -- winding down a semester-long Bible study, speaking at a Christmas brunch, researching for a retreat message to be presented in January, preparing for our sons coming home for Christmas. Life became busy and sweet at the same time. I'm thankful for seasons like that. Not every Christmas has been quite so tranquil.

You might be asking how it could be busy and tranquil at the same time. Inner peace and no major Life Tremors explains it best. I didn't send Christmas cards, didn't decorate the house as much as I used to, didn't bake countless cookies. But, I did enjoy sharing family moments.

Now before you picture a Norman Rockwell family (I hope you're old enough to know who Norman Rockwell is), let me set you straight. Most of our sweet family moments revolved around ice hockey practice and games. Our family has a history and a shared passion of ice hockey. It started long ago when our oldest son took up the sport; it continues today. We have memories of cold ice rinks, early morning practices, and long road trips in the middle of winter. We remember amateur games as well as our beloved Washington Capitals professional games. If it involves a puck, we probably love it.

Funny how shared history can bond you together despite the years and miles. Hmmm. Not a traditional family Christmas, but a really good one. We even ate at a vegan restaurant Christmas eve. Why? Because we love our son who's found a different diet and we adapt, because that's what families do.

Hope your Christmas was filled with family memories.