Monday, July 18, 2011

baby perrin (fear vs faith)

today marks the first day of the third trimester. in less than 3 months, all these weeks of readying our lives for dramatic change will end and jani and i will set eyes on our son for the first time.

i think it was easy to fall into fearful thinking at the beginning of our pregnancy. first it was the unknowing if we could even get pregnant since this was our first child, which was followed with concerns for the health of the baby. it was a process to get to that place of complete faith in God's will for little perrin.

we had tried for a few months to get pregnant and towards the end of last year i felt like God was speaking to me the words "birthing" and "activation" for this coming year. i first took it as a word for us concerning ministry and our spiritual lives until my father began challenging me to begin claiming that word in the natural as well, saying that God would honor that word however far i wanted to take it. a couple weeks later jani and i arranged for both sets of parents to meet and pray for us concerning the potential pregnancy. that night peace began to overwhelm us concerning the issue and we were not surprised at all when the pregnancy test displayed a little plus sign the next month.

those first few months whenever fear would try to challenge me in regards to the birth of my son, God would remind me of the prayers of faith that led to perrin's conception and that He had ordained the birth of this child. the work that He had started, He would be faithful to complete. so, when people ask me if im nervous about having a baby in our living room with our midwife, i can say no and be completely honest about it.

we battle our fear with faith. it may be just a small faith at first but as we exercise that faith it grows and brings along with it a peace that surpasses natural understanding. its a peace not of this world. a peace thats grounded in a true dependency upon the Creator and Maintainer of all things. im not there yet but im starting to catch a glimpse of the supernatual life i was created to walk in and get a taste for the favor and grace thats available to me as i do.

i leave you with some of my favorite bodysuits for perrin that ive discovered thus far. your thoughts?

 (bring your own bottle)

Monday, July 11, 2011

battling religion

ive recently been processing the concept of grace. its something i think we must continually come back to, as it is through the lens of grace that we should view our relationship with God and others.

"the Lord said: because these people approach Me with their mouths to honor Me with lip-service — yet their hearts are far from Me, and their worship consists of man-made rules learned by rote—therefore I will again confound these people with wonder after wonder. the wisdom of their wise men will vanish, and the understanding of the perceptive will be hidden."  - isaiah 29:13&14 (nasv)

it seems like such a basic christian truth but unfortunately much of the church only chooses to accept grace when it pertains to salvation and then sees no need for its further working in their lives. we construct man-made rules we must follow to earn our way into right standing with church leaders and so also God. we find one truth and elevate it above all others, building walls around it to separate and protect that truth from everything that would dare challenge its legitimacy, including the Holy Spirit. 

"what actually took place is this: i tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn't work. so i quit being a "law man" so that i could be God's man. Christ's life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. i identified myself completely with him. indeed, i have been crucified with Christ. my ego is no longer central. it is no longer important that i appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. the life you see me living is not "mine," but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. i am not going to go back on that. is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? i refuse to do that, to repudiate God's grace. if a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily." -galatians 2:19-21 (the message)

our christianity is more than an intellectual pursuit of God, its an experience played out through tangible displays of grace, essentially "faith working through love" (gal 5:6b). we dont show Christ's love to make our church's bigger or to add more notches to our salvations belt. we extend Christ through grace because of our love for Him and the brokenness we have for others. its the Christ in us that brings us this understanding because its not human wisdom, its God's. 

non-christians have seen enough religion in the church. we, my friends, need a revelation of grace...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

on thoughts not necessarily redemptive

i am quite aware that these first posts are not quite consistent with the title of my blog but there are certain thoughts and experiences that must be shared, or rather, confessed. with that said i must come clean about something: as of late ive gotten into killing animals. i guess "gotten into" isnt the correct phrase. i have been killing animals out of necessity, not for sport. the thought of me killing a deer for sport just kind of makes me sad. i love eating deer meat and i dont care if other people are into it, but i just dont think its in me to do the killing.

but yeah, because jani and i live in a little secluded forest in the middle of the city we experience all sorts of unwelcome visitors. over a month ago we walked out of our house to surprise a skunk just 6 ft in front of us by jani's car. my friend then hooked me up with some fly poison that when mixed with a little milk causes most small varmints to drop dead right beside this stinky, blue milk. the next morning i put the dead skunk in a black bag and out with the rest of the trash for trash day.

the next creature i killed was a squirrel. that sounds awful i know, but this was a seriously demented squirrel. ever since the weather had started to warm up it would frequent our house, stand on the end of a branch, raise its tail straight up into the air and make the craziest, most menacing noises ive ever heard come out of a squirrel's mouth. it would usually wait to go through these acts of insanity until jani was out lounging by herself on our patio causing her to run inside for fear of getting attacked by this manic woodland creature. when this happened a few weeks ago, i remembered the slingshot my friend kumarsing had made for me during my stay in india and i thought i might as well try using it. i dug it out of storage, grabbed a few rocks outside the other entrance, ran back to the patio and took aim. i missed the first two shots, and miraculously the third one connected. time seemed to slow down for a few microseconds, and the squirrel dropped into a bunch of brush. all was still.

to be fair, i dont even know if i killed it for sure. we were never able to find a body but we have not had another incident with the demented squirrel since. this situation has caused me to begin keeping my slingshot and some stones in the closet beside our patio entrance at all times. to be honest the whole experience made me feel rather manly. i think i even grew a few more chest hairs through the whole ordeal.

those have been the only experiences that i have had thus far pertaining to the injury of animals. we had a groundhog that lived under our driveway that i had set a live trap out for but we havent seen it since i peed down its hole. why pee down the hole? well, i read some story online and i figured id go ahead and try it. actually, the hole was too awkward of an angle for me to pee down so i actually peed in a cup and threw it at the hole.

unfortunately, last night we were startled by a mother skunk and 2 or 3 small ones hanging out on our drive. i wont go too far into what i intend to do about it, but tomorrow is trash day...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

a midsummer night's lungi

over 2 years ago i spent 8 months in bangalore, india for ministry training. i traveled alone to this land where i knew a single person to attend this thrown together school along with 7 indian teenagers, the majority of whom knew little to no english. needless to say, i learned much more from the culture than from the actual courses. i will most likely expound on this trip in future posts but i bring it up now to to shed light on one of the best of my indian discoveries, the lungi...

a lungi is essentially a wrap-around skirt that most men in the indian culture wear when lounging/relaxing. i brought several back home with me, yet i often forget that i have them. today when i ran out of clean shorts (that's not technically true since my wife seems to throw most of my clothes that still have several days of wear left in them in with the dirty laundry as soon as they leave my hand to form a nice "wear again" pile beside our bed) jani reminded me of my lungi stash that had yet to see the sun this year.

and so here i sit, loving life in my lungi. so thankful that God put jani and i on a little hill surrounded by trees and very few neighbors, for the majority of canton natives would verbally berate me until i was completely emasculated and emotionally castrated.