Monday, March 26, 2007


Some of you may be puzzled as to why I haven't written much lately. Well, my system has decided that my stress would reside in my gut. For a while now I have been plagued by intermittent nausea and stomach aches, but for the past few weeks it has been virtually non-stop, with the notable exception of a really terrific lunch at my friend Evelyn's house where I surprised myself by being able to eat roast beef with carrots and potatoes. I even had a second helping! Amen!

The upside of this has been that I've lost around 20 pounds.

The downside is that I've really felt awful and not known why. It became clear to me recently that the business struggles and the financial fallout are the source of my stomach problems, and so I'm working toward stress reduction. It's kind of embarrassing for me to admit that I'm struggling in this way. Do I trust God? Yes I do, but it's not a simple trust. It is hard-fought. I struggle to trust, even when I believe in my head that God is faithful and believe what the Bible says, I am aware that we must endure hardship. Endure, not enjoy.

Hebrews 12: 2 says: Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

I have been looking to live in perpetual joy. Joy in the midst of troubles, in the midst of bad news, in the midst of pain...but Christ himself for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame. The joy was in the future. It was anticipated, not experienced in the moment. He endured. He despised. And so, in the midst of despising the shame, I can endure, looking forward to promised joy.

This is a real gift to me, to see this for the first time. The joy does not have to be in this present moment, but we can endure, knowing that joy is anticipated. I am anticipating joy. That anticipation has brought peace.

Books As A Delight

A quote from the book by the same title, first published in 1921, written by William A. Quayle.

Books as a delight! Things that woo you and lure you. If anybody can get a book in his hand that does not appertain to his business, that is worth while. The love of a book because it is a book, and the holding of a book in the hand to warm the hand instead of putting the hand to the fire; a going around where books beautiful are, just the loving a book, not because it is of any use or because it has any bearing on our business, nor because we should be informed by it, nor reformed by it, nor deformed by it, but because it touches our life, and so we might be other than we are.