Check out John Piper’s recent post [‘This is the Best of Times and the Worst of Times’]:
Piper continues to come out with good stuff.
Yesterday I met another person of note who was eating breakfast at Waffle House. During our couple years living at the high school, we have often prayed that we would be able to meet some in the neighborhood who were believers. We have thought there must be some house churches in the neighborhood, but we really have never heard of anyone in our neighborhood that is a believer even. This changed through an encounter at Waffle House with Brother Ma.
I was near the end of my shift at Waffle House when an older man asked me to sit down with him and chat, which is not too uncommon. Like many Chinese, he asked me why I did not open a private English school to make more money. So I thought that was all he wanted to talk to me about. But after some basic chitchat I realized that he’d gone to school in Hong Kong. But he didn’t just go to a normal school in Hong Kong, he went to a ‘shenxueyuan’, which is a seminary. I was completely amazed.
Then he told me that he is not only a believer, but also he and his wife lead a house church in our neighborhood. I couldn’t believe it! He also owns a local business that helps pay for the house church’s needs. I can confidently say that I never would have met this Brother Ma if not for my working at Waffle House. It just allows me a presence in the community, as all kinds of people are daily walking through the market and eating at Waffle House. Sometimes I get impatient thinking that I am not connecting enough with the Waffle House customers. But I must be patient and the Lord will put people in my path.
This morning I came across the verse in Psalms:
“I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me” (Ps. 13:6)
What a simple but profound thought. We must recognize the Lord’s goodness to us.
And truly, the Lord has been good to us. After quite a rough few months earlier in the year, the Lord has been restoring us & restoring our joy.
So yes, we should sing to the Lord because of his goodness to us!
As we were studying through Colossians 3:1-8 yesterday as a group, I was thinking particularly about Paul’s words ‘to put to death whatever belongs to your earthly nature’ (Col. 3:5). In Romans 8:13, Paul says similarly we are to ‘put to death the misdeeds of the body.”
I was reminded of John Owen’s classic book Mortification of Sin which mostly focuses on this idea, which is to put to death the desires of the flesh. John Owen wrote that we are to kill the sinful nature before it kills us. Owen emphasized that we are to be daily fighting against sin and not taking it lightly.
Last year after I read Owen’s book, I started to every couple weeks to have a morning of extended prayer when I would write down particular sins I’d struggled with recently and specifically how I’d struggled with those sins. It’s easy to overlook our sins & think we’re better than we are, so I’d pray that the Lord would reveal to me the depths of my sins & to reveal sins that I hadn’t even thought about. Doing this regularly is a great way to be conscious about our sins & to not ignore them.
Jonathan Edwards had it on his list of life resolutions to each night spend some time thinking about the specific sins he’d committed during the day & having time to ask for forgiveness from the Lord for them.
Today I started the application process for doing a PhD in Missiology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary [SEBTS].
Still got a long ways to go in applying, but thankful for the opportunity anyways.
“Not to us, O’ Lord, not to us but to your Name be the glory, because of your love & faithfulness” (Ps. 115:1)
As the school year begins, I’m thinking about how I may best use my time for the year.
There are many things I could potentially be spending time on:
- student outreach at nearby college
- more fellowship time with team
- more Chinese study [maybe taking HSK 6 again in the fall]
- trying to do outreach to Chinese teachers at my high school
- working more at Waffle House & trying to focus on non-English speakers in our neighborhood
- spend more time with local Chinese HC leaders
Plus I can’t neglect time with my family. And I also can’t forget about my responsibilities overseeing Workers outside our city.
I pray for the Lord’s guidance in these things: “Teach me to do your will for you are my God. May your good Spirit lead me on level ground” (Psalm 143:10)