Thursday, December 31, 2009

see ya, '09

"What mighty praise, O God, belongs to You.... You crown the year with a bountiful harvest; even the hard pathways overflow with abundance." (Psalm 65:1,11)

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 25, 2009

and He will be called... Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

"My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot,
like a root in dry ground.
There was nothing beautiful or majestic about His appearance,
nothing to attract us to Him.
He was despised and rejected—
a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
We turned our backs on Him and looked the other way.
He was despised, and we did not care.
Yet it was our weaknesses He carried;
it was our sorrows that weighed Him down.
And we thought His troubles were a punishment from God,
a punishment for His own sins!
But He was pierced for our rebellion,
crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed.
All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the Lord laid on Him the sins of us all.
He was oppressed and treated harshly,
yet He never said a word.
He was led like a lamb to the slaughter.
And as a sheep is silent before the shearers,
He did not open His mouth.
Unjustly condemned, He was led away.
No one cared that He died without descendants,
that His life was cut short in midstream.
But He was struck down for the rebellion of my people.
He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone.
But He was buried like a criminal;
He was put in a rich man’s grave.
But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush Him and cause Him grief.
Yet when His life is made an offering for sin, He will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life, and the Lord’s good plan will prosper in his hands. When He sees all that is accomplished by His anguish, He will be satisfied.
And because of His experience,
my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for He will bear all their sins.
I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier,
because He exposed himself to death.
He was counted among the rebels.
He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels."
(Isaiah 53)

"And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a SAVIOR has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.' Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

'Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth PEACE
to men on whom his favor rests.'"


Thursday, December 17, 2009

episode 13: too many problems

matt chandler - pathology report

Please be praying for Matt and Lauren Chandler, their kids and The Village Church. The following is the letter by the pastors updating the church on the pathology results. Click HERE for updates.

Dear church,

In the first chapter of Philippians, the Apostle Paul writes that whatever imprisonments, beatings and trials he may have suffered, they all "serve to advance the gospel" of Jesus Christ. We implore you to keep the gospel of Christ as the main focus as we walk with Matt and Lauren through this trial.

On Tuesday, Dr. Barnett informed Matt and Lauren that the findings of the pathology report revealed a malignant brain tumor that was not encapsulated. The surgery to remove the tumor, the doctor said, was an extremely positive first step; however, because of the nature of the tumor, he was not able to remove all of it.

Matt, who is being released from the hospital today, is meeting with a neuro-oncologist this week to outline the next steps of the recovery process. There is a range of treatment possibilities but the exact course of action has not yet been determined. He will continue outpatient rehab.

The Lord is calling Matt and Lauren and The Village Church body to endure this trial. It will be a challenging road for Matt, his family and our church body. The gospel is our hope and the Lord is our strength. Matt and Lauren continue to find solace and hope in Christ. They weep facing this trial, but not as those without hope and perspective. The gospel clarifies their suffering and promises more of Christ through it all.

You have done a wonderful job respecting the family, and we ask that you continue to do this. They are processing all of this together and need you to give them precious space. Please do not visit them at their house unless personally invited by the Chandlers. The best way to serve the family is to continue to be faithful in prayer. Specifically, pray for the following:

- Wisdom for all the coming decisions
- Strength and peace to endure
- The kids' (Audrey, Reid and Norah) hearts; pray the Lord is merciful as they process and that their little hearts do not grow embittered
- The Chandlers and The Village would suffer well because of the gospel and for the sake of Christ's name

As you hurt and weep for the family, do not do it alone. Gather with your home group and with other believers in homes and pray together. This is a time to walk together with others and to endure this trial in community. If you wish, send cards and letters to Matt and Lauren at 2101 Justin Road, Flower Mound, TX 75028.

We will continue to keep you informed as new information is made available. Please be patient with the frequency of the updates. May God strengthen us all and may His glory shine brightly through this.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

never judge things by their appearance - even carpet bags.

On Monday, as the sky clouded over and the air grew steamy once again, a small army of gangster elves disguised as third graders gathered on the back porch and "smoked" their candy canes.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Monday, December 7, 2009

video from matt chandler

"For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever. He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD. His heart is steady; he will not be afraid, until he looks in triumph on his adversaries."

- Psalm 112:6-8

Friday, December 4, 2009

a bit of magic?

It’s been one of those weeks.

After much consideration, C2 named his new pet fish Teal O’Neil. (Even though he’s brown? “At night, he jumps out of the water and does cartwheels and somersaults, and his stomach turns blue.” Of course.) And my cluster headaches came for a night, a second night, and disappeared. And Rainbow (the bearded dragon) was bleeding, wait, no, he just ate some dewberries. And the SAT and I will sit down and have one last (please, Lord) dizzying conversation of words and numbers on Saturday morning. Oh right, and this morning, fat snowflakes fell straight out of the sky, and I drove to the doctor with flurries hitting my Houston-Texas-windshield, y’all. It’s been one of THOSE weeks.

And in the midst of all this global warming (ahem), you just have to snuggie-up and ask,

"Have you ever traveled to where snow is made,
seen the vault where hail is stockpiled,
The arsenals of hail and snow that I keep in readiness
for times of trouble and battle and war?
Can you find your way to where lightning is launched,
or to the place from which the wind blows?
Who do you suppose carves canyons
for the downpours of rain, and charts
the route of thunderstorms
That bring water to unvisited fields,
deserts no one ever lays eyes on,
Drenching the useless wastelands
so they're carpeted with wildflowers and grass?
And who do you think is the father of rain and dew,
the mother of ice and frost?
You don't for a minute imagine
these marvels of weather just happen, do you?"
(Job 38:22-30)

No, Sir.

And (before I go back to my snowman) C2 decided to keep warm from the cold temperatures (see above) by putting on his brother's pads and tackling little B from next door (who fell over giggling when he first caught sight of the mini-football player) because yesterday was just one of those days.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009