Photo by Joshua Gigliotti

Photo by Joshua Gigliotti

‎”There is never going to be a day when I stand before God and He looks at me and says, ‘I wish you would have kept more for yourself.’ I’m confident that God will take care of me.”

David Platt



C.S. Lewis

This man is one of my FAVORITE authors of all times. (Hence why one of his quotes is depicted at the top of my blog.) The way he speaks truth so simply, so easy to understand. Complex theological ideas made into dialogue in a fairy tale story. I adore it.

“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver.”Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
— C.S. Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia)

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
— C.S. Lewis (The Four Loves)

“Will the others see you too?” asked Lucy.
“Certainly not at first,” said Aslan. “Later on, it depends.”
“But they won’t believe me!” said Lucy.
“It doesn’t matter.”
— C.S. Lewis

A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.
C. S. Lewis

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”
— C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)

“Experience is a brutal teacher, but you learn. My God, do you learn.”
— C.S. Lewis

“I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.”
— C.S. Lewis

“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
— C.S. Lewis (Weight of Glory and Other Addresses)

“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
— C.S. Lewis

13 Things . . .

. . . that have happened since I last updated
Which, lets face it, has been awhile:

Today I got stuck in an elevator.
It was a surprisingly enjoyable experience.

PLC bought a new car.
I miss the Patrol (aka The Beast)
But thanking God for providing.

I rode the Sulaymaniyah bus.
Payment for the ride is driven by the honor system.
I’m convinced it would never work in America.

My friend, Sazgar, helped me pick out Gili Kurdi (traditional/festive Kurdish dress)
Don’t worry, pictures to come.

I experienced culture shock for the first time at a foreigner’s party.
50 people attended (Dutch, British, Irish, Australian . . . but mostly American)
I realized Americans are loud and a tad bit obnoxious.

I visited Sulaymaniyah University with Kanar and Shaza, two good friends.
I almost felt as though I was at an American university.

I learned to sing Happy Birthday in Kurdish.

Angel and I made oreo balls.
SO good.

I sat on the top floor of our house for hours watching a thunderstorm with the window open.
I’ve missed the rain.

I bought a piece of artwork from my good friend and talented artist, Ismail.

I’ve read 5 books:
Unshaken by Francine Rivers
Unveiled by Francine Rivers
The Shack by William P. Young
A Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis
Crazy Love by Francis Chan

God has been teaching me a lot about faith and prayer
and even more about my pride.

AND 3 new kids are going to surgery in Turkey on Tuesday!!
I’ll introduce them in the next few days

Starry Night

Starry Night by Van Gogh

It’s difficult to remember God’s hand in creation here in Iraq where the skyline is always dusty-gray. Of course beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but the neutral colors of the city combined with innumerable cement buildings and houses, a lack of anything green and this tan dust that never seems to settle, doesn’t always leave me in awe of its beauty.

At night it is usually cooler outside than inside. So one night last week, my fellow roommate Angel and I decided to sleep on the roof. One of the best decisions I’ve made this summer. We grabbed our dolshaks (Kurdish beds = 3 or 4 inches think of Tempurpedic-like foam) and headed for the top of our three story concrete house. The air was surprisingly crisp and cool allowing us to view a myriad of stars. All of the sudden, I was humbled and completely amazed at the beauty of God’s creation. The song Always by Hillsong immediately began to play in my head:

Did You rise the sun for me?
Or paint a million stars that I might
Know Your majesty?
Is Your voice upon the wind?
Is everything I’ve known marked
With my maker’s fingerprints?

Some people see God’s grandeur and power in the ocean or the mountains or in a mighty storm. I see His unfathomable majesty in the stars.  Just marvel with me for a moment…

Our sun is one star… ONE star at the center of ONE galaxy. On nights that are particularly clear stars light up the entire sky like a giant Lite-Brite. And those are just the stars we can see, each with its own galaxy. Through the Hubble telescope, scientists have estimated that there are at least 350,000,000,000 galaxies. (I don’t even know what 350 billion marbles look like, let alone galaxies!) If that doesn’t amaze you, realize that the Hubble telescope wasn’t even invented until 1929. God created all of these galaxies thousands of years ago and no one even knew about them! Why do think that is? Perhaps for us to realize how teeny tiny and microscopic we are compared to how big God is? To realize all of the worships He is owed? Is it so we will fall on our faces in awe of His majesty?