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Archive for the ‘Church life’ Category

Two weeks ago, Christopher and I took a last minute trip to Boston to attend the memorial meeting for Brother Dave Bekker. It was such a privilege to be there and hear the sharing from so many concerning our brother’s life and service. I wish I could have recorded the testimonies; they were all so precious. At the least,  I wanted to have a record of what I shared in my allotted two minutes. I had typed it out on my ipod – starting while at the park with Christopher the day before and then finishing in bed while struggling with jet lag the night before.

I had the privilege of serving on the team with Brother Dave when the Cambridge team was formed in 2004. I also lived with the Bekkers for a brief time and was in their home meeting for three years. I had many opportunities to observe how Brother Dave lived and served and I saw that his living was his serving. His ministry was just his person. He took every opportunity to minister Christ, whether he was in coordination, on campus, at the gas station, or at the dinner table.

Brother Dave was a real pattern to all of us who served with him. Firstly, he was a pattern in being a lover and enjoyer of Christ. His love and enjoyment of the Lord was always fresh. Secondly, he was a pattern to us in his faithfulness. There were days when I was wrapped up in my own petty problems and had no heart to care for others. Then I would see Brother Dave meeting a student on campus or bump into him coming down Mass Ave. on his blue scooter coming back from campus – and I would say to myself, “Sophia, I don’t care how you feel right now, if Brother Dave can still be out there on campus, you have no excuse not to be there too.” He never took pity on himself and so we had no excuse to take pity on ourselves. He was always faithful to present his body a living sacrifice, regardless of how weak that body might have been.

Brother Dave shepherded all the young full-timers on the team as a father. He used to set apart one day of his weekly schedule to have individual appointments with us so he could check on how we were doing. I really treasured those times and I don’t think I could have continued serving without that supply. One semester I was having a particularly difficult time, not so happy with my circumstances and very angry at the Lord. During one of my weekly times with Brother Dave, I broke down crying and told him I was ready to quit, not just serving, but the church life. He didn’t say anything, but just sat there and wept with me. I’ll never forget that. That shepherded me more that any words could have.

I will be eternally grateful to the Lord for giving me the opportunity to have known Brother Dave, to have served with him , and to have been under his shepherding and perfecting. He was a real drink offering, willing to be poured out on the sacrifice and service of the saints. May we all aspire to be imitators of his faith.

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My husband works full-time as a staff member for Christians on Campus at UC Berkeley, which means that our life pretty much revolves around the University calendar. Sometimes I feel like we are perpetual college students who never graduate. We live three blocks from the campus and this weekend is move-in weekend. As a I drove around the neighborhood this morning, there were already tons of cars double parked on the streets, fathers busily unloading boxes from the minivan, mothers trying to hold back the tears and not worry too much, and the eager young kids who can’t wait to begin their journey of independence.

Every time a new fall semester rolls around, I experience conflicted emotions. On the one hand, I’m reluctant to part with summer, the only time of year when the streets here are relatively quiet and uncrowded. Now, that peace will be shattered, as once again the students return and descend on the neighborhood en masse, bringing with them their loud partying and late music playing. Sigh. I guess we could always move, but then the Lord reminds me of why we’re living here in the first place. Both my husband and I had pivotal experiences of the Lord in our college years; for me, college was when I really felt like I started to “know” God and I also learned a lot about myself. The experiences I had in those four years were life-changing, and I don’t think I could have had them if I had not found a community of believers to fellowship with.

Both Larry and I, as college students, have been on the receiving end in terms of being cared for by families who opened their homes to us, fed us, gave us rides, prayed for us and with us, etc. I think that is what motivates us to be here. It’s a real joy for us every year to have students in our home, and as they get into our home, they get into our hearts. It never gets tiring to witness the miraculous process that some of these kids go through in these four short years, as they grow from being immature, selfish teenagers to young men and women who know and care for God’s desire and purpose. If our small home three blocks from campus can contribute to that process just a little bit, it’s all worth it, even if it means occasionally enduring a little loud partying and late music playing.

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Summer is quickly drawing to a close (sniff, sniff), and once again we must prepare ourselves for another school year. The days of summer in Berkeley with its ample parking and relatively quiet nights will soon be gone and replaced with crowded streets and loud college students roaming the neighborhoods in the wee hours of the night. Sigh. I suppose I should be excited since that’s why we’re here living by the campus, to gain students for the Lord. But I must confess a part of me is reluctant to part with the relaxing quiet days, and a bit saddened to bid adieu to the students who have graduated and left and make room in my heart and home for yet another new incoming class.

I suppose I should give you all an update on how I have done with my summer goals now that fall is upon us:

1) The cherry tomato plant is thriving. I currently count 18 green tomatoes of various sizes, have not harvested any yet.

2) Holding teaser in pilates will definitely take longer than a summer. I guess it would also help if I actually did my video more than once a month.

3) Get through the cleaning list? Yeah right, who was I kidding?

4) I think I might have enjoyed the Lord more… not sure about the speaking part though. This will be a life long goal, not just for a summer.

5) Currently on Message forty something of the Life-Study of Isaiah.

6) Still crocheting the first baby blanket. Three more to go!

7) CC can do the baby signs for “more,” and “milk.” Not sure if he actually knows what they mean though.

8 ) Have definitely played with CC more. Check!

9) We’ve taken CC to Habitot, Knottsberry Farm, the beach, swim classes, the zoo, and of course to the park every week. He loves to swing!

10) If blogging on a more regular basis means at least once a month, then I guess I’ve accomplished that.

11) Study? What’s that?

12) Been to Ici two or three times, without enduring any crazy long lines.

13) Read a few good books, though some were baby-related. Thanks Amy for the good recommendations. My Life in France was a delicious read and Nurture Shock was definitely interesting and thought provoking.

14) I don’t know if I’ve made any new friends this summer. I always meet other moms when I go to the library and the park, but none seemed to have gone into the friendship phase.

15) Thanks to facebook, it’s a lot easier to keep in touch with old friends now.

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