Greetings from Urbana '09!

Urbana '09 050

We made it! Man, it’s cold in St. Louis. Suddenly I like living in the tropics.

Danny, Bethany, Julia, me, Jillian, Carissa, and Ashley all got here our separate ways safe and sound, weather and holiday travel issues notwithstanding.

The photo was taken in the exhibition hall at the Pioneers venue. Jillian is doing the recruiting thing while here underneath that huge globe partially visible in the background.

We have joined some 17,000 other believers from over 100 countries for InterVarsity’s global missions conference. We got off and running last night with the opening session and have enjoyed a day of Bible study, seminars and more. God is working in our lives. I hope to get these dear ones travelling with me to do some posting along the way. It won’t be easy. The schedule is packed. I’m cutting an afternoon seminar to do this post and some emails at, get this, Bubba Tea and Cafe where the wifi is free!

One quick thought from me about last night’s opening session has to do with this image:

hand 002

Sorry, I blurred this a bit, but do you have any idea how hard it is to take a still digital photo of your own hand, one-handed?

Last night we were reminded of this text from Isa. 49:

15 “Can a woman forget her nursing child,
that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget,
yet I will not forget you.
16 Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are continually before me.

This is God’s answer to the charge that He forgets His people. Preposterous! Notice what v. 16 doesn’t say. I have engraved your name on the palms of my hands.. He says, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.

I never saw that before! But it really wasn’t the point. The speaker wanted to encourage us that our mission wasn’t as big as we might think. He also later got to the point that it is bigger than we think when he went after the global aspect of evangelism. But this was about our individual witness. Our mission as Christians is as small as the person we work with, live near, or go to school with. At one point he asked us to write on our palms the first name of someone in our sphere of influence who needs Jesus. Then he had us thrust our hands into the air. I thought of Larry. I am praying for ways to introduce him to Jesus and His covenant keeping in love in 2010.

What about you? What name would you write on the palm of one of your hands?

May we be a church that realizes that our mission isn’t as big as we think it is and find ways to incarnate the person of Jesus in the lives of the lost.

4 responses

  1. It MUST be cold for you to want to return to the tropics! This is one of my favorite passages. I pray that Larry is engraved on the Lord’s hand as well as on yours. 🙂

    P.S. I’ll capture the photo for the E-News this week.

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