July 2011

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Jul

08

2011

Evelyn Claire Hauck (郝詠真)

My wife Sanny and I were expecting a daughter to be born on Thursday, June 30, 2011, yet instead on that day we found instead that something had gone wrong, and our daughter had no more heartbeat. Our hearts broke. That Thursday evening they began to induce labor, though it wasn't until Saturday that labor actually begun, and was finished in three (intense) hours. Sanny and I buried her a week later on July 7th, and we just had a memorial service for her today, July 9th, 2011. 

I write in order to inform those who have not yet heard, as well as to share some reflections on this in hindsight now that this chapter of our lives is wrapped up and we move on forward. 

Our hope is in the Lord

This is surely the first thing to say. The Lord truly comforted and strengthened us throughout this time, due in great part to the love and prayer of our church and family. The Lord carried us through. Our hope is in him none the less. When the grief comes in waves threatening to carry us away, we are tethered back down by God's goodness toward us in Christ and his kind reign over all things.

We trust in the Lord Jesus with our lives. We trust in him with our children. As we remember the love of God toward us, even sending his beloved Son to ransom us by his own blood, to pay the debt of our sin, withholding absolutely nothing needed to save us wholly by grace and make us wholly his forever--we are convinced of his love to us, and we are thus enduring this trial. We know his love for us not by our lives being smooth now, but by his securing our eternal redemption, safety, joy through the blood of the cross. 

We know she is with the Lord. We know that we will see her on the last day, in the resurrection. We know that the same Lord who redeemed her is also our Redeemer. Our hope is in the Lord.

We love her

If there is anything more to say, it is that we love her so much. We are thankful that we got to see her and hold her after she was born. She was beautiful. We cherish those moments. She is dear to us in our hearts. The memory of her is not bitter, or something to try to forget to ease our pain. We hope that we can always remember her. It was our great privilege to honor her and love her with a proper burial and a memorial service.

Yet we also feel the painful futility that the world we live in has been subjected to on account of our sin. In this we eagerly long all the more for the redemption of our bodies on that final day when the Lord Jesus returns and we are rescued from sin and all its horrible effects.  The concept of "kingdom" has been precious. We long for that perfect kingdom that Jesus will establish: the world as it ought to be, as God intended.

Evelyn Claire Hauck (郝詠真)

Her English name is Evelyn Claire Hauck. Originally, before we knew the gender, we thought of the name Evan, which comes from the Greek word meaning "the gospel". When we found out it was a girl, we chose Evelyn since it sounds similar to Evan. Her middle name Claire is my grandma's middle name. We had hoped she would know and believe the gospel of Jesus Christ, and live as a testimony to it.

Her Chinese name is 郝詠真 ("hao3 yong3 zhen1"). The first character my last name. The second character means to sing / praise. The third word means truth. We had hoped she would treasure and praise the truth of God. Indeed, she now is praising and loving the truth of who God is in a much more and fuller sense than we are!

We look forward to joining her in singing the mercy of God's kindness toward us in Christ for all the ages to come (Eph. 2:7).

In closing?

It has been hard to find any fitting words in closing. The most difficult part is saying goodbye and moving on, and yet we must move on in faith. We move on not to forget, but to cherish. God has brought a peaceful sense of closure to in own hearts due to the hope we have for her and for ourselves in Christ.

We love her so much. We miss her. We hope in the Lord Jesus. We rejoice in the Lord with her, and we eagerly look forward to the resurrection.

Jul

13

2011

Goodbye Naruto, Goodbye One Piece

For those who don't know, I am much a fan of Naruto and One Piece, two Japanese comics about ninjas and pirates respectively. I've read them since college, and find them most enjoyable, hilarious and awesome. Yet alas, the day has come when I must say goodbye.

I had been reading them online for some time. There were websites offering it all over the place and never questioned really whether it was legal or not. Several months ago, I began to be convicted about this and decided to stop. Shortly after this, Japanese manga companies began to crack down and all the websites started shutting down, with the exception of one I knew of. 

However, shortly after this, I found a page on the official Shonen Jump website, which allowed free online viewing. Contented at this, that the publisher was making it available online, I kept reading for a time. However, I have noticed that lately they have taken this down. Alas, any warrant from the publisher for reading it online is now removed. 

Count it my public confession, or recanting, of reading online manga. No more.

Maybe we can find somewhere for this in the budget.... =)

Jul

20

2011

Running Ahead with Patience

Running ahead is not usually  associated with patience, neither do these seem to fit well together. We might think to connect running with endurance, but not patience. We want to be like the hare racing ahead, yet also must be like the tortoise patiently trodding along. There is a strange tension as a Christian, and I feel it more intensely in the ministry, of a need to be running ahead, and yet doing so with patience.

We want to see the gospel advance, we want to see people grow, we want to see conversions happen and people saved, we want to see progress and moving forward; we want to see explosive things happen. We are to not look back, but to press on running forward (Phil 3:13).

Yet, we are told to be preach the word "with complete patience" (2Ti 4:2), that we are to sow seeds, that growth is like a plant that grows and bears fruit--not exactly something that happens overnight. Even though we are to press on running forward, we have not yet arrived (Phil 3:12)! Rather, we are told that this change happens gradually and slowly, "from one degree of glory to another" (2Co 3:18).

This tension helps me. We pursue excellence, yet recognize perfection does not come this side of glory. In all of our pursuit forward, we do so with patience. 

Jul

21

2011

Sermon Preparation Prayer

Lord, help me to...

Study diligently

Think carefully

Feel deeply

Write clearly

Speak passionately

and then entrust all the rest to You.

Jul

24

2011

Multiplying of Social Networks

Google has recently unveiled its social network offering: Google+. (Some have interestingly pointed out it is much more than this, but that doesn't make it less than this.) I actually think Google+ is pretty cool, and see a lot of advantages it has over facebook from the get-go. (By the way, if you want an invite to Google+, let me know.)

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Matt Hauck (郝柏昇)

A once enemy now son, forgiven and freed by Jesus' blood, adopted and called by grace for glory.   (more...)