Thursday, December 4, 2014

Reminiscing--The Story of Our Engagement-4 years ago today

Proposing was a very visceral and exciting experience for the two of us.  Some would have you believe that proposing is laced with romance, rays of sunshine and melodies from fluttery classical tunes—but for us, it was a bit more concrete.

God had been working in our friendship for over 5 years, and He brought our hearts closer on our road-trip this fall.  Upon our return, God placed marriage more certainly on my (David’s) heart and, the week after thanksgiving, opportunity’s doors began to open.  

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Being With God...While Letting Him Be God (Part 5)

God's mystery can actually lead to prayer, surrender and trust. 

When we draw close to God as bigger than us, we actually learn more about the mystery in our own lives, and find confidence to trust Him in areas of uncertainty. 

In surrender to God's mystery our hearts are softened and we are actually opened up to Him. This is reassuring because His mystery is always paired with His goodness, control, wisdom and power. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Psalms Series

Check-out some Videos of the talks Dave gave this past school year at Grace on Psalms!!!

Psalm 62 

Psalm 91

Psalm 139

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Being With God...While Letting Him Be God (Part 4)

God's transcendence was even more pervasive in the mindset of ancient church leaders, than those writers and thinkers driving the spiritual formation movement.

Since Jesus' day, those who encouraged a deepening devotional life, a rich prayer life, a life centered on being with God, have 
leaned on and worshiped God as transcendent and immanent. 

Their understanding of God's transcendence shaped their prayer life, and so their beliefs of His closeness.  

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Being With God...While Letting Him Be God (Part 3)

We can actually 

relate to God 

be with God 

because of 
His beyond-us-ness

t is the characteristics of God which are inaccessible and un-relatable that actually enable and fuel His desire to relate to us. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Being With God...While Letting Him Be God (Part 2)

The Spiritual Formation movement, has emphasized the immanence of God:

a.k.a. being with God. 

Immanence is God's closeness, the truth and experience that He is always with us 

(see "Being with God...While Letting Him Be God: Part 1).
The practice of being with God is drawn from the major figures in Church history who communed with God in practical, everyday ways. These ancient sources of spiritual reform have been tapped into by the modern spiritual formation movement. 

The movement's goal is to see and experience God in the everyday, for Him to be relevant in daily activities. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


Keri and i have been thinking a lot about friendship this last year. From young to old, the presence of friendships makes such a difference in living a healthy life and even in devotion to God. 

Have you every thought a friendship is a way of caring for your soul? What can you learn about the state of your soul from your current friendships?

Friendship is necessary, but it arrives in many ways. Some types of friends are:

1. Everyday Friends: easy access, easy venting, easy enjoyment

2. Far-away Friends: less contact, more catch-up, better insight

3. Similar-Interest Friends: always fun to talk about things you love with someone who loves talking about the same things

4. Work Friends: somehow a forced friendship moves beyond the office to the daily life

5. Ministry Friends: serving alongside and suffering alongside; bonding in the trenches.

6. Heart/Honest Friends: honest venting leads to honest feedback leads to deep appreciation leads to heart connection

7. Stop-Start Friends: rarely see them, rarely plan them, but always seem to see them and start just where you left off

8. Spontaneous Friends: met them once, but love them forever.

9. Crazy Friends: call them only when attempting something crazy; they are always up for crazy!

10. Old/Young Friends: more then 5 years older or younger, but enjoy them as if they were your age and stage.

11. Family Friends: known them from birth, in home videos, they don't share blood, but they've shared most of your childhood.

12. Family to Friends: forced to spend time with them, but surprisingly you enjoy them!

13. Friends of Friends: friends invited them, you're still getting to know them...but you've got a good feeling about them.

14. Long-Forgotten Friends: yearbook friends, you haven't seen them, but still love and think them friends.

Usually these types of friends blend into more than one category. And certainly friendships move in stages over time, transition, need and growth. A friend cannot satisfy every area of life, so it is a gift that friends come in all sorts of ways.

What friends come to mind for you when you read these? Do you have other categories?

What needs do you have in friendship right now? What friends can you get to know deeper?

Who among these friends needs to be supported or prayed for? What would it look like to do that right now?

Friday, May 16, 2014

Fat and Rich Food

We love food. People love food. We even Instagram about our food. There is something so satisfying in taking a juicy bite of steak, a succulent swallow of sweet fruit, and satisfying a delicious craving of the moment. How cool that being satisfied by food can shed light on the way in which the Lord satisfies our souls.

"My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on your in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me." Psalm 63:5-8

God, thank you for satisfying our souls like you satisfy our appetites. You remind me so often of your presence when I am lying in bed. You bring me to a sweet place of surrender and relinquishment, then drift with me to sleep where I am out of control and You can establish the work You have done! Bring me to meditate on You when I encounter sleepless, restless nights, Holy Father!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Being With God...While Letting Him Be God (Part 1)

Have you ever slipped into the pattern of a pocket Jesus? A little figurine who stays in our pocket until life gets tough. We pull Him out like a watch, and instead of checking the time, we check our conscience. 

For others, relationship with Jesus is like a Redbull or 5-hour Energy shot, just take a sip when spiritual energy gets low.  It is good for us to rest in Jesus as our friend, but if we neglect him like a friend, the something is amiss...

This is a crucial tension in the Christian walk, to walk with Jesus as a friend while allowing Him to remain our God.
A key to embodying this tension is knowing and experiencing God's transcendence and his immanence. 

God's transcendence is His bigness, His beyond-us-ness. A place you might experience this is on top of half dome at sunrise, or staring up at a night into a star studded sky.

His immanence is His closeness, His always-with-us-ness. A place you might experience this is in the answering of a specific prayer or or in seeing God's faithfulness in a personal struggle through a friend.

Recent spiritual formation in the church has emphasized being "with" God. I.e. "being with" God throughout daily activities, rather than "doing" more. A now common phrase is "we are human beings not human doings". 

This view which is pervasive not only because of it's catchy sound, but because it is meeting the need for rest, simplicity, and relationship which is at such a deficit in American culture.

parents and children spend only 14.5 minutes per day talking to each other. That is less time than a football quarter and certainly much less time than most people spend commuting to work.*

“The average workweek is now up to 47 hours, four more than two decades ago. A Gallup Poll found that 44 percent of Americans call themselves ‘workaholics.’”**

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 60% of marriages are dual-career. Not surprisingly, “lack of time” is cited in one study as the biggest challenge to their marriages.**

So, "being with" God has become a common way in the Christian culture to deal with the daily stresses of a frantic schedule. It also is a balm for the individualism which can hinder substantial relationship, even with those closest to us. And yet, this beautiful reality of being "with" God also needs to be paired with being "without" God, His mystery. 

This does not mean God abandons us. He loves us completely and is committed to caring for us. 

But consider this: 
"being with" God necessitates a God who can be with everyone at all times, in every way, without barriers, or borders. He must be a God who transcends time, space, knowledge, emotions, fears, hopes, etc. 

The immediate presence of God that a Christian hopes to enjoy while "being with" Him, must also recognize that this God's presence and life transcendent too. 

The Christian Scriptures and the church figures who have most profoundly influenced the faith have certainly experienced God in the present moment. They even encourage personal relationship with God. 

But their experience of God's closeness has arisen from the belief that God is transcendent and beyond us, and therefore able to interact and impact all places, at all times. 

And as we seek to emulate Intimacy with God in spiritual formation, we must remember that He is only so close and so loving because of His transcendence. 

Being with God requires letting Him be God: He is beyond us so He draws close to us.

We'll take a look at some of these church figures in the next post...


Saturday, March 29, 2014

19 Ways You Know You Are a Graduate Student

This may not be true of ALL Grad Students, but since we are BOTH in Grad School, we have found these things to be true during this period of our lives. Some of them we have found ourselves to be silly, but others we have only discovered odd because of the reactions we have gotten from others. At the least, we have come to appreciate the little things in life in a period of time where little things come to mean a lot!

You know you are BOTH in full-time Graduate School when:

1. You run out of toilet paper often and revert to a kleenex box. 
When that runs out, you borrow a few handfuls from church before you finally make it to the store.
2. You save twist-ties off of bread or bagged goods just in case you can use them for something else.
Yeah, I don't think we ever used them for something else yet...

3. Date nights to the grocery store or the car wash are extremely exciting!
Oh, the little things...

4. You rejoice over a bottle of soap found deep underneath the sink because you've been without good soap for a few weeks.
He was really stoked.

5. All your conversations revolve around the books you are reading, the people you are investing in, and how to put what you are learning into practice.
Fun and exhausting.

6. You take turns checking out library books in order to save money on buying books for a semester.
Desperate times...

7. Paper towels are a great luxury. 
The gift of paper towels feels like a real present.  

8. You debate between buying groceries or paying to do laundry.
Thank goodness for frozen foods and old camp shirts.

9. You walk a lot more to save gas.
Good thing we live close to most places.

10. You realize loving each other means giving into bouts of "IASI"
Irrational acts of spontaneous irresponsibility 

11. Time to clean the house or make a meal seems like it would be a dream come true.
I literally daydream of these things while doing my homework.

12. The books you are reading are actually of interest, rather than simply work for a degree.
This is a great blessing of getting your Masters.

13. You realize you haven't spent much time with friends in…..a long time.

14. You use candlelight for 1 month to save on electricity the month of December. 
It really was for a better reason, but hey, it sure helped!

15. Your brain-work becomes balanced by watching tame TV.
Like watching the entire series of the Wonder Years & Dick Van Dyke show on Netflix.

16. You compensate intellectualism with extreme goofiness during down times.
Music videos, crazy dances, made-up songs, silly voices, spontaneous adventures...just to name a few. 
Party At My House from david and keri lippman on Vimeo.

17. You begin to see how much you really DON'T know and enjoy learning more and more.
Church History, Theology, Listening to others well, Philosophy, Psychology, oh my!!

18. Your excuse for everything is, "I have a paper to write." 
And it is legitimate.

19. All your best plans have the tag line, "And we can do THAT after Grad school too!"
And the list continues to grow, provided that we have means to follow-thru.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

First Lady Sitting

First of all, we got caught in the busyness of life (don't we all!) and have been meaning to blog again.
So here goes for trying to start up again. It really is a good discipline for us to process what we are learning at school and share fun things that go on in our lives. :)

I woke up this morning thinking about the opportunities God brings our way to "be a light" or give glimpses of Himself or His Word in our interactions with others. Most times in my life I have found that these opportunities come unexpectedly. It reminds me of one of the verses we got to memorize for our Senior Class Missions Trip at EV Free Fullerton to Denmark (thanks to Joe Russell-I still have my verse cards!).