Saturday, March 17, 2012


   When I was in grade 4, math became a subject that I loathed, detested, and despised. In the beginning of that year my teacher carefully cut out a sailboat for each student and in big, bold letters she wrote each student's name on it. She told us that we would be "sailing" through the multipulcation facts all of the way up to 12. I took a big gulp. I could do multiples up to 5, but up to 12 - that was a challenge that I would not enjoy. Each day we got a slip of paper and in a short period of time we would have to multiply a number. If you got it all correct your little sailboat would move to the next number. When you completed number 12, your name would get to go in the school newsletter for a reward. These little boats were up on the top of the wall in our classroom for all of the world to see. Within two weeks most of my classmates sailed through all of the facts. By Christmas time, the teacher was ready for a scenery change on her wall but I was still stuck on number 9. It was a terrible, humiliating time for me. To have my name mentioned in the school newsletter when I finally finished the multiplcation facts was a punishment, not a reward. Even writing this story down has me trembling and I had to be very brave to relive it.
   Throughout school, math continued to be a huge struggle. I am sure that my teacher somehow missed teaching the concept of fractions because it is still a big puzzle for me. Actually, most of the math concepts I do not get. My dad spent countless hours trying to breakthrough a math concept to me, only to give up and ask my younger sister to help me. The issue here was that she hadn't been taught it in school yet, but she was teaching me. I refused to learn from her.
   In highschool I needed a grade 11 math credit in order to be accepted into nursing for college. I took the most general course I could. I am sure that the math teacher could see the steam coming from my ears while trying to grasp the math concepts but nothing sunk in. By the time the math exam rolled around I was a huge bundle of nerves and devoured four rolls of mentos within minutes of starting the exam. My math teacher took pity on me and somehow I passed. Occasionaly I see Mr.S in the grocery store and he still gives me a sympathetic smile.
   After I was married, Adam tried to explain a math concept to me, to which I replied "I am perfectly content going to my grave without ever getting it."
I love Fanny Crosby's poem, "Multiplication is vexation, Division is as bad; The rule of three puzzles me, And fractions make me mad."

But this is the point of my story. God's math does not make sense to me either, but it works.
Here is what I read from the book "Confrontations with Grace: Red Like Blood." (book review coming up soon)
1.God's math is always profound. Whenever you realize things are not what they seem to be, you're probably learning God's math. Here are some mind-boggling examples of single-sentence paradoxical equations straight from the Bible:
It is more blessed to give than to receive.
The greatest among you shall be your sevant.
For whoever would save his life will lose it.
You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.
When I am weak, then I am strong.

2. Brokeness is a constant in God's formulas. Our brokenness forms the cracks through which grace flows in and joy pours out. Learning the Math of God invoves embracing brokenness the way He does. It involves a collision between His grace and our brokenness.
3.The resultant sum of all of God's calculations is the same: We get more of Him. Getting more of God equals finding satisfaction, significance, and fulfillment in Him. When we do, it is axiomatic: we get more joy and God gets more glory. And that results in living a life that transcends circumstances.

God's math is hard to get but, oh so worth it when a Biblical breakthrough occurs.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


I was reading through my torn, worn note book. This is my brain. Whatever I need to remember I write it in there and then hope that I can find it. I found two paragraphs that I wanted to share with you. I can't remember where I got it or when I wrote it, but it is a good thing to be reminded of.

Entertaining has little to do with real hospitality. Secular entertaining is a terrible bondage. It's source is human pride. Demanding, perfecting, fostering the urge to impress, it is a rigorous taskmaster that enslaves. In contrast, scriptural hospitality is a freedom that liberates.
Entertaining says, "I want to impress you with my beautiful home, my clever decorating, my gourmet cooking." HOSPITALITY, however, seeks to MINISTER. It says, "this home is not mine. It is truly a gift from my Master. I am His servant, and I use it as He desires. Hospitality does not try to impress but to SERVE."

And here is another one from Ruth Bell Graham on interruptions through out the day.

"Everyday is full of interruptions. I think that one thing that a busy housewife and mother has to learn is to accept interruptions as from the Lord. And the sooner she learns it, the happier she'll be. When you do, then you roll with the punches, and each interruption is an opportunity. In other words, if I tried to keep a rigid schedule, every interruption would make me frustrated and irritated. But when I accept each interruption as from the Lord, life becomes much more interesting and much more relaxed."