lessons from turducken…

Ok, first, what (not who) is “turducken?”

Well, as the name implies, it is a chicken stuffed in a duck stuffed in a turkey and then cooked.
So, what brilliant individual came up with this, I have no idea. But I was thinking today that I’d like a truducken of my own. See, there are three things that I would really like to see all stuffed together into this life I live.
First I’d like to start with the outer shell (the turkey) with a job in vocational ministry that provides an adequate and stable income. I’d then like to stuff this job with moving my family into the fan (the duck). Finally, inside all of this I’d like to stuff finishing my graduate studies (the chicken).
Now, each of these things might be fine on their own (much like turkey, duck, and chicken) but, much like the inventor of the turducken, I get a feeling that having all three stuffed together might be even better.
When I look at my life right now, I get the feeling that my turducken might be impossible. But, then again, I am sure that the truducken inventor might have had similar feelings. I’m also sure he had some doubters on the outside.
So, what to do? I don’t know… but I am getting hungry.

Grief

As I rarely ever update this page & have not even really settled on the “purpose” of my blog…I never did mention or update the incredibly difficult & life-changing journey my dear friends Robert & Erin Greene have been on since january….& even now I am at a loss for words to express my grief & all the thoughts & emotions rolling around regarding dear Owen. Just as on monday I thought I would burst at the expectation of getting to meet the little guy, I still feel that way. I am so grateful that his parents got to meet him & have that precious time together. I am full of expectation of getting to do so as well….. I have no profound understanding of Heaven, & I assume I’ll be wrapped up in God, but I do expect to meet him. Beyond that, details have been beautifully & prayerfully explained on Robert’s blog. I would also like to comment that my heart echo’s my husband’s thought’s of our dear friends & our Lord Jesus Christ…..Soli Deo Gloria indeed.

To Robert and Erin…

Robert and Erin,

Never have I met
two people like you
and rarely have I cared
so much as I do.

There are few who have faced
the trials you’ve seen;
thieves, moths, and vandals
and death’s vicious sting.

In all you have faced,
many have watched so amazed
as your hope in the Christ
shines bright through the haze.

And truly that’s why
I love you so much,
for I see in your lives
how to hope and to trust.

To hope in a King
who sits on his throne.
To trust in a God
whose love can be know.

You’re more than great teachers
mother, father, or friends,
you are lovers of Jesus
from beginning to the end.

My prayers through these months,
“God’s glory you’d declare,
from generation to generation,
to Owen your heir.”

This prayer has been answered
and in glory he rests,
before our great King,
so happy, so blessed.

With this joy we still mourn
and Owen we miss.
There is not much in life
that will be harder than this

But our hope is in Jesus
who conquered the grave.
Death is no match
for this king who can save.

It is he who will hold you
and he who will see
that through this great challenge
victorious you’ll be.

And Owen’s short life
will not be lost over time.
Instead it will declare
God’s gospel divine.

Owen will speak
of the God who does care,
of the God who did make him,
and the God who hears prayers.

Owen will speak
of Jesus the king
to a world that is dying
and must hear this one thing.

But how shall he speak
and how will he tell?
It will be through you
and the life that you share.

Owen was well born
and a warrior most true.
He gets that from his parents
they’re pretty tough too.

I close with this thought,
I learned it from you.
To God be the glory
In all that we do.

For from Him and through him
and to him is all.
To him be the glory
and joy for us all.

============

You are our dearest friends and Jennifer and I truly love you.

Owen Greene – Well Born; Warrior…

The following is the email I sent to my friends and family tonight. I have no other words:

Friends and Family,

I really don’t know how to do this and I know that a phone call is so much more appropriate, however, I don’t feel like I can muster the energy or heart to do it. So, please excuse the medium.

Today was a joyous and sorrowful day. Owen Greene was born this morning. Things looked promising early on as he was able to breathe on his own. Robert and Erin had the opportunity to spend a few moments with him before he was rushed to the NICU. Throughout the day his condition grew worse and worse. In the end Robert was allowed to hold his son at which time Owen’s heart beat faded. As my mother so beautifully put it, “he passed from his earthly fathers arms into his heavenly fathers.” Now we join the Greene’s in mourning.

I thank you for all your prayers and the many people you have shared this story with. Please continue to pray for Robert and Erin as they walk through this dark valley. If you wish to share a word of encouragement or thoughts of condolence, please visit Robert’s blog and click on “leave a comment.” I believe that it would mean a lot to them to hear from the many strangers who have held them close in their hearts all these months.

Again, thank you.
_ryan

owen greene update…

The following information is what we know at this point:

This morning Owen Greene was delivered successfully via C-section. Upon delivery he was breathing on his own, kicking, crying, and weighed in at just over four pounds. He came out a little blue but mostly pink. Robert and Erin were able to hold him and spend a little time with him before he was taken to the NICU (newborn intensive care unit) for examination. While in the NICU he was intibated (given assistance with his breathing) and his condition is regarded as stable.

Erin and Robert are together in the hospital room and are doing well.

Please remember that we must continue to pray because we are not out of the fight yet. There are many miracles to fight for. Please continue to pray for the healing for his heart, kidneys, and bladder. While we pray, let us rejoice in the victories of this morning and continue this journey in faith.

PRAY FOR OWEN…

My friends, Robert and Erin, of whom I have written you before, have a really big day tomorrow. Their son, Owen, is scheduled to be delivered by c-section at 9 a.m. tomorrow. Short of a miracle from God, it is likely that Owen will not live very long. The Greene’s have had a long a difficult journey that has led to tomorrow. In this journey they have become very confident in God’s goodness and sovereignty. Robert and Erin have expressed that they feel prepared in their hearts for whatever may happen. They believe that much of this is due to the many people who have prayed for them and this situation. At this time, however, they ask that everyone spend their times of prayer for them directed in asking Jesus for the miraculous healing of Owen. They are aware of the situation and are confident that, if the worst were to happen, God is in control and will be gracious with them. With this peace in their hearts they ask that less prayers be offered for them and that many would be offered for Owen’s miraculous healing.

For all the readers of thetwocentcrockpot, I am asking that you fast breakfast (skip the meal and pray) tomorrow morning and join me in praying to the King of all creation for Owen. I believe that God is well able to confound the world by delivering Owen in perfect health.

Here is Robert’s blog where you can get the latest update:
www.cultivatethesoul.com/blog/

2 Corinthians 1:9 – Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.

Solo Deo Gloria
_ryan

thanks chris…

I received this from my friend Chris in an email.

I took this from a biographical sketch on Thomas Hooker. A key puritan in the US… look at his perspective in death…

In 1647, Hooker became ill during an epidemic that was spreading across the country. On his deathbed, he communicated to Thomas Goodwin that his “peace was made in heaven and had continued for thirty years without alteration.” A close friend said to him just before he died, “You are going to receive the reward of all your labors.” Hooker responded, “Brother, I am going to receive mercy.”

Common to all men, upon death, we need mercy above all things… for the best we have to give falls gravely short of what is required.

The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.
Acts 17:30-31

We will be judged according to the standard of Jesus… Of this standard we all fall short, even Mr. Hooker. Thankfully, God has granted that through faith in Jesus’ atoning death we are actually credited with his (Jesus’) perfect life.

But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Romans 3:21-26

I thank God that he is “just” AND the “justifier.” As the hymnst say, “my hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus name.”

VT…

Five days have passed since the shooting at Virginia Tech. It has been a long a draining five days. I can only assume that it has been much longer and much more draining for those closer to the situation.

At times like this I wish I had something profound to write… but words still fail me. I find that all I have done and all I can do is simply turn my heart toward Jesus and ask him to be King.

For those who might be interested, several of my fellow campus ministers went to Blacksburg on Tuesday. They simply went with the desire to be there for the students in whatever way they could. This link will take you to a record of their thoughts and observations.

Finally, I just read VT’s policy for students regarding the remainder of the semester. I must say that the administration of VT should be praised for their tireless efforts in dealing with a situation that falls into the category of “worst case unimaginable.” Even in reading something as mundane as a “policy” you can sense the genuine concern of the administration for their students.

team greene…

Please keep my friends, the Greene’s, in your prayers over the next couple weeks. Their son, Owen, is scheduled for delivery on the 24th (several weeks earlier than anticipated). For those who don’t know the seriousness of this, please check out Robert’s blog. He’ll fill you in on all the details.

In fact, do me a favor and pray right now… I know that I have a tendency to forget all the things people ask me to pray about… so, just stop reading, close your eyes, and petition the King of Kings to rule over his creation and bring perfect health to young Owen Greene (aka, “the next handsome Greene man“).

Thanks.