Update your bookmarks!

Hey folks.

I often hear from friends and family that we put so much stuff online that it’s confusing to find it all.

There’s ZackRiesland.com and TheRieslands.com… photos on picasa and photos on flickr. Videos on youtube… then there’s twitter…

…hard to explain twitter…

So, in the interest of consolidation, I wrote a new blog to try to put everything together.

I’m still working out the kinks, but from now on, ZackRiesland.com and TheRieslands.com will both get you there, and while you’re at it, I’d love our feedback!

So if you have any bookmarks or RSS feeds laying around that point to zackriesland.wordpress.com or therieslands.wordpress.com, please update them accordingly!

Oh, and if you happen to be a blogger and you have a link to us on your blogroll, would you double-check it?

Thanks!

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91 to go!

We’re at 24,909…

Come on!

My Wordle

This is what this blog is all about, as of 8/5/08…

A quick thought

This morning, on the way to work, I heard a short interview with a guy from Iraq.

He was really excited because this is the first wekk in at least four years when he feels comfortable leaving his wife and kids at home while he goes out to do something.

Hmmm…

Kind of puts my day in perspective…

What do you think?

Brace yourself.

For the first time in a while, I’m making some time to write something somewhat meaningful here.

It’s strange. Although these past couple of weeks have had me busier than ever (lots of driving back and forth between Greensboro and Creedmoor and working really hard to get up to speed at work, plus focussing a little bit more on church stuff), I seem to be experiencing more clarity than I have in a while.

I don’t know. Maybe it’s just ’cause of the John Mayer song. Actually, I hope not. (Isn’t the point of that song that as soon as you realize that you’re having a moment of clarity it’s too late, because that realization will take away the clarity?)

But I digress…

To be honest, it’s not nearly that complicated. I think the bottom line is that I’ve had at least 2 1/2 hours a day to sit in a car and think and listen to some fantastic teaching from guys like Mark Driscoll and Francis Chan. And at least equally importantly, God has been doing some amazing things in Stephanie’s life too. She might not even realize it, but she’s more beautiful than ever — in every way. I feel more encouraged and supported than ever, and that makes more difference than any woman will ever understand.

So, all that rambling because I want to ask for some feedback. I had a rare moment this week when a Bible story became completely new to me — the meaning and value for my life right now came through in a way it never has before.

In our ‘Spiritual Gifts’ Bible study that our men’s group is studying through at work, the author makes a point using the life of Moses, and he focusses specifically on the story from early in Moses’ life where he kills the Egyptian. The author challenged me to consider the question: “Why did Moses kill the Egyptian?”

It seems like a simple enough question, but the answer is powerful for me: I think Moses killed him because he was beginning to get a grip on God’s calling for his life. God put in Moses’ heart a burden for His people. Moses felt God’s compassion and righteous anger towards the conditions of the Israelites.

And before he probably realized that God had put this in his heart, and certainly before he consulted God about it, he did something rash and chalked it up to passion.

The result: a man died, and Moses spent 40 years hiding out in the wilderness.

And I got to thinking: Did it really have to be that way? If Moses had realized that his passion came from God, and asked God for direction on how to act, and then waited, could it have played out better? What if God was ready and willing to lead the people out in 1 year? What if those 40 extra years of toil and death that God’s people experienced weren’t necessary?

But then again, God is sovereign. Someone in our discussion put it this way: What if God planned for everything to happen just the way it did? What if He wanted Moses to go out to the wilderness so that He could mold him into the redeemer of His people that He wanted him to be?

This definitely seems reasonable. Think about all the people who spent time in the wilderness before God really fulfilled His calling in their lives. There’s Moses, David, Paul, John the Baptist… even Jesus it seems to some extent.

So all that leaves me in a funny place because I have such an overwhelming passion for God’s church. I seriously feel the Gospel like fire in my bones and everything in me screams to give my whole life to see the world changed by the Gospel. I want to spend my life being poured out for the Bride of Christ in America until She is a true reflection of Him, and truly cares about His bride around the world. And I try to wrap my head around the story about Moses, and how God seems to send His servants into long seasons of waiting where He prepares them, and I try to think about how that applies to me, and I just don’t know what to take away.

In the sermon I listened to this morning from Francis Chan, he said that in Uganda alone (I think — that part wasn’t clear), 43,000 children are orphaned every day, and 29,000 orphans die every day.

Every day.

Part of me fights God about that.

“What can You teach me in 5 or 10 years that is worth so many wasted lives?”

I know. It’s an audacious question to ask the Creator. I ask it respectfully. I know that I have so much to learn that I don’t even know how much I have to learn.

But what’s the balance in the meantime? How do I stir up the passions God has put in me and take full advantage of what’s available for me to do in THIS season, while simultaneously resting in God’s sovereignty and just waiting for His leadership?

I guess I already know what I would tell someone if they asked me those questions… but all the same, what do you think?

It’s a Boy!

We went to the doctor yesterday and got some new pictures of BR! They did a 4-D ultrasound, which I had never heard of before:

Only half-way developed and already sucking the thumb!

It turns out that we have a little boxer!

Baby’s only a few ounces and already sucking the thumb!

Steph getting the 4-D ultrasound

Here’s how they did it

That envelope says whether it’s a boy or a girl!

This is Steph and I arguing about names

Blogging Hiatus

Steph and I are taking a little break from technology this week. aside from necessary interactions (I do write code for a living), we’re going to try to stay away from the internet, blogs, twitter, facebook, google news, email, movies, tv and other things that we waste our time with for a while.

Check back next week!