Tuesday, June 9, 2015

A New Adventure Begins

I've always enjoyed sharing the things I love with other people.  If I find a great new restaurant, I want to let people know.  If I've seen an amazing new film, I want to spread the word.  If I've discovered a cool underground band, I try to do my part to get them heard by a wider audience.  And if I've had the chance to visit somewhere nice, I want others to do the same.

For the past 5 years, Ireland has become a home, not just a place we've dropped in to see.  In fact, I would guess Juli, Ashlyn, and I have seen more of this little island than most of its born and bred residents.  There are some stunning areas of natural beauty dotted with towns and villages that are the definition of quaintness.  So it's with great pleasure that we will welcome my sister Misty and 3 of her 4 children (her oldest son, Nathan, visited last summer) tomorrow morning.  My parents are flying in today, but they've already been here before, so it won't be quite the unveiling that awaits the Boyles.  We hope to take in most of Ireland's rugged and wild coast land as well some of its inland jewels.  For Juli, Ashlyn, and me, it will be a nice way to say goodbye to the Garden of Eden of the North Atlantic.  20 more days and then a new adventure begins. - Shay

Monday, June 1, 2015

Very Fond of Each One of Us

I just finished reading The Shack by William P. Young for the second time.  I found the story more compelling and the theology even richer this go around.  I didn't have a child when I first read the book, but now that my daughter Ashlyn is around the same age of the tragic girl Missy, I had to work hard to not empathize too much with the protagonist, Mack.  I can't imagine what it must be like to experience that kind of loss.  But we all know that someone somewhere suffers immensely every single day.  One of the big issues raised in the book is how people of faith come to grips with the tragedies and injustices of life.  Where is God in natural disasters?  Why does he sometimes intervene in the face of human evil, whereas other times he restrains himself?  A lot of other theological issues get analyzed in the course of the narrative, but I'll let you read it (or reread it) yourself.  One thing that stands out more than anything else in the book is that we have a God who is very fond of each one of us.  We were made for  relationship with this God and one day, though not always evident from our point of view, the seemingly senseless stuff of our world will finally make sense.  Amen. - Shay