Archive for December, 2012

We Sing Your Guiding Hand

Monday, December 31st, 2012

This is the hymn the four of us present in chapel this morning sang during the prayers  – we used a different melody but these old, 18th-century words spoke powerfully into the close of 2012 and the beginning of 2013:

Great God, we sing Your mighty hand

By which supported still we stand;

The opening year Your mercy shows,

That mercy crowns it ’til its close.


By day, by night, at home, abroad,

Still are we guarded by our God,

By His incessant bounty fed,

By His unerring counsel led.


With grateful hearts the past we own;

The future, all to us unknown,

We to Thy guardian care commit,

And peaceful leave before Thy feet.


In scenes exalted or depressed,

You are our joy, and You our rest;

Your goodness all our hopes shall raise,

Adored through all our changing days.

(Philip Doddridge (1702-51)

May that guiding Hand continue to be upon all of us, both the community present at IBTS campus and those dispersed throughout the world. Happy – and truly blessed – New Year to all!

– Lina

Saturday, December 29th, 2012

I have stumbled upon this poem today through the Emergent Village, and thought you might find it speaking to you too. Blessings and greetings from from our snow-less campus for these last days of 2012.

The kingdom

by Shelly Barsuhn


When, secondhand, we heard the shepherds call,

“The anointed has come!”

we set out,

arriving in this kingdom a moment or a lifetime ago.

We have journeyed from

continents apart,

tundra, tropics, poverty, privilege,

energy, exhaustion, giddiness, grief.

Through some miracle,

the Messiah has brought us together.


We are all refugees

with nothing of worth to bring–

no gold, frankincense, or myrrh.

We have no drum to play.

The gifts we tried to carry,

our best doctrines, rules, and dogmas,

slip like air through our fingers.

We cup our hands, offering offer nothing.


Come stranger,

we have found our home.

The songs that welcome us here

are not the songs of angels

(who harmonize in a different realm)

but the hum of God’s grace and love

which we intone in messy unison.


In this kingdom,

no one who journeys to the Christ

is unworthy or alien.

In this kingdom,

we are companions

standing close as the wind howls.

– Lina

Joyous Christmas to all the readers!

Monday, December 24th, 2012

Yes it’s Advent

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

…and it’s beautiful. No matter how many times I’ve seen it before – the snow, the courtyard, the Christmas tree, the Advent wreath (read this post if you’d like to know more about that)… So here are some pictures for you to enjoy if you cannot be with us or visit us during this season of Getting Ready to Wait.

Wanted to take a picture of our Advent Wreath, but people kept getting in the view!!