Hello to one and all!

APPARENTLY I've been lax in relating late-breaking news in my life, so here's the quick breakdown.

A) I'm in love! Samantha Quan and I are "officially" courting. This means that we're pursuing a loving, God-centered relationship, with the purpose of finding out if He would have us marry each other. Sounds serious, huh? :-) We're being careful, though, and doing our best to be prudent with this phase of our lives. Our desire is that God is glorified in our lives, both individually and as a couple. PLEASE feel free to ask either of us any questions you may have. Our hope is that we can be a model (if an imperfect one) of a Godly relationship. We WANT to discuss it with you, so ask away! (p.s. feel free to call me in the evenings... I'd love to hear from you! (202) 257-3523)

B) Work is tough, but great. It's tedious, because I'm doing dumb jobs like filing, writing form letters, and copying when I'm used to doing in-depth analysis of tough philosophical concepts. Still, it's an interesting field, and I've gotten to meet cool people like Chuck Colson and several Congressmen.

C) Spiritually, things are going well. I've joined an excellent Baptist church, and am learning new theological concepts at a rapid rate. At the same time, God is working on my heart (with a little help from Samantha) to teach me a more merciful way of looking at the world. Samantha and I have also started praying together and discussing devotions together, which I think will benefit us both greatly.

D) Believe it or not, I'm actually teaching myself Latin! I'm not sure how well it will go, but we'll see.

E) DC is so fun! You guys are missing out. City life is the greatest!

Anyways, so that's where I'm at. Feel free to drop me a line or call me, cause it's not like I'm doing anything big!

As for this week's little nugget of Ben Bartlett philosophy + theology, consider this. How often do you feel like things are "out of control"? Do you wonder why God lets things become "too much"? I know I struggle with these things at times. Recently, though, I've been introduced to a hard but important concept. Because God is perfect, he cannot be deficient in any area.

What does that mean for me? It means that whatever happens, two things will always be true. First, God is completely sovereign. There is NOTHING over which he does not have complete control. Second, if he did anything less than the best it could possibly be done, handled anything worse than it could have been handled, then he would be deficient... and therefore, not perfect... and therefore, not God. That means that EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS IS EXACTLY THE WAY GOD INTENDED IT TO BE.

At first, this is frustrating. You mean God INTENDED that my friend should die, my money should be stolen, my loved one should get cancer? Those questions, so full of bitter pain and sorrow, are hard. However, those same people can be comforted. God is on his throne, and he will not abandon you. He is orchestrating world events in such a way as to magnify his glory... and since we are fulfilled and satisfied when we glorify him, he is giving us the greatest gift we could possibly have at the same time. When God allows pain in your life he has his reasons. Do we understand them? Of course not. Who can completely understand and appreciate pain? Check out Samantha's blogspot, though; Oftentimes pain and hardship are necessary for growth and greater happiness.

So, then, take this with you. We serve a PERFECT God, and everything he does is completely good. We simply could not ask for a more trustworthy king... and as he is a trustworthy king, it is our duty to learn to have complete faith in his leading and complete obediance to his commands.

I love you guys, and miss your fellowship and smiling faces like you wouldn't believe.

Till next time.

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