hey friends. i thought i would put up a quick post tolet you know that we are back from costa rica, safe and sound. getting back into the routine is proving a bit hairy, as the world clearly didn't stop while we were away (how dare it?), so i don't have tons of time for reflection at the moment, but suffice it to say that it was an awesome vacation, full of wildlife, potholes, idyllic beaches, really good food, awkward situations (well, just one in particular), unbelievable views, relaxation, and yes, plenty of recreation. we had a great time, and i'll share more soon. hasta manana.
in our church, we are continuing with a series called "letters from Jesus," in which we are looking at the seven letters in the beginning of revelation addressed to seven churches in asia. we are imagining what it would be like if we were to receive a hand-written letter from Jesus to our church. what would it say? how would we be encouraged? how would we be challenged? we've looked at three of the letters now. this week we looked at the letter to the church in pergamum. the letter to them includes some harsh criticism of some of their behavior, but it also says that Christ understands how difficult their situation is. and in case they feel like they are stuck in their sinfulness, Jesus says something amazing to them: i will give you a new name. the world gives us so many names, doesn't it? our parents, of course, give us our birth names. but the naming doesn't stop there. it continues right on through elementary school, high school, and into t