Oct

04

2014

Life, Birth, Jared

Jared

Today, Sanny and I had the pleasure of welcoming our son, Jared Isaiah Hauck, into the world. We are so excited to bring home another little Hauck to join our family. This brings the grand total to four children at home that we have the privilege of parenting.

We rejoice and are so thankful for the opportunity to love this new person that God has brought into the world. He doesn't belong to me, or to us, but is a person belonging to God, made in the image of God, who has been granted to us by God for our temporary stewardship and instruction and protection.  He is totally helpless, does not know anything about this world, needs someone to protect him and feed him and care for him and teach him.  What an awesome task!  Today was such a wonderful day.

Birth

And yet, it was also a difficult day.

Before the joy comes...difficulty, mostly for my wife. This is now the fifth full pregnancy and fifth time she has given birth. I can tell you that it has not gotten any easier to stand by her side five times and watch her undergo such pain with no ability to do anything to help her but to hold her hand. It is a traumatic event. And I'm just an observer. 

I love my wife so much and am left speechless by her service and sacrifice for our children in the very act of bringing them into this world, not to mention the days and weeks and years of service of her pouring her life into loving and teaching and serving our children. She is awesome.

(aside: People who despise such work as inferior to a "professional career" are crazy. If you don't have the heart to invest in your children, do you think your nanny will? If both you and your nanny don't, then who will?)

Life

And yet, not all have this privilege. After we were taken to the portpartum room today, I looked out the window to enjoy the scenery from the new Oakland Kaiser facility, and saw a building across the street: Albert Brown Mortuary. Talk about contrast.

Not every expecting couple visiting the hospital today walked away with a happy healthy baby. In fact, we were in that very position just three years ago with Evelyn. We found ourselves in need of those services, rather than instructions on how to feed and clothe, etc. It is hard to get nearer to the reality of the sheer fallenness of the world we live in then when dealing with the death of young children. Life was not supposed to be this way. We as humankind have messed things up royally, and the effect is ever before us.

Reflections

There are many worthy reflections here.

Death is horrible. It is not natural and not normal. It is the result of sin. I weep with those who have lost children either in labor or otherwise. Death in general is the penalty of rebellion in general against God. Every time we face it, we are reminded that we will one day face our Maker. 

Labor is horrible. Genesis 3 says pain in childbirth is a direct result of the fall of mankind into sin. 

Parenting is a privilege, not a right. So we cannot demand life from our Maker. 

Parenting is a privilege, not a burden. So we do not neglect it or grumble over its inconveniences (which admittedly are many...)

Travail is often the pathway to joy.  Christ suffered on the cross for the joy set before him of saving his people and bringing glory to God. God leads us through dark valleys only because they lead to the greener pastures of greater love for him and greater appreciation of his mercy. Do not avoid making difficult decisions because you like your life as it is, in particular when you know it is something God has called you to do. 

Christ is our Redeemer! He saves us from the penalty of sin by having paid our just penalty in our place, in order to grant forgiveness and peace with God. Christ will come and rescue all who repent of their rebellion and put their trust in him, and redeem and restore this fallen world!

Back to Jared...

Baby

 

Thanks for letting me share with you a bit about Jared. We're excited to finally meet him.

Jared. Because it's a cool name and we like it. 

Isaiah. Because "the LORD is salvation", and we want him and others to know it.

Hauck. Because he's a Hauck. =)

 

Aug

10

2014

His hand is not shortened

So, it has been about two and a half years since I've last written here. It has been two and a half years of much change and transition in my life. Quite honestly, I have lacked the motivation to write here and have felt I didn't really have anything much worth saying. I had always viewed blogging as an extension of my pastoral ministry and a function of the overflow of study, and was never too huge a fan of theology blogs in general without connection to the church. So, the silence here has also been due to a question of identity of sorts.

The last two and half years I have lived life as a "normal" Christian, not as a pastor/missionary, and have been trying to learn what growth and putting Christ first in everything in "normal life" looks like. Not always successfully. I have been rather tempted in my downness to believe the "hand of the Lord is shortened" (Num. 11:23, Isa. 50:2). Is God really at work around/in me? Is God listening?

I long to have the reality of Ephesians 1:19 rooted more deeply in my heart, and to come true more consistently in my life:

Having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know...what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe 

Lord, forgive my jaded heart; your hand is not shortened, it does indeed save. It saved me! Help me to yield to and trust you through all of life, to see and savor your greatness above and throughout everything in life, and to share your greatness with those you place in my life. 

There is perhaps still room for reflection and writing on the "one thing necessary" from this persepective. And perhaps some of you may benefit from the process. We'll see where it goes...

Oct

18

2011

Commending Them to God

Those who read this blog have probably already heard the news by now, but figure it is about time to say it in public. Long story short is that I will be stepping down from the pastoral ministry, having concluded over a long period of struggling that I am not yet fit to be in the pastoral role, finding myself lacking both a clear calling and a sufficient training. 

I came here to Taiwan to try to serve the church here, out of love for them upon hearing that they would be without a pastor--but not out of a response to the call of God. Even now, it is still this man-centered desire ("I can still do it!") that makes me want to continue and be there for them. Yet, if God has not called me here, then I ought not to be here. I also came without finishing a full seminary training and without sufficient time "learning the ropes" in practical ministry experience, with the result that I really am just not equipped to do the work here.  

I have decided with counsel that I am not suited for this, at least not at this juncture. We will see what God has prepared for the future. But if there is a next time, it will be approached more cautiously and preceded by completed training. I plan for now to return to EBCB as a normal member, work as a programmer, and grow as a Christian.

Many have wished I would have continued and persevered. Many are possibly shocked by this news. Hadn't I just said I was seeking to grow in faithfulness and perseverance? What made this decision easy and fast at the end was when things came into clear focus and I realized it was not an issue of perseverance, but of principle. While the struggles here were the occasion of me asking hard questions about whether I am fit here, they were not ultimately the cause. In the end, if I am doing this only because I want to help people, and not in obedience to God's call, and if I am not adequately trained, then I simply should not keep doing it. So that is the plan for now. 

Pastor John visited here this past weekend to talk to the church about how this decision affects them. They will be continuing (at least for the next 6 months) to meet together and pray together for God's provision of another pastor. Please pray with them as I will surely be doing. The great comfort to me at this time is that the Lord is my Shepherd, and the Lord is their Shepherd. It has been an amazing privilege to serve them and be used for the salvation of some and the spiritual growth of others. Yet, it is time for me to set this lofty position down for now and entrust them to God.

Acts 20:32 seem to be the right words to close with:

And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

Now I get two more sermons to help prepare them to wait, and to prepare them to receive the next pastor who comes. Please pray I can invest as much as I can into them in these next two weeks. I will return to America on Oct. 31. Thank you for your faithful prayers on our behalf. Please keep them coming for the church.

Older »

Matt Hauck (郝柏昇)

A once enemy now son, forgiven and freed by Jesus' blood, adopted and called by grace for glory.   (more...)

Categories