The Hjelle Jar

Occasional and brief updates about what is new with me. Once mass e-mails, they have now been archived here.

July 17, 2000

Dear friends,

...Up. That was the only option left. Rolf had been climbing, fighting the mountain, trying to do what so few had done - and lived through - before him. After days of treacherous and risky climbing, Rolf had reached the garden, far above the village below. This was a beautiful garden. Secluded, mysterious, natural. A waterfall inhabited the rocky crag on the upper north end, continuing in a cold, clear pond and a flowing stream. The grass was thick and green and lush. Fruit abounded, as well as the animals of the wild who seemed strangely calmed by the influence of the garden. Rolf was dazzled, astounded. He had never seen such beauty. But not just seen - for who can describe the smells, wafting deliciously in the cool, breezy air, or the strange music that floated down from above? But, after a few days, Rolf knew that he could not stay. He could not go down - could he ever turn back to the way of life he knew before this adventure, the adventure that he was not capable of but could only complete by the grace of the One who guided him? No, up was all that was left. Rolf took a deep breath and stared up into the clouds that shrouded his future path. Suddenly, a grunt to his left, and Rolf turned just in time to see a large flourescent object hurtling...

Thanks you for joining me in today's literary selection. It was an excerpt from the short story Rolf, by myself. Unfortunately, the rest of it has not been written. Any volunteers? ;-)

I realized today how long it has been since I've written an e-mail update. Oops. There has been a lot that has happened, but I guess there are two important things that come to mind that have happened as of late. Well, maybe more. We'll see how many come out in this e-mail.

First, we had the Hjelle family reunion this weekend - the descendants of my great-great-great-grandpa Ole Olsen who lived on the Hjelle farm in Norway. Needless to say, some of the relatives were very distant ones. Very distant. Like 3rd cousins once removed from Norway. Interesting. Oh, Josiah, I found that I have some relatives that live in - guess - McDonald, Ohio!

Speaking of Josiah, I just got an e-mail from her. If you would like her e-mail address, just send me an e-mail and I'll give it to you. I'll also be sending her a list of e-mails. She is doing very well - very well - it sounds and is having a rocking time this summer. Praise God!

Probably the hardest thing for me this summer is realizing that I cannot do anything without God's grace and strength. From the most menial task at Fleet Farm to sharing my faith with those around me, my plans, my ideas, my strategies, my strength is all foolishness as compared to God. And that is frustrating - I like to be able to do things. I like that a lot. And realizing that I can't is humbling. Letting God be in control is difficult. I like control - but the control for my life needs to be in God's hands. That even means giving up control of being a better Christian - and that is tough. God know what I need to do to grow far better than I do. Here are some interesting verses:

  • "For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh" Philippians 3:3, NIV.
  • "Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labour in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain." Psalms 127:1, NIV.
  • "I know, O Lord, that a man's life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps." Jeremiah 10:23, NIV.
  • "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5, NIV.
  • "Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God." 2 Corinthians 3:5, NIV.

I also just finished reading Chuck Colson's new book, How Now Shall We Live? Overall, a very good book. It talks about how Christianity needs to be a worldview, how our faith needs to affect everything we do in life - from how we talk to how we act to what we watch to what we listen to to how we do our jobs, etc.

Fleet Farm is still going well. Nothing really new. It sometimes gets old and tedious, but I'm trying to remember that Fleet is God's calling for me this summer just as much as engineering will be someday. (At least, as far as I know, engineering will be someday. Of course, God might have other plans.) The Salvation Army thing is going great, too. I'm learning a lot about dealing with kids, and I'm glad. Bible studies, both of them, are going well. God's provided the friends I need here this summer, so I'm thankful.

I have to go to work very soon. Have a great rest of the summer, all of you. God bless! More of Him, and less of us.

Your brother in Christ,
David Alan Hjelle

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