fine

you seem absolutely fine.

absolutely fine.

absolutely.

And it’s funny, sometimes I think that I should be losing my mind more. But I’m not. There are so many things up in the air, but there are so few things I actually have control over. And that helps me because I can only do so much. When I was baptized, I choose the following verse from Matthew 6:

“31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

And now I realize that verse was a gift from God, completely, before I really understood that I needed it. He knew that this would be a struggle for me and I think of this verse often.

Ah. Almost there. But to what?

sunday is coming.

It’s been one of the worst weeks on record, I would say. I can’t even get into details, but it just got worse.

God is so faithful. Even before I knew how much I would appreciate this song, He gave it to me. It is called Sunday! and some of the lyrics are:

“Broken promises, weary hearts
But one promise remains
Crucified, He will come again
It’s Friday but Sunday is coming
Yeah, it’s Friday, but Sunday is coming”

life

we are in the midst of waiting on a number of things. life changing things. things that are largely out of our control. and if it was one area of our life in this position, that would be one thing. but it is across multiple areas and multiple levels. ah.

my mil is a lovely woman and she is a huge blessing to us. she reminded me of jeremiah 29:11 where God promises to prosper the people he exiled once they had finished their work. and that reminds me of a few things. sometimes that prosperity and hope is in the future for a people – a nation – not a person specifically. some people will work hard towards that future and never see it completed. but the thing is, there was work to be done – life to be lived – regardless of where God places us. so there is 70 years in exile, but whenever we seek God, no matter what, we will find Him. And that is cool. we may be far from where we want to be on earth, but not far from God.

Cool.

richness

I was thinking this afternoon/evening – what is the purpose of my blog? Why do I do it? Why do I try to make it about posting about the Bible and fail? Why do I try making it about posting about mundane life details and fail?

I realized, listening to the radio, that it has been a long time since I listened obsessively to a song. Music used to transport me to other times in my life or made what I was experiencing more full, more rich. And now, it’s a cute song with a funny lyric or a great sound, but nothing else. Sort of hollow. Even sitting here, typing, I’m not sure what to write because the words are pre-judged and wrecked before they even reach the screen. And I wonder why that is? Have I worked so hard to get the “stuff” done in life that I lost touch with the reflective, pensive side of life? Is it too hard to think of the things that have gone on?

It’s no secret that FK and I have had quite the year. Just a little over a year ago, my dad got very sick. And life was turned upside down. And FK lost his job. And started a new one halfway across the country. And now he might lose this job, too. None of this is of anyone’s doing. It’s all things that have happened to us. Maybe we could have reacted better, faster, quicker, blah. It’s all hindsight, anyway.

So here we are, stuck in this moment, this now. Every step we take feels thick with outcome. Will we have children? Will we move? Where will we work? What will we do? Who are we becoming?

And then I think back to stupid NPR. God sometimes talks to me through NPR (not kidding). I realized that I agreed with the statement that it’s not about living a successful life (generally measured by money and fame and glory) but rather a significant life. And what’s funny about the significance I mean to seek is that it is marked by the glory God is given as a result and not what is given to me. When you seek to have your life measured by those standards, it changes how you approach living.

I think a lot about how human I am. I make mistakes, I fall short of the glory. I fall short of others’ expectations, I fall short of standards. I make big mistakes, even if I meant not to. I make little mistakes, when I meant to do big greatness.

For the first time in a while, there is a song that I listen to daily. At first I thought it was so interesting that this song existed in the secular world because really – people who aren’t familiar with the Bible won’t really get the meaning of the words or the Biblical stories they are referring to. The song is Hallelujah by Kate Voegele. And funny enough, I just was reading Esther in the OT of the Bible and I thought it was interesting that it is a book that doesn’t mention faith much – but infers it throughout. I wonder if these themes are God saying to me how important it is to live in the world as a person of faith? And if so, it just reminds me of how important it is for me to do what God made me to do and how that is an important part of worshipping Him.

My dear friend VW told us that Christians would mark places where signficant things happened so that they would always remember what God had done in their lives. Maybe that’s the importance of having a blog: to mark these moments in my life. Hopefully by marking these moments, that gives God glory. And hopefully it’s these marked moments that will remind me of the richness of the blessings God has given me.

matthew 2:1-12

The Visit of the Magi

1After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi[a] from the east came to Jerusalem 2and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east[b] and have come to worship him.”

3When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ[c] was to be born. 5“In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
6” ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’[d]

7Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

9After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east[e] went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. 12And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

It’s amazing what a threat Jesus was to such a powerful ruler. Some of our friends have been having babies lately and it amazes me how helpless and vulnerable the babies are. Yes, they are resilient and strong, too, but they rely entirely on their parents for everything. The view at the time was that Jesus would be a political messiah – not an eternal one. The king was so quick to assume that he didn’t understand. I wonder – where is it in my own life that I am so quick to jump to conclusions that I miss out on what God is really saying.

matthew 1:18-25

The Birth of Jesus Christ

18This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

20But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[c] because he will save his people from their sins.”

22All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[d]—which means, “God with us.”

24When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

I know that what I got out of this was not any different from what anyone else would say about this passage, but it spoke to me where I’m at right now. It takes bravery and courage to do what God made you to do. It takes strength and faith to say “yes” to God when the situation seems impossible.

study on John 16

Using BibleGateway.com, I pulled this Bible Study together for small group tomorrow night. Its based on John 16:17-33

 

Read the section.

What are some statements / elements of this passage that stand out? Why? What ideas are repeated? (Repeated words/phrases often have high importance)

  • Looking for “I tell you the truth” or “Amen, Amen” and “little while”

The Disciples’ Grief Will Turn to Joy

17Some of his disciples said to one another, “What does he mean by saying, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me,’ and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” 18They kept asking, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand what he is saying.”

  • NOTE: asking, zeteo, means to seek. They are seeking this information from one another, even though they do not have the answers.
  • Share a time when you sought answers in this world and did not go to God.

19Jesus saw that they wanted to ask him about this, so he said to them, “Are you asking one another what I meant when I said, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me’?

  • NOTE: the phrase “little while” (mikron in Greek) is used 4 times in vv 16-19, which gives it emphasis. They understand that Jesus’ departure is imminent.
  • What event is Jesus describing when He talks about leaving the disciples and then returning to them? (note: context suggests Jesus is describing the climactic events of his revelation, which will indeed literally take place in a little while.)

20I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. 21A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. 22So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.

  • What does the metaphor of child bearing tell you about the disciple’s time of grief? What message does that convey to you?
  • The word mourn (threneo) clearly refers to grief at a death (cf. threnos, “dirge”). Weeping need not refer to grief at a death, but in John it is only used in such a context (11:31, 33; 20:11, 13, 15). Thus, Jesus is referring to the grief they suffer at his death.
  • How do the disciples experience new life after suffering/grieving?

23In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 24Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.

  • What is different about “in that day you will no longer ask me anything,” compared to “my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name?”
  • 2 diff’t Greek words are used
  • Ask questions – erotao
  • Petition – aiteo
  • “I tell you the truth” or “Amen, Amen” separates the two “asking” concepts. Draws distinction between the two ideas and two types of asking.
  • Indicates a change in relationship, too – the things they want to know about will become clear.
  • How is the communication between the Father and Christians depicted? (hint: ask & receive)
  • What does that communication tell us? Listen!

25″Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. 26In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”

 

  • Who is the subject of Jesus’ teachings? Is this consistent with all of Jesus’ teachings?
  • What does “tell you plainly” mean? NOTE: Possibly referring to the time between the resurrection and ascensio
    n.
  • What do verses 26 and 27 say about our relationship with the Father? Jesus reveals the Father’s love for us and our direct access to God. Jesus also revealed the character and heart of the Father is as well.<!–[