Saturday, January 31, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
Why do we do that? Why do we have the compulsion to put everything into neat little boxes, especially when it comes to God? Perhaps we get overwhelmed by how big God is and how much we really will never be able to completely wrap our minds around Him. Or perhaps we feel the need of the security that “knowing” brings. I suppose our human answer is to categorize, outline and alliterate our relationship with Him into a neat package that can be put into a book, sermon, or theology class notes.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand more now than ever my need for true Bible study. Not just reading a few chapters and checking that duty off my list, but the need to bathe myself in the word. To eat, as it where, the bread of life and let it become part of me, to change me from within. To take in His perspective and let it change how I see life, how I think, how I act. But is it helpful to make our charts? Does it encourage me to question my heart and motives (which after all is what Jesus is most concerned with) to have an outline that I can check off and then go about my life? If I already have it all figured out and have given it my own man-made terms, then do I really come to scripture open and ready to conform myself to it’s teachings as opposed to making it fit into mine?
I know that as humans we are limited. We can only communicate with language, and so at some point there may be a need for charts and outlines. However, when I look at what a relationship ought to be, I can’t help but think how meaningless a relationship would become if we had to categorize everything. I can see it now. Matt and I have a contract, I do the dishes everyday, however on days that I am unwell, busy or otherwise predisposed he is to awaken early and unload the dishwasher. This is called prevenient love. On days when I unload the dishwasher, even if I’m not feeling well, all because Matt has provided food from which I gain strength to do the said task, this is called provisional love. Sounds crazy doesn’t it? Takes the beauty of Matt and I both doing all that we can for the other simply out of love and trust, doesn’t it? The further danger is that the contract becomes our law, and so I only do what is specified in the contract, because that is all that is required in order to still be married. Furthermore, I have the “right” to be mad if Matt doesn’t fulfill all of my expectations of what I read into the contract. It turns beautiful acts of love and devotion into servitude, and it gives permission to do what I want within the bounds of the contract. Somehow we go from being focused on the other to being focused on ourselves.
What I’m learning is that I don’t need to focus on all the terms if my heart is where it should be. If I am completely surrendered to my Father’s will, if I wholeheartedly trust Jesus with my life , than the obvious desire of my heart will be to please him, to obey him, to study his life and teachings. My understanding at this point is that if I am there, if I am honest before my God and willing to do, go , or be whatever would please Him, than I am acceptable in His sight. Perhaps we should take the energy that we spend on terms and “what ifs” and do the hard work of examining our hearts, asking ourselves the tough questions, crying out, “Search me O God and know my heart today.”
Before I close let me add a disclaimer. I realize that ideas have consequences. Some ideas must be addressed because of the consequence of following after them. So often, terms and charts must be discussed for good reason. Even in this, the terms or ideas are not the focus though; the focus is coming to the place of a heart fully surrendered to God. But that is for another blog…..
Friday, January 23, 2009
Today we read, The Crow and the Pitcher by Aesop. Below is their Narration.
The crow and the pitcher (Micah)
One day the crow was getting really thirsty because he was flying hard and it was hot. Just then he saw a pitcher on the bottom of a cool patio. He went down and he tried to drink, but there was just a bitty bitty bit of water inside the pitcher. And so he tried to get it with his beak, but his beak was too short. And so he went out under a tree looking and thinking of what could help him. Just then he saw some pebbles, he said, “Oh, maybe I could drop them inside the pitcher and then the water would rise.” He dropped the pebbles in one by one. The water rised and he drank and he drank and he drank and he drank until he was full.
Moral: “Many hard things can be accomplished with stuff.”
The Crow and the Pitcher (Josiah)
Once upon a time there was a crow flying over cottages and he began to get thirstier and thirstier. At the edge of a little patio there was a little pitcher with a bit of water in it. The crow thought, “I will try to tip the jar over and drink what spills.” But the jar was too heavy. So the crow tried to stretch his neck as long as he could to get the water, but he still couldn't drink the water because his neck was too short. And then the crow sat under the shade of a tree so that he could think for a bit. In the cool shade of that tree he noticed by the patio a bunch of pebbles. And he said, “If I can put those pebbles in the pitcher the water will rise and I can drink.” And so he began, one by one, picking up the pebbles and putting them in, picking up the pebbles and putting them in. Sooner or later the water was high enough for the crow to drink.
Moral: Hard work makes joy.
Monday, January 12, 2009
Micah played the part of "The Angel of the Lord" and "The Constable". Josiah was the "Sheep who was allergic to cotton".
Becca and I had the privilege of directing the Play for the older kids (9 - 14year olds). We had a blast and were SO proud our "our" talented kids.
Detroit Louie and his side kick, Harry the Lift!
Our two Angels
Mrs. Aiken, Julie, a blind girl, and Mr. Varner. (Don't you love Mrs. Aiken's hair? What a blast from the past. :))