Mark My Words #1

silence

Silence can get awkward pretty quick. Silence can drive you crazy when it is all you get from an angry spouse over dinner. Silence can drive us mad when we are waiting for word from a college entrance or SAT score. It was over 400 years of silence in which ensued from the last page of the Old Testament to the events in the New Testament. The Jews are again in the Promised Land after the Babylonian captivity, but now they face oppression from the world’s major super power: Rome.

Where had God gone? What was he doing? Today we look for insight in the midst of silence looking at the opening verses of the first gospel written, Mark. As you will see as Mark begins writing, he starts explaining how the events of the past were a salient announcement for the events of his present, revealing…

In Times of Silence–God Is Preparing the World (Mark 1:2a- “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way”—) In Malachi—we get the full picture of what God is saying: “You have wearied the LORD with your words. “How have we wearied him?” you ask. By saying, “All who do evil are good in the eyes of the LORD and he is pleased with them” or “Where is the God of justice?” “See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me.” Continue reading “Mark My Words #1”

Quote of the Day

battered.jpg

“There they are. There we are–the multitude who so wanted to be faithful, who at times got defeated, soiled by life, and bested by trials, wearing the bloodied garments of life’s tribulations, but through it all clung to the faith.”

“The church is not a museum for saints, but a hospital for sinners.”

Brennan Manning (Ragamuffin Gospel, Chapter #1)

Building with our Brothers in Mind

Today’s Bible reading has Solomon (1 Kings 5-6) working to bring the idea of a temple from the planning stage into a reality.

What a momentous undertaking, the natural resources needed from word, stone cut in quarries far away, but also a huge need for manpower.

5:13-King Solomon conscripted laborers from all Israel–thirty thousand men. He sent them off to Lebanon in shifts of ten thousand a month, so that they spent one month in Lebanon and two months at home.

Two things stand out to me as salient. One, Samuel was absolutely right when he foretold the struggles which would ensue from having a king. Turning over leadership to an earthly king instead of a heavenly Father came at a price. Secondly, as Solomon sought to honor God and use godly wisdom he had to build with his brothers, the workers in mind. He showed concern for the families of the workers realizing that when the family starts falling apart, the nation isn’t far behind. Continue reading “Building with our Brothers in Mind”

Wisdom to Ask for the Right Thing

My Bible reading this morning took me to 1 Kings 3.

What stood out was God’s open invitation and Solomon’s specific response.

God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you”…

Now, Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?

God’s question left open any option and Solomon’s answer didn’t settle for something short-term, short-sighted, or out of focus. Continue reading “Wisdom to Ask for the Right Thing”

Starting in the Beginning

Over the last few days, it has been easy to get antsy, nervous, and worried. There are so many things to worry about, to consider, and contingency plans to draw up in my head. With a new beginning comes unanswered questions: “What will things be like?” or “What are the unwritten expectations?” As I was driving to work this morning, praying for the peace of God, he put a familiar verse into my head:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Gen 1:1)

It is easy to read pass this verse as the first of many more to come. The first that leads into a host of debates, arguments, and perspectives. This morning though, I wanted to get lost in the wonder of those 10 words. In those 10 words God holds the world in His hand. He holds sway over the winds and the waves of life. He is the master of every situation just as he suspends the heavens in their celestial home. There is no room for fear in the awe of creation, as the Word poured forth from the lips of the Father, and the Spirit hovered and sustained.

If you pray for me as I embrace this new beginning, but also join me this morning getting lost in the awe of the abounding power of our God. In the face of fear let’s forge a new path towards the radiance of the one who gave the world itself light!

 

Saying Goodbye-Final Piece

As I leave, I cannot help but envision…

A Picture of Completion (Philippians 1:9-10) And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

Abound more and more, the implication is utterly undeniable, we all as human beings have a tendency to become comfortable instead of growing to completion. Listen to what Paul gets across; it is only as you continue to grow that you can continue to be on guard! When you stop the process of doing the work God has for you or the work God wants to do in you, the risk increases of missing out on the very purpose of your creation.

A group of tourists visiting a picturesque village walked by an old man sitting beside a fence. In a rather patronizing way, one tourist asked him, “Were any great men born in this village?”

Continue reading “Saying Goodbye-Final Piece”