Saturday, February 28, 2009
"6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
I started repeating the verse aloud to myself in the car over and over and suddenly a wave of calm came over me. It turns out God did have a plan, and I followed instructions pretty well. Although I wanted to barge into the meeting with a "YOU CAN'T FIRE ME! I QUIT!" attitude, I managed to keep calm. Apparently the issue is that I work too independently, now at other jobs I was encouraged to work independently and to seek out projects to do on my own, but apparently I'm not seen enough because I'm always diving into projects on my own. To each company their own preferences I guess. I'm just glad they didn't ask me why I loved working there like they have before. I may have thrown up. I actually ended up having a pretty good day, despite working where I do, having to work on a Saturday, not feeling well and the pretenses upon which the day started. I guess the peace of Christ was on me the whole day and I actually (dare I say it) had some fun at work.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
It`s frustrating to go to work, spend the day processing returns and then have your hours cut at the end of the day because of it. I spend my day hearing vapid complaints meanwhile my wife and I barely have enough money to pay rent or buy food. Don`t get me wrong, the LORD takes care of us, and when we are found without he sends us an abundance and we pull through, it is still however discouraging.
I feel called to the LORD`s service, and I am itching to get moving on it. I had a conversation with God a while ago and he told me it was time to leave my current job. Upon further prayer I felt God tell me to stay. Heartbroken I questioned God, wondering why the God who doesn`t change his mind had changed his mind. I meditated on the subject a while longer and came to the conclusion that God didn`t want me to take another job that I would wind up hating in a few months, but that I should wait for his timing to place me in a job I will love. I also feel like maybe at this point, the LORD`s work might be ministering to the people at work. However I seem to be taking Jonah`s reluctant stance on this. Hopefully I won`t have to be swallowed by a whale to get the picture. even so... work sucks.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Now that puts husbands in a very unique and difficult situation. Although we are all to strive to be more Christ-like, this verse then puts husbands in an extra sub-category of Christ-likeness that should scare most men. Firstly, Christ was brutally honest, about everything, secondly he died for the church, and thirdly (women your going to love this) in both Matthew 20:28 and Mark 10:45 it says "For the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many"
When I first got married people would ask me dating or marriage advice, and my main response was "Just don't call her a bitch. Name calling is bad." And although name calling is bad I soon discovered that marriage was so much more than not calling your wife a bitch. It's clear from scripture that the role of a husband is a role of faithfulness, servitude, honesty, honour, protection and holiness. And near as I can tell we have been messing this up from day one. Venture back in time with me as we look at the first married couple, Adam and Eve. Now Eve often gets blamed for the fall of man, but I think that is mainly by people who haven't read past the first two books. In Number chapter 30:10-15 it says " 10 If a woman living with her husband makes a vow or obligates herself by a pledge under oath 11 and her husband hears about it but says nothing to her and does not forbid her, then all her vows or the pledges by which she obligated herself will stand. 12 But if her husband nullifies them when he hears about them, then none of the vows or pledges that came from her lips will stand. Her husband has nullified them, and the LORD will release her. 13 Her husband may confirm or nullify any vow she makes or any sworn pledge to deny herself. 14 But if her husband says nothing to her about it from day to day, then he confirms all her vows or the pledges binding on her. He confirms them by saying nothing to her when he hears about them. 15 If, however, he nullifies them some time after he hears about them, then he is responsible for her guilt."
This demonstrates a husbands obligation to his wife. Firstly, upon closer examination of Adam and Eve we see that Eve was deceived, not Adam, had he taken the opportunity to rebuke her, the fall may never have happened, but because he stayed silent he confirmed her sin (and then took part in it). Secondly, from the passage in Numbers we see that it is clearly the husbands duty to take responsibility for his wife's actions (especially when he has consented her decision to sin) but when God shows up Adam does two things; he hides, and he invents blame-shifting. In Genesis 3:10-12 it says
10 He (Adam) answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid."
11 And he (God) said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?"
12 The man said, "The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it."
The Catholics believe that sin is transferred "semenally". Maybe that's why we all seem to blame God for problems that we bring on ourselves. It appears to me that God gave Adam several opportunities to get out of the fall. First: If Adam didn't eat the fruit. Second: If Adam confessed on behalf of him and his wife for eating the fruit and accepting the consiquenses. Third: If Adam hadn't strait up blamed God and his Wife for the trouble in his life. If any of the three a fore mentioned things had happened, who knows, we might all still be naked vegetarians hanging out with God.
It seems the bottom line is, we need to man up. Husbands are the representatives of Christ in a marriage, while wives are representing the Church and the nations. When you look at it in that light, no matter what, wives are holding up their end of the bargain. Are we? This then is a charge to all married men, and all men who will soon be married. Live in servitude to your wife, love her as Christ loves the church, honour your vows to respect her in everything you do. Take note from Corinthians 7:1-7 (the whole chapter is good, but long so read it yourselves!)
1Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry.a]">[a] 2But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. 3The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. 5Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6I say this as a concession, not as a command. 7I wish that all men were as I am. But each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.
Just remember what Proverbs 18:22 says "22 He who finds a wife finds what is good
and receives favor from the LORD"
Monday, February 23, 2009
"30 And Jephthah made a vow to the LORD : "If you give the Ammonites into my hands, 31 whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites will be the LORD's, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering."
And of course as Jephthah returns from the Ammonites in victory, who is it that first comes out of his house to greet him but his daughter. At first when I would read this I was thinking "well what did he expect come out of his house? The cat? a beach ball?" But of course this is part of how the LORD works mysteriously. Now I ask you to suspend your amazement at the willingness of Biblical children to be burnt sacrifices for just a moment, as this is actually what happens. Jephthah's daughter consents to being a burnt offering on the condition that she may go into the mountains with her friends and mourn for a while. Jephthah grants her request. One of the weirder aspects of this story is found at the end of chapter 11 where in verse 39 and 40 it says "39 After the two months, she returned to her father and he did to her as he had vowed. And she was a virgin.
From this comes the Israelite custom 40 that each year the young women of Israel go out for four days to commemorate the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite."
From what I can tell, and from every biblical scholar I have spoken too, and even in the liner notes in my bible, this is the only place in the bible that this four day festival is mentioned, which many people take as meaning that it must have been a local village festival. I have a different theory about it. If we can now skip ahead to the end of Judges we find that the Benjamites have greatly sinned against God and the rest of Israel (although it seems the rest of Israel isn't doing so good either...) so the Isrealites practically anihalated the Benjamites (save maybe six hundred who ran away) and then swore an oath not to give any of their daughters in marriage to them. The LORD at this point decides that he doesn't want one of the 12 tribes to be wiped out so they decide to go hide in a vinyard and wait for some girls to show up celebrating a festival. In 21:18-22 it says "18 We can't give them our daughters as wives, since we Israelites have taken this oath: 'Cursed be anyone who gives a wife to a Benjamite.' 19 But look, there is the annual festival of the LORD in Shiloh, to the north of Bethel, and east of the road that goes from Bethel to Shechem, and to the south of Lebonah."
20 So they instructed the Benjamites, saying, "Go and hide in the vineyards 21 and watch. When the girls of Shiloh come out to join in the dancing, then rush from the vineyards and each of you seize a wife from the girls of Shiloh and go to the land of Benjamin. 22 When their fathers or brothers complain to us, we will say to them, 'Do us a kindness by helping them, because we did not get wives for them during the war, and you are innocent, since you did not give your daughters to them.' "
I present to you that this is the same festival previously mentioned in Judges 11. I present to you that the LORD caused Jephthah to swear a careless oath and fullfill it so that this anual festival would take place so that one of the 12 would not be obliterated. I would also like to point out that this happening directly impacts the crowning of Israels first king as Saul was a Benjamite. The fact that the fathers of the daughters who were married off to the remaining Benjamites were so angry could also explain why the festival is never mentioned again throughout the Bible. Kind of a "well if this is whats going to happen then screw it!" sort of attitude. Thus, the LORD works in mysterious ways, and a "WTF!?" type story all of a sudden kind of makes sense.