Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Pride Goes Before a AHHHH!

I really wanted to share some of the good stuff I've been reading in Isaiah, so I'll type out my notes on Isaiah 3.

Just as a sidenote, I learned yesterday that there have been a total of three "Barbie for President" dolls made. Can you say brainwashing?

verse 1: their supplies are removed by God.
verses 2-12: lack of wise leadership. I think it's interesting to see that women ruling (v. 12) equals bad leadership. God wants men to rule, obviously. And yet (in our nation especially), we grasp for our rights, as Pastor Zimmer has been saying. We want not only equal rights, but unbalanced-in-our-favor rights. We grasp and claw our way to the top of the heap. We don't want men ruling our country anymore. "It's time for a woman in office!" is the general rally cry. "After all," we (un)reason, "men have no more rights than women do," when all we really mean is that men should have no rights at all. What next--children ruling? (see vv. 4 & 12) With bad leadership and unjust rule comes anarchy, as Pastor Zimmer has been preaching. (vv. 8-9)
verses 13-15: Nobody is judging righteously, so here comes God Himself to judge (v. 13). He states the case (vv. 14-15).
vv. 16-26: The results of pride and vanity. It's so fitting for these vain creatures to become bald and ugly. This pride is to be guarded against! When you boil down sin to its root, it is always pride. So interesting. And it completely overtakes you--eventually, you can't even hide it anymore! (vv.9 & 16) It becomes all-encompassing, and next thing you know, your god of self is being crushed by the true God you've rejected.

The Amazing Race

Tonight is the premiere of The Amazing Race. I can't wait! It's so weird--I normally don't count down to things on tv, but this has been my favorite show for a couple of seasons. Last season, it was a family edition and just not the same, so I can't wait to get back to normal.

They are promoting it as "even more amazing," whatever that means. I just hope it doesn't go bad. I love this show. Anyhoo, lemme know if you're a fan, too. I know this is an incredibly silly post, but I gotta say, I'm excited. Dad, my brother and I have been counting down the days. (This show somehow hasn't caught my Mom--not yet anyway.)

Part of the reason I'm looking forward to it is because I'll be really glad to not have the stinking Olympics on anymore! Torino, Schplorino. I hate the stupid Olympics, this year more than ever. The one thing I wanted was for Fumie Suguri of Japan to medal in Ladies' Figure Skating. And I don't like Sasha Cohen. What got me was that little Miss Cohen got silver and Fumie got 4th! Cohen fell twice, and Suguri put out a beautiful performance. I think the judges are biased in some way--I was stinking mad. So anyway, yeah... I'm glad the Olympics are four whole years away. Okay, the blood pressure is going down... calm... happy place....

Sunday Night Life

Well, it happened again. It seems that my family is now haunted by sleepwalking. Sunday night, Dad, Mom & I were talking upstairs, with my little brother off to sleep. Suddenly, we heard the exuberant little voice of my brother exclaiming, "I'm going! I'm going!" and his footsteps running downstairs. I looked at my parents, they looked at me, and I ran downstairs after him. I found him running through the family room looking a little dazed. I asked him what he was doing and he stared at me. I told him, "Bud, it's just a dream. You're sleepwalking." I gave him a hug, and he walked up the stairs, looking more than a little disappointed. I turned off a light that I think he'd somehow turned on in my Dad's office, and headed back upstairs. Mom & I tucked him in and he immediately was fast asleep. We all laughed about it a bit and went back to bed. The next morning I told him about it, and he looked at me and laughed. He didn't remember one moment of the night before. Wonder where he was going...

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Two Lives

I'm sorry I'm such an unfaithful blogger! I seriously love blogging, I just don't always have time to type out all the things I want to share. So please forgive me. I thank you for your faithfulness in caring to read!

I want to share something interesting that Mom & I were discussing last night. We were trying to figure out how old my cousins are. The numbers keep changing each year--wonder how that happens! :) As a friend recently told me, "I'm glad it's you getting older, and not me!"

Anyway, we got to my oldest cousin, a doctor in his residency at Northwestern in Chicago, and I realized that at furthest, he is 2 years younger than my youth pastor! I could not believe it, and kept re-calculating. No, it was true. It wasn't so much that I couldn't believe he is that old, but rather that he is so much different from my youth pastor. My cousin is the type of person you rarely think about, because he is such a life-waster. You say, "Wait, I thought he was a doctor!" Yes, he is a doctor.A doctor that I disagree with on many points. I don't see how a doctor can vow "I will maintain the utmost respect for human life," and take every step he can toward population control. His value system is completely opposed to God, and I have been sad to see the direction his life has taken. But then I thought about my youth pastor and the direction his life has taken--completely devoting it to God, and I couldn't believe how two men could be so different. I'm so astounded by the power God has in the life of a believer. One man has taught me nothing but the folly of a life decidedly at enmity with God, and the other has taught me more things than I can articulate here, most valuable of which is the joy of a life completely devoted to God. One has wasted his life, and the other has made his life and teaching incredibly useful, yet both would consider the other's life a waste. All I can do is pray that God would make a changing work in the life of my cousin, and pray that I will live a godward life.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

A Snowy Week

I was thinking today about ways that I can resolve to change my life because of what I learned at Snow Retreat, and some interesting things came to mind. (For those of you who don't attend my church, this retreat was about the life of Jonathan Edwards, and his teachings on religious affections.) There are many other things I've learned from this retreat (particularly points from the messages, which can eventually be found at the One28 website or at Pastor Sean Higgins' blog), but these are just some observations.

1) I realized that Bible reading is so much easier than prayer. Allow me to explain--When you want to read the Bible more, you can make it specific, like, "I'll read two chapters every day" or "I'm going to get done with the Old Testament by the end of the year." But when it comes to prayer, there's no legalizing that. You can't easily tell when you're "good enough" or when you've "made it." I know that I need prayer to be a much bigger part of my life. I'll be working on that.

2) There will be times of encouragement and discouragement. Even in my Bible reading, lately, I've been seeing God's goodness to Israel (encouraging), then really bad kings (discouraging).But over all, God is just and merciful! I know this is really gross, but I thought it was such a vivid portrayal of God's wrath on those who hate Him, so I'll tell you about it. Yesterday I read about Jehoram (2 Chronicles 21), a really evil king following in the ways of Ahab (the Bible points out "for Ahab's daughter was his wife.") As soon as Jehoram became king, he killed all his brothers, and some of Israel's rulers. This guy wasn't very well liked, for obvious reasons--by God or by men. So God sent word via Email--I mean Elijahmail--to Jehoram that...well... his bowels would come out. Yep, he was extremely sick for two years, his family was taken by raiders, his bowels came out, and he died. I can't really imagine a worse way to die. Uh...well... no, never mind.. I can't. So that was both discouraging/encouraging, because he was such an evil king, and because he really got what he had coming to him. But then today, I got to see (2 Chronicles 22-23) how God used faithful people to crown a godly ruler. So I've been encouraged/discouraged in various ways lately. I was discouraged because of Wed. night's session, and wondered whether I was even saved, whether I truly loved God, just kind of broke down into pieces at Cabin Time. But on Thursday, I realized that God really is alive & working in me--although there are so many areas where my love for Him needs to grow. So then, I was encouraged by that, and encouraged to love God more and walk in His way.

3) I really want to make/copy resolutions for my life. Mom came up with this idea during Cabin Time, and I started reading the Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards. I didn't actually finish (there's a short-term resolution right there!) but got through enough to know that I really have some changes to make. So I'm going to copy some of Edward's resolutions--hope he doesn't mind!--and I may make some of my own.

4) I want to type up my notes. As I've said in small group before, when I am taking sermon notes in a hurry, my handwriting goes to pot. I think that this will make it much easier to re-read them in the future. I also think it will help me to culminate my thoughts into useful resolutions (see point #3).

5) I don't know why this is last, it really shouldn't be, but last is also a place of honor, so here goes. I'm so thankful for the faithful teaching & accountability I received at Snow Retreat, and continually recieve in church & One28. Pastor Sean's teaching and the accountability & discussion provided by others, primarily staff leaders, is so beneficial in my life. I know that it will be hard to graduate, knowing that I have to leave this behind. But hey, God has His road ahead, and I have had 5 fabulous years of teaching & accountability to impact me! So I thank you, leaders, for your faithfulness to be used by God, for the Love of God, to His glory.