Sunday, July 27, 2008

Have You Been Healed?

Mark 1:40-45 ESV
(40) And a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, "If you will, you can make me clean."
(41) Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, "I will; be clean."
(42) And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean.
(43) And Jesus sternly charged him and sent him away at once,
(44) and said to him, "See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to them."
(45) But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in desolate places, and people were coming to him from every quarter.

There are a couple of things about this passage that really strike me. One is that Jesus was willing to touch a leper. Spend some time in the Pentateuch and you will see that Jews took leprosy very, very seriously. By doing this Jesus made Himself ceremonially unclean, yet He still reached out and touched this man. I know that He did the same thing with me, and unclean sinner.

Note verse 45. Jesus had "sternly charged" him in verse 43 not to speak to anyone about what happened. Yet this man could not help but talk to people.

Meanwhile, we have the Great Commission to go and speak to people about Jesus. Yet it is a struggle for us to do so. What does this say about us? Do we really believe that we have been healed of anything? Do we really believe that a miracle has taken place in our lives?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

End of an Era

I resigned from Setting Captives Free today. It was very, very hard to do it. However, I think that this will ultimately be for the best. I just don't have the time for it anymore. I found myself spending at least an hour of every workday on it, which I just couldn't do with a clear conscience. Plus, my attitude has been slowly degrading. I just don't care about my students like I should.

It is very hard to leave behind all the people who were serving under me. I kept hearing about how much they appreciated me and were praying for me. Plus, the leaders above me have consistently expressed their love and appreciation for me. It's hard to leave like this, but I think it's time.

I don't know what God has in store in the short-term, but I do think that the 5 1/2 years I spent serving with SCF will be a great foundation for any future ministry to which I may be called.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Staying Focused

Check out this article for one family's ways of using technology effectively so as not to distract.

Meanwhile, I'm still trying to learn the Hebrew alephbet.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Next Fun Thing

My Hebrew textbook arrived on Saturday. Unfortunately, I've been busy with some other things and haven't had much time to dive into it. Once I finish this post I plan to read more about the alphabet and the vowel markings. Frankly, the alphabet has me a tad intimidated. Greek was relatively easy as I knew most of the letters. These all look more or less like squiggles to me right now. The vowel markings should make things interesting as well.

It's amazing how excited I can be about something new and lose interest in the current class that previously interested me. Check back in two months and see if I am still so interested in Hebrew...

Friday, July 18, 2008

Ever Feel Like This?

Psalms 13:1-6 ESV
(1) To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?
(2) How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
(3) Consider and answer me, O LORD my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
(4) lest my enemy say, "I have prevailed over him," lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.
(5) But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
(6) I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me.

Verse 2 really hits home for me. It seems that there is a connection between sorrow in the heart and taking counsel in the soul. Verse 3 is the prayer that seems targeted at the heart of God. He asks that Yahweh would answer him.

Isn't it exciting that God answers us through His Word? We really do have the answers we need. We just have to read them.

I need to remember the promises of verse 5 and 6. How about you?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

From Tozer

We had a great trip to Ohio, though the drives were a bit long. Not much we can do about that. I'll write more about the conference later. In the meantime, please chew on this:

The Church: The Genuine Joy of the Lord

Then he said to them, "Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and
send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is
holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your
--Nehemiah 8:10

We are missing the mark about Christian victory and the life of joy
in our Savior. We ought to be standing straight and praising our God!

I must agree with the psalmist that the joy of the Lord is the
strength of His people. I do believe that the sad world is attracted
to spiritual sunshine--the genuine thing, that is.

Some churches train their greeters and ushers to smile, showing as
many teeth as possible. But I can sense that kind of display, and when
I am greeted by a person who is smiling because he or she has been
trained to smile, I know I am shaking the flipper of a trained seal.
When the warmth and joy of the Holy Spirit are in a congregation,
however, and the folks are spontaneously joyful, the result is a
wonderful influence upon others....

I have said it a hundred times: The reason we have to search for so
many things to cheer us up is the fact that we are not really joyful
and contentedly happy within....But we are Christians, and Christians
have every right to be the happiest people in the world. Tragedy in
the Church: The Missing Gifts, 10,11.

Wow, that hits me right where I'm at!

(apologies for the formatting. In a rush right now...)

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Would You Pray This?

Psalms 7:8 ESV
(8) The LORD judges the peoples; judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness and according to the integrity that is in me.

On a surface level, I don't think I would dare pray this. I know my own sinful heart too well. I certainly would not want to be judged on that.

However, the good news is that I am judged by the righteousness of Christ. That of course is not a "get out of hell free" card, but it is great news that I can pray this with confidence. God will judge me based on the righteousness imputed upon me. At least that's my understanding of the atoning sacrifice of Christ on the cross.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Almost There...

It's been a busy weekend. I have my project for hermeneutics due on Friday. The bad news is that I really need to have it done by Wednesday evening since we are driving to Cleveland on Thursday. The good news is that I think I have gathered enough source material. It's just a matter of synthesizing it.

I remember a former coworker who was taking a Perl programming class. He felt like he had all the work done except for "the syntax and stuff." Well, that's what programming is. In the same way, this little detail of synthesizing data is what this class is all about.

I do think I am more or less equipped to handle various texts. There is just a certain amount of sweat equity required to do this.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Song of Songs

What do you make of this book? I have heard a variety of interpretations for it and just had to write a short paper on it. I think that this book can be read at three levels, in progressing levels of obscurity:
  1. A love poem
  2. An allegory for Christ's love for the church
  3. A metaphor for how much we should pursue wisdom
The love poem is pretty obvious. I think that it clearly speaks to the passion that a husband and wife should have for each other. In Christian circles it is sometimes mentioned that wives should take care of themselves for their husbands. I agree with this and I winced at all the flak Mark Driscoll once took for making this point. However, I think we also need to remember that husbands should take care of themselves too. Men, we need to bathe and shower. We also need to do the little things that make our wives happy. We're so easy to stimulate as it usually just takes a suggestive look or a glimpse of flesh. Women are more relational. Work on it. Talk to your wife about it.

The allegorical interpretation is the historic one of the church. The problem is that the book lacks any clear references to Christ and the church. Sos 1:4 is perhaps a reference to Joh 6:44, but that's kind of subtle. I think that Epheisans 5:25-33 makes it more clear. That passage shows that the marriage relationship is a metaphor for Christ's love for the church. Therefore, as this book shows the passionate pursuit of a married couple for each other it would seem to make it clear that Christ pursues us passionately and we should pursue Him with vigor as well.

The wisdom metaphor is a bit strained, but I can see it. Proverbs 1-9 makes it clear that there are two women -- folly and wisdom. The whole passage is an apologetic for pursuing woman wisdom. Perhaps Song of Songs is telling us how we should pursue woman wisdom.

Either way, it's a fun book if you're not too prudish about winds in gardens and hands on bolts.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


For those who are interested, I'm pretty sure I did well on my first Old Testament II test. Fortunately I memorized all the lists in the notes and those came into play as I responded to the questions on the test.

I am really enjoying this class. I need to get more gumption going for the hermeneutics project I need to get done.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Using Time Wisely

Check out this post from the great blog titled "Blog and Mablog." I'm not entirely certain who the author is, but I'm pretty sure her is a PCA pastor. I believe he lives in Idaho as well. He is a prolific reader and writer. The way he uses his time reminds me a bit of how I try to use mine. I particularly like the bit about getting up at 5:00. That's what it takes for me.