Archives For Scripture

Columbus Day

October 12, 2015 — Leave a comment
image courtesy clement127 @ flickr

image courtesy clement127 @ flickr

As holidays go, Columbus Day has often felt like a strange celebration. For me, though, Columbus Day has become something of an annual reminder of this truth:

We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps (Proverbs 16:9, NLT). 

Whether you think of columbus as hero, villain, or some hybrid of the two, the story of his journey and ‘discovery’ seems like a great reminder of how we can plan a course and destination for ourselves…only to find other circumstances being used to bring us to an unanticipated new world of possibility and adventure–something far different than we may have initially imagined.

My prayer for my family and for the teams I get to be part of is that we would be found trusting the Holy Spirit to determine our steps; that we would look upon life’s unexpected detours as divine opportunities for adventure which just might redefine the way we see the world and our place in it.

 

This is what the LORD says, he who made the earth, the LORD who formed it and established it–the LORD is his name: Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.

Jeremiah 33:2-3

mercy v. sacrifice

June 17, 2014 — 2 Comments

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image: Mark Brannan @ Flickr

But go and learn what this means, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” (Mt. 9:13, NIV)

These words of Jesus to the religious elite who were called to bring the people of Israel nearer to God and his ways (and tried to do so in a clumsy way that focused on legalistic observance more than righteous freedom) can almost seem like a well-deserved slam against these same religious leaders. But the context indicates something more like a loving directive rather than cold correction from Jesus.

He gives this religious group time to learn the meaning of what he has said. And later—the very next time we see interaction with this same group, there’s disappointment that they have not taken to heart his loving directive: If you had known what these words mean, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice,” you would not have condemned the innocent.” (Mt. 12:7, NIV)

What I love about these interactions is that Jesus himself doesn’t immediately move toward condemnation or open rebuke, but mercifully gives time to those who should know better to have a paradigm shift. They don’t, and it results in them beginning to to pursue the destruction of the one come to rescue them.

This interaction has me thinking:

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inheritance

June 12, 2014 — Leave a comment

An inheritance claimed too soon will not be blessed in the end.
~ Proverbs 20:21

This truth is played out so often in us when we expect a journey’s worth of respect, experience, and influence at the beginning of that journey. When we expect to be given what ought to be earned in any respect, we claim an inheritance before it’s ours and seldom does that have the flavor of blessing we had anticipated.

The inherent challenge in something like this is that it demands a long view perspective–what do we want at the end of our inheritance? Of our life? Our vocation? Blessing comes not in claiming or demanding now what is ours anyway; inheritance is something given, in trust, by another. Blessing comes in the faithfulness and trusting necessary for life in the in-between.

In the waiting is a place of blessing.

strange

June 9, 2014 — Leave a comment

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image: “13” by Evan Blaser on Flick

Moses saw that though the bush was on fire, it did not burn up. So Moses thought, I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up. – Exodus 3:3, NIV

How many of us have yearned for a ‘burning bush’ moment? An instance where it seems the God of Heaven has gone out of his way to grab our attention and adjust the trajectory of our lives?

Moses’s story is one of journey that always seems to take longer than it should to get the intended destination. I like that about his story because mine (and yours, too) seems to have the same theme. And in those moments where the journey seems destination-less we long for the kind of intervention Moses experienced at the bush 2/3 of the way through his life.

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