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Archive for November, 2012

Small Hero

Saul’s son, Jonathan, had courageously gone out to battle alone while his father wavered and stalled.  God gave Jonathan favor, honored his faith, confused the enemy, and gave Israel the victory.  In 1 Samuel 14:24-35, we are given a more detailed account of the events of the battle that took place that day.

And the men of Israel had been hard pressed that day, so Saul had laid an oath on the people, saying, “Cursed be the man who eats food until it is evening and I am avenged on my enemies.” So none of the people had tasted food. ~1 Samuel 14:24 (more…)

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Little Kids vs. Big Kids

Round 1: Big Kids

Mia, my seven year-old, came to me crying yesterday and said, “I need to talk to you, Mommy.”  I followed her into another room where she poured her heart out.  In between sobs, this is what she said:

“Why do little kids have to break everything?”

I’m thinking, ‘You have no idea, kid.’  Considering all the things she had misplaced or broken over the years, I almost cracked a smile.  I thought it best not to, and, not to remind her of those things right now.  And all I could think of was my heart and how many times other people have broken it – many of them simply by being immature in their faith.   (more…)

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The Winner’s Circle

In 1 Samuel 14, Jonathan and his armor-bearer had gone out to battle alone.  Without an army, but with great faith and courage, they climbed uphill to the enemy’s camp.  And God went with them.  God honored their faith and sent confusion to the enemy.

And there was a panic in the camp, in the field, and among all the people. The garrison and even the raiders trembled, the earth quaked, and it became a very great panic… And behold, every Philistine’s sword was against his fellow, and there was very great confusion. ~1 Samuel 14:15, 20b

Meanwhile, Daddy Saul was still trying to figure out what on earth was going on.   (more…)

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Searching

On my first endeavor as a vendor, I watch.  With scenes from yesterday’s Black Friday reports still fresh in mind, I watch.

Everyone is searching.  Some for that one perfect gem.  Others will pick up anything.  They’re searching for a deal; searching for a gift;  searching for a treasure;  searching for a lift – something to make them full.

Full of excitement; full of joy; full of satisfaction.  Full, somehow.  Somehow, full.

The empty eyes search.  They re-search.  The empty hands reach.  They touch.  They clutch.  They spend.  And then, they begin again.

The eyes of my seven-year-old tell a different story, though.  They open wide as she remembers what day tomorrow is – Sunday.  She realizes we will be absent from church.

“What if it’s communion day!?  We have to take communion!”

Her mind begins to search.

“We’ll get some bread.  And some juice.  I’ll break it up…and, and, we’ll use the coffee creamer containers for the juice.  I’ll wash them out.  Make sure you save them!  Don’t throw them out!  And I’ll serve communion for us.  I’ll give a lesson for everyone.  It will be on Matthew.  How about that, Mom?”

Her eyes begin to search.  They search for approval.

“Forgiveness.  Yes.  Ok, Mia.  You can lead our church service tomorrow.  That will be nice.  We all need some forgiveness around here.”

Desperation amid desperation.  One for the world.  Another for grace.  And the wisdom of a child teaches her teacher once again.  She is his body, given for me today.

“Mustard is a humble plant…a modest little bush.  What a beautiful garden image of how the kingdom of God takes over the world – a small, subtle, humble invasion of goodness and grace.” ~Shane Claiborne

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gu3HWpP_X8

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An Uphill Climb

Jonathan was King Saul’s son.  He had decided to go on a military expedition behind his father’s back. He and he armor-bearer put their faith in the Lord and set out to conquer the enemy.  Since they were living amongst an army full of godless cowards, they knew someone had better do something soon lest they all lose their lives needlessly.

Jonathan said to the young man who carried his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised. It may be that the Lord will work for us, for nothing can hinder the Lord from saving by many or by few.” 7 And his armor-bearer said to him, “Do all that is in your heart. Do as you wish. Behold, I am with you heart and soul.” 8 Then Jonathan said, “Behold, we will cross over to the men, and we will show ourselves to them. 9 If they say to us, ‘Wait until we come to you,’ then we will stand still in our place, and we will not go up to them. 10 But if they say, ‘Come up to us,’ then we will go up, for the Lord has given them into our hand. And this shall be the sign to us.” ~1 Samuel 14:6-10 (more…)

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Kosher Gluttons

As I anxiously await Thanksgiving dinner this morning, I can’t help but think of Peter – the apostle, Peter, that is.

Peter was a good Jew.  The last thing someone like him would ever do is make a glutton of himself on non-kosher food.  Yet that is exactly what the Lord called him to do…in a sense.  Consider Acts 10.

Peter prayed.  While caught up in this hard work of the gospel, he became hungry.  As he awaited his meal, the sheet of unclean animals descended before his eyes.  God’s instructions were simple: “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.”   (more…)

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Rejects

Me and Daddy in Tiananmen Square 1991

In grade school, if you had looked up the term, “reject” in the dictionary, you’d likely have found my picture.  My dad was kind of hippie-like and my mom, well, my mom was just different I guess.  So, I was kind of a loner.  And I was quite happy being me until about the fifth grade…when the other kids starting taking notice of my funny clothes and lack of friends at recess.  Up until then, being me didn’t really bother me.  I liked being alone in Loriland, reading books and navigating monkey-bars by myself.  I liked my funny clothes.  Come to think of it, I still do.  (more…)

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