Monday, November 20, 2006

Magic in the air!

It's snowing!!!

This is a magical, happy day. :-) Happy first snow everybody!!!!

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

So, uh, speaking of justice...

First, I'll share a bit of a prayer that I wrote this morning. "God, you love justice. I ask that you give Jason justice today. Do not let him pay dearly for a crime he did not commit. Let him be at peace in his heart and know that you are in control. Give him joy in all circumstances because he knows that he is loved by you."

I've been praying for justice for Jason ever since I heard about these false charges. There is such tremendous freedom in having the truth on your side, like he did. And today, God gave him justice! The charges were dismissed because the person who was pressing the charges backed down. There are a lot more details that I cannot share, but I wanted to share this much! I know so many of you have been praying for Jason, and I wanted to say thank you. I haven't talked to him in quite awhile, but I know he appreciates your prayers.

God is amazing!!!

Monday, November 6, 2006

Maybe I'm not crazy after all.

I was reading in Amos this morning. I've been reading through whole books of the Bible at a time in big chunks. It's been really different than my average quiet time of years past, because I usually read really short passages and dissected them. I like reading chapters at a time. It gives me more context and allows me to see passages in ways I never have before. Plus, being the nerd that I am, I love the feeling of finishing a book.

Anyway, I came across this passage this morning that I really liked. When I got to work, I looked it up in several different translations, and I found two that I really liked.

Basically, in the book of Amos, God is speaking through his prophet Amos to tell his people that he is fed up with the way they are acting. Israel has done nothing but rebel against God, despite the way he has protected them and cared for them. So Amos is giving them the message that God's discipline is coming.

(Side note - I read a really interesting passage in this book about the difference between discipline and punishment. It made the distinction that discipline is allowing someone to feel the natural consequences of their actions so that they will learn responsibility. It is for their benefit. Punishment imposes chastisement for an action, and is usually for the sake of punishment itself, rather than to correct the inappropriate behavior out of love and a desire to see better, more responsible actions in the future. It finally helped me to reconcile the idea of God's correction with knowing that God doesn't delight in punishment.)

Back to the point. This passage reaffirmed to me God's heart and my passion for justice. I love the parts of the Bible where you see how deeply God cares about the people that no one else cares about. This has long been my driving force in the direction of my life, and I get excited when I find passages that show me that I am in line with God's heart. So few Christians seem to care about these things, that I often wonder if I am crazy for believing what I do.

Here is the passage for your perusal. I have both a translation and a paraphrase. I would love to know what thoughts you guys have when you read these powerful verses, so full of God's righteous indignation at his people while at the same time conveying his heart for righteousness and justice.

Amos 5:21-24 (New Living Translation)
21 "I hate all your show and pretense—
the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies.
22 I will not accept your burnt offerings and grain offerings.
I won't even notice all your choice peace offerings.
23 Away with your noisy hymns of praise!
I will not listen to the music of your harps.
24 Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice,
an endless river of righteous living."

Amos 5:21-24 (The Message)
"I can't stand your religious meetings.
I'm fed up with your conferences and conventions.
I want nothing to do with your religion projects,
your pretentious slogans and goals.
I'm sick of your fund-raising schemes,
your public relations and image making.
I've had all I can take of your noisy ego-music.
When was the last time you sang to me?
Do you know what I want?
I want justice—oceans of it.
I want fairness—rivers of it.
That's what I want. That's all I want."

Thursday, November 2, 2006

I think I know why Sylvia Plath stuck her head in the oven...

It is cold in my apartment, and getting colder by the minute. The beautiful, brisk fall day outside my apartment makes me happy. But no one likes to have to go open the fridge to feel warm. Speaking of which, there might be a problem with my refridgerator. But oh well. It's cold enough in my apartment that I don't have to worry about it!

I have to make it until the end of November before I turn my heat on!!! Otherwise, no one gets Christmas presents. :-(