>Prayers

>Father God,

Thank you for this year.
For the exciting new developments, for the tragedies, and for the “little” events that will play big parts in our futures.
Thank you for Abby and her place in my life…now and in the coming year.
Thank you for my family and their support in a time where I don’t know what I’ll be doing tomorrow, much less a month or a year from now.
Thank you for the avalanche of blessings we receive and take for granted every day.
When we wake up and feel the brisk morning air, may we remember those who slept in the cold with no shelter from the winds.
When we sit down to a warm meal, may we remember those with nothing to eat.
When we complain on the way to our jobs, may we remember those who lack work and the feeling of self-worth that can come from being wanted.
When we look at our presents from Christmas and disdainfully dismiss some of them, may we remember those who woke up to an empty tree.
Give us the love to treat others as You have called us to treat them, and the grace to try again when we inevitably fail.  Allow us to remember Your Son and the sacrifices He made so that we may have this life of freedom from sin and death.  
In Jesus name, we lift 2009 up to You–
Amen. 
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>Joyeux Noel

>

That last post stunk. This one is better, because they aren’t my words.

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”  Luke 2:8-11
Happy Holidays guys.

>Fin.

>Took my only two finals today for the semester…which means I’m free!

It’s incredible how bogged down we can be with life, even if it’s all good-natured and well-intended.  I got busy with friends and jobs and weddings and whatnot and forgot all about that little school thing I had going on…which led to quite the feeling of dismay during my Greek final.  I may be done with Greek, but I fear it’s not done with me.  That sucker may haunt me for a while.
Anyone reading back on this, I encourage you to prioritize your life and learn to be happy with those choices.  If you choose work over school, you have to deal with those consequences.  But I will give you a small hint:
God is first. Always. No doubt about it. 
Let Jesus be your alpha and omega. 
(And there’s the greek again. Drat.)
“Listen to me, O Jacob, Israel, whom I have called: I am he; I am the first and I am the last.”  Isaiah 48:12

>Glass to the Arson

>”…and we are, we are, we are the arsons/who start all of your fires…” –Anberlin, Glass to the Arson


I talked with Mandy today about the differences between New Testament and Old Testament imagery.  The NT talks a lot about death and life and being washed clean…all fairly common images in today’s society.  We have become so desensitized to the horrors of the world that death does not shock us like it should.  
The OT, however, uses awesome images like a Valley of Dry Bones (Ezekiel) gaining flesh and muscle and coming back to life or a plague of locusts devouring everything in its sight (Joel).  If we imagined sin as something that literally consumed us, bit by agonizing bit, screaming for help that won’t come, until we are left dead, how real would it be for us then? The God of the OT doesn’t play around.
Which leads me to arson.
We sometimes think of our conversion as a happy time, with wet hair and hugs and someone taking us to lunch afterwards, if we’re really lucky.  John the Baptizer comments that he baptizes with water, but there is one coming who will baptize with fire and the Holy Spirit.  What if when we accepted that Spirit, the holy tongues of fire descended and we burst into a righteous flame, like the burning bush, aglow with the love and grace and awesome power of our God?  Maybe then we would get it…the importance of life and the devastation of sin.  
I want to be an arsonist for God, lighting the world on fire with the Divine Spark until we are all a mighty conflagration, consuming everyone we come in contact with in the warmth of His love.
Got a match?
“For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.”  Deuteronomy 4:24

>The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon

>What a ridiculous game.

However, I can honestly say that I haven’t met anyone who is anywhere close to as good at it as I am. Sad, but true…I dominate that ridiculous game.  For some reason, God gave me the ability to recall actors and actresses from movies that I haven’t ever seen.  It’s a nice party trick and conversation starter, and it also leads to me being in anguish because I know who starred in movies from 15 years ago but I can’t remember Greek vocabulary from 15 minutes ago. But that is neither here nor there.
The coolest thing about the human body to me has always been how it all works together.  The heart and spleen and liver and fingernails all work together to keep us healthy and keep everything regulated the way it needs to be.  There is a reason we refer to the church as the body of Christ…we all need to work together.
Today I got a Facebook message from my sister’s roommate, who’s best friend’s sister is interviewing at the same Optometry school that Abby is at.  Yes…read that again.  My sister’s (Jenna)  roommate’s (Hilary) best friend’s (Audrey) sister is wanting to get in touch with my fianceé. I was amazed as I watched Abby spring into action; her willingness to help Emily (the aforementioned interviewee) without even knowing her (or Audrey or even Hilary) is so indicative of how we all should act as Christians.  The 1st century church combined their resources to live in community, helping one another because they believed in love.
So yeah, I can remember weird things about movies. Big whoop.
I hope I never forget that I’m surrounded by love…try that for a conversation starter sometime.
“In Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.” Romans 12:5-6