This past summer in Pneuma groups we read this and I was just remembering it and thought I’d post it. Read it slowly and picture the scene.
From Boy Meets Girl by Joshua Harris. Quoted from the book “When God Weeps” by Steven Estes and Joni Eareckson Tada.
The face that Moses had begged to see – was forbidden to see – was slapped bloody (Exodus 33:19-20). The thorns that God had sent to curse the earth’s rebellion now twisted around his own brow…
“On your back with you!” One raises a mallet to sink in the spike. But the soldier’s heart must continue pumping as he readies the prisoner’s wrist. Someone must sustain the soldier’s life minute by minute, for no man has this power on his own. Who supplies breath to his lungs? Who gives energy to his cells? Who holds his molecules together? Only by the Son do “all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17). The victim wills that the soldier live on – he grants the warriors continues existence. The man swings.
As the man swings, the Son recalls how he and the Father first designed the medial nerve of the human forearm – the sensations it would be capable of. The design proves flawless – the nerves perform exquisitely. “Up you go!” They life the cross. God is on display in his underwear and can scarcely breathe.
But these pains are a mere warm-up to his other and growing dread. He begins to feel a foreign sensation. somewhere during this day an unearthly foul odor began to waft, not around his nose, but his heart. He feels dirty. Human wickedness starts to crawl upon his spotless being – the living excrement from our souls. The apple of his Father’s eye turns brown with rot.
His Father! He must face his Father like this!
From heaven the Father now rouses himself like a lion disturbed, shakes his mane, and roars against the shriveling remnant of a man hanging on a cross. Never has the Son seen the Father look at him so, never felt even the least of his hot breath. But the roar shakes the unseen world and darkens the visible sky. The Son does not recognize these eyes.
“Son of Man! Why have you behaved so? You have cheated, lusted, stolen, gossiped – murdered, envied, hated, lied. You have cursed, robbed, overspent, overeaten – fornicated, disobeyed, embezzled, and blasphemed. Oh, the duties you have shirked, the children you have abandoned! Who has ever so ignored the poor, so played the crowd, so belittled my name? Have you ever held your razor tongue? What a self-righteous, pitiful drunk – you, who molest young boys, peddle killer drugs, travel in cliques, and mock your parents. Who gave you the boldness to rig elections, foment revolutions, torture animals, and worship demons? Does the list never end! Splitting families, raping virgins, acting smugly, playing the pimp – buying politicians, practicing exhortation, filming pornography, accepting bribes. You have burned down buildings, perfected terrorist tactics, founded false religions, traded in slaves – relishing each morsel and bragging about it all. I hate, loathe these things in you! Disgust for everything about you consumes me! Can you not fee my wrath?”
Of course the Son is innocent. He is blamelessness itself. The Father knows this. But the divine pair have an agreement, and the unthinkable must now take place. Jesus will be treated as if personally responsible for every sin ever committed.
The Father watches as his heart’s treasure, the mirror image of himself, sinks drowning into raw, liquid sin. Jehovah’s stored rage against humankind from every century explodes in a single direction.
“Father! Father! Why have you forsaken me?!”
But heaven stops its ears. The Son stares up at the One who cannot, who will not, reach down or reply.
The Trinity had planned it. The Son endured it. The Spirit enabled him. The Father rejected the Son whom he loved. Jesus, the God-man from Nazareth, perished. The Father accepted his sacrifice for sin and was satisfied. The Rescue was accomplished.
These days are FAR too valuable and I cannot plan which one will be my last.
What would I change if I knew that I was going to die tomorrow?
For the past two weeks everything around me has been all kinds of messages about how short life is. From a lot of my friends getting in near death accidents and/or getting seriously hurt, to every speaker and message I’ve listened to being about what you’d do if you knew you were going to die tomorrow. And though I’ve heard that a lot and I almost kind of tune it out because I hear it so much, lately I notice it EVERY time someone mentions it. Even Wednesday in GNED we were taking prayer requests and someone said that a friends parent had died so the Prof starts praying and says “Help us to remember that time is short, that we don’t know what day will be our last, and help us to live with that in mind,” And I was like “Seriously?! What is up with all of this?!” And then at Campus Church, Clayton was talking about Generosity and I was thinking there is no way he can work something about dying into a message on generosity. But no, he did. We need to be generous with our possessions and our time and our everything because we don’t know how long we have.
With that outlook, each day, hour and minute is suddenly VERY precious. I must be thankful even for the dull moments because the reality is that I could pass into eternity tonight, next week, six months from now or in fifty years. I need to appreciate the time I’ve been given because that time is not something I can count on.
I’ve been reading through 1 Samuel in my devotions and I kinda feel like Samuel when God keeps calling him and calling him and finally he realizes it’s God and says, “Speak, for your servant hears.”
Yes, God, what is it You’re trying to say?
An appointment book has been made and my appointments WILL BE KEPT whether I like it or not. The beauty is that I don’t have to be afraid.
I’m not scared of dying because I know where I’m going. The fear of death itself is gone, Hebrews says “that through death he might … deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery” (Hebrews 2:14-15, ESV) and that is definitely how I feel. I was once scared of dying and not knowing where I was going to go, but now I know without a doubt where I’m going and I am not fearful of dying. But at the same time there are things I want to do before I die and I don’t like thinking that today may be my last.
I feel like I am too much concerned with the future, instead of just thinking about today. I live for what I’m going to do “some day” once I get a degree or once I have a job or even once I have a husband instead of what I can do today without a degree, without a job, and without even a boyfriend. Haha. If I did live every day like it was my last day, what would I have done differently today?
Friday’s speaker at Convo was Jeff Struacker and he closed his message saying this and I felt like it was so much from God, (paraphrased a bit because I couldn’t write fast enough to get it exactly) “Do not be ordinary. When you leave this school you should have a real genuine relationship with Jesus Christ. And wherever you go and whatever you do that you should set the world on fire for Jesus. When people see you they will know there is something different about you and say ‘There is something different about you. I want what you have!’ Live your life so differently that you will transform the world wherever you go.”
Welcome to the fallout
Welcome to resistance
The tension is here
The tension is here
Between who you are and who you could be
Between how it is and how it should be
I dare you to move
Like today never happened
Today never happened before
*edit* This is an edited version of the above picture that I made using the site Picnik. :)
This post was inspired by this picture that I took for Photography class and because of a comment made by another student in the class, Mark. He was analyzing it and said that it looked like “a free spirit in a broken world.” The original idea for this picture was a girl spinning in the rain with her hands up looking like she was worshiping God even through the storm. I had the idea a long time ago but never got to take it, and even though I didn’t quite get to take the picture I wanted, I liked how this one turned out. :) I also took the one at the bottom of this post and even though it’s not quite in the rain with her hands up, it still kinda conveyed that idea of worshiping God. :)
I was thinking about the idea of a free spirit in a broken world, and it reminded me of one of my favourite Bible verses, Philippians 2:15 – “So that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.” This verse is basically just a longer description of the idea, saying that we as Christians are to be lights and free in a generation that is in darkness and brokenness. Just last weekend I listened to a sermon series by Johnnie Moore, campus pastor at Liberty University, called “Shine” based on the extended passage of this verse and I’d like to share a little about what he said.
Speaking on verse 14, Johnnie said that sometimes we live a “faith show instead of a faith life.” We go to church and read our Bible and pray at church when we’re supposed to. But it doesn’t carry over into our whole life. He said that being a Christian is also about who you are when no one is watching. Living a faith life. When Paul was writing to the Philippians he was urging them to live a faith life. He challenged them to live and obey just as if he was still in their presence. He knew that when he left that it would be easy for them to become complacent and not live as fully as when he was there keeping them on track. I know I’m guilty of living a faith show sometimes. It’s easy to be so busy with things and to have heard the messages and read the scriptures that we just become complacent and don’t let what we hear and read have any effect in our life. But I can attest to the fact that living a faith life is so much more fulfilling, exciting, rewarding, and overall better then just putting on a show. Even though I don’t always live like I should, I am trying to do better and live so that my faith is a part of every aspect of my life.
When Johnnie got to verse 15 about shining as brightly as the stars he said that God uses words for a reason and that He was telling us to be as bright and shiny as the lights in the sky. He then tried to explain it using imagery. When you are in a dark room, you are naturally drawn to the only light, even if it’s small. It stands out and you instantly see it. We as Christians are supposed to be that light! He said that people should be naturally drawn to us because we are shining bright in a generation that is in darkness. When we are living a faith life, our lives are a light to those who’s lives are broken. We are free, while they are in bondage. We are the light, while they are in darkness.
Looking at the picture I see someone who is free amidst a world that is broken. Someone who is content, happy, joyful, and a light even when everything around her (or him) is broken, crooked, depraved, and in darkness. That sort of contentment, happiness, joyfulness and light can only be found in a relationship with Jesus. I know that most people who read my blog are Christians, but maybe some have stumbled across it who don’t have that relationship with Him. I would LOVE to talk to you more about it and tell you about how Jesus has changed my life so that I am now free in a world that is broken and in darkness. Just leave me a comment or find me on Facebook or send me an email (sapphiraadi[at]elyonscircle[dot]com)!
A few days ago I was reminded of this song from the animated movie The Prince of Egypt called Through Heaven’s Eyes. When I went to look it up and listen to it I found this video of Brian Mitchell singing it live with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. It was absolutely beautifully done and I wanted to share it with you and some thoughts I had on the lyrics. Lyrics are in the block quotes. (:
A single thread in a tapestry, though it’s colour brightly shines, can never see its purpose in the pattern of the grand design.
This reminds me that even though we may not see our purpose at the moment or know what God wants us to do, He does have a plan and is intricately weaving our lives, our stories, our passions, with others to make a beautifully grand design. Each of us has our own unique stories and dreams and talents, and God wants to use everyone to be a part of His grand story.
And the stone that sits on the very top of the mountain’s mighty face, does it think it’s more important than the stones that form the base?
None of us are “better” then others. Our lives are equally important in God’s eyes. In God’s story. Our stories, our choices, our actions are all uniquely different but not better. Every single story is part of the greatest story of all time. The Story of God’s love, His justice, His mercy, His compassion.
So how can you see what your life is worth or where your value lies? You can never see through the eyes of man, you must look at your life, look at your life through heaven’s eyes.
Sometimes it can be seem like our lives aren’t worth much, or that we have no value, but that’s because we are looking through our human eyes. God sees the big picture and His way of measuring value and worth is completely different then ours. “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” – 1 Corinthians 13:12 In Hebrews is a list of all the great people of faith but at the end it says “They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. … God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.” – Hebrews 11:13, 40
A lake of gold in the desert sand is less than a cool fresh spring and to one lost sheep, a shepherd boy is greater than the richest king. If a man lose everything he owns has he truly lost his worth? Or is it the beginning of a new and brighter birth?
God is our Shepherd, He is always calling us back to Him, and when we return He gently heals us and helps us and restores us. When it seems like we have lost everything, sometimes that’s just God’s way of drawing us closer to Him, teaching us to rely on Him in our troubles, and teaching us to recognize and head His voice.
So how do you measure the worth of a man in wealth or strength or size? In how much he gained or how much he gave? The answer will come, the answer will come to him who tries to look at his life through heaven’s eyes.
Our lives aren’t measured by what we have at the end of our lives but about whether we have accepted God’s wonderful gift of eternal life. “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?” – Matthew 16:26 God wants us to live for His glory, not for our recognition or honour but to bring Him all the glory. He is the only one who deserves it all.
No life can escape being blown about by the winds of change and chance and though you never know all the steps you must learn to join the dance.
Even though we don’t know everything about the plans God has for our lives we know that He does HAVE a plan! And we need to join it, even though we don’t know all the steps to the glorious dance that is life. If you are earnestly seeking out God’s will for your life He will show you what He wants you to do. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11 “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” – Psalm 139:16
Today’s negativity fast was on replacing lies with truth.
1. List 10 words of affirmation that have stuck with you since you first heard them.
2. Now list 10 words of death that have stuck with you since you first heard them.
3. Which list was easier to recall?
4. Which list had more emotional triggers?
Lies are what others have told us in our past. They may not have been spoken to us directly, but we’ve internalized them nonetheless. They are deceitful, downgrading and condemning. … They are so much a part of us that until we can see the lies, we won’t know we have them. We won’t know to see them, until we know who we are in Christ. … You heal the wounds the lies have sought to cover up by choosing to believe and live out of the truth.
If you go to http://www.40daysfromnegativity.com/ and on the left side there is a picture that says “Your Identity in Christ.” If you click on that you can select what you want to read, and if you’re a male or female. It puts your name in the Bible verses instead of words like “he” or “she” and it makes it more personal so that you can read the truths straight from the Bible as if they were a letter written to you. Which it IS! That’s the coolest thing about the Bible. It was written hundreds of years ago and yet was still written to you personally from the God of the Universe!
How does that make you feel? After you’ve gone to the site and read those verse (that was the challenge for the day, to read your “Identity in Christ” out loud and realize that that IS how God sees you and looks at you! You are precious and loved and valuable! And God adores you.) leave a comment and let me know how you felt after reading those verses. Did any one in particular stick out to you? Was there one that you didn’t agree with?
Declaration for today: I choose to believe what God says about me. I choose to live out of what I choose to believe. I choose to replace the lies that have attached themselves to wounds from my past with the truth of how God sees my situation and me.
The Negativity Fast devotions have been really good simple things to read every morning, I like having a little challenge to do and some new thing to think about as I go about my day. Day 8 I started writing about when it was day 8 and then went to school and forgot about it, so here it is now. :)
[SinglePic not found] Today was about reflecting the goodness of God, in the same way that the moon reflects the sun. Not just partly, like a solar or lunar eclipse but like a harvest moon reflects the full light of the sun as much as possible. The challenge for today is “If you could show God to the world in any way that reflects His goodness and Glory, how would you do it? Pray and obey. There are things you can do today that will see that prayer fulfilled. Do them.” I pray that I would be a reflection of God’s love to the people at school.
After class I was kinda disappointed because I hadn’t really met anyone, everyone just kinda left and I was kinda sad that I didn’t get to show God’s love to anyone, but I think that the first day of class was just the start of seeing my prayer fulfilled. Tuesday I got to talk to more people since I got there earlier and I had a great class period, laughing and talking and discussing all sorts of things, I hope that I can talk to them more and show God’s love to them.
Yesterday night around 9pm I decided it was better late then never to start the 50 pic challenge. Where you take 50 pictures on a designated day (which happened to be yesterday) with whatever camera you happen to have by you at the moment. I didn’t get 50 pictures though and some are of the same thing, just different angle. But at least it got me taking pictures and I think I got some pretty cool ones. :D So enjoy the pictures! Leave comments if you think the pics are good, bad, interesting, or which picture you liked best. *lol*
I am realizing more and more how much fun meeting random people is. (: Although the worst part about meeting people random places though is that I’ll probably never see them again and yet they absolutely made my day yesterday. So to Sarah and the three guys that were snowboarding and the lift guy that made riding the lift fun and the snowboarding instructor that made me actually want to keep boarding instead of give up, this post is for you.
Yesterday my family went skiing/snowboarding.
I’ve been boarding for the past couple years but yesterday I seemed especially bad because I could barely get down the little run without falling all the time so I decided it was time to take a lesson… Best decision of the day! I made a new friend named Sarah (or maybe it’s Sara, I dunno) who had never boarded before yesterday and we were instant friends. Maybe 2 minutes into the lesson the instructor Bobby was like “Are you two friends?” and we both looked at each other and laughed and said “Nope, we just met” and he goes “Oh wow, you seemed like you had known each other longer then that! You must have a natural talent for being friends.” (:
After lesson Sarah and I both stopped for lunch and went our separate ways but ended up meeting up an hour later back at the Rookie Ridge run. lol
After only going down a couple more times we met 3 more new people! These guys had been skiing all day and decided to try boarding, honestly, they were not good at all. *laughs* But they were enjoying themselves and that’s all that really matters. Sarah was the first to meet them, one of the guys fell and she gave him a tip on what to do next time and then we all happened to be at the top of the run together and one guy goes “If I’m riding goofy [right foot forward] which foot am I supposed to take out before getting on the lift?” …and he had his right foot out of the board… I laughed and told him “The other foot” and then explained to him about how his board was set up and the best way to do it. It was quite funny and we had a good time talking before we all went down the run another time. Then we all went our separate ways but of course on a little mountain we couldn’t not meet up again. (:
I was going down Old Main, a green circle which means it’s pretty easy but it’s a very long straight run, and I saw one of the guys walking up the run carrying his board. He saw me and was like “Good luck! I just kept falling down so I decided to walk back up instead of trying to get down any farther.” I should’ve told him not to give up and had him come with me and try to teach him how to board properly (*I* had fallen quite a few times getting down it the first time too and had given up as well, but I wasn’t that quick and not quite thinking straight either. lol) but instead we just kinda stood there and talked for a couple more minutes before he went on his way up the hill wishing me luck and saying that his friends were down there somewhere. (:
An hour or so later… it’s dark and I’m cold and wet and tired and sore. I got off the lift of the little run, Sarah had gone home and I was wishing we could leave too because I was so tired and then I see my new friend sitting on a bench at the top of the hill and he sees me and is like “Hey! You made it! How was it?” Way to brighten my day. (: So we chatted a bit about snow and skiing and life and as he’s explaining that his friends were dare-devils and that they were horrible at snowboarding but that it didn’t stop them from trying harder runs the other guys were just getting off the lift and came over to us “We’re cold. And sore. Can we go home now?” :lol: So much for being dare-devils. They were all very nice though, I wish I didn’t have to leave everyone I meet…
During the course of the day I was on Rookie Ridge over half the time, it was little and easy and a good place to practice turning without almost dying. (; And I guess the guy operating the lift at the bottom started recognizing me from going on it so many times and so started making small talk whenever I’d get on, the only problem was you have like 10-20 seconds to talk. If even that. :P Him: “How are you enjoying your day?” Me: “Wonderful! This is so much fun! How about you?” Him [sarcastically] “Oh, just livin’ the dream.” *lift takes off* Poor guy… that would be a hard to just stand there all day and make sure little (and big!) kids get on safely. Next time around after hearing the same song on the radio for the second time that day I said “So does it get annoying listening to this station all the time?” Him: “Oh yeah, after the first hour it drives me nuts. It’s the only station we get [or maybe "that we can play"] down here.” That would get awfully annoying, especially being there day after day after day… Him (he would always start by saying this to me whenever the lift would come around. :lol: :”Here you go!” Me:”Thank you! So do you ski or snowboard too?” “Yep, I board.” I wonder if after manning the lift he teaches lessons… Him: “Almost done for the day!” Me: “Oh fun! Well I hope you enjoy the rest of your day!” Him: “Oh, I will. :)” And then… I never saw him again… I feel kinda sad when I have to leave my new friends…I didn’t even know some of their names… ):
So that was my day yesterday. (: It was SOOO much fun! Friends always make things better. Next time I’m going to be smarter and actually ask their names first before just talking the whole day and leaving without actually knowing who they are. I hope they had as much fun as I did. (:
Having fun taking pictures with Nathan in Louisville! :D
Last weekend we went to Clover Ranch and had a huge bonfire. :D
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