penetration. (a basic principle of the Faith made real)

i was reading psalms this morning and thinking of how as humans, we tend to let the things people say influence the way we act and the way we think about ourselves. I was very encouraged in the words the writer was saying. My thought was what if we took the time to read scripture and let it penetrate our minds and beings in a way that effected the way we act and think about ourselves. I wonder how many people (this has been a long, hard-learned lesson for me) dont read scripture for it’s true value, yet read it out of duty because a pastor said “that’s the way to be a good christian.”
I think that if we take the time to read and let the words rest on our hearts, we will be encouraged and we will then, be able to encourage!
that sounds like the Body to me! That sounds like a thing the lost will want to be a part of.

jason

collect calls and early a.m. wake up

i heard from my brother this morning! He said he’s doing fine and he’s loving it so far. (mind you, he hasn’t started basic training yet.) haha! im excited for him. I can tell it in his voice that he loves it.
the coolest thing for me is to hear about these guys that he meets from all over the country. When i hear him talk about it, it seems much like my times away from where i grew up. It’s funny to realize how life changes when you realize a world outside of what you’ve always known.
he’s excited! be thankful, he’ll defend us.

jason

army

my brother left yesterday to go into the army. i’m super excited for him.
BUT… i’ve gotta be honest. there’s certain fear that runs through me as i think over my brothers decision. it’s the fear that when he goes off to defend our country, he may not come home. I know that is something you just have to deal with it. I hope for the best and i believe it’s good for him and i dont have a doubt that he will do a good job at what he will be doing.
He will be joining special forces to fight for his country. he is entering as a private first class.
the thing i have noticed about my brother during this time of making the decision to go was that he did just that, he made up his mind to do it… and did it!
he has a goal and i believe he will work hard to achieve it.
i appreciate his willingness to serve.

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laziness

i’ll be honest, i’ve just been lazy with the bloggery. i havent really read anything worthwhile or studied anything that i wanted to pass on.
sarah and i went on a great hike today. i’ll post pictures tomorrow.
i talked with my boss about politics the other day. He made the statement that he believes that the leader of the united states should be a christian. My pastor stated this morning that he had an opposing view on the topic, saying that he would’nt vote for someone just because he is a christian. I hold to the latter as well.
Me personally, i’m more interested in what a candidate did in his or (hopefully not her, this time around) own state. Did he bring about reform in government spending? Did he do anything for the education system? How did he vote on the war? Is he for or against the fair tax? I dont care if he was a baptist minister, or a gynecologist… how will he run our country based on his track record?!!!!
Here’s the deal. no one is perfect. no one will make the best decisions all the time. there will always be faulty intelligence. there will always be people with agendas. Let us not forget all the scriptures, especially in proverbs, that talk of the kings heart being in God’s hands. No matter what happens, i will trust God to lead us as a country in His direction. I believe that God works out kingdoms for His glory, not man’s.
I dont say this to end on a fatalistic note, as to say “well, it’s in God’s hands, i’m not going to vote.” I’m saying, research the candidates and the issues that mean alot to you, and ask God who to vote for, and if you really do care, GO VOTE!!!!

jewish history

i love jewish history. i almost wish i would have grown up jewish.
i think that knowing jewish history and culture are important when reading and understanding scripture (for obvious reasons)! i’ve heard several sermons lately, that involved alot of Jewish culture and history explanation that made the text pop out with intensity
For instance:
i love the story of the woman with the bleeding disorder in luke 8. Scripture tells us that there was a crowd around jesus as he was going to a rulers house to raise his daughter from the dead. My version says the crowd was so tight, they almost crushed Jesus. He was all the rage!! (see oakleaf messages for more on the fame of Christ and our responsibility to it)
Anyway, this woman came up behind Christ and touched the edge of His cloak. Christ instantly turns around and says “who touched me?”
One of the disciples looks around and says “master, the crowd is pressed around you.”
Just then, a woman steps forward and says that it was her that touched Him.
One might say, “what is so significant about this woman who touched Him?” Her faith!!!!!!!
These other’s around her were there for the mystery, the amazement of the one who does miracles… even the disciples didnt completely get it yet.
But this woman remembered what she had studied some time after the age of six (on her way to memorizing the torah!!!!) about the messiah, his garment and the “Healing in it’s wings,” and it drove her sick body to the middle of this crowd where a man claimed to be the messiah only to touch the hem of his garment.
What i love about the scriptures are that they are loaded. You can look at this scripture and say, “this woman believed.” Its truth, she believed. But it goes deeper than that. In Jewish culture, they wear a thing called a prayer shawl. the prayer shawl has tassels on the ends of it called tzitzi (seet-see), translated in our language as “fringes”. The tzitzi are to remind jews the importance of the torah– the first five books of the bible.
In that day, there was a legend passed (i say legend, in that day, there was no printing press, so the stories of the bible were sacred oral recitings, unless you went to the synagogue on the holy day to hear from the rabbi, who would be reading from the scroll… typically the only one that the community could afford.
anyway, in malachi, chapter 4, the wings were associated with the tzitzi, or the fringes.
So this woman, knew the story and the prophecy of the coming messiah and the “healing in its wings.” She believed that Christ was who he said he was and that she would be healed if she could only touch the hem of His garment.
And she was healed.
anyway, that’s just a small example of why i love digging into scripture and knowing the culture and history behind what the text says.

community, 2

i am continuing my read on life together, by dietrich bonhoeffer.
i recommend this book.
He spoke in ways that would humble the slightest visionary when it comes to the ideas of community, or even the faith.
Bonhoeffer says that christian community is alot like christian sanctification… a gift of God that we cannot claim, meaning, God initiates, sets it in motion and we have no claim to it… it’s a gift.
One thing i have noticed about myself is that when i see things that i dont agree with in my church or others, i will complain about the way it was done, and express how i would have done it. (sarah gets to carry this load most of the time, i should buy her flowers.) i’m going to quote a section from the book that tore me to shreds.
“If we do not give thanks daily for the christian fellowship in which we have been placed, even where there is no great experience, no discoverable riches, but much weakness, small faith and difficulty; if on the contrary, we only keep complaining to God that everything is so paltry and petty, so far from what we expected, then we hinder God from letting our fellowship grow according to the measure and riches which are there for us all in jesus christ.”

Here, another statement on the perspective of community…
“Because God has already laid the only foundation of our fellowship, because God has bound us together in one body with other christians in Jesus Christ, long before we entered into common life with them, we enter into that common life not as demanders but as thankful recipients.”
it’s hard to follow up with either of these quotes from the book because they are both so rich and so plain in application when we look at living in a life of community. God calls us to be humble. The leader with the greatest vision had better hope that his vision is from the one that created him, and not a man made version of his own agenda for glory. God will humble. and in a community setting, if a man or woman step up to lead, his or her leading will be judged. I believe that the greatest leader will be the most humble. not the one that shouts the loudest and makes the most outragest comments.
anyone that enters into a community, i believe, would be foolish not to do so humbly and thankfully. Its a great gift that is given to us, this family of likeminded people that we serve with, disagree with, get angry with, need, walk with, forgive and love. We should be thankful that we dont have to bear our burdens alone.

just some more thoughts on community as i read through this book.

jason

oh eight!!!!!!!

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may this year be the best!!!!
to my brothers and sisters that i communed with, enjoyed special beverage with, enjoyed the last few moments of 07 and brought in the new year with, thank you! last night was one of those rare moments when people gathered in like mindedness and shared ideas of ways to change our world and make it more like heaven. I thank you for your hearts, your passions, your home, your maker’s mark, your black bean salsa and your beards!
to my brothers and sisters that i didnt get to share the new year event with, i hope to share this year with you in more honesty, more love, more transperancy, and more intensity as we seek to bring heaven to earth, and make love a reality for everyone!!!!

may GOD bless you ALL~~~~~!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!