Thursday, April 30, 2015

Quote - Dr. Seuss

"Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory."

~ Dr. Seuss

I have a great love of Dr. Seuss quotes.  This man was such an amazing writer that he created strange worlds that helped us deal with the strangeness in our own world.  We often go about our days and dismiss something small and what we think of as minuscule, but if we really pay attention we can see such beauty in each small thing.  When you read the Bible there are such descriptive words and vast details that we skim over for the really big things.  Yet God took the time to give us those details so the little things mean something to Him.  I pray we will all see the seemingly insignificant things in life and take a moment to pay attention to them.  All of those little moments are what make up a life, not just the large exciting ones.  It's the moments in between the big ones that make us, shapes us and propels us to be a better person.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Nahum 2:1-7

v. 1-7 "An attacker advances against you, Nineveh.
Guard the fortress,
watch the road,
brace yourselves,
marshal all your strength!

The Lord will restore the splendor of Jacob
like the splendor of Israel,
though destroyers have laid them waste
and have ruined their vines.

The shields of his soldiers are red;
the warriors are clad in scarlet.
The metal on the chariots flashes
on the day they are made ready;
the spears of pine are brandished.
The chariots storm through the streets,
rushing back and forth through the squares.
They look like flaming torches;
they dart about like lightning.

He summons his picked troops,
yet they stumble on their way.
They dash to the city wall;
the protective shield is put in place.
The river gates are thrown open 
and the palace collapses.
It is decreed that the city 
be exiled and carried away.
Its slave girls moan like doves
and beat upon their breasts."

It seems like God is taunting Nineveh in verse 1.  I think God's anger was so great against these people that He did not hold back and this would have struck the pride of the king of Nineveh.  They must have thought they were invincible.  As if they could have done anything to stop God's will.

This references the destruction of Nineveh later in 612 BC.  The Babylonians and Medes destroyed Nineveh.  There seems to be some new information from an Oxford University researcher that the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were actually in Nineveh, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.  This was a highly sophisticated city with the ability to create gardens that were possibly up in the air on columns or on terraces with aqueducts bringing water up from the rivers.  There is even writing that King Sennacherib had used a bronze water raising screw to irrigate the gardens.  This screw is similar to Archimedes' Screw, which was "invented" by Archimedes four hundred years later!  Sorry, I am very fascinated with ancient technology and do get sidetracked occasionally.

Every time they invaded other countries they acquired more treasure.  With what seemed like unlimited funds the kings build massive palaces, created a well fortified city and an impressive military.  Even with all their success they did not have favor with God and time was running out for the people of Nineveh.

In 722 BC Nineveh had taken the northern kingdom (Israel) and forced the southern kingdom (Judah) to pay tribute.  In verse 2 God says that he will restore Jacob, restore His people.  When we feel like we are at the end, that nothing could ever restore us, we can be restored by God alone.  He is our comforter, He can pick up the pieces of our lives and restore us to the point of seeming to have not fallen in the first place.  No matter what we do, God can heal our hearts, minds and souls.  This can only happen IF we let Him, IF we invite Him into our lives.

In v. 3 it mentions red and scarlet, these colors represent war, bloodshed, sacrifice, all throughout the Bible we see those colors weaved into the fabric of the pages.  I believe the enemy was coming for destruction, even more than for a conquest.  Just like our enemy tries to destroy us.  Nineveh had earlier attacked Babylon.  Babylon might have been tired of Nineveh trying to take over their territory.

The higher we get the harder the fall to the ground when we are humbled.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Quote - Injustice

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Beautiful quote and sadly true.  We think that when things happen across the world that it's too far away and shouldn't affect our everyday life.  There is a danger to think that injustice is someone else's problem because we are one people on one planet and if there is injustice in the world then that makes it OUR problem.  There have been too many terrible leaders and groups who have spread evil and many quietly watched either in fear or disbelief.  We are to stand up for those who can not stand under the oppressive hand of a dictator.  If you are thinking I'm just one person and I can't do much then you are under the impression that your voice doesn't matter.  Whatever pulls at your heart, that is your mission field.  Whether you donate your time or money or both, every moment spent helping others is an act of defiance against the enemy and shows allegiance to God.

Be bold for the forgotten, the weak, the orphans and the outcasts.  

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter - The Good News

Mary Magdalene (among other women and some disciples) made their way to the tomb with the spices.  Women took care of preparing the bodies for their eternal rest.  When they got there the stone had been rolled away and Jesus' body was gone.  The guards were placed at the tomb to make sure that no one took the body were in a sleep like state.  This must have been confusing to Mary and the others.  The disciples ran back home, but Mary stayed behind (not sure if the other women left as well).  Mary must have been so overtaken with grief that when the two angels asked her why she was crying, her answer was "They have taken my Lord away and I don't know where they have put him." As if she didn't skip a beat seeing angels.  Then Jesus asked "Why are you crying?  Who is it you are looking for?"  Mary thinking that Jesus was the gardener asked Him where the body was.  This was a women in despair, she didn't even realize that this was Jesus in front of her.

Then Jesus spoke one word, Mary, then she knew that Jesus was alive and right in front of her.  Jesus said an interesting thing to Mary, he said "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father.  Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'"  Jesus said to not hold on to him for he had not yet returned to the Father.  His mission was not over just yet.  Mary was to go tell the disciples and when she got there they did not believe her.  The very first person to spread the Good News was a woman, this is an amazing fact that often gets overlooked.  She told the disciples, the men who had seen the miracles that Jesus had performed over the last few years, yet they still did not believe.

If you tell others about Jesus then there will be many who do not listen, but that should not stop any of us from sharing His story.  It is part of our job as Christians to tell about Jesus, God, the Holy Spirit and what He has done in our lives.

Hope you all have a blessed day and a happy Easter!