Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The be attitudes

 ~ the way that we should be according to a sermon given by Jesus.

I started reading through the Gospels, the first four books of the New Testament, and today I got to Mark 5. Well, let me restate that. I've been reading through the Gospels chronologically. It mixes all four books according to the time in witch they actually happened. You can find a reading plan here if you'd like to try it yourself sometime. I've done the Old Testament and the New Testament at different times, when I came to Madagascar in February I decided to focus on Jesus's Ministry because I don't know any better person to study. I haven't done it as regularly as I should, but I'm getting through it.

Each day I write down a few notes of what Jesus did, what he'd been through, or what he said. Sometimes you can read through a chapter and it's rather uneventful or sometimes you will read two or three versions of the same story. It 's repetitive but it solidifies the story in your mind. Through the years I've heard the stories of Jesus but I don't always know where they are found, so when it said Matthew 5,6 & 7 I didn't think twice. After opening my Bible and seeing that Matthew 5 is the sermon on the mount and starting with the Beatitudes I realized that there would be a bit more work today. I read the whole section, but decided to break down the first ten verses, the Beatitudes.

I'm by far no Biblical scholar. I read the text, wrote it down (ESV) and broke it down according to Strong's Concordance. You can find a lot of resources at Blue Letter Bible. Some of the words I continued to break down by looking up their definitions on various websites. Please don't take this as my version of the Bible. It's just for me to better understand what has been said. I'm only sharing it because I know from experience that hearing verses that we've all heard before can easily go in one ear and out the other. Seeing and reading them in a different way can easily bring a different light onto their meaning.

So without further ado.

The Beatitudes

Happy is one with a helpless and needy soul for they will own a seat in eternal and complete perfection, where God and other heavenly beings dwell.

Happy is one who mourns for they will be consoled, encouraged and strengthened.

Happy is one who accepts his dealing with God as good and therefore doesn't rely on his own strength to defend against injustice for they will receive the earth.

Happy is one who wants and longs to be acceptable to God for they shall be satisfied.

Happy is the compassionate for they will obtain aid when distressed.

Happy is the one whose thoughts, passions, desires, appetite, affections, purpose, and endeavors are clean for they will behold the triune God.

Happy are those who love peace for the will be given the name of descendant of God.

Happy is the harassed due to seeking to be as he ought to be for they will own a seat in eternal and complete perfection, where God and other heavenly beings dwell.

Blessed, blessing

After doing my own little breakdown I looked up the word Beatitudes. I was surprised to see it described as "Eight Blessings" When I looked up blessed in Strong's Concordance it gave me the Greek word  μακάριος or makarios which means happy. It was comforting to see it translated as that way. The common use of "i'm blessed, is such a blessing, or to bless" has puzzled me the last few years. If you have any insight on this topic please let me know.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Don't tell God what you want.

Seven week's I've been working on the Remote Capital Team. It's everything that they told me. Busy when the crew arrive, busy when the crew leave. Waiting for paperwork in the government offices. A lot of down time in between the rest. The last sentence could be one of the biggest understatements of the year. 

I've found myself with a lot of time to fill. In some of that time I've read a few books. (over 2,200 pages) I thought over a few things that I wanted God to answer wrote them down on a piece of paper. It was kinda like a checklist to go through. After looking at it a few days later I realized it was a list of things that I wanted. A bunch of things that I wanted and He wasn't answering most of them.
I was reminded of this video a few weeks ago. Found it online. Opened up a new page to post in, and added the video link to it. The thing is it just sat there unfinished for almost two weeks now. Two weeks filled with wrestling with what God wants me to do. There have been many "rounds" in the fight. Because, you see, I'm really stubborn. 

The day that I left St. Louis could possibly be one of the biggest spiritual battles of my life. It started the most recent campaign of battling God's plan. I woke up 10 minutes before I was supposed to leave. That's completely against my nature. As I rushed around my room the voices were everything but audible. Why are you going? Why don't you stay here? Just miss your flight. You're leaving people that love you. We left about 20 minutes late at least. I don't even remember much about the ride up, but I know the dialogue continued. When checking into my flight and was charged an additional $100 for a bag. As I sat with my mom before going through security we watched a lady struggle with her bag, it was very symbolic of how I was struggling with myself. When I went through security I fought back tears. Even as I walked down the terminal to find my gate the dialogue continued. Traveling long distance getting to the initial flight is the hardest, after that it's all according to the airlines. When I finally sat in my seat; luggage stowed away and seat-belt buckled I asked God, "Please don't ever make me leave again."

Wow, those words came out of my mouth. I wouldn't have expected that. For thirteen years I had been leaving to go on summer missions, school, camp ministry, Africa, New Mexico. I was always excited to go and now I was done. I wanted nothing more than to have some consistency in my life. It was so foreign to me that right after I said it I thought, "O, I must have meant something else by that, I'll think of an excuse for it at some point. 

So yeah, with all my "down time" there has been a lot of battling. God wants to chisel me into His image, I want to tell him what I want.

Here's the video. I urge you to stop whatever seven things you're doing right now and watch this video. If you're too busy make sure to come back later when you have the time to focus. You'll see some of the lines I pulled out of the dialogue. If it was a book these would be the highlighted part. 
This font shows me. Really, I have asked these questions. Made these statements.
This font show's God's response. It's full of truth and love.

I want to be everything God created me to be.

He takes out everything in your life that doesn't belong there.

We want to talk, not to chisel.

Through the Holy Spirit things are brought up that need to be worked on.
Anger. Comparison. People pleasing. Laziness. Busyness. LUST. 

When looking in the mirror who is seen? We need to see the Son.

Do we want God to be Lord over our whole life?

You've done some great work, how about a break, stay right here for a while? 

Control? Chisel? control, chisel, control, chisel ???

Chisel where I want?


Secret Sin. 

It's a process, not a sprint, a marathon. It's our whole life

We care too much what others think about you. Rubbish, Garbage.

You're asking me to sacrifice a lot God!

He gives us freedom

Let Him produce character where we keep focusing on our image.

I can't be good.

He made us to be good

You wouldn't understand.

God of the whole universe wouldn't understand something his children have to say??

I let you down God.

No, He holds us up.

I hate who I see, a little kid. I try to do what I'm supposed to do but I can't. I Can't be what everyone else expects me to be. I can't even be who I want to be, much less who you created me to be
Inside is a scared stupid little kid.

We have listened to voices, far to long not from God. We bought into the lie. We think we're junk.

God doesn't take time to make junk.

He loves us too much to leave us where we are.
Work it out in every detail of your life.
A father disciplines the ones he loves.

See ourselves the way God created us.

_____________ is God's original MASTERPIECE

Now listen to this on repeat about 30 times and it will all start to set in.