Morning Musing: Genesis 11:3-4

“They said to each other, ‘Come, let’s make oven-fired bricks.’ (They used brick for stone and asphalt for mortar.) And they said, ‘Come, let’s build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the sky. Let’s make a name for ourselves; otherwise, we will be scattered throughout the earth.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

What are you building right now? That may sound like a strange question, but bear with me. I love building. I think I’ve passed that love on to my boys too. They all build different things – one builds amazing buildings and models, one builds incredible stories and songs, and the other builds exciting fantasy worlds of great imagination – but they are all builders. In a bigger sense, everyone is building something. The question is not whether, but what and why. One more question is who the building is for. In an interesting little story that falls right near the end of the creation story arc in Genesis, we’re reminded that why we build matters as much – or even more – than what.

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Morning Musing: Zephaniah 1:12-13

“And at that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps and punish those who settled down comfortably, who say to themselves: The Lord will do nothing–good or bad. Their wealth will become plunder and their houses a ruin. They will build houses but never live in them, plant vineyards but never drink their wine.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Lisa and I have recently been watching through a series that popped up on our Hulu account called “Extreme Homes.” The show takes viewers inside a whole variety of houses that are “extreme” in one way or another. Some are small, some are huge, but they are all unique. But while they come in all shapes and sizes, the one thing they all have in common is that they are owned by people who are wealthy. They are homes built with the intention of being able to set aside all worries and concerns and just enjoy life. In many ways, that’s not just the American dream, but the dream of everyone, everywhere. Based on what God says to the people of Judah here, though, it sounds like it might be more of a nightmare.

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Faith in the Hard

Last week we got to hear from the angel Gabriel as he reflected on his experience delivering the news of Jesus’ birth to Mary. With him we got to marvel at the wonderful truth that with a faithful servant, God can change the world. This week we got to hear from Joseph who gave an poignant reminder that faith in the hard really is worth it. Keep reading to see how this story unfolds.

Faith in the Hard

They’re finally asleep, thank the Lord! You would think that exhaustion from the journey alone would have made that particular task significantly easier than it has proved to be lately, but you would be wrong. These are the things no one bothers to tell you when the child arrives. All everyone does then is ooh and ahh over how cute he is. “He’s such a precious little baby,” they said. “He’s just perfect,” they crooned. “He’ll be the Savior of the world,” they proclaimed. But after a long day on the road and with the stress of recent days weighing heavily on our minds, I’m not so much worried about the whole world being saved as I am getting a few hours of sleep so we can keep going tomorrow.

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Morning Musing: 2 Corinthians 3:5

“It is not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter

You shouldn’t have to feel bad. That’s one of the unspoken mantras of our culture. The only thing that’s really bad these days seems to be feeling badly about something. What we want to feel—and others with us—is competent. We want to feel like we can do anything. 

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Worship and Surrender

In this fourth part of our series, Pursue: Chasing God in a Godless World, we move in a direction that is perhaps unexpected given the assumptions of our culture.  When Asa and the people were busily moving in the direction of God against the grain of the culture around them they did something most people wouldn’t have done then or now.  As for what this is and what it means for us, keep reading to find out.

 

Worship and Surrender

Have you ever used a Chinese finger trap?  Unless you’ve spent the last 30 minutes stuck in it and are waiting to get loose, grab the one you were handed this morning as you came in.  Go ahead and stick your fingers in it.  Now, try and pull them out.  The natural reaction when you stick your fingers in and can’t immediately slide them back out is to pull harder.  But, as perhaps you have already discovered, pulling harder won’t get your fingers out of the trap.  There are times in life like that, aren’t there?  Times when more pressure isn’t going to get the job done.  There are situations in which we have to learn to stop fighting if we’re going to manage to get anywhere good. Read the rest…