Recommended Reading
  • Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters (Complete In One Volume)
    Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters (Complete In One Volume)
    by C.S. Lewis
  • Toxic Faith
    Toxic Faith
    by Stephen Arterburn, Jack Felton
  • The Visitation
    The Visitation
    by Frank Peretti
  • Fox's Book of Martyrs
    Fox's Book of Martyrs
    by John Foxe
Monday
May142012

Luke 2:41-49

"Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. 42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. 43 After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44 Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”

49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”

Wednesday
Apr062011

Who I Am...in Christ

Who am I in Christ? I am an utterly dependent child (even when I don't want to consider or admit it). I am in awe of my Father's power, creativeness, and love. I know I am rebellious (just like my own children are rebellious toward me) and prideful, but also I am quickly and totally forgiven. Even if there are consequences of my own making, God will help me through it if I but ask. In the grand scheme of things I am nothing special; there is nothing I can claim to have done that is wonderful enough to attract the attention or favors of God, still He pays me close attention. 

Just as I feel toward my children, God made and loves me simply because I exist (though He caused me to exist). He delights in me even though I can be extremely frustrating. He chastises me to bring me closer to Him when I need it.

One difference is unlike my children, I can never grow up and leave my Father's house.

Wednesday
Sep222010

Haggai 1: A Call to Build the House of the LORD 

"In the second year of King Darius, on the first day of the sixth month, the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest:

 

This is what the LORD Almighty says: "These people say, 'The time has not yet come for the LORD's house to be built.' " Then the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai: "Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?" Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: "Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it." This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Give careful thought to your ways. Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored," says the LORD. "You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?" declares the LORD Almighty. "Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house. Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops. I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the oil and whatever the ground produces, on men and cattle, and on the labor of your hands."

 

Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the whole remnant of the people obeyed the voice of the LORD their God and the message of the prophet Haggai, because the LORD their God had sent him. And the people feared the LORD. Then Haggai, the LORD's messenger, gave this message of the LORD to the people: "I am with you," declares the LORD. So the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of the whole remnant of the people. They came and began to work on the house of the LORD Almighty, their God, on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month in the second year of King Darius."

 

                The rest of Haggai (just one more brief chapter) and the following book of Zechariah, follow the same theme. When I read this the other night during my evening devotions, it seemed to me there was an analogy for those of us living in modern times. Verse 4 says, “"Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?" What are we, in the church (those who call themselves Christians), doing to build up the house of God? Not a physical church building of stones and bricks, but a living “house” of people. What are we doing to help others know God’s love and sovereignty? Or are we too busy with our own houses, families, and lives to be of any use to God? In the scheme of priorities, it is easy to say “God 1st, Spouse 2nd, Family 3rd, etc.” But do we actually do it? In the day to day, does God really come before family, before children, before spouses?

 

            God says in verses 5-11, “Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it…Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored," says the LORD. "You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?" declares the LORD Almighty. "Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house. Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops. I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the oil and whatever the ground produces, on men and cattle, and on the labor of your hands."

 

            These people had beautiful, expensive houses (cedar paneling like in palaces) and they worked very hard. But all their hard labor went towards little to nothing, because they did not put God first.

 

            The ending of this chapter is different from most of the other prophetic books, where the people remain too stubborn and hard-hearted to change until judgment has been in full swing for a while (usually in the form of slavery to another, bigger, brutal nation). On a side note, God still allows rebellious people to fall into slavery of some kind where only He can rescue them (aka drugs, alcohol, pornography, cults, occult, computer addictions, etc. etc.) if and when they turn to Him.

            But back to the main point, notice that the people at the end of this chapter actually do turn to God without further admonishment or judgment! “Then Haggai, the LORD's messenger, gave this message of the LORD to the people: "I am with you," declares the LORD. So the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of the whole remnant of the people. They came and began to work on the house of the LORD Almighty, their God, on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month in the second year of King Darius.”

Tuesday
Aug242010

Not In Our House

This is another song that inspired the name of this blog, especially the Bible verse at the end; "My Father's House is supposed to be a house of prayer" (Matthew 21:13; Mark 11:17; Luke 19:46).

[This is also posted under the main journal thread]

 

From "!Hero: The Rock Opera" 

Singing by Michael Tait as "Hero" [Jesus] & "Followers" and John Cooper as "Kai" (The High Priest) & "Rabbis"

This musical is based on the concept, "what if Jesus were born in the present or near-future?"

The setting for this song is "Hero" driving out the money changers from the temple. This is a very fast song. 

 

Hero:

Don't need your strip mall in my face

Don't need your junk in this place

Don't need your T-shirt parphenalia

And your bumper sticker taste

 

Don't need your trinkets all for show

Don't need your token to pass go

Don't need your selling things that come for free

'Cause God don't need the dough

 

Hero w/Followers: (Chorus)

No! Not in our house!

Unh-uh! Not in our house!

No! Not in our house!

Unh-uh! Not in our house!

Don't even think it!

Don't even think it!

 

Kai:

Don't need your street philosophy

Don't need your fake humility

Don't need your finger-pointing condescending

Attitutude to me

 

Don't need your screwing up our thoughts

Don't need your busting up our plot

Don't need your inside information

'Cause you cut a deal with God

 

Kai w/ Rabbis: (repeat chorus)

 

Kai:

Who do you think you are

Acting like you got free minutes

Personal conversations with the Most High

 

Hero:

Who do you think you are

Acting like a sleazy vendor

I'll never be a part of this-I'd rather die

 

Hero/Kai: (alternate)

Who do you think you are

Who do you think you are

Who do you think you are

Who do you think you are

 

Hero w/Followers: (repeat chorus)

Don't even think it!

Don't even think it!

 

Hero (speaking): 

My Father's House is supposed to be a house of prayer

Monday
Aug022010

That Where I Am

This song was written by Rich Mullins who died in a plane crash before he was able to perform it. The lyrics are pretty simple, based on John 14:2. Considering Mullins is now with the Lord, I think it makes the basic words more poignant.

 

"In my Father's house there are many, many rooms
In my Father's house there are many, many rooms
And I'm going up there now to prepare a place for you
That where I am, there you may also be

If I go prepare a place for you, I will come back again
If I go prepare a place for you, I will come back again
And you know I am the Way, the Truth, the Life, keep my command
That where I am, there you may also be

That where I am, there you may also be
Up where the truth, the truth will set you free
In the world you will have trouble, but I leave you my peace
That where I am, there you may also be

Remember you did not choose me, no I have chosen you
Remember you did not choose me, no I have chosen you
The world will show you hatred, the Spirit show you truth
That where I am, there you may also be

And I've come down from the Father, it's time for me to go back up
Oh, I've come down from the Father, it's time for me to go back up
One command I leave you: Love as I have loved
That where I am, there you may also be

That where I am, there you may also be
Up where the truth, the truth will set you free
In the world you will have trouble, but I leave you my peace
That where I am, there you may also be

That where I am, there you may also be
Up where the truth, the truth will set you free
In the world you will have trouble, but I'm leaving you my peace
That where I am, there you may also be"