Monday, June 29, 2009

group shot of camping trip!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

OC Mid Year Camping Trip

The OC Chrono group went camping this weekend at San Onofre state beach and it was sooooooo GREAT! We did everything together; hung out at the beach, ate, cooked, ate, sang songs, ate, shared thoughts, ate, had service, took communion... and did I mention? we ATE hehe :)

SPOTLIGHT: Mitch was the MVP this weekend! He was there the entire weekend (Craig too), did the most cooking (YUMMY bbq!), planned all the songs (he brought his guitar too, woohoo!), and delivered an amazing, engaging message on Sunday!

Everyone was super loving, giving, and serving... I had such a great time, I luuuuuuuuved it!

Here are some pics that Beca and I took with our phones, sorry we forgot to take more pics of people :(, hopefully Phamster or Jax in the Blog will share some of the pics they took.

Reluctance to be king

One more thing I wanted to add from a while ago about being king.

"Augustine wept when he was made bishop of Hippo in North Africa...There is a cost the king pays, unknown and unmatched by any other man."

Why did he weep? Because it would take even more from him. It would require more sacrifice.

"You don't want to be king. Trust me. It is not something to be coveted. Only the ignorant covet a throne. Augustine didn't want the job because he knew what it would cost him, and he felt profound inadequacy for the task...The posture of the heart in a mature man is reluctance to take the throne, but willing to do it on behalf of others (231 Way of the Wild at Heart)."

You have to question the guy that wants to be a leader. What does he really want? Does he want to give more? Or does he want to be great? Does he want the glory? Or does he want to sacrifice more? I have to be honest sacrifice is hard. Why would I want to do more of it? It is more spiritual to give, but it doesn't come easy. I think this is why the best kings are reluctant. Because he knows what it'll take and he does it anyway.

Hope this helps. I also want to post because Tera and I had posted the same amount of times on the blog and now the tie is broken!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

words that start with the letter "S"

The OC Chrono camping trip is THIS WEEKEND!!! woohoo! Here are things I am looking forward to that starts with the letter "S" :)

San Onofre state beach

hmmm.... I'll keep thinking for more words, lemme know if you have any??? hehe :)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

a message for His people

According to Amos, the people were guilty of many sins, including...
  • Disobedience
  • Idolatry
  • Unrighteousness
  • Greed
  • Disregarding the poor
  • Injustice
  • Impurity
  • Drunkenness
  • Leading others into sin
  • Suppressing or preventing others from serving God
  • Complacency
  • Empty worship
And the consequences of these sins included being...
  • Crushed
  • Imprisoned
  • Weak
  • Ineffective
  • Shamed
  • Hungry
  • Thirsty
  • Unproductive
  • Sick
  • Defeated
Wow. My initial response was, why didn't the Israelites believe??? I think I would have believed Amos (or I would have been at least afraid) if he told me horrible things were about to happen to me :(

I think the Israelites did not believe the prophesy primarily because of 2 reasons...
  • They did not have the bible: It's easy for me to believe there are consequences/punishment(s) that result from sin because I have the bible that contains many examples of this truth. But the bible was not around for Israelites. They didn't know the prophets and prophesies were the real deal.
  • Pride: The Israelites did not believe they were THAT bad and surely God was not THAT angry at them and certainly God would not punish them THAT much. They minimized their sins. Perhaps they even minimized God.
Indeed, Amos' prophesy did come true and God did carry out His punishment (which will occur soon in the Chrono bible)... even what was stated in Amos 4:2 will be true, "The time will surely come when you will be taken away with hooks, the last of you with fishhooks" (the Babylonians will later place hooks through the mouths of the Israelite captives and lead them by these hooks to Babylon).

We have it SO good... unlike the Israelites, we have the bible to guide us with many instructions and examples, and Jesus to wash away our sins including our pride. WOW :)

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Prophets

We have started to get into the prophets and this stuck out to me:

"The days of punishment are coming,
the days of reckoning are at hand.
Let Israel know this.
Because your sins are so many
and you hostility so great,
the prophet is considered a fool,
the inspired man a maniac.
The prophet, along with my God,
is the watchmen over Ephraim,
yet snares await him on all his paths,
and hostility in house of his God."

Hosea 9

Sometimes people think that the prophets are speaking to sinners or the world, but the prophets were sent to God's people because they had sinned. As we'll see with Jeremiah and others, Israel didn't listen to the one God had sent. Is it possible there are people we don't listen to today? Not necessarily prophets predicting the future, but people who describe things that need to change. Like here in Hosea, is there any 'hostility in the house of his God?'

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Love So Amazing

The narrator states, "If there is anything which especially affronts God, it must surely be the sight of men and women (whom He has created) bowing in worship to sticks and stones..." Reading this I had imagined God being annoyed, looking down on us incredulously, and thinking "Sheesh! My people are so foolish, so ridiculous!"

But it's more than that... God was more than annoyed, He was deeply deeply hurt.

And to help us understand the extent of His hurt, He asked Hosea to marry an adulterous woman. Gosh, how heart wrenchingly painful painful painful it must have been to be absolutely sure that your wife was sleeping with other men and having children by them. Of all the pains we can experience in this world, I think the greatest pain must surely be when our heart is broken by the one we love. (And the other greatest pain is losing a child... which God experienced too.)

The 1st child from the adulterous relationships was named Jezreel, 2nd child was Lo-Ruhamah (means not loved), and 3rd child was Lo-Ammi (means not my people). God must have been so hurt to have declared to His children that He does not love them anymore and that He will no longer see them as His children. My heart feels sad even imagining that happening to me... if God told me He didn't love me anymore and He did not want to be my Father anymore... wow, I don't know if I would be able to breath anymore, I would be too sad.

Despite His bleeding heart, God chose to forgive and love His people (Hosea 3:1-3)... AMAZING.

"... how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ... this love that surpasses knowledge..." Ephesians 3:18

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Tipping the Scale

I was so disappointed with the end of Joash’s reign. He was a cool king while Jehoiada was alive but the moment Jehoiada died, he killed Jehoiada’s son Zechariah, abandoned God, and embraced idolatry… leading the Northern kingdom to commit idolatry. Sad that one person was the cause of so much sin.

QUESTION: In the battle between good and evil, can one person affect the outcome?

The battle:
  • God and His angels vs. Satan and his demons
The interesting prize: humans
  • God wants humans to obey and love Him
  • Satan wants humans to disobey and leave God
Strength of the armies:
  • Satan’s army is large, the number of demons is like the sand on the seashore (Rev 20:7-9).
  • God’s army is LARGER and STRONGER.

    1) God’s army can be as large as He wants it to be (He technically could create an infinite number of angels rite? hehe). Jesus, for example, easily had 12,000 angels at his disposal (Matt 26:53).

    2) Each angel is extremely powerful; one angel was able to kill 185,000 Assyrians in one sweep (2 Kings 19:35).

    3) It is God who leads His army. He is POWERFUL, infinitely more powerful than Satan. God has the power to consume and annihilate evil. As much as Satan is evil, God is much much more good, His love is infinitely greater than any evil.

    4) God created Satan; He can, has, and will defeat Satan.
The scale seems to favor God and His army rite? God and His army seem to have a sure win rite?

OT BATTLE ANALYSIS: In the OT, it seems that when a bad king (like Joash) reigned, the people were led away from God… it seemed like a person like Joash can tip the scale against God. Despite the strength of God and His army, the battle was momentarily lost because of ONE person.

NT BATTLE ANALYSIS: Because of Jesus, the dynamic of the battle is a little different today. Disciples are now temples in which the Holy Spirit dwells. Consequently, a king or leader cannot lead God’s entire people astray. We are our own person deciding our own fate. According to John, “the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). Thus individually, we can decide to obey and love Him—we have the power to defeat Satan.

ANSWER: I think a person CAN affect the outcome of a battle. Nonetheless, through Jesus' sacrifice, good has already overcome evil and Satan has ultimately been defeated. There is a victory celebration awaiting us and the outcome of our individual battles will determine whether we attend that celebration, but regardless... God has already won the war (Revelations).

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A King, Part 1

So since we are fully into Kings and Chronicles now, I thought I write about being a king. When I read the Chrono the first time I read The Way of the Wild Heart at the same time. It goes through the stages of the masculine journey. The final stage being king. Here are the stages:
Beloved Son - knowing you are loved and delighted in.
Cowboy - learning you have what it takes, adventure and hard work
Warrior - knows he has what it takes, and uses his strength to fight for others
Lover - not necessarily having to do with a woman, but gaining a sensitive side and able to love God's beauty
King - You have authority and a position for several people, and you are in that position as the highest servant.
Sage - When the time comes to pass the torch, but still involved to give counsel.

So a king uses his power and authority for others.

Let's look at Jeroboam son of Nebat. 10 times the bible says, the "sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat" and twice it says "ways of Jeroboam." What were the sins of Jeroboam?

Jeroboam became king, but was not part of the line of David. David was king and Solomon seceded him. However Solomon didn't follow God so he took 10 of the tribes of Israel and gave them to Jeroboam. 2 tribes remained in the line of David with Rehoboam to keep God's promise to David. Then the two kings almost went to war. On page 692 (June 1):

Jeroboam thought to himself, "The kingdom will now likely revert to the house of David. If these people go up to offer sacrifices at the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem, they will again give their allegiance to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah"..."Here are your gods O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt." One he set up in Bethel, and the other in Dan. and this thing became a sin...Jeroboam built shrines on high places and appointed priests from all sorts of people, even though they were not Levites.

So Jeroboam set up places to worship in his part of the country to keep his kingdom and stay king. This caused the people to follow other gods. 2 Chronicles 11:16-17 says, "Those from every tribe of Israel who set their hearts on seeking the Lord, the God of Israel, followed the Levites to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices to the Lord, the God of their fathers." So even the priests and the people who followed God left Israel and went to Judah. Imagine what Israel must of been like. They started worshipping other gods, had a bad leader and all their most spiritual people left.

The point is that Jeroboam was not a good king because he had the people worship him. the people were there to make him king, not him being king to help the people. Eldredge writes, "That is what a good king does-he uses all he has to make his kingdom like the kingdom of heaven for the sake of the people who live under his rule." 2 Samuel 5:12 says, "And David knew that the Lord had established him as king over Israel and had exalted his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel." "We are given power and resources and influence for the benefit of others." "When you look at the lives of the bad kings - the contrast becomes clear. Life is all about them. The kingdom revolves around their happiness (quotes from Way of the Wild Heart)." So we can see the difference between the two. Jeroboam could have been grateful that God made him king because he had no birth right in it, and let people go away from his rule or given it back to Judah. Instead he made it about him, and the kings that followed made it worse and worse. Someone at our chrono meeting even said that Israel never had one good king. So that power that a king wields is not just for present time, but also for the future. Even on the numbers it doesn't make sense. Lots of people sacrificing for one man or one man sacrificing for others. If you are in a position of leadership or in charge of something that is your kingship. You are not there for your glory, but to serve for those under you.

I just wanted to share this definition of a king as we read about the kings. We will see a leader soon in the OT that exemplifies a good king. I'll point it out when we get there. Part 2 will come much later. This is something I find very interesting, and I hope it helps some.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

pretty song, n aww the lil babies r SO cute, haha even the lil porcupine!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The youths

Elisha was such an interesting character huh? He had a double portion of Elija's spirit and performed quite a number of very cool miracles! However, the details about the youths (2 Kings 2:23-25) puzzled me...

Scenario: Youths from Bethel made fun of Elisha, he cursed them, and 42 of the youths were mauled by 2 bears... wow.

My thoughts: Being mauled by bears means they were severely hurt or killed right? They were youths, so they were just children right? Shouldn't Elisha have been more patient and forgiving? Doesn't God have a special care and concern for children? If He does, why did He answer Elisha's curse? And the youths said "Go on up, you baldhead!" At face value, these words were not nice, but were they deserving of severe injury or death? And shouldn't Elisha and God have given them a little grace or mercy because they were children and prolly didn't know any better?

Some thoughts from scholars: I looked this passage up in the Life Application Bible, and here are the scholars' thoughts... Bethel was a religious center of idolatry in the northern kingdom of Israel. The youths might not have been mere children, but perhaps were young men or teens. They were not merely teasing Elisha about his baldness, but was most likely showing severe disrespect for Elisha's message and God's power. They were probably warning Elisha not to speak against their immorality as Elijah had done. And lastly, when Elisha cursed them, he didn't call out the bears himself. Rather, it appears that God sent the bears as a judgment for their callous unbelief, idolatry, and sin.

Hmmm, interesting huh?

Friday, June 5, 2009

Man of God

Sorry I'm a couple days behind.  Was anyone else intrigued by the "man of God" that spoke to Jeroboam?  They never mention his name.  He was just a guy that God sent.  


I think Elijah was one of the most interesting characters in the bible! Here are a few reasons why...

1) The narrator mentions that Elijah is often compared to Jesus because of the miracles (and similarity of miracles), that both men brought about. However, Jesus was God in the flesh, so He had the power to perform the amazing miracles we read about in the NT. That was not the case for Elijah.

Specifically, the 3 year drought, the widow's jars of flour and oil not running out, a boy raised to life, a bull burning even AFTER being drenched in 12 jugs of water, rain returning to the land, (and a few more miracles we will soon read, including a body of water dividing like in the Moses days!)... allll happened because Elijah PRAYED! Elijah's miracles were brought about through prayer :)

James wrote: "Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years." (5:17)

2) He was fed by God, LITERALLY! First by some ravens then by an angel! Gosh, LUCKY!

3) Many Jews thought Jesus was Elijah (the OT prophesied the coming of Elijah, for example in Malachi 4:5)...

Mark 16:14: "He asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?" They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets."

Of course, Jesus expressly denied the claim...

John 1:21: They asked him, "Then who are you? Are you Elijah?" He said, "I am not." "Are you the Prophet?" He answered, "No."

NOTE: It was John the Baptist who was the prophesied Elijah (Matt 11:13-14 and other scriptures describe this).

4) Elijah was one of the 2 figures (the other one was Moses!) who came down and met with Jesus during the transfiguration (Luke 9:28-33). VERY cool, Peter definitely thought so :)

And my fav...

5) We will soon read about Elijah being taken up to heaven in a whirlwind! He was escorted to heaven by heaven's very own limo service--a fire chariot and fire horses AND he never tasted death--he skipped the whole painful and scary, old and wrinkly, weak and breakable part of life that some of us might experience before death--and went straight up to heaven! Gosh, SPECIAL treatment wouldn't you say???

Interesting character huh? :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

My fav scripture from today's reading...

"The Lord is with you when you are with Him."

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Kingdom of Israel and Judah

To give advise or not? That is the question

Yesterday we read about Rehoboam seeking advice.

This is an area I believe needs to be taught in our ministry. How to give and take advice. So much hardship can be avoided if we could get this down. The bible has so much to say about this. I'm currently studying this out with the help of Dr Douglas Jacoby's study into the book of Proverbs. Here are some questions he brings up

Why seek advice?
What is advice?
When to get advice?
Where to get advice?
How to respond to advice?
What to do when giving advice?

Is this something you think would be beneficial in our ministry? Maybe I can do a lesson on advice at our Chrono Camping trip since we just finish reading Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Psalms
GREAT song :)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs Thoughts

So I don't think anyone mentioned Song of Songs on the blog yet.  I remember when I was a young Christian that it was too risky to even read.  One scripture from it really stands out.  "Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires."  That's important because to me it says, don't try to force things, but allow things to develop.  Listen to what is going on.  
The other thing, which I'd love hear what the sisters have to say about this, is I think it feels like Song of Songs was written by a woman.  It starts and ends with the Beloved and the Friends are her friends.  The Beloved also seems to be talking to her friends, giving advice and talking about her Lover.  The Lover isn't there some of the time, but it seems to be about the Beloved's process of falling in love and longing for her Lover.  What do you think?  

Also one of my favorite parts of Ecclesiastes says this:
God is in heaven and you are on earth,
so let your words be few.  
As a dream comes when there are many cares,
so the speech of a fool when there are many words.

There is an aspect of prayer that is like you are talking to the king.  Imagine if you got to talk to the president.  You go in and you have a few minutes of Obama's time.  Wouldn't you make sure you said what you needed to say?  Get to the point quickly.  He's a busy guy and not everyone gets to talk to him.  There needs to be that kind of respect when talking to God.  The cool thing is God is also our Father and we can talk to him whenever we want.