Reading Adventures

January 16, 2009

Hola mis amigos. ¿Que tal?

I’m sitting at a coffee shop as I write this. Going out places with my computer is great for the following reasons:

1. I am “getting work done” (also known as “checking Facebook”) in a more honorable way than sitting on my couch.

2. People see, and are jealous of, my spiffy, green computer.

3. I get to drink coffee in a trendy environment.

4. I can look at people and eavesdrop on conversations.

5. That is all.

Who saw “The Office” last night?! Dwight and Andy’s “fight” cracked me up to no end. Hilarious. (What is my deal with quotation marks today? I’ve used like seventy already.)

Did you know that it’s Friday? It is. No work for an entire two days … or more, for some of us. Some of my friends are going on an adventure this weekend! They will be camping and freezing and getting their Moab on. I am not going on an adventure, but I am going to a wedding and serving coffee at my church. That’s about as adventurous as I get.

I’ve had a lot of free time recently, which means that I get to read good books! I’ve been reading Exodus (you know, in the Bible) and learning about plagues and Pharaoh’s hard heart and Moses’ encounters with burning shrubbery. (I also have a sudden desire to watch The Prince of Egypt and The Ten Commandments.) Exodus brings up a lot of interesting questions about predestination vs. free will (does Pharaoh harden his own heart, or does God to it?). I’ve heard that each of the plagues God sends on the Egyptians is related to a different god that they worshipped. God strikes down the Nile god or the god of livestock and shows that he is God over all. 

I heard a really cool lesson once about Exodus 8:19 where Pharaoh’s magicians say “This is the finger of God.” As in, “look at all of these horrible plagues, and this is just His finger. What if He puts an arm or leg or torso into it?!” That’s right, Pharaoh. In your face. My God is awesome.

I’m also reading Ruthless Trust by Brennan Manning, which is pretty awesome so far. I’m realizing that I’m good at saying I trust God, but I often forget to live like I do. So far, I’ve really enjoyed the chapter on gratitude. People who are grateful for the little things often have an easier time trusting God, probably because they’re more focused on the blessings around them and less focused on themselves. As Manning says, “Grateful people are a delight to be around, and their spirit is often catching. It is simply not possible to be simultaneously grateful and resentful or full of self-pity.” New goal: work on being grateful.

And finally, I’m re-reading Sex God by Rob Bell. I had remembered liking it, but I had no idea why, so I picked it up again. That Rob. Don’t agree with everything he says, but definitely some interesting points. Good stuff, overall.

Aight. I should be out. I hope you have a great weekend and buy me a present!


4 Responses to “Reading Adventures”

  1. Lydia said

    That is an interesting concept. I myself have never really thought about God hardening someones heart. I don’t think that God hardens people’s hearts, I think it is exposure to the after effects of “sin” that causes a heart to harden. The world is full of strife because of the choices that people make that effect others negatively, not because God creates the strife. It has always been my belief that God is fighting to repair our hearts because sometimes emotions can separate us from Him just as much as “sin.” Instead of trusting God through the negativity, people get angry at God and try to turn Him off and maybe go as far as doing the opposite of what He says simply because they are afraid of feeling the negative emotions. That is what the Pharaoh did. So it is my belief that the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart was his own doing, and maybe the plagues hardened it even further simply because they were not a part of his plan. But I don’t think God set out to harden the Pharaoh’s heart. Especially if He is a God full of Mercy and Grace. I would say, he would want the Pharaoh to see the love and compassion. Perhaps that was God’s purpose for the plagues. To show the Pharaoh humanity at its best and the good things that God does in the midst of trials and struggles, but the Pharaoh didn’t see it that way. He saw it as God “out to get him” because things weren’t going his own way. When in all reality it could have been a lack of trust in God on the part of the Pharaoh that caused his heart to harden even further. K I am done now.

  2. jeffabel said

    I would challenge you to read the passages in Exodus and in Romans below. While there are some characteristics of God we can easily identify with and like, there are some that challenge us to come to terms with them.

    Ex 9:12
    Ex 10:20
    Ex 10:27
    Ex 11:10
    and then Romans 9:10-24

    It seems pretty clear that God does in fact harden Pharaoh’s heart, and that it has been part of His plan, and was the very purpose He raised him up.

    This is one of those ideas that we must wrestle with as it is part of God’s nature as He reveals himself, though maybe we would prefer it not be. See especially Romans 9:20.

  3. Jill Anttila said

    You should read “Faith Undone”.

  4. Kevin said

    …”or does God to it?” Hmm…

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