November 18, 2011
1. Clearly the most important announcement is that Toby Mac has a new Christmas CD! I’ve heard that it’s on sale on iTunes this week!
2. NBC has put up the music that they play on Parenthood each week. Such good stuff. Check it out.
3. Did you know that you can make your own vanilla extract and never have to buy it again? All you need is three vanilla beans, some vodka and a jar with a lid. Store it and top it off every once in awhile. So awesome!
4. I’m writing a paper on Amos 5. It’s the passage about justice rolling down like water and righteousness like a stream. We’ve kind of turned that verse into something fun and awesome, but it’s not. It’s right in the midst of God being very upset with Israel for their sin and idolatry. He’s warning them of what’s to come if they do not repent. Rolling justice is probably not going to be all that pretty — not something to turn into a fun, camp song.
5. My friend Matthew posted this on Facebook yesterday and I died. This is one of the oddest, and at the same time, most awesome videos I have ever seen in my life. I am in love with this tiny little one-eyed shell who wears shoes.
6. I’m on the board for a non-profit called Axis. They travel globally, going to churches and schools and speaking about worldview — helping move families from apathy to compassionate action. If you have any connection with schools or churches and would like Axis to come, you should check out their website. They use tons of multimedia and they do such a great job. I got to go on a trip this past summer to speak at a youth conference, and it was so great. Consider supporting them too!
7. Only one of them.
OK, you guys. It’s been a busy, crazy week. Have a restful, awesome weekend! Loves!
November 9, 2011
Wednesday, am I right?
OK, can I just take one second to talk about the show Parenthood? If you don’t watch it, you don’t have to pay attention. Or better yet, go watch it. No, wait. First go watch Friday Night Lights. Then watch Parenthood. OK, clearly you have a lot to do, so get to it while we chat about last night’s episode.
They played a Head and the Heart song last night, so automatic win. And then I cried when Adam was so sweet to Kristina and told her how beautiful she is (they also played a Civil Wars song during that scene). Then I cried when Seth left all those birthday cards for Amber. Oh my. And I kind of wanted him to stick around. I know he’s been a loser, but Sarah still loves him and they should be a family. OK, one last thing. I know Jasmine is awful sometimes, but Crosby has been awful too, and I just want them to get back together. They clearly have feelings for each other, and they should be a family. (I like family.) Oops, I lied — this is my last thing: I love Zeke.
OK, back to real life.
I also made some crockpot magic and cooked these homemade refried beans overnight. It’s just how I roll, you guys. (My rolling usually lasts about two weeks.)
We’re translating parts of Amos in my Hebrew class. The prophets are so fascinating (I’m not kidding), and I’ll have to do an entire post on them soon. Amos starts out with all these judgments against different nations that surround Israel. God is going to punish them because they’ve broken treaties and shown cruelty, and widened their borders with violence. Pretty much stuff our country and lots of other nations continue to do all the time.
Amos then goes on to include God’s people in these judgments. By this time, the kingdom had split in two — Israel was in the north, and Judah was in the south. In chapter two, Amos begins to call out Judah. He starts listing their sins, just like he had done for all the other countries. But their list looked a bit different. Judah didn’t exile nations or pursue their brothers with the sword or slaughter kings.
Judah’s punishment comes because they rejected God’s laws, didn’t keep his statutes, and chose to believe lies instead of truth.
Their crimes were not against people; they were against God himself.
Judah was judged for rejecting God’s law. And part of what the people continued to be criticized for in the prophets is ignoring the poor and needy among them. God provided for the poor in his law, but Israel often avoided those commands, thinking they weren’t all that important.
I realized recently that I’m just as guilty as Judah. I ignore God’s commands, I do my own thing, and I decide which parts of his word should be most important. I realized this because I’ve been feeling a bit sorry for myself lately. School is hard, my work future is uncertain, and I feel discontent in lots of areas. Woes and self-pity abound.
Then I saw this picture.
Shut up, Denise. That’s what this picture said to me. Shut. Up.
God doesn’t want me focused on myself. That stupid jerk Satan does. The Lord wants me to remember his law, to keep his statutes. To love him with everything that I am, and to love my neighbor as myself. He wants me to be more concerned with finding shoes for this man than whining about nothing. He wants me to share the gospel (and resources) for the glory of his name.
OK, that’s all. May the grace and peace of Jesus be with you today (and forever!).