Monthly Archives: March 2010

New Testament reading for today

The upside down nature of our faith; the foolishness that calls for sacrifice not power.

1 Corinthians 1:18-31(NLT)

18 The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. 19 As the Scriptures say,

   “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise
      and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.”

20 So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. 21 Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe. 22 It is foolish to the Jews, who ask for signs from heaven. And it is foolish to the Greeks, who seek human wisdom. 23 So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense.

24 But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.

26 Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. 27 Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. 28 God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. 29 As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.

30 God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. 31 Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.”

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The Gospel reading for the day

John 12:1-11

1 Six days before the Passover celebration began, Jesus arrived in Bethany, the home of Lazarus—the man he had raised from the dead. 2 A dinner was prepared in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, and Lazarus was among those who ate with him. 3 Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance.

4 But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray him, said, 5 “That perfume was worth a year’s wages. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.” 6 Not that he cared for the poor—he was a thief, and since he was in charge of the disciples’ money, he often stole some for himself.

7 Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for my burial. 8 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”

9 When all the people heard of Jesus’ arrival, they flocked to see him and also to see Lazarus, the man Jesus had raised from the dead. 10 Then the leading priests decided to kill Lazarus, too, 11 for it was because of him that many of the people had deserted them and believed in Jesus.

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Thoughts on Creation arising out of my studies

Marc, in a recent post, mentions the whole controversy of evolution /creation. I’m really not up to arguing the validity of creation methods. In fact I think the controversy has diminished our understanding of the first few chapters of the Bible. As Christians, we hardly use these chapters for teaching because we are afraid to get into the various controversies regarding God’s methods of creation.

Recently my seminary studies have included this part of the Bible – the interpretation of the Old Testament, the Pentateuch, which Genesis introduces. One of my assignments involved comparing the Creation accounts in Genesis with the Babylonian and Egyptian creation stories. I’ve known for a long time that other creation stories existed but I have never read or studied them so the assignment to dig into them was interesting. (They are challenging reading though since the stories I read are translations of some old, old records.) You can find some of them here and here.

One of the authors of a text we are using likened the familiarity with these stories, which would have been passed down orally in the history of the ancient people of the near east, to the way in which most young people would be familiar with the accounts of evolution today.

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Shaking my head

You really have got to wonder what goes through a person’s mind when they call the office to cancel an appointment because they broke their leg … but then manage to come in to an appointment which they themselves call back to book later – for the next day. They come in with no signs of any leg problems. Not even a limp. Same patient.

There are some things that just leave me shaking my head.

I would at least choose an illness that is less visible.

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Just thinking

Someone made a comment about my studies on the weekend and I have been thinking about it all week. Well, I guess that is only 2 days but still it has made me think. I was expressing my relief to having completed two of my courses. His comment was something to the effect of “I don’t think I would study that, especially when you are doing it just for fun.” And then we talked about how, even though I am not studying in the MDiv program with the goal of becoming a full time lead pastor, I need to have a goal such as achieving a degree or I might not really study either. I doubt that I would put as much effort into the classes if I was simply auditing them – for fun.

But it started me rethinking my whole decision to do the MDiv. One thing I am confident of is that the direction I am taking is the result of God moving me in this direction. I do not know where it will lead exactly. I have some idea of areas in which I would like to utilize this pastoral training but nothing is really clear right now. Perhaps there will be some kind of outreach involving women – that is sort of in the back of my mind. And I continue to feel that my gifts will be put to use in some form of spiritual direction ministry.  It is just hard sometimes to remember the sense of direction and the affirmation of others who have encouraged me along this way. I need to keep the memory strong of the women who gathered around me to pray with me as I was discerning if this really was for me.

Just some of my thoughts these days. I guess maybe I should correct people who think that these studies are just for fun. But what do I say. that they are not fun?  It is all stuff I want to learn after all.

But I am really glad that those two classes are done. Three at one time and working full time – that was crazy!

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I suppose I should write again

 

But to tell the truth, I don’t know if I have anything interesting to say. Or anything profound.  Or half inspired.

I think the last couple of months have been hard on my bloging skills.  I’ve done lots of writing, mind you, but it has all been for class.  Or in Greek and I don’t suppose you want to see much of that.  (Or me either for awhile)

I understand a bit why people who write for a living – not necessarily authors, but people who have to write briefs and reports on a regular basis, would find blogging tedious and too much like work.

But here I am, down to one on-line class and I feel suddenly free again. 

Now to get some inspiration back and I will return to this space more frequently.

See you around then.

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Big Day Tomorrow

Today was the day in between.  Yesterday was the second birthday of a Lanoie princess. 

DSCN2431 

Tomorrow – well I’m not sure what that makes me but for sure I’m no longer a princess.  But the princess’ grandmother turns a year older too.

So we are having a little party.  It should be nice enough to have do some burgers on the barbeque.  Burgers and junk food.  Cake and such. 

It will be a good day to celebrate our lives and family.

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