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June 7, 2004

Solomon (Tony) Soprano?

1 Kings 2:46
Thus the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon.

Here are David's instructions to his son as he hands the rule of Israel to him:
- Kill Joab (David's cousin and once one of his "mighty men" who supported the rule of Adonijah, Solomon's older brother, who tried to usurp the throne).
- Get rid of Shimei (a distant relative of Saul's who cursed David).

Not only did Solomon do these things, but also had Adonijah executed. Benaiah, who was the head of Solomon's army carried these orders out. This sounds a little too much like a popular TV show. It's so hard for me to keep in mind the tribal rule of ancient Israel and not sanitize it into some Biblical fairy tale of Kings and ogres, priests and villians.

To be honest, it is still hard for me to understand God's use of death as judgement in the OT. Sometimes I have to wrestle (often unsuccessfully) with these kind of passages. I don't have anything "insightful" to say about them. Sometimes I have to express my frustration with them. I must also express my intregue with them. There's this wierd "I know it was you Fredo. You broke my heart" vibe to all of this. This is all a little too much for a gloomy Monday afternoon.

November 7, 2006

A self-fulfilling prophecy

John 11:47-53
47 So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the Council and said, "What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation." 49 But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, "You know nothing at all. 50 Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish." 51 He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, 52 and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. 53 So from that day on they made plans to put him to death.

There are times in our lives when were so conusumed by our current circumstances that we speak words that become self-fulfiling prophecies. This was the case in this passage. The background for this story reaches all the way back into ch 9, when Jesus heals a blind man on the sabbath (ironic that it happens during the Feast of Dedication - 10:22, which I know as Hannukah - the festival of lights. This feast commorates the liberation and redeication of the temple. Interesting...a blind man recieves his sight during the festival of lights, and the Pharisees now afraid to lose thier polical power with the Romans and thier temple now want to kill Jesus - 9:48. But all this info requires it's own reflection).

There's a part of me that doubts that Caiaphas understood the ramifications of his comment in v 50. Yet there's another part that makes me think he'd have to be completely clueless to miss what he could have been implying. 11:55 places this comment near the time of Passover (Hannukah in Dec, Passover in April - about a 3 1/2 time span); the time when a lamb would be sacrificed for the sins of the nation. With all the preparations required for an event of this magnitude, the activities of Passover would be at the center of the attention of the members of this "council." Yet they could not make the connection that Jesus would become "the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world?" These words are a quote from John the Baptist (1:29) and had been a source of frustration for the Pharisees for almost 3 years now. Now they are creating the the circumstances that would allow these words to be fulfilled. The writer of this memoir, John, recognized this and commented on it - v 51-52.

These men were so comsumed by maintaing thier positions and sence of self-significance that they didn't even see how they were orchestrating thier own demise. Many well-intentioned people don't consider the total consequences of thier decisions. Even when they have the different pieces of the puzzle, they don't put the picture together. This "Pharisee" thinking is really a kind of "blindness" - the very issue that became the tipping point for thier fatal attraction with Jesus. Now they planned to put him to death because he had raised someone from the dead (Lazarus). This show how illogical we can be when our security is threatened.

I don't have the time to really think all this through today. But it is something I'm going to chew on for a while. Lord, heal me from blindness in my own life. Help me to see beyond my own short-sightedness and discover what your big-picture plan is.

November 14, 2006

Pastors' "Top Ten" Lists

Fight Club, A River Runs Through It, The Shawshank Redemption, The Matrix...

What does it say about us as leaders, pastors > 40 (alright, close to 40) that all of us have these films among our favorite movies of all time? Some of the common themes in these films are relationships, violence, inner conflict, spirituality...does anybody else have any inights to why this generation of leaders feel a connection to these films?

BTW, I'm hoping to get another page up to list all my favs and reviews, another blog page for thoughts like this...

November 20, 2006

Restored

Joel 2:19-27 (NIV)
19 The LORD will reply to them:
"I am sending you grain, new wine and oil,
enough to satisfy you fully;
never again will I make you
an object of scorn to the nations.

20 "I will drive the northern army far from you,
pushing it into a parched and barren land,
with its front columns going into the eastern sea
and those in the rear into the western sea.
And its stench will go up;
its smell will rise."
Surely he has done great things.

21 Be not afraid, O land;
be glad and rejoice.
Surely the LORD has done great things.

22 Be not afraid, O wild animals,
for the open pastures are becoming green.
The trees are bearing their fruit;
the fig tree and the vine yield their riches.

23 Be glad, O people of Zion,
rejoice in the LORD your God,
for he has given you
the autumn rains in righteousness.
He sends you abundant showers,
both autumn and spring rains, as before.

24 The threshing floors will be filled with grain;
the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.

25 "I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—
the great locust and the young locust,
the other locusts and the locust swarm —
my great army that I sent among you.

26 You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,
and you will praise the name of the LORD your God,
who has worked wonders for you;
never again will my people be shamed.

27 Then you will know that I am in Israel,
that I am the LORD your God,
and that there is no other;
never again will my people be shamed.

Since this is the journal of my life, it exists to document what God is doing and speaking in my life. I definitely wanted to document the events of the past couple of days for myself and register my praise to God for His faithfulness.

Last Wednesday (11.15), Jayme and I received the proverbial "check in the mail." Let me give some of the back story. When we moved back to CA in '99, we had sold our house in TN and the only money we had was what we made on the sale. We used that money to invest in the launch of New Horizons, believing that God would give it back one day. Over the 7 years of the church, we acquired a lot of personal debt, occasionally using our credit cards to pay bills (yeah, I know better). God has been faithful thought this time, but the financial pressure we've been under has been heavy.

In August '04, the above passage was a part of our daily reading. At that time, we felt that this was a "word" for us - a promise from God about our circumstances. God would repay what has been taken and would remove from us the shame we felt not only from our financial situation, but even from the lack of "success" of our church plant. This passage became something we held in our hearts, not anticipating how or when God would bring this to pass.

2006 has been a personal year of milestones; Jayme and I both turned 40 and we have enjoyed 14 years of marriage. Yet all these significant moments went uncelebrated. It was weird; on the birthdays we were busy with church responsibilities and even on our anniversary we had a couple we were doing was marriage counseling session for. Subconsciously, we didn't celebrate them because, to be honest, we felt a little awkward about were we found ourselves at this stage of life. Yet on our anniversary (11.7), we felt God speak to us each that this year was a year of the "double-portion" and new beginnings. Little did we know that just a week later, we would experience the first taste of it.

Upon coming home following Bible study, Jayme checked the mail box. In that day's mail was a letter from a friend. Included in this letter was a check. We were floored! Without creating speculation about whom the check was from or revealing the amount, let me express it this way; after tithing and paying off all our debt, we are left with an amount that would be 2X the amount we came to CA with 7 years ago.

We are in awe. There really aren't any words to describe how we feel. Grateful, thankful, peaceful, humbled - these words come close, but still fall short. We have been dependant upon God's faithfulness all these years. Each day He has proven Himself over and over. This is just another example of it. And God is faithful to His word. He has restored and repaid. He has removed our shame. Surely the LORD has done great things.

July 3, 2007

TRD Visit

I'm heading over to meet with a friend of mine who is a VP with Toyota Racing Development. He's going to take me for a tour of their facility. We'll get to talk about how come Toyota is good in the truck series and so bad in Cup :-)

Before Junior signed with Hendricks, there was a joke going around involving Toyota:
"Did you hear that Junior signed to race for Waltrip?"
"Yeah, I heard he wanted Sundays off too."

In the words of LTCG, "Now dat's funny rite dar! Git 'r done!"

About Misc

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to JustJeff | Life Journal in the Misc category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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