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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Busy with Business

Changing directions personally and ministry-wise. 

Pursuing God through the church plant The Church in DeKalb, moving from Emmaus Center to TCD has been blessed by God as He has removed a lot of stumbling blocks, and has sought me through this time.

My little brother came to Christ. 

Doors Are Opening in relationships.

A full report is forthcoming, I have faith that God wants to use this blog in a certain manner. Maybe as my online journal. H-LY C-AP! It just hit. Jamie challenged me to start journaling with will benefit me and my memory - budget - relationships with God and my wife, but it will also benefit anyone who decides to read this because they will be exposed to how God is moving in my life tangibly. 

First Entry to come tomorrow ------ easy to start that way, it's the NEW YEAR! WOW! God is awesome.

My little brother and I are going to start reading the Bible together tomorrow. We are going to read it together, the entire book, in a year. Maybe we might finish it quickly because of passion, I am not afraid of that. I have set up a lot of at leasts, a lot of compromises, a lot of hitches in the plan so as to make it fail proof, possibly, but I know that God is in support of such an endeavor and will see to it that it comes to completion. 

The plan is as follows:
2 to 3 chapters of the Old Testament or as Ravi Zacharias calls it - 'The Less Recent Testament'
10 Chapters a day of the New Testament
1 Psalm every other day

If we read 10 chapters of the New Testament together a day, we can read the New Testament once a month, and I hope to have read it 12 times this next year. 

We Begin tomorrow with a full report of our readings, prayers, hopes, revelations, successes/failures, whathaveyou's, we shall see. 

Christ's Love,
joshua

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Salvage Podcast #1

Hello and Welcome to a brand new and nervous endeavor... to broadcast my thoughts...to broadcast how God communicates to me. I am not sure what this will look like, feel like, or in what context it exists in, but I want to pioneer try to comprehend, try to communicate to you, whoever you are how I feel. I feel lost, a little like Alice maybe or perhaps Dante, though not as noble. This blog took things to one level, unsuccessfully I believe, I hope to try something else. Alive journals of my thoughts. This podcast hopes to be a confessional. It hopes to resolve conflict by trying to understand conflict, wrestle with conflict and conflictedness. If faith is strength, if faith is a gift, then doubt is a weakness, doubt is a curse. The word faith almost never appears in the Old Testament, instead God communicates to His people their need for faithfulness. God begs His people to keep their faithfulness in keeping His commands. In the New Testament, God asks for all people to have faith in the things not seen. I have faith tonight, faith enough to communicate it to you. These are strong moments, but the weak ones worry me, will my faith ever run out? Will it ever run dry, and I will stare at the once bustling river that could carry heavier burdens than these down stream.

The first Podcast is about marriage. I am married. I have been married for 2 years, almost 2 and a half. My wife and I met as kids in high school. I have learned a lot about God in my marriage. It has been a tempest not always allowing one time to breathe with storm force winds rushing you past everything you want to cling to. Marriage is beautiful, as is with everything worth cherishing, marriage reminds you that though salt is bitter and often mocking, it is there to season the meat not sore the wound. Without tears of pain, tears of joy would just be leaking eyes, a malfunction, not a redemption. My God redeems, even tears. 

Marriage is an amazing thing. God loves marriage. I want to hit two points. The first being that I love my wife. Her name is Sam. She is my best friend. She is the bride of my youth. On our wedding day, during our ceremony God told me that He was pleased. He said to my at the altar while I stared in awe of my beautiful bride, He said, if I am love, and you love this girl, then I am here. As I stared at her emerald eyes bobbing hopelessly in deep seas of crystal clear tears, God said to me, 'This is the face you love, when you see My face, how could you blink? How could you take your eyes off of Me for one second? How could you even blink?' I haven't felt alive often in my life, even less before this moment, but that day, there at that altar where hundreds of marriage happened before me and hundreds of others after, it was consecrated that day as a Holy place where God was, is, and forever will be. 

One other thing about marriage. I believe that God loves it. God wants us to see our marriages as something, if only in a dim mirror, see who God is. God loves us as we are supposed to love our spouses. I have wronged my wife. I have wronged God. God forgives even though we do not deserve it, He forgives. My wife forgives. God shows us a lot of things. In the Old Testament, God made promises to people and called them Covenants. These Covenants were important, so important that is often some of the most character defining moments for us to understand God. God made a Covenant with Noah when He promises never to flood the world again. God also mentions that if anyone sheds another mans blood, that by men's hands will his blood be shed also. Later God promises Abram a son, and Abram sacrifices animals to God to show him his commitment. God asks Abraham to then sacrifice that son, Isaac, to show God his faithfulness. God makes promises and seals it with blood. Every Covenant between God and man of the Old Testament is sealed with blood. There are at least two Covenants between man in the Old Testament involving Abimelech, and neither are sealed with blood. They both fail. 

Marriage is a covenant. Marriage is a promise between to people that God ordained should be sealed in blood. There are two sides to the equation, husband and wife. They both have ends of the bargain to uphold, and they both have consequences to the breaking of this Holy promise. God wanted these Covenants to work. God made us so that we would seal our Covenants with blood. If both joint members of this Covenant are pure on the wedding day, then blood will seal the Covenant of matrimony. There is no shame in the pure majesty of God's divine plans for our lives. God made us to glorify Him. God works inside of biology too. 

There is also blood that would seal a Covenant of Everlasting life. God shed His own blood, Christ's blood on the Cross to seal the promise He made to us in John 3:16. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever would believe in Him would not perish but have everlasting life. This Covenant would not fail sealed in blood for all time. God loves you. There is a beautiful wedding planned, arranged, and waiting for you. It is your day to stroll down the aisle, and accept Jesus' hand, to be his bride, to seal your Covenant relationship to Him with His blood on the Cross split for you. To take his vows, to keep His commands: to love others, and to love Him.