When I was in 9th grade I had to take the 9th-Grade Proficiency tests. Do you remember these? There were about 4 or 5 tests: Math, Science, Social Studies…I don’t know…Lunch? Whatever they were, I passed all of them on the first shot, except for writing. You see, I had moved to a new school that year, and turns out that all of my new classmates had taken grammar and writing as their English class in 8th grade. Smart, right? My previous school wasn’t so bright. My 8th grade teacher thought it would be more fun to teach literature.
So I was clueless on how to write…plus I had ADD. I’d start day dreaming about ninja warriors halfway through the exam time. Now, when you fail, you get another chance…but you can only take it twice a year. So the next time I failed…and then the next time I failed…and then the next time I failed. I got to my junior year and still hadn’t passed this 9th grade proficiency test. So I got the help from my 9th grade English teacher, Mrs. Byers. And this sweet lady walked me through the steps of good writing. In the Spring of my junior year of high school, I passed that stupid 9th Grade Proficiency test.
Mrs. Byers gave me a chance. She didn’t cast me aside.
Find out why this and other examples gives us hope for us all.
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God is up to something. Where we humans spend our time creating an unbalanced divide of rich and poor, haves and have-nots, God is spending time making the world to reflect how He sees us: the same.
A Psalm for the Second Sunday in Advent:
1 Give the king your justice, O God,
and your righteousness to a king’s son.
2 May he judge your people with righteousness,
and your poor with justice.
3 May the mountains yield prosperity for the people,
and the hills, in righteousness.
4 May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,
give deliverance to the needy,
and crush the oppressor.
5 May he live while the sun endures,
and as long as the moon, throughout all generations.
6 May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass,
like showers that water the earth.
7 In his days may righteousness flourish
and peace abound, until the moon is no more.
18 Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel,
who alone does wondrous things.
19 Blessed be his glorious name forever;
may his glory fill the whole earth.
Amen and Amen.
The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Ps 72:1–7; 18-19). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
What if I had cooler clothes? Or better (meaning more) hair? What if I lost 8 pounds? What if I could blow minds every time I explained something?
Wouldn’t that be great? Well…not really. Not if I were all sizzle and no steak, as they say. (who says that?)
Point is, content beats presentation every day of the week and twice on Sunday.
Search for depth…real, profound, life-shaking depth. And then pull out some real content in life. Live the life that means something; that God designs. Your story will be worth reading if it’s a good book.
Whatever I’m doing right now; that’s more important than what you’re interrupting me with.
That’s how my block head thinks.
Oh, and later…when I’m lounging in my fake leather couch watching slop…that’s sacred time.
Seriously dude (sometimes I call myself dude), don’t you have a few things mixed up?
You see, chances are you’ll run into plenty of people that will tell you they’re doing fine, but they look away as they say it because they’re lying. There’s pain going on. Interrupt your day.
And later, even when you’re tired and all you want is a mind-numbing distraction, your child wants you to play Lego’s. Put away the distraction and practice some presence.
So I present this thought: embrace the interruption…put away the distraction.
Whatever happens while you are awake is a gift.
This is the question thrown back at me after I carelessly assumed that everyone knew about Advent. I’m a tragedy of Christendom.
The word “Advent” is the translation of parousia in ancient Greek, which means “presence, arrival, or visit.” It is a word that the ancient writers of the Bible used to describe an event that will take place when Jesus returns on this earth. Now, there are all kinds of books that were written, even some movies made from these books, that give opinions as to how Jesus will return…but I don’t believe the how is as important as the why.
This doctrine in the Christian faith of Jesus’ second return is about restoration. N.T. Wright says that it is God “putting the world back to rights again.” God declared that is was “very good” when He created it; and He intends to restore it.
Given all the crap in this world, what greater hope is there that God would one day restore it all?
This is the glory of Advent.
I’m dedicating this week of blog posts toward thanks-giving. I hope you can identify with this, and it would prompt your own bit of giving thanks. Um…thanks for reading!
Today I’m thankful for the simple things. OK, I admit this post is a little dig at Black Friday. But I just feel like I live in the land of “never enough.”
There’s no ceiling.
But today’s different. Today I have all that I possibly need. Today I can sit and breath in peace.
I was driving to the church (my place of work) one night, taking the usual road, when up ahead there was a parade of lights: fire, ambulance, and police. A cop had the road blocked, forcing me into unfamiliar territory.
I had to get my bearings.
Just when I’m mindlessly coasting through life, something unexpected makes me change course,
Or open my mind…and heart.
These interruptions hold me accountable to the sober life. They slap me upside the head and remind me that I love my wife, or that God has a plan, or that I am truly blessed.
I’m thankful for these interruptions.