30 January 2007

The Temple

The Lord God promised David that from his lineage would come one who would build the Temple of the Lord. Before this, though, God had told David that only God could build the House of God. Which is why it is so odd that Solomon was allowed to build the temple.

But consider the temple built by Solomon in Jerusalem. It was destroyed twice. Surely the House of the Lord cannot so easily be removed from this world.

Enter a man named Jesus. When asked about the Temple, he said that if it was torn down, he could undo the damage in three days' time. He was crucified, died, and was buried. On the third day, he rose again.

The temple was made to, among other things, make sacrifices as atonement for sins. Christ's body was sacrificed as atonement for the sins of all humanity.

As mentioned in my post "Jewish Views on the Messiah", there were two views on the Anointed One: that it would be God or that it would be a king. I state that Christ fulfilled both of these views. This is further proof of that: Jesus is man in that he is the descendant of David who could build the true Temple and he is God for the very same reason.

This post is inspired by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who wrote, "The temple which the Jews were looking for was the Body of Christ, of which the temple of the Old Testament was but the shadow. Jesus was speaking of his human body. He knows that the temple of his earthly body will be destroyed, like the temple of Jerusalem. But he will rise again, and the new temple, the eternal temple, will be his risen and glorified body."

Rock on.

The Simple Beauty of Salvation

Ephesians 1 and 2

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

This is my third time (give or take) reading through Ephesians. It's an amazing letter. Every time I read it, I feel "my heart strangely warmed". One of the best parts of this letter is the first two chapters. Paul expresses salvation so simply and beautifly that I can't help but be overcome with joy.

"For it is grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast," (2:8,9).

And what does this salvation include? "In him we have redmption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding," (1:7,8).

While we were sinners, paying with our lives, seperating ourselves from God, Christ came to make us alive. When we die with Christ, we live in God, through the grace of the Cross. And in this new life, we "are no longer foreingers and aliens, but fellow citizens of God's household," (2:19).

As Bonhoeffer phrased it, "Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son....Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us."

Rock on.

28 January 2007

This God Guy...He's Kinda Awesome

Over the past week, God has shown how truly amazing He is. I went to church last Sunday (on a side note, this is becoming a regular occurence now, so huzzah) and the sermon was about Christ at the synagogue in Nazareth (Luke 4:14-30). However, it focused mainly on the quote from Isaiah (61:1,2) and related God's promise in Isaiah to Christ's earthly ministry and our responsibility as Christians and disciples. As a hopefully-someday-preacher, this really spoke to me. On Thursday, at CCF, our campus minister Tim spoke about the need to serve and suffer to be great like Jesus (using the text of Mark 10:35-40) and the hardships of being servant of Christ (and relating them to his life in the ministry). In spite of the challenging theme of the sermon (seriously, suffering? Not so much fun), the sermon made me even more eager to get out in the world and preaching. Today's sermon was along the same theme as last weeks (same text), and focused more on reaching the gentiles.

I guess what I'm really trying to say (albeit in the form of a journal entry) is that this week, it has really felt like God is pushing me more and more towards the ministry. And given sudden strong feelings, I'm thinking after college, I'm headed for either Seattle or Portland.

Rock on.

25 January 2007

Now Even Taggier

I'm going through my posts and tagging them for topics. I'm done with the first twenty, I think, and will catch up when I have more time.


Edit: Tagging's done and apparently, it's a very good thing. Yesterday: 2 visits. Today: 21

20 January 2007

Come Together

Galatians 6:1-10

In the fifth chapter, Paul tells us to do good. He follows that train of thought into chapter six. He states that we should do good to all, but especially fellow believers. His suggestion for doing this is accountability.

When I was younger and more immature, I thought that having a set accountability "partner" was among the dumbest things ever. My reasoning was focused around the facts that a) telling someone about your sins doesn't make you stop and b) you could always just lie. However, as I grew older and ever so slightly more mature, I began to see that as you grow in Christ, you also grow closer to other Christians, both changes making you unwilling to lie. While talking about sinning doesn't mean you'll stop (if only, if only), discussing where you're stumbling and how your fellow believers can help you make a massive difference (and extra prayer never hurt either).

One of the best ministries that CCF has going for it is what they call "Crash Groups", or accountability groups of two or three other people close to your age. Not only are they great for accountability, but they also help you grow in Christ and closer to other Christians. Hey, lookie how that turned out.

Rock on.

Post Script: And yes, I am listening to the Beatles as I type this. I'm on an old (and oh so good) music kick.

18 January 2007


Lights flash
Patterns follow
All is the same

Lights flash
Patterns follow
All is the same
Is my life

16 January 2007

In The Name of Love

Galatians 5

Paul starts of his discussion in this chapter by discussing freedom. More specifically, freedom throuch Christ our Lord, a theme that runs through the chapter (and the entire Bible). Through Christ, we are no longer slaves to sin (taken further, when we are in Christ, we are no longer trying to serve two masters). We are no longer slaves to sin and death because, "Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires," (v. 24).

Being free in Christ means we can no longer (and no longer have to) make OURSELVES holy. We are no longer dependant on following the Law for salvation (Paul lifts up circumcision as an example). Instead, we are saved by Grace through faith in the blood of Christ.

What does it look like to be in Christ, then? Paul says, "The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love," (v. 6) (I see Martin Luther King as an example of faith in Love). He says to serve one another in Love. He then repeats Christ in summing up the Law, which we will follow not for salvation's sake, but in the name of Love (as God is Love). "Love your neighbor as yourself." In fact, the Gospel is so good because of the news in it: God loves us. It is a challenge to apply, though, because God wants us to love him.

Rock on.

Post Script: And yes, I am listening to U2 as I type this.

And...I'm Back

I just realized something. I thought I would be incredibly buisy this semester, leaving no time for my blog or Bible study. So I sat here, out of class since 9:15 (with the same to look forward to on Thursday) and it hit me. Of course I have time to read my Bible and blog. In fact, two days of the week, I have no excuse not to. So after what I think has been a month-long hiatus from reading the Word, I'm ready to dive back in.


12 January 2007


My discussion on Second Life is back.

From a friend of mine who works in the Tech Department (the same one who draws Percent Man), a professor here at the University of Georgia has decided to hold classes in Second Life.

I have been a little worried about online classes (which are done in chat rooms). There are a few advantages to holding class on SL (accounts are free and textbooks can be distributed online for free), the idea of holding a class in The Sims on crack is still a little creepy and counter-productive. My English teacher said that computers in the class room are a win-win situation. Teachers don't have to teach and students don't have to learn. I would imagine that the same would apply to classrooms in computers, if not more so.

Rock on.

09 January 2007

New Semester, New Classes, and No Used Books

I am two days into my second semester of college. Huzzah!

D-1 (Sunday): I was actually able to wake up in time for church. Not bad for my first morning back on campus. I grabbed breakfast and headed for St. James UMC. When I got there, I realized that I don't know what time services start and it looks like one is going on now (and by the lack of people sneaking in to the church, one has been going on for a while). So I ran across town to Athens First UMC (which, as it turns out, is where all of the Greeks go). "It's ok. This is the modern worship service, so nobody will notice the soaking-wet college students in jeans and a t-shirt coming in late," I convinced myself. Wrong. It was the traditional service and as an usher showed me to my seat, all eyes were on my. After church and lunch, I tried to buy my books. Nearly $500 worth. As it turns out, I only have a $500 credit limit, and that $25, the only charge ever put on it, put me over said limit. So after half an hour of holding up the line trying to solve this problem, it took another sprint through the rain, some rearranging of my checking account, and a near-stroke for me to actually be able to purchase my books.

D-Day - First day back and I'm up at 6:30 to make my 8:00 class. For maybe the fourth time since classes finished nearly a month ago, I actually ate breakfast. I go to my German class at eight, and half way through the class, the teacher switched to all German. Then up some stairs to my Political Science class. Meh. Boring. Philosophy, or as the professor (who behaved like William Shatner delivering a dramatic soliloquy) calls it, God 101, using classical arguments on God to examine the basics of philosophy. And here's the fun part: a guarantee from the professor that the highest grade on any of his tests will be a 70. Because tests are not supposed to test knowledge, but be learning experiences...silly me. I thought that's what lectures and discussion groups were. 11:00 rolls around and I get my first break all day. Lunch. Then Macroeconomics, with the professor who is an odd mix of my high school econ teacher and Michael Meyers (yes, the serial killer from Halloween). Two hour break until my History of Rock Music class, taught by the pot-head hippie...dropped.

D+1 = German, 8:00. Finished. With dropping the 3:30-4:30 music class, I am done with classes for today and it's only 9:15. Tuesdays and Thursdays are going to be fun.


02 January 2007

Auld Lang Syne

Another calendar year has come and gone. We are now in the two thousand seventh year of our Lord. I, like many people, paused at midnight to think about the previous year. What had I done with it?

I can say that I graduated from high school, completed a semester of college, and went on a mission trip to New Orleans. I can go on and on about the good I did. But not really. Because I can say that I wasted the year. I can say that I devoted far too much time to television, anger, lust, greed, and sloth.

For most of the world, this is where resolutions come in. I resolve to eat less, read more, wake up earlier, blah less, eat more blahs, blah more this, blah blah that. And in about three days, that's where resolutions exit, stage left.

But what about Christianity? What type of resolutions should disciples make? If Matthew 5:33-37 is any indication, we shouldn't. This isn't to say we shouldn't change. Just that resolutions, oaths, vows, and the like are pointless. The first reason is obvious. Why should you wait until the new year? But Christ reminds us to avoid any form of oath. "Simply let your 'yes' be 'yes', and your 'no', no'".

And now, the kicker. The application. The new year should be like any other day. Look at your mistakes. Experience "Godly Sorrow". Remember that Jesus took your mistakes to the grave. Accept his forgivness and let the Love of God help you to do better next time.

Rock on.