Kings

My quiet time has me reading in Samuel this fall.  I know I have read this section of the Bible before, maybe more than once.  But it sounds so different this time.  I absolutely love how the Bible can be that way.

As I pray over my marriage and my teenage children’s future spouses, God brought my thoughts to Israel.  Early in the book of 1 Samuel the Israelites asked for a king.  This was really a petty request considering God was there king.  Samuel was befuddled but he asked God about.  God had Samuel tell Israel all that having a king would require.  They would have to pay taxes to the king and have to work the land for the king and have to send their sons to war for the king and have to send their daughters to the castle to work for the king.  The king would get their best.  Or they could keep God as their king and give Him their best.

Israel wanted to be like the world.  They wanted to have a king.  They wanted a king’s leadership and protection and provision and the status that comes with having a king.  So God gave them one.

Samuel doesn’t describe Israel’s first king Saul with much except to say that he was really tall and rather good looking.  Saul is humble, he shied away from being anointed.  Then he began taxing and warring and collecting things for himself.

One thing I often pray for my children is the wisdom to see better into their circumstances than I saw into my own when I was young.  God showed me that when I was in college I wanted a king, I called him husband.  I wanted someone to make decisions for me and to protect me and provide for me.  I had no idea the cost.

So now in my experience and limited wisdom I understand what Paul meant when he said to focus on Jesus if you are single, to stay single if you could.  Having a king comes at a cost.  Being a king also has a cost.

Entering a marriage should be about teaming up to glorify God.  When you look for your own personal benefit out of the arrangement, there will be much heartache and pain.  There will be great cost.

I love how God can use old stories to share new truths with me.  I pray I will glorify Him in sharing His wisdom here.

AJ

I know it has been a while since I’ve posted anything on my blog.  Life has thrown a few punches and my recovery is a process.

So this morning I read Judges 19 – Oh My!!  This one chapter is like the story of Hosea, Jacob and Rachel, AND Sodom and Gomorrah all rolled into one.  I was horrified when I finished reading it.

My first thought was, “Thank you Jesus my world is not that bad.”  Even with the latest school shooting and all the sadness and controversy that brings, our society is not this deprived.  At least not the part I live in.

My second thought was about a conversation my sisters are having about the effects of Hollywood on our lives and culture.  So maybe in the same way that some people get enough adrenaline rush watching movies like “Everest”; people don’t have to hurt others to fulfill their desires and lusts.  Maybe instead of desensitizing people, Hollywood has given us a virtual way to handle our primal instincts.  If we have CG to simulate horrible events so no one gets hurt, maybe that’s better than actually hurting people.  We don’t have to have gladiators and Christians dying in an amphitheater anymore.  (Although the Oregon school shooting did have Christians dying – that’s for another day’s thoughts.)

My third thought is, “Jesus come quick!”  I hope and pray that our society doesn’t get to the place where men surround a house to have violent sex with the stranger inside.

At the end of Judges 19 the traveler sent parts of his wife’s body to each of the 12 tribes of Israel to demonstrate the problem with their society.  Tomorrow I read chapter 20 to see how they reacted.  I imagine it drew them together as a community.

I keep hearing more and more about being in community.  How humans were designed to be in community.  How we need to hold each other accountable and keep each other safe.  How in parts of the world where community is strong people feel safe enough to let their children out.

And then I look at Oregon and I see a young man with some serious mental issues who was isolated.  Who was in his community?

Hollywood plus all our small screened electronics limit our focus on the world around us so much, drawing us into isolation instead relationship.

God keeps bringing up this idea of community.  I don’t have answers, but I can’t wait to hear what He teaches me next.

Walking together through life is so much better than being alone.

AJ

PROM

JEEP and SWEETFRIEND went to Prom last weekend.  They look fabulous dressed up.  And they had a great time at the party. Here are a few of my favorite photos:

The homeschool prom has dance lessons before the big event.

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A special flower for the special lady.

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Getting spiffy.

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The theme for the dance was Chronicles of Narnia (C.S.Lewis)

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JEEP wanted to take the Jeep, but I was afraid SWEETFRIEND’s hair wouldn’t survive.  His compromise was to bring her to our house in the Jeep and then let me chauffeur them to the dance in my car.

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We stopped by the Gardens to take some fancy photos.

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The dance provided photographers during the evening, then posted the photos on smugmug.  Here are two I found after sifting through thousands.

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 Don’t mind the lady in black dancing in front of them, bless her heart

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I hung out at my sister, CLEAR’s place during the dance.  Here we are playing Monopoly with RED and his friends.  IMG_2939

A fun time was had by all.

AJ

Deny self

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. (‭Luke‬ ‭9‬:‭23‬ NIV)

This has been my creed for much of my adult life. Deny myself. 

I have learned this week that the ultimate purpose in denying self is to glorify God. All those times I gave up my right, my way, my feelings to keep peace and make another happy we’re in vain. People don’t see God in that, they just see me as a martyr. 

I am not certain when my thinking got twisted or how to straighten it out. Luckily I know the One who does and I rely on Him daily. 

May all I say and do be for the glory of God that others may know Him and His love for them. 

AJ 

Prayer Challenge

Our pastor last Sunday challenged us to start each morning on our knees praying the Lord’s prayer.  Today I caught myself saying, “Thy kingdom come, Thy Joy be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

Such a random exchange, I’ve had to ponder it all day.

AJ