Wednesday, June 30, 2010

From My Granddad's Devotions

One of the last times that I went up and visited my parents my mom gave me something that had been my Grandfather's. He passed away almost 5 years ago and he was a huge influence on my life. When my mom told me she had something of his for me, I was very excited to see what it was. It turned out it was a devotional that my granddad had gone through and taught to his Sunday School Class. He was very involved with his church. He served as an Elder, served with the youth, and taught an adult Sunday School class for the longest time. He was a very important role model in my life as well.

I have started reading through the devotional and its full of all sorts of really cool things. It looks like he started the devotion sometime around 1979. In it he also took attendance for the Sunday School class. Not so that he could have a head count for the day, but so he could find out who was gone or missing that week. It is full of notes about people who were sick or in the hospital that he would need to visit or send a card. How cool is that?

It also had all of his thoughts and notes from the devotional as well as an outline for the class time that he would come up with on his own every week and attach to the booklet. After skimming through it I decided that I would start going through it. I guess I am even pretending that I am sitting in on my granddad's class and learning what he learned and taught nearly 40 years ago.

The first section of the devotional was about Jesus as our creator. It focused on the passage of John 1:1-14. This passage starts off by talking about how Jesus was 'the Word' and how he has been with God since before creation. It also talks about how God was involved in the creation process. If you are interested you can also check out Colossians 1 to see another Biblical author talk about Jesus' active role in creation.

The portion of the devotions that really stuck out to me was in the second half of the section. In the second half of the section it focused in on how we need to be thankful for who God has made us to be and the purposes He has created us to do. The devotional references Jeremiah 18:1-4 which reads,

" 1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD : 2 "Go down to the potter's house, and there I will give you my message." 3 So I went down to the potter's house, and I saw him working at the wheel. 4 But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him."

When I read that passage I absolutely loved it. The devotional was talking about how Jesus is our creator and we are His creation. If we truly believe that, then we should celebrate how He has created us and gifted us. The thing I love about the Jeremiah passage is that it is saying even if we screw up or aren't perfect God still every ability to shape us into something beautiful for His glory. It doesn't matter what shape we are when we get to God. Once he starts working on us he will bring beauty about in our lives that we could never have imagined.

If you want to read some other passages that talk about this a little more, than check out Isaiah 29:16//45:9//64:8//Ex. 4:10-11//Psalms 139

Monday, June 28, 2010

Back from the West Coast

Alicia and I just got back from our vacation to Seattle and San Francisco. We had a great time. I absolutely loved Seattle (except for the fact that they swept the Reds while we were out there). We got to spend a ton of quality time with each other and that is always great. Not only that but we also got to do some other fun stuff like tour Alcatraz, hike Olympic National Park, and have a 2010 Camaro as our rental car. So like I said the trip was great.

On the trip I decided to take another step with my blog as well. I think something that prevents me from writing more on this blog, is that I don't want to be misunderstood. I don't know a lot, and I don't have a lot of experience yet in ministry and I worry sometimes that blogging about a topic will come across as me saying that I am an authority about it.

I love wrestling with questions, but sometimes I hesitate to ask certain ones because I worry that people will think that I don't have the answers I need to do my job. Right along with that I love talking about the Bible and its truth, but I don't want to sound like I think I know exactly what its saying, because I don't.

All that to say I just need to get over myself and that fear of being misunderstood. I wanna be able to write down my thoughts and share them with others. I think a lot of good can happen from doing that. So I am not going to let my small fear of being misunderstood prevent that. Thanks for giving me a full share of grace as a try to share more of my thoughts and questions.