Monday, September 12, 2011

An Adventure in the Unexpected

When Alicia and I found out we were going to be parents we started praying for our unborn child. We prayed our baby would know God's love and share God's love with others. The thing we probably prayed most often is that our child would always sense God's adventure in their life.

Robert Frost described life as a journey. Rascal Flatts recently reminded us that life is a highway that is intended to be driven all night long (Someone needs to explain that philosophical perspective to me. Is it better to drive only at night or is it that when we are going to drive for 12 hour stretches that night driving is best?). Our Constitution says that life is our God-given right and that we should have the freedom to pursue happiness.

I've recently been reading Karen H. Jobes commentary on the book of Esther. In her commentary Jobes discusses the unique nature of Esther in the Bible. The book does not mention the name of God nor does it mention prayer. Still, in what seems like the absence of God, amazing things happen in this historic account. God is present in amazing ways even though He is not listed among the cast of characters. The story is immensely powerful. So much so, Jews imprisoned in concentration camps during WWII would recite the entire book of Esther from memory. This bothered German soldiers to the extent that they forbade them from reciting the story because of the message it carried with it. Jobes used an interesting word to describe what happens in Esther's powerful story. She calls it Peripety.

I had never heard this word before so I looked it up to see exactly what meaning she was trying to convey. Peripety is when something totally unexpected happens seemingly out of nowhere. In Esther's case, right when you think all of the Jews are going to be killed, God uses Mordecai and Esther to save His People. That is peripety. As I looked up this word I found out that the history of this word actually carries with it the idea of adventure. After all, aren't the best adventures filled with unexpected things around every corner?

Alicia and I continue to pray for our son Zeke that he would always sense God's adventure in His life. Today, that's my pray for me and for you. That we would see God's adventure. That we would experience His Peripety in our lives. That just when we feel like He has abandoned us or that He is far from us that He would reveal himself in powerful ways.

Whether your life is a journey, a highway, or a pursuit, may you always sense His Adventure.


This morning in my quiet time I read Proverbs 12. Verse 3 of that chapter reads,
"No one can be established through wickedness,
but the righteous cannot be uprooted."
By itself this verse is a great truth, but in perspective with my weekend, this verse was especially fitting. On Saturday afternoon my dad and I spent 4 painstaking hours trying to remove a tree stump from my front yard. Needless to say I'm moving a lot slower today as a result.

My brother and I cut the tree down earlier this summer, and over the past few weeks I have been digging the stump out and cutting its roots. I thought I had gotten all of them, but after chaining it up and trying to pull it out it was clear that we still had work to do. We dug deeper and deeper, kept chopping more roots, and enjoyed the encouragement and jokes from my neighbors. Finally as the sun disappeared the stump finally came out. We were dirty, stinky and dog-tired.

As I read Proverbs 12:3, that tree stump came to the forefront of my mind. It wasn't a huge tree. At its thickest point it was maybe 16 inches in diameter. The stump had been cut off from most of its roots and the rest of the tree for nearly 3 months. Still it wasn't going anywhere fast.

Colossians 2:6-7 says, "
6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness."

God encouraged me with those words from Proverbs and Colossians this morning. As I think about how difficult it was to uproot that tree, I love to think about how soundly God roots us in faith and the righteousness He gives us. When we put our trust in Him, He is faithful, and nothing can seperate us from Him.

(I can't forget to thank Clayton for letting me borrow his truck, Kevin for letting me borrow his chains, and my dad for working hard even with two knee replacements. Thanks!)

Jodi's Blog in Haiti
This is the blog of the missionary family in the Mole St Nicolas in Northwest Haiti. Such a cool update. Be praying for them!

Google Energy
Have you ever wondered how much electricity a Google Search uses? This article tells you that and a lot more info on how much energy Google takes up. Pretty interesting.

Benefits of Teens Being in Small Groups
Veteran youth minister Doug Fields writes a post about Student Ministry from the perspective of a Dad. He has come up with a great list of benefits small groups have for families and students.

Engagement Photos
My Uncle Denver put this link on his facebook page. By far the most interesting Engagement photos I have ever seen. Is that a zombie coming over the hill?