Friday, December 30, 2011

Genesis 1

This chapter communicates the creation of the earth and its inhabitants having God as the very force and reason for their existence. God made the earth as an act of the will by speaking forth the words, "Let there be.." In other cases, He is credited with directly "creating". Verses such as 1:7, "God made the expanse;" 1:21, "God created the great sea monsters;" and 1:25, "God made the beasts of the earth." This chapter gives us no other outside acting force on the existence of anything other than His sovereign will. By that reason, we must recognize that God is the sole possessor of everything created. From the smallest baby, to the International Space Station, to the moon, to a drop of water. May we rest in the knowledge of our God's sovereign, skillful, and omniscient oversight of His creation, and glorify Him through humble submission to His created purpose for all our days. And may we pursue the knowledge of Him as our supreme treasure and possession. Jeremiah 9:23-24; Colossians 3:10.

On Bible Study

It's only 2 pm, but I am already beginning to succumb to the cocktail of melatonin, Unisom, and warm milk (not to mention the weariness from my early morning gym routine). Sleep shall be mine soon, for about 6 hours, before waking for the midnight shift at Dallas Love Field as the weather observer. I anticipate all of two flights maximum will either arrive or depart the station, but that has no bearing on my duties. I will keep the hourly reports flowing, with possibly a special if the weather requires. Tonight, the TAFs are forecasting high clouds that may require me to bring some extra reading material to work to ruminate on between hourly reports.

But that was not the point of this post.

The point of this post is my new Bible study plan. See, I am a planner. I don't just like to plan, I HAVE to plan. Even if I never follow through, I feel that part of the entire process was making the plan in the first place, and on that account, I feel at least moderately successful at anything I start. But my Bible study plans have been 99% good intentions, and 1% follow through. Maybe less.

This year, I thank the Lord for rattling my cranium a bit with some good old fashioned common sense. Not only am I a planner, but I like to have a system. It feels safe, manageable. Do-able.

This year, I'm going through the Bible in its Chronological order of events. I think that will be a good place to start, and hopefully it will make more sense to me. Not that the Bible doesn't make sense, but I know that there are a lot more connections that can be made in, say, the Psalms if one understands the circumstances under which they were written. That is my goal. To not just read through the Bible this year, but to understand what I've read.

Enter this blog.

I have thought it might be a smart idea to share what I've been learning. I have written a summary paragraph of each chapter as I've read it, and plan to insert it into my 3-ring-Bible. Additionally, I'll be posting them here for consideration.

And on that note...

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Evening thoughts

Sitting here in my living room, having just finished off a few bites of stuffing, and preparing to drink a modified steamer in the hopes it will allow me to sleep through the night. Some websites recommended eating before bed to prevent the 4 am melatonin-killing, heart-pounding adrenaline rushes. In my experience, it only worsens it. Oh well. Moving on.

It's already late as it is, but I'm still awake giving thought to a very serious matter. Serious to a semi-young person who still has not shaken all of the "who am I?" matter from the tips of her cerebrum. Even at almost 33 years, the temptation to contort who I am into the perceived boxes of others is a very real and very dangerous threat. So, I thought I'd spend some time tonight reminding myself of a few things:

  • Don't turn your back on who God made you, simply because you're not like others.
  • Don't question your interests simply because they're different from others' interests. The Lord has made you for a reason, and given you those interests for a purpose.
  • If you seek God's kingdom first, you CAN enjoy the interests He has given you with a clear conscience.
  • Don't long to think like or be like others when you know God has clearly given you desires and thoughts that lead as a path to Him.
  • Remember: Others May, But You Cannot.
When the fleshly desire to be liked, to be accepted, to be understood by others gets intense, remember that there's nothing wrong with being different, having different interests, skills and abilities. God has clearly done this with a purpose in mind. Don't tempt God to discipline you back in line when you can easily submit, trust, and follow the Holy Spirit's leading in your life, including the earthly abilities and gifts you've been given.

LORD, please HELP me to invest wisely the gifts You've given me, and not to let the feeling of "standing out" hinder me from loving and serving my brothers and sisters. You have given me the gifts of architect, storm-chaser, weather observer and photographer, and I will be held accountable for their wise investment. Please graciously grant me WISDOM and STRENGTH to do with them what brings You the most glory. Amen.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Thoughts on suffering

Now, I don't for a moment imagine that anyone will find this post to be helpful, though perhaps some do, and that only by the grace of God. Only.

As I think back on 2011, I have to say, it was a year I'd consider a year of an introduction to suffering. I am sure that there will be more to come. I am not promised an easy life here, no matter how well I may plan for contingencies. God alone is the planner of my days. I know this well. But something I have learned from this year is not to hold on to this earth too tightly, but to be willing to let everything go, and bless the Lord at the same time. I have faced a number of fears and trials and have come to see that when I do not value the Lord supremely, I suffer more. James was not trifling with his words when he said to Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. This year, I've learned the continuing lesson to embrace suffering. To put down what may be too much for me to hold after all, and to just rest in His unfailing love. It all used to be such a trite saying, but now it is how I live my days.

What a difference a year makes.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Thoughts for the new year

While thinking about this new year, I've been admittedly entranced by the idea of the "fresh start." What changes would I like to make in my life, and what would I like to pursue? I feel as though I'm at the starting line for another race, the gun about to go off. What will my chosen course be? What path will I take? What will I pursue? What will I avoid? Not that all our days go as we have planned, but it takes some effort to pursue the beneficial things, and avoid things not as beneficial.

Effort. It really does take effort to live a purposeful life. And this year, my effort, by God's grace, will go toward valuing the Savior and His sacrifice supremely. As supremely as a human can, at least. To value it more than anything on this earth, which will be impossible if left to my OWN effort. I need the grace of God to value Him, simply put.

Lord, may this year be spent investing my heart, my time, my mind in YOU and in YOUR WORD, which endures forever. Heaven and earth will pass away, but the Word of the Lord will stand.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What I've been up to

One of my favourite photos from this year's chase. I'm taking 2012 off from chasing and hope to get caught up on my photos, so for any chasers reading, take heed: this will be the year of the "big one".

More content-rich words to come...

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

The sin of pride

It's been nine, ten months or so since I've last posted on here. When I look back at who I was that long ago, and who I've slowly become, I see a lot of good change, but I also see a lot about my soul that has been content to remain unchanged. Reading through James 4:5-10

5 Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”? 6 But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.” 7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.

The one thing that I constantly struggle with (the more accurate explanation is that I'm not struggling nearly as much as I ought to) is the need to humbly accept the Word of God in practice. I have found myself believing that both my way and God's way can co-exist in my life, and they cannot. My own reasoning thinks "why of course they can. you haven't had any trouble with it yet." But that's not what God says.

My pride stands in the way of accepting God's Word as true, which affects my own ability and desire to obey it. Verse 8 is my remedy: Draw near to God [in humility] and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Are you frustrated that God isn't answering your prayers, or seems far off. While not always the case, it could be that you are pridefully resisting God's Word and revealed will. Instead, humbly submit to His providence and law of love. Then, he WILL give more grace.