Lenten Reflections: Day 19 - Sluggish Races and Patience

RunningI’ve never been a very fast person. My weight has slowed me down throughout my entire life, and I’ve never been of the mentality that I need to get any faster. We had something called “Play Day” at school every year in the spring. For many kids, it was the best day ever: they got to show off their athleticism to everyone and got a day away from school. For me, it was the most humiliating day of the year, and I dreaded it every spring.

Many times I asked if I could just skip it and do school work instead. Yes, it was that bad: I was a middle schooler asking for more homework instead of being forced to compete in a mini-Olympics. But every year, I had to sign up for the minimum required events, and because of the low selection I always ended up in some form a foot race.

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Lenten Reflections: Day 18 - Discernment

TelephoneI’ve been thinking a lot about discernment lately because I’m in the Call process. As someone going through this process, figuring out what God is Calling me to, I have the responsibility to discern God’s will. It’s a daunting task, and at first I wasn’t sure if I was cut out for it.

To discern God’s will is at first terrifying. What if I get it wrong? What if I make a decision that ruins God’s plans for me? But those are questions that are put into my head by my human nature, not by God. God may have a plan for me, but it’s not a plan that can be easily thrown off course by any of my actions.

Rather, God’s plan is more of a direction or attitude rather than a step-by-step process that must be followed to the letter.

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Lenten Reflections: Day 21 - The New Promise

I don't have much to say today. Chapter 8 of Hebrews is really the culmination of a lot of what I have been posting about. The entire chapter is about what Christ brings to us as the high priest. The old covenant required sacrifice to atone for sin. The Law can only be kept in blood, because we are unable to keep it. Hebrews has this to say on the subject:

Now the main point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by a mere human being.

Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer. If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already priests who offer the gifts prescribed by the law. They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises. - Hebrews 8:1-6

Our priest is the highest priest, the priest that has made the final sacrifice on our behalf. The new covenant requires nothing of us but our faith in Jesus. It's simple, yet profound. But the new promise is even more perfect than the last: we are saved and redeemed. Because of Jesus, we always will be.

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Lenten Reflections: Day 17 - The Reason for Rest

Rest AreaI’m finally on Spring Break right now, and I have to say it couldn’t have come at a better time. I was running on fumes last week, and there were some areas of my life that suffered. One was that this post didn’t get done until today, three days later. Some of my homework was handed in late as well. I needed some proper rest, and that hasn’t happened until today.

Today I feel refreshed, however. I slept the night away on a very comfortable bed, getting nine solid hours of sleep, and my wife and I are spending the entire week with good friends. Rest is upon me, and it feels amazing.

But I can’t help but think of the one thing that Lent reminds us of the most: sin doesn’t rest, and our sinful hearts are extremely restless.

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Lenten Reflections: Day 16 - Carpentry 101

Hammer nails smithonianI have always loved jobs where I get to work with my hands and build things. Carpentry, metal working, enginerring: anything with these elements captivated me as a child. I remember pestering my dad for access to a hammer and nails as a child, and some scraps of wood. I wouldn't really make anything impressive, but I was always looking to improve my designs or create something useful.

I was much better with Legos. I once had an entire city of Legos set up in my room, complete with aircraft flying overhead with the help of fishing line. It took me an extremely long time, and the finished product was awesome (if I do say so myself). Sadly, due to an unfortunate incident involving a can of 40% Deet bug spray and a brother who shall not be named, the entire city and everything in it was destroyed. My brother "sawa  bug." Fun fact: bug spray eats through the plastic of Legos.

But I digress. The point is, I love to build things. It's why I almost went into mechanical engineering instead of the ministry. However, despite my love of creating things, I'm better at tearing them down.

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