Tuesday, 24 November 2009

The No Name Prophet

So, I've been reading through 1 Kings lately. And last night I read chapter 13 about the Man of God from Judah. (Read the story by clicking on the link)

A quick summary: Jeroboam (the King) has created a false religion and a no name prophet shows up to show him the error of his ways. As the man heads home he is tricked into disobeying God by eating in town, then he is mauled by a lion on the road home and the lion guards his corpse by the roadside. Then the guy that tricked him gives the no-name a proper burial, and Jeroboam never changes his ways.

One of those uplifting stories....

At first read, it seems totally unfair that God gets so angry with the no name prophet that he has to die in such a dishonorable manner all because he was tricked. The old prophet that tricked him outright lied to him, how was he supposed to know??

The whole story made me think about 2 things: why doesn't he have a name? and why did he have to be punished for believing a lie?

I think as humans our natural inclination is to be given our due, so to speak. The no name prophet is the medium for a great miracle that God performs. The king's hand freezes and an altar cracks in half, that's incredible. But we have no name to attribute these great events to. I think sometimes we assume that we'll be remembered for all the great things that God is doing or going to do through us, but sometimes we are just the no name guy that God used. A nice Biblical reminder that the ministry, the miracles, the message is not about the medium.

A commentary I read about the passage suggested that no name was punished so severly in order to prove that God means what He says about not tolerating sin. God had just proven that He would not allow sin to continue among His people without discipline. No name knew that God had told him not to eat while in Bethel. He repeated it to the older prophet who offered him something to eat. (which raises a lot of unanswered questions: why'd the older prophet lie??) But he accepted the lie instead of truth anyway. But don't we all do that? Don't we all know exactly what God has required of us, but we'd rather accept the easier route at times? "I know I'm not supposed to, but the "bread" just smells so good." It's easier to accept a lie than hold on to the truth.

I guess, I find the lesson of the story is that God's message is not about me. Just because God causes great things to happen all around me, I shouldn't for a second think that I have anything to do with it. And I shouldn't for a second think that I can accept a lie in place of God's truth. I don't have the power to overrule God's decisions.

So, is there an upside to this story? I think that knowing God's message is not about me is the upside. It's not my responsibility to do the miracle, to transform the situation, to be 'entertaining'. My responsibility to remain faithful to the Truth, the rest is up to Him.

What a relief.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Random Dozen

I'm joining the meme from 2nd Cup of Coffee's blog.

1. If you could master one sport, what would it be?

Badminton. Minimal running, but includes a racket.

2. When you make a major purchase, do you go with your gut instinct, or do you do research to make an informed decision?

I often will walk away from the item and if I decide later that I really really want it then I will go buy it. It's worked for me so far.

3. There is an old kids' game that says you can find out what your movie star name would be by using your middle name as your first name and the name of the street you grew up on as your last. What is your movie star name?

Nichole Albert

4. Would you rather give up your favorite music or your favorite food?

I'd give up music first because you might find something similar, but food is very particular. I definitely choose keeping the food.

5. There are two types of banana preferences. One is pristine yellow, almost to the point of being green; the other is spotty and more ripe. Which is your preference?

Pristine yellow and firm. I HATE mushy, even a slight give, fruit. It especially annoys me that when I've gone through the process of picking through fruit to find the ones that have no bruises or mushiness the checker throws them down the rolling thingies....

6. Your favorite tree is?

I think I miss very large oak trees the most.

7. On a scale of 1-10, how tech savvy are you?

I would say I'm a 6.5. I know enough to load my iPod, check my facebook, and hook up a printer...but if you want me to download you a program or find one of the fancy gadgets on my iPod, you're out of luck.

8. Has H1N1 touched your family?

Not yet. There have been 2 confirmed cases in Bramwell's school. They just started offering the "Gripe A" (as it's called in Spain) vaccine a few days ago. I haven't completely decided whether or not to vaccinate the boys...I'm not convinced that they don't know the side effects of the vaccine aren't potentially worse than getting H1N1...

9. Are you an analytical person, or do you just accept things the way they are without questioning or scrutinizing?

I tend to accept things the way they are. If there is room for improvement and a desperate need I see the benefit to questioning, but if "it ain't broke, don't fix it" is what I say. Thankfully, I married a man who is always questioning the status quo, so we make a good team.

10. Is your personality more like that of a dog, cat, or Koala?

I'm gonna go with Koala...the little cracker ones that are filled with chocolate.

11. Do you keep in touch with friends you made years ago?

Facebook has helped me, but typically I rarely write, call, or return e-mails. I'm a terrible friend, but I hope those I love know I mean no offense.

12. You are checking out at a grocery store. In the express lane, there are more people than the regular lanes, but of course, their load is less than those in the regular lanes. Which lane do you choose (assuming you qualify for the express lane) and why?

I choose a regular lane and get stuck behind the lady arguing that the coupon is valid because it expired yesterday and then my toddlers begin screaming, pulling things out of their packaging, and my cell phone starts ringing from that mysterious black hole in the middle of my purse, then I mentally threaten to leave the cart and storm out of the store, but I don't, I just mutter to myself "I always choose wrong."

Monday, 16 November 2009

Niños son esponjas.

Children are sponges. At least that’s what everyone keeps telling me…

Who knew schooling would be so difficult? Bram has spent the last week home from school because he has a “fever”. He has no other symptoms of illness. He’s eating, playing, and picking on his brother…all as normal. Which led me to believe perhaps the fever is a symptom of something else? Everyone seems to have a story of how their child had a seeming illness and it turned out to be symptoms of stress or extreme dislike of a situation.

Between both boys, Bram seems to be the most sensitive to the language change we have experienced. Bram started formal school in January primarily in English, after the summer and the move, in October he started another school primarily in Spanish. It’s been a tough switch for him.

Part of me says I know that he will adapt, and that come this time next year he’ll most likely be perfectly fine. But it’s still hard to watch him get stressed out, and not be able to do much about it. We have decided to try and reduce the stress in the areas where we are in control, ie: long Metro rides, plenty of snacks, plenty of rest stops at parks along the way home. And try to be extra encouraging about the things we can’t change: the increase in the Spanish language surroundings, big city-ness, having to cross his legs during story time at school. :)

Part of being an officer’s kid is the possibility of a move when it is least expected. My boys didn’t pick this life, but God picked them for us.