Animals

How we’re not that different from the OT peeps.

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Whenever I read about animal worship in the Old Testament, I feel a sense of superiority over first-century Egyptians.  Pridefully, I think of myself and my society as better than those who would worship birds and goats and golden calves.  It just sounds so primitive.

And then I look around.

I live in Colorado, where to say that people worship the Denver Broncos is undoubtedly an understatement.  I don’t think it’s possible to find someone in this state who wears orange accidentally, or merely because they enjoy its luminescent quality.  And while taking a knee in reverence to the spoken Word of God seems bold, even in a church, no one bats an eye if you tell them that you’re devoting and entire day and driving a long way to watch men throw a pigskin around in the name of victory for a horse-labeled organization.

It is, of course, at this moment that I realize I am wearing a Chicago Bears shirt.

Sports is an easy example, though.  Cubs, cardinals, hawks, lions–there’s a long list of animal mascots with whom we can rally alongside.

But the parking lot is no exception.  Mustangs, beetles, rams and impalas all have their place in our hearts, garages and payments.

How or why silly looking horse heads came to be a popular accessory for young partygoers and YouTube personalities to wear, I don’t know.  I just know that it’s a thing, and that it creeps me out.

The latest trend is the “dog face” picture.  Snapchat has created new filters that allow selfie-senders to depict themselves with the ears and snout of a dog.  I think there’s a cat version, too.

I do not understand why this is a thing.  Maybe I’m getting old.  Maybe it’s just stupid and I am one of few in whom this valuable truth has been entrusted.  But whatever the case, it is quite commonplace for smartphone owners to snap & share pictures of themselves with animal features.  Which makes me wonder whether or not bunny ears is still an effective means of mockery, or if it will not become a favor.

My hope is not that you will feel guilty rooting for your team, but that we would see through the pride that allows us to think ourselves so much better than our predecessors.  We’re not that different.

Write at Night

Gallup surveys have found that a majority of Americans aren’t “engaged” with their jobs, as defined as “those who are involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace.” Almost 18% of employees are in fact “actively disengaged” from their jobs. Maybe you’re somewhere in that 70% of the working disconnected. Maybe you…

via How to Moonlight Your Way to Your Dreams: Case Studies From Famous Men — The Art of Manliness

Grace & Repentance

The Book of Romans is a good book.  I’d like to memorize it.  I was very moved when, via podcast, I listened to David Platt recite chapters 1 – 8 to his congregation in a sermon he gave while preaching at the Church of Brook Hills in Birmingham, AL.

In an attempt to begin familiarizing myself with the text, I was reading Romans aloud the other day.  And whether for the sake of memorizing or not, I think I like this method of experiencing Scripture.  Speaking Paul’s exaltations and exhortations made me feel the emotions I imagine he felt while writing those words in a way that I don’t usually appreciate when I’m skimming verses in order to satisfy a daily reading plan.

It’s admittedly been a while since I’ve studied Romans.  Come to think of it, I don’t know that I’ve ever personally studied Romans, but I’m sure I’ve read through most of it in the past.  Consequently, it only took until Chapter 2 before I had to stop and breathe, not because I was preaching too exhaustively, but because I’d been spiritually doubled over by Romans 2:4 (ESV):

Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?

Kindness is not weakness.  I fear I may have forgotten this.

Grace is not meant to enable me to linger in my sin.  Grace is the escape route from my sin.  Grace is not meant to be an umbrella under which I can avoid the downpour of God’s righteous judgment while I go on living ignorantly of his presence and guidance.  Grace is meant to lead me to repentance.  Grace is meant to help me see the truth about who God is, and who I am.

I have often taken His love as a source of comfort while ignoring it as a source of correction.  This needs to change.

 

Please help me, Father, to see that obedience to your word isn’t an opportunity for me to impress you, but an opportunity to live more fully satisfied than I’ve ever known.  Help me find joy in obedience.