Thursday, April 30, 2009

To Please His Heavenly Father

Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief.

Isaiah 53:10

Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Ephesians 5:2
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Jesus did not wrestle his angry Father to the floor of heaven and take the whip out of his hand. He did not force him to be merciful to humanity. His death was not the begrudging consent of God to be lenient to sinners. No, what Jesus did when he suffered and died was the Father's idea. It was a breathtaking strategy, conceived even before creation, as God saw and planned the history of the world. That is why the Bible speaks of God's "purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began" (2 Timothy 1:9).

But what is most astonishing about this substitution of Christ for sinners is that it was God's idea. Christ did not intrude on God's plan to punish sinners. God planned for him to be there. One Old Testament prophet says, "It was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief" (Isaiah 53:10).

This explains the paradox of the New Testament. On the one hand, the suffering of Christ is an outpouring of God's wrath because of sin. But on the other hand, Christ's suffering is a beautiful act of submission and obedience to the will of the Father. So Christ cried from the cross, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46). And yet the Bible says that the suffering of Christ was a fragrance to God. "Christ loved us and gave himself for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God" (Ephesians 5:2).

Oh, that we might worship the terrible wonder of the love of God! It is not sentimental. It is not simple. For our sake God did the impossible: He poured out his wrath on his own Son-- the one whose submission made him infinitely unworthy to receive it. Yet the Son's very willingness to receive it was precious in God's sight. The wrath bearer was infinitely loved.


To Absorb the Wrath of God


God put [Christ] forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.

Romans 3:25

In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins

1 John 4:10

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God's law demanded, "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might" (Deuteronomy 6:5). But we have all loved other things more. This is what sin is-- dishonoring God by preferring other things over him, and acting on those preferences. Therefore, the Bible says, "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). We glorify what we enjoy most. And it isn't God.

Therefore sin is not small, because it is not against a small Sovereign. The seriousness of an insult rises with the dignity of the one insulted. The Creator of the universe is infinitely worthy of respect and admiration and loyalty. Therefore, failure to love him is not trivial-- it is treason. It defames God and destroys human happiness.

This is the meaning of the word "propitiation" in the text quoted above (Romans 3:25). It refers to the removal of God's wrath by providing a substitute. The substitute is provided by God himself. The substitute, Jesus Christ, does not just cancel the wrath; he absorbs it and diverts it from us to himself. God's wrath is just, and it was spent, not withdrawn.

Let us not trifle with God or trivialize his love. We will never stand in awe of being loved by God until we reckon with the seriousness of our sin and the justice of his wrath against us. But when, by grace, we waken to our unworthiness, then we may look at the suffering and death of Christ and say, "In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the [wrath-absorbing] propitiation for our sins" (1 John 4:10).

video

This was taken at the same time as my Ripple Effect pictures. I just wanted you get get a sense of how absolutely beautiful it was there. I know it's less then 10 seconds but maybe you can imagine the rest. :)

Ethan is skipping the rocks.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The expression "fits like a glove" is an odd one, because there are many different types of gloves and only a few of them are going to fit the situation you are in. If you need to keep your hands warm in a cold environment, then you'll need a fitted pair of insulated gloves, and a glove made to fit in the bureau of a dollhouse will be of no help whatsoever. If you need to sneak into a restaurant in the middle of the night and steal a pair of chopsticks without being discovered, then you'll need a sheer pair of gloves that leave no marks, and a glove decorated with loud bells simply will not do. And if you need to pass unnoticed in a shrubbery-covered landscape, then you'll need a very, very large glove made of green and leafy fabric, and an elegant pair of silk gloves will be entirely useless.

Nevertheless, the expression "fits like a glove" simply means that something is very suitable, the way a custard is suitable for dessert, or a pair of chopsticks is a suitable tool to remove papers from an open briefcase, and when the Baudelaire orphans put on the uniforms of the Queequeg they found that they fitted the children like a glove, despite the fact that they did not actually fit that well. Violet was so pleased that the uniforms had several loops around the waist, just perfect for holding tools, that she didn't care that her sleeves bagged at the elbows. Klaus was happy that there was a waterproof pocket for his commonplace book, and didn't care that his boots were a bit too tight. And sunny was reassured that the shiny material was sturdy enough to resist cooking spills as well as water, and didn't mind rolling up the legs of the suit almost all of the way so she could walk. But it was more than individual features of the uniforms that felt fitting-- it was the place and the people they represented. For a long time the Baudelaires had tossed from person to person and from place to place without ever really being appreciated or fitting in. But as they zipped up their uniforms and smoothed out the portraits of Herman Melville, the children felt as if the Frisbee of their lives just might be repaired. In wearing the uniform of the Queequeg, the sibling felt a part of something-- not family, exactly, but a gathering of people who had all volunteered for the same mission. To think that their skills in inventing, research, and cooking would be a appreciated was something they had not thought in a long time, and as they stood in the supply room and regarded one another, this feeling fit them like a glove.

Feathers

I was recently informed by our local bird-man that these are the tail feathers of a Yellow-shafted Flicker,

(a heart :P)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Ripple Effect

What an awesome God


His creation never fails to amaze me!

Pizza


laundry and daffodil

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I know I know... I already posted pictures of this chess set, but I think it is so beautiful!
As far as I know right now there won't be any more chess pictures due to the fact that it has been removed from our living room and thus my eyes.

But maybe someday... :)

Maybe a little too fast?

Or maybe he was shaking when he took this picture.

The world may never know....

Friday, April 24, 2009

"..**.."

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Psalm 100

A Psalm of Thanksgiving.
1 Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands!
2 Serve the LORD with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
3 Know that the LORD, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
5 For the LORD is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.
We have recently been redoing our basement due to a mold issue. We tore out all of the paneling and ceiling in our basement all the way down to the cement walls. We also put in 2 egress windows and went over the walls with cement to refinish them. (I don't think that is the professional way to say it or anything like that but that's what they did. :P ) Our church people have been so good to us and have helped us through the whole thing. Although we are far from being done we have accomplished a lot! Last Saturday we put the windows in after 2 men from church helped us dig holes for them a few days before. I wasn't there for the first part of the day due to the fact that I had to work but when I got home everything was going along smoothly. The men worked quickly and got a tremendous amount done. Wahoo!! So, thank you to all of you that have helped, it means so much! Hopefully I will be able to get pictures of the finished project, but until then here are some pictures of the progress so far. :)

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-I like this picture because you can see the reflection of my dad in the window.-
-helping hands :P --The two men working in the basement putting the windows in and cementing the walls-

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Daffodil

I hope you all aren't getting sick of seeing pictures of plants. 'Cause it's only April! There will be a LOT more.

Remember?

Lilacs and Rhubarb(I LOVE this picture above. Click on it and see how fuzzy it is!)