15 October 2008

On The Road Again: From Alabama to Texas

What will YOU be doing tomorrow morning at 5:00 a.m? We will be driving to Tupelo, Mississippi for breakfast with kids in pajamas. After clothes, brushed teeth and breakfast in Tupelo, we will drive to Memphis, TN for gas and a potty break. After Memphis, we will drive to Little Rock, AR where we will eat lunch and go the the Little Rock Zoo!!! After the zoo, we will drive to Texarkana, TX where we will spend the night. The next morning we will leave at 7:00 to arrive in Bells, Texas in time to have lunch with my dad.

Our time in Alabama has been great . . . very memorable for us and the kiddos. We have more goodbyes to say here, and then onward to family and friends in Texas.

WONDERFUL news! - our visas have arrived. They are waiting for us in Texas as well. We hope to soon have a leave for Brazil date - - it will most likely be first week of November.

How Could God's Glorification Have Anything To Do With My Satisfaction?

Okay, a verbal comment was made to me after my last hosanna post . . . that I must have been reading John Piper lately. What I wrote at the end of my post was this:
"what an amazing thing that we find such pleasure and fulfillment from God getting praise. It seems that it should only be for His pleasure, doesn't it?"
I was merely pointing out the vast, immeasurable abundance of grace that God has toward us . . . that in our glorifying Him we would experience such fulfillment and pleasure. That's an amazing thing . . . astonishing and humbling.

What I wrote is not the same as Piper's famous line that "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him." I don't understand or subscribe to this viewpoint. (Hedonism is it?) Maybe I don't have a full grasp on it. It just seems too much about my satisfaction in God - - which is a bonus. It's really all about God and His glory. I truly think God's glorification is not contingent on our satisfaction in Him. He is glorified in everything . . . in all creation and created beings. Even through those who choose not to worship Him!! I believe God is equally glorified by both the execution of His wrath on sinful man as He is by the pouring out of His mercy and grace and love upon the redeemed.

Now don't take me wrong. I'm not bashing Piper. He has tremendous insights, he's written some incredible books and it is my great desire to one day be able to cross reference Scripture as half as well as he does.

I'm just one who is
struggling with the right approach to God . . . not as one desiring to be satisfied in Him, but as the wretch that I am - - saved by His grace that I in no way deserve, and approaching Him in confidence as an inadequate, obedient servant. The satisfaction in Him that I find is a product of His grace, but not a motive of my heart.

I would love to hear from others on this.

14 October 2008

Hosanna! (part 2)

"Hosanna" . . . . it is first used in Psalm 118:25-26:

O LORD, do save, we beseech You; O LORD, we beseech You, do send prosperity! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORD; We have blessed you from the house of the LORD.
(Psa 118:25-26)

John Piper has this to say about it:

And that Hebrew phrase is found one solitary place in the whole Old Testament, Psalm 118:25, where it means, "Save, please!" It is a cry to God for help. Like when somebody pushes out off the diving board before you can swim and you come up hollering: "Help, save me" … "Hoshiya na!"

But something happened to that phrase, hoshiya na. The meaning changed over the years. In the psalm it was immediately followed by the exclamation: "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" The cry for help, hoshiya na, was answered almost before it came out of the psalmist's mouth. And over the centuries the phrase hoshiya na stopped being a cry for help in the ordinary language of the Jews. Instead it became a shout of hope and exultation. It used to mean, "Save, please!" But gradually it came to mean, "Salvation! Salvation! Salvation has come!" It used to be what you would say when you fell off the diving board. But it came to be what you would say when you see the lifeguard coming to save you! It is the bubbling over of a heart that sees hope and joy and salvation on the way and can't keep it in.

Man oh man, what it would have been like to be there at that moment - - as Jesus entered Jerusalem and received praise for who He is and why He was there . . . the very town who SO rejected Christ (Luke 13:34-35). What a moment in history His entry into Jerusalem was, with the laying down of coats and branches and shouts of Hosanna. I would love to have seen it. I would love to have been there throwing down branches and getting down on my knees to shout Hosanna with hands lifted high!

But what better time it is now! As believers, we have the Holy Spirit alive and active in US. We are living in this dispensation of grace and it is a time to proclaim to all that salvation has come!
What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life-- and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us-- what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.
(1Jn 1:1-3)
Another thought - - in light of the joy that comes from looking at this moment when Christ was celebrated with shouts of Hosanna for who He really is - - what an amazing thing that we find such pleasure and fulfillment from God getting praise. It seems that it should only be for His pleasure, doesn't it?

13 October 2008

Hosanna! part 1

Oh the beautiful word that Hosanna is! - - and one, like so many others, that is only fitting for our Lord.

In case you haven't happened to read recently the account of Jesus' entry into Jerusalem just prior to His arrest - -here it is:

When they had approached Jerusalem and had come to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, "Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied there and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to Me. "If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, 'The Lord has need of them,' and immediately he will send them." This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: "SAY TO THE DAUGHTER OF ZION, 'BEHOLD YOUR KING IS COMING TO YOU, GENTLE, AND MOUNTED ON A DONKEY, EVEN ON A COLT, THE FOAL OF A BEAST OF BURDEN.'" The disciples went and did just as Jesus had instructed them, and brought the donkey and the colt, and laid their coats on them; and He sat on the coats. Most of the crowd spread their coats in the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them in the road. The crowds going ahead of Him, and those who followed, were shouting, "Hosanna to the Son of David; BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Hosanna in the highest!" When He had entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, "Who is this?" And the crowds were saying, "This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee." And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. And He *said to them, "It is written, 'MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER'; but you are making it a ROBBERS' DEN." And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them. But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He had done, and the children who were shouting in the temple, "Hosanna to the Son of David," they became indignant and said to Him, "Do You hear what these children are saying?" And Jesus *said to them, "Yes; have you never read, 'OUT OF THE MOUTH OF INFANTS AND NURSING BABIES YOU HAVE PREPARED PRAISE FOR YOURSELF'?" (Mat 21:1-16)
The Bible says the scribes and pharisees became "indignant" when they heard the children addressing JC with this word "Hosanna". It's a word worth taking a look at.

First . . . there is NO English or Greek word "Hosanna". It is transliterated from the Hebrew הושענא which is like
hoshiya na . What gets my attention is the rage that this word evoked in the pharisees, and Christ's description of this word as praise which God had prepared for Himself - - of which David even prophesied about in Psalm 8:2.

This word has my attention!!!

12 October 2008

leaving Alabama

We've been almost two weeks in Jasper, Alabama - - visiting my husbands family. It's been a great time. This Thursday we are headed to Texas where we will stay until we go overseas.

Just tonight we said goodbye to Robert's dad. He's leaving on a business trip early tomorrow morning. The words of his goodbye were incredible . . . fully supporting our obedience to God's calling, warning that times will get hard, and exhorting us to not get discouraged, but keep an eternal perspective. And all of it spoken with a heart of love that is transparent and genuine. Whew! - these goodbyes are tough . . . but what a privilege to follow God. He is abundantly graceful. And what a blessing to have the support of family.

Onward with news . . . . we tracked the overnight package from the consulate and learned that our visas sit in a small post office in Texas, awaiting my dad to pick them up on Tuesday!!!!

As for God's providence . . . . we have a house in Whitesboro to live until we leave for Brazil. It is a house belonging to First Baptist Church of Whitesboro. There are beds for all of us, towels, dishes, internet, even a vehicle if we can sell the Suburban. We will arrive there Friday night and stay through our departure date to Sao Paulo, Brazil, which will most likely be the first week of November.

Thanks for your prayers. I hope to begin blogging regularly now that we have complete our orientation for field service.

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the frangrance of the knowledge of Him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task? 2Cor.2:14-16