Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Last week I was reading from Psalm 10 about the time the earthquake happened in Haiti. Here is the first verse in this chapter...

1 Why, O LORD, do you stand far off?
Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?

I guess the burden of what is happening in Haiti makes us wonder like David did, "Where is God in times of trouble?" I have been at the place in my life where I wondered the same thing. Ever looked over the edge of your life and asked, "Where are you God in this situation?" I think it is a natural thing to ask this question during difficulties. And I'm not sure that there is a hard and fast answer except this... He is always there. Whether we realize it or not. He is present. God may not interact the way we think he should but know that he is present. I believe that in the weeks and months to come we will see the end of this chapter played out in Haiti...

17 You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted;
you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,

18 defending the fatherless and the oppressed,
in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more.

May we always know, even if we question, that God is ever present. He is real. He is God.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

how majestic

I am spending this week in Myrtle Beach with some good friends. I woke up to a view of the ocean and a very nice sunrise. Then I read this passage...

Psalm 8
A psalm of David.

1 O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
above the heavens.

2 From the lips of children and infants
you have ordained praise
because of your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.

3 When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,

4 what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?

5 You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.

6 You made him ruler over the works of your hands;
you put everything under his feet:

7 all flocks and herds,
and the beasts of the field,

8 the birds of the air,
and the fish of the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.

9 O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Monday, January 11, 2010

crouching sin, hidden God?

Genesis 4:7

Since I was a kid I have always had a fear that God was watching me. I guess it comes from the theology that God is omnipresent, meaning He is everywhere. It sorta reminds me of the old 'He sees when you are sleeping, He knows when you're awake, He knows if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake.' I've always thought Santa was a little creepy because of that song. But recently I have been rethinking this idea of God. I don't believe that God is watching and trying to find out who's 'naughty and nice.'

Just after Cain was disheartened by rejection of his offering to God, Cain is depressed. Genesis 4:7 - God comes to Cain and makes this statement, "If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."

This is not the childhood picture of God sneaking around to catch you in a sin. Rather this is God pleading with Cain before he sinned - asking him to consider what he is about to do. I hear these words echoing through history, "sin is crouching at your door" God is saying, "Be careful. Don't sin." Not "A-ha I caught you! Now you are going to Hell!" Our God loves us. He wants us to do what is right. Not because He sneaks around, but because He wants relationship with us. If we sin, we separate ourselves from God.

Psalm 1

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
Or stand in the way of sinners
Or sit in the seat of mockers.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.

This is what I hope this year is for me. Seeking God. Meditating on His word. Not afraid of God catching me in sin, rather firmly planted by streams of water. And this is my prayer for us all.

Friday, January 8, 2010

inspiring records

Matthew 1:1-17

One of my new year's resolutions is to be more organized. This week I couldn't find some paperwork we needed to wrap up some stuff from 2009, so I looked and looked and searched and searched and it didn't help that there was someone waiting for the info. I went to where I knew it was and only half was there. After about twenty minutes of looking and sweating, I found it, but I wish I were more organized.

While I was reading the first chapter of Matthew this week it struck me how precise the accounting of Jesus family tree is recorded here in this gospel. Fourteen generations from Jesus back to the exile, fourteen generations from the exile to David, and fourteen generations from David to Abraham. Honestly, I'm not sure who my great grandparents are on either side of my family.

My Dad has done some research into our family history, but we are still not sure exactly where our heritage comes from. We think Scotland, but we can't say for sure. You would think with the record keeping in modern history that we could at least go back a couple hundred years so that we could determine where our relatives moved to the U.S. from, but we have not figured it out.

That makes the record keeping in Matthew 1 that much more impressive. Would it even be possible to keep records like that without the help of God? Several thousand years of records. All pointing to one fact - Jesus is God. He is the promised Messiah. All pointing to one truth - God is God. He is the inspired genealogist.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

2010 Reading Plan

Click HERE to download a PDF of the Two Rivers Church 2010 Bible Reading Plan. Then subscribe to this blog to follow my progress. I will post a couple entries weekly that correspond to the week's reading.

grace & peace.