Saturday, December 3, 2016
I believe this is a personal record of sorts. Three days grace! Three in a row! How beautiful?!
I've always loved dawn, however typically the only way I would view it was through tired eyes which had stayed awake through the night. But the last three have been early arisings, and oh how wonderful it is to see the day begin, and not plan on going to sleep until it is finished.
I decided to get a little bit more fancy with a few panorama shots this morning. It still amazes me what incredible technology has become democratized.
God bless this City, State, and Nation. God bless the World, and let the name of your Son, Jesus be spread to the ends of the Earth, through the power of the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Posted by Joshua at 5:00 AM
Friday, December 2, 2016
This morning again I arose for the second time before my alarm clock, and again I was able to make it to the hill before sunrise. How wonderful.
I even got to make a few new friends; One of which is a Professor of religion at the University, named Bella. What a beautiful name, and a beautiful moment to make new friends. She is 51, so don't get any weird ideas... but she told me about how she was educated in her birth country. It was by Christian missionaries who built a school in Zimbabwe, otherwise she said people there really can not afford an education. What a gift?! And what a good good Father God. I shared with her that I had also been called to do become a missionary and feel led to build a schools. She exclaimed that one would require much courage to do such a task.
And of course a verse or four of Joshua chapter 1 rings in my mind...
Only be strong and very courageous.
In this Advent week of Hope, I can tell you my Hope is increasing. May your Hope continue to increase in Jesus as well.
Posted by Joshua at 4:59 AM
Thursday, December 1, 2016
Today was a 'Heaven' of a day. I am still a bit shaken.
I spoke/interacted/connected with so much diversity today. From a Catholic Deacon, a young University student, Biblical Scholar, Captain of the Police, crystal meth hustler/runner (former), multi-millionaire (with a nice tour), senior software developers, a few CEO's, and finally a couple of homeless people sitting near my home, who like to get high on crystal meth. WOW! - Intriguing enough, today is my Mother's birthday... I've been trying to reach her for about a month now, but the number she had for over a decade is no longer connected to her. I finally got a hold of the guy who got the number (after I had written most of this blog, but just seconds ago from me writing this thought.) - What is happening in my life right now?
God is at work. The Holy Spirit is pushing my little 'tiny house' into a 'great estate', or so it seems. I started really getting serious about following Jesus, and moving to align everything in my life under His authority.... and things are starting to get really freaky... I mean really freakin freaky. But the joy... oh the joy... and I won't act like it doesn't hurt. It is painful; this cross I'm really trying to bear, well, it hurts.
In all my life, it seems like I've just been able to 'get by'. And I've been okay with it. I was given gifts, talents, and abilities, and I just kinda floated by. I mean it really isn't too hard to be a 'turkey'. But a few years back, I woke up and realized I wasn't a turkey. I'm honestly still not sure what kind of bird I am, but I know that I can fly higher than some of my contemporaries. I don't say that to brag, but rather to confess my sin of being less than I was designed... because it was easy. I didn't want the struggle. I honestly still don't want the pain. But I've began to recognize that without the pain, the growth doesn't happen. Previously, I guess I didn't really want the growth either. But lately I've been praying for massive growth. I prayed for the weight, the divine weight of God to be placed more squarely, and with more weight upon my shoulders. Of course the reality is, with that rejoicing, comes responsibility. I'm still a bit concerned, I won't lie, about that. I'm concerned I'm not good enough, and not capable or doing it. And with that admission, it becomes obvious to me... I am not good enough, and I am not capable of doing it. I am a failure, a repeat offender. But my Judge sees me as blameless because of someone else's good works. Jesus is my savior. He has called me, and I will heed that call. Let the dead burry the dead. But while I'm here, and when I am there, I shall follow Him. But He calls me to be excellent, to truly be 'all that I can be'... now that is some serious responsibility. And especially because, He actually knows what I am capable of, because He designed me, he molded me, he created and breathed life into me. I will be strong, and very courageous, so help me God.
Peace be with you.
Posted by Joshua at 8:28 PM
These are some notes mixed heavily with my own thoughts from Wednesday night Sermon (yesterday) with Pastor Jamie Ward preaching.
Thanking God, points the focus on Him, not on me.
Pain is part of the growth process; pick up your cross and bear it.... Intriguing, perhaps this is the point of OUR cross... for US to grow... to grow to be more like Him (after all, He did DIE on HIS Cross... and let us not forget the really fantastic part... the Resurrection!).
Do not avoid the pain. Avoiding it is 'normal', Christians are called to be set apart, or Holy. The process of becoming Holy or sanctification is that painful process of becoming more excellent, more like Jesus. It is something too fantastic to fully comprehend, though we see dimly...
To be excellent is by definition abnormal.
To be excellent is by definition abnormal.
Jesus is more dangerous than any of them. The Darwin fish doesn't eat an Allah fish, or a Buddha fish. But rather a Jesus fish. Jesus is different than the other religious heads. Jesus makes the difference, the world is scared to death of Jesus. Nobody has been as good to me as Jesus has.
New growth is going to be new pain. He didn't save us just to leave us. I dare us to live lives of thankfulness. Our thankfulness should be evident to the world. I am thankful that the Darwin fish eats the Jesus fish, because it shows that Jesus is different. I'm thankful for that message.
Posted by Joshua at 7:54 AM
I've always enjoyed it due to its wonderful scenery and the awesome water tower. Clothed in wonderful symbology... water the stuff of life.
Posted by Joshua at 4:56 AM