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Archive for December, 2012

A Narrow Window

I like to be in the woods and sometimes I like to be there alone. But many times I prefer to be in the woods with someone for company and sharing the beauty and safety. That frequently presents a problem with scheduling and desire on the part of others. So it came down to 3 hours of light on a Sunday afternoon and a strong desire to see a patch of woods I’d eyed for several years to explore- seven and a half miles of stream crossings and moderately steep terrain in places on a new trail. We had the headlamps and the clothing for a longer stay but in a new neck of the woods that might turn into too long a stay for comfort so we trail ran 1/2 of the distance. My son counted 8 stream crossings. I’m sore today but still glad I did it. I guess I seek adventure now and then.

                     Second Falls

First of Three Cascades

Hunt Fish Falls

Hunt Fish Falls

100_7028

100_7031

The left picture shows Lost Cove Cliffs. The walk up to Bea Mountain was steep and the walk down was as you see at the right. The woods were quite open with almost no underbrush, perhaps meaning it had not been disturbed for a long time.       I enjoyed the time with my son and the adventure of time and place and am thankful that I still have the energy to act a little crazy.

 

 

 

 

 

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Americans are getting both what they want and what they deserve. Unless there is a widespread and deep repentance whereby we acknowledge God and obey His commands the United States will continue to slide toward immorality, infamy, impotence, and instability. The immorality is obvious in all that we vote to support and ignore and participate in that is clearly contrary to the Word of God. Infamy comes in the form of hatred from more and more countries of the world, self-hatred over increased oppression of rights and helpless people, and a growing history of blasphemy toward God. We think we are surely not impotent since we still have a strong military, but small troops of bandits are frustrating our every move worldwide, we can’t solve economic problems, natural catastrophe problems are on the increase threatening our personal security and economic viability, and the world will soon ditch our currency since we are so far in debt we can most likely never pay it off. Our instability shows in the aforementioned problems but really manifests itself in our increased suicide rates and divorce rates, debt, disregard of human life inside and outside the womb, educational lethargy, and lawlessness. It occurs to me that slide may not be the correct term for what is happening. Sliding assumes some small degree of frictional force opposing the direction of motion. We seem instead to be free-falling toward a morally corrupt, hating, powerless, unsustainable existence and loving the trip. There are brakes that can be applied but they are not in “how to”, Herculean efforts or renewed resolve. The only opposing force that could overcome this fall and the sudden stop at the bottom is found in God’s grace gained by agreeing with God we are rebelling against Him and receiving the payment Jesus made for those sins when He died on the cross.

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Our “Gospel Project” lesson today was about God’s nature revealed in the Creation story and in the results. I produced a table that summarizes the differences in how God’s nature is revealed in the two different (but not contradictory) stories of Creation in chapters 1 and 2 of Genesis.

  God’s Nature Clarification God’s Name Exhibitied in Creation Response in us

toward God

 

 

 

Above

 

Transcendent

 

Separate

 

Elohim

“Stong One”

“In the beginning God” Have to

must have

-allegiance

-worship

-accountability

Powerful

 

Able to effect He spoke into existence

ex nihilio

(“out of nothing”)

Authoritative Rules

 

 

 

Beside

Personal Identity, relational Yahweh

“Pre-existent One”

Speaking Want to,

gladly

-desire

-seek

-trust

The lesson speaks of four ways that man is made in the image of God based on Genesis 1 and 2. I think there is clearly from the text a fifth way:

    “27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the [a]sky and over every living thing that [b]moves on the earth.””

We relate- God gave us as male and female to have relationship and commanded multiplication so there would be many people to interact. In fact, all God ordained institutions (family, church, government) reflect the interaction within the Triune Godhead.

We rule- Both the words rule and subdue occur. This is a stewardship that should neither result in abuse of the creation nor worship of it, but care for our benefit. All authority we have is delegated from God and should be carefully dispatched as such.

We work- 1″5 Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.”  Work that is purposeful, creative, orders chaos, and work with God’s plan was ordained before the Fall and is a good gift. The type of work we dislike is the punishment on man because of sin and is toil (literally “pain” 3:17) that causes sweat (3:18).

We reproduce- It says “multiply and fill the earth”. When we procreate God provides the spirit so He is still active in creating and allows us to be involved in the process.  God is always involved in the process of giving life. 

We rest- “3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.”  God was not tired but He was satisfied with the result of His completed work. Christ has completed the work of salvation in us so that we need to rest in Him, faith rest:  “10 For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. 11 Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.”

I hope that you will consider how to bear the image of God in you in such a way as to point to Him rather than to yourself. It glorifies Him and satisfies you because you are at peace with Him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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