Day 92

spa2

We spent a night at the spa last weekend to celebrate Valentine’s Day and our Anniversary. It was wonderful. We didn’t partake of any of the professional spa services. We just made use of our wonderful room and spa-like bath. Then we walked around the historic hotel, taking in all of the amazing architectural features. It was like visiting the Titanic. Researching the history of the area was fascinating. I learned a lot about mineral springs and discovered a lot of health benefits from mineral water. As soon as I got home, I bought some Celtic sea salt and made salt sole to put in my water every morning. For more information on salt sole and mineral water, here’s a  blog link: Minerals

This is the first full week working on my health and fitness goals checklists in my journal. In 5 days of log entries, my morning blood sugar numbers have come down 40 points. My blood pressure was 120/81 this morning. This afternoon, my son and I plan a 3 mile walk. I haven’t consistently hit all of my daily goals this week and I know it is because of too much time on the computer. I have homework and work-work on the computer, but social media adds too many extra hours each week. So, I made a couple of changes, which I will talk about in more detail in my next blog post.

Bible Study and Prayer:

Bible Reading – The OT book of Joel

Select Verses – “Blow ye a trumpet in Zion”, “The day of the Lord is great and terrible. Who can endure it?”, “I will restore the years the locusts have eaten.”, “Your sons & daughters shall prophesy.”, “For the Lord dwells in Zion.”

Hymn – “My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine-For Thee all the follies of sin I resign; my gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou: If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.”

1 John 4:19 “We love Him because He first loved us”

Prayer for Friday – Your name O Lord, is a strong and mighty tower! I confess I am a sinner Lord but you are faithful and just to forgive my sin and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. Thank you for making a way for this sinner to come to you and pray and seek your face for all things for myself and for others. Thank you for your cleansing, healing, joy and strength. Lord, I lift up my husband and son to you here at our home and out at their homes, my children and grandchild. Father, I pray and honor my parents and lift up my brothers and sisters to you. For those who don’t know you, I pray for their salvation. For those who know you, I pray that they will know you more today. Father, today is Friday, and I have this day dedicated to add pray for our nation and our leaders. Thank you for the ways in which you lead us. Thank you for leaders who speak your name openly and seek to do good to our nation and serve the people for your sake. Lord, deliver us from he evil one, save the people and heal our land.

No Modifiers

Rembrandt Self-Portrait

Rembrandt Self-Portrait

“They will know we are Christians by our love”. That song leads to some big mistakes. What Jesus actually said is:

“Now I am giving you a new command – love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you must love one another. This is how all men will know that you are my disciples, because you have such love for one another.”

Christ’s disciples will have such love for one another. That is how the world will know we are Christ’s disciples. Allowing your brothers and sisters in Christ to walk around carrying any “identity” other than Christ is not love. No modifiers before the word Christian can stand, no matter what the Buzzfeed video says: Swearing Christian, Gay or Straight Christian, Liberal or Conservative, Rich or Poor, “Cool”, “Non-judgmental”, Black or White or Hispanic or Asian… multicultural. We are one body. If it was not possible to speak the truth in love, we wouldn’t be commanded to do it. We must speak the whole truth. The love part is patience and kindness, no pride or rudeness, no envy or boastfulness, no self-seeking, not easily angered or keeping a record of wrongs, not delighting in evil, but rejoicing in the *Truth*. Always protecting, always trusting, always hoping, always persevering. There is a lot here. Some of these things result in seemingly contradictory behavior. If I’m trying to protect someone who is standing in the direct path of God’s wrath by stridently stating they are a sinner in danger, is it true that I am being unkind? Is it true that I am being rude? Or am I hoping they will finally hear me and rejoice that I told them the truth! It happened to me. I was shouted at on the street in front of a whole crowd of people by a young man holding an open bible. I was mortified. I was mad. 6 months later, I was saved. It takes all the extremities doing their own work.

Love is in the eye of the Creator:

“Any man who believes…is not judged at all. It is the one who will not believe who stands already condemned…” – Jesus

Was Jesus Married? Talking it Out

get

“Why can Jesus have no other bride besides the church?”

L: “That’s an interesting question and one that would make for an interesting discussion. 🙂 I think if you look at scripture and God’s treatment of marriage and the relationship between the bride and groom, you can see God’s design beginning with Adam and Eve, of course, but look at the Proverbs 31 woman and the Song of Solomon for the relationship between a wife and her husband, or lover and beloved. The idea is one bride and one groom. God referred to Israel as His covenant people and spoke of their waywardness like that of an adulterous wife. So, God the Father as ‘husband’ to Israel is similar in imagery to Christ the bridegroom waiting to marry his bride, the church. What are your thoughts about how scripture addresses this issue?”

CS: “The comparison of Jesus’ relationships and marriage is a metaphor, not literal. Even the verses where Jesus is stating that it is not necessary to marry, so that you can devote your full attention to God states that this would merely be a choice and not a necessity. Loyalties can be divided by two wives, provided they are both the same (as two women.) So, a metaphorical marriage to the Church or God has no bearing what-so-ever on an earthly marriage.

If we were to take the metaphor literally, then why isn’t there only one actual nun at any one time, like there is only one pope? Are they not the Brides of Christ?

There is plenty of reason to believe that Jesus was married (from historical texts outside the Bible.) There is nothing stating one way or the other (in the Bible or anywhere else.)

The part about this that fascinates me the most is that people who claim to be devout Christians state flat out that if Jesus were married then he cannot be the son of God. When challenged on this point they refuse to explain why they would abandon their faith so easily.”

L: “I’m a little confused by your reply, possibly because I am not Catholic. I am not familiar with the scriptures where Jesus says it is not necessary to marry. However, I am familiar with the words of the apostle Paul about that and he did suggest that Christians remain as Paul was, unmarried, but that if they could not, they were free to marry. He also pointed out that those were his own words and not a commandment from God. The reference in scripture to Christ and His bride, absolutely does have bearing on an earthly marriage and is very, very plain in Ephesians 5:22-32. That is a long passage and simple to search online. Again, these words are by the apostle Paul, carefully laying out the relationship of a wife and husband as being precisely like that of Christ and the church. He says it is a mystery, so I can see why it would be challenging to understand. The reference that you make to nuns is not anything I am aware of in scripture. There is only one bride of Christ referenced in scripture and that is the Church. There is zero reason to believe that Jesus was married while on earth and there are no accepted scholarly historical texts that challenge his status as unmarried. It’s just not an issue. I’m also not sure what you mean about abandoning faith, rather than people simply stating that a married Jesus is not the Jesus of scripture. Therefore, THAT Jesus is not the Son of God, naturally. It’s like saying that Jesus stopped being a carpenter when he was in his early twenties and spent 8 years as a goldsmith, because some obscure piece of paper found in Egypt said so. It’s not remotely relevant or believable. It’s a waste of time. My faith in Christ alone is not shaken by that. I find it fascinating that people are so easily lured away from the Word of God to cling to any scrap of controversy. There’s enough to do following Christ without being blown around by every wind. Read the scriptures as they are written. Consider the context. Look for patterns and repetition. Allow scripture to interpret scripture. Consider the authors. Read it straight, like you would any other literature. Start with the gospels…the gospel of John would probably be good. Try to lay aside denominational traditions in your mind and look at the text square in the eye. For example, I recently started re-reading Matthew. I was fascinated by Matthew Ch. 8. and how reading it through all in one sitting makes the theme of faith and how concerned Jesus was with faith leap off the page. I read it again. There was much more there… in the verse that says he healed people, fulfilling Isaiah the prophets words “Himself took our infirmities and bare our diseases”, Jesus, creator, TOOK and BARE or carried our diseases. He took the little viruses and bacteria. He commanded them to come out of the sick and he carried them away. Amazing. So much to think about.”

CS: ” >>>Re: ‘And there is zero reason to believe that he was not married.

…I’m also not sure what you mean about abandoning faith, rather than people simply stating that a married Jesus is not the Jesus of scripture.’

Why? This is the simple question that you, and dozens beside you, refuse to answer.

If Jesus were never married, not a single line of scripture would need to be changed to reflect that. If Jesus were married, however…. the same. Not a single line of scripture would need to be changed because of it. It’s that simple.

All I am asking of you and your fellows is an explanation of why you would immediately abandon Jesus as your Lord and Savior if you found out he was married? You keep trying to say it’s a simple thing, but then you go off on long tangents that have nothing to do with that one question that you refuse to answer.”

L: “I said the exact opposite about faith and about abandoning the Lord. If a married Jesus is not the Jesus of scripture, my ‘fellows’ and I are not abandoning scripture and Christ, but rather dismissing the marriage claim. The question of Jesus being married is a ‘what if’ question about an earthly wife that doesn’t exist in scripture. Abandonment of faith in a ‘what if’ scenario is needless speculation, whereas dismissing the actual scriptures about the very real bride of Christ and the direct application to earthly marriage actually is an abandonment of faith in the Word of God…Jesus is the Word of God.”

 

CS: “And now you resort to flat out lying about what I’ve said. I’ve said repeatedly that we don’t know. That’s the simple fact of the matter. There is nothing in the Bible one way or the other. It’s irrelevant.

You, however, continue to claim that you have been granted special knowledge to know that which is unknowable. Let me know how that Pride serves you when you stand before the throne.”

 

L: “And what have *I* said all along? That we can know what ~scripture~  says about Christ. The reason you and I are not finding common ground here is our divergent approaches to scripture. Is scripture authoritative for you? From your statements here, you place it on equal footing with folklore. From a scholarly perspective, how do you come to this conclusion? It’s important to know where you stand on this important issue. I am a family historian. I search documents for dates and details. For example, I had always been told my mother’s grandfather died from an unusual disease no one else had in the family. As an adult, when I began researching family history, I obtained a copy of his death certificate. The cause of death was listed as TB. His mother also died of TB, as did several extended family members. At first, my mom was resistant to the new information. She had always been told otherwise. The other story she knew could have been true, but we don’t know now. We have a lot more evidence to the contrary. Primary sources are important to the study and documentation of history. The bible is no different. Take a look at the studies that have been done on scripture. Look at how much more we actually know about Jesus compared to other historical figures of his time. Now let’s consider folklore. I love folklore. I’ve spent the last 8 years getting to know storytellers and balladeers and understanding their craft. Consider historical figures and weigh the facts about them with folklore. How do we know the difference between historical fact and folklore? Let’s take a pop culture reference. Chuck Norris. He is alive and we can study his life and the facts about him. Legend has it that he was bit by a rattlesnake and the snake died. When he is asked how many push ups he can do, he says “all of them”. He is amused by his own folk-hero status…but we all know these are folk stories. They are fun. They speak to people’s affection for him. This is the same regarding folklore about Christ. Stories about Christ speak to people’s interest in him and affection for him. Who would be mad at people for loving him and speculating on things about it that *might* have been *could* have been or could be? However,  scripture as authoritative and scripture as the rod by which we measure all other stories about Christ and God’s design and plan for mankind, intentionally sets it apart from other material. It’s not a pride thing. It is a decision that you make as an individual. Is it authoritative? Do you trust it as the Word of God? Then have faith in Christ, who *is* the Word of God to preserve for you his word in your own language. Embrace it. Love it. Read it. Stand alone on the Word of God.”

CS: “And again you are back to claiming scripture says something that it doesn’t. No where in the Bible does it say one way or the other whether Jesus was married or not. This is the simple fact.”

L: “And we are back to square one…it says he is betrothed to the church, his bride and the wedding is soon.”

CS: “No, it doesn’t, but please keep claiming you are special among all, chosen by God to know things others don’t. That Pride will lead you to where you deserve.”

L: “Yep. It does. A quick Google search will find a lot of stuff on ‘bride of Christ’. Chapter/verse references include but are not limited to: Ephesians 5:22-29, 2 Corinthians 11:2, Revelation 19:7-9, 21:1-2..Jesus speaks of himself multiple times in the gospels as the bridegroom. Why would that be significant to the Jews? What was Jesus communicating by calling himself a bridegroom? Look at the book of Joel, chapter 2. This is a prophecy of the “day of the Lord”. Verse 16 talks about the bridegroom and the bride. Bridegroom appears 8 times in the old testament. Jesus is referred to in scripture as the last Adam. In 2 Corinthians 11, the bride and bridegroom are likened to Adam and Eve. God’s design is one bride and one bridegroom. The bride of Christ is made up of many…but the many are only one bride. Just one. There’s so much more that would fill so much more space and begin so much more discussion. All of God’s people are chosen by God to know things others don’t. The scriptures are available to all, but not all will read. The bible says the meaning is spiritually discerned. Not all will respond to the call. Not all will be compelled to read and study and know. Why? I don’t know. Jesus said his sheep hear His voice. In the book of Jeremiah, the voice of the bridegroom is mentioned 4 times. 4 being for seasons perhaps? I would have to study it, but the opportunity to study it is available to all. What is plain as day in scripture to me and full of treasure upon treasure is ignored or dismissed out of hand by some. This is as available to you as it is me. What good is being prideful about understanding what scripture says? I didn’t do anything but read it straight like anything else anyone else would read, but I didn’t understand it at first. Even when I didn’t understand a word of it, I wanted to know it and the first step was a blow to all pride and rebellion, repenting of my sin and believing on the Lord Jesus Christ.”

CS: “Yes. His relationship with his followers and the church is compared with marriage as a metaphor. It compares the relationship. It’s not an actual marriage to the church. That has no bearing what-so-ever on whether he was married in actuality.”

L: “Except that it does! Christ’s sacrificial role as bridegroom to the church, His bride, is the template, the real deal, and the model upon which earthly marriage of a man and woman is based…not the other way around. Jesus is the bridegroom of His bride, the church, as seen in the old testament, long before the incarnation. He was already betrothed long before his appearance in Matthew. When he tells to the Jews the parables of the bridegroom, he is revealing *himself* as bridegroom. It has enormous bearing on to whom he is married. What purpose would there be in Christ preparing the church in chaste purity as his one and only, where the church is to be wholly committed to Christ alone, only to have his affections divided by an earthly wife and children? It is nonsensical and not remotely in keeping with God’s character and what we know ~in scripture~ of God’s marriage plan.”

CS: “Your belief that is what is says doesn’t make it absolute. It’s obvious you are clinging to this like a life preserver, and we’re back to my original question. Why? It’s obvious you will never get to an answer, so I bid you good day.”

L: “Bye, bye, CS…Scripture answers your original question. The scripture references I have provided answer your question and there is so much more. All of scripture is about Jesus. All of it. If you cannot see it reading it yourself, remember that Jesus is alive. Ask him directly. Tell him you are not seeing it. Tell Him you have questions and you don’t understand. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.” – Proverbs 3:5″

CS: “No, it doesn’t, but as I’ve already said, you will never admit that you aren’t perfect in your understanding of the Bible.”

 

No, Not One!

~Rembrandt~ Face of Jesus

~Rembrandt~
Face of Jesus

There’s not a friend like the lowly Jesus,

No, not one! No, not one!

None else could heal all our soul’s diseases,

No, not one! No, not one!

 

Jesus knows all about our struggles,

He will guide till the day is done;

There’s not a friend like the lowly Jesus,

No, not one! No, not one!

 

No friend like Him is so high and holy,

No, not one! No, not one!

And yet no friend is so meek and lowly,

No, not one! No, not one!

 

There’s not an hour that He is not near us,

No, not one! No, not one!

No night so dark but His love can cheer us,

No, not one! No, not one!

 

Did ever saint find this Friend forsake him?

No, not one! No, not one!

Or sinner find that He would not take him?

No, not one! No, not one!

 

Was ever a gift like the Savior given?

No, not one! No, not one!

Will He refuse us a home in Heaven?

No, not one! No, not one!

 

 

Count it All Joy

- Beautiful Day at the Cemetery -

– Beautiful Day at the Cemetery –

So I’m writing this blog post on my phone. I’m trying out the speech recognition app so I don’t have to type with one finger. So far it hasn’t missed a word.

I was looking back over my blog posts this week, and at the end of one of them, WordPress suggested a similar blog post from another time. It was from seven years ago when my youngest son was six years old. It’s funny reading things I wrote a long time ago that encourage me today: Kindness & Encouragement

Along similar lines…

A couple of days ago I woke up discouraged. I would even say that I woke up depressed. When I was younger, a teenager or young adult, I used to get depressed often. On those days very little gave me any joy. Thinking back, it seems like many of those days where overcast, rainy days. Now that I know more about depression, I’m wondering if that isn’t a coincidence. It’s all connected, the spiritual, the emotional and the physical. Last night my sinuses started to hurt and my nose started running and this morning the weather says scattered thunderstorms. I can tell even before I’ve gotten out of bed or the sun’s been up long or I’ve even looked out the window, when it’s going to be a rainy day. My husband has said for many years that he would like to retire and move to Seattle. Would I die of a broken heart if we moved to Seattle? 😉

So, depression… What happens on those days? Well I wake up sad. It is a blank sadness. And it’s dark, maybe even black. There is just nothing in it. So, I would say I feel lonely as well as depressed. I could be surrounded by people and I feel lonely. It’s because I’m lonely and emotionally detached, like being in a little boat on a rainy day on the lake. On those days I’m just far enough from shore that I can’t talk loud enough for anyone to understand me. They hear me and I can hear them talking and laughing but I’m far away. The blank empty weight of depression continues to press down on my emotions. What do I do then? Well, like a lot of people with depression, I contemplate quitting. I think about quitting my job, quitting school. Quitting. It’s funny when I have to keep saying the word “quitting” so that my phone can understand what I’m saying. The phone thinks I am saying the word “winning”. I am starting to hear the word “pudding.” Now I want some pudding. OK. That’s a sure sign that I’m not depressed today even though it’s raining. Getting distracted by thoughts of vanilla pudding doesn’t happen on depressed days. But what does happen on those days? I’m probably running short of serotonin or some other chemical in my brain that the happy neurotransmitters need to function properly. I’ve always known that on depressed days it’s important to take care of the basics, but it’s so hard to get motivated to do it. I have to talk myself through it. My rational thoughts, whatever I have left of them, tell my depressed brain what to do. I negotiate, like talking to the kids when they need to do things they don’t want to do. “You need to get up and get dressed and eat breakfast”. -i just want to lay in bed today and maybe every day- “OK, you can lay in bed for a little while longer. But then you’re going to get up and get dressed.”

I have a book somewhere. I can’t find it right now, but it is one of my favorites and I believe I may have mentioned it in another recent blog post on depression. The book is entitled Change Your Life and Everyone in it. I think that’s a funny title. Anyway, it’s written by psychologist, Michelle Weiner Davis. She specializes in marriage and family counseling. She tells a story in her book about counseling a woman who struggled with depression. As an exercise to tackle her problem, the psychologist told the patient to explain what a depressed day looks like and what a non-depressed day looks like. Then the psychologist challenged the patient. The next time she woke up feeling depressed, she was to live out the activities of a non-depressed day, contrary to her desire to submit to the depressed day from the start. I use this technique. Could pushing back against the blank blackness restore the chemicals the brain needs to live a non-depressed day?

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” -James 1:2-4 ESV

So, from the emotional, to the physical, and now into the spiritual – If we consider depression to be a trial and temptation, we know our faith is being tested. This testing trains us in steadfastness. What is that? To be steadfast is to be steady, unmovable and firmly loyal. What is my strategy then, when faced with depression? I remind myself that I am in training. I push back physically, emotionally and spiritually. I get up at dark o’clock, drink the protein smoothie of steadfastness and train.

 “…Rejoice always,  pray without ceasing,  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

From Sickness to Health: A Portrait of Salvation

Saskia Sleeping - Rembrandt Drawing -

Saskia Sleeping
– Rembrandt Drawing –

Recently I was reading through Matthew 8 and noticed that the whole chapter is about faith. Below, I included the text from the JB Philips translation. I was particularly struck by vs. 16-17, that Jesus took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses. He is Lord of all. Without Him there was not anything made that was made. He is Lord even of viruses and viruses that we, in our finite weakness, feel powerless to fight.

I read an article on Slate by an atheist here: In Medicine We Trust. The author, Brian Palmer, explains his feelings of conflict over missionary medical workers who are the most effective medical workers on the front line. To quote the essence of the article, the author asks, “It’s great that these people are doing God’s work, but do they have to talk about Him so much?” He also states, “for secular Americans—or religious Americans who prefer their medicine to be focused more on science than faith—it may be difficult to shake a bit of discomfort with the situation.” This would be a good place to talk about ‘what is science’? The word ‘scientist’ is only a recent invention – 19th century. In Nabeel Quireshi’s lecture on God and Medicine, he states “How is science different than faith? The vast majority of what you know in science is based upon what other people have told you. Have you yourself tested and seen with your own eyes? …In order to do science, it requires faith…The scientific method is not science. It is a philosophy.” Before the word ‘scientist’ was invented, those who studied nature called themselves natural philosophers. Perhaps a better way of addresses the preferences of secular Americans regarding the practice of medicine, would be to say that they prefer modern medical philosophy over natural, traditional and faith based philosophy.

Ultimately, the goal of all of these philosophies as they relate to human sickness is healing. I’ve had several modern medical physicians tell me that they do not heal. They merely assist the patient so that their body can heal. My chiropractor likes to say “Let’s turn the power on!” Well, where is the power from? Can we talk about the power?

CHAPTER 8

Jesus cures leprosy, and heals many other people

8:1-3 – Large crowds followed him when he came down from the hillside. There was a leper who came and knelt in front of him. “Sir,” he said, “if you want to, you can make me clean.” Jesus stretched out his hand and placed it on the leper saying, “Of course I want to. Be clean!” And at once he was clear of the leprosy.

8:4 – “Mind you say nothing to anybody,” Jesus told him. “Go straight off and show yourself to the priest and make the offering for your recovery that Moses prescribed, as evidence to the authorities.”

8:5-13 – Then as he was coming into Capernaum a centurion approached. “Sir,” he implored him, “my servant is in bed at home paralysed and in dreadful pain.”

8:7 – “I will come and heal him,” said Jesus to him.

8:8-9 – “Sir,” replied the centurion, “I’m not important enough for you to come under my roof. Just give the order, please, and my servant will recover. I’m a man under authority myself, and I have soldiers under me. I can say to one man ‘Go’ and I know he’ll go, or I can say ‘Come here’ to another and I know he’ll come – or I can say to my slave ‘Do this’ and he’ll always do it.”

8:10-12 – When Jesus heard this, he was astonished. “Believe me,” he said to those who were following him, “I have never found faith like this, even in Israel! I tell you that many people will come from east and west and sit at my table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of Heaven. But those who should have belonged to the kingdom will be banished to the darkness outside, where there will be tears and bitter regret.”

8:13 – Then he said to the centurion, “Go home now, and everything will happen as you have believed it will.” And his servant was healed at that actual moment.

8:14-15 – Then on coming into Peter’s house Jesus saw that Peter’s mother-in-law had been put to bed with a high fever. He touched her hand and the fever left her. And then she got up and began to see to their needs.

8:16-17 – When evening came they brought to him many who were possessed by evil spirits, which he expelled with a word. Indeed he healed all who were ill. Thus was fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy – ‘He himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses’.

8:18-19 – When Jesus had seen the great crowds around him he gave orders for departure to the other side of the lake. But before they started, one of the scribes came up to Jesus and said to him, “Master, I will follow you wherever you go.”

8:20 – “Foxes have earths, birds in the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere that he can call his own,” replied Jesus.

8:21 – Another of his disciples said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”

8:22 – But Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.”

 

 

Blogtober 27th – House of Prayer

Christ Driving the Money Changers from the Temple - Rembrandt -

Christ Driving the Money Changers from the Temple
– Rembrandt –

I am growing to love Rembrandt Van Rijn. He has painted a painting for every thought that has crossed my mind when planning a blog post and I could search and find what I needed among his works. I will research and write a post about him soon, but for now I will finish out the Blogtober month with my remaining drafts. I started a some and left them hanging without an ending and here we are at October 31st already. I can’t believe the month is over. Tomorrow starts NaNoWriMo and I have my subject all picked out. Derek and I are going to work together. He and I make quite a bit of headway when talking through concepts. I love to hear what he thinks.

On that note, yesterday Derek and I were reviewing our weekly prayer page and talking about our bodies as the temple of the Lord. God’s temple in the old testament is a physical representation of a spiritual reality. It was designed and created for God’s people and for God to dwell with his people. In reading a scholarly article yesterday about the temple, the text stated that at the time of the building of the 1st temple, the Phoenicians were the most advanced in temple building and assisted the Hebrew people in this venture. The test notes that of all the temples in the world at that time, the Hebrew temple was the only one that did not contain an idol in the center. Instead, inside the holy of holies was a box, covered in gold and inside were the two stone tablets of the law. The box was topped with the mercy seat upon which the sacrificial blood was sprinkled and on top the box was guarded by 2 cherubim. Derek and I took all of this in and spiritually applied the physical to the understanding that our bodies are God’s temple and that Christ’s body is the temple of the Lord, of which we are part. My mind needs time to chew on that.

So, in the painting above, Rembrandt depicts Jesus throwing out the money changers.

“And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.” = Mt. 21:12-13

So, we are to be a house of prayer. Friends let’s pray.