Thursday, January 28, 2010

My thoughts on Moses

I've been doing the 'Read Through The Bible' plan and yesterday was reading Exodus 3 & 4. I recommend reading Exodus 3 & 4 to get the context. My major thought is around Moses response to God's call and then what God says in return.

God appears to Moses in the burning bush. God then tells Moses his plan to rescue his people. He specifically says, "I have come down to rescue them and to bring them up out of Egypt and into a good and spacious land. So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people out of Egypt." (I cut some out)

But Moses said to God, "Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?"

And God said, "I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain."

Moses said to God, "Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you and they ask me, 'What is his name?' then what shall I tell them?"

God said to Moses, " I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites 'I AM has sent me to you.'"

When we are called to an impossible task in our eyes, or one that we think is difficult and will require more of us than we think we can actually give, we ask, "Who am I? God, who am I that you would ask this of me? Pick someone else, someone who's better, who's stronger, who's holier, who's smarter, who's (fill the blank of your personal weakness) ." We think that when God actually sees who it is that He has just called, He will say, "Oh, you're right! I did mean to ask the other Jessica Rohrig - not you. How ridiculous of me!" Obviously, the God who sees and hears could easily mix us up with someone better suited for the job. We probably do need to help Him out in that regard.

Instead, how does He respond? He tells us that He will be with us - and not just that, He'll give us a sign that we can trust Him - that it really was the LORD who called us and not just some weird hallucination. But, on top of that, He says (in essence), "Do not worry about who you are - or even who you are not. The question, my dear one, is not 'Who are you?' The question is, 'Who am I?' When you ask, 'But, Lord, who am I to do this?' Remember that I AM the one who will do this."

The question, who am I? God answers by telling us to not to focus on us, but on Him. He who formed us knows that we are but dust. He knows our weaknesses and our imperfections - but, He is the one who has chosen the weak things of this world to shame the strong. He is the one who wants to display what He can do in a weak, but willing vessel to the watching world. He's not asking for us to turn in a stellar performance or to astound him with our abilities; He's asking for a willing and obedient heart to hear Him and to follow His leading and obey His call. That's all. The hard parts, the obstacles, our stubborn & sinful hearts, He'll take care of. He'll either move them or He'll make us stronger by working through us as we move them. He will be worshiped and glorified as the Lord of the Universe one day, but for right now, He simply wants us to make Him the Lord of our hearts and lives.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Books vs. Movies

This morning, I was listening to Jan Mickelson on WHO. A guest (author) was discussing whether he would prefer one of his stories made into a movie or to just continue in print, through generations. He remarked that he would prefer his stories remain in print because they will continue to be read. He said that once a movie is made, it may receive hype and glory for a season, but it will fade. Stories continue to be treasured, read, shared and discussed.

A movie can help a story gain wider recognition from an audience the story alone may not have reached. However, once the movie passes out of our consciousness, who remembers it? Unless a movie gains a foothold in our experience, it will fade. Classic novels, though, continue to be read and passed on through generations. Classic novels can be enjoyed at any age.

A movie draws us into a storyline or help us fall in love with a character, but the actual novel commits us to the story (or author). Case in point: I wasn't a Jane Austen fan growing up. I may have caught part of Pride & Prejudice or Sense & Sensibility on PBS, but it didn't hold my attention or implant itself in my vein of consciousness. I had not read any of her works; it wasn't required reading in my high school. We had American Lit, not Brit. I watched the 2005 Pride & Prejudice (with Kiera Knightley) and really enjoyed it. I decided to read the novel, though, because a friend had mentioned that this movie just didn't capture the characters. That summer, I read Pride & Prejudice. This was followed by Sense & Sensibility...followed by Emma...followed by Persuasion. Needless to say, I am a fan.

I've seen a variety of movies for each storyline. Some capture the story; some are horrid. I am glad to have the knowledge of the true source, though. It is so much richer than the movie.

I think of the Chronicles of Narnia. I started reading the series in 4th grade. Even then, I could understand the symbolism used to identify characters and Biblical events. I watched a PBS version of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. I'm glad I had read the book first - because after watching that, I would not have been interested in reading the novel! Movies must be well done. Simply creating a movie to bring a story to life or appeal to a wider audience isn't enough. It must be appealing in order to appeal! Now that Disney has produced some Narnia stories, the stories are accurately depicted and very well done. Hopefully, these movies can be bait to lure a new audience genre into the books!

As Lavar says, though, you don't have to take my word for it! Pick up a good book today!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Times Have Changed

So, you know that the focus of your lives have changed when this picture

is replaced by this one:

This is my best friend Pam's daughter, Victoria. I've never seen a baby pose like this before! ADORABLE!

I've thought that Victoria looks more like her dad, but now that she and I have a picture like this together, I might have to change my vote!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Silver linings

I'm looking for one.

Sunday, we experienced a tragedy. Dan's beloved dog (which I would like to call ours because I loved him, too...but, by all accounts, he is Dan's) was killed tragically. I am not going into the details because, well, they don't help in the healing process. Just know that it was truly a tragedy, in every sense of the word.

He will be missed. Really, he is already missed! He was such a sweet, innocent, fun-loving dog. He was great. Jud captured my heart right from the beginning. On our way home from picking him up, he found the perfect snuggling place - the base of my neck. He just crawled right up there and slept. And, I was hooked.

On a bad day, all that was necessary for a pick me up was some good Jud-time. A few minutes running around the yard, chasing tennis balls - or hedge apples followed by some snuggles and it was a brand new day. Ah, I loved him. He was the first puppy that I let give me kisses. Yeah, he had my heart.

So, Sunday was just tragic. I have never grieved like this for a pet...but, it was just so wrong & senseless the way he died. Ugh! I have hated it. And, while it may seem silly to some to cry out for justice about a pet, I have cried for justice. Because this should not happen; these dogs should not be free; this man should not own "pets." I came across a set of verses in Genesis after the flood, when God was offering his protection upon the people of the earth - he said that men AND animals would be held accountable for their actions - for harm that they cause. I would like to see that justice now.

Now a word about my amazing Dan: I am so thankful for him. You see, when he first proposed the idea of getting a dog, I thought, "Really? That's a commitment. That's a responsibility. Who knows where you will be in a year? What will happen then? You can't live in an apartment with a dog...blah, blah, blah." But, I didn't say it because it wasn't going to be my dog. The night we went to get Jud, Dan said that he was experiencing second thoughts - and I did tell him my previous concerns - quickly followed with, "Honestly, I am impressed that you want to take on this responsibility and that you desire to care for an animal. I am impressed that you think more of caring for another life rather than how it could crimp your style...because that's what my selfish heart does."

And on Sunday, despite the pain and grief we both experienced, I was - and am - thankful that Dan got Jud. In doing so, my capacity to love was increased...and my fear that caused my reservations has been decreased. In living this, my love and my respect for Dan has greatly increased. As our family and friends have expressed sympathy and support, I realize that we are blessed. SO blessed even in the midst of tragedy.

That's my silver lining.