Tag Archives: Owl City

Weekly Favorite Links (June 5-10, 2015)

(Photo Via)

Some friends and I recently went to The California Science Center to see the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition. I mentioned in this post a couple months ago that I was excited to see it (and sadly, no, I did not watch Jerusalem 3D narrated by my favorite Cumberbatch). While I looked forward to behold the Dead Sea Scrolls in person, I also wondered what else would be on exhibit.

I think one of the most memorable artifacts that stood out to me, perhaps more than the manuscripts themselves, were the household fertility gods that I saw. They were small figurines, probably made out of clay and were no bigger than the size of my hand. These little man-made idols made a lasting impression because it’s relevant to what I’ve been reading in the Bible. For the past month, I’ve been studying the book of Hosea with some friends. We’ve been reading about how Israel has been unfaithful to God, and how they turned to other idols for help. Their hearts did not love God, and they engaged in practices that were in outright rebellion against him.

My favorite verse so far comes from Hosea 6:6: “For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.” I believe that this is the central theme of the entire book. God desires his people to worship and love him only. Even when God charges Israel and Judah with a list of grievances, prophesies judgment against them, you still read about how God wants to redeem them from their adulterous ways. It was easy for me to laugh at how ridiculous those small clay idols were at the exhibit. How could the Israelites place their hope in fertility gods and follow other deities worshiped by neighboring nations when they’ve seen of the marvelous handiwork of God himself? How could they forget about how God rescued them from Egypt and how he brought the seemingly impossible walls of Jericho to come tumbling down? It seemed absolutely ludicrous.

But then I look at my own life. I may not have physical idols scattered in my home, but I have idols hidden in my heart that I worship apart from God. I worship things that are just as ridiculous and silly as those fertility gods that I saw. The only difference is that the idols we may worship today may be more ambiguous and subtle. We may not bow down and pray to those things, but those idols emerge in our conversations and are evident from how we spend our money to how we utilize our time.

I’m thankful that I left the exhibition with more than a glimpse of historical artifacts. While the Dead Sea Scrolls were cool and I’d go see them again, I went away humbled at the daily grace that I’ve been given and a reminder of just how undeserved I am of God’s patience and love when I’m constantly so disobedient. Amazing grace, indeed.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Weekly Favorite Links (April 17-22, 2015)

bedouin campfire

(Photo Via)

On my way back during an early evening run, I was surprised to see dark orange-pink clouds rising from what seemed like the back of my neighborhood. It only took me a few seconds to realize that it wasn’t clouds that I saw, but actually smoke, and that there was a fire burning from beyond my point of view. At the time, I didn’t know where the fire originated, but it seemed really close to my home.

Thankfully the fire was farther away than my observations, and my family and I were safe. We weren’t close enough to the fire for any necessary evacuation (praise God), but our entire house did smell like a barbecue pit for two days afterwards.

In unexpected, unforeseeable situations like these, how would you respond? What if the fire was really close? Would you try to run back into your house and save your most prized possessions? Would you run back to warn your loved ones?  It’s hard to say how I’d respond. I’d probably only have seconds to make some important decisions in that situation.

There were still some lessons to be learned. That fire was a good reminder for me that this life is short. In seconds, everything that our family worked for up to that point could have gone up in flames; our house could have turned into ashes. The reality is, something like being caught in a fire or an earthquake or a shooting could happen to me at anytime, anywhere. It’s totally out of my control.

On the other hand, I do have greater control over my responses. Yes, in that scenario, I would’ve probably had an immediate, natural human reaction. If we did have to evacuate from our home and if the fire did end up burning everything that we had, I would be upset. But I pray that if something like that did happen to me, I would still have joy and peace. I pray that I would still have faith in God’s sovereignty and choose to dwell on his grace. What are houses and other material possessions in this life when we have something better and eternal in store for us?

I hope that I’d respond with joy because of a greater truth that I believe in, which is this: my salvation can’t be taken away from me and my citizenship is in heaven. This life is temporary, this life isn’t my home. I’m a foreigner here on this earth until the day that I’m reunited with Christ. How comforting is that truth. If I’m ever tested one day, I pray that I wouldn’t just know it but believe it with all my heart.

Continue reading