Brush With Greatness – Cubs’ Style

JenkinsDave Letterman used to do a feature called "Brush With Greatness." You never know when or where you’re going to run into a celebrity. I’ve had a few brushes with greatness through the years. Most of them have been in airports, where the famous and jet-set are always coming and going. Even in our small, Iowa town you occasionally see a celebrity or two. It was just a couple of years ago I ran into CBS News Anchor Harry Smith up on the town square.

So, perhaps it shouldn’t have surprised me when I walked into the local sport’s bar to catch the Cubs’ game (because Mediacom refuses to carry CSN and I can’t get Dish – thank you very little), and sitting there is Cubs’ Hall-of-Fame pitcher, Fergie Jenkins. I just saw that he was in town for an appearance with the Iowa Cubs. I just didn’t expect him to be sitting there in our little town’s watering hole.

No, I didn’t ask for his autograph. It’s not my style. But, it was cool seeing him. When he left the Cubs were down 9-1 to the Rockies. Too bad he didn’t stick around. The Cubs rallied and are now winning 10-9 in the top of the 9th.

Captivated by Juno

JunoSpeaking of being captivated. Taylor has been pursuing Wendy and me to watch the movie Juno, and she caught us at just the right time last night. We sat down for a family film night to watch the movie together (it was Taylor’s 5th time watching it). Wendy and I were certainly captivated by this wonderful movie and lay in bed late into the night talking about it and along with various tangential life conversations it prompted (which, in turn, made the tornado siren at 5 a.m. seem awfully early!).

Wendy put it best when she said that it was one of the most life affirming movies we’ve seen. Not because it presents life in an ideal, Hollywood dreamworld – but because it affirms the beauty of life in the midst of a messy world of blessedly imperfect people and relationships.

Chapter-a-Day Exodus 29

CaptivatedI’ll make Aaron and his sons holy in order to serve me as priests. I’ll move in and live with the Israelites. I’ll be their God. They’ll realize that I am their God who brought them out of the land of Egypt so that I could live with them. I am God, your God. Exodus 29:45-46 (TM)

Its interesting for me to watch as boys pursue my daughters attention. It’s the natural order of things that God, the master artist, put into place when He created the universe as expression of Himself. John Eldridge and his wife have done a wonderful job of chronicling it in their books Wild at Heart and Captivating. The male pursues and the female seeks to be captivated. The man initiates and the woman receives him. God makes it clear throughout scripture this natural dance between man and woman is a metaphor, a word picture, of His relationship with us. He is the groom, we are the bride. He initiates, we receive Him.

That’s why I found it interesting, after chapters of God laying out the detailed sacrificial system in the book of Exodus, that God doesn’t say "the sacrifice will make Aaron and his sons holy" or "adherence to my rules will make Aaron and his sons holy." It is God Himself who makes them holy. God is the pursuer. God is initiating the relationship. God approached Moses. God instigated the Exodus. God is leading them to the promised land. God is moving in to live with the Israelites.

I still remember the cold February night in 1981 when I chose to receive Christ into my life. But before I received Him, He had spent years working to get my attention – slowly, methodically drawing me towards Him. I can look back and see the events, relationships and conversations that God sprinkled into my path to draw me in. God pursued me.

Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr and Captivated by Him Photography

Chapter-a-Day Exodus 28

Priestly_clothingAaron and his sons must wear it whenever they enter the Tent of Meeting or approach the Altar to minister in the Holy Place so that they won’t incur guilt and die. This is a permanent rule for Aaron and all his priest-descendants. Exodus 28:42b-43 (TM)

It’s human nature to take for granted what we have, and forget what we should appreciate. On this side of Jesus’ resurrection and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, God’s presence is a given. Jesus is "with us always," and He is ever-present in each believer through the indwelling Holy Spirit.

As we read through these chapters of Exodus, it’s amazing what great lengths the Israelites were required to go just for one man to enter God’s presence on their behalf once a year. Not only that, for any willfully disobedient person to enter the presence of a Holy God was a death sentence.

It was that death sentence that Jesus incurred on our behalf when He died on the cross. No longer do we have to put on ornate metaphorical vestments and have some priest go to God on our behalf. God is available to any who will believe and receive Him into their life. We can be in Holy God’s presence each and every moment – now and forever.

As we are conscious of God’s presence in our lives today, let’s be thankful that we don’t have to go through all the ceremonial sacrifices and trapping of Exodus!

Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr and dtchristner

Chapter-a-Day Exodus 28

Priestly_clothingAaron and his sons must wear it whenever they enter the Tent of Meeting or approach the Altar to minister in the Holy Place so that they won’t incur guilt and die. This is a permanent rule for Aaron and all his priest-descendants. Exodus 28:42b-43 (TM)

It’s human nature to take for granted what we have, and forget what we should appreciate. On this side of Jesus’ resurrection and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, God’s presence is a given. Jesus is "with us always," and He is ever-present in each believer through the indwelling Holy Spirit.

As we read through these chapters of Exodus, it’s amazing what great lengths the Israelites were required to go just for one man to enter God’s presence on their behalf once a year. Not only that, for any willfully disobedient person to enter the presence of a Holy God was a death sentence.

It was that death sentence that Jesus incurred on our behalf when He died on the cross. No longer do we have to put on ornate metaphorical vestments and have some priest go to God on our behalf. God is available to any who will believe and receive Him into their life. We can be in Holy God’s presence each and every moment – now and forever.

As we are conscious of God’s presence in our lives today, let’s be thankful that we don’t have to go through all the ceremonial sacrifices and trapping of Exodus!

Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr and dtchristner