Chapter-a-Day Hosea 1

The first time GOD spoke to Hosea he said: "Find a whore and marry her. Make this whore the mother of your children. And here’s why: This whole country has become a whorehouse, unfaithful to me, GOD." Hosea 1:2 (TM)

I was trying to imagine the reaction Hosea received from his family when he brought Gomer home for the first time. "Son, are you nuts?" How many of Hosea’s relatives stopped talking to him? How many "friends" avoided him in the synogogue? I have to believe that Hosea suddenly became a social outcast and the object of intense ridicule. I’m sure his explanation – "God told me to" – didn’t go far, either. In fact, I can hear the scornful response of well meaning friends and relatives, "God would never tell you to marry a whore!"

Yet, God doesn’t live inside the box of our acceptable religious and social mores. Life is messy, and God often pushes our comfort zone to make His point.

Kudos to Hosea for having the faith to obey, even when it most likely made life very difficult and very messy.

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Chapter-a-Day Hosea 1

The first time GOD spoke to Hosea he said: "Find a whore and marry her. Make this whore the mother of your children. And here’s why: This whole country has become a whorehouse, unfaithful to me, GOD." Hosea 1:2 (TM)

I was trying to imagine the reaction Hosea received from his family when he brought Gomer home for the first time. "Son, are you nuts?" How many of Hosea’s relatives stopped talking to him? How many "friends" avoided him in the synogogue? I have to believe that Hosea suddenly became a social outcast and the object of intense ridicule. I’m sure his explanation – "God told me to" – didn’t go far, either. In fact, I can hear the scornful response of well meaning friends and relatives, "God would never tell you to marry a whore!"

Yet, God doesn’t live inside the box of our acceptable religious and social mores. Life is messy, and God often pushes our comfort zone to make His point.

Kudos to Hosea for having the faith to obey, even when it most likely made life very difficult and very messy.

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When God Calls, God Provides

Madison sent out her support letters for her summer missions trip to Thailand just over two weeks ago. I’m so happy to say that she is just a few dollars away from raising her entire support. IN TWO WEEKS! I spoke with Madison this morning after opening three more support envelopes that arrived in the mail. She was so humbled. "Dad, I feel like I haven’t had to work for this at all."

Sometimes, in our good protestant work ethic, we anticipate that everything we do for God must require sweat, toil and pain. We forget that we have a loving Father who loves us extravagantly. He will not call us to do something without also providing for us all the we need to accomplish it.

Chapter-a-Day Mark 16

He said, "Don’t be afraid. I know you’re looking for Jesus the Nazarene, the One they nailed on the cross. He’s been raised up; he’s here no longer. You can see for yourselves that the place is empty. Now–on your way. Mark 16:6-7 (TM)

When I was in Israel I went to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jesrusalem where the traditional garden tomb is, itself, entombed in a massive medeival structure. I did the tourist thing and waited in line before crawling into the tiny rock tomb. There was a woman there on her face weeping and wailing before the tomb – until her cell phone rang. She stood up and immediately answered the phone normally, as if she were standing in line at the grocery store. She spoke for a moment, ended the call and fell back onto her face wailing once more.

I like the angel’s words to the Marys. "The place is empty – no on your way." God does not want us wasting time manufacturing emotions like tourists at "holy" sites. The message of the empty tomb is the exact opposite: "He’s ALIVE! GO! Stop worshipping the grave and spread His Message to the living."

Chapter-a-Day Mark 15

Pilate asked again, "Aren’t you going to answer anything? That’s quite a list of accusations." Still, he said nothing. Pilate was impressed, really impressed. Mark 15:4-5 (TM)

As I was reading through Matthew and Mark these past weeks, it strikes me that there is a theme that runs consistently through these biographies: there was something about Jesus that people sensed when they were around him. Pilate was impressed enough in Jesus to go out of his way to try and release him, even when Jesus just stood there silent. The crowds sensed something different in him, far different than the other teachers of the law and rabbis. His own enemies readily admitted to his face that he was a person of integrity, not pandering to his followers or caring about public opinion.

It makes me think about what others sense when they are around me. Do they sense the presence of God? Do they, though they can’t put a finger on it, sense something different? I would hope so. I would hope that they would smell the aroma of Christ, as Paul puts it.

I hope to positively stink with God’s love today.

Just another wayfarer on life's journey, headed for Home. I'm carrying The Message, and I'm definitely waiting for Guffman.

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