It is all about people

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Location: Hatboro, Pennsylvania, United States

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

When I am not obligated otherwise on a Friday evening, I invite members of my church family over for a spaghetti dinner.  The tradition is to gather around the table, after reading a Psalm of blessing to God, we take turns "blessing" the person to our right.
After everyone left, this past Friday night, I found a note left by one of the little girls who had been there.  This makes my heart do the "pitter-patter".

On Sunday it will take all of 30 seconds for some companies to spend 3 million.  This year, NBC admits it has been more difficult this year to sell all the advertising spots for the Super Bowl but think they will have them done just in time.  Let’s review:  Someone is willing to pay 3 million for 30 seconds of your attention. Okay so maybe that’s not the price tag for just you, or just me.  I realize that the 3 million is spread out over almost 100 million viewers.  But even still, that means someone is paying $35 dollars for 30 seconds of my time.  This kind of price tag is actually supported Biblically.

God seeking to place a value on our attention gave us not a castle on a hill, or the latest and greatest, but instead gave us what transcends time, time itself.  The Sabbath, given to us on our first full day of existence was a gift, a mansion of time. In Isaiah 58:13, God calls for our riveted attention on the Sabbath and then in verse 14 tells us the value of this time:

Then you shall take delight in the LORD,

and I will make you ride upon the heights of the earth;

I will feed you with the heritage of your ancestor Jacob,

for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

Dr. Richard Davidson, professor at the Adventist Theological Seminary, points out that the word “delight” used in Isaiah is a Hebrew word used only to describe the adoration of princes and princesses. 

The Sabbath, a gift of time, was the way God thought to honor who He considers royalty.



Friday, January 02, 2009

There are places and times that arrest our attention and command our thoughts toward God. For me, two of those are sunsets and the northwest. A rough plane ride to S.F., a book, and a visit to the Northwest got me thinking...

...it gets confusing; to be humiliated is a tragedy, but to have humility is a virtue.  I found a used book this summer that I tucked away, and in the past weeks pulled it out to read:  written by Andrew Murray the book is intelligibly titled Humility. Quite frankly I have been convicted. 

Muntadar al-Zaidi wanted, last month, to disgrace and humiliate President George Bush in his farewell visit to the Middle East.  So during a press conference in Baghdad the reporter for a local television station took both shoes off throwing them with remarkable accuracy at the head of the visiting president.  Sudarsan Raghavan with the Washington Post reports that this indeed was the “worst possible insult in Iraq and is meant to show extreme disrespect and contempt.” Did it work?  Reportedly not.

Politics aside, Jesus came. And in coming embraced everything that this world perceives as humiliating:  born poor, worked with His hands, never received a credentialed degree, rejected and tricked by friends, taunted about His ethnic background, wrongly accused, and finally strung up naked to die.  Did we humiliate Jesus?  Nope! We couldn’t disgrace the very Origin of grace.

I can only conclude, when the virtue of humility is fully lived, it is impossible to be humiliated.