A Great Slaughter & A Great Savior

Usually I’m not all about jocking off what others have written, but this short little article is so good. What a great reminder than I often try to avoid. 

WARNING: Conviction will most likely follow after reading. Some may experience deep feelings of a needed life change.

A Great slaughter and a Great Savior

By: Jeff Lark

In yet another attempt to help my kids (ages 12 and 10) get into the Scriptures, on February 4 we decided to read through the New Testament together in a year. So, with the best of intentions, our reading for that first night was Matthew 1 and 2.

I don’t know how many times I’ve read these chapters…and how many times I responded just like my daughter did that night. After she read, we began to dialogue. One of the first things she said was, “I am planning on journaling after I read, but I just couldn’t after I read these chapters…so and so was the father of so and so down to Jesus…and then Jesus was born, there was wise men” and it’s as if she said, “and yada, yada, yada.” And, it’s as if she said in a tween voice, “come on dad, didn’t we just celebrate Christmas just over a month ago? “Oh my gosh, do you think I’m that dumb that I would forget the story that quickly?”

But, instead of reading for information, I began to press her for transformation. I asked a version of the two questions that we were trained to ask in the Bible Study Methods class – “what does this passage say about mankind that requires God’s redemption?” and “what does this passage say about God that provides man’s redemption?”

As we glanced at the passage together, King Herod’s name came up. She said, in response to the first question, “Herod killed all the babies”. As if to say, “Herod is the extreme example of total and utter human depravity…who in their right mind would slaughter babies?

Then I asked, “Why did he do it?” She responded, “Because he wanted to be the only king.” As I held up the mirror of God’s word, I said, “Just like you, right?” At first, she tried to move out from behind the mirror. “I would never slaughter babies.” “But”, I said, “just like Herod, your heart’s inclination is to not like any King competing for the throne of your life.” She looked at the mirror and then looked at me with a sheepish grin on her face. She didn’t need to say a thing. The scriptures exposed her fallen condition (and mine).

But, as we continued, we saw that Herod needed the Savior he was trying to slaughter. And, we need the Lord that we try to dethrone. As much as we hate giving up the pursuits of self exultation, control, pride, rights, selfish ambition, and self glory, our deepest desire is ultimately only met in the Savior – where He is exulted…He takes control…He Humbles…He replaces our fight for rights and selfish ambitions with deep and sacrificial concern for others…and His glory is our greatest joy.

Oh, how we need the Savior we seek to slaughter.

  • In what ways have you recently seen an internal struggle to fight Christ for Lordship of your life?
  • How has Christ recently revealed to you His supremacy as the satisfaction that your heart ultimately longs for?

Lord, I’m sarcastically thankful for…

My sister.

Let’s give a little background. My sisters and I are as opposite as, well, all the famous sisters I can think of are really similar. So let’s say she’s like one of the Olsen twins, whichever one is more stable, and I’m like either Venus or Serena Williams, minus the fashion sense and unbelievable calves. I’ve always been into sports and Hannah hates to sweat. Hannah will dress up every day if you let her, and I would rather wear sweatpants. Hannah played with dolls and I with dirt. I mean really, SO different.

I love my sister. And she has been by far the best thing about living at home. But, there are times when I definitely do not appreciate her. Like this past week when we were obliterated by that snow storm. Let me just take you on a tour of our night…

Winter decided to remind us all the reasons we don't like Ohio ALL in one night.

Mom & Dad got stuck on the Interstate and called to have US, key word meaning more than one person, shovel the driveway. I was doing my part, hence this lovely picture of my butt.

While Hannah was making snow angels.

But, like most instances in our entire lives, Hannah can smile and worm her way into your good graces in a matter of minutes.

After the driveway was done…

We played dress up in Dad's ridiculous hats...

And went on a walk with Mom, enjoying the snow and making fun of each other =)

Best friends on 3...Best friends.

I’m with you, Rihanna.

I love women. I love talking with them, listening to them, laughing, crying (not as often as you would imagine), everything. I think the way that we have been created, the intricacies of our desires and motivations, our yearnings and passions, is just, well, amazing.

Right now I’m reading the book, Captivating, and it’s teaching me a lot about really what it means to be a woman, how our souls were created and fun stuff like that. I definitely recommend the book.

And you know else I’ve been learning from? Rihanna. Believe it. Although, I’m not really taking cues from her fashion after seeing her snow-stripped dress thingy at the Grammy’s. Not sure how she managed not to shift any key body parts throughout the whole process. Props for that, I guess. But, I think Rihanna’s pretty accurately described the heart of women in her song Only Girl (In the World).

Want you to make me feel like I’m the only girl in the world. Like I’m the only one that you’ll ever love. Like I’m the only one who knows your heart. Only girl in the world…

Each of us women have this innate desire to be loved; deeply, intimately, passionately and exclusively. We want to be completely known, to be kept safe and secure. We want someone to choose us, to want us, to desire us. I’m even married and I listen to this song and think ‘Heck yeah, that’s what I want!’.

And yet, here en lies the problem. So many women, and yes, probably Rihanna too, expect this ultimate love, acceptance and security to come from a man. Don’t get me wrong, I love men too! Specifically one man =).

But I found out very quickly that even when being romanced by him in dating, engagement, and marriage, even when he pursues me, even when he lets me eats the last of the Cheddar and Sour Cream chips, he CANNOT fulfill this desire in my heart.

I’m so happy that the Lord exclusively pursues my heart, loves my soul specifically. I really hope these women, and even Rihanna, can recognize my Savior, the lover of their souls for the stud that he is. Being a Christian totally changed for me when I realized that God was inviting me into a deeper romance. My God has a passionate, fierce and romantic heart. My prayer is that you allow him to choose you, to pursue you. My prayer is that you realize his desire for you.

“He rescued me, because he delighted in me.” Psalm 18:19

“You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes.” SOS 4:9

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. Jeremiah 31:3

Mount Union ‘Under the Radar’

Oh hey, Mount Union!!

Mel Kiper Jr., an ESPN Analyst who definitely knows his college football (but could use a little help with his hair choice), ranks Cecil Shorts, a receiver from Mount Union as the 5th receiver entering the NFL draft.

Not bad for “a little DIII school”, huh?

Check out around 2:30 of the broadcast.

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=6127896&categoryid=2378529

Things a bubble bath WON’T fix.

Nate and I started working out. That sentence should awe you so much that I could end my post right now. But, since I have NEVER been accused of being short-winded I’ll continue. Basically,    My.    Body.    Hurts.

I am so sore it’s ridiculous. And of course I’m obnoxious enough to whine and groan after every movement that makes me feel 90 years old. This, I’m ashamed to say, does not exclude the long process of trying to sit down on the toilet.

In order to ease my ailing muscles I had the brilliant idea of taking a bubble bath. It was exquisite. I could feel the soreness melting away. While I was sitting there, forgetting absolutely everything about reality, I thought to myself, “There is NOTHING a nice, long bubble bath can’t fix.”

But then, I got to thinking some more and that’s not true. While a bubble bath can cure several ailments, there are some very specific things in my life that my bubble bath just cannot fix.

* My insane craving for Slim Jims.

* My desire to be a darker shade than our ceramic, white kitchen sink.

* My husband’s propensity to ‘dutch oven’ me. P.S. Horrible Experience.

* My current housing situation; a basement where the window frosts on the inside and the pipe which we affectionately call the ‘pee pipe’ (for fear of what it might contain) runs right over our bed and often drips at night.

And lastly, the bath cannot cure the situation of having to get out of the tub. Heres to getting in shape.

So, let me know. What did I miss? What can a bubble bath not fix for you?

Sporting Event? More like sporting BLISS!

NCAA Tournament

WHAT MAJOR SPORTING EVEN DO YOU GET MOST EXCITED ABOUT?

Is this even a question? March Madness. No doubt.

What other event can offer distractions ALL weekend long for an entire MONTH? Thrills after thrills, game after game, each getting more dramatic and more important than the next.

64 games in one tournament. No other event gives you that build up, that much drama. It can't be contained 60 minutes, two halves, four quarters or 5 matches. The teams, the players become familiar. The stories carry on throughout the tournament. Can you ever forget those Cinderella teams?

Seriously, I look forward to this month all year long. I have always watched on television but would LOVE to get to a game in person. Some day =)

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Smoker’s Lung, Mount Alumni Game & Top 10 Reasons I Love THE Game of Basketball

Let’s get some things clear, while participating for the Mount Union Women’s Basketball Team I did amass several coveted memberships and awards such as becoming a member of the 1,000 Points in Warm-ups Club, Loudest Bench in the Ohio Athletic Conference, Slowest runner of ANY sprint imaginable (you name it and I can finish last with a fantastically fashionable dive). Well, I don’t mean to brag but,

I. Was. Awesome.

So naturally, the team would want me back to participate in the Alumni Game. A fake alumni such as myself is hard to get a hold of. Besides the game being an awesome opportunity for me to reunite with some serious ballers, feel like I’ve been smoking for 60 years because of how out of shape I’ve gotten, seriously, I coughed for hours; it also served as a reminder of this love affair I’ve had with the game of basketball that started at the age of 4.

My dad, the ultimate handy man, rigged together a basketball hoop from a tire, metal pole, some concrete, plywood and a rim. It started at probably 2 feet. As I got bigger and more awesome, the hoop raised. It sat on this concrete slab which was about 6 feet wide. When I was younger, it was my entire court. Big enough to play an entire fake game with at least 4 different countdown, last second, incredible shots. This concrete slab was where the game began to capture my heart.

As I got older, I played some frustrating games on some rough teams for some difficult coaches. Through 13 houses, several towns and 3 states, basketball was constant. It continued to lure me back. You know that look that a little girl can give you where you think to yourself ‘How can I ever be mad at that face?’ Well, I’m the frumpy mom, and the little girl; her name is Wilson. And although I could list maybe 100 reasons that I love this game I thought I would cut it down to 10 so you don’t miss your late night television shows.

MY TOP 10

  1. The feel of the ball in my hands: shear familiarity. Like two old friends who know everything about each other, I can feel where the ball is going to be so closely it’s as if it were an extension of my hand.
  2. The pursuit of an offensive rebound.
  3. The intricacies and strategies of the game. Over or under the screen? Help or bluff? Zone or man? Curl or fade? Back cuts, high-lows and everything in between. AWESOME.
  4. Outworking every single other player on the court.
  5. The faded sense of reality you get when you’re between the lines. Just like a bubble bath or massage, all I need to relax and unwind is the ball and a hoop.
  6. My crossover. Probably the only time I feel like a real, live baller =)
  7. Feeling of rightness after shooting a perfectly and fundamentally sound 3-pointer. As soon as it leaves your hand you can get that cocky half-smile on your face because you know that there’s no way you can miss.
  8. Satisfaction after finishing a sprint. Unless your coach is a dictator and makes you get right back on the line…cough cough, Caitlin Carroll.
  9. Cheering from the bench. I think I had the best of both worlds playing in college. I got to make some awesome friends and have almost no pressure come game day. Cheering slash encouraging my teammates was an awesome experience and SUPER fun…hence, Loudest Bench in the OAC.
  10. The childlike nature of the game. It allows me to be immature stalking my coach around the floor, making dumb jokes that no one laughs at, squirting my teammates in the face with water, trying to laugh and joke without getting caught by the dictator.

Basketball allows me to be that little girl on that concrete slab in Kentucky. Oh, and P.S. SHE is spectacular.

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