Saturday, April 16, 2011

a holy week

"Holy Week." All my life, I heard that as a title.

This Thursday in Bible class, Pastor said it differently. It was like "holy" was an adjective for the "week" that is coming up. "During this holy week" instead of "during this Holy-Week."

The week where a holy God did holy things.
The week where we learn what holiness is.
The week wherein we are made holy.


Two weeks old.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

All Signed Up

Registration began this morning for the CNA classes at our local tech school. To be admitted to the RN program, a student must already have the Certified Nursing Assistant training under his belt. Demand for those classes is high. The school told us that, if Andrew really wanted the class, we should be logged on to his account prior to 7:00, and register on-the-dot, when the atomic clock changed from 6:59 to 7:00. A little stressful to wonder whether he'd swoop in and get one of the open slots. But he did!!!

Hooray! He's also signed up for his CPR class in June.

Next job is to buy scrubs and a pair of white tennis shoes. (White tennies is no biggie for most students -- little girls with size 7 feet -- but when Bigfoot has to go shoe shopping....)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Paul's Tears

When Paul is headed off to Jerusalem for Pentecost, knowing that something really bad is awaiting him, he skips Ephesus but takes time to visit with the Ephesian pastors in Miletus. He reminds the pastors that they know he has served the Lord "with many tears and trials." During Bible class this week, Pastor pointed out how we are prone to think of Paul's tears as the results of getting beaten or stoned or chased out of town. We think he's sad because people are perturbed with him and wanting to do him harm. (And there may be some truth to that. Nobody likes to be hated.) But when we read Romans 9-10, we realize that Paul yearned for the Jews to be saved. His tears were more for them, because of their rejection of the Savior, than tears for himself and his own comfort (or lack thereof).

As he has done all through the book of Acts, Pastor was pointing out how the apostles looked like Jesus. They preached like Jesus. They even did miracles like Jesus. They faced the same Sanhedrin and Roman officials as did Jesus. And here in this passage (20:19) we have Paul grieving over his people's rejection of God's mercy. Sound like Jesus? Remember that story (likewise told by Luke) just before Jesus' death when He wept over Jerusalem? "If only you had known the things that are for your peace!" (19:41).

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Conclusion to the Book of Acts

Pastor commented in Bible class this week that Acts ends abruptly. If you're reading about Paul, you don't get the end of the story. There are several things you continue to wonder about. It seems unfinished.

Theologically, that reflects the truth that the story doesn't end with Paul. "All the things that Jesus began to do and teach" continues in the Church with the apostles and even after that, through today and until the end of the world.

Okay, I've heard that before. Maybe you have too.

What crossed my mind today was "So what did Luke think about this?" Did Luke get hung up on finishing the book? Was it on his to-do list for months and then years? Did he keep thinking that there was more that needed to be said? But when he didn't get it said, he finally just had to give up on the project of finishing the book? This is probably naughty speculation. But I wonder sometimes how our good plans and good intentions may be thwarted by God for a reason that never ever crosses our minds.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sleeping in Death

It is a curious thing that Christians talk about death as a sleep. We do it because the Apostle Paul did it. It's a word that shows that death is --for the Christian-- but a rest prior to awaking from the tomb in the resurrection of the body.

But I noticed today (in the John 11 reading about Lazarus's raising) that Jesus was the one who said, "Lazarus is sleeping." When the disciples, in their characteristic dunderheadedness, said, "Oh, hey, if he's able to sleep, then he'll be getting better soon," Jesus told them, "Guys, hey, he's dead."

So Paul wasn't inventing some theological lingo. He just repeated what Jesus had said -- which is a very good way to be safe in your theology.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Converted Rice

On the Learn-Something-New-Every-Day front:

I really believe in whole foods. I don't buy instant rice; I buy brown whole-grain rice. I see bags of Uncle Ben's Converted Rice on the shelf. I never knew what it was. Converted? Converted from what? To what? Sounds pretty processed to me.

But after reading Richard Blunt recently on beans & rice, I learned what converted rice is. "Converted rice" is parboiled rice, rice that is boiled a bit, but not cooked all the way. The parboiling helps to drive some of the nutrients into the rice grains. Then the rice can be polished (that is, have the outsides removed) so that it has the long-lasting, never-spoiling qualities of refined white rice. But with a lot more nutrients!

There's something valuable there for those of us who like to stock up on shelf-stable foods in case of emergencies.