Sometimes I think we expect deep significant spiritual change not because we are Christian but because we are American. Americans live in a world of constant change and we are taught by our culture, our media, our capitalism, and our churches to embrace and encourage and enjoy change as if it will somehow bring more meaning and purpose to our life….always. It is expected, in many places in the American church that if God will do something significant in our lives, it will be some sort of radical (and thus dramatic) change. There is, hardly ever, in my experience, the thought that God would cause one to continue on and persevere, and not change dramatically (apart from maybe your perspective on that change). I would dare to say, it is almost as though the God of the American church, were only a God of change. I do not think the Bible paints a picture of a God who is constantly changing nor one who is asking his people to constantly evolve to be more spiritual or more kingdom-oriented, or more ‘His people.’ God’s character does not change (though perhaps revealed differently at different times), and God’s Word does not change in substance (though perhaps in form). Let me caveat here quickly; there are two things that I am not saying! First, I am not suggesting that God does not ask or call his people to radical change sometimes: a quick glance at scripture and church history will quickly dispel any idea that God simply lets it all plod along to some unforeseen time when he’ll just end it. Secondly, I am not suggesting that the daily struggle with sin for believers does not require fighting and changing (of our heart, character, conditions, and/or situation). It does! We struggle to see what God would have for us and for His church (in any specific context) and to conquer sin and its effects in our lives and the lives of those around us. What I am saying here is simply that, I see in the American church a propensity to assume that in order to be more spiritual we must make some radical or siginificant change, always. We assume that God would more likely work that way and that any sort of normal plodding along or continuation in our current trajectory would be devoid of any spiritual significance. If we get dissatisfied with something in our lives, we have an automatic assumption then that something should change…I’m not sure God would always agree (or would ask us to). There is sometimes benefit, growth and even intense spiritual ‘opportunity’ in the the mundane and the constant and the continuation of our lives as they are. There is character built there, in faith! Not somewhere else (neccesarily). We should not be so quick to assume when we reach a rough spot or an uncomfortable spot or some sense of dissatisfaction (mild or severe) that we need to change something. That may be the case, but equally it may be that we just need to keep walking, in our current trajectory and in our current hope, and God will bless us there too.
Hi everyone. Summer is here (for those of us in the northern hemisphere). We’ve all been busy with all sorts of fun stuff, and the usual work stuff as well. I spent the end of the Spring in Nigeria; we had a fabulous time in an Old Testament Law workshop. Then we spent time with some of Jamie’s family; and then my family. We went camping near Bryce and Zion National Parks in Utah. It was awesome! Then we had a couple of regular weeks filled with VBS and usual summer things. Last weekend we went camping for the 4th of July holiday with our friends. We went up to State Forest State Park (just over Cameron Pass on 14 for you Coloradoans). We went with our Small Group plus some so there ended up being 18 adults and 17 kids. It was such a fun experience filled with hiking, fishing, and a little bit of chaos! Now back to ‘normal’ again.
We hope to travel some more in a couple weeks (first half of August). This time to Washington State for a little more camping with Jamie’s family, but also perhaps to reconnect with partners and others. Hey Washingtonians! If you’re interested in hanging out, and/or if you have friends who’d be interested in hearing about Bible Translation please get in touch with us via some form of communication (phone, email, facebook, twitter, this blog, or perhaps telegraph or snail mail.)
Once again we need to do a bit of partnership development. That’s what our organization likes to call support raising or deputation, because the task is in fact much more than asking for money, it is in fact asking people to partner with us in our ministry and in what God’s doing in Bible Translation.
God is working in our lives and and through Bible Translation, we are honored to have a small part to play in that. Pics below are from our various travels.
I asked several people of the last several weeks, what sorts of things they’d like to see on our blog. They suggested pictures (and thus i posted some pictures of the bathroom remodel)…I hope that is what they meant. Don’t worry I’ll post other interesting pictures, of the family soon. They also suggested I take some time to talk about my work on the book of Jonah and my consulting and things like that… so I will.
I am writing a technical sort of commentary, if you will, on the book of Jonah. I break down the Hebrew text important word by important word, referencing it in several lexicons (dictionaries) and then providing an english translation from pretty much any major English version, plus the commentaries I am looking at. Finally in a question and answer format I address, significant and relevant, exegetical issues on the text. I do this verse by verse for the whole book. Sounds like fun, huh?
If you’re more curious about this stuff, just ask.
In other news, I’ll leave for Nigeria again on May 9th. I’ll be gone until June 1. I’ll be in the same place as I was in November, but working with different teams, and helping with different stuff. Its still Bible Translation but this workshop is on translation of OT Law. It should be fun. A bunch of consultants from the US and elsewhere are converging to help translation teams sort out the nuance of translation of OT Law like Leviticus, Numbers, Duet. etc. it should be a great time.
Our basement flooded last weekend or at least half of it did. It seems a pipe froze (the tap for the water outside), and so when Jamie went to water her garden she did more watering of our laundry room than she did of the garden. It wasn’t her fault, we don’t know when the pipe froze, could have been anytime last winter and of course we didn’t notice until we needed to water the garden this spring. SO we’ve been drying out the carpet and drywall and things. Thankful no major furniture or anything were damaged, but we have a couple holes in our ceiling downstairs.
Its snowing today.