Chapter-a-Day Hebrews 12

JunkfoodWatch out for the Esau syndrome: trading away God’s lifelong gift in order to satisfy a short-term appetite. You well know how Esau later regretted that impulsive act and wanted God’s blessing—but by then it was too late, tears or no tears. Hebrews 12:16-17 (TM)

Sometimes I’m discouraged at how our culture, and me as a part of it, are so distracted by short-term appetites. We are so absorbed by spiritual junk food that clogs the Body’s arteries and does nothing to satisfy our hearts.

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Flickr photo courtesy of awrose

Vander Well News Briefs May 30

Newsbox_1 It was a nice break this weekend, but HOT!

  • Wendy and I had Shakespeare rehearsal Friday night and Monday, so that pretty much took away any chance to plan much. But that’s okay, we relaxed, cleaned up the massive, living, breathing mass of junk piled in the basement from our multiple moves (Tom & Girls to House, Wendy out of one apartment into another, Wendy out of apartment into House) last year. We have three or four coffee makers, two irons, multiple phones, radios, alarm clocks, etc. When the girls are ready to move out on their own I think we could set them up without having to buy anything!
  • It was an X-men marathon weekend. I hadn’t seen either of the first two movies, so Wendy watched them with me on TV Sunday night and then we went to the matinee of X-men 3 yesterday. Fun stuff. It’s pretty rare that sequels get better as you go along but I think they pulled it off with this one.
  • It’s the girls last week of school. They have semester tests this week. I can tell that they’re both excited to be done.
  • Madison is looking for a job to make some extra money before she goes to Thailand. Please pray for God to open something up for her.

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Chapter-a-Day Hebrews 11

Each one of these people of faith died not yet having in hand what was promised, but still believing. How did they do it? They saw it way off in the distance, waved their greeting, and accepted the fact that they were transients in this world. People who live this way make it plain that they are looking for their true home. If they were homesick for the old country, they could have gone back any time they wanted. But they were after a far better country than that—heaven country. You can see why God is so proud of them, and has a City waiting for them. Hebrews 11:13-16 (TM)

I read the chapter this morning and these verses jumped up off the page, reminding me of why I named this blog what I did – why we’re all just ‘wayfaring strangers’.

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“I’m Too Old for This Stuff!”

Stage_combatI had a little trouble getting out of bed this morning. Last night, we had a stage combat expert come to rehearsal to teach us basic stage combat. We stumbled. We fell. We struck. Then we struck, stumbled and fell. We pulled hair. We tumbled. We dove and then tumbled. We spun, dove and then tumbled.

Amazing. For all the instruction on how to "fake it" I sure feel like I got beat up last night!

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Chapter-a-Day Hebrews 10

Chocolate_chip_cookieLet’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25 (TM)

I was meeting with my friend, Mike, at Panera the other day. He got up to get a cookie. "Oatmeal or Chocolate Chip?" he asked me. I asked for chocolate chip. He then turned to the stranger sitting at the table behind us, working on his laptop. "Oatmeal or Chocolate Chip?" he asked. The stranger looked shocked, but when the question was posed a second time he asked for chocolate chip. The cookies were delivered and nothing more was said. Nevertheless, by the time we left, Mike had the opportunity to introduce himself to the man and talk a little bit about who he was and what he did for a living.

How inventive is that? It cost Mike $1.29 to show love to a stranger, and just maybe have the opportunity to share more of the love of Christ with him. What have I done to be "inventive" in loving others? You?

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Chapter-a-Day Hebrews 9

Everyone has to die once, then face the consequences. Hebrews 9:27 (TM)

People are surprised when I tell them I’d rather preside over a funeral than a wedding almost any day of the week. Weddings anymore are huge distractions. Trying to navigate all the trappings to find any real meaning in the ceremony is difficult, and even when the meaning is there you can be sure that no one is listening. The bride is freaking out about every detail, the groom is thinking about the wedding night. Women are thinking about their own weddings, the bride’s dress, the flowers, etc. while men are wondering how long it will be until they can get on to the reception and the food.

When you’re at a funeral, and there’s a dead body in the room, there’s little escaping the truth of today’s verse. It’s not that I have some sadistic joy at seeing people’s grief. The way I see it, if the person who died was a believer, then this is actually a joyous event. They are better off than we can possibly imagine. If there are non-believers at the funeral, this may be one of the few times in their lives that they contemplate the reality of their own impending death and it will force them to consider their eternal standing with God. That’s an opportunity for The Message to take hold and forever change their life…and that’s a hopeful thing.

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Much Ado About Rehearsal

Bard_dance Last night’s rehearsal was choreography. Now, you don’t usually acquaint Shakespeare with dancing, but the truth is that most of the Bard’s plays began and ended with a dance. Much Ado was actually staged with several dances. So, last night we had a historical choreographer come in to teach us some period dances. When you come to Pella Shakespeare Company’s production of Much Ado, you’ll see Wendy and me in doing our little 16th Century versions of the electric slide!

By the end of the rehearsal, Wendy was near homocidal with the instructor, who was quite silly in refusing to take questions from her very confused dancers. She kept shushing everyone as if our questions would be answered if we just listened to her – then she would explain some inane tidbit of medeival dancing trivia. It was maddening.

I got to try on my costume last night. A new costume mistress has magically appeared and volunteered her talents to Union Street Players. In a scene a la "Gone With the Wind", Jill Zinn turned old curtains in to amazing costumes. Don’t miss it!

Hey Bartender! Hog’s Bloody Mary, Please!

Pig_plasma Wendy and I were driving back from Des Moines yesterday afternoon. We passed a huge tanker truck. It was labeled "Pig Plasma" on the back and then all over the stinkin’ tank in huge letters it reminded us that it was "NON-EDIBLE!"

Dang! ‘Cause as soon as I saw the words "pig plasma" I broke out two straws!

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Chapter-a-Day Hebrews 8

Blueprint This time I’m writing out the plan in them, carving it on the lining of their hearts. Hebrews 8:10 (TM)

It’s encouraging to know that God has a plan for me. It’s not a mysterious thing that I have to hunt for. It’s not some coded message. It’s a plan that He reveals in me, day-by-day as He lives in me and walks with me. I may not see the plan fully, but I know the Master planner.