Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Inspired by John Adams

I'm still a little fuzzy on the details but unbeknownst to me I became an adult with adult interests. (If you don't believe me then please refer to my earlier use of the adult's only word 'unbeknownst'). Up until recently, the only books I read for fun involved choosing your own adventure, cowboys, Navy Seals or a ruddy reckless young wizard. Lately however I have been fascinated by reading biographies of famous people. Currently I am reading a great biography on John Adams.

I am only a couple of chapters into it but one story that is sticking out to me is as follows:

After years of hard work and sacrifice Adams finally becomes a practicing lawyer. During his very first case defending the plaintiff he is humiliated in court and loses his case on a technicality for not filling out the brief correctly. He is very embarrassed, his client is pissed off and the whole town of Braintree (small town where Adams lives) knows of his blunder. Frustrated and upset Adams goes home that night and writes in his journal, “It is my destiny to dig treasures with my own fingers.”

Adams' found out early on that any prestige or success he had in practicing law was going to come through a lot of sweat and hard work.

I too want to share this conviction of Adams, “It is my destiny to dig treasures with my own fingers.” However, sometimes I read scriptures like Jeremiah 29:11and think that I can just play Xbox until a miracle happens. Yes, God does have plans to prosper me (whatever that means) but, if I am not careful, I can easily fall into the trap of perpetually waiting for God to bless me and the ministry he has called me to rather than being faithful with the gifts, talents and abilities that he has entrusted me with. What do you think of what Adams says?

“It is my destiny to dig treasures with my own fingers”

How does this apply to how you practice your faith?

Monday, May 30, 2011

what does a closed door really look like?

Acts 5:41 shares that after some of the disciples were whipped and beaten for preaching in the streets they left their jail cells rejoicing and pumped because they had been found worthy of suffering for Jesus. Up until recently I had always read this passage and thought it meant that I should rejoice when I am persecuted for Jesus (which, in all honesty has never really happened in my life) So up until now I have always tucked away this lil tidbit “rejoice when persecuted” and put it up on the mental shelf next to all my other “good to know” factoids. Watching Man vs. Wild has taken up tons of mental shelf space....If I ever get cornered by a hissing cobra in Madagascar I totally know what to do..... However, yesterday I was reading through the book of Acts and a new revelation hit me:

The first century church considered it an honor to be persecuted for “The Way” They rejoiced because they had been found worthy of suffering for Christ. How different the early church responded to obstacles and persecution than I currently due as a privileged North American. I view obstacles or ridicule of my ministry as God intervening to “close doors.” The first century church viewed obstacles as concrete evidence that they were in fact experiencing God's favor.......Man have I got it backwards.....