Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The New Testament Cannot Overturn the Old

I read this title in a chapter of a book last week and thought, "well, why would I think the New Testament could overturn the Old? Don't they kind of go together?" I kept reading and in the process, flushed out some misconceptions that I have harbored since childhood. Though I believed the OT to also be the inspired Word, I never put a lot of effort into understanding it. Whether it was that the prophets were too hard to understand or I was just tired of the same old stories in Genesis and Exodus, or Numbers and Leviticus are too boring, I always found myself running back to the New Testament.

I thought I knew where it all began. . .that lush garden where Adam and Eve walked with God. . .and screwed up. . .but seriously, there's so much more to it than that. If you persevere and keep reading, the richness of the Torah grabs you. It draws you in and helps you understand how a God who loves His people sets them up to succeed. And they do. . .and then they don't. . .and they do. . .and don't and on and on. It's fascinating and infuriating.

So why, until the past year or so, have I missed the fact that the richness of the OT is for me as well? That the people of the NT (specifically Jews, but also Gentiles) actually knew what the OT said and put it into practice! Clearly they were a part of the NT, so obviously it wasn't written for them! I'm not saying it all makes perfect sense, but reading the NT and knowing more of the OT has put things in a new perspective. The NT has come to life. It is helping to see things and understand things as the disciples would or Gentiles that are being introduced to what Jesus was saying. So, instead of being ignorant of the times, the context begins to fill in. The colors begin to sharpen and the fuzziness of it all begins to become more clear as the background comes to life.

Where am I starting? Well, I have a reading plan that has me in Exodus, but I'll admit to getting a little too hungry to stop there. Some days you'll find me in Leviticus, but lately I'm committing to starting at the beginning with some weekly jumps to the Gospels to see where Jesus pulls it all together.

Hope you are enjoying the journey. The springboard for today's title-check out Boundary Stones by Aaron Eby.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Plumbing Challenge

Each month brings more progress on our "hub", otherwise known as The Gathering Place. As we drive by and check inside, we are able to see the progress that has been made as walls go up, wire is run, and concrete is poured. This week we add on the passing of a few inspections that we needed for us to continue. What is ahead?

Our Plumbing Challenge is here. In order to have supplies bought, installed, and to have the inspection completed, we need $4300. Someone has generously stepped up and has pledged to match what our Gathering Community can come up with-up to the half way point. So are we, Gathering Family, up to the challenge? We have until January 31st to come up with our half. Are we willing? Do we believe in what we are doing and why we are doing it? Are we willing to back it up with our dollars as well as our time?

I can't wait for January 31st! I can't wait to see how our community comes together not only in fun, in learning, or in serving, but in giving generously out of the joy of our hearts.

May the offering we give, give off a pleasing aroma to the Lord.