Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Day 49: July 49, 2012- Wedding Video Day

Today we watched our wedding video. It was so beautiful. I never got my hopes up, because I just wanted it to be whatever it was. And it reminded me of so many special moments from the best day of my life. My brothers, parents, and friends surrounded me, brothers all (except mom). It was a day I will never forget, truly epic in every way.

I love you all.

Thank you for celebrating it with me.

And then, as we turned to check the time after finishing it, with Luke asleep in his Mom's arms, we saw it was 10:38 pm. Luke's exact seven week birthday to the minute.

God was here. Not only was He here just over eleven months ago, but He was here tonight.

And He reminded us by having our wedding experience end at the exact minute of Luke's birth (which is pretty much exactly what happened).

God bless you, my friends! For we are truly blessed.

The Reading:

Leviticus 6:1-7:27, Mark 3:7-30, Psalm 37:1-11, Proverbs 10:3-4

To read along, click here.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Day 48: July 30, 2012- Jesus Takes on the Culture

Adorable Takes a Bath and Then Wears a Hoodie:


I don't know if that's a hoodie or cape, but you may want to wrap it around yourself before you get too excited there, buddy.

The Readings:

Leviticus 4:1-5:19, Mark 2:13-3:6, Psalm 36:1-12, Proverbs 10:1-2

Old Testament.
Notice the emphasis on when people don't know they've sinned. In the reading, they are still guilty, but they aren't held to account until they realize it. We should understand that guilt before God is just as great when we don't recognize it as when we do. And God expects a response when it comes to our attention.

New Testament.
I love how Jesus deals with the synagogue scene today. He calls people out, in front of all the Pharisees, to see how they'll respond.

They don't listen and are silent, with stubborn hearts. So does he back down? Does he turn away the lame man, because there just isn't a safe audience? No way. He tells the man to stretch out his hand, and before his accusers, he heals him.

It seems so often in our society we will back down if people don't take our best argument to accept what God is doing. We don't want to bring on their attacks, so we turn away.

Not so with Jesus.

I can think of two such current cultural events.

One, Chik-fil-A, stood up for their beliefs and hasn't backed down, despite surmounting attacks and hatred by even prominent people.

The other, a pastor, backed down when his congregation complained that he was doing the first black wedding at the church, in over a hundred years of only non-blacks. When they didn't like what he was doing, he chose to take the couple down the road to marry them in a black church. Did he follow Jesus's example?

WWJD is a harder call than it may seem.

On what are you feasting? Is your "river of delight" found in God?

Perhaps it's time to take some time to just worship God, to feast on the abundance of His house, as on the richest foods.

All this listening to Dad is going to pay off. But if you don't, there's a pain in it for Mom. Find out in the reading.

To read along, click here.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Day 47: July 29, 2012- Weekend at Lukie's!

Coming Soon: Luke's first boat ride!! Stay tuned...)

Adventures of Our Weekend:

Date night with Luke on the beach for ice cream!

Somebody got a treat.

Aw. Is this comfort feeding, big guy?

Couldn't be safer, snuggled into that contraption with a blanket and plug.

The view as we walked the park.

I know. It's been a long weekend.

But there's always a new adventure!

Play mats can be one of them.

I know you're tired. I think I'm ready to check out and catch you later, too.

The Readings!

Leviticus 1-3:17, Mark 1:29-2:12, Psalms 35:17-28, Proverbs 9:13-18

Old Testament.
Notice the pure lamb without defect in the reading? What about the blood? This is all pointing to one very important Messiah we all know and love.

New Testament.
The passion of men breaking through a house to get to Jesus. We've got him all the time now. Are we as zealous to be near him?

We need God to move. We won't survive without His justice. And when He gives it, will we praise Him?

We've heard from wisdom. This time we get to hear from folly. I wonder what she has to say.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Day 46: July 28, 2012- Luke, The Afterbath


I don't know if this kid is ET or the emperor from Return of the Jedi, but one things clear...

Luke after a bath

This is one cute kid.

Love you Lukie.

The Readings:

Exodus 39:1-40:38, Mark 1:1-28, Psalm 35:1-16, Proverbs 9:11-12

To read along, click here.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Day 45: July 27, 2012- The Resurrection

This is a Kaleidoscope of Amazingness.

I love this.

I don't think anything can be said about this.

Other than it is not a kaleidoscope. But in its non-kaleidoscopeness...it is amazing.

-Note to wife,

Feel free to make as many of these as you like.


Your loving husband

-Note to child,

Daddy loves you.



The Readings:

Exodus 37:1-38:31, Matthew 28:1-20, Psalm 34:11-22, Proverbs 9:9-10

Old Testament.
The work is finished. But did you notice there's gold?

The extreme worth of God's tabernacle is remarkable.

New Testament.
No matter what their plans were to keep Jesus from escaping and him from being true, sealing the stone shut, posting guard, paying off the guards, nothing can stop God from what He has a mind to do.

We really need a hype video with rock music to capture this scene.

Instructions for wise men. Make the simple wise.

Instructions for wise... hmm. I wonder if God's saying something here...

To read along, click here.

Day 44: July 26, 2012- The Crucifixion

(yesterday's post...)

The Readings:
Exodus 35:10-36:38, Matthew 27:32-66, Psalm 34:1-10, Proverbs 9:7-8

To read along, click here.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Day 43: July 25, 2012- Play Time with Luke!

Play Time!!!

Luke is really getting a workout on the rings. He just hasn't mastered that hand-eye coordination yet.

 He's either grasping a square or punching it at lower right.

Such concentration...

Whoa, this is fun.

The Readings:

Exodus 34:1-35:9, Matthew 27:15-31, Psalm 33:12-22, Proverbs 9:1-6

Old Testament
Yesterday, Aaron went right along with the culture. Why can't God's people stand up against it??

Moses gets another set of commandments. And a facelift. haha, couldn't resist...

New Testament.
Today, Pilate washes his hands. More passivity.

Don't trust your army or your arm. But the Lord...you can trust.

All the richest good things are prepared for those who will listen here to wisdom.

To read along, click here.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Day 42: July 24, 2012- The Molten Calf and Peter in the Fire

The Readings:

Exodus 32:1-33:23, Matthew 26:69-27:14, Psalm 33:1-11, Proverbs 8:33-36

Old Testament.
Arggh! Really? We're going to create a golden calf as Moses is on the mountain with God? So forty days is too long to wait. And we're going to decide a calf we made out of our earrings took us out of Egypt.

Gotta hand it to God's people. We're some brainiacs. I guess it's a lesson in not getting impatient with God's timing and giving up on God. Or maybe just fearing God. Certainly, the issue is not the accessories, here.

New Testament.
Peter denies Jesus three times. Judas realizes what he's done and kills himself. Major players are getting the shake-down as the curtain is being called on history's biggest moment.

God has all power. Isn't it good to shout aloud and sing for joy to him? If you haven't done that in a while, perhaps it's time to let loose and do it now.

If you listen to wisdom, you love life. If you reject wisdom, you hate life.

I feel like this is Bible For Dummies: Solomon's Cliff Notes Version. Or something like that. At least it's simple enough we can understand. But are we really seeking God's wisdom?

I'd have to say, if we aren't reading our Bibles regularly, we're not seeking wisdom.

To read along with the podcast, click here.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Day 41: July 23, 2012- The Last Supper

The Readings:

Exodus 30:11-31:18, Matthew 26:47-68, Psalm 32:1-11, Proverbs 8:27-32

Old Testament.
The Lord often blesses a person with a gift that benefits the church. This time it's a craftsman. What gift can you use for Christ?

New Testament.
We're leading up to a tragic event in Jesus's story. But that's not the end.

A lesson to not be difficult to turn around. And in view of God's majesty, how can we do otherwise?

You want joy, seek wisdom.

To read along, click here.

Day 40: July 22, 2012- Luke Resting in Christ

(Apologies: this video was supposed to be uploaded yesterday. It is now being posted, along with today's reading. I'm sorry for the inconvenience, to you faithful reader/listener/folks. I'm hoping to overwhelm you with pure cuteness factor.)

The Readings:

Exodus 29:1-30:10, Matthew 26:14-46, Psalm 31:19-24, Proverbs 8:14-26


To read along, which I don't know why you'd want to, because you're watching a video, but still, it's here.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Day 39: July 21, 2012- Pose-ables, Luke and Aaron: Priests of Righteousness

Miscellaneous What-Have You's and Pose-able Things.

The absolute cutest unposed pose-able ever:

Peace, dawg

Angela swears she didn't manufacture this. It's pure cutery...real-keeping, Luke style.

But that's not hard for one cute kid.

Pure cutery

The little kid, Grandpa.

The Readings:

Exodus 28:1-43, Matthew 25:31-26:13, Psalm 31:9-18, Proverbs 8:12-13

Old Testament.
An elaborate description of an even more elaborate robe for Aaron the priest. Do you know it's describing your beauty before God as the royal priesthood now? That's how precious a heart that is prepared for God is to him.

New Testament.
Jesus describes what happens right after the Son of Man returns with the angels, the trumpets sound, and he snatches us up with him. It's a judgment and what He says to us next might have us thinking. What matters is who you know.

Desperation before God. I believe this is a continuation of yesterday's prophecy, which was Jesus on the cross. So, not only is David crying out to God, but Jesus is.

Wisdom doesn't mince words over political correctness. Wisdom can call evil evil. Sometimes it seems the closer we get to this culture, the less we call it, or the more cozy we get with it. But God desires us to have wisdom, which has discretion.

Drop in and listen!

To read along with the podcast, as always, click here.

Day 38: July 20, 2012- A Heart Prepared for God

Luke's second time his whole life without either of his parents! Tell you about it later...

The Readings:

Exodus 26-27:21, Matthew 25:1-30, Psalm 31:1-8, Proverbs 8:1-11

Old Testament.
Beautiful if you think about how God cared for the Tabernacle, the place to observe his presence. Gold, silver, bronze, multi-colored expensive cloths, meticulous designs.

Do you know the Tabernacle represents your heart?

New Testament.
The lamps were to remain constantly lit in the Tabernacle. It is a symbol to us. This is an illustration. Both are pointing to the same truth. Is your heart prepared for the Bridegroom to enter tonight? Is your life?

Jesus's last words are found in this Psalm. Can you find them? Kindof gives perspective on the rest of the Psalm when you realize it's a prophesy about him.

Remember those beautiful colors in the Tabernacle? The gold? The silver?

Proverbs says wisdom is worth more than these. We should pursue it more earnestly. Seeking God is a good way. Reading his Word is another sure way to gain wisdom. And do you know what both James and Solomon's experiences say about getting more if you want?

Simple. Ask God for more. And He will give it liberally to the prayer asked in faith.

Enjoy the reading!

To read along with the podcast, click here.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Day 37: July 19, 2012- Dancing Up to Heaven!

Dancing Up to Heaven!

When we were kids, my brothers and I had this thing where we would all dance and say, "Dancin' up to heaven." I don't know why. It might've had to do with a candy bar or commercial or something. Or I may be dreaming up that it happened at all. But it happened. And it was beautiful.

Well, Luke went out for pizza with us tonight. Only, he wouldn't stop sucking on that bottle of milk. I tried to tell him there was pizza. But he wouldn't listen. Someday he'll regret giving it up for a sugary, pasty substance with lumps in it.

Oh, and if you were standing in line in front of me, (and here's where the story connects) yes, I was dancing with my son. He doesn't respond to the bouncing or the swinging so much. But the dancing. He immediately quiets at the dancing.
It is very interesting...

I will mention that the word swag was used in regard to me and him in line for pizza. I will not mention that the parlor broke into a club and we started breakdancing in the middle of the floor and jackhammer freezing on tables. Because that did not happen.

But today, God turns David's "mourning into dancing."

There must be something here.

Further Investigation.

Let's take a closer look at this guy's overall prowess, genetic ceiling, and potential.


Throw your hands in the air...check.

Hip angle = a risque 20 degrees. That is a significant range with some possibility.

Pulling out all the stops, this kid's getting down. Look at how the hands are attempting to curb him in unsuccessfully. He's definitely a Demsick.

To the right, to the right... yep, he's on his game.

Uh, I don't know that one. 

Which one? Baby boom? It's cool, I made that up. It sounded bad anyway.

Don't be shocked. It's okay. You're not trying it, are you?

That look of satisfaction is scary. But so cute.

Nice session.

And it's confirmed. He's a Demsick. (Just look at those lips.)

And yes, of course, he's a dancer. We'll be up a few times tonight practicing.

The Readings:

Exodus 23:14-25:40, Matthew 24:29-51, Psalm 30:1-12, Proverbs 7:24-27

Old Testament.
God promises to protect his people if they obey him.

New Testament.
Jesus tells us of the end. It's interesting that a popular new* theory called "The Rapture" is largely argued based on these verses. But in context, they clearly refute any possibility of a rapture. Jesus states he's talking about the end, not a pre-end period or one of Jesus's two or more returns.

He's coming once. It's the same one described in 1 Thessalonians 4:17-18, "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord."

That is the end. Not pretribulation. Just like Jesus is now talking about the end in Matthew. The verses about one taken and another left are right after, describing the passage about the Son of Man coming on the clouds with angels and a great trumpet.

He says miracle workers will try to deceive them during the tribulation. So no one will miss it. You won't have to ask or hear what's going on. All will know it's the Son of Man's return, like lightning across the sky.

So there's no rapture until the end when Christ returns.

Does it really matter? Well, not really.

But it's used to support the idea that true believers will miss out on the difficulties of the end times (tribulation), while all the unbelievers will have a period to figure it out and get things right. But that rejects the passage in the reading today...

Jesus specifically says collecting the believers will happen immediately "after the tribulation." That the time will be cut short so as to preserve the elect.

Basically, it's gonna get bad. We're gonna be here and be persecuted. And just in the nick of time, Jesus is going to save us and the end will come!

If it matters, it's because nowhere in Scripture does God ever share a gospel in which we will be spared from troubles. That is the inherent belief of the rapture. We will be removed before the major difficulties come. The danger is in thinking God wants to spare us from difficulties, which may cause us to be mentally unprepared to persevere through pain (if we believe God doesn't intend us to experience it).

Think about a basketball player who goes to the first practice expecting it not to be difficult. Will he quit the team or toughen up through it? The coach does not want to remove the pain of training, but through it makes the athlete strong. In a simplistic way, it's like a parent who doesn't want his or her child to go through discomfort, so he or she enables him. I don't mind Luke crying when he's being changed, because I know I will disciple him from being too weak to endure it. If I didn't want him to overcome the experience, I would be stunting his mental strength.

God doesn't want us to be caught off guard by challenges, nor believe that he will instantly remove us from them. He's not trying to cause us pain, but since he requires such strength of us, challenges in the lives of Christians hone us into maturity. Sometimes there's no way around them other than through the fiery furnace. 

Challenges (suffering) produce perseverance, which produce character, which produce hope. And hope does not disappoint.

That is our gospel. God wants us to grow to be strong, like the highly tuned athlete who becomes tough through grueling practices, not like one who avoids them and avoids challenges. That's why I believe (along with the verses) God will not remove Christians from the times to come in a rapture. We have to pick up our cross and follow him.

We are strong in Christ, and He's coming soon! So let's be ready now.

*The reason I call it a new theory is because no Christian believed it, nor had even thought of it, until the 1830's. John Darby brought it to the church at that time.

For more study on this topic, check out the Matthew passage of the podcast today! Also, read Matthew 24:13, Revelations 13:5-10, and Revelations 7:14-17.

David is a dancer! Eh? Anyone? Pretty cool. Luke and David, men after God's own heart.

In case you haven't gotten it from the last few days, KEEP YOUR HEART AWAY FROM SEDUCTIVE WOMEN. Ok. Check. Nothing to see here. Move along to the reading.

To read along, click here.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Day 36: July 18, 2012- The Law and the Prophecy of the End

End of the Day.

At the end of the day...

You're bigger than you were, but smaller than you will be.

And cute as a button nose in the meantime.

I love you, buddy.
The Readings:
Exodus 21:22-23:13, Matthew 24:1-28, Psalm 29:1-11, Proverbs 7:6-23

Old Testament.
God's laws show his justice. He likes to protect people and doesn't let wrong go unpunished

New Testament.
Jesus tells about the end. His words don't allow any possibility for the popular rapture belief. Ain't happenin'. We're going to be here til the end. And he who perseveres to the end will be saved.

No get out of jail free cards til heaven, folks!

Awesome Psalm about the power of the Lord.

How to avoid sexual temptation: a case study.

To read along with the podcast, click here.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Day 35: July 17, 2012- Picture Flip Book Day!

Birthday Flip Book!

Luke is five weeks old tonight at 10:38 pm!!

So, to celebrate his birthday (sort of), I'm going to do a picture book on the blog. That's right, for all of you who can't see him, I'm going to do a flip book of him in (relative) action. What you see is a quick succession of Luke moments, all spliced and put back together.

If you can scroll down really fast, you might get the flip book effect. (Don't ask me why I didn't just do a video so you could see him, and utilize technology to its potential, rather than hijacking it for my jury-rigged movie version. Shh. This way's more fun.)

And yes, I realize I am being completely corny calling it Luke's birthday and it is in no way his birthday. Thank you for pointing that out, you.

Is this wrong? (...no answer)

Sweet...Flip Book!









(How many of you went up and down as fast as you could multiple times? I admit. I did.)

Add your own captions to the pictures you like in the comments below!

The Readings!

Exodus 19:16-21:21, Matthew 23:13-39, Psalm 28:1-9, Proverbs 7:1-5

Old Testament.
God lays down the law. Good to listen to now to know his heart. We aren't required to fulfill the exact laws of the O.T. But you better believe, if you're looking at your neighbor's cow wrong, God takes issue with you. These things are still important.

New Testament.
Hypocrite! Ok, I just wanted to say it. Jesus got to say it so many times, I just wanted to add my own. But seriously, listen. God wants us to be genuine. And focused on character. Not image.

Hypocrite! Too much?
This one's about David appealing to God and then praising him. Cool Psalm. So yeah, I guess, too much.

Be wise! Listen. Learn. Make it real wisdom. There's a theme of being right in the heart today. OT, NT, and PROVERBST all agree: Follow the Lord with a wise, genuine heart for God. (So I guess a little splash of PSALM...T in there.)

To read along with the podcast, click here.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Day 34: July 16, 2012- Jesus Pulls No Punches

Update on the Little Person.

Luke's been a little fussy in the evenings. I don't know what it is. He's getting bigger, being fed, seems to be loved, usually has semi-clean diapers, and Daddy runs through the sprinklers with him.

So, everything should be good, right?

Well, he's being rocked by Mommy now. And he usually gets put down at this time. (Funny how people say it that way.)

But sometimes he's a little fuss monster. And then he does that pretending to fall asleep thing and bam! His eyes pop open again. That's the worst. It can go on as long as he has an audience.

Still, he's one cute kid when he's looking around or staring up into our eyes in wide-eyed amazement.

And we love him like crazy.


Seems alright to me.

Yep, nothing to see here.

The Readings:

Exodus 17:8-19:15, Matthew 22:34-23:12, Psalm 27:7-14, Proverbs 6:27-35

Old Testament.
Sometimes God values some good old ingenuity. Jethro, Moses' father in law comes up with a great idea to reorganize Israel's judging system, and then Aaron, Hur, and Moses come up with another one in the battle against the Amalekites. Sometimes God speaks to us through great ideas. So think! You never know, what you come up with might be wisdom.

New Testament.
Jesus will answer your question. Then he'll ask you one. He'll leave you walking away saying, "I'm not gonna ask that guy another question again.."

He had no qualms being bold with his answers and plain about what he stood for. Neither should we.

David's heart is so genuine. It just makes me want to go for a prayer walk or sit and talk to God. He loves God so much. And nothing's going to keep him from being faithful and pure.

May we have the same attitude before him. It matters and he notices!

Stay away from other people's husbands and wives. There's something very sacred there. And if you don't think so, the husband or wife will prove it to you.

Enjoy the readings! God bless everyone who is taking the journey with us. Leave a comment and let us know how you're doing and what God is showing you!

To read along with the podcast, click here.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Day 33: July 15, 2012- Bike Week and the Wilderness

(So, it's official. There will be no more audio-only podcasts on Sundays, only videos- with audio. Apparently, the reason I cannot convert to an mp3 version of the podcast is because youtube is actively blocking all third party recording tools from using youtube videos. This probably means nothing to you. If so, carry on. Nothing will change, but Sundays will be video only. If instead of meaning nothing to you, it means something to you, click here to sign a fast-growing petition to persuade youtube to ease up on the little stuff. It probably is to block people from ripping off mp3 versions of songs from youtube videos, a form of pirating, but my innocent videos and audios get caught up in the crosshairs. Anyway, enjoy the post!)

Grand-Daddy-G's Poolside Ranch Presents...Bike Week Special!

(This story is courtesy of Grandpa Hine)

Last night, Daddy and Mommy had a first. It was a very important first. It was their first date A.L. (anno lukie- in the year of our lukie).

I was told I would be staying with Grandpa Hine. I'd been told he was a cool dude.

The evening started promisingly. When I walked in the door (in my car seat), I noticed there were no toys.

It looked and smelled like an old folks home.

For some reason I don't know, Daddy and Mommy disappeared as soon as they dropped me inside. They seemed to be in quite a hurry.

They didn't even notice where they were leaving me.

At least the caregiver would have to feed me. It felt like a good time for food.

Right when I began a well-planned yowl, Grandpa informed me that Daddy and Mommy's hurry had included forgetting the diaper bag.

I tried to tell him it was my tool bag, but it came out in harumphs and Grandpa started smacking me on the back, so I stopped.

I said, "Grandpa, somebody said that you're a pretty cool guy."

Grandpa said, "That was me."

I said, "They said you're a legend in your time."

Grandpa said, "...in my mind."

Then he told me we'd be taking a little ride.

He said, "It might be a little breezy out."

I said, "Grandpa, I don't think that's breeze. I think that's speed."

He said, "I'll back off when we hit 90."

I think he might've cheated it to 91 or 92.

I said, "Grandpa, I don't think that spittle's mine."

I don't think he heard me. He was nodding off at the light.

Big boys don't spittle on a bike.

When we arrived back at the house, Grandpa's caregiver fed and held me for a while. Then she gave me back to him. I braced myself.

He took me to the edge of the world, to a great expanse. They called it a pool.

He said, "This might get a little wet."

I said, "Grandpa, I was swimming for nine months."

He said, "You might have to hold your breath."

I said, "Grandpa, just hook me to that long tube in there."

He said, "Oh, no. That's a watcha-ma-call-it."

I'm not quite sure whether he made something up or my baby interpreting skills couldn't pick it up.

From the look on his face, I think he was faking on that one.

And then, the splash.

Ok, it wasn't me. Grandpa got in.

I gave the obligatory wimper when he put me in. For the womenfolk (the caregiver).

But it was actually pretty fun. We swam around for a while. Perhaps Grandpa Hine is a pretty cool guy.

Later, we dried off and took in the surroundings.

The breeze blew through the trees. They swayed and bent and swayed and...

"No, Grandpa. I can fall asleep before you can."

I'm pretty sure I won.

Don't Forget...the Readings!

And yes, there's a cute little Lukers on film. He practices his acting a few minutes in. Totally unscripted. But he's a charismatic guy, so we let him go with it.
Exodus 15:19-17:7, Matthew 22:1-33, Psalm 27:1-6, Proverbs 6:20-26

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Day 32: July 14, 2012 The Red Sea

(Tonight...the first date night! Update tomorrow on Luke's first evening away from the parents. Stay tuned!)

The Readings:

Exodus 13:17-15:18, Matthew 21:23-46, Psalm 26:1-12, Proverbs 6:16-19

To read along with the podcast, click:


Friday, July 13, 2012

Day 31: July 13, 2012- Your Favorite Friendly, Neighborhood Scripture Symbols

Your Favorite Friendly, Neighborhood Scripture Symbols.

In honor of the Exodus from Egypt and the Passover, we have...a special symbolism in scripture competition!*

We celebrate the Passover almost every year in our family. I have determined it's the coolest, deepest symbolism in the Bible. That's saying a lot, given the competition.

And now, in (somewhat) arbitrary order, the three main challengers:

#3. Sex. Yep, sex is just about the deepest symbol in the Bible. It represents God's intimate love relationship with us.

If we are the image of God (we are!), and if marriage between a man and a woman represents Christ and the church (it does!), then sex between a husband and a wife represents the intimacy between God and man.This is a big one, and I'm gonna agree with Solomon, it's mind-blowing.

For extra review, check out Song of Songs, especially Song of Songs 4:9-5:1

#2. The Cross. Ooh. Don't you want to know what #1 is if the cross comes in at #2. Barely edged out for the top spot, the cross is a highly paradoxical symbol.

It means death. It is a curse. Jesus is life. He is freedom.

And in the world's, no, universe's, ultimate turn-around, Jesus is killed on the cross. Life is conquered by death. The curse, applied to the world's first perfect person. Applied to God.

And then...it isn't.

To everyone's surprise, the curse is undone by freedom. Life has the last laugh. Jesus is alive!

The cross now becomes a symbol for victory, while still representing Christ's sacrifice for our freedom.

For extra review, check out Isaiah 53:1-12 and Galations 3:10-14

#1. Communion Wine. This one might ring in as a bit of a surprise, but hold on. There's more to this one than it seems.

Wine is used throughout Scripture to represent God's abundance. He uses it as a blessing to give prosperity in the Old Testament. "Your vats will overflow with new wine..." There are numerous examples of this. Even Jesus made wine (and the prosperity that it undoubtedly brings) his first miracle (unplanned and totally to the credit of a mom. Thanks moms everywhere for your timely butting in. You and your advice are invaluable!) Jesus looked forward to the day when we would share the cup with him at the banquet in heaven. That's pretty important. And pretty symbolic. Read on.

When we talk about Christ changing us, we refer to being cleansed by his blood. The blood is the only propitiation for sin (read *sacrifice*). Think about the Old Testament. Think about the altar. The sacrifices.

Jesus was the sacrifice that paid for our sins forever. Without blood, there is no salvation. Just as the altar was sprinkled with blood, so the cross dripped with it.

And Jesus specifically said his blood is true drink and if we drink of it, we have life. "This is my blood, shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. Do this as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me." That was the First Communion and the Last Supper.

The blood. The sacrifice. The forgiveness. The cup.

That's why Communion wine makes my #1, swinging at the champ...

For extra review, check out John 6:55-56 and Luke 22:14-20

The Passover. This one ties it all together. The cross was important because the Lamb of God was sacrificed on it. And that's what the Pascal Lamb eaten at the Passover represented. The Passover was the Last Supper ceremony Jesus and his disciples were celebrating on his last night. The Communion wine that Jesus said is his blood was the Elijah Cup, the fourth cup of wine in the Passover celebration. It was the cup to remind them of the coming Messiah. Historically, they would throw it out the window and say, "Next year in Jerusalem!"

It was this cup Jesus would raise and say, "This is my blood..."

Mark my words, those men knew something special was happening. To wrap it all up, the escape from Egypt was to symbolize Christ freeing us from captivity to sin.

So, in a completely subjective, slightly unreasonable competition, The Passover holds the coolest symbolism in Scripture award in a split decision. All of them glorifying to God. All deeply, powerfully, pointing to Jesus.

Interestingly, notice some of God's most powerfully important symbols are also the things the world attacks. Sex and wine are two major symbols the world perverts to cause sin. They are meant for the proper context, to glorify God, and they represent the beauty of intimacy with Him and the joy of the abundant life in Christ. The world's sinful perversion of God's symbols doesn't mean we should remove them, only use them for Him alone. Rather,they point to how irreplaceably important they are. Like the cross, they are God's symbols, designed by him for his glory.

*Not really a competition. More of a fun exhibition.

The Kiddo.

The little one is the kiddo

Who's little?

The cutest guy ever.

That's who.

The Readings:

Exodus 12:14-13:16, Matthew 20:29-21:22, Psalm 25: 16-22, Proverbs 6:12-15

Old Testament.
Love me some lamb and bitter herbs.

New Testament.
Jesus shows his nature, which is really cool. He has compassion on the blind men. Despite how people want him to dismiss them, he draws them near and heals them. "Having compassion on them."

Then he enters Jerusalem, and this is one exciting scene. Imagine what it would be like to be with him. Jesus rides in on coats and a donkey. There's a buzz in the city. The people are shouting praises. They're laying down palm branches before his donkey. Children are prancing around, praising God, and hailing Jesus with Hosanna's.

He and the disciples are on top of the world.

He immediately charges into the temple, breaks up the market, and drives out the buyers and sellers. He uses a chord to whip them as he kicks down their tables. This is a man of action. It's a man on a rampage, turning the momentum of his entry into a stellar performance in his Father's house.

However, this isn't the whole story. Jesus is just as "bad," in a totally good way, as he seems, but he sees another goal ahead of him. I wonder if the disciples have any idea what's coming at the end of the week.

David needs God to come through. He's just open and honest to ask. Go before God with your needs. He wants to hear you, and he'll save you like I have a feeling he'll do David.

In a world that values winks and smooth-talkers, don't get caught up in the game. God wants us to be totally honest, totally ourselves. There's nothing wrong with a confident smile and charisma. But the wink Proverbs is warning of is the one with deceptive intentions.

If you find yourself getting caught up in image, selfishness, or deception instead of just plain character, get back to the Jesus style. Confident, bold, yet compassionate.

And nothing to fear.

To read along with the podcast, click:


Day 30: July 12, 2012- The Plague of Death

(I apologize; this reading is a day late. I left my phone at a friend's house, and after searching around mine for a half hour and calling numerous times, I finally realized it. And yes, my phone is my mode of podcasting. Darn iphones do everything and then punish us when we forget how important they are. Sorry about that, iphone. But you won't get too much sympathy from me. After all, you didn't answer when I called.)

The Readings:

Exodus 10-12:13, Matthew 20:1-28, Psalm 25:1-15, Proverbs 6:6-11

Old Testament.
The Death Plague. Don't push God's buttons. Probably not a good idea to test him. He might send frogs or darkness for a while, but what about when the real punishments come?

We need to get our lives right with God now. Not wait, but move to obey him this moment.

New Testament.
Jesus is fair. To his own tune. So he wants to give all his children the same rewards? Sounds like a good dad to me. He just loves us all that much! That if we rejoin the family, we're in the family. This is a good family to be in, filled with love, compassion, and favor!

David draws near to the heart of God.

Don't be lazy. No amount of spiritualizing can change the fact that God created the world by certain rules, and He wants us to live by them. One of them is...work! Work now, and enjoy what you harvest later. This is hard in a society with few jobs. But there are ways you can apply this principle today to make sure you are setting aside for a harvest later.

And perhaps you shouldn't put off that project any longer. Or, *gasp* those dishes in the sink. Your harvest might be in the peace you feel, or in the love of the people around you.

To read along with the podcast, click:


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Day 29: July 11, 2012- The Plagues of Egypt

The Readings:

Exodus 8-9:35, Matthew 19:13-30, Psalm 24: 1-10, Proverbs 6:1-5

Old Testament.
An epic story unfolds. Moses and Pharaoh and the twelve plagues of Egypt. May we never harden our hearts to what God is doing in our lives.

New Testament.
Jesus brings the children to him, and he defines heaven by them. Let's remember to be children. Breathe in. Breathe out. God is God. And we are in his hands. It's a good place to rest and just love him.

Who may enter his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart and does not lift up his soul to what is false. There's a reason you were baptized long ago. To begin unstained by the world, to wash you clean from it. God wants us to maintain clean hands and a pure heart before him. And if you find yourself dirty, let the Word today wash you.

Ever make a dumb commitment? Say you'll do something unreasonable? Go right to the person and ask forgiveness and get out of it. Don't let yourself be strung along trying to finish something you can't possibly do, or fail someone who is depending on you.

To read along with the podcast, click:


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Day 28: July 10, 2012- Self-control, Wisdom, and Following God

The Readings:

Exodus 5:22-7:25, Matthew 18:21-19:12, Psalm 23:1-6, Proverbs 5:22-23

Old Testament.
God's plan doesn't seem to be working out very well to Moses. But what happens is exactly what God told him would. Sometimes God's plan doesn't make sense. It seems to take the long way. Or worse...hurt. But it always works out for his greatest glory. So let's not complain or question him. Let's accept that God is God and his ways are good. He's going to work it out. And it'll be good.

New Testament.
Jesus addresses his disciples over a couple major issues. The first is forgiveness. Rather than giving someone a few chances and then deciding one is vindicated in dismissing him or her, Jesus says we're to forgive forever. Pretty much. He uses an illustration of how we've been forgiven of millions. And then we hold twenty bucks against a brother?

The other is marriage. It's a beautiful thing. It represents Christ and the church. And how permanent is it? Jesus explains- God doesn't want us to divorce, ever. But if one has broken the covenant through cheating sexually, then we may divorce. Otherwise, any remarriage is adultery. Even the one who was divorced is an adulterer if he or she remarries (apart from sexual infidelity). That's a message that we don't quickly live by. But he makes it crystal clear.

And the reason? It is a covenant, made at an altar, before God, and two become one. That can't be undone, except through sex, because it's also the consummation of the union. This is just the nature of marriage. Jesus isn't trying to hold us back. We often think we're entitled to whatever we want because we live in America. But we don't have a right to what we want outside of God's design. If we live it God's way, it will always turn out best. For us, our husbands and wives, our children.

What a comforting Psalm. To many people, Psalm 23 is a favorite. Try reading it to your newborn son soon after he's born. Pretty special.

Let us learn the lessons above. Proverbs ties it all together here. We should heed God's Word, lest we "die for lack of self-control, " or "be lost because of [our] great foolishness."

To read along with the podcast, click:


Monday, July 9, 2012

Day 27: July 9, 2012- Like a Little Child

Luke's Second Bath!

I know what you're thinking. 27 days is not a long time for a second bath. We're employing a small contingent somewhere in Minnesota with our family's baby wipe consumption. And warm wash cloths...free, I know. But innumerable portable soap towelette scrub-downs do not help his bath-per-day ratio. Technically, whatever happens on the middle of the bedroom floor cannot be called a bath. It's a glitch in the system we're aware of.

So Luke has just begun to experience the sensation of submersion.

If you noticed the submarine surface dive fiasco a couple days ago, you know he didn't have the best start. I think more fluid was actually dispersed from his tears and scream spittle than was displaced by his body.

We're working on the situation. He's graduated to getting his toes wet and being sprinkled across the chest. Without so much as a whimper.


So yeah, this kid is bound for great things, I can see it.

He'll be doing backstrokes across the tub with his baby bottle in no time. (The short way.)

This is not a kid who'll get wipe downs on the bedroom floor forever. No, he's one to whom the sound of the ocean will call, in whose heart the roar of many waters will stir for a great voyage. Or at least the sound of the bathroom sink as I wash my hands after changing him.

He's got something. Potential. Actually, he's got humongous feet. But I think they'll reveal in time his land-sea-air potential. He can already stand. With a sort of caved in one leg thing going on and me holding him up. But, watchout. This kid's for real.

Sometimes he doesn't cry when I wipe him.

Now if we could only figure out a convenient way to bathe him after every changing, we could put a small town in Minnesota out of business for good.

Luke: The Afterbath

The Readings:

Exodus 4-5:21, Matthew 18:1-20, Psalm 22:19-31, Proverbs 5:15:21

Old Testament.
Moses whines and whines about what God wants him to do. He tries to get out of it. Then when he finally does it, he fails again and again. Discipleship training program, anyone? This is God's version. Fortunately, he told Moses that Pharoah would reject his message, but I'm sure it still smarts. Where God leads us, he often lets us go through the trials that hone us. He actually wants us to be strong. Don't let this discourage you. "Suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us." (Romans 5:3b-5a)
This is the only method of God making us grow that I know...

New Testament.
Like a little child. Like Luke. Today, I'm gonna be like Luke. Luke trusts me. Well, he trusts mom, anyway. He knows he's getting milk. He just accepts what we give him. No apprehensive taste test with one eye cocked suspiciously. No, he just guzzles it down. Do we trust God? Do we humbly accept from him without question, like a kid does his Daddy? Today, Luke is the lesson. And just this once, I'm gonna be just like you, little guy.

David is really calling out to God. He needs him to come through. But listen to how he worships as he does. He's not afraid to declare to the heavens the glory of God. We should too. Let's be unabashed in one thing, at least. Let's be unabashed worshippers. Then they can call us men and women after God's heart. Like David.

Pretty important message after the last couple days of warnings about the immoral women. This is possible men's greatest temptation, and I wonder if immoral men are women's. Still, there is a reward. Solomon explains God wants us to experience great joy in our spouses, if we have them. If we don't, we have a Lover God who draws us close. And he is delighted when we preserve ourselves for him. or for our spouse. But to have sex with whomever we want sells ourselves away to pleasure; it destroys the most valuable thing we have: our purity. And life goes with it.

To read along with the podcast, click:


Day 26: July 8, 2012- The Burning Bush

The Readings:

Exodus 2:11-3:22, Matthew 17:10-27, Psalm 22:1-18, Proverbs 5:7-14

Moses gets a surprising visit from Diety in the form of a flaming shrubbery.

Jesus tries to tell people about his coming death and the prophecies regarding it long ago.

Psalms features just such a prophesy- the entire passage prophesies Jesus lamenting his suffering on the cross (these are the famous last words Jesus would speak as his final allusion).

And Proverbs gives more advice about why to stay away from seductive, immoral women. Great advice that make guarding your heart all the more important!

To read along:


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Day 25: July 7, 2012- Luke's First Swim!!

Luke's First Swim:

Today was Luke's first swim! We were very excited about it. If you can wade through the following short videos, you can find out just how excited Luke was...

Ok, um, let's try that again.

Take 2:

No, that didn't work. Naturally, the only logical thing to do is try it again.

Take 3:

Aha! Victorious!!

Luke's Take.

It's been a long day. Rest in Christ, little buddy. Or as Great Uncle Mark would say, rest in peace.

Now, while we're all relaxed, preview and listen to the readings!
Genesis 50:1-26, Exodus 1-2:10, Matthew 16:13-17:9, Psalm 21:1-13

Old Testament.
The end of an era. The patriarchs are finally laid to rest. We say good-bye to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. It's been fun! And God is the God of the living, not the dead, so we'll see them again.
But now we're on to newer times, and today's reading introduces a curious young gentleman playing hide and seek down by the river, not knowing he's flirting with death...

New Testament.
A very important question. The time comes when each person must answer it. "Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego" is not the what I was looking for. And no, it's not "What would Jesus do?"
Who is Jesus, really? That's the question. One can be the nicest person in the world, get this question wrong, and be left outside at a wedding to come. That of a Savior and his Bride. Because whether or not you're nice or funny or cool or generous isn't the right question. "Who is Jesus" is it. And therefore it's the answer you need to know. If Jesus is God, then when he came to earth it really meant something. And when he died and rose again, for us, that something became everything. The Bride will be married to him. That's the banquet in heaven. So who is Jesus to you? If he's the Messiah, Son of God, you're on the right path. If  he's the God you are in love with, then you happen to be a Bride who's going to have a happily ever after with her Beloved.
It's time to decide who he is to you. Like popping the question, or answering it, this changes everything from here on.

How often do you celebrate with God? How about worshipping with David's words in the Psalm today. It's always a great idea to pray the Psalms. We can learn how to be worshippers through David. Praise the Lord loudly, whole-heartedly, and often!

You know the girl. The one with the swagger and that look in her eye. There's something dangerous there. While it might be tempting, it's also dead wrong. Dead. I'll let that sink in.
Watch out for women that are sweet as honey or smooth as oil. If you don't read the signs well, you might be chasing after the immoral woman Proverbs talks about today. There's a crash ending, in case you're curious. Check the last paragraph for the word if it hasn't sunken in yet.
Girls, I guess look out for the smooth talking guy. The end with him can't be much better.

Read along yourself with the podcast above:


Friday, July 6, 2012

Day 24: July 6, 2012- Not too Yeasty Love Stories Leave the Nightlight On

Lots of content, fun, and good stuff to grow in Christ today, so stick around. Life with God should be fun and, though sometimes hard (especially when containing squishy greenish content that smells like danger Will Robinson), it should be simple too. So enter like a little child!

And maybe together we'll find faith like one a little easier.


This one's a couple days old, but sooo adorable (I hate people who draw out words). Luke meets his cousins, Sky and Lucy, on the play mat, and surprise, he actually looks like he knows what's going on! Or like he's trying to figure out what's going on.

Or like he's staring off into space in the direction that Sky happens to occupy.

But anyway, it's really cute, and you really should see it!

So see it (By the way, you've gotta see the little tussle at the end of the video- stick around to the end!):

Look at that Face.

Featuring, the face of the day:

 Wha does cute mean?

Cute means 24 days old and lovin' that hair-do, Lukey. 

Look at that Face, Part 2.
The close runner-up:

I think it's time for me to be put down

Or changed, buddy. And I'm goin' with number 2.
Stay tuned, more pics to come!
And even more content today, so stick around, cuz it's...
Keep it Simple Day (with Instructions).

In case you don't know, if you scroll down past the interesting, insightful comments on the readings below (four readings, four sets of comments), you will actually find something surprising. The readings.

That's right. You can listen in just fifteen minutes or so while brushing your teeth (you need fifteen minutes) or eating breakfast, and it'll keep you focused on the way to go, with a few extra notes so simple a child could get it (my child, anyway).

I hope you consider joining us for this year. Fifteen minutes a day and you'll have read the Bible, even if you've only been listening. You can read along in a new window through the link below, while I read, or you can just listen and reflect.

Also, these podcasts should be able to be downloaded to an mp3 player for listening on the go. Let me know if you can't get that to work and I'll look into it for you.


Genesis 48:1-49:33, Matthew 15:29-16:12, Psalm 20:1-9, Proverbs 4:20-27

Israel gives the blessings before he dies. As the backwards sort of guy he is, he blesses Joseph's second son over his first. One has to wonder if this is God's foresight into their futures or Jacob doing what he does best: stirring things up. Remember, he was the second-born who stole the blessing from the first. So it's almost fitting that he'd pass along the blessing to the second. What way to go out. Not that Joseph has to be happy about it.
Anyway, it's lights out on this chapter of God's epic love story with mankind and on to the next. One would think after a seven year famine that leaves the land in servitude and barely saves the family, the worst is behind them. Unfortunately, they've got another thing coming. Stay tuned to tomorrow. If you thought Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were epic, wait til you meet this guy God flushes out of the reeds.

Jesus points out the Pharisees' hypocrisy. Possibly more importantly, he tells them to beware of the sly teachings that will sneak into the church. There are reasons in later books Paul tells Christians not to even eat with certain Christians; there is a danger their hypocrisy or theology will seep into the church. We have not done a good job of that. At times the church doesn't look too different than the world, and even when it is, it isn't always following God's Word. So let's get out the flour and keep it away from that nasty yeast!

And whose gonna come to save you? In whose arm do you trust? The Lord. Let's believe God is a victorious conquerer God, riding in like a general before all his troops. He has won and we can trust him.

And after a reading like yesterday, which really freaked those of us out that are afraid of the dark, it's nice to have one like today. It tells you where to walk. Not to the left. Not to the right. Straight ahead. Guard your heart and fix your eyes forward and you won't lose your way. Wisdom keeps us not only away from those who do evil and could make us slip up, but it keeps us ON the path of righteousness. That's right, we're actually going somewhere.
And if you get scared, you can keep a nightlight on.

Read along if you like: