God

Jesus Wants to Hang Out with You in Heaven - He Said So Himself

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One of the many passages of Scripture that floors me when I read it is John 17:20-24. The verses are chalked full of more theological principles then I could possibly hope to address with my limited knowledge, but I would love to share how and why it speaks to me – chiefly that I can point to it as a historical moment in time that Jesus prayed for me. I find that most places throughout the Gospels, we absorb the words of Jesus through a sort of transplantation, taking what Jesus is speaking to His disciples and supplanting its applicability to ourselves – and rightly so. What I find neat in John 17, however, is the specificity with which Jesus calls out his future believers (of which I am one):

 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message." (John 17:20 NLT)

Alright, Jesus, you’ve got my attention.

So what is he praying for? That’s where it gets really interesting:

I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you…” (John 17:21 NLT)

He wants us all to be one. Sounds like a nice Hallmark card, but is it feasible? How, for instance, could LSU fans and Alabama fans possibly bridge the impassable ravine of football rivalry? This is accomplished not through our own power, but through the glory of Christ working within us:

“I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me." (John 17:22 NLT)

So, Jesus...what do you want this to look like?

"May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.” (John 17:23 NLT)

Wow. Let that sink in. Jesus is calling us to experience harmonious perfection to the point that God’s infinite love will be self-evident to those that see it. Talk about a gut check.

Why does Jesus want this? Why does Jesus want us to make known to the world that he was sent so "that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life?"[1]  That’s what even more amazing about his next declaration:

"Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began!” (John 17:24 NLT)

He wants this…because he wants to spend eternity sharing his glory with us in heaven.

Boom. Jesus wants to hang out with you in Heaven. It’s right there in writing. He said so himself!

 

- Nicolas C. Day

 

[1] John 3:16

 

 

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

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Hurrication

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With another tropical disturbance barreling towards the Gulf of Mexico this past weekend, we packed up and headed out… to the beach. That probably seems like a strange choice, but we had the vacation planned and to be fair, at the time of the decision all the projections for the storm were aimed at the heart of New Orleans. So Thursday night we all crammed into the minivan, handed out the kids’ amazon fires (our DVD player has been rendered useless due to the countless coins shoved into the slot), and took off towards the panhandle of sunny Florida. Destination: condo in Navarre. Friday was fun. Though the ocean was too rough to enter, we still managed to squeeze in a relaxing day of playing in the sand and swimming in the pool. Anxiety levels grew that evening, however, as the projected path of Hurricane Nate crept eastward towards Mobile Bay and Pensacola.

Saturday morning we faced an uncomfortable decision. Though it looked like we would be okay in Navarre, any drastic last minute shift in the storm could put us in a bind. Rather than take the risk of losing power with three toddlers, we decided to buy cheap insurance in the form of a hotel room a little further east in Panama City – just in case. Thus commenced a weird day of watching the kids swim in freezing pool in the rain (while dealing with a pesky virus) that ultimately culminated in the five of us crammed into one bed with my son waking up and puking on my wife in the middle of the night while wind and rain pelted the window. It was a strange vacation.

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Sunday morning we headed back to Navarre – a pit stop on the way back towards New Orleans. Nate was travelling so fast that the eye of the storm was already far to our north, though remnants of high gusts and heavy rain remained on the backside (the storm’s hiney we deliriously told Sawyer, giggling in sleep deprivation). We arrived just before noon.

The sight on the beach was breathtaking – ferocious waves pounding the pier, ocean rabidly foaming at the mouth. It was picturesque scene of the unbridled power of nature. It probably wasn’t too far off from a stormy situation that Jesus’s disciples faced crossing the Sea of Galilee:

Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm. The disciples were amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked. “Even the winds and waves obey him!” (Matthew 8:23-27 NLT)

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By Rembrandt - www.gardnermuseum.org : Home : Info : Pic, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6812612

“Anglican clergyman John Clowes commented that by asking the question ‘Why are you so afraid?’, Jesus was asking his disciples to explore in their own minds the cause and origin of fear, so they would realize that all fear has its roots in natural affection and thought, separate from spiritual affection and thought.”[1]

Fear is not of God:

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Let’s break that down a little further.

 

Power

As if the power a storm wields isn’t hard enough to comprehend, imagine the power required to STOP one in its tracks. Oh, and that raging ocean? God can fit it in the palm of his hand:

“Who else has held the oceans in his hand? Who has measured off the heavens with his fingers? Who else knows the weight of the earth or has weighed the mountains and hills on a scale?” (Isaiah 40:12 NLT)

 

Love.

No love is greater than that which is purely unconditional.

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. (Romans 5:8 NLT)

Enough said.

 

Self discipline.

In relation to the wonderful mystery of the incarnation in which he is both fully God and fully man, Jesus faced very real temptations – and emerged the vanquishing victor.

This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. (Hebrews 4:15 NLT)

 

God is powerful. God is love. God is without blemish. And if we abide in Christ, God will work those qualities through us.

 

- Nicolas C. Day

 

On a side note - I cannot wait for this hurricane season to come to an end.

 

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calming_the_storm#cite_note-8

 

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

Note: we are an affiliate of Christian Book Distributors and may earn a small commission for any purchases made through the above link

 

Refrigerator Art

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“Dad, wook come see what I made!” My son’s face lit up with enthusiasm as his little hand pulled me towards the refrigerator. “Show me!” I replied, his excitement transferring instantaneously in a bold denial of the laws of physics.

“Wook!” He turned to me, grinning from ear-to-ear, tiny finger outstretched towards the scribbled mess suspended by a magnet.

“Wow! It’s amazing!” I said, turning towards him as he beamed with pride. I looked back at the piece of paper. It looked as though a game of connect the dots had gone horribly, horribly wrong. “…What is it?”

“It’s a (fill in the blank)!”

Now, I consider myself a pretty abstract thinker. Whenever my toddlers decide to show off their art to me, however, I’m usually hard-pressed to identify even a slight resemblance to whatever they confidently claim to have drawn. Nevertheless, their masterpiece commands an undeniable, rightful place on the fridge that I wouldn’t trade for a Picasso.

…why?

It’s not for the quality of their drawings – although I fail to see the distinction between their work and some of the stuff hung up in museums:

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 By Kazimir Malevich - (Transferred from en.wikipedia - was: en:Image:Black Square.jpg), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=507949

It’s a square... a square. What am I missing???

Anyway, my point here is that the picture itself is irrelevant. It’s my children’s’ inner intentions in which my heart delights.

I wonder, how much is this adoration a replicated quality of the Father in whose image we are created?

Perhaps we need look no further than “the man after God’s own heart” – King David.

At face value, David does not fit the image of piety. His dirty laundry list is abhorrent. Adulterer, murderer, family in shambles, host of concubines…all things we would not or should not want to replicate. Yet, despite his shortcomings, David possessed a deep longing to be in God’s presence; to be apart from it was tantamount to torment.

“Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight…

…Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.” (Psalm 51:1-4;10-12 NLT)

David fell hard. He repented harder.

Now I’m not saying what we do with our lives is irrelevant. David paid deeply for his sins. David’s son born to Bathsheba died. His son, Absalom, rebelled against him and slept with his concubines.[1]Nevertheless, it was his heart – not his sins – that defined him.

In the words of Thomas Merton, "the fact that I think I am following your will, does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you, does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing."[2]

I am well pleased just to see that desire in my children, regardless of what they bring me. In the same way, I’m convinced that God would rather we draw a stick figure and bring the scribbled mess to Him, then paint the Sistine Chapel by ourselves.

And you know what? I'm actually impressed by the scattered streaks generated by my children's toddler minds. Who knows? Maybe one of my kids will be the next Picasso after all!

 

- Nicolas C. Day

 

[1] 2 Samuel 12

[2] http://reflections.yale.edu/article/seize-day-vocation-calling-work/merton-prayer

 

 

 

 

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One Hope

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The statistics are sobering. On any given day, there are over 400,000 children in the foster care system in the United States.[1] What is far more sobering, is the realization that those statistics aren’t just numbers. Each one represents a human being that was subjected to such severe neglect and/or abuse that the state deemed it necessary to intervene and remove them from their home – the very place where a child is supposed to be nurtured and protected. With the lives of so many children collapsing into shattered pieces, I’m incredibly grateful that God has positioned me in a place to make a difference through One Hope Alliance – a 501(c)(3) geared towards creating life changing moments for kids in the Louisiana foster care system.

One of the main focus areas of One Hope is Royal Family Kids Camp - a Christian based camp for children ages 7-12 in foster care. I have had the incredible honor of volunteering at the camp for three years – one as a staff member, and two as a counselor. I never expected one week to change my life so radically.

For five days, we committed to investing Christ’s love with intentionality. We held birthday parties and gave gifts to every single camper – some of which never had their birthday celebrated in their entire lives.

By the end we found ourselves exhausted – emotionally and physically – but man, did we also have FUN! We’re talking about hours every day swimming in a pond, taking bike rides, playing games, building things at workshop, singing songs, watching plays about bible stories…the list goes on and on. Each day was jam-packed with activities and meaningful moments.

There were moments that made us laugh.

One of my favorite memories revolved around the obstacle course – a unique feature of the particular campground we used. The course was no joke – it was specifically set up for local Navy SEALs to train when on leave from base.

We were walking by the intimidating course on the way to the cabin when one of my two campers turned to me with wide eyes and asked, “Is that for the kids??”

My other camper – whom I counseled the year before – turned to him and said, “Naw, man. That’s for the otters!”

Seals...otters…close!

There were moments that made us cry.

Few things can knock a man to his knees quicker than a child looking him in the eyes to ask why their mom/dad doesn’t love them.

Then there were those special moments that reminded us exactly of why we were there.

Each day we took a moment to write letters to the campers that would be handed out at bedtime.  I didn’t think that it was that big of a deal – until one of the campers in our bunk got left out. Seeing the dejection in his face, a couple of us “slipped out to the mailroom to "see if anything had gotten lost.”

We quickly wrote a couple of letters and triumphantly barged back in to show him what we had “found.”  I still tear up when I see that face lighting up in my mind. I vowed at that moment to personally write a letter to each of the campers in my cabin every single day so that would not happen again.

At the end of the day, it’s the impact to the kids that comprises the value of the camp – and we hear about it all year long as foster parents and DCFS workers relay the children’s excitement and anticipation for the next year. One of our graduated campers told us how he couldn’t wait until he was old enough to be a counselor himself. There couldn’t be sweeter words to encourage us to continue partaking in God’s transformational work through camp.  However, to continue engaging in the work, we need your support.

We are seeking 1,000 volunteers to pledge $17 a month for five years to establish a new campground and expand the reach and impact of One Hope’s ministry focus. Whether you choose to make that commitment yourself, or decide instead to make a one-time tax-deductible donation, your funds will have a direct impact on converting that dream into reality.

We also need camp counselors for the Royal Family Kids camp in the Hammond region of Louisiana.

Many of us dream of going on exotic mission trips but lack the required funding. The reality is that there is a mission field full of hurting children that exists in our backyard – and it will cost you nothing but your time to serve there as a missionary through camp. This could be your chance to look a wounded kid in the eyes and say, “I’m going to do everything I can this week to make a difference in your life, to show you that no matter how badly you’ve been mistreated and what lies you’ve been told, that you do matter, that you are loved, and that God has great plans for you.”

Please prayerfully consider joining us on our mission of replacing hurt with hope – helping children redefine their image and change the overall trajectory of their life. The more donations we receive, the greater our influence to create a difference. The more counselors we have, the more hurting children will get to come to camp and experience the love of Christ.

At the end of the day, the truth boils down to this: All of us are broken. All of us are sinners in need a savior. All of us have “One Hope” – the hope through Jesus Christ.

"Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you." (James 1:27 NLT)

- Nicolas C. Day

[1] http://www.childrensrights.org/newsroom/fact-sheets/foster-care/

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"Tweeting" About Marriage

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We’ve got cardinals all over our backyard (the little red birds, not Catholic senior ecclesiastical leaders). While watching one of these little birds fly back and forth to the same spot in our yard, we discovered a nest wedged in between the branches of one of our hedges. Grabbing a step ladder (a short man’s favorite tool), I clambered up the steps to peer inside. Within the layers of pine straw were three quivering, little baby birds with (comparatively) large mouths hanging open. They might as well have had FRAGILE stamped across their tiny bird heads.

I lifted up each of my excited children to show them the baby birds. This soon degenerated into a screaming match of “My turn! My turn!” until we imposed a break for the mother cardinal – who was hovering around nearby, looking a little distressed.

The distractions of life sank in and we did not return to check on the baby birds until a few days later… only to find that they were gone.

As I looked up from my perch on the step ladder, my wife instantly recognized the look on my face: “I don’t want to know.” She said, turning her head. Immediately changing her mind, she looked back up at me and asked “Are they gone?”

I shook my head yes. Despite us both immediately jumping to the conclusion that they were devoured by a cat, I decided to look up when cardinals leave their nest upon a sliver of hope. The answer astonished me – just 10 days! I couldn’t believe those frail little birds could turn into something even remotely close to leaving the nest in that timeframe. In my research I also stumbled across another neat fact: cardinals mate for life.

“Pairs mate for life, and stay together year-round. Mated pairs sometimes sing together before nesting. During courtship they may also participate in a bonding behavior where the male collects food and brings it to the female, feeding her beak-to-beak. If the mating is successful, this mate-feeding may continue throughout the period of incubation.”[1]

Guys – when’s the last time you sang with your wife and fed her mouth to mouth? Clearly I’m slacking.

The little cardinal fellas help out their ladies in a couple of other areas too:

“Males sometimes bring nest material to the female, who does most of the building” and while “female generally incubates the eggs, though, rarely, the male will incubate for brief periods of time.”

Reading about the cardinals working to help each other out in this way brought Scripture to my mind – specifically God’s declaration over Adam in the Garden of Eden.

In Genesis 2:18, God looks at his creation and declares (in the KJV), It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.”

Eh? Come again? A help meet? Must be that weird old English language.

In Hebrew the words are:  ‘ê·zer kə·neḡ·dōw [עֵ֖זֶר כְּנֶגְדּֽוֹ׃ [2

Ezer – meaning “help.”[3]

Kenegdow – stemming from root neged (נֶ֫גֶד), meaning “in front of, in sight of, opposite to.”[4]

When I look at this combination of “opposite” and “help,” it helps me understand the NLT position: “Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.’”(emphasis added).

My wife is a divinely given compliment to my incompleteness. Wow. I’d like to say that I always hold that reverence for marriage but some days it just seems like my wife and I are speaking two completely different languages.

For instance, she told me the other day, "Go to the store and buy a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, buy a dozen." I couldn’t understand why she was so mad when I came home with 12 loaves of bread.

Okay, so that was just a joke I found on the internet, but it definitely has a ring of truth about it. The question is, why? Why did God design us to be "half-finished" with such inherent differences?

I think Gary Thomas hits the nail on the head when he posed the question, “What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?”[5] Not that marriage isn't a terrific source of happiness - it is! But there is something much more significant that comprises the driving force.

I have found that by seeking to bridge communication boundaries and striving to meet one another’s needs, we have grown in ways we simply could not have done without the incredible gift of marriage. There is also no denying that my wife has been uniquely positioned in my life to bring out the most in me, Her strengths fill in the gaps created by weaknesses, and I like to think my strengths do likewise for her.

Corny joke alert: Thank you, cardinals, for “tweeting” that reminder of the treasures stored within a biblical marriage!

 

- Nicolas C. Day

 

Note: Out of curiosity, I thought I’d look up the worst example of a biblical marriage in the animal kingdom. It would be hard to top the praying mantis, considering the female bites off the male’s head during reproduction.[6]

 

[1] Northern cardinal. (2017, July 4). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 16:36, August 14, 2017

[2] http://biblehub.com/interlinear/genesis/2-18.htm

[3] http://biblehub.com/hebrew/5828.htm

[4] http://biblehub.com/hebrew/5048.htm

[5] https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/31970.Gary_L_Thomas

[6] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mantis

 

If you would like to take a closer look at the Gary Thomas book referenced in this article, you can do so by clicking on the affiliate link in the picture below. Should you choose to make a purchase, a small commission will go towards supporting the efforts of this blog. There are several other products and resources that I have found helpful in navigating the waters as a Christian and a parent. You can check these out on the Fervent Recommendations page. 

 

The Tone of a Shepherd's Voice

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Following the miracle feeding of the five thousand in Matthew 14, Jesus sends his disciples across the Sea of Galilee while he remains behind to pray. Along the way, a substantial storm develops, buffeting the boat with wind and waves. In the night, the terrified disciples spot a figure walking towards them. After Jesus announces himself, Peter challenges his Lord to confirm his identity by asking Peter to walk towards him. Jesus does so and Peter climbs out of the boat, miraculously walking on top of the waves – until he averts his gaze to the terrors of the storm and plunges into the sea. “Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?’” (Matthew 14:31).

Now stop and ask yourself – what did Jesus sound like in your head when you read that?

Did you hear, “How darest thou doubt my sovereign divinity as you traversed over the waves in a physically impossible feat that I mercifully orchestrated!”

Or do you hear something more along the lines of, “Bro… come on…you know that I got you. I’ve always got you.”

…What is the right way to read it?

You know what? I’m not sure if I can answer that question. As someone who has been diligently spending time attempting to enhance their theological knowledge, that it is a rather difficult thing for me to admit.

Think about it though. What was it like to have a conversation with God in His incarnate flesh?

After simply having Jesus over for dinner, Zacchaeus – the notorious tax collector in Jericho – vowed to sell off half his wealth to the poor and spend his life making restitutions for all his wrong doings.[1] I think that’s a pretty clear testimony for the radical power Jesus commanded as a conversationalist.

And why not? Every time a particle of speech leaves his lips, the intentional word of God is spoken. That fact makes it vitally important to hear the correct emotion in his written voice – the joy, the sadness, the seriousness, the humor[2]. Take, for instance, his employment of exaggerations and puns:

 “Blind guides, who strain out a gnat, and swallow a camel!” (Matthew 23:24).

Translating the phrase into Aramaic – the common language that Jesus spoke – reveals an apparent word play between gnat (qamla) and camel (gamla).[3] Taking this interpretation, one finds Jesus deliberately including a pun as he grills the Pharisees and scribes for being hypocrites.

When I read the rest of his speech, it is easy for me to visualize passionate condemnation as Jesus spits out labels such as “snakes” and “brood of vipers”. The scene takes on quite a different appearance, however, if I picture the crowd doubling over in laughter when Jesus delivers his one liners with a drum beat and cymbal crash. So… which is it? Perhaps it’s some of both.

Have you ever misread the intention behind a text or an email? That door swings wide open when the subtleties of conversation via tone of voice and facial expressions are removed from the picture. I have found, however, the better that I know a person, the easier it is for me to read a message as they intended it to be read. Otherwise, I am simply reading into it what it would mean if I had written it – and that is a byproduct of my own unique personality and life experiences.

In the same way, I feel it important to analyze what I am using as the basis while constructing the tone of Jesus’s voice in my head. Is it based off actual knowledge of him, or is it a reflection of myself and past authority figures in my life?

The question beckons me to shift my focus from the knowledge of God’s works towards an understanding of His character. This does not necessitate an abandonment of the analytical mind that God gave me. It means to apply it appropriately – never letting thirst for knowledge supersede my pursuit of a more intimate relationship with God.

My prayer is for the guidance of the Holy Spirit to reveal the ring of His divine attributes - love, mercy, grace, patience, holiness, justice, righteousness, jealousy, wrath - in all of the appropriate places in the written words of His voice. The same voice that declared blessings over children, taught his disciples day in and day out, declared prophecy, and spoke miracles into existence.  The voice that spoke at parties, delved out forgiveness, scolded hypocritical religious thinking, and cried out from the cross. The voice of the “Good Shepherd” that calls his sheep by name - for whom he laid down his life.

 

- Nicolas C. Day

 

[1] Luke 19

[2] http://www.biblestudy.org/basicart/does-god-have-sense-of-humor.html

[3] Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Matthew 23:24". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/matthew-23.html. 2013.

 

An excellent book for further elaboration around the character of Jesus is "Beautiful Outlaw: Experiencing the Playful, Disruptive, Extravagant Personality of Jesus " by John Eldredge. You can buy it from The Christian Book Distributors through the following affiliate link:

525706: Beautiful Outlaw: Experiencing the Playful, Disruptive, Extravagant Personality of Jesus

Note that we will make a small commission that goes towards the efforts of maintaining the blog. There will be no additional charge to you. There are several other products and resources that I have found helpful in navigating the waters as a Christian and a parent on the Fervent Recommendations page.  

 

Houston

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As I watched the red and yellow spots on the weather radar rotate in a slow counterclockwise spiral of death over Houston, I thought about my father – 350 miles away on the second story of his house, watching the water ebb and flow on the floor below. As my concern grew, so too did my feelings of utter powerlessness to stop the incessant deluge of rain. This wasn’t my first time having to trust God through a situation of which I had no control. Standing in the hospital room for all three deliveries of my children incited similar feelings. Then there was the time that my youngest daughter was in the hospital with RSV at two weeks of age, after a coughing attack that momentarily stopped her breathing. This was, however, my first exercise in “surrendering out of futility” in connection to a natural disaster.

The process for me was similar in all cases. It began with increasingly maddening frustration until it reached a breaking point with an acknowledgement that I could not do anything in my own power – which finally allowed me to let go and offer it to God in prayer. But trusting the work of God’s hands means trusting Him with the result – and that is the part that is scary. Nevertheless, “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You” (Psalm 56:3 NKJV).

Thankfully my dad was to emerge safely from the flood of Hurricane Harvey. Others were not as fortunate. The toll of those who tragically lost their life continues to rise as the waters clear. The number of those who lost almost everything in their house will be measured in the tens of thousands. Even the ones that made it out “dry” will be branded with emotional and mental imprints for a lifetime.

Yet, amidst it all, I am encouraged by the loving, resilient response of the body of Christ. Faithful followers saddled up with the "Cajun Navy," trailing their boats across Louisiana to assist in the rescue efforts. Volunteers are flooding in from all over the country to assist in gutting flooded houses. I can't even begin to count the number of schools and churches that are accepting donations. I heard of one group filling new purses with "woman stuff" to hand out as just another example of the countless, creative ways that believers have chosen to “…bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2 ESV). Their selfless actions help to strengthen my faith through the storm by reflecting the love of a perfect King.

My heart is heavy for those affected by the storm. I wish that I could personally restore each and every situation. I have to remind myself that there is only One with the power to do so – and He has done so on the Cross. From now until the day of His return, our Lord beckons us instead to “rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” (Romans 12:15 NKJV) because although we may be powerless to stop a hurricane, there is no force that can stop the love of Christ.

 

- Nicolas C. Day

 

 

 

 

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What 3 Biblical Proverbs Tell Us About A Good Wife 

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Since this blog post is sandwiched in between Mother’s Day and our five-year anniversary, I have decided to dedicate it to my amazing wife (or my “rib” as my wise friend Yuan would say). I could think of no better way to do that then to share how the bible confirms what a blessing she is to me. So…without further ado, what three biblical proverbs tell us about a good wife:  

1. She is a delight

He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord.” Proverbs 18:22 NKJV

The Hebrew word translated for good here is “towb” (ט֑וֹב) which is an adjective meaning: pleasant, agreeable, good.

Hence, the NET translation: “The one who finds a wife finds what is enjoyable, and receives a pleasurable gift from the Lord.”

 

2. She is a gift from God

Houses and riches are an inheritance from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the Lord.” Proverbs 19:14 NKJV

Money and material possessions were created by man, but woman was created for man.[1] There is a considerable gap between the things that we make (cars, buildings, etc) and the things that God creates (such as…the Universe).

 

3. She is valuable

Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.” Proverbs 31:10 NKJV

Notice that? Her worth is not just above rubies, but far above. The International Gem Society states that the value of the finest rubies can reach outlandish prices of over $100,000 per carat. Given that, you can get the gist of the enormous worth that the verse is referring to when it states rubies (plural) – plus an unidentified order of magnitude above it!*

Closing in on 5 years of marriage, I can attest that every single one of above Proverbs rings true. While it can be confusing and frustrating at times, attempting to cross the communication barrier between men and women, there is not a shred of doubt in my mind that I am ten times the man I would have been thanks to the support of my amazing wife. Happy anniversary/Mother's Day beautiful!

 

- Nicolas. C Day

 

*Note: I contemplated doing some math here, taking into account the conversion of 1 carat = 0.000440925 pounds to calculate the relative value of my wife based on her weight in rubies – but quickly shot that down after some wise prompting by the Holy Spirit.

 

[1] Genesis 2:18

 

 

 

 

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