Friday, December 23, 2011

I've begun studying Isaiah over break. Its one of those books of the bible that we hear in passing all the time, as so many prophecies come from it, but most people have never really read it. Well, I have actually really read it before, but I've never really studied it. So I figured, what the heck, let's do it.

Anyways, my current thoughts on Isaiah, both from prior readings and my current study, are this:
Isaiah is a book that centers around two things: Comfort and Punishment. I feel like Isaiah himself would call it blessings and woes or forgiveness and justice.

It seems that the theme of the book is summed up in Chapter 1: 18-20. (The commentary I bought says just verse 18, but there's far too much woe to be only the good...)

1: 18-20
"Come now, let us settle the matter," says the LORD.
"Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.
If you are willing and obedient,
you will eat the good things of the land;
but if you resist and rebel,
you will be devoured by the sword."
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

Just like all the other prophets, Isaiah says "obey the Lord's commands, like he told you too. Its best for you, really!" And follows it with, "and if you don't follow God's commands, you're going to get what you want, which isn't God and results in a lot of things you really don't want."

It's funny though, that all of this is manifested through Jesus, a constant figure in Isaiah (though shrouded in some mystery here...). He is the comforter, the forgiver, and the savior that the book continually addresses.

Yet he is also fully the lord who promises to take all of Judah and Jerusalem's food, water, leaders, and skills (chp 3:1-2) and the one who "lifts a banner for the distant nations" to come (to Israel/Judah) and "like young lions growl and seize their prey and carry it off with no one to rescue."


But the passage I like most so far is this:

In that day the Branch of the Lord will be beautiful and glorious and the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of the survivors in Israel. Those whoa are left in Zion, who remain in Jerusalem, will be called holy, all who are recorded among the living in Jerusalem.
The Lord will wash away the filth of the Women of Zion; he will cleanse the bloodstains from Jerusalem by a spirit of judgement and a spirt of fire.
Then  the Lord will create over all of Mount Zion and over those who assemble there a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night; over all the glory will be a canopy.
It will be a shelter and shade form the head of the day, and a refuge and hiding place form the storm and rain."

After Israel goes through a whole bunch of rotten stuff, the dedicated few left in the kingdom will be cleansed and purified. And the glory of God will surround them, and there will be a canopy of protection around this select remnant. Pretty cool.

Its just a picture of the future kingdom that I haven't seen in a long time. A very physical one.

The question then becomes can this promise of a physical kingdom be generalized to the ingrafted branches of Israel? (Romans 11:11-24) (which includes this guy...)

I'm going to go with yes.

A final thought: It often seems that scripture and the christian life is so simple in principle, but so difficult in action.

Basically, I feel like the only thing I have been taught (by scripture, sermons, life, etc,) recently is obey God's commands and be blessed, abandon them and get what you want (which actually sucks.).

That doesn't make it easy.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Since its christmas time, I feel a christmas post is warranted:

First here is some Christmas songs that shouldn't be:

1. Santa Baby
I don't think whoring yourself out to santa is the best way to get what you want (a yacht, a ring, and a baby blue convertible...) Even if the lyrics never intentionally say "momma wants to get with Santy", it seems pretty dang implied.

2. Christmas Shoes
If you don't remember this, watch it here.
Never has there ever been a more depressing christmas song. I won't start on the musical side of it.

3. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus:
Here is thing, for those kids who believe in Santa Claus, to see Mommy kissing him would be, um, how do I say this, crushing? Not only is your mother having what seems to be a one night fling, if not an affair, its with some guy in a red jump suit. So who's your daddy now?
Yet, its played off like it is a jolly good thing to see Momma and Santa making out under the mistletoe. The lyrics say, 
"Oh, what a laugh it would have been, 
If Daddy had only seen
Mommy kissing Santa Claus last night!"

Daddy would have laughed that Mommy was being unfaithful with a large, perpetually old, mythical man!

Sure its implied that Santa Claus really is daddy because Santa isn't exactly real. But still, I'm going to call not cool. If our culture is going to lie to everyone under the age of 10, they should at least do it so that kids don't have to be crushed by divorce AND lies.

4. Last Christmas:
Originally written by George Michael for Wham! so you know its good.

5. What Can You Get a Wookie for Christmas:
Does Christmas even exist in Star Wars world? Wasn't it a long long time ago, in galaxy far far away, ya know, before Jesus?

6. Anything by Alvin and the Chipmunks, for obvious reasons.

One Christmas song that is so intentionally horrible it should continue being:

Yes please.

Now, for a short rant on a commercial series:
It's Game on Santa is the worst, worst possible way to sell your products.

Apparently people who give you nice stuff for free are hateable purely based on their physique. Or maybe Mommy is jealous after Santa went back home to Mrs. Claus after their brief one night make out session last christmas. She gave him her heart, yet he gave it away. Yet instead of giving it to someone else this Christmas as Good Ole George Michael would, she's taking it to him with a best buy beat down.

Oh and she hates her dog.

Like I said, bad commercial.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Some thoughts:

-When you have sinus surgery, you think everything is out to get you in the face. Doors are trying to open into your nose, every frisbee and football is coming straight at your face, and everybody has a secret urge to punch you that they are using all of their will power to resist. Someones going to crack soon.
When did I get paranoid?

-The number of seconds in the five second rule is directly proportional to how tasty the food your eating is. Brownies get a full minute, even if they are gooey and pick up a ton of dirt. 3 day old little caesar's pizza gets around 3 seconds. I expect fruitcake gets negative time.

-The internet can be wonderful. There is a lot of trash out there, but good ole prospectors can sometimes fine the gold. These can entertain you for hours:

- I really need to get cracking on finding a summer internship. And my homework.

-On a more serious note, I am seriously considering unbecoming a football fan. I love Clemson, and I love watching football, and I love when the tigers play well and win. I mean I can even enjoy it when they lose. But people care WAY to much. There's too much hate. And I'm not just saying between Clemson and Carolina fans. 

I sat in great seats for the Wake Forest game this season with my mom. Clemson wasn't looking their best, though they did scrape a W. Anyways, at one point in the third quarter the people beside me, who had been yelling negative things at the coaches ALL GAME LONG, got in an argument with a woman four rows in front of me. They seriously screamed at each other for 2 or 3 minutes. In order to break up the fight, a guy in between them got up and yelled at both of them. 

They were all Clemson fans. They all hated each other. 

After they finished screaming the girl I was sitting beside was murmuring to herself about how "these our seats and if they don't like how we yell then they should leave."

It was the worst football experience I have ever had. If I hadn't had a commitment right after the game (surprise birthday tailgate, what-up!) I would have gone home.

If you think that's an isolated experience, go scroll down your Facebook newsfeed. Everybody's hating on everybody about Clem/Carolina and its been a dang week.

Its an inflated piece of leather. It doesn't matter.
Nobody remembers who won the Clemson Carolina game in 1999.

Clemson won, and went 6-6. Carolina went defeated that season. I just looked it up, and I still don't care.

We will see how many games I go to next season, I feel like hiking, biking, fishing, kayaking, climbing, and resting might all be better alternatives. Football just doesn't seem worth it.

-Expect another blog post in a day or two.

Song of the day:
Your New Twin Sized Bed- Death Cab for Cutie