September 18, 2010

I Wish We Knew His Name

Genesis 24 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible.

There's Abraham's unnamed head servant who goes praying to Aram Naharaim to find a wife for Isaac. He's praying to God "in his heart" when Rebekah comes out (v15, 45) and he discovers that she's the right woman. As soon as he learns this, he bowed down on the ground a praised God right where he was, so happy was he that God had provided for his master (v26). The servant's love and devotion to both God and Abraham and very evident and really exciting to read about.

Then there's the scene where Rebekah and Isaac meet (v62-67). Isaac is spending time with God, having his devotions in a field. Then he looks up and sees a caravan... and at the same time Rebekah looks up and they see each other. I have no doubt Isaac had been informed that he would have a wife soon, and Rebekah knew the entire time as well. "So she became his wife, and he loved her" (v67). This whole situation makes the whole arranged marriage thing pretty attractive, especially because God was putting the choice in God's hands (v7).

One more thing: Isaac was 40 when he married Rebekah. Single dudes (myself included), chill out. The time will come. Until then (and always, really) serve with prayer and dedication like Abraham's servant!

September 13, 2010

Don't Lose the Good You Oft Might Win

Our doubts are traitors, making us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.

-Measure for Measure, Act I Scene iv
Ever since the Train Lady told me to "write that song," I've been taking steps forward to take my musical inclinations more seriously. Last spring, I got the song "Draw Near" written. This Fall, I got it and another song I wrote recorded and posted on Facebook for people to listen too, under the stage name Doubts Are Traitors.

The name comes from my favorite line of Shakespeare, and reminds me of 2 Timothy 1:7:
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but of power, of love and of self-discipline.
I've often erred on the side of timidity; while all boldness should be couched in love and gentleness, boldness is still boldness nonetheless!

It has been a great blessing to see the fruits of my labor that God has brought about, and the way the songs have already spoken to people. While I'm very happy that this has come together, I've got to remember that it's God who let me write these songs and it's for joy in him and testimony that I write them. I hope to pour all that God's given me into writing songs for Him!

The Titus Blessing

But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming but also by the comfort you had given him. He told us about your longing for me, your deep sorrow, your ardent concern for me, so that my joy was greater than ever.

2 Corinthians 7:6-7

Reading through second Corinthians, you'll see that Titus gets mentioned quite a bit. Paul's refreshed by his very presence, and his news too; Titus had been comforted in Corinth and he passes that on to Paul. It's a big deal for Paul because he hasn't been having a very pleasant time, thus the self-referencing with the word "downcast" in verse six.

What I want to point out to you with this passage and the reference to Titus in second Corinthians in general is that we have such power to refresh our brothers and sisters in the Spirit. Serving them to help them out or even just contacting them to see how they're doing (which we have a multitude of ways to do) can be a very encouraging thing to a downcast Christian, even if they're just carrying their usual burdens.

Always be looking for opportunities to serve!