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Archive for the ‘sabbath’ Category

Hahaha, better late than never.  Like I said before, I’ve already read the Bible through twice when I was younger.  Of course, it’s simply that, reading to get through it.  And my resolution is still that, just to get through it, but in a different way.  I finally seriously started the Bible reading plans from my new year’s resolution.  The first list is a “Survey of the Bible” in two months, then “Biographical Highlights” in four, and “Chronological” in two.  I am trying to read a day’s worth a day, with Friday or Sunday reading double portion to make up for Saturday, my designated “sabbath.”  My first week’s random verses that stuck out:

So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided” (Genesis 22:14).  I’ve been told that all the LORDs in the Old Testament are in all capitals while the Lords in the New Testament only capitalize the “L.”  This is because the OT is referring to YHWH (Yahweh) while the NT is referring to Jesus, with Lord being used as a title (such as in the phrase “Lord of lords”).   Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness (Genesis 15:6).  Reading this well-known statement reminds me of thoughts from Soren Kierkegaard’s The Sickness Unto Death:

Sin is not an action, but rather a condition, a state of mind. People often think that their sinfulness increases every time they commit a wrongful act. The truth is far worse: sinfulness increases every moment that a person fails to take action to pursue faith and overcome his or her sinful state.
 
There are articular ways in which people may intensify their sin by failing to take action against it. In the sin of despairing over one’s sinfulness, an individual recognizes that he or she is living in sin but adopts a mindset of self-pity rather than pursuing faith. Such a mindset involves an intensification of sin because the individual has recognized that he or she is sinful and yet has chosen to dwell on the sin rather than act to alleviate it.
 
Then there is the sin of refusing to believe in the forgiveness of sins. At first glance, this refusal might seem to be a mark of sophistication, a sign that the individual is wrestling with religious truths. It is in fact a mark of the gravest sin. Christianity’s fundamental command is that human beings must believe in Christ and in the forgiveness of sins. It is a sin to reject this teaching.
 
The highest intensification of sin is rejecting Christ’s teachings. Christianity teaches that human beings must strive to maintain an individual relationship with God, despite the vast differences between God and human beings. Those who choose to remain undecided about the truth of Christianity commit sin because they violate the Christian imperative that all individuals shall believe in Christ. Those who want to believe in Christ but feel unable to believe in his paradoxical teachings are also in sin. The most intense sin, however, is the sin of those who willfully refuse even to try to believe in Christ.
 
Sin is a condition that may be overcome only by pursuing faith. Faith, not virtue, is the opposite of sin. Those who are in sin are in despair. Faith is the condition of establishing a relationship with God that eliminates despair and sin.  Again, faith involves an individual relationship with God.
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As stated previously, it is in my contract to work two weekend days a month.  I figured, to keep the rhythms of the week as consistent as possible, I will choose to work Sundays instead of Saturdays since most people will want to sign up for Saturdays (and they “have” to due to following their children’s schedules).  I have not truly stuck strictly to my sabbath since making the resolution at the start of the new year, but I am not discouraged.  However, I realize that I have not since partaken of Communion/Eucharist/the Lord’s Supper (well, I did when I accompanied Judy to Ecclesia).  This week, I have made an effort to google for a service (by the way, I just have to reiterate that FBCC’s website is terrible!) that meets on Friday evenings or Saturday in order to share in this.  The result is made of fail.  Today, since I clocked out early, I called Phoebe to see if we could meet up since this is her spring break and it’s perfect weather to sit in a park to catch up.  Besides exchanging the usual (and fascinating ;-P) details of her life and mine, she mentioned that perhaps Messianic Jews participate in the ritual.  I do not know if theirs involve the bread and cup, but thus is the result of my search:

Congregation Beth Messiah (Mississippi Baptist Convention)
old: 10555 W. Airport / Stafford, TX 77477
new: 9001 W. Airport Blvd / Houston, TX 77071
713-271-5757
Rabbi Richard Freeman and Rabbi Ron Aaronson
http://www.cbmhouston.org
Saturday 9 a.m. pray / 10 a.m. service
http://www.messianicjewishtruth.com/cbmhou.html

Beth Yeshua HaMashiach (Southern Baptist Convention)
7000 Bellaire Blvd / Houston, TX 77074
713-771-WORD
Jim Pratt and Kathy Elowitz (the late Rabbi Gus Elowitz’s wife)
http://www.byhm.net/
Saturday 9:30 a.m. class / 10:30 a.m. service
http://www.messianicjewishtruth.com/Bethyeshua.html

Kehilat Dvar HaShem (Southern Baptist Convention?)
old: 13645 Murphy Road #250 / Stafford, TX 77074
new? 11011 Brooklet Dr #260 / Houston, TX 77099
281-498-2717
Charles Lenga?
http://www.messianicjewishtruth.com/Kehilat.html

And some random websites:
http://www.man-na.com/Messianic_Congregations_in_Texas.htm
http://penei.org/besora-terminology.shtml
http://ffoz.org/
http://www.ctkelc.org/worship/TaizeWorship.html

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I just came back from a birthday brunch.  It was delicious: salt/pepper/rosemary potatoes, scrambled eggs with onion and mushrooms, cranberry orange zest French toast, and fruit (blackberries, cantaloupe, and grapes).  The birthday girl was asked about her reflections of last year and how she feels about her new year.  One girl asked about resolutions, and then we ended up taking turns around the table.  Most of them were common ones such as exercising, eating right, time management, having a regular sleep schedule, etc.  The cook mentioned reading the Bible through in one year with a plan to alternate days of reading the Old and New Testaments.  I guess it’s time to post mine.  I may add more goals (e.g. staying in touch with friends, taking over chores at home and cooking) if I’m being pretty faithful with the below.  I haven’t yet figured out the sabbath and tithing specifics.

  • Keep the sabbath (my main focus).
  • Go to the Dulles track after work for at least half an hour to walk/jog/run (just being realistic here).
  • Go to bed around 10 p.m. (one of my greatest weaknesses).
  • Read through the Bible reading plans (it will total 8 months so if I slack I have room to pick up where I left off).
  • When people share problems, be more intentional to pray with them on the spot (because the likelihood of me praying later is close to nil).
  • Keep up with memorizing verses (wow, completely forgot about this).
  • Tithing (since I’m getting a regular income now).

I knew I posted a hymn in a past year and found also my first resolutions.  Haha, wow, talk about deja vu.  Five years, same goals, never met.  I think people get discouraged from failing each year, but I get excited that this year may be the year.  Also probably because I really don’t keep up with them at all lol, but “another year is dawning“:

Hymn for a New Year
lyrics by Philip Doddridge, 1755
music by William Gardniner of Sacred Melodies in Germany, 1815

Great God, we sing Your mighty hand
By which supported still we stand;
The opening year Your mercy shows,
That mercy crowns it ’til its close.

By day, by night, at home, abroad,
Still are we guarded by our God,
By His incessant bounty fed,
By His unerring counsel led.

With grateful hearts the past we own;
The future, all to us unknown,
We to Thy guardian care commit,
And peaceful leave before Thy feet.

In scenes exalted or depressed,
You are our joy, and You our rest;
Your goodness all our hopes shall raise,
Adored through all our changing days.

When death shall interrupt these songs,
And seal in silence mortal tongues,
Our Helper God, in whom we trust,
Shall keep our souls and guard our dust.

When death shall interrupt our songs
And seal in silence mortal tongues,
In fairer realms, O God, shall we
Your praises sing eternally.

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