Tuesday, September 10, 2013

1st day of school, 1st day of school!

     I keep getting that scene stuck in my head from 'Finding Nemo' where Nemo is waking his dad up and yelling at him "First day of school!"  Today was that day for Andrea and I.  This week is an event called Rock The House and it's designed for us as well as family, friends and others to come and see what Impact is about.  I went from 9-1 and then met up with Andrea and the kids for free lunch.  We then left and went back at 5:30 for free dinner and Andrea stays for night class until 10 or so while I took the kids home and put them down.  Yep, me with 4 kids, 5 nights a week...so grateful that I don't have to prepare dinner this week!  Next week, we might have pancakes and waffles a lot!
     Getting a glimpse today of what we will be going through was amazing!  The day consisted of a quick registration, meeting quite a few people, worship, 2 teachings and hanging out getting to know some of the staff, volunteers and students.  I'm still trying to wrap my head around this being my new 'normal' for the next 12 months.  It feels a bit like I'm on an extended vacation and that I will be going back to 'work' here any day!  Thankfully that's not reality for us right now. 
     Today we learned about Luke 19:1-10 (story on a guy named Zaccheus).  In short, this story is about a Jewish man who is a tax collector (so he's not liked) who is working for the Romans (that makes him doubly not liked) and he is also getting rich off it!  He's corrupt, so he's pretty much hated by lots of people.  By the way, his name means "righteous one."  So he's basically living contrary to his identity and his destiny.  Jesus goes out of his way to visit this town and Zaccheus hears of his coming.  So he does 2 strange things for a man of prominence in his time, he #1. Runs and #2. climbs (a tree) so that he can see Jesus.  Zaccheus was willing to go against the 'cultural norm' in order to get his eyes on Jesus, but at his point, he's still a spectator, and in the tree watching Jesus without getting involved.  Jesus looks up to him, calls him by his 'name' (righteous one) and says "Zaccheus, HURRY and come down, for TODAY I MUST stay at your house."  So he hurried down and received Him gladly.  After that Zaccheus told the Lord, "Behold, Lord, HALF of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much."  Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house."
     Some things that God was speaking to me through the teacher on this example:
     -   That was a radical transformation!  50% of everything to the poor!  Just like that.  And 4 times as much as he stole!  What radical transformations has Jesus done in my life?
     -   Am I desiring to just watch Jesus as a spectator or am I willing to be involved?
     -   Zaccheus "hurried down."  Am I willing to make decisions quickly to follow Jesus?  The longer one usually waits, the less likely that person is to follow the Lord.
     -   Jesus wants to invade every part of my life (today I must stay at your house) TODAY.  Each day is a gift, I could die any moment from any number of things.  Am I willing to give Jesus the title to my house and let Him have full reign over every part of my life?  Or am I wanting to try and restrict His access to certain "rooms" of my life.
     -   There must be a response from me.  If Zaccheus would not have gotten down from that tree, would salvation have come to him?  I must respond to His call in order to grow closer to Him. 
     -   Only after Zaccheus took action (giving his money away) did Jesus say salvation had come to his house.  Once I have an encounter with the living God, my life must look radically different than before.  If I am living like the rest of the world around me, have I encountered Jesus?  Jesus will not move into my life and leave it the same.  His faith produces work and fruit.  Salvation is not life insurance, it's not pray this prayer and you can live however you want to, it's radical transformation in my life and continual surrender to His desire for me. 

     I hope this encourages you like it did me, challenges you like it did me and ultimately helps grow us closer to the One who loves us and poured His life out for us!

And by the way, I never ever ever ever ever ever ever thought I would be saying 79 degrees feels so amazingly great in our room!  I used to complain when our house in Fort Collins was 75 degrees!  Our house doesn't have A/C (common in San Diego) so it has been getting to about 89 degrees in our house on a regular basis!  Our master bedroom (which used to be a garage) has a small A/C unit mounted to the door so we leave that bad boy cranked all day with the doors shut and boy does it feel good walking into that room!  We also have box fans in the windows running all night and ceiling fans in almost every room.  I am thankful for door mounting A/C units right now!

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