Sunday, April 27, 2014

She Shall Not Find Them

Behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and make a wall, that she shall not find her paths.  And she shall follow after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them: then she shall say, I will go and return to my first husband; for then was it better with me than now.

~Hosea 2:6-7 (KJV)

Praying this for a friend tonight.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

This is Just to Say

I have eaten 
the plums 
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving for 
Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

~William Carlos Williams, This Is Just To Say, 1962

   Earlier this year I started reading a book on apologizing.  The Five Languages of Apology was written by the same guy (Gary Chapman, with Jennifer Thomas) that wrote The Five Love Languages.  In his intro he proposes that many marriages could have been saved if the partners had learned how to apologize to one another.  It seems to be a common problem that even though the offending partner apologizes, the other partner is unable to hear and therefore accept it.  Chapman suggests couples need to learn to apologize to each other in the other person's language of apology.

   I've had a window open on my desktop for about three weeks now.  It's a blog entry that a school teacher wrote about teaching children how to apologize.  In it she suggests that hardly anyone is teaching children the correct way to say they're sorry.  A parent or teacher will say, "Say sorry to your brother," to which the child replies, "Sorry," and that's it.  It reminds me of another saying I heard as a child, "Well, sorry doesn't fix it."  Which is true.  Sorry doesn't fix it.  The blogger writes,
...inside, however... the offended still feels bitter, because the apology was not sincere. And while it may seem like the offender got off easy– not even having to show proper remorse or use a sincere tone–he is actually the one who loses out the most. He not only learns a poor lesson that he can get away with lies and empty words, but does not have the opportunity to experience true reconciliation and restoration of relationships.
   When I read her article, I knew immediately that I wanted to write about it for my own blog.  After all, I've been on the receiving end of these sorry sorrys, and I did still feel bitter because the apology wasn't sincere.  And in fairness, I'm sure my sorrys have been lackluster at times as well.  I'm sure we would all do well to brush up on our ability to say we've done something wrong.  And who knows, maybe it'll save a few relationships as well.

   Here then are her tips on a better way to say you're sorry (I've taken these from her blog and I recommend you surf over there to read her whole article):

1) I’m sorry for…: Be specific. Show the person you’re apologizing to that you really understand what they are upset about. 
       Wrong: I’m sorry for being mean.       Right: I’m sorry for saying that nobody wants to be your friend.

2) This is wrong because…: This might take some more thinking, but this is one of the most important parts. Until you understand why it was wrong or how it hurt someone’s feelings, it’s unlikely you will change. This is also important to show the person you hurt that you really understand how they feel. I can’t tell you how much of a difference this makes! Sometimes, people want to feel understood more than they want an apology. Sometimes just showing understanding– even without an apology– is enough to make them feel better!

       Wrong: This is wrong because I got in trouble.
       Right: This is wrong because it hurt your feelings and made you feel bad about yourself.

3) In the future, I will…: Use positive language, and tell me what you WILL do, not what you won’t do. 
       Wrong: In the future, I will not say that.
       Right: In the future, I will keep unkind words in my head.

Now let’s practice using positive language. It’s hard at first, but you’ll get better. Can anyone think of a positive way to change these incorrect statements? 
       Wrong: In the future, I won’t cut.
       (Right: In the future, I will go to the back of the line.)

       Wrong: In the future, I won’t push.
       (Right: In the future, I will keep my hands to myself.
       Wrong: In the future, I won’t take your eraser.
       (Right: In the future, I will ask you if I can borrow your eraser.
4) Will you forgive me? This is important to try to restore your friendship. Now, there is no rule that the other person has to forgive you. Sometimes, they won’t. That’s their decision. Hopefully, you will all try to be the kind of friends who will forgive easily, but that’s not something you automatically get just because you apologized. But you should at least ask for it.
So, let's see...

Dear Wife,

I'm sorry
for eating
the plums
in the icebox

that you were
probably most definitely
for breakfast

This is wrong
it was inconsiderate of me
to eat them
without asking you first

In the future
I will ask
before I eat
Will you forgive me

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Blessed is the One Who is Not Offended by Me

Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, "Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?" And Jesus answered them, "Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them.  And blessed is the one who is not offended by me."

~Matthew 11:2-6 (ESV)

Friday, April 11, 2014

10 Days Until Easter

Yesterday I took a day off, but we're back in business today posting prophecies from the Old Testament  about the coming Messiah and their fulfillment in the New Testament.  Shall we continue right along?

Prophecy: The Messiah would speak in parables
Old Testament: 
Psalm 78:2-4: I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old, things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us.
Isaiah 6:9-10: And he said, "Go, and say to this people: "Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.'  Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed."
 New Testament:
Matthew 13: 10-15: Then the disciples came and said to him, "Why do you speak to them in parables?" And he answered them, "Yo you is have been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.  For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.  This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.  Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: ""You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive." For this people's heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.'
Matthew 13:34-35: All these things Jesus said to the crowds in parables; indeed, he said nothing to them without a parable.  This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet: "I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter what has been hidden since the foundation of the world."
Prophecy: The Messiah would be sent to heal the brokenhearted
Old Testament: 
Isaiah 61:1-2: The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn...
New Testament:
Luke 4:18-19: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." [Spoken by Jesus in the the synagogue
The Messiah would be a priest after the order of Melchizedek
Old Testament
Psalm 110:4: The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind, "You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek."
New Testament:
Hebrews 5:5-6: So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him, "You are my Son, today I have begotten you"; as he says also in another place, "You are a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek." 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Throwback Thursday

I found this old picture of me while trying to clean up the files on my laptop.  It's a fun photo because it hearkens back to the days when I was a teenager.  I'm guessing I was probably sixteen in this picture, and behind me is the wall of models (and the odd celebrity) that I had painstakingly assembled.  I had decided that I wanted to model when I was about ten years old, a dream that was encouraged when I was scouted on the street at the age of 12.  My parents were not supportive of that dream so it wouldn't be until a decade later that I would get to move to New York City and give it a go.  Lucky for my ten-year-old self that I actually grew up to be pretty tall and fairly thin-- two requirements for the job.

You can also see in the background a page from a coloring book that a friend had gifted me with (I wish I could remember which friend!), an Abbey Road poster (I was obsessed with the Beatles), my Cabbage Patch Kid's birth certificate (Fredrika Henrietta Winnie-- that's the name she came with-- not mine), and a high school poster with the dates of the football games. (I was never into football, but as a member of the marching band colorguard, I was required to attend all of the games.)  The dress was purchased at a thrift store, and if memory serves me correctly, about three sizes too big.  One of my then favorite models, Niki Taylor, whose smiling visage looms over mine in the photo, I got to meet and work with a few years later when I won a modeling contest on MTV.  She was the first celebrity I'd ever seen in real life, and a personal hero of mine, and I remember being so excited about seeing her and getting to talk to her.

12 Days Until Easter

The Old Testament has, some Biblical scholars suggest, more than three hundred prophecies which find fulfillment in the New Testament in Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ.  Here are two that I'm sharing with you today.

Prophecy: The Messiah would be declared the Son of God
Old Testament:
Psalm 2:7: I will tell of the decree: The LORD said to me, "You are my Son; today I have begotten you.
New Testament: 
Matthew 3:16-17: And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."
Prophecy: The Messiah would bring light to Galilee
Old Testament:
Isaiah 9:1-2: But there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish.  In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he has made the glorious way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.  The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.
New Testament:
Matthew 4:12b-16: ...[Jesus] withdrew into Galilee.  And leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles-- the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.
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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

13 Days Until Easter

I am counting down the days until Easter-- only 13 more to go-- with Old Testament prophecies about the coming Messiah and their fulfillment in the New Testament in Jesus Christ.

Prophecy: The Messiah would be rejected by his own people

Old Testament: 
Psalm 69:8: I have become a stranger to my brothers, an alien to my mother's sons.
Isaiah 53:3: He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
New Testament:
John 1:11: He came to his own, and his own people did not know him.
John 7:5: For not even his brothers believed in him.
Prophecy: The Messiah would be a prophet

Old Testament:
Deuteronomy 18:15: The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me [Moses] from among you, from your brothers-- it is to him you shall listen...
New Testament:
Acts 3:20-22: ...that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all things which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.
Prophecy: The Messiah would be preceded by Elijah

Old Testament:
Malachi 4:5-6: Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes.  And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.
New Testament:
Matthew 11:13-14: For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John, and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

14 Days Until Easter

It's only a fortnight until Easter and I'm highlighting some of the passages in the Old Testament which find their fulfillment in Jesus in the New Testament.

Prophecy: A massacre of children would happen at the Messiah's birthplace

Old Testament:
Jeremiah 31:14: Thus says the Lord: A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping.  Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more."
New Testament: 
Matthew 2:16-18: Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men.  Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: "A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.  
Prophecy: A messenger would prepare the way for the Messiah

Old Testament:
Isaiah 40:3-5: A voice cries: "In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.  Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places plain.  And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken."
New Testament: 
Luke 3:3-6: And he [John the Baptist] went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.  As it is written in the book of the word of Isaiah the prophet, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.  Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough places shall become level ways, and all flesh shall see the salvation of God."


Sunday, April 6, 2014

15 Days Until Easter

Tonight we're continuing our look at Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah and how they have been fulfilled by Jesus in the New Testament.

Prophecy: The Messiah's throne will be anointed and eternal
Old Testament:
Psalm 45:6-7: Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.  The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness; you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness.
Daniel 2:44: And in the days of those kings by God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people.
New Testament:
Luke 1:33: "And he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." [Prophecy given by Gabriel to Mary before the birth of Jesus.]
Hebrews 1:8-12: But of the Son he says, "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.  You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions." And, "You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands; they will perish, but you remain; that will all wear out like a garment, like a robe you will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed.  But you are the same, and your years will have no end." 
Prophecy: The Messiah will be called Immanuel
Old Testament:
Isaiah 7:14: Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign.  Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
New Testament:
Matthew 1:22-23: All of this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel" (which means, God with us).
Prophecy: The Messiah would spend a season in Egypt
Old Testament:
Hosea 11:1: When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.
New Testament:
Matthew 2:14-15: And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod.  This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, "Out of Egypt I called my son." [Joseph flees Bethlehem with Jesus and Mary.] 

This is Fun...

A beloved friend of mine, Sierra Sullivan, is featured on the Harper's Bazaar website this week.  It's a bit of a silly story, but it's nice to see her face popping up on the Net.  Surf over to Harper's Bazaar to check it out.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

16 Days Until Easter

A few more Old Testament prophecies that were fulfilled by Jesus in the New Testament:

Prophecy: The Messiah would come from the tribe of Judah
Old Testament:
Genesis 49:10: The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to him; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.
New Testament:
Luke 3:33: ...the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Arni, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah... [The genealogy of Jesus]
Hebrews 7:14: For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah... 
Prophecy: The Messiah would be heir to King David's throne
Old Testament: 
2 Samuel 7:12-13: When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom.  He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. [The Lord to David through the prophet Nathan].
Isaiah 9:7: Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from this time forth and forevermore.  The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.
New Testament:
Luke 1:31-33: "...And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.  And the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." [Spoken to Mary]
Romans 1:3: ...concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh...

Friday, April 4, 2014

17 Days Until Easter

In the weeks and days leading up to Easter, I'm looking at some of the prophecies from the Old Testament about the Messiah and their fulfillment in Jesus in the New Testament.

Prophecy: The Messiah would be born of a virgin
Old Testament: 
Isaiah 7:14: Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign.  Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel
New Testament:
Matthew 1:22-23: All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel" (which means, God with us).
Luke 1:26-31: In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David.  And the virgin's name was Mary.  And he came to her and said, "Greetings, O favored one, the Lord if with you!"  But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be.  And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.  And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus..."
Prophecy: The Messiah would come from the line of Abraham
Old Testament:
Genesis 12:3: "...I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." [Spoken to Abraham] 
Genesis 22:18: "...and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice." [Spoken to Abraham] 
New Testament:
Matthew 1:1: The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Romans 9:5: To them [the Israelites] belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.

Prophecy: The Messiah would be a descendant of Isaac

Old Testament:
Genesis 17:19: God said, "No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac.  I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him..."
Genesis 21:12: But God said to Abraham, "Be not displeased because of the boy and because of your slave woman.  Whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for through Isaac shall your offspring be named.
New Testament:
Luke 3:34: ...the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor... [the genealogy of Jesus]
Prophecy: The Messiah would be a descendant of Jacob
Old Testament:
Numbers 24:17: I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near: a star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel; it shall crush the forehead of Moam and break down all the sons of Sheth.
New Testament:
Matthew 1:2: Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers... [the genealogy of Jesus]


Thursday, April 3, 2014

18 Days Until Easter

With Easter just around the corner, I thought I'd post each day a few of the messianic prophecies about the Messiah that are found in the Old Testament, and the New Testament scriptures that show that Jesus fulfills those prophecies.

Prophecy: The Messiah would be born of a woman
Old Testament:
Genesis 3:15: I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.
New Testament:
Matthew 1:20: But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
Galatians 4:4: But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law...

Prophecy: The Messiah would be born in Bethlehem

Old Testament:
Micah 5:2: But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.
New Testament:

Matthew 2:1: Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem...
Luke 2:4-6: This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria.  All went to be registered, each to his own town.  And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.  And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth.