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Archive for September, 2005

Adventures in Train Hopping

September 26, 2005 3 comments

This past weekend Beth and Lee had terrific adventures in the great city of Chicago, Illinois (pictures will be posted soon). It was full of adventure and excitement of all sorts. We can now navigate the trains, buses, and downtown streets like nobody’s business. The reason we were in Chicago is because Lee is a Cubs fan from way back in the day, growing up watching Ryne Sandberg on WGN and listing to Harry Carey call the games from the booth. Incredible.

Lee had never been to Wrigley field, so Beth got him tickets as a wedding present and they ventured North to Chicago to watch the cubbies get beat by the Astros, but it was a blast.

Our adventures on the train start with our booking a hotel at O’Hare Airport and actually flying in at Midway Airport. Suffice to say, taking the Orange Line and Blue Line trains gives you the ‘nickel tour’ of Chicago and takes approximately and hour of travel time, so we laughed at ourselves a lot.

It was also a challenge to know how to interact with the numerous homeless people with grace and to the glory of Jesus Christ. The poor are beloved and precious people that Christ had tremendous mercy on, and I feel that it falls to Christians to have the same compassion and tenderness. But, at the same time, it is very challenging when you are on the streets and are not prepared to give them a dollar (or whatever) and talk to them about Christ or at least take a moment to show them that we know that they are real people. It is amazing how people just see these broken people and pretend they are nothing but doorstops with cardboard signs and bad teeth. It is sad that on Michigan Avenue, surrounded by opulent wealth, extravagant boutiques, and million dollar skyrise condos, that these people are completely marginalized and ignored.

Resolved: To do all that I can to love on poor homeless people and, at the very least, point them to find solace and help in the Church (referring to the body of true Christians, not just nominal Christians). More specifically, should I ever go to a metro area again, to use some spare money to purchase gift cards at McDonald’s and, if time permits, to sit down for a meal and talk to these real people about their lives and about the hope and salvation found in Jesus Christ.

James 2:5-6
“Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor man.”

What a lesson this trip was that we, who have some and even much, have a great deal to learn from broken and poverty stricken people. We, who are reliant on ourselves, dependent on our bank accounts and paychecks, are in need of faith like that of the poor, who have nothing to count on but the grace, mercy, and provision of Jesus Christ. Praise God that He is the One who provides for us, whether we act like it or not. Just to think about the thousands upon thousands of people in Louisiana and far East Texas is a reminder that a good job, deep savings, good portfolio, and nice stuff is not promised and not a source of real, everlasting, unchanging hope for us. It is God who gives and God who takes away, it is Him who we must look to in the face of Jesus Christ to have any hope for anything good in this world or the next.

Well, I guess I will write more of our adventures in a couple of days. Think about where your hope is, I have been for a while and, particularly, since being in Chicago.

Teaser: Next blog thread, why did Lee and Beth spend Sunday night in an overpriced, run down Howard Johnson Motel in downtown Chicago?

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Dunked at Decker

September 13, 2005 2 comments

Well, this past Tuesday Beth was laid off from Decker College…along with the other 200 employees she was working with. The school is on the verge of bankruptcy and they are going under. They had a difficult time with keeping the grant money they received from the government to pay for the education of their man Title 4 students. Check out some articles that have made the news here and here.

Decker also was in the process of being sued by a group of students for not fulfilling their promise to provide job placement for graduates.

So, here we are, living off of the tremendous generosity of our fantastic family. Thank you so much!!!

The Lord has been very good to us in every way…providing for all of our needs and allowing a time that would normally be very high stress and hard on a young marriage to be a wonderful time for us to come together and become stronger. The Lord continues to take care of us and demonstrate His grace towards us.

The other day we sat at Panera Bread, Lee was studying and Beth was job hunting, and Beth watched a group of tiny little birds feasting on the scraps of bread someone had dropped. We were reminded of the Bible’s promise in Matthew 6: 25-28

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?”

What an amazing passage about the faithfulness oat our great God and King. Look forward to upcoming good news about how He chooses to provide for us here in Louisville.

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September 10, 2005 Leave a comment

Lee and Beth Wilson Posted by Picasa

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"But What About…Jesus as Myth?"

September 7, 2005 5 comments

Back in the day, my good friend G.D. brought up a very important question for us to investigate. Her inquiry focused on who Jesus claimed Himself to be. Did Jesus ever claim to be God? Did Jesus ever say He was the Messiah? What exactly did Jesus say about Himself?

Well, as time permits, I will be looking into the Bible to provide answers to just that question.

My method will be as follows:

In answering this particular question, we will be focused in on the words of Jesus of Nazareth, as written in the Gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The Gospel of John will be, largely, the focus of our discourse, and the principle book we will be looking at.

Keep in mind, however, that though we are focusing on the word Jesus spoke, we are not, by any means, implying that the accounts of Jesus’ teachings and miracles are superior to the rest of the Bible. The Old and the New Testament are fully and equally inspired by the Holy Spirit from Genesis to Revelation. The Bible is inerrant and infallible, without defect and a complete account of the written revelation of God. That might step on some of your toes, and I can field questions on that if you like, but I will not budge on that absolute truth.

So, get ready for some great threads and, hopefully, some quality discussion. I have been fighting to be more diligent in writing and I hope to post at least a couple of times a week as we press onward.

Let me begin with a passage from the Bible, posted without comment, for you to read and to process:

John 8:49-59

Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge. Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.”

The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’ Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?”

Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.”

So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?”

Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”

So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.

This passage is HUGE, read it and think about it. In fact, read the entirety of John, that can be your homework for the next two days. I look forward to more discussion!

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