Friday, June 23, 2017

June 23, Luke 3:1-22 The gospel according to John the baptist

John is a character in the scriptures that I really would like to have actually seen. I picture him a bit wild looking, he wears a leather girdle, no shirt, he's hairy all over with long hair and beard. His voice is graveled from years of preaching. For the people of the time John is an entertainment, sort of like a juggler or acrobat. His message is specifically to Israel, to people who should know The Law. John spends days preaching repentance and symbolic baptism but the message is similar to Jesus, love your neighbor. That's been the message from God through eternity. 

Today's workout, pull intervals
Step, pull up, windmill, hamstring curl,  step over, T, climber, biceps curl

Thursday, June 22, 2017

June 22, Luke 2:22-38 Jesus' first temple visit

According to The Law, the mother and new born child must make an offering 40 days after birth. Some would argue that neither Mary or Jesus need to be purified but it was still The Law and Jesus was here to complete all of The Law. That they bought two doves reflects their state of poverty. My focus today though is on Simeon and he un-named prophetess. These two people had an on-going relationship with God and the Holy Spirit spoke to them. Note that they are not clergy. Sometimes I think bible scholars can get too caught up in the study of the word and miss out on God Himself. None of the temple priests recognized Jesus. I think that most of us know at least one person who is not clergy who has that close relationship. I think it happens when one is not concerned so much with the letter as with the spirit. 

Today's workout  30:00 any cardio

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

June 21, Luke 2:8-21 And what were you boys doing in the field?

We've heard this story many times too, the shepherds were keeping their flocks and a host of angels came to them. Just think about this for a moment, the nature of man has not changed in the thousands of years. At that time there hasn't been a prophet for over 400 years in Israel. So let's change the place and time a bit to add some perspective. Imagine it's June 21 2017 and you're a shepherd just outside of Tulsa. You see a heavenly host of angels singing praises and they give you a message. So when you get to town what do the people ask? Where did you find the moonshine and mushrooms? If you tell too many people this and the local police might get involved. I imagine the response to the shepherds in Bethlehem was similar, you boys been smoking something with them sheep? I see a sense of humor in this. But there is a key element involved with God, faith. That was then and still is now. The shepherds believed what they saw and had faith to see it revealed. Maybe some people they spoke to believed them. I wonder today if we didn't have the whole story would we believe? 

Today's workout  Push intervals
Step, push-up, windmill, squat, climber, triceps, lunge, shoulder press.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

June 20, Luke 2:1-7 God moves people

It seems odd to look at the Christmas story in June but we might actually be closer to the time line. It's amazing how God can move the right people at the right time to where He wants them. Or move the mind of kings to make people move. The story of Joseph and Mary going to Bethlehem is very familiar, that the creator of all things should be born to common people, but let's look at things from a different angle. Why were they living in the obscure small town of Nazareth? I read a commentary which theorized that it wasn't safe for anyone who might be seen as a threat to Herod's throne to live near him. If that's the case, then perhaps they lived off the grid so to speak so as not to be noticed by Herod. Think about what it now means to be counted in the census. Joseph has just registered himself, his wife, and unborn child and can trace his family directly back to David. What if Herod had people working the census to report just such things? That would add another element of danger and political intrigue to the story.  Just a thought.

Today's workout.  Cardio intervals
High knees, windmills, squat, climbers, jump rope

Monday, June 19, 2017

June 19, Luke 1:57-80 Zechariah preaches Jesus!

Zechariah hasn't said a single word for 9 months. I wonder at the mechanics behind this. Did God remove his vocal cords? Certainly his mouth needed to work in order to eat but he couldn't even whisper. I suppose that really doesn't matter but the engineer in me wants to know why mechanical things work or don't. There can be nothing normal said about the birth of John, his parents are old, I suppose like Abraham and Sarah. The birth was apparently very easy for Elizabeth, and although Zechariah couldn't speak he somehow let Elizabeth know that the child should be named John. I'll try to paint a picture here. From the text I believe that they took John to the temple in Jerusalem to be circumcised. There would no doubt be a crowd in the temple on any day. But today something amazing will happen. Zechariah the priest, who hasn't spoken for nearly a year is going to preach. They're standing in the courtyard near the great brazen altar where bulls and goats are offered, there is a line of people coming with their sacrifices when he begins to speak. He's addressing the lines, today they bring an animal to cover their sins and Zechariah speaks of the savior from the house of David coming. Then he turns and picks up his son; "you will be called the prophet of the Most High." Zechariah then speaks not of covering sins but of forgiveness, a concept that would be alien to them. For more than 1000 years the Jewish people have brought sacrifices to pay for their sins, but now there is a prophecy of salvation and forgiveness. That was radical then and it's still radical now. Many Christians I know don't get this. You don't need to work to pay for your sins, you don't have to live a specific way, just ask. Acknowledge that you need forgiveness and ask. Nothing more, pretty radical eh?

Today's workout, pull intervals
Step, pull up, windmill, hamstring curl,  step over, T, climber, biceps curl

Sunday, June 18, 2017

June 18, Luke 1:39-56 Elizabeth knows, but how? And Mary sings

We the readers know that Mary is pregnant, or at least soon will be but how does Elizabeth know? The text says that she was filled with the Holy Spirit, perhaps He revealed this. But what about the people around them, didn't this greeting seem strange to anyone else? Another curiosity I find in the scripture. I understand that all of the bible is true but it does not contain all truths. So perhaps Elizabeth was also visited by an angel which was not recorded. And Mary's song, of how God has blessed her and the people of Israel. How all generations will remember Mary. Consider the number of people recorded through history, who is remembered the longest, those who accomplish great things or those who are simply obedient to God?

Saturday, June 17, 2017

June 17, Luke 1:26-38 An angel speaks to Mary

It doesn't matter if you're a Christian or not, this section should be familiar to everyone. An angel came and told the virgin Mary that she would have a son. When I read Luke's description I can't help but have a lot of questions. Where was Mary when it happened? Was it in a dream, was she at the well getting water, was she alone in her room, maybe out in a field? I think depending on the location there could be different reactions. And I really wonder at the recorded conversation, is that really all that was said? I just consider the times and situation, there hasn't been a prophet in Israel for nearly 400 years and then Mary gets a private visit. And the only question that Mary asks is purely mechanical, how can this happen when I'm still a virgin? Not who are you really, or where did you come from, or how do you know me? Those are questions that I think would be asked by most people. And to top this off he tells Mary that her 70 year old aunt is now pregnant, right. What would you do if an angel came to speak with you?