Weekly Favorite Links (June 5-10, 2015)

(Photo Via)

Some friends and I recently went to The California Science Center to see the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition. I mentioned in this post a couple months ago that I was excited to see it (and sadly, no, I did not watch Jerusalem 3D narrated by my favorite Cumberbatch). While I looked forward to behold the Dead Sea Scrolls in person, I also wondered what else would be on exhibit.

I think one of the most memorable artifacts that stood out to me, perhaps more than the manuscripts themselves, were the household fertility gods that I saw. They were small figurines, probably made out of clay and were no bigger than the size of my hand. These little man-made idols made a lasting impression because it’s relevant to what I’ve been reading in the Bible. For the past month, I’ve been studying the book of Hosea with some friends. We’ve been reading about how Israel has been unfaithful to God, and how they turned to other idols for help. Their hearts did not love God, and they engaged in practices that were in outright rebellion against him.

My favorite verse so far comes from Hosea 6:6: “For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.” I believe that this is the central theme of the entire book. God desires his people to worship and love him only. Even when God charges Israel and Judah with a list of grievances, prophesies judgment against them, you still read about how God wants to redeem them from their adulterous ways. It was easy for me to laugh at how ridiculous those small clay idols were at the exhibit. How could the Israelites place their hope in fertility gods and follow other deities worshiped by neighboring nations when they’ve seen of the marvelous handiwork of God himself? How could they forget about how God rescued them from Egypt and how he brought the seemingly impossible walls of Jericho to come tumbling down? It seemed absolutely ludicrous.

But then I look at my own life. I may not have physical idols scattered in my home, but I have idols hidden in my heart that I worship apart from God. I worship things that are just as ridiculous and silly as those fertility gods that I saw. The only difference is that the idols we may worship today may be more ambiguous and subtle. We may not bow down and pray to those things, but those idols emerge in our conversations and are evident from how we spend our money to how we utilize our time.

I’m thankful that I left the exhibition with more than a glimpse of historical artifacts. While the Dead Sea Scrolls were cool and I’d go see them again, I went away humbled at the daily grace that I’ve been given and a reminder of just how undeserved I am of God’s patience and love when I’m constantly so disobedient. Amazing grace, indeed.

Christianity:

4 Reasons To Be Still (& Calm Your Anxious Heart) – Thank you, Jesus.

God Wrote A Book – Watch this featured video with John Piper. While my heart is convicted, it doesn’t make this battle any easier. I think it was even more convicting because (SPOILER ALERT) it features a guy running and running and running as John Piper narrates in a voice over. Hebrews 12:1-2.

Serving, Struggling, And Thriving As A Pastor’s Wife – The Gospel Coalition interviews Gloria Furman on her new book. I love her openness and personal sharing. I could especially relate to her when she shared, “I’m tempted toward idolatry when I feel like I should be thanked for everything. The desire to receive gratitude and recognition from God, my husband, and the church grows when it feeds on the roots of bitterness in my heart. So I need to cut out those roots by laying the axe of Scripture to them, and by repenting and confessing my sin.” Pastor’s wife or not, we all want to seek our own recognition and glory. So guilty of that myself.

Six Wrong Reasons To Check Your Phone In The Morning – I am trying to change this bad habit of mine right now.

Understanding The Transgender Phenomenon – There’s an overwhelming amount of online literature of how we should respond as Christians to those that are struggling with their gender identity. I am still wrapping my head around this article because there was a lot of information provided. I’d be curious to know your thoughts. If there is one thing I strongly agree with, it’s this: “Certainly we can extend to a transgender person the grace and mercy we so readily count on in our own lives.” I’m still processing the rest.

When Marriage Is Miles Away: On Long-Distance Dating – I thought this was a well-written post packed with lots of wisdom. Not only does Marshall Segal talk about the challenges and blessings of long-distance relationships, but he offers some great tips that, in my opinion, are applicable to any type of dating relationships, but geared more for those in long distances. This one particularly stood out to me: “Boundaries are important in any not-yet-married relationship, because God loves you and wants what’s best for you. He did not create you to recklessly give away your heart without a covenant.”

Food:

Apple Funnel Cake With Apple Yogurt Sorbet – YUM.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken – I do have chicken in the freezer…….

Hummingbird Cake – Pretty, pretty!

Lemon Meringue Ice Cream – Mmhm.

Malasadas With Guava and Lilikoi Filling – Oh my goodness.

Saltine Crack Ice Cream Sandwiches – So interesting!

Soft Peanut Butter Cookies – You had me at “soft.”

Wild Blueberry and Coconut Ricotta Doughnuts – Delicious!

Music: 

Craziest Zelda Piano Medley – Crazy is about right. 4 minutes of awesome.

“My Everything” by Owl City – Woohoo, a new song and music video from Adam! Thanks to my friend musicgoon for linking it on his site!

TV and Movies:

So I have never watched The Office from the beginning to end. I’ve only seen episodes here and there. But after seeing these photos and gifs from Buzzfeed, I just might.

The first trailer for Mockingjay Part 2 is out. It looks kind of epic. Although Mockingjay is my least favorite book out of the trilogy, I am down to watch this in theaters.

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3 Comments

  1. Aaron says:

    Thanks for the links and thanks for the shoutout! Really love your choice words regrading the fertility gods and forgetting God as “absolutely ludicrous.”

    Like

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