ripple effect: vacaville

d249 Crazy Chicks
January 30, 2008, 12:19 pm
Filed under: abel, god, jesus, matthew, moses, zechariah

Read Matthew 23:1-39.

1. It’s interesting that Jesus is clearly saying that He believes that the religious leaders are hypocrites but that they still must obey them. Wow. He says it is because they are in Moses’ seat, placed their by God. Would you want to follow a hypocrite?
2. The religious leaders make the common person jump through all kinds of hoops to earn salvation, but it seems like they consider it to be automatic for them.
3. They are focused on the outward: wide phylacteries (pieces of scripture woven into their hair), long tassels (I don’t know what the significance of that is), sitting in the big boy chairs, being greeted and recognized, and having people call them by their title and not their name. Note to self…don’t become Rev. Mannino. Stay Paul.
4. This shoots a hole in calling priests, “Father,” doesn’t it. We don’t toss “Rabbi” around, but other people do. We’re not to call another person Master.
5. Why is it so hard for average people to think that they are on the same level as priests, rabbis, and preachers?
6. I wonder if Jesus intended for us to not even call our own dads “Father.” It says that He is our Father. Hmm…
7. Again, wouldn’t we get into a lot of trouble if we didn’t call our teachers “teacher” and our professors “professor.” Is there something deeper that Jesus is talking about here?
8. Incidentally, “minister” means servant. It’s funny how that term is used to elevate people to a “higher” position.
9. And now…the woes. [#1] How do you think they “shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces”? It’s like they are bouncers who won’t let the people experience God.
10. [#2] Wow…so…they are all about “converting” people; but, once they are converted, they become more lost than ever. Hmm…I wouldn’t want to be called a “son of hell.”
11. [#3] He he he…a blind guide would be funny. Think about taking a tour on a bus with a blind guide. He he he… Not funny to Jesus though. For some reason they made up stupid rules about what kind of swear (like a pinky swear) is more important. They’re missing the point.
12. [#4] They are so careful to tithe their spices, but they ignore all the important stuff like LOVING PEOPLE. Now, I know some churches like that…
13. [#5] Again, cleaning the outside but not the inside is a sign of too much concern for outward appearances.
14. [#6] Outside = righeteous, inside = wicked. Not good.
15. [#7] They thought too highly of themselves. They think that they wouldn’t have been jerks to all God’s prophets in the past. Um…based on the way they are treating John the Baptist and Jesus, I’m having a hard time believing that.
16. Snakes! Wow…the whole idea of Jesus petting sheep isn’t really in this verse. He’s bringing it! Jesus tells them that they are so thickheaded that He is sending people to change their minds. Too bad they kill people who think differently than they do. And, when they do that, they are only making things worse. They are already accountable for the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah. The religious leaders have killed God’s people for thousands of years. It’s kind of their trademark.
17. Look at Jesus’ love for His people, though. He wants to tuck them all in “under [His] wings.” These chicks are crazy, though. Are we crazy too?


d216 Let’s Do Lunch
December 7, 2007, 5:33 pm
Filed under: abel, cain, god, jesus, luke, zechariah

Read Luke 11:33-54.

1. It is true. We like to put our lamp on top of things, not under things. Only you can prevent forest fires.
2. I’m not sure if the idea of our eye being the lamp of our body ties directly into the idea of the light being out for all to see. (I don’t think Jesus is anti-winking.) I think that this is more about what you allow into your eyes. Is it good? If it is, your whole body would be lit up. If it is bad, your whole body would be poisoned with darkness. I know that this has definitely been the case for me in my life. I pray that the Holy Spirit continues to convict me of poor entertainment choices. Because what captures my attention captures my heart.

3. I like that Jesus still was cordial to the Pharisee– He still ate with him. Maybe this was a set-up too because the Pharisee was shocked that He didn’t ceremonial make Himself clean before the meal. Talk about nitpicky. I mean, Jesus is the guest of honor.
4. Jesus turns it up on this very un-Martha-Stewart-like host, saying that the Pharisees are like clean dishes with dirty insides. Uh oh…
5. Interestingly, Jesus says a cure for this inner dirtiness is to give what is inside to the poor. Hmm…so we become clean in serving?
6. These woes remind me of the rapper, Black Rob, who used to have a song called “Like Whoah.”
7. The Pharisees are really good at the tiny details of tithing. “Here, God. Here’s a tenth of my herbs and spices.” But, they don’t practice justice or love of God. Somebody’s got their priorities wacked up. (Notice, though, that Jesus does say the tithing is good.)
8. Apparently, the Pharisees were head-tripping about being important. Tsk, tsk, tsk…
9. “Unmarked graves”? Hmm…does this mean that they are dead spiritually, but no one notices?
10. Boy, if that “expert” in the law would have just shut up, God would not have brought them into it too…
11. The experts of the Law made the people feel guilty, weighing them down with commands; but they didn’t seem to care about helping people acheive righteousness. They just wanted to point a finger. Hmm…read my testimony.
12. That is ironic that they built tombs for the prophets; but, back in the day, it was their ancestors who killed them off for being to “heretical.”
13. Do you think it’s fair that these guys are going to bear the guilt of how their forefathers treated the prophets?
14. I think it’s cool that Abel is listed as the first holy person. And, in a way, I think that his story is the archetype for what the problem has been with apostles and prophets across time: Abel was good in God’s eyes, and Cain was jealous. These people were good in God’s eyes, and the establishment always got jealous and killed them.
15. I don’t remember how Zechariah died, but I’m assuming that Jesus is talking about the one who has the book in the Old Testament.
16. How do you think these guys have taken away the key to knowledge?
17. Well, I don’t think this lunch date went too well. No wonder the Pharisees and the teachers of the law were ready to kill Him…

d3 Cain & Abel
April 10, 2007, 5:50 pm
Filed under: abel, adam, cain, eve, genesis, god

Read Genesis 4:1-16

To me, this has always been an interesting passage:

1. First thing to note, because I know the fairness of this is going to be a question, note that the Bible (whatever version you have) usually has some kind of reference to Cain bringing produce while it always seems to mention that Abel brought the “choice” lambs from the “best” of his flock.
2. At this point, it appears that God’s acceptance is based on the offering. It doesn’t appear that Adam and Eve had to make offerings to be in fellowship with God before the fall. But, the whole deal has changed because of sin. What offering to Christ-followers have to bring?
3. Check out the fact that, even though Cain messes up, God gives him a chance to do what’s right…He even warns him of what might happen if he doesn’t change.
4. I think we all know that Cain kills Abel. But why? In some way, are we like Cain in our hearts?
5. God curses Cain, and the one the thing that sticks out to me is that Cain is very upset because he will no longer be in God’s presence.
6. God marks Cain to keep him from being killed. One more act of grace? [A little side note, some people try to justify racism by using this part of the Bible. They say that the mark of Cain is having a dark complexion; and, I guess they think that that means that they can treat people who are not white like crap. To me, to have that kind of hate in your heart, that’s more the mark of Cain than anything.]
7. Has anyone ever read “East of Eden”? I haven’t. But I always found it interesting that that’s where Cain lived.
8. A little bonus question, for all ye logisticians. Where did Cain’s wife (in verse 17) come from?