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randomlychad  —  June 17, 2011 — 3 Comments

>Today, my family and I are driving back from vacation. We enjoyed beautiful Sedona, Arizona, passed through Jerome, and stopped in Prescott for lunch.

Regular posting will resume Monday.

Blessings,

Chad

>Sharing workphoto © 2010 janelleorsi | more info (via: Wylio)

Today has been a lazy, hang-out-with-the-family kind of day. It’s been restful, relaxing, rewarding to enjoy some repose together.

As I reflect back upon the previous week, here are some posts that brought a measure of rest to my soul:

Hands down the funniest reflection on Genesis (do “funny” and “Genesis” normally come together in your mind? Nevertheless…) I’ve ever read was Ben Emerson’s take on Genesis 49: Famous Last Tweets. Imagine Jacob tweeting his last words to his numerous, numerous spawn, and you’ll just scratch the surface of just how good this post is.

The best blogging advice of the week I read was Jeff Goins’s piece on The Overlooked Secret to Influencing People. His secret sauce? Just ask. That’s it. As easy, and as hard, as that.

The best series on writing goes to author Rachel Held Evans, who spent a whole week dishing on the trade, and craft, of writing.

Best series on parenting goes to Adam McHugh, who turned his blog over to guest posts by introverted parents (of which I was honored to be one).

The post I had the most fun writing this week was Speed Bumps on the ‘Roamins’ Road.

What did you read, or write, this past week that moved, touched, or refreshed you?

>the truth is still out therephoto © 2002 jeffrey bell | more info (via: Wylio)

Want to know the truth about me? (No Jack Nicholson jokes, please).

The truth is I’m not cool, hip, or “with it.” In spite of how hard I may try, I’m just a geek at heart.
I love computers, technology, and pretty much all things Apple.

I’m a husband to a wonderful wife, and a dad to two great kids–all of whom I adore.

Even more than I love them, I love Jesus. More than anyone else, He’s made the biggest impact on me.
(Him being the Savior and all).

And despite what you read here, I don’t go around living my life like a walking confessional booth. I am much more reserved in person, and warm up slowly. It’s part and parcel with being an introvert.

But enough about me. What makes you tick? What riles you up? What gets you out of bed
in the morning?

Let’s hear the truth about you, ok?

>Strawberry Rhubarb Piephoto © 2008 Emily | more info (via: Wylio)

My grandma used to make the best strawberry rhubarb pie. According to Wikipedia, rhubarb is an “herbaceous perennial plant growing from short, thick rhizomes… Fresh raw stalks are crisp (similar to celery) with a strong tart taste.” Similar to celery, but the stalks are entirely red in color.

I’m not sure who first envisioned the pairing of strawberries and rhubarb in a pie, but my grandmother perfected it. Everything was prepared just so: the crust flaky, delicate, delicious on its own; the rhubarb tart, the strawberries always the sweetest of the season.

I’ve often wondered what made her pie so good, me being someone with a “sweet tooth,” and I think it simply was the love. To say that grandma loved to bake is a monumental understatement. While she was baking, it seemed that she lived to bake. But she did it for love. You see, strawberry rhubarb is her daughter’s (my mom’s) favorite, so she would make it every year for her when she came to visit. Thus, something made with such love, how could I not love it, too? Much tarter than I usually care for, but I loved it.

Now, insofar as I know, grandma’s recipe is a secret.

Insofar as I know, mom hasn’t tasted a strawberry rhubarb pie as good in twelve years.

What I do know for sure is that it isn’t the pie we miss.

>Heart of Passionphoto © 2008 Dave Ceasar Dela Cruz | more info (via: Wylio)

Last night, TBN aired an unedited presentation of The Passion of the Christ. There are two things you need to understand at this point: we don’t watch a lot of TBN in my house (if any at all), and it has been years since I’ve seen ‘The Passion.’ But I have seen it before.

At the time (last night), I thought it worthwhile because not only was it on, but my twelve year-old son wanted me to watch it with him. And believe me when kids hit the tween years, and hormones and peer pressure start kicking in, parents are always on the lookout for ways to hangout with their kids. And what better way than to share, cinematically at least, in a telling of the Gospel?

Now, my son had seen the beginning of ‘Passion’ before, but never the middle, or the end. And certainly, like Job, he’s heard of these things, but never seen them with his own eyes.

The abstract was soon to become actual–for both of us, yet in profoundly different ways.

Thus it was that we sat down to watch just as Jesus came before Pilate for the first time. Most of you reading, whether you’ve seen the movie, or not, are familiar with the story from this point onwards: Jesus is taken before Herod, back to Pilate, and then scourged.

And that for me is where things took an interesting turn.

“Dad, what’s wrong with them? Why are they doing that to Jesus? He didn’t do anything. He’s innocent.”

“Son, this is the reason why He came: to die for our sins.”

“I know, dad, but it’s not fair. Hey, dad, do you think bullets could pierce the soldiers’ armor?”

“I suppose so, son. Why?”

“‘Cause if I was there, I’d kill ’em all for what they did to Jesus.”

It was right then that a couple of things dawned on me: not only was he profoundly moved, and deeply troubled, by what he was seeing, my son was mad. Righteously so. Indignant. He wanted blood. He wanted to defend Jesus.

Curiously, I did not. Having seen the film before, having read the Gospels numerous times, and having attended church for the last twenty-three years, I was familiar (to say the least) with the story. And that familiarity had bred, if not contempt, but a certain distance, a remove, from the reality of Christ’s sufferings. It was the way it had to be–God’s plan to reconcile rebellious man with Himself included the horrible disfigurement of His Son.

Here was Jesus (or a representation of Him), whom I say I love, suffering for my sins, and what did I feel? Resignation. Acceptance. It was the way it had to be. He had to die that I might live. All true, but where was my outrage at the unfairness, the injustice, of it? Why did I not feel the urge to rise up, kick some Roman ass?

Watching ‘The Passion’ again, seeing it through my son’s eyes, left me with nothing so much as feeling profoundly convicted. The truth is, like Peter at the close of John’s Gospel, I don’t love Jesus as much as I think. (Or, more dangerously, as much as I may let on).

I certainly don’t love Him as much as my twelve year-old son (despite how cool and aloof he may act when I try to talk “God things” with him).

God, forgive me. Help me find my first love again.

Perhaps you are like me in this? Too comfortable with the Gospel, and the centrality of Christ’s sufferings? If so, may I recommend sitting down with your own kids (if you have any, and you feel they are old enough), and watching ‘The Passion’ with them? Try to see it through their eyes. I can promise you that whatever it is, it will not be something you expect.

As the scripture says, “Out of the mouths of ‘babes’…”