Opa!!!

It’s been such a great day so far. In service, Pastor Davey continue in Esther 1. As the “drama unfolds,” Ahasuerus has had a 6 month banquet to showcase his greatness for all to see. Ahasuerus calls himself the greatest king of all the world and the irony is that he cannot even command his own wife. In his drunkenness, he asks for his favored wife, Vashti, to come and be shown off (his request was to parade her around unclothed in only her jewels). He wants this banquet to end with lust and envy for what he had. Vashti, not even knowing the Lord, refused (knowing that she was giving up paradise in order to not be a sexual prawn…she sacrificed her crown to keep her character) and the king was enraged. This gave me pause–> What would I give up for the Lord’s sake? What would I not be willing to give up? I pray that I would sacrifice anything for the price of honoring the Lord and preserving the faith! Instead of king Ahasuerus sobering up and apologizing to his wife, he decided to meet with his “cabinet” (men who were paid to agree with him) to figure out what they should do about the matter. The ridiculous conclusion that the men come up with is to make a law for women to follow that makes them honor, respect, and basically give into the whims of the man. The irony of this is that Ahasuerus and his men wanted to contain the embarrassment caused from the situation, but by sending out the law to everyone, all would know. Basically these wicked people were really “brilliant.” You don’t legislate honor and respect, you earn it. It’s really cool to see how God is back stage directing all of this…history is completely His story. God is even over the most wicked and it all sets His perfect plan in place. Can’t wait to see even more in later weeks how even this story of Ahasuerus and Vashti works into God’s redemptive plan that we see in scripture. (I also love seeing how God works all things now according to His perfect redemptive plan…it’s so exciting!) At the very end of the sermon, Pastor Davey said this and it really struck me, “with God, we often don’t get moments of understanding, but opportunities to trust.” I LOVE that! We don’t get to see all that God is doing and many times what we do see is not understood, but we get to choose to trust in Him and trust in His plans!

In high school class, Aaron finished John 11. After Lazarus was raised, there were still people who did not believe. They were bent on rebellion against Jesus. They did not lack information for believing (they saw Jesus bring someone back to life), but they still did not believe. So many people say that if they just saw God do something amazing that they would believe in Him, but they do not realize that they lack nothing for belief…seeing God do a miracle would not convince a hardened heart into belief. If the Word of God is not abiding in you, no miracle would make you believe. This made me think of something really cool on the other end of that–> if the Word of God is abiding in you, no tragedy will bring about disbelief that strips you from God’s hand! Something that Aaron mentioned toward the end of the chapter was how Caiaphas doesn’t even know that he is preaching the gospel in verse 51 when he prophesies (not of his own accord) that Jesus would die for the nations. More irony! It just goes to show even more God’s sovereignty. Caiaphas wanted to do evil to Christ and yet all he could really do is speak Truth in the end without even knowing it. The last thing Aaron talked about was the theme of all the scriptures and how we see more in John 11 than just Lazarus being raised from the dead…we see that the glory of Jesus is the theme. All the scriptures and world history is about the glory of Jesus Christ! Let’s live caught up in the wave of His glory and when we do, we will be energized by His glory!

Now to college class. Today was especially convicting. Ben talked about the discerning Christian and time management. He gave us 3 causes for wasting time in spite of what scripture says (Ephesians 5:15-16, James 4:14, Psalm 90:12)

  1. we are struggling Christian atheists- we live as if we don’t believe what the Word says about God. We claim Christ with our mouths, but our life, actions, the way we spend our time doesn’t reflect that (James 2:18). Don’t say one thing with your lips and then prove another with your life. We need to pray for stronger faith because if we believe in God (the way the Word says He is and the way we typically say we do), we will obey Him and give our time to Him; our lives will reflect our belief.
  2. we ask the wrong question- we ask what is permissible instead of what’s the most important thing. God’s glory is the most important thing, so we need to be asking ourselves what will bring Him glory? Now we can’t add or take away from His glory (He doesn’t need us for His glory), so what we are to do is live in a way that reveals to others who He really is (that is how we magnify Him). We should not live by what is permissible and commonly accepted; we must focus on the main thing in whatever we are spending time doing (don’t waste the time we have by not focusing on His glory).
  3. we are more interested in instant gratification that eternal reward- (2 Corinthians 5:9-10, 1 Corinthians 2:12-15) We ignore that we will be standing one day at the judgement seat and answering for every moment of time spend not magnifying Him. I want to stand before His throne and say “Look at what I did for you, not because it could save me, but because I love You and want to magnify You!” I am ashamed at how often I have wasted time not focused on God’s glory and instead on whatever this world is offering. I must remember that my time here is “racking up” eternal rewards that are far better than any fleeting “reward” I could have here on earth.

Whew, what a great time at church! After the services, my family and I went to the Greek Festival at the fair grounds! I haven’t been to the festival in years and I don’t even know if I have ever been to one other than the one in VA. It was so fun with all the music, dancing, and food (lots of food :)) It was nice to do something different for lunch and the afternoon.

just an idea of the set up...stage up front, cafeteria seating all around the room, food stations along the outside, and even some cute shopping booths on the edge (also LOTS of people)

moussaka, greek style green beans, greek salad, and tea (DELICIOUS!)...I gave the grape leaves to my dad because I am not a fan

kourambiethes (my favorite little greek dessert) and flogeres with chocolate

it's fun to be greek

mom and dad

one of Chris' friends is a part of the dances and he was so kind to give us tickets to the festival

Headed to back to the church in a little while for a short meeting with 11 grade girls leaders and high school BASIC! Possibly going to watch a few friends in their flag football game later and then maybe Smoothie Sunday with some more friends. Hope everyone had a wonderful Sunday!

P.S.- the title of the blog is opa because it’s a Greek celebratory word. We just say it kind of like “hooray!” or “yippee!” Just thought I would explain that for anyone who didn’t already know.

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