Tag Archives: B90X

B90X- Alter fire in Leviticus

I can remember the last thing the best man said at my wedding to Christie and I in his toast.  His name was Jeff.  He was a pretty lanky and thin fellow, as we all were back then.  And in typical Wildwood fashion, why do something once when you can do it twice as aggressive and with gusto, he raise not one, but two glasses of champagne.  Then said, “Keep the faith.”

That was approaching 32 years ago.  Little did I know how poignant his concluding words would be.

Faith must be kindled, stoked, maintained, perpetuated, supported, watered, fertilized, sustained, conserved, preserved, protected, upheld, and prolonged.

And most of all it must be kept.  It cannot be ignored, neglected, disregarded, abandoned, shirked, deserted, disclaimed, disowned, or disavowed.

I love reading the Bible.  I love reading the Bible in 90 days.  I love how the discipline of reading cover to cover forces me to read through material I normally would not.  I love how some ideas, words, or scenes of what may be happening in the text, come to life.

Last night I was reading through Leviticus.  First, I want to say that folks who disparage Leviticus and call it a sleeping aid, should stop that.  It is one of God’s words and needs to be treated thoughtfully and with care.

Three verses or ideas popped out at me:

brazen alter fireLeviticus 6:9 “Give Aaron and his sons this command: ‘These are the regulations for the burnt offering: The burnt offering is to remain on the altar hearth throughout the night, till morning, and the fire must be kept burning on the altar.”

Leviticus 6:12 “The fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must not go out. Every morning the priest is to add firewood and arrange the burnt offering on the fire and burn the fat of the fellowship offerings on it.”

Leviticus 6:13 “The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not go out.”

If I understand this correctly, for nearly 40 years or more, the fire of the brazen alter was never extinguished or went out naturally.  Wow.  That required vigilance.  That required much help and attention.

Where did all that wood come from in the desert?  Did that mean someone had to carry ashes on their head from one camp location to another?  Who was responsible to find, fell, chop, split, haul, and maintain a wood pile for the alter?  What kind of wood was it typically? Did it burn hot and clean like scrub oak or messy like pine?  I digress.

The point Father was trying to make to me last night was that this fire could not be ignored.  It had to be kept and maintained.  Much like out faith, it can’t just go on cruise control, one will eventually run out of gas.

As my friend Jeff said, “Keep the faith.”  And not just with one glass, but with two, both hands raised, with gusto, with emphasis, and forever.

B90X Genesis

When one reads through the Bible in 90 days, it only takes four days to get through all 50 chapters of Genesis.

Genesis is easy reading.  It is also full of crazy stories that seem like they just are made up, almost unbelievable.  It is the collection of the beginning of earthly existence for the heavens and the earth from the macro to the micro.  One sees the hand of God present and active in the lives of some very unlikely characters hosting the power, life, and legacy of the Lord.

Today at CRBC, to kick of the weekly series of sermons as we walk through the Bible, was my preaching professor, Scott Wenig.

Interestingly, as I read through Genesis this go-round, Joseph made a heightened impression on me.  His integrity, his wisdom, his patience, and his faith seemed to all speak voluminously to faithful believers for millennia to come.

Joseph and potipers wifeJoseph and his life was the subject-du-jour for us today.  The big idea was this, “Do you believe that God is always good and that He is always at work in your life?”  That question needs be be answered with a resounding, “yes.”   If not, that is a good goal to reach for.  It is good to make that connection.  To see God as bad, absent, or an antagonist to your life is no way to live and think.

For the next few days, as you read through some of the more challenging portions of scripture, ask your self this question and see what kinds of ideas you have.  Hopefully you will answer in the affirmative time and time again.

“Increase our faith!”

B90X “Increase Our Faith”

It is that time of the year again!

No, not tax time, B90X time.

As we gear up to read through the Bible in 90 days, the Lord, through a man of God, gave us the idea of reading this year through the lens of faith.  So as we read, look for signs of faith.  Look for men and women of faith.  Look for qualities of faith evident in people.  Even look for folks who don’t walk in faith and examine some of the reasons why or what may be going on for them to not live a life of faith.

Today, I found a couple of things.  First, in Genesis 4:26 it says, “At that time men began to call on the name of the LORD.”  If faith is believing and trusting, what was it that they knew for them to trust in and call out to?  How did the Lord reveal Himself for Him to be sought after?  How did they know to ‘call on’ the name of the Lord?  What did this kind of faith look like and did the Lord consider those calling out to be people of faith? Lots of unknowns there.

Enoch going upSecondly, what did the faith of Enoch look like.  He is found in Genesis 5:21-24.  The Bible says that he walked with God.  What did that walk look like on an everyday scale?  Then it says “God took him away.”  Enoch is one of two people who did not die and earthly death, Elijah is the other.  What was it about the faith of Enoch that he was taken away?  Where did he learn to live the kind of life that pleased Father so much that he was here one minute and gone the next?

You get the idea.  We are going to read through the entire Bible in 90 days.  We will come across verses and people we have read before or are meeting for the first time.  Allow the Holy Spirit to use their lives to help increase your faith (Luke 17:5)

B90X- Josiah revisited

Every time 2Kings 22-23 come up for reading, there is a model of life and leadership which evokes a desire to emulate.

Over and over again while reading through the books of Kings and Chronicles we are confronted with kings who do right in the eyes of the Lord and who do evil in the eyes of the Lord.  It can become like the rocking of a ship on stormy seas.  First one way and then the other in rapid fashion to the point of nausea.

The reading requires thoughtful meditation to get a grasp of what is happening over many, many years, yet in such a short time during our perusal.  Instead of skipping over Josiah, stop and think about how revolutionary in his zeal, love, and life towards the Creator of Heaven and Earth.

When Josiah was eight he was appointed king.  His father Amon was one of the good guys.  It is the foundation which Amon laid which propelled Josiah to further build.  The temple had fallen into disrepair.  For sixty years it had been disregarded.  At age 26, Josiah initiates a building campaign to remodel the temple, in an effort to return it to its original splendor.

Money is collected.  Carpenters were hired.  Lumber was felled and hewn.  Masons are hired and stones were cut.  No money was spared and we are told they didn’t even have to give an account for what they spent as they acted faithfully.

As part of the rebuilding process of the temple, the High Priest Hilkiah finds a Book of the Law buried in the rubble.  The forgotten and lost guidelines for proper faith and practice of life had been absent from their lives for decades.

In learning what the rules and guidelines for blessing and cursing in ones life or country, Josiah receives conviction to destroy all of the wicked practices of those kings and people who preceded him.  In a tearful repentance, Josiah renews the covenant between Adonai and His people.

With no remorse and steadfast resolve, Josiah, Hilkiah, and the leaders of the church begin to systematically disassemble all articles of worship made to Ba’al and Asherah.

He removed,Josiah
He burned,
He did away with,
He took, burned, He ground to powder, scattered,
He tore down, desecrated,
He broke,
He desecrated,
He removed,
He pulled down,
He removed, smashed, thew, desecrated,
He smashed, cut down,
He demolished, burned, ground, burned, removed, and burned again,
He removed, slaughtered, burned and got rid of.

In a complete and thorough sweep of the nation, all high places were wiped clean.  ”No previous king was like him, because he turned to Adonai with all his heart, with all his being, and with all his power” (2 Kings 23:25, CJB).

The dude had guts and conviction.  What does it take for us to make decisions like this in our lives to recognize that the reason we are not blessed and prosperous is because of the sin we have allowed to creep in for decades?

Lord, search our hearts, find anything within us that does not please you, and help us to have the courage and plan to fix it.

B90X- A short look at the Kings

The two books of Kings have captured my attention on this lap of B90X like never before.

Not sure if it is age, experience, or what.  Maybe it is a combination of  hourglassboth.  This quote by Jean-Paul Sartre may sum it up appropriately, “The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.”

Wednesday night I had the privilege of sharing just a few thoughts with The Ananias Project at CRBC.  One of them was, just hang in there, stay faithful to Jesus, you will get it, as you grow things will get more clear and understandable.  (It looks like more than one thought, but is really, one.)

Having seen just a bit more clearly some of the more intimate details of the two books of Kings, the following short ideas are presented:

1. God is the source and giver of wisdom.  It is obscure to think that it can come from anywhere else.  Not from spots on a liver, not from bringing back the dead, not from a lifeless metal statue.  Father is the only source of wisdom.  Similarly to how Solomon asked for it and received it, we can all do the same.  ”If anyone lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5).  Pretty straightforward.

2. God is pleased to live among his people.  Father loves his creation and desires dwelling in the intimate details in each one of our lives.  When we have the inclination of our hearts turned towards Him, there is a smile, a sense of his liveliness in our lives, and his great pleasure of working in, through, and around every day.

3. God, in his grace, warns over and over again.  If we could see this one thing.  It is not always about just judgment and God out to get you or me.  It is his loving kindness that keeps him warning and warning.  He doesn’t give up easily.  He knows what is best and stays persistent in following through with us knowing that he is not giving up on us.  ”As was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Joshua 1:5).

4.  Yahweh reigns.  There is no other.  He is greater than Dagon, greater than Molech, greater than all the Ba’als, greater than Anat, Athirat, Chemosh, Ishtar, and Marduk.  Combined. To the nth degree.  No other.  Many can’t hear, speak, or see.  Yahweh is the true and living God.  He is creator.  He is and there is no other.  He is, period.