Prince Frederick

When I got home from church and life group on Sunday, people were watching “Luther” on our new big screen projection system.  I have a intense love of that movie so I joined them for the half hour before I needed to go to work.  The back that I saw was when Martin Luther has been “kidnapped” by Prince Frederick of Saxony’s men and is translating the New Testament from Latin into German.  Spalatin, Prince Frederick’s secreetary, has the apt line, “It’s what Rome fears most!”  Luther’s reply is equally notable–“You can thank the Author for that.”  It was right after that that I had to leave to go to work.

Yesterday, I watched the rest of the movie where Luther helps put down the peasant revolt and gives a gift of the German New Testament to Prince Frederick whom he dedicated it to.  The look of Prince Frederick’s face is telling; he had probably never read the bible for himself, no matter how secularly educated he was, and certainly not in his mother tongue.  Imagine reading your favorite book in Spanish or some other language you hardly master in a high school foreign language classes, then imagine someone giving you a copy of that book in English in the same language as your thoughts.  Prince Frederick’s face beamed with excitement and his fingers shook, not with old age, as you’ll notice the actor who plays Prince Frederick is, but excitement and anticipation of something that would satisfy his desire.

How often do we take our English translation of the Bible for granted?  We have several dozen different translations of the Bible in the same language.  If we can’t understand the wording of a passage, we can go to a neighbor, friend, or sibling who has a different version and get it in different words, or go to a concordance to look up what the original word means.  This is stuff that couldn’t be said of scholarship even two hundred years ago, yet do we always take advantage of the amazing opportunity we’re given?  Are we diligent to seek out the scriptures?  Has it become so easy that we forget to do it?  Have we somehow complicated it unnecessarily, to the point that it becomes too hard to dig into?  Why don’t we have the same enthusiasm that Prince Frederick had when he gazed on the Holy Scriptures written for the first time in his own language?  has it become so commonplace that it’s given no place?  Do we take advantage of the opportunities we’re given or do we take those opportunities for granted?

BaBeBr, Ugly Revisited

My title today, of course, refers to my previous posts, entitled “Battle Before Breakfast” and “Good, Bad, and the Ugly“.  I want to take a look at some things from them and revisit a phenomenon that has occurred twice this semester, with two different results.

First, Battle Before Breakfast outlines my observation that when I don’t meet with God first thing, all the things I do that day become very monotonous and dull, and I’m more likely to forget about Him throughout my day. That is something that over the course of running through my established routine and the dullness and frustration that comes with it, I have missed.  The same feeling that left me in bed in the morning longer, kept me from going on an early morning walk and talking to God, both through prayer and praise, i.e. Having Breakfast. Then, I would go to school and it would perpetuate itself, because I wasn’t being washed daily of the lies that I’d been fed the previous day.

Second, last week, as was described in “Good, Bad, and the Ugly”, I had four tests in four days.  The last time I had this, in late September, I told several people that I knew I would do okay because “God wouldn’t give me more than I could handle.”  The truth is He gives one just enough that they know they can’t do it by themselves and need His help and strength. That was something I learned when I got the results from the first test week back with varying success.

So I went into last week knowing that I needed God’s strength and also realizing again, that I needed to make a point of eating “Breakfast” before I left for school. Sunday night that week, I went on a long walk talking to God, the weather being quite nice, and laid the upcoming week in his hands. The week before, I had read 2 Tim 1:12b which says, “nevertheless, I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.” So often, I “commit something to God” and then, when the circumstances become bizarre, I take up the burden again. Yet, this time I was confident that God would pull through and I had nothing to worry about.

Monday, I woke up early and went outside. It was a bit colder than the night before, but still, I am almost a professional at keeping warm outside for long periods of time, so I spent about 20 minutes singing and went in to read some Titus and Jeremiah before going to school. I didn’t have any tests, but a lot of reading to do before they came. The time with the Lord, both in song and the written word, sustained me and I was at peace, even staring the usually difficult Tuesday in the face.

Again, on Tuesday, I woke up early and did the same thing, still unmoved by the circumstances that presented themselves. I took two multiple choice tests and had a blast floating at work. I did subs, servery, and dishroom before they kicked me out of the dishroom and had me helping make kebabs. I’ll have you note, I’m pretty quick with kebabs and didn’t move my feet for almost three hours. I finished my reading and again went on a walk that night.

Wednesday was my first essay test of the week. I had studied almost constantly for it and felt more than ready. Again, I “ate breakfast” and went to school. Last time, I spent 53 minutes scribbling an answer and forgot to address one of the Identification terms. This time, I got everything done, including a well organized essay in 45 minutes. All credit must go to my King and Sovereign who owns time itself. I was able to just chill the rest of the day, though some other things occurred later.

Thursday, I slept in because my first class was cancelled due to some taking the test then instead of Tuesday. Same story as the other days, I spent time with God in song and the Word, went to class, and came home to study for my last test the next day. Again, not in my strength but His. Friday came and I had seen God work mightily in my heart with an incredible peace about everything. You will notice that I wrote Kingdom of Hearts in the midst of studying for tests and in the aftermath of the election. Both of these things had no hold on my attitude, though they would have been circumstances where I would have taken up the burden in the past and then taken a huge fall and broken something or someone. On my way to school, I started singing again. it’s very hard from a breathing standpoint to sing and ride a bike with speed at the same time, yet I did, the song was Miracle Maker by Delirious. I had a time reminiscent of the Saturday Fun post where there were times I couldn’t even breathe and it had nothing to do with biking. I took the test, again without a hint of nervousness, knowing that God knew all the answers and would provide me with the examples to explain my points, basically trusting that God was able to keep what I had entrusted to Him until that Day.

This is where I leave it, though there will have to be a part three of sorts to what I have to say. Bekah, I know that you will still be interested in knowing what I had to say at the end of Kingdom of Hearts, and this is part of it. Much of the material in here is ongoing and pertains to that in some fashion.

JA Menter

Kingdom of Hearts

“Gondor has no king…Gondor needs no king.”

I’ll probably have to do this in two parts, due to the time I have, but I want to get this out there. I have no real anxiety about the election to describe and no concern to address. I start with a little history lesson, and before you all roll your eyes and blow this off, there is a point I want to make.

When the founding fathers wrote the Constitution and included the ideas of checks and balances and the sharing of power that we know as the branches of government, they were reacting to the excesses of the king they had just freed themselves from, King George III of England.  What is also built into the document is not what is said but what it doesn’t say.  There is no mention of a “king”, but rather a sharing of power within a representative government. The underpinning argument of these 55 men was that their king was Jesus and they needed no other.

Isn’t this supposed to be true of all Christians? Isn’t our King and Sovereign the One in Who’s image we are being remade!  Is our stake in the politics of this temporal earth enough to shake our aknowledgement of God’s sovereignty, both of all things and specifically in our own lives.  If God is who we say He is (A faithful sovereign ruler over all that can’t lie or be unfaithful without not being Himself), then we should trust Him when he says that He will carry the work He started on to completion (Phil 1:6) and we should be confident that He is able to keep what we have committed to Him (our lives and hearts) until that Day (2 Tim 1:12)

We can hold fast unwavering because we KNOW that our citizenship is in heaven and the King of that kingdom will subdue all things to Himself, not in this earthly life, nor under a political regime, but under His rule, where the seat of power is the human heart.  The Zealots of Jesus’s day had it wrong when they thought God’s kingdom would be an earthly one carved out of the old Roman Empire. Some reformers of the 16th century had it wrong when they believed they could legislate a change in man’s hearts and establish an eternal kingdom here in that manner. A kingdom that is eternal must be constituted solely of things that are eternal. Therefore, Jesus must become ruler of man’s hearts, based in the next, eternal world, in order for that Kingdom to become eternal.

Pray, therefore, that God would change the hearts of people, that they would surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and live for the world they were born for, the eternal world to come.

JA Menter

ps. Some of the tags will make sense later.