Archive for » January, 2012 «

January 10, 2012 – Ezra 10

Click here to read Ezra 10 on

You know, there’s an easy solution to the obesity epidemic in America; real-time updates. For those of you behind the technology curve, you may not be aware that you can now send the whole world updates on exactly what you’re doing each minute of each day. This is so people who are interested in our lives (friends and family, hopefully) can keep up with our busy schedules, particularly if we don’t have time to make those pesky phone calls home from college or send the best man from our wedding an email. It has really opened up the eyes of the world to the lives of everyone; specifically, that we are dangerously boring people, one and all. I’m sure it makes enthralling reading when “Dave is in aisle 7 at Walmart; Dave is in Produce at WalMart; Dave is in Tolietries at Walmart; Dave is in line at Walmart; Dave is in line at Walmart; Dave is still in line at Walmart; Dave is beating the people in front of him in line with a loaf of French bread that he bought at Walmart, etc.”


What if we apply this same technology to our consumption? We all should wear little iPad-esque signs around our necks, with our daily diet recorded on them for all to see. Imagine if you had to tell everyone what you had for breakfast: Bob ate half a cold pizza and flat root beer for breakfast; Bob ran through starbucks on the way to work and got a grande mochachino with extra cocoa (and a large chocolate muffin to keep it company); Bob grabbed a twinkie for a mid-morning snack…etc.  People would so paranoid that we’d eat Wheaties and bran muffins every day.  We’d end the fat-alution of america overnight (probably not, but we can dream).


There aren’t too many us that would like our food choices splashed all over the public consciousness (with the exception of those skinny dietitians; may they all choke on a stalk of celery). But imagine if you had to show the world not only your diet, but all your sins as well. Would that change how you act each day?

In Ezra 10, we read the story of the returning exiles being separated from their pagan neighbors. At the end of the chapter is a long list of names of the men who had fallen into this particular temptation. Can you imagine this? What if you knew that all of your sins were written, published, and saved for all generations to read? Would you think twice about lying on the tax return? Or visiting that website? Or “borrowing” those supplies from the office? How would that change your actions?


Here’s a challenge for today: write down all of the things you eat, and all of the actions/thoughts you might consider less-than-holy for the day. Obviously, this isn’t for publication, but write it down and look at it tomorrow morning. See if you’d like to have that published for the whole world to read.

Then get down on your knees and thank God that Jesus came and gave his life so that those sins are washed clean in his blood. We don’t have to worry about those sins, because if we repent and turn from those actions and thoughts, God removes those sins from us as far as the Earth is from Gamma Ray Burst GRB 090423 (look it up, people).

That’s what forgiveness is all about.

January 9th, 2011 – Ezra 9

Click here to read Ezra 9 on

Gotta admit, one of the best things about watching sitcoms is watching people totally freak out. There’s a sort of vicarious joy that comes from watching someone completely blow a gasket when the airline loses their luggage, or the cook burns their sirloin, or the plumber sends sewage into their basement. There’s a sense of satisfaction from watching someone else say “what I should have said,” and of course get thunderous applause from the audience. (of course, we never see the aftermath, when Lucy and Ethel get to go to jail for disorderly conduct, though that might be sorta funny, too).

In any case, it seems in our society that anger has taken on a comedic tone. Instead of being surprised or upset when someone is angry, we instead find the humor in someone else’s distress. In fact, it’s become so commonplace that we would be genuinely surprised to read of the reality of the people in the Bible when they become angry.


Let’s look at Ezra in today’s chapter. The Israelites had just returned from 70 years of captivity in Babylon, and Ezra learns that the people are once again sliding into sinful choices. He is so upset by the sin of the people that he reacts by pulling his hair and beard out, tearing his clothes, collapses on the ground, and stays there all day. Can you imagine this in our day? What if Billy Graham suddenly ripped his suit off, pulled out his hair on stage, and fell to the ground?


More importantly, look at what Ezra is upset about; it’s not because someone promised to support his ministry and then bailed out; it’s not because the media gave more airtime to the atheists; it’s not because the youth group ran around the church and broke all the windows. These are the kind of things that get us upset, but Ezra instead is appalled at the sin of the “righteous people.” Can you honestly say that you are more distressed by the sin of Christians (including yourself) than upset at “the world”? What would it take for you to be pull your hair out because you realized you are so far from God?

When was the last time your heart was broken by sin?