October 31, 2018 at 03:18PM

Hebrews 13
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“Keep on”
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In Hebrews 13, we are in a lot of ways coming down the mountain. We still have a struggle ahead of us for sure, but we’ve passed the academic climax and the previous chapter’s spiritual affect has landed. We’re now left with the classic Christian question: what next? The author makes it clear, in their fortifying statements and gentle warnings, that we’re not supposed to sit at the foot of the mountain: we’re supposed to keep going. We’re supposed to take what we’ve learned, and take what beauty has been given to us, and share it with the world. Really, though this has a sense of finality to it, this is not the end; it’s only the beginning of a new and greater chapter.
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“Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
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October 31, 2018 at 05:14AM

Hebrews 12
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“Therefore”
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Here we come to the peak, in more ways than one. Firstly, if you’ve been reading along with me, you’ve seen just how the author has built their arguments up along the way to crest finally at this point. “Therefore,” they shout, as everything their audience–and us–have learned all comes to a head in a revolutionary understanding of who Jesus is, and who we are in relation to him. In another sense, this chapter points to the uphill struggle that lies ahead–the pain of following Jesus, and the battles that we’re all bound to face. It will feel like climbing a mountain, but “run the race,” because we now know who waits at the end. And finally, we have this wonderful contrasting image of two actual mountains. One represents the old covenant–Mount Sinai, where Moses received the commandments, but where God’s glory was too much for the Israelites to handle–and one represents the new covenant–Mount Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem, the home of God where we, through Jesus, are invited to come and be close to Him. This is what it’s all been building towards. This is what has been coming. This is what you’ve come to see.
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“You have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.”
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October 30, 2018 at 01:24AM

Hebrews 11
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“By faith”
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There’s a lot to unpack here, but I can see the Jews that this was being written to getting this message: faith flows in our veins. Of course, faith isn’t genetic, and it can’t really be passed from one person to another, except by the second’s conscious acceptance of it, but looking at the history of how God had worked in the lives of their direct ancestors would surely give these people hope for themselves. It was the same God after all.
Just like Hebrews’ audience, we can take the same message. In Christ, we are grafted onto God’s family tree; no matter where we come from, we are His. We can build our hope, and our faith, on a profound understanding of how the God who made the stars and told Abraham to count them now offers to count us among them. He’s the same God after all.
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October 29, 2018 at 12:23AM

Meditation: Reflecting Flakes (see John 13:34-35)
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“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
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Though it’s still a bit early for it, I have to admit that when I stepped out of work at around 10 last night, and saw the sky just full of tiny white specks, drifting in the breeze, I couldn’t help but smile. There’s still something about the first real snowfall of the year that brings out a sort of childhood wonder. As I was walking along the path to the subway, well lit by street lights, I thought about how the only reason I could see the snow so brilliantly was because it was reflecting the light from those same street lights. Conversely, the brilliancy of the glowing snow spoke to just how bright those lights are in the first place. I think we should try to learn from the snow. We should aim to shine brightly, but only in reflection, directing focus back to the source of our light. We should also realize that we are seen, and we see the world, only through that same light that lights us. It truly is in Him that we live and work and have our being, and I hope the light I reflect is at least a little bit as brilliant as that snow I saw, heralding the light and the breeze.
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#john13 #snow #light #reflection #beauty #love #lineart #inks #bw #blackandwhite #penandink #artistsoninstagram #drawdaily #jesusart #illustratedfaith #inktober

October 27, 2018 at 03:00AM

Something Beautiful: Home video
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As a bit of context for this one, I saw Jonah Hill’s “Mid90s” tonight, and was struck by the way it told a beautiful, nuanced, human story that was so influenced by the democratization of home video recording technology. It really is such a gift to be able to capture and represent the world that God has given us, especially when it provides a chance to better understand those around us.
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That being said, what comes to mind when you look at this?
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