Living by Degrees

Much Christian advice either instructs us to “not” do certain things such as “don’t steal” or “don’t covet (lust after something).” Other instructions tell us to practice certain things such as “taking our cross daily and following me (Christ).” Most things in our daily life (our “walk” in the Bible) though needs to be lived out by degrees.

Reading in Ecclesiastes 9 we find this section that tells us to enjoy life:

So go eat your food and enjoy it;
drink your wine and be happy,
because that is what God wants you to do.
Put on nice clothes and make yourself look good.
Enjoy life with the wife you love. Enjoy all the useless days of this useless life God has given you here on earth, because it is all you have. So enjoy the work you do here on earth. Whatever work you do, do your best, because you are going to the grave, where there is no working, no planning, no knowledge, and no wisdom. (NCV)
This part of the Bible tells us we should enjoy our life because we have only this one shot to determine our eternal rewards. We are able to enjoy life if we live it for God and keep Him in view. Notice it doesn’t say overeat or get drunk as if life is about much eating or desensitizing our mind by drugs. It speaks about a balance since later Solomon mentions one’s vocational life.
God doesn’t want us to suffer meritoriously as if this would please Him. Yes, there is a place for fasting too but it is clear God doesn’t need anything from us since He gives everything to humans:
“The God who made the whole world and everything in it is the Lord of the land and the sky. He does not live in temples built by human hands. This God is the One who gives life, breath, and everything else to people. He does not need any help from them; he has everything he needs. God began by making one person, and from him came all the different people who live everywhere in the world. God decided exactly when and where they must live. God wanted them to look for him and perhaps search all around for him and find him, though he is not far from any of us: ‘By his power we live and move and exist.’ Some of your own poets have said: ‘For we are his children.’ Since we are God’s children, you must not think that God is like something that people imagine or make from gold, silver, or rock. In the past, people did not understand God, and he ignored this. But now, God tells all people in the world to change their hearts and lives. God has set a day that he will judge all the world with fairness, by the man he chose long ago. And God has proved this to everyone by raising that man from the dead!” Acts 17:24-31 (NCV)

Image

January 2013 Preview

Here the sun illumines the tops of some hills above Hau’ula. Winter in Hawaii often features rainy or overcast skies, not the best for lighting purposes when highlighting landscapes. This picture though presents a nice scene I think.

We are still getting settled into our new place and won’t be fully functioning until summer 2013 I feel. Being the cabinet tinkerer that I am, buying furniture is not an option. Our last place had all our study nooks, shelving, bird spaces, built for the unit’s layout. This new residence requires purpose-built bookcases and desks and other constructions in order to maximize the usable space it contains. The new place needs many other improvements and modifications to suit our living requirements. Also, we had to rent storage space to put all our accumulated stuff until the new place is ready to receive it.

So during construction I am not able to hike and photograph as much as I want. Life goes on too. One good thing is that I am closer to different trails that I am unfamiliar with and now are easier for me to explore and find interesting vistas to photograph. As stated in my “about page”, the photoblog’s purpose is to present natural scenes of God’s handiwork. Eventually I would like to organize my blog differently as a daily devotional corresponding to the days of the month. For now though I will put more pictures up and organize them later.

Romans 9.1 and Asyndeton

Here is some in-depth teaching from Daniel B. Wallace. This type of study I really enjoy since the teacher takes time to build the analysis through careful reading of the text using syntax. The resulting application and understanding is very solid because it is derived clearly from exegesis.

Daniel B. Wallace

As I was reading Romans 9 recently I noticed that the chapter begins asyndetically—that is, without a conjunction or other marker to connect it with the preceding. This is fairly rare in Greek and, apart from its use in staccato-like commands and aphorisms, almost always means one of two things: either a total disconnect from the preceding or a connection so strong that it would be superfluous to add the conjunction.

Paul uses asyndeton at the beginning of a major paragraph nine times in Romans. In 2.17, 10.1, 11.33, and 13.8 it is obvious that the same topic is in view. (On a smaller scale, see 2 Tim 3.16—which obviously connects to the previous verse; cf. also Phil 4.4b.) In Rom 12.9, 13.8, 16.3, and 16.21 the connection is not as clear, though it is probably there in most of these instances. Romans 13.1 offers the most obvious break without…

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Photoblog Sabbatical

Due to the unexpected change of residence and lack of pictures I need to take a break posting in the photoblog.

Writing good articles requires immersion in study. Since we are not settled into the new place adequately, articles will have to wait also.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (II Cor. 13:14)