Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Job, not Job!

I was hanging out with a youth minister the other day (Richard!) and he was telling me a story about a kid in his youth group that I though I would share. He told the kid that they were going to be reading a passage from Job and asked him to please turn to the verse. The kid immediately flipped to the table of contents and started looking for the book. However, around 10 minutes passed as the youth minister got occupied with other things. He asked the kid if he had found the passage yet, and he insisted that there was no "Jobe" in the Bible. He explained that Jobe was actually Job. We laughed about it, for some reason I thought it was really funny. Anyway.

Speaking of Job, I just finished reading it after a friend told me it was one of her favorite books. To be honest, I hadn't read the whole book before. It was interesting and contained a ton of truths and speculations. I am surprised people don't study it more. A verse that I found to be intriguing was 28:28, because you can read so much in the OT that so-and-so is "God fearing." However, I can say that I always wondered what that really meant and it is interesting to get Job's opinion, considering his position.

And he said to man,
'Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,
and to turn away from evil is understanding.'
-Job 28:28

Also, I found Elihu (ch. 32-37) to be an interesting character as he portrays suffering as a means for the righteous to be ruined in their sin so they can resist temptation in the future. God's reply to Job (ch. 38-41) afterwords was intense, but the analogies were cool to read as we see a bit of who God is. In the end I enjoyed reading Job's confession and repentance, and maybe something gone unnoticed by some, his forgiveness of his friends. I think the whole premise of the book and the way it's written is much different that anything else in the Bible. Its philosophical discussion and divine intervention of an issue that is still argued over today just proves the relevance that the OT maintains.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Work and Play

Work may be the best word to describe what I am doing this summer. Yes, I am completing a research project and learning quite a bit. However, it's long and tough. For the first time in my life I am feeling what it is like to be in the "real world." Working from 8 until 5 everyday is no fun, even if it is interesting. By the time you get home you are tired and you must really prioritize to accomplish the things you want to do. Because before you know it, it's 11:00 and time to go to bed and do it all over again. Regardless, I feel like I am making a difference. So I can live with it for this summer.

Like many of you, this summer I have set aside some books that I want to read. The first book I have chosen to read is Angels and Demons by Dan Brown. Not really inspiring, but an awesome story never-the-less. I have already seen the movie, but have really wanted to read the book since being in Rome during Spring Break. I am enjoying the book for not only is plot, but for the attempt Dan Brown makes at trying to find the place were science and spirituality meet. The way that I see it, science and spirituality kinda work like modern economics; supply and demand. We can use science to understand spirituality to a point, but then there are parts that exceed our knowledge and go unexplained. Same for our understanding of science. Our spirituality makes sense with scientific theories to a point, and then there a pieces that do not make sense to humans either. However, I would argue that there is that point where they do meet and they do explain each other. That is the point I think I enjoy the most, because in a way, gaining that understanding is a way of worship.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Summer, New Beginnings, and Plants!

So summer has finally arrived... This last semester was brutal, but yet fun. 17.25 hours to be exact, and that is not counting the practicums, small groups, Asbury soccer practices, and soccer games that I coached. And just when you thought it was all over, I start a new beginning tomorrow. However, I am very excited to start this new beginning, which is my senior research project. This summer, I will be working at UK in the Department of Agriculture in something that is really interesting to me. Plants. Now, I am not going to bore you with the details, but my research will be dealing with the preservation and re-installation of native plant species in places that have been devoured by invasive species. If you were wondering, this research is important because native plants provide habitats for native animal species and populations. Therefore, if you change the plant environment, there are chances you are going to see a loss in animal populations. Also, my project will be comparing biomass, because the native grass (switchgrass) that I will be working with has alternate fuel potential. I think now, more than ever, I can appreciate the work I will be doing this summer with what is going on down in the Gulf.

As I prepare to begin tomorrow I cannot stop thinking about a message that a professor from UK gave at Asbury during a banquet a few months back. At first, most people in the crowd blew off his idea, but what he had to say seemed very relevant to me. He was speaking about conservation, and the roles that people that claim to be followers of Christ should maintain.. He sited the most famous verse in the Bible. John 3:16.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."

He pointed out the first phrase in the verse, "For God so loved the world." He asked the crowd to reflect for a moment and then spoke about the word, "World." From here on I will attempt to paraphrase his ideas with mine. In Greek, the word used for world is κόσμος, which is pronounced kosmos, which is where we get our word cosmos in English. I would argue against some when I say that I truly believe that that is distinctly not just talking about humans. The verse does not say, "For God so loved humans..." but rather I think he is speaking of all of his creation. The cosmos, the world. Therefore, the speaker and I both agree that this verse alone shows God's love for everything in this world. In Genesis, God gave us dominion over this world, but not the right to abuse and exhaust it.

No, I am not a tree hugger. But I do believe that there are lots that we can do to help slow our destruction of the world. I think a lot of new technologies are moving us in the right directions to alleviate some of our major problems, but at the end of the day a lot of what is destroying our planet is unstoppable at the time. However, there are a lot of little things that we can do individually that can help.