May 2nd, 2007

Jehoshabeath

Sushi, apples, and iced tea

Today for lunch I had the most delicious sushi!! I got a California roll and Tempura ebi roll. So wonderful and what a nice combination^^ A filling meal of sushi for $9.25 makes my day! The sushi restaurant is just across the street from my apartment and is called Sakura. I will have to remember that I do not have the money to eat there everyday, though... :p

Slightly more disappointing was my apple and iced tea from the grocery store. The apples are "perfect" looking - shiny and spotless. This is precisely the problem. They must have some weird chemicals all soaked through or else are genetically manipulated. Hmmm... I mean, I peeled them, but they still taste almost too shiny. Then, the iced tea has too much citric acid! Well, iced tea should not have any citric acid, but this is the price I pay for store-bought foodstuffs. When I get my own place, I will plant some mint and cook up my own iced tea in a big pot on the stove. I look forward to that day^^

Where my place will be is another question...but I am not going to go into that now!
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Daily Bread - Deuteronomy 20:1-20

Daily Bread

Title: Fear shall not abide with God, nor with us
Deuteronomy 20:1-20
Key Verse 1

In this passage, God teaches His people Israel how to be brave. They can stand without fear in even the most terrifying situations if they remember who God is and remember what He did for them.

Yet, when we hear this, we brush it off and say, "Well, that doesn't help me feel any less scared." I can say that I know how this feels. For a long time, I recited the Litany Against Fear instead of praying or reading God's word when I was troubled.

The reason that the words of God do not help us is that we do not really know God. He isn't real to us. We don't really feel that He is really there to save us in a personal way. He is such a powerful and incomprehensible God, so how can he be real to us or close to us in any meaningful way?

While this is how we feel, this is not true. If we look, we will see that our God deals with this world individual-by-individual.

Look at Jesus Christ. He spoke messages of hope to many different people. One was a Samaritan woman at a well who was living in disgrace. He told her to come and find spiritual satisfaction, she who had been empty and full of longing. Another was a Pharisee who came under cover of night because he was embarrased to be seen with Jesus and was clouded with unbelief. To him, Jesus gave him John 3:16, perhaps the most beloved verse of the Bible. Still another was a fisherman who did not have much luck catching fish. To him, Jesus gave life direction. And we see the same in the Old Testament. Even one of the worst of sinners, King Manasseh, was heard by God and forgiven when he repented with sincere humility (2 Chronicles 33:12-14).

God is not a distant being. He does not judge by the group. He takes men one at a time and offers His love to each, one at a time, by the blood of His Son Jesus Christ. The question we need to ask ourselves is: Do I know my Creator and Savior in this same way? Do I know this Savior as the savior of MY life, not just the savior of people in general? He calls out to each one, but each has it as his or her choice to respond to the call. When we seek to know Him, then He reveals Himself to us! He teaches us about Himself.

He is the God who holds peace. This is the peace of knowing that we rest in God's hands.
He is the God who holds hope. We know that we have been born again and that we will not die a second death. God Himself has promised that He will wipe away every one of His children's tears.
He is the God who holds life. When we know the author and creator of life, we see that God's children all have a meaningful place in His plan.
He is the God who holds love. Mary and Martha thought Jesus abandoned them in John chapter 11, but they found it was all for a greater plan where even greater love could be revealed. God's will is that none might perish, but that all might live.


The truth is, that we CAN have a real and true knowledge of God. This is what is called 'faith.'

This faith is knowing God very closely, knowing His heart and His will. It is not book knowledge or "head-knowledge" - it is a relationship. Through hearing the word and turning to back to God, forsaking our own desires and failures and sins - through seeking Him diligently - we can enter into this relationship and begin to refine our faith.

This is the faith that can move mountains. It is simple, humble, trusting. It is real.

It is only by faith in (knowing) our Savior Jesus (the Son of God) that we can overcome fear. Whether it is fear of failure, or of death, or of emptiness, it is all the same.

The perfect love of God drives out fear because "there is no fear in love" (1 John 4:18). And God sent His Son because we all lived under the shadow of death and terror. Now, there is light, there is hope. We can have faith to stand firm, but only if it is real faith in the real Savior.

One Word: Faith is without fear