Welcome back! At least that is what I am saying to myself right now. I feel like I have been really busy lately.
Oh wait, I have. Being a school teacher, this is a crazy part of the year. So yes, I have been busy but now I am ready to write!
I started a series back in August. Here is the first post, and also the second. These can help give you context.
You have probably figured out by now that this series will all have Monopoly titles. While these titles may not be specifically related to the content, they will be directly drawn from the game.
Hence, Free Parking.
In the rules of Monopoly, Free Parking is just a space. It is a free space on which to land. You don’t get anything or pay anything. There are house rules that are certainly different from the original though!
On my road trip, we had one day in which we took a mini trip to Philadelphia.
Even though I had never been to Philly before, I had some places on my wish list that I needed to visit.
Liberty Bell, check.
Liberty Hall (where the Declaration of Independence was signed), check.
See the steps where Rocky ascended in the movie, check.
Eat a Philly cheese steak sandwich, check.
These were places (or food items) that I knew about. We also discovered a few more hidden gems along the way.
So in order to keep this to two minutes, I will have multiple posts regarding Philadelphia.
Here is the first connection from Philly that I would like to share.
It involves the Declaration of Independence, more accurately, the signing of the Declaration.
I am not concerned with how many signers there were.
It doesn’t matter where they were.
The signatures are of differing sizes, so what.
I am intrigued by the timing of the signing.
When these men laid ink to parchment, they were not free men. They were still under British rule.
The founding fathers chose to identify with the spiritual King, not their earthly king.
They were acting on their future freedom in America, not their present prison from England.
For me, the connection came to me when we were standing in Liberty Hall.
It hit me about the timing.
Technically, British rule still applied. But these men did not want that fact to determine the outcome of their life.
They were free. They said it, signed it, and sealed it!
Well, the year is almost finished. Christmas is over. 2018 is almost done.
As part of my year-end routine, I think back and reminisce. Inevitably, my thoughts meandered to this blog. If I may assist your remembering, here are links to the previous posts on Joshua, the Israelites, and the crossing of the Jordan river.
These blogs speak about the Israel nation as they approached the Jordan river. This river marked the border of the Promised Land. They were almost there! And like I said at the end of “40 years and 97 days!”, they needed to prepare for war.
God designed it so that His people would need to fight their way through the land. Living in freedom was going to take work. No, not work, war.
I will try to connect the dots in my head now so this blog might actually make sense to you (and me).
As I recall 2018, there were many hardships and accomplishments. From travels to remodels, lots happened.
But there is more. My relationship with God has room for growth. So while 2018 was good, 2019 will be better.
The Israelites had food to eat. They were surrounded by families. Everything they needed, they had while in Egypt. But they were still in bondage.
Does that feeling ever relate to your life? I have nothing to complain about in my life but I can’t shake the feeling that there is more. Like I am on the verge of entering the Promised land.
So the need for war.
I want more in 2019. That basically means I am signing up for war. As a follower of Christ, I am already in a war. But I want to fight head on, on the front lines.
Perhaps the people of Israel were ready to fight. It seems that, at this point, they were ready. Primed, if you will.
The Jordan river is the only thing left in their way. And it would take a miracle.
Now, as I look forward to 2019, there are some expectations I have:
2019 will be better than 2018.
My relationship with God will grow.
I will be in a war.
I need a miracle.
I have one more post for 2018. It will also be the last post about the Israelites and their miracle-working God at the river Jordan.
You might be in need of a miracle. In reality, we all do. God has to do something because life would not be worth living without His touch. The only way to cross over Jordan and into God’s freedom is through a miracle.
Let God make 2019 miraculous!
Don’t know what a miracle looks like?
Please tune in a few days from now to read about the Anatomy of a Miracle.
2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: The old has gone, the new is here!” NIV
Doesn’t that just sound great reading that verse? I am filled with hope just knowing that I am a new creation! But there is still more so for the next two minutes, let’s see what we can discover!
Therefore…how many times do we see that word in Scripture? In 2 Corinthians 5:11-21, the NIV has it listed 3 times. So what is it there for?
Our verse, verse 17, starts with “Therefore…”. So we need to ask the question, What is it there for?
Paul is writing to a church that is having some issues. Many of these issues are similar to ours today. I think that the Corinthians were having an identity issue. Christ had done a redeeming work but the people were not translating that to their daily lives very well.
Chapter 5 starts with Paul describing how our bodies are temporary. We will be clothed with glory when we die. Verse 10 talks of the judgement seat of Christ. All will stand before Christ someday. This should galvanize us to live all the more for Christ!
There is a transition, then, into verse 11. The author is trying to explain why he preaches and lives the way he does. Jumping to verse 14, it reads, “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all,…”
I love the strong language…compels. Who is compelled these days? Wow!
And more strong words…
“one died for all…”
Because my two minutes is almost up, I will get right to it.
You have been pardoned for your sin. I have also been pardoned.
The sin is gone.
I will jump into this blissful pool of sin-eradication next week.