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October 2009

Posts from September 2009

Places I Remember


Cazadero Baptism 2009, originally uploaded by Calpastor.

This wonderful little camp has become a place filled with great memories for me and for our church. Over the past few years we have had camps, retreats, and baptisms there.


How Great Is Our God

Sonoma Coast

We had a tremendous Sunday this week! Great service in the morning and then a road trip for the evening. We had 65 make the drive over to Cazadero Baptist Camp near Bodega Bay where we baptized eight new believers. What a beautiful day and place to baptize and celebrate this step in our new brothers' and sisters' lives.

On the way home that evening God treated us to a beautiful sunset. I felt like God was pleased and this was His way of saying "well done" and letting us know we could call it a day. How great is our God!


Be Careful About Judging Motives

I read through this account of Jacob and Esau finding their wives and the thought that crossed my mind was that Jacob was not as "good" as you might think, and Esau was not as "bad" as you might think. We must be very careful about judging people's motives.

"Then Isaac called Jacob and blessed him and directed him,"You must not take a wife from the Canaanite women. Arise, go to Paddan-aram to the house of Bethuel your mother’s father, and take as your wife from there one of the daughters of Laban your mother’s brother. God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples. May he give the blessing of Abraham to you and to your offspring with you, that you may take possession of the land of your sojournings that God gave to Abraham!" Thus Isaac sent Jacob away. And he went to Paddan-aram, to Laban, the son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob’s and Esau’s mother. Now Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him away to Paddan-aram to take a wife from there, and that as he blessed him he directed him, "You must not take a wife from the Canaanite women," and that Jacob had obeyed his father and his mother and gone to Paddan-aram. So when Esau saw that the Canaanite women did not please Isaac his father, Esau went to Ishmael and took as his wife, besides the wives he had, Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, the sister of Nebaioth." Genesis 28:1-9

At first read you might think how great it was for Jacob to go and find a wife from his own people rather than marry a Canaanite woman. The truth was though, according to the end of chapter 27, he was just trying to get away from his brother Esau, who wanted to kill him. The trip was set up by Jacob's mother to get the two brothers separated. God did have a wife for Jacob along with a few life lessons, but it had less to do with Jacob making the right decisions and more to do with God's sovereignty. There are times that I think we give ourselves way too much credit for the good things that happen in our lives when we should probably just acknowledge it was God's doing, and not ours.

I have to confess that I totally misjudged Esau in this story. I was looking at his choice of a wife and really assumed he chose his wife mostly to displease his father. Why not go to Laban's home and find a wife where you know your father would be pleased? I quickly assumed without looking too closely that he chose a wife from among the Canaanites that his father did not want him to marry. I already had my mind made up about what he did and why he had done it. After reading the passage more closely I realized that Esau also married a wife from an uncle's family. Ishmael was family after all. So after looking more closely, I think Esau really wanted to please his father by selecting Mahalath, a daughter of Ishmael, rather than marrying a woman from among the Canaanites. He wanted to please his father, but just didn't know how and the truth is that the hand of God was not upon him.

If we're not careful we give too much credit to men rather than God and we sometimes make faulty assumptions about people's motives. Jacob and Esau both had me fooled at first.


Tailgate Sunday ~ September 13th

Next Sunday, September 13th is Tailgate Sunday at Harvest. We're starting everything off at 8:30 in the parking lot. BBQ, lawn chairs, jerseys, football, food, fellowship, outdoor worship service on our new lawn. It's gonna be a blast! Hope to see you all there with your friends and family. I'm torn between doing my Carne Asada tacos or potatoes with peppers and onions. What are you cooking that day?