a name of character

It was Sunday, June 6, 2004. Anya Stevens was going to be marrying the man of her dreams, today. “Joshua Eleazar.” She didn’t even realize she was saying it out loud, but she loved the sound of it. It was music to her ears. In only a few short hours she would bear the name Mrs. Joshua Eleazar. She quietly practiced introducing herself to people as Mrs. Eleazar.

It wasn’t that her own last name wasn’t nice. Actually, she quite liked her maiden name, but it didn’t have much meaning to it. Eleazar, however, meant so much in only one little word. Eleazar–God is my helper. And God really was her helper. She had seen Him work in her life in so many ways, and she was blessed.

Like Anya, we (God’s people) are preparing for a big name change. Yes, a wedding!

“Let us be glad, rejoice, and give Him glory,
because the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and His wife has prepared herself.”
Revelation 19:7 (HCSB)

This bride is very special. This same bride was symbolized by a prostitute (Hosea 1:2), a harlot (Jeremiah 3:1) and an adulterer. This bride is not innocent. In fact, some of her own children were born from her promiscuity.

Essentially, we are that bride. We have committed adultery against God. We have not lived a life wholly dedicated to God, to live in Him, for better or worse, in sickness and in health. But here is something interesting:
“She was given fine linen to wear, bright and pure.
For the fine linen represents the righteous acts of the saints.”
Revelation 19:8

This bride is given clothes of white. And white represents righteousness, purity, something that does not match me, a horrible sinner! What business do we, the bride, have wearing a white gown? Right now we certainly aren’t.
“But we are all as an unclean thing,
and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags;”
Isaiah 64:6

So why then will be given these white clothes of righteousness? The answer is very interesting. But before I answer, I want to point out something. Clothing has always been a form of identification. You recognize different people by their clothing. You know when you see a police because he is wearing his uniform. A doctor is usually identified by his white lab coat. A nurse by her scrubs. A pilot by his black and white suit, cap, and epaulettes on his shoulders. A soldier by his camouflage battle-dress uniform.
When a couple get married, the bride gives up her last name and takes the name of her husband, “Mr. Right”. In this way, she becomes identified as “Mrs. Right”. Its like putting on the uniform of her profession. She is taking the profession of being the wife of “Mr. Right”.

So when we are at this marriage of the Lamb, we as His bride, had on horrible, filthy rags for our clothing. We were identified with sin and the world. But God’s church was instructed to be clothed in “white raiment” (Revelation 3:18). When we are clothed in this new, clean, white garment of Christ’s righteousness, we will be identified with Christ, and our sinfulness, our dirtiness, will be covered by His blood, and it will be as though we are clean.

Essentially, at this wedding, we will be surrendering our name of sin and worldliness, our horrible character, and recieving a new name of righteousness, the character of Christ. I want my name changed to the righteousness of Christ instead of wearing the name of sinfulness of the world. What about you?

In upcoming articles i will be revealing my study into the Character Complex, the process of changing our names to the righteousness of Christ.

Getting Settled

It’s been almost two weeks since we arrived. It feels weird. I’m more like staff here than student, even though I’m still a student through Matteson Mission School. I am always working, in one way or another.

I finished the project proposal, we got it sent to the Fresno SDA church representative, and after a few content corrections, he liked it!

This week on Monday I had to get up at 3:00 am to start filming by 3:45. We are making a promo video for Instituto Biblico Centroamericana (IBC), the Bible School that falls under VIDA internacional. The point is to follow a student around throughout his life in a day. That was fun. The challenge for me was that he spoke no English, and I didn’t know enough Spanish to communicate with him what I was looking for.

I have to redesign the staff and student manuals, and have them done by Thursday evening. Oh yeah, Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy the tofurkey for me!

This Sunday, VIDA is hosting the wedding of someone who used to be a part of VIDA somehow, not sure in what way. I think this campus is quite multi-purpose.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Holiday! Pray for the work here at VIDA!

Inspiration, Motivation, Action, Movement

Inspiration. No, not like prophetic inspiration. Inspiration from the experiences of life around you. Thats what keeps you going some times. Motivation. The force, either intrinsic or extrinsic, that drives you to do something. Action. Yes, the act of doing what that you were inspired and motivated to do.

Movement. Where am I going? Am I moving? Am I doing anything?

Yes. The answer is yes. This year at Matteson has made me think. And when I think, I get inspired. Inspired to work for God. Then I’m motivated to do something, and I do it. So on the 13th of November, I got on a plane and flew to Honduras. That was action, and movement. So, here I am. What am I doing here? I’ll get to that. First, I’ll tell you what I was actually doing in Norway.

Well these past couple months have been exciting. I went to Oslo with some of my classmates, Thierry, Christian, Johannes, Katie, Annie, and we spent some time with Ida. That was a blast, I best remember seeing Holmenkollen Ski Jump, the Opera House, and walking around downtown.

I went to Arvika, Sweden, our church plant, several times, once to do a health expo, some other times to visit the church, and the last time to also help with ADRA’s ingathering.

Just last weekend, we visited another church about 3 hours away in Kongsberg, Norway, where we did the church service, and I taught the Sabbath school. The topic was the Day of Atonement.

We had an Alumni weekend at the beginning of October, and an Inspiration Weekend at the end. Ernst Zwiker spoke about Jesus and Emotional Intelligence.

We have had Christian Home classes, learning about courtship and marriage, its been rather interesting. But it will be something to put all these skills to the test, which by now I have already done a lot of.

There was a concert by a well known Opera singer here in Norway, which we actually participated in. It was a benefit for ADRA, and we had the opportunity to sing in the choir, and do some of our own pieces. I played the guitar and sang Captivate Us. I really need to learn new music.

I was walking to the Granheim building one morning along the forrest path, and there is a new path that someone cut a couple years ago, by cutting down the young trees. However, when they cut them down, they left the stumps, these tiny little quarter’s width stumps all over the place. I thought, if I walk here at night, I won’t be able to see these, and I will stumble and fall over them. Thats kind of like if we try to navigate this world without Jesus’ light. We will just stumble fall. But it gets even better. If the person who cut the path had cut these trees out by their roots, it would have taken care of the whole problem. So if we let Jesus cut our sins and shortcomings out by the roots, we won’t have the same problems.

Well, I’m finishing this journal entry here in Honduras, because I haven’t gotten to write much between then and now. But here I have quite a bit of free time because when it gets dark, life pretty much comes to a stop. Thankfully, because of my job, I can charge my iPad and write in the evenings and mornings, after my devotions.

More later,