Not long ago I saw a documentary featuring the gray whale migration from Mexico to Alaska. A mother and her new calf, born just a few months earlier, were passing off the coast of Monterey, California, when they were attacked by a pod of killer whales. The story showed the hunting strategies of the six killer whales and the rare escape of the two grays.
Since an adult gray is far too large for a killer whale to overtake, the baby calf was the prey. The main strategy of the killer whales was to separate the calf from its mother. A brutal struggle went on for hours. With the two grays becoming weaker and weaker, I couldn’t imagine how the two whales would ever rid themselves of the strong and determined predators. (more…)
“A living sacrifice to God” (Romans 12:1). It’s a familiar term, one that’s always in the back of my mind as my position and purpose in God. Then, I unexpectedly learned a deeper understanding of what that actually means and how I can really live it out.
The idea of sacrifice to us today refers to giving something up. But the audience of Paul’s day at the time it was written would have understood it to refer to the temple sacrifices — animals, birds, oil, grains — which were a major part of their life and had been in their history for nearly 1,500 years.
One of the offerings required was a “whole burnt offering” — the Hebrew word “olah” (referred to repeatedly in Lev. 1-6). This offering was used to symbolize that the worshipper had offered himself in service and obedience to God. But what I didn’t know was that the word “olah” was also used to describe bondservants. (more…)
“But [He] made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!” Philippians 2:7-8
This is God Himself in the flesh, being crucified as a criminal by those He created, in order to pay their penalty for them. That’s humility–and more, a concept for which we have no frame of reference.
What was He hoping to achieve? The answer was another astonishing realization: (more…)
On a recent vacation, my husband and I stayed at a house beside the Wenatchee River in Eastern Washington. There were two families of geese, one with three goslings, one with four. The cute babies were very young, their feathers still fluffy yellow. We watched them in our small yard for nine days.
It quickly became obvious how completely trusting and dependent on their parents the goslings were. The parents did all the planning and leading. The goslings were only concerned with eating, sleeping and following their parents. (more…)