Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Do you care...I often don't!

I just finished doing a study and writing a paper through the book of Jonah. It is funny how the hundreds of times that I heard this story growing up, even took part in a program called, "Go Go Jonah", that I never got some of the stuff out of that book that I did in this study and I believe I am not alone in that. As a side note, I still have, wear, and cherish the shirt from that program that I participated in at eight years old. It is an adult small and amongst my too small, but wear anyway t-shirt collection.

I often find myself like Jonah. I have embraced and enjoy the compassion that God has shown me, but I often do not want God to show that same compassion to others. Let me explain, in regards to being missional, I find it easy to show compassion and care for those that I like, are like me, and who I find it worth my time and effort to reach out to. On the flip-side of that I tend to not care about the people who I generally do not get along with or often times are not like me and my personality. It was only recently that I came to understand and realize that in reality I desire to show them no compassion and by choosing not to share Jesus with them I am saying that I don't care if God shows them compassion.

Jonah 4:1(ESV) "But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry," referring to the compassion that the Lord had shown to the people of Nineveh, whom he had no compassion. I often find myself with this attitude towards people or a group of people and it very well maybe a person or group of people that God has called me to share his love and compassion with just as was the case with Jonah. Jonah was not a good prophet in this story, even upon his obedience to go to Nineveh he was angry at God's mercy.

I believe many of us are like this in our everyday lives when we see a certain person or type of people come to embrace the saving grace of Christ when we believe they did not deserve it or we were looking forward to them receiving "what they deserved", which in reality is the same that we deserve about from Christ.

So take away points are that God saved Nineveh through a selfish man, Jonah, and he can also use you and me, selfish men to reach our "Nineveh's. Jonah's true heart was revealed here and it is a good reminder to examine our own heart where we are, whether that be the slums of India or in Urban Chicago.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Fun things to do, see, and go to in Raleigh.

Let me start by saying that I apologize for the lack of posts during the summer months, but if you remember from an earlier post I had quite a large reading list for the summer, which got knocked out by the way. Not included in that post was the numerous papers that were included as part of reading those books. Thankfully I am about one day away from putting the finishing touches on my last paper, leaving me with two finals before the summer semester comes to an end!

Now, the purpose of this post is to give a quick look at the cool places I have discovered to do, see, and go to in the city of Raleigh in my first year living here. It amazes me that it was almost one year ago that I was packing up my condo and gearing up for the move to Raleigh. The transition was not as easy as I was expecting to say the least, but after one year I have gotten used to being away from the small town beach life to now being in mid-size city life.

This list in no way captures everything there is to do and see in the wonderful city of Raleigh, but this is what I have discovered in one year. Do note, that I have discovered something new almost every week, including a couple on this list just this past friday. And this list is in no way in any particular order, but things I have come to appreciate in Raleigh and things and places you should check out when you come here to visit:

1.The Pit
2. Raleigh Times
3. Morning Times
4. Lily's Pizza
5. Shish Kabob
6. Big Boss
7. Flying Saucer
8. Dos Taquitos
9. La Crema
10. Goodberry's
11.City Market
12. Oakwood Cafe
13. The Third Place
14. The Pour House
15. Rialto Independent Theatre
16. $1.50 Theatre
17. Numerous Parks/Greenway Paths
18. Neuse River, Falls and Jordan Lake
19. Cameron Village, North Hills, and Triangle Town
20. Prince Hookah Cafe