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Everything I Ever Needed To Know I Learned From Pastor John’s Advent Poem: Ruth (Parts 3 and 4)

How few there are who wait for God to act! How few who trust the solid pact that God has made, that he will work for those who wait for him, nor shirk one moment in a ten-year plan, or more. Perhaps he wills to span a thousand years before the space of time is full for him to place His final king upon the throne. And when he does, it shall be known that here in Bethlehem we played a part. *** Waiting is a holy work of faith in God. *** Nor does there lurk beneath the timing of his ways some secret malice that displays itself in holding back the flow of future grace.  *** God does not go from here to there by shortest routes; He makes a place for faith and doubts. Nor does he hasten on his way, but comes when it is best, today, or maybe twenty years from now, or more. *** We will bow to God, and there embrace the truth: Some serve like Mara, others Ruth. *** Don’t you believe, My son, that Moses meant to weave together with his law that we leave something for the poor? *** It seems to me the holy Torah ought to be interpreted to see as much compassion as we can.  *** The Torah says that I should love my neighbor just the way I love myself. Would you not say that if you labored for a boss, it would be good to see him toss the barley every now and then? *** We ought to read the Torah, to see as much compassion as we can. Go read, and find it has more mercy than you think. *** I would not touch a woman, be she good or great, outside a covenant. *** I think the Lord has fought today, and with his sword has stuck a sin up on the gate. *** As for the badge of shame, you tell: The line of Judah bears it well, and will for generations yet to come.  *** The book of Moses set me free.  *** There is a mercy in the law of God beyond my skin: By faith God makes a person right, be she a Jew or Moabite. *** Ignite in us the faith of Ruth.

With the idea shamelessly stolen from that Piper kid’s blog


1. My kids letting me sleep in until after 8.

2. Having all of my kids (except a sleeping Foster) and my wife sitting on our bed and singing happy birthday to me.

3. Watching the kids getting down the stockings and being pleased with what was in them.

4. Having excellent French toast for breakfast (mine with lit candles) after my family sang to me again.

5. The Advent Reading (as written by my wife) and getting to light the Christ candle.

6. A little 15 minute after-breakfast nap with my wife next to me and the kids all napping spread out around the house.

7. The way my kids handled it when they found out they weren’t going to open any presents today (relatively agreeably).

8. Finding out that the wrong turn that I made ten minutes ago (on the way out to my Aunt and Uncle’s place) wasn’t going to cost us more than five minutes.

9. Walking in to a house filled with people who loved us.

10. Getting to tell the ‘Bringing Foster Home From The Hospital Story” again.

11. My cousin Andrea’s great interest in Foster and willingness to feed him.

12. Singing a Christmas carol before our prayer.

13. Good Ham.

14. Discussions of blogging around our table.

15. Finding out that aunts and cousins had bought our kids (all of them) presents so they got to open some anyway.

16. That no one forced me to eat the Cayenne Pepper Chocolate truffles.

17. Getting to know my soon to be cousin-in-law.

18. Laughing at my younger cousin’s funny conversation.

19. Hearing nice words about my Dad, and how people miss him.

20. Getting home not too late.

21. Have a good meaningful conversation with my oldest son right before he went to bed.

22. Finishing a movie with my wife.

23. Finding out that my friends were in our paper (They sit kitty corner from us every Sunday in the service and recently gave us a ministry opportunity.)

24. Getting this cool idea for a Christmas blog post idea.

25. Blogging while my wife slept on the couch after feeding the cutest one month old in the Twin Cities.

26. Being grateful that God gives us joy as we give him glory.

27. Finishing this list.


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December 2008