Josh j Smith

blessed for being the least
September 23, 2006, 2:28 am
Filed under: theology

by dnnThe Sermon on the Mount Part I

The Roman Empire was large. It was dominating. It was scary. This is what was familiar to the group of people that was sitting next to Jesus on the day he decided to give them a lesson on true greatness. The culture all around these people was saying, take control, get as big as you can, have as much power as you can, show no sign of weakness. Is it possible this culture threatened them because they came from an unpopular, nomadic nation that struggles keeping their own land? Is it possible that Jesus had a political bent behind his words in the beginning of his sermon on the mount in Matthew 5.1-11? Is it possible that his words were more reaffirming rather than convicting and confrontational?

I wish I could have been there, because I love it when people say truth so boldly that it flies in the face of everything that is. I imagine myself sitting there smiling like a giddy schoolboy because this man has just put words to what I have been sensing. That sense of doubt, frustration because in order to exist and have meaning you have to gain power and step on everyone else to get it. I imagine being motivated to stand up for my country (Israel) and being proud of our smallness, the only ones who have one God, and weak because we help people and resolve fights. I imagine walking away and being blessed for being the least, which means being completely comfortable with who I am, what I do, and who I believe because of God and his righteousness.


South of the Mason-Dixon
September 20, 2006, 12:52 am
Filed under: theology

247829646 A7108A4201 OI have been living in MD for one week now. It is starting to get more and more real, which means that I am beginning to see how different it is, or how different I am. There are several things that are different like:

– People hang out in parking lots a lot. We had trouble getting to our parking space in Hollywood video parking lot b/c we did not want to be rude and interrupt the the conversations people were having in the middle of the road.

– Dollar stores are really popular and really crowded.

– People talk different.

– I have no idea where I am going. It took me 1.5 hours to get home last night b/c I got lost. I need to get a map.

Some other things are different not b/c I am south of the mason-dixon, but b/c I have taken a drastic career change (sort of). Gina and I left good friends, good community, and a good place in an effort to move in the direction that we always talk, think about, and get frustrated about. We found a group of people that are after some of the same things, and it is good. However, this move meant quitting jobs that were good, moving for the second time within 6 months, moving hours away from school, leaving some good friends, living with the family for a time, and taking on a job that will teach me how to be content.

I have noticed about myself the following:

– When our stuff is chaotic, I am chaotic. I get cranky! Part of this might be b/c we started a new diet at the same time of this transition. If you ever move, DO NOT DO THIS!
– I have been sheltered for several years from the real working world. Being with normal people outside of the church. I tell them I am in seminary, and they think I am in some government program.
– I can get up before 7am

In the midst of all this chaos, God still appears. It is vague and quiet. But we have sampled freedom, encouragement, and experienced God’s presence through provision and guidance. Have you ever experienced something and said “There is something else going on here” Yeah, that is happening more often since our decisions.

The other day I was at the MVA (MD”s DMV) getting our tags, and licenses, etc. taken care of. To make a long story short… We were one day before we got fined and penalized for a few hundred dollars, and we took care of it in one trip that should have been two.

Also, when we were there, I got a phone call, found out that I lost Gina’s wallet that has ALL her information and money in it, called the guy who found it (by the way found it on the highway), and it ended up that he was coming to the same place…the MVA. He got there, and said “Dude, that is so weird. I had a feeling that you would probably be here, that is soooo weird”
… Something else is going on here