Jesus and the French King

Jesus and the French King

We’re back from our France trip and now I continue to reflect on all we saw and experienced. Travel is amazing for clearing the senses and resetting your perspective.

We had the opportunity to tour the Palace of Versailles, which is hard to wrap your mind around. It was bizarre to try and imagine life in the time of King Louis XIV. This king is beloved now, but I suspect he had to be a monster in real life. Taxing his people with huge burdens to build a shrine to his power and wealth. Instead of making life better for the French people, he built Versailles to show off his power and prestige. Evidently, this is what you do when you can do whatever you want.

While that tour was a bit depressing, so was another palace we visited. Only this one isn’t actually a palace, it’s a church. The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Montmartre is the second most visited monument in Paris after the Eiffel Tower. That this is toured more than Versailles should tell you something. It’s got a stunning view of the city of Paris and the building is also impressive to behold.

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The Church Designed for War

The Church Designed for War

I’m writing this blog post from France. Michelle and I booked a river cruise through one of the wine regions and are having an amazing time. I expected most of our days to be spent around rolling vineyards and chateaus (similar to what we’ve come to love from Oregon wine country… minus the chateaus). While there are certainly vineyards and chateaus, there are also ancient cities and towns with tons of history. I have loved this, I just wasn’t necessarily antipicating it.

One of the days we toured a town called Cadillac (pronounced kadijak). Like many old towns in Europe it features a well-aged church. But there is something about this church that caught my attention. It was built into the very walls of the original city, which meant that one wall of the church was also the wall to the outside of the city. As such, they had openings for archers built into it (see the photo above). Our guide told us that when the town needed to be defended the archers would run into the church and shoot arrows from inside.

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My Least Favorite Chapter in the Bible?

My Least Favorite Chapter in the Bible?

Numbers 31 is a tough look for anyone who uses a surface-level reading of the Old Testament. By that I mean those who literally take each verse at face value without ever trying to make it make sense in light of the person of Jesus (who God is later revealed to look like).

To begin with, God instructs Moses to fight a war of revenge. It reminds me of hearing that George Lucas originally wanted to name the third of his Star Wars movies “Revenge of the Jedi,” but realized that Jedis wouldn’t seek revenge. That movie became “Return of the Jedi.” And later he made a movie called “Revenge of the Sith.”

Apparently, Jedis are above seeking revenge, but according to a literal reading of Numbers 31, God isn’t. Does this make the Old Testament God a Sith Lord? But I digress.

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Partnership with Faithlife (Logos)

Partnership with Faithlife (Logos)

I’m excited to announce I’ve started a partnership with a company called Faithlife. This will allow me to offer resources to my readers at a discount and add an avenue for financially supporting my writing.

Faithlife makes an unbelievable program called the Logos Bible Software. I started using that software in college and continue to use it to this day. I’ve used it for school papers, sermons, blog posts, books, and those moments I stumble upon a really good theology question. The software allows you to digitally search through the Bible and other books and commentaries to dive deep into any topic or idea you are interested in as you study a passage. There’s nothing else like it.

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The Power of Suggestion

I recently posted a slow-motion video of my dogs playing with O Fortuna playing in the background. One of the comments on that post was someone sharing the following YouTube video with an orchestra performing the song and ‘misheard’ lyrics applied on screen as they sing in Latin. It literally made me laugh out loud.

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You Don’t Need to Give God Your Drink

One of the advantages of my Bible reading plan (which you can download for free if you click here) is that I’m often making connections between different parts of the Bible. For example, I’ve recently been reading in the book of Numbers. Similar to other gods in that time, the Biblical God instructs the Israelites on how to feed their God. “The Lord said to Moses, ‘Give these instructions to the people of Israel: The offerings you present as special gifts are a pleasing aroma to me; they are my food. See to it that they are brought at the appointed times and offered according to my instructions'” (Numbers 28:1-2).

God even goes so far as to make sure they include alcohol. “Along with it you must present the proper liquid offering of one quart of alcoholic drink with each lamb, poured out in the Holy Place as an offering to the Lord” (Numbers 28:7). That’s my kinda God!

Now imagine this was the only verse you knew of God today. If you wanted to follow God and attempted to live this out, things would get a bit weird.

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