Thursday, September 04, 2008

Names of the Patriarchs

The question was put to me, "Why memorize the names of the Patriarchs? Why not rather spend your time memorizing some verses that will help you in your walk with the Lord?" My answer is this;

1. God seemed inclined to give us the list of those names and their characters many times in Scripture. It seems to me that God is placing special emphasis on something when He repeats it again and again, I don't think He is big on wasting words. When He repeats something, He really wants us to get it.

2. They are our fathers. If we have been adopted into Christ, then His history has become our history. We have been brought into relationship, into covenant, with all that God has worked in before. Honor your father and mother, the Lord tells us. So we learn about them, but not just about them; we learn what God has done in history as we learn about them. And learning all the whats, whos, wheres, etc. in the Bible DOES help us in our walk with the Lord, because we learn who He is and what He does and how He works.

3. For little kids about 4 years old this song is a fun challenge. They haven't had a great grasp on how to speak for very long, but now, a challenge! They love it. And besides, I'd much rather fill my kids heads and hearts with "Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob," than with "heavenly sunshine" or "arky, arky" kinds of songs. Abe and company, that is real stuff; the other stuff is fluff that someone made up. Little kids are knowledge sponges, fill them up with Bible, and not with distractions.

4. Little kids can grasp a story, or a list of names, much better than they can grasp an abstract concept like justification by faith alone. That is how God built us; we learn by stories when we are little, we learn to think abstractly in our teens. I'm quite sure that is why God built the Bible with so many stories in it, so that His children would remember.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Thanks for those brakes, Mr. Stephen!

On our recent trip, we took the exciting route to Vancouver. We crossed from the Yellowhead to the Caribou highways at Little Fort, just south of Clearwater, and stayed at a campsite in Bridge Lake. The next day we drove out to Clinton. Now, on my map there is a road connecting Clinton to Lillooet, but I stopped to ask one of the locals about it just the same.

To old lady in store; "Is there a road connecting Clinton to Lillooet?"
"Yes, just up there." pause... "Some of it is gravel..." pause... "It gets a bit washboardy sometimes, if you are in a hurry, you better go around by the highway."
OK, I'm not in a hurry."

So we drove on a paved road for 17km west of Clinton, to a nice little provincial park, where the pavement ended, and the road narrowed to one lane (!), and began to climb in switchbacks up this mountain. We climbed and climbed, a couple hundred yards this way, a couple hundred yards that way... I remember pointing out the view to my kids at one point, when the lake was a couple thousand feet below us, looking down at it from about a 60 degree angle. One lane, gravel, hoping nobody came from the other direction. When we finally topped out we were overlooking the valley where Lillooet is, but seeing it from very high up. That side of the valley was all open, and made for a long trip downhill.

My big kids are of the sort that wants the trip to be fast and done, no dilly-dallying or shortcuts (which always take longer); this time I was told that I could take more shortcuts if they were like that one...

The rest of the drive from Lillooet to Whistler was pretty spectacular as well. Driving down from the pass into Pemberton the road was a 15% grade for 5km., full of switchbacks, and my brakes were smoking by the time I reached the bottom. We were very thankful for Stephen's brake job he had just done on the van. The old ones would have left us in a pile somewhere in those hills...