The center of the world

I have never seen this place and have no idea of where it is, but that it is "farm country" is obvious.  By the convergence of roads, I would say that it is DEEP in farm country.  And just seeing this picture brings a flood of memories from my childhood in upstate New York.  Somehow Melrose, New York seemed to be the center of the universe for me then and in May it was a wonderful place to live!!!  Both it and myself have changed over the past 50 years, but the memory of that pastoral beauty still remains.  No matter where I live, where I grew up will always be "home" and yet somehow different, but still HOME.  As you grow up, your world expands and for me that involved living in several states, in all kinds of communities, with a family of my own.  Time went by and each one of those new places feel like a "second home", so "home" has a much wider meaning now, but nothing can replace where I started, because it is my "first" home.  We all have starting places, somewhere we begin and for me, it was not just a place it was a person.  Living is more than just existing in space, it is conceptualizing life and no one has taught me more about living than Jesus.  The apostle Paul puts it this way...
WEB: Hebrews Chapter 1
[1] God, having in the past spoken to the fathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, [2] has at the end of these days spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the worlds. [3] His Son is the radiance of his glory, the very image of his substance, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself made purification for our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

As I grew up, I began to understand right from wrong.  Good and bad became more than praise or punishment; they became concepts and I was their interpreter!!!  It was only when I began to know Jesus that I really started to understand these things.  He showed me truth by both concept and example and that was something I had never seen before.  After awhile, I realized that everything really did revolve around him and that is just as God intended it.  It took literally thousands of years to work out the details, but God has made himself known through Jesus in a way that I can understand.  Its like I lived in my little center of the world (the home in the picture) and saw someone standing at the four corners of everything, who knew everything.  All I had to do was go out and meet him and life would change.  I have; it did!!!  Perhaps, if you look closely at the picture, you might see someone too... and imagine the possibilities!!!

OT Bible Reading 1/16/12

Jan. 16
Genesis 16

Gen 16:1 Now Sarai, Abram's wife, bore him no children. She had a handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.
Gen 16:2 Sarai said to Abram, "See now, Yahweh has restrained me from bearing. Please go in to my handmaid. It may be that I will obtain children by her." Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.
Gen 16:3 Sarai, Abram's wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her handmaid, after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to Abram her husband to be his wife.
Gen 16:4 He went in to Hagar, and she conceived. When she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes.
Gen 16:5 Sarai said to Abram, "This wrong is your fault. I gave my handmaid into your bosom, and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes. Yahweh judge between me and you."
Gen 16:6 But Abram said to Sarai, "Behold, your maid is in your hand. Do to her whatever is good in your eyes." Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her face.
Gen 16:7 The angel of Yahweh found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur.
Gen 16:8 He said, "Hagar, Sarai's handmaid, where did you come from? Where are you going?" She said, "I am fleeing from the face of my mistress Sarai."
Gen 16:9 The angel of Yahweh said to her, "Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hands."
Gen 16:10 The angel of Yahweh said to her, "I will greatly multiply your seed, that they will not be numbered for multitude."
Gen 16:11 The angel of Yahweh said to her, "Behold, you are with child, and will bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, because Yahweh has heard your affliction.
Gen 16:12 He will be like a wild donkey among men. His hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him. He will live opposite all of his brothers."
Gen 16:13 She called the name of Yahweh who spoke to her, "You are a God who sees," for she said, "Have I even stayed alive after seeing him?"
Gen 16:14 Therefore the well was called Beer Lahai Roi. Behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.
Gen 16:15 Hagar bore a son for Abram. Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael.
Gen 16:16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram.

After baptism, what then? by Mark Copeland


discipleship... Gary