Friday, February 28, 2014

CA State Capital Field Trip

Today we went on a field trip to the CA State Capital. Studying CA history is required of fourth graders in the state of CA. We don't have any fourth graders...and frankly, none of our elementary students will graduate while we live in CA....but we love to explore the history of the area where we are assigned so off we went. 

We arrived early - but discovered our van wouldn't fit in the parking garages near the Capital building. In this garage we were told to find a spot on level 1 or 2; maybe we would fit on level 3, but never level 4. The problem being, once you are IN the garage there really is no way out except to plow ahead. I was SO HAPPY Michael was with us on this trip for many reasons. When the top of the van scraped a sign on the way to the 4th level I knew I would not have survived this situation. Michael had three kids and I head over to meet with the group while he and Nolan maneuvered on up to level 4 and discovered that any car may be a compact car in the right circumstances. 
The tour was good. I LOVE the architecture of these old buildings. We learned many interesting facts....assemblymen and state senates early $150K a year PLUS $150 a day per diem.....Jr. may want to consider moving from TX to CA.  ::snort:: 

The Girls were willing to pose

Zander with new friends from PWOC home school room 

A couple of families couldn't make it at the last minute, but we still had a good group. 

Although these animals look like rabid badgers we were assured they ARE grizzlies. 

Group outside the Governor's office

In our Assemblyman's office - Arielle said she felt the power - She thinks if she could have had just a few more minutes she could have taken care of many things for the state...including the DMV. 

I was interested in what a state assemblyman may read....

We looked around for a place to eat downtown and didn't find one. Our plan had been a picnic on the capital grounds but it was too wet. We split forces here. Tricia, Kaleb and our crew went to find the Native American and Spanish/Mexican seals.  The kids noted a truck set up on Capital grounds and thought it may be food. We adults decided to preview what we thought was a museum exhibit. It was the Traveling Wall: the "Wall that Heals" - which was really interesting. 

We never found lunch in the Sacramento area. We ended up stopping in Wheatland on our way home. This was a great trip and I'm glad Michael ended up coming with us. We prayed for CA with new understanding tonight. 

Choosing Joy!
©2014 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Following Requires Radical Commitment

Luke 5:1 - 11 (Matt 3:18-22; Mark 1:16-20)

I wrote about this call to follow previously. Luke provides more details on the calling of Simon, Andrew, James and John than Matthew or Mark. In the details I see Jesus  and myself.

First, I somehow picked up the idea in Sunday School that these four were rough, poor, uneducated. They were sitting around with  nothing better to do and Jesus offered them the chance to change history. The facts show a different story.  These are BUSINESSMEN. They have partners (Lk 5:7,10  and hired servants (Mark 1:20). I checked my thoughts and found several commentaries pointed out that fisherman would have made a better than average income in Israel.

Picture these men at the end of their work day. Fishing is said to be best at night on the Sea of Galilee (Lake of Gennesaret) and best out in the deeper water; they've fished all night.They are cleaning their nets before going home to eat, sleep and start again. They are taking care of business. They are doing life.

Jesus gets right in the middle of Peter's business. I don't recall Peter offering to be a floating stage for the traveling Rabbi. Sometimes, it Jesus shows up right in the middle of our business/life, uninvited. We have a choice.

Peter makes a choice. He could have told Jesus to find another boat. He didn't. He obeyed. He submitted to the Rabbi and put his boat out.  Jesus continued teaching to the crowd. Peter made the right choice.

Jesus finished with the crowd and turns His attention to Peter. "Let's go fishing!"

Peter has another choice. He had submitted to the Rabbi in religious matters, allowing Him to use his boat for a  floating platform. Fishing is Peter's area of expertise! Jesus wants him to go fishing now....he tries to explain the facts to Rabbi Jesus, but in the end he again submits and they go fishing. In this transaction Peter is responding to Jesus as a Rabbi, not as the Son of God.

It's as if Jesus is saying, "Watch Me, Peter!" The catch is huge, the nets begin to break, his partners come to help, their boats are full and begin to sink.

In the midst of their business, these men are suddenly seized with amazement. Peter falls at Jesus' feet and cries, "Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!"

What caused this response from Peter? He hasn't appeared sinful. In fact, his actions have been exemplary in his treatment of Rabbi Jesus.  He  loaned his boat, obeyed in religious matters, obeyed in his area of expertise and followed what appeared to be  a senseless request. Peter may have been feeling pretty good about himself and his humble service to this Rabbi. He was racking up some good temple brownie points. He's a good boy. I'm a good girl.

I believe Peter (Andrew, James and John) recognized in this moment  Rabbi Jesus was more than a teacher, he was God. Peter's response is raw and authentic. He sees God and is overwhelmed with his mess, his sin...he's instantly  "poor in spirit" (Matthew 5:3). He is stripped of all pretense. He has no desire to hide. I AM SINFUL.  His response mirrors Isaiah's call in Isaiah chapter 6. His response mirrors mine.

Via Google Images
Jesus tells Peter to "fear not." You're not stuck in your mess. In fact, I have a plan. I'm going to use you. I'm going to use your vocation as a background for your call, I'm using your personality (which will be conformed to My image), I'm even going to use your friendships. What a gift Jesus gave these men - to continue their community -  now their partnership will bless the kingdom and have eternal results.

I love that this call fits Peter. He will be fishing for men - catching men. He transforms their vocation and uses it for His purposes....much as the shepherds, Moses and David, became shepherds of Israel.

They left everything and followed Jesus.

"Fishermen made a better than average income, so leaving their job is an act of radical commitment that they would expect to adversely affect them economically."  (Bible Background Commentary - IVP)

This following Jesus is life-changing, big stuff. This following required a radical commitment of Peter, Andrew, James and John. It was more important for them to authentically follow Jesus, than it was for them to "live the dream," keep to their plan.  It's more important for me to authentically follow Jesus than it is for me to walk out my plans. That's just the way Jesus is - sometimes - He shows up right in the middle of life, gets personal with us, and nothing is ever the same again. He does what He wants.

And heart's passion is to follow Jesus.

Choosing Joy!
©2014 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...