I just finished reading today's
odb devotional. Its about the temptation of Jesus in the desert. Its a very interesting story
. Jesus fast 40 days and 40 nights after being lead by the spirit of God into the desert. [ This would not be a significant verse if Jesus were not subject to the same hunger pains a regular man would have (i.e. if he used his God powers to reduce his hunger pains)]
So Jesus is ridiculously hungry. I know how crazy i become after not having lunch .. Actually I once tried going a week without food ... it gets better after I miss both lunch and dinner then I started getting week on day 2 and on day three I got both soo weak and started feeling cold, at end of day 3 I was cold and could barely make it up the steps of my apartment and I decided to eat ... my little tale might not mean to much to some but I think Day 40 would be something doable for some but still quite ridiculous.
Ok so Jesus is a man who is ridiculously hungry and the devil shows up to tempt him. In the Jesus movies the devil shows up as a hissing serpent but I know that no hissing serpent shows up when I get my temptations. So its more of an internal thing, I'll assume that its not just cerebral its also spiritual. Since Jesus was in tune with his spirit and his spirit is in fellowship with God, the reality of the devil tempting him in the spiritual realm would be very real. So the devil say turn stone to bread and given the spiritual power Jesus he can do this! I know its kind of mysterious for some how Jesus could do miracles but I think that its pretty simple. Jesus was a human just like me and you. He had a spirit just like you and I. He connected with God's spirit in intense ways and God granted him the communion and power to work miracles, access wisdom (aka the mind of God) and teaching (I think this is the reason he says, "38I am telling you what I have seen in the Father's presence") and all sorts of other heavenly goodies.
We'll I think that every human being since Jesus has this power available! Why? Because we have a spirit just like Jesus' and because of Jesus death we have spiritual access granted by God. So why no such power is demonstrated in life today. One reason may be that we dont access because of our insistence on guiding our own spiritual path, what we will accept and what we wont, another could be because of lack of desire to access/have communion with the spirit of God, or lack of awareness of our spiritual selves and resources, other reasons may be our hearts have stored up in them desires or ideas from spirits other than the spirit of God. These are things we can work on to give God's spirit room.
Well someone else may have honestly submitted to repentance, and God's leadership ... Well I think after that its up to God's desire to do stuff. But from Jesus' words that we will do more things than he did. I seriously doubt that God chooses not to use the willing and submissive. Its very exciting to me the amount of power to transcend the natural world that we live in that is available. We should do our part to access this power to deal with our temptations and other misnomers that we see everyday.
God help us to be excited about what is available to us through our spirits connecting with yours and then help us to be committed to doing what we ought!
Dont forget to check out my site http://www.cs.tufts.edu/~bwangia/
. The photo's page has some links to photo's from my wedding on April 23, 2005 in Santa Cruz, CA
Just a short note ...
The wedding was fantastic ... yeah it was unbelievable.
Later I'll get to talking about what it felt down inside to see K come down that aisle on Peter's arm ... the vows .. the communion .. the congregation ... kissing K for the first time ever!
And boy ask anyone who was there about the reception! I danced and was sweating as if Id gone clubbing. Just to give an idea of how much fun happened ... picture a girl doing a flip ... my bride with one hand on one foot, the other behind her head and subsequent movement ... My sister Arlene and I doing the 'cooking spoon' dance in the middle of the circle ... picture three tall african men (my cousins) in black suits strolling through the circle floor waving little paper plates coz it was so hot! ... Picture guys chanting "Go Bradley! Go Bradley! Go Bradley! ... Go! Go! Go!"
Dad danced, Mom Danced, Katee's parents, Chris, Shanee, Shanee's Mom Nancy, Charis, Evan, Neal Richarde freaking out in the middle of the circle (ps I think he is over 50 yrs old) ... I mean everyone you can think of was in the middle of that circle.
You get the picture! All this happened at the churches hall, and who said church folk cant have fun.
Then Katee and I drove down to Carmel and had the honeymoon of our life!
We are just back to Santa Cruz from the honeymoon.
I come back to Boston on Saturday morning and will probably update the journal after them. I'll probably put up wedding pictures right after then.
K and I are doing great. Its never felt more natural to be married! I love it. Thanks to everyone for making our wedding just so great!
Wow! I leave for California today. 3 days to my wedding and the start of my life with K! I love her soo much (baby if you are reading this, I want the whole world to know).
Its been a great ride. Lots of hope, lots of purpose, lots of patience, and most of all lots of love.
Friday we have the rehearsal dinner. It will be awesome to be out in the hills in Santa Cruz with my Dad and Mom, Chris, Shanee, Little Nia-Lael, Arlene and the rest of my family and bring them to meet K's family and friends. Some of the boston crowd will make it to the dinner. Some of my Lincoln buddies are coming for the wedding Saturday.
Saturday, we do it all. Its going to be a fun event! The mixture of everything. I heard the vows on saturday that Pastor R has prepared and my heart just started to lift as I felt the awe of covenant. In the day when all people want is 'self serving freedom' it has never felt better to place my intent, my will, my emotions, my love in the a vow that establishes covenant with K and with God. On saturday it felt like I was made to say those words; I mean I've never felt stronger about saying them.
After Saturday, we'll be off to Carmel, CA start the married life!
We'll be back in Boston on the 30th.
Thank you Almighty God, My Creator for giving me K and this life I live. Glory to You.Todays ODB
talked about God's unchanging nature. He does not destroy us even when we turn away from his way. Otherwise, the world would be gone by now. The circumstances of life dont change Him either. Its awesome to have this picture of God. To me its a picture of a God who sees it all and withholds his hand from punishment, and more often than not he stretches out and blesses even when we are on our own path.
Mighty God, Mighty God .... Yes, you are a mighty God.
Its 15 days till I get married and I’m feeling good. I got up today and was getting ready to go pick up K; when I realized that soon, I'll get to have her with me 24/7. We'll be together and won't have to go anywhere to see each other. It’s really a marvel the mystery that marriage is.
We finished our marriage counseling yesterday and what an eye opener that was. As a single person, without realizing it you build up all these unhealthy hopes/expectations for your partner to fill that are all in your head. They are very burdensome to try and bring into a real living relationship. If you think about it would be really burdensome to live out someone else's expectations of you. It’s so much more refreshing to be yourself and have someone else discover the beauty of discovering your personality and also your quirks. Thanks God we got lots of warning on that.
In general, I’m really pumped to be K's husband and later our kids’ father. I can't believe I get to set up a new family entity. Affecting my family with my actions and choices. It’s weird that by making great choices, I get to set up a home that is healthy and vibrant and I'll get to positively influence K, our relatives and friends, other visitors, and later our Kids.
It’s funny that some of the guys tell me the count down with a tinge of "here it comes buddy; your in". But I just feel like I finally get to the finish line/or rewards line. Maybe for them, they got to do whatever when they were single/dating/engaged and so they had to come from that to full responsibility. But for the last few years I've been at full responsibility. So now I continue at full responsibility but I get to enjoy having someone to appreciate it, and someone to enjoy it with, have a strong reason for continuing this full responsibility. You don’t know how hard it is to do something hard when you’re constantly asking yourself, "Why am I putting myself through this? What is the big purpose in this?" But with marriage there is a big purpose to every little change that’s asked of you and making it yields some serious rewards. I’m looking forward to being married big time!
Sure there are lots of other responsibilities coming up that I did not have to think about. But what’s new about that, when I had to leave my plush DuPont job for hard grad school that was new responsibility. When I had to make the adjustment to teaching tufts Kids in labs when I'd not done that before that was more responsibility, when I had to chart a new social life in a different kind of crowd at PT and grace street that was a challenge, when I had to leave PT and be at grace street full time that was a challenge. And as far as I can see on the horizon, challenges are lined up for me. But with marriage I get to enjoy big time; I get to be with someone else. It’s a challenge that has instant reward; life with K! I’m way stocked!
And the wild card in all of this is its K! My baby's a lot of fun to be with. Everyone can tell by just how much fun people have interacting with her in public. But I come home to her everyday! Anyway, I’m writing too much ... I need to get to grading
talks about a group that wanted to impose their religious practice on new converts just so that they could brag about this outward show. But also so that they would not face difficulty for going against the grain. Instead Paul says that their directives should be shunned and his boasts as a leader for the new converts are in the cross of Jesus Christ. The only change he's looking for is a change that gives a great reflection on what the death of Jesus has done for the new converts. Its quite awesome coz there's lots that people want to see in us that would make them feel better but is not in what Christ would like to see in us. I go with what Christ wants to see in me over what all the 'influentials' in my life want to see in me.
Yesterday a YWAM arts team
out of tyler, TX came to gracestreet
and did a dramatic performance that included lots of stats on abortion and the modern day problems that youth and family face.
They went on to state that there was a bigger picture that framed everything. God created me he wants me to be fully alive. The enemy/satan is strongly opposed to me being fully alive. Because he hates people (me included) and he hates God. He will tempt, trick, confuse, and rid me of such things as faith, belief, compassion, trust, truth, hard work, love, hope, courage, service to others, in daily life and work hard to make sure that God's way of making these things happen for me, namely, faith that Jesus was God's son, that he was born, he died and he resurrected for me. For the saving of my spirit & soul (when I think of the spiritual), conscience and body (when I think of daily life on earth). The enemy will do everything to make me disbelieve this and also disbelieve that the teachings and practices that Jesus and his disciples taught will bring me and others full life on earth and after death.
It was very clear to me that I had the choice of being fully alive! I could choose to be partially alive (believe in Jesus but not do his teaching or refuse to let him into my career plans) or I can choose to co-operate with God as he changed my thinking and practice so that I became FULLY ALIVE. Reached my full potential.
I committed yesterday to choosing to be fully alive. For me that seems to mean a commitment to (Spiritual and possibly day to day) Priesthood (Ministry Work), Spiritual Knighthood (Prayer and daily living), and obedient to God living (day to day living). I feel very empowered by this choice. Today I came in to the computer science department and I power graded through 5 theory questions for my theory of computation class!
I feel changes in my thoughts about my relationships. And I feel really encouraged about being able (with God's help) to live a life that obeys Jesus' teachings.Today's
devotional talked about how people view Jesus and challenged me that if I viewed him as stated in the bible
, I should respond to this picture with loyalty and love for him.
|» Long Time Coming|
Ive been away form the journal for quite a while. School and other stuff got me seriously busy. Actually last week after studying about finite automata for the theory of computation class, I decided that the pressure of my current existance must have reduced me to a machine that could only address a finite number of input symbols. I remember going to class and not really comprehending/relating to what people were saying to me especially if that input was emotional; smiles, frowns ... You get the picture.
However, stuff is really picking up. I ran the class this week and Ive been getting in a little bit after nine and leaving a little bit before nine. Im afraid I may not have been eating and relaxing well coz I started to fall sick yesterday. So its precaution time, the theraflu's, cough drops, lots of rest and relaxation and I will try and work some exercise into the schedule.
Wedding planning is going well. I have one more guy to ask from my party and then Ill have to co-ordinate them. All in all I think my faith is the key in keeping sane in times like this.
I read a passage today in the ODB devotional that showed a picture of the heaven's. I think picturing the heavens and hoping for that also makes sense to a lot of the struggle here. I dont know how Id take on this amount of change and responsibility without the knowledge that there was some purpose to it all. I know a lot of people are motivated by the money reward or happiness reward but a lot of those ring a little bit shallow for me. I want the big kahuna as motivation for daily life. Give me some heaven!
|» Turned 25 Yesterday|
So I turned 25 yesterday.|
Birthdays are low key affairs for me (I even forgot) once growing up. But it was cool that people wanted to do something. The guys bought me dinner at picantes and K baked a cake and brought it in. D played a spanish birthday song on the accordion.
Had a good time. Ive had so much happen in the last year. Since my last birthday and begun dating and got engaged to K. I got a masters degree, went home, begun research work, got my first niece, met in-laws- to be, have been to East Africa, California and Northern VT. Yay! Have had some wild times of personal and intellectual growth ...
Someone said to me its just downhill from here ... meaning It should be easier going forward. Which is kind of true but I also think have serious challenges for my life.
Yesterday I prayed that this marks not less than a quarter of my time on earth. Which made neurotic me think about taking better care of my bod if I wanted to be around for all that time and have fun being around!
Its nice to be 25. Soon car companies wont discriminate against me for no reason.
On a separate note, over the weekend I became quite resolute about my work as an academic. I was talking to a friend about how their corporate programming job was coming and I did not envy him one bit. I know I want to be excellent in academia and I know I have what it takes. So here comes nothing. As if to confirm this, I was asked to TA the Theory of Compuation class this semester and I will.
Good to be 25!
|» Devotional: Life's Purpose|
I competed for the Episcopalian scholarship that asked us to memorize some form of their creed and I remember that the first thing on the list was that Man's (and woman's of-course) chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. Couple that with Jesus' "Love the lord your God with all your heart soul and strength and love your neighbor as you love yourself" and you the message of todays ODB.|
I tend to think about stuff so much and sometimes it gets me in a neurotic funk. At those times I question what life is for. Just to live doing what life demands and then die for heaven. Well thats as dry a thought as I can imagine. Its in stark contrast to obeying God and enjoying safe pasture in the land. Its in start contrast to Enjoying God forever. Its in stark contrast to love. To enjoying life and its challenges. Id rather think that Obeying God brings great pleasure and loving the people around me maximizes my sense of happiness, joy, and enjoyment of life.
And it make perfect sense. If I disobey God and what is right and true and good. I feel apart from that good and true life, I feel the guilt of a violated conscience. Luckily God is so forgiving. All I have to do is come and say, Im sorry and I have a new lease on life. It turns out that enjoying God is more fun than resisting and disobeying him. It leads to better relationships with the people around. It leads me to enjoy my job and my existence and at the end of life, I have an even greater prize waiting for me!
Someone may object that I am painting a rosy picture and that life has lot of sorrows and trials. I completely agree that life has sorrows and griefs and tragedies; but I would rather face those with the knowledge of God, his wisdom on dealing with them, and his comfort than without Him.
It feels great to be a child of God today!
|» Devotional: Surrender and patience|
Todays ODB can be best summed up by its last sentence, "Instead of trying to quell your fears with panic prayers, surrender yourself to God through a prayer of relinquishment, and see what He will do".|
I took comfort in the passage (Psalm 37:1-8)though.
It talks about not worrying about people who do wrong and succeed because they will soon wither away. Instead we are to trust in God and do good; live and enjoy safe life.
Vs. 5 strikes a chord in me because I feel like that is what Im currently doing with life.
Vs. 6 is almost an untouchable because you are not supposed to dwell on self promotion. The speaker at church talked about this yesterday.
The last line of the passage is a shocker, "Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret-it leads only to evil". I sometimes think that its my choice on whether I will worry or not but here it clearly states that fretting only leads to evil!
|» Devotional: Momentary vs future purpose|
I guess I never understood todays passage from ODB. Esau, coming home from the outdoors swears an oath to sell his birthright to Jacob. |
I don't really think I understood this idea of birthright. It seems like a promised destiny not just for the individual but for his/her posterity.
I feel like I have an inheritance/birthright in God and if I listen to him, I will come into it. Its almost already evident in some of the things that have happened to me. Winning a scholarship to come to the states, getting through lincoln, getting that Killer paying job at DuPont, getting into Tufts and getting my masters project done, going to Kenya in Nov needing both a passport and a visa to come back and I get it with no problem (student on legit trips have had months to get their visa's back), meeting and loving K, even my impending UCSC application.
But it seems like the message here is that I can sacrifice all of that continued destiny if I give in to the pressures of the immediate. The pressure to have money to help with stuff, to drive a better car, live in a place I own, eat better ... just a better life! I could be unimpressed and step of the path of destiny!
Disrupting all the blessing that was to come into being through me. I could opt for the ordinary in order to escape current pressures but I won't I will stick it out and change so that I can take on all my challenges. Then I will see all of God's blessing and will bring into this life everything God would use me to bring in plus some more! Yay!