Friday, April 1, 2011


Alright, everybody return to your seats. Turn off your cell phones and quit the whispering. Intermission is over! The Lord has answered my prayer for the resolve part one lacked. The problem was me not God. WHOA! Surprise ending! Didn't see it coming.

Ok, here's the thing. Macaroni and cheese and cut up hot dogs just taste good together. I don't care. Here is the other thing. You can choose to not do things God's way, but don't expect him to cater to you. I have been doing things my way for a long time. Almost six years to be exact. And the worst part was, I didn't know it. 

I am truly grateful God's grace covers sins of spiritual blindness. 

Let me get this off my chest. 
Hi, I'm Hannah. 
Hi Hannah.
And I'm an elder brother. 

Read this: 

Luke 15

1 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
 3 Then Jesus told them this parable...

The Parable of the Lost Son

11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

This parable has a terrible name. It should be called, "THE FATHER AND HIS SONS" or "A DAD AND HIS TWO KIDS" or "TWO CHILL'INS AND THEIR PAPPY". Point being this parable is just as much about the older brother and the dad as it is about the prodigal son. In fact, one could argue it's actually more about the older son considering Jesus was telling the parable to Pharisees and teachers of the law, the "elder sons" themselves. 

For the official record, I did not come up with this revelation by myself. I highly suggest you read Prodigal God by Tim Keller. 

What was the older brother's issue? He had been doing all these wonderful things for the Father for years and things didn't go his way. What was the result? Anger towards the Father and judgment towards those who actually understood the Father's grace.

In part one, I listed a large number of problems I thought I had but in reality I only had one. Entitlement. I didn't get it. I didn't understand why things weren't happening the way they "should" be happening. I was angry and disappointed with how things were going and how I felt about the things that were going. This is because I was trying to manipulate God by doing good things. I then figured in exchange he would make my life turn out the way I wanted it.

Note my struggle with prayer. I thought there was a way I should be praying because I had it in my head there was such a thing as righteous prayer. My motivation was to convince God to do and act as I felt He should. Note my struggle with my own personal comfort. My motivation was to be my own Savior so life would look the way I wanted it to look. And the result was no faith, no peace, no trust, and no understanding when the crazy shape my life was taking didn't fit into my self-righteous box.

Why do I share this? Because for the first time since I became a believer I felt my faith (painfully) shift from being me-centered to Gospel-centered. The result of this revelation brought me to tears realizing I was the older brother. I was the one reacting in misplaced anger and disrespect towards the Father when He didn't act as I saw fit. And I was the one passing judgment on those who actually understood you can't earn your way towards God and you can't manipulate God's actions by doing really good things or praying "correctly".

Did this revelation end with a contented sigh and a self-righteous smugness due to finally gaining some understanding?
For once in my life, no.

Did you notice the parable of the two sons and their dad doesn't resolve? It doesn't tell you if the elder brother ever swallowed his pride and went inside. I believe this is because Jesus was making a point as he was speaking to the self-righteous religious people. We have a much harder time humbling ourselves to accept God's grace because we are blinded by our "good works" as opposed to those who have nowhere else to go. I don't want to be so blind. I want to understand the gospel of God's grace. Grace I'm beginning to understand I need so much more then I ever realized I did. And I want to be entrusted with a knowledge of that grace for the purpose of spreading it to the ends of the earth.

Jamaica and Australia... prepare yourselves. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I am trying to create good blogging habits. I have been reading more, brainstorming more, and exercising more sarcasm in my day to day speech. All for you dear reader.

I can easily compare blogging to exercising. At first it sounds like a great idea and you're super inspired and raring to go. Then after a time or two you get bored and merely pretend to do it from time to time. Before long you're broke from your gym membership and fatter then when you started. Ok, that last point only relates to exercising. This principle however applies to both. The more you do it, the easier it gets and the more it becomes part of your life. So this blog is to keep me from becoming creatively flabby. Lucky readers.

I don't have much of a plan for this particular post, but its been an absurd amount of time since the last one and I did want to take a moment to thank you (whoever and wherever you are) for checking in regularly even when I'm slacking. And I know you're probably wondering what happened to part two. I didn't forget. I just need more time to finish it. Don't fret. If you read it, it will come. 

For now, here is your quote for this week.
Read it. Ponder it. Love it.

Embrace relational uncertainty. It's called romance.
Embrace spiritual uncertainty. It's called mystery.
Embrace occupational uncertainty. It's called destiny.
Embrace emotional uncertainty. It's called joy.
Embrace intellectual uncertainty. It's called revelation.
-Mark Batterson
(In a pit with a lion on a snowy day)