Every Quirky Detail
Every Quirky Detail
The year was 1976; Americans sat riveted to their TV's watching the Summer Olympics from Montreal, Canada, and met a young Romanian girl named Nadia Comaneci, who would score the world's first perfect "10." It was the year of our country’s Bicentennial; Jimmy Carter became president, it marked the beginning of Apple Computer and Microsoft, and it was the year our pastor challenged his congregation: "Read the Bible Thru in 76."
Seemed like an eternity
Though I was just eleven, and my brother only seven at the time, my parents committed to this challenge and make it a family adventure. It'd be great to point back to this time and say," it was a profound turning point in my life." However, what I remember mostly from that year is sitting each night in the red brick family room my dad built onto our house, for what seemed like an eternity, as each one in our family took turns reading a paragraph of that night's selected passage.
Thank you Lord
Looking back, I think this must have been an excruciating time for our parents, although maybe not as bad as if we had been reading from the King James – Thank you Lord for the Living Bible! I struggled with reading through junior high, and my brother was barely reading at all – let's face it, reading Leviticus or Numbers is hard enough as an adult. Now take yourself back to when you were seven and give that a whirl – UGH!
I fell in love
I wish I could say that this is when I fell in love with the Bible. It is not. However, that seemingly endless journey of "Read the Bible Thru" set the foundation for my love of God's Word. When nothing made sense In my teen years, I would escape to the Psalms, learning to "cast my cares upon Him" (Psalm 55:22). Later through a painful marriage and divorce, followed by the death of my dad, I knew "God had a plan" (Ephesians 2:10 & Jeremiah 29:11) for all of these events, even when I could not see His plan. I've heard "hindsight is 20/20" and while things are still not crystal clear, I can trace back the events in my mind, connecting the dots to see how God was working and knitting each detail of the tapestry that is my life.
Every jot and tittle
Fast forward to 2001. Entering Bible college at age 36, the picture came more into focus as I absolutely fell in love with God's Word. I love every single little quirky detail! Every "jot and tittle" (Matthew 5:18). I find amazing humor in the drama of Moses' words in Numbers 11:15 "If You continue to do this to me, please kill me now! Otherwise, my life would have achieved nothing!" or Adam, when he tells God the whole thing with the forbidden fruit was His fault "The woman whom YOU gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate." And Rachel speaking to Jacob in Genesis 30 about her lack of children "…So she said to Jacob, 'Give me children, or I shall die.'"
Then, lets not forget to mention Aaron from Exodus 32 when confronted by Moses about the idol he made while Mo was up the mountain getting the tablets from God; "I said to them, 'Whoever has any gold, let them tear it off.' So they gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf.” POOF! Out came this calf – In today's culture, good old Mo would have said something like, "What?! Are you kidding me with this?" I smile every time I think about that exchange.
One day it clicked
The writings from the apostle Paul took me a little longer to grasp. But one day, it clicked! Being that he was the "Hebrew of Hebrews" (Philippians 3:5), a switch flipped in my brain, and I started to read him with a Yiddish accent. Suddenly, the words in his letters to the churches began to pop off the pages. Now, of course, I do not know if Paul spoke like that, my guess is probably not, but his run-on sentences and paragraphs sure are easier to read if you read them through the filter of my Jewish mother-in-law. All those rhetorical questions! I can hear it now: "What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?"(Romans 6:1-4). One of my favorite exchanges Paul had was with the church at Corinth. In 2 Corinthians 12:11, Paul says: "I have made a fool of myself, but you drove me to it." Go get 'em, Paul! I am sure It probably helps the voice in my head that my Jewish-by-blood husband does a great Yiddish "you want I should kill myself?" impersonation helping me automatically switch to that voice when reading Paul's words.
Deep and profound observations
While there is great humor tucked through the pages of God's infallible, inerrant, inspired Word, there are also many deep and profound observations to be made. The fact that Christ was chosen before time to be the ultimate sacrifice for our sins, reveals God's provision and great love for us. We see that first in the curse laid out by God in Genesis chapter 3, and then over and over throughout the pages of the Old Testament. I can not read the account of Abraham having been asked of God to offer his son, without seeing God the Father and Christ Jesus the Son in that exchange.
Every detail matters
Every detail matters! Do not let the magnitude of Genesis 22 pass you by – even "the land of Mount Moriah" has profound significance. Moriah is the very same area where Christ was crucified, Golgotha is in the land of Mount Moriah! Isaac carried the wood on his back; Christ carried the cross on His. "The third day." "Your son, your only son." The ram being caught by his horns in the thorn bush – not for one minute do I think any of these details are a coincidence. They are there to point us to the provision God made for us.
Pointing to the Redeemer
Through the pages of God's Word we observe David's battle depression and Solomon, weary with the struggles of life's seasons. The book of Ruth points us to the Redeemer to come and opens the door for us to consider the depth of Ruth and Naomi's relationship. What kind of woman must Naomi have been for her daughters-in-law to have been willing to leave all they knew, all their family – EVERYTHING and follow Naomi to a place about which Ruth knew nothing. Naomi often gets a bad rap. She is distraught with grief and calls herself "Mara" meaning "bitter." Often this self-given label is where people focus, but I can’t help consider the depth of character and love between her, Orpah, and Ruth for those girls to be willing to go with her. I mean, really, who would want to go anywhere with a bitter old woman, especially when there was no legal or moral obligation to do so?
The wisdom in the Proverbs, everything from guidance about money, greed, stewardship, friendship, and relationships. Proverbs 14:1 tells us: "The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands." Some translations say she tears it down "brick by brick" – that got my attention! I wanted to be a woman who builds my home, not destroys it.
The gospels give us four windows into the life and ministry of Christ. We learn through Matthew the details that were important to the Jewish audience. Jesus used details they would understand (Matthew 19:16-30). Through Mark what the Romans needed to hear their status meant very little in the scheme of eternity (Mark 10:21-22). For Luke's highly educated Greek audience the theme of humble servitude comes forward (Luke 14:7-11). Then, John provides an intimate view of Christ Jesus, our Lord, that transcends all cultures (John 15).
Through the epistles, I see all the wisdom, guidance, love, and correction Paul provides those church leaders. I am also able to observe a style of communication beneficial to everyone today. I call it the "Apostle Paul Sandwich," and it goes like this – In every one of Paul's letters, we can observe this formula: praise, thanksgiving, encouragement – loving but firm reproof, rebuke, correction – encouragement, thanksgiving, and praise.
What a difference
Can you imagine what our world would be like if we communicated this way? It takes practice, but what a difference it would be if we worked not only to put God's Word but also the examples given in His Word into practice! "ALL Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:16-17). ALL. In case you aren't familiar with this term, it means all, everything, the whole, the total, nothing held back – ALL!
People gave ALL
Recently, I was reminded of a time when the people gave ALL. Back in Exodus 36, we find part of the account of the building of the Tabernacle. This is where Moses called all the skilled workers, and those whose hearts stirred, to come to work. Moses gave the workers the contributions that had been collected, and construction began. Along the way, the Israelites kept bringing supplies, so much so the workers told Moses, "The people are bringing much more than enough for the construction work which the LORD commanded us to perform." Moses actually had to go to the people and tell them to stop! In verse 7 of that same chapter, it says: "For the material they had was sufficient and more than enough for ALL the work, to perform it." MORE THAN ENOUGH! The same idea repeats in 1 Chronicles 29 when David is reviewing all that had been set aside for the Temple. Some items under David's ability to provide and some from the people. "Then the rulers of the fathers' households, and the princes of the tribes of Israel, and the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, with the overseers over the kings' work, offered willingly;…Then the people rejoiced because they had offered so willingly, for they made their offering to the LORD with a whole heart…" (1 Chronicles 29:6-9). These are great examples of generous giving but also the importance of having the right attitude. Notice, neither of these passages say the people grumbled and complained.
Their whole heart
On the contrary, they gave "willingly" and "rejoiced" and "gave with their whole heart." In Exodus, they had to be "restrained from giving." Can you even imagine?!
Consider for just a moment what our churches would be able to do for the Kingdom if there was so much time, money, skill, and talent given that pastors had to stand in the pulpit and tell people to "STOP!"
Time to dig
Maybe with all the extra time Covid-19 has thrust upon us, it is the time to dig back into Scripture? Perhaps you have had a love of God's Word that has gone stale, or maybe you are ready to dig in for the first time learning to explore Every Quirky Detail. It all starts by asking the Holy Spirit to cultivate that desire in your life and is followed by obedience. Either way, the Bible is rich, a treasure of instruction and examples for a fulfilling life with Christ.
In Ephesians 1 the apostle Paul offers this prayer to the believers at Ephesus, and I offer it to you here from The Passion Translation: "I pray that the light of God will illuminate the eyes of your imagination, flooding you with light until you experience the full revelation of the hope of His calling – that is, the wealth of God's glorious inheritances that He finds in us, His holy ones! I pray that you will continually experience the immeasurable greatness of God's power made available to you through faith. Then your lives will be an advertisement of this immense power as it works through you! This is the mighty power that was released when God raised Christ from the dead and exalted Him to the place of highest honor and supreme authority in the heavenly realm..."
Welcome, I'm Holly Watson
Certified Professional Life Coach
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Holly is a commissioned minister of Pastoral Care from the National Conservative Christian Church/Experience Church. She has served in ministry for many years in various roles including adult Sunday School co-director with her husband David, part of a church planting team in Phoenix, AZ, children’s choir teacher, nursery director, director of Women’s Ministry and director of Children’s Ministry and Chaplain for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association Rapid Response Team.
Holly holds a B.A. Biblical Studies from San Diego Christian College in El Cajon, an M.A. Clinical Christian Counseling from Colorado Theological Seminary; she gained her CPLC (Certified Professional Life Coach) from Christian Coach Institute, holds a Teaching Diploma from the Evangelical Training Association in Wheaton Ill., and a Certification in Temperament Therapy from the National Christian Counselors Association.
Holly struggled with school and learning for many years. This cycle was broken in her mid-twenties when she began to have success after having a couple of engaging teachers who communicated and encouraged the learner in her. Graduating college with honors and later being accepted to the University of Southern California have become milestones that help her inspire others to work towards and achieve their goals, hopes, and dreams.