What I’m Reading: One King

Last week, I started a series called What I’m Praying. This week, I’m starting a series called What I’m Reading to share with you some of the things that have caught my attention in the past few weeks. Also, it will help me actually read more. I was a mad voracious reader growing up, and I’d love to fall back into that rhythm. Plus, I don’t have textbooks anymore, so if I want to continue filling my mind with quality writing, I have to go find it and make time to actually read it.

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Right now, I’m reading One King by Samuel Whitefield. I’m only four chapters in, because I’m trying to really process the material and track with it in my own Bible.

One King addresses questions of God’s promises for the people of Israel, and shows how those promises are directly related to the current and historical controversies over Israel. It explores why Israel has been the centre of such controversy and violence for millenia, and how the Church is to relate to ethnic and national Israel today. Most importantly, it shows how Jesus alone can bring the fulfillment of Israel’s destiny, and He will do this in fullness at His second coming when He rules from Jerusalem as King forever.

As soon as I started seeing this book promoted online, I knew I had to read it. I bought it on my visit to Kansas City last month, but only this past week have I started seriously diving into it. Samuel Whitefield was one of my favourite instructors at IHOPU, and he has a deep understanding, both academically and practically, of issues related to Israel.

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Genesis 12: land, descendents, nations.

Right now, I’m almost finished with Part I of the book, which is titled “The Basis of the Gospel–Abraham’s Promise”. Understanding God’s Genesis 12 covenant with Abraham and its three components is foundational to understanding the big picture of the entire Gospel. These three key promises are thus:

“1) Abraham will have descendents who will become a righteous nation, 2) those descendants will permanantly inherit a land, and 3) the nations will receive blessing and salvation through the process.”
Samuel Whitefield, “One King,” p 12, emphasis mine

These three promises are geniusly interwoven in such a way that they can each be fully fulfilled only when ALL are fully fulfilled, and only Jesus can make that happen. Naturally, Satan reeeeally doesn’t want that to happen. And thus, the stage is set for the greatest drama ever known: the saga of world redemption through the story of a chosen people and their Messiah.

I’m super excited to read the rest of this book, and I’ll be sure to share an update on my thoughts after I have done so.

If you’re interested in studying more about Israel, check out One King on Samuel Whitefield’s website. I also highly suggest Parts I & II of the “Covenenant and Controversy” documentary series, which Samuel Whitefield contributed to. Both films are available to stream for free at covenantandcontrovery.com.

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Intentionally Resting Well

Yesterday was a good day.

First (and this is very important) I wore a beautiful new long flowy skirt I got on discount for $13 (originally $100). I love it. (I realised AT CHURCH it still had the security tag attached, but with a bit of cleverness I managed to get it off at home later… so that was an exciting start to my day.)

I went to the early service at church and even though I was late and missed most of worship, I got to hear a wonderful message from Rick Joyner. (If you want to listen to it, the video should be online HERE in a few days.)

I spread out my outdoor throw blanket on the grass in my backyard amid the dandelions and started reading a new novel by one of my favourite authors. (The Calling by Rachelle Dekker, everyone. Check it out.)

Did I mention that it was 69° F and sunny at that time??

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My happy place.

I spent three hours at the home of Erica and Jacob, the leaders of the Kid City 7 sidewalk Sunday school outreach I volunteer at. They invited all of the volunteers over for delicious lunch and even more delicious fellowship. I had a wonderful heart-to-heart with one girl for almost an hour (this is how introverts party hard), then went outside in the beautiful weather and played with the world’s cutest baby.

In the evening, I met with my College Station ministry trip team for some more vision-casting and logistical stuff. It was really good to talk and pray with them. (I even met a girl I have connections with from home!) The trip is only two weeks away and I’m so excited for what God is going to do!

It’s been a while since I’ve taken the time for a really good refreshing Sabbath. I spend so much time either a) getting stuff done, or b) procrastinating getting stuff done. (Wanna guess which I do more of?) Unfortunately, procrastinating usually looks like scrolling through social media or watching videos online.

I think I need to relearn how to rest well.

For me to rest well, I personally need a good combination of friends, food, laughter, fresh air, grass, sunshine, solitude, books, creativity, and/or worship. Ideally, definitely worship.

As a matter of fact, my favourite part of the day was when I lay on the grass, set down my book, and lay with my face to the sun just thinking about the nearness of God and allowing myself to be the wide-eyed child again.

Yesterday I actually chose to set aside some of my to-dos not to aimlessly procrastinate, but to actually get refreshed. I’ll always have more stuff to do. The to-dos never really end. But if I don’t intentionally take time to rest and refresh, I’m going to burn out and end up forgetting who I am.

I am not my to-do list.

I am not my ministry.

I am not my education.

I’m Caitlyn. I’m the daughter and the beloved of God. I love sunshine and books and creating. I’m essentially the same person today as when I first fell in love with Jesus, and I still need those sweet moments–to put aside an agenda and just be myself with Him–just as much today.

Book Hangover

I’m currently in one of those weird moods commonly known to bibliophiles as a “book hangover,” although I contest that it can happen with TV programmes equally strongly. This happened a few days ago when I finally watched the recent Christmas special of Downton Abbey. No spoilers, but suffice it to say that there was a long beautiful sequence of scenes of joy and peace and promise and newness, and then in ten heinous seconds it all was ripped away leaving a gaping bloody hole in the centre of perfection… and then I had to walk away and do “real life,” whatever the heck that is. And all I could think about was how sadistic these writers are and how are these people going to bear it when they discover what the viewers know but the family is blissfully unaware of until the next episode… Curse you, BBC!!!

Anyway, I was talking about books. Somehow books are even weirder because it all happens completely in your mind. Interrupt me while I’m reading, and my eyes will jerk up, staring blankly, trying to reorient myself but 99% mentally still in the book. Whatever words stumble from my mouth in those next few seconds are almost guaranteed not to make sense.  The only reason I’m able to write coherently now is because I put the book down a full thirty minutes ago.

I’m currently reading a mind-bending sci-fi/fantasy novel called Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card. The plot is excellent, but it’s the intelligence of the characters that makes Card’s books stand out. I feel like I’m learning so much about human nature just from the way the characters understand humanity. Anyway, I read a full 300 pages in one sitting. Took me about three hours. Yes, I know that’s insanely fast. I’m probably not human.

When I finally “come to” enough to realise that I should probably take a break, I close the book, wash my dishes which had been sitting abandoned next to me for at least two hours, and stumble upstairs and into the bathroom, something else I haven’t done in far too long. Staring into the mirror, an array of bizarre yet familiar thoughts accost me. It’s a bit of a side effect of the bleary return to the “real world.” Like waking up from the Matrix. Well, here I am. Caitlyn. Is that my name? Who is Caitlyn? Oh look at that, I have a body. Still got legs. I am inside my body. Isn’t that weird. I am stuck inside my body experiencing only what’s immediately around me. Is this how time normally passes–very slowly, in the right order? Have I always been in my body? How maddening–I’ve always been inside my body, always thinking even while asleep, never leaving myself alone. I feel completely claustrophobic inside my own skull. Because clearly I’m not my body. I’ve barely been aware of my body for the past three hours. So what is this consciousness trapped in here? What is Thought, what is Consciousness, what is Self, or Soul, or Sentience? Are all people like this–so much bigger on the inside?

And then I conclude that I’ve had a little too much book for one day and decide an appropriate remedy is finding some Real People to Hang Out with. Extreme introversion must be occasionally forcibly counterbalanced with purposeful social interaction. Except like tonight when the house is empty and my options become basically either watch Merlin on Netflix or go to bed early. If I’m smart, I’ll choose the latter and start fresh tomorrow, when I’m hopefully a bit more in touch with this thing called Reality and feeling a little more at home inside my own skull.