Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A New Look... A New Season... A New Study

A fresh new look is just what I needed to get excited about getting back into blogland. How I have missed my bloggy sisters. I have lost touch with so many of you and I am sure it will take time for us all to re-connect. Blogland is much different than the personal relationships we have with family and friends who we see or talk to on a daily basis. Blogland is so vast that connections obviously come and go.

I have to thank Christy at Between Here ane Home for the instructions on creating custom blog banners!  My photos are from my yard.  They were taken last summer.  I am looking forward to creating new banners each month or so to keep things fresh!  After all spring will shortly be here - can I hear an Amen to that? 

Lots have been going on in my life.  One of the most exciting things is our Church's annual spiritual renewal program.  This year our groups are reading The Prodigal God (Finding Your Place at the Table) by Timothy Keller.  The book takes a look at The Parable of the Lost Son, commonly known to so many of us as "The Parable of the Prodigal Son". 



THE PARABLE OF THE PRODIGAL SON: LUKE 15:1-3, 11-32

Now the tax collectors and "sinners" were all gathering around to hear him. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them." Then Jesus told them this parable:

"There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he divided his property between them. 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. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything."

"When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.' 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. The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' 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. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate."

"Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 'Your brother has come,' he replied, 'and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.' The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 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. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!'"

"'My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 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.'"

One of the first lessons I have learned is the definition of the word "Prodigal"
Prodigal - Adjective
1. Recklessly Extravagant
2. Having Spent Everything

Now I can assure while I have been away from blogland, I have not been a Prodigal Daughter. ;)  Prior to beginning the study I kept asking myself "How could God be Prodigal?"  Of course this is when I assumed that prodigal meant wayward or lost.  After all in my Bible the parable is entitled "The Parable of the Lost Son".   As we walk toward the cross and ultimately toward Easter I can most definitely see that God is prodigal.  He is recklessly extravagant with us.  Lavishing so much love on us that He spent everything by sending His son to earth to bear the cross for our sins.  I don't know about you, but that is the epitome of "spending everything." 

I look forward to sharing so much more with all of you.  It never ceases to amaze me that the ancient words speak something new everytime I read them.

I invite you to ponder these verses in Luke.  Think about what has always come to mind when you read this portion of scripture.  Is the lost son the one who asked his father for his share of the inheritance, left home, spent his fortune only to find himself destitute?  Or is the lost son the elder son who stayed home, obeyed his father, did what he was supposed to do?  Have you ever thought that Jesus was telling his audience that both sons were lost?  Go back to the first verses of Luke 15.  Who was Jesus addressing? Ponder that question.  I look forward to your comments... and look forward to sharing more!

If you are interested in more information about Timothy Keller or the book The Prodigal God... visit The Prodigal God

I pray all of you are having a blessed day.  I think of many of you so often.  I enjoy keeping up with you not only when I visit blogland, but on Facebook.  You are all dear to me!

Hugs,

6 comments:

Christy said...

Kristen,

I love your fresh, new look! Wouldn't it be great if we could sit and chat there on your porch?!

I look forward to hearing more from you!!!

Cindy (Letters From Midlife) said...

I like the new look and was happy to see a new post at your blog! I've missed them.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Tax collectors and sinners... count me in!

So glad you're back; love the new look and the spacious "read." I love the simplicity of this; helps me focus on the words.

Look forward to continuing the Easter journey with you.

peace~elaine

Paula said...

I guess I should have looked up the word "prodigal" a long time ago! Nice to have you back in blogland.

Smelling Coffee said...

What a neat concept - very new to me about God being the Prodigal. But so true!

And I do love the new look. Christy is so smart about these things, isn't she? ;-)

Love ya~
Jennifer

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