Genesis 17: Circumcision

God appears to Abram, renews his promise, changes his and Sarai’s names. God then tells Abram to circumcise all males in his family. He then tells him that he will have his son through Sarai in the following year and that his blessing will be fulfilled though his son Issac – and Abram laughs.

Circumcision – lots of controversy today about it – is it healthy, is it safe, is it necessary, does it traumatize the child. Jews still do it, many, perhaps most Westerners do it, Muslims do it from age 8 days old to 13 years old. Frankly I don’t know. Glad my mom did it to me – I certainly don’t remember the pain if there was any.  Some say that sexual stimulation is lessened if one is circumcised. Others, say it is useful for preventing certain infections. But for the Jews it was a sign required to participate in the covenant.

Some folks believe there is a similarity between circumcision and baptism. I see more differences than commonalities.

Abraham immediately carries out his circumcision responsibilities – even to himself which must have been VERY painful at his age. I know someone who had it done in his late thirties and he said it was the most painful thing he had experienced in his life – and he has had a great familiarity with pain.

Sometimes, following God requires enduring a certain amount of distress, discomfort, unhappiness and maybe even to the level of torment. Life is not easy without God but He doesn’t promise us easy street with Him. We just have to take the long view.

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Moonwalking Animatronic Shoe Robot

 

Built this crazy walking shoe robot after I got idea to build a moonwalking robot. The moonwalker was too hard so came up with this simplified simulator.

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Genesis 16: The Coming of the Arabs

Abram and Sarai still had no children so they conspired to hurry things along by having Sarai’s handmaid have a child with Abram. But things didn’t work out cozily and Sarai ended up making Hagar run away. Hagar runs into an angel of the Lord (was it the Lord?) who convinces her to return and prophecies that Hagar would birth a nation.

When the Lord tells you to do something, you should just wait on Him no matter how long it takes. But it is different with us today – we don’t get specific instructions from the Lord, we get the Word, we get the guidance of the Spirit. Still, we should wait on the Lord.

So, if God knows the Arabs are going to cause so much turmoil in all future generations, why did He allow Hagar to live? I have no answer. Perhaps it is all part of a master plan. Perhaps it is just the inevitable result of Abram and Sarai’s and Hagar’s foibles.  Could it be that Satan made some sort of agreement with God that he would get a following too. The Arabs through Mohammed have certainly not been friendly with Christians in general though they too are invited to salvation. And no matter what spin you put on it, the Muslim religion is antithetical to Judaism and Christianity. So much turmoil from such small beginnings – sin is a gust that can beget a hurricane.

Father, help me to wait on You with faith, prayer and perseverance.

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New Acrylic Paintings

Painting a couple quick ones from real life.

Flowers

Cup 1

 

 

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Paintings Based on Don Bishop Plein Air Artist

Doing some painting again in acrylics. Copying Don Bishops paintings to practice and doing some of my own.

Bishop Copy

Don Bishop Trees Lanscape Copy

Kunming My Home Complex

Pleine Air of My Apartment Complex

 

Don Bishop Landscape Copy

Don Bishop Landscape Copy

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Genesis 15: Abraham – Man of Faith and Doubt?

Abraham was concerned about his progeny – he had no heirs from his own body. So God appeared to him to promise a great line of descendants as well a land for them to live in that was currently occupied. He also prophesied about Abraham’s children living in a “strange” land  (Egypt) who would be judged accordingly for their mistreatment of the Israelite people.

Now the personal lesson I take away from this chapter is that Abraham was counted as righteous for his belief in God – YET – he then asks God – how will I know that you will fulfill your promise to me?  I am so happy to hear Abraham question God because I do the same thing constantly – I tell God I believe in Him with all my heart and I trust Him to take care of me – and then I wonder,  “how will He take care of me?” I don’t question that God exists, I don’t question He will help me through the trials of life and answer my prayers but I often question if He will answer them in a particular manner that I think is an appropriate response. I often forget who God is and that He knows the best solution and that I often ask for a rock when He wants to give me bread. But we have to believe He exists, that He cares for us and we have to ask. Thank you Abraham.

 

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Genesis 14: Melchizedek – the Mysterious

There was a powerful king named  Kedorlaomer who, with some other lesser kings, attacked the kings in the Dead Sea area, south of Jerusalem. They defeated those kings of Sodom and that area, and ran them off into their own pits and hills. He then took Lot when he sacked Sodom. Abraham heard about it and called on a few associates and using only 318 of his own men, ran after  Kedorlaomer, defeated him and his kings with some sneaky strategy (and God’s help) and rescued his “brother” Lot.

Coming back home, he ran into the king of Jerusalem – Melchizedek. Genesis is not too specific about him but he is described as “without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like unto the Son of God), abideth a priest continually. ” in Hebrews 7:3. Some folks think it was Jesus, some think he was a man that never died, others that he was just a God fearing man who prophesied about and was symbolic of Jesus who would be a king and a priest. I guess we will know more about Melchizedek when we meet him face to face and I am sure thousands of souls will be asking him for details.

Finally, Abraham meets the latest king of Sodom and though the king offered him gifts, he would not take a shoelace. We can safely attach ourselves to God fearing men but we need to stay away from attaching ourselves to the Godless.

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