Three things loved or learned

I am using Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s Read-through-the Bible-plan this year, and I love it. It will take me through the New Testament and Psalms twice, and the Old Testament once. In a normal day you will read 4 chapters, two from the Old and two from the New. If you don’t want to read that much, you can do the two-year plan. It’s not too late to get started on a plan to read through the most important book ever written! Take a look here at several different options, including M’Cheyne’s.

Cindy and I are taking our time reading through Nik Ripken’s book, The Insanity of God. This book will make you laugh out loud and it will make you cry. It will challenge your thinking about suffering, and give you a greater desire to engage in missions in hard places, either personally or through prayer and support. Usually two or three nights a week, my lovely bride and I sit down in the family room with a hot drink as I read a chapter or two aloud.

Speaking of reading through the Bible, earlier this week I was in Esther 6. The king had just learned that it was Mordecai that had uncovered the plot to assassinate the king, and he wanted to honor him. The king asked who was in the court, and Haman had just arrived, breathlessly waiting to tell the king that he had a 75-foot gallows built the night before, upon which he planned to hang Mordecai! When he was summoned to see the king, Haman was asked, “What should be done to the man whom the king delights to honor?” Haman is the poster child for narcissism, so naturally he assumes the king is talking about honoring him! So he describes this elaborate processional, where the man being honored is dressed in a robe the king has worn, and rides on the king’s horse, while the servant leading him cries out for all to hear, “Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor!” The king smiles and says, “Great plan. Go do that yourself, for Mordecai!” Talk about a laugh out loud moment in the Bible. As I read that again this week, my thought was, “Why would this be the way Haman wanted to be honored by the king? If I had the opportunity, I could think of 100 ways to be honored before I would ever come up with a plan like that. But this points to Haman’s towering pride, his insatiable lust for man’s approval and applause, and his utter disdain for every other human being.