Yesterday I enjoyed a lovely day with my best friend Monica in Pasadena. Unfortunately, her husband Andrew left that morning to go to Washington DC until early September for AFIP. I was having kind of a tough day myself, so we indulged in a trip for some girly "retail therapy" (although neither of us bought very much, but it was fun to window-shop). We also splurged on a four-course dinner at a restaurant called The Melting Pot. This restaurant is unique in that every table has its own stovetop burner, on which they put the pot that you can dip things into. The first course was a cheese fondue, with bread chunks and pieces of raw vegetables and apples were dipped in the pot of melted cheese. Then a salad, and the main course, which in our case was the vegetable plate, for which they bring out pieces of all sorts of different raw vegetables. The pot is now filled with boiling vegetable broth to cook all the vegetables and things in. But, of course, the crowning glory was the chocolate fondue, with strawberries (my favorite), banana, pineapple, poundcake, and cheesecake pieces to dip in the chocolate. Not a meal I'd indulge in very often, but after all, I had a duty to console Monica! :)
Speaking of consolation, I get the feeling nowadays that many Christians pretty much use the Bible solely as a source of "nice verses" of consolation, wisdom, etc. For that alone, we might as well consult Confucius or Hallmark. I've been studying the book of Deuteronomy lately, which has some beautiful moments (ch. 7:12-26; ch. 28:1-14), and some not-so-pretty ones (ch. 9; ch. 28:15-68). I'd pretty much sum up the book of Deuteronomy with the words from 11:26-28--
"Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse;
A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day:
And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known."
I believe that everyone who wants to claim the beautiful promises in the Bible should also read and claim the words from the books of the Pentateuch and the Prophets.
With that in mind, here's a tiny list of texts I've been looking at lately that have brought courage and hope. (I'm going to make my blog readers do some homework and look them up for themselves!)