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Season’s Meaning – 60 Days Of Second Blog

Season’s Meaning – 60 Days Of Second Blog

Day 19 – Season’s Meaning – I Am Second Blog

60-Days-of-Second: Follow along as 15 bloggers journey through 4 readings each from the new book, Live Second: 365 Ways to Make Jesus First. Together they will blog through 60-Days-of-Second. Register to follow at www.iamsecond.com/blog. Get the “Live Second” book in stores December 9.

Day 19 by Zach Emerson

“Love is his name, kindness is his reputation” -Live Second, 22.

Read Luke 1:46-55.

Today we come to a piece of scripture from the first chapter of Luke that is known as The Magnificat, or Mary’s Song. In what would be an extremely scary and unsure time for most folks in life, Mary goes to visit her cousin, Elizabeth, who has also been blessed with a pregnancy of importance. She will give birth to John the Baptizer, and as Mary enters the house and begins to speak to Elizabeth, John leaps from within the womb. The spiritual presence is palpable between them and Elizabeth tells Mary how blessed she is.

As they talk, Mary begins to speak of the awesomeness of God. The comparisons and allusions she makes are absolutely profound, and you can tell that at this point in her life she is extremely humbled by the fact that she has been chosen by God himself to have this baby. She is praising God and speaking of her thankfulness while pointing to His awesome power. This piece of scripture is absolutely awe inspiring.

When you sit down and truly think about the power that God has, in most cases, you wonder why he has truly chosen to allow us all to continue to share in His creation. He can take it all away in less than the move of a finger. He has brought down empires, and He has created the vast and awesome beauty of this entire world, yet He continues to love us in spite of the fact that we have continued to mar it with our selfish choices and single-minded endeavors. He continues to show us His grace time and time again.

So often we place our selves and our personal wants above Him. We exalt ourselves, and forsake Him. We forget Him, and remember only ourselves. Regardless, He provides. He feeds the hungry, and clothes the naked. He holds down the proud, and lifts up the humble. His might is unmatched, yet His mercy is unfathomable.

So many times I get caught up in what it is I am doing at the moment. Even when I am planning things for His church, I forget Him. When I am planning on glorifying Him, I am focusing on myself. We do it so often. It’s one of the things I love about the I Am Second ministry. It reminds me that someone comes before me. I know that He has done so much for me, and He deserves to be first. I’ve heard it described by using the acronym JOY: Jesus, Others, Yourself. I think it’s brilliant to look at it that way. I know that it’s easy to experience a temporal state of happiness when I focus on myself, but more often than not, when I have truly focused on Him, and given myself to others in His name, my happiness and state of mind just falls into place.

Today, my wife and I helped her mom and step dad rake leaves at their house, and then I cooked lunch for us all. I woke up annoyed that plans for the day had changed, but once I got into the swing of moving and by the time I was cooking lunch, I just felt good. I wanted to keep going. Of course, reality sank in and before I could re-ground myself the everyday hectic pace set in. Place to place and person to person, back and forth. It was right back to being the me that it’s so easy to be.

I’ve got to say that having to sit down and read these devotionals has been a great experience. Quite often I will read the Bible, but I don’t immerse myself in what He is saying to me. Having to add my thoughts to what have been absolutely divinely placed and delivered scriptures for my life right now has brought me to a place where truly wish I could live. Knowing that it’s ever so close to Christmas where we are supposed to celebrate the coming of our Savior, this has helped that much more. After working big box retail management for four years, I’ve got to say that just over five years later, Christmas time is still something I struggle with, but this time with these I Am Second devotionals has helped me further fix my gaze towards Him.

My name is Zach Emerson, I am a Holy Burrito Brother, an ungrateful sinner saved by grace, and I am Second.

Check out Zach Emerson’s regular blog at zacherock.wordpress.com

Next for the 60-Days-of-Second: Day 20- “Dunkards” by Zach Emerson

 

 
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Posted by on December 4, 2012 in Devotional, I Am Second

 

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Symphony Of Missteps – 60 Days Of Second Blog

Symphony Of Missteps – 60 Days Of Second Blog

Day 18 – Symphony Of Missteps – I Am Second Blog

“We can wallow in our guilt, run from our past, or hide from our faults; but God offers to wash it all away, if we let him” –Live Second, 21.

How any times have you ever thought about the stuff you’ve done wrong in life? I mean, it’s a depressing endeavor, but it’s something that we get stuck doing a lot more often than we would probably admit. We focus on failure a lot as human beings, but when you think about it, it makes sense. From the first bite of that fruit way back in the garden all the way to now we have lived a symphony of missteps.

All it takes is that one key moment that we see that what we have done is a source of pain or sorrow for someone we care about and we get that nasty, sinking feeling in the pit of our stomach. We start looking back on all the times we’ve done something similar. There are plenty of times that we got away with it, but all the guilt rushes right back. It’s like a jacked up, pain-filled slideshow of ugliness and the worst kinds of deception. We see ourselves as worthless, or worse yet, as an all out plight to those we love.

The sins that we have committed in this life make us liars, thieves, adulterers, idol worshippers, murderers, and so much more. Back in the Old Testament times of the formation of the tribes of Israel, God called for sacrifices of varying types to make up for all the horrible things we were doing. But as time went on, it just wasn’t enough. There wasn’t enough grain or unblemished animals around to make up for it all. Finally, Isaiah started giving prophecy about the coming savior, a spotless lamb, an ultimate sacrifice, an unmatched level of perfect that would be given in our place.

This was unthinkable, that God Himself would send a sacrifice that would eliminate the need for sacrifice, and not only that, but that this sacrifice would come in a form that would understand the pain and hurt that we go through day to day, in labor and toil, in poverty and loss, yet this sacrifice would say nothing of it. This sacrifice would not cry out about the unfairness that though it would see and live our pain without a single transgression it would be despised, rejected, and given the punishment that the same ones who would carry out this injustice deserved. He would be pierced for our transgressions, and by His wounds, we would be healed.

This is a journey in humility, and everyday I see myself spinning in what could only be described as a surreal experience. I’ve watched every I Am Second video so far throughout the last couple years, and now I am given the privilege of reading and interpreting their devotional through the lense of the burrito. I’m just a sinner, and I know I screw up every day, but I go back and I read these words from Isaiah 53:1 – 12 and I see that even though I’ve made all of these mistakes, even though I have been wrong time and time again, that because of that sacrifice, I am free to experience the presence and the love of a perfect and Holy God. That wrecks my life every time I think about it, and it is absolutely awesome in the purest sense of the word.

I am a liar, a thief, a murderer, an idol worshipper, an adulterer, and so much more. I deserve the worst of punishments for all that I have done wrong in this life…but He died in my place. He took on my suffering AND my shortcomings, and because of that I have seen healing through His wounds.

My name is Zach Emerson, I am a Holy Burrito brother, and the Chief of Sinners, but He died in our place, so I am second.

Check out Zach Emerson’s regular blog at zacherock.wordpress.com

Next for the 60-Days-of-Second: Day 19- “Season’s Meaning” by Zach Emerson

 
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Posted by on December 4, 2012 in Devotional, I Am Second

 

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War and Peace – 60 Days Of Second Blog

War and Peace – 60 Days Of Second Blog
60-Days-of-Second: Follow along as 15 bloggers journey through 4 readings each from the new book, Live Second: 365 Ways to Make Jesus First. Together they will blog through 60-Days-of-Second. Register to follow at http://www.iamsecond.com/blog. Get the “Live Second” book in stores December 9.

Day 17 by Zach Emerson

“Jesus succeeds where we all fail” –Live Second, 20.

Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire. ~ Isaiah 9:5.

Yep, it’s pretty awesome that I get to start my journey into this awesome opportunity of blogging through the latest book from I Am Second, “Live Second: 365 Ways To Make Jesus First” with the subject being “Prince Of Peace”. The whole scripture for today comes from Isaiah 9: 1 – 7, and is one of the most widely quoted prophetic scriptures about the coming of Jesus that you hear leading up to Christmas time.

So often I’m drawn to the prophetic visions of Christ. Most of what I believe and try to practice is what most refer to as Red Letter Christianity, essentially basing my core doctrine solely on the words that Jesus himself spoke, primarily in the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John), but these Old Testament verses just ring so true and bring so much peace to me that I have no issue in going back to them to add foundation to what I try to live everyday. The verse I picked out above is one that gets looked over a bit in most circles, but as a practicing member of one of the historic peace church denominations, it just sings to me.

Up to this point in the Bible, all we have seen really is failure on behalf of humanity. We ate the forbidden fruit, we worshipped idols, we lusted for things, and we were HUGE fans of war. I think that a big chunk of non-believers have a big turnoff because of how much bloodshed is involved in the Old Testament, and really, so do a lot of devout folks too, but I think it’s because not enough of the sentiment conveyed in this scripture is conveyed wholly throughout a lot of evangelism efforts these days. We’re getting better about communicating the whole “I’m just as screwed up as you, but Jesus loves us both anyways…” idea, but I think a lot of people still see the Old Testament and New Testament depictions of God as being either two different guys, or some sort of early day angry guy that mellowed out the more time went on. It’s scriptures like this verse, and this whole passage that show the two being one.

I think it is probably safe to say that you have been failed by other people on occasion in your life, and even more so safe to say that you even feel like you have failed others a time or two at least, but the awesome reassurance we get here is that Jesus never failed, he was never “plan B”, and that the full message shows that he didn’t come only to forgive our sins, but to bring a true and long lasting peace. God doesn’t like war, He doesn’t like bloodshed, and any pain or loss we encounter from sin grieves Him to His core, but He sent Jesus to wipe all that away. He sent Jesus to clean us AND restore us. He sent Jesus to show us that even though we had made pretty much every wrong choice ever for ourselves, it was NEVER His plan to let us throw it all away with no chance of ever getting it back.

No person that ever lived could follow every piece of the 10 commandments to their fullest all day every day, but that was the law. So in walked Jesus who did just that and fulfilled every piece of the rules in place to their maximum where we couldn’t, it says it right in the book in this passage, “Jesus succeeds where we all fail.” and then He not only fulfilled them perfectly, but He took all of the punishment we deserved for not fulfilling them perfectly…total atonement. He was guilty of nothing, yet he paid the price for everything. His goal to bring us peace from the wars around us, to burn the tools and spoils of war, to show us to beat our swords into plowshares, and to show us that peace came from Perfect Love, not victory in human battle.

…And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. ~ Isaiah 9:6

#princeofpeace

My name is Zach Emerson, I’m a Holy Burrito Brother, and I Am Second.

Check out Zach Emerson’s regular blog at zacherock.wordpress.com

 
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Posted by on December 3, 2012 in Devotional, I Am Second

 

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The Turkey Burrito

The Turkey Burrito

Day number eleventy-nine: I am thankful for vulgar amounts of food that I only eat about twice a year, and complain about having the leftovers for a week after. Also, I’m super excited that come midnight I get to stand in the cold and compete with people for super great deals on stuff I don’t need in the name of baby Jesus.

 That sting a little? I know it reeks of me and my family practice, and really it was covered in self-deprecation, but the fact remains that it is still true, and despite the fact that it kind of hurts my moral convictions, I’m probably going to do little to nothing to change it this year, next year, or anytime in the near future I’d imagine. So why poke myself (and a vast majority of America) with a post like this? Well, I don’t know yet. Maybe that’s something that will get hashed out as I write on. This is just one of those times that the Spirit has come over me and pushed me to start plodding away on my keyboard.

 I read an article last year referring to the holiday season practices of most of us in the Christian world and it convicted me HARD. It was called “The Most Wonderful Sin of the Year” and it came in one of the daily emails I subscribe to. We get to spend little time with our family in the manner in which we should these days due to self imposed hectic schedules and modern day scheduling idolatry and mammon worship, and when we jump into the holiday shift, schedules amp up to make up for the loss of a couple days for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Of course, on those less productive days, we indulge in gluttony that is rivaled only by celebrations like Xerxes 180 day rager he threw prior to divorcing Vashti and starting up his own primitive times version of the bachelor reality tv show. We eat, we consume, we sleep, and then wake up and repeat, in some cases quite a few times over various 48 hour periods.

 Of course, all the while we do get charitable and run in hunger races and pack little boxes of toys for folks all around the world, and that’s great, but is the holiday season the only time we should do this? I don’t think so, but it’s freakin’ HARD to squeeze that stuff into the rest of the year isn’t it? All of that “loving the least of these” stuff is time consuming, emotion consuming work in a lot of cases. It’s just one of those things that continues to knock over tables and crack whips in the center of my brain. So where’s the burrito in all of this? I don’t know that I’m sure, but go ahead and grab a tortilla, spread on some cranberry sauce, throw some sliced turkey and dressing on, top it all off with gravy and wrap it up and enjoy the time with people you love, because community is still important, but remember, don’t even pagans and tax collectors love the folks that are closest to them?

 I’ve had some pretty awesome opportunities to write for some really awesome publications, but down to the original spicy and bigness of the burrito, this is still a blog. So, rambles like this will still show up now and again, but conversation can come from anywhere. So thanks for riding along, and feel free to tangent or drill down for the sake of conversation.

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2012 in Ramblings

 

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In the silence. 12/5/11

So often these days I find myself lost in my own pace. I suppose it’s typically my own fault for trying to work full time, develop my ministry, hone my social media prowess, AND still be Dad during the whole scenario. Regardless, with the Holiday Season upon us things tend to speed up even more in practically every aspect.
So I found a rare moment this evening while waiting on the broth base of my soup to come to full flavor that I sat down to truly meditate. Within seconds I felt surrounded and comforted. His presence was there and I couldn’t begin to argue that. Of course, being life, I was immediately interrupted by an inside the house crisis that needed my attention. So, I got out of my seat and walked through the door back to every frantic second of “life”.
Its in the silence that it all comes together.

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2011 in Ramblings

 

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