Monday, April 18, 2011

Cursing the fig tree and cleansing the temple

Here are the scriptures for today: Matt. 21:18-19 and Mark 11:12-14 (cursing of the barren fig tree), Matt. 21:12-16, Mark 11:15-18, and Luke 19:45-48 (second cleansing of the temple) and Matt. 21:17, Mark 11:19 and Luke 21:37 (return to Bethany).

On Monday christ reaches a fig tree that has leaves but isn't bearing fruit. He curses it, saying it won't bear fruit again, and it withers.
We have a fig tree at home, and I've noticed that a fig tree is unique (I think) in the way it bears fruit. You know when spring has arrived when the leaves start to grow, but at the same time the fruit starts, although the figs aren't ripe for a while, until they turn purple. (My mom is allergic to the white milky goo that comes out of the stem when you pick them. Just a little random piece of info for ya.) So it stands to reason that a fig tree with leaves must also have fruit. If you look up "fig tree" in the Bible Dictionary it mentions this account of Christ cursing the fig tree. It says "Jesus' cursing of the fig tree for its fruitlessness is an allusion to the fruitlessness of Israel." There is also that time that Christ looked down at Jerusalem and wept because he knew that Jerusalem would eventually be destroyed due to their own wickedness. This of course breaks my heart to think of Jesus so sad that he would weep, but you can also use these instances to remind yourself how deeply he loves, and that his love includes you and me. Or at least I try. Mostly I start getting choked up. This whole time of easter is so emotional for me, which is why I wanted to study it more this year. I want to know more of what Jesus Christ went through for our world so I can better love and appreciate him.

The second thing he did that we know of is he cleansed the temple. He enters and becomes angry at the moneychangers who were selling things (animals, etc. for offerings) dishonestly. And I'm unsure of if they were allowed to sell things like that in the temple in the first place. (If anyone knows more about that, feel free to pipe up! I'm doing this to learn.) Christ goes through the temple and drives them out saying "It is written my house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of theives." Oh boy would I hate to be one of those he needed to drive out. The sad thing is that he had done this same thing 3 years earlier during another passover. Sometimes it takes a couple times for us to learn, huh? Just be sure you don't mess with the Lord's house. Like Texas, but way more hardcore.

The Lord hath need of him

I am reading my mom's Easter binder. She has the scriptures that tell us what Christ did during his last week on the earth and it starts with Palm Sunday, which was yesterday. I'm a day behind, as you can tell, but that's ok.

Just so you know where I'm reading, I'll tell you:
Matt. 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-10, Luke 19:29-44, and John 12:12-19 all tell about the journey into Jerusalem and Bethany, and when the people wave palm fronds and greet Christ with hosannas. I love this day, even though it's sad since Jesus knows how close the time is when he will have to sacrifice himself for us. 

Christ tells two of his apostles to go into the city and they will find a colt for him that has never carried a man. He tells them that when the owners ask why they are untying (and essentially taking) the donkey, to tell them that the Lord had need of it.  That phrase means so much to me. Its really not a gigantic event, because I feel it happens so quiety in the scriptures. But it is one of many examples of how utterly perfect Jesus was and is, that he knows how to obtain the colt, whom to go to, what to say, and who can help him. The fact that he lets people help him is significant in its own. Christ is the only person who doesn't need help, but he knows he needs to give others the chance to serve him. And he has commanded us to follow and serve him. He could accomplish everything he needs to by himself, because he is perfectly capable of doing it all alone, but he allows us to serve him because we need it. There is no pride on his part, nothing he has to swallow in order to accept our meager offerings. He doesn't look at us as charity cases, either. Its not like he says "ok, I guess you can handle this one thing. But don't screw up, ok? Are you going to be ok with this?" He lovingly gives us what we need by making us grow. Making us go through just about the hardest trials we can take, but never more than we can take, because he will never do that. So even though I feel ridiculously overwhelmed sometimes (read: always), its never more than I can handle.

Sometimes I do feel like a donkey. But as long as the Lord has need of this donkey, I will try my best to do what he wants me to do.


Friday, April 15, 2011


I can tell when I'm bored with life because the grass looks greener EVERYWHERE else. I start thinking dangerous thoughts like, hey maybe I should find a new job. Maybe I could work terrible hours in retail on my feet again. Something needs to change, and I'm thinking way too ambitious of thoughts.

What do you do to give life some variety, but to make sure you don't go overboard?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Weirdest dream ever

I just had the weirdest dream. Of course it started that I was somewhere and I had to use the bathroom really bad, and it was near impossible to find one. I have those dreams a lot, where either the door is ridiculously short, or the toilet's filled with poo, or something. Terrible.

But then! Then randomly I was getting married the next day, and had gotten engaged only a couple days earlier. Even in the dream I knew it was crazy, that I shouldn't be rushing it but for some reason, I was like, "meh, who cares, it'll be fun" so I had to get the reception room ready, but it wasn't a church. Somehow I had found a nice place to have the reception, like a hotel or something. But then! There was a party happening that night so we had to take down all of the decorations.

I'm trying to remember who the guy was. In my dream it felt kinda fake, like maybe this was some joke we decided at the last minute to make happen for real. Weird. And I remember that I had a fake enagement ring and I think I had left it by the sink in the bathroom, but didn't really feel bad about it, even though I was sure someone would steal it.

Then! As I was still getting ready, I was walking toward the lobby of whatever place this was, and who should come walking through the lobby in jeans and a leather jacket but Conan O'Brien! I run to hug him but he had stuck out his hand to shake mine instead so that was awkward. I am a huge fan of Conan, so I was gushing and frantically trying to find some paper and a pen for an autograph. There was a huge line forming behind him for autographs. I knew I had to hurry or I'd lose my chance. Then I found a pen but it fell apart in my hand and I had to put it together, only to realize I had lost a piece of the pen, so when he tried to use it it didn't work and he looked at me like, "sigh... seriously?" And make some joke. Which I of course laughed at because it was so funny. While I feverously tried to fix the pen my dad was there and Conan looked at him like he knew him. Conan made a couple of jokes which happened to be the same kind of jokes my dad makes so my dad laughs. I'd like to add that Conan also did the "for...evvvvvverrrrr" thing from "The Sandlot" and I thought it was funny, but not really Conan's caliber of jokes. Which makes sense because Conan only had my imagination to come up with jokes, and let's face it...

And then! I was going to be on his show that night dressed up as a horse that had to be put in jail. I did my best to remember the acting (ha! Acting.) that I learned in high school and make him proud but I remember feeling like I was being overdramatic. Then I told Conan I was getting married the next day and he looked at me as if to think, "hey you should get married on this show," but then he realized that since I'm LDS that wouldn't work since I need to be married in the temple. So I said "but we could have a ring ceremony or something" but he said no. So we went about the sketch I was doing, which incidentally was a on different stage than he shoots on. He had said we'd move into his regular stage later. There were people running around getting striped clothes for me (small stripes so I wouldn't look fat, of course. Random!) and then my fiance shows up. He comes to visit me in "jail" and I stroke his cheek and he looks very much like that guy who plays Rachel McAdams' boyfriend in "The Hot Chick" which I had just watched the other night. I can't remember his name. He proceeds to tell me that he was with another girl and that she would have a part in our marriage. For some sickening reason, I agree that's ok because he's so good looking.  [I'd like to interject here, and say that's ridiculous. No man of mine will ever be allowed to have a girl on the side. I'm sure you all know that, but in case someone is worried I'm that stupid/low self esteem, then don't worry.]

So! We do my bit and then we watched Conan's monologue and I think that's when I woke up.