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Mandy’s Monday – Beautifully Brave Bartimaeus!
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I have always loved the story of Bartimaeus the blind man who called out to Jesus as Jesus was passing by. You can find the account in Mark 10:46-52.

I was first introduced to this passage by my youth pastor, Dean Woodward, many years ago. I can still see him telling the story reinacting Bartimaeus crying out to Jesus “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” I loved the way Dean would tell about the disciples trying to hush Bartimaeus and then the way they changed their tune when Jesus stopped to address Bartimaus. They went from rebuking Bartimaeus to encouraging him! “Take heart. Get up; [Jesus] is calling you.”

While in college at Columbia International University I was assigned a word study for the words “all the more” found in verse 48. Sounds like a strange word study, but I loved it! This phrase is used several times in Scripture. It is used here to describe Bartimaeus’ response when rebuked, he cried out to Jesus “all the more”. It is used when the crowd is asked by Pilate if he should release Jesus “and they cried out all the more Crucify him!” (Matthew 27:23) In Romans 5:20 we are told, “where sin increased, grace abounded ALL THE MORE”! What an amazing picture!

So I came to this passage last week already loving it and by no surprise God showed me a new adoration 🙂 Brian and I are currently reading Sacred Rhythms by Ruth Haley Barton together. Last week we worked through chapter one individually and then had a great date night discussion! The chapter was on desires and it lead us to Bartimaeus. Here is a blind man sitting on the side of the road who decides to cry out to Jesus for help. I love the way he does so “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Bartimaeus asks for mercy. He asks to receive that which he does not deserve, he knows his own sin, his own brokeness and the fact that before the Lord he needs mercy. Bartimaeus does not give up when told by others to be quiet! Oh, no! He cries out all the more! Then Jesus calls to him, and asks him the most beautiful question “What do you want me to do for you?”

Barton writes “Jesus himself routinely asked people questions that helped them to get in touch with their desire and name it in his presence. He often brought focus and clarity to his interactions with those who were spiritually hungry by asking them, “What do you want? What do you want me to do for you?””

Bartimaeus has a precious gift, Jesus is asking him “what do you want me to do for you?”, and he responds with a deeply personal request. “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.”

Barton challenged her readers to answer this question “what do you want Jesus to do for you?”. As I sat and pondered this I was struck by Bartimaeus’ personal request. He asked for something in his own life. He was honest about his deep desire to see. There is a balance in our prayers, we should not always be coming with our own needs in mind. We should ultimately be deeply burdened with the very glory of God increasing in this world. I agree and feel this strongly, but I was also deeply moved by the fact that Jesus wants to know the deep personal desires I have in life! Tears came to my eyes as I answered the question “I want you to bless my family Lord!” I don’t mean “Lord, give me lots of money and stuff and make everything perfect.” What I do mean is “Make your face shine upon us! Help us to be the godly parents you desire. Bless us with a close relationship with our children. Guide us in wisdom. Bless us with your presence. Bless us with you Lord!!”

I think Bartimaeus was brave! I think he was beautiful! And even more so I think Jesus was a blessing to Bartimaeus as a result. Ponder anew what the Almighty can do! My new adoration for Mark 10:46-52 🙂

A New Reason I am a Longhorn at Heart!
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texaslonghorns1.jpgMy Dad, my Mom, my Granddad, my Aunt, and my cousin are all alumni (or soon to be) of the University of Texas!! I grew up wearing burnt orange and watching or listening to the BIG game at Thanksgiving! That would be when UT plays Texas A & M, the biggest rival I have ever known. I told Aggie jokes when I was like two! (ok maybe not, but you get the point) Although I did not choose to go to UT I still consider myself a Longhorn since it is in my blood.

reveille.jpgNow Brian, he is an Aggie fan. Does he have multiple relatives to list that are alumni??? No, just one his brother. But most of his family are Aggie fans completely. We enjoy a good jeering back and forth from time to time. Alan has purchased our children many A&M shirts, bibs, stuffed Reveille toys… and his parents gave Addie a sweat suit when she turned two. (That same year my Dad gave her a UT wind suite!) It has been fun to watch our kids try to figure out who to cheer for and what they think of this rivalry stuff.

This year after the BIG game I received a text message from Alan, Brian’s brother (“Ags WIN!”) That was how I found out the game results since we had Tivo-ed the game to watch the next day. But we still watched it as a family the next day and really enjoyed it (even though the wrong team won). Addie just loves to watch football! She often asks on Sunday if there is any football on 🙂 Emma is not as big a fan right now.

Well the girls started getting into the team cheers and wanted us to teach them to them. And here is where I found a new reason I am a Longhorn! I submit as my evidence the following clips:

First The University of Texas:

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And now for the Texas A & M War Hymn (listen carefully)

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Did you hear it? With UT I do not have the need to edit the song in teaching my children. But not so with A&M! Now you might say that it is a “biblical” word that they use (“hell”), but I still don’t want my little girls running around singing it 🙂

So I found a new reason to kick up my heals and shout HOOK ‘ EM HORNS my blood runs burnt orange!!

(This one is for you DAD!!)

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