guest post: when Jesus was tempted

Dear Blog readers, I have the pleasure of introducing a friend & fellow-blogger, Adam Sylvester, who was so kind as to write the following guest-post for my blog. Enjoy! (oh and check out his blog by clicking right here!)


Matthew 4 tells the account of when Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. There is a wonderful lesson to be learned from Jesus through the three temptations that took place.

The 1st is about satisfying the flesh: "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread." Although that was probably appealing since He was hungry, Jesus gave a wise and spirit led response (like always) and referenced Scripture to give Himself a strong footing against the devil. At this point you don't get the sense that Jesus was very flustered.

The 2nd temptation is an identity issue: if you really think God loves you then you'll do something works-based just to make sure He does. "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down." Satan knew (and still knows) that Jesus is the Son of God but he wanted Jesus to question His identity. Jesus uses Scripture to resist the devil's lies and again doesn't seem anxious or out of sorts.

The 3rd temptation is different than the first two. "All this I will give you," he said, "if you bow down and worship me." Up to this point, Jesus had been calm and reserved but this time the devil crossed the line. Worship someone other than my Father? Give His glory to someone else? Based on Jesus' reaction I bet he could have vomited just at the idea. "AWAY FROM ME SATAN! FOR IT IS WRITTEN: 'WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY."

I think Jesus' actions say something like: "You come after me, fine. You try to convince me I'm not loved, I can handle that too. But don't you dare suggest I would worship ANYONE BUT MY FATHER."

No wonder the next line says, "Then the devil left him".

Another verse that comes to mind is: "Flee from sexual immorality". (1 Cor. 6:18) When not to flee? When your beloved God is being mocked. And He won't be mocked.

the customer is always right

Last semester, Rachel bought an ice cream that claimed to be "bursting with chocolate chip cookie dough". To our horror, it did not live up to that expectation. Due to its shocking lack of delicious dough, Rachel wrote a complaint letter and as a result received a coupon for a free gallon of ice cream of her choice.

This is American Consumerism at its finest.

After this thrilling victory, some of our housemates got a little complaint-happy. Tonight it was my turn. See the letter below that I wrote with help from Rachel's original letter. Fingers crossed for a lifetime of free soup!


Dear ConAgra Foods,

I am writing about my experience with your Healthy Choice Cheese Tortellini Soup. The picture on the container makes your product appear as though it is full of delicious cheese tortellini. I decided to choose the Healthy Choice brand over other brands because the product was marketed in a way that made me fully confident that it was going to be satisfying and full of tortellini. I returned home with my purchased soup and eagerly anticipated eating it during this cold winter season. However, instead of being filled with warm and delicious cheese tortellini, I was shocked and disappointed by the amount of pasta inside. I found only a small handful of tortellini in a very bland and unimpressive tomato soup. It was not at all hearty as the can led me to believe. Out of all the soups in the soup aisle, I chose Healthy Choice because of the good reputation of the brand and the promises of the picture of cheesy tortellini on the front. I am disappointed that Healthy Choice did not live up to my expectations nor the advertising claims. I hope to see a change in the future and my 9 housemates and I will all be extremely hesitant to purchase anything from Healthy Choice again.

Thank you for your time,

Emily Morgan Thompson


pictures I am considering including in my letter:

1) this soup left me on a roller coaster of emotion.

2) this product is nothing to write home about.

3) this product did not leave me in Soup Heaven.

gummie vitamins

My mom recently gave me a bottle of gummie vitamins for adults (the real vitamins are just really scary and big, ok?). They are delicious. They should seriously make these things less yummy because I'm afraid that one day I will overdose...they are just too tasty to stop eating.

I felt slightly ashamed for a little while about taking my daily dose of Vitamin D in gummy form. It's a bit childish isn't it? But the more I think about it, the more this seems appropriate for me.

I own several pairs of matching pajamas. I think baby animals are the greatest things in the world. Wizards of Waverly Place is quality television in my mind. I laugh uncontrollably at all types of potty-humor. I seriously contemplated bringing back the pigtail look the other day as I was brushing my hair.

Basically, I am a seven-year-old girl.

I was thinking today of how we live in this world where we are told to grow up quickly, to act and to look confident and mature, to know what we want, to go after it full steam, and to listen to all our worries and fears. And in all of that, our childishness is lost. We start caring more about being a mature adult than being joyful and excited about all the details of living - which is something kids could teach us to do a bit more of.

so you know what? I'm going to take my two strawberry-shapped vitamin gummies today & not care if that makes me seem silly and immature.

There are worse things than refusing to grow up.

passage on poetry & memory

"A pleasure is full grown only when it is remembered. You are if the pleasure were one thing and the memory another. It is all one thing. [No one can say it] better than I could say it in a poem. What you call remembering is the last part of the pleasure, [as is] the last part of a poem. When you and I met, the meeting was over very shortly, it was nothing. Now it is growing something as we remember it. But still we know very little about it. What it will be when I remember it as I lie down to die, what it makes in me all my days till then - that is the real meeting. The other is only the beginning of it. You say you have poets in your world. Do they not teach you this?"

-C.S. Lewis; Out of the Silent Planet


My mom told me once that she thinks the mark of real love is when you just want to be in the same room as someone else, even if you're not talking. She said that you know you love that person when you just feel grateful that they exist, and you get happiness from sitting with them in total silence. Their presence gives you joy enough.

Silence, if you think about it that way, is a pretty good expression of love.

Because when we talk, it often means we want something. Or we want to give that person something by way of communication. And when we listen, we're often hoping we hear the right words. Or we're trying to get at some meaning or explanation or truth.

But when we're quiet, it isn't about getting or giving anything at all.

Which is why today, when I picked up my journal to write and tell God all about the things I was thinking and wanting and hoping to learn, instead I just closed the cover, sat down by the fire and said Jesus, I love you and I'm grateful you exist.

And then I didn't say anything else at all.

not yet

I stood in the middle of a street in downtown Atlanta this New Year's Eve and watched fireworks explode right after the stroke of midnight. In all the noise and smoke and sound I was thinking of several things - that I was entering 2012 as a woman more aware of God's mercy and love than the year before, that my favorite part about fireworks is that anticipation of not knowing if the show is over or if another burst of color will ignite over your head, and that I had truly no idea what the coming year is going to look like in my life.

And in all those thoughts marching around in my head and all those people cheering and hugging and welcoming in the new year together, I also thought about a verse that has comforted me tremendously through the past few months.

"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and Sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it, but one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead," -Philippians 3: 12-13

I am a person hard-wired for reflection and for wanting to spend time processing through the past. But this often means that I get stuck there, and instead of anticipating future joys, I find myself rehashing all my old pains and failures.

But this New Year's, with those words of Paul humming through me, I found myself thinking about the truth. And it is that Jesus died, and that the cross tramples every past transgression or hurt. They are buried in the dirt, and it is not my job to dig them up and carry them around. My job is to acknowledge that they were, that they are not anymore, and that God has both used and forgotten them in my life in order that I may enjoy the freedom of being loved by Him.

Because I do not yet, as Paul was saying to the church in Philippi, grasp the full extent of who Jesus is and of how much love was displayed for me when he came to earth and died. There is still work to be done in me.

This New Year's, I am deciding to be grateful for the things the Lord has already done in me, but to also remember that there is so much more coming. My story is not completed. And so it would be silly, wouldn't it? To think mournfully at all about the past, when Jesus is thinking about my future, and is taking care of it? It would be silly, to rest in fear or apprehension or regret, when Jesus is working to reveal his glory in my life, of which I have not yet taken hold of in full. Someday, but not yet.