Ryan & Jordan

with Pioneer Bible Translators

Month: February, 2015

Even the wind and waves obey Him

by Jordee

The past three weeks we have been riding the waves of one of the worst storms of my life.

My first reaction was pure disorienting shock. We hadn’t battened down the hatches because the waters had been relatively calm, really. But a storm had been brewing, and it overtook us – suddenly, powerfully. It was shock like I had never experienced before, then fear, hope, anxiety, confusion, comfort, humility.

The thing about storms is once you’re caught up in one, you’re powerless. You aren’t going to problem-solve your way out of it. You grip the mast as hard as you can as the waves beat you on every side and fill up your humble little boat with water, and you do what it takes to survive.

There’s nothing like a storm that makes us feel our helplessness. We remember, “oh that’s right, I can’t do anything on my own.” Sometimes the reminder feels gentle, and other times it feels like a hurricane. But even in my powerlessness, the all powerful One is holding on to my family, and He is good. I have learned this, that even in the thunder and rain we can see His goodness. Maybe even especially so. Though my heart is heavy and there are weights on our shoulders, I know Jesus, the One whom even the wind and waves obey.

But even though I know Him and follow Him, my heart still fills up with fear and I try to shake Him awake so that He can see what terrible storm we’re weathering. But He already knows. So by the grace of God I look past the darkness of the waves and I fix my eyes on Him. And I wait for Him like I wait for the calm.

image via pinterest

image via pinterest


Like a Garden

by ryan

Good Friday was terrible to The Eleven (Judas seems to have already killed himself . . . to be or not to be . . . to obey or not to obey . . . ) and probably to Jesus’s mom and the other disciples too. Perhaps they might have called it “Failure Friday”. The Hope of Israel has been slain like a typical rebel against the Roman Establishment. In despair, Jesus’ body was sown into the dark of the earth, in a tomb. What was planted that day?

When we say “hope” these days we often mean something other than how I am meaning now. In Southern California we say, “I hope it snows tomorrow and school is cancelled.” But near the Pacific where I went to high school it only snows about every 10 years, if that, and I cannot recall a time it did not melt immediately when it hit the ground. So when we say, “I hope it snows so school is cancelled”, we still do our homework and make plans to go to school the next morning. We say “hope” to talk about wishful, dreamy, even whimsical ideas. And we don’t have much reason to believe these wishes will come true.

Hope is also a town in British Columbia. I’ve been beyond Hope, in both directions on the Trans-Canada Highway. While being beyond or without hope is not recommended, travelling near or beyond Hope, B.C. is encouraged.


This is beyond Hope if you are coming from Vancouver. Photograph by Reiner Harscher, laif/Redux (National Geographic dot com)


I’m not typing about a town either. When I type “hope” I mean something else.  The Hope of Humanity is a person, He is the First Fruits of the Resurrection. When Paul said something like,

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. (ESV translation)

he does not mean we grieve like we are the Best Wishful Thinkers, changing the world with our Positive Disney Thinking. We don’t “Wish upon a star.” We know the Star Maker and believe, for good reason, that the One who resurrected the Hope of Humanity, will likewise resurrect us. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, especially chapter 15 is good reading on this.

In glory, he was resurrected in bodily form on the third day. If his body is a seed, how glorious is the plant who is alive?

Good Friday

by ryan

Our Dear Readers,

This post will build off the last one—my main point in that post being:

“The fruit of disobedience is death”

(see last post if you want “What is the question?”)

It is fitting that it is Friday—even the 13th perhaps—because I will be reflecting on Good Friday.

The consensus among us, the American working class, is that Fridays are indeed good.  In fact, some people even thank God for Fridays. In related news, dogs who wear matching accessories might be learning this from their humans too.

image at https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/37/2a/12/372a12856e686a6536e9e69d9db17f7d.jpg

It is remarkable that even restaurants have named themselves in honor of this weekly act of thanksgiving. Before I inadvertently begin advertising for restaurateurs, I will . . . beep de mee beeeeeeeeep meeedo lumpa grumpa DING!

Our Dear Readers,

It is now hundreds of years BC and we are in the Kingdom of Judah, and for some reason, I am still writing in English. Are you still reading in English? Latin? Hebrew?

This depiction of Isaiah looks very Roman if you ask me

This depiction of Isaiah looks very Roman if you ask me, but props to Michelangelo for the chapel, and of course props to God for Michelangelo and Isaiah and their moms too

Isaiah, a prophet of the Most High, is preaching. Even if you think he is crazy (or you think I am crazy), come listen to him for a minute.  Check it out!

Isaiah cries out something like:

“Indeed, who would ever believe it?

Who would possibly accept what we’ve been told?

Who has witnessed the awesome power and plan of the Eternal in action?

Out of emptiness he came, like a tender shoot from the rock-hard ground.

He didn’t look like anything or anyone of consequence—

He had no physical beauty to attract our attention.

So he was despised and forsaken by men, this man of suffering, grief’s patient friend.

As if he was a person to avoid, we looked the other way;

He was despised, forsaken, and we took no notice of him.

Yet it was our suffering he carried, our pain and distress, our sick-to-the-soul-ness.

We just figured that God had rejected him, that God was the reason he hurt so badly.

But he was hurt because of us; he suffered so.

Our wrong doing wounded and crushed him.

He endured the breaking that made us whole

The injuries he suffered became our healing. . .”

Jesus is the ultimate champion of obedience even though he was far from successful in the world’s eyes. As Paul, or Saul of Tarsus, addressed Students-who-do-too of Jesus,

“He humbled Himself, obedient to death—a merciless death on the cross.”

And again to followers of Jesus:

“But think about this: while we were wasting our lives in sin, God revealed his powerful love to us in a tangible display–the Anointed One died for us. As a result, the blood of Jesus has made us right with God now, and certainly we will be rescued by Him from God’s wrath in the future.”

He died the death of a criminal well before even being able to celebrate being “over the hill”; He died on that hill, naked and mocked, the wrath of the Almighty poured out on him. He was cursed, his lifeless body hanging from a tree.

Mysteriously, Jesus has invited us to die with him and commanded his disciples to teach this to all peoples.

Jesus said something like:

“If any of you want to walk My path, you’re going to have to deny yourself. You’ll have to take up your cross every day and follow Me. If you try to avoid danger and risk, then you’ll lose everything. If you let go of your life and risk all for My sake, then your life will be rescued . . . Listen, what good does it do you if you gain everything–if the whole world is in your pocket–but then your whole life slips through your fingers and is lost to you.”

Scripture translations were taken from the Voice Bible