Celebrating Genesis

About halfway through Genesis I decided I needed to do something to celebrate the completion of the book; something that would be fitting given what I read. I asked some people for suggestions and had some really creative responses.

But at the last minute, inspiration struck and I knew what I was going to do.

Building Altars

The building of altars is one of those hidden themes of Genesis. It never really gets top billing, but it happens all the time. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob all build altars at places where God met them and did something significant.

So that is what I did today.

I walked around town to a few places that are very special and significant to me. These are places where “God showed up.” I brought along a pocket full of rocks and build a little altar at each place and prayed a prayer of thanks for what God did at that place.

Here they are:

The VB HouseThe first is my house, affectionately known as the “VB House” since it is located on Van Buren Avenue. Some fun facts about this house:

  • It is a historic house in Corvallis – built during the early part of the 20th century.
  • I have lived there for six years, in four different rooms, and with nearly 20 different roommates.
  • Several of the events of Exodus have happened in the house: flies, darkness, flood waters, and we’ll throw in rats and spiders for good measure.

This will be my last summer in the house. It is a little bittersweet to leave. I have so many memories and so many friendships from this house. I also can look back and see all the ways the good times and hard times have changed me in the years I have been here.

Pour one out for the VB House.

The Oregon State University Memorial UnionThe center of OSU’s campus has been the site of countless meetings, worship times, conversations, meals, and interactions in the time that I have been here. This is the hub. This is where InterVarsity has been hanging out for a long time.

God has done many things in me and through me in this building.

The Covered BridgeThis is a symbolic place. It is exactly 1.5 miles from my house, which makes it perfect for a 3-mile run.

In the last year, running has become a much larger part of my life. In my training for the St. Louis Half Marathon, I ran out to this thing more times than I know.

Running became an analogy for so many things in my spiritual life. It has been something God has used to help me learn and help me grow.

Trevor and Chrissy’s House

I didn't want to get too close and look like more of a creeper than I already did.

Today was the first time in about 5 years that I had been here.

Trevor and Chrissy worked for InterVarsity at OSU when I showed up. It was a hard first year but they eased the pain with their wonderful hospitality. They would invite me over for dinner and a movie when I was prepared to sit around and do nothing with my no friends.

Never underestimate the power of simple hospitality. Never!

Those are my places of significance. What are some significant places in your life?

11 responses

  1. I love the thought of building altars. I love the thought of revisiting where God showed up. I try to take something with me from those places and carry the “altars” with me, as well. I don’t have an altar built of Steak & Shake glasses that I’ve stolen or anything (’cause we know God always shows up in Steak & Shake), but I do like to find fun little things to carry along with me!

    Good stuff.

      • Pretty much what it sounds like. It’s a fast food steakburger (really really thin hamburgers grilled) awesome fries and great shakes. The only problem is is that it never really sits just right…with anyone. It’s good tasting, though! Guess it’s just a midwest thing 🙂

    • Fantastic! Hopefully it does sit well with us as we make our long journey. We don’t need to add stops. (I almost typed “ass stops.” fruedian slip?)

  2. I like this idea. Please read this as “I will write a blog post about this and maybe credit you. Maybe not.”

    My altar might be found in the house I live in now and bought after looking at 37 houses. Who knew the smell of chocolate chip cookies baking was really the Holy Spirit guiding me there. Small groups, dinner parties, poker, and neighbors I adore. Good stuff from God. Maybe not the poker.

  3. Hi Ben…I came over from Jeff Goins’ blog after seeing your little Avatar in the comments. What a super idea!!! I love the idea of taking a bunch of different colored pens to work through Scripture. I’m gonna start tagging along in your journey. I can’t wait to see you get through Leviticus because that’s where I always get stuck!!! UGHHHHHHH

    p.s. What version of the Bible do you use?
    p.p.s. Westsiiiiide/fist bump to you-I live in Seattle. 🙂

  4. My 3rd p.s….have you ever been to pal Moe’s blog Beta Christian? He does an awesome series on Friday’s called The Usual Suspects. I could see that you guys might hit it off. I’m tweeting him a linky to your blog. 🙂

    • Glad you like it! Yeah, I am a little nervous about Leviticus but I made a commitment and I am going to stick to it!

      I haven’t heard of the site you mentioned. I’ll have to go check it out. And there is no better place to be on a nice summer day than in Seattle.

      I use the NRSV for this study but my personal Bible is NIV.

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