New Yet Old

Our God has a unique and incredible ability to renovate things into a restored state, one that even eclipses the original beauty of what it was made to be in the first place. He makes old things new again. He makes dilapidated run down apartments into four star hotels.

2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

At the same time, he is such a master of paradoxes. Because he turns us around and says, “Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness and who seek Yahweh: Look to the rock from which you were cut and to the quarry from which you were hewn” (Isaiah 51:1)

Move forward to become something completely new, yet still look to the rock from which you were quarried. Look to your roots in me. Paradox.

I’m a foster daddy. Soon to be adoptive dad (our gotcha day is going to be next month in September, then it’s off to Disney World to celebrate with our 6 kiddos). As a foster dad,I find myself wandering this post-apocalyptic environment in my three foster kids lives – the love and trust and goodness God had built originally in the city of their hearts being so devastingly bombed by their biological parents in the most cruel and selfish of ways. Here I am, wandering the abandoned streets of their hearts with a gas mask on, knowing I am taking on secondary trauma, knowing I am exposed to the toxic fallout of the spiritual war that almost destroyed them. I’m here to rebuild them with Jesus. I’m here to heal tbem. To love them. To restore tbem. To be their daddy. But at the same time, to uncover what the original blueprints for them were. And to rebuild it according to God’s blueprints.

But in a way, that’s all of us with God, our Father. It’s me. I find out every day that I go deeper into the Way, into Jesus, I find new places he is restoring within me, new places to enjoy his love and yet some of them are ancient places being renewed and restored.

He loves us. We are made in his image. And its a wonderful image.

Know you are loved and are fearfully and wonderfully made my friend. And in your relationship with him, every day you are being made more into his incredible, strong, wild and beautiful image.

Joel

27 thoughts on “New Yet Old

  1. Welcome back Joel! Love this blog. Those verses were a few of the inspiration for my blog name, stones from the quarry.
    I have not blogged in a long while. Been going through a season, but God is still good and on the throne. He is faithful!
    Blessings to you and your expanding family. All glory to God!

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    1. Hi Johanna!! It’s so good to hear from you. I had seen that you hadn’t blogged in awhile but was hoping we’d still run into each other on here. How is the music teaching coming? Are you starting with new students with the new school year? I remember you saying you were going through a hard season in it last time we talked. You’re one of the other people that God has kept on my heart and prayed for over the past year, sometimes at just the most random times. He is always faithful and blessings to you and your family too! Great to hear from you!!

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      1. Thank you so much for the prayers. Teaching is great! God continues to supply the need, and send me the students that I know are fit for me and I for them. I’m amazed at Gods grace and faithfulness!
        I continue to listen to/read John Eldredge. I want to read his new book, “all things new.”
        In the midst of all the burdens, storms and heartbreak I know my God is bigger.
        I needed to step away from blogging for a bit and let the Lord minister to me.
        I have missed writing and over the last few months I was getting the desire to minister through my writing again. I just want it to come from Him first and foremost. Get me out of the way.
        All glory to Him.

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      2. So first I’m really glad to hear that about teaching! That is wonderful! On John…this is something I’ve missed about our conversations on here because I don’t know a lot of other people that read his works. I read All Things New. I’m excited to hear your thoughts on it after you read it. I was super excited about it at first. I don’t know if you saw any of his YouTube videos leading up to it. He did one where he was giving a presentation on hope for the coming kingdom. It was incredible. I was really psyched up for the book release. I did the pre-order on Amazon and got access to an advance ecopy from the publisher before it hit bookshelves.

        Gosh I don’t want to say too much since you haven’t read it but I also really want to talk about it. So forgive me if I give anything away haha!! The best thing to compare it to is Journey of Desire. In fact when I started reading it i almost felt like I was reading a copy and paste version of Desire. Which is fine because Desire is my favorite book next to the Bible. But…it didn’t captivate me like Desire. It didn’t woo me closer to God’s heart. Desire was the vehicle God used to just make me fall head over feels in love with him. All Things New was just not as good. I felt that he left out some really great stuff from Desire about the Sacred Romance with God – that he originally did with Brent Curtis in their first book, Sacred Romance. I was actually let down by All Things New since it focused so much on the environment of heaven and not so much of the intimacy of heaven and with God.

        All that to say…I would still recommend reading it. You might love it or you might feel similar to how I do. Just for me and my relationship with God it didn’t really do much for growing closer in intimacy with Jesus.

        He also did an FB live bookstudy when they released it (last fall I think?). And he would take questions from people on FB. It was neat and interactive.

        Sorry I totally just bombed you with a bunch of info there! When I start talking about John I can talk for awhile haha!

        I understand stepping away from blogging. I really enjoyed your posts and if you ever feel the call to do it again more regularly, I definitely am cheering you on. I think God really spoke through your words! And yes all glory to him in all things.

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      3. That’s good to know. I don’t know if you read Randy Alcorn’s book on Heaven, but I wonder if it isn’t like that book. I suppose they are trying to get us to view heaven differently than what art and literature have already painted for us, but I think it’s a fine line to make sure that it isn’t the environment it’s Him and Him alone. That’s what it’s about here on earth and no less will it be all about Him there.
        We definitely should not focus on the environment, but like you our relationship and intimacy with Jesus.
        I think the Lord is calling me back to writing. If anything the Lord ministered to me through it.
        Thanks for bombing the info! 😂

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      4. I remember seeing it when it dropped in bookstores originally. No I never read it. But I see exactly what you are saying and totally agree. Heaven just isn’t heaven unless I am totally and utterly absorbed in God in everything. Journey of Desire I felt like did that originally for me.

        Oh that’s great to hear about you writing!! You really are a fantastic writer! I’m exicted to read your new posts if you do end up doing that!

        Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!!

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  2. Beautiful post, Joel. This just gave me a lovely image… Of course you know the Hebrew for Adam and for dust/earth (adamah). Today I’m reminded that mankind was made from earth and yet formed in the image of God, but also that image was marred by the disobedience and subsequent entrance of sin into the world – a sin which also affected the earth.

    Yet in our Lord, He literally let His blood be spilled into the dust and was buried in a tomb. But He didn’t stay there… He rose up again from the earth bearing the restored image of God in man. He is the God-Man, perfect and pure and without sin. Man (adam) as man should have been all along. Now you get to be a part of the death pains in these children but also to experience playing a part in a new life for them – life as it should have been here on earth and (hopefully) a restored relationship between them and their Creator as well.

    Hope that all makes sense. I am dead tired and need to get back to editing my book…

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    1. I love how you put that Heather. Beautiful. So true. I love that play on words in the Hebrew too (btw how is your Hebrew coming? Mine has depreciated since fostering – not enough time) Jesus went from dust to dust, spilling himself into the ground. And then rose up out of it. Which highlights how he is God…God has the power to breathe life into the ground to make it living. Oh…I want my children to cherish this truth in their hearts. They will. And in their own way they already do 🙂

      Hope your editing is coming along well friend! Any release dates planned or critical dates for finding a publisher or contests?

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      1. They will cherish it in their own way. Just keep asking and keep fighting the good fight for them to see.

        Well I FINALLY got through the grammar and am working through the final exercise. I have a graded reader to go through after that (an annotated selection of Scriptures with extra practice parsing). I’ve also gotten my Hebrew Bible and armed with my lexicon and a cheat sheet, I’m able to read very, veeerrrryy slowly. Ha!

        Editing is going well today despite a few interruptions. There’s a contest I believe in the fall and I’m attending a conference in September! It’s only a 45-minute to hour drive from our house, but I’ll be sharing a room with 3 other ladies which makes it affordable to stay! Pretty excited, really. 🙂 Thanks for asking!

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      2. 🙌 for Hebrew!! Yay! What kind of Hebrew Bible do you have? I have a super cool Readers Hebrew & Greek Bible and it gives the definitions at the bottom of each page for every word on thr oage that has less than 100 frequency counts in scripture.

        Oh that’s so neat about the conference!! I bet you all will have fun! 🙂 I’ll be cheering you on for winning that contest. My writing days are shelved for now. Well I take that back…I’ve kinda taken up writing short suspense stories every now and then. One (that I have yet to actually write haha!) I was going to post on a forum soon. They are easy shorts to write – only take about 45 mins to an hour – about the same as a blog post. And they’re fun! I wrote a short suspense the other week and it wasn’t too bad! I love writing. Wish I could do it a lot more than what I can. Someday!

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      3. How fun! You’ll get back to it. The Lord keeps reminding me that there’s a season for everything. With 6 kids, 3 of which are coming out of severe abuse, it’s all hands on deck at your house right now! A big project would take waaaay too much away from your wife and young’uns (unless God literally parts the sea of stuff needed around the house and all).

        I have a reader’s edition of the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia. It also has notes at the bottom of each page for infrequent words. I’ll get to Greek one day… maybe. ha!

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      4. Haha I like that phrase! All hands on deck! That phrase just totally encapsulates what it is like over here right now! Quite true though. I need to douse my expectations with a healthy helping of Ecclesiastes 3.

        I have all the kiddos tonight while my wife is at a homeschool planning night with the other homeschool mamas. The babies have been the high maintenance ones tonight too. Sometines just having 2 babies under 3 years old is enough to ensure I don’t study any biblical languages for a long time haha!

        I have a Stuttgartensia too. And also another edition…I forget what name it is – much to my chagrin 😂. I know you can! You’ll like Greek when you do get around to it. It’s a very elegant language

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      5. I can imagine it’s a bit crazy with the two littlest for sure. Kudos to you, though, so your wife could get some planning done! She may be my hero – that’s a lot to deal with, especially doubling your kids and thus the homeschool needs all at once. My prayer group prayed for you both this morning!

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      6. Thank you so much for you all praying for us! She’s my hero for sure. Her homeschool group was just awesome last night. They are big supporters of us adopting and great resources. They all prayed over adoption and worked to help solve some logistical items weve been struggling with with the kids.

        I did get some good snuggle time in with the babies. My 2 yo had a fever last night. Wasn’t fun, but she slept great and its gone today!

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  3. It’s beautiful how you are seeing His intended blueprint for your own life through the eyes of your soon to be adopted children! I love how He takes us in and loves us back to life! Well said, friend! Great post.

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    1. Thank you so much Andrea! Oh I love them so much. They are wonderful. I know that in the reassembling of their hearts and minds God is foing to have a lot of lessons for me. It’s a huge challenge bur worth every bit!!

      Really glad I found your blog. Looking forward to reading more od your posts. God bless!!

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    2. Hey Andrea, what is your blog’s website again? I think your profile is linked up to maybe an old blog site talayahsite.wordpress.com. and I was having trouble getting back to your new one. I actually used to have this problem with one of my old blogs and my profile whe.ln I started in the desert with Jesus I ended up having to adjust something in the WP admin settings. It was weird and don’t remember the details. Thanks!

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      1. Yeah, I’ve been having trouble finding the source of the problem. I’ve deleted the old site but it’s still giving me grief. I’ll find it eventually 😂 new sight is AndreaCreppell.wordpress.com
        Thanks for letting me know!!

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      2. I found how to change it! 🙌 I’ve been looking for it for awhile.

        Are you using the WordPress app? If so, go to:

        Me ==> Account Settings ===> Primary site

        Then just change the primary site to your new blog and it should be updated.

        Awesome thanks for resharing! You’re a really really good writer!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Ha! Yeah I just found it too! Thanks so much for your help! WordPress has changed a lot since I used it last year and I feel like a baby trying to learn to walk all over again….woobbly 😂 Thanks for your help and for your kind words! Looking forward to more discussions and conversations down the road! Be blessed!!!

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