March 10th

Ethiopia

Some of the seed fell among thorn bushes, which grew up and choked the plants.

(Matthew 13:7) Good News Translation

On a dusty road between Kombolcha and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, we explained our origin story to our pastor, in which we were like Samson at Lehi: we had to smash mainstream science with a Donkey’s jawbone.

WHY? is a year-long daily devotional. It’s based on the calendar. Today, March 10th, is an event in the Matty’s Paradigm calendar. It’s when we celebrate receiving our call to evangelism in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


We all have the same evidence. Our choice of paradigm determines what we think it’s evidence of.

Matty’s Razor

A fire burning deep within me

Lord, you have deceived me,
and I was deceived.
You are stronger then I am,
and you have overpowered me;
Everyone makes fun of me;
they laugh at me all day long.

Whenever i speak, I have to cry out
and shout, “Violence! Destruction!”
Lord I am ridiculed and scorned the whole time
because I proclaim your message.
But when i say, “I will forget the LORD
and no longer speak in his name,”
then your message is like a fire
burning deep within me.
I try my best to hold it in,
but can no longer keep it back.

(Jeremiah 20:7-9) Good News Translation

We (that’s me and the Holy spirit) are on a journey. There’s an ongoing metaphorical one where we’re supposed to be on the way to somewhere spiritual, but there’s also a real one like when you’re on a dusty road in a foreign country. We can be on both at the same time, but either way we’re looking for something, and it’s usually guidance.

Being saved by believing in Jesus Christ is, or should be, a joyful experience. We did, after all, just receive the gift of everlasting life and avoid hell. But what happens as we begin our Christian walk may not be joyful, particularly if we continue in the same behavior which caused us to repent in the first place. This is what John Bunyan called “the slough of despond,” in Pilgrim’s Progress. We need guidance at times because we’re floundering.

We may receive a call and receive clear guidance that leads us to pursue a type of ministry, but we become so entangled with worldly pursuits that we’re unfruitful. Jesus describes this in the parable of the sower. Even mature Christians become this way because we’ve suffered setbacks, we’ve backslidden and lived in a rebellious condition for a time, and we loose direction. We end up feeling like we’ve been forgotten about: placed on a shelf for future use but the future that we were hoping for evaporated.

However, something always sparks our zeal, cleans us up, puts us back on our feet, and sends us back out into the fight. It’s not family, friends or a Government hand out, it’s the Holy spirit being an inexorable draw that causes us to want to do anything we can to please God, and at least make partial amends for the amazing grace that he’s shown us. The Holy Spirit is what drags us back to the straight and narrow path and puts us back on mission. Even so, once we get the clear insight that we’ve been craving it’s not unusual to waste time, as Jonah did, with irrelevant distractions. Are you being drawn?


Faith is believing in something that you can’t see, because of evidence.

– Faith, definition

Be concerned above everything else with the Kingdom of God

Instead, be concerned above everything else with the Kingdom of God and with what he requires of you, and he will provide you with all these other things.

(Matthew 6:33) Good News Translation
At a guest house in the Nefas Silk Area of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 2013

About 2011 we (that’s me and the Holy spirit) went to Hill Side Church, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. We were idling along with no idea what to do. Except that we knew exactly what to do, we didn’t know how to do it. In late 2012 our Pastor announced an opportunity to travel on a mission trip to Kombolcha, Ethiopia. We’re an experienced traveler, and if there’s one thing that we know how to do it’s get ourselves somewhere. We decided that, for the moment at least, this was our calling and we were going to go to Ethiopia to figure things out, and put us back on track.

We were at a low point in 2012-13 and we were so desperate for guidance that we volunteered for a missions trip Ethiopia. It was an interesting journey to say the least. We decided to travel alone because we wanted to save money on the fare, so we arrived a day earlier than the rest of the team. The group would travel to Kombolcha in the North the following day, but since we were so early we spent some time doubting the wisdom of spending every dime we had to get to Ethiopia.


Salvation

  1. Call upon the name of Jesus Christ,
    • believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,
  2. confess your sin.

Then we met two strangers, a brother and sister from Montana, who invited us to go to church with them right about the time that a bus arrived and took us to BEZA International Church. We were swept up in the newness and excitement of being in a foreign country for the first time again, but we were amazed at the preaching that we heard. There was a wonderful spirit in the big crowded church, but the message was perfect for us. We remember clearly hearing the preacher say that everyone of us has a particular calling, and though there is nothing new about that, he specifically said:

There’s a book inside of you that only you can write!

– Preacher at BEZA International Church

We knew what he meant. We had the book inside us. More than one really. We momentarily experience the sinking feeling of realizing that the answer, which we had already known but which we had been avoiding, had been brought into sharp focus. We knew that we had to write the definitive work on reconciling the Bible with science: Matty’s Paradigm.

We could hardly believe it. That was the guidance that we had asked for, but we tried to rationalize why God would want us to write an epic SciFi adventure instead of a scholastic work which would condemn the world.

So naturally we did the Jonah thing and decided that it meant that we should put all of our effort into finishing Biblio’s Blood. That’s when we wrote a letter to myself, giving us a reference point to look back on, and a way to evaluate our progress. We still haven’t finished Biblio’s Blood. It doesn’t really seem very important now. As you may imagine, Ethiopia has a special place in our heart. Today’s image is by Myndi B. Photography, we were in the bus from which it was taken.

On a pilgrimage to Ethiopia in 2013 we (that’s me and the Holy spirit) received our call to write what has become Matty’s Paradigm.

At the time we were horrified by the scope of the task before us, and the thought of the intellectual discipline that it would take to get it done.

We wasted a couple of years trying to breath life into Biblio’s Blood.

Ethiopia – Navigation

SectionTitleScripture
1EthiopiaMatthew 13:7
A Letter to MyselfA retrospective
The Donkey’s JawboneJudges 15:15-16
2The Parable of the SowerMatthew 13:18-23
Mission: EthiopiaGenesis 2:13
Simeon BachosActs 8:26-40
SalvationRomans 10:9-10
– Navigate your way around Ethiopia.

Read through the Bible in a year

Reading planMarch 10
LinearJudges 18-20
ChronologicalNumbers 35-36
– Read 3 chapters every day and 5 chapters on Sundays

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