Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Psalm 31

1In you, O LORD, do I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame;
in your righteousness deliver me!
2Incline your ear to me;
rescue me speedily!
Be a rock of refuge for me,
a strong fortress to save me!

We take refuge in the Lord. Because of HIS righteousness he will deliver us. He listens to us and rescues us.

3For you are my rock and my fortress;
and for your name's sake you lead me and guide me;
4you take me out of the net they have hidden for me,
for you are my refuge.
5Into your hand I commit my spirit;
you have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God.

Have you ever really thought about why God does things for us?
It is for HIS name's sake HE leads me and guides me. Not for anything that I have done. It is all for him.

6I hate those who pay regard to worthless idols,
but I trust in the LORD.
7I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love,
because you have seen my affliction;
you have known the distress of my soul,
8and you have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy;
you have set my feet in a broad place.

I read these word "I hate those who pay regard to worthless idols" and I think to myself. Do I really hate muslims and hindis, bahais and jehovah witnesses? And I think no... I don't hate them, but I do hate that they worship a false god. That they don't seek deeper. I would wish more for them. Perhaps I am wrong in this, perhaps I should hate them as the psalmist does, but I don't. I just hate the wrongness of what they worship.

But The Lord God is the one that I trust. He can be trusted because his love is steadfast and sure. He sees the distress of my soul and delivers me up.

14But I trust in you, O LORD;
I say, "You are my God."
15My times are in your hand;
rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors!
16Make your face shine on your servant;
save me in your steadfast love!

19Oh, how abundant is your goodness,
which you have stored up for those who fear you
and worked for those who take refuge in you,
in the sight of the children of mankind!
20In the cover of your presence you hide them
from the plots of men;
you store them in your shelter
from the strife of tongues.

21Blessed be the LORD,
for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me
when I was in a besieged city.
22I had said in my alarm,
"I am cut off from your sight."
But you heard the voice of my pleas for mercy
when I cried to you for help.

23Love the LORD, all you his saints!
The LORD preserves the faithful
but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.
24Be strong, and let your heart take courage,
all you who wait for the LORD!

This whole Psalm seems to build to this one line "Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!" The Lord God cares for his people. He rescues them from danger. He keeps us from shame. So that we can be strong and of good courage because it is GOD that we trust in.

Pretty cool huh?

Monday, May 29, 2006

Monday morning

Oh, I know...such an original post heading. But...it's Monday morning, I'm tired, yesterday felt like a write-off even though it shouldn't have. It didn't help that the church service we went to felt like a huge waste of time. See, my hubby had the day off because of the conference he went to. So we went to a church in London where we thought we'd here a decent sermon. Well..... we didn't. Granted, I was somewhat busy caring for our boy as they seemed to have no babysit (Our boy usually goes to the babysit during the sermon part so that he can rest and I can listen), but what I did hear of the sermon was....stories of how change is possible. No meat, just stories. Though I will admit that it was nice to sing praise and worship songs again since our church only does hymns. I did miss that the songs seemed to have nothing to do with the service. They were just there to be sung. I felt disappointed. My hubbie was angry. Just a waste of time. Later in the day we went to a hymn sing at one of the local churches. I enjoyed it! So did my hubbie! Our boyo made us laugh though. We sat in the very back so he could crawl around since he was VERY tired. At one point he crawled up the last pews, put his head down and looked at all the feet, then sat up with such a happy, excited look on his face. He made us laugh and sorta worry that he'd crawl underneath to get to all those feet. But he didn't. He came back all excited. Funny boy. He ended up going to bed a bit early.

Anyways, enough of Sunday. Today is a brand new day. My hubbie has a meeting later so instead of it being our normal day off it's a work day. I'll be doing laundry, weeding, mowing the lawn and caring for the boy, and hubbie dear will be doing his work things as well. Not sure what day we'll have off this week as I've a dog to care for tomorrow. But we'll work it out.

I don't know if I've told you before that I have daily bible readings sent to me each week from these folks. Right now we are going through the Psalms and Book of John.

Today I needed to read from Psalm 27-29 and John 11:1-29. I don't know if you all know that I struggle often with KNOWING that I am TRULY saved. I'm always somehow fearful that I'm not, or that I'm not sincere enough, or that I've done things wrong or... (fill in the blank). I see myself so clearly sometimes how I like to depend upon myself, how I have a quick temper, how I am such an evil being sometimes... it all just makes me wonder. And then I have to talk to God and say sorry, yes, I know, I'm still wondering if I've messed this up too. Forgive me. Grant me peace in knowing that YOU my Lord and God KNOW me. What can I say... at times I fear this will always be part of my walk in faith.

Anyways, I read these passages today and it was like God speaking to my heart. A person needs that once in a while eh. :)

From Psalm 27 hear these words of the Lord:
7Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud;
be gracious to me and answer me!
8You have said, "Seek my face."
My heart says to you,
"Your face, LORD, do I seek."
9Hide not your face from me.
Turn not your servant away in anger,
O you who have been my help.
Cast me not off; forsake me not,
O God of my salvation!
10For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
but the LORD will take me in.

GOD WILL TAKE ME IN. God will keep me. God will hear my words. God KNOWS ME. He really does. :) Makes my little tired heart smile this morning.

And then in Psalm 28 I hear these words of the Lord
6Blessed be the LORD!
for he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy.
7The LORD is my strength and my shield;
in him my heart trusts, and I am helped;
my heart exults,
and with my song I give thanks to him.
8The LORD is the strength of his people;
he is the saving refuge of his anointed.
9Oh, save your people and bless your heritage!
Be their shepherd and carry them forever.

God saves me. He hears my cries for mercy. I can give him thanks. I can sing songs to him. He is my strength. I am not alone because God is the strength of his people (that's a plural). God is my shepherd and will care for forever.

Then readind Psalm 29 and seeing this Psalm of Praise. Have you read it lately? It is so neat. Read these words of the Lord our God.

1Ascribe to the LORD, O heavenly beings,
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
2Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness.

3The voice of the LORD is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the LORD, over many waters.
4The voice of the LORD is powerful;
the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.

5The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars;
the LORD breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
6He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf,
and Sirion like a young wild ox.

7The voice of the LORD flashes forth flames of fire.
8The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness;
the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

9The voice of the LORD makes the deer give birth
and strips the forests bare,
and in his temple all cry, "Glory!"

10The LORD sits enthroned over the flood;
the LORD sits enthroned as king forever.
11May the LORD give strength to his people!
May the LORD bless his people with peace!

Can't you just see it? How the power of the Lord affects the world around us? Birth, life, death, everything. It's awe inspiring. He has all this power and gives us (his people) strength and peace. All of creation cries GLORY! It just fills my heart with ... what I needed this morning.

Isn't God good?

He caused me (through my hubby) to subscribe to a simple bible reading plan and then he touches my heart through his word. I will praise his name.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

I like this. It was sent in an email to me.


There once was a little boy who had a bad temper.

His Father gave him a bag of nails and

told him that every time he lost his temper,

he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.

The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence.

Over the next few weeks,

as he learned to control his anger,

the number of nails hammered daily

gradually dwindled down.

He discovered it was easier to hold his temper

than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn't

lose his temper at all.

He told his father about it and the father

suggested that the boy now pull out one nail

for each day that he was able to hold his temper.

The days passed and the young boy was finally

able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.

The father took his son by the

hand and led him to the fence.

He said, "You have done well, my son, but look

at the holes in the fence.

The fence will never be the same.

When you say things in anger,

they leave a scar just like this one.

You can put a knife in a man and draw it out.

It won't matter how many times you say I'm

sorry, the wound is still there. " A verbal

wound is as bad as a physical one.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

He's home again

Well the Lord be praised...he's home again! And it's good to have him home. He's tired...after all he just drove for 9 hours in mostly pouring rain and fog.

He brought home a TON of books.

He brought home a TON of laundry. :)

He brought home someone's elses books and now has to figure out how to get them to the right fella. (silly Mark for leaving them behind)

He brought home stories of people he met.

He was delighted by what I did in the gardens, and a clean house and very dirty son who cheerfully displayed an equally dirty "collie dog" (his must have toy).

Today we relax, do some yard saling, and just enjoy being together again.

I was glad to send him, I am glad to have him back.

God refreshed his spirit. For this I give him praise!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

This Suits....

Your Ideal Pet is a Big Dog

You're both energetic, affectionate, and a bit goofy.
And neither of you seem to mind very slobbery kisses!

This is our boy Riley. This picture was taken about a yar ago. He is 12 years old now. He's getting a bit senile. He is slower to do things and likes to sleep ALOT! He is fairly set in his ways and needs to walk on leash most of the time now since he does these odd things at times. (at least odd to me as I'm sure he has his own reasons for doing them).

And this is our girl Sassy. She is about 4 years old (probably 3 in this picture). She is an active girl who LOVES to work. Work consists of: doing agility, chasing squirrels wherever she meets them, keeping nefarious grackels out of our back yard, and pulling our boy Justin on a sled in the winter. Hopefully soon we'll add, pulling the boy on a cart when we walk uptown. (but first I need to buy the cart and make the frame)

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Jim is off soon...

So tomorrow Jim leaves me for five days.

He goes to a pastor's conference every year hosted by the Banner of Truth Trust. You can find out more about them here.

They are a publishing company that puts on a conference for conservative men every year. Jim goes and has a total blast.

He talks with other godly, conservative pastors and elders.
He buys books.
He listens to good messages preached.

He just has a good time taking a break from all the wear and tear of everyday pastoral life. He comes back totally rejuvenated and ready to take on almost anything again. :)

Though he is missed when he is gone, he is gladly sent off.

When he is gone I will spend 2.5 days with my parents just helping out and visiting. The rest of the time we will be home. Jim's mom is taking the dogs for me all week so I get a break from them as well. :) The house will be quiet for a couple of days without my man and the pooches.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Have You Ever....

Have you ever read something what seems like a million times and end up being surprised by something you think you've never read in it before?

Happens to me all the time it seems when I read God's word. This morning it happened when I was reading from John 6:1-21.

1After this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. 2And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick. 3Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. 4Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. 5Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, "Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?" 6He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. 7Philip answered him, "Two hundred denarii[a] would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little." 8One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to him, 9"There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?" 10Jesus said, "Have the people sit down." Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. 11Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted. 12And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, "Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost." 13So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten. 14When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, "This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!"

15Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.

16When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, 17got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. 18The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. 19When they had rowed about three or four miles,[b] they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were frightened. 20But he said to them, "It is I; do not be afraid." 21Then they were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.

So what surprised me you might ask.

1. Verse 15 where Jesus "perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself."

2. Verese 21 where immediately after Jesus got into the boat "the boat was at the land to which they were going."

It's like it all brand new to me! Both show the power of God. One in knowing what was going in the hearts and minds of the people around him and the second in bringing the boat immediately to land in the midst of a terrible storm.

What must have his disciples thought? The first may have confused them...why is Jesus taking himself away like this? Isn't Jesus going to be our king?

The second must have filled them with amazement. As fishermen (some of them) they knew how dangerous rough seas could be and how long it takes to travel in them. First Jesus walks on water and then suddenly they are on the shore. It's like... WOW! It would be frightening too.

For me I read this and I just see God's power at work. Makes me feel a bit insignificant actually. But as I think about this, I'm sure that's how the disciples felt....They see Jesus walking towards them on water, the winds are high, the sea rough, and JESUS IS WALKING ON WATER! Scary! Then he tells them, "It is I. Do not be afraid". Then as they thought about it, and the miracle of the food, I would think that they felt insignificant in comparison to Christ and amazed at the power of God.

But Jesus offered them peace. "It is I. Do not be afraid". THAT is what I must cling to. God, through Christ Jesus, offers me peace in the midst of everything. He is my hope and my salvation, and I must cling to what he offers me. And he will take care of me! He took care of the people, he took care of his disciples, and he will take care of me too.

Monday, May 15, 2006

an acronym


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Too Busy To Eat...

Being Mother's Day, yesterday my mom-in-law came over for the day. This is a lady that I treasure dearly. :) If everyone had a mother-in-law like her, mother-in-law jokes would not exist. Now, I'm not saying that she's perfect, but she is a dear sweet woman of God who has enriched my life.

Anyways, I read a passage from the bible this morning that reminded me of something she said on the weekend. She was so busy moving gravel and doing up her garden that she forgot to eat and by the end of the day, she was too tired to eat.

The passage was from John 4:31-38

31Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, saying, "Rabbi, eat." 32But he said to them, "I have food to eat that you do not know about." 33So the disciples said to one another, "Has anyone brought him something to eat?" 34Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. 35Do you not say, 'There are yet four months, then comes the harvest'? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. 36Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. 37For here the saying holds true, 'One sows and another reaps.' 38I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor."

Jesus would not eat when the disciples urged him to. His response was "My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work."

Now my mom-in-law is a lady who likes to keep busy. And when she works, she works hard. She will often get so busy that food...ah... that becomes a by-line, easily forgotten. And she will often work so hard that she is too tired to eat.

I read this passage this morning and I thought...ah...that's kinda what meant. That we need, as Christians, to be so busy about the work that God has laid out before us, that eating isn't so all the important to us.

I don't know if you've noticed how "me" focused this world has become. And how it has also invaded the church. We want what we want when we want it. And it's sometimes gets in the way of "being about the Father's business."

Mom's words reminded me of how sometimes I am like that... that I know I should do 'thus and such' because it is good and right and part of God's calling for my life, BUT I decide that I would rather do _________ (fill in the blank) and I put off what I really should be doing.

I'm reminded by Jesus' words here, and by my mom-in-law's example, that I shouldn't be like that. My goal, my DESIRE should be always "to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work".

There is so much that needs to be done to further the kingdom of God. The fields are still white to the harvest. And my spot in the kingdom of God does have it's place and duties and I must needs put aside my own personal "wants" to do HIS will. That must needs be my priority. And it's good to know that I am not alone in this.

Will you also become "too busy to eat"?

Thursday, May 11, 2006

About Sundays...

I was pointed to this article by John MacArthur by another blogger.

I looked it up because for the past couple of weeks I've been considering what it means to be a Christian woman. Why? Who knows...probably the spirit's prompting as there are some things in my life that I think God is saying... "hey, that's not okay." So, anyways, that blog made me curious about what John MacArthur had to say, and there's lots there. He has a few others listed here that I want to look at later.

I pulled this quote because it made me think.
Now let me just talk about the word "adorn." The word "adorn" is kosmeo. We get the word cosmetic from it. It has to do with how a woman prepares herself. It means basically to arrange, to put in order, to make ready. And he is saying a woman is to make herself ready. I want to start with that very simple thought. When a woman comes to worship, there is a preparation involved. A woman should prepare herself for worship. She should make herself ready, that is assumed, that is a given. And when they prepare themselves, it should be in adorning apparel. And here is another form of the word kosmeo from the same root, this is an adjective, kosmios and it simply carries the same idea. She is to prepare herself with the proper preparation. She is to adorn herself with the proper adornment. The word kosmios, the adjective form, means orderly, becomingly, properly, well‑ordered, well‑arranged. So a woman, then, is to come to worship properly arranged. That is to say that there is some preparation for worship, obviously.

Now the word that is translated in the King James by the term "apparel" is really a bigger term than that. It means not only clothing but is used in many places to mean demeanor or attitude or action. It can be the deportment of a woman. The idea then is here is a total preparation. When a woman comes to worship, she is to be totally prepared. She is to be adorned from the inside out. And one demonstration of that is in the proper kind of apparel.

Now we said the word kosmeo is to arrange and kosmios speaks of the orderness...orderliness of that arrangement. The noun that comes from that same root is the word kosmos from which we get the word "world." It's translated very often world. It really means order or system. And the opposite of kosmos is chaos. And so we could conclude that a woman is not to come to worship in a chaotic fashion. That is in disorder, disarray, without a proper preparation, with an unbecoming demeanor, or an unbecoming wardrobe.

Now the idea we know here emphasis wise is clothing, but the underline idea is attitude which we'll get to in a moment which is godly fear and self‑control. But he is talking about clothing because he's very specific about hair, gold, pearls and expensive garments.

The point is this, initially a woman is to prepare herself for worship. And that preparation involves a heart attitude and it involves a proper adornment on the outside. She is to come not in a disarray in spirit and not in a disarray in clothing, not in a disarray in any way but in proper respect for the matter of worship. She is to be dressed in a manner that is well suited to worship, that is orderly, that fits the God intended spiritual purpose of the meeting of the church. Her clothing should reflect a worshiping heart focused on God and focused on God's glory.

So this article/sermon made me think.
I'm not a fashion model. Clothes for the most part to me are just something that I wear to keep myself covered. Yes, I consider to a certain extent what I like or what I feel comfortable in, but it's not like I spend hours deciding what to where and what goes with what and so forth. Not my style. I'd in many ways I'm sure be a perfect candidate for "what not to wear" with Clint and Stacey. :)

BUT that's beside the point. I do try on Sundays to at least wear something that is "Sunday best" dress. But this sermon points to more than the "outward" stuff. It points to the inward stuff.

My hubby and I have been talking off and on for the past...oh..couple of years. (yes, discussions take time sometimes) about how to keep Sunday as special. In the Old Testament, the sabbath started the night before and ended at supper-timish the next day. So we've been trying to see if following a similar pattern will help us as a family be better prepared for worship on Sunday. Are we fully committed at this point? No, but we do know that if we've had a quieter evening, and if we get to bed at a decent hour, that things tend to go better getting ready for church on Sunday morning. But in many ways that is still just dealing with the physical.

The query remains... what do I do to prepare myself for worship on Sunday? Can't really say I do a whole lot.

I give the dogs a walk. Do breakfast. Get the boy ready. Pray with my hubby before he heads off (he tends to get over there earlier than I do as he is the pastor). And then I bustle over when I've got everything together. I often have mail to put in slots, a Sunday school room to prepare and .. you get the picture. I don't have anything particular that I do to prepare my heart and mind to meet with and to worship my maker. This sermon causes me to consider that perhaps this is something that I need to modify. I am not sure at this point though just what I should do. Prayer? Yes, I can pray that God enable my heart and mind to be at peace so I can hear from him. Find a moment of solitude? well.. I"ve a 10 month old boy and Sundays are busy mornings... solitude I ain't gonna get.

So I can't say I know all the answers... but I do have questions and swirling thoughts in my brain.

I do know that throughout Scripture that people were called to prepare themselves to meet God. Moses had to remove his sandals because the ground before him was holy. Removing his sandals prepared him to talk with God. Priests needed to be cleansed before they could minister in the temple. And in 1 Timothy 2, Paul reminds the people that they are coming to church to worship God, not to show themselves off. They needed to be prepared to do that.

So just how do I "remove my sandals" so that I know I am going to stand on Holy Ground? My desire to is be able to worship God knowing that I am doing so in a way that honours him. I just don't think right now that my "sunday routine" is the best way to achieve that end. Hmm...more thought and prayer needed I think.


So, how good are you at observing things?

Not sure I agreed with all the questions...and they did seem American oriented...like what do I know about the American flag? :) And depending on which country you lived in, you wouldn't know the answer to some of the questions.

Your Observation Skills Get A B-

Your senses are pretty sharp (okay, most of the time)
And it takes something big to distract you!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I've been letting this brew....

So my husband showed me this link the other day. The article is called "the feminization of the church". I found the article interesting, made me think. Some of the thoughts of the author I agree with, others I would question.


Do I agree that the church is geared to women? For the most part, yes. We have bible studies, coffee hour, luncheons, Sunday school, and so forth. Things that women find easy and natural to do. What can I say, most women like to talk and they like to do things like cook and bake and clean for others. It's, in many ways, a natural for us.

BUT I do have some queries.

1. This comment made me wonder

But, interestingly, the gender gap is distinct to Christianity, according to Murrow and Podles. Other religions seem to have a gender balance or even more men than women — including Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism and Islam, they said.

- Christianity is the one true religion. Is it so awful that we are different than all the other "religions" out there? Wouldn't one expect there to be a difference of some sort?

2. I read this article and it still sounds like men are blaming women for their own inaction. And I will freely grant that part of that could be a defensive "woman" part of me. But Adam did it in Genesis, and it still seems like it happens today. It's the fault of women that men don't want to serve as elders and deacons, it's the fault of women that men don't have their own ministries, it's the fault of women that churches are women-focused, it's the fault of women that (you fill in the blank).

Seriously I must ask... do women stop men from starting men's bible studies? Do women stop men from performing acts of services in ways that THEY feel comfortable? Do women stop men from having a men's version of coffee-break or ???? Seriously, do we as women do that? Quite frankly...I don't see it.

AND if women have NOT stopped men from forming their own ministries...then why haven't men done so? I read back in the past of things that men did in church and I have to wonder...why aren't they doing it now? What has changed? What stops them? In the past alot of Sunday school teachers, particularly for the older grades where men. Now it seems that it is mostly women at all age levels...why is that? Have men stopped volunteering or it is a lack of trust (due to societal influences) or ???

3. If more women than men are attending church, is it at all surprising that the audience is catered to? That's what happens. The market that is being reached is catered to UNLESS another market is desired. If more men are desired in church (and they are) THEN men need to cater to their own market. I, as a woman, will not stop them. Perhaps there are some women who would, but I have a hard time figuring out why they would.

Personally I think men are invaluable to the church, and they should be strongly encouraged to attend. For worship, for music, for service, for teaching, for the whole 9 yards. But I do have a problem with saying...it's the fault of women that they don't come. or maybe I"m missing something here....

Is it the whole Adam and Eve thing. You know, Adam was there while Eve was being deceived and Adam did nothing. He let Eve be deceived, he even took part in the sin after she took the first bite. Is it just that continuing? That men are standing by, seeing their women being deceived and just following along? Has this just continued to be an insidious work of the devil?

I don't know all the answers. It has raised lots of questions for me.

Perhaps you all might have some answers or even further clarifying questions.

Monday, May 08, 2006

This is a Shocker

John 1:16
From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.

I am constantly amazed at how God continues to work in the minds of people. Mind you, when peoples minds are evil, I'm not so thrilled with the knowledge God gave them, but when it's for good it's like WOW!

I was skimming the London Free Press this morning when I came across this article. I read simply because the title intrigued me. You can find that article here.

What researchers are trying to do create a plant
that will alert people to the presence of landmines by changing colour if their roots detect compounds, such as TNT, commonly used in mines.

Isn't that fascinating?? I never would have dreamed such a thing would be possible!!! For me, the thought would not even have occurred. But then again, I'm not a scientist either! :)

They've even had a small bit of success
They have had to develop a receptor gene that can detect TNT and be spliced into a plant's roots.

Once the TNT is detected, the plants must then be able to transmit the information to their leaves or shoots, much in the way hormones are transferred throughout the human body.

Then, more receptors are needed in the shoots or leaves to make them change colour.

Using a weed called an arabidopsis, the University of Alberta team has solved part of the equation.

"We have had the arabidopsis roots change colour . . . but we have not had the shoots change colour," Deyholos said.
I am just amazed. God could have made it so that the original idea was lost, that no money could be spent on this, that... oh the list just goes on. But here, in the midst of our sin and rebellion, God still shows his grace to us.

I am just amazed. God is just so cool and caring and.... the list could just go on. I wish these researchers success in their endeavors.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

My Heart Weeps

I received an email the other day from a sister-in-Christ. She was heart broken over the problems we are having in our denomination. Seeing issues being forced and blatant sin being allowed in our larger church body WITH NO RESPONSE from the higher ups. She is thinking it is time for her to leave the denomination. To worship in her church, but just not have her membership there anymore.

Will this make a difference? Probably not, except in a couple of years with assessment dollars, but that won't really affect anything I think. And it would leave her without recourse in action. How do you fight for something if you are not part of it?

I struggle, I won't deny that. Being married to a pastor brings my attention to the struggles of the larger denomination. And it's scary. It is.

Our denomination NEEDS to turn from the path it is on. It needs to be shaken up, sifted, put through the mill, and whatever else is necessary to get rid of the chaft and the weeds. Will it be easy or nice or pleasant or ??? NOT! It will be nasty and hard.

But how does one do this?

As I said to my sister-in-Christ... what does a LAY person do?

Who does the lay person talk with, communicate with, pressure, pray for????
Do they pressure their pastor?
Do they pressure their local consistory?
Do they write letters to the synod or the classis or the classis executive or the head offices?

Just who do they complain to and say..hey... this is wrong... it is unscriptural, these folks NEED to be disciplined and

I think that's one of the biggest problems for lay people like me, we have no idea who to contact.

For me personally, I have a problem with thinking my consistory needs to handle it. I can talk to my pastor (he's my hubby after all), and his response is... we have to let church polity do it's thing. and our polity is flawed, and it all takes a lot of time. QUITE frankly, when I see the pain that all this "time-taking" causes...I don't want to be patient. (yeah I know..that's the woman in me) :)

Right now one of the biggest questions facing our denomination is ... How do we hold the standard of God's word?

Our denomination is in "communion" with a variety of other denominations. They are 'evangelical' in nature if not always in practice.

Not all, but some of these churches have significant issues... the UCC allows universalism, the PCUSA has allowed an atheist to join, the CRC has similiar struggles with openly homosexual members, and so forth.

We should not be in communion with them, and yet...we are.

But then I look at my own denomination...and if I were those denominations...I wouldn't want to part of us either! Seriously.

When I look at these denominations... I just wonder that God shakes his head at us in pain at our willfulness. Should we withdraw from communion with all different denominations until our own house is in order? Sometimes I think that is what we need to do. We can't say... we won't be with you because of thus and such error in you, but stay in communion with another denomination...because they all have these things that are grievous to God.

I really wonder if cleaning house is what we really need to do OR if we should say...God...help us start a new house? But then I think...we need to clean this house. It is a good house even though right now it is very drafty and cold and the rafters are starting to cave in a bit, but things need to be really changed and cleaned up and made afresh. The good needs to be shored up and the bad...tossed.

It would look better from the world's view...as in we are not "once again" starting a new brand of church. Which the world just finds really confusing. :)

But will that happen? I honestly have no clue. AND I seriously think that those who truly want to (to clean this house) have no idea where to start either... God would have to do the guiding. People would be fired, Synods and Classes disciplined, many would flee, and the fight would be nasty. People are so afraid of that. My heart aches just thinking of the nastiness (pain, sorrow, arguments, yelling, tears, and more so) that would occur.

It's a hard thing and I don't know where it will start...but it should.

I will have to do some more thinking on what I can do. I will need to pray fervently and consistently. I will need to know my scripture so I can say... hey..that's not okay, God's word says this. And I can support my hubbie as he takes on some of these battles that I don't even always see. That's what I will do.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

I am Not a Heretic

You scored as Chalcedon compliant. You are Chalcedon compliant. Congratulations, you're not a heretic. You believe that Jesus is truly God and truly man and like us in every respect, apart from sin. Officially approved in 451.

Chalcedon compliant




























Are you a heretic?
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Thursday, May 04, 2006

On-going Discussion

As you may (or may not) know, my husband and I are conservative Christians, in a changing denomination, who pastor (he pastors, I attend), a fairly conservative small church in small town Ontario.

We believe very much in keeping the bible first and foremost in life. Jim holds a somewhat harder line than I do. AND for the most part I really appreciate his strong stand on things...because he makes me think about what I believe and why things are important and so forth.

One of our on-going differences is in how we look at praise and worship music. Jim says that MOST people learn their theology best from the songs that we sing and that therefore any songs that we sing MUST at all times teach good biblical values without having any shading in them. I tend to think that the spirit and meaning of the song is just as important and sometimes that things don't always have to be so black and white. We often have slightly heated discussions about what is and what is not a good song.

We were discussing a song the other day "Come, Now is the Time to Worship" Personally I really like this song UNLESS it is played by a band that overdoes it (as in plays the course over and over and such like).

These are the lyrics

Phillips Craig Dean Lyrics - Come Now Is the Time to Worship Lyrics

Come, now is the time to worship.
Come, now is the time to give your heart.
Come, just as you are, to worship.
Come, just as you are, before your God.

One day every tongue will confess
You are God.
One day every knee will bow.
Still the greatest treasure remains for those
Who gladly choose you now.

Come, now is the time to worship.
Come, now is the time to give your heart.
Oh, come.Just as you are to worship.
Come just as you are before your God.

One day every tongue will confess
You are God.
One day every knee will bow.
Still the greatest treasure remains for those
who gladly choose you now.


Come, now is the time to worship.
Come, now is the time to give your heart.
Come, just as you are to worship.
Come, just as you are before your God.

Oh, come.Oh, come.Oh, come.
Worship the Lord.Oh, come.

Come, come, come...

The line that Jim objects to is "Come, just as you are to worship". He says it should be changed to "come, as through Christ to worship". I have to admit (horrors! I"m admitting to something), that he does have a point... that people CAN NOT come to God just as they are. The God calls people to him through the working of the Holy Spirit, and they can't come except by the saving power of Christ....but I still think the song over all confesses the needfor and the salvation of Christ.

The focus, to me, of the song is reminding people that we MUST worship God. That we must WORSHIP God at all times, and now is good time to start. That people eventually will realize that God is God. Do I query that "we choose God" line? Yes, because I firmly believe that I can't choose God if he didn't predestine (make the choice for me) long before I even thought about making the choice for him.

I guess what it comes down to.... do we through a whole song out because of one line that is questionable? Where does one draw the line in the sand?

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Today's Reading

Today I read from a couple of different psalms.

Psalm 52

1Why do you boast of evil, O mighty man?
The steadfast love of God endures all the day.
2Your tongue plots destruction,
like a sharp razor, you worker of deceit.
3You love evil more than good,
and lying more than speaking what is right.

4You love all words that devour,
O deceitful tongue.

5But God will break you down forever;
he will snatch and tear you from your tent;
he will uproot you from the land of the living. Selah

6The righteous shall see and fear,
and shall laugh at him, saying,
7"See the man who would not make God his refuge,
but trusted in the abundance of his riches
and sought refuge in his own destruction!"

8But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God.
I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.
9I will thank you forever,
because you have done it.
I will wait for your name, for it is good,
in the presence of the godly.

and Psalm 57

1Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,
for in you my soul takes refuge;
in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,
till the storms of destruction pass by.
2I cry out to God Most High,
to God who fulfills his purpose for me.
3He will send from heaven and save me;
he will put to shame him who tramples on me. Selah

God will send out his steadfast love and his faithfulness!

4My soul is in the midst of lions;
I lie down amid fiery beasts--
the children of man, whose teeth are spears and arrows,
whose tongues are sharp swords.

5Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
Let your glory be over all the earth!

6They set a net for my steps;
my soul was bowed down.
They dug a pit in my way,
but they have fallen into it themselves. Selah

7My heart is steadfast, O God,
my heart is steadfast!
I will sing and make melody!
8Awake, my glory!
Awake, O harp and lyre!
I will awake the dawn!
9I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing praises to you among the nations.
10For your steadfast love is great to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the clouds.

11Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
Let your glory be over all the earth!

I read these two Psalms and I thought...wow...the first shows how the righteous know the folly of trusting in one's own thing. How in some ways we can laugh at the foolishness of those who do trust in their own thing and give no real thought to God. Though I must say personally, a good part of me weeps for those who just don't know the richness of knowing God.

The second Psalm just spoke to my heart today. Reminding me that I do need to call upon God for mercy. That I do need to praise God at all times, in various ways, that showing God's glory is a huge part of what I am to do in my daily life as a believer. I give thanks to God for all the mercy he shows me because I so often fail to do what he has called me to.

Do these Psalms speak to you at all?

I'm still in shock

I found out by reading my hubbie's blog that a church in Texas let an atheist join their fellowship. you can read about it here. This to me seems so very wrong. The pastor of that "church" says that he is building connections. I read that and I think...yeah..building connections with what Satan?

The church, yes I know, the church visible does not only contain Christians BUT!!!! It is considered to be a representative of God. How can one justify letting someone join your church who doesn't even think that God exists? Isn't that a paradox?

And the church that I am a member of, the denominational body has ties to this church. It just makes me shudder and wonder if anyone in the higher ups will see how very wrong this is and sever connections with the PCUSA. I really, really hope so.

Enough of being in shock, and yes I know, in today's day and age I probably shouldn't be so shocked, but I am, and it makes me just a teeny bit angry that people think that this is okay, because we are "building connections" after all. They are impunging the HOLINESS of God by doing this.

Makes me think of the last sermon I heard my hubbie preach. He's going through the 10 commandments right now and the last one was on "do not kill". One line he used made an impact on me. We must be careful about how we treat others, because how we treat them is how we are treating God. (my paraphrase) That sat with me and I asked him about it later. He said that we are made in the image of God so when we treat others poorly, we are treating God poorly. It makes it even more important how we treat others in the body of Christ. Fellow Christians have CHRIST residing IN THEM. So when we treat them poorly then we are right away treating Christ poorly. Makes me really think about how I live my life and treat other folks then.

I don't know. All this stuff seems jumbled. I want to be angry at the pastor of this church that allowed an atheist to be come part of the visible body of Christ. it's so wrong. But then I think, if I'm so angry with him, then I'm being angry with Christ. How do I then separate the two? All I can see is that I can be angry about the action and the effect that it has, but I still need to see the pastor as a man who has made a grievous error in judgement and pray that he sees the error of his ways. I can also I suppose write to the head offices of my denomination and say hey guys...take action on this. Don't allow our body of believers to be associated with this sinful action. That I think is the best approach I can do to continue treating the image of God properly. What think you?