Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Reformation Day and Hallowe'en

Did you know that today is Reformation Day? It's also Hallowe'en. Two days that can been seen in a variety of ways.

For Reformation Day
1. Is it important to observe it in some manner?
2. Is it okay to just mention it in passing?
3. Do preachers HAVE to preach on it?
4. Can we just ignore it?

For Hallowe'en
1. Is it really Satan's day alone?
2. Is it just candy and fun?
3. Is it primarily a witnessing opportunity?
4. Should it be avoided at all costs?
5. Should we try to only Christianize it?

I'll tell you where I stand for this day.
I think it is very important to remember where we came from. Do I think preachers have to preach on it? Not really, not if they are preachers who are constantly calling people to truly follow after God. If they are doing that, they are already preaching what the Reformation was really calling people to do. Follow God, not the church. The church should call people to follow God, not to follow their extra-biblical stuff. I think if we can attend a "Reformation Day" service, that is a good thing. Is it a requirement of being a good Christian? By no means. It is just another nice way to get together and worship God with a bunch of his other people. :) And that, in my book, is always a good thing (whether I "feel" like it or not). God is with us when we gather to worship him. And it really is more important that Hallowe'en.

Now I know that Hallowe'en is a contentious subject for many Christians. And quite frankly, I do see it as just a fun day. But I was also raised like that.

Do I recognize that it is a night where people do evil stuff? You betcha I do. There are times when people just delight in doing evil, and Hallowe'en seems to give them "liscense" to do so. BUT I also firmly believe that God is in control of all things. I have to believe that. If I don't then I am not believing what the bible is constantly telling me. I do not believe that Satan is in control. I do believe that Satan thinks he is, but the one I believe is in bigger than that.

Can Christians, should Christians try to make an impact on this night of "let's do bad things because tonight it's okay to do so'? YES! Most definitely yes. Christians should not encourage their children to dress up in evil outfits...you know..murderers, jack the rippers, scary stuff. They just shouldn't. That's looking at the darkness inside of us. There's lots of ways to dress up that don't look at the darkness within ourselves.

There is a part of me that wonders if the whole "candification" of Hallowe'en is ploy on the part of the devil to make us less aware of the evils that can lurk on this night. And maybe so, but as Christians we are to be aware of that type of thing and use our discernment and our power in prayer to fight against it.

Christians can make the point of having "hallowe'en" or "harvest" parties if they like. But I really wish they wouldn't make them just church specific. Invite the whole neighbourhood in. Use it truly as a witnessing opportunity. Encourage youth to come and just hang out, do fun stuff, encourage them not to engage in pranks that are just damaging and not truth building.

And if you do the neighbourhood trick or treat thing, use it as a night to build bridges with your neighbours. Work at opening their eyes to the things of light and beauty and truth. Pray hard for them. Pray hard for the safety of their children. Pray hard that this night won't be a real night for "devil's play".

Anyways, that's all I have to say. What do you think?

Good news!!!!

My mom called last night with some very good news.

MINE SISTER IS COMING FOR A VISIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

isn't that great. I haven't seen her for a dogs age. She lives out in BC. Her hubbie decided that sending her out for a week or so would be a really good idea.

Isn't that Great??!?!?!?!??!?

No, I'm not at all excited...

I can hardly wait for the end of November to come rolling around...

The Punisher is Punished

I find it interesting how throughout history, when God uses one nation to punish his nation, that after a time, that punishing nation is itself punished.

Today's reading is just another example of that.

Babylon has been used to correct the behaviour of God's people. God warned them (his people) it would happen and that they could choose to listen to him and be saved, or not listen and be destroyed. Many listened, many did not. Babylon none-the-less served as a corrective to the people.

Here we read that Babylon herself will be corrected
2"Declare among the nations and proclaim,
set up a banner and proclaim,
conceal it not, and say:
'Babylon is taken,
Bel is put to shame,
Merodach is dismayed.
Her images are put to shame,
her idols are dismayed.'
Bel according to Wikipedia is a name that signifes "lord" or "master", and "is a title rather than a genuine name, applied to various gods in Babylonian religion". And Merodach according to the Bible Encyclopedia is a name which means "death or slaughter" It is probably "the name of a Babylonian god, probably the planet Mars (Jer. 50:2), or it may be another name of Bel, the guardian divinity of Babylon".

That which Babylon herself trusts in will be put to shame.

The neat thing is, when that happens God says that
4... the people of Israel and the people of Judah shall come together, weeping as they come, and they shall seek the LORD their God. 5They shall ask the way to Zion, with faces turned toward it, saying, 'Come, let us join ourselves to the LORD in an everlasting covenant that will never be forgotten.'

So even the punishment of the punisher will be used of God to bring his people back to him. Isn't that cool?

It just so shows that God is in control of all things. :)

Monday, October 30, 2006


If you are at all curious about our plans for the next two weeks, you will need to check it out here. Yes, I'm too lazy to reprint the whole thing here when a simple click will get you there already. :)

I didn't know this before

I was reading this morning from Jeremiah 27-29 and came across this:
8"'"But if any nation or kingdom will not serve this Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and put its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, I will punish that nation with the sword, with famine, and with pestilence, declares the LORD, until I have consumed it by his hand. 9So do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your dreamers, your fortune-tellers, or your sorcerers, who are saying to you, 'You shall not serve the king of Babylon.' 10For it is a lie that they are prophesying to you, with the result that you will be removed far from your land, and I will drive you out, and you will perish. 11But any nation that will bring its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him, I will leave on its own land, to work it and dwell there, declares the LORD."'"

Like I know, I probably shouldn't have been surprised...but I was. God warned the people that Nebucadnezzar was coming, and that if they submitted to old Nebbie, that they would be fine - life wouldn't be easy, but it would be better than the alternative. That if they listened to all their "prophets, diviners, dreamers, fortune-tellers and sorcerors" and disobeyed the word of the Lord that they would be in a worse situation. That worse situation being
"with the result that you will be removed far from your land, and I will drive you out, and you will perish"
So they had a choice, obey God and be servants/slaves in their own land OR disobey God and be servants/slaves/dead in a foreign land.

Personally, if it was me, I'd rather stay at home and work for a foreign master where I kinda know what's going on... Than to be dragged...and that's what I picture...being dragged off in chains (so I wouldn't run off and cause trouble) to some land where I
1. wouldn't know the language
2. wouldn't know probably anyone
3. wouldn't know the land and where to go if things got down right nasty

I'm not saying it wouldn't be hard to be ruled by some foreign country that doesn't have your best interests at heart, but it would be better I think to stay home in a familiar place where at least you have more of a chance to do okay for yourself. AND if I knew that it was what God wanted.... well then, that would settle it for me. :)

I wonder sometimes though, the people of Israel and Judah had so many voices that they could listen to - prophets, dreamers, soothsayers etc..- and it seems that Jeremiah was the only one truly speaking for God. It must have been so hard for the God-fearing to only hear him, and then to know that it was God speaking, and not just another false prophet.

Kinda like today in some ways... though in this world we have LOTS of godly men and women who truly listen to the Lord and speak his words clearly to us, we still, as believers, need to discern which is the right voice to listen to. It's a hard thing sometimes... because false teachers can be sneaky. And sometimes they don't even know that they really are false teachers. Ah, that the Holy Spirit will guide and protect us and we strive to learn more of God and his ways.

That's all I can really say today.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Calling all moms....

Okay...how does one give a 16 month old boy a bath when ALL he wants is for his tiger and collie to be in the tub with him...but if one lets said boy take said beloved stuffies into the tub with him, means that said stuffies cannot go to church to with him? where one knows that these beloved friends of his cannot go with him all wet? and where life will be desolate without them?

Boy in huge tears....and refusing to sit in tub for safe bathing...so how do you soap him down safely much less wash dirty hair???? I couldn't figure it this morning and decided he must be awfully tired to be this persistent....even having them watch from the toilet didn't work this morning.

This morning I said...nope... can't do it. He'll have to go to church a bit filthy from camping.....

We're back

So we came back a bit early.

We went up on Friday night to Pinery Provincial Park to do a wee bit of camping. The Pinery has a hallowe'en weekend every year which we discovered last year was a lot of fun. A whole whack of people from the MFCC were there as well. We arrived shortly after lunch, got all set up, did a bit of visiting, and had supper out at the Colonial in Grand Bend... by the way, I do not recommend eating there... although the staff are friendly, the food.. leaves a wee bit to be desired. My hubbie had a meeting in Ancaster on Saturday so he went home to sleep so that he didn't need to arise so early in the morning on Saturday.

We both ended up missing the potluck...Hubbie because of the meeting, me because the boyo was sleeping. Well.... I did get a hotdog! :) Erik (an MFCCer) was a real doll - he and his son David, and another lad (Lewis) split our wood for us so I could build a nice fire. I had hoped to surprise Jim with a nice warm fire to sit by... that plan didn't quite materialize due to inclement weather and a power outage.

We had intended to stay until Sunday afternoon, but while my hubbie was at his meeting, the power went out early afternoon. That meant...a COLD trailer. Not fun. It was actually warmer outside than inside for a while --- so we went visiting, he played, got soaked, got changed, and thought to go out again...but then the wind picked up. Since he is still battling an ear ache I thought a strong wind and a little boy were not a good mix. Ever try amusing a 15 month old in a trailer that is cold for 3 hours unassisted? With two largish dogs who wanted to be in as well? Not my idea of fun. We did problem solve though.... the boyo played on the the table (it was flattened to bunk size) and the dogs stayed by the sink. Then it was time to go trick or treating which was a good deal of fun. Met lots of nice folks too.

My boyo dressed up at "baby Mickey and his toys" which is one of his favourite books. He'll do that again on Tuesday in the neighbourhood.

My hubbie returned at 6 p.m. To a trailer with the awning up. He wanted to know what happened with that, I didn't know as I'd been out with the boy treating. By Oz and Us said a couple of people were at the trailer working with the awning. I told my hubbie that my best guess was that the awning came loose yet again in the wind and that the neighbours were helpful. :) I mentioned the power was out and that we were cold that perhaps going home would be an option as having a cold trailer and earachy boy didn't seem a good plan. He agreed. I stayed with the boy in Oz and Us' trailer (it was warm...ah the beauty of a hard side with propane heaters ... mmmm.....) Yes, I may convert to the 'darkside'. The power stayed out until 730 pm, by which time the trailer was basically packed up.

We were home by 820, put the boy to bed, put the trailer up again, and relaxed. :) I recalled what my Sunday School lesson would be, hubbie did something else and the boyo slept. And now it's Sunday morning, Sassy's been walked....Riley well...he didn't come and I didn't think to look under the kitchen table (and I couldn't find him) so they're out in the backward and he'll have to wait till after church for a walk.

Enjoy your day all!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Hebrews 1

I have to admit, I haven't read from Hebrews in a fair while. Today's reading included Hebrews 1 as one of the readings.

When I first scanned this passage, I thought hmmm... here God is comparing Jesus (his son) to angels. He shows what the difference is between the two. The end result of the comparison is to show Christ's superiority to them.

The passage starts
1Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.
First lesson learned. In the Old Testament God used various means and methods, and at different times, to teach our spiritual fathers through the prophets. That time is past. Now he speaks to us through his Son.

Second lesson: Jesus is the Heir to all things. According to Clarke Jesus is Heir to all things because not only is he the son of God, but he is also born of woman. Which makes him heir to all things legal and all things spiritual.

Third lesson: Through Jesus, the whole world was created. We also know this from reading John.. in the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God, and through him were all things created. (i'm going from memory so hopefully got that all correct). :)

Fourth Lesson: Jesus is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.

Fifth Lesson: After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

No angel could have done these things. Jesus, just in these first four verses is shown to by way better than the angels. The rest of the chapter seems to build on this.

In verse five we see that God never told any of the angels
"You are my Son,
today I have begotten you"?
Or that
"I will be to him a father,
and he shall be to me a son"?
In verse six we find that all the angels are to worship God's Son (Jesus).

In verse seven we find what angels are:
"He makes his angels winds,
and his ministers a flame of fire."
But Jesus (his son) God says:
"Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,
the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.
9You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has anointed you
with the oil of gladness beyond your companions."
"You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning,
and the heavens are the work of your hands;
11they will perish, but you remain;
they will all wear out like a garment,
12like a robe you will roll them up,
like a garment they will be changed.
But you are the same,
and your years will have no end."
None of the angels has ever been asked to
"Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet"?
The jobs of angels is to be
"ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?
Jesus is in charge of all things. He is God's son. He is the creator of the world. His enemies will be brought down before him. He is anointed of God. He is the heir of all things. He is the radiance of God. He sits at the right hand of God.

The angels minister to those who inherit salvation. They are wind and flames of fire.

Jesus is superior to angels, no doubt about it.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Defense, Praise and Woe

Today's reading came from Jeremiah 20-22. In this passage we find that Pashtur has had Jeremiah beaten and put in the stocks. Jeremiah was in the stocks overnight. Pashtur was a priest "the son of Immer, who was chief officer in the house of the LORD". So his dad was not unimportant. My guess this is why he thought he could get away with treating a prophet of God so poorly.

He found out differently.

When Jeremiah was released he told Pashtur the following:
"The LORD does not call your name Pashhur, but Terror On Every Side. 4For thus says the LORD: Behold, I will make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends. They shall fall by the sword of their enemies while you look on. And I will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon. He shall carry them captive to Babylon, and shall strike them down with the sword. 5Moreover, I will give all the wealth of the city, all its gains, all its prized belongings, and all the treasures of the kings of Judah into the hand of their enemies, who shall plunder them and seize them and carry them to Babylon. 6And you, Pashhur, and all who dwell in your house, shall go into captivity. To Babylon you shall go, and there you shall die, and there you shall be buried, you and all your friends, to whom you have prophesied falsely."
Can you imagine? Here you are, a priest in the temple. You are supposed to be there to serve God and to help his people hear God's word and to know how to best follow him. This guy comes along, who you know is a prophet and you don't like what he has to say (from God) so you administer what you think is suitable punishment. And then you find out the next day that oops... you made a HUGE mistake. Pashtur really should have known better. The Old Testament is riddled with the punishments that happen to people who mistreat God's spokesmen. It makes me think that events had gone so downhill in Judah and Israel that he thought he could get away with such ill-treatment of Jeremiah. Otherwise...why bother?

In the next few verses, Jeremiah not only bemoans his fate, he also sees the hand of God on his life. I find it interesting how Jeremiah thinks that God has deceived him, and yet at the same time, sees God's hand at work in his life. He's at the point where he doesn't want to tell the people what God is saying, but if he tries to keep quiet... it's the like message just burns a hole through him, he CAN NOT keep silent. He MUST preach the word of God.
7O LORD, you have deceived me,
and I was deceived;
you are stronger than I,
and you have prevailed.
I have become a laughingstock all the day;
everyone mocks me.
8For whenever I speak, I cry out,
I shout, "Violence and destruction!"
For the word of the LORD has become for me
a reproach and derision all day long.
9If I say, "I will not mention him,
or speak any more in his name,"
there is in my heart as it were a burning fire
shut up in my bones,
and I am weary with holding it in,
and I cannot.
Even Jeremiah's friends are wanting to denounce him. Everyone is tired of the message that Jeremiah is proclaiming. The message that God is coming and will punish them. That the Babylonians are coming and many will die and/or be sent into captivity.
10For I hear many whispering.
Terror is on every side!
"Denounce him! Let us denounce him!"
say all my close friends,
watching for my fall.
"Perhaps he will be deceived;
then we can overcome him
and take our revenge on him."
But still the Lord is with Jeremiah. He watches over and protects him. Those who want to attack Jeremiah cannot.
11But the LORD is with me as a dread warrior;
therefore my persecutors will stumble;
they will not overcome me.
They will be greatly shamed,
for they will not succeed.
Their eternal dishonor
will never be forgotten.
12O LORD of hosts, who tests the righteous,
who sees the heart and the mind,
let me see your vengeance upon them,
for to you have I committed my cause.
Jeremiah ends this lament with praise to God. For God is the deliverer of the needy.
13Sing to the LORD;
praise the LORD!
For he has delivered the life of the needy
from the hand of evildoers.
We know that Jeremiah still struggles with the task that God has laid on him for he cries out to God.
14Cursed be the day
on which I was born!
The day when my mother bore me,
let it not be blessed!
15Cursed be the man who brought the news to my father,
"A son is born to you,"
making him very glad.
16Let that man be like the cities
that the LORD overthrew without pity;
let him hear a cry in the morning
and an alarm at noon,
17because he did not kill me in the womb;
so my mother would have been my grave,
and her womb forever great.
18Why did I come out from the womb
to see toil and sorrow,
and spend my days in shame?

Hmm... makes me think of those days when it's like GOD! Why did you order my life this way? I'm tired of it. I want to do something else. Why did you have to make me? yes, I will admit... I have days like that. Days when I'm just tired and fed up and feel like nothing is okay with what I do so why did God put me here to do them. I don't know... does anyone else have days like that?

Duh..obviously. Jeremiah did. And if he did, I know that others did and do. And I know that nothing I struggle with is unique or different. Everyone living struggles with things that are common to others. It's part of being sinful, fallen people.

And yet, at the end of it all, I can cry out in Praise to God because I do know that he knows best. And I do know that he cares for me and watches out for me. I know this. I feel it within. :) God is good, even though sometimes the tasks he lays for us challenge us deeply. Praise him anyways eh? :)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

My Aunt

Just heard from my mom.

My Tante Annie did have cancer BUT it has not spread at all!!!!!! The growth she had was not malignant. YEAH GOD! This is just so cool.

Not sure if they need any precautionary treatment or not. They will find out on Monday about that.

Thanks for praying.

Fascinating Stories of Forgotten Lives - Ch. 1

I have been reading this book and almost forgot my promise to update you as I went through it.

This is a quote
"Nobodies. That's who this book is about. Most are nobodies whose name you probably have never heard. A few are nobodies you have heard about, such as Cain, Abraham, Esau and Samuel. I don't mean to twist the normal meaning of the term, but at some level, we are all nobodies."
He then followed this with a story about Richard Matheson's story about 'The incredible shrinking man' and then continues saying:
"Staring into the vastness of space, the microscopic man realized something important. Our universe is measured by eons and lightyears, so to the God who created it all, a person standing six feet tall may as well stand six millimeters. From the vantage point of heaven, we are all mere specks. But each one is a speck that our great Savior valued enough to die for.

In His universe, we are all little people - nobodies. And yet, because of Christ's sacrifice, there are no nobodies living on planet earth. A person isn't significant because fame or stature or publicity makes him or her so. Each is significant because
God has said so.

And that includes you.

In God's estimation, you are significant. The questions, then, is this: are you going to be what you are?"
I liked that quote. Showed that God is most important. Showed that what we do does matter.

Chuck closes this chapter asking two questions for us to think about.
1. Would you rather be a person of significance or a person of renown? Think carefully. The answer to that question will shape your entire future, including the decisions that you make, the manner in which you relate to others, even how you go about fulfilling the roles God has assigned you. Making a positive difference is your responsibility. God will look to issues of credit or fame.
2. Which is more important to you: the quality of your impact on the world or the size of it? Don't be too quick! That's a probing question that demands some attention. Let's face it: most of us are conditioned by the world to think we can have both when, in reality, you have only one of them. You already know which one it is.

The Potter and The Clay

The passage today from Jeremiah was Jeremiah 18-19. And I have to admit, when I started to read this passage,
1The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2"Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will let you hear my words." 3So I went down to the potter's house, and there he was working at his wheel. 4And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter's hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.
I thought cool! A picture that I can relate to. I've seen potters do their thing with clay on a spinning wheel. I've seen them work a piece, get this look of frustration and then plop the piece into a ball again and start all over. I can see this happening. :)

And just as the potter works the clay with his hands (it is VERY hands-on) to get it into the form that he has in mind, so God works his people.
Then the word of the LORD came to me: 6"O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the LORD. Behold, like the clay in the potter's hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. 7If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, 8and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it. 9And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, 10and if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will relent of the good that I had intended to do to it. 11Now, therefore, say to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: 'Thus says the LORD, behold, I am shaping disaster against you and devising a plan against you. Return, every one from his evil way, and amend your ways and your deeds.'
He is intentional about what he does with us. He knows what we are to be and works hard in us and on us to get us into the image. But we often forget that he is our maker. If we do what we are supposed to, he will continue to shape us, seemingly effortlessly, until we are what he wants. BUT if we do not do what he has called us to, like the potter, he can pick us up, lop us up into a misshapen ball, and start all over again.

Sometimes I wonder what it will take for God to do that with his church today. I look at his church and I quite frankly see rebellion everywhere.

In his church we find:
From older folks saying... but we're too old to do anything for the church, we're too old to reach out into our communities and...
From younger folks saying... but we need to make a career for ourselves, we need to focus on our education, and having fun, and
From middle age folks saying ... but we're comfortable where we are, our kids have grown, now it's time for us to relax a bit....
From the pulpit... we need to reach the masses, we need to compete with the world in order to get people to pay attention to us, what if we change just a bit what God's word says, make it more user friendly....
From consistories/board of elders... who won't chastise way-ward members of the congregation lest they lose that individual as a member or make other members angry....
From denominational heads ... who are SO focused on their own agendas that they fail to see what is truly in God's word...

There is sin and misery and turn-away from God in the church itself... when will God take a firm hand and say 'My children, enough... let me re-shape you'. I don't know... Sometimes I want God to do something to shake people out of their complacy...and that includes me...

I read Jeremiah and I see today's church, I see myself and I just want God to act. I really do.

Monday, October 23, 2006

An answer to prayer we think....

So, an update is in order... I had posted this on the family blog. Updates are hopefully in a different colour. :)

A couple of updates

1. My Aunt's (Annie (Jan's wife) from in holland) surgery went well. They'll know in a few days if the growth was cancerous or not. Just heard from my mom. Tante (dutch for aunt) Annie is doing well. They should hear in a couple of days now if she has cancer or not. She is feeling pretty good.

2. My mom-in-law got us an appointment with a doctor that she knows. He is hoping to get us in with a doctor in Ilderton who is bringing in a couple of new doctors. Would be nice for Justin to have a family doctor. He noted that our boy's ear has not healed over completely, and wants to see him again in two weeks to see how he is doing. He was a VERY nice doctor. If I could have a nice doctor like him for our family, it would be really nice. :) But time will tell. If the ear hasn't healed in two weeks he may refer us to a ear, nose, and throat specialist. We will see him again in two weeks, the same day that my hubbie leaves to go on a FYBO trip with a bunch of men. To find out more about that trip you have to visit the Magical Flying Camper Club. The forum about this trip is hosted here. So, we apparently have a new family doctor which our boy will be able to access soon. It is so good of God to use my MIL's doctor to get us a family doctor. It will make the overall medical care for our boy just a tad bit easier. I like having a female family doctor, my hubbie well...he's not so sure yet. :) This to me is answer to prayer.

3. My dad is slowly continuing to improve. Bad weather makes his joints feel worse. But overall he is thinking more clearly, and walking more upright. He is taking less meds as well which is a good thing. It will still be a long road to complete recovery. He continues to have a lot of muscle spasms. Talked with mom via the computer the other day. Apparently she and dad want to try a, okay, not sure what to call it. I think quakery...she thinks new herbal treatment. I've decided to really withhold judgement until I see how things go. Oh....probably shouldn't write quakery on here since mom reads my blog! Oops... sorry mom! :) Let's just say it sounds very odd and out in left field a bit so I'm feeling a HUH???? moment. And I'm thinking it won't cause any harm so I'll take a wait and see approach. It has something to do with a treatment on the feet that somehow draws toxins out of the body...and drinking??? barley grains/greens or something. Sounded odd. :) If it somehow helps dad to cope better or even heal up a bit more then WOOHOO!!! And if not, well then... new lesson learned. :)

How do you like YOUR mashed potatoes?

Rebecca over at Rebecca Writes
is hosting Potato Fest 2006.

I love potatoes, I have to admit. I think they are a most versatile veggie. I like them mashed, boiled, scalloped, in stews, in soups, baked, broiled and fried. I am not a huge fan of most french fries though, nor do I like hashbrowns and corned beef.

My hubbie likes mashed potatoes the very most. He likes them made with a tad bit of mustard. He likes them to be very smooth. He also likes salt and pepper added. He likes corned beef and hash browns, and french fries are good too (particularly if seasoned).

I like my mashed potatoes with sour cream and parmesan cheese. OR a bit milk with an egg thrown in. No seasonings. I also like mine lumpy. :)

So depending on the dinner and who is cooking, our potatoes very quite a bit. Shows what type of potatoes our parents did as well.

How do you like your potatoes mashed?

Am I like Jeremiah?

Today's reading came from Jeremiah.

In that passage I found these verses that struck me.
15O LORD, you know;
remember me and visit me,
and take vengeance for me on my persecutors.
In your forbearance take me not away;
know that for your sake I bear reproach.
16Your words were found, and I ate them,
and your words became to me a joy
and the delight of my heart,
for I am called by your name,
O LORD, God of hosts.
17I did not sit in the company of revelers,
nor did I rejoice;
I sat alone, because your hand was upon me,
for you had filled me with indignation.
18Why is my pain unceasing,
my wound incurable,
refusing to be healed?
Will you be to me like a deceitful brook,
like waters that fail?

19Therefore thus says the LORD:
"If you return, I will restore you,
and you shall stand before me.
If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless,
you shall be as my mouth.
They shall turn to you,
but you shall not turn to them.
20And I will make you to this people
a fortified wall of bronze;
they will fight against you,
but they shall not prevail over you,
for I am with you
to save you and deliver you,
declares the LORD.
21I will deliver you out of the hand of the wicked,
and redeem you from the grasp of the ruthless."
I wanted to understand them better so I looked them up in some commentaries.

Matthew Henry writes
It is matter of comfort that we have a God, to whose knowledge of all things we may appeal. Jeremiah pleads with God for mercy and relief against his enemies, persecutors, and slanderers. It will be a comfort to God's ministers, when men despise them, if they have the testimony of their own consciences. But he complains, that he found little pleasure in his work. Some good people lose much of the pleasantness of religion by the fretfulness and uneasiness of their natural temper, which they indulge. The Lord called the prophet to cease from his distrust, and to return to his work. If he attended thereto, he might be assured the Lord would deliver him from his enemies. Those who are with God, and faithful to him, he will deliver from trouble or carry through it. Many things appear frightful, which do not at all hurt a real believer in Christ.
Wesley writes:
15. Thou knowest - My sincerity, or my sufferings. Visit me - With thy love.

16. Thy words - The words which from time to time thou didst reveal to me, were by me greedily digested. I am called - I became a prophet by thy authority, therefore, do thou own and defend me.

17. I sat not - God had all along filled his mouth with such dreadful messages, that his whole prophetical life had been to him a time of mourning and solitude, a time when he sat alone, mourning and weeping in secret for the wrath of God revealed to him against his people.

18. Why - Jeremiah, though a great prophet, was (as Elijah) a man subject to like passions with other men.

19. If thou - These are God's words to the prophet, rebuking his distrust in God, and promising him, that if he did return from his distrust in God's providence, he would restore him to the former favour he had with him, and he should be his prophet to reveal his mind to the people; and that if he would separate the precious truths of God from the vile conceits of men, then God would continue him as his prophet, to speak in his name to the people. But - He charges the prophet to keep his ground, and not to go over to wicked men.

21. The wicked - The wicked Jews. The terrible - And the power of the terrible Chaldeans.
I just find it interesting, how different people look at the same verses, and how they do it. Some do a verse by verse, others more of a broad sweep. And something can be learned from both. The reason I was drawn to these verses is that they surrounded this verse:
16Your words were found, and I ate them,
and your words became to me a joy
and the delight of my heart,
for I am called by your name,
O LORD, God of hosts.
I had to think to myself. Are God's words a joy to me? Do I eat them as eagerly as I would a ham and cheese sandwich? Do I find them as filling as supper? Do God's words delight my heart? Am I glad that I am called by God? And am I glad that he (God) is my Lord of hosts?

I find that like Jeremiah there are times when I am beseiged by distrust. I don't trust that God will take care of me, that he will bring me relief from the various things that trouble me. And like Jeremiah, God calls me out of that. He reminds me that he will take care of me, that his words are a joy and delight to me, and that I am his very own child.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Trouble with this....

I have to admit... I have some trouble with the passage that I read today. And I know that it was hard for Jeremiah in his day as well.

The passage starts off well.
1The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2"Stand in the gate of the LORD's house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, all you men of Judah who enter these gates to worship the LORD. 3Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place. 4Do not trust in these deceptive words: 'This is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD.'
God is once again, calling his people back to them. Telling them to trust in him, not in empty words, but in HIM.

The people, once again, aren't listening too well.

But then we come to this part
16"As for you, do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with me, for I will not hear you. 17Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18The children gather wood, the fathers kindle fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven. And they pour out drink offerings to other gods, to provoke me to anger. 19Is it I whom they provoke? declares the LORD. Is it not themselves, to their own shame? 20Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: behold, my anger and my wrath will be poured out on this place, upon man and beast, upon the trees of the field and the fruit of the ground; it will burn and not be quenched."
Jeremiah is told NOT to pray for them. They are wilful in their disobedience and God will not hear Jeremiah's prayer for them.

I find that a hard section. To be told NOT to pray for someone. How do we know who to, and who not to pray for? Do we not pray for our family, friends who are lost in their sin? Or is it just the specifics here.... God's people KNEW what they were to do, and they wilfully turned aside from God. Is that the specifics of who we are not to pray for? I'm not sure I get it.

Later on in this passage we find that Jeremiah's job as a prophet was a challenge in other ways.
27"So you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to you. You shall call to them, but they will not answer you. 28And you shall say to them, 'This is the nation that did not obey the voice of the LORD their God, and did not accept discipline; truth has perished; it is cut off from their lips.
Like Moses did with Pharaoh, we find the Jeremiah would be speaking God's word to a people who he already knew would not be receptive to it.

I just find it hard. Not only can he not pray for these people, he knows that the words he speaks will not be heard. And yet, that was his job for God.

I don't know. I just find this difficult to understand.... Does anyone have any insight they want to share???


Last week our family went out to get some more apples. We had gone out earlier with Gramma to pick apples at Farmer Jacks and our boyo had a blast.

He had so much fun getting two apples and then putting them in the bright red buckets we had been loaned for picking.

Sassy (in the back ground) enjoyed chasing and eating some of those apples.

BUT, I didn't have enough for just doing apples up. The ones we picked were nice eating apples for the winter. They store lovely in our cold cellar. So we went back to get some cheapies : empires and macintosh.

Yesterday while my son was napping I decided to make applesauce. It was going well, and then he woke up. Of course he immediately thought that helping his mommy was just the thing to do!

He had a hoot! :)

He stirred, he mixed, he got his fingers into jars. He had so much fun....

Mommy learned a valuable lesson....DON'T dress the boy in white if you think he might want to help! Just don't do it!

What do you think, does he like it?
Do you think he got messy enough? :)

Friday, October 20, 2006

Paul's confidence in the Lord

I was reading Acts 27 this morning and was amazed by Paul's confidence in the Lord.

Paul is on this ship, he was a prisoner and they were setting off to Rome because Paul had appealed to Caesar. They are sailing at the wrong time of the year froms the sounds of it.
1And when it was decided that we should sail for Italy, they delivered Paul and some other prisoners to a centurion of the Augustan Cohort named Julius. 2And embarking in a ship of Adramyttium, ...., we put to sea, .... 3The next day we put in at Sidon. And Julius treated Paul kindly and gave him leave to go to his friends and be cared for. 4And putting out to sea from there we sailed under the lee of Cyprus, because the winds were against us.

They sailed along for a while, going on different ships as needed. They came to "Fair Havens, near which was the city of Lasea." But it had been a long journey, it was getting late in the year, even the "Fast" was over. It was getting risky to continue the trip. They could have over-wintered.
Paul advised them, 10saying, "Sirs, I perceive that the voyage will be with injury and much loss, not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives." 11But the centurion paid more attention to the pilot and to the owner of the ship than to what Paul said.
Most of the men didn't want to stay in that harbour, so they decided to take off to see if they could reach Phoenix, a harbour in Crete and over-winter there.

They started off in a gentle breeze which soon turned into a tempest. Eventually they started to throw goods overboard, which would light the load making the ship easier to handle. BUT to no avail. "When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope of our being saved was at last abandoned." The men all thought they were doomed.

But then....Paul stood up and told everyone that they should have listened to him but none-the-less he had been told by an angel of the Lord that no one would die. Only the ship would be lost. The angel told Paul "Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar."

As another day of their troubles dawned
Paul urged them all to take some food, saying, "Today is the fourteenth day that you have continued in suspense and without food, having taken nothing. 34Therefore I urge you to take some food. It will give you strength, for not a hair is to perish from the head of any of you."
And it happened just as the angel told Paul. They were shipwrecked by running aground an island. The sailors wanted to kill the prisoners but were prevented from doing so. All hands were saved....the sailors and the prisoners both.

Can you just see it? Paul trusted God. He trusted that the angel truly spoke the words of God to him. He told others what he knew. He kept reminding them.

I read these words and I stand convicted.

Paul knew that God was a God to be trusted. Even when it seemed improbable that things would turn out well, Paul trusted what he was told. He offered that same hope to all those around him. He worked to see God's will fulfilled.

I read this and I all I see is how often I fail at doing this same thing. I trust God, but I so often fail to let that trust be seen or heard. I hide behind my own petty assurances, or silence or whatevers. I must needs speak out more of the promises of God on my life. I must needs let people know that the God I serve is a God to be trusted. He is GOD!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Continuing in Jeremiah

Today's reading is Jeremiah 3-5.

In this passage we find God looking at his people. He is, at the very least, unimpressed with them. He actually compares them to a prostitute. To a woman who leaves her man, claiming to be ravished, when it is plain that she has not. But that by her very actions, has made herself to be sullied.
2Lift up your eyes to the bare heights, and see!
Where have you not been ravished?
By the waysides you have sat awaiting lovers
like an Arab in the wilderness.
You have polluted the land
with your vile whoredom.
God in response to her whore-like behaviour has withheld his normal blessings upon the land. "Therefore the showers have been withheld, and the spring rain has not come". God is not pleased. His people, in his land, are bearing all the markings of a prostitute. His people are not even ashamed about it.

At this point in history, the nation of Israel has split in two. There is Judah and Israel. God looks at his two countries, which are really one people, and he is not impressed with them, BUT he notes this: ""Faithless Israel has shown herself more righteous than treacherous Judah." So he gives Jeremiah two messages for his people. One for Israel and one for Judah.

To Israel he says:
"'Return, faithless Israel,
declares the LORD.
I will not look on you in anger,
for I am merciful,
declares the LORD;
I will not be angry forever.
13Only acknowledge your guilt,
that you rebelled against the LORD your God
and scattered your favors among foreigners under every green tree,
and that you have not obeyed my voice,
declares the LORD.
14Return, O faithless children,
declares the LORD;
for I am your master;
I will take you, one from a city and two from a family,
and I will bring you to Zion.
God calls for them to return to him. He promises that if they do, he will give them shepherds after his own heart who will care for them, teach them, and feed them with knowledge and understanding. And as you mulitply and stay with me, a day will come when all my peoples shall be joined as one again. God pleads for his faithless people to return to him.
1"If you return, O Israel,
declares the LORD,
to me you should return.
If you remove your detestable things from my presence,
and do not waver,
2and if you swear, 'As the LORD lives,'
in truth, in justice, and in righteousness,
then nations shall bless themselves in him,
and in him shall they glory."
Then God turns to Judah. Return to me or else my wrath will burn against you. I don't see God pleading with them. I see him taking a hard stance. Return to me or bad things will happen.
5Declare in Judah, and proclaim in Jerusalem, and say,

"Blow the trumpet through the land;
cry aloud and say,
'Assemble, and let us go
into the fortified cities!'
6Raise a standard toward Zion,
flee for safety, stay not,
for I bring disaster from the north,
and great destruction.
7A lion has gone up from his thicket,
a destroyer of nations has set out;
he has gone out from his place
to make your land a waste;
your cities will be ruins
without inhabitant.
8For this put on sackcloth,
lament, and wail,
for the fierce anger of the LORD
has not turned back from us."
Two wayward children. God takes a pleading approach with one, and a hard-nosed approach with the other. Parents need to do that sometimes with their children. Children respond differently to different treatment.

It doesn't change what is in God's heart (or in the heart of a parent). He is in anguish over the behaviour of both his children.
19My anguish, my anguish! I writhe in pain!
Oh the walls of my heart!
My heart is beating wildly;
I cannot keep silent,
for I hear the sound of the trumpet,
the alarm of war.
God wants his children back!

Makes me think of me and my boyo the other day. He was determined to get into something that was bad for him. I did all my normal parenting things to get him to listen, to not get into something that potentially could have been really bad for him, and he REFUSED to listen (toddler). So I gave him a whack upside his well protected by a diaper backside. He stopped. He listened while crying. And I told him what a good boy he was to listen. He stoppped crying and life was indeed good for him again.

Discipline is needed. And sometimes it has to be seemingly harsh to get the point across. But it's not harsh if it gets the offending party to realize that they are doing something they aught not.

God didn't immediately whack his people upside their bottom. He first called for them to return. And when they refused...then he whacked them, while continuing to say...return to me my people, return. Ah that I might continue to hear that call.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Head's up for a new Blog

There is a new blog being started.

It is called "The Pastor's family". Being part of a pastor's family I am looking forward to seeing what this blog is going to be all about.

In one of the first posts we read:
Here’s a link with an excerpt to get us started.

Pastors and their families live under incredible pressures. Their lives are played out in a fishbowl, with the entire congregation and community watching their every move. They are expected to have ideal families, to be perfect people, to always be available, to never be down and to have all the answers we need to keep our own lives stable and moving forward. Those are unrealistic expectations to place on anyone, yet most of us are disappointed when a pastor becomes overwhelmed, seems depressed, lets us down or completely burns out.

I know that I have experienced almost all of these things as a pastor’s wife at one time or another. Some days, some times, some seasons are better than others.

Any thoughts? Let’s encourage each other to remain faithful to the God who has called us!
Sounds like something I wouldn't mind knowing more about and being part of.
What do you think?

Starting Jeremiah

So today I started reading from Jeremiah. I am sort of tempted to take my time with this book, but since I'm following a reading plan, and time is often short, I will probably just buzz through it in bits and pieces.

Anyways, Jeremiah is a book that focuses on the prophet Jeremiah.

One line that immediately caught my attention was verse 4 and 5
4Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
5"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations."

Can you imagine it? Do you see it in your own life? That God knew you before you were born? Before you were even formed in your momma's womb..God KNEW you?

I have to admit that I find that hard to comprehend. How can you know someone before they even exist physically? But this is one of those spots where God is God and not a man. :) But before Jeremiah even existed God had a plan for his life. He had appointed Jeremiah to be a prophet to the nations. Jeremiah had a job even before he was old enough to really think about it. It was a job specifically for God.

Did you know that God has a plan specifically for you as well? It was like how I read last night... Habakkuk wondering if God was ever going to get around to answering his call, and God's response is..well I am doing something I"m raising up these nasty Chaldeans to punish those evil-doers. So that leads me to think that God has a plan for everyone...doesn't matter if we are believers or not...he still is in control of our lives. He still has a plan for us.

So where are you in it? Are you like Jeremiah.... But God... "Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth." (v.6) And God's response to him is ... don't use that as an excuse. You will go where I send you, and speak what I have you speak, "for I am with you to deliver you". (v.8)

Do you offer excuses? If you do, you aren't the only one. Moses did too (see Exodus for that). God still used him. He met Moses objections.

Jeremiah was but a youth...and he didn't think he was up to the job. But God said "do not be afraid for I am with you to deliver you."
Moses was sent to talk to man who he knew wouldn't listen to him.
Jeremiah was sent to talk to people who had turned away from God. They didn't want to listen to him either. He will be prophet to a people who will be in a warzone. Life will not be easy for him.

So as you see, just because God has a plan for our lives, doesn't mean our lives will be easy or that our excuses aren't real...but...it still comes down to "do not be afraid for I am with you to deliver you.".

Follow God's plan for your life. He will always be there with us if we keep following him.

Christian Carnival

So the 144th edition of the Christian Carnival is up.

You can find it at The Buzz Blog. For a Christian blog group... most of the posts are pretty good, some I query though, so be alert.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


I have to admit....often times when I read the minor prophets I think...oh...it's the same old same old. People being bad, God sends a prophet to warn them to smarten up or punishment is coming. I tend to enjoy reading Micah and Amos. Not sure why, there is just something in those books that I like, but as for the rest... I just tend not to get a whole lot out of them because I think ... the same old same old. I shouldn't do that. God's word is indeed God's word. There is truth and wisdom to be gleaned from all of it.

When I learned tonight that my scripture reading came from Habakkuk...my immediate thought was oh...the same old same old. It felt like God gave me a bit of knock on the noggin of "smarten up youngling, this is MY word that you are reading so pay up!" (I say pay up to my younger dog when I want her to listen to me).
So I read Habakkuk 1-3. I will cheerfully admit that I had to read it a few times before I noticed something. And yes, in the midst of it I said.. "God I"m sorry, I don't want to read this, but I need to. Help me to understand your word". And he did! :) I noticed tonight in Habakkuk that God answers questions/complaints! Yes, he does. Habakkuk comes before God with a complaint. God answered it. Habakkuk came up with another complaint... and once again, God answered it. Neat huh? :)

So let's see just what their conversation was all about.

Habakkuk Complains in chapter 1:2-4
"O LORD, how long shall I cry for help,
and you will not hear?
Or cry to you "Violence!"
and you will not save?
3Why do you make me see iniquity,
and why do you idly look at wrong?
Destruction and violence are before me;
strife and contention arise.
4So the law is paralyzed,
and justice never goes forth.
For the wicked surround the righteous;
so justice goes forth perverted."

He, in essence is saying, God...I"ve been calling for you to deal with all these evil-doing folk, how long do I have to wait before you do something!?!?!? Why are you being so idle God?

God's response:
5"Look among the nations, and see;
wonder and be astounded.
For I am doing a work in your days
that you would not believe if told.
6For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans,
that bitter and hasty nation,
who march through the breadth of the earth,
to seize dwellings not their own.

God, in essence is saying, but I"m not just sitting down wasting my time. I am raising up a nation that will come and punish these evildoers.

Habakkuk complains again
12Are you not from everlasting,
O LORD my God, my Holy One?
We shall not die.
O LORD, you have ordained them as a judgment,
and you, O Rock, have established them for reproof.
13You who are of purer eyes than to see evil
and cannot look at wrong,
why do you idly look at traitors
and are silent when the wicked swallows up
the man more righteous than he?
14You make mankind like the fish of the sea,
like crawling things that have no ruler.
15He brings all of them up with a hook;
he drags them out with his net;
he gathers them in his dragnet;
so he rejoices and is glad.
16Therefore he sacrifices to his net
and makes offerings to his dragnet;
for by them he lives in luxury,
and his food is rich.
17Is he then to keep on emptying his net
and mercilessly killing nations forever?

Habakkuk notes that God makes man like bugs are. They fill the earth. Even if the Chaldeans come to punish them, not all of them (the evildoers) will be destroyed. So will this punishment go on and on and on and on?

God's response is that we must wait. The end is still to come. Even the Chaldeans will be punished for acting against the people of God.
The vision has yet to be fulfilled....
2And the LORD answered me:
"Write the vision;
make it plain on tablets,
so he may run who reads it.
3For still the vision awaits its appointed time;
it hastens to the end--it will not lie.
If it seems slow, wait for it;
it will surely come; it will not delay.

We must wait for it.

Habakkuk's response to God is to lift up a prayer of praise and rejoicing to God. He closes that prayer saying
17Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
18yet I will rejoice in the LORD;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
19GOD, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the deer's;
he makes me tread on my high places.

He knows that regardless of what happens, God is his strength and he will take care of his people.

Hah...I learned something from Habakkuk! See what happens when God offers correction and his somewhat wayward child listens! :) Ah...Praise indeed to be our God and Father! :) What can I say.... I do enjoy learning new things. :)

Friday, October 13, 2006

A threat we christians are...

Reading this article.

Find out that according to the liberal party's interim leader that Christians are a huge threat to our country and if we are appointed to serve that we are a huge threat to democracy.

For talking about our faith, for living out God's call on our lives we can be compared to Nazis!

Oh the sorrow that Party leaders in today's society feel so free to say such things.

I fear for this country and it's Christian believers should this party ever come into power again.

UPDATE: for another look at the same story check out this link.

What does the Lord require?

Do you remember yesterday that we learned that one day that nations will come to the Lord and want to learn from him and live according to his ways?

In today's reading, we actually learn what God wants from us.

Here is God's word saying:
8He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the LORD require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?

Here it is in a nutshell. God requires that we "do justice", and "love kindness" and "to walk humbly with him".

That's it. Seems relatively easy...but it isn't.

It requires knowing God's word so we know what all those things really mean. But following God does in many ways, boil down to these three things.

Know him, follow him... do justice, love kindness and walk with HIM humbly.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Inside they come


It's only October 12. What are we doing with snow already?????

Was going to go for a walk with Justin when he freaked out about the snow coming down hard and fast and loud. Short walk...basically went out the house, half a house down, and then screaming boy didn't settle and was trying to crawl out of a moving stroller so...back to the house.

Didn't nap either...silly boy....

Anyways, I didn't like the piggies (guinea pigs - 3 sows, 2 boars) being out in the snowy weather so they are now in the house. In another four or five days or so...hopefully we'll have a couple of days of good weather and they can go out again for a bit... overnight so we can properly re-seal their hutch for them (in the house) needs a day to so to dry. But for now, these piggies are happily in the house. :)

Nations will come

This morning I was reading in Micah 4-5.

This passage I found most interesting today.
1It shall come to pass in the latter days
that the mountain of the house of the LORD
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and it shall be lifted up above the hills;
and peoples shall flow to it,
2and many nations shall come, and say:
"Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths."
For out of Zion shall go forth the law,
and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
3He shall judge between many peoples,
and shall decide for strong nations afar off;
and they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war anymore;
4but they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree,
and no one shall make them afraid,
for the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken.
5For all the peoples walk
each in the name of its god,
but we will walk in the name of the LORD our God
forever and ever.
I am just trying to imagine it. This verse.... "and many nations shall come, and say: "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths."

People streaming to God's place. People wanting to know God, to be taught by God so that they can walk and talk and live and everything, the way that God wants them to.

I find it hard to imagine in this day of anti-true God sentiment. I'd say anit-christian sentiment, but some of the things that people do, saying that they are Christian...just make me want to cringe...and I'm a Christian! :) But the point is that I find it hard to imagine people from every nation coming to be taught of God. Coming to get to know God better. People wanting to know how to live the way that God wants them to. Can you imagine it?

It will be a time of peace, of knowing God, of lack of fear. It will be really really neat, but I find it so hard to imagine. But even in my lack of imagination I find that I do have hope. I see the last line of this section, and I read the rest of the reading this morning, and I see God at work. I see his promises to his people and I do like the steadfastness of the last line of this section ... "For all the peoples walk each in the name of its god, but we will walk in the name of the LORD our God forever and ever"

People right now, walk however they want. Believe in whatever they want. But irregardless, those who believe in the true God...will walk in HIS name (our Lord and God) forever and ever. Isn't that steadfast and sure? Isn't that something that I can cling to? That you can cling to? Pretty neat huh? :)

A day out

Yesterday my boyo and I went out for a day with my mom, my aunt from holland, my sister-in-law and my sister. My mom wanted to get a new Sunday outfit for the fall/winter as she needed a new outfit.

I HATE shopping for clothes so I said I'd go for the morning only, but thought it would be fun to get out with the ladies. It was!

My boyo and I took breaks and went to the disney store where he climbed up this mountain of stuffies. He tried hard to convince me that he needed not one but TWO winnie the pooh stuffies. at $25 I said...I THINK NOT! He cried but...ah well, a boy needs to learn he can't have EVERYTHING he wants. :)

Mom didn't have success before lunch. We ate at Subway in the food court. My boyo loved the kids toy that came with lunch. Then off to the pet store to enjoy the critters there. My boyo LOVED the mice. Just absolutely fascinated by them. :) We had fun, but then off to the car where the boyo napped and I drove home. It was a good day. :)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Mom-mom...you got stuff!

I have this fondness for garage sales and for auction sales. What can I say... I love getting stuff cheap. Yes, I do. I'm not ashamed to admit that at all. :)

Anyways, Wednesday night before my boy took ill, we went to an auction sale. While there my boy said (in baby talk) "look mom-mom toys!" Mom-mom took note of that interest and went elsewhere just checking things out. Little boy unhappy with mom's decision to do that. He cried!

Later on mom-mom went back though....she stood and waited and guess what! Mom-mom got the toys! Happy boy he played!!! AND then.......she even got more stuff! what fun!

Yes I did. I got him his toys....lots of plastic farm animals. They become his favourite "I have to have them to bathe and to eat toy".

As I was gathering them up they (auctioneers) moved on to another lot to sell, which no one wanted... stuffies. They added another box, still no takers, they added five lots to the bundle and still no one wanted it, so I offered a dollar and got all the bundles. Had no idea what all was in it, just figured I could garage-sale 10 stuffies for a dime a piece and get my dollar back. Never expected to find a treasure or two, but I did. A nice hamburger press with container for freezing. A good cake taker, a mirror, and a couple other things. My boy even got a barking dog toy out of the deal. All told....a good couple of dollars spent. Do I have stuff I don't need? yep...but that's what spring garage-sales for. :)

anyways, here's my boy investigating the treasure trove.

What I finally finished!

All last week, and almost all day yesterday I worked on digging up my front flower bed.

Now you have to understand what a HUGE mess this flower garden was. I got some nasty, nasty weed in it that thought it should be totally invasive. Killed my dianthus, killed some other plants and just a nasty, nasty weed.

This weed has been the subject of many a conversation.
1. to find out what it is -- this stymied a couple of master gardeners who kept thinking what I was describing was bindweed or creeping charlie. And I would say no...I know how to deal with those nasty weeds. And they would argue with me! :) fun in retrospect, frustrating at the time.
2. to figure out how to kill it -- since I have it in other spots of the yard I tried a variety of ways of killing it. Roundup mixed properly. Roundup full strength. Covering up it really solid and lets no light through (kills many a weed that does). Digging it up. Screaming at it. Painting it directly on the leaves (the round up). and so forth. NO SUCCESS. I was hesitant to round up the entire front garden because I had a few plants growing in there that I was not really wanting to destroy in the process So...

That comes to my solution....DIG IT UP!

So...I worked on it when my boyo was sleeping. I worked on it while my boyo was "helping". Discovered that this nasty, nasty plant has a tap root that goes down at least a foot and a half. And off that tap root grow runners (like what you get with twitch grass). NASTY PLANT!!!! (have you gotten the point of how nasty this plant/weed is?)

Do I think I got it all? No... because after digging down a foot and a half I didn't reach the bottom of the plant and was hitting gravel. Not my idea of easy to dig through. GAVE UP (on digging the tap root out)! I did what I could. Got most everything out. and then replanted. I have a TON of bulbs! All my daffodils and tulips and "walk on ables" have nicely multiplied and have been divided. We even bought a few news bulbs to add more variety to the garden, pink daffys, purple and white tulips, anemones, allium, some other tulips. Fun, fun!

Anyways, this is the end result. Hopefully in the spring that nasty weed will be a bit easier to control as I took lots of rocks out of the garden. It looks SO much better. Even my hubbie said "looks good hun". And hopefully in the spring I'll remember to take a picture so you can see how nice it all turned out. :)

Putting scripture together

One of the things that I am learning that I am not so good at is putting scripture together in a way that is good and right. I tend to take a passage and just think of it all on its own. I don't tend to go...okay this verse/section means thus and such, but if I add this verse/scripture then thus and such ALSO means this. I am ALWAYS amazed at people who can put scripture together so that meanings are broaden WITHOUT changing the meaning and contexts of the scriptures being put together.

Sometimes I wonder how they can do it, and seemingly so easily. I am hoping as I continue to mature in my faith that I will be better enabled to do this, because right now I feel rather hopeless at it for the most part. :)

But I was reading today in Hosea and in Romans and some verses from each kinda jumped out at me. And hopefully I'll use them contextually well together. :)

Hosea 14:9 says:
9Whoever is wise, let him understand these things;
whoever is discerning, let him know them;
for the ways of the LORD are right,
and the upright walk in them,
but transgressors stumble in them.
and Romans 16:17-19 says:
17I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. 18For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. 19For your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil.
Paul in Romans has just gone through a list of various greetings to people. He wants to leave one final admonishment to the people he is writing. He wants them to be careful, to be aware that not everyone is out for the good of others. That they need to wise in what is good, and innocent of evil. He has spent the entire book of Romans teaching them what Christ and Christianity is all about.

And then I read in Hosea that the wise understand the things of God. They who are upright and good really to walk in the ways of the Lord.

The only way we can walk in the ways of the Lord is if we are discerning and wise in reading, knowing and doing the Word of God. And it's even written down for us which makes it so much easier for us to dig into it, read it, pray for the Holy Spirit to help us understand it, and then to actually go out and live it. Those who do that are wise and discerning and good! They become people who are innocent of evil.

Rather neat isn't it? :)

Monday, October 09, 2006

For I am God and Not a Man.....

Here I was ... calmly reading away in Hosea 9-11 , reading about how God was going to punish the Israelites for the evil that they were doing. How God was going to use the surrounding nations to punish them. The Israelites were worshipping a false god, getting involved in licentious behaviour and so forth. I was thinking to myself....so after we do sinful things....God will punish us. I know this, it makes sense to me.

And then I read these verses:

7My people are bent on turning away from me,
and though they call out to the Most High,
he shall not raise them up at all.
8How can I give you up, O Ephraim?
How can I hand you over, O Israel?
How can I make you like Admah?
How can I treat you like Zeboiim?
My heart recoils within me;
my compassion grows warm and tender.
9I will not execute my burning anger;
I will not again destroy Ephraim;
for I am God and not a man,
the Holy One in your midst,
and I will not come in wrath.
10They shall go after the LORD;
he will roar like a lion;
when he roars,
his children shall come trembling from the west;
11they shall come trembling like birds from Egypt,
and like doves from the land of Assyria,
and I will return them to their homes, declares the LORD.
12 Ephraim has surrounded me with lies,
and the house of Israel with deceit,
but Judah still walks with God
and is faithful to the Holy One.
God doesn't want to punish the people that he loves. He's led them, fed them, cared for them, and despite all he has done, the people have turned away. BUT that doesn't change one single fact..... GOD LOVES THEM.

And He makes a decision... "I will not execute my burning anger; I will not again destroy Ephraim". He will show mercy to them. Why? As God says himself "for I am God and not a man". It makes no sense does it? After all the evil and turning away and rejection that God has suffered at the hands of his very own people...he will show mercy to them. He will be the "Holy One in [their] midst"

This passage just shows that God is God. And as people we can't always comprehend him. And why should we? He is God. Not us. We are man, God came, dwelt among us as a man in order that we could better understand, in order that we could be "made okay with him", in order that we could truly again be his children. Imagine that love. Just think about it awhile.

We who rejected him time and time and time again,
are shown mercy by one who is GOD not a man.

To me, this is so truly remarkable. :)

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Current Thinking Read

I made a promise to my hubbie a while back that once a month I would read a "thinking" book. What can I say...I often times find it easier to read a good mystery or fantasy than to pick up a book that makes me think. I missed last month due to whole variety of reasons...one being starting to be part of a book club and the rest I don't know... fall stuff I think.

Anyways, It's mid-October and I've FINALLY chosen my "thinking" book for the month.

This is a book by Charles R. Swindoll. It's full title is Fascinating Stories of Forgotten Lives: Rediscovering Some Old Testament Characters. It is part of series entitled "Great Lives from God's Word."

I like most of what he writes, not all. I'm hoping this will be be a good one. I got introduced to Chuck years ago when I attended college stateside. LOVED listening and learning from his radio broadcast.

It goes through the lives of Cain, Abraham, Easu, Achan, Samuel, Saul, Abigail, Absalom, Rehoboam, Jabez, naaman, Gehazzi and Uzziah. I have to admit, I am curious about what he will say about some of these people.

I'll try to keep you posted as I go through the book.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Have I told you???

Have I told you how proud I am of my hubbie?

Using this book, which you can purchase online here, he has successfully managed to replace the front brakes on my darling Jamie (yes, I name my cars).

In the process I learned a wee bit too as he took the time to tell me what he was learning. I even helped him with bleeding the brakes and learned what Bedding the brakes means too.

He still has to replace the back brakes which are terribly broken. But once he's all done that, my darling little car will be ready to roll again....we just have to get her liscensed for the road again first. :)


If you want to read his take on it, go here.

Respect where respect is due

This morning I read from from Romans 13.

1Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. 3For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience. 6For the same reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. 7Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.
We all have governing authorities in our lives. From parents, teachers, policepeople, politicians, you name it, and there will be an authority over it.

Even for those who don't know it, or accept it, and a blessing for those who do know it, God is our ultimate authority.

God is the one who puts ALL those other authorities in place. And that is why we need to respect those authorities.

Of course for me at times that proves a bit of a hardship.

I'm not talking about paying taxes...that I do. I think, like most, that we pay too much since the government does tend to waste a lot of it. But I pay them because someone has to run things lest anarchy rule (and I really ain't for that!)

But when governments make rules that are anti-Biblical, anti-God's plan for our lives. That's where I run into problems. How do I continue to respect/honour the government (other than the continued payment of my taxes) that does such things???

How do I react to foreign governments who are run by peoples who have a different faith system worship a false god who would hurt me and mine because I believe in the true God?

What does God's word have to say?
Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer.
All I can do is do what is Good. And how do I know what is good?
Through diligent study of God's word. Through the not neglecting to worship with other Christians. Through attending bible studies and prayer meetings and using the gift of discernment that God has given me. This is how I know what is good.

I find it hard sometimes that people do things in the name of Christ that in retrospect sully his name. Those people I find hard to respect. To those people, truly does God's sword have a answer for them. I just hate being caught in the cross-fire! You know, one Christian calls a gay or lesbian hurtful things, and it makes MY ministry or association with them suspect. One Christian (or supposedly Christian nation) does things in the world at large that perhaps they shouldn't do and now all "Christian" nations are suspect.

I don't like the guilt by association. It makes it harder for me to actively proclaim who I am because when I do.... I have to fight all the prejudices that people have gotten through the years because of other Christians not properly using God's gift of discernment, and lack of response to the Holy Spirit's guidance and the lack of doing "good" that God commands us to do.

But regardless of it all... I must be in subjection for that is how I avoid God's wrath but also know that I am doing what I must. I am doing "good" so I can avoid God's wrath being meted out to me through a government that he has put in place. Makes the job tough at times, but doesn't change what is to be.
Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honour to whom honour is owed.

Perforated Ear Drum

That's what my boyo has. It's not fun.

Apparantly he had an ear infection that went unnoticed. Go figure that.

Part of me is feeling like I'm a really bad mom to not have noticed. He played, he laughed, he talked, he had a couple of nights of being REALLY tired, but otherwise he acted like himself.

No pulling of the ear, no running a temp for a few days, just a quiet normal little boy.

All we had for signs was a high temp on Wednesday night, not wanting to sleep or lay down. Made for a hard night for mommy. Then Thursday I saw stuff coming out of his ear. Took him to emerg (without a hospital card!) so hopefully we won't be billed. Discovered that his temperature had a reason for being...and his ear drum is perforated. (from the ear infection).

He was put on meds and advised to take motrin for pain. Hopefully the meds will work really well.

The advice is to get a family doctor so that we can get a referral to an ear, nose and throat specialist. Generally ear drums heal quite nicely. The concern is that it might affect his hearing from fluid build-up. Getting a family doctor is tough so... my hubbie's mom knows a doctor who MIGHT be able to get us a referral to the appropriated specialist. :) Hope so! :)

Meanwhile, we'll put ourselves on a list to see if we can get ourselves a family doctor.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


You Are Pretty Logical

You're a bit of a wizard when it comes to logic
While you don't have perfect logic, you logic is pretty darn good
Keep at it - you've got a lot of natural talent in this area!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Whose Heritage?

Today I read from two different passages. Isaiah 56-58 and Romans 11:1-18. These passages are quite different, but yet seem to speak to the same thing.

1. God perserves a remnant for himself....and sometimes that remnant is not Jewish in origin.
2. Those who are "grafted into" God's family should not feel proud.
3. NEITHER should they (the graftee's) feel that they will be abandoned by God.
4. The jewish people should know that it is a shameful thing that God turns away from them to peoples beyond.

As the Lord himself says in Isaiah 56
8The Lord GOD,
who gathers the outcasts of Israel, declares,
"I will gather yet others to him
besides those already gathered."
and then later in Romans
11So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. 12Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean!
13Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry 14in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. 15For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? 16If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.
God wants his people...to be exactly that...HIS PEOPLE.

He doesn't want them wandering off after other things. He doesn't want them to think that they are safe simply because they are Jewish OR born into a Christian family. He wants his people to:
  • keep his Sabbath (not profane it) and to delight in it
  • know that they are his through grace (not works)
  • holds fast to God's promises to them (not be covenant breakers)
  • choose the things that please him (not themselves)
  • keep justice
  • be righteous
  • be his servants
  • have a contrite and lowly spirit
  • to be part of his larger family
These are the things that God's wants. The people who do these things, regardless of their physical/cultural heritage, will receive the heritage of God! They will be part of one large family. They will be part of the remnant that God will perserve.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Heart and Mouth

How many people do you know, claim to be Christians, but when you look at their lives and what they do... you have to wonder where they really stand?

Often times people seem to think that saying your a christian and perhaps attending services is all that you need to do. Today's passage tells us differently.

Today's Scripture reading: Romans 10:8-10
8But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
Do you see what it says here?
Those who believe in God have the word near them. It is in their mouth and their heart. It takes both, don't cha know, it takes both heart and mouth to be a Christian. One can't just say, Lord, Lord and have it really mean anything. See Matthew 7:21-23 for more on that. Even the demons and Satan can to do that.

But it takes a true believer to be able to confess Jesus is Lord AND believe it in their hearts as well.

For it is with the heart that one believes and is made right with God, and with the mouth that one admits one's need for God and is saved. It takes both. If one, or the other is missing, one is really not a true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.

So let us not be deceived. If people claim that Jesus Christ is Lord of their lives, and their lives do not show it. Help them to see where they can change, where they need their hearts involvement as well. Help them to live and truly believe what they are confessing. If not, then we are letting them be fooled, and they will be condemned of God for not really believing. Let's not let that happen.