Friday, March 30, 2007

Wisdom from the Proverbs

I was reading from Proverbs 17 this morning, these verses popped out at me.

Fighting is ever so tiring, and it's so true, that a house with hardly anything in it, is so much better for a person than a house that is anger filled.
1Better is a dry morsel with quiet
than a house full of feasting with strife.
Hmm.... was talking with my brother Bill the other day. He mentioned some of his struggles at work and how he deals with it. My brother is a man who doesn't tolerate fools wisely and has yet to learn that sometimes bosses want foolish things done. He struggles with that. So when I read this verse, I still had him in mind. I want for my brother to be wise in how he deals with his boss(es). I wish for him to think through carefully what he does at his job so he has a good reputation, and promotes the name of Christ in a good way. Not just so gets something out of it, but so that he shows his wisdom and he shows who God is when faced with difficult times.
2A servant who deals wisely will rule over a son who acts shamefully
and will share the inheritance as one of the brothers.
Hmm.....this verse puts things into contest. Everything has it's task. Don't put things in the wrong place or expect something to do a job it isn't meant to. For instance...it's not up to me to judge the hearts of others...it's up to GOD!
3The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold,
and the LORD tests hearts.
Everytime Justin is with Gramma, or Oma and Papa, I see this. When Justin does something new or learns a new word or is able to figure something out, the look on Jim's face shows this verse ever so clearly. How he will do in life will reflect to a certain extent on Jim. How and what I do in life reflects upon my father. Interesting how God set that all up eh? Interesting how what we see in life is what God wants from us as his children. We are his glory too!
6Grandchildren are the crown of the aged,
and the glory of children is their fathers.
A bribe here, a bribe there and like magic, things open up! Bribe are like magic. I have to admit, sometimes it seems a bit underhanded. The greasing of the well....is it something that as Christians we aught to do? This verse doesn't tell me.
8A bribe is like a magic stone in the eyes of the one who gives it;
wherever he turns he prospers.
Later on we read that
23The wicked accepts a bribe in secret
to pervert the ways of justice.
But that seems a different sort of bribe. So what are we as Christians to do? Do we bribe in order to prosper? Is bribing okay if everything is out in the open?

People don't have to know everything. So someone does something wrong once, ah well, it doesn't have to be known, letting them get away with it twice though....that can be a different story. We aught not cover recurrent sin. We need to let that been seen, if only so we don't separate bonds between people.
9Whoever covers an offense seeks love,
but he who repeats a matter separates close friends
Ah... this verse speaks to what I have seen. I am sure you have seen it too. How one word can stop a man in his tracks and change the course of his life, while others....can be sent to jail and still no change is manifest in their life.
10A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding
than a hundred blows into a fool.
Did you know there is wisdom in not getting into a fight? Just stop. Hear words of wisdom:
14The beginning of strife is like letting out water,
so quit before the quarrel breaks out.
How often haven't I found this to be true? It can be so hard to talk with depressed people, or people who are angry and/or blaming the world.
22A joyful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
Makes me think, what do I set my face toward? What is my hope, my desire? Is it just the things of this world or do I truly look for something more?
24The discerning sets his face toward wisdom,
but the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth.

One thing that I struggle with is keeping my brain on-top of what comes out of my mouth. the number of times I have to in Barry's words "open mouth, insert foot" is amazing. Jim often says too...what did you just say? Did you say _______________? My first response is "No, I couldn't have said that!" Leads to lots of apologies and explanations of what I really meant to say. It's very frustrating. I hope it doesn't make me look foolish, though I fear it does. Oft times I think it is best if I just keep quiet. Here's the words to prove it too!
27Whoever restrains his words has knowledge,
and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.
28Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise;
when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Where to source out meat for feeding dogs

Feeding a raw food diet - BARF style or Whole Animal style, requires the finding of meat to feed one's dogs. One likes to do so as inexpensively as possible.

If I am smart and careful and get free meat I can feed our dogs for three months on $60.oo. Pretty good I think, and cheaper than doing mid-range kibble.

A lady (Lis) from one of the rawfeeding yahoo groups came up with this list.

Try some of these cost cutting sources:

1) look up meat and poultry packers and processors in the yellow pages.

2) I get many of my best deals in Asian/Oriental markets. I've also heard that Hispanic and Caribbean markets have great variety and prices too.

3) you may be able to join a barter group

4) google breeders (i.e. rabbit, goat, lamb, etc.) who are in your geographic area

5) look up bulk suppliers and frozen bulk foods in your yellow pages

6) if you have a Chinatown nearby, definitely make a visit

7) let your friends, relatives, and neighbors know you want any freezer burn or old meat when they clean out their freezers, and tell them to pass the word along

8) if you belong to a church or social group, tell those members to mention it to their friends and relatives as well

9) see if there are any co-ops or buying groups around

10) try Craigslist - it's amazing what you can get for free or cheap

11) and I get meat and fish all the time (for free) through Freecycle

12) some Wal-marts and some Costcos and some Sams Clubs have good deals, but you'll probably want to make sure it's not seasoned meat

13) definitely watch the the flyers, and you can usually see the rest of the flyers online (the ones that don't get delivered to your house, but are only a short drive away)

14) *** hands down, the bulk of my best deals have been marked down meat at regular grocery stores. They reduce it the day before it is going to expire, and I go as early as I can to get it before it is gone.

15) tell friends and relatives who hunt and fish that you want first dibs on any body parts they don't want

16) a great tip I learned here a couple of weeks ago - some restaurants throw out things they don't use, like the organs that come inside whole poultry. see if they'll save them for you.

17) farmer's markets are great, but pick and choose carefully for the best bargains

18) some people contact taxidermists, who don't need the meat

19) find people on this list from your vicinity, and ask them where they get their meat deals

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Today's jobs done!

So today was such a nice sunny day outside..... I couldn't stay inside for the life of me. Fortunately, my boyo agreed with me.

So...after breakfast I did the dishes, had a shower, got a load of laundry in, and then off to the dentist. Justin stayed with Daddy. On the way home I stopped and purchased some postage stamps.

When I got home Justin said ENOUGH WITH BEING INSIDE. he wanted to go "side". So...out we went. I learned quickly that cleaning out the old stinky pool was a really good idea! Boy fell in. Ooh...what a stink! Took his shirt off, and then cleaned the pool. Took him inside (a battle) to get cleaned up a bit and redressed.

After he finished getting mad at me for not letting him make a complete mess of the bathroom with Daddy having a nice bath! We went outside to do some flower bed cleanup. Justin also was good at helping me take a break by helping him climb Sassy's aframe. I also took breaks by working Sassy on her agility.

YEAH FOR SASSY...she's finally figured out how to go around something and still get the right entrance to the weaves! YEAH!!!!

Suddenly I realized I had a red-cheeked boy AND it was 1 p.m.! Boy where did the time fly???

So inside for lunch. Justin wasn't terribly hungry but a banana got downed quickly.

Off to bed with bottle (he was SO TIRED). and yes, I know..not a good practice but hey... sometimes yah gotta do what yah gotta do.

While he napped first got another load of laundry in then..... I got the meat done for the dogs. Seemed to take forever to get done. I got enough meals made for 45 days...which usually turns into bit more since occasionally I don't feed the dogs a meal. Woohoo! I won't have to do dog food next month at all! YEAH!!!!

Did some more laundry, opened the boy's door up, got louder in the house as I really wanted him to start waking up as it was 500 p.m. afterall!

While waiting for him to wake up I cleaned out the guinea pigs.

Justin up for 515, we sat and read a while, then out to walk the dogs at 530ish. Jim came with! yeah! We like daddy coming with us.

Justin ate supper while we walked, I had supper when we got back, Jim wasn't crazy about what was on the menu so he had soup later in the evening.

After our walk Justin and I were outside again. He was VERY insistent upon this. So I raked and took "over the aframe" breaks with Justin (I think he thinks it's a slide). Once again, Sassy worked for her ball. :) Justin is trying to figure out how to convince Sassy to take a ball that he throws. Sassy won't though....looks at me, and then runs to get a "safe" ball. :) A good thing I think at this moment for the two of them. It is good though to see Justin trying, and for Sassy to double-check with me. It's what I want from them.

In house, Justin had a cup of yogurt, a bottle of milk and then he grabbed "Ralph" and brought him upstairs. Put Ralph to bed and wanted to go to bed himself. Got mad when I had to "get him" ready for bed. Ah wee ones! :) He settled quickly though.

I got the dishes done. Got my bed remade and then sat and watch "house" with Jim.

it was a good productive day. Tomorrow I will finish the laundry and have another hopefully "outside" day with Justin. I want to start turning over my gardens.......

Oprah's secret

I liked this post on Mohler's blog.
The post is called "it's all about you? The truth about the secret"

If you want to know how to respond to people talking about Oprah's secret. Check this out.
The problem with The Secret is that it focuses our hope selfward and not Godward. It is all about self-empowerment, self-fulfillment, and getting whatever we want.

It is Well

Jen posted It is Well with my soul (the hymn) over at her blog.

I saw it and thought....hold on....that's not right, and mentioned it to her.
She asked if I would post my version.

so...here goes: oh...found this here.

When Peace Like A River
(It Is Well)
lyrics by Horatio G. Spafford, 1828-1888
music Philip P. Bliss, 1876

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrow like sea billows roll;
What ever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

It is well with my soul;
It is well
It is well, it is well with my soul
with my soul;

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control.
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And has shed his own blood for my soul.

It is well with my soul;
It is well
It is well, it is well with my soul
with my soul;

My sin--O the bliss of this glorious thought!--
My sin, not in part, but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more;
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

It is well with my soul;
It is well
It is well, it is well with my soul
with my soul;

O Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll,
The trumpet shall resound and the Lord shall descend;
"Even so" it is well with my soul.

It is well with my soul;
It is well
It is well, it is well with my soul
with my soul.

Now Jen's version has these verses added

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

Refrain

But, Lord, ‘tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord!
Blessèd hope, blessèd rest of my soul!

The first of these verses I have seen before but remember them differently. I just can't for the life of me remember right now why. I do know that part of it was switching from old english to new english and that changes the sound of a verse. But pang was pain I think and something else was different too. But the next verse is all new to me! :) I have to say though... I wish more hymn books carried it. I like it!

Look who we spotted this morning....

We spotted this fellow on our walk this morning



Walking as bold as brass across the road. From one neighbours house to the one across the road with a nice big hedge.

Not a care in the world.

Didn't seem to care that Sassy was quite interested in him, and even Riley perked up upon viewing him.

One of the biggest opossum's I've seen in long time.

I thought it was rather neat. :)

I am a Servant of Christ

Paul with Timothy, wrote the book of Philippians. I discovered this while reading chapter one. Now I'm not sure if that means that Timothy wrote it to Paul's diction or exactly what that means. But chapter one opens with these words:
Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons
Paul and Timothy introduce themselves as Servants of Christ Jesus. And they write to the Philippi believers.

Made me ask myself, how do I introduce myself to others?

I find it depends on the situation...Hi I'm Annette, I'm Justin's mom, or I run Sassy the black dog, or my husband is Jim, the preacher at ____________ church. I rarely think to introduce myself as Annette, servant of Christ Jesus. Somehow that seems odd to me. I have to wonder....should it? I have when leading a seminar for women, introduced myself as a believer in the Lord as it seems pertinent to what I am teaching, but shouldn't my faith in Christ be pertinent to all that I do in life?

I need to think on this more, as right now when I ponder it a bit, I think...how would I do that? Can I just put it "servant of Christ Jesus" into every conversation? What if people find that offensive? Is it enough to just act like a Christian? Should I merely wait for an invitation to speak of my faith? and so forth.

And I know that Paul/Timothy are writing this as a letter, which is somewhat different. Okay I found out from Robert Jamieson that Timothy did not share in the writing of this book. He was there to share greetings to the Philippi Church. Timothy
mentioned as being well known to the Philippians (Ac 16:3, 10-12), and now present with Paul. Not that Timothy had any share in writing the Epistle; for Paul presently uses the first person singular, "I," not "we" (Php 1:3). The mention of his name implies merely that Timothy joined in affectionate remembrances to them.
Like did they, all the time, wherever they went, introduce themselves as the Servant of Christ? Somehow I question that..... they were writing with a purpose to a Philippi church, it was important to their readers to know that they were believers, and calling themselves servants of Christ set the tone.

I do have to consider, why did Paul use this greeting "servant of Christ" with the Philippi church? He didn't use it with some of the other churches that he wrote to. Different commentators say there are different reasons for this.
  • Wesley says that he did so to "tenderly and modestly joins with himself his son" Timothy.
  • John Gill says he did so to show that title servant of Christ was important and not a bad thing to be.
    but "servants of Jesus Christ"; not of men; nor did they seek to please men by preaching the doctrines and commandments of men, and which are suited to the carnal reasonings, lusts, and pleasures of men; for then the character here assumed would not belong to them: but servants of Christ; and that not in such sense only as all mankind are, or in right ought to be, since all are his creatures, and therefore ought to serve him; nor merely as all the saints in common are, being bought with the price of Christ's blood, and being effectually called by his grace, and so made willing to serve him from a principle of love, without servile fear, and with a view to his glory; but as ministers of the word, and preachers of the Gospel; they were his servants in the Gospel, they served him under the ministerial character, and as such were the servants of the most high God, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; so that this title is far from being mean and despicable, it is high, honourable, and glorious.
  • BW Johnson tells us that he used this terminology to link himself to his readers. He was a servant of Christ just as they were.
I have to admit, I feel more affinity to Johnson's view of why Paul introduced himself as a "servant of Christ". It's often what I will do when teaching a seminar, find ways to give relevance to what I am saying to the people I am teaching. If I can link myself to them, it gives what I have to say more meaning.

I still think there is more thinking I can do on this. I don't want to be person who hides what I believe, not that I do that, but sometimes I think I could be more bold in telling folks that I am a servant of Christ. For that is what I am.

What do you all think?

Monday, March 26, 2007

Why, Why, Why


Do we press harder on a remote control when we know the batteries are getting dead?

Why do banks charge a fee on "insufficient funds" when they know there is not enough money?

Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?

Why doesn't glue stick to the bottle?

Why do they use sterilized needles for death by lethal injection?

Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard?

Why does Superman stop bullets with his chest, but ducks when you throw a revolver at him?

Why do Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?

Whose idea was it to put an "S" in the word "lisp"?

If people evolved from apes, why are there still apes?

Why is it that no matter what color bubble bath you use the bubbles are always white?

Is there ever a day that mattresses are not on sale?

Why do people constantly return to the refrigerator with hopes that something new to eat will have materialized?

Why do people keep running over a string a dozen times with their vacuum cleaner, then reach down, pick it up, examine it, then put it down to give the vacuum one more chance?

Why is it that no plastic bag will open from the end on your first try?

How do those dead bugs get into those enclosed light fixtures?

When we are in the supermarket and someone rams our ankle with a shopping cart then apologizes for doing so, why do we say, "It's all right?" Well, it isn't all right, so why don't we say, "That hurt, you stupid idiot?"

Why is it that whenever you attempt to catch something that's falling off the table you always manage to knock something else over?

In winter why do we try to keep the house as warm as it was in summer when we complained about the heat?

How come you never hear father-in-law jokes?

And my FAVORITE......
The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four persons is suffering from some sort of mental illness. Think of your three best friends -- if they're okay, then it's you.

Dogs Attack Alligator

Dog Pack Attacks Alligator in Florida
At times nature can be cruel; but there is also a raw beauty, and even a certain justice manifested within that cruelty.
The alligator, one of the oldest and ultimate predators, normally considered the "apex predator," can still fall victim to implemented 'team work' strategy, made possible due to the tightly knit social structure and "survival of the pack mentality" bred into canines.
See the remarkable photograph below, courtesy of Nature Magazine.

Note that the Alpha dog has a muzzle hold on the alligator, preventing it from breathing, while another dog has a hold on the tail to keep it from thrashing. The third dog attacks the soft underbelly of the alligator.

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Love Incorruptible

hmm.... this verse in Ephesians 6 caught my eye.
23Peace be to the brothers, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible.
Paul says "with love incorruptible".

So just what is Love Incorruptible?

One look dictionary tells me that incorruptible is an adjective and means "incapable of being morally corrupted". I thought it meant a bit more than that, so looked then at what is means to be corrupt.

To be corrupt means:
  • verb: corrupt morally or by intemperance or sensuality (Example: "Socrates was accused of corrupting young men")
  • verb: alter from the original
  • verb: make illegal payments to in exchange for favors or influence
  • verb: place under suspicion or cast doubt upon
  • adjective: containing errors or alterations (Example: "A corrupt text")
  • adjective: lacking in integrity (Example: "Humanity they knew to be corrupt...from the day of Adam's creation")
  • adjective: touched by rot or decay (Example: "`corrupt' is archaic")
  • adjective: not straight; dishonest or immoral or evasive

  • So something that is corrupted is something that is not as it should be. Whether that be via moral grounds, natural decay (which is the result of sin), or something just not as it should be.

    So to love incorruptibly means that one is loving the way that they should be.

    Can I honestly say that I love Christ the way I should?

    Hmm... I suppose if I look at all of Christianity that way.... that makes it easier I suppose in someways to know where I am failing. Am I doing all for Christ the way I should be, or am I being influenced by 'outside stuff' to not do what I want?

    Hmm....stuff to think on.

    Proverbs

    I have to admit, sometimes I find Proverbs a fascinating read, and other times I find it as boring as all get out. I know, I shouldn't think of them in such a way, as all of the word of God is inspired, but how many times can a person read that foolish people can be such idiots? But if in my 'frustration' I stop and consider what Proverbs is actually saying it doesn't seem so boring or frustrating, but filled with wisdom and good sense. Today I saw more of the wisdom.

    Today I read from Proverbs 13
    1A wise son hears his father's instruction,
    but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.
    How true this? Really? We've in all of our lifetimes, seen children who just want to do their own thing. Parents, usually, want to protect their children and give them all the best in terms of stuff and advice and how to live ones' life. They don't always do so perfectly, but they give it their best shot for the most part. A wise child will listen, doesn't mean they will always take the advice of their parent, but they will really hear what is being said.
    3Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life;
    he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.
    I have to admit, this one made me sit up and listen today. Jim and I had a discussion the other day about how often I will say things, and not really know what I have said. I tend to say "no, I didn't say that". and he'll say yes, you actually did. It flusters me and reminds me of how I need to try to slow my mouth down so my brain can actually function well!
    10By insolence comes nothing but strife,
    but with those who take advice is wisdom.
    Haven't we all, also seen this? Those who just want to do things their way find that life is difficult around them? They'll get in trouble with the law, have a hard time finding/keeping a job, have a hard time keeping and making good friends and so forth. These are people who just don't heed good advice. But for those who actually hear what is said to them, for them life is easier. Wisdom makes for a better life.
    12Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
    but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
    I have to admit, this line leaves me wondering a bit. As New Testament believers we know that Christ will return for us. It is part of our hope. And yet he is not here yet. Does that mean that we are deferring our hope? Are our hearts destined to become sick?

    And yet, my heart isn't sick. It mourns sometimes for the pain and suffering in this world, but it doesn't feel sick to me. My hope is still a constant desire for Christ's return. So.... what do I do with this verse? Any thoughts?
    13Whoever despises the word brings destruction on himself,
    but he who reveres the commandment will be rewarded.
    14The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life,
    that one may turn away from the snares of death.
    These verses make all the sense in the world to me. Those who follow God find that life is better. Maybe not always in a physical sense, but in a real internal knowing sense, life is better with God. Following his word is taking the best advice ever, and it will turn me away from the snares of this world, the snares of death.
    17A wicked messenger falls into trouble,
    but a faithful envoy brings healing.
    I have to admit, this verse makes me say "duh". Of course a wicked messenger brings trouble. This is just common sense. A faithful envoy/messenger will not bring trouble. I'm not sure about the healing part....but without trouble there is more apt to be peace, and where there is peace, there is more potential for health.

    Saturday, March 24, 2007

    Ontario Pit Bull Legislation

    I have to admit, the change in the Pit bull Legislation has left me feeling a bit confused.

    As I wrote earlier, I have NOT liked this legislation one bit. Penalizing dogs for their owners bad decisions. Penalizing dogs who have never hurt anyone.

    Since that law was enacted, we have, at least in my small town, learned at just how unenforceable this law really is. We have at least three pits in town, one of which I have seen muzzled. At least staffy's neither of which is muzzled. yes, people complain, but to enforce it you have to hold the offending party there until the police comes....you tell me...how are you going to do that?

    So in the Globe and Mail we find that the good guys are claiming victory.

    While over in the London Free Press we find that the bad guys are claiming victory.

    So the question remains...who is right?
    I have to admit, to tend to agree with judge Herman when she says:

    And, in what Mr. Ruby called the crucial part of the ruling, the judge questioned the very wording of the legislation.

    "The words pit bull are all over that law," he said. ". . . without the words pit bull, which she says are unconstitutionally vague, there is no legislation left."

    If using the term pit bull is unconstitutional, then the law will need to be rewritten as Pit Bull terminology is scattered throughout the whole thing.

    I can understand Attorney General Bryant thinking this is a victory because only 2 of the 117 parts of this law were struck down....but I do think they were fairly important pieces of it too.

    So I don't know. I feel good that a vet can't just arbitrarily say...this is a pit bull. But I do wish the whole law had been struck down....probably just wishful thinking that!

    Thursday, March 22, 2007

    Can you find them?

    Can you find the names of 25 books of the Bible in this paragraph?

    This is a most remarkable puzzle. Someone found it in the seat pocket on a flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu, keeping himself occupied for hours. One man from Illinois worked on this while fishing from his john boat. Roy Clark studied it while playing his banjo. Elaine Victs mentioned it in her column once. One woman judges the job to be so involving, she brews a cup of tea to help calm her nerves. There will be some names that are really easy to spot... that's a fact. Some people will find themselves in a jam, especially since the book names are not necessarily capitalized. The truth is, from the answers we get, we are forced to admit it usually takes a minister or scholar to find all of them at the worst. Something in our genes is responsible for the difficulty we have. Those able to find all of them will hear great lamentations from those who have to be shown. One revelation may help, books like Timothy and Samuel may occur without their numbers. And punctuation or spaces in the middle are normal. A chipper attitude will help you compete. Remember, there are 25 books of the Bible lurking somewhere in this paragraph!.

    Interesting Posts

    Following my post on discernment, I was sent this article, which was done by New Attitude.
    First, you can commend different books to different people for different reasons. This seems pretty obvious when we’re not talking theology. Homer is read for his literary merits and historical significance, but not as a guide to ethics.

    Sometimes certain books cannot be recommended to certain people at all, because they presently lack the discernment to benefit from it, though later in life they might profitably read it. Hemingway may have a lot to offer but we should take his books out of the hands of our chronically depressed friends.

    The same principle applies to the theology we read. No non-biblical writer is infallible. We’ll often need to temper our recommendations to the person we’re talking to. For young Christians and people still growing in discernment, we have to be extra cautious in what we recommend.
    I thought that Sun and Shield discussion on Origins was interesting. Made me think, how thorough am I when I consider arguments about what I believe about creation.

    This fellow, with a blog name much to long to write, (yes I'm lazy this morning) wrote a post on how Jerusalem is central to Luke's writings.

    THEOdyssey deals with the bodily resurrection of Christ in this post.
    noticed a scholar by the name of John Crossan who said that if there was not a bodily Resurrection it would not challenge his faith. Because his faith was not based on what God did with bodies. I do not agree that we can get rid of the concept of a bodily Resurrection and maintain an Orthodox Christian faith. This is because I think it violates what the scriptures teach.
    Amanda at Imago Dei gives us this post on What is Grace.

    Grace is a free gift from God. Romans 6:23 says that the wages of sin are death but the gift of God is eternal life!

    Salvation is a work of God for man, rather than a work of man for God. No aspect of salvation, according to the Bible, is made to depend, even in the slightest degree, on human merit or works.

    What can I say, I like word studies, so this post by Participatory Bible studies caught my eye.

    Is the argument for Biblical Inerrancy a new one? Parableman thinks not.
    Now I've always thought the biblical authors would be shocked at any suggestion that there were errors in any genuinely divinely-inspired scripture. I think there are reasons for thinking this in the various parts of the canon. But Jesus and the authors of the epistles very clearly saw the psalms as authoritative in a way that they would base arguments on particular words. Clearly they took the psalms seriously.
    Don't know what hypercalvinists are? I didn't for a while, but blogging tends to introduce them. :) Anyways, Rebecca of Rebecca writes talks about Hypercalvinits.

    BUT God.....

    I have to admit, I love those passages from the bible that tell us what we were before God acted on our lives. I just do. :) Here I am this morning, bleary eyed from not sleeping well, struggling to read my devotions and I came across these verses from Ephesians 2.
    And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience-- 3among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved-- 6and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
    So making this personal for me
    Once I was this nasty person: I was dead in my sins. I was a trespasser. I lived according to the ways of this world. I followed someone other than God. The one I followed was the spirit of disobedience. I lived according to what I wanted, when I wanted it. What my mind or body wanted, that is what I pursued. I was a person of wrath. Just like everyone else around me.

    BUT GOD!!! he came, he intervened in my life.

    Why?
    Because he LOVES me. God, the great one, the creator of the universe, he LOVES ME!

    Read what it says here again:
    4But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved-- 6and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
    God
    - is rich in mercy
    - has a great love for me
    - one who can make me alive together with Christ
    - shows me grace
    - has raised me up
    - is willing to let me have a seat at his table
    - wants to show kindness toward me IN Christ Jesus.

    This is God. This is the one who acted on my life, before I knew how to act better.
    He acted on my life while I was involved with his enemy.

    Why?
    Because of his love.

    How?
    Through grace by faith. And that very faith I possess is a GIFT from God. It's not something I dreamed up. It's not something I created out of thin air. It's a gift from God.

    I have to admit. Sometimes it blows my mind. I know what kind of an icky evil person I was. And God knew it too. It's not like I could hide it from him.

    He saw me, and regardless of my ickiness...he extended his grace to me.
    He gifted me with faith in him.

    He lets his son be part of my life. I don't know about you, but if I know someone is a rather icky person, I'm not so willing to let my boyo play with them. I want to protect him from that. And here God is, sees my ickiness and is willing to let his son be an integral part of my life. Funny what parenting helps a person see.

    All because I am His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that I should walk in them.

    Tuesday, March 20, 2007

    Don't give up

    Holly at The Pastors Family has organized a pastor's family group at yahoo groups. It can be found here at thepastorsfamily.
    This group was formed for the encouragement and edification of pastor's families. We are not denominationally oriented, we seek only to uplift each other through prayer. We DO ask that members be able to agree to the tenents of the Apostle's Creed or the Nicene Creeds. This gives us a foundation to agree upon.
    So why do I tell you that?

    Well.. because I wanted to, and also because it tied in well with what I read today in Galatians Six. In this chapter I read these words:
    1Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. 2Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. 5For each will have to bear his own load.

    6One who is taught the word must share all good things with the one who teaches. 7Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

    Did you see where it says what we need to do as part of a family?

    We are to
    - gently restore those who transgress (who are doing stuff they are not supposed to do)
    - keep an eye on ourselves that we not be tempted (that we don't do wrong things)
    - bear the burdens of others
    - not think too much of ourselves
    - test what we do
    - share good things with those who teach us
    - know that what we sow, that we also reap
    - not grow tired of doing what is good and right, giving up should not be an option
    - do good...especially to other believers.

    I read this list and I thought of a couple of things.
    1. the encouragement I receive from other people of faith, even from people I scarcely know, and they take time out of their busy days to stop and encourage me! Sometimes via my blog, sometimes just in the course of daily living. People stop and they encourage me to keep on, keeping on. THAT IS SO COOL! and.... very biblical! :) Such a huge blessing that I think that people often forget. :)

    2. Finding myself wanting to do the same, to encourage other folks to keep on keeping on, even when they are tired and just want to quit.... giving up is not an option! Consider that what we reap, that we also sow. If we give up.....what are we looking for? God tells us, don't give up. Continue doing good. Continue to help each, bear burdens, entreat the wayward to repentance, and to keep an good eye on what we ourselves are doing.

    This weekend my hubby was SO encouraged by the people we visited with after Sunday service. He had a classical appointment in Kingsville, some 2.5 hours away from us. Such a seemingly small thing they did. First they invited us for coffee after church...Flo was a wonderful hostess...let me wander and snoop throughout her house. We had a nice visit talking about a whole host of things.

    Then after luncheon, as we were preparing to head off, they stopped and PRAYED with us/for us before we left. Just so cool. Jim wasn't asked to pray, they just up and offered prayer for us before we left. Such a small thing, but what a huge encouragement to my hubbie and me.

    So let's go out and do likewise. Let's find small ways that we can encouragement, and gently lead others to repentance, and show the world what Christian family is all about. Wouldn't it be neat if we all did that? Just imagine what God would do! :)

    Tansy Died


    We lost our Tansy this weekend.

    We picked her up at an over-crowded pet store. VERY fortunate that as a wee young one that she wasn't pregnant at the time. She needed some growing and maturing time.

    She was never a strong pig, but she was gentle. Fine-boned. VERY timid, but a nice little pig. Long-haired. Had a funny head....more pointy than our other ladies. She was trained believe it or not, to sit quietly to have her nails trimmed. She had the fastest growing nails of all our piggies and would curl in on her if I didn't keep them short. HATED a bath, just absolutely detested them.

    She absolutely LOVED green peppers....it's the only time we would find her standing up for herself. Anything else was ...ah... whatever...but green peppers...she would push to the front of the pack every time. :)

    She had one litter, almost died from it, of the six born, one survived, who became a lovely boar. Her health demanded that she never be bred again.

    She caught a cold about 10 days ago. Not sure how, just kinda crept up on her. We thought she rallied on us, and well....she didn't.

    She was a good pig in her own quiet way.

    Saturday, March 17, 2007

    Toronto Sportsmen Show

    We had fun. This is where we went.

    We met a couple people from church while we were there, chatted just long enough to say hi.

    Lots of good booths, lots of friendly people, many booth people were happy to rock the stroller for Justin while Jim and I filled out ballots.

    Fascinating some of the pictures of fishing resorts. Also saw some of the biggest fish (sturgeons) and people catching them. Wow... big fish. Can't imagine bringing them in.

    Seeing things with the eyes of a toddler. BO! he said very excited as he saw the taxidermy birds. MOO! to the bison, he changed that to COW when I told him it was a Cow (close enough I figured for a toddler).

    And boy oh boy.... the fun of climbing on ATV's, boats, canoes and so on. The life for a wee boyo. Fun Fun!

    AND they added elephant rides this year. What a way to fascinate a toddler AND to make mommy ever so glad that toddlers can wear harnesses that keep them out from underneath said elephant!

    We had hoped that Justin would fall asleep early afternoon, but although he was very tired that didn't happen until later on. Made for lots of slow walking and quiet areas as we tried to help him sleep so he could cope with the rest of the day.

    I enjoyed the Golden Whistle Retriever trials. Was unable to see them all due to a very busy boy running ALL over the place (even while wearing a harness) who suddenly decided he had had enough! (the trials were the last event of the day that we were staying for). So he had enough, I had enough and so we left. :) But we did see dogs hesitate at the water pond. One dog did everything it could NOT to get wet... rather funny that. I don't think the handler ever got it to go into the water. One older (looked female from the build) dog that did a wonderful job on a blind send. Straight through the water and back. Nice line just like you want to see. We also saw a fake duck take out a fake goose. That was funny. AND one fake duck tried hard to take out one of the black labs.....dodged quickly that dog did! :) Once again I really wished that they could set these trials up in a different location. Where they place it makes it really hard to see all that the dogs are doing.

    Justin was TIRED! Long day for a 20 month old. He fell asleep on the way home, I took a wee bit of shut eye and Jim got us home safely. :)

    Got home at 11 p.m. to a very poopy kitchen. OLD DOGS>>> ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Jim cleaned (since I did a rather dirty boyo earlier) and I walked the dogs. They are NOT getting supper tonight. Riley so his body can recupe, and Sassy because well.....It's just a pain trying to convince her to eat if she can't bug Riley about eating his! Dumb dogs! :)

    Friday, March 16, 2007

    Posts I've Appreciated this Week

    Chasing the Wind brings us Once Saved, Always Saved. I found it good reading. :)

    Light along the Journey asks an important question in Beauty and Waste.

    I liked what Amanda's dad had to say here. :)

    This post over at Tidbits and Treasures I liked as well. So...what animals are in your church? Or is your church fortunate enough not to have them all. :)

    Voice of Vision gives us The Rain Song. I liked this quote:
    Friends, it is about the power to withstand the storm, not the power to withdraw the storm. Christianity, from the sanctification side, is less about being an irresistible force, and more about being an immovable object.
    Holly at The Pastor's Family pointed my way to Beauty and Depravity, which pointed me to MondayMorningInsight.

    At Beauty and Depravity I saw these statistics:
    • 80% of pastors say they have insufficient time with spouse and that ministry has a negative effect on their family.
    • 40% report a serious conflict with a parishioner once a month.
    • 33% say that being in ministry is an outright hazard to their family.
    • 75% report they’ve had significant stress-related crisis at least once in their ministry.
    • 58% of pastors indicate that their spouse needs to work either part time or full time to supplement the family income.
    • 56% of pastors’ wives say they have no close friends.
    • Pastors who work fewer than 50 hrs/week are 35% more likely to be terminated.
    • 40% of pastors considered leaving the pastorate in the past three months.
    • 48% of them think their work is hazardous to their family’s well being.
    • 45.5% will experience burnout or depression that will make them leave their jobs
    • 70% say their self-esteem is lower now than when they started their position
    • They have the 2nd highest divorce rate among professions.
    MondayMorningInsight tells us this:
    Pastors need encouragement. And if no one in the church is assigned to nurture, affirm and prevent burnout for the pastor, then no one will. When they get in trouble, who can they turn to? ...... Congregations expect pastors to wear too many hats: CEO, therapist, scholar, teacher, administrator, accountant, fund-raiser, friend of children, preacher, spiritual leader, wedding/funeral presider and house blesser.

    Church members expect their pastor to be on call seven days a week; few churches give their pastor two full days off, thereby losing 52 days of rest that most people relish. They work on holidays — Christmas Eve, Easter and Thanksgiving — and never have a three-day weekend. My note: don't forget new years!

    People expect them to have perfect marriages and kids and drive cars and live in homes that are acceptable. ......The startling fact is that most pastors are lonely and feel their self-esteem has been lessened, not increased, the longer they are pastors.

    So give your pastors a hug, a big salary increase, more time off, a pat on the back, and help them. They need it..

    Sobering thoughts. So....what can you do for your Pastor today?

    I AM the bread of Life.

    I have to admit, doing my devotions was a challenge this morning. I'm all distracted inside...I want to walk the dogs, feed the family, and then get ready for our day. We're going to the Toronto Sportsman's Show today. Should be fun... and I'm sitting here thinking...I want to get ready I want to go! I know, I know...I'm putting my plans before God. NOT GOOD. So it has taken me some time to get disciplined enough to ready and actually think about what God has placed before me today. Do you ever have times like that?

    For the Lenten season, Pastor Jim has been preaching through the "I AM" statements of Christ. So when I read John 6 this morning, it seemed very familiar to me.

    The context... Jesus had just fed a whole whack of hungry people from just a small amount of food. HUGE miracle. People would have been stunned. Food was one of their major purchases for folks back then. They didn't waste their money on cars, homes, tv's and the like. The money they had they used (for the most part) on real basic necessities .. food, clothing and shelter. So when Jesus fed them for free they thought whoohoo! free food! life is good. Let's follow this fellow around.

    And so they did. They wanted more free food. Part of me can't really blame them. If I know I have a good source for free stuff I'm more inclined to frequent that place as well. :)

    So when they found Jesus the next day, Jesus was up front with them
    26Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal."
    He pointed them to something more. Not just food food, but real food, spiritual food. They didn't get it. So they asked
    28Then they said to him, "What must we do, to be doing the works of God?"
    29Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent."
    I can just see them going huh? What does this man mean? What kind of proof can he offer us? And then they hit on this:
    30So they said to him, "Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? 31Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'"
    Jesus explained to them just where that manna(bread) really came from.
    32Jesus then said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."
    Still thinking that Jesus meant just food food, they asked Jesus to give them that bread all the time. They still didn't get the spiritual overtones of this conversation.

    Then Jesus made it more clear to them.
    35Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 36But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day."
    And they didn't like that. This was Jesus, they have known him from a boy child! He was bread? He was life? Huh? So they grumbled about it.
    41So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, "I am the bread that came down from heaven." 42They said, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, 'I have come down from heaven'?"
    Jesus tells them not to grumble about it, and goes on to explain further what he means.
    43Jesus answered them, "Do not grumble among yourselves. 44No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. 45It is written in the Prophets, 'And they will all be taught by God.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me-- 46not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father. 47Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. 48I am the bread of life. 49Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh."
    For every dispute that the people had for him, Jesus had an answer and further explained what he meant. Even when his own disciples didn't get it, Jesus just explained further. "I am the bread of Life".
    63It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is of no avail. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.
    What it all comes down to is.... believe in Christ, not yourselves, and you will be saved.
    Jesus is the life giver. He gives us, he IS the very bread of life.

    We must do all that we can to live as Christ, to let Christ dwell within us.
    Without Christ, we cannot live forever.

    His teachings, his Spirit, his very self we must take within ourselves. That is all we can do.

    Wednesday, March 14, 2007

    Discernment

    A while back Kim posted this article on Discernment. In that book she made reference to a book that someone I know recommended that I read.

    At the time, I had felt a check in my spirit about reading it. I've learned to listen to that "check" as it keeps me from reading things I aught not, even if at the time I have no earthly clue as to why I shouldn't read it.

    I forwarded a link to that post to this individual.

    This is the initial response I received
    With regards to the books I suggested you read, I agree with the assertion that these are not theologically sound books. I go to a church that is not always theologically sound. I listen to music that is not always theologically sound. It is my opinion that there are some good thoughts in these books, so when I read them, I let go of that which I disagree with and glean the good out of it. The book 'wild at heart' has some good thoughts into the minds of boys/men, and while it does not depict all men, it nevertheless does have some good ideas.
    And this was my response back
    I guess I wonder then, knowing that something is not theologically sound, why would you deliberately expose yourself to it? Particularly if you are reading to learn from it.

    I can understand fiction, who cares, read whatever you like as long as you don't find it negatively influencing your life and witness for God. BUT from a book that you purchase in order to learn and grow from? Why purchase something that is unsound, if there is better stuff out there on the market?
    1. seems like a waste of money - like why not get more bang for your buck and purchase something that is more theologically sound
    2. seems like you are rewarding a poor author by purchasing an insufficient book
    3. seems somehow wrong to encourage someone to read a book to learn and grow from, when you know it is not a theologically sound book

    I just thought you might find it (the post) interesting reading.
    It certainly helped me understand why I felt this "check" on my spirit in regards to reading the book(s).

    Just as I wouldn't continue to go to a church that had really bad theology.
    Just as I wouldn't continue to listen to Christian music that taught bad theology.
    Just as I wouldn't read a Christian fiction book that has bad theology.

    God gives me these "checks" in my spirit for a really good reason. Protection. :)

    If it has the label Christian to it, I have learned to expect a whole lot more from it.

    It's way too easy to say I'll take this point, but that point which is sorta connected, I won't take.
    Or this premise which builds to that premise is wrong, but this premise over here is okay.

    Where do you draw the line?

    I'm glad that you are able to glean the good out of it. But aren't you at least a wee bit concerned that some of the "not so good" and the "downright wrong" won't influence you in some way?
    Further Communication from this individual
    Thanks for your thoughts! I hear were you are coming from, and the basic question becomes "how does one deal with those one disagrees with?" How far do you take it? I have read stuff from 'focus on the family' I didn't agree with, do I therefore stop reading their material? Should I support their ministry? I don't agree with some of the things 'world vision' does, should I stop sponsoring a child? Do I reject all worldly teaching as wrong because it is not biblically based? These are difficult questions to answer. I'm sure you remember having to read things at _______ for the exercise of practicing discernment. Many of the books I read are not totally theologically correct, so for me the question is ' what can I learn from this?' , or 'what do I think about that?'. With the book I suggested, the author, while his theology may not always be correct, does have some interesting thoughts into the minds of boys. Boys do have a natural tendency toward conquer and overcome (or destroy) much more so than do girls. How many girls are drawn to 'daredevil' (maybe even dumb!) actions compared to boys? I understand and appreciate the need for theologically sound books, but they can be hard to find, and we also need to consider who is making the review of a book. What if you disagree with them on some theological points?
    I have to admit, I didn't know what to say. This bothers me. I still haven't responded because I do want to make a good response.

    I talked with my hubbie about it, and he said....hmm... you're not wrong in being bothered, let me think on this some. :)

    Then he came back with.... what bothers him is that there is no line drawn between big theological differences and the little, the differences are being equated and they shouldn't be.

    And as I've taken time to think on this a bit, I agree.

    The person with whom I have been communicating with is not drawing those distinctions.

    For instance, I can read something from a person who firmly believes in adult only baptism. Not a problem, even though I don't agree with the stance, I can somewhat understand where they are coming from, and it's not a salvation issue. But someone who denies the death and resurrection of Christ...a different story.

    I love reading sci-fiction/fantasy. Just love the genre. But there are some authors I don't read because they try hard to redefine the Christian God, and I find that bothers my spirit, and causes me to think about things that I don't need to waste my time on.

    I won't recommend those books to other readers.
    If I read a adult-baptism only author and find it good to read and refer others to, I will let them know the authors stance ahead of time so that they can decide if they can or even should read it.

    I won't just say.. read it, it's a good book and you'll learn lots from it.
    If I read a book and find lots of stuff in it that I can't stand/tolerate/agree with, then I won't recommend it to others even if I glean something good out of it.

    I don't know, I do feel bothered about it.
    I just don't understand the concept I guess. Why read something that you know is filled with errors, when there are other good books out there?

    If you want to know how the male mind thinks, well... you don't have to read a Christian book to learn that.....there are good books out there... I'm sure of it (even if I haven't looked for them).

    If you want to know how the female mind thinks...well...find a good solid book, Christian or not, and read it. Or talk with a bunch of women. Or ... whatever.

    Why expose yourself to bad theology just because the author says something interesting? Isn't it a slippery slope to be on? For if their thinking is faulty in one area, doesn't it lead that some of their other hypothesis are potentially wrong as well?

    I just tend to avoid stuff that is wrong in big ways, and I don't understand the "overlooking" the wrong stuff, and then recommending that others read it too. I don't get it. I probably just need to think on this a bit more. :)

    Your thoughts?

    Weak and Powerful

    Today I was reading the last chapter in 2 Corinthians, and I came across this section of scripture:
    1This is the third time I am coming to you. Every charge must be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 2I warned those who sinned before and all the others, and I warn them now while absent, as I did when present on my second visit, that if I come again I will not spare them-- 3since you seek proof that Christ is speaking in me. He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you. 4For he was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but in dealing with you we will live with him by the power of God.

    Paul tells us that Christ was "crucified in weakness" and he "lives by the power of God". He links that to our weakness .. for we are a weak people. Look at how often we give in to sin, even without wanting to? BUT we live with Christ THROUGH (or by) the POWER of God!

    When we do what God wants us to, we are not doing it on our own, we are doing it through the power of God. Paul was dealing with sinners in the Corinthian church... he had warned them of their sin before, and was coming now for the third time. He will not spare them when he comes again to them. They need to be aware of their sin, and by implication, STOP what they are doing which is wrong. Just as Christ is not weak when dealing with us, so Paul will not be weak in dealing with offenders either.

    We should be like Paul. When we see Christians sinning, we need to speak to them about it. We need to go in God's strength, not on our own, but with 2-3 witnesses. We need to be strong in Christ....after all, it is by his power that we do such things. Show our weaknesses, admit to them, but don't use it as an excuse to allow wrongness to continue.

    Paul was not shy in showing his weaknesses, but neither was he shy in proclaiming the power of God working through him.

    I also found this section of interest.
    5Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? --unless indeed you fail to meet the test! 6I hope you will find out that we have not failed the test. 7But we pray to God that you may not do wrong--not that we may appear to have met the test, but that you may do what is right, though we may seem to have failed.
    There are times when I think I will never "feel" secure in my salvation, that I will always wonder if my longing after God is real, or just a thing that I do. I know in a sense that God dwells within me. I know that I strive after the things of God, but there is always this part of me that wonders....am I just fooling myself? The number of times that I repent of such thoughts is amazing, and I so often wish that it was just not part of me.

    So when I read verses such as these, I wonder...well....how do I test myself in a way that I know if I have passed or failed? Do I have to forever test myself? What type of test must I devise to know it is fool-proof (me being the fool)? I am just left with all these doubts again.

    Maybe what the true test is, is this....do others see Christ at work within you?

    I don't know....what do you think?

    Tuesday, March 13, 2007

    Irish Name

    Inspired by Rebecca, Jen and someone else (sorry can't remember who right now)
    .... I thought I'd do this. :)

    Your Irish Name Is...

    Zoe Browne

    Songs...part 2

    A while back I did a post on the importance of Songs.
    Doing this has generated a lot of unexpected traffic to my blog. I never knew how very popular this song was. One poster was kind enough to point me to another version of the Wedding banquet story It comes from Luke 14:12-24.

    There we read:
    12He said also to the man who had invited him, "When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. 13But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just."

    15When one of those who reclined at table with him heard these things, he said to him, "Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!" 16But he said to him, "A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. 17And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, 'Come, for everything is now ready.' 18But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, 'I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.' 19And another said, 'I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.' 20And another said, 'I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.' 21So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, 'Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.' 22And the servant said, 'Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.' 23And the master said to the servant, 'Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. 24For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.'"

    And I have to agree, this passage does seem to be more in line with how "the Wedding Banquet" song does go.

    It still begs the question to me.

    How do the songs that one sings affect how one views or remembers scripture?
    How do the songs we sing affect our doctrine?
    How do the songs we sing affect what we teach to ourselves, our children, each other?
    Are the songs we sing worthy of the God that we serve?

    I do not expect all songs to teach ALL things about God. But they do need to teach what is truth about God.

    For instance: away in the manger is a popular song.

    Away in a manger,
    No crib for His bed
    The little Lord Jesus
    Laid down His sweet head

    The stars in the bright sky
    Looked down where He lay
    The little Lord Jesus
    Asleep on the hay

    The cattle are lowing
    The poor Baby wakes
    But little Lord Jesus
    No crying He makes

    I love Thee, Lord Jesus
    Look down from the sky
    And stay by my side,
    'Til morning is nigh.

    Be near me, Lord Jesus,
    I ask Thee to stay
    Close by me forever
    And love me I pray

    Bless all the dear children
    In Thy tender care
    And take us to heaven
    To live with Thee there

    Do you really believe that he cried not at all? He was a very real human baby. Babies cry, trust me...I had one. They cry for sometimes apparently for no reason. Saying he doesn't cry somewhat diminishes his humanity. Does this mean the whole song is no good? NO...change one line to "some crying he makes" and voila, this song is much better.

    But it does mean that we do need to think about what we sing. It's important since songs, ditties, lyrics remain so easily in our heads. How many commercials can you remember? And they play what... 30 seconds a couple times a day that you hear them? So to with the hymns and praise music we play. It sticks with you. Pay attention to what you sing. :)

    Therefore I despise myself

    Job 42, the last chapter in this book.

    In this chapter we find Job a humbled man. He is a man who has become fully aware of who God is. He knows that there are things of God that he just cannot understand. He sees the need for his own humility, and thus he comes before God repenting.
    1Then Job answered the LORD and said:

    2"I know that you can do all things,
    and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
    3'Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?'
    Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,
    things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
    4'Hear, and I will speak;
    I will question you, and you make it known to me.'
    5I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,
    but now my eye sees you;
    6therefore I despise myself,
    and repent in dust and ashes."

    When I read these words I first thoughts were....how do I react when God reveals himself to me? Do I acknowledge who God is? Do I acknowledge my own lack of understanding? Do I see the need within myself to repent? Do I ever despise myself for thinking I know it all, when indeed I find that I don't?

    I have to admit... I don't tend to despise myself. I love learning new things. When I see something new in the bible, especially in stories that I know well, I don't despise myself for it. Reading these words of Job, I wonder if perhaps I should.

    After all.... it means that I didn't really pay enough attention did I? And that lack of attention to who God really is, is a matter for repentance. It is something that I must needs despise within myself.

    I want to see God.
    I want to know God.
    I want for there to be less of me in our relationship, and more of him to be seen.

    The only way I can really get that I think, is for me to despise the wrongness within me, and to glory in who God is. For God is indeed God and he cannot be thwarted.

    Monday, March 12, 2007

    Devotional Ramblings

    Different passages to read today. And none of them really jumped out at me...but each of them made me think just a bit.

    First from Exodus 23, we find God telling the people how they are to live. As I read through the list I thought.... God is telling these people what it means to be good. Stand up for what is right; don't be a liar; don't pervert justice; if your neighbour needs help...whether you like him or not, render him aid; don't treat travelers poorly; help the poor; rest your land; remember the Lord your God; and so on and so forth. God tells them the right way to live.

    He also promises to help his people. To drive out their enemies, but not so fast that it becomes dangerous for them.
    28And I will send hornets before you, which shall drive out the Hivites, the Canaanites, and the Hittites from before you. 29I will not drive them out from before you in one year, lest the land become desolate and the wild beasts multiply against you. 30Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased and possess the land.
    I have to admit that... I liked that! Made me think of how I have had besetting sins in my life. And when I ask God for help with them (took a while at first), God didn't immediately take it away, but gradually gave me the skills to not fall under them. If he had just taken it away, I wonder what would have come in its' place? I still sin, but through God's help, I have learned that I can do/be different. It's been a more gradual change which makes it a more (for me) lasting change.

    I then read from John 2. Jesus was a guest at a wedding. His birth family was there with him. And horrors, they ran out of wine. Not the thing to do. Mary mentions the problem to Jesus who says... what I am to do? I found it interesting that Mary did not respond to this, she merely told the servants to obey him.

    The story continues:
    6Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the jars with water." And they filled them up to the brim. 8And he said to them, "Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast." So they took it. 9When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom 10and said to him, "Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now." 11This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.

    This miracle occurred. It was his first sign. It was a sign that showed his glory. It caused his disciples to believe in him.

    But more interesting was this, after Jesus cleared the temple,
    18So the Jews said to him, "What sign do you show us for doing these things?" 19Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." 20The Jews then said, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?" 21But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 22When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.
    Do you see it? Here at the beginning of Jesus' ministry he already is telling people that he will be raised up again. His enemies will be thinking that they have destroyed him, but they will be wrong. Jesus will be raised up again. Early in his ministry the disciples are already hearing the hope of the gospel. He is giving them something to remember so they will continue to believe in him when things are hard.

    We then come to 2 Corinthians 11. Paul is talking to the Corinthian people, telling them all that he has gone through, and how concerned he is for their continued growth as believers. Near the end of the chapter he says these words
    28And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. 29Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?
    It made me ask myself, am I concerned for the body of Christ?

    D0 I get mad when the body of Christ is hurt? When people are made to fall away from the faith?

    When others are feeling weak, does it affect me?

    I have to admit, I don't always know what to do so therefore I often don't act. And I just stop. I have to not do that. When the Holy Spirit moves my heart, I need to move my body and brain and ACT! I need to allow my anger to have a purpose, otherwise...what's the point?

    Just what is the point if I do nothing?

    Sunday, March 11, 2007

    We have a boy!

    My neighbour Henny came over after church.

    We have a boy! 8 pounds some ounces. Born EARLY this morning.

    She's delighted. She's a first time grandma! She was able to be there for the whole thing. Much happiness and excitement. Even her cock-a-poo Emma was all excited. :)

    Mom and son and hubbie are doing well!

    YEAH!!!!

    When you Thought I wasn't looking

    WHEN YOU THOUGHT I WASN'T LOOKING
    (Written by a former child)

    A message every adult should read, because children are watching you and doing as you do, not as you say.


    When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator, and I immediately wanted to paint another one.

    When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you feed a stray cat, and I learned that it was good to be kind to animals.

    When you thought I wasn't looking , I saw you make my favorite cake for me and I learned that the little things can be the special things in life.

    When you thought I wasn't looking, I heard you say a prayer, and I knew there is a God I could always talk to and I learned to trust in God.

    When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you make a meal and take it to a friend who was sick, and I learned that we all have to help take care of each other.

    When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you give of your time and money to help people who had nothing and I learned that those who have something should give to those who don't.

    When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you take care of our house and everyone in it and I learned we have to take care of what we are given.

    When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw how you handled your responsibilities, even when you didn't feel good and I learned that I would have to be responsible when I grow up.

    When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw tears come from your eyes and I learned that sometimes things hurt, but it's all right to cry.

    When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw that you cared and I wanted to be everything that I could be.

    When you thought I wasn't looking, I learned most of life's lessons that I need to know to be a good and productive person when I grow up.

    When you thought I wasn't looking, I looked at you and wanted to say, "Thanks for all the things I saw when you thought I wasn't looking."


    LITTLE EYES SEE A LOT .

    Each of us (parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, teacher or friend) influences the life of a child.

    Driver's License Search

    Hard to believe you can access this info !!!!!!!!!!


    Check your driver's license information on-line. Now you can see anyone's drivers license on the internet, including your own! It asks for U.S. info, but unfortunately it works for Canadian licenses as well.

    I just searched for mine and there it was; picture and all. This is really scary.Can you say "privacy?" Where is our right to it? I definitely removed mine. I suggest you all do the same.

    Go to the website and check it out. It's unbelievable!! Just enter your name and city, and if you are Canadian, leave it as 'Select a State' and see if yours is on file. After your license comes on the screen, click the box marked "Please Remove".

    http://www.license.shorturl.com

    Remember for Canadians just leave it as 'Select a State' and see if yours is on file.

    Night Watch

    NIGHT WATCH------

    A nurse took the tired, anxious serviceman to the bedside. "Your son is here," she said to the old man. She had to repeat the words several times before the patient's eyes opened. Heavily sedated because of the pain of his heart attack, he dimly saw the young uniformed Marine standing outside the oxygen tent. He reached out his hand. The Marine wrapped his toughened fingers around the old man's limp ones, squeezing a message of love and encouragement.

    The nurse brought a chair so that the Marine could sit beside the bed. All through the night the young Marine sat there in the poorly lighted ward, holding the old man's hand and offering him words of love and strength. Occasionally, the nurse suggested that the Marine move away
    and rest awhile. He refused. Whenever the nurse came into the ward, the Marine was oblivious of her and of the night noises of the hospital - the clanking of the oxygen tank, the laughter of the night staff members exchanging greetings, the cries and moans of the other patients. Now and then she heard him say a few gentle words. The dying man said nothing, only held tightly to his son all through the night. Along towards dawn, the old man died. The Marine released the now lifeless hand he had been holding and went to tell the nurse. While she did what she had to do, he waited.

    Finally, she returned. She started to offer words of sympathy, but the Marine interrupted her.

    "Who was that man?" he asked.

    The nurse was startled, "He was your father," she answered. "No, he wasn't," the Marine replied. "I never saw him before in my life." "Then why didn't you say something when I took you to him?"

    "I knew right away there had been a mistake, but I also knew he needed his son, and his son just wasn't here. When I realized that he was too sick to tell whether or not I was his son, knowing how much he needed me, I stayed ."