Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Surgery for ear tubes is booked

So our boy Justin has his pre-admittance tests on February 12 at 215 p.m.

He then is booked for surgery on February 16, 2007 at 1115 a.m. This time line might change as they do the children in order of age. Youngest first and then up the line from there.

So prayers are needed that he doesn't catch a cold before then, since if he has a cold, he can't have the surgery. Surgery will help his hearing, which will help his language. Surgery will also remove the repeated ear infection issue (which hopefully will outgrow so that he won't need this surgery again).

It will make things like taking a bath a real pain since he'll have to wear ear plugs. And for swimming he'll need to wear a head band, with plugs as well.

Hopefully no complications either! I'm told that sometimes the wee hole they make doesn't heal up properly, but they can fix that but they usually give it lots of time before they do that though. Sometimes the tube they put in falls out sooner than expected (usually at around a year after going in but from what I hear from other moms, can be as soon as three months).

That's all I know at this point.

Why did the Pharisees plot?

i was reading today in Mark 3 and I was struck by this query, did the Pharisees want Jesus dead because he claimed to the Son of God, or did they want him dead primarily because he attacked their traditions of what could be done when?

I raised this question to myself (or perhaps it was the Holy Spirit's prompting) when I read these verses in Mark.
1Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. 2And they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. 3And he said to the man with the withered hand, "Come here." 4And he said to them, "Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?" But they were silent. 5And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. 6The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.
Jesus healed a man on the Sabbath AFTER he asked the Pharisees if it was "lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save a life or to kill". They never answered him, but as soon as he healed the man they plotted on how to best destroy him.

It was like the whole point was....he is challenging our traditions. He must be stopped.

Jesus had a large following, they knew this as well. So you can't just destroy a man, kill a man, for a flimsy excuse, the people would have gone wild, so looking for additional charges against him would have been important.

I just wonder if the catalyst was the fact the Jesus promoted GODs' way, and not the Pharisees' way.

I suppose I'll never really know. It does point me though in the direction that God's way is the only way to go. Jesus died because it was more important than anything else. He angered the Jews and yet he continued to bring salvation and healing to all he met.

Plans are Changed

As this story continues, we remember that Esther revealed to the king that Haman had plans to kill her and the rest of the Jews. Haman was hung on this gallows. Today, as we read Esther 8 we learn what can be done to save the Jews.

First we find the King giving his Queen the household of Haman. Mordecai was brought before the King now that he (the King) knew what the relationship between them was. The King gave Mordecai his own signet ring. That was like giving Mordecai the key to the city! He could enact laws in the name of the king. Mordecai was also put in charge of the house of Haman (this was done by Esther).

Then Esther plead for the lives of her people. How can the evil plan of Haman's be averted?
"If it please the king, and if I have found favor in his sight, and if the thing seems right before the king, and I am pleasing in his eyes, let an order be written to revoke the letters devised by Haman the Agagite, the son of Hammedatha, which he wrote to destroy the Jews who are in all the provinces of the king. 6For how can I bear to see the calamity that is coming to my people? Or how can I bear to see the destruction of my kindred?"
Once a king makes a law, he makes a law. he can't change it once it is made.
"Behold, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and they have hanged him on the gallows, because he intended to lay hands on the Jews. 8But you may write as you please with regard to the Jews, in the name of the king, and seal it with the king's ring, for an edict written in the name of the king and sealed with the king's ring cannot be revoked."
So the King's scribes were summoned. A way was found to help the Jews. Mordecai had an edict written that
allowed the Jews who were in every city to gather and defend their lives, to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate any armed force of any people or province that might attack them, children and women included, and to plunder their goods and to plunder their goods, 12on one day throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar.

The original order from haman said

with instruction to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all Jews, young and old, women and children, in one day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, and to plunder their goods.

So in essence, the Jews were given permission to defend themselves as heartily as they would be attacked. No order was rescinded, just a contradictory order given. This way the kings honour would be upheld, and yet the Jews could defend themselves from total annihilation.

The swiftest animals were used to carry this order, which was written in both the local language and the Jewish language, to all the ends of the nations.

Mordecai was given new clothes to wear, a crown and robes of blue with white and purple with white. The whole city of Susa was pleased and rejoiced in this.

There was gladness and joy among the Jews in the whole land that was the Kings'.

As an interesting note,
And many from the peoples of the country declared themselves Jews, for fear of the Jews had fallen on them.

It is unfortunately a way to make converts to a faith. To use fear. But then one has to really wonder, are they true members of the faith, or just fearful participants?

I have to admit, I like reading the story of Esther, but sometimes I wonder, what can I learn from it that I can apply to my life?

I do like the respectfulness that Esther gives to the King. Some of that was out of necessity, if you don't, you might die (regardless of who you are). But Esther seemed a person who genuinely cared about others. She didn't weep for her own life, she wept for the lives of her people. She listened well to advice, and Mordecai was a person who watched out for people, and he would, in all likelihood, have raised Esther to do the same. So as an example of how to care for people, I think Esther is a good one.

I like how the bad guy got it in the end. Shows how the best laid plans of man can be thrown to the wind.

I like how Mordecai was given honour at the end. He didn't just have to wander around in front of the palace anymore, an anonymous soul watching out for his daughter.

I wonder what tomorrow will bring in this story of Esther. :)

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

How do we then keep Sunday's special?

Have you ever had this passage used as a defence against legalism about Sundays? It comes from Mark 2.
23One Sabbath he was going through the grainfields, and as they made their way, his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. 24And the Pharisees were saying to him, "Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?" 25And he said to them, "Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: 26how he entered the house of God, in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?" 27And he said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath."
I was raised to believe that Sundays were a day of rest and worship. One doesn't do things on Sundays that one really doesn't need to work-wise. It doesn't mean you can't have fun, or that meals can't be made or that cows can't be milked, but you don't go out and put in the hay, and you don't do laundry and so on and so forth.

I still, for the most part, hold to that. Not just because I was raised that way, but because God says "remember the sabbath and keep it holy." Yes I know, old testament law and we live in New testament times and the sabbath is Saturday not Sunday so therefore that doesn't hold true does it? My only response to such people is what... you keep Saturdays as your day of rest and worship and do nothing that you don't have to?

I"m generally met with silence when I ask that.

I know lots of people who treat Sunday like any other day of the week with "church" being just another activity that is done. Just like Justin and I go to the library for book club on Friday, many people treat going to church just like that! And the rest of the day is filled with "laundry, grocery shopping and the like." And asked why... I've had this passage thrown at me... but you are just being legalistic. Sundays are made for man! We can do what we want.

So what then makes Sunday special? How do we keep Sundays special? How do we give due reverence to God and not make it seem like worshipping him is just "another thing" that we do?

I do know it's not is just doing whatever we want.

What do you think?

Since a reply was made I was forced to re-post what my query really is. For people who choose to work on Sunday...whether that work be laundry, grocery shopping, sweeping the floors, working on the car etc.... For people who choose to do these activities AND go to church, how do YOU make Sunday special? How do you make the Lord's day important? If you have children, how do you teach them that church isn't just another "thing" that you do -- especially if the rest of the day (on Sunday) is no different than the rest of the week?

And So Haman falls....

Esther had the men in for dinner we read in Esther 7. It was a couple of days of just relaxing and eating. The King then posed this to Esther.

And on the second day, as they were drinking wine after the feast, the king again said to Esther, "What is your wish, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled."

And Esther's response to her king

"If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be granted me for my wish, and my people for my request. 4For we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated. If we had been sold merely as slaves, men and women, I would have been silent, for our affliction is not to be compared with the loss to the king."

Did you notice how respectful Esther was? IF I have found favour, and IF it pleases you to grant this my wish and my request, If it were merely slavery, I would be silent, but this is my life and my people's lives at stake. Our affliction would be nothing.

The King was somewhat unimpressed. Quite frankly I can imagine him with mouth agape as he hears these words, and then having anger come as the impact of the words hits him. Someone is threatening the life of HIS QUEEN!?!?!?! And we hear these words "Who is he, and where is he, who has dared to do this?" And Esther telling him "A foe and enemy! This wicked Haman!"

Haman was rightfully terrified. His King was angry! His queen was threatened. He didn't know that Esther was a Jew! But she was, and she knew her life and the lives of her people were in danger and that he was the one who did it. Faced with an angry queen and a very angry King it is no wonder that he was terrified and ready to beg for his life.

The king left in his anger and went to the palace garden to think about this. Haman seized the opportunity to beg Esther for his life. BUT his methodology was suspect, for just as he was "falling on the couch where Esther was" the king re-entered the room and mistook his intentions. As he thought "Will he even assault the queen in my presence, in my own house?"

VERY angry king.

I wonder if Haman was disliked by the palace staff, as I found they were very quick to point out the gallows that Haman had erected. Mentioning that they were to be used to kill a man who helped save the kings' life is a good way to ensure that someone dies. (Don'cha think?)

So Haman died (hung on the very gallows that he had built) and the king's wrath was lessened.

Tomorrow we will learn what happens next in this saga.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Oh the it is stung

We pick up the story in Esther again, this time in Chapter Six.

The King is having a restless night so decides it's a good time to go through old records. Do you remember the good deed Mordecai did at the beginning of the book? Where he discovered a plot against the king?

Well, the king, in his restless reading, came to this account, and asked "What honor or distinction has been bestowed on Mordecai for this?" He was told, "Nothing". So being the decent King that he was, he wanted to rectify the situation.

He asked who was around to help him,
And the king said, "Who is in the court?" Now Haman had just entered the outer court of the king's palace to speak to the king about having Mordecai hanged on the gallows that he had prepared for him. 5And the king's young men told him, "Haman is there, standing in the court." And the king said, "Let him come in."
The King figured that Haman would have a good idea about how to reward Mordecai for his good deeds.
6So Haman came in, and the king said to him, "What should be done to the man whom the king delights to honor?"
Haman made the mistake of thinking the king meant to honour him. (wow...this man had pride issues didn't he?) :)
And Haman said to himself, "Whom would the king delight to honor more than me?" 7And Haman said to the king, "For the man whom the king delights to honor, 8let royal robes be brought, which the king has worn, and the horse that the king has ridden, and on whose head a royal crown is set. 9And let the robes and the horse be handed over to one of the king's most noble officials. Let them dress the man whom the king delights to honor, and let them lead him on the horse through the square of the city, proclaiming before him: 'Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor.'"
The king agreed with Haman, and said
10Then the king said to Haman, "Hurry; take the robes and the horse, as you have said, and do so to Mordecai the Jew who sits at the king's gate. Leave out nothing that you have mentioned." 11So Haman took the robes and the horse, and he dressed Mordecai and led him through the square of the city, proclaiming before him, "Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor."
Haman was unimpressed with this turn of events, but did as the King commanded.

Now I have to admit, even though Haman didn't like it, he did what he was supposed to do. Makes me think of all the times God asks me to do something that I don't particularly like to do, but I do them anyways. Like treat people with respect that I don't particularly like. Like share my faith with people who really couldn't give a rip. Like take care of "dirty" diapers on a little boy. I do them because God asks me to. I don't have to like it, but I do it because I answer to a greater authority than mine. And I do have to admit that even though I don't always like the tasks that God places in front of me, I do like that I am, if I have the proper attitude, able to bring God glory through good completion of these tasks.

If I were to do them with a hang dog expression, or a hard heart...that wouldn't bring glory to God. That would just be me being a selfish brat. And that I don't want to be. I want to be a God-glorifier. I don't want to whine and complain about where God has placed me in life, I want to do what My Lord commands of me, willingly and happily. Please pray for me...because I have to admit, some just ain't there. :)

Anyways, I find it interesting, since I do know the story of Esther, how Haman received a warning from people.
12Then Mordecai returned to the king's gate. But Haman hurried to his house, mourning and with his head covered. 13And Haman told his wife Zeresh and all his friends everything that had happened to him. Then his wise men and his wife Zeresh said to him, "If Mordecai, before whom you have begun to fall, is of the Jewish people, you will not overcome him but will surely fall before him."
It's like, watch out Mordecai what you set your sights on. You go after the Jews and only bad things will happen to you.

Stayed tuned for more events in this unfolding drama.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Blogs I've Appreciated this week

This one over at Tim's from Challies Dot Com on Prayer.

I'll never look the same a tandem biking. Check out Titus2talk on riding in tandem.

I'm not really familiar with this fellow's writing, but I found this entry at Trying to Follow ,on the homeless and how to help them thought provoking.

Oh, my hubbie showed me this site called Truth for Life this week. Good place to go to listen to some decent sermons. I like Begg, he's actually a guy when I hear him talk I want to just keep listening. :)

And then there is Sovereign Grace Store, where you can download music and other stuff for free. I downloaded, okay, to be honest, my hubbie downloaded one song for me, it was pretty neat. and now I can do it too! (what can I say, I'm not the most confident computer person in the world)

I liked this post over at Sparrow's Nest on Love.

Carla pointed me over to this article which I just find to be very odd. What's so special about turning 24? Check it out.

I liked this post on Homeschooling from Preschoolers and Peace.

Whiskers on Kittens pointed me to this article. I"ll admit, when you are faced with a screaming toddler, it isn't always easy to get them to do the right thing. But a three year old is also old enough to sit still in a seat even if they don't want to. Parents not being able to handle this in a somewhat better why then complaining about having to leave a plane because they can't get their child to sit still for 15 minutes (for the plane to take off). I have to admit, part of me wonders if I"m missing something, or maybe I haven't parented enough, but I just think folks, either get your child to sit, or get off the plane, in this day and age of busyness .... you can't hold folks up. Mind you, I do wonder what the other customers were doing. Did they try to help at all? Did they make things worse? Is this child a special needs child that needs more time? These things I wonder at.

On another odd note, Rocks in my Dryer pointed me to this article. OH my, those poor chickens. and the poor dad...having to pay for all those chickens. I bet the wee lad will NEVER live this one down.

I appreciated this article at Words of Hope, on the importance of preparing for Sundays.

This article on Church Going by Even So, at Voice of Vision spoke true.

Do you Delight in the Saints? Check it out at Windows to My soul.

I know it's not much, But I really liked this picture over at Doxoblogy.

Random Responses posted some videos this week at his blog. Go check them out.

Anywho...there were lots more other good posts this week, but I think this list has gotten plenty long enough.

Friday, January 26, 2007

One man's pride

Today in Esther we read about what can happen when one man's pride is not honoured.

In Esther Three we meet Haman. Now Haman is a man who is quite proud of himself, and in many ways, rightly so. He has been advanced and set above all the officials who were around the king.

He was "the" man in the land.

The King commanded all people to bow down and respect Haman. But Mordecai didn't.
The other officials talked to Mordecai about this. Mordecai continued to not do this.
They told Haman and we learn
And when Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow down or pay homage to him, Haman was filled with fury.
But that wasn't enough for Haman. For when he learned what people group Mordecai belonged to he
disdained to lay hands on Mordecai alone. So, as they had made known to him the people of Mordecai, Haman sought to destroy all the Jews, the people of Mordecai, throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus.
He took his time with his plans though. From what I understand from Scripture he started his plans in the first month, and then completed them in the last month.
7In the first month, which is the month of Nisan, in the twelfth year of King Ahasuerus, they cast Pur (that is, they cast lots) before Haman day after day; and they cast it month after month till the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar.
and when that time has passed, then he went to the King with his request.
8Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, "There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom. Their laws are different from those of every other people, and they do not keep the king's laws, so that it is not to the king's profit to tolerate them. 9If it please the king, let it be decreed that they be destroyed
and so it was done. The King agreed to Haman's plan.
13Letters were sent by couriers to all the king's provinces with instruction to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all Jews, young and old, women and children, in one day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, and to plunder their goods.
And so, Haman's plan, which would take a good year to complete, was put into place. The orders were issued in the first month, to be completed in the twelfth month. It was a time of confusion.

So what can I learn from this?

I have to admit, I'm not entirely sure. Ah....when I stop to think about it, and to pray for the Holy Spirit's guidance, I am pointed to the example that Mordecai is. Here he is, a man, concerned about his daughter, continuing even after she is made queen, to watch out for her. He is steadfast in his duty and his devotion. He would know who Haman was, he would know the king's edict to bow down in respect to Haman. But he was a steadfast Jew, he bowed down to no one other than God. Mordecai here shows that he puts God first.

Yes, I recognize that the passage doesn't implicitly say this, but seems to imply this. Otherwise, why focus on the fact that he is a Jew? Why focus on the fact that other officials spoke to Mordecai about this and he refused to bend the knee? Why show Haman's determination to then get rid of the whole race of Jews living in the land? God's word says, worship me and me alone. As a Jew, Mordecai would know this command of the Lord.

Our devotion is to be first to the Lord. We must be steadfast in this, come what may. This is what God demands of us.

The Importance of Really Reading Scripture

You know the story about the woman pouring expensive oil/ointment over Jesus' feet? It is found in Matthew 25.
6Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, 7a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table. 8And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, "Why this waste? 9For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor." 10But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, "Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. 11For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. 12In pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare me for burial. 13Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her."
Anyways, I was reading this passage and I was struck by an difference between my memory and scripture. My remembrance of this passage is that Judas complained about it since he was the treasurer of the group. But this passage makes it clear that it was just Judas who complained, but that all the disciples were indignant and complained about it. This is what is says in verse eight:
And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, "Why this waste? 9For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor."
Really spoke to me this morning about the importance of really knowing God's word. Speaks to how easy it is for people to convey mis-truths about the word of God. Helps me to have compassion for those who mis-speak, and points to the importance of telling them where they diverge from Scripture. Sometimes it's easy, such as the case above, but sometimes it's not so easy. :)

I have to admit, this is an area where I rely on my hubbie a fair bit. Often I hear something and I think...hold on, that doesn't sound right, but I'm often not exactly sure why. So I'll bounce it off of him, and through that conversation I am better enabled to figure out why it didn't sound right, and if it was just me not quite getting the point being made, or if indeed it was wrong. And if it was wrong, I'm more equipped to say so the next time I hear such a thing. And otherwise I have just learned something new. :)

Anyways, just an encouragement to continue, when you read stories, illustrations in Scripture, even if they are really familiar.... really read them. Make sure you know what is in them. Keep your mind and heart open to the things that God wants to teach you.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Research for Kim

Kim over at Hiraeth has posted her research interest. :) It's all about reading as a Christian Discipline.

Has reading Christian blogs increased your desire to tackle weighty Christian tomes?
- the weighty tomes? No. Has increased my desire to tackle subjects deeper though.

Have you learned of Christian authors and theologians that you might not have otherwise known or read?
- yes I have.

Have you purchased or borrowed books that were recommended by bloggers?
- yes :). Has also made me ask my hubbie, we do have thus and such book?

Have you read fewer "real" books as your blog reading has increased?
- nothing will make me stop reading "real" books. All this has done as added more books to my reading list.

Has the availability/searchability of great Christian works caused you to rely upon them merely as resources?
- I have to admit, I"m not sure how to answer this. Most books can be used as resources. Some books are good just to read. Most are a combination of the two, but not all are. The ones that are too heavy of a read, at the moment I just don't bother since I don't have the time to invest in something that is too heavy right now.

Do you think reading the great Christian authors and theologians is important and/or profitable?
- yes, as long as one realizes that not all great learning has stopped, not has all great writing.

Do you read them?
- not a whole lot. At least not from the past. There is some that I pick up once in the blue moon. I tend to look first at my own reading and what I can understand, and then I go to on-line resources that have the books easily accessible.

If so, who do you recommend?
- Off the top of my head? I like calvin, matthew henry, stott, and so forth

Esther Becomes Queen

Continuing with Esther, in Chapter two we find a new queen being chosen.

For some strange reason I thought this happened fairly quickly, but I learned that I was wrong.

First the King had to cool down. (vs 1)

Then he had to issue a decree that he was looking for a new wife among the virgins of the kingdom. His "officers in all the provinces of his kingdom to gather all the beautiful young virgins" and they were to bring them to his harmen in Susa. (vv 2-4)

Then the officers actually had to do that. That would have I'm sure, taken a great deal of time. First to find them, then to transport them. We learn in verse 8 that Esther was one of the women taken. Esther was being raised by her relative Mordecai. She was the daughter of his uncle (so he was her cousin I think). Esther's original name was Hadassah. Mordecai raised her as if she was his own daughter.

Then Esther found favour with Hegai, who had charge of the women. He advanced her to the best spot in the harem.

Esther told no one who she was since Mordecai commanded her not to. Mordecai kept a close eye on her.

It was 12 months (a full year) before the young women were deemed ready to meet the king. Six months for oil treatments, and six months for spices and ointments. One at at time they met the King. When the young women met with the King, they were allowed to bring in whatever they desired. Esther brought in only what Hegai advised.

This is the routine the young women followed
when the young woman went in to the king in this way, she was given whatever she desired to take with her from the harem to the king's palace. 14In the evening she would go in, and in the morning she would return to the second harem in custody of Shaashgaz, the king's eunuch, who was in charge of the concubines. She would not go in to the king again, unless the king delighted in her and she was summoned by name.
Esther won the favour of all who saw her.

And the King was one of those people.
16And when Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus into his royal palace in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign, 17the king loved Esther more than all the women, and she won grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.
I have to admit, it seems like it was almost two years before Esther was finally brought before the king. What happened to Vashti during that whole time? Was she kept locked up in the harem? I know, she's unimportant to the story ever since she showed dishonour to her husband, but it's just one of those things I wonder about.

Enough of that though, :), When the king chose Esther to be queen he threw a big party. He cut taxes and gave gifts to people. He showed his royal generosity.

As an end note to this chapter, we see that Mordecai discovers a plot against the king. He tells Esther who tells the King what is going on (using Mordecai's name). The king handles the problem AND has it recorded. This will be important later.

Through all of this, Esther obeyed Mordecai. She did not tell her heritage or people. She did what she was commanded.

I have to commend her for that. It must have been hard for her to not let it all go to her head. Here she is, the most beautiful girl and everyone is falling in love with her. Through it all though, she maintains who she is. An obedient girl to her "father" Mordecai.

What Charges Should be Laid?

This line made me smile "For it seems to me unreasonable, in sending a prisoner, not to indicate the charges against him." It comes from the last verse in Acts 25. I have to admit, my first reaction was a rather sarcastic "you think?" Really makes me wonder at the justice system back in Roman days. A man could be held without proven charges being laid against him. It was a time when doing a fellow a favour could mean another fellows' imprisonment.

This is what we read
1Now three days after Festus had arrived in the province, he went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea. 2And the chief priests and the principal men of the Jews laid out their case against Paul, and they urged him, 3asking as a favor against Paul that he summon him to Jerusalem--because they were planning an ambush to kill him on the way.
Festus told them that Paul was being kept at Caesarea and that he was going to go there himself. If they (jewish leaders) had charges against him, they best come along and make them.

And so it happened.
When he had arrived, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him, bringing many and serious charges against him that they could not prove.
8Paul argued in his defense, "Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I committed any offense."
Festus, wishing to do the Jews a favor, said to Paul, "Do you wish to go up to Jerusalem and there be tried on these charges before me?"
Paul's response was no. If I am standing before Caesar's tribunal, which is where I aught to be tried, then I appeal to Caesar.
To the Jews I have done no wrong, as you yourselves know very well. 11If then I am a wrongdoer and have committed anything for which I deserve to die, I do not seek to escape death. But if there is nothing to their charges against me, no one can give me up to them. I appeal to Caesar.
And Festus agreed. But when King Agrippa came to visit, Festus brought the matter before him.

Here is what he said
"There is a man left prisoner by Felix, 15and when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews laid out their case against him, asking for a sentence of condemnation against him. 16I answered them that it was not the custom of the Romans to give up anyone before the accused met the accusers face to face and had opportunity to make his defense concerning the charge laid against him. 17So when they came together here, I made no delay, but on the next day took my seat on the tribunal and ordered the man to be brought. 18When the accusers stood up, they brought no charge in his case of such evils as I supposed. 19Rather they had certain points of dispute with him about their own religion and about a certain Jesus, who was dead, but whom Paul asserted to be alive. 20Being at a loss how to investigate these questions, I asked whether he wanted to go to Jerusalem and be tried there regarding them. 21But when Paul had appealed to be kept in custody for the decision of the emperor, I ordered him to be held until I could send him to Caesar."
King Agrippa seemed intrigued by the case and wanted to hear what Paul had to say for himself. So with great pomp they entered the audience hall. Paul was brought in before Agrippa.

24And Festus said, "King Agrippa and all who are present with us, you see this man about whom the whole Jewish people petitioned me, both in Jerusalem and here, shouting that he ought not to live any longer. 25But I found that he had done nothing deserving death. And as he himself appealed to the emperor, I decided to go ahead and send him. 26But I have nothing definite to write to my lord about him. Therefore I have brought him before you all, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that, after we have examined him, I may have something to write. 27For it seems to me unreasonable, in sending a prisoner, not to indicate the charges against him."
Festus is a man between a rock and a hard place. He's left with a prisoner from the govenor before him. He has these jewish leaders he's trying to keep on the good side of, and is faced with a man who actually knows his rights. What does he do? I don't blame him at all for bringing King Agrippa into the situation for as he do I send a man to Caesar when I don't know what charges to bring against him?

When I look at this case from a different perspective I see all the people that Paul has a chance to bring God's word to. Festus, the jewish leaders, the guards, King Agrippa and Bernice. Paul knew his rights, they kept him safe and alive, but he didn't just sit on that, he defended himself, he defended the Lord he served, I don't know, there just seems to be a lot of "character" in Paul. Makes me want to be like him just a bit.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

On-Line Women's Conference

I have to admit, part of me is interested in this conference, but a bigger part will I find time to sit and listen for 4 hours to something on the computer! :)

The Christian Homemaking Conference covers these topics:
* Why full-time homemaking isn't about high heels and pearls.
* Homemaking 101: Help! How did my grandmother know how to do all this stuff?
* Training daughters to be competent and visionary keepers at home.
* For busy moms of little ones: how to avoid growing weary in well-doing.
* Why teenage rebellion isn't inevitable and how you can avoid it (panel discussion).
* Q&A with speakers

Cost will be: Online conferencing is $50 ($40 for early birds!) and doesn't require the wear and tear on vehicles and family members.

For more information check out the website listed above. This came to me courtesy of Ladies Against Feminism.

On-Line Women's Conference

I have to admit, part of me is interested in this conference, but a bigger part will I find time to sit and listen for 4 hours to something on the computer! :)

The Christian Homemaking Conference covers these topics:
* Why full-time homemaking isn't about high heels and pearls.
* Homemaking 101: Help! How did my grandmother know how to do all this stuff?
* Training daughters to be competent and visionary keepers at home.
* For busy moms of little ones: how to avoid growing weary in well-doing.
* Why teenage rebellion isn't inevitable and how you can avoid it (panel discussion).
* Q&A with speakers

Cost will be: Online conferencing is $50 ($40 for early birds!) and doesn't require the wear and tear on vehicles and family members.

For more information check out the website listed above. This came to me courtesy of Ladies Against Feminism.

Persecution or not?

So, here I am feeling bothered by my coffeebreak session this morning.

Our church doesn't have a women's bible study that I feel comfortable attending. This study is held biweekly. We are studying the fruit of the Spirit.

Today's lesson was on patience.

One of the questions in the study dealt with persecution and how it ties in with patience. They talked a bit about Job and how was patient in the face of persecution. That somehow seemed off to me, but that's not what bothered me.

What bothered me was the flurry of discussion that followed my comment to another lady who said that we're persecuted now because of materialism that TV portrays, and from shows that either show Christianity poorly (aka seventh heaven) or shows that portray Christianity in a very negative light.

My response was to give an example I had from a previous job opportunity. Don't mention Christianity or your religion or you will be fired. You are not to talk about what you believe. NOTE: other people 'of faith or not faith' were not given this warning. What can I say, I actually ended up not taking that job (well I had, but I was there one day and then left). Another job I had was "mention Christmas and you'll be fired". I didn't mention it, but someone else did and they were canned.

That to me is more akin to persecution than tv shows are. I think it is an insult to people in persecuting countries to deem TV shows as persecution. We have the option. TURN IT OFF. Don't have one. People can survive without the newspaper, or without the TV and such forth. There is a place where we have a choice. I said that TV shows aren't persecution.

If we are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, then we don't have a choice. Either we live out our faith or we don't. One says Hey world, I'm a Christian and I"m not ashamed of it, the other well....I"m not going to say a thing, and no one ever need know (shows fear and shame of the gospel which God doesn't want us doing). So if we are Christians and truly want to follow Christ, we won't hide who we are. And until we are in a situation where we are FORCED to hide lest we die, then we under persecution and have to figure out how we, as believers, will count the cost for Christ.

Until then, are we being actively persecuted in Canada and the United States? No. Are things progressively getting more anti-Christian? yes. Do I believe that a time will come that Christians will be persecuted for their faith? a kinda yes. Means I"m not sure, but I think so, the word of God gives me hints that believers everywhere will face serious challenges to their faith (and I believe that persecution is part of those challenges).

In the discussion that followed I heard that "it is indeed persecution because it makes it harder to live out your faith". I was stunned. Something is persecution because it makes living out your faith harder? So what...I am persecuted because I have non-Christian friends? I am persecuted because I'm easily tempted to purchase food I don't need and that therefore doesn't treat my body as the temple of God that it is supposed to be? Should we ban all grocery stores?

I know, perhaps I'm being silly, but that's where that kind of thinking brings me.

Now one thing was said this morning that I agree with (in light of this particular discussion). A lady (in the study), as a student, had befriended a Christian that came from a persecuting country. This visitor noted that in the country were they were (either Canada or the States) that there are a lot of "grey" Christians. In persecuting countries you don't have "grey" Christians. You are either fully committed to God or you are not. If you are not fully committed, then you are living a life of potential death and imprisonment and beatings for no real reason. Here in North America it is too easy for people to claim to be Christians without having to watch what they do. There is no "keeping Christians in line" or being held accountable.

Almost enough to cause a person to start praying that a bit more persecution actually comes to North America isn't it?

Fear, Trembling and Hope

I read Matthew 24 and I am filled with Fear, Trembling and Hope.

The disciples wanted Jesus to see how magnificant the temple was, and Jesus' only response to them was
"You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down."
They wanted to know more, so when they came to a quiet place, they asked
"Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?"
And so Jesus answered them.

1. See that no one leads you astray. Many will claim to be Christ. They won't be, so don't let them fool you.
2. Don't be alarmed by these pretend Christs'. This is meant to happen for people, nations and kingdoms will all fight against each other.
3. This is not the end of things, it is just the beginning of labour/birth pains.
4. When these things have occured, do know that as believers you will be hated. You will be persecuted. False prophets will come. Lawlessness will increase, which will cause people will stop loving. BUT endure! Those who endure will be saved.
5. Proclaim the gospel. When the gospel is proclaimed throughout the earth, the end will come.
6. For the sake of the elect, the days of desolation, tribulation and hardship will be shortened. People will flee. They will leave their belongings behind. It will be a hard time for pregnant and nursing mothers.
7. Don't believe people who say that they have found Christ.
8. Know that Christ will come from the east, just as "the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west."
9. Darkness will fall over the earth. Stars will fall from the sky. The very powers of the heavens will be shaken.
10. BUT THEN!!! The sign of the Son of man will be seen. All the tribes of the earth shall mourn. They will see the Son of Man!
11. The Angels will trumpet his return! His Glory will be seen. He will gather in his elect.

Just was the Jewish people used the fig tree as the harbinger of summer, so all these things can show us that the return of Christ is imminent.

We don't know when or where. But we do know that God's words are true. Only God knows, quite literally only God knows when Christ will return.

All we know is that we must be ready. We must! And we must continue to live as though we expect him to come right now. God will reward those who do so.

I read these words and I think...ah, Lord, not right now please... I have an 18 month old boy right now. I don't want to have to take off with him. I don't want to face persecution with him. I really really don't. Having to go through all that just makes me fearful inside. Sometimes I wonder what kind of world he'll have to face.

But at the same time, I want to do my part in spreading his word, for when all nations hear, then he will return. And I do so long for his return. I want for him to return for it means the end of wars, famine, persecution, and of the earth groaning. It means no more death for believing in Christ. It means not having to deal with a Hostile to Christians society. It means no more worries about pollution or sick animals or even having to clean a house that gets messy just by looking at it. It means, life with my Saviour, without the tinge of sin attached to it.

So, these words I read, filled with fear, trembling and hope.

The Setting is In Place

King Ahasuerus threw the party of all parties. It lasted seven days. Everyone was invited. Nobles came from all over the place. Queen Vashti threw a party for all the ladies as well. It was party city.

The riches of the king, and of the land were all on display. The royal wine flowed freely, and people were allowed to do as they wished. All this can be found in Esther One.

King Ahasuerus even wanted to show off his wife. He wanted everyone to see how beautiful she was. So he sent off his eunuchs to get her.

She ... ... come.

It was an insult to the king.
It was an insult to all the guests.

The King needed to know what to do about it. And a fellow named Memucan came up with an idea:
If it please the king, let a royal order go out from him, and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes so that it may not be repealed, that Vashti is never again to come before King Ahasuerus. And let the king give her royal position to another who is better than she. 20So when the decree made by the king is proclaimed throughout all his kingdom, for it is vast, all women will give honor to their husbands, high and low alike." 21This advice pleased the king and the princes, and the king did as Memucan proposed.
So the footing in set. A new queen will be made. And men are to acknowledged within their own homes.
22He sent letters to all the royal provinces, to every province in its own script and to every people in its own language, that every man be master in his own household and speak according to the language of his people.
Vashti lost her royal position. Women learned that men are to be honoured. And the wheels began to turn for the procuring of a new queen.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Night at the Museum

Jim and I saw this movie, Night at the Museum, yesterdaynafternoon. We were two of about 8 people in the theatre.

What a fun movie. It's been a while since we've done a movie together, so it was nice to just sit and watch a good movie together. Good laughs, not a whole lot of nasty stuff in it. I didn't even get scared... a wee bit alarmed perhaps first with the dinasour, but nothing too bad. :) Something I could see renting when Justin hits about 8 or so. :) Ben Stiller did a good job.

For other reviews of this movie, feel free to check out these here.

Remember me, O my God, for good.

I was reading in Nehemiah 13 this morning. There I found, it seemed at least to me, Nehemiah pleading with God to remember him well. Nehemiah is accounting before God all the things that he has accomplished in Jerusalem. How he was fervent for the remembering the holiness of God. Nehemiah reestablished that the Sabbath was a day of rest and worship. He brought back the tithe. He brought back the duties of the Levites. He stopped the influence of foreign peoples.

It had come to the point in Israel that the tithe had stopped, so that the Levites were driven to provide for themselves.. they left their work at the temple to plant their own crops. Nations were bringing goods into the city of Jerusalem itself, on the Sabbath to sell. Those of foreign blood had been put into place as high priest. And many of the youth couldn't even speak the jewish language. All this, Nehemiah put a stop to. He brought back the importance of worshipping and serving God alone.

You'd think that he could rest on his laurels and think, ah... I did good. And to think nothing further, but rather we find Nehemiah pleading before God, asking God to
Remember me, O my God, for good.
I found that very humbling this morning. It shows Nehemiah's utter dependance upon God.

Oh, that my dependance upon God would be as easily seen.

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Importance of Songs

Do you know this song?
I cannot come to the banquet, I cannot come to the banquet,
don't trouble me now.
I have married a wife; I have bought me a cow.
I have fields and commitments that cost a pretty sum.
Pray, hold me excused, I cannot come.

1. A certain man held a feast on his fine estate in town.
He laid a festive table and wore a wedding gown.
He sent invitations to his neighbours far and wide
but when the meal was ready, each of them replied:

2. The master rose up in anger, called his servant by name,
said: "Go into the town, fetch the blind and the lame,
fetch the peasant and the pauper, for this I have willed,
my banquet seem so crowded, and my table must be filled.

3. When all the poor had assembled, there was still room to spare,
so the master demanded: "Go search every where,
to the highways and the byways and force them to come in.
My table must be filled before the banquet can begin.

4. Now God has written a lesson for the rest of the mankind;
If we're slow a responding, he may leave us behind.
He's preparing a banquet for that great and glorious day
when the Lord and Master calls us, be certain not to say:
Mind you.. I also learned this difference in the song
Now God has written a lesson for the rest of the mankind;
If we're slow a responding, he may leave us behind.
He's preparing a banquet for that great and glorious day
when the Lord and Master calls us, be certain then to say:

Yes I will come, yes I will come to the banquet
no trouble at all
My wife will come with the cows in the stall
My fields and commitments that cost a pretty sum
I'll leave them behind I'll surely come.
I grew up singing this song. I like this song. I don't like it quite as much now.....

BUT when you know this song, and you read the words from which it came, you'll notice some differences.

Here is the passage from Matthew 22.
1And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, 2"The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, 3and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. 4Again he sent other servants, saying, 'Tell those who are invited, See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.' 5But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, 6while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. 7The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. 8Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. 9Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.' 10And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests.

11"But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. 12And he said to him, 'Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?' And he was speechless. 13Then the king said to the attendants, 'Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' 14For many are called, but few are chosen."
Do you see where they take the servants of the king and treat them shamefully, even killing some of them? I had this song in my brain before I started reading this passage, and my first thought was...the passage is wrong! EEK!!!! What a brain shocker! How could I think that the word of God is wrong, simply because of a song?

Makes the point that my hubbie like to make to me really hit home. People learn a lot of their doctrine and bible from the songs that they sing. So making sure that we choose good music, that says and teaches something is important.

All I can say to that now is ... AMEN.

Editted January 25, 2010 to add the Luke passage.
Here is the Luke 14:12-24 passage
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. For 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.'"

Devotional ramblings

Do you ever wonder why something was recorded in the bible? I read the bible and I assume that everything in it is there for a reason. Going through genealogies, though they are not my thing, in the hands of the right person can wield vast amounts of information. But today I was reading from Genesis 23 and I stopped after and thought, so why did we need to know this? Why is it important that upon Sarah's death, Abraham refused a gift of land for burying her and insisted (nicely) upon purchasing it? I have to admit, I have no clue. I do wonder if Abraham owning the land was the important part. If it was important that she be buried on land that was not owned by a foreign/non-jewish entity. That would make sense in a way. Anyways, I don't quite get the importance of it all.

Did you know that Paul was a Jewish person who was also a Roman Citizen by birth? That just seems odd to me. I learned this in my reading of Acts 22 this morning. And yes, I knew that before, but it just kinda struck me this morning. Paul was a man between two worlds in a way, born a Roman Citizen, raised a Jew with the best of education. He was smart and zealous for the Lord before and after his conversion. In Acts 22 people listened to because he spoke hebrew. But when they didn't like his message, they turned on him. He would have been beaten, except he was a Roman Citizen by don't just do that in Roman society. Both world disapproved of him, both worlds listened to him. He was a unique man, chosen by God for such a time as he was in.

We, as believers, are also between two worlds in a way. We live in today's society. We can call ourselves Canadian, American, Dutch and this that and the other thing. BUT as believers, the question is... who do we really owe our allegiance to? And how do we show it?

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Sallows Gallery

i discovered a neat digital library. Called the Sallows Gallery.
The Reuben R. Sallows Gallery is home to the largest public collection of this renowned photographer's work.
The mandate of The Gallery is to preserve, protect and conserve the artistic heritage within its collection. It celebrates the rich artistic legacy of Reuben R. Sallows and promotes the Canadian visual art that embodies his innovative talent and spirit.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Blogs I've Appreciated this week

Not a whole lot this week made me stop and think for a bit. These ones did though for a variety of reasons. Check them out if you so desire. :)

This one from Tim and this one from Kim.

Then there's this one on one of the things Jesus taught us that I found through the Christian Carnival folks.

Brain Cramps posted an article on what the new church plant he's involved with is doing.

Sun and Shield did a post on looking at the word Play in the bible.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Try your hand-eye coordination

Oh, this is very have to try it !

Good Luck

This is a good one !!

The object of the game is to move the red block around without getting hit by the blue blocks or touching the black walls. If you can go longer than 22 seconds you are phenomenal. Supposedly the US Air Force uses this for fighter pilots. They are expected to go for at least 2 minutes. Give it a try!!

Go to this site to try it. Though if that doesn't work this is what came up in the email.

Another Email

One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do.

Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement he quieted down.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.

As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a steppingstone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping,
never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.

Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

Free your heart from hatred - Forgive.

Free your mind from worries - Most never happen.

Live simply and appreciate what you have.

Give more.

Expect less

NOW ............

Enough of that 'stuff' . . . The donkey later came back, and bit the farmer who had tried to bury him. The gash from the bite got infected and the farmer eventually died in agony from septic shock.


When you do something wrong, and try to cover your butt, it always comes back to bite you.

Just a Mom?

I got this sent to me in an email.


A woman, renewing her driver's license at the County Clerk 's office was asked by the woman recorder to state her occupation.

She hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself.

"What I mean is," explained the recorder, "do you have a job or are you just a......?"

"Of course I have a job," snapped the woman.

"I'm a Mom."

"We don't list 'Mom' as an occupation, 'housewife' covers it," said the recorder emphatically.

I forgot all about her story until one day I found myself in the same situation, this time at our own Town Hall.

The Clerk was obviously a career woman, poised, efficient and possessed of a high sounding title like, "Official Interrogator" or "Town Registrar."

"What is your occupation?" she probed.

What made me say it?
I do not know.
The words simply popped out.
"I'm a Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human Relations."

The clerk paused, ball-point pen frozen in midair and looked up as though she had not heard right.

I repeated the title slowly emphasizing the most significant words.
Then I stared with wonder as my pronouncement was written, in bold, black ink on the official questionnaire.

"Might I ask," said the clerk with new interest, "just what you do in your field?"

Coolly, without any trace of fluster in my voice, I heard myself reply, "I have a continuing program of research, [what mother doesn't) in the laboratory and in the field, (normally I would have said indoors and out).
I'm working for my Masters, (first the Lord and then the whole family) and already have four credits (all daughters). Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the humanities, (any mother care to disagree?) and I often work 14 hours a day, (24 is more like it). But the job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers and the rewards are more of a satisfaction rather than just money."

There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk's voice as she completed the form, stood up and personally ushered me to the door.

As I drove into our driveway, buoyed up by my glamorous new career, I was greeted by my lab assistants -- ages 13, 7, and 3. Upstairs I could hear our new experimental model, (a 6 month old baby) in the child development program, testing out a new vocal pattern.
I felt I had scored a beat on bureaucracy!
And I had gone on the official records as someone more distinguished and ndispensable to mankind than "just another Mom." Motherhood!

What a glorious career!
Especially when there's a title on the door.

Does this make grandmothers
"Senior Research associates in the field of Child Development and Human Relations"
and great grandmothers "Executive Senior Research Associates"?
I think so!!!
I also think it makes Aunts "Associate Research Assistants".

Dog Diets - Raw Feeding or BARF

As you know, we feed our dogs a raw food diet.

In the past three weeks I joined a couple of new raw feeding groups from yahoo.

These are the groups I am member of:
Advanced BARF This is a group for people used to feeding raw. Gets away from always having to answer newbie questions. Very business oriented, moderator is strict about what is allowed for discussion.

BARF-lite this is a group that basically says, feed your dogs raw. However you work it out, fine. Most on this group feed a variety of foods, muscles, organs, veggies, leftovers, bone etc. For the most part I'd call this group easy going, but very chatty about non-essentials.

RawDogCanada, now I'm not exactly sure which way this group leans yet, as it is not high numbers. Members seem fairly respectful to each other and new members.

rawfeeding, this group is somewhat more vocal and fervent in proclaiming what they believe is the best way to feed. Raw, whole foods only. I can understand their rationale, but I'm not keen on their fervency and sometimes the attitude protrayed. :)

I have to admit, I find it fascinating watching the interplay on these groups. I try NOT to get caught up in it at all. I'm more of a lurker than anything else.

My general attitude toward raw feeding what makes sense to you as long as you can afford it.

I don't go out and purchase the most expensive cuts of meat. If I can find a deal, I find a deal. I don't go searching for rabbit meat or ostrich meat or whatever. I use the local stores and local butchers. We do chicken, pork and beef. That's fair good I think. Now if I could get other meats cheaply...guess what...I'd do other meats. But not for $11.00/lb! Heck, I won't go over $1.49/lb and perhaps to some that means I don't care enough for my dogs, but to me it means, I care for them, and I want the best for them, but they are dogs. Most dogs just get kibble and that's it. (not that kibble feeders don't care for their dogs) Just want to make the perfectly clear! :) I just put the needs of my human family first.

We don't do the whole prey model because even though it makes sense, I just can't see it being affordable unless we lived on a farm somewhere. We don't. I don't see it happening in the near future.

I have a son, we have LOTS of leftovers. So guess who gets them? Yup... the dogs. :) So we have less waste, less garbage, and less smells. We even managed to score a free freezer. How much better can you get? :)

I have to admit, it does make a bit more work for me. Usually every 17 days or so I"m making up a new batch of food for the dogs. Usually takes me an hour to do up 17 days worth of food (that's if I have meat portioned out already). Although many raw feeders don't do this, I choose to, as it make it so much easier in the long run. All I have to do is grab two bags out of the freezer and the dogs have a complete meal.

I have discovered there are two big "camps" in the rawfood market. Billinghurst and Lonsdale. I've read neither of their books. Don't think I ever will either, simply because I have other stuff to read. There is also oodles of discussion over whether supplements are needed or not. I have no opinion on the matter other than to say, if your dogs are eating a balanced diet (of Raw meaty bones, organs meat and muscle), what's the point? If they need fish oil....feed them a fish!

But for interested parties, where do you go for information if you are just looking around?

Here are some sites that I have read, you will need to formulate your own conclusions about it all. You will notice that different people follow different feeding protocols. They usually do this based on THEIR experiences with THEIR dogs. you will need to do the same. Some dogs need bone with every meal (our Riley is one of them), some dogs will eat whatever you give them (Sassy is now like this). Some dogs can't handle certain meats, others certain veggies, some can't do grain products at all. YOU need to figure out what works for YOUR dog. Don't expect someone else's recipe to be the end all and be all for your dog.

RawDogFood Ranch.
BARF Adult Menu.
Biologically Appropriate Raw Food Diet.
BARF menu.
Canine Nutrition. Note: if you don't like the site of a dog eating rabbit, don't go here.
Raw Feeding Fact Sheet.
Feeding Guidelines From Fresh Start.
A book called Raw Meaty Bones.
Jane Anderson's site.
Shirley's Wellness Cafe.
Healthy Paws.

There are lots more out there. If you are interested, check them out.

Why do we do it?
Primarily because as Christians we have an obligation to care for this world in the best way we can. By feeding the way we do, we have less waste, we use our finances better, we have animals that do better all around and it seems a more natural way to do things.

Riley was getting too old too fast. He now plays again. Even follows us upstairs! This is cool. It took him, what seemed to me, a long time to adjust and remains sensitive to changes in his diet. But overall, he's doing really really well.

Sassy had some attitude problems and didn't like to eat. She now eats anything we give her, and is not quite so pushy with other dogs. Even plays more often with dogs she knows. Getting her onto the diet was a challenge.

Challenges we faced:
1. switching Riley over - diarrhea, gulping, loose stools, shedding coat, but mostly...diarrhea. NOT fun. he was banned from camping with us because of one REALLY bad incident. Added beer to his diet which helped, as did switching the ratios we were feeding. Had been feeding a bit too high in organ meats, and needed to add bone/egg shell to every meal. Riley needs this.
2. getting Sassy to eat. she acted like we were trying to poison her. Needed to sear her meat lightly at first. That got her started, eventually she ate what was given as is. will now eat it if it's frozen, but prefers it not frozen.
3. speed demon for Riley. Gulped food down as fast as possible without chewing. Resulted in some scary moments, and some less than positive bowel movements. Solution - he gets everything frozen, no exceptions. Still gulps what he can, but it's harder to do that when it's frozen.
4. Sassy was a slow poke in eating. Solution - tied the dogs up so Riley couldn't steal her portion as she would eat slowly, take a break, guard her food from yellow jackets, and Riley would dive in for the "kill". Not a good scene. Tying worked wonders, then she sped up, no need to tie out any longer.

Will the future hold more challenges? Possibly. Sassy has taken to eating as fast as she can, WHILE chewing carefully. BUT when she's done, she'll follow Riley around the yard. She'll stare, he'll move off with his food, she cleans up the mess behind and then stares at him again... and the cycle continues until he is done. Right now we laugh about it, but if it gets to be problematic, we'll address it.

Artist with a good memory

A friend sent this to me. I thought it was really neat and should share it with you all. :)

Stephen Wiltshire has been called the "Human Camera." In this short excerpt from the film Beautiful Minds: A Voyage into the Brain, Wiltshire takes a helicopter journey over Rome and then draws a panoramic view of what he saw, entirely from memory.

For more information on this interesting young man, go here.

As a child, Stephen was mute and did not relate to other human beings. Aged three, he was diagnosed as autistic. He had no language, uncontrolled tantrums and lived entirely in his own world.

And they repented

Do you remember yesterday who attentive the people were to the reading of God's word? How they stood for HOURS and just listened as the word of God was read and explained to them?

Well today the story continues. In Nehemiah 9 we read that
3And they stood up in their place and read from the Book of the Law of the LORD their God for a quarter of the day; for another quarter of it they made confession and worshiped the LORD their God.
So not only did they listen....they repented. As they repented they worshipped God. And their repentance was real for they
And the Israelites separated themselves from all foreigners and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers.
They didn't allow themselves to stay as they were. They knew they displeased God by marrying foreign people. So they separated themselves, they repented, they worshipped. They made a covenant with God.
In that covenant they agreed that (found in chapter 10)
- walk according to the law of Moses
- to observe and do all the commandments of the LORD our Lord and his rules and his
- We will not give our daughters to the peoples of the land or take their daughters for our sons.
- if the peoples of the land bring in goods or any grain on the Sabbath day to sell, we will not buy from them on the Sabbath or on a holy day
- we will forego the crops of the seventh year and the exaction of every debt.
- We also take on ourselves the obligation to give yearly a third part of a shekel for the service of the house of our God
- First fruit offerings would be given again
- they will not neglect the house of the Lord

They agreed to take their relationship with God seriously. Isn't that cool? To see repentance followed by worship AND follow-through. To see that they were indeed serious about doing what was right before God?

Makes me think about what I do when I repent. I often will say, God I'm sorry that I did thus and such. Please forgive me and help me not to do it again. I don't often worship God while I ask for forgiveness. I don't often make decisions about how not to get caught in that sin again. This passage reminds me to be serious about repentance, about making changes so that I don't get caught up in sin again. This is important to do in a believers life.

What is Best for the Gospel?

Today, one of my readings came from Matthew 19. Wow, lots of stuff to focus on in this chapter, but doing so would make this a really long post. :) Therefore I will skim some sections and concentrate more on others.

The Pharisees were testing Jesus on the whole divorce thing. We learn that it was because of our hardness of heart that divorce was allowed in the first place. People should not divorce, it goes against the plan of God. Those who divorce and remarry are committing adultery. I know in today's day and age, that's not a popular thing to hear, but it comes straight from the word of God. So perhaps you think to yourself...but what if my hubbie beats me? Well...then what your hubbie has done is "left you". This doesn't leave you free to remarry, but it does leave you free to leave him. 1 Corinthians 7:12-16
12To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. 13If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. 14For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. 15But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace. 16Wife, how do you know whether you will save your husband? Husband, how do you know whether you will save your wife?
We are not given reasons other than a non-believing spouse leaving and for marital unfaithfulness as being why we can or should divorce. Divorce is simply not what God wants forus. He created us to be together.

The passage that I really wanted to get to was this one
10The disciples said to him, "If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry." 11But he said to them, "Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. 12For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it."
I find it wonderful that some people, for the sake of the gospel, chose not to get married. As a single person you have so much more freedom in your actions. You don't have to worry about caring for family, you can devote your spare time to things as missions and ministry. You often have more disposable income. Not all people HAVE to marry. Some don't because, well, they just aren't interested, others don't because society/life/circumstances have just made it that way, but others choose not to. These folks should be respected as well. Pastors shouldn't HAVE to get married. Missionaries shouldn't HAVE to be married. So often we think they aught to, but Paul makes it clear that sometimes, for the sake of the gospel, a better thing not to. So if people are single and are serving the Lord faithfully, we should encouarge them to continue to do so.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The scoop so far

Okay, on Tuesday our boy had another appointment with the ENT. We had thought that perhaps he had another ear infection, turns out he didn't AND his perforated ear is no longer perforated!!!!

Found out that they have developed a new plan for doing the ear tube surgery, where if we get everything done for pre-op, our boy might not have to wait until March for his surgery, but could have it in as little as two weeks. Pretty cool huh?!?!?!

So he had his physical today at the doctor's office.

His lungs are clear, so we're not sure why the cough remains. Doctor says he's looking pretty good other than his ears being fairly messy. So now all we have to do is go through all the pre-admittance stuff which hopefully will be next week and then we wait!

Hopefully it will happen quickly.

They were Attentive

I stopped by at Nehemiah 8 this morning and read these words.
1And all the people gathered as one man into the square before the Water Gate. And they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses that the LORD had commanded Israel. 2So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could understand what they heard, on the first day of the seventh month. 3And he read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand. And the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law.
From early morning to mid-day. That's what is says. Ezra stood there and read, and the all the people gathered were attentive while they listened.

Can you imagine it? Listening to the word of God being read for at least four hours straight? AND being attentive the whole time? And they did so standing!
5And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was above all the people, and as he opened it all the people stood.
Most church services now-a-days run between 1-1.5 hours long. It is broken up by singing, music, prayers. Most sermons run 15-45 minutes (usually on the shorter end of the scale). How many people do you know who are attentive to the word of God even just being read (usually takes no more than 5 minutes)? And these folks paid attention to what Ezra was reading. They showed that it was important to them.
6And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God, and all the people answered, "Amen, Amen," lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground. 7Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, the Levites, helped the people to understand the Law, while the people remained in their places. 8They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.
These folks: Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, the Levites helped the people to understand what God was saying in his word. The people stood, they were attentive, they remained standing as the word of God was explained to them. Their teachers spoke clearly and presented it so it made sense. The people understood it all. All the actions done this day, showed how important God's word was to them.

So I have to ask, how do we show that God's word is important to us?

Christian Carnival is up

The Christian Carnival for this week is up. It is posted at Imago Dei.

An Evangelist

Now here is a evangelist at heart. AND he is open to learning truth about God.
24Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures. 25He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. And being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him and explained to him the way of God more accurately. 27And when he wished to cross to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed, 28for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the Scriptures that the Christ was Jesus.
I don't know if you have seen it or not. The excitement of a new believer, sharing what they know about God with everyone around them? I haven't seen it often, but when I have I have noticed something....some of those new believers are willing to learn more, and to correct themselves if they have said something wrong, whereas others are not quite so open to that.

Here is Apollos. All he knows is the baptism of John. Nothing more. BUT from that he proclaims Christ, and he does so boldly...this in a time of persecution. When Priscilla and Aquilla hear what he has to say, they take him aside and give him further teaching. What they did was explain to him "the way of God more accurately".

I do like that line...explained the way of God more accurately. That's what we do when we teach others about God. We explain HIS way more accurately. If we don't, we're not teaching.

Anyways, what Apollos did with that explanation was to continue to be bold. And he was good at it. He was able to meet with the Jews in public and refute their beliefs and explain Christ from the scriptures. He was a big help to the believing community.

This reading by the way came from Acts 18.

So what do I do with the knowledge that God has given me? I have his word that I can read any old time I want to. I have knowledgeable teachers that I can go to. I have a preacher for a hubbie with an extensive library of commentaries...though not as extensive as he would like. So why am I not bold like Apollos? Apollos knew some, not all about Christ, and yet he taught without fear. And though I cannot say that I know all (far, far from it), I do know some, and therefore I should be bold to proclaim Christ. I should be bold to meet the objections from people around me. I should be able to refute their comments/arguments and so forth. Ah Lord, forgive my lack of boldness. Help me to stand up when I aught to.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Stuff about me - a meme

Places I've lived

A farm in Ontario
Grand Rapids, MI
Kitchener, ON
Waterloo, ON
Exeter, ON

Famous People I've Met

absolutely no one :)

Schools I've attended

Wallace Public School
Norwell District High
Reformed Bible College
University of Waterloo
Conestoga College

Jobs I've had

Pig Farm Labourer
Special Services at Home worker
Dairy Farm labourer
Subway "artist"
Library Assistant
Paper Delivery
Flyer person - put up flyers around town
Mystery Shopper
Counsellor for special needs folks

Pets I've had

The "calico cat"
"the fish"
Various guinea pigs
Various mice
The rat terrier
Various rabbits

Some books I've liked

Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
Knowing God by J.I. Packer
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
Shepherding a Child's Heart by Ted Tripp
The Bible by men inspired by God
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Anything by Anne McCaffrey
Most anything by Mercedes Lackey
Brave Believers - thomas nelson published
plus many more that I just can't think of right now

My favorite T.V. shows at some point in time

Leave it to Beaver
What Not to Wear
The Flinstones
Full House
Law and Order
Law and Order: CSI
Criminal Intent
Gilligan's Island
Family Ties
"tim the toolman taylor" -- can't remember the shows name right now