Sunday, November 22, 2009

Church? ... I liked this post

OOh....I read this post and I really liked it.

Your church is one authentic manifestation of the entire people of God that right now is worshiping before the throne of God. That is the reality of new covenant worship. And when we begin to wrap our minds around that, there springs to mind a thousand reasons to rejoice, to praise, and to sing; and to renounce flippancy, self-display, selfishness, superficiality, sloppiness, and thoughtlessness.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Church Dinner Tonight

So we had a church potluck dinner at church tonight ( where else?). :)

Anyways, good food, good conversation.

Afterwards Cheryl told us about her recent experiences in Papua New Guinea where she travelled for 5 months doing medical mission stuff.

She gave an interesting talk.

Justin did pretty good tonight. I was overall quite pleased with his behaviour. He went to bed as soon as we got home tonight. Tired lad though he kept growling at me that he wasn't tired at all.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A thankful post

Rebecca is doing a series of Thankful posts.

I am thankful for family that lets you know when something isn't right with part of it.

My sister-in-law Chantal ended up in Hospital again with pain in her belly. She had the option of high risk surgery or dealing with pain. She opted to deal with pain.

So I am thankful as well for doctors that carefully spell out risks, for pain medication which can help reduce pain levels, for phones so that clear communication can happen rapidly, for facebook so that I can communicate with said sister-in-law easily and I am thankful for fellow believers who can join me in lifting her up in prayer.

By Faith - they died knowing

13These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.
This is the next section in Hebrews 11.

Abraham, Sarah, Enoch, Abel, Noah. These folks died knowing they were strangers and exiles on earth. They died knowing there was something more out there. They knew that God would keep his promises to them. They knew that God had better.

I do find this line interesting as I've just never thought about God being ashamed before. "therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God."

Makes me wonder if I shame God at all?
I know as these folks did that God has something more for me.
I don't know if I shame him at times. Probably do when I flagrantly disobey him. I never quite seen it as shame-inducing though. Just as something I need to repent of and work at not doing again. So it adds a new layer to my obedience to God. How do I act in ways that won't cause him to be ashamed of me.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Things I've been Pondering

While on Holiday last week Jim and I accompanied friends of ours to a new bookstore. While browsing there I looked at a book by Stormie _____ on Wives that pray. Looked like an interesting book until I read the line that we are to pray to make ourselves new husbands.

That completely took me the wrong way.

What do you mean that I should pray to make myself a new hubby?
Shouldn't I pray that God makes me the kind of woman that my hubby needs so that he can serve God the way that he aught to? Why should I pray to change this man that I love dearly? Didn't seem right at all so I said NOPE, not going there.

Ah, here's the book.

Not exactly a book I would recommend bases on the first glimpse through. I think there MUST be something more to a woman praying for her hubby than to be focused on changing him. That shouldn't be the focus of our prayers. But how would I write a book stating all the good things that I'm sure Stormie has in her book, while emphasizing how GOD works things out. Changing us, moulding us, and also moulding husbands - sometimes by the changes they see in us, and sometimes just be God responding to our pleas. Not sure.

Heard a sermon last Sunday where the pastor was talking about the Christian Disciplines and he talked about Solitude and Silence. He talked about how we need to get alone with ourselves, to really see ourselves, and in that seeing realize we are never alone, that God is always there. I was left wondering.... how is this decidedly Christian? How does one avoid the New Ageism of Mediation. So I ponder this. I know that silence is important. That just sitting and LISTENING to God is a vital part of the Christian life, but to start intentionally doing it, how does one avoid the self-centeredness that is such a pervasive part of today's culture?

By Faith - Abraham and Sarah

Wow...this is NOT a good thing. Last time I had sit down devotions was in September. We talked about Abel, Enoch and Noah. Today we'll talk about Abraham and Sarah.
8By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. 10For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. 11By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. 12Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.
The verses above come from Hebrews 11.

Abraham and Sarah were husband and wife.
God told Abraham to leave his land and go to a land that he would show him. From Genesis 12 we read:
1Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing...
I have to admit, I do wonder sometimes, how did God show Abraham were to go? We don't read of pillars of fire or how did Abraham know which way to go. But overall that's a non-issue, the fact is God said go and Abraham obeyed even though he had no clue about where he would end up. He ended up in Canaan.

Why did he take this trip at God's command? For the simple reason that he was looking forward ...he looked forward "to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God". He knew that God had something more in store for him. That takes faith, to see beyond the present and to know that there is something more out there. Abraham knew that God was real and therefore obeyed him.

Sarah for her part did not try to stop him from going, and she was able to have a baby in her old age. Even though she laughed, she still had a child by Abraham as per God's promise to her.
10The LORD said, "I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son." And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him. 11Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, "After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?"
And later we read
1The LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did to Sarah as he had promised. 2And Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the time of which God had spoken to him. 3Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore him, Isaac. 4And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. 5 Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. 6And Sarah said, "God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh over me." 7And she said, "Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age."
Sarah born a child, she had that distinct pleasure that it is to have a child of your own. Her shame as a woman was removed from her (in those days to be a woman and not be able to have a child was a shameful thing).

By faith in God, marvellous things happened to Abraham and Sarah. They obeyed him, their lives were forever changed.

May my faith in God be as abiding as was the faith of Abraham and Sarah.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Christian Carnival Time

Sorry it's a bit late folks, sometimes life intervenes. Duplicate entries from one person were not entered (one post per week per blog) and entries that seemed to go nowhere were not included as well (ones with links to sites that didn't actually "work"). If I've not included you and you think I should have, let me know.

There are some gems this week. :)

Bible Study Exposition Online (BibleSEO) starts us off with the Inductive Bible Study Method: How to Guide.
Inductive Bible Study method is one of the most effective bible study methods for personal bible study, quiet time or group bible studies. This guide presents three basic steps of Inductive bible studies, Observation, Interpretation and Application. It will walk you through each step of inductive bible studies in details.
My Hands For War gives us Listening to God - Look, Listen, Obey.
God recently gave me an epiphany recently through a parenting analogy that I wanted to share here.
Why does God Let Bad Things Happen is brought to us by Glowing Face Man.
A common argument invoked by critics of an all-powerful deity is: “Why does God let bad things happen?” The idea is that if the universe were run by a super-god with infinite power, then surely He wouldn’t let kids starve to death in Africa. It’s very interesting and illuminating to look at this question using different analogies for life.
Seeking the Truth presents us with A helpful Perspective on Growing Old and Dying.
In the book, The Word Leaps the Gap, there is an excellent article by Richard Hays titled, 'The Christian Practice of Growing Old.' He has some excellent insight on the New Testament's answer to the problem of death.

We're at War! part one is brought to us by W2Wsoul. This individual also submitted a poem, but we supposed just allow one entry per carnival so I chose this one as it's easier to pick a snippet as teaser. Go check out the rest of blog to find the poem. :)
Yesterday I had a heart to heart with my 8 year old son, trying to understand why he sometimes misbehaves in spite of my daily words of encouragement and correction. His simple explanation was: “Mom, I don’t know why – I just can’t help myself.” Even though I was frustrated, it was hard to truly be upset because I understand where he’s coming from.
INSPIKS shows up with How Great is Our God.
I didn’t take this photo for its photographic value…I don’t think it is a special photograph in the artistic meaning. I took it because of the spiritual value it holds to me.
Carole Gold gives us The Law of Surrender: Giving Up That Which You Desire.
There's an indescribable freedom that comes from letting go. I say this without hesitation because I spent decades trying to hold on to people and things or to control outcomes. Having given that up, I speak with certainty about the joy of surrender....a concept that engenders fear in so many of us and yet, ironically, is the only way to know and experience Life at its best... and as intended.
The Bible Archive asks us this "Should One Interpret Scripture?"
Anytime I’m in a discussion with just about any Christian outside of Protestantism, the proof text of 2 Peter 1:20 comes up. The person, hearing my explanation of a passage, claims that my interpretation of the text is not valid by itself—I need the authority of the Magisterium or the Early Fathers or Something. But is that what the verse is teaching—that any interpretation of the text is dependent on the totality of the Church (be it the historical Church or the body of teaching from the Church) over (and against) the individual?
damascusmoments presents us with Homophobia, religion and a radical alternative.
BBC News is debating an increase in homophobic violence on Britain’s streets. The story includes a comment by Michael Cashman MEP. .............Christians get a lot of stuff wrong, and unfortunately having a faith doesn’t prevent that. I’d say, unscientifically, that Christians mess up at least as much as (and possibly more than) other people. But the stuff-ups are our doing. They represent what’s wrong with us, not something wrong with Jesus. They’re the reason we need Jesus in the first place.
OLIN e-Book e-Publishing Blog hands us a post on The Evil Otherside. The link given to me didn't work so I had to search for the article, hopefully the link will work for you.
When we were kids, this was one of our most favorite times of the year! Candy on top candy until our stomachs turned to sugar. Everyone had candy galore, and it was for us-the kids! Wow talk about some fond memories. Unfortunately, today the fun of the season has been over-shadowed by the 'otherside'. You know the 'otherside', the real devil, demons, witchs, ghosts and so on.
In Him we live and move and have our Being grants us this article ...that they may be one as we are one.
Approximately 450 years after King Henry VIII split from Rome, the Vatican has paved the way for allowing disaffected Anglicans to join the Catholic Church. As a convert to the Catholic faith, I'm delighted to hear this news.
Stepping Out in Faith to the Nations deeds us with 11.02.09. Not an auspicious name for a post, but this post has a heart message.

The first time I watched Hotel Rwanda, I was not a Christian. I remember thinking, what a tragedy, then moving on with the usual daily thing. Things of this magnitude did not affect me much at all. I quickly forgot Rwanda.

I have been praying to God everyday to break my heart because I can be quite hard hearted. I watched Hotel Rwanda again today. It broke my heart intensely… Nearly 1 million people were murdered in just 100 days over race… :(

Culture wars: Foolish expectations is laid on us by Brain Cramps for God.

Point one of Jared Wilson's criticism of the "culture wars":

1. Its expectation is foolish.

Whether you believe America was ever a Christian nation or not, it is theologically naive and demonstrably false to think laws or policies make anyone a Christian. You cannot create or recapture a people for Christ by illegalizing sin. (Which, by the way, is not to say that certain sins shouldn’t be illegal. It is only to say that, for instance, outlawing gay marriage or repealing Roe v. Wade won’t make anybody a Christian, much less make America “a Christian nation.”)
In my opinion, the expectations are not just foolish because they are about the kingdom of world instead of the Kingdom of God -- they are foolish because the struggles against abortion and gay marriage are not going to succeed even on a secular level.
Boston Bible Geeks passes out this post entitled Why is David a "man after God's own heart"?
In preparing for my own teaching, I’ve been listening to some more lectures from Dr Douglas Stuart’s OT Survey course, provided free by Biblical Training. He has one lecture in particular called Three Kings, contrasting David with Saul and Solomon. In it, he argues that when the Bible says, “The LORD has sought out for himself a man after his own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14), it is referring to David not being a syncretist, unlike the other two.
How Do You Handle Counsel? is the question of the day for He Speaks to me.
How many times have you (or I) said, “Thank you” not just to God, but to the person or persons, the reprover, that He sends our way?
Christian Personal Finance gives us Finding the Will of God for Your life.
If you have goals and dreams as I do, it’s very important that you know how to first recognize them as God’s will for your life and then how to make them become reality.
Who Am I? presents Another Budding Thespian in the Family.
My youngest son was selected last winter to play the part of Winthrop in a Sikeston Little Theatre production of “The Music Man.” It was his first play. He had always been a little shy, so I wasn’t sure how well he would handle being in the spotlight.
Jesus: the Fulfillment of the Law is donated by
Jesus took great care to present the manner of his work as something which built upon that which God had already revealed.
Crossroads shows up with Weeds of Apostasy.
The evangelical church today is in terrible shape because they have basically allowed years of weeds to grow, thus turning the movement into a kind of graveyard. If they had cut the weeds out when they appeared instead of allowing and rationalizing why they needed to be there, I think we would have a much better church on the whole than we have now.
The Organ and The Tramp consigned by Jevlir Caravansary. An analogy that I can't pull a snippet from ... so just go read it. Think!

For his Glory grants this Eagle or Seagull?
I was driving past a dump the other day. It was a windy day and above the dump were hundreds of seagulls "soaring" around the dump. I began thinking in my mind about the differences between a seagull and eagle and I began to wonder how we as Christians actually tend to live.
Free Money Finance shows up with How Tithing Can Transform You.
As regular readers know, I've written a ton about tithing (more on that later). So when I ran into this summary of the book Tithing: Test Me in This that listed how tithing can transform you -- I had to run with it. Here are the ways they say tithing can change you:
Discussion Grounds has this post Letter 1 to Thinking Christian. I had no idea how to pull a snippet from this so....if you want to enter into the discussion do so. I wasn't sure what to think quite honestly, so I may go back after I've thought a while.

Birth Control, Global warming and the bible is given to us by Old Testament and Ecology.
A month or so ago, there was a story about a British report that birth control could save us from global warming. At least that’s what some talk radio host’s labeled it. In reality, the report was a little more reasoned than those talk radio host’s want you to believe. The premise in the report is that, “the world’s population is projected to jump to 9 billion by 2050, with more than 90 percent of that growth coming from developing countries.” That may or may not be the case, but for the sake of argument I will grant that premise.
Christian Universities shows up with 20 Incredible Iphone Apps for Christian Evangelists.
With more problems and followers than time, many Christian evangelists are finding out that their iPhone can be used for much more than phone calls. Below are the top 20 incredible iPhone Apps for Christian evangelists. The apps can help with prayer, Bible study, productivity, and much more.
Parableman gives us Eggs as Persons.

Pro-lifers are trying to pass an initiative defining human organisms as persons all the way back to conception. Opponents of the initiative apparently can't think of a better way to oppose this than to call it the "eggs-as-persons" initiative. I would have thought they'd be smart enough to know the biological difference between a conceptus and a mere egg. Or maybe they just think the voting public is stupid enough not to know the difference.

Pizza, Beer and the Glory of God is bestowed by Lessons Learned While Being Still.
But, I believe the underlying question John Piper was addressing in his message is this: what do we live for? What do we spend our lives in pursuit of? Unfortunately, too many times the answer is not the glory of God, but rather a long list of meaningless things.
My own post this week from Fish and Cans is a bit of fluff. It's been going on three weeks now of illness is this house and this made me laugh. Sometimes laughter is a good thing. :)