Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Finished Hit the Bullseye

So while on vacation I did a lot of reading, and I managed to finish reading Hit the bullseye.

What did I like?
  • focus on team-building
  • the helping pastors deal with really difficult members of their congregations
  • the addition of mentoring groups
    • pastors have support groups
    • pastors have mentors
    • staff is trained to support pastors in doing their job
  • emphasis on outward looking in their congregation -
    • actually doing the great commission,
    • making the congregation responsible for action as well
  • the focus on the pastor as the equipper and teacher of the congregation
  • emphasis on the denomination helping it's churches be outward focused
    • pared down the staff so they only paid for what they needed to pay for
    • pared down the services/departments so they could focus on what they needed to
    • used their money wisely
    • development of a really good resource centre that all churches could use
    • the "lets suspend for three years" the old way of doing things and just try this "new way of doing things".....reduces the fear levels of people because the old way of doing things is still an option.
What didn't I like?
  • if your church doesn't grow numerically, the pastor is ignored
  • if you don't want to change (or do things our way), the pastor is considered unimportant
  • the focus on doing things in a business-like manner
  • the lack of consideration of how important families are
  • the extreme focus on team-building
  • the extreme focus on...if the church is not growing numerically...it's all the pastors fault
I think what bothered me the most was the emphasis on the pastor being the one who was to blame for all things.

If the church didn't grow...it's the pastors fault.
If the church didn't change it's way of doing things...it's the pastors fault.
AND since it's the pastor's fault....we won't help him OR consider him important if change isn't forth-coming.

The pastor HAS to be a forceful leader according to this book.

I'm not so sure that it's a biblical approach.
In the NT testament we find pastors working together with their congregations, we find Paul encouraging people to support their leaders, we see joint ministry.

What we don't see is....do it my way.
What we see is pleading, encouragement, guidance and teaching.

So, this book ended up being an interesting read. I had to think about what the author was saying and see if ..despite the negatives that I didn't like and cropped up continually (which made me not want to read it), there were good things in it that deserve to be considered.

IF the RCA denomination as a whole actually wants to do its 10 year goal....what it is really doing to help the individual congregations to do that?

The American baptist church in one region said hey...we want to grow ... and they did everything it could to enable that. They suspended their regular way of doing things so that they could literally POUR all the money it possibly could, into evangelism, leadership training, development of good support staff and so forth.

I don't see the RCA doing that at all. In fact it adds things...like a 3 year dialogue on homosexuality. It adds more demands for cash from the congregations for operational expenses.

Quite frankly, if our denomination it would follow the lead of the ABC in the handling of money, development of good regional resource centres and pastor mentoring/support, it would go along way to easing some of the pains in our denomination right now.

If people actually focused on doing the great commission....all these other worries would fall to the way side. If we were really concerned about the needs of "joe neighbours" soul...our concerns about feminism, gay rights, social issues, and the like would be so much lessened. We'd be more likely to do being what God wants us to do. GOD wants us to be out there doing the business that HE set out for us to do. We are to
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
(Matthew 28:19-20 ESV)

Monday, August 21, 2006


So we're off for a week to Toronto.

We'll visit "the Ex", possibly go to the zoo, visit some friends and just relax.

The dogs are at my mom-in-law's for the week so they are vacationing as well.

This holiday week will indeed be a holiday week.

We'll see you again on the other side......

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Hit the Bullseye by Paul D. Borden

So my hubbie is reading this book and was chatting about it to me the other day. What he said made me think I should check this book out a bit. Must admit..I have NOT read very far in it. But this paragraph caught my attention. The author was talking about how we often invest a lot in the terminology we use. He gave this example:

Our understanding of what shepherds are to be and do, in our congregations, is far more romantic than who shepherds were and what they did in biblical times. Shepherds were entrepreneurs who raised sheep for their livelihood, for food and clothing. Good shepherds led their sheep into green pastures and by still waters in order to obtain three results. They sheared the sheep (not fleeced the flock), ate the sheep, or mated them for reproduction. Sheep were led into zones of comfort in order to be prepared for zones of discomfort. In other words, sheep were expected to produce a profit for the shepherd. The shepherd took care of the sheep, not for the sheep's benefit but for the shepherd's needs. In congregational life our declining institutions think that shepherds take care of the sheep for the sheep's benefit, rather than to benefit the Chief Shepherd by accomplishing God's mission. The paradox of Christianity is that sheep are most fulfilled when they are risking life for the Chief Shepherd rather than being pampered by appointed shepherds.

I have to admit...it's a bit of shift in thinking.

Too many people go to churches because...this one has good programming, that one has a good preacher, this one gives me things I can do because I like doing things, that one has great videos and their library is to die for... and so on and so forth.

Too many churches and preachers think they need to cater to the wants of their congregations....too often the great commission is ignored through meeting the differing desires of the congregations.

If this book is filled with more such comments it should be a good read...but if like my hubbie tells me...it has some good lines, but then it takes it in a ...not sure if it's a biblical turn... then it will be a thought-provoking read..but necessarily a good read.

Time will indeed tell.

Friday, August 18, 2006

I Corinthians 11

I don't know about you, but when I read passages like this I'm not sure what to do with them.

2Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you. 3But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. 4Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, 5but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head--it is the same as if her head were shaven. 6For if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head. 7For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. 8For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. 9Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. 10That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 11Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; 12for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God. 13Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a wife to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, 15but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. 16If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God.

I understand the headship principle. Men were made first (Adam) and then women were made (Eve). Eve was made because
But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.(genesis 2:20c-22)

What I wonder about it the whole....head covering showing you are under another's authority thing. Several of the commentaries I looked at, mentioned how this was a cultural thing. It was a thing done in eastern countries.

And maybe so... BUT is that the only answer? It was a thing done back then but isn't now because our culture is different OR is there a spiritual thing here that is being missed?

How do I as a Christian woman show that my hubbie is my authority. It's a biblical position that he is in. How do I show it?

How do I show that I am the "glory of my husband" as he is the "glory of God"?

I hate hats...don't ask me to wear one. So that ain't happening. I'd be just fine shaving my head... BUT... my hubbie wouldn't be so that's out. So what do I do with passages like this?

and then Paul throws this into the mix "Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God."

We know from other scripture that God doesn't look for man-made differences in us. There is no slave or free, no greek or jew, and so forth. And we know that God creates all things. Everything is inter-connected... so no one can flaunt or be prideful about who they think they are. But that doesn't change the general principle here does it? That God made man, and then he made woman to be a help meet for that man. Men are to be heads of the household, they are examples of how God shows his love to the church, and women are examples to show how the church is to respond to God.

So should I show that I heed the authority of my husband?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Am I surprised? NOT!

You scored as Calvin. You are John Calvin. You have a Nestorian Christology and separate the Divinity and Humanity of Jesus. You believe only those who have faith are united to Christ, who is present spiritually, yet you call this "Real."











Eucharistic theology
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I Corinthians 10 continued

Do you remember a couple of days ago how I wrote that I would feel "odd" to eat food that someone had left out for their "god" to eat?

Well...I just discovered there's a good reason for it!

Did you know that food left out for false gods is food left out for demons? yes! Demons!

Read this:
blockquote>19What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons. 21You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. 22Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?

Do you see it? If you don't give something to God, you know...the one and only True God...then you are giving it to demons... to Satan actually. This is why it is not a good idea to eat food that others leave out for their "gods". If you eat it, you are eating something that has been offered to demons. Demons are NOT on the side of God. They are most definitely on the side of Satan.

As a believer you can't do both. You can't eat demon food and God's food.

Paul goes on to explain this better.
23"All things are lawful," but not all things are helpful. "All things are lawful," but not all things build up. 24Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.
Through Christ, we have freedom from the law. But just because we have that freedom, it doesn't mean that we can do whatever we want.

25Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience. 26For "the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof." 27If one of the unbelievers invites you to dinner and you are disposed to go, eat whatever is set before you without raising any question on the ground of conscience. 28But if someone says to you, "This has been offered in sacrifice," then do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for the sake of conscience-- 29I do not mean your conscience, but his. For why should my liberty be determined by someone else's conscience? 30If I partake with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of that for which I give thanks?

When we do stuff, we have to consider the ramifications of what we are doing. If we eat something that has been sacrificed to a demon (even if the other person thinks it has been offered to a "god") we need to consider what they are thinking AND we need what we are really doing. We need to remember that what we do has an impact on those around us. If we cheerfully eat food given to idols...that may give the impression that we agree with the practice. We DON"T want to do that. It's one thing to eat at a non-believers house, to just have tea or dinner with them. It's another thing entirely if we eat food that they have told us has been offered up to their "god". Thanks to Matthew Henry's commentary for helping me get a better handle on this passage.
31So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, 33just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved
Pual concludes this chapter reminding us that we are to do all things in order to bring glory to God. It's actually the only thing that really counts.

Are we giving glory to God? Are we being non-offensive to non-believers and believers alike so that more people can be brought to faith in Christ? Are we being pleasing to those around us so they can see the glory of God in us?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

I Corinthians 10

When you are tempted to sin, what is your response?

Do you fight it? Whine about it? Give into it? What is your response to it?

If you fight it, how do you go about doing so?
Do you use strategies that you've developed to help you not give in to the temptation?
Do you pray about it and let nature take it's course?
Or what?

Me, well, I do the combination of fight, whine and give in. Depends on the day, depends on whether I'm tired, whether I've spent time with God, and so forth.

When I chose to fight, I used to only do things through my own power. It was like... I can beat this! I can make a good choice here. Somedays, man I tell you.... it was SUCH a battle to "do good".

I still have days when I want to do it all my own way. I have learned though, that it's WAY better to say God... I need help with this. God can you provide for me a way out? If I do that, if I seek God first ... then my abilities are enhanced for staying within his will.

How did I learn to do that? Through passages like the one I read today.

Check it out:
1I want you to know, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, 2and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3and all ate the same spiritual food, 4and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. 5Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

6Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. 7Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play." 8We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. 9We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, 10nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. 11Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. 12Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. 13No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
(emphasis mine)

I remember when I found this passage. I thought wow! I"m not in this alone. People have struggled against sin all along...and that's why all those passages where written down. So I could learn from them. So I could see how people continually had to turn to God for help.

God won't let you or me be tempted beyond what you or I can endure.
He will help us.
He will not leave us stranded in our sin.
He wrote the bible so that we could learn from the actions of other people how to live our Christians lives. Isn't that too cool? :)

All we need to know, to fight sin in our lives, to fight temptation, is to know God's word and to call upon him in times of struggle. He will help, regardless. :)

Monday, August 14, 2006

I Corinthians 8

I was reading this passage this morning:

1Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that "all of us possess knowledge." This "knowledge" puffs up, but love builds up. 2If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. 3But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.

4Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that "an idol has no real existence," and that "there is no God but one." 5For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth--as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords"-- 6yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.

7However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, through former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. 8Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. 9But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. 10For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol's temple, will he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? 11And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. 12Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. 13Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.

I have to admit. I don't "get" the idea of leaving food out for your "god" to eat. Doesn't make any sense to me. I seen pictures of people leaving the food out before their household "gods" but it just seems silly to me. Like who eats it? The idol certainly doesn't...it's made out of wood or stone or ????? So, if the food isn't gone, what do people make of it? I know they do it with the idea of appeasing their "god", so if the food isn't eaten, does that mean that their "god" is mad at them still? Just doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

But on the other hand.... If someone where to offer me the food that was placed before the idol I would feel odd eating it. And I'm not sure why. Well, maybe... I think it's that I wouldn't want to offend someone. The people with all sincerity, placed the food there before that idol, and I were just to eat it, I would be making a mockery of what they believe.

I know that what they believe is wrong, but would it be right to make a mockery of it? So then how would I approach that type of situation. I wouldn't want to give the impression that I was honouring their "god" by not eating it, but also don't want to mock their faith BUT at the same time I do want to say...this is wrong, you are believing falsely and excersing all this energy into some "belief" that will not attain you the end that you desire.

So I know that this really isn't what Paul is talking about in this passage.

What Paul is talking about it .... don't do something in your walk with the Lord, even if YOU know it's okay to do, if it causes another true believer in the Lord to stumble in his walk.

For instance, if I think it's okay to scrapbook on Sunday afternoons, but it seriously causes another person to have troubles in their relationship with God, then I MUST stop scrapbooking on Sunday. It's as simple as that. I need to act in a why that helps other people in their relationship with God, not hinders them.

I picked scrapbooking as an example because
1. it doesn't cause other people to work on Sunday
2. it's a quiet at home type of thing that I do while the rest of the house is quiet
3. it focuses me on my family andgives me think about what I want to do as a mom-mom raising my boy and caring for my hubbie and
4. it is my God-given duty at this stage in my life.

I can't keep scrapbooking on Sundays simply because I know it's okay. That makes me a puffed up person who doesn't care about the larger family of God 'because I KNOW BETTER' kind of attitude. That is not what we are called to. We are called to care about our brothers and sisters in Christ.

It doesn't mean that I can't spend time with that person helping them to grow in their relationship to God. In fact, I'm actually encouraged to do so, since it means that (generally speaking) that they are misunderstanding something about God and being in relationship with him. It doesn't mean that at some point that struggling believer will understand things differently, and see that we have freedom in the Lord, and that we don't need to be bound by rules of expectation. We just need to be bound by the laws of God. Sometimes people don't understand the difference between the two.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Here is a news article I found about my second cousin

Boy, 12, dies in go-cart mishap

Youth is hit by tractor on country road


KURTZVILLE, ONT. (Aug 12, 2006)

A 12-year-old Palmerston boy died yesterday only metres from his grandmother's house after the go-cart he was riding in was hit head-on by a tractor.

The victim, Alex Van Oostveen, was celebrating his 12th birthday and visiting his grandmother in Kurtzville at the time of the crash.

The collision happened at about 4:15 p.m. on Perth Line 88 near the intersection of Line 178.

The boy was riding around the yards of several neighbouring houses in a homebuilt motorized go-kart, said Perth OPP Const. Glen Childerly.

The go-kart pulled out onto the shoulder of the highway and was crushed by a tractor pulling two grain trailers, Childerly said.

"The front end of the tractor collided with the go-kart and it was dragged," he said. "It hit almost straight on . . . The tractor then rolled onto the lawn of a residence."

North Perth firefighters and emergency crews arrived a short time later and an air ambulance from London was summoned.

CPR was performed at the scene, but the air ambulance was called off before it landed. The boy was taken to Listowel Memorial Hospital by land ambulance where he died, police said.

The boy was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, but his injuries were too severe, police said.

The tractor wasn't travelling fast, but the nearly 3,000-kilogram load of wheat it was pulling made stopping quickly impossible, police said. The driver of the tractor was not injured.

Yesterday evening, the tractor remained on its side on the front lawn of a home, the crushed cherry-red go-cart under its wheels.

Solemn neighbours filed past, some shaking their heads at the scene.

The roadway is generally quiet, they said, but this time of the year traffic picks up as farmers bring in their crops.

"It's wheat harvest season and there's a lot of farmers taking their wheat to the mill up the road," said Murray Williams, who lives around the corner from the scene of the collision. "It gets pretty busy."

Police were continuing their investigation.


found online at "the record" at this address.

Please Pray

My mom phoned yesterday, and I learned a bit more today.

I have a second cousin, 12 years old, who has just passed away.

He was at his Oma's (grandmother) house celebrating his 12th birthday. He was riding around on a cart, having blast with a neighbour boy, waiting for his mom to pick him up after work.

And he got in front of a tractor with two grain wagons behind. The tractor couldn't stop. There would be no way he could have stopped with two full grain wagons behind him.

His grandmother rushed out to see what happened and found him dying.

The medical people say that he died on impact.

Visitation is Monday and Tuesday with the funeral on Wednesday. Two of his uncles are ministers and will be doing the service. It will be tough.

Please, if you would, keep his family in your prayers.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Names and more names

As you know, I read through the bible following a chronological path. It is sent to me via email from these folks. This morning I read from Chronicles and Corinthians. I have to admit, I'm not enamored with Chronicles. It to me, is just a long list of names. I have to be determined to read it in order to get through. But as I was reading I came across this line in I Chronicles 2:7 "The son of Carmi: Achan, the troubler of Israel, who broke faith in the matter of the devoted thing;" This made me wonder. I generally know the story of Achan, He's the fellow who did something wrong in the aftermath of battle and got himself and his family killed for it, but I hadn't thought of him as "The troubler of Israel" and as the one "who broke faith in the matter of the devoted thing". So I thought I'd look that story up again.

I found this synopsis here.
Achan ...called also Achar / Meaning: one who troubles.

This man was named in in remembrance of his crime (1 Chr. 2:7), which brought upon him an awful destruction (Josh. 7:1). When Jericho fell, he seized, contrary to the divine command, an ingot of gold, a quantity of silver, and a costly Babylonian garment, which he hid in his tent.

Joshua was convinced that the defeat which the Israelites sustained afterwards at Ai was evidence of God's judgment of some crime. He at once cast lots to discover the criminal. It was then found that Achan was guilty, and he was stoned to death in the valley of Achor. He and all that belonged to him were then consumed by fire, and a heap of stones was raised over the ashes.

Here's the story as per scripture.
Joshua fought the battle of Jericho. As normal, looting is part of the conquest. God told the people through Joshua that they could take what they wanted but was we read in Joshua 6:18"
But you, keep yourselves from the things devoted to destruction, lest when you have devoted them you take any of the devoted things and make the camp of Israel a thing for destruction and bring trouble upon it. 19But all silver and gold, and every vessel of bronze and iron, are holy to the LORD; they shall go into the treasury of the LORD."

In Joshua 7:1 we read that "But the people of Israel broke faith in regard to the devoted things, for Achan the son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of the devoted things. And the anger of the LORD burned against the people of Israel."

Because of ONE man's sin, God's anger burned against Israel. God said, don't do this thing. You can have anything else that you want, but you take this...you might end up being devoted to them instead of to me. He told them this for their own protection.

So God's response was simple. When Joshua sent men to attack a town that they should have been able to conquer...they were soundly defeated! Joshua 7:2-5 "
2Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth-aven, east of Bethel, and said to them, "Go up and spy out the land." And the men went up and spied out Ai. 3And they returned to Joshua and said to him, "Do not have all the people go up, but let about two or three thousand men go up and attack Ai. Do not make the whole people toil up there, for they are few." 4So about 3,000 men went up there from the people. And they fled before the men of Ai, 5and the men of Ai killed about thirty-six of their men and chased them before the gate as far as Shebarim and struck them at the descent. And the hearts of the people melted and became as water."

Joshua asked God Why? Why did this happen? v.7-9 "Alas, O Lord GOD, why have you brought this people over the Jordan at all, to give us into the hands of the Amorites, to destroy us? Would that we had been content to dwell beyond the Jordan! 8O Lord, what can I say, when Israel has turned their backs before their enemies! 9For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear of it and will surround us and cut off our name from the earth. And what will you do for your great name?" Do you see Joshua's concern? Israel has been defeated, other nations will hear of it, and God's name iwill be sullied! Joshua does not want God's great name to be called into question. He knows that every victory they have shows God's glory.

Hmm... makes me think of how when as Christians we have victory over sin in our lives, that God's glory is seen. If we truly know God, we know that we can't get past our sins without God's help. So when we do have victory over sin...all the Glory goes to God. It shows his great name. :)

On with the tale ....
The Lord tells Joshua that sin is the problem. That "they have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen and lied and put them among their own belongings." (v.11) and that since they have done this "They turn their backs before their enemies, because they have become devoted for destruction." (v.12)

The Lord tells Joshua...get up, consecrate the people, know that you (the people) will be judged. This judgement will happen tribe by tribe, then clan by clan, then household by household, and then man by man. "And he who is taken with the devoted things shall be burned with fire, he and all that he has, because he has transgressed the covenant of the LORD, and because he has done an outrageous thing in Israel.'" (v.15)

It was done just as the Lord said..."And he brought near his household man by man, and Achan the son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken." Achan was the guilty party!

Joshua asked him what he did (gave him a chance to make confession).
"And Achan answered Joshua, "Truly I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and this is what I did: when I saw among the spoil a beautiful cloak from Shinar, and 200 shekels of silver, and a bar of gold weighing 50 shekels, then I coveted them and took them. And see, they are hidden in the earth inside my tent, with the silver underneath." (v20-21)

Achan looked at what he shouldn't have. He coveted. He took. He hid it. And for that...God's anger was kindled. Israel lost a battle. And he lost his life. He was stoned and then burned up. The element among them that was devoted to destruction was itself destroyed. And the Lord God turned from "his burning anger". (v.26)

The valley that Achan was stoned in was called "Vally of Achor" which means trouble.

So Achan was linked with trouble because he wanted something he shouldn't have. That God had specifically warned the people against. And punishment followed, not only for himself, but for the people that he belonged to.

Hmmm....as I think about this, I think about the wilful sins that people commit now-a-days...particularly people who belong to God. Do people really think that there won't be repercussions to their actions?

Because of Achan thousands of Israelis died.
What will our sin do?

I look at the sin of the synod meeting to do work on Sunday instead of taking it as a day of rest. What will this mean to our denomination? Will people die? Will people perhaps lose faith? Will the denomination die? This denomination is in a "dialogue" to discuss same-gender relationships and what to do with them. Why? So we can see it as okay? So that we can learn how to minister to these folks? If it's the latter...why do we need three years to figure it out? Just let folks know..it's sin, God can redeem you from it, and we as a group of believers can walk with you through the process. We don't need three years of dialogue to know the answer to that. What will God's response be to this?

Look at what happens to the church when a pastor wilfully sins.... especially if he is caught out with it? The church fragments. People look at christians and think...ah..we don't want to be like them? Just what kind of 'god' do they serve?

We must not as Christians do things that impunge the great name of our Lord. The Lord our God will respond. We must bring him glory...if not...what will our Lord's response be?

More In-Depth

For those of you who are interested in more in-depth study. My hubbie is currently going through the book of First Corinthians. He has the ability to be more in-depth in a really clear way. So if you'd like to know First Corinthians better, feel free to check out his blog here.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

A New Pet

Courtesy of a commentor at The Upward Call, I found this cute guy.

adopt your own virtual pet!

Monday, August 07, 2006

First Corinthians

I have just started reading from First Corinthians.

In Chapter one we learn that Paul is writing to the church in Corinth.
He pleads with them not to have divisions among them. I found it interesting in that I was reading these words in Psalms just before I read Corinthians. Psalm 34 says:
1Behold, how good and pleasant it is
when brothers dwell in unity!
2It is like the precious oil on the head,
running down on the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
running down on the collar of his robes!
3It is like the dew of Hermon,
which falls on the mountains of Zion!
For there the LORD has commanded the blessing,
life forevermore.

The Lord God likes it when his people are one. and in Corinthians we find Paul pleading with the church there not to be divided over whose teaching they follow. They are merely to follow after Christ. We are baptized into Christ, not into Paul or Cephas or whoever performed the act of the baptism...we are baptized into Christ alone.

Paul then starts to talk about how "For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. " People who don't know God don't understand the importance of Christ's death. It is meaningless to them, they think of it as foolishness. Like why die for someone...particularly someone you don't know. They think that when they see Christ's death. But those of us who KNOW God, who follow Christ, know that it isn't foolishness. It is God's mercy poured out upon us sinners.

God "chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God." Do you see it? Do you see what God did? He choose us. And then he protects us from our own arrogance by making it obvious that he did it all. God works through our foolishness and weakness to show his wisdom and power.

All our boasting is to be done in the Lord!

Paul continues this theme in Chapter two. He just expands on it a bit.

I have to admit... I like this line (Ch2.9)
"What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him"--

I can't even imagine what God is going to do next. Even my wildest, craziest, best visions aren't anything to compare with what God has ALREADY prepared for me (and for all others who love him). It's a comfort and a hope.

God reveals to me what I need to know. He works through my frailties to show his Glory. I just think it's amazing how God puts it all together.

All the praise be to him.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Our Help is in the Name of the Lord

Have you read this psalm lately? I read it this morning, and from verse 2 on I found myself substituting things in my life. I found myself seeing the goodness of the help of the Lord.

Psalm 124

A Song of Ascents. Of David.

1If it had not been the LORD who was on our side--
let Israel now say--
2if it had not been the LORD who was on our side
when people rose up against us,
3then they would have swallowed us up alive,
when their anger was kindled against us;
4then the flood would have swept us away,
the torrent would have gone over us;
5then over us would have gone
the raging waters.

6Blessed be the LORD,
who has not given us
as prey to their teeth!
7We have escaped like a bird
from the snare of the fowlers;
the snare is broken,
and we have escaped!

8Our help is in the name of the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.

What I could substitute ..... A song of ascents of Annette....

1If it had not been the LORD who was on our side--
let Annette now say--
2if it had not been the LORD who was on my side
when circumstances of life rose up against me,
3then I would have swallowed up alive,
when things were crazier than I thought I could handle;
4then post-partum depression would have swept me away,
when yet another child was taken home early,
5then I could have been lost in a torrent of grief,
then I would have been no witness at all.

6Blessed be the LORD,
who has not given me
as prey to their teeth!
7I have escaped like a bird
from the snare of the fowlers;
the snare is broken,
and I have escaped!

8My help is in the name of the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.

I could write a whole lot more, but my mind is full of all that the Lord has helped me with. It just blows my mind sometimes when I see the Lord's goodness and mercy toward me.

MY help is in the name of the Lord.....what has he helped you with lately?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

India bans child workers

So I read this story and my initial thoughts were....cool! Fewer Child workers in India in potentially dangerous situations. At the same time I wondered...so what's wrong with them learning to clean rooms? Then I realized..would I want my child working long days cleaning hotel rooms or waiting on people?

As I thought about it abit more I thought...well....obviously from the lack of change, making new laws isn't going to really help those children at all is it?

As the article says "The ban takes effect Oct. 10, but its effectiveness remains to be seen. India already bars child labour in hazardous industries, but the rules are widely ignored and tens of thousands of children continue making matches, incense sticks and firecrackers and weaving carpets. According to government figures, nearly 13 million children work in India."

If the government isn't going to enforce the laws that it makes, what's the point? Is it merely public relations? Do they really want to make changes and just don't have the support to do so? OR is it that there are just so many poor families in India that they have to make money somehow? And having the children work is one way to survive? I don't know. I have to admit that I don't understand all the issues around this fact of child workers.

I am not opposed to children working. I find that I often meet children who don't work. Who's mothers wait on them hand and foot. I don't intend to be one of those mothers, but I see it all over the place. I also don't like the extremes of children working 8 hours a day either. I don't like children working to support their families...that's the role of the fathers. Children need to learn how to work, but they don't need to spend their time providing for families instead of learning, growing, maturing, and becoming people of good character. They need to learn who God is and how they can worship and serve him. Working for hours each day doesn't provide them good opportunities to do that.

What is the solution to India's issue of child workers? I don't know. Government support of poor families - i.e starting baby bonus in India like they have here in Canada? Teaching people to wait to start their families until they can provide for them? Enforcement of their own laws? Making the use of child labour socially repugnant? I have no answers. :) Just lots of thoughts.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

I like this I think

YouTube - New St. Andrews College/Logos School

I"ve been looking at different methods of homeschooling for the past bit.

I've seen this Triverium method before, and I like the concept behind it. I like that it makes sense to me. Each stage of learning builds on the one before it. I like the fact that the emphasis is on teaching people to think, not to know, but to think. I want Justin to know clearly how to think things through. To be able to reason from one point to another.

My hesitation is....
1. could I teach a language that I have no earthly clue about?
2. would I feel bound into something with no way of teaching around it?
3. how much does it cost?

Some of what I have looked it seems a bit cost prohibitive to me, but then again, I'm not entirely sure how cost prohibitive other methods might be.

Part of me likes the idea of building my own system of teaching. But I wonder if that would achieve the ends that I want to see.
What do I want for Justin at the end of homeschooing?
1. Confidence in his abilities to learn anything he wants to - being a thinking, logical person who knows how to ask the questions to get to where he wants to go.
2. Plain ability in math, english, science etc. That he knows the basics, and if he has the inclination or desire or ability that he can pursue further studies in the field of his choice.
3. To grow into a person of character, who knows who God is and that God is indeed God and worthy to be praised in all that he (Justin) does.

There are other things that tie into all of this, but this is, in a nutshell what I want the most for my boyo in his learning processes. I just need to figure out the best method for us as a family to achieve those ends.

Have any of you come up with a homeschooling plan that works for you? and how did you come to that decision?