Friday, August 31, 2007

Purge the evil person from among you

these verses are quite relevant I think for this day and age.
9I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13God judges those outside. "Purge the evil person from among you."
Paul was writing to the Corinthian church about things they were allowing to occur within the body of Christ. And they were proud about it! They even allowed the type of sexually immoral conduct that would give pagans pause!
1It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. 2And you are arrogant!
I read these words and I am caused to think of the church today. We allow some pretty nasty things in our churches. There's one church I read about that has even allowed an open atheist to be part of its membership. That to me makes no sense. And look at all the discussions on homosexuality that go on within churches and denominations. It's not right. Paul says, in essence, "STOP IT!" (Thinking of the Newhart counselling video)

But what really struck me with this passage was the injunction to not judge those in the world around us. That's not our job. It's GOD'S job. Just as we learned a few days back that God sees the heart (we don't). God is also the one who sees those outside the church. Our part of this job is to not associate with those who claim the label Christian and yet act very contrary to God's word.

So what then does that mean? We don't worship with them, we don't celebrate the Lord's supper with them, we don't let them serve on committees or teach Sunday School and so forth. It does not mean that we turn our backs on them walking down the street, or that we can't enjoy them as people. The whole purpose of not associating with them (bringing them under discipline) is to reunite them with Christ. Love them as people created in the image of Christ, but don't let those "non-believers who claim the name Christian" be a part of the body of Christ. Draw the line and say struggling with sin is good, it's part of life, but living in sin, living deliberately with what you know is contrary to God's will is not.

We need to do this! The world is watching us. If we allow people within our body to live wrongly, we are giving the world something to censure us for. THAT is not our task. We are, I am, to be, an example of Christ to the world. A king's child, called to a higher way of life. Let's live that way and hold our sisters and brothers accountable to the same.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

We Got our books! :)

Our books from the Desiring God Sale arrived today. YEAH!!!! :)

For Justin:
Most of All Jesus Loves you.

For me:
Faithful Women and their extraordinary God
Devotions for Ministry Wives

For Jim:
Suffering and the Sovereignty of God
Life as a Vapor
Future Grace
The Dangerous Duty of Delight
Preaching the cross
Battling Unbelief
What Jesus Demands of the world

For us:
Building strong families
Recovering biblical manhood and womanhood

My Parents:
Suffering and the Sovereignty of God

Now comes the "fun" of entering these books into our library and labeling them all.

Oh..and of course the reading! :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

My Health - Plantar Fasciitis

Okay, so I've been diagnosed with Plantar Fasciitis.

I have to wear something on my feet ALL the time. This shall kill me. :) I HATE wearing stuff on my feet. Absolutely detest it. My feet get hot, they get itchy, it's a bother, i get more clumsy and so forth. ARGH!!!!!! I don't wanna! (yes, it's my blog I am allowed to occasionally whine).

I get to do exercises. I even found a couple of pages on line that describes some of them. It's here and here.

I have to make an appointment to get a CT scan of my lower back as my back problem has been nasty for the last three months. I need to go in for an x-ray of the same as well. Neither has been booked yet.

I've been told to take a tylenol or something for pain every night as well, as being able to rest really well will help. ARGH... don't like that either. I'll give it some thought tonight about what I want to take. Forgot to take something last night, but I slept fair well so not to concerned about it.

Oh... there is one good thing about this all. Jim has had this too so HE has given me decent advice about it all which is way cool. :)

Ah well..... one must indeed trust the medical professionals as much as possible right? I still feel very ARGH inside about it all.

Friday, August 24, 2007

A new King

Reading this morning in 1 Samuel 16 about where David is chosen of God to be the next King of Israel. Note Saul is not dead yet. He is still alive and doing relatively well.

God is straight-forward with Samuel, asking him how long he will be sad about how things have gone with Saul. In fact, he says Samuel, get over to Jesse's place because I have chosen who the next King of Israel is to be.

Samuel of course is somewhat unsure about that... how can I go? If Saul finds out, I'm a dead man! I read that, and thought, how like us, how like me..... to know that we should obey God right off, but finding reasons not to do so.

God, as he does, provided the perfect excuse for Samuel. Just say that you are there to offer a sacrifice to me. Read it here:
2And Samuel said, "How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me." And the LORD said, "Take a heifer with you and say, 'I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.' 3And invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do. And you shall anoint for me him whom I declare to you." 4Samuel did what the LORD commanded and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling and said, "Do you come peaceably?" 5And he said, "Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the LORD. Consecrate yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice." And he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.
All these boys of Jesse came to Samuel, and as they passed, Samuel would see what nice lads they were and thought to himself, this is the one. But God would say no
"Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart."
This is something I need to learn to do better. To see as God sees. To not just see the outside stuff, but to search the heart - well, at least as best I can. :)

All the boys until there were none left. Samuel asked Jesse, are there any other boys? And discovered that yes, the youngest was out watching the sheep.
And Samuel said to Jesse, "Send and get him, for we will not sit down till he comes here." 12And he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was handsome. And the LORD said, "Arise, anoint him, for this is he." 13Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers.
David, the youngest of the lot, not the one who would have first been chosen by Samuel, but he was the boy that God wanted to be King.

Most of us reading will know the story of David, and how he became the best King that Israel had. For those of us who don't know the story of David, I invite you to read through the Old Testament - Psalms, Samuel, Kings and so forth. Read of this man who loved God passionately. This man who sinned significantly but loved greatly.

Monday, August 20, 2007


My boy made me laugh.

After a busy three days of volunteering at the nationals for the AAC (boy I had fun). I saw some really, really good runs. I saw some.... okay...this run is not so .... well... not so good. :) I heard comments of... but "AH!!!! My dog is 9.5 years old and has never been a tunnel suck! Why is she a tunnel suck today?!!!!!" and "I'm really happy with how he ran that course" (handler talking about her dog) and "nice run". Comments of "thank you for volunteering" where much appreciated as well.

Anyways, I stopped in at my parents to pick up Justin. As we were getting ready to go home, I asked Justin if there was anything he wanted to bring with him.

He immediately responded with "Oma, Oma coming?"

Made all three of us adults just laugh.

You'd almost thing this boyo had a good time at his Papa's and Oma's house. :)

Disappointment and Sadness

So yesterday morning I went to a church that I used to attend as a 20 something year old. It is part of the same denomination I am in now.

I left feeling saddened and VERY disappointed.
Jim called and asked me my thoughts of the church service and my first response to him was I would not choose to attend this church. That the sermon didn't make sense. That I liked his preaching way better.

Numbers wise about the same number as what go to our church. Many more children which was really nice to see. A pastor that greets newcomers (have to admit, as a visitor I really liked that personal touch), and who has obvious expectations for his church (to be the fastest growing church) - which I wasn't so keen on as churches shouldn't be in competition with each other and that's how his statement seemed to me.

I have always disliked children being sent out of the service, and this church does that. It does, I think, a disservice to both children and adults when they are sent out. Though perhaps in this case, they might have actually learned something more than they would have in the service.

I know, that sounds awful doesn't it?

I DO NOT fear for the Christians in this church that are well-established in their faith. I don't. They can wait this pastor out. But newbie Christians? Oh my...they are NOT learning the true word of God here. They aren't, at least if this service is true to how things are in this church and from reports from older members there, it is. So are they Christians? or are they thinking they are Christians while believing a lie ever so carefully hidden?

I was telling my parents that
1. the sermon made no sense to the scripture
2. statements were made that were close to the truth but somehow rang in my head as "off". Could I always tell what was off? no, but I"m sure my Jim would have said right off the top of this head... THIS IS WRONG.

As I have pondered this I have these additional thoughts:
3. I felt "odd" in this church. Like I was sitting through something that was felt pretend, and that was so very sad to me.
4. half of the sermon felt "stolen" to me. Like I had heard these words used somewhere else, in a different context or something.

I'll take my church of old folks any day over a church filled with young folks because it doesn't feel pretend. I know that people truly do want to worship God here even if they struggle with it sometimes, it does feel real most Sundays.

I don't know, perhaps I am spoiled by having a pastor who preaches in a logical manner, whose passage ALWAYS fits the message that he preaches. He generally doesn't make me go "HUH?" And when he does, it is either my lack of attention OR he goes on to further explain what he means so the HUH? goes away. :)

But I am ever so disappointed and so sad for this church. Yes, it's profile has changed from being predominately old to be predominately younger. But at what cost? It's has lost some solid Christian members to other churches, it has gained youth, but the messages given is a bunch of slop. So in the end, has it really gained? What has it really gained?????

Thursday, August 16, 2007

AAC Nationals 2007

I am leaving Jim alone at home with our two dogs and other critters.

My boyo is going to visit Papa and Oma (my parents) for the weekend.

I am going to go play with other dogs and their people. Sassy would be SO jealous if she knew. :) I am staying with friends in Guelph overnight.

Held in Halton Hills, the agility association of Canada is having the 2007 national championships.

if you live in the area, feel free to drop by. It's a lot of fun, watching dogs having fun! :)

My schedule:
Your scheduled activities and shifts are:
· Friday August 17th, 2007
· 8:00 AM to 10:30 AM: Ring Crew - Ring 6
· 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM: Ring Crew - Ring 5
· 2:30 PM to 5:00 PM: Ring Crew - Ring 5
· Saturday August 18th, 2007
· 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM: Gate Steward - Ring 1
· 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM: Gate Steward - Ring 1
· 1:30 PM to 4:00 PM: Gate Steward - Ring 1
· Sunday August 19th, 2007
· 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM: Steeplechase Final Ring Crew
So I will be kept busy. :)
I am SO looking forward to it.

I get to watch good dogs run! :)

Highlight of the weekend will be steeplechase finale.

Israel Gets it's own Way

But we want to be like everyone else!

Common thing isn't it. To want to be like your neighbours, to have what they have, to be able to do what they do and such like. It's a common thing.

Israel was no different than we are. We are no different than Israel.
BUT like Israel we are supposed to be different, that is, if we love the Lord God.

God is our king. Wanting to be like everyone else, is a way of rejecting his kingship in our lives.

Israel, in 1 Samuel 7-8 wanted to be like the nations surrounding them. Predicated by the dislike of the Samuel's sons being judges over them, they came to Samuel and said
"Behold, you are old and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations."
Samuel was exactly thrilled with this news. He went to God with it, and God said
"Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. 8According to all the deeds that they have done, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you. 9Now then, obey their voice; only you shall solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them."
The people rejected God's kingship. They weren't rejecting Samuel, they were rejecting God.

Samuel warned the people what would happen if they chose to have a human king, but they refused to listen.

How often do I do this?
See what someone else is able to do and think to myself...I would like to do that. From shopping on Sundays, to running agility trials with my dog, to skipping church, to not praying at meal times or before bed or..... a whole host of things. Because no one else has to do these things! And they get to, so what's the big deal if I do it too?

Rather me-centered isn't it?
I want to do this. I want to do that.
My faith is in God is not to be me-centered. It is to be God-centered. Focused on who God is and what HE has done for me. All what I do is supposed to bring him praise and glory and showcase who he is. That is what Israel was to be.... a showcase of who God is and all he is and can be and so forth. They forgot that, I don't want to.

I will be away for the next couple of days at this event, so if you don't already know who was chosen, read on in Samuel to find out. :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Humiliation Meme (So i'm told)

Humiliation Meme

Oh, look, Jen has sent me another meme!Apparently this one has the potential for creating in one some humiliation. :) Gee... Thanks Jen. :)

So here goes..........

my worst post - My hubbie tends to think that my worst posts are the one that are sappy email posts. So... here's me picking one of them at random (actually it's the one he's complained about most recently). :) $20.

my best post - that's a hard one...but if I have to chose, it would be this one, My Girlie Rocks!

post on which I have changed my mind - don't really think there is one. I mostly blog on my devotions or my family, I add some of the emails that I get, but other than that, I don't tend to do a lot of extras. If I change my mind on something I read in the bible I call that growing more in knowledge and needing to refine my position as opposed to "changing my mind" so much.

my post that generated the most comments - this one. Kim had put out a call for dog pics so.... I answered that call. So thanks Kim for helping me generate comments. :)

Suffering, to complain or not

Last Sunday, Jim preached on some passage, 2 Corinthians I think, anyways, one of the things he mentioned was that when we complain in our suffering we are saying that God doesn't really know what he is doing. That has stuck like a burr in my head all week.

So when I read from Romans 5 this morning, these verses made me think about that again.
1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Do you see the result here of suffering? Suffering leads to endurance, which leads to character, which leads to hope. HOPE does not put us to shame because God's love has been given to us, POURED into us by the Holy Spirit.

So should I complain when I suffer? Even when my body is achy and sore and doesn't work the way I want it to? Absolutely not! In fact I should rejoice in it. This suffering has good side effects! :) I must say, it is hard to rejoice.... but to not rejoice means that I am not giving the glory to God in all things. And that too, is something that I am to do.

Being reminded of my fraility is not a bad thing. It does force me to do rely on God all the more. It does force me to be able to emphasize with others who are in pain. It does lead me to handle pain better and so on and so forth.

So!!! No more complaining! Just praise God and move forward. See the good! Rejoice in what I am learning, and what is being produced in me. :) yes, I know.... easy to day than to do, but I will learn and I will get better at it. :) God's help don'tcha know.

Run, Run, Prizes, Get Prizes!

For a couple of cute videos of my boy child, go here.

First one shows him with run, run, prizes, get prizes.
the second one is him deliberately running over his beloved "tagu".

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Gleanings from the Word of God

So I was reading through my devotional passages this morning, and when I finished I thought to myself, so what should I focus on?

My mind, being the tired mind that it is, couldn't resolve what most to focus on, so I have instead chosen to go with gleanings....short bits of insight from the passages that I read.

First up: 1 Samuel 4. This is a story about a battle between Israel and the Philistines.
3And when the troops came to the camp, the elders of Israel said, "Why has the LORD defeated us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD here from Shiloh, that it may come among us and save us from the power of our enemies." 4So the people sent to Shiloh and brought from there the ark of the covenant of the LORD of hosts, who is enthroned on the cherubim. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God.
I read that and thought, hmm.....God is being used as a good luck charm here. We lost so I wonder if our fortunes will change if we bring the covenant of God with us. The very act of bringing to covenant among them, and the good cheer that it raised, actually inspired the Philistines to fight harder. I found that interesting.

Then to read in Romans 4 what is the justification for faith. I may have worded that poorly. :) Abraham was not justified in faith for being circumcised, for doing 'good work' for God, or for any outward thing. He was justified because he believed and trusted in God. That was it. I really liked these lines:
20No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.
Those lines remind me of the importance of not wavering in my faith. Of my need to just hold to God despite the "stuff" around me. I need to remain fully convinced of God and his promises and HIS ability to carry me through. As I do this, I can praise God and give him the glory and that will help my faith to grow stronger. It's one of the good circle things. :)

In Jeremiah 42 we are reminded that our safety and security comes from God. Israel was used to running to Egypt for help when things got tough. God tells his people in this passage, don't go running off to Egypt. If you go there, bad things will happen to you BUT
10If you will remain in this land, then I will build you up and not pull you down; I will plant you, and not pluck you up; for I relent of the disaster that I did to you.
And then finally in Psalm 18 I read these closing words

46The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock,
and exalted be the God of my salvation—
47the God who gave me vengeance
and subdued peoples under me,
48who delivered me from my enemies;
yes, you exalted me above those who rose against me;
you rescued me from the man of violence.

49 For this I will praise you, O LORD, among the nations,
and sing to your name.
50Great salvation he brings to his king,
and shows steadfast love to his anointed,
to David and his offspring forever.

God is our salvation.

God is the one in whom we should put our trust.

All praise and glory and thanks belong to our God! It is him I put my trust. :)

Thursday, August 09, 2007


Yeah! Whooohoo! The kidney stone that my hubbie has been fighting with has passed through his system. It was NOT a happy time for him (that passing that is) but it is now a happy time for him (and he got to have a thoroughly good look at that little pain bearer).

For more on this topic, check out his blog, he has a pic of it posted too. Now if that doesn't fill you with eagerness to check it out, I don't know what will! :)

Thanks to all who prayed.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

My Birthday

Can you believe it?

Today is my birthday.

I have lived for 42 years.

Boy...have I learned alot. I ever have a lot to learn yet!

My mom and dad came up for lunch. Justin had a lot of fun playing with Papa and Oma.
Jim's had another kidney stone attack today so he's a bit under the weather.

We had three cheese hamburgers for lunch with corn on the cob. Cupcakes for dessert as per Justin's request. We all ate good.

No Scanner hooked up so I can't put in "this is my changing life" pics for your viewing pleasure. Hmm... perhaps a sigh of relief! :)

Cheers all!

I know that you believe.

Reading from Acts 26 this morning, finding Paul standing before Agrippa.

One of the most important people in that age, King Agrippa was deserving of respect. And Paul treats him that way. After receiving permission to state his defense, he begins this way:
2"I consider myself fortunate that it is before you, King Agrippa, I am going to make my defense today against all the accusations of the Jews, 3especially because you are familiar with all the customs and controversies of the Jews. Therefore I beg you to listen to me patiently.
Paul lists his credentials - people know who he is. They've known him since he was little, a Jew living among Jews. In fact...he became a Pharisee. But he is on trial because he believes in God! He believes indeed in Christ crucified. And he asks....

8Why is it thought incredible by any of you that God raises the dead?

That's a good question don't you think? Why is it so incredible to think that the God of the Old Testament who can do so many marvelous things, can raise the dead? God who created the earth, God who can take men to heaven without then dying first, God who can help his people win improbable battles etc. Why is it so incredible to think that he can raise people from the dead?

Paul preached Christ crucified and raised from the dead!

Paul somewhat understands the mindset of those persecuting him, afterall, he used to be one of them. He was very zealous for the cause.

9 "I myself was convinced that I ought to do many things in opposing the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10 And I did so in Jerusalem. I not only locked up many of the saints in prison after receiving authority from the chief priests, but when they were put to death I cast my vote against them. 11And I punished them often in all the synagogues and tried to make them blaspheme, and in raging fury against them I persecuted them even to foreign cities.

But then he learned differently, and Paul told the story of his conversion, wherein he states he purpose for which he now lives.
And the Lord said, 'I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. 16But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, 17 delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you 18 to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.'
So Paul is doing what he is supposed to be doing ... told by the Lord himself! And that is precisely what he has been doing since then.

Festus who was there with them, hearing Paul testimony, interrupted Paul's discourse saying :

"Paul, you are out of your mind; your great learning is driving you out of your mind."
Which leads to my heading ... Paul's rebuttal is that is he not out of his mind...and that he is speaking

true and rational words. 26For the king knows about these things, and to him I speak boldly. For I am persuaded that none of these things has escaped his notice, for this has not been done in a corner. 27King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe."
Agrippa knows this stuff. He knows it to be true. At least that is what Paul tells us.I read those words, and I often am I bold enough to use that argument. You know this is true, so why don't you believe it?

To be bold enough to say like Paul

I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day might become such as I am

I have a friend who is a lapsed catholic....reading this emboldens me to be able to say... ______, you know the bible is true, so what's stopping you from really believing it? Ah, to have the forthrightness to do so. Pray for me will you?

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Rechabites, an example

Jeremiah, a prophet, living in troubled times. Foreign nations attack the people of God. The people of God are not acting like the people of God. So what does God do? He gives them a tangible, right among them example of obedience. From Jeremiah 35 we learn about the Rechabites. I have to admit, though I've read through the bible more than once, I missed this section.

Who are the Rechabites? According to Wikepedia they are:
Rechabites - the descendants of Rechab through Jonadab or Jehonadab. They belonged to the Kenites, who accompanied the children of Israel into Palestine, and dwelt among them. Moses married a Kenite wife (Judg. 1:16), and Jael was the wife of "Heber the Kenite" (4:17). Saul also showed kindness to the Kenites (1 Sam. 15:6). The main body of the Kenites dwelt in cities, and adopted settled habits of life (30:29); but Jehonadab forbade his descendants to drink wine or to live in cities. They were commanded to lead always a nomad life. They adhered to the law laid down by Jonadab, and were noted for their fidelity to the old-established custom of their family in the days of Jeremiah (35); and this feature of their character is referred to by the prophet for the purpose of giving point to his own exhortation.
They obeyed. They were a people surrounded by cities, farms, wine drinkers etc. And this group within a group held to the ways that their father had set before them. They didn't get hung up on a mindset of "but everyone else is doing it". They simply obeyed.

This is what God wants his people to see. That simple straight-forward obedience.

It is what I need to see as well.

Monday, August 06, 2007


I know that I am perhaps treading on thin ground here, but when I read this passage from Judges this morning, it brought to mine the fighting that goes on within churches and denominations. It made me think how hard it is sometimes to fight for what is right.

Here in Judges 20 the men of Gibeah who were part of the tribe of Benjamin killed a man's concubine. They shouldn't done that.
4And the Levite, the husband of the woman who was murdered, answered and said, "I came to Gibeah that belongs to Benjamin, I and my concubine, to spend the night. 5 And the leaders of Gibeah rose against me and surrounded the house against me by night. They meant to kill me, and they violated my concubine, and she is dead.
This needed to be avenged, punished.

So by lot, the rest of Israel decided they would go up against these men and punish them for their actions. They didn't just willy-nilly decide to attack their brothers, the tribe of Benjamin, but rather went among them and asked them to give up the evil-doers.
12And the tribes of Israel sent men through all the tribe of Benjamin, saying, "What evil is this that has taken place among you? 13Now therefore give up the men, the worthless fellows in Gibeah, that we may put them to death and purge evil from Israel."
Benjamin refused to do so.
But the Benjaminites would not listen to the voice of their brothers, the people of Israel. 14Then the people of Benjamin came together out of the cities to Gibeah to go out to battle against the people of Israel.
Before Israel would fight Benjamin though, they went before the Lord.
18The people of Israel arose and went up to Bethel and inquired of God, "Who shall go up first for us to fight against the people of Benjamin?" And the LORD said, "Judah shall go up first."
The first day, Israel lost the battle.

The second day, they asked the Lord again, weeping at their losses
"And they inquired of the LORD, "Shall we again draw near to fight against our brothers, the people of Benjamin?" And the LORD said, "Go up against them."
Once again, the Lord said, go fight them. Once again, they lost the day's battle.
26Then all the people of Israel, the whole army, went up and came to Bethel and wept. They sat there before the LORD and fasted that day until evening, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD. 27And the people of Israel inquired of the LORD (for the ark of the covenant of God was there in those days, 28and Phinehas the son of Eleazar, son of Aaron, ministered before it in those days), saying, "Shall we go out once more to battle against our brothers, the people of Benjamin, or shall we cease?" And the LORD said, "Go up, for tomorrow I will give them into your hand."
The third day was the day of victory for Israel. Benjamin was thoroughly punished for harbouring evil within.

I read over this account and I just keep thinking, we can't harbour evil within us. Even if our losses are great, we need to keep fighting for the Lord. Israel fought for three days against Benjamin, losing great numbers of their men, but they continued to
  1. go before the Lord and ask what to do
  2. remain consistent in their regard for the Lord
  3. mourn their losses and
  4. continued the battle
Isn't this what we need to do today? To continually go before the Lord, prepared to fight for what he wants us too? Even if the battle is hard and we lose people in the battle, God's way is what we must fight for. We must keep fighting, but only as the Lord wants us to. Only HIS way will get us through.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


Update on Jim
- kidney stone has still not passed. Has times of REALLY bad pain. Was unable to preach today... that's always a good indicator of just how awful he feels because Jim LOVES to preach. :)

Bittersweet news.
- F. Scott Petersen of Ars Theologica lost his battle with cancer and has passed on to glory. A man that I enjoyed how he thought and learned from through his blog. To read more about it all, please visit the blog at Second Reformed Church.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Prosperity Gospel

I have to admit, I don't tend to follow trends in the church so much, unless I find myself directly impacted by them.

So while I hear of things, I don't always care about them unless they surprise me by creeping in somewhere. For instance, this whole Prayer of Jabez thing that goes around, or the prosperity gospel. To me that you the same thing. I am surprised when, what I consider a good church -- as in solid, evangelical, knows the word church, starts to espouse the principals of it. I often wonder, where are these folks coming from.

Why am I mentioning this? These thoughts came to my mind as I was reading in Jeremiah 29 this morning.
11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. 14I will be found by you, declares the LORD, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the LORD, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.
See how is says, believe in my fully and I will restore your fortunes?

People read that and think....oh...if I believe in God I will be rich! (which is what the prosperity gospel message teaches correct?) It seems to me that these different 'messages' that people preach from the gospel are just over-emphasis's on ONE part of the total message of God, and a lack of taking things into proper context.

Yes, when we believe in God our fortunes increase...we have GOD on our side. In the Old testament that often pointed to material possessions. Not always though, particularly if you look at the dependence and love that the David had for God in the Psalms.

So even if our material life seems really icky...our fortunes have still increased because now we have a way, a reason, a method for getting through those icky times. We know that God is working it all for good. Maybe not our immediate good, but for our long term good and for the long term good of our now extended family (that being the family of God).

God tells the people in Jeremiah... believe in me. Pray to me. Seek after me, you will find me. Don't listen to false teachers. Hear me, says God.
"You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart."
Don't settle for anything less than all of God. Just don't do it.

for a boyo having fun.. go here :)

We interrupt this devotional moment to point to you some fun pictures of Justin at the splash pad. A boyo having TOO much fun. :)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Jim in Hospital

Just so you all know, my Jim went to hospital last night with what he thinks is a kidney stone attack. He went in at 330, expected to call me to pick him at by 8, hasn't done so.

Soon the boy child will be up and we'll walk up with the dogs to see what all is going on with him.