Friday, September 28, 2007

Slave or Heir? do I live? As a slave or as an heir? This was the question posed to me this morning in Galatians 4. Though at first I have to admit the concept is a bit confusing. After all, as children, regardless if we are heirs or slaves, we need to obey those in authority over us. Paul admits that himself when he writes:
1I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, 2but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. 3In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world.
So we still need to obey God. He is our authority, even as he is our Father.
4But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" 7So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.
But what makes the difference for us, is that we, as sons/daughters of God don't need to obey what we obeyed before. We are God's children.! Therefore we are NOT subject to the things of this world. To the sin and despair and the "ick". We are subject to GOD!
8Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. 9But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years! 11I am afraid I may have labored over you in vain.

When we turn back to the old ways of doings things, then we are turning our backs on God. We are turning to things that are weak and worthless.

I have to admit, that as Hallowe'en approaches, I find myself wanting to dress my boy up for Hallowe'en just as all the other moms that I know well be doing. He has a costume, I have no problems with dressing up for this day. But I read these words and I find myself checking my attitude a bit. What's more important here? The dressing up for Hallowe'en, or God? I don't like my "I have to do this" attitude within. Because you know what.... I DON'T have to do this. I can choose to just stay home. :) I can choose to do other stuff, because what the world holds as important is not the same thing as what God holds important. This I must needs remember.

To have this attitude of "I have to" do this... dress my boy child up for Hallowe'en because every other mom is doing so is a sinful attitude and not worthy of a child of the King. Doesn't mean I can't do it, but I need to adjust my attitude first! Thus I stand convicted. I have to show the world that God's glory comes first.

And that I think will open up a whole new can of can I show God's glory in hallowe'en and the dressing up and the candy eating? That I will need to think on some more.


For news about new family members go here.

For news about Sassy at her latest agility trial go here.

Just so you all know, I have a good hubbie. He didn't get mad at me for waking him up out of a deep sleep, and he was so VERY helpful and proficient yesterday in building needed supplies. His new-to-him table saw works great too!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Do you see this?

Wow, today when I read from 2 Samuel 22 I was surprised, okay, perhaps shocked. When I started reading it I thought, hmm... this will be a song of praise for God delivering David, after all it starts out with this line:
1And David spoke to the LORD the words of this song on the day when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul.
I thought, this will be a simple psalm of praise to God.

I didn't expect
1. to ask myself how I thank God when he rescues me from trouble. (usually a simple thank you, not this depth of thanks that David uses). SHAME on me for that. How does my simple thank you to God show my gratitude for the glory he showed at helping me?
"The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
3 my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation,
my stronghold and my refuge,
my savior; you save me from violence.
4I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised,
and I am saved from my enemies.

5 "For the waves of death encompassed me,
the torrents of destruction assailed me;
6 the cords of Sheol entangled me;
the snares of death confronted me.

7 "In my distress I called upon the LORD;
to my God I called.
From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry came to his ears.

Do you see the depths of David's thankfulness to God?

2. to see God differently.
Yes, I know that God comes to my aid when I call out to him. I know this. But seeing here the depths of God's anger at those who go after his own.... well it shocked me.
8"Then the earth reeled and rocked;
the foundations of the heavens trembled
and quaked, because he was angry.
9Smoke went up from his nostrils,
and devouring fire from his mouth;
glowing coals flamed forth from him.
10 He bowed the heavens and came down;
thick darkness was under his feet.
11He rode on a cherub and flew;
he was seen on the wings of the wind.
12He made darkness around him his canopy,
thick clouds, a gathering of water.
13Out of the brightness before him
coals of fire flamed forth.
14 The LORD thundered from heaven,
and the Most High uttered his voice.
15And he sent out arrows and scattered them;
lightning, and routed them.
16Then the channels of the sea were seen;
the foundations of the world were laid bare,
at the rebuke of the LORD,
at the blast of the breath of his nostrils.
Perhaps I shouldn't be surprised at God's anger. As a mom I get angry when people oppose my boy when he's done naught wrong, or when they chastise him for no good reason, or even when another lad comes up and grabs a toy out of hands and then throws it away not playing with it.

But somehow it seems different to me, that my God gets angry when I am attacked. I feel stunned inside. Like, why would he get angry over me?

And then I read further:
He brought me out into a broad place;
he rescued me, because he delighted in me.
Imagine that! God delights in me. And then further on I learn why:
"The LORD dealt with me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands he rewarded me.
22( For I have kept the ways of the LORD
and have not wickedly departed from my God.
23 For all his rules were before me,
and from his statutes I did not turn aside.
24I was blameless before him,
and I kept myself from guilt.
25 And the LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
according to my cleanness in his sight.
If we love God, we will live the way that he wants us to. God will see us, God will see that we have stuck with him regardless, and he will reward us for that. He delights in the obedience and loyalty and guiltlessness of his own. And he helps us to live as his own.
32"For who is God, but the LORD?
And who is a rock, except our God?
33This God is my strong refuge
and has made my way blameless.
Hmmm.... I needed I think to have my eyes opened this morning to the delight that God takes in me as I live the way the he himself helps me to. Rather neat that. Helps me to flesh out a bit my songs of praise to God, knowing more of the depth of care that God has for me.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Memories of Riley

So yesterday was a hard day.

We had old dog Riley put to rest.

He was a good dog. A mix between Shepherd-husky. Had some of the qualities of each, the shepherd's biddableness, and the husky independance and willingness to keep going. Riley wanted to please, and he very often did just that.

He did have his quirks.
He did not forgive. I was "the purveyor of all things evil". I gave him baths, groomed him, clipped his nails, enforced the rules.....all things evil. he often ran when I came out the door to the backyard...UNLESS I was bearing food -- and then well... I wasn't! (LOL). I was also the dog walker, feeder, petter and so forth. but mostly in Riley's eyes I was the purveyor of all things evil. Jim's mom was the purveyor of all things good, this is where he started out his safe life among people, and that is where his allegiance firmly lay. Jim was good to be "woofed at" for pettings. :)

He was a sensitive dog, the first to notice if someone was upset in the house, and if they were he'd plant his butt up against them and woof. Remarkable how petting a dog can calm a person's spirits. :)

He LOVED the snow. Jim has memories of Riley tromping through heavy snow chasing snow balls. The cold was harder on him as he got older, but the snow still made him smile.

I will probably never forget the day I decided Riley would ever always be walked on leash. Walking through a corn field. He decided to take off. I looked for that dog. Scared the socks off me, as he was getting forgetful of traffic. Finally went home, got Jim, we found him lying in the corn field with nary a care in the world.

For my husband's memories of Riley go here. He has the most recent pics of Riley posted there as well. It's a hard time, with good memories. Good bye Riley dog. :)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Justin made us laugh

Our boy Justin is getting to be quite the talker. He's also developed quite the taste for cookies.

Yesterday when we were getting ready to go the Pinery, due to one little boy saying I don't have to sleep!, anyways, we heard "cookie monster coming, cookie monster coming too".

Jim and I just burst out laughing.

Hmm....think I need to stop calling him a cookie monster.

What do you think?

Test Yourselves Therefore

Today as I was reading in 2 Corinthians 13, I came across these words: 5
Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves.
This verse is found in the closing remarks of Paul to the Corinthian church. The first few verses dealt with how to establish charges. The need for there to be two or three witnesses to make a charge stick.

Then Paul says they need to examine themselves to see if their faith is real.

I have to admit, I struggle with my faith. So often I think to myself, I'm just playing a role. Verses like this I actually find a comfort, because I can look to myself and I can test myself. Do I know that Christ is within me? Can I see the results of his action on my life? But the ultimate test is... do we realize that Christ Jesus is in us?

This is also what the Corinthians, in their struggles to accept Paul had to look for. Was Christ in Paul?
Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test! 6I hope you will find out that we have not failed the test.
Paul knew his faith. He knew how the Corinthians struggled. His prayer was for the Corinthian church to do what was right, and to grow strong as a church of God.
7But we pray to God that you may not do wrong—not that we may appear to have met the test, but that you may do what is right, though we may seem to have failed. 8For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. 9For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. Your restoration is what we pray for. 10For this reason I write these things while I am away from you, that when I come I may not have to be severe in my use of the authority that the Lord has given me for building up and not for tearing down.
I look at Paul's assurance of his faith, and how he acted upon it, and it encourages me, with my struggles to keep doing what I know is right. To test myself so that I know that Christ dwells within, to keep praying for the needs of others, and to do what is right. This is how I can build up the church of God.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Worldview approach?

So I was over at Seeking Faithfulness the other day, reading a post called Absent Morals, we get a cesspool. I agree with Holly in this:
I am sickened by this, because this is a conscientious decision by “grown-ups” that children are not worthy of protection from the worst that the literary world has to offer. They desire to throw horrible material out there, then claim no responsibility when horrifying crimes are committed against children because someone was inflamed to act upon their deviant lusts by library materials. The removal of morality does not create a vacuum. It creates a cesspool.
And I agree with Holly that our children need to be protected, and that we should point these things out to town councils, store clerks and owners. We should do these things, it helps people to live the way that GOD wants them to, but... I felt a bit out-numbered at Holly's blog as most people saw it as a protection issue. That children need to be protected from this stuff and that, that is the big point.

UPDATE: do let me emphasize this point. I do believe that children need to be protected and that we aught to do what we can to protect them. BUT I do believe the issue is bigger than this. Our children first and foremost need to learn how to biblically approach the world that they live in. They need to learn that God is in control They need to learn that God's glory should be first and foremost their aim in all that they do.

I was talking with Jim about it a bit and he helped me put into words better what I was thinking (he's ever so good at that!) I am SO blessed. :)

My approach to this stuff is that it's there, it's out there, and it's likely not to change. What I want to do as a parent is teach my boy how to deal with it. To answer his questions if he has them, but moreover to point him to how God says we're to deal with these things. That sex outside of marriage is wrong, REGARDLESS of what other folks say about it, what God says is... sex belongs inside a marital relationship. it is part of the symbolism of God's relationship with his people.

Jim calls it a "reformed" approach, I call it, I want my boy-child to learn good discernment and to have an excellent bible-centered world-view.

Yes, I will shelter him from stuff he doesn't need to know about it, but I have NO desire to not take him with me places because I am overly concerned about what he will see. I don't have that strong concern. To me that's not the issue. The issues goes beyond the here and now to the then and future. How will he as a Christian young man deal with the world? (at least I'm praying that God will so touch his heart to love him) How will his world-view impact on how he sees the things that go on around him?

Oh how I want to nuture that. Oh how I fear that I won't know how to do a good job of it! But With God's grace, he will learn it. :)

Friday, September 21, 2007

Capture those thoughts

reading today in 2 Corinthians 10.
Paul writes to the Corinthian church. Some have accused the brothers of "walking according to the flesh". Paul denies this accusation saying the following:
1I, Paul, myself entreat you, by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—I who am humble when face to face with you, but bold toward you when I am away!— 2I beg of you that when I am present I may not have to show boldness with such confidence as I count on showing against some who suspect us of walking according to the flesh. 3For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 6 being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.

We are in a battle you know. A battle that yes, has been won by the Lord already, but a battle none-the-less. We are in earthly bodies, on a world that has been fully impacted by sin. WE are impacted by sin in all that we do. We can't escape that. All we can do is make our "thoughts captive to obey Christ".

If we capture how we think, we are better able to live in this world the way Christ wants us too. Think about that a bit. How we think influences how we act.

Paul defends himself saying he's not living according to the world, but in fact he is taking his thoughts captive and arguing against those in the world who would deny the truth of the gospel.

Lately Jim and I have been listening to audio from Sovereign grace ministries. EXCELLENT resource by the way. Anyways, been listening to a series by CJ Mahaney on the Idol Factory. Wow.... a man who really makes you think about how you think and how it influences our actions. I have felt convicted more than once.

I want for my life, to be as Paul says it is to be...
17"Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord." 18For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.

That means I have to look to myself. I have to capture my thoughts. I to have to see what separates me from God and from doing his will. I have to find the idols in my life and repent of them and become what God wants me to be.

Only then can I be approved of by my Lord and Saviour. Otherwise I'm living a life that doesn't show Christ, and that's what I want to live.

I'll stop blathering here. You go listen, you go read. See what God wants of you. :)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Mish Mash of Devotional Thoughts

I have to admit, I had a hard time focusing on my bible reading this morning. All kinds of non-devotional thoughts kept intruding on my mind.

My readings today came from various passages. the first passage is 2 Samuel 16. In this passage David is traveling with his men. First he is honoured by Ziba, and then later is he is cursed by a man of King Sauls' household. Blessing and cursing in the same passage, and David accepts both as given by the Lord.

Later on in this passage we learn that while David was out, his wayward son Absalom, on the advice of Ahithophel, "went in" to David's concubines. Not exactly the appropriate thing to do. A good way to make yourself a stench to one's father. What I found interesting in these verses was this:
Now in those days the counsel that Ahithophel gave was as if one consulted the word of God; so was all the counsel of Ahithophel esteemed, both by David and by Absalom.
It struck me at how easy it would be for a man of God to, if he turned from God, to continue to influence people. It was so easy for Ahithophel to give advice to Absalom, and then for Absalom to take it. After all, Ahithophel was a godly advisor so why not take his advice?

Something to wary of.

My Next passage was from 2 Corinthians 9. Paul is commending the Corinthians for their readiness to give to brothers in Christ needing help. He reminds us that
6The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.
God gave us all that we have. Giving back to him is something we should want to do freely, and this giving to God helps to spread the good news, and shows our gratitude to God.

Then I read Ezekiel 23. Now I have to admit, I did NOT like reading this passage. The images of how Samaria and Jerusalem played the whore, and God's response of disgust towards them bothered me. As God says:3
5Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Because you have forgotten me and cast me behind your back, you yourself must bear the consequences of your lewdness and whoring."
Yes, they got what they deserved, and yes, God gave them oodles of chances to turn back to him, and he gave them what they repeatedly showed him they wanted. But it just sat ever so poorly with me this morning. Not a passage I will return to quickly, it just really bothered me.

The last passage was from the Psalms, chapters 70-71. Both these Psalms speak to how God will come and help us if we call upon him. From Psalm 71:
1 In you, O LORD, do I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame!
2In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me;
incline your ear to me, and save me!
3Be to me a rock of refuge,
to which I may continually come;
you have given the command to save me,
for you are my rock and my fortress.
If Samaria and Jerusalem had turned from their wickedness events would have gone so much better for them. But they persisted in their evilness, and God let them get caught up in it. Oh that I may not be like them. May I be like David and call out to God to rescue me, even if sometimes it's just from myself.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Achy Breaky Heart

Now this was just FUN to watch. :)

Mission Impossible

Now.... if I could learn how to do this, wow... I would be impressed with myself! :)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Mercy Extended

I still find it very cool when I read 2 Samuel 9. In a day and age where the come practice was to put to death all members of the previously ruling family, David does not.

He remembers his friendship with Jonathan, you can read about it in 1 Samuel 17-19. Jonathan incurred the wrath of his father King Saul, in order to help David not be killed by him.

David asked this question:
1And David said, "Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?"
He wanted to show kindness. So he finds an old servant, and this servant had the answer that he wanted. yes, there was family left.
"Are you Ziba?" And he said, "I am your servant." 3And the king said, "Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, that I may show the kindness of God to him?" Ziba said to the king, "There is still a son of Jonathan; he is crippled in his feet." 4The king said to him, "Where is he?" And Ziba said to the king, "He is in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar."
And so Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan was brought before him (King David).

Mephibosheth was scared. He more than likely did not know what to expect from David. Would he die? Would he be expelled? What would truly happen to him?

And David bids him not to fear.
7And David said to him, "Do not fear, for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan, and I will restore to you all the land of Saul your father, and you shall eat at my table always." 8And he paid homage and said, "What is your servant, that you should show regard for a dead dog such as I?"
Mephibosheth, goes from having nothing, to having land and servants. David showed him mercy because of the friendship he had with Mephibosheth's father.

Isn't that cool?

The hatred that Saul had for David did not replace the love that was shared between two young friends. Love remembered.

Hmm... as I write this I am drawn to think of how God extends mercy to me. Me, who does stuff that should so much incur his wrath, but God instead calls me child. God shows me mercy, why? Because his son died for me. He called me to be his own and loves me despite all the enemy does to pull me away from him. What David did with Mephibosheth is just a small glimpse of what God has done, is doing and will continue to do for me.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Yes, I actually got a diagnosis.

My back problem is real! Not in my head. A doctor actually found a real reason for the pain that I have experienced for a great deal of this summer.

Seems that my lower back L2-L5 and so surrounding areas, have moderate to severe bulging of the discs between the vertebra. The vertebra themselves are fine and alignment is good. But the discs bulge out. that's puts pressure on my spinal cord, which causes my hips to be sore and to be generally sore all through that lower region. Spinal cords don't like pressure being put on them.

the doc said my back is like that of 70-80 year old woman.

Surgery is an option, but not one that she recommends at my age (42). Leads to more surgery and more surgery to remove scar tissue. And gee....hmm...what's the point of that? So we need to hold off the surgery option for as long as possible.

With that said, what can I do?
1. Get better physio exercises for good back care
2. Lose the weight that I put on since Justin was conceived. :)
3. Get my foot in better shape so that doesn't make the problem worse

And that's about it.
My back will continue to be a problem.
All I can do is manage it and cope.
And try VERY hard to avoid the surgery aspect of things.

Since I now know that "it's officially not all in my head", it's somehow better. :)
I'll take my pain meds (tyelnol or advil) to help me sleep because they'll be helping with something real, and more sleep keeps me less grumpy and better able to cope with the overall pain of life - that being mostly my back)


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Fear and Rejoicing

2 Samuel 6 brings us a whole range of emotions - fear, anger, rejoicing, disdain, and determination.

David had built up his city. Things were secure. Time now to bring up the ark of the Lord God from where it was sitting in Abinadab's house.

New cart, ox, things were ready to roll.
3And they carried the ark of God on a new cart and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. And Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, were driving the new cart, 4with the ark of God, and Ahio went before the ark. 5And David and all the house of Israel were making merry before the LORD, with songs and lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals.
They were making merry. This was a happy, carefree time for them. And then....
6And when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled.7And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah, and God struck him down there because of his error, and he died there beside the ark of God.
Uzzah should have known better. His father's house had kept the ark of the Lord safe. He knew then how to act around the ark, even if one's intentions are good (prevent the ark from falling) one does not presume to lay a hand on the holiness of God. So God's anger burned against Uzzah and he died for it. David's merri-making turned to anger and then fear. How could he presume to bring up the ark to the Lord to his city? And so David had the ark of God installed in the house of a it Gittite.
8And David was angry because the LORD had burst forth against Uzzah. And that place is called Perez-uzzah, to this day. 9And David was afraid of the LORD that day, and he said, "How can the ark of the LORD come to me?" 10So David was not willing to take the ark of the LORD into the city of David. But David took it aside to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite. 11And the ark of the LORD remained in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite three months, and the LORD blessed Obed-edom and all his household.

That worked out well for Obed-edom the Gittite, for God blessed his household. So David, seeing this learned that he could bring up the ark of God to his city. But he did so differently this time. No merry-making, this time there were sacrifices to the Lord. And David danced with joyful abandon before the Lord. The whole of Israel rejoiced with him. When the ark had been brought to it's resting place (a specific tent) then David sacrificed again, and gave the people a gift of a "cake of bread, a portion of meat, and a cake of raisins to each one".

12And it was told King David, "The LORD has blessed the household of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God." So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David with rejoicing. 13And when those who bore the ark of the LORD had gone six steps, he sacrificed an ox and a fattened animal. 14And David danced before the LORD with all his might. And David was wearing a linen ephod. 15So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting and with the sound of the horn.

David's wife Michal was unimpressed with David dancing. She saw him and merely had disdain for him. God's word says that she "despised him in her heart".

I have to admit, I loved David's response to his wife. "
It was before the LORD, who chose me above your father and above all his house, to appoint me as prince over Israel, the people of the LORD—and I will make merry before the LORD. 22I will make myself yet more contemptible than this, and I will be abased in your eyes.
David didn't let Michal's opinion of him stop him or change his attitude in regards to how to praise the Lord. He had danced in joy before the Lord, and he would do it again!

God's response to Michal was to not bless her with children to the day of her death.

But David's response.... that is what I learned today.
To not let the opinions of others influence how I praise the Lord or how I act before the Lord. This is a thing that I need to remember. And it is good to so be reminded.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Sin and Obedience

Today I was reading in 2 Samuel:4-5.

I found it interesting. David is very much a man of God. He longs after God. The Psalms are filled with hymns of praise to God. He seeks to do the will of God. David knew that God wanted him to be king
12And David knew that the LORD had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel.
And yet, in the midst of it all, he sins, and it seems such a casual thing:
13And David took more concubines and wives from Jerusalem, after he came from Hebron, and more sons and daughters were born to David.
And God continues to help him and aid him and guide him. It just surprises me. Not that God helps him, but just the very casualness of it. Granted, these were all women from among Israel's own. Not women taken from foreign nations and so forth. Maybe that made it okay because in those days men often had multiple wives.

It still somehow seems wrong to me. But that just might be my sensibilities kicking in. :)

But isn't it amazing how David seeks after God?
The Philistines come up against him.
19And David inquired of the LORD, "Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will you give them into my hand?" And the LORD said to David, "Go up, for I will certainly give the Philistines into your hand."
They were defeated, but thought they would try again:
And when David inquired of the LORD, he said, "You shall not go up; go around to their rear, and come against them opposite the balsam trees. 24And when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then rouse yourself, for then the LORD has gone out before you to strike down the army of the Philistines." 25And David did as the LORD commanded him, and struck down the Philistines from Geba to Gezer.
God answers David, and he answers in a clear, specific manner.
David obeys.
And victory is assured!

Rather neat isn't? That despite our sin, if we earnestly seek after God, he will meet us and help us. And if we obey him, marvelous things can happen. I'm so glad that God is God.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Subway Restaurant

Today I re-embarked on my "career" as a subway artist.

Yes, that's is what a clerk for the Subway Restaurant chain is called. I am a subway artist from 1100 - 300 pm every Friday. I help cover the lunch crowd.

Jim watches Justin. Today they played in the sandbox and then Justin had a nap. I was let off a bit early which I didn't mind because my foot had gotten quite sore by 230. Jim was surprised to see me home already. it gave me a chance to walk the dogs before Justin got up.

I had fun. :)

Won't get paid a lot, but the little I make will go a fair ways. :)

Head coverings, our position in the body

Did you know that equality doesn't mean sameness? this is a continued discussion from here and here.

Just because we are equal in Christ doesn't mean that our roles are the same.

In chapter 11 Paul explains how roles are different and how they are played out.
But 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, since 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.
Women in those days, if they had their hair cut short where seen as prostitutes, women of ill-repute. Paul paints a strong picture for us here. Women who speak (prophesy) or pray during worship need to have their heads covered. It shows their observance of the way God set things up. Christ is the head of the church, men are subject to him, they show Christ's glory. Women show the glory of man. That's how God set things up. If women fail to show their observance of that fact, then they should shave their heads and be seen therefore as a woman of ill-repute. That's the picture that Paul paints for us here.

Of course, this puts me in a bit of a quandry. MOST of the women that I know are observant of the fact that men lead things in worship. It's part of running in conservative circles. I would not call them unobservant of God's order to things, BUT they don't wear head coverings in church, and many of them have shorter hair styles. So what do I do with that? Do I say, well, practices have changed now-a-days, and as long as one is observant of conservative practice (as in recognizing the headship that God has given to men) then one is still doing what is right? OR do I say, well..they aren't observing strict biblical tradition therefore they should shave their heads and be seen as women of ill-repute? That doesn't seem right either..... not be a long shot.

And yet there are some women that I know who think that to give headship to men is so very wrong. We are created equal is the cry! And that's is so antiquated! And God didn't really say that. and so on and so forth. Some are very fervent in their thinking and are positive that they are right. These are women who in so many ways strive after the ways of God. But the very idea of showing submission (in this way) is abhorent to them. What do you do with those women? I don't know.

AH!!!! T'is indeed a tough one to sort out. :)

I must say my research on this I came across this quote that I liked.
The woman is the glory of the man There is no doubt that the woman is a distinguished ornament of the man; for it is a great honor that God has appointed her to the man as the partner of his life, and a helper to him, — “To be a companion to the man, to live with him, and to aid him.” and has made her subject to him as the body is to the head. For what Solomon affirms as to a careful wife — that she is a crown to her husband, (Proverbs 12:4,) is true of the whole sex, if we look to the appointment of God, which Paul here commends, showing that the woman was created for this purpose — that she might be a distinguished ornament of the man.
That more women would really see how God sees us. God has appointed us to a particular role.... we shouldn't be ashamed to play that role well.

Perhaps that's what it really all comes down to...... not being ashamed to play the role that God has given us well. What do you think?

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Continued Ponderings on 1 Cor 11

I've continued throughout these past 24 hours to ponder what I wrote for yesterday's devotions. You can find those here.

Anyways, as my tired mind has thought about this passage, I kept being drawn back to the opening verse of Chapter 11: Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.

This verse says alot.

It makes me ask the question: do I live my life in such a say to show that I am of Christ? And if so, would my words cause people to ponder what they are doing?

If I am acting in an argumentative manner, am I showing that I imitate Christ?

I'm sure that some churches decided that some of the traditions that Paul was encouraging to maintain thought there was no point to it. I think that based on the reading of these verses.
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. 16 If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God.
People did need to think about these things. To weigh out the merits. BUT they weren't to be contentious about it. (as in argumentative) If they judged it immaterial (unimportant despite teaching to the contrary) that was fine, but it was not what the church of God taught.

But according to some of the commentaries I found, the reason people wanted to make changes in how things were done was based on the misreading of scripture. God created us all equal so therefore what one does we all should be able to do in whatever method WE deem appropriate. Not exactly a God-centered approach is it? Not exactly an approach that shows one imitating Christ does it?

So that leaves me thinking..... Paul doesn't want contention to fill the church. If people judge (for whatever reason) that God-honouring traditions are not to be followed, then perhaps then they should leave. The act of leaving would end being argumentative. Staying would require silence, which of course would also be an option. :) I tend to think that the latter option needs to be exercised more in the church today. Too many unnecessary divisions in the visible church of God already today.

When it comes down to it, tradition or not, this just might be a God-honouring thing to do (to wear a covering on my head). Query though..... for wherever i.e. at home when praying or reading scripture/doing devotions/praying with our son at night, or just at church?

Head coverings - biblical or cultural?

Passages like this one in 1 Corinthians 11 really have to make me wonder.
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, since 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. 16 If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God.
Are they really cultural practices, are are they really things that God himself wants us to do within the church today?

And I have to admit, I don't know. I don't always get the logic behind what is deemed cultural and what isn't. It does help give me understanding to those church who follow this practice - of women maintaining long hair and wearing some sort of head covering when in church. It doesn't help me understand the viewpoint of the different styles of head covering allowed that....that to me, is a man-made requirement. But the head covering itself is biblical.

I would find this hard to do.

I grew out my hair because it's what my hubbie likes. And it's a small way that I can make him smile, so why not.

But the head covering thing....that I would find hard. BUT should I do so anyways? Would it be like a small way to (in essence) make God smile? Doing something that is hard to do is not always such a bad thing. It would show that that I am cognizant of the fact that my husband is the glory of of God and that I am the glory of my husband. Has nothing to do with equality, and everything to do with God and his establishment of how things are to be.

Sometimes I wonder if this fighting over the cultural or the biblical/spiritual is just another way for women to fight against the order that God has put into place, and yet another way for Satan to call Christians into disrepute. And it is, in essence within the church, a little thing. It's hair and clothing, and how can hair and clothing be such a big deal? But somehow it's gotten tied up as a status thing, and I don't think, within the church that it should be a status thing.

What does status have to do with following the will of God?

I don't have the answers, perhaps you, my reader, have one that can help?

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Tim Challies Giveaway

Tim Challies is doing a give away. Check it out.

sept Giveaway

Help me get more chances to win by using my referral id code. :)

Anyways, the books look good. Monergism books looks like a good place to stop by at. So check them out too. :)

God is our Refuge

Reading this morning from Psalm 46, and these verses just popped out at me.
1God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
2Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
3though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling.
God is our refuge and strength regardless of the fearsomeness of life that goes on around us.

God is our very present help in trouble. He is present when there is trouble. He is a help when there is trouble. Not only is he a present help, he is a very present help. It is like saying that he is "just so there" when we need him.

That is God!

Monday, September 03, 2007

The Bell

The Bell

I am God's child ( John 1:12)
I am Christ's friend (John 15:15)
I am united with the Lord (1 Cor. 6:17)
I am bought with a price (1 Cor. 6:19-20)
I am a saint (set apart for God). (Eph. 1:1)
I am a personal witness of Christ (Acts 1:8)
I am the salt & light of the earth (Matt. 5:13-14)
I am a member of the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27)
I am free forever from condemnation (Rom.8: 1-2)
I am a citizen of Heaven. I am significant (Phil.3:20)
I am free from any charge against me (Rom. 8:31-34)
I am a minister of reconciliation for God (2 Cor.5:17-! 21)
I have access to God through the Holy Spirit (Eph 2:18)
I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (Eph. 2:6)
I cannot be separated from the love of God (Rom.8:35-39)
I am established, anointed, sealed by God (2 Cor. 1:21-22)
I am assured all things work together for good ( Rom. 8: 28)
I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit ( John 15:16)
I may approach God with freedom and confidence (Eph. 3: 12)
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13)
I am the branch of the true vine, a channel of His life (Jn 15:1-5)
I am God's temple (1 Cor.3:16). I am complete in Christ (Col. 2: 10)
I am hidden with Christ in God (Col.3:3). I have been justified (Rom5:1)
I am God's co-worker (1 Cor.3:9; 2 Cor 6:1). I am God's workmanship (Eph.2:10)
I am confident that the good works God has begun in me will be perfected (Phil.1: 5)
I have been redeemed and forgiven (Col.1:1 4). I have been adopted as God's child (Eph1:5)
I belong to God
Do you know
who you are!?
Keep this bell
ringing !!!

Make Another Stumble

I have to admit, I find this passage in 1 Corinthians a difficult one to figure in real life. yes, on paper it makes sense to me. Makes perfect sense, don't do stuff that makes living the Christian life harder for someone else.

Paul starts off this chapter 8 off reminding us of the importance of love. That love is more important than knowledge, for knowledge can puff a person up, while love builds up.
1Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that "all of us possess knowledge." This "knowledge" puffs up, but love builds up. 2 If 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.

So remembering that all things are to be based in love, perhaps in practicality this chapter will be more workable. Have to admit, I've oft missed (as in not paid close enough attention) that opening verse.

So here is the problem facing the Corinthians
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.

See, not everyone gets it! They don't. They don't see the difference between GOD and gods and lords. Even though we know it, doesn't mean that everyone does. Doesn't mean that everyone in the church understands this to the same level.

But some, through former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled.
They see idols, they see food and they think it is real. They are so new in their faith, or so weak in their understanding, that they just don't get it.

8 Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do.
Not everyone understands this though. This leaves us with a question: what do we do about it?

Remember? what is the basis that Paul is starting from? Love, not knowledge, Love.

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.

So we need to take care of our weaker brothers in Christ.

So who are these weaker brothers? This is an area that I find confounding. People that I find are mature believers have their areas of weaknesses, things that they don't do because they don't see GOD, they see stuff. They just don't get it. And I don't get that they don't "get it". Makes me thing that they are just being stupid. I don't tend to have alot of patience with just being stupid. Fortunately as I continue to mature, I have learned the art of asking more questions, and not letting people think that I think they are just being stupid (good thing huh?)

I'm sure I have areas in my life that I don't get either, and I would hope that someone wouldn't throw the "knowledge thing" in my face (unless I'm just being really stupid). But would sensitive, loving toward the fact that for me to do something would be wrong in my walk with the Lord God.

I still find it hard though. Hard to balance not doing something because it can be damaging to one's ability to worship and serve God, and just saying enough of this, you are being stupid, God's word says _____________ and then just get on with it. Not the most loving approach.

So how does one balance out being sensitive to anothers' lack of faith and the need for them to just mature more in a particular area? Where teaching might help, but sometimes is just more a matter of trusting God in something more?

Any help out there?