Sunday, March 30, 2008

Just so I don't lose this

Some good ideas, and some that just made me smile.

50 great things to do with tennis balls. :)

who would have thunk of all these good ideas for all tennis balls (other than as favourite dog toys for sassy dog?)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Spiritual Leadership

So I posted an update on my hand over here.

Thought I had the mental clarity and hand responsiveness to do my devotions on line this morning. :) So here we get to start 1 Timothy 3 today. :)
1The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. 2Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, 5for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? 6He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.
We already learned that the spiritual leaders in the church should be men. You know, I just don't know how to get around that scripture, how to make it say that women should be the spiritual heads of the church and of the family. YES, I can understand us doing it if the men aren't stepping up to do their God-given duties, but if they are, then how can we justify forcing the issue and saying the God wants us to do it? I just don't quite get it. Anyways, enough of that.

What qualities should a man have if he's going to step into the role of Leadership in the church?
First we learn this:
  • If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task.
So women who aspire to this position are wanting to do something noble. It's noble to want to lead a church to better understanding of who God is. Even if it's not their calling of God, to aspire to aspire to a noble calling. But the same holds true to men...they aspire to a noble task...the task of overseeing the church of God.

What character qualities therefore are needed?
  • above reproach
  • husband of one wife
  • sober-minded
  • self-controlled
  • not quarrelsome
  • not a lover of money
  • must manage his own household well
  • must with dignity keep his children submissive
  • must not be a recent convert
  • must be well-thought of by outsiders
That's quite the list.
The man who would to be an overseer must be thought well of both inside and outside the church. He must not be new to the faith. Why are both these conditions made? To protect them from the snares of the devil! One to keep a man from falling into disgrace and the other to keep a man from feeling too "full of himself". Neither is good for a man seeking to lead God's people in the paths aright.

Must manage his own household well and must with dignity keep his children submissive. Think about that for a moment. Beating your wife and children is not doing things with's allowing your temper to get the best of you. A person lost in their temper isn't exactly a person who is managing well or being dignified are they? It's an active role, not a sideline. It's a man helping his wife raise their children. It's a man helping his wife to be a good wife to him. It takes active communication, and active leadership and not sitting on the fence post watching, or being so involved with your work that the family is side-lined. It's a tough job! So a man who does this well aught to be seen well for what he does.

One wife! Not two, no concubine or woman on the side. Just one wife. (how a man thinks he can manage two women (or more) well is beyond me. I know what I'm like, I know what my sisters are like...having one man try to manage us? ACK!!!! that would not work well....and we'd probably drive him to a temper...doesn't help with managing a family well does it? :)

He must be above reproach, sober-minded, self-controlled, not quarrelsome, and not a lover of money. That's a tall order for a man to fill.

If a man truly fulfills these requirements he is a man worthy of our respect. He really is, whether he is in a church leadership position or not. And if he is leading the church of God, then let us respect him. Let us encourage and help him along the journey of leading God's church. Let us not hinder, harm or hurt him as he does this important job. Let us find a way today to a help and not a hindrance. Let us together build the church of God.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

made me laugh section of this :)

Sections of this made me laugh, others just amazed me at this woman's ability to train her dogs so well....and she's having fun while doing so. :)

Timely Post

JD has put up what for me is a timely post.

Monday, March 24, 2008

go here

if you are curious why i am not here this week, go here.

Joke - Penguin Delivery Service

Penguin Delivery Service

One day, a bus driver is on his route, when he runs across a delivery van stranded at the side of the road. The van driver, who works for the zoo, pleads with the bus driver to do him a favor.

He offers a $100 bill to the bus driver to help him deliver a truckload of penguins to the zoo. Agreeing, the bus driver proceeds to load two dozen penguins onto his bus. Then, off they drive towards the zoo.

An hour later, the delivery driver gets his van fixed and heads off to the zoo to catch up with his delivery. As he's driving down the road, he sees the bus driver and the busload of penguins heading in the opposite direction. He turns his van around and chases him, catches up to the bus and pulls over them onto the side of the road. He asks the bus driver, "I thought I gave you a $100 dollars to go and take the penguins to the zoo for me!"

"Calm down," the bus driver says, "I took the penguins to the zoo. We had change left over, so now I'm taking them to the movies!"

Saved in childbearing??

The last time I did my devotions I focused on this section from 1 Timothy 2.
8I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; 9likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, 10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. 11Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.
When I checked back to see how far I had gotten, I realized that I hadn't talked about the last verse at all in this section
Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.
I have to admit, I don't quite get this verse, it doesn't quite make "sense" to me. How can child-bearing save a woman? What does that mean for Christian women who can't or won't have children?
  • Is it as Henry says a hearkening back to the fact that Christ was born of a woman? And he is the Saviour of the world. And therefore we have a real part in our salvation.
  • Or is it as Jamieson, Fawcett and Brown say (e-sword) --- that it means that a woman will be saved by how well she performs her God-given duties of keeping the home and bearing children (in comparison to how men are to be the teachers and leaders in the church)? Have to admit, a part of me finds that a bit insulting. :)
  • People's new Testament says this :"Work was laid upon the fallen man; the pains of childbearing on the fallen woman. The apostle means here, that women will be saved in the line of their duties, and that those duties are domestic rather than public.
Regardless of how" one looks at it, the important part is this: "if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control". If Christ was born of a woman who cared not for the things of God, or if we as Christian women don't use self-control and perform our duties with any less than faith, love and holiness...none of it matters. Having a right attitude is very important, regardless of what we do. Having faith we learn from other scripture is what saves us. Having faith in God and in the work of the Holy Spirit in us, and in Christ dying for us. THIS is what saves us. BUT Paul points out, we each have our own duties.

I know this rankles in this day and age, when women want to do all that a man does both within and without the church. I'm not discounting the work that women can do. But I don't know... I don't want to say things improperly either. The church is NOT the world. Just because in the outside world men and women can do whatsoever job they want as long as they have the skills for it, doesn't mean that it's the same in the church. God has ordained things differently for his people, and the church needs to reflect that less it lead to their detriment.

Men take the public roles, women run things behind the scenes (hopefully smoothly). :) It's a harmonious thing. Not a separate lord it over you thing, but a smooth working using the best gifts and abilities of the people involved. That's how it's supposed to be.

YES sin interferes, but that doesn't change God's plan, God's basic set-up.

Tons more can be said, but I've got to keep moving along lest this post get too long and I don't get about "my" duties. :) Cheers!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Some day..... (perhaps)

Some day I'd like to have a couple of dogs who could do this. :) I think it would be a lot of fun.

Mind if I had a border collie (don't think I ever will, but if I ever did...)then this would be great to do too. :)

Joke of the day - darryl and harold

Darryl and Harold

Darryl and Harold were in a mental institution. The place had an unusual annual contest, picking two of the best patients and giving them two questions. If they got them correct, they were deemed cured and free to go.

Darryl was called into the doctor s office first and asked if he understood that he'd be free if he answered the questions correctly. Darryl said "Yes" and the doctor proceeded. "Darryl, what would happen if I poked out one of your eyes?"

Darryl said, "I'd be half blind."

"That's correct. What if I poked out both eyes?"

"I d be completely blind." The doctor stood up, shook Darryl s hand, and told him he was free to go.

On Darryl's way out, as the doctor filled out the paperwork, Darryl mentioned the exam to Harold, who was seated in the waiting room. He told him what questions were going to be asked and gave him the answers.

So Harold went into the doctor's office when he was called. The doctor went thru the formalities and then asked, "What would happen if I cut off one of your ears?" Remembering what Darryl had told him, he answered, "I'd be half blind."

The doctor looked a little puzzled, but went on. "What if I cut off the other ear?"

"I'd be completely blind," Harold answered."

"Harold, can you explain how you'd be blind?"

"My hat would fall down over my eyes."

Friday, March 21, 2008

An Article to Read

was going to post this yesterday, but we ended up going to London to get our taxes done. We're both getting a refund! Rather cool that. Me because of an overpayment of CPP, and well...let's just say Jim's refund will go a good way to paying down some debt. We can pay off our new bed! :)

Anyways, Voice of Vision linked me to a post by Bill Gnade, it's over at Contratimes. Go read it!

This is what JD had to say: this post
goes to the deeper issues regarding the scandal of Eliot Spitzer. You need to read this post!!! It will go in a direction you might not have anticipated. These are important truths that need to be sounded out again and again. We are at war, and the Enemy is using every one and every tactic imaginable to rape our eyes and sap our souls.
I do know that it often surprises me at the times my hubbie mentions are problems for men...even this solid rock of a man that I depend on so highly. It's like oh...yes, I know men are highly visual but that didn't even come up for me as a consideration.

Makes it so important then in how we as women can help our Christian brothers out, particularly when it comes to things like worship. Dress modestly (it helps keep focus where it aught to be). Watch how you do what you do. It's not like men want to be so highly visual and distracted or tempted, but they are so very visual that it's important to help however we can.

And then, as Bill says, treat people the same. If you are angry at some fellow for exploiting a woman, be also angry at the media that does the same.
It's amazing that so many folks can take the high road against those men who have sinned with prostitutes, and yet are curiously silent when those same prostitutes are paraded nude through video and print so they may incite lust and lubricity among tens of thousands. It is wrong, no doubt, for Mr. Spitzer to use prostitutes; but it is, apparently, OK for the snickering masses who denounce him (and men like him) as hypocrite to later go and salivate and secrete at the sight of the same exploited prostitutes in magazines and movies.
It's a good article. Go read it. :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Would you do this?

How Should we Then Act?

Yesterday we learned about the importance of praying for folks, especially those in leadership positions, and why we are to do so. Today we learn a bit more about what is expected of us as believers. Read these words from God in 1 Timothy 2:
8I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; 9likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, 10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. 11Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.
I have to admit, this is not always an easy passage to read.
Now right up front I have to tell you...I am not a fancy dresser, or a jewelry wearer or anything like that. That is not why this passage is not an easy passage. This is not an easy passage because of how this passage is used and abused by both sides of the equation when it comes to women in office.

But I read these words over and I come to TWO things.
1. attitude is important in how we pray and worship and learn
2. God set a natural order in place and we as people have broken it.

So let us then look at this more closely
1. Attitude:
  • Men should pray with an attitude that pray is a holy thing we do. It is not something done in anger or when quarreling. Collect yourself, then pray. Be able to approach God properly, with an attitude of respect, of seeing the holiness of God.
  • Women - don't focus on showing off your latest and best in fashion. Live with the thought that you need to show your godliness in the things that you do. Be modest, have some self-control, be respectable. For instance...don't go to church showing off your best fashion. yes, dress nicely, no prohibition against that....but remember what you are there worship God and worshiping God means being respectful to those around you. In other your Christian brothers be able to worship God by not coming in revealing clothes and wearing jewelry that says "see me!". Have the right attitude, and how you dress will follow along.
  • Women - be willing to learn. Paul says with all submissiveness.... I don't know if most women are like I am...but I HATE being told what to do or what I should think. Just hate it. I like to learn in my own, way do my own thing, I have this fierceness about me sometimes. And sometimes it applies to how I do bible study...particularly in a group setting. I have to deliberately stop myself and be willing to learn from others and not just spout off with what I think. When I stop and let others teach me, sometimes I learn so much.... it's actually really cool. That is submissiveness at work...that stopping and letting others teach me. This is what God is saying through Paul. Be willing to be taught.
2. The proper order of things - it's historical fact. God made men first, women second. Women were created to be suitable help-meet for man. Man had no one that was just for him, so God made one. That's historical fact.
Historical fact... Satan approached woman first. She was deceived. She sinned against God. That doesn't change the fact that man sinned as well. He did. He didn't even stop woman from being deceived. Think about that for a moment. Woman had a teachable moment with man. Woman led man astray. Man allowed woman to do so. Women should not teach men. What and who women teach are our children. They are our salvation - if teach them in love, faith, holiness and with self-control.

I know in this day and age that's seen as sexist and anti-woman. women are being treated equally if they can't do all that men can do.

Rubbish. Equality doesn't mean being exactly the same. It doesn't. Otherwise God would have made like punched out cookies. The same in every way. He didn't. He created us to be help-meets. To be able to live together helping each other.

History does tell us and teach us much.
If in the history of mankind having women teach men has disastrous consequences...why should we want to repeat that scenario? God protects us from ourselves.

Women are not to having teaching positions over men. The past taught us the folly of that. And besides, the natural order is men, then women, then children. We do best to follow God's natural order. :) Not a popular statement nowadays, but something to give good thought to.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Pray for our leaders

1First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. 7 For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
The opening of 1 Timothy 2 has Paul urging us to prayer for all peoples, in particular those in the highest leadership positions over us. The prayers we are asked to offer up vary as well: supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings.

I have to admit...supplications and intercessions seem quite similar to me, so I looked them up, since Paul wouldn't use them without intent. :) Intercession means a prayer to God on behalf of another person. Supplication means a prayer asking God's help as part of a religious service, it also has the tone of humility to it, like when you ask for help from someone in authority. So they are different and so praying for our leaders takes on a different aspect depending on how we are praying for them. But pray for them we must.

Why are we asked to do this? In order that we might lead peaceful and quiet lives, lives that are godly and dignified in every way.

Living our lives like this pleases God. This is our ultimate objective .... to please God.

And who is God? God is the one who desires that all people be saved and come to know the truth. There is only one God. There is only one mediator between God and people...and that is Christ Jesus himself. Jesus who gave himself as the ransom for all. This is the testimony that can be given at the proper time. This is why Paul was appointed as a preacher and as an apostle, and as a teacher for the gentiles.

This all just kinda struck home today. A pastor friend of mine is undergoing an attack from an anonymous person in his congregation. This individual is fighting dirty. I find myself so wanting to protect this pastor friend of mine. And these words tell me the best way to do that. I can pray for him. Offering up supplication, thanksgiving, intercession and just generalized prayer for him. God can and will intervene on his behalf. All I must do is pray for him and that church, that they will be able to lead lives that please God, despite what happens around them.

Join me?

Monday, March 17, 2008

The close of 1 Timothy 1

18This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 19 holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith, 20among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.
These are the closing words of 1 Timothy 1. In them I learned something new, Paul didn't just willy-nilly pick Timothy as the leader of the church in Ephesus, Timothy was chosen of God to lead this church. That's what "in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you" means. He was called to the ministry and Paul charges him so that he might fight well by holding firm to his faith and having a good conscience.

I actually really like how Henry (e-sword) puts it:
Here is the charge he gives to Timothy to proceed in his work with resolution, ...... Observe,
1. The ministry is a warfare, it is a good warfare against sin and Satan: and under the banner of the Lord Jesus, who is the Captain of our salvation (Heb_2:10), and in his cause, and against his enemies, ministers are in a particular manner engaged.
2. Ministers must war this good warfare, must execute their office diligently and courageously, notwithstanding oppositions and discouragements.
3. The prophecies which went before concerning Timothy are here mentioned as a motive to stir him up to a vigorous and conscientious discharge of his duty; so the good hopes that others have entertained concerning us should excite us to our duty: That thou by them mightest war a good warfare.
4. We must hold both faith and a good conscience: Holding faith and a good conscience, 1Ti_1:19. Those that put away a good conscience will soon make shipwreck of faith.
But Paul puts in a warning here. Hold to the faith and have good conscience lest you make a "shipwreck" of your faith. He specifies two individuals here : Hymenaeus and Alexander. Paul mentions that he has handed them over to Satan so that they might learn not to blaspheme. They were disciplined within the church....probably I'm guessing excommunicated.... IN ORDER THAT they may learn not to be as they are. In this case, they must learn not to be blasphemers.

I have to admit, I think that is what should be key in Church Discipline...the desire to restore people to the faith. To not merely just kick them out of fellowship, but to say, what you are doing is wrong and we wish for you to learn this and until you do, you have no part in the full fellowship of the church. To often discipline within the church is seen as "get out, we don't want your type here" when that's not how it should be. Discipline within the family of God should always be done with the aim of full restoration.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Do you Know Who you Were?

Continuing in 1 Timothy I come to these verses from chapter one :
12I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, 13though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, 14and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. 16But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. 17To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
I read these words and my first thought was... do I know who I was before God intervened in my life?

I remember as a teenager feeling so angry inside so often. Just feeling so very pent up. And one day telling God to "just get the heck out of my life". and then the feeling of emptiness that just came over me. I remember Mom asking me if I was okay as I apparently turned as pale as a ghost. I remember saying "I'm fine". And she left it alone. That complete feeling of emptiness, of not having the touch of God there, scared the world out of me. Later that day I repented of that anger and sending off to God and I've been stuck to God ever since.

But that feeling of complete emptiness and aloneness...that sticks to. And NEVER wanting to go back to that place. Just never.

Do I still get angry...yes... sometimes I think I will never stop being angry at things. BUT I've learned to laugh more, to see the 'God' things in life, to stop and consider more...and I see that ALL as the work of God in my life. I could so easily because a bitter and hard person, but God is gracious and merciful in keeping that soft side easily accessible. :)

So I read these words from Paul and I know that he knows where he doesn't want to go back to. he doesn't want to go back to that being "blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent". I know within my depths that all I am is totally dependant upon God's mercy in my life. That i can say with Paul "But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen."

God, through Christ, and by the work of the Holy Spirit is changing me, is making me more like him, and I know that it is not so much for my benefit (though it does benefit me) but that he can show what he can do in a person. Pretty cool eh? God can take a stubborn, angry person, and make them a sign of who he is.

Gives me a reason to praise my God! To him be all the glory, honour and praise.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Which CSI Character am I?

Take this test!
Just like this night shift team supervisor, you'll do whatever it takes to get the job done. You're a natural leader, but you don't let being in charge go to your head. Sure, you often find yourself making tough decisions, but manage to succeed by thinking things through before you act. With that natural intelligence, you thrive on understanding the world around you — which is why it's difficult to let any unsolved case go.

You love to learn and you're great at it, but matters of the heart are much more complicated. Even if you don't always show it, people close to you know you care. Just remember to look up from the microscope once in a while and show them!

Frozen in Grand Central Station

have to admit... I love the reactions of the people to this prank.

Frozen in Grand Central Station

The Law - what is it for?

Today in my devotional reading of 1 Timothy 1 I read these verses:
8Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, 11in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.
Now remember, Paul has just finished telling Timothy to warn the people off of false teachings: myths, false doctrines and genealogies. These verses follow right after.

Here Paul explains what the law is good for. The law is not there for the law-abiding, it's there for the lawless and disobedient. It is there for whatever and whoever does not live in accordance to sound doctrine, for those who don't live the way God wants them to.

All the law really does is show where we are not living in accordance with God.
Hear what Barnes (e-sword) has to say:
But we know that the law is good - We admit this; it is that which we all concede. This declaration is evidently made by the apostle to guard against the supposition that he was an enemy of the law. Doubtless this charge would be brought against him, or against anyone who maintained the sentiments which he had just expressed. By speaking thus of what those teachers regarded as so important in the law, it would be natural for them to declare that he was an enemy of the law itself, and would be glad to see all its claims abrogated. Paul says that he designs no such thing. He admitted that the law was good. He was never disposed for one moment to call it in question. He only asked that it should be rightly understood and properly explained.
We need to understand what the law is for, if we don't, then we risk being like the people he talked about :
desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions (v.7)
Those who teach the law MUST show what it is really for. Those that keep the law, understand what love is. Keeping the law shows love....keeping the law means we don't hurt our fellow man. Keeping the law means we are striving to be like God. God made the law, it shows a lot of who he is. :)

Let me then make right use of the law. To show me where I am not loving my fellow man or God in the manner that I aught. :)

Christian Carnival is here Today

At Rich Vosler's Salespower we find this post " don't let your struggles Defeat you".
Despite our struggles, in Gods eyes, we are still full of beauty. And sometimes he allows those struggles to come to us to train us and shape us so we can stand out on the beach of life as his precious examples.
Heart, Mind, Soul and Strength lays before us this post : "Scholarship: Objectivity or Passion?".
Sometimes I wonder whether, in our drive to be taken seriously in an academic world that is frequently hostile towards Christianity, we have sold out: whether we have made compromises we cannot afford to make.
Chrysalis gives us "Theology - Preparing for Easter".
Abel’s bringing of the lamb was with some measure of understanding that he himself could not make up for what had been done, that it was impossible to figure out a way of paying for sin oneself, that it was necessary for the price to be paid in another way, and that God had really spoken truth when He said to come with the lamb as a sacrifice.
Homeward Bound gives us "All for Good?"
Had a bad day? It'll all work out, they say, because “God works for the good of those who love Him.” Lost some money? It probably went to someone who needed it, and you’ll get it back some day. Lost your job? You get the idea. I’ve even heard this applied to lost limbs.
From children, chocolate and other paths to God comes this post "catholics and the environment"
So my questions are these - do Catholics view the deterioration of our enviroment as something humans can stop, or is it all part of the drama that is the Last Days? How does the Bible address how humans should take care of the earth? Do we believe that God will provide for us after the last tree is felled? Is using the earth's resources considered "damaging" it, and if so, is it too late to undo centuries of "damage"?
Diary of One presents "my testimony".
Can I get a witness? I’ve created my own little “meme” and it’s about the most important subject to me, my faith in God and life in Christ. More than anything, I like to hear people’s stories of their faith journey - their testimony. Here is a bit of mine,.....
Brain Cramps for God presents: "the Listening Heart - the decline of vocation 1"
The organic society presented by Paul requires different parts with different functions - called together into an organic whole to fulfill a transcendent function under a unifying outside, and greater, good or force. In an organic society, each person is indispensable; while in modern society, organized like a machine, each individual is interchangeable because if all individuals are equal, each will do just as well. Or, at least, those are the ideals - and the reason to create a culture of alienated and isolated individuals whose ties to the land, family, faith, or indeed anything but the state and/or the company, are broken.
Light along the Journey gives us "Joy--what's the real thing?"
“What’s the real thing?” when talking about joy strikes me as a very important question, perhaps one of the most important questions we can ever ask about life. There are few people who would say that they wouldn’t want more joy in their life. Most would agree that they actively seek for joy.
Fish and Cans offers up this post "Stay Away from it".
So Paul gives Timothy a reminder of what is to be taught. That we are to have a love that comes as a result of our having a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith. That's what we as believers are to have. We can't have that if we do things we aught not do, if we question our faith in God through focusing on things that are not of God, and if our hearts are not pure. So we need to focus on God and the things of God to truly show love, this is how one grows love. :)
Journey Across the Sky brings this post "Rescue Me".
There is a disaster that awaits all who have not dialed 911 for themselves. Although the dangers are as real as a flood or fire, many seem to overlook their need for rescue from an eternity separated from God.
The bible podcast offers this for us: "Episode 52, Christianity 101 - Romans 1:1-15"
This is the introductory episode for a new series studying the book of Romans. This episode will provide an overview of why we will be studying the book of Roman.
Bounded Irrationality has this to say "Christian Economics".
Economics exists because of scarcity. People need/want more than is available. So Economics looks at how we use limited resources to distribute goods to people with limitless wants.

Christianity explains that we have limited resources because we are living outside of God's plan for our species. Christianity explains our limitless desires as the aftermath of our broken fellowship with God.
A boomer in the Pew stops in with "God, Monet, and my Digital Camera".

Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians that we see in a mirror dimly. God tells us, in His word, that some things are not going to be known and are actually secret to us on this earth.

Lets all slow down and seek the unseen in our lives. Lets understand that we don't see all things clearly and that maybe, just maybe God will make a few things a little more clear to us if we seek His face.

Free Money Finance gives us a slightly older post, but a post none-the-less, here's "let the rich man go".

How about you? Have you ever had a situation where something done/taught at a church or other charity made you threaten to leave or simply just walk away with your giving?
Parableman presents"Obama on homosexuality"
I want to delve a little bit into the contrast he draws between the Sermon on the Mount and Romans 1. The gist of his statement is (1) the Sermon on the Mount is more central to Christian faith than an "obscure" passage in Romans, and (2) the Sermon on the Mount should influence our attitudes toward civil unions in some positive way.
Rodney Olsen brings us "Is Faith a crutch for the weak?"
Is faith simply an invention to help the weak? Is God just a projection of our own needs? Do we simply create the god we need in our own minds?
At Jody's Devotionals we come to this post "Drying out the bones"
Now this is a somewhat different way of looking at this passage. Normally we just assume the bones, and we look for the miracle experienced by Ezekiel in vision as the bones come together, receive flesh, and then come back to life.

"Ripples" is the post from Angelawd.
Sometimes we are the ones planting a seed of spirituality in another person. At other times, we are the ones watering the seed someone else planted. And sometimes, we are the ones helping to harvest the flowering of a soul.

Each of these actions produces ripples in the world - a small wave of action that touches one life after another. We will never fully know, this side of heaven, how far these ripples reach.

At the Thinking Christian we find this post " How Not to Support "Expelled;" How Not to Attack Evolution".
Media reports on Intelligent Design, with their frequent misunderstandings and distortions, can make a person cringe. Unfortunately, there are times when ID defenders and creationists can make you cringe, too. There are plenty of good ways to stand in sympathy with Intelligent Design, to support creationism (not the same topic, but closely enough related to be included in the same post), or to attack evolutionary theory. There are also some not-so-good ways.
Got Bible shows up with "Inspired Scripture".
Paul addressed the letter to Timothy and even pointedly gave him specific instructions, but Paul knew that Timothy would read the letter to his church and knew that the letter would be recopied and passed along to other groups. Since I believe that Paul was divinely inspired I know that he had to realize his letters would become missives that would be passed along from Christian to Christian, from church to church, and over time would be available for posterity by becoming part of Scripture….Scripture that is indeed inspired by God.
I have to admit, this is my first time doing this....but Jeremy was a fine help to me. Hope I did a good enough job. Some posts didn't make the cut since their sites didn't appear to be Christian in any way, or just didn't suit the nature of this carnival. If you were missed let me know and I'll rectify the situation OR explain why you weren't included (if you think you were wrongly excluded).

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Sunday Hymn - If Thou but suffer God to Guide Thee

Written by Georg Neumark in German, translated by Catherine Winkworth.

Winkworth’s original translation:

If thou but suffer God to guide thee
And hope in Him through all thy ways,
He’ll give thee strength, whate’er betide thee,
And bear thee through the evil days.
Who trust in God’s unchanging love
Builds on the rock that naught can move.

What can these anxious cares avail thee
These never ceasing moans and sighs?
What can it help if thou bewail thee
O’er each dark moment as it flies?
Our cross and trials do but press
The heavier for our bitterness.

Be patient and await His leisure
In cheerful hope, with heart content
To take whatever thy Father’s pleasure
And His discerning love hath sent,
Nor doubt our inmost want are known
To Him who chose us for His own.

God knows full well when time of gladness
Shall be the needful thing for thee.
When He has tried thy soul with sadness
And from all guile has found thee free,
He comes to thee all unaware
And makes thee own His loving care.

Nor think amid the fiery trial
That God hath cast thee off unheard,
That he whose hopes meet no denial
Must surely be of God preferred.
Time passes and much change doth bring
And set a bound to everything.

All are alike before the Highest:
’Tis easy for our God, We know,
To raise thee up, though low thou liest,
To make the rich man poor and low.
True wonders still by Him are wrought
Who setteth up and brings to naught.

Sing, pray, and keep His ways unswerving,
Perform thy duties faithfully,
And trust His Word: though undeserving,
Thou yet shalt find it true for thee.
God never yet forsook in need
The soul that trusted Him indeed.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Sassy and Sparks

Our Twosome, of the four legged variety.

And well...predominately black without twitching noses. :)

Rabbit house building

For a write up go to Vellenga Views.

Here's the video:

Friday, March 07, 2008

How People Find my blog - 4

Search Terms as listed by Stat counter

  • i cannot come to the banquet lyrics -- this remains the most popular search item
  • purge the evil person from among you
  • 3 cans of faith
  • shadrach meshach and abednego crafts
  • rick mercer
  • my boyo
  • control issues for children
  • joy is like the rain lyrics
  • random thoughts
  • i am the evil person
  • steadfastness let go
  • control issues
  • prophesying and music
  • bernese dog
  • ear nose and throat doctor head lamp
  • psychoanalyst joke
  • bread of life craft
  • the weakness of god blog
  • funny fishing saying
  • sermons on 1 timothy chapter 4
  • the importance songs
  • cinnamon french toast sticks
  • children's song come to the banquet
  • assurance that god is in control
  • honophobia and osmophobia autism --- have to admit, don't quite get this one
  • how to speak chinese in 5 minutes for kids
  • perforated ear drum and train travel

Stay away from it

The next section in 1 Timothy 1 is :
3 As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, 4nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith. 5The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, 7desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.
Paul has left Timothy in Ephesus.
One of the things that Timothy needs to work on in this church is the proliferation of false teachers. These teachers promote (teach) a different doctrine than that of the Christian gospel. They devote themselves to myths and genealogies. These things get people thinking on things they don't need to rather than getting them to focus on "the stewardship of God that is by faith". The folks who have done this have wandered into useless discussions and don't really understand what they so confidently talking about.

Paul reminds Timothy that the aim of the charge to folks is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith. That's the love we want to offer. :)

As I read through this section I had some questions
- endless genealogies...what are those? I learned through the People's new Testament (e-sword) that
Philo, a learned Alexandrian Jew who wrote a little before Paul's time, built up a whole system on genealogies. The names in the genealogies with him represented the various conditions of the soul.
- myths/fables --- just what are those? Gill (e-sword) tells me these are
Old wives' fables, or Jewish fables, the traditions of the elders; anything that was not true; or if it was, yet idle, vain, trifling, and unprofitable
Knowing all this, I can understand why that (especially with the genealogy thing) would lead to useless discussion and speculations. People would be coming up with all sorts of things, and since it involves the condition of the soul, would definitely be something that would distract a person from the true gospel. Could make for some fascinating discussions. BUT as Paul puts it, this is a false teaching. And he urges Timothy to put an end to it if he can. What Christians have is all based in our faith in God. Not on our past, our families, our surroundings, it all is based on faith. What we should be dwelling on is the things therefore of God, things that increase our faith rather than detract from it.

So Paul gives Timothy a reminder of what is to be taught. That we are to have a love that comes as a result of our having a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith. That's what we as believers are to have. We can't have that if we do things we aught not do, if we question our faith in God through focusing on things that are not of God, and if our hearts are not pure. So we need to focus on God and the things of God to truly show love, this is how one grows love. :)

Paul points out that this is what the problem is. People have "swerved from these". I get the picture of someone going down the road, seeing something in the way and going around it. Granted when one does that you usually get back on track, but these folks haven't done that. They've swerved and gone with it. They've seen this aspect of the law and said...oh...I want to be a teacher of the law. They don't really understand what it means to be a teacher of the law within the context of Christian faith, so they are busy being teachers, without having a clue about what they are teaching. They have swerve away from the essence of faith in Christ to something "other". And despite their confidence, they are still wrong!

Timothy needs to call them away from it.

Serves as a good warning to me. To not get caught up in things of the Christian faith that distract me from what is important in the faith. Learning how to truly love my fellow man which means learning how to truly love my Lord and Saviour. I do that by focusing on the things of God by faith and through that developing a pure heart, good conscience and more sincere faith. To this I must cling. :)

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Cowboy Boots?

Kim from Hiraeth's fault. I found this there. :)

You Are Cowboy Boots

This doesn't mean you're country, just funky.

You've got a ton of attitude and confidence.

You're unique, expressive, and even a little bit wacky.

You wear whatever you feel like – and you have your own sense of style.

You are straight shooting and honest. You tell people how it is.

Low maintenance and free wheeling, you're always up for an adventure.

You should live: Where you can at least get to wide open spaces

You should work: In a job that allows you to take change

Good new, good news..oh...good news.

Don't think I've shared it here.
BUT I've been praying for some folks my MIL knows well.
They were having a difficult pregnancy with all kinds of nasty prognosis's (did I spell that right?) They had been urged to abort and said no. They really wanted a baby and were having troubles having one.

They had a baby girl! Called her Courtney.
Born c-section. (which was planned because of nasty prognosis)
Yes, her liver is outside her body, BUT other than that, she is healthy! And it is starting to slip inside where it belongs. They are hoping for no surgical intervention other than stitching her up. They will give it one month to see how it all goes.

But she's healthy. 6 lbs something or other.
She's feisty.

He is one proud papa. Mama is doing well.


Joke of the Day - this could happen

I hope you enjoy the humour in this one! I think it's hilarious.

This could happen to you.

I was barely sitting down when I heard a voice from the other stall saying:
'Hi, how are you?'

I'm not the type to start a conversation in the restroom but I don't know what got into me, so I answered, somewhat embarrassed, 'Doin' just fine!'

And the other person says:
'So what are you up to?'

What kind of question is that? At that point, I'm thinking this is too bizarre so I say:
'Uhhh, I'm like you, just traveling!'

At this point I am just trying to get out as fast as I can when I hear another question.
'Can I come over?'

Ok, this question is just too weird for me but I figured I could just be polite and end the conversation. I tell them
'No. I'm a little busy right now!!!'

Then I hear the person say nervously...
'Listen, I'll have to call you back. There's an idiot in the other stall who keeps answering all my questions.'

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Commanded of God my Saviour

Today we start breaking down the book of 1 Timothy. We'll start in Chapter one. :) (obvious place eh?) :)
1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,

2To Timothy, my true child in the faith:

Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

The first verses of this chapter tell us that Paul wrote this book to Timothy.
Now who does Paul tell us that he is?
1. an apostle
2. an apostle to Christ Jesus
3. by command of God our Saviour and of Christ Jesus our hope.

Hmm...that's interesting. God our Saviour and Christ Jesus our hope. and what's with this "by command of" don't recall really seeing that before. :)

The Contemporary English Version (CEV) puts it like this"1From Paul. God our Savior and Christ Jesus commanded me to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, who gives us hope."

Paul, is an apostle because God commanded it. God ordered him to be an apostle. So he had this responsibility put on him by God's himself to be a servant of Christ. Not a light undertaking. It's weird, I never before thought of being an apostle that a commandment of God. Makes it all seem somehow that much more serious to me. Probably shouldn't but it does.

Clarke tells me that the word used here is important:
We have already seen that the term αποστολος, apostle, literally signifies a person sent from one to another, without implying any particular dignity in the person, or importance in the message. But it is differently used in the New Testament, being applied to those who were sent expressly from God Almighty, with the message of salvation to mankind.......It was by the express command of God that St. Paul went to the Gentiles preaching the doctrine of salvation by faith in Christ Jesus.
Not a position to take lightly. Seems by way of comparison, not something I should take lightly either. God has called me to be his child, and that calling gives me responsibilities as share God's truth. Not something I should ignore or let slide, but consider as of primary importance. I am called of God! I am. Now to just live it every single day. That's the challenge before me.

Paul points to God being my salvation, and to Christ being my hope. This is who called me, this is my hope and my salvation. :)

But I digress a bit...Paul wrote this book to Timothy. Calls him his true child of faith. Most of the commentaries I have read say that Paul's reasoning for stating it this way is that Timothy was a person that he led to Christ. Others attribute it to the way he was raised (by faithful mom and gramma), but point to Paul's role as well.

He extends a greeting. :) This greeting shows that grace and mercy are different (otherwise why extend both to him?) and peace. All three are gifts from God to his people.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Overview of 1 Timothy

Tomorrow I shall start my study of the books that Paul wrote to Timothy.

Timothy was
a resident of Lystra, a city in the province of Galatia (Acts 16:1-3). He was the son of a Greek father (Acts 16:2) and a Jewish mother named Eunice (2 Timothy 2:5). From his youth he was taught in the Scriptures by his mother and grandmother (2 Timothy 1:5; 3:15).
Those are the general facts about who Paul was writing to. Timothy was a young man who loved God. He was in Paul's words "a true son of the faith".

Paul wrote to Timothy to help him in his charge of leading the Ephesian church. There was much for both Timothy and Ephesians to learn so Paul set out to help them (empowered of God to do so).

I am imagining that reading through these letters that they will be filled with practical advice on how churches and Christians should operate as believers. And my initial reading confirms that. From Chapter four we get these words of wisdom:
Rather train yourself for godliness; 8for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 9The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. 10For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Saved By Grace

Hymn from today's service

Some day the silver cord will break,
And I no more as now shall sing;
But oh, the joy when I shall wake
Within the palace of the King!


And I shall see Him face to face,
And tell the story—Saved by grace;
And I shall see Him face to face,
And tell the story—Saved by grace.

Some day my earthly house will fall.
I cannot tell how soon ’twill be;
But this I know—my All in All
Has now a place in Heav’n for me.


Some day, when fades the golden sun
Beneath the rosy tinted west,
My blessèd Lord will say, “Well done!”
And I shall enter into rest.


Some day: till then I’ll watch and wait,
My lamp all trimmed and burning bright,
That when my Savior opens the gate,
My soul to Him may take its flight.


Fanny Crosby is the author of this hymn.
This site will connect you with various biographies on her.

One biographer wrote of her, " her day, she was considered by most people to be the greatest in America. As Johann Strauss reigned in Vienna as the "Waltz King", and John Phillip Sousa in Washington as the "March King", so Fanny Crosby reigned in New York in the later nineteenth and early twentieth century as the "Hymn Queen".

Although blinded by an illness at the age of 6 weeks, she never became bitter. One time a preacher sympathetically remarked, "I think it is a great pity that the Master did not give you sight when He showered so many other gifts upon you." She replied quickly, "Do you know that if at birth I had been able to make one petition, it would have been that I should be born blind?" "Why?" asked the surprised clergyman. "Because when I get to heaven, the first face that shall ever gladden my sight will be that of my Savior!"

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Blogs I thought worth a good look

A Habit of Peace over at a Diary of One.
I’m calling it a habit because I have some control over this attitude of the heart and mind; peace is a practice and pattern I can cultivate no matter the circumstances around me.
Knowing God's Will over at a boomer in the pew.
I am going to explore how we, as believers in Jesus Christ, can find God's will in our personal lives.

Weekend Warriors over at Beyond the Rim.
Are you a weekend warrior? As a Christian, that would apply to those of us who put God on the back burner during the workweek and then try to get energized, mostly due to Sunday Services, on the weekend.

Testimony over at Participatory bible Study.
They have come and seen Jesus because of her testimony, and now their belief no longer rests on her words, but on their own knowledge and experience of Jesus.

The Son of God and the sons of God over at heart, mind, soul and strength.
The phrase “Son of God” has layers of meaning with rich overlap between them. Far from being a meaningless phrase, the meanings are interrelated and plot a trajectory of God reaching out to the world through his wisdom and understanding and love -- and ultimately through Christ -- to transform his people into Sons of God.
oh.. and this one, Genesis 3 over at Kiwi and an Emu

Adding this one by Anne v over at Holy Experience, how (not) to practice the presence of God.
And yet, practice is necessary. “Living in the presence of the Lord requires practice. It takes practice for us to allow ourselves to see…” writes Ernest Boyer, Jr. God's presence need not be practiced, He, omnipresent One. Didn't Brother Lawrence's compelling life give evidence that it is we who need the practice?


What can you say to a dog resting ever so comfortably?
I got take a picture! :)

Dose of Humour - Cross Examination

Cross Examination

A defense attorney was cross-examining a police officer during a felony trial - it went like this:

Q. Officer, did you see my client fleeing the scene?
A. No sir, but I subsequently observed a person matching the description of the offender running several blocks away.

Q. Officer, who provided this description?
A. The officer who responded to the scene.

Q. A fellow officer provided the description of this so- called offender. Do you trust your fellow officers?
A. Yes sir, with my life.

Q. With your life? Let me ask you this then officer - do you have a locker room in the police station - a room where you change your clothes in preparation for you daily duties?
A. Yes sir, we do.

Q. And do you have a locker in that room?
A. Yes sir, I do.

Q. And do you have a lock on your locker?
A. Yes sir.

Q. Now why is it, officer, if you trust your fellow officers with your life, that you find it necessary to lock your locker in a room you share with those same officers?
A. You see sir, we share the building with a court complex, and sometimes lawyers have been known to walk through that room.

With that, the courtroom erupted in laughter, and a prompt recess was called.