Saturday, December 31, 2005

Jokes for Saturday

I found this joke at The Thirsty Theologian

A bear walked into a pub and took a stool at the bar. As the bartender approached, he said, “I’ll have a scotch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and soda. ”

“What’s with the big pause?” asked the bartender.

“I don’t know,” the bear replied, “I’ve always had ’em. ”

And I found this joke over at Frenzyboard

A U.S. Marine squad was marching north of Basra when they came upon an Iraqi terrorist, badly injured and unconscious. On the opposite side of the road was an American Marine in similar but less serious state.
The Marine was conscious and alert and as first aid was given to both men, the squad leader asked the injured Marine what had happened.

The Marine reported, "I was heavily armed and moving north along the highway here, and coming south was a heavily armed insurgent.
We saw each other and both took cover in the ditches along the road.

"I yelled to him that Saddam Hussein is a miserable, lowlife, scumbag, and he yelled back that Senator Ted Kennedy is a good-for-nothing, fat, left wing liberal drunk. So I said that Osama Bin Ladin dresses and acts like a frigid, mean spirited woman!"

He retaliated by yelling, "Oh yeah? Well so does Hillary Clinton!"

"And, there we were, standing in the middle of the road shaking hands, when a truck hit us."

Friday, December 30, 2005

Coaching Makes Little Difference for Women in Labor

That's right ladies, labor is going to be no fun whatsoever, even if you have a coach. Boy, I sure needed a news report to figure that one out!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

The Youth of our churches don't want to grow up

Why? Well, Scott over at FIDE-O has an interesting post concerning this topic.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Wacky Wednesday: I Hate Bugs

I don't hate bugs, in fact I have a collection of them. It's neat. I even have a keychain with a real bug on it. All those years in pest control must have rubbed off on me. Anyway, I love hearing silly bug stories. And it seems I'm friends with some really girly girls who HATE bugs. Needless to say I hear great stories from some of my friends. Girls, I'll tell ya! Haha.

Anyway, I was reading GirlTalk again today, yes I like this blog a lot, and I found this post about bugs. It was great. I laughed quite a bit.

Wacky Wednesday: Sacred Sandwich reports on Labyrinth Rage Cases

I love The Sacred Sandwich, here is one reason why.

Public Schools Requirement: Becoming Muslim Course

WHAT THE HECK. That's all I have to say, what the heck?!

A federal appeals court is being asked to reconsider its ruling that allows public schools to teach junior high students how to "become Muslims." The Thomas More Law Center, a national public-interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is asking the entire Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to rule on what can be done in public schools with regard to teaching Islam and other religions.

Several parents sued California's Byron Union School District for requiring their 7th-grade children to participate in a three-week class activity in which they not only had to study important Islamic figures and wear traditional Muslim attire, but were also required to observe the "five pillars" of the Islamic faith, adopt Muslim names, recite a portion of a Muslim prayer, and even stage their own "jihad" or "holy war." The plaintiffs' attorney, the Thomas More Law Center's Ed White, believes the school district violated the parents' and children's constitutional rights to free exercise of religion.


White says the Byron Union School District never informed the parents about an exercise that would be grading their children on how well they observed the tenets of Islam. In fact, he points out, "The parents were never told that there was even a way to opt their child out of such an activity."

Actually, the only way the parents found out about the school's Islamic exercise, the attorney points out, was virtually by accident. He says a Byron Union District mom was "looking through her son's book bag and asked, 'Hey, what's all this stuff?' and the kid said, 'Oh, we're doing this in school now.' So the parents objected, but it was after the class [activity] was over."

Faith Like a Child

In Luke 1:9-22 Zacharias is serving in the temple and the angel, Gabriel appears to him and tells him that he will have a son. This is astonishing because Zacharias and his wife Elisabeth are old and she is barren, but impossible for God? I think not. Still, Zacharias doubts Gabriel and was struck mute until the child was born. If you'll look at verse six it says that Zacharias and Elisabeth were righteous, walking in the commandments of the Lord.

They were righteous and old, they had spent their lives serving God. Heck, Zacharias was a priest! Yet, he doubted. Perhaps this doubt stems from the years of desiring and not receiving a child? Perhaps that seeming unanswered prayer diminished his faith in some aspect that even when an angel sent by God Himself to Zacharias comes that the years of hoping for and not receiving a son became a stumbling block to him? Surely he must have known that God can do anything, even give him a child in his advanced age. Surely he knew the story of Abraham and Sarah. Even they laughed at the idea of them having a child in their old age. Yet, true to His word God delivered them a son. Surely Zacharias knew this story, yet he still doubted. Whatever the cause, he didn't have faith in that moment.

Moving on in Luke we come to the angel's proclamation to Mary. He appears to her, and tells her that she will bare a child. Now, that is one heck of an announcement considering the fact that she'd never been with a man before and according to their customs of the time if she had been she could be put to death because she was betrothed to be married. So, if she's not currently having sex, and cannot without sinning, how is this baby supposed to get made? These are things that would flash through my mind, as I am sure they did her's. Yet, despite this she trusts. She accepts what Gabriel tells her and offers herself as a servant to the Lord's will.

And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:38)

Historians say that Mary was probably somewhere between 12 and (on the very latest end of the spectrum) 15 at the time. She is very young. She is a child and her faith in this moment reflects that. She hasn't become jaded to the world yet, her heart is still soft. As children we find it easy to just believe, our hearts are wide open because they haven't been hardened by sin yet. Mary, in this moment is a living example of having faith as we are called to - faith like a child.

Luke 18:16-17 (Mark 10:15) references entering the Kingdom like a child. We are to keep our hearts soft and open to God; to have faith as a child would have faith. Perhaps this is why Hebrews 3:12-13 tells us to encourage and exhort each other daily, to keep our hearts soft and free from sin. After all, if we hardened our hearts to God our faith will diminish and without faith we cannot "come boldly unto the throne of grace," (Hebrews 4:16) we cannot expect to receive mercy without having faith that God will grant mercy unto us through His Son. It is in our best interests to do everything we can and submit everything we can to Christ. I believe it is in doing this that we can remain as children.

We often want God to move in huge miraculous ways in our lives, yet we doubt Him. It is easy for us to trust God when all is going well, but it takes a real faith to trust and wait upon His leading when things don’t seem so great. Christ tells us that if we have faith AND do not doubt, that we can move mountains (Mark 11:23, Matthew 21:21). So, why is it we expect to be able to move the mountains while full of fear and doubt and distrust?

But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. (James 1:6-8)

We get so caught up in our fears and our pains that we forget we have God’s word to stand on. If He makes a promise, He will follow through. But it will be in His time. If He tells you you’re going to have a child, you better start looking for cribs. If someone hurts you, and your heart is clean in it, what do you have to worry about? God promises to avenge His own and to repay each of us what is due. If we believe He is truly perfect and righteous what do we have to fear? All we have to do is trust and walk in His will. He will bring us through our valleys. Have faith, beloved, He comes quickly!

God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? (Numbers 23:19)

Therefore saith the LORD, the LORD of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies:
And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin:
And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city.
Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness. (Isaiah 1:24-27)

Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people. (Deuteronomy 32:43)

And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. (Revelation 22:12)

Wacky Wednesday: Man Dates His Mom Via Internet

This was pretty funny, but even still I feel a little bad for them. They are so embarrassed. So remember kiddies, the girl in the chat room could be anyone, even your mom.

Skirt-chasing playboy Daniel Anceneaux spent weeks talking with a sensual woman on the Internet before arranging a romantic rendezvous at a remote beach -- and discovering that his on-line sweetie of six months was his own mother!

"I walked out on that dark beach thinking I was going to hook up with the girl of my dreams," the rattled bachelor later admitted. "And there she was, wearing white shorts and a pink tank top, just like she'd said she would.

"But when I got close, she turned around -- and we both got the shock of our lives. I mean, I didn't know what to say. All I could think was, 'Oh my God! it's Mama!' "

Monday, December 26, 2005

Baby Rumors Reach Fevor Pitch

“Angelina nearly fainted several times and had to be taken off to the side to rest,” says the insider. “People on set were thinking, She’s obviously pregnant! All signs point to that.”

So what? I mean really. She is a woman, what is so fantastic about the idea of her having a baby?

Meanwhile, Brad’s ex, Jennifer Aniston, wants to start a family next year, says a friend of Jen’s. “Jen would love to have a little boy and a little girl,” says the friend. “Having a beautiful family would show Brad just what he missed.” But insiders say beau Vince Vaughn isn’t ready to be a dad. Can their relationship survive?

Source (emphasis mine)

Because that's the best reason to have kids. Geez. She didn't seem to want kids when she was with him, but now she's ready to pop them on out to show him whose who?

Hollywood gets on my nerves a lot lately.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Psalm 63:1-4

1 O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;

2To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.

3Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.

4Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.

Christmas Bells

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

I HEARD the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said;
"For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men."

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Jesus Action Figures

I just found this. I wonder if the action figures come with karate chop action in their arms? After all, Jesus was all about being a superhero who beat the tar out of people who didn't fall in line.

Remember I said I was taking the day off? I lied. Sort of.

Since it's Christmas Eve, I thought I'd share something interesting concerning Christ's birthplace and the effect of war and violence has had on the Christians there.

Five years of Palestinian violence, known as the second intifada, have destroyed Bethlehem's economy, which is heavily based on tourism. Bethlehem's mayor, Dr. Victor Batarseh, says the violence is forcing people to leave their city, and most affected are Bethlehem's Christians.

"Due to the stress, either physical or psychological, and the bad economic situation, many people are emigrating, either Christians or Muslims, but it is more apparent among Christians, because they already are a minority, and it is because it is easier for a Christian family to emigrate, because they have family abroad already, in the U.S. in South or Central America, or Australia, or Canada," said Dr. Batarseh. "That is why Christian emigration is more apparent. We need this city to remain as a model of co-existence between the two religions. The more emigration we get this model will dissolve."

More than 3,000 Christians, or about 10 percent of Bethlehem's Christian population, have left the city since the Palestinian uprising began five years ago. Until the middle of the 20th Century, Bethlehem was about 90 percent Christian. However thousands of Muslim Palestinian refugees poured into the city following the establishment of Israel in 1948, beginning a population shift that continues to this day. Now Muslims far outnumber Christians, who now make up about 35 percent of Bethlehem's 60,000 residents.


Taking the weekend off

Unless I find something to great to pass up posting about, I'm taking the weekend off. And I doubt anyone will notice since it's the holiday season and will be spending much time with family. Take care everyone.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

If you don't have Firefox you need it

I just upgraded to the latest version of Firefox, and I am officially in love all over again. This browser is FAR superior to IE, honestly I don't know why people still use that browser, and has just gotten better. Do you visit blogs? Do you visit lots of blogs? Do you visit news websites? Do you hate having to go to each one every day to see if anything new is up? With the live bookmarks in Firefox you don't have to! It's SO NEAT! You just bookmark your pages that you visit, and as you go through the bookmark tab at the top it will show you the titles of the latest posts on websites with RSS feeds that you have bookmarked! This aspect alone makes the browser worth downloading. So, I implore you, download Firefox and save time and energy! And forget IE even exists, it's nothing but a head ache.

Prayer Please! I'll be shopping tomorrow!

AHHH! A friend of mine needs to finish her Christmas shopping tomorrow and has suckered me into going with her. Good Lord, I must have lost my mind for a moment when I agreed! Shopping the day before Christmas Eve? That's just crazy.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Wacky Wednesday: Answering the door naked

Is fun in Canada!

Mahoney estimates he has seen at least 50 voters so far this campaign bare more than just their thoughts about his party and his political rivals.

He admits it's sometimes a struggle to remain unflustered.

"I don't wish to be in any way ungrateful to all those who have bared themselves, but mostly it's not a great experience for either of us," said Mahoney.

Wacky Wednesday: Me!

In case nobody else realized it, I'd like to point out that all of last week's Wacky Wednesday posts were actually made on Thursday! AHH! I lost a day somehow in the week. Oh well.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

There isn't much that makes me more happy...

Than my kids. I love them. I love the way my son tries to love on his sister and hug her and she gets all fidgety and wants to run away. I love the way they play together. They are very cute, I'll tell you now I'm not sure there have been children more adorable than my kids. They have this cute game they play where they race from one side of the house to the other, crawling. It started because my son would follow his "sissy" around the house mimicking her when all she did was crawl. Very cute. What is even more cute is the fact that now they race each other and fall down laughing once they are done.

I've truly been blessed. And what's even better is that in their own ways they seem to be drawing closer to God. Julianne loves reading the Bible with me, ok I read it and she eats, but whatever. And William I'm noticing likes to spend time in prayer more than anything else. It's encouraging. Are there times when they don't want to do these things? Sure, but we press on because it's important. Anyway, I love my kids and you should to!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Book Review: Who Calls Me Beautiful?

So, it seems to be the hip thing to do, and you all know what a sucker I am to appear cool, so I shall be doing book reviews here and there. I don't have a HUGE amount of time on my hands to sit and read without neglecting some other part of my life, so I am shooting for one book review a month.

And since I'm a girl I thought it'd be fun to do a review on Who Calls Me Beautiful by Regina Franklin.

I first heard Regina speak on Crosstalk, and I thought she had some interesting things to say so I treated myself to the book. You have to love when you can get a book on Amazon and have it shipped to you without spending more than $7.50! That alone made my day.

Anyway, I thought it was well written. Some of the things she says gets a bit redundant, but not annoyingly so. I like her perspective, we can become so focused on beauty and feeling beautiful and trying to achieve what the world thinks is beautiful that we lose our focus on God. She rightly notes that many women seem to say "Thank you Jesus for dying for me, now leave me alone for an hour so I can go read Cosmo and shop at the local Victoria's Secret shop." She observes we all have baggage from different things in our lives, and quite often we don't release that baggage to God. We can dwell in our self centered, self deprecating thoughts and truly ignore that when we come to God we are new creatures, we are to transform our minds by the power of the Holy Spirit yet we ignore the fact that we should be applying that to every aspect of our thought process...Including things pertaining to beauty.

The book was well thought out, she shares her heart in this so it touches you, and even includes some questions for a group study. I haven't read many books on the subject, so I can't tell you if this is better or worse than other books, but if you struggle with the concept of beauty and understanding who you are as a woman in Christ you might benefit from this book.

A Final Plea for Angels Wake: VOTE

Now that I have your attention, fellow boardies, let me ask you a small favor. The voting has been extended for that contest being run on Indie Heaven, and we still need your help. We dropped two places tonight, after holding our own at 11 for quite some time. It's over on the 31st, and I know you guys have enough attention in you to vote for 2 weeks. So go here: and vote for us. It's simple, and could very well save the world. Click on the little radio tower, and this should bring you to charts. Find us, click on our song ("Going Home") and vote us as high as possible. It's that simple. Vote every day until the 31st. And do so with a warm glow, because you're doing your part to save humanity.
- Angels Wake

As of today they are listed at number 13, if they don't stay within the top 15 they won't make the compilation. And that would be a shame if only because they have (until recently) been in the top 11 for well over a month.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Light Shining Out of Darkness

by William Cowper

God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill,
He treasures up his bright designs,
And works his sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the LORD by feeble sense,
But trust him for his grace;
Behind a frowning providence,
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding ev’ry hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flow’r.

Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan his work in vain;
GOD is his own interpreter,
And he will make it plain.

I found this over at Helen's Light.

God answers prayers

I guess I've always known that, or at least I should have, yet it seems like every time He does I am amazed. Perhaps that amazement is due in part to the fact that I'm used to promises being broken. By people I love, and even myself at times. People can let you down, especially when they swear they are going to do (or not do) something. Perhaps this is why Christ tells us not to swear, rather we are to simply let our yes be yes and our no be no.

At any rate, every time God answers a prayer I am caught off guard for a moment. My own distrust is the cause for this I imagine, yet after the brief surprise passes I can't help but smile to myself. Continually, I am amazed and put to awe by God. As much as I may not like the commercialized Christmas of America I feel it's imagery can be helpful here.

When I was a child, and still believed in Santa, I would create my list. I'd check it twice...Or three or four or five times even...And I'd submit it either to my mother or grandmother, knowing that they had Santa's mailing address and phone number and would be sure to get it to him. Then the anticipation comes, the waiting was awful and enjoyable at the same time, very bitter sweet. I hated waiting, but I knew if I had patience eventually Santa would come and it'd be great. Then that fateful night would come, we'd finish up dinner and open family presents (I have a running theory that Catholic families do this a lot, I'm not sure why) on Christmas Eve.

Then we'd get ready for bed, and somehow manage to stay in bed or fall asleep for just long enough for the jolly old man to get in the house and deliver the presents. And sure enough, my brother and I would awaken usually around 3am (my mother and grandmother must have been exhausted around Christmas time for a million reasons) and go peek under the tree. Sure enough! There were our gifts! Santa pulled it off once again! Some years we would just start playing, others we would go get mom, but either way we were always joyfully surprised when we saw those gifts under the tree.

Prayers are like that, or at least they are with me. I get my little list of things to pray about and I submit it to God. Some are things causing great heart ache, others are requests for wisdom or protection, but all of them go to God. And then I wait. And I wait. Sometimes the answers I'm seeking come quickly. But more often than not I have to wait. For months at a time even. And it seems the moment I finally forget about [insert prayer/ need/ desire] is when the answer comes. And when it does I look at the solution in awe. My eyes get big the way they did when I was a child, and I say to myself "God did it again! He took this horrid mess I'm in and has managed to straighten it out somehow. I don't know how, but thank God He did!"

And so that's my Christmas metaphor for the year.

Saturday, December 17, 2005


Redeemed, restored, forgiven,
Through Jesus’ precious blood,
Heirs of His home in heaven,
Oh, praise our pardoning God!
Praise Him in tuneful measures
Who gave His Son to die;
Praise Him Whose sev’nfold treasures
Enrich and sanctify.

Once on the dreary mountain
We wandered far and wide,
Far from the cleansing fountain,
Far from the piercèd side;
But Jesus sought and found us
And washed our guilt away;
With cords of love He bound us
To be His own for aye.

Dear Master, Thine the glory
Of each recovered soul,
Ah! who can tell the story
Of love that made us whole?
Not ours, not ours, the merit;
Be Thine alone the praise
And ours a thankful spirit
To serve Thee all our days.

Now keep us, holy Savior,
In Thy true love and fear
And grant us of Thy favor
The grace to persevere
Till, in Thy new creation,
Earth’s time-long travail o’er,
We find our full salvation
And praise Thee evermore.

Friday, December 16, 2005

It's that time of the year

It's December, and what comes in December? Why Christmas of course! And it comes with the territory, Jesus is getting talked about a lot (granted so is Santa, but that is subject for an entire other post) because of it. The world takes notice, never does the name of Christ get mentioned so much as in December. The world talks about Jesus, whether or not His name should be attached to the holiday season, and of course the church talks more about Jesus during this time of the year. It's only natural after all.

What is interesting is that this year, aside from the yearly controversy of whether or not Christ should be mentioned in corporate advertising, Joseph has taken the world by storm. I don't think I've heard or seen so many mentionings of Joseph until this year. Really. I've watched three different things on the History Channel, all of which Joseph is mentioned profusely, in fact one show was devoted entirely to him. Joseph is the winter's hot Biblical character. Mary Magdalene took the world by storm during the summer, now Joseph has the winter.

It's really pretty interesting, I've often wondered why Joseph isn't talked about more, and I guess I got what was coming to me because I can't seem to escape the man now.

What is my point? I'm not sure, I'm just wondering what the fixation is with Joseph this year.

Explorations in the Kitchen

So, dinner is done, the troops have been fed. The overall opinion of tonight's cooking experiment? Pretty good. I never stick to the recipes, mostly b/c I don't measure anything unless I'm baking, and neither does Rachel Ray so odds are her version of this tastes slightly different. But pretty good. Could have used more hot sauce, maybe a little less basil (I added this to the sauce).

But hey, considering my brother ate it I'd say it was a hit. He never eats dinner with us, but he just couldn't resist my skill in the kitchen this evening! And my daughter loved it as well, granted she only liked it after I let her eat it off my plate, but she still loved it. And my son? Eh, he doesn't eat anything so I don't take it personal that he didn't eat this. So yay. It was good. Try it out.

Yummy looking foods

I love Rachel Ray from the food network. She's funny, and has a great show. Everything she makes is able to be done in under 30 minutes, including side dishes and quite often desserts as well, and it's generally pretty healthy and insanely good tasting. So, I'm trying a new recipe tonight. It looked so good when I saw her make it I just couldn't resist. Anyone in the mood for Chicken Satay Salad Sammies? ;) I'll keep you posted on how it turns out.

Oh, if you need some new recipes to try out, you really should check out food network, they have some great ideas. I think I have about a million things bookmarked, have made about 10 things off their website and they all turned out great...granted most of them were off of 30 minute meals, but come on, who really wants to spend forever in the kitchen anyway?

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Wacky Wednesday: Five Year Old Mother

This was interesting.

In 1939, a man from a small village in the Andes mountains carried his five-year-old daughter Lina into a hospital in the town of Pisco, Peru. He indicated to the doctors there that the shamans in his village had been unable to cure the large tumor that was developing in her abdomen. Upon examination, the doctors learned that the swelling was not actually a tumor.

Dr. Gérado Lozada was told by Lina's father that she had been having regular periods since age three, but they had stopped about 7 1/2 months prior to the visit. He listened to the young girl's abdomen with a stethoscope, and heart a tiny second heartbeat. An X-Ray was also performed, after which there could be no doubt… to the doctors' astonishment, five-year-old Lina Medina was about seven months pregnant.

Sadly, the identity of the father was never established. Who on earth...I just don't understand people sometimes. Someone had to have sex with this girl for her to be carrying a child. She was five! What is wrong with people?!

Lina's father was temporarily jailed on suspicion of incest, but he was released for a lack of evidence and authorities were never able to determine who fathered Lina's child.

After the baby was a couple years old a follow up investigation revealed that the family was raising the child as Lina's little brother and he did not know the truth until around the age of 10, when a group of schoolmates taunted him with the truth.

Wacky Wednesday: Nico Sphere 3000

Now, here is something that could be quite useful. Smokers are you tired of hearing people complain about the second hand smoke you expose them to? Well, now you don't have to! Just try out the Nico Sphere 3000.

Wacky Wednesday: Flashback 2

Also this week I featured a link to animal network, specifically concerning a show about yoga for dogs!

Wacky Wednesday: Flashback 1

Earlier this week, I posted an image of a Christian rockstar. I found it so entertaining I'm linking to the post agan. You can find it here.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Grief at Christmastime

I was over at Girl Talk again, and came across this post. I thought it was quite touching, and wanted to part of it with you.

I believe there is only one answer to the question of how I experience God’s comfort at Christmastime, and that is for me to be on my knees basking in and staying grounded in the Word of God. His words touch my heart and soul, as he is the ultimate comforter. And from him come all other forms of comfort, as well.

Of course, snags are everywhere this time of year. If you’ve ever driven through the mountains, you’ve probably seen signs that read, “Beware of falling rocks.” For me as a widow, the holidays can be full of “falling rocks” in the form of that invitation or Christmas card addressed to only one name, traditions that are no longer an option, having to pass by the men’s department no longer looking for that annual sweater or tie, or even getting a whiff of my husband’s favorite cologne in the crowds of shoppers. Like a thorn on a rose pricks the finger, these reminders of a love lost prick my fragile, already bleeding heart. The challenge becomes surfacing from the pain of the past and wanting to live joyfully in the present with a hope for the future.

Although I have yet to get through the season without heartache and tears, and this will be my third Christmas without my husband, my Lord is faithful to supply the needed comfort. I should add here that I must choose to be comforted, as the temptation can be to fall into the sin of self-pity. If you are a widow, you know you can feel the pain of loneliness even when you’re in a group—even a group of family and friends. Those who help me to surface from the pain are not afraid of my sudden tears that may spill over in an instant unexpectedly, as they realize that may be the only language I can speak at the moment. They respect my need to talk at length about my current grief, or my desire not to talk at all. They give me much-appreciated hugs and tell me they care. They sometimes share remembrances of my husband that make me smile through the tears, knowing the memories may cause pain but are certainly treasured. Comfort has also come in the form of e-mails and phone calls and cards, all with words of love and encouragement. This past Sunday, I was comforted by a word shared during worship from one of the pastors with an encouragement for widows and single parents.


But as I respond to the pain and embrace with gratefulness the comforts he sends, I learn endurance and perseverance; and I realize that everything is part of the process of sanctification. And I am overwhelmed—not by my grief—but by his love for me.
(emphasis mine)

China Releases House Church Leaders

BEIJING, CHINA (BosNewsLife)-- China released dozens of house church leaders who were caring for AIDS patients, hours after BosNewsLife and other media reported on their detention, a religious rights group confirmed Wednesday, December 14.

China Aid Association (CAA) said all of the 29 arrested house church leaders detained on Monday, December 12, were released the next day "less than 24 hours after intensive interrogations and heavy international media and US government pressure."

I used to love online games

I virtually lived at Pogo for a while, tons of games, most of them free, it was great. The only problem is, outside of playing chess, I cannot remember a single game I played that didn't involve gambling (even if it was only with pogo tokens). When I play a game I like to think, I like things that challenge me, I love word searches and things like that. Well, I found this, and though I haven't had a chance to sit down and play much yet, it definately seems like it's going to be a challange. I just thought you would like to know.

Monday, December 12, 2005

The Father's Sacrifice

We often focus on Christ's sacrifice, how He willingly allowed Himself to be sacrificed, how He chose to submit to the Father's plan (And this of course is very true, had He not followed through would have meant that He disobeyed God, which therefore would make Him imperfect). Yet somehow we have forgotten about the Father's sacrifice, myself included. He chose to make us. He chose to give us the ability to choose. He chose to send Jesus to earth. God the Father sacrificed for us. He sacrificed His only Son for our redemption! What a price to pay!

We love to quote John 3:16, it is probably the most well known verse on the planet. We love hearing, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." And rightly so, it is good to remember that God loves us. I just have come to realize that quite often we shift the focus to the fact that we are loved, and have lost sight of the thing that blows this verse into a whole new level of importance. He gave His ONLY BEGOTTEN SON.

We are children of God, but we are adoptive children. We only become children of God when we submit our lives and put our trust and faith in Jesus as Lord. But Jesus was God's Son! Can you imagine giving your only child up to die? I can't. And yet it goes deeper than that. Can you imagine killing your own child to pay the ransom for a bunch of people who daily spit on you and call into question your very character? Yet this is precisely what God did for us.

While we were yet sinners Christ came and died at - not the Roman's or even the Jew's hand (after all, we have no power except what God allots us) - the Father's own hand! God killed His Son, He poured out the wrath we have deserved for our sins upon the only perfect Man to walk the earth! And this wasn't just any man, this was His Son. He killed His Son for me! And the worst part is that sometimes my heart can become so calloused to that. I don't know how I can read that verse and not weep. But I do it. I look at it and say, "See? God loves me!" But my understanding of that love is so shallow when I don't stop and realize God sacrificed His own Son for me. He sacrificed someone He loved deeply to be able to call a sinner like me His own. My God, I can't imagine.

How Do French People...

Tim over at Challies shares a story concerning his son coming into some knowledge via a boy at school.

He asks, "what are parents allowing their children to watch these days?" This sadly is something I have found myself wondering, especially lately. I know a pair of children who are both 8 or under and seem to know much more about sex and swearing than I remember knowing at their ages. I recently got a sneak peek at the things they are allowed to watch, and quite frankly I was horrified. As if the swearing wasn't enough the film was filled with sexual references, a husband fantasizing about another woman in graphic detail, and other things as well. I couldn't believe this was something they were allowed to watch.

My mother never would have allowed me to watch things like that, especially at their ages. Heck, I don't think I was allowed to watch anything PG-13 or over until fourth or fifth grade (and even then it was very case by case, my mom had to preapprove the movie), and PG-13 what a lot different ten years ago. Yet these children are watching things that easily reach an R rating and the parents think nothing of it. And then they wonder where their youngest daughter is picking up the language she has. It just blows my mind. Anyway, there's my rant. It's pretty bad when a 5-6 year old can watch something that makes me blush.

It has been quite a year

My beautiful daughter just had a birthday. And I couldn't help but reflect upon the last year with her. She's gotten so intelligent, developed a silly sense of humor, an appreciation for the finer things in life (Veggie Tales), and grown so much in so many ways.

And as I reflect upon the past year of her life, I see the past year of my life as well. I see how I have developed an appreciation for Veggie Tales in a whole new way, I see how much I have grown spiritually, and I see how much mediocrity God has delivered me from. It has been rather painful at times, this growth and deliverance, but it has definitely been a blessing. I've learned so much about myself, about my relationship with God, and even my friendships with other women. There have been plenty of tears, more heartache than I would like, yet there has been so much love. So much joy, that the good overwhelmingly overshadows the bad.

This year has been the most trying of my life, and I thank God for that. Do I hope that the coming year is a bit easier? Of course, but even if it isn't I shall rejoice. I'm gold being refined in the fire. I'm being tested and perfected. I'm being molded into the woman God created me to be. I'm learning how to be the mother my children need, a better friend to the people around me, and daily I'm learning I cannot stand upon my own feet for long without assistance from my God of falling flat on my face.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Emergents and Jews Conversing

This should be interesting.

S3K and Emergent will convene pioneering rabbis, pastors, artists, and leaders who are reaching out to the unaffiliated and others who are not attracted to mainstream congregations. An open discussion with leading clergy in mainstream synagogues will address the relationship between the congregational establishment and emerging groups.

Leading mainstream clergy will be meeting to discuss ways to attract those who aren't attracted to mainstream congregations? Anyone else find that a little odd? Shouldn't there be people who aren't in the mainstream to help represent those people? Oh wait, that's right, Brian McLaren is the big wig Emergent rep. Anyway, I love that they can't really specify what they are trying to accomplish. Of course, how could they? Then the Emergents would have to place themselves in a box and actually state what they believe and don't believe. And that would go against the entire movement's proclomation of their lack of leaders and structure.

I would like to gush for just a moment.

I have a beautiful daughter. Seriously. I don't think there has ever been a nearly one year old girl who's beauty could compare. Oh, and she LOVES Veggie Tales, therefore she is by far the coolest girl (aside from me) to have ever existed. She dances to the songs, and seems to really know what is going on in Where's God When I'm Scared b/c she gets pretty hyper at appropraite times. She is one smart cookie.

We had a rather momentous event yesterday. I took her to Claire's in the mall and had her ears pierced! AHHH! She did great though. She didn't cry much, and I think most of it was because she was being held down. The only things she hates more than being held down is putting on her winter jacket and having food taken away from her (especially candy canes).

So, to sum up there are five things you need to know about my baby girl.

1. She is adorable.
2. She is highly intelligent.
3. She has great taste in tv and music.
4. She is one tough chick, of course she'd have to be with the big brother she has!

And finally, and most importantly,

5. She is mine, I love her, and I'm keeping her!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Teacher's Sex Plea Deal Shot Down

Debra Lafave plead guilty to having sex with a 14 year old male student of her's, the prosecution struck a deal with her that included no jail time, but three years of house arrest and seven years' probation and would have required her to register as a sex offender, but the judge has shot it down. Interestingly, her ex-husband is calling for jail time.

Her ex-husband is arguing for hard time.

"I think a year to two years of jail time in conjunction with some intense psychiatric help," said Owen Lafave.

What is interesting is that she plead guilty, perhaps the scandal from another teacher/ student relationship a few years ago let her attorney see that she most likely would get hard jail time if she doesn't strike a deal. Still, I'm surprised the prosecution would agree to such a laid back deal. Oh well, they'll have to come up with something better since this has been struck down.

Lafave faces up to 15 years in prison per count, so I don't blame her for wanting to strike a deal. Yet it amazes me that she would engage in a relationship such as this, especially given the media coverage of other trials. What on earth would possess her to engage in such an explicit relationship with a young boy? The entire situation is crazy.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Christian Rock Stars

Great image, I found it at Simply Agape

Yoga for Dogs!

What the heck? I was just watching animal planet and this chick goes to a yoga studio, and you get to bring your dog along! WHAT THE HECK?! Are dogs Buddhist now?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Churches Close Their Doors on Christmas

The churches that are closing their doors are, by and large, seeker-driven. The leadership of these churches have decided that, because of the incovenience of attending church on Christmas morning, most seekers will not bother making time for a church service. We see this in the words of Cally Parkinson, spokeswoman for Willow Creek Community Church. "If our target and our mission is to reach the unchurched, basically the people who don't go to church, how likely is it that they'll be going to church on Christmas morning?" she said. If there will not be seekers in church on a Sunday morning, the leaders of these churches do not feel there is any reason to go through all the bother of opening the church doors. If a church's philosophy of church is such that church services are viewed as being primarily for seekers and driven by seekers, there is little purpose in holding a service that only believers will attend. What we see in this decision is a clear manifestation of the ramifications of the seeker-driven mentality.
- Tim Challies (emphasis mine)

What happened to church being about the edification and fellowship with other Christians? Shouldn't these churches have plenty of dedicated members (I mean look at the numbers on these churches!) who want to join together and celebrate the birth of their Savior? Oh that's right, churches like these often don't let you stay/ join if you're serious in your faith or have been a Christian for five years. BLAH. Anyway, Tim sums up my feelings in this quote:

I don't think there is anything wrong with rearranging services on Christmas morning. Many people are away from home and, as with any holiday, attendance suffers for good reasons and bad. A church can compress two services to one, cancel Sunday school or cancel an evening service. Those are all secondary issues that fall under the "better or best" type of reasoning. But to cancel church altogether simply to cater to the desires of unbelievers is a whole different matter. At the very least the pastors should be waiting by the door to greet those who arrive. Even if no one walks through the door, at least the pastors have taken a stand for what is most important to them and have modelled Christ's own love for worship.

Wacky Wednesday: Ugliest Dog Ever

Want to see the ugliest dog ever? Here you go. Sadly, the poor thing has died. Then again, maybe we are all a little better off, he was pretty ugly.

Wacky Wednesday: Walking on Water

Want to walk on water? Now you can! Here.

Wacky Wednesday: Protest at Marine's funeral

This is just crazy. I suppose I can see being against the war, but this is just so terrible. Why not just let the families grieve in peace?

NAPERVILLE — From all accounts, 19-year-old Lance Cpl. Adam Kaiser lived a quiet life before he was killed serving with the Marines in Iraq.

His funeral service, however, might not be that quiet for his Romeoville parents and others who mourn his death.

A church group that protests funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq with signs that read, "God Hates America," and, "Thank God for Dead Soldiers," plans to be there.


Illinois Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn is proposing a new law that would prohibit protests within 300 feet of any military funeral.

"To have these vile signs and epithets hurled at any family and any funeral is wrong," Quinn told the Chicago Sun-Times. "We should respect the right of any family to grieve and bury their dead with reverence."

Wack Wednesday: Church Signs

I found these images over at Church Sign

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

An update on Matt Barber and Allstate

(AgapePress) - A Chicago area-based charity group is coming to the aid of a Christian man who says he was fired from his job as a manager with Allstate Insurance Company's Corporate Security Division in Northbrook, Illinois, allegedly for writing a column expressing opposition to homosexual "marriage."

Matt Barber recently filed a religious viewpoint discrimination lawsuit against Allstate, claiming the insurance company wrongfully terminated him for expressing his belief that marriage should be defined as a union between one man and one woman. Although officials with the insurance company have denied the allegations, the State of Illinois' Department of Employment Security conducted an investigation into Allstate's actions.

In reporting its findings, the State ruled unequivocally in the fired worker's favor, determining that the "claimant (Mr. Barber) was discharged from Allstate Insurance Company because an outside organization had complained about an article he had written while on his own time." The State further concluded that Allstate intentionally chose to terminate Barber's employment for writing the article despite the fact that he had engaged in no misconduct whatsoever.


Meanwhile, since the former Allstate employee has yet to find a new job, he and his wife Sarah and their three children are facing financial difficulties, including the possible loss of their home due to foreclosure. At the request of the Illinois Family Institute, Lutheran Church Charities (LCC) has agreed to help raise money to assist the family and has established the "Barber Family Fund."
Source (emphasis mine)

You never have to be called a sinner again!

So much for Bibles that tell you that you're a sinner. Man, I thought the Message paraphrase was bad, this has reached a whole new level. Grab your "bible" and head out to the local seeker sensitive church!

"Instead of condemning fornicators, adulterers and 'abusers of themselves with mankind'," says Ruth Gledhill, the London Times religious affairs correspondent, "the new version of his first letter to Corinth has St. Paul advising Christians not to go without sex for too long in case they get 'frustrated.'"


The One organization that produced the new Bible translation is dedicated to "establish[ing] peace, justice, dignity and rights for all." It is also focused on "sustainable use of the earth's resources," challenging "oppression, injustice, exclusion and discrimination" as well as accepting "one another, valuing their diversity and experience."


In keeping with the times, translator Henson deftly translates "demon possession" as "mental illness" and "Son of Man," the expression Jesus frequently used to describe himself, as "the Complete Person." In addition, parables are rendered as "riddles," baptize is to "dip" in water, salvation becomes "healing" or "completeness" and Heaven becomes "the world beyond time and space."
Source (emphasis mine)

Monday, December 05, 2005

On Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie

Just to fulfill my quota of shallowness, I was recently discussing the couple with a friend, here is what came of it.

"If they have babies together the offspring will be an unstoppable force of attractiveness " - Me.

AHHH! Where's my blog?

I've tried viewing the blog 4 times, from 2 different computers, and it doesn't exist! I'm only making this post to try and jump start it, though I don't know why I think it might help. I really don't understand because everything is here in the dashboard, yet when I try to view the blog nothing comes. No, that's not true, a page that says Not Found comes up. AHHH!

Seven Things Post

I've been seeing posts a lot in the past few days with seven topics to which you are supposed to give seven answers for each. The first question, of course, is Seven things I want to do before I die. And some obvious answers include get married and have kids, some other answers have included go bungie jumping, go skydiving, go scuba diving, write a book, ect. Anyway, as I read the replies I honestly couldn't think of to many things. The first thing that pops in my mind when I think of that question is that I want to glorify God. I'm not joking. That has been the first thought each time I see one of these posts.

Sure, I'd love to go to Italy, but I guess I don't really see myself doing that because it's only after I've sat for a while and thought about it that I've been able to come up with that. I had to force myself to come up with something other than my desire to glorify God.

Now the question is, why should I want to do any more than that? And why is it that I felt like that wasn't enough, like I should want other things besides? Congrats Kristina, you just talked yourself into conforming to the world. In my head I thought there should be more, after all these people probably didn't beat their heads against the wall to make their lists, so why am I having such difficulty? It amazes me how far I have to go even still. I don't think I should want to be able to create lists like this. Lord willing I'll learn to handle this idea better. All I want is to allow Christ to move in me. So, that's my answer. I want to glorify God in it all and desire nothing else.

Trading Bibles for Playboy

SAN ANTONIO — A group of atheists at the University of Texas at San Antonio is putting a novel twist on the toys-for-guns programs run by many urban police departments. But instead of toys, they are handing out porn in exchange for bibles.
“We consider the bible to be a very negative force in the history of the world,” student Ryan Walker said. Walker is part of a student group that calls itself the Atheist Agenda.

Club members this week posted fliers promoting what they call the “Smut for Smut” campaign then set up a table in the student union to collect religious materials and pass out adult magazines such as Black Label and Playboy.

The group is not officially sanctioned by the university and has raised the ire of several religious organizations on campus.

“In my opinion, there are no atheists. There are fools,” Pastor Rick Hawkins of UTSA’s Family Praise Center said. “So, that would be foolish propaganda. I don't know one believer that would take his Bible and turn it in for pornography.”

Hawkins obviously didn’t stop by the Atheist Agenda table, where several students had dropped off copies of the good book and walked away with skin mags.

Athiest Agenda isn’t the first student group to explore the idea of introducing porn to former bible toters. Members say they got the idea from students in Austin who ran a similar pro-porn drive.

Walker added that members thought it sounded like a creative way to exercise their freedom of speech.

So sad...

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Christmas and the Pilgrims

Just some food for thought...

The pilgrims, English separatists that came to America in 1620, were even more orthodox in their Puritan beliefs than Cromwell. As a result, Christmas was not a holiday in early America. From 1659 to 1681, the celebration of Christmas was actually outlawed in Boston...

After the American Revolution, English customs fell out of favor, including Christmas. In fact, Congress was in session on December 25, 1789, the first Christmas under America's new constitution. Christmas wasn't declared a federal holiday until June 26, 1870.
- The History Channel

Does anyone find it amusing that Christmas was instated as an act of rebellion against England? ;) I mean really, I smirked a bit when I read that.

In the early years of Christianity, Easter was the main holiday; the birth of Jesus was not celebrated. In the fourth century, church officials decided to institute the birth of Jesus as a holiday.

Unfortunately, the Bible does not mention date for his birth (a fact Puritans later pointed out in order to deny the legitimacy of the celebration). Although some evidence suggests that his birth may have occurred in the spring (why would shepherds be herding in the middle of winter?), Pope Julius I chose December 25. It is commonly believed that the church chose this date in an effort to adopt and absorb the traditions of the pagan Saturnalia festival. First called the Feast of the Nativity, the custom spread to Egypt by 432 and to England by the end of the sixth century. By the end of the eighth century, the celebration of Christmas had spread all the way to Scandinavia. Today, in the Greek and Russian orthodox churches, Christmas is celebrated 13 days after the 25th, which is also referred to as the Epiphany or Three Kings Day. This is the day it is believed that the three wise men finally found Jesus in the manger.

By holding Christmas at the same time as traditional winter solstice festivals, church leaders increased the chances that Christmas would be popularly embraced, but gave up the ability to dictate how it was celebrated. By the Middle Ages, Christianity had, for the most part, replaced pagan religion. On Christmas, believers attended church, then celebrated raucously in a drunken, carnival-like atmosphere similar to today's Mardi Gras. Each year, a beggar or student would be crowned the "lord of misrule" and eager celebrants played the part of his subjects. The poor would go to the houses of the rich and demand their best food and drink. If owners failed to comply, their visitors would most likely terrorize them with mischief. Christmas became the time of year when the upper classes could repay their real or imagined "debt" to society by entertaining less fortunate citizens.
- The History Channel

Quotes for the day

“I think I know of no delight on earth that is higher than that of knowing that you really are with all your heart adoringly serving God.”

“No man can do me a truer kindness in this world than to pray for me.”

“As long as there is breath in our bodies, let us serve Christ. As long as we can think, as long as we can speak, as long as we can work, let us serve him. Let us even serve him with our last gasp. And, if it be possible, let us try to set some work going that will glorify him when we are dead and gone. Let us scatter some seed that may spring up when we are sleeping beneath the hillock in the cemetery.”

- all Spurgeon

Man, I love quotes. I have an entire notebook of quotes I haven't even touched yet.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

I'm at it again...God helps those who help themselves?

I DON'T THINK SO. I was clicking around, and decided to stop by Girl Talk, a blog I read from time to time, and I found this article concerning our dependance upon God (even in the small things).

Proverbs 3:6: “In all your ways acknowledge him.”


Proverbs 3:6 is our go-to verse when we’re faced with a big decision. We are often quick to acknowledge the Lord and seek His guidance in extraordinary situations. However, we assume we can “carry on…the ordinary matters of the day without his counsel.” God calls this self-idolatry and pride.

How often I live as if I don’t need God in order to clean my bathroom, or discipline the boys, or find that perfect gift for my mother-in-law, or put up Christmas decorations—as if I am sufficient in and of my self to handle most things! My lack of dependence upon God is pronounced in these “ordinary matters.”

PS: You guys sure are getting a look at the sites I read this week! I wonder how many outside links I have posted? Anyway, I like Girl Talk. After all, I am a girl.

German calendar depicts erotic moments from Bible

Anyone want some "Christian" porn to give the teens? Details here.

"There's a whole range of biblical scriptures simply bursting with eroticism," said Stefan Wiest, the 32-year-old photographer who took the titillating pictures.


Anne Rohmer, 21, poses on a doorstep in garters and stockings as the prostitute Rahab, who is mentioned in both New and Old Testaments. “We wanted to represent the Bible in a different way and to interest young people,” she told Reuters.


“It’s just wonderful when teenagers commit themselves with their hair and their skin to the Bible,” he said.

Friday, December 02, 2005

I need You more

Have I mentioned I love this song?

I need You more, more than yesterday
I need You more, more than words can say
I need You more, than ever before
I need You Lord, I need You Lord

More than the air I breathe
More than the song I sing
More than my next heartbeat
More than anything and Lord as time goes by
I'll be by Your side
Cause I never want to go back to my old life

My life isn't all sunshine and roses you know

Sometimes I cry, sometimes I laugh, sometimes I just sit in silence. Sometimes people have this tendency of assuming that I am happy go lucky girl, or that's the way I think they see me. The days that aren't so great, it amazes me how harshly people can react to it and other people just pour out love and grace at my feet.

Surprisingly, it has been people that haven't known me very long that seem to be the most gracious. I cannot help but wonder, is this simply because the people that have known me for 5, 10, and 22 years are just tired of my bad days? Or maybe I'm just being overly sensitive to some people. Perhaps it is a mixture of the two?

I'm leaning towards a mixture. Honestly this is something I struggle with myself. I seem to be more patient towards the people I have known for a relatively short amount of time. And that bothers me. Why do some people just get to me faster?

Whatever the case, I realize I cannot change other people...this has been a difficult lesson to learn if you want the truth...But I can change myself. Not by my own strength, of course, but with the help of God I am changing. I am not the same woman I was six months ago, and I'm certainly much different than the girl I was even a few short years ago. And I thank God for that.

This year has been rather bitter sweet, I have gone through some of the toughest trials of my life yet I have never been closer to Christ than I am now. And this makes me very happy...Not happy, happiness fluxuates, happiness is unreliable. It comes and goes like waves; I'm joyful in the Lord my God. Yes, joyful. That is much better. My joy is consistent, as I trust and walk with the Lord. I have joy despite the trials, and that comes from trusting a God who is always the same.

I forget exactly why I started this post, but perhaps that is a good thing. Whoever reads this will be able to see that I stutter and stumble around, but God's grace gets me through. I cry, but, what's that line from the song, "the joy comes in the morning!" So, I rejoice. I choose to thank God for the trials, because it is in these times I am being tested and tried and conformed to His will. It is the rough times that force me to chase after God, because without Him I wouldn't have the strength to stand a moment longer. But with Him, all things are possible. And I am not alone, despite how the enemy tries to make me feel. God is with me, and has blessed me with other women who edify my spirit and let me weep when need be.

Lewis on Narnia

Now this is interesting. Appearently Lewis was pretty dead set against the idea of Narnia being turned into a movie, specifically he didn't want a person playing the character Aslan. Of course one has to wonder how he would feel about the movie's upcoming release.

But I am absolutely opposed – adamant isn’t in it! – to a TV version. Anthropomorphic animals, when taken out of narrative into actual visibility, always turn into buffoonery or nightmare. At least, with photography. Cartoons (if only Disney did not combine so much vulgarity with his genius!) wld. be another matter. A human, pantomime, Aslan wld. be to me blasphemy.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

His ways are not our ways. PRAISE God for that!

The seeker sensitive church prides itself on being friendly, welcoming, and non-judgmental. They refuse to call someone a sinner and they avoid telling you that you are wrong (even when you are) lest they come off as one of those churches that would love to shatter your fragile ego, lest they cause you to think that you aren't the best thing to happen since sliced bread.

But are they doing you good, as they would have you believe? Are the "unchurched" Henrys and Sallys truly coming to an understanding of what it means to devote your life to Christ? Or have they simply found a place to socialize with people who will tell them how deeply God loves them without the slightest mention of their sin?

Have they found a place that will accurately put forth the gospel; that Christ died for our SINS, that without accepting and submitting to that sacrifice we cannot be reconciled to God, that we are all sinners and not one of us is good (Romans 3:10-12), that God loves us not because of who we are, but in spite of what we are (Romans 5:8)?

By avoiding the very mention of sin is the church doing the lost any actual good? It has long been my opinion that if you don't tell the lost they are lost, how are they to become "found"? If you never see light during your life, how are you supposed to see that you are living in darkness? If you don't think you are a sinner racing down the path to an eternity in hell, why would you feel the need to accept Christ's sacrifice for those sins? By being unwilling to offend your flesh, are they saving you from the judgment that comes?

Of course it is a common argument that Paul said, "I am made all things to all men." And this is true; he did say that. But does this mean he didn't preach on sin and Christ's death simply because it might offend someone? Did he not also say, "For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified." (1 Corinthians 2:2) I believe the 1 Corinthians 2:2 more accurately describes the means of our approaching others with Christ's redemptive sacrifice.

The church tries to find common ground with the sinner, hoping if they can keep their interests and entertain them that they'll stay. And I suppose there may be a grace for that, but when they go out of their way to avoid preaching the full gospel, well, then we have a serious issue on our hands. Paul may have been all things to all men, but he never avoided calling sin what it is: sin. And he certainly didn't avoid telling people that Christ had to die to save them from the hell we have each earned!

They say the love to do ministry the way Christ did ministry, yet they certainly would avoid calling us evil as Christ did in Matthew 7:11! Christ was compassionate, loving, patient, but completely righteous. He did not gloss over someone's sin to save them from a bit of heartache, but He certainly forgave them when they believed and trusted in Him. How could He tell so many people their sins were forgiven, if they had not been aware that they had sinned?

The Jews of Christ's time were fully aware of their sinful nature and they knew the punishment for sin was death, they had been performing animal sacrifices for hundreds of years, they understood that if not for the death of that innocent lamb the wrath of God would be poured out upon them. The Jews understood they were sinners and doomed without a sacrifice, and they were God's chosen people! So, why is it that we avoid the issue? If we have no need of God's forgiveness and mercy why would the writer of Hebrews exhort us to "come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:16, emphasis mine)

Ken Silva, over at Apprising Ministries, recently said something that I have observed in my studies of the modern church in his article "THE EVANGELICAL CAVE-IN HAS BEGUN: THE BIBLE".

Do a study the history of the Christian Church in America over the past one hundred years and you will see the root cause for this radical drift into apostasy is an abandonment of the infallibility and inerrancy of the Bible as God’s Word in favor of teaching our own views about what Holy Scripture itself says. For instance keep an eye out for the increasing number of doctrinal statements where you’ll notice that the word inerrant will be missing from reference to the Bible. There is good reason why more and more churches will be leaving that word off and that is to appease a rapidly growing faction of current scholarship within Evangelicalism that will eventually convince pastors that while the Bible is our “infallible” guide in faith and morals, today we need to “re-examine” what has been taught with Evangelical Protestantism over the past one hundred years in light of the changing postmodern culture.

Let me tell you what this actually means: “We will do what the Bible says, unless of course, the teaching we receive is one we don’t like i.e. deny yourself; in that case we must figure out a way to change what Jesus meant. In that case we have to be careful not to make the message of Christ too hard for contemporary society (read: themselves) or they won’t be attracted to our new religion Christianity Lite.” I truly couldn’t care less right now how these man-pleasers rephrase the language as lightly tap dance and blow their heavy smoke, this is exactly what they are really saying; and it is lack of faith any way you slice it.

The book of James closes with this phrase, "Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins." (James 5:19-20) How does one turn their brethren from error without first pointing out that they do error? How can you expect someone to turn from sin without mentioning that they are in sin? How can we expect someone to follow God's ways without first showing them God's ways (Psalm 51:13)?

It is a common argument among many evangelicals that they will use any means necessary to get people in the door. They will engage in worldly activities to "be authentic" and reach the lost. Yet this is in direct contraction to the Word.

"Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye no that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefor will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." (James 4:4)

"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." (1 Corinthians 6:14-18, emphasis mine)

How long will it be acceptable for us to pick and choose what parts of God's word the lost need to hear? More and more there is less being said from the word and there is an increase in divisions amongst those professing Christ. More and more there seems to be a general lack of knowledge when it comes to the Word and a general distrust for it. How can we know it's the truth? Just because God says so?

Well, how are we supposed to know that is what God says unless we study it? Second Timothy tells us that the Word is inspired by God, and if we truly believe that God is perfect how can we then say that the Bible is untrustworthy on any issue, whether it concerning the development of the planet or on issues of morality or any other issue? Yet, there are many who would trust their own wisdom over God's.

God says to be separate, but our flesh screams to join together. We think we know how to draw others to God better than He does, or at least our actions often give off that very arrogant notion. But the Bible tells us not to put confidence in our flesh (Philippians 3:3-4)); therefore one must rely solely upon God's wisdom. We have to trust that His ways are above our ways, and He has a better perspective and understanding of what each person so desperately needs (Isaiah 55:8-9).

So, ultimately it comes down to this: Who are you going to trust? The perfect and unchanging and righteous and merciful God that created each of us, or are you going to trust your flesh that is full of sin and is ever changing in its desires and lusts?

Excerpts from Psalm 34

Verse 4: I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

Verse 17-19 (emphasis mine): The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.

Verse 22: The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.

Wow. I'm not sure I have anything to add to this, other than WOW. Thank you my dear sweet Jesus.

God helps those who seek Him

It is in abiding in God's love and wiating for His leading that we have protection. It is in seeking God that we find our glory. It is in Christ we have salvation. God is our refuge. The psalmist says, "Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him" (Psalm 62:8) We aren't to hold back from God - I was once told that "God helps those who help themselves." I'm not sure I can agree with this, especially in the context it was presented to me. The phrase implies that we are to act upon our own strength and wisdom and when we do then God will help us.

But as I look at the Scriptures I do not see this theme. I see that it is in waiting on the Lord, in trusting Him in all things, that He helps us. The Lord goes before us to make a way for us, so it is in our best interest to wait on the Lord. When we wait on the Lord and strive to act within His will we can take comfort in knowing that we are walking with God and that He is our defence and our refuge. We can find peace, grace, and provision in His will.

In times that seem hopeless to the world we can cry out to God in the spirit and know that He hears us. We can take comfort in the fact that even if evil is done against us, God will deal with each person eventually, we all will have to stand accountable before the Lord and that He will render unto each of us what is due (Psalm 62:12, Revelation 22:12), and we can rejoice in knowing that all things work together for the good of those who trust the Lord (Romans 8:24-28). God can take something meant for evil and use it to bless. So, knowing that, what have we to fear? If God is for us, truly, who can be against us and prevail? No one.

Verses of interest
Psalm 35:3, 9-10, 28
Psalm 37:5
Psalm 56:3-4, 13
Psalm 57:1-2, 6-7
Psalm 61:2, 4-5, 8
Psalm 62:1-2, 5-8, 12
Psalm 63:7
Romans 8:24-28
Revelation 22:12

Bless the Lord, oh my soul, bless the Lord

Bless the Lord by Jeff Deyo
For your beauty,
For your goodness,
And your wisdom.. Awesome God
Praise the Lord oh my soul, Praise the Lord.

For your power,
For your honor,
And your splendor... Mighty God
Praise the Lord oh my soul, Praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord oh my soul, Praise the Lord.


And I will worship you,
I will bless your name forever,
I will worship you,
Bless the Lord oh my soul, Bless the Lord
Bless the Lord oh my soul, Bless the Lord

For your Kindness
For your Favor,
For your Mercy.. Gracious One
Thank the Lord oh my Soul, Thank the Lord.

For your fire,
For your testing
And your Spirit... Holy One
Thank the Lord oh my Soul, Thank the Lord.
Thank the Lord oh my Soul, Thank the Lord.


Bless the Lord oh my Soul,
Bless the Lord oh my Soul, Bless the LORD!

For your Suffering,
For your Anguish
And your sorrow.. humble King,
Bless the Lord oh my soul, Bless the Lord
Bless the Lord oh my soul, Bless the Lord

For your Victory {Victory},
For your Triumph,
And you'll soon come and reign over all.

And I will worship you, {worship you}
I will bless your name forever. {bless your name]
I will worship you, {worship you}
Bless the Lord oh my Soul, Bless the Lord {My Soul}

And I will worship you, {worship you}
I will bless your name forever. {bless your name]
I will worship you, {worship you}
Bless the Lord oh my Soul, Bless the Lord {Lord, My Soul}
Bless the Lord oh my Soul, Bless the Lord {Lord, My Soul}

Bless the Lord oh my Soul,
Bless the Lord oh my Soul,
Bless the Lord oh my Soul,
Bless the Lord oh my Soul, Bless the Lord {My Soul}