Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Wacky Wednesday: Susan B. Anthony is a blogger



Susan has her own reply to Luther's latest post!










Wacky Wednesday: Flashback to Luther Blogging

Ok, I'm being lazy and posted this yesterday, but it was just too darn good to pass up. I heard on the grapevine that Susan B. Anthony also blogs!


Do your emotions rule you or does God?

Emotions are a difficult thing. Before I started to grow in the Lord they ruled my life. Not only my emotions, but the emotions of those around me dictated my day. When certain people were happy I was happy. When they were miserable I was miserable. And if I was having a bad day on top of their bad day it was like I couldn't see the sun. It was a rather depressing existence. I was at the beck and call of a spirit that didn't have anything stable to hold onto. I didn't stand on God's word and understand that even in the difficult times I can have joy and peace. I was tossed and thrown and thrashed around by each of the coming waves; at times it seemed as though I'd be torn apart and drowned in the waves of emotions that surrounded me.

The Lord calls us to peace, He says that those who abide in Him will have peace. The Bible teaches us to take each thought captive, and if it doesn't line up with the Word of the Lord we are to cast it from us. We are to transform our minds through the Spirit and the Word of our mighty God.

It has taken a while for me to really begin to grasp the concept that my emotions are not to dictate my behavior (internal or external), rather I am to allow the Spirit to lead me so that I might glorify God in all things. I still struggle with it, it is so easy for me to let my emotions get the better of me and I follow them rather than God's truth.

I very recently stumbled with this. Someone I have known for years gave me a dirty look without cause and I allowed myself to dwell in the pain. It festered in me and a spirit of resentment took hold for a few moments. I became arrogant and prideful in my pain. I believe Satan truly enjoys those moments, because I let the focus fall from God to the pain. I stopped seeking God for a moment and sin ran rampant in my heart.

Praise God, though, He got hold of me. He showed me how awful I was behaving, and how I wasn't bringing glory to Him rather I was glorying in my little pity party. In that moment I saw, once again, how absolutely necessary it is to take each thought captive. I realize that even if I have just been hurt I need to take a moment immediately and get my heart and mind in line with God or I risk acting contrary to my testimony. And that is the last thing I want to do.

I want to bring glory to my dear Father in all that I do. It matters not if I am alone. I know what I am doing, as does Christ.

So, in that moment of realization. I chose to follow God's leading. I asked for His forgiveness, and then proceeded to pray for the person, I asked God to bless and protect them. And at first my flesh screamed, it didn't want to bless that person, so I prayed harder and asked God to change my heart and my mind. And by time I finished praying I was no longer hurt or upset with the person, and my heart was clean again. Because I am no better than this person. If I wasn't seeking God's will for my life, if I chose to live in the flesh I'd be at least as hurtful as this person. And I see that. I see that it is solely by the very grace of God that I am able to act in direct opposition to my natural desire.

Wacky Wednesday: Let them sing it for you

Let them sing it for you. It's very silly. Type up a poem and throw it in there and listen to famous people sing your song!



Wacky Wednesday: Tomato on G.W. Bush and Katrina

Don't ask me why I'm posting this, I was just very entertained by this post last night...Perhaps I was over tired. Anyway, here is a new blog I found (I've been finding a lot of them lately) and the mandatory liberal hating Bush post.

It has come to my attention that since I did not blame George Bush for the tragedy that is Katrina's rescue effort, I am a "spewing partisan rhetorical mis-information." Since I am not a Republican this is really disturbing to me. So in an effort to distance myself from the Bush administration I will use this post to point out some obvious truths about the man, George Bush:

George Bush actually caused hurricane Katrina. Well, not so much caused it but at least empowered it by planting underwater heaters beneath the Gulf of Mexico to make sure any hurricane that was there would definitely become a cat5 storm that would hit New Orleans.

Why would George Bush be against New Orleans?

Obviously because New Orleans voted 77% for Kerry. For sure he'd be mad at them and want to spite them. He could have, for instance, NOT put billions of dollars into the war with Iraq, and instead built a super flood protection center for the poor. Then they would be safe. But no, because George Bush hates poor people and everyone knows that poor people vote for Democrats. So Bush had to destroy them.

...

It's just too bad John Kerry isn't president because there is just no way he would have let the hurricane happen, let alone destroy New Orleans. Because Jon Kerry loves the black people!
(emphasis mine)




Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Luther updates his blog

This was just to amusing to pass up.

(source)

Contemplation: Union with God?

Contemplation feeds us in our need for truth, for beauty, for joy, and most of all, for love...As, therefore, one grows in contemplative prayer one is being fed in his deepest hungers.

Fr. Thomas Dubay, Contemplation: Union with God, Ignatius Press 1995.

This man would call himself a Christian no doubt, yet he is teaching, through a video series, a new age practice. ::sigh:: I'll come back to this, perhaps tomorrow or else on the weekend.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Not sure what to call this...

Countless millions have gone home to the Lord. Most of them we have never heard of. They led quiet lives, most probably went unnoticed in societies eyes - passed over for people doing bigger and "greater things." It is these people, these mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters that you never hear of that I often think of. These people just lived their lives, hopefully as best they could to bring glory to the Lord. Perhaps they only impacted the lives of a handful of people, but I am most certain that touching a few people in a profound way has a much more important impact than being famous or great in society's eyes.

It is in the day to day relationships with others that we can make a lasting impact for the kingdom of Christ. It is in living our lives in a God honoring way that is accurate to what the Bible teaches that we can make a difference. You want to change the world? Start at home. Raise your children to know who the real Jesus is. Honor your husbands and wives as the Bible tells you to. And when you screw up, admit it. Repent and move on, don't keep going down the wrong road because you are to proud to admit you've messed up. You risk continuing down the wrong road and leading those who look up to you with you down the broad road to destruction.

'Jesusy' Anne Lamott

Lamott is nuts about Jesus, but she's okay with dating someone who isn't. "He's not a believer yet," she says about the South African artist who works in advertising. "But he loves God. It's just that he doesn't quite commit. He's been sober as long as I have, and we both have a higher power. I call mine Jesus."
source

But what "God" does He love? Allah? Budda? Perhaps he loves Walsch's "God"? The point is, if you don't follow Jesus you can't truely be following and loving God. Jesus is the way, and nobody comes to the Father but by Him. That is a Biblical fact.

When she first sensed Jesus' physical presence during her conversion 17 years ago, some people dismissed the experience because she was hungover.

By the second time she met up with Jesus, she had been sober for over 10 years. She ran into him in an airplane lavatory. The so-far unpublished event happened a few years ago. She was flying to the East Coast to give a sermon and a lecture at a church. Disturbed by her fear of flying, she couldn't concentrate on writing the sermon she was about to deliver. (It's normal for her to prepare her speeches on the way to her speaking engagements. "I just totally trust the Holy Spirit to help me.")


WHAT? Ok, so she was going to give a sermon and then she came to Christ? That seems a little out of wack, but I'd love more explination on the first time she "met up with Jesus."

Why is it I seem to forget the Psalms?

There is so much beauty in them, the Psalmist puts into words things I struggle to express yet somehow I never seem to remember that until well after the fact. Oh well, I'm aware of them again and it has taken less time this time around so I'm growing and learning. I'll take comfort in the fact that I am not the same as I was just a few months ago and be glad that God has shown me the beauty of the Psalms again.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Trust

As some of you may have noticed, I do a lot of bouncing around the Bible, and it seems a common theme for this blog has been trust. Well, once again the topic came up with me. Faced with a problem that caused me quite a bit of heart ache, I had to choose to follow God's will (also a very common theme in this blog) and trust that what He has told me will be carried out in His time. This can be a difficult thing, especially if you don't take time for God and learn about Him and dialog with Him.

After all, as I have asked time and time again, how can one trust someone they don't know? I really don't think you can truly trust someone without knowing them. When the difficult moments come it is easy to panic, and if we have no basis in God's word then how are we supposed to remember the promises He has laid out in Scripture? And if we don't know those promises how are we to find the peace and rest afforded to us by Christ Himself? So, once again, I want to dig into the subject of trust.

I found this at cyberhymnal, it is entitled Trust.

All that our Savior hath spoken
Came from the heart of God;
Surely it cannot be broken,
Sealed with His precious blood.

Tempests may rage and thunder,
Mountains be rent asunder,
Nations may fear and wonder—
Trust, and be undismayed.

As unto Abram was given
God’s cov’nant word of peace,
“Counting the stars” of the even—
So shall thy faith increase.

Trust when the light warm and tender
Seemeth to Thee withdrawn;
Wait a few hours, and in splendor
Morning again will dawn!

Trust! tho’ all others forsake thee,
Yet there remains one Friend;
Mercy and truth shall o’ertake thee
Down to thy journey’s end.

Trust under every condition
Till thou shalt reach thy home;
Trust, till in perfect fruition
That which is real hath come.

I have one other hymn I'd like to share with you, here is Take Time to Be Holy.

Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;
Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word.
Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak,
Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.

Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.

Take time to be holy, let Him be thy Guide;
And run not before Him, whatever betide.
In joy or in sorrow, still follow the Lord,
And, looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word.

Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul,
Each thought and each motive beneath His control.

Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love,
Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.


I'd also like to share a few verses with you concerning the topic of trust.

Psalm 4

1 Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.

2 O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah.

3 But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him.

4 Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.

5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.

6 There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us.

7 Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased.

8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.


Isaiah 26:3-5

3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

4 Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:

5 For he bringeth down them that dwell on high; the lofty city, he layeth it low; he layeth it low, even to the ground; he bringeth it even to the dust.

Proverbs 3:5-6

5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Romans 4:16-30

16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,

17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.

19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb:

20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;

21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.


23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;

24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;

25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

Psalm 62:1-2, 5-8
1 Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation.

2 He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved.
...
5 My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.

6 He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved.

7 In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.

8 Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Lessons in holiness - but who's teaching who?

I like reading random blogs, I'm a people watcher by nature so reading blogs is great b/c I can observe people without having to leave the comfort of my own home. I found a new blog today in which a mother shared this adorable post about her daughter learning about temptation.

So, we had a little talk. I explained that there are things we really like to do that we really mustn't. Those things are called temptations, and we must fight hard not to do them and pray to the Lord for help. But it's worth it, because we will always feel better doing things God's way, rather than our own.
As always with little ones, I was quite prepared to have to repeat this conversation a few times before it sunk in.
...
I crept up the stairs, not really wanting to catch her in the act, again. She had gone to the toilet first, which is fine, of course. Then there was silence for about 30 seconds when I knew she wasn't moving.
Then I heard her whisper emphatically 'No!' and those tempted feet ran back into bed. She began to pray.

"Lord, please, help me to learn your righteousness, help me help me..."


It's amazing how you can learn from your children, or other people's children. This little girl is so ahead of the game. It is beautiful.

Taking the day off: TURKEY DAY

To all my fellow American's celebrating today, be safe and have a great holiday. To everyone else, have a lovely Thursday.

Faith and Practice

I was clicking around various blogs yesterday and discovered a blog entitled Faith & Practice that will be kicking off after the New Year. Anyway, there is one major post explaining their general beliefs concerning faith and practice, and I thought I'd share a bit of it with you.

The phrase "faith and practice" has historically been used by various Christian (and even some non-Christian) groups to delineate the doctrinal distinctives of their particular denomination or association. On the one hand, it is a broad phrase, encompassing all areas of both belief and behavior, doctrine and duty...

Genuine faith always impacts real life; and, conversely, deeds and decisions can always be traced back to an underlying system of belief. Even from a purely secular perspective, "beliefs, together with other mental states (desires, fears, and intentions), function as reasons for action" (Honderich, Oxford Companion to Philosophy, 82).

From a biblical point of view, faith and practice are so intertwined that—at times—they are almost synonymous. In the Scriptures, to believe is to obey. As Christ said in John 3:36: "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."

...

Thus we chose the name "faith and practice" because it encompasses all areas of theology, from the systematic to the practical; and also because it serves as a vivid reminder to all of us that true Christianity does not consist of mere theory, but of wholehearted obedience to the truth (cf. John 14:15).

Though somewhat tangential, it should also be noted that, in the last century, an effort has been made on the part of some so-called evangelicals to use the phrase "faith and practice" as a bibliological cop-out—a way in which they think they can affirm the infallibility of Scripture without actually accepting the Bible as completely true. Thus, the claim is made that God’s Word is infallible in areas of "faith and practice" but not in areas of "science, history, and the like."

At least two things are particularly disturbing about such a claim. First, it implies that secular science and history provide a greater source of authority for the Christian (regarding what is factually true) than the Bible. (For instance, since science has supposedly "proven" that Darwinian evolution is factual, then fiat creationism must not be true, despite the fact that it comes from the straightforward reading of Genesis 1–2). Second, this claim essentially says that, in areas where the Bible can be tested by the scientific method, it cannot be trusted...

If the Bible cannot be trusted in every area, it cannot be trusted at all.

We, of course, affirm the total infallibility and inerrancy of the Scriptures as delineated in the Chicago Statement on Inerrancy. And we further decry the use of the phrase "faith and practice" as an incognito attempt to undermine an orthodox (and God-exalting) bibliology. We would much prefer to stand with A. A. Hodge who, in his 1860 article entitled “The Rule of Faith and Practice,” states:

The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, Having Been Given By Inspiration of God, Are the All-Sufficient and Only Rule of Faith and Practice, and Judge of Controversies. . . . What is meant by saying that the Scriptures are the only infallible rule of faith and practice? Whatever God teaches or commands is of sovereign authority. Whatever conveys to us an infallible knowledge of his teachings and commands is an infallible rule. The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the only organs through which, during the present dispensation, God conveys to us a knowledge of his will about what we are to believe concerning himself, and what duties he requires of us. (From Outlines of Theology, chapter 5)


Our primary objective, then, is to glorify God by being faithful to His Word. To that end, we are preparing articles for our launch on January 1. Lord willing, we'll see you then!
Source (emphasis in original)

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Wacky Wednesday: Praying rocks?

Here is an interesting image, very well done, very manipulated if not completely fabricated.


Dalai Lama visits US: Religions are "more or less the same"

The Dalai Lama has been visiting Washington this week and recently made a speech to 16,000 people in the city.

"In order to have genuine faith, you need to have one truth, one religion. But that does not mean you lose respect for those of other traditions," the self-described "simple Buddhist monk" said.

Religions become counter-productive to world order when they neglect the fundamental values of compassion, kindness and self-discipline that make them "more or less the same," he said.

"If a religion only creates problems, I think we have the right to append that religion," he said.
Source

What kind of "problems" would a religion have to create in order for us to "append" it? I mean really, there is no way (at least right now, though I it will come soon) to enforce such an idea. First you would have to determine how to define a problem, then start to identify the religions that cause such problems, and quite frankly people aren't going to give up their faiths easily.

What would be considered a problem? Probably all those who hold to the view that their religion is the right religion and refuse to bow down to other gods. I don't imagine we'll see the Buddhists getting chased down for being to "narrow minded" but I'm sure that religions such as Judaism, Islam, and especially Christianity will be viewed as such. After all Christian's narrow minded belief that Christ is the only way to heaven sure doesn't sound very accepting.

But the time is coming where his ideas will become policy. The world is becoming more and more hostile to the idea that Christ is the only way. They demand that we have to accept everyone and everything they do, and those of us who take issue with the immoral behavior and beliefs of the world are viewed as hateful hypocrites. After all Christ said "judge not lest ye be judged" right? They insist Christ accepted people as they are, no matter what, and loved them right then.

And that is true, Christ did love us while we were lost and full of sin. But he certainly did not intend for us to stay and continue doing our sinful, lustful behaviors. He told the woman caught in adultery to go and sin no more, He told us to be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect. But the time is coming when those facts will be largely ignored, indeed it is taking place already.

So what do we do? Do we go along and keep our mouths shut about sin like the world would have us do? Or do we draw unto the Lord and continue to seek and proclaim Him to the world that so desperately needs to know Him? Christ told us to go out and make disciples, in order to truly do that the issue of someone's sin will come up and it is not something to strink from. You can lovingly address sin in someone's life, we need not be afraid to mention sin for fear of chasing them off. After all, if you don't tell them they are a sinner, how will you be able to explain the need for Christ's redemptive death? Christ said to go out and make disciples, He also said that those who love Him will do His commandments. He said not to worry about tomorrow, after all we have enough to deal with today, and indeed He warned us that a time was coming when brother would rise up against brother. We will be driven from the "synagogue" but we are to hold fast until the end.

Wacky Wednesday: I've got a paper jam!




I got this in an email, it made me laugh.

Wacky Wednesday: Baby Got Book

I first saw this well over a year ago, but thought that it would make a great addition to Wacky Wednesdays. Anyone remember that song "Baby got back"? This guy rewrote the lyrics, and he is "all about" the KJV. So silly.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

RE: National Youth Workers Convention

At that point, a couple people shouted from the back, "Way to go, Tony. We love what you're doing. Keep it up!" I said, "Listen, I'm not trying to be a martyr here, I just want to know why is pinning me down so important? Why do you have such a passion to categorize me?"

About then, another guy spoke up: "OK, then why don't you just put the argument to rest and make a definitive statement about what Emergent believes about absolute truth."

I replied, "Emergent doesn't have a position on absolute truth, or on anything for that matter. Do you show up at a dinner party with your neighbors and ask, 'What's this dinner party's position on absolute truth?' No, you don't, because it's a non-sensical question."
Source (emphasis mine)

Well, while asking what a dinner party's position on absolute truth may be silly to this man it is not anything like asking him (a pastor & public speaker) to define something that he admits he prescribes to. And what the heck? A supposedly Christian pastor doesn't have a position on absolute truth, OR ANYTHING ELSE?!!!!!! What about Christ's divine nature? What about His resurrection? What about the infaliblity of the Bible? Come on man, if you're going to say the EM is Christian let's hear your beliefs!

What am I thankful for?

It's that time of the year, we are all reflecting upon our lives it seems. Trying to find meaning in the madness, seeking the good out, finding things to be grateful for. Well, I'd like to share a short post to answer the question of the season. That question, of course is "What are you thankful for?"

I am thankful for Christ's saving grace most of all, but my thankfulness is certainly not limited to it.

I am thankful for every beat of my heart, it is truly amazing to realize it could stop at any moment, I am thankful for my beautiful children who continue to astound me. I am thankful for my friends, my family, and even my enemies. Perhaps especially them b/c it is through them I learn to love beyond what my flesh and emotions would allow me, I learn to love through an act of will. It is because of them I have learned I have to desperately seek God's will and strength to be able to love those who I don't feel like loving, so I am thankful for my enemies.

I am thankful for Frenzy board, my blog, and the endless resources that are available to me via the internet, the library, and other people's knowledge.

I am thankful for the desire to learn, I am thankful that I am not content to stay as I am - to stay in mediocrity. I a’m thankful for the freedom I have, and I am thankful for those who don't have my freedoms yet continue to strive to glorify God despite the opposition and persecution they face daily. I am thankful that they have drawn so near to God that they are unwilling to let His message suffer for the momentary comfort of themselves and their families.

I am thankful that such faith and strength is available to each of us, it is ours if only we would ask. I'm thankful that I can come to God, that He hears me and cares for me.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Who do you see when you see me?

Hmm, it seems I have been spending a lot of time over at Challies the past couple of months. With good reason, the articles are quite interesting and the message board digs in deep with a lot of topics, over all this seems to be one of the best sites I've seen in years. Anyway, I came across this and honestly it struck a chord with me.

I'm just wondering, who do you see when you see me? Do you see a woman seeking God, who is desperately in love with her Savior? Do you see the effect God has had on my life? Is it a good effect? Do I seem to be a better person since I've come to Christ? Can you see God in me?

I have been blessed with someone who I look to, who models not the woman I want to become like the world models their look and behavior exactly after the superstar of the moment, rather she models some of the qualities of what a godly woman who is desperately seeking God's will has. Someone who challenges me to think, who challenges me to grow in (and continue to seek) God, who challenges me to become the woman God intended for me to be rather than the woman I am now - to be unable to rest in mediocrity that I have become accustomed to.

At the same time I wonder if I will ever become a woman that others would aspire to be like, if there are qualities about me that glorify God that other women will see and want to find their own way to bring glory to Him. That is my desire, to show God in such a way that people around me just stop and say "Geez, I could love God at least as much as she does," and then pursue that love. I want to be the kind of woman that when people see me they see that I am flawed, but full of love for the Lord, that there is nothing in my life that matters more than my relationship with Him. I want to be the a woman who strives to glorify God in it all, and I long to be able to help and encourage other women to seek a deeper relationship with Christ.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Left Behind III: My review


I recently saw the latest Left Behind release. I haven't read the books since I was in high school, so I'm a little rusty on the specifics of whether or not the film even came close to following the story line in the books. Some of the parts I do remember, however, did appear in the film. For instance, Chloe and Buck marry and Ray marries Amanda. The down side is that you don't really know where the heck Amanda came from in the movie. One film he is mourning his wife the next he's getting married again. Oh well.

This is definitely an action packed film, not something I would recommend watching with small children floating around as there is some violence. Though it comes nowhere near what normal films contain when it comes to violence.

The special effects are MUCH better in this film, so it doesn't have that "this is a B movie" feel as much. AND if you are a fan of the character of "Chappy" from Iron Eagle (this came out many moons ago, army/ air force flick.) then you will be excited because Louis Gossett, Jr. plays American President Fitzhugh. I don't even remember if this character was in the books, but he did a great job in the role though there was some major deviations from what I remember of the books which bothered me immensely.

Moving on. The "trib force" has expanded and gotten involved in actively coming against the Anti-christ and his religious suppression via stealing Bibles from government warehouses and smuggling the Bibles to underground churches. Then mysteriously the church houses around the country begin to suffer devastating illnesses and eventually deaths from an unknown virus. Bruce (the pastor) falls ill and as Chloe cares for him she becomes ill as well. It becomes a race to try and figure out what is going on before more die. Where did the virus come from? What is the common link between all the ill? I won't tell you what happens to them because I like to be mean. Email me if you just have to know. This illness, I don't remember being in the books either by the way.

So, I don't necessarily agree with everything that is said in and through the series, but over all this was a decent movie. It was definitely one of the most well made Christian films I have seen, which is good. I know people who aren't Christians but love the movies and this has actually opened up new conversations with them. There is no middle ground with this film when it comes to the topic of salvation. It makes it very clear, you must follow Christ and submit your life to Him or you are siding with the Anti-christ; that you will follow the leader you choose to submit to strait to their eternal destinations. It's heaven or hell people, and this film makes that clear.

Overall, I'd give it 3.5 stars out of 5.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Johnny Depp to leave Paris

Johnny Depp has become disgusted with the riots that have been taking place in France, given his feelings towards America I doubt he'll be hopping a flight back to LA. So, the question then becomes, where can he go? Perhaps he'll purchase Angelina Jolie's place in London (as this seems to be another place the stars like to go) if she does indeed sell it to move in with Brad. ;) There's your gossip for the week.

E-sword

is a great program. I've been using it for months now. The main program itself comes with the KJV with strongs numbers, and you can download many more translations seperately. Also available are devotionals, maps, and about a million other things. Very useful program for Bible study.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Are Women Ready for the 'Stud Farm'?

Former Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss has set out for Nevada with a mission to put a new twist on the world's oldest profession.

Fleiss revealed Thursday that she was joining forces with the owner of the Cherry Patch Ranch, a legal house of prostitution about 80 miles outside of Las Vegas, to create what she called a "stud farm" — the first brothel featuring male prostitutes catering to women...and she planned to charge $250 an hour for their services.
Source

One woman was quoted as saying that she wouldn't go but that she felt the service should be available to women. WHAT?! This, I just thought was great (typed with GREATsarcasmm):

[a] 46-year-old single woman from California, told ABC News via e-mail: "I would never need to visit a male prostitution place because there are SO MANY men my own age and younger who are willing and able to have sex with a woman at the drop of a hat. I know several guys I could call for sex any time I was free. No need to ever pay for this."
(emphasis mine)

There aren't words to describe the issues I have with this. Sadly, it seems sex is no longer something that should be shared with your husband, rather it is a recreational sport. It's really kind of sad, and quite disturbing.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

InstaVerse

I found this linked over at Challies.com, it's actually very neat. When you put your mouse over a scripture reference (such as John 1:1) the text of the verse will pop up. Very neat.

God hears me when I call!

As some of you may know, I play guitar & piano a bit. I also sing, albeit I think not very well. Some people think I have a good voice, others are not so fond of it. Really the opinions on my singing are all over the place. Anyway, it really doesn't matter because I like to sing. Even if my voice is awful I'm always singing. And with good reason. I serve a God who deserves praise and honor! And so I sing. Or I write. Or I simply spend time with Him.

But what amazes me is that while I am fumbling around trying to find the words to thank Him, while I may sing, in a voice that is definately not comparable to Judy Garland or Audrey Hepburn, He accepts it. He takes the praise I offer up to Him. It doesn't have to be perfect, it doesn't have to be pretty (by the world's standards) for Him to accept my praise and thanks.

And, today that just really got hold of me. I was praying and goodness knows my mind was all over the place and I was having a hard time trying to express myself, and I was getting frustrated with myself. And He just spoke to me. God in His great love for me, accepts my flounderings and gives me peace to know that He has heard me AND understood me.

There is just no getting around it, God blows my mind.

Anyway, here's the song that came to me after I spent my quiet time with Him and started doing my dishes.

It Is Well With My Soul

When peace like a river attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well with my soul

Chorus:

It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul
My sin o the joy of this glorious thought
My sin not in part but the whole
Is nailed to the cross and
I bear it no more paraise the lord, praise the lord,
O my soul
And lord haste the day
When my faith shall be sight
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll
The trump shall resound and
The lord shall descend
Even so it is well with my soul

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Wacky Wednesday: New Revelations for Charismatics

A leader with an international following (who wears the label of “apostle”) recently informed his leaders that men of God who reach his level of anointing are allowed to have more than one sexual partner. Then his own son offered his wife to his father out of a sense of spiritual obligation.
Source

ICKY!

Wacky Wenesday: Today wasn't so wacky

Greetings my fellow bloggers! I suppose by now you may have noticed that this edition of Wacky Wednesday wasn't so wacky compared to the last couple of weeks. I'm terribly sorry to disappoint you, and Lord willing things shall be very wacky next Wednesday. I'm currently buried alive under a project I have gotten myself into and won't be done I fear until tomorrow, which means W.W. has to take a back seat. I'll post on the project once it's done, it's been intresting...

Until next time!

Kristina the Master of Wacky

Wacky Wednesday: Find Christ using Yoga


"We call this process 'christ centering' and it is the only true path to fullness and to satisfaction and to peace" Watch the video here.

Wacky Wednesday: Frenzyboard


Frenzyboard deserves it's own post. Really. I love the forum, but sometimes things just get so crazy. This past weekend was a crazy time on there. Though it was definately entertaining it was most certainly WACKY. So, cheers boardies, you've gotten your own post!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Question for the churches with Starbucks in them

What is the difference between selling coffee and what the money changers did in Christ's time? I'm just wondering.

Quotes for the Day

Whiskey is all right in its place -- but its place is hell.

It won't save your soul if your wife is a Christian. You have got to be something more than a brother-in-law to the Church.

The reason you don't like the Bible, you old sinner, is because it knows all about you.

The inconsistency is not in the Bible, but in your life.

God likes a little humor, as is evidence by the fact that he made the monkeys, the parrot -- and some of you people.

--all from Billy Sunday

Monday, November 14, 2005

Quote of the Day

I believe that a long step toward public morality will have been taken when sins are called by their right names. - Billy Sunday

How much is my blog worth?


My blog is worth $27,662.46.
How much is your blog worth?



Oh how I wish...

Challies.com Give-away

November Giveaway

If you enter, do me a favor and put me down as your referal. kristina@kristinahansen.com Thanks!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Christian Band Gets Bumped for Refusing to Tone Down Faith Message

A Christian band at Wright State University in Ohio says it has been the target of religious discrimination by the school. "The Ambassadors" recently accepted an invitation to perform at a WSU homecoming event, but the university backed out at the last moment and replaced the Christian music group with a secular band.

The move to bump the band came after the University Activities Board asked the Ambassadors to modify their lyrics for the campus event by removing any religious references, something the band was not willing to do. Sophomore Jason Seidler, a rhythm guitarist and vocalist for the Ambassadors, says the Activities Board members argued that the school could not use public funds to pay for a religious group.
...
Source

Thanks For the Past Year and A Prayer For The Coming Year

Lord God, my dear and precious Father, thank You! Thank You, Jesus, for the strength you have given me this past year. Thank you for guiding my walk as I submit to you. Thank You for Your unwillingness to let me walk without warning into sin. Jesus, I thank you for those times when You have pulled me back from the brink of sin only to reveal how long of a fall it would have been if I had contiuned on. And thank You Lord, for lifting me back up after those times I've fallen dispite Your every effort to turn me from the wrong path. Thank you for using those failures to cause me to see You and how utterly nessicary you are to my life.

Jesus, I ask that You would continue on. Guide my feet and my sprit (and my tounge!) in Your will. I thank You for shining a light on the darkness, I thank You that Your Word pierces the soul - cutting to the inner most parts of myself. I thank You for the times my heart has been broken over my sin and Your sacrifice for me, and I ask, in Jesus' holy and beautiful name, that You would continue to break my heart of the sin in my life. Give me a new heart, Father.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Isaiah 41:10

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

Personal Worship

Tim over at Challies posted an article concerning personal worship and devotional time. While I haven't really thought much about how I "do" my alone time with God it is interestingly (or not so interestingly) similar. I don't nessicarily do all of these things in this order, but I thought it was interesting to see it laid out on paper...or pixels as the case may be.

1. In Jesus' Name

Begin your time of personal worship by acknowledging that it is only through Christ's merits that you can come before the Father. It is only through the work of Christ in which He took our sin upon Himself and satisfied the Father that we can now be accepted by God. Acknowledge your unworthiness and dependence on Him. In the spirit of the following verses, believe and trust that Christ died to be your Mediator to the Father. Thank Him for allowing you access to God.

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:13)
For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. (Ephesians 2:18)

2. Delight in Him

Delight in the Lord, expressing your wonder of His greatness. Praise Him for who His is - for His character and attributes. Do not focus yet on the things He has done for you, but on His person and attributes. A good place to start as you mediate on Him may be with answer four of the Shorter Catechism, which asks "What is God?": "God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth." You might also thank Him for His love, patience, kindness, goodness, knowledge and glory. Just thank and praise Him for being who He is!

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)

3. Repentance

Have a time of personal repentance where you reflect on your own sin and shortcomings in the light of the perfect majesty of God. Confess and repent of specific sins, asking God to forgive you for them. Trust that He is faithful to do so and acknowledge your acceptance of His forgiveness.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

4. Express Your Longings

Express your deepest, most personal, most intimate longings to God. This is not a time to pray about everything you need or want or a time to bring your petitions before God. It is a time to make known to Him your deepest desires. This may include your desire for deeper fellowship with Him, for personal holiness, to "finish strong" and so on. Ephesians 1:15-23 may serve as a guide for this.

As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for the living God. (Psalm 42:1,2)

5. Read a Psalm

Read a Psalm or a portion of a Psalm. Consider reading it out loud, remembering that Psalms were written as music and poetry. Praise God through your words.

6. Sing to the Lord

Sing a song to the Lord. You might consider singing a version of the Psalm you just read or singing a biblically-sound hymn or chorus by yourself or accompanied by a CD. You may prefer to make up your own song based on the Psalm you just read or any other passage of Scripture. If you are not a singer, consider reading or reciting a creed or reading a question and answer from a Catechism. Either way, allow this to be a brief time of heartfelt praise to God.

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! (Psalm 100:1,2)

7. Study The Word

Having prepared your heart and removed any emphasis from yourself, it is now time to turn to the Bible.

Begin by asking the Spirit to illumine the Words you will read and to speak directly to your heart through His Word, "...that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints..." (Ephesians 1:17,18)

Read with confidence that God is as eager to speak to you as you are to listen to Him. Turn to a passage, and preferably at least a chapter, of the Bible. Read it first as a whole and then in smaller pieces. Seek out the key verses and read them meditatively, continually seeking God's wisdom to help you understand. Reflect, contemplate, ponder them. Read with a view to understanding the sense and meaning of the passage. Then begin to apply the passage to yourself, asking how this truth relates to you. Ask the following questions of the passage:

Are there commands to obey?

Are there examples to follow?

Are there errors to avoid?

Are there sins to forsake?

Are there promises to claim?

Are there new thoughts about God?

Are there principles to live by?

You may wish to finish with a prayer of application, asking God to apply to your heart what you have learned.

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. (Psalm 1:1,2)

8. Intercede For Others

Bring before God the needs and concerns of others. You may wish to remember specifically:

Friends

Family members

The leadership of your church

The leaders of your nation

The unsaved

Missionaries

Those who have asked for prayer and those you have promised to remember in prayer

Those who are grieving or troubled

Those who have experienced disaster

Because you will find there are so many people to remember in prayer, you may wish to make a system of rotation where you pray for only several of the groups each day, remembering to include each group at least once per week. One system I have found helpful in organizing my prayers is to pray in "concentric circles," beginning with those who are closest to me and moving outwards to those I know only as acquaintances and then those I do not know at all.

Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you. (1 Samuel 12:23)

9. Petitions

Petition the Lord for other needs that you have not yet brought before Him. This is the time to make personal requests and desires known before Him. More than just remembering these before Him, ask Him specifically for guidance, deliverance, wisdom or endurance. Bring your petitions before Him with faith and humility, knowing that God loves to grant the desires of your heart.

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)
Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. (Jn. 16: 24)

10. Thanksgiving

Pray a prayer of thanksgiving. Be specific in thanking God for his forgiveness, goodness and providence. Thank Him for the time you have been able to spend with Him. Thank Him for speaking to your heart through the Scriptures you read earlier.

Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. (Hebrews 13:15)

11. Place Your Day Before God

Place your day before the Lord, dedicating the day to His service. This is a good time to ask Him for specific opportunities to serve Him in sharing the Gospel and serving others. It may be helpful to go through your day chronologically, asking him for help, patience, guidance, faith and so on in specific areas. For example, you may ask Him for patience as you deal with your children, guidance as you examine job opportunities and wisdom as you share the Gospel with your neighbours. If you have your time of personal worship in the evening, place the next day before God.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Girl Commits Suicide: Online newsgroup proofread the suicide note

This video is probably one of the saddest things I've seen in a long time.

Knowing that we can at any point terminate our lives can be a powerful incentive. "Okay, now I can do anything. If the heat gets to be too much, I can push 'eject, game over,' and I don't have to worry about the conditions I've created for myself."
...
If we're really creative, we may rig up a type of death which serves to accomplish something long in our wake, as is said of Jesus and Socrates.
Source (Italics mine)

I cannot begin to tell you how this grieves me. It truly breaks my heart. What bothers me even more is the fact that there are people on message boards and web forums encouraging others to kill themselves when they themselves will not do it. Sadly, the ones that follow through with the advise probably never see through the hypocrisy of it all.

One website I found proudly lists photos from various people's suicides, as well as sketches of different methods, and still this does not seem to deter people. It is only by the very grace of God that people are saved from such states. If nothing else, we can pray. Pray God reach the lost, pray they would call out to God as He is the only One Who can deliver them from their pain. Death will not cause it to cease, I pray people would see this.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Wadky Wednesday: Nose Shaper

You may be wondering, just what exactly is nose shaper? Find out here!

Wacky Wednesday: Dust Covers for Dogs!

How would you like a dust cover for your dogs?

Wacky Wednesday: Battle Axes and Torches!

Hate having to carry your battle axe in one hand and your torch in the other? I know I do, but now we don't have to!

Welcome to The Third Edition of



I thought today we'd start with something yummy.

I recently discovered a website with lots of silly things on it, here is achewing gum locket!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Abide in Him and Find Your Rest

This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. (John 15:12)

As Christians we are very familiar with this command. It is followed in Scripture by “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (vs 13) And it is easy to imagine such a love for friends or family. Heck, even the world does this. But is that really the depth of this deeply important commandment? Would Christ have us lay down our lives for people we don’t know, let alone don’t like? Surely His directive for us extends beyond those we feel love towards.

In fact, Christ Himself said, Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? (Matthew 5:43-46 emphasis mine)

The word in verse 13 is the Greek word agape, which we translate into love. This word, it seems, we are very familiar with hearing. But rarely do we take a look at what the root of the word means. It comes from the word agapao, which has a VASTLY different definition than we would normally ascribe to the word love. It is this word (agapao) that appears in verse 12.

Strong’s defines agapao as “to love (in a social or moral sense),” there is not mention of feelings or emotion, why? I believe that it is because we are not supposed to wait to feel love in order to show and act upon love.

Agapao is a love of the head rather than of emotions such as phileo (“to be a friend, that is to have affection for”). Agapao is a love of conscious choice. It is a willful act to take notice and care and show concern for one another. This is not a feeling, this is an ACTION! We are not to wait until we feel the love, we are to act! It matters not if we want to care, we are COMMANDED by Christ Himself to do so!

In John’s gospel Christ tells us, “if ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I keep my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” (John 15:10, emphasis mine) The Greek word for abide is meno, which Strong’s defines as “to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy): - abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry (for), X thine own” (emphasis mine)

So, we see that we must follow the commandments of the Lord in order to remain in His love. It does not matter if our flesh wants to do it, we have been commanded by God Himself to do as we are told. Then, and only then, will we be present in His love, and the more we are in His love the more grace we will have and be better able to follow His commandments.

Following God’s will, when it goes against our fleshy desires, is very difficult. So how do we gain the strength to submit to God when our flesh wants to scream? We pray. Hebrews 4:16 tells us, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” How do we approach the throne? We pray, we study His word, we seek God’s will, and when we are able to discern what His will is we submit to it NO MATTER WHAT. And it is in doing this that we will obtain grace and mercy. It is in choosing to lay down our worldly desires that God will give us the strength to follow His commandments, but we must choose! When we have done that, when we reject our selfish desires for God’s desire and walk in His commandments we can experience a peace, a rest, that the world could never understand.

When we do God’s will, and reject everything that is contrary to that, life becomes more simple. We find we don’t have to fill our days with things that the world does, we become released from the chaos that the world experiences. When we reject the world and do God’s will, including loving the people we don’t like, we are able to draw closer in to God we are able to find more time for God. Christ has freed us from the bondage of the world. No longer do we have to love only those who are good to us, no longer do we have to have pity parties for ourselves because someone wasn’t nice to us, no longer do we have to walk through life with a joy that is dependent upon outside circumstances to exist, no longer do we have to be separated from God’s eternal rest! Seek! Submit! And experience the peace you long for.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Ancient church uncovered at Megiddo

xpansion plans for Megiddo Prison, until now known only as a main facility for security prisoners in the North, have unexpectedly yielded a major find for the Christian world and Israeli tourism: a structure believed by some archeologists to be the earliest church ever found.

The rare Christian religious structure, possibly the largest church ever found here according to reports, was found during an Israel Archeological Association (IAA) excavation at the site, discovered thanks to the help of, among others, 60 prisoners who worked on the dig.

Found on the floor of the structure was an inscription written in Greek dedicating the monument to the "Lord Jesus Christ". In addition to the dedication to Jesus, three other inscriptions were found on the mosaic floor.

One of them, the northernmost inscription on the mosaic, constituted a dedication to Gaianus, a military officer who contributed to the
construction of the mosaic floor from his own funds. Another, the easternmost inscription, memorialized four Greek women. The last of the inscriptions, on the western side of the mosaic recalled a certain god-loving "Afektos."

...
"Third to fourth century mosaics, including those with inscriptions, are very rare. This [finding] is a unique and important structure [and expands] our understanding of the early period of Christianity as a recognized and official religion," he continued.
Source

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Pride and the American Way

Stacey, over at The Promised Land has quite an interesting post concerning pride in America. You may want to take a peek, though I'm going to provide a short excerpt.

What is pride?
New Webster’s Dictionary – “The quality or state of being proud; an unreasonable opinion of one’s own superiority over others; inordinate self-esteem; the reflection of this quality in disdainful or arrogant behavior; a reasonable self-respect based on a consciousness of worth; that which causes one to be proud; elevation or satisfaction arising from one’s achievements, possessions or the like.”
...
Why is pride wrong?
First of all, because God said so (Jeremiah 13:14-17 “Hear and give ear; be not proud, for the Lord has spoken. 16 Give glory to the Lord your God before he brings darkness, before your feet stumble on the twilight mountains, and while you look for light he turns it into gloom and makes it deep darkness. 17 But if you will not listen, my soul will weep in secret for your pride; my eyes will weep bitterly and run down with tears, because the Lord’s flock has been taken captive” Proverbs 16:5 “Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished.”) and secondly, because who does it put first in my life? – ME! Who should be first? – GOD!


There is more, and like I said, it is an interesting post so go take a look.

“10 things that make me joyful”

I have been tagged to create my “10 things that make me joyful” list byStacey.

1) My Heavenly Father and growing in Him
2) My two beautiful children
3) Good friends and the heart-to-heart talks we have
4) The Fall
5) Sleep
6) Writing
7) Thunderstorms
8) Beautiful scenery or creation in general
9) Music: listening to God glorifying music or attempting to create my own
10) Comments

Friday, November 04, 2005

Student 'girlcott' protests Abercrombie t-shirts

Abercrombie is at it again. Known for causing controversy, their past exploits have included releasing a "catalog" full of topless women and men wearing nothing downstairs as well as putting t-shirts out that said "L is for Loser" after the US gymnasts lost in the Olympics. It is another t-shirt that is now causing a stir, and rightly so.

With a few words on their T-shirts, Abercrombie & Fitch lets young women send a message: "Who needs a brain when you have these?"

A group of female high school students have a message for A&F: Stop degrading us.
...

"We're telling [girls] to think about the fact that they're being degraded," Emma Blackman-Mathis, the 16-year-old co-chair of the group, told RedEye on Tuesday. "We're all going to come together in this one effort to fight this message that we're getting from pop culture."
...

News of the girlcott hadn't reached Tawana Clark, 20, who was applying for a job at the Abercrombie & Fitch store in Water Tower Place on Tuesday. But she doesn't think the protest will work.

"I think it's only older people that have a problem with it," she said. "Teenagers don't have a problem with it."

Source (emphasis mine)

A girl applying thinks only older people care, yet it is a group of teens that has spearheaded the campaign. I for one, would like to commend these girls for their stance. And it appears all this "free press" hasn't been so good for the company.

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. said Friday that it will stop selling some T-shirts that a group of teenage girls found offensive.

The Women & Girls Foundation of Southwest Pennsylvania was protesting the retailer over T-shirts for women emblazoned with sayings such as "Who needs brains when you have these?" and "I had a nightmare I was a brunette."
Source

God-Focused Youth Ministry

I recently (today) found an interesting article/post discussing the God-Focused Youth Ministry Conference. It was, indeed, an interesting read which confirmed many of my own beliefs and suspicions concerning youth ministry as well as the church in general. If you are interested, concerned, or just curious about the current state of youth ministries around the country I'd suggest reading this.

Frank Hamrick started out the conference Monday evening with an overview of God focused ministry. Not only did we learn what a God focused ministry is not, we also learned that “a God-focused ministry is one in which both the goal and the methods are designed to magnify the majesty of God to such a degree that youth develop a passion for God that governs every aspect of their lives.” It was in this session that he clearly articulated that often we talk about truth but not about “the Truth”; we talk about life but not about “The Life”; we talk about the kingdom but not “The King.” Our focus is so often on that which we gain through the relationship we have with God and not on God.
...
Secondly, It is the primary purpose of man to glorify God. God is glorified when man meditates on God by meditating on the works of God and the Word of God. As God is revealed to us in His written Word, we begin to know Him. That which we grow to know, we grow to love. We cannot glorify God without truly reflecting his character. For us to reflect His character, we must know and love Him. As we know and love God we are conformed into His image and it is in our holiness that we glorify Him.
...
Thirdly, youth ministry is not about entertainment. We have, driven by a desire to numerically grow, done all we can at times to appeal to the worldliness of teens so that we may keep them. We have done them a great injustice by neglecting the teaching of the doctrines of God. We often want to be “practical” instead of theological. It is vital that we do not make such a distinction between the two. Theology is practical, and practice must be derived from an accurate theology. As soon as we set aside theology for “practical preaching” we are in reality being behavioristic. It is not important that we teach our teens how to behave; good or moral behavior can be accomplished by anyone. What we must strive for is godly obedience which is the product of having meditated on God, knowing God, and loving God.

Report #1 from the God-Focused Youth Ministry Conference by Aaron Sturgill

Can We Depend Upon Something External to Bring Us Before The Throne of God?

Music has always been a HUGE part of my life. Heck, I first came to Christ, not during a sermon, but during a song. I most easily, most quickly feel God’s presence through music. I imagine that is rather typical as every church I have attended, and heard of, has music in some form. Indeed, music certainly has a place in our lives and in our churches, but it seems that we, as believers, have developed a dependancy on music. It has become a crutch to us. We seem to NEED it. And the church leaders want people to feel something. They want you to enjoy church so that you’ll come back, and so they go for the gut.

Going to church is an emotional experience a lot of the time, and that seems to be the way we like it. We put on dramas and skits during service to entertain. We show emotional clips of children to soften our hearts. The sermons are geared to make us leave feeling great. Is it, then, any wonder that music is such a focus in the modern church? Is it any wonder we often can walk out of the church and not remember a word the pastor said but we can remember the set the worship team played?

Music is a very useful tool, but when people argue that we aren't allowing the Sprit to minister to those in attendance because we end the music, well, that could be argued as bordering on a dependancy. We should be able to feel God's presence without music. And even if we don't feel His presence we can still worship Him. We don't, necessarily, have to feel it for it to be worship. Nor do we have to sing to bring praise to God's throne.

Take for instance in a normal Sunday service. You get up sing three songs sit back down take an offering and the pastor starts his sermon. That barely gives any time for the Holy Spirit to minister to people. And if it is ministering to people they get cut off because worship is over and it is time to sit and do offering.
From Frenzyboard(emphasis mine)

What you are saying here implies that the Holy Spirit is unable to touch people, to stir their hearts, without music. Worship isn't 3 songs. Worship is our lives! Everything we do should be an act of worship. When we wash the dishes, mop the floor, do the laundry, change the baby’s diaper, or make love to our spouse, these are all supposed to be acts of worship because our lives are to be spent, every moment of them, worshiping Christ in all His Glory.

Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit.(1 Thessalonians 5:17-19)

We are to give thanks in everything, and not quench the Spirit. So, why is it so many of us walk around with this gapping void inside of us that we think can only be filled at church on Sundays during the worship team’s music set? If that is the only time you’re being touched by God, why is it? What do we do differently on Sundays that allows us to feel Him standing amongst us?

Some argue that church is to “stuffy,”to structured. That when we have a way of doing things we aren’t really allowing the Spirit to move. Structure isn't bad, nor does it really impede upon the Spirit. And, quite honestly, when the Spirit is really moving within the service the pastors and worship leaders tend to go with the flow. I really don't think stopping the singing to hear a message that is delivered upon God's very Word would be stepping on the Spirit's toes any.

More often than not it is after the music has ended that I really get something great from God. The music may stir my spirit, but the Word feeds my soul. And I think a lot of the time we want to feel that stirring, we seek that out and don’t want it to end and we end up putting the Word God has for us to the side so that we can keep the feeling. But then is it really God stirring our soul or is it us creating an emotional response to something because we want to feel something?

If it is God then there (more often than not) should be more than just that feeling. We cannot continue to base our relationship with God on our feelings, nor can we depend upon something external to bring us before His throne. We must willfully, actively submit ourselves to Him. We need to (if only figuratively) raise our hands, we must give Him the thanks and praise that is rightfully His.

Whether or not we feel something is not the point, and demanding that the church not end it’s music session solely because you feel you need that to connect to God is ludicrous. You don’t need a priest to go to God, nor do you need music to worship the King. He has given you everything you need. He has given you Himself.

He has died for your sins, what more do you need than that to be able to worship? Why is that not enough to stir your spirit? Why is it we have become so complacent about what happened on that cross? We can talk about Jesus sacrificing Himself for the sins of us all like we would talk about changing our socks. And that is truly a sad, sad thing. It should put us in a state of awe; we should be heartbroken that this righteous, and pure, and holy God bore our sins and died for us. What more do we need to be able to worship Him than to realize that fact? I dare say we need nothing. Give me Christ and I shall offer up worship to the Lord all the days of my life. Forget the tunes, give me Jesus.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Challies on Translation

I'm a stickler for a good translation when it comes to the Bible. I've made quite a few posts concerning the topic (here, here, and here). Well, it seems Tim over at challies.com is as well. Go here to see what he has to say on this most important subject.

NUDE HOUSECLEANING

I was looking online for piano tuners, and somehow this listing came up. Very strange, rather disturbing.

White male will clean your house in the nude, everything from vacuuming, dusting, scrubbing, waxing, laundry, etc. You provide the supplies and equipment, I will provide the muscle. Available on weekends rate is $10 per hour (2 hour minimum). Try me satisfaction quaranteed.
Phil

Beautiful is Better?

The other night I saw a report about the trend among high school girls to request breast implant surgery as a graduation gift. It got me thinking.

Though we would not choose to walk out of our graduation ceremony and into the plastic surgeon’s office, I don’t think there is a woman alive who hasn’t wished she could change at least one perceived physical flaw. I probably think about it more than I want to admit.

When it comes right down to it, I don’t think these girls—or any of us for that matter—want a different body for it’s own sake. Rather, because of the sin in our hearts, we long to find happiness in the applause (worship) of others. We think beauty is our ticket to bliss.

But it won’t take us anywhere. Beauty doesn’t satisfy. Proverbs says that it is “fleeting” (Prov. 31:30, NIV). Charles Bridges elaborated: “Beauty—what a fading vanity it is! One fit of sickness sweeps it away. Sorrow and care wither its charms. And even while it remains, it is little connected with happiness.” (Charles Bridges, A Commentary on Proverbs (Carlisle, Pa.: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1846, repr. 1998), p. 627.)

This is why the well-meaning advice to simply “learn to love your body” doesn’t cut it. Even with supposed “Christian” packaging (“Jesus loves you just the way you are, so you should love yourself”)—it’s hollow. It’s an erroneous diagnosis. It doesn’t satiate our desperate, sinful thirst for attention. Even if it seems to for a moment, it won’t last. You might as well hand an exhausted marathon runner an empty water bottle.

But there is hope—for these high school girls and for every woman consumed by the quest for physical beauty. There is hope for me. For “[Christ] died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised" (2 Cor. 5:15).

Because of the gospel, we can be free from this fruitless and rebellious search to find satisfaction in receiving admiration for our physical beauty. We can live for Christ instead. And thus our hearts can “be fixed, where true joys are to be found” (Book of Common Prayer, 1662).

So what difference should the gospel make in how we think about beauty today?

First, instead of complaining to the mirror about our imperfect body, let’s consider how we can live for Christ by trusting Him and serving others. True joy will inevitably follow.

And secondly, if we’re tempted to envy (or self-righteously judge) the beautiful, immodestly dressed co-worker, classmate, or fellow mom, for the attention they receive, let’s pray for them instead—that they too would find true joy in Christ.
Source

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

My Kids are Wacky

Julianne will crawl all over the house and then just randomly lay in the middle of the floor. She's silly.

Prussian Blue

13 Year Old Racist Singers


Sad sad sad

Anyone need to go potty?

If you have an over active bladder you might not want to work for Ford.

Flash backs to earlier in the week

Windows: a remixer's dream I actually tried this, sort of. I made an mp3 of it, it's kind of creepy. Email me if you want it.

Also from this week:
Jesus Impersonations

I suppose someone

out there will find this funny. I think it's terribly sad. Dress Up Jesus Why is making fun of Jesus so much fun for people? I really don't understand. Why would it be funny to have a photo of Jesus hanging on the cross and then put Him in a Santa Claus outfit?


PS: I want to make it clear that even though the title line may be fun and give off the impression that I'm only posting things that I find amusing this is not the case. This just happens to be the theme. Some, a lot even, of what I will be posting on Wednesdays will be silly and fun, but there are still going to be serious posts as well. Just thought I should clear that up.

Is it a pumpkin or a computer?

It's both!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Prepare for the Future with Rick Joyner or Barbara Marx Hubbard?

JOYNER "prophesied":

“The earth will be restored to its former paradise so that there is no more war, sickness, dying, hunger, or even pain. . . . Our message must change from proclaiming that the end is coming to proclaiming that the beginning is coming.

...

HUBBARD wrote:

“The alternative to Armageddon is the Planetary Pentecost. When a critical mass is in the upper room of consciousness on a planetary scale, each will hear from within, in their own language, the mighty words of God.” (p. 157)

“Here we are . . . on the threshold of global co-creation wherein each person on Earth will be attracted to participate in his or her own evolution to godliness.” (p. 174)

...
Source

End my confusion, explain the photo

I'm confused, I thought Judas sold Jesus out?

Re-Imagining Spiritual Formation


In your setting, you're trying to bring this back to a communal structure or a corporate structure. Is that always part of your framework?

Recently we took our whole gathering (Sunday service) and based it around Lectio Divina and drum circle imagery. We used the drum circle as sort of a centering prayer; it has that same function of clearing your mind and allowing you to engage with other people in a collective way rather than an individual way.

Then we used passages about living water from John and Revelation, and we repeated those over and over. We had people reflect on that scripture quietly by themselves, and then we had people break into groups and share their reflections, while the other half of the room did the drum circle. There was also a chorus being sung during that time. So this essentially had three elements, those sharing their reflections, those doing the drum circle, and those singing the chorus. After a while we switched so that everyone in the congregation got the whole experience. It was your own sort of personal interaction, with the meditating on these passages, but it was done in the context of other people, sharing with other people, and all being done with the accompaniment of this centering prayer.

There's a time when it's really important to find your own thought and voice, and then there's a time when it's equally as important to connect to the collective without individualizing everything.

What are some practices that you are re-working and that you think might last over the long haul?

Right now we're doing "prayer postures," which involve using the physical body as a means of prayer. Posture itself leads thinking, mind, and prayer, something like bowing heads, folding hands, etc. We come up with different postures for different prayers, and that allows us to extend the category of things we pray for. Most prayer becomes a very inward kind of thing. Most postures close us in, you close your eyes, bow your head, it's all got a very "closing down" kind of vibe to it. While we utilize plenty of those types of postures as well, but then we add some other postures in that all of a sudden make you pray in directions that you wouldn't otherwise. It's a really nice blend of the "ancient" and the "today."
Source (italics mine)

Boy, that sounds like yoga to me and eastern meditation to me. What is the problem with just praying? Why do you have to repeat something over and over and over? I didn't realize God quit showing Himself to those of us who just pray and read the scripture. I didn't realize I had to beat a drum and say a phrase over and over to approach God. I sure am glad this guy is around to set me straight! (Please note the HEAVY sarcasm)

And He Said, "I am he"

After Christ lays with His face in the ground in prayer and willfully submitted His walk in the most trying time of His life to the Father He rose up. It is immediately after He chose to walk in God's will for His life (and death) that He was confronted. With a small army Judas shows up to betray Christ.

I cannot imagine how the must have hurt our Lord. Someone He loved, traveled with, and taught for three years, was turning Him over to die an excruciating death. Someone He had protected, fed, worked miracles in front of, and probably shared quite a few laughs with - His friend - was having Him killed for a lousy thirty pieces of silver.

In my own life I have had people disappoint and betray me, but nothing done to me could compare to the betrayal Christ endured that night. And yet I have found myself completely heartbroken, nearly unable to breathe from the crushing pain of the needless and senseless acts against me. Yet Christ, being handed over to be tortured and killed walked confident steps.

We do not see Him doubt what He knew God wanted Him to do. He stepped forward and asked "whom seek ye?" (John 18:4) When they told Him they sought Jesus of Nazareth He could have easily said that He wasn't who they were looking for. I'm quite sure His disciples would have gone along with whatever He said. And who really would have blamed Him? He could have avoided pain, ridicule, humiliation, torture, and death. Yet, He did not turn. He did not lie. He stepped forward and declared for all to hear, "I am he."

I imagine He said it in strength, fully knowing the repercussions of this statement. I imagine He felt God's Spirit on Him as He publically declared who He was, despite knowing what awaited Him. Such strength comes only from God.

I believe that is why He had spent His final free moments in prayer rather than saying good bye to His mother and friends who hadn't been with Him at the Last Supper. He understood how difficult and painful this was going to be and He understood without a renewing of the Father's Spirit He would falter.

There was such a strength in His declaration that the mob was literally knocked off their feet! (John 18:16)

Moments before we see Christ, the Glorious Son of the Living God, on His face in prayer. We see Him in such a human way. Then after choosing to continue on in God's will we see peace and strength that went beyond humanly possibilities. He knew what had to be done. He did not resist His captures, He healed the man whom Peter injured (vs 10-11) and told Peter to put the sword away. He went without hesitation to stand in a fixed trial, fearlessly He perused God's plan. Even as the Romans nailed His beaten and bruised body to the cross He prayed for them.

This seems unthinkable. And indeed, it is if you only walk in the flesh. But if we go to God and submit every aspect of our lives to His will He blesses us. He gives us a strength that surpasses anything we could do on our own.

It is only in prayer and following His will that we can accomplish things that our flesh couldn't otherwise stand up to. And this is why the Bible tells us to pray consistently. It is in prayer we found our strength to do the seemingly impossible through God's spirit.

See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.(1 Thessalonians 5:15-18)