Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Baby Left in Bag Draws Crowds

Down in Rio De Janeiro a baby was found in a plastic bag, floating on a piece of wood. Praise God the two month old child was still alive and was taken to a near by hospital that she had just been released from only hours before. The mother claims she gave the child to a group of homeless people and that they must have put her on the wood. The police, however, are highly skeptical. Either way, the child is safe now and the hospital has received over 100 offers to adopt her. Where will she end up? Only God knows. But I sincerely hope and pray this child would be placed with someone who will love and care for her and will raise her up in the Lord.

Monday, January 30, 2006


God forbid anyone actually read their Bibles on their own or pray anymore. In today's frenzied consumer driven culture sitting down and spending some quiet time with the Lord just isn't an option. So, while we're all popping our prozac we can pop our "Gos-pill" while we're at it!

We have compiled several scriptures under many different topics that
are defined in everyday language so an individual can find the prescribed antidote of the Word of God for their particular situation.

Let's see what they have to say about poverty, shall we?

Poverty In My Life

I am a prosperous individual, I do not receive poverty in my life. Whatever I do prospers. All my needs are supplied and God has given me the power to get wealth. Therefore, I have success in my life. In Jesus Name!

Whatever I do prospers? What if what I'm doing isn't God's will for me?

There is even a link for my very own personalized affirmation! Mine was on the subject of empowerment. W00t! I feel great now! I didn't have to get on my knees and seek God, I just had to type in my name and I was guaranteed an instant pick me up! This could be better than a grande Starbucks coffee!

On Hell

Recently, I've entered into a discussion concerning hell and the idea of universal salvation. I've been accused of refusing to accept God's authority and rejoicing in the idea of people suffering forever simply because I question this "prophet" and the teachings he brings. So, I would like to open this up to anyone who would care to respond.

I'd like to make it clear that this is not a personal attack against one person, but an attack against teachings I believe to be un-Scriptural. If you disagree, tell me why. And here we go.

Eternal punishment doesn't happen as a result of God's pickiness. He actually uses it as an instrument to lead us back to Him. "I tell you the truth, He will certainly not get out of jail until he has paid the last penny." God uses it to make us as holy as His Son. Otherwise, it's just an unjust cause, and He'd be better to leave us alone altogether. He's not out to get vengeance for vengeance's sake, He loves us as His children, and He has plans not to harm and destroy us, but to plans to prosper and hope for a bright future.
- The "prophet"

This quote was the initial spark of conversation, though admittedly we have disagreed on other things as well. I asked him to clarify what he means, as I've heard from other people that they don't believe hell to be eternal. Rather they think it is something God uses to refine/ purge us of our sins to make those who didn't accept Christ on earth ready to accept Him in the future. The problem with this is that the Bible uses the word "eternal" as well as the word "everlasting" to describe hell and the punishment taking place.

Another issue I have with the ideas being espoused by many like this young man is the fact that they say that Christ came to save EVERYTHING, all of creation is going to be redeemed. The problem with saying things like that so broadly is that "all of creation" includes Satan and all of his followers.

Revelation 20:10-15
And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

This idea that EVERYTHING will be redeemed goes completely against scripture. The above verses say that anyone who is not found in the book of life will be cast into the lake of fire, this then implies that there will be people who aren't in the book. If this weren't the case, why mention it? Another verse from Revelation correlates with this idea very well.

Revelation 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.

This young man went on to say at one point that the Bible may not flat out say everyone will be saved, but that it implies that this is the case. When I asked for his reference points he didn't provide them. So this makes me wonder: Does he actually have any Scriptural backing for what he is saying? I doubt it. I also disagree that the Bible implies that everyone will be saved based upon the two verses quoted above as well as the following verses.

Matthew 25:41-46
41Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Matthew 7:21-23

21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

I cannot help but wonder why people are so afraid to talk about hell. I realize this is not a comfortable issue, but is it supposed to be? If we claim to love the lost and want them to accept Christ but undermind His teachings concerning the afterlife, how then can we say we love Him. When we reject His teachings we're rejecting something of Him, we behave as if we are ashamed of Him if we avoid something He clearly felt was important enough to discuss on more than one occasion.

Luke 9:26
26For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels.

I must make it clear, however, that I'm not advocating beating people over the head or trying to scare people into a commitment to Christ. I don't believe, despite what anyone may think about me, that hell is the focus. I agree very much that we shouldn't follow Christ simply because we are afraid of hell. That's a very selfish, and superficial, motive for claiming Christ.

We should worship Christ because He deserves it. It is by His hand all things were created for His pleasure and His glory. He appointed the stars to the sky determined when they should die, ect. In the same manner He has appointed a time for our conception, our births, our deaths, and everything in between. We worship Him, not for fear of punishment, but in appreciation for Who He is. This does not, however, change the fact that hell is a reality that millions, if not billions, of people face.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

What Do You Get When...

You take 9 children under the age of 12 (most under the age of 5) and give them candy and free reign in a Burger King Play Land? I'm guessing a migrane. I'll soon find out. Party at BK today for the little man who just turned 3. Bob the Builder pinata, filled with sugar...I mean candy...a home made cake, and french fries. My son will have a field day.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Blog Under Construction!

Thanks to David Kjos for refreshing my memory about tables and their use as a solution to my IE woes! So now, the blog will be under construction until I can get it to behave properly in IE...or I lose my mind trying. Which ever comes first. If the blog looks randomly odd, ignore it and bare with me, I'm working. Thanks!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

What on Earth? My Blog in IE

I don't use IE, like ever, I love Firefox and it's my browser of choice. But for a change of pace I thought I'd take a look at my blog in IE. What on earth? The page loads and the entire side bar that should be at the right of the page is being displayed BELOW all my posts. If anyone reads this and uses IE, can you let me know where the sidebar is being displayed on your computer? I'd appreciate it. And if it's displaying this way on everyone's computer in IE then you should all switch to Firefox. It's so much better than IE.

Three years and two hours ago I was blessed

By the birth of my son. Honestly I can't believe it's been three years, simply because it seems like only yesterday I was being wheeled in for the section. It is amazing to see how much he's grown. And more amazing than that it has been a blessing to me to see God moving in his life and delivering him from a severe speech delay. Truly I have been blessed through this child. And it is my hope and prayer that as he grows He would grow in the Lord. I've been blessed already and I long to see how this boy develops. I long to see God move in him...And me.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Pyromaniac closes his doors

Only to reopen them under a new name with a few partners, I'm excited!

Wacky Wednesday

What to do? I'm unsure as to whether or not they should continue, so the post I already put up shall be the last until I figure out what to do.

Wacky Wednesday: Falling off a ladder

This guy fell off a ladder on live tv on QVC a while ago, it's like those America's Funniest Home Videos, you laugh but you're not sure why. PS: It's a video.

Victory is mine

He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.

Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isiah 40:29-31, emphasis mine)

It is interesting and encouraging to remember that it is not by my strength, but by His that I perform the task laid out before me. Indeed, if it were by my strength I would have failed long ago. But in Him I have the grace and strength necessary to finish the race. After all, my God has already won. My victory hung beaten and bruised on that cross at Calvary, and was laid to rest in a tomb. But even death could not keep Him! Three days later He rose. Victory is mine - and yours - in Christ alone!

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2)

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

A Confession

I have been thinking about this blog a lot lately as well as my writing in general, which is why the quote in yesterday's post was so interesting for me. It seems I have been caught up in the "stats" frenzy, I check my stats at least once a day and if I don't hit that marker for the average I get disappointed. But should it really matter? I started this blog for me, then it took a turn and I started posting to share what God was doing in my life. If it only served as an online journal for me to recall God's movement in my life that was good enough for me. But somewhere along the line it became about the stats. Maybe not fully, but it definitely became a focus. And so I would like to apologize to those of you who do read this.

Why should I care where I am on the God Blog Eco-System? Truly it shouldn't matter. I write to get my thoughts out of my head about what God is doing, and to offer encouragement to anyone who should come across the blog. If one person is touched by something I've shared that should be more than enough. Because generally when I write, I'm writing for me. So I know that if nothing else, I've been touched, and that's enough. Everyone else is just icing on an already delicious cake. And so, effective immediately, I'm removing my counters and stats. It will help me resist the temptation to become focused on numbers rather than quality. I hope the future of this blog will be filled with things that would glorify our Father rather than things that I know will get me hits.

Monday, January 23, 2006

A Quote Concerning Writing

Tim over at Challies.com wrote a short piece on the blessings of blogging. I think Tim has a great perspective on the concept of blogging, and he shared a quote that he found that touched me deeply, so here you go.

"Writing a book is sweet fellowship with the Lord. He instructs me as I write. If no one ever reads it, His purpose has been accomplished in my own soul. I am satisfied. If He is pleased to use it in the lives of others, may He be glorified."
- Susan Hunt

It is my sincere hope and prayer that my, and every Christian blogger's, perspective would be this. Read Tim's piece, it's a good one. And I agree.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Thoughts For a Sunday Evening

I've been spending a lot of time lately thinking about Christ and the surprising event that was my salvation. And I've been thinking about how far I strayed from that for so long, and even more surprising is the fact that He took me back. I betray my Savior more than I care to, yet He is here when I turn back to Him. I long to stop my seeming constant slip ups, but at the same time it is these screw ups that I realize just how amazing Christ is. Truly there is nothing I can imagine that is more beautiful and humbling than knowing Christ "died to give us life, and to give us hope He rose." (Veggie Tales reference) It is a bitter sweet thing, knowing my Lord died for me makes my heart break and at the same time makes my soul soar. I'm not sure I'll ever truly be able to explain my feelings regarding the amazing sacrifice that was provided for me by Jesus. But I know that's alright. I don't have to be a poet to thank God, I just have to be willing.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Saturday Silliness from GirlTalk

One of the many frequenters of GirlTalk sent this in. Boy I'd love to be at that church!

Friday, January 20, 2006

It was inevitable I suppose: End of the Spear

This week a movie entitled End of the Spear is being released. In fact it may be getting released today, though I cannot say that with any real certainty. The film is based upon the lives and deaths of five missionaries to Ecuador, including Nate Saint and Jim Elliot, who were trying to reach the unreachable for Christ. It's a moving story, so the fact that it was being made into a movie got me excited. Surely there would be things that I may not like about the film, after all Hollywood is trying to tell a story about reaching people for Christ.

Anyway, Chad Allen (best known for his role on Dr. Quinn the Medicine Woman) was cast as Nate Saint. So what? Well, apparently he's a gay activist. So there has been a lot of controversy over whether or not it is appropriate for a man such as him to be taking on the role of such a beloved missionary. People are quite up in arms about this.

It has been said on many blogs that he's been out and about for years, and his activism is widely known. However, before everybody and their mom starting making posts about this I was not aware, and I suspect a large number of people could say the same thing, though I do think that the producers of the movie should have done more research into the people they were casting.

So, here is what I find interesting. A lot of people are very excited about this movie and the possible outreach it could open up, similar to The Passion. And then there is the spectrum of people who really did not like The Passion and find it ridiculous that we need movies to attempt to reach the lost for Christ. We've gotten lazy in our witness to the world they say. And generally I agree with them. I think it's really silly to wait for a movie to come out to try and discuss Christ's saving sacrifice with people.

The problem here is, these people seem to be making a bigger stink of Chad Allen being a gay activist and playing Nate Saint than they did about Jim Caviezel playing Jesus. Quite honestly, I have more issues with people who don't have a relationship with Christ playing the role of my Savior. Why are we more up in arms over this than we were about who would fill the role of our Savior? This seems strange to me. Yes, I realize that Chad obviously doesn't have a relationship with Christ and therefore isn't a fantastic choice for the role, but really, was Jim Caviezel any better? I don't think so. Am I thrilled with the fact that he's a homosexual man with a political agenda playing this role? No. Is it the end of the world? Absolutely not. After all, we're not supposed to be waiting around for movies to come out to evangelize.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Book Review: Redeeming Love

Recently someone recommended this book by Francine Rivers to me. I was lucky enough to be able to get it from the library and set out reading it. I tend to be pretty picky about the fiction I read so it was an act of faith reading this. But I am very glad I did.

n this splendid retelling of the biblical story of Hosea, bestselling author Francine Rivers pens a heartbreaking romance between a prostitute and the upright and kind farmer who marries her; the story also functions as a reminder of God's unconditional love for his people. Redeeming Love opens with the Gold Rush of 1850 and its rough-and-tumble atmosphere of greed and desire. Angel, who was sold into prostitution as a child, has learned to distrust all men, who see her only as a way to satisfy their lust. When the virtuous and spiritual-minded Michael Hosea is told by God to marry this "soiled dove," he obeys, despite his misgivings. As Angel learns to love him, she begins to hope again but is soon overwhelmed by fear and returns to her old life. Rivers shines in her ability to weave together spiritual themes and sexual tension in a well-told story, a talent that has propelled her into the spotlight as one of the most popular novelists in the genre of Christian fiction. This is one of her best. --Cindy Crosby

I identified with Angel especially her stubbornness, the pride, and the walls she developed to safeguard her heart - which didn't actually protect it but suffocated it. She desperately needed God and to be truly loved, yet had become so accustomed to the sin and hatefulness and cruelty that she was afraid to let go of it. The entire thing, quite moving. Michael is a stunning picture of Christ at work in a man. The book is an amazing depiction show us how much God truly loves us, and when He makes up His mind to love someone He does so unrelentingly. We may run from His love, but eventually we will run out of places to try and hide and will have to face Him and either embrace His healing touch or reject Him completely.

Truly I was touched by this book, it is without a doubt one of the best books I've read in my life. And I'm happy to recommend this book.

Monday, January 16, 2006

I never realized how much traffic I could get just by mentioning the food network

I've been checking my stats, and since I made the post about how I love food network I've seen the traffic jump from an average of 10-12 visits per day to 16-17. That's a pretty big jump. Anyway, I'd like to say thanks to foodnetwork for being so very good to me. haha Seriously though, I do enjoy the shows on the foodnetwork and would highly recommend Rachel Ray's 30 Minute Meals to anybody.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Friday, January 13, 2006

Sony launches gay music label

Sony Music has launched the first major music label dedicated to nurturing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender artists.

The label, Music with a Twist, is a joint venture with Wilderness Media & Entertainment, the company led by Matt Farber, who has founded MTV's new gay and lesbian channel LOGO.


Music With a Twist's roster will feature gay artists who have mass appeal and hit potential across all musical genres.

The label also plans to release various compilations geared toward gay and bisexual audiences, featuring hit songs by established artists that have been embraced by gay, bisexual and transgender audiences, as well as tracks from emerging gay artists.


There has been a lot of talk on the blogosphere concerning fundamentalism since Rick Warren shot off this quote featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer:

"Warren predicts that fundamentalism, of all varieties, will be 'one of the big enemies of the 21st century.'

"'Muslim fundamentalism, Christian fundamentalism, Jewish fundamentalism, secular fundamentalism - they're all motivated by fear. Fear of each other.'"

But what is Christian fundamentalism? I thought I'd share a couple quotes from other blogs that respond in detail to Mr. Warren rather than creating my own article. I have my thoughts, but they are pretty well summed up by two blogs. EDIT: A friend contacted me after I posted this, and I thought I'd add her list of fundamentals as well, it lines up pretty well with the others listed, it's just less wordy.

1. Virgin Birth
2. Deity of Christ
3. Inspiration of Scripture
4. Resurrection
5. Second Coming

What are the Five Fundamentals?
I grew up in churches that belonged to a loose fundamentalist organization, so I'm familiar with the fundamentals. Here's a list of the fundamentals as I learned them:

1. The literal inerrancy of the autographs of scripture. (The word autographs means the original writings of the authors of scripture, so manuscript copies and translations are not included in what is inerrent according to the fundamentals.)
2. The virgin birth and deity of Christ.
3. The substitutionary view of the atonement .
4. The bodily resurrection of Christ.
5. The imminent return of Christ. (Originally there was not a specific eschatological view in mind here, since the founders of the fundamentalist movement were from various denominations and held various views of the end times.)

Depending on where you look, you'll get a slightly different list. This one is from an article posted by the First Presbyterian Church in the City of New York:

1. The inerrancy of the Bible.
2. The virgin birth of Christ.
3. Christ's substitutionary atonement.
4. Christ's bodily resurrection.
5. The authenticity of Christ's miracles.

To further clear up the matter, quite often when someone talks about us "fundies" they're talking about legalism and often extra-biblical additions to these five ideas. I'll admit, there certainly are people who are legalistic but does that nessiciarily mean that all fundamentalists are? And even if all fundamentalists were legalistic and unloving hypocrits, does that change the fact that the five statements are true? Most evangelical Christians would affirm them, so truly the problem does not lie in the fundamentals of the fundamentalist movement, rather the problem lies with the people that have turned it into a tradition of legalism.

I define legalism as a tradition of man that is required by another man at the risk of discipline. This discipline can take the form of ridicule, expulsion from a body of believers or any number of measures that can be devised. Under that definition, there is nothing legalistic about those five points. The way that they have been implemented (in extreme cases) can be legalistic, but not the points themselves.

This is because these are not the laws of man. The inerrancy of scripture is defended by numerous passages of scripture, which is an argument made non-circular by those who understand that there is no higher law for the Bible to appeal to. It is the word of God, and by His authority the Bible, in its original form, is without fault. The virgin birth and deity of Christ are both defined Biblically, and anyone who accepts the infallibility of the Bible must accept these matters as fact. The substitutionary view of the atonement… ditto. If this is not true, then 2 Corinthians 5:21 cannot be true. The bodily resurrection of Christ as a fundamental, and an essential doctrine is found in Romans 10:9. Finally, the imminent return of Christ is shown through the Gospels and Epistles.

These are not the rules of man, nor are they declared essential fundamentals by the authority of any man or council. Men and councils have affirmed these truths, but only on the grounds of scripture. So no, these rules cannot be considered legalistic. It is sinful additions to these doctrines that have given fundamentalists a bad rap. Rules that involve all forms of card playing and any use of alcohol are well-documented examples, and have served to poison the well long before men like Warren attacked fundamentalism in general. Yes, it is the fundamentalist who poisoned his own well.

Regarding the narrowness of such proclamations, fundamentalism is a bit narrow. But then, so is the path to Heaven. (Matthew 7:14)

Of course, it is not these five points that make it possible for one to be saved, but these points are ones that we can expect the Holy Spirit to affirm within us. He will make the scriptures plain to us as we study them. He will enable our belief in the virgin birth of Christ and give us the faith to proclaim that God walked among us, taking our sins upon Himself. The scriptures teach all of these points and the Holy Spirit can be expected to lead us toward acceptance of them during our sanctification. The way is narrow, but God will lead His people to the wisdom of His word.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Categories: To Create or To Not Create? That is The Question

I was over at Jordan's View and discovered a way to add categories to my sidebar even though blogger doesn't support this function. This has, by in large, been one of the most annoying things about blogger. I want categories! So, I followed Jordan's instructions and got ready to take steps to create my categories. The problem is that the way to do it is rather long and tedious, and I'm just not patient enough to do it. I mean I've been blogging for well over a year, with roughly 2 posts a day on average. That's a lot of posts to have to go through and organize. I'm FAR to lazy for all that.

And I realized as I opened my third tab in firefox to create a category post, I already have my posts organized very well! Granted not every post may be accounted for, but the ones I'm proud of are. I've got a recipes section, a reviews section, a reading list, and a favorites section. So, I thought to myself, Who on earth really wants me to categorize every post? Odds are if it isn't in the sidebar you won't miss it, since I can't remember writing many of them do I really expect you to read them and NEED them bookmarked? I think not.

So I have decided I like the way my blog is organized and will not be restructuring it any time in the near future. Suck it up. Do you know how long it would take me to organize all those posts? It would take at least two days, and after I did all that work with my luck I'd decide I hate the way it looks and erase it all (I'm known for doing this on a regular basis with other projects) and start over.

To summarize, I'm not adding categories. At least not in the way everyone else does.

Jeans for your Ipod

That's right Levi's is planning on making pants with pockets designed for your Ipod...just make sure to remove the Ipod before washing.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Jolie-Pitt Baby Confirmed

That's right folks, they finally came out of the closet about being pregnant.

Wacky Wednesday: French Maids

This is so sick, teen age boys probably love these women. (warning! this site is really pretty sexual in nature, LOTS of cleavage. You have been warned) What I want to know is why on earth this would be considered fun.

Wacky Wednesday: Party Nut Mix

The next time you're at a party and are snacking on some nut mix you might want to be careful. Here is why.

Wacky Wednesday: New Technology

An amazing discovery has been made over at Pastor Way!

Introducing the new
Bio-Optic Organized Knowledge
device, trade named:

BOOK is a revolutionary breakthrough in technology: no wires, no electric circuits, no batteries, nothing to be connected or switched on. It's so easy to use, even a child can operate it.

Compact and portable, it can be used anywhere -- even sitting in an armchair by the fire -- yet it is powerful enough to hold as much information as a CD-ROM disc. Here's how it works:

BOOK is constructed of sequentially numbered sheets of paper (recyclable), each capable of holding thousands of bits of information. The pages are locked together with a custom-fit device called a binder, which keeps the sheets in their correct sequence.

Opaque Paper Technology (OPT) allows manufacturers to use both sides of the sheet, doubling the information density and cutting costs. Experts are divided on the prospects for further increases in information density; for now, BOOKs with more information simply use more pages.


Wacky Wednesday: Men at Work

From GirlTalk.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Faith Through Your Trials

Recently a letter from John Piper was put on the internet announcing his diagnoses with prostate cancer. Needless to say I was taken back a bit, I'm sure my reaction was fairly similar to other people's who appreciate John's work for the Lord. As I read the letter I was moved, deeply moved. I'd like to share some of the letter with you.

This news has, of course, been good for me. The most dangerous thing in the world is the sin of self-reliance and the stupor of worldliness. The news of cancer has a wonderfully blasting effect on both. I thank God for that. The times with Christ in these days have been unusually sweet.

For example, is there anything greater to hear and believe in the bottom of your heart than this: “God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him” (1 Thessalonians 5:9-10)?

God has designed this trial for my good and for your good.
You can see this in 2 Corinthians 1:9, “Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.” And in 2 Corinthians 1:4-6, “He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God . . . If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation.”

So I am praying: “Lord, for your great glory, 1) don’t let me miss any of the sanctifying blessings that you have for me in this experience; 2) don’t let the people of Bethlehem miss any of the sanctifying blessings that you have for us in this; 3) grant that the surgery be successful in removing cancer and sparing important nerves; 4) grant that this light and momentary trial would work to spread a passion for you supremacy for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ; 5) may Noël and all close to me be given great peace—and all of this through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever, Amen.” I hope God will lead you to pray in a similar way.
(emphasis mine)

I don't know why it amazes me so much how he has responded to the news of this illness, but it does. If this man can stand before God and be thankful for his trial...a trial much more frightening than anything I've faced, I guess I've just been moved. If he can see this as a blessing where the world would have seen devistation; it encourages me to realize I can endure my trials and struggles and with the Lord I will get through and I will be better for the trial having been there. In our trials and struggles our faith gets stretched. We can either latch on to the truth, that Christ is with us even in the trials, or we can crumble. Obviously the better option is to hold on to Christ and allow ourselves to faithfully trust He will deliver us. And it is in doing this that our faith will grow and strengthen.

Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD. (Psalm 31:24)

Monday, January 09, 2006

DVD Review: Lord of the Beans

I love Veggie Tales, anyone who knows me knows this is true. Quite frankly I think I enjoy them more than my kids at times. But my love for VT does not mean that I adore everything created by the people at Big Idea. 3,2,1 Penguins, for instance, I hate it. Really I do. Anyway, for Christmas my brother decided to get my son Lord of the Beans (this isn't even addressing the fact that my mom went overboard with the Veggies as well, odds are those will get reviewed in time). It was sweet of him, and if you want the truth he likes Veggie Tales too so he benefits from the purchase.

So, Lord of the Beans. Obviously a rip off of Lord of the Rings, they don't try to hide that fact but you know what? If Scary Movie can rip off a million movies at once I have no issues with a good parody done by my favorite vegetables.

The Premise:

Lord of the Beans follows the fantastic journey of a Flobbit named Toto Baggypants (Junior Asparagus) who inherits a most unusual and powerful bean. With the help of his mentor Randall and a spirited group of friends, Toto embarks on a mission to discover how he should use his gift. On their quest, the group encounters many challenges, including crossing the mountains of Much-Snowia, and facing the dreaded Lord Scaryman who seeks the bean for misguided, selfish reasons. Will Toto discover the purpose of his giver, or will the scary dude and his Spark army capture the bean and wield its awesome powers?

Visually the video is remarkable, they certainly have come a long way from the days of Where's God When I'm Scared. The silly song by Larry is an amusing rip off of Elvis. But if you want the truth I was quite disappointed in this video. It wasn't as funny as they usually are, and (perhaps this is because I didn't like Lord of the Rings) I wasn't thrilled with the parody. The script was solid, the music was top shelf (country singer Wynonna Judd does a song), yet something was truly lacking with this one. I wasn't thrilled with the magical solution at the end of the film. Junior's gift, it seems, was a quick and easy fix rather than something he needed to craft and work at in order to benefit others. Just drop the magic bean in the dry well and **POOF** the land is transformed into a grassy paradise. It was kind of anti-climatic.

This huge journey just to drop a bean into a well? Nothing after that? What's that say about Junior's gift? Is he no longer useful since the bean has been used? Is he doomed to a life of mediocrity, of cold coffee and stale cookies? What does he do with the rest of his life?

God gives us each gifts, but I don't think He wants us to do one good act immediately after finding out what the gift is for just to lay down and stop to exist. Following God is a journey, and it doesn't end with a single use of your gifts. If anything that first use should and often does springboard us into deeper and more meaningful and more selfless uses of the blessings God has given us. What if we all just stopped the moment we did something good for someone? The world would be even worse than it is today! Yet this movie implies that all one has to do is find out what their gift is for and use it once, and the world will be transformed.

I can't help but wonder if a child would become disillusioned when they do something good with their gift and the grass doesn't pop up, the well begins to overflow and magically corn is growing everywhere, what happens when these results aren't produced in real life? Our gifts, generally, aren't quick fixes. Life isn't about taking a pill and making everything better - though sometimes we seem to wish it was. Life is about submission to Christ and an unending, unrelenting walk to bring glory to God. We move in the direction He leads, when He leads, and we don't lay down until He tells us to. But this movie doesn't convey that idea. Do good once, and relax. I'm really disappointed.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

People Posing as Paypal

Are dumb. So, I got an email today from "paypal," warning me that there has been unauthorized activity on my account from a strange IP address, the email then asked me to click a link within the email to verify my account. Boy are they dumb. I put the mouse over the link, right clicked, copied the shortcut and then went to the REAL Paypal website and emailed them the link. Suckers thought they'd get my bank info? HA! I laugh in the face of stupid scammers.

For your reference Paypal NEVER asks you to click links within their emails asking you to verify your bank info, NEVER. If they were going to ask you to do anything they would have you go log into your account. NEVER log into your account without typing out the Paypal address yourself.

Scammers are dumb. For your enjoyment (I'm not attaching the links):

Unauthorized access to your PayPal account!

We recently noticed more attempts to log in to your PayPal account from a foreign IP address.

If you accessed your account while traveling, the unusual log in attempts may have been initiated by you. However, if you are the rightfull holder of the account, please visit Paypal as soon as possible to verify your identity:

Click here to verify your account

You can also verify your account by logging into your PayPal account at https://www.paypal.com/us/.
If you choose to ignore our request, you leave us no choise but to temporaly suspend your account.

We ask that you allow at least 72 hours for the case to be investigated and we strongly recommend to verify your account in that time.

Thank you for using PayPal!
The PayPal Team

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Saturday Afternoon Blonde Joke

This was great. Enjoy.

The Emergent Too Doctrinal?

Well, now it seems like everywhere I turn, someone is stating that Emergent is screwing up the church. Either we’re too left, too right, too doctrinal or not doctrinal enough; we commodified and sold-out the wonderfully organic emerging church movement, or we are slippery because we won’t define ourselves. I could go on, but suffice it to say that Brian’s prophecy turned out to be spot-on.
Source, emphasis mine.

Boy I can't tell you how hard I laughed when I read that. I'm not trying to be mean, it's just I've never heard ANYONE EVER describe the Emergent movement as doctrinal. I nearly choked on my diet Pepsi. Please feel free to resume your day now.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Hey, want to go to Vegas? Sure, let's leave the kiddies home alone and hit the road!

What the heck is wrong with people today? Leaving a 9 year old boy alone over night to care for his 5 year old autistic brother to go party it up in Vegas with the little misses?! Come on people, common sense tells you this is bad bad bad. Use the brains God blessed you with.

From the sounds of the article I don't think the wife is the natural mother of these boys, but quite frankly it disturbs me that there are women out there with no sense of maternal instinct. I cannot begin to fathom how someone can think this is a good idea. And what makes it even better (assuming they aren't innocent) they can only get a maximum of six years in jail. Oh, the kids weren't worth hiring someone to watch them, but they shelled out the money for a dogsitter! That's just crazy. The whole thing is crazy. People are crazy.

::end rant::

Time Management and Dependence

I was at GirlTalk again.

Not only do I have a tendency toward legalism (see yesterday’s post), I can often submit to the sin of self-sufficiency--living independently of God. I will go about my day making decisions, performing actions, and interacting with others, all the while neglecting to consult the Lord for His guidance and direction.

What absurdity such behavior displays! How foolish to think that I can successfully pull off anything apart from God’s help, guidance and direction. It is for this reason that I need to be continually reminded of the source of my ability. This is the second all-important truth we need to keep before us when considering the topic of time management and organization.

We can fill our shelves with every time management and organizational book available today. And we can devote all our energies to applying their tips and following their suggestions. Yet, we are utterly incapable of managing our time or organizing our life in a way that brings glory to God without God’s help! Jesus put it quite bluntly when He said, “Without me, you can do nothing.”


Recipe Review

The other day I posted a link to a recipe, so I figured I'd follow up and tell you how dinner went. The fish went over very well. My mother, who does not like fish, liked it so much that she took the left overs to work for lunch. It was very easy to make, and true to Rachel Ray style took less than 30 minutes to make the entire meal.

Sadly the veggies didn't turn out great, but I wasn't working with fresh stuff like she called for (the grocery store decided not to carry fresh basil or fresh asparagus the day I went so I was working with canned and soggy asparagus), though it didn't taste bad it just wasn't as pretty as it should have been. But overall, yay for dinner.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Wacky Wednesday: "We were going to have a baby Jesus burning party."

Teens and boredom have hit an all time low in Sayreville, New Jersey.

Wacky Wednesday: Shortage of Christian Catch phrases

The Sacred Sandwich sounds the alarm on this troublesome shortage.

Wacky Wednesday: Washing Away Your Sins

One towelette at a time.

Wacky Wednesday: Women Drivers

Girl Talk has an amusing post about women's driving habits, and some horriying photos to go along with it! Here.

New Years Resolutions

Kicking off the New Year with their first official post Faith & Practice enters the blogosphere declaring the truth: We, as believers are called to holiness, to be different than the world around us. And they offer up this question, "[S]houldn't there be something more to the resolutions we make as Christians?" It was a good post, be sure to check it out. And I, for one, am excited to see what more shall come from this highly anticipated blog.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Oh foodnetwork, how I love thee

Especially Rachel Ray. This is what I am making for dinner tomorrow. I was watching 30 minute meals tonight, saw that and just had to go to the store right then so I could make it tomorrow. Do I shop when I'm hungry? Yes, but then dinner the next day is always really great. So, shopping when hungry is not bad, unless all you eat are potato chips.

Poached Halibut with Tomato and Basil with Mediterranean Succotash

Blogs for Music

I recently had the opportunity to review a new cd of praise music, entitled Awesome God, for kids (roughly ages 6 or 7 and up) that was put out by Sovereign Grace Ministries.

Ok, so you know how when you're sitting in church and the kid's choir gets up to perform (usually around Christmas and Easter especially) and you go deaf for a few minutes? This album won't do that to you. The kids can actually sing, I was impressed. (Please don't misunderstand me, I think it's adorable when kids sing at church, I'm just saying they're usually tone deaf.)

The album is produced very well, it's high quality stuff you're listening to. As for the songs themselves, I didn't recognize any of them, but the words are clear so you can catch on and start singing along very easily. The lyrics were clearly Christian praise music and very well written and pretty strong doctrinally, but the music leaned towards kind of a blues-y/ rock feel. Honestly if you want the truth the guitar solo on the second track reminded me of Lynard Skynard, don't ask me why it just did. Now, if you're into rock you'll probably enjoy the first three tracks a lot.

After the first three tracks things lighten up quite a bit musically featuring mostly acoustic guitars and some piano for a few tracks, the fourth track features a girl who is older, perhaps a teen, with a lovely voice. Very pretty song, Who Is Like You?

Overall I think the album was very well done, the change up between the rock to the softer music and back again was a little more difficult to transition comfortably, but the second set of the rockish music still wasn't as hard as the first three tracks. As for children liking this? My daughter loved it, and it even caught my son's ear a bit and he's pretty picky musically.

Bono on Christianity, Islam, and Judaism

About five songs into their set, Bono stopped the show and strapped on a headband with writing on it. I stared up at the JumboTron to see that the handwritten lettering said: COEXIST.


The “C” in “coexist” was the Islamic crescent moon, the “X” was the Star of David, and the “T” was the cross of Christ. Bono pointed at the symbols on his headband—first to the cross, then to the star, then to the crescent moon—and he began to repeat:

“Jesus, Jew, Mohammed—all true. Jesus, Jew, Mohammed—all true.”

He repeated the words like a mantra, and some people even began to repeat it with him. I suddenly wanted to crawl out of my skin. Was Bono, my supposed brother in Christ, preaching some kind of universalism? In just a few seconds, I went from agreeing with him about Christ-like “coexistence” to being creeped out by the ungodly, untrue thing he was saying. What’s going on here? What if he believes that all ways are the same, and he just thinks of Christianity as his particular way? Aren’t universalism and true Christianity mutually exclusive?


After the show, I ran into a friend who had been sitting in the back row of farthest. “What did you think of that headband thing?” I asked. “Well, I couldn’t hear what he was saying because it was bouncing off the wall behind me, and I couldn’t read the headband, because I wasn’t near a JumboTron. But honestly, I felt like I was witnessing an antichrist.” I stood frozen as she spoke. I’d had the same feeling.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Book Review: A New Kind of Christian

I just finished reading this book by Brian McLaren. I picked this book because it was the only one of his my library had the day I went. I wanted to do some reading on what the Emergent movement thinks and believes concerning different aspects of Christianity. I honestly picked up the book expecting to disagree with a lot of it. And yet as I began the book I was caught off guard. Yes, there were obviously somethings I didn't agree with, but they didn't scream unscriptural, at least not at first.

The book is a loosely based novel that could easily be based largely on the lives of many people. It was easy to understand where the main character was coming from, and I must admit that some of the arguments presented that don't speak well of the church as it is today had a lot of truth in them. Yet it seems the author was dealing with very superficial observations and thus wasn't terribly accurate.

The deeper one gets into the book the more inconsistent with the Bible the character's views of God and the Church become. In more than one point the character that is guiding the main character/ narrator to a new understanding of God basically says you don't need Christ to get to heaven. Funny enough this character's nick name is Neo, the author must have really loved The Matrix!

Also kind of disturbing was the idea put forth that there is no hell, everyone goes to heaven and just some people like living in sin and darkness so much that the love, life, and light of heaven tortures them. Another issue I have with this book is that they seem to imply that doctrine is not important and those of us who believe it is are somehow on a lower level of understanding and wisdom. If you throw doctrine out the window along with the belief that Christ is the only way to heaven, how can you really call yourself a Christian?

I could go on, but it would make this post to long to be an effective book review. I think it was well written, the author has some skill in writing, but there are just too many doctrinal issues for me to feel comfortable recommending this book to anyone.

Bless Me Oh God, Then I Will Worship You!

Pastors of big churches like tithing. I imagine pastors of small churches do as well, but I’ve only attended large churches. Anyway...They say that tithing is an act of worship. And I agree. I think it can be a mode of worship. So, what is my point? They tell you that if you tithe “God will open the windows of heaven and pour out blessing.” I’ve also heard a pastor say to his congregation, “We worship God so He’ll bless us.” That sounds fin and dandy on the surface, but let’s dig in shall we?

Both these statements are very similar and in both the statements, if you really look, the focus is on me - not God. Do we truly worship God so He will bless us? That seems rather selfish and even disrespectful. To me that implies that if God were to withhold His blessing (or bless me in a way that I didn’t specifically ask for) we would have no reason to worship Him. After all, He wouldn’t be holding up His end of the apparent bargain.

The fact that He created EVERYTHING isn’t reason enough to worship Him? The fact that He gave each of us life isn’t good enough? How about the fact that He offered His only Son as a redeeming sacrifice for our sins? Shouldn’t that drive us to our knees in thanksgiving? Even if we are poor, even if we are being unjustly persecuted, even if our entire world seems to collapse - we still have Christ.

Paul said, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21) So, my dear ones, what else do we need? What other reason do we require of God for us to offer everything we are to God in worship? We need nothing more than we have. Worship God because of who He is, not for what more can we get out of Him.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Congrats Matt and Kristin

Send them gifts, they got engaged. haha I realize everyone who reads this blog don't actually know Matt and Kristin, but really who cares? I'm excited for them.

Who's In Charge?

I was over at Amy's Humble Musings, a blog I recently discovered, (yes this discovery took place at Challies.com, like I have said before, I love that blog) and came across this post. Very cute.

My husband and I were talking recently about taking a short trip. As we do with most everything, we have our discussions while the children are underfoot. We don’t whisper in the bedroom and then inform them of family plans the next day at dinner. We’re pretty casual around here, and while the kids know that we have the final say, sometimes they’ll offer their opinion on a matter that we’re discussing.

We’d decided, in the end, not to take the trip, but we never informed the kids. We really didn’t know that they were eavesdropping as much as they were. So, this week I overheard the following conversation in the hallway, as I stood listening in around the corner:

My oldest son, age 7: When Mom and Dad go out of town, I’m the one who is in charge. I have to be The Dad.

[Note to Florida DCF caseworkers: I am absolutely unsure why they thought they wouldn’t be going with us, as we take our children everywhere. We’ve never left them home alone.]

My oldest daughter, age 6: Okay. You can be The Dad, and I’ll be The Mom. You have to get the baby out of bed in the morning, though, because I still can’t lift her out of the crib. She’s too fat. But I can still be in charge too.

They then began dividing duties and discussing all the things that would need to be done, especially what my daughter would be cooking during my absence. I kept my appearance hidden around the corner; this was too good to interrupt.

As they were discussing roles, I knew the most influential reference they had to draw upon was the relationship between my husband and me. In this moment, I was about to be graded on how well my example taught them who ran the house, who was ultimately responsible for the household, and the difference between the two. I cringed, as I hoped to pass the test. In the end, it all went down like this:

Son: You can be in charge of [the four-year-old]. I’ll help you with the baby, and you can sleep on Mom’s side of the bed. But, I’m still in charge.

Daughter: Yeah, but I’m in charge too.

Son: Okay. But, I’m really in charge. I’m the oldest.

Daughter: Okay.

My husband is almost eight years older than me. I decided not to ask them if my son trumped by virtue of his role as the father or by virtue of his birth order. But I did inform them that we’d never leave them home alone and that macaroni and cheese wasn’t acceptable for every meal.

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. (Ephesians 5:22-27)