Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from July, 2008

Vocation vs Vacation

So I am in my first week of training and working for a living isn't for cowards. It is especially taxing to start a new job and learn something from an entry level when you've been in a near vegetative state as a couch potato for several years. Darn! I was just getting the hang of doing nothing while ignoring my swollen guilt glands.

I actually enjoy learning but I am thinking it will all be better when I am being productive. I remember talking to students about the doctrine of vocation. Most had never considered such a thing. We get messages all the time about what to do with our money but we seldom hear a sermon on what it means to work or how to pick a vocation in order to earn it.

It used to be that people had one vocation most of their lives. They apprenticed, they were journeymen and then they were masters. There were standards and achievements that had to be met in order to progress. Now we have serial careers. Folks on average change their field of work every seven years…

Words on Words

Sometimes I have something I want to say, something that strikes a chord deep within me but I can't seem to find words to express what's on my mind. My last post was on the importance of words which made me think about the value of finding just the right word. I am taking some time off my licensing studies to listen to the Dividing Line and to attempt to relate my thoughts.

I have a decent vocabulary and yet each time I read the Puritans, I learn a new word. When I do, I like having to look it up in the dictionary and see if I can find it. Sometimes words fall out of use and dictionaries no longer carry them. Although we do find new uses for words and make up a few as we go along, we are not replacing words as quickly as we are losing them. My theory is this: If everything is relative and nothing is wrong or bad, then we no longer need to differentiate one thing from another. Is it any wonder our thoughts, worldviews and cultures are in such a muddled mess?

Each discipline…

Sticks, Stones and The Word.

Last night I threw myself into a tizzy because of a couple of words spoken to me. They were delivered in a nonchalant manner and were benign, but because they fell into my heart where fear resides, they became bigger than life. The more I thought about them in an unbiblical fashion, the more they grew and caused me grief. After talking to a dear friend, I gave myself a time out and went to bed. Today I feel sheepish for having reacted in panic. My focus is no longer obscured by fear and doubt.

Much of our lives we spend hanging on a word. Words have the power to heal, discourage, empower, humble, belittle, strengthen and wound. Whoever said "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words shall never hurt me" was living on another planet. Words are important. Words are as dangerous as fists. They can lead us straight into hell itself. Words can protect us from harm and help us keep our wits about us when our world is falling apart.

The bible has a lot to say about words:

Jib Jab with some Right Hooks

My friend, Hobster, posted this video on his blog. I periodically visit it to play it so I thought I would bring it here. Funny thing is I thought I already did this. It doesn't pay to get old, you know? Anyway, thanks Hobster!

THIS JUST IN: ACK! For some reason I can't post the Jib Jab video so I want you all to take a little field trip to visit my friend Hobster at his blog, White Noise. If you have some time to read up on books and movies or can help him with his chess game, you'll find this a great way to spend some time. If you just want to see the Jib Jab video, here's the more direct route.

Meanwhile I think my computer is fixin' to come unstuck again. Good thing I have a new job, I may need a new computer.



Wit, White, Women & WWJD Head On

Wit: I have said it before, I love that my pastor reads my blog. That he cares enough to read, encourage and hold me accountable is testimony to the type of godly man that he is. That he sent me this link to read tells me he is brilliant, witty and knows me too well. (HT Bill Haynes)

White: My friend and brother, James White, is going to be debating Bart Erhman on the topic, "Does the Bible Misquote Jesus?" I urge you to check out the information here on his website. If you can make it, I think you will be blessed. I plan on attending, Lord willing. You can listen to the Dividing Line podcasts to get an idea of what you would be hearing. You can find them here and here. You will also find a treasure trove of resources, books and videos on the website. It is well worth your time to peruse.

Women: I have listened to three teachings given by Alistair Begg on the topic of "The Place and Posture of Christian Woman. It is in three parts and very much worth the list…

When the Wind Blows

A storm came through yesterday that left its mark on my property. My bird feeders were emptied of their contents and scattered hither, tither and yon. My 7 foot sunflowers are still 7 foot but their happy little faces are at 9:00 instead of 12:00. My beautiful gladiolas are a little worse for wear as well. They have bowed at the wind and because their stems are not supple, they have snapped. In fact, most of the garden is listing in one direction. The storm popped up out of nowhere and the weather radio missed warning us that it was coming. By the time is passed over us it generated a tornado warning in the next two counties. Not that I would have done anything to shore up the glads or the sunflowers had I known. I like my garden but not enough to stand in the storm to shield it from God's wind.

However, I do like storms. I know, I am weird. I also like earthquakes. Please don't get me wrong, I don't like that people get hurt or lose their property. Not at all. Wh…

Raising Kids and asking for a "Do -Over"

Last night I had a conversation with some women friends about parenting. I listened as a couple of moms talked about not understanding how a mother could not like being home with her children. Their questions were sincere. These women do not want to be anywhere else in the world than home with their babies. I found myself speaking up on behalf of women who dreaded being alone with their children. I was speaking from experience.

I escaped a childhood from hell. There was screaming, beating, hitting, gunshots, incest, alcoholism, drug addiction, anger, bitterness, resentment and belittling. Even worse there was the abuse of being ignored. I had few safe people or safe moments in my childhood. I was by nature very tenderhearted and compliant but that changed in favor of survival. I became willful, calculating and distant as a means of coping.

My little sister loves babies. She says that when you are caring for your baby you know that there isn't another more important task on the …

Dumbfounded.....

I stumbled on something today. I wish I had kept the breadcrumb trail to know how I ended up here. Perhaps it is a good thing that I can't remember. I really can't say. I don't remember setting out to be dumbfounded by the actions of a man professing to be a pastor, but it happened. It happened big time. You need to click this link and see for yourself.

How long with the Lord suffer gimmicks replacing the gospel? When did a call from God come with a PayPal guarantee? Where were the men of God in this man's life to teach him better? There had to be a time, a window of opportunity, that a believer somewhere could have confronted this man in his folly and somehow they missed it.

Join me in praying for this family, please?


Proverbs 26:12 Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
(NAS)

The Goodness of God in World Events

I was spending time on IRC (Internet Relay Chat) this morning and found myself listening in on a couple conversations. I had changed my nick to indicate that I was off being good and cleaning my house. I wasn't really communicating with anyone as much as I was eavesdropping. I spend a lot of time in the IRC chat channel that belongs to James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries. James is an apologist, scholar and fractal artist extraordinaire. I have been participating there for years... as in 10 or more. I have learned a great deal from him either by reading his books, blog or listening to his debates and youtube material or by sitting in the chat channel and partaking of conversations. It's important to me to stress that I have learned a great deal and am absolutely grateful to God for the fellowship and instruction I have received there. What I am about to write is in no way to be construed that I am criticizing the medium nor am I criticizing Dr. White and the channe…

Role Reversals

I had an adventure with my sister today. We spent the day doing some normal sisterly things. We shopped. We had lunch in a restaurant. We laughed and made fun of ourselves while we tried on hats. It was good to spend time with her. It always is. It also contained an element that could have been awkward. My sister's father has dementia and on our list of places to go was a care facility for folks like her dad.

It's an odd situation to have a sister whose father is not your father and not your step-father either. It's sort of like having family once removed. My little sister was placed for adoption when she was born and we were reunited about 14 years ago. I am glad we get to be sisters now but I am sad that she has this situation to go through. There is no good outcome when someone you love has Alzheimer's or dementia. The best you can do is manage grief and limit hazards.

My sister inherited the "do the right thing" and the "analysis paralysis" ge…

Death to Squash Bugs

I enjoy to gardening. I always have. My mother used to call me Luther Burbank when I was young. A child of the 60s and 70s, I started talking to my houseplants and playing them classical music. Anyone else remember that? The idea that plants respond to our voices and prefer classical music to grow by? I spent hours telling my plants how beautiful they were. To watch me squirm my father used to go to my bedroom door and shout, "I am going to rip your leaves off!" After such an assault I spent my time convincing the plants that they were safe in my care.

My mother laughed at me but she would also have me tend her houseplants. I got her snake plant to bloom every year even though they are supposed to bloom every 5-7 years. (Which is a good thing because the flower's scent is sickeningly sweet.) Anyway, if it's not too hot outside, you will find me in the garden. I like the way it smells. I like the way it feels. I am excited by the sunflowers, bell peppers and…

Failing Gracefully

God always equips those He calls with whatever they will need to accomplish the tasks He has assigned to them. He will stop at nothing to make certain whatever he wants will come to pass. He parted the Red Sea. He held the sun still in the sky for Joshua. He gave a donkey language. He opened the jailhouse doors.

So why do fear that I will be unable to pass the licensing exam for my new job? I tell myself it's because this license and this job aren't comparable to the directives God gave Joshua or Jonah or Moses. It's easy to for me to think that what I do is insignificant to the Kingdom, but in thinking that way, what am I saying about our God and His economy? Surely we believers are not indispensable but we are not without significance. I think we can't see the forest from the trees when we're standing at timberline. At least I seem to have that trouble.

Ever notice that your vision improves when you look outside your own circumstances. I have. I recognize…

Changes of the Heart and Contentment

My pastor is nearly finished preaching through Philippians. I have been edified, convicted and encouraged as he has taught us from the epistle. Pastor focused on the power of the cross and the secret of being content. He quoted Jeremiah Burrough's book " The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment."

I came home from church and wanted to see if I could find the quote online. The book can be found here. I didn't find the quote pastor used but I did read something that ties in beautifully with what I wrote in my lat post about needing a heart change more than needing a behavioral change. I thought I would post the quote here. I went and got myself a job so I will be writing less than I have been. Hopefully I will keep it up. It is good for me to have to research and read.

Here's the quote:

If the attainment of true contentment were as easy as keeping quiet outwardly, it would not need much learning. It might be had with less strength and skill …

Cheap Piety, Complementarianism and Transformation

When Luther really understood the holiness of God the tenuousness of his life was magnified exponentially to him. He became obsessed with his death and the judgment of God. Why? He knew what his sinful life looked like in comparison to the holiness of the Almighty.

John Owen understood that believers lives are about sanctification and holiness. He had this to say: "This work of holiness in us is wonderful. It is a supernatural work and is known only by supernatural revelation.We must not be deceived by a false holiness. Holiness is not just a reformed life."Holiness is not about being as good as you can be for as long as you can be. I was talking to my pastor's wife and telling her that I loved the fact that her husband reads my blog. I told her I liked the accountability and have caught myself asking, "Would I say that in front of Bill?" I also confessed to her that I would hold my tongue in front of her husband more than I would before God. Her response…

Hope for Complementarians

You cannot come to God with bargaining and with promises. But if you will throw yourself recklessly upon God, trust His character, trust the merits of His Son, you will have the petition you have asked of him.

You can have this confidence in God, and you can have this respect for His will. Do not expect God to perform miracles or you so you can write books about them. Do not ever be caught asking God to send you toys like that to play around with.

But if you are in trouble and concerned about your situation and willing to be honest with God, you can have confidence in Him. You can go to Him in the merit of His Son, claiming His promises, and you will find the way of deliverance.

God will move heaven and earth for you if you will trust Him.

*A.W. Tozer, Faith Beyond Reason

It is certainly not enough for me to identify fear as an obstacle for women and not offer godly solutions to fear.

In I John 4:18 we find this gem. "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because f…

Laughing at Myself

Boy, was I tired last night. I shouldn't write when I am that tired. I need an editor on my best days and on my worst I need a translator. This morning I woke up and literally stumbled into the kitchen. I started fumbling with the coffee pot almost immediately. I was chanting a mantra; "I necessitate caffeine!" The doggies would have to wait for their morning romp and breakfast.

As I reached to get the coffee filters I knocked over a bottle on my counter. The bottle isn't normally there. I have a disability in my hands and that makes it difficult for me to hold things that are large. I like to buy my olive oil at Costco (because it is cheaper) and then pour manageable amounts from the really big bottle into a quart-sized bottle. I was so tired last night that after refilling the bottle of olive oil, I didn't put it back where it belonged. You guessed it, that's the bottle that I knocked over. The damage was worse than you can imagine as the the bot…

Complementarianism, Sin and Fear

One of the most frequent answers I received to my questions regarding the complementarian position went something like this. "Of course you don't like it, the bible says you aren't going to like it so your rebellion to being submissive is expected." That sort of answer infuriated me. The idea that sin is the primary obstacle to understanding the Word of God is a no-brainer. This answer struck me as condescending and dismissive. Which may or may not have been true. It also seemed to assume that I wanted to rebel more than I wanted to understand. I am fully capable of rebellion, obstinacy, pride, arrogance and a list of other besetting sins. No question about that. However, what I really wanted was someone to engage my mind, answer my questions and see my challenges as an attempt to learn. I felt like I was hitting a brick wall. I did become bitter and angry but mostly because I couldn't find a way to get my questions answered. So I left the topic al…

Complementarianism and the Thinking Woman's Dilemma

I know I am not the only woman who has struggled with understanding her God given role. I also know that for some women, submission and femininity come easy. We are all made from the same dirt and suffer the same effects from the fall. However, human beings are like snowflakes in that we share the same building material but our Designer has engineered each individual differently. Some people understand math, some people are artistic, some folks learn from doing and others just have to be told. For me, I am a combination of all of the above, with the exception of math. I am decidedly math deficient.

Math is not my only shortcoming. I do a lot of spinning of my mental wheels that isn't necessary and gets me nowhere but frustrated. Generally this occurs when I start with the wrong premise. Foundations are important. Alan Kurschner, one of the members of Alpha and Omega Ministries blog team, wrote an an excellent article about starting with the wrong premise. You can read it her…

Taxonomy, Order in the Kingdom

I got up fairly early this morning and took my dogs out into the backyard. I did some weed pulling and they did some romping. It is amazing to see how much energy my new pup has. She has two speeds, full out and knocked out. Chet the Wonder Dog, my faithful companion of the last 11 years, just watches her as she bounces and spins around him. All the while she is taunting him with the toys she steals from him. It seems youth is wasted on the young in all species.

Speaking of species....two years ago my best friend, who still lives in California, sent me plants for my garden. Among the varieties she sent was scarlet bee balm. It is a perennial here and is quickly overtaking my garden. That's OK with me, I like it. Today as I was waging war on squash bugs, I was treated to half a dozen hummingbird moths sipping nectar from the bee balm. The plants are sizable enough that the hummingbird moths, hummingbirds, honeybees and bumble bees all got to eat their fill without fighting. I wat…

How I Define Freedom

If you want someone to remember something, set it to music. Unfortunately setting it to music doesn't mean that it will be understood.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

In thinking about July 4th celebrations I thought it was fitting to break out the Schoolhouse Rock. I love this stuff. It made it so easy to remember it. I had to learn the Declaration of Independence, the Preamble and the Gettysburg Address in elementary school. I wonder if that still happens in public schools or has it become optional and forgotten like saying the Pledge of Allegiance and The American's Creed.

I long to return to a simpler time when people had a clue what it meant to be an American. I remember when it …

Knowledge is Power...unless it is just plain wrong.

I have a few blogs that I read regularly. Well, as regularly as I do anything in my life. Steve Camp, at Camp On This, is always a good read. I don't necessarily agree with everything the man writes or how he chooses to write it, but that's true of everyone I read. In fact, I am mercurial enough to disagree with my own writing on any given day. Steve wrote a list of resolutions that are right from Scripture. Not only is his article a good read, the comments are worth reading too. One of the things that came up in comments was the idea that living by resolutions can give way to self-dependency. It's a valid warning. There is always a fine line between having faith in your faith and having faith in the sufficiency of Christ.

There's a lot of information out here on the superhighway. Some of it isn't worth the powder it would take to blow it back to hell. It can be difficult to navigate your way to stuff worth reading. I am not one that thinks you should read…