Friday, June 17, 2011

When Your Fire Gets Snuffed Out

Life is funny. You can go for the longest time with a burning flame inside you, a fire that's ready to ignite the world for Christ and feel like you are on the verge of exploding into glory! Then someone throws a bucket of cold water on your fire and it goes from a blaze to a fizzling pile of embers. Another bucket of water comes along and the embers are just a smoking pile of ash. All you have left is sadness, confusion and an empty void. In order to get that flame back you have to have a drying out period, a gathering fuel period and a time to get a spark again. Sometimes it takes days, weeks or months to go through the steps needed to regain your burning flame. It's a painful and arduous task that only God and time can heal.

Recently I had my fire snuffed out. I made an impassioned plea to the leadership of our church and it was ignored. My husband was called in to talk about the letter I sent...but not me. My husband got a text message saying that if I wanted to talk I could...but no text directly to me. I now know where I stand in the body of the church.

I tried to write devotionals for our church's women's page to encourage and edify them during this bleak season. When I asked leadership what they thought of them
I was told..."Well, I guess we need them now." (said with a shrug and a painful look on their face) They went on... " and I open FB in the morning and oh my gosh you're doing them EVERY DAY!" That was followed by lots of laughter.
Again, I am comfortable with my place in the body of Christ now that I know where I stand.

I have forgiven those that stepped directly on my toes but I know not to make the same foolish mistakes twice. So now is my drying out period...waiting for the the water to dry up so God can rekindle my flame. It's been a good learning experience for me because now I am ever watchful of my words to make sure that they edify and never quench someone's spirit. And I'm learning how to pray for those who are clueless as to how they speak to others.

So I guess it's true that all things work together for good to them that love God.
Thank You father for the experience of hurt in order to grow stronger in you.

1 Thess 5:19 - Quench not the Spirit.

Transferring devotionals from FB to here

I tried to do devotionals on FB but they didn't go over very well so I'm transferring them here and starting back to writing them for the blogosphere.

May 21st - So today is the big day.

It's May 21st. Today is the day that Harold Camping announced would be judgment day. You know when I first saw the billboards and saw the big buses touring around with motivated followers of Mr. Camping my knee jerk reaction was, “You've got to be kidding! Everyone knows that we don't know the hour of Christ's return! What a wacko!”
A few days ago a Pastor friend of ours sent out one of his sermons on, yep, you guessed it, May 21st. Before I opened it I was wondering if I even needed to read what I already knew. There will be no return on Saturday. But, after spending a few minutes reading I found a new perspective.
It's true that Harold Camping has gone through several dates that were supposed to be “the day” and they did not come to pass. But.... did it make a few wavering Christians take the time to review their own personal relationship with Jesus Christ? Did the idea of judgment day encourage someone to get a dusty Bible off a shelf and sit and read for a few minutes?
Maybe the knee jerk reaction I had should have been tempered with hope.
Maybe Harold Camping might be on to something.

Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. - Matt 24:42

You want fries with those nuggets?

When our son was little he would always want nuggets, when we were out to eat. You know those crispy on the outside, deep fried, little chunks of mystery meat (chicken) that usually came with a side of fries and a toy Mc-prize. The nutritional value of those nuggets are questionable. Yeah, you could eat a bunch of them, dipped in the sauce of your choice, and feel full afterward, but were they really meant to be a dietary mainstay? Of course not! They are junk food. They are fun food for select occasions. If we tried to live off of them we'd probably have arteries constricted by cholesterol, be in a nutritional deficit and feel horrible.
Well, I want to share some nuggets with you today and you don't have go through a drive-thru to get them. They are nuggets of truth. They are the Word of God which, we are assured, that we can live on and remain spiritually healthy when we devour them.
So have a bunch of nuggets today, hold the fries and enjoy the prize!

But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” - Matt 4:4

For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. - 2 Cor 5:1

On days like today when the aches and pains of life are a little bigger, a little 'ouchier' and we move a little slower, isn't it great to know that this body is just a tent that we inhabit for a time?
So, while we are on this camping trip called life on earth...rejoice. How wonderful to know that the body that we will have in heaven will be free of aches and pains! That tent will be camped out in front of the throne. That tent will be the luxury model that has all the comforts of home. Yes, it will be our body made new and glorious.

Newly Hatched Book Review

The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks
Rebecca Sckloot

This is bar none one of the best reads I've had in years! It is the story of a 30 year old woman named Henrietta Lacks that dies of cancer in 1951. But that is where the story starts, not ends.

Her doctor took tissue samples of the cervical tumor and began to grow them in his lab to study the tissue. Henrietta never knew he took the tissue. The doctor soon realized that the tissue began to thrive and multiply outside the body. These tissue cells divided and grew and became the basis for major medical breakthroughs, including the cure for polio.
Shocking truths about the medical community's use of the African American population, in the 50's, for experiments. These experiments were meant to further science but some were throw-backs to Natzi Germany.
The author incorporates Henrietta's life, her family and the cells that are still growing today into a most incredible read!
How the family learns of Henritta's immortality and how the author takes 10 years to uncover the truth for them is so touching.

So here's the eggs-cellant breakdown....On a scale of 1-10 eggs

Good read - 9.5
Supported by facts and evidence - 10
Easy read - 9 for me but some readers said they got bogged down in the medical parts.
Would recommended to a friend - 10

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The last Message

Slowly, but surely, our church is embracing the Message bible. My spirit flinches when I hear it being used. Today, the whole sermon was preached with verses strictly from The Message.

Before the speaker started to quote the poorly paraphrased verse he even joked that he could hear the gasps as he was using the Message. Alright - if you knew that you were doing something that would offend people but you went ahead and did it then you have sinned, sir. In other words....I don't care if this hurts your feelings but, hey, I wanna do it.

My case against the Message

The Message bible isn't a bible at all. The Message is a paraphrasing, written in novel form, to appeal to many cultures while keeping it 'relevant'. (that word gags me)
So if I take the Cliff notes of War & Peace and told you it was War & Peace I would be wrong. Because it isn't. Whole chunks of the original text are missing, simplified paraphrasing is used and the whole dynamic of the book is gone! The same holds true with the Message. Chunks of text are missing, it's a paraphrase and the dynamic of the most holy, most sacred, most esteemed book in history is gone.
As for it's relevance - when did the Holy Bible lose it's relevance? When did man need to make it relevant? God's word is from everlasting to everlasting. God needs no help in keeping his word relevant! This point alone is a key to why the Message needs no place in a pastor's library. Isn't it the job of the pastor to teach, present and give illumination to the scriptures, for the flock?

If you would like too see some of the abhorrent messes the Message makes of scripture then follow along...

Let's look at the Lord's Prayer. (Matt 6:9-13)

King James Version - 9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

New International Version - 9 "This, then, is how you should pray: " 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,

The Message - With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this:
Our Father in heaven, Reveal who you are

The Message does not tell us we are speaking of our heavenly Father, nor does is exalt HIM! Eugene Peterson (the author) decided God didn't need to be given glory first. And in no translation does Jesus ask that God reveal Himself to us.


NIV - 13 For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
KJV -For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

The Mess - You're in charge! You can do anything you want! You're ablaze in beauty!
Yes. Yes. Yes.

Again, the glory and honor due the Creator of the Universe, The I AM, Our Savior is...gone. It's interesting the the 'beauty' line was randomly stuck in. Then Mr. Peterson ends with "Yes. Yes. Yes." Somehow the punch of Amen (it is so) is miserably lost with a simplistic "yes".

........................One last comparison............

In Song of Solomon chapter 2:1- Jesus is the type and shadow to come, being called the Rose of Sharon.

NKJV - I am the rose of Sharon, And the lily of the valleys.
THE Beloved
2 Like a lily among thorns, So is my love among the daughters.

I'm just a wildflower picked from the plains of Sharon, a lotus blossom from the valley pools.
The Man
2 A lotus blossoming in a swamp of weeds—
that's my dear friend among the girls in the village.

So just a wildflower, huh? And a lotus...really?! What religion worships the lotus, reveres it and uses it to symbolize the sacred? Hinduism and Buddhism. The flower of the lotus conveys the idea of beauty, and symbolizes the means to achieve non-attachment, as it lives in the earth but rises above the water.

There are hundreds of misinterpretations of the original text...too many to list here. There are so many times when Jesus' own name was replaced or not used at all. There are countless examples of Eastern religion's symbolism peppered through the Message to appeal to other cultures. The sanctity of the words have been dumbed down, dulled and taken into Universalism realm.

I think this quote from Craig Blomberg is a fair assessment to end on

But it is not the Word of God. As Craig Blomberg of Denver Seminary has put it, "it is freer even than a paraphrase. I think of it more as devotional literature than as a version of the Bible and wouldn't recommend it for any other role."1

So take care!!!!

Rev 20: 18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

How's that for relevant....

1. Craig Blomberg, review of The Word of God in English by Leland Ryken, Denver Journal: An Online Review of Current Biblical and Theological Studies, volume 6 (July 2003).

Friday, May 13, 2011

Newly Hatched Book Review

( A woman's path to transformation in Christ)
Ruth Haley Barton

From the jacket this looked to be a good read on developing ourselves in Christ. Unfortunately, after getting into the book I realized that the author was desperately trying to meld feminism and Christianity.
On several occasions she spoke of how 'she' could become the best in Christ. There was a lengthy, albeit wrong, discussion of headship and submission. Understanding the hierarchy of creation was a self-esteem killer for women. She even goes so far as to say that men and women are totally created equal in creation, explaining that men must come from a woman to live and women were made for the man to live. (I didn't get that all)

I think my brain shut off when the concepts went from non-scripturally supported to out-there cosmic. In the chapter on embracing our sexuality she writes..."The sexual and spiritual parts of ourselves lie so close together that it is hardly possible to arouse one without the other. Since sexuality is such an important aspect of our bodily self, it too can become a means of encountering God."

So...Here's the breakdown on a scale of 0 -10 eggs.

Good read - 2
Supported by facts/evidence- 2
Easy read - 5
Would recommend to a friend.- 0
Helpful for growth - 1

total - 10 (out of a possible 50)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Chicken Scratch

One of the funniest things to watch is a group of hens scratching around the yard. It's a comical scratch, peck and step routine. Little chicken feet moving to the beat of an imaginary Rumba tune while their beaks poke at the ground hoping for a bug or seed or worm. They go about their day, doing this dance for hours, hunting and pecking, barely scraping the surface of the ground.. Even if their scratching and pecking doesn't bring up a tasty morsel, they get some grains of sand or dirt grit that they swallow. The reason they need that gritty sand is because they swallow hard grains and bugs whole. The grit goes to their gizzard where it aids in the digestion of food. Sounds yummy, huh? The only downside to the chicken scratch is that it isn't enough to feed them. The keeper of the chickens still has to provide ample food for them every day.
Some people approach reading the Bible the same way a chicken moves around the yard. They aimlessly wander through it hunting and pecking at a few little morsels. They barely scratch the surface of the nitty gritty. They swallow a few verses whole and hope it digests in their spirit. The downside to that is that it won't really feed them. Our Keeper has given us ample food to nourish and sustain us. All we have to do is take a few minutes to sit down and eat. Our Heavenly Father, our Keeper, has given us not only tasty little morsels but deeply satisfying meals of truth in His word.
So ladies take your time when reading the Word. Look up the foot notes, read it in another version, find it in the original Greek or Hebrew, use a study Bible and dissect it for a truly satisfying meal. I guarantee it'll be far better than any chicken scratch.

*FYI – Did you know that the only mention of chickens, in the Bible, was by Jesus, himself!

Mt 23:37- "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, that killeth the prophets, and stoneth them that are sent unto her! how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!"

I miss my yarn...

Oh how I miss my yarn. I miss my crochet and hooks. I have it beside my chair, staring up at me asking "When can you come and play?" I never have a good answer.

I miss gardening. I want to get my garden in but the house is not finished. I miss fresh garden veggies and herbs. But it will have to come later.

I miss neat. I spent 4 hours scraping the floors at the house today and putting up some curtains in the bedroom that is not even livable yet. Even though the bedroom isn't finished, I just wanted to see something pretty. Something that wasn't torn up, dirty, dust covered or half finished.

I miss energy. I got some blood work back and my eGFR was worse. The one kidney I have has been functioning at 30% for at least 5 yrs. Well, looks like it's slipping a bit. Maybe up to 3 points less. I know I haven't felt good in a long time but I wanted to blame it on everything else. I had a cold, my Vit D was low, I forgot my blood thinner, the sun was in my eyes...etc. The numbers have been on my mind a lot and I fight to keep from thinking about them.

I miss normal.

Yeah - I guess I need some cheese with my whine. Think I'll go see if we have any cheddar left.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Plugging along.

Looking at the house and seeing it day after day I forget what a horrid, and yet laughable, place it was when we first started. It's funny that I can see the end result in my head but it just won't hurry up and get here.

Herb got the back splash and accent tile up in the kitchen this weekend and it looks great! So different from the crazy colors and patterns before.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


I feel like a lost survivor on the Island of Renovation. Six months ago we bought a small farm house that has a second house next door. The small house was supposed to be for our ministry and we would live in the the larger house. It sounded so easy! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NOT!!!
Well we're still working there almost every day. We have set another move in date for May 31. (this is the third date) Luckily our pastor's son and daughter-in-law are moving into the cottage for a few months while they get on their feet. I'm glad to have someone there.

One happy thing that has happened is that my husband has now finished 2 years of classes and internship and is now a Pastor! I'm so proud of him. He will be the pastor for LifeSong Retreat Ministries. The tiny chapel behind the cottage will now have a pastor available for renewing vows and giving communion to the couples.

I'll load some pics of the house that we are working on soon so you can see what a mess we got ourselves into. LOL!

Until then...stay peculiar!

1 Peter2:9 - KJV