Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A different kind of study ... lol




AN INTERESTING BUT NOT TOO SURPRISING STUDY


A study conducted by UCLA's Department of Psychiatry has revealed that the kind of face a woman finds attractive on a man can differ dependingon where she is in her menstrual cycle. For example: If she is ovulating, she is attracted to men with rugged and masculine features. However, if she is menstruating or menopausal, she tends to be more attracted to a man with a spear lodged in his chest and tape over his mouth while he is on fire.


No further studies are planned.

Go For It!




Good morning!



"If you worry about the weather and don't plant seeds, you won't harvest a crop. No one can explain how a baby breathes before it is born. So how can anyone explain what God does? After all He created everything. Plant your seeds early in the morning and keep working in the field until dark. Who knows? Your work might pay off, and your seeds may produce." -Ecclesiastes 11:4-6 CEV



Yes, I'm in Ecclesiastes again... These verses are all so rural but they have a lot to say which is backed up elsewhere in the Bible. The bottom line is you never get to harvest what you never have the nerve to plant! I think what Solomon is saying here is get off the recliner and out of the house, say "Hi" to the girl at the market, take that class, in short get out, take risks and do something! He reminds the person who is unwilling to take risks "How can anyone explain what God does?" We live in a world in which there is no sure thing other that the Lords plans will take place. Therefore, those of us waiting for that "sure thing" may be waiting a very long, long time. How can anything be harvested if its not planted? We better be sowing and reaping when we can and keep at it, trusting God for the results. In other words go for it!


End of mini sermon...

Monday, March 30, 2009

Christianese (noun)




Christianese (noun) A language or linguistic style that is understood only by, or appeals only to, practicing Christians.



Judges 12:6 "Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth: and he said Shibboleth: for he could not frame to pronounce [it] right. Then they took him, and slew him at the passages of Jordan: and there fell at that time of the Ephraimites forty and two thousand.



In Judges 12, the Gileadites find a way to distinguish between friend and foe by compelling captured refugees to say the word 'Shibboleth.' Evidently, Ephraimites couldn't pronounce it correctly, saying instead 'Shibboleth.' Those that said that latter were struck down while those who said the former were allowed to pass. Linguistically I am intrigued at the prospect of there being a language that even the people who are supposed to be using it don't understand! How cool is that? Pretty strange huh!


'Shibboleths' abound in society, including among Christians. Unfortunately, even among Christians, a Shibboleth isn't simply a quick way to distinguish where a person stands in relation to you but is used in a manner akin to the Gileadite's use, thankfully, of course, without the resulting slaughter. Sometimes we as Christians can speak language that others haven't got a clue what we are talking about. Its like our own secret language!!!


Often these are often the big theological words: atonement, incarnation, substitutionary, Trinity, creedal, Gospel, Sacrament, etc. Other examples might include "...just a blessing..." "if it's God's will"... and so on and so forth. Now, among Christians these terms generally make sense and at least there is enough understanding that one could talk for a little while before Shibboleths come into play. I am not denouncing the words, per se, only their application: with non Christians this sort of phraseology comes across as a whole new language, Christianese, if you will. In other words, Christianese is a Shibboleth in the ears of the nonbeliever. The moment you begin engaging in Christianese you are at risk of being dismissed or marginalized in the eyes of the person you are talking to.


The word ‘preach’ does not just mean ‘one-way verbal communication’ – as in a sermon or evangelistic address. It has a much broader sense - ‘to effectively communicate’. If the receivers have not understood the message, real communication has probably not occurred. Colossians 1:6 strongly implies that understanding on the part of the hearers is essential to true gospel preaching.


Do you know what the following means? Are there similar phrases that lose you? You would be surprised how many use these phrases without the recipients knowing what they are talking about.


Such as:


Abomination

Sacrament

Alpha Course

Anointing

Non Denominational

Testimony

Backslider

The World

Carpet Time

Born again

"I don't feel led ..."

Sanctified

Deliverance

Spiritual

Warfare

Seeker

Service

Thus Saith the Lord

Five Fold Blessing

Apologetics

Dispensationalism

Have a burden

Pelagianism

Omnipotent

Legalism ...


and many more...That should keep us busy??!!!


What do you all think of Christian shibboleths? Should we be using a language more people can understand? I know I catch myself talking to non Christians different from my brothers and sisters... Any thoughts?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

How did Adam and Eve sin?




This question has been pondered for millenniums ... What in Adam and Eve caused them to sin? They were born innocent so what caused them to will disobedience to God? Perhaps the most insightful comments that I’ve heard on Gen 1-3 are from one of the brothers at Taizé. Here it is in a nutshell ... (because this is quite wise and it would be wrong to let you think that I came up with it myself…)



"In the context of the story, you need to think of the man and the woman as if they were children. Imagine a mother who says to her child ‘thou mayest play in the garden, but thou shalt not play in the road, for in the day when thou playest in the road thou shalt surely die’. The child understands that she is going to kill it if it chooses to play in the road; actually she is simply saying that it will get run over by a car. Simple cause and effect. God says ‘you may have everything in this entire garden, but I’d avoid that thing over there. Touching that one thing is a really bad idea.’ It’s also interesting that people tend to focus on the single thing that is off limits, and not the whole garden full of stuff that God does give them.


Furthermore, it isn’t that God doesn’t intend for the man and the woman ever to become wise, the question is how they are meant to become wise. God’s plan is for them to become wise by trusting and being in relationship with Him. In the surrounding cultures, the serpent, on the other hand, represents wisdom that you get to all by yourself without reference to God. So the choice is not wisdom or no wisdom, but wisdom with or without God. They choose to listen to the serpent, which is a choice to attain independent wisdom without wanting to continue to trust God."



I’m not sure if this quite answers the question, but it seems to me like a useful starting point to bear in mind. The disobedience is about wanting to get somewhere without God’s help, which doesn’t necessarily mean that God never intended for them to get there!

Have a blessed day everyone!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Bleu Testament




LOL ... I kid you not! At long last, the Bible done with cheese! Here's the intro:

"Herein, you will see an image slide show illustrating Biblical history, complete with referenced verses, detailed stories, and information about the cheeses. We have included events found in both the Hebrew Scriptures (Mold Testament) and the Christian Scriptures (Bleu Testament)."

Click here: All Too Flat : Bible Accoring to Cheese

http://www.alltooflat.com/serious/cheese/

It's actually pretty good, click on the slideshow button and watch it go. But read the scripture verses carefully...there are little funny zingers thrown in if you read carefully and know your cheese such as "God saw all that he had made, and it was gouda. You get the drift ...

A couple of Tolkiens and a Manning




A Blessing...


May all your expectations be frustrated;

May all your plans be thwarted;

May all your desires be withered to nothingness...

That you may experience the powerlessness and poverty

of a child and sing and dance in the compassion of God

Who is Father, Son and Spirit. Amen

-Brennan Manning


"This quest may be attempted by the weak with as much hope as the strong. And neither strength nor wisdom will carry us far upon it. Yet such is oft the course of deeds that move the wheels of the world; small hands do them because they must, while the eyes of the great are elsewhere."

-J. R. R. Tolkien


"I will not give you counsel, saying do this or do that. For not in doing, or in contriving, nor in choosing between this course or another, can I avail, but only in knowing what was, or is, and in part also what shall be."

-J. R. R. Tolkien

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Great Mosaic of God




The Great Mosaic of God

If you feel that you don't fit in,

that no place seems to be "your place";

It is because earth is too small for the

grand, eternal design of God to be displayed

in all its splendor.


Someday, in a new heaven and earth,

the pieces that have been flung to the four winds,

to rough terrain, and dry, hidden corners,

to the bottom of the sea and to the top of

rarely-climbed mountains,

Will be gathered up into a great mosaic

of God's own making.

A mosaic made, in praise of Christ, and

as a present to the Victor

for having ransomed every sort of man

and woman from the tribes and nations

of the old earth.

In that day, you will fit perfectly,

for you have been chosen

and designed for that.

It will be a great work of art.

It will be a great day.

You will fit.

Perfectly.

God can see it in His mind,

even now.


He is smiling

~Rose-Marie Slosek

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Bending the Knee of My Heart


From the Prayer of Manassah:

O Lord and Ruler of the hosts of heaven,
God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
and of all their righteous offspring:

You made the heavens and the earth,
with all their vast array.

All things quake with fear at your presence;
they tremble because of your power.

But your merciful promise is beyond all measure;
it surpasses all that our minds can fathom.

O Lord, you are full of compassion,
long-suffering, and abounding in mercy.

You hold back your hand;
you do not punish as we deserve.

In your great goodness, Lord,
you have promised forgiveness to sinners,
that they may repent of their sin and be saved.

And now, O Lord, I bend the knee of my heart,
and make my appeal, sure of your gracious goodness.


I love that phrase: "I bend the knee of my heart." It's the image of

radical trust!

You're Blessed!!! ~ Matthew 5


I just love this version of the Beatitudes from Matthew 5 ...
You're Blessed
1-2 When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:
3 "You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
4 "You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
5 "You're blessed when you're content with just who you, no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought.
6 "You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God. He's food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat.
7 "You're blessed when you care. At the moment of being 'care-full,' you find yourselves cared for.
8 "You're blessed when you get your inside world, your mind and heart, put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
9 "You're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That's when you discover who you really are, and your place in God's family.
10 "You're blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God's kingdom.
11-12 "Not only that, count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens, give a cheer, even, for though they don't like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.

~The Message Bible

Amen! Kind of puts it all in perspective doesn't it?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bathsheba



This little devo had an interesting take on the Proverbs 31 woman ... Any thoughts?



Who was the model for Proverbs 31?

Proverbs begins with "The words of King Lemuel." So who was King Lemuel? This name is not found in any of the lists of kings that have been found thus far by archaeologists. It is as though Lemuel was unknown to history. Except, that the Anchor Bible Dictionary says that in some ancient Jewish texts, Lemuel was a name used for Solomon. So, perhaps Proverbs 31 was, historical criticism aside, written by Solomon himself.Now Proverbs 31 is about the ideal woman, an archetypal woman, if you will. In other words, she is not real, but the kind of woman a young boy, or even a young man, imagines his mother to be. Young boys and men don't really know what their mothers are like except as they experience them in the interaction of mother and child. So a mother's past history is usually not known.


OK, who was Solomon's mother? What kind of woman has history painted her to be? Was she a saint? Based on the description of her in Proverbs 31, what kind of mother do you think she was?


I think history owes Bathsheba a great apology, don't you? And now, don't you think that if God could use Bathsheba for His purposes, he can use you too?

Joel Heaton, Jr.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Big Cheese


Now for something we all need to know, What kind of cheese are you? Heres a simple "test" to give you that answer at long last! My result is below.



Click here: Cheese Test... what type of cheese are you?

http://cupped-expressions.net/cheese/quiz/


My result:



You are cheddar cheese!

You are a yellow-orange, rectangle-shaped cheese. You are very popular. You have lots of zip and energy and love to jump around. You are sharp and clever, but also sometimes a little stubborn.The most widely purchased and eaten cheese in the world. Cheddar cheeses were originally made in England, however today they are manufactured in many countries all over the world. Fully cured Cheddar is a hard, natural cheese. It is shaped like a drum, 15 inches in diameter, with natural rind bound in cloth. Normally, the color of Cheddar ranges from white to pale yellow. Some Cheddars, however, have a color added, giving the cheese a yellow-orange color. Cheddar is always made from cow's milk and has a slightly crumbly texture if properly cured. If the cheese is too young, the texture is smooth. Cheddar gets a sharper taste the longer it matures. It is generally matured between 9 and 24 months. The important thing in purchasing Cheddar, is to consider the age of the cheese. Milk is heated to 86 degrees F and inoculated with a lactic starter culture. After an hour rennet is added. When the curd is firm, it is ground down to marble-sized bits which are heated to 100 degrees F. The whey is discarded and it is sliced into slabs. The curd is pressed overnight and stands for 4 days in a cool atmosphere. Unlike other well known cheeses, Cheddar's name is not protected so it has been used and abused by many producers around the world. [ Country: England Milk: cow milk Texture: semi-hard ]


Wow! All I ever need to know about cheddar to boot!

Expounding a Rilke




Just some thoughts in the morning ... I think its important to try to ask Jesus to help us see the root of people's unkindness, actions etc, and see their heart, instead of just the surface things- . There was a guy from the gospel mission who spoke of how this woman came in just totally angry and rude and aggressive. At some point he realized this stemmed from her abuse by men. Once he asked her about it she broke down into tears. We have to be careful not to judge anything but Fruit, and to try to see PAST what others are saying into whether the words are coming from hurt or pain etc. ..


We know with Christ, experience does not a person make, however, a person can become crippled by experience. We need to see the person, love them, ask Christ to help us love them, despite who that person is as a result of dealing with being maimed, crippled etc on an emotional level even. Most people who are the most unlovable need loving the most. Sometimes I don't know why the person is cranky or don't find out, but, that person probably needs kindness the most.


The following is written by Rainier Maria Rilke, in "letters to a young poet""


How should we be able to forget those ancient myths that are at the

beginning of all peoples, the myths about dragons that at the last

moment turn into princesses; perhaps all of the dragons of our lives

are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and

brave. Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being

something helpless that wants help ..."


Monday, March 23, 2009

another peek at grace ...








I'm rereading this book "What's So Amazing About Grace?", by Philip Yancey and came across this:






"Grace is Christianity's biggest gift to the world, a spiritual nova in our midst exerting a force stronger than vengeance, stronger than racism, stronger than hate. Sadly, to a world desperate for this grace, the church presents one more form of ungrace."




I've found this so often to be true; as there are times Christians are very judgmental. Thankfully, I also know Christians who are just the opposite. I think the "judementalness" (if that's a word) comes about when we think of works, or the comparison thereof. Works are important of course and true faith will produce them. BUT, we must fight to preserve the Gospel message of grace, the light in a dark world...




Romans 4:4-5 "Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness."




Just a thought on a Monday ...




Tim

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Floating World



The Floating World- by Daniel Goodman

You see the artist in me

So I turn towards

LightWords form something to give

I love with love given me

I give you gift that's in me


I know I'm in between now

This floating world, the fragments I know

Of your life and all that it means I wait for your light to come down

I wait like I always will wait, for you


Here now, all that you are

I'm sure, I know I can come

My life, held in your hand

I love with love given meI give you the gift that's in me

I wait for your Light to come down

I wait like I always will wait, for you

These lyrics are playing on my computer right now... and I am enjoying them so I thought I'd share them with you. Have a blessed evening everyone!

everything is gonna be alright!



One wakes up in the morning and there is news of war, abductions, breakups ... All sorts of stuff. One gets going in their day and there are the phone calls demanding this bill be paid, this be wrong or that is going off the deep end. There may be problems at work, a child does something completely off the wall, maybe problems crop up at home. One gets through the day and there is more bad news on the TV, or you meet an old friend with another story to tell. You know of those days everything seems negative? Nothing goes right .... Everything is going wrong!


There are just those days when we need to hear everything will be ok. Its so easy to get focused on problems! In the Word it becomes clear that our Lord knows the end of the story ... Everything is going to be alright. We have this glorious future! You see, we need not to let things overwhelm and consume us when we have Jesus in our lives. So this morning ... God is saying everything is gonna be alright!

Just felt led to share this ...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Don't sell that cow!




A joke for a Saturday ...


The 98-year-old Mother Superior from Ireland was dying. The nuns gathered around her bed trying to make her last journey comfortable.

They gave her some warm milk to drink but she refused.

Then one of the nuns took the glass back to the kitchen. Remembering a bottle of Irish whiskey received as a gift the previous Christmas, she opened and poured a generous amount into the warm milk.

Back at Mother Superior's bed, she held the glass to her lips. Mother drank a little, then a little more and before they knew it, she had drunk the whole glass down to the last drop.

"Mother," the nuns asked with humility, "please give us some wisdom before you die."

She raised herself up in bed and with a pious look on her face said, "Don't sell that cow."

Wrecking Yard Theology




I met with God in a wrecking yard yesterday. This weekend I took an adventure with my son Ben to a junkyard. Looking for parts for his baby Ford Explorer of course! lol

But you know, I think I saw some shadows of God there as well. I saw Him first in a sticker in my foot. I was searching for a jack that someone had left out there so that we could use it, and as I bent down to pick off the sticker - I found the jack. Oh, thank You Lord!


And then again later on, as I gazed about - sitting atop what once was a screaming hot red firebird, the wind was blowing and I was just generally feeling God's love. I wondered: how many of us belong in a junkyard? And how many times do people look us over: needing or wanting just one part of us or another? Yet God pulls us out of the yard; all the parts we have with us. And He cleans us up, takes out the bad parts - replaces them with shiny new ones. After all the major repairs are made, He gives us a beautiful glossy paint job. If we mess up and ask for forgiveness, He runs us through the car wash.


So today, I'm thanking God for pulling me out of the junkyard and making me into what is becoming beautiful car! Or in my son's case ... A beautiful red Ford Explorer ...


Abba, my prayer today is that You would remind me when I need routine maintenance. I love You, and all I want is to serve You and bring You glory! Keep me renewed, Lord Jesus!


Amen.

Friday, March 20, 2009

To be of use ...




To be of use

The people I love the best

jump into work head first

without dallying in the shallows

and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.

They seem to become natives of that element,

the black sleek heads of seals

bouncing like half submerged balls.

I love people who harness themselves,

an ox to a heavy cart,

who pull like water buffalo,

with massive patience,

who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,

who do what has to be done, again and again.

I want to be with people who submergein the task,

who go into the fields to harvest

and work in a row and pass the bags along,

who stand in the line and haul in their places,

who are not parlor generals and field deserters

but move in a common rhythm

when the food must come in or the fire be put out.

The work of the world is common as mud.

Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.

But the thing worth doing well donehas a shape that satisfies,

clean and evident.

Greek amphoras for wine or oil,

Hopi vases that held corn,

are put in museums

but you know they were made to be used.

The pitcher cries for water to carry

and a person for work that is real.

~ Marge Piercy ~

First Day of Spring!




Sheesh ... I almost forgot .... Today is officially the first day of Spring! It’s finally here… time to open your windows (for a few hours ...snow is forecasted tomorrow), sip your coffee on the back porch, clean your house from top to bottom (well eventually), plant flowers and prune your garden. For me, Spring reminds me of God’s grace. Winter, though I do enjoy it, especially in the beginning, is the time when the trees are naked of their leaves, the grass is dry and stripped of it’s green, it’s too cold to play outside ... Snow! Then Spring comes around, the temperature warms your skin, the leaves start to grow their leaves, the grass turns emerald, flowers sprout up again, birds return, kids play…you get the picture. I always think, this time of year, of how God uses these same occurrences in the seasons of our lives. And it gives me hope! There can always be renewal!

Have a blessed first day of Spring everyone!!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A 17th Century Fenelon




Heres a quote from the 17th century which interesting, accurate and cool:

"Those who correct others should watch for the Holy Spirit to get ahold of them and touch a persons heart. Learn to imitate Him who reproves gently. People do need to see God condemning them, they must realize within themselves that they have done something wrong.

Do not be heavy-handed lest people see God as a judgmental ogre. When you become outraged over a person's fault, it is generally not righteous indignation but your own impatient personality expressing itself. Here is the imperfect pointing a finger at the imperfect.

The more you selfishly love yourself, the more critical you will be. Self-love cannot forgive the self-love it discovers in others. Nothing is so offensive to a haughty, conceited heart as the sight of another one."
-Fenelon

The Prodigal Son in "F"



This is about my favorite parable. What do you think of this translation?



The Prodigal Son in "F"


Feeling footloose and frisky, a featherbrained fellow forced his fond father to fork over the family finances. He flew far to foreign fields and frittered his fortune feasting fabulously with faithless friends. Finally facing famine and fleeced by his fellows in folly, he found himself a feed-flinger in a filthy farmyard. Fairly famished he fain would have filled his frame with the foraged foods of the fodder fragments left by the filthy farmyard creatures.


'Fooey', he said, 'My father's flunkies fare far fancier,' the frazzled fugitive found feverishly, frankly facing facts. Frustrated by failure and filled with foreboding he forthwith fled to his family. Falling at his father's feet, he floundered forlornly. 'Father, I have flunked and fruitlessly forfeited family favor.'


But the faithful father, forestalling further flinching frantically flagged the flunkies. 'Fetch forth the finest fatling and fix a feast.' But the fugitive's faultfinding frater frowned on the fickle forgiveness of the former folderol. His fury flashed.


But fussing was futile, for the far-sighted father figured, such filial fidelity is fine, but what forbids fervent festivity? The fugitive is found! "Unfurl the flags, with fanfares flaring! Let fun and frolic freely flow!" "Former failure is forgotten, folly is forsaken! And forgiveness forms the foundation for future fortitude."


~Author Unknown

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Psalm 43/ More Whine, Please



Psalm 43 Judica me, Deus


1-2 Clear my name, God; stick up for me against these loveless, immoral people. Get me out of here, away from these lying degenerates. I counted on you, God. Why did you walk out on me? Why am I pacing the floor, wringing my hands over these outrageous people?


3-4 Give me your lantern and compass, give me a map, So I can find my way to the sacred mountain, to the place of your presence, To enter the place of worship, meet my exuberant God, Sing my thanks with a harp, magnificent God, my God.


5 Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? Fix my eyes on God—soon I'll be praising again. He puts a smile on my face. He's my God. Why did you walk out on me? Why am I pacing the floor, wringing my hands over these outrageous people?


There are penitential Psalms. There are cursing Psalms. And then there are some of my favorites -- the whining Psalms. Psalm 43 is a fairly mild example; but you see what I mean. "Why are people so mean to me? Why is everything so hard? Why do I feel so bad?"


I'm typing this as I lay on the sofa, swaddled in a "Indian" blanket, in my jammies and am sucking down a hot mug hot peppermint green tea to break up the bronchitis that seems to be creeping into my chest. I'm bone-tired ...

I have no profundities to share today; no somber reflections I care to write about now. Because, right at this moment, it's all about me. Sheesh!


To me one of the great things about Psalms as devotional tools is their bold honesty. There's no holding back even one's darkest impulses. Psalms whine; they pound chest-thump; they wish violent death on the little children of enemies. E-Gads! The Psalms show what a relationship with God looks like and some days it isn't pretty!But it's worth noting that, in all of this, the Psalmists don't stay turned inward on themselves; they always inevitably look outward to God. "This is me. This is my mess. Help me!"

Time to look outward ... Have a blessed day everyone!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Some Jokes fer St. Patricks Day!



It's that special day of the year when we can all enjoy some Irishness - St. Patrick's Day


As well as the traditional leprechauns, giant hats, Four-leaf clovers etc, Ireland is also well known for its sense of humour - it has produced some great comedians (such as Dara O'Briain and Ed Byrne), and some great comedy series (such as Father Ted).

As well as making jokes, Ireland and the Irish have also found themselves the butt of many - "Irish Jokes" are common in Britain.

In many of these, "Irishman" is used to refer to a stupid person (I think most countries have an equivalent, where they unfairly pick on another country in this way), so the jokes aren't really Irish at all - they are really just "stupid jokes" rather than "Irish jokes".


Here's some jokes with at least a little o' the Irish in 'em:

What was the name of the Irish woman who invented plastic chairs and tables for use outside?
Patty O'Furniture


What was the name of the Irish man who, having enjoyed a little too much Guinness, bounces off all the walls on their way home from the pub?Rick O'Shea


An Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman were reading a newspaper article about which nationalities' brains were for sale for transplant purposes.

An Irishman's or a Scotsman's brain could be bought for £500 but an Englishman's brain cost £10,000.

'That proves,' said The Englishman, 'that Englishmen are much cleverer than Irishmen or Scotsmen.'


'No it doesn't,' said The Irishman, 'it just means that an Englishman's brain has never been used!'


An Irish priest is sitting in a confessional booth waiting for people to come in. Finally, a drunk man stumbles in, on the other side of the wall. The priest can clearly smell the liquor on his breath. The man is silent for a long time. The priest is wondering if he is contemplating his sins or not. Finally, the drunk man says, "Hey, do you have any toilet paper on your side?"
Which Irish woman invented Nintendo's most well-known duo?

Mary O'Brothers


A pregnant Irish woman from Dublin gets in a car accident and falls into a deep coma. Asleep for nearly 6 months, when she wakes up she sees that she is no longer pregnant and frantically asks the doctor about her baby.The doctor replies, 'Ma' am you had twins! a boy and a girl. Your brother from Cork came in and named them.' The woman thinks to herself, 'Oh No, not my brother... he's an idiot!' She asks the doctor, 'Well, what's the girl's name?' Denise.' 'Wow, that's not a bad name, I like it! What's the boy's name?'

'Denephew.'


Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!
More jokes here:

Habakkuk's Concerto



MOVEMENT ONE
‘Why?'
‘How Long?'
Cry, and worry.
Wrestle with questions beyond you.
With eyes wide accuse God of indifference.
‘Do You not care’?
‘Do You not listen’?
‘Will You not save’?

MOVEMENT TWO
The answer ~
No explanation,
A Revelation ~
‘Watch and be amazed’.
Helpless.
Hungry.
Hope.
Faith in God’s Promise ~
Rest on The Rock.
Watch.
Linger.
Wait.
Hold to Assurances of The Holy One.

MOVEMENT THREE
Justification.
Meaning.
Purpose.
Righteousness not your own.
Grace.
Glory.
Presence.
See what The Everlasting has done, is doing, will do.
Power.
Praise.
Strength.
Counting on God’s Rule and reign.

FINALE
Sing.
Dance.
Feel the coolness of a peaceful joy.
The enemy is carried away on the four winds.

E. Natalie Johnson



After reading this, I sat down and read the book of Habakkuk, and truly enjoyed it. It's not a book that is discussed very often, so it was nice to dive into something new! I suggest go and read the book of Habakkuk! Don't worry about the pronunciation of his name. (My sister would pronounce it "Have-A-Chuck"! Just read his book. Wouldn't it be terrible to arrive in heaven, converse with Habakkuk and be forced to admit that we never read his book? lol

Monday, March 16, 2009

Which Saint Are You?

This should be interesting ... Which Saint are You?

http://www.quizilla.com/quizzes/1024784/which-saint-are-you


You are Saint Francis of Assisi! You don't care what you look like (or smell like) as long as you can live simply and help the poor. You should be receiving your stigmata any day now.

Well ... I don't go for the "smell like" thing ... lol

"haunted house" theology



I was wondering ... do we as Christians worry to much about evil at times. How much should we keep an eye out for the deceiving things of the world but of course keep our main focus on Jesus? I am reading a lot of things on the web lately that point out occult or satanic things that many of us are probably not even aware of...is that a good thing or not?

I have seen long discussions about the dangers of certain things like Harry Potter, pokemon, Dungeons and Dragons, the third eye on our American money (just to name ONE thing on it that is considered evil) and the list just keeps getting longer and longer... I thought about doing a thread titled...list all the occult or evil things you know about...just to exchange information about all these things. But do you think that would be really an edifying thing to do? Would it be somewhat paranoid? Shouldn't our focus be elsewhere?


In order for me just to learn about ALL the evil things and why they are evil and how to avoid them I would be spending 99% of my time reading and searching for those things ... Since we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood is there anything that isn't evil in it? Probably a few things ... but honestly its hard to even hear about a church that isn't corrupted anymore ... Let alone anything else.


If I have 666 on the barcodes of everything in my home is that opening me up to demonic attacks? If I turn the TV on and flip through the channel and just happen to run across a show on witchcraft for two seconds is that enough to cause demonic attacks? If I am walking around with dollar bills in my pocket with the third eye on it, is that enough to cause spiritual harm to me?Can evil even totally be avoided in this world? ... Should any of us really spend the time and energy to keep up on EVERYTHING that is bad or not? I would think this would lead to be the most fearful of Christians, all the time. Wouldn't it be easier to just assume everything is evil and wear the Armor Of God at all times?

Since God doesn't give us the spirit of fear..and we are told to we should "have no anxieties about anything"....is this really benefiting us focusing on all the evil, demon stuff out there?I think too a point we do need to be aware of some things going on, especially if you are a new Christian and not aware of the dangers of some things...sure...but how much do you think is too much knowledge of these things?

This is what I call "haunted house" theology -- Christians who are constantly seeing demons or evil spirits all around them.I think this way ... we know there is evil built into the very fabric of this world. But we are not of this world. I know that by focusing on Christ, I am kept safe from evil influence, and even see it flee from the presence of the Holy Spirit in me. Jesus recognized evil, but surely never feared it. Neither should we.We are to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. We walk through the midst of evil knowing that the power of God is greater. "....I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me....."


Have a blessed day everyone! May His peace be upon you ...
2 Timothy 1:7 "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
Ephesians 6:10 "A final word: Be strong with the Lord's might power.
11 Put onall of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm againstall strategies and ticks of the Devil.
12 For we are not fightingagainst people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms.
13 Use every piece of God's armor to resist the enemy in the timeof evil, so that after the battle you will still be standing firm.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Guest House




This was found in my e-mail ...



The Guest House by Rumi


This being human is a guest house

every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they are a crowd of sorrows

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture,

still treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you outfor some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,

meet them at the door laughing,

and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.


Thanks Joseph! I needed that.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

In the year 2012



Have any of you heard of this? I received this in an e-mail …


Jack Van Impe on a TV show said this about the Mayan and Aztec calendars ending December 25, 2012.


1. First, he says he is not date setting.

2. He talks about what how long a generation is.

-From Abraham to Christ is 42 generations = 2,160 years

-Divide 2,160 by 42 = 51.4 years

-Jerusalem won the war in 1967 in June so add .5 for the 6 months left in the year. So, 51.4 + .5 = 51.9 years or approx. 52 years in 1 generation.

-He said from Adam to Christ is 77 generations or 4,000 years. Divide 4,000 by 77 to get 51.9 or approx. 52 years in 1 generation.

3. Next he took 1967 and added 52 to get the year 2019.

4. He subtracted 7 year tribulation from 2019 to get 2012 (where the Mayan and Aztec calendars end on December 25, 2012)

5. He said he has 2 theories…he does not believe in the first one but in the second theory…

a. He said the rapture could happen on December 25th this year and have the 7-year tribulation bring it up to December 25, 2012.
or

b. This is what he believes even though he is not date setting: We would be raptured December 25, 2012. The 7 year tribulation would bring us up to the year 2019 when the Lord returns.
He feels that when the Mayan calendar ends in 2012 something of immense importance will happen…either the Lord returns or we are raptured.

Hmmmmm … Next thing you know they’re gonna be quoting Nostradamus …

Liquid Joy



"The fact is always obvious much too late, but the most singular difference between happiness and joy is that happiness is a solid and joy a liquid." ~J.D. Salinger


I think that this quote rocks! Happiness breaks when something falls on it, but joy fits in whatever container you put it in. There is a distinction between joy and happiness I have usually thought of it as happiness being a sort of worldly emotion that comes from some worldly satisfaction - not worldly in a bad way, but in a mortal human earthly way and joy as being something God given that doesn't necessarily make us happy but gives us hope and inner peace .

Just some thoughts...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Road trip to Canby, California

Spring fever has hit with a vengence! Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day and I just had to go out on a mini road trip!



First stop was Lower Klamath Lake in the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge. Klamath and Tule Lake is known for all sorts of migrating birds. The area provides overwintering grounds for scores of bald eagles, and others. The picture above as taken from Stateline Road which goes through the refuge.



After spending some time in the refuges I headed over to the Lava Beds National Monument. Thats how these road trips go, I just keep tacking on to it until the day is done! Anyway ... I forgot about the wildfire that was there a year or two ago, so I was surprised about how black it was in its Northern parts! The Lava Beds is a stark landscape ( And I like these landscape, seemy link below for pictures of my trip to the Oregon Outback a few weeks ago.) Anyways the fire really turned the place into a surreal landscape! Here is a picture of "Captain Jacks Stronghold" with Mt. Shasta in the backgound.




Here is a picture of the Canby Hotel. Mind you, I wasn't really aiming for Canby but out in the middle of nowhere I suddenly heard this thump, thump, thump and lo and behold I had a flat tire. I only had this "temporary tire" and Canby was the nearest town and I was hoping to get a new tire there. But alas, no tire shops here and I had to limp along to the thriving metropolis of Alturas (Actually a favorite place to visit of mine) to find a tire shop. Canby turned out to be a friendly place and I got a bite to eat before heading out. I will have to stay at this Hotel some time!





On my way home I took this picture of an old barn outside of Canby. I kind of have a thing for old barns as my wife will tell you, so I couldn't pass this one up! All in all this was a great little tripeven with the unexpected ... Maybe BECAUSE of the unexpected! Life is like that sometimes isn't it?lol

And ... How was your day?

http://thundercatt99.blogspot.com/2009/02/going-to-ouback.html

Is Sexting To Blame?



This story is incredibly sad. Teenagers can be so cruel to one another. I wonder how her ex-boyfriend feels now. How are all of the girls that called her vulgar names feeling at this moment ...


Teen Commits Suicide ~ Is 'Sexting' To Blame?


We're saddened by a story about a teen who hanged herself in her bedroom after an ex-boyfriend disseminated a nude cell-phone photo of her around their Ohio community. Jessica Logan, 18, was harassed daily by other girls calling her "slut" and "whore" and throwing objects at her.


Making It Through


She finished high school last year and went on national television with her face and voice distorted to warn other girls about the potential consequences of taking naked photos of themselves, a mistake Vanessa Hudgens later made.


But two months later, after attending a funeral for another teen who had committed suicide, Jessica went home and took her own life.


A Common Mistake


An oft-cited survey says that 39 percent of teens have sent similar photos of themselves ... and 15 percent of high-school boys say they disseminate the pics after a breakup.The "Today" show had an "Internet security expert" on hand to warn of the dangers of "sexting" and urge parents to check their kids' cell phones. But isn't the real problem old-fashioned high-school cruelty?

Full article here:

http://www.lemondrop.com/2009/03/06/teen-commits-suicide-is-sexting-to-blame/?icid=200100397x1219749344x1201339776



The thing that leaped out at me was that 39% of the teens have sent similar or nude photos of themselves! Wow!!! The problem isn't having cell phones, the problem is that somewhere along the way girls think that they have to use sex and their sexuality to keep a boy's interest. Somewhere along the way, girls are thinking their only marketable commodity is their bodies. It doesn't matter if your kids have cell phones or not, they will find a way to do other things that could ruin their lives. This is the problem with society, always looking for something to blame rather than taking responsibility for their own actions.

Life is a mixed bag -- you always have the bad stuff and the good stuff. I could go on, at length, about all the stupid stuff I did when I was a teenager. Or I could go on about the good stuff. With the bad stuff, hopefully, it fades away. It becomes like fragments. Little pieces of stories that don't always agree with each other. The good stuff we keep. The thing is that I think we need forgetfulness in order to function. "Forgive and forget." We all need grace for our "pasts." Even the Bible says that when God forgives us, He “remembers our sins no more" ( Jeremiah 31:34).

But we're running out of forgetfulness. Here's the thing: in the process of recording everything, we're making our lives more static than they've ever been before. I'm not that kid of 18 who was apathetic and hated school anymore. The teenagers taking pictures of themselves performing sex acts are going to have to live with those pictures their entire lives. There's no more forgetting.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Jesus was a Ninja???



This is for my son Shay ... A big time Ninja fan ...



IN A paddy-lined valley in the far north of Japan is a municipal signpost inscribed: “Tomb of Christ: next left.” Follow the winding path up into the forest and there, sure enough, is a simple mound with a large wooden cross labelled as the grave of Jesus. Nearby is a tomb commemorating Isukiri, Christ’s brother, adorned with a plastic poinsettia Christmas wreath.


For two millennia the farming village of Shingo claims to have protected a tradition that Jesus spent most of his life in Japan. The village is the home of Sajiro Sawaguchi, a man in his eighties who claims to be a direct descendant of Jesus and whose family has always owned the land in which it is said that Christ is buried. ... The upkeep of the site is paid for out of the profits of a local yoghurt factory, and Mr Nagano agrees that The Da Vinci Code will probably boost Shingo’s coffers. The village shop is already doing a roaring trade in Christ-branded saké. “Did you enjoy the museum?” asks Mr Nagano. “If you did, I recommend you go to Ishikawa district. They have the tomb of Moses there.”

The whole article here:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,25689-2201183,00.html

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

looking at the source from which it comes



I think all Christians would agree with me if I said that though Christianity seems at first to be about morality, all about duties and rules and guilt and virtue, yet it leads you on, out of all that, into something beyond. One has a glimpse of a country where they do not talk of these things, except perhaps as a joke. Every one there is filled full with what we should call goodness as a mirror filled with light. But they do not call it goodness. They are not thinking of it. They are too busy looking at the source from which it comes.

~C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Lava Lamp of Prayer




Now for something a bit different ... This is a self described "Lava Lamp Prayer Application". OK ... My first thought was that I wasn't sure what I thought about this - that it was "making fun" of prayer. But then I thought, hey, if it gets people thinking about prayer and talking about prayer than maybe someday it will get folks actually praying and that cannot be a bad thing. Plus, God has a sense of humor. I think God would appreciate the appropriation of 70's (or is it 60's) kitsch for a higher purpose.

The link to the lamp:

http://emergingchurch.info/prayer/index.htm#

Some quotes on forgiveness ...



I sometimes hear people say, “I forgive him–I just don’t want to have anything to do with him again.” This statement always makes me think of the part of the Lord’s Prayer that says, “forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” (Matt. 6:12). Therefore, I will often respond to this kind of statement by asking, “What would happen if God forgave you in exactly the same way you are forgiving this other person? To put it another way, how would you feel if you had just confessed your sin to the Lord and then heard his voice saying, ‘I forgive you–I just don’t want to have anything to do with you again’?” Most people quickly agree that they wouldn’t feel the least bit forgiven. As Christians, we cannot overlook the direct relationship between God’s forgiveness and our forgiveness. ~Ken Sande



Forgiveness acknowledges that we have been wronged but it goes beyond that and extends mercy. ~Floyd McClung



“I don’t know if I continue, even today, always liking myself. But what I learned to do many years ago was to forgive myself. It is very important for every human being to forgive herself or himself because if you live, you will make mistakes- it is inevitable. But once you do and you see the mistake, then you forgive yourself and say, ‘well, if I’d known better I’d have done better,’ that’s all. So you say to people who you think you may have injured, ‘I’m sorry,’ and then you say to yourself, ‘I’m sorry.’ If we all hold on to the mistake, we can’t see our own glory in the mirror because we have the mistake between our faces and the mirror; we can’t see what we’re capable of being. You can ask forgiveness of others, but in the end the real forgiveness is in one’s own self. I think that young men and women are so caught by the way they see themselves. Now mind you. When a larger society sees them as unattractive, as threats, as too black or too white or too poor or too fat or too thin or too sexual or too asexual, that’s rough. But you can overcome that. The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself.” ~Maya Angelou




Amen! Forgiveness is required for those who have been forgiven. We are not given the luxury of holding on to our bitterness towards other people. One more thing … The Maya Angelou quote also addresses forgiving oneself or accepting the forgiveness that is offered to ourselves. There is this quote from somewhere that I don’t remember now but pierced my heart so to speak. “If the Lord Jesus has washed you in His blood and forgiven you all your sins, how dare you refuse to forgive yourself.” Self hatred is one of those luxuries no Christian can afford. In fact it pushes idolatry in that it subtly reestablishes ourselves as the center of focus or concern. Gentleness towards ourselves issues in gentleness towards others.


Have a blessed day everyone!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Broken Things


Broken Things

you can have my heart though it isn't new

it's been bruised and broken

and it only comes in blue

it's been down a long road

and it got dirty on the way

if i give it to you will you make it clean

and wash the shame away

you can have my heart

if you don't mind broken things

you can have my life

if you don't mind these tears

well i heard that you make old things new

so i give these pieces all to you

if you want it you can have my heart

so beyond repair nothing i could do


i tried to fix it myself but it was only worse

when i got through

then you walked into my darkness

and you speak words so sweet

and you hold me like a child

till my frozen tears fall at your feet

you can have my heart

if you don't mind broken things

you can have my life

if you don't mind these tears

well i heard that you make old things new

so i give these pieces all to you

if you want it you can have my heart

~Julie Miller



And the marvelous, unbelievable truth is that he does!

Jill and Aslan



Here is an excerpt from one of C.S.Lewis stories from the Chronicles of Narnia. In these stories, Aslan is the Christ figure. This little snapshot I found real cool and wanted to share it with you.


IN C. S. LEWIS' children story, "The Silver Chair", Jill, a little girl from our world, accidentally stumbles into the world of Narnia. She is extremely thirsty and comes upon a stream. But a Lion, Aslan, is sitting by the stream. She is terrified. Aslan says to her, "If you are thirsty, you may drink.'' She doesn't move.

"Are you not thirsty?'' said the Lion.

"I'm dying of thirst,'' said Jill.

"Then drink,'' said the Lion.

"May I, could I, would you mind going away while I do?'' said Jill.

The Lion answered this only by a look and a very low growl. And, as Jill gazed at its motionless bulk, she realized that she might as well have asked a whole mountain to move aside for her convenience.

The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic.

"Will you promise not to do anything to me, if I do come?'' said Jill.

"I make no promise,'' said the Lion.

Jill was so thirsty now that, without noticing it, she had come a step nearer.

"Do you eat girls?'' she asked.

"I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms,'' said the Lion. It didn't say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry. It just said it.

"I daren't come and drink,'' said Jill.

"Then you will die of thirst,'' said the Lion.

"Oh dear!'' said Jill, coming another step nearer. "I suppose I must go and look for another stream then.''

"There is no other stream,'' said the Lion.

It never occurred to Jill to disbelieve the Lion ' no one who had seen his stern face could do that ' and her mind suddenly made itself up. It was the worst thing she had ever had to do, but she went forward to the stream, knelt down, and began scooping water in her hand. It was the coldest, most refreshing water she had ever tasted. You didn't need to drink much of it, for it quenched your thirst at once. Before she tasted it she had been intending to make a dash away from the Lion the moment she finished. Now she realized that this would be, on the whole, the most dangerous thing of all. She got up and stood there with her lips still wet from drinking.



Isn't this a great picture of Christ? A dangerous uncaged lion. One we don't often think of ... We don't begin or negotiate ... we surrender. God is not in formulas, but seems to break away from them. One expects to find God in a mighty wind, a fire, an earthquake but instead is found in a gentle breeze. (`1 Kings 19:9-14) One would expect to find God in the Holy Temple or in the courts of the mighty, or only with the superstars of the spiritual, but instead is at a party of sinners, beside you on the road to Emmaus, or in strange things like a burning bush. Like the Jill in this story I think we tend to want things in nice little boxes and formulas, that makes nice 3 paragraph devotionals, but He steps out and beyond them all the time. If we want to truly know Him and his awesomness (is that a word? lol), we must let go of these things in a risk of faith, surrender. The Lion can seem very scary, but the other alternative is to die of thirst.

Cool story ... I want to go through them again.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

7 Deadly Sins Quiz


I've been guilty of them all at one time or another. Anyways, I've found a test last night which is to rank us on these. Here is the link:

Click here: ?? Deadly Sin (it's a SelectSmart.com Personality selector. Keywords: Personality selectors recommend match quizze

http://www.selectsmart.com/FREE/select.php?client=deadlysin


My results are: 1) Angelic, 2) Lust, 3) Gluttony, 4)Greed, 5) Sloth, 6) Pride, 7) Wrath, 8) Envy

Wait ... thats 8! I'll have to investigate further. I was kinda surprised Pride was ranked as low as it was ... I was going to say "pleased" but it would be rather prideful ....

What We Feel is Not Who We Are



What We Feel is Not Who We Are

"Our emotional lives move up and down constantly. Sometimes we experience great mood: swings from excitement to depression, from joy to sorrow, from inner harmony to inner chaos. A little event, a word from someone, a disappointment in work, many things can trigger such mood swings. Mostly we have little control over these changes. It seems that they happen to us rather than being created by us.


Thus it is important to know that our emotional life is not the same as our spiritual life. Our spiritual life is the life of the Spirit of God within us. As we feel our emotions shift we must connect our spirits with the Spirit of God and remind ourselves that what we feel is not who we are. We are and remain, whatever our moods, God's beloved children."

~Henri Nouwen


Henri's words about depression breathe hope into a subject that has been mistakenly often times characterized as a condition that exists because of a lack of faith or prayer. I find this ridiculous! Jesus was a man of sorrows, Jesus felt forsaken, misunderstood, and alone, and yet in the midst of these feelings, Jesus did not forget who He was. That is the whole point. Depression is a feeling...an awful one, if you have ever looked into its seemingly endless black hole ... but it does not define who we are. That is Nouwen's conclusion, and mine as well. In the darkest night, in the blackest moment, there is Truth ... Light. I do not need to deny what I feel, but I do not need to let what I feel define who I am...

Just wanted to share that ...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Satan Smells


One of the more interesting things that I've come across ... Joyce Meyer in a book has claimed that she has smelled demons. For reals! So I was wondering has anyone other than Joyce Meyer smelled demons? Or could the smell be more likely something else? What would a demon smell like? It just couldn't be good I imagine ...

But when I think about it, I can't see why not that God could give a "spiritual smell" (for lack of better words) as a part of discernment. I won't be to quick to mock it because of that. For sure, it seems way out there, but then again, some of the things of God had the prophets do were pretty darn weird. And some of their visions? Lord knows how much some of us have racked our brains to understand them!

Anyways I'm just wondering where you may stand on it...

ridiculous


A quote I came across with definitely some truth to it ...


"It is a curious thought, but it is only when people see you look ridiculous that you realize just how much you love them."


~Agatha Christie



Yeppers ....

Friday, March 6, 2009

"Unfortunately"



This is fun! Thanks to a friend for the idea ....

"What you do is, do a google search for "unfortunately (Your name here)" ... don't forget the quotation marks! Here a just a few of the ones that came up for my name:"


"Unfortunately, Tim is too modest about his accomplishments and respectful of teammates and Major League Baseball."

"Unfortunately, Tim is missing the forest for the trees."

"Unfortunately Tim Horton's is NOT Canadian."

"Unfortunately, Tim's life as Robin has already started to cause trouble."

"Unfortunately Tim refused to spill the beans for us."


Yep ... all sorts of cheap fun ... *snicker*

Spotted Eagle


This is a favorite verse of mine: "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" (Is 40:31).

The Bible uses a lot of symbolism ... And it carries references to the eagle as the messenger of God, and as a link between heaven on earth. But check it out, I came across this on another site: The Lakota (Sioux Indian) traditions call the Golden Eagle "Wanbli Gleska" meaning "Spotted Eagle." It is sacred to them because it flies higher than any other bird. It symbolizes the Spirit that flies through the hole in the sky and carries their prayers to Wakan Tanka "The Great Spirit." For a Christian, it would be the same as the Holy Spirit carrying prayers to Our Father. We can often see symbolism in the things around us, and I find it interesting that "eagle" has the same basic meaning, to my understanding, in two totally different cultures. Just found this interesting and wanted to share it ...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

In the heat of the desert ...


Here's an interesting test for you all to take ... if one is so inclined of course!


The Desert Test


"In the deadly heat of the desert you will need to make sacrifices to stay alive. How you react may give you some insight into your personality and priorities. Have fun!"


My results are below.Tim





Congratulations! The two of you made it out of the desert!

Based on Japanese Archetypes the desert represents a hardship. Each of the animals represents an aspect of your life. The order in which you sacrifice the animals might be said to represent the importance of these things to you. The one that you sacrificed first is the least important, and the one that you kept is the most important.

1 You sacrificed the Sheep. The Sheep represents friendship.


2 You sacrificed the Lion. The Lion represents pride.


3 You sacrificed the Monkey. The Monkey represents your children.


4 You sacrificed the Cow. The Cow represents basic needs.


5 You kept the Horse. The Horse represents your passion.

Happy Unbirthday!


I don't know whose birthday it is today .... Maybe we all are having our unbirthdays today ... But attending my granddaughters birthday bash at McDonalds a couple weeks ago brings this to mind ...

Birthdays are to be celebrated! They need to be celebrated! Its more important to celebrate birthdays than a persons promotion, or any other personal victory. Because to celebrate a persons birthday is to say to someone, "Thank you for being you!" Celebrating a birthday is exulting a life and being glad for it! On a birthday we do not say, "Thanks for what you did ... or said ... or accomplished." No, we say: "Thank you for being you!!!. Thank you for being born and for being among us!"

On birthdays we celebrate the present. We do not whine or complain about what happened or even speculate about what will happen in the future ... But we lift someone up and let everyone say: "We love you!"

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

unbreakable


An interesting quote I came across ...

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”- C.S. Lewis

Mephibosheth




Here's a name for you ... Mephibosheth. Don't even expect me to be able to pronounce it! LOL




Anyway ... his story is another one of those shadows of the nature of God that really becomes clear later on in the New Testament. His story is in 2 Samuel 9, which I put at the bottom of this. His named was changed from Meribaal (The Lord is my advocate) to Mephibosheth after his feet were crippled.(Mephi means my brokenness and bosheth means shame.) In brief, David (a shadow of Christ in the Old testament) took Mephi in from exile and welcomed him into his presence.




Mephibosheths story really is like our own. He didn't tell him to get it together before he would consider it, David took him in as is! As David put it in verse 9, this is the love of the lord. The word "kindness" in this verse means "covenant love" in the Hebrew ... the love God has for us! God is eternal therefore His love goes on forever. (A Tim paraphrase of St. Augustine.)




Most of us have struggled with our fallen/sin nature that we nearly give up at times. Some of us may be so broken that our personalities resist change. Some of us come to Him after a rather desperate culmination of a whole bunch of failures. Some of us are so handicapped that complete healing has to wait for heavens cure. God discerns the possibilities in the most damaged of lives, take all that is unworthy in it and gradually turn it into good. Some of us get to glorify God for our time through our brokenness. But is a covenant love ... Mephibosheth always had a place at the kings table (v13) ... and the tablecloth covered his crippled feet.




Just wanted to share the story...Tim




2 Samuel 9


An Open Table for Mephibosheth


1 One day David asked, "Is there anyone left of Saul's family? If so, I'd like to show him some kindness in honor of Jonathan."


2 It happened that a servant from Saul's household named Ziba was there. They called him into David's presence. The king asked him, "Are you Ziba?" "Yes sir," he replied.


3 The king asked, "Is there anyone left from the family of Saul to whom I can show some godly kindness?" Ziba told the king, "Yes, there is Jonathan's son, lame in both feet."


4 "Where is he?"
"He's living at the home of Makir son of Ammiel in Lo Debar."


5 King David didn't lose a minute. He sent and got him from the home of Makir son of Ammiel in Lo Debar.


6 When Mephibosheth son of Jonathan (who was the son of Saul), came before David, he bowed deeply, abasing himself, honoring David.
David spoke his name: "Mephibosheth."
"Yes sir?"


7 "Don't be frightened," said David. "I'd like to do something special for you in memory of your father Jonathan. To begin with, I'm returning to you all the properties of your grandfather Saul. Furthermore, from now on you'll take all your meals at my table."


8 Shuffling and stammering, not looking him in the eye, Mephibosheth said, "Who am I that you pay attention to a stray dog like me?"


9-10 David then called in Ziba, Saul's right-hand man, and told him, "Everything that belonged to Saul and his family, I've handed over to your master's grandson. You and your sons and your servants will work his land and bring in the produce, provisions for your master's grandson. Mephibosheth himself, your master's grandson, from now on will take all his meals at my table." Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.


11-12 "All that my master the king has ordered his servant," answered Ziba, "your servant will surely do."
And Mephibosheth ate at David's table, just like one of the royal family. Mephibosheth also had a small son named Mica. All who were part of Ziba's household were now the servants of Mephibosheth.


13 Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, taking all his meals at the king's table. He was lame in both feet.




~The Message