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Eowyn's Heart

The name of this blog is based on the character Eowyn from Lord of the Rings because I strongly identify with her on many levels. The purpose of this blog is to proclaim the glory of my Lord and King through His work in conforming me into the image of His Son, Christ Jesus. In all things, I trust you will see His hand at work.

Sunday, July 31, 2005


Well, as was noted in yesterday's "catch up" blog - life has been hectic lately. Some of it my own doing, some just the nature of how things are at the moment.

LoveLife: Not too much going on in this little part of my world (as usual). I did almost go interview with a video dating service last week :-P I know - silly! I did come to my senses and cancel the appointment though :-). To be honest, I'm still not entirely convinced it's something I shouldn't do - I don't seem to be meeting anybody new (except for that cute guy who helped move the rocker to it's new home Y - but haven't seen hide nor hair of him since that day :-P).

Work: Way too much going on in that part of my world! Making up for the lack of a love life, I think :-} Marketing is the big thing stealing all my time right now - so much so that I can't get to writing up a Marketing Plan! This is really difficult for me as I feel like, without the plan, we're just shooting in the dark. We are getting decent results with our current marketing effort, but I'm sure that if it had been subjected to full planning out from beginning to end, it would have been much smoother and a lot less work. And, yes, unfortunately - I am bringing work home these days (and eating lunch at my desk more often than not!). Getting a little burned out I think . . .

Church: This part of my life is going really well! I was really honored when the other members of the team I volunteered for to organize a small event for our Sunday School asked me to take the leadership role. This is my first leadership postion with this church :-) It's small and it's temporary but I'm so grateful for the opportunity! In addition, our worship team practices are always a joy and the guys have started to incorporate prayer into our practice time (at the end). It's a real help to focus on the reason we're there playing around.

Game Night: Last night was fun! I was concerned at first because only one couple from the core group that typically shows up was going to be able to make it. As it turned out, I got to have them and two other couples for the evening :-) One of the couples brought their baby - he's such a blessing! Just a few days younger than my nephew . . . makes me miss my nephew :-( Anyway, we had Spaghetti (meat sauce, of course), salad, and garlic toast. Desert was Krispy Kreme donuts :-) We were going to have rootbeer floats too, but we drank all the rootbeer during dinner :-P We played Catch Phrase - it was fun.

Everything Else: Well, I got to the gym one morning last week :-( I'll try to do better this next week. My last razor died on me early last week so right now I've got little trees on my legs & underarms <>. I'm hoping to get to the store today to rectify that little problem :-P My mom's birthday was yesterday - hoping to talk to her today - just notice the time . . . I'll have to catch her in a couple of hours, she'll be at church now :-(

I am doing better on my Attitude Adjustment :-) I just keep asking myself "Am I being a courtous driver?" And sometimes I have to remind myself that it's none of my business why that guy (i.e. "dodo brain") sped up, pulled in front of me, then slowed down so that I had to hit my brakes! :-) Forgiveness is something I'm getting a lot of practice on in this little change I'm working through :-)

Well, I finally think that's all I "needed" to get said today :-) I know I still need to continue with the 1st Peter study . . . in time, in time . . .

I Cor. 9:24-27 Running Well

Couldn't just pull excerpts from this one - it was just too good!

Main Text: 1 Cor. 9:24-27
Additional References: II Tim. 2:5; 4:7,8; Phil 2:16; and Heb. 12:1

  • Running well requires sustained focus (v. 24)

Who are we competing against? Not other Christians - we are to be unified in heart & purpose - No, rather, we compete against our opponent - Satan & his servants. We are in competition with the Devil for the souls of men. We must have a singular focus on defeating him. In order to win, we must live every moment to the glory of God. Practice - Train - Get Fired Up - and FOCUS.

  • Running well requires daily sacrifice (v. 25)

In the Greek, the verb "compete" means to "agonize". The greek word translated "temperate" refers to "excercizing mastery over self." A good way of reading this first sentence, then, would be "And everyone who agonizes for the prize excercises mastery over himself in all things."

Avoid that which hinders/harms you. Pursue *passionately* that which contributes to successful completion, giving up not only evil things, but good things that do not lead to winning.

The serious athlete never asks, "What's the minimum I can do."

We must ask ourselves - What am I working to obtain? Are my efforts to gain something worthless (human praise, personal glory, etc.) or something eternal (a human soul redeemed from eternal condemnation)?

  • Running well requires persevering vigilance
  1. AIM - Keep your eyes on the goal! (v. 24b)
  2. PURPOSE - (v.26) ask in all things, "What is my spiritual purpose?" If there isn't one, perhaps you should re-think your involvement in that activity. (Ref. v. 23.) My sole purpose for anything I do should be for the sake of the gospel. Let's break that down just a bit. - I eat so that I might have the strength to share the gospel; I sleep so that I might have a clear, rested mind with which to share the gospel; I work so that I might pay my bills and maintain a good testimony so that I might share the gospel . . . and so on.
  3. DISQUALIFIED (a.k.a. "has not stood the test") - in this verse (v.27), does not refer to a loss of salvation, but to failing to do that which honored God.

Miscellaneous Thoughts

I've got 7 or 8 sermons I wanted to post my notes on, but right now that just wouldn't be an effective use of time. Some of the stuff in those sermons, however, was really valuable to me and I'd really like to share. So then, what follows are excerpts from these various sermons - a sort of collage of stuff that stuck out to me or impacted me or whatever. I hope someone finds themselves edified by something in this mish-mash :-)

Before we were changed from the living dead to the truly living, there was no question of our ever practicing any form of holiness. Job 25:4-6 "How then can man be righteous before God? Or how can he be pure who is born of a woman? If even the moon does not shine, And the stars are not pure in His sight, How much less man, who is a maggot, And a son of man, who is a worm?"

Since our redemption we are indeed truly NEW creatures:

Elected to holiness: Rom 8:29 "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son..."
Called to holiness: I Thess. 4:7 "For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness."
Re-created in holiness: Eph. 4:24 "...put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness."

As Paul asks in Rom 9:31, "What then shall we say to these things?" Our answer must be moment by moment obedience to Peter's admonition: "but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct."

Paradox Question: Will learning about God cease in heaven? If you think not, what do you do with I Cor. 13:12?

"Our loftiest utterances will be trivialities in comparison with Him." Novation, 200-258 AD

Because we are limited in EVERY way, we cannot truly concieve of or express His inifinity.

For God, everything that has got to happen has already happened. "The present day does not five way to tomorrow, nor does it take the place of yesterday. The present day is eternity." G'head, just try to get your head around that one!

Titus 1:2 "in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began." So, how long has my eternal destination been determined and settled?

God never differs from Himself. The permanence of God's character guarantees the fulfillment of His promises.

Infatuation with this life will distract from preparation for eternity.

We tend to make Jesus a "part" of our lives when we should be making Him the "point" of our lives.

Principles crucial to the task of defending the faith:
  1. No Neutrality - I Peter 3:15 We don't have "options." Christian faith is not the most probable truth, it is the only truth. God must be the starting point for all thought. Christ must be not only the Lord of my heart, but the Lord of my *mind*. I cannot allow myself to consider any thought as independent from Him.
  2. Only Antithesis - Every thought of the unbeliever is totally opposed to the truth. There is no common ground to be used as a starting point for discussion.
  3. The Impossibility of the Contrary - Presuppositional defense of the faith. If I deny the Christian faith, I deny the very foundation for reasoning, for science, for ethics, for morality. Nothing makes sense without the truth of Christianity. There is nothing we can truly know apart from God. It is, therefore, impossible for Christianity to not be true.

Eph 4:25-30; Relationships & Communication

I have always believed that communication is essential to strong relationships. If people don't talk to one another the relationship simply can't go anywhere. It gets stale and dies on the vine very quickly. What I did not know is that there is actually a Biblical basis for maintaining communication in a relationship. What follows are some excerpts from my notes on a sermon about this subject taken from Ephesians 4:25-30.

First of all, to place the passage in context (vital to any good exposition of the Word), we must remind ourselves that chapters 1-3 are discussing doctrinal issues and chapters 4-6 are discussing application of these doctrines into our everyday lives. Chapter 4:17-19 seek to remind us of our pre-saved condition, verses 20 & 21 review the change wrought in salvation and verses 22-24 remind us that the change is permanent and completed (the verb tense for "put off" and "put on" indicates the action has already taken place - it's a done deal). Verse 25 starts out with the tell-tale "Therefore" indicating that the instructions which follow are based on the preceding evidence of their necessity.

In verses 25-30 we find Three Key Principles for Biblical Communication

Principle #1: The need for truth to be observed in all our communication.
v. 25 "Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor"
Dishonest communication we must avoid includes:
Deceit - what you say is true, but there's more truth unsaid so that the whole is hidden or twisted
Sweeping Generalizations - "always" and "never" are very dangerous words.
Embellishments - don't make it out to be more than it really is
Minimizing - don't make it out to be less than it really is
Evasion - talking around the truth but never really getting to the heart of it
Innuendo - disguising the truth
Verbal / Non-verbal Conflict - When our words and our demeanor don't mesh
Blame Shifting - this one's been around since the very first sin
Unkept Promises - it's the same thing as lying when you say you're going to do something and then you don't follow through

Our motivation for keeping our communication honest is in our relationship to one another (see also verses 15-16).

I don't know about y'all, but I got my toes stepped on a bit in that list of dishonest communication. We grow up practicing this stuff in the flesh and it just comes so naturally that we don't even recognize it for the sin that it is.

Principle #2: The need to communicate regularly
v. 26 "Do not let the sun go down on your wrath"

Issues cannot be resolved without communication. It's simple, it's logical, it's Biblical. To allow issues to remain unresolved weakens the Body of Christ and is sinful. Anger is also one of the primary causes of a lack of communication. Anger does not have to be expressed in rantings and ravings to be sinful - nor is all anger sinful - there is a place for righteous anger.

Anger is sinful when it is selfishly motivated. Anger is sinful when, regardless of it's motivation, it is sinfully handled. Two ways in which anger is commonly mishandled include blowing up and clamming up. Both are self-serving and do not seek to bring resolution to the issue at hand.

How can we keep anger from becoming sinful? (1) recognize that sinful anger exists and we are susceptible to it; (2) pray about the situation; (3) question your motives; (4) seek resolution to the conflict as quickly as possible.

God expects us to speak regularly with one another to resolve issues.

Principle #3: The need to speak purposefully
v. 29 "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers."

I never realized, until just now, that I have always mis-read that verse. I read the middle part wrong as "what is good and necessary for edification" It really puts a different twist on it. We are not commanded to speak because it is necessary for edification but because edification is necessary. Now there's something to meditate on a bit!

How do we accomplish speach which results in the edification that is necessary? Four key aspects to evaluate:

1. Consider WHAT is said - the words being used must be carefully thought out. "Let no unwholesome word . . . " This isn't just foul language here (though that is obviously included) - the greek for "unwholesome" means "putrid" "decayed" or "rotting". Words are meant to help, not harm. Ref also Col 3:8 and Prov. 15:1
I see this as strongly related to Philippians 2:3 & 4. We often have a tendency to feel we simply "must" get something "off my chest". This is pure selfish motivation - my "need" to speak my mind regardless of the impact it has on the other individual. Philippians (and a ton of other places in Scripture) clearly tell us we are to consider others more important than ourselves. If we've got issues we feel we simply must get off our chest that are not issues of sin in the other person's life, then we have a sin problem in the form of an unwillingness to forgive and some sense that we are more important than the other person. period.

2. Consider HOW to say it - Sarcasm and Condescension are the big offenders here. Eph. 4:15 "speak the truth in love". Some people get so caught up in the first part of that verse they totally miss the 2nd part and go about spouting the truth in an aggressive, condscending, rude manner. This is not conducive to good communication. See also Proverbs 16:21

3. Consider HOW MUCH to say. We must say enough to get to the issue and deal with it, but we must be careful not to overdo it either. See also Prov. 10:19

4. Consider WHEN to say it. Ref. Prov. 15:23 and 25:11. Timing is everything. Consider well the context of the conversation you are about to embark on and assess the timeliness of it - especially if it is a sensitive matter.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Catching up

Goodness! It's been a long time since I posted. That's largely because I've had so much going on at work that I've been bringing work home and doing that instead of the things I really want to do :-P

I'm going to keep this one brief and hopefully I'll get to do more tomorrow but I have worship team practice in 1/2 an hour and then I've got to do some grocery shopping and then, since we're having Game Night at my place tonight (serving Spaghetti!!), I get to clean my house!

One thing I did want to get posted is the Uganda update from the church my family attends. The full report can be heard at http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?sermonID=7605232053. You have to register in order to listen to their sermons, but it's free.

My Grandpa Kenyon turned 80 this last week! I wish I could have gone for a visit, but that wasn't possible. We settled for a good long conversation instead - he is such a joy! And really, "joy" is the word that describes Grandpa best - his love for the Lord just bubbles up and over into everything and everyone he touches! He's an inspiration and encouragement to me. I called him to wish him Happy Birthday and came away feeling as if I was the one who'd received a gift :-) We need more people like him in this crusty old world!

My mom turns . . . well, better not say . . . she does read this blog! Anyway, her birthday is also happening so I get to give her a call. My mom is the best mom any girl could ever hope to have! She is my confidant, my counselor, and my friend. I LOVE YOU, MOM!! Life has certainly raked her over it's coals a few times but, like a crushed rose, the scent is all the more pleasant and lovely.

My brother and sister-in-law were hoping to come out for a visit in August, but that has had to be post-poned. That's both good and bad. Bad, of course, because I won't get to see them. Good because the reason they can't come is that they got to buy a house :-) The should be moving in today!! God is really gracious. 2 years ago Dan was jobless and courting a young lady via phone since she lived in another state. Today, he's in ministry working alongside Godly men, married to that wonderful, lovely young lady, raising his first son, and now he's moving into his own home!!! Just goes to show how God can bless when we patiently trust him through the dark times.

Well, gotta run - time for worship team practice.

I trust the Lord blesses you all this day!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Material Affections

I'm suffering from mixed feelings tonight. On the one hand, I know I did the practical, necessary, right thing. On the other - I feel like I've lost a little part of me.

Since before I was born (a little over 40 years ago), a beautiful loveseat rocker has been a part of our family. It's only furniture - but whenever I sat in it, I knew I was "home". It's a sign of the times, I suppose. It's still in good shape, but it's beginning to show it's age. It still had all original parts - wood, upholstery, everything. The wood base will soon need replacing as the wood is splitting and the upholstery needs to be redone. It held everything from my mom as she nursed an infant me to the German Shepherd dog who decided it was the most comfy bed in the house.

Tonight it found a new home. Knowing I didn't have intellectual, finanical or time resources this old chair was soon going to require, I gave it to a lady from my church. What's really neat is that she and I really hit it off from the very first meeting (she first came to look at it several weeks ago and I've been holding it while she found help to get it transported to her house). She said I could come over and sit on it any time I felt nostalgic :-)

Attitude Adjustment

God is so good to work on us even in the "mundane" parts of life. Like driving to work. For many years, I've been a moderately aggressive driver. Although I'm not one to tailgate, I am one to exceed the speed limit - always looking for that next window of opportunity to slip in front of the next guy.

The problem with this has been two-fold. First, and most obviously, I end up speeding. I used to give myself a "5 miles over the speed-limit" rule - over time, that has grown to 15, and recently I noticed myself exceeding even that. That's actually what got me thinking about the way I drive. That and the shootings on the L.A. freeways that have been all over the news the last few months.

The second problem was my attitude towards other drivers. Knowing I am a perfectionist by nature, I always fight the inner urge to be critical of others and deliberately choose to be more critical of myself . . . except on the road. "It's the long skinny pedal on the left!" "Did we forget how to signal???" "Are you trying to get us all killed??" "Idiot!" Sadly, these sarcastic statements have actually come out of my mouth while driving - and typically for the most inconsequential infractions on "my" space. What a poor way to treat another human being. I know they don't hear it - but God does.

I don't know why today out of all days it struck me, but it did. I started to realize that the biggest problem I have in this area is pride - manifesting itself in self-centeredness. I realized that instead of constantly judging whether another person is driving in a courteous manner - I should be asking if "I" am driving in a courteous manner.

So that's what I did today both on the way to work and on the way home. I deliberately kept my mind set on analyzing my own driving and how it may affect other drivers - am I too close for their comfort? If someone were coming up this fast behind me would I be concerned? Do they need me to back off a bit and let them move into the lane I am in (as opposed to "my lane")? Am I setting a good example for other drivers to follow?

It made my drive so much different! I was more relaxed - no agitation at other drivers because I was more focused about being courteous to them than on whether they were being courteous to me. I drove slower (5-10 miles over the speed limit and sometimes *under* the speed limit!) and I noticed something. The overall speed of traffic (my excuse for going 15 miles over the speed limit) was much slower than I had thought!

Have you ever thought - "Oh, I need that exit!" and sped up to get in front of the next guy so you could get over - sometimes cutting it a bit close? Try slowing down instead. I think sometimes we forget that we CAN slow down. We take to the road like we're in competition to get where we're going before the next guy gets where he's going - or we see other vehicles on the road as obstacles to getting where we're going rather than people going about their daily lives with just as much right to be on that piece of pavement as anybody else. I also think that sometimes we forget that people can't read our minds. We don't have our blinker on so the guy behind us just sits close enough to our tail that we can't move over - or worse, he/she speeds up and takes the opening we had been planning on - and we get frustrated. Or when we do have our blinker on and the guy/gal does the same thing, we forget that we can slow down and pull in behind them and that maybe they just don't see the signal flashing.

Yeah, there's idiots out there - I've almost been killed by some (the guy on his cell phone who decided he wanted to be in the exact space I was then occupying! . . . He never did realize I had to slam on my brakes - still chatting away after the accident was so slimly avoided). But that's NOT the majority of drivers and we (me and anybody like me) need to consider others more important than ourselves (Philippians 2:3).

Friday, July 08, 2005

The Best Laid Plans . . .

Well, it's been quite the busy week! I had planned very specific projects to attack (at work) and only got to one out of three :-P Ah well, such is life. I haven't been to the fitness club even once yet, though I finally did get contacted by the personal trainer and we'll be meeting next week to establish a routine. That's part of the reason I haven't been yet - I need a specific task to accomplish - and for the gym that translates into routine. I'm not the kind of person who can just go in, pick a machine and start doing reps. :-}

Tonight I'm taking a much "needed" (at least, that's how I justify it) night out. I'm going to the movies! Dark Waters is first on the list - I know it looks pretty scary, but my neighbor took part in the production so I feel kinda obliged (yeah, that's the reason, yeah . . . has nothing to do with my secret obsession with the wierd . . .). I'll follow that up with Fantastic Four if I'm still in movie mode ;-) It ought to be fun!

Hope you all had a great week! I plan on posting more Sunday.

See ya here, there, or in the air!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

I Peter 1:1-2

I spent part of my weekend listening to some tapes on this passage. One set is from Tom Nelson of Denton Bible Church in Denton, TX. You can listen to that sermon here. The other set is from Dr. John MacArthur of Grace Community Church in Sunland, CA. The first sermon can be downloaded for $3 here and the second one is here. (Dunno why GCC charges for computer downloads . . . ).

Anyway - this section is so rich and beautiful! Tom and Dr. Mac are perfect compliments for each other in their teaching styles. Both exegetical, both committed to truth - period, but Dr. Mac is more technical while Tom is more personable.

My goal here is not to try to convince anyone of the doctrine of election - which is the main thrust of these particular sermons - I'm just going to share the things that stood out most to me & blessed my heart. If you have never considered the doctrine of election or have concerns about it - I encourage you to listen to these sermons.

The first novel thing that I learned was that the word "chosen" in the English translation of the text, is actually in the wrong spot! In the Greek, the text reads, "Peter, apostle of Jesus Christ to [the] elect sojourners of [the] dispersion of Pontus . . . ." the "according to the foreknowledge" part comes after the listing of where the sojourners are dispersed to! This voids the arguement that we are "elect" because we were "foreknown". And, when you think about it - that arguement is flawed anyway - what good does it do to be "chosen" because we "chose"??? It voids God's choosing if His choosing us is based on our choice of Him. And if our being chosen were based on our choosing Him - couldn't we then later not choose Him and thereby loose our salvation? That's just got bad theology written all over it!

Moreover, we were not chosen at the time of our salvation. Dr. Mac goes to great lengths to point out the many passages that clearly state we were chosen before there was even time - much less a world, much less the very first human . . . . So, God, who is timeless, looked down through the time He had yet to create, and saw me. And seeing me, He chose me. Some might think that such belief would lead to arrogance - but I tell you, it's the most humbling thing I can imagine. Dead in my sin, self-declared enemy of His throne - if He had not chosen me, I would have willfully defied Him in every way - fully deserving of righteous judgement - - and He chose mercy instead. Only God knows the "why" of it. Not by works of righteousness that I had done - for I had done none and was utterly unwilling to do any - but according to His mercy, He saved me.

More than that - He saved me knowing who I would be before I knew Him and He saved me knowing who I would be after I had come to Him by faith. He knew before time of my rebellion and pride and my love of the world that would hinder my growth in our relationship. Yet He chose me. He knew every sin I would commit after He had opened my eyes to His sacrifice for my sake. Yet He chose me. He saw every instance in which I would betray Him and bring shame upon the name "Christian". Yet He chose me.

To those He did not chose, He is no less righteous in His judgement of them. He is under no obligation to show them mercy - just as He was under no obligation to show me mercy. I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene - and wonder how He could love me - a sinner, condemned, unclean. How marvelous! How Wonderful! Is my Savior's love for me!

Back to the "according to the foreknowledge" phrase. I haven't gottent hat far in the tapes yet, but I suspect it was meant to comfort the scattered believers in their persecution. They are "sojourners of [the] dispersion of Pontus . . . . according to the foreknowledge of God [the] Father . . ." I think Peter was telling these believers that the persecution and resulting dispersion were known by God - He knew it was going to happen - indeed, we who beleive in a Sovereign God know He orchestrated it. They were chosen by Him and they were dispersed by Him. I think it must have been a great comfort for those early believers to be reminded that God was involved and knew exactly what was going on in the upheaval of their lives.

Well, that's it for tonight. Hope this encouraged someone :-)

Monday, July 04, 2005

Working Out

Well, I finally went and did it! Been thinking about it for a couple of months, but I finally stopped by Bally Fitness and took out a membership :P

I can't really get out in my neighborhood (not safe for a single gal around here) and there's just not enough room in my Studio Apartment to really work out, so I've been feeling more and more sedentary and claustrophobic. Bally is right on the way home, so I have no excuse not to stop in and at the very least, walk the track - if nothing else.

Turns out they have a really nice facility - big pool, big jacuzzi, sauna's, several weight area's, lots of cardio, and so forth :-) Maybe this will help me get back to eating healthier too :-P

BTW - thanks go to http://jhicks.blogplot.com/ who's BLog helped encourage me to make this move ;)

Holiday Weekend

My, it's been a busy weekend! Especially when I consider the fact that I started out with no concrete plans whatsoever!

Saturday morning was Worship Team practice - it's always a blessing to sing praises :-) Then home for a quick bite of lunch and some internet work. Left a little after 3 to meet some friendsfor lunch at my favorite place, Baja Fresh (http://www.bajafresh.com/jump.jsp?itemType=CATEGORY&itemID=14&iMainCat=4&iSubCat=14&i3Cat=14) then a movie. Konrad & his lovely wife Carol went to see Herbie while Mark, Casey and I went to see Mr. & Mrs. Smith - Great Flick!! Laughed a Lot!

When meeting up with my friends, my long-time buddy Mark had a surprise for me . . . (such a geek!) ;-) He'd had his hair cut into a MOHAWK! Oh - if ONLY I'd had a camera!!! Something I never thought I'd see (out in public anyway) was Mark in a Mohawk - and there he was, in full 3-D. I about died of shock :-) It made for a lot more laughter throughout the night :-)

After the movie we all hit the hot tub where we met a very nice couple - Ruth & Tom. Really neat folks - laughed a lot there too :-) When we were sufficiently wrinkled, we went in for a few hands of Killer UNO (not to be confused with the regular boring UNO). By 10 we had to call it quits so we could get up for church in the a.m. :-)

See my post "Humbled" http://eowynsheart.blogspot.com/2005/07/humbled.html for how Sunday morning went :-) That afternoon I met up with the same folks from Saturday's fun - for dinner & movie again :-) (hey! It's a holiday - we're supposed to have fun and spend $$!) :-) This time Mark went to Herbie while Casey and I went to War of the Worlds. WOW! What an amazing movie!!! They did a totally awesome job on that flick!!!! WILL see it again! Probably several times. Super intense - great writing, cool effects, superb acting - it was the best I'd seen in a very long time!!

Afterwards we went back to Marks place and he helped me find some cool things to incorporate into my BLog (will work on that more today), then Konrad & Carol showed up and we went to Cold Stone for dessert <> I had Mint Mint Chocolate Chocolate Chip in a Chocolate dipped waffle bowl - Yummmmmmmmmmmmmm

We headed back to Marks and played UNO till almost 1 in the morning. By then we were all so tired we were laughing at everything - it was a really great time of fellowship and fun. Unfortunately, I was so tired I totally forgot to snag the remainder of my ice cream from Mark's freezer :-(

No set plans for this afternoon. Haven't been home all weekend so will probably spend some time on the BLog, listen to some sermons, read more in my John Piper book "Don't Waste Your Life" - but for now . . .
Well . . . I guess I'd better go do the dishes that haven't been done since last Saturday ;-P

Happy 4th :-)


Just got a phone call from my mom and had to share what she shared with me :)

This weekend they heard the report from the mission team from their church, Grace Bible Church in Colorado Springs. (sermons are downloadable at http://www.sermonaudio.com/search.asp?SourceOnly=true&currSection=sermonssource&keyword=gracebible&keywordDesc=Grace+Bible+Church)
The team had just come back from a week (maybe two?) in Uganda where they held a Pastor's Conference - the first ever. 1,000 pastors were expected, 1,500 showed up!

As part of thier ministry, the team went out for door to door visits. The Pastor's wife was on her way to a home when a lady stopped her and asked to hear the gospel. Before she could finish witnessing to this woman, a man who had been standing a little distance away came running over saying he wanted to receive Christ. Within a short time the Pastor's wife had a bit of a crowd around her - all hungry to hear the gospel again and again - *many* received Christ! The man stayed with the Pastor's wife taking her from home to home, "Oh, you've got to tell these people!" or calling friends over "You've got to hear this! You need this!"

As they worked their way to his home - he wanted his family to hear the gospel too - they met up with team members who'd just been to his home - and his family had also accepted Christ! Needless to say - there was MUCH rejoicing :-)

They continued on, the man directing them excitedly from home to home and it became apparent that the team just wasn't moving fast enough for the man - so he started witnessing on his own! What a blessed day that must have been for that team! And for that town that the Holy Spirit poured out His grace and mercy upon!

The team was also allowed (dare I say "encouraged"?) to hold meetings at the public schools - the schools would gather together all the students & staff and the team was permitted to share the gospel openly. The team estimates that about 90% of those attending became Believers.

What makes this really, really encouraging is the knowledge that this Team and their Pastor do NOT preach a "fluff" gospel. They teach Lordship Salvation and are Calvinist in their theology. They don't pull punches. The folks who responded heard the TRUE Gospel and the Holy Spirit worked in their hearts!

Praise the Lord! :-)

By the way - the team is going back next year and they'll take folks from other churches. If you're interested in this kind of short term missions trip - give 'em a holler :-)

Sunday, July 03, 2005


I had a hundred things I was planning to post today - and I'm sure I'll get back to some of them later - but the Lord stopped me in my tracks on the way out of church today. It was so unexpected and so profoundly humbling that I just felt I had to share. By God's grace, this event involves me - but it is not even close to being about me . . .

The sermon in the main service this morning was about Paul and his total self-sacrificing commitment to ministry. It was one of those sermons you come away feeling thoughtful and challenged from - but for me it was not "life altering" - it was just a really good reminder of proper priorities. I won't go into the whole sermon here as that is not the point - I'll BLog that later.

After the service dismissed, I was waiting at the curb for the traffic signal to allow myself and the bizzillion other people to cross the street to the parking lot. One man, standing about 3 feet away from me, was still mulling over the sermon. Outloud and to no one in particular, he asked how anyone could ever hope to live up to the self-sacrificing example Paul had left us. I commented back, "One moment at a time." The gentleman smiled thoughtfully and agreed.

After a few moments, he mentioned (this time directly to me) that it would be easier to live rightly, even one moment at at time, if he'd had the same "up against the wall under the bright light" conversion experience as Paul. I replied that his conversion was no less miraculous than Paul's - Paul's conversion may have been a bit more showy, but the work Christ did in him was no less miraculous than the work He'd done for this gentleman.

The guy seemed surprised to hear that. He commented that it was so amazing how someone could say something so simple and suddenly you can gain a much deeper understanding.

The light changed; we crossed the street.

As I was walking down the sidewalk, thinking how grateful I was that the Lord had been so gracious as to use me to encourage one of His children, the man came up behind me and stopped me. He just touched my arm and said that he wanted to thank me for saying what I did - then he took off his sunglasses and wiped away tears. He hugged me - I hugged back, struggling now with my own teary eyes - and then he left.

I don't know who came away from that encounter more blessed - but I know I came away profoundly humbled. To touch the heart of one of God's beloved - to have the words of my mouth used to bring such a level of comfort and encouragement to a brother in Christ. This is a priviledge I know I do not deserve . . . but I'll take it! And I'll use it to encourage the rest of you - if the Lord puts you in a situation - even just casual conversation - where you can speak His truth - DO IT! You never know what work He is doing in the heart of the other person. I had never seen that man before and I don't know if I will ever see him again - but I do know that we both had a Holy Spirit encounter in that brief few moments.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Remarriage after Divorce

Recently there's been some discussion in groups I participate in about John Piper's teaching that remarriage is not permitted after divorce - even if the divorce is for Biblical reasons (sexual immorality). I've been thinking about what I've been seeing on this issue from both sides and felt it was time I weighed in - not just on the issue, but on the way in which the controversy is taking shape.

I want to start out by stating uniquivocally that I whole-heartedly disagree with Piper's teaching on this issue of remarriage after divorce. That statement must then be caveated by an admission that I have never had the need (by God's good grace) to do a deep study of this issue for myself (having been neither married nor divorced) - my understanding of the issue and my personal belief structure in this matter is based on a short foray into the Word and a trust in the teachings of learned men - mostly Dr. John MacArthur.

That said - I have a problem with the backlash attack on Piper. Everything I've seen thus far from those who disagree with Piper is emotionally and personally based. The attacks on this Man of God (for so He is) have been disrespectful, childish, and completely unBiblical. If a man is teaching wrong theology - attack his theology - not the man! This kind of dissension only gives Satan glory and sets good Christians (with somewhat conflicting beliefs in non-essential areas of theology) at one another's throats . . . and we expect the world to be drawn to that??

Most complaints are that such a stand is "unfair" or "punishment" upon an innocent party. First of there are no innocent parties. We are all sinners and, in the case of divorce, more than 9 times out of 10, it takes two. Second, who are we - puny, stupid little humans - to tell Almighty God what is Just or Fair or Righteous?? IF Piper were correct and IF we here truly claim to believe God is Sovereign - wouldn't we be obliged then to simply accept and obey?

No one yet has laid out the Biblical basis FOR remarriage after divorce (and there IS a Biblical basis).

In the I Cor 7:39 passage it states, "A wife is bound as long as her husband lives . . ." I looked it up in the Greek and guess what, "Husband" means . . . "Husband"! This passage is referring to an EXISTING husband/wife relationship.

Matthew 5:32 indicates that divorce is permitted in cases infidelity or "unchastity" or "sexual immorality."
Divorce - by Biblical and modern definition severs the husband/wife relationship. Upon divorce for Biblical reasons - I Cor 7:39 no longer applies to the man and woman affected as they are no longer husband and wife. They are now obliged to the teachings of I Cor. 7:25-38. It's simple logic.

Side Note: It is also interesting that the Greek word for "divorce" used in Matt 5:31 is "apostasion"(also defined as repudiation) . . . and in my Greek Dictionary, it follows the word "apostacy" (defined as defection). Wonder why God hates divorce?

Anyway, the point of this is that Piper is wrong, there is a Biblical way of addressing that error, and personal attacks are not it. Let us love one another, Hold one another accountable to the truth "in love" and excercise the Grace and Mercy Christ displayed to those around Him. Piper is not apostate - he's just wrong on this issue. So - let's just preach the truth on this issue instead.

Wizard of Oz & Pink Floyd

While goofing off in Worship Team practice this morning, one of the guys mentioned an apparrent synchronicity between the movie Wizard of Oz and the Pink Floyd album, Dark Side of the Moon.

I did a little research - click on the title or here: http://www.everwonder.com/david/wizardofoz/
to see what that's all about. W-i-e-r-d!!

Friday, July 01, 2005

Sovereign Grace Singles

I would like to encourage you to check out this site. I've been a member there for a few weeks now - it's a good group of folks :-)

Musings - July 1, 2005

Hello World,

It's been one heck of a day - topping off a very busy week, topping off an insanely busy month! I'm glad it's over. Not complaining, mind you - the work is good and rewarding - there was just so much of it recently - and the hardest part was most tasks were new learning. I love to learn new things, but I think I explored enough different areas last month (mostly in Marketing Research :-P) to last me at least through next month ;-)

I had originally planned to kick off this 4th of July holiday weekend with a trip to the Sherman Oaks Galleria to see War of the Worlds. On the way home, I realized I had a doozy of a headache coming on, so came home instead. Lack of sleep, lack of water, lack of good nutrition and too much chocolate . . . migraines are just no fun at all!

While home, I listened to a sermon by Ken Ham defending 6-day Creationism. I never really realized just how essential that one little piece of the puzzle is to the whole of Scripture. Ken is an excellent, logical, knowledgable speaker - check out the link. http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?currSection=sermonsspeaker&sermonID=103001194429 This particular discussion is part of an entire series on Biblical Creationism. I highly recommend it.

I'm still learning about this whole BLog thing - I know there are features I'm not using yet that would be useful. I tried to add a BLogRoll, but I can't get it to list the BLogs I've added . . . more research . . . more new things to learn <> ;-P