Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Convenient Christianity

This is from today's reading of "Our Daily Bread". I find this so true!

"So many television programs, so little time to watch them. Apparently that’s what our culture thinks, because now technology allows us to see an hour-long program in just 6 minutes or less! The Minisode Network has pruned episodes of popular series into shorter, more convenient packages for interested viewers. “The shows you love—only shorter” is how it’s advertised. All to make our life more convenient.

Some have tried to make the Christian life more convenient. They choose to practice Christianity on Sunday only. They attend a religious service at whatever church makes them most comfortable. They give a small offering and are nice to fellow churchgoers—nothing that requires much effort on their part. That way they can have the rest of the week to themselves, to live as they please.

That would be a convenient Christianity. But we know that following Jesus is a lifestyle and not a Sunday-only convenience. Being a “disciple” calls for giving up our lives for Him (Matt. 16:25). It’s about living as Jesus calls us to live, daily giving up our plans and purposes for His. A relationship with Him causes us to be concerned with our thoughts, decisions, attitudes, and actions—all to make our life joy-filled for us and pleasing to God. — Anne Cetas

The Christian life is more than just
A prayer of faith made in the past;
It’s dedicating every day
To live for Christ and what will last. —Sper

Faith in Christ is not just a single step but a life of walking with Him."

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The joys of being in a musical family

Check out this Thanksgiving day "jam session" with my niece and son. We learned "The Office" theme song and were practicing it and my sister-in-law recorded it. Voila, it's now on You Tube.

More things for which I am thankful...

....for the privilege of living and working in France for 5 years. A part of my heart is still there. I remember a thanksgiving day (which they obviously don't celebrate in France) when I was in class at the Sorbonne Universite and went to lunch with an American friend at McDonalds in Paris. Weird thanksgiving for me, but fun anyway.

....that I live within 45 minutes of my little brother and his family. I love that we are so close by!
....that we lived near my husbands family for 10 years in NJ before moving out here.
....for the rain!
....that we get to live in my hometown
....for the ability to see, hear, taste, smell and touch

...more coming

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I am thankful for....

...God's presence, He is faithful no matter what. His love and faithfulness endure forever. He never changes. He is totally trustworthy. He is in control of all things. He is God, He is great, He is good.
...My husband Jim whom I grow to love and admire more and more every day
...My four children, who are more and more fun all the time. They are great kids!
...My Dad, who is still healthy and active at age 86
...A roof over my head, food to eat, clothes to wear
....Music. Most of my life involves music.... music for school, music for church, music just to relax and enjoy. I express myself best through music. I am so thankful God gave me music!
...Hot showers
...Orange juice
...A fire in the fireplace (on days when burning is permitted) when it's cold outside
...good books
...good friends
...a few days off from school

more later...

Friday, November 21, 2008

From Elisabeth Elliot

I just had to quote this article from Elisabeth Elliot. It breaks my heart.

"Give Them Parking Space, But Let Them Starve to Death

Another moral threshold was crossed when a tiny baby boy, at the specific request of his parents and with the sanction of the Supreme Court of Indiana, was starved to death in a hospital. "Infant Doe" (he was not allowed the usual recognition of being human by being named), born with Down's syndrome and a malfunctioning esophagus (the latter could have been corrected with surgery), died, as the Washington Post (April 18) stated, "not because he couldn't sustain life without a million dollars worth of medical machinery, but because no one fed him." For six days the nurses in that Bloomington hospital went about their usual routines of bathing and changing and feeding all the newborns except one. They bathed and changed Baby Doe but they never gave him a bottle. Over his crib was a notice, DO NOT FEED. Several couples came forward, begging to be allowed to adopt him. They were turned down.

What went on in that little box during those six terrible days and nights? We turn our imagination away. It's unthinkable. But if I were to think about it, and put down on paper what my mind saw, I would be accused of playing on people's feelings, and of making infanticide (yes, infanticide--call it what it is) an "emotional issue." Let me suppose at least that the baby cried--quite loudly (at first). One report says that he was placed in a room alone, lest his crying disturb others (others, perhaps, who were capable of helping him).

Joseph Sobran, in his column in the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, suggested that "opposition to infanticide will soon be deplored as the dogma of a few religious sects who want to impose their views on everyone else." The language sounds sickeningly familiar.

There has been a conspicuous silence from those who usually raise shrill protest when other human rights are violated--the rights of smokers, homosexuals, and criminals are often as loudly insisted upon as those of children, women, and the handicapped.

The handicapped? What on earth is happening when a society is so careful to provide premium parking spaces to make things easier for them, but sees no smallest inconsistency when one of them who happens to be too young to scream, "For God's sake, feed me!" is quietly murdered? It is in the name of humanity, humaneness, compassion, and freedom that these things occur, but never is it acknowledged that the real reasons are comfort and convenience, that is, simple selfishness. "Abortion not only prefers comfort, convenience, or advantage of the pregnant woman to the very life of her unborn child, a fundamentally good thing, but seeks to deny that the life ever existed. In this sense it is a radical denial not only of the worth of a specific life but of the essential goodness of life itself and the Providential ordering of its procreation" (R.V. Young, "Taking Choice Seriously," The Human Life Review, Vol. VIII, no. 3.)

But weren't we talking about infanticide and haven't we now switched to abortion? The premises on which abortion is justified are fundamentally the same on which infanticide is seen as civilized and acceptable. What Hitler used to call eugenics is now called "quality of life," never mind whether the life in question happens to be the mother's or the child's. Death, according to three doctors who put the issue out into the open in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1973, is now considered an option in the "treatment" of infants; in other words, a mortuary may now replace the nursery. One cannot help thinking of the antiseptic "shower rooms" of the Third Reich, where the unwanted were "treated" to death. Nor can one forget the words of Jesus, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me" (Matthew 25:40, KJV).

Can any Christian argue that the smallest and most defenseless are, by virtue merely of being too small and too defenseless, not His brethren"

Thursday, November 20, 2008

"The things that will destroy America are peace at any price, prosperity at any cost, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living, and the getting-rich-quick theory of life." – Theodore Roosevelt.

I just had to quote this again. The more I ponder this, the more I think it is right on.
These things will also destroy the family... and the church. I'm seeing some of these things more and more in the church and it distresses me. I'm talking about "the church" in general... not one specific church, although I can rightfully pick on American Evangelical churches since I'm a part of one.

Here are some other things that destroy: Selfishness, gossip, dishonesty and pride (as opposed to true humility). I'm sure there are other things.

For the record... these are all things that I readily see in me. If I'm not careful and praying for change in my own heart I could be party to the destruction of my own family or church or nation.
Thank God, He is in the business of changing hearts and lives...even mine!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Here’s what I want you to do:
1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Mark any items that you would never consider eating.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos Rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush. (I don't even know what this is)
11. Calamari
12. Pho (nope, don't recognize this either)
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi (??)
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
Foie gras
Rice and beans
25. Brawn or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects - I don't think so!
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more - no
46. Fugu- huh?
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi - another huh?
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini - no
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis - Now that I know what it is... no way.
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail - uh... no
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom Yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Some great quotes

"Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil." C.S. Lewis

"Knowledge is knowing that the tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting a tomato in a fruit salad." (from a local Insurance Newsletter)

"The things that will destroy America are peace at any price, prosperity at any cost, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living, and the getting-rich-quick theory of life." – Theodore Roosevelt.

(I would add to that last quote.... the things that will destroy the church!)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Always learning

...and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth..."
I'm taking this verse totally out of context. Some days I feel like I'm always "supposed to be" learning but somehow never quite arrive. I'm 51 years old and still feel like I don't know anything. Sure I know a few things but really, will I ever arrive? Some days are good and I feel confident, happy, etc. Other days, well.... not so much. Those are days I want to crawl into a hole and pull it in after me.
I'm having one of those days/weeks. I'm sure there is a reason for it. I'm sure there's something I'm supposed to be learning and having yet "gotten it". ("You still don't get it, do you, Jean?") I do believe that God is patient and an excellent (perfect)teacher. "The LORD is merciful and gracious, He is slow to get angry and full of unfailing love. He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever." (Psalm 103:8-9). This gives me hope.
I guess that has to be the bottom line. My hope has to be in God and not in anyone or anything else. "On Christ,the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand." May I learn to keep my feet on the rock.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It's that time of year! Music preparations fill my time. It's not a "flurry" of activity but a "blizzard" of activities. Although I love music and all that goes with it, I look forward to some extended time of quiet to read, pray, think and write. That will happen sometime between Christmas and New Years Day.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

What to do now...

"I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. As you make your requests, plead for God's mercy upon them, and give thanks. Pray this way for kings and all others who are in authority, so that we can live in peace and quietness, in godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, for He wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and people. He is the man Christ Jesus. He gave His life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message that God gave to the world at the proper time." I Timothy 2:1-6

So - what do we do now?
1) Pray - (for our new President) so that we can live in peace, godliness and dignity.
2) Pray - because it pleases God our Savior
3) Pray - because there is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile us to God - the man Christ Jesus.
4) Pray - because Jesus gave His life to purchase freedom for everyone! This is our message!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Pray. Vote.

"Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
to whom belong wisdom and might.
He changes times and seasons;
he removes kings and sets up kings;
he gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to those who have understanding."
(Daniel 2:20)

Whoever is elected I believe God is in control. My hubby and I spent quite a lot of time over the weekend praying for the election.
Please pray. Please vote.
Whoever is elected, that person will need the prayers and support of us all.
Ultimately, God is the one who "changes times and seasons, who removes kings and sets up kings."

Sunday, November 2, 2008

"Talents" Total

The money is not yet all in, but so far (with most of it in) we made nearly $2500!!
There were some really creative ideas... Backpack "painting", Christmas Ornaments, Go-cart racing, yard sales, recycling, baking, bracelets, and music CD's. That's about 3 month's worth of missionary support for our missionaries!