Sunday, April 30, 2006

Blogging Chicks Blogroll


There are three additions to our Blogging Chicks blogroll (through we have three new sites added). Patricia Ann of Pollywog Creek Porch and of Patricia Ann's Pollywog Creek Porch in Florida, Malissa of Malissa's Merry-go-round in Wisconsin and Ethel (or Amy) of The Ethel Experience in Chicago. Patricia had some problems with Firefox that have been cleared up but we decided since both blogs are carrying the blogroll that both can be on it. Patricia blogs about her life and homeschooling (and I noticed a lot of blogging about birds -- with pictures). Malissa owns a consignment shop and has set up shop on eBay and blogs about her life as well. Ethel's blog has the most beautiful pictures of flowers I've seen. She is a wonderful photographer. I love her tulips (of course)! Go welcome these ladies to the blogroll.

Well, we are an eclectic bunch, aren't we! If I were to assemble this group, I don't think I would have the sense to put us all together. It's a good thing God is in control :-).

Just to let you all know, I won't be adding anyone new to the Blogging Chicks blogroll after Tuesday until I'm done with finals which is May 17. And no more shout outs till then :-). If you see someone new on the blogroll, go say hi.

These are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ

John wrote his Gospel with a specific purpose in mind: “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:30-31). As we see from this passage, these signs were specifically chosen by John for a stated purpose, belief of the reader in Christ. As you read through the Gospel, you are struck by the number of people and signs that witness that Jesus is the Son of God and the Messiah. Following is a compilation of the testimony in the Gospel of John. Read through it and see how much evidence John presents to make his case that Jesus is the Messiah and the Son of God.

John writes of Jesus’ eternal existence and the revelation of God through him:

John 1:18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known.
John the Baptist testifies that Jesus is the Lamb of God, the Messiah who was anointed by the Holy Spirit (John 1:29-32) and that he is the Son of God. He also testified that when the Spirit descended on Jesus, this fulfilled what God told him would happen (John 1:29-34). When John the Baptist states that Jesus is the Lamb of God, two of John’s disciples leave him to follow Jesus.

Andrew witnessed to Peter that Jesus was the Messiah (John 1:41).

The first sign Jesus performs is to turn water into wine, this is a witness to his glory (John 2:1-12) and John records that Jesus’ disciples believed in him (John 2:11).

When Jesus clears the temple of the money changers:
John 2:17 His disciples remembered that it was written, "Zeal for your house will consume me."
The Jews ask for a sign:
John 2:18 So the Jews said to him, "What sign do you show us for doing these things?" 19 Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." 20 The Jews then said, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?" 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 22 When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.
John says that Jesus is a witness of God:
John 3:31 He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven is above all. 32 He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, yet no one receives his testimony. 33 Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true. 34 For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. 35 The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
The Samaritan woman testifies to what Jesus said to her (he told me all that I ever did) but many believed because of his word (4:39-42).

Jesus’ second sign causes belief in official when Jesus healed his son from a distance (John 4:53-54).

Jesus’ third sign was to heal a man on the Sabbath who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years (John 5:1-9).

The man who had been healed by Jesus testified that he had been healed (John 5:13-15).

Jesus tells the Pharisees of all who testify of him:
John 5:30 "I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me. 31 If I alone bear witness about myself, my testimony is not deemed true. 32 There is another who bears witness about me, and I know that the testimony that he bears about me is true. 33 You sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. 34 Not that the testimony that I receive is from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved. 35 He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. 36 But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me. 37 And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, 38 and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent. 39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. 41 I do not receive glory from people. 42 But I know that you do not have the love of God within you. 43 I have come in my Father's name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. 44 How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? 45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. 46 If you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?"
Jesus’ fourth sign is the feeding of the 5,000 (John 6:1-15) and when the people see the sign they believe that Jesus is the Prophet (John 6:14).

Jesus’ fifth sign is that he walks on water to the disciples (John 6:16-21).

The people wanted to make Jesus king and they sought him out not because of the signs but because of the bread (John 6:26-27).

After this they ask Jesus for a sign, Moses gave them bread what will He give them:
John 6:28 Then they said to him, "What must we do, to be doing the works of God?" 29 Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent." 30 So they said to him, "Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'" 32 Jesus then said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." 34 They said to him, "Sir, give us this bread always." 35 Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day."
Jesus’ sixth sign was to heal a man on the Sabbath who had been blind from birth (John 9:1-7).

The man healed of blindness testifies of Jesus and rebukes the Pharisees for their unbelief:
John 9:30-34The man answered, "Why, this is an amazing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. 32 Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing." 34 They answered him, "You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?" And they cast him out.
Jesus tells the blind man that he healed that he has seen the Son of God and the man believed him and worshiped him (John 9:35-38).

The Pharisees ask Jesus if he is the Christ (John 10:24) and Jesus replies that the works testify of him:
John 10:24 So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly." 25 Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name bear witness about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock.
Jesus tells them that he and the Father are one and they pick up rocks to stone him since they believe he blasphemed God (John 10:31-33).

Jesus tells them that they should believe because of the works that he has done (John 10:37-38). And their response was to try to arrest him (John 10:39). Though some of the Jews wanted to stone him, others believed (John 10:40-42):

Jesus seventh sign is the raising of Lazarus from the dead:
John 11:4 But when Jesus heard it he said, "This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it…14 Then Jesus told them plainly, "Lazarus has died, 15 and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him…” 25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?" 27 She said to him, "Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world…" 40 Jesus said to her, "Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?" 41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, "Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.
Notice the emphasis on the death in John 11:44 “The man who had died came out.”

Many believed having seen Lazarus raised from the dead (John 11:45).

The Pharisees see that Jesus performed many signs but they planned to kill him (John 11:46-53). They not only plotted to kill Jesus but Lazarus as well because many believed in Jesus because of him (John 12:10-11).

OT fulfillment of prophecy demonstrates to the disciples the truth of Christ’s claim to be King:
John 12:12-16 The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!" 14 And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written, 15 "Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey's colt!" 16 His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him.
The crowd, who had been at the resurrection of Lazarus, bear witness to others (John 12:17-18).

God the Father is a witness from heaven that He hears His Son’s prayers (John 12:28-30).

Jesus says that they are to believe in the light:
John 12: 35 So Jesus said to them, "The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light." When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them.
The people did not believe the signs (John 12:37) which fulfills Isaiah (John 12:37-41).

Some of the officials believed (John 12:42).

Christ came as light so that those who believe in him may not remain in darkness (John 12:44-46)

Jesus tells the disciples that one of them will betray him and that he is telling them so that they “may believe that I am he” (John 13:19).

The works are a witness to the disciples (John 14:10-11).

The Father is glorified by the fruit of the disciples (John 15:8).

Jesus and the Father are hated because of the works (John 15:24-25).

John makes sure the reader understands that Jesus said beforehand that Peter would deny him and that he told them the manner of his death (John 18:32).

Jesus said that he was born to bear witness to the truth (John 18:37).

John states after each event that happened during the crucifixion that it fulfills Scripture (John 19:24, 36-37).

John states that he bore witness to Jesus’ death on the cross (John 19:36).

John saw the linen cloths and believed (John 19:8-9).

Thomas believed when he say the resurrected Jesus and Jesus tells him that those who believe, even though they haven’t seen him, are blessed (John 20:24-29).

Jesus did many signs, these were written so that the reader would believe (John 21:30-31).

John notes that the disciples had seen Jesus three times since his death (John 21:14).

John bears witness to the truth of his report (John 21:24).

John clearly fulfills his stated purpose. We can see throughout the Gospel, Jesus performs sign after sign and the ultimate sign is his resurrection. All other signs pale in comparison to this sign. Each sign should have elicited belief because each sign was a something that clearly demonstrated a power beyond anything a human could do. When we read the Gospel of John we are faced with the same situation as the Jews, are we going to believe? John clearly makes his case, presenting clear evidence that he himself witnessed. He saw what happened and he testifies to it.

I’m assuming that if you are reading this, that you are a Christian but if you’re not, read the Gospel of John yourself and then see if he makes his case. And if you are a Christian, give this Gospel to your unbelieving friends and say, “Do me the favor of just reading this straight through and see if you were in a courtroom, would you accept the evidence of this eyewitness?”

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Saturday, April 29, 2006

My Week in Tags

Sparse Content Today

I hope to have some stuff up here tonight. I put some stuff up over at my Reformed Chicks Blabbing blog. There's an on going fight in Texas to keep a womanon life support alive and I have been linking to stories about that. Also, I review the Fick and Oz show and I link to a funny article about the judge in the Da Vinci code adding a secret message to his court papers.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Homework

I have homework this morning, life is busy (excuses, excuses) and so check back over the weekend for something more on John. I think Samson is on hold until after my finals, unless I can spare an hour or two but that looks doubtful.

Also check on my Reformed Chicks Blabbing blog later tonight or tomorrow. I hope to be posting an article there.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Blogging Chicks

Image hosting by TinyPic
Start checking the Blogging Chicks blog for announcements. I'll still do shout outs here and on my other blog, but I won't do announcements here.

New Sidebar Bling

I'm an Idol in the Technorita System!

(Link via Liberally Conservative)

Commentary Recommendation

I'm using Andreas J. Kostenberger's commentary on John for my hermeneutic paper. You can order it from the Westminster bookstore for less than $30. It is an excellent commentary. It is a newer commentary and therefore he is able to interact with many of the previous commentaries on John. It is well researched and very readable.

A New Addition to our Blogroll

Image hosting by TinyPic We have a new member to our blogroll, Jennifer from Sob'ah My Soul, where she blogs about her life. I really like the title graphic. Please go to her site and welcome her to our group.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Al Groves Update

We had some relatively good news in chapel today, Professor Groves cancer has stopped growing. From his blog:

CT SCAN RESULTS. Today I heard that the CT scan shows that the cancer is stable for now—the scans show no new tumors and the existing tumors have not grown since the last CT scan. I feel a bit like the psalmist. God has heard your prayers for us. He seems to be using the providential means of these treatments to bring this result. In any case, whether by medicine or by his more direct intervention, he is the one who has done it. And we are grateful.

This is not to say I have been healed or am on the way to restored health. There are still no survivors with the kind of cancer I have. However, my doctor said that this trial in which I am participating (begun last July) has shown the best results to date that she has seen in her 20 years of research.
Today, in chapel we asked for healing. Please continue to pray that the Lord will work a miracle in Professor Grove's life and that God would be glorified.

This is Funny!





Well, at least to me anyway. In Technorit, if you search for the tag "Calvinism," you get almost a whole page of my posts! Check it out. (I'm tempted to put in a Calvinism tag :-).

More on Prayer

This morning I decided at five minutes before I had to get my daughters up, to write something on prayer that I learned over the weekend. I wanted to get it on the blog because I didn’t know if I would get to it again and I didn’t want to forget.

In chapel this morning we prayed for Professor Groves and the devotional material that Professor Edgars read from fit so closely with what I wrote previously, it moved my heart and helped me to see more clearly how unfaithful I have been to God. I don’t trust His ways, His will, His plan, His desires and that He will work all things for good. I realized that when I pray, I don’t always expect an answer but I should. I’m always surprised when I receive the thing that I prayed for, but I shouldn’t. God says in His word that He will answer our prayers.

Matthew 17:19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, "Why could we not cast it out?" 20 He said to them, "Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you."

Mark 11:22 And Jesus answered them, "Have faith in God. 23 Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be taken up and thrown into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
I was able to find part of the chapel reading on the Internet and I hope it blesses you the way that it blessed me, it is from Martin Luther:
We should pray by fixing our mind upon some pressing need, desiring it with all earnestness, and then exercise faith and confidence toward God in the matter, never doubting that we have been heard. St. Bernard said, "Dear brothers, you should never doubt your prayer, thinking that it might have been in vain, for I tell you truly that before you have uttered the words, the prayer is already recorded in heaven. Therefore you should confidently expect from God one of two things: either that your prayer will be granted, or, that if it is not granted, the granting of it would not be good for you."

Prayer is a special exercise of faith. Faith makes the prayer acceptable because it believes that either the prayer will be answered, or that something better will be given instead. This is why James says, "Let him who asks of God not waver in faith, for if he wavers, let him not think that he shall receive anything from the Lord." This is a clear statement which says directly; he who does not trust will receive nothing, neither that which he asks nor anything better.

From this it follows that the one who prays correctly never doubts that the prayer will be answered, even if the very thing for which one prays is not given. For we are to lay our need before God in prayer but not prescribe to God a measure, manner, time, or place. We must leave that to God, for he may wish to give it to us in another, perhaps better, way than we think is best. Frequently we do not know what to pray as St. Paul says in Romans 8, and we know that God's ways are above all that we can ever understand as he says in Ephesians 3. Therefore, we should have no doubt that our prayer is acceptable and heard, and we must leave to God the measure, manner, time, and place, for God will surely do what is right.
Go read the rest here.

I think it really is hard to balance both not receiving the answer we expected and to expect the answer we ask for. I was thinking, maybe it's like when we share the Gospel with others. We never know who God will save through our words, we are just called to proclaim His words. Maybe we should just pray for everything, knowing that God can answer our prayer and resting in the knowledge that if He doesn't it is for our good. Maybe we should just learn to trust God. I pray, Father that you will help me to trust you, "I believe; help my unbelief!"

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Prayer

I was really struck by Christ's repeated exhoration to pray as I was reading through John this weekend:

John 15:1 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch of mine that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

John 16:23 In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. 24 Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. 25 "I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father. 26 In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; 27 for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father."
So many times when I pray, I don't think the Lord will say yes. I don't want to presume and I don't believe in name it and claim it or if I pray hard enough and with enough faith God will listen but on the other hand I shouldn't be double-minded:
James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
I think it's a fine line, like everything else in Christianity :-).

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Prayer Request

Please pray for my fellow seminarian, Trina. She is struggling this semester. Please prayer that the Lord will enable her to finish and that she can put her trust in Him.

Also, please pray for Professor Groves today. We will be praying for him today at the seminary.

Praise God!

I'm praising God tonight! I am finally on the PCA Blogs and the League of Reformed Bloggers blogrolls. I have been praying everyday that the Lord would get me on those blogrolls and He did. How great is that?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Look at the Cluster Map

Notice that my visitors are from all over America and Europe and look at Australia. Hi,to all you people from down under!!

Archives

For those who are new to my blog, I would like to recommend taking a look in my archives. I have many digests of sections of theology books that you might be interested in. Topics on salvation which include common grace, election, are free-will offer of the gospel. And I have written two articles on abortion, one from the biblical perspective and the second about an episode of ER. Also, you might want to read my purpose statement for this blog, it will give you some insight what I'm trying to do here.

Monday, April 24, 2006

DC Restaurants?

We will probably be vacationing in DC in June. Any good restaurant suggestions?

The Gospel of John

I read through the Gospel of John over the weekend and part of today. It took me forever because I was making note of when John wrote of something (a miracle, a person, the Old Testament, the Father, Jesus Himself) witnessing to Jesus. Also, I'm making note of Jesus' use of light and darkness and His uses of the works of God (more on this later).

I haven't read through the book of John in a long time. I studied it one year for an entire year with Bible Study Fellowship (BSF)when I was a little baby Christian. The big lesson I got from the study back then was that "he must increase and I must decrease." I still think of that today. But looking at the book fresh and through the lens of the overarching theme of John, has helped me to see many things that I have missed. In that year I really learned what each chapter was about and knew where to find a particular story. But I missed a lot of the themes that tied all the stories together. John used each story to make his point, he could have used other stories, why did he choose these? Each story fits in his theme of proof and belief that Jesus is the Messiah.

I want to urge you to take this opportunity to read through the Gospel of John with me. To look at it fresh with this theme in mind and let me know what you discovered.

And yeah it's OK to bounce back and forth between Samson and Jesus, doing so will give us more insight into both :-).

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Blogger is Being a Pain in the Butt

I've been having problems posting with blogger lately. Hence the double posting, one was supposed to be deleted but blogger goes into an infinite loop, gets stuck and won't publish.

*Sigh* you get what you pay for.

Also, now that my posts are shorter (due to the show/hide tags), I was noticing that I don't post a lot. Of course, this is deceptive because the shorter posts are hiding a lot of writing :-). But it's bothering me and so I plan to try to post more of the study (John 9) this week. Please keep checking back. I haven't abandoned Samson, I will post something on that later in the week.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

The Man Born Blind Rebukes the Pharisees

I'm reading through John in preparation for my hermeneutics paper. In John 9, Jesus heals a man born blind, the Pharisees question him and his parents to determine if he was really blind from birth:

John 9:26 They said to him, "What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?" 27 He answered them, "I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?" 28 And they reviled him, saying, "You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29 We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from." 30 The man answered, "Why, this is an amazing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. 32 Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing." 34 They answered him, "You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?" And they cast him out.
In each chapter of John there is something (a miracle, a person, the Old Testament, the Father, Jesus Himself) that testifies to the fact that Jesus is the Messiah. Here the blind man is testifying to his healing and the fact that it could only come from God. It is interesting to see in this passage that this man, who was born blind and who received his sight from Jesus, rebukes the Pharisees for their blindness.

There are many aspects to this story of the blind man that I will share with you over the next two weeks. When I hand in the paper, I will post it here or on my Reformed Weltanschauung Blogging blog.

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Me According to Sarah

What is going on with my blog?

You may be asking yourself, "What is up with this blog? Sometimes it has 'show +' and the next it has 'Read more,' what's going on?" Or maybe your didn't notice :-). I have been trying to get two different scripts to work so that I can hide text on long posts so that scrolling through posts you've already read is much easier (you have read them, right). It will be much easier for me, scanning the posts looking in vain for comments :-).

As I mentioned before, Pastor Shaun posted code to hide/show text but I couldn't get it to work, so I tried another script, even though that script worked, it still had problems as you might have noticed. But the brilliant Teresa (this is her new name on my blogs -- The Brilliant Teresa) was able to get Pastor Shaun's code to work, so I am now using it. If you have long posts you should use his code with the fix that I published here.

Christian Women Online

I have been added to the Christian Women Online Blog Ring. If you are interesting in checking them out, look on the side bar for a picture of a bunch of women. Really quick response time. I joined last night and got my acceptance today.

The Miracles were a Witness

I was reading John this morning for my hermeneutics paper and I was struck by this passage:

John 5:5 One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, "Do you want to be healed?" 7 The sick man answered him, "Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me." 10 So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, "It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed." 11 But he answered them, "The man who healed me, that man said to me, 'Take up your bed, and walk.'" 12 They asked him, "Who is the man who said to you, 'Take up your bed and walk'?" 13 Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, "See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you." 15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. 16 And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath. 17 But Jesus answered them, "My Father is working until now, and I am working." 18 This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
Jesus heals a man who had been paralyzed for 38 years and they were persecuting Him for it? Because He healed on the Sabbath? This is amazing when you think about it. The healing was a witness to who He is, the Messiah. The Jew rejected this sign and all the other signs that God gave them to witness to the truth of what Jesus said. He came in the name of the Father, and yet they did not know Him or accept His witness.

Also, John's commentary is interesting in that he knew what Jesus was saying when He called God, Father -- that Jesus was equal to the Father. Throughout the Gospel of John, Jesus equates Himself to God and this is what drove the Jews to have Him killed. He was a blasphemer. We learn from this that Jesus clearly saw Himself as one with God.

Having rejected the witness of the sign, they have no reason to believe the words of Jesus that He was from the Father. If we reject the sign of Christ's resurrection, we have no reason to believe that Jesus is the Son of God. The resurrection is a testimony to the truth that Jesus is the Son of God and died and rose again for the salvation of His people.

I am going to write more on this later today or tomorrow.

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Saturday, April 22, 2006

My Week in Tags

I almost forgot!

Another Addition to the Blogging Chicks Blogroll

Image hosting by TinyPic Welcome Polly Boyette of Life is a Buffet in Virginia to our Blogging Chicks blogroll. Polly's is an author who has written a book entitled, "Life is a Buffet" which "is a collection of hilarious but true stories...Along with each story, a scriptural interpretation has been added to teach simple Biblical principals." Please stop by Polly's blog and welcome her to our group.

BTW, you might have noticed that I changed the name of my "Weltanschauung Blogging" to Reformed Weltanschauung Blogging, I think it's catchier :-).

Also, you might have noticed that I created a Blogging Chicks site. I plan to eventually move the base of operations for Blogging Chicks blogroll over there. I was thinking of starting an aggregator, what do you think?

Westminster Chapel Message

Sometimes the Westminster makes their chapel messages public:

“Consider it all joy,” declares the Epistle of James, “when you encounter various trials.” Easier said than done? In this chapel message, Professor Timothy Witmer expounds the Scriptures to help us understand both why it is hard for us have joy, and why, through Christ, joy is possible even in the darkest of trials.

Here is a link to the recording.

Weird Yahoo Search Result





It is beyond weird, it is just plain wrong that this blog is listed first for "life of the sun." There is no way anyone should come here when they are looking for this kind of information. Why in the world would I be first? I don't blog about the sun. I understand that "life" and "sun" are in my title and I understand that "sun" is in a verse I quote, but this is just wrong! Yahoo needs to filter blogs like me out of their searches.

Updated to add: OK, just got a new search tonight (April 23) for this, "the life of the sun from its birth to its death." Guess what rank I had? You guessed it, I'm number one. Woohoo?

Friday, April 21, 2006

Hermeneutics Paper

I'm going to be spending the weekend working on my hermeneutics paper. I'm doing John 9:1-5. I'll post throughout the weekend the interesting things I'm learning.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Debate

Here's a blog hosting a debate between Brian Fleming the producer of the movie, The God Who Wasn't There and centuri0n of ...and his ministers a flame of fire (you will need to scroll down a little for the beginning of the debate).

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Hiding Text

Pastor Shaun has posted a way to hide the text (which we can all agree would be a big blessing for this blog :-), but I can't get it to work. It works for him but for me it displays "Read the rest..." and "...Collapse Post" for every post. Here is what it looks like. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Samson Before Delilah: Chapter 13

Back to our discussion of Samson. In this post I had suggested that you read Deuteronomy 28 to determine the significance of the barrenness of Samson's mother. In Deuteronomy 28 God, speaking through Moses, is preparing the people to live in the promised land. If they are obedient to the law they will be blessed but if they are disobedient to the law, they will be cursed:

Deuteronomy 28:2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the LORD your God. 3 Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. 4 Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock...15 "But if you will not obey the voice of the LORD your God or be careful to do all his commandments and his statutes that I command you today, then all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you. 16 Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the field. 17 Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. 18 Cursed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock.
And as I demonstrated, in this post, Israel had been disobedient to the law and therefore they were living under the curses that are listed in this passage. The significance of the barrenness of Samson's mother is to highlight the fact that Israel is living under the curse of God. The women will become barren because the people are living apart from God and are doing what is right in their own eyes and not doing what is pleasing to the Lord. As we read the story of Samson, we will see over and over again that Samson does what is pleasing in his own eyes -- Samson is Israel in microcosm.

Not only do we see the curse of Israel played out in the lives of her people but we see God reversing the curse and blessing the woman instead. Why? Because it was His plan to do so. He reversed the curse because He planned to bless Israel with another deliverer, her son. And he was to be pure from birth. Set apart for God.

To understand the story of Samson and Delilah, you have to understand that God called Samson to be a Nazirite to God from the womb:
Judges 13:3 3 And the angel of the LORD appeared to the woman and said to her, "Behold, you are barren and have not borne children, but you shall conceive and bear a son. 4 Therefore be careful and drink no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean, 5 for behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. No razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb, and he shall begin to save Israel from the hand of the Philistines."
Nazirites took a vow to God and separated themselves to the Lord:
Numbers 6:1 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 "Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When either a man or a woman makes a special vow, the vow of a Nazirite, to separate himself to the LORD, 3 he shall separate himself from wine and strong drink. He shall drink no vinegar made from wine or strong drink and shall not drink any juice of grapes or eat grapes, fresh or dried. 4 All the days of his separation he shall eat nothing that is produced by the grapevine, not even the seeds or the skins. 5 "All the days of his vow of separation, no razor shall touch his head. Until the time is completed for which he separates himself to the LORD, he shall be holy. He shall let the locks of hair of his head grow long. 6 "All the days that he separates himself to the LORD he shall not go near a dead body. 7 Not even for his father or for his mother, for brother or sister, if they die, shall he make himself unclean, because his separation to God is on his head. 8 All the days of his separation he is holy to the LORD. 9 "And if any man dies very suddenly beside him and he defiles his consecrated head, then he shall shave his head on the day of his cleansing; on the seventh day he shall shave it.
God's deliverer was called to be pure and set apart from defilement from the womb. In this we see a picture of Christ. He was called to fulfill the law for His people, to live a consecrated life for them so that He could be a pure sacrifice for their sins. A lamb without a spot or defect. And He was to live a sinless life because His people were unable to do so.

As we can see, Samson had a high calling to fulfill. Normally this would be a voluntary action but Samson was called to purity by God from the womb. Samson's mom had to raise him in this environment. Did he live up to this calling? That is the next question we need to answer as we look at the rest of the story.

For our next discussion question: What is the significance of the lion and the honey?

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Two New Additions to the Blogging Chicks Blogroll

Image hosting by TinyPicTwo new blogs have been added to our Blogging Chicks Blogroll. The first is Pamela Lynn of Time Flutters By in Hampton, VA. She blogs about her life and scrapbooking. She has some wonderful pictures of her scrapbook pages. Go check them out. I wonder if she knows Mel, the Blogging Chicks' Creative Memories consultant?

Our second addition actually doesn't need any introduction because it's me! I've started yet another blog, Weltanschauung Blogging (it's German for worldview -- the framework through which an individual interprets the world and interacts in it). I'm using it to store reports that Susan and I write for school. We wanted to make them available to our readers and I thought this would be the easiest way to do it and I like the name and may use the site for other purposes later on down the road.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Me at work


My daughter, Sarah drew this picture last year when we were thinking about blogging. You can tell it's old because I have a Compaq laptop in the picture. That one died last year, I now have a Toshiba. I was going to use this picture as my title picture. I think I'll add it to my sidebar.

Undercover Angel of My Life in the Kid Zoo

Image hosting by TinyPic Undercover Angel of My Life in the Kid Zoo was the first person I invited to join the blogroll. I thought that "Blogging Chicks" would fit her zoo theme. I'm glad she joined, I enjoy her site a lot (and not just because it's visually appealing :-), I like to hear the stories of her kids.

Here she is in her own words:

I'm a 37 year old mother of 4 beautiful children. I am a stay-at-home mom who currently works full time as a Transcriber and Transcription Formatter. Prior to this I was the author of several computer books, articles and learning materials that are still read world-wide, but I retired from that in 2001 because it required me to occassionally be away from my children for periods of time.

At one time I homeschooled one of my children, but he has since decided to go back into the mainstream school system. Homeschooling was a wonderful experience, and if a parent can arrange it I would recommend they do so, even if only for a short time. The bond between my son and I has become so much stronger just because of that year we spent together everyday.

I live in a rural community in Ontario, Canada that has no broadband. Therefore I am stuck on dial up until they decide to put up some towers.
Join me in praying that she gets DSL :-).

Princeton Pictures

I posted pictures from our trip yesterday at my other blog.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Prayer Request

I have a request for prayer from "someone who is going through one of the most difficult things I have ever had to face. The grief is overwhelming and I am so thankful that I have a sovereign God in whom I trust!"

Life's Simple Pleasures

I've been tagged by Kim from HIRAETH to name 10 of life's simple pleasures:

1. Chocolate
2. Rib-eye steak, smoked on the grill
3. Bed-time kisses and hugs from my daughters
4. Their looks of love when I've made them happy (usually buying them something or taking them to a movie)
5. Finally understanding a theological concept that was evading me
6. Talking to my husband on the phone (especially after a test :-)
7. The sound and smell of the ocean at dusk especially after you have been at the beach all day.
8. The Windmill hotdogs (or hamburgers) after a day at the beach.
9. Comments after writing a particularly difficult post.
10. My morning cup of tea

Don't infer anything from the order :-).

Thanks, Kim that was fun. I tag:

Ang,

Susan,

Beth,

Tabz,

Kelli

Postscript Posthaste

In the morning when I read blogs, I usually go to Pastor Shaun first and after I see if he has anything new, I go to his blogroll and either go to Rebecca Writes or the Baylyblog or sometimes randomly pick another site. Well, this morning I noticed, that he has a link that read "lifeunderthesun" so I clicked it and it was me!

I am so thrilled to be linked by Pastor Shaun since his is one of my favorite blogs (now, if onlyHugh Hewitt linked to me, my life would be complete :-).

3 New Blogging Chicks

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Welcome Ellen of mzellen & co. from Michigan. Ellen blogs about her life with her two teenage children, a son and a daughter, about her diet and about theology. She wrote an excellent article for the Carnival of Beauty on aging gracefully.

Welcome to Nicole Carter of Me and My Chickens from North Carilonia. Isn't Nicole's blog made for Blogging Chicks? Nicole blogs about her life and well, chickens (she definitely has a theme going on here :-).

And welcome to Julie of Everday Mommy. Julie has a visually appealing website with a wonderful graphic. She blogs about life, her son and about the Lord. She has an interesting story about becoming a mom so late in life. Make sure you read it when you visit.

Please join me in welcoming all three blogs to our blogroll and go check them out.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Image hosting by TinyPicBeth of Ramblings Of An Undistrubed Mind was among the first to join the blogroll (just by that act alone you can see that she is intelligent and a long-range thinker :-). She maybe one of the few blogs that I read almost every post. Here is Beth in her own words:

There isn't much to say about myself. I'm 33, not married, I have 2 pet rats, 9 small tattoos and I'm obsessed with Hello Kitty and building the perfect website. I'm an only child, a bit spoiled, but, not much. My dad died when I was 15 and my mother raised me on her own. I don't do drugs, I'll have a wine cooler once a year and I smoke. I have a strange sense of humor that not many people get. I'm quiet until you get to know me. I love animals and should have been a Vet-however I'm still searching for who I am and going broke while doing so. This is about all. I'm not much
of an exciting person.

The Resurrection


There are some (many, in fact) who believe that it is impossible for Jesus to have been raised from the dead. They paint all types of scenarios to help explain it away. Some believe that Jesus’ body was disposed of at a garbage dump or that He was only stunned or He took some drug to lower His body temperature. Some believe that His disciples stole His body from the tomb.

But why would the disciples record the events the way they did if they knew that it was a lie. If Jesus wasn’t raised from the dead, why would they say that he was? Did they really believe that he would be raised from the dead? Would that thought even cross their mind? Did anyone but them know that Jesus said he was going to die and be raised again? Jesus only told his disciples so there was no reason for them to make up a story about a failed political leader, a man who mislead them into believing He was the Messiah. Why would they make up a story about resurrection, when that was the furtherest thing from their mind? They didn't understand that Jesus was a sacrifice for sin, that' wasn't even a Jewish thought at the time. They would be looking for the kingdom of God, not salvation from their sins.

To demonstrate, let's look at the attitude of the discples after Jesus' death:

Mark 16:1 When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. 2 And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. 3 And they were saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?"

Luke 24:1 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. Why did the bring spices? They were preparing Him for burial. They were surprised that the stone was rolled away because they weren’t expecting it to be empty. They expected him to be there.

Luke 24:10 Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, 11 but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. 12 But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened.

The disciples didn’t believe the report since they weren’t expecting Jesus to be raised from the dead.

Jesus told them it would happen but they didn’t understand:
Luke 24:5 And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise."
Why would they believe that Jesus was going to die and be raised from the dead? Up until the time of his death they were waiting for Jesus to establish His kingdom on earth, they did not expect or understand the cross. After he explains that he is to be killed at the hands of men, they start talking about who will be the greatest in the kingdom of God:
Mark 9:30 They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he did not want anyone to know, 31 for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, "The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise." 32 But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him. 33 And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, "What were you discussing on the way?" 34 But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. 35 And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, "If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all."
And when He didn’t usher in the kingdom of God, they were crushed. They could not understand. They expected the new age of holiness and righteousness promised in the Old Testament to be fulfilled and established by the Messiah, the Holy One of Israel:
Luke 24:13 That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14 and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15 While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17 And he said to them, "What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?" And they stood still, looking sad. 18 Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, "Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?" 19 And he said to them, "What things?" And they said to him, "Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. 21 But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. 22 Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, 23 and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see." 25 And he said to them, "O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?" 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
The disciples did not realize that Isaiah 53 promised that the Savior of Israel, the Anointed One would be wounded from our transgression, they didn’t understand that would take the form of the cross and death. But it would also take the form of resurrection.

This was not offered as a proof of Jesus’ resurrection since I don’t believe that there is any proof that could be offered for those who are unwilling to believe, we can see that in Scripture:
Matthew 28:11 While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place. 12 And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers 13 and said, "Tell people, 'His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.' 14 And if this comes to the governor's ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble." 15 So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day.
For those who believe it is wondrous news, it is the good news of the Christian’s hope:
1 Corinthians 15:12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. 20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.

Philippians 3:10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
One final thought, why would these men write of this hope if they knew they had known. They would have understood that what they believed was in vain if they were lying about Jesus’ resurrection. If they were preaching a falsehood and they knew it, why not renounce it at the first sign of persecution? They didn't because they believe that He is risen…He is risen indeed.

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Why seek the living among the dead?


John 20:1Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him." 3 So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. 4 Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9 for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went back to their homes. 11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 13 They said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him." 14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?" Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away." 16 Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned and said to him in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, "Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'" 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord"- and that he had said these things to her.

Updated to add: It is now July 31 and someone noticed that the citation was incorrect.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

My Week in Tags

Blogging Chicks: Denise of Mental Excrements

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We start with Denise because she left the following in my comment section and when I read it I realized this was a great idea, you guys could introduce yourselves! (Duh! Why didn't I think of this sooner?).

Now, here is Denise in her on words:

My name is Denise and I live in TN with my three kids (6 yr old twins and a 20 month old). My husband is a truck driver so he's rarely home. I'm currently a part-time WAHM. I own a website called "Moodswing Creations". I offer web design services and I will be adding various products to the site soon. I welcome you to my blog-home at Mental Excrements.

Tell Us About Yourselves Blogging Chicks

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I'm inviting all the new and even the "old" Blogging Chicks to email me something about yourselves that I will post to my blog. I didn't give the new chicks much of an introduction, so this will be your opportunity.

5 New Blogging Chicks!

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Wow! What a week we've had for Blogging Chicks Blogroll! This list is really growing fast, much faster than I have time for :-). Usually I give a nice little introduction to each site but this week I am unable to do so. I invite you to go check out each blog for yourself. I started to write a nice little introduction but Firefox crashed and now I lost all that time and I have some things I want to blog about before I leave this morning to continue my fruitless shopping for Easter clothes.

So, welcome Alli's Mom from Manic Mommy's Musing in Alabama (mother to three year old Alli), Tabz (yes, the same one who did our Blogging Chicks icon) has a second blog, Stupid People Shouldn't Breed (go there and rant with her, I may be over there later after my trip to the mall today :-), Cheeky from Snow Trapped Southern Girl in Minnesota (poor thing), homeschooler and savvy chick, Gem from My So-Called Homeschool, and finally Denise of Mental Excrements in Tennessee, who has a great layout to her blog.

Please make sure you visit their blogs and welcome them to the blogroll!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Good Friday Service

We missed church tonight. I went shopping with the girls for Easter dresses (yes, I know this is last minute, this is how I shop) and we couldn't find anything, so it took forever because I had to drive all over the state of NJ. I thought I could cook quickly enough that we would be able to get out on time but I couldn't. I can't even blame it on blogging :-).

I wish I could have made it because I like to reflect on the suffering and sacrifice of Jesus. We always want to get to the good news of the empty tomb but I think it is important to think about Christ's suffering because it is at the cross that we are called to fellowship with Christ. Suffering is what a Christian does, it is a mark of who we are:

Romans 8:16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs- heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.
We suffer in order to be glorified with Christ.

It has been granted, it comes from God:
Philippians 1:29 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake
Why are we surprised by suffering? Why does it come as a shock when God allows troubles to enter our life. We should know that our life is to be marked by suffering. And suffering does not just mean when bad things happen to you, it is also learning how to submit to the will of God at the expense of our will. It is the struggle to be obedient, when we don't want to. It means putting the needs of others before our own. It's doing the dishes when you don't want to. We think this is trivial and shouldn't be called suffering and when you compare it to cancer or the loss of a child we realize they are not the same degree but they are all suffering. You can get wet in both a drizzle and a storm.

But God does not leave us to suffer alone, He is our Father and our comforter:
2 Cor. 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. 6 If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. 7 Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.
And as we are comforted by God in our suffering, we learn to comfort others. It can be very helpful to talk to someone who has miscarried, lost a child, suffered through cancer. And surprisingly it can be helpful to those who have experienced great loss to help others go through it as well. As God comforts us we can comfort others.

What makes our suffering bearable is that we know that it is not in vain. God uses our suffering to conform us to the image of God. We can rejoice knowing that it is for the glory of God:
Philippians 3:10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Colossians 1:24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church,

1 Peter 4:2 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.

The Cross

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Good Friday, the day Jesus died on the cross as a sacrifice for sin. What does the cross represent to us today? To the feminist it is an act of violence that has lead to other acts of violence and the victimization of women and children:

When Christians identify the central story of their faith as the intentional sacrifice of a "beloved son" by God, his own father, they unwittingly make a story about child abuse into a narrative of salvation. Believing that Jesus willingly submitted to crucifixion out of obedience and love, Christians have advocated an ethic of self-sacrificial love that can trap those most vulnerable to violence ‚— women and children. For theologians Rita Nakashima Brock and Rebecca Ann Parker, this version of Christianity tries to make violence ‚— intimate, family violence — into a form of redemption.
There are those who look at Jesus' death as an opportunity to make a statement about a cause they support:
The militant pro-animal group PETA said the activists would be suspended from crosses with crowns of thorns on their heads.

The slogan of the protest action would be "We suffer and die for your sins of nourishment."

PETA said its aim was to catch the attention of consumers who ignored the suffering of animals.
And then there are some who scorn and ridicule the cross and have done so for thousands of years:
The original Jesus Dress Up fridge magnets! This beautiful 11"x 8" magnet kit has been hand designed and finely sculpted for your enjoyment. Over 30 different articles of clothing to choose from!
A magnet of Jesus, dead on the cross, that you can dress up in different outfits.

Even while Jesus was on the cross He was mocked and ridiculed:
Matthew 27:39 And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads 40 and saying, "You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross." 41 So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, 42 "He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, 'I am the Son of God.'" 44 And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way.
Why should we be surprised that Jesus was mocked? God's word said that He would be:
Psalm 22:6 But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by mankind and despised by the people. 7 All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads; 8 "He trusts in the LORD; let him deliver him; let him rescue him, for he delights in him!"
And today when Jesus' sacrifice is mocked, we see the fulfillment of Paul's words:
1 Corinthians 1:18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart." 20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
To the Christian the cross represents something completely different than what the world sees. We see it as our redemption and atonement for sin:
Colossians 2:13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.
It is a sign of peace and reconciliation:
Colossians 1:20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. 21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him,
Christ sacrifice on the cross is our example of perfect love and sacrifice and of obedience to the Father:
Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, 8 he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Hebrews 5:8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. 9 And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him
And finally it is a sign of our union with Christ:
Romans 6:3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 2:19 For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. 20 It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
I could easily write so much more about Christ's sacrifice since the pages of Scripture are filled with it. There are shadows and types of throughout the Old Testament and passages in which it was prophesied and all the New Testament is written because of it.

Today we remember what Jesus did on are behalf, today we focus on the cross. Praise be to God the symbol of death has been transformed by God into an symbol of love, peace, reconciliation, redemption, salvation, and perfect obedience to God. Praise be to God, that thought the world does not understand, He revealed this truth to us.

(image by ChristArt.com)

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Thursday, April 13, 2006

Sorry!

I'm sorry you had to look at balloons all day today. As you could guess, I was busy with birthday stuff. The girls had half a day, their grandparents went to school for grandparents' day and then we went out to lunch. And it took soooooo long for us to get our food, I'm never going there again. Then we came home and I had to help one of the new Blogging Chicks install the blogroll. (BTW, I am the best and nicest blogroll owner, I even help you install your blogroll -- who else does that?)Then we went out to dinner (more on that on my other blog later) and shopping for Sarah's present (she wanted to pick out what her sister gave her, a bulletin board).

But stop back tomorrow; I plan to post something about Good Friday. I was writing it in the car this morning while I wanted for my daughters. I'm going to be up half the night finishing it.

Happy 14th Birthday, Sarah!




I love you!!!!! Hope it's a happy one and we have plenty of yummy food! And Grandma can come to school today and doesn't forget to bring your present!!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Wow!




I can't believe how many people come here from Technorati because of this article on the indie virus.

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Bible Discussion

OK, I'm going to take the plunge and start the discussion off by asking if anyone would like to take a stab at answering this question: what is the significance of Samson's mother's barrenness?

Updated to add: OK, we got a good answer but I was looking for something a little more specific. Here is a question that should hone in on the answer I'm looking for: what is the significance of the barrenness based on the commandments of God to the people of Israel before they entered the promised land?

Updated to add: Here's another hint, read Deut. 28. You should find the answer there.

Updated again to add: Go here for the answer to the question and more of the study.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Another Blogging Chick

Image hosting by TinyPic Please join me in welcoming Jana from Going Places in Pennsyvanna to the Blogging Chicks blogroll. Jana blogs about her life with her four sons and homeschooling. You can tell she really likes to take pictures, go checkout the picture of her son's view of the table (very cute) and the blast from the past pictures at the bottom of the page.

BTW, we have an a dozen sites! Yeah! Woohoo! Look out Internet, here we come!

Samson Before Delilah: Context

To understand the story of Samson and Delilah, it is important to go back to Genesis to set the stage for what is truly happening in the story. God made a covenant with Abraham:

ESV Genesis 17:7 And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. 8 And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God." 9 And God said to Abraham, "As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations.
As we can see from this passage, God gave Israel, Abraham's descendants, the land of Canaan and Israel was to keep God's covenant by circumcising their sons.

God told Abraham that Israel would be sent into Egypt and would live in captivity until is was time for the judgment of the Amorites who inhabit the land of Canaan:
ESV Genesis 15:13 Then the LORD said to Abram, "Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years. 14 But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions. 15 As for yourself, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age. 16 And they shall come back here in the fourth generation, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete."
God kept His promise and brought the people out of the land of Egypt but before He lead them into the promised land He prepared them to be His people by giving them the law:
ESV Exodus 19:1 On the third new moon after the people of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that day they came into the wilderness of Sinai. 2 They set out from Rephidim and came into the wilderness of Sinai, and they encamped in the wilderness. There Israel encamped before the mountain, 3 while Moses went up to God. The LORD called to him out of the mountain, saying, "Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel: 4 You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; 6 and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel." 7 So Moses came and called the elders of the people and set before them all these words that the LORD had commanded him. 8 All the people answered together and said, "All that the LORD has spoken we will do." And Moses reported the words of the people to the LORD.
Now part of their covenantal duty was to live by the commandments of God and this included:
ESV Deuteronomy 7:1 "When the LORD your God brings you into the land that you are entering to take possession of it, and clears away many nations before you, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations more numerous and mightier than yourselves, 2 and when the LORD your God gives them over to you, and you defeat them, then you must devote them to complete destruction. You shall make no covenant with them and show no mercy to them. 3 You shall not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons, 4 for they would turn away your sons from following me, to serve other gods. Then the anger of the LORD would be kindled against you, and he would destroy you quickly. 5 But thus shall you deal with them: you shall break down their altars and dash in pieces their pillars and chop down their Asherim and burn their carved images with fire. 6 "For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.
God brought them into the promised land as he promised. He went before them and gave the enemy into their hand. Israel had to fight to take possession of the land but the Lord gave them the ability to do so. Even though the Lord delivered them and did as He promised to do, they did not keep God's commandments:
ESV Judges 2:1 Now the angel of the LORD went up from Gilgal to Bochim. And he said, "I brought you up from Egypt and brought you into the land that I swore to give to your fathers. I said, 'I will never break my covenant with you, 2 and you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall break down their altars.' But you have not obeyed my voice. What is this you have done? 3 So now I say, I will not drive them out before you, but they shall become thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare to you."
ESV Judges 3:1 Now these are the nations that the LORD left, to test Israel by them, that is, all in Israel who had not experienced all the wars in Canaan. 2 It was only in order that the generations of the people of Israel might know war, to teach war to those who had not known it before. 3 These are the nations: the five lords of the Philistines and all the Canaanites and the Sidonians and the Hivites who lived on Mount Lebanon, from Mount Baal-hermon as far as Lebo-hamath. 4 They were for the testing of Israel, to know whether Israel would obey the commandments of the LORD, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses. 5 So the people of Israel lived among the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 6 And their daughters they took to themselves for wives, and their own daughters they gave to their sons, and they served their gods. 7 And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD. They forgot the LORD their God and served the Baals and the Asheroth. 8 Therefore the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia. And the people of Israel served Cushan-rishathaim eight years.
The people cried out to the Lord and He raised up a deliverer (judge):
ESV Judges 3:9 But when the people of Israel cried out to the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer for the people of Israel, who saved them, Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother. 10 The Spirit of the LORD was upon him, and he judged Israel. He went out to war, and the LORD gave Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand. And his hand prevailed over Cushan-rishathaim. 11 So the land had rest forty years. Then Othniel the son of Kenaz died.
And again the people sinned against the Lord:
ESV Judges 3:12 And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and the LORD strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done what was evil in the sight of the LORD. 13 He gathered to himself the Ammonites and the Amalekites, and went and defeated Israel. And they took possession of the city of palms. 14 And the people of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years.
And again the people cried out and the Lord raised up a deliverer. This cycle is repeated throughout the book of Judges until Samson. Samson is the last of the judges. It is important to understand this before you study Samson and Delilah and it is one of the reason I entitled this discussion, "Samson Before Delilah: Beyond the Sunday School Lessons."

Updated to add: Go here for more of the study.

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