Friday, June 30, 2006

Ta-Dah!

It only took me a day to redo the template! When I redid Reformed Chicks Blabbing it took forever. I am so proud of myself. I will be doing some tweaking but I think this is it for a little while. This is the third redesign of this month in six months and I hope I can stop now :-).

Now, what to do about the Blogging Chicks Blogroll Metablog?

So, it's taking longer than I thought

OK, it's taking a little longer than I thought. I'm not surprised I always over-estimate my ability and under-estimate the job. The problem is that I didn't like the way my title graphic looked in each of the templates I tried. I've finally decided on K2 but I took out the tabs. I love my picture and I don't want tabs spoiling it. I'm also having trouble with where the title is placed. It covers up the ship, I'm going to have to mess with that for awhile. That is the time consuming part.

Check back later today.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

New Template

There is this WordPress template that I liked but didn't know where I could get one for free for this blog. I want a nice, clean, simple design, like it is now but with more elegance. I decided to try to find one using google by searching on "blogger" "template" and "wordpress" and I found this site. They have a template that is pretty close to the one I was searching for. So, look for a major redesign, I hope by tomorrow.

Speaking of redesign, I helped one of the Blogging Chicks redesign her blog using a Zoots Designs template. Go check out Queen Victoria and her new royal blog (it's fit for a queen :-).

Christian Carnival

The Christian Carnival is up. I'm bummed that I missed it again. I'm going to make the next one if it kills me. I need to finish the Samson study because I have to move on and I want to make the googlers happy. Would you believe that half my traffic comes from people googling questions about Samson and Delilah? Shocking but true and a little depressing.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Went to see "Superman Returns" and other stuff

We went out to dinner and saw a movie, "Superman Returns". Go check out my review of the movie.

Before we went to see the movie, I actually turned off my computer. I decided the blogroll and my blogs can wait and I read a book until it was time to get ready to go. It felt good to be off the computer. I have been on way too much. I kept thinking, "I'll finish all the emails and then I'll be able to do something else" but I could never finish all the emails. As soon as I was done with the first wave of emails, a second wave would appear. I would send out the code and then those women would install the code immediately and then I would have to add them to the blogroll and send out an email to let them know that they had been added and to put in a plug for the Carnival. And this was not just one person, this was three or four a night. And then sometimes women would have problems with the code and I would have to troubleshoot and reply. And some of the emails were comments to my blog and I would have to reply to those. And so on, and so on, and so on! So, I closed up the computer and read. The girls have to read for an hour a day, I guess I will have to join them.

But not until they return, they are going to be spending some time with their Grandparents. I'm very blessed to have my parents living in this state and they love having my kids over. When the girls were younger I was so thankful to get rid of them for a couple days so that I could rest :-) and work on Bible studies without interruptions. But now that they are older, I really hate when they go away for extended periods. I miss them. Summer is the only time I get them all day and I hate to share that time with their Grandparents but of course I'm not selfish about it and now, I'm the one who gives my parents the gift instead of the other way around.

I've resolved not to spend the time that they are away on the Internet. I'm going to work on my Revelation study. I also want to post something on Hermeneutics and this will give me a chance to review my class notes. I need to start thinking about preparing for the fall. I also want to finish my Samson study. So, I'm planning to be busy, let's see if I can be good and do it. Please pray for me.

BTW, various bloggers have done a Where I'm From Poetry Meme and I decided to try my hand at a Where I'm From Haiku and I also do another one here. I did one on the mall and one on the Jersey Shore. I plan to do a couple on the turnpike :-). If you want to do one, let me know and I will link to you on my Reformed Chicks Blabbing blog.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

DC Vacation Blogging

There has been so much going on in the news today and I've been busy with the Blogging Chicks blogroll that I haven't had time or thoughts to be writing about our trip. I've decided to blog about it when I have time to blog about it, so over the next two weeks I hope to write slooowly about the trip. I want to blog about it because others might want to go to DC and I want to share my great experience with them. So eventually, I will write. But I think that anyone who has been reading this blog knows about me is that I am a not a disciplined writer that's why I still haven't finished the Samson study :-).

Monday, June 26, 2006

DC Vacation: Day One


The post about my first day of vacation is up over at Reformed Chicks Blabbing. We had a great time in DC and I loved the Metro, it was probably one of my favorite parts of our vacation. Here is the Metro station close to where we stayed in Largo:



And here is a shot of the train:



Checking out the train station was the most we did when we got to Largo (that and eating). We didn't make it into DC until the next day.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Blogger 101: Posting a Graphic

Here is a video for the Blogging Chicks who don't know how to post a graphic. I'm posting it here because I don't want to distract from the Carnival.

Blogger 101: Creating Hyperlinks

Here is a video to demonstrate how to create hyperlinks:

Carnival of the Blogging Chicks #3



Some really great posts this week! Check them out.

Judgmental Hypocrites: Matthew 7:1-5

[This was originally from a study that I did a couple of years ago of the Gospel of Matthew]

You are in a supermarket and all of a sudden you hear a mother berating her child rather harshly. You think to yourself, “"Wow! That mom needs to learn to be a little more patient with her child. She should not be talking to him that way." At that exact moment you remember an incident in your not too distant past, where you lost it in the store due to lack of sleep and the insistence of a child that would not take "no"” for an answer. You just wanted desperately to leave her crying in the store and you remember the looks of disgust from your fellow shoppers and you remember thinking, "If only they could spend an hour in my shoes they would understand." And yet here you are having walked in your shoes and you don't understand. You sit in judgment of another woman in the exact same circumstance, having learned nothing from your own experience.

This type of judgmental is common, we all do it and we even see it in the Bible. The Lord sent Nathan to David in order to rebuke him for having Uriah killed and taking his wife. When Nathan told David of a rich man who stole a poor man's one and only lamb, David was ready to condemn the rich man to death. It's a good thing that God didn't judge David in the harsh manner he judged another, God allowed David to repent and live. God is more merciful than David was.

What does Jesus mean by judging? The type of judgment Jesus is talking about here is the harsh judgment we have towards others. Judgment that lacks mercy, humility and love. We see this in the parallel passage in Luke:

Luke 6:36-37 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven
What Jesus is saying here is that we have to be aware of our lack of love before we approach those that are in need of help. We have to realize that we sinners and should not seat in judgment of others; every single Christian is a beggar who has been given bread and we are just telling other beggars where to go to eat. We have nothing to sit in judgment about -- we are not all that!

We have to judge the actions of others but we are called not to be harsh or judgmental:
John 7:24 Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment."

1 Cor. 5:12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?

Philip. 3:2 Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh.

And in this chapter Jesus says that we are not to throw our pearls before swine, for us to do this, there would have to be some judgment on our part as to who is a swine.

So, yes there is a place for judgment but it has to be down with love, compassion and mercy and with self-awareness:
1 Cor. 10:12 Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall
Hendriksen says "To be discriminating and critical is necessary; to be hypercritical is wrong."

Our judgment of our brothers and sisters has a serious impact on the church. Usually when we are being judgmental, we are actually acting out of ignorance of the context of the other's actions. We may think someone is sinning when they are not. The mother in the supermarket is a perfect example of this. Another is a situation I run into a lot. Since I am bold in my statement of the truth claims of the Bible, that I state unequivocally that there is one truth and that it can be known, I have been labeled arrogant, boastful, opinionated and prideful. And while these things are generally apt descriptions of my nature, they are not apt descriptions of my attitude when it comes to the word of God. I am not being arrogant to state that the word of God is true and that the doctrines that I teach from it are also true, I am being the exact opposite. I am actually being humble because I am not promoting my own opinion but the view of Scripture itself. I am submitting myself to not only what the Bible says but the testimony to the theology of God's word by His church.

I am not making up a view of God that is independent from Scripture or the witness of the church but is in keeping with both. This is the essence of humility. And when I defend it against the attacks of others, I am defending it out of its own witness of itself and out of love of God and His word. I do this in humility as well because when I defend it I do not use my own words or arguments but the words of God Himself and his church.

Those who would argue against our knowing the truth of God ndemonstrate the very characteristic that they condemn in me. They view the deity of Christ as truth, they view the salvific nature of His work as truth, they view the doctrine of the Trinity as truth and yet all of these doctrines have been in dispute throughout church history. Others would judge them in the same light as they have judged me.

The problem that arises when I am viewed in this light is that my witness to GodÂ’s word is impaired because what I have to say is now considered tainted by what has been judged as an arrogant attitude. I may be speaking truth but no one is listening. Judgment has broken the line of communication between us. In this example, I hope that you can see that the judgment of others can cause serious problems in the body.

But what if the charge were true and I was being arrogant, then the loving Christian thing to do would be to point it out in love and humility. With the complete understanding that you have probably been guilty of pride, arrogance and boasting some time in your life.

Why is the sin of another considered a spec and your sin is considered a log? Because the little tiny sin that another has committed is nothing compared to your self-righteous attitude. If you are without sin cast the first stone. And yet you sit in judgment of the actions of others.

A self-righteous and judgmental attitude is the worst. Look how harshly Jesus dealt with the Pharisees. Whatever the sin of the person that we judge it is nothing compared to our own lack of love and compassion. How can we, who have received so much love and mercy look at others without love and mercy? How can we be so thankless for the mercy that has been given to us.
Psalm 31:23
Love the Lord, all you his saints!
The Lord preserves the faithful
but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.

Proverbs 8:13
The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil.
Pride and arrogance and the way of evil
and perverted speech I hate.
Jesus'’ word for those who would judge others without realizing their own sin, is hypocrite!

Those who sit in judgment of others should be aware that they are being judged judgmental by others. We know those who judge us, we are aware that you hold us in contempt. And we wind up judging you because of it. By the measure that you judge, you are being judged by others. Not only that but your lack of mercy will be judged by God.

How do we take this log out of our eye? I hope that those who had a log in their eye had it removed by the Holy Spirit as you submitted to His illuminating this truth in your heart, showing you your sin and giving you the power and the desire to want to take the log out. To look at others in the light of Christ'’s love, compassion and mercy. If I had thought of Christ's love and mercy in the supermarket, I would not have judged that mom as harshly as I did. And I would not judge those who would judge me.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

2996

I will be joining in this tribute on both of my blogs:

2,996 is a tribute to the victims of 9/11.

On September 11, 2006, 2,996 volunteer bloggers will join together for a tribute to the victims of 9/11. Each person will pay tribute to a single victim.

We will honor them by remembering their lives, and not by remembering their murderers.
If you are interested in joining this effort to honor those who were murdered on September 11, you can do so by leaving a comment here
.

Saturday's Scavenger Photo Hunt: Love

Go check out the love of my life (hehe).

Friday, June 23, 2006

DC Vacation

OK, I can finally tell you what I've been doing this week that has kept me so busy that I couldn't blog but that I could answer email, I've been on vacation and though I had an Internet connection, all my free time was taken up answering my email. Also, since this blog is really about two things, what's going on in my life and Bible study and theology, I really couldn't blog about too much. I couldn't tell you what was going on in my life because I decided not to let the world know that my house was going to be empty for almost a week and anyone who wanted to break in would not have anyone stopping them. And I couldn't really blog about Bible study or theology because I was in vacation mode not theology mode (my head really has to be in the game before I can write about the Bible).

So, hopefully I will be able to do some posting tomorrow. On Sunday, I will start posting about my trip to DC on this blog and my Reformed Chicks Blabbing blog.

Oh My Gosh!

I was out again today and when I got back, 22 emails! It took me three hours again. I am really busy with this blogroll. Sheesh! More on my week tomorrow.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Very Busy

Sorry for the light posting, I've been really, really busy in real life again. I'll talk more about it later (maybe tomorrow). I was away from the computer all day yesterday and when I go back on the Internet I had 26 messages and as I was dealing with those, more came in. Some of the email were comments to my blogs but most of them were Blogging Chicks stuff, either people wanting to be added to the blogroll or people having problems with the code or people telling me they have installed the code of people wanting to submit their Carnival entry. It took me over 3 hours to handle it all. So, no time to post!

But in a couple days, everything will die down and I will tell you all about it and will post a Bible study again. Also, I'm going to update my Beatitude post, it turns out that I left out an important element of the post (I was in a hurry to post it) and that was the indicative and the imperative (this was pointed out to me by one of my commenters on Reformed Chicks Blabbing). You can't read the Beatitudes without understanding the indicative and the imperative. The Beatitudes is indicative (meaning who we are) and not imperative (be more like this). Very bad of me to leave that important facet out (the post was part of a study that I did a couple years ago on Matthew and I think that the indicative and imperative section was in an introduction that I left out of my post).

Monday, June 19, 2006

Blogrolls

I recently had some problems with the Blogging Chicks Blogroll. One of the women left the blogroll because she was upset that I screened the blogs for excessive swearing. Maybe she should start her own blogroll, I think that would be smart. Lauren has the Family-Friendly Blogroll and I haven't seen "The Potty-Mouth Blogroll" yet. I think it has a catchy ring, don't you? I don't plan to start another blogroll, so feel free to use the name.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day!


To all the Dads out there (and especially Doug and my Dad) have a Happy Father's Day.

Carnival of the Blogging Chicks #2



The Carnival of the Blogging Chicks is up.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

The Beatitudes

Jesus sees the crowd and goes up on the mountain, his disciples followed. He begins by teaching them what it means to live in the kingdom. In Deuteronomy the Israelites were told of the blessings and curses that they would receive depending on their fulfilling the requirements of the law and were reminded what those requirements were. In this passage we see something similar. Just as the Lord prepared His people to live in the land of Israel, Christ prepares His people to live in the kingdom of heaven. But He is not giving a whole new set of ordinances, He is calling His people to follow the ordinances that Israel was given but to do it from their heart not as set of rules to follow.

When we study the beatitudes we need to understand that each of the beatitudes except the first could be said of Christ. He exemplifies the quality trait mentioned in the beatitudes. Jesus is merciful, He is meek, pure in heart. He is the peacemaker -- He reconciles the people of the kingdom with their God and He reconciles them with each other. He brings peace. He is persecuted and reviled for righteousness sake.

In this passage, we learn a lot about who the kingdom people are: they are humble, meek, etc. They are blessed and they will be persecuted. But the persecution will not be without benefit, they will be rewarded.

Just as the prophets were persecuted because they proclaimed the words of a holy God to a rebellious people, we will be persecuted for the same thing. If you live the righteous life you will suffer for it. We are given this promise in the Scripture:

2 Timothy 3:12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted
Hendriksen sees a progression in the beatitudes and He believes that they parallel the Christian life. We will examine this as we look at each beatitude.


Poor in Spirit

What does it mean to be poor in spirit? In the parallel passage in Luke, the word spirit is left out. Here Matthew uses it to distinguish the poor in spirit from those who are poor materially. To be poor in spirit is to realize your spiritual poverty. You are a beggar looking for scrapes of food. (The Greek word rendered poor usually referred to a beggar.) If you were rich, you would not need the help of another. But being poor you know that you can’t get anywhere without someone else’s help:
Luke 18:13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner!'
The kingdom of heaven belongs to those who realize their poverty. They know that they lack the means to do anything that will make them worthy of the kingdom. They come to God empty handed. Realizing that we are poor in spirit is the first step in our Christian walk.

Mourners

Once you understand your spiritual poverty you mourn. You are not worthy to be a child of God. You are not doing what the creature was created for: to glorify God. We understand the depth of our rebellion and that causes us deep distress:
Psalm 51:4
Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you may be justified in your words
and blameless in your judgment.
We not only mourn over our sin but the consequences of our sin.

But our mourning also takes on another aspect. Our love for God causes us to mourn not only our sin but the sins of others. It grieves us when the God that we love is being dishonored:
Psalm 119:136
My eyes shed streams of tears,
because people do not keep your law
The Greek word rendered mourn “indicated a sorrow that begins in the heart, takes possession of the entire person, and is outwardly manifested.” (Hendriksen, pg. 271)

Those who mourn will be comforted. Our sorrow turns us to God and God forgives us of our sins. He gives strength and reassurance.
Psalm 30:5
For his anger is but for a moment,
and his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.
Psalm 50:15
and call upon me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.

Isaiah 55:6-7
"Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near; [7]
let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
We are also comforted with the knowledge that our God reigns and one day all will submit to His Lordship.

Sometimes the comfort comes in the affliction being removed, sometimes the comfort is that the affliction lasts but is alleviated by the knowledge that it is nothing compared to the glory that will be revealed when Christ returns:
Romans 8:18-23 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. [20] For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope [21] that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. [22] For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. [23] And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
The Meek

What is the difference between meek and poor in spirit. Being poor in spirit is something that is personal, it is how we view ourselves -- it is the realization of who we are. Meek is in relationship to God and man, it is a character trait.

From Psalm 37 we see that the meek person waits on the Lord, he does not take revenge on evildoers but trusts in the Lord and waits upon Him. His confidence is in the Lord and he leans on Him. He takes refuge in the Lord and does not lean on his own righteousness but on the righteousness of the Lord. But meekness is not weakness, the meek are strong not doormats.

After realizing our poverty and mourning our rebellion against God, we meekly submit to the statutes of the Lord. We meekly follow Him and submit to His kingship.

The meek shall inherit the earth. The promise in the Old Testament was that the meek would inherit the land:

Psalm 37:11
But the meek shall inherit the land
and delight themselves in abundant peace.

Psalm 37:22
for those blessed by the Lord shall inherit the land,
but those cursed by him shall be cut off.

Psalm 37:29
The righteous shall inherit the land
and dwell upon it forever.

Psalm 37:34
Wait for the Lord and keep his way,
and he will exalt you to inherit the land;
you will look on when the wicked are cut off.
The inheritance of the people of Israel was the land of Israel. If the nation continued in following the statues of God and putting their trust in Him, then they would continue in the land. So, in the Psalms we see that the blessedness that comes from being meek, is the actually inheritance of the land.

Our inheritance is the whole earth, not just Israel:

Romans 4:13 For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith.
Those Who Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness

After realizing our poverty, mourning our rebellion and meekly submitting to the Lord, we crave righteousness. Each of us knows that we have fallen short of the glory of God:
Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
God, in His mercy, has given us a way to be reconciled to Him, even though we are unclean and He is holy. We have been given Christ’s righteousness, it has been imputed to us (meaning it has been transferred to us):

Even though we are now consider righteous by God, we are righteous by faith and not by sight. We can’t see this righteousness and we don’t experience it in our lives because it is alien to us, it is outside of us. Luther says that we are a snow covered dung heap. We don’t become righteous, but we long for it. We know that we should be different because we have died to sin. We long to experience by sight what we know be faith we possess.

We thirst and hunger for it the way the deer pants for water:
Psalm 42:1b
As a deer pants for flowing streams,
so pants my soul for you, O God.
And those who pant for God and His righteousness will be filled and we will be satisfied:
John 4:13-14 Jesus said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, [14] but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty forever. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

Isaiah 49:9-10
saying to the prisoners, 'Come out,'
to those who are in darkness, 'Appear.'
They shall feed along the ways;
on all bare heights shall be their pasture; [10]
they shall not hunger or thirst,
neither scorching wind nor sun shall strike them,
for he who has pity on them will lead them,
and by springs of water will guide them.

Isaiah 55:1
Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.

John 7:37-38 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. [38] Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, 'Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.' "
Who receives these streams of water? Those who believe in God, the citizens of the kingdom.

The Merciful
The Scriptures are very clear, since we have been shown mercy, in gratitude we should show mercy to others:
Matthew 18:33 And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?'

Romans 15:7 Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.
God’s mercy comes first and out of that flows our mercy. And even though we show mercy to others, and we grow in our knowledge of God, we still continue to sin and so still need the continuation of God’s mercy. God’s mercy will be given to those who show mercy to others:
Matthew 6:14-15 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, [15] but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

James 2:12-13 So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. [13] For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

2 Samuel 22:25-26
And the Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
according to my cleanness in his sight. [26]
With the merciful you show yourself merciful;
with the blameless man you show yourself blameless;
But we have to keep in mind that this is not owed to us by God and that we are only merciful because God was merciful to us and we have to also keep in mind that God is merciful to those who do not show mercy. He was merciful to me when I was yet dead in my sins:
Romans 9:15-16 For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." [16] So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.
The Pure in Heart

The blessedness of the pure in heart is reflected in the Old Testament:
Psalm 24:3-5
Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
And who shall stand in his holy place? [4]
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to what is false
and does not swear deceitfully. [5]
He will receive blessing from the Lord
and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

Psalm 73:1
Truly God is good to Israel,
to those who are pure in heart.
But we have a problem, none of us is pure:
Romans 3:10-12 as it is written:

"None is righteous, no, not one; [11]
no one understands;
no one seeks for God. [12]
All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one."
Moses wanted to see God but could not:
Exodus 33:18-20 Moses said, "Please show me your glory." [19] And he said, "I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name 'The Lord.' And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. [20] But," he said, "you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live."
It is only those who have had their hearts purified by the Lord who will be able to see God:
Psalm 51:10-12
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me. [11]
Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me. [12]
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.

John 17:24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
Now, we see God by faith, but there will come a time when we will actually see God. Moses was finally able to see God’s glory and we will be able to as well. This is a tremendous statement when you think about what has been said about access to God throughout the Old Testament.

The Peacemakers

All of humanity is born at war with God, we are all in need of reconciliation to Him:
Romans 3:17 and the way of peace they have not known.

Romans 5:10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.

2 Corinthians 5:18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation
God did not create us to be at enmity with Him, we were created in fellowship but the fall broke that fellowship and the only way to reconcile God and man is through the God-man Jesus Christ:

Colossians 1:19-20 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, [20] and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 2:17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near.

He brought peace to us and as His ambassadors we tell others of the peace He brings to them:
Matthew 10:11-14 And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it and stay there until you depart. [12] As you enter the house, greet it. [13] And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it, but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. [14] And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town.

2 Corinthians 5:20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
And by doing this, others will know that we are sons of God.

Not only do we tell others of the peace that we have with God, we show them by our actions and love that we can have peace with each other. God not only reconciled us with Himself but with each other as well.

Being a people of peace is something that is important and is emphasized throughout Scripture:
Hebrews 12:14 Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.

James 3:18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
Those Persecuted for Righteousness
And believe me it will bring persecution. When we stand up for the truth of God’s word, we will be despised for it. Even in the Christian community. People do not want to hear our message, they don’t want to change.

When a light is turned on in a dark room it hurts the eyes. Our righteous deeds and the word of God is like a blinding light in darkness. People want to turn away but can’t and so they try to turn out the light, to just get rid of it. If they could kill us, the way they did the prophets, they would.

This hatred between the people of the world and the people of God began after the fall:
Genesis 3:15
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel."
We see this enmity when Cain killed Abel and throughout the history of Israel in the Old Testament, the prophets spoke from God and yet the people ignored them and persecuted them.
Luke 13:34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!

Matthew 23:29-31 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous, [30] saying, 'If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.' [31] Thus you witness against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets.

Acts 7:52 Which of the prophets did not your fathers persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered
But our persecution does not compare to the glory that will be revealed on the last day, when we will receive the kingdom of heaven.
1 Peter 4:13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.

Blogging Interrupted by Life

I've been remiss in my posting duties on this blog. I've been very busy with my daughter's graduation from middle school. We had some family over and I had to clean and prepare for their visit. We also had to shop for a dress that fell within the dress code which was close to impossible to do. We finally found a skirt and blouse -- very proper and expensive. Then when we went to the graduation ceremony I was shocked to see so many people wearing dresses that were inappropriate for a middle school graduation. What were these parents thinking?

I will be posting something later on today for the Blogging Chicks Carnival.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Happy Flag Day!


I totally forgot! We didn't even put the flag out today.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

So, enough about oats! What should I blog about for the carnival?

So, I think that I've pretty much exhausted the whole oats topic now. I've been busy with end of the school year stuff for my kids. Field day, awards, half days, finals, graduation ceremony, this is how I'm spending my week. Plus cleaning for my in-laws' visit. Not much time for blogging, not much time for the Lord. I hope that over the weekend I can make up for my lack of time with the word of God by spending extra time studying.

I need to come up with some catchy kind of post for the Carnival. I got some hits from the Carnival but not a lot. I want something that's short, something that is catchy and would be contained in one post. Maybe I'll do a special request, what would you like me to blog about for the carnival?

Yet Another Post on Steel Cut Oats

Well, the whole steel cut oats thing didn't work out. I can't wait an hour to eat breakfast during the week. I woke up late yesterday, at 6:00 and I didn't have enough time to cook it before I had to get my daughters up. So, I had to buy the instant oatmeal today. I think I'll save the steel cut oats for the weekend. Cheaper that way.

And in other news, the Blogging Chicks appear to have gotten with the program and are sending me their submissions early for the next carnival and people who didn't participate last time are now participating this time.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Samson Study

I am way too busy trying to get ready for my in-laws coming to do a good job with the final installment of the Samson study. I will try again for next week. I was smart and recycled my Carnival of the Blogging Chicks submission and entered it into the Christian Carnival.

Light posting this week...

I know, what else is new. I will try to post something here everyday but it will probably be light. I am going to try to finish my Samson study and I want to do something on hermeneutics. I'll have to see if I get the chance. I have guests coming (in-laws) and I have to get the house ready for company, too much blogging not enough cleaning :-).

Carnival was a success!

I am so pleased with the results of the Carnival. Everyone got a chance to view posts from a number of wonderful blogs and those blogs got to feel special for the day. We generated some traffic and some commenting, as well. I think it was all in all a great event.

Though this morning I had a terrible time getting it up. The links kept messing up because people did not listen to me and only a couple sent me the html. And then I realized that not a lot of Christians are going to be able to link to the carnival because they will be in church or getting ready for church. But I think I have a solutition, check out the Metablog in a couple days to see what brilliant idea I have come up with :-).

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Carnival of the Blogging Chicks #1



The Carnival of the Blogging Chicks is up. Go check out all the great posts.

Christ in the Story of David and Goliath

One of the reasons I started this blog is to share what I learned in seminary with others. I'm getting such a wonderful education and I wish everyone had the opportunity to go to seminary and learn such great things about God and His word. But not everyone is called to do it, it takes a lot hard work and not everyone can dedicate the time but I really wish others could experience the joy and the pain of seminary so that they can see what the future pastors have to go through :-). They might have more respect for their pastor if they did. It really is a trial by fire.

But this is not a post about seminary, I want to post one of my answers to one of my finals and yes, I do remember the gist of my answer. Isn't it great that I can have a final in which I can write about David and Goliath? What could be easier than that? Who doesn't know the story of David and Goliath? But of course this is seminary and a Sunday School answer wouldn't satisfy my professor. The class was Hermeneutics and the question was testing our ability to look at the Old Testament story in light of biblical theology, which means we look at the Old Testament in light of what we learn from the revelation of Christ and His work in redemptive history. Why don't we look at the story so that you may see by example what I'm talking about?

Goliath was a Philistine, the Philistines had been in Israel since the time of the Judges and no one had defeated them and driven them from the land. Samson killed some of them but Israel was still oppressed by them at the time of the monarchy in Israel.

We start the story of David and Goliath with Goliath taunting the army of Israel:

1 Samuel 17:10 And the Philistine said, "I defy the ranks of Israel this day. Give me a man, that we may fight together."
David, the youngest of Jesse's sons brings food to his brothers who are camped against the Philistines. He can't believe that an uncircumcised Philistine would dare to taunt Israel:
1 Samuel 17:26 And David said to the men who stood by him, "What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?"
David knew that the people of Israel belonged to God, that God was the true ruler of Israel. He knew that God had given the land of the Canaanites to Abraham's descendants and these Philistines had no claim to the land. If the Lord choose to defeat Israel's enemies then the people of Israel would be victorious and they would not have to live in fear and David knew that God would hand the enemy over to him. Why? Because he was the Lord's annointed and he knew that he would one day rule Israel (1 Samuel 16:13). He also knew that in the past God had saved him from bigger dangers than a Philistine:
1 Samuel 16:34-37 But David said to Saul, "Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God." And David said, "The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine." And Saul said to David, "Go, and the LORD be with you!"
So David went up against Goliath with just a sling and five smooth stones. Goliath taunted David:
1 Samuel 16:41-44 And the Philistine moved forward and came near to David, with his shield-bearer in front of him. And when the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him, for he was but a youth, ruddy and handsome in appearance. And the Philistine said to David, "Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?" And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. The Philistine said to David, "Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the field."
But David wasn't afraid, he knew that God was greater than a mere human, no matter how big and fierce he was, he knew that Goliath was going to face the judgment of God:
1 Samuel 16:46-47 This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the LORD saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the LORD's, and he will give you into our hand."
And just as David had predicted he slew Goliath with the weapons of a shepherd. A mighty warrior of the Philistines was killed by a youth. The author of 1 Samuel emphases this point:
1 Samuel 16:50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. There was no sword in the hand of David.
God had given David victory over a superior enemy, an enemy that Israel had been fighting for years, an enemy that had oppressed his people since the times of the judges.

When we study this passage we think of our own application, what is the Goliath in my life that I must defeat, how can I trust in God to respond to troubles in my life, what tools have I been given to defeat the enemy. But we skip a few steps when we do that, where is Christ in those questions. The Bible says that all of Scriptures is about Christ:
Luke 24:25-27 And he said to them, "O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?" And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

Luke 24:44-47 Then he said to them, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled." Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
The human author of this story did know the details about Christ, His conquering of sin and death and His defeat of the enemy of his people, but the Divine Author did. We see the elements of redemptive history in this story. David sees that the people of Israel are oppressed by their enemies, he knows that God is mightier than the Philistines. Why don't the people do something about it? Why do they let their enemy defeat them? Why do we let our enemy defeat us? Why are we always like Israel, allowing our sins and the enemy to oppress us? Because we don't put our trust in the Lord. David came and conquered the enemy just as Christ came to conquer our enemy. He defeated sin and death, He defeated Satan to end his reign over God's people. Like David, He saved His people from their sin.

The devil taunted Jesus, just as Goliath taunted Christ in the desert and on the cross, daring to mock the provision of the Lord and in Christ’s sonship. Christ stood up to the devil and defeated his efforts just as David stood up to Goliath. And just as David defeated Goliath by humble means, Christ conquered sin and death and triumphed over the powers of darkness through death and the humiliation of the cross.

The language of judgment here sounds similar to the language of judgment at the second coming of Christ:
1 Samuel 17:46 This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel,

Revelation 19:21 And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh.
In the story of David, we see the story of redemption, Israel's and our's. David saved Israel by defeating their enemies and in the process God was vindicated. And Christ defeated our enemies on the cross and in the process God was vindicated. In David we see that the enemies of God can't defeat the servant of the Lord and praise be to God that His Servant was able to defeat sin and death for our sakes.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Update on Steel Cut Oats

OK, steel cut oats have to be cooked a very long time to be enjoyed, like an hour! I boiled the water, dumped a cup of oat pellets in and then turned it down to low. After the water started to cook away, I put in milk and maple syrup and waited another 1/2 an hour. Finally they looked done and they were still a little chewy. Steel cut oats are nothing like the instant 1-minute oats :-). They are very, very filling, which is a good thing when you are attempting to diet.

Saturday Photo Hunt:: Community

Each Saturday I participate in the Saturday Scavenger Photo Hunt, it's a lot of fun to go from blog to blog looking at pictures with a common theme. This week's theme is community and I took a shot of the stained-glass window at the front of my church and then I interpreted the symbols in the window. Go check it out.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Steel Cut Oats

So, I've read a few blogs where people rave about steel cut oatmeal and I decided to try it. It's kind of pricey, double the price of normal oatmeal. First of all it looks like bird feed, it's little pellets. I'm not sure I like it, it has an interesting taste but it's too hard and chewy. Maybe I have to cook it longer.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Blogger is the Worst

Blogger was such a pain yesterday and what made it worst was that I was working on a template. It took me three times as long to get the work done as it should have because of it. I hate blogger but I hate the alternative all the more. Blogger is easy to use and I would hate to uproot Susan and Ang. I think they would stop blogging altogether if it got any more complicated. So, I'm stuck.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Christian Carnival

I missed the deadline for the Christian Carnival this week, I will try to post the final installment of the study in a couple days.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Yesterday

Yesterday was such a bad day! Blogger wouldn't work, blogrolling stopped displaying the blogrolls and the window of my car got stuck in the down position. Not a good day. Three hundred dollars later and I can put my window back up again. I am thankful to the Lord that the dealership worked on my car even through I didn't have an appointment and there were a number of people there when I got there (I got there 10 minutes before it opened -- I think there are a lot of type-A people living in NJ :-).

The Da Vinci Code

I finally posted something on The Da Vinci Code on Reformed Chicks Blabbing. It's a rant because I can't believe how dumb the book was. Why was it so popular?

Sunday, June 04, 2006

New Leather Cover for My Leather Bible

I was thinking about the leather cover for my leather Bible and it seems like such a silly concept but I actually want one because it's leather, 000000h, leather. I really love leather. I could never join PETA because I love leather shoes, handbags, Bibles and notebooks. Leather (when I say it I linger over the "ea" sound).

Family Friendly Blogroll

I've joined another blogroll (what else is new :-), it is a no profanity blogroll. If you don't swear on your blog, you can join here. And if you are looking for a safe blogroll to read, that would be it. There are some great blogs on it so go check them out.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Leather Book Covers

Reasonably priced leather Bible covers and moleskin covers. Really sharp!

(Link via Alpha and Omega)

My Name

Everyone is doing this so I decided to do it too:

MMystical
IIntense
CConfused
HHumorous
EElitist
LLoud
EEnergetic

Name / Username:


Name Acronym Generator
From Go-Quiz.com

I think the loud and energetic part is right. I'm not much of an elitist but I am confused a lot. If there were a word that meant more than intense, that would be me :-). As to humorous, I'll leave that for you to decide.

Also, here is my name translated into Egyptian hieroglyphics:

And here it is using this one:



(Links via Gone to Plaid)

Friday, June 02, 2006

Samson Bible Study

Samson Before Delilah Discussion Questions
Samson Before Delilah: Context
Samson Before Delilah: Chapter 13
Samson Before Deliah: Chapter 14
Samson Before Deliah: Chapter 15
Samson and Delilah: The Conclusion of the Study (Chapter 16)

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Finally!

I finally have medicine for my sinus infection. I went to the doctor today for my yearly checkup and asked for medicine. Her first question was "How do you know you have one" and I immediately said, "Because I've had it for two weeks." She laughed because she knew that I remembered what she had said the last time. She then made me list all my symptoms and of course I had them all: nausea and stomachaches, a cough, post-nasal drip, headache above the brow and below the eyes. And the fact that I'm taking Claritin-D and a steroid nasal spray and I'm still symptomatic!

She let me pick which one I wanted and I got the 3-pack because it's over in 3 pills. It's rough on the stomach but I'm usually better by the next day.

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