Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Another year, another winter coming to a close. The New England boiled dinner, our traditional St. Patrick’s meal served with freshly baked loaves of Irish soda bread slathered with freshly made butter, is simmering on the stove, sending a sweet fragrance of cabbage, carrots, potatoes, and parsnips to every corner of my cozy, warm home. The children have settled down, exhausted, after spending hours sledding in the newly fallen 18-inches of snow. Probably, maybe, possibly, that will be the last storm of the season, sad to say. I enjoyed every minute of it knowing we would be housebound today, no sense of urgency to have to do anything other than sledding, shoveling, and enjoying each other’s company. I was going to write a new entry for St. Patrick’s Day but decided that last year’s blog, devoted to shedding a bit of light on the real St. Patrick is still a great message for today.

Bad Boy Charlie Sheen....

I have never thought of the actor, Charlie Sheen, as someone who was a good role model, had great values, or was a decent guy. Then again, I’ve not spent much time thinking Charlie Sheen was a bad role model, morally repugnant or indecent. The truth is, I’ve just never given Charlie Sheen a great deal of thought. My impression has been he has a fairly limited repertoire – Goofy Smile and Sad Puppy – attracting a certain type of audience (non-jock womanizer party boy?) based on his personality, more than raw, real talent.

Be As Little Children

Job 7 “But ask the animals, and they will teach you; the birds of the air, and they will tell you; 8 ask the plants of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. 9 Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? 10 In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of every human being”.

Angel, our 5-year-old Abyssinian guinea pig died in our arms Friday morning, the 7th pet to die in as many years. Experience does not make it easier. The vet suggested if she made it through the night, her chances for survival would increase. There was a caveat: Guinea pigs, like sheep, have a natural ability to simply “shut down” at the slightest hint of illness. In the wild, this would no doubt be merciful, as a sick or injured animal would be easy prey and “shutting down” would spare them a painful death. In a domestic situation, this message meant, “don’t get your hopes up too high”.

A Christian Manifesto

This address was delivered by the late Dr. Schaeffer in 1982 at the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It is based on one of his books, which bears the same title.

Speaking of Unusual Sights -

For sin in action, come on in and read more….

Worship is Warfare

Looking through Credenda Agenda I ran across an article which gives me an explanation of worship that is Scriptural, sound and well-reasoned. In fact, I think this article could serve as a good litmus test for today’s modern church – whether or not it meets the Biblical standard presented as worship being warfare. It’s also a good test for us as Christians. Can we lay down our wisdom, our logic, our desires and needs and truly grasp, the battle belongs to the Lord and only Him. -Sharon

A Question Worth Considering

Remember the prisoners, as if chained with them” Hebrews 13:3a

Two difficult concepts for we mortals to comprehend are forgiveness and salvation.

We’re good at saying, “I’m sorry”. It comes easily, slipping off the tongue, usually accompanied by a smile, or pat on the arm. It’s the world’s way – a way of the flesh – a poor excuse for forgiveness.

Try saying, “Do you forgive me”, with the same smile. It can’t be done with the same casualness, or the same desire to get over whatever friction has been caused in order to hurry back to “normal”.

Forgiveness requires a digging down into the soul, into the depths of the spirit from which we are hard-wired to recognize we’re dealing with another level, another realm – we’re one-on-one with our Maker.

A long-time family friend, a Brother in Christ, has been gifted with the pastoral calling into the prison ministry. Through the years, his teachings and writings have humbled and inspired. Given all he has seen and heard regarding the total depravity of man, his resolve that the Lord is good, worthy to be praised and adored, has only been strengthened. I am honored to share one of his recent writings on the teachings of forgiveness and salvation.

Nicer Than God

We live in a confusing world, especially confusing within today’s “Christian” church where it appears people receive Biblical instruction for their attitudes and behaviors from Oprah, rather than Christ. The “church” has tolerated far more than Christ has mandated and in the final analysis, the “visible church” is nicer than God. In essence, we stand in judgment of God when we misunderstand His justice.

The following article was written for those who profess faith in Christ as Lord (Romans 10:8), challenging their view of who God is, and who we are to be in a humble position under His authority. Bob Enyart, the article’s author, doesn’t feminize Christ or give permission for us to view the Lord through our subjective feelings or desires of how we’d prefer life to be (i.e., how we’d prefer the Lord operated differently than what we think, want, desire, or feel we need). Mr. Enyart gets the message right – we, the created creatures, have no right making the Creator into our image. For those who have the ears to hear, this message is life. -Sharon

The Importance of History

My daughter knows the perfect gift to buy me for me – history books. Some of her selections have included Churchill, Mary, Queen of Scotts, John Adams, and this year’s brilliant Mayflower.

She was 6 years of age, the first time she selected a book on her own. This isn’t one of those type of deals where the father buys the book for the child to wrap and present. This is the type of deal where the child asks the father to let her roam the books, picking out her own unassisted selection. Unassisted is a key word. He learned a couple years ago, if he tried to guide her he, and bookstore patrons two aisle over would hear, “I can do this, Daddy! Really! I know what she wants!”

After I’ve stripped off wrapping paper, I’m always reduced to staring at her beautiful face, incapable of more than, “Wow…..wow, honey…”. This year’s birthday she giggled at me, “Mom, you say that every every time I give you a book. You really love history books!”. She is of the opinion that it is the subject and content of her selections, so thrilling to me, that renders me speechless.

What I can’t adequately express to her is that as much as I DO love reading history, the fact that particular books were hand-picked by her, makes them that much more special. When I try to explain, her 10-year-old eye-rolling response is, “Oh, Mom, you’re so funny”.

After everyone’s settled for the night and I’ve pole-vaulted over the stack of books piled next to my bed, settlng into my pillows, her selections are the first I desire even if I’m in the midst of a half dozen others. I’ve not yet developed a favorite time culture or period of time. There are thousands of years separating one book from the other, but they’re all equally as wonderful, all one with in my focus – a window giving me a view of my Lord. Having a solid belief that the Lord of Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Isaiah, Mark, Peter, Luke and John, Irish scribes, and John Adams is Sovereign – that nothing moves, has life or meaning apart from Him – I read history to obtain a deeper, more intimate knowledge of who He is. That isn’t to say all history books I read are written from a Christian perspective – some are revisionist and humanist – but having read enough from both perspectives, I’m better able to discern what I believe to be closer to reality, than if I were to limit myself to one view.

Here’ s a thought-provoking article, “The Importance of History” by David Crabtree…

Autism Ministry

My father-in-law sent me this encouraging piece from The Evangelical Covenant Church website. A ministry started Journey Covenant Church, specifically for families with special needs children. What a wonderful ministry! More information about the Huberts, one of the original families who joined, can be found at www.dailybreeze.com and search the archives for August 8 and 9 front page articles.