Thursday, October 30, 2014
Except we've become numb to the shock of it. We're addicted to violence and can't imagine a world without it...Lord, deliver us! Open our eyes that we may dream of a world of peace. Give us the faith to believe you really are victorious!
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Exactly the opposite of what we want, right? We want Christ to empower us so that we can take the credit for our great holiness!
This gospel stuff is so backwards!
Stop! Listen to what he is saying here! This is one of the places where "love not the world" is especially relevant and painful. This is where the fish learns what water is and that, low and behold, it really is wet!
Look at your values. Look at how you view your country. Look at how you view 9/11/2001. Is that the way Christ would have you view them?
If not, repent! And believe the gospel. Gospel—good news! God is calling us to something higher (and more painful!)...we mourn over Abel, but we build memorials to Cain!
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Speaking of RV anti-freeze, I learned that it stains sinks and tubs : ( And it doesn't come out very easily, even with cleanser. Call out the Zud! And exercise those arms!
Of course it doesn't help any that the tubs are over 50 years old, as are some of the sinks. All the enamel is pretty well worn off the porcelain—all that is left is the dull whiteness where once there was a nice shimmer. And that stuff is a sponge for stains!
This is the third season that I've been a part of shutting down. The first year, I didn't realize that the stuff stains. We have one cabin (Spruce) that has a slight depression in the tub just before the drain that collects water (it was made that way!). When cleaning it, you have to push the 1/4 inch or so of water forward into the drain. I didn't push the anti-freeze forward that year...the next spring, I spent a lot of time trying to get rid of that stain.
I finally thought I had it—but I'm partially red-green colorblind. Others still saw it. I finally had to ask Max to show me the outlines of it so that I could discern the different shades of white that were really pink! And this was our first year working with them. I can just imagine what they were thinking when they saw what I thought was a "clean" tub!
On a different note, we had a great season—made lots of new friends and renewed acquaintances with old ones. I can understand what Dave & Geneva meant when they talked about the bonds you make with guests.
Sure, you get some real downers—where do people get the idea that it is ok to leave a sink full of dirty dishes? Or, worse yet, to put dirty dishes in the cupboard! Or, why is it ok to leave bacon grease in the frying pan, or on the stove. Or use towels as toilet paper (we "retire" those towels!). Or to recarpet the cabin with Goldfish cracker crumbs. Or...you get the idea. Those people go on our "black list" and aren't allowed back.
Yes, every resort, motel, and cabin rental has a "black list." Some are more strict than others. But, think of What's Up Doc? The hotel manager enters what's left of the room and says, "I have a message from the staff, 'Good-bye.'" I can identify sometimes! : )
But those are the minority. Most guests are very good. In some cases, they are so clean that you almost feel like you don't have a job!
So now we head off to see Debbie's parents for a couple of weeks. When we get back, I'll launder all the blankets and mattress covers. We'll replace the ones that are worn and store the blankets for the winter. Come spring, I'll wash all the bedspreads and we'll remake the beds.
I have two bathroom floors that will need replacing—Birch and Sugar Maple. Sugar Maple's floor is being held up by a jack underneath on the joist, but the floor itself between the joists is starting to get soggy...but that can wait until spring.
Meanwhile, we'll enjoy another winter on the North Shore!
If only we would remember that! It is the Holy Spirit, living within us, motivating us, directing us, gently prodding us—OK, sometimes not so gently!—that produces Christian character. The fruit of the Spirit is named that for a reason! It isn't the fruit of my spiritual maturity or my efforts at godly living!
The relentless bloodletting of Homer’s Iliad depicts the foundational evil of the world that Jesus dared to testify against. Homer’s epic poem recounting the Trojan War became a sacred text within the pagan world consistent with the world’s bloody foundation. The blind bard saw more than most and knew what made the world go around—rage and murder. The Spartans needed to hate and scapegoat the Trojans so they could achieve a unity within their own society. They needed to project the anxiety that threatened to erupt into an every-man-for-himself violence onto a sacrificial “them”—an enemy whom they could hate in common and kill with impunity. They needed to kill, but they also needed to believe that killing was good. This is the basic (though hidden) political foundation of the world. It’s also evil. It’s an evil so well hidden that we hardly ever see it as evil. It’s an evil concealed behind flags, anthems, monuments, memorials, and the rhetoric of those who have won their wars. The hidden foundation of hatred and murder is why world history is little more than the record of who killed who [sic], where, when, and what for.
In a study of world history, you will meet far more warriors than poets; far more generals than artists. Jesus testified against this violent arrangement of the world. Jesus wanted to show us that the “heroic” murder of our enemy brothers is, in truth, evil. But we don’t see it as evil. We see it as simply the only way things can be.— A Farewell to Mars: An Evangelical Pastor's Journey Toward the Biblical Gospel of Peace
Or, worse yet, as heroic and a virtue to be praised and emulated...and called "peace-keeping"!
Pax Americana, as long as you agree with us! Just like the Pax Romana...which managed to put Jesus on the cross for suggesting that violence isn't the answer (yes, I know; that is too simplistic!).
Monday, October 27, 2014
Ain't that the truth!
Saturday, October 25, 2014
Friday, October 24, 2014
Usage that is unneeded for processing serves the pragmatic function of highlighting the speech or event that follows. It directs the reader to pay closer attention to something important. The HP achieves this effect by standing out in its context, on the basis of both temporal reference and aspect. If it did not stand out, it would not achieve these effects. One must differentiate the semantic meaning of the tense form from the effect of using it to describe past-time, perfective action. The HP should be regarded as a marked usage to accomplish a specific pragmatic effect, not a special submeaning of the tense.—Steven E. Runge, Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament: A Practical Introduction for Teaching and Exegesis (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2010), 142.
Well, I've been processing apples every night since then, with the exception of the night the propane died. I usually do 18 or 27 pints per night. I slice them in half and then in quarters, throw them in a kettle, boil them down, and then run them through the Victorio (ours is a model 200). (Marvelous invention, that. I bought it at a yard sale 30+ years ago for about $5.00. It's paid for itself a few times since then.)
Each kettle holds about 9 pints, as does each canner load. That explains why I do 18 or 27 pints a night. Logical, isn't it? : ) I've been both freezing and canning them. I finished off the four bushels from the first tree and picked the apples from the second tree the other day. I figured it had about a bushel left on it—other people had already picked a bit over a bushel from it.
I was wrong! It had almost two bushels left. I like canning and all that, but another two bushels?! I still have to get to the sauerkraut, too...
The apples on the first tree were small and not very suitable for fresh eating, so I sauced them all. The second tree, although smaller, gets a bit better sunlight and the apples are bigger. We sorted through the two bushels and saved about a half bushel for fresh eating. And I've been saucing the rest. As of right now, we have over 200 pints...and I still have apples...but I should finish them tonight.
Hard to believe, but I actually ran out of pints last night. I ended up filling six quarts to finish the batch. And I barely had enough lids...and what I thought was a bushel basket was really 1.5 bushels, so I underestimated how much time it would take, which means I was up later than I planned, which means that I'm low on energy, which means I'm writing this post to deceive myself into thinking I'm doing something productive when I should be out cleaning that motel room, getting the cabins ready for the last weekend of guests for the year, and then cleaning out the extension to the shop so I can tear it down (it really is an eyesore!).
OK. I'm done. Now I really do have to go out and do some real work!
Oh, that's good! Especially "The biggest difference between a peacemaker and a fearmonger is whether or not they really believe in the unconditional love of God."
Now to put that into practice—through the power of the Holy Spirit!
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Across television screens trudge health care workers in hazmat suits protecting themselves from Ebola. Holding patients, disposing of bodies. Carefully encased to prevent touch. It is, perhaps, one of the most tragic dimensions of this dreaded disease, that (because of the threat of infection) in the last days of life, a dying person cannot feel the gentle hand of a loved one, the warm touch of a caregiver...That's just a selection. Read the whole thing. And put it into practice! Reach out and touch someone—physically. It's good for both of you...
Despite our need for human touch throughout life, our culture lacks practices that provide this kind of intimacy beyond sexual relationships...
Even as our culture increasingly embraces bodily indulgences of sex, food, and other appetites, we are actually turning away from one another socially. Our lack of physical contact is related to increasing isolation, anomie—the sense of normlessness—leading to depression and suicide, and a lack of social cohesion.
The greater the presence of humility in our hearts, the greater we will see ourselves as debtors to grace and the more in awe of God we will be. James tells us that God 'gives more grace,' asserting that 'God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble' (4:6). Humility is a conduit of grace.”— Vine Ripened Life
Sure, many will finesse sin in Christians, trying to justify it. Finney will have none of that. Is God able to do it? Is God willing to do it?
Well? What is your answer?
If he is willing and able, then why doesn't it happen?
I suspect a lot of it is that we don't really believe he's able. We subconsciously believe that the body is evil. That the fall isn't really the problem, but the physical body is...
Jesus was fully human. Don't forget that. But we do in our day-to-day living. We're practicing atheists with a strong Docetic bent. We don't believe God can intervene, and if he does, we don't believe he can overcome our physical bodies.
I've written about this lots over the past 9 years (yes, 9 years ago on Tuesday was my first post!). The bottom line is, do you believe God is able? Is so, do you believe he wants to?
If you don't believe it is possible, why not? What is preventing it? Is it something in your life that you think you need to fix first?
If so, then you are seeking it by works and not by faith!
Ouch! Saved by faith, sanctified by works. The default position of the church today...
Think about it. What is keeping it from happening in your life? Forget that you don't see it in anybody else for a moment. Just concentrate on yourself.
And be honest. Brutally honest.
Yep. I don't really trust that God will do it right! I think I know better than God. I don't really want to surrender my will fully to him. He might make me do something I don't want to do! He might screw it up!
And then I think of Jesus on the cross. God's son willingly giving up his claims to deity's prerogatives in order to pay the debt...
How small of me. How stupid of me. How selfish of me...
But I still hang on...
What about you? Does that describe your life?