Sunday, August 31, 2008

Iron Sharpens Iron?

This was a very interesting find! I was looking for a certain blog and came across this site:

This guy has worked with metals and, as he pointed out, iron DOESN'T sharpen iron.
So what does the verse in Proverbs 27:17 mean? Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend. This guy pointed out that a stone or rock is needed. The Rock! It's really a very good article.

Quote On The Kingdom

This is a quote I just found on by Rev Bill Stroop (don't know who he is yet, I still have to go follow his link):

God’s Kingdom is less a place or an idea than it is a total commitment to love one another, for it is through our love of one another that we become the agents of God willing to work to bring about God’s Kingdom on the earth in the present time. That Kingdom is a union of free human beings united to God and to each other; it is the fullest manifestation of the transcendent holiness and incarnate wholeness of Being. The Kingdom is already here, yet is still to come, and it will come by God’s grace with the free cooperation of the human race.

This is difficult because I believe the first sentence at least to be true. I keep wishing God's Kingdom were a place we escape to after this life, a place we're finally allowed into without all the mess of this life but I no longer believe it is. I still see it as a "place" different from this life but I'm not sure about that. We're told in scripture that there is a place for us AFTER this life on earth so this spiritual kingdom of God must encompass more than our new spiritual awareness and being. The one short time in my life that I experienced life from a totally different perspective, I was living in the kingdom, at least on some level. I wasn't looking at people or anything in life, NOTHING, with my own eyes.

I haven't figured out why I love the memory more than STAYING there?

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Poor

Pure religion is this: to help the widow and orphan in their suffering. Why is this true? Since when is our main focus to be on other people and not the Holy One? I can see that this could be a way of showing our focus on Him, by caring for His children. But not really.
Besides, this sounds like the main focus is to be on this physical life. I can think of ways to explain and justify it all but is it true?

We give to others, that shows love and maybe can only be truly done with the love of the Holy One in us. Except that many help others without God being their motivation. He may be the cause they don't acknowledge, but that's not their reason.
It would be pretty cool if He eventually changes everyone to be as people were intended to be on this earth. Picturing that makes me think I want to be part of that! But truly I have no belief that that's what He'll do. What keeps coming to mind as I write this is a craftsman reaching into the mess of this world (are we really such a mess?) and pulling out the art. I'm thinking of a potter pulling out a shaped beautiful piece and wiping off the dross if that's what the excess is called in pottery. Usually even the thought of being part that is knocked off as excess doesn't bother me, it's all His plan and what He does is what He does. I'll just be wherever I am.

Back to the original thought, how is helping the poor pure and undefiled religion? Is it because it involves sacrifice and thinking of others instead of ourselves? Is it perhaps the mechanism by which we grow more than the act itself? Is it to keep us humble by realizing that could be our own situation through no fault of our own? Many are poor due to their own choices but many, many, many have just ended up that way because of life. Does it force us to be grateful for what we do have?
And what about those desperate for help, the ones we are to help? How does this do anything for them other than to keep them alive in this world? I think we should do more than just give a meal on occasion (if we can); we need to find ways to help people on a track to ... wait a minute. Aren't we supposed to trust the Father who clothes even the fields and feeds birds? Is it that we are to be the outworking of that promise? Because otherwise, He's NOT providing for them. The poor will be with you always.

Decisions and Being Temporary

If God does not have a specific plan for each person's life, we are free and responsible to make our own decisions. What does that mean then, that we have to be wise and figure it all out ourselves? I don't particularly like the idea - I don't know the future, can't really know what is the best course to take, the best job, the best school for my son, where I should live. Being given the freedom and responsibility without also being given the knowledge and information necessary is a frightening prospect!
I was thinking about this a lot. The wisdom we are to use comes from God in the first place, it's the wisdom he promises us but is that only about spiritual things? We also have to remember that He does work all things together for good for those who love Him and that He has called according to His purpose. Does that mean He's working things out for good only in those specific instances where we've been "called for a purpose"? Or does it mean those who have been called and that everyone has? Not all things work out for the good for everyone and there would be no need to write such a verse specifying for whom things will work out if it applied to everyone.

Sometimes not being "told" exactly what to do in every situation feels like being neglected. But my son is like this, he wants to be given every detail of what is said, done, meant, and then for someone else to make all decisions for him. It drives me crazy so I figure I drive God crazy being that way too. It feels different sometimes because my attitude toward my son's indecision in some of the things he asks is, "Who cares? I don't care! Do whatever you want and if you can't tell what you want, don't do either." I've always been taught that God cares about EVERY thing we do and think (Rev ... every thought will be called into judgment) so does He give input on some of these decisions and I just didn't hear? I'm not sure why this matters so much to me right now, I have no decisions to make other than general life things like keep this job or look for another; move again because I like to, keep D in school or bring him back home. Nothing important. Yes, our whole lives but if we change nothing, we're fine. I love the temporariness of moving a lot and changing jobs. Hopefully I'm one the Father uses to say something needful in a person's life or show someone something and then I'm "moved on" to my next mission. I like the idea of being placed somewhere simply to help a particular person who may influence many others just because of what the Father had me do in His perfect timing. I think I wish I were an angel, showing up to reveal the Father to people on earth and then be gone - leaving them in wonder at the wonderful love and provision of our heavenly Father. I've liked that idea for years.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Decisions and God's Will

Currently I'm rereading a book by Garry Friesen with Robin Maxson called decision making and the WILL OF GOD. (Yes, that's how the title is written!) I found it long ago at a time when I needed to understand whether or not God micromanages our lives. I don't think He does but at times it seems like it. Many other times it seems not though I wish He would!

The book goes into great detail concerning our freedom and responsibility within the moral will of God. It all seems to be like when my son says he feels like playing a video game and should he play the computer or his PSP? The only right decision is whichever he prefers at the time as long as he's not neglecting something he should already be doing. If it's his free time and there is no reason he may not play, it's up to him, neither is right or wrong.
I believe many decisions are like this in our lives; whether or whom to marry, which career path to pursue, take a nap or wash clothes first, etc. It may have been in this book that the author used the analogy of the co-author's children playing in their yard. As long as the children stayed within the boundaries of the yard and treated each other as they were supposed to, it didn't matter what game they played. This book is full of scripture examples that support this notion of our freedom and responsibility to choose wisely without worrying that we're "missing God's specific will for our lives".

The strange part is all the times when it seems God HAS intervened in a small, inconsequential event. I can't figure out why though it could have repercussions that I don't know of - that's an easy idea to accept.

If He doesn't make it a habit to manage our small details, why is it that we are put in similar circumstances repeatedly to learn a lesson or practice a developing character trait? Does He do things that way? I think so, but it may simply be that our MO leads to the same issues coming up again and again. A person without time management skills will end up facing time problems as a natural consequence. I'm trying to think of examples that involve NON-natural consequences but can't think of any; either it doesn't work that way or it would be too specific for each person to easily see a general principle. No, that makes no sense, but I still can't think of any. Maybe later, or maybe someone else will.

I've still not met someone named Melinda.

The Kingdom, Hurt People, And Paganism

This whole Kingdom of God concept is making me crazy.

1) Is it on heaven or on earth? Maybe both?
2) Is it eternal or for 1000 years?
3) Is it here now or is it still to come?
4) Is it literal or spiritual?

There are plenty of evidences in the bible to back up all of these, some have more support than others, but all can be supported. If it's here now and spiritual only, the hype is more than it deserved. If it's only 1000 years - the millenial reign of Christ - then afterward is when satan is released for a while and THEN "eternity" starts. Scripture mentions those outside the kingdom and those who refuse to keep the sabbaths and the feasts in those days who will not be allowed access to the city of God.

Last night, my grandbabies' mom brought them over and was telling me of her plans to make them neo-pagans. I don't even quite know what that is, but she plans to take them to some vernal equinox celebration. She made it clear that she wants to get fully involved in whatever way she can as a rebellion against the Mormon church and the people in it. Her defining church moment was going to church as a teen and being accosted by some woman demanding to know how a bastard like she is dared to come into a church! This young woman has made some very bad choices in her life and is being condemned severely for them. I realize part of her is angry that someone dares to call her sin "sin". But I can't help but wish she was being loved into making good choices for herself. She's very much a young woman desperate to be married, she seems to believe marriage will solve all her problems, I'm pretty sure the Mormon religion encourages that point of view because of some of the doctrine that teaches only married people are acceptable to God.
Now she's closely following the talk about the Mayan calendar and is frightened that everyone will be dead in four years. She doesn't want to die. She believes that all children under eight are allowed into the kingdom of heaven automatically and little A will be eight in those four years. She's hoping/praying that if it's all true, that it will be the end before her little girl is no longer automatically safe, the other littles are younger.
So many young people are messed up by life, all of us are I guess. The Father sent us the answer in Jesus. Maybe she's the one I can study with. She's desperate, overwhelmed, and in her own words ready to give up.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


A link from Seeking Above led me to Brian McLaren's article on Sojourners ( called Found In Translation. This reminds me of what I've read somewhere, that kings were to write the Bible themselves, a translation I suppose it meant, to always meditate on it and live by it.
Kingdoms were the norm in Yeshua's day, they no longer are; even when they exist, they don't have the same impact or meaning. Considering other ways to relate what is meant is a really good idea I think but how frightening! Wouldn't want to be wrong...and we can't let the ancient manuscripts fall by the wayside, anything else should be clearly marked as notes and translations.

Considering what a kingdom meant then and what connotes the same idea now got me thinking again about the whole priesthood setup. I've never known anything like that, I've read it in the Bible of course, and I know Catholics and Mormons have that. The whole sacrificial system added in to the idea is bizarre and strange to me. Not that I don't understand the symbolism of sacrificial living, it's the original that is strange. The idea of killing something to make up for someone else's wrongdoing is far out of my experience.
Too bad history is so convoluted, accounts changed, meaning different in one place than in another, names different; all that makes it so difficult to know the originally intended meaning of scripture. That's why the spirit is given.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Anticipating the Sabbath

It happened again. I got a job, I had half decided that once again, everyone was right about the sabbath, working then is not a problem. But my new job runs Sunday through Thursday. I STILL have Saturday off. To me, this is a serious indication that I need to be sure and change whatever it is in me that doesn't "delight myself" in His sabbaths. I just make it a nothing day, I study, pray, and read the Bible, talk online about Him and all that He does, but I do that stuff anyway. How can I be delighted? I want to find out.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Sound Asleep and Driving

A few nights ago I had a dream that was so obviously a metaphor for my life that I don't know how seriously to take it. Is this what I think of my life or was this sent? Does God send dreams like this?

I dreamed that my son woke me up because he was terribly frightened and I realized I was driving totally sound asleep with the lights off at night. I managed to get my eyes open and head up long enough to turn on the lights and asked him (rather facetiously!) if that was better. I knew I had to WAKE UP again and stay awake but all I could do was lift my head again enough to see that the windshield was covered with streaked mud and I couldn't possibly see through it to drive. A line from a country song called "Jesus take the wheel" went through my mind (actually that is the line, not just the title, that's the line I thought). My son told me he was always afraid while I was driving. I managed to get to the side of the road and park the car, still sleeping while I did so, then I woke up for real.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


On Imrah Ministries a few days ago, one of the posters (Nathan in this case) wrote What Is Faith?, it's part of a series he's doing. On Heart of Wisdom, Robin wrote about faith and decisions: Decisions, Decisions, Decisions.

These sorts of discussions and articles keep bringing to mind the whole idea of faith being seen as something one has to "work up", so many people seem to think this. The idea is often that we have to say we believe until we persuade ourselves. But as these articles show, that's not the case - the faith itself is a gift! Saying we believe when we have no reason to doesn't make sense. It's AFTER God shows us who he is and gives us faith, that we learn to trust Him. How can anyone trust someone they don't know? That's not trust and it isn't faith or faithfulness, that's thinking you're supposed to do something and hope you get it right.

Faith is the evidence according to scripture. That's always been a bit confusing, how can a feeling be evidence? But apparently faith is NOT just a feeling, just like the works that follow are not works we do to maintain faith. The works are what naturally follow because that faith is in us. Works are not goodness and kind acts that we do to show we love God, they're works that happen because that's what comes out of a faithful child of God.

The martyrs, did they work hard to refuse to deny Christ? Can a human body really maintain physical and mental sanity while suffering extreme, hideous torture? Or is it not their determination to withstand that everyone sees, but instead, the faith given them by the spirit inside that does that speaking and withstanding? If it was on a human level, wouldn't their mind not be able to do anything about it? And a human denying Christ to escape torture wouldn't change the truth of God anyway. I think it's the work of faith of the spirit in them, not the human that's holding on to it. That's how I would see faith as evidence, because no human could really do it. I hope I'm never in a position to find out though.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I Don't Know What To Call This Post

Reading a few blogs has made me think about people who don't know or believe that there IS a spiritual world or even a spiritual aspect to life. Susan asked some questions here here that tie in with questions raised in my mind from Debunking Christianity.
I spent many years believing after I first found out about God and Jesus but it wasn't a convincing belief. There were too many questions and I usually heard that if I didn't believe everything this particular way, I was being deceived. What are we to do with our rational minds? I was able to understand that some things can not be understand with our human intelligence alone but it really does sound like a "cop-out". The concept of using a different part of our understanding made sense but I couldn't do it so it wasn't real to me.
Then when God's spirit came to me, showed him/it self to me, it was a completely different perspective, nothing like I ever knew about. This time when I KNOW it's a fundamental knowing, not like I learned something, it's the BASIS. If God doesn't give that to someone, they can't have it!
On Debunking Christianity, apparently a group of ex-pastors and church people have rejected all they "knew". It makes me question what could make someone do that? What could make me do the same thing now? I question all kinds of things in religion, in the Bible, in my experiences, but I can no longer question that there IS a God. Whatever God really is. These people seem to not be rejecting God so much as rejecting that there IS a God - big difference. What happened to the God they "knew"?
How do we know how far our own responsibility goes? As humans, there's only so much we can know and do, the rest is up to Him; if not all of it. I'm waiting to find out there's a biochemical reason for spiritual belief, there have been indications I think; the guy who blogs Brain Stimulant has posted an article or two indirectly concerning this.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Sabbath Question

The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.
Does this mean that it's a gift and that if we "can't" use it right now, it's okay? Kind of like someone giving you a beautiful quilt but it's summertime and it's too hot to use it? Or because it's a command, we keep the sabbath holy, set apart for God alone?

Some say it was changed to Sunday, I don't see that at all.
Some say that our entire lives are to be holy so we don't keep a sabbath any longer. That one almost makes sense to me but our entire lives were ALWAYS meant to be holy.
I'm trying to find out the truth on this because once again I can go get a job easily if i work on Saturday. I don't know how to tell if this keeps coming up because it's a test to see how faithful I'll be or if it's a way to draw my attention to it so that I see it's not necessary.

Rereading what I wrote made me think of one thing - the laws were instituted because the Israelites were NOT staying apart as they were intended to do. Maybe this was a minimum starting point.
No, guess not. They were commanded to remember the sabbath as if they already knew about it before the laws were specifically written down. Did the laws other people had include a sabbath (the laws of Hammarabi for example)?

Science and Religion

I've read about irreducible complexity but only from a christian point of view. Last night I discovered this site: Debunking Christianity and finally found some scientific discussion and references to read about it. I haven't read much yet, just copied and pasted to print it out, I do much better reading while pacing. One thing pointed out is that many christians latch on to certain ideas and then don't keep up with current science findings. That is true! Drives me crazy.

Studying physics and biology so far doesn't make me doubt God, it used to because it was presented in such a way to do so. Also many religious arguments were not reasoned at all. When I read about Jesus seemingly going through a wall, I ignored it, figured it was part of uneducated people recording something they didn't understand. Now of course, physics is showing warping of space/time as a truth and trying to teleport subatomic particles successfully (actually the characteristics of particles, that I don't understand at all, sounds like merely semantics to say teleport in that case); still it's difficult to see why people would try so hard to "prove" there is no spiritual aspect to life. It's the quest for truth, most of these people would likely be satisfied if there were a way to truly prove God exists, just gets difficult when all the presupposed notions don't pan out. Religious ideas and understanding is proposed then everyone who doesn't believe it is considered an infidel and deserving of eternal torture in hell. No wonder people want to refute it.

Science discovers things, then they're proved or disproved. Religion understands things, then they're proved or disproved.

Something I've wanted to do for a long time is find something in the Bible that science denies and see what discovery would show it in a new perspective that would give us the real meaning and how it IS true. But so far, I'm not learned or smart enough to figure out how.

Biological Basis?

In this article from March of 2007, Washington Post it's suggested that because research is showing a biological basis for homosexual orientation, that means God isn't real or that He's evil and cruel. I don't see why that would be the conclusion, hasn't it been discovered that there are biological reasons for obesity? That doesn't make gluttony right. And aren't there people predisposed to violence? That doesn't make assault and murder right. Retardation has a biological "basis" as well, that doesn't make it normal and good, it means something biologically went wrong.

The biology of all these things may be different, I need to check into it more but gay people would have more credence if they quit denying that it's EVER culturally or behaviorally induced. I know it is in some cases.

Right now I personally assume a gay was molested, influenced, or genetically messed up. Planned obsolescence in each person, planned obsolescence in the human race, that's just part of life. Things go wrong. I don't necessarily believe life is a gift, not sure that it's really testing either. Usually I lean more to the idea that we are a science experiment.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

How Long Until It Doesn't Count?

How long is a marriage a marriage without being intimate? One of my friends in particular is questioning this, her husband is not interested at all and won't say why. She is having a very difficult time because old boyfriends keep looking her up and asking if she's married or single, how are things and they are definitely interested. She does NOT want to have an affair but she's starting to wonder if she's considered married or not. She wonders if he is gay because she figures a guy who just isn't interested in her specifically would at least take advantage of what he has sometimes. (I'm trying to be careful how I phrase this.) She calls me when she's tempted but I no longer am sure what to say! Her husband doesn't want a divorce, doesn't want her to leave, she hasn't asked his opinion on her being with someone else, would it be a relief for him? She is no longer sure if it's marriage if they just act like roommates and good friends.
If he had been in some sort of accident and this was the result, it would just be what they had to deal with, right? So this may be no different.

If any guy can think of a reason they would never touch their wife for a year or more when she clearly wants you, could you enlighten me? Could it be normal for some reason, an explanation that we don't know? Anonymously is fine, tlminut and my mail is gmail dot com.