Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Madam Zaritska Predicts My Pregnancy!!

I was looking in the mirror the other day and noticed a little "Buddah" growing where my six-pack used to be. Maybe now it looks more like a tall can or a 40 oz of Colt 45. Whatever.

Given my moodiness lately, the vomiting I experienced Sunday night, my lime green toenails, the way I cross my legs when I sit, that the baby virus is going around Grace right now, or whatever, I must be pregnant.

Here is what Madame Zaritska thinks of all this:

The day you deliver, outside will be hazy. Your baby will arrive in the early morning. After a labor lasting approximately 17 hours, your child, a boy, will be born. Your baby will weigh about 15 pounds, 15 ounces, and will be 17 inches long. This child will have medium hazel eyes and a lot of red hair.

Basically, after 17 hours I get to birth a male red bowling ball


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

It Was All a Hoax!!!!!!!

Thanks to Brian Terreson for going to Snopes for me. This "LIFE IN THE 1500's is all made up hooooooeeeeyyyyyy.

Don't I feel like an idiot.

Life in the 1500's, Part 2

Here are more tidbits from the same email:

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It
was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small
animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof when it rained it became slippery and
sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying; it's
raining cats and dogs.

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house.. This posed a
real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your
nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top
afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt; hence the
saying, Dirt poor. The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the
winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their
footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened
the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the
entranceway; hence the saying a thresh hold.

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, bring home the bacon. They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat.

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content
caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death.
This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so,
tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the
loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the upper crust.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes
knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road
would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the
kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up; hence the custom of holding a wake!

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury
people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house,
and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were
found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been
burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse,
lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell.
Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift.)
to listen for the bell; thus, someone! could be, saved by the bell or was
considered a ...dead ringer..

I love this stuff

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Life in the 1500's, Part 1

Amy got this email the other day, and I thought I would put it up here in parts.

I find these types of historical tidbits interesting, especially to learn where our phrases originated from.

***LIFE IN THE 1500'S***

The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water
temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be.
Here are some facts about Life in the 1500's:

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May and
still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell, so
brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom
today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water.. The man of the house had
the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the
women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so
dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, Don't throw the
baby out with the Bath water..

Friday, January 23, 2009

I Don't Get the Infatuation With Obama Addendum

Well, turns out Obama is a man of his word.

I remember having a conversation with a brother in Christ who was trying to assure me that a president who many on both sides of the political spectrum considered a Socialist, would keep his word that he would try and stay closer to center where most Americans are. I remember wondering at the time if my friend paid attention to everything Obama actually did say and why on earth my friend would be crazyor naive enough to think that he would. Crazy.

This blog was not intended to be a political thing. Like I said, I am not into politics.

But I will say that I have a sinking feeling that with the combination of an activist President and a Democratic Congress, we ain't seen nothing yet.



Thursday, January 22, 2009

I Don't Get the Infatuation With President Obama

OK. So I strongly dislike politics, politicians, the political process, etc. I also find debates about this whole topic in the present climate unproductive, unfruitful, and frustrating.

That being said, I have had a lot on my chest about this whole topic, and I think that putting this out here for all my friends and people of Grace to see will be good for me.

I am also writing this to the many people I know who consider themselves Christian and who are avid/rabid supporters of our new president and his policies. It is to these brothers and sisters that I pose the statement: "I DON'T GET YOUR INFATUATION WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA." There, I said it. Boy do I feel better already.

I watched many of his debates with McCain and some of the other Democratic nominees, listened to many speeches of his, have read parts of some of his ideas. I don't consider myself an expert by any stretch of the imagination. But here is what I saw:

1) He is an excellent communicator. One of the best that we have seen in a long time.

2) He ran a flawless campaign. There was not one major slip-up for the Republican Party to capitalize on, unlike McCain who seemed to stumble at every turn

3) When he did say some things that made you go "what did he just say??!!??" you never heard them because the media wanted him to be President. Don't believe that statement? If you wanted to sell papers and increase interest in your news casts, who would you rather have. An old white guy who was not bringing much to the table or a charismatic young black man poised to make history? Did you watch the debates he had with Senator Clinton? I will say it again, the media WANTED him to be president

4) He hardly ever came out and said anything about how he was going to accomplish his ambitious claims.

I am not accusing any of you of being ignorant or somehow weak Christians for voting for him. And believe me, I will be praying for him often that he can lead our country well. He is my president too.

Once I looked past the "yes we can" mantra, and I do mean mantra in the Buddhist understanding of that word, (interesting that both liberal and conservative analysts agree that his speech writers used common brain washing/mass mind techniques), past the rhetoric about taking care of the poor, personal responsibility, improving our global image, universal/socialized medicine, etc, I saw some very troubling ideas emerging. Ideas that I frankly DO NOT understand how a Christian could support him.

He has said that one of his first priorities will be to sign into law the Freedom of Choice Act, the same act that was vetoed by Reagan, then signed by Clinton, then repealed by Bush. I am not one of those "one issue" people. There are other fish to fry than this one. HOWEVER, It will repeal every local restriction placed on abortion currently in the books, including parental notification, waiting periods, even opening the door for removing the right for people of faith to refuse to give one. It will increase at a minimum the number of abortions each year a minimum of 125,000. It will also mean that your tax dollars will be going to support federally funded programs which encourage this behavior, both here in America and foreign countries who were cut off during the Bush administration.

But here is the kicker. It will make partial birth abortions legal. For those of you who don't understand the gravity of your vote here, he says that a woman has the right to choose to have a doctor reach into the birth canal, snip open the head and neck of the baby, suck out its brains, pull the lifeless body out of the canal and dispose of it in a garbage can. HOW CAN YOU SUPPORT SUCH RUTHLESS, INHUMANE, SATANIC, VILE, MURDEROUS TACTICS? How can you look your King and God in the eye and say that this is somehow OK, or turn a blind eye? How can you support someone who says that this falls under the category of a "woman's right to choose"? How can you support someone, even say "I love Jesus, and I love Barak Obama", and condone this?

Think of the biblical requirements to be a pastor. What would you think about a guy who met all the Titus and 1 Tim requirements, but slept around and cheated on his wife. Or molested children. But he met all the other requirements, just had one thing wrong. Would he be Biblically disqualified? Of course he would! If you were an outsider to the church and you found out that they were turning a blind eye to this sin, what would your honest reaction be? You probably would think there was something seriously wrong with that church. The difference here is that he is the president of the United States, not a local pastor. He leads our great (though declining) nation. And millions of young evangelicals not only support him, but are and were evangelists for his message.

I am sorry, but there is something wrong with this and I challenge each one of you to justify your decision about this topic, BIBLICALLY. Not what you feel is good and right. Make a BIBLICAL case that abortion is OK and that Jesus would support someone who said it was, and would want his followers to support it as well.

I need to stop. I can see pictures of my beautiful little girls. How God made them and formed them in the womb. How He knows the number of hairs on their precious heads. I am so worked up right now I need to dry my eyes and pray.



Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A Church’s Work of Faith
1 Thessalonians 1:3-10

So, a number of our people at Grace have commented that the sermons I did on faith, hope, and love were a blessing and challenging, and were asking if I could put some of the notes up so that they could have them as reference.  Maybe I should re-visit my not liking sermon-note-handouts, and thinking that they are a waste of time.

Here are the notes that I sort of followed as I preached the sermon on faith.  I have edited some of them because I either did not even touch the topic, or had abbreviations/wording that would only be significant to me.  The writing in blue is additional comments that I am making.

Introduction: The Legacy We Create

A) What do you want to be known for personally?
B) What about as God’s people?
          a. What is Grace known for?  

          b. If we left, would anyone miss us?

C) What if this was how our church could be described (this is how Paul describes the church at Thessalonica):
          a. A model church for the entire region (Sno-King County)
          b. Our faith in God was known all around (all cities w/in 100 miles)
          c. The majority of our people were new converts, not transfers.
          d. The Spirit is moving in mighty ways
          e. The most influential man in Christianity called you “his glory, joy, and boasts before Jesus about you”
          f. ALL of Christianity would flock to hear about what we do

Body, Part 1: The Church at Thessalonica

A) How it began (Acts 17)
         a. Paul answers Macedonian call, goes to Phillipi
         b. Gets persecuted, moves down into Thessalonica, a “cultural hub”
         c. Preaches to the Jews in the Synagogue for 3 weeks
                  i. Many converted, some Jews, mostly Gentiles
         d. Persecution comes, mob can’t find Paul, takes out Jason and extorts him.
         e. Paul, Silas, Timothy sneak out of town, go start church in Berea.
         f. Jews find out, chase Paul away, Tim and Silas stay to minister
         g. Paul hindered in attempt to go back to Thessalonica, sends Timothy

         h. Hears of the mighty move of God, gets jacked up, and writes them a letter.

B) The first successful church model (1 Thessalonians 1:3-10)
          a. All this talk about what works or not, what should we change or keep, strategies, models, etc. going on today.  Believe me, there is so much literature, blogs, articles, opinions, etc on this.  I put forth here sarcastically  the notion of "is it possible that the key to a healthy church is already revealed in scripture, we just need to read it and find out?"
          b. What is the reason for their success?
                   i. Their work of FAITH, steadfastness of HOPE, and their labor of LOVE
                           1. No mention of their methodology, structure, form, style, whatever
                  2. Kind of wish 2 Thessalonians was a methodology manual.
                           a. But, then we would try and stuff our culture into what worked for 1st C Palestine.  This is exactly what churches of all shapes and sizes are doing today.  We are refusing to critically look at the way we gather and operate as a kingdom of redeemed people and see if we are really impacting our culture or  are we just creating "holy hang-outs" for Christians to commute to whenever it is convenient

Body, Part 2: Where the Work of Faith Begins

A) It all starts with OBEDIENCE to what God has said!
         a. 1:6 “imitators of us, the Lord, received the Word”
         b. 1:9 “turned to God, rejected their idols”
         c. 2:13 “accepted the Word of God, acknowledged that it was working in their midst”
         d. 4:1 “told how to live and are doing it”
B) God’s will is not nearly as ambiguous as we like to think it is
         a. God has revealed enough of His will for us as a church that we don’t need anymore special revelation I believe this so strongly that I will write more about this separately.  I believe that this principle is true for individuals as well.
                    i. Serve one another, love one another, evangelize the community, present the Gospel in a culturally relevant way, etc.
                    ii. “Many times what we want from God is not a mandate that requires our faith, but a guarantee that in reality, faith was never needed”
                              1. We will fight as long as we know we have the victory 
                              2. We will try a new thing as long as we know it won’t fail.
                              3. We will go along with something as long as we are not inconvenienced, or get disappointed along the way, or even fail.
                              4. See the church of Thessalonica Their faith thrived in the midst of                                                       persecution.  This was all done in the context of no guarantee of their success or safety:
                                        a. 1:6 “received the Word in much persecution”
                                        b. 2:14 “you suffered the same persecution that others did”
                                        c. 3:3 “they would not be moved by the present afflictions”
                   iii. Realize that God does not guarantee success I will blog more on this as well, because I don't think we really think this is true!
                              1. He expects OBEDIENCE!
         c. A church begins to live by faith when it moves the things God has clearly said into the “NON-OPTIONAL” category By non-optional, I mean the above stated revelations of God's will (love one another, serve one another, etc).
                   i. Until this happens, we will never be a church known by its faith

Body, Part 3: Dream Big and Press On

A) “God wants us to do the possible, so that by faith He will do the impossible”
         a. OT example- 1 Samuel 14
                   i. Israelites in serious trouble- massive army of the Philistines coming at them
                            1. Saul only has 600 men left, and 2 swords! Everyone else ran and hid in holes, caves, graves, and cisterns.
                   ii. Jonathan decides to go with his armor bearer to see the advanced raiding party’s encampment
                   iii. His man with him doesn’t care about the odds, will go where Jonathan leads him as a side note, as a leader/pastor, this is  response is awesome!
                   iv. They get taunted, then invited up to the camp for a whoopin
                   v. The POSSIBLE-
                            1. Jonathan moved out to meet them Faith is not passively sitting back wishing                                God would act on your behalf.
                            2. Believed some truth about God These were trustworthy, bankable truths about God, enough revealed about Him to move forward-
                                      a. Israelites were His chosen people
                                      b. If God wanted to, He could deliver them
                            3. Did not wait for a guarantee of success Jonathan and his armor-bearer "went for it"
                   vi. The IMPOSSIBLE-

                            1. God routed the enemy, even though He was not pleased with Saul at the time

         b. From the ministry of Jesus
                   i. Luke 5:17-20
                            1. Jesus is teaching in a home, there is a massive crowd and the house is standing room only
                            2. Some friends grab their paralyzed buddy after hearing Jesus is in town and try to get him in
                            3. Not to be hindered, they climb on the roof, dig a hole, lower their friend down so that Jesus could heal him
                            4. Jesus saw their faith and healed the man
                            5. The POSSIBLE note the other, potentially "spiritual" actions they could have taken, all of which on the surface could be considered good in and of themselves.  They could have sent one guy to wait for Jesus to be done, and then plead with Him to come and heal their buddy.  They could have waited for Jesus to walk past the house (highly unlikely) and corral Him in.  They could have doubted that Jesus would have the time to minister to them and not taken any action.  They could have waited for "a sign from the Lord", "fleeced God" or whatever else Christians call it.  So their action is central to the story:
                                     a. Friends gathered their buddy to move him
                                              i. Were not daunted by the task ahead of them
                                              ii. Got there and were initially thwarted, but sought a different way to make it happen This was a legitimate obstacle in their way, no doubt.  But people of faith don't let setbacks deter them from the mission God had given them
                                    b. Dug a hole so that they could get him to Jesus
                                    c. Lowered him in
                          6. The IMPOSSIBLE:
                                    a. Jesus healed the man after commending them for their faith.
                 ii. Luke 7:1-10
                          1. Jesus again in Capernaum, approached by the elders of the Jews on behalf of a Gentile centurion and his sick servant
                                    a. They like this guy
                           2. Jesus agrees to come and see the sick servant
                           3. The Centurion sends others to meet Him before Jesus enters the house
                           4. Acknowledges that at Jesus’ word, the servant will be better because he recognizes Jesus’ authority is similar to his own
                           5. Jesus marvels at the depth of his faith and heals the servant
                           6. the POSSIBLE:
                                     a. Centurion heard Jesus was around and sent people to find Him
                                     b. Understood that a teacher of the Jews would probably respond better to Jews asking than a Gentile He was wise and understood the culture he was in
                                     c. Believed that all Jesus had to do was say a word and healing would take place
                           7. The IMPOSSIBLE:
                                     a. Jesus heals the servant after commending him for his faith

Conclusion of the Matter

A) God has revealed much of His will to us
B) Our response must be obedience to what He has commanded us to do
C) God wants us to move forward, advance the Kingdom and the Gospel here in Lynnwood as Grace Fellowship
D) He does not guarantee success, but will strengthen our body because of the movement we are doing
E) God just might make us a blessing to the area.