Monthly Archives: September 2006


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Thank you, Phil.

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A quote from Martin Luther

God works by contraries so that a man feels himself lost in the very moment when he is on the verge of being saved.  When God is about to justify a man, He damns him.  Whom He would make alive, He must first kill...Man must first cry out that there is no health in him...when a man believes himself to be utterly lost, light breaks.  Peace comes in the Word of God through faith.

I wrote this on a napkin at a restaurant (Harry's Hofbrau) - copied from "Modern Reformation" back in August.


My other post on sacrifice today was on the scapegoat. This story also uses "scapegoat"

(ADMINISTRATIVE NOTE: I may be breaking copywrite here - I couldn't cut and paste the article, but this paragraph is at the top:

You are free to disseminate the following news. We request that you reference ICC (International Christian Concern) and include our web address (

They are referenced and included.

(September 21, 2006) The Washington-DC based human rights group, International Christian Concern (ICC) has just become informed that three Christian men facing the death penalty in Indonesia have been executed by firing squad. The men were executed just after midnight on Friday, September 22, 2006, Indonesia time.

...entire Christian villages were attacked with government munitions and burned down using Indonesian government fuel tanks. Christian adults and children were beheaded. The Muslim community initiated the attacks and there was every indication that local Muslim government leaders were involved. Why were no Muslims ever charged in any of the attacks?

"The men were sacrificed as scape-goats so that the Indonesian government could wash their hands and walk away from the Poso conflict of 1998 to 2003..." stated Jeremy Sewall of ICC.

(these 3 Christian men were the only men charged in five years)


When I think of "sacrifice" - the first sacrifice that comes to my mind is the sacrifice of my Saviour.  The story of the scapegoat is such a beatiful "looking forward" to Christ.  Too many times we read the New Testament through the eyes of the Old Testament; today I read the Old Testament with eyes fixed on Christ.

The Scapegoat by William Holman Hunt, 1854. Hunt had this framed in a picture with the quotations "Surely he hath borne our Griefs and carried our Sorrows; Yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of GOD and afflicted." (Isaiah 53:4) and "And the Goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a Land not inhabited." (Leviticus 16:22)

Leviticus 16:7-22.

The only time this word "azazel" is used in the Bible is in reference to the "Day of Atonement"

Aaron was to take two goats and cast lots over them - one of the goats would be for the sacrifice, the other would be for "Azazel" (KJV translates "azazel" as scapegoat; the word has two roots ez [she-goat, goat, kid] and azal [to go away, evaporated, gone])

Before anything - Aaron was to sacrifice a bull as a sin offering for himself and to make atonement for himself and his household...

Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering that is for the people and bring its blood inside the veil

Aaron was to do with the first goat as he had done with the bull - the blood of the sacrifice was to be sprinkled on the mercy seat.

And Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the iniquities of the people of Israel, and all their transgressions, all their sins. And he shall put them on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who is in readiness. The goat shall bear all their iniquities on itself

Many people have never read this story - we know the word "scapegoat" but don't really know how Biblical it is.

The people of Israel were sinners (aren't we all?). On their Day of Atonement, all of their sins were placed on the scapegoat and sent away.

How does this relate to us?

As Christians, our day of atonement came on the day Christ died on the cross.  On our Day of Atonement, all of our sins were laid upon the Lamb of God.

Romans 3:25
God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood.

Just as Aaron laid the sins of Israel on the scapegoat, so God laid on Christ the iniquity of us all (Isa 53:6) Christ his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree (1 Peter 2:24), just as the goat bore all of Israel's iniquity on itself.

The goat went out into the wilderness. The Hebrew word is midbar {mid-bawr'} and means (among other things) "uninhabited land" - a place where nobody was. Psalm 103:12 tells us that "as far as the east is from the west,so far does he remove our transgressions from us. That's a long way. Not only that, but our sins are gone out from us, Jeremiah tells us that (under the New Covenant) God will forgive our iniquity and remember our sin no more.

Our sin is GONE and God will remember it NO MORE!

The carnival theme is "the Beauty of Sacrifice" - how beautiful is "NO MORE"?

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I have a few thoughts on "faith based organizations. There are so very many Christian organizations that do what need to be done and they do it very well.

Do we, as Christians, have a duty to speak out if we see one that is NOT doing a good job?

A "for instance". We have our Salvation Army Stores and Goodwill - you may or may not call "Salvation Army" Christian and Goodwill (I think) is not marketed as Christian. Besides, they sell their goods, and that's not really what I'm going to be pointing at.

There are a few organizations that give donated goods to people who qualifiy financially. I was in one of those buildings today.

I realize that people who give away stuff, not sell it, are going to keep costs to a minimum. I'm not worried about the age of the building or that the floors are unfinished and crooked.

I'm talking about the fact that the bathrooms were not clean. There was not toilet paper and no paper towel. The place was musty and dusty.

I'm wondering if there would be a difference in how the place was prepared for "customers" if the customers had money - were a "different" class of people.

Can we not treat the "least of these" as though we were treating Christ the same way?

Can we at least make sure there is toilet paper in the restrooms?

My father-in-law was a Baptist pastor for 30 years and I heard him say a lot of things.

One of the stories he told has always stuck with me.

A woman came to him for counselling - not for her, but on "behalf" of her husband.  It went something like:

My husband is not a Christian.  He smokes and drinks.  It makes it hard for me to have friends over because of the things that he does.  I wish that he would be a Christian and stop doing these things - it would make my life so much easier!

My father-in-law's answer:

Get your priorities straight.  You're not concerned about your husband's salvation because of his eternal soul.  You're concerned about it because of the way it's affecting you and that is self-focused on you.  You cannot effectively witness to this man until he feels and knows that you want him to change for HIS sake, not yours.

I'm not sure I ever got that quite right in my marriage - it's hard to be concerned for the other person, when you feel that he(or she) is not concerned about you.

In the end, my husband turned to God.  It wasn't because of me.  God-willing, God was able to use me, but it was a work of God - no question.

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Bill tagged me!!!

1. If you could pick your own theme song, what would it be?

Derek Webb - "Nothing Without You"

2. Now be honest...if others had to pick a song that described you, what would they choose?

(I can't think of one - I even asked a frien; I think it depends on what day it is)

3. What song would be/was the first dance at your wedding?

Baptist wedding - no dancing.

4. What song gets stuck in your head most often?

Banana Phone.

I won't link to it because - it's not a nice thing to do.

5. What song would you want played at your funeral?

He Giveth More Grace

He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase;
To added affliction He addeth His Mercy To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.

His Love has no limit; His grace has no measure;
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth and giveth and giveth again

Annie Johnson Flint