Author Archives: MzEllen

In Nevada we've been on COVID-19 "Stay At Home" orders for over a month. Small business owners are beginning to speak up and tell us that they cannot survive much longer. Who knows when federal money will come through?

Among the fear-monger folks, any talk reopening brings the accusation, "so you want people to die!"

They pit the economy against the lives of the vulnerable, and perhaps they're right to an extent.

Pro-abortion folks are giddy at the thought that they can now accuse conservatives of being pro-death, when it comes to those vulnerable to COVID-19.

There's a big difference between an elective abortion and the vulnerable to COVID-19.

The difference

One is an active choice to end a human life. The other is a side effect of trying to heal life to be as normal as it will be.

We cannot think of this in terms of an elective abortion, because we're not choosing death. We must think of this in a Roman Catholic sort of way.

If a woman has uterine cancer and is pregnant, the cancer is at a place where the uterus needs to be removed in order for her to live:

If the progression of the cancer will not allow for that option, and the mother needs surgery immediately if she is going to live, you, as her doctor, have only two choices: You can allow both patients to die or you can save one and lose the other. The moral choice is to save the mother.

https://www.catholic.com/magazine/print-edition/abortion-and-double-effect

And the COVID-19 situation isn't even that dire! If the young mother has a different kind of cancer that can be treated and the indirect and unintended consequence *MAY* be the death of the child, it's still a moral choice to save the life of the mother.

Just so with COVID-19. The intent is to do everything that can be done to protect the lives of the vulnerable, while saving the life of the economy and the livelihoods of millions of people.

We have moved to a different state - we are now in Northern Nevada, in the high desert.

How different than Silicon Valley!  We went from ambulances and crowded traffic to coyotes and wild horses.

I never thought I'd live in a place where it snowed again, when I left Michigan...but the winters are really mild here.

We've been here nearly a year and a half.  Our closest neighbors are Slim (a dark bay retired rodeo horse), Pacman (a palomino cowboy horse in training) and Sprinkles (the goat)

Our closest human neighbors are a retired couple who have two horses.

We're the only people on the street who don't have livestock.

Our "pets" are wild quail.

We moved to this are, in large part, because of a really solid church.  I didn't want to ever move to a church that was not explicitly Reformed.  We walked into this church and they have five banners in the front with the Five Solas.

It's a "thinking church" and a "preaching church"

and the worship...it had been such a long time since I sang in a church where the congregation overwhelms the folks on the platform.  Being surrounded by the people of God, raising their voices together in praise and worship.

Lots of Townsend and Getty, Sovereign Grace...and hymns.  By number.  From a hymnal.

At first it was so emotional, I cried the whole time (in good tears)

Then, the old hymns...some of them I could only hear in my dad's voice...and I miss him so much.

So...that's life.

This resonated with me...so here it is...

Worship: Worship Seven Days a Week

But the Lord is in His holy temple. Let all the earth keep silence before Him.—Habakkuk 2:20

So I've got to tell you that if you do not worship God seven days a week, you do not worship Him on one day a week. There is no such thing known in heaven as Sunday worship unless it is accompanied by Monday worship and Tuesday worship and so on....

We come into God's house and say, "The Lord is in His holy temple, let us all kneel before Him." Very nice. I think it's nice to start a service that way once in a while. But when any of you men enter your office Monday morning at 9 o'clock, if you can't walk into that office and say, "The Lord is in my office, let all the world be silent before Him," then you are not worshiping the Lord on Sunday. If you can't worship Him on Monday you didn't worship Him on Sunday. If you don't worship Him on Saturday you are not in very good shape to worship Him on Sunday. Tozer on Worship and Entertainment, 9,24.

"Lord, permeate my whole life with a spirit of worship—all week long, every day. Amen."

I've rolled this around in my brain for a couple of weeks...and today I'm putting it in writing.  How and why do we give?

Our church spent the month of December looking at "The Advent Conspiracy" and something was said that I need to respond to.  I'm putting this in my own words and expanding on it.

What can we give God?

...that He has not already given us?  Answer - nothing.  God has given us creation, we have our life, we have our time, we have our talent, and we have our treasure.

In him we live and move and have our being ~ Acts 17:28\

God, in His infinite mercy, gave us His Son, Jesus.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. ~~ John 3:16

We recognize that there is nothing that we can give God.  When we see this, we begin to see the pattern.  What He has given to us, we pass on to others.

God blesses us, so we bless others.

We receive from God our blessings and we open our hands to let those good gifts bless others.

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. ~~ Hebrews 13:16

give with open hands and open hearts

It should be in our nature to give...because that's God's nature.  When giving to others becomes part of our "new creature" - then giving becomes an act of worship.

The more we give, the more freely we give, the more giving becomes our nature.

When giving is truly an act of worship - we give with a smile on our face, and joy in our hearts.\

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.~~James 1:17

 

 

I can only shake my head at this article, and grieve - not only that this woman has gone through this trauma (rape) but also that this is the route she's gone in order to...I'm not sure what she'll gain from this thinking.

Here's the article, "Our culture of purity celebrates the Virgin Mary. As a rape victim, that hurts me."

Now the rest of us are stuck trying to be both a virgin and a mother at the same time.

"lunes linkage" is a collection of links, articles, etc. (anything) I've found interesting and might want to come back to.

~~~

What Christianity Alone Offers Transgender Persons

The article is good and worth reading, but this line stuck out at me:

Creation isn’t right. The physical world has been “subjected to futility,” to frustration. It doesn’t work properly. It’s out of joint. It has been subjected to this frustration by God. The Bible’s wider narrative explains this. God cursed the ground as a judgment on human sin (Gen. 3:17). In other words, the world isn’t right as both a consequence and a demonstration of the fact that we’re not right.

~~~

Campfire Blanket Scarf

Campfire Blanket Scarf - lunes linkage

Or maybe just a blanket 😉

This will be a good choice when I have spun all the alpaca fiber into yarn.

This piece will be easy and fast to knit, and it is just the sort of thing I like to curl up in when it's chilly, either indoors or out.

~~~

California Could Learn From Puerto Rico Raising Minimum Wage

According to National Review, the impact on American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands was devastating. After only three of the ten scheduled minimum-wage increases after 2006, American Samoa’s overall employment dropped 30 percent — a 58 percent crash in for the critically important tuna-canning industry. Real GDP fell by 10 percent.

But that was much better than their Northern Mariana Islands neighbors, where employment had plunged by 35 percent, and real per capita GDP off by 23 percent.

~~~

That's all for now (Tuesday)

I slipped up - at some point I changed the header pick and never told about it.

Two-and a half years ago, on our honeymoon, we took a walk in a slot canyon somewhere in Utah.  We walked along the stream, mostly looking up at the amazing artwork that God created.

I looked down and saw this rock.Layers

I 'm a geology nut, and this rock, layers upon layers.

Layers, lifting up, slanted toward the next, layers on top, covering and protecting.

How old are these rocks?  God knows...and scientists think they do.

Reason #ILostCount - I'm not going back"I'm not going back" is a refrain at our house, and we have reasons...we usually make up a number (reason #848) but I just lost count.

And I'm not going back.

My daddy died last week and  I know that he's with Jesus.  I heard another refrain:  If you want to see Jesus, you need to be holy.

Here's the thing - if you're holy enough to get yourself into heaven - raise your hand.

I'm not.

I'm not holy enough - far, far from it.  To paraphrase Mark Driscoll - this kind of teaching leads to either pride or despair.  Pride (I got this) or despair (I can't do this.)

Reason #ILostCount

When Dad got to heaven, I know that he lived his life in faith in Christ.  He never pointed at his works; he pointed to Jesus and the cross.

For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. (Romans 3:28 ESV)

What is "law?"  Law (simple explanation) is God's character codified.  In the law, we learn God's character, and His standard for holiness.  God is perfect and His law is perfect.

We are not and we cannot be, this side of the grave.

Since we are not perfect, how do we see Jesus?  How are we justified?

We are justified by faith, and not by works.

Yes, sanctification is a thing and for a person who is justified by faith, that faith will be evidenced by sanctification.

I asked a Sunday School student - do you do your chores because you are part of your family?  Or do you do your chores in order to become part of your family?

Do we obey the law because we belong to Christ?  Or do we obey the law in order to belong to Christ?

The difference is worth an eternity.

So...we're starting this book club thing...and the first book is Athanasius' "On the Incarnation of the Word."  The questions in this post are "pre-book" questions and will hopefully stay in our minds.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL QUESTIONS:

Q. Who wrote the book?

St. Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria

Q. To whom was it written?

"Incarnation" was written to Christians who were being influenced by various heresies undermining the understanding of the life and death of Jesus.

Q. When was it written?

4th Century

Q. Where was it written?

Alexandria

Q. Why was it written?

The book explains why God chose to approach his fallen people in human form and defends the incarnation of Christ against the derision of 4th century non-believers

Exploratory Questions
  1. Why would one's view of creation influence one's view of incarnation?

All things were created by and through the Word. The Word created man, the Word became Man; because He because one of us, those who walked with Him gave testimony about Him

  1. Why is Christ's incarnation necessary anyway?

When we were separated from God by our sin, our very nature changed from one of perfection to one that is permeated by sin.

  1. Equally, why are his death and resurrection necessary?

Only the perfect could satisfy the Perfect.  Jesus’ death was the payment for sin, and His resurrection was proof that the Father accepted the payment.

  1. Should the death of Christ be seen as a triumph? Why or why not?

Absolutely.  When Adam sinned, the very nature of mankind was changed and without hope of reconciliation.

Because Christ died and was raised from the dead, we who are in Christ have hope for eternity.

My dad died a week ago today.  Because Jesus died, I know I will see him again.  Right now, my dad is reunited with his mom and dad, and his sister that he knew, and is getting to know his brothers and sisters who died before he was born.

That is a triumph.

 

  1. If Adam had not sinned, would God the Son have become incarnate? Why or why not?

I don't believe Jesus would have walked on earth to save us, if we didn't need saving.

  1. Has Jesus achieved anything since his incarnation that is not directly related to dealing with the consequences of sin? (You might like to take a look at Genesis 1:26-28; Psalm 8; Hebrews 1:1-2; 2:5-8.

Jesus holds the universe together by the word of his power.

  1. “Jesus died with his arms outstretched, showing his desire to draw all men to himself.” What do you think of this kind of exegesis? (THESE ARE NOT ON TheCity)

Jesus died with His arms outstretched because that fulfilled a prophesy that He would die on a tree (cross.)

I think this is not exegesis at all, rather it is eisogesis -

Exegesis takes what is in the text and allows us to determine what it means, and so it steers our beliefs.

Eisogesis starts with what we believe, and allows us to read into the text what we want it to mean, steering what we think is in the text.