Monday, October 31, 2005

Tonight's Sunset...

This is the sunset I saw tonight right before the trick-or-treaters began arriving. I stood in the center of my driveway and snapped away!

Flowers on October 31st!

Never in all my 25 years of living in Utah have I ever had my flowers still blooming on my front porch on the last day of October!

Monday Night Thoughtball....

Hey, it's Monday Night Thoughtball over at Faith or Fiction? hosted by none other than our dear friend, HeyJules. Drop on over there and add a comment or two. The discussions each Monday are well worth the visit. Everyone can get into some deep issues but the spirit is very civil and respectful of one another's views, even if those views are different from the others posted. I think you'll enjoy your time spent there.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Grade Complete!!!!! :)

Thank you all for your prayers today for James! He has just called and he PASSED his check ride! He is considered 'grade complete' meaning that his ranking in the class is now determined.

His charts and graphs will be turned in on his 'low level' flight briefing; most likely Tuesday morning. Tomorrow morning he will brief at 8:15 a.m. and then fly his solo flight.

That just leaves 6 low level flights and his 7th low level flight is his FINAL CHECK RIDE and he will be completely done...syllabus complete!!!

So, if the Lord brings him across your mind this week would you please lift him up in prayer before His mighty throne? You already know that his parents would appreciate it and I know that James would too! :)

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Psalm 84

How lovely are Your dwelling places,
O LORD of hosts!
My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the Lord;
My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.
The bird also has found a house,
And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young,
Even Your altars, O LORD of hosts,
My King and my God.
How blessed are those who dwell in Your house!
They are ever praising You.
How blessed is the man whose strength is in You,
In whose heart are the highways to Zion!
Passing through the valley of Baca they make it a spring;
The early rain also covers it with blessings.
They go from strength to strength,
Every one of them appears before God in Zion.
O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer;
Give ear, O God of Jacob!
Behold our shield, O God,
And look upon the face of Your annointed.
For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside.
I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
The LORD gives grace and glory;
No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
O LORD of hosts,
How blessed is the man who trusts in You!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Another Prayer Request....

We (actually, James is) are down to the wire. (However, for all of us who have been praying this year or part of the year we feel like we have been right there through it all with him!)

James finished ground school today but he has several charts and graphs that he has to map out and have ready to turn in Sunday morning. He will have his Check Ride (BIG test flight) Sunday morning at 8:00 a.m. Then he will have his solo flight on Monday.

Tuesday should begin his low level flights with his final overall Check Ride on Monday or Tuesday, Nove 7 or 8. So, if everything goes well he will be totally done...syllabus complete by a week from Tuesday!! Isn't that amazing? One year and four days... WOW!

Okay, the exact prayer requests are: pray that he gets the charts and graphs done accurately. He should have had the whole weekend but they surprised him with the check ride for Sunday morning. Pray that he will fly flawlessly on Sunday. That he will have solid control of the plane, that his manuevers will be executed well, his approaches are great and his landings are *nailed*. Pray that he will have recall for any questions asked of him. That he will have time to study properly for this flight. Pray that the Lord would give him the 'knowledge, the skill and the ability' to perform whatever is asked.

Thank you again for your faithfulness to pray.



Do Not read the post below! I'm sorry!

p.s. You'll get to make up for it once you are home! :)

Banana Bread...

Last night it rained all night and today has been rainy and much cooler. I thought it was a perfect day to bake some banana bread. My recipe is at least 60 years old, maybe older. It is excellent!

Banana Bread

Mix in order given:

1/2 Cup butter
1 1/2 Cups sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 Cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
3 Cups flour
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 Cup nuts (I use 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips)
1/4 tsp. salt

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes then reduce heat to 325 degrees for 45 minutes. Let cool slightly before slicing. Enjoy!


S ubstitutes His sinless life for our sinful one.

A ssures us of eternal life.

V anquishes Satan's hold on our life.

I nitiates us into the family of God.

O verthrows the power of sin.

R econciles us to a holy God.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Light treatment...

This describes my Tuesday and Thursday mornings perfectly! :)
 Posted by Picasa

Two Questions....

How have you been convinced of the meaninglessness of living outside of Christ's lordship?

What would help you turn your desire for meaning in life into a wholehearted pursuit of God?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


I have a dear friend who I have prayed with every week for years. It began when our kids were in Christian school. We would meet every Friday and pray for the kids in the class and our own children and families. We prayed all the way through high school graduation. In fact, the day of graduation we sat in each chair on the stage and prayed for each graduate and their future. Talk about tears!!!

But, then we decided to keep praying because now our graduates were heading off to college and the decisions they would be making would be major decisions that would have life long consequences. So we continued praying until she and her family moved back to PA. She and her husband sold their home here in SLC and bought a condo because he still came back to UT for business. N would come back a few times each year and we faithfully get to together for our prayer time. In the meantime we manage with email and phone calls.

Today was our day to go before His holy throne together! What a blessed time it was. So much praising and rejoicing as we have lifted our three children up before the Lord! Her oldest daughter just passed her bar and is a lawyer here in town. Her second daughter is James' best friend since 8th grade. He will be spending Thanksgiving with their family as they converge on family in Houston.

Friendships that are based on the Lord are truly rich indeed. For two sisters in the Lord to come before our holy and mighty God, laying out our praises and our prayers solidifies us in an indescribable way. We are indeed blessed that the Lord blesses His children with close friends. It is a shadow of what our fellowship will be in heaven. Thankfully, He lets us have a small taste here on earth before He calls us home.

Rylee is Going HOME!!!!

After more than 7 weeks in the hospital, RyLee will go home this Saturday. Yea! She will have outpatient rehab every day until surgery to remove the malformation, sometime in Nov. Nathan has asked for meals to be brought in, as he is quite busy as her caregiver. RyLee has to take small bites and eats only soft food, but Nathan can grind up meat for her, so keep these things in mind when providing meals.

Please continue praying for her full recovery!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Thank you to everyone who made my blogiversary so special! You are ALL
special in your unique ways! I praise
the Lord for each one of you!

Happy 1st Blogiversary....

Today is my one year blogiversary. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would meet and get to know such wonderful people!

I began my blogging journey to keep in touch with my family, particularily my nephew who was less prone to answer emails unless directly related to a computer question. :) My niece is the one who directed me to her brother's blog. After reading ALL of his archives I felt like I wasn't in a fog, left out of his life. He has a wonderful, sometimes quirky sense of humor.

My mind began to wander...I began to ponder...why couldn't I do this very same thing? Couldn't I begin a blog? Maybe even my niece, Claire, would begin one!

It's pretty pathetic when you ask your niece if she has heard from her brother and she tells you no, she just keeps up with him through his blog. "Blog?" I said. "What's a blog?" "Oh, Aunt Claire, it's a weB LOG." So began my timid attempt to step into the blogging world with nothing more to go on other than it was a web log.

Well, Claire did join me and between the two of us we learned how to set one up. We learned how to 'link' to another article (that was a big day)! And, I finally stepped out and learned how to post pics.

My very first comment was from the nicest gentleman in England, named Roger. He shared a few sites I might be interested in. Then gradually, I met more and more of you wonderful people. I appreciate all the comments and I love being able to pop over to your place for a cup...and a visit. Some of you I'm just beginning to meet and others of you I have known for awhile now. Whether old or new, family or friend, each of you have impacted me in such a loving and accepting way.

Thank you for making my blogging experience a great one! And, here's to my next year!


Yesterday afternoon Nana and I were shopping at Dill*rds. We had just finished paying for Nana's purchases. I watched as two older women (probably in their early 70's) walked toward us followed by a young woman (late teens or early 20's) with Downs. She had short dark hair, dressed nicely in slacks and a sweater, wearing glasses. As she walked by I lightly touched her shoulder and said, "Your sweater is very beautiful."

She continued on by and then turned around to come back..."Momma, did you hear that? My sweater is beautiful!" She walks back toward us with her arm outstretched toward Nana sitting in the wheelchair. "My sweater is beautiful," she says again as she grasps Nana's gnarled hand.

"Yes, it is. What is your name?" inquires Nana.

"Jennifer!" she beamed.

"What a pretty name. My very best friend when I was a little girl was named Jennifer," I said.

"She was nice?" asked Jennifer.

"Very nice," I laughed.

We part ways, Jennifer returning to her Momma and Nana and I leaving the petite department. I push Nana just a short way and notice she is crying, flooded with memories from the past.

I smile, pondering on how good the Lord is!

Monday, October 24, 2005

More Humility....

The world has yet to see what could happen if everyone lost the desire to get the glory. Wouldn't it be a marvelous place if no one cared who got the credit?
J. Oswald Sanders

Saturday, October 22, 2005

A Prayer for...

This is to thank Sparrow over at Intent for her brownie recipe. My family and Bible study group have fallen in love with it and clamor for me to bring it ALL the time now! :) If you haven't visited her place before, drop in and look on her side bar for 'Recipes'. You will find there a number of tried and true recipes. So far, there hasn't been a bad recipe in the bunch!

Sparrow, I want you to know that you and your family have been prayed for today! Whenever I make a recipe I pray for the person and their family while I make that particular dish. I pray your weekend is enjoyable!

Thursday, October 20, 2005


"Make it your goal that, in every encounter, others are better off for having been in your presence."
Elizabeth George's husband in one of his sermons

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Where Are You From?

I was visiting over at Mommy Life (and loving my visit!) and discovered this and it looked fun. If you go here you'll find a Frapper - a special map that shows where my readers are coming from. When I check my statistics, I can see there are some on every continent.

You just add your zip code and a simple comment in "Shout It Out" and you get mapped - you can do a picture too if you want (that really would be lovely). Please don't be shy!

Barbara goes on to relate a story about how insecure she is. I'm not going to relate a story (I'm too insecure to do that) but I will tell you that I am definitely insecure!!!! Did I mention that I. AM. INSECURE? So, if you don't want to be guilty of sending me into a deep psychologically depressed state, PLEASE fill it in!

Maybe this would be the perfect time to tell each of you how special you are to me! When you take the time to comment it allows me to 'know' you a little better every time. It's like a giant quilt spread out across the world made up of different hues...some of you are serious, some of you are extremely funny, some of you are very wise, and ALL of you are much loved! You bring a brightness to my day as you drop in for a visit or I pop over to your place. So to each one of you who have taken the time to make yourself known, thank you!!! I think blogging is wonderful because if I was to walk into a crowded room, filled with all of you, I would miss out on the richness of getting to know you because I am very shy. Now that we ARE friends I wish we could meet face to face and share a meal or two together. What a rich experience that would/will be!!! May God richly bless your day!!

Viewing Sin Correctly...

A week view of sin always leads to a weak view of salvation! If sin is minimized then the need for a Savior diminishes.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Do You Pray?

Why don't you pray? What hinders you from praying? If one looks at a person who is too busy to pray, I believe you will see a person whose life is not holy.

I know, our lives are busy. No doubt about it. But, if we have filled our lives so much that there is no room for prayer, then we are too busy. If we crowd prayer out of our lives just once, then we will always find ways to continue crowding it out. More than anything, Satan desires us to not pray! If he can accomplish that, then he has pretty much disabled us from living a productive life.

The process of hindering our prayers is very simple. If one thinks about it there are stages. First, we hurry through our prayer. So often we experience agitation and unrest. What happens? We shorten our time in prayer. Once our prayer time is shortened we find that we really are not eager to spend time in prayer. When we crowd our prayer into a corner and make it dependent upon fragmented time, its value depreciates. By this time the duty of prayer has lost its importance. It doesn't command our respect nor does it bring any benefit. It is sad when prayer is no longer in our heart because then it isn't a habit any longer, which means it is out of our life. When one ceases to pray, he ceases to live spiritually.

We must value our prayers. We must value our prayers more than prestige, wealth, leisure or even life itself. I truly believe that Satan's sneakiest tricks is to destroy the best by the good. By that I mean, the *things* of life, business, living, etc. are good, but we are so filled with these that they crowd out and destroy the best. Does that make sense?

It does take discipline because it involves the whole man. It is a union of our wills and our intellect. Think about prayer in the Old Testament. It is called wrestling. Conflict and skill and strenuous, exhaustive effort are involved. Look at the New Testament. We have words like striving, laboring fervently, effectual, agony. These all indicate an intense effort is put forth and difficulties overcome.

What a powerful force prayer is!! It helps us, it helps God and God's kingdom is advanced by it. We need to put it to the test! Come on! Let's pray!

Romans 4:7-8

"Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him." (Romans 4:7-8)

The blessed man is not the man who has good works laid to his account but whose sins are not laid to his account.


Faith always produces good works but good works never produce faith.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Super Size...

Just remember is isn't the size of your ministry/service that counts, it is the size of the God whom you are serving!!

Friday, October 14, 2005

This and that...

Between scrap booking and Bible study I've been busy. Throw in a few shopping trips for Nana and my time is gone! I'm not complaining, it's just I can't believe it's Friday already. Now I'm trying to get ready for friends who are coming over tomorrow. We are going to the zoo to see the new Elephant Encounter. The man who who did the thatched roofs did it by hand. He's from Ireland ( I think) and learned the ancient art when he was a wee lad! Afterward, we will come back here and grill steaks. It should be in the upper 70's. It will be a wonderful day compared to what is coming on Sunday, weather wise. If you think about it tomorrow, even tonight, would you pray for our friends hearts to be soft and pliable to the Holy Spirit? They are a dear, dear couple who mean the world to us.

Other news, is that we have received word that another dear friend who has a son just three years older than James has been wounded in Afghanistan. His first tour of duty was in Iraq, then he was restationed back in Italy and now he has been in Afghanistan since February. He and his squad leader had a grenade thrown at them from a Taliban and the squad leader was killed, Nate was wounded. Pray for wisdom for the doctors as they decide what is best for his hand. He may be sent to Germany and if he is then his parents will fly over to see him.

I am eagerly waiting to hear how James' first Review Flight went today. We failed to ask him if he was flying early or late. My prayers for him have been that he will not grow weary this last week of studying. Our desire is for him to finish well. There is so much coming down the pike right now and I know that he sees the end in sight. I keep thinking of the verse in Hebrews 12:1 "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. " James is surrounded by a "great crowd of witnesses" who have been praying faithfully for him the past year. May he throw off any hindrances so that he may study and show himself approved as he gets in that left seat and takes off!

After tomorrow I will have to bring in my flowers that are on my patio. It will be time to prepare for the colder temps. It has been such a reprieve to not have to water the plants every day! I was so tired of doing that! After my second ladies Bible study I threw away my hanging plant on the front porch. I was so sick of taking care of it. Isn't that horrible? But, with the heat from the west, which seems to triple because of the concrete and brick, the hot summer takes a toll on whatever I hang there. My geraniums are doing wonderful especially now that the weather is cooler so I may do something with them in a hanging basket next summer. They are certainly hardy enough to take the full sun.

I'm studying Ecclesiastes and it has been interesting to read how his point of view on how everything is pointless. He talks about the wind blowing, round and round, ever on its course and how the streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full....and, of course, how pointless life is. I pondered that today as I ran errands and did my chores. We do repeat so much of our life, over and over again, and I thought how easy it would be to think life is meaningless if one did not know God. But, once you put God in the equation, my, how everything changes then! When the Lord is involved then the stranger you interact with for five minutes of your day becomes important. You may be able to bless him/her with a little bit of sunshine straight from God's heart to theirs. As a Christian there isn't anything that happens to us that hasn't passed through God's hands first. To me, that brings me immense comfort.

Update: A phone call from was *intense*. Tremendously intense. He will not have the second flight until Tuesday so that will give him time to prepare and review more. Pray that he will be able to have excellent recall, excellent flying ability, fabulous 'GK' (general knowledge) and a peaceful, calm demeanor, knowing that the Lord is the 'wind beneath his wings.'

Have an excellent weekend everyone! A fabulous day of worship on Sunday! May we lift our hearts all across this world, as one before our almighty God! :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Rylee's Progress!

Today we watched RyLee walk with only minimal help. She can swallow now and is eating pureed food. The surgeon wants to do the major surgery to remove the AVM (malformation) in 3-6 weeks, wheneverRyLee feels ready. She is in the Rehabilitation Unit of U Med Center, and Nathan would appreciate evening visitors this week through 10/17 while he is off work. Call him first.

The rest is from Nate: In terms of her language comprehension, it is still hit and miss. Some things clearly get through, other times she just nods as if she understands but she's not picking up all the details of what you’re trying to communicate to her. All of her personality and intellect is in tact as far as I can tell. So my visits with her, although linguistically inhibited, always make me feel good. Last night, while visiting after work, I was able to lay in bed with her and watch an episode of 'buffy.' I am so grateful to have the company of my wife in a real way. Praise the Lord. Thank you for all of your prayers everyone. Next week I think it would be good for her for friends to start to visit. Her therapy sessions are spaced through out the day but by the evenings she is free for visitors. It wouldn't be good for alot of people to visit at once because the room is small and shared with other patients. My week off started on Tuesday so if anyone wants to visit her, give me a call and I can sort of organize her visits.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Our High Priest...part 3

Part 1 is here. Part 2 is located here.

Let's begin by looking at Matthew 26:62, "The high priest stood up and said to Him, "Do you not answer? What is it that these men are testifying against You?"'

Now read Matthew 26: 63, "But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest said to Him, "I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God." Jesus said to him, "You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, AND COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN."'

I found this very interesting. Jesus has basically gone through this whole thing without responding to any of the charges until Caiaphas addresses him in Matthew 26:63. Notice the phrase "I adjure" you... Let's turn to Leviticus 5:1 and see what that tells us, "Now if a person sins after he hears a public adjuration to testify when he is a witness, whether he has seen or otherwise known, if he does not tell it, then he will bear his guilt." What this is saying is if Christ had not answered He would have been guilty of trespass. As we know, Jesus had no sin. When the high priest called on a person to answer by the living God and that person did not respond he would be guilty. That is why Jesus answered Caiaphas at this particular time.

Then in Matthew 26:65 Caiaphas tears his clothes...he rips the blue ephod which is cause for his death. "Then the high priest toe his robes and said, "He has blasphemed!"' At this trial all the elders and all the counsel were there. It would be like having a courtroom filled with 100 attorneys who clearly understood the law. The Jewish people knew it was Passover and they needed a High Priest. Caiaphas was now in trouble. He knew the Law for he was raised as a rabbi - from the cradle. Caiaphas was well aware of what Jesus was saying and claiming to be. Note Psalm 110:1, "The LORD says to my Lord: "Sit at My right hand Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet."' and Psalm 110:4, "The LORD has sworn and will not change His mind, "You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek." (God says this seven times in Scripture.)

Caiaphas was not conscious of who Jesus was but he did say (not of himself), "...that it is expedient for you that one man die for the people, and that the whle nation not perish." Now he did not say this on his own initiative, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation." (John 11:50-51) Therefore, when he tore his garment, all those who saw and heard this knew they were in trouble because they needed a high priest for the morning sacrifice.

The High Priest would go into the Temple and dress. The Levites would kill the sacrifice and and then would be questioned by the High Priest to be sure the sacrifice was perfect. It was to be a burnt offering...whole and totally consumed by fire. When it was done the words (sounding like this in Hebrew) "Ne ge more," were said. So they needed a new High Priest, a Sacrifice, and an altar. So who is the High Priest? It is Christ...remember the Jordan River? When he came up out of the Jordan he was the High Priest!

Also, remember when the soldiers took Jesus garments and His coat (in Hebrew = tunic)? The tunic was woven of one piece of material and was reinforced at the neck so that it would not tear. Jesus, as the High Priest, had his garment kept was not torn, as Caiaphas' was. Can you just see the detail that God gives to His Word? Every jot and tittle will be fulfilled.

There were two sacrifices performed each day, one at 9 a.m and the other at 3 p.m. Jesus was nailed to the Cross at 9 a.m. Jesus had vinegar given to him and said "Ne ge more!" (It is finished.) It was the ninth hour (3 p.m.). Jesus knew He was the Great High Priest, He knew the sacrifice was perfect, and only He, Jesus Christ the Savior, could proclaim it!

Joel asked the nation of Israel to not tear their garments but to "rend your heart" (Joel 2:13). Jesus' heart was rent for you. When the Roman soldier stuck the spear in Jesus' side blood and water came out. This was a sign of a sacrifice. When the darkness covered the land it was due to the sin of the world. Jesus as the High Priest was doing His work as High Priest. Many say the darkness was caused by an eclipse of the moon. However, that is impossible. It was Passover and Passover starts with a full moon....when the moon is 180 degrees opposite of the sun. The darkness was a supernatural happening of God.

1 Corinthians 5: 7, "For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed."

As you ponder over what Christ has accomplished for you and for me may your thoughts be, "It is finished!" Have you let His blood be shed for you? I pray so.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Our High Priest continued....

If you are interested in reading what I've written about so far then click here.

John the Baptist, sometimes referred by the Jews as John the Immerser, said in Luke 3:16 - "As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I...He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire."

Beginning in Luke 7:24 Jesus defends John the Baptist's position and what he was doing. He goes on to say in verse 28, "...yet he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he." Yet Jesus insists that John must baptize him. Why? Look at Matthew 3:15, '"But Jesus answering said to him, "permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness."' Then John baptizes Jesus in the Jordan river.

Let's fill in with a little background information here. The Jordan River has always been a place of change. When Israel crossed the Jordan, they went into the Promised Land. At Mt. Nebo they looked down to the Jericho Valley, across the Jordan to what was lush.

Jesus had to go to John the Baptist rather than Caiaphas. Josephus, a Jewish historian at the time of Jesus, in his book Wars of Antiquity, gives an explanation of why Caiaphas was the High Priest at the time of Jesus' crucifixion. The office of the high priest was corrupted by this time. It had become a political position, so Caiaphas was appointed by the Governor of Rome. Caiaphas was High Priest but not legally according to Jewish law.

Let's look at the lineage of John the Baptist. Luke 1:5 - "In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah; and he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth." John the Baptist's father was a priest of the lineage of Aaron and Elizabeth, his wife was also a descendant of Aaron.

Again, why did Jesus have to be baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River? Well, remember the Jordan signifies a place of change. John was a descendant of Aaron's and since his father, Zacharias, was the priest, John by the Jewish legal law was next in line. This explains the verse in Hebrews 7:12 which states, "For when the priesthood is changed, of necessity there takes place a change of law also." The priesthood had to move from Aaron to Melchizedek. John the Baptist forbade Jesus but Jesus said in Matthew 3:15, "...for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness."

John the Baptist and Jesus were cousins. John the Baptist was reared in a priestly family and knew Jesus was the Lamb of God. (John 1:29 and Luke 1:44)

Jesus, the King of the Jews, came to the Jordan to John the Baptist, who was the legal heir by genealogy, though not received by the Jews. As Jesus rises up from the waters of the Jordan, the King of the Jews becomes the King of Righteousness (remember the meaning of Melchizedek), and the Priesthood is now changed! The mantle is passed by water immersion.

Now, let's take a look at what happened at the trial of Jesus. Read Exodus 28:31-32, "You shall make the robe of the ephod all of blue. There shall be an opening at its top in the middle of it; around its opening there shall be a binding of woven work, as like the opening of a coat of mail, so that it will not be torn." Now read Leviticus 10:6 which tells of Aaron's two sons putting a strange fire on the Golden Altar. God struck them dead. Moses said to Aaron and the other sons, Eleazar and Ithamar, " not tear your clothes, so that you will not die and that He will not become wrathful against all the congregation."

It has been the custom in the past for Jewish men to reach and tear their garments at the neck if angry or in mourning. However, with the ephod it was constructed in such a way so as not to be torn.

I'll continue this in my next post and I'll resume at the trial of Jesus with Caiaphas. Until next time....

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Chicken Tortilla Soup...

Yesterday was downright cold. We never got out of the 40's and that kind of weather calls for soup. Here is one of our favorites. I always double the recipe. It's so easy to make even our son could whip this up!

2 packages (1 box) of Lipton Noodle Soup (cheaper) or Chicken Noodle Soup
2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
5 Cups water
2 cans of Rotelle (I use 1 original and 1 mild) (Find it with canned tomatoes)
2 cans Cream of Chicken soup
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 cup chopped onion

Combine all ingredients in stock pot and simmer. Serve with Tortilla chips crumbled up in your bowl along with grated cheddar cheese. Yum!

Our High Priest...

I'm going to try to put into some kind of written form some notes that I've been taking as I have delved into this subject. I get really excited about it and would much rather talk about it than write it. There is so much material to be covered. I may have to do it as a series of posts...I'll see.

I want to begin with Hebrews 7:11-17 which states, Now if perfection was through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the people received the Law), what further need was there for another priest to arise according to the order of Melchizedek and not be designated according to the order of Aaron? 12 For when the priesthood is changed, of necessity there takes place a change of law also. 13 For the one concerning whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no one has officiated at the alter. 14 For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, a tribe with reference to which Moses spoke nothing concerning priests. 15 and this is clearer still, if another priest arises according to the likeness of Melchizedek, 16who has become such not on the basis of a law of physical requirement, but according to the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is attested of Him, "YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK."

"After the Order of Melchizedek" is mentioned six times in three chapters of Hebrews, Hebrews 5:6, 5:10, 6:20, 7:11, 7:17, 7:21. Let's look at the Melchizedek priesthood. By the way, Melchizedek means King of Righteousness.

The Melchizedek Priesthood is the first priesthood mentioned in the Old Testament. Turn to Genesis 14:18 - And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High. Here we see Melchizedek blessing Abram. Notice this is before the Covenant God made with Abraham in Genesis 17. This means that Abram wasn't a Hebrew. The Jewish nation wasn't in existence yet. Not until chapter 17 does Abraham become the father of many nations. So ask yourself who was Melchizedek a priest to? He wasn't just 'any' priest...not a 'high priest'...but he is referred to as the priest of the Most High God. If there weren't Jews yet then he was a priest over the Gentiles, the known people of the world then. I find it very interesting that Melchizedek brought bread and wine to Abram. What does that sound like to you? Communion, namely the Last Supper at Passover, symbols that represent Covenant.

Now, the second Priesthood was the Levitical priesthood. Exodus 28:1 - Then bring near to yourself Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the sons of Israel, to minister as priest to Me--Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron's sons. Aaron was Israel's first High Priest. He was in charge of all the priests and Levites. Not only was a priest from the tribe of Levi but he was also a descendant of Aaron.

The third Priesthood is Jesus Christ. Refer back to Hebrews 7:11 where it tells us that Christ is after the order of Melchizedek, not Aaron. The Aaronic Priesthood stopped because of Jesus being our High Priest. Even more so, in Hebrews 4:14 it states that Jesus is our Great High Priest.

Let's recap briefly before moving on:
"After the order of....
Hebrews 5:10 - "Being designated by God as a high priest...order of Melchizedek."
Hebrews 6:20 - "Jesus...having become a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek."
Hebrews 7:11 - "Another priest after the order of Melchizedek."

Hebrews 7:21-28 - (for they indeed became priests without an oath, but He with an oath through the One who said to Him, "THE LORD HAS SWORN AND WILL NOT CHANGE HIS MIND, 'YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER'"); 22 so much the more also Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant. 23 The former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers because they were prevented by death from continuing, 24 but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. 25 Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. 26 For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; 27 who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. 28 For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever. (Emphasis in italics mine.)

Jesus did not come to destroy the Law (the Torah - the first five books of the Old Testament written by Moses) but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17). To break the Law on any one point was to break the whole Law. Jesus = Whole Law.

The Old Testament leaders were King, Prophets, Priests. Jesus was King of the Jews - Luke 23:38 (a king is not a king without a kingdom) . Jesus was a Prophet - Luke 24:19 (a prophet is not a prophet without a message). Now, Jesus is not a priest of just the Jews because He is not of Levi, but of Judah. Only Levites, descended from Aaron could be priests and High Priests. Scripture is beautiful! There is importance in every word. Every Word of God (the Bible) is for us to see pictures and patterns.

I'll continue this tomorrow when I move on to John the Baptist. Much more to follow so please stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Progress report on Rylee...

RyLee is still on the ventilator and feeding tube, but has been moved out of Intensive Care. (Please no visitors since she still sleeps a lot and cannot talk yet.) When she's not sleeping she's quite busy getting physical and occupational therapies. We still ask for God's mercy that her limitations will not be permanent, but also for patience and endurance (for her loved ones too) during the long road ahead.


We are very disappointed that James will not get to do his cross country flight to Utah! :( That just means his unexpected trip here during Hurricane Rita was truly a special gift, as short as it was. No one received what they asked for as far as flight destinations. That's okay, the end is in sight! :)

Henry Ward Beecher...

Henry Ward Beecher was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, the son of Lyman Beecher, a prominent Congregational minister and educator. His sister was Harriet Beecher (Stowe), author of Uncle Tom's Cabin. Beecher graduated from Amherst College in 1834 and studied at Lane Theological Seminary where his father was serving as president. In 1837 he was called to a Presbyterian ministry at Lawrenceburg, Indiana, and began to develop his extraordinary preaching techniques. From 1839 to 1847 he ministered in Indianapolis.

In 1854 Beecher and his congregation were strongly opposed to the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act. He raised funds to buy weapons for those willing to oppose slavery in Kansas and Nebraska and the rifles bought with this money became know as "Beecher's Bibles."

Here are just a few of the many quotes attributed to him.

A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves.
Henry Ward Beecher

Every man should keep a fair sized cemetery in which to bury the faults of his friends.
Henry Ward Beecher

Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it with the handle of anxiety or the handle of faith.
Henry Ward Beecher

Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.
Henry Ward Beecher

He is rich or poor according to what he is, not according to what he has.
Henry Ward Beecher

I can forgive, but I cannot forget, is only another way of saying, I will not forgive. Forgiveness ought to be like a cancelled note--torn in two, and burned up, so that it never can be shown against one.
Henry Ward Beecher

If a man cannot be a Christian in the place where he is, he cannot be a Christian anywhere.
Henry Ward Beecher

In this world it is not what we take up, but what we give up that makes us rich.
Henry Ward Beecher

Of all the music that reached farthest into heaven, it is the beating of a loving heart.
Henry Ward Beecher

Our best successes often come after our greatest disappointments.
Henry Ward Beecher

Suffering is part of the divine plan.
Henry Ward Beecher

Tears are often the telescope by which men see far into heaven.
Henry Ward Beecher

The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things.
Henry Ward Beecher

The Church is not a gallery for the exhibition of eminent Christians, but a school for the education of imperfect ones.
Henry Ward Beecher

The real democratic American idea is not that every man shall be on a level with every other man, but that every man shall have liberty to be what God made him, without hindrance.
Henry Ward Beecher

The soul without imagination is what an observatory would be without a telescope.
Henry Ward Beecher

The test of Christian character should be that a man is a joy-bearing agent to the world.
Henry Ward Beecher

The true secret of giving advice is, after you have honestly given it, to be perfectly indifferent whether it is taken or not, and never persist in trying to set people right.
Henry Ward Beecher

Theology is a science of mind applied to God.
Henry Ward Beecher

We are always on the anvil; by trials God is shaping us for higher things.
Henry Ward Beecher

We should not judge people by their peak of excellence; but by the distance they have traveled from the point where they started.
Henry Ward Beecher

You and I do not see things as they are. We see things as we are.
Henry Ward Beecher

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


HeyJules over at Faith or Fiction? has had a very interesting discussion going on regarding predestination. Pop over and check it out.

Her discussion has caused me to do more thinking which in turn causes me to turn to my Bible to see exactly what God's Word has to say on the subject.

It is in the basic nature of men and women that when faced with a decision, our inclination is to take the path of least resistance. Whatever seems easier, whatever seems more pleasing; whatever satisfies the senses is the object we choose. Indeed, the actions of Adam and Eve certainly make this obvious. In Genesis 3:6 these sensual instincts are at work. The proscriptions that God gave to them were quickly swept aside as the sensual took over. It continually amazes me how we are seduced by what looks good, and may in fact be good, but may not be the appropriate thing to have at the time.

So often we increase our folly by justifying our actions intellectually. However, our discernment is perverted apart from God's will. How is it then, that man could, in any real sense and at any real time, discern between wordly enticements and the perfect will of God? A Christian who holds that men and women are completely free to choose must answer this question. Many would advocate that all we are left with then is a human race void of any will whatsoever, that we are puppets on a giant stage, and that God is playing some kind of horrible game. This simply isn't the case. Scripture is quite clear that men and women have a will that is very active, but it is active doing every kind of evil. Has man's character changed in any positive fashion since the beginning of time? God said regarding man, '...every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually'. Where then, has the change in perception and discernment occurred in the minds and hearts of men?

Many would charge then that to believe God chooses who will be saved and who will not makes a mockery of the salvation process. However, man is indeed free. I don't argue this. Man's will is very free and very active. But, this freedom is not inclined toward God. It is a freedom that desires its own satisfaction and that exalts itself above God's will. If man is left to his own devices he will never come to Christ without the direct intervention of the Holy Spirit.

I am not saying that the Holy Spirit beckons and that everyone is on an equal playing field as to believe or not to believe. This cannot be, for man will always choose darkness rather than light (John 3:19). When the Holy Spirit calls the reprobate, they will not take heed; they will categorically reject the gospel. However, in the case of the elect, they will graciously open their hearts and throw themselves upon the mercy of the cross. This will happen because God has purposed it to happen. It isn't that man will not come to Christ of his own free will, but rather that he simply cannot come. Man does not have the spiritual equipment to 'decide' for Jesus.


Apart from God's divine intervention and sovereignty in all of history, man would be as bad as he possibly could be. Look at the outright refusal to follow the command of God at the tower of Babel. This entire event shows that man's will is alive and well...and quite active. Man's desire, however, is not to obey God's commands in order to be under His protection, but, in fact, to rebel against God. Indeed, man's will is to find a way to become greater than God.

If there is a theme in the New Testament that is clearer than day, it's the concept of our 'deadness' to the call of the gospel. Conversely, if there is any other theme that is just as clear, it is God's electing grace. These two concepts form the 'bookends of scripture.' They hold the thread of redemption together.

The Book of Ephesians is one of my favorites. It stands as a monument to God's election plan and the unity of His work in the church. The first chapter is chock full of His election plan. We are told that He 'chose us in Him before the foundation of the world' (v4), that 'He predestined us to adoption as sons...' (v.5), that 'He lavished upon us the riches of His grace' (v.8); and that we 'have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose...' (v. 11). What could be clearer? Within one chapter of scripture the Lord of the universe sweeps aside man's 'free will' and replaces it with His own...thankfully.

In chapter two of Ephesians, Paul meditates on the Christian's former dead state, and his newness in Christ as it relates to the church. It is evident that the whole salvation process is God toward man, not vice versa.

An excellent verse is John 1:12, 13: "But as many as have received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God...who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God' (emphasis added). Colossians 2:13 is another important verse that has almost identical language to Ephesisans 2:4-5: "And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him...' There is no mistaking that the action being taken is on behalf of the sinner by God. There is no indication that I can see that the object of this regenerative power is 'doing something.' This is not to say that man does not respond, but this response is based upon the faith that is given to him.

I must restate again and again that men and women simply are not equipped to respond in a positive way to the gospel. This is unequivocally stated in Romans 8:7, '...the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so...' (emphasis added). The words 'not even able to do so' can be translated from the Greek, 'does not/neither has the power'. The force of this statement is overwhelming: we are powerless to affect a change in our spiritual situation. It is God...and all God, that does the changing. Man claims nothing in the salvation work of Christ.

The way I see it from scripture, is man isn't a neutral entity trying to decide between good and evil. Quite the contrary, man is a slave of the devil and sin, and it is God who grants man the grace to 'come to his senses' (cf. 2 Timothy 2:25-26).

The salvation plan of God is one that is carefully and painstakingly detailed in His Word. Just like the precious gift that it is, it must be unpacked carefully lest we break off pieces or fail to see its full beauty. One of the most beautiful things about salvation is that man can claim absolutely no part in it...nothing! He can neither attain to salvation himself, nor add to the finished product. But we, as Christians, can and must do one thing....we must bask in the knowledge that a loving and sovereign Creator has chosen us to be an heir of salvation, and now holds us firmly in His benevolent grip.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Student Speech at Dartmouth...

Subject: Student speech at Dartmouth cites the example of Jesus Christ

Character education

The WashingtonTimes
September 30, 2005

On Sept. 20, Noah Riner, student body president of Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., gave a speech welcoming incoming freshmen. He emphasized the importance of character, citing the example of Jesus Christ, who "gave His life for our sin."

The next day, the Student Assembly's vice president for student life resigned, calling Mr. Riner's speech "reprehensible and an abuse of power." In the Dartmouth student newspaper, the president of a campus Jewish group wrote a column calling the speech "inappropriate," "disrespectful" and "the complete antithesis of the values that Dartmouth espouses." The student newspaper's editorial board, while noting that the Ivy League college was founded in 1769 as a Christian institution, criticized Mr. Riner for "preaching his faith from a commandeered pulpit."

The following are excerpts from Mr. Riner's speech:

You've been told that you are a special class. A quick look at the statistics confirms that claim: Quite simply, you are the smartest and most diverse group of freshmen to set foot on the Dartmouth campus. You have more potential than all of the other classes. You really are special.

But it isn't enough to be special. It isn't enough to be talented, to be beautiful, to be smart. Generations of amazing students have come before you, and have sat in your seats. Some have been good, some have been bad. All have been special.

In fact, there's quite a long list of very special, very corrupt people who have graduated from Dartmouth. William Walter Remington, class of 1939, started out as a Boy Scout and a choirboy and graduated Phi Beta Kappa. He ended up as a Soviet spy, was convicted of perjury and beaten to death in prison.

Daniel Mason [a 1993 Dartmouth graduate] was just about to graduate from Boston Medical School when he shot two men, killing one, after a parking dispute.

Just a few weeks ago, I read ... about P.J. Halas, class of 1998. His great-uncle George founded the Chicago Bears, and P.J. lived up to the family name, co-captaining the basketball team his senior year at Dartmouth and coaching at a high school team following graduation. He was also a history teacher and, this summer, he was arrested [on charges of] sexually assaulting a 15-year-old student.

These stories demonstrate that it takes more than a Dartmouth degree to build character.

As former Dartmouth President John Sloan Dickey said, at Dartmouth our business is learning. ... But if all we get from this place is knowledge, we've missed something. There's one subject that you won't learn about in class, one topic that orientation didn't cover, and that your [undergraduate adviser] won't mention: character.

What is the purpose of our education? Why are we at Dartmouth?

Martin Luther King Jr. said: "But education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society. ... We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character -- that is the goal of true education."

We hear very little about character in our classrooms, yet, as Dr. King suggests, the real problem in the world is not a lack of education.

For example, in the past few weeks we've seen some pretty revealing things happening on the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. We've seen acts of selfless heroism, and millions around the country have united to help the refugees.

On the other hand, we've been disgusted by the looting, violence and raping that took place even in the supposed refuge areas. In a time of crisis and death, people were paddling around in rafts, stealing TVs and VCRs. How could Americans go so low?

My purpose in mentioning the horrible things done by certain people on the Gulf Coast isn't to condemn just them; rather it's to condemn all of us. Supposedly, character is what you do when no one is looking, but I'm afraid to say all the things I've done when no one was looking. Cheating, stealing, lusting, you name it -- how different are we? It's easy to say that we've never gone that far: never stolen that much; never lusted so much that we'd rape; and the people we've cheated, they were rich anyway.

Let's be honest: The differences are in degree. We have the same flaws as the individuals who pillaged New Orleans. Ours haven't been given such free range, but they exist and are part of us all the same.

The Times of London once asked readers for comments on what was wrong with the world. British author G.K. Chesterton responded simply: "Dear Sir, I am."

Not many of us have the same clarity that Chesterton had. Just days after Hurricane Katrina had ravaged the Gulf Coast, politicians and pundits were distributing more blame than aid. It's so easy to see the faults of others, but so difficult to see our own. In the words of Cassius in Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar," "the fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars but in ourselves."

Character has a lot to do with sacrifice, laying our personal interests down for something bigger. The best example of this is Jesus. In the Garden of Gethsemane, just hours before his crucifixion, Jesus prayed: "Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done." He knew the right thing to do. He knew the cost would be agonizing torture and death. He did it anyway. That's character.

Jesus is a good example of character, but He's also much more than that. He is the solution to flawed people like corrupt Dartmouth alums, looters and me.

It's so easy to focus on the defects of others and ignore my own. But I need saving as much as they do.

Jesus' message of redemption is simple. People are imperfect, and there are consequences for our actions. He gave His life for our sin so that we wouldn't have to bear the penalty of the law, so we could see love. The problem is me; the solution is God's love: Jesus on the cross, for us.

In the words of Bono: "[I]f only we could be a bit more like Him, the world would be transformed. ... So I ask myself a question a lot of people have asked: Who is this man? And was He who He said He was, or was He just a religious nut? And there it is, and that's the question."

You want the best undergraduate education in the world, and you've come to the right place to get that. But there's more to college than achievement. With Martin Luther King, we must dream of a nation -- and a college -- where people are not judged by the superficial, "but by the content of their character."

Thus, as you begin your four years here, you've got to come to some conclusions about your own character, because you won't get it by just going to class. What is the content of your character? Who are you? And how will you become what you need to be?

Rum Cake recipe....

My friend, Gina, over at Refreshment in Refuge has posted a great recipe for her rum cake! Please stop by and have a look at it. This recipe will surely lift your spirits!



Unlike Gayla, who spent 10 minutes trying to spell the word, I just took her at face value that she spelled it correctly. Gayla has tagged me to list 5 of my idiosyncrasies. Hmm, which to choose?

1) I cannot sleep without the fan going...winter, spring, summer or fall, it makes no difference. My poor husband sleeps in a long sleeve turtle neck shirt because he is always cold due to the fan. I have a ceiling fan directly over the bed and then another one by the side of my bed that I use during the summer. That one is now getting put away for the winter.

2) I cannot begin cooking if my kitchen is messed up. If there are dirty dishes or things not put away, I have to take time to clean the mess before I begin any prep work in my kitchen.

3) I don't do spiders or any bug for that matter. My husband and son got me a 'bug zapper' for my birthday one year. I love it! I keep watch over the spider so he doesn't get away while my husband goes and gets the 'zapper' and then does the zapping. It works wonderfully! :)

4) I LOVE ice tea. I drink it with LOTS of ice and LOTS of lemon. In a restaurant I ask for "ice tea, with lots of ice and extra lemon." Their tip goes down if they don't follow through.

5) I always sit in the same spot in church on Sunday. My husband, who likes change, will talk me into moving sometimes. I still sit in the same pew... just at the opposite end.

I never really think about my having idiosyncrasies but my husband and son will vouch for the fact that I probably have many more which I haven't listed. I can hear James beginning to list them.....

This was fun, especially to read everyone else's. Like Gayla, I like having a cover...mine doesn't have to be blankets but at least a sheet. I, too, keep water by my bed. If I don't drink it, that's okay. It's there. I also love socks! My favorite time is fall and sock shopping! I can't stand to wear you see the list does go on!

I won't name anyone but if you choose to do it please let me know!