Come, Read the Bible with Me!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Shake your little fist you little man.

I am on AOL. When I sign on, I have this welcome screen that gives me headlines. That's how I keep abreast of what my culture is up to. AOL gives headines... one day the headliner assured us not to worry if you are not a
perfect parent. Your binging and lying and cheating will not have an
adverse effect on your kids; let them see it; let it all hang out,
baby. It is who you are. (I wish I had the article to reference,
because I'm sure you're saying that I must be mistaken.)

It occurred to me that in the '70s, the trend was moving toward blaming
your parents for all your character flaws. Anything from shyness to
aggressiveness; from anorexia to obesity; from murder to suicide could
be pinned on your parents. They overly protected you or they neglected
you or never left you alone made you go on family vacations, or made you wear hand-me-downs, or they abused you or never disciplined you, or made you clean up your plate. So you can't seem to love another person, or you can't stop using
people, or you can't control your spending or eating or lying or sex

Then in the late '90s it came to be "understood" that most if not all
character deficits were biological or chemical in nature. So things
like alcoholism, rage, all-consuming drive, are chemical imbalances. Also other things fell into this category where a person is deemed inculpable because of a chemical that is present or absent in the brain.

In the single digits of this century, the natural flow of this
reasoning shifted the "deficits" to "diversities". The idea is almost
that there is nothing that is wrong, but if there were something that
was wrong, it could not be your fault, because it is your make-up...the
way you were made. Homosexuality is the primary poster child of this
reasoning. It is clear that it is the way you are made.

The way you were made? By your parents? no, it is not their fault,
because if it were, then you would be responsible for the way your kids
turn out. (this is really funny...)

The way your were made? By whom? By God. It's not your fault, it's
His. (shake your little fist you little man.)

Isaiah 29:16
You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, "He did not make me"? Can the pot say of the potter, "He knows nothing"?

Isaiah 45:9
"Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, 'What are you making?' Does your work say, 'He has no hands'?

Romans 9:19-21
19 One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?" 20 But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' " 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?

Psalm 2
1 Why do the nations conspire [a]
and the peoples plot in vain?

2 The kings of the earth take their stand
and the rulers gather together
against the LORD
and against his Anointed One. [b]

3 "Let us break their chains," they say,
"and throw off their fetters."

4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
the Lord scoffs at them.

5 Then he rebukes them in his anger
and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,

6 "I have installed my King [c]
on Zion, my holy hill."

7 I will proclaim the decree of the LORD :
He said to me, "You are my Son [d] ;
today I have become your Father. [e]

8 Ask of me,
and I will make the nations your inheritance,
the ends of the earth your possession.

9 You will rule them with an iron scepter [f] ;
you will dash them to pieces like pottery."

10 Therefore, you kings, be wise;
be warned, you rulers of the earth.

11 Serve the LORD with fear
and rejoice with trembling.

12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry
and you be destroyed in your way,
for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.


Intrepid...another cool word.

in trep id  –adjective resolutely fearless; dauntless: an intrepid explorer.

[Origin: 1690–1700; < L intrepidus, equiv. to in- in-3 + trepidus anxious; see trepidation]

—Related forms
intrepidity, intrepidness, noun
intrepidly, adverb

—Synonyms brave, courageous, bold.
—Antonyms timid.

Resolutely courageous; fearless.

[Latin intrepidus : in-, not; see in-1 + trepidus, alarmed.]

intre·pidi·ty (-tr-pd-t) or in·trepid·ness n.
in·trepid·ly adv.

adj : invulnerable to fear or intimidation; "audacious explorers"; "fearless reporters and photographers"; "intrepid pioneers" [syn: audacious, brave, dauntless, fearless, unfearing]

—Synonyms brave, courageous, bold.
—Antonyms timid.

Isaiah 28:16
So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed.

Isaiah 41:9-11
9 I took you from the ends of the earth,
from its farthest corners I called you.
I said, 'You are my servant';
I have chosen you and have not rejected you.

10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

11 "All who rage against you
will surely be ashamed and disgraced;
those who oppose you
will be as nothing and perish.

Jeremiah 8:9
9 The wise will be put to shame;
they will be dismayed and trapped.
Since they have rejected the word of the LORD,
what kind of wisdom do they have?

’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
And to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
And to know, “Thus says the Lord!”

Monday, October 23, 2006

Three Point Underdogs

The Marching Mustangs were three points short of going to State Competition this year.

Seemed like this year three points dogged us. Three points lost on a technicality... Three points behind Such-a-burg... Three tenths ahead of So-and-so-ville.

But we could dwell on the negative, or we could just take a deep breath and say that this was an exciting Marching band season, and that the kids went through a batch of growing over the last several months.

This year the upper classmen stepped up in a way that is unprecidented in the last 5 years of Edgewood Band. This year Seniors and Juniors were expected to, and did take responsibility that was previously discouraged for them. They failed at times, but they made the attempt.

This year's Edgewood marching Mustangs had spirit and intensity right up to the very end of their season. They worked harder than they have in a while and loved band better than they have in a while.

Low Brass friends...

sharing spit and sweat and poney tails...

More Later...

Thursday, October 19, 2006

So, why don't we do this?

I Corinthians 11

Each time I come to this passage of Scripture, I wonder, "Why don't we do this?" I remember quite a few years ago, I listened to a John MacArthur sermon where he talked about the culture of the time, and I emailed "Grace to You" and asked how we can tell when a passage of Scripture is to be interpreted through the lense of culture and when it should be taken straight up. I explained that I was trying to live a life of faith and integrity before an unbelieving husband and two young daughters whose eyes were wide open. I got a very nice, vague email back; and the next time I came to this passage, I wondered, "Why don't we do this?"

When I started this blog, on the premise that I would ask the questions and that Godly, and wise brothers and sisters would answer them, one of the first questions I asked was, "Why don't we do that?"

In the meantime, those two little girls grew up, and the husband was drawn by the Holy Spirit to the Throne of Grace; to the Cross, where his sins were forgiven and he became a new creation in Christ. (Halelujah!)

Recently, with one of my daughters, whose eyes were and still are wide open, I had a talk about why Christians do some things that are in the Bible, and disregard others. Guess which passage was brought up. Yes, I Corinthians 11.

A couple of weeks ago, my husband asked me to open the Bible and read to him a passage that he would tell me. I did, and he had me read to him I Corinthians 11:1-16. He didn't ask me, "Why don't we do that?" Instead, he asked, "Rachel, why don't you do that?"

Whoa! Well, that's getting personal! I don't do it, because we don't do it. That is the long and short of it.

Well, that was a turning point for me. Glen clarified the issue, that I need to obey God, and follow where He leads me.

It acually was more of a halting point, where I sat and thought, and talked to other people and read USA Today articles and Googled and prayed.

Then I came to the point where I had it settled in my mind, but I had to work out some practical issues. I asked the cousel of a wonderful woman in my church. She is elegant and eloquent, and her cousel is well thought out. I was concerned about not making this a fashion statement, and having nothing on hand to start with, I wondered about whether to make it pretty or plain, about matching outfits and so on. She remembered that she had been in the habit of wearing scarves when she was involved in the opera, so when her heart was convicted of this, she just started using those, because she had them on hand. I don't sing opera because, well, I can't; I don't wear scarves because I am not very elegant; I don't wear hats because when I wear a hat of any kind, I look like my brother; I sometimes will wrap a towel around my hair when I get out of the shower, but I don't think that would be appropriate.

So, I checked out my stash of remnants and messed around with shapes and sizes. I bought more remnants, and covered and tied and looked in the mirror and sighed. A beautiful young woman who recently got married in our church sometimes wraps her hair up in pretty cloths. She looks wonderful. Nothing I put on my head looked wonderful. I did this for two weeks.

While praying one night, the thought came to me that if I waited to obey this strong biblical admonition until it looked cool, I would never do it. If I waited until I wasn't afraid, I would never do it. If I waited until I even completely understood God's mind on this, I would never, ever do it; and then in another six months, or maybe a year, I would come across this passage again, and wonder, "Why don't we do that?"

I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the teachings, just as I passed them on to you.
Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is just as though her head were shaved. If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off, she should cover her head. A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. 8For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. For this reason, and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head.

In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God. Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering. If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice—nor do the churches of God.

I Corinthians 2-16

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

There is Hope

I was wrong. There is hope, and it is amazing. This is one of those times when God actually reached into my heart and gave me His peace, which passes all understanding. He washed me with His Word, and gave me a hug from the inside out.

I have to admit that last Wednesday night in Women's Bible I got very discouraged. A man's third greatest need is an attractive wife?! His first greatest need is sexual fulfillment. It was articulated that a man is always a glance or a click away from other, adulterous images. His wife is the only safe, fidelitous image that he can have in his mind, so make it good, sister.

I know that I could spruce it up a bit, but come on!

As much as we think something sounds like it makes sense, or fits our experience, we need to look at it through the lense of Scripture.

On one level, I want to get indignant and say that the man has some responsibility to maintain his own vessel. I know though that that is beside the point and we are not looking at him, but at me. Besides, that argument sounds much better coming from a vibrant, voluptuos vixon. From Mrs. Frumpy, it loses impact.

More than anything, this thought occupied my mind: "I couldn't compete with those images and young beauties when I was 26. These 20 years has not given me the edge." Am I to perm and dye my hair and put on fine clothes? I also was painfully aware of my lack of fashion sense. I'm not elegant. WOE; how I have cheated my husband of an attractive wife!

You can see the despondency into which I slipped.

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow. Praise Him for He alone knows my heart. Praise Him for His thoughts are higher than my thoughts and His greatness is unsearchable. There is nowhere that I can go, but He is there!

On my way home from work, I sobbed, "How can this be... (and He began to answer me out of the the whirlwind, and through His precious Word) ...that as a woman gets older, and fatter and wrinklier and stiffer, how can it be that her husband will rejoice in the wife of his youth...that her breasts will always satisfy him and he will be captivated by her love. (from Pr.5)

And God said, because I said so. And He called to my mind Sarah, whose child I long to be. Abraham was afraid for his life because of her beauty, but it was the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. He talked to me about how He has the hearts of men and kings in His hand. He brought many scriptures to my mind and washed me, and I rejoiced.

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Eph 3:16-21)

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Marching Mustangs in Regional Competition

I am so caught up in this. I might consider this trip to Jeffersonville High School as just another competition, but it is not. It is the end of an exciting season, or the climax of it.

When I get back, I will post the results and, hopefully, pictures (in color).

I will also write about some things that I need to write about:

There is Hope (thank you Erica)
Response from Bloomington City Councilman
A Good Wife

See you on the other side of ISSMA Regional Competition!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Throwin it Down!

Here is my daughter Lydia and her peeps. It's in black and white because Mom doesn't know how to use Lydia's camera. (...or because it's twice as cool in black and white!) This was at Ben Davis last week. It was the first time this year I saw the show from the stands while they were wearing uniforms. Kinda cool. I will put in more pics later (I hope).

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

No Hope!

...and it just keeps getting worse!

Men's top five needs:

1. Sexual fulfillment.

2. Recreational companionship.

3. An attractive wife.

4. Peace & quiet

5. Admiration.

I just can't win.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

If you give a mouse a cookie...

Second verse, same as the first...

Some time ago, I bought some ziplock sandwich bags, only to find out that they were snack size. I wondered at the store why there were more of them in the box than the others for the same price. When I got home and opened the box, the reason was suddenly clear.

I started using them to make up individually portioned snacks and dessert treats to keep our portions in perportion. It was working quite well, but I had bought a certain type of cookie that didn't go over very well. The last of the pretzells were gone, and I had no more of the snack bags. I thought that all the snacks were gone, until I bought some more cookies and pretzels and bags and went to package them up. When I got the designated shoe box down from the refrigerator, I found, to my dimay, a snack baggie with two of the nasty-cookies in it. There was a bite-shaped portion missing from it, and the bag was torn suspiciously.

For just a moment, becuase of the shape of the bite, I wondered who would have taken a bite out of that cookie (which was nasty-old) and then ripped the bag open from the bottom to put it back...odd.

Sometimes you have an epiphany; they usually make my scalp hurt. Suddenly I saw that the way the bag was torn, making a small hole through which, not a big bite, but rather small nibbles were taken in an ark to form the shape of a bite. A-a--ahhh! It must be a mouse.

I showed Lydia, who smiled and rolled her eyes. I left a note with the cookie for Glen, wanting him to experience the same epiphanal sensation, I just hinted, "Who would have taken a bite like this?" His response was, "There's no mouse poop."

Well, there's just one way to find out, then. Watch the milk, because when you give a mouse a cookie...

BTW: The rest of the cookies went into the refrigerator. Holly spotted the mouse on top of the cupboard last night while burning the midnight oil. It was fast as lightning, and, she reluctantly admitted, cute.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Tuesdays; Fish Bait

You might remember that I said that I would go to Planned Parenthood on Tuesdays ...

What's the deal about Tuesdays? My understanding is that on Tuesdays, Planned Parenthood does their preliminary evaluations. Does this mean pregnancy tests? Does this mean pre-abortion counseling? I don't know. I do know that they are quite busy on Tuesdays, and there are no guards, no escorts, and no protesters. Planned Parenthood gets the floor, and there is no rebuttal.

People are faced with their sin and Planned Parenthood whispers in their ears, "Peace, peace." No one plants seed on this furrowed ground. No one proclaims the truth of God when hearts are tender. We wait until Thursday, when the ground has hardened.

Well, every thime I have been there on Tuesday, there has been an opportunity to speak to someone; without exception. Last Tuesday I didn't go. I decided that if I wasn't going to get out of the car and speak when an opportunity was presented, then I wasn't going to go, because that would be blatent disobedience. Why go, after all if I am unwilling to do what I am called there to do?

Have I forgotten?

All that God has taught me at Planned Parenthood?

...and more?

Unwilling... Disobedient... Afraid of man rather than God... Fish bait.

If God has called me there, then I go. I have nothing to say, and that's the good news. God, forgive me for those for whom you had a message, and I did not deliver it.

Where is it that we are told that we are equipped for every good work?

Where is it that we are told that in our weakness, His strength is made perfect?

Pray, dear one, pray for those who need to hear from God, that the beautiful feet will stand firm; that the seed will be bountifully sown on the furtile soil as it is tilled on Tuesdays.

Blog-it-all, anyways!

I thought about making another blog just so that I could do the personal day-to-day stuff so that if someone knew me, but didn't want to hear about my God, they could go there. (I had in mind certain family members, friends, etc.) I could write about sewing flags for the band, or what happened at competitions. I could write about shopping and what a heck of a day I had at work today, and trying to budget and stuff.

And if someone wanted to read about my God, but didn't want to read about how I would respond to life at the BMV, they wouldn't have to. (really can't think of anyne who would only want to read about my theological wrestling matches.) I could write about submission issues and trusting God and struggling with the concept of covenent children.

I could even have a third blog about the really edgy subject of Planned Parenthood. There I could really be alone with my thoughts.

Then I thought that I am who I am, and I am not without Christ. The life I live I live in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

So, being the one track mind type of person that I am, I am sticking with one blog. This way, when I talk about my struggles with various sins, it is in the context of the things that God teaches me as a soldier in the struggle in this world with powers and principalities, as a mother, as a wife, and as a sister in Christ. In a separate blog, I thought, I might be tempted to make much of my kids, my writing, my hobbies, or (most likely) my love of grumbling against the shortcomings of others.

I couldn't do it (two blogs are too much for me to keep up with) and I couldn't recommend it to myself (two blogs are too much temptation to hide my gods from each other in separate boxes).

I want my whole self to be exposed in one place so that I don't come to think of myself as all right, too right. If only people with this or that interest go to blog A they may not see that what is there is sin, because the root is exposed only in blog B.

Psalm 141:5 for me:

5 Let a righteous man strike me—it is a kindness;
let him rebuke me—it is oil on my head.
My head will not refuse it.
Yet my prayer is ever against the deeds of evildoers;

6 their rulers will be thrown down from the cliffs,
and the wicked will learn that my words were well spoken.