Sunday, April 29, 2007


This is going to be a bit of a different FDW post. On Sunday nights at my church we usually have a Bible quiz, just a fun contest. Usually our Pastor makes up the quiz; tonight I was the quizmaster, and he joined the men’s ‘team’ vs. the ladies. Here are most of the quiz questions-our contest ended in a tie-good luck!

Bible quiz

1. Name one of John the Baptist’s disciples.

2. Fourth book after Job?

3. How did people get to Norway and Australia?

4. Who was with John in exile on the island of Patmos?

5. Name the Queen who refused to display her beauty to King Ahasuerus and his companions, making way for Esther to become Queen?
(Bonus-name the two recent films which feature King Ahasuerus.)

6. Here is a quote-give chapter and verse:
“Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you.”

7. Who am I? I wrote more than one book of the Bible. I was unjustly accused of treason, arrested and placed in a cistern for my jail cell.

8. Who am I? I met Joshua outside of Jericho and told him to take off his shoes.

9. Third book before Luke?

10. The first words of Jesus recorded in the Gospels?

11. The last words of Jesus recorded in Revelation?

There you have it-I left out a few of the easier questions. First one to post all of the answers wins the acclaim and admiration of the rest of us.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Did I Make It To Friday?

You can see Zorro here and many other good friends at Cuteoverloaddotcom-just click on the link at the top of the post, and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Harbinger of Hoot

Today is just dandy. If this is a good day for you, full of promise and happy moments, that is extremely cool. Sun shining, maybe a cool breeze moving around, just enough to make the day perfect.
Someone smiles at you, waves as you are passing by, not because they know you, but their day is so good, they can’t help but wave at everybody. So you start waving also. Wonderful!
Before you start thinking that Doug has lost his precious little mind, here’s the point:
The best day of your life here will be dank, dark and empty of any joy, compared to Heaven. There, every ‘day’ is the best day of your life. And do you know what would make Heaven more Heavenly? If you are there. I admit it: I would love to see Heaven overpopulated. We were created to Glorify God; that is our purpose, our reason for existence, our joy in the imperfect Present, and our full Joy in our Future, when we move into the places which Jesus went to prepare for us. God so loved.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Silent Bob is My Hero, Or “Burn The Priests, Jay!”

This post may travel laterally (literally?) at any moment; forgive, please, if it takes more than one reading to figure out. This has been quite a week.

First and foremost, I’ve been praying for Virginia Tech, for the family and friends of those tragically cut down by a madman. I can’t imagine how hard it was to get that phone call, the one which 33 families received, with the news that their son or daughter, father or mother had been killed. Beyond comprehension. If you ask, “Where was God in all of this? How could He allow this to happen?” I can only tell you that where sin does abound, Grace does all the more abound. Meaning that God allows circumstances such as shootings, wars, fires, earthquakes and tsunamis’ for His own purposes, and we lack understanding as to what those purposes are. But I trust that God knows what He is doing-I would never shake my fist at God and tell Him He is wrong to allow this or that. Sin brings death, and God has conquered sin and death for us (!) through the atoning work of Jesus Christ on the cross. And He has promised that this troubled, sinful world where such events as school shootings and wars happen is only temporary. The next world will be as free of tears as this one is full.
On to Kevin Smith. The foul mouthed socially reprehensible ‘auteur’ has decided to make his first horror film (Jersey Girl doesn’t count?). And I might just go and see it. Lateral left.
There is a religiously reprehensible anti-Christian music group called “Lamb of God”. If you see some young citizen wearing their arcane t-shirt don’t mistake him or her for an actual Christian. The former name of the group was “Burn the Priests”, which more clearly represents their ideology. Their drummer is good, but the music…how shall I put this delicately? The music…isn’t. Burn the Priests are simply mockers of God. Lateral right.
Back to Kevin the Smith. His horror movie will have as it’s main horror guy, it’s ‘boogeyman’, ‘Jason’ or ‘Michael Myers’…a religiously reprehensible anti-Christian “Priest” who pretends, ala “Lamb of God/Burn the Priests” to share the Gospel when in fact he is the enemy of the Gospel, spreading hate and besmirching/mocking the name of God by his actions. His name is Fred Phelps. I’m talking about Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church who are planning on disrupting the funerals of the victims of the Virginia Tech massacre. Beyond comprehension. Silent Bob picked the right bad guy.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A New Career Direction

In December I will be leaving my position at the law firm at which I've worked for 12 years. I'm thinking that I need a new career, so I'm checking out bumper stickers. My husband says they're not very edgy, in fact, they're not even funny. But I'm going to keep working at it. I just want to keep the offensiveness of my bumper stickers down to a minimum, unlike the one I saw the other day:

Your stupid!
Okay, I just think that's hysterical! But a little mean.

How do you think I'm doing?


Monday, April 16, 2007

Help Me Out Here

I have a Bible quote which I was going to post with a picture of Osama Bin Laden. But I have a problem with doing that:
I don't want to have his photo on our blog. Even though it fits with the verse.
So here's how we can do this:
If you would be so kind as to use your imagination and remember what he looks like, hold that thought in your mind and read:

"A man who is laden with the guilt of human blood
Will be a fugitive until death; let no one support him."
Proverbs 28:17

Yes, my mind read laden and thought of him.
Okay, back to your regularly scheduled blog reading.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Sanctified, Not Sancti-faked

Think about the five best Christians that you know. List them, 1-5, for how ‘good’ they appear to be.
Now let me tell you about your list. Each one is a failure, has failed both God and themselves many times over.
In baseball, the best hitters fail 2/3rds of the time. In major league baseball, they get paid millions of dollars, not for that 2/3rds failure, but that golden 1/3 success rate.
As a Christian, you won’t hear me proudly proclaiming my success/failure rate. I would be ashamed to speak of how often I have failed God and myself.
But here’s the great part. It’s not my righteousness that makes me right before God-Jesus Christ and His righteousness do. And Jesus is batting 1.000, meaning He never fails. It’s because of His righteousness that we can proclaim with Paul: “1Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 4so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1-4
So why do we Christians continue to struggle with sin? The struggle is good, as it is evidence of our belonging to Christ-those who do not belong to Him revel in their sins, are still carrying ‘condemnation’ within them.
A baseball player will work on raising his batting average, cutting down on his failures. So too we Christians need to work on cutting down on our sinning, by allowing God to hold sway over our lives, be our Lord, without a lot of backtalk and complaining. This is progressive sanctification, and the longer we’ve belonged to Christ, the more time we spend in prayer and study of His word, fellowshipping with other believers, the better we do. We will never bat 1.000, but we can improve our average. And eventually we become “All Stars”. (In Heaven!)
Watch out for Sancti-fakers, though. There are wolves among the sheep, and some of them look mighty sharp, appear to be Christians when they are, in fact, anti-Christians.
Both Peter and John in their letters warn us against Sancti-fakers. One ‘tell’ or sign:
“2By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; 3and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.” 1 John 4:2,3
Batter up!

Friday, April 13, 2007

More Than A Breakfast Cereal

Here it is, Friday the 13th, and I haven’t died yet. Cool!
Actually, the significance of this particular “Friday the 13th” is that we get paid two days early, which is fine. I am not a ‘superstitious’ person, as I recognize that God is in charge, and has every event in my life planned out. Okay, honesty time: I have, on occasion, while watching an important baseball game, worn a ‘rally cap’-hat inside out or folded in half, perched on my head like a toupee. But I didn’t honestly think that my wearing of a hat would change the outcome of the game. It’s a fan thing.
But I have known quite a few superstitious people, and some of their beliefs make my rally hat almost cool by comparison.
One time while on a trip I was staying the night with a family whose son, Clay, tried to educate me as to the awesomeness of the Zodiac/Horoscopes. Clay was 18, 6 ft tall, so this wasn’t some kid pestering grownups with fanciful tales. All in good humor, I asked Clay a few questions.
“So, the year, day, hour, moment of birth dictate patterns of behavior, influence how a person lives?”
“Absolutely, man. I’m a Cancer, and we’re cool!”
“Okay Cancer, think about this: the entire world’s population is born each day of the year. You share your birthday with 1/365th of the world’s population. Not counting the Leap babies, who are just weird. On your birthday, 1/24th of that population was born the same hour you were. Are you still with me?”
“Go man, we’re cool. 1/24th of 1/365. Got it.”
“Okay. You were born here in Kansas?”
“Yup. Three in the morning.”
“Which was three in the afternoon for another baby born at the exact same moment half a world away.
A baby born just a dozen miles away in Missouri ? Two in the morning. What month were you born?
“July 18th. Like I said-I’m a Cancer.”
“That’s after Daylight Savings Time kicks in for the year. Before that artificial re-arrangement was incorporated into our culture, there was no time shifting for seasons. Which means that by a natural reckoning, you were actually born at two in the morning.
“Clay, you’re planning on going to college, right?”
“Yup. KU.”
“Did you take any science classes in school?”
“I did all right. I’m not a wiz or anything.”
“That’s fine. Can you tell me if the Earth is at the center of the universe?”
“Nope-we’re up in a spiral arm pretty far away from the center.”
“But Clay, the ancient astrologers who came up with the Zodiac based all of their ideas on the belief that we are indeed the center of the universe, that everything revolves around Earth.”
“But that’s stupid!”
At this point Clay’s mom, Sky (as she likes to be called) thanked me for “Destroying his faith in the Zodiac.”
“He didn’t, Mom. I’m still a Cancer, and it’s cool!”

One more short one. Talking with a friend who takes Astrology seriously.
“So, the Zodiac influences how a person turns out?”
“Yup. When’s your birthday?”
“March 8th.”
“Hey! That’s the same as my Dad-you’re Pisces.”
“Okay-am I anything like your Dad?”
Her eyes got big.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Perspectives-one per customer

But that's a good thing. Because if we all had the same perspective and were wrong about something, we would be 100% wrong. God has the best Perspective, and really the only one that means anything. That's one facet of why Christians can trust God and not lean on our own understanding or perspective: He Knows what we only guess at, and He sees and does what is best for His children. Mighty cool.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Hebrews 13:8

This verse is filled with meaning. I’m thinking of the different false representations of Jesus Christ that
I’ve seen lately:
“Jesus as the God of Love wouldn’t send anyone to Hell.”
“Jesus was gay.”
“Jesus was a Palestinian terrorist trying to rid Israel of Roman rule!”
“Jesus was actually Michael the Arch-Angel.”
“Jesus never claimed to be God.”
“Jesus had a wife and child; we could prove it if the evidence wasn’t hidden by the Church.”
“We have the ossuary of Jesus! We are scholars-trust us!”
And so on ‘ad ignoratum'.
False teachings about Christ were circulating just as soon as the Gospel began to be preached.
John warned the early church:
“2By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; 3and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. 4You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:2-4
And also:
“7For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward. 9Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. 10If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; 11for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.” 2 John 1:7-11

So, it’s really simple. Jesus is the same always-He never changes one iota of who He is.
If you hear someone talking about Jesus, even an alleged born again Christian, who contradicts what the Bible says about Jesus Christ, that person is a liar. Or woefully, possibly willfully ignorant. Of course, to find out what the Bible says about Jesus, you have to read it, asking God to show you the truth. Which He will, if you ask in faith.

On television, the History Channel and the Discovery Channel present many fine programs-I love to learn about ancient civilizations, see how things were back in the day. However, when it comes to Jesus Christ, the CDS (Christ Derangement Syndrome) kicks in. A rough estimate is that about 40% of all their programming has to do with Jesus. And the ’experts’ they showcase generally are about 95% doubters, scorners, as John calls them, ‘deceivers’ who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh.
I’ve heard so much about why the Bible can’t be trusted that I can’t help but laugh.
Here’s a little quiz if you are curious about whether someone claiming to be a Christian is on the level:
Ask them if Jesus is indeed God made flesh, Who died for us, was resurrected, and now sits at the right hand of God the Father. If they answer yes to all of this, for 20 bonus points ask them if they expect Him to return and set up His Kingdom on Earth.
I think you know how I would answer. I mentioned it in church yesterday during the time when we share praise/prayer requests-that the prayer on all of our hearts is, "Even so,come Lord Jesus!"

Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Night

It was the worst day of my life, or so I thought. All of my hopes, all that I had trusted was gone, dead and hopeless. And I had to go to work. I couldn’t beg off or find someone to work for me; no one wanted to trade, nor cared how I felt.
My Captain, Achelus, smiled as I entered the guard station.
“Tadas. Come here.” I didn’t like the look in his eyes, as his smile became a grin.
“Are you all right? Are you able to work today, Tadas? Perhaps you would like a rag to wipe your eyes?”
“I can work, Achelus, I’m fine. What’s my assignment?” He laughed, but nothing was funny.
“Tadas, I have a very special duty for you; if the General himself had asked, “Achelus, who should do this job?” I would have said, “Tadas, sir. Tadas is the just the man to stay all night in a graveyard.”
I could feel the blood leaving my face. “Achelus, please...” He cut me off.
“Tadas, I would not give a plum assignment like this to just anyone. You have earned it! For the next few weeks, no more than a month, I would guess, we will be standing a guard in a graveyard, and you will have the honor of the midnight shift. No need to thank me so quickly, Tadas.”
In an instant his jovial manner was gone.
“He is dead, Tadas, and you will guard his grave until I say differently. Dead, and an end to your foolishness.”

* * * *

In the graveyard the rest of the squad was quiet. There was a chill in us; even those closest to the fire would shiver at times. We were set up near the tomb; I sat so that the great stone was behind me, so I wouldn’t have to see it, and think about who was lying within. I couldn’t sit still, and decided to patrol along the paths-no one else was at all interested in leaving the fire.
It was a clear night, and very quiet, until I was hailed out of the dark.
“Soldier!” A man approached me-older, gray, but still a strong man-he had a military bearing, like a general, so much so that I almost saluted.
“Who are you, sir?”
“I am David, and I have a question. Are you here to guard his tomb?”
I was shocked to hear him speak.
“Sir, you speak as if you were from my own village! Are you from Vilnars also?”
He smiled, and said, “No, not from Vilnars, Tadas. I know that is your name; do not be afraid of anything you will see tonight. God is good, and He bestows blessings on whom He will. You are assigned to guard his grave, Tadas?”
I nodded, and he seemed pleased.
“Good! Guard it well; an honor guard, though not intended as such. But an honor guard, indeed.”
“There is a concern that some of His followers may come, take His body and claim resurrection-that is why we are posted here. If I may ask, Sir...”
He shook his head.

“Tadas, that will not happen. A group of us have been brought together by God to mourn for His Son; we are gathered a little further ahead, and I stopped you so that I could explain, but please, come; there is someone who wants to see you.”
I had no idea who he could mean, but as we walked on I could see a group, women and men sitting in a circle, without fire for heat or light. Some were crying.
One man got up and approached us, and it was good that David had an arm on my shoulder to keep me from running, as I was seeing a ghost!
John smiled, and said, “Tadas, do not be afraid-I am all right.”
“But I saw you dead! I held the door for your disciples as they carried your body away!”
“Praise be to God, I am fine now, and there is nothing to be afraid of, ever.”
“John, this is unbelievable!”
He smiled.
“David,” He said, “ I remember the day I was preaching and baptizing, and our young friend Tadas came to hear me. I could see that God was convicting him, and when he came up to be baptized-Tadas, do you remember what you said?”
“I said...please sir, can I be saved if I am not a Jew?”
“And I said, ‘God calls, and we answer.’ It hasn’t been easy for you since that day, has it, Tadas?”
“Not easy, no. But until today...” I found it hard to put into words, how I felt. But they understood.
“Yes, until today it all made sense, but then our Lord Jesus was killed. Please trust us that it still makes sense.”
David said, “Tadas, return to your fire, and guard well His tomb; we must continue our mourning. But meet us here tomorrow night before dawn, and I promise that you will be blessed.”
“I feel blessed right now, and I praise God that you, John, have been raised from the dead!”
“Tomorrow night, Tadas, you will see a greater miracle. Until then, Praise God!”
As I lay on my cot in the morning, too excited to sleep, I marveled at what I had seen. John alive, and hope not dead.

* * * *

That night I stayed close to the fire with the others. They were fearful, half-jumping at shadows, and if I had told them of meeting a dead man the night before, they would have believed me. But John was no longer dead, and just a bit before Dawn I left to meet him and David and the others.
They were standing together, about a dozen men and a few women, and the mood was no longer one of mourning, but expectation-something was about to happen.
They all welcomed me, and David shook my hand, but there was a feeling that we shouldn’t talk.
We had a clear view of the tomb, being up a little higher on a hill. It was still dark, but dawn would be here soon.
Suddenly, a man appeared next to the tomb, dressed in white. He was looking at the stone, and just as I was thinking, “What can one man do?” he took hold of it and moved it as easily as I would roll an egg across a table. The ground shook from the weight of its moving, and there was instantly from the tomb a light, shining so brightly that we were blinded.
Suddenly I was lying face down, and as my sight returned John helped me up- the others were also getting to their feet, even the one who had moved the stone -when he arose he hopped up and sat atop it.
We all were cheering, hugging each other, Praising God. Tears were streaming down my face, and I felt joy in my heart which is still there to this day.
David shouted, “He is Risen! Our Lord Jesus has risen from the grave, and won our Salvation!” and we all cheered with joy!
“Tadas, all of Creation has looked for this day, and it pleased God to bring us together, witnesses of His Glory! Praise be to God!”
“Praise God!” I somehow now understood that God had planned for
Jesus to pay for our sins with His death, and now He lived again!
David pointed down to our fire. “Oh, look, Tadas- your fellow soldiers have abandoned their post; come with us into town.”
And so we walked together, singing and praising God. Some went off to the Temple, others left to look around the city; David, John and I walked together to its very heart, near the Palace.
John said, “Tadas, Praise God for all that He has done! Do not fear when your time comes to die-our Lord has a place ready for you in His Kingdom, and we shall all be together, Praising God. David and I will be leaving soon, after we stop in and see my good friend Herod Antipas.” David laughed.
“Tell everyone what you have seen, and of the Goodness of God!”
With that word they disappeared, but in a few seconds I heard a fearful howl from within the Palace, and I decided I had better get back to the guard station.
Money was paid for our silence; I left my portion on the barracks table, not caring whose pocket it ended up in.
So the worst night of my life was quickly followed by the best. Praise God!

Matthew 27:50-53:
“50And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. 51And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split. 52The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007