Thursday, March 27, 2008

What God Can't Do

Before you stone me for heresy , hear me out. Growing up, I was always taught that God can do anything—Luke 1:37, for example, says, “For nothing is impossible with God.” Songs with lines like “there’s nothing my God cannot do…for you!” perpetuate this mindset in kids and adults alike. Now, before I go too far, I believe God is all-powerful, but the Bible also clearly states there are some things He cannot do.

Take for example James 1:13-14, “When tempted, no one should say ‘God is tempting me’ for God cannot be tempted, nor does he tempt anyone. Instead, each one is tempted when he is dragged away by his own evil desires…” (emphasis mine). In the passage from Luke that I cited earlier, it’s clear that the context is virgin birth—obviously, God can (and did) cause Mary to conceive Jesus, but Jesus could not have sinned—that would be going against His nature as God.

There are some things I think that the modern Evangelicals have gotten wrong and this is one of them. No, God can’t do everything. But there are a whole lot of things He can do (saving damned sinners, regenerating hearts, dying for the world, etc.), and for that, I’m eternally grateful.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Saturday, March 22, 2008

"On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness"

I've never been a huge fan of fantasy books, but I do love Narnia, and thanks to Andrew Peterson, I'm becoming a big fan of the land of Skree. Currently, I'm half-way through "On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness" and enjoying it immensely. A very busy Holy Week and painting project haven't allowed me to finish the adventure with the Igby children, but what an adventure it is! The book (number one of the Wingfeather Saga) is packed full of information about the land of Skree (including maps, history and forms one must fill out in order to use a shovel). That's what I love about fantasy writers--they really do create their own world, each one a bit unique.

Andrew's world includes (but is not limited to), the horrid Fangs of Dang, the toothy cows of Skree, ridgerunners, thwaps and The Black Carriage. Without giving away anything, I'll just say that Janner and Tink have had a very...interesting...time at Ankeljelly Manor and are getting some adventure out of the map they got at Oskar N. Reteep's bookstore. I look forward to finishing the adventure they have with Leli (their little sister) and giving a more complete review.

Friday, March 21, 2008

This week

It's been a crazy week, friends. This is the first time since Sunday I've actually sat down in front of my computer. Work, other commitments and the events of Holy Week have left little time to relax, but that is alright. Life is good! I have been helping paint at church and now my roommate and I are doing some painting of our own. Pretty sure we will get to be good friends with Lowe's through this process--I've been there three times since last night. I enjoy painting (walls, that is), and I'm thankful I have some experience in this area.

We had a good Maundy Thursday service last night--it was good to just relax with people, and be encouraged as well. In the spirit of Holy Week, here are some articles and posts about it. I haven't read all of them, but hope to soon.

Good (?) Friday
Share Christ's Sufferings
I Love the Cross
Passion Week Geography

Coming soon: the review of a book I am halfway through and loving but haven't had time to finish yet.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Reflections on manual labor

There are still some bits of green paint on my toenails as I sit here pondering my Saturday (I like to do things barefoot), but I've mostly recovered from the day. I have no doubts, though, that I will sleep well tonight.

This morning, I joined with other people from my church to give our building a spring make-over/fix-up. Specifically, I worked with some other girls to transform a black and gray office into a green nursery for the church babies. We had a good time listening to music and chatting while we taped, painted and painted some more. While waiting for the nursery to dry, we also gave the bathroom some love (as per our instructions)--it's now much more cheerful, and we are toying with the idea of having the put their handprints on the walls. All the paint we used was mixed by hand, thus necessitating us to name the colors. Continuing with our Sunday School theme, we went with the super-cheesy names of Palm Sunday Green, Let There Be Light Yellow and Walking on Water Blue.

There is something very satisfying about walking away from a room and actually being able to see the results of your hard work. As much as I enjoy my job, I don't see many results at the end of the day. Today, though, I could noticeably see what my hands had done. I'm about to go to sleep, and it will feel good to fall into bed tired, yes, but knowing that I was productive with my work, doing it with all my might, as Ecclesiastes 9:10 says.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Unplugging the tube

I (thankfully) did not grow up with much t.v. I have never had cable, and hope to always keep it that way. Furthermore, I would (at least as of March 2008) be perfectly fine with not having a television. While I enjoy watching movies on occasion, I have a laptop that works just fine for times like that.

Over the last few years, one thing I've noticed when hanging out with friends and watching t.v. (or movies) is that it's so...lifeless. I would much, much rather be interacting with people--getting to know them, laughing, sometimes even learning while playing games or just sitting around talking. A few families from my church have no television, and I love going to their houses and getting to interact without the distraction of the t.v.

Honestly, I don't even think there's much worth watching on the t.v., and even though there's not, it is still a time-waster that people watch. One can only imagine how many hours would not have been wasted if it weren't for the television.*

The NY Times had an article today about t.v. in kids' bedrooms and there are some old articles on Boundless by Bethany Torode on this topic as well. The first is called "Avert Thine Eyes"
and the second is here. And if anyone says you need t.v. to be a well-adjusted or well-cultured person...I'd question their definitions of those terms.

*="What about the Internet?" I can hear people say. It's true; the Internet is a time wasting machine. However, I think that the web is more interactive--blogging is a perfect example. Certainly, hours can be wasted upon it--I myself have been more guilty of this than I'd like to admit; one must use discernment and self-discipline with it, as with anything in life.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Music to my ears

(It's a misleading title, kids.) While I certainly enjoy listening to music, there are times I want something that will actually make me think (or laugh). In that vein of thought, I present to you some of my most frequently listened to podcasts/sermon sources. Certainly one can become "over-sermonized" and just like to have people talking in your ear...but when use properly, they can be a good source of encouragement, challenge and enjoyment.

Boundless Show--Each week the team of bloggers from Boundless Line put up a podcast featuring a variety of topics, ranging from culture to church to relationships...and usually back to relationships again. Their discussions on singleness are interesting, though, as are their other topics.

Radio Worldview (or That's Crazy Talk)--I feel I know half of the WVA staff (and have heard stories about the other half) and know the executive producer of the's only natural that I listen to said podcast as well. Bill and Jeff are crazy (as always) but have good and thought-provoking content about worldviews, culture, baseball, literature and everything inbetween. And there is plenty of making fun of Bill's age.

Mars Hill Church--the sermons of Mark Driscoll initially got me interested in the Acts 29 network of church, which in turn led me to my current church. Their website has a bevy of sermons on a variety of Scripture passages (they usually go through straight through books of the Bible, so that's mostly what you'll find, though there are some topical series).

Oikos--I use my church's sermon page to catch up on ones I've missed (happens when I teach Sunday School) and to listen to sermons again. You should all listen to Pete's sermon from 2.10.08 called "Be Ready."

Saturday, March 01, 2008

On this weekend

I know this weekend is only about half over, but some very exciting things have transpired since it commenced.

-Roommate B and I have been looking for another cat, as Roommate J is planning to move out and take her cat with her. J's cat doesn't like us very much, anyways. B had e-mailed a few days ago about a cat on craigslist but didn't hear anything back. Last night she suggested I e-mail again, I did and about 15 minutes later, we got a reply saying the cat was still there and if we were interested, we should come and look at her. We got out there and took Maggie (renamed Nellie) home with us. She is a delightful 7 month old cat with a good amount of kitten friskiness left in her. Pictures forthcoming.

-My girls were amazing at the quiz meet, as always. Even when they give me heart attacks by giving themselves less than 10 seconds to quote something like Ephesians 5:3.

-After the quiz meet, I stopped at a grocery store where they were have a "cake walk" with numbers on the floor. I spotted the number 16 on the floor near where I was, kept a foot on it and promptly won three New York Steaks. Not being a huge steak fan (as I have already admitted), they went into the freezer until I can figure out how I want to cook them.

-Blog topics rolling around in my head include, but are not limited to, lessons learned from doing laundry, roommates, birth control, television and hymns.