Posts

Showing posts from November, 2008

Grace and works

“In the New Testament, religion is grace and ethics is gratitude.” - Thomas Erskine

From Rick Warren's Pastor's Toolbox

Thanksgiving break 2008

I'm planning on being computer free for the holiday break. I have some posts scheduled, but if you leave a comment it probably won't show up until I get back to approve it. I had to go back to moderating comments after the pornographers showed up. I don't want any pornography here, but I will take people who stumble here looking for pornography, as I want them to be convicted of their sin. For those looking for porn I recommend the XXX Church.

For the rest of my readers, Happy Thanksgiving.

the Hitler meme re-made for the Emergent Village

I've seen probably a half-dozen of these now. The ones during the presidential primaries were a riot. Andrew Jones linked to this one today. It's funnier if you watch a few of these and if you know the names and current history. I love when Hitler calls Tony and Andrew "brothers."

Pilgrims and the others

A new book by an author in my area, "In his book “Thanksgiving: The Pilgrims’ First Year in America,” Hanover author Glenn Cheney describes Thanksgiving as it surely was in that rough beginning of America."

I'm interested in this account of how their Christian beliefs affected their relations with the Wampanoags.

And while the common assumption is the brave Pilgrims came to America for religious freedom, only 40 of the 140 passengers were actual separatists. The rest were there to try their hand at fortune, their passage paid for by investors.

Christianity, Cheney said, seemed to have a role in the Pilgrims’ ultimate acceptance by the American Indians because during one tense moment that followed an earlier skirmish, they put down their guns and met the Indians, who had the advantage of being on top of a hill, armed.

“They turned the other cheek, giving these savages a chance, and the savages did the same; they put down their bow and arrows and met them,” he said. “It was a …

Thanksgiving history

We have much to be thankful for. When our world crumbles around us, we still have things to be thankful for. The Pilgrims arrived in Massachusetts in the winter. They were aided by the Wampanoag tribe members. But they weren't the most pleasant guests. The resident Indians were recovering from the the devastation of the plague. Squanto was the last surviving member of his tribe. The Pilgrims survived on corn buried by the recently killed tribes. The plague changed everything. I highly recommend this link. I am quoting liberally from it but there is more to be had there by James W. Loewen. The Black Plague does provide a useful introduction, however. Black (or bubonic) Plague "was undoubtedly the worst disaster that has ever befallen mankind." In three years it killed 30 percent of the population of Europe. Catastrophic as it was, the disease itself comprised only part of the horror. Thinking the day of judgment was imminent, farmers failed to plant crops. Many people gav…

Church diversity: good or bad?

I expect better from Philip Yancey. He disappointed me in today's CT essay Denominational Diagnostics. He writes, In his great prayer in John 17, Jesus stressed one request above all others: "that they may be one." The existence of 38,000 denominations worldwide demonstrates how poorly we have fulfilled Jesus' request. If he really believed this then he would repent and join an Orthodox Church or a Coptic Church, since they are the closest to pre-division era churches. But there are reasons churches have calved off from earlier versions. It's usually because the parent church has calcified or drifted from truth or affiliated itself to closely to the world or its ways. The calving often will bring reform to the parent church.

I think we are blessed to have a diversity of churches in our towns. A monopoly is never healthy. Diversity is healthy. In fact, he claims that it is important for him to belong to a diverse church. Just like some of us like McDonald's and…

book report: The Moon Shines Down

Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown is one of my favorite books to read to small children, especially at bedtime. My youngest just turned nine so those days are long gone in my household.
Sigh.
I enjoyed so much the rhythm, cadence, and meter of that book. It just rolled off the tongue. I recently received a “lost” book of Ms. Brown’s for review, titled The Moon Shines Down. The introduction states that this book is based on the New England sampler prayer,

I see the moon
and the moon sees me
The moon sees the somebody I'd like to see.
God bless the moon
and God bless me
God bless the somebody I'd like to see!

Unfortunately, the publisher felt the manuscript was “too short for a standard size picture book,” so they asked a fan of Ms. Brown’s to fill it out. The introduction continues that the supplemental author, Laura Minchew, was able to capture “Brown’s unique rhythms and rhyme schemes.” “Unique” is an adequate euphemism, because the rhythms and schemes are wooden and out of sync …

winter biking in November

Connecticut is having a bit of a cold snap, a global-warming-denying cold snap, to put a finer point on it. I don't expect 23F morning rides until February. Yet this morning it was that cold and it may still be below freezing when I ride home. I'm not as dedicated as Jill in Alaska who can ride cold and wet, or the Iditarod race by bike, but I can ride cold. I thought I'd list my gear for these rides.

Cotton/poly t-shirt
2 layer poly long sleeve shirt
zip up fleece
anorak wind breaker

leg tights- spandex
cotton sweat pants

two pair of socks
merrells

double layer gloves

thin balaclava
thin knit cap
helmet
ski goggles

neck sock

Actionbent Recumbent us Jet Stream 2. All the cables on my bike were frozen. Both gear shifters and both brakes needed loosening. In fact, the front shifter refroze towards the end of the ride. On the other hand, I sweat in all these layers. The layers are good for the strong north wind and times when I'm at a standstill. When I'm climbing hills, I'll st…

complementarianism and spouse abuse

Dan Wallace, who is also a reluctant complementarian, writes,A friend wrote to me recently, asking why I haven’t written anything about wife abuse on Parchment & Pen. She urged me to do it because, according to her, complementarianism is rich soil in which to grow this kind of wickedness (she’s an egalitarian).

His words are good for any husband, regardless of his theology.

Top 10 diet myths

WebMD has a new article on recent findings presented at the American Dietetic Association this week. Here are the myths, but you'll need to read the article for the explanation.

Myth: Eating at night makes you fat.
Reality: Calories count, whenever you eat them.
Umblogger: Great, I enjoy a snack after the kids retire for the evening.

Myth: Avoid foods with a high glycemic index.
Reality: You could use the glycemic index to adjust your food choices, but don't make it your sole strategy for losing weight or controlling blood sugar, Rosenbloom says.
Umblogger: I avoid those sugary foods unless they are laying around the hallway at work, then all bets are off on my self-control.

Myth: High fructose corn syrup causes weight gain.
Reality: "There's probably nothing particularly evil about high fructose corn syrup, compared to regular old sugar," Rosenbloom says.
Umblogger: As I've told some friends, fructose is fructose, which is natural. HFS is concentrated. However, I enj…

Algonkian Church History

A new blog right up my alley has started this month during National American Indian Heritage Month. I am looking forward to many posts in the future from Jeff Siemers at Algonkian Church History.

The Advent Conspiracy

What would Christmas look like if we did it like Jesus did and gave ourselves to those who won't appreciate it, won't thank you for it, and won't reciprocate for it? And I'm not talking about your mean uncle. Consider the gift of clean water.



HT: Justin McRoberts

November is national adoption month

James tell us that pure and undefiled religion that is acceptable to God cares for widows and orphans. One way to care for orphans is by adopting them. November is National Adoption Month.The issue, of course, occurs worldwide. Please also see the Cry of the Orphan.

free blog psychoanalysis

According to Typealyzer, the Umblog belongs to an
INTP - The ThinkersThe logical and analytical type. They are especialy attuned to difficult creative and intellectual challenges and always look for something more complex to dig into. They are great at finding subtle connections between things and imagine far-reaching implications.

They enjoy working with complex things using a lot of concepts and imaginative models of reality. Since they are not very good at seeing and understanding the needs of other people, they might come across as arrogant, impatient and insensitive to people that need some time to understand what they are talking about.

Folded Homes

Haven't come across new yurt designs in awhile, until today. Folded Homes offers small single or double walled plastic yurts with windows and doors. Their answer to space needs are connect another yurt. At $1200 a yurt, its not the cheapest solution, but I like these as a way to occupy a remote piece of land. It's lightweight and easy to assemble. The double wall, which the owner fills with whatever insulation material at hand, addresses the noise concerns I have about yurts.

Update: See comment from company representative in the comments section...

Thank you Veterans

As I rode my bike in this morning, I observed the traffic was really light. Then I realized, today is a national holiday, Veteran's Day. Thank you veterans for your voluntary service. Thank you veteran families for sharing your dear ones with the nation. Thank you veterans for standing in harm's way. Thank you.

Jesus and Old Testament rape law

How's that for a title?

I promise that I will connect the dots by the end of this post. My thoughts started when I read this before church today. One friend reminded me that for almost 20 centuries of church history, Christian theologians regarded women as inherently inferior to men, prone to deception and perhaps not fully sharing in the image of God. Be patriarchal if you want, she said, but do not bother trying to soften the blow by calling it equality. Those conversations opened my eyes. I had downplayed the Old Testament passages that treated women as property, spoils of war, or trophies for victorious men. I had not noticed that Deuteronomy 22 orders rapists to be fined and then given their victims in marriage. It's by a seminary professor, Bob Pyne, who describes his switch from believing in gender roles in church office (complementarianism) to gender equality in all church roles (egalitarianism). I can say I've waffled on this over the years. I'm currently a re…

Persecuted Church in India

This Sunday is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. I have a special concern for the church in India, which is experiencing "religious cleansing" in some of its states. Here are links to some stories of recentatrocities and an open letter to President Bush from national religious leaders.

The Honorable George W. Bush
President
The White House
Washington, DC

Dear Mr. President:

For more than two months, Christians in seven of India's states have borne the brunt of repeated waves of violent and deadly attacks that have left scores of people murdered, communities and churches destroyed, and tens of thousands of people homeless. The situation demands a strong and urgent American response to a strategic democratic global partner such as India. As has been well documented, the violence erupted following the tragic attack on a charismatic Hindu leader, Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four others, which led to their deaths on August 23. Although a radical Maoist …

Crazy ducks!

Image
Here are our three Indian Runner ducks. This is their abode and pen. They live behind chicken wire, in a dog house filled with straw, and, at night, behind a board held against the opening with cinder blocks to keep the coyotes, foxes, skunks and raccoons out. We feed them in the morning and afternoon and we keep their water bowls full, but not clean. I think they like it dirty. We bought them as big handfuls a few months ago, hoping we'd get all girls. No one is laying yet, still too early, but the big duck has a curled feather at his tail, which usually indicates a non-egg layer. These ducks belong to my children, one for each, but I end up doing alot of their pen and house maintenance.

I must admit I enjoy it.

My grandfather came east from an Iowa farm, and I must be feeling my heritage when I'm slinging a little bit of hay around. The beautiful weekend past enabled me to get them in better shape for winter. I dumped out the dirty hay. I put a pallet underneath their house, a…

McCain and Fey on SNL

Gotta give them credit for embracing SNL.