10.30.2008

Ezekiel

Chapter 38-39
Gog will come against Israel, but God will foil and defeat them. They will be carrion for vultures, but God will not hide His face from Israel anymore, restoring them to the land. All will know that Israel's exile was for her sin, and not because the conquerors were so great.

Chapter 40-42
God gives a vision of a new, restored temple on His mountain. An angel measures it all.

Chapter 43
God's glory returns and fills the temple, and Ezekiel is supposed to tell Israel about all this so they will be convicted of their sins. The priesthood of Zadok is consecrated to offer sacrifices.

Labels:

On being hip

Heard this from a DA Carson lecture just now...

"You say I am not with it. My friend, I do not doubt it.
But when I see what I'm not with, I'd rather be without it."

Ezekiel

Chapter 33
Israel has a watchman: Ezekiel. He must blow the trumpet, warning her of attack. He must call her to repentance and to righteousness. Israel remained stubborn to the last, thinking they couldn't be exiled because they are children of Abraham. They would come and listen to God's word, but not believe or do them. News comes that Jerusalem has fallen.

Chapter 34
Israel's shepherds have fleeced and eaten the sheep, instead of feeding them, so Yahweh Himself, and His servant David will come and regather, protect and feed the sheep on the mountains.

Chapter 35-36
God condemns the mountain of Edom (Seir) for their reviling of Israel.
God blesses the mountains of Israel, promising cleansing and restoration.

Chapter 37
God continues promising restoration, showing Israel as dry bones resurrected and returned to the land. The divided kingdom will be over. They will have one king, one shepherd, David, and one eternal covenant of peace with God. He will live with them and be their God.

Labels:

10.29.2008

Latest read...

... a rousing success. The strength is a wide scope: it covers evidential argument for the authenticity and veracity of Scripture, analysis of textual criticism, summary of the books, review of translations, analysis of study tools, various methods of reading and study the Bible, and a final warning against legalistic obedience in reading, encouraging reading to flow from a living, love relationship with the Lord. The only weakness for me was a dismissal of the textus receptus as outdated, when it is still one legitimate family of texts, not an inferior family to be tossed aside. Minor point. Also, it begs the question a bit in responding to the documentary hypothesis of the higher critics (4 authors of Pentateuch, not Moses; Daniel couldn't have written Daniel; etc.) 2nd minor point.

If you have questions about the authenticity of the original manuscripts we have, pages 27-28 will answer your questions.

Overall, a great introduction to the Bible, and there is enough high-quality writing on various topics, that the life-long reader of Scripture is bound to find something new, as well.

10.28.2008

Ezekiel

Chapter 24
The siege of Jerusalem begins, and God gruesomely depicts it as a pot set on to boil water and cook meat. Ezekiel's wife dies, and God tells him not to mourn for her. God will not grieve when Israel goes into exile, either.

Chapter 25-28
Condemnations of the nations around Judah, that sought to exploit her downfall, especially of Tyre. She is lamented as Babylon is in Rev 17-18. Her king claims godhood, as Babylon in Isaiah 14, both connecting to Satan, I think. Israel will be safe from all these nations when they return from exile.

Chapter 29-32
Egypt condemned and lamented.

Labels:

Next up on the needles - MORE lace!

I am seaming up a sweater I knit over the past 2 months, and so it is time to look ahead to my next project. Knitting project - the other sewing, crafting, holiday, and cooking projects don't count. :) A stocking-stitch sweater was fast to knit, but rather uninteresting, so I think some lace is in order. Another lace shawl is hardly justifiable (I have 3). When I saw these, my heart skipped a beat:
Lace stockings! Aren't they pretty? What got me was the ribbon bow. I have some lovely green yarn lined up for this project. Yes, green. It's one of my favorite colors, and I think the reformed world is in need of green lace stockings. The pattern can be found here.

10.27.2008

Ezekiel

Chapter 22
God lists Israel's sins, from greed to injustice, to shedding innocent blood, to profaning the Sabbath, to every sexual sin in the Book. Prince, priest and prophet have all perverted their trusts. God will smelt them and remove the dross.

Chapter 23
God continues describing Israel's idolatry as adultery, partly because the former involved the latter, often. God's people easily let their hearts follow the dominant culture of the day - Assyria then, Disney, Oprah and ESPN now. Judah did not learn from her sister Samaria's idolatry. Even seeing the result, she fell into the same sin.

Labels:

Ezekiel

Chapter 20
In spite of Israel's persistent rebellion against God, He has always had mercy for the sake of His name among the nations. A day is coming when He will judge Israel according to His covenant with her, and restore them to serve Him in His land.

Chapter 21
God's sword is drawn. Babylon is coming. Ezekiel sets up signposts to show which route he is taking. Destruction will be swift, skillful, and brutal, for Israel's sin.

Labels:

10.26.2008

Ezekiel

Chapter 18
God doesn't judge us based on the character of our parents, of our children, or how we USED to walk with Him. There is always time to repent - right now - no matter how horrible your sins.

Chapter 19
Israel had become great, ruling over nations. But now it will be ruled. This is a lamentation: it is not how it is supposed to be for God's people.

Labels:

First of the season - in October??

A few days ago I was suprised to see our first-ever morning glory bloom. After starting it from seed in March and carefully watering it all summer long, I had given up on it, figuring it was in too shady of a location to ever bloom.

The mums I condemned to death by frostbite survived 3 days of winter snows and my ruthless transplanting and pruning back this spring. They are now blooming bright yellow and deep red in pots on my deck. I guess my "Resurrection Gardening" techniques work!

10.25.2008

Ezekiel

Chapter 16
God convicts Israel with the true story of Him marrying Israel, giving her life, clothing, and beauty. But Israel uses all God's gifts to worship other gods/husbands. She is worse than a prostitute, not wanting payment for her adultery with all the nations around her, but rather paying them. God will bring them and use them to strip Israel bare and punish her for this. Israel has made Hittites, Amorites and Samaritans her family, by her actions (the opposite of Ruth making Israel her family in Ruth 1:16-17). But God will atone for her sins in the future, with an everlasting covenant (Heb 13:20-21).

Chapter 17
God uses another picture-story to say that Israel's attempts to maneuver out of Babylon's desolation will not work. The remnant they try to make stand, God will topple; the remnant that looks dead now, God will regenerate.

Labels:

10.24.2008

Ezekiel

Chapter 13
God condemns false prophets who preach peace, when God is against Israel for her sin.

Chapter 14
Elders come to Ezekiel, seeking a word from God. God tells Ezekiel that many of these very elders are idolatrous, having separated themselves from God, joining their hearts to idols. The land has become so faithless that even the great OT mediators Noah, Daniel and Job could not save it.

Chapter 15
Israel is good for nothing, as the wood of vines cannot be made into anything. This is because they are faithless. Being faithless leads to being worthless.

Labels:

Infant baptism as faith

Great article on this here.

Wedding Quilt

What do you give a bride who has selflessly given and given and given of herself to many families ? A bride who so many young ladies look to as a role model? How can they show their appreciation? They do what they can - little stitches, simply yet beautifully executed, compiled into one gorgeous quilt, wrapped with love.

About 50 little girls, young ladies, and mothers participated in this TOP SECRET project. We kept it a secret for over a month. That alone is amazing!






Many different people helped construct the quilt. It traveled to our church campout where women secretly stole away to hand quilt around each square. It visited ballet classes where moms waited for dancing daughters and hand stitched some more. It traveled to my house for an evening; my role was cutting and sewing on the binding. I measured, cut, and pinned over 300" of binding only to discover this: the binding was 1/4" too short. Argh! Can you make out the time on the watch? It's 11:50 pm - too late to deal with this kind of problem! But there was plenty of fabric left, so I neatly seamed in a 12" piece to patch it up the next day.

The finished result was given to the bride at a surprise tea party. What a delight to see the little girls proudly pointing out their squares.

The Faith of King James

King James gets a bad rap from us conservative Reformed, Geneva-Bible types. (If you didn't know, he put the King James Bible together to replace the popular Geneva, with its Puritan study notes).

But a friend reading James' Basilican Doron found him writing this to his son:

"But because no man was able to keepe the Law, nor any part thereof, it pleased God of his infinite wisedome and goodnesse, to incarnate his only Sonne in our nature, for satisfaction of his justice in his suffering for us; that since we could not be saved by doing, we might at least, bee saved by believing.(213)

"Now, as to Faith, which is the nourisher and quickner of Religion, as I have already said, It is a sure perswasion and apprehension of the promises of God, applying them to your soule: and therefore may it justly be called the golden chaine that linketh the faithfulle soule to Christ: And because it groweth not in our garden, but is the free gift of God, as the same Apostle saith, it must be nourished by prayer, Which is nothing else, but a friendly talkingwith God. "(214)

He still didn't like the Puritans, but mainly because they allowed sedition (against him), not so much for their theology.

Ezekiel

Chapter 9

God judges and kills all idolators and any not grieved over the idolatry, starting with the elders at the gate. As at Passover in Egypt, He spares those who look to the Lord by giving them a mark.

Chapter 10
God's glory goes to the eastern gate of the temple. There is more emphasis here on the cherubim than on God's presence, implying they are closely connected. Perhaps we are also supposed to recall the exile from Eden, when the cherubim were stationed at the east gate, just like here.

Chapter 11
Israel's leaders feared the sword, so they would fall by it, just as Caiaphas acted out of fear of the Roman sword, seeking to keep his place and nation. Israel fell both times, and it will continue to happen every time God's people fear worldly governments more than Him. God speaks once more that the land will be removed of wicked men. But wherever the faithful are scattered, God will be a sanctuary to them there (a portable temple, as we've seen in the cherubim visions). And He will bring them back, with a new heart and spirit. With this word of judgment and promise, God leaves, to the east, landing first on a mountain east of the city (Mt. Olive?).

Chapter 12
Ezekiel acts out the coming exile, in front of an apathetic people who think it is a long way off.

Labels:

10.23.2008

Ezekiel 5-8

Chapter 5
Ezekiel cuts his hair and does with it symbolically as God will do with Israel, for her sins. Uprooting and destruction are coming.

Chapter 6
Ezekiel addressesthe mountains of Israel, where God's people were committing idolatry against Him. Pestilence, famine and sword are coming from God for this.

Chapter 7
God has set a day for this, and it is coming, when all the gold and silver they used to make idols will be plunder for others, and replaced with sackcloth, empty stomachs, and lack of wisdom.

Chapter 8
God gives Ezekiel a vision of the idolatry going on back in Jerusalem, in the temple itself, by the priest/guardians of its purity.

Labels:

Ezekiel 1-4

Chapter 1
Ezekiel the priest is called by God to prophesy against Israel.
Like Isaiah and John, the first thing he sees is God's glory and presence, emphasized poetically as the Spirit, able to go anywhere and see anything. God sees their sin, will exile them, but will go with them and - in the sign of the rainbow first given to Noah - will not utterly destroy them.

Chpater 2
Like Daniel and John, the Spirit makes Ezekiel able to stand before God and hear His voice without being utterly undone. God sends Ezekiel to a rebellious house - Israel - to say hard things. It won't be easy.

Chapter 3
Yet God's words are easy to understand, and they are sweet in the mouth, even if they are bitter to digest. If Ezekiel holds back from saying what God reveals to him, God will hold Ezekiel responsible.

Chapter 4
God has Ezekiel act out with a model the coming seige of Jerusalem and resulting famine. Like Paul, he objects to God's plan which goes against the ritual law.

Labels:

10.21.2008

New books...

... bought at presbytery or from friends.
1. The Institutes of Biblical Law, Rousas J. Rushdoony
2. Christ Our Penal Substitute, R.L. Dabney




































10.20.2008

22-hour Quilt

I have a quilt that's been 10 years in process, but the birth of a new baby called for some speedy sewing recently. A Thursday evening shower found me gift-less. Thankfully, a storm postponed the shower until Saturday. Whew! Friday afternoon I decided to sew a baby quilt as a gift, and started cutting at 2:00 pm, using the scraps I had on hand.

This is the result:A sweet stacked coins style quilt. Time was short, so my mom-in-law helped me tie the quilt instead of quilting it. The clock kept ticking, but there was just enough time to put a hand-sewn label on the back so mom and baby can remember who loved them so much. The last stitch was put in around noon on Saturday, just 2 hours before the shower!

I really hated to give this one away because I love how it turned out. But how could I keep it from such a cutie-pie with such a great name? Welcome to the world, little Sarah!




10.16.2008

Molecular Adhesion is Elementary

I may have a degree in Fine Art, but Science is my favorite subject. I can't wait until the kids are old enough to get into biology & chemistry... ok, I'm so excited we're not waiting.

Awhile back I taught my Kindergartener & 1st grader about molecular adhesion. Really.

I asked them if they could fill a tub with water so full that the water heaped up and didn't run over the edge. They didn't believe it was possible, so a demonstration was in order.

Try it yourself: fill a glass to the brim. One by one, carefully drop pennies into the glass. The pennies will displace the water, but the strength of the molecules pulling on each other will keep it from flowing over.



This was a great opportunity to explain surface tension, mass, and displacement. I refrained from drawing diagrams of the molecular structure of H2O and the affinity of electrons. We'll get to that next year, but only after they memorize the periodic table of elements. The grammar stage of the Trivium is the best time to do that, right?!?

10.15.2008

Sir Owen


10.06.2008

Who to vote for?

I found this to be pretty good sense, election-wise...

"In thinking about whether to vote for McCain (for reasons I have sketched out before), I need to be very clear that I am contemplating whether it will be lawful for me, in this instance, to bow down in the house of Rimmon. I am coming to the conclusion that it is. But as I do, when I look to my right and left, I see a bunch of evangelical Christians worshipping in the house of Rimmon, and that can't be good. And I see others, third party perfectionists, who say (because it is an easy point to score) that anybody in that temple must be committing the same sin as everybody else in there. Their temptation, of course, is to worship inside the temple of their own heads.

"So, then, Christ first. Gospel first. Scripture first. The gospel is the only answer to the corruptions of our culture. If Christians have that straight in their hearts and lives, then they can be used by God in our generation in merciful ways. Some of them are voting outside the mainstream. Some of them are voting McCain/Palin. But none of them are voting for Obama."

Douglas Wilson

10.03.2008

Provincial, maybe Liberal, but Loyal

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, chapter 2

Even as he expands the story beyond the parameters of the world we know, introducing us to talking, mythical beasts, Lewis grounds the identity of humanity in Adam and Eve. "Should I be right in thinking that you are a Daughter of Eve?" This is one of the ironies of reading fantasy and fiction: it can show us reality more clearly.

Lewis continues playing with this paradox, as Tumnus the fawn is quite provincial in his thinking, even as he expands the world we know. Tumnus thinks Wardrobe is a country. He has books on his shelf like "Is Man a Myth?" They have tea.

Being provincial or having wrong ideas about things doesn't prevent one from being kind-hearted and delightful. It also shouldn't define the antithesis: how we define what team we are on, good guys or bad guys. We discover Narnia has bad guys, by the way. Neither Narnia nor our world is a Thomas Kinkade painting with no evil in it. Tumnus has a secret. About a witch. Narnia has a darker side that Lucy experiences as they rush back to the lamppost. Is Tumnus a delightful faun, or a "kidnapper for the witch"?

Well, Tumnus has a book on his shelf that questions the existence of men, whom the prophecies say must sit on the thrones of Cair Paravel to right what is wrong. I surmise Lewis means this as a parallel to modern scholars who question what Jesus really said or the veracity of fulfilled OT prophecy. Surely for having such a book Tumnus is a heretic, and Lucy should renounce him! Lewis in the character of Tumnus is mixing opposite perspectives - the provincial and the overly liberal - and showing that a great deal of both can be tolerated when one sides with the right by his actions, which in turn reveal his faith, as Tumnus helps Lucy home.

Labels:

Halloween perspective

Great view of Halloween here, if you're interested

Communion Exhortation - 8/3/08

Text: Hebrews 8

At this table our Lord provides for the need of His people. You need to hear and see, often, what Jesus has done for you. He rules His house faithfully, through His representatives who stand among you now. He stands among the lampstands, among the churches, as he did in Revelation 1, bringing words of comfort, instruction, and correction to us. This is a lord who gets up from the table, and serves. What we elders are doing right now, is a picture of our Lord providing for His people. It is just a picture; the reality is that Jesus drank the cup of God’s wrath against our sin, so that the cup we drink is the joyous wine of union with Christ’s life and favor with God.
At this table our Lord provides for the need of His people.

At this table, each of us also renews our oath to serve our King and Lord. We do this with great solemnity, for He is the Lord of all creation. We do this with great joy, for He came to us that our joy might be full. This is a covenant, Jesus instituted. We are to live according to the design God sets up. And He speaks of a king’s son getting married. The groom’s friends don’t fast when the groom is with them. Your Maker is your husband. You are widowed no more; our redeemer gathers us with great compassion.

How are we to live in response? We should submit our lives to our Lord out of gratitude for His love. Do you seek redemption by Christ? Then drink down the cup. Do you seek to do away with the last remnants of darkness, from which you have been redeemed? Then drink of Christ. Do you seek strength to fight sin and love your Husband? Then drink. Renew the covenant relationship of love and redemption into which God has brought you.

Labels:

10.02.2008

Lace for a Lifetime

A few of you know I like to knit lace, a dying art that few are carrying on. I'm inspired by this bridal veil knit by Gloria Penning. It's amazing - 2400 stitches around the outside perimeter, knit with tatting thread on #1 needles (that's only 2.25 mm thick!). And it only took her a year to create!

I feel another lace project demanding to be on my needles....