Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

Steven Curtis Chapman Interview with James Dobson

August 27, 2008 Leave a comment

I caught the tail end of the three day interview that Dr. James Dobson had with Steven Curtis Chapman.  It’s very good.  You can find it by clicking on the right side (Family radio tab) of the main page, the “Daily Broadcast” link.  The three parts are called “The God of All Comfort”.  Linked HERE.

One of the cool things that Dr. Dobson mentioned was how the secular interviews didn’t catch onto the spiritual aspect of the story, which was the biggest gist of their whole experience.

Also, thank you to all our readers!  In only five months, we’ve reached 14,000 webpage views!  Thanks!!

Loves Comes Softly Quote

Lael was watching a movie tonight, and I heard a quote that really struck me.  The main character lost his wife, his barn, and had to raise his daughter, Missy, on his own.  He was asked how he could love a God who allowed so many bad things to happen to him.  This was his answer.

Missy could fall down and hurt herself, even if I’m walking right there beside her.  That doesn’t mean I allowed it to happen.  But she knows, with a father’s unconditional love, I’ll pick her up and I’ll carry her.   I’ll try to heal her.  I’ll cry when she cries, and I’ll rejoice when she is well.  In all the moments of my life, God has been right there beside me.  The truth of God’s love is not that he allows bad things to happen.  It’s his promise that he’ll be there with us when they do.

Oprah is NOT a Christian, Her New “Church” is Very Anti-Christ

April 28, 2008 6 comments

Here is a short video where Oprah says that there are millions of ways to God, not just one through Jesus, and shows what she believes as being very New Age. It’s very disturbing stuff. It isn’t anything I haven’t heard before, but her amount of influence is what makes it worrisome.

Prayer Request and Surgery Info

April 16, 2008 3 comments

We just talked to Dr. Brown, the surgeon. It looks like a VERY mild form of Tetralogy of Fallot, and right now, they will just be patching the Ventral Septal Defect (Hole). As a matter of fact, Bryce may be getting MORE blood to the lungs than usual, rather than less than necessary. There is a SMALL chance (1 in 100) that he will need a pacemaker depending on the nerves in the area that they work on. PLEASE pray that this won’t be necessary, as there may be restrictions on his activities later in life, I would expect. We have to be here at 6:00 in the morning. His will be the first case of the day for Dr. Brown. Probably at 7:00 he’ll be taken back, with the majority of the good stuff happening around 8:00. Should take about 2-3 hours. After that, he’ll be in ICU for a day or so until the surgeon releases him, then he’ll be moved to the heart center. Hopefully it will only be about 3-4 days post-op recovery. Three days would be great! Please pray for a fast recovery. Thanks again for all your support. Things are going swimmingly, and we expect that everything will continue to go well. God is faithful and our Healer.

Lael reads a Psalm per day, she looked ahead at tomorrow’s. It is Psalm 41. AWESOME! Here are some highlights!

1 Blessed is he who has regard for the weak;
the LORD delivers him in times of trouble.

2 The LORD will protect him and preserve his life;
he will bless him in the land
and not surrender him to the desire of his foes.

3 The LORD will sustain him on his sickbed
and restore him from his bed of illness.

4 I said, “O LORD, have mercy on me;

heal me, for I have sinned against you.”

5 My enemies say of me in malice,
“When will he die and his name perish?”

6 Whenever one comes to see me,
he speaks falsely, while his heart gathers slander;
then he goes out and spreads it abroad.

7 All my enemies whisper together against me;
they imagine the worst for me, saying,

8 “A vile disease has beset him;
he will never get up from the place where he lies.”

11 I know that you are pleased with me,
for my enemy does not triumph over me.

12 In my integrity you uphold me
and set me in your presence forever.

13 Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting.
Amen and Amen.

Categories: Family, Life, Religion Tags: , ,

Meaningful Excerpts from “Blue Like Jazz”

April 13, 2008 Leave a comment

“The most difficult lie I have ever had to contend with is this: Life is a story about me.”

“…no drug is as powerful as the drug of self. No rut in the mind is so deep as the one that says I am the world, the world belongs to me, all people are characters in my play. There is no addiction so powerful as self-addiction.”

“It comforts me to think that if we are created beings, the thing that created us would have to be greater than us, so much greater, in fact, that we would not be able to understand it.”

“When we worship God we worship a Being our life experience does not give us the tools with which to understand. If we could, God would not inspire awe.”

“I know our culture will sometimes understand a love for Jesus as weakness. There is this lie floating around that says I am supposed to be able to do life alone, without any help, without stopping to worship something bigger than myself. But I actually believe there is something bigger than me, and I need for there to be something bigger than me. I need someone to put awe inside me; I need to come second to someone who has everything figured out.”

Categories: Life, Religion Tags: , ,

Thoughts on Growing Old

April 12, 2008 Leave a comment

We moved my grandmother into an assisted living facility today. She has multiple sclerosis and has regressed to the point that it’s not safe for her to live alone. It is a sad day. She’s been living alone for a few years, since my grandfather died from cancer. We hope that she will be able to make friends, and be accepted, and enjoy herself. So for that, we are relieved. No more late night phone calls for her kids, needing to pick her up off the floor. With everything going on with Bryce, it’s been a few days of deep thinking. Which is rare for me.

When we are born, for years we are totally dependent on our caretakers. We would die without their help. When we grow old, eventually, we are totally dependent on our caretakers. We would die without their help as well. Why is that? Why aren’t we born and grow to maturity in a day? Why did God create us this way? Is it because we need to learn to rely on others, like we need to rely on God? Is it so that we grow up to realize that the ones that took care of us, and kept us alive, make mistakes? And because of our closeness with them, these mistakes rock our world and make us realize that we are all sinful, when we’re hurt by the ones we love, and then the idea of God becomes more real to us? A caretaker that makes no mistakes, doesn’t yell at us when He’s mad, doesn’t forget to come to our baseball game, doesn’t forget to call on our birthdays (etc.), and cared enough that he died to save us from death? I don’t know why life is the way it is, other than God willed it that way. Someday, I will be unable to care for myself. I know it’s true, death comes to all men. But when that day comes, I’ll know I’m still loved and taken care of by the creator of the world, and that will help heal the sadness that comes with losing my independence.

Categories: Family, Life, Religion Tags: , , , ,

My Thoughts from Today

April 10, 2008 Leave a comment

I came home late today, and Brielle ran up to me and said “Hi, Daddy!  Miss you!”  Man, that hit me, what a cutie!  I love her so much.  I think she got the saying from me.  When I get home, I make a point to give her a hug and tell her I missed her today, and that it’s good to see her, and that I love her.  I guess it made a difference and something stuck!

I’ve been reading John lately.  To get to know Jesus better, I need to learn about Him, I love reading the New Testament.  Anyway, I searched today on why Jews don’t believe in Jesus because of all I’ve read over the years about how much the Jews hated Jesus.  The one website I saw listed a few spurious reasons why they don’t.  But there are so many prophecies and signs that He is the Messiah, I don’t understand why they don’t believe in Him, other than their blindness.  The arguments the Rabbi put forth were very weak, in my opinion.  The evidence for His divinity far outweigh what I’ve read against it.  I feel very saddened for the Jewish nation.

We watched the newest episode of “The Office”.  Just when I thought they couldn’t make the show more uncomfortable and realistic, BAM, it hit me like a ton of feathers (you think that wouldn’t hurt, but c’mon, a TON is a TON!).  It was really funny.

Here is a humorous picture of a kitten getting a bath.

The Root of All Evil

April 8, 2008 1 comment

You may read the title of this post and say, “Oh boy, this is going to be a really serious discussion on money.  I’m going to skip this post, and go back to whittling that piece of wood I found on the shore of Lake Michigan last summer into a bear holding a fish”.

If you have said this, you are wrong.  And need to find a new hobby.  I’m not talking about money, I’m talking about slow drivers.  In the last 24 hours, I have had the opportunity to learn patience and self-control while driving.  Last night, it was late, and I really wanted to get home, and I was stuck behind someone going 40 in a 55 zone.  Finally, I was to my turn, and guess what…their turn signal started blinking, slowly flashing, pointing in the direction I was going, taunting me with every blink.  I was aware that I was getting upset, so I had to calm myself down.  Today, on my way home from work, it was 40 in a 50, and the truck was about 300 years old, made of rust, and smelled like a burning oil refinery.  Same thing, I had to have self-control.  It’s funny, the more you learn about what is wrong, the more you realize how bad you actually are.  It’s not killing people, or stealing, or watching Jerry Springer, it’s the thoughts about others, the frustrations, and the little things that we do that end up being the “sins of the day”.  Life as a believer is a constant tweaking of who we are as a person, and the continuous “putting to death” of the flesh.  These slow drivers were the root of all evil to me, at those moments.  It was at the forefront of my mind.

On another note, Bryce is sitting on the floor, playing.  He’s so funny.  He’ll look at me, smile, and yell.  He’s such a cute kid.  I can’t believe in little over a week he’ll be on an operating table.  We have peace about it, but I still have a sadness that wells up when I think of my little boy having such an invasive surgery done to his body.  He has such a personality now, he’s not just a sleeping, pooping, eating baby anymore, he’s Bryce, the kid that loves to yell, enjoys his ring toys, smiles all the time, and loves rubbing his gums on his teether…  We trust God fully, and still pray for a miracle!!

Blue Like Jazz

April 6, 2008 2 comments

I’m reading a book a friend let me borrow called Blue Like Jazz (by Donald Miller).  I haven’t read a lot lately, short of the internet and the bible.  I go on reading binges now and again, mostly the latest Grisham or Crichton novel…but this is a non-fiction account of a man and his realizations about God and how he became a Christian, so it’s a welcome change of pace.  His testimony is so different than what I’ve experienced (growing up in the church and believing that God was real from a young age), that his perspectives are changing the way I think about God.  I learned about God in an institutionalized atmosphere.  Sunday school, Psalty the Singing songbook, McGee and Me, the Bible itself; you get the picture.  It wasn’t as experiential as I would have liked, but I was young.  I do remember a few times that I experienced God in a tangible way as a child, but now that I’m older, I understand the world around me better, why we need a Savior, and what selfishness and “the flesh” really is, so I am experiencing God more now than I ever have.  Especially during these trying times with life stuff happening (Bryce’s heart condition, being married with two kids, ministering in the church, realizing I’m still selfish and needing to reach out to others more, that the Cubs won’t ever win a world series in my lifetime, and that the Hokey-Pokey ISN’T what it’s all about).

What I like about Don’s account is that he didn’t approach Christianity as a get-out-of-hell-free card, like the Gospel seems to be sold so often.  He understood that there was something in him that wasn’t right.  That he was doing things that felt wrong, and he had guilt, and a nagging feeling that the problems in this world were due to people’s self-absorption.  Wars, genocide, racism: it’s all a direct result of sin and people’s selfishness.  He finally equated this selfishness with sin.  This, in turn, pointed him toward God, who forgave his sins and loved him unconditionally.  He speaks of his struggles as a Christian to accept God’s grace (always feeling, like I have at times, that he needs to be self-disciplined in his own strength to be sinless, in order to be loved by God, and if he sins, he feels bad and condemned all the time, not allowing God’s grace to set him free), and to accept God’s love so he can love others.  Sorry for the run-on sentences, it’s late, and I’m a business, not an English, major.  I haven’t finished the book yet, but so far I like it, enough that I want a copy for myself so I can write in it (I have a bid on a used copy on Ebay right now…”Shop Victoriously!”).  I hope that I can take some of the truth that he found about God and apply it to my life.  I’d like to change my thinking and understanding of God to fit the truth more closely.  I feel I have a partial truth and I know my whole life will be spent pursuing the complete truth of who God is, and what He wants for and from me.  It’s refreshing reading other accounts of how people “found” God.

There is so much he’s covered that I wish I could relate.  I want the book so I can read it again, because I have a tendency to read something, really like it and want to remember it, and then forget it soon afterward.  It’s frustrating!  Wow, long post…gotta get to bed.

What We Didn’t Know About the Birth Control Pill

April 5, 2008 5 comments

Lael and I got married while we were in college, and her doctor prescribed the birth control pill for her, since obviously, having a baby during college for two full time students would be a difficult experience, to say the least. Lael was told that the pill was hormonal and would keep her from ovulating. This is all true…mostly. Recently a family member was kind enough to respond to my post about the male birth control pill, which got me thinking, and doing a little research. During my research (thank you Google), I found NUMEROUS sites, pro-life and pro-choice, that showed that the modern birth control pill in ALL its variations is what is called an abortifacient, which means that in some cases, the body will abort a fertilized egg. How can that happen when the pill is supposed to prevent ovulation? A phenomenon called breakthrough ovulation. Sometimes an egg will get released. The older pills had more hormones, so this didn’t happen as often, but now, since the pill has less hormones to keep side effects low, breakthroughs happen more often. The stats are low, 4-10% of the cycles will end up releasing an egg, depending on what you read. So basically, that egg may get released, and then fertilized. Why won’t a woman then get pregnant?

Because another reason the pill works is because it causes the womb to be inhospitable for eggs to attach to the uterine wall. This means, obviously, that the possibly fertilized and now growing zygote (read:tiny embryo) will pass from the body and die.

This was news to us. I guess I never really thought about it, somewhere along the lines, I may have heard a rumor or something, but never took the time to read up on it, thinking “They would tell us, the church would tell us, someone would make a big deal about this!!”. But that never happened. We aren’t on the pill anymore, because we are VERY pro-life, and believe that life begins at conception, and that life is sacred. We prayed for forgiveness, and are moving on. But we wanted to let you all know what was possible. The odds are low, but we’ve been married for a long time…so there is a possibility we lost a child, and that is not a good feeling. However, we rest easy in the fact that we now know, and are doing what we believe is right. I encourage you to do some research on the pill if you are curious.

Here are some links to read if you’re interested, these may be inappropriate for children and teens due to the subject matter linked to on the sites.

Pro Life Site

Randy Alcorn (Christian Author) did a lot of research on this and has written about it. Here is a summary.

Some pro-abortion advocates believe that a woman isn’t actually pregnant until the fertilized egg attaches to the womb. Here is a pro-life response to that.

Here, the Mayo-Clinic states you can use several birth control pills at once as an emergency contraception (ie morning after pill).

This is the manufacturer’s site for one of the major pills. In the product info sheet, the three ways that the pill is said to work is inhibiting ovulation, changing cervical mucus to inhibit sperm from entering the womb, and changing the endometrium to reduce the likelihood of implantation (why prevent against implantation if it’s not possible??)