Monday, August 31, 2009

Book Review: "Let Go" by Sheila Walsh

(*I am a book reviewer for Thomas Nelson Publishing. Seeing as this book is directed towards women, I had Steph review it. Enjoy the review!)

When my husband asked me to read, Let Go, by Sheila Walsh, I was not excited about it. When I read the back cover, it seemed like another Christian self-help book (of which I am not a big fan). As I began to read through the first two chapters, I realized I was going through a situation that I needed to “let go” of, and Sheila was giving me honest examples, advice, and biblical truths I could apply to my situation.

In, Let Go, Sheila addresses issues many women go through that prevent them from becoming all they can be in Christ. Chapter three discussed living in the past. As I was going through something that still haunts me from my past, I was able to take heart that I am not the only person to struggle with past situations. She wrote, “Truth is powerful. At times it is heartbreaking, but ultimately, it will deliver you. (pg.35)” This statement struck me and has stuck with me.

At the end of each chapter, Sheila asked questions that made me really have to think in order to answer honestly. As I worked through my own issue, I was given hope and assurance that I am not alone. Other women go through the same thing, and with Christ’s help and hope, I can overcome them to become the woman I want to be.


Great Quote:

Peace is inextricably linked
with equality between
women and men.
- U.N. Security Council,
at their open debate
on women, peace,
and security
(October 2002)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Links & Thoughts: Michigan Football

So if you're a Michigan fan or a college football fan, you probably heard that Michigan has recently been accused of breaking NCAA rules concerning too many hours of mandatory practice during the off season. [ [ [ Link ] ] ] This is a serious claim, and one that if true could give Meechigan a very big black eye.

Of course, when it comes to Michigan football, I have one source Brian. Brian is the main operator for MGoBlog, a one stop shop for all things Michigan football. Apparently, Brian is starting a Jihad against the paper who published the article. Here are responses he posted concerning this controversy. (Post #1, Post #2, Post #3).

Now, Brian made the point that the author of the article - Michael Rosenberg - has a personal grudge against Rich Rodriguez. Or at least he doesn't like Rich Rod. So maybe that paints the story with anti-Rodriguez glasses. (FWIW).

Brian makes some good points and I think that if he is right, the program will be ok. But if he's wrong and the program has been breaking rules, they need to be punished. Hopefully, this is all poor thinking, complaing players, and a biased journalist who's anti-Michigan football. I want a program that wins, and that does it above boards. GO BLUE!

Flamingo Fundraiser: Don't get Flocked

Perhaps you're curious what the big announcement was at church today. Well the big announcement is that the Flamingos are coming. That's right those ugly, nasty, smelly birds are on their way! Let's face it, flamingos are tacky and ugly. People who have them in their lawns should be ashamed of themselves! So you really don't want to be seen with a flock of flamingos in your yard!

Lucky for you, the New Carlisle Student Ministries has been planning and preparing for this all summer. We're prepared to keep those disgusting birds off your lawn. Also, lucky for you, we're selling Flamingo Insurance. IF you don't want to take the risk of having those awful birds end up in your yard you should get yourself protected.

Below is a copy of our insurance form. If you would like to, fill one out -- just print your name, address, and signature, and bring it in to the church by next Sunday (9-6-09) -- and we'd love to get you insured. DON'T LET THE UNTHINKABLE HAPPEN!

If you have any questions, call the church @ 574.654.7898!


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Great Quote:

I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends.
~Abraham Lincoln

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sabbath pt2

Life is a struggle, one that takes everything we have in order to succeed. Only the richest of the rich don’t need to worry about the future. There is only 24 hours a day and we usually find ourselves working far too many of those hours just to make ends meet. This has been going on for centuries and is nothing new.

I don’t need to know you to know that you work hard. I know that you often lay in bed wondering how the bills will all be paid, how you’re going to be able to save up for college, or how you’re going to get the noose of debt off your neck. We’re all in the same boat!

It is for this reason that when people come up against the idea of taking a Sabbath they freak out. “We’re barely making ends meet by working 7 days a week, you’re asking me to cut 1 day off and still expect ends to meet?” A farmer who works more in a busy season than in a slow season could ask, “Am I expected to take that 7th day off? How can I be expected to get all the work done?”

Yeah, this is what God is asking his people.

The question we must ask ourselves is what should we rely upon? Should we trust in our own hard work? Or should we trust in God to provide for us? This is what it means for a person to take a Sabbath. God is asking his people to trust that he will provide for them if they take 1/7th of their productive time away.

Now, there is no promise that life will be easier. God never promises that if you honor the Sabbath you’ll have more than if you don’t. God is simply asking his people to trust in him.

So I guess the issue with Sabbath is:
 What do you trust in to provide for you?
 Do you trust that God can provide for you?
 Do you think you can do better in 7 days than God can in 6?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sabbath pt 1

I’d like to do a 3-part series on the concept behind Sabbath. First, I’d like to talk about what is Sabbath? (what is Yahweh saying to us here?) Next, I’d like to look into what we’re saying by following Sabbath. Finally, I’d like to look into the practice of Sabbath years and the Year of Jubilee.

So…what is Sabbath? Well, as it is spelled out in Exodus 20, we see that it is an edict for Israel to not work on the 7th day of the week. Sabbath also came to include the many feast days and celebrations that Yahweh’s people observed, the annual Sabbath practice of letting the land lie still every 7 years, and the year of Jubilee celebrated every 49 years.

Yahweh says to practice Sabbath because on the 7th day of creation He rested. Interesting! What I think is saying is that a day of rest has been programmed into the very DNA of creation. OR that we’re not meant to work, work, work. This means that at the very core of what it means to be a human being cannot be found in our work.

The Sabbath is a once a week reminder that our value is found in the fact that Yahweh created us and that He needs no other reason than that to love us. The problem is that it is so easy to forget this. Perhaps we should say it this way: Sabbath reminds us that we are human beings not human doings.

This is foreign to our mindsets. We live in a world where we are judged by our production: “How much money do I make?” – “What is your GPA?” – “How fast can you run, how high can you jump, or how well can you put this ball through that hoop?” We spend so much time focusing on these things. They become the way that we view ourselves. We see ourselves as less important than somebody who makes a ton of money. We constantly compare ourselves to the person who has a perfect 4.0 GPA. We wish we were like the star athlete. We think this because we are constantly judging ourselves by how well we produce. We have been tricked into seeing ourselves as human doings.

Perhaps a way that you can help yourself overcome this obsession with production is to take a Sabbath. Take a day and don’t produce anything – just relax and reclaim your identity as a human being.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sunday, August 16, 2009


The Tigers are in 1st, the Cubs are in 1st. I have the option of watching nearly every Tigers game, and many Cubs games. I feel as if I am in heaven!

Saturday, August 15, 2009


"weekends don't count unless you spend them doing something completely pointless." 
-calvin & hobbes

HT - Marcie Gerow

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Great Quote:

"Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all 
other countries because you were born in it.
-George Bernard Shaw

Great Quote:

Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received ... but only what you have given: a full heart, enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice, and courage.

- St. Francis of Assisi

Monday, August 10, 2009

Saved by grace pt.1

Recently I made a joke telling a friend that an action they were in the process of committing was a sin (even though we both knew I was joking). His response was, “saved by grace..” When he said it, it sort of struck me a little odd – what does saved by grace actually mean?

What he meant is that he is not saved by the actions he makes. So, what I was joking with him about has no bearing on his salvation. He means that it is by the ‘grace of God’ that he is saved, not by living a certain code. He is taking passages in the New Testament dealing with Gentile circumcision and broadly applying to all facets of life (not a slam on his viewpoint, just a definition).

I guess, while I agree with “saved by grace,” I struggle with the way that phrase is often lived out. Usually, when a person uses that phrase it comes off as, “well I’m saved by grace so this action or that action that I am in the midst of committing are cool.” Or they are a way of rejecting any sort of moral code imposed by a church or denomination. “Saved by grace” means that any sort of regulation imposed upon me is at its core legalism and not Biblical.

Ironically, saved by grace is a phrase found in the letters from Paul. In these letters, we find him giving directions moral/lifestyle commands. So those very people who quote Paul and say, “saved by grace, I can do this or that…it’s unbiblical to say this or that” really aren’t living lives that justify the Bible, they’re using the Bible to justify their lives.

I’m not even going to get into the whole process of its not about what I do that leads me to salvation. Because these same people all point to the moment of decision where they decided to get saved, say a prayer, etc. That looks like they’re doing something to be a part of their salvation. Perhaps saved by grace isn’t a license to live life however you feel like it should be lived!

My point is to say that when we start to say I'm saved by grace, I can do anything I want - they're missing the point of the passage as a whole. Saved by grace is pointing to the fact that salvation is a gift to us-the gift of life. To cut it down into just being a verse used to justify your lifestyle, is fail to understand this concept.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Great Quote:

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. 
-Desmond Tutu

Friday, August 07, 2009

Why we don't get the cross

I think we all struggle with understanding the cross; what its implications are, what God is doing through it, and how it saves us. The reason this is so is because it is a completely foreign way of winning. This is precisely because a cross is about losing. Thus God through Jesus is using losing to win.

You see the cross was a reminder to losers that they had lost. The Romans - and the Persians before them - used the cross on subjugated peoples who rebelled. After crushing a rebellion, the Romans would hang the leaders of the rebellion on crosses as a reminder to everybody else who really was in charge. (see Sparticus) It's a reminder from the strong that even at your strongest you're not as strong as us.

In the world I live in (It's the only one I can speak for) winning means I win. I beat the other guy. I come in first in the race. I accomplish a goal. I achieve. Winning means I conquor, I prove my strength, I show off my power, it means I vanquish my enemy. In the world I live in, the cross does not make sense. I live in America, we don't lose. We're the best. The strongest. The most powerful. The most influencial. We're the movers and the shakers. We dominate.

I don't get the cross, because for God to win, he had to vanquish somebody or something. Who gets beat here? Well, who's on the cross? But that doesn't make sense, Jesus is the hero. The Hero is supposed to win. The hero isn't supposed to be on the cross. The hero is supposed to rise up, to turn the hammer on the one driving the nails into his hands. The hero isn't supposed to die like that. He's supposed to make a mad dash to the hills, not to be nailed to the tree.

In the end, Jesus' victory is in the fact that he lost. In the end God chooses a path to victory that goes through defeat. This makes absolutely no sense!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Nicean Creed

We read the Nicean Creed in church this last Sunday. I thought it was a great exercise.

This is the creed that every orthodox Christian Church around the world professes to believe. Whether you are a Catholic, Easter Orthodox, Methodist, or Wesleyan this is what you are saying when you profess to be a Christian.

Nicean Creed
(I recommend reading the "Modern Version" just a little further down the page)

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Great Quote:

The cross is God's way of saying, "Love Wins."
-Rob Bell

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Furniture update:

so we ordered this couch from American Freight in June. They told us it'd be here in 4 weeks...obviously it has been longer than that. So we're excited for it to come, but are anxious cause it isn't here yet.

to quote Steph: "Just get here!" sadly this is American Freight's M.O. so if you want to get a couch right away, don't go to American Freight!