sunday sermon

>> Sunday, March 29, 2009


I hope these next 6 minutes and 9 seconds blow you away like they did me.




I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.







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buried treasure!!!

>> Friday, March 27, 2009

The other day while rummaging through my monstrous ancient freezer in the basement, I came across an UNLABELED ice cream pail. Normally, this would mean then, that there was ice cream in it because pails I've used for saskatoons, strawberries, soup stock, that kind of thing, are generally labeled. But this mysterious pail had no label.

And clearly didn't have ice cream in it.

What treasures could I have hidden in here? I wondered. Fidget was every bit as curious.

Slowly, I opened the lid...

JACKPOT!!! Some forgotten Monster Cookies!!

Huh, wouldja just look at that.

How does this happen? How could I not have eaten these already? And even more important and puzzling...

HOW ON EARTH DID I FORGET ABOUT THEM??!!

It's very unlike me to forget about baked goods in my home.

But I tell ya, I had so much fun with this little discovery that I may start choosing to store stuff UNLABELED more often!

Common little things like a forgotten partial pail of cookies are so much more fun when they're a surprise.








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revealing weight

>> Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sisterhood of the Shrinking JeansA missionary friend of ours from Brazil was at our place a year and a half ago and lately, what he said about weight loss has been coming back to bite me in the butt.

(Oh, if ONLY it would take a BIGGER BITE!!)

But you know why it's coming back to haunt me? Because of this whole upheaval going on around here. Because I'm "preachin' it" and bangin' on my li'l pulpit with my chubby fist. Because I don't want to STAY THE SAME. Not spiritually. And I don't want to be able to pretend I never said anything about it all.

Anyway, back to my friend from Brazil...

He's of the opinion that not only does excessive weight often speak to our lack of interest in developing self-discipline, but it can also indicate how well we're letting God work in our lives.

It CAN. Obviously, lack of self-discipline is not ALWAYS the reason someone can't lose weight. But for most of us, sadly, it is.

My friend had lost a considerable amount of weight since we'd seen him the previous time and we asked what his secret was. He said he'd decided that he was tired of ignoring the physical part of his relationship with God.

Yes, our relationship with God is mostly spiritual, but did He not create each and every one of us by hand?

In his presentation at our church that Sunday, our friend said the mission of the camp his team has started down in Brazil is to address the WHOLE person, not just the spiritual part, which is what most North American churches and camps tend to focus on. You know, like if we're spiritually on track, it doesn't matter how we look.

But really it does a little.

Not only are we treating our bodies ~ hand-crafted by God ~ like crap, but we're not physically good witnesses for Him then, either. If people can clearly see I'm having self-discipline issues ~ in any area, be it my eating habits or how much time I spend on the computer (purely hypothetical examples, of course!!) ~ that doesn't really speak well of God's power in my life, now does it?


Until that day, I'd never ONCE thought about it like that before.

I need to change my eating habits, not only for my own personal health, not only for a better (hopefully LONGER) future with my family, but for how well people can see Christ in me.



Plain and simple.



Spaghetti

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extreme home heart makeover

>> Monday, March 23, 2009

So...

You might have noticed some changes around here.

For anyone who's read this blog for a month or more, I'm guessing you've noticed the changes aren't just cosmetic. I certainly HOPE you have.

For anyone who reads this blog and knows me in "real life," I hope you've noticed ~ or ARE noticing ~ a change in ME too, not just on the ol' blawg. A change from a life of critical, sarcastic cynism to a life of brokenness, openness, and an active pursuit of the Holy Spirit.

For years ~ pretty much all my adult life ~ I've been a little turned off when I heard people talking about how they felt God had spoken to them through a song, or a friend, or though a message at church. I harshly judged that it was highly unlikely He had been speaking to them since I hadn't heard His voice. "If I can't hear it, ain't NOBODY can hear it."

Because why on earth would God speak to someone else and NOT ME??!!

Uh-uh. Inconceivable.

My friends, this is one instance where the "fake it till ya make it" strategy actually worked.

I decided a few months ago that I wanted to try and be more open to the possibility that maybe God really did move in other people's hearts and minds differently from they way He worked in mine. Gradually, I became more and more aware of the likelihood that my heart and mind had simply been closed off. Completely inaccessible to Him.

It's really no wonder I didn't hear Him. I chose not to.

But now we're making up for lost time!!

I'm not sure exactly what has triggered this change. I think there have been several contributing factors recently ~ the growing hysteria about the economy and the uncertainty facing North America, the studying I've done recently on the decline of the church and religious persecution in the name of tolerance, and the growing feeling of a general rallying of the troops among fellow believers, both in the blogosphere and "real life."

I believe we cannot afford to be lukewarm any longer. I believe the time has come to choose sides and hold fast to our decisions and convictions. Fence-sitters and bench-warmers accomplish nothing and end up getting trampled by, and on, all sides.

I'm tired of fitting into that category.

The Charge of the Light Brigade

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Memoryworks

>> Friday, March 20, 2009

Like I said in this previous post, I can't even remember the last time I heard the phrase "memory verses," can you? Somewhere along the way, over the years, that seems to have lost its importance. But how can we expect to "hide the word of God in our hearts" if we don't first commit it to memory? How can we expect to rely on the "full armor of God" if there's no belt to hold it all together, or a sword to defend against spiritual attacks?

To that end, I'm starting to work at memorizing Bible verses and passages again. It's slow going ~ memorizing is definitely more of a challenge now than it was as a pre-teen!! ~ but my goal is to keep working at it, to keep adding to this list, and to keep crossing them off. My hope is that this post never ends.


Psalm 34:8-9
Genesis 4:7
1 Corinthians 6:12
Philippians 3:8
John 4:13-14
Song of Solomon 1:2

Psalm 19:7-11
Galatians 6:7-10
Romans 12:1-2
2 Peter 1:3
1 John 3:16-19a

Wanna join me?





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ode to an Ontario a Manitoba spring

(or "You can get Frostbite Anywhere!")

The time has come now Spring is here
I hear its voice in my frostbitten ear
Through the trees its breezes blow
Through lifeless twigs where icicles grow

Thoughts of love are in the air
There goes a mating polar bear
And lovers snowshoe two by two
Their rosy cheeks a healthy blue

It's time to don a wardrobe new
A parka, toque and mitts should do
A walk along the river is nice
To watch the floating chunks of ice

And now I've got the lawn to mow
But it takes so long in three feet of snow
The freezing rain, the ice monsoon
I hate to think it'll be winter soon

When I got out my bike they called me a fool
But I'm tired of driving a zamboni to school
I hope the thaw will get here soon
'Cuz long johns sure itch in the middle of June

My thermometer must have some leaks
For I've seen no mercury in at least three weeks
Those fabled flowers are surely missed
The colour green does not exist

If I could land one Springtime wish;
May I need no jackhammer with which to fish
I would like to view the lawn once more
Or see the knob of my front door

But this is wrong I should not whine
For all too soon it's summertime
The blistering sun, the endless heat
The pain of skeeter-bitten feet

Yet through bugs, through bees, I'll not complain
'Cuz in six short weeks.... It's cold again!!
~ Brett Statham

In this vast land of mine
It's so sad, but so true.
I'd love to write more...
But my fingers are BLUE!

The first day of spring,
Believe it or not,
Has already arrived,
And of course, WITHOUT HOT!!!

Think warm thoughts, think warm thoughts, think warm thoughts, think warm thoughts, think warm thoughts, think warm thoughts, think warm thoughts, think warm thoughts, think warm thoughts, think warm thoughts, think warm thoughts, think warm thoughts...

(Please send yours, too, if you don't mind!)

Happy Spring!!


Sunny
(Actually, I can't complain today. Up until yesterday, it was still bitterly cold and windy, but yesterday during the day, it started to change. Today, it's before noon, we're already at 0C/32F, and the sound of melting snow dripping in the downspouts is music to my ears.)

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more new goals

>> Thursday, March 19, 2009

I tell ya, I am all about the changes lately.

Some I'm doing well with, and others.... Let's just say I'm a work in progress!

Another area I want to improve in is scripture memorization. I memorized countless Bible verses as a kid and yet clearly, they were committed only to my short-term memory. (translation: I memorized them for prizes not necessarily for spiritual growth!) I remember a few passages and verses, but I'd be hard-pressed to give the correct scripture reference. There are also certain references that stick out in my mind, but until I look them up, I can't tell you what they say.

I'd be willing to bet I'm not alone in this.

It seems memory verses and even bringing a Bible to church are things of the past. In the youth Sunday school class I teach at church, the lesson material has the study passage typed out so kids don't even NEED their Bibles. If we do stray from the printed material {gasp!}, most need the table of contents to find anything other than Genesis, Psalms, Revelation, and the four gospels.

By the time I reached my teens, I had been expected to memorize the books of the Bible in their order of occurence. I might not be able to recite them anymore without assistance, but I never need the table of contents to find a given reference.

I don't think Peanut and Fidget are encouraged to have a verse ready to recite each Sunday either. (Or maybe they're just not telling me!) I'm not blaming the teacher (who happens to be my best friend who reads this blog occasionally!!); heck, I don't expect it of my youth class kids either. But certainly at my girls' ages, it was standard procedure when I was growing up. Memorizing Bible verses meant extra gold stars on the charts on the wall in the Sunday school and Pioneer Clubs classrooms, prizes at the end of the month, new books from Canadian Sunday School Mission, and even discounts in summer Bible camp enrolment fees. Clearly, it was important to adults back then.

At what point did we decide it wasn't?

I can't even remember the last time I heard the phrase "memory verses," can you? How can we expect to "hide the word of God in our hearts" if we don't first commit it to memory? How can we expect to rely on the "full armor of God" if there's no belt to hold it all together, or a sword to defend against spiritual attacks?

Two years ago, my aunt (one of my dad's older sisters) committed to memorizing the entire Sermon on the Mount ~ AND SHE DID IT!!!

Inspired by her (though a little slow on the up-take!) and spurred by recent convictions and a few other bloggy friends who've decided to challenge themselves in this way, here are the passages I'm starting with:


Psalm 19:7-11
Galatians 6:7-10
Romans 12:1-2


Go ahead... look 'em up!





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reading list (began March 17/09)

>> Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Reading right now:
The Gentle Ways of the Beautiful Woman ~ Anne Ortlund {Jan 25/10 - }
Twelve Extraordinary Women ~ John MacArthur {Jan 11/10 - }
The Art of Deception in Warfare ~ Colonel Michael Dewar {Dec 1/09 - }
The Original Illustrated Mark Twain ~ compiled by Castle Books {Sep 9 - }

2010
Vodka ~ Boris Starling {Jan 15/10 - Jan 21/10}
There Really is a Difference: A Comparison of Covenant and Dispensational Theology ~ Renald E. Showers {Dec 30/09 - Jan 11/10}
The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment ~ Tim Challies {Sep 7/09 - Jan 6/10} Chapter-by-chapter Review.
The Kaisho ~ Eric Lustbader {Quit reading after prologue and 2 chapters. I thought this author would be good ~ he collaborated with one of my favourites, Robert Ludlum, to write the 4th book in the "Bourne Identity" series ~ but clearly it was Ludlum's influence that made him appear that way. I found Lustbader, on his own, to be only mediocre ~ expecting readers would be too unintelligent to notice repeatedly overused thesaurus adjectives; using overly detailed descriptions of new and horrific ways to find dead bodies; and far too many paragraphs wasted on explicit sexual acts. (There were FOUR in the few pages I managed to stomach, and only one could arguably have been necessary for character development.) And on a completely different level: the book was just too creepy, mystical, and other-worldly. I have a hard time loaning out my books, let alone getting rid of them, but I had no problems throwing this one in the burn barrel out in the garden.}

2009
The Enemy Within: Saving America from the Liberal Assault on its Churches, School, and Military ~ Michael Savage {Mar 26/09}
Valhalla Rising ~ Clive Cussler {Apr 6/09}
To Love, Honor and Vacuum: When You Feel Like a Maid More Than a Wife and Mother ~ Sheila Wray Gregoire {Mar 17 - May 1/09}
Honeymoon With My Brother: A Memoir ~ Franz Wisner {March 17 - May 19}
Sinner ~ Ted Dekker {May 27 - Jun 1}
A Woman of Moderation: Breaking the Chains of Poor Eating Habits ~ Dee Brestin {April 13 - June 5}
How to be a God Chaser and a Kid Chaser ~ Tommy Tenney & Thetus Tenney {May 20 - Jun 11}
The Body: Being Light in Darkness ~ Charles Colson, Ellen Santilli Vaughn {I'm DONE! FINALLY!!! March 17 - July 3} Review.
Why We're Not Emergent ~ Ted Kluck & Kevin DeYoung {Jun 14 - Jul 26} Review.
No More Jellyfish, Chickens, or Wimps: Raising Secure, Assertive Kids in a Tough World ~ Paul Coughlin {Jul 11 - Jul 29}
Radical Womanhood: Feminine Faith in a Feminist World ~ Carolyn McCulley {Sep 15 - Nov 24}

Waiting on the nightstand:
Don't Waste Your Life ~ John Piper
Submarines at War: The History of the American Silent Service ~ Edwin P. Hoyt
It's Not About Me ~ Max Lucado

An Introduction to Mennonite History ~ Cornelius J. Dyck
The Prophets Still Speak: Messiah in Both Testaments ~ Fred John Meldau
Seeking Him: Experiencing the Joy of Personal Revival ~ Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Visibility ~ Boris Starling





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guess which one...


Ugh. And blecgh. Phooey.

I did so well the first week of this challenge.
I did okay the second week.
The third week...?

Not so much.

My jeans ARE shrinking ~ but not the good way!
But you know what disgusts me most about this? It's not that I gained weight this last week.

It's that I had such a GREAT week two weeks ago and didn't care enough about myself, my family, and my future to persevere.

I am CHOOSING a life of exile!!

I so desperately don't want to be like the prisoner in this story, but essentially, that IS who I've chosen to become.


Fat Man 6

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expanding (my mind!)

>> Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Author Sheila Wray Gregoire says (in her book listed below):

"Learning opens the mind to all the opportunities and possibilities God has given us. If you are constantly learning something new, even if it's just a new gardening technique or how to quilt, you will be a motivated, interesting person. You will also model to your children the benefits of lifelong learning. When we stop learning, we stop growing.

Don't worry; learning is not necessarily school. Learning is approaching life with the wide-eyed wonder of a two-year old... Many of us have lost that delight, but we can find it again."

So, in an effort to expand and enrich my mind, to entertain myself in a way that engages my mind and imagination more than watching TV does, and to maybe even learn something along the way (!!), I've decided to make reading more of a priority.

Show me the books he loves and I shall know the man far better than through mortal friends.
~ Dawn Adams ~

I guess the same would be true for "the books he disregards..." I hope my reading says good things about me.

I've always enjoyed reading, but I've definitely read less since the girls were born than ever before. I still inhale novels at the speed of light, but haven't made going to the library a priority either, so those are few and far between. Plus.... I'm picky. (GASP! I know, what a shock!!) BUT, in the interests of the aforementioned goals, I'm attempting to read slightly more, well, indiscriminately, I guess.

The more that you read,
the more things you will know.
The more that you learn,
the more places you'll go.
~ Dr. Seuss ~

I've never been the type before to have several books on the go, but I wonder if maybe that's why I've often had a hard time finishing certain books. You know, the not-so-gripping types. Non-novels. I have so many great books that I've bought over the years, but never got past the first couple of chapters. So, I've decided to try moving forward on several fronts to see if that'll keep me more interested. So far, it seems to be working.

The failure to read good books both enfeebles the vision and strengthens our most fatal tendency--the belief that the here and now is all there is.
~ Allan Bloom ~

So here's what's sitting on my nightstand right now, as of today. Two I'm well into, one I've just started, and the other two are still waiting, unopened, like a gift I haven't given myself yet. (along with countless others, which will increasingly populate this list as the year goes on!)

Nerd To Love, Honor and Vacuum: When You Feel Like a Maid More Than a Wife and Mother ~ Sheila Wray Gregoire
Nerd The Enemy Within: Saving America from the Liberal Assault on its Churches, School, and Military ~ Michael Savage
Nerd The Body: Being Light in Darkness ~ Charles Colson
Gift 2 Honeymoon With My Brother: A Memoir ~ Franz Wisner
Gift 2 A Woman of Moderation: Breaking the Chains of Poor Eating Habits ~ Dee Brestin


What books are waiting on YOUR nightstand?

St. Patty's Fiddle

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i AM a super-mom, dang it!

>> Thursday, March 12, 2009

And I FINALLY found the proof ~ over at Work at Home Mom Revolution.



A Super Mom:

  1. Doesn't try to be her kids' friend. Yes, she listens. Yes, she can have fun with her kids. But there's a clear line. And the bottom line is: she's a parent.
  2. Doesn't live vicariously through her children. She lets them find their own interests and pursuits, and encourages them wherever possible.
  3. Doesn't expect perfection from herself, which is good, because it's impossible to achieve.
  4. Doesn't withhold love, even when her kids are being rotten. She lets them know that although she's very unhappy with their actions, she still loves them, and that's never going to change.
  5. Listens to her children and allows them to express themselves, even when their views don't jibe with her own.
  6. Doesn't spoil her kids with material possessions. She also teaches her kids to be generous and not obsess over debts owed to them. After all, it is only money. And people are more important than money.
  7. Doesn't quit on her kids, no matter what. It's not even an option. And her kids, realizing that Mom's in it for the long haul, will not stray too far off course.


Notice how it doesn't say anything about making sure her kids watch only minimum amounts of TV or that the house is spotless and all the laundry is folded and put away the instant it comes out of the dryer? Or that she bakes her own bread from scratch and feeds her kids only fruits and veggies for snacks? Or that she vacuums in a dress, heels and pearls, with a song in her heart?

Does this excite anyone else like it does me?!

glitters

Thank goodness, it's got nothing to do with our housekeeping abilities, or completing the daily "to do" lists in a timely manner (like, daily), or always serving properly balanced, perfectly nutritious meals!!

(Or what kind of clothes we wear!)

((But a cape and matching boots would be nice, don't you think?))

Are YOU a Super-Mom? I think we need a club.


Superhero

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still poundin' the pulpit

>> Tuesday, March 10, 2009

In response to Sunday's heavy post, which you may or may not have read, and which was actually my "special number" on Sunday morning in church, I heard something that saddened and angered me at the same time.

I heard this statement: "Telling people outrightly that they're wrong if they don't necessarily believe Christ is the ONLY way to heaven just isn't culturally acceptable anymore. "Hellfire and Brimstone" messages were the way to go 30-40 years ago, but people simply aren't responding to that method in our society today.

"We need to find a way to make Jesus fit into our culture."

WHAT???!!!!

"Make Jesus FIT our culture??!!" How on earth can we presume to do THAT??!! You think the gospel "fit" the culture of first century Jews and Gentiles?! HECK NO! If it had, the apostles wouldn't have been persecuted. Certainly not to the extent that they were. If the Pharisees and the Roman rulers hadn't felt threatened, they wouldn't have cared. Satan would have had nothing to fear!

The apostles absolutely DID NOT water down the message of salvation ~ and yet they saw daily, exponential church growth.

And here we are, trying to make the gospel message soft and palatable for everyone. We want to be so careful not to turn people off. We want so desperately NOT to say,

"The Bible clearly says there really is only one way to heaven and if you don't choose it, you will end up in HELL!!"

(BANG goes my fist on the pulpit.)

And our churches are dying.

You think that's a coincidence?!

I think we are making a HUGE mistake if we believe that Christ's message of redemption and salvation was somehow more socially acceptable at any given point in history than it is today; that we need to make Jesus "fit" in order for Him to be appealing. All that does is make Him less appealing to believers and make Christianity sound more and more like any other belief system out there today.

We can't pigeon-hole God. God is simply counter-culture, that's all there is to it. He always has been. Christianity has never been mainstream, but we do ourselves and our unbelieving friends and family ~ not to mention God Himself ~ a disservice if we try to turn Him into a Santa Claus, which is, in effect, what we've done.

God is jolly ~ "meek and mild" we like to call Him ~ and lovingly looks down on all His creation and beams with pride. He never passes out judgement, only wondrous, gracious gifts, which freely He lavishes on those who practise being nice.

WRONG!!!

The Bible clearly states that our God is a jealous God. That He wants us to believe HIM and HIM ONLY. That there is NO OTHER WAY TO ETERNAL LIFE but HIS WAY.

But essentially, what we're doing is we're preaching the same thing everyone else is preaching. All roads lead to Rome Heaven. As long as you practise niceness (as you personally interpret it, of course) God will pat you on the head and say you were good enough. And even if He doesn't, there's no such thing as hell anyway.

Why on earth would someone choose this wishy-washy, politically correct form Christianity?! Heck, even Evangelical Christians aren't passionate about it!

We still have the potential to turn the world upside down. We're still sitting on the same power the early apostles had. We're still sitting on the same explosive information.

But that's the problem....

We're sitting on it.





One of my bloggy friends referred me to Focus on the Family's Truth Project yesterday and I'm quite excited about getting my hands on the DVDs. (Canadians can order them here) I believe there is hope for revolution in the evangelical church ~ a returning to the Truth ~ and this is one big step in the right direction. I encourage you to check it out.

Okay, now I'm done preaching. For a while. Maybe.

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more heavy stuff

>> Sunday, March 8, 2009

(But hey, at least I'm not complaining!)

I’ve been thinking about a lot this last week. Heavy stuff. Issues like the exclusivity of Christianity, the moral decay of the church, and syncretism have been weighing on my mind.

I still haven’t seen the movie Fireproof, but those of you who have will likely recognize the song and video at the end of this post. Interestingly, I’d never heard it before, but last week, it popped up on three separate, isolated occasions, including when I finally found and opened the CD I got from my sister-in-law for Christmas. It fits quite precisely with the issues I mentioned.

The song speaks to the slow erosion of relationships between husband and wife, but it can easily be applied to the relationship between the Church and her Bridegroom.

Now, more than ever, I think we need to be especially watchful and protective of our relationship with Christ. We need to be increasingly discerning and on our guard against the ideas and teachings that don't seem immediately, obviously wrong, but that will slowly erode our beliefs.

I did a little bit of research on the decaying church, and the results are startling and unsettling. Most shocking to me was this particular study:

In one representative nationwide survey among born again adults, NONE of the individuals interviewed said that the single, most important goal in their life is to be a committed follower of Jesus Christ." NOT A SINGLE ONE! And these are professing born again Christians.

Another study shows that only HALF of American Protestant pastors have a Biblical Worldview. "Worldview" being defined as believing that absolute moral truth exists, that it is based upon the Bible, and having a biblical view on six core beliefs:
1. the accuracy of biblical teaching
2. the sinless nature of Jesus
3. the literal existence of Satan
4. the omnipotence and omniscience of God
5. salvation by grace alone
6. the personal responsibility to evangelize
Based on the research and this criteria, the researcher produced data showing that there are "significant variations" among Protestant pastors and the pastors least likely to have a biblical worldview are those who are SEMINARY GRADUATES! (45%)

How does this happen? Why don’t we notice it happening?

Because it didn’t just happen overnight. It’s been a long, slow, virtually undetectable process.

A Slow Fade.

Mark Hall of Casting Crowns writes in the album leaflet, "This song was inspired by the spreading cancer of moral failure in the fathers of this generation. As Believers, we must guard our hearts and understand that no one crashes and burns. They just slowly fade away one little compromise at a time."

How true for churches, too. How scary, how insidious... and sadly, true.

The video focuses mainly on a failed marriage in the movie, but the words apply equally to the Church's relationship with Christ.

Tolerance and acceptance of "personal truth" has become the battle cry of the last several decades and Believers are slowly but surely succumbing to public pressure. Slowly but surely relaxing their worldviews and tailoring Christianity to suit themselves rather than adhering to Biblical teaching.

And the church is slowly fading away.



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sad but true

>> Friday, March 6, 2009

Okay, so, I haven't ranted on the ol' blawg for a while now, (have you missed that?) but yesterday this news story just kept eating away at me and eating away at me. I wrote this post, scheduled it for auto-post, deleted it, re-wrote it and saved it to draft, decided to schedule it again for auto-post.....

You get the idea. I just couldn't decide if I wanted to bring this up here or not. Obviously, I decided to in the end, because here you are, reading my thoughts.

I'm sure I don't have all the facts. I know I'm painfully clueless about how our laws are made and how our judicial system works here in Canada.

But I can't help but feel it's failed us. BIG time.

"The family of a man who was beheaded on a Greyhound bus says his killer is "getting away with murder," but the judge who found him not criminally responsible for the "barbaric" slaying says the law doesn't unnecessarily punish the mentally ill.

Vince Li's attack on Tim McLean in Manitoba last summer was "grotesque" and "appalling," said Justice John Scurfield.

"However, the acts themselves and the context in which they were committed are strongly suggestive of a mental disorder," the judge said Thursday. "He did not appreciate the act he committed was morally wrong. He believed he was acting in self-defence and that he had been commanded by God to do so."

McLean's loved ones said the verdict has robbed them of closure and they feel the responsibility now falls to them to attend his yearly assessments to try to ensure Li is never released." (Read the rest of the article here.)

I find this absolutely appalling, but sadly, I'm not surprised. Canada is notoriously soft on criminals. It stands to reason that this one would be no different.

If I go into a china shop, turn around a little too quickly, and my purse knocks a $200 vase off the counter, I'm expected to pay for it. I meant no harm. There was no maliciousness on my part. It was an accident. Sure, it was preventable, but I caused the damage nonetheless and my pocketbook feels the consequences.

But, it would seem, if I DELIBERATELY bring a hunting knife with me onto a loaded public transportation vehicle and DELIBERATELY carve up an innocent passenger and claim God told me to, all I need is counselling because I'm obviously a sick, sick person.

When will we learn that people HAVE to be held responsible for their actions even if they weren't necessarily in their right minds when they committed them? An absolutely horrific crime was STILL committed. Whether he heard the voice of God or not, HE STILL DID IT. An innocent young man was STILL brutally and repeatedly stabbed, and then eviscerated, beheaded and cannibalized on a Greyhound bus last summer. HE. IS. STILL. DEAD.

But because his murderer supposedly "believed he was acting in self-defense and that God had commanded him to do so," he can't possibly be held responsible.

In my mind, this sets a dangerous precedent. To me, this says if you can maintain that you were hearing voices ~ especially God's ~ you can pretty much get away with anything no matter how sick and twisted.

Oh sure, some claim he's not really getting away with it, that's it's less likely he'll ever be released from the psychiatric facility than if he'd actually been charged with Murder One and was serving hard time, but just as this verdict came as no real surprise, it also won't shock me to hear a few years from now that he's been released after all ~ pronounced "right as rain" by the same psychiatrist who argued he couldn't be held "criminally responsible" for his actions due to mental illness.

In his right mind or not, Li committed a crime. Does this not, by definition, make him a criminal? That he has serious mental issues there is no doubt. That he needs help is perfectly clear and I don't deny him that. But why can't he get that help while serving a lifetime sentence behind bars?

I don't know about you, but I have a really hard time respecting a justice system that cows police officers into doing nothing with their weapons for fear of punishment, but won't "unnecessarily punish" criminals when they commit heinous and atrocious crimes.

It frustrates me that the legal system in this country is making law-abiding citizens feel unsafe, and more and more helpless to defend themselves and their personal property with each passing verdict. It saddens me that it's getting harder and harder to even want to be a law-abiding citizen because law-abiding citizens are feeling increasingly UNprotected by the law.

I wonder how much that psychiatrist or the judge who handed down the verdict would like "the accused" as a next-door neighbour in a few years? Would you?

I wonder, if "the accused" would happen to take up residence in their neighbourhood, would happen to have a relapse, and say, just happen to behead and cannibalize the wife or son or grandchild of said psychiatrist or judge...

Would either still believe justice had really been served here yesterday? Really?

I wonder...






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good things come to those who wait

>> Thursday, March 5, 2009

Remember WA-A-A-A-AY back ~ like, a year ago ~ when I had my bathroom renovated?

Well.

It's FINALLY done!

The two pieces from Ikea that I was hoping The Bushman could pick up in Edmonton on his way home from the ice roads last spring, but didn't get because he couldn't stop after all?

I have them now.

Thanks to collaborative efforts and generous offers and The Bushman's handiwork, they've found their way from Ikea Minneapolis to the walls of my humble privy.

So the corner that originally looked like this....

And then looked like this after the reno...

Now looks like this:

The towel bar is a little longer than I would have needed, but it doesn't interfere with the door, so I'm happy. It's a teeny, tiny bathroom, so my options were limited.

I'm just so excited to be able to get rid of the tacky over-the-door towel rack and finally have a little bit of storage in the bathroom again. For the last year, all of the bathroom stuff (previously housed in the free-standing white cupboard you see in the top photo) has been stored in our hallway linen closet, which is also very teeny-tiny and really didn't have the inches to spare. But now half of it will be able to go back into the bathroom.

Woo-hoo, it's done ~ and it only took one year!

Now if only I could say the same thing for my kitchen...


Toilet Reading

PS. Aren't you glad I didn't completely gross you out with pictures of my disgusting tub faucet??!!! I was SO tempted! (For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, click the link provided at the beginning of the post to see the before and after pictures ~ I GUARANTEE you'll know which photo I'm talking about. Hope you aren't eating!!!)

And then click below for more...

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

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