Monthly Archives: August 2008

What Do These Scriptures Have in Common?


24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. JUDE

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. EPHESIANS 1

25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. EPHESIANS 5

And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. PHILIPPIANS 1

14 Do all things without grumbling or questioning, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. PHILIPPIANS 2

21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister. COLOSSIANS 1

23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. 1 THESSALONIANS 5

Tell you tell me what the theme of these scriptures are?

What do you learn about being holy and blameless from these verses?

Does the Christian have anything to do with being blameless, or is a holy and blameless condition simply bestowed upon every believer?

There is your bible study for the day……Enjoy

The Home Engineer

Learning To Say Your ABC’s


His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

“Neither…” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” John 9:2-3
God uses conflict to stretch and challenge you in carefully tailored ways. This process is sometimes referred to as the “ABC of spiritual growth”: Adversity Builds Character.

As you worry less about going through conflict and focus more on growing through conflict, you will enhance that process and experience the incomparable blessing of being conformed to the likeness of Christ.

Taken from The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) p. 37

Food for Thought
What is your first response to conflict or adversity?
You can’t be too hard on the disciples when they asked Jesus the question in the verse above; they were trying. They saw adversity–in all of it’s forms (including conflict)–as an indication of sin.

To think that adversity could have indicated the presence of faith, rather than its absence, was simply unbelievable. But Jesus’ answer challenged everything they thought they knew about godliness. The man’s blindness–his adversity–had a purpose. 

It was about being able to speak as much as it was being able to see.
We haven’t progressed much beyond the disciples. We often still view adversities as a red flag that something is wrong. But the scriptural reality is that sometimes everything may be right–the right kind of circumstances, the right kind of people involved, or the right kind of pain to teach us the language of faith. We shouldn’t go looking for trouble, mind you–each day has enough trouble of its own, say Jesus. However, when trouble comes (and it will), how will we handle it?

The ABC’s of Spiritual Growth remind us that God is intensely interested in our character, our holiness. He’s so interested that He will allow pain or adversity into our lives if it will help us to grow to become more like Him.
The ABC’s are what children learn by–how they grow in terms of speaking and listening. Those letters are combined to form words, sentences, thoughts, and questions. The adversities and conflicts we go through function in much the same way. They help us form the words and sentences of an authentic faith, so that we can then speak as a witness–someone who knows and sees.
One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” ~ John 9:25


How do we lives our lives?

What place does adversity have in your life?

Do you think you need adversity?

When trouble comes how DO you handle it?

I have much trouble in my life right now, things I have no control over, I am having to give myself up over and over to God, resigning to the fact that God is giving me this to refine me, to let go of the struggle and the control, He will handle it. No matter what the outcome. I know this is happened to display His Work in me, for others to see.

Am I strong enough to handle it day to day? No, but He is. And oh how I thank Him for that!


One thing I know, I was blind and now I see. how amazing is His grace!



Vic and Gertie Part 2


see part one here;

Before i finish the description of the house, I remember I always had a Dorothy Hamil haircut. My hair, fine and straight, could do nothing with it and when it got too long it just got stringy and tomboys don’t like to take care of their hair.

My hair had grown out to shoulder length, boys were now getting my attention more and I wanted to look like a girl. Aunt Gertie Gave me money to go to her hairdressers to get my hair done. They gave me a water perm, rolled it up but put no solution in it.

I loved it, I was mesmerized that my hair could look like this and to think, if I got a real perm, My hair could look this beautiful EVERY DAY! Thank you, Aunt Gertie!

Thus started my journey with permed hair, and i did that for 20+ years until about 5 years ago.


Ok, back to the house, down the cool hallway led to 2 rooms, one on the left was the family/living/TV room. In it was bookcases of books, on at least 3 of the four walls, filled, top to bottom, old plastic covered chairs and couch, TV and well placed rugs. Uncle Vic lived down there.  When he was home the TV was on.

To the right was a workroom, much like a garage, with a work bench, tools hanging everywhere, lots cupboard space a tiny bathroom and a fridge where the good sweet drinks were kept, pop in bottles. I think Uncle Vic carved or made furniture, I will have to ask my mom what he did for a living. So many old tools, tinsnips, hammers, saws.

There was an old footlocker with toys in it, old toys, wooden and metal, every time we went we were again in awe of such wondrous toys. I wish I had those old toys.

Going upstairs was a totally different experience, a man made world down, the frilly old school touched by a woman upstairs.

At the top of the steep narrow stairs (Aunt Gertie fell down those stairs many times, I remember bruises all over her in different places, mom would gets calls to go over and help her or take her to the doctor)

To the left was the tiny kitchen, I remember wondering how anyone could cook in there, 2 people barely fit comfortably. in the far left corner was a booth with a small table, there sat Aunt Gertie with a small TV and a large ashtray. Always. i don’t remember cleaning much in there. but we would sit there when we visited, I remember the smell of smoke and pickles or whatever else she cooked that day.

Thru the kitchen to the grand dining room complete with china cabinets filled with china and crystal. Frilly tablecloths on the 8 place table, beautiful flowing curtains on the huge window. Like a movie scene, surreal. Climbing under the table to dust the chair legs, I remember just vaguely of dining in there with extended family.

Stepping into the next room was even better. The formal family room, complete with flowery patterned furniture, matching curtains, secretary desk. A window that you could sit on the ledge. No one frequented that room either. Except maybe to walk thru to the hall. Faint rumors that Aunt Gertie was a musical genius in her day resonate in my mind, the upright piano sat under a huge ornate mirror, the bench shoved full of music.

 I tinkered on the piano often feeling at peace as I sat there. There are only a few places I felt safe/calm/at peace in my childhood and that was one of them and I remember being offered piano lessons at Gerties expense. I think my brother took her up on that offer.

I remember pink, pink everywhere. And books.

Right before the piano to the right was the hallway entrance which led to their separate bedrooms, hers was full of medical equipment, maybe an oxygen tank and his was masculine. I wasn’t allowed in his room, just hers and the bathroom.

Again, pink and frilly and very old style. fat pink rugs, flower shower curtain. Always lots of things to dust. Memories of their life I dusted for them.

Aunt Gertie passed away (I think she fell down the downstairs to her demise) and Uncle Vic had caught himself another bride in his eldest years, I went on to high school and off to Alaska, whenever i came home I drove by their house, mom kept me up to date on their lives. Uncle Vic is now long gone and I have no idea what the house looks like now.

Writing this makes me long to see it again, to show my son all the wonders I saw, to walk under the grapevines and make my own memories there.


Ps 143:5 – I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your doings; I muse on the work of Your hands.

Pr 31:7 – Let him drink and forget his poverty And remember his trouble no more.

Ec 11:8 – Indeed, if a man should live many years, let him rejoice in them all, and let him remember the days of darkness, for they will be many. Everything that is to come {will be} futility.

Ec 12:1Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near when you will say, “I have no delight in them”;

Ec 12:6 – {Remember Him} before the silver cord is broken and the golden bowl is crushed, the pitcher by the well is shattered and the wheel at the cistern is crushed;

Isa 12:4 – And in that day you will say, “Give thanks to the LORD, call on His name. Make known His deeds among the peoples; Make {them} remember that His name is exalted.”

Childhood Memory: Vic and Gertie Part 1


I have just been re-introduced to a childhood friend, Dana.

She e-mailed me to ask if I was Dan’s sister and if I had grandparents named Vic and Gertrude.

She got me thinking about Vic and Gertie (they were actually my great aunt and uncle on my fathers side)

Uncle Vic was a huge square quiet man with slicked back greying hair who I think was in the military.

Aunt Gertie was a short and wide sickly drunk with the prerequisite gramma permed wiry hair and a very bad bladder.


I don’t recall any mention of their own children, so they enjoyed it when kids visited.

I only knew them in their old age. Aunt Gertie spent most of her time upstairs in their little kitchen drinking and smoking. Uncle Vic stayed downstairs in the family room watching TV and drinking (I think)

My mother visited them on a regular basis, checking in on them and filling any need.

What I remember most about them is their house. I loved their home. I wanted to live in it when I grew up.

We would have family reunions there and I helped clean the house for Aunt Gertie when she got too frail to do it herself.


My mother owned this white crushed velvet couch with Romanesque wood pillars on the sides with matching tables in our living room. This room was not lived in, or walked in or touched in any way. We had a small den in which the TV, and my father resided.

When guests came we got to be in that living room. Whenever Aunt Gertie would come she would pee on the couch. I have no idea how this happened but it happened. every time. My mother was so distraught over having to turn the yellow stained cushions over that we stopped having them over.


Back to their house, it was an old split level house, but not like the 70’s style.

It sat on a slight slope with a beautiful green grassed yard. All around the yard was bushes to hide it from the street. To one side was a rock wall. We used to climb up and down the wall, pretending it was much bigger, it was a dangerous thing to do, because we were told not to, it was by the busy street.

To the front of yard, the slope was uninterrupted, so we tumbled down to bottom.

On the other side, way up in the back corner was a shed, a greenhouse and covered garden work bench. They had a huge old brick fireplace where all the food was prepared. When I walked under the covering of grapevines to the bench it was like walking into a fantasy forest setting. Old pots and tools lined the bench and pots of misc flowers everywhere. Its truly fascinating to see bunches of green grapes hanging over your head. I don’t know what they did with the grapes, but as a child I didn’t care. Uncle Vic spent lots of time out there. I mowed their lawn for them many times, I seem to remember a time when Uncle Vic was hospitalized.

The yard was mysterious and so was the house.

I love a house filled with life, memories, things, different than my own. That house was. While our house was kept so meticulously clean, theirs had a lived-in yet tidy appearance, except for the living room.

Oh, where to begin. Walking into the house was the stairs, left going up, right going down. I remember I jumped down the stairs (was told not to) I hit my head on the top ceiling part and came crashing down on my butt. Cracked my coccyx. Seriously.

Sheepishly carrying a pillow around to every class (I was in Jr. High) explaining to all that I had cracked my tail bone. Ahh, memories.

Dark wood covered all the rooms downstairs except the work room and bathroom. To the right was the door to the 1 car garage, I remember cleaning the house, hearing the car pull in and getting back to work, instead of gazing into cupboards I had no business being in.

To the left was a big laundry room complete with washer/dryer, clothes line, big double sink, freezer, and the walls covered with cupboards full of canned food. Home canned food, so I should say glassed preserved food. To me a huge room with big gramma panties hanging on the line and cupboards half open with stuff peeking out.

On the outside of that room in the hallway were shelves, full of knick-knacks, figurines, pictures, life. The major part of my cleaning job there was to dust. everything. It could me a couple of hours just to spot clean the whole place. I think my mom would come and do the heavy cleaning. She would also take Aunt Gertie to the hairdressers.

I remember Aunt Gertie sitting in the tiny alcove of the kitchen, digging in her purse to get me cash. Smells of cigarette smoke and greasy food abound.


part 2 here

Musings on ….. The Shack


I read this about 10 days ago, in just under 4 hours. 

First up, someone else’s review: 

From Tim Challies review of the Shack:

(A PDF, 17 pages, but worth the read)

A shorter version here. 

        Focusing on just three of the subjects (salvation, trinity and revelation) William Young discusses in The Shack, we’ve seen that errors abound. He presents a false view of God and one that may well be described as heretical.

He downplays the importance and uniqueness of the Bible, subjugating it or making it equal to other forms of subjective revelation. He misrepresents redemption and salvation, opening the door to the possibility of salvation outside of the completed work of Jesus Christ on the cross.

We are left with an unbiblical understanding of the persons and nature of God and of His work in this world.

But this is not all. The discerning reader will note as well that the author muddies the concepts of forgiveness and free will. He introduces teaching that is entirely foreign to the Bible, often stating with certainty what is merely speculative.

He oversteps the bounds of Scripture while downplaying the Bible’s importance. He relies too little on Scripture and too much on his own theological imaginings.

All this is not to say there is nothing of value in the book.

However, it is undeniable to the reader who will look to the Bible, that there is a great deal of error within The Shack. There is too much error.

That The Shack is a dangerous book should be obvious from this review. The book’s subversive undertones seek to dismantle many aspects of the faith and these are subsequently replaced with doctrine that is just plain wrong.

Error abounds. I urge you, the reader, to exercise care in reading and distributing this book. The Shack may be an engaging read but it is one that contains far too much error.

Read it only with the utmost care and concern, critically evaluating the book against the unchanging standard of Scripture. Caveat lector!


Nicole reviewed it and I love her review, read it here, it’s really good.

This website is just people discussing the book, but I’m sure the comments are good.

Stuff Christians Like reviewed it. David, a commenter wrote “so the question for me is, does this book’s emotional/relational meaning outweigh the theological troubles?”

Another pdf I just found, a new theory has been formed: Christian Universalism. Read it here, from this site. (if you don’t  read any other site, read this one)


At Insight for Living


 Most of the reviews I have read on the World Wide Web are positive or at least lukewarm, but the comments from said reviews are doing wonders in drawing people back to the truths of Scripture.

What I’m a bit dismayed about is the Missy Project.

 I, at first, thought it was some sort of ministry to help abducted children. Alas, it is not. It is shameful self-promotion. (I am curious to know if the author is donating some or all of his book proceeds)

I originally didn’t want to read the book, but friends have read and raved about it, so…

My mind still needs to time to wrap around it and am looking to sit and chat about all the post-it notes tagged in the book with another believer who just read it.

Fast forward to today:

Ok, I’m finally getting around to putting into words musings about this book.

I could go into every chapter and tell you where I think the doctrine is wrong, way wrong. As you can see from the picture I have tagged doctrine or theology talked about in this book.

(DM, if you would like to discuss the book in greater detail, I can bring it with me in Sept.)

So for people who say “What’s the big deal, it’s just fiction”. I disagree. When you mix theology with fiction it can get sticky.

I liked the book, I read it in 1 evening, liked the overall story. The author knows how to set up a story and run with it, to tug at heartstrings and keep you reading. I even have no qualms about the author describing the trinity the way he did. For crying out loud, it’s his book, so let him describe the characters the way he wants. I actually feel a bit guilty I liked it so much 😉

The author has the liberty to say what he said and believe what he believes and to write it in a book.

To promote the book or to read the book ‘as gospel’. Wrong. To say it’s the next ‘Pilgrims Progress’. Wrong.

From the reference above by Challies: The book is a dangerous book. I say the book is only dangerous IF:

1. It’s the only book you ever read about God (because its not about the God of the bible)

2. The god of this book is the only god you believe in. (this book is not the gospel, please read the gospel)

Of course that is just my humble opinion.

L. and I were trying to figure out how to ‘label’ the theology in the book and when I looked up Christian Universalism, it hit us, that’s it, perfectly. Does the author subscribe to this theology? I don’t know.

But the theology in this book is very Arminian/Christian universalism.

I believe Arminianism and universalism takes away from the sovereignty of God. It places control in mans hands, not Gods, like God is our little puppet to control and grant us our wishes. That whatever we do in life  (free will) then God can swoop in and clean it up, make it right/good. With His only attribute being  His love.

The author leaves out attributes of God that are important to His character.  He is Lord, Master, Father, King, God to us. He should be portrayed as such when we are talking about Him. The word respect pops up in my head. We don’t respect God. And I’m ashamed of that.

The Home Engineer




A to Z ~ about Meme


I stoled this from the Hartshorn’s website. I figured I have nothing else better to do so here goes:

Attached or Single: Attached to Jim, 10 years this month

Best Friend: Leslie, Jacquie, all the women from my church

Cake or Pie: Vegan chocolate cake, blackberry pie

Day of the Week: Saturday, for sleeping in and doing yard work, Sunday for the Lords day

Essential Item: bible, purse, computer

Favorite Color: purple

Gummy Bears or Worms: neither, animal product in them

Hometown: Bummertown, WA

Indulgences: yarn, another bible study book

January or July: July

Kids: Yes, 15 year old boy

Life is Incomplete Without: God

Marriage Date: August 15th

Number of Siblings: 1 brother 3 years younger

Oranges or Apples: apples with peanut butter

Phobia or Fears: losing my guys, which indicates a much deeper seeded fear, not being in control

Quote: Psalm 46:10

Reason to Smile: my dog, my son, someone showing love

Season: spring, fall is pretty good, too

Tag Three: No one in particular, if you wanna play, play

Unknown Fact About Me: all my crazy facts are here

Vegetarian or Oppressor to Animals: Vegetarian, i like the one who made this meme up!

Worst Habit: swearing, worrying

X-Ray or Ultrasound: whatever works, no, actually MRI’s have been good to me

Your Favorite Food: right now, chocolate graham crackers, but they have honey in them, so we’ll see….

Zodiac Sign: Pisces


Ya, ya, I know, boring, boring.

Sorry, it’s all I could muster up today!!