Monthly Archives: February 2009

Thankfulness: An Overlooked Way to Fight Sin



Paul knew that we cannot just stop being anxious. Worried thoughts have a way of creeping back into our minds, no matter how hard we try to ignore them. Therefore, he instructs us to replace worrying with ‘prayer and petition, with thanksgiving.’ When you are in a dispute, it is natural to dwell on your difficult circumstances or on the wrong things that the other person has done or may do to you. The best way to overcome this negative thinking is to replace it with more constructive thoughts, such as praising God for his grace through the gospel, thanking him for the many things he has already done for you in this and other situations, and praying for assistance in dealing with your current challenges (cf. Matt. 6:25-34).

When you remind yourself of God’s faithfulness in the past and ally yourself with him today, you will discover that your anxiety is being steadily replaced with confidence and trust (cf. Isa 26:3). In fact, recalling God’s faithfulness and thanking him for his deliverance in the past was one of the primary ways the Israelites overcame their fears when they faced overwhelming problems (e.g. Psalms 18, 46, 68, 77, 78, 105, 106, 107, 136; Neh. 9:5-37).

Taken from  The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) pp. 86-87.

Food for Thought

Thankfulness for what God has done for us is a very important–but often overlooked–key to overcoming sin in our lives. Anxiety (as Ken discusses above) is one common area of sin. In this case, thankfulness corrects our perspective, reminding us of God’s past faithfulness and his sure promise to care for us in the future.

The apostle Paul also prescribes thankfulness as the antidote for other sins with which we struggle. In Ephesians 4 and 5, Paul exhorts us to put off the sins of our flesh, replacing them with behaviors that reflect our new nature in Christ. He specifically mentions foolish talk, crude joking, sexual immorality, covetousness and debauchery as behaviors that the Christian is to replace with thanksgiving (Eph 5:3-4; 18-20). So much sin is rooted in selfishness and pride; thankfulness loosens the grip that these sins have on our hearts.

The holiday season can be a time that induces a great deal of anxiety and conflict. In the United States, we enter this season with a day of remembering the many things for which we can be thankful. As you anticipate celebrating Thanksgiving this week, take a moment to consider ways that cultivating a thankful heart can help you to overcome sins that you have been battling or conflicts that you anticipate will arise.

This was originally sent to me near the holidays and I never got around to publishing it. But being thankful should be an every day occurrence. Rejoice and be thankful for all God has done for you and kept from you.


Musings on… Proverbs 30 Part 4


24 Four things on earth are small,
but they are exceedingly wise:
25 the ants are a people not strong,
yet they provide their food in the summer;
26 the rock badgers are a people not mighty,
yet they make their homes in the cliffs;
27 the locusts have no king,
yet all of them march in rank;
28 the lizard you can take in your hands,
yet it is in kings’ palaces.

4 things are small but wise:

1. ants, providing for their food

2. rock badgers, making their homes in cliffs

3. the locust march in ranks

4. the lizard is simple yet kingly[?]

29 Three things are stately in their tread;
four are stately in their stride:
30 the lion, which is mightiest among beasts
and does not turn back before any;
31 the strutting rooster,  the he-goat,
and a king whose army is with him. 

3 things that are stately in their tread, 4 things in their stride:

1. the mighty lion

2.the strutting rooster

3. the he-goat [ram]

4. king with an army

I guess all those things do walk with a sense of pride and mighty dignity, don’t they? I wouldn’t want to mess with any of them. 🙂

32 If you have been foolish, exalting yourself,
or if you have been devising evil,
put your hand on your mouth.
33 For pressing milk produces curds,
pressing the nose produces blood,
and pressing anger produces strife

I love this, just put your hand over your foolish, prideful evil mouth.

curds are a good thing, but blood and strife are not. If you are pressing your hand over your mouth to NOT produce something, what is that?

Ok, I’m done with Psalm 30. I enjoyed reading it and would have loved to do a more thorough study on it, but it’s all I had time for.

Hope this encourages you to read the psalms. I was told from someone, when reading the psalms, to underline the “i will”  statements.

I’ve begun to do that, but need to list them out to see the pattern.

Blessings, The Home Engineer

Can Rights Be Wrong?



Here again the concept of stewardship serves as a helpful guiding principle [in thinking about your rights].

Rights are not something you deserve and possess for your own benefit. Rather, they are privileges given to you by God, and he wants you to use them for his glory and to benefit others, especially by helping them know Christ. As a steward, it is also appropriate to consider your needs and personal responsibilities (Phil. 2:3-4).

 Thus, whenever there is a question about your rights, you should ask yourself questions like these:

  1. “Will exercising my rights honor God by showing the power of the gospel in my life?”
  2. “Will exercising my rights advance God’s kingdom–or will it advance only my interests at the expense of his kingdom?”
  3. “Will exercising my rights benefit others?”
  4. “Is exercising my rights essential for my own well-being?”

Taken from  The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) p. 94

Food for Thought

Have you ever heard someone say (or have you yourself said), “I have my rights–and it wouldn’t be just to let him off so easily. He doesn’t deserve it!”
This kind of thinking–focusing on our own rights–is pretty typical in conflicts. We think in black and white terms: “I’m right. He’s wrong.” And when we’re thinking about rights, we’re usually thinking about justice. We want justice. Now.  
Of course, that justice is to be meted out on the other person. See, here’s the problem. We are quick to want justice to be executed on others, but slow to seek that same justice for ourselves. In that situation (and every situation, for that matter), our only hope is the gospel. When we remember that we deserved justice but instead received abundant mercy, we are free to extend that abundant mercy to others. Praise the Lord that we do not receive what we truly deserve!

Yes, there are times to exercise rights. But there are also times to lay them down. Re-read the questions that Ken asks above. Then think about a situation you face where you are tempted to assert your rights. In doing so, can you honestly answer these questions in the affirmative?

If not, then pray and consider how you might lay down your rights for God’s glory, imitating Christ, who lay down his rights (and his very life) for your sake.



Whoa, ok, that article just smacked me upside the forehead, How about you?




100 Things I have Done…….


What is this?
Well, you’re supposed to bold the things you’ve done so readers can find out how you’ve led an awesome life so far.
Here’s what I have done:
1. Started your own blog [January 2007]
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii [honeymoon 1998]
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland [march 1998]
8. Climbed a mountain [not a serious climb, just walking up Mt. Rainer]
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch [knitting]
15. Adopted a child [if taking care my sons friends count, then I’m in]
16.Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables [growing own veggies rules!]
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill [heck yea, who hasn’t?]
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb [oh I only wish, but i petted a pig and held a 6 foot snake]
26. Gone skinny dipping [ah, in my youth]
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise [Disneyworld about 10 years ago]
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke [at my wedding]
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight [in Mexico]
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing [black bass, in alaska]
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling [Itried it, was totally freaked out by it]
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater [worked at a drive-in theater]
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class [attended one class then quit]
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies [I was a Camp Fire Girl]
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job [1 time, for stealing, which i didn’t do]
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone [funny how I never had broken bones until my son was born]
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle [i love the thrill of it! someday, someday]
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car [well, hubby bought it for me]
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper [yes, 5 years old, holding mushrooms]
85. Read the entire Bible [Im pretty close, but skipped the boring parts 😉 ]
86. Visited the White House [the outside, many years ago]
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club [long time ago, a craft book club]
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

Well, there you have it. Boring, boring, boring. If you want, you are tagged. Copy and paste and drop me a line so I can look at what you posted.


Musings on ….Proverbs 30 Part 3


15 The leech has two daughters:
Give and Give. 
Three things are never satisfied;
four never say, “Enough”:
16 Sheol, the barren womb,
the land never satisfied with water,
and the fire that never says, “Enough.”

Two daughters, Give and Give

3 things are never satisfied

1. Sheol

2. the barren womb

3. the land with water

and the 4th fire never says enough.

why are these things listed together?  Sheol has but wants more,  womb never has had but wants, the land always needs water and fire devours everything.

18 Three things are too wonderful for me;
four I do not understand:
19 the way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a serpent on a rock,
the way of a ship on the high seas,
and the way of a man with a virgin.

3 things that are too wonderful for me, 4 I do not understand

1. the way of the eagle in the sky

2.   ”     the serpent on a rock

3.    ”   a ship on the high seas

4.   ”  a man with a virgin

Ok, this weirds me out a bit, think about the way those 4 things move, or at least the first 3.  He doesn’t understand, he doesn’t move like them. but he thinks they are wonderful.

21 Under three things the earth trembles;
under four it cannot bear up:
22 a slave when he becomes king,
and a fool when he is filled with food;
23 an unloved woman when she gets a husband,
and a maidservant when she displaces her mistress.

under 3 things the earth trembles, 4 it can not bear up

1. a slave when he becomes king

2. a fool when he is filled with food

3. unloved woman when she gets a hubby

4. a servant when she displaces her mistress/master.

how do these groups of people act when those things happen to them?

foolish, prideful, boastful, giddy with happiness?