Archive for January, 2007

Been Reading and Learning

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

I’ve very much been enjoying the authors’ posts on the Reformation 21 blog. The site Reformation 21 is the online magazine of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. The site tag line is “Encouraging biblical thinking, living, worship, ministry and constructive cultural engagement”.

The blog author I was reading this morning, Rick Phillips, has an excellent series of posts on Biblical Masculinity. Some of the topics covered thus far are:

Here is one of my favorite portions from “A Definition of Biblical Masculinity”:

Another way to express these two descriptions is man’s calling to nurture and protect.  These are the two main masculine contributions in this world.  The first of these is somewhat counter-cultural today.  We don’t think of men as nurturers, but biblically, this is a vital masculine role.  While I certainly would not want to disparage the importance of motherly nurture, the man is really the primary nurturer.  The Hebrew word avad has a broad range of meaning depending on context.  In the temple, it was the word to describe the ministry of the priests.  In an agricultural context, it refers to cultivation.  The latter is the context of Genesis 2.  Placed in the Garden, Adam was to make things grow in healthy and beautiful ways.

This, then, is a large part of what makes a real man.  A real man nurtures, cultivates, and labors for growth.  This is one reason why the father is so important to raising children.  Anyone who was raised by the “strong, silent type” can tell you what a void the lack of fatherly nurture left in their heart.  Fathers are to get their hands dirty in the soil of their children’s lives.  A father is to plant, fertilize, water, and harvest the growth of character, godliness, ability, and joy.  The same is true with men as husbands.  This is why so many of the New Testament’s teaching to husbands call for men to pay attention to their wives, to cherish them, to cleanse their wives with the Word and present them in splendor.  Men do this at work, too.  A man’s work is to build — whether it is buildings, organizations, spirituality, or market shares.

Read this series for yourselves and see if you are as edified as I am by this blog author. Cheryl, I’m specifically thinking this may give you something hearty to chew and digest. What do you think?

A Nummy Slow Cooker Recipe

Friday, January 19th, 2007

This recipe is from my friend Renee:


6 pounds sirloin tip beef (or other beef suitable for slow cooking)

3 cups water

1 ½ cups chopped green onion

¾ cup soy sauce

6 teaspoons beef bouillon granules

6 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

6 teaspoons minced fresh garlic

3 one-gallon freezer bags

Rinse and trim beef as desired. Cut into thick strips, about 2 by 5 inches. (The beef should not be in bite-size pieces). Divide beef strips evenly among the one-gallon freezer bags. Each bag will contain about 1 ½ pounds, depending on amount trimmed.

Into each of the three bags of beef measure 1 cup water, ½ cup chopped green onion, ¼ cup soy sauce, 2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules, 2 teaspoons minced ginger and 2 teaspoons minced garlic. Seal and freeze.

Makes 3 entrees, 6 servings each

To cook one entrée: You may thaw this entrée in the refrigerator or cook it straight from the freezer. Empty beef and broth into slow cooker. Cook on low for 5 to 6 hours, or until beef is tender and pulls apart easily with a fork.

This recipe is from The Warehouse Gourmet, which may be ordered online.

Laura with little Seth

Tuesday, January 16th, 2007

In this photo, Seth is about 3 years old, and Laura about 14 years old
Laura, do you remember how much Seth liked you when he was little? Even when he was a very little baby, he would be comforted if you held him, or if I lay him down near you. Isn’t that amazing? Here he is as a preschooler, still obviously very attached to you.

This picture came up as the computer “shuffled” through all the photos. I thought you might like this one, since now you are caring for your own little boy.

Would Your Friends Pass the Friendship Test?

Wednesday, January 10th, 2007

Following is an excerpt from an article by Mamta Gautam, M.D., a psychiatrist with a private practice in Ottawa, Ontario. She is an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry, faculty of medicine, University of Ottawa, and past president of the Ontario Psychiatric Association. Her article is published in Bottom Line Health, Volume 21, Number 2, February 2007.

Relationship experts Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott of the Center for Relationship Development at Seattle Pacific University have created a list of traits to look for in enduring friendships.

A good friend is someone who . . .

  1. Makes time. Whether you’re in the midst of a crisis or slogging through the mundane, a friend will have time for you.
  2. Keeps a secret. Trust allows you to feel emotionally safe, share feelings and explore and understand what may be bothering you.
  3. Cares deeply. The ability to enter your world and feel your pain is a cornerstone of friendship.
  4. Provides space. Friends will give you time alone and are there when you need them.
  5. Speaks the truth. This person asks the questions you want to ignore and helps you face reality.
  6. Forgives faults. Everyone has faults. A friend knows you and likes you anyway!
  7. Remains faithful. You will not be deserted during bad times.
  8. Laughs easily. We all enjoy the company of people who share our sense of humor.
  9. Celebrates your success. Ideally, there’s no jealousy, resentment or destructive competition between friends.
  10. Connects strongly. Whether it’s bridge, books or real estate, friends share common interests.

It’s more productive to work on being a good friend, rather than to look for a good friend. Legendary self-improvement expert Dale Carnegie advised that people can make more friends in two months by simply becoming interested in other people than they can make in two years by trying to get people interested in them.

Big Fish Small Pond – a Poem by Willena Flewelling

Thursday, January 4th, 2007

Thursday, January 4th, 2007

This poem is about the strange happenings in the group called the RPNA(GM). That’s Reformed Presbytery of North America (General Meeting). Currently the three (total) elders are conducting an excommunication campaign, casting out of the Visible Church those who hold to the stated terms of communion, but who refuse to swear an oath that these three men constitute a lawful Church Court, and that their writings are legitimate church subordinate standards. Willena is among those who were recently excommunicated.

Big Fish Small Pond

~ Willena Flewelling, Oct. 26, 2006

big fish small pond
big splash
ripples ever widening
reaching ever farther

usurpation and abdication
figurehead… facade
breached and betrayed
pain… confusion
judicial blindness… bitter irony

delinquent shepherd
Achan in the camp
divide and conquer
drought and hunger
isolation and emptiness

deafening silence
patience unrewarded
twisting, redefining
tangled web
empty promises
hope deferred
don’t hold your breath

families rent asunder
friendships destroyed
damaged youth
no balm for festering wounds
no comfort for lonely hearts

still waters run deep
deceptive calm
sorrow upon sorrow stirreth the waters
deadly implications
slashed from the moorings
set adrift

big fish small pond
big splash
ripples ever widening
reaching ever farther

no tempest in a teapot

PURE (Presbyterian Uber-Reformed Evangelicals) call the Rt. Rev. Sanc T. Monious

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007

From a Site Called Reformation21

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007

The following parody reminds one of current happenings in the so-called Reformed Presbytery of North America (General Meeting), where three elders residing in two countries are conducting a wholesale excommunication campaign against their members. Or, maybe, there are other micro-denominations out there just like them who claim to be the most faithful church? Someone posted it on the site Reformation 21:

PURE Seeks the Rt. Rev. Sanc

Posted October 24, 2006

We would like to invite Rt. Rev. Sanc T. Monious to be our ruling elder. We had posted an advertisement and were hoping for a South African ruling elder, but the Rt. Rev. seems just the kind of man that is called for really, and no one from South Africa has actually come forward (though several have not).

I ought to say that in the past months the church has split, holding rival services across the living room in which they were meeting (in fact one of the members has threatened to burn the apostate’s podium but that would leave her without one also- of course she doesn’t speak in her own assembly: she just stands there) but they are hoping that a ruling elder can reunite the body.

Wanted: Ruling Elder
To head new micro-denomination.

Denomination consists of two members in good standing in Mexico City, Mexico.

Ruling Elder must subscribe to the Westminster Confession, and the original charter of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Preferably residing in South Africa, so that the denomination might be international, encompassing both oceans and extending over the whole face of the earth.

At present this little band of believers is the purest church in the world. Seeking an Elder to consolidate unity within the denomination, lead it forth as the flagship of the reformation, to administer the sacraments, and enforce church discipline.

(One of the members is involved in the open sin of thinking in her heart that perhaps the church’s policy on catabaptism is at odds with its firm belief in the nature of the pope as anti-Christ, in violation of the Westminster Confession -as well as the charter of the Massachusetts Bay Colony- and stands in possible need of excommunication. Though without an elder she is equally unable to communicate. This member has appealed to the general assembly, pending such a time as it exists.)

The name of the new denomination is the PURE — Presbyterian Uber-Reformed Evangelicals. We find that Scripture is insufficient without the original charter of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, to determine the nature of the true church and are, so far as we know, the only church in existence complying with that charter. The plight of man is serious indeed but God has not left himself without a remnant: two are better than one, and a threefold cord is not easily broken. God’s Kingdom is advancing on the enemy.

Join the two of us or get out of the way.

Reformation21 responds:
I accept. Where do I sign???
– Sanc T


My note: The definition for sanctimonious is 1. affecting piousness: hypocritically devout. Sanctimonious implies pretentions to holiness or smug appearance of piety.