Friday, February 24, 2012

Things for this summer

Ongoing list of things for this summer (starting in mid-may, after I graduate and have time for hobbies again). I may add to or subtract from this as I see fit. Most of my ideas can either be found on this blog somewhere, or on my pinterest. Perhaps if I am successful in trying to do some of these things, I will post a picture or two.

1. Figure out container gardening.
2. Relearn to crochet, and practice with the giant hook you bought (perhaps you know that I crochet extra tightly. I would like to crochet in such a way that it is enjoyable (more crocheting less wrestling to get the hook through my tight tight knots), less painful for my hands, and more productive (it takes me forever to accomplish anything. See the parenthetical thought next to "enjoyable.").
3. Finish that mini-quilt you started a last year.
4. Master making your own laundry-detergent (using a bar of soap you made).
5. Read for fun.
6. Canning.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Anselm quote

"No man except this one ever gave to God what he was not obliged to lose, or paid a debt he did not owe. But he freely offered to the Father what there was no need of his ever losing, and paid for sinners what he owed not for himself. "

(he's talking about Jesus)

On-going To Do List for Yuma

In a couple of weeks we are headed to Arizona! I am excited. Since I have not taken the time to blog about anything else lately, I will make a list of things I am excited about, as I think of/find out about them. Perhaps I will add some pictures when we get back.

1. Black Queen with Grandma.
2. Sun. Warmth.
3. In-n-out Burger.
4. Avocados aplenty.
5. Pool. (swimming, not billiards)

Man. Even if I don't update this list, it is looking pretty good.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Trying to make up for the lack of blogging. An essay I wrote for a class.

The four modern schisms, as listed in the first essay, are the schism between humans and God, between humans and nature, between analytical reason and affective intuition, and the schism between individual and individual -- the schism of the self. In general, since the fall, relationships of all kinds have been broken. God desires (and has desired from the beginning) to be in unbroken relationship with His creation, and for His creation to be in unbroken relationships with each other. One day He will restore and redeem those relationships. Until then, it is important to look to the Trinity for the healing of contemporary relations. For this essay, I will look at James B. Torrance’s book Worship, Community, and the Triune God of Grace, and Elaine Storkey’s Origins of Difference: The Gender Debate Revisited.
In Torrance’s book, one of the reasons he gives for the importance of recovering the “centrality of the doctrine of the Trinity in the life of our churches today” is “for a less individualistic anthropology -- an understanding of our humanity and our destiny in the purposes of God’s grace, to be a community of persons enjoying communion with God and with one another.”
 While most Christians would have no problem with saying they agree with the doctrine of the Trinity, and the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, they would likely have a problem with trying to understand it or articulate it very well. Most people would not be able to defend its importance to anyone who asked. Which is unfortunate, considering Torrance considers the “doctrine of the Trinity to be the grammar of the church’s faith and worship."
  Some of the conclusions that Torrance draws about the uniqueness of each person in the Trinity, and their relationship with each other are helpful in understanding how we can look to the Trinity for some healing in our own relationships. We as humans were created in the image of God, so it only makes sense that our relationships should reflect the relationships within the Trinity. Torrance says that, “to understand what it means to be in the image of God, we must look at Jesus Christ, not at fallen humanity.” The humanness of Jesus sanctifies “our common humanity so that, be we men or women, we can see the dignity and beauty of our humanity sanctified in him.” So instead of looking at Jesus to know what “maleness” looks like, we can look at him to know what “humanness” looks like. This will help in all four of the schisms, I think. Furthermore, “we are meant to interpret our humanity, our male-female relations, in the light of the Trinity. God is love. Love always implies communion between persons, and that is what we see supremely in God. The Father loves the Son in the communion of the Spirit.”
In Storkey’s book, she gives broad historical and biological look at gender differences, and the different ways people have tried to make sense of these differences throughout time. Toward the end of the book, she lists four paradigms found in the Bible to describe the relationships between men and women. The first is difference. We are different from each the way we were created, in the way that we originally sinned (and therefore differing punishments), biologically, the way we are described, etc. The second paradigm is on the other end of the spectrum. We are also similar. “Men and women are both equal parts of the human race. They are more like each other than they are like anything else in creation.” They are both given command over the rest of creation, children are to treat both parents with respect and obedience, they are both able to prophesy, etc. Thirdly, men and women are complementary. “Women and men are not simply the same or different from each other; they are also complementary. They “fit” together; they each reciprocate and fulfill something in the other.” In the New Testament, Paul says that men and women are not independent from one another, and that they come from one another. In the creation story, women came from man, and in procreation, men come from women. It does not imply hierarchy, but reciprocation and completion. The fourth and final paradigm is the importance of union. Woman was created not from the same substance as man, but from the substance of man. In Genesis, it says that when a man and woman are married, they are united as one. Paul in the New Testament says that husbands and wives have authority over the other’s sexuality. We are united in our disobedience, as well as in our redemption. Because of our brokenness, we tend to distort these themes, or to forget one or more of them. We fail to see them as a whole, and as a result, our relationships are not as they should be. When thinking of these four themes, of difference, similarity, complementarity, and union, is it not also very clear that these same word could be used to describe (even if we cannot fully understand) the Trinity? Each person in the Trinity is different: they are Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Yet they are all God, one God. They complement each other and are united in, as the lecture notes say, “a dance.” 
To conclude, we were created for relationship. With each other, with our Creator, and His creation. If we look to the relationship with God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, we will get a glimpse of how we were meant to relate to each other, work together, and love one another. The front of the Autumn 2011 issue of the Priscilla Papers says it beautifully, “We believe that the sole living God who created and rules over all and who is described in the Bible is one Triune God in three coeternal, coequal Persons, each Person being presented as distinct yet equal, not as three separate gods, but one Godhead, sharing equally in honor, glory, worship, power, authority, rule, and rank, such that no Person has eternal primacy over the others.
Works Consulted

Fairfield, Les. PT 725 lecture notes, Trinity School for Ministry, Winter Intensive 2012

Spencer, William David, Ed. Priscilla Papers, Christians for Biblical Equality; Minneapolis, MN; Volume 25, Number 4, Autumn 2011
Storkey, Elaine. Origins of Difference: The Gender Debate Revisited, Baker Academy; Grand Rapids, MI; 2001
Torrance, James B. Worship, Community, and the Triune God of Grace, IVP Academic; Downers Grove, IL; 1996


I'm sitting here reading Exodus for a class, and am struck by a few things (as always when you sit and read a book of the Bible in one sitting), but mainly how much I can relate to Moses. And how the Israelites are such whiners.
Don't get me wrong. Most times I can relate to the Israelites, because I too am fickle, forgetful, and tend to romanticize the past.
But this time around, my heart goes out to Moses. When God tells him to speak to the people, he freaks out because he is not gifted in that way. Then God says, big deal, I created your mouth. I will tell you what to say. And Moses isn't convinced. So God gives him all these miracles to perform. And Moses is still insecure. And on and on. Moses had murdered someone in his past. He wasn't a good speaker. He was 80. And God still used him in such great ways, even though he doubted so much.
And then the people. They were treated so brutally in Egypt. Yet when the slightest thing goes wrong, they whine and whine and whine. They question Moses' leadership skills (um, hello. He's already insecure, and just doing what God told him to do). They say that they would be better off back in Egypt (which, when they left, was in shambles). Come on, people.

Sorry to get all riled up. Have you sat and read the book of Exodus lately? In spite of all disappointing, untrusting people, God is still mighty, and is in control.  He loves His people and provides for them (us) even though they (we) are highly forgetful and short-sighted. It is a great reminder to be thankful in all circumstances, among other things.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

C.S. Lewis quote that I like, even if it doesn't pertain to me

"I believe that many who find that "nothing happens" when they sit down, or kneel down, to a book of devotion, would find that the heart sings unbidden while they are working their way through a tough bit of theology with a pipe in their teeth and a pencil in their hand." -C.S. Lewis

What makes your heart sing?
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