Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Alice Von Hildebrand on Fleeting Fads and Eternal Truth: An Interview from the National Catholic Register

Alice von Hildebrand
My sister posted this intriguing and timely interview  from the National Catholic Register, of Alice von Hildebrand, Catholic philosopher and wife of the late Dietrich von Hildebrand.
Dr. Hildebrand is a beautiful and truthful lady. I'm not Catholic and don't agree with penance and transubstantiation, but I believe the 'real presence' of Christ is in us, the church, His tabernacles here on earth. And we should reflect His beauty and truth. He is Truth and Beauty and Goodness.
I wish to promote the unity of believers; so even though she and I would disagree on some things, we can agree on the fundamental truths of Christianity and especially on the love of the Truth, who is the person of Jesus Christ: God with us. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

John Pavlovitz: The Continued Crucifying of Rob Bell, And What it Says About the State of Modern Christianity

A friend posted this blog by John Pavlovitz on Facebook a few days ago, stating in her status
that it is shameful the way many evangelicals are treating Rob Bell. I agree. I commented on my friend's post:
 "A few years ago, I thought he was borderline heretical. But I hadn't read any of his books or listened to his messages. I just went on hearsay, and I had also been reading several apologetics websites constantly, which criticized him as well as the church growth movement, emergent churches, and people that practice and teach meditation. I have changed many of my views in the past few years, including being able to accept Roman Catholics as fellow believers without feeling the need to tell them that I believe their church teachings are wrong and why. So, now I can accept that Rob Bell can think outside the box freely without being a heretic and false teacher. Now, though, I need to show understanding to those that have been raised in a very traditional mindset and have trouble seeing outside of that. We don't need to turn around and attack those that are in ignorance attacking Rob. This has been happening almost since the beginning of the church age, and we need to begin to love one another even in our differences."
 I was glad to find such a good article that shares my newly gained perspective on the Body of  Christ: namely, that the different branches of the Vine must learn to show love to one another in spite of our many differences. Our variety does not make us enemies, but provides many opportunities for learning a new perspective on the endless gifts of God.
Later I reposted the link in my Facebook status and stated: "My views have changed so much in the last few years. I don't immediately call someone a heretic just because they don't hold the same perspective that I do in everything. Rob Bell thinks outside the box, like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and his perspective is needed in the church. I think I should blog about this article. I haven't blogged much since I gave up lecturing Catholics on their errors. About the same time I realized that I have plenty of my own." 
Please read the article and let me know what you think. Thanks!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

NRO Online: This Baby Changes Everything: an interview with Scott Hahn

There has never been any person to compare to Jesus. His birth, life, death, and resurrection are the center and focus of human history. He is Emmanuel, which means God With Us. He is the Creator, Savior, and Lord. He is the Prince of Peace, the Light of the world, and the Lover of your soul. While Christians celebrate Advent, waiting for the birth of the Savior, Jesus is waiting for each of us to come to Him and to look to Him as our hope. As the Creator of the world and of all nations in history, He humbled Himself to come as a helpless child for our sakes. He put Himself at our mercy, so we can have His mercy. We love Him because He first loved us.
National Review Online posted an interview today with Scott Hahn about the advent season and his book Joy To the World: How Christ's Coming Changed Everything (And Still Does). The interview is very good; the book sounds very thought-provoking. I'd like to read it soon. I wanted to share this in the spirit of brotherhood, which should exist between Protestants and Catholics as members of the Body of Christ. I hope you enjoy the article and consider reading Hahn's book as well.  

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Phil Wickham - Evermore

This song is based on a hymn, Of the Father's Love Begotten, written by Aurelius Clemens Prudentius in the 4th century AD. Absolutely beautiful.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Just a funny story: The Joke, Or the Spray, is on Me.

Don’t judge, but at one point I was having trouble getting several of my daughters to get out of bed in the mornings (really I’m still having trouble, but that’s not important), so my husband conveniently remembered that his dad once dumped a cup of cold water on him to get him out of bed. So, I thought that sounded like torture, but thought of my bottle of vinegar/water that I use for cleaning windows, mirrors and floors. That wouldn’t hurt them, but would give them just a little incentive to get moving, I reasoned. I need to make a long story short, here, so let’s just say that it worked pretty well with the 2 youngest ones, because I didn’t actually have to squeeze the trigger. They jumped up as soon as the words “If you don’t get up, I’m going to squirt you with this spray bottle!” registered in their sleepy brains. However, my 12 year old apparently was a glutton for punishment, or just hoped I’d eventually give up and go away. Oops…I forgot to make it short…. Well, she didn’t get up, so I squirted the back of her head. You guessed it, she popped up like a cork, and was so mad that she couldn’t go back to sleep (or maybe the smirk on my face gave her a clue that if she started to lie down I wouldn’t hesitate to use my new-found mommy weapon). Don’t judge. ;)
Anyway, about a week later, I was bent over with my head in the fridge getting something out of the crisper drawer, when I felt a cold spray hit my rear. I popped up like cork, and turned around to see my 12 year old standing there with the spray bottle in hand and a smirk on her face. Moral of the story is, never take parenting advice from your husband–er, I mean, whatever you sow, that you shall reap. Or, maybe, don’t leave the spray bottle where your daughter can find it? Whichever one works. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Blog: Finite Reflections of Infinity: The Argument From (Dis-)Similarity

I read this great blog post today on Finite Reflections of Infinity. It was shared by Paul Pavao on his facebook page, Christian History for Everyman. Please take the time to read the blog, even though it's long. I thoroughly enjoyed it, especially the conclusion. The author's premise is that all churches/denominations are different from each other and from the original historical churches in leadership structure, worship services, theology, architecture, spiritual gifts, and devotional practices, therefore the argument that 'my church is best because it is most like the original church' is not a valid option for determining what the church should look like. Therefore, the author states, we have 4 options, of which the 4th is the only valid one according to his arguments. Please let me know if you agree with his conclusion. Enjoy!
P.S.: Here is the comment I left under the blog post, which also might be food for discussion.
 "paulfpavao and theophiletos,
I agree with Paul that this article is phenomenal. I like how you put it, Paul, that ‘the folks who embrace this conclusion of yours…will let the Holy Spirit out of the various cages we have put him in…’
Being concerned about unity in the church as a whole and hoping that the world will see us loving one another, rather than assuming the high ground and attacking one another, I keep making the statement in discussions with Catholics...that: Instead of seeing the diversity of denominations/groups within the church as a ‘bad’ thing, maybe one reason God has allowed this separation is to encourage us to love one another in spite of our differences, which I see as mainly over non-essentials.
theophiletos, I truly love your conclusion that the invisible qualities of loving one another as Christ has loved us, and the presence of the Spirit of God and His fruits and gifts, is the hallmark of the church. Thank you for this article, and Paul, thank you for sharing it."

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Answers in Genesis: Update on Hobby Lobby and Obamacare

Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis has a new blog post up about Hobby Lobby's fight against the Obamacare Healthcare Mandate. The mandate would require them to offer health insurance that provides abortion-inducing drugs (abortifacients) to its employees. This case is to be argued before the Supreme Court on Tuesday, March 25. Please be in prayer about this case, and for the Green family that owns Hobby Lobby, as they stand for God's Word and the sanctity of human life.

Eddie Snipes: When Grace Becomes a Threat

My husband Eddie has a blog post up about one of his newest books, Abounding Grace:Dispelling Myths and Clarifying the Biblical Message of God's Overflowing Grace. There is much misinformation being spread around recently about the resurgence of grace teaching, calling it 'hyper grace' and saying that this is a danger to the body of Christ that must be stamped out with fierce attacks. I believe that this 'attack mode' is the danger, which causes division in the body of Christ because people then think they have a right and duty to spew hatred at other believers with impunity, because 'they think they are doing God a service' (John 16:2). I have been a part of this 'attack mode' thinking in the past, and I don't want to get caught up in it again. It is something that has been happening throughout church history, and is one of the greatest tools that the enemy has to render us ineffective as witnesses and lights in this dark world. When we fall prey to this, we become worse than useless. We become part of the darkness that plagues the world, which Christ died to dispel. At this time of the year when we remember Christ's death and resurrection, let's die to our own pride and our own works, and allow Christ to shine through us as we love one another. Jesus said "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:35)
Eddie writes about his book:

People like the idea of grace being a tool God puts into our hands, because this makes us the acheiver--which feeds our pride. It’s when you unveil the full teaching of God’s grace, which calls us to trust completely in what Christ has done, that people call grace hyper. People are not comfortable with being completely dependent upon Christ alone. Religious people would rather believe that God is proud of their efforts.
The truth that the only way we can please God is to trust and receive what He has accomplished is not palatable to religion. God is love, and because of His desire to express His love, God gave the gift of Himself through the promise, “His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness.” That is grace. Anything that replaces His gift of ‘all things’ has replaced grace with a cheap counterfeit. This substitute then denies God the pleasure of expressing love, and denies us the joy of experiencing all things. The counterfeit may call itself grace, but it is nothing more than a fading form of religion.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Deeper with Jesus in Rhode Island: They'll Be Dead by Morning (What Difference Will it Make?)

Please pray for the 33 North Korean Christians that are sentenced to death by Kim Jong-un for setting up 500 underground churches in North Korea. I can't say it better than Lori Roeleveld in the following links. If you don't follow her blog, you should. As Lori writes: "Let's bring them before the throne of the High King that they would be bold, brave, strong, and know they are not alone." I would add, please pray that they will live to continue the work they began, but if not, pray that in their deaths they will be like Gideon's pitchers which when broken shone out the light that was contained within, and like the grains of wheat that Jesus described in John 12:24: "unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain". I also pray and hope that if it comes to this in our country that God will call brothers and sisters to pray for us in the same way. Thank you.

Deeper with Jesus in Rhode Island: They'll Be Dead by Morning (What Difference Will it Make?)

Deeper with Jesus in Rhode Island: Jesus Lives in North Korea and He Reigns in His People There

Saturday, March 01, 2014

The Last Hiker: The "Son of God" Movie is Not What We Think

The Last Hiker posted this blog recently about the film 'Son of God' which opened this weekend. In reading the blog, I was disappointed to see how many protestant leaders are promoting this film, which looks, according to examples from sources listed in the blog post, to be dangerously inaccurate and misleading. The blog also states that several Catholic bishops are promoting the film and saying how good it is. I hope to see some sign of discernment coming from leaders and lay people, both protestant and Catholic, as the film is reviewed.

UPDATE:  A reader brought to my attention that the tone of the blog post I linked to here is uncharitable and that my post is in contrast to the earlier one I posted about the Mexican Catholics ostracizing their protestant neighbors. In the earlier post, I stressed my concern that these Catholics are not behaving as Christians should and are hurting the unity of the church. I was inconsistent in posting an article in which the author has an uncharitable tone and criticizes fellow believers, even saying that Roma Downey and her husband are not Christians and are hurting the cause of Christ.  I am posting this update because I agree that I was being inconsistent, and admit that I hastily posted the link to the Son of God blog post without thinking it through. I am linking here to a more reasonable and charitable review and critique of the Son of God movie by Answers in Genesis. Here is the link: Answers in Genesis: Movie Review: Son of God

25 Protestant Families in Mexico have Water and Electricity Cut Off by Catholic Village Authorities: When will we be one? posted an article about a situation in southern Mexico in which protestant families in a village are being ostracized by fellow villagers and have had their water and electricity cut off, because they will not participate in and contribute financially to traditional Catholic festivities. This happened also in 2010 and was reported on. I don't know if this is a situation in which the Catholic villagers are acting on their own out of ill-will toward protestants, or with the blessing of the Roman Catholic Church authorities in their area. What I want to know in the interests of unity in the Body of Christ is: don't these Catholic villagers have priests that teach them about the love of God, and love for neighbor? Do the priests, and villagers, understand that Christ said Christians would be known by their love for one another? Do they recognize that protestants are part of the Body of Christ, and do the protestants recognize this also? I do, of course, know that some people that claim to be Christians really are not. I hope and pray that the ones who truly are believers in this village, on both sides, will be moved to show Christ's love to one another, so that the unity Christ prayed for will be realized in our time, and those that are not believers will see this and be saved.
The photo above: Graves of a Catholic woman and her Protestant husband, who were not allowed to be buried together. Roermond, NL, 1888

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Evangelicals & Catholics Together? DAVY JONES (with THE MONKEES) a little bit me, a little bit you

This song is how I'm feeling right now about debates between Catholics and protestants. :) In the past on this blog I have had many conversations with Catholics and protestants and I learned over time that it isn't my 'job' or 'ministry' to call out Catholics, or any other believer, on their beliefs and practices. It finally occurred to me that I really don't know what is going on in other people's hearts, AND that I myself have beliefs and practices, or lack thereof, that are not correct. Also, at the same time I became more and more aware that the denominations I have been a member of also have some beliefs, traditions, and practices that are partly or completely in error. I believe now that the enemy, Satan, has been busy dividing God's people on countless fronts; keeping us busy arguing and accusing one another, when we should together be light and salt IN LOVE to the world around us. It breaks my heart that I contributed to this. God bless you.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Endtime Pilgrim: The Deliverer is Coming!

I really enjoy the perspective of Dr. Gavin Finley of His article The Deliverer is Coming!, as with many of his writings, expresses the idea that God is a storyteller, and that He is playing out an epic tale over the ages, which will culminate in the return of the Deliverer to bring to fruition a long laid plan of redemption for His beloved Creation. I hope you enjoy Dr. Finley's article, and that you click the links at the bottom of the article to read his many other writings.