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Archive for the ‘Religious’ Category

Don’t Judge Me


Praise God! Hallelujah! We have internet! {Don’t judge me!} ūüėÜ

Back in the olden days, when we were in the campground, we had that crappy satellite internet- remember that? Because our house was just over 2 miles away, I was worried that we’d be relegated to using the same service, just to get any kind of internet.

We knew we couldn’t get a cable connection here like we had at the old house. And there was much weeping and gnashing of teeth.

The hunt was on. I’d get one answer from one part of a provider; then another from a local division of the provider. I was tearing my hair out. I really did not want either dial-up or satellite. DSL I could live with.

Once we moved in, we’ve had a steady stream of visitors. Even though I cannot see a single house from where we live, and neighbors are not in abundance, I am pretty sure we’ve met them all. And it is *awesome.*

One question I’d asked every single time was “What kind of internet can you get? Can you get DSL?”¬†And I was distraught to hear that not a single person around us was able to get it-¬†not the Century Link guy who lives around the corner and drives by twice a day; not the mailman who lives around the corner and¬†down the street a ways; not the neighbors past the bridge; and not the other Century Link guy who lives next to the outpost with the switches in it.

Nonetheless, we were brave souls and had already paid for a year by that time. ūüėÄ We even had the modem delivered already and had run out into the road to flag down the guy in the van.

At some point, I was resigned to thinking we were screwed stuck with whatever we could get as long as it wasn’t dial-up.

A different Century Link man came out (the one who lives around the corner and down the road next to the outpost) and gave us the scoop. Apparently, there were some DSL lines run out here just a year ago. We needed a set of available switches. If they had those, they would build the line. But, we needed to understand that because we were so far from the outpost, our communication rate wouldn’t be as fast as it could be had we been closer.

{Please, Mister Internet Man, just get us online with a decent speed!!}

Praise God! Hallelujah! {Don’t judge me!}

And then yesterday they called to let us know we would have it by 5 pm today. Praise God! Hallelujah!¬†{Don’t judge me!}

My children’s teeth are visible for the first time in I don’t know how long, and I’m pretty sure the frown lines haven’t had time to really get set in. Praise God! Hallelujah!¬†{Don’t judge me!}

At this point, it’s safe to say that the speed is just fine; blazing, in fact, in¬† comparison to the satellite connection we struggled with at the campground.

I think it’s also safe to say that my slave labor kids won’t be helping paint much this afternoon. I’ve warned them, though- they get to goof through lunch, and then we need to get back at it. {Seriously, it’s like there is blood spatter all over this house- including on the ceilings…..GROSS!!!!} At least now, maybe they will be in better moods, since I have something to threaten them with……..

So. Where were we?

Yes. We moved in. My son and I flew back to NM to meet the movers. What a crazy busy 4 days. That was a fiasco, to say the least. I may write about that, but I may just want to leave it where it is……

So far we’ve dealt with wasps swarming the house {a continuation of what we had before we closed- there are at least 5 different species fighting over territory}, a steady stream of neighbors, a locksmith who¬†was unable to¬†re-key the locks, 5 abandoned horses, including one severely emaciated nursing mama horse whose colt¬†was about¬†2 months old when we moved in¬†and very nearly going down because she needed at least 500 lbs and who we think is pregnant again already; a fence that wasn’t keeping them in last week {and those fences aren’t on our property!} which meant the one day they had gotten out literally at least 6 times; our kitty¬†who disappeared¬†and we didn’t find until we started to smell her deceased body; ūüė¶ numerous contractors coming in and out to fix stuff, and and¬†and and…..

The home inspection was fantastic, but didn’t let us know the upstairs tub sends water running down the ceiling fan in the kitchen when an actual shower is taken. I still have to get the propane people out to set the second tank; we haven’t gotten the trash to run yet despite leaving it out for 2 weeks and seeing the truck run by every few days; we still have to get the upstairs heating pumps replaced and part of the floor needs to be finished and a closet got missed and needs the carpet replaced. And I’m pretty sure there are other things I’m forgetting right now.

But- I’m not busy or anything. ūüėÄ I’ll write about things in more detail as I get time. I just wanted to let y’all know I’m still alive and there’s no need to worry about me having fallen off the face of the earth.

In the meantime, I’m going to get back at the painting after I eat and hope I don’t have a layer of ‘skin’ to peel off in my paint pan………..

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Yep. That was our mantra during the last unplanned time away.

Some of you might have known about our aunt, who, at 59 years old (she turned 60 a few months ago), was diagnosed with a very rare, very aggressive uterine cancer last August. When she was diagnosed, she was stage IV. For those of you who have dealt with cancer, you might have an inkling of what this means. Stage IV means a spread to other organs, and is usually a terminal diagnosis.

In this case, there was zero survival at 2 years.

That being said, her course resulted in some amazing (and, as I understand it, documented by her doctors) developments, as her body worked to re-route functions.

We knew she had started getting hospice care at home a few weeks ago, and then we waited. Two weeks ago tomorrow, we learned of her passing. And so we got ready to head out.

Our oldest (16)¬†decided he wanted to stay home, which is completely understandable. It also solved the dilemma of how to coordinate care for the chickens, some of which are still inside at night (yes, this includes the three boys. *sigh*) For a long time, I’ve been naysaying¬†Hunny’s concept that at some point, he wasn’t going to want to go on vacation with us any more. I’m not saying this has actually happened yet, but I’m beginning to think that there may be some writing on a wall somewhere. ūüėÄ

That Monday we got details and sorted out the details of our trip. Tuesday we washed bedding; packed clothes, food, and did last-minute shopping. Wednesday morning, we headed out.

Normally, we stop along the way for lunch, pull (well, push the button)¬†out the slide and make hot dogs for lunch. Come to find out, the battery was completely dead. It was so dead, that even though power from the truck should have been able to get the slide out, it couldn’t even switch. This also meant that there wasn’t enough power for the fridge to switch to propane. Fortunately, the fridge was full which means it will stay cold at temp for several hours.

The first day of travel was the longest day, but not terribly long. We have a campground that we really love (even though it’s in Oklahoma!) mostly because we really enjoy the owners. And we always get the same spot across from the pool, which makes it easy for the kids to go swimming while we stay inside and stay cool. ūüėÜ

Thursday morning, we decided we should probably get a battery. We were kind of kicking ourselves for not stopping along the way the day before, but we were sure we could find something along the way. Which is, of course, what we did. We found another Walmart¬†, but never quite made it there. This was because there was a Tractor Supply literally across the street. And, you all know by now that my absolute *favorite* store is Tractor Supply- even if¬†it’s not in the middle of Chick Days. ūüėÄ

30 minutes later, we were back on the road with a new, functioning battery. Yay! (It could have been worse- we could have had to make numerous stops to find the right battery, thereby causing us to pull into camp later)

We have never stayed in that part of Oklahoma. We thought about it once, only to find that the KOA¬†was basically¬†in the parking lot of a casino/race track combo, that at the time, was a huge mud pit. It was also loaded with traffic for the casino and race track, and we decided it was not someplace we want to stay. I guess if you want to go to the casino and racetrack, it would be ok, especially if you didn’t have kids. We LOVE KOAs overall, but this one is not our cup of tea.

Sunday and Monday I had spent scoping things out. We have our set places, and typically use KOAs¬†for overnighting along the way; not usually as destination parks (unless it’s a good one that we know) for lengthy vacations. One of the reasons we hadn’t gone and spent time with them there once they moved was because of the lack of campgrounds in that area.¬†This time, though, I was determined to find something.

My standard first place to check is Woodalls. I have used this site for years and years and I’m on the forums. Thankfully, I found a campground that had a pool. If you have never been to Oklahoma in the middle of summer during a heat wave, let me summarize it thusly: God made Oklahoma as a preview of what Hell is like. It’s His way of giving people a chance to¬†get a taste;¬†thereby giving them time to repent and be saved. The end.

ūüėÜ

It was so hot, that if we had gotten there any later in the day (this was our short day, so we were there by around 2 pm) we wouldn’t have been able to sleep at night because the air conditioner wouldn’t have brought the inside down to decent sleeping temps (see the above “it could have been worse” point). It was so hot there, that when we went and got ice cream (which partially melted on the way home), even after 3 days in the freezer, the ice cream still hadn’t re-frozen solid.

When we got parked and got camp set up, Hunny noticed that one of the tires had gone completely bald on the inside of the tire.  (It could have been worse- it could have blown apart while we were in the midst of construction in the middle of nowhere)  We attribute this solely to the absolute terrible roads in the state. Parts of it were like going down a washboard- remember those gravel roads that make your teeth rattle? Ya, like that, except now add some pot-holes.

We would have to change it out. Fortunately, we found a mobile unit on Friday (after the service). And, it didn’t cost an arm, a leg, or first-born child. It could have been worse.

Because we stayed a day longer than we had anticipated, this meant we had to move to another site. Honestly, this begs the question: if you have to pack up and hitch to move, are you better off to not just go? At the actual moment I was walking back to the office to see if the only remaining site we could fit into was available, the cousins pulled in. That basically made the decision for us. So we packed up, hitched up, and moved a few sites down.

This got us into the shade, but gave no grass for little dog. The awning rolled up just fine, but in trying to extract it, one of the springs went out. It could have been worse. It could have been a deal where the whole awning and mechanics would have had to be replaced, or wouldn’t have functioned in any capacity at all.

After the tire debacle was resolved, we needed to do some food shopping. A few hours later, I went to call the teenager at home (you know, to make sure he was alive and hadn’t run out of food) only to discover my phone was gone. This could only mean one thing: it got left somewhere on the Walmart food trip. *sigh* (I had given it to my daughter to hold while I got my wallet out)

And, it was going right to voice mail. I was not optimistic. Back to the store we went, and by the grace of God, it was in the lost and found and no one had made any calls or done anything else with it. Wow. I was sure it was gone! It could have been worse.

Our way back home got us to the same campground we really like. Later in the evening, my daughter realized her IPod was missing. *sigh* (Remember- we’re up to 2, and this makes 1 for her, although at the time, we were thinking this completed the 3) The next morning, she went back to the office and indeed, it had been saved. Yay! (She was really sweating it, too, because she paid for the thing with her own money. She is the only one in the family who has an actual IPod, and she loves it.)

On the road we went the next morning, to make the long leg of our journey home. When we were around Amarillo, Hunny let me know one of the other tires was feeling hot. Ugh oh. We were hopeful it would make the 200 miles home.

You know what’s coming next, right? Ya. We didn’t make it. We got just outside of Hereford when the car on our right let us know something was amiss. Seriously? How did we miss it? It was really windy (as usual for this part of the country) and the roads weren’t great, but not as bad as they were in Oklahoma.

We pulled over to the side of the road and saw our poor, shredded tire. Well, not really. We saw the rim with some rubber pieces. The firewall was still intact. Hunny had seen a few tire pieces in his side mirror and was going to pull over once we totally cleared the city.

So here we¬†were, on the side of the road, outside of a town, with a totally blown tire. We were outside¬†a veterinary¬†supply store, so I was planning on heading in to see if we could see their phone book. Lo and behold, a FedEx truck pulls up to turn back on the road, and comes to help- with his phone book. ūüėĬ† ūüėÜ We got the number of a tire place, and off he went.

Hunny¬†called the tire place, which had tires, but no mobile unit- but, they had the number of a place that did. 30 minutes, y’all. They said they’d be there with 2 new tires in 30 minutes. And it was getting cloudy, which meant we weren’t baking in the Texas heat. The tires also cost about the same as we had priced earlier at Walmart, of all places.

It TOTALLY could have been worse!

We didn’t get gouged on either price;¬†not the cost of the tires, nor the cost of the mobile service, which actually cost less for them to come to us on the side of the road than we were charged to change out a tire in a campground. And we thought the price in Ok was reasonable for mobile service!

No one was hurt behind us; we weren’t hurt;¬† the underside of our rig wasn’t shredded; it didn’t happen in a construction zone with heavy traffic; it didn’t happen in the middle of nowhere where we didn’t have a cell signal (that came about 40 miles later); the tire place HAD RV tires AND a mobile unit, AND the heat wasn’t oppressive.

That, my friends, is God in action. ūüėÄ

I say this in all sincerity. Hereford had a 2010 population of 15, 370 people. When we got home (to our town of about 50,000), we called around to several different places, and had to end up ORDERING tires that took 2 days to get here. While I admit that where we¬†were¬†just past Hereford is 50 miles from Amarillo, the odds that they actually had our tires when our own home town did not- well, that, imo, is more than dumb luck, especially considering that tire blowouts aren’t generally considered ‘lucky.’

And now that I’m counting, I can relax. That’s 6 for the trip (because everything goes in 3s):

  1. battery
  2. bald tire
  3. awning spring
  4. my phone
  5. Ipod
  6. blown tire

We knew that the trip wasn’t a vacation and certainly wasn’t a pleasure cruise by any means. But, it could have been worse, and this trip will forever remembered as such.

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Here on Easter Eve, there are many thoughts about the crucifixion running through my head. Coming off of Holy Week, it’s kind of hard not to think on the whole event.

Several years ago, as part of a devotional, I detailed what happens to the human body during crucifixion. One thing that important to note, too, is that Jesus wasn’t just crucified, but he was also scourged before they finally nailed him to the cross for 6 hours¬†and left him to die up there.

Now’s probably the time to click away if this sort of thing bothers you deeply.

I think, as a Christian, it’s easy to fall into the “He died for my sins” bit and not really have a truly sound grasp of what that means. Yes, we all know death was the outcome. It’s easy to sanitize it all and just focus on the end result of His death and our salvation.

But do we ever stop and think about the scourging and the physicality of what it’s like to hang on a cross until you die?

Crucifixion death comes by suffocation. That’s right-¬†suffocation. In those days, it wasn’t a quick death; it could literally take days. You’ll see why below. Many times, the legs of the crucifxee were broken, to hasten the suffocation.

Before he was crucified, Christ was scourged. What exactly does that mean?

Most people think of it just as a whipping. According to what I’ve found, an ancient Roman¬†flagrum {flagellum}¬†not only had the whips, but there were pieces of either bone or metal attached to the end; the point of which was to flay (remove the skin of) the recipient. This is what one looked like:

We’ve all seen images of Jesus carrying the cross, blood running down his face from the crown of thorns. But I don’t know that we all want to think about how bloody his back was by that point- exposed muscle; shreds of skin and muscle¬†hanging off His body.

*“There is much disagreement among authorities about the unusual scourging as a prelude to crucifixion. Most Roman writers from this period do not associate the two. Many scholars believe that Pilate originally ordered Jesus scourged as his full punishment and that the death sentence by crucifixion came only in response to the taunt by the mob that the Procurator was not properly defending Caesar against this pretender who allegedly claimed to be the King of the Jews.

Preparations for the scourging were carried out when the Prisoner was stripped of His clothing and His hands tied to a post above His head. It is doubtful the Romans would have made any attempt to follow the Jewish law in this matter, but the Jews had an ancient law prohibiting more than forty lashes.

The Roman legionnaire¬†steps forward with the flagrum (or flagellum) in his hand. This is a short whip consisting of several heavy, leather thongs with two small balls of lead attached near the ends of each. The heavy whip is brought down with full force again and again across Jesus’ shoulders, back, and legs. At first the thongs cut through the skin only. Then, as the blows continue, they cut deeper into the subcutaneous tissues, producing first an oozing of blood from the capillaries and veins of the skin, and finally spurting arterial bleeding from vessels in the underlying muscles.

The small balls of lead first produce large, deep bruises which are broken open by subsequent blows. Finally the skin of the back is hanging in long ribbons and the entire area is an unrecognizable mass of torn, bleeding tissue. When it is determined by the centurion in charge that the prisoner is near death, the beating is finally stopped.”

After the scourging- of which there may have been **three different kinds, the crown of thorns was mashed onto His head and he was forced to try to carry the cross 650 yards to the final location in Golgotha. It was at this point that Simon of Cyrene was selected to pitch in and help carry the cross.

*”Jesus is offered wine mixed with myrrh, a mild analgesic mixture. He refuses to drink. Simon is ordered to place the patibulum¬†on the ground and Jesus quickly thrown backward with His shoulders against the wood. The legionnaire¬†feels for the depression at the front of the wrist. He drives a heavy, square, wrought-iron nail through the wrist and deep into the wood. Quickly, he moves to the other side and repeats the action being careful not to pull the arms to tightly, but to allow some flexion and movement. The patibulum¬†is then lifted in place at the top of the stipes¬†and the titulus reading “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” is nailed in place.

The left foot is now pressed backward against the right foot, and with both feet extended, toes down, a nail is driven through the arch of each, leaving the knees moderately flexed. The Victim is now crucified. As He slowly sags down with more weight on the nails in the wrists excruciating pain shoots along the fingers and up the arms to explode in the brain — the nails in the writs are putting pressure on the median nerves. As He pushes Himself upward to avoid this stretching torment, He places His full weight on the nail through His feet. Again there is the searing agony of the nail tearing through the nerves between the metatarsal bones of the feet.

At this point, as the arms fatigue, great waves of cramps sweep over the muscles, knotting them in deep, relentless, throbbing pain. With these cramps comes the inability to push Himself upward. Hanging by his arms, the pectoral muscles are paralyzed and the intercostal muscles are unable to act. Air can be drawn into the lungs, but cannot be exhaled. Jesus fights to raise Himself in order to get even one short breath. Finally, carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream and the cramps partially subside. Spasmodically, he is able to push Himself upward to exhale and bring in the life-giving oxygen.”

It is thought that it was at this time, Christ uttered his final seven sentences. But wait- there’s more.

To make sure Jesus was really dead,

*”…the legionnaire drove his lance through the fifth interspace between the ribs, upward through the pericardium and into the heart. The 34th verse of the 19th chapter of the Gospel according to St. John reports: “And immediately there came out blood and water.” That is, there was an escape of water fluid from the sac surrounding the heart, giving postmortem evidence that Our Lord died not the usual crucifixion death by suffocation, but of heart failure (a broken heart) due to shock and constriction of the heart by fluid in the pericardium.”

I don’t know about you, but when I think of what Jesus endured that day-¬†the scourging; hanging on the cross for 6 hours; the taunts, the sneers, the mocking-¬†the taking on of the sin of the whole world- the separation from God for those last 3 hours, as darkness enveloped the world– I have no choice but to look at the crucifixion differently than I did before.

It’s not so easy to ignore His suffering. It’s not so easy to focus on the end result.

I don’t think it’s quite so easy to gloss over the whole deal and to not imagine in great detail the extent of His suffering.

There’s a lot of music, and a lot of focus on the resurrection. And the resurrection IS important. It just would have never happened if not for the crucifixion; for Judas’ betrayal; for all the parts that equaled the whole of the event.

When I think about what it must have been like, in those final moments, I shift to the crucifixion scene from Jesus Christ, Superstar (Andrew Lloyd Webber, of course). This is the best¬†depiction I’ve seen.

Close your eyes, even, to just listen:

And the requiem (obviously, there was no bus; no main characters in 70s era clothing, etc):

 

Does really understanding the physicality of crucifixion affect your perceptions of the sacrifice on our behalf?  Leave me a comment and tell me what you think.

* A Roman Crucifixion

**http://moellerd.blogspot.com/2010/03/christs-suffering.html

Jesus’ Suffering and Crucifixion From a Medical Point of View

Darkness at the Crucifixion- Metaphor or Real History?

Jesus’ Death:¬†Six Hours of Eternity¬†on the Cross

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I’m pretty sure I see them.¬† I’m also pretty sure the heavens have opened and I can hear angles singing.¬†

Indeed, there is big news in my house this morning. I honestly did not see this coming. I was pretty sure I would never see this happen.

We can say two things for certain:

1) That’s what I get for thinking, ūüėÜ and

2) Wonders never cease.

Of course,¬†I could add in there¬†this bit about God being good and the Bible actually being right, but I’m going to assume you know those are givens, so I won’t.

What has me flying high with the pigs this morning? (you mean, besides Carmina Burana¬†coming from hunny’s computer? {I’ll do a post on that fabulous piece of music later})

Are you sitting down? Please, go ahead. I’ll wait.

There. Are you in your chair yet? Good.

You might also want to get your Polident ready for cleaning your teeth after you get them up off the ground.

Ok. Here goes……….

Harold Camping has apologized.

I’ll let that sink in for a minute.

Indeed. He did.

I first stumbled across the news while poking around yesterday. The headline that grabbed my attention was this: Harold Camping Admits He Was Wrong About End Of World Prediction.  

I’m pretty sure that had you been sitting next to me, you would have heard my audible gasp.

Why, you might ask?

If you haven’t been reading along, I’d suggest you start here: Waiting For The Rapture.

Once you’re done with that, read this: I’m Still Here.

Still, this stuck me with, and I thought about this for a while……………Post Non-Rapture Ponderings.

Unfortunately, I was remiss in not writing about the non-end of the world in October, 2011.¬†I assume there must have been something else really important going on¬†that¬† got me sidetracked, but for the life of me, I can’t remember what it was……….

Now that you’re all caught up, you can see why Harold Camping’s apology is so important, can’t you? In fact, I am SO stuck by this, that I’m sharing his letter below, as posted on the Family Radio website.

An Important Letter from Mr. Camping – March 2012


THE BOARD OF FAMILY RADIO WISHES TO POST THE FOLLOWING LETTER FROM MR. CAMPING.  IT WAS OUR WISH, OUT OF RESPECT FOR OUR LISTENERS, TO MAIL OUT THIS LETTER BEFORE POSTING IT TO THE WEB SITE.  HOWEVER, BECAUSE IT WAS LEAKED TO THE INTERNET WITHOUT OUR AUTHORIZATION, WE HAVE MADE THE DECISION TO POST IT IMMEDIATELY TO AVOID CONFUSION.  THIS LETTER WILL ALSO BE MAILED OUT TO OUR LISTENERS.


“God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest¬†be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.” Romans 3:4Dear Family Radio Family,

In this time of confusion and turmoil, God‚Äôs Word remains the only truth in which we can trust.¬† God has shown us again the truth that He alone is true.¬† In Romans 3:4 God declares: “Let God be true but every man a liar.”¬† Events within the last year have proven that no man can be fully trusted.¬† Even the most sincere and zealous of us can be mistaken.

The May 21 campaign was an astounding event if you think about its impact upon this world.  There is no question that millions, if not billions of people heard for the first time the Bible’s warning that Jesus Christ will return.  Huge portions of this world that had never read or seen a Bible heard the message the Christ Jesus is coming to rapture His people and destroy this natural world. 

Yes, we humbly acknowledge we were wrong about the timing; yet though we were wrong God is still using the May 21 warning in a very mighty way.  In the months following May 21 the Bible has, in some ways, come out from under the shadows and is now being discussed by all kinds of people who never before paid any attention to the Bible.  We learn about this, for example, by the recent National Geographic articles concerning the King James Bible and the Apostles.  Reading about and even discussing about the Bible can never be a bad thing, even if the Bible’s authenticity is questioned or ridiculed.  The world’s attention has been called to the Bible.

We must also openly acknowledge that we have no new evidence pointing to another date for the end of the world.  Though many dates are circulating, Family Radio has no interest in even considering another date.   God has humbled us through the events of May 21,  to continue to even more fervently search the Scriptures (the Bible), not to find dates, but to be more faithful in our understanding.

We have learned the very painful lesson that all of creation is in God’s hands and He will end time in His time, not ours!  We humbly recognize that God may not tell His people the date when Christ will return, any more than He tells anyone the date they will die physically.

We realize that many people are hoping they will know the date of Christ‚Äôs return.¬† In fact for a time Family Radio fell into that kind of thinking.¬† But we now realize that those people who were calling our attention to the Bible‚Äôs statement that “of that day and hour knoweth no man” (Matthew 24:36 & Mark 13:32), were right in their understanding of those verses and Family Radio was wrong.¬† Whether God will ever give us any indication of the date of His return is hidden in God‚Äôs divine plan.

We were even so bold as to insist that the Bible guaranteed that Christ would return on May 21 and that the true believers would be raptured. Yet this incorrect and sinful statement allowed God to get the attention of a great many people who otherwise would not have paid attention. Even as God used sinful Balaam to accomplish His purposes, so He used our sin to accomplish His purpose of making the whole world acquainted with the Bible. However, even so, that does not excuse us. We tremble before God as we humbly ask Him for forgiveness for making that sinful statement. We are so thankful that God is so loving that He will forgive even this sin.

So we must be satisfied to humbly wait upon God, and trust He will guide His people to safety.  At Family Radio, we continue to look to God for guidance.  If it is His good pleasure for us to continue on with our original mission, the proclamation of the Gospel, God’s Word, then we must continue to look to Him.

We consider you to be a real part of this ministry and the tremendous opportunities which God, by His unfathomable mercy and grace, continues to give to us. And, your steadfast involvement and support is so appreciated!

May God bless you, Harold Camping and the staff of Family Radio.

And that, my friends, is why I was gasping out loud. He admits he was wrong. He admits his sin.

I’m not going to take issue with his definition of “for a time” being different from mine, in that I don’t necessarily consider 25 years to just be “for a time.” I’d have to defer to Abraham and Sarah for their perspective………

I’m also not quite sure that there needed to be the bravado of pointing out that because of his error, the world became acquainted with the Bible……”The May 21 campaign was an astounding event if you think about its impact upon this world.¬† There is no question that millions, if not billions of people heard for the first time the Bible‚Äôs warning that Jesus Christ will return.¬† Huge portions of this world that had never read or seen a Bible heard the message the Christ Jesus is coming to rapture His people and destroy this natural world.”¬†

I’m not sure that statement actually reflects humility. I’ll have to think about that some more. I’d really, really like to think that he genuinely repents and truly sees his wrong-doing.

Sometimes, the best apology is a simple two sentences. I’d feel a lot better if he’d just said, “I’m sorry. I was wrong.” And left it at that. Then in a later missive, give some¬†the other stuff. But, imo, an apology coupled with justification of why the wrong-doing happened doesn’t sit well with me.

That he compares himself to “other great men of faith” like Abraham (in his audio message from 11/8/11)?¬†Nope, I’m not even gonna go there.

I am going to try to not analyze his message(s) and just think about the words “Yes, we humbly acknowledge we were wrong about the timing” and I’m going to try to ignore the rest of the sentence “yet though we were wrong God is still using the May 21 warning in a very mighty way.”

Yep. I’m gonna have to do that, because the more I think about it, the more I feel like the apology wasn’t sincere as it should have been. I’m gonna think that maybe the second part of the statement negates the apology and promotes what happened as being a mighty event and demonstration of God’s work (which of course, it may well have been, but it’s not humility that goes around tooting its own horn) and I just really want to accept the apology as being sincere…..

Harold Camping predicted the end of the world three times. He failed each time. That he has no intention of entertaining new dates- that’s a victory.

His followers spawned websites (see Waiting For The Rapture).

Many of them quit their jobs and sold all their belongings.

I wondered how they felt after the invisible rapture. And then again after the world didn’t end in October.

So, too, do I wonder now how they are doing; now that Mr. Camping has admitted he was wrong and has been humbled. (If anyone find online reading that addresses this, please leave me a comment with that information!)

I wonder if they are as critical and as wary of the apology as I am. I wonder if their faith in God has been shattered and left them not wanting any part of Him.

I wonder if Harold Camping has REALLY repented his sin, because that, too, is pretty darn important.

And, I wonder if I should move on from this debacle, and just focus on Preparing for Zombies……..

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I assume that you are, too. You do remember what Friday was, right?

Oh well, if you somehow managed to forget, you should start with my Waiting for The Rapture ponderings. For those of you too hung over disinclined to go clicking around this morning, let me summarize: 

Harold Camping, of Family Radio, had again predicted the rapture and the end of the world. This time, the rapture was going to happen on May 21, 2011. This is when, Camping said, all the Christians would be taken up into heaven while the rest of the world waited for the end of the world on October 21, 2011.

Now, you won’t find that verbiage on the Family Radio website.¬†Nope.¬†What you’ll find instead are comments like these:

“Thus we can be sure that the whole world, with the exception of those who are presently saved (the elect), are under the judgment of God, and will be annihilated together with the whole physical world on October 21, 2011, on the last day of the present five months period. On that day the true believers (the elect) will be raptured. We must remember that only God knows who His elect are that He saved prior to May 21.”

and——

“Therefore we have learned from our experience of last May 21 what actually happened. All of mankind was shaken with fear. Indeed the earth (or mankind) did quake in a way it had never before been shaken. God had come spiritually to bring judgment upon the whole world.”

Ya got that? The rapture did happen, but it was invisible.¬†I am not sure how they will explain the “annihilated together with the whole physical world on October 21, 2011″ bit, but I am sure that an answer is forthcoming. The Huffington Post tried to get a comment, but was turned down.

Out of all of this, I wonder what has happened in the months since those folks quit their jobs and gave up their life savings. I wonder how they are making out; what their perspective is these days.

At any rate, I’m still here, and I assume you are, too. I think the next logical step is to be relieved that we still have a year + to think about the Mayan calendar, which ends December 21, 2012. I wonder if the Mayans predicted their own cultural demise as well…..¬†¬†

Or maybe we should spend our time worrying wondering when the Yellowstone Caldera super volcano is going to blow, given the earthquakes, etc.  Are animals really leaving Yellowstone? 

In February 2011, 400 buffalo that migrated from Yellowstone in search of food¬†were corralled and slated for slaughter.¬†The Buffalo Field Campaign has more information on its work to stop the slaughter of Yellowstone’s wild free roaming¬†buffalo.¬†This whole thing just stinks to me (and breaks my heart); messing with natural migration and habitat because we are encroaching on their environment.

But hey- we won’t need to worry about the buffalo (or anything else) when the solar flares hit and take out the world’s nuclear¬†power plants.

I guess instead of worrying, I should get back to preparing for zombies.¬†And you should too. This is an absolute must read.¬†After all, you know it’s serious business when the CDC puts out a warning! Make sure, though, you have a copy of The Top Ten Signs That¬†You¬†Might Be A¬†Zombie¬†so you can learn if you or your friends have already succumbed¬†to zombification.

I’m sure you’ve already figured this out by now, but you’ll be glad to have it in writing that¬†we here¬†passed the zombie test.¬† ūüėÜ

Leave me a comment and let me know what other ways the world is going to end so I can start worrying preparing for them, too!  :mrgreen: 

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If you have kids, then you will know that just because they are “family,” that does not mean they are going to like each other all the time or get along. My two youngest girls have a love/hate relationship. They can go from loving each other profusely and being extremely helpful to one another to wanting to gouge¬†each other’s eyes out, seemingly in the blink of that eye.

These two are 9 (almost 10) and 7.¬† They have completely different body types.¬† What does this have to do with anything? As one who grew up being smaller than a younger sibling, I’ll tell you, body type means a lot as a kid. How would you feel, getting hand-me-downs from not just your older sister, but your younger one as well?

Middle dd, J, has my body type.¬† She has always been my “mini-me.”¬† In all seriousness, the only time she was ever on the growth charts was when she was born. Really. At 7 lbs, 4 ozs, she was a pound¬†smaller than baby #2, but heavier than baby #1.

Fortunately for me, my ped was willing to listen to me and accept my proof (my own growth charts, which were a mirror image of hers) and after a “mandatory” iron test when she was 6 months old, he was able to say her weight was not a concern. At two years old, we finally got the green light to turn her forward-facing in her car seat even though she was still 19 lbs.¬† She was longer, though, that the guidelines for the car seat.¬† Do you know that it was literally impossible to find (at that time) a rear-facing car seat for a long baby under 20 lbs??

Along comes baby #4, weighing in at 8 lbs, 14 ozs. While she didn’t fit in many of¬†the newborn clothes, she wasn’t gargantuan, either. Normal growth; normal weight gain.

But in comparison to dd #2?¬† People still think they are twins, even though they don’t look much alike, past the blond hair and blue eyes. They are, however, maybe an inch or two different in height.¬† They wear the same size shoes, and the same size clothes.¬† While it’s hard to find clothes that don’t fall off dd #2 (because she is skinny), it’s usually not a problem to roll up pant legs.

And this, I think, has fed into the frustration dd #2 has felt for a really long time.¬† If you remember being a kid, you remember how fast you wanted to grow up, and how important it was to be recognized as your own person.¬† Well, at least that’s how it was with me.¬† ūüėܬ† I was tired of being small, and people thinking I was considerably younger than I was, just based on size.

Much of the time, my two youngest girls get along relatively well.  You may recall that a few years ago, we tried selling our house.  Notice the key word: tried. That was right about the time our housing market here started to slow down.  Once summer came, I had *zero* interest in trying to sell the house and worry about keeping it ready to show while having 4 kids summering.  Not gonna happen.

The primary issue with this house, of course, is space.¬† The layout is fine; there are parts of the house I totally love. We’ve been here a while.¬† So long, actually, that we hadn’t actually started homeschooling yet.¬† This is our 9th year of homeschooling. We knew, moving in, that we were losing some storage space, but didn’t think it would be a big deal.¬† Ya, it’s a BIG deal.¬† I don’t have enough space; and always need more bookshelves. We also didn’t have 4 kids when we moved in, either.

And I have all three girls sharing a bedroom.¬† While you recover from that shock, let me add that their bedroom is decent size and they have a walk-in closet. As my oldest nears full-fledged teenhood (she’ll be 13 in a few months), the issue over space is a constant, all-out battle. She really needs her own room.¬† With the housing market the way it is, I don’t see a move happening any time soon.¬† If the market starts to move at some point, we would, of course, try selling again.¬† But at this point, I can’t handle having the house on the market for a year (or more.)

The bulk of the issue that my older two girls have is with the youngest and her stuff.¬† Our philosophy has always been that at the younger ages, kids NEED a lot of play; that their learning happen primarily through play. Can you see where this is going?¬† ūüėÜ

Keeping that one room really clean (read my Stuff post to see what I’m talking about) is an ongoing, losing battle. The conflict always revolves around whose “stuff” it is, primarily between the two younger girls, the youngest always getting the brunt of it. And while that’s not entirely untrue, the room still needs to be cleaned.

I am completely sick and tired of the arguing. Much of the time, the arguing over cleaning the room spills over into everything else. While we don’t tolerate name-calling, that doesn’t mean it’s not happening.¬† (If you are a sibling, you probably know what I’m talking about.)

And it is frustrating. And maddening.

Kids these ages, even if they know the particulars (which mine do) of good conflict resolution (as in: “when you do “x”, I feel “y”), can often get into all-out war.

And it is frustrating.  And maddening.*sigh*

Some days are better than others, but this is something¬† are constantly “working on.” While there are things that may work for a short amount of time, I haven’t found the “magic bullet” that will work consistently long-term.

Yesterday, though, I hit upon something that I think might work, if anything will.  The bonus is, it has nothing to do with *me.*  Yay!

You may recall that we do a weekly Bible study, where I have been in the children’s department for several years.¬† Last year, I graduated to the homeschooling class, as my youngest moved up. I anticipate being there for a while.¬† ūüėÜ

This year, we are studying Acts. Acts is about the spread of (the church)¬†Christianity, post crucifixion and resurrection; the acts of the Apostles via the¬†Holy Spirit. (Ya’ll know there is more to it, but that’s a general summary) Chapter 2 is titled, “The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost.”

Part of what I love about this particular Bible study is that every study takes you all over the Bible. So, this week, we went to Galatians, to learn about the “fruits of the Spirit.” Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.” (NIV)

As part of our conversation, we talked with the kids quite a bit about the fruits of the Spirit. Not only did we talk about what they were (see the verse above), but to think about concrete examples of how they show/demonstrate each one. What fruit of the Spirit are they most like?  What ones can they work on? My challenge to them was to think about fruits (of the Spirit) in particular that they could work on during the week.

Can you see where I’m headed?¬† ūüėÜ What’s interesting to me is that my two younger girls were still thinking about this long after we came home.¬† Hmmmmm.¬† Fruits of the Spirit.

“To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit….” (1 Corinthians 12:8)¬† “All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.” (1 Corinthians 12:11)

Fruits of the Spirit…. gifts of the Spirit………

Last night I had a dream.¬† If you’re anything like me, your brain doesn’t stop, and actually works through the night, resulting sometimes in really bizarre dreams.¬† Last night’s dream wasn’t so much bizarre as utilitarian.

I dreamt of a tree.  On that tree, there were fruits that could be stuck on at the end of each day.  Each child (in my case, my two younger girls) had a tree. At the end of each day, they could stick on the fruits of the Spirit they consistently demonstrated throughout the days.

Ya’ll know I’m not crafty, right?¬† ūüėܬ† While I have visions dancing in my head (’cause a plum is a fruit, too!), making a huge tree with appropriate fruits of the Spirit to stick on¬†isn’t something I can throw together quickly.¬† Or maybe even at all.¬† ūüėÜ

What I did find, though, was an image of a “Fruit of the Spirit” tree. I haven’t completed the whole thing, but you can see what I’m trying to do.¬†

Each day has a tree.  I need to make a header for each child using the verse, which tells what each fruit of the Spirit is.

At the end of each day, they can write in below and color each fruit they think they demonstrated the whole day.

Maybe a little “competition” to be “kind,” “love”(ing)¬†and have “self-control” can be a good start in working on developing better attitudes and “patience.”

Maybe a visual reminder will give them pause and get them thinking about how they want to act? Maybe I need to just totally turn this one over; you know, “let go and let God….”

I’ll keep you posted!

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I checked this morning on the websites proclaiming May 21, 2011 as being Judgment Day. They are still there; the count down clocks at 0. I wonder what those folks are¬†doing today.¬† What is their plan now that “the date” has come and gone? Will Harold Camping issue a statement or apology?¬† Did he, the last time he was wrong?

Matthew 24:3- 5 says, “As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus answered, Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.”

From yesterday’s history lesson, we know that there have been hoards of folks buying into another’s claims to know when Judgment Day.¬† Another group that comes to mind is the belief of the Branch Davidians¬†that David Koresh was the Messiah.¬†¬† Yep, you guessed it- we can trace these roots back to the Millerites as well.

There are those that are unconcerned about folks who get involved with groups like these; many groups¬†fit the classical definition of “cult.” Some believe that if a person is so weak-minded as to fall into a cult, well then, they get what¬†they deserve. Very often, making fun of these people is part of the disparaging attitude dished out, particularly when there is evidence of a false or failed belief.

Me, I just feel sad for those people. I believe smart and intelligent people can be wooed into false beliefs.  And I believe those people, even though terribly misguided, are sincere in their belief, even in the face of failure. I also think that those doing the deceiving are often victims of the flawed thinking, too. 

Don’t get me wrong- I am quite certain that there are those that are knowingly and willfully deceiving others.¬† Evil is out there, and it can be charming. It can look good; it can look like good and make people feel safe.¬† It can lull and pacify, at least for a while, usually, long enough for a great many people to get on board and help proclaim its “righteousness.”

Herd mentality¬†is real.¬† It’s also called things like “mob mentality” or “group think.”¬† There are those that will disagree, saying that mob mentality includes violence and group think¬†does not.¬† There may be subtle nuances, but the underlying principle is the very much the same.

There are still others that believe this principle is what we call “the church.”¬† There are those that say this is what Jesus used, and he is a prime example of a cult leader. And Christians, well, they are just cult members.

For every school of thought, there is an opposing viewpoint. We can also apply this statement to Scripture. People have long had different interpretations of what passages in the Bible meant.

This difference in interpretation is what spawned the Protestant Reformation.  Indeed, this period of history was rife with conflict regarding the church, and it played out across Europe and England; completely standing society on its ear.

So, we know that different interpretations of Scripture is really nothing new. And, we also know that entire branches of religion have been spawned as a result of those differences. In this light, we can see that folks who follow Harold Camping and the like are really to be expected.¬†Really, they¬†aren’t that much different in their approach to following what they believe than any one else.

And still, I feel sadness for those that changed their lives based on the belief that Judgment Day was May 21, 2011.¬† There are folks that got rid of everything- their money, their belongings etc, based on their belief that they wouldn’t be needing them after that point.

It is hard to admit to being wrong, and harder yet to live with the consequences of the actions of those beliefs. A letter by Tim Dalrymple to Harold Camping and Those Who Expected Judgment Day does a good job of summarizing my feelings. 

He writes in part, When you want to believe something, and someone you respect tells you to believe something, and everyone around you also believes and wants to believe the same thing, those are extraordinarily powerful forces.  I wish that you had not believed in the May 21st prediction, because I fear that it damaged the credibility of Christians in the eyes of some.  But I see no reason now to belabor that point.  Rather, I hope you have grace with yourselves.  Those forces operate not only in religious groups.  They operate in political movements, activist groups, even in enclaves within scientific communities.  In fact, when your friendly neighborhood atheist mocks you for what you believed, you can point him or her to scientific evidence that atheists in general are more gullible.

And you know what? ¬†God has a way of using even our mistakes. ¬†Perhaps your expectation of the imminent return of Christ helped you assess your life, remember what‚Äôs important, reconcile with your brother or your sister, take refuge in God‚Äôs gracious provision for sin in the work of Jesus Christ, and pray with great fervency that you have lived a life worthy of the gospel. ¬†If you did all these things, then perhaps you should not regret that you were wrong about the whence.”

For me, I personally don’t spend a lot of time trying to “learn” how to “nail down the date.”¬† A few verses come to mind:

Matthew 6:33-34: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.¬† Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough troubles of its own.”

This is followed by Matthew 7:1-2, which says, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.¬† For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

And ultimately, Proverbs 3: 5-6, which says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways¬†acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Instead of mocking, let’s give these folks some grace and forgiveness, much as we, ourselves, need from time to time as well.

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