Saturday, December 31, 2005

Goodbye 2005...Hello 2006!

As we come to the end of another year, many people are thinking of ways they want to change the way they live. They look back over the year and compare what actually took place to what they thought or hoped would take place.

2005 has been an exciting chapter in my own life. Among some of eventful things which took place were: my dad going into septic shock while on vacation with my mom in Hawaii, my dad having to have major surgery, my brother being deployed to Iraq, my three-month stint on the Amazon River in Brazil, my grandpa having open-heart surgery because of a genetic problem, finding out that both my uncles, my mom, and I have this genetic problem, becoming more aware of God's sovereingty in the midst of suffering, purchasing a really old, antique copy of Berkhof's Systematic Theology, starting this blog, and everyone growing a year older.

One thought that has meant a lot to me this year has been, "You don't grow much in Christ during the easy times." It's the hard times that show us how dependent upon Christ we are. It is the trials which force us to lean on Him to be our comfort. It is the loneliness which reminds us that God is our only truly faithful friend. It is bad health which shows us that our only hope is Jesus. It is our imperfections which reminds us that Jesus lived the only perfect life.

This is why we thank God for struggles. We rejoice that God is ordaining hardships for us. This is why we smile (with tears in our eyes) when we say that our suffering is personalized individually for us. It's handmade stuff. It was made for us with us in God's mind.

And it's not just for the suffering itself. It's for something else.

"More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." Romans 5:3-5

It produces hope. The Holy Spirit fills our hearts with God's love. This is the best thing for us.

So, as is popular tradition, here are my top ten New Year's Resolutions:

  • live to exalt Christ's name
  • live like I have one week left to live
  • live for the sake of partaking in Christ's sufferings
  • live for eternity, not the here and now
  • live riskfully and wisely at the same time
  • live healthfully
  • live joyfully
  • live to kill sin
  • live to die to self
  • live as would most please God

Now, what are yours?

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Weazel "The Theologist" Ball

Well, it seems all my "creature friends" develop a love and habit of theology when they enter my home. This makes me very thankfully proud.

Here is the newest addition to the bunch, Weazel. We call him The Theologist.

Just some questions...

How far did we fall when we fell at the Fall? (say that ten times fast)

Are we wounded or dead?

Are we in need of a life-helper (doctor) or a life-giver (Jesus)?

Do we have the freedom (may we) to believe the Gospel?

Do we have the ability (can we) to believe the Gospel?

Are we slaves to sin?

Are we free to do as we want?

Do we want to love God?

Saturday, December 24, 2005

The Pipester...

I'd like to call your attention to my friend, Brian's blog, Righteous Sinner. He doesn't have any new posts. However, the old posts are really good. So, go check them out.

Here is a picture of his dog, Piper. The book, however, is by Ron Julian. Good book...

You think you know Jack???

I'd like to draw your attention to my friend, Daniel's blog, Always Reforming. He has just posted a great, well-researched overview of C.S. Lewis and Narnia. I think it's definitely worth the read especially in light of the new movie and its surrounding ideas. Enjoy!


This is a giant Hubble Mosaic of the Crab Nebula. Ana has gotten me into the mood of looking at the stars. They are quite beautiful here in the US, however, nothing I've seen here compares to the sky over the Amazon River in Brazil. I got the privilege of seeing the Milky Way so clearly and the Southern Cross so brightly. After a hard day's work, we would bathe in the clear blue water under a black night. I would just lay there on a bed made of smooth, white sand. The moon would shine the brightest light beam through the water, lighting up the sky. The stars....oh, the stars...they were spectacular!

"When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him,and the son of man that you care for him?" Psalm 8:3-4

Late nights...

So, here I am sitting with a laptop on the couch watching all the seinfeld episodes on tivo. This is how I'm wasting my time with NO school!!! "Turn it off!" "Go to bed!" "AAAHHHH!!!"

Friday, December 23, 2005

Attention Torn ACLU!!!

Sorry to put this here...But if you are still reading this blog, have you read D.A. Carson's book on the Emergent church?

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Web Sudoku

I've been doing it for toooooo long...thanks a lot, Frank!

70s Music Explosion!

All I want for Christmas is a LifeTime 70s Music Explosion 8 CD set. (Got that, Stephen?)

The Poll

For the last couple weeks, I've had a poll up about salvation and what it is conditioned upon. I wanted to do this because so often when I am discussing with fellow believers the subject of Reformed soteriology, the conversation will most often come down to how you would vote on this poll.

The question posed was this: What is salvation conditioned upon?

The possible "answers" were these:

  • Salvation is conditioned upon man's free will
  • Salvation is conditioned upon God's electing grace
  • Salvation is conditioned upon some other factor

The poll results are as follows (out of 96 votes total):

  • man's free will: 20 votes (21%)
  • God's electing grace: 55 votes (57%)
  • some other factor: 21 votes (22%)

Daniel wrote,

Good Arminians should vote with the second option. Both sides agree that God
decides or elects who is saved. The disagreement is whether this election is
unconditional or conditional. You really should reword it.

Thanks for bringing up a good subject, Daniel. My response to your first point, that "Both sides agree that God decides or elects who is saved," would be, I have yet to meet an arminian who would say that it is God who ultimately decides who will be a recipient of His grace. Will I ever meet an arminian who does?

Is election conditional?

Hmmm...I'm sure no one will want to address this comment...

When Grace Comes Home

I just picked up this book at the book store. At first I was a bit skeptical. I get this way a lot. The cover is too modern, too appealing, too perfect. It couldn't possible be about THE "doctrines of grace," could it? I've picked up too many books which take reformed theology or calvinism or biblical theology and water it down, in the name of being appealing to my generation.

I'm half way through and When Grace Comes Home is climbing to my top favorite books. Terry Johnson, the man behind the book, starts off by saying,

"I personally stand as one who has been profoundly touched by the practical implications of Calvinism, and deeply longs for others to drink from it's satisfying wells. Yet in the popular mind, insofar as anything at all is understood about them, Calvinism's doctrines are regarded as irrelevant theological abstractions without any practical relevance at all."

This is true. I've seen it in my friends who think that I pursue the study of God because I'm "odd" or a "deep thinker." I want them to taste the richness of our God and of His ruling. I want them to see that the study of God is relevant, practical, and delighting. Learning about our God is a gift which should be relished. We should hoard it and be jealous of it. Not because of simply knowing about God, but knowing God.

Johnson goes on, "For our purposes I will focus in on three cardinal doctrines, which shall serve as the focus for the first leg of our journey."

These three doctrines are: the sovereignty of God, human depravity, and sovereign grace.

"These doctrines are not just the theoretical musings of ivory-tower theologians. They are not just abstractions unconnected to life. They are central. They are vital. They are crucial to the living of life. How so? Few seem to realize that these theological truths have shaped whole peoples and civilizations..."

"'My people perish for their lack of knowledge,' God warns through Hosea. This surely has been our problem. We have not had the patience to wrestle with the great truths. We have deliberatively avoided certain doctrines. The result? The same result that occurs whenever one deliberatively refuses any part of God's revelation of Himself. We suffer. We lose. Our souls don't receive the nourishment that that doctrine supplies."

"Paul taught 'the whole counsel of God' because we need it all (Acts 20:27). If we didn't need a part of it, God would not have revealed it to us. Since He did, we can't go around saying, 'It's too hard,' or 'It's too theological.' Apply your minds. 'Come let us reason together,' the Lord says (Isa. 1:18)."

"This is what we intend to do in the pages ahead. I believe that the result will be a much expanded knowledge of God for most. With that will come a clearer understanding of life as well."

My take: read it, read God's Word, and enjoy being refreshed in the wonder of God!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

A day in my life

I don't usually write about my day-to-day life on here, however, I've had the most interesting day that I just have to share with you.

It started out normal enough; I woke up.

At 11:30 I was supposed to meet someone for lunch but I was running a little late. I couldn't find a parking space and so I had to park up Main St. a ways and park in the 2-hour lot behind the bank, across from the Christian book store (the one where I am "on call" for when they need extra help).

Had a great lunch at a deli shop and headed back to my car when I realized I didn't have my keys. "Where did they go, Juli?" I ask myself.

"Man, I'm such an idiot!" I say as I see my keys dangling from the ignition.

I call my dad at work.

"Dad, do you have a spare to the Honda (yes, I drive an Accord!)?"
"Oh yeah, I did use it last week to get my keys out of the car...dangit!" (Where did I put that spare???)

So I call my mom up who is taking my great-grandma to the doctor and she tells me where she put the spare (because she found it laying around the house). I call my sister at home and ask her to look for it, but she can't find it.

Because I'm not sure what to do, I walk over to the Christian book store and make some more calls (on a phone which is running out of battery). My lovely, fellow co-worker asks me if I can work for her because she needs to go home. I tell her that I only have 2-hour parking and that I've already been in it for 2 1/2 hours and my keys are locked in it. She understands and I go back out to my car when I run into the ticket lady (the woman who goes around giving parking tickets to everyone) and she is super friendly and tells me that there is a number you can call that will provide free car emergency help. I call and they are "on their way." My mom finally calls me back and she wants to come to where I am to wait with me (she was just down the street). We wait and wait and wait and then my mom says I should call, so, what did I do? I call the free help place and their ETA is about 30 minutes. Mom says that she just take me home and we'll search the house for the key and come back.

15 minutes later, we're back at my car (with my spare key) and my mom drops my great-grandma and I off (because I'm heading over to Ana's house to play guitar together and my g-g lives near her). We get in and then...

The car doesn't start.

Yep, I left the lights on.


"Not you, Grammy."

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. I ended up laughing.

I call my uncle, Pastor Dale (Stephen's dad), because he is usually downtown and would most likely have jumper cables. Well, he is 20 minutes away. However, he is the sweetest guy and is on his way.

Side note: I asked several guys if they had jumper cables and none did. Can you believe it? I think every guy should carry jumper cables. They're on my Christmas list.

Back to the story: Grammy and I made the most of our time stuck in the car together by me bringing out my baby (Talyor) and hitting a few notes.

My uncle comes and starts my engine and I remember that I'm almost out of gas. We go to the closest station and it's shut down for technical problems. We got to a gas station that actually had gas before I ran out of mine.

Needless to say, I got Grammy home safely, but never made it to Ana's.

One of my problems is that I rush around without thinking. I'm going, going, gone. I need to slow down and chill out. My day went totally different than I had planned.

This is just one example of how I may think I know how my day will go, but God is really the only one who does (because He planned it!).

James 4:13-15 "Come now, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit'— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.'"

We make our plans, but God directs our steps and paths to fulfill His plans.

As I dropped Grammy off, she said to me, "Julianne, I am always praying for you, however, I'll add a few more things in those prayers."

Formatting Difficulties

I had to take off those two self-quizzes to format my template right. That means the comments had to go too. Bummer...

Monday, December 12, 2005


Here is a good review from Steve Camp (great man of God and musician).
From the Front Row review of the enchanting, Narnia

Beautiful imagery, some great acting, amazing animation/special effects, vivid characters, and staying true to Lewis’s original tome make Narnia wonderful holiday movie entertainment… safe for the whole family.

The Score
The music of Narnia, written and conducted by Harry Gregson-Williams, was also very well done (though it didn’t rise to his magnificent score for “Kingdom of Heaven”). It isn’t David Shore’s stirring music of Lord of the Rings, but for the most part it suits the film with intimacy and tenderness. What is strangely missing for a release of the magnitude of Narnia, was a memorable theme melody and a signature song that really captured the movies essence. In songwriting we call it “the hook.” Most great films have associated with it an unmistakable, powerful song or songs with a theme melody woven throughout that brings the audience to a “familiar and memorable place.” Such songs usually become “classics” or “standards.” There should have been no shortage of songwriters who would have leaped at the chance, if asked, to deliver an award winning original composition and performance (i.e., Phil Collins, Elton John, Bryan Adams, Sting, Paul McCartney, Annie Lenox, Andre B! ocelli to name a few). Alanis Morissette does deliver a very good vocal performance on a song called, “Wunderkind” which is only introduced while the credits are rolling. However, it doesn’t rise to what is expected for a film of this importance.

The Cast
Lucy (Georgie Henley) and the Witch (Tilda Swinton) stole any scene they were in. They were brilliant. However, Peter (William Moseley) and Susan (Anna Popplewell) delievered very weak, amateurish performances at best. Liam Neilson in anyone’s book was nothing short of tremendous as the voice of Aslan.

Theology and Allegory
I appreciate good writing, literature, and the use of allegory in story to drive home a powerful message. Lewis does that here… But as good as his imagery and allegory is throughout “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” it is not the message of the biblical gospel hidden within the allegory.

As I have read through several reviews of this film by well respected Christian thinkers, bloggers, theologues and Biblicists, it’s stupefying how any one of them could think that Lewis’s allegorical story was “an atoning death, retell the story of Christ's passion and resurrection. This story of salvation history is told with theological precision and with a continuous eye on the Gospel accounts of the life and death of Jesus.” (Leland Ryken commenting on Lewis's tome. I usually appreciate Leland Ryken’s theological insights and writings very much; but his comments here seem to be based on romanticized fantasy—instead of sound biblical theology.)

Making a Deal with The Devil...
What Lewis, in classical theological terms, portrays in Narnia is called, *The Ransom Theory of the atonement. The Ransom Theory in short is: The notion that it was the devil who made the cross necessary, by Christ being offered to him as a ransom for all of lost humanity. It was a payment made to the devil, by Christ, for the salvation of mankind. This is of course is untrue according to the Scriptures.

Berkhof writes when commenting on this utter folly and specious teaching: “Christ offered Himself as a ransom to Satan, and Satan accepted the ransom without realizing that he would not be able to retain his hold on Christ because of the latter's divine power and holiness. . . Thus the souls of all men - even of those in Hades - were set free from the power of Satan.”

To illustrate: Lewis has Aslan making a deal with the Queen of Narnia (the Witch) for Edmund’s blood. Aslan meets with The Witch to strike a deal with her. The deal being: he agrees to willingly submit to the Witch’s thirst for his death by dying in Edmund’s place on the stone altar of The Witch. The Witch is portrayed as having power over Aslan by shaving his mane from his head, her demonic-like followers beating him, and then striking him dead with the thrust of her knife into his heart. She then in the aftermath of his death proceeds to mock him before his followers, by wearing the remains of his shaved mane as a cloak in battle. Within this moving allegorical picture, what is being depicted is untrue biblically. Unpacking the biblical meaning from the allegory leaves one to believe that Satan deceived Christ into making a deal for the soul of a man (in ! Lewis’s world Aslan dies for one mischievous, cowardly, deceived boy named Edmund. Did not the rest of Narnia need redemption?); Christ then surrendered His will to Satan in that brokered agreement; the cross was then Satan’s blind victory over the Son of God, and lastly, Satan thought he had defeated Christ on the cross as all of his hellish hosts rejoiced in seeing the Son of Man killed.

*UPDATE: (In fairness to Lewis, I haven't been able to find, yet, where Lewis wrote about the ransom theory. However, what was depicted in tome and film in LWW portrayed a ransom theory view. The confusing facts here are significant: though he may not have written on the ransom theory, he certainly gives credence to it in the LWW. What is the reality? Still investigating.)

The Ransom Theory is Unbiblical (for a few obvious reasons)
1. Satan is depicted as being equal in power to Christ. A dualistic struggle of good vs evil.

2. Satan is not subject to God's sovereignty, but has the ability as "lord of this earth" to negotiate a settlement where God is beholding to him for the souls of men.

3. God has ultimately defeated Satan by deception not by divine decree.

4. The nature of Christ is diminished; the nature of Satan is elevated; the nature of God is confused; and the nature of the cross is perverted.

Here's the Truth of It
The cross was never referred to by the Lord or any of the Apostles as a ransom paid by Christ to Satan. But they did speak about the cross as a vicarious propitiatory sacrifice, meeting the demands of the law, fulfilling all righteousness, appeasing God’s wrath, an atonement for the sins of the elect, and the expiation of guilt.

I liked the movie very much—as a movie of allegorical fiction with underpinning moral tones (don’t lie, don’t deceive, be loyal to your family, overcome evil with good, etc.) BUT, when "the gospel" behind Lewis's allegory is examined theologically, it is not the biblical view.

Enjoy the film; read your Bibles; and don't confuse the two.
From the Front Row,

PS - For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. -Leviticus 17:11

"That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures" (1 Cor 15:3). Atonement is the cornerstone of all theology, being the "stone that the builders rejected" which has now become the cornerstone (Matt 21:42; Mark 12:10; Luke 20:17; Acts 4:11; 1 Peter 2:7; quoting Paslm 118:22). The content of theology is the power in the blood. It is the hub, made indefectibly strong by Christ's resurrection, from which all the spokes of theology derive." - Paul F.M. Zahl

Visit CampOnThis Blog

Help! I'm going Hyper!

Check out Purgatorio's latest post: 25 warning signs that you might be obsessing about Calvinism

Too funny!

Warning: You have got to read this blog if you want a good laugh, but only if you can take this kind of humor (meaning, being able to laugh at yourself). ;)

Saturday, December 10, 2005


There has been a lack of posts around here because of two reasons. First, this last week was finals at school and almost every minute was spent studying. Second, I have recently discovered the addiction to MySpace and have had to force myself to not check it every half hour to see if someone has left a message or comment. The high of seeing "NEW MESSAGES!" keeps me hooked and exhilarated. However, I've seen a decrease in my time spent with more meaningful subjects. I'm considering shutting my account off completely. Thank you for hanging in there for me...

Sunday, December 04, 2005

50 years...what's the big deal?

Navy beats Army strong. Oh well, there's always next year...

 be beat by Navy again...

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Happy 10 Month Birthday, SempRef!

...Okay, so it's been 10 months Semper Reformanda has been up and running. The Pyro has inspired me to take a good look and inventory of how these 10 months have gone.

It all started in February when the winds were blowing and the rain was raining. I was probably inside my warm, cozy home sipping green tea and "surfing" the web when I was supposed to be working on some paper for school. When I ran across Tim Challies' blog and read through it. Here was a guy who knew what he knew and wrote what he knew. If anyone's confused, that last sentence is a good thing. Anyway, through his blog and a few select others, I came across many godly blogs which had a way of focusing my attention on God, His attributes, and the importance of why they are important to be focused on.

Consequently, I felt the urge to have my own little "dwelling" in the suburbs of space. I set out my goals for the blog in my very first post, Why Blog?
They were:
  • to help equip the saints
  • bring glory to our much worthy God
  • to be encouraged by you (the reader and commenter)
  • to write down my sheep-like thoughts

I know for sure that my last point has been very successful. On top of this, some unexpected friendships have come out of my blog. Rand has been a huge encouragement to me and my walk towards truth. Micah and I started "Blog the Word" which didn't go too far, but nonetheless, was fun (if you can, add another chapter). Jessica is a wonderful lady my own age who loves theology as well. Frank Martens has a great sense of humor with a brain to back it up (many of us lack the brain). He also gets my sense of humor (I think!). Through Frank, I met his sister, Joanna, and we hit it right off. I don't get to talk to Aron that much, but he has some awesome things to read. I even have a blog friend who attends The Master's College; Adam. He is one lucky fellow.

There are also some non-unexpected friends here as well; my "real" friends. Daniel has been here from the begining giving his appreciated analytical perspective. My cousin, Stephen, is my best guy friend and is a great writer. Brian has been another huge encouragement and influence in my life. His blog is wonderful (when he updates it). Jason and the other Brian have just recently set up their very own blogs, check them out. For some lighter reading, check out Jordan's blog. My ex-co-worker and friend, Ana, also has a blog. Oh, and how could I forget my other cousin, Matador. There are no words to describe his blog. He is isolated from our family because he was shunned from our church (for obvious reasons). He is now serving time on the East Coast. (If you are new to my blog, I apologize now for any sarcastic comments which might escape me). If I fogot any of you, I profusely apologize.

Some amazing things have happened in my life since this blog has been intact. The biggest yet is my three month stint in Bazil on the Amazon River. There I worked on a medical boat, built churches, and worked with children and adolescents. It has been, by far, the best experience of my life. I wrote a bit while I was there in five different posts; Hello from Brasil!, Update, Bom Dia, Another Update, and Tooth Pulling.

I wrote about Calvinism and Arminianism for a school paper, and posted it here. The comments that followed were thought provoking. Incidentally, I met Daniel (different one) who disagreed with my conclusions and shared his views of Molinism. Some other philosophers who visit this blog are: Magnum, Antonio, and Philosapologist.

The post which received the most comments was Inconsistant Theology which was an open forum of different theologies. With 101 comments, there is ample amount of opinions.

In these 10 months, I have never given up an opportunity to brag about my little theologian girl, Ginger. I posted one of her most serious pictures.

Sometimes I wonder where I'd be without my blog. Let's just say that I spend one hour a day either working on my own or looking at others. After 10 months, that's 300 days which means I spent an average of 300 hours on this thing since February. What could have I done in that time? Would it have been more God-glorifying or saint-edifying or more encouraging than this has been? Has this blog been an instrument for God? Could it have been more Christ-centered and God-magnifying? Yes. I believe that even this blog can be semper reformanda, always reforming.

This is where you, my precious readers, come in. In what ways can Semper Reformanda be more intentional and Kingdom-minded?

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Julianne's Own...

Top signs that you can tell I'm a calvinist:

I lay awake at night thinking up possible theories on lapsarianism.

My car has a "honk if you think C.H. Spurgeon was hot" bumper sticker.

I bring up Scripture passages which make people cringe.

I go to the local Christian bookstore and turn most (!) of the theology books towards the flow of customers (after I dust them off).

I jump up and down when I "discover" a Christian music CD with God-glorifying lyrics.

I'm the first in line for the latest 'Modern Reformation' Magazine.

I actually think the puritans were awesome people.

I give copies of 'Debating Calvinism' for Christmas gifts.

My best thoughts of God are after reading Isaiah and Romans.

I cringe at the words "emerging" or "middle knowledge."

Top Reasons You Should've Known I'm A Calvinist

Check out these great 20 reasons that you would know someone's a calvinist. 10 from Chris @ Imperishable Inheritence and 10 from Amy @ Humble Musings.

Here are a few:

19. I’m the [girl] who brings the party down by mentioning the “p” word.
16. I feel it necessary to constantly make everyone define what “free will” means.
12. I won’t like any sermon unless the preacher says some kind of reformed buzz word.
9. I can’t sing from memory all the verses of “Just as I Am.”
6. I plagiarize Elisabeth Elliot and John Piper.
2. I smile at the insult “frozen chosen.”

Thanks, Chris and Amy!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Thursday, November 24, 2005

[EDIT] Reformolution

I want to start something big. I don't know what it is yet, but it'll be big. I have the name....[EDIT] Reformolution. It's a reformation revolution. I know...this sounds like a reformed Seinfield episode or something...

After some helpful advice, I'm going to go with the name Reformolution. Thanks, Brian!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

It started out innocently enough. I began to think at parties now and then to loosen up. Inevitably though, one thought led to another and soon I was more than just a social thinker.

I began to think alone – "to relax," I told myself – but I knew it wasn't true. Thinking became more and more important to me and finally, I was thinking all the time.

I began to think on the job. I knew that thinking and employment don't mix, but I couldn't stop myself.

I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could read Plantinga and Moreland. I would return to the office dizzied and confused asking, "What is it exactly we are doing here?"

Things weren't going so great at home either. One evening I had turned off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life. She spent that night at her mother's.

I soon had a reputation as a heavy thinker. One day the boss called me in. He said, "Skippy, I like you, and it hurts me to say this, but your thinking has become a real problem. If you don't stop thinking on the job, you'll have to find another job." This gave me a lot to think about.

I came home early after my conversation with the boss. "Honey," I confessed, "I've been thinking..."

"I know you've been thinking," she said, "and I want a divorce!"

"But Honey, surely it's not that serious."

"It is serious," she said, lower lip aquiver. "You think as much as college professors and college professors don't make any money, so if you keep on thinking we won't have any money!"

"That's a faulty syllogism," I said impatiently, and she began to cry. I'd had enough. "I'm going to the library," I snarled as I stomped out the door.

I headed for the library, in the mood for some Aquinas, with STR on the radio. I roared into the parking lot and ran up to the big glass doors…they didn't open. The library was closed.

To this day, I believe that a Higher Power was looking out for me that night.
As I sank to the ground clawing at the unfeeling glass, whimpering for the Summa, a poster caught my eye. "Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?" it asked. You probably recognize that line. It comes from the standard Thinker's Anonymous poster.

Which is why I am what I am today: a recovering thinker. I never miss a TA meeting. At each meeting we watch a non-educational video; last week it was "Napoleon Dynamite." Then we share experiences about how we avoided thinking since the last meeting.

I still have my job and things are a lot better at home. Life just seemed... easier, somehow, as soon as I stopped thinking.

Thanks, Stand To Reason
As my fellow blogger, TulipGirl put it, "WWLB?"

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

"Seek not to grow in knowledge chiefly for the sake of applause, and to enable you to dispute with others; but seek it for the benefit of your souls, and in order to practice....Practice according to what knowledge you have. This will be the way to know more...[According to Ps. 119:100] 'I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.'"

Jonathan Edwards

Later...Day Saints

5:02 pm

*ding-dong* *bark-bark*

I peer through the glass window in our front door. I see two blurry black figures. Once again, Mormans are at my door. Dad picks up Ginger (who, by the way, wants to tear their theology to bits) and I breathe, in and out, slowly. I'm always up to a challenge, however, tonight I didn't feel like listening or discussing. I put away my feelings and put a smile on my face.

*door opens*

Morman: good evening
Juli: hello
M: we're out sharing in our neighborhood (apparently, my city and theirs are somewhat close) about our faith...blah, blah, blah

We ended up talking about works and faith and the *full* atonement of Christ. Good discussion. I got their opinions of the Reformation and what Luther was standing for. I asked about their convictions of the account of Joseph Smith. Basically, one of the guys said that he believes Smith's account based on "reading [Smith's] journal and praying about and trusting his 'feelings'." I asked about outside accounts that support Smith's claims, they knew of none. I asked if trusting our feeling is the way to go since our "heart is deceitful above all else."


Their highest goal is to raise a family and live happily.

"Original Sin which binds us so, only the grace of God will untow."

It ended well and Ginger calmed down. Just a reminder of the fog so many live in daily. God, be gracious to these lost souls.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

The Sibs minus Army boy

Elyssa, myself, Abigail, Matthew, and Ginger, the famous late-night theologian.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Free will, free agency, and responsibility

For all you guys who've been involved with my "inconsistent theology" post, here is a good blog by my friend, Rand of A Form of Sound Words.

Here is a quick preveiw:

"Man cannot do otherwise than continue in sin so long as he is in his natural state (Jer. 17:9; Prov. 4:23; Job 14:4; Jer. 13:23; John 6:65; Rom. 8:7, 8; 1 Cor. 2:14). But his continuance in sin is not due to outside compulsion or restraint, but to his own character which causes him to choose darkness rather than light (John 3:19). He continues in sin for the same reason that a hog wallows in the mire. He continues in sin for the same reason that God continues in holiness. Thus he is fully a free agent." (T.P. Simmons)

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Live in Salem...


Chris Tomlin, live, friday night!!!! I'm so stoked...

3 Powers

My favorite Brazil Christian rock band!!!

Hey guys!


John Piper just finished a three-part series on our friend, St. Athanasius. Check it out.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Corpse Art

"A dead man, flayed, holds up his own skin. A corpse rides a skinned horse while holding both of their brains. The body of a young women eight months pregnant reclines in a provacative pose. Her womb is cut open so we can see her dead baby. The hottest tickets in America's museums are for exhibits of corpses--mutilated, skinned, but posed in "life-like" positions."

This excerpt from World Magazine's October 8 issue details the horrid truth of what some are doing in the name of "art."

A German man by the name of Gunther von Hagens is the brainchild behind this. Von Hagen invented "plastination," a method of preserving dead bodies in plastic.

The article goes on to describe whose bodies these are and the controversies behind all this and why it is wrong mutilating corpses and displaying them.

Read more here.

"This is art in the culture of death."

Monday, November 07, 2005

Thursday, November 03, 2005

dead bird

This is a sad picture, I know. For three hours it just sat, all puffed-up, motion-less. Later I found it tipped over as the picture indicates.

Matthew 10:29-30
"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father."

In this case, a Scrub-Jay.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The Pyro does it again!

Check out this 50-minute message on the story of Calvinism by Phil Johnson. Well worth the short download time. Click here.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Find it at your local Christian bookstore

You all have to check out this month's TableTalk; No Strings Attached. It's about what Reformed Theology isn't. Very excellent.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Reformation Day!!!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Gimme a break!

Okay, whatever you say...

I'm taking a little break from blogging. Let's just say maybe a week. There are some things in my life which I need to do some heavy praying over. May God bless you this week.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Inconsistent Theology

Today I was at the Christian bookstore and I started talking to this sweet lady who is dealing with an unsaved husband who has some big sin issues in his life. I listened as she poured out her heart to me. These situations are awesome because it is an opportunity to love someone and respond to their emotions. To comfort her, I said, "Don't give up hope. If God can save me, a wretched sinner only worthy of his full wrath, than He can save your husband." She kind of interrupted me and said, "Oh, I know I won't be able to do it (change his heart), if God can't, than I can't for sure. " She goes on, "He (God) wants to change his heart, but it won't happen until my husband wants to let him." I was taken aback. Did she really just say that God was not able to change a person's heart until that person wants God to?

What we have now is a god who is not in control, who doesn't get his way, and must submit to the authority of created, fallen man.

What kind of god is this? He is not worthy of my praise. He receives no credit for my salvation, because, hey, I'm the one who gave him permission to "change my heart."

But, wait, it can't be possible for me to want God to change my heart before I let God change my heart because if in fact I want God to come into my heart, that very desire is a sign of a changed heart. Am I right?

He can't be the same God whom Job was talking about in Job 42:2, "I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted [even by man]."

Romans 3:10-11 says, “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God."

So, logically, if we do seek after God and desire Him, our heart has been changed, by God, not ourselves.

This automatically brings up the story of Paul in my memory. How did that story go again? Oh yeah...I remember... so Saul was walking one day to Damascus when he suddenly thought a thought, which was deep inside him, about how wonderful it might be to get to know Jesus as something more than he had. So, he decided, that he wanted Jesus so much that he was finally going to give Jesus what he wanted too. I get Jesus, Jesus gets me. Everyone's happy, everyone wins. Then Saul goes on to praise God for saving him, and thanks his mother for passing on so smart a brain to him. "How clever I am to find within myself that morsel of truth!" Paul states rejoicefully. The End.

But then again, I can't even remember where I put my keys...

Thursday, October 27, 2005


they'll know us by the t-shirts that we wear
they'll know us by the way we point and stare
at anyone whose sin looks worse than ours
who cannot hide the scars of this curse that we all bare

they’ll know us by our picket lines and signs
they’ll know us by the pride we hide behind
like anyone on earth is living right
and isn’t that why Jesus died
not to make us think we’re right

when love, love, love
is what we should be known for
love, love, love
it’s the how and it’s the why
we live and breathe and we die

they’ll know us by reasons we divide
and how we can’t seem to unify
because we’ve gotta sing songs a certain style
or we’ll walk right down that aisle
and just leave ‘em all behind
they’ll know us by the billboards that we make
just turning God’s words to cheap clichés
says “what part of murder don’t you understand?”
but we hate our fellow man
and point a finger at his grave

they'll know us by the t-shirts that we wear
they'll know us by the way we point and stare
telling ‘em their sins are worse than ours
thinking we can hide our scars
beneath these t-shirts that we wear

~Derek Webb

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

My heaven...
...except make that a younger guy with dark hair...

Sunday, October 23, 2005

To whet your appetite...

"We're getting so good at doing "the christian thing," that it's no longer christianity."
~Brian Phelps

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Bye for now

I head out tomorrow for Gutenburg's Oktoburfuss in Eugene. God willing, I'll blog about it when I return. God bless your weekend!

Soli Deo Gloria!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Jesus, with Thy church abide;
Be her savior, Lord, and Guide,
While on earth her faith is tried:
We beseech Thee, hear us,
We beseech Thee, hear us.

Keep her life and doctrine pure;
Grant her patience to endure,
Trusting in Thy promise sure:
We beseech Thee, hear us,
We beseech Thee, hear us.

May she one in doctrine be,
One in truth and charity,
Winning all to faith in Thee:
We beseech Thee, hear us,
We beseech Thee, hear us.

May she guide the poor and blind,
Seek the lost until she find
And the brokenhearted bind:
We beseech Thee, hear us,
We beseech Thee, hear us.

Jesus with Thy Church Abide
©1997 Christopher Miner Music. Words: Thomas Pollock. Music: Christopher Miner.

Monday, October 17, 2005

It's really in There!

I will be starting a new weekly post entitled "It's really in There!" In it, I will post a verse from the Bible which may or may not be surprising or shocking to you. My pupose is two-fold: to glorify God by quoting His Word, and to inspire and convict you to take out the Bible and read it!

Here goes...

Proverbs 18:17
"The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him."

Now this week's verse is one to get you thinking. So, what are your thoughts???

Caution: Context is important!!! If I seem to be extracting meaning from a verse which is not it's original intent, please bring this to my attention. Thank you.

Note: All Scripture quoted is from the English Standard Version.
This was taken at a beautiful park not too far from my house. Great place for ultimate frisbee. My mom and I are best friends.

End of the Spear

The true story of Nate Saint's and four other missionaries' brutal death for bringing the Word of God to the Aucca indians. This movie is focused on Steve Saint (Nate's son) and his return to the indians. This is going to be a must-see film. Make sure you get the chance to go. Opens January 20. Check this out for information.

Friday, October 14, 2005

My Studious Dog

I found her like this at 2:30 in the morning. Look at her tired eyes. She is very into theological apologetics, however, she has a lack of compassion for the lost. She barks at the neighbors.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Derek Webb live October 19th at Yreka Christian Fellowship.

I'm there.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Special Guest on Today's Radio Program

Brought to you by Adam Cummings

*Radio Buzzes On*

Adam: Well, today is a very special day. With me now is the Apostle Paul. Good day, Paul!

Paul: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

A: Also with me is Mr. Gracious, emerging advocate of the Mushy Gushy Proclamation for Watered Down Doctrine movement (the MGPWDD). Mr. Gracious, good day.

Mr. Gracious: *with a thick Joel Osteen accent* Oh, thank you so much Adam. I'm so glad we can all be here as a unified body. After all this doctrinal stuff, I've been getting dizzy. I've seen so many young Bible students rebuking and correcting others with the Word of Truth, it's just been makin' me so gosh-durn sick. I wish they had all the experience that I've had, then they'd know better.

A: Paul?

P: All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, Who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word, be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.

A: Wow. Ok then. Now, Mr. Gracious, what is it about doctrine that you don't like?

G: Oh, I love God's doctrine, I just can't stand the way so many young men debate it and tear down the views of those who seem to be teaching something not in the Bible. This, Adam, is not Christ's idea of unity.

A: Interesting viewpoint. Paul, you wanted to say something?

P: We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ...

A: Sorry to cut you short, but it's time for a commercial break. Stay tuned, listeners.

*Radio plays Mr. Gracious' commercial song, the well-known and classic hit I Love You, written by Barney the Dinosaur*

A: And we're back!

G: *sigh* That song brings tears to my eyes every time I think about the way the body of Christ is today.

A: Hmmm, moving right along... Now Mr. Gracious, you are a Calvinist, correct?

G: That is incorrect, kind sir. I prefer--with aldo respect--to be called a Bible believer. Thanks.

A: My apologies. You do, then, believe that preachers should teach that sovereign act of God, whereby He elects a certain race to salvation in His Son and passes over the rest, leaving them in their sin.

G: Now Adam, let's be careful. *sweet grin and soft voice* We should tell people this with grace. Many Christians might not have the understanding that we have, and voicing your opinions too much might cause division. It really is sad how so many just want to push their stance on election, rather than gently presenting it to other Christians.

A: Paul, how would you go about teaching election to someone who says that sovereign election makes God the author of sin or that God is unjust in hardening anyone's heart by leaving them in their own sin? What would you say to that person?

P: On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it?

G: WELL! Of all the...

A: Hold on, Mr. Gracious, we need to keep going. Now Paul, as Christians, don't you think we could be a little less bold about what we say? Besides, young students learning from their undergraduate Bible class professors really have a knack for this. Should they be so bold?

P: Therefore having such a hope, we use great boldness in our speech, and are not like Moses, who used to put a veil over his face so that the sons of Israel would not look intently at the end of what was fading.

A: Very interesting. Of course, in one of your books--Philippians I believe--you did speak of being like Christ with a humble spirit. Where do we draw the line? Was Jesus more tolerant of bad doctrine than many young Bible students are today? What should we do? On a more personal level, Paul, how should I respond to those older and more experienced than myself when they attack me because of my boldness in speech and label me as arrogant? Ha, after all, I guess that comes with the radio business.

P: Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe. . . . Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.

A: I appreciate the advice. Sorry, Mr. Gracious, let's turn it back to you.

G: Well, I must confess that I think Paul's attitude is harming the body of Christ and doing no good at all. We must realize that we are who we are because of Christ, and I declare that it is by grace we are saved through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is...

A: With aldo respect, Mr. Gracious, you're quoting Paul's book.

G: Well, I seem to exhibit what he writes better than he does; I just can't believe his tone about all this. That kind of attitude is really contra-Christ.

A: WELL, thanks folks for stopping by for this quick interview, and I trust it's been an encouragement to your hearts. Since you are our special guest, any closing words for us, Paul? You don't have to tell us whether or not you wrote the book of Hebrews, but wasn't there something in there that you wanted to respond to Mr. Gracious with? Thanks again for listening everyone; go ahead, Paul.

P: For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.

G: [Unintelligible]

*Show Ends*

Saturday, October 01, 2005

He gives grace
to His elect because He wills it
to His redeemed because of His covenant
to the called because of His promise
to believers because they seek it
to sinners because they need it

~Charles H. Spurgeon

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Street Evangelism

I've been thinking about street evangelism (passing out tracts, talking to people, proclaiming the glorious gospel) and how it fulfills God's plan for salvation in the hearts of men. What is the purpose of these quick, seemingly insignificant "encounters" that we have with total strangers? Is "relational" evangelism (witnessing to those whom we know on a more regular basis) better? More important? More effective?

I have some of my own thoughts on the matter (of course!). However, I want to hear from you. What do you think about this matter? And why???? This part is key, show me Scripture!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Now, that's worth waiting for!

Thursday, September 22, 2005


Pastor Dale Meador just finished up a mini-series on modesty. Click here to listen:

Part 1: For Men

Part 2: For Women

Monday, September 19, 2005

Hello, my name is Julianne and I go to a community college

There. I said it. I go to a community college. There's nothing wrong about that, right?

In the beginning, I told myself only one year at the CC. One year. I had seen too many people spend up to six or more years taking only 4-8 credits a term there. That was not going to be me. After the first year, I'd be up at the University. Now, doesn't that have a nicer ring to it?

However, God has changed my prior, prideful attitude about my continuing education. He has opened my eyes to the great advantages of CCs. Not that there aren't advantages with universities, but now I can appreciate a lot of my CC. First, I love the smaller class sizes. This has been really good for me because it gives opportunities to get to know my professors, whom of which are very nice, straighforward, and good teachers (a rare, but good trait to have).

Just last night, my psychology prof from last year gave me a call. He told me that I had gotten off to a bit of a shakey start (a B in the class), but by the 2nd term, I was improving (up to an A). Well, I had run into him two weeks ago in front of the library and I was telling him of my trip to Brazil (I can't stop talking about it). He told me on the phone that he was looking through my records and that he wanted to give me an opportunity to raise my first term grade up to an A by either writing a paper on how my trip to Brazil changed me or just coming in to his office and talking with him about it. Can you believe it??? I have been praying that God would bring opportunities into my life in order that I may share the wonderful work God has done in my life. He is so good! Another thing is, to get into the very competetive RN program, it all depends on my GPA. So this will definitely raise that. I'm very excited on being able to share this with him. He is not a Christian, and I remember from the first time I met him on the first day of class, he mentioned how he is just fascinated by the Protestant Reformation! How one man could go against an established religion. I know the answer! It is because of God! That is how one man could do it!

Anyway, this sort of thing would never happen at a crowded university. I am so thankful to God for where He has me right now. I love Him so much and His providence over all my life. You are worthy, God, of all my worship!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Oktoberfuss 2005

Nancy Pearcy, author of Total Truth, will be one of the speakers at this year's Oktoberfuss in Eugene, OR. Gutenburg College/McKenzie Study Center is putting this on at Lane Community College.

The conference will be held at LCC on October 21-22.
Friday night will include a silent auction and reception from 5:30-7:30, and then Nancy will speak from 7:30-9:00 on "Total Truth: Have We Lost Our Minds?"
Saturday, the schedule will be as follows:
8:30-10:00 Nancy Pearcey on "Total Truth: Regaining Our Minds"
10:15-11:45 Nancy Pearcey on "Total Truth: Impacting Culture"
1:00-2:30 Jack Crabtree on "The Gospel and Its Intended Impact"
2:45-4:00 David Crabtree on "Educating Human Beings"
4:15-5:30 Wes Hurd on "Expressing a Christian Worldview
5:30-6:30 Speakers Panel
A cost of $45 for individuals, $65 for couples, and $25 for students has been set.
For more details, please check out our website: and follow the Oktoberfuss 2005 link, which should be appearing in the next few days.

To pre-register, please send attendee names, address, and phone number or email along with payment to Gutenberg College, 1883 University St, Eugene, OR 97403

To all my readers (all four of you): Please come! I want to meet you in person. ;)

My cousin, Brayden, and I. Isn't he a cutie? Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 12, 2005

Boy Meets Girl...but, that's about it

Recently, I've been reading Joshua Harris' Boy Meets Girl. In it, I read a good paragraph that's got me thinking.

"A couple committed to God's glory places their ultimate hope in God, not in each other. Before two people can please God as a couple, they must first be individuals who want God more than anything else and who know that only He can satisfy the deepest longings of their souls."

Eventhough, I am not in a "dating" relationship, I can still apply this concept to my life as a single person...maybe even better to start now. Am I an individual who wants God more than anything else? I hope I am. How can I really know though? Do I seek to have Christ's name exalted higher than my own? Is anything I do out of selfish ambition? Am I disappointed when things don't go as "planned," in relationships, for example? Am I doubtful of God's providence when destruction and calamities come? Are there things in me that are causing myself slower conforment to Christ?

He goes on to write, "One of my favorite authors, John Piper, has made his life message this simple but profound truth: 'God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.' What does this mean? It means that we can exalt God by trusting in Him and desiring Him above anything else in life--more than companionship, more than romance, more than marriage. When we do, our lives say louder than words that He is more fulfilling than all these things."

Companionship...that is the key one for me. Just someone to talk with who appreciates the same things I do. "Come on, God! Is it that hard?" This attitude is natural for me. One I must purge from myself. I need to be fully content with where God has placed me. God fulfills me! He does! He is all I need! This is a precious truth.

"Unlike all the fleeting pleasures of this world, when we make God the object of our soul's longing, He truly satisfies us--we find the lasting peace and joy we long for. Only then can we have a healthy, happy relationship, because instead of the relationship being our reason for living, it becomes an expression of the fact that we're living for Someone greater."

(Joshua Harris, Boy Meets Girl pg. 38)

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Too Comfortable...

"No! Don't let it happen. Don't let me slowly creep back into ease. Don't let me become "easygoing" with my faith. Don't let me become comfortable in life."

This has been my prayer since coming home from Brazil. This life is our chance to get out of our "comfort zone" and suffer for Christ. I'm talking physically and emotionally. Now, I can say this as much as I want, but do I mean it? Am I really willing to take what will come my way when I bear myself before my King and this world? Am I willing to feed the hungry and clothe the naked? Am I willing to be wise, but not "safe"? Am I willing to give up rights to myself and give myself completely to the One who knows and loves me best?

Were we ever promised that this life would be a breeze? Were we promised that we would get a "one-way ticket to paradise" with no stops along the way? Where do we come up with these ideas? As Christians, do we let the world, culture, society influenece us more than the Word of God? God's Word says that we are sent out as a sheep in a pack of wolves. That is about the worst analogy I want to be commpared to. It's basically the position I want to steer clear of the most. A poor, helpless sheep among hungry, angry wolves who happen to love sheep sirloin the best. No good. However, this is what Jesus tells us. What do you think He could mean by it? Maybe that we will suffer, that we will face persecution, that we will forget the "comfortable" life.

Just some thoughts. Right now, I'm wanting to go minister on the streets, but part of me feels like waiting till some others can come with me. Father, please send the right people into my life. Your will be done, on earth, like it is in heaven. Amen.

Friday, September 02, 2005


Yesterday, my Granpa had open-heart surgery to disconnect and reconnect several arteries that had about 90% blockage. He was really healthy and felt fine, but I guess this is a genetic thing. They say he was a ticking bomb for a heart attack. So, they had to break open his ribcage and cut into several different limbs to perform the proceedure. Pretty major. I was down at the hospital a bit yesterday, and I'm going to be going down there in a little while.

I think it is so amazing that we can stop the beating of a heart. Being in such a sureal state, it makes you think about the supernatural world. All around in the hospital there are people dying and it is the perfect place to share the hope that Christ brings to us. As of right now, I'm seriously considering going to the college here and entering the 2-year RN (registered nurse) program. I could use it for Kingdom work either in Brazil on the medical boats or here in my hometown at the needy hospital. Thank you, Lord for putting something in my heart...if it's something else You want me to do, I want to be open to wherever or whatever You have for me. Amen.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Mortify Pride, Cultivate Humility

How I Mortify Pride and Cultivate Humility

by C.J. Mahaney

This is my life list. This is not a list that I have assembled from the last month of my life. This would be a list; really looking back now over...30 years of seeking to grow in grace. So think of this as a list of recommendations, not requirements...recommendations...for your consideration. Custom design your own list. But let me impress this on should have a should be purposeful about this. Each day you should be addressing your greatest enemy and cultivating your greatest friend. So here's how I attempt to mortify pride and cultivate humility.

1. Study the attributes of God, especially His incommunicable attributes
2. Reflect on the wonder of the Cross of Christ
3. Study the Doctrines of Grace
4. Study the Doctrine of Sin
5. Cultivate spiritual disciplines
6. Invite and pursue correction
7. Encourage and serve others each and every day
8. Identify evidences of grace in others
9. Respond humbly to trials
10. Discern your thorns
11. Use unflattering illustrations of yourself publicly
12. Recognize your theological limitations
13. Prepare to be replaced
14. Recognize your relative unimportance
15. Laugh at others when you are the object of humor
16. Play golf as much as possible…
17. Read as many of C.H. Spurgeon’s sermons as possible

Copyright 2002 Sovereign Grace Ministries

1. You think "Will and Grace" is a sitcom about Arminians and Calvinists.

2. Your idea of evangelism is to nail a copy of Luther's 95 theses to the door of every house in your neighborhood (in Latin).

3. Your kids are named Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli.

4. Your bumper sticker says "Honk if you're a Supralapsarian!"

5. You tune into "Crossing Over" expecting to see the 18th century theologian, not the 21st century psychic.

6. You have a life-size poster of John Gerstner on your bedroom wall.

7. You have a Jonathan Edwards lunch box with a John Calvin thermos.

8. After having one too many drinks, you decide to get Luther and Calvin's faces tattooed on each arm.

9. You keep accidentally referring to the Rose Bowl as the Tulip Bowl.

10. You read Freedom of the Will to your six year old for a bedtime story.

Stolen from Micah @ Resolution 57

Do I Trust God...

This past week, I have been praying and thinking about what I should do. I finished one year of schooling at a community college, and I'm really wanting to go to some place where I can learn more about Scripture and applying it to life and where I can fellowship with like-minded Christians. I thought about going to seminary, but nixed that idea on bases of money and usefulness (one idea was to get into counseling afterwards...). Then I thought about just continuing my "secular" education and getting a useful degree, like business or medical. The problem is I'm not sure what I want to do. Do I want to be an over-seas missionary? Or a dentist? Or a nurse? Or an engineer?

God has been teaching me that no matter what I do, I want to live eternity-minded. I'm talking about intentional living. Living for the purpose of glorifying God and enjoying Him and expanding His Kingdom by spreading a passion for the surpremacy of Christ. Doing everything for the excuse to share the gospel. Going to school to share with my classmates. Working for the excuse to share with all the people I come into contact with. To be a missionary no matter where or what. We are all called to be missionaries, because we were chosen to be followers of Christ.

God has really shook my priorities since going to Brazil. I am going to be more involved with my family and the Church. I am going to spend more time street witnessing and just "speaking the Bible." I am going to spend more time discipling other young women. This I will do if God wills.

I have so many different dreams; I would love to open some kind of coffee house/library where students or anyone could come and get a cup of coffee and enjoy some good books and good fellowship. It would be centered around Reformed Christian theology. We could also have different speakers a couple nights a week. We could even name the daily specials after the five points of Calvinism. "I'll take the total depravity, no whipped cream." We could name it Coram Deo Cup of Joe. Or, Justification Java. Or, Biblical Beans...

Or, I would love to be a dentist and go back to Brazil for the summers and help on medical trips to the villages. Or, be the missions director at church. There are endless options. I know that God will direct my paths. He is my good Shepherd, and He isn't hiding from me. He guides His sheep and doesn't lead them astray. I know that He will make His will clear for my life. May I entrust my whole life to His perfect and good will. Praise be to our God, the One who shares His glory with none other!

Soli Deo Gloria!!!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

My Military Men

Chris, my oldest brother, in Arizona, training for military intelligence in the Army. This was taken just after a 8-mile hike in the 114 degree weather (@ 6:00 am). Notice the heavy fatigues. Thanks, Chris!!!

My cousin, David (on the right), at Westpoint. He is a second-year student at the place my uncle teaches. Go Army!!!

Hammock Camping...

...not quite like in Brazil.

This weekend, some of my family went up to the lake to camp. My cousin, Stephen, and I hung our hammocks out in the woods and we froze so bad... We both were just like, "why did we do this?" "Oh, yeah, to be adventurous."

Stephen, chilling in "the pod."

During the warm day, it was actually the most comfy spot to hang out. Here I am demonstrating...

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Culture Shock

Thank you, Lord, for peanut butter!!!
I must admit, that is the one food I craved while in Brazil. For this and many other reasons, it's great to be home.

It was very hard to say goodbye to my friends in Brazil. There is a deep connection made with people who serve and evangelize alongside you when conditions are rough. The experiences and memories that were squeezed into three months were so concentrated that they will last for a long time.

It was so, so good to see my family. They've grown up quite a bit.

Well, back to wonderful materialistic America. God is teaching me to be thankful for all He has given me without being resentful of how many people take for granted their comfort of living. May God bless this country with an attitude of giving. May He also give me compassion towards those who think money is god. May I be used here in the US to spread a passion of the surpremacy of Christ. Soli Deo Gloria!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

My wonderful family...minus Chris and myself.


OOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooo...........Ging-ee-ooo!!! My mushy menina!

Before my brother left...

Here are my siblings: Abi, Ely, Chris, Matthew, myself, and little Ginger.

Before Brasil...

It's so good to be home! Dad's health is doing great, praise the Lord!

Preparing the tooth for pulling...

Yes, it is I pulling teeth. No schooling, just pure, raw experience.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Another Update

Hey Everyone!!!

Just got back from the river on Thursday night. We loaded 3000 bricks onto the boat, unloaded, and hauled them up a steep incline to the construction site. We also did the same with cement bags and water for the concrete, and ceiling tiles. Very intense labor. We spent a whole day just tossing bricks (two at a time) from one person to another from the boat to shore in the blazing sun. Thankfully, we were in the water which kept us cool (somewhat). The village we were at is called Sauauma, on the Topajos River. The next days were spent digging dirt and moving it to the floor of the church and leveling it while we go. We got a lot done, praise the Lord. However, most importantly, we encouraged the Christians there to put work into their own church. The village seemed kind of dead when we first got there. The community is made up of one couple and their 12 children and their spouses and children. This is a typical village. All relatives. After we began the work though, it started to come alive. We held two services for the children (which meant also the mothers) and we had two evening services. Joanne, Sarah (a lady from the US), and I visited the main woman (the mother of the 12 children) who's leg is very infected. She has been laying in a rete (hammock) for quite awhile. We gave her some ointment and explained the importance of keeping it clean and moving her legs and feet to prevent stiffness. We then prayed for her. While we were praying a monkey (which was roaming about the house) came over and held my hand. It was definitely a great experience!

This village is in one of the most gorgeous places I have ever seen. White beaches for miles with the finest sand. The sunrises are pale pink to fire fushia. The nights are completely black except for the light of the moon and the white of the sand. The sky is so clear that you can see the Milky Way fully. We bathed in the river about three times a day; morning, after lunch, and night. One new thing I have eaten is turtle. It is pretty good. Tastes like rubbery, fishy, chicken. It was sort of sad to see the turtle die though.

Abby (my roommate) and her team left today :( sad. However, I'm so thankful for God's providence to have her in my life. She is a wonderful woman on fire for God and missions, but realizes that her place is at home with her husband, following where God is calling him (which is actually where God is calling her too). We had many great discussions and we experienced much together. Our God is so good! ("All the time") <--- this is one of our favorite sayings. :)

God is good. May we always be reminded of our total depravity and need of a savior. What amazing grace is this: that Jesus would lay down his life for a wretch. Thank the Lord, for He is worthy! Glory to His Name! As my stay in Brazil gets closer to the end, I pray God will use this to impact the rest of my life. I know it will, because it already has. He has given me a vision for my future and a love for His children worldwide. One thing I have been praying for is that God would give me the same burden He has for his lost sheep, and the same compassion and mercy He shows to us all the time. May we continue to let God transform our thinking and renew our minds for His glory.

Peace and joy be with you all! God willing, I plan on seeing you all in the near future.


Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Bom Dia!

Blessings to you all!

Well, the Amazon is as wonderful as ever. The weather here is getting hotter andthe rains are more scarce. On Wednesday, I arrived back in Santarem from SaoMiguel on the Arapuins River. We were working on the construction of the churchthere. We got a bunch done, thank the Lord! The team that came was from anAnglican church in Illinois. They were so great. I got to know them very wellwhile out on the river. We had all sorts of discussions from creation to endtimes to predestination. It was a good experience for me to spend time withother Christians with different doctrinal beliefs.

One thing I really wanted to share with you all is when we were out in the rivervillages, we held church services every night. If someone accepts Jesus, BettyBest will write their names down to follow up on them. Well, I had brought downa bunch of BCC pens and it was a joy to see them being used to write down thenames of our new brothers and sisters in Christ.

One of the biggest things God is teaching me here is living eternity-minded. Togo to school for the excuse to talk to my classmates about Christ. To work forthe excuse to share the gospel. He is giving me the desire to do everything withthe purpose of expanding the Kingdom and glorifying His name; because God isworthy and He shares His glory with no other. Now the easy part is having thisdesire. The hard part will be actually putting it into practice; here and athome. Please pray that my days will be used wisely and not spent on fleetingpleasures.

God is also telling me to relax about the frustration of not being able to pickup Portuguese quickly. About a month in, I was beginning to get kind ofdisapointed that is wasn't coming to me as fast as it appeared in others.However, one missionary encouraged me to not fret about it, but just love thepeople. It will come with time. So, I'm enjoying my time just hanging out withneedy girls and hugging children who don't receive any love at home. Thismorning Abby (my wonderful God-given roommate) and I had some girls over to makejewelry. It was a good time.

This weekend, I'll be going to Cabasa D'Onca for an inauguration of a PAZ churchthere. PAZ has just gotten a new website up and running.
Check it out

May the grace and peace from our Father flow in your hearts.

Soli Deo Gloria!


Monday, June 20, 2005



Just got back from the medical boat trip. This was a great experience. I got to help three dentists pull out teeth. I am praying about going back to school to become a dentist. God has been so merciful to the people in the villages here. About 100 people repented and confessed Jesus as their Lord this past week in three different villages.

My health has been great for the last two weeks, but two days ago I have had some stomach problems. Please pray that this will soon pass so I can give my fullest to the work needed.

The gal who I will be living with arrives on Thursday. I am very excited to meet her.
Tonight I am going with two of my friends (who are dentists) to English Language school. This should be pretty interesting. Today we said goodbye to the team who was here from the States. It was great to have them.
I've got some things to do, so I better sign off.

God bless you all!


Thursday, June 09, 2005

Hello from Brasil!!!

Oi, my brothers and sisters,

It is good to be here in Santarem, Brazil (or as they write, Brasil). I arrived Monday afternoon and slept till the next morning. They put me to work right away. I scrubbed scum and mold off a walkway alongside an airplane hanger. It took me about one morning and two afternoons to complete it. Today I went to prayer group at 6:00 and worked down at the hanger. We stopped work for lunch at 12:00 and rested for awhile. I then made deviled eggs for a potluck which I just got back from. At 4:30, I took the kayak out on the Amazon for a little bit. The scenery was beautiful. The sun was slowly setting and creating the most glorious orange, pink, blue glow across the sky. I headed back in while the two pilots were flying their amphibious plane above me.

This is a lot different than when I went in August with a church group. I really miss my family this time. God is working in my heart to create a love for Him more powerful than my love for anything or anyone else. This experience has been pretty hard, and it's only the fourth day! :) Tomorrow afternoon, a team comes from the States to work on some construction. It will be nice to converse easily with them.

Please pray that I will trust God to supply all my needs.

Blessings to you all! I'm not sure when I'll be able to connect to the internet again, so until we do, God bless you. May His love shine to you and from you, in truth. I appreciate this interesting fellowship we have over the internet.

In God's grip,


Saturday, June 04, 2005


ontological argument: One of the classical arguments for the existence of God based on the powers of reason. As developed by Anselm (1033-1109), it considers God to be "that than which nothing greater can be conceived." As such, God must "exist" because to lack existence would be to be defective.

Good job, you guys.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Definition Thursday

With all the hussle and bussle of trying to get ready to leave for Brazil, I had forgotten about this week's definition. However, I've remembered now. So, the last definition thursday before the Fall is:

ontological argument

What does your birthday mean?

I'm not usually into these things, but this one is surprisingly accurate.

Your Birthdate: May 15
With a birthday on the 15th of any month, you are apt to have a habit of cracking almost all joints in your body: fingers, toes, ankles, neck, and so on.

The 1 and 5 equaling 6, provide the sort of energy that makes you qualify to be labled "ADD."
You are very responsible and capable of being absolutely irresponsible and incapable.

You are quite interesting to look at; not in a good way.
This is an attractive and an attracting influence, because it draws people in to take a closer look.

You like disharmony in your environment and strive to maintain it.
You tend to learn by study and research rather than by observation, which makes it hard for your college proffessors because you get your hands into everything.

You may like to cook, but you probably don't follow recipes. You like to eat what you cook, even if no one else does.
The number 15, shows artistic leanings and would certainly support any talents, like myrtlewood carving.

You're a very stubborn person, but perhaps a bit giving and generous in some ways.

On second thought, it is quite unlike me...

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Calvin is Cool

It's the lastest...(well, actually, it's pretty old)...thing to do...(actually, it's how you live).

It is...Calvinism!!! Ta Da!!! Get on board, don't be slow...everyone's doing it...come on...

Check out the newest addition to the blogosphere @ PyroManiac!

Also, check out Why Calvin is The Internet Monk. But, beware, the rest of the site is saturated in postmodernism. Be discerning...

[EDIT] After a good night's sleep, I realize how dumb this post is. I guess I shouldn't blog past 9:30.
...there's nothing wrong with being a morning person, right?...

Monday, May 30, 2005

The Dangerous Doctrine of Open Theism

Lately I have been discussing open theism with some friends with an emphasis on molinism (or middle knowledge). I came across a good slide presentation which goes through the basic tenants of openness and gives a good defense of the classical position. You can find the slide show here. Chris Poteet goes through all this pretty quick, but it is great for an overview. It takes a minute to load.

I thought this would be especially good because some of you visiters are molinists and there has been some good discussions going on in a few of the comment boxes.

Please continue to discuss and work through these different doctrines. We are called to "be transformed by the renewal of [our] mind[s]." (Romans 12:2) Let us be semper reformanda, always reforming.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Powerful God

From Friday night until early Saturday morning, we had the most awesome, powerful thunder and lightning storm this city has ever seen. With over 7,015 cloud-to-ground lightning strikes reported, this was a spectacular show. I was in bed staring out the window when the loudest thunder I have ever heard was booming through the night.

Seeing and hearing something as powerful as lightning and thunder really makes me think about the power of God. He is so powerful and always on His throne. He never "steps down" or takes a break from being God. When the weather becomes so fierce and amazing it really shows how God is in control. Nothing is governing it but God. Wow, what an amazing, holy God we serve!


For the last two weeks, a dove has made its home in our hanging flower pot on the back porch. She has a few eggs which some other birds are trying to snatch for a snack. It is amazing though, because she never leaves; we water the flowers and she just moves over a bit. Even when things get kinda loud, she still has stuck around.

A dove. Quite unusual in these parts. It is so amazing to watch her, a little creature made by God, and think how awesome God is to create such a seemingly insignificant creature with so much detail. Praise God from whom all things flow, even little doves.

Saturday, May 28, 2005


meliorism: The view that humans must work cooperatively with God to create a universe with more good and less evil since God is omnibenevolent but not omnipotent, and thus needs human help. Humans cannot attain perfection but can indefinitely improve.

Friday, May 27, 2005

"Now, the calling of the Holy Spirit is without any regard to any merit in us. If this day the Holy Spirit shall call out of this congregation a hundred men, and bring them out of their estate of sin into a state of righteousness, you shall bring these hundred men, and let them march in review, and if you could read their hearts, you would be compelled to say, "I see no reason why the Spirit of God should have operated upon these. I see nothing whatever that could have merited such grace as this - nothing that could have caused the operations and motions of the Spirit to work in these men." For, look ye here. By nature, men are said to be dead in sin. If the Holy Spirit quickens, it cannot be because of any power in the dead men, or any merit in them, for they are dead, corrupt and rotten in the grave of their sin. If then, the Holy Spirit says, "Come forth and live," it is not because of anything in the dry bones, it must be for some reason in His own mind, but not in us. Therefore, know ye this, men and brethren, that we all stand upon a level. We have none of us anything that can recommend us to God; and if the Spirit shall choose to operate in our hearts unto salvation, He must be moved to do it by His own supreme love, for He cannot be moved to do it by any good will, good desire, or good deed, that dwells in us by nature."
C.H. Spurgeon

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Theological Pursuits

Yay! New T-shirts from Theological Pursuits. TULIP and Luther are my favs.

Definition Thursday

Thanks to all who guessed at last week's word, too funny. Okay, here is this week's. Again, take a stab at it, the humorous ones are the best. :)


Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Not sure what's up...

There has been a lack of theologically rich posts around here. I'm going to check into the programming, maybe the problem lies in the html. I'll get back to you when I find the problem.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

"Theological Traffic Cop"

My favorite, J.I. Packer.
I'll have to pick up my own copy.
Oh, boy, wonder what they said about T.D. Jakes...

Speaking of traffic cops, I just got my first speeding ticket. Yay for me.

Saturday, May 21, 2005


aporetics: The philosophical method that seeks to unravel problems into their strands and to present clear-cut issues, usually antinomies, to enable an assessment of the pros and cons of different apparent solutions.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Calvinist Robots

As Christians living in this world persevering to the end because of the joy set before us, we encounter many questions in our own faith. One big question is this:

"If God forordained and predestined everything for everyone, then are we not all just fulfilling a program already determined by God? Are we indeed mindless robots marching on towards glory or condemnation, depending on our programming?"

Are we robots? No. The Bible say we are clay; molded by God, just as God desired. (Romans 9)

"Okay," you say to yourself, "How does clay differ from robots in this sense?" First of all, we have minds which are cabable of thinking, processing, evaluating, and making decisions. This does not mean that we have no prior inclination or that we are free of any effects of influence. To get a better commentary than I can provide go to A Form of Sound Words.

The question I posed was quoted from Rand @ A Form of Sound Words. He gives quite a biblical post on the topic.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Definition Thursday

Okay, because Brian brought up a good word, we'll go with that today.

This week's word: aporetics

Again, just give a good guess and I'll post the answer Saturday.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

God Willing...

...I will be leaving June 5 for Santarem, Brazil. The Brazilian Consulate just issued me a visa for five years, unlimited. This is an answer to prayer because they haven't been issuing anything longer than 30 days. Obviously, I'm very excited. My plan is to be there for the summer and return August 23, in time to start school in the Fall. My purpose is to ultimately have God's name glorified, magnified, and exalted. To spread a passion for the surpremacy of Christ in all nations for the joy of all peoples, through Jesus Christ.

Please pray:
1) That God will be magnified
2) That the sufferings of Christ will be presented to the people I encounter by my sufferings (Sometimes, I hesistate to pray for this, not knowing what this might entail)
3) That the people I meet will be as blessed by me as I them
4) For safe travels
5) That God would comfort and give peace to family members staying at home (This may be the hardest for them)
6) That all my luggage would arrive (I don't know if I could live without all my books)

I thank God that He is a sovereign God. I know He loves me and that whatever may happen is for His good purposes and His own glory. Praise be to God!