Monday, March 31, 2008

A Just God

One of my highlights each week is leading our adult Sunday school class at church. It's actually kind of funny cause it's me (a presumptuous 27 year old) attempting to teach 3-5 wonderful ladies (none of whom are under the age of 55). To be honest it's been one of the most humbling experiences in my life.

Anyways, this past week we were looking at Abraham's conversation with God where God decides to tell Abraham of his plans to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham then goes back and forth with God asking God if he would spare the city if 40 or 30, or 10 people are found to be righteous. A few things stood out to me as we went through the passage.

1) It's really cool that God decided to tell Abraham his plans. God didn't have to do he must have done so for Abraham's behalf. It makes me wonder if I'm close enough to God that he would consider telling me his plans.

2) God starts the conversation and then ends the conversation which I think that's pretty cool. I've often felt God prompting me to pray...but it's not very often I've felt God end the conversation.

3) I've always looked at this passage as Abraham bartering with God trying to convince God not to destroy the city. But I'm not so sure anymore. The study referred to a comment made by John White that Abraham's prayer "is not as some scholars suggest, a mere reflection of the bargaining practices among traders in th east. Abraham has nothing to offer in trade with God. More over the stakes are to high. He is not haggling with God. He's desperate to understand God." To understand God's sense of justice. To understand God's mercy. To see if God really is a righteous, fair God. And Abraham seems convince that God is not unjust or unfair and seems to leave the conversation in peace. As I think of how messed up the world is today...this passage does give me hope. That God will take care of things in a just/righteous way.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Memories

Having Larry (our Jeep) die on us due to a bad alternator.
Matt eating food for the first time in a week.
Enjoying the company of friends and lots of sugar.

...and Snow.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Hours of Entertainment

Ran into this on a friends blog and love it. I'm glad I'm not taking the SAT's anytime soon.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Thought provoking read

Great blog entry by Scott Bessenecker about the sins today's church often ignores. The biggest one being gluttony. Considering how much Jesus spoke about money, I have to agree with Scott. Read Scott's entry titled "A Theology of Sex, Food and Money".

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Credit Card Debts

There's an interesting documentary called the Secret History of Credit Cards cards that Frontline on PBS did. It's worth watching...or at least taking their quiz to see how much you know about your credit card.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Passover reflections

My least favorite part of the Seder meal is always eating the bitter herbs (aka horseradish). If you've never tried raw horseradish, it's one of the most potent tastes God ever created. It's bitter, it's hot, it makes me tear up, it lingers in your mouth nostrils and clothing and makes me want to gag or spit it out immediately. It's not something I would ever just sit down and eat.

This year I've been struck by how great a parallel horseradish is to sin. In it's raw form, horseradish is not enjoyable. Yet mixed in with mayonnaise, sliced deli meat, some tomatoes and lettuce and put on a nice toasted bread's less noticeable and perhaps even a bit enjoyable. How true is that of sin. In it's raw pure form, I doubt any of us would ever embrace sin. Yet throw in a little church, your family, work, TV, the gym, pomegranate blueberry lattes, sin doesn't taste so bad.

As we head towards the crucification, the horseradish is going with me. I want to remember that is was for no light thing that Jesus died. Sin is bitter and something I need to be freed from. If you're feeling like you've forgotten or become jaded to the bitterness of the slavery/sin that Jesus has freed you from, I suggest opening up a jar of horseradish and taking a big bite.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Only my husband...

Would find a way to break his "non-breakable" tungsten wedding ring. And how might he have done so? By jumping off a cliff to save a baby? By fighting a ferocious pit-bull who had attacked his wife? By breaking glass with his bare hands? knocking on a window trying to get someone's attention.

Word to the wise...tungsten can actually break! All I can say is I'm so glad our marriage isn't based on a wedding ring and I'm glad the ring shop (who was likewise quite amused that tungsten can break...supposedly it's the first time they've ever seen this happen) is replacing the ring for free.

Friday, March 14, 2008


5 days of 40 degree weather. We're pulling out the shorts!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Prosperity Gospel

I first saw this over at and was impacted by it so I thought it worth sharing. There are some painful truths in this video that I'd rather ignore...yet given that Good Friday is coming up, it's something worth reflecting on.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The River Pantry

Our church bible study has recently gotten involved in a food pantry ministry in town. It was humbling to go and be there last Friday night and once again be reminded of how much I have. Some of the facts I've been learning about our city are equally humbling: 15% of Madison's population live below the poverty line which is roughly 33,000 people. The poverty line as defined by the US Census is $15,735 for a family of three in 2005. And I thought I had a hard time living just by myself on a bit more than that for a few years. Use of food pantries in our county has increased 34% since 2001...and I'm only guessing that this year it has increased even more.

Helping serve food that night, I'm reminded again how much easier it is to ignore poverty and just focus on my own "grumblings" and frustrations with feeling like I do not have what I should. Ignoring poverty seems to make my own grumblings much more valid. Which at that point I realize how human I really am.

Monday, March 10, 2008


Tonight I spent cutting up dates and walnuts to make a wonderful paste that will be used in a passover celebration in a few days. (yes, I know Passover is not until next week, but it was the only night that worked for everyone). In preparing the materials and food for this Seder get together, I amazed once again at how intricate God is and was in this simple tradition. The symbolism is so rich, the dialog of the Haggadah (meaning narration or recital) inspiring. And it's all gotten boiled down to a simple cracker and sip of grape juice every first and third Sunday of the month.

Anyways, I'm looking forward to celebrating Passover. If anyone is ever interested in getting a copy of a Passover meal, let me know.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

"Letters to the Church"

Christianity Today has a great collection of letters on their website to the various churches of today by

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Things that testify

Last night at bible study we finished up going through the book of James. One of the verses that stood out to me the most was, "Your gold and sliver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire." (James 5:3). It's a pretty upfront verse. And while it's a bit out of context, I couldn't help but think of all my "gold and silver" and the ways those might testify for or against me. I usually don't think of my things testifying against me but it's a challenging thought to think of them doing that. What would our Jeep testify about? What would my clothing or couch? What would my bank account testify to? Or even worse, when I get to heaven, will there be more "things" or people there to testify for or against me. I would hope that there would be more people there to testify for me.

It does make me rethink how I view my things.

Monday, March 03, 2008


A recent post from a friend over at caught my eye as a history geek. It's a website called and has an interesting collection of maps in regards to recent and past wars and religious/governmental trends. It was worth the good 45 minutes or so I spent on it.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Surviving the text messaging world

This is for you mom and dad.
Thought you might want a handy list of abbreviations. :)

Saturday, March 01, 2008

American Gangster

We rented "American Gangster" last night and I was pleasantly surprised by it. Overall very well done and a good glimpse at the reality of the drug world and how complicated it will ever be to combat it. It was also nice to see Hollywood portray someone taking a stand for what is right as well. I feel like that's something that I haven't seen in a while.