Wednesday, 28 November 2012

You wont always be stuck in Babyland!

For mothers of young children out there, just a little bit of encouragement. 

(Here is a excerpt from the article) 

So when I see a young mom struggling wearily through the day, I don't tell her, "These days go by so quickly," even though this is true.  What I say is, "The years go by quickly -- but the days sure are long, aren't they?"  And then I say,  "Don't worry -- you won't always be stuck in Babyland."

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/simcha-fisher/escape-from-babyland#ixzz2DBWaxn5E


Monday, 26 November 2012

a little swedish pizza...

We visited a good friend of ours who works at a pizzeria.  He took Markus off our hands for a few minutes to show him off to his coworkers while we ate our enormous Swedish pizzas! 
Let's just take a minute to talk about Swedish pizza...because they are a whole food type of their own!

Just look at this!  What is that sauce all over the pizza, and why does a pizza have sauce all over it in the first place??

(For the record, I am not sure what this particular sauce is, but this pizza was pretty good)

Some of the seemingly most popular toppings here include one pizza with:

Pineapple (ok, that is ok in America too)
peanuts, bananas, chicken, curry powder....all together!

And can you believe it, I made one of those very pizzas in our house yesterday.  It felt both like craziness and a big step into Swedish pizza-ness.

Another VERY popular pizza here:

Kebab meat, yogurt and garlic sauce, topped with lettuce and kebab peppers.  And that one is also pretty good.

Should the US take some steps on the wild side, or is this craziness?  You tell me.

Some further reading on the topic... 
Huffington Post article on the oddities of Swedish Pizza.
Another article about weird Swedish pizzas...

Saturday, 24 November 2012


Systematic Theology Review, Part 6

See part 1,2,3, 4 and 5 here: Part 5  Part 4 Part 3   Part 2  Part 1

And now we are on to Chapter 3

THE CANON OF SCRIPTURE (i.e. the list of all the books that belong in the Bible)

"To add or subtract from God's words wuld be to prevent Go's people from obeying him fully..."  That is some serious stuff!!

"If we are to trust and obey God absolutely we must have a collection of words that we are certain are GOd's own words to us." 

God started the canon by writing the ten commandments with his own hand...Moses continued it with "absolutely authoritative words from God.'  

Joshua followed Moses, but he must have been confident he was writing God's words because he knew the command, "you shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it"  (Deut 4:2)


Prophets from God mostly filled out the rest of the Old Testament. 

Maccabees, which is outside of the Old Testament, comments on how around 100 BC, "They tore down the altar and stored the stones in a convenient place on the temple hill until there should come a prophet to tell what to do with them."  So they were saying that the time of the prophets speaking from God had ceased. 

(An interesting side note, "According to one count, Jesus and the New Testament authors quote various parts of the Old Testament Scriptures as divinely authoritative over 295 times, but not once do they cite any statement from the books of the Apocrypha or any other writings as having divine authority.)

Jesus apparently did not have any problem with what was considered as the Old Testament canon, so we don't need to worry that anything needed has been left out or that anything that is not God's words has been included. 

up next...the New Testament in the Canon of Scripture!

Sunday, 18 November 2012

A dip in the pool!

Markus didn't just enjoy going to the pool, he was ectstatic!
 Lydia always enjoys hopping in, but for Markus this was the first time he was "with it."  
 He splashed so much that he totally wore himself out!
 Thanks Farmor Monica for going with us!

Friday, 16 November 2012

Systematic Theology review, Part 5

See part 1,2,3 and 4 here:  Part 4 Part 3   Part 2  Part 1

And now we are on to Chapter 2 (at long last!)

THE WORD OF GOD   *Just what does that mean in the Bible?*

This doesnt seem like such a controversial topic, so here we go.

1.  The Word of God is a person, Jesus Christ.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God....and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us; ....we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father. John 1

2.  The Word of God is God's words/speech.

    a. God's decrees, "God said, 'Let there be light'"

    b.  when God personally addresses someone in the Bible. (For example, God spoke directly to Adam/Eve, Moses, Jesus...)

A side thought here, God speaks in human language to people in the Bible.  Isn't human language imperfect and thus God's words imperfect?  On the contrary, God spoke in human language to make sure that we completely can understand what he wants to say!

The words always place an absolute obligation upon the hearers to believe them and to obey them fully.

    c.  when God speaks through a person (i.e. Biblical prophets)


"Behold, I have put my words in your mouth."  Jeremiah 1:9

but watch out...

"But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die."  Deuteronomy 18

    d.  When God's words are written down (the Bible).

Once again, God said to Jeremiah, "Write in a book all the words that I have spoken to you. Jeremiah 30:2

Grudem goes on to say, "God's words as spoken through human lips ceased to be given when the New Testament canon was completed." 

So the main focus of the whole systematic theology book is the words in scripture themselves.

Application question: 
Do you think you would pay more attention if God spoke to you from heaven or through the voice of a living prophet than if he spoke to you from teh written words of Scripture?  Do you think your present level of response to the written words is an appropriate one? 

Best idea ever....

Lydia has a good amount of toys. But when they are all laying out in front of her she is "bored" of them.

So when she wasn't looking (muahahaha), I took away about 80% of her toys and split them up into shoeboxes and other small boxes.

And then when Markus is taking his nap and I really just want some time on my own, I get all excited and say, "oh man, you know what?!?  I could take down a box for you and you could see what is inside it?!  Oh, how cool is that!!!"

And because she is 3 years old, she also gets excited, even they are just boxes of her own old toys.

And then I gleefully take down a box, close her door, and we are both very happy for about 30 minutes to an hour....

Ahh, I wonder how long this game will last? 

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

What is Worship?


Once or twice a week I get the real joy of sitting down and playing the piano for Bible study or even our church meeting.  But worship music is also quite a responsibility, something that I haven't thought seriously about before now. 
Some interesting thoughts about what worship really is, taken from this blog: 

http://www.doxologyandtheology.com/2012/11/13/9-things-that-christian-worship-should-be-by-zac-hicks/


9 Things that Christian Worship Should Be by Zac Hicks

POSTED:  NOVEMBER 13TH, 2012 BY:  ADMIN COMMENTS:  0
Screen Shot 2012-11-13 at 7.39.11 AM 
Summarized from the Prologue to The Worship Sourcebook:*

1. Christian worship should be biblical.

  • worship includes prominent readings of Scripture
  • worship presents & depicts God’s being, character, & actions consistent with how Scripture does
  • worship obeys explicit biblical commands about worship
  • worship heeds scriptural warnings about false/improper worship
  • worship focuses primary attention where the Bible does–on Jesus

2. Christian worship should be dialogic.

  • God speaks through the Spirit, and we respond in a variety of ways
  • worship is initiated by God
  • worship balances attentive listening and honest speech

3. Christian worship should be covenantal.

  • worship renews, affirms, and seals the new covenant in Christ
  • worship rehearses God’s promises to us
  • worship allows us to recommit to our covenant relationship
  • worship enables us to speak to God as faithful/committed covenant partners

4. Christian worship should be trinitarian.

  • worship addresses each person of the Trinity
  • the Father invites us to worship and hears our response
  • the Son perfects and mediates our praise and petitions
  • the Spirit helps us comprehend what we hear and prompts our response
  • worship draws us into relationship with God (the Father) through God (the Son) and by God (the Holy Spirit)
  • worshiping Trinity keeps us from the temptation to worship worship itself

5. Christian worship should be communal.

  • worship demonstrates and deepens our unity, holiness, and witness
  • worship reveals how otherwise remarkably different people praise together, pray together, listen together, and make promises together

6. Christian worship should be hospitable, caring, and welcoming.

  • worship must never be self-centered
  • we pray for the world
  • we offer hospitality to those who live in fear, despair, and loneliness
  • worship sends us out into the world for service and witness
  • worship both comforts us in the gospel and disturbs us about the brokenness and need of the world
  • worship stokes the gratitude of our hearts, which leads into serving the world

7. Christian worship should be “in but not of” the world.

  • worship always reflects the culture out of which it is offered (patterns of speech, styles of dress, senses of time, rhythms and harmonies of music, visual styles & symbols)
  • (but) worship is never enslaved to culture, prophetically challenging what is at odds with the gospel of Christ

8. Christian worship should be a generous and excellent outpouring of ourselves before God.

  • worship should not be stingy
  • worship calls for our best offerings (music, words, money, time, etc.)
  • worship practices excellence worthy of God

The only thing I might add (to be fair, the Sourcebook mentions that this list is “more illustrative than exhaustive”…though it seems quite comprehensive to me), and perhaps it is embedded within the idea of it being “dialogic,” is that:

9. Christian worship should be expectant of an encounter with God.

John Jefferson Davis’ Worship & the Reality of God helped to pound that home for me, and I believe that this (expectancy of an encounter) has been one of the great gifts that Pentecostalism has given to evangelical worship.  Other religions worship simply to obey, to fulfill ritual obligations, or to placate the deity.  A hallmark of Christian worship is that the Divine chooses to condescend, reveal Himself, and minister His presence among us.  Christian worship, therefore, should be eager and expectant of this blessed Reality.
* “Prologue,” in The Worship Sourcebook (Grand Rapids: CRC Publications, 2004), 16-17.
Zac Hicks is the Associate Pastor of Worship and Liturgy at Cherry Creek Presbyterian in Denver.  He is an avid blogger and recording artist, having contributed to several retuned hymn compilation albums in addition to two full-length worship recording projectsThe Glad Sound (2009) and Without Our Aid (2011).  He is a contributing author to the forthcoming book, Doxology & Theology (Nashville: Lifeway, 2013).

Monday, 12 November 2012

Book review, Wayne Grudem part 4

It has been a while, but here is a continuation of my study of Wayne Grudem's Systematic theology.  And as usual, quotes from the book itself and from the Bible will take a huge role because it is already said SO well!

See part 1,2, and 3 here: Part 3   Part 2  Part 1

Continuation of the introduction....

We should study S.Theology by collecting and understanding ALL the Relevant passages of Scripture on any Topic. 

How many times do we sit down and discuss some moral issue (abortion, capital punishment, etc) and then each person throws out their favorite verse to answer the question if it is right or wrong?

It is so easy to do poorly and end up with wrong conclusions.

Here is what Grudem says is the best process:
1.  Find all the relevant verses. (a concordance is recommended). 
2.  Read, make notes on, and summarize the points of each verse. (look for themes)
3.  Summarize those teachings into one or more points that the Bible affirms about that subject. 
4.  cross check with what conclusions Christians have come up historically). (i.e. looking for warnings agains error).

THIS process is possible for ANY CHRISTIAN who can read his or her Bible and look up words in a concordance.

It would be a tremendous help to the church if Christians generally would give more time to searching out topics in Scripture for themselves and drawing conclusions in the way outlined above. 


Study Systematic Theology with Rejoicing and Praise??

That doesn't sound like dry stuffy theological study!

"The study of theology....is a study of the living God, and the wonders of all his works in creation and redemption."   "WE CANNOT STUDY THIS SUBJECT DISPASSIONATELY!" 

"The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart."  Psalm 19:8

End of chapter 1
    I enjoy how this book on studying theology gets really personal with application questions, scripture memory verses that fit the topic of the chapter, and a hymn that fits the chapter topic.

One powerful application question from this chapter:

"What is likely to happen to a church or denomination that gives up learning systematic theology for a generation or longer?  Has that been true of your church?"






Ordering food over the internet? This past week we tried "matsmart.se" to buy discount food.  Interesting idea, and here are...