Tuesday, 25 June 2013

On a sister blog...

Here is a few glimpses of what's happening on my sister blogs:

1.  I am slowly but surely getting through Wayne Grudem's systematic theology book.

Here is the latest update.  There is a lot to learn in that big old book!


2.  Last weekend was midsummer, the drinking holiday of the year in Sweden.  Here are some thoughts about that...


Systematic Theology, Part 8

Chapter 4, The four characteristics of Scripture:  (1) Authority.

How do we know that the Bible is God's word?

This chapter will be dealing with the question of Biblical authority in such a way that, as Grudem says,
"What does the whole Bible teach us about itself?"  It's not what Grudem teaches us, or what we want the Bible to say about a topic, but in fact, what does the Bible teach about itself?

Grudem hits on a big problem in culture these days, when he says:

"....Authority of scripture means that all the words in scripture are God's word in such a way that to disbelieve or disobey ANY word of Scripture is to disbelieve or disobey GOD."

Now, Grudem mentions that all the words in scripture are God's words, and confirms that through:

1. This is what the Bible claims for itself.  Hundreds of times, there is a phrase, "Thus says the Lord," in the Old Testament.

2.  Then Grudem points out that in the New Testament, it is written, "All scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness." This verse refers to the Old Testament.

3.  Then we look at 2 Peter 1:21, For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. 

There are many verses pointing to a pattern of attributing to God the words of the Old Testament Scripture.  Go read the book if you want all the verses!

What about New Testament scripture?

In two places in the New Testament, we see New Testament writings also being called, "scripture" in 2 Peter 3:16, and 1 Tim 5:18. 

So in 1 Corinthians 14:37, Paul says, "What I am writing to you is a command of the Lord,"  thus adding to the strength of the New Testament words as God's words. 

BUT.  Paul does say, in 1 Cor. 7:12, "To the rest I say, not the Lord..."  So he is giving his own opinion on an issue, and pointing out clearly that this is not an "inspired" issue. 

Ok ok, so Grudem points out how the Bible claims to be God's words.  Are we convinced of it? 

Grudem says, our conviction that the words of the Bible are God's words come only when the Holy Spirit speaks IN and THROUGH the words of the Bible to our hearts and gives us an inner assurance that these are the words of our Creator speaking to us. 

This goes right along with John 10:27, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." 

In addition to all of this, it is helpful to know that the Bible is historically accurate, internally consistent, containing prophecies which are fulfilled hundreds of years later,  it has influenced the course of human history more than any other book, etc.

Grudem notes very interestingly, that the words of scripture are "Self attesting."  The Bible is the highest authority, and if you tried to appeal to historical accuracy or logical consistency, then you are making the Bible to be less than highest or most absolute. 

God used a wide variety of processes to bring forth his words in the Bible. 

Sometimes, God dictated directly, both in Old and New Testament. 

And on the other end of the spectrum: 

Hebrews 1:1 says that God spoke to our fathers by the prophets "in many and various ways."  Luke, for example gives an "orderly account," which was more or less a gathering of historical data.

Think about it this way, says Grudem (summarized):  God made the men who wrote in the Bible exactly how he wanted them to be, personality and all, so that when they put pen to paper, the words were fully their words but also fully the words that God wanted them to write, words that God would also claim as his own. 

Monday, 24 June 2013

Plane thoughts

Lydia is at an age (finally) where she can be pretty happy on an 8 hour trip as long as the cartoons are freely flowing.  Markus has proven that he is such a happy kid in general, and makes our life easier in that aspect. 

 One personal reminder: just because a kid is tired does not justify them screaming and being disobedient. (Well, unless they are still a baby). Interesting, but having a high expectation works wonders.  Slightly annoying toys help, and of course some good snacks.  Here’s Daniel with two sleeping kids crashed on him. 

Saturday, 22 June 2013


My friend Alicia lives with cornfields and cows around her, and we even got to see her Amish neighbors with a front yard full of buggies for their Sunday house church service.

What a joy to see her sweet family. I love how Alicia has a kid a few years older than ours, and thus has that jump start in wisdom for how to deal with kids.  I love how we always manage to have a game night involving chocolate and popcorn and some new game that we usually incorporate in our Swedish family traditions…

And my nephew Josiah came along and Heath and Blake definitely loved him!  
(Mom, can we visit Josiah in Tennessee?) 

The drive there and back, however, was a long one for those three squished in the back...Foto: Great visit to Pennsylvania, one asleep and two to go...

And I also noticed how different Lydia is to a big brood of boys; fearful of the motorized car that touched her foot while the boys are clobbering each other for fun, daintily picking at her plate while the boys gobble down, and yet all those kids are so wonderful in their ways.

And both Alicia and Bo’s parents are always a highlight when we visit; Dan has a great way of consistenly reminding people to contact their congressmen and stay active in giving opinions in politics, and we can end it with a plug for Bo’s family business. 

Anyone want to order some grass fed beef? Alicia's in-laws run this company, http://www.valleygrassfed.com/    My parents just got the family pack this past weekend!
Valley Grassfed

Thursday, 20 June 2013

We just arrived back in sweet cool green Sweden after a month of visiting America.

Some differences just get more and more obvious every time we visit, such as:

I understand eating healthier, but this donut shop....
(Tato nut donuts in Ocean Springs, MS)
1.        Breakfast habits.  Swedes are serious about their breakfasts, and some Americans either eat sweet or nothing. (often some sugary gems like pop tarts, choco brownie crunch, donuts, or else just a cup a joe to tide you over till lunch.)

2.        Much more decent music choices on the radio.  At least in the southern part of the 50 nifty united states, you can always find some oldies, country, and Christian music.  That is one thing I miss in Sweden.  In Gothenburg, it’s a lot more heavy metal/pop music blends.

3.        Bigger everything.  We are always laughing at some cars people buy that don’t even fit in a single parking spot.  Some super wide enormous wheel truck that probably never gets out in the “wild” and has to take two spaces at walmart just to park, for example. Highways are bigger, but those 8 lane wonders can be intimidating too….  Portion sizes are bigger, people are bigger, and bang for your buck is definitely bigger.

4.     4.    Speaking of portion size, it is interesting to see how free refills can so easily turn into 5 refills in one meal!

5.  5.  Having fun at restaurants (for kids).  We definitely like the way chic fil A has this awesome playground at most of it's restaurants.

6. 6.  Having grocery stores with ridiculous names, like the Piggy Wiggly (below), Price Chopper, Super Eagle, Jungle Jitney, Food Lion....etc. 

drinking in Sweden

Tomorrow is Midsummer here, and as I passed the systembolaget (government liquor store), the lines were very long and their easily distinguished plastic bags were everywhere.

Here is a fantastic article (in Swedish) about drinking in Sweden, especially around holidays.


And a summary of the article from my point of view...

1.  Spirit/liquour is a part of the Swedish heritage and "value system."
2. Did you know there is a spirit/liqour museum, where you can even get a taste box of schnapps to "improve the experience"
3. "Spirit/liquor is portrayed strongly in the media as cool, glamorous, sophisticated, romantic, etc.
4. The author speaks of some teetotaling friends, who have a hard time meeting someone, because they can't calm their nerves and dumb down their feelings without alcohol, and need to have real courage and understanding of their emotions.  This paragraph was pretty telling...
5. 8 of 10 assaults, the attacker is drunk, and in 45% of every deadly violence, there is alcohol in the picture...alcohol should be taken seriously.

The last paragraph in the article is best...go read it. 

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Tennessee, Aka week 3?

We had a lot of fun visiting the Rick and Kim Steen and the church in Tennessee.  It was also fun to see someone who knows how to use my camera better than I...

 This is the type of photo that I take...

 Farm life includes things like catching roosters...

Thanks for a fun time in Tennessee!

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Blacksburg, aka week 2!

My old roomate Dorcas and the dinosaur...

I still remember her "regular" sandwich of choice....some things never change...

And Lydia had her Hokie shirt on, so suitable!

A great bonfire with Dorcas and our awesome hosts, Andy and Teresa!

Lydia was just glad to have so many new friends..

And awesome playgrounds!

 Daniel and I even decided to play a bit too...

 And then, just like that, we packed up the car and were on our way...Bye for now, Blacksburg!


But a trip to Blacksburg is never complete without a stop at Mill Mountain coffee shop...

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Grattis Jenny!

Grattis Grattis till Daniel's lillasyster Jenny som tog studenten idag!  Vi önskar vi kunde var med och heja på dig!

Congratulations to Daniel's little sister Jenny who graduated today!  Wish we were there cheering for you!

Monday, 3 June 2013

5 guys and lots of grease...

This was our first choice of fast food stop, a greasy good burger joint called 5 guys. 

I guess I have assimilated to Swedish culture, because we both felt a little green around the gills afterwards, can it be that I am not so used to American fast food anymore?
 But our kids didn't seem to mind all the greasy goodness...

After all that grease, I just wanted some fruit, or even some of this:
 (aka healthy bread!)

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Highlights from USA trip, week one...

Here it is, some of the highlights from our first week in America!
PURNIMA, and a chance to talk about everything under the sun....

Leslie and her kiddos

Lots of picnics out in the backyard

visiting kids climbing up the "treehouse"

And Lydia who is not quite convinced to go up that tree herself...

Long term friends.

My VT roomate, Tana, plus lots of company.  

And then seeing Rebecca and her sweet little clan

Who can resist a face like that?

familj liv....family life

Våra familj är inte perfekt, men vems är?  Man letar efter den perfekta bild av en perfekt familj, men detta bild är mycket mer real...