Sunday, September 30, 2007

Not From Man, But From God - Galatians 1:11-24

Why could Paul be so certain that the gospel he preached was the only way to God? How could he say those who turned away from the gospel he preached we deserting God? He started to answer that question in the section of scripture this sermon looks at.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Baby Bunnies

This morning I was woken up from a deep sleep by Annette. She was telling me that one of our rabbits was pulling her fur out which is a sign that she will be having babies in the next day or two. The reasoning behind this was that I needed to make a nesting box for the female to make her nest.

I did not know where I was going to find the time to do so, but as I woke up I decided it would be better to do it first thing in the morning as that way it would not be hanging over my head. That was a good choice in retrospect.

I pulled the table saw (I purchased it for $25 at an auction a while back) out of the garage and got a piece of plywood out. Set things up and in a fairly short time had the sides and top finished. I used my new cordless Jigsaw to do some final work on the sides, and I hammered it together. Then I cut the bottom, and nailed it on. All told, I don't think it was too much time, maybe not even and hour and it was all done.

Annette put the new nesting box in the rabbit cage, and put the fur that had already been removed by the female rabbit into it, and we left it at that.

This afternoon I went out back to work in the trailer since it is quieter there than in the house, and I took a peek to see if the rabbit had added any more fur to her nest. What should I see but a little blood on the fur in the nest box, so I had a closer look. Sure enough she had had her babies. Sadly, two were dead, but two are alive.

The mother is a cute white with black spots dwarf rabbit, the father is probably our brown lop-earred buck, so they should be interesting looking babies.

I will see about getting pictures when they are bigger.

Monday, September 24, 2007

We Had To Put Riley Down Today

We knew this day was coming as Riley was 14 years old, and had been having increasing problems with his health. Already in the spring when we had a cold day following a warm day he would have a really hard time getting up, and over the past several months he seemed to be confused very often. We would feed him and he would forget as soon as he finished eating the food, or something would happen and he would just have this look like, "I don't get it."

We figured with the colder weather coming on, that we would have a day come when he could not get up, but we didn't get to that point. In fact, he had been dealing with the cold days and nights we had already very well. Well enough that I was wondering if we would get another year with him although he was having occasional problems where he would fall down for no apparent reason while walking. But, last Thursday he started to get sick. By Friday he was very ill and had lost a lot of weight. We had a dog agility trial to go to, and my mom was going to take care of our son, so she took care of Riley as well. The way he looked I honestly did not expect him to be alive when we got back Saturday. He was not in any apparent pain, but was obviously sick and had lost a lot of weight.

Saturday when we got home he was still alive, and was looking a little better, but he was still ill and his bodily functions were not functioning as they should. Sunday he looked a little better yet, and could keep his food down. We already had an appointment at the vet for Monday to have him put to sleep, but I was really wondering if I could do it as he seemed to be rallying.
We decided to take him to one of his favorite places to walk, the Pinery provincial park, and we had a wonderful walk with him, but after about 20 minutes, he all of a sudden had his chin almost hit the ground, and he was exhausted. We took a half hour of rest with him breathing very heavily, so he could rest. Then we headed back to the van. He enjoyed the walk, but not like he normally would.

Today he started to get sicker again, and although he looks pretty good in the pictures, you cannot feel how he had shrunk to skin and bones. We went to my mom's place, where he lived from the time we got him at the humane society as an eight week old puppy, who was terrified of dogs and cars, and while riding on my lap on the way home, decided to pee on me. That place was always 'home' for him, and he was very content to be there. We even took him to see his dog companion on the way there, which he also enjoyed, not wanting to leave.

At 6 my mom and I headed to the vet with him, and Annette stayed at my mom's with Justin. We got there early, so Mom took Riley for one last walk, and then at 6:30 we went in. By 7PM is was all over and he headed back to bury him.

Riley was a wonderful companion. One of the most even tempered, calm, obedient (at least until he got on) dogs I have ever known. I know I will miss him, I do already. It is amazing how an animal can become such a part of ones life. I know it was time, but I still wish we could have had a few more months.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Only ONE Gospel - Galatians 1:6-10

In a world where the majority of people think that it doesn't matter what you believe as long as you are sincere. In a world where most people believe it is wrong to confront someones else's beliefs even if they are wrong. In a world where many people believe all roads lead to heaven, the written word of God confronts us with the fearsome and wonderful truth that there is only one way to come to God in His forgiveness and acceptance. The gospel or good news of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Now Jesus Loved Martha and Her Sister and Lazarus

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.
John 11:5-6 (ESV)

Have you ever read this and wondered about it? It is a rather strange statement if you think about it. First we are told that Jesus loved Martha, Mary and Lazarus. That is not a surprise, nor is it strange. However, then the account continues and we read that when he heard that Lazarus was sick, sick enough that Martha and Mary sent for Jesus, Jesus, who loved them stays two days longer where he is. That, in many of our minds does not seem very loving. Many of us would expect that Jesus, hearing of Lazarus' illness, would have immediately left to help him. That is what we consider the loving thing to be. However, scripture is clear, Jesus loved them, but he waited two days before he went to them. Doesn't that strike you as strange? Why would Jesus do that?

I am sure there are people out there would would say it is because Jesus did not really love them. I have never read that, but I have no doubt that some would say this. However, the scripture is clear, He did love them yet he stayed. In fact the scripture goes further it tells us that Jesus loved them so he stayed for two days where he was. In other words, Jesus staying where he was for two more days was an expression of his love for them. It is precisely because of his love that he waited before coming.

Before we go on to consider what it was that Jesus was doing in his love for them by this, it is important to have that truth sink into our minds, because when you and I are facing distress and trouble and sickness and affliction, we want Jesus to act right away by taking it away. We don't want him to wait two hours much less two days or two years. Sometimes, as we wait in our affliction, we may even be tempted to think that Jesus does not love us. Perhaps our faith is in vain, and he never loved us at all. I don't know if you have ever gone through that, but I know from my own experience that it is so very easy to start to think that way. I have seen myself and others starting and going down that route many times.

Take heart from this though, for just because Jesus does not act on your timetable, does not mean he does not love you. If you have faith in him, if you believe that he died for you, realize that he has shown his love on the cross. Don't go by your feelings that can so easily lead you astray. Instead remember that Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, and because of that love he waited to act. Just because he does not act right away to remove your trouble is not a sign of his lack of love, but instead is an expression of love that goes far beyond the pale love characterized by this world. For his love is looking for something far better for you than you may even realize.

That leads us to why Jesus waited two days. Based on what we find later, that by the time he arrived Lazarus had already been dead four days, even if Jesus had left right away he would not have arrived soon enough to keep Lazarus from dying. But, those for days are significant because in the understanding of the time, after four days a person could not be resurrected. Corruption and decay would have set in, and the spirit would have left for good. Thus, no one, not Martha or Mary, expected Lazarus to be raised. So in waiting Jesus set up something that would reveal to them something that they, and we need to understand, that he is the resurrection. That authority over death and life is in his hands. If Jesus had come right away, the raising of Lazarus would have been a miracle. The sisters would have rejoiced, but their understanding of Jesus and their faith in him would not have increased. By waiting, Jesus did something that they believed completely impossible and their faith and knowledge of His was built up. That would not have happened if he came right away. For Jesus the increase and building of their faith was of vital importance.

I believe the same thing is true for believers today. We often chafe under the troubles we face in life. We suffer the sufferings common to people in a world under sin such as illness, age and infirmity. We also face the sufferings that are particularly Christian or being mocked, abused, and considered as nothing by the world. Then we wonder why Jesus takes so long to deal with these, or sometimes, never deals with them and they end in death. But, here we find that He does this for a very important reason, it is because he loves you, he loves me, in such a way that he will not let us remain in our small and weak and childish understandings of who He is. Instead, He uses these afflictions to build our understanding, our faith, and our love for Him. He does that not so often by ending our suffering, illness or affliction, but instead by taking us through them to a greater experience of his grace and power.

Think of Paul with his torn in the flesh (2 Corinthians 12) which was used by God to make apparent to Paul that the Lord's grace is sufficient for all his needs, and that the power of the Lord is made perfect in his weakness. Or earlier in 2 Corinthians we find that while Paul was in Asia he was brought to the brink of death, but that affliction was used by God to "make us rely not on ourselves bu on God who raises the dead." (2 Cor. 1:9) Or think about Job who came to know and understand God far better than he ever would if he had never suffered or if God has stepped in right away to bring that suffering to an end.

Jesus loves you in a far greater way that you may imagine. He loves you in such a way that he will always do what is best for you, even when that may mean you have to go through a time of suffering, sorrow, affliction or pain, because on the other side you will find that you can now not just see but know more of who Jesus is and so love him and live for him more.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Day Off -- Gone Fishing

Today was my day off. As usual, we headed out of the house, and went to London. There we visited with my mother for a while and dropped off Justin so we could have some time with just the two of us.

We did a little shopping, and then decided to go fishing. We headed out to Deleware where there is a fairly convenient location on the Thames river to fish. It took a while, but eventually I caught 2 fish. Annette didn't catch anything, but we both enjoyed our time fishing. Hopefully we can get out more often on my day off as it is an inexpensive and relaxing way to spend several hours, and it frees the mind to think on other things.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Sunday Sermons

The following links will let you listen to the sermons from this past Sunday at Bethel Reformed Church.

The Foundation of Christian Teaching - Colossians 3:16

In the Righteousness of Our God and Saviour Jesus - 2 Peter 1:1-2

Friday, September 07, 2007


I saw this over at Carla's blog, and thought it looked interesting. I'm not surprised by the results at all.

You scored as Amillenialist, Amillenialism believes that the 1000 year reign is not literal but figurative, and that Christ began to reign at his ascension. People take some prophetic scripture far too literally in your view.



Moltmannian Eschatology










Left Behind


What's your eschatology?
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