Saturday, August 01, 2015

40 years folded into one book

Yesterday one of the printing reps stopped by Eisenbrauns home office in Warsaw, Indiana. He brought a gift for the business:

Isn't that cool! I can't wait to see it in real life (I'm in Minnesota).

Friday, July 31, 2015

North Shore musings

This weekend is Fisherman's Picnic, the busiest weekend of the summer. And for us, it began earlier this week, which explains the sporadic nature of the posting lately. Anybody who thinks that cabin caretaking is a relaxing job hasn't done it! But, no complaints; we love it!

We have 7 cabins and 2 motel units that we care for. Each one takes about an hour to an hour and a half to clean. Plus the time to do the laundry, which varies. Last Sunday, we had 6 to clean, which is fairly normal for a Sunday. But Monday, we did 7, which on top of the 6 the day before was pretty tiring. Add to that the temperature. Normally, living 2 blocks from Lake Superior, we don't get much above 75ºF, in fact we usually don't even get that high (that's why I grow tomatoes in a hoop house). Well, Monday was 85ºF—in the shade! And being this close to a large body of water, the humidity tends to be high. The air was so thick you felt like you were eating it. Needless to say, it was draining.

But, this is the North Shore, so the next day, the wind switched and came off the lake and it was cloudy. We didn't get above 65ºF the whole day. And it was windy, so it felt colder. I actually closed up the hoop house to keep the tomatoes and peppers warm!

But enough of that! We love it here. And the variableness of the weather is part of it. As is the scenery. This is the height of the summer, and the scenery is beautiful. The crispness of the air makes everything jump out. The clouds, the lake, the trees, the ridge, all of them forming a continually changing backdrop to life.

Our garden is doing great. We've been eating broccoli for over a month now, the green beans just came in on Tuesday, right after that hot Monday; they must have grown 3 days worth overnight! The first two plantings of peas are done and the third one is starting; the snow peas are just starting, too. And the scarlet runner beans are in full bloom, much to the hummingbird's delight.

A friend gave me some walking onions, also known as top-setting or Egyptian onions. I planted them late last fall and here's what they look like:

Pretty funky looking, aren't they? They're pretty hot, so you don't want to eat them raw, but the greens are great raw. Oh, and we've been eating leeks, too. And the summer squash is about ready, and the raspberries are just starting, right on schedule.

The only downside is we could seriously use some rain. I have 400 gallons of water in rain barrels, but it's down to about 75–100 gallons. Enough for about a week, at the most.

Well, which will it be?

Samuel’s displeasure (1 Sam. 8:6) is met by a revelation from God that provides one of the secrets to understanding kingdom. In YHWH’s revelation to Samuel, YHWH explains what is really going on in the minds and hearts of those who want a king like the other nations. We learn from YHWH that Israel doesn’t want to rule for God in this world but wants to be like the world and rule like God.— Kingdom Conspiracy, page 30

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Like? Or Under?

Adam and Eve decide they want to rule “like God” instead of ruling “under God,” which means Adam and Eve are usurpers. The sin they commit is the sin of wanting more than responsibility of governing on God’s behalf; the sin they commit is made clear in the words of the scumbag serpent in Genesis 3: “For God know that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened [in a Pleasantville sort of way], and [here it comes with full force] you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (3:5, emphasis added). The story of sin in the Bible is the story of God’s elect people wanting to be God-like instead of god-ly, of ruling instead of sub-ruling and being ruled.— Kingdom Conspiracy, pages 28–29 (all emphasis original)

Thursday, July 23, 2015

It's all about?

The gospel is a story about Jesus, and because it is about Jesus, it is about us. To make the story first about us, or first about me and my salvation, is to reduce the story and to rob Jesus of the glory of being the central actor.— Kingdom Conspiracy, page 25

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The World

This selection of texts from the Fourth Gospel represents the New Testament posture toward the “world” as the unredeemed realm of human affairs, a realm into which Jesus is sent and out of which he saves his own. The point I am making, then, is that Jesus didn’t come to make the “world” a better place or to “influence” or “transform” the world. He came to redeem people out of the world. Trying to make the world a better place is a species of worldliness, and “worldliness,” to quote Hauerwas and Willimon, “is a hard habit to break.”— Kingdom Conspiracy, page 17

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A summary

The fruit of the Spirit is not a to-do list to check off. The Spirit produces the fruit in us. Christianity is not a set of rules, nor is the Bible a manual for good living. Christianity is about a relationship with God the Father, through His Son Jesus Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit.— Live Free: A Fresh Look at the Fruit of the Spirit, page 31

Monday, July 20, 2015

Dead people don't sin!

We are no longer under the authority of sin. Paul develops this point in greatest detail in Romans 6. If we have died with Christ, we have been set free from sin (Romans 6:7). What Paul means by “sin” in Romans 6 is sin as a power, or ruler. The point he is making is that, by dying with Christ, believers have been released from sin’s power; we now live under Christ’s authority. Yet Paul appeals to the Romans not to put themselves under sin again (6:12–13). While sin is no longer our master (6:14), the pull to go on “obeying” sin is real and powerful. But Paul wants us to realize that we don’t have to give in.

The famous Welsh preacher D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones illustrated this struggle well. In 1865 the work of Abraham Lincoln and others to abolish slavery in the United States finally came to fruition. All slaves were declared free. Lloyd-Jones says to imagine you had grown up a slave in Alabama. One minute, you’re a slave. The next, you are free—legally, officially, and forever free. While you may now have your freedom, your internal grasp of that freedom may take some time to catch up to the reality. Imagine that one day you ran into your former slave-owner on the street, and he calls out to you, “Come here, boy!” At that moment, will you feel like a slave? I think you probably would. Your whole life, you’ve responded to him as your master. You’re conditioned to obey that voice. Every muscle and fiber in your body is inclined to obey.

But the reality is that you are free. You are not a slave. Your former master has no authority over you at all. He cannot tell you what to do, and you have no obligation to obey him. Our struggle with sin is just like this. Sin once ruled over us, and our bodies were conditioned to obey its demands. It’s the way we lived our entire lives until we were set free by Christ. Now that we know spiritual freedom, our comprehension of it can take a while to catch up. Occasionally, sin calls out, “Come here, boy!” and our initial impulse is to obey. But in Christ we are no longer slaves to sin. We do not need to obey its call. And yet we will feel its pull and even struggle with our first reaction to give in to its demands. Even though we are free, we can choose to do what it says, even though sin has no right to tell us what to do.— Live Free: A Fresh Look at the Fruit of the Spirit, pages 28–29 (emphasis original)