June 27, 2012

Am I a retard?

A friend posted this on facebook, and it begs the question: Am I a retard?

What I mean by that, is this:

Do I as a woman, attract guys who are retards (not in a mental or physical manner of speaking), i.e. spiritually immature, foolish, shallow, worldly, and not God-ward centered?

My aim is to one day be married to a godly, mature, spirit-led man of valor and deep conviction.  Who knows where he is going, and has a plan for our life.  I am looking forward to following him... to the ends of the earth if need be.

So ladies, do you want a Knight or a Retard?

"the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed."
 Titus 2:3-5 

June 20, 2012

Currently Reading

I picked up this wonderful book by one of my favorite authors, at a local thrift store for $2.92!  It is quite good (not surprised) and answers the basic questions humanity asks.  Such as: "What is my purpose in life?" "Does God really have a plan for my existence?"  "Do I really matter to God?"

So far, I have read the introduction, and part of the first chapter, and already I have been blessed.

I am also reading Neil Baldwin's book Henry Ford and the Jews: The Mass Production of Hate.  It is quite enlightening, because I have not studied the US involvement in the holocaust, or WWII.  Most of my time has been devoted to understanding the European aspect of the war. 

June 16, 2012

Author Interview {Peter Bringe}

In this the third and final installment of this interview, Peter and I discuss chapters 4 and 5, and the economic and multi-generational aspects of food and health.  Enjoy!

1. I love your discussion about multi-generational family economics, and how our view of God will set the tone for how we view work. You quote Rushdoony on page 44.  
“[N]ot only work but life apart from God is meaningless. Work then becomes a question of survival economics, gaining enough food and shelter to live. For all too many people in history, work has had this connotation. Its goal has been survival, and hence it has had a sad and burdensome aura. Escape from work is then a much desired goal.”

Could you discuss what a multi-generational business might look like?
A multi-generational business needs several things to work well. For example, it is hard to step into a multi-generational business if the generations have been separated in thinking and culture by years of dis-integration in life. But more importantly, to have a multi-generational business, people must like to work. If one only does work as a means for survival, then when he is old enough to get out of working and live off his children’s work (or in today’s society, other’s children’s work), he will do so. Children should still support their parents in their older age, but they can integrate their parents in their businesses and make use of the parents’ wisdom. As people get older, their valuable contribution is less a contribution of activity and energy, but of wisdom, training, and example. There are many ways for the generations to work together in business, the classic example being something like on the TV show The Waltons where grandfather, father, and son all work together on the same business, doing the work together, and living in the same household. But there many other ways (especially when you have many children in different households that want to work with their parents), where the parents still work with and instruct their children to the very end of their life. The basic point is that the children should not cast off their parents as useless when it comes to work and the parents should not act useless when it comes to using their skills and wisdom in later life.
2. Work has been around since the time of the Garden of Eden (Gen. 2:15), why do you think it is that so many Christians view work as being something to avoid or get around?
I think it is because we are still learning how to live in the constant awareness of God. It is so easy for us to think humanistically when it comes to our day-to-day work and only think of the immediate human causes and effects. When we forget that our work should be done unto God and is only done by His grace, our work it loses purpose and becomes vain. It is then relegated to survival and necessary evil. It is only when we recognize the meaning that God gives work that it becomes a joy and a fulfilling task.
 ”There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment? For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.” (Ecclesiastes 2:24-26 ESV, see also verses 1-11)
3. You talk about the importance of work and our work as being a form of worship. Elaborate a bit on this please (e.g. Gen. 2:15, 2 Thess. 3:10-12; 1 Tim. 5:8, Eph. 6:5-7).
I would encourage people to look up those verses you mention. Dominion work is given to us by God as a fundamental duty of humanity (Gen. 1:26-28; 2:15). First and foremost we ought to work unto God (Eph. 6:5-7), and it is a way to love those around us by supplying their needs (1 Tim 5:8). Work, like the rest of life, is always done as service for some ultimate purpose and “god,” sometimes more conscientiously and consistently than other times. As Christians our whole life ought to be given in service and worship to God, as our whole life has been redeemed by Him (see Rom. 12:1-2, 1 Peter 2:5, and 1 Cor. 6:19-20).
4. I really enjoyed the section “Food as Part of the Family Economy”; could you talk a bit about Government guidelines, food safety, and family economics?
There are two related problems with the civil government being as involved as it is in food. First, there is the problem of centralization. This applies to society in general, as well as the civil sphere. Basically put, authority and power goes (or should go) alongside relationships. God is the Creator of the world and has a comprehensive relationship with everything, and an even deeper saving relation with His people. Thus He has ultimate authority and power over everything, with His covenant people being even more accountable to His reign. This follows for human relationships as well. This is how we get the idea of representative and graduated government, where more specific things are covered at a local scale where there is more local accountability. Thus the government, especially the centralized federal and state governments, are unfit for regulating diets. Second, there is the problem of the civil government getting involved in our diets in the first place. While I might allow for some restricted civil involvement in  special cases (i.e. in negligence cases, Exod. 21:28-36), the civil government is given the duty to punished the law-breaker (Rom. 13:1-7), not to run our diets. That is not to say that we can eat whatever we want, but the civil government is not the only government ordained by God. The regulation of our diets is left primarily in the jurisdictions of the family and self government. These are the spheres that have the close enough relationship that is able to manage the task of food choices. A similar thing can be said concerning agriculture and business in general where the civil government has overstepped its bounds and the family government is often lacking.
5. There are several examples from the Bible of industrious agrarian individuals, or families.  I am especially drawn to what the Proverbs 31 woman was able to accomplish.  Agriculture is another fundamental in the Bible, why do you think it is that a lot of Christians have shied away from wanting to take dominion over the earth and own land, cultivate it, grow their own food, etc?
Probably because it is hard. Make no mistake, while gardening and farming is good work, it is also hard work. Add to that, that our society as a whole has moved inside to the technological realm. We are simply not outside very much. It is not that big of a priority for most people, so we are often satisfied with a large house with a tiny bit of land. When we do want to occasionally use the outdoors, we often go to the civil government-owned parks and lands. (Again, when families and individuals stop taking responsibility, the civil government will take it.) We have lost a sense of responsibility and stewardship that should motivate to improve whatever land we are given. It doesn’t have to be a farm. If you have a quarter-acre, then use it! Ideally, our land ought to be beautiful and productive. (This is something I am preaching to myself on. A lot of my work is indoor and computer related, like writing these words, and it is easy for me to fall short in this matter.)
6. I was really glad you covered food and popular worldviews and how they view food.  Very insightful.  Could you tell us what you said in that section? (p. 64-66)
Read the book! :) 
Ok, I guess I’ll try to summarize. Our broader philosophies and beliefs about our surroundings have great influence on science and food. We were created to exercise dominion over the creation of our loving God, but sin entered the world and we were alienated from God and a proper relation to His creation. Thus autonomous man has often had a negative reaction to nature and a great reliance on his own reason and science. But then they find out after a while that this doesn’t work, and will then react against science and exalt nature, instinct, irrationality, mystery, and emotion. This is true when talking of the Rationalists/Empiricists and the Romantics of the 1800s, the humanistic scientists and the hippies in the 1900s, or their equivalent groups today. As Christians we recognize the important place science has, we as God’s image bearers taking dominion over His orderly creation. We also recognize the limited nature science has under God, the wisdom already in creation that we can develop, and the sinfulness of man that should cause us to be humble in our work.
7. I was fascinated by what you said about the design of food – on four levels (visible, microscopic, molecular, and atomic), isn’t it amazing how each food was created to bring healthfulness and nutrition to our bodies?  Why is is that so many Christians, as you pointed out, much to our shame, have adopted the world’s way of eating. The Biblical example of Daniel and his friends vs. the other young men, comes to mind.  Could you talk a bit about that?
We have often adopted the world’s way of eating because we have rarely taught a distinctly Christian view on the subject. If we don’t teach the world, the world will teach us. There has been quite a few “Christian” books on the topic of food, but they rarely have transcended the current fads of the day. This a trap that I hope my book has avoided to some extent. Our faithfulness to Scripture is of the upmost importance when it come to life. Without the Word of God we will live by the words of the world.
8. In conclusion, is there anything else you’d like to share with us about food?
As I say in my conclusion to my book (p. 74-75),
“And in John 6:35, ‘Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.’’ In Jesus we are fulfilled, and in him we lack nothing. Just as a good meal will fill you up for a time and give you enjoyment and thankfulness, so Jesus fills us for eternity, and in Him we find full enjoyment and thankfulness. God is often referred to as life-giving, cleansing, and refreshing water (Isa. 44:2–5; Jer. 17:13; John 4:10; etc.). When our food is beautiful and nutritious, it helps us remember better that we have a great and almighty God.
“The end of the matter is this: God is almighty and God is good. God has given us great food to explore and enjoy, and He has given us the way to enjoy it. Oh, peoples of the earth, ‘taste and see that the Lord is good!’ (Ps. 34:8) Give God glory and honor for Who He is and for His wonderful works that he has blessed us with, and never take His blessings for granted. Let us love Him and eat His way, by His power, and for His glory.”
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
−1 Corinthians 10:31
Thank you so much Peter for agreeing to this interview.  Your book is very insightful and easy to read and comprehend.

June 14, 2012

June 13, 2012

Willing to sacrifice all?

If Jesus asks me to give up everything I currently have, love and cling to, will I obey?  He desires for me to be blessed with the blessings He has planned for my life. 

Am I holding onto broken dreams? 

Shattered hope? 

Second-best expectations?

Do I really desire His will, or just say I do? 

Am I willing to give up all... for Jesus?

"And when Jesus saw that he became very sorrowful, He said, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!  For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
And those who heard it said, “Who then can be saved?”
But He said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”
Then Peter said, “See, we have left all and followed You.”
So He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life."
Luke 18:24-30 

June 8, 2012

Lessons from anger

I had a horrible dream this morning.

In my dream I was terribly upset at my parents.  To the point of yelling angrily at them, and being disrespectful.  Thankfully, it was only a dream. But, it did reveal to me that I still have a tendency towards anger.

Ever since I was a young child, I have struggled with sinning in my anger.  For years I blamed my sin on other people and external circumstances.  In my younger teen years I would become so inflamed as to storm out of conversations if I was offended, slam doors, sling my shoes off and let them slam into the closet wall, and think angry thoughts of sin against whomever had "sinned" against me.

At 16-17, I began to make a more concerted effort to stifle my natural inclination, and prayed a lot about my sin of anger.  God began to soften my heart, and gave me victory over my anger.

There have been multiple times since that resolution, that I have sinned in my anger, for petty reasons.  I always repent immediately, but the point is not "why did I just do that?" but, "what lead to my becoming so incensed?"

A majority of times, I become angry over small things that annoy me, or because someone has pointed out a fault.  I also become upset when I see someone being unjustly punished, or mistreated.  But, anger is not the proper response.

Jesus has given me a new heart.  One that is far more tender towards sin than it ever used to be.  A heart that is easily touched by human suffering, by joy, by sadness, by pain and affliction.  But, a heart that still sins.

This week has been especially trying on me, for a number of reasons.  And, there were a couple of occasions where I felt all the old anger and bitterness creeping up in my heart, trying to strangle the joy and peace Jesus has placed there. 

It scared me.

And rightly so, I believe.  Because I do not desire to return to my old self.  That nature has been buried, forever!

Some lessons I have learned (am learning) from my years of being angry and harboring bitterness:

  1. Anger is a reflection of one's heart condition - if a person is not in the habit of resolving problems and reconciling after an offense, then anger and bitterness begin to pile up in the heart, and eventually, if left there to smolder, will spew out and destroy relationships, people, and do a lot of harm
  2. Most of the time when we become angry, it is over something that we have decided to take offense at, and blow way out of proportion!  Too many times I chose to take something the 'wrong way' and instead of being calm and letting the Spirit soothe my heart, I listened to Satan's lies and become angry.  Our response should always be godly, even if the way whatever was communicated was less than gracious, or even just hard to hear/accept.
  3. I wasted years on being angry.  Instead of accepting responsibility for my sins, I chose to blame others for how I felt and so continued on in my destructive mindset. Anger is rarely worth it!  Oh how often I wish I could go back and mend the relationships that are thankfully much improved today, but have been sadly effected by my past anger.  I was not a godly example to my younger siblings.  I did not properly respect my parents or honor them, regardless of whether I agreed with them or not.  
  4. Anger is unhealthy.  Seriously!  It can induce heart problems, raise blood pressure, and fog the mind.  It is ultimately, folly.  "A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire;
    He rages against all wise judgment." 
    Most importantly, it goes against the very character of God.  He calls us to forgive, and graciously work through situations that could become volatile, instead of exploding in anger!  
  5. Seek to work in harmony with others, and repair relationships that have been harmed by anger.  I have now spent years working to regain the trust and respect of my family members whom I wronged for so long by my anger.  I still have times where I don't get along with them, but I am actively seeking to have a harmonious relationship with each of them.  
  6. Rest in the fact that if you have repented of sinning in your anger, you are forgiven through Jesus Christ!  Don't let Satan whisper in your ear and try to get you down, and believing his lies.  Because of the finished work of Jesus on the Cross, we do have victory over sin!