Christ is Risen!

He is risen indeed! :)

Happy Resurrection Day/Easter! May we all reflect on the miracle of God coming to earth, living a sinless life, dying an undeserved death, experiencing the wrath of the Almighty God all on our behalf…and being RESURRECTED from the dead, alive and well seated at the right hand of the Father, always interceding on our behalf. As was emphasized this morning at church: May we believe and live knowing this is true….not as if we WISHED it were true! May we live in such a way that if it were not true, our lives would be worthless.

Much love from the Burns’.

Colbert and Ehrman

Made me smile this morning.

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Bart Ehrman
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http://media.mtvnservices.com/mgid:cms:item:comedycentral.com:224128
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1 Corinthians 1:20-25
20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.

by Faith, not Sight

I mentioned before that the women’s bible study I attend bi-monthly had been going through the book, “Stepping Heavenward“, with the Study Guide. I jumped in partway through and only ended up working on two sections while we were going through it. Then I gave up, hoping that maybe some day I’d do it on my own. Knowing it was….well…not likely. Then Cheryl mentioned that if we HADN’T “done it”, she recommended we still do and perhaps do it during our devotional time. oh! Man! I recently had the realization that one of my biggest weaknesses is efficiency. I’ve known it all along but could never quite put my finger on the problem. It’s efficiency. If there’s something I need or want to do, I always go about it all wrong and take the long or hard (or impossible) way first and it takes MUCH trial & error to find a good streamlined system. Even then, it’s inevitable that if it’s something visible, when Ryan sees it he shakes his head at me and asks why I don’t do it XYZ way. Arg. Because that, VERY OBVIOUS (and…arg…correct) way NEVER STINKIN’ OCCURRED TO ME! :)

All that babble to say: Right. Devotional time. Ever since I finished the Hebrews study (studying Hebrews w/some gals in VA via a forum Ryan set up for us…just us, the bible and any commentary resources we found)…which took a year and by the end I was REALLY ready for something else (& no, I am no where near an expert on Hebrews much to my dismay)….I’ve been floundering more or less playing bible roulette in the mornings. Why it never occurred to me to use this resource for my bible study (the study guide has you go through all kinds of bible, applying it to the book….and have i mentioned the book is GREAT. It’s fiction, so very entertaining, yet insightful). I don’t know what’s wrong with my brain, but I guess it’s good insofar as it keeps me reliant on the Church (capital C)…others to push and pull me in the right direction. I NEED community. Thanks Cheryl for being my “Captain Obvious” on this. I love Captain Obvious….I rarely get to BE her.

Right. so the other weakness (because there’s only 2) is that whole “rambling, i can’t be brief” thing. :) The purpose of this post was to type out this quote that I read this morning in the study guide. Some Good ‘ole Watchman Nee (A pastor in College used to quote him incessantly..in fact i vaguely remember this story from him):

I put in bold what I underlined in my notebook.

Fact, Faith, and Experience were walking along the top of a wall. Fact walked steadily on, turning neither to right nor left and never looking behind. Faith followed, and all went well so long as he kept his eyes focused upon Fact; but as soon as he became concerned about Experience and turned to see how HE was getting on, he lost his balance and tumbled off the wall, and poor old Experience fell down after him.

All temptation is primarily to look within; to take our eyes off the Lord and to take account of appearances. Faith is always meeting a mountain, a mountain of evidence that seems to contradict God’s Word, a mountain of apparent contradiction in the realm of tangible fact – of failures in deed, as well as in the realm of feeling and suggestion – and either faith or the mountain has to go. They cannot both stand. But the trouble is that many a time the mountain stays and faith goes. That must not be. If we resort to our senses to discover truth, we shall find Satan’s lies are often enough true to our experience; but if we refuse to accept as binding anything that contradicts God’s Word and maintain an attitude of faith in Him alone, we shall find instead that Satan’s lies begin to dissolve and that our experience is coming progressively to tally with that Word (59-60)

Logos?

So, six months ago I started working for Logos Bible Software. Part of the reason I took the job is because I really love the software and believe it is an amazing tool for Bible study.

Today I got two new titles to add to my digital library that I am REALLY excited about–The Works of Jonathan Edwards and The Works of John Owen. While on the bus this afternoon, exploring the new titles on my laptop, I was so excited that I decided I was going to come home and make a video that shows you a SMALL portion of what Logos Bible Software does and why I like is so much. So, for all my friends and family wondering what Logos is, here is a look at Logos.

http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=3876901&server=vimeo.com&show_title=0&show_byline=0&show_portrait=0&color=00ADEF&fullscreen=1

Peet and Teeth

Another “a lot (but not all) of this probably would have been put on twitter were I not on a twitter break” post:

1) We checked out “Hubert’s Hair-Raising Adventure” this week from the library. After reading the back cover I’m embarrassed to admit I had never heard of Bill Peet (he apparently worked on Fantasia, 101 Dalmations & Peter Pan…& this was his first book ever published). In fact, I hadn’t read the back cover till just now when I sat down to write about the book. It was just a random, “this looks funny” grab. Anyhow, my review: Better than Seuss (am I allowed to say that?). Ha. Certainly i’m not an “I love ALL Dr. Seuss books” kinda gal, but I do like a LOT of them. Mostly what I enjoy is the rhythm & challenge of the read. To read it and make it sound fun vs. the tounge-twisting brain-cramping stuff that it is. Sometimes the nonsense bugs me though. heh…and every time I think that I hear my mom’s voice, and imagine both Dr. Seuss & for some reason CS Lewis whispering, “since when did SHE become a GROWN-UP?”. I probably shouldn’t admit that there are numerous voices in my head & that they often talk to each other….about me.

My mom says that she once saw me fall on my back off some hang bars in a playground and I came home crying that my imaginary friend pushed me off. I think her name was Mindy …wait….sorry. thought I was in a counseling session.

Anyhow, the Hubert book, is super fun (in that challenging way) to read, almost musical in the rhyming, and very silly, but not in the “made up words” kinda way.

We will now be on a “Bill Peet” kick for awhile at the library….and by “we” i mean me…

Also I am in LOVE with the book “The Sea Serpent and Me“. Another random, “that looks fun” book. I could just read those two books all week. In fact I’m not returning these two this week. So there. Anyhow, this book is just SUPER super sweet. A little weird to start, if you’ve got…’sensitive’ kids you might want to joke about how silly & impossible it is for a sea serpent to come out of the bathtub faucet (ask me how i know)…but oh…i almost cry every time I read it. …In fact I might read it by myself so i can just let it out & have myself a good cry. Ha. and I LOVE the artwork. Tonight as i read it I was wondering if there are prints available to buy….I’ve been thinking about how cool it would be to decorate the kids’ rooms with prints of some of our favorite children’s book illustrations. I should note, it is NOT a sad book, no one dies, but the sea serpent does have to be taken to live in the ocean and it’s a little sad for both of them, but they both know that’s where he needs to be…in a ‘better place’…if you will….and they both reminisce when he was so little he fit in her hands…and he slept by her bed… *sob*….ok I’ll stop…

3) This past week i was eating lima beans and apparently there were rocks mixed in with them (bought them frozen, though they were store-brand…?)..i blame the lima beans because i ate them later in the week and had a similar, though not painful experience and found the rock culprit. Right, so I was eating lima beans and bit down HARD on what i assumed was a rock (it didn’t occur to me to spit anything out. instead I yelped, swallowed and then complained). Anyhow, my tooth has been hurting ever since, the pain midly increasing each day. However not enough for me to remember to LOOK at my teeth any time I’m near a mirror. I finally did that this evening and lo & behold, on the tooth that hurts there was a spot that looked weird…as if it might be chipped, and a dark spot in it. When i touch it, it hurts a good bit. That’s not good, right? Arg.

4) Asher has been singing “My God is so Great”, (which he learned from children’s church, I’m not well versed on ‘christian’ kids’ songs) a lot this past week. He’s had ‘roomtime’ in the living room a lot this week and he’ll be drawing or looking at books & just start singing it. Every time he sings it my heart swells up, feeling so encouraged, and worshipful…”YES! Our God IS so GREAT!”…It has brought on dancing on more than one occasion. I love when “kid stuff” that can so easily be written of as just cute or whatever really moves me &/or teaches me…. In case you aren’t swinging your arm & singing it “pub-style” already here’s the lyrics (I only know the chorus because that’s apparently all Asher knows…ok he knows more, but i can’t remember it yet):

My God is so great, so strong and so mighty, there’s nothing my God cannot do (for YOU!)

5) On Saturday, I FINALLY did what I threaten to do all the time & bought this month’s chickens & prepped them for their individual tasks, put them in the freezer & got ALL the fat & skin rendered together in one batch. Doing 3 chickens at once (& in the crock pot instead of in the oven) renders a good bit more schmaltz, thus making it feel like it’s not a waste of time & it’s not the least bit over-cooked or burned & just off-white smooth….mmm…. I got about 2 cups worth. :) In case you’re ever interested in doing it (i know you’re all going to run out to buy chickens tomorrow): I used my crockpot & cooked it on low ALL DAY. Literally hours & hours & hours. It needed to go longer but we had a party to attend & i was scared of burning it, so turned it off…i tried to cook up the remains this morning but burned it. oops

Lost, Found or Somewhere in Between

Someone said something recently that keeps replaying in my mind…and it seems everywhere I turn I have been hearing or reading some variation of it…and thinking about it…and feeling the tension.

One woman described it as having a “mid-life crisis” of sorts… another expressed feelings of being “lost in motherhood”… trying to recapture pieces of themselves…old hobbies…revisiting forgotten skills… pining for a career that had been paused. I don’t know if it’s just something in the air or what. But i feel it. My list is ever-growing…. books to read, topics to study, flute to practice, tinkering in the kitchen, taking up knitting, finishing an old crotchet project, pining for exercise, desiring to blog….dreaming about rock climbing again…wanting to spend the weekend on the couch with a book, tea, chocolate & yarn…. ya know…what weekends meant before children. I get it.

At the same time, i don’t. While I understand the sentiment, I don’t fall into the “lost in motherhood” category…at least not in a negative sense. I commented to Ryan recently that I feel “found” in it. For so long I floundered lost, wondering what the heck i was supposed to “do when i grow up”. A week into motherhood & I knew..at least for the time they’re in our home…THAT was my “career”. Though even that isn’t always a good thing… finding my IDENTITY in them..i certainly don’t want to end up being so singly focused that i find myself empty-handed and broken hearted when they do what they’re supposed to do — grow up & move out. My identity of course lies in Christ…as a Child of God…serving in Joy… which sounds wonderfully romantic but sure is hard to pin down. It’s easier to say, “I’m a mom” or “I’m a flute player” or…

Anyhow, that being said, I’ve been pondering lately what my expectations should be. Is it reasonable to attempt a new hobby right now? IS this a stage of life… will I someday be able to join a community orchestra (how cool am i? i would like to join a community orchestra…or band…even nerdier)? I mean, I’d like to “someday” but i DON’T want to now…not only because it’s not logistically possible, but it would stretch me too thin…i honestly don’t WANT to yet…but I do want to eventually. Again, at the same time it seems a shame to let such a thick layer of dust gather on that gift. For now I’ll just make an effort to practice…

That’s just one small example. I’m not sure the answer…I’m just thinking about it lately. Especially in regards to: Do we have more children? If so, when? Am I ready to give up another piece of myself? Is Ryan? How does this work? The spirit is willing…and sometimes the flesh is too…but not always. I’ve noticed when my mind is focused more closely on “Heavenly matters” I am aware of an acute lack…someone is missing from the family. I get excited at the prospect of the kids with another sibling, of another small person Ryan and I get to share our love and life with…that we get to see grow in the ‘knowledge and admonition of the Lord’. Then…the other times (& even sometimes at THE SAME TIME)…it feels like i may not be able to ‘handle’ another moment in “small people depending on me for 98-100% of everything they do & need” land. It seems we’re on the cusp of some independence…even tiny things like Asher can go upstairs & get himself dressed entirely by himself…wow. Imagine…all of us just getting dressed at the same time instead of in shifts. I know it’s a stage. But the flesh is weak.

In the women’s bible study I’ve been attending we’re going through the book, “Stepping Heavenward“. This past week was the first i’ve read any (they’re almost done, and I just started attending)…and the following quote resounded so strongly for me. It’s exactly what I occasionally feel & always desire to feel. This is where I am…and I’m so happy for it. I’m so grateful for it. What a blessing that I have the opportunity to hang some non-eternal leisure and pursuits on the shelf..whether temporarily or permanently, in order to gain a “friend” more dearer than them all….to whom I get to minister in Christ’s name. I apologize it’s such a long quote, but I promise well worth the time to read:

Here is a sweet, fragrant mouth to kiss; here are two more feet to make music with their pattering about my nursery. Here is a soul to train for God; and the body in which it dwells is worthy all it will cost, since it is the abode of a kingly tenant. I may see less of friends, but I have gained one dearer than them all, to whom, while I minister in Christ’s name, I make a willing sacrifice of what little leisure for my own recreation my other darlings had left me. Yes, my precious baby, you are welcome to your mother’s heart, welcome to her time, her strength, her health, her most tender cares, to her lifelong prayers! Oh, how rich I am, how truly, how wondrously blest!

And by the way, thanks mom…for the investment of YOUR youth in me. It’s an example I am so grateful to have had. Ultimately, as with everything else…it’s NOT about me. I know God will unfold His plan in His time. In the meantime…I ponder.

Let’s Try This Again

So, I’ve mentioned already this morning my new penchant for whining & complaining.  In fact, even as I type, my mind is whirling with petty complaints & “blahs”.  I say this not to complain more, but because it’s easy to put on the happy face.  Especially blogging.  To only share the amazing parts of life.   don’t get me wrong, I mostly want to share & read about the amazing parts.  No one wants to be bogged down with drudgery & complaint. But in case you weren’t aware…yeah, it’s not always roses.  ;)

Anyhow, I was just thinking about this little nugget coming up, and decided to make an executive decision to allow the children to take a bath instead of shower this morning so i can sit (in the bathroom with the laptop) and share it with ya’ll.  Lest I leave us all on a grumpy whiny note for the day.

This morning while going through my blog reader, I read this post on the GTS site about treasuring Christ while studying in seminary.  Clearly I’m not in seminary, but it’s a good point for all of us to remember.  Anyhow, the following quote struck me deeply and I’ve been meditating on it the past hour. I don’t think we need to be constantly walking around literally weeping about the Goodness of God or that emotion is the only indication of spirituality.  However, especially for someone like me, who is just wired somewhat emotionally (it was once suggested that i “worship with my tears” due to the fact that I can hardly talk about anything related to Christ without breaking down…and I often cry at random moments, like communion or while singing or the reading of a passage of scripture that moves me…ha).  So for me to read this was deeply moving and like a medicine to my whiny self-centered soul.

Make sure your heart is still sensitive. Here’s a quick test. See what (if any) affectional responses you have to these words: Jesus. Gospel. Grace. Sovereign. Cross. Mercy. Glory.  At least some times, our eyes should be wet against the beauty of these words, these truths.

My personal favorites:  Gospel, Grace, Mercy.

As I read on another blog yesterday, how am i today?  “I am better than I deserve to be”.   Let our eyes be “wet against the beauty of these words, these truths.”   Thanks Paul.

It is Well

Most mornings, the kids & I start our day with “circle time”. After breakfast & getting dressed, we gather in the office, read a chapter from a kids bible (since we do the Jesus Storybook Bible at night we’re going through The Big Picture Story Bible right now), pray together, work on scripture memorization (been on a break over the holidays), and then sing a hymn. This week we’ve started learning “It is wll with my soul”.

So today we talked about what the words in the first stanza & refrain mean. Asher latched onto the concept immediately & delved into discussion about heaven. Questions like, “will there be toys in heaven?”

Later he hurt his thumb and fussed and then said, “it’s okay though, it’s still well with my soul”.

I so enjoy getting a front row seat of his mind at work.

Anyhow, during the heaven talk he got excited & did his “smile & lean in conspiratorially” thing saying, “and when Jesus comes back we’ll get to go back in Eden!”.

I almost cried. I swear i’ve never told him this…at least not in one coherent thought. But it was a logical piecing together of what he does know. I just find that piecing together so fascinating. Kids really are amazing!

A few weeks ago in the beginning of The Big Picture Story Bible, when Adam & Eve are sent from the garden, there is a picture of angels with flaming swords. He asked about it when we read that. I explained how Adam & Eve (& all people) were no longer allowed in the garden. That was the end of the discussion. Other than liking the swords he didn’t linger on it. Just when you think they’re not paying attention.

Course if you ask him to go upstairs & get his slippers that are sitting on the floor right next to his bed, under his calendar. He will come back down empty handed declaring, “i can’t find them. can you get them for me?” And then Grace will go up & find them immediately. Go figure.

Forgetful

1 peter 3:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Read that on the bus this morning… had a tough day at work… read it again on my way home from work.

Question: How did I manage to forget it in between?