O GOD OF MY EXODUS,
Great was the joy of Israel’s sons
when Egypt died upon the shore,
Far greater the joy
when the Redeemer’s foe lay crushed in the dust.
Jesus strides forth as the victor,
conqueror of death, hell, and all opposing might;
He bursts the bands of death,
tramples the powers of darkness down,
and lives for ever.
He, my gracious surety,
apprehended for payment of my debt,
comes forth from the prison house of the grave
free, and triumphant over sin, Satan, and death.
Show me herein the proof that his vicarious offering is accepted,
that the claims of justice are satisfied,
that the devil’s sceptre is shivered,
that his wrongful throne is levelled.
Give me the assurance that in Christ I died, in Him I rose,
in His life I live, in His victory I triumph,
in His ascension I shall be glorified.
Thou who wast lifted up upon a cross
art ascended to highest heaven.
Thou, who as man of sorrows wast crowned with thorns,
art now as Lord of life wreathed with glory.
Once, no shame more deep than Thine,
no agony more bitter, no death more cruel.
Now, no exaltation more high,
no life more glorious, no advocate more effective.
Thou art in the triumph car leading captive Thine enemies behind Thee.
What more could be done than Thou hast done!
Thy death is my life, Thy resurrection my peace,
Thy ascension my hope, Thy prayers my comfort.
I was informed by a man the other day that I could never understand the issue of ethnicity and race because I am only a “white woman”. He told me I could not possible have the capability to look past his color, yet it was he who would not look past mine. My ethnic background and heritage was totally dismissed by him as being “just white”. That became my character to this man. Because I was not black – and never will be – I could not be a part of a conversation, let alone part of a solution. I can only be part of the problem. Would his tune have changed had he known of my German and Irish heritage? Is he aware of the bigotry and biased my forefathers faced when coming to America from “the old country”?
Today, Senator Obama has some paths for [fill in the color] communities:
In the white community, the path to a more perfect union means acknowledging that what ails the African-American community does not just exist in the minds of black people; that the legacy of discrimination — and current incidents of discrimination, while less overt than in the past — are real and must be addressed. Not just with words, but with deeds — by investing in our schools and our communities; by enforcing our civil rights laws and ensuring fairness in our criminal justice system; by providing this generation with ladders of opportunity that were unavailable for previous generations. It requires all Americans to realize that your dreams do not have to come at the expense of my dreams; that investing in the health, welfare, and education of black and brown and white children will ultimately help all of America prosper.
For the African-American community, that path means embracing the burdens of our past without becoming victims of our past. It means continuing to insist on a full measure of justice in every aspect of American life. But it also means binding our particular grievances — for better health care, and better schools, and better jobs — to the larger aspirations of all Americans — the white woman struggling to break the glass ceiling, the white man whose been laid off, the immigrant trying to feed his family. And it means taking full responsibility for own lives — by demanding more from our fathers, and spending more time with our children, and reading to them, and teaching them that while they may face challenges and discrimination in their own lives, they must never succumb to despair or cynicism; they must always believe that they can write their own destiny.
Well, Senator Obama, I am all for breaking down the legacy of discrimination. I am all for the equality of all- just as stated in “The Constitution of the United States of America”. I am interested in the nation where every legal citizen – of every color, of every ethnic background, of every religion, of every walk of life, of both sexes – be afforded the SAME opportunities.
I think it flies in the face of everyone to hear of projects and programs that are geared to bring equality by making one portion of America “more equal” to make up for lost time. If you truly want to end racial bias – then stop making race the qualifying factor on everything. We say “Let’s look past color. We must look past color.” And then we hinge EVERYTHING on color. How does that make sense? Is it just me that doesn’t get it? We need to look at the socio-economic issues without color being the key data. A poor person with no opportunity is a poor person with no opportunity… whether they are of Asian descent, African descent, German descent, Mexican descent, etc. And if they are legal residents and citizens of the United States then they ARE the reason for the government – and when done right, they are the government itself. It is “of the people, by the people, FOR the people..” I checked my copy – there is no color coded adjective appended to people! I get that it hasn’t always been that way. It is that way now, so let’s move on! And if there is an area where it’s still not that way – let’s address it, and FIX it!
There are affirmative action programs out there that are not working. Let’s start by looking at those to see what needs to be done. Instead of throwing more money at things (which, by the way has not helped education in this country AT ALL), let’s step back and take a look at what we have going on now. Let’s look at the government programs and see what is wrong with them. And while we are designing the fixes, lets take a look at the programs as opportunities for “American communities”.
Because you see, Senator Obama – and anyone else willing to listen – that’s where I want to live. I want the “One America”, not the “White America”, not the “Black America”. I want the melting pot we once were. I want our culture to be “AMERICA”.
I have a dream…..
Raw data transcript available here
In our current Language Arts unit, Daughter Crysta is studying the morality play “Everyman”. This play, thought to be written anonymously in the late 1400’s is a wonderful example of Medieval allegorical drama. Although it is not as deep, nor based as truly to Scripture, as Bunyon’s “Pilgrim Progress”, this play is about Death coming to Everyman – and Everyman’s journey.
If this type of reading interests you, as it does me, an online copy can be found here.
Below is MESSENGER’s Prologue:
I pray you all give your audience,
And hear this matter with reverence,
By figure a moral play–
The Summoning of Everyman called it is,
That of our lives and ending shows
How transitory we be all day.
This matter is wondrous precious.
But the intent of it is more gracious,
And sweet to bear away.
The story saith: Man, in the beginning,
Look well, and take good heed to the ending,
Be you never so gay!
Ye think sin in the beginning full sweet,
Which in the end causeth the soul to weep.
When the body lieth in clay.
Here shall you see how Fellowship and Jollity,
Both Strength, Pleasure, and Beauty,
Will fade from thee as flower in May.
For ye shall hear how our Heaven King
Calleth Everyman to a general reckoning.
Give audience, and hear what he doth say…..
Okay, so I’m having some real fun here at home with pictures from our recent photo shoot. Man – I’m loving Digital 10!
Hope you have a blessed weekend.
The footage in the video [below] is from several years ago. I’m on the Internet daily and I had never heard of this form of breast cancer….. I’m guessing there might be others like me out there.
Please take a few minutes and watch this information.
I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men, with a favorable presumption that they did not wrong. If there is any presumption it is the other way against holders of power, increasing as the power increases. Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. All power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority.
- Lord Acton in a letter to Mandell Creighton (April, 1887)
Brian Anstey, 31, and Elka Shapiro, 29, were married recently in New York State. The couple, who say they have no religious affiliation, decided to play up the major factor of their relationship – laughter!
With laughter as your wedding theme, what else could you possibly do but ask Kathy Griffin to officiate your wedding? Because Kathy has a unique relationship with Jesus. (see here) Ummm – yeah, don’t follow that link if you are easily offended! She even went through the ordeal of online ordination in order to accomodate these die-hard fans.
You can follow this link for more information.
So what’s next? Dane Cook [with on online law degree] granting divorces?
I’m just saying……..
he don’t have a belly button!!
We have the grandbaby over tonight. Last time we introduced her to rice cereal – this time we introduced her to something fun!! Veggie Tales!
When our youngest was growing up, we had all the Veggie Tales on VHS. We all watched, and enjoyed them. As the years went by, we got rid of the VHS tapes (retired the player) and started replacing them with DVDs.
Well, the kids got older and the VT’s got watched less and less. So we never replaced them all. Well now there are grandchildren to introduce to stories with good morals and a biblical application at the end – delivered by none other than QWERTY, Bob and Larry’s faithful computer.
Here was tonight’s “Silly Songs with Larry” portion of our program. I thought you might enjoy it too.
Be blessed. May your time of worship tomorrow be edifying to you, and glorifying to Him.
I home school – and I’m down to our last child. Home schooling gives unique opportunities to those who learn there, and to those who facilitate there. One of those opportunities is to read books that you would not have in your hands in the public school.
Daughter Crysta has just finished reading “In His Steps” by Charles M. Sheldon. This book is over 100 years old and yet it still holds relevance to today’s church. The book is a fictional outlay of an idea that Sheldon preached in his own church. The interesting thing is that Sheldon, himself, was a Christian Socialist, and did not stress personal redemption from sin in Christ. No, Sheldon – true to Socialism itself – was all about the practicalities of living a moral life. While I don’t ascribe to this form of teaching, I do love what this book says about being a disciple of Christ. *Update: Thanks to dmark for his comment below. I was not suggesting with this post that socialism is about living a moral life. As I commented to him, I appended information from another source “mid-thought”. What I meant to say here was that Sheldon was a socialist. His book was not about confronting sin, or redemption from Christ, but about applying Christian standards at a socialist level in order to even the playing field in a moral manner. Reading the book, you can clearly see Sheldon’s socialist leanings.
For those who haven’t read this timeless classic; an out-of-work printer – living as a hobo – came into the church of one Pastor Henry Maxwell. He challenged the people of the congregation to explain what their singing truly meant…. what did it mean when they sang about taking up the cross and following Him. The hobo could not see how that was happening. All he could see was a group of well dressed, finely fed “Christians”.
The hobo dies, and the pastor is so pressed by the Holy Spirit that he comes to his congregation and asks for volunteers to live a life dedicated to living in a manner they personally deemed Jesus would live. Each decision was to be prefaced with the question, “What would Jesus do?”
There were guidelines for this dedication that I will leave for you to read in the book. My point of this blog is not to regurgitate the book to you. However, there is something in the last chapter of the book I want to share with you. It is powerful. It is thought provoking. It is something I would ask you to chew on – as I know I am chewing on it.
The passage follows the continuation below. I hope you will take time to read it.
Tonight has been quite blessed. Barry and I spent time together watching Dennis DeYoung on PBS, and we are now listening to the video feed of Dr. Al Mohler speaking from Grace Community Church at the Shepherd’s Conference.
Have a wonderful weekend in the Lord.
Imagine my surprise when hubby, Barry, said “Oh, honey! We need to turn on PBS….. Dennis DeYoung (founding father of the band ‘Styx’) is performing with the symphony!”
It is a pre-recorded performance, but it’s still really cool! This man is sixty-one years old and, if possible, his voice has gotten BETTER over the years! Now this is how music should sound.
They are showing this, even as I type, on NET1. Dennis is actually IN the studio live to help pimp supporting PBS. It is very cool. He will be in Omaha in May. Oh, and how sweet – he just brought his wife of 38 years out to introduce her on television!
Okay, I’m off of here to watch, and enjoy, with my sweetie. I’m leaving you with a YouTube clip of one of his performances…….
Have a wonderful evening!!
Today I’d like to give you typical steps to CRAM a book of the Bible. As I said in detail in part II, CRAM is an acronym for Character and Truth of God, Responsibility of the Believer, Attitudes and Actions, and Meditation.
Here’s what a day of CRAMming might look like for you:
1. Pray, asking God to help you gain understanding from your reading and to apply it to your heart.
2. Read the first (or next) chapter of the book being CRAMmed. Apply the CRAM principles to the verses you have selected from your reading. (I tend to take those verses that flow together. Unless it is a small chapter, I don’t attempt to CRAM it in its entirety!)
3. Taking each of the selected verses, look for the C contained in them. Be sure to list those things you see that pertain to the character of God, or that pertain to the truth of God.
4. Next, go through the selected verses again, this time looking for the R contained in them. You are looking for those examples of the actions and attitudes of a believer. Scripture is chocked full of examples of the godly path a believer should follow.
5. Now, repeat this process for A. Remember, this time you are looking at yourself specifically. While looking at those things listed in both C and R, what attitudes do you need to change? What actions must you take for your life to be on the godly path exampled in Scripture? It is important that you be specific. Changes should be tangible, sensible and specific. Grand visions are not often completed but step by step actions can be accomplished by God’s grace. We want our changes to be God glorifying. In order to do this, we must fill any changes made to negative behaviors with positive behaviors. If you give up watching television during a specific time, you need to fnd something God glorifying to fill that time. You will easily gravitate back to the bad habit if you leave a void that will cause boredom.
6. Now it is time for M – Meditation. While memory of scripture is not the goal of this portion, it is important to our walk as believers. As you meditate on the scripture you have selected – as you read and re-read the chapters in the book you are studying – you may just find that God has freed your mind up and that you are memorizing verses! Write down 1 – 3 verses from the section studied and place them where you will see the verses throughout the day. If you have identified an attitude during study that you wish to have “set before you” for correction, you may want to select verses from other areas of the Bible that pertain to that attitude. Writing these verses on 3×5 cards will give you a collection of God’s word that you can review over and over. I have several spiral bound sets of 3×5 cards that I use somewhat like a perpetual calendar. I am lousy at memorization, but I have found this tool has really helped me in that area.
7. Pray, thanking God for His Word and for His grace and help to put off sin and to put on godly choices.
I pray I have given you some useful information that will help you in your study. If this is too vague, or if you have any questions, feel free to comment or e-mail me and I will help you however I can. A day of my personal study of Psalm 119, using CRAM follows the continuation of this post.
I pulled this from Phil Johnson’s latest posting at Pyromaniacs. The posting is entitled ‘Tastes Great; Less Filling’, and it is from an article published last year in GraceTrax. The statement below is so true, even today. Evangelicals need to be ready to stand for the true meaning of the Gospel. We need to be equipped with the truth – ready in season and out! Be sure to go read the post in its entirety.
The Gospel in Brief
The entire New Testament makes it clear that the gospel demands a response of faith and offers salvation and eternal life to all who do believe (Romans 1:16; Ephesians 1:13). In very simple terms, the gospel is the good news of how full redemption from sin has been accomplished solely through the atoning work of Christ, and how it can be applied to sinners (cf. 2 Timothy 1:10).But what are the essential facts and doctrines that make up the gospel message? The apostle Paul summarized the gospel succinctly in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4. That passage is an outline only, and not an exhaustive treatise on the gospel, but it is perhaps the best starting place in all the New Testament to get a concise overview of what the gospel message consists of. Notice that Paul makes it clear both here and elsewhere that a correct understanding (and proclamation) of the gospel includes not only the historical facts of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection but also the true meaning of those events “according to the Scriptures.” So even though some might suggest that Paul’s shorthand gospel outline omits certain other doctrines Christians generally regard as fundamental precepts of gospel truth (such as Christ’s deity and incarnation—or the authority and inspiration of the Scriptures), those things are necessary presuppositions of the facts Paul does list. Those and many other truths are included implicitly in the words “according to the Scriptures.”Jesus’ deity, for example, is essential to a right understanding of what Paul means by “Christ.” The principles of substitutionary atonement and justification by faith permeated all of Paul’s teaching and consumed his energies when he wrote in defense of the gospel, so that there’s no doubt he regarded those truths as utterly non-negotiable, too. It would be a serious mistake to conclude that because he omitted explicit mention of those points in this summary, he must have regarded them as extraneous to the gospel message. They are clearly assumed and subsumed in the statement “Christ died for our sins.” Remember, Paul condemned the Galatian false teachers for proclaiming a different gospel (Galatians 1:8-9), even though nothing suggests they ever disputed any of the historical facts Paul gives in 1 Corinthians 15. Instead, their error related to the question of whether obedience to the law was instrumental in justification (Galatians 2:16). That, Paul said, is a fatal corruption of the gospel.
As I said in part I , this is a tool to study the Bible created by Associate Pastor Chris Peterson of Omaha Bible Church. He based this tool on a study of Colossians.
Today, I would like to go over what each portion of the acronym CRAM stands for, and what to do for it.
C-Character and Truth of God
While CRAMming verses, you look for those things stating the character of God, or one of His truths. This could be something such as -Omniscient- for a character, or Arrogance/pride breeds boastful speech as a stated truth of God through His word. Remember, there is no right or wrong. Entering this with a prayerful attitude will help you see what God wants you to see.
R-Responsibility of the Believer
Look at any demonstrated path the text shows for the believer in God, including specific heart values, attitudes and actions. Note these choices and actions. This part of the CRAM is not about us specifically yet – it is to give a Scriptural example to us.
This might look like:
1. Cheerfully bow the heart, mind and will before the Creator
2. Be encouraged that the proud do not triumph against God
3. Praise Him that he is not A god, but THE God who rules the universe
Now you may already be thinking ahead and realizing that we will be using this information for our next step, which IS about us specifically.
A – Attitudes and Actions
Based on the character/truths, as well as the godly path demonstrated in the text being studied, what must I repent of/change to be on that godly path? Changes should be tangible, sensible and specific. Grand visions are not often completed, but step by step actions can be accomplished through God’s grace.
If you are “putting off” something – removing something that is harming your walk on the path, be sure you are “putting on” something helpful in your walk in its place. If you remove a habit, you will quickly become bored and return to that habit if you are not filling that space with something else. So, if you stop watching television from 6 – 8 pm, what can you do in that time frame that will help you on your godly walk? Note these things specifically so you have a concrete idea of what you are striving for.
Meditation is the deep continued thought coming from a desire to press down and work out the truths being studied into every area of your life. Memorization will more than likely spring from our thinking about the verse or verses so much and so often.
Write down 1-3 verses from the section studied. Or, if you have seen an attitude in your studying that you strongly desire to keep in front of you for correction, select Scripture that will help you reach the goal of changing that attitude. I like to do a bit of both in my personal study. Write these verses down on 3×5 cards, or on sticky notes and place them in areas where you will see them during the day. One instructor suggested moving them around during the day – so their appearance does not become so common place that you take the words for granted. (Sort of like walking around that pile of clothes at the laundry room door thinking you’ll pick them up later … you eventually stop seeing the clothes altogether!)
Next post I will give the steps for CRAMming, and some examples from my personal CRAMming of Psalm 119, I am currently working through.
This is how it was explained to me when I asked about its origin: The foundation of the CRAM method is S.S.D.O.P. = Supremacy, Sufficiency, Dependency, Obedience and Praise. Chris developed it based on the book of Colossians. Colossians can basically be broken out like this: Col 1 is Sovereignty (Supremacy specifically v13) Col. 1-2 Sufficiency, Col 3.1-4 Dependence, Col 3:5-14 Obedience, Col 3.15-17 is Praise. A car analogy was used as an example. When we have a car and think it is Supreme then it will be Sufficient and thus we will not look for another car. We will Depend on the car: we will drive it and not bum rides or take a bus. We will then Obey the car by taking care of its maintenance and wash it. If we think it is sufficient and supreme, we depend on it and obey its needs…then we will Praise our car, “This van is great! It gets great gas millage, I’ve never had to repair it, it rides so smooth, etc…”
CRAM is an acronym for Character and Truth of God, Responsibility of the Believer, Attitudes and Actions [needed by me], Meditation. It is a very flexible devotional tool. The key is to study an entire book all the way through to keep from misinterpreting the writer’s meaning and to preserve context.
The CRAM works for the entire Bible, but some books are easier for those beginning with this method. These books were suggested as a “launching point”: James, Colossians, I Peter, I John, Titus, Ephesians, Philippians, Galatians, I & II Timothy and Romans.
In the next few posts, I will be covering how CRAM works. I hope you will check back in the next several days. I pray you will be blessed by this study tool, as I know I have.