Monday, December 25, 2006

Weezy's Wash Bars

Hey all you soap lovers. This is my mom, and she's very creative. Her current hobby (which is more like an art) is making soap. The soap bars she makes are amazing! She uses all natural ingredients like oatmeal, rain water, bees wax, and tea. Also, most of her soaps contain essential oils which emit such a wonderful odor you need to experience to understand. I have noticed a huge difference in the health of my skin after using her soaps. My skin is less dry, which is especially needed during these dry winter months. Mom also makes a lye soap for the laundry that noticeably whitens and softens clothes more than liquid detergent.
If you're interested getting a hold of some of Weezy's Wash Bars, email me at and we'll get you set up. She doesn't like to charge for her soaps, but I strongly suggest you support this ministry of hers by a small donation to cover the cost of materials (estimated 3 - 5 dollars per bar - well worth it).

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

If you like John Mayer, check out Warren Barfield!

I saw Warren Barfield live at Bethel College as he opened for Shane and Shane. Some people might be upset by this, but I think he gives John Mayer a run for his money. His Reach CD is excellent! Enjoy!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

The Robotic Tuner

Hey all you guitar players, check this out! My opinion, if you can't tune manually, buy a friend who can teach you to tune, not a robot.

Action Tuners website

A Good Works Sandwich

This is a letter I sent my Students a while back and I thought I would post it during the Christmas Season since many works oriented people try to rack up points during this most gracious of seasons. I hope it blesses you. Merry Christmas!

Good morning and good day,

I just had a really sweet time in the word I and I thought that I would share it with you as it may pertain to all of us by virtue of it being the Word of God, but more specifically, by relating to our "good works" this upcoming weekend.

I was in Titus, chapter 3: 1-11

I consider myself extremely blessed for many reasons. One reason at this particular time in my life is that I get to sit under biblical teaching on Tuesday and Wednesday nights at Bethlehem. One of my classes is called Diagramming and Arcing. In this class we are learning how to diagram sentences, and I'm learning all over again how to read the Bible! How exciting!

So last night and even this morning I was believing the lie that I'm saved by my works, not by His grace. That the ultimate deciding factor in my relationship with Christ is how well I love Him and serve Him. I was feeling downcast because I felt like my works as of late haven't been good enough to gain Christ's acceptance. (You can see what a terrible state I've been in-and likely so on the brink of a weekend of joyful service unto the King).

What better life-giving tool is there to dispense of lies than the faithful and true Word of God! Here is how I see the "good works sandwich" from Titus 3. How our "good works" are put in proper perspective.

Paul is speaking to Titus and instructing him how he is to deal with the church in various cities. In verse one he instructs to be submissive, obedient, and ready for every good work. He goes on with more behaviors to avoid and strive toward and why. He makes clear the state of our souls before the working of our Lord: foolish, lead astray, slaves, hated and hating (not a pretty picture). But then the glorious verse 4: "But when the the goodness and lovingkindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life" (Notice the role of the Trinity in our being saved!).

Here we can see that our works don't have anything to do with our being saved, or our standing before God. Every verb in this passage having to do with being saved is being performed by God Almighty. So what's the deal with our good works? Do they not matter? May it never be!

Verse 1 says we're to ready for every good work. In verse 5 we're assured that our good works don't save us. And in verse 8 is what I found particularly interesting this morning, and the reason for the title "Good Works Sandwich." Verse 8 says that Paul wants us to affirm and believe what he has just stated in previous verses " so that, those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works." Isn't that interesting.

Here's my paraphrase and summary. Paul wants to be ready for good works, so he dispels of our tendency to believe they are what saves us, then tells us how to be ready to do them. Every aspect of God saving us points away from our actions, so that our every action points to Him.

If someone is hungry, feed him. Perhaps give him a sandwich. Nobody would serve a sandwich with out bread. Though the absence of bread doesn't negate then fact that the contents of the sandwich are still good and nourishing, the bread adds something to the contents, even though it doesn't necessarily need it.

If someone is spiritually hungry, give him the Lord, wrapped up in the bread of your good works. How good and desirable is it when a hungering soul see you satisfied by the indication of your joyful works? God doesn't need your good works to make himself desirable or complete, but what an amazing grace to be a part of the work that God is doing.

Serve someone a good works sandwich today! Be encouraged!


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

What is it: Round 2

This round will be won by correctly guessing the location that this picture was taken. To get the answer totally correct, you must guess the country, body of water, and landmark. Good luck!

What happened to MN winters?

I can remember when I was a child waking up, and there was a different feeling about the house. Things seemed quieter, yet brighter and new. On winter mornings like that I would open the drapes to find a fresh, eight inch blanket of snow from the storm the night before. Throwing on my snowsuit (with moon-boots) and hurrying out to play was my first reaction because I knew school would be canceled because the buses couldn't get through. I feel bad for kids these days on multiple levels, but particularly about the absence of good, old fashion MN winters these days. When I was three I stepped into my first pair of cross-country skies. I have been skiing every winter from then on up until now. Even in the last couple years when the snow has been lousy, I've still been able to ski every now and again (granted it's more like ice skating since the snow is so hard and icy). I have taken up running which I really don't enjoy nearly as much as skiing, but it's growing on me. It seems that I have time to think when I run, even time to pray. What is it about Americans and multitasking? Whether or not the Lord opens up His storehouses of snow, He always pours out enough grace for His children to enjoy Him no matter the forecast.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

I'm going to repostsubbudge when I come back

I was playing scrabble with my team from Indonesia last summer and we were wondering, "If you can budge, can you unbudge, then rebudge? We deduced that it would be perfectly acceptable to both unbudge (a polite jesture) and rebudge (a redoing of that which was previously rude and unkind). Now suppose you were standing in line on a ladder, would it be possible to unsubbudge, or resubbudge? Personally I don't think we do enough waiting in line on ladders being that these words are unfamiliar and clearly not acceptable with my spell check program. Now lastly, if a man were to budge, then unbudge, then contemplate rebudgeing while on a ladder, which would be resubbudgeing, and he purposefully was going to wait until a certain allotted time which happened after a particular event, would he not technically resubpostbudging? I believe that the inverse would also be accurate if he had decided to preresubbudge.

All this to say, perhaps the scrabble dictionary is not proficient. Furthermore, if anyone could actually play the word preresubunbudging in a scrabble game, it would not only be the coolest thing I can think of, but worthy of far more than 50 points.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

What is it?

In an attempt to make the blog more interesting and diverse I'm starting a new section called "What is it?" This section consists of me posting a picture, and you guessing what it is. Isn't that exciting?! Here's the first one. In this case it's not so much what is it as it is "what made it?"

Scott guessed correctly (I think he cheated :-) Here is another picture that shows the crab making the sand balls. These are very fickle creatures.

Quote of the Week

"I don't drink, I'm a Methodist."
Former director of Planned Parenthood

This is sad on multiple levels.

Saturday, December 2, 2006

I love my family

I know Halloween is over, but stumbling across this picture it occurred to me that not sharing it with you is probably a sin. (Yes, that is his real hair and the dress was a gift from my father-in-law, nice).

Check out this video they created for their ministry called "Theater for the Thirsty."

Ephesians 5:25-33 is the hardest command in the Bible

I am continually astounded by the graciousness of my wife. She's not perfect, but she's perfect for me. The endeavor to be a good husband has been one of the most challenging things I've ever done, not because my wife is hard to lead, but because of the magnitude of the call. Though being a husband is hard, it's also very rewarding to have such sweet companionship.

By the grace of God, my wife and I are continually learning how to love each other, this is a bittersweet endeavor. The more I see my own inabilities to love my wife, the more I realize the way that Christ loved the church perfectly. I'm excited for the many years to come (Lord-willing) serving my wife. May the Lord give me grace to do so.

Friday, December 1, 2006