Friday, September 29, 2006
She has a show on the Food Network.
I love the Food Network.
I hate Sandra Lee. Okay, I don't really hate her. God bless her.
Her show is called "Semi-Homemade" or something like that and she is all about telling us how we can cook fancy schmancy things, but cut the prep time in half by using pre-made and pre-packaged ingredients. I'm with her on that. Sounds like a good idea.
However, a couple weeks ago, as we were discussing our favorite shows on The Food Network, the topic of Sandra Lee came up. My sister said, "Did you ever notice that shc changes her outfit and REDECORATES her kitchen based upon the items being prepared that day?" I said, "No, I hadn't noticed at all."
So, the next time I watched, sure enough, it was a Mexican theme and Sandra was wearing a brightly colored "Mexican" looking outfit and the kitchen had been decorated to match the theme and the dress.
So, I watched the next day. And, Sandra was wearing white and blue, and sure enough, the kitchen...everything in it from curtains to canisters was now white and blue.
And, I thought, what a waste of time. Here is a person trying to show you how you can save time by using prepared foods to get that homemade taste and she is obsessing each day about her kitchen colors and redecorating to match her menu. Wow, how stupid is that!
So, then I noticed an ad for the Fall season shows on The Food Network and when they did a close-up of Sandra Lee, she looked old and wrinkly...well, not as old and wrinkly as me, but older and more wrinkled than on her show. The next time I watched her show, I noticed the soft focus on everything!
Hmmmmm. I thought. I wonder how old Sandra Lee is. So, guess what I did? I googled.
I couldn't find her age on her web-page, but I came across a blog called "I Loathe Sandra Lee".
Here is the photo on that blog. That was my laugh for the day! But, I still don't know how old Sandra is. Guess I'll have to check wikipedia! In the meantime, I'm sticking with Rachel Ray.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
I saw this article on The Drudge Report today. Back when I was at the U of MN, I once had a squirrel climb me!
Have you had a bad squirrel experience?
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
That is a first for us. I can't think of anyone in the world, over the 29 years we have been married who has made the choice to actively no longer be a part of our lives. The fact that two of the families are GCM pastor's families is especially sad and troubling. One of these pastors made the decision without speaking a word to Terry. Titus 3:10 misinterpreted is a very bad thing.
My nephew Jon, who has spent the last 20 or so years working with cults and other highly authoritarian groups tells me that shunning like this is an emotional form of control...and, I know it is. Who wants to live with the idea that there are people who you thought were your friends who no longer want to be a part of your lives?
I believe the families who left are deceived. I don't hate them. I feel really sorry for them and think they have made a big mistake. Not because they prefer not to associate with us, but because they have given up some of their critical thinking skills (like being unwilling to check out both sides of issues under the assumption given them by the men over them that to hear the other side is to listen to gossip or slander). So, in a way, I pity them.
I have decided to add a link. It's the GCM Statement of Error.
I am doing this not to be obnoxious or divisive, but in the hopes that some members of GCM churches and some in leadership will read it and realize that the things Terry mentioned in his blog are pretty much the things they addressed in their statement of error, but seem to have forgotten they apologized for OR perhaps, they never really meant the apology. In either case, they are currently doing a lot of those things. And, it would benefit them greatly if they dealt with the issues rather than dealing with the people mentioning the issues.
I would call their attention to Roman Numeral I--A PRIDEFUL ATTITUDE. And the subcategories under it of "Improper Response to Criticism" and "An Elitist Attitude" since the charge of pride seemed to be the most offensive part of Terry's post. And, the improper response to criticism is playing out loud and clear in the Co-op shun.
So, where am I at right now?
The bottom line for me is that I love God, I love my family, and I love my friends. And, that's a wonderful place to be.
And, to the families who left Co-op...you are always welcome back.
Mark 7: 6-13
6 And he said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; 7 in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men. 8 You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men." 9 And he said to them, "You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! 10 For Moses said, Honor your father and your mother; and, Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die. 11 But you say, If a man tells his father or his mother, Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban (that is, given to God)-- 12 then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, 13 thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do."
I want to HOLD TO the commandments of God and LEAVE the traditions of men.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
What Muppet are you?
You are Kermit the Frog.You are reliable, responsible and caring. And you have a habit of waving your arms about maniacally.FAVORITE EXPRESSIONS:"Hi ho!" "Yaaay!" and "Sheesh!" FAVORITE MOVIE:"How Green Was My Mother" LAST BOOK READ:"Surfin' the Webfoot: A Frog's Guide to the Internet" HOBBIES:Sitting in the swamp playing banjo. QUOTE:"Hmm, my banjo is wet."
Take this quiz!
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Mark D. (Driscoll) writes on his blog:
"More than ever, I really love Mars Hill. There is no desire in me to do anything but what I'm doing with the people I'm doing it with. I often tell my people that I am giving them my life and intend to preach my own funeral and then climb into my coffin and shut the lid to go see Jesus. The work is hard, we are stretched beyond our limits right now, and I'm actually home sick with the flu after some really long work days lately along with the other elders and deacons. But, deep down I'm really happy. I have seen my kids born in Mars Hill, seen the lives of everyone in my family changed by Mars Hill, and seen myself been transformed by my brothers and sisters in Mars Hill. Not to denigrate any other church, but this is a special place and I'm honored and humbled to be here. And I'm having a lot of fun."
I think I know what he means...but, I think this statement wasn't thought out very well. Or, if it was...it's bad!
And, since it's my blog and I can get picky, I will tell you why I think it's bad. I think it's dangerous to type statements like "seen the lives of everyone in my family changed BY Mars Hill". God changes lives. Give God the glory. End of rant on that point.
Also, the phrase "this is a special place" is walking on a land mine. Every cult says that. Watch out, Mark D.!
So, am I going to boycott the Party with Piper and Mark D. event this weekend?
No, way, I'm not that closed minded, plus, I paid $100!
Thursday, September 21, 2006
While home he received a phone call survey from the NRA. They told him about some new law somewhere that would not allow people to have guns in their homes and the survey question was, "What would you do if someone came into your home to take away your guns?"
My husband's answer....
"I'd shoot 'em!"
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Here's a passage on worship that Terry read to me this morning that hit home for both of us:
First, the true diagnosis of weak worship is not that our people are coming to get and not give. Not a few pastors scold their people that the worship services would be lively if people came to give instead of to get. There is a better diagnosis.
People ought to come to corporate worship services to get. They ought to come starved for God. They ought to come saying, "As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for you, O God." (Psalm 42:1) God is profoundly honored when people know that they will die of hunger and thirst unless they have God. And it is my job as a preacher to spread a banquet for them. I must show them from Scripture what they are really starving for--God--and then feed them well until they say, "Ahhh." That is worship.
Second, seeing the essence of worship as satisfaction in God will make corporate worship radically God-centered.
Nothing makes God more supreme and more central than when people are utterly persuaded that nothing--not money or prestige or leisure or family or job or health or sports or toys or friends--is going to bring satisfaction to their aching hearts besides God. This conviction breeds people who go hard after God on Sunday morning.
If the focus shifts onto our giving to God, instead of His giving Himself to us, one result is that subtly it is not God who remains at the center but, instead, the quality of our giving. Are we singing worthily of the Lord? Are our instrumentalists playing with quality fitting a gift to the Lord? This all sounds noble at first. But little by little the focus shifts off the utter indispensability of the Lord Himself and onto the quality of our performances. And we even start to define excellence and power in terms of the technical distinction of our artistic acts.
Nothing keeps God at the center of worship like the biblical conviction that the essence of worship is deep, heartfelt satisfaction in Him and the conviction that the pursuit of that satisfaction is why we are together.
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Here it is for your viewing pleasure.
Friday, September 15, 2006
She got all registered and then we went over to get our ballots. We walked over to the voting booth and I finished voting and picked up my ballot and much to my surprise found a ballot under it. At first I thought, "Oh, my, there are two ballots, what a big election!" Then, I realized that the election judge had given me TWO initialed ballots...so I voted a second time! No! I turned around and said to the ballot person, "You gave me two ballots!"
There was an awkward moment of silence as I handed her the extra ballot thus exposing her blunder.
The man at the door gave us an extra "I voted" sticker so my cousin Dianne from IL could proudly wear one as we walked in the door to our house where everyone else was gathered and visiting. And, as it turns out she could have voted, since I had the extra ballot!
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
But as great as all that was, the highlight was we got a wave from Josh Rabe! (Do you think it had anything to do with the sign we had that was composed of three large pieces of tagboard that said, "WE HEART JOSH #11"? and the fact that my cousin who made the sign called his family down the road to tell them we would be there and they were going to let him know?)
Since he hasn't been playing, I knew that our only for sure chance of seeing him would be right before the game when he comes out to throw with the rest of the team. Sure enough, as he was heading towards us we held up our large signs...and began wiggling them. He looked up, then away, then up again kind of quizzically, then, he kind of squinted to see who was holding the signs, then he held his gloved hand high in the air and gave a big wave!
Thus, ends another Josh Rabe story.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Ten Signs of a Safe Group Leader
1. A safe group/leader will answer your questions without becoming judgmental and punitive.
2. A safe group/leader will disclose information such as finances and often offer an independently audited financial statement regarding budget and expenses. Safe groups and leaders will tell you more than you want to know.
3. A safe group/leader is often democratic, sharing decision making and encouraging accountability and oversight.
4. A safe group/leader may have disgruntled former followers, but will not vilify, excommunicate and forbid others from associating with them.
5. A safe group/leader will not have a paper trail of overwhelmingly negative records, books, articles and statements about them.
6. A safe group/leader will encourage family communication, community interaction and existing friendships and not feel threatened.
7. A safe group/leader will recognize reasonable boundaries and limitations when dealing with others.
8. A safe group/leader will encourage critical thinking, individual autonomy and feelings of self-esteem.
9. A safe group/leader will admit failings and mistakes and accept constructive criticism and advice.
10. A safe group/leader will not be the only source of knowledge and learning excluding everyone else, but value dialogue and the free exchange of ideas.
I receive no pay for being the director. My children pay full tuition to attend. It’s a volunteer position.
My roll during the school year involves saying an opening prayer, giving announcements, leading in the pledge, and giving out birthday pencils. It’s a Co-op that was set in motion over 16 years ago and has pretty much kept going all this time with minimal changes in the program. About a third to a half of the members attend an Evergreen church.
In the last week, I have received two calls from Evergreen pastor’s families that attend Co-op thinking they may need to pull out of Co-op because I’m the director and they wonder whether or not they can look me in the eye knowing what we think after reading Terry's infamous blog post.
What I can’t figure out is why they could look me in the eye all year long during Co-op. They certainly knew what we thought after a year and a half of patient discussions about what we thought. Good grief, we left Evergreen over a year ago over what we thought about the organization.
One pastor mentioned to Terry that calling him proud was hurtful.
So I want to address that issue. Did Terry call the Evergreen pastors proud? Because that certainly would be hurtful if he did.
Going back to the post you will find what he said. Here it is:
“But before I go any further, let me qualify the bluntness and offer a disclaimer. I am not saying that Evergreen pastors are all proud men. I still count some of them as my friends (at least until this post) and would not want to be so strident and insulting as that.”
and then he goes on to say:
“I suppose you could say I’m challenging entrenched theology, philosophy, policy and assumptions, not people.”
This is probably one reason to put the post back up. It was quite lengthy and people may have skimmed over some important parts or might be remembering what they thought it said, rather than what it actually said.
So, then, what did Terry mean by using the phrase “culture of pride.” Of course he is the only one who can speak for himself, but here’s what I think.
“And then, from this leadership ethos flows a kind of exclusivism, elitism and exaggerated expectation of organization loyalty that seems to us unhealthy.”
In the both the local and national teaching there is an expectation of loyalty to “the group for the rest of your life.” This is a form of pride. It comes across as, “We are the best so you should never leave.” It’s “team spirit” taken way too far.
In the local teaching, I have heard, “Be careful who you listen to and what books you read (of course you should be careful),” but then the speaker goes on to say, “All you need is right here is this church.” That is what I would call elitism implying that they have the only teaching that you need.
This “culture of pride” sort of takes on a life of its own.
Terry was challenging an organization in the hopes of helping them see some flaws that had hurt them in the past and seemed to be showing up again. After all, pride was one of the things they apologized for in the 13 page 1991 Statement of Apology and Error.
That said, I want to address the issue of slander and division.
Here’s what I think is slander.
Terry has tried as best as he could to research both sides of this issue, he presented it in as loving a manner as he could after spending untold hours researching things and trying to talk directly with several pastors about the specifics. No one would address the substance of the history. No one would even look at the information he had from Wellspring to refute it.
And, now, the word that is going around is that he is slandering people and being divisive. I, personally, think this is slander. Terry was talking about an organization, not people and doing it because he saw a significant flaw that was hurting the group.
And, as long as I am on a roll, let me tell you a couple of other things that we have kept to ourselves till now.
When it became apparant that we needed to leave, we were asked to come up with a statement that could help the pastors answer any questions about why we left without them having to tell our entire story. The statement was a couple sentences that said we left over church government and church loyalty. It didn't begin to express why we left...that took a 22 page blog post, but we were trying to be helpful so came up with a short statement that could be used. It got down to the tweaking of the words in a few back and forth e-mails and then we were asked to agree to use this statement and to say nothing more if people asked us why we left. We did not agree to this.
About two weeks after we submitted our letter of resignation, we received a two page response letter from the Bloomington pastors. They expressed how they disagreed with our conclusions and said that we "missed the mark," "were unfair," "were inaccurate," and had "borderline defamed them". Then they went on to say that in spite of all of this they vowed to speak honorably about us to others and hoped we would do the same. That was their right.
Within a week of sending us this letter, and without our permission, they sent a copy of that letter to our grown children who still attended Evergreen. That is not what you do when you vow to speak honorably about someone. But, as Terry said, one of the issues we had when we left (and something GCM apologized for in the 1991 statement) was that they interfered between parents and their grown children. So, we weren't surprised.
And, finally, in our final meeting with one of the founding pastors we were told, "You realize that if you go around telling people that you think we are wrong, we are going to have to defend ourselves." What was that supposed to mean? I tried to put it in the best light and assume it meant that they would have to explain Biblically why they thought we were wrong, but it was an odd thing to say.
I have more to say, but I'm done for today.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
"The anonymous thing is a tough one. I have only been anonymous once in my life (it was a poem I wrote and sent to my dentist when I was 12 about how much I hated the dentist...poor guy!).
But, as a parent, I do have some sympathy for the "anonymous" person and wonder if sometimes people are anonymous not because they are cowards, but because they feel strongly that something needs to be said, but are trying to protect relationships. Sometimes I think life would have been easier for my children (and to be honest me!) this past year if we could have been anonymous about what we believed!"
I believe that more than ever now!
Monday, September 04, 2006
But when Cephas came to Antioch I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For before certain men came from James, he ate with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. And with him the rest of the Jews acted insincerely, so that even Barnabas was carried away by their insincerity But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, "If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?"
In other words, the behavior of Paul and Barnabas amounted to a new commandment to the Gentiles that they must virtually become Jews.
Notice what was at stake here. It was the truth of the gospel (v.14). There are actions that so contradict the truth of the gospel that they cannot be countenanced. Paul knew that when the truth goes, the gospel goes, and when the gospel goes, the souls of men perish. This was Paul's great strength. He never forgot that truth issues are ultimately people issues.
Peter and Barnabas were wrong. Their actions were out of step with the truth of the gospel. Why had Barnabas been swept away in this error? Why did a few men coming from Jerusalem cause Peter and Barnabas to conform to their expectations rather than stand up for the principle of gospel liberty?
Here is the weakness of a great man. Here the bubble of idealism bursts on the needle of reality. Our hero is fallible and imperfect after all.
And, the summary:
- Great saints go astray—sons of thunder and sons of encouragement.
- The ministry is made up of many judgment calls, and we will have to learn to disagree on some things without rancor or bitterness or resentment.
- Every strength has its corresponding weakness and we are all vulnerable.
- Therefore we need each other's different strengths and mustn't envy one another but rather give thanks for God's wisdom.
- Past experiences and past usefulness are no guarantee of future obedience. Successful Christian living is made of vigilance and constant prayer.
- The cause of God will triumph through all the weaknesses and failures of his people. Our defeats are temporary and the celebration of our enemies is brief.
Sunday, September 03, 2006
Saturday, September 02, 2006
Shortly after Terry's post hit in mid-June, the gcmwarning.com (the web site is down and I'm wondering why) people contacted him and asked if they could put that post on their web site. Out of a desire to keep peace with our Evergreen friends in leadership, Terry asked them not to. They respected his wishes.
It is to be noted that since Terry's blog is public, they could have copied it and put it on their site without permission. They did not. And, we admire and thank them for that honorable act.
The word division used in Titus 3:10 is the Greek word for heretic. It's hairetikos. In fact, the King James Version of Titus 3:10 uses that word. So, if you aren't going to use a more literal version, you had better double check the original Greek (which you can find at crosswalk.com by finding your verse and scrolling to "KJV with Strong's numbers"...it's very handy.)
Titus 3:10 is right out of the GCM playbook and was the go-to verse used to excommunicate many members of GCM churches in the 70"s and 80's.
So, I will leave you with that verse from the KJV.
A man that is a heretic after the first and second admonition reject.
And, from the NIV.
Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him.
Friday, September 01, 2006
Terry has been asked by an Evergreen pastor to remove the post he wrote in mid-June explaining what came behind our decision to leave Evergreen. A sermon has been preached about how blogs like this are not of Christ. A friend who is a pastor's wife has called begging me to ask Terry to remove the blog. My heart is sick.
So, what should I/we do? Only God has that answer.
Intimidation is not a reason to remove the blog post.
Someone saying it is divisive is not a reason to remove the blog post. After all, the Truth can and often does divide.
If all the ECC pastor's would tell us to remove it, that wouldn't be a reason since over a year ago we resigned our membership from ECC, thus pulling ourselves out from their authority.
And, on the other hand, all the counselors, friends, former GCM church members in the world telling us to keep it posted is not a reason to keep it posted.
Like I say, my heart is sick. Our motives have been called into question both to our faces and to others. And, how do you judge your motives? Proverbs says, "He who trusts himself is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe." And, James says, "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him."
So, we are asking God.
I will end this post by re-posting part of an earlier post several months ago where I pondered my motives about this whole thing. It was written about a reference in an article on the web page of a GCM leader who was referring to the sense of betrayal when people leave. Here's what I wrote:
Now, of course, the bigger question for me is why do I care so much? Why do I still go to the web sites and read the articles?
I think it has to do with all the dear people who we have since heard of that have one by one, kindly, thoughtfully, and prayerfully gone to the leadership with their concerns and have been turned away who are now being viewed as traitors. Godly people who are being compared to Judas as they seek to put God first. (The article I mentioned in the previous post says, "We have lost a few and yes, it hurts and yes, there have been challenges. All movements of God have lost men. Even our Lord lost a few.")
And as I read things like this written by GCAC leaders, I just get kind of sick:
"If someone is going to “cross over” in their heart and join us, the steps are still the same. In our local church, in our region, in our movement.
Something isn't right. And, I can't figure it out. That phrase "cross over in their hearts and join us," is not of God.
What I can say is that God is in the business of seeking and saving the lost. God is in the business of changing lives. If your life has been turned around, it is not because you went to Evergreen, or Bethlehem, or Grace...it's because of God.
Give God the glory. Give God your lifelong commitment. Give God all the thanks, and praise and your unending loyalty and obedience. He is the only one who deserves it.
Finally, if you want to question our motives, call us divisive and destructive, warn others about our blog, cut off all ties with us...I can't stop you. I would, however, ask someone, sometime to address the substance of what Terry posted. Is it TRUE?
And, on a personal note, I would like to thank Nikki, Chris, and Katie, for not telling us about the e-mail on Monday when we met up at the Fair because you didn't want to ruin our family day at the Fair. Don't I have great kids?
I love my family.