Sunday, March 31, 2013

March 2013 Journalling

1. Today I leave to speak at my first Ladies’ Retreat. My mom is coming as my guest. I am speaking on Who is this God we Serve? which is basically a review of the life of Christ. Tonight I speak on The Impact of Christ and Christianity on the World. I am surprisingly calm and even excited. That’s not like me. You must have been praying for me.

2. The second message was on Jesus, the God-Man and the third was on His Teaching and Miracles. I am feeling surprisingly bright, timing my meds with when I’m speaking. I took a nap and relaxed in our room. It’s nice to share a room with my Mom; we don’t actually spend this kind of time together even though she lives with us. I appreciate her support. The women are fun and are making us feel welcome.

3. The fourth session is entitled, His Crowning Work of Redemption. I am really enjoying teaching. I especially love it when they tell me about some new aspect of the gospel that they’ve never considered before; like how they never realized how the miracles Jesus did were representative and related to our redemption. Or they feel better prepared to share the gospel or defend the faith. That thrills me. I am excited that God has been opening doors for public speaking. The ladies said they’d like me to come to their church to lead some other Bible studies with them.

4.  I went to the dentist this morning. I was able to move my Neurology follow up appt. up by twenty days to this Wednesday. Maybe I need more tests, or perhaps I have to just wait till this pain syndrome passes or I become accustomed to the meds.

5. What was the first thing you ate or drank today?
          Coffee, and a fried egg on toast. The usual.

 6. Are you saving or spending?
           We are actively saving for a Mediterranean cruise trip next year when I turn fifty. We are waiting for our income tax return to spend on a few things for around the home.

7. On a scale of 1-10 how clean is your house? (10 being the cleanest)
            To a visitor it would probably look like a 7 or 8, but I know it’s a 4 because all my cupboards need to be cleaned. I can only manage one or two things a day, so my organization has suffered, and now it’s like my cupboards are spring loaded.

8. So nothing new from the neurologist except my Hemoglobin is low, 104 and my TMJ was inflamed on the right side, but probably not the cause of my pain. She said I should adjust to the meds, and try to reduce one of them slowly.

9. What relaxes you?
         Crocheting, reading or drinking coffee.

10. What is the most valuable thing you own?
          Other than our house and car, our Amish dining room set.

11. What did you find inspiring today?
            I found a website for Canadian Christian Speakers by Sheila Wray Gregoire. It has helpful material for building a speaking ministry. I enjoyed it so much, I may pursue it.

12. Are you happy?
           I’m not unhappy. Is that the same?

13. How much “me” time did you take today?
            Too much. I can’t do much else, but crochet, surf the web, and sit around.

14. My husband finished the taxes. I’m glad he takes care of those things.

15. I finally got my hair cut and highlighted today. I feel more human.

16. Did you seize any opportunities today?
            Funny you should ask that. I alternate between Carpe Diem and Crappy Diem. Guess which one this is?

17. Where did you go today?

18. I am starting to be able to read, somewhat, which makes me happy. I still do the audio Kindle for my Bible reading, and I’m about two weeks ahead.

 19. Today was the aftermath of more snow and wind, even though Spring starts this week. It was very heavy to shovel. I was able to write for 8 hours yesterday, and did most of my talk on Self Control and Possessions. That’s the longest period of alertness I’ve had to date. Today, I’m worn out. I wish I could have a few days in a row of feeling almost normal.

20. What are you glad you did today?
            Finally cleaned my kitchen a little bit, with my mom’s help. My pots and pans were falling out of the cupboard. My house has been falling apart around me the past two months.

21. When was your last vacation? Where did you go?
           The Canadian Carey Family Conference last August, in Paris, Ontario. My husband says, “I don’t know what you complain about. I take you to Paris every year.”

22. The greatest wisdom comes from the Word of God, but then you knew that, didn’t you?

23.  My niece was baptized yesterday in London. My mom, husband and daughter went from here, and my other daughter and her husband also went. I stayed home to dog sit. We need to find someone reliable that we could count on if we needed to go away. It would have been nice to go. I think I want time alone, but then when I get it, I’m lonely.

 24. Passed a horrible accident scene on our way home from church tonight. Always happy to arrive home safely. On a positive note, today another friend offered to dog sit as needed. Didn’t I just mention that yesterday?

 25. If you could have read one person’s mind today, who would you choose?
            I wouldn’t want to read anyone’s mind, and I wouldn’t want them to read mine. I am curious about what goes through my dog’s mind, though.

 26. I think I was trying to wean myself off my meds too quickly. My pain returned and I had to go back to a higher dose. The impairment is worse, and I’m even more discouraged, because I had been hoping to talk to my Doctor on Thursday about returning to work, but now it doesn’t look that way. Is this going to be my new normal?

27. It’s my mom’s 73rd birthday today. So thankful to have her here with us.

28. Doctor’s appointment today. I’m off for another month, barring a sudden reversal in my condition. Discouraging. However, I did learn that one objective result from a bloodtest was that my auto-immune markers are elevated, possibly due to a virus, and that may be the cause. It’s something, at least. They’ll recheck them in a few months.

29. What was in your mail box today?
           Nothing but flyers, but yesterday I sent off a care package to a soldier I know in Afghanistan, though. This time it was mostly his favourite candies and stuff, and a letter.

30. Yesterday was Good Friday. We had a service in the morning. Since it’s Easter weekend, I posted a blog about Our Rational Faith: Examining Theories of the Resurrection, which was basically what I taught the Women of Faith last week. I remember when I first started studying this years ago. It was so encouraging to me to realize that although we believe it by faith, our faith is not irrational. Here is the link.

 31. Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! There’s a reason why we use ‘improper grammar’ and say, “Christ is Risen,” rather than “Christ has risen.” It’s because once He rose, He did not die again, but remains risen from death, in His glorified body.” Today we went to see my nephew get baptized by his father, and then we went to my mother-in-law’s for dinner.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Why Do Christians Love the Cross?

As Christians, we love the Cross. To us, it is a symbol of our redemption. For it was on a cross that Jesus died for our sins. He purchased us. He paid the price we owed. He absorbed the wrath of God in His own person. If not for the work of Christ on the cross, we would have no hope of Heaven. That’s why we sing about the wonder of the cross.
Over the centuries, the offence of the cross has diminished. People see it as jewellery, no more significant than a star or a peace sign. But what if we wore a hangman's noose on a chain around our necks? Or an electric chair? What if we sang songs about the wonder of those things? “Oh, the wonder of the noose!” See how absurd and wrong it seems to say that!

Then we see how offensive the cross was to the people of the first century. It was an instrument of torture and execution, a place reserved for the worst criminals. It was, to modern sensibilities, cruel and unusual punishment. It was not the quick death of a lethal injection, a guillotine or even a firing squad.

Why do Christians love to talk about the death of this One? In the hymn, O Sacred Head, it says, "Yet though despised and gory, I joy to call Thee mine."  

We see it through eyes of faith. If Christ had not suffered there, the Just for the unjust, we would have to pay for our own sins. It is, in one symbol, or one word, an image of what Christ accomplished for us. His victory is our victory. That's why we glory in the Cross!