Monthly Archives: April 2007

Answers to Yesterday’s Sin Quiz

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Here’s part of our True/False quiz and their answers.

  1. True. God determines and defines what sin is.
  2. True. God’s definition of sin can change. (Trace the eating of meat throughout the Bible.)
  3. False. All sins are always sin. (Context is important. There are many examples of this besides the meat issue.)
  4. True. Some sins are always sin. (Obvious examples are murder and adultery.)
  5. False. Sin is eternal. (Only God is eternal.)
  6. False. Thinking about sin is just as bad as committing the sin. (We’re talking about consequences here.)
  7. False. All sins are equal in God’s eyes. (This one was hard for me to swallow as I’ve been taught this since a young Christian. I was told it is man who makes distinctions. Well, so does God. If all sins are equal, then the punishments would also be equal, but they are not. See  Exodus 22:1-4; Exodus 21:12-14; Matthew 5:19 and James 3:1; Luke 12:42-48; Galatians 6:7.)
  8. True. God leads people to be tempted to sin. (Matthew 4:1)
  9. True. God does not tempt people to sin.
  10. True. God tests his children. (Genesis 22:1)
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True/False Quiz on Sin

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My Theology 2 class studied hamartiology (the doctrine of sin) on Monday.

Here’s part of our True/False quiz:

  1. God determines and defines what sin is.
  2. God’s definition of sin can change.
  3. All sins are always sin.
  4. Some sins are always sin.
  5. Sin is eternal.
  6. Thinking about sin is just as bad as committing the sin.
  7. All sins are equal in God’s eyes.
  8. God leads people to be tempted to sin.
  9. God does not tempt people to sin.
  10. God tests his children.

So, what are your answers? This turned out to be harder than I expected.

Personal Response to Evil (at Virginia Tech, Columbine & 9/11)

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I’m finding it hard to sleep tonight
With so many people staggering under a canyon of grief
and questions

Multitudes of prayer that God will be your comfort

I’m thankful my two college-aged children are safely tucked in their beds
Alive

I feel guilty somehow that I’ve let these 33 down
I’m alive – they aren’t

My children live another day
Other moms and dads don’t have that privilege

My kindergarten through 3rd grade years were punctuated
with siren drills
where obedient children scurried
under neat rows of small desks
confident that insignificant barricade would protect
from nuclear fallout

That phantom never put on skin

And yet fear hitch-hiked from my school days
to when my children entered middle school

Responsible parents, we, uprooted in 1998 –
4 months before April 20, 1999
From violent, unpredictable CA to pastoral, safe CO

And yet while sipping soda – that fiercely ugly day –
talking about the importance of Truth and morality
My son and I watched evil unfold in Columbine
My daughter scared in a locked down school
wondering would evil find her too?

While answers to why are hard to find
heroes aren’t

Multitudes of prayer that God was their comfort

Speed dial 2001
Disbelief spills and collects on the ground
of campus where the news first assaulted
my loose skin of security
as evil unfolded on September 11

While answers to why are hard to find
heroes aren’t

Multitudes of prayer that God was their comfort

October 5, 2006 – that fiercely ugly day –
Evil spit up more destruction
While an Amish community pulled in to grieve
and heal

While answers to why are hard to find
heroes aren’t

Multitudes of prayer that God was their comfort

And now on April 16, 2007 – that fiercely ugly day –
in class while learning
financial principles and security
My loose skin of security shot through again
Evil claimed more tender victims

Virginia Tech
Dear Virgina Tech
Prayers that you will prevail

While answers to why are hard to find
heroes aren’t

And prayers that God will be OUR comfort
in this violent, unpredictable world

“I Will Never Desert You.”

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Most of you probably know the verse where God says, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.”  One place that is found is in Hebrews 13:5.

I am taking a money class at church and recently I was reminded in class that those words, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you” are actually the second part of verse 5.

The first part says, “Keep your character free from the love of money, being content with what you have.” Ouch! That is challenging for me to do at times.

At the weekly class, Sydney shares money principles and sometimes I find I have areas of discontent and even fear.

That’s why I am so encouraged by the truth of Hebrews 13:5. Because God is eternally faithful, I can experience freedom and contentment.

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father and Mighty God, Thank you for the Truth that it is safe to follow your money principles because YOU will never ever desert of forsake any ONE of Your Children. Lord, Help each of us to discern how You want us to spend Your money. Holy Spirit, please fill us with Your peace about all matters financial. Finally, Lord, please bless the money we tithe and use it to advance Your Kingdom and to glorify Your name. Amen.

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Love is not a feeling; it’s a verb.

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I used to have a rock with that definition on it.

In the book Spiritual Disciplines of a C.H.R.I.S.T.I.A.N. by Gil Stieglitz there is a chapter on the Discipline of Loving. Dr. Gil further defines love as “meeting needs, pursuing or pleasing” (p. 218).

 I’ve ascribed to and followed the meeting needs and pleasing part, but until now I haven’t given much thought to pursuing. This chapter  (and lecture in class) in the book caused me to rethink my “love” relationships.

I was convicted in how I haven’t been “loving as pursuing” towards my two adult children. Since my divorce 5 years ago, I’ve gone to work (used to be a stay-at-home, homeschool mom), attended school, and limped along emotionally as well as I could. Since my two young adult children have been mostly of the house and on their own, I haven’t given them a lot of daily, weekly or monthly time.

Dr. Gil says that family needs 4 hours a day.*  I know  my kids are out of the house, but many times I haven’t even given them 4 hours a month.

God has shown me that I’ve been selfish. So I am making some changes.

  • God sent some unexpected funds to my sister and me so we are taking my two kiddos to Disneyland in mid April. Its always been a fun place for us to go to and I anticipate more of the same this time around.
  • I called my daughter and asked how she wanted to spend her birthday in May. Normally her birthday falls around the time my church has a big to-do. This year, I will spend it with my daughter. 
  • I want to send them a letter (OK -really a note) every couple of weeks just to let them know I care and how proud of them I am.
  • I plan on seeing them every month. I know that many times I’ll have to go there (both live in San Francisco). I really do NOT like driving in San Francisco: I get lost every time both ways and those one way, mountainous streets freak me. But I am committed to this way of loving. 
  • My goal is to average 4 hours a week between the letters, phone calls and visits.

I am sad that . . .

  • I let all this time pass before making these relationships a priority again.
  • My behavior hurt my precious children.  

But I am grateful that . . .

  • God  has shown me how unbalanced I’ve let myself become.
  • It isn’t too late to re-establish a healthy, fun and pursuing relationship with my children.

* Dr. Gil gave us some other stats as well.

  • Spouses need1 hour daily with each other in a good marriage. 2 hours daily for a distressed marriage.
  • Women need 6-8 hours a week with women.
  • Men need about 4 hours a week with men.
  • Most everyone would benefit from 1 hour of alone time daily.

I know that since our world isn’t perfect, we won’t be able to fulfill these needs all the time. But I like knowing these facts so that I have something to align my life with.

Hey, please ask me from-to-time how I’m doing in this area. Thanks.