My Mom

Constantia – It is a strange thing how God can balance people out. My mom is the voice of reason and the go-to parent if you want something. She would always say that her kids was her job. When my sister and I got into arguments, she was usually the one to break them up. I remember the time she decided to get a job for all of two weeks. She was a meat-packer working behind the counter of a local grocery store and she was doing well. The problem was that my dad couldn’t figure out how to handle arguments and would have to call her home to settle things down.

She has lately been reading about people who were hurt by their church experience and people who left false churches. Because of the church her parents attended, she felt the fallout of divorce as a child. I can’t say that I know her father, my grandpa, well. In fact, I never met him until I was a teenager myself. I always had the vague impression that he had died long ago even though he was and still is alive and well. I’ve always known her mother as Nana.

Nana, the firey, Irish, red-head that she is, well, was, is definately unique. She believes that her parents favored her sister and therefore gave her lesser things. This has, of course, caused her to right the wrong by giving greater gifts to one daughter over the other. She also favors the three sixteens, her youngest three grandchildren all the age of sixteen at the moment. Of those, she favors the one closest to her, a rebelious cousin. Life has definately given her lemons and she has made lemonade, extra shugary and way too much of it, but lemonade nonetheless. She does have her moments, as she often helps care for her friends in the retirement home she lives in and has been strugling with how to adjust when they pass on. I know because she told me three times last visit because she can’t remember which story she tells who she tells everybody all the stories three or more times. One thing my mom fears most is turning into her mom. I tell her that she shouldn’t worry because their circumstances are entirely different.

Some people are afraid to discipline their children because the think that their children will grow up to hate them. In all actuality, its the opposite. It’s a wonder how she, the sane one, manages to put up with all the insanity going on. It’s even more wonderful that she remains a woman of faith in God even when we’re dealing with unexpected system failures. Still, I can tell that one thing deeply concerns her, the other daughter, but that’s another story for another day.


All I can say is wow.

Consolas – What are we to do? Our only source of water, a slightly sufuric well, is out of comission. The water it does generate is somewhat black with dirt. If repairs are not carefully carried out then we will need an entirely new well, which is well out the range of what we can afford. But …

when we had gone to the gas station to use the facilities there, we met the coordinator in charge of placing foreign students in this area and she mentioned a student that needed a place and we knew full well that we had an unoccupied bedroom. What was the problem that prevented the original family from fulfilling their part of the deal? How can we take on another person in this house while we are without water?

I sort of hope that we agree to take in the kid, for one thing it will take some pressure off of my little brother who became infamous for that which he did on the computer the day before school ended last year. He sounds much like my little brother, they share a great admiration of video games, though he had to be a hard worker to fulfill the program just for the oppurtunity to be sent here.

Only the Lord can move people and their circumstances in this way, let us wait and see what comes of it.

Gonna be religious like it was way back when

Comic Sans MS – (While this letter was intented to point out the error of a certain radio show personality and has since been used to point out what outrageous things Christians believe, I have put it here as a reminder that New Testament Christians have no business following the Old Covenant laws. I have omitted the whos and a few of the whats, but it does get one to thinking what the world would be like if we obeyed and carried out these laws. God put them here to remind us that no matter whatever we do, we can’t obtain righteousness by what we do. However many of these laws we are able to carry out doesn’t prove that we are a super Christian. At one point or another we break these laws and deserve the punishment, the punishment that Jesus took for us. Jesus never broke a law and He fulfilled the Old Covenant and gave us a new one. Too often though, we pull out verses from the Old Testament when we should talk about the grace of the New Testament.)

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the other specific laws and how to follow them:

When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord – Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?

I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? – Lev.24:10-16.

I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.

Your devoted fan

Seven Tips For Being The Best Christians There Is

Century – In this day and age, sin runs rampant. The youth do nothing but party, drink, get addicted to drugs, and live immorally. People follow their own selfish desires and simply cannot be witnessed to. However, if we live such great Christian lives that even they will see and praise God, then we have done our part. With such great confusion about the word and so many false religions and misled Christians preaching on street corners, it is easy to become frustrated. These Seven Tips concerning the Bible should get you ahead of other Christians by leaps and bounds.

Seven Tips How to Read the Bible:
1.) Even though you keep the Bible well dusted every week, dust it off again while you have company so that they can see how you cherish your book.
2.) When you are arguing points of the Bible, say that ‘The Bible says…” Never use verse refrences or somebody might look it up. If you do use a verse reference, make one up that sounds plausible such as Genesis 52:16.
3.) Before you open the Bible, decide what you believe it says. This is important. If you let the Bible tell you what it says the next thing you know you’ll be who knows where doing who knows what.
4.) If a statement in the Bible contradicts what you believe it should say, remember that this book is two thousand years old and was kept by scribes who would copy the text with their own points of view, errors could have easily crept in. The culture in the Bible was not like our western one. Things were done differently long ago. Some of the languages it was written in are dead and no longer used today so translation would have been difficult and probably incorrect. These are among common explanations why the Bible does not say what you want it to say.
5.) The warning in Revelation to not change words came to effect when the book came to pass as Nero came to power, destroyed the temple, and caused the Israelites to flee. The book has no more bearing on today or tomorrow.
6.) If somebody uses the Bible to point out that your stance on a particular scripture is incorrect then you are dealing with one of ‘those’ people you have been warned about. In case you have forgotten, the best thing to do is to make a big show in your prayer over your mistaken friend. Tell them that if they were more familiar with their Bible then they would see how the Bible actually supports your stance.
7.) When a compliment is given to you take it, but on Sundays you should acknowledge God as being the source of your inspiration.

These guidelines are here to help you in your quest to become the best Christian there is. You should make it your goal to participate in every activity and to win every competition that the church sponsors. Remember to volunteer whenever possible, and to do all you can to help other Christians be as good as you are. Finally, the most important rule of all, if you can find nothing in the Bible that, however loosely, allows you to do what you want to do, then invoke the unwritten rule and make something up. A common system is to base your new covenant freedoms in the old covenant traditions, by doing that you can pretty much get away with anything because it is in the Bible.

(Sometimes I wonder if such a document exists. Notice that some concepts are foreign to this paper, love and grace are conspicuously absent. The follower of this tip sheet would care only for his own improvement and only gives thought to other Christians if they can look to him or her as an example of the type of Christian they ought to become. That person would constantly think to him or herself how much better they are compared to the others who are still living in sin. Are there Christians who are also Pharisees in conduct? Probably. We just need to remember not to measure ourselves up with one another, all of us have missed the mark and even the best of us is no better than the worst of us because we are all sinners. I don’t think that the disciples would recognize the church that they once gave their lives to start. How should we deal with such a Christian who tends toward works and legalism? The only thing we can do for them is pray, but probably not in such a way as they could tell that was what we were doing. )

true-blue, dyed in the wool enemies

Candara – Growing up, she was my mortal enemy. I was the new kid from nowhere, Oklahoma, she was the resident Miss Popular. Over the years, she became the captain of the cheerleaders and I was the girl who played right field in softball. If there was an oppurtunity for her (or anybody else, for that matter) to give me a hard time, it was exploited.

The house we lived in was a little small for all of us, with the help of my uncle we turned the garage into two bedrooms and a small storage area. We were lacking in windows, so we hired a mason. The work was done well and we were pleased. Sometime afterwards, the mason had comitted suicide, either by running into traffic or running his car in the garage. His daughter, the cheerleader to which I refer, was devstated. I remember that when we were back in school she had been caught crying in the girls’ bathroom. She grew up quickly and had a bold front. She took out many of her frustrations by finding newer and better ways to be mean to me.

One time, she had decided to play with my friends,  but she insisted that I couldn’t play with my friends and by extension, her. She was the sterotypical mean chearleader and we were enemies and I didn’t know why. I don’t know whatever happened to her. I don’t think we would have gotten over the bad blood but I count the day that we moved out of there as a great day of celebration.

In 1 Kings 11, the Bible says that God raised up adversaries to challenge Solomon because he had been unfaithful to the God of his father. I wonder if we all get adveraries to challenge us to deal with the problems they present us. We may not be able to have a world-wide peace, but it is possible to have peace between us the people in our lives. I can’t say that moving out of their put and end to my line of enemies I faced in my school years. The cheerleader was the only one I tried to be nice to. I just tolerated my other enemies.

that isn’t really a right word

From 2 Kings 5: “18 In this matter may the LORD pardon your servant: when my master goes into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leans on my hand and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, when I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, the LORD pardon your servant in this matter.” 19 And he said to him, “Go in peace.” So he departed from him some distance.”

Cambria – When I think about the English language, I realize that much of it is borrowed from other languages. When I studdied Spanish I learned about cognates, words that have the same spelling and meaning as they do in English, but a different pronunciation, radio and chocolate are an example. This is an old tradition, wherever cultures collide so do their vocabularies.

My teacher told me a story concerning the word that means ‘I hope that…’ She said that there was a time when people of two different religions learned to live in peace with one another, but they did not have the right word to express ‘I hope that…’ or ‘I pray that…’ Now the other religion had a phrase that translated to ‘*deity* willing’. So when they used the word that means ‘I hope that …’ they were saying ‘O *deity*, I pray that …’ It in itself would not be a bad thing, but I know the name of the deity and the deeds of its followers.

I know my God’s track record. The ten plagues that He sent to Egypt were direct challenges to its gods, even pharoh himself and they were all powerless. When the Ark of the Covenant was captured by Israel’s enemies and placed in the temple of their gods, they just couldn’t stand up to His power. When Belshazzar toasted to his gods using the gold and silver vessels from the Israeli Temple, God used the writing on the wall to once again prove His might.

Too often we give names to the planets and other heavenly bodies to honor the names of long abandoned gods. Some of the very names were gods who could not respond to God’s supernatural challenge. I hate to use the word that means ‘I hope that…’ because it is calling upon a deity I don’t believe in to make something happen that I want to happen. I can’t wait until the day that the word is changed to mean ‘O God, I pray that …’, until then, forgive me for hoping. Should be interesting though, the day that God challenges the deity in question.

The Donut Master

Calisto MT – (I can’t think of anything again, but I don’t want to put up the last of ‘An American Crisis’ just yet. I figured that I could re-post something that’s already at this site … it’s an oldie but it’s a goodie…)

There was a boy by the name of Steve who was attending college where Brother Christianson taught seminary.

One day, Brother Christianson asked Steve to stay after class so he could talk with him. After class, Bro. Christianson pulled Steve aside and said, “You think you’re pretty tough, don’t you?”

Steve’s answer was, “Yeah, I do.”

Then Brother Christianson asked, “How many pushups can you do?”

Steve said, “I do about 200 every night.”

“200? That’s pretty good, Steve,” Brother Christianson said.

“Do you think you could do 300?”

Steve replied, “I don’t know… I’ve never done 300 at a time.”

“Do you think you could?” again asked Brother Christianson.

“Well, I can try,” said Steve.

“Can you do 300 in sets of 10? I need you to do 300 in sets of ten for this to work. Can you do it? I need you to tell me you can do it,” Brother Christianson said.

Steve said, “Well… I think I can… yeah, I can do it.”

Brother Christianson said, “Good! I need you to do this on Friday.”

Friday came and Steve got to class early and sat in the front.

When class started, Brother Christianson pulled out a big box of donuts. Now these weren’t the normal kinds of donuts, they were the extra fancy BIG kind with cream centers and frosting swirls.

Everyone was pretty excited. It was Friday, the last class of the day, and they were going to get an early start on the weekend.

Bro. Christianson went to the first girl in the first row and asked, “Cynthia, do you want a donut?” Cynthia said, “Yes.”

Bro. Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, “Steve, would you do ten pushups so that Cynthia can have a donut?”

Steve said, “Sure,” and jumped down from his desk to do a quick ten. Then Steve again sat in his desk. Bro. Christianson put a donut on Cynthia’s desk.

Bro. Christianson then went to Joe, the next person, and asked, “Joe, do you want a donut?”

Joe said, “Yes.” Bro. Christianson asked, “Steve would you do ten pushups so Joe can have a donut?” Steve did ten pushups, Joe got a donut.

And so it went, down the first aisle, Steve did ten pushups for every person before they got their donuts and down the second aisle, until Bro. Christianson came to Scott. Scott was captain
of the football team and center of the basketball team. He was very popular and never lacking for female companionship.

When Bro. Christianson asked, “Scott do you want a donut?”

Scott’s reply was, “Well, can I do my own pushups?”

Bro. Christianson said, “No, Steve has to do them.”

Then Scott said, “Well, I don’t want one then.”

Bro. Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, “Steve, would you do ten pushups so Scott can have a donut he doesn’t want?”

Steve started to do ten pushups. Scott said, “HEY! I said I didn’t want one!”

Bro. Christianson said, “Look, this is my classroom, my class, my desks, and my donuts. Just leave it on the desk if you don’t want it.” And he put a donut on Scott’s desk.

Now by this time, Steve had begun to slow down a little. He just stayed on the floor between sets because it took too much effort to be getting up and down.

You could start to see a little perspiration coming out around his brow.

Bro. Christianson started down the third row. Now the students were beginning to get a little angry.

Bro. Christianson asked Jenny, “Jenny, do you want a donut?”

Jenny said, “No.”

Then Bro. Christianson asked Steve, “Steve, would you do ten pushups so Jenny can have a donut that she doesn’t want?” Steve did ten, Jenny got a donut.

By now, the students were beginning to say “No” and there were all these uneaten donuts on the desks. Steve was also having to really put forth a lot of effort to get these pushups done for
each donut. There began to be a small pool of sweat on the floor beneath his face; his arms and brow were beginning to get red because of the physical effort involved.

Bro. Christianson asked Robert to watch Steve to make sure he did ten pushups in a set because he couldn’t bear to watch all of Steve’s work for all of those uneaten donuts. So Robert began to watch Steve closely.

Bro. Christianson started down the fourth row.

During his class, however, some students had wandered in and sat along the heaters along the sides of the room. When Bro. Christianson realized this; he did a quick count and saw 34 students in the room. He started to worry if Steve would be able to make it.

Bro. Christianson went on to the next person and the next and the next. Near the end of that row, Steve was really having a rough time. He was taking a lot more time to complete each set.

Steve asked Bro. Christianson, “Do I have to make my nose touch on each one?” Bro. Christianson thought for a moment, “Well, they’re your pushups. You can do them any way that you want.”
And Bro. Christianson went on.

A few moments later, Jason came to the room and was about to come in when all the students yelled, “NO! Don’t come in! Stay out!”

Jason didn’t know what was going on.

Steve picked up his head and said, “No, let him come.”

Bro. Christianson said, “You realize that if Jason comes in you will have to do ten pushups for him.”

Steve said, “Yes, let him come in.” Bro. Christianson said, “Okay, I’ll let you get Jason’s out of the way right now. Jason, do you want a donut?”


“Steve, will you do ten pushups so that Jason can have a donut?” Steve did ten pushups very slowly and with great effort.

Jason, bewildered, was handed a donut and sat down.

Bro. Christianson finished the fourth row, then started on those seated on the heaters. Steve’s arms were now shaking with each pushup in a struggle to lift himself against the force of gravity. Sweat was dropping off of his face, and by this time, there was not a dry eye in the room.

The very last two girls in the room were cheerleaders and very popular. Bro. Christianson went to Linda, the second to last, and asked, “Linda, do you want a doughnut? Linda said, very sadly,
“No, thank you.”

Bro. Christianson asked Steve, “Steve, would you do ten pushups so that Linda can have a donut she doesn’t want?”

Grunting from the effort, Steve did ten very slow pushups for Linda.

Then Bro. Christianson turned to the last girl, Susan.

“Susan, do you want a donut?”

Susan, with tears flowing down her face, asked, Bro. Christianson, “Dr. Christianson, why can’t I help him?”

Dr. Christianson, with tears of his own, said, “No, Steve has to do it alone. I have given him this task and he is in charge of seeing that everyone has an opportunity for a donut whether they want it or not.

When I decided to have a party this last day of class, I looked at my grade book. Steve here is the only student with a perfect grade. Everyone else failed a test, skipped class, or offered me inferior work.

Steve told me that in football practice, when a player messes up he must do push ups. I told Steve that none of you could come to my party unless he paid the price by doing your push ups.

He and I made a deal for your sakes.

Steve, would you do ten pushups so Susan can have a donut?”

As Steve very slowly finished his last pushup, with the understanding that he had accomplished all that was required of him, having done 350 pushups, his arms buckled beneath him and he fell to the floor.

Brother Christianson turned to the room and said.

“And so it was, that our Savior, Jesus Christ, plead to the Father, ‘Into your hands I commend my spirit.’

With the understanding that He had done everything that was required of Him, He collapsed on the cross and died. And like some of those in this room, many of us leave the gift on the desk, …uneaten.”