Archive for the 'church' Category

The Sabbath

My Aunt asked some questions on Facebook about why Christians worship on the first day of the week (Sunday) instead of the last day of the week (Saturday) like the Jews were instructed in the old testament. I thought of some things in response, but this got too long for Facebook, so thought I’d post it here.

There are various reasons I have heard: We celebrate Christ’s resurrection, which happened on a Sunday. We are freed from the law and are under grace through Christ (Rom 6:14-15). “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” Mark 2:27 – because obviously God the all powerful was not tired and in need of rest after creating. Early Christians met together on Sundays (Acts 20:7, 1 Cor 16:1-2).

I also think the differences and arguments amongst Christians about nitpicky, legalistic things like which day we worship, whether we have wine or grape juice for communion, whether we baptize infants or not, whether we sing with a piano, guitar, drums, or only a cappella, whether we sing hymns or only psalms, whether we allow children to take communion, how often we worship together in a week, and on and on and on are a huge distraction from the gospel.

Romans 14 is a bit long, but it all seemed applicable. This is from the ESV, I took the verse numbers out to avoid distraction, and highlighted a few setences.

As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written,

“As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me,
and every tongue shall confess to God.”
So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.

Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.

Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats. It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble. The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.

I’m not saying those things I listed above are totally inconsequential and unimportant and shouldn’t be thought about. We SHOULD study the Bible to understand what we should do in every aspect of our lives and worship. I just see Christ spending a lot more time talking to, healing, eating with, showing love to, and suffering for sinners than He spent duking out the details of the law with Pharisees. And when He was, here’s what He said.

Mattew 22:34-40 (ESV):

But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

So maybe we should spend more time worrying about how we show love to to our great God and to our neighbors (whether they be just like us, or obnoxious, or stinky, or overly nosy, or non-christian, or Mormon, or Muslim, or gay, or…) and less time being so introspective.


And it’s September already

Whew, I’ve managed to sneak in a post before a month has elapsed. Amongst a ridiculous amount of stuff to do at work, working on the truck, possessing a very naughty dog, going on vacation, both of us traveling for work, fixing every single pair of Ken’s pants, doing a bunch of stuff for church, consuming too much zucchini, and trying to train for a half marathon there has not been a lot of blogging time.

Maybe now that vacation is over and there is at least the potential that my work might slow down in a week I’ll manage to post some more. No promises.

I made some pesto right before we went on vacation in a desperate effort to save the basil from certain death by drought while we were gone.

 photo IMG_0708_zpsec603ca0.jpg

It seemed like there was more basil after I picked it.
 photo IMG_0710_zps8245b6d2.jpg

I used walnuts from Washington to make the pesto when there are pinion pine trees on my property. Go figure.
 photo IMG_0707_zpsa975452d.jpg

If I were a good, organized blogger (spelled that blooger the first time, thought you should know) I’d have pictures of the final product. But since it was nearly my bedtime two nights before we were leaving on vacation and the dog had escaped from a six sided cube of chain link, pictures weren’t a priority. But if you come visit me I can open the freezer and show you the several containers of delicious pesto that I made.

Man’s chief end

This weekend we went to an all-day seminar on how to find God’s purpose for your life hosted by our church.

My first thought: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” Westminster shorter catechism Q 1 Doesn’t get much clearer than that.  (Although I remember first hearing it and thinking man’s chief end was probably his head.   Thanks Mr. S. for setting me straight…)

Second thought: I have been working towards a particular job for the past 10 years. God gave me my engineer brain. He gave me the desire for this job. It seems likely that I’m going to get that job in the next month or so, and in that case I’m pretty sure it’s His purpose for me to be an excellent metallurgist for at least the next 3-5 years (which is the time frame the seminar was focused on.) Not much mystery there for me to spend all day pondering.

Regardless of my personal thoughts, it was good to spend time getting to know people at church better.

We also had to make a storyboard of our life, which prompted the following thoughts in no particular order.

  • I had five “seasons” listed in my life.  Four of them were school.  Thank God I’m finally done with school.
  • We had to list the people and circumstances that were good influences.   Also the bad influences.  I have had a lot of good influencing people – so thank you!  That’s especially the parental units.  Oh, and Krissy.  (Do I get a present now?)  But seriously, I listed her as a good influence.  The times she incited me to naughtiness have been forgiven, if not forgotten.  I’m quite sure I never incited naughtiness in her.
  • Being forced to go to catechism class once a week for an hour for years was not a waste of time.  While memorizing the questions and answers themselves is not going to help you understand your faith, having them memorized and understanding what the words mean is certainly helpful.   Perhaps if more people had catechism as children, we wouldn’t need to spend a perfect day to be outdoors being introspective indoors…


Thoroughly random

Hello. Today I bring you a collection of random thoughts and things to catch up on last month interspersed with random pictures.

Today, I read a paper from the Journal of Basic Engineering. Ah 1969, what a simple time you were.

I’m not doing the half-marathon. Plantar fasciitis has reared it’s ugly head and is stubbornly refusing to vacate my left foot. So I am fat and lazy and my left foot hurts.


Last week there was a vinegaroon wandering across the living room floor. Ugh. I should have taken a picture, but instead Ken flung it out the back door.


I got first in my class in a metallography contest. Fun!


Ken smoked salmon for Kristina and I on Sunday evening. It was delicious.


Ken made profession of faith and I officially joined the church last week. It was a joyous occasion.


We bought a LED TV. It seems ridiculously decadent.


In the 200IM men’s final, there was a guy with the same last name as me!!! We must be long-lost cousins.


There are more things to record for posterity, but they all have associated pictures so they shall have to wait until later.

Good ol’ bullet points

  • I got a strawberry augua fresca at a street fair on old Rt 66 and it’s my new favorite drink. I’m pretty sure it’s water, crushed strawberries, and sugar. Delicious.
  • If the past two churches we’ve visited have been any indication, the Presbyterian church (USA) will be approximately 1/8th its current size in 15 years.
  • We had a house inspection on Friday. There are a few minor issues that we hope the sellers will either fix or give us the money that was written into the contract to fix potential problems. Septic, well, and insect inspections are supposed to be this week. I’ve been refusing to think about this house as ours, because that way if it falls through I won’t be disappointed, but soon I’m going to be unable to suppress the excitement.
  • Apparently you need to have 3 sources of credit to get a mortgage. We both have really great credit ratings (from one card each), but that’s not enough. We’re having to get letters from our landlord and auto insurance provider to count as credit lines. So we should have made our lives more difficult by getting more than one credit card therefore increasing the chances of forgetting a payment, or we should have lived outside our means by leasing a car instead of driving old beaters, because that means that we are more responsible and credit-worthy. Seems to me that something’s wrong with that picture.
  • Our stuff is getting moved out of Cleveland tomorrow, and Ken’s BMW is getting picked up on Tuesday. I cannot wait to be re-united with my bicycles and have a few more clothes available so I’m not continually doing laundry. But that’s all I miss. Guess we don’t need too much stuff!

Weekend re-cap

I had a very productive weekend. That is what I like in a weekend: productivity.

Made (mostly Ken here, but I helped) and cleaned up from a BBQ for the whole department
Cleaned out (and vacuumed!) the car
Topped off various vehicle fluids
Re-insulated the car’s exhaust hangers
Swept the garage
Stuffed the cats into their carrier for acclimation twice.
Did all the normal weekly stuff: cat boxes, laundry, bathroom, kitchen floors
Returned a non-functioning item to Walmart (on bicycles, so that counts as exercise!)
Fixed my laptop cord by soldering two broken ones together (all by myself!)
Played music for church with friends
Made food – BBQ on Friday, steak and eggs for breakfast Saturday, biscuits and gravy for Easter breakfast at church, angel food cake, mushroom risotto, candied yams, asparagus, fruit salad, ham, and some teensy lamb chops for Easter dinner.
Went for a walk (sorely needed after all that food)
Watched the rest of 30 Rock Season 2 which needed to be returned to the library.
Listened to the tail end of Anne of the Island while looking at pictures taken by sewer/subway explorers. Weird combination of activities, I know.
Talked to Mom on the phone about their trip to come visit (Which is in only 2 weeks!!!!)

Not bad.

Up this week:
Preparing bikes for a bike-camping trip (I got ridiculous new bar-tape for my bike, and I can’t wait to see how silly it looks with it.)
Maybe packing a few boxes?
Dinner with our roommate
Cutting Ken’s hair? It is getting a bit ridiculous…
Orchestra on Thursday (if I get tickets).
Heading to Pittsburgh to go bike-camping!!! Hope it stops raining.

State of the Lisa address

I just applied for my first job. I’m not expecting to get it as my expertise isn’t quite in the right area, but it feels good to actually get starting on the apply for jobs task on my to-do list. I have two more that I want to apply for, and am planning to spend some time in the next week searching for more.

It was 30 degrees during my ride to school this morning. It felt like spring had come and I was expecting to see flowers popping up through the snow. It’s been cold.

Research is frustrating, but I submitted a first draft of one chapter of my dissertation to my advisor yesterday. I think I’ll start ending each post with a dissertation length update. If I could just get two more good data points on this one set of experiments, and understand what the heck is going on in my two other sets of experiments, I would be set. To put it in perspective, I basically have five kinds of experiments going into my dissertation. So 3/5 of it is currently up in the air. Sigh.

To end on a positive note, wedding-related festivities begin this week. I’m going out to dinner with some girl-friends from work on Thursday to celebrate – not exactly a bachelorette party, but I’m sure they’ll do their best to be embarrassing anyway. On Saturday my church is having an “engagement dinner” for us. Has anyone ever heard of such a thing? It was originally pitched to me as a wedding shower, but I think since the whole church including the dudes are invited maybe they changed the name to make them feel more comfortable?

Current dissertation length: 22 pages.

May 2018
« Dec