1. This past weekend we had our fall cattle drive. It was a weekend full of friends and fellowship, great food and conversations and more. But Sunday night I was pretty worn out, but in a good way.
2. Monday found me actually being a farmer’s wife (I have always proclaimed you can be a married to a farmer without being a farmer’s wife. ;oP). I don’t usually help out with any of the cattle or field work, other than to feed the crews once in a while. But this past Monday I was out and about with the crew to do the record keeping as they weighed and vaccinated the calves. It was neat to see the whole process and observe the kids in action in their work environment.
3. I mentioned a while back we had a grizzly bear in our neighbourhood. I had not heard anymore about it until this past weekend. I guess it did hang around for a while and ate our neighbours bull. Fish and Wildlife have not said if the bear killed the bull but he definitely feasted on it. They had traps set up to try and catch him but he seems to have moved on now so they have removed the traps and bait so they don’t attract him back to the area. But I am kind of worried that now that he has had a taste for beef, when he wakes up in the spring he may be back for more tasty meals. :o(
4. This morning the kids are out helping on the ranch again. Today is preg checking. It is not very warm out there (winter seems to have made any early visit here). I should go and put the kettle on so the kids have something warm to drink when they arrive home.
5. This afternoon I am off to see the dentist to have an x-ray done on my back tooth that I had repaired a few months ago. I guess the dentist was worried because it was in pretty bad conditioned when he fixed it so he wants to make sure all is well and hopefully won’t have to have it pulled.
6. We are at the end of October and to date we have not accomplished much “academics” this school year. I figure we will get more focussed as the snow flies and comes to stay for the winter months. I need to sit down and do some journaling on what we have done (classes, discussions, reading, documentaries and such). Sometime in the next month or two my facilitator will want to get together for the first of our two mandated yearly meetings. It will be good to have something prepared to report to her.
7. It is now that time of year that the Christmas Monster starts to show its ugly head in mainstream society. I have really struggled with the season (which gets longer and longer every year) of Christmas. Firstly because it meant family would be getting together and some ugliness in personalities would rise to the surface at our gatherings. Then my next struggle with Christmas was all the commercialization and greediness and busyness and expectations of the season. It made me so irritated (and still does). So for a while I was struggling with how to keep “Jesus as the reason for the season”. But for the past year I am learning that Jesus was never the reason for the season, He was added in to the winter holidays of other peoples. So now I am wrestling with what do to with this season that I have never really liked anyway. I have been reading about what God wants from His people and it is becoming clearer and clearer, what the Christian religions are doing may not please Him. I spent some time this morning reading this resource (http://www.christmastruth.info/ChristmasTruth.pdf) and it does a good job of going through the evidence showing why God would not be pleased with what His people are doing at the Christmas season as worship to Him. I have read all these facts from other various resources but this pdf does a good job of bringing all the info together to read. What does God want me to do with this information?
8. Jordan had a parcel in the mail yesterday. His swords he ordered (http://www.visionforum.com/browse/product/?productid=87520&cid=556) came in. Now he really wants to get together with his friends so he can test them out. :o)
9. Have you ever wondered why plastic surgery is called plastic surgery? I have, and yesterday I finally took the time to find the answer (which you can read here – http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Why_is_plastic_surgery_called_plastic_surgery).
10. My favourite podcasters are back! Steve and Ray from BEYOND THE BOX are back from the hiatus. I love their conversations about stepping outside the box of institutional church. Their newest episode can be heard here (http://www.beyondtheboxpodcast.com/2010/10/fast-food-and-inspiration-aka-were-back/) but I encourage you to listen to their past episodes as well.
11. What is an agnostic? This term has showed up in my world quite few times in the past few weeks. The first time was with the guy who was taking my groceries out to my car for me. I was telling him about a Christian band that would be performing in town and how we had really enjoyed their last concert. He asked me “can an agnostic come too?” and I told him of course! But I wasn’t 100% clear what an agnostic was so of course I had to go and look it up – (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnostic).
12. Deanna discovered recently that she likes brussel sprouts (she had them at a friend’s house, they are not something I cook around here). I came across this recipe recently though and may try it very soon (http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2010/10/very-best-brussels-sprouts-ever-slow.html).
13. Paid to serve? -- http://www.alanknox.net/2010/10/paid-to-serve/ --
Eric is concerned about being robbed of the joy that comes through serving
14. Dave Black wrote this on his blog:
5:22 PM While running my errands today I happened upon our local Christian radio station that was airing what appears to be a new series on the church by Chuck Swindoll. Chuck had us looking at Christ's promise to build His church and then he requested his audience to turn to Acts 2 for a look at the birth of the church. Focusing on Acts 2:42, he emphasized that there are four marks of a local church. There will always be these four marks, he claimed. There may be more but never less. The four marks, as recorded by Luke, are teaching, fellowship, the breaking of the bread, and prayers. Ironically, and sadly in my view, Chuck reinterpreted the third mark to refer to "worship." Is this, perhaps by metonymy, what doctor Luke meant? I suppose it is possible. Of course, he may have also meant for us to take him quite literally -- that when the early church met it observed the Lord's Supper. I happen to think he meant the latter. The early church was focused on Christ. It fellowshipped around Him. His body and blood were commemorated regularly. Just because many of us no longer do so today is no reason for us to take the breaking of the bread and transform it into what today we call "worship services." (True worship, of course, is not what we do on Sunday but what we do 24/7. See Rom. 12:1-2. I have commented on this subject in my essay Enter to Serve, Depart to Worship.)
It seems, then, that the earliest church in Jerusalem was marked by an emphasis on the Word of God, genuine relationships, a common meal at which their absent but returning Lord would be preeminent, and times of prayer. Acts 20:7 seems to bear this out: the believers gathered together to break bread (note the telic infinitive), not to listen to the apostle Paul preach a sermon. Such Christocentricity would be a healthy thing, I think, for our churches. It would, I believe, go a long way toward replacing the pulpit-centricity in so many of our fellowships. In their essay The Lord's Supper: How Often?, D. G. Hart and John R. Muether write:
Most students of Calvin are aware that it was his desire that churches practice weekly communion. Calvin believed that this frequency could be found in both apostolic teaching and example, and that weekly observance was also the practice of the church fathers. Moreover, Calvin saw weekly observance as necessary for uniting the ministry of Word and sacrament. By sealing the promises proclaimed in the preaching of the Word, weekly communion enabled Christians frequently to return in memory to Christ’s work, and “by such remembrance to sustain and strengthen their faith.”
Infrequent communion, Calvin claimed, was a superstitious horror, “a most evident contrivance of the devil,” and he considered it among the worst of the many abuses of worship in medieval Catholicism. For Calvin, weekly communion was no less important than other reforms he sought, such as the use of the cup by the laity and worship in the language of the vernacular. So Calvin came to the conclusion that “the Lord’s Table should have been spread at least once a week for the assembly of Christians, and the promises declared in it should feed us spiritually.”
In fact, the grammar of Acts 2:42 suggests that the common meal (along with mutual prayer) uniquely represents the fellowship (koinonia) of the church. (The last two marks seem to be in apposition to the second one in the Greek.) Elsewhere I have concluded:
Realizing that each Lord’s Day was “Resurrection Sunday” – a day to celebrate Christ’s risen life – and anticipating that each Lord’s Day could also be the day of Christ’s return, the early believers feasted at Christ’s table as in His presence. This fellowship meeting, at the very heart of which was a social meal centered on Christ, represented the communion that existed between all the members of the brotherhood, because all had a personal fellowship with their Lord.
For the earliest followers of Jesus, the Lord’s Supper created an atmosphere of intimate communion between members of Christ’s Body, regardless of their social status, gender, or ethnic group. According to Acts 2:42 and 20:7, this meal was, in fact, the focal point for the gathering of the New Testament church. It was a time of great celebration and joy. And it was at the heart of Christian fellowship – not at the periphery.
Today we have lost the regularity – not to mention the intimacy, the pleasure, the enjoyment – of the Lord’s Supper. The New Testament pattern of the breaking of the bread has become utterly foreign to us.
Howard Marshall also says it well:
In line with what appears to have been the practice of the early church in the New Testament the Lord's Supper should be celebrated frequently in the church, and there is good reason for doing so on each Lord's Day.
I praise God for those congregations that do, in fact, place high value on the Lord's Table. I was in such a church not too long ago in Pensacola, Florida. There, in the ICON service of the First United Methodist Church, communion is served each and every Sunday. I can tell you, it was anything but perfunctory or boring. I have a nagging suspicion that many of our Baptist fellowships could learn a lesson two from them.
Well time to get going to the dentist appointment. I will be back later and perhaps share some more of my weird world of interests. :o)