Archive for June, 2006

Theological Differences

Today I recieved this anonymous letter questioning my faith:

Anonymous said…


I read your comments on another blog and wanted to ask you some questions. You can delete this comment if you don’t approve of it being here.

I find it interesting that you would degrade others for claiming to live free from sin yet your user name is “obedientone”.

Do you not realize that committing sin is disobedience?

Can you not believe that there are people who “go and sin no more” and “who need NO repentance”?

When the Bible promises that NO temptation will be too hard (I Cor. 10:13) and that we can do all things through Christ (Phil 4:13) what do you think that really means?

Do you think it means we can do everything except live holy?

Do you think that Jesus came and died that awful death just so the world would continue to sin just like they always had?

If so, his sacrifice was no better than the sacrifice of bulls and goats.

You might think this is a preposterous idea but Jesus didn’t give his life just so we could be forgiven every day for the rest of our lives.

No, Jesus will save you FROM sin. But only if you let him.

Anonymous —

Please note that I posted on your blog with my name and profile in full view. Why did you post anonymously? Are you ashamed of your beliefs in the Lord?

Your statement in your blog was that you and the other members of your congregation were sin free and had not committed any sins in years. I still stand convinced that as living people on earth that is a physical impossibility.

God did say to “Go and sin no more.” However, if we were capable of refraining from all sin, it would not have been necessary for Jesus to die for us in the first place. I did not denegrate anyone for claiming to be free of sin. I just asked them how they managed to stay so holy and still be among the living.

I make mistakes. I say inappropriate things. I hurt people’s feelings. I make foolish, thoughtless decisions. I let people down. I am certain I disappoint God on a daily basis — like I must have disappointed Him when I didn’t make myself clear on your blog. Yes, I call myself obedientone — but it is to remind myself what I strive for. In no way do I consider myself holy and above sin. I have been adopted into the family of God through Jesus, but I am not divine.

I do consider myself saved. I consider myself washed in the blood of Jesus, my Savior and God’s Son and Sacrifical Lamb. I am sanctified by and through Christ Jesus only. I do not and will never claim salvation by my own works or deeds, and I have Biblical cause to fear for the soul of anyone who does.

Charlene <-- a disciple of Christ, but not his equal.

Daily Devotions

Are you looking for a daily devotional? Check out HeartLight . They have many wonderful features, including a Bible Search tool. I also downloaded Paper Quote, which provides a daily scripture and graphic for my desktop, and a revolving scripture screensaver.

Potluck Feastival

Yesterday afternoon we had a potluck feastival to say good bye to our Pastor, Laszlo, and his wife, Sheryl. In accordance with United Methodist itinerant pastoral tradition, they have been transfered to Arizona.

This is good for Pastor because he has completed his mission here with us (creating unity between two merging congregations) and he is now free to persue a new ministry and enhance his God given gifts and talents. This is good for Sherry because she is back home, close to her family and able to see them whenever she wishes. This is good for me because I will be exposed to the thoughts, ideas and guidance of a new pastor so I, too, will grow spiritually.

Yet, beneath the blessing of this move is an extreme sadness. For every new beginning there must be an ending. I now have an empty space in my daily life. Sherry and I shared a mutual concern for each other’s well being. We shared our thoughts, ideas, opinions, joys, sorrows, irritations — and silliness. My ears will miss her laughter.

Although our parting isn’t permanent and our friendship is not ending, it will have to change to meet our new circumstances. Solomon points out that there is a time for everything. He even explains that not all things seem good, and it is not for us to understand the workings of God. In Ecclesiastes 1:12 Solomon explains, “There is nothing better for [us] then to be happy and do good while [we] live.” (my paraphrase)

It is hard to be happy while mouring a loss, but today I decided to rejoice in the fact that I have this friend to grieve over. Even if for some reason we never meet again, Sherry has greatly enriched my life. That is a priceless gift well worth celebrating.

Everyday that God gives us is a potluck feastival of new beginnings. I will look forward to them, and let the endings take care of themselves.

Still Outside the Garden

During my early ‘net travels I met a gentleman from Wales who has the same last name as I. We compared relatives and found our great-great-great-grandfathers were brothers.

And my good friend for the past eight years, the one person in this world who probably knows me better than some members of my own family, has never met me in person. Our friendship is wholly net.

Look how far technology has brought mankind from Adam and Eve — yet we haven’t changed at all. I can’t help but wonder — can we truly claim to have progressed?

The Lord God sent him out of the garden to till the soil from which he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life. –Genesis3:23-24

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Weeding the Garden

Unless we know the difference between flowers and weeds, we are not fit to take care of a garden. It is not enough to have truth planted in our minds, we must labor to keep the ground clear of thorns and briars, follies and perversities, which have a wicked propensity to choke the word of life. –Clyde Francis Lytle

What sins do you nurture? One of mine is sloth. I procrastinate. “Later” is my favorite word. I don’t imagine God is fond of it.

I try not to procrastinate with my Bible Study. I have a set time — a daily appointment to study God’s word. The Word of God is a powerful yet subtle weedkiller. It slowly chokes out the things that come between us and God. Try it, you’ll see.

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Jesus loves YOU!

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A Special Gift

I found this post as I was out for my morning cyberwalk. I popped into one of my favorite places and there it was. Enjoy it here, but please visit it at it’s home, because it has many beautiful brothers and sisters whose voices are often raised in worship.

One Earth To Share

Child of the mountains
Child of the sea
One earth to share
One love of He
That gave us all
This place to dwell
In friendship, peace
And harmony

written by Pauline June,2006 (c) for Quilldancer

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Come, Listen, Seek

Come all ye who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
And you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me and eat what is good,
and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.
Isaiah 55:1-2

Lost sinners are often emotionally and spiritually bankrupt. They spend all their time, energy and money on things of this world, and their pleasure in those things soon wanes, leaving them empty and longing for more. But no matter how much they accumulate, the things of this world will never satisfy. Only God can completely fill our emotional and spiritual voids.

Make Jesus your sustenance. He is bread and wine – the repletion of souls.

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May you never hunger or thirst again.

Come to the Water
(By Marsha J. Stevens)

Come to the water, stand by my side.
I know you are thirsty, you won’t be denied.
I felt every teardrop when in darkness you cried,
And I long to remind you that for those tears I died.

You said you’d come and share all of my sorrows.
You said you’d be there for all my tomorrows.
I came so close to sending you away,
But just like you promised, you came in to stay.
I just had to pray:


Your goodness is so great I can’t understand.
But, dear Lord, I know now that all this was planned.
I know you are here now and always will be.
Your love burst my chains and in you I’m free.
But, Jesus, why me?


Jesus, I give you my heart and my soul.
I know that without you I’ll never be whole.
Savior, you opened all the right doors.
And I thank you and praise you from earth’s humble shores.
Take me, I’m yours.


Ideal Life

Few things are more infectious than a godly lifestyle. The people you rub shoulders with everyday need that kind of challenge. Not prudish. Not preachy. Just cracker jack clean living. Just honest to goodness, bone – deep, non-hypocritical integrity.

— Charles Swindoll

Only Jesus was perfect, but because he died for our sins we serve him with joy and strive to be better than we are. People are watching. They hear what we say. They see what we do. Strive to make your words match your actions, and see what wonders God can do in you, and through you.


Personal Peace

Attaining — and keeping — my personal peace is my current spiritual growth priority. These are the steps I will take to achieve my goal.

1.) I will remain flexible and not get upset when things do not go according to my plan.

2.) I will not give my peace away in an arguement. When a discussion is no longer fruitful I will stop, especially if I am arguing for pride’s sake and not for a life conviction. I will humble myself for peace.

3.) I will read scripture and pray daily. I will admit fault, apologize and atone if I have wronged anyone. I will work to maintain my inner peace, for if I do not have peace within, I cannot be peaceful with others.