Sunday, March 31, 2013

Katrina's Musings (Easter Sunday)

Hallelujah! He is Risen!

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared.  And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” And they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest.

Luke 24:1-9

Friday, March 29, 2013

Katrina's Musings (Good Friday)

Why do Christians recognize Good Friday as a significant day? I think the Bible says it all (and certainly more eloquently than I can).

1 Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2 For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?
9 And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.
10Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

11Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors.

Isaiah 53

And he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews." Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek. So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, "Do not write, 'The King of the Jews,' but rather, 'This man said, I am King of the Jews.'" Pilate answered, "What I have written I have written." When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, so they said to one another, "Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be."This was to fulfill the Scripture which says, "They divided my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots."So the soldiers did these things, but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son!" Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!" And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home. After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), "I thirst." A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, "It is finished," and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. He who saw it has borne witness--his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth--that you also may believe. For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: "Not one of his bones will be broken." And again another Scripture says, "They will look on him whom they have pierced."

John 19:17-36

May you highly esteem the sacrifice of our Great Savior today. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Katrina's Musings (Easter Packs)

It's "Easter Pack" season again. On the days leading up to Easter, I use "Easter Packs" as an evangelism tool to share the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Each "Easter Pack" contains a gospel tract, a note written by me, and a couple pieces of candy, all packaged in a Ziploc bag with a flower sticker on it.  As I'm running my errands, I hand one to the attendant at the counter and say, "Happy Easter! This is for you." It's that easy. I encourage you to give this idea a try on the days leading up to Easter.

 This year's "Easter packs" are pictured below.

Here's the text from the note I included in each pack:

Did you know that Easter is about more than colored eggs and candy? Easter is celebrated because it is the day that Jesus rose from the dead. His life and death were predicted (in the Bible) hundreds of years before he was born.

In the book of Isaiah, it reads, "Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows, yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned--every one-- to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity [sin] of us all." (Isaiah 53:4-6).

I have provided for you a gospel tract with a little more information about this event in history and its ramifications. I simply ask that you consider this information today and ask yourself, "Is it true?" If it isn't true, then reject it. If it is true, then it demands a response.

Thank you for taking the time to read this today. Happy Easter! May it be your best one ever.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Cookie Baking Night 03/25/13

Tonight was Cookie Baking Night. In attendance this evening: Ethan and Carissa. Tonight we made our traditional spring treat/cookie: Bird Nests. 

The recipe is simple: 
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 bag chow mein noodles
candy eggs

Melt choc chips, butterscotch chips, and peanut butter together (I do this in the microwave). Stir in chow mein noodles. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto parchment paper. Decorate with candy eggs (our egg of choice is the Cadbury mini egg). 

We also continued reading our current book selection: God's Names by Sally Michael. This week we learned the names Jehovah, Yahweh, and I AM meaning: self-existent and unchanging. As we are learning about the names of God, we are learning about who he is, his character and nature.

As usual, a fun time was had by all.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Katrina's Musings (the death of death)

I've noticed lately how one particular word in our vocabulary as a society has been "dying" out. That is the word death (and its cousins die, dying, and died). It has been replaced with the phrase passed away. Ah, passed away a much gentler term; it doesn't cause one to think nearly as much as that nasty word death does. I certainly can understand why the world as a whole would prefer the phrase passed away to the word death, particularly when we're talking about a funeral and someone we loved. Death is abrupt and ugly and makes us very uncomfortable. Passing away fades us off into another existence. Passing away can be whatever we want it to be. It's very comfortable. Yes. I can understand why the world likes this phrase, but I'm not sure why Christians have adopted the practice of using the phrase passed away. It seems to me that Christians should be "the death people" if you will (no morbidity implied, please hear me out).

Death is the reason we are Christians.

Death entered this world because of sin.

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Genesis 2:15-17. 

Jesus Christ conquered death.

"But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay." Matthew 28:5-6

"When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 15:54-57

Jesus Christ reconciled us to God through his death.

"For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation." Romans 5:6-11

We die to ourselves and to sin through Jesus Christ.

We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Romans 6:9-11

Sin brought death into the world; Jesus Christ makes eternal life possible.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

Christian, let's think twice about replacing the word death with the phrase passed away. Doing so desensitizes us to death and could result in removing the word from our vocabulary altogether. How will we ever share the gospel message without it?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Cookie Baking Musings 03/18/13

Last Monday night, the Cookie Baking crew was in Florida. It was Oseid family vacation time (Oseids go to Disney World every seven years). Emily came with Greg and I as part of our family. In fact, the three of us returned home today (to a whole lot of snow). It was a fun break from the Minnesota winter as well as an opportunity for sanctification (nothing brings out the little--and big--sin natures like 11 family members all coming to an agreement about one activity, that, and waiting in long lines). I love how God uses the real stuff like that!

It truly was a lovely time, and below you will find a picture of Carissa, Ethan, and Emily at Disney's Magic Kingdom (Side note: Carissa is dressed as princess Merida. She really enjoyed wearing that dress around all day).

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Katrina's Musings (Quietness of God)

From the journal of Jim Elliot, November 3, 1949.

"I think there is nothing so startling in all the graces of God as His quietness. When men have raged untruths in His name, when they have used the assumed authority of the Son of God to put to death His real children, when they have with calloused art twisted the Scriptures into fables and lies, when they have explained the order of His creation in unfounded theories while boasting the support of rational science, when they have virtually talked Him right out of His universe, when they, using powers He grants them, claim universal autonomy and independence, He, this great Silent God says nothing. His tolerance and love for His creature is such that, having spoken in Christ, in conscience, in code of law, He waits for men to leave off their bawling and turn for a moment to listen to His still, small voice of Spirit. Now after so long a time of restrained voice, bearing in Almighty meekness the blasphemies of His self-destroying creatures, now--how shall break upon the ears, consciousness, hearts, and minds of reprobate man the Voice of one so long silent? It shall thunder with the voice of offended righteousness, strike with lightening bolts on the seared consciences; roar as the long crouched lion upon dallying prey; leap upon, batter, destroy and utterly consume the vain reasonings of proud human kind; ring as the battle shout of a strong, triumphant, victory-tasting warrior, strike terror and gravity to souls more forecefully than tortured screams in the dead of night. O God, what shall be the first tones of that voice again on earth? And what their effect? Wonder and fear, denizens of dust, for the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a battlecry, with the voice of the archangel and the trumpet blast of God Himself, made more terrible, if that could be, by the long-suffering of His silence."

Monday, March 11, 2013

Cookie Baking Musings

No Cookie Baking Tonight, so I thought I would take this time to answer some frequently asked questions about Cookie Baking Night.

Q: What is Cookie Baking Night?

A: Every other Monday night our (mine and Greg's, both sides of the family) nieces and nephews come to our house to have supper with us and we bake some kind of cookie. We also read a Bible lesson from our current read at the time (God's Names by Sally Michael, right now), play games, enjoy each others company.

Q: Why Cookie Baking Night?

A: To share the gospel with our nieces and nephews and teach them in the ways of God. Side motivation: To know them as they grow up on a level deeper than that which holiday and birthday gatherings afford us.

Q: How long have we been doing Cookie Baking?

A: 10 years

Q: How old do the nieces and nephews have to be before they can join Cookie Baking Night?

A: 3 years old.

Q: Does Greg participate in Cookie Baking Nights?

A: Yes. Greg always joins us for supper on Cookie Baking Nights if his job does not take him out of town. He makes it a priority to be there. He leaves the "cookie baking" part to me, though.

Q: How do you keep the cookies from being all germy?

A: It's part of the initial training. Everyone must wash their hands before starting. Hands must remain away from your eyes, nose, ears, and mouth. If your hands touch these areas of your body, you are required to wash your hands again. If you've been asked to wash your hands three times in an evening, then you're demoted to watcher instead of helper until next Cookie Baking Night. I've found one demotion pretty much does the trick on learning this lesson.

Q: Do you buy extra ingredients in the case the kids eat some along the way?

A: Hmmm. Interesting Question. No one is allowed to eat ingredients along the way. When we've completed the making of the dough, everyone gets a spoonful of the dough and a piece of candy if we're using candy in the recipe (a spoon of frosting if the recipe has frosting). This is also a training process, but I've found that knowing they'll get some of the product at the end of the process keeps them from eating ingredients along the way or even trying.

Cookie Baking Night 06/25/18

Tonight was Cookie Baking Night. In attendance this evening: Ethan, Carissa, and Enzo (Allison and Rylar were attending a birthday party els...