Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion Chaper 23 of the 3rd book, part of point 5.

Whenever they presume to carp, let us begin to repeat: Who are ye, miserable men, that bring an accusation against God, and bring it because he does not adapt the greatness of his works to your meagre capacity? As if every thing must be perverse that is hidden from the flesh. The immensity of the divine judgments is known to you by clear experience. You know that they are called "a great deep", (Ps. 36: 6.) Now, look at the narrowness of your own minds and say whether it can comprehend the decrees of God. Why then should you, by infatuated inquisitiveness, plunge yourselves into an abyss which reason itself tells you will prove your destruction? When are you not deterred, in some degree at least, by what the Book of Job, as well as the Prophetical books declare concerning the incomprehensible wisdom and dreadful power of God? If your mind is troubled, decline not to embrace the counsel of Augustine, "You a man expect an answer from me: I also am a man. Wherefore, let us both listen to him who says, 'O man, who art thou?' Believing ignorance is better than presumptuous knowledge. Seek merits; you will find nought but punishment. O the height! Peter denies, a thief believes. O the height! Do you ask the reason? I will tremble at the height. Reason you, I will wonder; dispute you, I will believe. I see the height; I cannot sound the depth. Paul found rest, because he found wonder. He calls the judgments of God 'unsearchable;' and have you come to search them? He says that his ways are 'past finding out,' and do you seek to find them out?" (August. de Verb. Apost. Serm. 20.) We shall gain nothing by proceeding farther. For neither will the Lord satisfy the petulance of these men, nor does he need any other defense than that which he used by his Spirit, who spoke by the mouth of Paul. We unlearn the art of speaking well when we cease to speak with God.

From point 11 of the same chapter

Here the words of Augustine most admirably apply: "Since in the first man the whole human race fell under condemnation, those vessels which are made of it unto honor, are not vessels of self-righteousness, but of divine mercy. When other vessels are made unto dishonor, it must be imputed not to injustice, but to judgment," (August. Epist. 106, De Praedest. et Gratia; De Bone Persever., cap. 12.) Since God inflicts due punishment on those whom he reprobates, and bestows unmerited favor on those whom he calls, he is free from every accusation; just as it belongs to the creditor to forgive the debt to one, and exact it of another. The Lord therefore may show favor to whom he will, because he is merciful; not show it to all, because he is a just judge. In giving to some what they do not merit, he shows his free favor; in not giving to all, he declares what all deserve. For when Paul says, "God has concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all," it ought also to be added, that he is debtor to none; for "who has first given to him and it shall be recompensed unto him again?" (Rom. 11: 32, 33.)

Fishtank I dare you. =D

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Friday, February 06, 2004

Well then, another week, flush..I mean I'm positive, I really didn't mean flush, I meant..another week flitted away.

On Wednesday I went to a home schooling sledding gathering thing. Belinda had been invited to come with the kidlets, but since she wasn't feeling up to standing out in the cold for two hours or more, I took them to the hill. The Grounds weren't there yet, so I parked and walked to the sledding hill making sure Calvin and Baillie stayed on the sidewalk. With our red and blue sleds in tow we hit the hill. I didn't really come fully prepared, since I was missing the winter boots and snow pants, but decided to venture a few slides, taking turns between going down with Calvin and Baillie. All went nice and smoothly and although I didn't know any of the other home schooler ladies there I just played with the kids, pushed them down the hill and did chat a little with one lady. The Grounds arrived after about 1/2 an hour of sledding, so I went down a couple more times with Megan and Julia Grounds, 3 or 4 of us on one sled. You would think that after so many years of sledding I'd learn my lesson, the one about after having escaped 10 slides don't risk another. Well we were going to leave, and although I was cold etc, I thought I'd go down once more with two of the girls. After joking to Theresa that I hope I wouldn't break an arm, I and two of the girls got on our 2 seater and took off down the hill hoping the kids that were climbing up would move out of the way if we started heading for them. With all the weight we were gaining speed, flying down the hill ...we flew off the path and who did we see standing in front of us? Tired little Baillie was plugging up the hill, eyes to the ground. We were rocketing towards her. In a split second I reached over the girl's heads and somehow managed to grab Baillie and take her with us to the bottom of the hill. I held on to her hoping that she was okay, since I knew my right cheek had hard contact with something. At the bottom I lifted her off, all the little girls thought that was a blast..Baillie was unscathed and seemed to have felt nothing, she was however missing one boot and sock which one of the girls went and got for us. I was extremely thankful she was okay, although I had an instent headache after hitting her, I figure I must have ran into the top of her head or something. The pain reminded me of the time I was running for the Shaw's phone (good reason they're not allowed to run in that house)and I slipped on the wood floor, bang, hit really hard (ask Amy, she could heard it from the phone). So after we packed up sleds and kids we went to Mc Donalds with a bunch of the other ppl, had some hot chocolate and fries, kids played in the little, um fun thing, and home again. That evening I looked like someone beat me (haha) and chewing was also painful, must have swelled over an inch. So for once in my life if you minused the bruise it looked like a had a prominent cheek bone.

Finished reading The Fellowship of the Ring again. Started it when I got my wisdom teeth out, finished it in the spare time in the evenings. I think I missed mentioning the teeth on here, oh well you didn't miss much. It all went really well, but now the task of wisdom goes to the gray hairs, problem is that I don't have any yet. Oh well, time will fix that all too soon. So yes my point, I finished the first part and would like to read the others..as soon as they're back at the library. Still haven't come to the point of buying them, although I find great enjoyment from them. I would also like to reread the Silmarillion. So much to read, and no doubt better, more profitable things to read...but there's a little room for fiction. :)

Oh, and the wedding news for anyone who hasn't heard it. The ceremony will be in Albany in June, since the US won't allow them to marry here. It's a long confusing story, having to do with visas and such. At any rate there will be a reception here in town (PG) on July the 2nd, so that our family and church members can still get together if they still have the desire to do so.

Anyhow, I suppose this is long enough to count as a post and since I am running low on anything substantial to say I'll sign off. :)

Hope you all had a wonderful week, I know I enjoyed mine. :)


Sunday, February 01, 2004

1. We should consider, in all our wants and inclinations to discontent, the greatness of the mercies that we have, and the meanness of the things we lack. The things we lack, if we are godly, are things of very small moment in comparison to the things we have, and the things we have are things of very great moment. For the most part, the things for the want of which people are discontented and murmur are such things as reprobates have, or may have. Why should you be troubled so much for the want of something which a man or woman may have and yet be a reprobate? as, that your wealth is not so great, your health not so perfect, your credit not so much; you may have all those things and still be a reprobate! Now will you be discontented for what a reprobate may have? I will give you the example of a couple of godly men, meeting together, Anthony and Didymus: Didymus was blind, and yet a man of very 180 excellent gifts and graces: Anthony asked him if he was not troubled at hiswant of sight. He confessed he was, ‘But’, he said, ‘should you be troubled at the want of what flies and dogs have, and not rather rejoice and be thankful that you have what angels have?’ God has given you those good things that make angels glorious; is not that enough for you, though you lack what a fly has? And so a Christian should reason the case with himself: what am I discontented for? I am discontented for want of what a dog may have, what a devil may have, what a reprobate may have; shall I be discontented for not having that, when God has given me what makes angels glorious? ‘Blessed be God,’ says the Apostle in Ephesians 1:3,
‘who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places.’ It may be you have not such great blessings in earthly places as some others have, but if the Lord has blessed you in heavenly places, that should content you. There are blessings in heaven, and he has set you here for the present, as it were in heaven, in a heavenly place. The consideration of the greatness of the mercies that we have, and the littleness of the things that God has denied us, is a very powerful consideration to work this grace of contentment.

The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment Chapters 1-8