Tuesday, May 25, 2004

I am a spork!

You are a spork! You are a mismatched hodgepodge of a personality, and as such, utterly useless.

what kitchen utensil are YOU?

Hahaha, yeah that's me alright. ;)

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Had a wonderful sermon today read by Mike G. and preached by Thomas Watson in 1689..the subject being "How we make religion our business", the text being Luke 2:49. He went through more points than I could poke a stick at, but the basics were pt.1 What is meant by religion pt.2 Why must we make religion our business and pt.3 What is it to make religion our business. We make religion our business when we devote our time to it, he used the example of a ship that is bound for a coast (heaven) and although contrary winds (temptation) may try to drive it back and may succeed in part, the ship still turns again and makes it's way to the coast. We seek first the kingdom of God. We don't tarry in the way on our journey. We put forth all of our might in serving God, redeeming study time, being zealous for His truth. Well anyhow, yeah it was very good, but we have company, so I better cut it short. :D

In case you don't read the rfw yahoo club, Tam posted part of The Unity of the Church by Thomas M'Crie on to it earlier, having to do with keeping covenants (the National and Solemn League). She then read it to me..very edifying.

"The continued obligation of our National Covenants is of greater importance than any particular measure adopted in prosecuting them. In what I have to say on this branch of the subject, I shall keep the Solemn League more particularly in eye, both because it comprehends the substance of the National Covenant of Scotland, and because it has been the object of more frequent attack. It is not every lawful covenant, nor even every lawful covenant of a public nature, that is of permanent obligation. Some of both kinds, from their very nature or from other circumstances, may undoubtedly be temporary. The permanent obligation of the Solemn League results from the permanency of its nature and design, and of the parties entering into it, taken in connection with the public capacity in which it was established. Some talk of it as if it were a mere temporary expedient to which our forefathers had recourse in defending their civil and religious liberties; and, when they have paid a compliment to it in this point of view, they think they have no more concern with the matter. This is a very narrow and mistaken view of the deed.

The most momentous transactions, and most deeply and durably affecting the welfare and the duty of nations and of churches, may be traced to the influence of the extraordinary and emergent circumstances of a particular period. The emergency which led to the formation of the covenant is one thing, and the obligation of that covenant is quite another; the former might quickly pass away, while the latter may be permanent and perpetual. Nor is the obligation of the covenant to be determined by the temporary or changeable nature of its subordinate and accessory articles. Whatever may be said of some of the things engaged to in the Solemn League, there cannot be a doubt that in its great design and leading articles it was not temporary but permanent. Though the objects immediately contemplated by it ? religious reformation and uniformity ? had been accomplished, it would still have continued to oblige those who were under its bond to adhere to and maintain these attainments. But unhappily there is no need of having recourse to this line of argument; its grand stipulations remain to this day unfulfilled.

The Solemn League was a national covenant and oath, in every point of view ? in its matter, its form, the authority by which it was enjoined, the capacities in which it was sworn, and the manner in which it was ratified. It was a sacred league between kingdom and kingdom with respect to their religious as well as their secular interests, and at the same time a covenant in which they jointly swore to God to perform all the articles contained in it. National religion, national safety, liberty and peace, were the great objects which it embraced. It was not a mere agreement or confederation (however solemn) of individuals or private persons (however numerous), entering spontaneously and of their own accord into a common engagement. It was framed and concluded by the representatives of kingdoms in concurrence with those of the Church; it was sworn by them in their public capacity; at their call and by their authority, it was afterwards sworn by the body of all the people in their different ranks and orders; and finally it was ratified and pronounced valid by laws both civil and ecclesiastical.

The public faith was thus plighted by all the organs through which a nation is accustomed to express its mind and will. Nothing was wanting to complete the national tie, and to render it permanent; unless it should be maintained that absolute unanimity is necessary, and that a society cannot contract lawful engagements to God or man, as long as there are individuals who oppose and are dissentient. Sanctions less sacred, and pledges less numerous would have given another nation, or even an individual, a perfect right to demand from Britain the fulfillment of any treaty or contract; and shall not God ? who was not only a witness, but a principal party, and whose honor and interests were immediately concerned in this transaction ? have a like claim? Or shall we "break the covenant and escape?" (cf. Ezek. 17:15).

Some of the principles on which it has been attempted to loose this sacred tie are so opposite to the common sentiments of mankind, that it is not necessary to refute them: such as, that covenants, vows and oaths, cannot superadd any obligation to that which we are previously under by the law of God; and, that their obligation on posterity consists merely in the influence of example.

There is another objection which is of a more specious kind and lays claim to greater accuracy, but which on examination will be found both unsolid and inaccurate. It is pleaded that it is only in the character of church members that persons can enter into religious covenants or be bound by them; and that the covenants of this country can be called national on no other ground than because the majority of the inhabitants in their individual character voluntarily entered into them. At present I can only state some general considerations tending to show the fallacy of this view of the subject. By church members may be meant either those who are in actual communion with a particular organized church, or those who stand in a general relation to the Church universal. But in neither of these senses can it be said that religious covenants or bonds are incompetent or non-obligatory in every other character. This is to restrict the authority of divine law in reference to moral duties, and to limit the obligations which result from it, in a way that is not warranted either by Scripture or reason. How can that which is founded on the moral law, and which is moral-natural, not positive, be confined to church members, or to Christians in the character of church members only?

The doctrine in question is also highly objectionable, as it unduly restricts the religious character of men, and the sphere of their action about religious matter, whether viewed as individuals or as formed into societies and communities. They are bound to act for the honor of God, and are capable of contracting sacred obligations (sacred both in their nature and in their objects) in all the characters and capacities which they sustain. I know no good reason for holding that when a company of men or a society act about religion, or engage in religious exercises, they are thereby converted into a church, or act merely and properly as church members. Families are not churches, nor are they constituted properly for a religious purpose; yet they have a religious character, and are bound to act according to it in honoring and serving God, and are capable of contracting religious obligations. Nations also have a religious character, and may act about the affairs of religion. They may make their profession of Christianity, and legally authorize its institutions, without being turned into a church. And why may they not also come under an oath and covenant with reference to it, which shall be nationally binding?

Covenanting may be said to be by a nation as brought into a church state, acting in this religious capacity ? the oath may be dispensed by ministers of the gospel and accompanied by the usual exercises of religion in the Church, and yet it may not be an ecclesiastical deed. The marriage covenant and vow is founded on the original law; and its duties, as well as the relation which it establishes, are common to men, and of a civil kind. Yet among Christians it is mixed with religious engagements, and celebrated religiously in the Church. Ministers of the gospel officiate in dispensing the vow, and accompany it with the Word and prayer. The parties are bound to marry in the Lord, and to live together as Christians. But is the marriage vow on that account ecclesiastical, or do the parties engage as church members only? The Christian character is, in such cases, combined with the natural, domestic, civil, political.

Much confusion also arises on this subject from not attending to the specific object of our National Covenants, and the nature of their stipulations, by which they are distinguished from mere church covenants. I shall only add that several objections usually adduced on this head may be obviated by keeping in mind that the obligation in question is of a moral kind, and that God is the principal party who exacts the fulfillment of the bond.

If there is any truth in the statements that have now been made, the question respecting the obligation of the British covenants is deeply interesting to the present generation. The identity of a nation, as existing through different ages, is, in all moral respects, as real as the identity of an individual through the whole period of his life. The individuals that compose it, like the particles of matter in the human body, pass away and are succeeded by others; but the body politic continues essentially the same. If Britain contracted a moral obligation, in virtue of a solemn national covenant, for religion and reformation, that obligation must attach to her until it has been discharged.

Have the pledges given by the nation been yet redeemed? Do not the principal stipulations in the covenant remain unfulfilled at this day? Are we not as a people still bound by that engagement to see these things done? Has the lapse of time cancelled the bond? Or, will a change of sentiments and views set us free from its tie? Is it not the duty of all the friends of reformation to endeavor to keep alive a sense of this obligation on the public mind? But, although all ranks and classes in the nation should lose impressions of it, and although there should not be a single religious denomination, nor even a single individual, in the land, to remind them of it, will it not be held in remembrance by One, with whom "a thousand years are as one day, and one day as a thousand years?" (cf. 2 Pet. 3:8)."

Saturday, May 01, 2004

Let the fun continue. So the wallpaper was shipped off to the dump and it was onto the painting. At first Belinda was wanting to go with this cool stucco technique, but finding the tools became to hard, pricey and couldn't be done in the dark red we at first contemplated. So after Tam and I spent some time at New Look Decorating Center (awesome place btw) we opted out of stucco and thought we'd just get the red and see what comes of it. Well I wanted a coat of Fresh Start and then applied some red, which didn't turnout to be the same as the swatch, too much magenta I'm guessing so I turned to our left over paints and took a trip to Wal-Mart and got a can of a nice white type of shade. I applied that to the top two thirds of the walls and on the bottom half I smooshed (also known as fresco me thinks) some gray, with a hint of green and cream which gives it a marbled type of look (if you've ever seen our painted flours you'll have more of an idea of what I'm talking about). So yeah, the entry is now complete but for some touch-ups that I've been putting off, eh heh.

Next task on the project list was the upstairs bathroom which was in serious need of new paint since the old stuff was marked and starting to chip off here and there. Well after considering, Belinda consented to a nice looking green, Tam and I took another trip to Wal-Mart and got a small can..next day I started painting, didn't get far since the color looked minty. Now that may not mean much to some of you, but I'm not a fan of mint, and certainly not on our main bathroom walls. :D I then called Tam for moral support (haha, yeah I know faar too many details, but you can skim or skip it all together). :) Tried to see if it changed when it dried (nope) so I took another trip to Wal-Mart to play with the tints. Got the friendly, very helpful guy to add some black etc. then I compared the colors to a swatch and found it was almost a match for a bluesy/green, all I needed was one more shot of green, so it was perfectly providential. Ahh, much better..a bit darker than I had been going for in the first place, but hey it's not mint and that's a good thing.

Well back to painting the basement bathroom, I suppose I'll torture ya'll once or twice more with my renovation details later. :D

Busy busy. So today and the last couple of weeks have been my "get with it and paint" weeks, also filled with the normal household chores etc.

My project list started with our 14 ft. or so entry way which was covered in a pretty okay looking wallpaper for the 70's or whenever they pasted it up, but it had to meet it's end. I started by taking off about 12 little square mirrors that were stuck onto part of the wall. So yeah the wallpaper could have been easier for sure (or harder), but with my spray bottle and putty knife in tow I hit the walls. After about half an hour I had my method down, of getting it wet, peeling the top off, then spraying it again and peeling the second layer of paper off all the way to the top of the walls. The main challenge was the height, since my 8 ft. ladder plus me on the very top only equals about 13 ft. No, I was careful and didn't risk my life too often, when I could help it. After many hair pullings and sighs I had it all down, sanded the wall and applied my putty in the appropriate areas. I guess there was only one mishap in all that (not counting the stubbornness of the remaining glue). We have an alarm system right? Well I had the upstairs alarm pad hanging from the wall while I carefully removed the paper behind. I was cautious at that point to avoid getting any water in the back of it, the thought of putting a bag on it crossed my mind but "one thing drives out another" so I forgot. I started to rip the paper above it, spraying it well, when I heard a *beep..beep..I looked down and saw that the alarm must have got a bit of moisture in is from the mist. Well after a closer inspection off of my ladder I saw that it proclaimed to be armed; I hadn't pressed anything on it so I called Belinda figuring that she could rescue us from the impending noise. Well the buttons weren't registering, so I thought I'd open the door in the normal fashion of us coming home. The buttons still didn't work, the alarm went off, tried the downstairs' pad, it wasn't working either. It isn't hooked up right now to an alarm company, so noise is about all we got and either our neighbors knew it was us setting it off or they really don't care if we get robbed. After about 15 minutes of that is went silent again, until little Baillie decide to prance down the hallway where we have a motion detector, so off it went again. With silence once more, I called Mark and Tammy to see if they knew what to do with it, which they didn't... so we had to wait for Mark to get back. After the kids setting it off 2 or 3 more time, taking control, Belinda and I blocked of the area with chairs as reminds of why they're *not* to go that way. Mark came home and tried to unarm it but to no avail, he did however have the wits enough to shut of the breaker for it, now why didn't I think of that??

Okay, bedtime I'll have to post the rest of my doings in another addition. :)