Sunday, December 28, 2008

Help, I can't stop!!!

As you can see, I have what can be described as diarrhea of the mouth tonight....

I just HAVE to tell you what I've been working on lately in the curriculum department. I think the Lord has been agitating my brain to work out a different plan for C's 3rd grade. (I would be changing earlier but my asperger's tendencies - don't worry, I haven't been Dx, only "tendencies" mind you!! - keep me in the groove rut of finishing what I've started for this year...)

Firstly, I wrote out some core issues that I feel are important in true "education". What do I want for C as an adult according to the values we feel are important. Then I just happened upon some books published by Doorposts and one in particular, called "Polished Cornerstones" by Pam Forster. This happens to fit my general goals so well that I'm very excited that I didn't have to develop a curriculum from scratch - 3 quarters of it is done for me! YAY!

Anyway, that's all for the day - I promise! More is nog 'n dag!

Sanctuary stuff

Lately I've been thinking some more about the service of the Sanctuary and how that relates to what is happening in the heavenly Sanctuary now. In the Most Holy Place, at the close of the Day of Atonement, the High Priest would bring the record of the sins which had been cleansed and lay them on the head of the scape goat.

The scape goat would then be sent into the wilderness and would undoubtedly die there at some point.

A quote from:

"There are some people who wrongly believe that the azazel goat represents Christ. But how can both goats represent Christ? One is sacrificed, and one is sent into the wilderness. Although it is true that Christ spent time in the wilderness at the start of His ministry, He returned from that. The azazel goat was sent into the wilderness, never to return to the congregation of Israel. And Revelation 20:1–2 pictures the fulfilment of that when an angel puts Satan into a bottomless pit, and later Satan is cast into the lake of fire to be cut off from God forevermore. The sins of the people were placed onto the head of the azazel goat because it pictured Satan, and his being the origin of sin, with all sins going back on him so that he bears the ultimate punishment for all of the sins that he has committed and caused to be committed by mankind. Christ never sinned, but He died for our sins. He did not live with our sins, but died for our sins.

But, we should notice that when the two goats were brought forward to the high priest, that no one knew which goat was which, and they had to draw lots to determine which goat was for the Lord and which was azazel. This is because Satan today makes himself appear righteous, as a false Christ, and it is impossible for the world to tell Satan and Christ apart, when Satan is masquerading as an angel of light (see 2 Corinthians 11:14; Matthew 24:5). So by drawing lots, God made it clear which goat was His and which one was Satan’s; just as today we need God to show us which "Christ" is the true Christ, and who is really Satan in disguise."

In the heavenly Sanctuary, Jesus is busy "cleansing" the Most Holy by appropriating His own merits and blood in order to REMOVE the record of our sins completely. This can only be done to those who claim, by faith, Jesus' own righteousness instead of their own. There are many who will be "examined" in the courts of heaven who CLAIM to be Christians but who have never fully laid their sins on Jesus and worn His robe instead of their own. These sins cannot be removed from them because they don't put them onto Jesus, and "wear" His merits instead.

The wicked, who have no desire to know Jesus and what He can do for them, will have their own sins and guilt on their own heads and will die in them, without even being examined in this PRE-advent judgement taking place NOW in the Most Holy Place. We cannot be approaching Jesus in the Holy Place because He is not there, but is in the MOST Holy Place.

During the 1000 yrs in heaven after Jesus' second coming, those of us in heaven (ALL true believers)will participate in the judgement of the wicked to "check" Jesus work, as it were and satisfy ourselves that they should not be in heaven, and in fact, would not even want to be there.(Rev 20:4)

So, on Satan's head will be 1) his own sins and guilt, 2)all the Believers' sins and guilt, and will probably suffer also for all the sins he has caused the wicked to commit and the corresponding guilt. This laying on of all those sins/guilt on him is not a redemptive thing. He will be dying the second and final death at the end of the 1000 yrs. He, sin and the wicked will be destroyed forever, not to suffer for eternity, but DESTROYED. During this "wilderness" time (of 1000 years), Satan will be alone to contemplate what he has done, I suppose, and to bear all these sins and guilt on his own head for 1000 yrs until the final destruction at Jesus' 3rd coming.

Jesus is the redemptive Lamb of God because through His blood, our sins are transferred to the Sanctuary and, because they're there, will be "cleansed" from us and put onto the devil.

I just find this an interesting topic for thought, don't you? I still haven't scratched the bottom of this fascinating bucket. If any of you have some profound thoughts to add, please feel free. Also read more about this and the 1000 years in Revelation 20. There are also several related websites, 2 of which are quoted from here but to add a disclaimer, I haven't read them in their entirety.

In looking for some graphics I also found the following quote from

"Satan hates the great truths that bring to view an atoning sacrifice and an all-powerful mediator. He knows that with him everything depends on his diverting minds from Jesus and His truth.

The subject of the sanctuary and the investigative judgment should be clearly understood by the people of God. All need a knowledge for themselves of the position and work of their great High Priest. Otherwise it will impossible for them to exercise the faith which is essential at this time or occupy the position which God designs them to fill. Every individual has a soul to save or to lose. Each has a case pending at the bar of God. Each must meet the great Judge face to face. The sanctuary in heaven is the very centre of Christ's work in behalf of men. It concerns every soul living upon the earth. It opens to view the plan of redemption. It is of the utmost importance that all should thoroughly investigate these subjects and be able to give an answer to everyone that asketh a reason of the hope that is in them.

The intercession of Christ in man's behalf in the sanctuary above is as essential to the plan of salvation as was His death upon the cross. By His death He began that work which after His resurrection He ascended to complete in heaven. We must by faith enter within the veil, "whither the forerunner is for us entered". (Hebrews 6:20). There the light of the cross of Calvary is reflected. There we may gain a clearer insight of the mysteries of redemption.
Through defects of the character, Satan works to gain control of the whole mind, and he knows that if these defects are cherished, he will succeed. Therefore he is constantly seeking to deceive the followers of Christ with his fatal sophistry that it is impossible for them to overcome. But Jesus pleads in their behalf His wounded hands, His bruised body; and He declares to all who would follow Him: "My grace is sufficient for thee." (2 Corinthians 12:9). "Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light." (Matthew 11:29, 30). Let none, then, regard their defects as incurable. God will give faith and grace to overcome them."

Isn't that wonderful and encouraging? Praise God for His MERCY toward us, the apple of His eye! Let's keep our eyes on Jesus - our only Hope, our only Sacrifice, our only Saviour and our only Redeemer - and He will save us FROM our sins!

God bless.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Post 60

Could have titled this "Christmas and Birthdays" but there are probably so MANY of those already - would hate to clutter up "blogworld" with another...

We had a lovely Christmas, thank you! Got to chat with folk all around the world - England (Christmas Eve anyway), South Africa and across the icy plains to Indiana. By e-mail we got to increase the scope to New Zealand, Australia, Zimbabwe besides the before-mentioned, from others in the family. THAT's what is so nice about Christmas - we get to hear from all of you, see pictures and get updates. I'm very thankful for e-mail and the internet - most of the time! And thank you all for keeping us "in the loop" (my finger temporarily missed the 'p' there at the end - but I fixed it :-0).

OK, now for the photos. By the way, we have a tradition here - we always watch "A Child's Christmas in Wales" (in honour of our Welsh roots, and because I love the movie) on Christmas Eve or shortly before Christmas. This is one cute 57 minute long movie that I recommend to everyone! First saw it in Boston in 1991 or '92 and have watched it every year since. Charming! Based on the book by Dylan Thomas.

Buddy just couldn't take all the excitement, and although he wanted to be in the middle of things, he just couldn't. keep. awake! After examining some stocking and other present contents he decided to take, continue, his little, all day snooze...

We joined Loga's and Hendersons for Christmas lunch at Logas' house. YUM! (Not finding replacements for the old photos so am adding some other out-of-context pics here - sorry)

Can't forget the crackers!

A collaborative effort

DC helped me use my new easel

Afterward the "uncles" snooze or snicker...

The next day was another very important birthday! This present turned out to be quite small and re-wrapped several times in smaller and smaller packages - hence the look of anticipatory mirth on C's face. Nevertheless, although small, I think it carried a powerful punch...

I have to say that one should have the utmost admiration for someone who's birthday is the day after Christmas! They have to be very special people indeed - so give them EXTRA love and attention - they deserve it! Just to give you a small idea of what they have to put up with - which I KNOW you haven't even DREAMED of:

1. Receiving birthday presents wrapped in Christmas paper.
2. Receiving ONE present for BOTH days (from some, I'm sure).
3. Having the birthday totally overshadowed by all the hullaboo BEFORE Christmas - and therefore not much mention of their special day before the time.
4. Seldom having a special birthday party just for them because a) everyone is gone on vacation and b) everyone is too pooped out to do much on the day after Christmas.
5. Sometimes not getting a birthday card because it was forgotten in all the Christmas rush and bustle.
6. The silver lining? It could be worse - maybe just BEFORE Christmas would be worse?! I don't know!

And now for some other events of the week.

We had a birthday party for Ad. on Monday. Here are some photos from that grand occasion.

The food was great!

Opening presents.

Best Friends

Ad's piano recital on the 23rd. She played 3 pieces and they all went very well! Good job, Ad.

Last, but not least, here is a borrowed photo of what we all feel like now!

Happy snoozin'
Til next time....

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Whoa, girl!?

Has it been 2 weeks since my last post? Guess so, can't fake that! Well, we'll start out with the webcam photo which is beginning to look more and more the same. Since I'm a great fan and appreciator of variety, and a great abhorrer of redundancy, I'm thinking it won't be necessary to post any more "webcam" photos until spring UNLESS we get a nice snow. How does that sound? (I hope good, everybody!!)

OK, although I said last time I had found some interesting things regarding the Sanctuary, I'll quickly give a brief-over of the last two weeks for those across the seas so they'll know we're not getting up to mischief; then at the end, or perhaps NEXT time, I'll write on the Sanctuary again...

So, as far as the last 2 weeks go... The week of the 8th saw a lot of rehearsals and extra practice for our big Spalding Christmas church programme on the 13th. C had to play in both services although for the second one, most of them were allowed to leave early. They played several hymns, the Christmas Medley and some prelude and postlude music. It went extremely well and the 'specially enlarged stage was filled with almost 100 children at times. The Caroliers also sang, and sounded wonderful.(As a side note, I misplaced my regular camera for a few frustrating days so don't have a photo of that, but do have movie, at least).

That Thursday we all went to St's work Christmas lunch at a restaurant in a converted old county courthouse. It was a very rainy day! Actually, we've had almost constant rain since the 10th. I think they've finally taken this part of the country off the "potential drought" list. I say potential because this part of the country hasn't REALLY seen a true drought, has it? I mean a true African-style 3-5 year span of NO rain? I don't think so...but hey, what do I know? As an example, I remember having to brush my teeth in a quarter cup water; "bathing" with a little bucket and a washcloth, and flushing the toilet?? I won't go there! Have we EVER done that HERE? Well, I haven't, but others may have.

On Friday we drove down to Grace Episcopal to hear the Kinge's Quire perform their Bach's lunchtime concert, at noon. On Sunday afternoon we drove up to Laurelbrook area to attend the Zollinger's 50th wedding anniversary celebration. What a nice programme they had, and very well attended. Brought back memories of Trelawney and the celebration there.

On the 15th, Spalding had their general Christmas programme for parents and friends so we went along and enjoyed watching their cantata, with each grade performing part of it as a choir. The 4th and 5th grade choir were the narrators and soloists and did an excellent job. Whew, a lot of programmes to attend and all squeezed into one month! Tuesday was the CHE Christmas party day and the kids were told to come in pajamas! These Americans and what they'll think up next!!? ;-) On Wednesday we had Adventurer Christmas parties (yes, 2), and then today we had friends over for lunch (in stages because some lost their way, and others got the time wrong - NOT my fault, just for the record!!). After that we had our usual "3rd Sabbath" church programme at Morning Pointe. Here the children are, singing.

So, bottom line is we've been running to and fro....trying to keep out of trouble - not always succeeding! In between the programmes I've been trying to find out why my car has a very bad petrol smell - after I stop, not noticeable while driving. So I've been to 3 or 4 places to check codes, get parts and do basic maintenance (ie: oil change!) Anyhoo, we mostly put on a good face with the effort.

This coming Monday the girls (C and A) have helped plan a marvelous 8th Birthday party for Ad here. So I guess Monday morning we'll decorate the house to high heaven and have a great time! I still don't know exactly how many honoured guests are coming! It should be fun.

This might be my last chance to wish you all bah humbug, I mean Merry Christmas. So hope you have one and a very blessed New Year - and I sincerely mean that!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Snow Flurries Hurry

The webcam shows snow falling this past week. Nothing stuck but it sure was pretty in its falling!

What happened last Sat. night? Oh, I remember now - we were in Indiana. Seems like EONS ago. Well, here it is Sat. night again, so at least, late as it is folk, I'll be keeping to the schedule THIS week.

So we travelled up to Indiana last Wednesday. The girls chit-chatted, then H got to stretch out on the back bench seat and catch some shut eye while C amused herself one way or another. We got to G&J at 4:30pm and shortly thereafter the sun least it seemed that way. They have a cozy house and have worked hard to make it air-tight and have built a monster furnace to keep it warm. The house was built in 1900, and though a bit rickety, has a lot of character. One main challenge is to keep it from falling down... Nice for them, it's close to G's work.

 G doing some work on the side of the old house

Here G shows S and M around the machines -

and close to Ry's school. A short commute is worth a LOT.

We had a lovely Th'sgiving on Thursday with all the immediate US family there. We had a wonderful time, G&J - thanks for putting us all up so comfortably and feeding us so well.

Here are M and A, down from Painesville, Ohio (on Lake Erie). It was good to catch up on the newlyweds.

We missed having the now "British" family with us but yay for them, brother R has a job (as mentioned) and they've rented a flat in London - one bedroom, but near work and affordable. Salaries don't seem all that huge in the UK - for one thing, I think they expect both spouses to work full time. C can't work due to not having a work permit yet, but that's in the works...

We drove back on Sunday - in the cold, pouring rain all the way. Nevertheless, thank God, got home safely.

Tuesday was the "Christmas on the Promenade" where C played the Christmas Medley 3x's in the youth orchestra with a 10 minute break between. It was frigidly cold so the little breaks were a lifesaving respite - see the little finger mittens someone lent us? She was very psyched about the whole deal but not so excited when she learned she had missed the Christmas tree lighting and all the other events due to her being part of the programme. For that reason, she's not going to be IN the Christmas parade tomorrow! One learns these things by experience...

Today was a big Adventurer Sabbath. They got to march in in both services and do special music, wear their uniforms etc.

It is now 10:24pm and I'm exhausted. We have an early cello lesson tomorrow morning at 8:30am....(update: later changed to 9:45)

We've had a visitor on our backporch lately. Here he is looking cheeky while he bides his time for some cat food!

I have some exciting things to share about the Sanctuary - hopefully next time - but I know better than to promise anything!

Have a happy, safe and peaceful week.