Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Imagine changing your life's course by clicking on a picture. Remember, these are just fun, and if it affirms what you already know, then all the better!

You Should Be an Artist

You are incredibly creative, spontaneous, and unique.
No one can guess what you're going to do next, but it's usually something amazing.
You can't deal with routine, rules, or structure. You're easily bored.
As long as you are able to innovate and break the rules, you are extremely successful.

You do best when you:

- Can work by yourself
- Can express your personality in your work

You would also be a good journalist or actor.

Farewell Fred, but not for too long, okay?

Unfortunately, the one grown-up running for potus has stepped down. Katherine Jean Lopez has a great summation of Fred Thompson's candidacy and beliefs over on NRO. My husband and I keep asking each other, "Who can we vote for now?". Sigh.

I understand his mother is quite ill, which I'm sure must have played a part in his decision. Best regards to Fred and his family - from another former c of C er.

The Greatest Sermon I Never Heard

The greatest sermon I never heard is The Weight of Glory , by C.S. Lewis. Lewis was invited to preach at Oxford University Church of St. Mary the Virgin by the Vicar of St. Mary's, Canon Milford. The sermon was given on 8 June 1941, in the thick of WWII, which adds to it's poignancy.

Not long ago, I was assigned to give a devotional on a favorite scripture. Well, exactly how does one choose one scripture to be one's favorite? I guess there are some who are up to the task, but it is not one I find easy. There is a passage though, that I find both reassuring and exhilarating, and so it is what I chose. It is I John 2:28-3:10 ESV

1 John 2

28And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. 29If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.

1 John 3

1See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 3And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

4Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 5You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. 6No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. 7Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. 8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. 10By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

There are three points I'd like to pull out of this passage.

1. Our Father's great love

I've been a Christian basically all of my life, though at times I have lived out that calling more imperfectly than others. Even so, I continue to be amazed that I am God's child - that he is my Father. When I think of how much I love my daughters, the great affection and pride I have for them, and quite frankly the depths to which I would sacrifice myself for them, I cannot help but be blown away realizing how much more perfectly and deeply our Father's love for us must be. Only then can the cross start to make any sense.

2. We will be like Him

Okay, this is the exhilarating part. We will be like Jesus. We know some of what Christ's resurrected body was like. He was able to walk through walls - yet be touched, he was able to eat - yet vanish in a moment. The most exciting aspect of our transformation to me, though, is being sinless. It seems that every thought I have and every action I take is tinged with some sort of sin residue. Some sort of selfishness. What will it be like to self forgetful, to truly put others interests ahead of my own, to put God's interests ahead of my own? This is a thought, anticipation and desire which I yearn for, but alas being a sinner on this side of the veil, I don't yearn for it enough.

3. Abiding in Him

How do we abide in Jesus? John's answer is to stop making a practice of sinning and start making a practice of righteousness. Impossible! Yes it is quite impossible, but we are not to despair because we have been clothed in Christ and live in His strength, even as we continue to die to ourselves.

So, what does any of this have to do with Lewis's sermon? There is a passage, at the end of his sermon which brings to light how these scriptures should affect how we live our lives with one another. I quote:

"You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilisations - these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the live of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit - immortal horrors or everlasting splendours. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously - no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be a real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner - no mere tolerance or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment. Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses. If he is your Christian neighbor, he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also Christ vere latitat - the glorifier and the glorified. Glory Himself, is truly hidden."


Monday, January 21, 2008

Depression, Counseling, Kenosis & Theosis

I have struggled with depression, off and on, ever since I was a child. I went thru a rather jagged bought of it over the past few weeks and have been asking myself, my friends, my pastors and my counselor questions like: Can a real Christian suffer from depression? and What are the spiritual implications/dimensions of this disease that also affects the body and the mind in such devestating ways?

First, I absolutely believe that "real Christians", regenerate and sanctified by the Living God, can struggle with this illness. Open the Bible to almost any passage and God's children are expressing their, at times, complete despair in the face of the circumstances of life. Even our Precious Lord Jesus, who was without sin, was "sorrowful unto death" in the Garden of Gethsemane. How can we ever expect to feel content in this world, which is not as God intended it to be, and when we are now just shadows of our future selves? How can we, as Christians, keep our hope in the Living God in the face of feeling such black despair at times?

My counselor, who is also an Anglican Priest, introduced me to the concepts of Kenosis & Theosis, 2 Greek theological terms. Kenosis means emptiness and Theosis means divinization-- the process of becoming h0ly and the ongoing process of seeking increasingly greater union with God. I have come to believe the key to mastery over my depression will rest in a full apprehension of these 2 concepts. I will elaborate more on my growing understanding of this in future posts.

Christian Think Tank

The Spiritual Counterfeits Project is a Christian think tank based in Berkley, CA. Tal Brooke heads up this organization. His books, Riders of the Cosmic Circuit and Lord of the Air were instrumental in me coming into relationship with the One Living God.

I have been a seeker of the truth my entire life. Very much like Tal Brooke, I sought to understand all of the different world religions and philosophies. I also sought to come to an understanding of God and creation thru the study of literature, cosmology and depth psychology.

Tal Brooke's books confirmed a suspicion that I had always had about the spiritual realms, those realms that have more substance and reality than even our current reality. I had always wondered if God, and the other inhabitants of these realms of reality, were truly friendly towards humanity, or not. This is a very important question to ask one's self! In coming to a deeper understanding of the demonic and angelic, I came to a deeper understanding of God.

I never looked back, once I met Jesus Christ and came under His authority. I have "met" many folks online who have become deeply hurt, in body/mind/soul, as they have dabbled in the occult and sought to develop relationships with disembodied entities whom they assume have benevolent intentions towards them. If any of you folks come across this blog, I just want you to know that you can find freedom and healing thru Jesus Christ and I would be happy to chat with you about it.

Also, the website for The Spiritual Counterfeits Project is an invaluable resource for these types of issues.

Friday, January 18, 2008

How to be Principled

Found this on Rod Dreher's blog, Crunchy Cons. This is Ezra Levant, publisher of The Western Standard, whom I'm glad to see is acting and thinking like a grown-up. What courage!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Greetings and Salutations

You have just stumbled upon a new blog posted by Janine and Gina, two sisters in Christ with enough in common and enough differences to make our lives and conversations interesting. Come join us as we post our thoughts and questions relating to God, prayer, theology, cosmology, apologetics, culture, education and what it means to be a human created in the image of God.

Please be patient with us while we figure out what we're doing here in the blogosphere. Thanks for checking in and please visit again.

Peace to you
Gina and Janine