Thursday, July 30, 2009

More Pictures from GNP - 2009

Here are a few more pictures from GNP.

I am totally in a cleaning mood (and that doesn't strike very often). So, I don't want to get my blogger butt stuck at this computer.

Hopefully more thought provoking inspiration will hit soon. For now you will just have to look at my amazing family and the beautiful scenery that surrounds me. :) Oooh - and I can use this for WW!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

It's Always the Pretty Ones

Today I met a friend at "Picnic in the Park".

It didn't take B long to cozy in to the best seat in the house.

He is the biggest flirt and very discerning when it comes to those worthy of his cuddles and kisses.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Camping at GNP

This was our first camping trip with the boy. I have to say that it is a little hard to relax. Now instead of quiet, peaceful, meditative times - I am alert. Either that or yelling one of the following phrases:

"HOT! - fire is hot! Please, don't touch"
"No eating rocks"
"Please do not hit people with sticks"
"Please go to sleep"

I DID have fun though. Glacier National Park never ceases to amaze me with its majestic beauty. More pictures to come.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I'm Gonna Hop Around the Blog Tonight!

Guess what? There is a PART-AY goin' on. If you are here while attending Blog Hop '09 - Welcome! If you haven't heard of this festival of fun, hop on over to the hosts!

If you are a first time visitor here are a few things about me and this strange blog.

  • I am SO random - who knows what I will write about.
  • My name is Jesica (with one s) and about to embark on the final year of my twenties (sad)
  • I am married to a super handsome man whose real name is Norse (yummy) (you can read a portion of our story here)
  • I have a wonderful son - B (see his cuteness here, here, and here)
  • I believe in the transforming power of the Gospel. I enjoy discussing Biblical issues in a kind and thought provoking way - not the loony, religious wacko way. (hopefully I succeed at that)
  • I live in the beautiful state of Montana (you can see a lake from my kitchen window!)
  • I love Big Sky Bible Camp
  • I wish I could sew. I really have no clue.
  • I have a bloggy crush on the Pioneer Woman - seriously I think I am more enamored with her than any real celebrity (not that you aren't a real celebrity if you are reading this oh wise Pioneer Woman)
  • Sometimes I blog when I am emotional with the hope that someone else can be encouraged that they aren't the only one who is going through trials.
  • I blog most often to avoid cleaning. I really hate to clean.
  • Most of all I want to learn to live in grace and speak love and life into those who read my words or hear my voice.

I hope you have fun poking around my bloggy home. I've got company this weekend, but I'll be sure to stop by your blog if you leave me a comment. :)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Does Anyone Have a Toothpick?

I was enjoying a beautiful summer day with my sweet boy and decided since the pictures of he and I together are SO rare, that I would subject myself to the dreaded self - portrait. I thought to myself - the picture will merely capture the carefree fun the two of us were having. I was doing my best to avoid snapping a shot of all my bikini-clad glory and figured that after looking at what I captured on the mini-screen (because I am all about the instant gratification) it wasn't TOO dreadful...

That was until I realized after loading them on to the computer that I have some sort of mammoth nastiness stuck in my teeth.

What is that you say? It's not that bad?

Yeah, that's what I thought.

At least we can laugh about it now...

I'm laughing, really I am.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My Opinion...

A few days ago I asked what your opinion was on the topic of homosexuality and if it is a sin. Today, I have started my response. Thank you to each of you who responded whether publicly in a comment or through email and FB. I truly appreciate the spirit in which you all spoke your viewpoint and the passion in which I see all of you desiring to seek the mind of Christ on this issue.

I think that it is very easy to oversimplify Biblical statements when they are just words. When what the Bible says starts to involve people we know and love, that is when it starts to get tricky. Our emotions begin to waver, our hopes to interpret things the way we desire, and at least in my case, the desire to see people truly happy, always muddy the waters. I find myself seeing things less in black and white and more often in varying shades of grey. This is why I want to say RIGHT NOW, that if I, in any post have made the statement that something you, dear reader, are involved in is sinful, that does not mean that I think you are less than human, or worth any less than and of my dearest friends. All of us struggle with things, all of us make poor choices, and all of us need to fall into the arms of a merciful, loving God, who is able to take us from our destructive ways and give us life. I need his life giving forgiveness and I believe the entirety of humanity does as well, all of us, including the pope, the president, and the pedophile. We all need His grace.

As I tackle this issue I see valid points on both sides. While I haven't spent extensive time in mind-bending research, I have tried to consult people on both sides of the issue and take each argument, for or against, with an "open" mind (this even led to a somewhat heated discussion with my mild mannered husband) .

I will approach this by dealing with the Old Testament first (and have provided scripture references from the NASB - please feel free, if you disagree with the translation, to cite, in your comments, a better rendering and why it is more accurate - not just "because I say so" answers.)

The main passages that deal with same-sex relationships are:

Lev 18:22 You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.

Lev 20:13 If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their blood guiltiness is upon them.

I think that we do need to be careful with these verses, since we no longer regard certain other levitical laws as "applicable" after the coming of Christ. I think there is a fine line when deciding yea or nae, since obviously we can still agree that these laws are still valid regardless of the cultural setting...
18: 10-11'The nakedness of your son's daughter or your daughter's daughter, their nakedness you shall not uncover; for their nakedness is yours. 'The nakedness of your father's wife's daughter, born to your father, she is your sister, you shall not uncover her nakedness.

18:23 Also you shall not have intercourse with any animal to be defiled with it, nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it; it is a perversion.

However because of our advances in medicine and hygiene this seems a little ridiculous...
Lev 12: 2 "Speak to the sons of Israel, saying: 'When a woman gives birth and bears a male child, then she shall be unclean for seven days, as in the days of her menstruation she shall be unclean.

Soooo, be careful what you throw out and what you keep in, and don't base your whole theology on one verse.

Next comes the story of Sodom and Gomorrah found in Genesis 19

I won't reiterate the story, you can read it yourself. I can see the valid argument that this passage does not speak directly to the issue. I would however say that one may make the assumption that part of the reason the town was destroyed was because of their lust for sex and the clear illustration that it was male to male intercourse (since they didn't want the girls offered the men.) would suggest that homosexuality was one of the detestable things that made the town wicked.

I would say that if you were a Jewish person who still follows the Levitical laws, there really is no doubt of the view that homosexuality is sinful. However, I think it is important to take the teachings of the New Testament into consideration, since most of us say it is OK to eat pork. (several different views use proof text from Romans 14, Mark 7, and Acts 10 - we can debate this later if you decide it is necessary)

For New Testament teachings regarding homosexuality there are two main texts.

The first is 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

This would seem very straight forward, BUT there is some debate that translators took too much liberty when translating the Greek words arsenokoites and malakoi (homosexuality and effeminate). I can understand that, that is a possibility, however it seems more like a conspiracy theory than real hermeneutics. The best article I have found to counter the theory is found here.

The final verse related to this topic is Romans 1:
25For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

26For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,

27and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

28And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,

I know there are theories that say this only related to male prostitution and sex slavery and non-consensual intercourse with young boys... I however cannot swallow this theory. It seems that even if that was the culture that was being spoken to, it does not negate the fact that it was still an "unnatural" function and a "degrading" passion - a product of a "depraved mind" that was eventually their demise. It would be too much of a jump for me to say that Paul was NOT directly addressing the issue of homosexuality.

My opinion is that Paul clearly says that it does not glorify God to be in a sexual relationship (even within the boundaries of marriage) with someone of the same sex.

I also feel that the way God has created humanity, is to function complimentary - as male and female - in family relationships. While we all share our own individual characteristics and traits it would seem that we have been created with distinctly masculine and feminine natures. The masculine needing the feminine (and the feminine needing the masculine ) to give us proper perspectives on life - the little and the big. The Bible also speaks clearly to husbands and wives - never noting the relationship between two men or two women as a family unit.

Wasn't it Mark Twain that said: "It ain't the parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand."? For now I will concentrate what I understand to be true and for me that means being kind, compassionate, and loving to all people.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Just because

Just because my heart has been heavy lately...

Just because I am weary....

Just because my little man has green boogers running out his nose (sorry) ....

Here is a little cuteness to lighten things up....

Friday, July 10, 2009

Right or Wrong? - Homosexuality, Christianity and Popular Opinion

I posted this on my FB page, but have since decided that perhaps it should go on the good 'ol blog instead. Allowing people to post reactions anonymously to protect the innocent :)


I like most people. I do not want to hurt any ones feelings. I am not hateful. I do not picket on street corners. I do not consider myself a political or religious nut job. I am a Christian and want to glorify the One God with my life. I want to treat people with respect. I am not trying to impose my spiritual, political or moral beliefs upon anyone else. I DO want quality discussion from people on both sides of the issues.

Here is the question -

Is the act of homosexuality morally wrong or sinful? Why?

Follow up question -

By accepting the GLBT lifestyle will this cause any repercussions for the generations that follow? Will they be good or bad?

There are basically two sides to this coin for the Christian -
1. You believe that the Bible speaks directly to this issue, can be taken literally, and that, yes, the act of same sex relations is sinful.
2. You believe that the Bible does not speak directly to this issue, that OT passages are no longer culturally relevant, and that same sex relations are not sinful. ( I am posting links to a few sites that discuss this viewpoint ( here, here and here) because I think it is less commonly known.

What do you think?

Most of the discussion centers around passages in Leviticus 18 & 20, the story of Sodom & Gommorah in Genesis 19, and Romans 1 - if this helps.

I am waiting to hear from you all before I post my findings because I don't want to taint the discussion with my immediate opinion.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Families, Drama, and Life at My House

I have just returned from a trip to AZ to visit my mom. It reminded me again how much I miss having her closer than 3 states away. The trip was exhausting, but fun. The little man is still recuperating from the madness. We shopped, we played, we ATE! Oh, boy, did we ever eat. But...

I missed Norse.

He is my rock. He is the one who keeps me sane. He is the one who helps me with everything. I seriously don't know what I would do without him. It is so nice to come home to him. He is my refuge. (I know that there is only One who can meet all my needs, but Norse is often the one He uses to speak to me)

The trip however was not without drama. Drama in AZ and drama that tracked me down from back home in Montana. I know we are to carry one another's burdens, but I do NOT do well with drama. Honestly, I find it ridiculous and unnecessary. I find myself wanting to just ignore the people involved and the entire issue - and then I feel guilty because of my uncompassionate heart. My current attitude (albeit a wrong one) is that people need to deal with their issues and quit playing games. I feel frustrated when the same things keep popping up. I get sick of the whining and complaining. I get sick of dealing with everyone else's problems. I get sick of people.

This is why I am glad that God is not like me. His compassion never fails. His mercy is unending. His grace is immeasurable. His patience with humanity is astounding. I keep thinking of the book of Hosea - and how this woman, Gomer, prostitutes herself, keeps running, keeps hurting others, and yet she continues to be sought out, rescued and loved by her husband. How often my love runs dry, but His never will.

Hopefully He can take this hard heart and make it soft again.