Tuesday, February 21, 2017

It's a free choice

I did say that I was going to vent, but I've been hearing a lot of people venting recently and the rhetoric gets pretty ugly so I've decided to express my opinion in a more positive way.

I've been listening to a lot of theological debates recently and it's amazing the amount of misinformation about the veracity of the Bible. Some of it is laughable and some of it is pernicious. Most people know that the Bible is in two parts, the old testament and the new testament. The old part is written in Hebrew and Aramaic, the languages spoken in the region of Israel way back at the beginning. The first 5 books...let me interject here that the Bible isn't a single book, it's a collection of books bound into one volume.

The first 5 books, Genesis, the beginning, Exodus, the coming out of Egypt, Leviticus, the Levitical law, Numbers, the recording of the numbers of Israelites that left Egypt, Deuteronomy, the second or repeated law. These books were written by Moses and are called by Jewish people the Torah. Sometimes when referring to the "Torah", people actually mean the whole of the old testament which also includes the books of history of the Jewish people, Psalms, the book of poetry, Proverbs, obviously containing proverbs, and the books of prophecy, each of which is named after the prophet who spoke them. Oh, yeah, the penalty for being a FALSE prophet, DEATH. One wrong prophecy and it's game over. You'd better not speak lies in the name of Yahweh or you'd be taken out and stoned.

That's OLD testament. It's the old contract between God and man. God held Himself accountable to uphold what he told the Jews as long as they held to the agreement. Want to know what kinds of things were in the agreement? Take a look at Exodus chapter 20 and Deuteronomy 28 and 29. Under the old covenant all your sins could be covered by sacrificing a lamb. Once a year, you confessed your sins over the head of the lamb and then the lamb's blood was shed, and by faith, the lamb took your place, for your sins. The lamb dies, but you live. You need to believe that this exchange happens, since the efficacy of the animal's blood is contingent upon your faith. See, it's a contract between God and man that both parties have to agree to.

The new testament is written in Greek because at that time and in that place the common language was Greek, just like now the common language is English. So these days if you want most people to be able to understand, or at least be able to find someone who does, you write in English. Then, you wrote in Greek.

The NEW testament is a New covenant. In it, a better sacrifice was provided. instead of the blood of a mere animal being shed. God shed His own blood, so that once and for all, for all mankind a sacrifice that can't be compared, was made.

Now OK I know a lot of people will say that's really bloody. I'm sorry, it is. The Bible says in Hebrews 9:22 "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission."
In the OLD testament, the blood of animals covered over the sins, until the next time. In the NEW testament, God provided a body for himself and being perfect and being God, he was able to live a perfect, sinless life. He permitted that body to be sacrificed and the blood of that perfect sinless person has the power that the blood of animals doesn't. It has the power to eradicate all our sins for all time. This is a NEW covenant, a new contract, but again the contract works by faith.

In Hebrews 10 verses 4-9 it says.
"For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
Wherefore when he (Jesus) cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:
In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.
Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;
Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second".

See, God prepared a body to inhabit and while he inhabited that body he was called Jesus.

Hebrews 10:12-20  continues,
"But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,
This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh."

A perfect life, a perfect sacrifice, for imperfect humanity. That's the new covenant we receive by faith. You don't have to do anything for it, you just believe, His life for yours.

Now that's the amazing thing, God Himself, voluntarily took my sins, my faults, my failures and exchanged all that is worthless in me, for His perfection. I don't deserve it. I didn't work for it. There is nothing in me that's worthwhile. It's all due to His incomparable love. He gave His life for me. So I can live free from sin. So I can have a new life. So I can have the promise of heaven. Not only does He have the power to remove sin because He took the penalty of sin onto Himself and died as a human for us, but as God, He rose back up from the dead. You don't believe He rose from the dead? He's God, He can do anything.

He did that, not just for me, but for you too. All you have to do is accept that what He has already done, He did for you, because He loves you that much. Just believe that the sacrifice He made, He made for you. You can have eternal life and it can start right this minute, just believe.

Old testament
Isaiah 53:6  "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all."
New Testament
John 1:12  "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:"
John 3:16  "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

See the OLD covenant and the NEW covenant are consistent. The new perfectly fulfils the old

Eternal life is a gift freely given by a loving God. All you have to do is believe.

.... to be continued

Thursday, February 09, 2017

When freedom is not freedom

I haven't blogged in, let me see.... WOW I just checked and it's been over a year. How did that happen? I guess just keeping up with the 25 Motif Challenge doesn't leave me a lot of blogging time. That doesn't mean I don't have a lot to say, it's just not about tatting. I have done some tatting, like 8 bookmarks, sorry they're already gone, so no pics. 4 hanky edgings done and waiting to be mailed. I still have another to do. I did get a couple of snowflakes designed, and sent out a repeat of the snowflake I designed last year in the Christmas cards. See I have been tatting, just not much.

Instead I've been reading a lot and studying a lot. No, not for school, just for information. A lot of things have gotten me riled up in the last year, but this didn't seem like the place to vent. On the other hand, it is my blog and why shouldn't I vent here. I did vent once, but in retrospect, I decided no one needed to suffer through my anger and I removed it.

Anyway, I've decided that I am going to vent here, after all.  You've been warned, I'm venting and what I have to say will probably offend some people. That's OK. People responding to me in comments is OK too. I'm trying to be thoughtful and I'm not trying to be offensive, I'm just saying at the outset that I might be, and I'm willing to have a respectful dialogue with anyone who wants to talk. That said, this is the first of several posts I plan to make.

I was born Canadian. So were my parents. This is my home. I used to think I lived in a free country, where I was free to live my life, express my opinions, worship as I chose and do all of those other things that were taken for granted in a "free" country.

Now, by being free, I don't mean that I want to impose my thoughts, opinions and religion on anyone else. Other people are "free" to disagree with me, as long as they don't want to impose their thoughts, opinions and religion on me. See that's what it's like to be free. I'm free. You're free. I don't hurt you. You don't hurt me.

That's a Biblical principle by the way. It's found in Matthew 22:37-39 - Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. It's repeated  in Mark 12:29-31, and again in Luke 10:27. If you are familiar with the story of the Good Samaritan, and most people are, the Samaritan took care of an injured stranger, binding up his wounds and paying for his upkeep while he was ill. Jesus used that story to demonstrate that all people, even strangers are our neighbours.

Increasingly, I don't live in a free country. I'm not free to express my opinion or practise my religion. Fifty years ago, a man having sex with another man was called a sodomite which is an ugly word and people practising such acts often preferred the prettier word homosexual, although since the 70s they have embraced the even happier word, "gay".

I don't really care what anyone does in their own bedroom, I'm not there to see it, nor do I want to. Procreation doesn't happen between same sex couples. The tradition, since the time of Adam and Eve was one man and one woman, having children, forming a family unit, preserving humanity and forming the basis for a stable society. I don't even want to get into a discussion of whether same sex couples can bring up children as well as heterosexual couples. I'm neither interested in the topic, nor qualified to discuss it. What I am saying, is that the norm has been a heterosexual society for centuries. Normal is what most of society does. Therefore, heterosexual is normal.

Beyond what is normal, as a practising Christian, I strive to follow what the Bible teaches and it clearly teaches that same sex behaviour is an aberration.
Leviticus 20:13  If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
The new covenant found in the New Testament repeats it.
Romans 1:27  And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

So, my personal feeling about same sex couples is "eww, gross". The traditional view is, "that's not normal". and the Biblical view is, "it's an abomination".

Does that mean I think that vigilantes should run through the streets terrorizing people who are not heterosexual? No. Absolutely not. It does mean that I am free to express my opinion. It also means that I am free not have aberrant behaviour thrust in my face. I don't want to see an amorous embrace between a heterosexual couple in a public place. Even more so, I don't want to see it between a same sex couple.  Nor do I want acceptance of something I find abominable thrust upon me.

I really have a hard time justifying in my own mind, why a same sex couple would choose to bring political pressure to bear on a Christian minister to perform a same sex marriage. If a same sex couple chooses to defy what the Bible says, why would they want a Christian ceremony. It just doesn't make sense. I personally don't think it's morally right to have same sex marriages, but if people choose to do so in a civil service  I have no objection.

In the same way, if a Christian, in their normal duties, believes that it isn't appropriate for them to provide goods or services, they ought to be free to do so. For example, many fast food places have signs on the front door saying things like, No shirt, no shoes, no service. No one has a problem with the vendor refusing service. But when a caterer refuses to make a same sex cake for a wedding, suddenly they're hauled into court. The couple getting married could have just gone to another caterer, they could have just replaced the his and hers topper, but no, they had to make a political statement. I don't think that's right.

I think, if I had been the caterer, I might have just refused on the basis of being too busy, just to avoid the political fallout. If coerced, I think I might have tried to explain to the couple that based on my religious beliefs that I couldn't in good conscience do what they requested. For all I know maybe the catered did and the same sex couple were just eager to throw their weight around.

Whatever the reason, Christians are no longer able to freely express their beliefs or stand on the principles which the Bible clearly teaches. According to what the Bible teaches, people engaged in same sex behaviour are bound for Hell. God isn't sending them there, their own aberrant behaviour is. I don't want them to end up in Hell, but the only way to keep them out of Hell is to tell them the truth. Of course, Christians today are muzzled, when the tell the plain truth of the Bible it's declared "hate speech". It isn't hate, it's love.

God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. God loves the world and as Christians, we love the world too. We don't want anyone to go to Hell and when we say that same sex behaviour is an abomination in God's eyes, we say it so that people can repent of that behaviour and be saved. The consequences of not leaving that behaviour is Hell. Warning people, so that they can change, is not hate speech, it's just the opposite. Of course, if people have been warned and they choose not to listen, they can go to Hell. Literally. Go To Hell.

Hell is not someplace where you can hang out with your buddies. Hell is eternal isolation and eternal torment. But if that's what you want, go ahead, keep on having sex, men with men and women with women. I don't care, I won't be there to see your agony or hear your screams. I won't be the one who put you there, you will. God set the standard. Keep it, and enjoy Heaven. Break it, and suffer Hell. Not my rules, God's.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Chained Quartet Necklace

Most of the designs I create end up being published and for that reason I usually draw out the pattern either while I'm working it, or just after it's finished so that I can remember what I've done. Not only that, but most of what I make grows legs and walks out the door soon after it's done, so I don't have the original to work from.

Every now and then I create something intending to put it in a book, but it just doesn't fit in with whatever I'm currently doing so it gets stuffed in a drawer for later. This is one of the designs that never made it into a book. I was looking for ways to incorporate beads that didn't have to be strung on to start with.

The design is amazingly simple. It has a foundation row of a pair of rings alternated with chains where the ring on the right is joined to the ring on the left of the next pair. The end has a single ring and then the whole thing is repeated joining pair to pair forming an X of 4 rings in the middle.

The next row is just chains shuttle joined to the foundation row with a single bead in the middle along the top of the necklace. Those beads need to be strung on the chain thread before you start the row.

The bottom row just has really, really long picots with 20 beads strung on them. (And you thought it was complicated.) String on the beads as you make the picot holding them in place with a safety pin. The next chain is bare of picots. While making the following chain, remove the pin and join to the picot. Tat one stitch and repeat the process. Easy peasy.

You can change it dramatically just by stacking the beads in varying sizes or colours for interesting effects. Add more beads for a deeper loop place a large bead in the middle of the 20 bead group, or stagger them small, large, small, or whatever you want. Since they're all stacked on the picot, you can line them up and see what they'll look like before you commit to using them.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Snowflake pattern uploaded

Earlier I posted this snowflake and several people have asked for the pattern.

I did the pattern for it, but I whipped it out in a bit of a hurry so it isn't really up to snuff.  The central ring is 3-3-3-3 with a split ring of 5-5 into the first row. All of the other rings are 5-5 and the chains are 5-5 except for the chain at the outer point which is 7-7. The four rings on row 3 are all joined into the picot in the middle of the chain of row 2. Picots are usually shown as a single short line but in the interest of clarity I used a wee circle in place of the picot line.

Please let me know if it doesn't make sense or if you find a mistake.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Hot off the shuttles

Here it is, the newest flake. It's not even blocked because the thread broke as I was tying the knot. I always knot my thread ends and then sew them in. This time one of the threads broke right at the knot as I was pulling it tight. So I cut off the other end also close to the knot, but I'm not sure it will hold if I aggressively block it. I think it's cute, but kind of small. On the other hand it's quite dense, so it will hold it's shape.

I might do it again. Or maybe not. . . There are so many things to design, it's more fun just to go on to the next one.

Design fails

I started another snowflake design, but I wasn't sure where I wanted to go with it. I had an idea that was percolating but when I put it into lace the first row looked skimpy and disjointed. I worked to join the bits together on the next row but had more floppy bits that bugged me. Another row held it all together but I ended up with a round design that seemed to want to grow into a six pointed motif that I liked less and less the more I added. So I quit.

I started again, determined not to have any more floppy unconnected bits and ended up with something like an earlier design and smaller that I wanted. So I scrapped it too.

The next design is on the shuttles and so far I'm liking it, although it's coming out at a small 2.75 inches compared to the earlier one posted which is 3.5 inches across. I can add a row or two to make it bigger, but I'm liking how it looks as is.

I was asked for the pattern of the previous design and it's in the works. I'll post it when it's done.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Better

This one looks better. It's not a stinker to tat either. Just a nice smooth flow from one row to the next without any crazy "tat the ring before the split chain" insanity of the last snowflake.

We didn't get to watch a movie last night so it looks like I'll be designing another one tonight.

Friday, December 18, 2015

A stinker to tat

That's what this snowflake is. I like the overall appearance. It looks pretty, but what a pain to tat. I did it in 2 sections, which I guess I could maybe have done in one, but not without even more fussing. The picture pretty much says it all. This is the second one I've done this season without writing out the pattern so it's definitely one of a kind. Now that I look at it blocked out, there's something wonky about it, but I can't tell what it is and it doesn't matter because it's done and I'm on to the next.

Hubby wants to kick back and watch a movie so it looks like I'll have another one on the shuttles tonight. Hopefully the next one will look good  without the aggravation.

It IS wonky. No wonder it drove me nuts.