Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Reformation Day!

Four hundred and eighty-nine years ago today in 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the Wittenburg door in Germany. This started a chain of events that started the Reformation. The main point that Martin Luther stressed was man cannot earn his salvation through good works. Only through faith alone in Christ alone can man have salvation. His soul was convicted of this when he read Romans 3:28, "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law."

"Jesus Christ, our God and Lord, died for our sins and was raised again for our justification ... herefore, it is clear and certain that this faith alone justifies us...Nothing of this article can be yielded or surrendered, even though heaven and earth and everything else falls." -Martin Luther

He also spoke out against the Catholic Church indulgences.

"In thesis 28 Luther objected to a saying attributed to Tetzel: "As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory springs". The 95 Theses not only denounced such transactions as worldly but denied the pope's right to grant pardons on God's behalf in the first place: the only thing indulgences guaranteed, Luther said, was an increase in profit and greed, because the pardon of the Church was in God's power alone." Wikipedia.com

I would much rather celebrate this day as Reformation Day than Halloween. This the day that set into motion events that would eventually lead the Bible to be translated into the common language so everyone would be able to read and study the Bible for themselves and not have to rely on the Catholic to just tell them what it said. It allowed the true gospel of salvation to go out into the world even more. This is much more exciting than ghosts, goblins, witches and candy!

By Grace Alone
hymn by Martin Luther

Out of the depths I cry to You,
Lord hear my voice of pleading;
Bend down Your gracious ear, I pray,
Your humble servant heeding.
If You remember each deed,
and of each thought and word take heed,
who can remain before You:
Only by grace, by grace alone.

Your pardon is a gift of love,
Your grace alone must save us,
Our works will not remove our guilt,
The strictest life would fail us.
Let none in deeds or merits boast,
but let us own the Holy Ghost
for He alone can change us:
Only by grace, by grace alone.

Though great our sins and sore our woes
His grace much more aboundeth;
His helping love no limit knows,
our utmost need it soundeth.
Our kind and faithful Shepherd He,
who will set all His people free
from all their sin and sorrow:
Only by grace, by grace alone.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Umtanum Hike

On Saturday the 29th, George, Bonita, Taraz, Megan, Alonzo, Rue, Daisy and I went on a hike in the Umtanum Recreational Site. It is just outside of Ellensburg on the Eastern side of the Cascades. I love crossing the Cascades. The landscape changes so quickly and I always feel like I am in a completely different state. There were rolling golden hills all around and lots of trees with there changing colors. The colors were so bright and vibrant it made me just want to stand and take it all in for hours.

Here you can see the small extension bridge we had to cross in order to get to the trail. The bridge bounced and rocked. You can see how it was in the video clip below.

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In these pictures you can see the beautiful colors of the trees. This was a perfect hike to go on in the fall.

Here is some video of a rock outcropping that we climbed to the top of. Once we got to the top George was able to see the actual trail we were supposed to be on. Even though we got lost we had a great adventure.

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Of course I have to add a little picture of me in here so I can prove that I was actually there. :)

The aspen groves were so peacefully beautiful. I felt like I was walking in a fairy tail when we went through them. They were so enchanting.

This is video of when we were lost. We found a little beaver dam where we could cross the creek. As you will see in the video Taraz got very excited about the sticks the beavers had chewed the bark off of. He likes to make those kinds of sticks into what he calls "power sticks". It is one of his unique but also fun qualities. :) (We did eventually find the right trail.)

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George and Bonita being cute with eachother. :)

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Megan had a extra apple and asked Taraz if he wanted it. Instead of eating it he decided to try and hit it with one of his "power sticks". Megan tossed it to him and instead of it shooting off into the woods it exploded into apple sauce all over the side of Taraz's face. Needless to say we had a great laugh. I wish I had gotten it on video.

Taraz seems to have endless amounts of energy. He bounded up the side of the hills like a gazelle. I actually had to zoom in really far on this picture in order to see him.

On the way home we stopped at the Thorp Fruit stand and Antique mall. George treated us all to coffee. I had a pumpkpin spice latte in celebration of the season. While we drank our coffee we perused the fruit stand downstairs and the antiques upstairs.


I so much love spending time with family I can never get enough. This is definitely a day that will be stored in my memory "archives". :)

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Pen Pulpit

January 27th, 2000

As children in Sunday School we sang, “Oh, be careful little tongue what you say!” Our words, both good and bad, have a tremendous effect on others.

The goal of the church is to evangelize those outside the church (Acts 1:8, Matthew 28:19, 10) and to edify one another (Ephesians 4:11-16.) The extent to which effective evangelism is taking place will depend largely upon the degree that real, loving edification is happening.

Basic hindrances to this two-fold goal are:

• Lack of credibility with unbelievers. The lives of some Christian reflect little difference from the lives of non-Christians (II Peter 1:5-9).

• Lack of sensitivity to believers. A failure to embrace the principle of Philippians 2:1-4).

Our words are the area in which the breakdown is the greatest. Words are the expression of ideas, the formation of thoughts, and the units of communication. Some examples are the Living Word (John 1:1, 14, 18 and the Written Word (I Corinthians 2:9-13). Our words are tangible expressions of what we are (Luke 6:40-45).

Words are an indicator of our maturity (James 3:1-12) and a basis for judgment (Matthew 12:36, 37.)

We can develop a greater sensitivity to other believers by:

• Recognizing the awesome effect our words have upon others (Proverbs 18:21)

• Asking the question - will my words made God look good (Colossians 3:17).

• Thinking before we speak (James 1:19).

“Oh be careful little tongue what you say!” - an admonition for adults as well!

Love to you all.

--Pastor Charles Covington 1933-2000

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Then and Now

One day when I was babysitting at the Schneidler's Isaac wanted to play Candy Land. All of these memories flooded back to me of when I was little and would play it with my brother or cousins. I found the game but when I pulled it off the shelf I was horrified to see that now it is different. The characters are all newly done and they look nothing like the ones I remember on my board game. There are now 4 little boys and girls on the board, one black, two white, and one Asian. When I played there was only a little blond boy and a blond girl. The names of some of the characters are completely different. Instead of Queen Frostine now it is Princess Frostine. Instead of Princess Lolly now it is just Lolly. Plumpy, the little green dog, is gone. Perhaps they felt saying "plumpy" was rude. Even though there were lots of changes Isaac and I still had lots of fun playing together. He had a great time shouting out the color squares as he picked them. I am sure when he sees this game when he is older it will bring back lots of happy memories for him. But I bet when he is my age the game will have changed even more. This gave me an idea. I wanted to look up on the internet all of the games I played as a child, see what they looked like then, and see what they look like now. So here are some of the games a played "then and now". :)

Candy Land THEN

Candy Land NOW

Chutes and Ladders THEN

Chutes and Ladders NOW

Mouse Trap THEN

Mouse Trap NOW

Memory THEN

Memory NOW

Battle Ship THEN

Battle Ship NOW

Twister THEN

Twister NOW

Guess Who THEN

Guess Who NOW

One game I am so delighted to say has changed hardly at all, The Uncle Wiggly Game!!

Uncle Wiggly THEN

Uncle Wiggly NOW

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Pen Pulpit


Galatians 5:22, 23
February 20th, 2000

“For the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, - peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control, against such there is no law.”


Long Suffering - Putting up with a person or situation for a long time.

God is a long suffering God.

• Toward sinners - II Peter 3:8,

I Timothy 1:16

• Toward believers - Psalm 86:15

God is long suffering, not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
We are to be imitators of God our Father - long suffering with our non believing world, to one another, as well as to situations we find ourselves in.


Another virtue of our Heavenly Father is kindness. Believers are to be characterized by kindness. God’s people are never to be unkind to anyone. In Ephesians 4:32 we read that God expects us to be kind -

Be ye kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.

See also I Corinthians. 13:4, II Timothy 2:24, Proverbs 31:26 and Colossians. 3:12.

These past several months Eva and I have had a wonderful chance to practice long suffering and you, dear folk, have shown abundant kindness to us for which we can’t begin to thank you enough. God bless.

Love to you all.

--Pastor Charles Covington 1933-2006

Friday, October 20, 2006

One Way or Many?

I have been doing a little bit of reading about whether or not religious truth is relative or whether there has to be one solid truth. I most definitely believe there is one truth (The only way to God is through Jesus Christ's death on the cross, burial and resurrection). Here is an article I found as to why there can only be one way not many.

Why Is Christian Doctrine Exclusivist?
by Daryl E. Witmer

Perhaps the simplest answer to the question above is: "Because Christian doctrine is true, and all truth is exclusivist." If something is true, then it's opposite must be 'excluded' as false.

Another answer: "For the same reason that all religions either directly or implicitly hold that their teaching and position is exclusively correct."

Hindus with whom I have met have claimed that their faith is really "open source" — that any and all religions can be a valid way to God. But they have then explained that position to mean that the evangelical Christian view about Jesus being the only way to heaven is wrong and unacceptable.

I once served as pastor of a congregation meeting in a building owned by the Unitarian-Universalist Association (UUA). The UUA publicly made much of the fact that they were all-inclusive, welcoming everyone. But one day they went to court to seek the eviction of those of us who held that Christ alone is the way of salvation. It seems their inclusivism had limits.

Did you know that Islam is also exclusivist? The Qur'an (3:85) says: "If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah), Never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost."

Kenneth Wapnick of the Foundation for A Course in Miracles recently disparaged the world of "absolute truth" and "seeming certainty" where 2+2 always equals 4 as being "wrong-minded." He denunciated a world that "follows specific laws and is regulated by adherence to form..." He rather advocated a change in our belief that there even is such a thing as a 1+1=2 reality. But one wonders if he is "absolutely" "certain" of that.

The reason that even those being critical of doctrinal exclusivity end up being exclusivist themselves is because truth itself is exclusive. No one can live consistently in a world where 1+1= anything that you want it to be. And any good student of comparative religion will tell you that every significant religious system, not just Christianity, assumes an exclusivist doctrinal stance to one extent or another. God is either one with creation as monists claim, or He is not. You can't have it both ways. Either Jesus was merely human as Jews claim or He was fully God. You can't have it both ways. Either Moroni was an angel of truth as the Mormons claim or he was not. You can't have it both ways. Either there is no such thing as objective moral sin as New Age thought suggests, or there is such a thing. You can't have that both ways. Either Christ really was historically crucified and raised from the dead as Christians teach, or He wasn't, as Muslims claim. You can't have that both ways.

From ChristianAnswers.com