What It Means To Live

When your world gets turned upside down it can leave you disoriented and afraid. You suddenly find yourself in a place you have never been, nor imagined, and everything you thought you knew gets called into question. That’s kind of what has happened with the sudden emergence of COVID-19 as a world threat. Our lives have either already been turned upside down by this new reality, or they are at the tipping point and it doesn’t take much for us to imagine what it might be like. We start asking the big “what if” question and it’s not hard to think it could come to fruition.

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New Life, New Update

Two weeks ago I (Scott) was on a video chat with my mom when Annemarie got home from her doctor’s appointment and said, “well, the baby might be born tonight.” I said goodbye to mom, ended the call, and quickly asked Annemarie for more details. According to the doctor, the level of amniotic fluid in the womb had dropped significantly and waiting another two weeks until the due date could put the baby at risk. She would need to be induced that night, or the next morning. After recovering from the suddenness of the news, we both decided that we would wait until the morning. This would give us time to arrange care for the other kids and to get everything ready.

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Boasting in Our Faith

Those who have grown up within the walls of a Reformed church know well that good works do not save and are nothing to boast about. All glory to God! We hear this truth repeatedly from the pulpit, the catechism classroom and around the supper table. And so it should be. If God compares our good works to something worse than filthy rags, then what folly it is to boast in them.

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Ixmilquilpan.

Ixmil…what?

About three hours away from our place is a place called Tolontongo, where you can enjoy a volcanically-heated river along with a falls, cave, and tunnel. It’s an incredible display of the Creator’s artistry and if you have the time, it’s worth a visit. To get there, you pass through the town of Ixmilquilpan. The name is a bit of a mouthful, but compared to other places in Mexico, it’s not too bad. For example: Nezahualcóyotl or Azcapotzalco. These names are a reminder of the way Nahuatl has shaped the Spanish language.

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What Does Arabia Have To Do With Mexico?

You might not think the Arab world has much to do with México, but it’s true. The architecture, cuisine, and especially the language of México have all been shaped by the Arab world. The reason? The Moors (Muslim people group of Arab descent) invaded Spain back in the 8th century. Their stay in that country for several centuries impacted the Spanish culture, which in turn impacted the Mexican culture when the Spaniards sailed across the Atlantic and landed in México.

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Who is the Real God?

The Bible does not speak of the gods of the nations as harmless statues or mere figments of the human imagination. That may seem a provocative statement, but the Bible often speaks of the other “gods” of this world, and one only has to pick through Psalms to verify it (e.g. Psalm 82, 86, 96, etc.). While it is true that God openly mocks the idle images which the people created as gods, it is also true that there is a real power which they possess. The power is not in the wooden carvings or metal figurines, but in the dark demonic powers which lay behind the images. Behind the varied masks of the gods was the “god of this age” – Satan himself (see 1 Cor.10:19-20). And so, God speaks of these “gods” as real powers possessing a real power to lead people astray. This may be surprising to our modern minds, specifically our scientific minds, which so easily dismiss the gods of other nations as totally empty of any existence, let alone power.

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The Sacrifice

I stood before his throne

He went through my life with a comb

And made all of my mistakes known

Faults my own for which I could not atone

So as I stand alone

Backbone on this cold stone

I kind of feel like Joan

Except this nightmare is my own

And when I open my eyes, I let them roam

To a grave in loam

And know that hole will be home

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