We would love to hear from you!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

To redeem, or not to redeem?

As Christians the idea of redemption is a big part of our faith. We believe that Christ has redeemed us with His work on the cross. His blood has cleaned us and set us free the bonds of sin and oppression. Redemption through Christ’s sacrifice is at the center of our faith. Forgiveness is also key to our faith as Christians. We praise the Lord for forgiving us our sins. We are overjoyed that Christ has forgiven us of our heathen ways; for the drunkenness of our youth, for the pre-marital sex we were tempted into, for the lies we told, for the items we stole, possibly even for cheating on our spouse, for breaking the speed limit, for not tithing 10%, for swearing in traffic and for leaving work 5 minutes early. We are so grateful to be forgiven. But Scripture also tells us to be forgiven we must forgive as well.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Shades of Deception...Is lying ever appropriate?

I always thought the Bible was pretty clear about honesty. One of the ten commandments prohibits bearing false witness, which usually is equated with lying. That being said, is lying ever appropriate, warranted, or justified?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Schism Sunday Vol. II: Jesus and Politics

Happy Easter!
We wanted to keep today’s Sunday Schism simple in honor of Easter, and what the Lord Jesus Christ  did for each and everyone of us. However, we did want to make sure something was put up as a tribute to HIM that conquered sin, death, and the grave.

Whether your Christian or non-Christian, all would agree that Jesus Christ was/is an Earth Shaker! Two thousand plus years after His birth the weight of His words and deeds still buffet, and baffle the hearts and minds of unbelievers that are brought into His presence. As believers we clearly see, hear, and feel the scarlet thread of redemption that continues to send shockwaves through the planet to this day!

Jesus Christ was no doubt the most polarizing figure that ever lived. His ideas and methods where at odds with almost every human institution and construct. So with religion being tossed about to and fro in the political system I want to ask:

Do you think Jesus was political? Was His mission in any way to form a “political body”? Was HE withdrawn from society forming a conventicle? Was he out to transform the powers?

Add caption
We would love to read your thoughts and responses! Have a very Happy, Safe, and blessed Easter Sunday!

Mark and Carla

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Crazy Couple Chronicles. Volume 1

Last night after, you know (wink wink), Mark and I were laying in bed soaking up the afterglow as I ate my free cookie from subway and he read Jon Acuff’s book Stuff Christian’s Like, I thought about us. I had to giggle as I took a look at ourselves, our legs entangled, our cheeks rosy, me littering our marital bed with cookie crumbs and Mark was catching up on some reading. We’re not your typical couple. Which made me think about how much we’re not your typical Christian couple.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Ghosts, Demons, and the Paranormal

Holy Crap! Something touched me!
In recent years I have been utterly amazed at how much popularity paranormal TV shows have garnered. For it appears that America, and perhaps the world, has a hankering for Necromancy. Whether its Ghost Hunters, Ghost Hunters Academy, Ghost Hunters International, Ghost Lab, etc., etc…, there always seems to be enough ghostly goodness to satisfy even the most hardcore ghoul fetish. The few times I have watched these shows I found the idiocy level hovering around, or very near, critical mass. From the standpoint of comedy there is an element slapstick that cannot be denied. In one of the episodes of Ghost Hunters International, I watched five goofballs wandering around an abandoned building with infrared cameras tripping over their shoelaces, goosing each others butts, and then screaming, “Something touched my junk!”  The whole thing was so laughable that if someone was watching the show for anything other than comedic value I would check their pulse to make sure that they are among the living!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What idols do you worship?

Don't you think they look good in stained glass?
Have you heard about the Royal Wedding? Do you know Prince William is getting married? Have you ordered your copy of the sapphire engagement ring? Did you take the day off to be able to sit in front of the TV all day with English Breakfast tea and tissues as you watch the wedding being broadcast live?

I’m sorry, but what is all the hoopla about? I like weddings just as much as the next overly sappy gal, but come on? Why are we putting these people up on a pedestal? They are not real rulers, they are rich puppets who had to put no effort into their wealth or their idol status.

That’s right, I called them idols. Cause the world has idolized them and dare I say, worshipped them? And why? Because of whose womb they sprang from. Something they had absolutely no control over. None of us can control where we are born, to whom we are born, or what color we are born. And yet many us will idolize “heroes” based on things they had no control of or based on their own selfish actions.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Schism Sunday: Civil Disobedience

Welcome to our first edition of Schism Sunday! What is Schism Sunday? I'm glad you asked. We will be featuring a controversial topic every Sunday happening in our country, community, Christendom, or world. We will specifically be picking topics that main stream Christianity hasn't provided answers to or divides Christians. Our goal is to have an open civil discussion on how we, as Christians, (or nonChristians who like to engage in debate) use our faith to shape our opinions. We are hoping to stay away from some of the hyped up debates you see all over the internet (Rob Bell, anyone?) and bring to the surface other discussions that affect and touch us. So all you creepers out there, prepare to devirginize your commenters status and engage with us and our loyal commenters in some good old fashioned debate and discussion. Disagreement is not a bad word, we can still love and respect each other (and please do be respectful) and still not see eye to eye. So with that, we will commence with our first Sunday Schism: Civil Disobedience. Bring it on!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Communion: Could Transubstantiation be in Play?

I remember the first time I went to the altar of Lutheran Communion with my mother and sister. I was ten my sister was five. I think we were made to go to the front because my sister and I were misbehaving, therefore we could not be left in the pew to our own devices. As we knelt at the alter/communion rail with the wine and wafer before us, I remember my sister saying, “MmMm, smells like grape juice”- to which I started laughing uncontrollably, (to this day I don't know why?) My mom countered my ill timed laughter with her patented pain-maneuver which consisted of her digging her stiletto-like fingernails into the soft flesh of my upper arm, all while maintaining a glorious smile on her face. This was all accomplished with the speed and silence of a ninja assassin. I must say, nothing will stop a wayward child in mid-cackle faster than the searing pain of acrylic knives piercing their young tender flesh. Holy, Holy, Holy-crap that hurts!...well played mother.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Search for Church

I’m beginning to think that maybe I’m a bit of a commitmentphobe. I’m not anti-commitment relationally, I’ve been committed to my hubby since our second date. But I’m afraid of commitment when it comes to church these days. Maybe I’m just wishy-washy on making a choice. But really, like in dating, I’ve been burned before, and I fear getting dumped by the next church we join.

All my life I attended weekly Mass. (More on that here) I grew up and belonged to the same parish for my first 18 years of life. Then I went to college, shopped around the local Catholic churches and chose one to attend and remained loyal to for the duration of my college years. When I graduated and moved back home I bee bopped around and then I met Mark and we did a little church shopping until we decided on a local church. The church we attended was small, and in many ways restarting, but it was filled with love. The reason we decided to keep going to that church had less to do with the services and doctrine and more to do with how welcome we felt there. The pastor and his wife sent us cards and invited us over to their home. The members were warm and sincerely interested in us. It was easy to make this community our church home.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Stench in God's Nostrils

I have never liked horses. As a matter of fact horses smell like crap to me. I would rather wade neck deep through human waste than have to smell a horse or a horse-stall. I’m sure at one time horses were absolutely necessary, but now, at least in the United States, they serve little or no purpose. OK,- if you’re some kind of old school cowboy ridding the range, or you’re Amish, you might have a reason to cozy up to your Equine-stench bag; but other than that, they are basically  glue bottles on legs to me. Now before you start hating on my dislike of horses let me say a couple things:

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Celebrations for The 3-fold Cord

Today’s blog is in honor of our first year of marriage. Tomorrow marks the day of our 1st wedding anniversary and I thought I would take this opportunity to give you, our dear readers, a glimpse at who the 3-fold cord really is.

First of all, for those who haven’t figured it out yet, the 3-fold cord is co-written by me (Carla) and my husband Mark. Though it started off as Mark’s blog, I jumped in around February and it has been lots of fun! So anyway, back to that personal glimpse.

Why the 3-fold cord, you ask? It’s from Ecclesiastes 4:12. “Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Our cord, our marriage, is made up of Mark, me, and Jesus. We’re a pretty awesome trio. At my bridal shower my sister had guests write marital advice on little colorful notecards and Mark’s mom simply wrote Mark-Jesus-Carla. Best advice ever. We even had a unity cord braiding session in our wedding ceremony (more on that later.)

A little history of Mark and Carla

Here are a few tidbits to how Mark and Carla came to be.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I suck *ass* at Religion!

Proverbs 16:25

25 There is a way that seems right to a man and appears straight before him, but at the end of it is the way of death.

My track record when it comes to religion just plain sucks ass! Had I been born a couple hundred years ago I would have inevitably been burned at the stake; and if I'd managed to live and die without being caught, the church would have most likely found out where I was buried and dug up my corpse so they could beat it mercilessly. Speaking of this, years ago I watched a movie where the Catholic church actually dug up the body of some deceased heretic and passed sentence on him posthumously by beating the dust out of his fleshless bones with a whip. It was hilarious! With every strike bones were flying everywhere; people were ducking trying to avoid finger pieces, skull fragments, and hunks of rotten clothing. After the decimation, the corpse was promptly excommunicated, which I felt showed some real religious conviction. I wish I could remember the name of that flick? If you happen to know, contact me, I would love to watch it again.

Now back to why Mark sucks ass at Religion (Case point #1)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I Yam, what I Yam!

I Yam, what I Yam! Deal with it!
Today, it seems character traits and/or flaws are chalked up to genetics or predisposition and not a result of a progressively built personality. I have known or know people who treat others poorly, but its ok because, “that’s just who that are.” I once worked at a place where half the people were incredibly rude and I was told it was just their personality and how they were and I needed to deal with it. It was ok that I went home from work crying everyday, because being rude and down right mean was just a part of who those people were; it was in their genes. (HR felt a little differently about this) To me, this explanation seems like a justification for bad behavior. In a world where people are dictated by unchangeable personality traits, there is no need for apologies. But what about criminal acts? Personality traits don’t seem to get pedophiles, murderers, or car thieves off the hook. Where does society draw the line between what behavior is justified by genes and what behavior isn’t.

Lady Gaga tells us that we were born this way, but I’m calling BS on this and the whole topic of predisposed rudeness. I too used to fall prey to my personality, but I have been regenerated.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

I'm the Zombie Bride of Jesus

34 When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. Mark 8:34-35 NKJ

20 I have been crucified with Christ [in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me. Galatians 2:20 Amplified

Have you died lately? As Christians we are called to give up our lives and let Christ live within us. The power phrase we hear today is dying to self. Which is a good phrase, but I can’t seem to find where Jesus or Paul say those exact words, but the Bible does tell us that we have to crucify our old selves so that Christ might live through us. Regardless of the phraseology this idea can conjure up images of pain and suffering, or at the very least Jesus zombies populating churches around the world. In reality, its a pretty heavy subject. Oswald Chambers says in the passage from Mark 8 we can replace the words “his life” with “himself/herself”. Whoever desires to save herself will lose herself, but whoever loses herself for My sake and the gospels will save herself. Interesting. So I need to lose myself for Jesus. Ok I want to serve Him, but I kinda like myself. I might prefer being a zombie to losing my identity.