Andrews Blog Page for March, 2006
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Missions Celebration Big Valley Grace -- 2006
Saturday, March 4, 2006 -- Ben's friend Daniel came over to visit for the day, while his dad was working on a transmission. Daniel and Ben had lots of fun together. Then we took Daniel to church with us for the Saturday evening Celebration service. After we dropped Daniel off at his place, we ran into a bizzare scene .....
    After church, we saw a strange sight ..... a car sitting on top of a fire hydrant! I just couldn't pass up pictures of this bizzare mishap. The car was turning right at the same time a semi-truck also turned right. The truck caught the car and dragged the car up onto the fire hydrant, where the car got stuck. The fire hydrant broke and water was gushing out with great force and flooding the street and parking lot.
    I spoke with several people who were in the car. In fact, all five people from the car survived and were standing on the sidewalk, watching and waiting. A police officer was taking video footage of the accident.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006 -- Took Ben to his kids aerobics class. I had a good workout while waiting for Ben.

Scripture for today: Colossians 3:1-4, "If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory."
Proverbs 1:1-8 , 1) The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel. 2) To know wisdom and instruction, to perceive the words of understanding, 3) To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, judgment, and equity. 4) To give prudence to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion, 5) A wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of understanding will attain wise counsel, 6) To understand a proverb and an enigma, the words of the wise and their riddles. 7) The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowlege, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Friday, March 17, 2006 -- Today I'm reading about Calvinism and Arminianism. Found a good website on this much debated topic:

Calvary Chapel

This is what I believe, based on what I've been reading. On the side of Calvinism, I believe in points 1 and 5. Point 1 states that man is dead in trespasses and sins and is totally unable to save himself. I disagree with Points 2 (Unconditional election), 3 (Limited atonement) and 4 (Irresistible grace). Limited atonement is not Biblical. I agree with Point 5, which states that a true born again Christian cannot lose their salvation. 

Concerning Arminianism, I partially agree with Point 1 and fully agree with Point 2, and partially with Point 3. Not sure about Point 4. I very strongly disagree with Point 5. Here are the 5 Points of Arminianism: 1) God, according to His foreknowledge, chose who would be saved, and that God does not elect anyone to hell.

Point 1: I agree that God knows who will be saved and who will not.
Point 2: I agree that Jesus on the cross for everyone.
Point 3: I agree that people cannot save themselves, and that the Holy Spirit draws people to God. I disagree however with the strict Arminians point that people are not totally depraved. I believe what we read in Romans, that we are all responsible to God for our sin, and that there is nobody who is righteous, that all of mankind is dead in their sin, and condemned because of the fall (Adam and Eve's original sin).
Point 4: I'm not sure about this, but I think that I at least partially agree that the Holy Spirit enables the believer to respond to the Gospel.
Point 5: I very strongly disagree with this point. I believe that you cannot lose your salvation. The way that I understand the Bible is that salvation is a gift from God, and that salvation is "Eternal," not temporary. If your salvation could be lost, then it would not be "Eternal" salvation, but rather would be "Temporary" salvation. Jesus promised "Eternal" salvation, not temporary salvation.

So I cannot ascribe completely to either Calvinism or Arminianism, but would hold to only some of the points for both positions.

Arminianism -- The problem with Arminianism is that people live in daily fear of losing their salvation, and as some churches practice, the people must go to the alter and continuously repent, rededicate their lives, and renew their salvation, which causes people to have no assurance of their salvation and live with no spiritual peace. I have seen this myself and have also experienced this condition personally. Many Christians are striving so hard to hold onto their salvation and/or even earn their salvation, and trying to push a guilt-trip on other people who don't meet up with their standards. Certain denominations spend a lot of energy on trying to get people to do lots of works for fear that they might not be saved, or lose their salvation.

The doctrines of Arminianism can lead people to become proud and arrogant, thinking that they have attained a higher spirituality than other (weaker?) Christians, which leads people to think that they are better than those who do less work. The Bible gives us an example of those who did less (believed at a later point in their life) and still received the same reward (salvation) as the others who had been working (saved) much longer .... Can't remember where that parable is right off .......

Jesus Christ finished the work of salvation on the cross. We are not part of the equation to salvation. Jesus paid the price for our sin, and Jesus is the one who saves us. The Bible tells us that there is no other name by which we can be saved. Belive in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. We are not saved by our good works, but rather we do good works because we are saved. The Bible says that you will know you are of God when you love God and love others. You will also know them by their fruits.

I don't recall ever having close experience with hyper-Calvinists ..... It doesn't even make sense to believe that God has already predestined everyone to either heaven or hell, and so therefore, we don't need to even bother evangelizing anyone, because they can't change their destiny anyway, since God has already decided where they are going to end up for eternity.

Saturday, March 18, 2006 -- Ben and daddy got up early, went to Lonnie's in Riverbank to help her pick up some heavy buckets and put them into her station wagon, so she could take them to the disposal place. Then Ben and daddy left about 8:07 for Columbia. We got to Columbia about 9:20. Roads were all clear. There was no snow to be seen anywhere. I spoke with some of the locals, and they said that it had snowed last weekend about five inches in Columbia. Some people said six or even eight inches of snow was in Columbia. The said that was unusual for Columbia to get that much snow.

When we got to Main Street, there weren't any shops open yet. The Falloon Hotel never did open up, so we didn't get our favorite ice cream. Benny made friends with some boys and one girl who live in Columbia. They were climbing the rocks. I just walked up and down Main Street, taking lots of pictures. When the Hungry Prospector got his hot dogs ready, I bought the very spicy Caijan hot dog. Benny had a regular hot dog with chips. He gave me one of his bags of chips.

I stopped to check out this lady who was making lace. She travels from the Bay Area once each month to sit outside making her lace. There wasn't much activity in Columbia. I spoke with a lady who was staying in the Falloon Hotel with other women who were having a retreat. The price for one night is $150.00 per person!

About 10:00 visitors started appearing. I heard some people speaking French. We left Columbia about 1:00 and drove through Sonora. As we got to the end of Sonora, going towards Pinecrest, we saw patches of snow. By the time we got to Miwok Village, there was lots of snow everywhere. Some people were still snowed in. We stopped at Sierra Village to ask where we could play in the snow. A man told us where to go, so we continued up the mountain ......

We kept driving up the mountain and stopped to play in the snow around Longbarn (I think it was just above Longbarn). There were lots of cars parked on the side of the road. We just followed the people to a nice open patch of snow, where they were sliding down a small hill. Benny quickly made friends and found another place to slide in the snow. I was working on building something out of snow. I made a snow alien! This was Ben's first time to see snow! Dara called us several times. He was disappointed that he didn't go along with us. We will go back to the snow again soon. The snow was just right for making snow balls, not too dry, and not wet snow. I was surprised that my feet didn't get colder or wetter. Next time we plan on taking a large truck innertube so we can slide down the big hills.

One of the young girls there made this snow bear. I wasn't sure what to make .......

Here is my snow alien masterpiece. I didn't get to finish it. Maybe the snow alien will still be there next time? When we got in our van to leave, the windshield was complete covered with snow. After about 45 minutes heavy snow was falling, and people started leaving.

Before we left, the snow plow was already on the road ... We left and drove back down the mountain towards Sonora, but I decided to turn around and drive up the mountain towards Pinecrest. The snow continued to fall, and it was very thick. Had trouble seeing the road sometimes. As we headed up the mountain towards Pinecrest, I stopped and looked back to snap this shot of a frozen pond. We stopped at the Pinecrest Ranger Station. There was lots of snow everywhere, and the sign was almost buried in snow. By the time we made it to Pinecrest, there were only very small flakes falling, or no snow at all in some places. The Ranger Station at Pinecrest was closed. Somebody told us there were people camping at Pinecrest.

On our way back down the mountain, we stopped at Cold Springs to find a restroom. Heides Ski Shop was busy with rentals. Benny was trying to catch snowflakes in his mouth. I tried too, but couldn't catch any. We left for home about 4:00.

Sunday, March 19, 2006 -- Went to church with Benny for the second service. Dara had spent the night at Joel's. The guys were playing war with airsoft guns until they ran out of ammo around midnight. Then they played video games until 6:00 a.m. Joel took the guys to church for NewGen. Benny stayed with me for the service.
    Went back to church around 4:45 for the Missions Celebration. There were booths with food from different countries. Click on this link to check out some pictures I took .... Missions Celebration Big Valley Grace -- 2006

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