Ezekiel – Chapter 12

Ezekiel 12:7 – This reminds me of some the ‘crazy’ street preachers you might see downtown. Acting out what is coming against Israel, pretending to go into exile, even digging through the wall. What must people have thought? Yet, it was God who instructed him. I wonder how many ‘crazy’ people are on orders from God to do what they do to deliver us a message? It’s easy to dismiss them all.
Ezekiel 12:15 -“And they shall know that I am the Lord, …” Again, God must prove himself to be God through judgement. (again in v. 20)
Ezekiel 12:21-28 – They had already been warned of the judgements to come, but since it had been a long time coming, they assumed i was still a long way off. Here we are in the same boat. It can be easy to assume because Jesus has been a long time coming, He’s still a long way off or isn’t actually coming at all. But He said He’d come, and He promised that it’d be a surprise. I don’t want to get complacent like Israel was, dismissing what has been promised as not relevant from me, but for some future time. It may be decades or centuries away, or it may be next week.

Ezekiel – Chapter 11

Ezekiel 11:1-4 – It’s one thing to be shown the sin of a nation and the judgement coming form God, and even to be called to prophesy to that nation about their sins. It’s another to be told to prophesy against individuals for their role in leading that nation. I get real uncomfortable thinking of standing before one person and laying them out for their sin.
Ezekiel 11:13 – As I read this, I was thinking “See, Ezekiel wasn’t fired up to pronounce judgement on individuals either!” Then I got to the end of it and saw that his concern was not for his own comfort in delivering a hard message, but for Israel. OK, I’m convicted.
Ezekiel 11:14-21 – God gives Ezekiel a message of comfort. It’s going to be OK, there are some who will return to the land of Israel. They will clean up the detestable things. Not only that, but God will restore their hearts and they will walk in His ways.

Blog Hoonage

So, I was reading the comments here at kendalball.com and the veered off course into web site stats. Realizing that it’s been months since I checked mine, I took a look. I noticed a significant number of hits from the car blog, Jalopnik, which is odd seeing as they have no blogroll, and I’ve never been able to successfully comment there.
I was behind on their RSS feed, so I took a look to see what was driving people my way. Well, it turns out that I had the dubious honor of making one of their ‘Blog Hoonage’ posts (I still don’t quite understand what that means) for my experience with Ricart and my Mazda3.
Here’s their entire comment from the 20th:

The red flag should have been thrown right about the “one of the dealer flunkies ‘backed it into something in the car wash or something'” point, yes? No? [salguod.net]

I tried to leave the following comment on the post, but, as usual, it failed saying the ‘authorization’ had failed:

In hindsight, yes, the red flag should have been thrown. However, the discount I got meant the difference between a used Protege5 and a new Mazda3. A new car with some repaired minor damage? Sounded good to me. Who knew what I’d get with a used car anyway.
What I should have done, and I kick myself for not doing so, is ask for a complete record of what was repaired so I could look it over more carefully. Then I would have caught the door damage then rather than months later.
Of course, they could have just fixed it right the first time. Or the second, third, fourth, or fifth time.
Thanks for the linkage.

Blogwalking: March 24, 2007

Trying to clean out my RSS reader and give you some things to read …

  • Keith Brenton puts some old school CoC rants in perspective in Call Me Contrary.
  • Gary Petersen links to this Instapundit post on Al Gore’s hypocrisy. I gotta give Al props for preaching what he believes in. He’s doing all he can to get that message out. I’m more convinced than before that he has a point. That said, calling average people to change but then polluting more than they do and being unwilling to change yourself makes it harder to buy what you’re selling.
  • Jeff (or is it Danny? I can’t keep up.) at Nothing Important takes on the issue as well, comparing Al with W in terms of a ‘green home’.
  • Soup began Lent with this scripture from Joel 2 that moved my heart at the time:

    Yet even now, says the Lord,
    return to me with all your heart,
    with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
    rend your hearts and not your clothing.
    Return to the Lord, your God,
    for he is gracious and merciful,
    slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love,
    and relents from punishing.

    I needed to hear that.

  • Wade Hodges and Greg Taylor share in Christianity Today about their work in transforming a one mega-church into a community focused church. I can relate a little to their struggle to see their church envision a new way to be.
  • Milton Stanley, in his new blog Milton’s Daily Dose, takes on 3 whoppers: Premillennialism or amillennialism, Predestination or free will and faith and works. Best quote from these soundbite sized posts is from the premil-amil post:”Who cares. Let’s stop arguing over which doctrinal position employs the Official Decoder Ring for the book of Revelation.

That’s all for now.

Blogwalking – March 22, 2007

I meant to do this more often when I started, but oh well.
All my ICOC or former ICOC friends should go check out codepoke’s unfortunately now closed blog, The Familyhood Church and read his series called ‘The Church of Tomorrow’. It’s 14 parts (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14), and each is pretty long, but it’s worth a read.
Here are some highlights, some of which reminded me a bit too much of the old ICOC.
From post #2:

I drool to think that all of the Christians in Columbus might buy up every available house in the most depressed part of inner Columbus. It would give us something to do that could make a difference. It would give us good cause to materially help each other with some home repair at the very least! It would send a clear message to Columbus that the church is a real thing, and really cares. And we would be close enough to real people to love them. Mostly, though, we would be close enough to each other to really love one another. That is worth its weight in diamonds.
But what about our witness to our neighbors?
Seriously? What witness to our neighbors?
No individual can really be a witness to his neighbors. Even if his witness is perfect, the neighbors cannot help but ascribe his loving deeds to his nature. But when a church steps out, that is a witness!

Cool thought, eh?
From there, a couple posts later he introduces Jim from 2026 and he’s looking for a church home. He visits a couple of churches and falls in love with Corner Church. After a few times, he brings his wife Brenda along. They got what amounts to discipling partners and were put in a small group lead by a ‘den mother’. Brenda’s reaction to the visit is in post #10:

“Tell me,” she went on with a pleasant smile, “that you know that’s no church at all, but a cult.”
Jim felt his face turning red, as he backed the car into the flow of traffic, and merged into the little queue to enter the street.
“We were just love-bombed in there! Don’t you know cults do that? My father told me about cults all the time, and how to watch out for them. He said since I didn’t know the Lord, I would be easy prey for any cult – any time.” Her voice was sharp, but her face composed. Jim’s face was growing redder by the second. “He said cults get people to come back by making them feel totally loved from the moment they hit the door, but it’s all an act. Can’t you see it’s not normal for people to be that nice to us the first time they meet us?”

That hits home. Of course, not all ‘love bombing’ is cult behavior. They decide to get some advice on Corner Church from Brenda’s dad. He gives them some and then ends with this:

“I’ll tell you this. If they ever say, ‘We are the work of God on earth. Everyone else has fallen by the wayside, and God is working through us,’ don’t walk away – run! I don’t care how ‘right’ anyone is. If they can say those words, their heart has gone rancid.”

That sent chills up my spine. I think that when we in the ICOC started believing that we were the One True Church (TM), that was the beginning of the end. That was years before the HKL.
Back on codepokes blog, in post #11 Derek, the leader of Corner Church calls the church back to ‘holiness’, to repent of it’s worldliness so that God will once again work through them. He’s not now because they are too worldly. Sound familiar?
In post #12, Jim is fired up about Derek’s passion and vision, Brenda is not. Jim talks to Thom about it. I think Thom is an elder. Thom is dubious of Derek’s plan too. Jim’s incredulous at Thom’s skepticism. Thom tells him:

“Look Jim, I’m the dumb one of the bunch here. I don’t know theology or all those things that people study to get the truth out of the scripture. All I know is what I see, and I don’t see it. Derek is calling for something I don’t see my scriptures calling for.
“I can’t tell the future, but I can tell you the past,” Thom continued. “I’ve seen men call for ‘commitment’ before, and nothing good comes of it. Nothing good will come of this.”

Post #13 was the Big Decision for Jim and Brenda and for Corner Church. The elders spoke their hearts on Derek’s proposal. Most were enthusiastic. One elder, Jim, spoke against it:

I would caution you there is a risk in going where holiness leads.
Holiness leads to police work – thought police work. It leads to one brother confronting another about things on which scripture is silent. Scripture says that one man can observe a day as holy to the Lord, and another can ignore the same day equally to the Lord. One can eat what another cannot, and both still have holy mouths to the Lord. But policemen never say things like that. Thought police always have to say the same thing together. Either it is holy to watch a football vid or it is unholy. Policemen cannot see that what is degrading for one can be inspiring for another.

More words were spoken and the elders made a decision and so did Jim and Brenda, helped by a timely phone call from their ‘den mother’, or at least a member of their small group. Go read it, I can’t do it justice. In fact, if you can, make some time to read the entire series, the snippets I’ve posted don’t do it justice. It’s powerful stuff and a little close to home in spots. In the very least, read the few posts that I’ve quoted here.
Next Blogwalking will include more variety, I promise. 😛
EDIT: Make sure you read post #14 too, where the comments actually get around to the good ole ICoC.

Ezekiel – Chapter 10

Decided to do 2 chapters today, but still post them separately.
Ezekiel 10:9-22 – More descriptions that make my eyes glaze over. Cherubim, wheels within wheels, eyes all over, multiple faces. I can’t make a picture in my mind of this scene, so it just becomes a blur.
Ezekiel 10:15, 20, 22 – Ah, the cherubim are the same creatures that confused me in the beginning. 😛
Hard to reconcile this chapter of descriptions of this amazing scene with the last chapter of death and destruction for those who have not followed God. I guess I wanted some closure on that or something.

Ezekiel – Chapter 9

Short chapter, but heavy:

And the Lord said to him, “Pass through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it.” And to the others he said in my hearing, “Pass through the city after him, and strike. Your eye shall not spare, and you shall show no pity. Kill old men outright, young men and maidens, little children and women, but touch no one on whom is the mark. And begin at my sanctuary.” So they began with the elders who were before the house. –

Ezekiel 9:4-6 (ESV)

Whoa. This bring me chills just reading it, imagine seeing it in a vision. Ezekiel falls down and asks God if he will destroy all the remnant. God’s answer in verse 10:

As for me, my eye will not spare, nor will I have pity; I will bring their deeds upon their heads.


The Story Thus Far …

I’ve written about my luck with cars

  • 02-21-2006 – Old reliable 1993 Escort dies with a bad throwout bearing.
  • 02-26-2006I succumb and buy a new 2005 Mazda3 5 door from Ricart Mazda instead of repairing the old Escort. I get a pretty good deal ($3,000 off sticker) in part because the car has had ‘minor repairs’ to the right rear. I’m told that one of the dealer flunkies ‘backed it into something in the car wash or something’. I inspect the RR quarter panel quickly and find no real evidence of repair.
  • 07-22-2006 – (Approximate date) While washing the 3, notice some defects in the repair done by the dealer:
    • The rear bumper is deformed.
    • The rear aero flares don’t fit well.
    • The rear license plate is crooked.
    • There are small, clear stone shields missing from the right rocker panel between the rear door and the rear wheel.
    • There’s a small crack in the paint where the body had been repaired.

    That crack is especially troublesome as it indicates poorly applied body filler.

  • 08-01-2006 – The 3 goes into the shop for it’s first service, a simple oil change and tire rotation. While it’s in, I have them check on those issues with the repairs done before I bought it. Enterprise gives me a rental at Mazda’s expense. The Focus they had arranged has a screw in the tire, so I get a little runt of a Chevy Aveo.
  • 08-05-2006 – Supposed to pick up the car, but the service rep calls and says she doesn’t like how the stone shields fit. She’s sending it back to be corrected, I drive the runt for the weekend.
  • 08-09-2006 – Supposed to pick the car up, but the service rep calls and says she doesn’t like how the aero flares fit. They’re ordering new ones. I keep driving the runt. It makes my butt numb if I drive it for more than about 25 minutes at a time.
  • 08-11-2006 – (Approximate date) Supposed to pick up the car, but the service rep calls and says she still doesn’t like how the stone shields fit. Body shop can’t peel them off and re-paint the rocker extension again, so they order a new one. After 17 days, I’ve had enough of the Aveo and ask for a different car. Enterprise puts me in an Impala. Big car. Big, big floaty car. I almost prefer the Aveo. Lots of power though.
  • 08-17-2006 – Try to pick the car up. They’ve replaced the rear bumper, the rear aero flares, the right rocker extension, the stone shields and reworked the rear quarter panel between the RR door and the RR wheel. It’s a beautiful sunny afternoon which is perfect for highlighting the obvious mismatch in the silver paint. Plain as day, a nice diagonal line. Not acceptable, I refuse the car and get back in the Impala.
  • 08-20-2006 – (Approximate date) Some young punk vandalizes the Impala in my driveway, stealing the Chevy badge off the trunk lid. Ultimately the dealer agrees to fix it for me before turning it in to Enterprise.
  • 08-24-2006 – I finally get the car back. Paint match is good, but I point out to the body shop manager that the new, replacement bumper seems to have a different wrinkle in it. He indicates that he noticed it too, but compared it with another and it had the same look. It does look almost intentional. I want my car back, so I take it and go my way. (Later, I learn that the bumper he compared it to was the damaged one that came off my car!)
    Incidentally, while I’m here, the body shop receptionist says ‘Oh, I remember this car. They damaged it getting it off the truck.’ So much for that flunky and the car wash story.
  • 09-27-2006 – Not convinced that this bumper is right, throughout September, I look for Mazda3 5 doors to see if the bumpers match my own. They do not. I call the dealer and email pictures of the subtile defect. They can’t see it. I offer to take it in to compare to others on the lot, they repeatedly refuse, insisting on waiting until the Mazda rep. is available. Finally, on the 27th, I meet both him and the service manager. We look at my car and pull a bumper from the parts department. The verdict? “Put this on his car.” he says after very little inspection. Argh.
  • 10-02-2006 – The car goes in for bumper #2. They call Enterprise for my rental and they have no idea I was coming. They have no cars, only a Chevy Venture minivan and an Explorer. I take the Explorer. Big, awful truck. It manages to be enormous on the outside and small on the inside.
  • 10-04-2006 – I pick up my car. Paint matches, bumper is right. Finally, all is good – or so I think. Some time later I notice that those stupid aero flares got put on wrong again, one hangs over the edge of the bumper by almost 1/4″.
    Later yet, I notice that the door to window seals on both right doors don’t seem to touch the glass. They certainly don’t match the left side. This is confirmed in January with our first snow as snow gets between the glass and the rubber on the right doors, but not the left. That’s odd, though, as it was the right rear that was repaired …
  • 02-19-2007 – It’s time to have the second oil change and tire rotation and to have those door seals and aero flares looked at. I waited to avoid making several trips to the dealer. I take it to a different dealer, rightfully fed up with Ricart. This dealer orders replacement door seals and aero flares.
  • 02-26-2007 – Happy first birthday Mazda3, it’s into the dealer for more new body parts. The door seals and aero flares are in. I get a rental this time, a Corolla. Yawn. In and out the same day, but the new flare (they only replaced the right one) is curled up at the corner. They say it will straighten out when the weather warms. I’m dubious. More significant is the fact that the new door seals are no better – no different actually – than the old ones. Frustrated, I ask for the service manager (who is out) to call me. I never get that call and finally call him on March 2nd. He apologizes and says to bring it in Monday and he’ll look at it.
  • 03-05-2007 – Back to the dealer again. I explain the previous repair at Ricart and I show him how the right doors are different than the left. The seals don’t fit well, they’re wavy and don’t touch the glass. They stick up above the inner panel where the left side is flush. He agrees and says he’ll take it to the body shop to check it out. I get another rental, this time an ’07 Mazda6. I’m the very first to drive it. The best rental I’ve had.
    He calls back later in the day. The diagnosis? Both door skins have been previously replaced and put on improperly. (So much for ‘minor repairs’ to the ‘right rear’.) The only fix is to replace the skins again. Unfortunately this is not something that Mazda will authorize under warranty, I need to go back to Ricart.
    When I pick up the car, he shows me what the body shop manager showed him. The gap between the front door and fender is inconsistent, the putty applied to the inside of the door where the skin meets the frame is sloppy and inconsistent and it’s beginning to crack and of course there’s the door seals (called swipes by Mazda). He say that these doors will eventually rust due to the poor repair.
    He puts it all in writing:

    Doors have had previous repairs and door panels do not line up properly causing door swipes to be loose on window. Looks like both pass door skins have been replaced and not aligned correctly causing window seals not to touch windows.
    Needs both door skins replaced.

That’s where it stands today. I needed to get this entire saga documented so I can present it to Ricart. My plan is to go there and meet with the service manager and the Mazda rep. I want complete documentation as to how the car was damaged and what was repaired on the car before I bought it. I want Ricart to pay to have the car repaired at the shop of my choosing, including an inspection of other areas of repair and corrections there as well if neessary. I don’t want their shop touching it again. They will put me in a rental car for as long as it takes. I want a Mazda5 van, because I think they’re neat and I want to try one out.
Part of me says I ought to go after them harder. They deceived me as to how much damage the car had and how it happened. They’ve repeatedly been unable to fix it. Under Ohio lemon law, I think I have a pretty darn good case. It was in the shop for the same issue repeatedly and it remains unfixed and it was in the shop for nearly 30 days in the first year. Both are criteria for return. Beyond that, I have a case with the attorney general for fraud.
Ultimately, I like the car and just want it fixed. I bought it knowing it had been repaired. Now, I was told minor repair and it turns out that half the side of the car was replaced. I was told they had a top notch body shop but they have proven to be woefully incompetent. Had they been honest with me and had they repaired it properly, this wouldn’t be an issue now. So, ultimately if I can get it repaired properly, I’ll be happy. I don’t want to be the miserable guy battling the big car dealer to get his car perfect. I just want it right so I can go on with life.
Now, if they give me trouble about making it right, I’ll be getting an attorney on the phone.
Oh, and If I give you advice on what car I would by in your shoes, think long and hard about taking it. 😛

Parenting Workshop Notes

These are my notes from the parenting workshop last weekend, mostly unedited. Listen to the message here.
Walter & Kim Evans

  • The Wonder Years
  • The Age of Opportunity
  • Parenting With Kingdom Purpose
  • Effective Parenting in a Defective World

We are at world with the world for our children. Things have changed since we were kids and we don’t even know how much.
Rev. 12:7-9, 16-17
Don’t fight with our kids, fight for them.
The Disengaged Parent
1 Sam 2:12, 22-25
Eli seems like the worn and weary parent.
(v. 25)
“We want our kids to be at their worst while at home.”
Make the home the hub for the kids activity.
If we aren’t wrestling with Satan, he’s winning.
“Mom (Gemple) would pray to catch us sinning.”
Don’t make them into what we want them to be, help them to be what God has called them to be.
If they love God just like me, will that be OK? Or are we hoping they’d be like we used to be?
1 Sam 2:29
This is how Eli got where he was. Honoring kids before God.
Ambitious but Absent Parent
2 Sam 13:23-25
I wonder if Absalom longed to talk to Dad about what he was planning?
(Minivan radio trick)
More trouble between 3-6.
Keep a pulse on what’s going on. It’s harder as time goes on.
We have got to be there, engaged.
Be the ones that your kid’s friends can talk to.
Trying but tested
Luke 2:41-45
The didn’t know where he was for a whole day!
We’re in the game, but we’re missing some of the signs.
This where we help each other out. “By the way, brother, I noticed this.”
It does take a village (not to quote a pres candidate 😀 ).
(how towns in the west started)
I’m convinced that parents are some of the most insecure Christians. More so as they get older.
Your doing your best and someone points something out and it’s hard not to react.
Pray that God would show you what you need.
Check up on your kids “It’s not you I don’t trust, it’s Satan.
6 battle grounds

  1. Worldliness
    • academic performance
    • athletic success
    • possessions, appearance & style
    • teach them how to give and serve. Hang out with those who don’t have as much.
    • what are you tempted with & what your kids are
  2. Unspiritual
    • apologize when we need to.
    • were sinful and they will be too for their whole life
    • they see how you play the game
  3. marriage problems
    • fighting, hateful or the cold war
    • kids are smarter than you think
    • don’t bury things for the sake of peace
    • test – do you want them to have a marriage like yours
  4. weak family life
      meals together
    • devotionals
    • time together, consistency
    • pray with them every night, it sticks with them
  5. shaping behavior instead of molding hearts
    • task master, doing it right
    • if it’s all about doing it right for mom or dad we’ve missed something
  6. dealing with unresolved issues
    • eph 4:26, 29
    • kids that have heard nothing but neg stuff about church their whole life. Do it in private. I does so much damage. Build others up. They end up so critical. Repeat it and exaggerate it, that’s how they hear it.

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