Friday, December 31, 2010

Bombadil Day

I was with a friend and her family this week, and her oldest daughter, age 4, was sharing her crayons with me, and her new coloring book.  Being of a Christmas theme, the book was filled with candy canes and elfs and Santa Claus.  We noted together that you can tell an elf by his pointed ears.  Fairies also have pointed ears.  “What kind of person is Santa?” I asked.  But since she could not see his ears beneath his hat and whiskers, she said quite confidently that she didn’t know. 

This brought to mind a character I am rather more fond of, Tolkien’s Tom Bombadil.  My young artist-friend was directing my coloring, and though she wouldn’t let me fill in Santa’s suit as bright blue, she did volunteer the suggestion of yellow boots, which made me smile.

So I was thinking…  As long as parents are lying to their children, why don’t we lie about the jolly Tom Bombadil instead?  He’s quite similar to Santa, and maybe even better.  Of course, I don’t believe in lying, not even to my children, so I wouldn’t lie.  But I want a holiday to be jolly, to stomp around in boots and talk in rhymes and tell stories and wear bright colors and throw hats in the air and then catch them again.  To have good food and candlelight and to collect flowers or dry leaves or other nature-things.  It doesn’t have to be Christmastime.  We can find a dull season of the year and spice it up with Bombadil Day. 

Ring a dong dillo!

To God be all glory.

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Annual Longbourn Tradition of Etymologies of Christmas Words

Pine – from the Latin pinus = tree sap
1. Evergreens with needles and cones

or from the Greek poine = payment or punishment
2. Suffer intense longing or yearning
3. To wither through longing or grief

Besides the classical metaphor using the evergreen as an image for eternal life, I think of the richness behind pine in the season of advent, when we are told several of the characters in the nativity story (particularly in Luke’s account) were waiting expectantly for the coming of Immanuel.

Clove – from the Latin clou = nail
1. An East Indian evergreen tree
2. Spice made from dried flower buds of that tree
3. Small section of separable bulb, as garlic
4. Past tense of cleave, as in to split
5. Past tense of cleave, as in to cling

The tree buds are close together, as yet unfurled, when harvested and dried to make the spice, which tends to be ground, separated into tiny pieces to flavor our holiday feasts.  It reminds me of the Body of Christ, which is the people of God gathered together in one, but bought by the brokenness of Christ’s physical body.  Also, for this reason a man shall cleave from his mother and father and cleave to his wife.  And finally, the Israelites were not allowed to eat animals whose hooves were not cloven (which means split).  It is also good to know the third definition when reading recipes; making a soup with a whole bulb of garlic rather than a whole clove is quite a difference.

Nutmeg – from Latin nuce muscata = musky nut
1. Evergreen from the East Indies
2. The hard, aromatic seed of the tree
3. Spice made from the ground seed of the tree

Mace – from Greek makir = the Indian spice
1. spice made from the covering of the kernel of a nutmeg

or from the Latin mateola = rod, club
2. heavy medieval war club with spiked head used to crush armor
3. a ceremonial staff borne as a symbol of authority of a legislative body

Though the etymologies are completely different, the spice called mace shares a name with the rod or club.  And the Messiah was prophesied to be a ruler, represented by a rod, whose government would be just and bring peace.

Cinnamon – from the Hebrew quinnamown = name for the tree
1. Tree from tropical Asia with fragrant bark
2. A spice made from grinding the tree’s bark

So many of these spices are made from crushing the coverings, either of the living tree or of the seed.  When Jesus was crushed, it brought us life.  He, the seed of Eve and of Abraham and of David, is our covering, our atonement for sin, and when God looks at His people He sees the fragrant righteousness of Christ. 

Eggnog – from egg a derivative of the Indo-European root awi- = bird, and nog- (in the sense of ale) origin unknown
1. Drink consisting of milk and beaten eggs, often mixed with rum, brandy, or wine

I absolutely love finding a word whose origin we still cannot determine.

Ale – from Indo-European root alu- = related to sorcery, magic, possession, and intoxication
1. Fermented alcoholic drink made from hops and malt, and heavier than beer

Given the Bible’s take on sorcery and on intoxication, I found this a fascinating root for a drink almost the equivalent of beer.  (The root is also found, for example, in the word hallucination.)

Gander – from Indo-European root ghans- = goose
1. Male goose
2. Half-wit, simpleton

Partridge – from Indo-European root perd- = to fart (from the sound made when a partridge is flushed…  see video)
1. Old-world plump game bird, similar to grouse or bob-white

That bird sitting atop the pear tree, his name has an interesting root.  And there’s just no good way to explain…

Twelve – from Indo-European roots twa- = two, and leikw- = leave or lend (“left over from ten”)
1. The number represented by 12 or Roman  numerals XII

For a mathematical system somewhat based on 12, isn’t it interesting that the word is just an earlier and, compared to the counting ten-based system reflected in the teens and further numbers, more mathematical word for ten and two?  I don’t know how you learned math, but I definitely learned about “borrowing” from the tens’ column in subtraction. 

All definitions, etymologies, and roots summarized from the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, New College Edition © 1976 unless otherwise linked. 

To God be all glory.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Wedding Round Table

I made some new friends this weekend at a wedding.  We sat down at a round table for the rehearsal dinner and had a grand old time.  When I told them I like to read and write, one of them asked me what I write.  You all read my blog; what do I write?  “Do you write about life?” he asked.  Ummm… 

Well, I do write about life, a little bit, but only as a frame for saying something else.  I wish I could do narrative but I’m just not patient enough to tell the details.  And that eliminates comedy, too.  So I write essays and devotionals, little windows into the philosophical ponderings that hit me while I’m brushing my teeth.  Too bad I wasn’t so eloquent with my new friends.  I ended up stammering something about philosophy (one of the top “categories” on my blog). 

And then a young man to my left, wearing a plaid button-up shirt and smart-looking glasses asked me what kind of philosophy I write about.  I got the impression that I was shrinking while his height soared until in my mind he was more like the clock-tower of a university than a groomsman at my friend’s wedding.  I’ve never taken a smidgen of philosophy in school.  I haven’t read Plato or Aristotle or Bacon, let alone anyone modern.  I went to Focus on the Family’s Truth Project, a worldview video series, and I listen to Ravi Zacharias sometimes.  What do you mean, “what kind of philosophy?” 

So I think my writing may be more philosophical than philosophy proper.  It’s abstract.  I can pour out a bit of logical reasoning in a snap.  And imaginative speculation, that I can do. 

And then I tried to think of an example.  I suppose God wanted me to forget the topic of ecclesiology temporarily, though that’s an interesting and frequent subject on my blog.  Lately I’ve been writing more about little things about life.  My philosophy has always tended to the social and spiritual sides.  On the spot, I searched my memory for one of the most popular posts on this blog.  And the first one I thought of was Falling in Respect. 

To summarize, I springboarded off the book title, Love and Respect, which book suggests that respect is to men what love is to women, in a marriage.  And I thought, long ago, why don’t we make stories about “falling in respect” since we have so many stories about “falling in love.”  At a wedding, where both the Bride and Groom have pursued a sober and intentional course in their relationship while they’re both mythology-loving romantics, comparing love and respect and their portrayal in Disney movies versus Grimm’s Fairy Tales was the perfect topic of conversation. 

Our table also enjoyed the pleasant mixture of newly married sweethearts and single but idealistic men and women to balance the perspectives (sort of; nothing can beat the experience of an elder). 

Highlights of the conversation:
Levels of love, beginning with a merely physical, chemical attraction.
The level of love justifying marriage can barely be compared to the level of love reached after half a century of marriage.
Did Sleeping Beauty fall in love, or did she waken to a prince who’d slain dragons and persevered and sacrificed and risked his way into the castle to save her? 
What grade does Disney’s Beauty and the Beast get for the hero and heroine falling in love the “right” way? 
Which usually comes first? Love or respect? 
Can respect be as unconditional as love?
How much is either love or respect a choice?
Can you be surprised in respect like you can be in love?

To God be all glory.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Buying a Used Car Part 6: Introductions

So today, several days after I bought my car, I made it to the DMV in my county, at which I could turn in the title to have it transferred to my name, pay sales tax, and acquire temporary tags by which I may legally drive my vehicle.  Next I have to get an emissions test, get the new car listed on my insurance, and figure out what to do with my old car.  I’m very reluctant now to get rid of it.  My friend who is interested is waiting to get back to me on it.

Meet Laurelin, named for the golden tree in Valinor: 

The first place I ever drove by myself, in my first car, was to my friend’s house.  It was a wild party with drinking and a cake sliced with a sword and a strange large man in denim overalls without a shirt blocking the door.  I was 19, and stayed long enough to take a walk with a friend who was also at the party, show her my car, and escape.  Still, it was a memorable experience, and I have every intention of driving my new car to that same house as soon as possible.  Except this time instead of being filled with newly adult partiers, it is filled with a family of five children, their parents, and another smaller family living in the spare room.  Isn’t life exciting?

(Update: The first place I ever drove my new Nissan Altima after purchase was to those same friends’ house.  That night was also a memorable occasion, but not one for a blog.)

To God be all glory.

Buying a Used Car Part 5: Gold Nissan Altima

That night I called on a car I’d had my eye on for a while, but which I knew had been through several showings earlier in the week.  He told me the car had not been sold, and agreed to schedule a test drive for the next afternoon.  I got my mom to join me on this test drive, male members of the family being at work.  We met a colorful Indian man who showed us his gold Nissan Altima, the same age as my car, but with less miles and much better maintenance history.  He was asking right at market value.  Except for some very minor hail damage, the car was in great shape.  I’d checked the VIN to make sure everything was clear.  The story went that the car had been owned by only one elderly gentleman since it was made, until a couple months ago when the Indian man bought it.  But the Indian found another car he liked better and was now interested in selling this one. 

The Altima tends to have trouble with the CV joints, something to do with the wheels and axels.  But the owner had just paid to have that fixed.  Plus there was a new alternator, front tires, and air filter.  Altima’s use timing chains instead of timing belts.  They are much more durable, fairly easy to replace, and thus, inexpensive.  Really the cars have a reputation for being very reliable mechanically.  When we test drove it there was a bit of a squeak when we went over bumps, nothing too annoying or worrisome.  I left the test drive fairly certain I would buy that car.

That night I called to schedule a pre-purchase inspection of the car with my mechanic.  It was quite stressful, as I felt like I was putting the owner out, and trying to coordinate between my mom and I and the owner and the mechanic.  Plus Mom was babysitting, and I needed to talk to someone interested in buying my old car.  But I straightened my back and marched forward.  Took the car and the owner to my mechanic (a recommendation from a friend, but a shop very close to my house), who told me the car checked out.  So we drove back to the owner’s apartment, and completed the transaction.

To buy a car privately in Colorado, you have to sign the Title, put the new owners address on the back of the title, and record the Odometer Reading at the date of purchase.  Plus you need a bill of sale with the date, seller’s name, buyer’s name, signatures from both, amount of sale, and VIN # for the car as well as the year, make, and model.  While I wrote out those things, the owner counted the cash.  We shook hands.  He got his plates.  And I drove my new car home, with proof of insurance and the bill of sale on hand, while my mom drove my old car back home. 

The day I bought my car was Veteran’s Day, a government holiday, so I couldn’t apply for temporary tags right away.  Instead I parked my new car in the garage and began the transfer of items from my old car to the new.  (In my car I keep coats and blankets and a Bible, pro-life literature, tracts, grape juice, a footstool, hats, gloves, cleaning supplies, a spare pair of clothes, maps, mall directories, a camera, and batteries as well as a cell phone charger and garage door opener.)  The new car just barely fits in the garage, as it is longer and wider than my old one.  However, it is set up much the same inside so that driving it is still rather intuitive.  The Altima does not have a sunroof, which makes me sad and inspires all sorts of improvisations like taping a picture of the sky onto the inside of the roof.  Yeah.  I’m that weird. 

To God be all glory. 

Buying a Used Car Part 4: Test Drive in a Snowstorm

On a Tuesday morning, I nervously picked up my phone to schedule a test drive of a 2003 Dodge Neon.  It just so happens that our first snowstorm of the season blew in that day.  We agreed to meet at a gas station between our two houses, since it would be after sundown and they have good lights.  I got my dad and my brother to go with me.  (I’m the research end, and the transaction I handle on my own, but I really don’t know much about cars or what to look for on a test drive.  Plus, with a big decision like this, I want at least another opinion on whether the car is good or not.) 

We had an adventure.  First, I had the wrong intersection for the gas station.  Next, the gas station had changed brands, but we were pretty sure we were in the right place.  We parked and got out, looking for the car.  But he wasn’t there yet.  The snow was falling hard.  Also in the gas station parking lot were three police cars and one police SUV.  While we were waiting, a fire truck and ambulance arrived, lights flashing.  The police then put a man, hands cuffed behind his back, into the back seat of one of the cars.  A woman a few pumps over stood clapping her hands.  I huddled against the front of the quick stop.  Then the EMT’s put another man in a neck collar, and laid him on a stretcher to put him in their ambulance.  We can only speculate a fight broke out and one man assaulted another.  I don’t know why. 

My family and I looked awfully suspicious standing there watching the whole scene, outside, puffing warm breath on our cold hands.  We were still waiting for the Dodge owner to come when a tow-truck came in to take away the offender’s vehicle. 

Finally, the Dodge Neon arrived and we began our inspection.  There were no bells or whistles, not even power locks.  But the car was clean, with only 79,000 miles on it.  He wanted $3800, which according to my research was pretty close to appraisal value.  There’s a fine balance to reach between new cars and old.  The newer ones have a lot of computerized things that cause weird problems mechanics don’t understand.  But they also have less parts likely to wear out soon.  (Even if I replaced the engine on my Saturn, it’s quite likely something else will go out and cost more expensive repairs.)  When I drove the Neon, it handled ok, in the snow, but actually seemed to weave a bit.  Plus my brother said the tires were wearing out.  So I mentally added the price of tires to the sale price.  I like power locks.  Power windows I don’t like all that much; Mom says manual windows are safer (and cause less problems if the motors or electrical system in the door go haywire).  Still, the car was clean and relatively new.

I asked the owner if I could take it to my mechanic the next morning.  He said as long as he was there, too, that would be fine.  I could text him with the address and he would meet me there.  But that night I asked my dad, who said that the car wasn’t that impressive.  Plus I did the appraisal again, knowing the car was only the base model, and found out the car is actually worth about $600 less than what the owner was asking.  So instead of texting him an address, I texted him that I declined.  He responded that I could have haggled, but offering someone $600 less than asking price is a little more confrontation than I was looking for. 

To God be all glory. 

Buying a Used Car Part 3: Doing the Research

After I had learned to identify scams on Craigslist, I got to work researching real potential cars.  I grabbed a scribble pad from the dollar store, a gel pen, and started listing cars that at first glance looked good.  I put the Year, Make, and Model as a heading for each entry.  To the side I wrote the phone number of the owner, as listed on Craigslist.  Below the heading I put the cost, and then below that the mileage.  After that I went to my appraisal site and listed the MPG and the Consumer Rating.  Then I did the appraisal and wrote that amount at the bottom.  A lot of people want hundreds of dollars more than their car is worth.  I feel sorry for them. 

I searched mostly Nissan Maximas and Altimas, Toyota Camrys and Corollas, and VW Jettas (a friend has one).  Several friends told me they are happy with their Hondas, but that brand tended to be slightly above my price range.  Toyotas and Nissans are better deals.  One big thing to me is the gas mileage. I’m a good driver and can get the upper end of the range of fuel efficiency, but if a little Ford Taurus will get me 19 mpg while a similarly priced Nissan is nearer 29 mpg, I’m ruling out the Ford.  Different years of car get different mileage, so I have to pay attention. 

I narrowed my list down to the best deals (runs well, new tires, maintenance records on hand, no accidents) and did a little more research on those models, reading through the Consumer Reviews on, and editor reviews if there were any.  From the editor reviews I learned what to watch out for on a test drive (turn radius, blind spots).  And the Consumer Reviews let me know first, whether the higher ratings are for looks or for reliability and fuel efficiency; second, they told me what tends to go out, and at what mileage.  Were repairs frequent or expensive?  That way I could see if those repairs had been made recently to my potential cars.  You have to use a critical reading of the Reviews to get good information out of them.  Some vehicles reviewed were not well maintained, or the mechanics were not good.  Other people complain whenever a vehicle needs a repair.  A car at 100,000 miles is going to need a major fix or two.  My Saturn cost me about $700 in repairs every year, so if I can get better than that, I’ll be happy.  Finally, some people complain about performance (like they wanted a race car or a truck instead) and about little things breaking (having to slam the trunk lid, or rattles on the inside).  I’m not picky about those. 

Next I took the initial steps of contacting the owners of the cars that survived my research.  I looked especially to get the VIN #’s, and for information about exact model (is it an LE, an SE, a GXE? – and what on earth do those mean anyway?) as well as to confirm that mechanical condition is good (especially, with the mileage I was looking at: near 100,000, for the engine and transmission).  Due to schedule constraints I was unable to set up test drives right away, so I contented myself with requests for more information, resigned to the possibility that a good deal might not be available by the time I was. 

To God be all glory. 

Buying a Used Car Part 2: Scams and Frauds

My search on Craigslist for a used car for sale from a private seller soon yielded some exciting results.  When I compared the listed cars to the appraisal value, they were selling for way under market value, by thousands of dollars.  According to the listings, these couple cars had low mileage, were about 6 or 7 years old, good brands, and had some nice features.  I wondered what was wrong with them.  Still, not wanting to pass up a possible good deal, I sent out emails asking for more information.  My number one question is the VIN #, by which you can purchase a vehicle history report through or  AutoCheck’s unlimited subscription was cheaper than Carfax’s, so I went with them.  It was about $45. 

One woman emailed back, explaining that she was about to ship out to Afghanistan, and so needed to ship the car quickly.  She included a link to more information about the car, including a list of features, and the VIN.  But her though her listing had said the car was in Denver, her email said it was in Nevada.  And when I looked up the VIN, the Vehicle History Report gave some different information about the car, even some disturbing things like accidents or salvage titles.  She said she wanted to use Ebay’s Buyer Protection program to complete the transaction, so we would both be protected.  But Ebay doesn’t offer buyer protection unless the sale is done on Ebay.  How would that work?

Then I got another email about another car that was a great deal on Craigslist.  This email sounded way too similar.  He was about to ship out to Afghanistan also, but from North Dakota, and wanted the money to buy military stocks.  He would us a Military Shipping and Sales Service to protect our transaction, and ship the car to me free of charge.  I ran a Google search on his Military Shipping and Sales service.  I’ve played around with making a letter look like official letterhead.  If you can get a picture of the official symbols and match the fonts, you’re doing great.  Add in a link to the real organization, and the website is a pretty convincing fake.  There are a couple different websites that come up for US Military Shipping.  Both look real enough, but are pretty vague on how they work.  They link to a real US military site, at the bottom, claiming to be associated with them.  But they aren’t.  If you look at other Google entries, they are known frauds. 

So I went on Craigslist and flagged the second emailer’s listing as a fraud.  And then I emailed him, telling him that I wasn’t dumb and wouldn’t be sending money for a car that wasn’t real.  And then I emailed the first one, giving the benefit of the doubt and just telling her I wanted to complete a transaction locally because there are so many scams on Craigslist.  She wrote back!  As though desperate for me to purchase her car, she told me more, that it was all ready to be shipped and shipping had been paid because another buyer backed out last minute.  She told me “more” about how Ebay Buyer Protection would work, that it left no risk to me and she would have to deal with getting the car back if I changed my mind in the risk-free period.  Or if I wanted to do a transaction face to face I could go out to Nevada to pick up the (crated?) car myself. 

What pressure!  But the pushing made me more suspicious.  I did a Google search on her name.  She is supposedly a doctor and a Colonel, and yet there was no record of her online.  So I searched her division in the reserves and found an email from way back in June, with a different name, virtually identical to the second email she sent me.  She is listed as a fraud.  So I flagged her listing as well, and emailed her that I was not falling for her scam.  (She even used the same gmail address she had used in the past.  These crooks are lazy!)

Some of the fraud websites suggested we report these scams to the FTC.  So I went to their website and filed a complaint with all the information I had on each person – probably not enough to actually find the real people and convict them – and gave a summary of what had happened and what other action I had taken (flagging as “prohibited” on Craigslist). 

At the top of Craigslist I noticed alerts in red, that all offers to ship cars are fraudulent.  There are companies that ship cars, but it is not a good idea to do that via Craigslist, with strangers.  Nor should you wire any money for transactions.  As I continued my searches, I began to note likely scams in the listings (some used similar fonts on their vehicle images, had similar vehicle makes and years for way under value).  One big red flag is that they don’t put a phone number in the listing.  So I gave these people a chance.  I emailed asking for more information.  If they offered to ship the car, I flagged them on Craigslist and reported them to the FTC.  Afterwards apparently it scared the scammers off for a while. 

To God be all glory.

Below, for the purposes of anyone who happens to Google similar emails, is the text of every fraudulent email I received. 

        First of all I would like to thank you for your interest in my car. This 2004 Nissan Maxima 3.5 SE Sedan with 72,765 miles runs and drives excellent. This car has been extremely well maintained with a full service history. It has no leaks or drips and does not smoke at all. I am the first owner of this car with a clear title free of encumbrances and liens. All regular maintenance was performed at an authorized garage.
I have dropped my price to $2,676 (purchase price), since this is an Urgent Sale! At the moment I'm stationed at Nevada Air National Guard from Reno/Tahoe IAP(ANGB), making final preparations before deploying to Afghanistan. If you're interested to conclude this purchase in a timely manner email me your name and shipping address to open a case with eBay's Buyer Protection Program and they will contact you to explain the entire procedure. The financial part will be managed by them, which means that you will have a 5 days inspection period before committing to buy the car.  In this way both, buyer and seller are 100% covered during the steps of this transaction.

For more details and pictures click on this link:
Hope to hear from you soon.
Col.(Dr.) Michelle Branning
Reno/Tahoe IAP(ANGB)
Nevada Air National Guard
152nd Airlift Wing


Good afternoon,
      The car is already at the shipping company, crated and ready to go from Reno, NV. So you can either come pick it up yourself today or I can take care of the shipping for you. I had another customer who said it will buy and after I made all the necessary arrangements in advance and paid for all shipping & handling fees, changed his mind because didn't have all the money. This is why I need to ship it since all transportation charges have already been paid by me. Shipping may take anywhere between 4 to 6 business days depending on the destination. All documents you need for ownership, title, manuals and bill of sale will be provided along with the car.
As I know that my current situation is pretty special I want the deal closed only through eBay's Buyer Protection Program. They will keep your money into a protection account until you get the car and will release it to me ONLY AFTER inspection period is over and you agree to keep the car. So, this is not a blind transaction, you can physically see the car before committing to buy and to eliminate any concerns you will have 5 days to inspect the car. If you decide not to keep it eBay will refund you the money, no questions asked, and shipping back will be my concern. I think this is more than fair for both of us.
I'll start the official procedure, and eBay will contact us about this in less than 24 hrs.
If you are interested in buying it just mail me back with:
- Your Full Name - Required by eBay (You'll receive important guidelines + instructions from them);
- Your Shipping Address and Phone Number - Required by the Shipping company (They will call you with delivery/pickup instructions 1 day ahead so you can communicate what time schedule work best for you to receive the car).
Again I want to point out that because I am going to Afghanistan this sale is my top priority and I am after a fast transaction, with no delays. That is why I decided to lower the price, to avoid wasting time with negotiations and find a buyer as soon as possible.

Thanks, hope to do business with you soon!
Col.(Dr.) Michelle Branning
Reno/Tahoe IAP(ANGB)
Nevada Air National Guard
152nd Airlift Wing


This 2004 Toyota Camry XLE V6 AUTOMATIC with 54710 Miles has a clear title. The general condition is excellent with no cosmetic complaints really worth comment. Both remote keys are present and are in working order,no electrical issues.
Everything  work perfect!
Price was reduced to $2700 (URGENT SALE) as I need to sell it in 2 weeks because I will leave with other troops in Afganistan and now US Army give us the chance to
buy some shares at BNSF RAILWAY.Co at half price and for this reason I need a fast transaction .
In order to sell my car, I will use US Army Shopping Service. This service was made only for US ARMY members to helps US Army memebrs to sell goods online !
So we can close the deal by US Army Shopping Service you must send the money to our Financial Department and after that the logistics department will shipp you the car and all the sale documents!
If you're really interested in buying my car, make sure that you really have the cash available!
At the moment I'm stationed in our US Military AFB in NORTH DAKOTA making final preparations before deploying to Afganistan with the U.S. Convoy !
The car is already at our Military Logistic Department in our military base in NORTH DAKOTA , crated and ready to go.
The shipping is free because all the US Army members have 1 free delivery per year anywhere in US !
If you have any questions or if you want to buy my car just let me now and I will get back to you with more details about this transaction that will be done by US ARMY SHOPPING SERVICE !
I wish prefert to talck all the transaction details by the phone but right now I`m in a military base, getting ready for Afganistan and for this reason I will not have access to the phone for the next 2 weeks !

I'm waiting your answer !


Hi again,

I have received your email regarding the 2003 Nissan Maxima SE with only 44,000 miles.
The car is in perfect condition,with no scratches on it,no damage, clear title.
The price for the car is $2,850 with shipping included.The car was my husband`s as he loved it very much, but he did not enjoy it as he died in a IRAQ 3 month ago. It brings very bad memories to me, I want to get rid of it.
The buyer will receive the car with all papers and receipts that he needs to register it to his name.
Shipping will be done whit DAS and it will take no more then 2-3 days. I have a friend there who will manage me a low price shipping and I assumed that it is my duty to pay for shipping it.It will be delivered directly to your address.Anyway, I have to let you know that I want a fast deal so if you are really interested in buying it,please reply with the following information's:
-Your full name;
-Your shipping address.(street,city,state,zip code)
The transaction will close only through eBay so we both will be protected.
I want eBay because as they are the biggest company on the Internet I think that we can close this deal fast and safe for both of us. Also I am not very familiar with the Internet transactions and eBay is the only one I know.I will look for your email,so that we can move forward with this deal!
Let me know.

Buying a Used Car Part 1: Starting the Search

I took my pretty gold Saturn to a mechanic when I got the chance a few months ago.  Its engine had been idling rough, especially at stoplights, and burning through more oil than was its wont.  But the mechanic had bad news.  I have worn out my engine.  The only fix is to rebuild the engine, costing about twice what my car is worth.  So far my car still runs, but will get gradually worse.  Being a busy young woman, who sometimes travels an hour or two from home by herself, I decided that I need a car more reliable than that. 

When I finally had time, I started my search.  The websites I used when I bought my first car 6 years ago now have a limited supply.  Even Ebay seemed to be home of the pricier cars.  A $5000 budget seemed reasonable to get a decent car, since that is what I paid for my first car.  So my first day of searching yielded few results.  I kept my eyes peeled for “Sale” signs in the back of car windows and on the side of the road. 

Last time I bought a car, the dealer showed me cars above the budget I told him, and didn’t tell me the price until I had already test driven it.  Then he lied to someone else on the phone, right in front of me.  I haggled him to a fair value for my car, had a horrible time getting the windshield replaced (and it still leaks), and had to buy new tires.  So I decided to buy a car from a private party from now on.  Hopefully a better deal and less lies. 

A friend reminded me that now most people find their cars on Craigslist.  I’ve never bought or sold anything off of Craigslist.  I looked over my mom’s shoulder at it once.  Not that I was opposed; I just had no reason to use that site.  But I jumped on, used their limited search capacities in the category of Cars and Trucks for Sale by Owner, and got a list of cars in the metro area for sale.  I took my limited knowledge of reliable cars and began narrowing my search, mostly based on mileage and age of the car.  I was looking for something under 100,000 miles that would be in good enough shape to maintain for another 70 to 100 thousand more. is a great resource for buying a car.  They have guides to buying a used car, including what information to ask, what to check during a test drive, how to complete a sale, appraisals, and model reviews.  They also have the TCO, True Cost to Own, for more recent models.  So I pulled up a couple of windows.  First thing was to pull up the sheet for the year and model car that looked interesting.  Then on the right hand side they have an estimated gas mileage below a consumer rating on a scale of 1 to 10.  If the gas mileage and rating didn’t seem too low, I proceeded to appraising the car for sale. 

Most important information is the year, make, model, and mileage.  Without that information, I didn’t even bother to research the car.  But the appraisal also factors color, condition, as well as features like air conditioning, power windows, sunroofs, spoilers, and automatic transmissions.  After you click all the information you have on the car, you enter your zip code, and go forward with the appraisal.  Then there are three prices.  The first is Trade-In value, always the lowest.  Next is Private Party – the price I was comparing, and finally was Dealership price.  These prices are different from the Kelley Blue Book.  I aimed to find a car within a couple hundred of the appraisal value I found on 

One important thing to note: Many listings for cars do not have the exact model of car they are selling.  For example, an Altima comes in SE, GXE, GLE, and probably a few others.  The listing on Edmund’s is in alphabetical order, and usually separates manual from automatic and 2-door, 4-door, and wagon.  If you don’t know the exact model, go for the “base model,” usually an S or SE. 

To God be all glory. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Gingerbread Pear Muffins with Chocolate!

Based on a recipe from Better Homes and Gardens, but modified to my taste!

Wash, peel, and chop 2 pears into pea-sized pieces.  Set aside.  Melt 1/4 cup of butter and set aside.  Start water boiling.  Line muffin pans with paper muffin cups.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Get out two bowls.

In the first bowl mix 1 and 1/2 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of ginger, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

Whisk together 1 egg, 2/3 cup of molasses (I use a little less depending on what I have), 1/4 cup of melted butter, and 1/4 cup of brown sugar in the second bowl.  Then pour into the first bowl and stir thoroughly.  Add 1/2 cup of boiling water.  Once that is mixed evenly, pour in the chopped pears and about 1/3 cup of chocolate chips.

Spoon into 12 muffin cups.  Bake for about 18 minutes until toothpick inserted in center (not through a chocolate chip) comes out clean.

I like them best slightly warm, but cool enough to be firm.  Watch out!  They're addicting!

To God be all glory.

The Not New

As of this week I have had my job for 9 years.

I started reading Lord of the Rings for what I estimate to be the 15th or 16th time. 

A few best friends read my emails, let me visit their houses, and pray for me.

My family is good and fun, and bad at communicating.

When I have a question about philosophy or poetry or applied theology, I can ask my brother and we can talk for hours on how to fix our world.

Abortion remains legal.

Yahweh is beyond my understanding.

Persuasion by Jane Austen makes me cry.

Writing helps me think.

I have never had a beer, or wine, or rum.

Prayer works, no matter how many times I doubt.

Parties are one of my favorite things.

Mexican food is my least favorite.

A husband is what I pray for the most.

To God be all glory.

The New

I bought a new car.  Well, it is new to me. 

The other day I had my mom trim my hair, and now it is as short as it has been since junior high.  It is shorter than one of my best friend’s, and short than my little sister’s.

In September I made a new friend.  In the beginning of November she moved back home to Wisconsin.

To wear in a wedding in December I got a new red wool jacket.

At work we just installed new hard flooring.

Since I lost my old water bottle, I am using a new one.

Now my room is stuffed with new gold-themed serving trays and bowls. 

I found a new recipe for Gingerbread Pear Muffins that I love.

My old purse is wearing out, so I am switching to a new one.  This new one is brown and pink. 

In December I get a new driver’s license.

Andrew Peterson is a new favorite musical artist. 

Also in December I get a new age, 26. 

To God be all glory. 

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Baptists: Thorough Reformers Review

Baptists: Thorough Reformers by John Quincy Adams is a short book demonstrating the impact on the Church and individual Christians when infant baptism is practiced.  Filled with quotes from Baptists and Paedobaptists, this is an informative resource on the question.  John Quincy Adams (yes, the president) is on the side of volitional baptism by immersion, having himself converted from the paedobaptist denomination in which he was raised.  Topics range from biblical interpretation and translation to the doctrine of sola scriptura and discussions of the need for a member of the Church to demonstrate their faith by the fruit promised in the Bible.  The author does a good job of tying together the doctrines for which Baptists are distinctively famous, including separation of church and state.  To me the most interesting aspect of reading this book was seeing how little Baptists of today understand their roots, even as recently as the founding of this country.  When Thomas Jefferson wrote his letter to the Danbury Baptists, their denomination was just beginning to surface from centuries of persecution; no wonder they were concerned that the new constitution would protect them from another round of political oppression.

To God be all glory.

Pigfest on Demand Summary

This October my friends and I created yet another Pigfest.  It was a short two hours attended by about two dozen debaters.  There were four new Pigfesters.  A few children showed up and were passed around and played with.  The weather was fine.  My living room was packed, and the kitchen hosted an autumn afternoon feast of snack food.

Pain and difficulty are the best ways to learn.  The term learning applies to any lesson you need to learn.  You can learn bad as well as good things through pain.  But you can learn bad things in other ways, too, so the method is neutral.  "Best" in the proposition implies good.  But do we really mean most effective?  Or are we talking about the most moral way, or the most compassionate way, to learn?  Difficulty makes a student a part of the experience.  It is what makes you feel immersed in the situation.  Jesus learned obedience through suffering.  Failure, a frequent side effect of difficulty, is a memorable teacher.  It's personal.  Perhaps pain and difficulty are good ways to learn some things, but not all things.  Does it make a difference if the pain is voluntary or inflicted from the outside?  Does the student want to learn?  An example was given where hearing and understanding are sometimes more effective than fighting through difficulty.  Different personalities learn in different ways.  Will we, if we grant this proposition, discount people who didn't go through as much?  Should we seek out pain and difficulty?  It is wise to learn from others' mistakes, from their pain and difficulty.  To what extremes should we seek out pain and difficulty?  Should we pick a wife who is opposite of what we think would be "compatible"?  Look at who Jesus picked for His wife.  They who are forgiven most love the most.  But we are taught in the Bible to not intentionally choose the wrong thing.  People can make mistakes without wicked intent.  Lessons are ineffective if the student is unwilling.  Where did you learn your best lessons?  Learning the clutch on a manual car is difficult.

Use of medical drugs ought to be discouraged because they treat effects while hiding causes of pain and illness and issues and are equal to the sorcery spoken against in the Bible. Is there a difference between pain medications, antibiotics, and anti-depressants for the purpose of this resolution?  Pain meds ought to be discouraged as instant solutions, as the first response.  How do we find out what's really wrong if we suppress all the symptoms?  Medications are the result of lots of study.  Pills also enable reckless lifestyles.  By substituting for immunity, they weaken the body's natural immune system.  But should people be required to use natural functions to their potential, without aid, like the ability to walk across the state?  If we were to grant competition and survival of the fittest, we are unnaturally increasing the survival chances of those who are not genetically and biologically as fit as others.  Pain medications are compassionate.  Side effects of some drugs are worse than what they are treating.  Some medications thwart your body's own recovery system and make you worse in the long run.  When we use medications, we are not dependent on God.  What about sorcery?  Is it possible that sorcery is associated with pharmacy because sorcerers borrowed some legitimate techniques from doctors?  Was the herb itself wrong, or the context?  What about mind-altering drugs like LSD?  Do they open you up to the occult?  If you know the cause, are pain medications ok?  Like in childbirth?  (Isn't pain in childbirth part of the curse?  Is it wrong to try to get around it?)  Antibiotics actually treat causes.  Relieving pain and curing diseases is trying to be most like nature before the Fall.  Is there a difference, for this resolution, between natural medications and synthetic ones?  Back to witches.  Maybe the word was translated sorcery instead of doctor for a good reason.  Are mind-altering drugs always bad?  They are bad to the point that they put you outside of your own mind.

There are legitimate reasons for polygamy, benefits from its practice, and it is acceptable in God's sight.  According to the prophet in the Bible, David's wives, aside from Bathsheba, were gifts from God.  In history, especially biblical history, we see problems associated with many wives, some of which are peculiarly the result of polygamy.  There are blessings also, such as the ability to have lots of kids; delegating responsibilities.  What about the concept of two becoming one?  Isn't that how God created marriage?  Yet God never condemned polygamy.  The New Testament requirement for elders is that they be the husband of one woman.  If we as Christians are to submit to the government, here in the USA polygamy is wrong.  1 Corinthians 7 teaches that each should have their own wife or husband, and that they possess each other's bodies.  It was not a sin under the Old Testament.  Does it have benefits to the women, or just to the men?  What is a reason to practice polygamy?  Marriage was often culturally the only means of provision and protection for women.  Polygamy extends this to women who would otherwise have been single.  Women in some cultures derive their worth from bearing children, and the only moral way to do that is in a marriage.  War decimates the male population, leaving an imbalance corrected by one man marrying more than one woman.  You can take care of a woman without marrying her.  Fathers can care for single women.  It is impossible for there to be that oneness that marriage is supposed to create between a man and his multiple wives.  Marriage is a picture of how God wants the relationship to be with His Church.

Lack of submission by Christian wives is a major reason for the degeneration of Church in the West.  We are not talking about Feminism as the movement, but about the specific point of wives not submitting (to their husbands).  What is the evidence that wives are unsubmissive?  The pervasiveness of jokes about women submitting is a cultural recognition that something is not right.  Has Christianity degenerated?  Evidence of famous pastors falling into sin.  Lack of submission comes from lack of respect (of wives for husbands).  But there is also lack of leadership from men.  There has been a drastic stepping down of men in their homes BASED ON the disrespectful reaction of their wives.  The blame is not solely on either, but it is a cycle.  How can this phenomenon be blamed for the degradation of the Church?  What does it do to the Church?  Marriage is an example of how the Church should respond to Christ.  Disobedience to God's command (in this case, for wives to submit) makes us ineffective Christians.  Disrespect is not a license for men to be sinful.  Unsubmissiveness discourages leadership.  Women are not edifying men.  Promise Keepers encourages groveling instead of strong leadership.  Manhood and Womanhood should be exercised in the context of real life instead of just demonstrating manliness off hunting or femininity at a scrapbooking retreat.  Is the issue not submitting, or usurping authority, taking on the leadership that belongs to men?  Look at Deborah.  She became the leader in the army, but it was specifically described as a shame to the men for being unwilling to take the lead themselves.  Wives not submitting has an effect on children, who are left confused about authority.  God is not our servant to be bossed around by us; we submit to Him, as the Church.  Noted that one of the first reactions in discussion was to compare or shift blame.  Such avoidance is sinful.  

To God be all glory.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Physics and Chai Tea

I was reading my own Facebook profile last night, and laughed when I saw my list of activities and interests.  Like this blog, it’s a bit eclectic.  I like etymology and prayer, baking and ecclesiology, physics and family. 

Just now, mixing myself a cup of Vanilla Chai, I was thinking of reviewing the drink.  (Because I know all my readers would try and like something just because I said it was good.)  Since a friend introduced me to chai, I have tried various mixes.  King Soopers brand was the best for a while, but only comes in very small containers.  Other brand powders tended to have a grainy taste or that bitter mixture settling to the bottom that wouldn’t dissolve.  I can brew and mix my own from a tea bag, and then add first honey and then milk (and sometimes vanilla or mint extracts).  That tends to taste bitter.  But I feel very cozy and British making hot tea.  Oregon Chai makes single-serving packets, which are convenient but expensive.  There is the concentrate, to which you add milk.  The concentrate must be refrigerated after opening.  It’s basically just a lot of work.  Costco sells a big can of chai mix, which doesn’t taste all that great.  (I suppose I should mention that I like my chai a little weak, and usually reduce the mix to water ratio.)  Most recently I found a 32 ounce can, produced by Caffe D’Amore, of Vanilla Chai.  It has no hydrogenated oils, though it is not all natural. 

I have purchased Chai lattes from several stores, including Starbucks, Caribou, some little tea shop in the Cherry Creek Shopping District, a shop run by Somalis near my work, and Panera.  Of those, I prefer the independent tea shop and Starbucks – though their prices are pretty outrageous! 

I like the strong, spicy flavor of a good Chai.  The cinnamon and cloves and ginger and other spices keep me warm hours after I have enjoyed the last sip.  With milk in it, a Chai latte makes a satisfying snack or morning kick.  It pairs well with cookies or sandwiches or a lot of fruits.  My favorite is the gentling silkiness of vanilla mixed in.  There are all kinds of Chai, including vanilla and mint and mango and chocolate.  The first two, and plain Chai, are my favorites.

When I put the mix in my mug today, I poured the hot water over it and watched before stirring.  The water took over the clumps of floating powder in a way that made it look like a volcano.  As the grains of mix soaked and dissolved, those from underneath floated up and then they got soaked, causing this rolling surfacing that was fascinating to watch. 

That’s physics.  Physics is way more than number-crunching or astronomical calculations.  You don’t have to study physics to appreciate it.  To me so much of my love of physics is awe at how things work.  That they work.  How beautiful they are while they’re working.  Look at clouds.  And ripples of water.  How trees bend in the wind.  The way powder dissolves into hot water.  Falling things.  Pushing things.  Flight.  Floating.  Sinking.  Magnets.  Aren’t they marvelous? 

To God be all glory. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Wearing Purple

Christians have hope.  We know that we are loved: created by God, died-for by Jesus Christ.  When we placed our trust in Jesus, our sins were forgiven.  In Christ we are a new creation, freed from guilt and condemnation.  God made our spirits alive so that we could now have fellowship with Him.  Our lives have purposes: to honor God and to walk in the good works He prepared for us.  After this life, we will spend eternity alive again with our Savior, delivered from sin and pain and death.

There are those who do not have this hope.  They feel the void from rejecting the love of God.  But God is still offering.  He offers forgiveness, fellowship, purpose, and eternal life.  Then God commissioned us to spread the good news of this offer. 

People who lack this hope face serious consequences.  Every day they live in rebellion against God, multiplying their sins against Him.  This wickedness has consequences now and forever.  When life is hard, they want to give up.  Many do, and take their own lives.  And as they pass from this life, they enter an eternity of punishment for their sins. 

Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.” – James 5:19-20

Men, why are you doing these things?  We also are men with the same nature as you, and preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God, who made heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them.” – Acts 14:15

It is unloving to do nothing as these people continue in sin and hopelessness.  To endorse or honor their sin is the least loving thing you could do.  It offers them no way out, and demonstrates your own lack of faith in the God whose character and glory are being betrayed.  But love must be our motive in speaking to the unsaved: love for them, and love for God. 

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” – 1 Peter 3:15

Let your gentleness be known to all men; the Lord is at hand.” – Philippians 4:5

So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.  Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.” – James 1:19-21

And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.” – 2 Timothy 2:24-26

Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.  Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” – Colossians 4:5-6

Humility and grace go together.  Humility recognizes that we also would stand guilty before God, but for the merciful sacrifice of Jesus on the cross in our place.  We have received God’s grace, and know that for the lost to receive God’s grace as well is their only hope.

But I am writing today primarily to admonish you all to take a stand against the “unfruitful works of darkness” which are the causes for the “wrath of God [coming] on the sons of disobedience.”  We as followers of Jesus Christ need to take a stand in two ways: first, in our own lives, to strive for holiness even as He who called us is holy; second, in our witness to others.  Christians do not need to compromise with the enemies of God in order to offer hope.  There is no hope offered when we tolerate the sins separating men from their God. 

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.  For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.  But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light.  Therefore He says: ‘Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.’  See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” – Ephesians 5:11-17

Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.  Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.” – Colossians 3:5-7

But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.  For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.  Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.  Therefore do not be partakers with them.” – Ephesians 5:3-7

"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." – 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Finally, as you may have guessed by my title, I am addressing a specific situation in which many Christians are being tempted to honor sin or endorse lifestyles of rebellion against God.  The names we have for these lifestyles today are not found in the Bible.  But the Bible is clear in its reproach against what is today called Homosexuality, also “Gay”, “Lesbian,” “Bi-sexual,” and “Trans-gender.”

As you can read above, in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, being “effeminate” is a sin against God for which exclusion from the Kingdom of God is just.  (Thank God for His grace, by which even such sins may be forgiven and overcome!)  Also in that list is fornication, which generally covers every sexual sin.  God intended sex for the context of marriage between man and woman.  Everything else rejects God’s design and inserts our pretentious wisdom.  (We should repudiate all sin, along with homosexuality, as shown by the various lists in the Bible.)

In the Old Testament political laws for the nation of Israel, homosexuality was a perverse sin punishable by death.  This political law is not in effect today.  The USA has no such law.  However, the Mosaic Law’s condemnation of that behavior represents God’s perfect moral righteousness.  To God, such conduct is an abomination

"Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination… For whosoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit them shall be cut off from among their people." – Leviticus 18:22, 29

"If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them." – Leviticus 20:13

Lest you be unconvinced that all forms of homosexuality are still abominations to God and sins against Him, read what Paul wrote to the Romans (in the New Testament, after Jesus had risen from the dead):

Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever.  Amen. 
“For this reason God gave them up to vile passions.  For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.  Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. 
“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” – Romans 1:24-32

Over the past decade or so, the world has been told that a person’s “sexual orientation” is something he or she was born with.  I agree that people may be “born that way,” but only in this sense: that all men were born with a sin nature, spiritually dead and enslaved to the Devil.  (See Ephesians 2.)  Romans 1:26 tells us that humans practicing homosexuality have rejected “nature.”  What they are doing is unnatural.  Think, as a Christian, what it means to claim that a person was born with a sexual orientation that is an abomination to God; it means God created them that way!  Would He do such a thing?  He teaches in the Bible that He did not!

This passage in Romans also warns that there are material and spiritual consequences, in the present life, for a lifestyle of homosexuality.  Other teachers have exposited the list of consequences in this section of Scripture, and speculated as to the manifest consequences we see today.  You can read God’s list for yourself, and follow up further if you desire.

Finally, the last phrase of Romans 1:24-32 rebukes those who “approve of those who practice them.”  Do not be one of those people.  Do not honor those who have so rebelled against God.  Mourn those who died without repenting.  Weep for the destructive toll this sin is taking on our country.  And preach hope to them, the hope that comes from submitting to God, who alone ordains salvation and righteousness. 

To God be all glory.