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41 Responses

  1. dusty says:

    Hi guys and gals! It is 80′ here nice breeze blowing. Just got rid of a buch of firewood that we had for 3 years…just in case we wanted to use the fire place. Stuff invades our house like the plague. Lol. I feel so accomplished getting rid of that wood. Now what to tackle next?

    I have a good grip on paper coming into the house. Except my husbands books-i don’t touch them unless to dust them. I sort the mail as soon as i get home from the post office…it doesn’t even get set down…..til it is out of the envelope. Then it is trash or bill…filled accordingly.

    I know this is totally random 🙂

  2. JoelG says:

    What did you do with all that firewood Dusty? I’m a firewood hoarder. 🙂

  3. dusty says:

    I gave it to a neighbor who has bon fires in his back yard.

    Around here if you put wood out to the road it is gone in less than a day.

  4. dusty says:

    Do you use any of your wood Joel? Or just save it?

  5. JoelG says:

    We use it. We have a fireplace and I hate the thought of being without wood while I hibernate in the winter.

    If I would’ve known I might have driven to your place to get some. 🙂

  6. dusty says:

    Awe, sorry i should have asked. Lol. It was not even a cord -is that what it is called ? We are in michigan it may have been quite the drive. Though it would have been giod to see you. Lol

  7. dusty says:

    If you use it then you are not a horder, silly. 🙂

  8. JoelG says:

    Yes a cord. I love cords. You’d be surprised how far I go for free firewood!

    Hey my uncle is a Pastor in Muskegon, if you know where that is. Beautiful area. You midwesterners are kind folks.

  9. dusty says:

    Yep i know Muskegon area. Thanks for the kind words.

  10. em... again says:

    i’ve got four acres of trees, fir and pine – would love to cut all those fir into firewood, but i’m afraid to see someone get hurt trying to bring those big things down – we had to hire a tree cutter to bring one down last summer – amazing to watch a 150′ tree come down right where the fella intended (which was good as there was a garage on each side of where it landed) – firewood goes fast here, too – between my son and the enthusiastic neighbor the free firewood disappeared fast

    nice to give my brain a break from trying to follow the doctrinal needle threading here, grateful to Michael for the work and faithful dedication to searching Truth and dusty for faithful prayer and calling us to pray

  11. JoelG says:

    4 acres of trees Em? I’ll be up there tomorrow with my chainsaw. 🙂

    “nice to give my brain a break from trying to follow the doctrinal needle threading here.”

    Sometimes it’s nice to just rest in Jesus and enjoy the simple things in life.

  12. Descended says:


    Does anyone know if Saeed abedini underwent so-called White Torture?

  13. em... again says:

    JoelG, if we get around to doing any clearing, i’ll give you a heads up 🙂

    and yes, isn’t it nice to find a time of peace and quiet and find your mind turning to how good God is, how good it is to know that truth? as Michael’s wonderful post noted today this is a very demanding time we live in and not a very nice world … yet

  14. Jean says:

    Tomorrow on the Church Calendar is the Feast of Pentecost. The following is a snippet from one of the Fathers:

    ” ‘And my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.’ My friends, consider the greatness of this solemn feast that commemorates God’s coming as a guest into our hearts! If some rich and influential friend were to come to your home, you would promptly put it all in order for fear something there might offend your friend’s eyes when he came in. Let all of us then who are preparing our inner homes for God cleanse them of anything our wrongdoing has brought into them.”

    (St. Gregory the Great (540-604 AD), Homily on Pentecost, Be Friends of God)

    Does your church commemorate Pentecost? If so, how do you observe it?

  15. Duane Arnold says:

    For Pentecost

    Almighty God, on this day you opened the way of eternal life
    to every race and nation by the promised gift of your Holy
    Spirit: Shed abroad this gift throughout the world by the
    preaching of the Gospel, that it may reach to the ends of the
    earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns
    with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever
    and ever. Amen.


  16. em... again says:

    praying that we are impacted by the miracle of Pentecost – of God’s plan, of His power, grace and mercies that He offers us – soften our hearts and sharpen our minds, Lord

  17. Michael says:

    The Bible Answer Man still thinks evangelicalism is compatible with Orthodoxy.
    My guess is that he doesn’t understand either…

  18. Xenia says:

    “Look, my views have been codified in (more than) 20 books, and my views have not changed.”

    I don’t even know what to say about his, it’s such a strange claim to make.

    Sure, the Eastern and Western churches do have some basic doctrines in common, such as the Trinity (with an asterisk) , the deity of Christ, His resurrection, etc. These are basic things you have to believe if you are a Christian of any stripe, be you Quaker or Orthodox. Since Hank still believes in the Trinity, etc. (again, there’s that asterisk) I guess he thinks he hasn’t changed his views. That’s disingenuous, to put it mildly.

    For example, he has obviously changed his views about baptism and the Eucharist and these are not secondary issues for the Orthodox, they are of primary importance. He has surely changed his views about these sacraments and to say he hasn’t is not honest.

    I am surprised he was so shocked that the evangelical radio stations took him off the air. This shows incredible naivete on his part. When I converted from CC –> EO I fully expected to lose my job teaching at the CC high school and it was only the kindness of the CC pastor that I was able to keep it. Does HH really think he can talk about icons and prayers to the Saints and that’s going to fly in evangelical circles? Perry R. must be right: HH isn’t as smart as he presents himself if he is this clueless.

    Now I am truly sorry HH is so sick. He found Orthodoxy just in time because the Orthodox Church is the best place to die. But he’s got to embrace the Real Church, not some figment of his imagination.

    And those Greeks, what’s up with them? They are probably so thrilled to have landed a famous fish that they aren’t correcting him as they should. A famous fish they probably never heard of until he flopped onto their shores….

    Well, we pray for Hank every day over here. I think he’s a mess but God is in the business of cleaning up messes and no one is hopeless, not even the clueless Hank Hanegraaf.

  19. JoelG says:


    I’ve become a big fan of Fr Stephen Freeman’s blog. I find his writings to be very insightful and helpful.

    I realize that this is a complicated matter, but… can you recommend a book or website that might help those of us that aren’t theology scholars understand Eastern Orthodoxy? Perhaps an Orthodox Church for dummies?

    One more question…

    You refer to your Tradion as the Real Church. Do you view Lutheran / Reformed / Evangelical churches as outside of the Real Church and therefore not Christians?

    I respect your Traditin and promise not to get mad. 🙂

  20. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    LOL -I don’t know why people are so upset about HH in the picture. It is no different than all the evangelicals bowing down, kissing the ring and giving all their money to the gospel for Asia guy before the fallout.

  21. Duane Arnold says:

    #17 Michael

    I’m not so sure that HH does not understand either. I think he probably has at least a reasonable grasp of both. That, however, is not the point. He has spent years being a “personality”, and one that has tended to “bend” evangelical theology to his understanding of any given question. He is simply now doing the same with Orthodoxy and, quite clearly, is trying to impress his personality and opinion upon his new found confession, instead of allowing that confession to be impressed upon him.

    The RCs talk about “cafeteria Catholics”, i.e. people who go along the line picking out what they like and passing by what they don’t want to have on their plate. It seems to me, just from what he has written, that he is headed in a similar direction with Orthodoxy.

  22. Xenia says:

    Joel, you asked the question I am always hoping no one asks. 🙂

    We believe the Eastern Orthodox Church is the original Church that Christ and the Apostles founded. It’s the Church. Groups have chosen, over the centuries, to go their own way and depart from the Church.

    Now what can we say about these folks. Well, here’s what we can’t say. We can’t say they are not Christians. There’s a well-known saying among the Orthodox: We know where the Church is but we cannot say where it is not.

    We see the Orthodox Church as the Ship of Faith. People can jump overboard and try to make the trip on a variety of rafts, canoes and other craft. Some are more sea-worthy than others. Some will make it to the end, some won’t.

    So what do I call non-Orthodox fellowships…. Well, speaking in a normal way, I call them churches. They are certainly groups of sincere believers in Christ. They are all deficient in some way, some more than others. The most serious deficiency is throwing aside the Sacraments, as many groups do. Yet, God still saves these people even so. This is what He does, He saves people.

    So I don’t think this is a very satisfying answer and it’s sure to irritate everyone. The stricter Orthodox who might be reading will say I am waffling and all the rest of you will say I am being an elitist.

    Let me go find an “Orthodox for Dummies” page. 🙂

  23. Xenia says:

    Joel, here’s some podcasts on that might be helpful:

    “Our Life in Christ” is hosted by two very cheerful converts and they chatter away about various topics. They do a pretty good job explaining various aspects of Orthodoxy.

    Another podcast that explains the differences between Orthodoxy and other groups is Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick’s “Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy.” He has several podcasts, all good.

    Just go to the Ancient Faith Radio web site and put “Damick” in the search bar. “Our Life in Christ” can be found in the archived podcasts.

    Here’s a web site with some printed info:

  24. Xenia says:

    The classic book for explaining Orthodox is Timothy Ware’s The Orthodox Church.

    You can find a few chapters of this book free to read here:

  25. JoelG says:

    Thank you bunches Xenia. I’m sorry to put you on the spot like that. I certainly didn’t want to start an argument. Just very curious and your answer as very helpful. Fascinating stuff….

  26. JoelG says:

    Thank you for the links. Going to dive in…

  27. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Your statement that HH would bend evangelical theology strikes me as odd. When I make a statement here that evangelical theology is wrong or evangelicals teach so and so – the evangelicals rush in to tell me no they (individually) don’t or that there is no set evangelical teaching on any given topic.

    HH was only practicing regular evangelical theology – however, evangelical theology is made of silly putty and meant to be bent or molded by the user. In other words HH could have been the poster boy for evangelicalism.

  28. Xenia says:

    It’s Ok, Joel, you didn’t put me on the spot. 🙂

  29. Steve Wright says:

    MLD, I trust you see a major difference between writing “evangelicals believe” and “dispensationalists believe”. I’ve only challenged you on the latter where you are rarely, if ever, accurate.

  30. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Steve W, I do believe I specified evangelical. I was making the point that Duane accused HH of bending evangelical theology for is own benefit. My point was ‘bending’ is in the evangelical operating manual.

    Now to back up a bit, and it doesn’t need to be 100% – aren’t dispensationalist evangelicals?

  31. Duane Arnold says:

    #30 MLD

    I “accused” HH of nothing. I sought to explain what was taking place. Accusation is your line, not mine…

  32. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Duane, you should read your comments how they come to me on my phone. If I said Duane bends Anglican theology to benefit himself, I am sure you would think I was accussing you of something.
    However that was not my point. My point was evangelicalism ispurposely meant to be bent so HH was being theologically consistent.

    And don’t accuse me of being accusatory 😉

  33. Duane Arnold says:


    As I said, accusation is your line, not mine.

  34. Duane Arnold says:

    #25 Joel G

    Not to encroach on Xenia’s territory, but I’ve found John Meyendorff’s work and that of Alexander Schmemann to be worth their weight in gold when it comes to Orthodoxy,

  35. JoelG says:

    Thank you Duane. Writing that down…..

  36. Jean says:

    Happy Pentecost Sunday!

    A word from a Father to encourage us this morning:

    “And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit’ (Acts 2:3-4). They partook of fire, not of burning but of saving fire; of fire which consumes the thorns of sins, but gives luster to the soul. This is now coming upon you also, and that to strip away and consume your sins which are like thorns, and to brighten yet more that precious possession of your souls, and to give you grace; for He gave it then to the Apostles. And He sat upon them in the form of fiery tongues, that they might crown themselves with new and spiritual diadems by fiery tongues upon their heads. A fiery sword barred of old the gates of Paradise; a fiery tongue which brought salvation restored the gift.”

    (St. Cyril of Jerusalem (313-386 A.D.), Catechetical Lectures: Lecture 17 no. 15)

  37. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    The fathers no longer have standing. Not will competition for the hearts and minds in the Christian marketplace today. Tell me this is not uniquely America Evangelical Christianity.
    From the FB page of Lone Star Cowboy Church this morning. (These ‘cowboy’ churches are popping up all over)

    “Good morning and welcome to FB live. We are taking communion today so get your crackers and juice and we will see you there.”

    Does anyone else see a problem? I know in my church if we are speaking to people not there and we say “we are taking communion…” We mean we will have a pastor or elder take it too you – in the flesh.

  38. London says:

    Cowboy churches have been around for decades. They are maybe just now using technology differently, but that doesn’t mean they are a new thing.

  39. John 20:29 says:

    the term ‘cowboy’ does have more than one connotation (what is MLD doing watching cowboy church anyway? pray for him ) 🙂

    i do have a story about a cowboy church in the state of Washington a few years back, but not before cell phones (yes, i’m sure there’s documentation somewhere, but i’m not going to bother looking it up – this is the story, take it or leave it)
    there was a passenger plane that took off, from San Diego for Seattle i believe, began it’s usual flight up the coast and ran into trouble (engine as i recall) it turned around to head back to the field, skimming the surface of the water so all on board knew that they just might not make it. On board were the pastor of a cowboy church and his wife as i recall and she stood up in the aisle and preached the gospel to all on board as they flew on… my recollection is that the plane crashed… the last thing those folk heard was a cowboy preacher telling them of their urgent need to confess their sin and accept their Salvation in Christ…
    sometimes Truth trumps doctrines … sometimes …

  40. em... again says:

    post script to #39 – for the record the plane was an Alaska Airlines (MD-80) that crashed into the ocean in 2000 off the coast of Los Angeles – it was a malfunction of the horizontal tail stabilizer that the pilots did a heroic, but near impossible job of trying to overcome and keep the plane flying – all 88 on board died… and i believe that the wife was a co-pastor of the cowboy church – from Monroe WA if my jogging memory serves… and that’s all the documentation that i can dredge up…
    glad to see the unusual interest going on over on the Weekend Word this week

  41. David H says:

    My wife’s cousin (he is a pastor, and his eldest son is a pastor, as well) is the offspring of a “cowboy” pastor. His dad’s name was Eschol Cosby. The family is now essentially “Reformed Baptist” and extremely fundamentalist. It’s an interesting shift from a fire and brimstone pre-trib family to a strange admixture of that and “reformed” theology.

    For me they are rather scary. They are priggish about sexuality to the extreme. The cousin is a leader in The Sons of Confederate Veterans. He believes the Civil War was an act of aggression by the Union and that the states are still at war. Although a self proclaimed “libertarian,” he exhibits all the tendencies of a dominionist. (They think Ken Ham is a scientist, and David Barton is a historian).

    The hard d part for me, is that the family is very nice, and I like the man. On the other hand his ideology scares me.

    On another note. It has been quite a relief to get out from under the rock of Evangelical fundamentalism. It took too long, but I’m in a better frame of mind.

    Peace and love to one and all.

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