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"Defend Your Calvinism" Challenge

An excerpt from my post,  "Letter To Our Elders Regarding Calvinism Growing In Our Church".  A challenge for dogmatic Calvinists out there (or for those who just think they're Calvinists but haven't really studied what Calvinism really is):

If you are so sure about your Calvinism, then how about taking my "Defend Your Calvinism Challenge":  

1.  Read my blog posts on this issue (find them in "Links To My Anti-Calvinism posts").  Read them carefully, thoughtfully.  Write down the arguments against Calvinism.  Look up the Bible verses quoted, and read them in context.  Research what Calvinism is really about so that you can truly understand it.  Etc.  Basically, study what Calvinism really is, study what I say against it, and study what the Bible really says, in context.  And then ...   

#4: A Defining Moment, Fall 2016 (repost)

(This was the pinnacle moment of my 2016 summer, where all that pain led up to, as far as my faith was concerned.  And I guess if this is where all that pain led to, then I don't regret it.  You'll see what I mean.)

Have you ever been smacked upside the head by the heaviest questions you could ever ask yourself, knowing that the answers would define your future and determine the direction of your faith thereafter? ...

Isn't that how life goes sometimes!

Three weeks ago, I found a hummingbird live-cam online - https://www.bellahummingbird.com/.  The same day I found it, the hummingbird mama - Bella - laid her first egg of the season.  And then a second.  

And I thought, "How cool!  I get to see these babies from the very start."

Eager to see the babies hatch, I checked on the live-cam every couple days.  And then, just a few days ago, the first baby hatched, followed shortly by the second.

Two tiny new baby hummingbirds.  I called my boys over to show them off.  

I guess this camera has been running since 2013.  It's been going for 6 years, but this is the first time I noticed it.  And I was excited about checking on the baby birds every day, watching them grow.

What an honor!

And then yesterday ... three weeks after I started watching the hummingbird live-cam that I missed for the last 6 years ... the mama bird is killed, possibly by a praying mantis (???), leaving two tiny new hatchlings behind, which were then sent to a pla…

#3: My Panic Attack, June 2016 (repost)

[Reposted from June 2016.  Sometimes, just when you think, hope, and pray that things are finally going to start looking up for you, everything gets worse.  So much worse. 

As seen in the last numbered post, I started off 2016 with the word "hope," thinking that maybe it meant the year would be better than the previous ones.  And then ... I had the worst summer of my life.  A real life-changer, heart-changer.  I guess maybe "hope," for me, was the kind in Romans 5:3-5.  It's starts with suffering, which brings perseverance, which creates character, which develops hope.  Hope in what exactly?  I'm not sure.  Maybe just hope that God is always with you, no matter what.  Hope that He will work all the good into bad.  Hope that you'll make it through one more day.  And so here it is - my panic attack.  The terrible summer that came after starting off my year with "hope."  If you've ever had a panic attack, maybe you can relate.  But I hope not,…

A Broken Hallelujah

The song that's making me wipe tears from my eyes this morning...

I don't know what all the lyrics mean, but I do understand that life is often a broken Hallelujah.

#2: Embracing Hope, Jan. 2016 (repost)

[Reposted from my other blog, from January 2016.  This comes shortly after the "Wrestling With God" post, the summer when I found myself utterly discouraged by life, by gardening.  When it seemed like one thing after the next just kept going wrong.  This was my call to hope again.  

Update:  I mentioned in the last post that my mom is currently trying to drink herself to death.  I got a call last night that she was found unconscious at a friend's house after drinking since 10 a.m. that morning and taking a bunch of Librium.  They called me last night to tell me that she was in the hospital with a blood alcohol level of 375, unconscious, and not breathing on her own.  (A couple days ago, she went in with level of 400.)  They had to put tubes in her lungs to keep her alive.  It's the fourth time, they said, that the ambulance was called on her in about a week.  I tell ya, it seems almost supernatural that she hasn't died yet.  She has tried so hard to end it all, in…