Romans 7

by Andrea Elizabeth

“Rom 7:4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.”
Dead to the law does not mean we are free to break it. It means it is not a way out of sin. It’s like the tree of knowledge of good and evil. It reveals our sin and thus captivates us.
“Rom 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

Rom 7:8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.
Rom 7:9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.
Rom 7:10 And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.
Rom 7:11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.”
This is not saying coveting is ok once you’re dead to the law. It means that willing yourself not to covet doesn’t work. Loving Jesus more than not coveting is apparently what works.

Romans 6

by Andrea Elizabeth

I do not believe it to be a works-based theology to see the necessity of obedience as a means of yielding ourselves to God for his return gift of righteousness as in the following:

“Rom 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? Rom 6:17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.”

Works-based salvation to me is isolating the works as righteous so that doing them alone, apart from submission and obedience to God, automatically makes one prosperous.

There are properties of prosperity and happiness related to good deeds that seem to be cosmically inherent, but God is not necessarily bound to them. We ask for mercy because we violate them, and because we do not want positive side effects without Him.

Romans 5

by Andrea Elizabeth

Christ’s work justifies and atones, so what does our work do? I don’t believe it does nothing. If we obey by faith, then it can almost be like an initiation. As if God says, show me your willingness to enter my life by confessing your sins, getting dunked three times, and eating this bread and wine, etc. These don’t accomplish anything without faith and grace.

Romans 4

by Andrea Elizabeth

Anraham’s righteous faith was what made him leave Ur and have Isaac, not just believe that God exists. When we are to have faith in Christ, it is that what was accomplished in him can be participated in, not just covered with. 

You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.

by Andrea Elizabeth

I have understood “impute” to mean to give someone something they don’t already possess, such as Christ imputing his righteousness to sinners. I’m reading Romans straight through for the first time since becoming Orthodox I think. One reason I haven’t is that snippets are included in the daily lectionaries. I don’t know if all the passages are covered in the annual schedule. Another reason is how my background with the Five Solas and TULIP affect my reading. 

In Romans St Paul talks about Abraham’s faith:

“Rom 4:20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; Rom 4:21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. 

Rom 4:22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.”

If this meant that he was given something he didn’t have, then how can this next statement be possible?

““Rom 4:8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.”

Impute must instead be the judgment of someone’s re”pute”ation. I’m going to keep reading before I comment further on faith, grace, and works.

Molly and Irene

by Andrea Elizabeth

Kayaking has been more on my mind lately than writing, but I did write about some of our recent trips here.

I have also neglected reading and cross stitching lately.

I could write about the BBC TV show, Sherlock, though.

After recently rewatching the first 4 episodes, Sherlock’s and Mycroft’s conversations about how “caring” is useless are occupying my mind. John, on the other hand, is so empathetic, especially when Sherlock says indelicate things about Molly. Yes, humiliating someone is bad, but so are tactics that you think you’re getting by with. Both Molly and Irene Adler try to ensnare Sherlock, but Adler is more successful. Her look of triumph at the end of “A Scandal in Belgravia” shows it. Molly is not as narcissistic as Irene, and takes Sherlock’s observations to heart. She loves even when she’s not getting what she wants out of it. She adjusts her expectations for the cause. Irene is more ruthless and committed to getting what she wants. Sherlock identifies more with this, but keeps his goals in mind and will not spoil them to give into hers. Maybe both women do get what they want: intimate unattainability. They don’t want their entrapment to be ultimately successful. Does Molly not really want to be The Woman? Perhaps not. She is more casually driven than Irene. And she’s not from Conan Doyle’s cannon.


by Andrea Elizabeth

In order to finally return a Netflix DVD we’ve had since last Halloween time, we watched Hollow (be warned of partial nudity) last weekend. It’s a creepy movie set in an old English churchyard over a weekend when two couples come to retrieve some of the estate of one of the young people’s deceased clergy grandfather. The supernatural things that happen heighten the negative parts of each of their characters. The question is, are they revelations from God about themselves or from demons? The current clergy does not want to deal with it, and the young people are quicker to criticize each other than themselves. The blond girl, not the descendant, is blatantly herself, and also calls people out the most. The descendant is a goody two shoes who gets accused of wanting people to love her and her goodness for selfish reasons. I thought it was pretty well done.

I suppose self-revelation is a pretty risky business inspiring one to easily go the wrong way into giving in to it, or loathing/flagellating oneself too much, or dismissing it by blaming it all on demonic suggestion. There is another option of handling it through confession and more positive repentance, however.


by Andrea Elizabeth

It has taken us a week to get our two Hobie Revolution 13 kayaks into the water. After youtube research, George decided on the pvc runner pipe method of hauling. We placed four pvc pipes parallel to each other longways in our flatbed trailer for the boats to fit along their bottom grooves. This required two removable 2×4’s running perpendicular to the pipes, and placed along and in the trailer rails to support the front and the back of the pipes and boats. We figured bungee chords around the boats and the supports would secure them.

Not so. Monday evening we did a trial run to our neighborhood Walmart to get supplies before heading to the lake. The boats bounced like they were on a trampoline, with one coming out of its cradle to cuddle up alongside the other one. We had brought some ratchet straps just in case and secured them a little better, but still they bounced too much. That same one dislodged again, so we just went back home. George spent the next three evenings watching more youtubes on strapping, and making another 2×4 support under the middle, and buying cam straps which aren’t too tight or too loose like ratchets and bungees are. We also learned you have to secure them in four places to keep them from going forward, back, bow up or stern up. This required the installation of 8 metal loops into the floor of the flatbed. Whew. Last night we were finally ready to try again.

It worked! The boats stayed secure for the 15 mile trek to the boat ramp at Hunter Park on Lake Granbury. George met us there after he got off work, after the girls and I hooked up the trailer and made it to the lake with our life vests, towing wheel set, paddles, peddles, and adjustable supportive seats. This trip was mainly to see if we girls could handle getting them in the water and us in the boats securely. We did! We parked in the extra long spot at the ramp, installed all the gear, including the wheels, and pulled one boat at a time to the water where we took out the wheels, put in the peddles and put the rudder in the down position where the water was deep enough for them not to rub. Then the girls got in each boat and they were off! They raced each other for about an hour till George arrived, and he and I had our turn exploring towards the mouth of the Brazos River.

The ramp was busier than I expected with jet skis and other motor boats though, which was fun for making waves, but a little scary to avoid. I found a website that lists all public ramps, so I’ll be trying them out later.

About technology. I wonder what you call person who likes sophisticated, genius engineering to maximize human efficiency so that output far exceeds input? Meaning for each easy stroke, you go really fast and travel really far, but without loud, obnoxious combustion engines, and while burning personal calories in a very motivating way. Hobies are unlike traditional paddle boats that have a square, inefficient design where work is less than result and you get tired without going very far. I’m much more motivated to get tired while the scenery changes pretty quickly.

at last

by Andrea Elizabeth

the pool is spic and span. No, it wasn’t the chlorine, shock, or algicide that did the trick. 48 hours ago I rushed to the pool store before closing time to get the desperate stuff: Alum. It’s a flocculant water clarifier that binds to the particles to make them heavy enough to sink to the bottom. After turning off the filter, broadcasting over the surface, and letting it do it’s thing for 24-48 hours, all the dead algae and stuff sank to the bottom of the pool to be vacuumed out today. Our month of varying shades of green and degrees of cloudiness has finally given way to clear blueness.

speaking of Brexit

by Andrea Elizabeth

I wonder what Queen Elizabeth thinks about it. Apparently she is officially “mum” on the subject, because, how weird this sounds, “the Queen does not engage in politics“. But people believe she is for it because of her views of how Europe’s policies make them vulnerable to terrorism. She is a very interesting figure regarding Britain’s positive self-identity. I recently watched Prince Charles’ tribute to her on her 90th birthday where he said one of the most remarkable occasions during her reign was when she visited the Republic of Ireland in 2011 at the invitation of President Mary McAleese, which was the first visit by a British Monarch in 100 years. He had recounted how horrible the tensions were especially in the 1970’s, and how wonderful it was to finally be on better terms. This is a good picture of how Queen Elizabeth II is able finesse very delicate waters. People can easily vilify British colonialism, but not really Queen Elizabeth. Ireland had invited her despite “The Troubles” when

“Angry crowds burned down the British Embassy in Dublin in protest at the shooting by British troops of 13 civilians in Derry, Northern Ireland on Bloody Sunday (1972) and in 1981 protesters tried to storm the British Embassy in response to the IRA hunger strikes of that year. In 1978, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) trial “Ireland v. the United Kingdom” ruled that the techniques used in interrogating prisoners in Northern Ireland “amounted to a practice of inhuman and degrading treatment”, in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.” source

Maybe the Prime Minister was more to blame than the Queen. Yet, even though she doesn’t have official political power, she still has influence.


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