Weekly Reflections

2/7/2023 - After hiatus, I am re-disciplining myself on basic book-keeping habit using the Money Lover app (which now has Webapp, for free at the moment). If they go PayApp on me, I'm looking for alternative app or write my own, hopefully it doesn't come to that. The idea is to keep it basic, no fancy wallets, etc. Just a brief overview of tracking in & out spending.

2/2/2023 - If you misrepresent the other side's view, that's the prime indication of narrow mindedness, low IQ.

Instant Pho $2 DIY:

Recipe below:
  1. Noodles. You need quick cook noodles or else cooking it for 8-10 minutes defeats the whole purpose of instant pho. You want to walk in your kitchen and walk out in 5 minutes with a delicious steaming bowl of pho.
  2. It needs to have a beefy broth and somewhat resembles pho broth.
  3. It needs to have real beef that is tender.
  4. It needs to have a lime flavor
  5. It should have basil but in a pinch, you could leave it out.

So I think the most essential parts of this recipe is 1-4 and possibly 5.

Here is the recipe for the broth:
1/2 Star Anise (whole or powdered for all spices ok)
1/2 Clove (optional)
About a dime size of cinnamon (optional)
A teaspoon of sesame oil
1 tbspn of fish sauce (should do more like 2 tspn to lower salt content)
4oz fresh ground beef (add more or less to your liking, 3oz minimum)
1 pack of quick cook rice noodle
1/3 lime
2-3 springs of Basil

  1. Pulverize the spices and put them in 2 cups water. Add sesame oil and fish sauce.
  2. Cook rice noodles for 3 mins or whatever the package says. Drain and dip in cold water for 2-3 seconds and drain to stop cooking. Put in large bowl and add in basil leaves
  3. Separate ground beef into tiny nuggets like the size of sausage pieces on a pizza on a separate plate.
  4. Let instant broth boil. Add in beef all at once. Turn off heat immediately. Stir for 2-3 seconds.
  5. Add the instant broth into the noodles.
  6. ENJOY!

1/31/2023 - FB post made me revisit "God's decree of the Fall". D.A. Carson has a great article. I'll copy it in the comment. We cannot say God "authored" evil without assigning culpability to God, so we say God ORDAINED evil. God DECREED the Fall. Because in compatibilism, the blame (culpability) goes to men alone between God and men.

1/30/2023 - So after a week or two of testing with Unistellar costumer emails on my EVSCOPE not charging anymore, we have come to the conclusion that because I haven't charged the battery every month, the battery is now dead, despite the suggested 72+ hour charging and constantly replugging the charger as well as replugging the internal battery. Bought in March 2020 for $3k including the backpack, this is now almost junk because of the battery. The replacement battery is said to be around $70. I'm going DIY on the battery myself while waiting for their customer support to respond back about the replacement battery.

The specs on the battery blue package are:
Great Power - ICR 18650 15Ah 3.7V 55.5Wh Configuration: 1S6P 2019.09.19

Learned out to comment out/disable reftagger plugin for tagging everything that looks like Bible quotes in WordPress journal: Edit the file in wp-content/plugins/reftagger/RefTagger.php, look for $default_nosearch = array('h1' => "1", ... and add your own tag, in my case, I appended 'noreftagger' => "1". Reactivate the plugin. So any words in the <noreftagger></noreftagger> tag will not be tagged.

New Truth is Old Heresy ~ Steve Lawson. There's nothing new under the sun, as mentioned in Ecclesiastes. This is a good quote against those pursuing new revelations today.

Or we can refer to Packer / Owen's quote.

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1 Response to Weekly Reflections

  1. timlyg says:

    From: https://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/decree_fall.html

    Did God's Decree Bring About the Fall?
    In the past week I have had several people ask me how Adam's original sin come about since he did not have a fallen nature to contend with. Thus it's not that Adam and Eve were originally prevented from obeying God due to a sinful nature, as we are now. Also since God is NOT the author of evil, didn't make Adam sin, nor did HE put the sinful desire within them, so the question is really how (or why) did Adam originally sin? This is really an attempt to understand the relationship between God's sovereignty and freewill in the beginning, prior to the fall.
    By confession we believe that God created human beings "with knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness, after His own image; having the law of God written in their hearts, and power to fulfil it; and yet under a possibility of transgressing, being left to the liberty of their own will, which was subject unto change." (WSF IV.2) This is to say that man was created in such a way where he was not yet sealed in righteousness as he will be in glory, but created with a an inclination toward good. Why evil temptation was able to overcome that inclination, the Scripture does not reveal, so any dogmatic response would be speculative. So while there are indeed mysteries that are not fully revealed to us in Scripture ... on the other hand, there are some things revealed that we do know and from these we can draw some conclusions.

    Did God's Decree Bring About the Fall?

    It is important that we first consider the alternative to God ordaining the fall event to show that it is really quite and untenable and unsustainable position. The truth of God's word is honored not in holding exclusively to one truth to the exclusion of another truth, but in believing the whole counsel of God. The Bible plainly teaches that man is responsible for the sin he commits and it also teaches that God is sovereign. You would be correct theologically to say that God is not the author of evil and that man alone is culpable for the sin he commits. You must also consider, however, that God is sovereign and has thus left nothing up to chance. That word "nothing" is a universal negative. For if chance were to exist then, of course, God would not be sovereign and thus, God would not be God.

    God did not coerce Adam to commit sin and fall, but he certainly ordained it. Even an Arminian who thinks that God merely allowed the fall, must admit that before God created the world he already knew what the future would be, and so it was within his Providence for such events to take place, for he could just have easily decided to prevent the fall...but He didn't. But we believe that while God did not make man sin coersively he certainly ordained such events to occur. Consider that if God did not decree the fall then evil is something completely outside His sovereign control ... If evil came into the universe by surprise for God, totally apart from His providence, then there are some things He does not know or things He is powerless over and therefore God would, by definition, lack omniscience and omnipotence. And then how do we know whether He will be able to defeat evil in the future if evil is outside God's control even though the Scripture plainly says that God ordains all events that come to pass (Eph 1:11).

    As for how it could be that God decreed the fall. Obviously it is ultimately for His glory. In it He showed to the angels and all creation His manifest wisdom, justice and mercy and all of His perfections. He does not operate people like puppets. Adam freely chose to rebel ... God did not coerce him... and now fallen men freely choose to reject Christ, apart from grace. You ask, how could God ordain evil? Well, let me give you a clear biblical example which shows that he does, so you don't think I am just blowing smoke.

    Consider that Christ's crucifixion was a certainty which God planed in eternity and prophesied would come to pass in the Old Testament. But also consider that men would freely choose to crucify the Son of God. See Acts 2:23 which brings the two together -- "this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death." This concurrent series of events taking place simultaneously is called compatibilism, which is how the Scriptures really answer this question.

    So God foreordained the most evil event in history, the crucifixion, yet He lays blame for it completely on the choice of godless men, according to this passage. You must embrace the teaching in the Scriptures that God ordained an innocent man's death at the hands of sinners, yet they freely did so because they wanted to. You may not understand how God works in such a way without coercion, but you must submit to the fact the the Holy Scripture, through and through, teaches this quite matter-of-factly. Why does God do this? Well, for one, after the crucifixion event we now begin to understand that Christ did this for the good of His people, though we may not have seen it at the time. Prior to His execution, the disciples were told by Jesus, "you do not now understand what I am doing" and even Peter tried to dissuade Him. However, God used evil for good and did so blamelessly.

    There is a similar idea in Acts 4:27-28 "For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur."

    These Scriptures texts must be accepted as authoritative. Someone might argue that they were an exception ... but there is no biblical rationale for believing that. It must be admitted that the Scripture plainly teaches that God ordains evil events and remains blameless, events which include the self-determined choices of man.

    God "works all things after the counsel of his will" (Ephesians 1:11).

    This "all things" includes the fall of sparrows (Matthew 10:29), the rolling of dice (Proverbs 16:33), the slaughter of his people (Psalm 44:11), the decisions of kings (Proverbs 21:1), the failing of sight (Exodus 4:11), the sickness of children (2 Samuel 12:15), the loss and gain of money (1 Samuel 2:7), the suffering of saints (1 Peter 4:19), the completion of travel plans (James 4:15), the persecution of Christians (Hebrews 12:4-7), the repentance of souls (2 Timothy 2:25), the gift of faith (Philippians 1:29), the pursuit of holiness (Philippians 3:12-13), the growth of believers (Hebrews 6:3), the giving of life and the taking in death (1 Samuel 2:6), and the crucifixion of his Son (Acts 4:27-28). (Piper)

    In conclusion, when determining the truth of a matter we must never simply use naked unaided human logic, but always let our logic be ruled by the highest presupposition which is the Holy Scriptures. We may not like the result but what God has revealed, this we must embrace and teach. Otherwise we make God in our own image, and present to others a God other than the one who reveals Himself in Scripture.


    For more on compatibilism I highly recommed D.A. Carson's Book, How Long O Lord: Reflections on Suffering and Evil

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