‘Nuff Said

My husband emailed me a CS Lewis quote today. He subscribes to the CS Lewis Quote on Twitter. This one was just so particularly good I had to post it.

“If they are wrong, they need your prayers all the more. And if they are your enemies, you are under orders to pray for them.”

-C.S. Lewis

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Sunshine Go Away Today….

Just a moment of insight from my morning commute. The vocal melodies of Jonathan Edwards comes on WOW 105.3, and the last verse of the song stood out to me more than usual:

“Sunshine come on back another day

I promise you I’ll be singin’

This whole world, she’s gonna turn around

Brand new bells will be ringin’”

What does that make you think of?

Heh. Well, I don’t really want the sunshine to go away (I waited all through winter just to SEE it…), but sometimes I do feel the sentiments of this song, where “working starts to make me wonder where/fruits of what I do are goin’” or other things that make me think this world is on it’s way to an idiocracy and there’s nothing we can do to stop it. And ya know what, that’s the way it’s been told.

2 Timothy tells us there will be terrible times in the last days. 2 Peter tells us that there will be abundant “scoffers”. Matthew 24 tells us there will be wars, rumors of wars, nations against nations, and not to mention earthquakes and famines (or recessions? ;-)). And there are many many more references.

Either way, things are going to get seemingly hopeless and just downright illogical and fruitless. BUT, we are called to have hope anyway, and LIVE like we have hope! After all,

This whole world, she’s gonna turn around

(because God will be doing some redeeming!)

And a brand new song we’ll be singin’ :-)

(Rev 5 and 14)

So hey, listen to Jonathan, and especially the Bible. It stinketh right now, but it’s all gonna be all right. (Rev 21:4)

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Filed under Daily Normalcy, Music, Spiritual Application, State of the world, Stress

My Bucket for the Cure

I must confess, when I first saw KFC’s ad about Buckets for the Cure, where you buy a bucket of grilled chicken and KFC donates 50 cents of the price paid to breast cancer research, I thought this:

“What?!? So buy a bucket of un-health to support health?” Really, it seems ridiculous. And counter-productive toward the cause in general.

I don’t even have to list all the reasons that it doesn’t make sense. But this is not the point.

Then I thought,

Hmmmm. How many things do I do that, while simultaneously thinking I’m doing something wondrous and “for the greater good”, doesn’t really make any sense when you really add it up?

For instance, me getting all worked up about KFC’s ironic charity efforts (enough to write a blog about it) instead of spending all that think-time coming up with my own ideas for charity, or participating with an already existing one.

Yeah. Sometimes it’s so easy to get worked up about the problem and talking about just how much a problem it is, rather than getting right down to business. Sometimes we hardly need to sit and think about it at all. Nike had it right all along. Just do it. Pay no attention to the pink bucket behind the curtain.

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Filed under Health food, Health, general, Spiritual Application, State of the world, Uncategorized

Hmmm. I must be getting old.

Admist the swirling maelstrom that has become my life in the last few months, I have had a few moments of peace. During those bits of time, I have composed maybe 6 essays in my head, outlined about half of a potential sermon, thought about a surefire entrepreneurial business strategy, and won some heated arguments against my own conceptions of the anti-me. At these little times in my life, I feel pretty brilliant. I feel blessed with wisdom. I feel spiritually gifted and inspired to share this “gift” with others and maybe try my hand at saving the world.

So I remembered that I haven’t posted a blog since maybe November? I thought, during one of these times of stillness, “well now I have plenty of ideas, all laid out neatly. I just need to sit and write them down.”

Well, here I am sitting and writing….but not remember what it was that I intended to sit and write! I don’t even remember half of the good ideas that I had during my quiet times of sitting in a waiting room, lying awake at night or in a long car ride.

Then I realized I’ve been forgetting a lot of things. I almost forgot my own birthday a couple weeks ago. Thankfully I have a husband who remembered for me. And I’ve forgotten some very simple things that seem quite foolish:

I almost left for work still wearing my slippers;

I was carrying a book, a glass, and a carton of grape juice. Intending to put down the book to pour the grape juice in the glass, I instead set down the glass and nearly poured grape juice all over my book;

I almost left my two month old son in the car, but still took his diaper bag, while about to enter the grocery store. I intended to leave the diaper bag, since it was a quick trip, and instead just take him.

I was perplexed on how to retrieve the power cord for my laptop since the large adapter part wouldn’t fit through the small slit between the desk and the wall. My esteemed colleague told me to just pull the small end of the cord down through the slit and take it out that way. Oh yeah…

And there are many more of these instances, probably more than 3 or 4 daily, that really make me look like a capable human being. Heh, in my observations of human behavior, if someone that was over 50 made these claims, they would just say “well, I’m getting old.” and shrug it off. But if I’m making these same bumbles, and I’m only freshly 27, do I not get to have an excuse? Uh-oh….this must be how I really am!

Oh well. That isn’t the point of this composition. Really, I sat down just to see if all these ideas would come back to me. Or perhaps I just needed a written record to document that I have had ideas, I just didn’t get them down in time.

Hopefully they’ll come back to me. If they really were going to help me save the world, I’m sure they’ll pop up again in another moment of sudden insight. At least, as long as I don’t descend into senility too rapidly.

My back hurts.

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Pop Culture Sabbath?

Nice to see this issue revisited in “pop culture”

http://www.christandpopculture.com/featured/and-on-the-seventh-day-the-tv-rested/

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Freedom’s little surprise

A few weeks ago, I was intrigued by a worship thought given by one of my MAU colleagues, Kris Sisodia. He had just returned from a visit in India, and had a lot of great photos and travel anecdotes that came together into practical worship thoughts. The first “thought” was my favorite, though. Our story takes place on the modern roadways of India.

Kris explained that the roads themselves are freeway-quality, comparable to many of the US’s major cities. 6 lanes, overpasses, exits, and the suburban streets are set up similarly as well. Rather nice.

Full of traffic, though. Just like here.

The best way to tell if you are in US traffic or India traffic, however, is probably the cows and the oxcarts.

cartontheroad

Yup. You’ll see the carts and cows along the roadway, sharing the same turnpike as the Corollas, Accords and Malibus. The usually go much slower, so if you’re driving by, you’ll probably want to get around them. But that can be hard to do when the traffic is like this:

traffic underpassmoretraffic

Basically, these parts of India are perfect examples of traffic anarchy. You may notice how there are lane markers, but no one is following them. There are no vehicle-type restrictions, and some people choose to just walk along the road. Not to mention, if the cows wander out onto the road, you can’t do anything to them. The cows are sacred, and must not be disturbed. Oh, and there are traffic signals, but good luck trying to go through your green light when three other cars are running their red light without a blink of an eye.

cowsonroadnolaneslilpileup

Also, Kris noted that many people still invested in nice cars. You might see BMWs and Mercedes and higher-end Toyotas, but usually the fastest you could ever get to go on these roads is about 35-40 mph….if you’re lucky. With this traffic anarchy, it doesn’t matter how fast you want to go. The cops aren’t going to stop you—but the traffic is. So all the money spent on these high-performance vehicles is pretty much wasted.

Oh, and they do have traffic rules. They even post signs of encouragement ;-)

obey

It’s just that no one seems to follow them, no matter how nice the signs are. :-)

Now Kris hardly had to summarize the symbolism in this part of his travelogue before we were all nodding our heads and saying, “ah yes, I see the connection here.”

Life is like a roadway in India.

The obvious lesson here is that the freedom to drive from A to B is increased when rules are enacted and followed. The less the rules are heeded, the less ability there is to drive safely, comfortably and even quickly!

Though some may associate anarchy with freedom, it’s not long before individual freedom is yanked away by all the other people trying to do things their own way. And we end up in a traffic jam.

In ways like this, the laws actually set us free, rather than restrict us.

I finally read Lord of the Flies last month. Cale was going over it in his sophomore literature class, and since I had never even picked it up before, I decided it was high time. The balance of rules vs freedom, of practicality vs more carnal desires, was the common theme throughout the story. People end up wanting rules. The total freedom that some twist into anarchy causes discord and fear, and people end up craving rules. Craving regulation. Yearning for order.

I’ll let y’all draw your own conclusions on how this fits into our daily lives, and our beliefs.

“To all perfection I see a limit;

but Your commands are boundless.

Oh, how I love your law!

I meditate on it all day long.

Your commands make me wiser than my enemies…”

Psalm 119: 96-98

 

 

(All photos taken by Kris. He was nice enough to share them with me.)

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Filed under Allegories, Challenge, Daily Normalcy, Logic, Spiritual Application, State of the world

What are we all arguing about?

Really, I’ve been thinking about this for a long time. I even scratched out an epiphany on the back of a bulletin while at church in St. Joseph, Missouri, since the words just came to me all at once–stream of consciousness style. Soon after, I thought, “I’m glad I finally wrote this down. Now I can do something about it.” I planned to blog about it. But then just thinking about it made me weary. I realized, I am just very weary of this subject in general. When it comes to differences between denominations, especially denominations that have experience with ex-Adventists, this seems to be where we argue:

“Are we under law or under grace?”

“What commandments still stand today?”

“Are we still required to keep the literal, 7th-day Sabbath?”

Most of the time I just want to throw up my hands at both sides. Forgive me if my tone here is not incredibly tactful or smooth, but this is the state of mind I am in when I think about this, and I can’t wait any longer to write it down.

We’re not getting anywhere on this argument. Sometimes it even feels like the other side is winning because there are more of them than there are us. But we’re not coming to any common ground because we’re hovering over the deeper, SIMPLER issue. First I ask, “why NOT keep the Sabbath? Why wouldn’t we want to?” or “Why NOT keep the 10 commandments?”

If we start at the other end, I think we’ll get farther than just arguing the original question. Honestly I’m still surprised that there are people that are so against the Sabbath. To me, that seems like the most nonthreatening “law” there is! Obviously those that are in a spirit of rebellion over the Sabbath are reacting against the way our own culture has made it, not the Biblical guidelines (which I think are made intentionally vague!!!)

Anyway, we are told all throughout the Bible, especially in the New Testament, how to treat people. We find out what the fruits of the Spirit are. And we are told in many places Who the One True God is. If we live by those words and principles, we may find ourselves ENDING UP keeping the 10 commandments! Not because “it’s the law” but because it’s smart! Because it makes sense. The principles are there! And they are even recognized by most of society as the “right” things to do!

And on the other end of things, if we notice a person “breaking a commandment” and repeatedly falling into habits that are self-destructive or could make life difficult for them, we want to “restore them gently” because we CARE for this person’s WELL-BEING! And, foreseeing possible challenges in the future based on his or her behavior, we want to HELP them, not to police them or humiliate them. (If the latter is EVER the intention, than you are in much bigger trouble that wondering if you are under law or under grace. That is just plain the Wrong Spirit. Most anywhere in the Bible will tell you that.)

We don’t need to be debating this, really. Perhaps the devil is WANTING us to get caught up in the details. Yes, Paul does make a lot of references to “the law” and being “under the law or under grace.” I suppose that means that we are not to forget about the law and that we are to know its place in our lives. Because really, we only need a law when things are getting out of control and need regulation or clarification (and I’d say the world is a bit out of control!). If we daily live by the fruits of the Spirit, being guided by God Himself, we eventually won’t even NEED the words of the law to tell us to do what is right. It will be in us.

Test it. I dare you.

Good to read:

James 3:17

Galatians 5:22

Hebrews 4:9

Acts 18:1-4

Colossians 3

Deuteronomy 6

And so many more….

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Filed under Argument, Challenge, Daily Normalcy, Logic, Spiritual Application, State of the world