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‘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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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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Pop Culture Sabbath?

Nice to see this issue revisited in “pop culture”

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The Sixth Day, Part 1

The Sixth Day Pt. 1

(by Christopher Smith)

Now with the coming mornings, there is more than the rising sun, the separation of darkness and light, the drowsy flowers and stretching trees, there is bird song that fills the air—and even the ocean claps with the sounds of breaching dolphins, whales, and sharks.

God probably could have watched His creations for the rest of the day until another evening and morning had past without Him uttering so much as a single syllable. But again, He spoke, knowing that He had even more to bring into existence.

“And God said, ‘Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to it’s own kind.’ And it was good” (Genesis 1:24).

I can’t help but notice a split here, between verses 24 and 25. God speaks in verse 24, but He seems to actually create them in verse 25: “God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1: 25).

As before, I hear Him calling each bounding doe into the clearing, every Komodo dragon swaggering into the sun, each tromping elephant to trumpet across the plain. Though it would be their offspring that would come to Noah’s ark in pairs, I believe God created these in pairs, too. Male for female and female for male, two of each to breed and spread throughout the world, fulfilling His design by fertilizing the earth, scattering seeds throughout the land for new trees and new blossoms that will feed the cubs and kids and colts. And us, too. God saw we would need help with planting. He saw that we would find companions. He knew the lessons we could—and should—learn from the beasts: balance with nature, living out one’s purpose, caring for another’s life.

Right from the beginning, He knew that there would be those animals to serve man, those animals to be independent of man, and those that would scuttle along the ground—almost unnoticed by man. God created the cows and sheep and dogs and cats to help with the planting and care of the land and to be a companion of man. God created the hundreds of thousands of insects to pollinate—bees buzzing from flower to flower—to break down the fallen leaves and fruit—ants marching across the land—and to keep the ground tilled and soft, ripe and ready for new seeds to be pushed within—the worms wriggling through the earth. And God made, oh my, the lions and tigers and bears to roam the forests and jungles, along with the giraffes and koalas and orangutans.

I can only imagine what it must’ve been like on that first day, the animals sprinting into existence, not fearful of the other—mice sitting on the heads of cats, tail-wagging dingoes panting beside an impala after a quick race through the trees, and weasels waiting patiently beside hens—not for their eggs, but for God to reach out, scratch their chins, the scruff of their necks, their bellies, blessing them, naming them, calling them His own. And though He would—and will always—remain their creator, God would give them a ruler, one in His own image, one that would be His greatest creation on earth and His biggest heartbreak: man.

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“The Beginning”….continued

Continuation of Chris Smith’s guest blog. Just couldn’t stop with the first day! Here are days 2 and 3, for your enjoyment.

The Second Day
The first day had passed. Time clicked and ticked forward. And God came back to His latest creation and spoke, His voice so calm and gentle, but loud enough for the entire world to hear—and obey.

“And God said, ‘Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.’ So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so. God called the expanse ‘sky…’” (Genesis 1: 6-8).

Here again, God spoke, and the water—like the light and darkness—obeyed, splitting off from itself, perhaps perfectly divided in two, even right down to the last molecule of Hydrogen. Half of the waters lifted above the other, higher and higher, until the space between them was exactly as God had imagined it: Room for the future land to occupy, sky for the future birds to fly, leftover waters for the fish to swim, and space for His people to grow and expand and fill.

I’ve always wondered about this day, why He would encapsulate the world in a layer of water. It seems odd, yet scientifically, it makes sense. The clear waters allowed the light to pass through, to find every nook and cranny that needed light. And, like a costal city, the water probably made the entire earth temperate, not too hot, not too cold, the perfect place for paradise, a place that would be self sustaining—had we not sinned. Science aside though, the layer of water made sense for His plan, too. He knew the world would soon spiral out of control, and He knew something must be done to renew His creation, scrub it fresh and clean and let everything start again. He prepared for the time when Noah, his family, and the thousands of creatures would be cooped up in an oversized ship, waiting for God’s word to come true. After seven days, it would.

“In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights” (Genesis 7:11, 12).

God put the waters in place for the future of this planet, these people, His people. He held the waters up, held them above the sky to give the world its chance for living and communing with Him. But even after we fell, He waited. He did not let these waters converge once again, He held them apart, waited, waited, waited, until the world had so spoiled that He cracked open the seals that held the water below and punctured the floodgates that held the water above the sky, so that the two might meet once again, to rinse away the sin that had spread, faster than any disease, across His creation.

But He did not dwell on these things, these heartbreaks and disappointments, because He already knew the outcome, how it ends. Instead of scraping the whole project, He simply separated the waters, carved out a hole called sky for us to breathe and dream in.

“And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day” (Genesis 1:8).

The Third Day

The waters are still, crystal clear and reflecting the azure sky, the whole world a blue pearl, a sapphire, a ball of polished turquoise. God returns with a smile on His face: Today will be fun.

“And God said, ‘Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.’ And it was so” (Genesis 1:9).

A great grumbling sounds from the water’s core, as the waves begin to churn, to build and break and build again. The whole world becomes one giant whirlpool of rushing waters and chopping waves that move, not with the lulling back and forth motion one finds on a boat, but the waves move with a purpose. They need to get out of the way. They need to make room. For, here, now, pokes up the first sparkling grain of sand.

The dry ground waits for the waves to relocate then presses up through the empty space. Higher and higher the ground raises, smelling of fresh rain, clean and bare, soil and sand spread out for as far as the eye can see. And God’s eye can see the entire earth, every inch of the new creation. “God called the dry ground ‘land,’ and the gathered waters he called ‘seas.’ And God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:10).

Unlike the previous days, where God separated one thing from another—the light from the dark, the dividing of the waters—then stopped. Today, He was not content with simply separating the water from the land. Not on this day. He had other things on His mind. Green things. Leafy things. Flowering things.

“Then God said, ‘Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.’ And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:11, 12).

I’m sure He could summon every tree, bush, fungi, flower, and cacti by simply saying, “Plants, grow.” But where was the fun in that? We have already seen that God loved to name His creations, to set one apart from the other, so why would He use generic terms now? I picture Him surveying the land, calling up the grasses to carpet the ground. I hear Him sounding out the roll call for every pine, every aspen, every willow, palm, and oak. I smell the fruits as they blossom and grow, name by name: apple, orange, avocado, and lemon. I see the bushes pop up to fill in the gaps between the trees. Then the flowers—lilacs and roses and lilies—yawn open, woken by the sound of His voice. Each and every unique plant is called by name, hears, and obeys.

Of course, God probably has His own names for each of these things, but He later allowed Adam to name them for the rest of us. He let us make our mark—however insignificant—on His creations. Because that is why He called them from the earth in the first place: as gifts for us.

“And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day” (Genesis 1:13).

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Just a tad bit interesting

I found an interesting link while googling something else. Thought I’d share:


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Comin’ Back Around Again…

And not in a good way.

I had the Bible on my desk open to Ecclesiastes 4. I decided to read the first bit while adding the ever-important brown sugar to my oatmeal.

“Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun:

I saw the tears of the oppressed—

and they have no comforter;

power was on the side of their oppressors—

and they have no comforter….”

“…And I saw that all labor and all achievement spring from man’s envy of his neighbor. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind….”

For a moment I thought Solomon had time traveled to last week and watched the 10 o clock news.

I am embarrassed at my haphazard following of the news. I listen to NPR on the way to work (so about 10 minutes worth) and occasionally read a Yahoo! News story from my homepage. I listen to random commentary from people who care. I get bits and pieces of what is really happening, so I can’t say that I have the most accurate picture of our world, our national economy, or our political situation. But you don’t have to be on top of every broadcast to gather that things are pretty terrible right now. Things aren’t fair. People’s lives are falling apart because of lost jobs or homes. People in other countries (as well as our own) are oppressed and being robbed of their freedom. Being told what to do, how to live, and risking deprivation if they choose otherwise.

I remember seeing a play during our office retreat last July in Boulder, CO: The Will Rogers Folly. It told the story of Will Rogers, and his ups and downs and career, right up until his tragic plane-crash death. Though the story of Will Rogers himself was interesting, the part that still sticks with me today was the quote of a radio broadcast he gave during the depression.

“The same amount of money exists even in this depression….the only the different is who’s pocket it’s in.” …. “There are thousands starving in the midst of full storehouses.”

He went on to explain more details, in that comical way of his, but that is the part I remember most. In fact, I think I cried right there in the theater. Simply because that is just such a sad thought. And I knew that we were right back in that same position these days.

“Oh Amy, we can’t sit and cry about every sad picture of humanity. Then we’d always be sobbing.” (The person I am quoting will remain nameless. This comment was not meant to be biting, but helpful)

The only way I can take in that piece of advice is by adding this. No, we can’t just sit and cry about how terrible things are. We have to take action. We have to find something to do about it, even if it’s something seemingly small. And we still have to feel the sorrow of things that aren’t right. (I hope the day never comes where I don’t cry for the sad state of things)

Sometimes I can’t help but weep just a bit when I am reminded about how utterly backwards and illogical most of the world has become, the obvious reasons why things are so bad, and that we haven’t even progressed from Solomon’s time of grievous observations. I guess Jesus sure was right when he said that “you will always have the poor with you” …

Thankfully I can also read something like this:

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

In the meantime, though, I better get moving. Lots of toil to be done under the sun.

For anyone interested in some good reading about Will Rogers, I like this site:

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