Thursday, June 30, 2005


First of all, I want to thank everyone who has been praying. My life has been in such turmoil, such flux, that I could hardly breathe. I've barely eaten.

I hardly know how to write this.

We are moving back to Georgia.

The Lord must have been preparing my heart to move--that's all I can think. Our move is not the result of any nagging or wheedling on my part. There are many details I am not going to post on a public blog, but suffice it to say that I am amazed. We still don't know all the details, but the Lord made it abundantly clear to us that our time here is up: the door is closing.

Kristy wrote to me:

Isaiah 30:21
And whenever you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear this command behind you: 'This is the way. Walk in it.'

Indeed! Praise God. Ryan and I have been through several moves and a layoff or two in the time we've been together. It makes us feel as though we've been married ten years instead of almost five, quite often.

We plan to be in Georgia in about a month. It will be interesting to see what this next chapter holds, this new season. I have been thinking about posting on how our lives in Christ truly consist of seasons rather than 'years' proper, which is fitting, interestingly, when you think about Biblical feasts and 'appointed times.' God has always had seasons for things when it comes to His people, with remembrance of all He has done forever at the forefront of each season.

God appoints the seasons of our lives, and we are just along for the ride. Lord, help me do Your will in this season.

Ecclesiates 3:1-11

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth? I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it. He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

Friday, June 24, 2005

I just realized I am being an idiot by not asking you to pray for me and Ryan.

We're facing some big decisions right now, and I can tell that we're both tempted to feel overwhelmed. Please pray for us if you feel led to.

Home, redux

And now for something completely different...

Miss O'Hara decries a new Supreme Court Ruling that, like her, I find unconscionable (though I am not surprised):

"The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that local governments may force property owners to sell out and make way for private economic development when officials decide it would benefit the public, even if the property is not blighted and the new project's success is not guaranteed" (Washington Post).

Translation: the government can take your land and your home. Miss O'Hara provides an apt quote from Hold the Mayo:

"You and I no longer own homes. We occupy them. We pay the bank every month for the privilege of living there as long as the government wants to let us."

While I am irritated at this news, and while I consider it unjust and a breach of citizens' constitutional rights--and while I do think the courts have tyrannical power in the United States RIGHT NOW--I take comfort that this is no new problem, and that our brothers and sisters faced seizure of property in the first centuries after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I consider this a "writing is on the wall" situation as I look to the future. Be encouraged as the days grow darker, and know that we are facing nothing, really, that our family in the Lord has not always faced. May the Lord help our faces to be set as flint.

Hebrews 10:32-35
But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.

It's neat how this goes with my post below about my own homesickness. There truly is no home for us but Heaven. Maranatha!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


I always have considered myself an extremely adaptable person, someone who can bloom wherever I am planted, almost without another thought.

I never knew what it was to be really homesick. Until now.

I grew up in Georgia and lived there all my life, with the exception of a brief stint in North Carolina and two years in South Carolina. I've traveled to the Northeast US, Canada, Europe and the Mediterranean. I truly thought that I could live just about anywhere (well, perhaps nowhere COLD!), hang my hat, and be done with it.

Then I moved to California.

At first I thought it was just culture shock: the LA area is very different in some subtle ways from the South. Instead of a big Baptist church on every corner, there are "spas" that offer everything from hair extensions, to some kind of massage with stones, to lasering 'unsightly' wrinkles, to Botox--they're doctors' offices and salons combined, all dedicated to making you look like a model. Or Joan Rivers.

But it's more than culture shock. I have been here a year, and I understand for the first time why this feeling is called homeSICKNESS. My throat closes when I hear a Southern accent on the phone at work; when I think of red, ripe summer tomatoes fresh from the garden; when I remember frost; when I hear my father speak on the phone, so far away. This sickness stole over my heart so gradually, and I don't know how to shake it.

I look at the majestic Santa Monica Mountains and wonder at myself. How can I be so hardened to their beauty? Why doesn't this feel like home?

The truth has begun whispering itself to me, finally. It's not home, and it never will be. This place, beautiful as it is, will never take the place of the South. I had lived in three different states, but their misty hills, tall pines and soft air were woven seamlessly together: they are the same place. I was mistaken to ever think them separate.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The Smartest Guys, the Hardest Fall

NB: This was my entry for Marla's Intellectuelle contest. Congratulations to the winners! Since I've taken my posting frequency down a notch, I am kind of glad not to have more writing responsibilities--but I will be really interested to check out the new Intellectuelle site when it launches.

With that said, this post is my review of a documentary about Enron that I saw last month.


Prov 16:18-19
Pride goes before destruction,
and a haughty spirit before a fall.
It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor
than to divide the spoil with the proud.

1 Cor 1:19-21
For it is written,

Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.

I don't watch movies often, but when a good documentary comes out, the nerd in me rises like an insatiable Minotaur that must be fed. I heard about Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room and felt a rumbling inside that I hadn't experienced since seeing a trailer for Winged Migration a few years ago.

I used to write and edit for a company that produced real-time online transcripts of financial quarterly earnings calls. Every publicly traded company makes (and usually broadcasts) them to inform analysts and shareholders about the company's financial status and projections for the future.

Every call we ever covered followed an established pattern: the CEO gave the bright opening pep talk and closing comfort like shots of novocaine, and the CFO, sandwiched in between, ran through the numbers. I learned terms like "mark to market," but never knew what they meant. If you're like me and were not trained in accounting, let me break it down for you: Enron was booking future profits as though they'd already been realized. Back home we call that "counting your chickens before they hatch."

Although I'm no longer in that line of work, my experience there opened my eyes to a world I'd never had access to or been at all interested in. When I saw the Enron documentary playing at a local theater, I wanted to get a glimpse into the story behind the sinking of this modern Titanic.

What I saw was the arresting, personal account of the oldest story and oldest themes that exist: wanting to be like God (the Most High, the Omnipotent); pride, arrogance, and ultimately, hubris. Because of the myopic, unadulterated greed of the upper echelon of Enron (as well as its lawyers and bankers), billions of dollars were wasted, and billions more in pension funds and salaries were gambled away.

Isaiah 14:13
But you said in your heart,
'I will ascend to heaven;
I will raise my throne above the stars of God,
And I will sit on the mount of assembly
In the recesses of the north.
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.'

In Enron's heyday nearly everyone was fooled by its appearance of integrity and its Teflon balance sheet. The Chairman and CEO had aspirations of being not just the best natural gas company in the world, but the most powerful company, period.

Reflecting on the causes of Enron's demise, I couldn't help but think of Satan and his angels, who wanted more than the area of responsibility and stewardship they'd been granted.

Jude 6
And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day...

In the same way, the overseers of Enron, together with many of the country's foremost banks and politicians, were complicit either in being reckless with billions of dollars, or in watching on in approval like a grinning Saul.

There was one man who was willing to stand against the tidal wave of adulation: John Olson of Sanders Morris Harris, who had followed Enron from its inception.

"[W]hen Enron said, 'Jump,' most analysts asked, "How high?'

Most analysts, that is, but not John Olson. The senior vice president and director of research at Houston-based securities firm Sanders Morris Harris was always skeptical of Enron's excesses. At the risk of being the laughingstock of Texas society, Olson refused to join the herd in touting a company whose business grew ever more opaque and incomprehensible even as its share price soared. And while almost every other analyst had 'buy' recommendations on Enron stock, Olson steadily maintained that the company was 'not very forthcoming' about how it made money and that 'no analyst worth his salt can seriously analyze Enron.'" (link)

The spiritual lesson of Enron is as painfully obvious as those of the sinking of the Titanic: a shipbuilder boasted that "not even God could sink this ship." The Titanic was foolishly piloted "at a dangerously high speed of 20.5 knots in the dark of midnight through a minefield of icebergs," ignoring multiple warnings to change course. The ship became a byword, an archetype of ultimate hubris and gross human failure to listen and be warned.

Psalm 51:17
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

The documentary was so named because the Chairman and CEO, Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling, had King's Quarters at the top of two staircases ascending from Enron's vast trading room. They were called "The Smartest Guys in the Room."

NB: Unfortunately I can't recommend that anyone see this documentary--there's a surprise scene with strippers when the film discusses Lou Pi's fetish for them. It's a long and graphic scene. I guess that's what I get for taking a chance on an unrated documentary!

Friday, June 17, 2005

Friday's Feast

Two posts in one day! Ooooo! This is from Friday's Feast.

Appetizer--What's one word or phrase that you use a lot?

I seem to use a lot of Valley Girl phrases and generally incorporate a lot of white-girl dorkiness. "Whassup?" "Totally!" "I KNOW!" Yeah, it's kind of embarrassing. But relatable and not snotty.

Soup--Name something you always seem to put off until the last minute.

Um, housework. Not laundry, but the get-down-on-your-knees-and-scrub-the-tub stuff.

Salad--What was the last great bumper sticker you saw?

My favorite is "Imagine Whirled Peas." Cracks me up every time. I mean, really. Imagine WHIRLED PEAS!

Main Course--If you could be invisible for one day, how would you spend your time?

I would go to the White House and listen in on top secret conversations. Or I'd crash a Hollywood party and make all the celebrities spill their drinks on themselves!

Dessert--Describe your hair.

Brown, curly, getting longer!

In the News

The tagline of this blog purports to discuss current events, so I should probably do that once in a while! One of the reasons I started blogging was to have some way to achieve catharsis; no one in my life really cares what's going on in the world, other than the little bits I tell them. It's enough for them to know 'oh, there was an earthquake today' or 'a woman was abducted right before her wedding!'--but the details, implications, and broader societal ramifications do not fascinate them like they do me.

SO, you guys are going to get the full benefit (chortle) of my ramblings on several things I've been reading and hearing about lately.

I COULD. NOT. BELIEVE. IT. when I saw a headline about Terri's autopsy the other day. Stories like this were everywhere:

"An autopsy on Terri Schiavo backed her husband's contention that she was in a persistent vegetative state, finding that she had massive and irreversible brain damage and was blind, the medical examiner's office said Wednesday."

YES. We know she had massive brain damage...that's not the point. Never was. It didn't matter one whit if she never improved. She was a live human being who smiled at her mother and whose parents wanted to take care of their baby. Blind? Eh, not in the videos I saw, and not according to the testimony of witnesses I'd trust over doctors examining her after she'd been starved and dehydrated to death. Take this trash somewhere else, because I ain't buyin'.

What do they call that kind of argument in logic? A straw man?

Let's just say I've lived long enough on this earth to know Satan's fingerprints when I see them. Holly has similar thoughts on this topic.

MJ Trial:
Look, I am just a Southern gal, not a legal expert. But let me get this straight. Strange, freakish man/woman, who lives at a Disneylike ranch he named after a place where people never grow up, is found with sexual pictures and videos of children in his room, admits to sleeping with little boys and finds nothing wrong with that, and has already paid off at least one boy who accused him of molestation. Witnesses have seen him give alcohol to boys and shower with them!

But, clearly, they're all liars and this is an innocent man. Clearly.

Shades of OJ. And don't even get me started about THAT one.

Runaway Bride:
Proof that there is no shame left in the world. She's "selling her life story" now. I tried to run away when I was eight or nine years much do you think I could get for that?

I'll probably think of more later...

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

How Should We View Teachers?

I've been thinking about this, mostly because of The Great Pearl Debate that seems to rage endlessly on the Internet. How should we regard teachers--both those with a public ministry and those whom we know personally?

I believe that often people try to offer answers to that question that are too simple. It is always the obligation and goal of a Christian to be a Berean: to compare what is being taught to what is found in Scripture.

Acts 17:10-12
As soon as it was night, the brothers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Many of the Jews believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.

Thus, when I am presented with a teaching, my mind immediately goes into "scan and analyze" mode, not "open and receive" mode. Regardless of the source of the information, even if the message comes from a trusted and intimate brother or sister in the Lord, their words must be examined by the Word. Are they able to give contextual, rational Scripture references for what they're saying? Does their message line up with the whole counsel of God (what the rest of the Bible has to say on their subject)? Are there any red flags in my heart that the Holy Spirit is waving?

Granted, we cannot trust our feelings; anything we seem to discern from the Spirit must also be run by Scripture.

Let me give an example, using the Pearls' teachings, since they have figured in recent discussions. If you are a reader of this blog you already know that there are many things that the Pearls and I agree on. I've written several (ongoing) reviews of Debi Pearl's latest book and have discussed their ministry in a positive light here several times.

When I read their works, however, I don't blindly embrace everything they write. The Bible instructs the Christian to discern between what is of God and what isn't:

Hebrews 5:13-14
For everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

Now, in the example below, please understand that I am not presenting this as something I regard as an evil teaching. Rather, it's a teaching I disagree with but which certainly would not divide me from a brother or sister in the Lord. That, too, is part of discernment: knowing what is good, what is evil, and what just might be neutral (something that is hard for a passionate person to countenance, I know!).

The Pearls believe that the KJV is God's Word in English, and that all other versions are per-versions (chortle chortle). Michael Pearl writes in an article titled New Age Bible Versions:

"Twenty-eight years ago I launched into a study of manuscript evidences. As a result, I came to believe that the King James Bible is the words of God, and nothing but the words of God, to English speaking people.

Do you believe that the book you call a Bible is the word of God? If it is not a King James Bible, then know that the translators and publishers of your “version” do not believe that your bible is the Bible, the Word of God."

Do I agree with this? No. That's another post, but no.

Can I read other writings of theirs, sorting out what I do and don't agree with, and keeping the wisdom while discarding what is not useful to me?

Yes. And that's what I am suggesting we do with all teachers we encounter. We must be committed to (Biblical) critical thinking just as we are committed to learning and embracing truth. No one person is going to get it all right, and we can't denounce an otherwise totally solid brother or sister because we disagree on a minor issue. Likewise, we must not put a "God-stamp" of approval on a teacher who is propogating heresies. We must be in the Word enough, and on our knees enough, to know the difference as the Holy Spirit makes it clear (which He will).

I think another issue comes into play here as well, though I think some will disagree with me. I believe that teachers who have proven themselves solid and whom we have come to trust individually as we've heard their teachings and seen their lives are worthy of our respect. I think this point is often lost in our quickness to denigrate what we don't like or to confuse the person with a teaching that isn't heresy but is not preferred by us.

1 Tim 5:1-2
Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; the elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.

(Note: Again, this does not mean his teaching is never questioned. It means he is honored and respected.)

1 Tim 5:19
Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.

1 Pet 5:5
You who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."

Teachers, says James, will be judged more strictly (3:1). Their words need to be examined, taken seriously, honored but not deified. Worshipping a man (as some people really do, I think!) is wrong, but so is demonizing a brother and elder. I think we can examine, approve and reject teachings without resorting to either.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Review: Veil of Deception DVD

Mind & Media and Mission:America provided this DVD for me to review; I have not been compensated in any way. You can see other reviews of this DVD here, and Molly's review is here; she has an interesting take on the DVD as the wife of a youth pastor.

Mission:America produced this documentary, which I'd file under the "stuff Christians need to be aware of" category. The film consists mostly of interviews of Christians who are actively opposing both gay marriage legislation and the presentation to schoolchildren of gay marriage as normal and healthy. From their website:

"If same sex marriage becomes the law of the land, every American child will be taught that homosexuality is equal to traditional marriage.

In the 2004 elections, voters in 13 states affirmed traditional marriage as a defense against activism to legalize same sex marriage. At the same time, in May 2004, the state of Massachusetts began 'marrying' same sex couples in defiance of long-standing law.

Which view of marriage will prevail in America?

Mission:America's new production, Veil of Deception, explores homosexual activism already exploding in schools and communities nationwide, putting thousands of children at risk as experimentation is blatantly encouraged. Some courageous parents, community leaders and teachers are speaking out.

Would legalization of same sex marriage silence these voices? If so, what happens to the next generation?

This exciting, fast-paced video is a great educational tool. It features local and national 'heroes' who are trying to protect our children, and how we can all learn from them."

Molly pointed out that as an expose, the film falls a little flat. The case against gay marriage can be made in a more powerful and comprehensive way, to be sure. (Fight the Good Fight's expose on the Satanic origins of Rock N Roll does a much better job in that respect, I think, on the issue of homosexuality.) I did find the video engaging, though, and I think it has worth, particularly since the issue is a pressing one in today's political climate. I'd recommend it for Christians who need a bit of a wake-up call to realize what's truly happening in public schools and in society. I don't know about you, but I know quite a few Christians with their heads stuck in the sand; I appreciate Mission:America's efforts to help Christians actively oppose evil in our day.

Eph 6:12-13
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

All About Me and Books

I've been tagged by the highly intellectual, analytical, witty Bonnie of Off the Top! I shan't disappoint her.

Total books owned, ever:

That is a crazy question to ask a bookworm. Uh, a LOT. I've pared down my essentials, though, because when you move from SC to CA--and from a house into a small apartment with a roommate--something's gotta go. So I kept what I can't part with: Bibles, some Christian books, homeschooling/education books, Jane Austen, nutrition/juicing books, cooking and fitness books and magazines. Oh, and pregnancy "hope chest" books. ;)

Last book I bought:

God's Appointed Times and God's Appointed Customs from a Messianic bookstore. I love learning about all the ways Jesus is pictured in Jewish festivals and customs. Before that, I think it was The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto.

Last book I read:

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen. I had jury duty last Friday, and spent a wonderful, relaxing day (made better by NOT being called to serve on a jury) reading MP. I consider the novel one of Austen's most complex works on several levels. Has anyone read it?

Five books that mean a lot to me:

1. My Bible
2. The Way Home by Mary Pride (I completely agree with what Amy said about this book)
3. Pride and Prejudice (Hey, it's been there for me in sickness and in health)
4. Created to Be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl (see sidebar for reviews)
5. The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace

What about you?

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Created to Be His Help Meet: My Take on the Pearls

I was reading a post at Spunky's about an article by Michael and Debi Pearl called Jumping Ship. You can read a great conversation between Spunky and Anne in the comments of Spunk's post. (In fact, please do, or I don't know how much sense this post will make to you.) That conversation made me want to take the CTBHHM day to clarify something about how I see the Pearls' ministry.

To me, reading Debi's book is like sitting down for coffee with a woman who is older and wiser than I am--a woman who has perhaps counseled hundreds of women; who has raised a large family; and who, from everything I can tell, loves the Lord. She seems like a passionate person who's going to do her best to communicate truth to me and help me learn so that I don't make mistakes she's seen many women make.

But I don't agree with everything she says. Sure, the Pearls' tone and diction can make it seem like they think they have all the answers. Honestly, that doesn't bother me. "Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind" (Rom 14:5). I think they believe their words are based on Scripture, and it's okay for them to be convinced about it. When I read their material, I understand they are passionate and may seem hyperbolic at times. My question is, what are they saying? What's between the lines?

For example, the Jumping Ship article talks about parents "cloning" their culture and "cloning" themselves in their children. Do the Pearls really think we clone ourselves, and our children are exactly like us? I don't think so. But such idiomatic/hyperbolic speech is common to Southerners (if they aren't Southern, honey, they seem like it. I've never heard their voices), and perhaps there's a cultural component to how others see their rhetoric.

As I wrote to Anne (who made some GREAT points; this post is not in opposition to her at all):

"Generally I do with their writing what I did with CTBHHM: chew the (wonderful and plentiful) meat, and spit out the bones. And there ARE bones. I don't begin to agree with every jot and tittle they put to paper, but many times I think they're saying something that too few people are willing to say."

I feel perfectly free to sit at that table with Debi, listen intently to what she has to say (not because she's someone greater than anyone else, but because I've found worth in her words), and evaluate it all for myself. Sure, I see areas where I differ with her. In my CTBHHM reviews, I've purposefully chosen to eschew places in the text I could criticize in favor of focusing on the many things I found profound or striking in it. It's not an academic review; it's an attempt to squeeze every useful piece of advice from this woman that I can.

That doesn't mean there aren't very legitimate things we could debate in this book--some reviewers have mentioned them. I just chose to tell you what I am finding useful.

The bottom line is that just like in 'real life' relationships, we can learn from one another without agreeing on everything one hundred percent. I think that it's not too hard to read between the lines of the Pearls' material to grasp the heart of what they're saying. Of course, some people, like Anne, will thoughtfully and honestly disagree with the Pearls, or with me. That's okay, and as I wrote above, Anne makes legitimate and compelling points in her rebuttals. I do think, though, this charge of arrogance on the part of the Pearls may be more of a misunderstanding and can muddy the waters when the topic of their teachings comes up.

NB: Some dismiss the Pearls because they disagree with their books on parenting. This post isn't really about that--but I will refer anyone with parenting interests to Molly's wonderful, wonderful series on that topic.

Saying ANYTHING remotely positive about the Pearls is verboten to some people, and I usually can expect some nasty comments. If you leave one, just know it will be deleted as soon as I see it. I don't tolerate harrassment (or witch hunts). Some people literally scour the Internet seeking out those who would dare to speak on this subject in the way I, Molly, Sal, Jenna and the others do, in order to bully us (usually anonymously) into silence. Guess what: that won't work. I will continue to speak the truth before God as I see it, seeking to back up my words with Scripture. And I will defend and encourage those whom you persecute.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Putting First Things First

Holly at Threefold Cord (an excellent blog, by the way) shares her thoughts about Christians and the internet. Check out her probing, questioning post and others' insightful comments.

Now, I know this is one of those topics that seems to be constantly cycled anywhere where Christians congregate on the internet (message boards, blogs)--and I think it should be. We should regularly evaluate how we spend our time, where we are in our relationship with the Lord, and whether anything is vying for time and attention that should be reserved for Him alone. The latter is an especially hard one, in my opinion, because things done "for Him" can be distractions, or even idols, in disguise. Or so I have found it.

I have seen several brothers and sisters struggle with the time they spend on blogs or message boards. Is it worth it? Is God in it?

As I told Holly at her blog, I don't think this is one of those yes/no, either/or questions; the internet is not demonic or angelic. It's a medium. But in our own lives, we must each--on an ongoing basis--keep ourselves in check, putting first things first. Holly writes,

"There are times I amazed at the capacity and potential for good to be accomplished by the community of Christians who are involved in some avenue (website, blogging, ministries, give and take forums, etc.)on the internet. Never in the history of man has the possibility for the immediate spread of the gospel been so achievable, so easy. Never has there been such a community that transcends barriers. Never have the different groups and denominations been able to converse, to enter each other's worlds. Never before have we had THIS capacity for some to teach, for others to learn, to grow, to encourage, to fellowship.

On the other hand, I am left to wonder what God must think? Does He see our technology as a potential tool for great and mighty things, but one that we have made into something akin to the Tower of Babel?"

My friend Kim recently axed her blog, and now has what we're calling a What's New Non-Blog for those who love and want to keep up with her. For some (ex)bloggers, that's the solution: to unplug, or to refashion the communication into something less interactive and less apt to invite or stir controversy. I understand this. It has been a necessary change for me to realize that I don't HAVE to post every day! There are no rules like that with blogging. It's not an assignment, it's just sharing thoughts and building relationships. But there's one Relationship that matters more than all the others, that must not suffer.

I was telling Meg, who apologized for not writing regularly, that I have had to step back and realize that no one puts pressure on me regarding this blog but ME. It started out as fun, and as a way to share my thoughts, and it should stay that way.

I know this type of cathartic meta-post annoys some readers...but I see it as, perhaps, a necessary part of blogging. Most of us check, interact with, or post to blogs every day. A little rumination--and spiritual housekeeping--must be in order for all of us at regular intervals.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

If You're Looking for Something to Read... the blogosphere (what an awkward word that is!), here's where I'd tell you to go:

Miss O'Hara responds to what she's learning about the EC in The Church, Unequipped:

"Without the true, unadulterated Word, we have no strength, weak principles, and nothing to stand on. Therefore, not only are we defenseless against sin and 'problems' within our own body, and the attack from the world as well - the lost and helpless are defenseless and without defenders (that is supposed to be us).

Is it any wonder we can't win fights against abortion, euthanasia, promiscuity, postmodernism, and the sad horrors they bring with them? Is it any wonder we can't attract the unchurched to Christ (instead of us and our churches)? We are no different! We offer "answers" no different from Oprah or Hollywood, anymore. How is that going to attract anyone to Jesus?"

(Read the whole thing--it's really powerful. She's so articulate and witty!) She points to a post by Tim Challies on the marketing of The Purpose-Driven Life that I am glad I didn't miss. You can find it here.

In the last few days at Evangelical Update, participants have covered spanking, family planning and head is spinning! I don't know if I am done talking about hell yet! ;-)

By the way, speaking of hell, my dear Ryan mentioned something I should have elucidated in my post on that subject. The Lake of Fire is actually separate from hell, though they both have to do with the punishment of the wicked. Rev 20 tells us that death and hell are thrown into the Lake of Fire, which is the place of eternal punishment for rebellious people and angels.

Rev 20:13-15
And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

So. Anyway. Back to my on-topic babbling.

I was pointed by someone to a great new blog: Gentle Heart Whispers. I like the focus on Scripture I am seeing there--and the obvious love for Jesus.

I am in awe of Slice of Laodicea. It's one of my favorite blogs. Ingrid's away right now but has appointed some guest bloggers. There's just a wealth of wonderful insight and information there.

Sallie's blog has a new look--it's beautiful, and her posts are refreshing and useful.

Feel free to link to anything YOU'VE been enjoying in the comments, or blog about it and let me know.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Choosing Home Housewarming Party!

You are welcome to join me over at Choosing Home's Housewarming Party today, hosted by our dear Jenna and Molly. I am looking forward to reading all the entries! (You can revisit my contribution here.)

In the June newsletter for Choosing Home, Jenna writes,

"Great thanks is owed (and given!!) to the wonderful ladies who have made our HouseWarming so special. As you can see, many great changes have been taking place as we settle into our new home. It is a real adventure, learning, sharing, and developing friendships among ladies who are also dedicated to choosing home. Without further ado, come this way--to our cozy little livingroom. There are many ladies that I would love for you to meet..."

Thanks and congratulations, Molly and Jenna! You are much loved!