Saturday, July 30, 2005

Just Saw This and Couldn't Resist


This excerpt is from this MSNBC article (if you want to call it that).

"Jessica Simpson is telling some Christians to take a walk.

A group called The Resistance has accused Simpson of looking like 'a stripper' in her video for “These Boots Were Made for Walking.' In the video, the Dukes of Hazzard star washes a car while wearing a barely-there bikini.

But Simpson, a pastor’s daughter, says that sort of attitude is why she didn’t pursue a career as a Christian singer. 'It didn’t really surprise me because I grew up with a lot of that backlash,' Simpson said, according to World Entertainment News Network. 'That’s why I didn’t end up going into the Christian music industry. I think that if they're really good Christians the judgment wouldn't be there.'"

What in this passage causes me to be chagrined? Let me count the ways. Oh, wait, I already did that in this post.

But beyond the "Judge Not, Dude!" troubles, we also have the problem of total ignorance of any resemblance of STANDARDS when it comes to acceptable ways to dress--acceptable ways for you to live your life--and still follow Jesus Christ. Note that Jessica is a pastor's daughter who has apparently dealt with, in her words, "a lot of backlash." Could there possibly be a reason, Jessica, that people in your life have been concerned about your use of sex appeal to further your career?

Call her words gnosticism, or NEO-gnosticism, and be done with it. In true, Biblical Christianity, the body and spirit are not separate (in the sense of our actions having nothing to do with our life in Christ). On the contrary, what we do says everything about where we are with the Lord. When we sin, we have an advocate with the Father--praise God! But we have to, we are commanded to call a spade a spade. We may NOT wink at sin, pretend not to know what it is when we see it, in the name of tolerance. It's patently unbiblical.

There are MANY neo-gnostics in the church today who are ready and willing to line up with Ms. Simpson's philosophy. Which side are you on?

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Grand Canyon Pictures

The Grand Canyon, AKA the Great Sauna with a View Posted by Picasa

A Grand Canyon resident, taking his afternoon stroll Posted by Picasa

Grand Canyon View Posted by Picasa

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Taking Leave of CA

In California we lived VERY NEAR the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library (within easy walking distance). I cannot believe that any of the other Presidential Libraries could possibly be more beautiful--or, as Elizabeth Bennet might say, "more happily situated."

If you ever get the opportunity, do visit the RRPL. It's beautiful, and even if you're not much for politics (like me), the grounds alone are worth it--and are free for the gazing.

The "neighboorhood" picture was indeed the one we had the pleasure to (too expensively) reside in.

Looking back over the neighborhood Posted by Picasa

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Posted by Picasa

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library grounds Posted by Picasa

Ernest and Bread for Life

Above you'll find a picture of one of our dearest friends and brothers in the Lord: Ernest Ehabe. Ryan spent three weeks in Cameroon and Nigeria with Ernest before we married in 2000. Ernest's ministry, Bread for Life, is linked on my sidebar, and I urge you to check it out (not just because my husband did the programming for the site a few years ago!).

Ernest's calling is two-fold: he divides his time between the US, where he disciples and encourages international (primarily African) students, and Cameroon, West Africa, where he is involved in numerous endeavors to share the gospel while meeting the very great physical and social needs of the wonderful people there.

Through the hand of our Almighty God, with a total budget of less than $80,000 last year, Bread for Life helped plant nine churches, held much needed medical outreaches (in the course of which every patient personally heard the gospel), and founded a school that not only educates the local children but provides a meal that for many of them is the only one they'll have that day.

It has been a tremendous blessing for us to know that every penny given to BFL is so well used--American dollars go so far in Cameroon. What an opportunity we have to minister to our brothers and sisters in need!

Our friend Ernest Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 11, 2005

Update and a Little Thought from Luke 17

Thank you for all of your prayers, and for checking on me. I think this may be the last chance I get to update you guys before we move--the big truck will haul our possessions away on Wednesday, and we're heading out Thursday. I'll do my best, though, to stay in hotels with a good wireless connection (heh) so that I can upload pictures of the cross-country move.

Ryan got the job he interviewed for in San Francisco (the job is in GA; the headquarters are in SF--just to clarify), praise God! So we are not heading home to an uncertain future. We've lined up an apartment. Now I just have to find a job...

I was reading in Luke 17 today, and this passage struck my heart:

Luke 17:7-10
"Suppose one of you had a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Would he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, 'Come along now and sit down to eat'? Would he not rather say, 'Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink'? Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.' "

I think we hear more often about this passage, perhaps:

John 15:15
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

ACK! What is this? A contradiction? Are we friends or servants?

We are both.

I think, though, that in our culture and our day, we're more comfortable with Friend Jesus than Master Jesus. Paul reminds us:

Rom 6:16-18
Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.

We are friends of Jesus who have the privilege of knowing the Master's business. Praise God! But we are also slaves, because as Creatures, though we have a measure of free will, we are either slaves of sin or of righteousness. Despite Satan's lies to the contrary, we cannot be "gods" who are independent of sin and redemption. We need Jesus, because without Him we are hopeless slaves of sin, without remedy.

And the slavery to righteousness is a joyful, freeing experience, borne out as we obey the One we were created to adore and serve:

Matthew 11:29-30
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Some Reflections on My Day with Rachel

Well, okay, not my DAY. My several hours with Rachel and her adorable children C and LT (please see pictures below).

I think I remarked to Amy when we met that this kind of meeting is surreal for a very literary reason: reading blogs, IMing and e-mailing are textual and graphic. I've been reading the lives of these friends I've made over the Internet--though it's an interactive reading experience, and though our intimacy and connection are real, it's not like we see one another every day.

So when I met Amy, and when I met Rachel today in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, I felt like one might feel if Elizabeth Bennet stepped out of the pages of Pride and Prejudice and began walking down the lane with you and talking about the minutiae of life. It's surreal and wonderful: these people whose photographs I've seen, for whom I've prayed and with whom I have spoken almost daily (in Rachel's case), are living and breathing and grinning in front of me.

We had a wonderful time.

The moment I spotted Rachel and her two kids walking in my direction, I have to tell you that tears came to my eyes. When I looked at her and we hugged each other tightly, I felt like we were old friends who'd known one another forever, and this was just a reunion.

Yet one more thing that makes me long for heaven. I believe with all my heart that this was just a small demonstration of the recognition we will have of one another on That Day, even if we've never met before.

Meeting Rachel in San Francisco

Munchkins at the beach..."WHY do we have to go ALREADY?" Posted by Picasa

At the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco Posted by Picasa

Windows to the soul Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 04, 2005

Another Auspicious Occasion!

I am extremely (almost ridiculously) excited to report that I am going to meet Rachel in San Francisco!


Ryan and I are going to be there for the weekend while he interviews for a job in Georgia (please pray!).

If you aren't familiar with Rachel's work, you should be. Her blog is generally about her everyday life--and like few blogs with such content, she manages to be witty, thought-provoking, and endearing, without fail. I count her among my dearest friends, and I don't just mean online. You can read more about Rachel here.

I can't wait to report to you about our meeting.