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Friday, February 22, 2008

All Your Needs

At 4am I was staring into the face of a baby. To all appearances, about 30% of the baby's face was open mouth. Out of the mouth came a very loud sound. This sound can best be described as "screaming." This screaming was, have I mentioned, very loud?

The mouth wanted milk in it. Or at least baby formula. I was the man for the job. I was the one who would provide the milk or at least formula. The baby was looking at me, and screaming for formula.

The formula was in the kitchen. So was the bottle, the delivery mechanism for the formula. The baby and I were headed toward the kitchen. Once I arrived in the kitchen, I would get the bottle, mix the formula with water, and then apply the formula to the mouth, which I may have mentioned, was screaming. Very loud. In my face.

Did the mouth stop screaming because I was on my way to the kitchen? The formula was available, and just needed to be properly prepared and placed into the bottle. The perfect person to prepare it and deliver it to the screaming mouth was actually on the way into the room where this would occur.

The mouth did not stop screaming. Because this is a BABY. And babies don't always understand these things, or sometimes they just get all freaked out and don't calm down until what they need is completely in their possession.
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Have you done any screaming today?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

King & King

After finding out about this news item via this Christdot news post, I wanted to see for myself if the children's book King & King (which ends with a gay marriage) was as bad as all that. I checked it out from the library and discovered that it is far more blatant and aggressive about homosexuality than I had imagined, while simultaneously being a very good example of poor storytelling and illustration. It is clear almost from the first page that the whole book is there as nothing more than a vehicle to present a marriage between two males as a legitimate, inevitable thing. The pictures are ugly, and the characters and story are wooden. There is no mention of why there might be a queen mother and prince but no king... did the king die? Was the prince adopted? Is the queen divorced? It's a completely fractured family from the very start... no wonder the poor prince is sexually confused. I would have expected gay activists to at least choose an engaging book to play up their ideas; using this book to promote gay marriage is sort of like trying to use a burned hamburger patty to convince people to eat more tofu.

Sometimes I make up stories for my little boy. I've made up better ones than this on the fly, half asleep and without anything in mind when I started but "Once there was a frog named Jed and... a Lizard named... um... Larry." And frankly, if my mother was as ugly as the queen is in the book, and if every woman I saw looked like the "princesses" that are presented to him as potential romantic objects, I'm not sure if I would have married a woman myself. Why the school system of Massachusetts would use such a forgettable, inferior book to try to "influence the listening children toward tolerance of gay marriage," I have no idea. I would expect this one to influence them the other way, if it influenced them at all.

I took the book back to the library within the same hour that I checked it out. I didn't want it in my house where my son might find it. I try to expose him to lots of story and art, and if this had been a good example of either I might have even considered looking at it with him to bring up subjects that parents need to address with their children. It was not worth my time to do so.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Mardi Gras: As Seen On TV (NOT)

A cousin of my wife's is a Lutheran minister in the New Orleans area. A few days ago he made a blog post about the Carnival season (what most people know as "Mardi Gras" although that term specifically refers to Fat Tuesday only) discussing the religious roots of the holiday and challenging the media's portrayal of the whole thing as being all about debauchery and excess. In fact:
Mardi Gras is fun, and overwhelmingly family-oriented. It is a Christian festival, as it is tied to the Church calendar, and is a part of the cycle of feast and fast (even the colors of Mardi Gras are the liturgical colors of Epiphany, Lent, and Easter). Families and friends gather to watch the parades, to talk, to sing, to dance, to eat scrumptious foods, to enjoy one another's company, and to just plain have a good time.
Don't miss the rest of the post here!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Come on over!

This morning my pastor was making a point about the word "overcome" in 1 John 5:4-5 and I noticed that it wasn't quite the same in my ESV as it was in the KJV he was reading from:

ESV: "For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?"

KJV: "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?"

Notice that middle "has overcome" in the ESV? It reads that way in most of the modern translations. I think it's an interesting distinction that those who are born of God are already world-overcomers... that is their identity... and their faith is what has already overcome the world. It's an interesting distinction from the KJV way, which seems to indicate that the faith is still overcoming the world in the present.

Friday, February 1, 2008

New Word

And when it’s time to speak our faith/We use a language no one can explain/That’s no longer good enough - Michael W. Smith, "Live the Life"

Today I was reading an online biography of a local celebrity, and I choked on, or stumbled over, or smacked head-on into an almost sure-fire indicator that the person is a Church person: the word "blessed." Now, it's not totally unheard of for an unchurched person to use that word, but I'd consider it almost a calling card for the churchified. I was telling someone about it, how cheesy it was to find "Christianese" in an online biography, and suddenly a new descriptive term for it came to mind: Christiancheeze. A new made-up word! I'm so excited... it's SPIKETASTIC!