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Everything Changes

The more messed up this world gets, the more God makes sense.

There! That's It!

Saturday, November 19, 2005
The last and final word is this:

Fear God.

Do what he tells you.

And that's it.

Eventually God will bring everything that we do out into the open and judge it according to its hidden intent, whether it's good or evil.

[Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 | The Message]

Zaavan (ZAY-ven)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

This is Zaavan. He is almost 3 and has severe cerebral palsy. I "met" him through his dad's blog - EXFOLIATIONS. Zaavan is in the hospital with a virus that is causing serious dehydration. I asked his dad if I could post his picture to ask my friends to pray for him. His dad replied... "if you have access to more of the troops, please send the battle cry and rally them to their knees on behalf of my son."

Will you?

"...if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven."
[Matthew 18:19 | New International Version]

"If you have faith when you pray for sick people, they will get well."
[James 5:15 | Contemporary English Version]

But the fact is, it was our pains he carried--

our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.

We thought he brought it on himself,

that God was punishing him for his own failures.

But it was our sins that did that to him,

that ripped and tore and crushed him--our sins!

He took the punishment, and that made us whole.

Through his bruises we get healed.

[Isaiah 53:4-5 | The Message]

*UPDATE: November 19/05 - Home at last!

Arms Of Love

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

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Mommy Dearest

Monday, November 07, 2005
I use public transit every day - take the bus back and forth to work. Daily I encounter interesting people on the bus, some more "interesting" than others. [Wink, wink.] Sometimes people will chat with me, other times I just sit and observe people interacting with others.

On my way home from work today I sat behind a mom with her 3 children. Her middle child [a boy that looked to be about 3 years old] was looking out the window as we made our way toward the bus terminal. While he was gazing at cars driving by, etc., his eyes started to get heavy and he began nodding off. At one point I thought he was going to whack his head on the window, so I alerted his mom.

She told me he had been doing that all day. They had been riding the buses around the city and he had been a trooper walking from place to place in between bus rides. While she was telling me this she was multi-tasking, as many young moms on the bus often do. In one hand she was holding a baby bottle, feeding her youngest - who was content in her baby carrier - with her other hand she was supporting a stroller that was in the upright and locked position. [You are not allowed to bring a stroller on the bus if it is in the open position.]

When they finally arrived at their stop - 3 stops before the terminal - I watched in amazement as she woke up her son, encouraged her older daughter to carefully exit the bus, grabbed the stroller in one hand and her baby [in carrier] with the other and walked off the bus.

These moms are strong. Super, even. And I see them on the bus all the time. I don't know if this particular mom was a "single" mom, but many of the bus moms are. And they should be praised. Not only do they carry the weight of the world [and their children's world] on their shoulders, but they do it with such strength and determination.

The Bible talks about these kind of moms and says, "Her children rise up and honor her..." [Proverbs 31:28 | New Life Version] And they should...

Dear Jon Letter

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Forgive me for not writing sooner... I haven't read the comments on my blog in a few weeks and I missed your entry re: The F Shot. Thanks for your comments - I really appreciated your boldness and honesty. I will post this email on my blog too so others can read how I responded to you.

That particular blog was more about "respecting" (or having regard) for others than it was about the F word. If you re-read the blog, I didn't actually say that I thought the word was sinful. In fact, I agree with you - a word, in itself, cannot be sinful. How it is used, perhaps, can be.

Because I worked with youth for over 10 years, I have seen "trends" in youth culture that disturb me. And this blog was more about those changes in our culture than it was about the "right or wrong" of our culture's vocabulary. I can't believe the disrespect that youth have for seniors; or the high number of youth that are being arrested for crimes. And, in this blog, I used the example of youth being crude and rude around "older" people to make a point in this regards.

Just yesterday a couple of kids (aged 10 and 14) were at my house. To them, it is funny to use foul language around an adult, or to tell a dirty joke. Now, you may think that's okay, I don't know you personally, but I am concerned that not only have kids lost their innocence, but they have no moral values and do not know how to respect their teachers, parents, etc. And that concerns me.

Specifically regarding the F word, you said, "I feel that it is what is trying to be expressed that is more important than the words used to express it." Again, I agree. But you also said, "I have spent enough time with and around people for whom this word... is PART OF THEIR LANGUAGE. As natural as 'the' or 'and.' It is how they speak to one another and it is the way that they understand things best." Which is why I wrote the blog. Things have changed Jon. And I made that point in the blog by saying that "people just think their vocab is normal."

But it's not. Yes, people in our culture today are surrounded by it, but there is a whole world out there that does NOT talk like that. Does that mean you're more sinful than me? Not if you're heart is in the right place. But my concern surrounds another comment you made, that is true - "What is wholesome talk for you is not the same for them."

Your sister says that "culture is what dictates wholesome talk." I wrote this blog to discuss that concept. If, in fact, our culture is dictating that we should all now use foul language (meaning, language that was "dictated" as foul 30 years ago) as our everyday language now, is that a good thing?

Some would say sure, "Why the hell not!" Others would say, "Sorry, I'm not interested." Are "some" better than "others?" No. But somewhere along the way, both parties have to examine their heart and find out what's inside. Because the Bible DOES say, that "Your words show what is in your heart." [Luke 6:45 - Contemporary English Version]

The only time I use the F Shot is when I am extremely angry and upset - at that moment, my heart is full of anger - and for me, the F word comes out. Does that mean I've lost my salvation? Absolutely not. It's okay to get angry! Even Jesus got angry! What IS important, is that I continue to ask God to guard my heart from evil. That same verse says "Good people do good things because of the good in their hearts. Bad people do bad things because of the evil in their hearts." And I want to walk in God's goodness. So that good will always come out of my mouth.

Lots of things to think about, and I'm glad that we can chat about it, even though our opinions are different. We need to both make sure that we continue to search God's Word - although I don't know if Leviticus will get us very far. :-)

And we should "set our minds on things above" [Colossians 3:2], asking God to guard our minds with his peace - [Philippians 4:7]

"So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life--your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life--and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out."
[Romans 12:1,2 - The Message Version]