Sunday, December 30, 2007


The perfect wife. The perfect mother. The perfect woman. The perfect child. The perfect birth.

I've been thinking about New Year's Resolutions and trying to decide if I should make some this year.

The perfect home. The perfect bread recipe. The perfect dinner menu. The perfect diet. The perfect exercise routine.

It seems that the end of the year causes me to do a lot of introspection and examination. And with it, much harsh criticism of myself and my shortcomings.

The perfect church. The perfect Bible. The perfect prayers. The perfect faith.

And while dwelling on the long long list of things I need to improve, it occurred to me that being obsessed with self-improvement is not what I want my life to be about.

The perfect home school. The perfect reading list. The perfect cleaning schedule. The perfect blog.

I'd rather focus on loving my Lord, my husband, my children, my friends & neighbors and not on how much weight I need to lose or whether or not my home is spotless or how many books I've read.

The perfect HMB. The perfect natural cleaners. The perfect length of hair. The perfect dresses. The perfect make-up.

After all, isn't that what Christ was trying to tell us? Our lives aren't about trying to be perfect, He's done that for us. Our lives are about loving Him.

Just as I am, without one plea
But that thy blood was shed for me
And that thou bidd’st me come to thee
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings and fears within, without,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind,
Yea, all I need, in thee to find,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just a I am; thy love unknown
Has broken every barrier down;
Now to be thine, yea, thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

-Charlotte Elliott 1835

Friday, December 14, 2007

The false logic of the all-knowing

circular reasoning (noun):
a use of reason in which the premises depends on or is equivalent to the conclusion, a method of false logic by which "this is used to prove that, and that is used to prove this".

Example: "The NIV disagrees with the KJV; therefore the NIV is wrong and the KJV is right."


If the NIV disagrees with the KJV it proves that the NIV disagrees with the KJV. Nothing more.

Now, if the NIV were a translation of the KJV and it disagreed, you could make the former argument. But the NIV is NOT a translation of the KJV. To prove the NIV (or any other) translation invalid you must establish a difference between what was said in the original Greek text and how it was translated.

"I've studied different Bible versions, and read many of them over the past 12 or so years. I have found the King James Version to be the best, non-contradictive, and the inerrant word of God." -Candy

I do wish I had that kind of discernment (or omniscience?!) too.

Interesting websites here & here & here.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The real issue with the crucifix

It's not that crucifixes are somehow "anti-resurrection", it's how they are used, or rather, misused.

Helpful definition for today: (from The American Heritage Dictionary)
Superstition - noun
1. An irrational belief that an object, action, or circumstance not logically related to a course of events influences its outcome.
2. (a) A belief, practice, or rite irrationally maintained by ignorance of the laws of nature or by faith in magic or chance.
(b) A fearful or abject state of mind resulting from such ignorance or irrationality.
(c) Idolatry.

Examples of superstition:
Heaven’s Home Protection Packet...Our Lord stated we must have crucifixes upon the outside of all of our outside doors. In the "Heaven’s Home Protection Packet" there are instructions, four crucifixes, a tube of special cement for wooden or metal crucifixes. Wooden crucifixes adhere better to the doors when the aluminum strap is removed from the back. Put a light coat of cement on the back of the crucifix and then press it to the outside of the door.

Crucifix on front and back door... The only real protection against terrorists...
Jesus - "Pray and wear your sacramentals. And, also, My children, I ask you again to place a crucifix upon your door. Both front and back doors must have a crucifix. I say this to you because there will be carnage within your areas, and this will pass you by if you keep your crucifix upon your doors."

Our Lady of the Roses, Mary Help of Mothers promises to help protect our children. On September 13, 1977, She said, "He has an army of ogres wandering now throughout your country and all of the countries of the world. They are in possession of great power; so wear your sacramentals, and protect your children and your households. Learn the use every day of holy water throughout your household. Insist even with obstructions, insist that your children always wear a sacramental. One day they will understand that they will repel the demons."

On February 1, 1974, Our Lady said, "My children, know the value of these sacramentals. Guard your children well. You must awaken to the knowledge that you will not be protected without the sacramentals. Guard your children's souls. They must be surrounded with an aura of purity. Remove them if necessary from the sources of contamination, be it your schools or even false pastors."

Our Lady tells us to be protected from all evil, we must wear the following sacramentals around our necks: a Rosary, a crucifix, the St. Benedict medal, Our Lady of the Roses medal, the Miraculous Medal, and the scapular.

This is from Virgin Mary's End-Times Prophecies. Very much along the lines of Jesus-is-Lord, this one is the National Enquirer for Roman Catholics. Interesting.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Life of Christ

If it is wrong to depict Christ's body on the cross in a crucifix (because He has been resurrected) then is it okay to depict Him as a child in the manger? He is, after all, no longer a babe in the manger.

These depictions are fine because both the manger and the cross tell the story of our Lord. The manger reminds us of His humble birth and the remarkable story of the Nativity. The body on the cross reminds us of His sacrifice and suffering for our sins.

Monday, December 3, 2007


Symbolism is all around us, all the time. We hardly notice most of it. The red-dot for hot and blue-dot for cold on the faucet. A "+" for louder and "-" for softer on my speakers. The golden arches that beckon me to have greasy french fries for lunch.

Symbols are a language and as a language they are dynamic, that is, always changing. Sometimes symbols, like words, change in meaning quickly (within a generation) and other times quite slow (over centuries). Less than 100 years ago the words "cool" and "hot" referred to temperature. "Gay" was lighthearted.

An example of a symbol taking on new meaning is the cross that is commonly called a "swastika." Prior to the Nazis adopting it in 1932 as their symbol, it was a design used for centuries in art and architecture throughout the world. It was basically benign, but sometimes it had religious connotations - such a symbol for a sun god. Often it was considered a sign for good luck. I've seen it woven into (very old) native American blankets.

Nowadays no one in their right mind would consider decorating their home with swastikas. Sure, one could argue it is just a geometric design and was a sign of good luck for centuries before Hitler got a hold of it. But if one sticks a swastika on one's door the neighbors are not going to come to the barbecue and social services is going to take the kids away. :-)

Cymbals, the percussion instrument, are much like symbols. When played at the right time and with the right amount of force they add to the musical piece. They are a part of the whole body of work. They serve a different purpose than the woodwinds, the brass or the strings. No more or less important. The trouble with cymbals is that if they are not played right, especially when played at the wrong time, everyone notices -- and it detracts greatly from the musical number.

We need to take care when playing with cymbals....and with symbols. We need to understand what the symbol is saying to other people about our faith, not just what it means to us personally. Symbols, after all, speak volumes without words.