Monday, June 30, 2008

Proverbs 1:7

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

"Forget what you were taught. Don't trust what you're taught about the Bible, just dig into it yourself." - Candy, Keeping the Home

"You are not such wiseacres as to think or say that you can expound the Scripture without the assistance from the works of divine and learned men who have labored before you in the field of exposition . . . . It seems odd that certain men who talk so much of what the Holy Spirit reveals to themselves, should think so little of what he has revealed to others." - Rev. C. H. Spurgeon, to his students (Commenting and Commentaries)

Friday, June 27, 2008

One Quick Thought on John 4

Back in the day when I was a Methodist, we use to talk about "seekers" and from time to time have a "seeker's service". Seekers are people who supposedly don't believe but are curious about who Jesus is and what Christianity is all about. After converting to Lutheranism (really not a very big leap) I learned that the idea of people being "seekers" is born of human reasoning. It is how we interpret things we don't understand in order for it to make sense to us. The Bible teaches us differently - it is God who seeks the lost. It is God who draws us to Him, we cannot do it ourselves. Those so-called "seekers" are feeling the Holy Spirit already at work within them.

This is illustrated in the story of the Samaritan woman at the well found in John chapter 4. She is a sinner (like us) going about her daily business. And then Jesus approaches her and her life is changed forever. She wasn't expecting it. She wasn't looking for it. But it happened anyway.

The difference between "seeking" (we are looking for God) and "being sought" (God is looking for us) is an important one. It feeds into who we credit for our salvation - ourselves or God. If we are responsible for seeking Him out - then our works are necessary for our salvation. But the Bible teaches that it is God seeking us - drawing us to Him.

I never found God.

He was never lost.

I was.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Liberté? Mais non!

From the BBC. Brigitte Bardot was fined by the French government for criticizing Islam. Do you suppose they fine people in France for criticizing Christians?

Bardot fined over racial hatred

A French court has fined former film star Brigitte Bardot 15,000 euros (£12,000) for inciting racial hatred.

She was prosecuted over a letter published on her website that complained Muslims were "destroying our country by imposing their ways".

It is the fifth time Ms Bardot been convicted over her controversial remarks about Islam and its followers. This is her heaviest fine so far.

The French film idol, who is 73, was not in court to hear the ruling.

The fine - equivalent to $23,000 - related to a letter she wrote in December 2006 to the then Interior Minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, which was published on her website, in which she deplored the slaughter of animals for the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha.

She demanded that the animals be stunned before being killed.

She said she was "tired of being led by the nose by this population that is destroying us, destroying our country by imposing its acts".

In a letter to the court Ms Bardot, who is a prominent animal rights campaigner, insisted she had a right to speak up for animal welfare.

The prosecutor said she was weary of charging Ms Bardot with offences relating to racial hatred and xenophobia.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Pitt-Falls of Decision Theology

One of my biggest problems is that I start blog posts and never find time to finish them. This one I started last October and never got around to finishing....

An interview with Brad Pitt was published in Parade Magazine (10/7/07). Brad was raised as a conservative Southern Baptist and he discusses his falling away from religion:

"I had crises of faith," he says. "I thought you had to experience things if you want to know right from wrong. I'd go to Christian revivals and be moved by the Holy Spirit, and I'd go to rock concerts and feel the same fervor. Then I'd be told, 'That's the Devil's music! Don't partake in that!' I wanted to experience things religion said not to experience."

By the time he entered college, Pitt had scuttled his fundamentalist beliefs. "When I got untethered from the comfort of religion, it wasn't a loss of faith for me, it was a discovery of self," he says. "I had faith that I'm capable enough to handle any situation. There's peace in understanding that I have only one life, here and now, and I'm responsible."

In a few short sentences he hits on some of the dangers of the decision/glory doctrines of modern American Evangelicalism:
1. The need for an emotional experience.
2. Legalism.
3. The authority of an individual's faith (via personal revelation) is greater than that of the church.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Back from Vacation

Had a great time in Vegas. The weather was hot; mid to upper 90s, crystal clear blue skies. A welcome change from cloudy, rainy, and cool Minnesota. The weather alone made the trip worthwhile.

We did a lot of sightseeing and window shopping, plus a little real shopping for souvenirs. Saw some free/cheap lounge acts - no big shows. Although they were free, they were very good. Ate at some very nice restaurants. Slept late. Lounged by the pool and enjoyed a Mojito or two. Gambled just a little (combined we spent less than $20 on casino games).

The service in Vegas was excellent. The cab drivers and hotel, restaurant and store personnel were all very helpful and friendly. I felt so pampered!

Vegas is a city of contrasts - beautiful buildings, sculptures, lights, fountains and weather; but also a lot of sleaze and vice of every kind. I suppose that is true of every city - but in Vegas it is not so subtle. There is nothing subtle about Las Vegas.

The kids and grandparents had a good time together - everything went well at home.

Mr. Bee and I are convinced we need to do this sort of thing more often. :-)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Vegas, Baby!

My dear husband surprised me on our 20th wedding anniversary with a long weekend vacation in Las Vegas. He arranged plane tickets, hotel reservations and (most importantly) his parents coming to stay with our kids!

We didn't go on a honeymoon (fresh from college we were far too poor) and have only been away from our children overnight 4 times. The last time was 12 years ago.

Needless to say, I am very excited. We don't gamble, so we won't spend much time in the casinos. The plans are to sightsee, maybe see a show, sleep late, and sit by the pool and sip frozen drinks.

I've got a million things to do between now and flight time. I'll be back to blogging sometime next week.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Suddenly, the plot thickens...

Candy writes...

Update about my stalker
For those following along with the revelation of my stalker (I deleted those dialoges now), the problem has been solved. The stalker was someone inpersonating my family member. Said stalker has lost access to this website, and will be a problem no longer. Problem solved. Thank you for your prayers.