What In The World Am I Doing?

That question could take all sorts of tones.

I feel more in control, while at the same time less controlling; which I think is the natural turn of that correlation. controlling people are that way often because they feel so insecure about how little control they have in their lives. It seems to be a way of achieving sense and order inside a very chaotic existence.

But the more sense one makes of life, the less need to orchestrate everything, and manipulate. Oh yes, I like it!

To be my usual didactic self…

  • I am putting together my plans of resuming the age-old efforts at decluttering.
  • Tightening up my blogging plans and efforts, which hallelujah, means more posts
  • Paying more attention to the world of stocks, hoping to make up for the fact that I have not had a paying job for the majority of life as a SAHM
  • Finishing up my homeschooling career this coming year
  • Changing my life. Focus on exercise, eating better, drawing- then painting, reviving spiritual life.

This starts to sound like a list of New Years resolutions, doesn’t it? Perhaps it is the influence of Rosh Hashanah, and Yom Kippur, which fall in September, thereabouts. We think we change times and seasons in the modern age… but we don’t really. The times of sowing and harvest, of moons and observations somehow remain and exert their influence even when we blithely ignore them.

Better to celebrate, to flow within the natural course of life, then always reinvent. Just as a general statement, mind you?

Fragments of Info

Copper Currency Standard?

While India is trying to accumulate gold reserves, China is going one step forward by buying up industrial metals on a scale that appears beyond the usual commercial reasons. Some believe Beijing may have made a strategic decision to stockpile metal as an alternative to US Treasuries and dollar holdings as it safeguards China’s industrial revolution, while the West may one day face a supply crisis.”

…maybe you should hold on to those pennies?

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Making bone from wood … a promising new technology:
“Bones from wood could soon be opening up a new branch of medical science.”

Ok, now I wonder if this says anything about fossilization… or is that something totally different?

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A couple of ads made the news. Maybe you heard of the German lingerie ad? That one could start conversations on many levels. Not the particular ones that people are presently talking about, which concerns Muslim veils indicating certain moral codes. No, I would want to talk about women and their identity in Islamic culture. I mean think about Harems of the past few centuries… power struggles and women competing with sensual and sexual currency. What gets covered up with moral veils in their culture and PC illusions of feminist ideals in ours is still a hot topic.

Then there was the use of President Obama’s photo in the billboard ad. I do think that is a big deal, actually. It just isn’t kosher, know what I mean? Yes, I know it is old news already. The only thing I can say for the company is that it was such a tempting thing… the President really is as good looking as any model and the picture of the wall of China and all…. it really would have been difficult not to use it to advantage. But it wasn’t proper to give into the temptation. About the best thing they can do is be thankful for all the attention they got, and gracefully take down the ads.

Just little things that caught my attention… til later, friends.

… if there be any virtue

Praise the good things you experience in life, friends. It’s every bit as important as calling out the less-than-stellar moments.

Chris Brogan

Fragmented Fisks: Gender Stuff

When reading through the defended thinking in a debate, such as that on gender issues in the Church, you get to see the flaws in the reasoning. Or sometimes, the admirable case that is made for the view taken. Why not fisk a few of those, here?

Some Denny Burk comments:

God gifts us in ways that are specific to our gender. Christian women, for instance, are peculiarly gifted to minister to and to disciple other women. There are some things that a woman can do that a man can’t (like starting an effective discipleship ministry among junior high girls).

tiro3 answers well:

Could you please show where Scripture says that the Holy Spirit’s gifts are gender specific. There are some other problems with this statement also.
1. a gift of teaching is always simply a spiritual gift of the ability to teach. It is never an ability to only teach certain groups of people.
2. The HS gifts are not given according to what a person can or cannot do, but according to what God can and chooses to do through that person. It is God’s abilities that count.
3. It is unfortunate that some leaders are choosing to add things to Scriptural lists of spiritual gifts that are sometimes not even spiritual in nature.

I just don’t think the case is made, or can be made, about certain tasks or talents being gender specific. At best, it is relegated to more to characteristics individuals have rather than those of a certain gender, unless of course we are talking about biological reproduction. There are things that strength can do better than weakness, or patience better than hastiness, and aggressiveness better than passivity, but you would find examples of each in either gender. This is on the practical level aside from tiro3’s excellent points.

There are other points to consider as well. Such as, is it inappropriate for teen to be in discipleship classes with a male teacher? These same girls, if attending public schools, are often in this very environment. Are secular teachers more trustworthy than Christian male leaders? I don’t think there are many things that a woman can do that a man can’t. There are “matters of delicacy” that men prefer not to address, but I have heard some mentioned from the pulpit on occasion; it isn’t that they can’t. It is more a matter of appropriateness.

God bless all complementarians, all faithful, biblical patriarchalists who stand in the gap against radical feminism and the perversion of linguistic revisionism through exegetical fallacies.

Well, how about the logical fallacies? Maybe we should stand against those, too, like the black and white one made here. Not everyone who sees broadness within God’s Word is either a radical feminist or perverted. And before asking God’s blessings, perhaps we should investigate what those persons are actually saying and whether it indeed lines up with God’s expression before lambasting honest inquiry into the scriptures. Presumption is not such a good thing, using the cover of a loud blessing notwithstanding.

Trajectory hermeneutics is a dangerous way to read the bible because it undermines the authority of scripture. Paul doesn’t think of his command as a “cultural accomodation.” On the contrary, his instruction in 1 Timothy 2:12 is rooted in the pre-fall order of creation (1 Tim 2:13). That makes this one transcultural.

Sue:

Perhaps the author of 1 Tim. did not allow women to teach. But the context was clearly because some women, or one woman was dominating. We don’t know the details. But it was dependent on a certain situation.

Has the exclusion of women from the pulpit in the SBC caused growth or decline in the church?

OK, both these comments take us into dangerous, dangerous waters. Big words aside, these comments contain multiple doctrinal statements within a few short sentences. You always have to carefully think about just what is being said in such instances. I tend to agree that what St. Paul addresses is transcultural, just on the basis that as a teacher he knew that he was transferring important concepts within his letters and would not waste large amounts of precious letter space to matters of only passing importance. At the same time I don’t’ see why it wouldn’t also be addressing specific circumstances, ones that churches over time were likely to experience.

When arguing for the truth of a doctrine, or of an interpretation of scripture, I think it is less than useless to argue how popular something is. That, in itself, is a logical fallacy. The case concerning “exclusion of women from pulpits of churches” will have to find some other form of measurement for the right or wrong of it, rather than whether there is a loss of warm bodies to fill the pews. When we search the scriptures what we are looking for is substantive reasons to allow or disallow a ministry of women to teach or preach.

But getting back to the idea “instruction in 1 Timothy 2:12 is rooted in the pre-fall order of creation” and warnings of “undermines the authority of scripture”: these two views have been taken to extremes in the complementarian camp. There is a weird “lesser” way of looking at women through some of their ideas that somehow the creation of Eve was some different creation, not (really, just sort of, maybe…you get the idea) reflecting the image of God. If you don’t agree with their interpretation of gender roles, etc, there is an undermining of faith in God’s authority, somehow. You’ve gone over to “the other side” and aligned with the feminist, liberal, deconstructed, ungodly culture.

There is also a very problematical reading back into the doctrine on the Trinity that these teachings employ that is very dangerous, far more than any imagined approval of contemporary culture. Nothing a good strong course in the history of Athanasius couldn’t put to rights. A helpful book by Kevin Giles, The Trinity & Subordinationism, is a place to start; I have a review of it, here.

So in a couple of sentences we are supposed to gloss over all of this and side ourselves with one or the other argument, neither of which is making a strong case. They are just dancing; and asking us to join in.

trajectory= chosen course or path

hermeneutics=The theory and methodology of interpretation, especially of scriptural text -American Heritage Dictionary

However, nowhere in the NT does it say for church leaders to “have authority over other Christians.” To submit, is an action urged on ALL Christians “submit to your leaders” Heb. 13:17. So when Dr. Ware implies that men and women are in the image of God, in that men have authority and women submission, he counters the express word of God, that all submit, that Christians submit to leaders and to each other. It does not say that women submit to men.

The women in the scriptures act without a husband, and are not in submission to men, but in the normal way of all Christians submit to leaders, and are leaders.

Sue and I have had some long talks about authority over @ Intellectuelle, and I feel we are just scratching the surface, of what we both believe, let alone the wide scope of the subject matter. It is not going to be a short conversation when we have such large topics as authority and freedom. I agree that not all men have authority over all women- the Bible does not say what many have purported it to say on that. But there is authority and there is order in how that works out, and there are gender related roles and protocols within the Church in this present time on the earth…. those are things that cannot be edited out or glossed over.

I just think we need to discover and articulate those better than we have….traditionally.

==from other places:

“I believe Danny is really good at being a man, husband, father and leader. That is the way God planned it. I also believe I am really good at being a woman, wife, mother and helper. This is also the way God planned it, and when we follow his plan the family works well.” -Charlotte Akin (in Part 1, linked above) part 2

I have to tell you that this whole line of thinking really disturbs me. For one thing it depends upon ones works as giving a good outcome, no mention or thought of God’s grace is involved here. ” I do the righteous God-planned thing and voila, my life is perfection”. And yes, that is what is being said in this type of argument. It is as old as Job’s friends trying to tell him if he just properly followed God’s way and plan, he, too, would find correlating blessing in his life circumstances. So, if you are really good at being a woman…. whatever that means…. where does that leave others “not so good”? Are they doomed? Outside of God’s plan? What the heck are you saying here??? Sure sounds like the pride of man all dressed up in frilly feminine finery to me.

So let’s talk in tones of helpful humility when we are discussing roles and functions of gender and how those relate in honoring God and fulfilling His plan.

Are Warts Normal?

I don’t know if that title is going to get me in trouble or what… or just mess with the search engines, but I have been thinking and thinking about that post topic that Parableman inspired, and I was not sure how my family “warts” would go over with “the public”. Thanks, Brian, for reassuring me that being together after all these years, and trying to have some semblance of family togetherness does count for something. I need the affirmation of the goal.

More Apps

There are just so many apps with the social networking, etc. that it is hard to keep track. I got off-track on the WP upgrade, too… so is that a hanging app? I’ll get back to it sometime. Not sure if TrueGrit will benefit from it, though. Anyway, …. apps… . I really like ScribeFire, now, although I don’t use it as much as I could. It is full -featured which means it has a bit more formatting code than I usually like. Justblogit is still in the browser but I need to be rid of it.

One app I really like is Yelper which shows up in facebook, too. Facebook has some really good things about it. Brian- try the blognetworks and add your blog. That link is for “Intellectuelle”. The “Notes” app is very worthwhile, and great for ppl who don’t blog; for those of us who blog it is a good way to get posts read without the commitment to our whole blog page. Good intro, I guess, and quick communication. Even the silly things work as ways for people to connect- like ice breakers in a party sometimes we need something basic and childlike in order to let down the guard we often carry around with us.

the answer to the question:
Sometimes. Warts can be normal in that it is not unusual or dangerous for people to have them… lots of people have warts. One salient point concerning the idea of normal is that we mean “usual” by it. If something is “usual ” in our experience we start to think of that as qualifying for the use of the term “normal”. But there is lots more to the topic…. and I have to stop dancing around it and just take whatever time involved in writing out all the thoughts. Because the Relativists shouldn’t have the whole playing field to themselves! Someone needs to challenge them. “All constructs” ..harrumph.

Check!

From the Dictionary.com site:

Word History: The words check, chess, and shah are all related. Shah, as one might think, is a borrowing into English of the Persian title for the monarch of that country. The Persian word shāh was also a term used in chess, a game played in Persia long before it was introduced to Europe. One said shāh as a warning when the opponent’s king was under attack. The Persian word in this sense, after passing through Arabic, probably Old Spanish, and then Old French, came into Middle English as chek about seven hundred years ago. Chess itself comes from a plural form of the Old French word that gave us the word check. Checkmate, the next stage after check, goes back to the Arabic phrase shāh māt, meaning “the king is dead.” Through a complex development having to do with senses that evolved from the notion of checking the king, check came to mean something used to ensure accuracy or authenticity. One such means was a counterfoil, a part of a check, for example, retained by the issuer as documentation of a transaction. Check first meant “counterfoil” and then came to mean anything, such as a bill or bank draft, with a counterfoil—or eventually even without one.

…and I wonder… is Obama going to checkmate Clinton in the race to become the Democrat’s candidate? This year is just full of surprises.

It Ain’t Me

Facebooks attraction for some is seeing what level of fool you can claim for yourself. Won’t be me, babe. This is life? This is freedom? This is what the modern woman attains to? I don’t think so. Someone needs to relay the message.

giseleThe dollar is down, and suddenly American money isn’t good enough. Why should advertisers representing American markets hire them, then. It isn’t as though we don’t have plenty of models to chose from, I don’t think it is so savvy to insist on payment in certain currencies if it means offending your biggest employer.

…and I have a bone to chew with the journalist who wrote:

…at the top of a growing list of rich people who have concluded that the currency can only depreciate because Americans led by President George W. Bush are living beyond their means.

Wait one cotton pickin’ moment. When did the credit loom larger than savings? There was nothing from the Clinton years? It all started with the lead of Big Bad Bush? We have had alot of things unravel and they were a slow train coming that predates the present President by many a year. Our economy problems, foreign policy problems, and vulnerability to terrorism did not suddenly spring up under Bush’s watch. If you’re going to search for someone to blame (besides our greedy selves, or somebody’s greedy self[ves]) at least be accurate about it.

Weblogs Finalists Up and Spiritual FAQs

This is about both separately, not entirely separated, but not altogether a single topic. First, I noticed that the finalists are listed and I started looking at the blogs represented in the religious blog category. So, of course, their blog topics and questions raised within their posts come to mind. This post is to give a heads up on voting and then, secondly, a place to record some questions that come up so I can think about and write on those, later.

Vote on Weblogs

The 2007 Weblog Awards

Go directly to the ‘Best Religious Blog’ and do your own exploration and voting. Voting Rules

Some Questions

  • Is good and evil a black and white proposition or not? and why do we even have to ask that question?
  • related: is evil just what we experience in terms of pain?
  • Is seeking better than knowing?
  • the last cry of Jesus: “My God, My God, Why have You Forsaken Me?” does this call into question his divine status? What took place…exactly… in that substitutionary death upon the cross?
  • related: why don’t Christians understand this basic thing? and how can they preach it if they don’t understand/accept it?
  • related: when Christ died on the cross.. was it blood from his body that flowed? is this distinct from the suffering of his soul in that cry of forsaken-ness? and further distinct from his spiritual being? Is there distinction in the three parts of man, body, soul, and spirit? Is there also, then seen distinction in the person of Jesus? and further, can it be seen as a picture ( image of ) God as trinity? Or is everything lumped together and thus capable of canceling out theological stances built upon one or more statements?

Ok, that last one was more than one question.

More questions

  • spiritual reality vs physical reality – is the one answerable point by point to the other? or are there important differences?
  • question taken directly from Steven Camps blog Camponthis:
    Why don’t we use our blogs, radio programs, websites, email lists, etc. … to lovingly, with brokenness, bathed in contrition, but yet with a holy boldness to sound the alarm and make a clarion call for true reformation to come to HIs church once again?
 


That is for now… but I am sure there are yet more FAQ’s to relate.

Psalm 13- my life in a nutshell

Psalm 13
For the director of music. A psalm of David.

1 How long, O LORD ? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?

2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and every day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?

3 Look on me and answer, O LORD my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;

4 my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.

6 I will sing to the LORD,
for he has been good to me.

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Indeed, the Lord is good. Sometimes I am on a seesaw, like the one pictured in Psalm 13, but always, always, the sunlight of God’s goodness breaks through all the cloudy thoughts and concerns.

I have setup Windows Live Writer to get rid of the multiple posting problem and to refine my blogging. I am quite excited about it, actually…although I am not using it yet. The trouble with writing on a topic like “hesed” is that it it gets you thinking more than writing, but I am determined to continue the topic this week.

Thanks to all who did the “Why I Love Jesus Meme“.I notice that thanks to Obi’s Sister, it took off in the Catholic blog community with Anchoress devoting a long interesting post to it. Of course, that is why hers is such an interesting blog to read…she lets you see into her little window in ways that surprise you.

Read Matt’s, too… and he has tagged others including Rodney.

Other than that, the real life has revved up which is normal for this season. I won’t bore you with my weeding, and planting and cleaning activities- I suppose you can read about that in my garden blog if you wish… as soon as I update it later today.

Busyness is not a spiritual gift.
Lisa Harper

-Ran across that little gem on a blog new to me: Christine’s Fruit in Season

Back At Home

We went to a youth conference this week. The kids loved it, and since they are reading their bible more upon arriving home, I think it probably did some good. It gave me a chance to have some talk time with them, rarer since they have entered that early teen stage of angst-ridden separation anxiety that they seem to hit between 13 to 16. They want to talk to you, their parent, and they don’t – at the same time.

I took along my laptop, but discovered I need more concentration to blog than the hectic schedule of running around a conference gives.

The food was fast food fattening type – so I will have to pay attention to better choices (read low fat and raw foods) this week. I hate watching my weight.

The questions ( a theme of the conference) I walked away with are: what sort of influence do I hold? And what influences me?

Ever think about what influences you?