Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Happy Yuletide . . . and a Merry New Year too!

My oh my
How the season has flown by!
Time to leave,
I will enjoy the reprieve.
While away
I wish you a merry, gay
That’s all I wanted to say.

Okay, I realize that’s a very lame, 10-second attempt at poetry. But hopefully you’ll forgive it because I’m in a time-crunch. We’re off to Indiana tomorrow morning for the holidays. (Here’s crossing my fingers for a white Christmas!) Since I doubt I’ll be blogging again until the New Year, I wish you and your loved ones a very blessed holiday season. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Florida Radio

I just got done doing a radio interview for some station in Florida. For some reason, this talk show host really likes CRI (the organization I work for) even though we’re based out of California. Most of the questions centered around Schwarzenegger’s recent comments that the GOP party should move to the left and that, if it did so, it wouldn’t lose its base and would pick up 5%. My question: Was Arnold sleeping through the entire Nov. ’04 victory where people went to the polls en masse to vote their consciences on moral issues? I have a question for YOU readers out there: Presuming you’re a Republican, would you stay loyal to the GOP party based on a conservative fiscal platform alone?

I have a very bold friend who once said these words at a state GOP platform committee meeting: “My political party is not like my football team. I’m loyal to my party because it upholds my ideology. If my party ceases to reflect my principles and moral convictions, then not only will I leave my party, I will seek to destroy it.”

Analytical and Critical

Well, I’m not sure how much longer we’re going to stick with Oswald Chambers. He’s starting to annoy us a little bit. (Hopefully this won’t totally offend the Chambers admirers out there – and I know there are plenty.) We’ve had several “issues” with Chambers since we began reading his devotional several weeks ago. First of all, there are many times when we either can’t understand what he’s trying to say or get annoyed at the creative license he takes with the scripture verses he uses. I realize that a lot of people think he’s a great intellectual – but I wonder how often “flowery language” is mistaken for “profound insight.” It’s almost like Chambers thinks to himself, “Hey, I have a great inspiration on this topic. Let me try and find a scripture verse I can use as a springboard to share my thoughts with the world.”

The other day (Dec. 15), for instance, Chambers uses 2 Tim. 2:15, “Study to show thyself approved unto God,” to say that “If you cannot express yourself on any subject, struggle until you can.” I don’t know how on earth he got man’s need to express his inner self from a verse on studying God’s word so that we may rightly understand Truth.

Also, he often uses unclear terms like the “natural man.” Now, I can assume (because I’ve been going to Sunday School all my life) what that means – but since he never defines it, it’s a guessing game. Then he further confuses me by saying things like “the natural life is not sinful” but the natural life must be “sacrificed.” Hmmm.

And then there are times when we completely disagree with what he says. For instance, his Dec. 17 devotional is entitled “Redemption Creates the Need It Satisfies.” In this entry, Chambers says: “God cannot give until a man asks. It is not that He withholds, but that that is the way He has constituted things on the basis of Redemption. By means of our asking, God gets processes into work whereby He creates the thing that is not in existence until we do ask.” Um, excuse me, but I don’t think that the Apostle Paul, on his way to persecute Christians, had the time (or the inclination!) to think, “Gee, I’d better take a moment here to ASK Christ into my heart as my Savior,” before he was struck with the blinding light of Redemption. Chambers’ view of God is not only weak, it is entirely inaccurate. Christ came to seek and save His people. He did not come to TRY to seek and save His people. John 15:16 says “You did not choose Me, but I chose you.” The truth is that, before Redemption occurs, sinners are DEAD in their sins. (Eph. 2:1) We are incapable of “asking” until the Holy Spirit comes and softens our hearts. Praise God for his saving mercy!

Is God a grandfatherly figure calling out to a bunch of dumb sheep to come to Him? Or is He sovereign, in control, and willing and able to save His people? Your basic view of who God is will change your worldview entirely. And, from what we’ve read so far from My Utmost for His Highest, our worldviews tend to clash with Oswald Chambers’.

It could be that we’re just too analytical for our own good. But, then again, I think it’s better to have our brains in gear than it is to blindly accept anything and everything that a “great Christian man” decides to publish in a book.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Joy, Joy, Joy!

Our party on Friday night lasted from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. And our party on Saturday lasted from 4 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. So, basically, when we weren’t partying (or trying to recover from partying) this weekend, we were either cleaning the house, baking, or doing something else to get ready for a party. On Saturday we had a progressive dinner, ending at our house with desserts and a white elephant gift exchange. We left the house just prior to our house a few minutes early so we could put a log in the fire, light the candles, turn the music on, etc. It’s a good thing we left early because, as we entered our laundry room, from off the garage, we stepped into two inches of water. Turns out, our toilet had become plugged and, since it has a tendency to run, the water spilled out into the bathroom, the front entry way, the hallway, the laundry room, and part of the kitchen. As soon as we observed the ocean, that was our house, the adrenaline kicked in. I grabbed every towel I had (including a few beautiful white towels, which I hope I didn’t completely ruin!) and threw them to Kevin. We immediately began to mop everything furiously. The amazing thing is that we were able to clean up all the water and get everything else ready (including dusting a few of the desserts with powdered sugar) before the first guests arrived. It was incredible. (Basically, it was God.) Our guests arrived to a quiet and peaceful home, oblivious of the fact that we’d just worked our tails off to make it that way. [Sigh.]

As the guests left, with their white elephant gifts, Kevin cornered one of the guys who had joked earlier about how everyone was going to leave their stupid gifts at random places in our house. Kevin demanded to know where this guy had left his gift. After some prodding, it was discovered in our toaster oven. Kevin made the guy take his gift (a little jar with some bells on it – very hideous indeed) and escorted him to his car. The problem with white elephant gifts is precisely why they’re so fun – they are so impractical and awful, but because of this, they are very funny and random. (We later found another gift, an ugly paperweight, sitting on a ledge by the staircase.)

The weekend ended on a good note. Our classical radio station played a live broadcast of Handel’s Messiah last night. Kevin sang along and did the dishes (many dishes) while Amy wrapped some gifts. Yes, it definitely was a good (and peaceful) way to end the busy weekend.

Amy Falls Prey to Yet Another Marketing Ploy

On Saturday morning we went to Sam’s Club to develop some film. It was supposed to be a very short, quick trip. But, over the loud speaker, it was announced that anyone showing up at a kiosk near the bakery in the next five minutes would get an “absolutely free, no purchase required” paring knife. Since it’s impossible to have too many paring knives, and since I like free things, I went off to get one. Of course, I had to stand there for ten minutes first and listen to the saleslady market her other wares. By the end of her speech, I was completely mesmerized by all of the really cool kitchen gadgets she had to offer. It turns out that, if I would only buy a knife for $30, called a “never-dull” knife (guaranteed to last a lifetime, never – ever – needing to be sharpened), then I would get a TON of other stuff absolutely “free.” I wasn’t quite convinced at first – until the saleslady cut through a coke can, part of a metal hammer, and then cut through a breadboard, showing that the knife had suffered no damage and was still as sharp as ever (she threw a tomato on top of the knife and the tomato easily sliced in half). As quick as I could, I grabbed the entire package and went to find Kevin. Kevin could not believe I was such a SUCKER. I told him that, if he had seen the demonstration, he’d be convinced too and that he’d have to “trust me” on this one. After all, I know a good deal when I see one. I assured him that I’d use this knife at least four times a week for the next fifty years – so he agreed to let me buy it. But I think, secretly, he thinks I’m gullible and an easy target. I’m sure that, next time I hear a similar announcement over the loud speaker, he’ll try to glue me to something so I can’t go. Saturday is a perfect example that “free” rarely, if ever, truly means “free.”

Thursday, December 16, 2004

O Frazzled Night

Last night was one of those frazzled evenings, so common this time of year. (Maybe when I stop working full-time I’ll enjoy Christmas again, like I used to when I was a kid.) After work, I ran to the grocery store to buy food for the two Christmas parties we’re throwing this weekend at our house. (We volunteered for one party and got signed up for another one . . . not that I’m complaining, though, ‘cuz it’ll be fun.) After about an hour at the grocery store, I headed home. Immediately after stepping out of the car, I tripped over some long, sharp (not-sure-what-the-name-of-it-is) tool lying in the garage that was haphazardly left for Amy to booby-trap herself on. (Kevin tells me, often, that if I would just slow down things like this wouldn’t happen. I always retort that it’s really difficult to break 25+ years worth of a very bad habit.) Although my foot felt like it had been impaled, I managed to limp over to the trunk where I began to collect the bags of groceries. As I proceeded to back away from the trunk, would you know it, I struck the top of my head against the lid of the trunk, and, like so aptly depicted in the cartoons, began to see little swirling stars. By this time, I figured it just wasn’t my night.

Fortunately the evening got better as it progressed. For some odd reason, last night I was cold and Kevin was warm. Usually it’s the other way around. Usually he’s shivering and his teeth are clattering while I’m burning up. (Don’t you love it how opposites attract?) I finally asked Kevin if I could turn the heater up. I asked because I wanted to be courteous of the fact that he’d just paid a very high electric bill. He told me “yes” (of course) but then we got in a little playful war over exactly how high I could turn it up. It was at 64 degrees and I pushed it up to 68 degrees. He walked over to the thermostat to inspect it and decided that it should be at 66 degrees (and I should get a sweater on). I then looked woefully at him and said, “Mr. Scrooge, please just one coal for the fire?” Then we both burst out laughing as I ran upstairs to get a sweater. (I suppose I should have done this in the first place.)

We thought about watching It’s a Wonderful Life (my favorite movie) last night – just because it seemed like a very Christmasy thing to do – but then decided to read aloud from Bears of Blue River instead. Part of this decision probably stemmed from the fact that we’d already watched a movie sometime this past week. We watched Meet the Parents. I’d seen it before but Kevin hadn’t. A co-worker of his was surprised he hadn’t seen it and loaned it to us. I personally think this movie is absolutely hysterical. Kevin, on the other hand, is too sympathetic a person to completely enjoy a movie like Meet the Parents. During the entire debacle, he was empathizing with Greg Focker and feeling very badly for him. I must be some heartless little brute because I was laughing through it all.

Helping a Good Man

Kevin’s old boss at HSLDA, Chris Klicka, has multiple sclerosis and needs help raising funds ($22,000) to buy a therapeutic exercise pool and have it installed. Apparently exercising in cold water contracts his muscles and makes him stronger. The water workout gives him the chance to move and exercise in a way that is simply impossible otherwise. It allows him to build upper body strength since he does not have to battle gravity and can exercise without stress. Apparently after exercising in water he is able to walk and looks and feels much better. It sounds like they’ve already got a substantial amount of money to proceed with the construction of this pool. This just proves what a loved and well-respected man Chris is. I can tell you from personal experience that Chris has a heart of gold and he’s given his life to fight for parental rights in home education. If anyone deserves to have help in their battle to fight MS, or if anyone has more determination to fight MS, it’s Chris. No donation is too small. If you are able to contribute, you can send a check to: Chris Klicka, 6779 Riley Road, Warrenton, VA 20187.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

And I'm sure you all remember the man-shaped pillow . . .

Now it's the fellas' turn: Japanese 'Lap Pillow' Offers Solace to Lonely Men

Merry Mythmas

Okay, no time for a "real" post, but this is more fun than a real post. Check out this Merry Mythmas Quiz from MSN. For me, not only was it entertaining, it was enlightening as well.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Carols and The Tree

As I sat in the auditorium on Sunday afternoon, the lights dimmed to a near-complete darkness. Suddenly, hundreds of tiny glow sticks began to illuminate the room around me. At a signal from the conductor, a young boy began to sing a soprano solo in Latin and soon the children’s choir, perched in the balconies above me, joined in, allowing their voices to descend from both ends of the auditorium. After several moments of this breath-taking wonder, the mature adult voices, coming from behind each of the glow-sticks, began to sing, blending gloriously with the pure and sweet voices of the children. It was an incredibly moving experience. I felt bad for Kevin because he had to participate in it and couldn’t just sit back, like me, and enjoy it! The orchestra also performed a terrific medley of traditional carols and the chorale sang some really fun songs, including White Christmas, I Saw Three Ships, and Betelehemu, a Nigerian song involving Congo drums and hand motions. And, of course, they had to sing the Hallelujah Chorus. All of this really put me in a festive mood – ever since, I’ve had many melodies running through my head.

And, one of the most momentous occasions of the weekend was getting our tree! It’s HUGE!!!! Both Kevin and I think it’s the largest tree either of us have ever had! It makes 6’3” Kevin look like a midget. I had romantic notions of trekking up to the mountains and cutting down our own tree. This year, things were just too hectic – so we went to Target instead. Every year we forget what a hassle (and mess) it is to get a live tree into a stand and up properly in the house. (It's probably good that we forget.) This year, during the process, Kevin muttered under his breath, “I hate Christmas trees.” Later on, after getting it up, he was ecstatic about it and loudly declared, “I LOVE Christmas trees.” (I knew he’d come around.)

So, anyway, now the house has that fabulous, fresh pine scent. We don’t have any decorations up yet, except for a bazillion tiny little lights, but hopefully we’ll get our act in gear either tonight or tomorrow. Now I’m starting to remember, again, why I really love this time of year.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Somebody’s Twenty-Seeeeeeeeeven

Today is Kevin’s birthday. The doorbell rang at 7:30 this morning and Kevin ran downstairs to answer it. It was a process server looking for someone by the name of “Stephanie.” Fortunately he wasn’t looking for us. Getting a summons to appear in court would not have been a very nice birthday present.

Unfortunately Kevin is a really busy little beaver today, with a matinee performance for school children at the lunch hour, and a rehearsal tonight. But the good thing is (since I'm the proverbial optimist) – his performance and rehearsal are two blocks from where I work so I will be able to meet him very briefly for both lunch and dinner. We’ll try to squeeze as much celebration out of his birthday as we can!

Last year, I treated him to a fun time in Old Sac (you can read about it here). This year, I promised that, whatever we did, I wouldn’t embarrass him. I was hoping to take him to a quiet dinner. But that probably won’t work out either. Oh, well. It’s just a busy time of year! December babies have to deal with that. ;-)

[Happy birthday Kevin! I love you.]

Last night I finally had a chance to do some Christmas decorating. It’s so much fun to do right-brained things. I love it. I love to attempt creativity – it may not always turn out but the process is rewarding in and of itself.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Famous Atheist Now Believes in God

This is an interesting article. It took this guy 81 years to figure out there’s a God (based on “scientific evidence”) but he still doesn’t believe that God is personally involved in a person’s life. If I were him, I’d be worried about being wrong on this one too – it’s not like he’ll have another 81 years to figure that out.

I love the saying: “I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist.” Just look at the complexity of the human eye ball - it doesn't take a rocket scientist to plainly see that there is a God.

Bah Humbug

A friend of mine started this Committee to Save Merry Christmas and it’s getting a lot of press. At first glance, you may think it’s funny (or even silly) there’s a committee to boycott Macy’s because they say “Season’s Greetings” or “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas,” but the more I think about it, the more I like the idea. I am sick and tired of the assault on people of faith. And I think the refusal to acknowledge Christmas (celebrated by 96% of Americans, by the way) is just another indication of the move toward secularization and the religious intolerance in our society today.

Kevin and I have been talking about this a lot lately. Besides the refusal of retailers to brightly greet their customers with a cheery “Merry Christmas,” the public display of a “Christmas tree” is practically nonexistent. They aren’t called “Christmas trees” anymore, you see. They’re called “Holiday trees.” Not only is this offensive, it’s also really dumb and illogical. I ask . . . Is there such a thing as a Hanukah tree? Or a Kwanzaa tree? Or (now that we all know what Eid is) an Eid tree? Um . . . no.

I was listening to the Medved show yesterday (Medved is Jewish, by the way) and he was saying that, although Jews don’t celebrate Christmas, they nonetheless enjoy and appreciate the Christmas season. Take Irving Berlin, for instance. He was a Jew from Poland who wrote the song “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.” The point I think Medved was trying to make is that only the hypersensitive few would be offended at a “Merry Christmas” greeting . . . or a “Christmas Tree.” So, why are we bending over backwards to cater to this hypersensitivity?

[Kevin told me yesterday about an interview he heard with a rabbi the other day where the rabbi specifically stated that Hanukah is the only Jewish feast NOT mentioned in the Torah. It’s, actually, a rather insignificant holiday compared to other Jewish feasts and celebrations. The reason it’s become such a big holiday in the Jewish community is so that there is an alternative to Christmas! And this was from the mouth of the rabbi himself.]

And then there’s the incidence of the third grade children in San Francisco who were kicked out of Union Square for singing traditional Christmas songs that referenced outrageous and horrible things like “mangers” and “angels.” (Can you imagine the gall of these kids?!) And there there’s the lawsuit in New Jersey to prohibit airing traditional instrumental Christmas music because, even though words aren’t being played, people might hear the tunes and think about the words in their heads. And this is religious proselytizing? C’mon!

Last night I went to a live taping of the Hannity and Colmes show in Cupertino. My constitutional law professor, Jordan Lorence, spoke in the first segment. (He represents the fifth grade teacher in Cupertino who was banned from using the Declaration of Independence in his classroom because it references “God” and the “Creator.”) Afterwards, at a reception, Jordan shared why he thinks people are finally getting outraged – liberalism has gone too far. Things like Christmas, the Declaration of Independence, and Marriage are examples of things that unite Americans. The assault on these elementary components of our lives is too much for us. We are tired of being attacked. We are tired of secularism encroaching upon us and strangling us.

The diversity rhetoric has gone too far. The more we focus on how different (diverse) we are in America, the less we have to bond us together. (I think diversity will destroy America if we continue to embrace our differences more than our commonality.) It’s time to stop focusing on how different we are and start focusing more on what makes us – each and every one of us – “Americans.”

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Christmas Longings

This morning was the second day in a row that Kevin has successfully managed to get me up early enough so we can have “family devotions” together. We’d become really lax on this, unfortunately, and now we’re trying to be better, thanks to Kevin’s lead. We’re now reading Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest. It might seem odd to you that we began a devotional at the end of the year, rather than on January 1, but that’s just how it worked out. This morning we read something about how we’re all under a “death sentence” but for Christ. It made me think of the media brouhaha on whether or not Scott Peterson is going to get the death penalty. (Which, if you’re like me, you’re really sick of hearing about it.) The truth of the matter is – Peterson already has a death sentence. It’s not a question of “if,” it’s a question of “when.”

Yesterday I was really bemoaning the fact that, although it’s nearly mid-December, I haven’t yet had a chance to decorate the house or do anything especially Christmasy. Another reason I was having a pity-party is the fact that I only get one evening this week to do anything with Kevin (last night). Tonight I’m going to the Bay Area for a work-related thing and the rest of the evenings Kevin will be rehearsing for his Christmas concert this weekend. So, last night, we went and ran a bunch of errands to get garland and bows for the staircase, stocking hangers so we don’t have to punch holes into the fireplace, etc., for the house. It was fun, and a big relief to get it all done (although we still haven’t got the tree). Soon our home will look festive and merry – and I can’t wait!

As we were driving home, Kevin decided to be spontaneous and veered off into a nearby neighborhood to search for Christmas lights and other ornamentation. We found some really cool houses, completely decked out. One house had lights strung back and forth all across its roof. (I secretly wondered what their electric bill must be like - but think it’s fabulous to see such spirit!) It was a good evening to look at Christmas lights because it had been raining all day and the streets, glistening with wetness, made the lights seem to bounce and dance off the streets.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Marriage and Monterey

This past weekend Kevin and I attended Family Life’s “Weekend to Remember” marriage conference in Monterey. This was an engagement gift (nearly three years ago!) from Meredith’s parents. Because life was so chaotic the first couple years of marriage, this is the first real chance we’ve had to go.

We highly recommend this conference, if you haven’t been yet (and are married or engaged). It was absolutely fantastic. I cannot say enough good things about it. Kevin even said that we should probably go to this conference at least every five years for a tune-up and to make sure we’re still on the right path. Although I felt like we had an excellent marriage going into the conference, our weekend in Monterey only served to make it better. (And make us more grateful for God’s goodness to us in giving us the oneness that we have - not that "oneness" comes by default, 'cuz, actually, it takes a lot of work sometimes.) One thing I learned is that you shouldn’t wait until you have marriage problems to spend a weekend working on your marriage. I appreciated how the speakers (who were very down to earth, and also very humorous when sharing their own experiences) were constantly reminding us to NOT buy into how the culture views marriage but, rather, to seek out God’s will for marriage. After all, He is the one who created marriage. We also had to do a lot of “homework” – part of it on our own, and part of it as a couple. These homework sessions tended to spark a lot of introspection, discussion, and brainstorming for how to improve our relationship. Anyway, it was all excellent stuff! [Although Kevin did say that it’s amazing how much his guard was up the whole time at the conference – probably because of all the IBLP conferences he’s sat through and what he’s learned from that whole experience, i.e., when you walk into a seminar you have to keep your “filter” (i.e., God’s word and your own common sense) intact – or else you might end up believing everything you hear.]

Monterey, of course, was absolutely beautiful. I’ve been to this seaside village several times and it always impresses me. On Saturday we had a “mandatory” date night. (Ha!) We ate at a restaurant on the water and then went walking down to a little stretch of beach next to what was left of an old, decrepit building (basically just parts of the building’s foundation). Although we saw that the tide was coming in, we really didn’t bother to pay attention to how close it was getting to us on the shore. Within seconds of sitting down on this little cement block (at the end of the beach), we looked up to see this mammoth wave come crashing toward us. Just in the nick of time, we lifted our legs and the water rushed underneath us, spraying up into our faces. After that experience, we felt like we’d just evaded death, rather than merely avoiding getting drenched. (Maybe it was the adrenaline rushes and pounding hearts?) Anyway . . . I don’t know why I’m writing about this in my blog except to say that, not only was it really funny at the time, it was just one of those really unique bonding experiences. Know what I mean? After leaving the beach ruins, we walked around town for a while (on Cannery Row), got a free sample at Ghirardelli’s, and went to waste some more time at the oceanfront. And that was the best thing of all . . . being able to waste time together. I think one of the best things about heaven will be having absolutely no time constraints. [Although there's apparently no marriage in heaven, so that would be a bummer. But Kevin and I have already agreed that we'll share a mansion, regardless. So, that will be good.]

Friday, December 03, 2004

Focus on the Tree

Last night at our bible study, Kristi shared an insight that’s been ruminating in my mind all morning long. She said that Christians shouldn’t be consumed with “bearing fruit,” which is the evidence of salvation. If our focus is on the fruit in our lives we become works-oriented. Rather, we should keep our eyes on God and strive to build our relationship with Him first and foremost. This, in turn, will cause us to live in harmony with Him and the “fruit” will be an inevitable consequence of our walk with God. In other words, she said, “Focus on the Tree, not the fruit.”

Also, last night, the question was asked, “What exactly is fruit?” Too often Christians think of “fruit” as “good works,” e.g., helping the elderly neighbor, greeting someone at church, taking a meal to a sick family, wearing the right clothes, speaking the right words, etc. But this is not how scripture defines fruit. Gal. 5:22 describes the Fruit of the Spirit as “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Fruit is more attitude than specific actions. But, of course, proper actions come from having proper attitudes.

Anyway, all of these thoughts have encouraged me to focus more on my relationship with God, and less on the externals, realizing that if I seek God first with a pure heart everything else will fall into place. It’s as simple as that.

This is Kinda Cool

Here is something that doesn't happen to me every day - I got quoted in the top news story on World Net Daily's home page. CRI has been working on this issue for several years. Check it out!

Capitol Resource Institute attorney Amy Koons said, "It is amazing that the attorney general can put out such an opinion despite the fact that there is not a single statute or any case law that prohibits school districts from letting a parent know when their child is going to leave campus."

. . .

Koons contends, however, the "use of the word 'construe' means that the statute doesn't say what they want it to say, so they made it up."

"There is not a word in [the education code] that even hints that you can not pick up the phone and call the student's parent when they are away from school," she said.

Attorney general spokesman Barankin argues "the 'construe' language is a legal term of art that has been applied by courts for decades for the purposes of legislative interpretation."

[WHAT IS A 'LEGAL TERM OF ART'?!! That's what I want to know!]

Anyway, it's kinda fun to see your name in print. Thanks for sharing in my moment of glory. :-)

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Making decisions, or a lack thereof . . .

“What do YOU want to do?”
“I don’t know, what do YOU want to do?”
“Whatever you want to do.”
“Well, I want to do whatever YOU want to do.”

Is this a common conversation in your household too? (It’s also frequently used in the context of “Where do YOU want to eat?”)

We both got home from work late last night and neither of us was really hungry for dinner. After we decided to delay dinner, we tried to lay out a plan for the evening, only to have the above exchange and bemoan each other’s indecisiveness.

It’s funny because, sometimes when we can’t decide what to do, that’s when we have the best time of all. There was a long list of things to be done last night (errands, laundry, etc.) but since we couldn’t decide what to do exactly, we ended up just fooling around on the keyboard. (Errands and laundry are things that will always be there, spontaneous moments with people you love might not always be there.) Kevin is so patient with me. Although I took six years of piano lessons, I’ve hardly touched a piano for nine years. Last night he asked me to play the left hand on a piece of music while he played the right hand. I looked at the key signature and told him that it scared me because it had too many sharps in it. (This, unfortunately, is how rusty I am.) He wouldn’t take “no” for an answer, though, and coaxed me into it. We stumbled through most of it but it turned out to be really fun. The more I think about it, the best “date nights” we’ve had over the past several years have been completely free! It’s those picnics in the park or window-shopping adventures that have been the best fun.

We also got out all of our Christmas CDs and I had some fun with Amy Grant’s Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree while Kevin paid our bills with his computerized money program (which totally confuses me, so I’m glad he can make sense of it). Life is good.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Okay to Lie?

It was one of those random conversations in the car on the way home Sunday night. It started out with an innocent query from me to Kevin:

“If the ninth commandment says ‘Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor,’ is it okay to lie as long as you’re not harming your neighbor?”

It had occurred to me that lying is often the nicest, most helpful, thing to do in certain circumstances. In response to my question, Kevin brought up the scriptural example of Rahab and how she blatantly lied to protect the spies. Yet, despite her lie, God honored her as a hero of faith. It would seem to me that a person with a lot of faith wouldn’t need to lie. But God didn’t hold it against her.

Kevin said that the reason he wouldn’t want to ever lie is because he desires to imitate God and it’s against God’s character to lie. Kevin surmised that God would never lie to us, even for our supposed “good,” because He always deals truthfully with us.

I agree that, as a general rule, all lying should be avoided. This whole exchange, however, made me think more deeply about the topic of ‘lying for a good reason’ (maybe even to help your neighbor or help a righteous cause). It makes me wonder if perhaps some forms of lying are not necessarily sinful. Anyway . . . it’s good food for thought.

[A lot of you people out there probably think that this is yet another illustration of how I always like to push the limits and see what I can get away with. My mom would probably agree with you, quoting many instances from my childhood. In this case, however, I think that it’s merely a desire to philosophize and figure things out that drives me on. Honestly!] ;-)