Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sloppy

Who hasn't seen a variant of the following claim:


Did you konw taht MSOT of the tmie poelpe can raed wrod out of oerdr as lnog as the fsrit and lsat lteters are in oerdr cuase ur bairn raed it as wrods not ltetrs



At first, I thought it was interesting. Then, because I'm not a good speller, I felt reassured by the thought that I could misspell words without it really mattering. It certainly offers a sense of liberation, doesn't it?


Yesterday, I read the above quote on the Facebook status update of a young girl in my church. This time, however, I felt more troubled than anything else. I commented:



Just don't use that idea to excuse poor spelling (or poor grammar, for that matter). A concern I have about online chat and texting is that, in using abbreviations and shortcuts, we'll continue losing respect for the English language.


In the past four decades, Western society has gotten sloppy about many things--not  just spelling. Manners are rare. People dress casually for most events. Children address adults by their first names (both my nieces, from early ages, called me "Deb" rather than "Aunt Deb"). Neatness and orderliness, once valued as common standards in all areas of life, now appear to be matters of personal preference.


Isn't that sad?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Little Slice of Boredom

Sometimes, I'll log on to Facebook and stare at that Status Update box. "What's on your mind?" it asks.

Prior to logging in, I've spent an hour in personal Bible Study and between 10 and 20 minutes reading political blogs. One or the other is usually on my mind. Or else I'm anticipating the same lunch as I have most days, which bores me to tears, but I need to eat for health reasons. Or else I see someone else's update, and it troubles me. Or I'm thinking about something too personal to post online. Or too mundane. Or too complex to explain in that little box. Or about stuff that I doubt would interest anyone (history, art, literature).

Often, I will post about the Lord. Few people comment. I guess it bores them. I get comments if I post about politics...mostly negative. So I try to be sparing about those to types of updates.

Most days, I stare at that box, watching the cursor blink impatiently. Man, I'm a boring person! It gets ridiculous. Why am I letting that blinking cursor terrorize me? Finally, I type, figuring if I babble on long enough, I can formulate something! And I always do!

Maybe one day I'll just type, "How 'bout those Yankees?" No...I'd be run out of Boston. Hey, but no one would call me boring...!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Boston Tea Party...2010

Who would have thought a rally celebrating conservative values would be radical? But there we were on Boston Common yesterday, protesting high taxes and government encroachment, exercising the free speech that we see slipping away under the guise of "Hate-Crime" laws. You betcha! John and I enjoyed the blessing of attending the Tea Party Express rally!



Although John and I got on a subway that miraculously skipped three stops, we arrived at the Common just after Sarah Palin finished speaking. Still, we wove our wheelchairs through the crowds, and got a spot just behind the press corps.



Actually, I found it interesting watching them, wondering what they were thinking.  Did our arguments make sense to any of them? Did they see that we're neither racist nor hate-mongers? Admittedly, one of the speakers was a bit off the wall (John and I found her embarrassing because of her remarks about the President), but most speakers merely expressed concern and frustration with this administration's policies. Those policies, quite frankly, do feel like socialism.


Our favorite speakers were William and Selena Owens (please click HERE for a brief bio on them). John managed to get a good photo of William:





I liked William's comment, in reference to President Obama, that "it's not about pigmentation; it's about policy!" As someone who wanted very much to have had the opportunity to vote for either Alan Keyes or Condeleeza Rice in 2008, I can assure you that William Owens is correct!

Flags with thirteen stars encircling the Roman numeral II symbolized America's second Tea Party. Bright yellow flags bore the slogan, "Don't Tread On Me." And I felt hope that we just might reclaim the America that Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and the lesser-known framers of our constitution worked so hard to create.

 



As I listened to various speakers, I thought back to all the Freedom Trail tours John and I have taken. Many of the same ideas the Tea Party speakers proclaimed echoed John Adams, James Otis, Paul Revere and Samuel Adams. I thought of that meeting in 1773, when people just as angry about rising taxes then as we are now marched from the Old South Meeting House to Griffith's Wharf dressed as Mohawk Indians and dumped tea into Boston Harbor. And I knew James Otis would approve of yesterday's rally.





Monday, April 12, 2010

Father

My dad died when I was just turning ten, so I'm very far from being an expert on fatherhood. But my personal Bible study today prompted me to think about what fathers are supposed to be, and how God demonstrates Himself to be my Father.

The first verse I studied was 1 Peter 1:17:

And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear;

I asked myself why, if I enjoy a Father-daughter relationship with God, would I need to conduct my earthly life in fear? Doesn't knowing Him as Father suggest intimacy and security? Isn't the relationship based on warm fuzzies? I thought about Floyd McClung's book, The Father Heart of God (popular in the late 1980s), which emphasized God's tenderness and compassion. After reading that book (which I'm certainly not recommending at this point in my walk with the Lord), I distanced myself from verses like 1 Peter 1:17 in favor of viewing Him simply as "Daddy."

Yes, there's definitely a place for calling Him "Abba, Father" (Romans 8:15). He's been kind and compassionate (and extremely patient) with me during these 39 years that I've been a Christian, and I'm secure in His love for me.

But I think generations before Baby-Boomers had a respect for fathers and authority that has been lost. Fathers no longer "know best." If they're around at all, it seems they're generally one of the kids. So kids naturally find it absurd to respect them. By extension, they think of God as a cosmic Buddy, rather than a the Holy Lord who desires obedient children.

I zoomed out from 1 Peter 1:17 to read it in context. Look at verses 13-21:


13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”[c]
17 And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you 21 who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

Do you catch the sense that God expects His children to behave in a manner that reflects His holiness? Yes, He wants us to experience His love, but His primary concern is reproducing His nature in us. And He does so through administering discipline. As a matter of fact, His discipline actually verifies that we are His children, as Hebrews 12:5-11 teaches:

5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:


      “ My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD,
      Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
       6 For whom the LORD loves He chastens,
      And scourges every son whom He receives.”[a]

7 If[b] you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Clearly, I know I'm God's daughter because He confronts me with my sin and teaches me how to live in righteousness. 

As I see it, fearing God helps us to grow up. Again, we need the balance of knowing His grace and compassion. Personally, I absolutely rely on His forgiveness, and His mercy sustains me. But having respect for His authority, and obeying Him, helps me crawl into His lap at the end of the day, secure in knowing that my Daddy loves me.




Saturday, April 10, 2010

I'm Busy!

I haven't posted any new artwork in quite some time. And what's more, I don't intend to post any today. But that doesn't mean I've been  neglecting Paint Shop Pro. Actually, quite the opposite! I've joined PSP Family, which offers tutorials, weekly challenges and an online forum where digital artists can ask questions and exchange ideas. I've already picked up a few tips.

Also, I've been looking through a various Paint Shop Pro tutorial websites (I've bookmarked roughly 28 of them). I don't follow any tutorials exactly anymore (unless it's for something technical such as doing a screen capture, saving a Tube or making a seamless tile). Rather, I pick up ideas here and there, and I experiment!

My latest kick is creating textures. I'm just this week getting creative with textures, and I'll probably "strut my stuff" by putting a new background on this blog at some point. Right now, however, I'm simply learning new techniques and exploring. Sometimes, my attempts result in disasters, which I'll never let anyone see, but more and more, I'm creating some really interesting effects.

Don't worry--I'll be posting some of my creations soon. But not before I've gotten comfortable with them. And be assured, my comfort level is increasing. Just remember, you see only the results, but I have to work through the process!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

I Know My Redeemer Lives

Easter is my favorite holiday. I love the breakfast at church, the kids dressed in their cute clothes, and the feeling that winter is finally over (a feeling greatly intensified as a result of living through eight New England winters).

But the real joy of Easter...rather, of Resurrection Sunday, is celebrating Christ's victory over sin and death. Because He rose again, I know my future goes far beyond my last breath on earth! As He rose with a physical body, so He will raise me with a glorified body, free from sin! I will see His Face, and will spend eternity worshiping Him!

I know my Redeemer lives!

Who Needs Bunnies or Colored Eggs?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday: Under the Lord's Control

My personal Bible reading time today gave me a fresh perspective on Christ's death, and I wanted to share what I wrote about it. I pray the Holy Spirit will use my notes to challenge and encourage some of you.

Mat 27:50  And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.
Mat 27:51  Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split,
Mat 27:52  and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised;
Mat 27:53  and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.
Mat 27:54  So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, "Truly this was the Son of God!"

4/2/10:


Verse 50: Jesus didn't die from crucifixion; He yielded up His spirit! He took complete control! The world may think it's victorious, but God is orchestrating everything behind the scenes to accomplish His purposes. The Jews handed Him over to Pilate, and the Gentiles nailed Him to the Cross, be He died of His own accord, choosing the moment. His death was not Satan's victory. Is was His!

Verses 51-56: At that point, God began to demonstrate His power. He tore the veil of the temple, showing that man now had free access to Him (Jesus was the final sacrifice for sin). I'm not sure why the earth quaked or why the rocks split, although certainly both occurrences demonstrated God's power.  It's curious to me that only Matthew mentions the dead saints rising from their graves after Christ's Resurrection...that must have  been something!

But the point is that the centurions at the Cross saw enough manifestations of God's power that they recognized Jesus as the Son of God. Only hours earlier, they had been mocking Him, daring Him to show His divinity by escaping death. But in fact, the very results of His death convinced them.

I can apply this passage by learning that Jesus validates Himself on His terms, not mine. I can pray for certain things that I believe will glorify Him, but He will answer His way, knowing better than I how to demonstrate His power. As He yielded up His spirit, so He will control everything else!


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