Sunday, September 30, 2012

John's Adventure

At 8:00 last night, John (on a doctor's advice) called 9-1-1, requesting an ambulance to Mass General Hospital. He knew it was an intestinal blockage. I stayed home, but a friend from church came over for about half-an-hour to pray with me. John had a CAT-scan, and the liquid he drank in preparation had a laxative effect. The scan thankfully showed that the stool was far down enough for an enema, so he had an industrial-strength one, and he got home shortly after 6:30 this morning to spend my birthday with me. Best birthday gift EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Neither of us slept last night, obviously, so we had to miss church, but we're praising the Lord.

John's diet has been good, and he's on prescription laxatives. He drinks plenty of water, though perhaps he had eased up. Between being in a wheelchair and having had colon restructuring, his struggle is to be expected. His doctors are working hard to help him, and we trust the Lord to guide the through all the complexities of John's unique situation. Please pay for those doctors.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Disagree, Correct...Even Scold. But Not Anonymously.

That my anger was sinful is a given. That some, perhaps most people will conclude that my apology is self-serving, incomplete or in some other way unacceptable comes as little surprise. As I wanted a pound of flesh from the Security Guard, so I cannot fault my critics from wanting a pound of flesh from me. So, up to this point, I have not deleted anonymous comments from these blog posts.

However, my comments box clearly asks that people who comment provide a name. In public discourse, it's generally considered reasonable for those who offer dissenting opinions to identity themselves. From this point forward, therefore, I will delete comments (even those favorable to my perspective) that don't offer a first name or an identifying link. That is the policy from now on.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Anger In The (Quincy) Marketplace

Let's cut to the chase. People who read this blog with any regularity have seen me confess countless times that I have a problem with anger. Anger is a sin. Nothing I say will ever justify my repeated failing in this sin. So yes, I have been angry at what happened a week ago. My pastor advised me to use my anger, in hopes that it would promote the rights of people with disabilities, and that was my intent in writing these blog posts.

Clearly I have offended people, both here and on Facebook. Evidently, I have discredited the Lord by expressing my anger, a point that pierces my heart! My struggle is that anger has often led to social reform, as it did when Rosa Parks refused to sit the back of the bus, and as it did when the citizens of Boston hurled the boxes of tea off the English ships. My hope was to use my anger to point out that prejudice that many disabled people face on a daily basis. Prejudice that I have faced almost routinely for 59 very long, disheartening years. Instead, I have...I don't know! I have discredited myself and the Lord Jesus Christ.

All I can ask is for your prayers as I seek to repent of my anger. I can't justify it, although I would like to. One dear, dear friend has suggested that perhaps I feel helpless in the face of cancer possibly returning to my husband's body, and she may well be on to something. I know that when I lose him, I will lose so much independence that I have savored in these last 10 years. And yes, that independence was threatened that day in Quincy Market. Yet understanding the possible source of my anger does not make it any less sinful, and I will have to account for it when I face my God on the day of judgement. I need your prayers that He will grant me the ability to repent of this terrible rage.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

At Least They Threw Me A Bone

Fanuiel Hall/Quincy Market's Director of Public Safety called today, reporting on yesterday's hearing about the Security Guard who profiled me last Thursday. His General Manager, after reading my blog posts and letter (as well as seeing her weep remorsefully--which I fully expected she'd do), determined that she needed two 4-hours days of retraining before being evaluated on her eligibility to return to work, and that she should write me a letter of apology. Additionally, the company insists on sending us food vouchers to use at Quincy Market.

I'm only partially satisfied. Certainly, I'm happy they finally succeeded in convincing her that, had she watched a member of any other minority the way she watched me, it very definitely would have been called profiling. Since this woman is Hispanic, her supervisor got her to understand that she could have been treated in the same way, simply because of her ethnic background. He said it took quite some time and effort to persuade her that what she had done to me was, in fact, profiling as opposed to acting in my "best interest." He also pointed out to her that she hadn't felt a need to monitor protect the man on crutches that was there that day--though you'd think he'd be more vulnerable to attack than a woman in a 300-pound power wheelchair.

Her tears didn't surprise me in the least, to be honest, though I believe she was unprofessional to let them fall at the hearing. I guess it would be speculative on my part to suggest that she used her tears in an attempt to manipulate the General Manager, but I will point out that someone in her line of work really ought to have a better command of emotions.

In today's conversation, it came out that this woman is only part-time at Quincy Market because she has other jobs. People on Facebook have questioned my Christianity because I wanted to see her terminated in such a bad economy, but obviously the Security Guard job is not her only source of income. Truthfully,  I would have preferred seeing someone who really needed a job, and therefore might perform it more responsibly and respectfully, gain her position.

Finally, while the food vouchers are kind of nice, do they take money from the vendors at Quincy Market? Those vendors did nothing wrong, and they shouldn't make restitution for someone else's actions. I'm very uncomfortable with that idea...unless the money is deducted from her paycheck.

Perhaps her retraining, combined with the exercise of writing a letter of apology, will teach her to treat people with respect, regardless of disability, race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. Discrimination, even when such discrimination is intended for someone's "best interest" (which should actually be determined by the person and/or the person's family), remains illegal in this country. I would have liked her to be dismissed entirely, so I could go to Quincy Market without fear of seeing her, but at least disciplinary measures have been taken. I'll take the bone they threw me.

Monday, September 24, 2012

A Click Could Save A Soul

Because I'm short on time, and want to write at length about Fanuiel Hall's legacy as the "Cradle of Liberty," I hadn't planned to post anything today.

So I figured I'd catch up on reading some other blogs, a task I've been neglecting lately. I clicked on the link for Sola Sisters, although I was fairly certain that I'd again find no update since August 30. Well, my fair certainty proved to be correct. Just as I closed the tab, however, I noticed a link entitled How To Be Saved. (Friends, if you've never clicked on any of the links I've posted here, I implore you to click this one!

Within that article, I found a five-minute video that I believe offers a wonderful introduction to the gospel, and I knew it begged to be posted here. I pray the Holy Spirit uses it to touch hearts.

  

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Do Disabled People Have Civil Liberties In The Cradle Of Liberty?

Monday or Tuesday, the CEO of the company that employs Quincy Market's Security Guards will be flying out from Chicago to conduct a termination hearing for the Guard who kept me under surveillance Thursday. In anticipation of this hearing, I've emailed the following letter to the Guard's immediate boss:

Is there any way that my husband and I could be present at the hearing? If so, please let us know, so we can arrange transportation. If the hearing is held between late morning and mid-afternoon, we'd be able to be there.
If, however, the hearing is closed to us (which we would understand), I would greatly appreciate it if you'd raise the following questions and points:

  • Given her defense that she acted in my "best interest," who gave her the authority to determine what my "best interest" was? Couldn't it have been possible that my husband already had determined that I was fully capable of being left alone? Suppose I had come to Boston without an escort? Would she have restrained me when I decided to leave the property?
  • Why did she not question my husband's judgment for leaving me unattended.
  • Did she not realize that she profiled me, simply because I appear to have cognitive impediments?
  • If indeed I did have cognitive impediments, why on earth would I have been left unattended to begin with? Frankly, her decision to keep me under surveillance should call her reasoning skills, rather than my cognitive abilities into question. Therefore, I'd suggest that the company evaluate whether or not she has the capacity to make the type of judgment calls necessary in ensuring Fanuiel Hall/Quincy Market's security.
  • I have written Mayor Menino, telling him that I no longer feel welcome in Boston. I've loved Boston passionately, frequently blogging about it and promoting Quincy Market, but now I realize that the very city that first fought for civil liberties denies those liberties to me. I am now feeling that I have no right to be in public unless I'm constantly under the supervision of someone whom society deems to be competent. It grieves me that Boston has been taken from me.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Letter To Boston's Mayor

Dear Mayor Menino,

My husband and I are both wheelchair users from Randolph who visit Boston frequently (often spending money in eating establishments. I blog about my love for the city, promoting many of its attractions.

Yesterday I went to Quincy Market for a cannoli. My husband went to use the men's room, while I waited in the Rotunda. Almost immediately, a Security Guard approached me (even though I showed no signs of distress), asking if my friend (meaning my husband) would return. I said he'd be back, and she said, "Good--I didn't want you to be alone." (So what if I was alone?)

Then she moved ten feet away from me and, I kid you not, kept me under surveillance. She wasn't doing this to able-bodied women, which indicates that she profiled me simply because of my disability. If she had been treated that way (she's Hispanic), you can rest assured she'd be accusing someone of racial profiling! After a while, she decided to look for my husband, so she called another Security Guard to stand with me.

Her supervisor agreed that both the profiling and the detention were illegal. I had shown no indication of distress or suspicious behavior, other than needing to use a wheelchair. Able-bodied women are allowed to stand in public without harassment, yet because I use a wheelchair and have a speech defect, I apparently must be watched as if I were a child or a criminal.

Quincy Market and Fanuiel Hall symbolize American liberty, and yet I no longer feel as if I have civil liberties in Boston, simply because I use a wheelchair and have a speech defect. I have, through my blog, given those places (as well as Boston in general) excellent publicity up until now, only to discover that severely disabled people are evidently unwelcome and treated as suspicious. I will alert Boston Center for Independent Living and local media of this incident, disappointed that the city I've loved with all my heart rejects people with disabilities.

I'm asking, sir, that something be done to ensure that Boston treats people with disabilities with the same level of dignity and respect that able-bodied people expect. Without that assurance, I cannot feel comfortable visiting Boston, nor can I recommend it to other people with disabilities.

Respectfully,
Deborah etc.

Greater Detail On My Detention At Quincy Market

Yesterday I wrote about the Security Guard who approached me at Quincy Market, obviously disturbed that I was unattended. She, as I reported yesterday, asked if my "friend" would be coming back. When I said yes, she walked ten feet away from me, keeping me under surveillance. After a while, she decided to look for John, so she called another Security Guard to stand with me.

Her supervisor agreed that both the profiling and the detention were illegal. I had shown no indication of distress or suspicious behavior, other than needing to use a wheelchair. Able-bodied women are allowed to stand in public without harassment, yet because I use a wheelchair and have a speech defect, I apparently must be watched as if I were a child or a criminal.

Quincy Market and Fanuiel Hall symbolize American liberty, and yet I no longer feel as if I have civil liberties in Boston, simply because I use a wheelchair and have a speech defect. I have, through this blog, given those places (as well as Boston in general) excellent publicity up until now, only to discover that severely disabled people are evidently unwelcome and treated as suspicious. I will alert Boston Center for Independent Living, Mayor Menino and local media of this incident, disappointed that the city I've loved with all my heart rejects people with disabilities.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Profiled By A Quincy Market Security Guard

Apparently, people with Cerebral Palsy aren't allowed to be in public unattended. I was in Quincy Market waiting for John to use the men's room. Just after he left, a pretty Hispanic female Security Guard came up and asked if my "friend" (not husband, or even boyfriend--because obviously I'm asexual) would be back. I said he'd be back, and she said, "Good--I didn't want you to be alone." (So what if I was alone?)

Then she moved ten feet away from me and, I kid you not, kept me under surveillance. Can anyone say, "profiling"? If she had been treated that way, you can rest assured she'd be accusing someone of racial profiling! Now I feel unable to be alone in Boston, even while poor John tries to relieve his bladder.

I have reported this matter to her superiors, hoping for her termination.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mesmering, But Not Necessarily Accurate

Apologists for Gay Christian theology are, more often than not, startlingly convincing in their use of Scripture in defense of their position. I've viewed a video of Matthew Vines, a young gay man who took a year off from his studies at Harvard to "study" what the Bible really teaches about homosexuality. Admittedly, the first time I sat through his presentation, I was impressed by his apparent grasp of his subject, and even more impressed with his skills in oratory. He must be working toward a law degree...and if I needed a lawyer, I'd hire him in a heartbeat!

Yet, for all his cleverness, this brilliant young man formed his conclusion (that a loving, committed homosexual relationship is not addressed in Scripture and therefore not forbidden), and views the passages through the grid of that conclusion. And he has compelling reason to prove his thesis: he wants to reconcile the Christian faith that he grew up believing with the same sex attractions that he experiences. Simply stated, Matthew Vines wants God to accommodate his desires.

But Matthew Vines' attempt at logic, mesmerizing as it is, fails to withstand scrutiny. I've also been listening to an mp3 of James White (from Alpha & Omega Ministries) that examines Vines' argument point by point. The podcast, a 5-hour compilation of three webcasts of Dr. White's Dividing Line program, may be accessed at Gay Christianity Refuted. I could never do as thorough of a job dealing with the fallacies of pro-gay theology as White does, but I hope he'll teach me some skills in critical thinking.

Matthew Vines' interpretation of Biblical passages regarding homosexuality really goes back to the same theological sleight-of-hand employed by John E. BoswellTroy PerryMel White and Sylvia Pennington--most of whom I read back in 1986. They all, to varying degrees, appear to make plausible cases for God's acceptance of homosexuality, but invariably they rely primarily on personal experience, around which they adapt Scripture.

As much as I'd hope my readers would listen to James White's refutation of Matthew Vines, I realize that five hours of listening (even if you break it up into segments as John and I have been doing) would deter most people. So I will examine the pro-gay spin on Scriptures pertaining to homosexuality in upcoming posts, knowing I can't do as good of a job as White does. May we all learn to read Scripture with honesty and integrity.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Few Points To Bring Clarity

Homosexuality, in and of itself, is not the basis for eternal condemnation. No sin is. Salvation and condemnation depend solely on whether or not a person surrenders to the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, a non-Christian who embraces the homosexual lifestyle isn't any different to me than a non-Christian who engages in any other life-dominating sinful behavior. Regarding such people, the first and most important issue remains their relationship with the Lord. Scripture forbids me from judging any non-Christian.

I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.” ~~1 Corinthians 5:9-13 (ESV)

My concern lies with those who claim to be Christians, and yet proudly embrace homosexuality as their identity, sometimes even advocating same sex marriage or (in states where same sex marriage hasn't yet been legalized) "committed same sex relationships." Such people, just like any Christian who willfully sins and justifies the sin they commit with a false understanding of God's grace, must not expect the Christian community to accept their homosexuality, any more than I should expect Christians to accept my anger (or any of the other sins that I commit routinely).

If a Christian struggles with homosexuality, wanting to repent but failing repeatedly, that's one thing. Every Christian, no matter how mature, struggles with sin (as Paul confessed in Romans 7:15-20), and Christians who battle against any habitual sin with the desire to renounce that sin in favor of living in obedience to the Lord needs compassion and encouragement in his or her quest toward holiness.

However, those who resign themselves to same sex attractions in such a way that they manipulate Scripture into sanctioning homosexuality (which it most assuredly does not) are currently infiltrating the evangelical Church in growing numbers, convincing other Christians that the clear teaching of Scripture is not really what the Bible teaches. Thus, homosexuality within Christian circles is one of the many assaults on Biblical authority plaguing the 21st Century Church. 

This trend of bending the Word of God so that it accommodates sin needs to be exposed, addressed and rebuked. While the Gay Christians Movement represents only one aspect of the problem in post-modern Christianity, it is my starting place in examining this woeful trend. I pray that I can help call Christians back to agreement with God's Word.

Friday, September 14, 2012

To Sit By Her Side, At A 330-Year Distance

One perk of blogging is reading other bloggers. I follow a photo blog called Clueless In Boston, which provides me with an ability to "visit" my beloved adopted city, even when I'm unable to leave the apartment. Last April, when my excursions limited themselves to visiting John in the hospital, this blog offered a sense of connection with Boston that (while not wholly satisfying) gave me a measure of solace.

Clueless posted a photo of Phillis Wheatley's sculpture, which is part of the Boston Women's Memorial on the mall at Commonwealth Ave. I decided, right then and there, that when John recovered, I wanted to see the statue for myself.

At age 7 or 8, Phillis Wheatley came to America from Africa, sold in 1761 to prominent Boston merchant John Wheatley to be a domestic servant and companion to his wife Susanna. The couple's 18-year-old daughter Mary taught the child to read, educating her in the bible, classical languages and poetry. Influenced primarily by the poetry of Alexander Pope, young Phillis began writing poetry of her own, becoming the first African-American woman to be published. J.L. Bell's 1776 blog chronicles her publishing history in detail.

So yesterday, getting a particularly early start going into the city, I convinced John (who needed little convincing) to wheel up the mall in Commonwealth Ave. The Boston Women's Memorial was several blocks up (it took 30 minutes after leaving the Visitor Center at Boston Common to reach it), and I took great pleasure in sitting next to the image of Phillis, who inspires me in my own writing!


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Ignoring Ben Franklin

After John's doctor appointment in Boston yesterday, we skipped the cannoli at Quincy Market in favor of visiting the Old Granary Burial Ground. Wanting to see something a little different than the standard tombs, memorial markers and headstones featured in the tourist-oriented Freedom Trail Walking Tours (nothing against tourists, mind you), I headed toward the obelisk that enshrines Benjamin Franklin's family. Ben Franklin, of course, is buried in Philadelphia, but he was born on Milk Street, baptized at Old South Meeting House and is the most famous drop-out of the Boston Latin School.

 Before I reached the obelisk and its attending sign, however, I stopped to read another sign. One of the graves denoted belonged to Bartholomew Green, whose father Samuel was arguably the first printer in America. Bartholomew worked as a printer for The Boston Newsletter, America's first continuously published newspaper. He succeeded John Campbell as the paper's second editor, distinguishing himself by shifting the emphasis from England's news to news about the Colonies. If we read the map correctly, this is his headstone:
Having studied journalism in college and subsequently served for seven years as managing editor for my church's monthly newsletter, I took great satisfaction in encountering a true pioneer of American journalism. The Internet, alas, has very little information about Bartholomew Green, and sources contradict each other on small points, but I still feel a connection with him.

Benjamin Franklin was an important Founding Father, and perhaps I should have taken more interest in his family's tomb. After all, it's the centerpiece of the burying ground, as well as its most imposing monument. But the headstone of a humble newspaper editor, who receives only brief mention in the annals of American history (possibly because he passed the editorship to his son-in-law, Richard Draper, who also followed him in sympathizing with the Tories), seemed much more interesting to me. Who knew that going to John's doctor would result in me discovering my journalistic founding father?

Monday, September 10, 2012

A Sin Unto Itself?

As I embark on my task of examining the phenomenon of "gay Christians," I find myself constantly returning to the grim truth that, nearly 42 years after committing my life to the Lord Jesus Christ, I still struggle with numerous habitual sins. Some in the Gay Christians Movement might try to accuse me of being self-righteous, simply because I don't experience same sex attractions, and therefore I believe it's crucial for me to reiterate that I do know what it's like to fall into attitudes, thought-patterns and (alas!) behaviors that the Bible condemns.

I do feel compassion for the Christian who, despite holding firm convictions that homosexual activity is sinful, repeatedly lapses into such behavior. I have the same problem...only I lapse into anger, worry, gossip, materialism and other manifestations of sin too numerous to mention. Dare I single out homosexuality, then, as being somehow more sinful than the sins I commit? Is homosexuality in a unique category of being more odious to God than the sins in my life?

According to the Bible, homosexuality doesn't appear to be a sin above all others. On the contrary, the Word of God presents it as one of many sins that require the Lord's cleansing.

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. ~~1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (ESV)

I see several items within that catalog that indict me. Homosexuality nestles right in there, no better nor no worse than other acts that offend the Holy Spirit. Yes, it is sin, and utterly unacceptable to the God who calls Christians to holiness. So are many of my behaviors. That being the case, I must be careful to broach the topic of "gay Christians" with humility, understanding and acknowledging my own failings and rejoicing in the grace of God that empowers me to repent.

Friday, September 7, 2012

John's Fishy Birthay

My boy (if I may refer to my 63-year-old husband as "my boy") wanted to celebrate his birthday at the New England Aquarium. Actually it rained on his birthday, so our excursion was a day later, when Boston surrounded itself in beautiful weather, making it extremely pleasurable to propel our power wheelchairs from South Station up the Rose Kennedy Greenway.

Rather than trying to narrate our experience, let me show you some of the amazing sea creatures we encountered:

We also enjoyed a wonderful Caesar salad with grilled salmon at Legal Seafood, and our journey home on the Commuter Rail with our train buddy. After all John has been through this past year (giving us reason to wonder if he'd even have another birthday), yesterday's celebration was well-deserved!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

God Told Me To Write This Post

Well, no, God actually didn't give me such specific instruction, and the title of this post is designed to add a touch of ironic humor. Yes folks, I'm returning to the topic of whether or not God speaks to us apart from Scripture. I do so because so many Christians have migrated away from the belief in the sufficiency of God's Word. As a result of this migration into subjectivity, we've adulterated the Word of God with our own agendas, interpreting it through a grid of personal experience and self-service when we ought to evaluate personal experience through it and then obey the Holy Spirit's direction in its pages.

God didn't "speak to my heart" and instruct me to write this post. The idea came from the Pyromaniacs blog (which may well be my favorite blog), in which Dan Phillips posted Untangling (too) terse words about affirming sufficiency and meaning it. Please make the time to read his post, as well as the comments which follow. Although my dream is to blog with "the big kids" like Team Pyro, I'm admittedly still in the sandbox, and can't develop my case as powerfully as Mr. Phillips has. Yet, I want to use his post as a springboard for the direction I'm taking my blog.

This blog is, in part, about what I create as I operate my computer's keyboard to create artwork and musings, but it's also a platform to share the thoughts and ideas that rumble through my mind. And with increasing frequency, those thoughts focus on the liberal theology that has invaded evangelical churches, wooing us away from sound doctrine until we're indistinguishable from the world. Part of our descent into worldliness, I believe, manifests itself in subjective spirituality instead of a resolute dependence on the clear teaching of Scripture.

We busy ourselves straining to hear His "still small voice" when we ought to put effort into the things that He's plainly revealed in His Word. For instance, 1 Thessalonians 5:12-22 (ESV) reads:

12 We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14 And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle,[c] encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. 15 See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies, 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.

Did you notice that second phrase in verse 18? "For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." How many of us obey His instructions even in this short paragraph? I'm not raising my hand, and unless you're either self-deceived or terribly dishonest, you won't raise yours either! So, if we haven't yet learned to follow the guidance He's given us in the Bible, what makes any of us think that He would bother to give us personal revelation? Could He trust us to obey something He "whispers to our hearts" when we don't even submit to the precepts He's plainly spelled out in the Bible?

The burden of proof is on those who claim God speaks to them.

Monday, September 3, 2012

That's What You Think

There's thinking, and then there's thinking. The first type of thinking, meaning examining something carefully and critically, is essential in Christian growth. God's Word both deserves and requires serious study in order to accurately understand His perspective and, as a result, conform our lives to His will. It's crucial to think about our actions and surroundings from a Biblical perspective, making sure we are led by the Holy Spirit (in alignment with Scripture) rather than by feelings and impulses that have no objective anchor.

But thinking based on subjective opinion or mystical experience has nothing to do with Biblical Christianity.

Have you ever been in a Bible Study where someone said, "This is what the verse means to me"? That statement implies that we are free to impose our viewpoints on the Word of God, molding it to accommodate our preconceived ideas, expectations and agendas. What we may think a passage say, however, may or may not be what the Holy Spirit intended when He inspired its writing. We must endeavor not to impose our fallible human thoughts (no matter how plausible they seem) onto His Word.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
    and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
    giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
    it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
    and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. ~~Isaiah 55:8-11 (ESV)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Probably More Than You Want To Know

We played this game at the anniversary party:

Questions and Answers for John and DebbieLynne's Anniversary Party

Correct answers marked with an asterisk*

1. John and DebbieLynne met:

a) When John traveled to California for a Christian conference
b) In an online chat room for disabled singles*
c) In an online forum for history buffs
d) In an online forum for Christians with disabilities.

2. John proposed:

a) On the last day of DebbieLynne's first visit (0ctober 12, 1998), when he came to her hotel for breakfast
b) During an online chat on March 31, 1999
c) On June 21, 2001 at the site of the Boston Tea Party Ships And Museum*
d) At Legal Seafoods, June 15, 2000, as they shared chocolate mousse

3. They did not dance at their wedding because:

a) John had the CD in his backpack, which he took off of his wheelchair for the wedding*
b) DebbieLynne was too shy
c) John was still recovering from a broken leg
d) The Flower Girl cut in

4. For their first Christmas as a married couple, John bought DebbieLynne:

a) A toaster from Walmart
b) A nightgown from Lane Bryant*
c) A pearl necklace from Jarrod's
d) A gift certificate to Home Depot

5. For their first anniversary dinner, they shared:

a) Chocolate mousse at Legal Seafoods
b) A really bad omlette at South Station*
c) A cannoli at Mike's Pastries
d) Prime rib at Outback Steakhouse

6. John's most memorable Boston Adventure was:

a) Getting in to to see the Stanley Cup at TD Garden
b) Trying to go to "The Tomb" in Back Bay, which had no wheelchair access, and then wheeling all the way to Back Bay Station.
c) Pulling DebbieLynne's manual wheelchair around the Museum of Fine Arts and putting a hole in the wall when he misjudged a turn
d) Wheeling up a very steep, very narrow path at Mt. Auburn Cemetary because DebbieLynne insisted on seeing Longfellow's tomb*

7. DebbieLynne's favorite Boston Adventure was:

a) The Americans In Paris exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, where she sat transfixed gazing at Whistler's Mother for 15 minutes
b) Visiting Louisa May Alcott's house in Concord*
c) Seeing Longfellow's house in Cambridge
d) Actually touching the house where Abigail Adams lived early in her marriage to John Adams

8. When John and DebbieLynne celebrated their sixth anniversary by going to Salem, they:

a) Had to repent because they visited the Witch Museum
b) Discovered the restaraunt, In A Pig's Ear, had a 5-inch step at the entrance, and ended up dining on penny candy from the House Of Seven Gables gift shop*
c) Missed the ferry back to Boston, so had to wheel all the way back to the Salem Commuter Rail Station, almost using up their batteries
d) All of the above

9. DebbieLynne got obnoxious at Plymouth Plantation by:

a) Convincing John to drag race their wheelchairs through the settlement
b) Singing God Save The King at random intervals
c) Pretending she was a soothsayer and predicting that Massachusetts would legalize same sex marriage
d) Asking really obscure questions, and asking tons of them*

10. John and DebbieLynne attribute their marital happiness to:

a) Sharing chocolate mousse at Legal Seafoods
b) Having married later in life
c) The good communication that they have with each other
d) The Lord Jesus Christ, who brought them together and guides them through the clear teaching of Scripture and His Holy Spirit*

Note: All the choices in Questions 6 and 7 really happened.

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