Thursday, January 31, 2008
If I created a universe, I would create one that was "very Jason." The things that I liked would be the things that were considered "good," and the beings that I created in my image would rejoice in those things like I do. And it would be that way not because I thought about it, but because it was a reflection of my nature as the creator. In my universe, 1 Corinthians 13 would say, "And now these three remain: peanut M&M's, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and Star Wars. But the greatest of these is Star Wars." Come to think of it, this universe is probably better than mine would be. But the point remains: The stuff that we see as good is the stuff God likes; the reason we see it as good is because He likes it. This universe is indicative of His preferences; it's "very God." It all boils down to this, my one-liner Philosophy of Goodness:
When we say "God is good," we're not describing what God is, we're describing what good is -- good is God.
Go read the whole thing.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
My anchors are now the prayers that are implanted throughout my day. I am no longer running in scattered circles, from cleaning up breakfast to starting laundry to dressing the kiddos to dressing myself and back to breakfast, and the reckless-mom-cycle continued all day long until I collapsed on the couch utterly disgusted with myself because nothing got done, and I was exhausted.
Now, my days are broken into "before prayer" and "after prayer." I, too, light candles at the start of evening and stop my work (except nighttime routine) and the children love the lit candles. It brings a sort of calmness upon our home and a completion to the day.
That is a perfect encapsulation of my experience as well. I am thrilled to hear that it works for others as well!
I understand wanting to tell new converts that they don’t need to give up one identity for another. It sounds so compassionate.
But the truth is more stark than that. Choices are not quite so rosy. When you are raised in one religion, choosing to convert to another involves all kinds of loss: a loss of culture, of friendships, of dozens of family traditions. Christian converts make that choice not because they convince themselves that they aren’t really losing anything; they make that choice because they believe Jesus is worth the loss.Either Jesus is worth the loss or he isn’t. Soft-pedaling that choice does not make it go away.
This really resonates with me. When I was an atheist at a very religious university, people would sometimes try to evangelize by telling me that I wouldn't have to change anything, that being a Christian was all fun and games, so to speak. Not only was that message inaccurate, but it was not compelling.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
When someone asks you if you're married, single, or divorced, simply answering "I’m divorced" does not quite express the drowning feeling that comes with realizing one person cannot hold down a full-time job, keep the house decent, keep food in the fridge, keep close watch on the children’s schoolwork, friends, spiritual upbringing, encourage them to grow in faith and virtue, keep the lawn tended, manage maintenance and improvements on the house, take care of the pets, make sure the children practice their instruments and do their homework, take them to basketball practice or the occasional gymnastics program, make sure the laundry gets done, pay the bills on time, manage the endless stacks of papers that seem to accumulate all over the house, take the children to the dentist, the doctor, arrange for childcare when school is not in session, and so on endlessly...
My husband was raised by a single mother, so this post was particularly touching to me.
via Jennifer Roback Morse
Monday, January 28, 2008
[I am] proud to be a single-issue voter. I am as proud to be so as the abolitionists were proud to vote motived by their strong beliefs in the immorality and injustice of slavery; I consider those brave men and women to be, in a manner of speaking, the spiritual ancestors of all who, like me, find no more space in which to tolerate the legalized killing of the unborn than the abolitionists could find in which to tolerate the bloody chains of slavery.
Read the whole thing.
via Driving Out the Snakes
Friday, January 25, 2008
Thursday, January 24, 2008
[A]n ancient European philosophy that held that plants bearing parts that resembled human body parts, animals, or other objects, had useful relevancy to those parts, animals or objects. [...]
Christian European metaphysics expanded this philosophy in theology. According to the Christian version, the Creator had so set his mark upon Creation, that by careful observation one could find all right doctrine represented...and even learn the uses of a plant from some aspect of its form or place of growing.
Here's an interesting page with some examples. Disclaimer: I have no idea if there's any validity to this, I mainly thought it was interesting because I'd never noticed how much certain foods do resemble the body parts of mammals.
If you've been trying to communicate to your friends in the Latino community that Heath Ledger has tragically died telling them, "Heath Ledger esta muerto" but have been confounded and angered by their replies of "Me gusto Cocktail pero el video es loco, cabron!" we might have figured out why. Apparently, at least according to the geniuses at Google Translate, the Spanish for Heath Ledger is Tom Cruise. Interestingly, the Spanish for Tom Cruise is Tom Cruise.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
That central image of God being stabbed and vanishing into dust is a paramount one to the emotional nature of atheists. The atheist (I speak from personal experience) feels like someone fighting a ghost. An atheist utters a simple and logical argument to show why no one should believe in God, and yet, for some reason, the belief in God persists. No matter how often you clobber the ghost, not matter how frail and insubstantial it seems, the damned thing just won't die.
It does not make sense. Reasonable people cannot believe such nonsense, yet, for some reason, everyone does, everyone you admire, all the great figures of history, all your ancestors. The stress of facing the impossible warps the mind: something has to give.
Read the rest. The comments are also interesting.
I take a deep breath and step away from the maternity section (after noting bitterly that now, now, of course, they're selling pretty maternity clothes. As soon as I get pregnant, though, they'll take them all away and start showing clown outfits again).
The mistakes began right away.
First, I try to repair thirty-three years of dressing timidly . . . with a single purchase. I begin to hunt for something completely opposite from my usual taste, because, after all, this one needs to count! If I'm going to take the radical step of actually picking something out, instead of just mysteriously finding it in my closet, it might as well be interesting, right?
If you have ever had a bad clothes-buying trip, read the rest.
Monday, January 21, 2008
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Saturday, January 19, 2008
On a first-lady goodwill tour of Asia...Mrs. Clinton had been in Nepal and been briefly introduced to the late Sir Edmund Hillary, conqueror of Mount Everest. Ever ready to milk the moment, she announced that her mother had actually named her for this famous and intrepid explorer. The claim "worked" well enough to be repeated at other stops and even showed up in Bill Clinton's memoirs almost a decade later, as one more instance of the gutsy tradition that undergirds the junior senator from New York.
Sen. Clinton was born in 1947, and Sir Edmund Hillary and his partner Tenzing Norgay did not ascend Mount Everest until 1953.
Read the rest here.
via Snarky Bastards
As we look back at how [leopars in biblical times] were treated, on what a sad and horrible life these people must have lived, we can't help but be moved with pity. [...]
It's tough to find a better real life analogy of sin than leprosy. Like people with leprosy of the body, poeple can also have leprosy of the soul. Sin so often begins slowly, but steadily grows. It causes our soul to become numb and decay one piece at a time. If left untreated, it brings about a slow death.
But I wonder what we'd see if when we looked at a person we saw their soul instead of their body. Since we all have sinned, we would see a world full of lepers of varying degrees.
Read the rest here.
Friday, January 18, 2008
I think one of the most offensive things about Christianity for those who have chosen to hate it is that there's really no room for self pity in the Christian framework. [...]
Christ denies us that self-indulgence, by having drunk deeper from the cup of human suffering than any of us. We cannot cry to the Christian God that He knows not how we suffer. He does, and more, and he was there first.
Read the rest.
Everyone agrees that marriage, whatever else it is or does, is a relationship in which persons are united. But what are persons? And how is it possible for two or more of them to unite? According to the view implicit in sexual-liberationist ideology, the person is understood as the conscious and desiring aspect of the self. The person, thus understood, inhabits a body, but the body is regarded (if often only implicitly) as a subpersonal part of the human being. [...]
The alternate view of what persons are is the one embodied in both our historic law of marriage and what Isaiah Berlin once referred to as the central tradition of Western thought....[that] a human person is a dynamic unity of body, mind, and spirit. The body, far from being a mere instrument of the person, is intrinsically part of the personal reality of the human being.
Read the rest here.
via A Shepherd's Voice
"Who in their right mind would ever need more than 640k of ram!?"
-- Bill Gates, 1981
"Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons."
-- Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
-- Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943
"I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won't last out the year."
-- The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957
See the rest here.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
An inmate is suing the Utah Department of Corrections for denying him his right to practice an ancient Nordic religion while behind bars. [...]
In the lawsuit, Polk says he has been a member of the Asatru faith since 2005, and in order to properly practice it he needs items including: a Thor's Hammer, a prayer cloth, a Mead Horn used for drinking Wassail, a drum made of wood and boar skin, a rune staff and a sword.
We call this a free country and our prisoners can't even have Mead Horns and rune staffs?!
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
In a recent study, marketing professors Eric Eisenstein and Stephen Hoch found that most folks underestimated how much savings would grow and how much debt would end up costing.
The problem: People think in terms of simple interest, not compound interest. For instance, if our investments clock 8% a year for 10 years, we don't earn 80%, as many people assume.
Rather, we would notch a cumulative 116%. Remember, we earn returns not only on our original investment, but also on the investment gains earned in earlier years. Similarly, with credit-card debt, we pay interest both on our original purchases and on any monthly interest charges we didn't pay off in full.
Experts believe there is a mix of reasons: a decline in contraceptive use, a drop in access to abortion, poor education and poverty.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Monday, January 14, 2008
Sunday, January 13, 2008
via Like Merchant Ships
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
I truly believe that we have to work within the limits of our vocation to truly be happy. Otherwise there is no end to what we will attempt.
I think that that is a very interesting observation, and one that I hadn't considered. Read the rest here.
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Results from a new study in laboratory mice show that nighttime exposure to artificial light stimulated the growth of human breast tumors by suppressing the levels of a key hormone called melatonin. The study also showed that extended periods of nighttime darkness greatly slowed the growth of these tumors.
Read the rest here.
Monday, January 7, 2008
Friday, January 4, 2008
(I originally found this site via Like Merchant Ships, when Meredith linked to his decision not to accept most ads anymore. Based on the amount of traffic that site seems to get, that must have been a big financial sacrifice. Impressive.)
via Mommy Life