November 25, 2008
So if you wanted the latest end-of-the-world news, here you go:
UN Celebrates Israel’s Upcoming Birthday
via Collideoscope by Ron Giesecke on 11/25/08
By calling for their destruction:
NEW YORK – The President of the UN General Assembly has launched an unprecedented attack on a UN member state from the Assembly podium. Going beyond even existing UN resolutions, Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann of Nicaragua accused Israel of apartheid and called for “a campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions” against it. Reminiscent of a classic antisemitic slur, Brockmann (himself a Roman Catholic priest and one-time official of the World Council of Churches) also claimed our Palestinian “brothers and sisters are being crucified” by Israel.
These remarks, made yesterday, underscore a biblical principle that may play itself out very soon (“I will bless those that bless Israel”). If America joins the rest of the haters diplomatically, then the jig is up for us. I fear that the only thread preventing America’s plummet into the raging antimsemitic chasm–and ultimately our demise– is about to be cut.
The Coming Economic Monolith
via Collideoscope by Ron Giesecke on 11/24/08
Usually, I’d dilute this kind of news with the following joke:
“Economists have predicted ten out of the last three recessions.”
But this guy’s really, really sure of himself when he says all financials will be owned by the government within a year:
It’s not preferable, but all major U.S. financial companies will eventually be under government control because the alternative is so much worse, Hugh Hendry, chief investment officer at hedge fund Eclectica Asset Management, said Friday.
“All financials will be owned by the U.S. government in a year,” Hendry said. “I bet you.”
Nationalizations take dramatic losses from the private sector and places them on the larger balance sheet of the public sector, he said.
“It’s not good,” but society is vulnerable and society is going to have to intervene, Hendry said.
And when smart guys with hair that sticks up all over make these kinds of pronouncements, I tend to take notice. Not a good thing. At. all.
Video of Mr. Hendry’s full comments can be viewed here.
HIV/AIDS Patients to Be Tagged with RFID Chips – Gizmodo
via Google News on 11/25/08
HIV/AIDS Patients to Be Tagged with RFID Chips
Gizmodo – 1 hour ago
By Jesus Diaz , 2:36 PM on Tue Nov 25 2008, 526 views In the ultimate Nazi-inspired exercise of destruction of the most basic human rights, Indonesian politicians are planning to tag all HIV/AIDS patients with radio frequency identification chips.
November 21, 2008
Posted by davisbaby under musings 1 Comment
My 16-month-old daughter is learning to talk. Well, she talks already, but in her own language, so I guess I should say she’s learning English. She knows a number of words, like dog, baby, bye-bye, amen and the obligatory mama, dada and nana. She’s also learned to repeat a phrase she hears from me often: good girl. She doesn’t pronounce it perfectly, but I recognize it because she repeats it after she hears me say it. Whether she obeys something I’ve asked, or finishes her food or accomplishes a new feat, I’m quick to point out I’ve noticed and appreciate what she’s done.
Today in the car, though, she said it without my prompting. “Good girl?” she seemed to ask. My heart swelled when I heard her ask and I assured her, “Yes, good girl.”
I also recognized the question as one that’s near to my own heart. I often find myself asking God, “Good girl?” I don’t use those exact words, but the intention is the same. I long for some reassurance now and again from my Heavenly Father that I please Him, that I’m living in the way He intends for me to, that I’m moving in the right direction.
Seven times in the first chapter of Genesis God looked at his creation and “saw that it was good.” He didn’t say it was good. Things that he said were spoken into existence. He simply saw that those things were good. He never said it. And as much as my heart asks, “Am I good?” I never get an answer.
With the introduction of the tree of knowledge of good and evil in chapter two of Genesis and the subsequent rebellion, humanity fell into a state of sin that could only be redeemed by the arrival of the good news in the New Testament. While those who accept that good news are in the process of being redeemed, the total restoration won’t be complete until the life after this.
Because of that, there is no one who is good, but God (this echoes throughout the Bible in Psalms 14:1-3; 53:1-3, Ecclesiastes 7:20 and Romans 3:12). But we do have the option of acting good until our original created nature is restored. “Model the good,” The Message translation says. “The person who does good does God’s work” (3 John 1:11).
I often have to correct my toddler’s behavior; I recognize that she’s not always a “good” girl. It’s my job to shape, mold and direct her behavior. And when she is “good,” she’s simply modeling behavior that I’ve taught her. Her motivation for repeating that behavior is the positive reinforcement she gets from me.
I realize that God has given me tools to do the same. I can read His word (and then do it), I can practice spiritual disciplines to increase the Holy Spirit’s ability to guide me, and I can surround myself with fellow believers who model the “good” – God’s work.
If I do that work faithfully, I do have a promise in His word that I will finally hear: “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ (Matthew 25:23, NIV). That will be a good thing, indeed.
November 19, 2008
I’ve bought and sold a number of items through the free classifieds on Craigslist.org over the years. I’ve met a myriad of people from all walks of life through it, and today I had the privilege of getting to know one of them.
Miriam responded to my ad for some of my baby girl’s dresses for sale. I offered four of them as a lot and she wondered if I could sell one separately, the teal one with the smocked collar, and if I could meet her for the exchange. The divided price of the lot would make it just $7.50 – hardly worth a special trip for her or for me, but I felt like I need the money, so I figured, why not?
We met at Chick-fil-A just down the road from where she dropped her two boys off for school this morning. She walked in with a full-term belly, dressed warmly for our first cold Florida day in a black turtleneck, dark jeans and tan suede boots. We met and she sat down to talk a few minutes.
The dress I sold her is for the child she’s expecting. Her due date’s tomorrow. She’s a doula by trade but had to quit working a while back because of some health issues that developed before the pregnancy. Miriam has a cyst on her brain, which has caused excruciating and debilitating headaches. She also has a thyroid problem. She suffered through immense pain and dozens of medications until her life was coming to a complete halt. Her quality of life had diminished, and she was barely eating and taking care of herself. She was unable to enjoy and nurture her two young boys the way she wanted. She got fed up.
She says with the help of God she slowly got off the meds, changed her diet and exercise regime. Little by little, the pain has gone away. She is still looking into medical options for the cyst in the event it does become an issue, but for the most part, she’s preparing to be a mom again, this time to a little girl, who I can only imagine will be as beautiful as her mother.
Before her health issues began to take over her life, Miriam worked for a teen “life” center that steers at-risk teens away from having abortions. She talked about how they pray with the kids, encourage them to give the babies up for adoption and accompany them at the birth (most have no family support). I couldn’t help but parallel this Miriam to the Bible’s Miriam, Moses’ sister, who hid him in the bulrushes to save him from Pharaoh’s decree that newborn Hebrew boys be killed. Her work was not only life-giving and affirming, it helped change the course of history. What a beautiful mission.
Miriam reflected on what she and her husband have been through and said that bad things happen, but they’ve learned to adjust their perspective about them. She believes that they only serve to help you appreciate and value what’s most important in life.
I briefly shared with Miriam about my journey the past year – of having a baby, losing a grandparent then a parent – and how it has caused me to pause for reflection with questions like, What’s important in this life? Am I really pursuing the things that matter? Does the way I respond to hardship reflect the faith I say I have?
What I didn’t tell her was meeting her has also impacted me greatly today. It has reminded me that being a mother doesn’t mean I have to neglect my own health and wellbeing –to the contrary, much depends on me being healthy.
Miriam’s story and her attitude about life is peppered with grace, thankfulness and hope – things I find myself short of often. Miriam has a beautiful spirit about her – an inner beauty that spills out. That’s got to be God’s grace in her life. I wonder if others could say the same of me.
She asked me to keep in touch and to let her know when I’m ready to sell more of Madilyn’s things. I’ll do that, and more. I’m going to be praying for Miriam – praying for her complete healing so that she can continue her work in whatever capacity she chooses and that her two boys and her girl can watch and learn about their loving Creator from one who has submitted her life wholly to Him. I’ll be praying for myself, too, that I will always be open and receptive to the unusual ways that God speaks into my life – including through total strangers connecting through the Internet.
November 16, 2008
Posted by davisbaby under Book Reviews
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November 16, 2008
Holy Curiosity: Encountering Jesus’ Provocative Questions (Baker Books)
by Winn Collier
Winn Collier writes with a pastor’s heart and a journalist’s inquisitiveness. The combination fits well as the title to his new book, Holy Curiosity. In it, Collier takes a look at a handful of well-placed, probing questions that Jesus asked His followers.
Unpacking these inquiries create a fascinating framework for successful Christian living today. With questions like: Who condemns you? Why are afraid? How much bread do you have? Why do you doubt? What do you want? Collier hits on heart issues like shame, fear, doubt and desire that often prevent Christians from living in authentic, deep relationship with God and others.
Collier weaves in ancient and contemporary insights for a well-rounded, soul-stirring read that ends all too soon. Any Christian who wrestles with questions of faith will find a kindred spirit here.
November 5, 2008
Part of the reason I started this blog was so I could plant seeds that I could cultivate into articles. Thankfully I’m seeing that happen, albeit slowly.
Here are two recent articles published on the world wide web of ours:
The Fear Factor: A Christian Response to Economic Crisis
by Cara Davis
Good Grief: Joy Has a Twin Named Sorrow
By Cara Davis