Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Piper clip

If you scroll to the bottom of this page, I posted I posted a youtube clip of what John Piper had to say concerning the election. I don't necessarily agree with all that he says, but I thought it was interesting and good food for thought.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A change of focus

I have been so overwhelmed with thought and emotion about the subject of politics, that I have not been able to post anything until now. I did my best to research candidates. I watched the debates. And I thought and prayed hard about how to vote as a Christian. I want to say first and foremost that I am no expert on politics, just a Christian woman trying to vote responsibly.

Yes, I voted for Barack Obama. (eyes widen and silence falls over the crowd) No, that was not a typo. I'm sure many of you are wondering how I could do this in good conscience. So I'll tell you the story of how I made my decision.

First, I did my homework about both candidates. From what I could tell, neither man was devoted to Christ. So that put them on equal ground as men, in my estimation. From there, I took the classic evangelical approach of weighing out the morality of their policies. After much thought, I came to the conclusion that both of these men had skewed morality in their personal lives and on the issues. The only moral issue that really stood out to me was abortion. I am passionately against abortion, and of course, Obama is as liberal as one can be on this issue. I knew he would strive to make sure that abortions stay legal, and elect supreme court justices who would do the same. The thought of all the little babies that are being slaughtered daily breaks my heart. So I became discouraged and frustrated in terms of how to cast my vote.

And then several things occurred to me in regards to Christianity and abortion:


The article above was the first thing that swayed the way I was approaching the issues. I had previously thought there was only one way to approach this problem--to outlaw abortion! But upon reading this article, I started to think that we might be fighting a losing battle. The basic idea the article conveys is that even if we reversed Roe V. Wade, it is very unlikely that abortions would become illegal. As I thought about this, I began to question whether this approach to fighting abortion is going to be effective. Then as I considered the very secular America we now live in, I found it hard to imagine the religious right being able to win this battle. Thus, in my mind, abortion was no longer my litmus test for a president.

If I wasn't going to be able to vote based on moral issues, I had to come up with another way to choose a candidate. So I prayed. And I as I prayed, I happened to read through Romans 13:

1 "Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. 3 For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; 4 for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. 5 Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience' sake. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing.
7 Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor."

One would expect Paul to encourage Christians to fight against the disgustingly corrupt practices of Rome. (No, it wasn't a democracy, but people could still influence government.) But he doesn't. In fact, he encourages them to focus on being good citizens. To pay taxes--taxes that would fund things like temple prostitution. He encourages them to be at peace with all men. To submit to their leaders:"...for there is no authority except from God." Paul seems to imply that Christians ought to put their focus on spreading the gospel as citizens, influencing their world by quietly and peaceably living out their faith. It seems to me that we obscure the message of the gospel by preaching Christian morality apart from Christ. Our secular society begins to see Christianity as nothing but laws, and Christians as those who enforce their beliefs upon everyone. I am certainly not saying that Christians should never pursue political careers. But what I am suggesting is that in our enthusiasm for keeping our country safe and moral, we don't lose sight of the gospel!

And so I settled upon my role as an American Christian. In regards to voting, I felt free to choose the man whom I think is the more capable and wise leader for our country. And in regards to ending abortion, I believe that our best hope is the spread of the gospel! And there are so many things Christians can do to help people choose life, so I want to devote myself more to those causes. But I'll save that for another post. =) I'll end by encouraging all my fellow Christians to consider this: Keeping America moral will NOT keep it Christian! And in fact, having such a focus on moralism could even hurt the cause of the gospel. This is something most worthy of our consideration.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Update on CFL bulbs

After I posted the entry on ways to go green, someone alerted me to the hazards of CFL bulbs. I want to post the following link so that those of you considering that option can be aware. Apparently they contain mercury, so while there is no danger in using them, there is danger if they break! Check it out:


Saturday, April 26, 2008

Taking Sam for a spin on my new cruiser!

a beautiful image

Adorable. Cute. Beautiful. I've heard these terms more in the past year than ever in my life. (They were not used to describe me, unfortunately!) Everywhere we go, people fall in love with Sam. I can understand why. He is a captivating child. But it has made me wonder what beauty is. What is it that people are drawn to in other people? As the saying goes, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" and that is true. If you ask me what movie star I think is attractive, you will get a different answer than if you ask my best friend who she finds attractive. And yet, there are some people that seem inherently beautiful...

Lately I've struggled more with my self image. I've had a baby, and even though I've been able to reach pre-pregnancy weight, I'll never have pre-pregnancy shape. I find myself ashamed at my vanity. And yet, dissatisfaction haunts me. And I know in my heart that vanity is ugly. But it's hard to remember when I look in the mirror, or see celebrity photos.

Giving Sam life has forever altered my body, but his life has changed my heart. Although he does have nice physical features, I've come to see that the reason Sam is so appealing is his tremendous JOY. His happiness is absolutely magnetic. I've also met many an old lady that radiates beauty despite the wrinkles. I've come to believe that our spirit is well over half of what makes us attractive to others. I want to be like Sam--to love simple things and people the way he does--to be joyful. I think this is the best kept secret to beauty.

A long time ago, my friend Leia and I were working on a school project, and she accidentally burnt my finger. That scar remains, and I call it my "love scar". I can't see it without thinking of Leia. I want to feel that way about sags and stretchmarks. Without them, Sam would not be here. I want to be a more joyful woman. And I want to learn to see the beauty of a body which has been torn to give life to another. After all, that is the beauty which our Lord possesses.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Go green--for the environment and your pocket

Someone has asked me to give some ideas to busy moms for how to be green on a budget. So here goes:

1) Cloth diapering! I know that most of us feel uncomfortable thinking about this. But I promise it's not nearly as gross or difficult as it sounds. It isn't for everyone, but many of us can do it, but haven't considered it. And there are so many reasons to do so! A few examples:
  • saves you money! Sams cloth nappies cost the same as 4 mo of disposables.
  • helps the environment. Each child produces an average of 8-10,000 diapers before potty training. That's an incredible waste! And they aren't biodegradable.
  • safer and more comfortable for baby.
Here's a link to sam's diapers, which we are very happy with. Cloth diapers have come a long way! Check this out:
2) Use Vinegar and baking soda for cleaning! Honestly, I've found that this works better than most commercial cleaners. Here are two pages of ideas:
3) recycle. Duh. =)
4) reusable bags for shopping. You can buy them for a buck at any grocery store these days. But if you want to invest, baggu's are wonderful (very convenient. I just keep them in a storage bag in my car):
5) Use reusable glass storage containers for food where possible, and buy in bulk.
6) Use old cloths for cleaning instead of paper towels.
7) Switch to CFL (energy saving) light bulbs. They have a higher initial cost but save energy and money in the long run.
8) Buy local and organic when in season, and freeze. Also only buy organic on things that matter. Here's a list:
9) walk, bike or ride-share whenever possible.
10) buy a water purifier for your faucet instead of using bottled water. (I did some research and found that this is as safe or safer, and cuts way down on both cost and waste!)
Well, there are the ones that I've tried to impliment. =) If anyone would like me to go into further detail on any point, just let me know. Hope that encouraged you!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

This is my new favorite pic of sam. We mostly use glass bottles, though I am not sure how long this will last, since he likes to throw things now.


I've heard various titles given to my generation...(generation y, me generation)...but I don't think any have really captured us. I was listening to the radio today and heard a song called "Broken" by Seether. And though the song seemed to be expressing the pain of a lost love, it made me think. Most of our music is full of angst and sadness. I really wonder if "Broken Generation" isn't an appropriate title for those of us in our late teens and twenties now. Most of us have grown up in homes with either split parents or with a single parent. In reaction to the idea of staying in miserable marriages, our parents opted for happiness. But many times to our hurt. We ache for peace and beauty and love. Unfortunately, some of us look for those things in all the wrong places. This world is broken, and we are all broken people. We will fail in ways our parents did not. Some of us will be overcome by sadness and search out any anesthetic we can find. (drugs, alcohol, love relationships) Others will try to be better than our parents, and in so doing, create new problems. (perhaps we'll be too arrogant? Or too independent? Or selfish?) We cannot escape this cycle of human weakness, but there is hope. Because of sin, there is pain in our lives. But in Jesus, we find peace, beauty and love. There is redemption for the broken: "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest" Matthew 11:28 ESV As a member of this broken generation..."Redemption" is my favorite word.


Today is an ideal day to create a blog which exists(in part) to promote earth consciousness: The sky is cloudless, the air is warm and fragrant, and the field outside my window is bursting with life. There are colors everywhere screaming to be noticed. My hope for this blog is to use it primarily to post little thoughts about my two great passions: Jesus Christ, and this beautiful world He came to redeem. I find that sadly, the church is typically the last place you find "green" people. I think those that go to extremes have made us afraid, and we run the other way. For a long time I was almost embarrassed to show my "earthy" side around Christians, for fear of disapproval. So this blog marks my "coming out of the closet" as it were. I'm Rebecca, and I'm a crunchy, Christian mama. And I hope you will join me...