Blonde moment

And the silver spoon.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Family Readiness Group

I went to family readiness group. It is a place where a lot of women of various backgrounds who would never meet eachother any other place but family readiness group get together and talk about our husbands who have been deployed. I met a few women, none of whom I will name because who knows if their husbands will see this blog. But, a couple of women and I talked about our binges, shopping, eating, drinking, and combinations thereof. Personally, I have done a little of all three, but that is neither here, nor there (and yes, Josh, I am following our pre-established rules; Kristin has checked). And to others who think that their wife/girlfriend may be doing any of the above, we all discussed how important it is to follow the rules set by our husbands.

Anyway, we learned how to read a leave and earnings statement. And we learned what part of our husbands pay was ours. Yeah, doesn't that sound weird. But, if men get housing allowances, they have to send it to their wives.

I also got a couple of tips from those who know things. So, here's the gem of the day: you can call up your bank and convert your husband's checking account to a military account. This reduces ATM fees, so it's worth doing.

I also went to my friends' church to see their baby get dedicated. So, now my Lutheran friends are confused and my evangelical friends are like "right on." So, let's talk about baby rites.

There are two baby rites going on in the Christian church, baptism and dedication. And the big deal is: when is it proper to baptize? The orthodox (with a small o) church believes that the grace of God is imparted in baptism and it is an important part of your initiation into the Christian church. Evangelicals believe that baptism is an indication that people are serious about their faith. Let me back up here...

OK, so when the apostles were asked "What must I do to be saved?" They responded "repent and be baptized." Jesus also said, "You must be born again." The orthodox place more value on repenting and baptism, evangelicals place more value on the "born again" experience. Neither have the entire picture right. In the evangelical world, baptism becomes an act that shows how spiritual you are. There is an unspoken age that veries from church to church where kids are too young to be baptized. In my opinion, if you're too young to be baptized, then you are too young to have a "born again" experience. The two should go hand in hand. In the orthodox world, baptism is part of the two fold "get out of Hell free card" of baptism and confirmation. That is also not the proper attitude to have. We are saved by grace through faith. I personally place some value in the mysteries of the Christian faith that cannot be explained through logic. For example, how is an aspect of the grace of God placed on someone who is being baptized? Since it is important for me that I not deny my children this grace from God, I will see that they are baptized. Of course, we are talking theoretical children...

Anyway, so dedication is the welcoming of a new baby into the church family and Christian community. Sounds like of like baptism, doesn't it? Well, when you add the mystery of the grace of God to baptism, not really, but both are done to welcome a new baby into the church family and Christian community. Neither the evangelical or the orthodox will say that this is the only means of salvation.

So, was I baptized? Yes, as a teen. I was about 14 actually. My sisters were all baptized when they reached about that age as well. How do I feel about this experience? Well, it is not for me to judge this from my parents point of view or whatever. It is for me to think about what I would like to do. Now, I know parents of both the orthodox and the evangelical school that ignored the spiritual growth of their children. My parents read the Bible to us from an early age and taught us to love God. What matters in my life is that my parents taught us to be Christians in thought, word, and deed, and did so through their example. And I know my friends will do the same for their children.

Well, and for something different... Tomorrow is Reformation Sunday, the day where we Lutherans celebrate the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. Don't forget to set your clocks back!


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