Blonde moment

And the silver spoon.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

The blog name discussion…

And The Albino Peacock asks, “How did you name yourself?”

Why am I “A Blonde Moment?” See, I have this “catch it” lag. I don’t catch jokes. No, really, I don’t. I’ll laugh so hard when the joke is first told because laughter is contagious. And then 20 minutes later, I’ll laugh because I’ll have finally “got it.” So, I have oft times been accused of being a dumb blonde.

I’m also *generally* a happy person. Though as a true ISTJ, I have my bouts with depression. So, when you see a happy blonde who, 20 minutes after a joke was told, what’s the stereotype?

Anyway, off and on I play it to my advantage. Though I’m generally insulted when feminists think all blondes are like Barbie and unable to understand math, I am OK being a happy blonde.

Not a lot of time this week...

For blogging. I spent Tuesday and Wednesday evening planning for a bridal shower, tonight is Weight Watchers and also Life Group Training. But check out what The Albino Peacock has to say about Pentecost, Baptism, and The Lord’s Supper . And tomorrow I’ll post on something that caught my eye in The Large Catechism.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Check this out...

That’s my brother!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Thanks Lyndon

May God grant you and your brothers and sisters in blood rest. And may we, in America, live lives of gratitude for you and the other young men and women who shed their blood for our freedom.

I remember.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Moving some comments around...

For my mom's benefit. My mom can’t open up my comments on her server when she checks things from work, so I’m going to copy Albino Peacock’s comments from my post on decision mentality because I think they’re worth repeating:

Hi Liz ~ I understand where you're coming from. When you've spent so much of your life under the bondage of your own will it is hard to grasp the concept that we cannot make a decision 'for' or 'to follow' Christ. Let me explain... Decision theology is rooted in the idea that God created man with a will. It is called 'free will'... and that if a man is to receive God's salvation through Jesus Christ, he must therefore, exercise his 'free will' in the way that would please God by 'deciding' to become a Christian. There are so many errors with this theology. First, I will say that if a man is able to bring himself into God's salvation through 'accepting' or 'deciding' to 'follow' Jesus ~ that man is making himself greater than God. Here is why: When Adam & Eve sinned in the garden, that was the beginning of Original Sin, the sin that we are born with since the fall of man. Because of original sin, man is corrupt to the soul. Everything about man is corrupted from the moment he is conceived. We are not only sinner to the core. Thus, everything about mankind is contrary (against) what God wills for us. Therefore, our 'free' will is contrary to God. Our free will is so contrary to God that we are **UNABLE** to exercise our will to do anything good, including being 'saved'. We have absolutely nothing to do with our salvation. It is soley and 100% God's work, none of ours. It is through hearing of the Word (Romans 10:17) that the Holy Spirit begins working faith in our hearts. SO ~ BY THE TIME A PERSON IS ABLE TO MAKE A decision FOR CHRIST ~ before any of that happens ~ The Holy Spirit has ALREADY worked faith in his heart. It is not a work of man, but of the Holy Spirit on hearing the Word. Jesus established Baptism for us. At Baptism, a child receives the Holy Spirit, who in turn works faith in that Child's heart. In the adult convert, faith is often worked in their heart before they are Baptized. Because our will is so corrupted by original sin, we could not come to Christ if we WANTED to ~ that's how sinful we are. The bottom line is that if a person believes that they can bring themself into God's salvation by the exercising of their own free will, they do not believe in original sin. This is what decision theology is rooted in. Let me continue in a second post, please as this will be quite lengthy if I don't.In Baptism we receive the Holy Spirit

I'll give you several scripture passages that explains how it is God who does everything in our salvation, and that we are not saved by the exercising of our own [corrupted] free will.GOD alone is responsible for the right exercising of our will in any matter, especially in our salvation: "For it is GOD who works in you, BOTH to WILL and to work for his good pleasure." Philippians 2:13 (ESV)It is GOD alone who works belief in Christ in our hearts:"Jesus answered them, 'this is the work of God, that you believe in him who has sent me." John 6:29 (ESV) We cannot come to Christ without the Holy Spirit. God alone draws us to him:"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me DRAWS HIM." John 6:44 (ESV)We are not ABLE to say that Jesus is our Lord, we are too corrupted by original sin:"Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and NO ONE CAN SAY THAT JESUS IS LORD EXCEPT BY THE HOLY SPIRIT." I Corinthians 12:3 (NKJV)Can you imagine a dead person raising himself from the dead? That is impossible! Isn't it.... Lazurus could not raise himself from the dead ~ it was Jesus who raised Lasurus from the dead. In the same way God works faith in our hearts raising us from spiritual death to salvation in Jesus Christ:"You were DEAD in the tresspasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience - among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by NATURE children of WRATH, like the rest of mankind. BUT GOD, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, EVEN WHEN WE WERE DEAD IN OUR TRESPASSES, MADE US ALIVE together with Christ - by GRACE you have been saved." Ephesians 2:1-5 (ESV)Grace is not something WE decide to receive, GRACE is not something WE DO - if it were, it would not be grace. If we have to decide to recieve God's grace then it becomes a WORK that we must do:"For by GRACE you have been saved THROUGH FAITH. AND THIS IS NOT YOUR OWN DOING: it is the GIFT OF GOD, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV)GOD CHOSE US, we did not choose him:"You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit..." John 15:16 (NKJV)Finally, we cannot exert our own will to attain salvation through Christ:"For he says to Moses, 'I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.' So then it depends NOT ON HUMAN WILL or exertion, but on GOD, who has mercy." Romans 9:15-16When Jesus was baptized by John, the Holy Spirit came upon him in the form of a dove. IN THE SAME WAY ~ the Holy Spirit comes to US in baptism. Jesus ordained Baptism FOR US. BAPTISM is God's way of distributing the salvation that Christ won for us on the Cross [as is communion]. Baptism is not merely an "appropriate initiation" into Christianity. By virtue of what Jesus established for us in his OWN Baptism, it is a means by which we receive the Holy Spirit. Yes ~ it is just the beginning! I hope this helped you somewhat. As a former Baptist, I too struggled with letting go of the notion that I can bring myself into God's salvation by the exercising of my own "free" [CORRUPTED BY SIN TO THE CORE] will. Remember ~ our will is CONTRARY to God and it is CONTRARY to everything good therefore our will is not CAPABLE of choosing Christ ~ it is the Holy Spirit who first works faith in our hearts ~ before we are able to confess it with our mouths. If we must "choose" Christ ~ then that choosing is a work toward righteousness. And we are not capable of desiring anything righteous unless the Holy Spirit has FIRST worked it in our hearts. Please let me know if I can help with anything you are finding challenging or difficult. I have been there, done that.... LOLOLOL!

PS ~ When someone asks you when you were saved you can always say, "two thousand years ago when Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins." That always blows their minds.The Protestant Evangelical's "testimony" is only an account of how they believe they have used their own corrupted free will to choose Christ. The drama that often comes in sharing of testimonies is only an account of the sins that person has committed, the same sins that all of us are capable of committing. He has received no more or no less forgiveness for the depth of his sin than you and I have. So why is an account of all that sin even necessary. Testimonials are all about the person who is "testifying". Think on that... What do you hear in a testimony? An awful lot of "I, ME, MY, MINE" and very little of Christ until the very end when they take credit for GODS work. Make sense?

Absolutely does.

Thanks to the Twins…

The Minnesota Twins gave many military families a chance to VTC during the game today! It was a wonderful experience and I thank them from the bottom of my heart for their generosity. My family and I sat in lower reserved, and we did not pay for our tickets. They also offered complimentary tickets to other veterans as well.

One phrase I have never heard (though I could be wrong) any of the Twins say is, “We fought the good fight…” or “it’s a war out there…” or “we did battle…” They understand such phrases reduce the sacrifice that military personnel undergo.

The Twins are really a classy organization and I’m proud to be a Twins fan.

(And I’ve sent them a note telling them such.)

No actually, Pawlenty did win this time around…

I think Lori Strudevant fails to understand checks and balances… Or, maybe we experienced different elections in 2006… I don’t know… I’m not a wonk…

See, if I remember correctly from my high school civics class and talking to Kevin Knight back in the day, the point of being the governor is being able to veto dumb legislation. Really, it is. And the point of being in the majority in the legislature is to pass your agenda. So, if you are in the majority party in the legislature, and you can’t pass veto proof legislation, something’s wrong, and it’s your problem.

Because there are others who are better at fisking Lori Strudevant then I am, I’ll just point out a couple of her flaws this week.

“Far from being cowed into conciliation by the big DFL majorities in the House and Senate, the Republican governor's near-defeat experience apparently left him rarin' to veto any little (or big) bill he didn't like. And when a governor is on a tear like that -- and has enough veto-sustaining allies in the Legislature to back him up -- there's just no stopping him.” See, the Democrats won majorities in the Legislature, but the people of Minnesota still saw fit to elect a Republican Governor. Let me interpret: The people of MN were ticked at the Republican legislature for whatever reason, war in Iraq, some difficult budget years, whatever, but they weren’t ticked off enough to give the DFL carte blanche.

This paragraph: ”DFL legislators had voters with them in November. But they couldn't assume the public would stay on their side after years of being told that any tax increase is evil. A sales campaign would've been useful on several fronts -- not least the possibility that some Republicans in shaky seats might have felt a little heat from home as a result.” Is inconsistent when taken into context with her earlier statement here: “Further, to most Minnesotans and the governor, gas taxes are taxes too, even if they don't flow into the general fund.” So, Minnesotans obviously see tax increases as bad, how would this bring heat to Republicans in shaky seats?

And I disagree with Ms. Strudevant’s conclusion: “But this much is sure: Neither the DFL majorities nor the governor should feel good about what they did -- or rather, how little they did -- this year.” I’m of the opinion that Tim Pawlenty should feel good about the past session. He was able to stand his ground. And it’s the DFL that comes off looking bad.

Watch the Twins game.

Friday, May 25, 2007

And for those who love and respect soldiers…

Check out this from Speaking of Faith. This is the third or forth time I’ve heard Chap. Morris and he’s fabulous. Take a listen.

That new glasses feeling and other things…

I got new glasses. My vision is not particularly bad, distance wise. Eye doctors have said that if it wasn’t for my astigmatisms, I wouldn’t notice. Yeah, my astigmatisms give me grief, in the form of migraines.

Anyway, so my prescription changed just enough to make a difference. I got new frames and prescription sunglasses. You know; if you ever get sunglasses, get polarized lenses. They make such a difference.

So, I’m making friends with my new glasses. I have to get used to the prescriptions, certainly. But it’s the getting used to the anti-glare and the cut of the frames that make the bigger difference. I got similar frames to what I usually wear, just smaller. And they sit higher on my face and closer to my eyes. So I have this small field where I actually need to physically look down instead of just moving my eyes.

And to go with my new glasses, I also am wearing a new shirt and new pants. Yes, size six pants. Be still my heart. I feel cute as a button.

You know, I forgot what a good song “Teen Spirit” is. It’s really one of the few songs where I can associate artist with song. In college, my friend, Jim, and I were riding in the car and we were talking about music. He was talking about how great this or that band is, and I said, “Oh, I don’t like that…” He said, “Yes you do.” So, we went through all of the bands that I didn’t think I liked but whose songs I really do like. One of those artist/song association things. So, as long as I get genres down, we’re good. I like rock and its various forms from the late sixties on. That’s probably because I also prefer the Baroque era in orchestral music.

So why this discussion… Well, see KOOL 108 switched formats again. And I don’t even know if they’re having the Mosquito 500 this year or not. Guess I’ll find out later. But see, KQ is hosting the KQ 700… sigh… so, if my Saturday talk shows are having “Best of” editions, I’ll be quick to switch. But to what? Mosquito 500 or KQ 700?

And I am not about deep and meaningful thinking this weekend, unless a deep or meaningful thought happens by. I’ll be doing some house work, trying to incorporate Josh’s tastes into our décor and getting things ready for him to come home to. I’m going to the Twins Game on Sunday because Josh signed us up for a VTC. Very exciting. And I’ll be finishing up on Ben and Caroline’s afghan and getting a decent chunk done on Rachel and Peder’s.

Its Memorial Day weekend, and I’m not going to intentionally engage in deep or meaningful thinking? Um, probably not. See, I’ve been living alone for 20 months now, so honoring Josh by making our apartment a joint dwelling place is how I intend to honor veterans. And I’d rather not think about those who gave their lives in service to our country… not that we shouldn’t, but when ones husband is at war, it’s just not something one likes to think about. I’ll think about it next year. Or on Veterans Day. Just not now.

Animal testing, embryonic stem cell research, and other thoughts…

Again, since I’m taking a weekend off from deep thinking, I’ll just share what I’ve been stewing about. I’m pro-life and against animal testing (look, it’s not my fault Becky’s dog ate a bar of the soap I made…).

Is it wrong to use vaccines derived from chick embryos and monkey kidneys? If yes, is it not a greater wrong to use vaccines derived from aborted humans? Furthermore, let’s just assume the chicks and monkeys were killed for the purpose of laboratory tests and the babies were killed because it inconvenienced the mom to have the baby for whatever reason. If one justifies the embryonic research by saying, “Well, at least something good came from a morally reprehensible death,” couldn’t I say the same thing from the animal’s death?

I’m going for the chick and monkey products rather then the human products. I’ll develop my argument another time.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Preach it Brother!

Scotty holds a special place in Josh and my heart, as he served as Josh’s witness to our marriage. (I may have *had* to title you “Best Man,” brother, but, no offence, I married the best man there.)

And I completely agree with him on Women’s Ordination .

A quote I find interesting, “So then why are all these women getting ordained? Why are all these sisters feeling called to be ruling elders? The answer is quite simple, because a lot of men are not taking their place in the House of God; especially in the American church. Heck a lot of men are not even taking their place in spiritual leadership (or leadership in general) in their own house. In the end the responsibility for spiritual matters is left up to the women; a lot of brothers out there (such as myself) did not get their spiritual teaching and guidance from their fathers, but their mamas and big mamas. Now I'm not saying that all women end up in the pastorate because all the men are sorry, but in most cases when they got there, there was no man standing up to begin with. Do I put down female pastors? Heck no, in fact I commend them and pray for them to be strengthened because they are not only taking up the men's role, but they are also taking up their own role and carrying all the weight of ministry.”

But some food for thought… and perhaps this is just me… fellow women, and I know a lot of you who married men who have either not converted to Christianity at the same time as you or are not the “leaders” you envisioned marrying, if you are at a church where the men are not leading, go elsewhere.

I am just saying this as one who was called “A strong female leader” in a mixed gender Bible Study, a role which I would no longer take, go elsewhere. When you have a “strong female leader,” and she is given the opportunity to relinquish her leadership to a man, she won’t. She will sit and criticize his “style” whether or not he is “strong enough” and a variety of other things, and she will cause disharmony. I was not happy to give up leadership. And after the dominant male leader in our mixed gender Bible Study left, the study went down hill under my leadership. Sure, I can say, “There were no competent male leaders,” but I could have also called it to an end. Its one thing I regret from high school. So much so, I eschewed “spiritual leadership” roles in college, and now, I will only “lead” Bible Studies that are all women.

And, again, I am saying this as a white Christian. There are substantial differences in current black culture and white culture that Scotty and I have talked about on occasion. But these days, it has to be rough being Scotty. I pray for him regularly that he may lead in the manner he was meant to lead. He's a super neat man. I still believe there is some truth to what I exhort women... no male leaders, leave.

But, Brother, you are right on! I hope the women learn from your leadership.

More from Granny…

She’s being moved to a regular room, and may go home in the next couple of days! Continue praying for her care. She has plans for relatives to stay *most* of the next six weeks, but after that, no further plans have been made.

Why do I sense the abortion lobby at work?

Genetic tests… HIV tests… none of your damned business to make me do either, I say. My mom and her friend were pregnant at the same time. I’m three months older then the other baby. The other baby is mentally retarded. But she leads a happy life. She has a job cleaning bathrooms at a day care. She bowls. She used to ride horses (and for all I know still does). She is an aunt. She lives independently of her parents in a group home.

I have a friend with cerebral palsy. He leads a normal, happy life as a computer programmer.

Another friend’s brother has Down’s Syndrome.

There are people who would say, “Well, I would never kill a baby because of something like gender, but you know, I don’t have the patience for a ‘special needs’ kid.” OK, but there are people out there who do kill babies because of gender. Besides, would you like to know who killed people with Down’s Syndrome, mental retardation, and cerebral palsy? Hitler.

I can’t help but think these genetic tests, and these HIV tests are all designed so we only have “perfect” children. So, let’s pick on these HIV tests. What if a mom found out she was HIV positive. Should she kill her baby? And if she declined to kill her baby, would the government make her do it?

Some friends of mine had a baby who died because of genetic disease. I think I would want to know if by child had serious health problems, so I could be prepared. However, I am in the process of finding a Catholic or NFP OB/GYN who understands my pro-life positions. I don’t think my current doctor understands them. I want to seek medical care from people with a pro-life mentality where the “a” word will not be uttered.

From someone who has been there…

Another evangelical convert to Lutheran theology The Albino Peacock, has some great observations: Before my husband’s application to the seminary could be accepted we had to go through an interview with our District President and a couple of other pastors. That is the process. During that interview one of the pastors, knowing my background, asked me, “was becoming Lutheran hard for you?” My answer was, “YES ~ Absolutely! It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done because it required me to examine my entire belief system: what do I believe and why do I believe it?”…

It was at that Baptismal font the day our baby was baptized. On that day I tried to resist what the Holy Spirit was working in me, but He was stronger than all my Baptist beliefs. For it was at that Baptismal font that I saw close up for the first time what the true meaning of grace is. I saw the pure and unconditional grace of God’s love for my little three week old son, who was helpless to do anything for himself, being poured out on his little head. And as the tears streamed uncontrollably down my cheeks, I knew that this was a work of God….

Simply stated, the evangelical protestant worship service is about going to church, giving to God, and doing for God because He is ‘worthy’ of honor, praise, and glory misses the mark - completely.

Don’t throw out the Liturgy in exchange for “feel good” stuff. We Lutheran Lutherans go to church to receive. Yes, we give back too. But the primary thing we receive are forgiveness of sins, salvation from death and the devil, and God’s pure, unconditional grace distributed to us in the two sacraments Christ established for us for His purpose.. and the Liturgy points us to Christ and Christ alone. The Liturgy shifts the focus of worship from “I, me, my, and mine” to Christ and what He has done for us.

One difference in musical text that has particularly struck me is this: The Baptist hymnal says “my salvation” while the Liturgy says “thy salvation”. Whose salvation is it anyway? Yours or His?

And she goes on about something my folks, sister, and I regularly face here. One of the best quotes from this post: If you’ve spent any amount of time visiting with an Evangelical Protestant you will know what I am talking about. I was raised Southern Baptist so when I became Lutheran I surprised my parents and my sisters. They thought I was straying from what they believed to be the one true faith. They thought I was nearly Roman Catholic! I think some of them may still be somewhat horrified.

Anyway, I totally get where Ms. Peacock is coming from, so go give her a visit.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Continue to pray for Scotty…

He has groaning in his heart that only the Holy Spirit can understand.

Something that’s difficult for me…

I’ve talked about what the proper initiation to the Christian faith should be. However, I’m still going through a bit of a mental struggle on when I first became a Christian. I asked Jesus into my heart on August 11, 1986. I was baptized eight years later. But neither satisfy my heart and mind when a friend asks me “when did you become a Christian?”

About two and a half years ago, Josh and I met with some friends of friends who were expanding their Christian ministry to the college I attended. Since we had never met, they asked us our testimonies. I said, off the cuff, “You know, I am becoming a follower of Christ. Christianity is a journey and I’m a work in progress. God’s not done ‘til I’m dead.” And these people look at me like I’m a heretic. Did I mention they’re Pentecostal?

So, via The Rapp Files and the Cyberbretheren, I found this post on Dr. Veith’s site. Dr. Veith is talking about a Lutheran’s conversion to Catholicism.

Dr. Veith says: “On the other hand, many evangelicals ALREADY hold what is essentially a Roman Catholic view of salvation. Both can affirm the Gospel, but they push it back to when one FIRST became a Christian (for Catholics, at Baptism, where the Gospel saves from original sin; evangelicals to one’s first “decision for Christ”). But after that, we are basically saved by our good works (which God helps us to do). Both often miss the sense in which justification by faith can animate every dimension of our lives, how we need Christ’s grace and forgiveness every day, and how faith in Christ bears fruit in sanctification and good works done freely.”

And you know; I did believe I could earn my salvation beyond asking Jesus into my heart. The daily confession of sins was not a difficult concept for me to grasp. And it was probably the most freeing thing about becoming Lutheran. However, the issue I’m still grappling with is that it doesn’t matter what happened then, rather what I am doing with my faith now.

I believe baptism is the appropriate initiation to the Christian faith, but it is really just the start of the journey. What it all boils down to is I was a dirty rotten sinner, I am still a dirty rotten sinner, and I will be a dirty rotten sinner until Christ returns. It is the grace of God through the sacrificial death and resurrection of Christ that saves me.

One of the hardest things for evangelicals who convert to Lutheran theology, or at least for me, is getting away from “decision” mentality.

Update on Granny…

She’s not looking well. Her spirits seem to be OK though. She’s building up fluid around her heart. Keep praying that she finds rest.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I’m afraid of the refrigerator noise…

I was reading in Luther’s Small Catechism “The Table of Duties.” The duties for wives struck me for it says, “Do not fear anything that is frightening,” quoting from 1 Peter 3:5-6.

This was kind of odd for me to read. When thinking of the traditional marriage vows and exhortations to wives, one thinks of “submit to your husbands as to the Lord.” It’s just not what one says during marriage ceremonies.

Why should wives not fear anything that is frightening? That is a loaded statement. It acknowledges that there are things on earth that are frightening. So, why should we not be afraid of frightening things?

Early on in the chapter, Peter mentions unbelieving husbands. The notes in my study Bible say that perhaps women are afraid of the wrath of an unbelieving husband. May I suggest that perhaps Peter is really making an astute observation on women?

Throughout the Bible, there are countless instances where people undergo frightening events. “Do not be afraid…” “Fear not…” are common phrases in the Bible. So, in the context of scripture, what is Peter getting at? The fear women have over little things can cause them not to trust in God and their husbands.

Josh put some Iraq pictures up on our desk top when he was home on leave. I do not look at some of them. I’ve become OK with the sight of Josh carrying an M-16 like it is an appendage to his body, but I don’t like the pictures of Josh doing his job or training for various missions. I don’t like war footage from Iraq either. I am afraid Josh will die a horrible death at war.

The first week Josh was gone, I tried sleeping without the TV on. But, see, (and this was October and it was a cold one) the heater started making noise (according to our maintenance guy, it was normal for heaters to sound like it, and sure enough, when Josh was home on leave, the heater still sounded the same). Then someone upstairs got up to use the bathroom. Then the refrigerator went off. And I went up to patrol the parameter every two hours to make sure my doors and windows were locked. I swore someone was going to break in.

The first two months Josh was gone, I would not leave the apartment without one of my Beanies, and more often then not two to three.

Josh’s clothes went unwashed until every last bit of “Josh smell” was rubbed off.

When one grows up with staunch pre-trib Armageddon theology, having ones husband at war in the Middle East is damn scary. And my husband is not here to protect me from the Anti-Christ.

Car problems? No sweat. Finances? Got it covered. But let me tell you all of the different ways something bad is going to happen to me or Josh during the deployment because I have thought of them ALL.

So, Liz, why did you let your husband go off to war and leave you so unprotected from the Boogie Man (and that is exactly what everything amounts to)? That’s not the point. Part of Josh protecting me, he believes, is serving in the military and sometimes that means he goes off to war. And part of being a good wife is learning to trust in God to protect me, even when I am left in a vulnerable situation.

The fleshy woman in me desires protection, stability, security, and a physical presence. God said, “No, Liz, you need to trust in me as it is written in 1 Peter 3.” It is indeed a scary world we live in, and part of being a godly wife is not being afraid of the scary world.

Prayers for Granny...

Please pray for my Granny. She's in the hospital and things don't look good. I'm holding down the fort as point of contact for a couple of my cousins.

I'll update when I know something...

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The difference between James Dobson and the Pope…

I’m a Lutheran and am content as such. But I speak Catholic. (Yeah, strange, isn’t it? Grew up Evangelical, confess Lutheran, and speak Catholic…)

(For Catholics in my audience, the difference between various Lutheran sects is the amount of faithfulness a Lutheran professes to the Book of Concord. This is different from being an Evangelical because Evangelicals don’t believe they need a concrete commonly accepted statement of faith.)

So, the reason the Pope and College of Cardinals can say, “You are not a Catholic Christian because you do not believe X,” is because they have the Church given authority to determine such. They hold each other accountable to the Holy Doctrine of the Catholic Church, interpreted through Tradition and Magisterial Council.

James Dobson, on the other hand, has no authority or doctrine by which he is held into account by which he can say, “You are not a Christian because you do not believe X.” Evangelicals say, “We don’t place value on tradition or magisterial council, and therefore no one can tell us what a good Christian looks like.”

So, when James Dobson says, “Fred Thompson isn’t a Christian,” don’t pay attention because he has no authority to do so. However, when the Pope or College of Cardinals says, “Candidates who fight for abortion rights are not good Catholic Christians,” pay attention because they do have the authority to make such claims.

Evangelicals, of late, have been trying to act as Pope and College of Cardinals, without changing the fundamental understanding (note, I did not say doctrine) of what it means to be an American Evangelical of Revivalist Tradition (generic). Don’t want the authority of the Pope or Book of Concord? Don’t act like you have it.

As an aside, I’d like to take the liberty to slightly tweak the words to “How Firm a Foundation…” “What more can WE say than in God’s word has been said?” There is nothing I, James Dobson, Fred Thompson, Martin Luther, or the Apostle Paul can say in favor of Christ other then that which the Holy Spirit has prompted us to say. And we should not belittle someone for not presenting the Gospel the way we would, provided their doctrine is not in error.

The Wise Man and his foundation…

Pastor talked about the wise and foolish man and their building techniques today. He applied it to marriage. He expressed a lot of wisdom in his talk, not condemning modern forms of communication that are the life line of mil spouses, but talking about placing marriages on the foundation of Christ.

Josh and I have been trying to build our marriage on the foundation of Christ. Deployments, even for fairly self-sufficient people like me, are rough. We do not “ask” for such things. We volunteer so others are not forced to go through these rough times. And now that the flood waters of the deployment are starting to recede, Josh and I will be inspecting the damage and rebuilding.

Josh and I joke that it will be just like dating again, only we can have marital relations (yeah, we all know what kind of links I’m trying to avoid here). I knew the “before Josh” and I will get to know the “after Josh,” but I will probably never know the steps it took for Josh to get from before to after. And it’s the same with me.

I am committed to God, Josh, and our marriage. We have family, friends, and a church body that are genuinely concerned about us and will be a good support. I pray for our reunion that it will go well and the rebuilding process goes smoothly.

400 Episodes…

Happy Anniversary to “The Simpson’s” and many happy reruns.

On Liturgy…

Erapp has a good post here on the transformation from Evangelicalism to Lutheranism.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

A discussion with a friend…

Got me to thinking about praying out loud. My friend works for a non-denominational evangelical non-profit. They were doing something or other at a corporation, and part of their routine is to pray in groups, out loud. The corporation asked them to stop, but my friend’s co-workers got the “we’ll just keep going because if they get really mad at us, we become more righteous” attitude. I offered the suggestion that perhaps it isn’t wise to cast your pearls before swine, so maybe they should have honored the corporation’s wishes.

This lead to a further discussion about praying with non-Christians. I suggested that perhaps it’s a good idea to encourage non-Christians to pray (a small faith step, if you will) provided you set the parameters. “We are asking God for (fill in the blank with the organizations mission) and that we might be willing servants. Does anyone want to join me in praying out loud?” Then see that you close the prayer in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Any other thoughts?

About Gatsby…

Becky and I took American Lit at the same time in High School, she with the smarty pants 10th graders, me with the regular 11th graders. It was the only class in High School I almost failed.

My problem could be summed up in one representative book: The Great Gatsby. No, don’t get me wrong, it was a great read, and I enjoyed the book. At the dinner table, we compared notes after we had both taken our respective tests. It was almost as if we read two different books. I don’t know what Becky and everyone else was reading, but I read this book about Gatsby, a guy who had an affair with Nick’s cousin; and Gatsby’s subsequent tragic demise.

At the time, I could relay, in detail, the events of the story. But, no, I seriously don’t see any symbolism in the book, and still don’t. It’s really too bad, because Gatsby was one of the two books we read that year that I actually liked. So, what brings this discussion on? Well, Vox Day and others are having a discussion answering the question “What 25 books by 25 should a person read to be a literate person?”

I’m really not that well read. OK, I’m well read enough to enjoy “The Simpson’s” and classic “Looney Toons.” However, I’d like to post my little addition to the discussion. Perhaps it is not enough to merely read a book, but also to understand it. And this is not an ability to relay the plot and details of the story; but the ability to take the story to heart. It was important that I was able to relay the plot and sub-plots of Gatsby, and it was important that I could discuss the evils of adultery and lying about ones identity, but I did not take away everything F. Scott Fitzgerald intended his readers see. So it is with the Bible. It is important that we enjoy the plot and the poetry. It is likewise important that we be able to discuss the evils of the human soul and God’s remedy for these evils and take these issues to heart. There is a great deal of beauty in the details, such as in John 1, the parables of Jesus, and finding all of the Messianic Prophesies in the Old Testament. However, in order to preach the universal gospel, one need not get lost in the details to be able to answer, “What does this mean?” For if one walks away with a heart understanding of Sin and Grace, Law and Gospel, then one has captured the important topic of the Bible.

Happy Anniversary, Josh!

I love you and I’m glad we’re married!

Pomp and circumstance…

Want to know how I picture my husband’s homecoming? He gets off the bus, we embrace, he hugs my folks, grabs his gear, and we load up Mom’s minivan where Josh and I make out in the back seat until we are safely deposited at our home. I change into something more comfortable while he washes the Iraq stink off in a shower in his own home…

Generals, Commanding Officers, and elected officials like inflicting torture on soldiers and their families. Yes. They have these things called “Welcome Home Ceremonies.”


No one had better speak longer then 2 minutes is all I’m saying.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A responsible decision…

Josh and I have a dear friend who, when particularly frustrated about the deployment, says, “The Bush girls should have to go.” Gender aside, our friend isn’t thinking about the risks a high profile target poses to troops.

England gets it right. Prince Harry poses an unnecessary risk to his comrades, as such, he should stay behind. Prince Harry is not “just like everyone else.” Sure, he has the same training and stuff, but his money and his good fortune to be born into the royal family make him an attractive target. Here’s how:

1. The tabloids won’t leave him alone, which makes it apparently obvious who he is, even to terrorists who have never seen his picture.
2. He’s the wealthy younger son of an incredibly popular, and dead, woman. He is worth an obscene amount of money to the terrorists and will be ransomed.
3. Those in his command mean nothing to terrorists, as such, will, I repeat, will be killed to obtain the target.
4. If he is kidnapped, the UK and US will spend an obscene amount of blood to rescue him, more so then any other soldier.

I personally admire the young man for his willingness to serve his country. He understands that his body is not worth the lives of countless others. I wish others would understand that soldiers are worth more then putting a high profile target in Iraq and only for a political agenda.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I must not have a heart...

(No, Mom, I didn’t do anything bad.)

From Susan Lefensky’s page via Shot in the Dark :

“Arise, then, women of this day! Arise, all women who have hearts, whether your baptism be that of water or tears! (I was baptized with water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I don’t remember the Bible specifying another way!)

“Say firmly: "We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause (mine will, and he’ll also smell like Iraq. This is what hot showers and soap are for!). Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have taught them of charity, mercy and patience (my husband still knows about charity, mercy and patience that his mom taught him. This is why he joined the Army.). We women of one country will be too tender of those of another to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs (Yeah, well, when your home or workplace gets bombed, don’t ask my husband to protect and defend you. Furthermore, why should a police officer care what violence befalls you at home?)."

“From the bosom of the devastated earth, a voice goes up with our own. It says, "Disarm, Disarm!" (Must be hearing things. It’s saying, “Kill the infidels.”) The sword of murder is not the balance of justice (no, but an M-16 helps establish justice at times) blood does not wipe out dishonor (“What can wash away my sins, nothing but the blood of Jesus.”), nor violence indicate possession (Um, didn’t white Americans use guns to take land away from the indigenous? I don’t see you offering your home to a Native American.). As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel (I’ll bring the Kool-aide.). Let them meet first, as women, to bewail & commemorate the dead (And I’ll bring a psychiatrist for the anti-depressants. You should try them. They make you feel better. Also, isn’t this implying that men do not bewail and commemorate the dead?). Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace (Josh, you know that bomb shelter you want to build me? Yeah, that’s really not a bad idea.), each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesars but of God.

"In the name of womanhood and of humanity (what power does the name of Womanhood Ann Humanity hold? God’s name is really the only one with power.), I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality may be appointed (and who shall do the appointing and by what authority and how is this authority enforced?) and held at some place deemed most convenient and at the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace (Request denied. Besides, what’s peace without justice? And who enforces this peace and how do they enforce it?). "

Ironically enough, the above was written by the same woman who wrote the words to “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” Julia Ward Howe, and not by Susan Lefensky. I have nothing at all against peace, and I pray for it daily. But I pray for the peace of God as the peace of man is not necessarily justice. I find the above words unfortunate considering she also penned the words, "As Christ died to make men holy, let is die to make men free." She either had a major change of heart for the worse, or doesn't really understand that often, shed blood is the only currancy that purchases peace.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

And for my mom

Several times in my life I said, "I want to be just like my mom." What I didn't know at the time is that I would have to go through some difficult things. I don't know how I would have made it throughout this deployment without you, looking to you as a mentor and guide, looking to you for the assurance that when life gets rough, it also keeps going, looking at you for the grace it takes to survive.

I love you very much! Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mothers Day

To Josh's Mom and Step-Mom; To Grandma, Grandma, Grandma, and Granny; and to all the military moms out there, especially Fish's mom, and the rest of the "Home Front Club" moms.

Friday, May 11, 2007

And please pray…

For Scotty and his family as they grieve the loss of his grandmother yet rejoice that she is with her Savior.

Other Blog Highlights

Thanks! Eating Words posts a great point: “If the size of the Army is increased they will not hold all those troops in reserve. They’ll use them. Count on it. If they have a real shortage now they should cut back on their commitments.”

Support for Josh doesn’t mean that I can’t ask my leaders how and for what purpose they want to use him.

Barb is pro-gun, and worries about colleges that take away pro-gun speech and are afraid of concealed carry holders . If it were not for the perfect spring and falls, I probably wouldn’t like it here as much… And Tom, the above mentioned concealed carry holder, will be interviewed on on the Second Edition, by Mitch and Captain Ed. Live stream here .

Barb also points out a bit of Americana that is fascinating. I’ll have to keep my eye out for something like that.

We shouldn’t forget about our Firemen either. Thanks to Marc, my friend Kara's husband.

But at the same time, via Psycmeistr, we are reminded about reintegration .

Ouch is all I have to say, via Heresy Hunter.

Happy Birthday to erapp from The Rapp Files.

And it’s about time for me to e-mail with Josh for a while and then off to bed…

FRG for tomorrow, which usually gets me thinking about something.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The US Post Office

Only guarantees service through rain, sleet, snow and hail, not the rapture. Good thing we have atheists who are charitable enough so your Lutheran relatives don’t worry when you’re raptured up with the Evangelicals.

So, two pre-tribbers walked into an amillennial bar, and the bar keeper said, “What are you guys still doing here?”

What good is it if you can’t poke healthy fun at people?

Joshua Witter , God bless his mission-minded soul, wants you to make sure your friends and relatives really know the gospel message after your departure. Random point, however… shouldn’t you be evangelizing in person so your friends and relatives don’t miss the rapture? And lets say you do witness to your friends and relatives… wouldn’t they *already* know your views on Christianity?

No, in case of the Rapture, you should just leave your Bible out in plain view at all times.

And you should check out the Post Rapture Post for entertainments sake.

It happens

Thanks to Janet from SCSU Scholars for this recommend:

Shift does happen.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

It’s the utility knife lobby’s fault

Otherwise, this would never have happened. Perhaps if young women with PMDD would not be allowed to purchase utility knifes, things would be different. We need to put all of our young women on YAZ and anti-depressants so they will not go out and slash each other with utility knifes.

And let us not forget the true victim of the story, the perp. After all, her parents should have recognized her mental illness and sought help for her. And it is, indeed, the fault of the assaulted girl because she should have known that her attacker would stab her. She should have tried a peaceful non-violent solution to the situation.

Now, if it were a boy who committed the assault, it would be entirely his fault. But since it is a girl, we should just give her a slap on the wrist.
(And to those who do not know my sarcastic nature… well, I’m sarcastic.)

On communion…

Pastor has been doing a series on I Corinthians during adult Bible Hour. So, now is the time to talk about Holy Communion. He gave a great explanation of the Lutheran stance on Communion.

It brought to mind something I read in Luther’s Small Catechism .

“What is the benefit of such eating and drinking?
“Answer: That is shown us in these words, “Given for you” and “Shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.” This means that in the Sacrament forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation are given us through these words. For where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation.”

“How can bodily eating and drinking do such great things
“Answer: It is not the eating and drinking, indeed, that does them, but the words which are given here, “Given… and shed for you, for the forgiveness of sins.” These works are, beside the bodily eating and drinking, the chief thing in the Sacrament. The person who believes these words has what they say and express, namely, the forgiveness of sins.” (Sacrament of the Alter)

So, when we receive Holy Communion, we are receiving Christ’s body and blood that has been given for us personally. The elements give me, personally, forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation.

And, because of the difficulties the reformers were having with the tyranny of the pope and were fleeing Sacrament, “’When someone does not seek or desire the Sacrament at least four times a year, it is to be feared that he despises the Sacrament and is not a Christian, just as a person is not a Christian who does not believe or hear the Gospel.’ For Christ did not say, ‘Leave this out, or despise this,’ but, ‘Do this, as often as you drink it,’ and other such words. Truly, he wants it done, and not entirely neglected and despised. ‘Do this,’ he says.” (Preface)

The practice of Evangelical denominations seems to be, “Let us take communion, not often because it is ritualistic, rather just often enough so we are not considered heretics.” And this is, I believe, where Evangelicals miss the point of liturgy.

Is it bad to recite a Psalm, a prayer of contrition, receive absolution, recite the Creeds of the faith, regularly receive Holy Communion, and recite the Lord’s Prayer? No! The reason some give for not practicing Divine Liturgy is: Well, we get so used to the rituals that we quit meaning them. This casts judgment on fellow believers. Who is to say that I do not mean the words of the Lord’s Prayer other then me and God? And who is to deny me the opportunity to do so?

I’m writing this as I am enjoying a cheap (but nice) glass of wine. (I like cheap wine. I *love* Josh’s step-dad’s strawberry wine…) If I were to let it be known amongst certain of my family that I enjoy cheap wine (and Amaretto, but not together*) I would be cast as a sinner because of the strictures placed upon Evangelicals. (By the way, why do you go fishing with two Baptists instead of one? One Baptist will drink all your beer; two will hold each other accountable for their sobriety… Thanks Sam.) Yet, Evangelicals will not recite The Lord’s Prayer though Jesus said it is how we should pray.

So, which is better, the rituals of the faith which teach us truths about Christianity, or performing acts of legalism? When I receive communion, I know I receive assurance of the personal nature of the Gospel. And when I observe others receive communion, I receive assurance of Universal Atonement. I receive forgiveness of sins. And the true Body and Blood of our Lord and Savior strengthens and preserves me in the faith until that day when He comes again! I pray others learn to receive this assurance.

*Note that once I did have champagne and amaretto in a cocktail. Odd as it sounded, it also had cherry liquor, and it was pretty good. Not sure if it was just a Valentine’s Day special at The Bar Rouge, but that’s where one would find it.

And on other notes…

Yeah, so about the lack of posting the past couple of days. I found this super neat gift for Josh when he comes back, and I’m excited about it, so I decided that I’d just wait for my excitement to die down to post again.

As for the super neat gift, no, the pastoral staff at church does not know about the gift, and HG, Becky, Mom and Dad are sworn to secrecy. And, nope, your folks don’t know either.

But it’s super neat.

Josh and his traveling companion have been gone for 19 months. That’s a long time.

Highlights from my news week…

Now, keep in mind, folks, what I consider “news” other people do not. News, as defined by Liz, comprises of issues that have little to do with Iraq or the Presidential election… um… and probably a few other things.

Neat book for boys. It teaches useful things like how to make paper airplanes, tree forts, trip wires, a bow and arrow, and the details of important battles. Sure, they’ll shoot their eye out while playing war, but as long as Josh is supervising and not me, it should be OK.

Speaking of boys… or, rather transitioning to men. I can totally understand why men would want to have an obstacle course for their tanks. I can also understand why their neighbors wouldn’t like it. Now Josh, of course, is more of the jump out of airplanes type man, but the same principle applies. What’s the point of having tanks if you can’t use them? (Or in Josh’s case, what’s the point of having jump boots that aren’t getting used? As long as I am permitted to stay on flat ground, we’re good.)

To sum up: the male of the species likes to do things that are not safe, quiet, or pretty. We need to tolerate it because that’s what makes them neat. (As an aside, I have a beef with the utility knife lobby that will be addressed when the Strib’s link is fixed…)

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

I’ve noticed some new visitors…

Welcome to my new friends.

I’ve undergone a couple of changes. I’ve been in a pink mood, and I was having a little trouble with the previous lighthouse template where links and archives have been concerned. I switched to what works for me for now.

In case anyone is wondering, my blog title is “A Blonde Moment,” however my url is ablondmoment. When I set this up almost three years ago the url ablondemoment was taken. Last I checked, that blog is gone, but I’ve kept things as they are. It’s an intentional inconsistency, and not one of those little detailed things I’m often oblivious to. I’ve seen myself listed as both with and without the “e” and I’m not particular. Whatever works for you is good for me.

I’ve been added to a couple of blog rolls. So, I decided to clean up and modify my links. Those who like keeping up with specific friends and family members who blog, those links remain unchanged. I’ve taken out a link or two where there have been no updates in a year. And I’ve added the MOB blog listing and I’m waiting for the Confessional Lutheran Blogs template.

On Gossip...

I like men. I started liking men at a young age. I’m Daddy’s girl after all! (Can’t get out of it, too late now.) I like my husband. He’s a really great guy and is always trying to do the right thing. He bought me a computer game. His logic… well, he likes playing computer games and so, during his deployment, I would like playing computer games. (He’s very thoughtful like that, and yes, Roller Coaster Tycoon is fun… though I still prefer making nuclear meltdowns on my Sims City game… further evidence that I should not be in charge of anyone’s energy grid…) I like my friends’ husbands too. But they think I’m odd…

Anyway, so, men get the short end of the stick fairly often. I’m hard on men when the situation calls, but for the most part, they’re neat. I was talking to my girlfriend recently. She’s having some health and work issues and she moved to a community out in the middle of nowhere in a different state upon marriage. She’s in pretty serious need of Christian women to walk beside her during this time, but she’s afraid to commit to a church. Why?


Her husband isn’t ready to commit to a body of believers and she doesn’t want to be known as “The woman whose husband doesn’t go to church.” Let’s not worry about why her husband does or doesn’t go to church, and concentrate on how we women break each other down with our judgmental gossip.

When you see a woman visiting your church alone, what is your gut reaction? If it is not offer said woman a warm handshake and invite her to sit next to you, you need to examine yourself for sin. I’m talking gut reaction here, normal gut reaction. Our concern should not be why she is there alone if she has a ring on her finger. Our concern should be that she did come to church and extending her a warm welcome.

Ladies, we take care of a man’s needs when we take care of his wife’s needs. We testify the love of God and the sacrifice of Jesus when we offer hospitality to a fellow woman in need. And when we gossip about her husband, we, in turn, gossip about her, because we imply that a woman is not married to a respectable man.

Let’s walk the extra mile with someone instead of pushing them back down to the pits of despair.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Various thoughts on being a Christian woman…

Once a year in youth group, we were given the “swimsuit talk.” Men who grew up in an Evangelical church, don’t pretend you have no idea what I’m referring to. The “swimsuit talk” is the talk where the youth pastor exhorts the young women in the youth group not to wear certain swimsuits and other clothing lest we lead our brothers in Christ to sin.

It is a good thing for women to dress modestly, don’t get me wrong. I was a big proponent of wearing baggy tops and what have you. Men still noticed my figure.

I am free in Christ to wear whatever top I would like. And I like wearing tops of a certain nature for the visual pleasure of my husband. (He likes that.) However, I walk a fine line every morning as I stand in front of my closet. The battle is thus: to what extent am I responsible for thoughts of lust men have?

The swimsuit talk mentality operates under the general assumption that I, a woman, am wholly and completely responsible for the lustful thoughts of men. And if a man who is not Josh is making passes at me, it is my fault. (One hopes Josh makes passes at her when he returns…)

The opposite extreme is where women have the mentality that they can wear whatever they please and still be treated as pure and innocent, and these women claim to bear no responsibility for lust.

My problem… I have certain features that draw more attention then other features. So, I attempt to treat said features with a degree of modesty and professionalism when I leave for work. Beyond treating my body with a degree of modesty, am I responsible for the lusts of men? I say, “No.”

Women need to walk this fine line of dressing to please our husbands, find pleasure in the clothing we wear, dress our figure in a modest manner, yet feel stylish. In adult Bible hour on Sunday, our pastor talked about 1 Corinthians 10. The obvious application was stuff like alcohol. A minor application I briefly discussed with HG was apparel. I have an obligation to dress in a modest manner. And I have an obligation to dress in a manner pleasing to my husband. But I am not responsible, beyond modest dress, for “entrapping males into lustful thoughts.” Anything beyond modest dress is legalism and a step closer to a burka. Anything less and one could question my commitment to leading a pure life.

Food for thought on abortion…

From A Debtor To Mercy

I thank God for people who did the right, but hard, action. May God forgive us all.