Disclaimers and Jesus

There are often two distinct levels when discussing an issue of Christian doctrine or practice. There is the level of personal conviction or belief, and the level of perceived interaction with others. For instance, when discussing such an issue as serving alcoholic beverages at a New Year’s Eve party, comments are often made such as “I’m fine with beer and wine, but I would never actually serve them at a group event, since it might cause problems for someone else.” Personal conviction is trumped by a sensitivity or strong responsibility to protect others from their own lack of ethical behavior. In reality, I actually believe that the outward perception is quite informative of the person’s own views, but that is not really my point.

This same sort of movement is made with regard to doctrine, how one expresses them, and what range of liberty is granted in wrestling with a particular doctrine. So, for instance, many people with whom I’ve interacted believe that one cannot discuss obedience as a part of the Christian life without all sorts of disclaimers to ensure justification by faith is not undermined. In many cases, the concern is given expression not in terms of the person’s own view (e.g. that my discussion of obedience is somehow weakening their faith in Jesus) but rather at the broader level, that my carelessly spoken words might cause others to be somehow more inclined to attempt to merit their salvation.

I believe both these concerns, those tied to ethics and those tied to doctrine, are fraught with error because they very pointedly level accusations at Jesus, that he was careless and incompetent.

Breedin’ in Eden

Apparently, technology and idle minds can lead to some pretty funny stuff (link courtesy of Mark Kraemer). And while you are there, you’ll need to watch Star Wars Gangsta Rap if you haven’t seen it already.

A Whale of a Good Time

Yesterday Jay and I had the pleasure of treating Abigail to her first movie in the theater. The three of us took in much popcorn, drink and Jonah: A Veggie Tales Movie.

To tell the truth, I have been watching for the release of this film for almost an entire year, because I knew it would be appropriate fare for our 3 year old. We went to a showing in a theater that had been rented out by Abigail’s preschool. The church sold tickets at cost to students and church members, so it was a great deal and a great crowd. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a movie with such a high child to adult ratio, but these kids were delightfully well behaved.

Abigail, who is rather sensitive by nature, says she greatly enjoyed the film, and was only a little scared by the storm. “It was a really big storm” she says. Given she only asked to go home twice during the movie (once during said storm and the other when Jonah finally arrived in dreadful Ninevah) I think she really did find the whole experience quite fun. And she says she’d like to go again some time, even though the “TV was really big”.

Personally, my own enjoyment was a bit hindered by the fact that we sat so close that we were forced to look way up in order to view the screen properly. For some reason the angle messed with my equilibrium enough to cause me to feel terribly nauseous for the remainder of the day. I know…I’m a wimp. Not really. I just have issues with motion sickness!

However, I found the kiddie flick to be wonderfully fun, full of splashy musical numbers and the veggies we have grown to love. My favorite character was a newcomer to the Veggieworld, a little caterpillar/worm named Khalil, who was Jonah’s “travelling buddy”, and reminded me of the token Disney sidekicks we see in movies like Mulan where Eddie Murphy performs the voice of the little dragon who accompanies Mulan on her many adventures.

To see a couple of previews, go to the official moviesite. And then, find a friend or family member, take a couple hours and go enjoy some family-friendly film entertainment!!

Choose Your Style

As it turns out, one of the challenges of a shared blog/homepage is the potential for divergent ideas regarding the look and feel. I’ve therefore added a bit of functionality to allow each user to choose from a variety of styles for the site. Just select a style from the list at the top of the navigation column to the right, and as long as you allow cookies, the style will stay with you throughout the site. Though the list of supported styles equals 2 right now, keep a close watch because “Blue & Green” will be released shortly.

Musical Chairs

For those of you who know of my employer and are wondering, when the music stopped after this last announced round of layoffs, I still had a chair. Thus far, I’ve wound up with a chair through 5 or 6 major rounds of layoffs, as they’ve pulled out 65,000 of the 100,000 chairs. Perhaps I’ll make it through that last round and get to turn out the lights.

Jonathan’s Explanation

I went upstairs this afternoon to get Jonathan out of his bed after his nap. As is the usual case, the entire contents of his crib were strewn about on the floor. One of his favorite pasttimes is throwing every stuffed animal, blankie, etc out of the crib. Unfortunately, today his diaper was among the discarded items on the floor. His overalls were askew, there was a wet spot on his sheet, and when I asked, “What did you do?” he said, “Diaper broken….silly!!!” and smiled sweetly.

We had been in the habit of duct-taping his diapers shut at naptime and during the night because he kept taking them off. However, we have been thinking lately that he’s moved past that little stage, and so stopped using the tape. Guess we were wrong. Back out comes the tape!!!

Why blog?

Well, here it is: my first attempt at a blog. Jay has been suggesting I try setting up a web log for several months now in order to keep friends/family updated on the goings-on around here. I do spend a decent amount of time emailing and I suppose Jay figured that a blog would be a good way to add some efficiency to my time spent. Every time he would bring up the topic of a blog I had some new reason why I did not want to pursue such an activity. Over the course of the last few months I’ve come up with quite a bunch. So, here is my top ten list of reasons why not to blog.

1. So impersonal: I like to write deep, meaningful and sensitive emails to my close friends and family.
2. No time: I cannot possibly make room for one more thing in my schedule. After all, the laundry is never folded!
3. Who will want to read it?
4. Blogs are for intellectuals with wise, earth-shattering insights they need to share with others. I am a mother to three children aged three and under; my version of intellectual stimulation is learning a new song on today’s Barney show. ;-)
5. Why would I want total strangers in cyberspace to know what is going on in my life?
6. None of my friends keep blogs. (Ok, well Susan Peck took care of this one!)
7. Blogs are just generally stupid.
8. People who keep blogs update them all the time; there is no way I will be consistent enough to make frequent entries, and then my blog would look just like one more project in my life that has been left unfinished.
9. What’s with the word “blog” anyway, and who wants to be known as a “blogger”??
10. Ok, there were only nine. ;-)

Despite all my misgivings, I do hope to be able to post on here from time to time. Thanks for reading!

Cogito Ergo Gone

For those who care, Cogito Ergo Blog is no more. Tricia and I are consolidating our collective efforts into a family website. There is still a good bit of work to do (for instance, the archive by author doesn’t work yet), but I wanted to go ahead and publish the new site so I would be motivated to finish it.

The color scheme and formatting will probably change several times in the coming weeks… and we need a name! Any ideas? We’ve been over a bunch of clever plays on the word “Horne”, but to be honest, they aren’t very clever.

Adult Christian Education

My church will soon have access to better classroom facilities and is taking the opportunity to think through our approach to adult Sunday School. A fairly open-ended committee (in terms of participation) has been formed and a questionnaire was sent to all those participating to ensure reasonable preparation prior to the first meeting. I ended up writing a very brief paper prior to actually addressing the questions themselves.

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