Tuesday, July 29, 2008

It's all about context... or maybe it's just the blood pressure

Since when do we as believers have the right to wrest a verse out of context, apply it to ourselves because it "means something special to us," AND then go on to tell others how they should apply this out-of-context verse to their lives too because it's meant so much to us, and because there's such a great "scriptural" principle behind it???

Since when?? Since last Wednesday night!! I'm just having a hard time believing I heard it from the pulpit. It's been one thing to recognize it as it's happened over the years, it's another thing entirely to hear the practice excused from the pulpit!

Two Wednesday nights back it was "now you may hear some things tonight that don't sound just right at first. That's one thing. Just don't throw the baby out with the bath water." Well, excuse me, but if the bath water is so dirty that you're in danger of not noticing the baby in said bathwater, is it OK if I question why you're putting the baby in that bath water to begin with??

I don't know what version you're reading, but my Bible still says: Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. (Eph. 5:25-27) There's just no dirt in *that* water!!

Now, to give context to this rant, you have to know that we've been watching Gothard/IBLP's Financial Freedom seminar (as presented by Jim Sammons) over the past 8 Wednesday nights. So when Pastor was excusing taking Scripture out of context, he was not speaking of himself but of others.

Presenting a sound financial principle as a "good idea" is one thing. Wresting scripture from context to support your point is quite another, or at least it was in the hermeneutics classes I took.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Is today over yet?!

Thankfully the day is past half over. I now have hope of surviving until midnight. After that though, all bets are off! The day began innocently enough....

12:00 AM: I was curled up on our guest bed, chatting with my hubby on the phone about how his day went. (He's 3 or 4 time zones away in a week of training for his new job.) Anyway, we talked til about 1:15 am, said our good-byes and off to sleep I went. Well, sort-of. BD#2 started murmuring in her sleep while we were still of the phone, and by 2am she was into her "Mama, Maama, MAaaaMa, MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMA!" routine (which being interpreted is "I woke up and don't want to go back to sleep!") By the time BD#2 was settled down again it was 2:30am. I've got no idea when I actually went to sleep, but it was closer to 3am than I would have liked.

Lest anyone worry that I've just "revealed" that I'm home alone this week with the toddlers, Don't worry. I'm FAR from alone. I have a gun--loaded of course, for what's the point of an unloaded one? I have house guests. From Jersey. Need I say more? I do? OK, they brought a dog along. Fearsome thing. (*Snickers,* as she's really not fearsome in the least; but hey, it is a dog!) AND, last but not least in my secret arsenal of weaponry, I have not one but two toddlers. More on their protective abilities later....)

6:10 AM: I wake up. No idea why. I usually try to sleep til the kids get up, usually around 8am. Sleeping on the guest bed, and having house guests has kinda put a crimp in that. But still, normally I can go back to sleep for at least another hour. Not so today. SO, besides being up late, I'm now awake early. Pregnant women should NOT burn the candle on both ends. No really, they shouldn't.

7:05 AM: After laying in bed staring at the clock for almost an hour, I concede that sleep is futile and drag my ever-cheerful self out of bed. Since I'm up early enough, I decide to make a pot of grits for the house guests before they go off for their day's activities. Managed not to scald the milk the grits were cooking in, so they tasted half-decent. Yeah for that!

7:50 AM: Head for the computer desk to "get stuff done" before the baby dragons wake up. Praise be they slept most of the way til 8:30, so I did get a little bit done in peace and quiet.

9:00 AM: Plunk left-over oatmeal with raisins in front of BD#1 (he requested it), and left-over grits in front of BD#2. She didn't ask for them, but she likes them all the same. Since they are proficient self-feeders (at least of things that will stick to a spoon), I left them in their respective chairs to eat while I got more done on the computer. Checked on them about every 5 minutes. They were eating fine....

9:30 AM: Noticed increasing sounds of giggles and weird slurping sound coming from BD#2... Decided while I checked on her, I should find my usually-ever-present water bottle. Can you guess what happens next?? BD#1 was busily squirting my water around the table, the floor, both kids' cereal bowls, BD#2's tray.... she was splashing in the water as hard as she could, then sucking it off her fingers. Don't ask why--she had her own water bottle *right there.*

10:30 AM: Guest dog leaves a puddle on the rug in the middle of the living room.... Fortunately I saw that one in progress & got it soaked back up post haste.

11:00 AM: Go outside to feed and water the "kittens." Come back in to do stuff in the kitchen while they eat. Don't get between an animal and it's food.

11:30 AM: Go back outside to love on the kitties now that they've eaten a bit. Make the kids stay inside, ostensibly to entertain the fearsome guest dog, but really so I have a chance to pet the kittens. Toddlers and kittens do NOT mix. Kittens know this and quickly disappear when toddlers appear.

11:45 AM: Happen to notice that I'm locked out by BD#1. (Not to worry, I ALWAYS back away from the door and grab keys before going outside. He's perfectly capable of locking and unlocking the glass door, but he also wanders off and might not bother to come back and let me in. LOL)

12:00 PM: Ah, bliss. The day is technically half over. Let myself back in the house and hear BD#1 telling me that BD#2 is "on da phone." That'd be the one I wired to the guest room this week so I can talk to hubby at night. I pick up the kitchen phone and tell kids to get off phone. "Why?" and in just that whiny tone, LOL. Kids do hang up phone, but it sounds like someone is still on the phone. Being the curious person that I am, I say "Hello?" This is ______ County 911. Are you all right? "You've GOT to be kidding me!" No Ma'am, this is 911. Are you OK? "Yes, we're fine, (thinking: but the 3 year old won't be in a minute), sorry to bother you." Are you sure everything is all right? "Yes, Ma'am. I was outside petting the cat, and my kids got into the phone. I'm terribly sorry to bother you, but yes, we're fine." OK, we just needed to stay on the line and check. Thank you! *911 operator hangs up* I think to myself I hope they don't already have an officer in transit... Nah, surely they don't. Or if they did, she'd tell him to "never mind," right?

12:05 PM: Reprogram the "emergency" buttons on that phone to call "*" rather than "911"!!! Give kids a lecture about NOT playing with the phone. *shrugs* No point in "punishing" them in any fashion. They play with the phones in our house all the time. They just don't usually have access to that one, and I had completely forgotten that at least one of the buttons on it was pre-programmed to dial 911. That's my bad, not theirs! None of the other phones have instant access pre-programming like that.

12:30 PM: Weird odors emanating from diapers. Fix that. (See, I can spare *some* details! ;-) ) Hear heavy pounding on front door. You guess it, _______ County sheriff officer. Nice young guy. Sympathetic to the plight of a mom. Told BD#1 "it's OK buddy!" Flashed his lights and blipped his siren on the way out--to the delight of BD#1 who totally did not associate the phone incident with the nice man in the uniform (which is a good thing--don't need a repeat of that!!)

2:00 PM: While walking dog, head weird clicking sound in grass. Last time I heard a weird clicking sound like that, there was a click beetle involved. This time it was a yellow jacket chewing on a dragon fly wing. I . kid . you . not. Guess the chitin in the dragon fly wing crackles when it gets chewed on. Wasn't going to try it myself to find out though. ;-)


Fortunately the day wound down from there... went to prayer meeting, told on the kids & the 911 incident. It's always fun to see people's reactions when you say (in response to the usual "so how was your day?"), "Well, we had cops out to the house...." O.O Today I joined the ranks of the criminal element without even trying.

It's a good day that ends well... but this day was good just because it ended. LOL

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Blood Pressure

Confession time. I am OCD--no, I don't really *have* OCD, although my hubby *does* say I'm persnickety, LOL.

I have been on a quest. I've been listening to old sermons download-able from our church's website, trying to find the time when Pastor said, "We've been saying around here for years that 'grace is God's enabling power to do His will'."

Why I'm looking for that particular quote has to do with
1. proving it was said to begin with; or, in other words,
2. convincing myself that I'm not insane/hearing voices during church, and,
3. someday, hopefully refuting the claim that we as a local church body have "been saying this for years."

I've finally found it!!! Only 11 minutes into the 19th sermon I've listened to while reading everybody else's blogs about church & grace & raising kids & white-washed feminism (all inside this past week), I've finally found it! Eureka!!

And I'm not above owning when I'm wrong. The original grace quote in question was made about a year before the "we've been saying this for years" claim. So, the claim is only wrong by the hyperbolic addition of an "s." But I'm still annoyed. Yeah, yeah, go ahead and call me OCD again. ;-)

What all this has to do with blood pressure requires an even less linear thought train. *grins* I've been wondering why that particular sermon has stuck out in my mind so distinctly. And now, having found the offending quote and noted it's time-stamp, I have a theory. *bigger grin*

See, I was pregnant with BD #2 when the claim was made. That pregnancy was a time of great searching for me. Searching for a biblical definition of grace--especially as it relates to how we parent our children. It was during that pregnancy that the Lord began showing me just how much my theology affects my parenting. Our orthodoxy *should* inform our orthopraxy, right? But what if my theological framework is wrong? Wrong about grace? Wrong about depravity? Wrong about our precious children? I'm *still* wrestling through Scripture with these questions.

Still wrestling. Now? More forcefully. I theorize that this quest for quotes is triggered by my blood pressure. No, really! Yanno how certain smells will trigger memories long forgotten? For me, it's that rise in maternal blood pressure during pregnancy. I'm pregnant again, ergo higher blood pressure, triggering convoluted ramblings about grace and parenting. Makes sense to me! ;-)

Or maybe it's just coming to grips with another little baby dragon on the way... knowing that my selfishness will be challenged once again. Being reminded that my theology really does impact my parenting... and the sooner I come to a more clear understanding of a truly *Biblical* definition of grace, the better off my sweet babies will be. All 3 of them.

***Update 7/14/08***

Well, BD#1 has been enjoying watching the "movie of mommy and daddy" this week, a.k.a. our wedding video. There it was!! Not 5 minutes into Pastor's salvation message /address to the family and friends gathered for our wedding (before the wedding party came in): "Grace is God's enabling power to accomplish what He asks of us." .......I can't believe it hasn't jumped out at me before. I'm speechless. I'm still wrong. He *has* been saying that for years. Now why didn't I notice before '05 (when we've been in this church since '95)???

OK, now I'm speechless.