Thursday, September 17, 2009


Hello once again, dearest readers, I told you recently that I've been pondering some deep thoughts these days, and one of them has to do with the difficult topic of why bad things happen to good people...or why God lets bad stuff happen. I realize that this more a question that unsaved people ask when they are trying to reconcile the facts that God loves them and that bad things happen.

But I want to offer my explanation to you, my readers, in hopes that it gives another perspective, and if you're ever in such a conversation, this might help to have in the back of your mind. When I picture life and circumstances, I think of a conveyor belt. God is in charge, and He has the things that He's putting on the conveyor belt, and they're all in the right order and He is in control.

Then I think of satan and how he will try to mess up God's plans and put something on my life's conveyor belt that doesn't line up with God's will, and then God kinda scrambles and puts something else on my conveyor belt and life isn't as good as it was before. Then I heard something, and I really, really wrestled with this one. I believe it was Malcolm Smith who said that God only allows in our lives what we can handle. And I thought, how horrible! I had just begun to get convinced that God loves me, really and truly, and then I find out that He allowed the painful things in my life! Way to rain on my parade!

Then I thought about my conveyor belt picture. satan isn't sneaking around putting stuff on my belt when God's not looking. It's not like God doesn't see what the enemy is doing! No, my mental picture had to change. So my picture adjusted to make room for God's sovereignty, and this is how it now looks. God has His plans for my life, and He knows what I can handle.

The enemy attempts to put horrible stuff on my conveyor belt, but God takes off what doesn't align with His will. He knows my plimsoll line, and He lets stuff happen, either because of my choices that I've made, or that seem awful to me but are really the kinder act.

You see, what my mental picture was missing was the fact that God is absolutely sovereign. Even when bad things happen to the world, like a disease breaking out, or an economy suffering, God is in control. He works everything to the good, because that is Who He is. He doesn't want these bad things to happen, but He allows them so He can work the greatest good.

I think that Papa, in William P. Young's book "The Shack," says it the best. "...your choices are not stronger than My purposes, and I will use every choice you make for the ultimate good and most loving outcome." You see? We don't even know what the other options are! We don't know what we've been saved from! God is the only One Who does, and thank goodness He chooses the best option! God is so sovereign!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Value of Life

Recently, my dear readers, I've been considering the value of human life, both how we are valued by God and by society. I've come to some interesting conclusions that I would like to share with you, but I do want to forewarn you that they are interesting!

First of all, we must lay the groundwork. Human life is valued because God values it. Humans have a different value than anything else on earth, because we are the only creatures on earth made in the image of God. This is what distinguishes us from the beasts: we are like Him. I have pondered the soul/spirit of animals idea, and I have concluded that animals do not have a spirit, and I have also concluded that they might have parts of a soul...but that's a different post. :)

Next, what about the value society places on people? The characteristics promoted via the media tell us that beautiful bodies and intelligence are valued, but who decides what is beautiful and what is intelligent? I propose that not everyone agrees on what is beautiful or intelligent; in fact, I think that not everyone would agree with a dictionary's definition of either of those words. So what makes someone beautiful or intelligent?

Society would tell us beauty is possessing physical qualities that fall under a certain mold or model; intelligence is getting into the right schools and studying the right subjects and earning the right grades. But I think God's definitions are different. Again, this could go into a deep conversation about beauty and intelligence, and I hope that I will be able to come back to this and continue to explore the topic, but right now I really want to focus on the human value discussion.

So if society has specific definitions of beauty and intelligence, what happens to the value of someone who doesn't live up to society's standards? And I don't mean just the next John Doe off the street. I mean the mentally- and physically-handicapped, the "special needs," the "mentally challenged" group of people.

Unfortunately, they are labeled less-than-human or sub-human or some other derogatory, demeaning term that denies their true worth. As I've mentioned before, I'm reading a book series about Europe as Hitler reigns, right before World War II. The 5th book introduces a character named Alfie. Alfie was "judged to be mentally incompetent," and lived in a home for children like him. Some of his peers had polio or were paralyzed by other means; some had cerebral palsy and couldn't speak. As the Nazis took over Vienna, the homes that cared for these children were taken over, cleansed, and turned into hospitals for Nazi purposes. I'm sure you can imagine what is meant by "cleansed." I personally do not want to- it's too painful, too shameful to think about.

We've all read about it in the history books, but have we really considered the individuals involved? Have we put faces to the sheer numbers we read about? What will happen when we do? My dear readers, I hope that you recognize the value that all human life has, simply because it is a human life. I hope that these thoughts presented here cause you to value people more, as an act of worship to God, because it is His image represented in all of mankind.

Follow Up

Dear readers, if you would like to add another log to the fire burning inside of you against public schools, read this article published today by the Seattle Times. As you read this article, or even if you don't, think about something that my mom told me.

I was complaining to her about my English 101 teacher. He would continually make comments about us writing our papers the morning before they were due, or he would give us time in class to read something that we should have read before class. I was telling my mom this, and she said something like this, "Your students will only go as far as your expectations. The lower your expectations, the less the students will do, because they will respond to the level of expectation on them."

This message was confirmed by my pastor at the beginning of my year as a Master's Commission student. My pastor encouraged my class to write down our expectations for the year, and then as we neared graduation, look and see how many of our expectations had been met and exceeded. I have to say, all of mine were, and I believe it's because I was expecting it!

If I had thought that nothing would change, that I wouldn't learn anything, that life would just be the same, I believe that that reality would have been established. But because my pastor encouraged our expectations, they were met, and things changed! Expect more.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Hello again, dear readers, I was talking with a dear friend today, and she encouraged me to write down some of my thoughts, specifically those about which I am particularily passionate. So here goes!

First of all: public education Since WHEN did the government get permission to stuff our young children full of their personal worldview!?!?!? When did responsibility transfer from the family to the state?! Since when do parents only interact with the educators of their children on a quarterly or semi-annually basis?! When did parents LOSE the ability to dictate what is and isn't taught to THEIR OWN offspring!?!?!? As you might have guessed, beloved readers, this subject "gets my dander up," so to speak. I am so very passionate about the responsibility of families to educate children, and so very against the idea-that-is-present-reality of the government controlling the promotion of the worldviews that shape the next generation.

God set up the biblical model in the Old Testament: parents were to educate their children, from a very early age, about the Scriptures. Later, a local, family rabbi might further instruct students, but keep in mind that the rabbi was only instructing the children about more and more Scriptures and commentaries that were already discussed and taught at home!!! I think that now for our current situation, a homeschool co-op is one of the best models of God's model. The parents are the main educators of their children, but for some subjects that are not the parents' particular strong suit, another parent would step in and teach the subject.

For example, my mother is an English major, so I know English backwards and forwards. However, when I finished Algebra 1 and continued into Algebra 2 and beyond, my mother found another person, who shared our beliefs and convictions, to help me understand the mathematics that I now so adore.

However, I have found that I am the exception to the rule, rather than the rule. Most of my peers were educated at public schools, and all I can say is that I am grateful that I was not! My passionate dislike of public schools encompasses more than just the worldviews taught and the way that it contradicts God's model; I don't like that the teachers don't expect practically anything of their students!

Excuse me, but in "real life," as in after graduation, bosses and college instructors don't give assignments for you to do "if you have time..." or "if you want to..." or "if you feel like it..." Teachers and bosses tell you to do something and they expect it to be done on the time line they give you, and to the specifications that they require. But you never would learn THAT in a public high school!

Let me give you one example: a former co-worker of mine attended a public high school that has a reputation for academics. His senior English class was assigned a 5 page paper. My co-worker wrote 2 & 1/2 pages... and got an A. I asked him how on earth he got an A on a 5 page paper that was half the assigned length, and he shrugged and said, "At least I turned it in. Some kids didn't."

I ask you, readers, what do you expect of future presidents' inauguration speeches? Do you think they will stay the same length they are now? Do you think that there will even be speeches? How many of these future presidents will have college degrees? I don't even want to think about it!

Well, dear readers, this is only one of many subjects about which I am passionate, but I'm saving more for later. I hope you enjoy, and I hope that this causes you to ponder education in new ways, and to pray for leaders to rise up and speak out for biblically-based education.

Monday, September 7, 2009


Hello, dear readers, What I'm about to post is pretty heavy. I mean, it's not light and fluffy; it's dark and powerful and inspiring.

Let me tell you the context. The series is called the Zion Covenant, by Bodie & Brock Thoene. It's the story of several Jewish people in Germany, Prague, Munich, Poland, and Jerusalem during World War II. There is an American reporter who is stationed in Europe, and even as he communicates the horrors of the Nazis to his superiors, he knows that his report will be a small blip in the back of the newspaper, because Americans and British and French people didn't want to become involved.

Here is his revelation: "...apathy was the glove into which evil slipped its hand. Apathy protected the fist of evil from skinning its knuckles as it slammed babies against a wall. The searing of a man's conscience was, in the end, just as deadly as a machine gun fired into a classroom of children, just as final in the end as the sinking of a ship."

Please contemplate this, dear, dear readers. Think about any apathy in yourself; now, what are you going to do about it? If you answer "nothing," then let me tell you, reader, that you have just given into apathy and let it rule over you. Your conscience has just been seared. I hope that thought scares all the apathy out of you.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Thorns & Changes

Hello, dear readers, I address you tonight on a more solemn note. My mind has been filled recently with some deeper broodings, and I ask you to bear with me.

I pulled some sticker bushes today, and my arms and legs got cut up. As I grimace at my discomfort, I think of Another One whose cuts made Him unrecognizable as a human, and I am thankful.

A single mom was blessed by housework today, and I ashamedly admit that I begrudged her, momentarily. Then I realized that she was truly grateful, and that it was the least that could be done, and I changed my begrudging into gratefulness for my parents.

My sister and I argued tonight...and then I realized, after watching The Soloist, that I know where my sister is, that she is still alive and well, and that not everybody goes to bed with that priviledge. I am thankful for my family.

As I took a warm shower and wrapped up in clean towels, I considered those who have not showered in weeks, even months. And what of those who do not live within 50 miles of running water? Or those who risk their lives to disease with every contaminated sip?

 As you can tell, readers, I am immensely blessed. I have my family, a comfortable house, and now I have a changed perspective.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

September already?!

Wow, my dear readers, how did August go by so quickly? It just started practically yesterday! Well, that is to be expected, I suppose. Time flies when you're having fun...or when you're old, asleep, or under pressure. I think I only qualify for the fun part and maybe the old part...I was definitely awake for August, and I was only under pressure on Monday campers.

I am excited for this September. There are a lot of new things starting this month, like I start my second year at school, my sister starts Master's Commission, so she'll be moving out and someone else will be moving in, and then I will only have 2 little sisses in high school! Wow, it's definitely weird!

But I'm learning that things are SO going the right way. This is how God created things to work: change happens, people grow up, plans are adjusted, etc. It is a good thing. I mean, the Creator finished His work and then stepped back and said, "It is good." I'm liking God's goodness, and I'm liking His handiwork. Welcome, September!