Other places I blog




web stats

Follow Me on Twitter

Entries in Random thoughts (13)


Fall randomness

Fall is here, and I hope to enjoy it. Today, we're going on a trip to the gorge at Niagara Falls. It's a beautiful day for photos. I need some fun time. The course I am taking, which is a survey of the Bible, is a lot more work than the previous class I took. There is a lot of reading. I'm on schedule for next week with the exception of some reading on Esther. In my Bible reading for the course, I'm on Job 13. I like my prof a lot. He challenges us to think hard about the issues.

I'm off soon for a conference in Quebec. The last time I went to a conference with my husband, it was to Whitehorse. La Malbaie has some big shoes to fill. I have two assignments I need to finish before I go. 

I'm scheduled to get my cast off on October 7th, and I will be glad. There is a lot I can't do, and typing is not easy. Part of the way my seminary class discusses things is through an on-line forum. My contributions have been brief. Maybe that's a good thing.

A broken metacarpal has intruded on my knitting projects. I am making some things for Christmas gifts, and while I can knit, it's slow going, and it hurts my thumb, index and middle finger, who are not used to bearing all of the knitting load. Those other two immobilized fingers are missed. I am almost done this one:


Last week was full of all kinds of internet angst. I took a little interest in it, but with school, I just don't have the time to ponder those matters. Again, maybe that is a good thing. That said, I do miss some of my blogging friends who are also busy.

Pumpkin season is upon us. Somewhere in the midst of things, I do have to get my pie pumpkins and freeze some. I am the pie-maker for Thanksgiving dinners, and I plan on using fresh puree. Can you believe we are already talking about Thanksgiving?

Things don't have much promise of slowing down. In October, my son's girlfriend is having her graduation recital. She is a pianist, and I'm looking forward to hearing her program. I also have a mid-term the next day, so I'd better study well.

One of my oldest friends has breast cancer. I was so thankful to hear a positive pathology report. Still, it is a scary thing. One in nine women will be affected by breast cancer. I wonder how many of my other friends will confront this.

Reading through the historical books reminds me again of God's mercy. It's also reminded me of the war themes in Scripture. My prof is researching holy war. I'd be interested to hear his thoughts.

My fingers have had enough, and there's still time to get some reading done before we go. Happy Saturday!


Is objectivity real?

Recently, I had the occasion to overhear a conversation among Christians discussing the ethics of medical marijuana. One of the participants made a plea for people to "objective," about it. She wanted to see the statistics, the research, the objective facts, because it was believed there was too much emotion in the discussion. I understand where this person was coming from, but something that was missing entirely from this conversation (aside from any mention of how Christians ought to respond to ethical discussions) was the recognition of presuppositions.

We do need facts. We do need to understand an ethical issue aside from a ten minute Google search. But once we are armed with the facts, the question remains, what do we do with those facts? How do they inform our ideas? How do we respond to those facts?

Humans, by virtue of being created in God's image (that's my presupposition) are moral creatures, and our morality is shaped by our experiences and presuppositions. Even disbelief in something is a moral position. Disbelief in God is a moral position. It says something about how we view the world and our place in it. As a Christian, I presuppose certain things because I believe in a Creator, and that will affect how I respond to the facts of an issue. How I respond to an ethical question such as the issue of medical marijuana will flow from my presuppositions. The same can be said for someone who does not hold to a Christian view of the world.

Is there anything such as pure objectivity? Can anyone be completely divorced from their presuppositions? I wonder about that. We are not automatons (co-incidentally, a moral position). We cannot remove our decision-making from our particular way of looking at the world. We can work hard to understand all sides of the question, but in the end, we cannot be purely objective. Our presuppositions will always affect how we respond to something. 

Christians operate within a biblical framework. The revelation and authority of God shapes our views and our reactions. How "objective" can we be?  When we say we want to be objective, we may actually be saying we want to please all sides of an argument. I don't think that is possible without sacrificing our own positions on a matter. If the matter up for debate is whether or not there is judgment at the end of this life, being objective in order to appear agreeable will mean I may have to avoid being explicit about the truth. Discussing abortion would demand the same thing. To be 100% objective would require not really having a position on an issue, wouldn't it?

I'm no apologist or ethicist, but this has been rolling around in my head lately since I heard that discussion. Objectivity is seen as such a virtue, but how objective is anyone? Considering the difficulty we have in persuading people, I think objectivity isn't all it's cracked up to be. If what people mean by objective is being dispassionate and weighing all sides, then that's good. But at the end of it all, we all have to arrive at a position, or what's the point of debating something?

No, I don't think pure objectivity is possible. We can censor ourselves to appear objective, but how often do we want to do that? Far better to present our arguments through the lens of biblical truth, with clarity, and with love and kindness.


Disappointment and the Sovereignty of God

For the past couple of months, I have been preparing to teach three one hour workshops for women about bible study.  These workshops were part of a larger program sponsored by my church, called the Super Saturday Seminars.  In addition to my contribution, there were workshops directed to children's ministry and youth ministry.  Our church has held them for the past few years and invited other local churches to attend.

I was informed today that the whole thing is being cancelled due to lack of pre-registration.

All that work, and nowhere to teach the material.

It was going to be good.  I was so excited to teach women about bible study.  There is a need for women to know the bible.  But I trust God's sovereignty in this, and hope for another chance to do this.  I have my notes and I'm all finished except for making the handouts.

It's kind of like being all dressed up with no place to go.  


There Other Side of 3:00 p.m.

Here I sit on a sunny Sunday afternoon in early winter. Looking outside, you'd never know it was January. The mid-afternoon sun is climbing over the house and splashing on the fence in the back yard. My desk, which sits where a dining room should actually be, faces into the yard. I have a fire going; the Beagle is lying down in front of the fire which probably needs a log soon. It's quiet. 

Quiet is something I have become accustomed to in these past few years as my children have begun spreading their wings and setting out on the course of life. The last one, my 17 year old, sits in the family room plugged into some kind of device, I'm not sure which. Perhaps it is his cell phone, or online gaming. The older two kids have recently returned to school after the Christmas break. This time next year, the 17 year old will also have gone back with them, and the house will really be empty. I am conscious of these changes taking place. 

Tomorrow, he will go away at 8:30 in the morning and return shortly after 3:00. I am conscious that this time next year, that hour of 3:00 will no longer be a marker in my life. I will have become what they call an “empty nester.” 

They write books about parenting, about teenagers, about teenage rebellion, about the need for nursing our babies, feeding our husbands, submitting to the authorities, and travelling on the journey. But where are the books for women who are about to become those empty nesters? Perhaps the women who are becoming empty nesters are all gone back to their careers. I have no such career to return to because I made my children my “career” if you will. For better or worse, that was the decision I made. Oh, I finished my education and put it to good use in homeschooling them, but I will not return to the hospital, the board room, the court room, or the office when my nest is empty. What will I do? The problem is not that I have no idea; the problem is that I have too many ideas. The problem is that having something to do does not change the fact that I am a mother and that motherhood is changing. Being busy is good, but it isn't always the answer. There are deeper questions involved other than “what will I do?” 

Where are all the women who have gone through this? Where are their wise words? And I don't mean about how to turn that baking skill they had into a small business that earns their retirement fund. I am talking about making the transition into a mother of adult children. I'm not looking to find something to “replace” my children. It's about learning to step back while still parenting. It's about the role that I have now before God; the role now that motherhood is changing. One role remains the same and that is my role as a wife. It is daunting to navigate these things especially when we live in a society that considers someone a useless individual unless he/she earns a living. Even in Christian circles, there is a certain amount of condescension toward women who stay at home when they don't have small children. If you stay home because you're wiping noses and changing diapers, it's tolerable, but after that, you'd better get some kind of gainful employment, even if it is a greeter at Wal-Mart. 

As I look ahead to this year of 2012 when I will have my 25th wedding anniversary and become an empty nester, I approach life with equal amounts of anticipation and trepidation.  I know God is sovereign, and I know that He is in control, but unknown is always a bit unnerving.

These are some of the thoughts that occupy my thinking as I contemplate the other side of 3:00 p.m.


Context is king

I had a random thought.   What else is new?  I feel like my brain is trying to tweet, only giving me clips of insight under 140 characters.

I was thinking about things I would tell my teenaged self now that I am older and supposedly wiser.  There are many things I would tell myself, but I'm pretty sure I would not have listened.

I was also thinking that the things at my age, 46, which I would tell my teenaged self are different than what I would have told my teenaged self when I was 25 years old.  What I would have told my teenaged self before I had teenagers is different than what I would say now, having raised three teenagers.

Context is crucial.

This comes into my head at moments when I look at the trend to have youth leaders who are young.  I think we need a balance between those who are young and have a closer memory to their teen years and those who have actually raised teenagers.  Balance is good.  I like balance.