Saturday, March 28, 2009

Some Things I've Been Meaning to Link to

Dana Haley at Principled Discovery has an excellent post on breast-feeding and the view of some that it (at staying at home) is a waste of time. Here is my favorite quote:

And just what exactly does it mean to “work in any meaningful way?” Full time (or more) at the beck and call of…your boss, your customers, your editor, your anyone-besides-your-family-whose-requests-are-somehow-meaningful-because-a-paycheck-is-attached? Of course a woman’s time is not “worth nothing.” To me, it is worth far more than anyone could pay. Rather than without value, my time invested in my children is invaluable.

Wesley Smith at Secondhand Smoke has an interesting post about poverty being the answer in the eyes of many radical environmentalists.

And thus we see how the healthy environmentalism that cleaned up filthy rivers and reduced Los Angeles air pollution is quickly mutating into an implicit and explicit anti-humanism that is in danger of leading to becoming so degraded in our self perception, that we could reach the point of being urged (forced?) to become human sacrifices on Gaia's altar.

Thanks to Alex and Bret at The Rebelution for introducing me to Deborah Drapper. BBC did a documentary on her and boy is she brave in sharing her faith. May God give me such boldness. I will have to add her blog to the sidebar. Here is a clip from the documentary.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Read and Share DVD Volume 1

Read and Share DVD Volume 1 is a collection of 13 animated Bible stories. I watched these DVDs with my two kids. They are 5 and 6.5. Here are some of our thoughts.

The Good
First of all, the kids found these videos to be enjoyable. They sometimes even asked to watch more than I had planned for our daily Bible time.

I found the animation to be pleasant. It looked hand-drawn, but the shadows and such were so well done that I think it must have been computer generated.

Topics such as Satan and polygamist marriages were handled tastefully without re-writing history. Angels were made to look powerful instead of cutesy. I found this refreshing for a children's product.

The Annoying
Noah's ark was represented as a tiny vessel that could barely fit two elephants let alone 2 or 7 of every kind of animal in the world. Also Noah's family was represented as a bunch of white (or possibly Hispanic) looking people. This undermines the fact that all people on earth today came from this one family.

Not very much of the Old Testament was covered. For example there is no mention of Joseph, Moses, Joshua, the judges, David, Solomon, Elijah, Elisha, Hezekiah, Josiah, Daniel or Nehemiah. After Jacob and Esau you skip to Baby Jesus. Granted this is Volume 1, but if these stories are going to be included in Volume 2 then the chronological nature of the videos will be skewed.

There are a couple of minor inaccuracies. For example, one of the disciples that Jesus takes with him to Jairus' house is a woman. I want accuracy even in the small things especially when my children are watching.

The title of this DVD is misleading. There is nothing to read. After getting the DVD, I learned that the title is after a Bible story book. But I didn't know that when I got it and so was expecting some kind of reading to be intertwined.

Because of these annoyances I can't give this very well animated and scripted video 5 stars. I have to go with 3.5 (maybe 4).

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Spring is in the Air

I doubt that whoever coined the phrase "Spring is in the air." lived in Fort Worth, TX. The main scent of our spring is onions. Our yard (and most other people's) is full of wild onions. There are many pleasant things about spring here. Bluebonnets, for example. But I could live without the onions.

I would love to hear what spring smells like where you are.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bravo, Lila Rose and Montana

Lila Rose is the president of Live Action. Thanks to her and Live Action the Arizona Attorney General's Office has begun an investigation into Planned Parenthood's lack of reporting when it comes to rape and sexual abuse. This investigation was prompted (at least in part) by the undercover footage provided to Pima and Maricopa Counties by Live Action. I encourage you to read the report here and view the video below.

Also, bravo to Montana and the folks at Personhood Montana. According to Personhood Montana, the Montana Senate passed an amendment to their Constitution that gives all people the rights of personhood from conception through old age.

SB 406, which defines person for the purposes of application of inalienable rights, states, "All persons are born free and have certain inalienable rights...person means a human being at all stages of human development of life, including the state of fertilization or conception, regardless of age, health, level of functioning, or condition of dependency."

Now this amendment must pass the Montana House with 74 votes in order to become law.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Things That Make Me Go RRRRRR!

First thing. . .

How did it escape me that Compean and Ramos were released from prison in February (though the official sentence ended only a few days ago)? This has probably been all over the Internet and news. Here I am the last to know. Sigh. Anyway, I was certainly glad to hear about it. Just annoyed not the hear about it a month ago.

Second thing. . .

A Oakland, CA pastor, Walter Hoye, has been arrested and sentenced to 30 days of jail time and a fine of slightly more than $1,000 for approaching a woman outside of an Oakland abortion mill. You can read the Life Site News perspective here and the San Francisco Chronicle perspective here. It seems that Mr. Hoye broke a law that forbids people coming within 8 feet women entering abortion facilities. How peacefully coming within 8 feet of anyone could be a crime is beyond me! (As a side note, according to his Facebook page, he is a fan of Institute for Creation Research, Mike Huckabee, the Bible, and the Declaration of Independence. I think I could like this guy if I ever met him.)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Converted Again in Africa

My mom wrote this article for her church bulletin. She has given me permission to post it here. I only deleted the names of the people mentioned.

[The medical mission director] once told me, “More people in Africa are converted to Jesus through song than through preaching.” I learned of this truth on our way home from Similundu, a village about six hours out in the bush in Zambia.

The last day at Similundu had been hard on everyone—half of the American workers were sick with dehydration problems, and we had been experiencing rough, cold nights on the hard ground. We had seen about six thousand people in three days with at least a thousand people still waiting when we closed the clinic the last day to go back to Namwianga Mission. We were all exhausted mentally, physically, and emotionally.

I was tired and half-sick, and I knew that the ride home would prove of no comfort since our mode of transportation was the back of an old, flat topped ambulance; eight of us, sitting on narrow benches (all Zambian nurses and me) had to crunch over so that our heads wouldn’t hit the top of the ambulance; the door of the ambulance constantly swung open, and the gas fumes swept in through the opened back door; we put the windows down to get some air, but the dust poured in with the air. We were weary from three long days of tending to sick people and telling of Jesus.

I was grumbly, impatient, and was quick to ask the Zambian nurse,“May I please put my head in your lap.” She readily said, “OK,” and I lay my head in her lap. About that time the ambulance driver hit a pot hole, and I bounced off [the Zambian nurse's] lap into the floor of the ambulance. I thought, “Coming to Africa was a dumb idea. This whole thing is awful!”

The Zambian nurses (as if cued from heaven) started singing to me, “Yebo Jesu, Yebo Jesu, Nduwe Mufutuli wnagu” (You, Jesus, You are my Savior.) Kakandiyanda ndembi (You loved men when I was a sinner)Watufwida toone (You died for all of us) Nduwe wakandilungila (You are the one who paid) Umulanda woonse (For my sinful behavior) Bululmai nsibujisi (I don’t even have righteousness) Abusweyi boone (I am not even hospitable) Swena Jesu undisinizye (Come near Jesus and wash me) Sanzya moyo woonse (Clean all the parts of my heart)”
I thought about beaten Paul and Silas singing at midnight in the jail and how the jailer listened and was converted. My heart turned back to Jesus with thankfulness, and my complaining stopped.

But oh how my heart melted when later that night I learned that even though I had slept warm in the cold weather in my sleeping bag and comfortable on the hard ground on my air mattress, the Zambian nurses, who had comforted me with songs about Jesus, had slept cold without a sleeping bag and without an air mattress to cushion the hard ground. They had sung to me about wonderful Jesus even though their sleeping conditions had been ten times worse than mine had been.

Singing Jesus praises can convert and remind people of security and safety in Jesus. “Yebo Jesu, Yebo Jesu”(You Jesus, You Jesus, You are my Savior!)

My mom spends most of the summer in Africa these days doing everything from prison ministry to working with refugees to being a dental assistant at the medical mission. I hope that she has many more years of service in this way. I am proud of you, Mom.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sabbath Years

I am reading through the Law of Moses. I came upon these verses today from Exodus 23.

10 "For six years you are to sow your fields and harvest the crops, 11 but during the seventh year let the land lie unplowed and unused. Then the poor among your people may get food from it, and the wild animals may eat what they leave. Do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove. 12 "Six days do your work, but on the seventh day do not work, so that your ox and your donkey may rest and the slave born in your household, and the alien as well, may be refreshed. (NIV)

Here are some more verses about the Sabbath year from Leviticus 25.

20 You may ask, "What will we eat in the seventh year if we do not plant or harvest our crops?" 21 I will send you such a blessing in the sixth year that the land will yield enough for three years. 22 While you plant during the eighth year, you will eat from the old crop and will continue to eat from it until the harvest of the ninth year comes in.

What a leap of faith that would be! No wonder the Israelites never followed through on it. So we can't look to the past to see what they did. We can read God's reaction to their disobedience.
2 Chronicles 36: 20-21

20 He carried into exile to Babylon the remnant, who escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and his sons until the kingdom of Persia came to power. 21 The land enjoyed its sabbath rests; all the time of its desolation it rested, until the seventy years were completed in fulfillment of the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah. (NIV)

I have often wondered if there is a Christian equivalent to this Sabbatical year. I mean, I have heard sermons about the importance of observing a weekly day of rest. I have never heard a sermon about taking a year off.

I don't know if this command in Exodus is talking about resting for a year or just allowing the land and animals to rest. I mean was everyone (weavers, carpenters, etc.) suppose to stop working or was it just farmers? And could a farmer take up carpentry that year as long as he let the land go fallow?

Anyway, like I said, I have never heard much about these verses so I would love to hear your opinions.