Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Clothed in Garments of Skin

Many times it is pointed out in church that after the fall of man in the Garden of Eden we see a foreshadowing of Christ in the lamb that was killed initially.

Something that had never struck me before was that mankind is literally now clothed in death. Death entered into the world when Adam ate of the forbidden fruit. But they were provided clothing of death ... literally ... from the skin of the lamb.

We were clothed by a lamb then, in death, because Adam could not do what he was supposed to: follow God's commands and submit himself and will to God.

So now Jesus, the second Adam, did was Adam did not do: followed God's commands and submitted himself and his will to God. He was the lamb who was sacrificed for us ... so that now instead of being clothed in death we can be clothed in life.

the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes

original image source

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Building Castles in the Air

For a person who love the Ideas as much as I do, I sure do like things concrete. I've realized this recently, especially due to various conversations with a few of my friends. I love the ideas and concepts and talking about them, but there comes a point in time when they need to come from the sky and firmly plant themselves on the ground.

This is why I don't build castles in the air. I try to be realistic, and not set arbitrary standards for people in different situations. I love fairy tales, but they are so overrated. I could singlehandedly come up with probably a thousand+ ways to be pursued and wooed, fairy tales give additional fuel in this arena. However, one area they strongly lack in is the ending.

And they lived happily ever after.

How does that help a young girl (or woman of any age, or even man of any age) form a proper idea about matrimony? Yes, the courting (etc) stage(s) are very important, but they aren't the end, just the means. Unless there is something besides "happily ever after" to live for together you will live and search for "happily ever after" apart, elsewhere. This is part of our societal problem today. We are a fairy tale society. We live off of Hollywood. Their movies, their stars, their magazines, their models, their lies. And we swallow them hook, line, and sinker, by the time we realize what we've done we've already taken in so much junk it's hard to distinguish it from the truth.

I could come up with over a thousand ways of pursuit, but I realize that while I have goals and objectives for life together with my future husband, I cannot actually trace a path. If I were to wander in the fields of woo-ment I could come up with different ideas without anyone in particular in mind. However, once I start thinking big picture I cannot go that far because it is a journey and a new life.

I do not approve of my visits to the land of air-borne castles for I realize now more than ever that the stage of friendship prior to marriage is the foundation upon which the marriage is built. The foundation, the framework, the threshold, and everything else must be sacred. Must be firmly grounded on the Bible and in Christ and cannot be floating in air.

Again, this is part of our problem as a society. Foundations are not considered essential in marriages or in prior stages. Instead you look across the room and fall in love with someone, as in the soap operas. Then we are surprised when, like the soap operas, there is jealousy, bitterness, distrust, brokenness, rage, etc in our own lives.

May we all strive to build our castles, whether they take the form of a poor, humble shack, a true castle, or something in between, on the solid foundation of Christ, and not being tossed about in the air.

original image source

Friday, August 14, 2009

Dear Diary

Dear Diary,

Shouldn't we be past having to iron our blouses/shirts, pants, and skirts to look sharp and professional? You'd think in this technological age we would have found a way around that by now.


original image source

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Obama's Government Mandated Healthcare

Yesterday I sat in the House Gallery listening to representatives give one minute speeches concerning the Health Care bill President Obama is trying to push through.

The numbers were staggering.

5:1 was the ratio - 5 against the legislation, 1 for

The number of constituents that had contacted their Representative was evident. Every speaker against the bill talked in concrete terms and was talking as representatives of their people. Every speaker for the bill talked abstractly and generally, never once talking about how this would affect their people.

There were several Representatives who also had a chart illustrating what kind of bureaucratic mess their people would have to muddle through for this new government mandated healthcare.
They are not allowed, via Speaker Pelosi's orders, to pass this chart out to their constituency, so they showed in the gallery, hoping for media coverage to show their people what this would look like in action.

I have found a copy of this chart and posted it below.

The people are not for government mandated, nationalized, socialized healthcare. It takes away ours rights. This would drastically change our government model from We the people, for the people, by the people, to We the government, for the government, by the government (while trying to convince you we aren't controlling anything).

Contact your Representative today. Kill the bill - before it kills you.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Remember Me

Why do we care about being remembered? Are we scared to believe that we live and grow and die? Why do we complain that there is pain in this life, and yet don't want to leave it? Why do we want to be immortal and immortalized?

Even those who are remembered are forgotten. Do we really remember Aristotle? Or do we remember his ideas? Do we really remember Queen Elizabeth II or do we remember stories passed down about her?

Even in memory who we are is forgotten. So why do we concern ourselves with being remembered? Could it be we do not want to be forgotten because we were made not to die? Do we want to be immortal because that is how we were made?

To live forever?

original image source

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Arrogant Americans, Mr. President?

Peter Heck - Guest Columnist - 4/14/2009 7:50:00 AM
As I was sitting in church waiting for the start of the service, my grandpa came walking towards me pointing his finger. No matter how old I get, and no matter how long he's been out of the U.S. Navy, that's still an intimidating sight. As he approached me, his voice quivered as he said, "We saved that continent dare my president apologize for this country's arrogance." My grandpa is right. Americans need not apologize to the world for their arrogance; rather, Americans should apologize to their forefathers for the arrogance of their president.

Barack Obama's first foreign trip as President of the United States has confirmed the naiveté so many of us feared during the election cycle. But worse than that, it has also demonstrated that our president suffers from either a complete misunderstanding of our heritage and history, or an utter contempt for it. Neither is excusable.

Garnering cheers from the French of all people, President Obama declared, "In America, there is a failure to appreciate Europe's leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive." Consider that Obama spoke these words just 500 miles from the beaches of Normandy, where the sand is still stained with 65-year-old blood of "arrogant Americans."

Indeed, columnist Mark Whittington observes, "One should remind Mr. Obama and the Europeans how America has 'shown arrogance' by saving Europe from itself innumerable times in the 20th Century. World War I, World War II, the Cold War, and the wars in the Balkans were largely resolved by American blood, treasure, and leadership." But all that appears lost on the president's seemingly insatiable quest to mend fences he imagines have been tarnished by the bullish George W. Bush.

If Obama wishes to continue trampling the presidential tradition of showing class to former office holders and publicly trash Bush for his own personal gain, so be it. But all Americans should make clear that no man – even if he is the president – will tarnish the legacy of those Americans who have gone before us. Ours is not a history of arrogance. It is a history of courage, self-sacrifice, and honor.

When abusive monarchs repressed the masses, Americans resisted and overthrew them. When misguided policies led to the unjust oppression of fellow citizens, Americans rebelled and overturned them. When millions of impoverished and destitute wretches sought a new beginning, Americans threw open the door and welcomed them. When imperial dictators were on the march, Americans surrendered their lives to stop them. When communist thugs threatened world peace, Americans bled to defeat them. When an entire continent was overwhelmed with famine and hunger, Americans gave of themselves to sustain it. When terrorist madmen killed the innocent and subjugated millions, Americans led the fight to topple them.

This is the legacy that generations of Americans have left. If President Obama seeks stronger relations with the world community, perhaps he should begin by reminding them of these very truths, rather than condemning his own countrymen on foreign shores.

This "obsessive need to put down his own country," has caused blogger James Lewis to call President Obama a "stunningly ignorant man" who has evidently never spoken to a concentration camp survivor, a Cuban refugee, a boat person from Vietnam, a Soviet dissident, or a survivor of Mao's purges.

Unfortunately, I can no longer bring myself to give Mr. Obama that benefit of the doubt. Not after looking at the pain in my grandpa's eyes...a man who still carries shrapnel in his body from his service to this country.

As a student and teacher of history, I recognize that America has made mistakes...plenty of them, in fact. But one of the great things about our people has been their courage and humility in admitting and correcting those mistakes. God willing, they will prove that willingness again in four years and correct the mistake that is the presidency of Barack Obama.


Friday, April 10, 2009

Letter to the Editor: "Letter to YOU"

I received this via email as a "letter to the editor" sort of deal. I liked what she had to say, so I'm posting it. If you would like to write a respectful response then please feel free to email me your letter as well: sophiesperspective [at] gmail [dot] com.

Please take time to read the whole of this post, even though it is a tad lengthy. Thank you!

Letter to YOU
picturesbystephanie [at] gmail [dot] com

Let me ask you a question you may or may not have ever thought about. What do the income tax system, welfare, and government stimulus packages all have in common?

They are all ways the government takes your money away from you and uses it however it sees fit. Or rather, since the government is in fact made of individuals, they are ways that those officials you elected to represent your interests are taking your money away and using it however they see fit. Apparently, that now includes firing businessmen.

If you hadn’t heard, President Obama recently told the CEO of Chrysler that he had to leave the company, in terms that made it seem like he had an option. Tell me this: If you were pressured by the president of the United States, with the support of Congress, saying he would only bail out your company if you quit, do you really think you would stay and face continued government pressure and public outrage? I ask again, not if you think it would be right or wrong, but would you dare to refuse? And if you did initially, how long would it last?

That’s not all. The US Secretary of the Treasury, Mr. Geitner, has demanded that he have personal and individual power over US companies and businesses—and Congress has granted it. This is yet more power concentrated in one person, and that person has the power to shut YOUR business down if he thinks it is not helping the economy—or for no reason at all. Maybe he won’t like your morals. Maybe he won’t like your slogan. It doesn’t matter and you’ll have no say in the situation. How do you feel about that?

What else do the income tax system, welfare, and government stimulus packages all have in common?

They are all parts of a socialist economy. Don’t believe me? Check out this economic plan proposed by the Socialist Party USA. You’ll find the income tax advocated under point number 6, welfare under number 12, and government “investment” (aka stimulus packages) under number 13. Much, much more is there for your perusal. Sit back and think, how many of those are already in place in the American economy today? Are we really capitalist anymore—or perhaps we have a mixed economy with capitalist roots that is swiftly heading towards socialism? America has not been a nation with a capitalist economy for a long time, and FDR’s socialist New Deal policies pushed American economics down a steep hill heading toward a cliff. We’re currently picking up more speed.

As you read the list of a few socialist goals for America, remember that no matter how good some of those goals sound, the money has to come from somewhere. And you can bet (figuratively speaking of course, since betting is poor financial management and will get you in trouble) that all those millions and billions of dollars needed for employing everyone who wants a job—and supporting those who prefer to be unemployed—will not come from the pockets of the Party leaders. No, they don’t have that kind of money. They are poor socialists who give all their extra money away to those poorer than them, at least if they follow their own theory. Their solution is to force YOU to give up your money to finance these endeavors.

What’s the point of me talking so much about socialism? Didn’t I start off talking about President Obama’s economic plan and actions he’s taking to intervene in the economy? Yes, I did. They are connected. Joined. Inseparable. By the way, I know you understand what I’m saying perfectly. Our president is a socialist. He can deny it all he wants, but he can also deny being black. It doesn’t change the facts. If you can’t tell just by his policies, here's an article that might help convince you. It summarizes many references, including socialist websites, providing evidence to that effect.

Here’s another article for your rumination. It counters socialist economics at some basic levels and shows that our current economic woes are not coming from capitalism as President Obama and other pro-socialist leaders would have you believe. Despite all the central planning (remember that term; you’ll see it again) that our government is doing, the economy is still going downhill—or perhaps because of it. Did you know that many of the interventions have mirrored FDR’s New Deal policies? Oh, those wonderful policies that saved this country from the Depression. Wouldn’t it be nice if we listened to tried-and-true economists who shout warnings that the New Deal actually prolonged the Depression?

Let’s look at a couple of other countries that had the income tax system, welfare, and government stimulus packages, and what happened when their leaders used those facets of the economy to take control of the nation. As you’ll see, both of these sound remarkably like our economy—excessive control of businesses through the Secretary of the Treasury position, excessive regulation, “stimulus” stipulations, government interference in income and government interference in the country’s standard of living (i.e. welfare). We’re heading the same direction as those countries if something doesn’t turn around in the way we think about several key things, economics being one of them.

Then first leader is famous—infamous in fact. He got his start taking control of the economy-- know who he was? Here’s a hint from that article you should still be ruminating on:
In other words, [socialists say] the real solution is central planning; the very thing that turned middle and Eastern Europe into a vast slagheap and gave birth to the Gulag. (Central planning and totalitarianism are both sides of the same coin).
Yep, Stalin.

Now guess who this refers to:
[They had] an all-around system of central planning. In [their] economy there was no question of private initiative and free enterprise. All production activities were directed by the [Minister of Economics—similar to the Secretary of the Treasury]. No enterprise was free to deviate in the conduct of its operations from the orders issued by the government. Price control was only a device in the complex of innumerable decrees and orders regulating the minutest details of every business activity and precisely fixing every individual's tasks on the one hand and his income and standard of living on the other.
Yep, Nazis. Hitler.

Thanks, Mr. President.


Monday, March 2, 2009

A Pocketbook Full of Memories

As I'm cleaning around, I find a pocketbook I have not used in several months, but is nonetheless very full.

Here is what I found in my pocketbook:

  • Scissors from kindergarden
  • Pens and lanyards from conferences around the nation
  • A couple of packets of sunflower seeds and some sugar in the raw
  • My very first wallet and some packets of tea
  • An old Pepsi cap I always meant to give my brother
  • A coin pouch bought from a Filipino woman at a concert
  • A piece of candy from a child
  • Some gift cards I've saved for crafts and a piece of cement I picked up at some beach
  • Bracelets and necklaces made by my sister and I
  • Old receipts and bookmarks and theater tickets
  • Hebrew vocabulary cards
  • LOTS of highlighters and pencils
  • A fork from who knows when
  • A sewing kit, guitar pick, and a barnacled sea snail shell
  • Band-aides, antibiotic, and more besides
  • And a handful of crayons
Yes, it's a pocketbook full of memories.

picture credit