Sunday, December 10, 2006

A Good Wife Always Knows Her Place

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This is a very interesting article from Housekeeping Monthly written in 1955. While the distance of time makes this somewhat humorous for today's reader, there are other emotions that come to me after thinking about it for a while.

My first emotion is joy. I'm filled with joy as a husband to know that my relationship with my wife is more than just her working to please me. I'm filled with joy that I have the responsibility and right to seek her better good.

My second emotion is quite different from the first as I also feel sadness about something lost. I'm not sad at all about the lost of June Cleaver wife roll. I am sad that most women are culturally encouraged to not serve their husband. But just as much, I'm sad that the movement away from June Cleaver, men were not challenged more to love their wives and to work to meet their needs.

Unfortunately, the liberation of women was about women have the right to ignore their husband's needs rather than focusing on the need for men to meet the needs of women. Rather than mutuality in marriage, our culture has focused on independence.

It isn't that I don't think there was a move away from the 1955 housekeeper roll in marriage. Certainly that was not marriage as God intended it to be. Although, I do believe that God desires both spouses to find high reward in meeting the need other their partner. Their can only be reward in interdependence and no such reward in independence.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Engineering and the soul

We can engineer many things in this world. We can plan and design our home, office building and structures of many kinds. We can engineer our roadways, bridge great divides between roads and design vehicles to travel on those roads. Some vehicles are huge and can go anywhere on or off the highways. Other vehicles are small and designed to get along on very little fuel. We have developed ways to move people around the world in a matter of hours. Airplanes that people have designed, planned and build can now fly several times the speed of sound.

We have a medical industry that is in the business of engineering health. We can send a camera and clippers into the human body and remove many different ailments. This week, I'll spend thousands of dollars to pay and engineer to perfect my daughter's smile. Other engineers develop medication to wipe out all kinds of illnesses, eradicating many of them so they may never infect another human.

We can engineer so many things, but as our engineers succeed, there is not thing that they cannot redesign. That is the human soul, the spirit of a person.

This as so frustrated so many scientists and engineers that many have concluded that the soul must not exist. If it can be measure, seen or touched with an human hand or man-made instrument, it must be a fantasy. Yet it does exist.

People are trying to engineer it. They have developed a whole field to study and try to manipulate the soul. They call that field psychology. Counseling is a great growing field. But in the end, it proves to be inadequate at engineering they perfect human soul. Most counseling techniques leave their subject with a large dependency on crutches. "Six sessions may not be adequate for you. You will need to continue your counseling indefinitely," says a common psychological school.

We can't engineer the perfect human soul, but there is an engineer that can prefect it. That is the Lord Jesus. Through the work the Holy Spirit our souls will be prefect. Let God mold your soul and it will work. Human attempts may offer some relief to temporal problems, but God alone has the ability to truly fix the soul.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Life as a Children's Pastor

It's a somewhat typical day in the church, except today I have a visiting group of Japanese youth coming to speak to my 1st to 4th grade class. In addition to that change, the child's choir was singing in the service so we held our program up for about 15 minutes waiting for their return.

Just as the children flocked into the room, I saw a mother in the door way trying to get my attention. She had noticed the Kindergarten teacher in some stress and came to solicit my help. Because my children were settling in for a few minutes of music (and I'm not musical), I took the opportunity to check on this teacher's need.

It turns out that she was overwhelmed by the extra students that the children's choir had drawn to her class. I made my way down to the junior high class room to call on a last-minute assistant. No problem. As I introduced the assistant to the teach a child ran into my leg with muffled cries.

I looked down. What do you suppose I saw. A boy who had been in the class for less than 3 minutes had a bucket stuck to his head. Not sure what was up, I grabbed the bucket and gave it a tug. It wasn't budging. He, I'm sure with the help of some companions, had wedged the bucket on good. The job took some patience. and a tight grip on his ears, but the bucket did pop off.

Please pray for Kindergarten teachers. If the children don't drive them crazy, the teachers will surely die laughing at their attempts.


I've just begun coaching a 7th and 8th grade girls lacrosse team. I don't know anything about the sport, but my daughter asked me to volunteer as an assistant. Of course, in reality, that means I volunteered to be the coach.

Not knowing lacrosse is only a minor problem. Most of the girls on the team have an idea what they are doing and my job is to motivate them to do it right. The problem is, it's a junior high girl's team. After two practices of facing every thing from defiant attitudes, lack of desire, comments about the weather, and cliquish behavior, I asked my 12 year old daughter, "Do all junior high girls have an attitude?"

Her response came without hesitation. "Duh!"

The good news is, I can laugh my way through most of that.

Friday, February 17, 2006

How Not to Influence People - Christianity Today Magazine

Interesting. I haven't read this book yet, but assuming this review is accurate, I makes me wonder when conservatives are going to realize that what we need is less other side bashing and more loving influence. The title is what bothers me. Why take a twist on a much criticized book from 10 years ago. If anything, Santorum has proved Rodham-Clinton's influence with It Takes a Villiage. Did he not have a message of his own that could stand on a title of its own development?

How Not to Influence People - Christianity Today Magazine

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Child's quote about change

"The thing I don't like about change is that it is always so different."
-- Elie Johnson, Grade 5

Quote Details: Josh Billings: A dog is the... - The Quotations Page

A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.
Josh Billings
US Humorist (1818 - 1885)
Of course, a dog loves to eat is own poop too.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Homes reflect our loss of community

Have you ever noticed that home design over the last 100 years have changed, and with each change the dweller's connection with their neighborhood has been lost? Look at these examples taken from Lincoln, Nebraska. (I chose Lincoln because it is a hearland community that in many ways typifies America.

Notice house is small. Very small when you consider that int 1900 the average size family was much larger than in 2000. The porch is the prominant feature. Both the house and the lot are narrow so on either side, not too far away are the neighbors. With the home being so small, it is easy to imagine that the family used the porch as an extention to the rest of the home.

1950Post WWII, the house is still small, but now situated parallel to the street. Thus the neibors walls, while still close to the home structure, have a feeling of being further from the living space. Also, look how much deeper the front lawn has become.

1980This home shows a maturing of some principles started in the post-WWII era. The front yard is deeper and while the two houses are very close in space, one gets the feeling that that isn't space that a person would normally use. There is an active side of the yard and an inactive side. The active side is dominated by concrete. Notice also that the front door is now more difficult to reach for any visitor.

What feature on this house is more noticable than anything else? If you didn't say garage, then you and I are looking at different pictures. Interestingly, several features have re-immerged from the 1900 home. First, the porch. But I get the feeling that this porch is more decorative than useful. Second, the front yard is smaller. But then again, it seems that the yard is completely unusable. In fact, this house is build for people who own garage door openers. They drive up, pull in, and spend 95% of their time inside.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Level 5 Leadership

Jim Collins describes a leader that often surpasses all others. He calls this leadership Level 5 Leadership in his book Good to Great. Here are the qualities of a Level 5 Leader:

  • Ambition for the organization: Setting up successors for success.
  • Compelling modesty.
  • Unwavering resolve to do what must be done.
  • Looks outward to give credit and inward for responsibility.
The Level 5 Leader has both great ambition for the company/organization/mission and great humility. His pride is in the accomplishment of the organization rather than himself.

What Kind of 'Sound' Is Switchfoot Making?

What Kind of 'Sound' Is Switchfoot Making?

Here's an interesting perspective on the music of Switchfoot. Is it OK to be a band of Christians with out being a "Christian" band? On first glance most Christians would say "no." But I wonder if there isn't some shortsightedness to that answer.

The good news is that Switchfoot is reflecting the same values that Christians uphold. They're doing it in a giant arena. How many times have Christians complained that today's music is too vulgar? Here is a band that is doing something about that.

The complaint is that Switchfoot analyses the problems of the world, but never gives the prescription. Of course, the prescription is Jesus Christ.

I believe that it is important for all Christians to uphold the truth that Salvation is found only in the person of Jesus Christ. However, if Switchfoot were to make this the theme of their music their audience would shrink to fit the Christian community. How many musical groups does the Christian community need preaching the Gospel on Christian radio? I'd say we have plenty of those, and too often the Christian record producers force artist into a "Jesus Jingle" mode with happy little lyrics that water down the real issues that people are dealing with.

Saying that Christian musician must always produce music with explicit references to the Gospel is like saying Christian engineers should only design church buildings, or Christian store owners should only own Bible book store. (You know? The stores that sell all the little plaques with the footprints poem.)

We need more Switchfoots in the music business. We need Switchfoot style movie makers. We need people with Switchfoot's perspective in the news media and in every industry.

As long as Switchfoot continues to write songs that are consistent with the Christian message, the Christian world must acknowledge their benefit to the world and to the message of Jesus Christ, whether or not they ever specifically ask their audiences to "ask Jesus into their hearts."

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Grace Point First Baptist Church of Newtown-Family Life Center

Don't forget to register for the upcoming seminar on youth culture. Tickets are $5 and the speaker, Walt Mueller, is top-notch. Click the link below for more information about the event and how to get tickets.

Grace Point First Baptist Church of Newtown-Family Life Center

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Good words/quotes for me today

All the Google quotes and the word fit me in different ways today. Let me explain...

Word of the Day
quondam: former; sometime

I believe that I am either a full fledged quondam conservative or at least a quondam Republican. At any rate, either of these phrases would express the fact that while I used to buy into the respective political philosophies, I don't as much. Still, my old political leanings formed my politics today. Not that I have abandoned these philosophies full scale, but that I now look at them with much more discernment. Certainly, I am still more conservative than liberal and more likely to vote Republican than Democratic, but I would no longer use these terms to define myself.

Quote of the Day
Genius might be described as a supreme capacity for getting its possessors into trouble of all kinds.
- Samuel Butler

Of course I'm not a genius intellectually, still I feel that I have a certain way of looking at the world that is different, and in some ways, perhaps more developed than many who just see the easy way to survive or to earn a buck. It is this way of looking at the world that often causes me to say things that are frustrating to others, or to cause me to get down upon myself.

America had often been discovered before Columbus, but it had always been hushed up.
- Oscar Wilde

This quote relates to me only as I have been reading about the Basques of late partly of basque heritage. In my reading I've learned that there is good evidence that basques fishermen came to the Americas long before Columbus, but did not share their discovery out of want to keep their new found fishing hole a secret.

One doesn't have a sense of humor. It has you.
Larry Gelbart

Again, not that I'm particularly funny all the time, but when something is funny to me, I can't control the desire to share it, think about it, or do something creative with it. The sense of humor takes me.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Inside Bay Area - Bay Area Living

Inside Bay Area - Bay Area Living: "DEVELOPMENTAL psychologists have identified four different child-rearing styles: authoritative, authoritarian, permissive and uninvolved. Of these four, the authoritative approach shines above the others, is recommended by most child-care experts, produces self-confident and self-controlled children and is backed by 30 years of conclusive research. But don't confuse this with authoritarian parenting ('My way or the highway!')."

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Prayer for 2006

The following is a prayer that I'd like to pray throughout 2006. My hope is to pray this everyday and occationally update it so by the end of the year, it will be meaningful for my whole life.

Lord, give me a light to show me the way: a pilar of fire that goes before me. May my path be full of godly adventure. May there be many unknowns before me. But guide me each step that I may never feel alone or stumble.

Give me stregth to stand up against sin: my own sinful deeds and thoughts first, and then let me speak out against the sin I see around me.

Renew my love for other people that no one would be a bother in my day.

Lord, bring the most loved one back into the rightful place in my life. Let me be a leader in my family: to Stef and to my girls. Help me to lead them in my love for you through my actions and attitude. Keep my mind and eyes pure and my thoughts directed to Stefanie. Make me an example of a gracefilled man to my Moriah and Elisa. Let me also learn to lead in my greater family and may I have time to spend with them. May I be drawn closer to my parents in their autum years. May I be an example of your wisdom and peace to my brothers and sister, and may I be may I have a renewed relationship.

Make me a man of prayer interceding for those around me: my family, the families of my church, my neighbors, and the missionaries that I love and respect.

Lord, the Body of Christ needs good men-show me the best way to lead it. Make me spiritual enough to lead the church but never one dimentional. Make me one who drives people to serve you and show me how to deligate you work. Let me always be understanding of other's struggles with sin, but always helpful in returning them to their relationship with you.

Strengthen my love for your Word and for prayer. Be my dwelling place. Be my home. Be the one I share first all the experiences of my life. Be the center of all my attention.

Psalm 90

Sunday, January 01, 2006

"I like world peace"

Did anyone else hear it? The street reporter, whose name escapes me right now, was talking to three police officers about their New Year's resolutions. The first officer spoke of his desire to loose weight. She responded, "Yea, loose weight," as she patted at his stomach.

The second officer intensely stated his resolution. "I'm going to pray for world peace." That was a I nice sentiment from one who see the peaceful-less side of the world so closely. And our reporter's wisest response was....

"I like world peace."

Come one now. What kind of response is that from a reporter? Can't ABC do better than that? "I like world peace." That isn't even the truth. At least, who could know if they like world peace? It has never been experience. "I like the thought of world peace." "I like the idea of praying for world peace." "World peace is something we all desire." Those could have been good responses. "I like world peace only shows that young reporters are either incompetent or it show that this young person has no concept of the true evil that runs wild in this world. - Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve 2006