Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Making It Official

Let me start by saying 'thank you' to the lovely ladies who have emailed me to ask about my extended absence on the blog. I am fine, the baby is fine. The e-notes just brought forward the need to sign off the web world...albeit temporarily.

It isn't that I haven't had post ideas on my mind, in fact I have several notes jotted down. I just haven't got the energy to stay awake for my usual blogging time, which is after Duck and Dad are in bed. Somewhere between 10 p.m. and midnight I still enjoy visiting and reading other blogs, but pulling out the keyboard and concentrating on my spelling and grammar is just beyond my brain (baby brain!) at this point in my pregnancy.

So, I am signing off for a blogging sabbatical. At least for a few months until my life has returned to a normal energy level and some semblance of routine. If you want an announcement when the baby arrives, just email me and I will be sure to keep you in the loop.

You will see me around the web world visiting though - I need the encouragement that is always found at my favourite sites!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Slippery Slope

Not too long ago, my husband became acquainted with a man who has only been a Canadian in the last ten years. Originally from Czechoslovakia, he is a little older than we are (mid 50's) and therefore he grew up in a communist regime.

He describes his childhood as pleasant and family oriented, with strong connections to community. He remembers that although there was limited choices for manufactured goods, everyone had enough -very little differences between classes of people. Owning a home or land was set up by 'promising' to work within a factory for a certain number of years - but it was a great possibility for people. Life as a young man in this arena meant learning many trades through hands-on work, i.e. if you wanted fresh vegetables, you learned to farm or traded with someone who farmed. Admittedly, there were strict political rules, but he does not recall feeling 'oppressed'.

Why did he leave and come to Canada? Communism fell and socialism moved in. He describes his old country as going from relatively crime free to a place that was unsafe to raise children. The change from an entrepreneurial and neighbourly spirit among people to a 'what's in it for me' state.

This man is very gracious in his comparisons with Canada. Not actually saying things were better under communism, but gently questioning whether socialism is better. And Canada is certainly socialist. Over time, Canadians have gotten exactly what they asked for and more. A nanny state.

In this country, there are drastic differences in the social classes. I do believe that the opportunity to be overtly wealthy is still out there for the hard working, entrepreneurial type. However, it is less likely with the apathetic laziness that increases with each generation raised by the state agencies.

The United States has little sprouts of socialism, too. The other day I was following some links on the story of a young girl who died at the hands of her adoptive parents. These parents claim the the death occurred because they were following the child training program from the Pearl's ministry.

Now, anytime the secular world can criticize those who call themselves christian, they do so with gusto! However, reading a lot of the comment threads of these stories, the Christians are hopping on the bandwagon of criticism. too. So many people wrote about their dislike of the Pearl's ministries and agreeing that they are to blame for this child's death (and apparently other's). A call to "someone needs to stop people like this", again referring to the Pearl's ministries.

Whoa...Hold on there, partner. I smell socialism.

If "someone" is going to want the Pearls stopped, then it will likely be an agency to govern free speech. A blessing that the U.S. citizens have at this time. The Pearl's can preach, teach, write about anything they want - no one has to listen to them.

"But what about the poor, unlearned and susceptible people who get taken in by these dangerous ministries?"

Then those 'poor, unlearned and susceptible people' are responsible for their own choices and actions. I don't agree with the Pearl's doctrine or their teachings on a whole, either. I have read several of their books and even ordered their newsletter, No Greater Joy, for a short period. I am still responsible for discerning between wisdom and foolishness - we all are.

When God tells us to 'study and show yourselves approved' (2 Timothy 2:15), He isn't talking about algebra! As Christ's representatives on earth, we are wholly responsible to know how God would have us live - not any earthly ministry. Even my own pastor preaches things I do not agree with and have had to study the scriptures to confirm my own convictions on the given subject.

Let's stop making excuses for our own lack of biblical understanding and keep our eyes open for anyone who would lead us astray from God's true word.

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. James 1:5

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Family Friendly

These title words used to hold a lot of value when making decisions for a family. A family friendly restaurant or movie would generally get business from families looking for certain level of service or entertainment. Over the years this term has changed in meaning as the family has changed. If the family is made up of unmarried, teen aged parents with little to no visible self respect in the way they dress, behave or speak...what exactly does family friendly mean?

The 'golden arches' used to be considered a family friendly place to sit and eat with the kids. I don't see it this way as of late. The music being piped into the dining room can be anything from too loud to too crude - or both. There has been one occasion where I spoke directly to the manager to point out the crude lyrics of the song being played (I won't even repeat it here) and had the music turned off. Oddly enough, no one complained about the lack of music.

Another occasion at this same food place, I stood in line waiting for our order only to be confronted with one young female staff member bending over to reveal her pink thong and at least half of her backside! This time it was one of the managers!

The same lack of value can be placed on movies deemed to be family friendly. Several years ago we learned the hard way that a G movie does not mean it is appropriate for kids. The movie was about a spelling bee for public school kids (and was actually very entertaining) when out of no where someone decided to add profanity to the show. You could have knocked me over when it happened. Even christian movie reviewers seem to have lost the concept of 'acceptable' entertainment when they are recommending movies with comments like: "there are only a few incidents of sexual innuendo", "the message in the story outweighs the fact that profanity is used a couple of times". Yes, those are actual comments by christian movie reviewers.

We can never forget the wisdom that God lays out for us about allowing evil to become even a small part of our lives.

Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? 1Cor. 5:6b

Simple, straightforward and plain as day for the christian to follow. It only takes a little bit of apathy toward sinful ways to give a good foothold for Satan to get into our lives - or the lives of our children. Don't be fooled...Satan wishes to sift us as wheat and will use any means to do it. It was Francis Schaeffer who said: "Show me what the world is saying today and I'll show you what the church will be saying in seven years." So true when we rely on the world to set a standard for our families.

Never be afraid to speak up about music invading your senses in public places - generally, the response is positive. Even if a request to silence the music is denied, it is an opportunity to teach our children about God's standards...and to find a new place to eat.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


This time of year the north brings some ugly sights. Yes, the grass is visible and buds are just starting to show on the branches, but the remainder of winter leaves an irrefutable 'yuck' in the last piles of snow that can be found on corners or just under clumps of trees. The problem is that this snow does not look like snow - the fresh, white, sparkling snow that we have had renewed each week since last November. It is dirty and a real eyesore to the landscape now. Each time I pass a pile of this leftover snow, I reminisce a little about the previous beauty of winter.

If I can be a little philosophical for a moment, it does remind me of how easily we can cover the filth in our lives with a good facade. This dirty snow was part of the winter landscape the whole time - it was just hidden under the surface of the fresh, clean snow. There are many times I am disappointed when someone's real character ends up being less than the sparkling snow I was presented with when I met them. You know, when the dirt in their life becomes more obvious after getting to know them better.

Our first impressions mean alot, that's true. However, if that first impression is just a thin layer of sparkle over some real dirt, two things are possible. First, eventually that dirt will be visible to those who become close to us. Second, we are so aware of our dirt that we refuse to let anyone get close to us in order to keep hiding it. Neither choice is a real glory to God.

There is no denying that we all have this lower layer of dirt. Thankfully the Lord has a much better way to cover it in a much more permanent way than the freshly driven snow!
Thou has forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sins. Selah.
Psalm 85:2