Saturday, October 25, 2008

Amazing vacation!

I just have to update about our amazing vacation before I go to bed tonight. It was such a fun time. Last night we went to Goofy's Kitchen and dined with the characters (a great way to keep Nathaniel in line because we just kept promising him dinner with Goofy) and swam in the pool at our hotel. It was really nice. Here are some pics.

Today we went to Disneyland for a few hours, then Sam and I dropped Nathaniel off at the sitter's and headed out for our special Club 33 date. It was amazing and so fun and special. We felt posh. My favorite part (aside from the amazing food and the atmosphere that was anything but Disney...) was the toilet in the ladies room. I know, I'm such a dork (and I even took a picture), but when I walked in the stall and I thought I was in the wrong place because there was what looked like a wicker was so surreal. It was a porcelain chair! I had to lift the seat up to find the toilet portion! Crazy!

Enjoy the photos!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

More about politics.

As of late my email has been bombarded with impassioned friends calling people to vote for the candidate who will "end abortion". These emails pull at my heart strings because of course I want to end abortion. I would love it if someone could vote for the magic candidate who had the power to make it illegal to terminate a pregnancy simply because it was inconvenient to the mother or because the child was "unwanted". But, I know better. I know that abortion will not be made illegal in my life time. I also know that many of the people who support abortion say that if we make abortion illegal then we will be making it impossible for those who are raped to abort their child or for an abortion to happen in cases of incest or a threat to the health of the mother. Statistically speaking, the number of abortions that occur because of those two cases is actually quite low. Besides that, why is anyone's life less important or worth any less than anyone else's because of how he/she was conceived? Yes, rape is a terrible thing and to be forced to carry a baby to term would be extremely difficult, but isn't a human life worth more than a simple "inconvenience"?

But, I digress. I didn't want this post to be about abortion. Instead, I wanted to post a link to something that was very thought provoking. It's an article by Jim Wallis who blogged about the importance of looking at all of the so-called "non-negotiables" of voting and to look at the whole picture of all of the issues. So, rather than get on my political soapbox, I will let someone else get on his and I challenge you to think about what is important to you. I challenge you to think about the whole picture.


What a week!

There is something about midterms that make me a little crazy. Add on the fact that I need to get all of my homework done by tomorrow morning (and I have a TON of it) and there is a ton of other work to be done and we have one extremely tired (and stressed out) mommy.

I took my midterm for Acts and honestly, it really wasn't that fair of an exam. I studied enough for it, and I had a handle on the study guide, but the professor got a little tricky. Instead of giving exact dates in his multiple choice answers, he gave events that happened around the dates I needed. Not to mention throwing in tricky little questions like, "Who were two well known zealots in Judaism?" when I thought I was just supposed to know what zealous meant in the time of Acts. The exam wasn't bad, though. I honestly just want to pass and I really am learning a lot and really enjoying the class so... that helps a ton. I do have to say that the group of students from class who gathered around where I was sitting trying to do homework who were discussing every single question on the exam ad nauseum was NOT appreciated. I'm of the camp where once I've taken an exam it does me no good to talk about the questions. I tend to stress out when I think about every single answer that I got wrong.

So, between today and tomorrow I have to work, write a theological "something-or-other" for my church plant group in Acts, read a book and write a book report and organize a theological discussion about Matthew 11:28 and also look at fasting and write up a class on how to do it and why it's important. Yipes! Oh, and I have to spend three hours prepping for another class (it's our mandatory prep time for class each week. We have to spend three hours reading commentaries and stuff about the passage we are studying).

Oh. And Sam leaves in less than two weeks.

But, as I look over everything I have to do I feel content. I don't feel too stressed out because I love everything I'm doing. I hate to admit this, but I'm kind of going to miss school after I graduate. Not enough to get my Ph.d. or go for my Th.M., but enough where I will probably find myself taking classes here and there until I'm old. Gosh, I'm such a dork. At least Sam is one too! (heaven help us if our children end up being jocks!).

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Major meltdown

Ugh. I saw into the crystal ball of my future today.

I picked Nathaniel up from the sitter after class and he was still napping. At that point he had been napping for 4 hours, so I didn't feel bad about waking him up. Well, once he finally woke up he started throwing a fit because I didn't let him climb up into his car seat and buckle his own seat belt (I would have, but he said no when I asked him). He threw a fit all the way home and then wanted me to carry him inside. No dice. I had my backpack, the diaper bag and 7 bags of groceries to carry in.

Nathaniel threw a screaming, out of control, throw down on the ground and kick, fit. I couldn't just leave him because I have to walk around the building and up stairs to get to our apartment, but I couldn't carry him either.

It took us ten minutes to get inside! But, I didn't scream or get too angry. We survived and all is calm. I even had a fun package from my mommy waiting for me. A package with Peanuts mugs, some fun Peanuts socks, some Peanuts pens and the movie "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" So, now we are sacked out on the couch watching that.

I don't know how I will handle that when I have major groceries and a little one...ugh!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

When life seems like a t.v. reality show...

The last month and a half our church has been doing the 40 Days of Community campaign from Saddleback Church. Because of that, I have been leading a small group of (gasp) adults in addition to the normal small group of junior high girls I lead. I admit, it wasn't something I jumped at, but more something I started out of obligation. However, I really have enjoyed leading my peers and having a group of people to get to know better.
About two weeks ago I was super overwhelmed with life and, being that I'm hormonal anyways, I simply asked for prayer for our family to prepare for Sam's immanent deployment and immediately burst into tears. For those of you who know me, bursting into tears is my pet peeve, so I hate it when it happens. The women in my small group came around me and encouraged me quite a bit and also said that Sam and I needed to get out and go on a date. Of course, we know that, it's just hard being super busy and wanting to spend time as a family. So, after many offers of babysitting we went home.
Imagine my shock last week when our small group told Sam and I that they had arranged for our family to stay a night at Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel and go to Disneyland for a day (all without us paying a dime). It was one of those speechless moments. So, Sam and I have been looking forward to that all week (it will happen next weekend).
I thought that was above and beyond anything that could ever happen. I would have been totally happy if they had said that they would watch Nathaniel for an evening so we could go to dinner! Yet, the story doesn't end there.
Today while I was at work, one of the women in my small group called me to let me know that they have also arranged for us to have dinner as a family at Club 33 at Disneyland. For those who are not familiar with Disneyland, Club 33 is the exclusive, members only, club that costs an arm and a leg to even get into! This is the place that celebrities go and eat at (and watch Fantasmic) when they go to Disneyland.
I feel like I'm dreaming. So, next weekend expect a post with lots of pictures from our amazing mini-vacation!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Beautiful pictures.

I have to add these pictures that were taken over a year ago at my friend's wedding. Just a reminder as to how fast time has flown and how little Nathaniel used to be (and I thought he was so big at 13 months...).

I love this picture of Nathaniel!!

I also love this picture...

Enjoy. I promise, updated photos and an amazing story soon to come.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Back to that always comfortable and non-divisive subject of politics

It has been a while since I posted anything; I have been swamped with work and moving and school (and we didn't get internet again until yesterday). I haven't had the time to contemplate until recently.

Last week or so I had lunch with a few leaders in our church to discuss some political issues. It was a very good meeting; I felt like my voice was heard. Whether it was listened to or not is a different story :)! In light of that I want to write about some of my reflections on the Christian and the vote.

The world is complicated, nuanced, ambiguous, and uncertain. It is not black and white, but contains a lot of gray. We see but a poor reflection int he mirror. Now, this could be taken a number of ways. I am NOT saying there are no facts about right and wrong or good and bad. What I mean is that sometimes there facts are not clear. They require nuanced judgment and, especially in the type of government we have, it involves compromise and give and take.

Morality is broader than sex. We evangelicals are good at bringing moral concerns to bear in the public arena. However, our conception of the scope and breadth of morality can be too narrow. It needs to encompass everything from concern for the poor, the oppressed, justice in all its forms (distributive, equality, fairness, punitive, restorative, etc...), living up to our responsibilities (e.g. ours to creation, an employers to thier employees, the father to his family, etc...), compassion, and peace.

We must recognize that we do not have a handbook for liberal democracy in the bible; however, we must negotiate and apply the numerous biblical injuctions concerning right and wrong to the governance of the state. There are the examples of the prophets such as Amos that must be balanced against Peter's injunction to not be a meddler or a busybody (i.e. a self-proclaimed public guardian of morality). We must be in but not of the world. We must honor the Lord and treat others as we want to be treated (e.g. supporting religious freedom). We must work to make the world better but not place our hope in the things of this world (it's politicians and institutions). We must be peacemakers, love our enemies, value creation, preserve life, and pursue all of this with humility.

On a less preachy note, my kid is quite the Democrat. He sees Obama on the TV and says "Barack Obama" (actually, it sounds more like "Bakabama"). He doesn't know who John McCain is, and it is not like we feed him liberal propaganda every night before bedtime. Conservatives in my audience need not be concerned, even though Chicago will let him vote I will not.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

An open letter to my NIV Bible. (be warned, much geekiness to ensue)

Dear NIV Study Bible:
You know that I have adored using you the past 10 years. I love how easy to read you are. I love that I can understand the Word of God without having to wade through a bunch of "thees" and "thous" and "shalts". You know that I have been utterly devoted to your translation of the Greek ever since my mom gave me an NIV Bible for Easter and that I only switched Bibles when that one was nearly worn out. You know that I have used my father's old study Bible that he gave me when he died, copiously writing notes in your margins and underlining important passages (especially in theology!).

Alas, my dear NIV, I have grown disillusioned with you.
Imagine my horror this last week in class when I noticed not one but TWO terrible choices of words in your translation.

First of all, why would you translate the word zeilou as jealous when it obviously means zealous in Acts 5:17? It doesn't make sense! Jealousy means something completely different from zeal! The Sadducees were not jealous of the disciples, they were zealous for the Law and about upholding what they believed was the true word of God! That is why they beat the disciples in put them in jail. Not because they were jealous.

I wish that were all. I could overlook one misuse of the Greek. But then you decide to do something similar in Acts 9:21 when discussing Saul. You foolishly translate the word portheo as "raising havoc" when it means "to destroy". Saul didn't just raise 'havoc' among those who believed that Jesus was the Messiah, he wanted to utterly destroy them! He beat them and put them in prison and wanted them to die for their blasphemy!

So, my dear NIV Bible. We have to break up. It is time for me to move on. Maybe I will buy a ESV Bible. Many of my profs actually wrote the notes in that translation and I respect them.
I have enjoyed our time together and will lovingly place you on my shelf with my NKJV and my Good News translation. Please do not be offended, you brought this on yourself.


Monday, October 6, 2008

We've moved!

The move is complete. While we miss our neighbors (the good ones) a lot, things are going well. We still don't have internet and things are still in boxes (the kitchen will probably be the last thing organized) it is starting to look and feel like home.

I wish I had a camera for some of our moving moments. Like yesterday watching three people heft our heavy new couch in through the balcony. Amazing! Once I find my camera (it's in a box somewhere...) I will post some pics of our new place along with the new furniture. I want to take pictures before the boys destroy some of the organization I've gotten in place.

Hoping things get up soon (i.e., internet!).