Friday, November 21, 2008

Quick Takes--Take Two

It's time again for Quick Takes Friday. Yee haw! Be sure to visit Jennifer F. at Conversion Diary to read the quick takes of others. Here goes nothin'....

(1) This meme was great to link to. I had more visitors last Friday than ever before. Thanks, Jennifer!

(2) I recently stumbled across a website that calls itself the church for those disenchanted with organized religion. I'm not sure what to think of that, I mean, isn't it basically the same thing, just online? They are "organized", coming to the same place, taught by the same teacher. But the differences are disturbing. An online community can be encouraging (I've experienced it myself in the blogosphere), but the lack of accountability and service to one another concerns me. Can we learn to be Christlike when the element of service is removed? Can we learn unity without working through disagreements and being forced to get along? Can we learn to love others without actually loving them in person? How can an online community allow for that?

I understand the appeal. It would be convenient. It could be motivating. Mostly it would be safe. There would be no one to open up to and share real struggles with. But does He want us keeping the lessons we learn to ourselves? Don't we gain as much from rubbing shoulders with each other, experiencing life with each other, as we do from listening to (or reading) an inspirational message? If we don't allow ourselves some vulnerability with actual, real life people, we deprive ourselves (and others!) of the gift of Christian fellowship and the valuable lessons of community.

(3) I had lunch yesterday with someone who took a trip to South Africa a few weeks before the election. She told me when people discovered she and her husband were Americans they would ask them who would be our next president, "the black man or the old man?" These people sincerely felt the outcome of the election was important to their welfare. She was struck by the power and responsibility of our nation to people around the world.

(4) For the first time ever, all of our kids will NOT be joining us for Thanksgiving. Our oldest will spend the day driving to another state to audition for a drum and bugle corp over the weekend. At first I was horrified, but after the initial shock wore off, I realized I'm proud of him. It takes guts to do what he's doing and pursue his dream. I'm impressed with his passion and fortitude at only 18 years of age. Go get 'em, Keygan.

(5) I have felt acutely this week the extravagance of God. I have been blessed beyond measure. Friends have been unbelievably supportive. I have physically felt prayers. I can see how all things are working together for my good and am so excited I could hardly sit still telling someone about it. It makes me want to shake people and say, "Hey, He can do this for you too. Follow His lead. Wait for His timing. Trust Him even when you don't understand and it doesn't make sense." It brings me to tears, knowing how small and unremarkable I am, yet receiving His lavish love. Who am I, Lord?

(6) I read a blog post this week of a woman telling the story of her four-year-old daughter coming to the understanding herself of her need for a Savior. Nothing seemed terribly out of the ordinary, until I got to the comments--over 300 of them! Many of them were posted by atheists, followers of Richard Dawkins, charging the woman with child abuse for teaching her daughter she was a sinner. Vile, hurtful, hateful accusations were flung at her and one said he had notified child protective services. I was shocked at the vehement response. From reading a few other posts I understood the woman held beliefs I did not necessarily espouse, or rather, expressed them in a different way than I would, but wow, what an onslaught of venom.

It seems Richard Dawkins has spawned a new generation of atheists, those who are working to "evangelize" others to their way of thinking. It sure puts an interesting spin on evangelism and makes me wonder if this is how Christians have made others feel for generations.

(7) How did I go a whole week without posting? Why do creativity and thinking power ebb and flow? What must a person do to keep firing on all pistons? I heard yesterday on the news ginkgo is NOT the answer. I'm sure more sleep would help. If only I could figure out how to make that happen...Anyway, I got one post in this week. Maybe next week I'll be "on".

Have a great weekend, friends!


Jennifer F. said...

#1 - Thanks for sharing! I was hoping that this would be a nice little source of traffic for those who participated.

#3 - I've often been surprised by this too. Our European friends often express frustration that the outcome of our elections impacts them so much.

#6 - Wow, what a crazy story! As someone who's been on the other end, I don't think that what the Christians have always done is quite as bad as this. Sometimes Christian evangelization efforts did make me feel bad when I was an atheist, but usually they took a more positive approach.

Thanks for participating!

Annette said...

#6 ~ The first thought that popped into my head that when their lives are over and they kneel before the LORD their God, how will they deny Him then? Love you, Annie
PS: we'll pray for Keygan's safety as he travels over Thanksgiving...Good luck Keygan!

Betsy Markman said...

I feel for that mother being harassed by the atheists. I recently wrote an entry talking about my son's religious veneer and how it was hardening into an impenetrable shellac around his soul. The Holy Spirit works by convicting of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment (John 16:8), and His work in that regard is bringing wonderful changes, new joy, and new hope to my son and our family. Jesus spoke much of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and while that message won't be well received by all, it's life-giving to those who respond.

I admit to being a bit afraid when I posted that entry, knowing the kind of backlash it might receive. But I don't think any atheists even know about my blog... :)

Thanks for all of the nuggets you posted today! I will pray for that harassed blogger.

Jessica said...

on #4 - go you! My folks always told me growing up that they were raising us up in order to set us free, and now that I'm a mom myself, I can see how hard that actually must have been. I think it's so cool that you are able to see your son as his own person with his own dreams and to transition from guiding to admiring . . . I just hope when the time comes that I can make that transition as gracefully!

Ginger said...

Your comments about the online church got me going. As I've taught online for a number of summers (classes for teachers who need continuing education), I've had the opportunity to observe the differences between an online community and the classroom interactions. I have concluded two things: 1) There are some people who say a lot more in an online discussion group than they do in person, and it's great to have that kind of access to their thoughts, and 2) There's a personal value that is lost--that sense of precious, vulnerable flesh and blood--when you're interacting with a community online. I don't think the former is worth enough to overcome the need for the latter. I think our society is moving toward less appreciation for real, flesh-and-blood, physicality. I'm not sure I can put it into words, but it seems like we need to appreciate that, and the aura of personhood that exists in three dimensions, to approach the understanding that God has of us.

I'll go away and think about this for a while. Thanks for getting some interesting thoughts started.

e-Mom said...

Loved #5 Tami... and this format. Very cool! Hugs. :~D

Susan said...

Hey Tami,

Just stopping by to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. Sorry your whole family will not be together...:(

Mine won't either.

I was so upset when I read about that woman and just the mention of Richard Dawkins, makes me SICK!!

Anyhow, I enjoyed this, I may join in one of these days.

Blessings to you and your family♥