Thursday, February 23, 2006

Website Share

I was reading a devotional on Charles Stanley's, or rather In Touch Ministries' website, and I realized that I should share it with my faithful readers (all three of you)! I always enjoy them and find them relevant, and I hope you will too.

Daily Devotional

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Living in this world but not being of it

My great-uncle Joe, known at Mercer University as Papa Joe, first introduced me to this idea that Christians are called to live in this world but not be of it. I had Joe for two classes at Mercer, and he was always challenging my way of thinking and pushing me to become a better and more thoughtful citizen and Christian. At the time, however, I wasn't really a Christian. I was still trying to logically work out what I believed.

Now that I am a Christian, I've given the notion that Christians should not conform to our culture a lot of thought. The oddest thing made me think about this issue. I was having my highlights touched up, and my hairdresser and I discussed the Asian "spas" which are basically places of prostitution and can be found throughout Macon. Lamar, an advertising company, sells billboard space to these spas. And I wondered if a Christian owned the company.

Since that conversation I have been thinking about the ways that I am "of" our culture. As I grow in my relationship with God, I see more and more ways that I want to change. For example, two summers ago I loved the show Nip/Tuck. I watched it every night on F/X. Once I started working on my thought life and obedience to God in the context of sexual morality, I found that that show made it very difficult to not think about sex.

When I examined the way my family was celebrating Christmas, I realized that we had bought into this secular/consumeristic version of Christmas. We didn't even talk about God or Jesus's birth and instead focused on buying gifts for everyone. I'm happy to say that we've cut back a lot on the gift giving, and more of my family attended the Christmas Eve service with me this year. I also felt better about the gifts I gave as I gave my niece a "date" with me to the pottery place and a really cool illustrated children's Bible.

While I know that growing as a Christian is a process, it's amazing to me how many non-Godly ways of thinking I still have. Just in the way I initially respond to different situations is almost always a worldly response based on non-Biblical principles and beliefs. It's also amazing to me how, statistically, Christians look very much the same as non-Christians. For example, the percentages of Christians who have premarital sex or get divorces doesn't really vary much from the percentages of non-Christians who do the same.

I have so many more thoughts about this, but I'm at work! I'm curious to read others' thoughts and ideas about these issues as they've been weighing on my mind a lot lately.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

I LOVE My Nieces!!

I have the best nieces in the world. I could never completely describe the happiness they bring to my life, but it will have to suffice to say that they bring me immense joy.

Alaina is the oldest and will be six years old next month. She is in kindergarten, and her class has eight Hispanic students in it. Certain family members who will remain unidentified are racist, and needless to say displeased with the classroom demographics. Please note an interesting tangential point: this particular family member claims that he is not a racist but is rather just "prejudice." My ex-boyfriend (who for blog purposes will be called Sampras) also claims that he is not racist but is rather prejudice. Of course, my follow up query to this claim is always "Aren't you prejudice against these certain individuals because of their race/color?" Ok, so anyway, given this family member's racism, it was particularly ironic when Alaina came home from school with her first crush...Carlos. When asked about why she liked Carlos, Alaina explained that he was really good at art (even better than her) and was very smart. When asked how she knew that Carlos was smart Alaina explained that Carlos could speak two languages--white and Mexican. When asked if she meant English, Alaina exclaimed "He can speak three languages." My mother explained that people from Mexico speak Spanish, and Alaina was even more impressed with her crush who she then declared as being able to speak four languages.

Also in nice contrast to "racism" and/or prejudice based on race, my other niece Lauren's (see her beautiful photo below) favorite toy is Dora the Explorer who is Hispanic.

Lauren never takes a bad photo and is absolutely gorgeous. She is charming and playful and loves to ask people "What are you doin'?" 20 times in a three minute phone conversation. She is also easily entertained by Donatello's mouth-made flatulence noises, which always leave her smiling and glancing around to determine who made the sound.

My only complaint is that I do not get to see them enough. I hate missing ballgames (Alaina plays t-ball), parties (looks like a skating party will be next), lazy days, and all the funny things that they say and ask. I am so glad to be an aunt--it's the best!