27 April 2008
EXPELLED -- No Intelligence Allowed
-- DON'T believe it.
You NEED to see this movie!!!
I cannot stress this enough.
Trust me, you will not be sorry.
I'm beginning to wonder if all of the critics have even WATCHED the movie or if they just assumed they already knew what it was about...
Indeed, the very critics who are yelling, "Propaganda!" are themselves guilty of such manipulation, for they have completely misled their readers as to what this film is about.
I'll tell you what it's NOT:
It's not a push for creationism to be taught in schools.
It's not religious "propaganda" forcing a God-centered view on the world.
And it's definitely NOT anti-scientific, pro-religious fluff.
If you thought or believed any of the above, I challenge you to go see this movie.
I think Ben Stein is very brave to speak out on this issue and NO MATTER where you stand on religion or creationism or Darwinism, this movie is important for every American, indeed, every person in our world.
Because it's about FREEDOM:
Freedom of Speech, Freedom of THOUGHT, Freedom for dissent.
EXPELLED is about the political and academic persecution of scientists and professors and journalists who dare to question the status quo. And this is going on in the very country which exists for the pursuit of FREEDOM!
How can we allow such persecution to go unchecked?
Highly educated, ivy-league scholars and scientists are being black-listed because they DARE to challenge the seemingly "absolute" authority of Darwinism. Indeed, these very scientists -- most of whom are NOT Christian, I might add, have lost a fundamental right that we Americans take for granted:
Freedom to explore ideas -- EVEN ideas that oppose the current, scientific "consensus..."
Ideas like, I don't know... say, HELIOCENTRIC THEORY.
Copernicus and Kepler and Galileo were ALL opposing the scientific "consensus" of their day!
Indeed, if Darwin, himself, were alive today... would HE even be able to present his ideas about evolution? After all, DARWIN was introducing ideas that directly opposed the scientific consensus of his day!
Have we learned nothing from history???
Wake up, America!
This is NOT about religion.
MOST of the scientists that Ben Stein talks to are either Jewish or agnostic.
This is NOT "fundamentalist, Christian propaganda" as much of the media would have you believe!
This is something that everyone who cares about FREE SPEECH, Free THOUGHT, and TRUE SCIENCE should be concerned about!
To those who have criticized my promotion of Expelled: If you just assume that it is propaganda, and refuse to see it based on YOUR pre-supposed (and erroneous) assumptions, then you are as closed-minded as the very people you claim to detest.
The REAL message of this movie is as important today as it was almost 250 years ago.
The repercussions for not challenging what is going on in science today can be seen in the history of Nazi Germany and even Soviet-controlled Berlin.
The REAL message of this movie is not to teach creationism in the classroom; the REAL message of this movie is for science to allow opposing arguments to the ideas of Darwinism; to allow the possibility that, IN FACT, Darwinism does NOT provide all the answers... indeed, it is full of MANY, MANY holes.
The REAL message of this movie is the quiet, but malignant persecution of scientists who are going against the "status quo" by saying,
"Hey, maybe we DON'T have it all figured out, after all!"
People who are willing to acknowledge that
TRUE SCIENCE is about constantly challenging what we know
and what we think we know.
People kind of like Copernicus.
Would today's scientists have tried to silence them, too?
One has to wonder...
Happy Birthday, Clay!
Cake #1 -- Ambrosia's Strawberry Whipping Cream Cake
Cake #2 -- Ambrosia's Chocolate w/White Buttercream --
YES, we had TWO cakes because originally there was going to be 7 more people and some of them were allergic to strawberries. But nobody's complaining; trust me.
Carole, Lorri, and Dean having a VERY animated conversation!
The sky finally cleared enough for the kids to swim in our FINALLY CLEAN pool!
Raisha & her Daddy... HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
25 April 2008
I have been making myself SICK.
For 3 days, my stomach has been rolling and I have just felt awful.
You see, I recently came to a very important decision. It's something I had been considering for some time, but this time I decided to be obedient. Trouble is, I was afraid that my obedience would make several good friends angry with me. I didn't want them to think I was deserting them or abandoning the ministry we shared.
Most of all, I didn't want to let anyone down.
I'm a pretty typical first-born.
I try to be responsible and I would rather do something myself and make sure it's done right, than risk something being done half-way. "No," is a difficult word for me to say. When someone asks something of me, I sincerely make the effort to do it. Trouble is, when you have trouble saying, "no," you end up saying "yes" to too many things and it's difficult to give anything 100%.
So, even though I clearly felt God was nudging me in a different direction, I just wasn't feelin' it on a common-sense level.
I mean, I would be leaving a ministry that I have been involved with for 2.5 years!
At first, I tried to rationalize that it wasn't at all LOGICAL for me to quit. After all, this ministry is struggling right now and my leaving would definitely be untimely. Yeah, I definitely wasn't feelin' the need to cause so much negativity, so... I "compromised" and cut back my hours while taking on more responsibility.
How many know, YOU CAN'T GIVE GOD A COMPROMISE???
You will become miserable.
And I did.
Finally, I went to talk to a woman who I respect very much and I laid out the problem to her.
This is what she said:
"So, you think God can't handle this situation unless you are there? You don't think He has it under control?"
"So, you are more worried about what people think than about what God thinks? You would rather be disobedient to Him, than to let them down??"
Ok, that totally convicted me.
Furthermore, a couple of weeks ago in Elevate, one of our instructors said the following:
"If God has put a call on your life, and you do not obediently become the 'who' of the call -- and answer the call in a timely manner -- He will find someone else to fill it."That definitely got my attention!
There is no question for me; I KNOW I have a call on my life and I know that my "busy-ness" has not allowed me to be faithful to that call. I also know that this is why God is nudging me away from a ministry that I love.
Basically, I have a choice.
I can be stubborn and keep a "good reputation" by sticking with something I think I need to... OR I can trust God and see what He has in store for me.
If I've learned anything over the past 3 years it's this:
When you are obedient to God and trust Him for the future, you will NEVER -- and I mean, NEVER -- be disappointed.
This should be interesting.
22 April 2008
21 April 2008
20 April 2008
AMAZING message today!
This morning, Clay & I attended the HPC Annex campus so we could hear visiting Hillsong pastor, Zhenya Kasevich (from Kiev, Ukraine) speak and it was definitely a good decision!
If you ever have the opportunity to hear this very funny and right-on-the-money pastor, make the effort to do so.
His message this morning was on PRAYER and how most of us are *getting it wrong* so to speak.
He pointed out that MANY people spend their entire time in prayer asking God for what they NEED -- finances, health, transportation -- instead of what we should be praying for:
2) PRAY for NATIONS -- Get the focus off yourself and start praying for this world we are in. Pray for your neighbors, pray for the orphans, pray for Africa, pray for the world!
3) PRAY for God's WORKERS -- not just those who are in the field now, but for MORE people to be willing to become workers for His Kingdom. This can be anything from witnessing to a co-worker, volunteering at a homeless shelter, or becoming a missionary. Pray for more workers and be willing to respond when the call is upon YOU.
4) PRAY for those who PERSECUTE you. Yeah, yeah, yeah... it's the LAST thing we want to do when someone has treated us less than kind, but being obedient to this command will not only take the sting out of their "arrows," it will empower you with blessings beyond belief. You might not *feel* like doing it, but pray for them anyway.
If we are obedient to pray for the things we ought, God will take care of the things we need. There's nothing wrong with petitioning the Lord for the things we need, but we should have the faith and trust to know that He will always provide them whether we ask for them or not.
19 April 2008
18 April 2008
No, really; I do!
Clay and I went to New Orleans last weekend -- withOUT the kids (thank you, Lorri!!!) -- for Tulane's annual French Quarter Symposium. This year's topic was "Great Men, Sick Minds," and Clay spoke on Howard Hughes.
In a nutshell: If you're poor: you're insane. If you're rich: you're ECCENTRIC.
It was a wonderful weekend with beautiful weather.
Incidentally, it was also the weekend for "French Quarter Festival."
Now, everyone knows that tourists come into New Orleans for Jazz Fest to hear great music and eat great food, but apparently, French Quarter Fest is for TRUE Jazz lovers and it brings out all the locals...
Since we got home, however, it's been non-stop drama.
Clay started getting sick on the way home Sunday night. He continued to be very ill (stomach flu) for the next 3 days! I was sending him love from across the room.
"Sweetie, do you need anything? I can tie the Tylenol to the cat's back and send him your way..."
I'm only kidding!
But I did NOT want him to share, if you catch my drift.
Nadia -- who never burns -- got a HORRIBLE sunburn during her softball game last weekend and had fever, chills, and nausea for 2 days. Then she couldn't sleep because her shoulders were so sensitive. Nadia is my RIGHT HAND, so it was doubly hard having her out of commission, too!
Natasha is still hobbling around. Although we got a very good report from the Pediatric Orthopedic Specialist, she is still in some pain and is learning how to negotiate the stairs in a post-op shoe.
Finally, poor Raisha was just not sleeping so I took her to see our pediatrician. Turns out she has a sinus infection and fluid in BOTH ears. Ugh. Poor baby!
The week is finally over and everyone is on the mend, but I'm feeling pretty drained and not so hot, myself. But don't worry about me; I'll be fine... Everyone KNOWS that moms AREN'T ALLOWED TO get sick!
14 April 2008
Since last fall, we had been meeting in the back "social hall" for our weekly meetings, but our men's outreach has been growing steadily, too, so they needed more room. Our ladies' group just keeps getting bigger, thus the decision was made to move to the front of the building. The men's group took our old spot in the social hall.
Here are some pics from our first day in the "new" sanctuary:
It occurred to me that day that it was appropriate for us to be moving to the sanctuary of our new building because, for so many of these ladies, the Dream Center is just that:
It's a place they can come each week to escape (temporarily) the pressures of the outside world, to get refreshed and fed -- both physically & spiritually.
So many of them live lives that are full of pain and frustration; I cannot even comprehend the DAILY stress of making sure my children have enough food to eat or how I'm going to pay my heating bill.
But faithfully, each week, these ladies take 2 hours out of their workday to come here and hear the Word.
I have to admit, I get as much out of these Fridays as they do... I love these ladies and I miss them when I can't be there. I was out of town this past weekend, but I'm looking forward to this FRIDAY for another day in
08 April 2008
He decided to change his FOCUS.
Instead of making everything in his life orbit around his political passions, he has decided to walk out his faith in his daily life and let the chips fall where they may. Whether or not this walk will lead to a life in politics or another public forum remains to be seen; He is leaving that up to God. For now, he's focusing on what is really important: being Jesus to the lost, the poor, the homeless, and the "unloved."
I think that is admirable.
Don't get me wrong; I'm all for ambition and goals and changing the world... but sometimes I wonder if we are going about it all wrong? Do we Christians actually stop and think about what we are doing and why?
Are my actions and pursuits ultimately for GOD'S glory or my own?
Do my efforts and actions add to His kingdom or do they possibly detract by distracting me from what I really should be doing?
It's a common trap:
One gets caught up in a certain political view, or a theological argument, or a social justice cause and everything else falls by the wayside.
And we delude ourselves into thinking, "Well, God put this passion in my heart, so obviously, I should act upon it."
We seem to think if I don't do it, who will?
Sometimes, however, our greatest gifts can actually become DISTRACTIONS from what is truly important.
We can get so focused on an IDEA, and become totally oblivious to the hurting world around us.
When we get to eternity, which will be more important:
The number of articles we had published or the number of souls we led to Christ? Will priority be given to titles and degrees or will God ask us how many of His sheep we have fed?
I believe that we, as Christians, are given two objectives in this life:
1)Lead the lost to Christ
2) Care for the poor, the orphaned, the widowed, the "forgotten".
Again, I'm not saying that one can't live an ambitious life, seeking Truth and justice, but mercy should always trump justice. We should never be SO determined to prove our point or push our cause that we trample over souls in the process. We need to keep our focus on Christ and allow Him to lead us in the use of our gifts.
There was a time when I was determined to go to law school.
I was pre-law the latter half of my undergrad years and during graduate school. I was even an officer in our local chapter of the national law fraternity, Phi Alpha Delta, and I studied extensively for the LSAT.
My dream was to become a Civil Rights attorney and fight against injustice in the world. I hate racism and sexism and any kind of prejudice that goes against the nature of God.
I wanted to change the world.
I wanted my voice to be heard.
But something stopped me from going further with this dream... I could say it was my children, or my health, or even our move to another state, but none of that would be truly honest.
Deep down, inside, there was a check in my spirit that made me know this was not the path I was meant to take.
I would have to find my "voice" another way.
Fast forward several years and here I am today, even further from my former dream of becoming a lawyer. Do I have any regrets? Not at all.
I have a new dream. =)
The way I see it:
As a lawyer, I might have been able to right a few wrongs and heal a few wounds, but how much good could I really do? And who was I really trying to impress?
Changing one's focus does not mean denying or ignoring the gifts and talents God has entrusted to us.
I think my "voice" is heard each week when I sit and pray with a woman who is homeless and destitute.
I think God smiles when I hand a bag of groceries to a young mother struggling to make ends meet.
When I hand a rose to a stripper who thinks that no one really cares about her, I have achieved far more than I ever could in a courtroom. And I have the privilege of serving alongside other Kingdom-focused individuals who I respect so much!
It's true; I may have sacrificed my business "power" suit for a red SERVE shirt, but it's a trade I'm content to make.
04 April 2008
02 April 2008
Natasha is my beautiful middle daughter -- the one who can make me laugh the most (or pull out most of my hair!)
She has an infectious laugh and a beautiful smile. :)
Her capacity for facts and remembering things sometimes amazes me. She is destined to do very well in life. I doubt I was half as "together" as she is when I was her age!
Tonight we will celebrate her birthday with dinner at her favorite restaurant & a movie, following.
Her actual Laser Tag birthday party will have to be delayed, however, since she broke her foot a couple of weeks ago. :(