The heavens are yours, and yours also the earth; you founded the world and all that is in it. (Psalm 89:11)
Today is All Hallow’s Evening; Halloween. The commercialized version we celebrate today originally descended from a combination of several traditions, the two perhaps best known being All Hallow’s Eve/Day (also known as All Saint’s Day), which was a Catholic celebration for saints who had died; and Samhain (pronounced Sow-un), a Celtic/Irish/Druid pagan observance.
As autumn draws to a close, death and decay surround us. Barren trees with spindly skeletal branches; dried-out leaves crunching underfoot like brittle bones; putrefying flowers; drizzle, muck, and dankness. The twilight of a cold, dark winter is ahead and the days are growing shorter as the earth moves away from the sun. It was believed (and still is) that at the end of October, early November, the veil between this world and the next is at its thinnest, and spirits can cross over to haunt those they feel a need to torment or visit.
Recently the well-known, Bill Nye the Science Guy, posted a Youtube video entitled, “Bill Nye: Why Creationism is Inappropriate for Children.” It has received 4.6 million views and counting. The jist of the video is that Creationists make for incompetent scientists and that we do our children a grave disservice by teaching them Intelligent Design. Continue reading The Egg-Bird-Egg Sequence and Bill Nye the Science Guy
The last three months have been a whirlwind. We bought our first home after ten years of renting. Yet despite the fact that I take a box of superfluous items to the thrift shop every two months or so, when I really got to packing, the junk bubbled up like a water from a broken pipe under the floorboards.
I took multiple van loads of boxes to the thrift store, in 30 degree weather with no air-conditioning, straining my arms and back, and still there was more to unearth. And here I’d thought my house was relatively organized and clutter-free (with the exception of toys which fill every corner). Yet when I took things down off shelves and out of closets and drawers, I thought, “Why on earth have I been hanging on to these items?” The last thing I wanted to do was clog the new house with trumpery.
Then we moved and as I began to unpack, there was that broken pipe all over again.
It was as if some little bric-a-brac gnomes had infested the moving truck in conveyance. Again I filled boxes for the thrift shop. I was unpacking one box, only to fill another marked for removal. Charles Long, author of “How to Survive Without a Salary” said we buy a garbage can and bring it home in a bag; then we take it out of the bag and put the bag in it. It’s ridiculous but this was exactly my scenario. Multiple boxes have gone to Goodwill, and still the sorting continues. Perhaps some of it can be explained easily enough by a different layout, but for the most part I think to myself, “if I can donate this without any sense of loss, why did I move it here in the first place?” I guess it’s like weeding. You think you’ve finished the garden and then you move a pot to another corner, exposing a hidden patch that was growing behind it.
There is a massive beef recall going on right now across Canada.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has recalled 135 packaged ground beef products from grocery stores, restaurants, hotels, hospitals, and other institutions. The reason? E. coli. Such a contamination is an ongoing risk with the disease-ridden conditions of factory farms, along with other well-known offenders such as Listeria and Salmonella. In 2008 there was also a widespread outbreak of listeriosis linked to cold cuts from a Maple Leaf Foods plant in Toronto, Ontario.
So, here is my question: Health concerns aside, should Christians, who would never dream of abusing their pets, purchase meat products from factory farms that are notorious for the horrific maltreatment of animals?
**Trigger Alert – Some descriptions of sexual violence.**
A Focus on the Family Poll (October 1, 2003), found that 47% of families surveyed admitted that pornography is a problem in their home.
Porn usage is viewed by many Christians as a lust issue which can destroy marriages, and is discouraged as a form of sexual immorality akin to adultery. The mainstream public, on the other hand, may find porn distasteful in some regards but useful in others. It is not uncommon for magazines and therapists to recommend porn usage as a means of “spicing up” a dull sex life. It is viewed by such as an acceptable form of adult entertainment as long as it doesn’t become an addiction or involve children.
In general, both Christians and mainstream assume that women in the adult entertainment industry are there by free choice. The majority of Christian articles I’ve come across are focused solely on the sexual immorality of the end user, and that’s as far as it goes. Now, if all porn stars were truly in the business willingly, then porn usage would indeed be a matter of chastity only. But if the women posing for both camera and film are actually sex slaves, in a manner of speaking, then the use of pornography is far more sinister than lust.
My beloved Grandma is 82 years old now, and relies on a walker to get around. She is still trying to lose weight and spends a lot of time thinking about her weight and worrying about it and talking about it. Her reason for wanting to lose weight isn’t for health reasons, she’s just unsatisfied with her physical appearance.
Grandma has raised four good sons, has five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, and has been married to a wonderful, loving man for nearly 60 years now. She’s had an exceptionally good life with many blessings and few tragedies. She is well-loved by her family and no one cares in the slightest what she weighs.
1 Peter 3:3-4 says:
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
My Grandma has this unfading beauty and she is cherished. I wish that she could see just how beautiful she is to me, extra pounds and all.
Imagine a world where we all looked exactly alike. How boring would that be? The varying shapes of eyes and color, the shapes and sizes of noses, chins and jaws, cheekbones, straight or arching eyebrows, crow’s feet, laughter lines, straight hair or curly, are all features that give a person character. So, what aspect of your body do you dislike most? The shape of your legs? Your waist? Your backside? Your nose? Let it go. No one else is obsessing about that part of your body. They’re too busy obsessing over some aspect of their own body.
While the media portrays physical beauty as perfection only, the truth is that a person can actually be beautiful, lovely, attractive, cute, or handsome, regardless of any number of physical “flaws” they might have.
For all you know, that crooked smile is one of your most endearing physical attributes.
Dr. Henry Morgentaler, recently awarded the Order of Canada (the highest Canadian honor) yet considered by many Canadians to be one of the most prolific killers of the unborn, is a Polish Jew who survived the Auschwitz death camp. He refers to the Holocaust as the reason behind his “every child a wanted child” slogan. Morgentaler believes that one of the root causes of Hitler’s genocide was “unwanted” abused children who grew up to embrace and practice Nazi philosophies out of hatred for their abusers. In June 2005, at the University of Western Ontario, Morgentaler was quoted as saying, “Well-loved children grow into adults who do not build concentration camps, do not rape and do not murder.”
1: the practice of living openly with one of the opposite sex without marriage; and 2: sexual relations without any commitments by either partner.
Many people consider their choice to have sex an act of freedom—Freedom to make their own decisions, freedom to express their love to another, freedom to enjoy physical pleasure without commitment, or the freedom to feel independent and in control of their own body. Webster’s dictionary defines freedom as:
1: the quality or state of being free: as a : the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action b : liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another : Independence.
3 common reasons why people start having sex:
1) “We’re in love.” There’s nothing like the euphoria of falling in love. When he kisses you, the world around you disappears. You can’t imagine life without him. Expressing your love through sex seems only natural, so why wouldn’t you take that next step?
2) “I’m afraid he’ll leave me for someone else.” Are you sleeping with your boyfriend out of obligation? Do you worry that he’ll be bored with you if you don’t? Does he pressure you to sleep with him to prove your love?
3) “I need to have sex to feel loved and to feel confident.” Does having sex make you feel more attractive? Does it make you feel wanted and accepted? Do you question your self-worth when you’re not having sex?