Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Boycotts and alike

Okay, so I am trying to not type with the frustrated inflection that is seeping out of my pores. If I get one more email about boycotting SAMS or Walmart I may just have to protest :-)!

Seriously, there is a lot to boycott Walmart over: Environmental practice, Monopoly, Sweat Shops, Building practice, Employment practice - all worthy of our effort....but we still shop there and enjoy the smiley face every day low prices!

However, the Christian community is up in arms about Sams and Walmart giving a percentage of profits this holiday weekend to the Gay and Lesbian community. Here is the deal - if we are prepared to call out "sin" and "take a stand" like this, surely we will boycott everytime someone greedy, prideful, arrogant, drunk, untruthful, unethical, racist, uncaring to their parents, profits from anything that Walmart does. You get the picture.

Living in a capitalistic, western society makes carrying these "boycott ideals" impossible to live up to. You can not travel too far down this road until you are made to look like a fool. Take investments for example: if you want to invest your money with a mutual fund that only has holdings that are green, ethical, biblical (one may say) you will not make too much money. These funds are outperformed in the market constantly. I do not see many in the Christian community boycotting the big daddy investment choices and opting to lose money on their investments by "taking a stand."

I herald those who are trying to be as consistent as possible in every aspect of trade they participate in - talk to anyone involved in this lifestyle and you will see it takes time, effort and extra dollars to live this way.

My issue lies with a group of people who see the word gay or lesbian, throw a hissy-fit and think God would have them boycott a store as His way of being the Kingdom. Please.

This is pretty cute

My friend who lives in London sent this to me today and although I think healthy behaviors with children are necessary, I thought this was funny because it was my life! Yes, things are little too over glorified, but I enjoyed it the same!

"Congratulations TO ALL THE KIDS WHO WERE BORN IN THE 1930's 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's !!
First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us.
They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes. Then after that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright coloured lead-based paints. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.
We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.
We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this. We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because...... WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!!
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.
No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K. We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.
We did not have PlayStation's, Nintendo, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, no video tape movies, no surround sound, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms. WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!
We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.
We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.
We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.
We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them!
School sports had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!
The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!
This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever!The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TODEAL WITH IT ALL!"

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Farmer's Branch, TX

I have had a post mulling in my head about how ludicrous, offensive, selfish and unGodly the behavior in Farmer's Branch has been over the last few days. However, being the Alien that I am I have thought it more prudent to hold my tongue (even though I am legal :-)! I read Mike Cope's blog and he refrenced Larry James' blog post about it today and voila' what else needs to be said. No one says it like Larry James. If you have not already, go over to his blog and read it.

This 'n That

1. You don't have to bag leaves in the Fall in Amarillo. Wait just a few minutes and the wind will blow them to the other end of the street. Yes, we have leaves!

2.My friend from Indianapolis, who shall remain nameless, called a Tumbleweed a "Freakin' large dead bush." She is way too smart not to have identified said bush correctly, she is just way too embarrased to admit she lives someplace that has Tumbleweed!

3. I am the only human being I know that did not watch Dancing with the Stars, but I did catch enough news about it to be excited that Emmitt won. He is a personal favorite anyway. I wonder what kinda' moves Dieonn Sanders could produce for a show like this - hmmm.

4. Studio 60 is still on my "Best of TV" list for all times. Although I share this with perhaps only 5 other people in the entire nation. Its future appears precarious.

5. Red Robin's hamburgers are too greasy/fatty/rich for me. Proved this to be true after eating only 1/2 of one yesterday. Enough said.

6. For parents of school going kids, November/December is beginning to resemble May - way too many things going on.

7. Snopes.com should be mandatory for anyone sending on a "Forward." So much right wing fear and conspiracy theorizing could be laid to rest, among other issues.

8. My friend was diagnosed with cancer, had her first chemo treatment, lost her hair and now her pathology reports are supposedly clear. Short version of very long story. She now is struggling with the question....misdiagnosis or miraculous healing? Should not be a forward you receive or on Snopes - true story.

9. If you do not ordinarily see R rated moves, Borat is not the one to get your feet wet with....or (ahem, cough cough) so I am told, from say a friend, who may have perchance seen the movie. Yuck. You should be okay unless you are female, from a Jewish background, are sensitive to the plight of the marginal, Christian, morally upstanding....so far the tally is not in my favor.

10. My husband won his first Fantasty Football game of the season last weekend. It has been a long and dry season for him. Victory was sweet. Moral of the story, maybe South Africans should stick to Rugby.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

And don't forsake the meeting of the saints...

I know you are shocked. This is not normal Arlene type language. However, the truth in that scripture can not be missed. Because of travelling out of town for school over the months of Sept. and Oct. I have been gone 4 weekends. I have had a child sick (at least they took turns) over 2 Sundays and so that has left me being at Central, what, twice in two months. Seems impossible.

I can tell though. I know that my faith walk is in part about me and God and I have that connection. But a huge part of it is the community of faith. I feel disconnected and I hate that. I have missed the power of worship together. No, it has not stopped me worshipping, but one of my primary pathways to God is through the engaging presence of God among the body.

I am thankful today for worship and preaching that you miss when you don't experience it. Now there' s a gift.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Ted Haggard

I am pretty sure this topic has been beaten to death already, so one more shot won't hurt, eh?
There is quite a controversy brewing in both churched and unchurched circles around the sincerity of the confession from Ted Haggard because it seems more reactionary than proactive etc. That is not where I want to camp. This whole "bruhaha" has got me thinking about some things.

1.It seems to me that so often this stuff is not really about sex, but about power.
2.We sometimes set people up by placing them on such high pedestals that they are tempted to think they are "above falling."
3. Linked to the attraction of power goes the thinking, "I will behave this way because I can."
4.Appearance is what we value in church, not struggle.
5.Whether this applies fully to Ted or not, we have so burdened those with the guilt and shame of same sex attraction that they feel out of God's grace.
6.Ministers are sometimes the last to seek accountability in spiritual friendships.
7.We do not practice truth telling.
8.Satan routinely attacks spiritual men (all men really) with Sexual temptation.
9.Once we begin living a lie, it takes a life of lying to cover it up.
10.Our actions always have repercussions that hurt the ones we love the most.