Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Poor and The Fatherless

There are so many things going around on facebook right now about "Taking America Back". And the fundamentalists are all about keeping God in America. My sweet, precious grandmother is one of them. I don't know how to break it to her, America is not God's chosen people.

Oh gosh, I know some who read this are getting really, really angry with me right now. But hear me out. "If my people, who are called by my name..." That was not a prophetic utterance about the United States of America. It was about his people. Those belonging to him. Romans 8:16 - the Spirit testifies that we are his children. By the work of Christ on the Cross. Not by the work of our Founding Fathers.

I totally understand and agree that our welfare and immigration systems are completely broken and jacked up. I get that. I know they need lots of reform. But to hear Christians in the name of Christ say that we need to cut off these illegals who are "taking all our jobs and getting freebies" makes me ill. As in sick and angry. To hear the church say that all those poor people need to "get a job and get off drugs" ticks me off.

Let's go to the Scriptures, shall we? Deuteronomy 10:14-20
"To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it. 15 Yet the Lord set his affection on your ancestors and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations—as it is today. 16 Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer. 17 For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. 18 He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. 19 And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. 20 Fear the Lord your God and serve him."

The church has forgotten the fact that WE ARE ALIENS. We were naked, hungry and sick and our heavenly father adopted us as his children. How can we then turn around and ignore the fatherless and foreigner?

And here's the kicker. The government shouldn't even be the ones taking care of the poor. It should be the church. The very people wanting to close the border and cut people off are the very ones who should be taking care of them, advocating for them.

I confess, I was one of them. Sometimes I still am. I don't get it right. There's a whole lot more going on that I've mentioned in this little post. But I think that when we look at the poor, no matter where they're from, and we feel no movement toward compassion, that's a red flag. Christianity is not the icing on top of the "Normal" cake. It should affect how we view everything around us. I need to repent too. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Roasted Adventures

My cooking has gotten so lazy. I'm serious. Corn, rice, potatoes, canned green beans. The end. Gross. This week I took Brody and Gracie with me to shop for new and exciting veges. We came home with lima beans, broccoli (which we LOVE and I got out of the habit of buying), asparagus, brussel sprouts, mixed vegetables, squash and avacado. I'm cooking the brussel sprouts right now. We're trying roasted sprouts because I love roasted vegetables. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, maybe some garlic salt and voila! Done. I really hope my family likes them. We need to get away from so many carbs.

What is your family's favorite vegetable? How do you cook it? Let me know in the comments. Thanks!!!

You Like What?!?

Culturally speaking, I found the closing ceremonies of the Olympics to be... peculiar. I liked some of the music and some of the display. The guy from Monty Python was funny. I liked the Freddy Mercury part. But then there were other parts that missed the mark, in my opinion.

The funny thing is: my peeps in the UK loved it. I mean LOVED it. It made them, one and all, proud to be British.

Then there was the Latin American, Brazilian, spectacle. Half dressed women, men in loin clothes and disco-decked out men with perms. Hmm. The music was repetitive, not harmonious. To put it simply, it was weird.

So I am left asking myself some questions. What am I missing? How can anyone like this? What the heck?

It is so easy for me to dismiss someone's culture, because that's what it is. It is someone's culture. It doesn't resonate with me because there are pieces of their life that I am missing.

Sociologically speaking: "Culture consists of the beliefs, behaviors, objects, and other characteristics common to the members of a particular group or society. Through culture, people and groups define themselves, conform to society's shared values, and contribute to society. Thus, culture includes many societal aspects: language, customs, values, norms, mores, rules, tools, technologies, products, organizations, and institutions. This latter term institution refers to clusters of rules and cultural meanings associated with specific social activities. Common institutions are the family, education, religion, work, and health care." - cliffsnotes.com

I think Americans, in particular, dismiss other cultures as irrelevant. Remember Manifest Destiny? No one cared about the Native American culture. They needed to stop it and get with the program. That's also what the Spanish did in South America.

We cannot possibly minister effectively in another culture without respecting who they intrinsically are. So while I don't "get it" sometimes, that does not mean it is wrong. It's just different and sometimes weird to my western, American sensibilities.

Before our last trip to England, when we were going to be taking the kids, my dear friend Laura sent me a book about America culture. So much of it was hidden right in front of my eyes. Other cultures do NOT value fun and entertainment and self-reliance. Did you know that? They don't measure success the same way. They value family much more than Americans. Other people look at us and "don't get it."

The implications make my head spin. SUVs, religion, how we educate, what we play, it all ties into a cultural norm that we don't even realize exists until confronted with something different. I talk about living deliberately, purposefully and thoughtfully. Thinking and learning about other cultures helps me do that. Even if it makes me appear strange and out of sync with the people around me.

There are even sub-cultures within our American culture: Southern > Alabamian > Springvillian. Or American > Bible Belt > Presbyterian (which is different from Southern Baptist)

Just something to think about. It makes my brain stretch a bit and I like that.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Photo Book

Click here to view this photo book larger

Photo Book Tip: Create an adventurous travel photo album at Shutterfly.com.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

I posted in the Homeschool Blog today. Just thought I'd share...

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Best Idea Ever!!!

Ty and I came up with the best idea! I'm serious. We dreamed up a land/subdivision development.

We shall call it... Middle Earth.

It will be a Lord of the Rings living experience. Within the subdivision there will be different areas. They will be called The Shire, Rohan, Gondor and Mordor. The homes built in each would reflect the architecture of each.

The Shire would have be all natural materials, rounded lines, picket fences. It could have a big Party Tree.

Rohan would have stone and wooden structures, maybe with some horse pastures.

Gondor would be white stone with sharp edges and points.

Mordor would be very modern and industrial. Lots of windows and metal.

We could add a hiking area called the Misty Mountains or a wooded wildlife area called Fangorn Forest.

Now you tell me? Would you not want to live there?!?!? How cool would that be?

Does anyone have a few million dollars I could borrow???