Overdue Update

I had moved over to another blog but now I’ve moved back. Sort of like taking a right turn without expecting it.

Originally I wanted to compartmentalize the content to reach different audiences but… ya know… if you can’t hang with my theological questions, cat memes, and Firefly evangelism, then perhaps reading my blog isn’t the best place for you.

Pondering and Thinking

After I had my melt down a few months ago, Sharon called to encourage me and give me some love.

In her message, she suggested that I look into gastric band (aka LAP-Band) surgery.  They laprascopically put a band around the upper part of the stomach, making a small pouch that sends a signal to your brain that you are full much earlier and therefore you eat less.

I went to the information session at the Vanderbilt Surgical Weight Loss Center.  My very first thought when I walked in was, aside from the staff, I was probably the healthiest person in the room.  I immediately gave thanks to God for His healing power and grace that has kept me healthy despite my overwhelming need for chocolate.

There were some really sick people… and for those people, surgery was likely the only way they would be able to live beyond another year or two.  Pacemakers, diabetes, heart problems, sleep apnea.  One person was brought in via wheelchair.

My heart broke for these people.  Like me, I bet they have tried every diet known to man and maybe even made up their own.  Sure, I’ve been responsible for my own bad choices.  I admit that.  When I made the right choices, the weight dropped off.  When I didn’t (as has been the case for the last 1 and a half years), I’ve put most of it back on.

I still don’t know about surgery.  I’m praying about it.  It’s one of those things that if I didn’t tell you, you would likely never know… the only clue being how slow I eat and the small bites taken.

I’m vain… I don’t want any scars on my belly.  They said the port for the band (to adjust the size) goes in the abdominal wall.  Will that be affected by belly rolls or pilates, neither of which I’m willing to give up?

When I went to see my primary care physician last month, I asked him about it and then I started crying.  He said that any of the weight loss surgery is a tool; that the patients still have to eat right and exercise or else it is largely pointless.  Having the surgery doesn’t mean someone is a failure which is how I feel about it.  He was very kind and supportative of any decision I would make… which is good.

What to Believe In

William said this in a comment

Obama is… a kind of secular god-as-government messiah.

I was listening to James MacDonald’s Walk in the Word from a day or two ago.  He was talking about an exchange he had with John Piper at a conference.  Piper talked about being a Calvinist.  MacDonald took issue with that word.  In an exchange of letters after the event, MacDonald explained that he believed John Calvin, John Wesley, Augustine, Apostle Paul, etc… were brilliant men who helped to enrich our faith, but to refer to ourselves as anything other than a Christian was wrong.  It was elevating a human to a place reserved for Christ alone.

He also warned of placing our hope IN people for provision, salvation, etc…

I had to pause the audio, sit there, and think.  I never liked the term “Obamessiah” because I thought it was way too over the top and divisive.    His campaign slogan is “change we can believe in.”  This implies that he is the agent of that change.  Believe in him and off we go to a glorious new future.

However, given the reaction by ardent supporters and the every day people I ride the bus with… it isn’t too far off from the expections people have of him.  This has caused a change of rhetoric from him – being very cautious with his words about how fact the economy will recover (for example).

Their hope is IN him – to fix, to provide, to save them and the US from complete and total destruction.  I would hazard a guess that their faith in Obama is equal or greater than their faith (speaking of those that are Christian) in Jesus Christ.

Where is the line between supporting someone (a candidate or past0r) and putting your faith, hope and trust in a created being rather than God?  I am not sure.  It did cause me to reflect on how I view certain pastors – that maybe I was a bit starry eyed and let myself get swept away with their words rather than those of the Bible.

Back to what MacDonald said, I don’t think it is wrong or bad to use terms like Pauline (to refer to the Apostle Paul and his teachings) or Calvinist (those of John Calvin) and so on.  If you are using them as a descriptor of their teaching and position, ok.  When you start to go into “If you aren’t a Calvinist, you are going to hell” then…. we may have some problems.

Sharon asks, I answer

Sharon Cobb asked about Ephesians 5:22-23 over at Kat’s blog. This is much better understood when you expand the passage to include 25-32.

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

ESV Version

Over the years, I’ve heard a lot of sermons on these verses. I’ve bristled at what the preachers said. I have fought the teaching. Now I embrace these truths. Read More

Crocs

“I would rather swim in a river of boiling snot than wear a pair of crocs.” Simon whatever his name is on iLove the New Millennium on Vh1.

“Aren’t these like jellies for Millennials?” (or something like that) Amy from Evanesence

“WHO WEARS PLASTIC SHOES?! If you Ken, you wear plastic shoes. If you are GI Joe, you can wear plastic shoes.” Luis

I hate Crocs.  There isn’t a thing you can say to me that will convince me otherwise… much like my great disdain for hoodies.  I put down a garment at Lane Bryant that I LOVED the print on.  When I flipped it around and saw it was a hoodie, I put it back.  It’s completely irrational… but you will just have to deal.

Entertaining Evil

Sunday night, a friend and I went to see The Dark Knight. Even before the hype of Heath Ledger’s accidental death in January, I had already planned to see this movie. I loved what Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale did to reboot the Batman franchise out of its campy history. Tim Burton did a little of this with the first two movies but there was still a day-glo feeling to them. Then it started to look like a comic book with Batman Forever (Jim Carrey’s rubber face included). But… it had Val Kilmer.

We won’t talk about Batman and Robin. Aside from Uma Thurman, that movie stinks. Stinks. Stinks. She’s so over the top, she makes it bearable. Almost.

Then… Batman Begins went to the 1980’s and 1990’s comic books, which are more adult and decidedly darker than their predecessors. (They were done by Frank Miller… who wrote Sin City, 300, and the Watchmen – all of which are very graphic, very dark, and down right disturbing.) More psychological. Bruce Wayne isn’t just a rich vigilante. He’s a tortured man trying to make peace with himself, trying to find himself… And… there’s Christian Bale who is not only smokin’ hot, he’s a really good actor. (Aside: he will be starring as John Connor in the new Terminator movies starting Summer 2009).

This change has angered and upset alot of people whose primary experiences with Batman are the earlier movies and the TV series – which is nothing but camp. They aren’t familiar with the comic books at all or its dark past.

So, we go to see the Dark Knight. First, I don’t remember hearing a single cuss word in the entire movie. At all. Well, maybe one by the thugs but I’m not sure. I am pretty sure I said more when we were talking about it at the conclusion…

“The Joker is seriously f’ed up.”

Was the movie good? Depends on how you want to define “good.” Did the story move along at a good pace to keep from getting bored in a 2 hr 30 min movie? Was the acting good? How were the special effects?

Yes. Yes. AWESOME!

However, it is very violent but not in a bloody way. There isn’t alot of gore. Very dark. The Joker is a man who has no purpose to his violence. He hurts and kills people because he can. It is very easy to see how Heath Ledger had so much trouble sleeping after he finished his work on the film. Demented. Scary. Bat sh*t crazy. In a way, it is the most terrifying part of being human – abject violence and the ability to inflict terror for the sole purpose of doing it and to see how people react.

To me, Freddy Kruger and Jason are minor league horror villains compared to Ledger’s Joker.

I can’t remember the last time I watched a movie and it gave me nightmares. Sunday night, my dreams were very violent. I was telling Mark about it last night. He said he was almost going to see it but after my description of it decided not to… that he did not want to watch that kind of movie. I said that I wasn’t going to have another nightmare last night.. not going to allow that.

About 3 am, I jerk awake from another nightmare. I laid in bed and started praying.

God, what is going on? I have watched movies like this before and they haven’t affected me at all. Perhaps that is saying something about me… my numbness to evil, darkness, and violence but, we can talk about that later. But this is different. What is up with this movie that 2 days later, the imagery is still affecting me?

The Spirit replied:

This movie is surrounded by evil. It tormented Heath Ledger to his death.

(Further clarification: this morning – Christian Bale’s mom and sister filed a police report on him – abuse charges for an assault that they said happened after the London premiere)

I immediately went back to sleep… back to the tortured dreams of robberies, guns, violence, alarms. It leads me to question how much have I let God regenerate my heart. I don’t doubt that I am justified by faith… but the process of sanctification is on going. How much am I fighting that and thwarting it by my media choices?

Pollsters have too much time on their hands

Headline on yahoo news this morning:

Poll: Obama leads McCain among people who don’t have pets

Seriously.  Is that important to know?  Does this mean that they are going to start targeting messages to dog owners?  Free flea collars for all pets!

‘My opponent won’t care for homeless pets.  He will allow them to continue to be abused.  He will cut funding for the ASPCA and rescue organizations…’

This is just stupid.  I can’t wait for the election to be over.  The world will not change overnight.  I was at the dentist yesterday and he’s trying to convince me to vote for Obama – WHILE HE’S DRILLING!  I can’t argue with him while there is a moving, deadly instrument in my mouth.  When he finished, I said “I don’t care.  Working for the state made me a libertarian.  I want to be left alone and have as little interaction with the government as possible.  It leaves me alone; I leave it alone.”

“But you do care!”

“I care about people.  I care about those who are hurting and need help.  However, more government is the absolute worst solution for it.”

We stopped talking about it at that point.  This morning on the bus I noticed the sign outside the Andrew Jackson state office building.  The quote below his picture says “There are no necessary evils in government.”

I tell ya, the people who chose it have no idea what it means or how that can be interpreted… and I find it very amusing that it is outside a state office building.