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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Real Women Worry Not

Candance Parker's perspective on being a successful woman basketball player reminds me of Phyllis Schlafly's attitude about how real women work hard to perfect their talents and worry not about how they measure up against men.

Excerpts from Time Magazine interview with Candance Parker, WNBA MVP:

Growing up playing basketball, did you ever have to deal with negative or sexist comments? Minnesa Khan, JAMAICA, N.Y.

I never really had to. When I would go to the park, maybe initially they would be like, She's a girl, she can't play. But then the next time, they were picking me first for their team. Let your actions speak for themselves. Don't worry about what everybody else is saying. Just concentrate on playing basketball and embrace being a woman and being in sports.

Do you think they should create coed-league sports on a professional level? Luke Denker, BELTON, MO.

I don't think it's necessary. I think it's neat that women play our game. Obviously, the strength of men--I really don't feel like we could play in a professional league with them. I think it's great that young girls have the WNBA to look up to now.

How are you doing with your new daughter? Has your coach at Tennessee, Pat Summitt, started recruiting her yet? Brenda Goodman JOHNSON CITY, TENN.

When I first told Coach Summitt that I was pregnant, she was like, Where can we send the papers? I had to remind her that my husband [Minnesota Timberwolves forward Shelden Williams] went to Duke, so he's pushing for her to go there. But I'm doing great. My baby is the joy in my life. Obviously, I'm suffering from lack of sleep, but it truly is a blessing to be a mother.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Piper: Why I Don't Have a Television and Rarely Go to Movies

The quotation below is from an article by John Piper blog on the relevance of TV and being relevant in our culture. While this is an area for each to examine for oneself, I've found that while I often can't talk to someone about the latest movie release or who's broken up with who on the Hills, I can relate as a human to other humans who live in a broken, lonely world.

Piper writes,

"I think relevance in preaching hangs very little on watching movies, and I think that much exposure to sensuality, banality, and God-absent entertainment does more to deaden our capacities for joy in Jesus than it does to make us spiritually powerful in the lives of the living dead. Sources of spiritual power—which are what we desperately need—are not in the cinema. You will not want your biographer to write: Prick him and he bleeds movies.

If you want to be relevant, say, for prostitutes, don’t watch a movie with a lot of tumbles in a brothel. Immerse yourself in the gospel, which is tailor-made for prostitutes; then watch Jesus deal with them in the Bible; then go find a prostitute and talk to her. Listen to her, not the movie. Being entertained by sin does not increase compassion for sinners.

There are, perhaps, a few extraordinary men who can watch action-packed, suspenseful, sexually explicit films and come away more godly. But there are not many. And I am certainly not one of them" (emphasis mine).

The quote is taken out of the context of another pastor suggesting that Christians should watch more movies to be relevant. I think this comes down to discernment of which movies are helpful, but the heart of the issue I think has less to do with watching more or less, but seeking those things to do that give life not death to our souls. Dead souls can't lead people to Christ.

And I am much like Piper. Maybe some can let trash in, and good comes out, but it doesn't seem to work so well for me.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Who are you connected to?

"A healthy community is built on friendship, on people who are committed to the art of caring engagement, an art that only the gospel makes possible in its riches form. It is built on shepherding, on people committed to the art of mentoring or passing along hope. Shepherds are simply older friends whose experience allows them to give hope that whatever is happening can be well survived." Larry Crabb, Connecting: A Radical New Vision

"The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are." - C.S. Lewis

There are different levels of connection. I often reflect upon how I'm engaging people in my life. I constantly sense a lot of selfishness behind why and how I connect or don't connect with people. I often find my own pursuits more exciting or interesting than pursuing relationships with others because meaningful connection and "caring engagement" takes time. It means bearing the burdens of others with grace, which means more time praying. It means being willing to be wrong even when you think your right, which means giving up of oneself.

Paul described level of connection with the Philippian church as being "poured out as a drink offering" for their sake (2:17). He did it with joy.

That's where I find the desire to connect with others: joy. Paul writes that his joy will be complete by "being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind" (2:2). How do we come to be of the same mind? In part, giving up of self and engaging one another in deeper way than merely going to the same church or rooting for the same sports teams.

I often struggle in social situations because I don't really care so much about where people work but why they want to work where to do. I want to the passions that inspire people to get up everyday. Or maybe what lack of passion that keeps them in bed. But who talks about that kinda stuff?

I have a hard time finding any satisfaction in surface level contact that avoids all points that might create disruption--like politics and theology. Or maybe I just like to argue. Maybe that's why I don't connect sometimes: I'm always right and people can't handle that. ; )

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

How Far Down the Road?

The Eagle Forum Education Center—where I work—houses tons of books. So many that we are starting to throw some away. Sure, this sounds like heresy, but there is no market for some books written about politics 30 - 40 years ago by relatively unknown authors.

Searching through some boxes before they head off to book heaven, I found a book titled How Far Down the Road? by Edward R. Sneed under the 1055-page tome Moscow Bound: Policy, Politics and the POW/MIA Dilemma by John M.G. Brown and Pat Buchanan's 1990 book, Right From the Beginning.

How Far Down the Road? was written in 1961. Yes, in 1961 some people were asking the same questions and digging in their heels to slow the move towards socialism. I frequently find books condemning out-of-control spending (spending has never been so high!) and immorality (it's never been this bad) in paper back volumes with questions for titles.

It's humbling to realize that we are fighting a battle that's been raging not since the 1960s—choosing between Goldwater and Johnson—not since the 1930s—the beginnings of federal government as a safety net—not since the American Revolution—“taxation without representation"—but since the beginning: what's the proper role of the individual, family, church, and civil government in society.

We don't need more books about this. We need the strength and conviction to live out what we want to write books about.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

"Everyone guessed wrong."

"Everyone guessed wrong." -Joe Biden, acknowledging that the Administration's $787 billion economic-stimulus plan has failed to reduce the unemployment rate

Found in Time Magazine, June 29, 2009

No. I don't believe this. The hope I have in government is for what is not seen. Even if the unemployment rate is the same, $787 billion must have done something good! Something to be hoped in, right?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Twitter: Another Way to Glorify God

John Piper's recent blog post and how and why he is tweeting is worth reading because he get's to deeper truth about why we do anything, including "tweeting": “All things were created through Christ and for Christ” (Colossians 1:16).

Piper writes:

"I see two kinds of response to social Internet media like blogging, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and others.

One says: These media tend to shorten attention spans, weaken discursive reasoning, lure people away from Scripture and prayer, disembody relationships, feed the fires of narcissism, cater to the craving for attention, fill the world with drivel, shrink the soul’s capacity for greatness, and make us second-handers who comment on life when we ought to be living it. So boycott them and write books (not blogs) about the problem.

The other response says: Yes, there is truth in all of that, but instead of boycotting, try to fill these media with as much provocative, reasonable, Bible-saturated, prayerful, relational, Christ-exalting, truth-driven, serious, creative pointers to true greatness as you can."


Read the rest of his post to find out why he is "leaning" towards using twitter more, not "leaping."

He's your Lord. He's your Savior. But is He your Treasure?


4. Resolved, never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God; nor be, nor suffer it, if I can avoid it.

The Don't Waste Your Life Tour is using this video this summer to kick off each concert.

Friday, June 12, 2009


Jonathan Edwards wrote 71 resolutions to read each week he was 19. To imagine that someone at 19 would be set such a high standard for this life humbles me.

Here are a few that challenged me. (I wanted to copy and paste whole list, but if you're truly interested in being challenged, you can click the link.)

6. Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.

15. Resolved, never to suffer the least motions of anger towards irrational beings.

17. Resolved, that I will live so, as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.

67. Resolved, after afflictions, to inquire, what I am the better for them, what am I the better for them, and what I might have got by them.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What We Don't Say

Sometimes it's more important to think about what people don't say than what they do.

Newt Gingrich made the following comment during a speech at a big Republican fundraiser. CNN quotes Gingrich as saying:
"I am happy that Dick Cheney is a Republican," he said. "I am also happy that Colin Powell is a Republican. A majority Republican Party will have lots of debates within the party. That is the nature of majorities."
Why didn't Gingrich mention the moderates like Cheney and Powell but not libertarians like Ron Paul? Is the party open for debates only about why we should be more moderate but ignore the raging debate about why we should be more dedicated to capitalism? or non-interventionist foreign policy? or a conservative monetary policy?

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Quotes that Made Me Think Recently

"We know each other by our stories." - Doug Merkey, Churches for Life

Someone once said that your humility can be measured by how quickly you admit you are wrong. -Leslie Ludy, Noble Beauty

"Be effective where you are at. Endure. Persevere." ~ co-worker Deb

"You might want to leave legacy, but you got think about what God's plan is for your life, not your plan for your life." - HS

"It goes back to sin." ~ co-worker Deb

"Your friends determine the direction and quality of your life." -Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast "Effective Communication"

"If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and the corporations which grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered." -Thomas Jefferson

Friday, June 05, 2009

What Makes Women Happy?

I came across a post by Greg Mankiw linked to a study by Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers a couple weeks back but didn't have time to post...probably sent it out as a "tweet."
The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness
By many objective measures the lives of women in the United States have improved over the past 35 years, yet we show that measures of subjective well-being indicate that women's happiness has declined both absolutely and relative to men. The paradox of women's declining relative well-being is found across various datasets, measures of subjective well-being, and is pervasive across demographic groups and industrialized countries. Relative declines in female happiness have eroded a gender gap in happiness in which women in the 1970s typically reported higher subjective well-being than did men. These declines have continued and a new gender gap is emerging -- one with higher subjective well-being for men.
To me, it doesn't seem that surprising that a study would show worldly success doesn't always bring substantive happiness along with it. Even if in life, we do along with the lie.

While this study may shows that the feminists were wrong to suggest that women could find true happiness if they achieved the same success in the workforce as men, I don't think that men achieve happiness and fulfillment through material successes any more or less than women do.