My life and my thoughts - on faith, culture, politics, whatever comes to my mind

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Prayer request for Emily and her family

I have a prayer request that I want to share with all of you. It is for my blogfriend Crystal and her family, especially their nine-year-old daughter Emily. Emily had a biopsy done because she had some strange lumps on her neck. She was now diagnosed with thyroid cancer.
Please go to Crystal's blog and read her husband Scott's post about the last developments and how they are doing.
Please keep all of them in your prayers!

UPDATE: Crystal wrote a new post where she also specified some of their prayer requests. Please pray for them!

So I ask that you pray for God's perfect will. I ask that when we get
Emily's test results back it will be good news and that her cancer hasn't
spread. I ask that you pray for God to have His hands on her during surgery and
to guide Emily's doctor and that he is able to get all of the cancer out of her
that he can. Please pray that the surgery goes really well and her recovery does
too. Please pray for peace of mind for Emily I know that she is nervous to be
having surgery again. These are the things I can think of right now.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Real man wanted

Miss O'Hara has a great post wondering why there seem to be hardly any good men. Here are some quotes for you:
"Females in our culture are just as responsible for the hook-up, prosti-tot, irresponsible me-first, sex-focused culture as men are - if not more so. I don't care WHAT you think: women are the keepers of morals in any society. As the females go, so goes the whole nation. When women demand to be treated well, the society will be conducive to marriage and fidelity. However, when women lose their morals and abandon virtue in order to turn to narcissism and sexual libertinism, the same will happen to the culture at large. We can thank the feminists for much of this."
"No good woman wants a permanent boy who kow-tows to Mother and expects his wife to be Mom, too. No good woman wants a husband who cows before her, who can't tell her to sit down and let him handle things, who will let her run things. That's the way it is. A real man won't do any of that - and he'll be tender, loving and protective besides. Crushing a boy's masculinity won't get him anywhere good, unless you're hoping he lands a starring role as the feather-boa wearing flamboyant in 'Rent'.
Start raising men again, not permanent children."
I can only cheer her on. Go over and read the whole thing.

God-ordained order and authority

Recently before I fell asleep I found myself musing over the order God ordained for marriage and one thought led to another. (I usually have interesting ideas about posts right before I sleep and am not able to remember them fully the next day when I’m in front of the computer...) God is a God of order. Everything in our world has its time and place. Everything is or should be functioning in a specified way or order. Just look at the universe and how it works together – and how wrong it would go if it did not work together. There is peace and beauty in order. Beauty can be found in chaos too sometimes. But more so in order, things functioning properly, nature going its (ordained) way, things rightly balanced or performed in their ordained way.

But sometimes it seems difficult to see the peace and the beauty. Especially if one stumbles over the order, the ordained way. This seems to be the case especially with the God-ordained order in marriage.

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands i everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her [...]. In this same way, husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife, loves himself. [...] However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband” (Ephesians 5:22-25, 28, 33)

Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of every woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.” (1. Cor. 11:3)

Often I have heard that other people are appalled by the idea of a wife’s submission to her husband or by the idea that a husband could have headship – authority over his wife. Well, it is a idea that one needs to get accustomed to, especially if one did not grow up in a believing family or is not a Christian. And very often, people read certain ideas into these verses which are not part of them. Many have never really read and thought about them at all. They get dismissed as Paul’s “anti-women notions”. And, therefore, people miss out on the beauty and peace which lies in this ordained order. I do not say that everything is perfect in a marriage which tries to follow God’s order. Or that this order cannot be perverted by sinful men and women. This is true. Our sinful nature can corrupt anything in our lives. But in the order itself lies beauty and peace. If couples live by this order, each part’s emotional and physical needs will be filled. There will be respect and love. So many women object that this order is only hard on wives. I always think it is really hard on the husband. Just imagine to love someone or be loved by someone as Christ loved the church ... What a mind-boggling love! And this order does not mean that the wife’s concerns, desires and wishes will not be taken into consideration in a decision-making process. On the contrary. But there is someone who will take the final decision. There will be an end to discussion and someone responsible for decisions.

God ordained a clear line of authority: God – Christ – husband – wife. Christ was also under authority. Do we ever consider this as a bad thing? Do we ever see Christ as God’s “doormat”, someone God could trample on? I wonder why authority is so often considered as a negative thing, surely to be abused? More often actually, Christ’s submission to God the Father is admired, praised. We try to be Christ-like. We also try (to like the idea) to submit to God. But we do not always like to submit to an authority which was put over us. But this seems to me to be what God intended. That everyone submits to the authority over him or her. And that everyone who has authority takes over the responsibility which comes with authority and the care for those who are under his authority. I do see peace and beauty in this. Sometimes my wilful self might want to rebel against it. But still....

Friday, February 03, 2006

Lost innocence

When I think back and remember how I looked at the world as a child it stuns me how different my world view was. Not simply because I was young or didn’t know anything about politics, insurances and crime. I always thought as a child that everybody loved everybody, parents never quarreled and every other child was as happy as me. Of course – as you all know – even children understand that this is not true. And a lot faster than many parents or I personally would wish. My childhood was happy, but I have always strongly felt the hurt of other people, injustice and anger of others. My stomach literally knots when I listen to angry voices or feel an undercurrent strong disharmony.

Maybe you wonder why I am writing this. This train of thought started when I talked to a wonderful friend of mine. We both love to read and already during our teenage years read a lot of books for teenagers and adults that included social and personal problems like e.g. teen pregnancies, drugs, murder, illness etc. We always were touched by the story. But at the same time I remember thinking that things like this will most certaily never happen to anyone I know – at least not to closer friends. Well, not all of it has happened to close friends. But quite some things have. I know or once knew mothers who had their child at age 15, women who had several abortions, heroin addicts, ... Friends suffering from cancer before they turned 25 and not all of them survived. Aquaintances who died in car wrecks. And I recently lost a once very close friend to murder.

I am convinced that many and probably most of you can share similar stories. I do not write this to complain or ask for pity or whatever. This is how life is in our broken world, so desperately in need of salvation. These are just some thoughts going through my head while mourning a friend. Pain can make us numb. And pain sometimes hides – and then suddenly decides to come to the front and surprise us in the middle of our work or at dinner or when we go shopping. Some things are just hard to understand or just deal with when they happen in real life.