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Jul 28, 2013

From the Archives: Love, Not Fear

I discovered some older blog posts that have not been pushed up to the current blog location since the provider switch in 2011. I decided I would just post some of my favorite ones under the subtitle "From the Archives."
Originally Posted: 29 Feb 2008 07:30 AM
Last night, I got into a discussion with my oldest daughter about God, aetheism, sin, humanism, Heaven and Hell. It was one of those deep moments where you hope to have the right words and be able to explain all your justifications, knowing that you probably are not making any sense at all. Nonetheless, I was compelled to send a follow up email, which I know she will not mind me sharing. Here it is:
I've been thinking about what you said last night. I don't see God as a cosmic troll who snaps his fingers with demands of righteousness or He will send us to Hell. I view it more as a loving Father who hopes His children will love him enough to respect the rules of His house.

Being a father myself, this really clears up my understanding. I think things such as marriage and parenthood really are "gifts" from God. They are life functions with multiple layers of meaning - one of which to help us better understand God and His desire to interact with us.

For example, I want Rachel to keep her room clean. I don't want her to do it only because she is afraid of being punished. I may have to punish her if she fails to follow the rules - or perhaps she will stub her toe on one of the toys strewn across her room, which becomes its own punishment. However, I do want her to clean her room because I believe it should make her more happy but also I hope that she loves me enough to follow my rules even if she doesn't understand them completely. I want her motivation to be love, not fear. Nonetheless, I will still love her whether her room is clean or not.

I find it interesting that God is often referred to as a father. I think in recent years to whole "battle of the sexes" thing has caused us to lose perspective of this - as if being a father is a bad thing or is better than being a mother. I don't hold any of those opinions at all. However, I will note that fathers approach raising children differently than mothers.

With some exceptions, mothers nurture their children, and protect them from harm. If a mother foresees pain and suffering, a mother will directly intervene to prevent the distress. Fathers, however, are more passive in their approach. They allow the child to make those mistakes in hopes they will learn from them. Fathers do still intervene, but usually only do so when the circumstances are extreme.

Now - earthly mothers and father range with great variety. None of us are perfect, but the general difference of approach is there. Earthly fathers often get the blamed for being lazy and uninvolved - and some are; however, I think many times this comes from the method, not apathy.

The allegories run deep here; I could continue to make comparisons all day. Hopefully some of these things has given you insight. And please remember, no matter what you do or don't do, no matter what path you follow, no matter how you choose to live your life, no matter what you opt to believe, I will always love you too.

Jul 26, 2013

Bible-Belt Bloopers

*Disclaimer for this Post: This blog entry is written for an audience assumed to be of the Christian faith. Obviously, one doesn't have to be a Christian to read it, have an opinion on it or even criticize it; however, the context is primarily for those who follow and believe a Judeo-Christian creed.
Everything in life happens for a reason. God never gives you something you can't handle. So when things are bad, just remember, things always get better.
I like the motivational picture above. I've seen it a lot. It's a great positive message which gives us hope and inspires us to remember we are stronger than we sometimes realize.
I have heard many Christians paraphrase this idea in several different ways. Often they will follow it up with “It's in the Bible, you know!”
The problem with that is...well, it isn't. The Bible doesn't say these things. In fact, it actually says things nearly the opposite.

Jul 21, 2013

The Art of Mind-Reading, Part II

I left off last time with the idea of how well I get along with my wife has to do with how well I can read her mind. Let me reiterate this is not about her, but rather a real skill I should try to improve.
Of course I do not have any sort of clairvoyance or other mental prowess. But I do have powers of observation. How often do I “know” how someone is going to act or react in an upcoming situation? How can I know this if I am not a mind-reader?

Jul 5, 2013

The Art of Mind-Reading, Part I

By all means marry; if you get a good wife, you'll be happy. If you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher.
While Socrates’ quote is humorous and perhaps even something to which we relate, but I’m not sure I agree. Or perhaps I should say, not all philosophical thinkers have bad wives. I like to believe I think “deeply” as would a philosopher – and I have a great wife.
Of course, I also understand that how well I get along with my wife is proportional to how well I can read her mind. That’s not a slight on her, by the way. It’s a credit (or demerit) to how well I pay attention to her needs.