Yes, I rode a horse at the Duysings house after about ten years afoot! I was happy I wasn't as awkward as I feared, and it was fun. Period.
The American Founders knew they could not transform human nature, so they devised a system that would thwart the schemes of the wicked and channel the energies of flawed persons toward the public good. (pg 93)
Instead of completely denying the value of expressive freedom, conservatives would do better to embrace it--at least in part--and to focus on educating people about the rich moral sources of freedom, and about how to use freedom well. (pg 159)
America is the greatest, freest, and most decent society in existence. It is an oasis of goodness in a desert of cynicism and barbarism. This country, once an experiment unique to the world, is now the last best hope for the world. (pg 193)
Well, tomorrow is our last game of the church softball season. I'm going to just say it and be done with it: we haven't won a game and we don't expect to win the last one! There, it has been said now. Ours was a very new team and we can be thankful that we did as well as we did. I don't know if I will pitch the last game--I think that would be an interesting thing to do... I am thinking about asking to pitch just because I want to be there in the middle of the field and fight for the lost cause where it will hurt the most! Oh yeah! Bring it on!!
My sister is acting in a play this week... It's a small rendition of Fiddler on the Roof and she is Hodel. It should be very interesting! I think I'm just a little jealous I never got into acting! This is Beka's first one and she is (as you can imagine) very happy to have a leading role. The first performance is on Thursday and she told me I shouldn't go that day because she thinks that is when the most mistakes are going to happen! Too late for that because it looks like I might be at all three of them! I've never seen a live play of Fiddler on the Roof so I am looking forward to it.
Finally, as Paul says in Ephesians 3:7-8, even true Christian leadership is a gift of grace. "...I became a minister according to the gift of grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power. to me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ."Leadership a gift of grace... This does not mean, though, that developing Christian leadership is a matter of waiting for some supernatural engrafting of special skills--a moment in time when we suddenly feel like we can lead. No, God's gifts are most often given to those who humbly strive for them in faith, knowing that God will not fail to give good gifts to his children, knowing that they do not ask amiss, knowing God's will for their lives.
Summer is in full swing and that means I am inching closer to Fall--a significant fact considering I will be going to Western Washington U. My mind is strangely free of preconceptions about what it will be like and I'm not one to fall prey to high-hopes. I do, though, have a knack for getting childish excitement about some of the campus architecture. I was recently afforded the privilege of a campus tour courtesy of Sarah (thanks again!) and my first impressions were favorable. I must admit I am pleasantly surprised by the look of the place. True, it was during the Summer when it is so much less crowded but I doubt it will make a big difference.
I don't really know how I will fare in my studies because in one sense, while I do hold a two-year degree, I might just as well have never attended college if you want to compare the academic standards of a community college against a university--a disquieting thought. Ultimately, though, I cannot doubt that I am in the right place. There are just too many things which have smacked of God's faithful guidance in my life leading up to this point that I really ought not to feel anything but complete trust by now. If only that were so! How easily I often find something to help add doubt and confusion to the mix.
I was recently impressed by the passage in Luke 12 which deals with worry. It's funny how some things don't hit you hard enough to matter until you need them most. I've always thought that the essence of this passage was about the folly of worrying:
And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? -verse 25
i.e. Don't sit and pull your hair out till the wee hours of the morning--it's unhealthy and will eventually get you all sick and dead! That isn't all, though. The thing which struck me about it this time was this verse:
And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. -verse 29
"...nor have an anxious mind." Not only does he tell us to trust him, we are to completely give up anxiety as an acceptable way of dealing with our troubles. Jesus isn't saying: "it's ok to be a little anxious as long as you trust Me." No, He instead insists on an entirely different way of thinking! Isn't is odd how we say we trust God to work out His own will in our lives and still hold on tightly to our precious anxiety? We kneel and pray for God to help us make an important decision, pouring it all out at His feet and "trusting" Him to carry us through... Then we get up off our knees and pick up right where we left off.
One thing is for certain--God has yet to resort to the "hard way" (whatever that is) in teaching me to trust Him.
“The U.S. government started the war with Iraq in order to make it easy for U.S. corporations to do business in other countries. They intend to use cheap labor in those countries, which will make Americans rich.”
“This is the war of a despotic, arrogant, and cruel country against the nations of the world.”
All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.
"I don't like abortion. I believe life does begin at conception. But I can't take my Catholic belief, my article of faith, and legislate it on a Protestant or a Jew or an atheist . . . who doesn't share it. We have separation of church and state in the United States of America."
-Senator John Kerry
Sen. Kerry's argument that he is personally against abortion, but wouldn't legislate his views on others who disagree, is entirely specious.
In the first place, by refusing to display the courage to stand up against his pro-abortion constituents and defend the unborn, Kerry is essentially imposing his views on others -- the babies -- by default. And they are the only innocent ones in this equation.
Secondly, as I've said before, we do (and must) legislate morality. Our entire system of criminal law and much of our civil law is based on our moral beliefs, from assault and battery to murder in the first degree. If we don't "legislate morality," we forfeit the rule of law and ordered liberty altogether.
Thirdly, it is embarrassing that a person seeking the highest office in the land so misapprehends the constitutional concepts involved in church/state relations that he thinks they preclude the state from basing its laws on moral principles. He couldn't be more out of phase with America's founding fathers.
"He was immensely respected," he finally replied. "You knew that he was incorruptible. He gave off, he sort of exuded this inner sense of moral probity and integrity."