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You Can Be a Positive Influence

I've been absent from regular blogging for the past week as we prepped for my son's graduation and party. Cleanup is underway and I think life will go back to some sort of normal now, meaning our normal state of activity and chaos. I gave up on having an easy schedule ages ago!

I thought I'd share a link to the speech my son gave at his graduation because it was a good reminder of how we can choose our own influences and also choose how we influence others.


I Hope This Bothers You Too: 2 Current Events

Have you watched the news lately? I know, It's depressing. But I can't help it. I want to know what's happening around me...and check the weather too. If it seems like the media is obsessed with bad news and other people's heartache, it's probably because we're obsessed with watching it.

Here are a two headlines from this week that bother me. May I rant just a little?

Problem 1: Selective Morality
The news about the Schwarzeneggers bothers me. I can't imagine being a wife who defends her husband's honor, only to find out years later that I was duped. How painful! But you know what bothers me even more? The double standard we hold in our society. When The Governator's lie was discovered, reporters called this the end of his political career. They said the same when governor Mark Sanford of SC got caught his his infidelity and lies. But when the president of the United States committed adultery in the Oval Office, it didn't end his political career.

So, why does this bother me? Because we don't have a standard of morality or a clear definition of adultery. Since Gov. Arnold's infidelity produced a child, and Sanford's affair included his running off with a lover, people were outraged. But President Clinton's affair made people squirm and hesitate to point fingers since it crossed into a moral gray area. It made people ask what constitutes adultery.

Let's make it clear. Any emotional or physical connection that leads to a physical or sexual attraction to a person other than one's spouse is adultery. There are no degrees of adultery. Internet, porn, e-mails, one-on-one lunches, phone calls, texts, trysts at a hotel, kissing at the's all the same.

Gov. Schwarzenegger is dead wrong. But if we're going to try him in the media for his sexual sins, we'd better point fingers all the way Washington, in our communities, in our churches, and at ourselves. Selective morality drives me crazy.

Problem 2: Misguided Theologians 

If you've watched the news this week, you've likely heard that end of the world is supposed to begin tomorrow. Now, if the rapture does happen and if I'm not around to post my letter of apology to recant this statement, consider my words eaten if I'm not here tomorrow.

Harold Camping has wasted plenty of time trying to figured out when the world will end. Camping sent a goodbye letter to his radio listeners this week and he's certain this is it. He's 89 years old and he's about to find out he's wrong. Again. He was wrong in 1994.

Some people have sold their homes and are living in RV's waiting until tomorrow. They've taken last hurrah vacations and canceled appointments for next week. There is a very good reason for why the Bible doesn't give us the day or the hour. We'd do foolish things. Instead, we are to live every day being ready, trusting in God and not in men.

So, why does this bother me? Because it makes Christians look like fools. It's just another occasion for unbelievers to run far away from the wacky people who put their faith in crazy predictions.

What Can We Do?

When these topics come up in conversation, we have the opportunity to present truth. Talk about what the Bible says about morality. Talk about the gospel. Use current events as a means to initiate conversations that could leads towards deeper spiritual subjects. If it bothers you, it's probably given someone else some questions that you might be able to answer.


Operation Graduation

I've been just a little overwhelmed in the past few weeks as we countdown to my first son's graduation. It's hard to believe we'll be going through this again in two years, not because of the work that goes into it but because it's just so hard to believe they are this old! Where did the years go?
Sometimes, it's just hard to imagine saying goodbye and letting them go out on their own. I made the mistake of listening to a song by Michael W Smith today. I heard it years ago, and saved the lyrics somewhere in my mind. They came to the front of the crannies up in my cranium today and I searched it out on You Tube.

Friends, this wasn't a good idea. I had a little bawl session in my office after watching it. Thought I'd share the link with you and see if you have the same reaction as I did.

Does anything really prepare a mom for letting her kids go?


Muted Monday - Photo of the Week

Sometimes, we must stop and regroup. Do you feel like you need a time out to get your team together today?

P.S...that's my son in the catcher's gear. :-)


The Elemental Journal: A Book Review

Do you love creating something useful from stuff most people throw away? The Elemental Journal is perfect for anyone who enjoys using pieces from nature, cast-off containers and scrapers of paper, plastic, and metal. Tammy Kushnir and several other artists feature their journals, big and small, created from scraps.

These aren’t journals like what  you would expect to find in a store. They are small, intended to hold just a few pages of memoir. This book is chock full of photos and projects. It has 15 projects that are shown step-by-step with photos for recreating your own similar item. They include a supplies list as well. It’s also full of many other trash to treasure journal ideas.
The Elemental Journal: Composing Artful Expressions from Items Cast Aside 
I loved the layout of the book and the color photos. Every page has some sort of photo. Since I love recycled projects, I enjoyed it. Projects have a child-like simplicity without being childish.

One drawback is that these are so rustic and so primitive in their nature, some readers won’t see them as treasures. It definitely is for a niche audience. All of the fabrics and elements used are rough-edged and natural. After seeing some of the projects, I wonder what I would do with it…or where I’d store it or display it.

I recommend this book for anyone who wants to break out of the usual and stimulate creativity. Even if you don’t create a project exactly as shown, the ideas will certainly spark something creative in your own mind.

I received this book for review purposes from Thomas Nelson's Book Sneeze program in exchange for my fair and honest review.


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