It wasn't even my grade!!

Karen finally finished up this semester of school which means only one more semester to go! For those of you who don't know, Karen is in nursing school, and will graduate in May as an RN. It has been a tough road -- lots of stress, studying, sobbing and other s-words that go along with higher education. However, she has done a fantastic job and she really works hard to do so well. It's different for me, I don't do a very good job of studying, but I have a pretty good memory so I can cram and at least make decent. And for me a B is great, a C is ok.....and as long as I pass everything I am good.....well let me take that back a little...I have to keep at least a 3.0 overall to begin my doctoral work (if I can survive my graduate studies to get there). But Karen, she studies night and day, and works and works so hard to get her grades. And she usually does exceptionally well.

Anyway, I am telling you all this to tell you that the strangest thing has happened in my life since I have been married, and it is magnified in Karen's pursuit of her nursing degree. I am going to be brutally honest here and admit that I am a selfish person. It's not something I am proud of, but many times life can be "all about me." To say that, I also have to say that I am fully aware of this flaw and want to work on it. However, I remember when Karen finished her core college classes and was applying for nursing school, how we prayed that she would get into Northeast (the school she is now in in Rainsville, AL.) She had applied to two schools but Northeast was the better and more established program, which made it much more desireable. And we prayed that if she didn't get in to nursing school God would just make it clear what He would have her do. And I remember when she got her acceptance letter to Northeast how I was so happy for her, and how I felt as though God had just laid out the next step of his plan for Karen...and I remember tears coming to my was the strangest thing.

And then at the end of this past summer's semester Karen had not had such a great experience with tests and was afraid she wasn't going to pass. She was so worried when the grades were posted. We both checked grades together, hoping with all that was within us that she would at least have passed. And I remember when she pulled it up and it had a huge B on her grades, how we rejoiced, and cried together. It was the strangest thing.

That brings me to today. Again Karen and I checked her grades together and this semester she had a bright, beaming and glorious A! And I have never been so proud in all of my life I don't suppose! It was the strangest thing.

Everytime we go through this, I come away feeling overwhelmed at this bond I share with this other person, my wife. I've never felt this way before for anyone. It's so wonderfully strange to me that her defeats are my defeats and her victories are my victories. As I mentioned before, I can be quite selfish, but when we go through these times together, I could not be happier for a person.

Karen WILL graduate in May and become the most wonderful nurse, in part because she sees nursing as a way to show the love of Jesus to people through personal care. I think she is amazing, and I am so proud of her accomplishments up to this point. And I can't wait to see her succeed in the workplace....I kid all the time about all the money she'll make and how I'll retire....but truthfully, I don't care what kind of money she makes (though it will be an added bonus). I just want to see her continue to follow God's calling in her life and serve Him as I know her heart desires!

My point is that I never imagined in a million years that I could feel the way I do about another person. To share life with one other person and to do it all as a team, as partners! Man, I am so thankful that God established marriage as he did. And I am even more thankful that he, in his wonderous knowledge and forsight, made Karen as my partner, my wife!

As I mentioned in my last post, be on the lookout for book information in the near future (this is my way of reminding myself that I really need to do my homework before it is, as they say inproperly in Alabama, everlastin' too late).

I just got done watching a fascinating episode of CSI Miami. I'm not a huge fan of the show and hardly ever watch it. And I wouldn't encourage anyone to watch it either. The acting is so's ridiculous. However tonight I am glad that I chose it over the Dog Show on ESPN. I'll try not to bore you with all the details, so to make a long story short, the investigation of the night for CSI included the murder of a woman who turned out to be 10-12 weeks pregnant. At the moment of discovery of the now deceased fetus, the lead detective, in a most melodramatic tone said "Well one murder just turned into two."

Immediately I thought "now that's interesting. CBS just admitted that a baby is considered a living human being at 10-12 weeks." But the problem is that every day, living human beings at the same age of 10-12 weeks, in the mother's womb, are being brutally murdered and the murderers go unpunished.

To be honest I was going to blog about this issue a while back after watching a debate among the democrat presidential hopefuls. I forget exactly which debate it was, but I do recall the question asked had something to do with a woman's right to choose. Choose what you ask. Choose to murder their unborn baby is the real answer. However, each candidate, when asked their stance on the women's right to choose, (to be read "the woman's freedom to murder")answered by saying something like "I believe in the right to privacy." The most memorable answers were given by one John Edwards and on Hilary Clinton, who both when asked point blank on their stance on abortion, said "I believe in the right to privacy." In other words, I believe that a women should have the ability and the right to murder her own child (who is now, by the admission of the liberal media, namely CBS, a living human being who, when killed by another person, allows that person to be tried for murder) and not have to tell anyone about it. If your needing more clarification, that means that at least John Edwards, Hilary Clinton, and most every other democrat, including one so-called Republican candidate Rudy Giuliani, believe that woman should be allowed to murder her child and go completely unpunished.

For the record, I believe in the right to privacy too! I believe that ever child conceived should have the chance to live life privately!!!

I can't think of one reason, argument, or terribly wonderful characteristic that a candidate can display that could make up for their stance that a woman should be allowed to murder! And listen, my beef isn't with women, it's just that that stance is particular to women, what with women being the only gender capable of carrying a child....but if a candidate stood up and said "I believe in the right to privacy for a man to be able to kill his 2 year old son or daughter" we'd all be outraged! And rightfully so. SO why aren't we more outraged about the fact that democrats, and politicians, and people in general find abortion OK? If there is one single case that has ever been tried where an unborn child and mother were killed and the murderer was tried for two murders, then abortion should be COMPLETELY OUTLAWED!!! It's a no-brainer! Yet, we change our vernacular, cloud the truth with fancy semantics, and killers walk free everyday, while the politicians are tauted as hero's for women's rights! It makes me sick. And while I can think of a whole host of other reasons to never vote for a democrat, that is the tipping-point issue for me.....or for anyone democrat or republican who takes that stance.

OK, so I just had to get that out.

In other news, my blog will be changing in the next couple of days. I have an assignment for a class I am taking where I am to blog about a book I am reading. So I will be using the current blog to complete that assignment. I will give the details of the book with all needed information in the first post of the assignment. For those of you who don't know, I am still in seminary, and I am taking a Jan. workshop to continue that pursuit. The book is good, and is about it could be a potentially interesting blog...or not. Just wanted to give any regular readers the scoop before I get into the assignment!

So, in conclusion....MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

Dark turns to light?

As you've probably already heard, there is a new movie coming out this weekend called the Golden Compass based on a trilogy of children's books. Christian groups across the country are up-in-arms about the movie and there are talks about boycotting the movie. Phillip Pullman is the writer of the children's books and is an unashamed, self-described agnostic and atheist. New Line Cinema, the company producing the movie, has claimed to have toned down the apparent atheistic overtones evident throughout the books for the big-screen in order to appeal to a broader market. The argument coming at least from the Catholic camp is that the move is to make money for the production company, but will ultimately lead to unsuspecting parents purchasing the books to find atheism and agnosticism being pushed on their children.

Now that you get the idea, I just want to share a few brief comments. First of all, I do find it a bit unnerving that movies like this, with a disbelief at best and a complete hatred at worst towards God, are making the mainstream. And I think parents especially, but also all movie-goers, should make careful choices when it comes to movies and entertainment in general.

But what I do not get is why when these types of movies come out, so come out the Christian alarm-blowers yelling "STOP THAT MOVIE" or "BOYCOTT, BOYCOTT." Again, I don't like the underlying theme of the movie, but really should I be surprised that this type of entertainment is out there? I am not only NOT surprised, I have come to expect nothing less from Hollywood, the entertainment business, shoot...even politics and the like. I realize that it is often the extremest, God-haters that get the sandwich-sign-wearing-bullhorn-carrying-siren-pulling boycotters out. But where are they when every other weekend a filthy, blood-soaked horror film comes out that is just one sawed-limb short of an R rating that is marketed towards teenagers? Where are they when 50-Cent or Kanye West put out yet another rap album degrading women and promoting all types of materialism and debauchery that is specifically designed to sell to kids between the ages of 8-18? Where are they when Britney Spears.....OK I'll stop there.

Here's my point. At what point do we as Christians (even right-winged fundamentalists kooks) say that the world is only doing what it is and has always done? And at what point do we say that this is what the world always will do! When are we going to understand that the darkness is just that. I think it was C.S. Lewis that said "You'll never scrub this dirty world clean enough to live in it." It's like every time a movie like the Golden Compass comes out, we as Christians come out and say (in Brian Reagan-esque voice) "The dark is being dark! The dark is being dark!" Meanwhile, the darkness turns to us, the ones who are supposed to be the lamp on the lampstand, the city on the hill, laughs, and wanders further away from what is now becoming less of a bright light and much more of a forgettable flicker. Listen, the darkness is going to be dark. The sun has not once said to the night sky (at least within my hearing) "Lighten up! Be more like me. Stop being so dark." Instead, every morning it pops it's head over the horizon, and pushes it's way further into the middle until all of the darkness fades away, and the light encompasses the entire sky. That's what we as Christians are supposed to do. We aren't called to be whistle-blowers, or tattle-tailers. We aren't called to point out how bad the world is getting. Instead we are called to be "the light of the world." We are called to shine bright the light of Jesus such that those wallowing in the depths of sin and darkness see our light, and can't help but be drawn to it. And it is all because we hold our light not in their eyes to blind them, but in front of them, to light there way to Jesus. John 3:17 says that Jesus came not to condemn to world, but to save it. And he wants those of us who have been blessed of God to have seen HIS light and received his gift of salvation to light the paths for others.

The Golden Compass is just one of the many many movies that have and will continue to come out that will try to deny that God exists, and try to make others believe that as well. And for some, it will work. However, instead of standing outside the theater yelling at people not to go to the movie, and instead of whining and crying about the fact that Hollywood and the entertainment industry is pushing their evil ways onto us the general public, let us as fully devoted Christ followers push back with generosity, love, patience, kindness, humbleness, and self-control and begin to shine our light, the Light of Jesus Christ, in dark places!

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