Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I'm so incredibly happy, and so is Christopher.

We met on eHarmony in October of 2007, and started dating in May 2008. Sometime last year we were at a Walden Books browsing the children's book section - one of my favorite pastimes - and while looking at the Sandra Boynton books I found one called Your Personal Penguin. So you can get the idea of the book, here's a video of Davy Jones of The Monkeys putting the book to music.

After reading it, I said offhand that it would be a really cute way for someone to propose to someone, and then I eventually forgot about it. But Christopher didn't.

Christopher and I both love animals, and we like going to zoos, especially the Omaha Zoo. I didn't know why, but Christopher had been trying to get me to Omaha Zoo since September 12th. We had gone to a Cubs game on September 11th, so I was really tired and talked him into staying home the next day.....*head smack*

He finally got me there this past Saturday however, and after seeing the rainforest, the butterfly house, the cat house, the desert, the nocturnal exhibit, the bears and the aviary, we made our way over to the aquarium - our mutually favorite part - to see the penguins. My feet were hurting so I had already suggested that we sit for a while to watch the penguins, and of course Christopher agreed. We sat for a few minutes, during which time Christopher later told me he was waiting to see if the other people who were there were going to leave. (They didn't, but that's ok, I ended up being much too preoccupied to even realize other people were there.) Christopher couldn't wait anymore eventually though - I'd inadvertently already made him wait a month - and saying "by the way, hun" he got down on one knee in front of me and pulled out a little penguin book with the ring inside of it and asked me to be his "penguin pal." It took me about 30 seconds to process what was going on, as I had been expecting that he would be waiting until after Thanksgiving. Once I understood though, I started crying. And of course I said yes.

My ring is SO BEAUTIFUL. And it's the one I wanted too! Several months ago we had been talking about rings and he asked me what I wanted. It's really good we talked about it too, because I didn't want a diamond. I knew that if he were to get me a diamond, the only thing he would be able to afford would be a simple solitaire. And I REALLY don't like solitaire rings. I wanted an opal, surrounded by small diamonds. (What girl still doesn't want something sparkly?) So we started searching online, and I found one from a company called Flash Opal based out of Australia. It was almost 2 whole sizes smaller than my ring size though, and I thought it wouldn't be possible to resize it to my finger. I really like it though, so I showed it to Christopher and told him "something like this." Once he was ready to get the ring, he contacted the people at Flash Opal about a different similar ring, but there was an issue with it's quality or something, so they suggested another ring - the one I loved in the first place! They told him the gold was a really good quality and that they'd be able to resize it to my finger. So I got the one I wanted after all!! Below are some of the pictures of the ring from the website, but I have to tell you they DO NOT do the ring justice. Nothing can compare to seeing in person the way the opal changes color as I move it, and the way it reacts to different light and being wet and of course how it looks on my finger. :)

Christopher and I are planning on a early September wedding next year, so I'll keep people posted!!

According to the info we received from the people at Flash Opal, the weight of the opal is approximately 1.2ct, it's colors are electric lime green and blue, it's pattern is floral/roll, it's quality is flawless, and it's brightness - judged on a scale of 1-5 - is 5+++. It's such an amazing ring!!!! AND I'M GETTING MARRIED!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Choosing a Name

I'm choosing a name for my main character in my new story right now, and at the moment I'm trying to decide between Marit, Liv and Karina. Marit means Pearl, Liv means My God is a vow, and Karina means Pure. They are all Scandinavian in origin, as my heroine is Scandinavian as well. Below I have the descriptions given by the Kabalarians website regarding the meanings of these three names. I know I can make my character whatever I want, but seeing descriptions like this is entertaining, and does help me make my decision.


* Your first name of Marit has given you a studious nature, and the ability to concentrate on whatever you are doing.

* You could excel in mathematics or in positions where persistence, independence, and individuality are required.

* In personal associations, a lack of finesse in verbal expression often creates misunderstandings with others, especially with those close to you, because you find it difficult and embarrassing to express depth of feeling when situations arise requiring diplomacy, understanding, and affection.

* Although the name Marit creates the urge to be original and self-reliant, we emphasize that it limits self-expression and friendly congeniality with a moody disposition.

* This name, when combined with the last name, can frustrate happiness, contentment, and success, as well as cause health weaknesses heart, lungs, bronchial area, and tension or accidents to the head.


* Your name of Liv creates a very sensitive, inspirational, and idealistic nature.

* You have an appreciation for all the fine and beautiful things in life, and could excel in music, art, drama, or literary undertakings, where you could find an expression for your deeper feelings that you would not find otherwise.

* As a result of your love of the out-of-doors, you would experience the most peace and harmony out in the quiet of nature.

* Your sensitive nature causes you to lack self-confidence, and to withdraw from arguments or turmoil, as any discord reflects quickly through your nervous system.

* Although the name Liv creates idealism and the urge to help others, we emphasize that it limits self-expression and friendly congeniality with a moody disposition.

* This name, when combined with the last name, can frustrate happiness, contentment, and success, as well as cause health weaknesses in the nervous system, heart, lungs and bronchial area.


* Your first name of Karina has given you a friendly, likeable nature, and you could excel in artistic, dramatic, and musical expression.

* With this name, you desire the finer things in life, but you do not always have the resolve and vitality to put forth the effort necessary to fulfil your desires.

* Your emotional feelings are easily affected and you will always be involved in other people's problems as a result of your overly sympathetic nature.

* Though the name Karina creates the urge to understand and help people, we draw to your attention that it causes an emotional intensity and sensitivity that is hard to control.

* This name, when combined with the last name, can frustrate happiness, contentment, and success, as well as cause health weaknesses in the fluid and nervous system.

I have also already decided on the hero's name, who I have christened Richard. (I don't have any last names yet.) For fun, here's the Kabalarian report for the name Richard.

* The name of Richard gives you a very individual, reserved, serious nature.

* You prefer to be alone with your own thoughts, rather than in the company of others.

* This name restricts spontaneity in association and the fluency of your verbal expression.

* When you are required to express yourself in personal matters requiring finesse and diplomacy, you feel awkward and embarrassed.

* Although you realize perfectly well what is expected of you, you are unable to find the right words, and hence you end up saying something inappropriate in a candid way.

* You can express your deeper thoughts and feelings best through writing.

* While the name Richard creates the urge to be creative, independent and original, we point out that it limits self-expression and friendly congeniality with a tendency to be moody.

* This name, when combined with the last name, can frustrate happiness, contentment, and success, as well as cause health weaknesses heart, lungs, bronchial area, and tension or accidents to the head.

First of all, I LOVE the description of Richard. That's pretty much exactly how I imagined him. (He's a man in his mid-thirties, and he's an English professor at small, private liberal arts school.)

As far as the heroine goes, I think I like the name Liv the best. I was originally going to go with Marit, but I think Liv probably fits the character better.

It might seem silly to work so hard on figuring out the name, but until now I'd been using the name "Jenny," simply because it was the first thing that popped into my head when I started writing. But I don't think that name fits the character at all, so when I write, that's all I can think about instead of developing the story. Now I'll be able to concentrate and write much better, having decided on a name that I'm very happy with.


Heroine: Liv Victorson
Hero: Richard Ahlberg

Word of the Day - Short Shrift

Here's the Word of the Day. I'll be using the word in my fiction writing later today. I'm hoping to finish my first chapter in my first real attempt at Christian Romance. I'll post something commentative about something here later.

The Word of the Day for June 18, 2009 is:
short shrift • \SHORT-SHRIFT\ • noun

1 : barely adequate time for confession before execution

2 *a : little or no attention or consideration
b : quick work

Example Sentence:
Parents are complaining that, due to recent budget cuts, physical education and arts programs have been given short shrift in the local schools.

Did you know?
The word "shrift" is an archaic noun referring to the confession or absolution of sins. These days, "shrift" is rarely encountered on its own, but it does keep frequent company with "short" in the phrase "short shrift." The earliest known use of the phrase comes from William Shakespeare's play Richard III, in which Lord Hastings, who has been condemned by King Richard to be beheaded, is told by Sir Richard Ratcliffe to "Make a short shrift" as the king "longs to see your head." Shakespeare uses this phrase quite literally ("keep your confession short"), but since at least the 19th century the phrase has been used figuratively to refer to a small or inadequate amount of time or attention given to something.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Word of the Day - Preeminent

Courtesy of Merriam Webster Online.

The Word of the Day for June 17, 2009 is:
preeminent • \pre-EM-uh-nunt\ • adjective

: having paramount rank, dignity, or importance : outstanding, supreme

Example Sentence:
Carrie considered herself lucky to have one of the country’s preeminent novelists as her writing professor.

Did you know?
What is noteworthy about the following sentence? "Mount McKinley is a prominent eminence in the Alaskan landscape." You very likely recognized two words that are closely related to "preeminent" -- "prominent" and "eminence." All three words are rooted in the Latin verb stem "-minēre," meaning "to stand out." But did you note as well the related word "mount"? Not too surprisingly, "-minēre" is related to "mons," the Latin word for "mountain." That relationship leads us in turn to "paramount," a word closely related in meaning to "preeminent."

I haven't the time or the energy at the moment to try to delve into something new, so I'm just going to go ahead and bring back an old topic; I'll be approaching it a different way, but I think it's about time I resolve this for myself.

Several months ago, I wrote this post in response to an unrest I was feeling, an obligation to stay informed of what I had attempted to involve myself in, and then a subsequent confusion based on what I had read.

The first section of quotations, starting with Tozer and ending with Jeremy Meyers, are all related. Going back and re-reading that post has changed my perception a bit. I still agree with who I agreed with before, but I find the section by Jim Henderson rather condescending to Brian, who I believe shared the thought by Tozer. Jeremy's response in my opinion was very gracious. Agreeing with Jim, thanking him for the insights, but not attacking Brian in the process. Again, I agree with Jim, it's just seems to me that he may have written that a little too hastily and too emotionally. I don't know how God used what he said, I obviously wasn't bothered by his tone the first time I read it so maybe Brian wasn't offended either. (Though the reason I wasn't bothered probably has something to do with the fact that I was also upset with Brian for whatever it was he wrote to Jeremy that also got Jim upset.)

Strangely enough, the next quotation, by Tim Nichols ties in rather nicely with this. It's a different subject matter being addressed, but perhaps Tim's insights could lead us to understanding of the previous issue. Tim's exact quotation states "Because if we want to avoid similar decades-long battles in other areas — like, say, over the exact content that one must believe to be saved — then it is helpful to see what our brothers have done wrong (and what they have done right) in past conflicts." I was thinking about the conundrum of passing blame. What about when other people pass blame? Do we then get all puffed up and blame them for being blamers? At the same time, it is important to distinguish between truth and falsity; that's one thing I know the Word makes very clear. What Tim said I believe gives another possibility. Don't beat yourself up for being emotionally affected by a differing opinion from another person, but still change the way you respond to it. Don't treat them in kind, if their actions are what bother you, acknowledge to yourself what you think, what you see, and approach it as a learning situation. Then it becomes less personal, and you tempt yourself less to treating the brother or sister with anything less than love.

As for the other two quotations I copied, I honestly don't remember what I thought about them before. I know why I included them, they made me think - and they still do - but I don't remember what it was I was wanting to say about them so I'm not going to bother with it now.

Looking back at this post is something I feel I can really learn from. I mentioned that the post was a result of my attempting to stay involved with something I felt obligated to participate in. I do remember very clearly though that this attempt brought me only confusion and unrest, not joy or growth. At the beginning of my blog journey, I needed to get involved in some of the more difficult discussions going on between individuals in my former spiritual environment and those they disagreed with. It was still something that greatly affected my thoughts and my day to day life, so I didn't feel at peace not getting involved, or at least being informed. I don't regret that. What I do regret is then not being able to move on when I needed to. These issues between these parties have caused much discord among the brethren and are to be taken seriously, I'm not going to avoid or ignore them now; but I'm no longer going to let them take the preeminent role in my spiritual thoughts and conversations with others. There are other things God has called me for, other things He wants me to concentrate on. I left the church I grew up in because I could no longer attend there and continue to grow; I was being spiritually stilted and it was hurting an otherwise growing relationship with my Heavenly Father. I need to remember that, and apply that truth with everything in my life once and if it starts negatively affecting my relationship with Him.

New Blog- Eruanna Melda's Romance

First off, (and this is directed at you Christopher,) don't laugh at the name. Go to the blog, read the introduction pages and then you can laugh at me.

I haven't written anything yet, story wise, but I'm going to. I think it's high time I finally started utilizing Write or Die.

I've also been highly challenged by a newcomer to my blog, for which I am very grateful. Constructive criticism from fellow writers is just not emphasized as important enough anymore. Or maybe people just aren't willing to be honest with people regarding what they think. (Or they're too honest, and attack those they disagree with rather than being constructive.)

So, as my first step of showing my gratitude for the welcomed critique, I will be posting a "Word of the Day" every day possible, and using it in a post someway that relates to the title of this blog. I think it's about time I paid attention to that again.

If anyone else has anything to say, either here or any of my fiction blogs, (because there are more to come,) please, don't hesitate, I welcome it.

Update: I used Write or Die this morning for 10 minutes, and I got over 500 words written. Amazing how quickly the words of a story will come to you when you're forced to just write. I'm going to be using it again tonight, hopefully for an hour or two total, and the goal is to get a chapter published on the new blog before I go to bed.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Writing Christian Romance: I really want to. But can I?

I've been feeling very conflicted lately. And I know that right now I can't sleep. Way too much on my mind. I feel guilty...but at the same time, if I went to bed I would just toss and turn. I might as well try to get something productive done. Some people might not think writing on a blog as something that is productive, but for me it is. I function so much better mentally when I'm exercising my brain through writing. It helps me get so much off my mind, and often helps me find peace with the things I struggle with. Often when I write it's kinda like a prayer, because a lot of the time I'm directing what I'm writing to God.

One reason I've found the thought of writing stories so overwhelming lately is because I've approached it as if in order to write a story or a book or a novel that encourages and speaks to people, I need to understand completely whatever it is I want to write about. I feel like I need to "have all the answers" for whatever the subject is. There aren't many things right now that I can say that I understand, or that I can explain to other people. But I still have that DESIRE to help others who struggle with things that I struggle with. I don't have the courage as of yet to share ALL my struggles, hopefully that will change someday, but I have to start somewhere.

I read something though on Francine Rivers' website a month or so ago that changed that perspective for me. She said that every book she writes begins as a QUESTION she is asking God. I've been thinking a lot about that. It suddenly seems strange to me that I wanted to write stories for reasons that would never occur to me to be acceptable reasons to talk to people. Do I want to help other people, if God leads me to someone that He has equipped me to help? Of course. But I don't view other Christians solely as people that I need to help. That would be very condescending of me. I view other Christians as people that I want to fellowship with, people that I want to grow closer to God with. If through that I end up helping someone who is struggling, wonderful. But the fellowship, the sharing of a common love, a common purpose, is the goal. The focus is the living and the acting out in truth the Life of the Body that God has called us to, that He has made us for.

Obviously, writing won't be exactly the same as fellowship, as it is usually a solitary exercise, versus a corporate one. But why was my purpose focused on what I could do for others? If that's my focus, I'm going to do more harm than good when I try. If I want to be an encouraging member of God's Body through my writing, He needs to be my focus. I want my writing to be another exercise, another way of my getting to know Him better. Yes, my blog writing is already something that I view that way, but why not my stories? I don't need to have any answers, I don't need to be an expert on a spiritual issue in order to write about it. I just need to begin with a question, a desire to understand something that I don't understand, a yearning to be lead by God to His truth. If that is what drives my writing, and not me trying to have all the answers - which is ultimately just a symptom of me trying to please others - then I will take so much unneeded and harmful pressure off my shoulders, grow closer to God, and maybe even encourage others in the process.

So, Christian Romance. It's on my heart, on my conscience. I believe I can do it. I believe at the very least I can write stuff better than most of what I've seen out there lately. (Of course with the exception of Francine Rivers. If I could ever develop my writing enough to come even close to her talent, that would more than I would ever ask for.) And this isn't a vanity on my part, honestly. I just can't believe some of the stuff that gets published. It doesn't matter how good your story is if you don't develop your characters. If your characters aren't developed, if what they do doesn't seem realistic, then you dehumanize them and they become impossible to relate to. The greatest story in the world, the most elegent prose, is ruined if the characters don't make sense.

Honestly, I kinda want to write those online "webisodes" that I update one to a couple times a week, where people can comment, tell me what they think, and it would be a good developmental exercise for me I think. I don't want to stay with that, I would love to be published someday and have real books with paper and ink sitting on bookstore shelves, but the internet is a very valuable tool that I can use to my advantage - kind of a impromtu education - learning what works and what doesn't, what I need to work on, how I can improve, and what it is I'm capable of. I've tried those writing communities in the past, and they're fun for a while, but that's kind of overwhelming too. It's way too easy to get distracted by what others have written, or to get discouraged because no one comments on what you have written. Of course, I don't know if people will comment on what I'll write this way either, but I think I have a better chance at receiving constructive critism.

So...now I just need to figure out how to build a website where I can do that. I'm not going to invest money yet, so I need one of those free sites. I really love Blogger for blogging, but I think I'm going to try Wordpress. I tried it before for The Chronicles of Jane that quickly died out, but I think that was because I focused too much on the formating rather than the writing. Who cares how pretty my site is if I only write two chapters?

Oh, one more thing. Even though writing is usually a solitary exercise, and I'm not going to try those writing communities anymore, that doesn't mean that a community of other writers isn't important. I don't want to throw myself into building that community any more than I want to completely distract myself by the logistics of writing, but the rest of tonight before I go to bed I'm going to dedicate to finding other people like me: Christian Romance authors who at least talk about their writing, if not share it, online. I don't know if I'll find anything, but I'm going to try.

UPDATE: I've found some good stuff. By far the most encouraging site I've found as far as giving me other options goes is New Christian Voices.

One thing I just found made my jaw hit the floor...wasn't exactly what I was thinking I was going to find. It's an online resource index called Biblical Counsel: Resources for Renewal. The reason I stumbled upon it was because of this page on Christian Fiction. This statement - or disclaimer - is at the top of the page:
"We see no precedent in Scripture for fiction, either Christian fiction or secular novels. Time spent reading fiction is time lost from learning more scriptural truth with the finite amount of time we are given. However, if the mind is fatigued and needs rest and recreation, then do choose Christian biography or Christian fiction over the novel, over the theater, and over the media. Remember the Jesuits have always used the theater, and now Hollywood, to influence the masses with their heretical message."

I'm not sure who the people are that have published this resource guide, and frankly I don't think I'll be visiting this site anytime soon, but they do have a link to some George MacDonald fiction on the page to their credit.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Funny Owl

Maybe it's because I'm REALLY REALLY tired, but I think this picture is hilarious.

Thanks for putting up with my silliness. Better update tomorrow if I get to the computer before 1am....

Saturday, May 23, 2009

My Future and Past

Looking at the picture I didn't realize until now was still the header to my blog, it is very tempting to go straight away to Photobucket to make a new one. But then I wouldn't follow through on my decision to write today. (I'm a professional procrastinator. But wait...you probably already know that.)

I've been rather restless lately. Everytime I feel the itch to write, I find I have no idea what to say, which is dissatisifying enough as to prevent me from actually writing. I miss school. I miss longing for time to write whatever I want instead of what's required of me on a class syllabus. But, it's going to be a while until I have the chance or financial opportunity to go back to school. Unless I start taking online courses from a community college. Just to get some Gen. Eds. done. If I do that, I'm going to avoid taking any English classes. English is my chosen major, and if I can get as many Gen. Eds. done as possible before I enroll fulltime in school again, that means I'll have that much more time and opportunity for English classes than I would otherwise. That way I also can take advantage of everything the English department at the school I end up going to has to offer. (I didn't take any English classes when I went to Grinnell either. It took me until AFTER I'd left to realize that English was the perfect major for someone like me who loves reading and writing......)

As of right now, I'm looking at both The University of MN - Main U, and The University of Iowa in Iowa City. They are both very good schools, but I'm hoping to go to The University of Iowa because they have one of the best if not THE best English Departments in the nation. A lot depends on the fact that I'm in a serious relationship though. And right now my priority is not school, but moving to Des Moines so that Christopher and I can FINALLY NOT be a long-distance relationship couple.

I went to the Grinnell graduation this last Monday. It was the Class of 2009, the class I was supposed to be apart of. It was hard for me, even though I was so happy to see all my friends there graduate. About half-way through the day the sadness hit me, about how what was supposed to be MY day, the day I had been looking forward to since before I even graduated from high school, I was in the position of bystander. Don't get me wrong, I know that my choosing to leave Grinnell because of how crazy my life had become, (as well as the fact that I think I would have gone crazy under stress if I hadn't left,) I still wish leaving hadn't been necessary. Except for my salvation and Christopher, Grinnell was the best thing that ever happened to me. It's an experience I will always cherish, and something I never want to lose hold of.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Encouraging Notes From a Relative

I know an update is due, especially since my life has been able to slow down quite a bit in the last few weeks, but first I want to share something that I read on my cousin Dave's blog today. He and his twin brother, Karl, own a photography studio, and Dave's blog is really fun to look at because of all the photos he posts on it. (Karl also has a great website with photos. My absolute favorites are definitely from when David and his wife Rachel spent several months doing mission work in China, and Karl went to visit them at one point. The China pictures are BEAUTIFUL.)

But anyway, this post that Dave wrote really encouraged me. Here's a quotation:

Something I’ve been experiencing lately is a change in my relationship with God. I’ve realized that I’ve always had this legalistic, contractual view of my relationship with Him. If I do this or that He will give me eternal salvation…right? How pointless is that? And yet a lot of the Christian community is trapped into this type of relationship without even knowing it.

We were not created to live a contractual relationship with God. We were created to experience a relationship with him. God is not confined inside the Church walls or the Bible, he is everywhere, in all good things and I want to experience Him as such.

Check out the rest of the post here, and check out the photography too if you want.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Morning Update

Once again, it has been a VERY long time since I updated my blog, but I'm not going to apologize this time. I wish I could, I wish I had an invalid excuse, because then that would probably mean I would have written here much sooner. The fact is I have just been too incredibly busy.

Basically my life has been filled by work and by caring for my siblings, along with the occasional much needed foray and mini-vacation to Iowa to visit my boyfriend, Christopher. My mother is attending the MN State Trooper Training Academy at the moment, though she only has 2 1/2 weeks left, and I have been helping her by living and caring for my siblings while she's away during the week. (I've had a lot of help though.) My job has kept me even busier, which is unfortunately something that has led me to some bitterness, but I'm hoping that situation will resolve itself soon. I accepted the position of babysitter/nanny for a 9-month-old baby boy a few months ago, and I really enjoy the job, but I've been - in my opinion - overworked. I informed the woman who hired me - who is a single mother - that my siblings were my first priority, and if she hired me, it would need to stay that way. She said she understood, and I believe she did, and I believe she had good intentions, but her job is such that keeps her at work for many hours a day, so I was working on average 60 hours a week. I tried several times to work things out where Joey, (the baby,) would come with me to my house in the evening so I could be there with my siblings as well, but even that wasn't working. I finally got up the courage to approach my employer with the problems I've been having and explained to her that because of what she has asked of me I have had no time to address hardly anything else in my life. Yes, I greatly enjoy taking care of her son, but I can't do it well if I'm exhausted all the time and completely stressed about everything else in my life.

She understood, and is right now looking for another person to split the 60+ hours a week with me that she needs covered. I just think she didn't realize, didn't even think about the fact that so many hours a week isn't acceptable for someone who has so many other responsibilities. She said that her career has always kept her working that much a week her whole life, so I think she just didn't realize it. I'm still a little bit frustrated that I was the one that needed to explain that to her, but she set to work right away looking for another babysitter to hire so I'm feeling at peace about the situation right now. Even if it doesn't work out, because she might just find someone who's willing to take all the hours and then I might be out of a job, I'll be ok. I'm confident in my decision and in my efforts to make this job work, so it won't feel like failing if it doesn't.

God has been doing some wonderful things in my life regardless, and hopefully soon I'll be able to start writing about them. I have learned SO MUCH about myself and what my weaknesses are and what kind of mother I want to be through this experience; and I'll always be happy that I took this job because of it, even though it's been stressful. I can honestly say that no other job has ever taught me so much. I stated on my childcare resume that I believe taking care of children to be "the most rewarding thing anyone can do." It's so true, and I've realized it to be true in more than one way.

Well, I'm still working the original hours for this week, so I need to go call a cab to pick me up. I usually take the bus, but too many accidents this morning in the house kept me from getting out the door in time.

More updates coming soon. May my Father give me strength and patience today.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

"Cooperative Altruism"

I will be getting to commenting on my previous post, but first, I would like to share something that I DO know exactly what I think about it, and I think it is incredibly cool. (And not just because my boyfriend wrote it.)

Christopher wrote a post yesterday about "Cooperative Altruism." It really encouraged me, and I like the way this idea is going. Here's a snippet of what he said that especially spoke to my heart and what I believe to be true about God and his love.

I believe that God did give us the ability to feel some high feeling from doing a marvelous act for someone else. If we do it just to get that feeling, we are in the wrong. But, to have that feeling is not wrong. We should doing good things to the point that we don't even notice that feeling because our minds will have been so set on the giving nature of God's love above, that we won't notice the change in our thinking--it will be already heavenly. God does good things for us without requiring us to return the favor. He helps us to do so in some ways (by loving, serving, following Him), but He loves us knowing we can't possibly do so. That is the true nature of altruism.

Read the rest of it; what do you think?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Quotations and Thoughts

The following are quotations that have made me think, taken from blog posts I have read over the past few days. Some of them I agree with, some of them I disagree with, some I don't know what to think yet. I don't have the energy at the moment to elaborate on why they made me think, nor to take time to set out in writing my own opinions on the subjects. I will do so soon, hopefully tomorrow, but since I now have these thought-provokers in one place - meaning I won't forget them now - I think it would be good for me to sleep on my thoughts and pray about them before I start writing. I have a lot to say, and I have a lot of thoughts that will require me to write without the care of whether everyone who reads it will agree or not. Of course, my fervent desire is to write with humility and grace to all, I pray my Father censures my words where they will only offend and not edify, but I'm learning a lot about the need to be TRANSPARENT and HONEST.... another issue I need to write about.

Anyway, if you read this and have thoughts of your own, please share.

In order for God to use a man greatly He has got to hurt Him deeply
~ A.W. Tozer

If anything is heretical, it is Tozer’s quote - the only person God ever hurt deeply was himself on our behalf.
~ Jon Lee

“A post like this does grieve me…I did try to encourage you in the other thread over this crisis you are in or whatever you are going through, but please don’t blame the Lord”

Don’t blame the Lord because his feelings might be hurt?

Don’t blame the Lord because unlike us mere humans he is so touchy he won’t be able to understand your humanity?

Don’t blame the Lord because the religion known as Christianity has taught us that the most important thing is getting to heaven (and more importantly exacping Hell) Rather than following Jesus?

Jeremy is Brian sugegsting that you to try not to follow in the footsetps of our Lord and Master , The Living Word of God who in the Garden of Gethsemane modeled broken humanity and humility when he made himself so vulnearble he asked three mere humans to pray for him ( the same three who were about to deny him)

Also try to ignore most of the Psalms where David ( the adulterer, murderer AND man after Gods own heart (go figure) often told God how he doubted and wondered where he had gone.

This foolishness is where religion has gotten us - Free Jesus!!
~ Jim Henderson


Wow. You may have just put into words what I’ve been thinking, but was unsure if it was safe to think.

I don’t “blame the Lord” but I do believe he could take it if I did. When we Christians are confronted by pain, fear, and doubt in our own lives, we feel like we have to bottle it all in and keep it hidden. When we run into similar pain in the lives of others, we feel like we have to remind them of spiritual platitudes and Bible verses rather than just let them express their pain and be there with them without judgment when they do.

Thanks for the comment.
~ Jeremy Myers

Because if we want to avoid similar decades-long battles in other areas — like, say, over the exact content that one must believe to be saved — then it is helpful to see what our brothers have done wrong (and what they have done right) in past conflicts.
~ Tim Nichols

People who have set healthy boundaries, who know what healthy boundaries look like and know how to maintain them, generally do not get used (by men, but they are indeed used by God). Claiming otherwise gives the false perception that the Word has no power to redeem from corruption those whom you are ministering to, who disagree with you. Claiming otherwise also gives the false perception that when a threat comes to you in the guise of goodness, you are not safe even with your knowledge of scripture, your resources of prayer and the faith you have in the promises of God for your protection.

It also sets up false-unity in the body of Christ because while the reality is that everyone disagrees with anyone else on some thing or another, no one is publicly known and accepted as such. The church is not safe for learning, for disagreeing, for testing, doctrine.
~ Michelle Painter

If an Egyptian who never heard of Christianity in his life were to read a scrap of paper containing John 6:47, the Egyptian would no doubt equate the guarantor of eternal life with Heqet, the frog goddess of life and fertility. Wikipedia affirms:

“When the Legend of Osiris and Isis developed, it was said that it was Heqet who breathed life into the new body of Horus at birth, as she was the goddess of the last moments of birth. As the birth of Horus became more intimately associated with the resurrection of Osiris, so Heqet's role became one more closely associated with resurrection. Eventually, this association lead to her amulets gaining the phrase I am the resurrection, and consequently the amulets were used by early Christians. Finally, as the legend of Osiris' resurrection grew increasingly stronger, she became ever more aligned with Isis, and eventually becoming an aspect of her.”

Nothing in John 6:47 would make a pagan reader think of the Biblical Jesus. The guarantor of eternal life would simply be understood as referring to whatever polytheistic god fit that description. In the case of the pagan Egyptian, the guarantor of eternal life would most closely align with Heqet, the frog goddess of life and fertility.

Wilkin's marooned man scenario and corresponding promise-only gospel simply illustrate that “A text without a context is a pretext.”
~Jonathan Perrault