April 29, 2011

April 29th, 2011

Dear Sofia,

I'm sure someone is going to cringe at this statement, but I will never call you a princess.. or hope that you look up to any of them - fictional or real - or comply with your pretending to be one. And while that might be a lot easier said than accomplished, I'm going to do my best to encourage you away from it all.

Because if I hear you gabbing away for several hours about what the princess was wearing and how she was standing and pouring over every single detail of what is, essentially, just a wedding... it's really going to bother me.

I already anticipate the difficulty in explaining being fashion-conscious versus fashion-obsessed, image aware versus narcissistic, pleased with your appearance versus being proud of it. I'm certainly not going to muddy the waters even further by introducing an infatuation with being a princess.

As mentioned... someone will disagree. They'll say "Oh, it's harmless fun to look at pictures of a princess and enjoy the fanfare of her wedding." But is it harmless? Do children have the wherewithal to absorb all the visuals and have their thinking not be affected? And how is watching a princess's moves any different from tracking the relationships, pregnancies, divorces and style choices of any other celebrity person? Isn't a princess just a celebrity of a different ilk? What makes her so different from the rest of them to garner a free pass to be idolized?

"Idolize" may be too strong a word for some. I don't know... I'm tempted to say that, if we Christians are being really strict, then we shouldn't put any mortal on a pedestal because we know they're all flawed with sin. And, the more time we spend thinking of them, the less time that are minds are on our faith and our God.

The response will be, "You're making a mountain out of a molehill!" Perhaps. But all idle thinking starts somewhere. Not everyone has a spiritual mind like a trap such that they can flit in and out of worldliness without getting ensnared.

Baby, I have enough trouble with my own appearance and confidence issues to spend time enumerating on the lives of celebrities. Call it a personal pitfall - I can't make my mind stop focusing on things that a) don't concern me and b) serve to distract me from the tiny, weak faith I have, so I have to stay away from it. Period.

I'll do my best to shield you from the horrible grocery store magazines and celebrity hoopla. I hope you won't become enthralled with it...


April 28, 2011

April 28th, 2011

Dear Sofia,

Your mom loves to sew. I could handsew by about six years old and am so very much looking forward to teaching you! My hope is that you will enjoy it and find your own projects of interest. If you're like the rest of your family - on both sides - you will have creativity to spare. =)

I've been sewing a ton of block sets lately. Still haven't found the perfect color combos for your set yet. [Probably because I like funny combos like goldenrod/brown/ivory!] But I've only got a little while until you'd have fun with them... I let you play with some sets last week and you were having fun grabbing and shaking them.

I don't usually like to use this blog for direct advertising, but I can't resist because of the cute new sets I have listed on etsy. Below are some pics and the links. Gosh, I really need to learn how to take better pictures, seriously! They are amazingly cute in person and every baby I've given a set loves 'em!

My etsy shop: Butterbean by Victoria

Little Block set of blues

Little Block set in pink and blue

Little Block set in green and brown

Little Block set in pink and green

Little Block set in pink, green and brown

Little Block set in pink and white

Little Block set in black and purple florals (pictured on right)

Little Block set in lavender and green (pictured on left)

April 25, 2011

April 22nd, 2011

Dear Sofia,

We do love the things of the earth. We love planting, growing, tending, eating fruits and veggies. We love the thunder and clouds of a spring storm, a fresh breeze and the idyllic lake-woods-and-willow-lined area that we live in.

But we love them because God made them. God is Who we worship, and we recognize that He isn't IN the things of the earth, only that He created them. Wonderful as they are, they are not to be worshipped. That is especially difficult this time of year for some, when the earth seems to renew itself like magic. Thankfully, we know this is God's doing, not "mother nature's."

Below is a good piece regarding this topic.

Love, Mom


A Christian Response to Earth Day

"For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse." (Romans 1:20)

All men are religious because all men have an object of worship. All men have faith in something. In the end, men will either worship and serve the creature, or they will worship and serve the Creator. But they will worship something.

In the 18th century, many began to worship the mind. The religion of that day was rationalism. In the 19th century, this god morphed into scientism. But science failed to provide the answers to ultimate questions. The men of the 20th century looked for a more immediate solution to the problems of humanity — they chose to worship the State. This failed. Statism proved to be a harsh taskmaster. In the absence of any real solutions from rationalism, scientism, and statism, men fixed their attention on a new god — or rather, an ancient God that just needed a new facelift.

That god is the earth.

21st-century men are earth worshippers. They are sanitized pantheists. Of course, they don't call themselves pantheists or earth worshippers, but religious devotion to the material world is the essence of this modern faith.

This religious devotion to the material world as god comes in many shapes and sizes, but it has become ubiquitous in our culture. The new pantheism is at the heart of the green movement. It is reflected in the priorities of Hollywood, in the agenda of politicians, and in the curriculums of the government schools. It is found in the marketing campaign of Madison Avenue, in the reality TV shows of cable television, and sadly, even in pulpits across the nation. The worship of the creation has become a defining undercurrent in our culture, even as it is reshaping many of the cultures of the modern world.

And this is one reason why this Friday, April 22, millions of people (perhaps billions) representing the countries of the United Nations will stop to celebrate the high holy day of this religion as they pay homage to the earth God. Of Earth Day, evolutionary anthropologist Margaret Meade once explained that:

EARTH DAY is the first holy day which transcends all national borders, yet preserves all geographical integrities, spans mountains and oceans and time belts, and yet brings people all over the world into one resonating accord, is devoted to the preservation of the harmony in nature and yet draws upon the triumphs of technology, the measurement of time, and instantaneous communication through space. EARTH DAY draws on astronomical phenomena in a new way — which is also the most ancient way — by using the vernal Equinox, the time when the Sun crosses the equator making the length of night and day equal in all parts of the earth. To this point in the annual calendar, EARTH DAY attaches no local or divisive set of symbols, no statement of the truth or superiority of one way of life over another.

Should Christians care about the earth? Not only must we care about it, we have a holy duty to engage the earth. The difference between the objectives of biblical Christianity and radical environmentalism can be found in the religious assumptions of both groups.

Four Lies of the Radical Environmentalist Movement

With Earth Day comes billions of dollars worth of environmentalist propaganda driven by their religious worldview. Some of the themes you can expect to hear repeated this year include the following:

The Earth Is Our Mother: The very expression “Mother Earth” is popular parlance in our culture and reflects the old pagan longing to worship the physical world. Modern environmentalists, with their devotion to the idea that man is just another life-form to spring from the womb of the earth on the evolutionary journey of life, speak openly about earth being the mother of man.

Human Life Has No Greater Intrinsic Value Than Animal Life: The notion that man is an insignificant blip in the universe and that our planet is almost as insignificant as man is an oft-repeated concept of the modern environmentalist movement. Radical environmentalists complain about the carbon footprints of humans, and the sin of “Speciesism” — man discriminating against lower life-forms.

The Greatest Crisis Facing Humans is the Despoiling of the Earth: From the media campaigns of former Vice President Al Gore, to the film agenda of Avatar, radical environmentalists want you to believe that the single greatest problem facing humanity is the environmental destruction of earth.

Absent a Radical Shift in Private Practice and Public Policy, the Environmental Crisis Will Lead to the End of Life on Earth: Modern pantheists care deeply about the future. One thing is clear: Radical envioronmentalists have their own eschatology. They see the end of the world coming because of nuclear waste, global warming, the loss of rainforest in the Amazon, or any of a host of perceived environmental hazards.

Four Christian Assumptions About the Earth

The Earth is Witness to the Power and Authority of God the Creator Who Alone May Be Worshipped: The Bible teaches that the very existence of the earth is a reminder to all men of the eternal power and Godhood of Christ, so that they are without excuse (Romans 1:20). It reminds us that as long as the earth continues, the promises of God will remain faithful (Genesis 8:22; Deuteronomy 7:9). Significantly, the Bible warns us that the consequence for man rejecting the witness of creation is that he worships creation itself (Romans 1:22-25).

The Earth Was Made for the Glory of God and the Benefit of Man Who Was Made the Pinnacle of Creation and of Infinitely Greater Value than Animals or the Earth Itself: Man is the pinnacle of creation and has more eternal value than the earth or any of the creatures who live on it (Psalm 8:5). Man is not a carbon footprint; he is the image-bearer of God. This means that the most "insignificant" human life (insignificant only in the eyes of man) is of inestimably greater value than that of a blue whale, a snail darter, a spotted owl, a mountain, or a tree.

The Earth Has Been Placed under Man who Has a Moral Obligation to Subdue it and to Exercise Wise Stewardship over the Earth: Man is God’s appointed steward on earth, and his core mission is to be His agent of dominion over it. Toward this end, God has placed all things under man to be used for his benefit and to be carefully stewarded and cultivated for God’s glory. “Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet” (Psalm 8:6).

The Earth is Not the Problem: The reason why the earth suffers is because of man’s sin that has plunged the earth into judgment. Man brought death and judgment to earth. In fact, the whole creation is groaning and waiting redemption (Romans 8:22-23). Despite the righteous judgment of God on earth, He is merciful and promises the continuation of the seasons and the fundamental stability of the planet until the end of time (Genesis 8:22), at which there will be a new heaven and new earth (2 Peter 3:13).


All men are religious because all men have an object of worship. In the end, they will worship and serve the creature, or they will worship and serve the Creator. But they will worship something.

Earth Day, and the radical environmental movement that spawned this high holy day of pantheism, are at war with the Gospel because they perpetuate false worship. The Christian response to the idolatry of Earth Day might be reduced to this simple thought: Jesus Christ is the Creator, and He alone is to be worshipped. He created man as the pinnacle of creation and determined that humans would be the only part of creation to be made in the very image of God, and that man as the image-bearer of God would rule over the earth.

On a practical level, this means that Christians need to stop allowing the radical environmentalist movement to define the issue. We must cease from being the tail and become the head on the question of our duties, privileges, and responsibilities vis-a-vis creation. The Bible has a great deal to say about our use of the resources of the world and our relationship to the earth. Of all people, Christians who honor the Creator should have a passion for creation. We are losing the debate through subversion, silence, lack of vision, and because of the Christian community’s fear of the God-ordained, perpetually valid, creation precept called “The Dominion Mandate.” This mandate directs man is to rule over the earth, subduing it and taking dominion over it for his benefit and for God’s glory. Implicit to the Dominion Mandate is the duty of man to cultivate, wisely manage, and carefully steward the planet.

Finally, man’s problems will never be solved through the elevation of human reason, the power of science, or the interventions of the state. Nor will rescuing the biosphere of planet earth save man or ensure him a future on this planet. You cannot save the earth. But human beings can be saved. And the only hope of salvation is found in Jesus Christ — the Creator! It is this Creator through whom we live and breathe and who by the very power of His word holds the worlds together. He will someday establish a new heaven and a new earth and will bring all of His people into Glory.

April 13, 2011

April 13th, 2011 Part II

Dear Sofia,

I have nothing new, unique, trenchant or sentimental to say today. Sometimes it's as though you're in my thoughts so much, to write about you is redundant. At least to me.

You are at home today with Daddy, listening to the moonlight sonata playlist he made for you and grinning every time the cat saunters by. I can just see you - the sunlight streaming in the office window on the back of your strawberry-golden hair, your head bent down studying the contours of a toy. I wonder if I spent time like this with my dad in his office when I was a little one, he grading papers while I wrangled some primary-colored plastic links? The symmetry is worth pondering...

Your mind must be swirling these days with all the newness you've been experiencing: touching tree bark, smelling the spring air, hearing birds chirp and seeing squirrels hopping across the lawn. You don't smile at these things, you study them. Well, sometimes you smile. You certainly did when we went on the swing together yesterday. Your giggle is infectious, by the way.

Daddy asked me, what do I think it's like to encounter all the things of the world for the first time? Big question. I know what it was like to encounter newness as an adult, one who is used to ignoring most of the world as it passes by (or, at least trying best to do so). But through the eyes of a child? I don't know. It's not a question of just seeing, but the entirety of the experience. I don't know, but I wish I did.

Is it wrong to live vicariously through your children? I think no, in most circumstances. And besides, a parent can't help but do it.

We heard a song yesterday morning about not wanting to "go through the motions." Most songs of this genre have pretty typical evangelical wording, which gets generalized for the sake of radio-friendliness. This one followed suit, but the chorus gave me pause: "I don't want to go through the motions," the singer sang. It made me think of you and how easy it is to do what you're "supposed to" as a parent. Start solid foods at X months, wean off pacifiers and rocking to sleep at Y months, encourage self-sufficient playtime at Z months. When is one told to begin telling a child about the Lord? Or to start reading the Word to her? If new parents are inclined to follow the typical advice, they may miss many chances to build up that knowledge.

I will try my best not to go through the motions with you, Sofia. I will try to remember God in everything I do, reiterate that He lights my path (and darkens it, for His purposes). I will take time with you, answering your questions about Him as best I can. I will examine my mind and heart carefully, and lead both by example and by verbal dispensation of the truth.

Hmm... Maybe I had something to say after all?

April 13th, 2011 Part I

Darling baby, almost six months old already. [Sigh]

April 8, 2011

April 8th, 2011

Dear Sofia, Planned Parenthood may be about to be de-funded. That would be - and there is a level of sublime synchronicity to this - the greatest event since your birth. They don't help people plan for being a parent. They don't provide medical services outside of abortion. They do not provide mammograms. They do not provide emergency care of any kind ("emergency contraceptive" doesn't count because it is not a life-threatening situation).

In fact, they don't even give women the facts about what a baby is (a living being), rather they call a baby "it" and "a mass of cells" that "can't feel pain" anyway so abortion "won't hurt it." They tell women that it is more dangerous to go through a labor and delivery than an abortion, because it could be life-threatening to the mother to labor!

Well... maybe there could be complications, but most of them will be foreseen by any doctor worth his/her salt while giving pre-labor care. Of course, a "Planned Parenthood" worker will likely only see you once or perhaps twice at most; they have to size you up in one look as to whether or not you seem like you'd make a parent or not. As if they have the right to do that!

Baby, I could tell you the same thing over and over again, that from the moment I saw your little body - complete with heartbeat - moving around on the ultrasound screen, I was smitten. I think I said "Oh!" and nothing else, because the joy was too much for words. I still have that first ultrasound picture, you were 15 weeks old, and carry it with me all the time.

Our House Speaker, John Boehner, said very little today about the budget that is being stalled by Democrats who want to keep Planned Parenthood on the government dime (meaning, that our taxpayer money goes to funding their cruel, misleading, demonic practices). Speaker Boehner's curtness on the subject spoke volumes: keeping PP funded is not an option. Put together a budget that excludes them and we'll talk. Exit the room, no questions taken.

We should take note that some topics are so undignified and downright wrong that we shouldn't even discuss them. Abortion is wrong and we shouldn't have to pay for it, period.


Related Posts with Thumbnails