Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Schiavo slammers

Apparently, now that a year has passed since the death of Terri Schiavo, her widower, Michael, has written a book telling his side of the story. Now, I'm NOT here to debate the rightness or wrongness of his decision to remove her feeding tube (or to make money by writing a book about it). I know there are still extremely strong feelings on both sides of the issue, even within the body of Christ.

Michael Schiavo and his new wife, Jodi recently did an interview with Matt Lauer, for Dateline NBC. I didn't see the interview on television, but I read the transcript of it online yesterday. The issue I wanted to address here is this quote from Jodi Schiavo -- (on p.2 of the three-page article) -- it really saddens and angers me:

Terri’s hospice in Pinellas Park, Florida became a scene of protest— a rallying place for right to life groups who said Terri would suffer a cruel death. Michael was called everything from “an abuser” to “a murderer,” and Jodi says even their two young children were threatened.
Jodi Schiavo: It’s very hard to accept when you get letters addressed to “the bastard children of Michael Schiavo” and they talk about how children are stolen out of their home every day and they just disappear. And to always look over your shoulder, saying “I’ll be there.” And then at the end of the letter, they’re quoting scripture.
This is what I meant a few weeks ago, when I wrote the entry about theology getting in the way of our collective testimony as Christians. Regardless of the circumstance, I don't believe this type of ugliness should ever be coming from Christians. There's just no excuse for it, if you truly believe in the teachings of Jesus. Unfortunately, these types of attitudes are the ones that get publicized, rather than a Christian who has shown kindness or compassion. Everyone knows there are media who thrive on making all Christians look bad by broadcasting examples of extreme judgmentalism and closed-mindedness. Why help them out?

I don't know what religion the Schiavos profess, if any, but how can we honestly expect unbelievers who experience (or read about) this to embrace a religion whose members attack with such hateful, threatening words whenever someone makes them angry? Plus, when we try to hold unbelievers to spiritual standards they can't even understand, it's a big turn-off. I certainly wouldn't want to be the reason someone hardens their heart toward God.

It's one thing to speak up for something you believe in, but (in my opinion) these scripture-spewing zealots definitely crossed the line when they lashed out at the Schiavos with threats upon their family. I don't know any followers of Christ, recipients of His grace, who would condone such an explosive reaction. God didn't give us Scripture to be used as a weapon to condemn and scare other people. Jesus Himself made it a point to hang out with sinners, scumbags and Samaritans in order to show them love and give them hope; the apostle Paul called himself the worst sinner of all. Face it -- we ALL sin ... and God loves us anyway.

The good news is that as a Christian, my "defining moment" in life will not be the most disgusting, heinous sin that I ever committed -- it will be the moment I repented, and then placed my faith in Jesus for my salvation, and for forgiveness of ALL my sins. It comforts me to know that in the end, humans won't be the official judges of the world - God will.


Just saw the book cover at Costco, and it expresses more of the same:

"A religious zealot offered $250,000 to anyone who would kill me. My two babies were threatened with death. I was condemned by the president, the majority leaders of the House and Senate, the governor of Florida, the pope, the right-wing media..."

Monday, March 27, 2006

spring break

We're going to Orlando for spring break - leaving Saturday for a week. Lots of work to do this week to prepare, but I'm really excited. We're going with our neighbors, the Stricklands. We're all doing 5 days at Universal Studios together. When they invited us to tag along, I jumped at the chance. Hey, it's better than sitting home for a week listening to my kids whine, "When are Chase & Allie going to come home?"

Nathon & Chase are afraid of most roller coasters, but Chase is making it his mission to get Nathon to ride all of the ones at Universal. So, we'll see how that goes. Maybe a little peer pressure will make them braver than normal. Nathon already told me this morning that he had a dream about the Incredible Hulk roller coaster and another one, and they didn't seem as bad as he thought they would be, so maybe he would be willing to try and ride them next week. That's progress, anyway -- last year at Disneyland, we had to make him go on Indiana Jones and Big Thunder Mountain. I don't think he ever went on Splash Mountain.

I'm really looking forward to this time away to warmer weather, just hanging out with Bryan and playing with the kids. (Bryan and I have some pretty fond memories of Universal Studios from our college days too.) I don't know if I'll be able to blog while we're gone, but I'll definitely post pictures when I get back, if not sooner.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

happy blogiversary to me

I was just making some updates to my blog this morning, and I realized - by looking at my archive list in the sidebar - that I'd started my blog in March 2005. Curious, I went back to my very first post and found that it was dated March 16th. So, today is my blogging birthday. Or blogging anniversary, whichever. Maybe I'll call it my "blogthday," or my "blogiversary." Is there a proper term for this concept? I have no idea.

Anyway, what would a blogiversary be without a few thoughts about what blogging has meant in my life this past year? Here goes...

  • I started blogging as a way to express my emerging feelings and thoughts, as well as stay connected with my friends and family. I was having all of these emotions bubble to the surface, but they didn't have anywhere to go. I didn't really set out with a message, or theme, or target audience.
  • I love reading what's on other people's minds in their blogs too. I have tried to get other friends to start blogging, but without much success. It has been fun to make new connections with people in the blogosphere, and even re-connect with some old friends.
  • Blogging is a huge blessing, but it can also be dangerous. I say this because writing my blog has gotten me into some very tense situations, has hurt some relationships, and made me question myself. I don't mind questioning myself sometimes, but blogging makes you truly take responsibility for the things you say. Others may feel justified to hold you accountable, and it's no fun when friends use your own words against you. Trust me.
  • Blogging has absolutely changed my life. Some people just don't understand blogging; maybe some people just don't understand me. But I've grown so much as a person and as a friend. I'm glad I didn't quit blogging when it got tough.
  • I've felt disappointed in myself for the months when I only posted cute kid stories. My fear of jumping back into blogging was paralyzing for a long time, but it is finally starting to subside. There is still some fear in my heart, but I am trying to overcome it with every click of that "publish" button. I've written too many drafts saved for a braver day.
  • Speaking the truth in love is difficult for me. I can speak the truth just fine. The love part usually comes too late though. I feel love, but it just doesn't get communicated very well for some reason. Whether people love me, disagree with me, or whether nobody reads a word I write, I'm just here to grow through writing about my daily life, my emotions, and my journey with my heavenly Father.
  • I have learned a lot this past year. Obviously, I still have a lot to learn -- about blogging, about writing, about loving other people, about myself, about life, and about freedom in Christ.

Happy blogthday to me!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

just curious

Does anyone ever read my quotes page, or look at my pictures page? They're linked on the sidebar, under my picture and profile. I get very few comments even on my main blog page, but I've never had any comments on the other two, so I was just wondering...

Monday, March 06, 2006

the oscars

So, watching the Oscars is usually a fairly big deal for me, but last night I was really disappointed. I don't know if it was because there weren't that many great movies made in 2005. Or maybe it was because I just didn't see many movies last year. Maybe I didn't see very many because there weren't any great ones to see. I have no clue. Is it just me, or is the Academy elevating & rewarding political messages in filmmaking rather than genuine talent and entertainment value?

But I'm sitting through the ceremony thinking, of all the movies mentioned for nominations of any kind, I have only seen three: Narnia, Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, and Batman Begins. Great...two kids' movies and one "grown-up" movie that Bryan & I saw on our anniversary date last summer. Not the movie I wanted to see that night, but I liked it all right anyway.

I did see a couple other movies last year, but neither was nominated and only one was even mentioned: Bewitched & Chicken Little. That's my pitiful movie repertoire for 2005.

PS - How in the world did only three songs get nominated? Was there no music in the movies this year? Even in the world did the "pimp" one win? I didn't like any of the choices, actually.