convinced?

Devotional Blog:

The Word of God, 03/02/2012, 2 Timothy 3:16

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. ~2 Timothy 3:16 (NIV)

So I figured I should start chipping away at all the dog eared pages in this devotional book that I’ve been neglecting. I keep up on my daily reading but somedays I have enough time to blog and other days I don’t so they end up dog eared for future contemplation. Oddly enough this entry is about ‘bearing each others burdens’ rather than the word of God but when I read it, I realized I needed to address the ‘word of God’ topic first. I’ll explain…

From the devotional: “We all need to make time for Bible study. David writes in Psalm 73:26, ‘My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.’ (NIV)…Only as I make God’s Word a priority do I have anything to give. A Bible study should be a refuge, a safe harbor.”

A week or so ago in a conversation with friends I stated that scripture will never ‘convince’ me of whether someone is ‘right or wrong’. No one will ever ‘win’ an argument with me only using scripture. I think I’ve even stated in previous blogs that I refuse to go tit for tat on Bible verses for various reasons aside from its just plain tedious and I feel its more ‘posturing your verse memorization prowess’, rather than attempting to make a valid point. For the first time now, I am wondering why that is. I am a Christian after all and I believe in God’s word, why isn’t God’s divinely inspired word enough to convince me of someone’s argument?

Continue reading “convinced?”

Stream-of-Christmasness

I started wanting to write this blog based on one of the devotional entries in the book about what would happen if you took the ‘Christ’ out of Christmas. My mind wandered into wikipedia reading about the history of Christmas itself. My mental wanderings continued into various conversations with friends and acquaintances talking about the mesh of pagan and religious traditions mixed into Christmas nowadays. Then of course that leads to the blatant commercialism that Christmas has become. I’ve only to travel 2 minutes by skytrain to see the influence of Christmas in Bangkok, a Buddhist country. Though they don’t officially celebrate the holiday itself by days off work, they encourage gift giving and the market places are bedecked in lights, fake trees, cardboard snowmen and other such holiday decor.

The rest of my mental wanderings are hazy at best and clarified eventually into a deluge of memories–as though I was being visited by the ghost of Christmas past… Continue reading “Stream-of-Christmasness”

Thanksgiving in…Liberia?

I knew Thanksgiving was celebrated in the USA and Canada but I didn’t know they celebrated Thanksgiving in Liberia, apparently it coincides with the Church’s harvest day. Interesting. I wonder if there’s a history of celebrating Thanksgiving there or if this was a one time 2010 venture.

This year given I have been taken in many times for holidays we are hosting Thanksgiving at our place. Though, I am not making a turkey as they are scarce and expensive in Thailand. Thais do not celebrate Thanksgiving but its always nice to have an excuse to go to someone’s house to eat and partake in general merriment celebrating what American children learn as our ‘dinner with the Indians’. Indians who we then learn later in school, we decimated with smallpox, measles, typhus and plague among other diseases and war. DOH! Continue reading “Thanksgiving in…Liberia?”

Digesting fictional fluff…

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

So if you read any number of reviews on this book, say in Goodreads for Amazon it seems readers have a ‘love/hate’ relationship with this book. The vast majority–of those at least writing reviews loved it. I myself grew hot and cold during the course of reading it. It deals with such an interesting subject and important awful time in history and it felt to me like it was written to go straight to movie–tragic and ‘feel good’ all at the same time, great movie fodder. But does that necessarily make good fiction? And low and behold where is this book now? In movies! I’ll be interested to see how they interpret the book in the movie. I have a rule of reading books before I see them in the movies as much as I can…and I’m not one of those people where the movie has to have every last exhaustive detail from the book for it to be ‘good’. I’m always interested in adaptations. And I think Kathryn Stockett makes a good point in her quote:

“Everyone knows how we white people feel, the glorified Mammy figure who dedicates her whole life to a white family. Margaret Mitchell covered that. But no one ever asked Mammy how she felt about it.”

To say the least, its a little discussed area of history…how ‘the maid’ feels. I found myself more excited about her blurb at the end about her physical experiences growing up in the 60’s in Mississippi and I found myself more compelled and wishing she’d written about that rather than this book. But to be fair I have always been more partial to non-fiction unless it’s a literary ‘classic’ ala Wuthering Heights or the Secret Garden. Is this book a ‘classic’? Um…no. It’s not bad…but it’s kind of a let down. I wish she’d developed some characters more and played down others. But I recognize the difficulty she must’ve faced writing characters she could not relate too.

I loved the relationship the author built between Aibileen and the little girl Mae Mobeley, my favorite part of the book and an important one as no child is ever born racist, it’s taught–many times harshly. And my favorite parts of the book had Mae in them. When she starts school her teacher Miss. Taylor shames her to no end because she drew a black child as something that makes her happy. Aibileen had been teaching her that there is ‘no color’, we are all the same and can love each other as such. While Mae is playing with her little brother she makes her little brother be the ‘black child’ and tells him no matter what she does he has to sit there and take it or he’ll go to ‘jail’ and then she proceeds to throw dolls at him, pour crayons on him then tells him lets play back of the bus like Rosa Parks etc…Mae’s father watches this and asks her who taught her this and she lies and says it was her teacher, when in fact it was Aibileen that’d been telling her stories…’secret’ stories.

Surprisingly the ending was not what I was expecting which is good, but I’m not sure I liked it either…I dunno, it was both sad and hopeful I suppose.

Continue reading “Digesting fictional fluff…”