Saturday, September 22, 2012

Speaking In Tongues

Read the book Mount Dragon by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. It's billed as a "genetic research thriller."

I've enjoyed their books - they move right along, and are interesting...The passage that caught my attention this time was between the "good" guy Charles Levine & the "bad" guy, ex-friend/power broker, Brent Scopes. They're about to die...

Scopes poses the question: "Do you believe in life after death?"

Levine shook his head, "In Judaism, we believe it's what we do in this life that matters. We achieve immortality through living a righteous life, and worshipping God. The children we leave behind are our immortality."

Scopes points out, "But you have no children, Charles"

"I had always hoped to. I've tried to do good in other ways, not always with success."

Scopes was silent. "I used to despise people who needed to believe in an afterlife," he went on at last. "I thought it was a weakness. Now that the moment of reckoning is here, I wish I had spent more time convincing myself." He looked down. "It would be nice to have some hope."

Hmmm, yes.

I'm totally on board with the idea my children are my "gift" to the world. I expect them to meet and exceed my contributions to society, but I'm pretty sure that my actual salvation/immortality (or place therein) is up to me. For better or worse I think I will be judged for my own actions and, well, I agree it is nice to have hope.

Meanwhile, I've had a couple of interesting conversations recently. That "God thing" kept popping up this summer. Seems there is a trend towards rejecting organized religion. These folks aren't saying they don't believe in God, they just don't want SOMEONE telling them what to believe about God.

Okay. I understand that. But whether you're a Christian, Jew, Muslim, or....just about everyone has a book of instructions. Who decides exactly what those instructions are saying? We go to our different churches & synagogues, mosques, to be taught what these books mean...(defense exhibit #1: Isaiah?  Or how about Leviticus?) I'm not dumb but I'm willing to listen to other's interpretations!

Keep in mind that the people I was talking to came from Christian backgrounds, but they were basically saying they were "rejecting" Christianity in favor of an all seeing God who encompassed all the earth. Well, to an extent, I could agree with that. I do believe there is one God. I just think people have developed different concepts of who He actually is.

I listened carefully as a person explained that she fell under no particular denomination or sect - while she described me as a hard core (?) Mormon, (and she had no problem with that, some of her best friends had been Mormon) she was simply "spiritual." She felt that we, as citizens of the world, had a duty to one another to help each other out. I agreed and said, "We call that...service." Then she said we should impart a portion of our worldly goods to help those less fortunate. "Umhmm...we call that...tithing/fast offering." Continuing on she explained that we have the power to communicate with God. "Yes, I said, we call that...prayer." Finally she spoke about being able to learn to understand the mind of God and receive inspiration from him. "Ah yes, we call that... revelation." I continued... "You know, this is kinda cool. We actually seem to have a lot of common ground!"

She changed the subject.

I thought we were speaking the same language...but, maybe not. Can always hope though, right?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Orson Scott Card - Hypocrite

Interesting stuff by Orson Scott Card in his Alvin Maker series.

Part of conversation between Alvin's troublesome younger brother Calvin Miller, and a character called Taleswapper, a wandering story teller who teaches using tales (parables.) It starts with Calvin berating Taleswapper:

Calvin: "You're just a hypocrite... "

Taleswapper: "A hypocrite?"

Calvin: "Pretending to be what you're not. So other people will trust you , but they're trusting in a bunch of pretenses."

Taleswapper: "That's an interesting idea, there, Calvin. Where do you draw the line between a humble man who knows his own weaknesses but tries to act out virtues he hasn't quite mastered yet, and a proud man who pretends to have those virtues without the slightest intention of acquiring them?"

Taleswapper continued, "So, everyone is a hypocrite except Calvin Miller?  Well, now it sems to be unanimous,we're all prentending to be something that we're not."

Hmm, something to think about for a spell, eh?

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Got A Visual On That!

The Youngest comes home, looks me straight in the eye and says, "Mom, I've just seen the world's ugliest woman."

He gets 'the look' and an immediate rebuke for being unkind.

"No, seriously, Mom. This was the female version of Brother -----."


(Let's understand that the man is somewhat robust, has a florid complexion, with unrefined features and ahhh, a lantern jaw.  Sweet soul, but not much to look at...)

"Yeah, with really long, scraggly, hair."

"Oh. Well, ummm...looks aren't everything boy."

"Mom, you're just not understanding. Brother ----- with makeup, long hair, and... breasts!"


And sometimes - well, sometimes you just have to give it up and save the teaching moments for later.

I look at his earnest face, he looks at me...

We can't stop laughing for quite a while.