One of these days

... I'd like to write a blog post titled "Men: Grow a pair and ask her out" and "Women: Dating is normal and stop being so nice."

It would take a little while to write, but it's my thesis on why more Christians don't date.


The 10 Perks of Bed Rest

Hospital Food

A lot of people have been giving me sympathy about being on bed rest. People say stuff like, you're so tough, hang in there, you're making such a big sacrifice for your baby! Actually it hasn't been hard like people have imagined. With wireless Internet, visitors, 1000 piece puzzles, books, it's been more than tolerable. Besides, I didn't choose into this so I don't really feel "tough." Tough is reserved for those who train for marathons and those who climb Mount Everest. I don't feel very sacrificial either... it's more just common sense to stay in bed because the doctors told me so and if I don't my baby will fall out.

Anyway, I thought I'd give folks an idea of the perks of bed rest so y'all don't feel so bad for me. :)

1. There's a hotel/spa aspect to bed rest. The nurses are all really kind and always bring by food and drinks. My water pitcher is never empty and I can order cheese quesadillas for afternoon snacks.

2. I can be a couch potato guilt free. I used to feel bad if I vegged out in front of the tv for more than 2 hours. Now I can do it as much as I want and nobody can accuse me of being lazy.

3. Visitors! I have had so many visitors that some days I get tired out. Friends, family, and students have been so kind to drive all the way out to Sac to see me. And people are extra nice.

4. The baked goods that come with the visitors. I have had cookies and muffins galore. I can help myself to 2-3 at a time, and again, without feeling guilty.

5. Puzzle making. I love making puzzles. I daresay I'm a puzzle genius. I haven't made puzzles in years however, but bed rest has allowed me to spend hours and hours focused on putting together jigsaw puzzles.

6. Learning about anatomy. I now know more about cervices and uteri (had to look up how to pluralize these words) than anybody could ever want to know. Apparently I have a relatively weak and dynamic cervix. Ask me if you want more details. I know what contractions feel like, and I know that emptying my bladder can help calm down my uterus.

7. Saving money. Our wonderful health insurance provides three square meals a day. The food is pretty decent and I get a pretty extensive menu. For example, I had Chicken Lombardy and Eggplant Parmesan for lunch!

8. Being thankful for little things. Who knew walking to the bathroom and taking showers were privileges?

9. No request is ever too demanding. Can you pick that up? Can you grab that book? Can I have more water? Could you bring me some Thai food? Of course, it's not like I have been asking for the moon.

10. No one expects anything from me. I've been able to do some admin stuff for work and converse with some students, and anything I do is considered a bonus. If I don't reply to an email in a timely manner, people don't get mad. If I say no to something, people are very understanding.

Overall, I have been felt very thankful and blessed by God and my community through all this. So friends, no need to shed any tears for me!


And yet, another rant

... about how Christians baffle me.

Tonight was the finale for American Idol and against all odds the underdog, Kris Allen, won. As I perused Facebook and Twitter afterwards I saw a trend. Most if not all of the Kris fans were devout Christians. Interesting...

And then I saw one Christian express disappointment that Adam didn't win. Someone commented on that status with something like did you know Kris Allen is a worship leader? God is good! There were a smattering of other status updates giving glory to God.

My immediate reaction was huh, what does God's goodness and glory have to do with a talent competition?

Yes, I understand that Kris can now be a light in the world. Maybe it'll make up for the debacle that was Clay Aiken, another professing believer.

For me I feel somewhat embarrassed when I see stuff like this. I think it speaks to how much Christians don't understand the world and what it means to actually LIVE in the world. It's certainly not a strong testimony to post stuff like this online. For the most part I know non-Christians see stuff like that and it only affirms their understanding of Christians as mindless drones. It shows them that Christians aren't able to be intelligent critics. Find me one person in the music industry that will actually say that Kris is a better musician than Adam. Even Kris admitted that Adam should have won. I'll give him props for that - he had the humility to realize he was the inferior artist.

In some ways, I'll admit that Kris had the more accessible music. Translate that to boring, easy pop music. Adam was a true artist and he's someone with the potential to span decades (see KISS on wikipedia).

End rant.


On learning more

Tiff, thanks for the heads up! My preliminary search found this. Is this what you're talking about?


How do we know

... if someone is possessed by a demon?

I have been perusing through the gospels and reading stories of Jesus' encounters with those who were possessed by demons. It seemed back then people just knew whether or not someone was demon-possessed. Sometimes they were violent, sometimes they were disabled, and sometimes they were just "crazy".

Scripture describes a "demon-possessed" person running up to Jesus. What were the indicators that led them to know this? Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if I could meet someone and somehow know - this person has an evil spirit.

Nowadays there is so much confusion about the nature of the spiritual realm. Let me qualify that - there is so much confusion about the nature of the spiritual realm in Western societies.

I visited a support group for people who had family with mental illness. I remember someone expressing their frustration because someone else had told them that their family member was possessed by a demon and that if she prayed hard enough, he would be healed of his mental illness. Her frustration came from feeling judged that she had not been faithful enough in prayer and it added to the burden of being the caretaker.

A lot of the people in the room empathized with her and attributed the interaction to the person not understanding the scientific nature of mental illness. I wondered aloud how the spiritual realm does still play into mental illness and was met with silence and resistance.

Nowadays we call it schizophrenia and depression, but I still wonder what role the spiritual realm plays in a person's well-being. Even for those who aren't "clinical," how can we understand plainly what is happening spiritually? How do we develop discernment over whether a bad day was just a bad day, how there were germs in the food we ate that made us sick, and when spiritual warfare is really at play?

I think part of it is our lack of understanding of the spiritual realm. Most of us think Hollywood and it just gives us the heebie-jeebies.

God has allowed me to have some pretty significant experiences over the last two years though, and I feel like I'm in unchartered territory. I agree that the Scientific Revolution caused a divorce between the spiritual and the physical world. What does it look like to bridge them together again?