Saturday, July 31, 2010

Squirrel!

While going through some older family pics today I found my favorite squirrel pic I took many years ago with my first real camera:


Taking pics of wildlife is probably the most challenging but most fun I think I ever have with my camera.



Graphic design by Carla Rolfe

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wildlife Trek

I posted this at my dailymile site, but thought I'd share it here too.

Wild Turkey

Tonight on my daily walk I spotted this guy in the freshly harvested wheat field across the road from my house.  He spotted me long before I spotted him and tried to run away and hide.  I was surprised at how fast he was running, so I did a little googletastic fun and learned that wild turkeys can run at about 25mph, according to this site.  I'm going to start calling this my Wildlife Trek instead of my after dinner walk.  I just hope I don't run into a hungry coyote or an annoyed skunk. 

Graphic design by Carla Rolfe

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I'm Now a Daily Miler

Yesterday, I joined the modern era's version of a support group. I know that sounds sorta weird, but it's actually VERY cool. The site is called dailymile and you can check it out here.

Essentially, it's a format very similar to FB, but instead of just social networking the whole premise is centered around getting into shape and motivating others (your fellow dailymiler friends) every day to keep going, keeping up the good work, and the like. When you set up your profile and enter in your city, once you start posting your workouts (run, cycle, swim, walk, pick your activity) you can actually map it on the little map route using the pedometer. If that's your normal route, you can even save that route and use it again, or add new routes whenever you like. Every time you post a workout, it automatically adds up your miles, calories, time and more.

In a similar way as "liking" a post on FB, you can like posts by others as well as sending them a little motivator. I don't care who you are, it helps tremendously to have support and encouragement when you're trying to lose weight and get into shape.

I'm brand new to the dailymile so I'm sure there are other goodies I haven't even discovered yet, but I'm SO glad I was directed to this site. If you'd like to join too, please do add me as your friend and you can bet I'll be motivating you too! My profile is here: http://www.dailymile.com/people/Carla1212

Graphic design by Carla Rolfe

Monday, July 26, 2010

Growing in Grace on Halloween?

I really had no intention to write about this today, but since I posted a link on FB about my new Halloween goodies in store at zazzle, I guess I surprised and even confused few folks who've both commented publicly and emailed privately. For the sake of clarity and in hopes that this may help someone else who still struggles with this north American tradition (I can't call it a holiday, it doesn't fall into the parameters of holiday for me, personally) I hope this helps.

While I have written quite a bit on this subject over the years, I purposely did not write about it last year on my blog. To be perfectly honest, I chose not to write about it because Christians and non-Christians alike are quite often less than gracious or understanding when it comes to this subject. No matter where you stand on this issue, you will inevitably find yourself on the defensive sooner or later, by someone who will practically demand you lay out all your reasons for your position. In very much the same way as the subject of homeschooling, the subject of Christians and Halloween (and Christmas, and Easter) is very hotly debated, in pretty much every corner of Christendom.

I suppose this post would be best titled The Evolution of Carla's Worldview When it Comes to Halloween. That's a little long winded though, isn't it?

When I first became a Christian I did what a lot of new Christians do. I brought with me a lot of the degenerate hobbies and habits to be sorted out and wrestled with over time and sanctification. Celebrating Halloween was one of those things. As a child we always celebrated Halloween, and my favorite costume several years in a row was my Casper the Friendly Ghost costume. I have a lot of fond memories of dressing up, trick or treating with friends, visiting local "haunted houses" and the pillow cases stuffed so full of candy you'd be pushing it to finish it all by Christmas. The last year I went out trick or treating as a kid I was 12, and was mugged in my own yard, after a very successful night of filling my pillow case completely full. It was the only negative experience I ever had of the night. As I grew into an adult and was married to a man (ironically enough our second date as teenagers was to the KISW radio station's haunted house in downtown Seattle) very involved in artistic special FX, my observance of Halloween took on a rather dark, gory, wicked tone. Long gone was Casper the Friendly Ghost, replaced with a (more realistic every year) Tom Savini/George Romero type of zombie. If you've never been a zombie, it can be very complicated to pull that off. Not unlike many unsaved people who glorify fear, gore and violence on Halloween. For us, that was normal, and fun.

After conversion, I took a lot of heat from fellow Christians for celebrating Halloween. I struggled with it and my involvement in it for several years until I finally made the decision to make a clean break from it and never celebrate it again. For several years after that, I was quite likely the most legalistic person you would have ever met, when it came to this subject. In my zeal to be living right and glorifying God, I went way over the line and without ever realizing it at the time made the effort to play the role of the Holy Spirit in everyone else's life.

It was only after reading for several years, the back and forth arguments between Christians online, that I began to earnestly and prayerfully consider what the fair, right and balanced position on this subject really is. I will not pretend to have arrived at the full understanding yet, but I have left the legalistic attitude behind. Yes, we're all thankful for that.

Here is essentially where I stand today:

Our family still does not celebrate Halloween, but we have no issue with those who do. For the most part, folks that celebrate Halloween do so with the same motives they have when they celebrate a birthday party, backyard barbeque or host a stag & doe party or baby shower. It is simply a fun thing to do, everyone is happy, kids get goodies, adults get goodies (admit it, we all love goodies) and fond memories are made. Of course there are some folks that celebrate Halloween because it's an excuse to indulge themselves in gore, violence or frightful things, or to host a party and get stupid drunk, but those aren't the people I'm talking about. I'm talking about the folks who are into it for the family-friendly kind of fun that it is. Not one of those people are glorifying Satan, paying homage to ancient pagan gods, or corrupting their children's minds with satanic rituals (as some of the googlicious material would have you believe).

The reason I cannot celebrate it is for the very same reason a former alcoholic cannot enjoy the occasional glass of wine, or the former metalhead can not listen to secular music, or the former porn-addict has a program like Covenant Eyes installed on their computer. For me personally, after I became an adult, Halloween was an excuse to indulge my unregenerate mind and heart and I did exactly that. To go back to "celebrating" it would create a disturbing spiritual turmoil for me that I simply want no part of. I don't want to be reminded of who I was and what I did, and that's exactly what would happen. In case you're wondering, no, I didn't get into the more serious forms of gore and violence that you might read about in the papers, but it was serious enough and each year we made a dedicated effort to out-gross the year prior. I shudder to think where we would have gone, had the Lord not grabbed hold of us when He did.

The reason I don't want my kids celebrating it is because of the very fact that even Christians will nearly kill each other over this subject. If you're a Christian and you do celebrate, you're a fake, a fraud, a hypocrite and a liar... if you're a Christian and you don't celebrate, you hate your kids, your neighbor kids, your community, and you should be turned in for being an unfit parent. In case you think I'm making those accusations up out of thin air, or being overly extreme, I assure you I am not. I have seen those accusations made (repeatedly) on both sides for many years now. This is one of those complicated subjects that even many mature Christians don't really have a grasp on, so how can we expect our kids to understand it? While it's certainly possible I may regret it later in life, Kev and I have simply decided it is in the kids best interests at this point to just avoid it. When they're older and can understand it better, they can make their own choices about these things - just as the older kids now do. Just as we all did, when we became older, and understood things better. Of course we have talked to the kids and explained that most people who celebrate it do it solely for the fun stuff, and that even though we don't engage in that kind of thing, we need to respect those who do. That's just a given.

To summarize, I strongly believe that if the Holy Spirit is not convicting fellow Christians who are celebrating Halloween, it is most certainly for a reason, and it is most certainly not MY job to try to do His work for Him. The flip side to this is of course, if you are someone who like me, is bound by your conscience to abstain from celebrating (even just the family fun stuff) then I completely understand and respect that. I have long suspected that were it not for my former involvement into the darker aspects of Halloween, I may still celebrate it to this day and would be in strong support of it as being a harmless, fun thing for families to do. Of course that's pure speculation, but something I've considered as I've tried to get to a right and balanced view on this. As freakish and ironic as it may sound, the Emergent Church Movement actually had a lot to do with my thinking on this. What so many of those nutty young men and women did was to clearly see so many things that are SO wrong with the traditional church, but instead of moving slow and balanced, they did what most would do when attempting to avoid hitting an animal on the road. They swerved too hard to the right or the left and ended up running off the road. Avoiding hitting the animal was right, but swerving too hard caused more damage than anything else. I did the same thing with Halloween, I swerved too hard to avoid it and have been trying to work my way back to a reasonable, God-honoring worldview ever since.

I don't pretend to have all the right answers about this, I only know where I am right now. Maybe this is where you are too. Maybe it helps to know you're not the only one still struggling with this? I sure hope so.

Graphic design by Carla Rolfe

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Being a Grandma Rocks!

In this post I shall marvel at the wonders of being a grandparent. If that isn't really your cup of tea, I will understand. It's my blog though, and I get to brag on my grand girlies if I want to, and I want to.

Last night Kev and I babysat our youngest grand girlie Hailey. It's sort of funny how I say we babysat her, since the reality is that it's more along the lines of her having us wrapped around her chubby little finger. It occured to me as I watched her play and interact with Kev and the kids just how much she is like her mother. Of course this wasn't the first time I've noted this, but the older she gets and the more she develops it becomes more and more obvious to me that she's just a mini-Jessica.

The more I thought about this the more I realized that our other (older) grand girlie Jocelyn is likewise a mini-Jennifer in many ways. While physically she doesn't look as much like Jennifer as Hailey looks like Jessica, she does have her very same personality, expressions, and demeanor. She's a tad bit more outspoken than Jennifer was at that age, but overall she reminds me very much of her mother at the same age.

While going for a walk with Hailey after dinner last night, I couldn't help but be struck with the uncanny similarities between her and Jessica. When Jessica was the same age (roughly 18 months old) we'd go for a walk every night after dinner. We lived in the desert at the time (literally, out in the middle of the desert just west of Palm Springs) and we almost always saw jack rabbits jumping in or out of the brush during our walk. Before long the after dinner walk became known as the Bundeen Walk, since that's what Jessica called it. Every time she would see a rabbit she'd yell BUNDEEN! and try to go catch it. When that failed, we'd continue on with our walk until we'd come across an ant hill, or interesting rock, or anything else Jessica needed to stop and explore (and pick up).

We don't have nearly as many wild rabbits here (although we do have them) so Hailey didn't see any of those last night, but she did squeal out THISSSS! every time she spotted something interesting. Ant hill, pine cone, or small twig. She had to stop and examine everything, pick it up and carry it for a while or point at it and look up at me with the most adorable expression. She walked, talked and expressed herself in an identical way to her mother, at the very same age. I've watched our "Bundeen Walk" videos at least a million times, and it just really struck me last night how much my grand daughter is so much like her mother.

Even though I've been a grandmother for almost 4 years now, I'm still finding it amazing, strange, wonderful and weird, all rolled into one. I see my girls in my grand children, and I remember what kind of a person I was when their mothers were little. I am such a completely different person now that it's sometimes a rather bittersweet feeling to remember and think about it. If only I could have had the maturity and wisdom twenty years ago that I have now. Oh yes I know hindsight is 20/20 and all that, but it sure would be nice, wouldn't it?

If there is one thing I can say without question, it is that being a grandmother IS in fact as incredibly wonderful as I'd always imagined it would be. I see Hailey more often than Jocelyn, but both girls come over and are just as at home here as if they were in their own homes. I love it that they feel that way being at grandma and grandpa's house. Hailey comes for sleepovers and seeing her sunny little face first thing in the morning is just such a joy. Hailey is more like a cartoon than a person, with her endless supply of adorable expressions and smiles, crazy blonde curls and chubby little arms and legs, so it's impossible to even look at her without smiling.

Anyway, there is my Grandma Brag for the time being. I think I need to make a t-shirt design that reflects how awesome it is to be a grandma! :o)


Graphic design by Carla Rolfe

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The End of the World

I have opened a brand new store.

While I would certainly like millions of shoppers from around the world, I realize that the target audience for the new merchandise is a slim portion of the world's population.  Not everyone should shop at this store, and here's a short list of those people:

• those without a sense of humor
• those who take ancient pagan societies seriously
• those who are afraid of the dark
• those who are afraid of eyeballs
• Mayans
• Harold Camping

On the flipside however, those who should (and will, no doubt) shop at this store:

• those with a healthy sense of humor
• those who like black (and eyeballs)
• those are are fashion sensitive, even when the end of the world is imminent
• those who love to stand out in a crowd, spark conversations with off-the-wall t-shirt graphics, and use the opportunity to infuse a little reality into the world

Without further delay... welcome to the end of the world.

UPDATED!

... and the reviews are coming in from the critics:

"should someone tweet this  - lol that's funny" - Jessica (19 yr old daughter, and avid t-shirt fan)
Okay so it's just one review, but it was a good one! :o)



Graphic design by Carla Rolfe

Saturday, July 10, 2010

July Status Report

Once again I am copycatting Lisa and Rebekah and Kim and all the other fine lady bloggers that post status reports.  I find them a very helpful way of "flipping through the channels" so to speak to filter what's going on this head of mine.  Sometimes that can be a disturbing thing.

Sitting... in the same place as always since I still don't have a lappy.  If could be sitting somewhere else right now while typing it would be on the deck, in a bug screened shade, in a Muskoka chair with a big fat all-weather cushion.  I used to sit on the porch as a teenager and write, and I miss doing that.

Drinking…coffee, with a dose of French vanilla cream.  I'm thinking about stopping the cream.  I've been drinking flavored cream in my coffee since 1992 when a friend came over one morning with a bottle of Irish Cream coffee creamer and said "you have GOT to try this, it's amazing".  He was correct, and I've been a flavored cream user ever since. 

Considering... how the magic age of 50 will completely change your thinking. I have four more years before I'm 50 but it seems like just the other day I was 30 so I'm not really sure how this happened.  I've never been one to really care about my age or even admit how old I am (even if I do sometimes forget for a second when asked), but the realization of being almost 50 has caused me to consider a lot of things I really hadn't seriously considered at almost 40. For one, I'm in the worst physical shape I've ever been in, in my life.  Now before you assume that means I have body parts falling off and things like that, it doesn't.  It just means that for the last 10 years or so I've done a considerably amount of nothing. Housework doesn't count, because you can fold 10,000 loads of laundry and you still didn't really get much of a workout.  I have a few friends who are also coming close to 50 and that magic age has caused them to begin taking things a little more serious as well.  I've changed my eating habits quite a bit in the last 6 months and in the next 6 months plan to get a lot more active than I've been in a very long time.  Adding to my elliptical workout will be swimming laps twice a week, and rollerblading at least until the weather turns in late fall.  I would very much like to see that scale number go down, and have nice fitting clothes again. I'd love to get a Wii Fit but the cost is still out of reach for this family's budget.

Planning... a massive de-cluttering of my game room/schoolroom.  I learned a ton of things in the 10 years I homeschooled my kids, and one of those things is this: for me, homeschooling and housekeeping doesn't blend well.  I know there are moms who can do both and do it well, but I am not one of them.  The ironic thing is, it always bothered me a great deal to sit down Monday morning and begin lessons and notice this thing out of place, or that thing sitting over there.  All the little things scattered around that didn't belong where they were was always such a huge distraction for me. My normal routine was to tidy up on Sunday night but I always seemed to notice the 80 million things that were still not where they should be, all around the room.  I don't have any idea how long it will take me to clear this room out but I begin the process on Monday.  That's my ONE summer project this year, instead of having a list like I used to keep.  Summer was always my time to get those big things done that I couldn't get to during the school year (due to homeschooling) but since that will no longer be the case come fall, I've chosen to stick with only one summer project and let the others sort of fall into place once all the kids are in school come September. I think the hardest thing will be the realization that this year instead of going through their books and making a list of new curriculum materials to order in July, I'll be putting all those books away (or selling some) for the last time. I've already delayed this project a week because it makes me sad to think about it.

Missing... blog reading. There was a time a few years ago when I could (and often did) spend hours and hours each day reading blogs, responding on blogs, and writing for this or some other blog.  Maybe that's part of why my game room is so cluttered, lol, but I only did that bloggy goodness before the kids got up in the morning, after school or after they went to bed.  Tonight I did something I haven't done in a really long time, and I read through some of the lady bloggers out there that have always blessed me. I enjoyed reading their recipes, seeing pics of their new couches, cats, vacations, etc., seeing who has blessed them recently, the books their reading and the plans they're all making and the general sharing of their hearts.  I don't ever plan to go back to being "oh, you're Carla from the blogosphere!?" (someone actually said that to me at a conference once) but it was sure nice to visit with the ladies this evening, even if it was just by reading their blogs.

Wondering... how you "catch someone up" on your life when a.) it's been 10, 20 or even 30 years since you last spoke and b.) your life has been so outrageously full of that kind of larger than life, made for tv movie adventure.  In the last few months I've reconnected with several old friends on FB and it's hard to know where to start when they say "catch me up!"  Do they really want to know all the stuff? Probably not, but it's strange thing to even know where to begin or how much to share.  I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who feels this way, since sites like FB are fairly well known for reconnecting old friends.

Loving... the warm weather we've been having.  Several days in a row of 90+ temps was right up my alley.  I could certainly do without the high humidity that comes along with it, but the warm weather is wonderful.  I think every morning should be met with the least possible resistance in getting ready for the day by asking yourself  "which color shorts and which color tank top today?"  Followed only by "flip flops or birks?"  You know, the really hard questions in life.  If I could move all my family and church family to Arizona, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

Stressing... over the sermon time change at my church.  I had forgotten this evening until my 11 year old reminded me that the summer hours have gone into effect and service time is an hour earlier than usual.  I realize how petty and insignificant it sounds but time changes (spring, fall, crossing time zones, etc.) really mess with me in a way that probably borders on mentally deranged.  It's always bothered me quite a bit, but the first time I really noticed how weird I get over it, was when I flew to NY from Seattle.  Crossing all the US time zones and finally getting to my hotel at 2 am NY time I was wide awake when I should have been fast asleep.  I had an appointment at 8am the next morning and only ended up with about 3 hours of sleep (and loads of strong, black coffee) and I was an absolute wreck the whole day.  What made it worse yet, was that I flew back to Seattle the next day crossing all the time zones again and getting into Seattle roughly 45 minutes (Seattle time) after I'd left NY (New York time).  By the time I got home, I was a Time Zombie and it took me days to get my head back on straight.  I think that trip only made my time issue worse, because ever since then I have a major problem when anything routine changes to a different time.  Add to that, Kev is on a rotating, continental shift and even though he's been on it for a long time, I can never get used to it, because it always changes!  All that rambling to say, I have a really hard time, with time changes.

Remembering... but trying hard not to, that this year (and this season specifically) marks the 15th year since Ben's passing.  With each passing year, grieving over the loss of a loved one takes on a new form.  It does get easier, and you do forget a lot of the bad things or the little annoying things that seemed so big, once upon a time.  You also begin to forget some of the good things, and the things you didn't want to forget and swore you never would.  That realization hit me hard while driving home the other day from running errands, and suddenly there were fresh tears of loss and "what never was"  rolling down my cheeks.  Yes, it's okay to still cry 15 years later even when it catches you by surprise.


Realizing... it's late and I haven't finished the laundry for church tomorrow.  I only hope I can get my brain to engage at the right time and get ready, get the kids ready and be out the door on time to make the early service.

Graphic design by Carla Rolfe

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

AKA: Mom



Graphic design by Carla Rolfe

Camera Shopping - Your Input Welcome!

I'm in the market for a new camera and after much reading and deliberating, I think this is the one I've decided on.

It's the FujiFilm FinePix S1700.  It has all the specs I want in a camera (and currently have, but in the ancient 4 year old version, which is roughly 8 generations old at this point), and I'm rather impressed with the whole package.  My very first digital was a Fuji FinePix, and I liked it very much. Current cam is a Kodak and it's also served me quite well.  I'm not really all that particular on brand name, unless it's like Bubba's Lenses and Junk.  I tend to stick with what has made a name for itself in the marketplace.

However, I am not 100% settled on this brand/model.  If you know anything about cameras and know of a comparable brand (specs and price range) I'd like to hear from you.   I have to make the decision soon though, my camera has just about had it, as I've just worn it out over the years.

Please share your thoughts here in the comments or on my FB wall.

Graphic design by Carla Rolfe

Monday, July 5, 2010

Truth Matters

Evangelical Christianity (as the world sees it, anyway) is certainly not immune to disgraceful, shameful scandals.  Over the last 30 years or so there have been quite a few such scandals hit the nightly news and major newspapers and magazines.  We all remember Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, Peter Popoff, Mike Warnke and more recently Todd Bentley, Ted Haggard, Tony Alamo and George Rekers.  While some of these cases have had more news coverage than others, they all have many things in common.

In all cases, these people professed to be Christians, and did it on a large scale through televised ministries or ministries that became well known in Christian circles via books, seminars, conferences, etc.  In all of these cases the people had quite a following of dedicated, supportive people who believed 100% in their ministry.  In all of these cases came at least some level of fame, financial gain, prestige and position.  In all of these cases, the people involved were discovered to be deceiving not only their followers, but themselves as well.  All of them were exposed in one way or another for being liars.

Another thing all of these examples share in common was their defenders.  Without question, when each of the people on this short list (see a longer one here) were exposed for not being the person they claimed to be, or not living the life they preached and proclaimed they were living, they had a group of people that denied or ignored the evidence and blindly supported them in every way possible. That support came in the form of public outcry against those making allegations, it came in the form of continued financial support of their ministries, and it came in the form of continued speaking engagements and the like.

As outrageous as that sounds, I think we can all honestly understand it.  Imagine for a moment if you will, what your reaction might be if your favorite pastor/teacher/author/speaker was exposed tomorrow on the nightly news, as the biggest fraud to ever come along.  It would be very difficult for most of us I'm sure, as it's our natural reaction to want to defend and protect the ones we love - even when the evidence clearly marks them as guilty as charged.  While understandable, it is however most certainly a very ignorant thing to do.

You may or may not be following the recent Ergun Caner/Liberty University scandal.  I wont re-hash the details but you can get yourself up to speed by doing a simple google search or by going here, here, or here. All of these brothers have done a fair, honest job of documenting what has taken place.  The most recent development in this Ergun Caner scandal is the public defense given by Norman Geisler.

Geisler does exactly the same thing many others might be inclined to do, and blindly (intentional or unintentional, I cannot know for certain) defends his friend Ergun Caner with his statement In Defense of Dr. Ergun Caner: A Response to His Critics.  I read the defense and even within the first two paragraphs noted that the statement is full of errors, omissions, misrepresentations and quite frankly, false accusation.  See, I know this because I've read the court documents that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Ergun Caner did in fact, lie about his background on multiple occaisions in multiple venues.  Sadly, instead of coming clean and doing the right (Christian) thing when exposed he chose the play the martyr and his misguided defenders began attacking the ones calling for truth, honesty, integrity and other such ridiculous Christian moral values.  Geisler does exactly the same thing when he accuses some of Caner's "attackers" as "extremist Calvinists, who oppose Dr. Caner’s more moderate view, have piled on as well". 

Let's be perfectly clear here, not all of Caner's critics are Calvinists, let alone extremist ones, and those who have called for TRUTH in this matter aren't doing so because of Caner's "more moderate view" they (we) are doing it because TRUTH MATTERS when you call yourself a Christian, are in a position of leadership and are in a position of authority over young Christian minds. To be perfectly blunt, I don't give a rip about Caner's "more moderate view" as it pertains to this situation.  I care about what he's done and is doing to the name of Christ, with his continued deception and now silence in allowing his defenders to further this trainwreck by defending his lies and making excuses for them, and him.

Geisler opens his defense with this statement:

"A talented, dedicated, and high effective servant of God and convert from Islam has come under a strong attack by extreme Muslims. Why? Basically, it is because he is a converted Muslim and is an effective living, moving, talking representative of Evangelical Christianity."

There are several things wrong with this statement, so I'll just go ahead and point them out:

1. Caner came under scrutiny by ONE Muslim guy named Mohammed Khan, a college student in England who noticed some monumental inconsistancies with Caner's supposed "expertise" in Islam. I do not know of any evidence to support the claim of "Muslim extremists" but the claim does lend to a sense of fear and defense, does it not?

2. Why? Simple, Khan is a faithful Muslim and doesn't like people lying or misrepresenting his religion. Whatever other motives Khan may have or have had I cannot know, but even though I obviously disagree with Islam (and some of the ways Khan presented his case against Caner), I can certainly understand the motivation to speak up when someone is lying about your faith.  Countless Christian bloggers do the exact same thing almost every single day - we give an answer and defend our faith against false allegations, misconceptions and misrepresentations.  A perfectly reasonable thing to do.

My friend Dr. James White gave a far more exhaustive examination of Geisler's defense of Caner, and you can read all four parts here, here, here and here. Yes, it's long but if you want to really understand this and do your homework, you will read it all and prayerfully consider where you stand on this matter. In addition, another friend who goes by the screen name of Turretin Fan also examined Geisler's statement in a three part series here, here and here.

In closing I would like to point out another of Geisler's errors in his opening statement where he says of Ergun Caner:

"he is a converted Muslim and is an effective living, moving, talking representative of Evangelical Christianity"

Ergun Caner may be a representative of Norman Geisler's version of Christianity, but he is most certainly not an accurate representation of Biblical Christianity - or - the faith that I hold to. Clearly, there is a big difference between the two.  A genuine evangelical Christian does not lie about his or her background for personal or professional gain.  He does not let his lies stand and sit silently by while his friends perpetuate the lies by publicly defending them and making excuses for him.  While we all have our own pet sins we struggle to overcome, when we get busted flat out on something we've done, we come clean, we tell the truth and we repent with a broken heart before God and our fellow believers.  We don't make it worse by allowing defenders to slander and misrepresent those who exposed our lies. By doing this, Ergun Caner is only adding to his guilt in this matter as a great number of decent Christian people are being slandered in the most ungodly, vile way by many of Caner's defenders.  His refusal to come clean in this matter just keeps the fire going.

Call me crazy, but I still hold out hope that the weight of this grievous sin will be too much for Ergun Caner to bear, and eventually he will come clean, both publicly and privately - no matter the cost. Make no mistake, the cost WILL be high, but at the end of the day what matters more than any kind of fellowship, prestige, clout or personal or professional gain of any kind, is standing before God with a clean heart, clean hands, and being able to say "I told the truth, because truth matters".  I believe in the sovereign power of God to know that this can happen, even when folks say "it'll never happen". 

I only hope it does, and truth prevails.

Graphic design by Carla Rolfe

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Tickets Please - No Talking!

I'm not unlike a lot of people in that there is one thing that consistantly drives me up a wall. Movie Talkers. You know the kind (or maybe you are one?), there you are minding your own business trying really hard to watch a movie and follow the story, when someone in the room just starts talking and talking and talking... and talking. Either they've already seen it and are about to ruin it for you (those are the worst kind of Movie Talkers), or they don't like something about it or don't understand what's going on and so they either criticize or ask 8 million questions. The thing about Questioning Movie Talkers that is so... well, dumb, is that they know you haven't seen it yet either, yet there they are asking YOU, what's going on.  As if you're somehow supposed to know? Thankfully, I don't live with Movie Talkers.  Sometimes the kids do talk during a movie but not to the level that earns them the infamous title of Movie Talker.

Recently Kev and I watched four movies that we both found ourselves breaking the No Talking rule, ourselves.  The good part about that is, we both wanted to talk and ask questions and the movies were easily paused while this took place.  You know you've got a wonderfully challenging story that stretches your worldview (or your comfort zone, or general education overall) just a little bit when it causes you to hit the pause button and ask the person sitting next to you such questions as "so here's the thing, would you ever resort to cannibalism?"  or "was *Mandela totally into socialism or was he a decent guy, or what?" or "as horrifying as it would be, I can totally understand having to make that kind of decision".  One of the best kind of Movie Talking examples is at the very end of a movie where something is revealed that completely surprises you and you're saying outloud "you have GOT to be kidding me, now we have to watch that again and see if we pick that up!"

Although I won't tell you which questions were asked during which movies (although the Mandela question pretty much gives it away, and the rest you'll figure out after you watch them) the movies I'm referring to are The Book of Eli, Shutter Island, The Crazies and Invictus.  Yes, there is some language and some violence and otherwise "adult" content in these movies, but the stories are quite worthwhile to sit through, and may even cause you to hit the pause button yourself more than a few times. 

I find the older I get the more I enjoy movies that make you think, make you question, and even the ones that I'd never watch 10 or 15 years ago because they seemed dry or boring.  Sometimes what might seem dry or boring can turn out to be one of the best movies you've seen in a very long time.

*I confess to being the one who asked the question about Mandela.  I hate politics with a passion and apart from general info in the papers & nightly news, I've never really paid much attention to the man, or his politics.
Graphic design by Carla Rolfe

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Questions on the Christian Faith

One of the coolest things about using a site like feedjit, sitemeter or any of the other traffic stats programs out there, is that it tells you what people are looking for, and how they ended up at your site. I scroll through the search strings on a fairly regular basis and then will often do that search myself to see what kind of sites are out there with the answers to those search queries.  Sometimes the answers are just horrendous, and that's actually motivated me more than a few times to write an entire post about a subject.

I looked at the search queries yesterday and there were two really good questions I noticed that landed searchers on my blog from google:

1. Is a baby born to an unwed teen a gift from God?

2. How do you explain prayer to an unbeliever?

Of course I have my own thoughts on both of these questions, but I'd like to see what you have to say. Please do take a moment to share your thoughts in the comments (or on FB if you read from there), as whoever queried both of those searches at google sure does deserve a straight answer to these important questions.





Graphic design by Carla Rolfe