Friday, December 18, 2015

Second of the O Antiphons

We address Adonai.
Lord of might.
Appearing to Moses in the burning bush.
Appearing to the Israelites in the cloud and thunder and fire at Sinai.

And what is the petition connected to this God who seems so big and scary and fierce?
"Come with an outstretched arm and redeem us."

Redeem us.

That's not scary.
That's rescue.

All of God's bigness and fierceness is directed toward saving us and defending us.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

A Baby's a Blessing

An unwed girl gets pregnant.  She chooses not to kill her baby.  Baby is born. 

Christians sometimes have mixed feelings.  The ladies at church wonder, "Should we throw a baby shower for her?" On the one hand, they know that the baby needs diapers and onesies and a car seat.  On the other hand, they don't want to send a message that appears to "reward" a sinful behavior.  The local woman who runs a home for moms has the best way to put this.

A baby is always a blessing.
Even if a baby is conceived in a less-than-honorable situation, even if the baby is conceived in violence, the baby is nevertheless a human being made in the image of God.  The baby is a blessing.  God's word says that children are a gift from God, a blessing from the Lord.  Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the conception, the birth of a baby is always a cause for rejoicing. 


Monday, December 14, 2015

"Don't You Trust Me?"

Doctor visit to a specialist I've never seen before.

Doctor recommends a long-term course of a medicine that is rife with bad side effects and links to cancer and heart attacks. 

I ask, "But doesn't that drug have a lot of side effects?"

Response?  "I am your doctor.  I know you.  I've looked at your chart.  Don't you trust me?  I would never give you anything that would hurt you." 

I think it's true
that she would never
give me something
that she believed would hurt me.

But is there any chance that she could have been swayed by the pharmaceutical company to believe something inaccurate about the drug?
Is there a chance that I failed to inform her of something that I didn't know was pertinent?
Is there a chance she doesn't care about nutrition and wellness, but always turns to chemical solutions?
There's even a chance that she's spot-on right.

I was shocked that a doctor in this day and age would refuse to discuss side effects of a potent drug, and just say "Trust me." 

And if she thinks I'm going to trust her after that, I guess maybe she doesn't know me after all.

Over the next two days I spent about ten hours reading up on various perspectives by the drug manufacturer, alternative medicines, nutritionists, herbalists, and other aspects of my situation.  Man oh man -- buggy-eyed and brain-tired.  At least the doctor was good for one thing: she easily ruled out a lot of possible problems that I hadn't even considered (and which were probably the reason my GP sent me to the specialist in the first place). 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Bearing Fruits Worthy of Repentance

The tax collectors and soldiers came to John, listening to his preaching, believing his message, and asking, "What shall we do?"  The answer for all of them was pretty much, "Do your job honestly, without hurting other people."

Now if you were a taxpayer in Judea at that time, whether you believed in the Lord or not, you would derive some benefit from all these people trusting in the Messiah.  These Christians beginning to bear fruits of repentance.  Some of the taxpayers would be collecting only the amount they were supposed to collect. Some of the soldiers would be fair and good.  Certainly not all of them.  And not even these new Christians were sinless.  But some of them were indeed transformed (in part) by the Gospel they believed.

So even before Jesus died,
even before He was miraculously healing people,
even before He was preaching,

already there were some temporal blessings breaking in, like the tiniest little foretaste of what was yet to come.

Wonky Comments Too

So not only has my blog been wonky, but now I see the comments have been wonky too.

No, the comments themselves haven't been.  (My apologies Suzanne, Melanie, Cheryl, Jane in SB, and Karen in MI.  You're not being weirdos at all.  Well, not any more than the likable weirdness that is the norm.)  Something IS up, however, with the comment feature.  Today I noticed that a request for comment moderation was dumped into my spam folder.  That's when I discovered that a whole bunch of other comments were awaiting moderation -- comments from months ago.  Comments that never arrived, not even diverted to the spam folder.  They were simply sucked into a tiny corner of the blogger program.

Well, they have been found and posted.

Settings have been adjusted.  I was moderating comments only because my mom couldn't manage the "Prove you're not a robot" verification.  But Mom's not reading my blog now, so I no longer need to take that into account.

The trick now is to see if I can remember to keep peeking into that little forsaken corner in case of older comments.  And in the meantime, I have to watch for new comments that would hawk lower mortgages, exercise equipment, new roofs, and sexy girlfriends.  (I suspect you want those things just about as much as I do.)