Thursday, December 28, 2006

David Wells: The Weightlessness of God

"The fact is, of course, that the New Testament never promises anyone a life of psychological wholeness or offers a guarantee of the consumer's satisfaction with Christ. To the contrary, it offers the prospect of indignities, loss, damage, disease, and pain. The faithful in Scripture were scorned, beaten, imprisoned, shipwrecked, and executed. The gospel offers no promises that contemporary believers will be spared these experiences, that they will be able to settle down to the sanitized comfort of an inner life freed of stresses, pains, and ambiguities; it simply promises that through Christ, God will walk with us in all the dark places of life, and that he has the power and the will to invest his promises with reality, and that even the shadows are made to serve his glory and our best interests. "

God in The Wasteland

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

David Wells: The Weightlessness of God

"In a psychologized culture such as ours, there is deep affinity for what is relational but a dis-ease (sp) with what is moral. This carries over into the church as an infatuation with the love of God and an embarrassment at his holiness. We who are modern find it easier to believe God is like a Rogerian therapist who emphatically solicits our knowledge of ourselves and passes judgement on none of it than to think that he could have had any serious business to conduct with Moses.

This peculiarity of the modern disposition, this loss of substance and vigor, betrays our misunderstanding of God's immanence, his relatedness to creation. We imagine that the great purposes of life are psychological rather than moral. We imagine that the great purposes of life are realized in the improvement of our own private inner disposition. We imagine that for those who love God and are called according to his purpose, all things work together for their satisfaction and the inner tranquillity of their lives. Modernity has secured the triumph of the therapeutic over the moral even in the church."

-from God in The Wasteland

A (friendly) Public Defense

I have edited this post so that only the below remains of the original. A lot of what I said was pretty much tongue-in-cheek, but I realize that only my brother and my family would know that, so I am hereby deleting the original paragraph here, and beg that no one take me too seriously.

I would hereby like to state for the record that:
1. At the time of my statement quoted in the webzine, I was very nervous. After having avoided the video camera all evening, that man cornered me at the last and there was no escape.
2. I am horrible in front of cameras. This is why some people are actors and some are not.
3. I could not think of anything, and the man prompted me with: "How about something funny? Does your brother do anything you should warn Sarah about?" Thus my comment. It really is very lucky that his bad mood was the worst thing I could come up with at the moment. If someone said that a bad mood every now and then was my worst trait, I think that I would kiss that person. Cuz I have worse than that. Which brings me to this: I don't think it's Trent's, either, but I am note sure what is, then. (I suppose Sarah could help us on that one.)
The defense rests. :-)

I would also like to recommend my brother's article. If you have a minute, click your way on over to The Brew and read his front page article on depression. It has certainly gotten me thinking on depression, mental illnesses and a Biblical response to them, and I hope to post some thoughts on the subject throughout the weekend.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

View Christmas vintage clip art here.

A Baby's Birth

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The anticipation builds. Years of prophecy will soon be filled with the birth of a tiny baby in Bethlehem. His coming has been foretold by the prophets, and a nation waits for her King's birth. Will they know their king when he is born at last, humble and lowly mid the dirt, straw and animal filth? Who could know that this baby, this tiny human, is He who has come at last. Not just an earthly king, this baby is the One who was, and is, and ever more will be. He will live and die for His people, and for all who will follow Him. Israel did not know her King that night. But Mary, Joseph, shepherds and wise men did. The angels rejoiced in heaven, singing "Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth, peace, goodwill to all men." A song of praise for the baby born in Bethlehem. King Jesus has come.
Joy to the world!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

It's All In The Spelling...

First, I entered my name and came up with this:
LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Then, just for fun, I changed the spelling to "Shelby" and got this:

* There are 53,994 people in the U.S. with the first name Shelby.
* Statistically the 748th most popular first name. (tied with 18 other first names)
* 69.44 percent of people with the first name Shelby are female.

I thought "Wow, I'm the only Shelbi with an 'i'!" So then, still feeling special, I did a "Shelbi" search on Blingo and found "Shelbi: a dog profile". It was some Labrador's web page. After seeing that, I suddenly didn't feel so special anymore. :-)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Christmas Traditions

The family has gathered...

...The fire is blazing...
...The cranberry and popcorn strands are ready...
...Must be time to decorate the Starnes Family Christmas Tree!

Tree Decorating = Lots of Family Fun

Ashley (above) and Parker (below) busily decorating.

Landon (top) and Hunter (below) add ornaments.

That's me (above) admiring my coffee cup ornament from 2005 (yes, I'm a java addict).
Landon (above) and Sarah (below) sort through ornaments.

Maisy enjoys the evening's festivities.
Lexi (above) and Mom (below) busily add their special touches to the tree.

Hunter and Landon admire the tree.
Many thanks to Trent and Landon, photographers extraordinaire, for the fantastic photos!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Snow Fun

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More Snow Pictures

Foliage and flowers get a dusting of snow.

First Snow

It is simply amazing to me, even after 20+ years of living here, that it can be over 80 degrees F one day and 20 degrees F the very next morning. I don't think anyone could ever get used to such yoyo-like weather. The temperatures dropped 40 degrees within 90 minutes last night, which was an incredible thing to feel. The wind went from slightly cool and balmy to downright frigid. I think the wind chill this morning was somewhere around 10 degrees F. It started to sleet early, but thankfully it did not adhere to the roads. I was getting lunch at work when a co-worker asked if I knew that it was snowing. Sure enough, it was blowing hard across the wide spaces around the building, and the rooftops of distant houses were already white. It was painful to have to sit at work and watch the snow hurtling and pirouetting all at once outside of my window. It was a joy to get home at last and dress in my warmest winter attire for some snow fun with my siblings. I didn't do much but watch them fight each other and get red noses and chilled fingers, but it was glorious to be outside in the middle of our first snow and to be able to share it with my family.

Snow falling outside, a fire burning brightly in the fireplace, hot chocolate with peppermint whipped cream and sprinkles on top, Christmas music playing and some Christmas movie watching. I just can't think of a better way for November to end and for December to begin.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgving and Praise

This doxology has been sung by Christians for hundreds of years now. In a few very short verses, theology, praise, and thanksgiving come together in a glorious way.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow
Praise Him all creatures here below
Praise Him above ye heavenly host
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost

Go here to read a short, but very good article on this doxology and thankfulness. After that, go here to read a Puritan prayer of thankfulness and praise.

And may all of your days be filled with thanksgiving and praise unto the One from whom all blessings flow!

The Day of Good Food

My Culinary Feast began this morning with a delightful breakfast of pumpkin cream cheese muffins, sausage, Promised Land chocolate milk, orange juice, and coffee with peppermint mocha flavor. Oh my. My sister set the table with candles and cards with "thanksgiving" verses on them, cute plates and napkins. It was so pretty that I nearly thought that I had slept through the day and had just woke up in time for dinner. But no, the day of feasting had only just begun...
In two hours I will be gorging on turkey, ham, my grandmother's famous dressing, cranberry sauce, my mom's famous sweet potato souffle, bread, corn, carrots, green bean casserole, and whatever other people are bringing that I won't know about 'till I get to the feasting site. For dessert there is Hunter's apple pie, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, Ashley's famous cheesecake, cookies, and I don't know what else.

Every year it is tradition to go to my Gran's house for the dinner. Anyone and everyone are welcome and there is always enough food for all. It is a tradition that I love and can't imagine life without. I think that I will always, for as long as I live, envision Thanksgiving as that delightful day of feasting, family and memories made at my Grandmother's.

I think I will be starving myself tomorrow. But today will surely be worth it...

Monday, November 13, 2006

Candy Cane Scarf

My first holiday project for '06 is finished! It is destined for an auction at a family reunion Thanksgiving weekend.

Does not my little sister look adorable? :-)

Special thanks to the highly-creative Rachel, who gave me the pattern which I only slightly modified.
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Thursday, November 09, 2006

It's Official...

The Holidays are here! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Election Rally

I know, it's blurry. It's bright. And you can't see the President. (Cell phone cameras. Need I say more?) But here is a video that you can watch to make up for my bad pictures. I think that President Bush's speech ran over 30 mins., but I'm not positive. And would you believe, most of the crowd stayed on their feet during the entire rally? Wow. I lasted about 10 mins. into the President's speech before I had to sit down. Posted by Picasa

President Bush in Dallas

I'm not an enthusiastic Republican. I'm not always crazy about what the President does (okay, I'll admit - he does a lot less than he should). But give me a seat at a rally with him speaking on the eve of a big election and I'll be there. And enjoy the experience, too.

After a performance by Casting Crowns, someone came out and pumped the crowd for the Lt. Governor up for re-election. (Oh, yeah, this is really supposed to be about the gubernatorial race). After about ten minutes of extolling his virtues, he vacated the platform and for about ten minutes we waited for Governor Perry and the President. They entered at last to a wild, resounding ovation. Rick Perry spoke first, the President followed. He flattered us, cajoled us and convinced us that everything was okay, especially if we just keep the Republicans elected. It was everything you would expect a campaign speech to be. People stamped, applauded and "amen-d" throughout his entire speech. Clearly he was the man of the hour in Dallas that night. Say what you want to about the President, but give him this: he knows how to win with the people.As I analyzed, criticized and took apart his speech in my mind, I did remember that with all of his bad points, his failed promises to his conservative voters, and his ambivalent faith, I did vote for him and this is why:

1. He's Texan. (Okay, so my priorities were a little off :-) )
2. He was shown to be a strong leader after September 11.
3. He has kept the economy and nation together.
4. It was speculated that he would replace at least one Supreme Court Justice in his term, turns out he has replaced two, and will possibly replace another. Who would be sitting on the Supreme Court bench had John Kerry been elected? I shudder to think..
5. Although not as straightforward about his beliefs as I think he should be, and though a little too ambivalent for my tastes, he certainly isn't reticent about his faith, either.
6.He was better than John Kerry. Period.

There are others, but I probably don't need to go on. I just want to make it clear that I am not blind to the President's faults, his double standards, or his bad policies. But I honestly believe that he has been a not-so-bad and a better-than-I-expected President. I feel as though progress has been made on the war on terror. I applaud him for stating the facts of terror and terrorists as they are and not trying to sugar coat them as the Dems. have done. Thank goodness one evil maniac has been brought to justice now.
All in all, it was quite an event and I am grateful to have been able to witness it.

Oh, I can't forget about the protesters. Especially since this was my second encounter in a month's time with political protestors.(It just isn't a political anything without protesters, eh?). They made some really idiotic remarks, and waved around some really ignorant and dumb posters. They stayed busy chanting, yelling and fighting with the Republicans. It was interesting to walk into the rally with them vigorously protesting everything under the sun pertaining to the President. Thank goodness they were contained on the other side of the street, because as the night wore on they got worse, and it was very unnerving to walk out after dark and have to face their jeers and all-around weirdness. You wonder what sort of people these are by day, and are they safe? :-)Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 30, 2006

It was finally time for the announcement...
Alas, the boys did not win.

They claim that it was because they sat on the "loser's row". Apparently, none of the semi-finalists and finalists sitting on their row won anything.

Instead of being discouraged at not winning anything, my brothers came away on fire with ideas for next year's submission. No trailers this time; they are now working on a movie instead. Details forthcoming... Posted by Picasa
Outside of the Lila Cockrell theater.  Posted by Picasa