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.