Thursday, November 16, 2006

The American Christian

UPDATE 2/27/2007:
I figured out YouTube! Here's the video that cracks me up and causes me to squint with familiarity at the same time (...isn't it ironic...)!

I can't figure out how to put YouTube up on my blog ('cause I really don't know what I'm doing- technically;), so you'll have to go visit the source rather than getting it straight from me! (I just discovered SmuloSpace, and have been reading it off and on all day [since I was wide awake and in need of some time-passing stimulation at 3 o'clock this morning].)

This video clip from John Smulo's blog is a great caricature of what American Christianity has become to so many people. It makes me rethink being a Christ-follower and how I express that to the "world" vs. how the "world" outside of Christianity sees most Christians.

"The world doesn't know what you are trying to say, but you'll keep trying anyway."

Monday, November 13, 2006

"Natalists"- a definition from the New York Times

I was surprised to see this editorial come from the New York Times- as liberal as it is. But this guy has hit the mark in many ways when it comes to famlies who choose to have more than 2.3 children.

Natalists are associated with red America, but they're not launching a jihad. The differences between them and people on the other side of the cultural or political divide are differences of degree, not kind. Like most Americans, but perhaps more anxiously, they try to shepherd their kids through supermarket checkouts lined with screaming Cosmo or Maxim cover lines. Like most Americans, but maybe more so, they suspect that we won't solve our social problems or see improvements in our schools as long as many kids are growing up in barely functioning families.
He has documented a trend here, and he is surprisingly accurate.

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Spirit Filled Believer

It is important that we know, at a time when Christians in America are being marginalized, that God is powerfully at work in the world. Lets not take our lukewarm circumstances here and project them upon the Kingdom of God. America does not equal Christendom (and it never did), nor are we any longer at the epicenter of what God is about. The future is Africa, South America and Asia. Exciting times!

This is a quote from The Blind Beggar regarding an international survey that the Pew Forum conducted "among a random sample of the population at large" in 10 different countries (the United States; Brazil, Chile and Guatemala in Latin America; Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa in Africa; and India, the Philippines and South Korea in Asia). From the survey:

In six of the 10 countries (all except the U.S., South Africa, the regions of India surveyed and South Korea), the surveys find that renewalists account for a majority of the overall Protestant population. Indeed, in five nations (Brazil, Chile, Guatemala, Kenya and the Philippines) more than two-thirds of Protestants are either pentecostal or charismatic. In Nigeria, renewalists account for six-in-ten Protestants.

What is it these Christ-followers are experiencing, living, breathing that we in America are missing out on? This is a huge group of Christians that believe in the power of the Holy Spirit *and live it*. They believe in that mysterious third part of the Trinity that most mainstream American churches ignore, and I'm a little suspicious of America's lack of interaction with It. What do you think?

Friday, November 3, 2006

Autumn in the Desert

It's really challenging to get into the seasonal spirit here in the desert. The sun shines every day, the sky is usually cloudless and brilliant blue, and the weather, well, it's certainly not fall or winter-ish. Last year as I was lamenting the fact that it was already Thanksgiving and it just didn't feel right, a friend from the homeschool group told me she had realized that you have to decorate your house. Otherwise the days come and go and there is no real change to them. I understood, and this year I have tried to do better. I am not a "seasonal decorator," so putting fake flowers and leaves and things around has been hard. I don't really "get" it. Our house isn't exactly spotless to begin with (we do live here...with three children), so the idea of putting things out...on the counters and doesn't make sense to add more clutter! Here's my briliant idea to infuse a little bit of fall (and creativity via my children) into our house.

My love nailed some hemp from either side of the wall/ceiling that seperates the kithchen from the dining room, and I used regular ol' clothes pins to hang the kids' art. My oldest protested when I hung the littles cats up there saying, "Mama, those aren't fall pictures!" But I like them, and there isn't anywhere else to display their precious art just yet.
I love to see the littles sit in their chairs at the table and stare at all the pictures. I think this brings me one step further to adjusting to the desert. It is, after all, where God brought us. And I want to be where He wants me to be...