Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Yesterday morning, after a battle with cancer, Angela (Dominican mother and grand-mother) passed away. Not only was she the mother of one of our staff members and a second-mother to one of our good friends, but we enjoyed her hospitality and warmth on several ococasions. Please pray for our staff member, Vladimir, and his family as they deal with this loss. Also pray for our friend, Regan, who lived with the family for the 3 years he worked at JCS, and is now back in Indiana.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

And We're Back!

Daniel's family just left this morning after a week long visit. During their time here we hung-out, went to the beach, went whale watching, visited the Ark, played games, and enjoyed being together. I, obviously, took a break from blogging. Jeremiah had a blast playing with Grandpa How, Grammy Dee, and Aunt Sara. And, due to our new camera (Christmas present), we took lots of pics and videos!
So, after the holidays and visits life is getting back to "normal." Well, somewhat. I'm still doing last minute things to get ready for the retreat coming up next weekend (in a week). I'm helping with decorations, etc. This year, there's a record number attending: 112 women! Life for Daniel isn't quite normal yet, either. Today he's subbing for teachers and trying to be the director all at once!
When we set up our camera, I'll post some pictures. :)

Friday, January 09, 2009

Thoughts on Atheism

Well, this has been going through my mind for some time now, but this article prompted me to write on it. You may agree or disagree, but as it is my blog, I get to write what I believe. :) Freedom of Speech and all that.

In the U.S., there is so much talk of "seperation of church and state," etc. which, over the years, has been interpreted differently. What many people are apparently calling for is the government, and anything associated with the government, and anyone who works for the government, and any organization that receives money from the government, to be "religiously neutral." Ok, first we need to figure out what "religion" means. Some people think that religion refers only to beliefs that include a "supernatural deity" of some form. Another definition is a system of beliefs (Merriam-Webster includes both of these). Whatever you call it, everyone has a system of beliefs; things they believe in that shape their worldview, determine how they behave, shape their beliefs in how the country should be run, etc. My belief in God and Jesus Christ affects me to the core- it's not just a "belief;" it affects the way I live. That's true of everyone, whether they believe in a deity or not. Every person has a worldview and holds to certain beliefs.

Now, I may sound pessimistic, but frankly, I don't believe it's possible to have a "religous/world-view" neutral country. So many people say "well, we shouldn't offend anyone's beliefs, we shouldn't choose any group over another." It's not possible not to offend anyone. Whatever laws the governent makes will be based on someone's beliefs of right or wrong. Whatever decisions a court upholds will be someone's interpretation of a law. And those decisions and interpretations will largely reflect that person's worldview or the worldview of their supporters. All this to say, I don't want people to be naive. When people push to take God's name out of everything related to the government, they are not being "neutral." Yes, they have the right to fight for it, as I have the right to fight against it. Either way, we are both fighting based on our "beliefs," not on "neutrality." If we take God out of everything related to government and make sure our laws for the country aren't in any way related to the Bible or God, we are not making "neutral" decisions. If we tell the government, "you can believe whatever you want, but you have to speak and behave and make decisions as if there is no God," that is not neutrality, that is Atheism. Atheism is a worldview. And I believe I have as much right as Atheists to stand up for what I believe.

Now let's look at public schools. Do people actually believe that children are only taught things that have been 100% proven as fact? Do people honestly believe that children won't be taught any worldviews in school? I have enough scientists in my family to know that not all scientists believe the same things. What views do we choose? What views of history do we teach? What books of literature do we introduce to our children? All of these choices are made based on some sort of worldview. Whether your god (Marriam-Webster gives one definition as the supreme or ultimate reality) is science, or mankind, or nature, or the God of the Bible, etc... we all have some view of the ultimate reality. So, the question is, what ultimate reality- what worldview- is being taught in our schools? Is being held by the government? And who decides it? Obviously, I think it would be great if the government went with my worldview; I would think Athiests, Muslims, secularists, etc. would all feel the same about their own worldview. And it's better than being apathetic and thinking "I shouldn't impose my beliefs on others" because anyone who stands up for what they believe and pushes for or against a law is imposing their views on others.

I'm not trying to say that I have an answer. All I'm asking is that people stop pretending we can be "neutral." Whether the government listens to Christians or Athiests, Muslims or Jews, they're going to listen to someone. But please, don't tell me that I can't fight for what I believe in because it goes against the beliefs of others. Don't tell me that one group can fight for their worldview while I cannot fight for mine. I expect them to stand up for what they believe. But I also expect to be allowed to do the same.

People will make laws based on their worldviews and ideas of an "ultimate reality." Public schools will teach some sort of worldview. The question is, what will it be? And what are you going to do about it?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Finally Finished!

Our Christmas letter and recent ministry update are finally completed and sent via email! (If you wondered why I haven't blogged lately, that's why) If you would like to receive a letter/update, but have not, please let me know!

Friday, January 02, 2009

Christmas Pictures

Here are our photos from Christmas break (click to view album):
Christmas Break

My dad took even more photos (and has a better camera) which you can also check out here. There are photos of our house, more of Jeremiah, etc.

Have you seen my brain?

It's been one of those days... maybe it's because I'm still sleepy from staying up until 1 on New Year's Eve (yes, I'm pathetic, but babies don't sleep in no matter how much the parents may want to sleep). But, for whatever reason, my brain is not working today. Here's a few examples:

1) I had to make a phone call. Daniel was the last one to use the phone. I went to get it from the charger. It wasn't there. I asked Daniel where it was. He was confused; he thought he'd put it back. I glanced at the coffee table; not there either. I was about to get frustrated until I looked down and... it was in my hands... the whole time. sigh.

2)Shopping exhausted me. I kept asking for "books" of things instead of "pounds." Wouldn't you like a book of cheese?

3)I can't get out the correct words. There were a few times I just stopped talking because the words were not coming out correctly.

I think I need a nap.