19 March 2014

Armed Guards in Schools

Every so often I see a request (usually a shared photo on Facebook, like the one below) suggesting that the US needs military personnel patrolling our schools. But it's a horrible thought to me that my children would be going to a school building needing visible armed guards. It indicates the violent type of country we have become, and looks like a solution you'd find in Israel/Palestine, or some other military zone. Are we really at this point in our history?

In our recent past, the government called in armed guards to schools to protect black children from violent and ignorant lawbreakers -- which government act was reprehensible, according to then President Eisenhower, who said "It will be a sad day for this country--both at home and abroad-if school children can safely attend their classes only under the protection of armed guards." Presently, in countries like Israel and Palestine, armed guards are placed at some schools to protect the students from political terrorists, who have a few times in the past used school children for their threats.

Does the US now need the government to call up armed guards to protect our school students, other than a policeman or two in certain school districts, which are located in areas of violence? If so, it seems to me that we are accepting and announcing to the world the fact that the US has become so violent that school students are attending school under fear of terrorist attacks like "3rd world" countries, or countries where ignorant and racist lawbreakers are the norm. But if school shootings are orchestrated by the mentally ill, then are we accepting that the best way to deal with those so diagnosed is to send armed guards to protect children from them rather than addressing their problems? Admittedly, the children of the president of one of the most powerful countries of the world are at risk of terrorism, being kidnapped or threatened in some way while at school, and as such, do actually demand some additional protection. I've also seen tv shows of underworld leaders who employ their own armed guards to protect their children from threats from others during school. Is this kind of protection something the average American child needs? Is our country so depraved? Really?

Just my opinion, and a "knee jerk reaction" to the mental picture that I get from the various pictures of GI Joe and Captain Commando in army fatigues standing on the rooftops of elementary schools in battle gear, watching over little children who are just trying to get an education.

23 February 2014

Bible Word Study: Respect

With thanks to J Beckley for her outline of how to conduct a Bible word study. And with apologies for the length of this study in a blog entry. It is not really a finished article, but rather a study. Responses and discussions are most welcome and desired.

Respect. I am concerned about better understanding the idea of how to show respect for others properly, and especially my husband, who is pretty awesome.

Ephesians 5:33

Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.


Respect in this passage is sometimes translated as the verb "reverence". As in "to revere". A couple of translations I saw used "fear" or "dread" (!).

The Greek word there is "phobeomai," from "phobeo". Do you recognize "phobia" in there?  Check this out: the total count of this term used in the King James version of the Bible is 93 times. Translated to "fear" 62 times, "be afraid" 23 times, "be afraid of" 5 times, "reverence" 1 time, and miscellaneous understandings 2 other times. Included in the list is this use by the apostle John: "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment . He that feareth is not made perfect in love." (1 John 4:18)  So we are taught over and over not to fear or be afraid of, and then, seemingly out of nowhere, Paul says that wives are to fear their husbands. There are, after all, two other terms which translate to "reverence" which could have been used. 

Consider the context. 

Okay, go back and read the entire marriage relationship discussion in Ephesians 5 which Paul used as an example of how we are all to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Read what others say.

Consider what Matthew Henry says in his commentary: "Reverence consists of love and esteem, which produce a care to please, and of fear, which awakens a caution lest just offence be given. That the wife thus reverence her husband is the will of God and the law of the relation." 

The early century preacher Chrysostom writes quite a lot on the subject. Consider this portion of his writing on Ephesians (I had to read it through a couple of times):
 "And yet how can there ever be love, one may say, where there is fear? It will exist there, I say, preëminently. For she that fears and reverences, loves also; and she that loves, fears and reverences him as being the head, and loves him as being a member, since the head itself is a member of the body at large. Hence he places the one in subjection, and the other in authority, that there may be peace; for where there is equal authority there can never be peace; neither where a house is a democracy, nor where all are rulers; but the ruling power must of necessity be one. And this is universally the case with matters referring to the body, inasmuch as when men are spiritual, there will be peace. There were “five thousand souls,” and not one of them said, “that aught of the things which he possessed was his own” (Acts iv. 32.), but they were subject one to another; an indication this of wisdom, and of the fear of God. The principle of love, however, he explains; that of fear he does not. And mark, how on that of love he enlarges, stating the arguments relating to Christ and those relating to one’s own flesh, the words, “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother.” (Ver. 31.) Whereas upon those drawn from fear he forbears to enlarge. And why so? Because he would rather that this principle prevail, this, namely, of love; for where this exists, everything else follows of course, but where the other exists, not necessarily. For the man who loves his wife, even though she be not a very obedient one, still will bear with everything. So difficult and impracticable is unanimity, where persons are not bound together by that love which is founded in supreme authority; at all events, fear will not necessarily effect this. Accordingly, he dwells the more upon this, which is the strong tie. And the wife though seeming to be the loser in that she was charged to fear, is the gainer, because the principal duty, love, is charged upon the husband. “But what,” one may say, “if a wife reverence me not?” Never mind, thou art to love, fulfill thine own duty. For though that which is due from others may not follow, we ought of course to do our duty. This is an example of what I mean. He says, “submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of Christ.” And what then if another submit not himself? Still obey thou the law of God. Just so, I say, is it also here. Let the wife at least, though she be not loved, still reverence notwithstanding, that nothing may lie at her door; and let the husband, though his wife reverence him not, still show her love notwithstanding, that he himself be not wanting in any point. For each has received his own."
A simpler description of this fear is found in the EasyEnglish Bible Version and Commentary. "The *Greek word ‘respect’ used here is ‘fear’. You might fear someone who frightens you. But it is not that kind of fear. It is about your relationship with someone that you love. You want to please that person. You might do something that will not please him or her. That is what you fear. That is what our relationship with God is like. It is the kind of fear and love that each of us should have towards God. The Bible says that this kind of fear of the *Lord is ‘the beginning of wisdom’. When you fear the *Lord, you start to be wise."

Scores of discussions and blogs and sermons and articles have been written about the need that men have for respect, and the idea that women need to understand that. Radio's Dr. Laura sums it up in her book "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands", as reviewed at Bible.org:
" "A good number of men want respect more than love." God knew this when He made us. His commands to husbands and wives in Ephesians 5:33 reflects each one's deepest needs: "Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband." Dr. Emerson Eggerichs of LoveandRespect.com points out that this verse commands a husband to love his wife. Why? She needs love like she needs air to breathe. This same verse commands a wife to respect her husband. Why? He needs respect like he needs air to breathe."
illustration from Dr. Eggerichs' book "Love and Respect"

And a modern man's understanding of this scripture is well presented in the (sort of long but important) blog article: "Your husband doesn't have to earn your respect," by Matt Walsh.  In one place he explains: "Often, people will say that a husband should only be respected if he “earns” it. This attitude is precisely the problem. A wife ought to respect her husband because he is her husband, just as he ought to love and honor her because she is his wife. Your husband might “deserve” it when you mock him, berate him, belittle him, and nag him, but you don’t marry someone in order to give them what they deserve. In marriage, you give them what you’ve promised them, even when they aren’t holding up their end of the bargain."

My analysis.

Here's something that I wrote to a friend in a response to her issue with the above article. For whatever it might be worth:
I truly am going to write this with love and respect for you in my heart, and for all those who are living in a hurting relationship. Please don't think I am trying to belittle the porn problem or do some kind of false sympathy thing. Yes, it hurts, it's wrong, it's sinful, and should never be allowed to happen to a relationship. This isn't going to be sympathy or empathy here, but maybe a 'what to do next' response.   
The problem I have with your issue is that Jesus Christ Himself is an "enabler," by your definition. He loves and respects us in spite of our refusal to repent. He commands us to love and respect our leaders and even our enemies, regardless of their earning it. How could he do that if the respect that he requires is supposed to be earned? And if I turn my other cheek, am I not enabling the one who slapped me to take advantage of me again? I know and admit and agree - it's hard to expect someone to show respect toward a fellow human being simply because he is a human being when said human is behaving like a complete and unrepentant jerk. But we should. Trust can be eroded; liking can be eroded; but love cannot be eroded because Love - God - never fails. I don't have to like the porn-guy, I don't even have to stay married to the cheating guy, or the God hating guy. But I have to love him and respect him, because God is in me. I don't have to buy him more porn (or beer or tobacco or drugs); I don't have to shrug and turn a blind eye to it; I don't have to feel as if it doesn't tear my heart out when he turns to another woman, or anything other than the promise he gave me. But I do have to respect him as a human because that's what God did for me and for all of us. It's hard and I keep working on this false attitude that respect means high regard means he earned it. I don't have to hold a rotten person in high regard as an admirable citizen; I don't think that's even possible for a person who lives in Truth. But a person can respect another person. Jesus died for him, even if he is a jerk. Just like he died for disrespectful me.

The thing about showing respect is that we're all supposed to show respect to others all the time anyway. It's just very important that we don't forget to show respect and unconditional love to the person that we married, because we're representing Christ and the church, His body.

Love this quote.


Two last things I'm considering on the subject during this study.

1 - I just watched the movie "Amazing Love: The Story of Hosea" with my teenaged children. The story of Hosea is just ... amazing, when thinking about unconditional love and respect for those who don't deserve it. (It co-stars Sean Astin of "Lord of the Rings" and "Rudy" fame, and Erin Bethea from "Fireproof", as well as a brief appearance from Sean's mom, Patty. Filmed partly in Nazareth Village, Israel, I and my four young men and women liked it, and I really appreciate the fact that this little known story is illustrated and linked to the story of us so clearly.)

2 - Paul's letter to the Philippians. Especially chapter 2, which includes:
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life.

1 Peter 3:8-9

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, 
a tender heart, and a humble mind.
Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, 
but on the contrary, 
for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. 

01 October 2013

Another Lady, Another Lesson

Good reading today:

"Lessons in Modesty"
in the blog, My Crazy Eclectic Life


The thing about being the "Old Fashioned Lady" is knowing that I am not the only one striving to learn more about this pattern of life. And there is no single pattern; every old fashioned lady is unique.

Sometimes we are learning about modesty, about its many facets and beauties, about how it fits and rather, doesn't fit, into our modern world.

Sometimes we are learning about home and family, and learning that woman's intuition, women's magazines and women's retreats are not all that we need in order to make the best decisions; especially as every lady is unique, blessed with her own set of friends, family members, loved ones, culture, religion, faith, belief, and style.

Sometimes we are simply learning a better way to eat, clean, work, teach, help, volunteer, dress, exercise, or fix our hair. Yet even in learning something "new", we are still learning something "old fashioned." There is nothing really new, just new technologies in getting it done.

I hope that if you find this little blog, which I have not kept up with over the past few years very well, that you will find something interesting, something encouraging, something helpful, maybe even something to make you smile. I hope that you will remember that there is nothing wrong with being a lady, even in this modern world. And given the globalization of nearly every culture, language, and spiritual understanding, I hope you will remember that it is more than just all right to be a little old fashioned.

15 May 2013

Let's Let Love Win

Biking in the rain
Photo by Dave Bryson from Your BC: The Tyee's Photo Pool.
I biked home in the rain today.
Cool tears washed over me from above
While warm wet tears ran down my face
I wept for a man I never met
I wept for a family I may never know
I wept for a 2 year old girl who will only know her dad through stories and photographs
I wept for a wife and a family who will have this pain still next week
When the rest of us have moved on to the next “news” story...
and I wept for the injustice of it all
Tim and Sharlene Bosma are shown with their baby girl. Tim Bosma has been missing since Monday, May 6.
Tim and Sharlene Bosma are shown with their baby girl. photo from the Star.com
 I find myself doing that a lot
Weeping for injustice...

and I'm getting tired of it
I'm tired of crying for children around the world with not enough to eat
I'm tired of hurting for countless women abused by countless Johns
I'm tired of words and actions that lash out but do not build up
I'm tired of loneliness, poverty, war, vulgarities, and people just watching it all happen
Idly sitting by
Distracted by Survivor, hockey playoffs, and Facebook
Overcome with bills and school and work
and we want to be better and do something but we don't
I'm tired of hate and violence winning

I want Love to win.
I want a Love revolution
Let's get rid of drive thru's so we can drink coffee together
Let's meet our neighbours and have a barbeque with them
Let's go for a walk
Let's play games with our children and invite their friends to play with us too
Let's sit with the homeless and be home together
Let's go to the senior's home and play cards with our new friends there
Let's see one another as God's children – even the ones that hard to love
Let's draw, paint, write, and sing
Let's take risks
Let's be silly and fun
Let's put on old records and dance
Let's find the hurting and love them
Let's let people love us in our hurts
Let's rip off our masks of having it all together
Let's be real and honest and true
Let's forgive.
Let's move on
Let's be let's...
Let us let love win...
found on Facebook
by Gil Clelland,
of Sanctuary London, (London, Ontario)

06 May 2013

Who Is Responsible for Our Children?

Click to read:
Children stolen by the state | Mail Online

"In care" in Britain is like our "in custody" or under care of an appointed guardian. I'm reading too many cases lately, unconnected, about the dreadful "children's "aid" services" around the world. Children literally taken from their parents arms and put in foster homes, not due to any crime but because of things that really any parent could be "accused" of. In Sweden, due to homeschooling and a cavity; other parents have left the country to avoid losing their children. In Germany, families have left or have lost their children due to differences in child rearing. We all have heard of cases of "child abuse" by spanking and the consequences. You can contest, but courts take "forever" to go through, and I know people who have been in the system for literally years, not having full protection over their own children, because of these "aid" services. We still hear of abuse cases where children have died at the hands of parents, and yet non violent parents have their children taken away. Children report of sexual abuses at the hands of parents, but child services only manage to separate families who don't want to give their children immunization shots. When did we give up parents' rights to the government services? We are not so different from the state of things in the UK, as pointed out in this article.

Caveat: I studied social work for one year in university, along with psychology, and left these studies because my own conscience wouldn't allow me to participate in such arbitrary and subjective fields (and very difficult to supervise therefore). I wanted to help people, but realized that the "industry" of helping people ... doesn't, much of the time. Not all helpers are crooked or merely reporting families so that they don't lose their jobs. Not all supervisors are only about the money to their department. Not all lawyers are callous. But look at the statistics. Look at the numbers. Obviously, something is wrong.

I'm not calling for children aid services bans, no. Let's not be silly. But something is so very wrong in our world, when parents in some countries will sell their own children to adoptive parents on the other side of the world who don't know they're participating in child stealing and selling; when children in normal homes with ups and downs are torn apart; when parents not only live in fear of thugs at public schools but in fear of social working bullies who will act on an anonymous report from a neighbor who doesn't know the family. When a father or mother is automatically removed of rights to their children because of some law or one subjective "psychological report" rather than a careful interviewing of that individual by a gamut of people.

Worldwide, we are "without natural affection". How utterly miserable we all are.

See also:
S.C.O.T.UK (Stolen Children of the UK)
Project Camelot
Justice for Families
an ABC story on Immigrant Families
a LifeSiteNews story on Irish Children's Rights
Protecting Our Children from Being Sold
Friends of Domenic Johansson blog
The Dominic Johansson Case
The Romeike Family case in HSLDA
... just for starters