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that song by Chris Rice perfectly captures how I feel sometimes!

I would take no for an answer,
Just to know I heard you speak,
And I’m wondering why I’ve never,
Seen the signs they claim they see,
A lotta special revelations,
Meant for everybody but me,
Maybe I don’t truly know You,
or maybe I just simply believe…

Chorus: Cause I can sniff, I can see, and I can
count up pretty high; but these faculties
aren’t getting me any closer to the sky,
but my heart of faith keeps poundin’ so
I know I’m doin’ fine but sometimes findin
you is just like tryin to smell the color nine.
Smell the color nine…

Now I’ve never felt the presence,
But I know You’re always near,
And I’ve never heard the calling,
But somehow You’ve led me right here,
So I’m not lookin’ for burnin’ bushes,
Or some Divine graffiti to appear,
I’m just beggin You for Your wisdom,
And I believe You’re puttin’ some here…


(ah’s and do’s)

Chorus (repeat)

Nine’s not a color…
and if even if it were you can’t smell a color,no
that’s my point exactly.

do do do do do do do (repeat)

I LOVE them. Right now the power is out at my house, and it’s so excitingly delicious and full of adventure!

“and then she understood the devilish cunning of the enemy’s plan. By mixing a little truth with it they had made their lie far stronger”.

C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle

This is what Christians buy into… lies with a bit of truth mixed in so that they are “justifiable”… such as “God wants me to have fun (true), so therefore I can do this immoral thing, and it’s no big deal (lie)”, or “God wants me to take care of my family (true), so therefore it’s OK to have money and not respond to the needs of others in the world (lie)”.

I do it too… (I’m not on a soapbox here), and I hate it. The question: how do we avoid this, while also avoiding legalism and “Pharisee-itis”?

By the way, I had a goldfish who literally lived in a fishbowl. His name was Karl Barth, named after my Dad’s favorite theologian. Karl Barth the fish died last summer, which was a sad day (well actually it was more like a sad 3 and a half minutes). My blog title is more figurative and analogical rather than literal, in case you haven’t figured that out yet.

it’s called materialism/ consumerism. not quite the same things, however they are usually lumped into one, and that works for the purpose of this thought. materialism is the silent but deadly killer in north america. I really think that it’s the devil’s favorite tool, because practically no one seems to be immune to it, and it is quite the epidemic. pretty much everyone I’ve ever known is affected in some way by this disease, whether it’s to a lesser degree or more. I guess there are a few individuals amidst the crowd who have somehow found a way to subvert it, but as a whole, our society is completely inundated with it. I know I am among the majority in this department, although it’s something I despise about myself.

I try really hard (although not hard enough, I admit) to resist the temptation to be materialistic, to want stuff, and to fool myself into thinking that the stuff will make me happier. I often feel like I have the devil on one shoulder, and Jesus on the other, trying to convince me to buy/not buy that one clothing item/bag/food/home decorating thing/CD/movie… etc. It’s a serious tug-of-war!

my main problem is just that I really don’t know where to “draw the line”. what is an acceptable indulgence on myself when there are children all over the world dying from hunger? how do I reconcile the ridiculous things I spend my money on, when there are so many in so much need? I’m not talking about ridiculous spending on things that our society would consider lavish, but just the average young person’s spendings. For example, going to the movie theatre last Saturday cost Chris and I like $20. We saw a movie, it was entertaining, (not all of it glorified God, but that’s a whole other question…) but it was not necessary by any stretch. I guess my basic question is this… was that ok? or should I have saved that money and gave it to the poor, quite literally? and how does this line get drawn exactly?

I got back from Tanzania a week ago, and already it seems sort of surreal. It’s like Africa and North America are in completely different universes, and the problem is deciding which one to spend the rest of my life in. “How was your trip?” is the question I get asked like 8 times a day. And how do I answer? Well, it depends on whether the person wants the 30 second answer, the 5 minute answer, or the whole answer. It was a great trip, of course. Not to say that everything about it was great, but as a whole, I loved it. I love Africa, it’s definately in my blood. I want to go back as soon as I can, hopefully for longer. Career missions is something that we feel that God is leading us to, and something that was confirmed alot on this trip.

I think everyone should go to Africa, or at least to a third-world country somewhere. It’s not something that can easily be put into words, but it is definately life-changing. Through all of my short-term missions experience (Quebec, New Jersey, Bolivia, Uganda, Tanzania), I have grown spiritually in huge ways. I gained a deep appreciation for the incredible joy that comes from having less stuff and more reliance on the Lord. I saw children who have nothing, but yet are so happy just because I waved to them. I have seen true need, and compared that to my own life where I don’t really have any true needs that aren’t being met. A need and a want are distinguished differently in my mind now. Social justice and the Bible’s calls to action by the Christian are blazing reminders of my need to step up and do more. The people I have met on these trips (especially the overseas ones) have really taught me about the value of a hard day’s work, and how to work and serve with an attitude of joy and gladness. I have been blessed so much by the people I met, and I just pray that they were able to see Christ in me as well.

I'm Red, he's Honey. I'm the writer of this blog and the source of your entertainment and/or boredom. We're parents of an exceptionally adorable child, and we have no idea what we're doing! This blog is the outlet for my thoughts along the way - welcome! Pull up a couch, grab a cup of tea, and stay a while! Or back away slowly. Whatever works.

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June 2006