Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Another Day at School: In Which Hailey Meets a Sociopath

If you want to find a way to get your girl to kiss you; be the big, strong protective guy in the relationship. I remember back during the Northridge earthquake, a huge mirror fell towards us while in bed; and I shielded my wife from its impact. Kisses and appreciation were the happy result of normal protective behavior.

As we’re walking out to the car, Hailey’s mom* says, “Hailey got hit by a rock today.”
To which I replied, “WHAT?!?”
Then her mom* said that some sociopath boy hit Hailey on the head with a rock. The boy is alternately called a sociopath and a psychopath by her mom. (I’m really am not sure at that point what the difference is. I looked it up later. A psychopath is a mean sociopath.) Not a huge rock, mind you. Maybe about as big as your fist. This would hurt your head even if said rock had not been hurled by a sociopath (psychopath?).

In this instance, Hailey’s mom and I were discussing the incident and what course we as parents should take. She said that she had the boy in her Special Ed class, and he was a sociopath, and we should talk to the Principal. I said, “How about if I just kick his ass?” Immediately, Hailey stood on tiptoe and planted a kiss right on my lips.

*My neighbor advises me that the correct title is "Hailey's mom" rather than, "My ex-wife," or, "My ex-wife -with added commentary." He says this helps shield the child from vindictiveness, or comments made to slight the other spouse. Rolls eyes.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Audience Participation: Favorite Reads

Why is it that we love lists? Best movies, best Roadfood, worst dressed, 10 best places to visit, best list of Best Lists, and on and on it goes. Today I came across this list of Desiring God's favorite books for 2007. Fun stuff. Go ahead and list your favorite reads-for last year, or for your lifetime-in the comments section.

I'll start. It is hard to narrow a list down to my favorite books. Here is a short list. I may update it as they come to me.
Lord of the Rings-J.R.R. Tolkien

The Count of Monte Cristo-Alexandre Dumas. A great book (and decent movie) dealing with providence, revenge, and grace.

Winston Spencer Churchill: The Last Lion Alone-William Manchester. If we don't understand history, we are doomed to repeat the same mistakes.

Phantom Tollbooth-Norton Juster. Best 'children's' book evah.

Wild at Heart-John Eldredge. This booked rocked my world and is a continuing inspiration and influence.

Desiring God-John Piper. I consider Piper my second pastor. His theology of Christian hedonism has changed the way I view God, life, and God's desire for our lives.

That's my short list. I look forward to reading yours.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Jumping on the Bandwagon

This is one thing about us Christians that really irks me. The “He’s got a FISH on his business card so I’ll do business with him” mentality. In big news lately, it’s the WWJVF mentality (Who Would Jesus Vote For?). If you follow politics at all, you know that Huckabee won in Iowa, with Mitt Romney taking a close second. Furthermore, most polling data seems to indicate that it was the evangelical vote that sunk Romney and pushed Huckabee into the lead. I’m thinking that’s a very scary thing.

I believe it was Martin Luther who said that it’s better to elect a “wise Turk” rather than a stupid Christian. His point, obviously, was that just because the Window Cleaning Dude has a fish on his business card doesn’t mean that a) he’s a better window washer and b) doesn’t mean that he’s any wiser. The same goes for voting for Huckabee. Yes the guy is a pastor/preacher. Yes, he seems to hold to a biblical framework. At least he talks a good talk. But you have to look at the walkin, not just the talkin.

The guys smarmy. For example, he says he’s not going to run an anti-Mitt ad, because it attacks the other candidate. But then he shows the ad he’s not going to run to newsmen. He makes (cough, cough) mistakes in having the ad pulled, and it (apparently) runs in Iowa anyway. His words say one thing, his actions say another.

Seemingly, he isn’t a “wise Turk” either. Especially when it comes to dealing with ‘radical Muslims': “We must first destroy existing terrorist groups and then attack the underlying conditions that breed them: the lack of basic sanitation, health care, education, jobs, a free press, fair courts — which all translates into a lack of opportunity and hope.”

Don’t assume that just because he believes that there was a literal Adam and Eve that he’s the right guy for the job. The angel in the garden talked a good talk too-and ended up being a snake in the grass.

For further reading, you may also want to check out this article by Slublog