Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Who is John Galt?

Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.
~Ronald Reagan

Somewhere between gardening, fragments of homeschooling, and exhaustion, my mind has been occupied with Atlas Shrugged, a novel that reads like a premonition of today's political policies and social climate. I am just over half way through the over thousand paged book, but I am so moved by it that I cannot withhold my thoughts. It both fascinates and frightens me. I am almost afraid to finish it, because it can only end one of two ways. One would leave me unsatisfied and disturbed. The other...? well, I suppose it would do the same. The hope it might provide would be false, for it is a novel, and I would still be relating it to real life that may not be saved by the cunning of a secret alliance.

Still, as I have been reading the book, I have been facing my own fears of the future; of the lost of liberty and personal rights; of people blurring the definition of freedom to choose with personal rights, and fairness with entitlement; of the trend to demonize the rich and favoring redistribution of wealth; of the government strangling businesses so that it must subsidize them, possibly just take them over for "the good of the people."

Somewhere along my life's journey I recognized that one of the most terrible weapons evil has to use against the righteous is not fear nor even our selfish nature, but our own morality, our choosing to act against our fear and selfish nature, our willingness to sacrifice ourselves to make things our own eyes if not in God's. This book has no religious basis, and yet as I read through it, I find myself thinking that our salvation will not be a worldly one, but a spiritual one, a real one, not fiction.

This book reminds me that there could be a higher purpose--than even this book will suggest--in the allowing of the world to fail completely. When I see decisions made today chipping away our future rather than securing it, as some may be deceived to believe, I am amazed that people do not see the obvious outcome. There is no logic, only what one feels makes something right or wrong. How many more laws do we really need to define common sense, thus defy it? These are some of the philosophies explored in this book.

I watched the movie, Atlas Shrugged Part I, recently and I could not wait for Part 2, which is scheduled to be released this fall. The first movie highlighted key events and elements staying true to the heart of the book altering some things and leaving out some nuances that enriched the story, as expected with the translation from book to big screen. I am disappointed when I discovered the cast for all the characters will be completely different for Part 2. I felt that each actor fit so well with the character. I did like how they modernized the movie version with items that were not yet invented in 1957 when the book was published--things like cell phones.

I wish the book was required reading in high schools across the world, so that everyone could answer this one question: "Who is John Galt?"

~ My Lord, thank you for using this book to help me to understand the need for the world to end horribly as it must for us to be freed completely of evil and that the reward will be worth it. ~

Friday, May 18, 2012

Oh, Where Can She Be?

Change is inevitable - except from a vending machine. ~Robert C. Gallagher

I wish I could say that I am purposely hiding away...more than that I wish I could say that I have been on a wonderful, relaxing vacation. I have been just away from my little corner of the Internet more because I have been doing so much more in my little corner of the real world. Blogging is sometimes an indulgence and other times just one more chore. I have so much to share, so much has changed, there is so much to write and yet...there will be time, there must be, to blog.

My daughter had a birthday! She is now a fairly responsible eleven year old, therefore now also the proud owner of an older laptop computer...and when I write older laptop computer, I mean hers is exactly like mine (and I desperately would like a newer one, but my husband insists it will be a Mac so that is not happening anytime soon). Some years ago, probably five or six now, my husband took advantage of a typo in a sales advertisement and bought three brand new laptops at great price: one for his father, one for himself, and one for me.

I used mine the most and fried it a few years ago; it worked but with crippled RAM. We were given my father-in-law's back when he passed away, so that I could have a good working one again. My husband recently acquired a iPad2 so he decided to give his old laptop to the Princess. We now have an even older desktop computer, which she was using but we do not need--besides she maxed out the hard drive with all the pictures she takes on her digital camera. The laptop has more storage space and we have an external hard drive on our wireless network, so she is going to be learning about how to manage computer files and delete pictures that are not good ones.

Her first agenda was quite important! She just had to pick out her wallpaper scene. She now has several pictures of horses from which to choose. My first agenda was as important to her but not as glamorous. I needed to load a browser and email program. She does quite a bit of emailing...far more than I do! Since this gift has been given, when I cannot find the Princess, she is in her little nook with her laptop--or a book as she still reads a lot!

I have to say that timing of the laptop was perfect, as all things are when God is guiding us. I felt I could use a change, even a break with homeschooling, but not take the entire summer off because with our schedule that is not practical. However, I like to do things differently during the summer so I was looking over some deals through the Homeschool Buyers Co-op and found three online programs that I felt would be very good. I still like learning from books, but these would be a great way for me to have a break and for the Princess to take some personal responsibility for learning on her own also. I am excited and a bit apprehensive to see how it will work.

One is a grammar program called Grammarlogues that is a lifetime kind of thing and seems to be quite comprehensive. Words and Their Stories came with a bargain price for one teacher and one student for the co-op buy for a one year subscription. The one the Princess is most excited about is My Access! were she will write about a subject given and her grammar will be marked for correction; she can do several drafts and then when it is rated proficient she can publish her work as if she is a journalist of a newspaper and send it out to friends. This appeals to her far more than the others and I like that it takes the focus off of me trying to get her to correct her mistakes. She might respond better to another source of mistake finding.

I also decided that I am starting to get lost with her Latin and Greek so I am taking the lessons along with her. Sometimes she quizzes me with the flash cards and even though I know most of the words, I really do need to learn a few and all the endings of the verbs and nouns too. I thought she could use a bit of competition and these subjects are the ones I do not know myself, so we both are truly learning. She is now checking my papers and I check hers. It seems to have added some excitement to these subjects for both of us.

I have not devised our summer schedule yet but I shall be soon because I need time to work in the gardens and to clear the woodsy area in the back yard. Plus our house needs some major work and my husband and I are considering doing some of it ourselves, especially since receiving estimates on how much it would cost to have the entire thing done by someone else.

These are just a few of the things happening behind the screen to explain why I am not blogging as much as as I used to do. I just have so much to do!

~ My Lord, the ability to change and adapt is one of the greatest strengths in human beings. Help me to enjoy each of these seasons in my life as I live them and accept the change of them well. ~

Friday, May 4, 2012

Book Review: The Essential Guide to Healing

Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
~Excerpt from the Lord's Prayer

Healing seems to be the one thing for which everyone has prayed whether to benefit other people and themselves. As Christians, we believe God heals. He can heal, but the question that lingers is will He heal? The authors of The Essential Guide to Healing: Equipping All Christians to Pray for the Sick--may God bless them--have changed my perspective on this part of the prayer Jesus taught to his disciples. He prayed God's will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. I have always thought that was kind of saying that God's will is not done on earth as it is in heaven but we wish it were. I did not think about the scope of this simple yet awe-striking concept, until I read this book and now I will never perceive those words the same as I did before. We shall see God's will being done on earth (just as it is in heaven) when we live as if we are in the kingdom--as Jesus did--and believers are living in the kingdom, but Christianity has become a religion of "unbelieving believers" who do not recognize this.

Jesus said the Kingdom was at hand (here right now)...and He healed people here on earth because it is God's will. These are a few excerpts from the book:

"Healing was a major part of Jesus' ministry. There is no cancer in heaven. Neither is there any blindness or deafness or any other malady in that realm. Freedom from disease is God's will on earth. Period. God has not commanded us to pray for healing in order to frustrate us."

"Remember, healing is not just something God does. It is who He is. His name is Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals. (Exodus 15:26)"

"While it can truthfully be said that Jesus did not heal everyone alive in His day, it must also be noted that He healed everyone who came to Him. No exceptions. The measure of faith people expressed varied..."

The book tells a bit about the history of the church and about how it has come about that Christians today succumb to liberalism, not believing in anything supernatural ever happen whether as recorded in the Bible or today, and cessationism, believing that the gifts of healing and other works of miracles no longer exist in the sense of someone having these gifts or that such gifts were given to the apostles only. This book address these concerns as well as other misconceptions that most "unbelieving believers" have.

I cannot fully express how thankful I am to to have had the opportunity to read and review this book. I wish to thank Bill Johnson and Randy Clark for co-authoring this book, each giving his unique perspective within individually written chapters. It truly has been one that spoke to my soul and spirit. I was not raised in a charismatic church, yet having been sensitive to other people's pains for years now (in answer to a spiritual fast seeking to surrender to and receive guidance from the Lord), being given knowledge about things I could not possibly have guessed, and having prayed for healing with some healed, I am now more confident in these words of knowledge and healing prayers just knowing that others, like the authors, experience exactly the same things. This is not a book just for those who believe in healing, but it is a book I highly recommend for people who desire to be in a healing ministry, sensing guidance and the workings of the Holy Spirit. If I could, I would give this book to every member of my church...and every church!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Bethany House Publishers book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

~ Thank you, my Lord, for placing this books into my hands and into my heart. Thank you for providing the answers I sought and I thank you in advance for those answers You have given that I have not yet recognized. ~