Coloratura Christian

I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. (Psalm 34:4-5)

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

My Hope For Christmas

It seems that despite all the Christmas talk about the Saviour coming into the world, I can subtly slip into viewing God wrongly. Sometimes, without even realizing it, I act as if the cross were fairly impotent, as if I was weighed down by the bondage of sin, and as if God were far from me or withholding good things from me.

I often feel the tension between being freed from sin, and yet still prone to it. The difficulty of living as part of the new creation, and yet in this sinful decaying body.

I know my tendency can be to become too focused on my sin. My pastor preached an excellent sermon the other week on John 17:20-26. He spoke of the character of the Father and that He would love us so much that he sent His very own Son to die, and how the victorious Christ even now prays for us.

Even in light of this, we sometimes tend to walk around defeated as if there were no victory in Christ. My pastor said something to the affect of, "Some Christians have a morbid fascination with their own sin."

This stuck me painfully as I saw my own error, but with that pain, incredible joy as I was reoriented to the wonderful truth of the gospel.

This morning I read Zephaniah 3:14-17.
Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter The LORD has taken away the judgments against you; he has cleared away your enemies. On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: "Fear not, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak. The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

I am amazed that this mighty, awesome God would rejoice and exalt over poor sinners. My hope for this Christmas is that I will be quieted by His love, trusting in the power and sufficiency of the cross, and that I will be able to truly rejoice over the "mighty one" who came to save.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Lessons We Teach

The Home Maker, or as her husband so affectionately calls her, "Mrs. Potato", has written a great post on lessons she is teaching her little boys here.

For those of you who don't know Marlene, she is the ideal, Proverbs 31 type wife and mother. In a day when biblical womanhood is under attack, I am so thankful for her example.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Pride & Prejudice

My husband and I saw the new Pride & Prejudice movie last night. My great expectations were not disappointed. The acting was excellent, the scenic shots breathtaking, and the setting seemed even more accurate than the A&E version.

For example, there was real mud and the filthiness of pigs and chickens around the Bennet home. There was also a marked difference in lifestyle between the Bennet's and the upper crust of society, such as Bingley, Darcy, and the De Bourgh's. The Bennet's clothes were plainer, their home more run down, and there was much less decorum to their lives in general.

My one complaint was that some of my favorite dialogue was either cut or watered down, and I wasn't so keen on how Elizabeth Bennet was portrayed. (I guess that's two complaints.)

With the cuts they made in this new version, there was nothing distinctly Christian about the manners, conversation and lifestyle of the main characters. Everything with a direct reference to God or church was cut out, except for the foolish clergyman, Mr Collins. Also, you often did not know the moral struggles behind Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet's decisions and actions. You were left to believe that they merely acted on their impulses, on whatever their 'gut feeling' was.

In the book (and the A&E mini-series) Elizabeth shows great restraint and maturity in her speech and demeanor, so when she says something passionately you feel it's important. You respect her for the farsightedness of her restraint, especially when it would have been so tempting to blab the juicy news.

You also respect her because she is unmoved by the beauty, power, and riches of society's key players. Who she is and what she believes does not change depending on the company she is with. She is not easily manipulated or intimidated, but always acts according to what she believes to be true and right.

The version of Elizabeth Bennet played by Keira Knightly is more impulsive and almost childishly temperamental. Perhaps the directors wanted us to be able to relate to her more. Admiring someone for her moral virtues is probably not as big of a hit with modern movie goers as is seeing someone who is no more excellent than the average person in strength of character, and who finds perfect happiness anyway.

I suppose, to be fair though, I should say that the creators of this movie did do a very good job of getting across the main thrust of the story in only two hours. Some of the characters were more interesting in this version than in the mini-series, especially Mr. Bingley and Jane. Darcy, Mr. Collins and Lady Catherine De Bourgh were exceptional as well.

One of the funniest parts of the movie was the conversation we heard when we were leaving. One girl smiled and said to her boyfriend, "You made it through." To which another guy piped in, "Try watching the six hour mini-series!" This was followed by a series of grunts by various other men.

Monday, December 05, 2005

A Sleepless Night in Toronto

I'm a little groggy this morning after our neighbors kept us up most of the night with their fighting. We finally called the police at 3:30 and were able to get to sleep around 5 am.

It makes me so sad to see the consequences of sin, namely, that a man would want to abuse and manipulate his wife instead of protect her, and that a woman would want to have control and get her way no matter who she hurts and what the cost. Hearing the dark and malicious words coming through the wall felt very oppressive. I am so thankful that there is hope for this dark and dying world. What a stark contrast last night was to" the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."

I still feel heavy hearted about last night, but I am overwhelmingly thankful for the abundant goodness God has manifested to us, and the glorious truth that sets us free from the bondage and ugliness of sin.

I read this morning from Jesus' words in John 15:9-11,
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

It gave me great pleasure to think about abiding in Christ's love, and the joy we have in Him, and He in us, when we walk according to His commandments.

I am also reminded of the kindness of God displayed to me in my husband, who always protects me and always points me to Christ. I pray that I would never be presumptuous on God's grace by taking for granted my godly husband who has been an intrument of grace in my life.