Prayer and Sovereignty

I have always struggled with intercessory prayer (praying for others). Because, after all, if God is sovereign, why pray? I blame it on Calvin. I blame it on perfectionism. I blame it on my ability to over-intellectualize everything. I blame it on everything except my foolish pride.

Lately, though, God has been gently showing me how I have strayed, and that, if my theology is keeping me from prayer, my theology is garbage.

That last line was taken from a sermon by Jason Dahlman. It was through a simple illustration in that sermon that I was finally able to come to some reconciliation of God’s sovereignty and intercessory prayer.

The illustration is this:  If we see someone drowning, we do not stand by and watch, saying, “God is sovereign.” No! We yell for help, we call 911, we throw them a line, we jump in the water — we do everything in our power to save them.

Why do we approach prayer differently? I can say as sincerely as I know that I no longer will.

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Posted in about me, Christianity, wisdom | Tagged | 2 Comments

How to Fail Successfully

How to fail successfully, according to Inventor Charles Kettering:

  1. Honestly face defeat; never fake success.
  2. Exploit the failure; don’t waste it. Learn all you can from it.
  3. Never use failure as an excuse for not trying again.

As one who sees no failure as a failure, since I see #2 as so valuable, I can’t quite bring myself to make friends with #1. I wonder if such optimism on my part is actually pride in disguise…

Which of the three is hardest for you?

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Who profits from web domains?

I’ve been trying to figure out who profits from the sale of web domains. Like any resourceful, 21st century American, I googled it.

“who profits from web domains.”

Zero results.

Do you know what you have to type into Google to get ZERO results? Things like “Monica Gill is the wisest, most talented, intelligent woman in the world.” Or 10 letters of gibberish in a row, like omdglewpzl. Or something. Every comprehensible phrase or question typed into Google will yield results.

I tried rephrasing: “who profits from web domain sales”

Nothing.

“who profits from domain sales”

Nothing.

“who profits from the sale of web domains”

Zero results.

Does anyone else think this is really, really strange?

I guess I’m the only one asking this question. Well, I look forward to meeting all my new readers who should now find this post as the only result when they try to figure out what on earth is going on.

In the meantime, that is, before the CIA hauls me away for questioning, I would really like to know why I have to pay $10 every year to retain every domain I “own” and exactly who is cashing the check.

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On collective bargaining and public education

Unless you’re on a media fast, you’ve probably heard about the proposed budget by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. I proudly voted for Governor Walker and volunteered for his campaign on a regular basis. His proposed solution to begin digging Wisconsin out of debt is the fulfillment of a campaign promise, and it is exactly what I voted for.

So much can be said about this topic — about the Democrat senators hiding in Illinois, the protests, the prank phone call from “David Koch” — but what seems to confuse so many people is why Walker’s budget proposes to take away public educators’ “right” (actually, I’ve seen it referred to as a “human right”) to collective bargaining. For the purposes of this post, I will not even begin to address the warped idea of human rights that is crippling our nation. Instead, I would rather talk about how the systems and unions surrounding our public education stand in the way of education itself (well, proficiency really). In fact, I would rather let someone else do the talking because I don’t think I could say it any better than this:

http://www.timnerenz.com/2011/02/proficiency.html

I would also like to talk about how education interferes with the intellectual development of our children, but that topic is for another day. Now, I’m going to go read John Holt.

“Next to the right to life itself, the most fundamental of all human rights is the right to control our own minds and thoughts. That means, the right to decide for ourselves how we will explore the world around us, think about our own and other persons’ experiences, and find and make the meaning of our own lives. Whoever takes that right away from us, as the educators do, attacks the very center of our being and does us a most profound and lasting injury.”

Excerpt from Instead of Education

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The common denominator

If every stranger you encounter is rude…

If you constantly receive awful customer service…

If all of your boyfriends were psycho…

If drama follows you everywhere…

If disaster is always at your door…

…it might be time to look in the mirror and consider the common denominator.

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The latest

Hello, all three of you readers out there! (Actually, I think there might be as many as nine or ten of you!)

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately. :::Wonders how many posts will begin like this.::: The more I think, the less I write, but the more I have to say. I think I am losing my sense of grammar and proper punctuation which is very sad and unhelpful to my cause. Writing is not as much fun when you can’t think of whether a comma or a dash is better, or whether or not you can get away with using passive voice (or is it “a passive voice”?). <–And what about that little quadruple-punctuation beauty? Is that right? It feels more right than including the question mark within the quotation marks because I wasn’t quoting a question, and I always go with what feels right when it comes to these things. I’m not a grammarian because I’ve memorized ever rule, but because I happen to instinctively know how to use words and punctuation. Which brings me to my next point…

I have realized myself to be an INFJ, rather than an INTP/J (I have been borderline F/T and J/P for a long time). I don’t know why I didn’t realize this before. I think my new church has allowed me to see it, giving me opportunity to fully serve in my best ways to my fullest capacity. It is a freedom I have never before known. More on that later.

Anyway, I have been working on writing a very abridged version of my story; where I’ve been and how I have grown. When it is complete, I will share it with you here in a series of posts.

And you know what else? I have been BUSY! Like, busy out doing things. Socializing and stuff. Not normal for me. I kind of feel like I need a day off. Too much extroversion. It’s time for some serious regrouping.

More later.

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Fear and self-esteem

Is it possible that self esteem is not our problem? That we fail to do things or fail to try or fail to go out on a limb, not because we don’t believe in ourselves enough, but because we are afraid of rejection? Because we are afraid of what people will think of us if we fail? Because we love ourselves so much that we don’t ever want to appear to have been unsuccessful? Because we are afraid to be honest with ourselves? Because we’re afraid that if we discover our limitations we’ll realize that we’re really not as marvelous as our high levels of self-esteem tell us?

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My philosophy on shopping

Chic women never shop to fill a void. They buy only pieces they love.

– Jennifer Alfano, Harper’s Bazaar

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What I’m afraid of (the blogging version)

Nothing!

Well… I mean… lots of things.

I’m afraid of being shackled to something without an expiration date. I’m afraid this will suck me in and I’ll be spending my evenings writing late into the night. I’m afraid to write about things that really matter because what is said about things that really matter REALLY MATTERS. I’m afraid I won’t have time for the things that really matter in my own life. I’m afraid of returning to the land of Narcissism. I’m afraid of balance. I’m afraid that this thing will get too big too fast and I’ll have to deal with figuring out how to deal with it on my own. I’m afraid that one day a reader will meet me and think, “Wow. She’s kind of a mess,” because they will be RIGHT!

But otherwise, nothing.

So I’m blogging. I’m still afraid, but I’m blogging.

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The problem with being a person of your word

The problem with letting “your yes be yes and your no be no” is that one day you’ll forget that you said “yes” to something. Something very small perhaps, but something. It will slip your mind or you just won’t think it was the big deal that everyone else did. And when it starts to get late, everyone will be like, “She’ll come. She said she would.” And when you don’t come, they call everyone you know plus the National Guard because you have obviously been kidnapped.

Maybe we should all just stick with “maybe.”

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