Friday, February 12, 2010

Ant versus Grasshopper



Two Different Versions...................

Two Different Morals



The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his
house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays
the summer away..

Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed.

The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.
MORAL OF THE STORY: Be responsible for yourself!



The ant works hard in the withering heat and the rain all summer long,
building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays
the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and
demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed
while he is cold and starving.

CBS, NBC , PBS, CNN, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the
shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home
with a table filled with food.

America is stunned by the sharp contrast.

How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper
is allowed to suffer so?

Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper and everybody
cries when they sing, 'It's Not Easy Being Green.'

ACORN stages a demonstration in front of the ant's house where the news
stations film the group singing, We shall overcome Then Rev. Jeremiah
Wright has the group kneel down to pray to God for the grasshopper's

President Obama condemns the ant and blames President Bush, President
Reagan, Christopher Columbus, and the Pope for the grasshopper's plight.

Nancy Pelosi & Harry Reid exclaim in an interview with Larry King that
the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and both call
for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his fair share.

Finally, the EEOC drafts the Economic Equity & Anti-Grasshopper Act
retroactive to the beginning of the summer.

The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green
bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is
confiscated by the Government Green Czar and given to the grasshopper.

The story ends as we see the grasshopper and his free-loading friends
finishing up the last bits of the ants food while the government house
he is in, which, as you recall, just happens to be the ant's old house,
crumbles around them because the grasshopper doesn't maintain it.

The ant has disappeared in the snow, never to be seen again.

The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident, and the house,
now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the
ramshackle, once prosperous and once peaceful, neighborhood..

The entire Nation collapses bringing the rest of the free world with it.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Be careful how you vote in 2010.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Honest Feminism and Tebow

Tebow's Super Bowl ad isn't intolerant; its critics are

Tim Tebow's 30-second Super Bowl ad has already provoked plenty of criticism.

By Sally Jenkins

Washington Post Staff Writer

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I'll spit this out quick, before the armies of feminism try to gag me and strap electrodes to my forehead: Tim Tebow is one of the better things to happen to young women in some time. I realize this stance won't endear me to the "Dwindling Organizations of Ladies in Lockstep," otherwise known as DOLL, but I'll try to pick up the shards of my shattered feminist credentials and go on.

As statements at Super Bowls go, I prefer the idea of Tebow's pro-life ad to, say, Jim McMahon dropping his pants, as the former Chicago Bears quarterback once did in response to a question. We're always harping on athletes to be more responsible and engaged in the issues of their day, and less concerned with just cashing checks. It therefore seems more than a little hypocritical to insist on it only if it means criticizing sneaker companies, and to stifle them when they take a stance that might make us uncomfortable.

I'm pro-choice, and Tebow clearly is not. But based on what I've heard in the past week, I'll take his side against the group-think, elitism and condescension of the "National Organization of Fewer and Fewer Women All The Time." For one thing, Tebow seems smarter than they do.

Tebow's 30-second ad hasn't even run yet, but it already has provoked "The National Organization for Women Who Only Think Like Us" to reveal something important about themselves: They aren't actually "pro-choice" so much as they are pro-abortion. Pam Tebow has a genuine pro-choice story to tell. She got pregnant in 1987, post-Roe v. Wade, and while on a Christian mission in the Philippines, she contracted a tropical ailment. Doctors advised her the pregnancy could be dangerous, but she exercised her freedom of choice and now, 20-some years later, the outcome of that choice is her beauteous Heisman Trophy winner son, a chaste, proselytizing evangelical.

Pam Tebow and her son feel good enough about that choice to want to tell people about it. Only, NOW says they shouldn't be allowed to. Apparently NOW feels this commercial is an inappropriate message for America to see for 30 seconds, but women in bikinis selling beer is the right one. I would like to meet the genius at NOW who made that decision. On second thought, no, I wouldn't.


There's not enough space in the sports pages for the serious weighing of values that constitutes this debate, but surely everyone in both camps, pro-choice or pro-life, wishes the "need" for abortions wasn't so great. Which is precisely why NOW is so wrong to take aim at Tebow's ad.

Here's what we do need a lot more of: Tebows. Collegians who are selfless enough to choose not to spend summers poolside, but travel to impoverished countries to dispense medical care to children, as Tebow has every summer of his career. Athletes who believe in something other than themselves, and are willing to put their backbone where their mouth is. Celebrities who are self-possessed and self-controlled enough to use their wattage to advertise commitment over decadence.

You know what we really need more of? Famous guys who aren't embarrassed to practice sexual restraint, and to say it out loud. If we had more of those, women might have fewer abortions. See, the best way to deal with unwanted pregnancy is to not get the sperm in the egg and the egg implanted to begin with, and that is an issue for men, too -- and they should step up to that.

"Are you saving yourself for marriage?" Tebow was asked last summer during an SEC media day.

"Yes, I am," he replied.

The room fell into a hush, followed by tittering: The best college football player in the country had just announced he was a virgin. As Tebow gauged the reaction from the reporters in the room, he burst out laughing. They were a lot more embarrassed than he was.

"I think y'all are stunned right now!" he said. "You can't even ask a question!"

That's how far we've come from any kind of sane viewpoint about star athletes and sex. Promiscuity is so the norm that if a stud isn't shagging everything in sight, we feel faintly ashamed for him.

Obviously Tebow can make people uncomfortable, whether it's for advertising his chastity, or for wearing his faith on his face via biblical citations painted in his eye-black. Hebrews 12:12, his cheekbones read during the Florida State game: "Therefore strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees." His critics find this intrusive, and say the Super Bowl is no place for an argument of this nature. "Pull the ad," NOW President Terry O'Neill said. "Let's focus on the game."

Trouble is, you can't focus on the game without focusing on the individuals who play it -- and that is the genius of Tebow's ad. The Super Bowl is not some reality-free escape zone. Tebow himself is an inescapable fact: Abortion doesn't just involve serious issues of life, but of potential lives, Heisman trophy winners, scientists, doctors, artists, inventors, Little Leaguers -- who would never come to be if their birth mothers had not wrestled with the stakes and chosen to carry those lives to term. And their stories are every bit as real and valid as the stories preferred by NOW.

Let me be clear again: I couldn't disagree with Tebow more. It's my own belief that the state has no business putting its hand under skirts. But I don't care that we differ. Some people will care that the ad is paid for by Focus on the Family, a group whose former spokesman, James Dobson, says loathsome things about gays. Some will care that Tebow is a creationist. Some will care that CBS has rejected a gay dating service ad. None of this is the point. CBS owns its broadcast and can run whatever advertising it wants, and Tebow has a right to express his beliefs publicly. Just as I have the right to reject or accept them after listening -- or think a little more deeply about the issues. If the pro-choice stance is so precarious that a story about someone who chose to carry a risky pregnancy to term undermines it, then CBS is not the problem.

Tebow's ad, by the way, never mentions abortion; like the player himself, it's apparently soft-spoken. It simply has the theme "Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life." This is what NOW has labeled "extraordinarily offensive and demeaning." But if there is any demeaning here, it's coming from NOW, via the suggestion that these aren't real questions, and that we as a Super Bowl audience are too stupid or too disinterested to handle them on game day.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Fiery Love

"The actress Katharine Hepburn had little patience for actors who surrendered to 'the tortuous inspection of the Method,' Time says. 'You do what the script tells you,' she said. 'Deliver the goods without comment. Live it--do it--or shut up. After all, the writer is what's important.'

That goes for us Christians. There IS a script. If there wasn't, then we'd have to muddle through on our own, hoping by introspection and experiment to come up with something that might work. God hasn't left us to that method. He knew what we'd get into by sinning, and has made provision for us. Let's live it--do it--or shut up and quit pretending to follow Christ....

There is a common assumption today that whatever we are and wherever we are is somehow fixed and inevitable, while it is the Ancient Word that must be bent. For example, a woman cheats a university by plagiarizing and is refused a diploma. She decides she has a right to the university's credentials even though she happens to be a cheater, so she sues. Another woman chooses abortion. It is fixed and inevitable, in her mind, that what might turn into a baby must be got rid of, never mind the possibility that it's murder..... To be loving, caring, sharing, and daring in the Christian community too often means, for example, to tell [sinning Christians that it's 'ok' and that no one is blaming them].

'Blame'? The question here is who assigns blame? There is an Ancient Word, fixed, settled, which shall stand forever. The present situation is only grass which withers and flowers which fade. WE MUST QUIT BENDING THE WORD TO SUIT OUR SITUATION. IT IS WE WHO MUST BE BENT TO THAT WORD, OUR NECKS THAT MUST BOW UNDER THE YOKE. Love is no pleasing sentiment but a fiery law: THOU SHALT LOVE.... I can imagine it, all right, for I know the sinfulness of my own heart and how much dross is there to be purified by the Refining Fire, how excruciating it is for me to submit to the Word that never permits the least indulgence of self-pity, self-vindication, self-aggrandizement, self-justification, or any other form of the self whatsoever!....

We have laid many traps for ourselves by forgetting how sinful we are and how badly we need the Script. We get into a mess and we declare ourselves bankrupt. Nobody can make any moral claims against us anymore. We are, spiritually speaking, out of business, closed. We're doing our own thing, defying those who judge us, telling them it is always wrong to judge (which is in itself a judgment, but not one based on the Script).

A correspondent told me we should remember we've all broken vows, that [a person who divorced his/her husband/wife] was doing the best he could and that I shouldn't make matters worse by making him feel bad, that I should love and care about him instead of criticizing so harshly. He said divorce was common in Bible times; it's better to separate than to live in hatred; and why don't we all just try to support the good and stop condemning the bad?

My correspondent was muddled. Trying to be humble and sensible and loving, I'm sure, but muddled nevertheless. Let's try to be clear. When sinful people live in the same world, and especially when they work in the same office or sleep in the same bed, they sin against each other. Troubles arise. Some of those troubles are very serious and not subject to easy solutions. God knows all about them, and knew about them long before they happened. He made provision for them. His Son bore all of them--all grief, all sorrow, all disease, all sin--for US. By why on earth (or in Heaven) should he have done that? Why 'should' he? He shouldn't, but he did. BECAUSE OF LOVE. THE LOVE THAT IS STRONGER THAN SIN, STRONGER THAN DEATH.

And here is the profound lesson for us in the midst of our troubles. To rescue us out of them, Christ relinquished his rights. Are we his followers? Then let's take a hard look at what we have a right to expect from others. What do wives rightfully expect from their husbands? Love. 'Husbands, love your wives.' What do husbands rightfully expect from their wives? Submission and respect. 'Wives, be subject to your husbands as to the Lord,' and 'the woman must see to it that she pays her husband all respect' (Ephesians 5:25, 22, 23). What if the husband doesn't do what he's supposed to? What if the wife doesn't? Face up to it--in this world nobody gets what he is reasonably entitled to. There is the world's 'solution' to this problem: fight. There is the Christian's: RELINQUISH. God did not get what he had a right to expect--the love and obedience of the creature he had made. Instead he got rebellion and disobedience. Adam and Eve made a general mess of everything, and we carry on making new messes daily.

We have a Script. 'Let your bearing towards one another arise out of your life in Christ Jesus. For the divine nature was his from the first, yet he did not think to snatch at equality with God but made himself nothing, assuming the nature of a slave' (Philippians 2:5,6). What Christ gave up was not his divine nature (people are always worried about losing their 'personhood'), but the glory that nature entitled him to. He was God by nature and he voluntarily became a slave, so that the Father would give back to him in boundless measure the glory he had given up.

What a Script! What a lesson! Christianity insists always on the RIGHTS OF OTHERS. A Christian lays down his life to obtain them. If he asks, Have I no rights? the answer is 'The servant is not greater than his Lord.'

Selah.... And God help me when the next test comes. It probably won't be more than five minutes from now."

The above excerpt is from Elisabeth Elliot's book "On Asking God Why", a book I heartily recommend! It is chock full of spiritual truths that have really encouraged me and been very honest as well (not something I can say for many "modern" Christian books that speak of little more than health, wealth, and happiness). I hope you got something out of it, as I certainly did. I welcome your comments and thoughts! Even read it again if you want! It's definitely worth your time...

In Christ alone,