Monday, July 30, 2007

Bring Back the Miracles

Lately I’ve been reading the Gospels of the New Testament, and as always I’m intrigued by the many “miraculous signs and wonders” Jesus performed during His ministry on Earth. He turned water into wine, calmed a raging sea, walked on water, and fed thousands of people with only a few loaves and fishes, not to mention the everyday activity of healing the sick and disabled. Jesus’ miracles were a highly effective tool for convincing the people of the day that He truly was the Christ. Even after Jesus was crucified, the Disciples went right on healing people in His name.

All that’s fine and good, but here’s what bugs me about the whole thing: Why, when the world is so sick and lost, when there are so many “idols” to turn to in place of God and people seek Him less than ever before, did the miracles stop?

I guess there’s always the possibility that those stories you see about the statues of Christ that cry blood aren’t hoaxes, and maybe Benny Hinn really can heal people. And who knows – maybe it really was God who burned the image of the Virgin Mary onto that lady in Florida’s grilled cheese sandwich.

But I just can’t buy it. I don’t think God would allow people to profit financially from His miracles, which seems to be standard practice in these kinds of cases. And honestly, I just don’t think God is that lame and cheesy.

And even if Jesus came back today and started performing the same miracles He did before, I doubt that would work either. We’d write Him off as a skilled illusionist, or Science would devise a method to explain it all away. Today’s society is way too jaded to take anything at face value, and much too “intelligent” to accept anything on faith.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot, and I’ve decided that God didn’t retire from the miracle business at all; He just changed his tactics.

A friend of mine turned her back on God and was in such a deep pit of depression and despair, it seemed that she’d never make it out. No one could get through to her, and no one could help her. No pills could stop the hurt. Her life crumbled around her, and she and those who loved her were powerless to stop it. I feared she would give up. But one day, she suddenly woke up with the strength and determination to not only keep going, but to change things for the better, fight to regain what she’d lost, and to make a difference with her life. To me, that was a miracle.

And I know that countless others could tell similar stories - women who suddenly find themselves pregnant though the doctors said it was hopeless; marriages that overcome infidelity and separation to blossom; drug addicts who beat the odds and kick their habits; newborn babies initially given weeks to live who grow up to see adulthood; “prodigal sons” who come home to their parents– the list could go on and on.

We’ve got technology and modern medicine to meet our every physical need, but I bet all of us have prayed for an emotional, spiritual, or personal miracle at one time or another. And I think God is ready and waiting to deliver.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Back from Vacation

I have been all over the place these past 2 weeks, so I thought I’d fill you in on what I’ve been up to:

I started off my travels with a business trip to fabulous Wausau, Wisconsin where I spent 3 days “scrubbing” data for a new software implementation. And yes, it’s as fun as it sounds. The most interesting part of the trip was traveling through the tiny Central Wisconsin Airport. It had 1 terminal and 6 gates, and there was only 1 parking lot for the whole place, including the rental cars. I have found that the size of the airport and the thoroughness of its security are inversely proportional, and CWA was no exception. Trust me – no terrorists are ever going to get through there.

I landed back in Charlotte at 10:00 on Friday night, got home around Midnight, packed up, and left for Kiawah Island at 9:00 on Saturday morning. On the way down we went to the Charleston Museum, which turned out to be one of the best ones I’ve ever visited. Charleston culture greatly values history, (especially its own), and that made the museum very unique. Most of the items were donated by the original families that owned them, so almost every display had some sort of personal story attached to it. The highlight was a special exhibit they had on dyes. They had these fabulous vintage designer clothes, shoes, and handbags on display, all arranged by color. As I was salivating over the clothes and pondering the feasibility of stealing a gorgeous pair of 1940’s peep-toe wedges, my husband (the Chemistry teacher) enjoyed reading about how different color dyes were created and how the technology has advanced over the years. It was a win for both of us!

The time spent on Kiawah was great too. One of the highlights was a bike ride out to Rhett’s Bluff, where we sat on the dock and watched dolphins swim down the channel as the sun set in the background. It was such an amazing scene, if you saw it in a painting you’d think it was too beautiful to be real.

Oddly enough, we only saw 1 deer, and we didn’t see a single alligator. It’s a sign of the times – the luxury houses are moving in and the wildlife is heading out in search of a less crowded island. Fortunately the ocean is still teeming with critters. One of our favorite things to do is swim out past the breakers and see what kind of animals my husband can dive down and find on the ocean floor. This year, along with the usual live sand dollars, hermit crabs, and conchs, he came up with a horseshoe crab the size of a dinner plate! The crab was not particularly thrilled about being rousted from his hiding place, and he did his best to make my husband pay for disturbing him. But when we were done examining him we buried him back in the exact same spot, so he was none the worse for the wear.

I did have to take one morning to check in with work. We went to a new shopping complex just off the island and I headed to a coffee shop with wi-fi while the others browsed the shops. The place was filled with other vacationing businesspeople, and we all commandeered tables for ourselves where we could spread out our laptops and briefcases. I had to laugh, because for me it felt like I was in that segment from Sesame Street, “Which One of These Is Not Like the Other.” They were all white males in their late 30’s and 40’s wearing preppy khaki shorts and polo shirts, and I was sitting there with my pigtails, flip flops, and bright green laptop case. I’m sure I didn’t look nearly as important as them. Oh well!

On the way back from Kiawah, stopped at Magnolia Plantation. It was very beautiful, but boy was it HOT! The tour guide said it was 90 degrees in the shade and well over 100 in the sun, and the humidity must have been at least 80%. I have never sweated so much in my life! We really enjoyed it, but we decided we’d go back in the Spring when more flowers were blooming and we weren’t in as much danger of collapsing from heat exhaustion.

So that was my trip. I had a lot of fun, but it’s also good to be back home, sleeping in my own bed and loving on my animals. I should be back into the swing of things and blogging regularly again soon!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Hi There! Sorry for being absent lately. I had to travel for work again, and now I am taking a much needed vacation. Regular blogging will resume next week.

In the meantime, feel free to head over to Purple Women and friends and check out my latest post, Against All Logic. Hopefully you'll enjoy it.

Hope you're having a great week!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

God Bless America

I am not a person who gets mushy or sentimental very frequently, but there are a few things in this world that can make me get all sappy. Patriotic activities are one of them.

I can’t help but well up every time I say the Pledge of Allegiance or sing the National Anthem. Soldiers in uniform presenting the Colors get to me too, and I can barely stand to watch those Holiday messages they show on the news of soldiers overseas saying hello to their families. If I hear Taps, I’m done for. I really do love America.

This is one of my favorite waterfalls. I can come here any time I want and stay as long as I want. I don’t have to spend every waking moment trying to earn money to sustain myself, and I don’t have to worry that my home and family will be in danger if I’m not there to protect them. While I’m at the falls, I don’t have to worry about being attacked by terrorists, and I know that when I’m ready to leave, no one will have put a bomb in my car. True, there is a chance that all these things could happen. But it’s just possible – not probable.

America is an amazing country, and the freedoms we have here should not be taken for granted. And I’m most grateful for the freedom to pursue my relationship with Jesus Christ, who provides the greatest source of liberty.

Jesus said, "If you stick with this, living out what I tell you, you are my disciples for sure. Then you will experience for yourselves the truth, and the truth will free you." (John 8:32)

Because I am free in Christ, I can wholeheartedly enjoy being free as an American. What an awesome reason to celebrate today!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Purple Women and Friends

Exciting news on the blog front - in addition to End of the Tunnel, I will now be a regular contributor over at the Purple Women and Friends blog!

Purple Women is an organization that provides support and resources for women (and I guess men too) who have chosen not to have children. From now on, I will be using this forum to discuss my thoughts on being a Childfree Christian. This is an awesome opportunity to talk about the Lord to a new group of people, and I am very excited about it!

A short bio and my first post are already up on the Purple Women and Friends blog. You might recognize the post as a re-vamp of an earlier one from End of the Tunnel, but future contributions will be all new. If you're interested in childfree issues, I encourage you to check it out!