Thursday, May 27, 2010

Living Out Worship

Question of the Day

How would you live your life differently if you viewed your job as an act of worship?  
("Job" can include volunteer service, parenting, career's, blogging, etc.)  
If we as Christians are to live our lives in constant worship of God, what does our behavior at work say about us?  What does the way we treat our employers, employees, co-workers, clients, customers and ourselves, say about how we are worshiping God with our minds, bodies and souls?  How might we be more intentional about worshiping God in our "at work" words and actions?

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Happy Eliza Doolittle Day

  I was reading news articles on NPR today when I stumbled across the one whose title was wishing me a happy Eliza Doolittle day!  Being the fan of classic Hollywood that I am and the huge fan of Audrey Hepburn that I am, I of course stopped immediatly to read on.  Afterall, if there was a day devoted to celebrating one of my favorite characters of all time, shouldn't I be aware of it?

"In Act One of My Fair Lady, Eliza Doolittle, the Cockney flower girl learning to speak like a lady, fantasizes about meeting the king. Of course, because it's a musical, she sings:
'One evening the king will say, 'Oh, Liza, old thing - I want all of England your praises to sing. Next week on the twentieth of May, I proclaim Liza Doolittle Day.'"
- Marc Acito, author of the article Speak Up And Celebrate 'Eliza Doolittle Day'; NPR

Mr. Acito really got me thinking when he provoked readers at the end of his article to "think before we speak".  How often is it that we fail to articulate ourselves well?  Living in the south, as I have for the last ten year of my life, I have noticed my movement from utter shock of the language to employing the language almost daily.  In fact, I suppose I probably use "y'all" just about as much as some valley girls use "like".

Anyway, this is just a really interesting article that is much more enjoyable to read than the latest news on the war, the oil spill or God forbid, more politics.  Ugh.  So, if you're like me and just want any old opportunity to celebrate something, celebrate Eliza Doolittle Day.  Whatever it is that Eliza means to you, celebrate.  For me, her character was about overcoming adversity, abject poverty, oppression, ridicule, rejection, and much more.  She had a dream to one day speak like a lady.  No matter the obstacles, she persevered through them with class.  No one ever told Eliza chasing her dream would be easy.  But...chasing her dream made her who she is.  God wouldn't have given us the ability to dream if God didn't intend for us to do so.


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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

iFellowship @ Seeds of Faith for the Christian Mom

Seeds Of Faith For The Christian Mom

Come check out other Christian mom blogs.  I'm new to this blog, but it looks great so far.

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Consumerist Affect on Our Children's Identities

“Whereas the ancient Israelites were reminded to place their primary, identity-bearing commandment on their doorposts and tie it to their foreheads (Deut. 6:4-9), contemporary children find their identity-bearing stories on their underwear, their sippy cups, their fruit snacks, and their sheets.” 
- Katherine Turpin, Iliff School of Theology
**Turpins article "Princess Dreams", mentioned here, can be found in the book Children, Youth, and Spirituality in a Troubling World by Mary Elizabeth Moore and Almeda M. Wright.**

Turpin suggests that while we, parents, are not as aware as we often should be, commercial and commoditized characters are forming the identities of our children.  Her argument with the Disney Princess franchise is that it creates misleading ideologies and identity characteristics pertaining to gender, race and class.  She also, though briefly, mentions similar affects on boys pertaining to their consumer market.

Proposed Solution:
One of the challenges Turpin talks about in relation to the “Princess Dreams” is the affect that commodification has on spiritual formation.  Turpin quotes Susan Linn’s argument that these “Princess Dreams” supply us with the idea that purchasing something “Princess” can bring little girls happiness.  Linn further states that this is something that goes against all mainstream religions.  (53).  The false identities and forms created by consumerism has and will continue to lead, explains Turpin, to social inequalities.

Beginning on page 57, Turpin lists 5 approaches to limiting the influence of commodification on the lives of children that can open the doors to spiritual development and formation.
  • Fighting Fire with Fire – mass-market religious merchandise.
  • The Practice of Abstinence – refuse entry of any commoditized character into ones house.  (Ex. Barbie)
  • Contestation – Questioning children: “Do you think Cinderella made a good choice for her life
  • Non-Commercial Connections – focusing on real relationships and human interaction; deterring focus away from a false sense of relationship with characters. 
  • Changing Social Policy through Collective Action – marketers are interested in selling what people want to buy.  If special interest groups, organizations and/or social movements continue to knock on the door of change, the door will eventually open.  (Ex. physical changes in Barbie over the last several years).

I have three discussion questions that stem from this article:
1)  What is your initial reaction to the quote you read above?
2)  How might we, as people of faith, be leaders of counter-formation?  Can we be more intentional about sharing the stories of our faith?
3)  Have you ever applied any of the five suggested proposals?  If so, what results did you experience?  If not, is there one you would consider using.

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