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God's will and politics (written on May 3, 2006)...

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Instead, I've been sitting here reading more of those old posts from "Skye's World." That's my means of procrastination in preparing for this trip. I guess we have to be out the door in about sixteen hours. LOL! So much for the dress I was going to make. My energy is sapped. I need to fold laundry and then go to Wal*Mart once again...because I again forgot to get some things. I couldn't find a power cord for my camera--I guess I'll eventually order one on-line. It's too bad I couldn't get it before Hawaii, but I did get a charger (that takes at least 12 hours, unfortunately--it was that or pay more than twice as much), six batteries for that, and sixteen regular (Rayovac--plus/maximum...whatever their called) batteries. Since the camera only takes two at a time, I'm hoping that's enough. I'll just have to be careful about how I use the camera. I'll go ahead and take my other camera, too, just to fool around with, I guess. It's kind of ironic that I have a power cord for one and batteries for the other...but batteries won't work for the one with the power cord and I don't have a power cord for the other.

But back to those old posts...it's really interesting to see how people have changed and how they've remained the same. I'm reading through my own posts with great interest, since I had forgotten what I said. I think I pretty much agree with it, though, and I can also see myself--as ever--trying to take a non-controversial stance (read: be the final authority) on each subject.

Which reminds me...I've decided which presidential candidate to vote for in November. LOL! For now I'm not telling, although you can probably guess. =D Part of what helped me reach my conclusion was my SS teacher's comments when I brought up the subject in Sunday school a few weeks (maybe a month) ago. Yes, I brought it up...the whole deal of God's sovereignty, man's responsibility, issues of character/integrity, and everything. And the ultimate conclusion is that--as Scripture says--each man must be fully convinced in his own mind, for whatever is not of faith is sin.
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I hope this doesn't turn out to be deceptive advertising on my part (the title, I mean). I decided to do some searching (on Google, of course) to see what I could find on the subjects. Let me preface all I say with the comment that I don't really see how Mr. Pearl's words make sense. However, he does have a point in one thing: we're headed towards legalizing "marriage" (at least legally...the state does not have any say in the spiritual aspects of it) for any "couple" that desires to marry AND Christians are going to have to take a stand to make a difference. So I guess that's two things, but the first part is the situation and the second is that it necessitates some kind of response.

Anyway, I was a little curious about finding out the legal ramifications of not getting a marriage license. Obviously, you can go get your name changed without getting a marriage license, and it's a simple matter to put the father's name on the birth certificate of children, but getting your name changed and not getting the marriage license seems like kind of a silly choice to me. I don't want the state involved; I do want the state involved. I want to seem legally married, but I don't want to be legally married. Maybe that's not the way it is. And...what about birth certificates? I guess they'd have to have those to get out of the country.

Anyway, I found an article by Jim Lowder (here), who comes from exactly opposite the perspective that Michael Pearl has [if I were writing academically, I would just call him Pearl...hmm...]. If you agree with Lowder, let me know.;-) One quote: "A marriage license is, primarily, if not exclusively, a legal document. Somewhere along the way this document has taken on a spiritual and social significance. We have merged the legal status of marriage with the blessing of such unions by religious institutions." I agree with the first two sentences, although the meaning of the third is a little unclear to me. Ah, I see now...Lowder is assuming that marriage IS a legal relationship (primarily)...or so it seems.

Later, after Lowder explains that his legal union with his partner was separate from his spiritual union, he says, "Both the legal license and the spiritual blessing should be available to everyone." So I guess he is reiterating his view that marriage is a legal thing, since he views the spiritual aspect as just a "blessing." So...I'm not concluding much here, but I did think it was interesting to read a counterperspective, because I think it might give Michael Pearl's words a little more weight (not that he's completely right, but he may have some insight into what's happening over all, even if his approach to remedying the situation may not be completely effective).

In one of my comments on someone else's journal, I mentioned that the Pearls have talked about not getting social security numbers. Well, a little more help from Google, and marriage licenses in Tennessee can only be obtained with a social security number. "You must also provide your Social Security number. It is a non-negotiable requirement." If the Pearl kids don't have SSN's, marriage licenses would be impossible for them to obtain.

Here is a site that talks about common-law marriage. Basically, common-law marriage does not exist in the United States. However, there are places that "recognize it" to the point of requiring a legal divorce if the partners desire to separate later (well, I suppose that would only really be if they wanted to marry someone else--officially--later). And this is information that should be more reliable. The requirements are as follows:

"1. You must live together.
2. You must present yourselves to others as a married couple. Some ways of doing this are by using the same last name, referring to one another as husband or wife, and filing a joint tax return.
3. Although not defined, you have to be together for a significant period of time.
4. You must intend to be married.
"

And on to social security...according to Social Security On-Line, a .gov site, "Getting a Social Security number for your newborn is voluntary." I remember that Michael Pearl mentioned this in one of his newsletters, commenting that it was a tax that they opted out of. This site says that the those issuing driver's licenses do not have the authority to require social security numbers, although I'm not sure if that means that it would be possible to get one for someone who doesn't even possess an SSN. The site does say that "[s]ome States have enacted State laws requiring social security numbers as a condition for being issued a driver's license," so I guess it varies.

Okay, that's all I can find for now. It looks like these things are possible to do, but it seems like they would be a lot more trouble. Figuring out exactly how involved we want the government in our lives can be difficult. Last I knew, Jonathan Lindvall had chosen not to have his daughter get a driver's license because that might make it possible for her to be chosen for jury duty. And of course she wasn't registered to vote (that would be even more risky, I suppose). But Lindvall seems to have a somewhat uninvolved-with-government view on things, and I can kind of understand because I used to live in Hawaii (he lives in California), and getting involved in politics seemed like a losing battle.

Anyway...just the stuff I've found.=) I hope it is of interest to someone besides me.=D
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I don't feel like studying for it (I have already put in hours doing that--mainly yesterday, since I worked on my final paper today). I just want to start thinking ahead, and it's hard to that when I know I have a math final in the morning. I've still got enough adrenalin pumping to keep me awake...in fact, too much to settle down and do anything productive. So I'm littering my friends' friends pages with posts. Isn't that nice? LOL! LiveJournal...I should go to my "real journal" and write something profound.

Hmm...let's see...lots to pick from:

• Who to Vote for in the 2004 Presidential Election
• What to Think about Gay Marriage (oxymoron is my opinion on the phrase)
• What Kind of Standards to Require in Movies and Music for Watching and Hearing
• Whether/How to Pursue Marriage (should I ever desire to do so...or need to counsel someone on the subject)
• How Far to Go with My Education
• When to Volunteer at a Crisis Pregnancy Center
• Whether to Plan to Go to Haiti Next Year (oh, yes...I need to write an entry on that...it's not some huge thing, but a family from our church just went and I think a short-term missions trip there could have a huge impact)
• My Responsibility in Seeking Employment
• Whether to Stick with English for My Only Major (or to pick another...and/or to add several minors)

Lots of stuff to consider...=)
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Reporters are...well, I'm glad I didn't have to talk to any. Haha. Jim Holt is far ahead of his opponents in the Republican Primary for U.S. Senate, so I'm very grateful.=)

I'm not posting much these days and I'm not really reading a whole lot, either...I've been skimming mostly. School begins again Monday, so I guess I am trying to get my mental vacation time in.=) So meanwhile I'm reading Safely Home, by Randy Alcorn...good book, although I'm so tired that I took a computer break. I should shower (I'm very sticky from standing out in the heat today...while my mom and I worked on getting a petition signed to get marriage on the ballot for the November election--marriage as in defining it in an amendment to the state constitution). Anyway...I'm tired.

I hope you all are well!
songofjoy02: (Default)
But I just realized that I probably was supposed to have turned in some outlines with my take-home exam this afternoon. So I wearily wrote down the information, typed it, and sent it off to my teacher...I'm hoping that the outlines are not absolutely required because he takes 5% off each DAY that an exam is late. I did already turn in the exam, though...all the stuff that I wrote down that he asked for. =\ I hate it when I forget things...but it seems awfully strange that I didn't write down what was required. I was very specific about everything else on the test, but I didn't write that down. I don't know what to think.

And now I'm up, but very tired. My body is rebelling against this whole idea of doing something with my life instead of sleeping it away. Eating so much sugar is probably my problem.=\ More frowns than you can imagine...hmm...

I went to a concert tonight...but it was less than an hour, so I don't get to use it for Music Appreciation credit. However, it was at a local Middle School...so it was a very good experience for me. I think I tend to overlook the practical aspects of teaching 7-12th grade. So I figure that I should spend more time in that environment. I need to check into that, especially since my speech Friday is going to be about the need for people to get involved personally...in educating our nation's children. Don't want to be a hypocrite! Of course, I am studying to be a teacher...

I am going to work tomorrow...unless, of course, something disatrous happens. Secretary's Day is Wednesday, so my boss expects to have quite a few orders. We'll see what happens with all of that. I love going to work.=D

I'm a control freak...my obsession is not food, either. I am obsessed with obtaining perfect grades (not that I'll ever achieve that goal) and ALWAYS being on time...although I can't achieve that, either. I'm frustrated to realize that I need to have balance in this area...I can't be as obsessive as I am, but I can't give it all up. And that's tough.=\

The other thing that I've been thinking about (well, one of them) is randomness. I was reading about Chance Music in my Music Appreciation textbook, and I just had to start thinking about how much people prize "randomness." Instead of embracing order...which is what really started me thinking. For one thing, scientific experiments seem to indicate that the universe is governed by orderly laws; secondly, science seems to show that order in music is a positive thing, at least for mice and plants...and that exceedingly disorderly music is BAD for them. But our society embraces disorder, randomness, chaos...just another symptom of rebellion? Somehow, the idea seems really related to our individualistic mindset...but maybe I was just thinking about that in another context. We think we are progressive because we allow so much for the development of the "individual" here in the United States. Yet I think that the fall of great empires might have something to do with the overemphasis of individualism. Without a kind of sensitivity to what is happening nationally and a reaction based on loyalty to one's nation, the foundation of the country could easily crumble. But where do you draw the line between caring about the state and caring about the individual...in an individualistic sense? Seems like such a delicate balance...like everything else.

Okay...I should think about getting to bed. Goodnight, you all!

I'm looking forward to hearing about the birth of a certain baby soon...=D

LOL!

Feb. 17th, 2004 11:58 pm
songofjoy02: (Default)
I'm bored and ready to go to bed...even though I know it would be far better for me to study like crazy for tomorrow's chemistry test. I am definitely not good at getting scientific stuff fast...but that's what I get for not studying all along. That's also probably why I haven't done so well on that subject. Hmm.

But anyway...the reason I'm laughing is because I'm so bored that I actually looked to see what might be at a web site called stupidity.com. I mean, I just wondered what someone might put on the web on that subject. And guess what? There's really a web site and it is really devoted to the subject of stupidity! I just started reading the intro. to the first book and it is positively hilarious! I haven't looked carefully to see whether it's supposed to be funny or not, but it cracks me up.

On a more serious note, I went to see the lawyer today...and got a lot more money than I expected. Of course, that wouldn't have to be much, since I didn't expect anything. But it was enough that his third of the money made him very happy.=) And he apparently didn't have too difficult of a time in obtaining it. I'm very grateful that the bills are all paid. But with what I got, which was a little more than a third of the amount, I am going to be able to pay my car insurance for the next six months AND purchase two tickets to Hawaii so that my mom and I can go in August. If anything, this is definitely a clear confirmation that going to Hawaii IS in God's plans for me. I am very amazed and blessed...

Because...my saving for that plane ticket is not going too well right now. In fact, it is not going at all...because my work is basically seasonal, I'm on "vacation." That's very helpful for me in terms of school because of the exams I'm preparing to take (although I'll be going full speed ahead with work AND school at the time of finals)...but it's not helping me save. But anyway, here's this money. Somehow, I never seem to trust that God can provide funds from "other sources." I don't know why. But His provision over the last year or so--not just of things that I need, but things that I want--has been incredible.

Next week, my family is going on an anti-fungal diet. That should be very interesting. It's basically meat and veggies the first week...no grains or potatoes or fruits besides green apples and citrus. No cheese or other dairy besides yogurt. And, of course, no sugar. To be honest, I'm not planning to observe the diet. But maybe I should. I don't know. I don't think I have the problems, but I suppose the diet would at least improve my health. Still, I'm not sure I could live with it...=) I have never gone on a diet before so I have no idea if I'd be able to maintain it.

I'm getting really excited about all the babies that are on the way. I suppose I've probably congratulated the people, but I doubt that I fully expressed how very much I'm looking forward to hearing about the births. There were two newborns at church on Sunday and one of them was just to my right...I was SO distracted. Newborns are so exciting! But, alas, neither of the newborns belong to people I'm really acquainted with...and the expected ones are not in families that I normally interact with, so I'm a little sad. I want to hold a newborn! That's so weird. But anyway. I doubt I will for a long time.=( That's kind of silly for me to say. Oh, well.

Monday, I met with a guy from Western Civilization for a "study group meeting." Two ladies were supposed to be there also, but one was in class and the other had forgotten due to a math test. But I talked to the guy--a Republican and a Christian--about the questions that will be on the test and we eventually talked about what the instructor believes, etc. I said that I was incredulous that the teacher could believe all that he says...but the guys says that he has actually sat down and talked to him about it and he really does believe quite a bit of what he says. I find that so difficult to believe, and yet...it's rather apparent. When someone asked him whether he's an atheist or agnostic, he replied that he is an agnostic. His reason: "The concept that God sits on His throne and judges is too simplistic for me." I suppose one could call his emphasis on science/nature/knowledge agnosticism, but it's really humanism because God's not big enough...right? Sometimes his logic strikes me as faulty, but it's hard for me to see how to combat the reasoning of someone who thinks he is correct...in fact, is firmly convinced of it.

I actually spoke to a friend of mine on this subject...do we HAVE to address all the fallacies that instructors put forward? Although I believe that Christianity is perfectly reasonable, I believe just as strongly that unsaved people canNOT be perfectly reasonable...so that the battle for their hearts is not one that can be won in the intellectual realm. While I believe that we should be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks us why we have hope, I don't believe that we should be smart mouths or cast pearls before swine. If Christianity were merely intellectual, that would work...but it's so much more.

As I looked through the essay questions for the upcoming Western Civ. test, I realized that my thesis for most of them could be, "It's hopeless; the world is imperfect and things will always be imperfect in an imperfect world." And I can support that very well. I can support it based on KNOWLEDGE, FACTS. Knowledge without truth, it seems to me, leads to hopelessness. I think that may have been the essence of Pilate's question to Jesus when he asked what truth was. He missed the Truth that stood before him...perhaps because he had become convinced that there was no such thing? Perhaps because he was cynical, like SO MANY intellectuals?! Solomon was rather cynical, too. Knowledge without truth is empty. So if we have hope...=) We SHOULD show it and people WILL ask...sincerely.

Well, that was a much longer entry than I had planned...this journal is, as many of you have noted, a VERY excellent tool for procrastination. But I think I may regret this tomorrow when I'm taking my chemistry test.=\
songofjoy02: (Default)
According to your answers, your political philosophy is centrist.
Centrists favor selective government intervention and emphasize practical solutions to current problems. They tend to keep an open mind on new issues. Many centrists feel that government serves as a check on excessive liberty.


Actually, I think that sums it up pretty well. Your Personal Self-Government Score is 40%. Your Economic Self-Government Score is 30%. I'm not so sure about what to make of that, though. The questions on the test were interesting and worth pursuing.

What do you guys think about the government regulating almost everything in our lives? I have a positive view of some aspects of it, at least.

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