Monday, February 26, 2007

Book Review of Getting Serious about Getting Married by Debbie Maken

I haven't written a book review since high school, so this may not be exactly according to accepted form. Then again, I probably never did one right back then, which would explain my less than stellar grades in English literature/writing. Please be patient with me, I'm attempting to use the brain cells that have been laying in hibernation for a long time.

Getting Serious About Getting Married
by Debbie Maken

The introduction explains that Ms. Maken was twenty-eight years old, had a advancing law career, owned her own home, had a nice car, was a committed Christian, active in her church and it's singles program, yet she was not... content. She wanted to be married. She says,"I am NOT content. I am unhappy and sad about still being single. I am not only discontent-I am also angry about being single. So that morning she walked out of her singles class, vowing never to return.

She then tells us that she met her future husband in July of 2001 and was married in March of 2002.
So why did she write the book, she explains, In the 1970's approximately 64 percent of women had married by age 24, 90 percent by 29 and 94 percent by age 34. Thirty years later, 27 percent had =married by 24, 60 percent by 29 and 78 percent by 34. The singles population had tripled or quadrupled in one generation. She believed that there had to be some other explanation than that God just wanted more "gifted singles" in this generation. As she puts it, "there are countless untold stories of women who are dying on the vine, know it, and feel like they can't do a thing about it."
Ms. Maken then asserts that the final authority for a Christian is not culture, pop psychology, or the latest trend. She claims that no matter how radical it sounds, her ideas are based squarely on the Bible. Scripture should be the measuring stick for truth. Women in our culture have been told over and over that,"singleness is a gift. But it's the kind of gift that make us cringe and smile politely while we desperately search for a gift receipt so we can return it."
Her thesis is that Scripture and Christian tradition have never validated wholesale singleness, that we are teaching faulty theology and making something abnormal appear as though it is a sanctified gift straight from the hand of God. The contemporary church is not telling singles the truth, that singleness is actually detrimental to their whole lives. The modern church is placing singleness on an equal level with marriage despite God's clear call to marriage.
The remainder of the book is in three parts, Marriage and Singleness, Rethinking the Gift of Singleness, and Getting Serious About Getting Married. I want to spend most of this review on the first section, throw in a few comments on the second section, and leave the last one for the reader to examine for themselves.
In Genesis 1:25 the Triune God, the Creator of the universe, after having done most of his creative work saw what he had made was good. In 26 and 27 he said, let Us make man in Our image after Our likeness, "So God created man in his own image" Then we read in 2:18 that "God said, it is not good that the man should be alone, I will make him a help meet for him" back to 1:27 "in the image of God created he him: male and female created he them." Mankind created in the image of the God of the Universe was created male and female, not male or female, male and female. The marriage union reflects the image of God far better than singleness does. Man was not complete without woman and woman was taken from the man. God's design at the beginning of creation was for one man and one woman joined together the two becoming one, reflecting the image of the Creator God. The marriage union is the revealed will of God in the created order. "Therefore, shall a man leave his father and mother; and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh. God did not intend for man to be alone, he said, it is not good." John Calvin said, a man without a woman is but "half a man".Any single who is dissatisfied with singleness is merely agreeing with God, "it is not good for man to be alone." Those who say that marriage is an option, but each person has to make their own choice, are questioning the wisdom and authority of God. Are you saying that God was wrong when he said, "it is not good for man to be alone?" Either the Creator God knew what was best for his creation, or we know better. His plan was for the male/female relationship in marriage, one man, one woman, for life.
Secondly, marriage was designed for the Creation of Legitimate Children, "be fruitful and multiply"" Gen 1:28 God who made man in His image told that same man to make offspring in not only man's image, but also the image of God. God did not want man to be alone, he told him that marriage was how man would not be alone, then he told the man and woman " to be fruitful and multiply" John Calvin wrote that when men and women were not connected in marriage, they are like the mutilated members of a mangled body".
One of the things I consider to be the highlights of this book, is her repeated reminders that Scripture is our final authority, Scripture validated Scripture, the Book must be read as a whole, so that in the end we have one coherent, non contradictory understanding. So chapter 2 examines what the Bible has to say about singleness. And she writes" "Scripture does not categorically authorize singleness" Rather it does allow singleness for a limited few and establishes clear parameters by which they can be legitimately single See Matt 19:4-11 I Corinthians 7. Jesus clearly taught that God had ordained marriage. Some of you may say, but Jesus was single, yes he also walked on water, turned water to wine, and raised the dead. When you get that kind of authority and power, you can take it up with God whether or not you have the right to "single out" Jesus as your example while ignoring his teachings. So quit thinking you are spiritual cause you single and read what Christ said, in Matt. 19:10, it is better not to marry? see the answer in 11-12, only a few select people have been given the gift of singleness, three possible reasons a man made eunuch, a someone born a eunuch, or a for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven. (My thoughts, if you have a sex drive of any kind, large, small, or anywhere in between, you are to marry.)Martin Luther said, "apart from these three groups, let no man presume to be without a spouse."
I'll get to Paul and I Corinthians 7, later.
So far I agree with everything Debbie Maken has to say. In the second and third sections I do not.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Global Warming, NOT!!

The current temperture is 27 degrees. Yesterday at about 3:00 we began to have thunderstorms with temperture of about 33 degrees. With a slowly falling temp, and rain off and on since 3:00 yesterday, we now have ice on the trees, the powerlines, and even the windows, (can't see out the east side of the house).According to the National Weather Service, this may be the worst winter storm in Iowa in a decade.

At 2:35 this afternoon the power went off after blinking off and on for several hours.
So you wonder how the farmer is blogging. When we moved in here years ago, there was a standby generator in the corner of the shop building, we have used it twice before today. At about 5:15 I hooked the tractor to the generator, and we now have power and lights again. My plan is to run it till 10:00 pm and then shut it off for the night.

Everybody has to use the facilities, take their baths, etc before we shut off the power. Since we use well water, we will have no water either.
It's not all bad, we got to spend some family time this afternoon, the kids read books and played games. The lovely wife and I were both reading books. (A book review will be posted when I'm done.) We carried some wood in for the fireplace. All in all it's been a fairly pleasant day, as long as you don't have to go outside.

UPDATE: Sunday morning 9:00 AM

First, last night about 6:45 the power company restored service. The small town nearby served by a different power company remained dark. It seems strange to see all those houses in town dark and yard lights lit all across the countryside. At around 6:00 it started to snow rather than freezing rain. It snowed all night, we now have 8 to 9 inches of snow on top of the ice. And now the wind is beginning to blow. Here in flat north Iowa, this means white out conditions.

I think we will sit inside by the fire for most of today.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Doing it the Right Way

Several months ago, before I started this blog, I mentioned to several of those that I communicate with on a regular basis, a piece of property for sale in north-east Iowa. This property consisted of 1200 acres of land along the Upper Iowa River. In fact there are 3 1/4 miles of the river running through the property.
I joked with some of you about buying the property, I would farm the tillable land, and you'll could hunt on the timbered land.
This week the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation a non-profit, private, conservation group, announced that they had purchased the property. See this article.

I want to complement INHF on doing things the right way. Nothing agravaites me more than hearing that my tax dollars are being used to buy private property. And then as as added insult that same property is then taken off of the tax roles, so that the other property owners in that area then carry a higher burden for the taxes which maintain roads, schools and other public services. By buying this property with private funds, and keeping the property on the tax roles, the preservation of a beautiful part of Iowa's unique and varied topography. This purchase will enable this and future generations to see the beauty of God's creation, while keeping the burden of buying and maintaining it out of the hands of an ever expanding government.

I did not like reading that they may have gotten some funds with state money, but I will settle for the fact that they at least are keeping the property on the tax roles. How unfair to the farmers and people living around this beautiful piece of land to have it go into the public hands and then tell the tax payers that they will be handed a larger percentage of the property taxes as a legacy. If we are going to finance schools, roads and other public services with property tax, government which lives off of these taxes should not be allowed to take property off of the tax roles.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Not a Republican

It occured to me the other day that I have not voted for a Republican for President in 12 years and in Iowa elections I have not voted for a Republican for governer for 8 years. Let me explain, in 1996 I refused on principle to vote for that dodering old hack politician Bob Dull. Any man as incompetent as that old boy has no business being in the most powerful office in the world. So I voted for Howard Phillips of the US Taxpayers Party. In 2000, I did not buy Jorge the Younger's appeal to "conservatives" with his attempt to portray himself as a "compassionate conservatise", which I considered to be both partonizing and illogical. So I voted for Howard Phillips again, this time as the candidate for the renamed Constitution party.

In 2002 the Iowa Republicans chose as their candidate a two-bit sleazy lawyer named Doug Gross. This guy was so dirty with special interest ties that he attempted to cut his ties to the law firm in which he had made his millions, claiming that the groups and organizations his firm represented had nothing to do with him, never mind the fact that he was also their personal lawyer. I did not vote for the sleazy lawyer from Arkansas and I will not vote for one in Iowa. In 2004 we got force fed Jorge the Younger again, who any believer in the Constution should have understood by then was a traitor to the Constitution when he signed McCain/Feingolds Campaign Fiance Reform bill. Any four year old understands the words "congress shall make no law". but apparently Jorge isn't capable of the tasks most 4-years olds can handle. So I again I voted for the Constitution Party Candidate.

In the last election cycle(2006) the Republicans of Iowa chose as their champion a 6 term Congresscritter named Jim Nussle. Now Nussle always claimed to be conservative, a "good" republican, but soon after he got to Congress he dumped his first wife and took up with one of Newt's staffers. When questioned on his positions, he always championed his pro-life position. Yet during this falls campaign, he critized the state of South Dakota for their abortion ban, calling it too restrictive.
I left the ballot blank on the governers race this fall, mostly because I concluded that Mr. Nussle was playing political games with his positions and would flip-flop in a heart beat if he thought it would be politically expedient.

Three weeks after Nussle lost in November he announced that he was taking a paid position as staff in the Giuliani campaign. In case you don't remember Giuliani is pro-baby killing, pro-sodomy, anti- gun and thinks we need an amnesty program for the illegals in the country. Nussle's logic was that "we need a candidate who can win." I am very glad that I did not vote for Nussle, I knew he was a lawyer, it seems he's a sleazy two-faced one as well.

The guess host on Rush's show yesterday was lamenting the fact that there seems to be no good conservative candidates in the Republican field, who have an kind of charsima or experience, and that Rudy is the only one in the field with those qualities. he then spent the rest of the show trying to convince the listeners and himself that he could still be true to his own personal pro-life position while voting for a pro-baby killer like Rudy. "Maybe we can trust him to appoint judges like Scalia and Thomas" was one of his justifications.

A note to the Republican party, make Rudy your candidate, and I will once again be voting for the Candidate from the Consitiution party. I will not vote for your sleazy, pro-baby killer, pro-sodomy, anti-gun, illegal loving candidate, even if it means that Hillary becomes the President, Ya know why ,cause Hillary is a sleazy, pro-baby killer, pro-sodomy, illegal loving socialist, and I don't what either one of them. If the Republicans don't have a candidate who is legitimately different in every way than Hillary, they will lose.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

What Should I Do?

The weather here has been extremely cold this week. We had been in the process of hauling corn from a bin where I live to the main farm where the feed mill is located. On Tuesday it was so cold( the high was 5 degrees) the boss told me I could take the day off and go down to Des Moines to the Power Farming Show. The show is located in and adjacent to old Veterans Auditiorium in Des Moines. From tractors to hitch pins, ag software, corn burning stoves, 4-wheelers, big round balers and diesel power chips for your pickup. You name it, if there is some way for this product to be tied to farming it will be there. Banks, seed companies, welding suppliers, poly liner kits for trucks and auger flighting, I could go on and on, and on and .......
Three of the four children were sick on Tuesday, fever and sore throat, coughs and very whiny, so my lovely wife was stuck at home with them, while I took the oldest to the farm show with me. Now 11 year old girls do not think going to a farm show with their boring father is a major good time, but her choices were rather limited, stay at home with the sickies, or go with the fat old dad. She chose the latter.
I had a great time, came home with a bag full of brochures, demo CD's, pencils, pens, candy, key chain flash light, a JD cap, and numerous other do-dads. Brought a stack of note pads to put by the telephone, computer and in the visor of the pickup, even got several of the wife's favorite lined note pads from a farm newspaper. As we left to go to the show my wife handed the daughter a strip of address stickers from the Easter Seals people. Now one of the big attractions at any of these shows is all the giveaways,, one of the banks was giving away a 6 piece set of DeWalt cordless power tools, another place a $100 dollar gift certificate to Cabel's, lots of scale model tractors, Miller welders had a leather jacket, a couple of those tractor shaped mail boxes,(I told the lady with the Mechanicial Failure err Massey Ferguson mail box that they couldn't pay me to take that one) and ........I had to stop just now to eat my supper.

My favorite radio station WHO Radio out of Des Moines, Iowa, is a talk station. Years ago I started listening to hear that great bag of wind Rush Limbaugh. Later, I started to listen in the mornings from 9:00 to 11:30 to Jan Mickelson, a Christian/libertarian. After Jan's show is the farm news and markets, from 11:30 to 1:00. Over the years as I have become more established in my own personal convictions, I slowly found myself listening less and less to the mouth piece of the Republicans, Limbaugh, while I never miss Mickelson and consider him a fount of knowledge and wisdom. But most every day I listen to at least part of the farm news and markets on WHO. One of the hosts of that program(The Big Show) is a charismatic and jovial fellow, Mark Pearson, who simply has to be heard to be understood. He has sold a CD doing farm comedy, "Horny the Cow" and other hilarious bits. Mark came up with the idea of getting together a bunch of farmers and their old, antique, classic tractors and then taking a slow leisurely tour through the countryside. The station has been doing this thing for 10 years now. 500 tractors winding through the hills and valleys of the heartland, stopping in small towns to eat and generally celebrating the rural lifestyle.

All of this to say that today I found out that my daughter had put my name sticker on a drawing to win a place on the tractor ride this coming July. Now those of you who know me well, know that I love tractors. I have two in the shed right now that I'm supposed to be working on, instead of blogging. I love to look at old tractors, I go to tractor pulls, I can tell what kind of tractor is going by on the road without looking, just listening to the sound. I love tractors. But I'm not sure this tractor ride thing is for me? It would mean taking three days of vacation, which I should probably spend with my family. The ride this year is in the farthest parts of southern Iowa, so it would require getting a tractor down there and back. And, I'm not sure I really want to ride around with 499 other tractors playing follow the leader for three days.


After reading Bill's comment, I can tell I wasn't very clear in stating, I Won! The places on this ride cost at least $250 dollars and are limited to 500 tractors. Also, it wasn't necessarily my daughters fault that my name sticker got put on the drawing. We went down the aisles signing up for numerous things, this was one of them.

Several years ago I won a portable LCD DVD player, so we sign up for a lot of stuff that we never figure we will win.

So what should I do?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.