Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Shushan / Susan / Susa

>may i ask why your name is 'shushan' now?
It always was. Shushan is merely a variant spelling of my first name.

Susan/Shushan/Susa is an ancient name whose original meaning is unknown. The current definition given for it is 'lily of the valley.' However, this is a guess at which flower grew in the valley of the first city of Shushan. That flower was said to be a small, delicate, star-like flower which was either white or blue. It may have been an astor, edelweiss, a daisy (maybe they weren't everywhere back in the day!), or lily of the valley. The flower grew well in unlikely spots but didn't always respond well to cultivation. Merchants and travelers took it back with them all over the ancient world, and the name went with it. Nevertheless, it is important to note that the city precedes the flower as the source of the name "Susan.'

I read a very interesting account of this ancient history in a university library as a teen. Apparantly the most famous Susa/Susan/Shushan known now was a capital city under the Persions/Medes..but this may have been the third city of that name.

According to a falling apart tome I found in Wake Forest University's rare book section...Shushan was a legendary city built in a green valley at the crossroads of the world. The inhabitants, or at least their rulers, dedicated themselves to the principles of hospitality, simplicity, and learning. It was said that for long periods the founders limited the amount of wealth that could be held inside the city, in order to discourage pride...and robbers. They were said to have been great stone masons and teachers, but eventually the merchants took over. Once wealth began to accumulate within the city-state, the fame of the place insured invaders. The city was rebuilt with walls at least once on the same location before a change in climate caused the people to migrate away.

That's the legend.

What is known for certain is that Susa / Susan was a capital city of Persia for many centuries. Esther's beautiful story is supposed to have taken place in the great city of Susan.

I strongly identified with the virtues mentioned...hospitality, humility, and learning. The only reason I didnt use Shushan as a screenname to begin with is...well, its my name. It is just an unusual spelling of my name. I consider it a family reference, as every toddler I have ever known pronounced my name as "Shushan." It tickles me to think they may be right.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Not so tasty cookies

Many of you know I love to share sweet baked treats with my family & friends, but I didnt arrange these. Some not so tasty cookies from a not very nice person seemed to have been attached to my site in the last couple of days. I contacted blogger about it immediately, giving the technical data my security returned to me, and they seem to be gone already. Hopefully I gave blogger enough info to chase down the culprit.

The SSL is false. They were not the usual session cookies. I've been told that MANY sites (especially blogs) of people who have been related to the Myst community have been hosting these precise cookies (they are actually pretty distinctive).

So please clear your browser cookie cache, if you don't usually do so on a regular basis already. It is a good idea to clear them everyday, as too many will slow down your computer on and, eventually, even off the 'net.

Now here's a sweeter idea for your perusal:


Saturday, November 19, 2005

Brk!Brk! Brk!

chef jpeg
You are the the Swedish Chef.
You are a talented individual, nobody understands
you. Perhaps it's because you talk funny.

"Brk! Brk! Brk!"
Kokin' der yummee-yummers

"Wild Strawberries...and Creme"

"Der Swedish Chef Kokin' Bokin'"

"Vergoofin der flicke stoobin mit der brk-brk

What Muppet are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Intelligent Design

People are still talking about the tentative gains toward public recognition Intelligent Design has achieved in a few places. The most common attack is to call it all unscientific, by which they usually mean one of the following:

1 the faith of the scientists in question means they can't be good scientists because scientists should have no framework drawn from any source other than that allowed by NSF (or other currently governing scientific guilds)

Your position on the relative position of the universe to yourself is part of your belief system (aka religion, with or without a God. Atheists must also have faith, because you can't truly disprove God)

I have read any number of quotes and refs that have established beyond doubt that many who push(ed) the evolutionary framework have had their own humanistic faith (bias) to guide them. This included Darwin, though he may or may not have repented of it at the end.

They did NOT leave their faith at the laboratory door, Sir. They left everybody else's there.

2. No good scientists are involved in this effort.

Actually MANY good scientists have questioned evolution. Many of these were not believers in the Bible at the time, but being pilloried for daring to hold a 'religious' view, when they were only (initially) questioning a detail in the evolutionary framework, opened their eyes. Not all became believers then, but they ceased to be blind followers of Darwin.

Some were actually trying to improve upon evolution in a new direction, but found themselves on the receiving end of demonic attack, at last understood that there WAS a battle going on, that it did concern faith in God, and that they had been deceived by the system.

The pilloring itself, (ie the sort of garbage thats currently aimed at Behe), is part of what has become a standard process to demonize and discredit anyone not following the party line. Behe was recognized as a leading scientific light before his 'defection.'

Please understand that not all those who have given some credence to ID, or who question the Darwinian framework, are Christians, let alone conservative believers. The common identification made by the media/establishment is for two reasons 1) evangelical believers have been the quickest to recognize the importance of the debate. 2) These believers were already being demonized and there are those who see tarring all dissenters with this label as a way to discourage other defections. Its an implicit threat. Anyone NOT a believer would prefer not to have to seek conservative Christian support in order to continue their scientific studies. Once you are portrayed in this manner, it is likely to be very difficult to receive grants or gain tenure.

If the evolutionists truly believe they are correct, why do they feel the need for so many political dirty tricks ? The truth should be self-evident. If they truly value all searchers for truth, why be so hostile to those exploring another paradigm?

Currently those who do not already hold very strong positions or very strong beliefs are going to be discouraged to speak of any doubts they may have in such a charged atmosphere. At its base, this shrill cry is persecution, plain and simple because it doesnt respect any other point of view than its own. Worse, it insults people of faith as being incapable of logic. (They teach that at some colleges too, but its a different course).

Bluntly, our society is becoming increasingly intolerant of monotheists/dissenters from the current media-drenched culture. It just hasnt gotten down to the level of concentration camps and gas chambers...yet.

3. Mixing science and scientific study with elements of one's faith will produce not produce 'pure' science. The results should not be treated as though they were equal to purely scientific studies

Most people have yet to realize that their view of science reflects a taught bias most received from their earliest years in education. One of my children's textbooks, purchased from a public school, cheerfully informed them that scientists are impartial beings who set up studies purely for the love of knowledge or to solve a problem. They were assured that all real science is based on laboratory results and theories based in impeccable logic. T'ain't necessarily so.

I've already mentioned the current bias against monotheism, but there are other issues.

First off, science, as defined by that textbook, has overstepped its bounds. If only that which is reproduceable in a laboratory is good science, then most of what I see, hear, and read from the scientific establishment is the worst sort of charlatanism. They can not reproduce fossils by a slow process over millions of years. They cannot make a universe with a big bang in one. They cannot show a slow change, unaided by intelligent agents, even within a species, let alone a change from one to another. Closest they can get is to show single cell organisms using their amazing, built-in adaptive mechanisms to defeat the challenges we put in their way. Adaption within a species is designed into the creature. It is not 'progress' in the evolutionary sense.

Most think science and worldview can be separate at all levels. On some levels it can, as per chemistry and most Mythbusters experiments. But when you get into the age of the world and other BIG questions you start accepting some other unproven (and unprovable) hypothesis in order to move forward. Evolution is one of those uber-theories. Its a belief framework under which other hypothesis can be framed and tested, but the results will likely be interpreted ONLY in terms of the base belief/theory. Unless another truly different paradigm is substituted, you will probably never know if the results of your test/study could have a different meaning than the one you assigned to it.

The interesting thing to me is how many results of known studies change so drastically in significance when the ID framework is adopted.

Evolution has been billed to young children (and the general public) as the only good theory that covers all the facts, despites its many contradictions and failures. Students, being younglings, usually believe what they are told. Even by college days, they are still highly influenceable. They follow their professor's lead and continue to frame all questions in light of what they were told. They wish to look good to their elders. They wish to be recognized in the world. They are told evolution is the one ring of science that rules all others. One day, some of them become professors themselves...and Mordor's influence grows. (Sadly, I believe this West-dominated, scientific monoculture has not been wholly wonderful for the advancement of mankind.)

Imperfect humans rarely engage in perfect activities of any sort. Most logical constructs of any complexity develop flaws that may or may not be readily apparant to reviewers. They may or may not recognize their own prejudices. Some quite racist studies at late 19th/early 20thC held many societal and prejudicial errors in both the framing of the questions and in how the scientists in the experiments sought their answers. Those studies stood for decades. It was not pure science that budged those 'laboratory results' in the end. It was social pressure and a change in public attitudes. The mistakes are fairly obvious to any educated modern audience ~ who does not share their views. So much for 'pure' science. :P

The world doesn't have to get saved to recognize intelligent design as an alternative. The recognition for the catastrophic framework need not be religious per se. There are several possibilities that could account for their discoveries. The Bible's account would do so but so would the transplanting of species from elsewhere to this planet, once a catastrophically unstable world (that eventually settled down). Direct intervention of the Arthur C. Clarke variety, but earlier in the day, would have the ID effect. Cyclical quantum effects, especially between universes, might also produce dramatic effects that could account for an ID framework. Who knows?

*I* believe God is the cause, true. All I ask is that you recognize that He is a possibility and show me respect as a fellow, thinking human. Anything else is between you and Him.

Yes, the results do encourage Christians...and Hindus and ufologists and certain New Age sects. Christian ID scientists have found that allowing the words they believe came from the Maker of the universe to guide their searches has an illuminating effect.

but that doesn't make their work based on this alternative framework non-scientific.

Besides, its about time somebody else got a word in edgewise.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


The most powerful weapon to conquer the devil is humility. For, as he does
not know at all how to employ it, neither does he know how to defend himself
from it.

- St. Vincent de Paul (1581-1660)

Susan's addendum: The enemy's servants don't recognize humility when they see it practiced either, invariably mistaking meekness for weakness or deception. They don't do any better recognizing forbearance, forgiveness, unselfish affection.....

So let us practice the virtues of Christ and confuse 'em all!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Pat Robertson & the latest brouhaha

It never surprises me to find unkind comments and anger aimed at believers and other dissenters to mainstream dogma. People usually believe whatever they are raised with, and whatever they hear most often. Repetition from enough quarters sounds like well established fact to the average person.

I am most saddened, however, when I hear similar things from fellow believers. I don't usually say much about it, but in the last 24 hours, I have felt pressed to speak up.

Pat Robertson has often been a focus of late because of the attention of mainstream media. Pat has said some unpopular but true things, but is often reported lately saying unkind things I could never agree with doctrinally or any other way. [Strange that I never seem to hear him say these shocking things when I am listening.]

I understand perfectly why Robertson's reported words anger people. To be blunt, I'm not too damn happy about it myself. Our wonderful media isn't into repecting opinions not their own, and because his views are harsher than what many believers hold, we feel his comments reflect badly on our witness. Still, I am not gonna blast him for it. Some people really believe as Pat does. I imagine Pat believes what he is saying or he wouldnt bother. Irritating or not, only God is fit to judge this servant.

So, while I realize Pat is a tempting target for our anger considering the demonization believers consistently receive, because he sounds so judgmental in these quotes, I ask you to consider that is exactly what this is...a temptation to judge a brother in Christ.

Pat's show isn't blasted on every channel. He's being asked for comments. He's being watched closely for anything that can be used. They don't talk about the good things they say and do over there, just the unkind bits.

You'll note how few ministers of any sort aside from Robertson get mainstream airtime. Its like a blackout.

In this way, some in the media are both nominating Pat as spokesperson for protestant Christians and then picking apart his comments to denigrate all those they can associate with him. They never report him praying for everyone in America. They never mention all the good mission work they do over there. Its not a balanced account.

No, this is a triple-prong attack. It seeks to convince many living 'on the fence' that we are much less loving as a group than many of us actually are. This negative image promotes division within the body of Christ over one of the only visible leaders. This garbage encourages believers to play the "more liberal than thou" with one another and in front of unbelievers (who, if they believe you, wonder why they should consider Jesus if you are just like everybody else. After all if being like everyone else is what makes you better than those 'fundamentalists'...). This clever trap encourages even strong believers to judgementalism, pride, and hostility. None of this honors Christ.

If we fall for it, our walk with Christ and the very witness of our life will be impaired.

thanks for listening.

I am:

(from Jennifer's blog)

I am: redeemed
I miss: hanging out with some of you
I want: many things that could make a differrence!
I have: an amazing family
I fear: very little
I play: adventure games
I never: seem to get to the end of my to-do list
I hear: a history documentary on Sparta
I care: about people
I smile: because I am happy
I wonder: how long until Christ returns
I poke: pillows to see the dent
I love: my family
I mess: up my typing
I think: about which project to work on next
I always: dream up stories
I am not: a bigot
I wish: I knew how to play musical instruments
I keep: a great many notes
I can't: do every thing I'd like to
I write: often
I lose: well, I'm trying to lose weight
I smell: leaves on the damp wind
I confuse: positive and negatives in my writing sometimes
I dance: only near soft surfaces (I B klutzy)
I sing: along with Lamb
I laugh: at Pat's jokes
I cry: "please think for yourself!"
I talk: freely, only to friends
I am: wondering what you will say...

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Bookshelf quiz

I wrote this post but it could still be considered a cheat of sorts because its lifted from my replies to a webboard forum questionnare. I figured it could do for today. Wouldnt mind hearing some of your answers to it. yes, emails are still okay.

I *am* still writing but will have to finish 10 talents later. Sorry to say, I've been fighting my usual fall flu bug of late. Praise God for His healing & deliverance!


What books you read as a child still linger in the memory in later years?

There are so many in that catagory!

I grew up reading Tolkein, C.S. Lewis (not just Narnia), S. Cooper, Asimov, Silverberg, R. L. Stevenson, Frank L. Baum, Jules Verne, Madeleine L'Engle, Mark Twain, Rudyard Kipling (have they really banned him? Thats very sad indeed), Ray Bradbury, a few by Oscar Wilde when mother wasnt looking....

As I got older, my mother shared more and more of her collection of classics, including the Great Books series (Plato, Bacon, Shakespeare...) as well.

As the grandpa said in Princess Bride, "in my day t.v. was called books"

Has a book forced you to re-think your opinion on a subject?

often! Latest being Hancock's Underworld book (on ancient ruins underwater)

The most important being the Bible. That work reshapes my opinions on a regular basis. Though I do enjoy studying other belief systems Tao and Zen.

Have you a favourite author and grab every book they have written?

Or as many as I can find anyway! Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Ellis Peters, Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, George MacDonald, Jules Verne, G.K. Chesterton, Mark Twain, C.S. Lewis, Rand Miller...

Do you tend to stick to a single genre or do you read books on many topics?

I have favorite subjects, especially history, but I read a variety of things. I think most bibliophiles do.

Do you recommend books you have enjoyed to your friends?

yep! which ones depend on the interests of the friends. -

Has a film adaptation of a favourite book pleased or disappointed you?

I'd be very surprised if anyone answered this question with a 'no.' The delight is when they don't disappoint. I have hopes for a couple of movies coming out this holiday season.

Friday, November 11, 2005

For Veteran's Day ~ TAPS

(read this on Gameboomers and thought I'd pass it along. Never knew all the verses to TAPS either)

(complete lyrics on this page)

This is a gentle reminder to each of us that "So much is owed to so few by so many." Well, I guess history has never stopped amazing us. About Taps, a gallant story. If any of you have ever been to a military funeral in which taps were played; this brings out a new meaning of it. Here is something Every Canadian and American should know.

We in Canada and the USA have all heard the haunting song, "Taps". It's the song that gives us that lump in our throats and usually tears in our eyes. But, do you know the story behind the song? If not, I think you will be interested to find out about its humble beginnings.

Reportedly, it all began in 1862 during the Civil War, when Union Army Captain Robert Ellicombe was with his men near Harrison 's Landing in Virginia. The Confederate Army was on the other side of the narrow strip of land. During the night, Captain Ellicombe heard the moans of a soldier who lay severely wounded on the field. Not knowing if it was a Union or confederate soldier, the Captain decided to risk his life and bring the stricken man back for medical attention. Crawling on his stomach through the gunfire, the Captain reached the stricken soldier and began pulling him toward his encampment.

When the Captain finally reached his own lines, he discovered it was actually a Confederate soldier, but the soldier was dead. The Captain lit a lantern and suddenly caught his breath and went numb with shock.

In the dim light, he saw the face of the soldier. It was his own son. The boy had been studying music in the South when the war broke out. Without telling his father, the boy enlisted in the Confederate Army.

The following morning, heartbroken, the father asked permission of his superiors to give his son a full military burial, despite his enemy status. His request was only partially granted. The Captain had asked if he could have a group of Army band members play a funeral dirge for his son at the funeral.

The request was turned down since the soldier was a Confederate. But, out of respect for the father, they did say they could give him only one musician. The Captain chose a bugler. He asked the bugler to play a series of musical notes he had found on a piece of paper in the pocket of the dead youth's uniform.

This wish was granted. The haunting melody, we now know as "Taps" ... used at military funerals was born. The words are : Day is done..Gone the sun. From the sea. From the hills. From the sky. All is well. Safely rest.God is nigh.

Fading light. Dims the sight. And a star. Gems the sky.Gleaming bright. From afar. Drawing nigh. Falls the night.

Thanks and praise. For our days. Neath the sun. Neath the stars. Neath the sky. As we go. This we know. God is nigh.

I too have felt the chills while listening to "Taps" but I have never seen all the words to the song until now. I didn't even know there was more than one verse. I also never knew the story behind the song. I didn't know if you had either, so I thought I'd pass it along.

I now have an even deeper respect for the song than I did before. Remember Those Lost and Harmed While Serving Their Country, and also those presently serving in the Armed Forces. Please send this on after a short prayer. Make this a Prayer wheel for all soldiers.

(My Thanks to Blondie_BC)

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Because He's Mine, I walk the Line

We like fun around here. We believe in God and would not do what displeases him for the world, but we love fantasy books, movies, and games. For a time there we deliberately gave many of them up while we worked out if we were being led to drop our 'toys.' Finally came to the conclusion we weren't, as long as we stayed in bounds. We have taught our children what scripture says about witchcraft and, in detail, why 'magic' as opposed to petitioned 'miracles' may not be sought by saints. [May cover this in more detail later] We also covered the theories of unusual natural gifts from God. (the Harry Potter series uses this grey area a lot, but also incorporates other worldview elements making this bit of fun fruitful ground for discussion of what is and isn't in bounds according to scripture.) Such a perspective makes us a little weird to many serious brothers and sisters in faith, as well as to the mainstream who don't understand the scruples we live by. For us, even playing video games involves a few limits and several discussions of what is and isn't wise to pretend. We seek not to cross our interpretation of Christian ethics, the lines set by our beliefs.

For example, we see nothing wrong in dressing up in neat costumes any time of year. We see Halloween as an excuse to share one or two , but we don't celebrate Halloween as such. We'd be just as happy dressing up for a sci-con or Renaissance fair.

Granted Becka's starry tunic this year looked kinda 'wizardly,' especially when she added a star-covered medieval hat going to Busch Gardens, but she'll be able to wear it all year (at home). Its a combination of several 'historic' patterns she liked done 'fantasy.' We still hope to make a dress in a more expensive fabric sometime this winter. William wanted (& got) a proper cowboy hat this year and dressed western most wherever he went this October. He has Jedi pjs in winter & summer fabrics that we made him, but these ARE regular night wear for him so he didnt want to wear them outside.

They didn't go trick or treating in their neat outfits, though they got offered candy when we went grocery shopping etc. I didnt make a fuss about that, though people got the honest answer when asked what we intended to do on Halloween. (nothing). We sent a few cards, drank hot chocolate, & ate some candy. We just didn't make a big fuss over the day. That was the line.

The fuss we saved for Becka's big day, which happens to be about the same time of year. I am happy to report she loved her dolphin cake, cds, perfumes, mirror, and Celtic tissue box.

We do acknowledge Reformation Day, All Hallow's Eve, & All Saints Day but we haven't worked out what we ought to do with these occasions. Right now we've chosen to remember these times by praying regularly through these days for Christ's persecuted church, unity for those of us in Christ's body, wisdom for us all to choose His ways in these decadent times, & mercy upon the good souls who have passed ahead of us.

Reformation day has my attention lately.

Another blogger described Reformation day (aka Halloween) as a success of evil against the true church because of the great division created that day. I am sorry about the division too but I don't honestly believe it was the enemy who won the war over Reformation (though he certainly got some battles).

I truly believe many of the Protestant sects, and the populations they influenced, got a lot closer to God than they would have had the errors that were building in Martin Luther's day continued unchallenged. For good and ill, reformation changed the world & a church that needed changing.

I also believe the Catholic church benefitted greatly from the free discussion that followed the break. Reformation brought real change to the original body too as the apologists and thinkers of both sides studied the views of the other. Reformation encouraged a fresh look at old practices and a substantial purging of ungodly elements. Believers like John Hus are better understood and much more appreciated since these changes.

If only ths growth hadn't been accompanied by so many persecutions of believers of both stripes. Jews and pagans also suffered once the idea of permantly 'purifying' the world of 'wrong believers' took hold in Europe, for it went in all directions. That was not Biblical, and it was not a good witness for our loving Lord.

Jesus loves sinners, He just hates sin. This make sense given how much He loves us. Sin kills. Sin destroys. He gave Himself to cure of us of that awful disease in all its forms.

Since it is still the Halloween season, its fair to mention that Christ loves actual witches. He just hates the witchcraft and other sins that keep them apart from fellowship with Him. Witchcraft is actually a form of idolatry as well as paganism. Followers of it look to their own knowledge, skills, or cleverness to gain what they want and need, instead of looking to God. This is why it is a serious sin, but also why being too greedy for gain & depending on material possessions/people of influence/your own schemes to gain what you want was called just as bad.

Since Christ loves sinners, we should all understand that Christ loves 'heretic' believers too. (whatever variety you think that is) They may not be heretics to Him. Or, to put it another way, we may all be. None of us follow perfectly even in what we think we know. Many of us likely hold incorrect ideas about His purpose in our lives, His divinity, and so on. It is not wise to judge others walk with Christ, though fair to teach what we believe to be the truth, as long as it is done in love. Hey, we might be wrong about 'an important doctrinal point' too! If they are wrong, but put Jesus first, Christ will take care of the serious errors in His own good time.

The books of martyrs, both Protestant and Catholic, hold some very sad entries of believers killing one another over doctrinal differences. May it never happen again! There are plenty willing to kill us all (and the Jews too, come to that). May such never be able to shelter behind our doctrinal differences and pretend to be one of the disciples of Love Incarnate!

Paul speaks only of exiling(excommunicating) those from the church who will not not follow the gospel. Jesus warned that we would be persecuted and betrayed as we followed our Shepherd. He didn't give any orders about persecuting back. Quite the contrary, in fact.

Jesus Christ did not kill when He came 2000 years ago. Judgement will come but He didnt tell us to do it. He told us NOT to judge, let alone carry out sentence. Our orders are to share and live the gospel we have chosen to believe. We are not called to jihad or to judge unbelievers in any manner. That is God's job and the Almighty is well able to do it!

Where do I stand?

I love unity but can't bring myself to plump for Catholicism or Protestantism in its entirety. [Which makes me a Protestant by default, I'm told.] I love Christ's Holy church in all her forms but how can I choose between family? Even in all love, I would have to think that one side or the other had all the important doctrines right. I don't. I believe there is a purgatory and in the sanctity of sacraments, but I also believe in personal salvation as taught by Messianics and Evangelic sects. I believe we should study God's word daily, prayerfully, for ourselves, rather than having it interpreted first according to tradition. Nevertheless, we should study the lives and sayings of known saints when we can. I think immersion baptism gets the point across better than sprinkles. I don't think we should worship Mary. I do believe we can ask saints in heaven to pray with and for us, including Mary. I believe there is an understanding God has given of himself to every people, and therefore we can learn from other faith's understanding of Him. However, I am convinced Christ is the perfect fufilment of all those partials. He is the Great Spirit, The only Ascended One, The Tao, The Truth. We should seek to empty our limited lives of selfish desires that we may be filled by the excellence of God, the Infinite Almighty One, and wonder at the love that allows His perfection to put up with our frailties.I agree with the Nicene creed. I don't accept the Book of the Mormon...and, yes, I have read it. I think there are true believers who are officially Mormons though. I also have respect for Eastern Orthodox believers, the Coptic Egyptians, and other variations that I know even less about. There are a lot of ways to appreciate God. I don't think unity can come until the Holy Spirit gives further insight to the Bride of what is and isn't critical to faith. All believers must follow their conscience to live properly before God.

and, in practice, this means.......

I think I am right in being hospitable to all those who claim to love Jesus, whether I think their doctrines are right or not. However, the NT epistles say I should cease speaking to those who claim to be believers who continually show bad fruit, plainly do not follow even the most obvious reading of the Holy Scriptures, and refuse counsel on it (at least as believers).

I seek to be hospitable & peaceable with unbelievers too but do not 'hang' with them when I know they are engaging in active sin. I do not 'party' with them, but I might share dinner or a chat. I like people generally. I don't believe God is unhappy with this. He cares too. Besides, if I never spoke with nonbelievers how should I ever witness with my life?

Yet, I must not shun family for non-family. I should seek fellowship of fellow believers when I there's another balancing act.

Lines, lines and more lines not to cross.

How much discernment is needed to live as a Christian!

No, I do not believe I should judge you whatever you are or do. An affectionate temperament helps, but this isn't always easy for me either. I ask you not to judge me. If you don't think I'm right about something, speak in love or not at all.

Meantime, I'll keep walking that strait and narrow line ~ hanging on to Love's hand.