ramblings from the noisedoctor

October 1, 2009

news to file under ‘no duh’

Filed under: family, soapbox, unclear on the concept, useless junk — noisedoctor @ 2:46 pm

I just saw this “news” story on a recent email from Baby Center. Here’s some highlights the article:

Less TV brings more parent-child interaction

Wed, Sep 16, 2009 (HealthDay News) — Parent-child interactions suffer when a television is blaring in the background, a new report finds.

The finding is important because more than one-third of American infants and toddlers live in homes where the television is on most or all the time, even if no one’s watching, researchers say.

The researchers studied how much verbal interaction there was between parents and children, whether parents were actively involved in their children’s play, and whether they responded to each other’s questions and suggestions.

The study authors found that while the TV was on, parents spent about 20 percent less time talking to their children and were less active, attentive and responsive to their kids, resulting in a decrease in the quality of the interactions.

“Although previous research found that background television disrupts young children’s solitary play, this is the first study to demonstrate its impact on the quantity and quality of parent-child interactions,” the researchers explained in a news release from the Society for Research in Child Development.

Eureka! What a brilliant new discovery! Sheesh. Seriously… Someone needed to do a research study to determine this? I guess common sense just isn’t good enough, huh?

August 17, 2009

and what do you do the rest of the year???

Filed under: Bible study, Christianity — noisedoctor @ 4:47 pm

I was traveling this past Sunday and was unable to get to our church. As I was driving, I was listening to a local Christian station (a really good one) and they had a church service on. I had never heard this church before (there is one on that station that we often listen to on the way to church which is really good). One thing caught my attention. I may not quote it precisely, but I think this is what the pastor said:

Today we’re going to continue with our summer series to get into the Word of God.

um… You’re the pastor of a church and you need a special series to get into the Word of God? So the rest of the year, you get into… what exactly?

I know there are a lot of churches that don’t really focus on “The Word” in their services. I grew up in one (they’d read 3 short passages and then the pastor would speak about some topic that maybe related to the verses). I guess I was really surprised to hear it on the radio. But, I guess I shouldn’t be all that surprised–just disappointed. I am so thankful that I found a church that goes verse-by-verse through the scriptures.

August 14, 2009

now that’s great church stewardship… not!

Filed under: Christianity, people unlike us, soapbox, unclear on the concept — noisedoctor @ 1:56 pm

This news story on the heels of me pondering my church and stewardship.

HASLETT, Mich. – Divine intervention? Or just plain luck? No matter what the circumstances, a Michigan church is $70,000 richer courtesy of the Michigan Lottery. The Covenant Life Worship Center and its 25 members in Haslett, Mich. had one of the second-prize tickets in the Lucky 7s raffle held May 4.

The $10 ticket was purchased at a convenience store in Haslett, five miles northeast of downtown Lansing. The lottery Web site says the odds of a single ticket winning $70,000 in Lucky 7s are one in 55,556. Michigan Lottery officials say the church will receive the full amount of the prize because it is a tax-exempt group.

Pastor Marilyn Parmelee tells the Lansing State Journal that the prize money will go toward the church building fund, setting up a missionary fund and supporting local community service projects.

I was concerned about my church not taking “free” government money for a geothermal heat system. Here’s a church that takes its money and buys lottery tickets. Wow. That’s great stewardship. I just can’t quite put words together to describe my feelings. I guess I can’t wrap my head around their thought process.

July 31, 2009

wise ethics or unwise stewardship?

Filed under: Christianity — Tags: , , , — noisedoctor @ 2:50 pm

I just got off the phone with someone from my church who is helping oversee an upcoming building project. Given that I’ve been very pleased with my home geothermal heat/AC system, I wanted to make sure that our church is at least investigating geothermal as an option for the new addition. I told this guy that with the government tax credits, it makes a new geothermal system no more expensive than a traditional system (effectively paying for the wells required).

His response was that they had not yet done so and would consider it, however, “we won’t accept any government rebates of any kinds.” He further added “that money often comes with strings attached.” He explained further, and my paraphrase of that is that our church had no desire to come under any sort of control of the government for taking their money.

Now, my initial reaction is mixed:

  • wise ethical approach: a good idea to avoid any type of government entanglement
  • concern: but if this money is (not saying it is, but if it’s a pure tax credit, that seems to be to me) “free” (no strings), then is it really wise stewardship of God’s money?

I don’t know what I really think of this. I guess I’m leaning towards the latter initially. It’s something I’m going to think about.

Also, regardless of what my conclusion is, that conclusion ends with me. I will wholly submit to their authority–I’m not going to share that with anyone at the church. If I decide that it’s unwise and if God, just by some chance, agrees with me, then it’s going to be His job to convict the men of our church that they should consider taking that kind of money.

February 13, 2009

everything is a competition

Filed under: family, soapbox, society — noisedoctor @ 11:53 am

Two things caught my attention recently and made me think about this. A few weeks ago, I saw an ad on HGTV for some upcoming show where their show hosts would be in some sort of competition of landscaping/decorations or such. I didn’t really pay that much attention to it. I thought, “You’re having decorators compete? Where does this ‘competition’ thing end?”

Then last Sunday in church, there was an announcement about the kids in the Awana program going to some Bible memorization competition. I’m all for kids learning Bible verses, but is a competition the right method to encourage this? Is it a good message to send to our kids? I don’t know. It just makes me wonder.

It just seems that everything in the world is a competition: singing, dancing, being locked in a house, castaway on an island, etc., etc., etc. Maybe it’s just human nature. I’ve watched my nephews make practically everything in life a competition between them–if they can make bathroom habits a contest, they can make anything a contest.

I guess I’m just pondering “out loud” at this point. It’s something I plan to study and pray about.

February 12, 2009

am i that transparent to God?

Filed under: Christianity, family, prayer — noisedoctor @ 11:52 am

I had this thought last week.

My son (just turned 1 year old) was walking (yeah, he started that at 9 months, just like his Daddy) around the kitchen. I could see him admiring something on the counter. He then nonchalantly walked over to me with his arms open wide as if to hug me. But what he was really doing was hoping I’d pick him up. So, I did. He of course reached for the object on the counter with a sort of expression, “wow, look at this, I had no idea it was here.”

Now, perhaps I’m reading way more into my son there. But, it made me think about myself. How many times do I see something I want and then run to God with my arms wide open–pretending to seek Him but deep-down longing to be filled by that “thing” I seek, rather than longing to be filled by Him.

Yeah, I think I’m that transparent to God. Father, forgive me. Please help me purge my desire for this world.

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If you love the world, love for the Father [b] is not in you. 16 For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful people, the lust of their eyes and their boasting about what they have and do—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. (1 John 2:15-17)

January 25, 2009

i consider myself in good company

Filed under: Christianity, prayer — noisedoctor @ 11:53 am

Recently, John Piper (a man I deeply respect) posted one of his Ask Pastor John audio clips. It related to something I posted a good while back: who do you pray to? (and in whose name?). While Piper is far more eloquent than I, he seems to agree with what I was saying.

I add the link not to boast. I am humbly appreciative that Pastor John backs up a conviction of mine. I’m glad to see other people seeking him out on the topic as well.

October 31, 2008

don’t waste your life on your iphone

Filed under: Christianity — Tags: , — noisedoctor @ 12:20 pm

I saw this link a few days ago in my RSS reader from desiringgod.org. Don’t Waste Your Life on Your iPhone. I clicked it. I don’t have an iPhone, but I thought it was going to be something either funny or practical about the iPhone and wasting time on it. Nope. Wrong.

The full text of Don’t Waste Your Life is now available online for free in a format optimized for the iPhone.

Silly me.

April 21, 2008

what if i don’t want to be happy?

Filed under: Bible study, Christianity, infertility — noisedoctor @ 8:41 am

I’ve been trying to get caught up on some of the recent teachings by John Piper from the book of Romans. He’s been talking about Romans 13:8 “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another…” He mentioned a quote by Jeremy Taylor:

God threatens terrible things if we will not be happy.

That really piqued my interest. I wanted to research that a little bit, so I found a reference on Piper’s site to a verse that Taylor was referring:

Because you did not serve the LORD your God joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity… Deuteronomy 28:47 (NIV)

I know that verse continues on into a specific list of repercussions for Israel’s disobedience. Yet I think that there are lessons for me to learn in there. My gut reaction is that God is saying something between, “I gave you all of this, and you won’t be happy?” and “what is it going to take to make you people happy?”

Though I have plenty of room left to grow, I think that’s an area of my life where I have grown a great deal over the past few years. I think this was particularly evident in the 18 months where my wife and I were unsuccessfully trying to conceive a child. Yes, there were times I was bummed and frustrated, but overall I made conscious choices to be happy and joyful.

I learned to appreciate other things in my life more: my three nephews, my wife, the wonderful house and property I have, etc. Yes, I didn’t have what I was hoping for the most at that time, but how infinite the other blessings I had. Why should I sit and mope until I get that one desire?

Now that we do have the child that we so hoped and prayed for, I think that I am even more joyful and happy. I think that I notice, appreciate, and praise God for little things that would have never caught my attention before.

I don’t recall the exact situation, but I was talking to someone recently about my son. I mentioned how good he was, how well he was sleeping, and things like that. This person asked if he got fussy. I said that all babies get fussy, and he was no exception. I forget exactly what this person said, but it was something to the effect of, “I bet there are times you wish you could trade him in,” (or “send him back” or something similar). I didn’t even have to think before I replied, “never, not once.” I think that’s because I’ve started to learn to live happy by choosing to be happy. I’m not waiting to “feel” happy. I’m looking for the positives, the blessings in my life and just being happy.

I have a long way to go, many more blessings to recognize and praise God for, and many, many other areas in which to grow, but I hope I never hear the Lord say to me, “Because you did not serve Me joyfully and gladly in your time of prosperity…”

April 16, 2008

it’s a boy…

Filed under: clomid, family, infertility, pregnancy — Tags: — noisedoctor @ 3:52 pm

Just a tad belated here now that he’s 10 weeks old… But that’s why I haven’t had anything to say lately. My wife delivered a happy and healthy baby boy on 2/2/2008. He’s a lot of work but the best gift God has ever given me.

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