Thoughts on voting - Oct. 31
3:44 PM | Author: Misty
From John Piper:

Christians should deal with the world. This world is here to be used. Dealt with. There is no avoiding it. Not to deal with it is to deal with it that way. Not to weed your garden is to cultivate a weedy garden. Not to wear a coat in Minnesota is to freeze — to deal with the cold that way. Not to stop when the light is red is to spend your money on fines or hospital bills and deal with the world that way. We must deal with the world.

But as we deal with it, we don’t give it our fullest attention. We don’t ascribe to the world the greatest status. There are unseen things that are vastly more precious than the world. We use the world without offering it our whole soul. We may work with all our might when dealing with the world, but the full passions of our heart will be attached to something higher — Godward purposes. We use the world, but not as an end in itself. It is a means. We deal with the world in order to make much of Christ.

So it is with voting. We deal with the system. We deal with the news. We deal with the candidates. We deal with the issues. But we deal with it all as if not dealing with it. It does not have our fullest attention. It is not the great thing in our lives. Christ is. And Christ will be ruling over his people with perfect supremacy no matter who is elected and no matter what government stands or falls. So we vote as though not voting.

Maybe I have the wrong perspective, but for what it's worth I have chosen not to vote in this election. Both the candidates have their strong points and weak points, but I really do not support either of them. One of them will be the leader of this country, and, honestly, it doesn't matter that much to me which one it is.

This is not me giving up my voice or my right. I am taking advantage of my right to not vote. It's not an apathetic choice; it's actually a reasonably well-thought-out decision. And it's honest. My vote is a representation of my support for a person and his or her stances on a number of issues, and I just don't line up with either candidate well enough to make that leap.

I think Obama means well, and I think he probably will win. Voting for him is the popular thing among my demographic. But I question whether all this change he touts will actually ever happen if he takes office. Politics is a well-crafted chess game, and you often have to give something up to gain even just a little bit of ground. How many times can Obama give something up before even his most avid supporters feel like he has sold them out? I don't believe it is possible for any man (black, white, Christian, Muslim, whatever) to circumvent that dilemma.

McCain on the other hand -- I question why he wants the position. If he was elected, I could foresee him either being too close to Bush policy-wise or trying so hard to distance himself that he would alienate his supporters and fellow Republican lawmakers. A Reader's Digest interview with Cindy McCain that I read didn't really help my opinion of him, either. He was apparently married when they met -- and when they began seeing each other in a romantic sense. Maybe that's old news, but I didn't know that until a few weeks ago.

Altogether, I am just ready for election season to be over.
Rejected Guitar Heroes - Oct. 30
4:33 PM | Author: Misty
Just for fun.

My personal favorites are #5 and #6.
Every once in a while it just hits me how spoiled many Americans are.

Few conversations happen these days without at least an allusion to the economy. Stocks are down, fears are up -- could we be nearing a depression? What gets me is that the majority of us are still cruising along in our $20,000 cars while we drink our $4 lattes and talk on our cell phones. I'm not pointing fingers here; that's absolutely me, too.

More and more, I am afraid the average, middle-class American is losing touch with the fact that there are people out there -- in the U.S. and in other countries -- who have legitimate needs. They need food, clean drinking water, blankets to keep warm. And there are people who live every day in fear that their baby will starve because they can't afford milk/formula or even that their homes and lives will be destroyed as a result of political squabbling ( We need to stop looking at them as "people looking for a free handout" and start looking at them as "people."

At our very core, we all have needs, from the poorest to the richest of us. Some of them are material, but many of them are emotional and spiritual. Maybe if those of us, myself included, who have the capacity to help meet physical needs would quit finding excuses not to do that, some of the other needs would take care of themselves.
I think I'm going to move back over to Blogger from Livejournal. I don't know what it is, but there's something I like better about Blogger.

I'm re-reading Brennan Manning's The Ragamuffin Gospel -- great book. Grace is something that's really been on my mind and heart lately. I still have so much to learn about it. I think I'm pretty good at the surface-level grace, where I can at least act like nothing is wrong. But when it comes to letting go and moving on ... well, that's a little harder. I try to "forgive and forget," but I can see past hurts come back to the surface through my feelings over current situations. And it's one thing to still feel hurt over something, but it's another entirely to continue to hold it against someone. Forgiveness and grace go so much hand in hand.

It's also hard at times to have grace for myself. I'm trying to learn to be myself and to be accepting of myself, not to have to pretend for anyone and to accept the fact that not everyone is going to like me. I guess if I am happy with who I am, I will stop needing so much approval from other people. I can't even imagine how great life would be if I actually did all the things I say I want to do, and those things are in my reach.

I'm 25 years old, and I'm still uncomfortable with who I am. But I'm trying.