More Artwork: You’ve Come a Long Way

A girl, smiling, in thought

Almost 5 years ago, I posted some of my Little One Abbie’s artwork. Now that she’s a full-fledged high-schooler, calling her “Little One” feels a little creepy, and reminds me too much of Lwaxana Troi. (But I still sometimes do it anyway.)

Anyhoo, in the intervening years, she’s been posting lots of stuff on her page at DeviantArt. And so I figured it was time for an update. And so I sorted through some of her latest stuff, and picked out some of my favorites, and asked if that would be okay with her. And it was. And so here it is.
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It’s Not Just about Teen Pregnancy

(This is part 2 in my series, “What I Want My Teenage Daughters to Know about Sex.” Click here to read it from the beginning.)

There’s a story that continues to permeate even modern society. If you have sex, you might get pregnant, and that would be a disaster. After you get married—or in some versions of the story, after you’re an “adult”—then it’s okay to have sex.

(This is just one of the stories we tell about sex, and I’ll be going into other sex myths in another blog post.)

There’s obviously a kernel of truth in the story. But this story oversimplifies the truth so badly that you almost can’t even see it buried within the mythology. And so when you do get married, or become an “adult,” you’ll probably have no idea how to think about sex and to protect yourself from sexual risks.
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What I Want My Teenage Daughters to Know about Sex

I disagree with many other Christians about sex.

Firstly, I think God wants us to be happy and prosperous. He created us to enjoy the world and our existence in it. And sex is part of that existence. To turn a phrase, sex was made for man, not man for sex.

Sex should be fun, and it should always be fun. If sex isn’t fun, you’re not doing it right. Sex should never be dangerous, shameful, painful, scary, dramatic— unless of course you add a little drama just for fun.

I want you to find all the excitement and joy in sex that I have, and much more.

But you may find it hard to sort out sexual issues, because we now live in a complex, diverse society, with ever more options. I believe this is a good thing, because ever more options means you have ever more power to control your own destiny, and find a life that makes you happy. But it also makes sex more difficult, because you have to understand more different techniques and technologies, and wrestle with more sexual issues.
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Take a Few Sensitive Hours

About halfway through the film Broken English:

“What are you thinking?”

Nora is laying her head back on Julian’s chest. The bath suds cover their nakedness. His arms intertwine with hers and wrap around her torso. He waits for a response, but she simply stares into space from behind blank eyes.

“Hey.” He splashes some water on her.

They have just made passionate love, and they were happy. She was happy. And if her pattern holds, the happiness will soon reach its abrupt end.
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A Walk through the Forest

Nothing like taking a hike with someone you love, during the first sunny days of Spring. And that’s what I and my Beloved did this past Monday. It was the first time we had visited Lowell-Dracut-Tyngsboro State Forest. But since we’ve moved to the Merrimack Valley, it’s now a 10 minute car ride down a country backroad. So we spent Easter Monday morning together, and enjoyed each other’s company.

I managed to get one photo. The LDT Forest (as I like to call it, for short) is more than 15% wetlands. Here’s a view of (I think) Spruce Swamp, from the north.
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A Child of a Single Mom

Smiley mom and daughter on grass; photo by Wirawat Lian-udom

(No post yesterday, because I was still on Easter vacation. So I thought now might be a good time to start sifting through the backlog of cool quotes I’ve been collecting.)

We often perceive single-parent families as abnormal, dysfunctional, deficient, dirty, indecent, cursed, doomed to failure. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

In the words of Pamela Slim, “As the child of an amazing single mom, I can say wholeheartedly that a home filled with love is not broken. By definition, it is whole, powerful and holy.”

The reality is more complicated than our prejudices. Life is complicated, and this is not an exception to life.

Check out Pam’s latest book, Body of Work: Finding the Thread That Ties Your Story Together.

Or connect with her online.

-TimK

3 Best Things Being a Gentile in a Jewish Home at Passover

Tomorrow is a very special Sabbath, Shabbat Pesach. I spent almost two whole days this week wrestling over which songs to play in service. I probably overdid it, yes.

As a result, however, this is my excuse for a Friday post this week.

The three best things about being a Gentile living in a Jewish home at Passover:

  1. Buffalo chicken and blue cheese dressing on matzah.
  2. Liverwurst-matzah sandwich (with mustard).
  3. Bacon, lettuce, tomato, and matzah.


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It’s Not Sunday’s a-Comin’

Today is the first day of the omer. Actually, it began last night.

Beginning with the second day of Passover, Jews begin counting the days. For 7 weeks they count, 49 days. This is called “Counting the Omer,” laid out in Leviticus 23:15-17. The omer was a measure of grain, an offering of thanksgiving for the freedom of Pesach. On the second day of Pesach, an omer of barley was brought to the Temple as an offering. The counting culminates with day 50, which is the holiday of Shavuot, the Festival of Weeks, the holiday of Pentecost. Shavuot is a like a Hebrew Thanksgiving, and on this day, two loaves made of wheat were offered in the Temple. Jews don’t go to the Temple today, because there is no Temple right now; but they still offer prayers and thanksgiving to God for all that he’s given us. Many decorate their homes and synagogues with greens and flowers, to remember the harvest. Some stay up all night studying Torah. And they read the Ten Commandments in the morning service.
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The Last Passover

“I have earnestly desired to eat this Pesach meal with you before I suffer.”

Tonight begins the first night of Passover, of Pesach, the Jewish holiday of remembrance and living-out the Israelite escape from Egypt. It is a holiday of questions, of upheaval, of chaos, of suffering and deliverance. And for Christians, also the beginning of a significant spiritual change.
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If Everyone Did This, the World Would Be a Happier Place

According to Jake Shimabukuro, “It’s the instrument of peace, because if everyone played the ukulele, this world would be a much happier place.”

He said that at TED in February 2010, in the performance that kicks off today’s concert.

And then he set out to prove it by playing Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the whole thing, solo, on his ukulele.
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