Monthly Archives: March, 2014

Cheating and “Conscious Uncoupling.” How sad!

If you count yourself among those who’ve never been cheated on, Cameron Diaz has these words of wisdom: It will happen, or it’s already happened and you just don’t know it.

The actress gave her perspective on relationships as she and Leslie Mann promoted their new comedy, “The Other Woman,” at CinemaCon, the annual convention of movie exhibitors.

The two ladies joked around with each other as they talked about the film, in which Diaz discovers her boyfriend is actually married to Mann and the pair team up to seek revenge.

In real life, Diaz insists that everyone has been the victim of a cheating partner.

“At some point in your life everybody has been cheated on,” she said. “I’m not saying that the relationship you’re in currently, you’re going to get cheated on, but eventually or maybe in the past it’s happened.”

And if you think you’re the exception to the rule, Diaz has news for you: “You’ve never been cheated on? You’ve never been cheated on ever? Really? Really, nothing? Oh good. Well, guess what? You may not know that you’ve been cheated on.”

The 41-year-old actress also weighed in on the “conscious uncoupling” of her friends Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin.

The actress and musician were married in 2003 and have two children. They announced their split on Tuesday in a message on the actress’s blog titled “Conscious Uncoupling.”

Diaz says they’re handling divorce the right way “because everybody is interested and they are giving them the truth.”

She added: “They’re being very honest about their relationship which is that they are really great friends, they’re amazing parents and they’re just consciously deciding that a part of their life is not going to be spent the way it’s been for the last 11 years, which I think is …”

“Eleven years is a long time. That’s a long time. It makes sense,” added Mann.

“The Other Woman” opens in U.S. theaters on April 25.

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2014/03/28/cameron-diaz-cheating-gwenyth-paltrow-chris-martin/?intcmp=features

It’s a bit hard to talk with my jaw on the floor.  I feel sad for a famous, wealthy woman–Cameron Diaz (and Gwyenth Paltrow, Chris Martin and their two precious children).  In spite of her worldly success, Diaz is tremendously confused.  She surely has been victimized in past relationships.  Her cynical edge is understandable.  Plus, we can only imagine the dysfunctional relationships Diaz has witnessed in Hollywood.  She also indicates that she believes an eleven-year-relationship is “a long time.”  Furthermore, Diaz apparently has deep respect for the “amazing parents” (Paltrow and Martin) who are now “consciously uncoupling” after just a decade.  Clearly, Diaz has not been surrounded by examples of couples who live love.  My guess is that she has not seen two individuals commit to “death do us part” and work through their issues for the benefit of their children.

I feel sad.  I feel sad for Cameron.  I feel sad for Paltrow and Martin.  I feel great empathy for their children.  Rather than being provided a foundation for future success, they are hamstrung.  Can they heal?  You bet they can!  Can they learn how to live love?  Absolutely!  Stories abound of individuals who have turned a dysfunctional past into a functioning present.   But how sad it is to hear stories of the reality of sin and the confusion of an actress who considers sin to be acceptable.

Need I provide the self-evident application?  Live love!  Live love today!  That’s my plan.  I use negative examples as fuel for my faithfulness.  And–I also utilize positive examples as models to mimic.  In a sense, I am thankful for both.  May my/our example provide the foundation my children (and future generations) need to live love to the glory of God!

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“My Reasonable God is a Decent Chap”

I recently finished Frank Schaeffer’s book, Patience With God: Faith for People Who Don’t Like Religion (or Atheism), Da Capo Press, 2009.  The title for this entry is taken from that work.  Here it is in its context:

“I like to think the best of God. When people are dying, I talk to Him as if God too is an innocent bystander and not–as the evangelical/fundamentalists would have it–the author of death just itching to liquidate ‘non-believers’ at Armageddon. My reasonable God is a decent chap” (p.211).

None of us acts independently of our past.  That which we experience affects us in profound ways.  Schaeffer readily admits this fact throughout his book.  He is reacting to both his parents–the famous Francis and Edith Schaeffer–and his upbringing.  His book is honest as well as disturbing.  He admits faith, but his faith is pluralistic, not the exclusivity embraced by the evangelical/fundamentalists he has come to disdain.

What Schaffer truly disdains is dogmatism, whether it be religious (Christians) or non-religious (“New Atheists”).  His perspective seems to be accurately illustrated by the COEXIST bumper sticker found on many cars (see page 236).  However, in his reaction to brash individuals and propositions-poorly-presented, Schaeffer has wandered far from the clear teachings of the Scriptures.

His god does not any rough edges.  He has rounded them off.

But God does indeed have “rough edges.”

Can you handle the truth?  “But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases” (Psalm 115:3; NASB).  That’s the truth.  God is absolutely sovereign, and He chooses to exercise that sovereignty in our lives–whether we like it or not, whether it coincides with our concept of what we believe God is like or whether it contradicts what we believe to be true of the Deity.

Simply put: God is God.

That’s meat; hard meat to chew when circumstances have all but extinguished your faith.  Ever been there?  I have.  Life is hard.  Bad things happen to God’s people.  Yes, we cling to God’s precious promises, and quietly preach Romans 2:28 to ourselves.  Following in the footsteps of the Sons of Korah, we talk to our souls, “Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him” (Ps. 42:11).  But sometimes we are holding on to God by the fingertips of our faith.

Maybe my faith is simply weak, perhaps shockingly weak to you.  Or–possibly–what I am admitting is resonating with your experience.  I wouldn’t be to too surprised to hear that you have wrestled with God’s rough edges as well.  Have you found God to be “unreasonable” at times?  In the deepest recesses of your heart, have you almost questioned His “decentness”?

What must we do in such distress?  How do we move forward in our faith?

By facing forward.

I cannot remember the identity of the speaker.  The context was a Desiring God National Conference about ten years ago.  The teacher for one of the sessions was instructing us how we should respond when we feel distant from God.  Ideally, he stated, we are all running in God’s direction, praising Him with joy.  But sometimes, the man admitted, we’re walking rather than running.  And some periods of our life we find ourselves crawling instead of walking.  And, amidst the particularly the dark times, we’re simply faced in the right direction.  We would prefer to be crawling, walking and perhaps even running, but if all we can do is face in God’s direction, we take comfort.  Our remorse is mixed with a godly resignation.

Trust even in tragedy.

Some of you are facing some rather difficult circumstances.  My emotional issues are insignificant to the genuine suffering you are experiencing.  Hang in there.  Don’t toss out the Scriptures.  Hold on to the Lord, even if it is by faith’s fingerprints. Stay faced in the right direction.

Face forward.

How to suffer like a Calvinist; like a Christian

This past weekend we were thrust into the world of suffering.  Saturday was my mother’s first birthday since her passing.  My spiritual mentor went home to be with his Lord and Savior.  And–we found ourselves providentially connected to the Einwechter family.  If you have not heard about their recent tragedy, here is how the Chattanooga newspaper recounts the events.  More importantly, however, please notice Jonathan’s and Monique’s deep faith, even as their voices wavered.

DAYTON, Tenn. — In the chapel at Fort Bluff Youth Camp, Monique Einwechter walked to the wooden, cross-shaped lectern. Around the its top hung the headband Einwechter’s 3-year-old daughter wore as the flower girl at a wedding about a week ago.

“Thank you all for being here,” she said to a crowd of about 200. “I’m still recovering from pneumonia. So if I get short of breath or I can’t make it all the way through, I apologize.”

Five nights earlier, on Monday, Einwechter crashed her Ford Expedition into the pond on her parents’ property in eastern Bledsoe County. Family members saved Einwechter, 2-year-old Jonathan David and 1-year-old Titus. But they couldn’t reach 3-year-old Elise or 6-week-old Enoch in time.

The family held a memorial service for the lost children Saturday. They wanted to honor the emergency responders who helped save three lives. They also wanted to share their faith, explain how God empowers them in the most devastating moments.

And they wanted to explain what happened in the 20 minutes that separated life from death Monday. In front of relatives, friends and emergency responders, Einwechter reflected publicly on the events for the first time.

Traveling a narrow stretch of her parents’ driveway, Einwechter steered the SUV too far to the right. The Expedition slid down an embankment and rolled, its passenger side landing in the water. The children screamed. Einwechter slammed the car horn, hoping her husband, father and brothers would find her in the dark.

“It’s going to be OK,” she told her four children. “Don’t worry. It’s going to be all right. Just hold on.”

Her husband, Jonathan, and one of her brothers managed to pull two children out of the vehicle and carry them to safety. The plan was to return and get the others. Einwechter turned to her daughter.

“Mommy,” Elise said, “I’m going to drown.”

“No, you’re not,” Einwechter told the 3-year-old. “We’re going to get you out.”

But the Expedition rolled again, this time landing with the roof in the water. They were deeper into the pond now. Einwechter couldn’t see Elise or Enoch.

“I was trying to find their seat belts,” she told the crowd. “Every time I moved, I bumped into something. I couldn’t find the way. It was so dark.”

Einwechter tried to hold her breath, but eventually she began gasping, swallowing water. She stayed under for about five minutes, her family estimates, before someone found her and pulled her out. Her brother performed CPR and revived her.

But the family couldn’t find Elise or Enoch until it was too late. During the memorial, Jonathan’s father, Bill, a pastor, gave a sermon. Other family members spoke, reiterating what they have said all week: They find solace in their faith. Monique and Jonathan Einwechter had just arrived in Dayton about nine hours before the crash. They came to stay with Monique’s parents as they prepared for lives as missionaries in South Sudan.

God has provided the Einwechters with a different perspective, they said Saturday. It was God who called their children home, not a freak accident. And it was God who spared the lives of two other children.

“God is just,” Monique Einwechter said Saturday. “I cannot make up my idea of who God is. I cannot determine what is good. That is his job, not mine.”

But, she added, that is not to say she is immune to pain, that somehow she can ward off all grief. As they spoke Saturday, Monique and Jonathan often trailed off, their voices wavering. Sometimes, they stopped for a moment.

And in those moments, the silence was pierced only by the sounds of other babies in the back of the room, crying and calling, “Mama,” as their mothers held them, shushed them, bounced them.

As he spoke, Jonathan thanked many in the audience. To those who helped on the scene, thank you. To those who have called to check in, thank you. And to those who are still praying for the family, thank you.

But, he said, “Don’t pity us as people with no hope.”

Contact staff writer Tyler Jett at 423-757-6476 or at tjett@timesfreepress.com.

Without a doubt, the Einwechter’s have a big view of God.  They worship a sovereign God.  I am comforted by Monique’s affirmation that God alone is God.  I am also struck by Jonathan admonishment to those in attendance (which included my wife and my eleven-year-old son).  “Don’t pity us as people with no hope.”  Yes, God is God.  But God is worthy of our trust, our worship.

Faith-filled suffering.  That’s how every Calvinist ought to suffer.  In fact, that’s how every Christian should suffer.

The article above can be found at:  http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2014/mar/02/final-farewell-neighbors-console-family-in-tragic/