Sunday, February 19, 2006

The Problem of this World

The answer to life, the universe, and everything. 42, of course.

Actually, to rephrase somewhat, I ask this question: what is wrong with this world? After much study and contemplation, I have the answer, and I am 100% certain it is the correct answer.

The problem with this world is me.

So often I tend to have this critical attitude towards others, as if they were not performing up to some standard. And there may be truth to that at times. But, as I'm learning more and more, I am not usually the person who can help them. Maybe once in a great while I can, when someone really respects my views on things and will listen to me. More often, I just tend to spout off without having the authority.

No, the problem is me. And what is the solution? Your standard Sunday School answer: Jesus Christ.

Now that doesn't mean all the problems with me go away the moment I believe; rather, it means the fight to solve my problems begins. Christianity is a battle; don't let anyone ever tell you otherwise. We battle against the world, the flesh, and the devil. All three of them formidable. But Christ is stronger still; in the end He will overcome.

In Christ.

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At 2/19/2006 02:16:00 PM , Blogger Susan said...

Can there be more than one correct answer? Because I'm 100% certain that there is at least one more correct answer to your rephrased question: Me.

Our mental tracks seem to be parallel :). I've recently been reflecting along these same lines, as evidenced by recent blog musings. I've decided to take I Timothy 1:15-16 as my new theme verse.

I've been thinking how interesting the gospel is. It is both terrifying and liberating. First the gospel convicts me that I am unworthy, unfaithful, and unholy. That would make for a depressing religion if that was all.

Thankfully there is the second part of the gospel :). Yes, there is a problem, but now here is the solution. It's not me, it's not you, it's Jesus Christ.

Without the solution, the problem is overwhelming. Without the problem, the solution is worthless.

So as it turns out, the geeky saying is wrong: the answer to life, the universe, and everything else is Jesus Christ.

At 2/19/2006 02:22:00 PM , Blogger Adrian C. Keister said...

Why take one theme verse when you can have them all? I don't doubt there are seasons when one verse seems to speak more directly to your situation than another. But the Reformed doctrine of sola et tota scriptura seems apt.

Well, I know one thing for sure. Whatever I write on either my blog or yours is sure to receive a reply within femtoseconds. Not that that's a bad thing, you understand. ;-)

In Christ.

At 2/19/2006 05:33:00 PM , Blogger Susan said...

By "theme verse" I merely mean the verse I am currently pondering and applying to my life. The reformed doctrine sola et tota scriptura is important, but another reformed practice that I appreciate is the use of creeds and confessions. A "theme verse" (or whatever you'd like to call it) draws out a specific part of scripture to ponder and a creed or confession summarizes overarching themes of scripture or specific points. Neither is in place of the whole of scripture, but are tools by which to study and learn from scripture.

Hmmm, that analogy made sense in my brain, but it didn't quite come out as smoothly. Hopefully you got the idea.

Okay, I think you're exaggerating just a tad, perhaps, regarding quick replies. . . All I can say is that DSL is extremely handy :).

Throughout the day I always have my e-mail minimized, and since I do my planning and grading in front of our laptop at the kitchen table, I usually see e-mails as they come. My students love this, since they normally receive a very quick response on homework questions :). When I'm in another room, Mother Dear and Sister Dear normally inform me if I have any new messages. Hence my quick replies on my blog.

As for quick replies on your blog, that blog-tracking software you suggested is so wonderful. It is so easy now for me to check flagged posts, which I do about 3 times a day. I love the different colored flags since I am very much into categories and prioritization. Thanks again for the recommendation.

And a femtosecond? Don't ever call me (or my family) geeky again. That tops them all. . .

At 2/19/2006 09:49:00 PM , Blogger Adrian C. Keister said...

Ok, I can accept that use of "theme verse." You seem to have a nice balance there. Not that I'm your spiritual mentor or anything. *snorts* Ja, I think I have the general idea.

I think I was exaggerating a bit. It's not a femtosecond, but a tenth of a femtosecond. There. That's better.

Your email/blog setup sounds familiar. I just don't always have the gumption to reply instantaneously like you do. In fact, I'm beginning to wonder if there isn't a General Relativity violation going on here... Let's see. You're reading my mind, which allows you to reply even before I send it. You must have Jedi reflexes. *smirk*

Glad you like the blog software. I do, too. There's no way I could check flagged posts three times a day. That settles it; you do have more time than me. Ah, well. Just wait until you have kids. *smirks again* You'll be enjoying yourself way too much to blog like you are now.

In Christ.

At 2/20/2006 07:53:00 AM , Blogger Susan said...

You seem to snort and smirk quite a lot. . .

Jedi reflexes? Please no. I do not have the ability to read minds, as I have finally gotten my students to understand. I tell them it would be awfully helpful in assessing their misunderstandings :).

Well, checking flagged posts three times a day doesn't take much time for me, and it doesn't always happen with precise frequency. I sometimes check more often, and other days not as often. It depends on the day of the week.

As a matter of fact I am going to start cutting back over the next few weeks. I have a quilt to finish and bridesmaid dress to make, and they need to be done! I am considering a 1-2 week blogging hiatus coming up in the near future. I also have two extra evening :-P meetings this week to throw a wrench in the works, as well as two extra tutoring sessions.

My problem is that I thrive on promptness and organization. This became a real problem when I participated in message forums, because it's very hard to keep on top of 50 threads that a zillion people are commenting on, and I go nuts if I can't. So I finally cut out all message forums. Thankfully blogging is easier to prioritize, though I am continuing to learn in that area as well. . . The software sure helps. I am an out-of-sight-out-of-mind person, so I love being able to delete posts after I read them, if I know I don't need to check them again. That is very freeing.

Yes, I likely have more time than you. I am enjoying a breath of relaxation after 4 very stressful years at college. The last two years involved a daily 2-hour commute :-P. I'm glad to spend more time at home this year. I'll gladly give up my blogging time for my children, should the Lord bless me with them :).

At 3/01/2006 10:31:00 PM , Blogger Adrian C. Keister said...

Reply to Susan.

I hope your quilting and sewing is going well. I've been rather busy lately, and I gather you as well. I've got my oral preliminary exam coming up on March 15 (and I'm not superstitious!). There's lots to be done for that.

O, and in answer to your question in your first comment on my post, "Can there be more than one correct answer?" which I never seem to have answered, I think I'd say, "Let there be relativism!" Shocking, I know. So sue me. ;-)

In Christ.

At 3/08/2006 08:32:00 PM , Blogger Susan said...

Yes, well now my quilting and sewing has gone well :). It's good to have all that done. *contented sigh*

You must be busy with all your preparations. Is an oral preliminary exam like defending a dissertation? I remember when my dad defended his dissertation for his doctorate (in Math Education). He was so glad to get that done :). I'll be praying for you.

For some reason I thought the Ides of March was the 11th, until your comment, which of course prompted me to look it up :). I'm glad you're not superstitious.

Hehe. "Adrian the Relativist" That's a new one. . .

At 3/10/2006 02:23:00 PM , Blogger Adrian C. Keister said...

I'm not exactly sure what the oral prelim exam is supposed to be according to the university. I know what it's probably going to be for me: presentation of the research I've done so far and an indication of where I'm headed. There might possibly be a few questions from Complex Analysis, as that was a written prelim exam I barely passed. We'll see.

Glad your sewing, etc. is done. The dress looks nice!

In Christ.

At 3/10/2006 09:27:00 PM , Blogger Susan said...

That sounds a bit different from defending a dissertation. Father Dear defended his dissertation when he was completely done with his research, and when he came home from it, he knew he had his doctorate.

Ah, Complex Analysis. That was the analysis course I would have taken, had student teaching not gotten in the way. . . I transferred to UGA the fall of my junior year, which meant I couldn't take Linear Algebra and Introduction to Higher Mathematics until then, which meant I couldn't take Abstract Algebra (and NonEuclidean Geometry) until the spring, which meant I couldn't take Sequences and Series - the prerequisite to all the analysis courses - until the fall of my senior year, which means it was too late to take an analysis course because of my education requirements. *sigh* Ah well.

Well, please do focus on your examination! We'll be praying for you, and please let us know how everything goes.


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