Wednesday, October 24, 2012

"Cloud Atlas" and the Bema Seat

Hollywood can be so funny.  Some of the movies they give us can be so complicated, sometimes starting in the middle going back, or backwards from the end or mixed up vignettes that we have to figure out what the actual order of it is.  Tim and I watched the movie "Inception"  while reading the synopsis online at the same time, otherwise we would have never gotten the plot. 


 (we are not stupid people, I have a Master’s degree and my sweetie has a PhD)

I am highly interested in the new movie coming out this Friday called “Cloud Atlas”   which also has a little bit complicated story line.  

The synopsis for it on Yahoo reads:
"Cloud Atlas' explores how the actions and consequences of individual lives impact one another throughout the past, the present and the future. Action, mystery and romance weave dramatically through the story as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero and a single act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution in the distant future."

It seems the folks in the movie use the clouds as an atlas for their lives, past, present and future. ( no I phone , gps, or tom-tom)  Tom Hanks, Hallie Berry, Hugh Grant - what could be better?

It is interesting to me however, how Hollywood ( and the original writer of the book) borrow profusely from Scripture, when they feel like it, and usually don’t give credit to anyone but themselves:)  

 They figure they have a fresh and original idea, when in reality, there is nothing new under the sun. The story line of Cloud Atlas seems to be closely related to the scripture verse:

 2 Corinthians 5:10
“For we must all appear before the bema (judgement) seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him, for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” 

Talk about “actions and consequences impacting ourselves and others”?

 Cloud Atlas is probably an entertaining take on keeping a diligent eye on what you do on this earth, good and bad, and how it affects you and others.  (I think there is some reference to Hitler) 

 For myself, I prefer my “atlas” to be God’s Holy Word.  It is the measuring stick on how to live my life daily. 


 Sometimes I measure up, sometimes I don’t.

Interestingly, another movie entitled BEMA that came out awhile back is probably a better, and more compelling take on the consequences of 2 Cor 5:10.  


As I get older…. 

I am thinking more about the end of my life and living in eternity with my Savior.  I don’t want to freak any of ya’ll out, but actually I am looking forward to it. ..

Many things in this life spur me on to try to finish well, to keep running the race set before me  with tenacity, serving my Jesus the absolute best way I am able. 

Sadly, I have talked with some older folks who feel they have “arrived” 

They have done all they really need to do in their Christian life, and want to “coast” to the finish line.  No more running the race for them.  They are“good enough”.  No more teaching, disciplining, or serving.


This way of thinking is dangerous in so many ways. 

They don’t really get  2 Cor 5:10. 

 According to Scripture, even in Heaven there will be consequences and rewards…for what you do your ENTIRE life.

 But that is a blog for another day.

So I will probably see Cloud Atlas when it comes out on dvd, like I usually do.  But I am not expecting anything epic or life changing.

THAT comes between the pages of Genesis and Revelation. 

In the meantime, 

I am living my life,

running my race,

to the best of my ability.

Looking forward to that time when I do stand before the Bema seat, and give  an account for all I have done while on this earth. 

What about you?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

INFLUENCE or influenza?

Some folks avoid good influence like they avoid influenza.   

They prefer to be influenced by Hollywood, TV shows or rocket scientists in their peer group.  Some of my favorite “teens influencing teens” movies are some oldies:  Sixteen Candles,  the Breakfast Club, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. 

In these highly intellectual films, the teenagers were quite wise- giving each other sage advice about life and love. The adults were buffoons, easy to outsmart.  I can remember identifying with the teens, I wanted them to stick it to the oldies who didn’t know ANYTHING!  

 Now that I am an older adult, these kind of stories still sell movie tickets.  YIKES!  Truly, I do get it, we older folks are many times out of touch with what is going on, and to be honest, many of us are ripe to poke fun at.  The grandparents in Sixteen Candles are my favorite oldies- they are a hoot!


To be honest, it is not only teenagers that avoid good wise influence like the flu.  Many of us don’t like to be told we are not making wise choices.  We seek our own counsel in the decisions we make and many times make a mess.


 When I was a young mom, I longed for an older, wiser woman to help me when I didn’t know what to do.  I didn’t live close to family,  and sometimes I was not sure I was making the proper  mamma choices.  I guess I was looking for a spiritual/personal mentor.  

Sadly, a mentor was hard to find.  Not many felt qualified, or wanted to put in the work of doing it. However , if you know me, I was tenacious, and God was good to me.

While working in the Personnel Dept of my mission organization, there were a couple of women that I worked with who became my professional as well as personal mentors.  They were older and much wiser than me, in so many ways.   I relied on their counsel more times than you can imagine, and still do to this day. Lately I have become great friends with a woman a little older than me who is very wise. She is an awesome mentor.

Here are some  What in the Cathai thoughts on mentorship:

1.YOU NEED ONE.  Period, no excuses.  I don’t care if you are 16 or 60, there is always someone older and wiser than you who has been there done that, they can HELP you.  Don’t seek your own counsel or heaven forbid , the counsel of your peer group who has NOT been there. Don’t avoid the influence of a wise mentor like influenza:) 


2.Professional mentors can be of the opposite sex.   
 Not so with personal mentors.  

 Women need Women
 Men need Men.  

 I hope I don’t have to go into all of the reasons for this.   

There are 16 million.

3.YOU need to be a mentor to someone.   As you age you have been through life experience that  is invaluable to someone younger than you. 


This is God’s will for you.

 I am sure of it.

4.Scripture has many examples of mentoring. If you want to read about it, open your Bible to almost any page.  Here is an excerpt from and article about mentoring  and the website if you want to read more:

“Although the Bible doesn’t use the words mentor, mentee, or mentoring, it frequently refers to what we believe are successful mentoring relationships: Jesus and His disciples, Barnabas and Paul, Paul and Timothy, Naomi and Ruth, Elijah and Elisha, Moses and Joshua, Deborah and Barak, Elizabeth and Mary (the mother of Jesus), and many others. All are powerful examples of pairs and the God-inspired actions they took to help each other develop.”

There is much more to be said about this topic, but for now:   

A few weeks ago,  a good friend of mine who is a 20 something asked me to mentor her and a couple of her friends.  I was honored to say the least. We are opening up scripture together, and talking about things happening in their lives. 


 Influence someone intentionally, and be influenced intentionally. 

Leave the influenza out of it:)


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Holy Cow! The breastfeeding battle!

We all know a mommy cow nursing her calf is the most normal thing in the world:)


It’s a little more controversial  with human mommas.

 When I was a mom breastfeeding all 3 of my kids- out in public was a little bit of a challenge.  While I did breastfeed in public, I was pretty discreet about it, and usually went to a more private place.   


One time I was in a bookstore with a friend of mine, and decided to go out and sit in her car to breastfeed.  When she came out of the store she looked at me and started to laugh hysterically.  I was wondering why -until she pointed out to me that I was in the WRONG car!  WHOOPS, MY BAD!  


While I was coaching Anna’s softball team when she was 10, I used to breastfeed Bud in the dugout  behind the bats and helmets.    Hmmmmm… maybe that is what accounts for his disdain for baseball?


Nowadays moms are busy whether you are stay at home or working outside the home.   Some moms still find a way to breastfeed, (they pump, they take their kids to work, etc),  some don’t, and that is a-ok. 

 This blog is NOT about formula vs breastfeeding.  My mom used formula on all 7 of her kids- most of my sisters used it, I just happened to breastfeed. 

 Yes bonding and nutrition and all that stuff is way nice- but to be honest- I did it because it was cheaper.  We were struggling young missionaries at the time and money was TIGHT.  There was no cash for formula.  I was working part time, and was allowed to have my baby with me, so it was not too difficult.

What this blog IS about is WHERE it is OK to breastfeed.   

Recently a mommy poopstorm  came up at Baylor University...

 When an editorial, written by a 20ish student young fella hit the college newspaper.  He took offense when a female professor from another university had her baby at work, and breastfed during class. 

In fact, her child was sick that day and she could not take the baby to childcare, so she brought the infant to work, it was the first day of class and she didn't want to cancel....  

The young gentleman’s point was that there is no place for children, especially breastfeeding infants in the professional workplace.  

 Lots of moms took exception to his viewpoint,

... and one male religion professor at Baylor.

You can read both the original letter, by student Asher Freeman,  and Dr Peter Candler's rebuttal letter HERE:

an excerp: "With all due respect to mothers everywhere, breast-feeding in a professional setting is — well… unprofessional. New mothers should be prepared for extenuating circumstances such as sick child as well as remember that in a professional setting, they are not only mothers."

 and from the professor:  "But there is something even more worrying here: there is more than a trace of the Freudian or even Nietszchean in the view that breast-feeding is fine in principle but not if I have to witness it"

 VERY interesting points on both sides of the fence:) One of Anna's good friends at Baylor, another doctoral student, just got assigned to a task force to locate places on campus for women to breastfeed....

And now for the "What in the Cathair" take:
 (you knew that was coming)

1.Any young men, who have not been a dad, up at night with a screaming hungry child, or trying to find childcare for a sick baby,  


 are not allowed an opinion on breastfeeding….

 At all.       Period.

2. Yes mommies, I have been there-done that-got the trophy AND t-shirt.  I know its natural, I know it’s beautiful, I know it’s wonderful , and  bond-a-licious

 Still, a little discretion never hurt anyone.

3.Life is tough and busy for a professional mom.  Let’s all be a bit forgiving and NOT write editorials about their parenting struggles- OK?

4.If you are lucky enough to be able to have your infant with you at work: GREAT.  But to be honest, some jobs just are NOT conducive to it.   

 Of course there are exceptions to EVERYTHING:)

5.To be fair to the original editorial- it IS hard for a 20ish young man to wrap his head around breastfeeding for so many reasons that I don't have to enumerate... 

all the more reason to keep his mouth SHUT

Mommas nursing their babies of any species has happened since the beginning of time. 


In the developing country I lived in for 4 years, moms breastfed in public, at work, and everywhere.  No one was offended. No one wrote an editorial. No one really noticed.

 It would seem it is the way God made us. 

Good judgment on one side of this controversy, and education and tolerance on the other side, might help. 

 Here are the opinions ventured forth in my family:
 Photo: Sieges family visit!

Dr Sieg: “kid’s gotta eat, nurse em if ya got em”
Anna: “I’m not touching this one with a ten foot pole”
Ruth: “Hmmmmmmm……..”

But of course, Evan wasn’t allowed to voice his opinion… 

at least not very loud:)

and what's your opinion? 


Thursday, October 4, 2012

just kiddin!

Hey What in the Cathair readers!  A treat today!  Wise words from a great friend, who kind of has a school named after her (NOT REALLY:)  But she is a teacher, mom, and very much loves her Jesus.   ENJOY my  guest blogger:)

Susan Crothers Moore
My buddy Susan Moore in front of Susan Moore elementary:) (Named after some other Susan Moore:)

Those word have come out of my mouth – and the mouths of many a-family member my whole life.  You see, I come from a long line of teasers and pickers and kidders

as does my husband.  So it is understandable that our children “inherited” that trait.   Well, not exactly “inherited “ in the genetic sense, but “learned” the behavior as my husband and I both did from our families, who probably learned it from their families….  

 In her study “Breaking Free”, Beth Moore calls behaviors that are passed from one generation to the next “Generational Sin”.   

Ok, so teasing and picking are not exactly SINS, are they? 

 Not like drinking, carousing, adultery, stealing....

 But a sin is anything that is in conflict with God’s word, God’s laws, God’s character, right?  And He tells us to treat others the way we want to be treated.  Jesus tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves.  And IF picking and teasing and joking with people causes them to be hurt, embarrassed, shamed or anything other than built up, it IS a sin, isn’t it? 

 Now don’t confuse this with having a good sense of humor – which is something we also got from our preceding generations.  Having a good ol’, laugh till you cry, gut-busting guffaw  - as long as it’s not at someone else’s expense – is actually very healthy! 

This weekend, I had a brief phone conversation with one of my grown children.  My call was to “pick” on him about something that I’ve been busting him about recently – all in jest.  But this time, he didn’t take it very well.  I kind of blew it off with “well you know I have to bust you about this…we always pick on each other.”   

He then said,  “No, you don’t have to bust me about THIS.”

Feeling bad about making him feel bad, I texted an apology – which led to a phone call from him a little later apologizing for his curtness to me earlier.  Unbeknownst to me, my “picking” had involved something from someone very special to him, and it really wasn’t taken as fun or funny.  I felt even worse about what I had said, but added that the “special someone” 

would just “have to understand that’s the way we are and get used to it."

WHOA!  Uh-wrong, Missy!   

 As soon as I hung up, I felt God in a powerful way.  God’s words in James chapter 3 tells us about taming the tongue, about what a destroying fire it can set, how full of evil and deadly poison it is, how with the same tongue we praise God and curse man.  And there it was – the first lesson in all this that God is trying to teach me. 

 I never INTEND to hurt anyone with my words, but it can easily cross the very thin line from innocent fun to judging, cutting, harsh words hiding behind the auspices of picking, teasing, joking.    

And it can take on a life of its own that becomes gossip and rumor-mongering when the target of the teasing isn’t even present!  

 James’ words took on a much deeper meaning for me today.  For me to “tame my tongue” 

 I need to think about what I say and the motives driving my “teasing” words – 

are they meant for building up or tearing down? 

 For others, taming the tongue may be to stop and think before complaining, and for others it may be to tame a bossy, arrogant tongue.  Whatever, the issue, we need to be “doer’s of the word, not just hearers,” or our faith is nothing.

Which leads to the deeper lesson God is teaching me through this....

  I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior many years ago.  As Christians we are to die to self – that is, surrender to God’s will, God’s way.  The old has passed away.  So my words that “we always pick on each other,” and “she just needs to understand that’s the way we are and get used to it,” are contrary to that.  Just because it’s the way I WAS, it should not be the way I AM!   We are to become new -


 “…and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”   Ephesians 4:24

 I want to be clothed in His righteousness and holiness. 

 God’s grace and mercy work gently and patiently in my life to help me learn and be drawn closer to Him.  He is working in this area of my life right now.  He led me to the book of James, a very familiar book to me, so that He could speak to me on these specific issues  - and I am so thankful for that! 

 I don’t think He wants to change WHO I am, 



 I am living out my life as a new creation in Christ.