Sunday, June 26, 2005

Cloak and Dagger Stuff

"I do love a good intrigue," says Marguerite the wicked stepsister in Ever After.

Well, I love a good intrigue too, but my life doesn’t often lend itself to mystery and risk. But last night Amy and I concocted a bit of sneaky shenanigans.

We were invited to my mother-in-law’s for one of her delicious suppers. After supper, Amy and I were washing dishes while Paul and Anne (my MIL) were out in the garage and she was showing him the bamboo blinds that needed to be fixed.

As we washed dishes, Amy said, "Aren’t those in the wrong order?" She indicated two ceramic smiling-sunflower mottoes above the sink that have hung in Anne’s kitchen for probably 50 years. The one on the left said, "Let’s be happy while we’re here." And the one on the right said, "Share a smile, spread some cheer."

"Yes, I think you’re right," I said. We looked at each other and both thought the same thing at the same time. "Shall we?" Amy said. Anne’s voice continued to drift in from the garage. "Yeah, let’s!" I whispered.

Quickly and quietly she removed the left sunflower and I removed the right. We traded. Unfortunately one had a little wire clip on the back and the other had a loop of string. And one nail stuck out an inch from the wall and the other a quarter-inch.

I hung up mine. The top was much too far from the wall. Anne’s voice still sounded far away so I took mine off and pushed in the nail. Thankfully it slid right into the wall and all was well.

Amy had a harder time looping the string on the little nail on her side. I tried to pull it out further and it came clear out of the wall. Finally it all worked out—whew. We looked at each other and grinned.

Anne came bustling in a few minutes later and didn’t suspect a thing.

I do love a good intrigue. Meanwhile, Share a smile; spread some cheer. Let’s be happy while we’re here.

Quote of the Day:
Jenny: Mom, it seems like everybody asks me all these questions.
Me: Like who? And what do they ask?
Jenny: See what I mean?


  1. Dorcas--your true colors keep coming out of the woodwork!!LOL First rubberbands and now this----hum, I just don't know about the company I keep :)

  2. I love the quote of the day. Keep up the good work, Jenny!

  3. Are you talking about the Cinderella movie with Drew Barrymore? I just saw that a few months ago, and really enjoyed it. Quite romantic, though with a slight feminist update.

  4. Julana--
    Yes, Ever After is an intriguing remake of Cinderella. Great to watch with your sister; don't even try to see it with your husband.

  5. Ha, ha. Yes, he would laugh in all the wrong places. :-)

  6. I find this a bit interesting. I guess I'm behind the times. I didnt think you all watched movies. So I see I'm wrong.

    BTW, I have nothing against watching movies it was just an interesting tidbit to learn about Brownsville.

  7. Mrs. Darling--We have video players but not TV, and we don't go to theaters. Being an ex-Mennonite you will no doubt understand these details.

  8. When I was in Canada, with NYP, we had movie Fridays, in the gym, about once a month. I can't remember what the films were, but we did have them.

  9. Lol Yes, I understand those details! :)

  10. Just a question, What is the differance between watching a movie in a theater, or renting it to watch at home?

  11. Thank you Japheth, you asked my question. Only I cannot stop with a question. {:^)

    If you can use a dvd or other electronic media to view the same "movie" as is shown in theaters or on TV, why not just go to the theater or watch TV?

    OK, I realize "we" would have "control" of the quality, etc, etc, of the "movie" that we watch without the "temptation" of everything else on TV or in the theater. Sounds ok, but will we control it as we should? I wonder if it is only one more step on a journey towards yet more acceptance of the "world"?

  12. Japheth--There's probably not much difference but that's the decision our church came to for whatever reason.

  13. Not that I want to belabor a point but does a church saying that something is "ok" make it right? At our church we have some standards that are "entry level," so to speak. We feel that it is the minimum that is required for a holy life. Our hope is that people will not just camp on the line or see how close they can get, but rather continue to ask is this what Jesus would do? And thus continue to purify us. I have seen too many of my friends focus on the church rules as bounderies rather than protecting fences from the lust of the flesh.

    I am not saying you or yours are at this place, I am just asking questions and encouraging thought in this matter.

  14. Japheth, I agree with your point. Just because a particular fellowship allows for the acceptance of any part of "the world" doesn't make it proper. However, this is the main trouble with Christendom in general. As I stated in another post here, we are somewhat like the Jews in the time of the Judges, "everyman did what was right in his own eyes."

    Someone asked Dorcas what the difference was between the various forms of Mennonite and Amish. This leads me to do some pondering into our history and ask a question.

    Haven't Anabaptists, in general, been moving more and more into the world in each generation since persecution ended after the Reformation? Granted that there have been revivals that brought some back to a more fundamental form of Anabaptism, but the slide has been rather steady away from the original concept of separation from the world. (Also granted that there needs to be a balance between the Amish and Mennonite views of living before God as they are practiced today.)

    As we accept more of the world into our homes, don't we contribute to this slide? I think that the use of "Movies" in any form of viewing is going to speed up this process dramatically. Movies, along with TV, are the greatest methods that the world has used to bring western society into the form that it is today, questioning nothing and accepting everything.

    Church standards to me are like building standards; they are the minimum and not the best way to build. All the best builders that I know exceed the building standards in search of excellence. Shouldn't we Christians do the same? The church standards should be only a starting point that we seek to exceed in our daily living and service to God.

    Would to God that we could only follow His Word and not have to spell out so many "rules" in an effort to explain what His Word commands of us in living for Him.

  15. I think discernment in general and temperance are the key no matter what the medium is. (Books, magazines, videos, music etc.) Personally I wouldn't have a problem with going to a theater but I don't, out of respect to my church...and also I would be interested in viewing maybe 1% of the movies out there.
    I quit reading the free mothering magazines you get when you have a baby because they made me feel dissatisfied with being a SAHM. And I don't get Berenstain Bears books for the children because they always make the dad look so stupid.

  16. Thank you, Dorcas!!! Has anyone else noticed that disgusting aspect of Berenstain Bears books? In general, the dad looks a little incompetent and the mama kinda runs the show. B. B. and the Bad Habit might be one example. My way of handling it is to point out to my children the unbiblical patterns I see, while not nessesarily banning the books from our house.

    I think that in certain cases this is appropriate, (teaches children to be observant) while in other cases the material shouldn't be around at all. For instance, there's a "Frog and Toad " story that makes lying to a friend appear harmless and even helpful. ("Spring" in "Frog and Toad are Friends") And in "A Bargain for Frances", our beloved bear carries out a handy bit of deception in retribution for Thelma's deception toward her, and things turned out great as a result. Not exactly what we want to teach our girls! (Or what Jesus taught us.) So we don't read those. Somehow these stories seemed a bit more capable of deceiveing our kids than the B. B. stories, although I never thought of comparing them until now. We also, at this point, have chosen not to read a few "Let's Talk About..." books, (Let's Talk About Teasing/Whining for example) because, although they're teaching kids not to tease, or whine, we think it's likely that our girls would mimic the bad examples of teasing and whining, thinking it's funny.

    Obviously, that kind of mimicing happens a lot with movies. I've noticed our girls mimicing something questionable from their LeapPad..... You just have to keep vigilant in every area, you know? These things were produced by people with a different worldview than a disciple of Christ has.

    I want to quickly ackowledge, though, that even parents who are fully committed to Godly parenting will draw the lines at different places and see danger in different things. And that's OK! To me, it seems like God would want us to have a balance between: - the feedom to enjoy and learn from good literature and art, and - the need to protect our children and ourselves from things that will draw us away from Him.

    OK....I know I went off on a whole treatise of the subject.... I would enjoy hearing from other parents on this. What do you think?

  17. "Obviously, that kind of mimicing happens a lot with movies. I've noticed our girls mimicing something questionable from their LeapPad..... You just have to keep vigilant in every area, you know? These things were produced by people with a different worldview than a disciple of Christ has."

    Sheryl, I think that this is the danger that I see in allowing "movies" and other worldly material into our home. As you pointed out most movies are produced by people with a different worldview than a Christian should have, and the ones that are produced by "Christian Media" types are questionable for their theology and its corresponding doctrine.

    Dorcas says. "I think discernment in general and temperance are the key no matter what the medium is. (Books, magazines, videos, music etc.)" I see the use of abstinence in this discerning process as an option that we do not use often enough in choosing our entertainment for our children or ourselves. True, we adults may be able to discern the truth from error in any movie we watch, but I question the overall effect it may have on our children as they grow-up no matter how we try to "spin" the issue of right and wrong in these movies with our children.

    Usually, in my opinion, the next generation moves more into whatever the previous generation allows. This is the danger my conference has considered in our rules and discipline recently in requiring members to abstain from all media sources of such worldly entertainment usage in our families. I agree with my conference on this, and I realize that other Mennonite fellowships may not. I will be forebearing and charitable with the decisions of my other Mennnonite brethren on this issue, but will continue to offer my warning to them as to the dangers of their allowances in this issue.

    May God give us all His grace and guidance in these areas of our lives.

  18. I'm way behind on reading your blog, but want to add a comment.
    Another reason Christians refrain from attending movies is because we don't want to support a business that often shows blatantly sinful material. I've heard movies are very expensive now and why do we want to waste money on them? Also, if others see you (and conservative Mennonite women stand out in the crowd) go into a theater, they often are disappointed to witness such behavior or may judge you for it. We want to manintain a good testimony. So, even if some believe a certain thing is not a sin, I may choose to not to participate because of my convictions. Some good points were made in other comments. Let's hold a high standard, not drop it.