Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Burgeoning Belly

Pregnancy is marked by all kinds of challenges. If you've been pregnant, you know them. You also know that joy outweighs them.

Watching my belly grow has been one of the great joys of pregnancy. Under that skin is a beautiful little girl, being knit together by God according to a plan he made before time.

"I'm just like inviting you to join me on the bandwagon of my own uncertainty"

This guy's name is Taylor Mali and while I don't think he's a believer this critique cuts at the core of the postmodern zeitgeist.

(HT: EvangelicalOutpost, via PyroManiacs, via BaylyBlog. I list all three, because they are all important Evangelical blogs. Joe Carter at EvangelicalOutpost has just joined Justin Taylor in endorsing Mike Huckabee and is now attempting [with mixed results] to defend Huck's record on fiscal issues. TeamPyro.blogspot.com is rising on my blogroll for posts like this one challenging "humble orthodoxy". And Tim Bayly of BaylyBlog is the pastor of a really awesome church in Bloomington, IN where one of my college roomates attends with his family.)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Babe comes to Brooklyn!

My younger sister visited us last weekend.
I made her at home by conquering her (and Mr. Miller) in Settlers of Catan. Our game came sans "The Robber Barron" so we subed a toy off a bottle of Spanish wine.

Saturday morning found us at the National Design Museum. A branch of the Smithsonian located in New York City, this museum provides a small but satisfying review of both old and new in the design world.

Great thoughts abounded. Like comparing Piranesi's sketches to the new Cardinals' stadium. Or how light, as manipulated by Ingo Maurer, is so much more than a mere utility. I was taken by his fractured chandelier. Ev favored his LED table.

Ev contemplates art ~

Afterwards, we walked through Central Park, shopped in SoHo, and met Mr. Miller for "La Vie En Rose" at The Angelika.

Shopping at uniqlo, a Japanese-version of the GAP

On Sunday, Ev departed with a full bag of new fashion treasures, which is only appropriate given a weekend in NYC. She left behind many wonderful memories.

Seeing black helicopters?

Conservative conspiracy theories are so not cool.

Call me lame, then. I find the following facts downright weird. (1) Laura Ingraham's new book topped the New York Time's Best Seller list last month. (2) Not a single major newspaper has reviewed it.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Wayne Grudem supports Mitt Romney

Grudem argues why Mitt Romeny is the presidential candidate for evangelical Christians.
"First, he is the best-qualified candidate, and second, he holds moral and political values consistent with those in the Bible."
But why support Mitt over other conservative candidates?

"Apart from Romney, I don’t think there is any other solidly conservative candidate who can beat Giuliani in the primaries. As for McCain and Thompson, they are not reliably conservative. Among the “second-tier” candidates, there are some good men with solid positions, but they have not generated much support. With the early primary schedule nearly upon us it isn’t reasonable to hope that one of them will suddenly “take off.” There is not enough time now to build sufficient funding and a large enough support structure before January.

So it seems to me that if evangelicals don’t support Romney in a significant way, Giuliani will be the Republican candidate. So then we will have a pro-abortion, pro-gay rights candidate who is on his third marriage and had a messy affair prior to his divorce from his second wife. Then we will lose any high moral ground and the enthusiasm of the evangelical vote (many of whom will just sit it out), and the difference between Giuliani and Clinton will be only one of degrees as he shifts leftward in the general election to appeal to the “middle.” So then if we lose, we lose, and even if we win, we lose on the crucial moral issues of abortion and protection of marriage. Romney is a much better choice. But he needs evangelical support now if he is going to win."

See also Evangelicals for Mitt.

Friday, October 19, 2007

First baby / First purchase

All parents share a historic moment: spending the first dollars on their first child. That purchase is significant. The act ratifies the reality that a baby soon arrives who will forever change their lives, and, upon whom, they will spend great sums of money for very small items.

Mr. Miller discovered this special item (see far right) for us in an Orange County TJ Maxx this summer.

Mama Mariner::Papa Mariner::Baby Mariner

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

MoMA magic

My husband woke up on Friday suggesting we should go look at art. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has free admission on Friday evenings, so off we went.

After waiting in line a short time...
we got in! Mr. Miller was skeptical of some of the art. In fact, after looking at just two pieces, he skipped an entire room of Kara Walker who is the new hotness in the modern art world. (A Sun review vindicated his impulse.) We lingered long, however, in the design, Soviet architecture, and minimalism exhibits.

I liked this lady falling into the sculpture garden pond:

He liked this series called "StepMaster" and this wall-length proof:

He was disappointed to learn that, up-close, the proof was not legit but instead a lot of scribbling.

As I recount the evening, I am overwhelmed by the way my husband loved me. He is not an art connoisseur; he doesn't even flirt with the idea. He suggested visiting the MoMA solely for me. And, not only that, but rather than just suffering through the experience, he engaged his mind and made thoughtful comments on the pieces. God is so kind to me in giving me a gracious, self-sacrificing man who seeks my joy ahead of his own. Mr. Miller loves me as his own body. In this way, I see how he is Christ's workmanship. Not surprisingly, out of all the art in the world, my husband is my favorite work to behold.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Skeptical of drinking from The Fountainhead

I'm researching Ayn Rand's novel, The Fountainhead. I read the voluminous work back in college, and found it preachy and philosophically disturbing. Rand uses the story to explain objectivism, which holds a radically autonomous view of the human person and proclaims the virtue of selfishness. Since college, I've talked to countless people who have were profoundly influenced by the novel, including Christians. I've struggled to articulate to them the intellectual discord between objectivism and Christianity, because, to some extent, Rand's philosophy describes human nature as we find it and, thus, resonates with reality. But this essay contrasting George Bailey with Rand's hero, Howard Roark, does the job well.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Heresy of Cool

I wish I had written this piece. I would have titled it, "The Heresy of Hip," because that is alliterative and hip is the new cool. Er...unless hip has been further eclipsed by some new verbiage.

For those, like me, who slave at the feet of cool:
Coolness is heretical. Or at least the pursuit of it is. This is because an inverse relationship exists between our attempts at being cool and our faith in Jesus Christ. The one struts, confident in his ability to do and say all the right things. The other limps, just as confident in his ineptitude, his missed cues and bad timing.

The professionally cool know the short shelf life of their product and are thus characterized by an ability to be just ahead of the curve. They seem to just be leaving the places at which the rest of us are just arriving. It all looks as effortless as it is actually rigorous. That is to say, it’s hard work being cool. And a funny kind of hard work to boot, because it’s not allowed to look hard. Read on...

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Requiem to chocolate

After some amateur sleuthing of my diet, I isolated chocolate as the culprit of several medical heists. So it had to die. In the aftermath, I'm finding solace in fruit desserts, like this scrumptious blackberry upside-down cake.