Monday, February 05, 2007

The Coffee Talk Companion: "Dies infinitum."

The Coffee Talk Companion is an ongoing feature in which we dissect and discuss former Facts of Life star Lisa Whelchel's online journal entries.

Lisa continues this week with her reflections on 2006. Lady, it's already February. This is like leaving the Christmas tree up past January 1, something we absolutely DO NOT tolerate. We don't know why she insists on continuing this other than to supremely annoy us. So we're going to make this week's Companion as brief as possible. Sorry, but it's just hard to make lemonade out of bananas.

Well, we’ve made it to June 2006 in my personal Bible study journal. I’ll start choosing a few random ramblings to share with you and continue to reminisce by including photos from that same time period. Who knows, we may even be able to wrap this up this week.

Who knows? We know. The only thing wrapping up this week is our head in a plastic bag.

Oh, and by the by, for visual aid this week, we're just going to type into Google Images the book name of each of Lisa's Bible citations and post the first photo that comes up. For instance, for the citation below, we're going to enter "Corinthians." We'll post the result following her...chatter and our...rebuttal (emphasis on the "butt").

1 Corinthians 1:22-24 “For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” – I realized today that I have been struggling between two tensions in my ministry. 1.) I often feel inadequate and shallow because I am not a “Bible teacher” as much as a storyteller. (Greeks/Wisdom) 2.) I have been wanting to see the power of God fall and the presence of God show up when I speak. (Jews/Signs) Dear Jesus, Please forgive me for looking beyond the work You did on the cross and resurrection as enough. Not only when I speak, but also in my family. In my ministry, rather than look for signs or impressive teaching I should keep the focus on Your ability to forgive sins, set free, bring newness of life and hope for tomorrow and eternity. In my family, rather than focus on works, I should always bring the answer back to You alone, the forgiveness of sins and power over the threat of death to the abundant life You have planned for us. Holy Spirit, please remind me and adjust me when I start looking anywhere else but to the cross! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Yeah, well, you're not so much a storyteller, either, sweetheart. Case in point: the above paragraph. We'd say you're more of a Preacher/Android. Which makes us Tired/Suicidal. Seriously. We'd rather be watching Nip/Tuck.

James 1:14-17 – “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shallow due to change.” I needed to be reminded that we are more prone to sin when we aren’t satisfied with what God has given us or provided or promised us. We think there is something more or better or sooner, even, and so we go after that. We are drawn away by our own desires and this usually leads us to sin, rather than be content and believe that God gives every good and perfect gift and trust Him that not only is that enough but it really is also the best.

The Father of lights?!?! We lurv him! He once came over and saw our wet bar setup and told us we had the absolutely wrong lamp system in place. He then went back to his shop on the Bowery and brought us a whole new track lighting system for over the bar area. We've since stopped mixing brandy and vermouth. Well, accidentally. And, just like the Bible said, the gift comes from above!

(Sorry, we totally were watching Puppy Bowl III when we wrote the above. We realize it's not Funny/Coherent.)

Matthew 24:12 – “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” – Although, there are many excellent shows on television that appear acceptable for me, as a Christ-follower, to watch, I need to be more prayerfully discerning. I love the show, “24,” but I’m concerned about the effect the violence may have on my heart. Because we see so much violence on TV and hear about so much of it on the nightly news, it no longer touches us like it should. We become detached from the fact that these bad things are happening to people! God’s children! We should be broken-hearted.

Lisa loves namechecking that 24, doesn't she? Here's the thing, Lisa. And please allow us to get serious for a moment, if we may. The reason we as a country are detached from violence is because we're NOT allowed to see violence on TV. No, we're not talking about 24, silly! That's a TV show with fake violence. Those of us who are connected to reality can discern TV/movie violence from actual violence. We love violent entertainment, Lisa, but it doesn't really have any bearing on how we act toward our Friends/Family.

No, the reason we're so detached from the terrible things happening in the world, Lisa, is because the real-life violence is censored. When was the last time you saw footage on the nightly news of a soldier in Iraq getting blown to smithereens by a homemade mine? Or a family of Shiites wandering a debris-filled road because their house has been bombed? Or when was the last time you saw footage of a planeload of American coffins coming back from the Middle East? We should absolutely be broken-hearted, Lisa, but we're not largely because of the actions of the government you voted for and the press that kowtows to its demands. And that's the truth. Put that in your Bible and smoke it, girlfriend.

OK. Sorry. We're totes done being serious now. Scout's honor. It's just that we get really fucking tired of people making the completely unjustifiable argument that fake violence has negative effects on our, you know, hearts. Matthew 2:5.

2 Chronicles 7:1 – “As soon as Solomon finished his prayer, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.” – When they dedicated the temple they offered thousands of sacrifices and then the glory, the presence, filled the temple. When we offer the sacrifice of praise, the glorious presence of the Lord invades my heart and life. I didn’t make up that connection. Hebrews 13:15 says, “Through Him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge His name.” It is a sacrifice to praise, to lay down my busy schedule, my “feelings,” my inhibitions to offer praise. And I should offer Him my best, the beginning of my day and my first response to every situation, just like Solomon offered the best animals, not the mamed or lame. The reward is the glorious presence of God, for goodness sakes. Why do I hesitate for even a minute?

What's she talking about, hesitate? As far as we've seen, Lisa isn't the slightest bit hesitant to call on god whenever she needs, like, anything. Well, for herself. If she had made that important distinction here, we might be a little more swayed by her frustration. But, as it is, we're so Not/Biting.

Luke 6:45 – “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” – I feel so badly for what I said to Steve. Why do I always say things that I know I’ll regret later? My problem is, I can be “good” for months and not blurt out what I’m thinking, only to, in a moment of weakness, eventually say it. At that point, what was good in even having self-control for any length of time. The damage was done, only later. Perhaps, it all goes back to “thinking.” I must start by being more careful with the thoughts I’m thinking, knowing that eventually they’ll come out of my mouth. With that in mind, when I catch myself thinking thoughts that I know I would regret if they ever came out in the open, or if I ever said them out loud, I need to do business with them right then until they don’t come back again. I need to repent, nail them to the cross and bring resurrection life through Scriptures that are filled with life.

Hmmm. Wonder what she said to Steve. It must have been something pretty bad 'cause we haven't seen Daddy very much recently. There was the Christmas food scavenger mall hunt spectacular, of course, but that seemed pretty mandatory. Here's something: Does publicly repenting for something that happened more than half a year ago count when your method of apology is, ultimately, a blog? (Oh, we are so totally sending that question in to The View as a Hot Topic.)

Proverbs 27:7 – “A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb, but to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.” This verse defines the answer I’m so often asked in interviews, “How come your life turned out so differently than the typical child star?” I believe it is because the emptiness in my soul was filled with Jesus, I was not enticed by the sweet things the world had to offer. But to someone without Christ, they will often consume bitter things just to temporarily stave off the gnawing ache of emptiness. I’m so grateful for God’s grace to fill my heart so completely from the time I was a little girl.

Wait. And sorry for all the questions, but this whole "Reflecting on 2006" business is not really making anything clear. How exactly, pray tell, did Lisa turn out differently than a typical child star? She actually fits the former child star mold quite well, wethinks. She has an unstable family, she's basically poor, and she doesn't act unless the show that made her a star has a reunion. And, like most former child stars, she's completely detached from reality. And that's not some kind of snarky accusation. It's just a fact of her life.

Well, it looks like we are going to need one last journal entry to wrap up 2006. Doesn’t it just blow your mind that the Ancient of Days wants to speak to us so personally through His eternal Word today?!

You know what blows our mind, woman? That we're gonna have another week of this. That's what blows our mind. Sheesh.

Well, enjoy the sub-Arctic weather, y'all. And stay out of Trouble/Jews.


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