Archive for the 'Discussion' Category

A Changed Work World for the Stay-at-Home Mom

I read a really interesting article on a blog called Pick the Brain.

The post addresses how at an increasing rate, with the aid of technology, people are working in non-traditional situations, often from remote locations. The blog makes this point:

In the case of the modern information worker, nearly all tasks involve creative or strategic thinking. The way someone answers an email or interprets a piece of information can differ drastically depending on his or her energy level. Nobody does their best work 5:30 in the afternoon after they’ve been sucking down coffee all day to stay awake.”

I agree.

Pick the Brain argues that most people aren’t continually effective on an 8 hour schedule, that there are peaks and vallies throughout the day. I would agree with this. Why be at work during the vallies and cause the employer to have to pay for that time? I think they put it well when they state it this way,

When workers reach the low energy part of the cycle, they can’t recharge with a non-work activity. The only option is office purgatory. You can’t be highly productive because you’re mentally fatigued, but you can’t recharge because the 8 hour work day requires the appearance of constant productivity. The result is millions of unproductive workers trapped at their desks when they’d rather be doing something else.”

I would also argue that what may be a typically productive time of day for one person, may not one for another. Why not tailor your work day to the hours you work best? Middle of the night? Early in the morning? After lunch until prime-time? When the kids are napping? After they go to bed? You get the point.

Why does this topic interest a non-working, stay-at-home mother of two toddlers? For a few reasons:

1. Even though the technology was not there when I was younger… I ALWAYS pictured working from home via computer and video conference. It was a rare occasion if I pictured it differently.

2. Withen 3 years of joining the career driven workforce, I started working from home via computer and occasional meetings at starbucks :).

3. Should I ever rejoin the workforce, it will be from home. It will be via computer, video conference etc. The schedule will fit into times when I am not taking care of and/or educating my children.

In an article from the Los Angelas Times, by James Flanigan, posted on AOL Jobs entiteled Working at Home Pays Off for Firms.

Flanigan uses a case study from Jet Blue. He points out,

JetBlue has 700 reservation agents working from their abodes (one pictures them sitting there in their robes and slippers, the fridge just a few feet away) with company-supplied personal computers and second phone lines.

To be sure, their wages of $8.50 to $10 an hour are way above the $2 to $3 a day that call-center operators in India and the Philippines often earn.”

Jet Blues Chief Executive David Needleman shares,

“With home working you get more mature people who stay with you,” he says. “There isn’t constant turnover.” What’s more, he adds, employees who take care of business from home tend to “feel better” about their jobs, boosting productivity by an estimated 25 percent.”

Flanigan also uses AT&T to illustrate the benefits of “homesourcing” workers.

“AT&T Corp., for its part, reported that last year it “received over $180 million in operating benefit from telework” — tasks performed away from the office by U.S.-based network planners, human-resources managers, sales personnel and others. With fewer corporate facilities to buy and furnish, real-estate savings accounted for a significant portion of the number.

The advantages for companies employing people to work at home continue to grow along with technological developments. Though not all jobs can be sourced from home, (eg. doctors, pilots, regulated companies, etc,) Many jobs can, and many employers are thinking out of “the box”.

I have the ability to stay home and not work right now and gladly accept it. But someday my children will be a little older, I will be done having more, and my driven brain will not going to cease to exist! At this point I know I will love working from home again, to what capacity? I am not sure. But I’m EXTREMELY thankful that we now live in a world capeable of it.

The Pick the Brain blog sums it up by saying,

Forty years from now we’ll be telling our grandchildren about the olden days when everyone’s mommy and daddy went to work in an office.

He’s probably right!

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When is War Okay?

I’m going to open a can of worms with this one.

Let’s take the War in Iraq out of the equation… And the “war on terror” is such a difficult one to define that we should be careful on discussing that one as well.

What I want to know your thoughts on is,When is war okay?

Was World War 1 justified?

World War 2?

Many Christians are against the Iraq war… And I see some of their points, though I haven’t come to a personal conclusion. I know we (US) are there and can’t just run out right now. I don’t know what specific decisions could have been made better. I know that it is good Saddam is gone. Beyond that, we need to defeat the terrorists that are there… but I have no answers.

What about situations like Darfur? What if Iran or N. Korea get Nukes and are determined to use them? What wars were worth it in the past? In both world wars, the death-tolls were incredible!

Check out these Estimates via Wikipedia: (they seem unreal to me!)

World War 1 between 15 million and 66 million (larger number includes Spainish Flu deaths.)

World War 2 between 60 million and 72 million (the deadliest war ever) Included in these casualties is an estimated 50% civilian casualty!

Korean War between 2.5 million and 3.5 million

Vietnam War between 2.3 million and 3.8 million

American Civil War est. 970,000 (including 350,000 from disease)

Current War in Iraq between 214,000 and 655,000 and counting

I could go on….

Every casualty sucks.

So what makes it worth it? At what point is the cause great enough? Was stopping Hitler from taking over the world to form his Arian nation enough?

What constitues a “just war”. I have no clue.

Not

one

clue.

I know that it is a decision you should make with fear and trembling before the Lord, but that’s about all I know.

So for all those Christians that aren’t total pacificts, but are only for “A JUST WAR”, What does a just war look like?

Aging Gracefully?

Before I start this post please understand that this is not a plea for compliments! Please don’t compliment me but instead share how you have dealt with the issue yourself. Anything you may have learned may help others and myself!

I have been dealing more than ever with the issue of aging… I know, I KNOW I am only 31 what do I have to complain about? I guess the fact that my skin does not look like it did when I was 20! Its forcing me to realize I am FAR more vein than I ever thought myself to be. I didn’t realize until recently how much security I have put in my looks. The fact is, I know that I am not the plainest girl in the world, as well as I’m far from the most beautiful… but apparently I am devestated by the idea of eventually being old.

Believe me, I know how absolutely wrong this attitude is. I WISH I could tell you I have a great attitude about aging. I WISH I could tell you that I don’t look in the mirror and think about lifting my lids a little and botoxing the line between my eyebrows. I wonder what age I will have to be before I should lift the skin between my chin and my neck?

I look down at my arms and legs and see my mother’s skin. I loved that skin on my mom… so soft, so comforting and warm. But on me? I like the smooth skin that I’ll never get back.

I know when I’m 40, 50, 60 etc. I’m going to either laugh at my 30-year-old self or want to slap her! Intellectually and spiritually I know I’m being rediculous and ungrateful. So how can I get my obsessive vein self on the same page?

I WANT the Lord’s perspective. I WANT my heart changed. I want to value what is important while still maintaining what he gave me! In saying all that, I am not against some forms of plastic surgury… I just know that at 31… that this is not healthy. That I need to stop it!

I want to age gracefully. Some day I’m going to be nothing to “write home about” in the looks department, and I want my spirit to shine through that. I need to focus more on things that are truly important.

Do you struggle with this at all? Am I just horribly insecure? I didn’t THINK I was… but maybe I am? Any words of wisdom? Any one else figure out how to focus on this less?

Are Evangelicals Evolving?

I just read an article on Hot Air entitled NYT Studies Evangelicals in the Mist. The article is referring and commentating on this article written in the New York Times. I encourage you to read both articles in full. I want to point out some specific points of interest to me and add my own commentary. I would love to hear your thoughts as well.

First off, to sum up the articles (though I do believe that you should read them for yourself,) They are discussin the shift in Evangelical Christianity from the Falwell and Robertson days in politics to the more centrist view of emerging leaders like Bill Hybels (Willow Creek, Chicago) and Rick Warren (Saddleback, California).

I agree with this. Evangelicals are moving increasingly toward the center rather than the rigid right.

According to the following quote one thing that evangelicals have not ditched is the pro-life movement. Thank GOD! This after all was the very same movement that pulled Fawell into the political scene to begin with.

“The abortion issue is going to continue to be a unifying factor among evangelicals and Catholics,” said the Rev. Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, who is often held up as an example of the new model of conservative Christian leaders. “That’s not going to go away.”

They go on to question the electability of Guiliani with this “new generation” of evangelicals.

The persistence of abortion as a core concern for evangelical voters, who continue to represent a broad swath of the Republican base, could complicate efforts by Rudolph W. Giuliani, who has been leading the Republican presidential field in nationwide polls, to get primary voters to move past the issue and accept his support for abortion rights.

I have speculated before that I don’t know if Guliani is truly electable if the religious right can’t get past his abortion status (of which I am one,) and the Times seems to agree. I have many friends who vote independently and one of the only things that keeps them voting republican IS the abortion issue.

If Guiliani loses a large part of these independent voters can he win? Will those people just not vote at all because they don’t like any of their choices? Right or wrong, I could see that happening among many people I know. They are fiscally democrats, but morally republicans…I could see them either not voting or voting democrat for the sake of social programs.

Evangelicals also seem quite split on the idea of Climate Change. Hybels and Warren signed a call to action on climate change last year. The former head of the Christian Coalition even stepped down last year for his signing of this same document. As the Times points out, this has unified some typically conservative christian groups a long with the more liberal groups headed by Jim Wallace and Ronald Sider (Evangelicals for Social Action). On the other end of the Climate Change debate you have (had) Fawell, Robertson, and Dobson.

The Times also point out,

Another evangelical standard-bearer who did not sign the statement was Charles W. Colson, 75, founder of Prison Fellowship Ministries, who said in an interview that there were many environmental groups behind the statement that were hostile to evangelical causes. Nevertheless, he said he appreciated the direction that younger evangelical leaders are taking the movement.

As you can see, Evangelical leaders are both united and divided on the topic of climate change.

The former Christian Coalition Leader, Joel Hunter stated,

Mr. Giuliani would not garner much of the evangelical vote because of his liberal views on social issues.

“There always will be in the evangelical movement a strong identification with what we call the traditional moral issues — abortion, marriage between a man and a woman, addiction to pornography,” he said.

A 2004 survey by John C Green attempted to quantify the traditional Christian right evangelical against the newer centrist politically un-involved evangelical,

The two camps are roughly the same size, each representing 40 to 50 percent of the total.

It is estimated that since that survey the number of centrists has grown considerably.

What I am personally noticing is a move toward evangelicals influencing culture change outside politics. The times also points this movement out.

Gabe Lyons, 32, is emblematic of the transformation among many younger evangelicals. He grew up in Lynchburg, Va., attending Mr. Falwell’s church. But he has shied away from politics. Instead, he heads the Fermi Project, a loose “collective” dedicated to teaching evangelicals to shape culture through other means, including media and the arts.

While I think this is crucial… I also believe that we can not at the same time totally neglect politics. It is part and parcel to culture change as much as it is a reflection of culture. I don’t believe we should back out of it completely in our attempts to influence culture through social action, media, arts, etc.

The Hot Air Article commentary on this evangelical evolution points this out from a round-table interview with Rick Warren (Purpose Driven Life, Saddleback Church, California) that Rick had said this to Jaun Williams,

Now the word “fundamentalist” actually comes from a document in the 1920s called the Five Fundamentals of the Faith. And it is a very legalistic, narrow view of Christianity, and when I say there are very few fundamentalists, I mean in the sense that they are all actually called fundamentalist churches, and those would be quite small. There are no large ones.

The article then maps out these 5 fundamentals Warren is speaking of:

1. The inerrancy of the autographs (or original writings) of scripture.
2. The virgin birth and deity of Christ.
3. The substitutionary view of the atonement.
4. The bodily resurrection of Christ.
5. The imminent return of Christ.

I don’t know about you… But these aren’t super legalistic in my opinion, and I have seen my share of legalism. These fundamentals seem rather sound. I am surprised that Warren said this.

I know for a fact that my “Large” church adhere’s to these 5 “fundamentals” even though it is a rather centerist church. In fact, every “large” church I have been a part in my life adheres to those fundamentals.

Hot Air pointed this out, saying

A savvy reporter at that Pew forum would have asked Warren, “Which of those five fundamentals represent a ‘very legalistic, narrow’ view of Christianity?” No one thought to ask him that.


And also going on to say,

The answer, by the way, is none of the fundamentals represent a “narrow, legalistic” view of Christianity.

They’re all essential beliefs. Believing in the fundamentals doesn’t make you a fundamentalist. It just makes you a Christian. The fundamentals were put together to unify Christians of all stripes on the basics that unite us. They’re not just fundamentalist in design or intent. So Warren either has his fundamentalism taxonomy wrong, or he has his theology wrong.

I definitely agree with him (Bryan the author) on that.

So what do you think? New Generation? Or is this a generation *trying* to look different? Are we just finding that *the church* can’t be boxed as easily as many would like to think? Is this a good thing or a bad thing? In accepting this are we really *divided* as a church and thus less influential? I don’t know? I really don’t. I am interested to hear others’ thoughts though. Try to maintain a considerate, respectful tone please.

Addition: I would like to add the very obvious, that the war in Iraq has also been a major split amoung evangelicals.

LOST FANS

If you are a LOST fan and are interested in a fun discussion on lost, or just want to read some interesting theories go to THIS POST on Robberfly

I Gotta Ask… (crowd participation encouraged). Part 3

Last week not as many people participated in my little I gotta ask game. Maybe it was the quesitons? At any rate, I’ll try it again this Monday 🙂

1. What is your main source of news? Internet? T.V.? Newspaper? Do you care?

I probably get my news 50% from t.v. and 50% from the internet. I care a lot. Sometimes maybe too much.

2. Do you listen to music? a certain kind? All time favorites?

Yes- though I once was really up on it and now, well… I don’t get out much 🙂 I grew up with a ton of appreciation for the Beach Boys and Brian Wilson. I loved the Cure and Depeche mode but still was a fan of New Kids on the Block and Milli Vanilli (cut me some slack, I was 13). Then there was a femmes phase and then Elliot Smith. I went through a big billy holiday frank sinatra period… and now I like all sorts of things! From worship cd’s like Hungry or Matt Redman to The Fray and Camera Obscura. I think my taste is probably all over the place.

3. Do you have myspace or facebook?

Yes both. My personal myspace is private friends and family only. And my Facebook is of course private as well.

4. Is your interent dial up, cable, DSL? Wireless, Laptop, Desktop? Mac? PC?

Me- Cable, Wireless, Mac, Laptop.

5. Do you have an ipod? Other MP3 player.

Yes- I have a pink one that I got for a birthday from my husband a few years ago. And this year he gave me a pink shuffle for Vday. He has one of those Video ipods and a shuffle. We are pretty wired around here.

6. Are you addicted to the internet? How long are you on? What are you on for? work? social? research? news? all?

I hope I’m not, but close. Hence, the Fridays off. Luckily I’m pretty busy with the kids, playdates, and keeping house and life together so That keeps me from being a super addict. I would say I’m on 1.5-2 hours a day… but those are mostly nap time and night time. I am on for blogging, learning, and news.

That’s it for now, your turn. Please play 🙂 Don’t be shy.

Political Quiz & Second String.

quiz

Voice of Reason posted a political quiz where you can find out your “political definition”. I thought it look interesting so I took it. My results are posted above. I’m not exactly shocked by them 🙂

On this same site you can compare your results with different politicians view-points. It’s a useful link in a crowded political areana!

Voice of Reason also posted info on what he calls the Second String in the political race (those running that don’t have a huge chance.) I found this post interesting because it is sometimes difficult to learn about these candidates view points since main-stream media does not cover them much.

I would love it if you took the quiz if you could come back and report what you got. I think it would be interesting to see what we get. No judgement, just curiuos.


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