Let’s Lighten Up the Mood: Do Blondes Really Have More Fun?

Q: So I have a question for you…Since you have sported many hair colors, do blondes really have more fun? 😉

A: For the first 22 years of my life I was a solid strawberry blonde (emphasis on the blonde). It was good times and it served me well, but after all those years of fabulous natural color, I decided to shake things up a bit. So here is a chronological time post of hair color versus fun-having.

Firetruck red
Age 0-4 or 5ish: This was an amazing time of life. OK, so I don’t remember a lot of what went down around that age, but I don’t remember anything tragic, which is a pretty good sign. I like to believe this color started me out right in life. Home videos have me smiling, dancing, and singing throughout, and all my childhood photos have me shyly smiling into the camera like I have some fabulous secret no one else knows about. That secret was, red hair is a guaranteed sassy, classy, and downright bodacious good time.

Strawberry Blonde
Age 6-22yrs: I had a hard transition into being a blonde. Being low on school friends throughout elementary and middle school made the beginning of the blonde tough. While I can’t place all the blame on my hair changing colors, I definitely see a correlation. All the ‘popular’ girls in those years typically had brown hair and were rude, having been a sassy red-head for most of my life I didn’t take kindly to them and gave them plenty of lip, thereby causing me to be unpopular. In high school I fully embraced my blonde roots and gained new friends who supported my blonde side. These were fun times.  I learned quickly how a good haircut paired with a good bang day (ladies you know what I mean) the world could be your oyster. People naturally thought me to be funny and easy to be around. I like to thank the hair for that.

Dark Brunette
22-23yrs: It was a time in my life for new beginnings and getting a drastic color change was just what the doctor ordered. I spent approx 3/4 of a year as a dark brunette and had a great time. I found people naturally assumed I was smart and trendy. One of the most interesting things I found is how many more first date requests I received as a brunette than as a blonde. I’m not really sure why (boys are weird), but it was definitely the case. This could be construed as a tipping point for brunettes to have more fun, but first dates are generally just ridiculous. In my experience first date stories are more fun to tell than to live through (but that is a whole other blog post).

Auburn
23-current (almost 24): This has been my favorite so far. I have the best of all worlds with auburn hair. I have the sassyness of the red, the smarts of the brunette, and the fun times of the blonde highlights. I also had a wonderful hairdresser who completely “gets” how to do hair color (and magnificent bang trims!) which helps beyond words. This color attracts the right kind of attention. Women typically ask me where I get my hair done and the color lets them think I’m trendy, guys think its attractive, and professionally I look like I know what I’m talking about with such a smart color!

In the end, perhaps a majority of blondes have more fun, but fun is to be had in every hair color. It just depends on what kind of fun you’re looking to have.

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Sola Scriptura: What Does It Even Mean?

Q: If sola scriptura is the only proper foundation for biblical interpretation, how would you justify or explain the diversity and division between Christian denominations? Does sola scriptura leave room for differences of interpretation, or is really as simple as Catholics, Baptists, and Methodists make it out to be?

A:  I want you to think about two garages; one is a single car garage filled with gages and tools required to help the car run the other is a two-car garage with one stable car used for the majority of transportation but with another car sitting next to it ready to go should the need arise. These garages represent two different approaches to the uses and means of the Judeo-Christian book known as Scripture and both have their place amongst fabulous people within the Christian community.  The first garage with only one car in it represents Sola Scriptura and the two car garage represents Prima Scriptura. Sola Scriptura literally means: Scripture only, while Prima Scriptura typically means: Scripture first. It is a slight difference in wording with untold amounts of pragmatic differences. The first garage with only one car shows us the only way the owner of the car will get anywhere. In this scenario they have no alternative means of transportation and the car is the only thing they will use. They do however have tools and equipment in the garage to help them take care of it appropriately and help the owner in understanding how his car is running. This demonstrates to a point how Sola Scriptura works. It takes Scripture to get to all theological understanding but the owner has tools available to use at their discretion to ensure the car is working properly. For most these tools involve Bible dictionaries, word studies, christian tradition, etc. These things all help the car of Sola Scriptura to run smoothly. Prima Scriptura differs in how there is now another vehicle in which the owner can take to theological understanding. It works just as well as Scripture but is an alternative way to get there and the real key point is how this other option is just as valid as Scripture.

This distinction is important because the few denominations listed at the end of this question two of them go by Prima Scriptura and the other stands with Sola Scriptura. Part of how I would answer the first question is many denominations do not rely solely upon Scripture to get to theological truths. Roman Catholicism and Methodism typically rely on other means along with Scripture to help believers get to where they are going. Roman Catholicism relies heavily upon Christian tradition and the Pope’s teachings to determine theology and Methodists come from a background of using personal experience and basic human rationale to bring people theologic truths. Baptists, however, sprung from the reformation with the belief that only Scripture can speak to us about the deeper things of God and everything else is a tool for helping us. It is differences such as this which have created the beginnings of many new denominations.

As for why there are multiple denominations within denominations, a lot of it has to do with preferences. Individual churches are typically made up of a community who share a common goal or ideal they wish to see uplifted. For instance the Acts 29 and Foursquare denominations places a high value on church planting and creating christian communities while a local church in Eugene named Ekklesia places a high value on discipleship and being a part of helping christians mature. All are correct in what they do and I think we would all agree these are important, but their emphasis is different. Another example of preferences would be worship style, Lutheran Churches are known to be a high tradition church meaning they follow rituals throughout the ceremony, the congregation typically dresses up for service, and they sing hymns with simple instrumentation while many Baptist churches now incorporate various service types, have full bands, and many of the congregation brought their Starbucks with them.

If it’s not preferences it’s politics. Some denominations allow the church to run its internal affairs autonomously (ie. most Baptist denominations) while others have a hierarchy overseeing much of the services rendered by the church (ie. Episcopalians).  Neither of these policies are bad in and of themselves. Both have been found to be successful models of church implementation. These are just a few main reasons why churches will create an offshoot denomination. Some make more sense than others, but the church is after all made up of humans who are still learning what it means to follow God.

In the end, Sola Scriptura while a major player in church relationships, it is not the only horse pulling the cart of believers around. Church splits, denominations, beliefs, and practices are confusing and often heart wrenching for those involved. After years of growing up in the church as (an associate) pastors kid and then helping to start a church while getting a degree in Biblical studies and being surrounded by future pastors, it’s been my experience that there are some hills worth dying on and some hills worth walking by.

Next Monday: Let’s Lighten Up the Mood: Do Blondes Really Have More Fun?

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The Finer Points of Procrastination

Q: Why do people procrastinate?

A: To adequately answer this question I have procrastinated writing this blog all day long. Typically I like my blogs to be written the night before I post (which is Monday & Thursday just fyi) but for this topic, this question, this Monday, I decided to delve in deep.  Now you may be wondering just what are my qualifications for this post? Well, last night instead of blogging, I went to a fabulous little place on 5th St. in Eugene and ate pizza and watched a cute little bluegrass band, I then proceeded to watch several episodes of Battlestar Galactica (the new 2001 episodes) until time for sleep. Typically when I don’t get a blog posted by the end of the previous night I’ll finish it during lunch of that day. Today? I ate lunch. Peanut Butter and Jelly has never tasted so good. Surely I would finish it up right after work then right? How about more Battlestar Galactica instead while drawing little doodles on a page I titled, The Art of Procrastination. By the end of an episode I was still clinging to a few minutes of freedom by doing basic household chores. I haven’t been this productive in a long time.

So what have I learned?

Procrastination is a fine blend between laziness, drama, and lack of general ideas. Typically you’ll see it come on in stages. Stage One: sheer laziness. You look into the future and say there’s plenty of time and the project is really not that difficult. (“I can write the blog during lunch, no problem!”).  Once the deadline approaches it shifts from laziness to a rush of drama. Stage Two: we all love drama. We love the thrill of beating a clock. For some unknown reason we feel empowered when we race against time and win. Because of this we set up situations for us to feel this drama. (“As long as I write the blog right after work there will still be a lot of Monday left!”) Once the laziness and the drama have subsided and you sit down to your project the last part of procrastination hits. Stage Three: you have no idea how to continue in this project. You finally sit down, or stand up, or assume whatever position you need to be in for your project, and the ideas just aren’t there. (There is a fabulous little doodle of a unicorn on my Art of Procrastination Page).  For the general population these are the three main phases of procrastination and their reasons. Many people will also progress to a panic stage, but I view that more as a revisitation of the drama phase.

For next Thursday: Sola Scriptura: What Does That Even Mean?  Also I am in need of more questions, so even if you’ve already submitted one, please feel free to keep them coming!

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Where do you see yourself in five years?

Q: Where do you see yourself in five years?

A:  This was one of the first questions asked on here, and I’ve held off on it because it’s taken me a few weeks to even think about what five years can do to a person. And the answer is a lot. Five years are a long time for a determined person with goals, am I one of those people? To begin with I’m a 23-year-old single white female with a B.S. in Biblical Studies who works as a doctor’s assistant at an eye clinic.  Do I want to be this person when I’m 28? Parts of it yes. I intend to continue being a white female and I don’t think they would take my degree away. As for the rest, a change would do me good. As for what kind of changes, I’m not entirely sure.

There are two controversial dreams for my five-year plans. The first involves me becoming a Mrs. and perhaps children. The idea of children is still slightly terrifying and a new concept for me. At my current job I work with children of all ages and dispositions and have found that kids are actually pretty fabulous and the concept of having one of my own is becoming more feasible. Suburban housewife would look good on me, but it’s been done. I want my life to involve much more than a nuclear family. The second dream is to remain single yet wonderful. In this world I’m an expert in my field (whatever that may be) and I own my home and have two dogs that sleep on my bed with me. We travel the world doing really helpful things for people, and if possible involves public speaking in some way. This appeals to me mainly because I’m prone to be a workaholic. I love being busy and being a part of something bigger than myself and having a family can interfere with that (depending on the family it could also help). The idea of staying single appeals to me though because I’ve been practically single my whole life and I honestly enjoy it a lot. In the past whenever I’ve dated someone I lose myself in the relationship and I don’t like that person as much as I do the confident sassy woman I am currently.

In actuality the future will be some weird inbetween place. One thing I do know for certain is in five years I want to be in a community that needs me as much as I need them, and I want to be exactly where God wants me. The hard part is figuring out where that is.

—-Monday’s blog: Why do people procrastinate? Want your question answered? Go the the What’s your Question? page.

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Should Boys Wrestle Girls?

Q. Should boys wrestle girls?

A. Some girls like to wrestle boys. This can be seen in The United States Girls Wrestling Association‘s motto, “The Future of Wrestling”.   Are girls really the future of wrestling? According to a New York Times recent article, “more than 6,000 girls competed in high school wrestling” in the 2009-2010 school year; compare that to 270,000 boys who wrestle and it comes out to about 2% of wrestlers being girls.  After Iowa’s state wrestling match, where a young man refused to wrestle against a girl due to religious beliefs even though he was favored to go far in the tournament, everyone in the sports nation seems to be asking the question (as well as my readers apparently) should boys wrestle girls? Well it would appear that in most states women have the choice to wrestle competitively and they know what they are getting into. Those who don’t want to wrestle won’t, and those who do will take the risk.

For the men they may compete against, here is a flowchart to help you make your decision:

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Why I do (and don’t) believe in Soul Mates

Q: Do you believe in soul mates?

A:  A lot of different beliefs are braided into the idea of a soul mate.  In order to believe in soul mates, as in there is only one perfect person out there for everyone, there has to be a belief in destiny. For soul mates to truly happen, there has to be a bigger plan than just wandering around on the earth for the sake of wandering around. There also needs to be an entity or force in charge of creating two perfectly compatible people. Following this logic, it is also required for a specific purpose or reason for these two people to be together in the first place, otherwise the planning involved in creating a soul mate would simply be a micro-management of people. Last but not least, with all the planning involved there would need to be a plan of how these two people would meet. Why create one soul in two bodies if they’re never going to have a chance to meet? It would be pointless. I believe in soul mates on the grounds that there is an entity far superior to my being, who has prepared and planned not only a perfect mate for me, a time for me to meet them, and a reason for coming together. Without all these elements, having a soul mate would be pointless and therefore a moot point.

As a Christian my faith gives a foundation for all criteria to be met. I believe God has a plan for this earth and I am somehow involved in this plan (albeit in a small way) and He has taken the time to see His plan carried out. This may or may not allow for me to find a soul mate, His plan might involve me being single the rest of my life, in which case I am my own soul mate I suppose. If however His plan involves me meeting someone, this person will meet me at the right time for us to come together and carry out His purpose on this earth.

While some who read this will disagree with my Christian background, I want to point out the question was directed to my personal belief, and Christianity is not on trial here, my views on soul mates is. Loved how challenging this question was, please keep the questions coming!

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Should I give money to panhandlers?

Q: I’ve been thinking a lot about the poor recently. Should I give money to panhandlers?  Do you?  What if they might buy booze with it?  Does it matter? Should you instead support them another way? Like how?  Since America’s poor are relatively better off than in many other countries, should we donate more money to the poor around the world than locally?

A:  First off, if you are an adult and in charge of your money, you can give money to whoever you want despite any taboos against it. Does the average panhandler deserve your money? That is an entirely different question and will be circumstantial on who the panhandler is and your relationship with said panhandler. Over the years I’ve heard a lot of people weigh in on the issue and while they are split as to whether or not actual currency should be involved, the majority typically agree that something should be done to help. When it comes to possible booze buying or potentially helping someone in a harmful addiction by supplying them with cashflow, use your best judgement and the rest is out of your control. If they are holding a brown paper special with a bottle in it, probably best to give them fresh clean socks to wear or buy them a meal. If however they are a family near a gas station that have a broken down vehicle that you have never seen panhandling before, money may be the best thing to get them up and running. There is also an idea regarding Conditional Cash Transfers that are essentially small loans or payments to the poor on the condition they use it to better their situation. For more insight into CCT’s I recommend David Stupay‘s recent blog which has a few helpful links as well.

As for the question, “should we donate more money to the poor around the world than locally?” Why do we need to choose one or the other? Regardless of the american lower class being relatively better off, they are still people who need help and at times it is easier to help those who are in your own backyard than across the globe.  I also believe in being a part of a global community and believe that we have the wealth here in America to make a difference.  All that being said I know that there are varying reasons to choose either local or global, and to that I say to each his own.  The beauty of living in a community is when we all start doing our part to help one another we have the ability to reach everyone.

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