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I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.
-- Ernest Hemingway


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Meme Tag


Purple Fish has "tagged" me to play a little game of occupations. Here's the deal:

Immediately following there is a list of different occupations. You must select at least 5 of them (feel free to select more). You may add more if you like to your list before you pass it on (after you select 5 of the items as it was passed to you). Each one begins with "If I could be..." Of the 5 you selected, you are to finish each phrase with what you would do as a member of that profession. For example, if the selected occupation was "pirate" you might take the phrase "If I could be a pirate..." and add to it "I would sail the 7 Seas, dating lasses from around the worlde." See how easy that is? Here's the list:

If I could be a scientist...
If I could be a farmer...
If I could be a musician...
If I could be a doctor...
If I could be a painter...
If I could be a gardener...
If I could be a missionary...
If I could be a chef...
If I could be an architect...
If I could be a linguist...
If I could be a psychologist...
If I could be a librarian...
If I could be an athlete...
If I could be a lawyer...
If I could be an innkeeper...
If I could be a professor...
If I could be a writer...
If I could be a llama-rider...
If I could be a bonnie pirate...
If I could be an astronaut...

So, what if...

If I could be a gardener... then the world would go hungry. It's unfortunate but true - I lack a gardener's sense. I'm inclined toward organic methods, but I tried that approach at our rural home in southern Iowa when we lived there. 10 acres of land and I didn't have a clue what to do with it or the earth. But while trying, I did learn that peas have pretty white flowers and that pumpkin bread made with true sugar pumpkin kicks the store-bought pumpkin across the yard. Just no comparison.

If I could be a llama-rider... then I'd be soon jailed for cruelty to animals. I weigh over 300 pounds. 'Nuff said.

If I could be a lawyer... then I would laugh hysterically at silly lawsuits. I was once called for jury duty and the case was for a woman suing Casey's for $250,000 because she slipped and fell on ice in the parking lot during an ice storm. In Iowa. Duh...

If I could be a bonnie pirate... then I would steal all the Bonnie's. Or, maybe that suggests that I would be a pretty pirate. Sorry - but "pretty" will never happen for me. So I would get kicked off for being an imposter.

If I could be a missionary... um, well, actually, I was once. For a year. Brought four people to Jesus.

If I could be a painter... hey, now here's an occupation that I find appealing. Maybe someday I'll be able to make a career change from programmer to painter. That would be very cool.

I'll pass this on to some other bloggers... I'll let you know who later.


by Brett Rogers, 4/23/2005 10:46:02 AM


OKay the missionary thing realy sticks in my craw. If you took them to Jesus, what did you take away from them? This religious belief thing is pretty much zero-sum. Anywya, I really get upset about the losing of culture by indiginous folk who have been aggressively intorduced to Jesus.



Posted by Stefanie, 4/24/2005 5:28:31 PM

My mission took place in Oregon... I don't think I replaced any indigenous beliefs other than a lack of knowledge about the bible.



Posted by Brett Rogers (, 4/24/2005 7:04:21 PM

I'm curious how that is considered missionary work..



Posted by Stefanie, 4/24/2005 7:57:19 PM

I didn't really expect this to get into my religious history, but okay - why not?

Let me first say that due to a number of reasons, I don't believe that the bible is the inerrant word of God any longer. How much of it is, I couldn't say and I won't guess. Maybe some. Maybe none. But I respect others who know more than I do or believe more than I do. This isn't meant to be a dismissal, nor is it meant to be a defense...

Jesus said that his followers were to go into all nations and make disciples of the people there. If you believe, then that's what you do.

Missionary programs today vary in scope. Some focus on good works done in far away places. Others focus solely on conversion. My particular mission was solely on conversion. I was to work a part-time job and spend a year talking to people about God and bring them to the new birth (born again and all that). I'd never been to Oregon. Just dropped in and did my thing there for a year.

The whole experience was fascinating. But interestingly, it was during that time that my first big questions arose. That's something I'll get into in a personal conversation, but not here on my web site.

As I said, Jesus expected those who followed him to live for eternity and not for this world. The death of the self (Romans 6:4) meant that if Jesus said to do it, then Christians are to live for him and not for themselves.

I find it hard for you to be offended by a practice of faith, though. Fine if you don't agree with it, but what's the harm in talking to people about it? It's not as though the practices of the Crusades have been resurrected. These are peaceful discussions.

I think it's healthy for any of us to have our assumptions and our faith challenged. If Christians, following the dictate of their lord and savior, go to other countries (or to other states) and introduce others to what they believe is truth and whom they believe is the only way to heaven, wouldn't they be hypocritical and in fact unbelieving if they ignored Jesus?

Likewise, I think it's perfectly acceptable for Muslims to try and convert Christians (or others) to the beliefs of Islam, so long as it's through non-violent means.

People have a right to "just say no" and walk away from the discussion. No harm, no foul.

Like you, I would be disturbed by "aggressive introduction," but I don't know of any cases where that is practiced today. If you can show me, I'll be glad to condemn such practices with you.

Hope that answers your question, Stefanie :)



Posted by Brett Rogers (, 4/24/2005 8:39:35 PM

I always figured since you were a missionary in Oregon you brought them to Jesus from those false pagan deities of coffee and logging.

I'm ever so glad you are past that gig now, not that I really take issue with the practice itself. I've always been a person who enjoys talking about religion, but trying to convert another person always seems a little arrogant to me, just because it's such an intensely personal matter. I suppose in the eyes of some, not proclaiming and spreading the faith means you don't have any, but I guess I just doubt God cares much about numbers.



Posted by Bella, 4/25/2005 5:40:57 PM

Bella raises an interesting point... but based on my experience, the view of a clear-cut hillside is something most Oregonians could live without - but their coffee? Oh no, you can never stop their morning worship of great java. That religion suffers no agnosticism.

The conversion of another person being arrogant - yes, very much so. It assumes that you, the converter, know the truth and that the convertee does not.

Back then, I viewed the truth as I knew it to be like the truth of 2 + 2. God said it, God keeps his word, therefore truth was not so much personal as it was simply universal. Like the truth of gravity - deny it at your own peril.

As for whether God cares about numbers... from a biblical perspective, there is that chapter in the bible named Numbers. But other than that, no, I don't think so. The Christian's goal is not to convert everyone, but rather to make sure that everyone in the world hears the good news of Jesus. Whether the hearer then converts or not is between them and God. Paul addresses this in Corinthians when he says that he planted the seed, a guy named Apollos watered it, but God brought the growth. That would be the personal nature... therefore, the job of the Christian is to speak the truth as they know it without shame to as many people as possible. God will bring as many as he chooses, but that's not the business of the Christian.

Further, conversion is not the goal. It's only the first step. Jesus said to make disciples in all nations... a disciple is a dedicated follower and intensely loyal and faithful. That's the goal.

I expect that those numbers are rather small in comparison to the numbers counted in church membership rolls. In Revelation, Jesus announces that he spits lukewarm Christians out of his mouth, so that would seem to indicate that numbers are meaningless to him, which is quite a harsh indictment - if you believe the bible.



Posted by Brett Rogers (, 4/26/2005 6:58:34 AM

BIG if. But my issues with the bible and taking it literally are many and varied....and probably not really the point of this thread. :-)



Posted by Bella, 4/26/2005 9:54:12 AM

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