Egads!

Filed in Social IssuesTags: Missouri, Saint Louis

I heard it, but didn't believe it. Now Never teh Bride confirms it:

According to CostofWedding.com, the average price for a wedding in the U.S. is $26,800. The general breakdown they give is thus:

Wedding Attire $1,841.00
Wedding Ceremony $2,337.00
Wedding Favors & Gifts $1,104.00
Wedding Flowers $1,136.00
Wedding Jewelry $1,739.00
Wedding Music $922.00
Wedding Photography $2,659.00
Wedding Reception $13,692.00
Wedding Stationery $809.00

The site features a wedding cost calculator based on zip code, which is pretty cool.

So, I decided to see what a wedding here would cost:

On average, couples will spend $55,208.00 for their wedding in Chesterfield, Missouri 63017

Fifty-five thousand dollars?!? That's one-fourth to one-half of the cost of a house. Needless to say, our wedding won't cost anywhere near that much.

(Hat tip:PJMedia - Top Stories)

Christian Carnival CIII

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity

Christian Carnival CIII is up at Miserere Mei.

OYB: January 4

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today's reading:
OT: Genesis 8, Genesis 9, Genesis 10
NT: Matthew 4:12-25
Ps: Psalm 4
Pr: Proverbs 1:20-23

Today's notable verse:

As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.

Genesis 8:22 (NIV)

The One Year Bible Blog notes:

In the remainder of chapter 9 we read about Noah's son's Shem, Ham and Japheth. Initially I asked myself, why is Noah so upset with Ham? The answer lies in verse 22 - "Ham, the father of Canaan, saw that his father was naked and went outside and told his brothers." The last 3 words of this sentence were the issue - Ham told his brothers his father was naked. Instead of discreetly just covering up his father on his own, he broadcast the issue to his brothers. Are there times in our life where we could discreetly take care of problems of others, or could confront the individual directly about the problem, but instead we broadcast what someone else's problems are? Is this right? Is this godly?

Actually, I think the implication here is that Ham did more than just see his father's nakedness. Genesis states that Noah's anger resulting from finding out "what his youngest sone had done to him." Noah cursed Ham because of what he had done, and Ham's descendants became some of the most sexually depraved pagan cultures ever to exist - quite possibly because Ham's curse was for his own sexual perversion.

Regardless, that Ham "told his brothers", and Japheth's and Shem's response, led directly to Noah's blessing just as the original act led to Noah's curse. We are presented each day with such choices, and each is an opportunity to respond to temptation by choosing holiness. We, too, are blessed when we choose holiness.

OYBB is right, however, that we are called not to emulate Ham's "broadcasting" of the issue to his brothers. When we have a problem with another, we are to go first to that person alone and attempt to settle the matter. We are also not to condescend to others concerning their own sins (the "speck" in their eyes) while we have unresolved sin in our own lives (the "plank" in our own eye). We are not to consider ourselves more highly than we ought, but in humility consider others better than ourselves. If we take a right attitude toward our own sin, then we won't have time to make hay over anyone else's. If we are humble with respect toward our own sin, then we can serve others in love as they deal with their sin as well.

EDIT (Wednesday, January 4, 2005, 18:15):

One thing I intended to comment on, but forgot:

The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart, "Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.

Genesis 8:21

What's interesting to note here is that the only humans on the earth at this time were Noah and his family - the very humans saved from the flood because of their righteousness. Yet these same humans constitute the entirety of those to whom God referred when he said, "every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood." This passage is one of the earliest examples of righteousness through faith, and not works. (Abel's acceptable sacrifice would be the first, as recorded in Genesis, and reiterated in Hebrews 11.) Even Noah, earlier commended for his righteousness, is included as one whose every inclination of the heart is evil from childhood. What does that mean? First, we have the ability - the responsibility - to choose to act contrary to the evil inclination of our fallen nature. Second, we are counted as righteousness because of our identification in Christ, through faith, no matter how often nor how badly we fall when we give in to those inclinations. Third, we have been given a very precious gift - the Holy Spirit living in us - to guide us and transform us into the image of Christ, who can overcome our sinful inclinations as we allow Him to work in our lives. Praise be to God!