The Platinum Rule

Everybody’s heard of “The Golden Rule:”

Image courtesy of Sebile Akcan via Stock.xchng

Treat others the way you want to be treated.

It is a concept that has existed forever, but I read somewhere that it was Jesus who turned it on this positive angle. Everybody else– Confucius, the Greek philosophers– couched it in opposite terms:

Don’t treat anyone the way you don’t want to be treated.

It was “the law of reciprocity” and contained a rude (underdeveloped) sort of empathy. Sort of like another admonition I read on a twitter profile:

Be gentle with others. Everyone is fighting a secret battle.

All of these build on the idea that we know our own needs and that there is a commonality to our race (we’re all human) that allows us to recognize (from our own experience) what others would value and/or fear.

The frustrating thing about conclusions is that they are fully dependent on the assumptions that lead to them.

Even the Golden Rule.

I have been told more than once that I’m not like most people, and Jay had that great line last week, “You are a square in a world of circles. You come at things from such a *completely* different angle nobody else sees.”

The man wasn’t being critical or complementary. I think bewildered is the best word. It’s nice not to be the only confused one. And nice to be accepted, even “off center.”

So when I assume that others are like me, that they value and desire the same things– I can get in trouble.

For one thing, other people “golden-ruling” me really are trying hard, and I shouldn’t get offended when it doesn’t fit, and what I give other people (because it’s what I would have wanted) can land completely wrong.

So I think the level-to-aspire-to is The Platinum Rule:

Treat others the way they want to be treated.

Image courtesy of Sara Haj-Hassan via stock.xchng

By necessity this requires knowing the other person well enough to make a reasonable guess, but it also requires the presence of mind to apply what you know.

Many people I know (and I include myself in this category) are just plain-nice people. They’re not in the habit of doing unkind things, and I can’t think of situations where they would be deliberately hurtful to anyone.

But some of these people have hurt me.

And I have hurt some of them.

Here’s one specific example, going both ways– it relates (as I see it) to the way we process information differently. Continue reading »

Did you know Sinning is Not a Requirement?

“We’re not called sinners because we sin,” my dad says. “We sin because we’re sinners.”

Behavior grows out of  identity, you see. (Another reason to drop “cheat” from your HEP vocabulary.)

This definition is important because those of us who’ve “put on Christ” and the new life he offers us– we have a new identity.

Image courtesy of Simon Jackson via stock.xchng

We’re not sinners any more.

Charles Swindoll in his book The Grace Awakening, Urges Believers to look hard at Romans 6, and makes a challenging observation:

Most Christians have been better trained to expect and handle their sin than to expect  and enjoy their freedom. The shame and self-imposed guilt this brings is enormous, to say nothing of the “I’m defeated” message it reinforces.

Are you ready for a maverick thought? Once we truely grasp the freedom grace brings, we can spend lengthy periods of our lives wihtou sinning or feeling ashamed. Yes, we can! And why not? Why should sin gain the mastery over us? Who says we cannot help but yield to it? How unbiblical!

You see, most of us are so programmed to sin that we wait for it to happen. …

You have not been programmed to yield yourself unto God as those who have power over sin.

That new power– rooted in our new identity–  is a LOT of what Romans 6 talks about:

  • How can we who died to sin still live in it?
  • Our old self was crucified with Him in order that sin’s dominion over the body may be abolished, so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin
  • You too consider yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
  • Do not let sin reign in your mortal body, so that you obey its desires (The new identity means we have the choice to obey where previously we had no choice)
  • For sin will not rule over you, because you are not under law but under grace. (Glorious promise!)
  • Having been liberated from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness.

These words give me a hope I don’t remember ever basking in this much: We speak of being slaves to sin, the compulsion and the helplessness we were locked into in our lost state.

Now we (who are redeemed) find ourselves slaves to righteousness.

A new identity and a new servitude.

Sin is no longer the Default Mode.

This is a Big Deal because I don’t think I’ve lived this way on-purpose. I don’t think I’ve ever looked at Sin as completely optional.

Then Sunday (I’d been swimming in these ideas since Saturday, the day before) the man bringing the massage wrapped up with 1 Corinthians 10:13:

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it.

When I am watching a mystery or one of my body-a-week shows, I pay attention to the way things are said more than I do in real life.

For one thing, every speaker’s words were chosen by a writer, and I can guess that any hints I pick up on are probably real and not just in my own head.

One thing about every good mystery is that the answer is always on the table.

It might be concealed or misrepresented, but it’s there. When the answer is revealed the audience can see how clever everything was (or wasn’t) and know the truth from all angles.


Image courtesy of tatlin via Stock.xchng

In a similar way, when I go into my life and its demands (and temptations to sin) it makes a tremendous difference to me whether I’ll have to swim on my own, or if I’ve got a rope to hold onto.

God has promised a way of escape.

The answer is on the table.

How encouraging is that?!

So much of my anxiety comes from a sense of feeling trapped. Of being out of options.

And when I’m stressed I am more likely to sin with my mouth.

What a relief to hear I am not bound to this!

He will provide a way of escape.

A prayer for our leaders

From this story.

Father of Lights, the time is dark and our eyes are dim. Our kings, ordained for the protection of the weak, expose them to death, yet cry ‘hope.’ Our people have lost their way and are deceived.


Light in the Darkness, we call upon you that we may be undeceived and follow you once more. We humbly and earnestly implore you, not only that the evils in the land be turned back, but that we have the courage to stand against them.


Holy Spirit, hear our intercession for the repentance and conversion of those highly placed who do wrong. Renew a right spirit within them. We beg the same mercy for ourselves, who have stood by and called evil good. Assist our prayers, and enable us in all times and places to give you thanks.


In the Name of the Trinity, Amen.

The implication is that it is an older prayer, but no source is referenced.  Either way, I greatly appreciate here both the acknowledgment of evil and the source of hope through times of evil.

I hope no one will think that I am calling our leaders themselves evil.  I’m not yet ready to go that far.  But I cannot call the upholding and easing of abortion by any other name.  

Kyrie eleison. Lord, have mercy

Movie Quotes (Quiz and Answers)

Finally getting around to this.

Most of my readers know memes are a very. low. priority for me, but I enjoy quotes so this was a natural fit and I knew I’d eventually do it.

Picked this up from Thoughts of a Wannabe whom I met through the Ultimate Blog Party.

The rules:
1. Pick 10 of your favorite movies.
2. Go to IMDb and find a quote from each movie.
3. Post them here for everyone to guess.
4. I’ll re-post this with all the answers in a week or so.
5. No Googling or IMDb-ing. That’s cheating, and that’s no fun!

*Answers are now listed at the bottom of the post if you need help.*

Mouse-over the space between quotes and highlight the line to see the answer.

These aren’t all from my top-10 movies, but the lines are all those that still cause a reaction, even when I’ve seen or thought of them a number of times.

  1. [to the baby in his arms] I was forced to recite that poem when I was a lad. I have no idea what it means, but why should I be the only one to suffer?
  2. Amazing Grace

  3. A: Then you kidnapped me!
    B: Why would I kidnap…?
    A: I have no idea. You’re the criminal mastermind, not me.
    B: What?!
    A: You’re right. That’s giving you way too much credit.
  4. The Emperor’s New Groove

  5. [Narration] The trial of Jerome Gribben was the social event of the season. The judge in the case was the venerable Judge Zadic. Judge Zadic was totally incompetent, but being a Judge nobody had noticed.
  6. Hallmark’s Arabian Nights (Not Kid-friendly. Think pushing the boundaries of PG-13)

  7. A: You think you’re smarter than we are.
    B: Oh, not much.
  8. Undercover Blues

  9. Over my dead body. (Life-or-death situation.)
  10. Enchanted (The line is so familiar I was surprised I couldn’t place it from any other movie.)

  11. Some feel that to court a woman in one’s employ is nothing more than a serpentine effort to transform a lady into a whore.
  12. Kate and Leopold

  13. The only way to find out what story you’re in is to determine what stories you’re not in. Odd as it may seem, I’ve just ruled out half of Greek literature, seven fairy tales, ten Chinese fables, and determined conclusively that you are not King Hamlet, Scout Finch, Miss Marple, Frankenstein’s Monster, or a golem. Hmm? Aren’t you relieved to know you’re not a golem?
  14. Stranger Than Fiction

  15. Man: And uh… hey, while I think about it, how bout, uh, marryin’ me?
    Woman: Gracious! What’d I want to marry you for?
    Man: Uh, well, I dunno, couldn’t you maybe think up some reason why you might?
  16. Oklahoma! (The London version is the one worth watching.)

  17. American: I’m sorry, I don’t speak English.
    African gunman: You are speaking English right now.
    American: No, I only know how to say, “I don’t speak English” in English.
  18. Sahara (The most-recognized answer– based on both on- and off-line guesses)

  19. Just a little bit louder, because this song is intended for humans, okay?
  20. Music and Lyrics

Titles Represented:

  • The Emperor’s New Groove
  • Stranger Than Fiction
  • Undercover Blues
  • Hallmark’s Arabian Nights
  • Enchanted
  • Amazing Grace
  • Oklahoma!
  • Music and Lyrics
  • Sahara
  • Kate and Leopold

“All reality is Iconoclastic.”

From C.S. Lewis’s A Grief Observed:

My idea of God is not a divine idea. It has to be shattered time after time.

He shatters it himself. He is the great iconoclast.

Could we not say that this shattering is one of the marks of his presence? The Incarnation is the supreme example; it leaves all previous ideas of the messiah in ruins. And most are “offended” by the iconoclasm; and blessed are those who are not. But the same thing happens in our private prayers.

All reality iconoclastic.

Really, I think this is what I’m trying to articulate whenever I talk about things like this or this. (Okay, okay, “The Trouble With Beauty” and “The Offense of the Gospel” for those of you who hate blind clicks. ;) )

I’ve made a shift in the last two weeks, with the only thing written down more than a day ahead being meals.

Maybe I’ll be able to articulate it better in the future, but I wanted to say that I have put away my attempts at the card-file (a system for maintaining house), and weekly to-do lists, and have started just “doing what I see.”

Don’t worry, I’ve always had “selective seeing.”

Sallie’s recent post articulated this so perfectly:

I have come to the conclusion that [scheduling] is an area in which God is not going to allow me to be successful because He wants me to be dependent on Him. I say that in all seriousness, with no jesting. We’ve prayed about it, we’ve strategized, we’ve made commitments, and it simply does not work. I have to believe that God has a bigger purpose in my sanctification than keeping a nice schedule.

I love this image of daily dependency. It brings what has sometimes been an intangible something called a “spiritual discipline” into a realm where I can see it.

What is surprising me (the current “iconoclast”) is how my life feels more peaceful and complete just now than is often has when I was wrestling with a schedule.

Marriage Quotes

Love is no assignment for cowards.


*Being married is like having somebody permanently in your corner.
It feels limitless, not limited.*

Gloria Steinem, upon marrying for the first time at age 66

There is no greater happiness for a man than approaching a door at the end of a day knowing someone on the other side of that door is waiting for the sound of his footsteps.

Ronald Reagan

To keep your marriage brimming,
with love in the wedding cup,
whenever you’re wrong, admit it;
whenever you’re right, shut up.

Ogden Nash

*Find the good — and praise it.*

Alex Haley

Let the wife make her husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave.

Martin Luther

Spoil your spouse…..not your children.


You don’t marry one person; you marry three:
the person you think they are,
the person they are,
and the person they are going to become
as a result of being married to you.

Richard Needham

*Anyone can be passionate, but it takes real lovers to be silly.*

Rose Franken

Married love is like a garden—there’s no shame in saying it takes work to maintain; that’s what distinguishes it from the wilderness.

My own (as far as I remember.)

*A good marriage is a contest of generosity.*

Diane Sawyer

Being in a long marriage is a little bit like that nice cup of coffee every morning – I might have it every day, but I still enjoy it.

Stephen Gaines, documentary filmmaker

There are a hundred paths through the world that are easier than loving. But who wants easier?

Mary Oliver

*My Favorites* :)

For my own amusement…

If I haven’t mentioned it before, my husband and I have sort of gotten hooked on the new NBC show “Chuck.”

It’s got some great lines, and I’ve been collecting some, and finally making “my” list. Naturally this will be very inside-jokey.

Which is to say, if you’ve seen the episode, you *will* be laughing, and if you haven’t you just… might be laughing. Or scratching your head.

~ Chuck ~
Okay, well that– now that’s just a picture of a turtle.
Why are these people sleeping?
I’m going to go fix some hard drives. Good luck with the spy stuff!
[To high-ranking Chinese spy holding him at gunpoint:] Or you could– you could… defect!
Are you two crazy? I’m not gonna have a guy rubbed out just because he upsets our lunch routine!

Crossbow? What, aren’t slingshots good enough?
“Are you coming to the toga party?”

Ellie! You’re alright. Thank God you’re alright! I mean, of course you’re alright. Why wouldn’t you be…

[Under the influence of a truth-serum/poison:]
(to Sarah) You are so pretty!!!
(to Casey) Your jaw could have been chiseled by Michelangelo himself. (Casey, solemnly, “Thank you.”)
Okay, I’ll take this antidote, and pretend to drink it, then I’m going to run like mad and give it to my sister instead. Why did I just say that out loud?

I am not running away. I don’t know what you think this is, but I am having a rare moment of courage here.

Pretty… pretty… Ho! Not pretty! Not pretty! Ugly!
One girlish scream from me and the cavalry arrives.
Some kid could’ve found that! [Casey just opened a gun cache in the store’s home theater room]

Can someone else be the human shield for a while?
One question? Shoot– Not you!
No one ever says how much those things hurt.

~ Major Casey ~
If you run I’m going to point my gun at you and threaten to shoot you in the head.

Chuck: Are you actually going to do it?
Casey [in his *duh* voice]: No.
Chuck: Great. [Runs]

I’m feeling a little pasty.
Don’t puke on the C4.
Now thats what I call moving appliances.
[impressed] Smart. Do that again, and I’ll kill you.
[Shooting out a lock after Sarah expertly picked one]: We all have our skill sets.

~Chuck n Casey ~
Chuck: Soooo, in this plan, I basically do nothing?
Casey: Yep
Chuck: Let’s do this.

Casey: You did really good last night, Chuck.
Chuck: Oh, come on Casey, enough with the sarcasm, okay?
Casey: No, I’m serious. You did good. [Chuck begins to smile] And that tux looks good on you.
Chuck [big goofy grin by now]: Well, thanks, Casey!
Casey: That was sarcasm.

Chuck: Anna didn’t pay you to rub out Tang, did she?
Casey: No. Do you want me to?
Chuck: No! No!

Casey: Stay in the car.
Chuck: My four favorite words.
:Scene cut:
Morgan: I’m going home now
Ellie: My four favorite words.

Ellie (succumbing to being drugged): Words… taste… like… peaches.

~ Cheesy but cute ~
Chuck: Phone Trouble again ?
Sarah: Yeah, I’m not sure I’m able to receive calls….cause I never got one from you….

Sarah: Well, the good news is that we’re alive. The bad news… is this is a very awkward moment now.
Chuck: Not so much for me. Kinda nice, actually.

~ Other~
Tang (control-freak store manager): Now it is mine. The one remote to rule them all. The master remote.

Bryce: You should go for the head next time.

Deli man: He had me at ‘pastrami’.

Another Quote Round-up

Do not let us mistake necessary evils for good.

–C.S. Lewis

Much of our activity is like the waves of the sea, going always and arriving never.

–Charlotte Mason, A Philosophy of Education

The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.

–G.K. Chesterton

Do not pray for easy lives, but pray to be stronger men. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers, but pray for power equal to your tasks.

–Phillip Brooks