Yes folks, the suggestions are in, and wow, these are something! I never had any idea that all of you were just dying to ask me such questions! : D
In fact, I thought they were so good, I am going to give you all a bit of a treat. I will not only answer one, but three of your questions.
So, the first person who gets an answer....(drum-role please...)
She posed the question
"What is the purpose of art?"
Ooo, good one. This could be a serious poser. I mean, after all, if "whatsoever is not of faith is sin" how is drawing and painting applying "faith"?
If life is for a purpose, and everything we do in life is for a purpose, what point does spending a bunch of time smearing rocks on slabs of dead trees really have? Just a waste of time?
Well, I had to struggle with this and other related topics just recently myself. Could I really devote my time to something that had no "point"?
This is the conclusion that I came to. God wants us to enjoy Him, and enjoy what he has given us here on this earth - in His own bounds and time of course. God also has commanded us to magnify His name through creation.
Art, I believe, can be used to magnify and glorify God's name, by displaying His handywork in a smaller format. By re-creating God's wonderful design, nature, and universe in our art, is praising His creativity and majesty.
After all, when somebody or something is really spectacular, and someone wishes to capture and show the world whatever piece of wonder it is, they take a picture of it (or draw or paint, etc.) and post it in a place for people to see and marvel at.
I draw because God's world around me is beautiful, and the details are beautiful. God's world has detail, and lots of it, so I put as much detail as possible into any given picture I draw.
So, by very definition, abstract art, is therefore out of the picture. Abstraction and abstract random things, really are not to be found in Gods universe. We see detail, order, and design, not randomness, chaos, and disorderly objects.
So, I draw to capture God's wonderful creation, and draw as detailed as I can, to show how detailed the things are in real life.
I tend to lean on the western genre, because I personally think that the west is the most beautiful and awesome place on planet earth, and the men and culture that discovered and tamed it, are some of the toughest and most manly men this world has ever seen.
Not to say that all 19th century cowboys were perfect. Gee Louie, no. In fact, lots of them killed each-other, got drunk on every occasion possible, and did countless other vulgar and profane things that can't be mentioned. Every era of history has its heroes and its villains, and those my friend, were not the heroes. The heroes were the ones who came out to start a new life for their family, and toughed the rough, hard life for the sake of their loved ones at home.
Ooops, I digress. I almost began my oration on cowboys, not art!
All right, on to our next question.
Bushmaid asked the next series of questions.
Is miraculous healing not only something we should expect, but receive today?
Oh ho, another good poser. This topic is similar to the whole "is there such a thing as modern miracles" that I have heard before. Here is my take on it.
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." - Romans 8:28
So, all things work for good, and we know all things are planned and governed by God.
So, if anything happens in our life, we know that God has ordained, or let this happen, and it is for our good and His glory.
That being said, we CAN expect miraculous healing from present sufferings, injuries and pain, IF it is His will.
That is very important. If it is God's will, you can expect the mountains to leap in the air for your healing. If not, all the medicines and natural remedies in the world combined couldn't save you. God's will is His business, not ours, and it is not for us to question it. Simply know, that God is in control, He can heal you or kill you at His will, but whatever happens, its for your own good, and mostly of all, for His glory.
That's my take on that, or what I understand of it.
Her next question ( which is right up my alley! )
She asked for details on firearms, permits, game and licenses here in my neck of the woods.
Arizona is a great state for guns and gun owners. At 18 you can open carry in public, at 21 you can concealed carry in public, neither require any permit or permission from the feds, and you can open carry under 18 if your parent or legal guardian is with you. Needless to say, I open carry every day. : ) Second amendment fan, all the way.
You can own any and as many firearms as you please, but you have to have multiple permits and fed approvals to own anything fully automatic, or to have silencers. If you buy a gun through a private sale, you don't even have to have it registered. If a gun is built in Arizona, you don't have to have it registered either.
To go shooting you merely find a spot out of city limits that has no "no shooting" signs posted, and rattle away as much as you like.
As far as game goes, we have a wide selection to choose from. Elk, deer, buffalo, bear, cougar, and antelope are a few of the large game animals you can hunt with a license, but you have to be drawn from a random drawing to hunt them once a year.
As far as small game, you have rabbits, dove, quail, coyotes, and other such fun critters that you can hunt and shoot various amounts of, with a mere hunting license, or inexpensive tag in the right season.
Needless to say, I like it here in AZ. : )
For the rest of you chaps out there reading this, I am sure that was simply fascinating. : D
Her last question concerned conspiracy theories. As far as they go, I have a friend who would swear on the Bible that his grandfather makes most of them up. : D
So, I think that there might be a thing or two to some of them, but there is a lot of hype out there, and you can't trust everything you hear. I have heard a few that seem pretty legit, and I have heard others that sound like somebody is really catching at straws and jumping to conclusions. I don't know enough to have a lengthy opinion on them, honestly. : )
Next question, I know can be a serious hot-button, so I am going to deal with it carefully, but I am still gonna tell you exactly what I think.
Lisa asked about my opinion about girls in skirts verses girls in pants.
*blows out air*
This is a very touchy topic with some, with lots of nerve strings attached. Some say that Biblically, girls should only wear skirts and dresses, and "pants are for men". Some say it don't matter anyway, and wear pants 365. Others don't even know the topic exists and wear jeans so tight guys can't with a good conscience look in their direction.
For the longest time I held the position that pants were for boys, skirts and dresses were for girls. Period.
Recently, within the past year or so, I have changed my opinion, and only just recently have I solidified it.
The Bible says that men are to wear "things that pertain to men", and the same for the ladies. The problem is that "what pertains to..." is actually kinda cultural. I mean, back then they wore togas. I am not advocating that now.
Granted, if "cultural" means really immodest, you don't and can't go there.
As men, we are to dress like men. As men, it is the "cultural" thing to wear pants or shorts. (Unless of course you of over to Scotland where it is acceptable for men to wear skirts.....)
I hate shorts, so I wear jeans. Loose, tough, boot cut, working jeans.
For girls, culturally you have the option of wearing pants or skirts and dresses. Girls have a secondary option that boys don't have.
So, I don't think the case could be made that girls wearing jeans is unbiblical.
The only case that really can be made is that all clothes we wear needs to be modest, and that applies to girls and boys, skirts, pants, shorts, t-shirts, v-necks and on down the list. Clothes need to be modest - period.
Now, I also think that skirts are vastly more modest than most jeans out there.
If girls have the option of wearing either, and one is more modest than the other, it is my opinion that a girl can make a huge impact in a skirt, much more than in a pair of jeans. A girl walking into Walmart wearing jeans is nothing new. A girl walking into Walmart wearing a modest skirt makes people turn their heads - in a good way. The very look denotes more respect and femininity in a lady than a pair of jeans ever does.
A point needs to be made right here, that there is a difference between jeans, and tight jeans. One is Biblically allowed, the other I believe isn't.
Now girls, I am going to get a bit personal here, but it needs to be said, to understand a boy's position.
Ladies, when you wear tight or close fitting jeans, it highlights the areas you are actually trying to cover.
I am going to drop the subject there, but just so you know, boys have a harder time with girls in jeans than most girls ever dream about.
That part isn't just my opinion. Other guys struggle with the same things, whether they'll admit to it and talk about it or not.
Let's put it this way ladies. I know most of you girls reading this would never even dream of wearing a bikini.
Why? Because its immodest.
Why is it immodest? Because it is displaying your figure and drawing attention to yourself in a wrong way. So that being said, why do tight jeans that show way too much of your figure and highlight hidden areas all of a sudden become acceptable?
It just doesn't fit logically.
If the jeans, pants, slacks, etc. are not tight at all however, guys have a much easier time. The problem is that basically every pair of woman's jeans out there is tight in the hips and waist - exactly where you don't want anything tight.
Loose pants or jeans, almost nearing culottes, are great things in my opinion (when you actually find them). They are miles more modest than tight jeans, are functional, and don't give boys as much of a problem as tight pants do.
Now, of course the question is going to come up, "What about when wearing a skirt is immodest? (i.e. working around the barn, climbing ladders, etc.)
Well, I know plenty of people who wear leggings under their skirt, to keep modest in any circumstances. It works and is modest at the same time. Boys' hearts are guarded, girls look more feminine and modest at the same time, and as long as you don't wear a skirt that makes it so you step or trip on it constantly, it works great.
Now, that being said, if you must wear jeans, they don't have to be tight. Make them modest, make them loose. If you don't have loose jeans, wear a skirt over them. Make it work, make it modest. Period.
IT HAS TO BE MODEST.
I prefer skirts and loose (LOOSE) pants on girls. Loose and modest jeans are the only jeans I think area acceptable.
Tight jeans are totally out of the question.
So, that's my opinion, and no more than that. Take it with a grain of salt and a gallon of scripture.
So that officially is my opinion!
Glad you all participated! Maybe we'll do another one of those sometime eh? Wadya think?