Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Let me rephrase that!

Allow me to start this post by saying that there are some things that you just can't say without sounding like a pervert.
Spent my lunch break outside today taking in this springtime weather with some of my co-workers. Today's forcast was for sunny skies with a high of 69. We were thouroughly enjoying the brief respite when I commented on the expected high temperature...
M+: "I like 69... Wait! Let me rephrase that... 69 is good... Wait! What I meant to say was... Oh! Nevermind!"
The laughter was deafening, and just what we all needed. And I wasn't even trying.

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Monday, March 28, 2005

Quote for 3/28/05

"We are all strong enough to bear the misfortunes of others."
Duc De La Rouchefoucauld

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Sunday, March 27, 2005

Check out this good news

I don't know any of the Marines in the Wolfpack, but I've been checking out the blog ever since my site-meter told me that someone hit my blog from there. You have to read what was just posted. I'm hoping it makes the evening news here nationally, because it sounds pretty good to me. God bless 'em!

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More theology

For those of you who care...
Another of my essay's posted at Faith's Search for God blog. Enjoy.

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He was crucified, dead and buried... pt.2

It's Easter Sunday. The day in which we celebrate the resurrection of Christ. This day is the pivitol moment in human history. If what we are celebrating is real, then all other religious philosophies are obsolete. If it is not, then we have to ask ourselves why the teachings of Jesus carry any weight with anyone at all. Not the least of which being most of those other religions.
I've taken the time to study several other religions because it doesn't make sense to reject something flat-out. Instead, I took my time and made a reasonably well researched decision. And in my research I've found that nearly all of the major religious ideologies make reference to Jesus as a great teacher, or a prophet. My question is; why?
This is a Man who taught much of the same things that those other religions held to be sacred. But He also declared Himself to be the incarnation of the One God who was Creator of all things. If this one teaching alone is true, then why aren't those who follow these other philosophies adherent to the teachings of Christ? If Christ's teachings regarding His diety aren't true, then why is He still a great teacher? Wouldn't a Man who lies about something such as this be a despicable fraud? Or worse, if He were deluded into believing this about Himself, then wouldn't He be a madman?
The resurrection exists for the sole purpose of dispelling these questions. It would have been one thing for Him to have made such claims and then to have simply grown old and faded from our collective memories. It wouldn't have been much different if He had been executed and not raised. But in His resurrection we see the power of God through Him, and in Him. The resurrection is the proof of His truthfulness.
While some may question it as being a real event in history, there is sufficient evidence to support the reality of it. Ten of Jesus' disciples died as martyrs. And for what? Because they were protecting a lie? Who dies for a lie?
Had the apostles risen to some great position of power and wealth, I might be able to believe that they were covering up the truth. But Christ's disciples were poor. They were despised by people throughout the known world. And they were hunted by the governments of both the Roman empire, and the leaders of their own people. Would you suffer such a life for a lie?
No. The resurrection is real because it HAS to be real. Without it, the world has no hope for a future. We are nothing more than the highest evolved animal on this planet. And looking at the sad shape we're in these days, that doesn't bode well for the evolutionary process.
But with the resurrection we have hope. Hope for ourselves, for humanity, and for the world we live in, as well as the world to come. I have embraced this hope, have you?

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Friday, March 25, 2005

He was crucified, dead and buried... pt.1

I have always believed that Easter has gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to being a major Holiday. Christmas, of course, has been the biggest and the best for countless years. Even though Easter is the reason why we have Christmas. And I think I know why this is.
Christmas is the time when we celebrate the birth of a Child who will save us from our sins. It's about the baby Jesus. That harmless, innocent, little baby who is so unthreatening, and so inoffensive to everyone... except for lawyers who are affiliated with the ACLU.
It's easy for most people to love the baby Jesus, because all He requires of us is to adore Him. He makes no demands of us, nor does He have any expectations for us. He's only a baby. How can He possibly cause anyone any grief?
But Easter. Now that's another story. People don't like what Easter represents. Christ crucified for our sins. It's hard to look at the Jesus who's hanging on a cross, because we know that He's there on our behalf. But more importantly, we know He's there because we would've put Him there ourselves, had we been there.
The Jesus of Easter isn't the meek gentle image of a babe, He is a Man like no other. He is the Man who tells the self sufficient people of the world "Deny your self, pick up your cross and follow me.". He is the Man who tells those who trust in their wealth, and it's ability to provide them with a life of pleasure and satisfaction "Go, sell all that you have and give the money to the poor.". He's also the Man who told the religious leaders of His day that drunkards, prostitutes and sinners would enter into His kingdom before them, because the sinners new that they needed to be forgiven. So we crucified Him, rather than give up what we loved so much.
I've challenged myself this Easter, to think about what Jesus would've asked me to do, or to give up, in order to follow Him without hinderance. What part of my life would He consider to be slowing me down. I challenge you to do the same.
I'll have part 2 of this post on Easter Sunday.
God bless.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2005

In case you were wondering

For those of you who are familiar with my faith, my conservative political leanings, and my frivolous awarding of Bullets to people who do things that I can't understand. You may have been wondering why I haven't posted anything, or awarded any Bullet Awards, in regards to the Terri Shiavo case.
It's a complex matter for me. For one, if I'm going to give any of the people involved a Bullet, I'd prefer to deliver it myself... through the more traditional method. Besides, there are far too many people that deserve the Awards in this case. I'd run out of ammo way too fast.
But more important than that is the fact that I can relate to the Schindler family's dilema. When my father passed away, he was in a semi-comatose state. He lapsed in and out of conciousness during his last week or so. He had moments when you could tell he was there, and fully cognizant of who was around. But he also had moments when you could tell that he wasn't 'at home'.
Both of my parents have (had, in my dad's case) Living Wills. They have (had, in my dad's case) both expressed their wishes to not be kept alive by some machine. My brother and I have agreed to honor their wishes... should the time ever come (again) to do so.
Still, when it came to my father; my mother, my brother, and I, all understood that "nutrition" was not a form of "Life Support". We refused to allow the hospital to remove the feeding tube when they asked us. While we also refused additional "treatments" for my father, as per his wishes, we were not going to allow him to dehydrate and starve to death. I would not allow that to happen to one of my enemies, let alone my father.
In discussing this issue with my son, he began to ask me some very serious, and strangely simple questions. The one that seemed to strike at the heart of the matter was this: "If we did that to Sheba, we'd go to jail wouldn't we?".
Why is it that my 14 year old son get's it, but so many others don't. We're not talking about an animal, or even someone who was "going to die anyway". If that were the case, then we'd all be in line for that kind of "treatment". But Terri Shiavo was not dying, nor should she be at this moment. But she is.
And all because a handful of judges have decided that they are worthy to be gods among men. They have decided that they are wise enough to decide the fates of people who should be able to trust them to protect their lives, not take them. Not only that, but they've also decided that the "checks and balances" that were placed in our Constitution do not apply to them being checked on, or balanced, by either of the other two branches of our government. Can you say TYRANNY?
That's all I'm going to say about this for now. I get too fired up about it, and I hate to make the kind of ranting, irrational posts that might be inspired by that anger. Instead, I'll merely recommend that you check out JT's recent post on this issue. He makes some very good points and raises some very important questions that need to be addressed.
And, finally, above all else... please pray for everyone involved. Pray for Terri, her parents and her siblings. Pray for our courts, legislators and other leaders. Pray for people who seem to want this woman to die. Pray for our nation, that we embrace the culture of life, and allow the culture of death to "... go quietly into that good night.".

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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Looking ahead

Tonight is our Tuesday Night Family Service, which is almost always followed by our Tuesday Night Chat sessions at Rebecca's. I know that JT and I have found these times to be very uplifting, and even therapuetic. But the Boy seems to look forward to them as well.
It's a great opportunity for us to get out of the house for awhile, and we both agree that we need that. We've been getting on each others nerves a bit more often these days. And I suspect that it's because he is finally coming into his own as a teenager. So I'm trying to be understanding. Fortunately, we have these Tuesday nights to take the edge off.
I'm also quite pleased to know that he doesn't mind going to church as a way of getting out for some enjoyment. I believe that such things bode well for the future of humanity.

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Quote for 3/22/05

"I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see."
John Burroughs

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Monday, March 21, 2005

Another year for the Boy

Today is my son's 14th birthday. Unlike my daughter, the tale of his birth is nothing spectacular. Yet, this does not diminsh the wonder of his birth. For he is indeed a great joy to both myself, and my soon-to-be-EX-wife.
I will, however, say that his was not a planned pregnancy. Also, unlike Aliesha, Robert took us somewhat by surprise. And such a grand surprise he has turned out to be.
I take great pride in both of my children, but me and the Boy have become good friends of late. And I am truly thankful to have such a gift from a teenager. Soon, I expect that our friendship should fade a bit. But this is only normal for parents and children to part in such ways. I only hope that I've done well enough raising him that he long remembers what I've taught him.

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Quote for 3/21/05

"Living is my job and my art."
Montaigne

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Sunday, March 20, 2005

What are you waiting for?

Earlier this week I posted a recommendation for a site to visit, to those of you who appreciate my postings on faith, religion and theology. If you haven't done so already, then what are you waiting for? An engraved invitation?
Well if that recommendation wasn't enough, then try this on. Faith has enabled me to post to the site directly. Which means the conversations that take place between us will be pretty much unedited and real.
My first post just went up. It's an essay on what it means to be a Christian. Go here to read this essay. I think you'll like it.

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The seeds of change

I'm thinking that I'd like to make some changes to my blog, but I'm just not ready to do them today. Soon, though. So don't be too surprised when they happen.
I don't think it'll be anything drastic. Maybe just some font changes and side-bar rearrangements. Not much else.
We'll see what happens.

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The Wizard of the Dark Side of the Moon

I was listening to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon yesterday, and I'm reminded of a list of correlations, that supposedly exists, between this album and the movie The Wizard of Oz. So now I'm wanting to get a copy of The Wizard of Oz so I can sit down and try to catch them.
Then it occurs to me that I don't OWN a copy of The Wizard of Oz. Who, in this day and age of DVD's and digital technology, doesn't own a copy of one of the all-time greatest classic films? Apparently ME! I must correct this oversight soon. Then I'll be able to conduct my little experiment.
Hey! The Wall is available on DVD, too. With a bottle of wine, I might be able to make a night of it.

I am soooooooooo NOT right!!!

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Pickle Bread, anyone?

I can't believe that I walked into this joke yesterday at work. "Kunckles" De Luca was asking me if I did any baking. I said that I've been known to, on occasion. So she asked me if had, or wanted, a recipe for Pickle Bread.

M+: "Pickle Bread?"
Knuckles: "Yeah, Pickle Bread."
M+: "Uuhhh, never heard of it."
Knuckles: "Oh? Well, all ya need is a little Dill Dough..."

You have to say the punch line out loud to appreciate it.

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Quote for 3/20/05

"We read that we ought to forgive our enemies; but we do not read that we ought to forgive our friends."
Cosimo De Medici

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Saturday, March 19, 2005

Thud-ump-bump!

In case you're wondering why all of my posts have been "Quotes..." lately... well... let's just say that my brain has hit a speed bump.
I've got a lot of stuff on my mind, and I can't quite get it into any kind of order yet. So be patient with me. I'll have a few good posts up soon enough.

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Quote for 3/19/05

"There is nothing the body can suffer the soul may not profit by."
George Meredith

I think this is another one of those quotes that just seems perfect for my life.

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Friday, March 18, 2005

Quote for 3/18/05

"Rulers have no authority from God to do mischief."
Jonathan Mayhew

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Thursday, March 17, 2005

Quote for 3/17/05

"It is one thing to show a man that he is in error, and another to put him in possession of truth."
John Locke

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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Quote for 3/16/05

"Teach me to live, that I may dread The Grave as little as my bed."
Bishop Thomas Ken

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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

I dare you not to think about it

Working on the PLV line these last few weeks has stirred up some thoughts that I'd like to share with all of you.
In training to work on this particular device, we learned a little bit about human physiology as it relates to respiration. One fact in particular that always seems to come to mind is what is called a "Sigh Breath". Some models of the PLV have a function that accounts for this particular event, which occurs in normal breathing as every 100th breath. That's why I've been thinking about it lately.
The "Sigh Breath" is a deeper, longer inhale, with a slower exhaled breath than every other breath. The really fascinating part about this tid-bit of medical information is that invariably, once someone is made aware of this phenomenon, it becomes an inescapable reality. The person who shared this information with us, also told us this. When you find yourself sitting quietly, reading a book, or resting, you will find yourself catching that "Sigh Breath", and you will almost certainly say to yourself "That was the "Sigh Breath".".
Don't believe me? Just wait until the next time you're enjoying some quiet time. You'll see.

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A minor oversight

It occurred to me, earlier today, that I've become terribly laxed on my posting of "Quotes..." recently. So I'm going to take a little time tonight to go dig up a few to make up for that minor oversight. I'll make sure to post one a day for the next week, just to make up for it.

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Quote for 3/15/05

"Self-discipline is when your conscience tells you to do something and you don't talk back."
W. K. Hope

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Testing...

Faith had this Intelligence Test linked on her blog. See how you rank.

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Monday, March 14, 2005

Of interest

For those of you who've become accustomed to my postings on matters of faith, and theology, you might be interested in checking out Faith's Search for God.
Her inspiration for the blog was actually kindled by my essay Truth and Preference. From that post, and her comments, we began an e-mail conversation regarding some very intriguing issues. Currently, it seems to be a very simple 3-way discusssion between Faith, myself and JT, with a few brief comments from my friend/co-worker Fred. So I'm hoping to encourage anyone who might be interested to stop over and check out the conversation, or maybe even get involved.

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A weekend well squandered

Actually, I consider it time well spent doing things that I don't normally take the time to do. But I'll be paying for it later on today.
I was glad to get out on Friday night with Kenn. We both needed to spend a little time away from our respective residences. Stir Crazy may have been a good movie, but it's certainly not a pleasant personal experience. Besides, we're both finding the time out to be rejuvinating, therapeutic even.
Saturday with JT was also some much needed time away from the hectic-ness of home. Not only did we go to the Gun Show, but we actually began our day (with Bobby) by hitting Vincents for lunch. Neither of us ate again until the following day. After the Gun Show we hit Wal-Mart for a few DVD's. In addition to The Stand (which I grabbed on Friday with Kenn), I scored me a 30th Anniversary Edition of Blazing Saddles. JT had never seen it, so we headed back to my house to laugh our asses off at it. Followed it up with Broken Arrow, which JT picked up.
I went to church on Sunday morning, because it was our annual Congregational Meeting. Being the Council Secretary means I have to show up to record the minutes of the meeting, and read the previous years minutes to the congregation. No biggie. Afterwards I headed home and watched The Stand while I did the weekly laundry. And that was about it.
Now, I've come to realize that I probably spent more money than I should've. I also did a lot more driving than a typical weekend requires of me. And I didn't get the grocery shopping done that I desperately need to do. I think I've dipped a bit deeper into that budget than I expected to, between gas and eating out. But I'm sure that I'll manage. There's also a sinkful of dishes that I've been ignoring since Friday night. Guess I'll have to take care of all of this tonight.
Still, the weekend was well worth it.

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Saturday, March 12, 2005

Ooohhhh, I get it.

For the first time in my life, I went to a Gun Show. It wasn't quite what I expected it to be. But I do think I understand some of the reasons why some people support Gun Control Legislation. Some of the people there scared even ME!
I was expecting to see much more camoflage and flannel than I did, but there were plenty of black T-shirts to make up for it. I only saw two skin-heads there, and it's quite possible that they were just sporting baldness as their own favorite hairstyle. After all, there were plenty of African-American people there looking to legally purchase firearms of all sorts, as well... and not only those so-called "assault weapons" that Gun Control supporters like to associate with gangs. These were decent, respectable people who were obviously looking for some type of personal/home self-defense weaponry. And they seemed to really know their stuff.
Likewise, I only saw three young men wearing The Punisher's "skull" T-shirts and black trench coats. Such things don't phase me because the look itself is somewhat appealling to some "kids". Still,there were plenty of ladies around as well. And we're not talking about red-neck, hick-town, trailer-park trash women, either. A few of them were down-right gorgeous... just ask JT. I know that he's going to be posting about some of this tonight.
Anyways... I had a couple of the dealers look over the guns that I inherited from my dad. that was my main reason for going to this show. There's a nice chunk of change wrapped up in those babies. I had one of the dealers offer me $500 cash, on-the-spot, for one of them. It just happened to be #1 on Field & Stream's list of the 50 best guns ever made. But it's just too sweet as a hunting rifle. Besides, I fully expect to leave these to my kids when I finally kick it (again, only permanently).
JT, however, dropped some cash on a few new "toy's". Not guns or ammo, but knives. He picked up a few really nice pieces that I may have to go looking for, next time the Gun Show rolls around. In fact, I actually had one of the dealers tell me that he'd hold onto one knife in particular for me in May. Sweeeeeeeeeet!
I'll share more about the whole day later. But, right now, I'm wiped out from the entire day. You may be able to ascertain some of the more relevent information about today from JT's blog. He had plans for a few really good posts tonight.
'night!

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An evening out

I got to spend the evening out with Kenn. Something that we both needed desperately, to take the edge off. It was good.
Started at Wal-Mart, of all places. Only to find the one item I had gone there to buy is a seasonal item and was no longer available. But Kenn still needed to get a few pillows. I did, however, find The Stand on DVD, so I picked that up.
Moved on to Dunhams so I could get the oversized rifle hard-case. From there we hit Kings for dinner, and spent the rest of our time together getting caught up with each other. I was particularly happy to know that Kenn was feeling pretty good about getting out. Especially since he wasn't too sure he wanted to be out. It's always good to spend some time with a friend.
In case you're wondering why I'm not linking Kenn's name to his site; I'm just not sure if he's going to post anything on it anytime soon. So I didn't want him feeling obligated to post anything, or anyone else to have to go view his blank page.

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Thursday, March 10, 2005

I think I'm going to need a napkin

Hey! Fred! You may want to check out this article...
Ya know... I've never found myself drolling over political commentary before, but this Merchant of Venison had me thinking about firing up the grill. And I had just finished dinner. I can't wait to try these recipes out on the deer meat in my freezer.
I should probably consider getting into hunting again, too. The meat in my freezer came from a 10 point buck that a friend of mine tagged right outside of my front door. Of course, I don't know anything about archery, and you can't use a 30-06 anywhere near the house. Go figure!
Fred, you and I may have talk about this later.

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Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Check it out, please.

Found a hit on my site-meter from this blog. Please visit, and show your support. These guys deserve every word of encouragement, and every prayer that we can offer on their behalf. Even if they are strangers to us. They are still protecting our freedom.

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Replacement parts

In addition to the more serious aspects of our Tuesday Night Family Service, there's a great deal of laughter and fun involved, too. It isn't just that JT, Rebecca (that's with two K's and an I ... ask JT about it), and I have gotten others involved in heckling P.Dave, but we do enjoy the company of one another. Case in point:
Last night, as JT and I were just getting caught up with each other, someone sat down in the pew in front of us to ask me a few questions about where I work. We will call this woman LaLa. After I had answered her questions she informed JT and I that we could now continue our conversation, and she would leave. We told her that she didn't have to because there was nothing private being discussed. So, she stayed.
As JT and I talked, it became apparent to her that we do think very much alike. We finished each others sentences, made the same jokes, and commented on the same thoughts as each other. The conversation took a strange turn, and I got to share my story about being dead, and JT made comments for effect. And then we sorta paused to let everthing sink in for her.
"You two really could be brothers." LaLa said.
"Why do you think we tell everyone we're interchangeable?" was our reply.
To reinforce this point, as we were preparing for Communion, P.Dave pointed at JT and called him "Mike".
We just looked at each other and said "Interchangable.".
Remind me to share more stories about this topic someday. But right now, I just don't have the time.

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Tuesday Nighters

Well, it was another Tuesday Night Family Service at church, and it was good. I think that everyone who attended needed to hear the sermon last night. It was on healing.
When I sit here in retrospect to the service, it's easy to see that our little group of Tuesday Nighters is a bunch of truly broken people. All of us are going through, or have gone through, some serious hard times. It gives us a common bond with one another that makes the service that much more incredible. We come from various differing backgrounds and life circumstances. Yet, we have no problem relating to one another. And I think it goes beyond the "we're all believers in Jesus" thing that most people would attribute our communion to. And, yes, I use the word "communion" deliberately, and for all of the reasons that you might think I did.
This little service, which is on the verge of growing into something more than it currently is, is a true communion of believers. We are like a family. We have our differences, but we set them aside when we come together to worship.
We are all fully cognizant of our need, our desperate need, to be healed. Our unrelenting need to be fed with the word of God. And our unyeilding need to seek after God's grace. We know that we have faults and follies, but we also understand that we have the grace provided by Christ's death and resurrection to call ourselves children of God. It's a great place to be. Especially when you're as broken as some of us are.

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Tuesday, March 08, 2005

It's always the quiet ones

A reflection on this particular thought has been abounding here at work as one of our "temps" seems to have fallen into this category.
A young man in his twenties who was a fairly nice guy and very quiet had to be "let go" on Friday because of some unusual behavior that he had been exhibiting. It began early in the week with a series of "no shows". He just plain didn't show up to work last week until Friday. As the day progressed he started to "sprinkle" water on some of the people working near him, in a mock "baptsim" sort of way. Meanwhile he never actually settled into his work station. He was just wandering about the area for the most part.
As the workers in his area became more unsettled by his actions our supervisor had to step in. Sgt. Dan informed the temp agency, who in turn, called the temp into their office and escorted him from the premises.
Yesterday morning there was an article in one of our local newspapers regarding a fire in an apartment building. The fire was being called "suspicious". Can you guess whose apartment it was in? That's right... it was our nice quiet temp. Go figure!

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Friday, March 04, 2005

Retaining at least a hint of sanity

Amid the various pressures and trials of daily life, nothing aleviates the stress like a bit of levity. A good laugh goes a long way in making an otherwise dreary day just a bit brighter, and somewhat easier to get through. My case in point:
I was pulled from my typical duties at work to fill in at Material Handling. That means I get to run around all day carrying bags, bins, and boxes full of the various components necessary for all of my co-workers to do their duties. This is a fairly painful chore for a guy who isn't wearing decent shoes and weighs 265.
The bright spot came as I was bringing parts out to the two lines that I frequently work at. I dropped off one bin of parts with J2D and paused to see which workstation I needed to hit next. J2D did a "rubberneck" at the remaining bins I had. The brief conversation that ensued was perfect.

M+:(waving my hand like a Jedi)"You don't need to see these bins"
J2D:"I don't need to see those bins."
M+:(another wave)"These aren't the parts you're looking for."
J2D:"These aren't the parts we're looking for."
M+:(wave)"Move along."
J2d:"Move along. Move along."

I'm so glad I have co-workers with the same warped sense of humor as me.

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"Good intentions and barbed wire."

You Know How It Is - Stavesacre (excellent song)

I would've posted this last night, but I was too ready for bed by the time I had finished my project.
"What project?" You ask...
Twisting barbed wire into 5 "Crowns of Thorn" for my church. And then cutting 120 individual barbs from the wire to be given away as a memorium at the end of the Sunday service. All part of the Stations of the Cross that we're putting together in a joint service with two other churches. This should be very good.
My only problem now... you can't buy barbed wire by the foot, or by the yard even. You have to buy it by the roll. I think I used about 75' of the roll I bought. The roll itself is a quarter of a mile.

... Anybody want a "Crown of Thorns"?

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Quotes from 2/2005

Quote for 3/4/05

"He who establishes his argument by noise, and command, shows that his reason is weak."
Michel de Montaigne

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Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Grand Theft Bullet Award

Alright, how many things are wrong with this story?

Let's see now, you know you're really messed up when you...
1) leave a bar at 2:30 AM with only 80 cents in your pocket, probably because you've boozed away your bus fare.
2) don't think the cop who left the car running, unattended, will miss it when it's gone.
3) don't realize that driving a stolen police car, without a license, will eventually create a problem for you.
4) can't figure out that feet leave prints in snow.
5) can't be creative enough, in your drunken stupor, to park the car in front of a donut shop.

And, no, I'm not letting the cop off the hook on this one. But he has his own bullets, so he doesn't need one of mine.
Ms. Zygula, here's your Bullet...

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Quote for 3/2/05

"You haven't lived enough, or sinned enough, to know what life is about."
Bob Cross

This was my dad's reply to a young, Jehovahs Witness who showed up at our house once. My father had some incredible moments of absolute clarity.

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Capturing a single moment out of eternity

For those of you who know me, or who've been reading my blog for awhile, you're probably already familiar with the depth of my convictions of faith. You're probably also familiar with the fact that I don't place any special significance on liturgy or ritual. I tend to prefer a more "free-form" type of worship. And that's why I attend my church's Tuesday Evening Family Service. It has less of the traditional structure of a church service, yet it still holds some of the necessary elements of the liturgical service. The most important of which being Communion.
The tradition of Communion was instituted by the Lord, Jesus, Himself at His last supper. It is a sign to believers that Christ is not only with us, but that He is a part of us. It is a way of acknowledging the fact that He sustains us, like the "daily bread" of which He spoke in The Lord's Prayer. This is one of the few liturgical rituals that I truly appreciate, because of it's spiritual significance.
As such, I see Communion as an opportunity to reflect on my day, week, or life in general, and examine myself in the light of what the scriptures teach us about our faith. And we are told not to take this sacrament lightly. So I do not.
Last night, however, my pastor asked if I would conduct the Communion as a lay-member of the congregation, and I agreed. Typically this would not have been a big deal to me. I have always believed that any believer has the authority, through their relationship with Christ, to officiate such a ritual. And, since P.Dave has had me assist on many other occasions, I saw it as just another chance to serve.
But... I ran into a problem last night. Again, for those of you who know me, or have been reading my blog for awhile, you're all familiar with the struggles that I've been going through with my pending divorce, and the amount of emotional upheaval that's caused in my life. Well, it all came rushing up at me during the Communion service.
As I stood before the congregation, as small as our Tuesday evenings may be, reading from the "cheat sheet" that P.Dave had provided me. I began to reflect on my life - just as I always do - and I found myself swirling in a raging torrent of all of those emotions which have been haunting me lately. I could pick out individual moments of both anger and peace, faith and doubt, love and hate, and all while I was standing before my church offering them Communion. I found myself barely able to proceed. I started to choke up over all of these things, holding back tears that have been a long time in coming. And I asked myself, or perhaps it was a prayer that I wasn't fully aware of, but the words just seemed to float inside of my head, and my heart, for an instant, "Lord, how do you expect me to do this now?".
He answered me from the "cheat sheet" as I read the next line,"This do, in rememberance of Me.". It was in that moment that I came to the realization, once again - and probably for the millionth time - that my life is no longer about all of the things that I do. It isn't about my sins, or my good deeds, nor is it about whatever emotional baggage I may bring to my relationship with God. It's about Him. It's about that one moment, out of every other moment, in all of eternity, in which Jesus Christ gave up His life so that I could be restored to a relationship with Him. It's about that instant in which all of the sins that were ever committed were placed upon the One, the only One, who could take them all away from us.
There was a sense of peace that washed over me after that. Which made it much easier to distribute the communion elements. But isn't it amazing how God will meet us in the exact moment when we need Him most. And remind us of what's really important.

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Tuesday, March 01, 2005

X marks the spot

I promised Kender that I'd copy and paste this here. So here it is...

X THE THINGS THAT YOU HAVE DONE AND THEN REPOST.


(x) snuck out of the house (and snuck back in, too - M+)
(x) gotten lost in your city
(x) saw a shooting star
(x) been to any other countries besides the united states
(x) had a serious surgery
( ) gone out in public in your pajamas
( ) kissed a stranger
(x) hugged a stranger
(x) been in a fist fight
( ) been arrested
(x) done drugs
(x) had alcohol
(x) laughed and had milk/coke come out of your nose
(x) pushed all the buttons on an elevator
( ) made out in an elevator
( ) slept in an elevator
(x) swore at your parents
(x) kicked a guy where it hurts
(x) been in love
(x) been close to love
(x) been to a casino
( ) been skydiving
(x) broken a bone
(x) been high
( ) skinny-dipped
(x) skipped school
(x) flashed someone (only if "mooning" counts - M+)
(x) saw a therapist
(x) done the splits
(x) played spin the bottle
(x) gotten stitches
(x) had an IV
(x) drank a whole gallon of milk in one hour (I love Oreo Cookies - M+)
(x) bitten someone
( ) been to Niagara Falls
(x) gotten the chicken pox
(x) kissed a member of the opposite sex
(x) kissed a member of the same sex (only if the cheek counts - M+)
( ) crashed into a friend's car
( ) been to Japan
(x) ridden in a taxi
(x) been dumped
(x) shoplifted
(x) been fired
( ) had a crush on someone of the same sex
(x) had feelings for someone who didn't have them back
(x) stole something from your job
(x) gone on a blind date
( ) lied to a friend
(x) had a crush on a teacher
( ) celebrated mardi-gras in new orleans
( ) been to Europe
( ) slept with a co-worker
(x) been married
(x) gotten divorced (getting there - M+)
(x) had children
(x) saw someone die
( ) been to Africa
(x) Driven over 400 miles in one day
( ) Been to Canada
( ) Been to Mexico
(x) Been on a plane
(x) Seen the Rocky Horror Picture Show
( ) Thrown up in a bar
( ) Purposely set a part of yourself on fire
(x) Eaten Sushi
(x) Been snowboarding
(x) Met someone in person from the internet
(x) Been moshing at a rock show
( ) Cut yourself on purpose
( ) Been to a moto cross show
( ) lost a child
(x) gone to college
( ) graduated college
( ) done hard drugs
( ) tried killing yourself
(x) taken painkillers
(x) love someone or miss someone right now

O.K.....your turn.

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