Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Have you noticed...

Alright, I just finished watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer with the Boy...
We are sooooo not right!
I don't know if it has to do with the fact that he's a teenager, or more to do with the fact that he's my son, but we just couldn't help ourselves as we sat there and critiqued the entire show. We didn't do it out of any malicious intent, there was nothing mean-spirited about it. We were just being our normal, weird selves.
Now, don't get me wrong, I love Rudolph (and all of the other Rankin/Bass animated specials), but we just couldn't resist making the following observations/comments about the story. And these are a totally different set of observations from those I posted last year. Maybe there's some overlap, but most of these ones are new.

1) We're not sure whose mythos is correct regarding elves. Are they short and petite like those we see at Christmas time? Or are they tall, slender and wise like those we read about in Tolkien's books? In the latter case, Santa must employ dwarves, not elves.

2) Hermie doesn't want to make toys, so he does a lousy job at it. His boss wants him to do better, but threatens to fire him if he doesn't do better. Doesn't that work to Hermie's advantage?

3) Santa told Donner that he "ought to be ashamed" of himself for having a Red-Nosed child. Wouldn't that be like telling me that I ought to be ashamed of myself for having a red-haired daughter? As if there's anything I could do to change it - even if I wanted to.

4) Why does Yukon Cornelius have a poodle on his sled-team?

5) Why doesn't Yukon Cornelius' tongue freeze on his pick when he licks it? Wouldn't it be kinda like when Flick get's his toungue stuck on the flag pole in A Christmas Story?

6) Why does Yukon Cornelius have a gun if he's not going to use it on the "Bumbles"?

7) Do we know why the Doll is a misfit, yet? Nobody's ever answered that question.

8) A squirt gun that squirts jelly? Couldn't we just clean it out and fill it with water?

9) A train with square wheels on it's caboose? I guess Santa will give it to some kid who just got a wood working kit.

10) Why wasn't Donner fighting with the "Bumbles" when Rudolph found everyone at the lair?

11) What was taking the "Bumbles" so long to eat everyone, anyways?

12) Now that the "Bumbles" is toothless, what will he eat? I guess pork dinners are out of the question now.

13) All of the misfit toys were given umbrellas to use like parachutes. All of them except for the bird, which, incidentally, can't fly. What's the deal with that?

O.K., that's enough of that.
Hey! Tomorrow begins the ABC/Family Channel's 25 days of Christmas! WOOHOO !!!
Don't worry... I'm not going to post updates to what specials are on when, this year. You'll just have to find out what's on for yourself.

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That Christmas spirit

Yeah, I'm still oozing with that Christmas spirit again this year. And here are the pics to prove it. Perhaps you remember this little display from last year. There have been a few more items added to the inventory this year (snow on the tunnel, and the lighted lampost beside it). But it's still my personal attempt to share that Christmas spirit with everyone else.



A different angle. Now you can see the stocking that I have hanging with my display.



And this is the only decent shot that I have from my trip to Ft. Recovery. A little bit blurry (curse my unsteady hands!) It's a completely different world there.



I hope these pics have helped to brighten your spirits, perhaps put you into the holiday mood.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Had enough yet?

Is anybody else out there sick of all the bad news that just never seems to end. And I don't mean "bad" news in the sense of bad things happening in the world. I mean "bad" in the sense that any possible "good" has been conveniently filtered out of the news. Two key topics that I have noticed to be seriously lacking in any positive information are the economy, and the war in Iraq.
I've had conversations over the holiday weekend, with more than one of my cousins, and in each case it always began with one of them saying something about "...the way this economy is.". I asked them what they meant by that, and if they were in some sort of economic hardship. They each said "no". So I asked if they knew anyone who was in a state of hardship. Again, the answer was "no". Then I said "That's good because I don't think it would be very wise of anyone who was having a hard time, financially, to buy a house worth more than $150,000." (which several of them are currently doing).
Then I asked them if they knew very many people who were unemployed. Still, the amswer was "no" (one of my cousins said "not many"). So I asked if they knew the latest figures on unemployment. Not a clue. So I aksed them if 5.5% was a good number for unemployment - reminding them that 5.6% was a really good number when Bill Clinton was running for re-election. The most common response was "is it that low?". To which I replied "No. It's not that low. It's actually right around 4.9%.". Of course, that took everyone by surprise.
Then I pointed out that the biggest story in the news for that day was all of the mad, "Black Friday" shopping that was taking place. Then I asked "If this economy is so bad, then where are all of these people getting all of the money to spend?". Nobody had an answer. So I ended the discussion by saying "It would seem to me that the economy isn't as bad as we've been led to believe.". And today the retailers released their figures from the "Black Friday" weekend sales to tell us that there's been a 22% increase over last years sales. The highest figures since 1998.
As for the war in Iraq. I direct your attention to this article by Mona Charen. And that's only one soldier's perspective. If you'd care to read others you can very easily check out some of the multitude of military bloggers that are telling their own stories. Either way, whatever we see or hear in our nightly newscasts about Iraq is a far different story than the one being told by our soldiers who are there.
Once again, we see that our media is playing selective video clips and sound bites to elicite the response that they want from the public. Our mainstream media is no longer reporting news but creating public opinion through the manipulation of information. Can you say "Propaganda"? I've grown tired of this. Am I the only one?

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In other news

... of a more personal nature.

I got to meet the soon-to-be-EX-wife's boyfriend yesterday. It was purely accidental, I assure you. Trust me, I had no desire, whatsoever, to ever meet this man.
Aliesha had my car for the day so that she could go visit Jo, and then bring Bob back home so that I could have a nice Thanksgiving dinner with them (since neither of them felt like joining me in Ohio with my mother). Unfortunately, the car refused to start again when she stopped to put gas in it. So Aliesha did the smart thing and called my sister-in-law to have her pick me up and bring me to the car so I could call AAA and have the car towed to my brother-in-law.
Meanwhile, Aliesha called Jo so she wouldn't have to sit there and wait until I arrived. Also, this allowed Aliesha to visit for a little while.
After my sister-in-law got us to where the car was sitting, we called the soon-to-be-Ex to have her bring the kids. This way, Lori (my sister-in-law) could take them home, instead of them having to wait with me. They arrived in the boyfriend's SUV.
As I attempted to get the car to start, Jo decided that introductions were in order.
"Michael, this is Bobby. Bobby, Michael." she said.
There was an awkward moment as he approached me and extended his hand...

I had several possible options run through my head in that moment:
1) I could've spit on his hand.
2) I could've simply looked at it and turned away.
3) I could've made some sort of snide remark to both of them.

Instead, I did the "right" thing, and I shook his hand.

But I must admit, I really wanted to say something. I bit my tongue for my kids sake, though. I told myself that whatever it was that I wanted to say (and believe me - I wanted to say ALOT!), it would be better not to say it in front of the kids. Especially since it would've been a venomous spewing of vitriolic rage and seething against their mother. I know better than to subject my kids to something like that.
But I must also admit that I still want to say some of those things. Yet, I consider what it is that I want to say, and tell myself that such things have no business coming from the mouth of a man who calls himself a Christian. So I will probably never speak those words. And I will never post them here!
But I know that I will be haunted by my own words if I don't do something to get them out of my system. And thus, I have decided that I will simply type them out and e-mail them to myself. This is one of those things which have worked for me in the past, whenever I've had something that was bothering me. I trust that it will help this time as well.
But allow me to end this post on a bit more of a positive note. My car is fixed! And I had a long conversation with my brother-in-law (who is also my mechanic). And he had some interesting insite into the whole situation with the soon-to-be-EX. I may share some of that info with all of you later. But first, I must sort through some of the facts with others who are involved.

The plot thickens...

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I think they've got it right

So the Vatican has come out with an official position on the ordination of gay priests. Being a protestant, I don't always see eye to eye with what the Vatican has to say about things. But I'm with them on this one.
Recently, JT and I had the opportunity to be a part of our Lutheran Slovak Zion Synod Assembly. This issue was a part of the agenda for the assembly. And while the Lutheran church, as a whole, has opted to side-step the issue for the time being, I believe that the Vatican has addressed a few thoughts that I wish I had brought up while we were discussing this at our Assembly.
My biggest problem with the whole issue of the ordination of gay priests is this question: What are we really asking the Church (the whole body of believers - not any one denomination) to do?
It seems to me, from the conversations that I've been involved in, as well as those which I've heard or read about, those individuals who are pushing for this are asking the Church to simply overlook homosexuality as a sin. And not merely to overlook it as a sin, but to bless it instead. And this is a real problem for me (and many other believers) because it requires us to reject the truth of the scriptures which tell us that sin cannot be blessed.
Now, I don't want this to sound as if I'm saying that I don't believe that homosexuals should have some part in the ministry of the Church. I just don't think we ought to act in a manner which is contrary to the Bible in order to give them a place in that ministry. I think the Vatican takes a very compassionate approach to this in their decision. I think it leaves an opening for homosexuals to serve, in some capacity, as long as they've demonstrated some effort to overcome their sin.
I understand that we are all sinners. We all have our "favorite" sins to deal with. And I don't consider homosexuality to be any worse than any other sin. But the difference that I see in this issue is the notion that the sin of homosexuality ought to be overlooked as if it is less sinful than any other sin.
I struggle with my sins. I hate my sins, while I love them. I fall to temptations constantly. And while I know that the grace of God is sufficient for me, I never forget that my forgiveness was paid for in blood. That is why I struggle with them. If the grace that saves me were cheap then I wouldn't care, but my sins cost Christ everything. And I want to know that our attitude toward homosexuality in the Church reflects that truth.

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Sunday, November 27, 2005

Safe and sound

Well... I just got back from my trip to Ft. Recovery. All went well, but I'm tired. So, I will simply say that it's good to be back home, and I hope all of you had an enjoyable Thanksgiving.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Quote for 11/22/05

"Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name; make known among the nations what He has done."
David, the King (Psalm 105:1)

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Happy Thanksgiving

I will not be home for Thanksgiving. I have made arrangements to take my mother to spend the holiday with her family in Ft. Recovery, OH. This is probably the first time she's been able to spend Thanksgiving with her family in decades. And I'm pretty happy about making that possible for her.
Since I will not be home, and therefore, unable to post anything, I wanted to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving. And in doing so I wanted to say that I'm still thankful for all of the things that I was thankful for last year, and let you all know that the offer still stands to let anyone else share their own thoughts in my comments. Length of comments are not an issue. Feel free to be as brief or as longwinded as you wish. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

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Monday, November 21, 2005

So enlightened

So we have another reason to question the "enlightened" europeans. Especially the French. Check out this open letter from a Jew living in France.
The Euro-Weenies still refuse to see their history and learn from it. They still refuse to correct their attitudes.
And still, we have people - and politicians - in this country who think we ought to be more like the europeans. I think I'll pass.

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More observations on blessings

I did a little bit of shopping this evening and I'm quite happy to say that it was another opportunity to be a blessing, and to be blessed.
First, there's the Salvation Army. I have deep respect for this organization because they do far more than nearly every other such charitable organization. And they do it on a fraction of the budget that most of the others have to work with. So, when I go to Wal-Mart (or wherever), I always make sure to have some change to drop in the kettle when I come out. It isn't much, but I know how good the Salvation Army is about stretching every dollar they get. And I am a firm believer that every little bit helps. And you've gotta give it to the people who stand outside, day and night, in any kind of weather, ringing that bell.
Then there's the Marines, and their Toys For Tots program. whoduthunkit? And what's really great is that the Dollar Tree stores have partnered with them to help out. It's a pretty simple deal. When you get to the check out counter the cashier will ask you if you'd like to buy a toy for Toys For Tots. And it's only a buck. Yeah, the toys are kinda cheap and cheesey, but many of the kids who'll be receiving them wouldn't be getting much else.
It always makes me feel good to know that I've done even just the smallest bit to help someone else. And these are two ways that I can do more all through the holiday season.

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Sunday, November 20, 2005

The secret to being blessed

My pastor was on vacation this week. So, he asked if I would co-officiate this week's Sunday morning services with our congregation's President. This was actually the second time that he's asked me to do this. Mostly because he trusts me with his flock (a very great honor). But also because the congregation spoke very highly of the last service that I was a part of.
I'm not saying this to pat myself on the back or to draw attention to anything that I may have contributed to the service. All I offer is my willingness to serve. I'm writing this because it's always such a blessing to me to be a part of the service. But I don't always feel that way before the service begins.
I've said it before, and I freely admit it still, I'm not much of a liturgical churchgoer. I don't feel comfortable in the tightly structured setting of our traditional Lutheran Sunday morning church service. I do much better in the freeform style of our Tuesday evening service. So, I always seem to get a sense of reluctance when I have to go to a Sunday morning service.
From this I have learned that the greatest blessings actually come from being obedient through our relutance. I probably could've come up with a half a dozen excuses to have turned down my pastor's request. And they would've all been legitimate, too. But what would I gain from it? Instead, I agree, with some reservation. And God blesses me for being willing to serve.
But I have come to realize that the better part of the blessing is in knowing that I have blessed others. Again, I don't really add anything to our service except my willingness to serve. And I think that shows in the service. Because the congregation keeps asking me to come back. And for this I'm grateful, because this is the purpose of church; to be a mutual blessing to one another in our common faith.

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Say What ?!?

Ubersexual?!?
You have got to be kidding me! This almost sounds like a piece of Nazi propaganda from WWII... but it's not! This is supposed to be the latest trend among men. The next evolutionary stage of the metrosexual. Yeah, right!
No thank you! I'll stick with being a retrosexual. I don't need some marketing firm to tell me how to be a man. I had a father to teach me that, and a mother who didn't try to subvert him.

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I'm better now

Boy, was I right about the shot of whiskey! That, and the 4 1/2 hour nap, sure did wonders to kick that crappy feeling right out of my system. But then again, it's always worked in the past, so I knew it would help out this time, too.
I would tell you all to disregard my previous post, but I'm still less than enthusiastic about dealing with my co-worker's complaints, and the whole bouncing from one work area to another so much. But I'm O.K. with the O.T. because that just means a bigger, better Christmas for the kids.
My only problem now; getting back to sleep. Good thing the Wal-Mart supercenter is open 24 hours. I guess I'll go do some shopping for a while.

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Saturday, November 19, 2005

Quote for 11/19/05

"Nothing gives rest but the sincere search for truth."
Blaise Pascal

Yeah, that or nice long nap.

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Whatever...

I'm tired! I feel pretty crappy! And I could use a shot of whiskey to shake off whatever illness seems to be creeping up on me at the moment.
I'm sick of working overtime. I'm sick of getting bounced around from one area to another. I'm sick of having to deal with my griping, moaning co-workers.
Fortunately for me, I only have two days of work next week then I'm off until next Tuesday. I'm so ready for this holiday. Six days off and plenty of turkey is just what I need.

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Friday, November 18, 2005

Quote for 11/18/05

"The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis."
Dante Alighieri

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Greater works

I should've posted this yesterday, but time has not been my ally of late. So I'll share my thoughts with you all now.

On Monday night, during our Men's Bible Study, an interesting idea was passed between JT and myself. We spoke briefly of miracles, but something that was said has stuck with me.
Jesus told His disciples that they would do greater works than the miracles which He did. As much as I've been a Christian for over 22 years, I haven't seen very many such miracles. I have seen miracles, my life is a testimony to miracles, but we don't see the outright displays that Christ always had. So I ponder how is it that we are doing greater works than Christ.
JT had the most excellent response. He reminded me that Jesus was refering to not only His disciples as individuals, but to the entire church, the entire body of believers. Christ knew that the church would do greater miracles, reach more people, as a community of believers than He could do as an individual.
Christ fed thousands of people with two fish and five loaves of bread. The church feeds millions of people throughout the world, everyday. And quite often it is done with the loose change that children give at Sunday School. Jesus healed many who were sick with various diseases. The church treats (heals) people with various diseases, everyday through volunteers and various aid programs. The church does more in this world to improve the lives of countless millions of people than any other single entity in existence. And it will continue to do so because that is what Christ told us to do.
I realize that the church is not always the shining example of virtue that it ought to be. We have our fair share of scandal and hypocrisy. And we're not always as loving as Christ would have us. But when I hear the criticisms that some people level against believers I have to ask if they're doing any better. I don't see it.
But that's the beauty of the gospel, isn't it? That God could take flawed and sinful human beings, and turn us into miracle workers. That He could take us as individuals and use us as His hands to change the world for the better. Even with our shortcomings. And isn't that an even greater work in itself?

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Sunday, November 13, 2005

NOOOOOOOOOO !!!

I hope that scream didn't hurt your ears...

I can't believe it, but TBS is already airing Christmas Specials! I just finished watching Home Alone, now How The Grinch Stole Christmas is on.
Now, don't get me wrong... those of you who remember me posting updates all through last December - about all of the Christmas Specials - know that I love Christmas Specials. I even have a link below to the Rankin/Bass website, for cryin' out loud! But can't we at least wait until after Thanksgiving?
Oh... I'm watching them. But I can't help feel like there is something terribly wrong about it.

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Saturday, November 12, 2005

Quote for 11/12/05

"Divorce is the psychological equivalent of a triple coronary by-pass. After such a monumental assault on the heart, it takes years to amend all the habits and attitudes that led up to it."
Mary Kay Blakely


This thought has intrigued me. Read my next post, please.

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Heartbreak

Chill of winter's breath
Stirs an empty place
An ember flares
Then dies


Wait! Before anyone comments, read my follow-up post.

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Allow me to explain

Before any of you start to worry that I'm feeling all depressed by the fact that my soon-to-be-EX-wife is taking steps to hasten our diviorce, I want to explain where the above haiku came from.
First off, this is the first haiku I've written since I've been out of school (22 years). The last one was an assignment for one of my high school literature classes. I sucked at it then, and I still suck at it now. That's why I've never particularly cared for haiku. But I really felt compelled (lead by the Spirit) to write this one down as a haiku. So I did.
However, more important than that is the fact that I do lament my pending divorce. Not simply because it's mine. And especially not because I'm still holding out some false hope for reconciliation. On the contrary, I'm quite ready to get on with my life now.
Instead, I lament my divorce because of what it is. It is a divorce - a breaking of a sacred bond. A desecration of something that God has deemed to be holy. But we, in our infinite human wisdom, have decided that we will not honor that bond. And like so many others, we will "... put asunder what God has joined.".
That is what I lament. And that is why I wrote this haiku... even though I hate haiku. Perhaps God is trying to tell me something in this. Maybe I'll discuss that later

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Friday, November 11, 2005

Quote for 11/11/05

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
Thomas Jefferson

Read my next post, too.

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For our veterans

Never has such sweet fruit been cultivated from such bitter labor, than the freedom we all enjoy at the expense of our veteran's sweat and blood. These are men and women who've sacrificed all to allow us a rich harvest of liberty like no other nation on earth. I pray we never forget this truth, nor take it for granted.
We are blessed by God to have such heros walking in our midst. And it is MY solemn duty to thank them for all that they've done on behalf of the rights that we all hold so dear.
Thank you, veterans. May God richly bless you for your service.
Happy Veterans Day.

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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Completely dumbfounded

I just got off the phone with my soon-to-be-EX-wife. And I'm completely dumbfounded by what I've just learned.
Aside from the fact that she will be moving out of her trailer soon (by the end of the month I believe she said), but she will be moving in with her boyfriend. OK, I'm fine with that. I understand how difficult it is for her to make it on her own. And this is obviously the best possible arrangement for her. But the big news that she decided to drop on me is that she expects that they will be getting married within the next year.
"I'm strangely comfortable with it." - Connor McMannus/Sean Patrick Flannery (from The Boondock Saints)
She mentioned that her boyfriend will be helping her to get her financial things straightened out so that she can file the divorce papers. Again, I'm fine with this because, as I've said before, since this was all her idea I see no reason why I should have to shell out any money for it. I'm actually looking forward to this. But I'm still not quite sure what I can say that would express the strange mix of both sadness and relief that I'm feeling right now.
On the other hand, she also told Bob about this. And he's not doing so well with it. He has become very quiet and withdrawn tonight since they spoke. I asked him if he wanted to talk about it, and he said no. He asked me what I thought about it and I told him that I'm OK with it. I hope that makes it easier for him to deal with it.
Perhaps I'm not so dumbfounded after all. I seem to have said a bit more than I thought I would. Still, I must ponder over this matter for awhile now. I'll share more later.

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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Quote for 11/8/05

"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."
Winston Churchill.

See post below...

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I just had to get this out there

Some of you may remember my earlier post about what's wrong with Euro-Weenies. Well, if you've been following the news about France for the last 12 days, you might be thinking what I'm thinking right about now. I certainly had France pegged!
First, isn't it amazing how our media refuses to tell us that these riots are being instigated by Muslim youths. I find it horrifyingly hypocritical of the mainstream media to conveniently hide this fact from everyone. God forbid that some nutcase, religious zealot, calling himself a Christian, should attempt to blow-up an abortion clinic. Our media would incessantly attach the word "Christian" to the violence for weeks on end. And following that, they would be certain to make every well-known Christian "leader" (Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, etc...) seem to be responsible for making such lunatics think that such an act of violence was their calling from God. But Muslims, for some reason which I won't get into at the moment, are given a free pass for all of their terrorism and violence. And they DO declare their violence and bloodshed to be a mandate of their religious convictions.
Next, as my above "Quote..." would seem to imply, I think that the turmoil which France is suffering through is a direct result of their attitude of appeasement. It was their approach to dealing with Hitler and the Nazis in World War 2, and it has been their way ever since. It has done nothing to prevent the Muslim rioters from continuing their attacks. In fact, it has only emboldened them to continue. And it has given the Islamo-facists, in their own minds, the opportunity to do far worse than they might have done had the french government acted with a swift, decisive crack-down on the violence at the first incident.
Finally, has anybody else noticed that the socialist programs which enabled the Muslim youths to become so "despondent", are not being held up as a part of the entire problem. The socialist mentality of France was to simply give these immigrant-sons anything they wanted to keep them appeased. Money, shelter, food, but no job (because governments don't create jobs, especially not socialist governments), nothing constructive or productive to do with themselves. If you've ever been out of work for an extended period of time you know the type of restlessness that can grip you. Now, imagine that feeling being intensified by years of inactivity and decades of resentment. Compound this with a religious philosophy that says that violence against "infidels" is not only acceptable, but encouraged, and you have France over the last 12 days.
It is sad that a once great culture, a center of art and civilization, has fallen into such terrible disarray. But it was something that was brought on by decades of ignoring the reality of the world around us. They failed to learn from history, and now they're being forced to relive it in a another form. Let's all hope, and pray that they learn those lessons this time.

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Monday, November 07, 2005

Chip off the ol' block

I can't say I'm angry at him, or that I'm not at least a little bit proud of him for this incident. But it does make me wonder what I'm in for when he enters his real rebelious phase of being a teenager.
Of course, I'm speaking of my son, and a little exchange we had earlier today that went something like this.

M+: "Bob, I want you to go downstairs and switch loads of laundry. Don't forget the dryer sheet. You always forget the dryer sheet and then everything is all static-y..."
Bob: "Dad... Dad... Wait, all I heard was blah, blah, blah, dryer sheet, blah, blah. Now, what did you want me to do?"
M+: Mumbling. Shakes head and walks away.
Moe: "Wah, wah, wah, wah." (as in - the sound we hear when Charlie Brown's teacher is talking)
Bob: "Ma-na-ma-na! Do-do-do-do-do!" (as in - those Dr. Pepper commercials)
M+: "D'oh!"
Laughter all around.
M+: "Just go switch loads of laundry. And don't forget the dryer sheet!"

I have to admit it. I like the fact that he's got my sense of humor. But sometimes it scares me.

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Sunday, November 06, 2005

Another talk with the Boy

Those of you who remember the last time I posted about a conversation with my son, Bob, the topic was about sex and porn. Our most recent discussion was about sin. And the funny thing about this conversation is that there are two basic ideas about sin that keep coming up with others as well. "Gray areas", and the failure to act, are the ones that everybody seems to struggle with.
These ideas were a part of the service at church last Sunday. They were also a part of our devotional time during our monthly council meeting. And they've been showing up with some of my co-workers, too.
This is the jist of what I ended up telling Bob.
For some odd reason, people have a problem with "gray areas". "Gray areas" are those times, or situations, when it might seem acceptable to do something that we know to be wrong. People like "gray areas" because they're not as bad as some things that other people do. So they're easier to explain away, while maintaining some illusion of our own goodness. It's a way to excuse our favorite sins as minor character flaws, and not as a spiritual condition that requires help from God to find resolution.
But, regardless of any justifications we might wish to use, right and wrong are clearly spelled out for us. If not in the scriptures, then in our own conscience. We might not like it, but that's how it is. Sin is sin, and all sin is equal in the eyes of God. There is never a time when doing the wrong thing is right. And we can't justify our actions to God because He knows the truth. The only person we're deceiving is ourselves.
This is also a matter of integrity. And there's a good reason why we ought to always act according to what we know to be right. Anytime you act in such a way that denies what you know to be right, it makes it easier to do so the next time. Our integrity ought to be more sturdy than that.
Likwise, doing the wrong thing isn't always a matter of doing something that we know to be wrong, but in not doing something that we know to be right. If you know that someone needs your help, and you refuse to help, then that - for you - is a sin. This is especially true if you have a particular skill, talent or resource to offer, but you simply don't.
I pointed out to him how we are currently helping my friend, Moe. Moe needed a place to stay for awhile, we had some empty space. It was the right thing to do to allow him to stay with us. In spite of the fact that it has been a major disruption to our lives, but doing the right thing isn't always easy (another reason why the "gray areas" are so popular).
So I'm hoping this talk stays with him. I'm doing my best to try to raise him as a man of character and integrity. And this is no small task for a man with as many faults and sins as I have. But I'm hoping he sees my struggles and learns from my mistakes the way I learned from my father's. And maybe he won't have it so tough when it's his turn to raise a son.

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Saturday, November 05, 2005

Geeks will be geeks

Yeah... JT and I are geeks! Not to mention our sons, as well. And of course, we can't forget to mention our pastor, P.Dave.
And what strange character flaw is it that makes us all geeks? How about the fact that we just finished a Star Wars Marathon in the basement of our church?
Now, there is one redeeming fact about today that I must mention. We didn't watch all six movies. We only watched Episodes 1-3. However, if I mention that we used the church's multi-media equipment, then we reduce ourselves to being the same AV Club geeks that everyone picked on when they were in school.
Yeah... we're geeks! There's no escaping this sad fact. May God have mercy on our souls.

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Friday, November 04, 2005

Ooooo... this is scary!

This is not the first time I've been told this...




You Are Scary



You even scare scary people sometimes!



Somebody remind me to post a few photos of my knife collection. Then everyone will understand why this is so true about me.

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Thursday, November 03, 2005

Addressing a few comments

Alright, there've been a couple of comments left here recently that I just have to respond to. And leaving them as comments just doesn't seem right to me.
K:
Yeah, I know. Too bad it's not true. I'd settle for his money without any of his talent or good looks.
Micayla:
You're right about Daylight Savings Time being about the conservation of energy. But it's a throw back from a time when people used to do less after the sun went down. It's lost a great deal of it's effectiveness in recent years. Especially since there are so many businesses that are open 24 hours a day.
As for my not being "old". I don't really consider myself to be "old". I am getting older, but I don't see it as a bad thing because I'm also growing wiser.
From my perspective, as a Christian, 40 years is a single grain of sand on an endless beach - by comparison to the eternity that Christ has promised me in His kingdom. But in a culture that is becoming increasingly hostile to Judeo-Christian values, it is the vanity of the so-called superstars that must soothe their egos when the first wrinkles appear, and they see their youth slipping away. I pity them for that, because they will never understand the fulfillment that I have in my convictions.
I'm glad you like my journal. I hope you'll keep reading, and leaving comments. I like to know who's been reading what, and comments are the only way I can do that.

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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Quotes from 10/2005

Quote for 11/2/05

"Look, I don't want to wax philosophic, but I will say that if you're alive you've got to flap your arms and legs, you've got to jump around a lot, for life is the very opposite of death, and therefore you must at very least think noisy and colorfully, or you're not alive."
Mel Brooks

And this is exactly the type of thinking I would expect from Mel.

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Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Witchking of Agamar




Nah... it's only the Boy. This was Bob's Halloween costume for this year.
I didn't have one this year, but just wait untli next year!

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