Friday, March 31, 2006

Sex is everywhere !!!

That's right! I said it! Sex is everywhere, and it's driving me insane!
As some of you are aware, I posted recently on the phenomenon of me "crunching" ice...
Which I normally don't do!
And, in spite of any denials I may have implied in that post, I will admit that I have been feeling a bit frustrated about the fact that I haven't had sex in a year and seven months (yes, JT, I know that's nothing by comparison to your plight). Now, all of a sudden, it seems that sex is eveywhere I turn.
Or am I just that much more aware of how often it's brought up in our culture. Whenever I check my e-mails, there's always an article about sex somewhere on the Netscape site. When I surf for news or other information, there are always ads for dating services, etc... And of course, there's the occasional "porn-junk-e-mail" that shows up in my "junk-e-mail" account. As well as the general prevelence of pornography in our pop-culture.
And now it's showing up in some of the blogs I visit. Which is OK, because everyone has the right to blog about whatever they want to blog about. And I do read their blogs because I like the variety of perspectives on life that their views provide me with. But recently, it's been getting to me because it has made me so painfully aware of what I've been missing since my Eventually-To-Be-EX left me. Especially Joanne's recent post about how much she's been missing it, too. At least I'm not alone, right?
But I still miss having someone. And not just the sex, but all of the little things that are a part of the relationship. All of the things that are either a part of sex, or that lead to it, or that enhance the relationship through the sex. I miss the physical contact, hugging, kissing, touching, tasting, smelling. I miss playing with someone's hair. I miss joking about sex, and the teasing. I miss the anticipation and the foreplay, and even the cuddling afterwards. And the worst part... even if I could do something about the frustration, even if I were dating someone seriously - or had someone who was interested in me - I still couldn't do anything. And why?
Because I run right smack-dab into my own morality. Or should I say, not my own morality, but what I know to be God's morality. As a Christian I really struggle with the whole issue of sex and lust and all that those things encompass. It's really tough at times, especially when I consider how important it is to me to be true to my convictions about sex (actually, about everything, but right now sex is really in the forefront of my struggles). Yet I fear, that if such a temptation were to arise, if some attractive woman were to express her affections to me, would I be able to resist? Women have become so much more open, and even aggressive, in their sexuality these days. I'm sure that there are plenty of men who see this as a great thing. I have to admit that a part of me agrees with that thought. But I also wish that I didn't. If presented with such a situation, would I give in to the temptation and then simply chalk it up to being human, or dismiss it as just another shortcoming in my faith? Or would I be able to stand on my convictions? I really don't know the answer to that. Especially the way I'm feeling right now.
And why am I sharing all of this? Because, in part, I'm hoping that by getting this out there in the open, I'll get enough of it off of my chest to make it easier to deal with. I'm not even dating yet, so it's not like the opportunity to fail is going to present itself anytime soon. Still, one never knows what life may bring on any given day. But also because I really want to know how a Christian is supposed to maintain his/her sense of sexual purity in a society that seems to have dismissed such values as not only "outdated", but as some sort of "bigotry" against anyone who doesn't hold those same values. How does a person, any person, who wishes to strive for a higher standard of sexuality cope in such a culture?
And, again, all of this before I've even started dating. What's a guy to do?
Well... thanks for listening (listening? - reading?). Any comments, suggestions, or advice is fully appreciated.

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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Quote for 3/30/06

"Eloquence is a painting of the thoughts."
Blaise Pascal

And that is why some of us blog.

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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

A man of faith?

Most of you have been reading my blog long enough to know that I tend to take a really positive outlook in life, even when it seems like my world is collapsing around me. And I don't usually express any doubts which I might have about anything. But for some odd reason I'm really struggling with some doubts that I have right now.
These particular doubts aren't earthshaking matters of life and death to me. Nor are they about anything which most people would consider to be important. But they carry some weight in my heart because it's something that is close to my heart.
I'm speaking about our alternative worship site, The Revolution Church, and the strange sense I get that we really jumped the gun on starting this thing when we did. And tonight's Tuesday Night Family Service really brought those doubts home to me.
I walked into church tonight to discover that neither my pastor, nor our assistant pastor were going to be present for the evening. That's not a big deal for me since I've led a Tuesday Night service before, and P.Dave left me the necessary handouts for the sermon/devotional. But Tuesday's are also the time when our worship team practices the songs that we'll be playing for the Sunday service. But there was nobody there for practice. And when the rest of the team finally showed up none of us were familiar enough with the songs that my pastor had chosen to feel comfortable about doing them without more than just a few minutes of practice. Complicate this matter with a CD that would've helped us, but we needed the sound system to play the CD, and JT is the only one of us who knows how to do the sound system. And He wasn't there tonight either.
We managed to get a "boom-box" to substitute for the sound equipment. So we got to practice a little, but the whole situation got me thinking how ill prepared we truly are for the grand adventure which we've embarked on.
I am bothered by the fact that there are only a small handful of us who are so involved with this endeavor. And each of us is an important enough part of the whole process that if one of us is missing things start to "fall apart". We have one guitarist, JD, who is only there two weeks out of the month, but we have two bassists (myself and Julian) and we alternate. But the person we had for keyboards, to take the lead when JD isn't there, has fallen into some personal problems which have been keeping him from making it to the services. We have a replacement for him, but she can't make it to practice on Tuesday's. And God forbid that anything should happen to JT, or we would be without our sound system. But we don't have anyone else to do these things.
Then, there is the other issue that I have. When we intitially started planning for this alternative site we had a few goals that we were supposed to reach as a congregation before we opened the new site. One of those goals was to have at least 150 people worshipping in one of our "non-traditional" services each week that would, hopefully, be willing to come to the alternative site when it opened. And that didn't mean 150 people in a single service, but 150 people spread out over the various services and small group Bible studies that are based in our home church. But I think P.Dave learned how to count from some of the executives at Enron, because he seemed to think we had that many people, even though we don't. Apparently he was counting everybody that was involved in any of the "non-traditional" services, and if someone attended more than one they were counted for each service they attended. And that would be why we have an attendance at our alternative site of about 20 people, and at least half are a part of the worship team (in some capacity).
While I find this all to be somewhat disheartening, I still have some hope that things will get better. We had four or five new people attend last Sunday. Our advertising campaign is scheduled to begin on Thursday. And I still believe that this is what God wants us to be doing.
I have my doubts, but I also trust God to work through our faithfulness to this calling. So, now that I've gotten all of this off of my chest, I'll be able to get back to my normal positive outlook on things.

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Monday, March 27, 2006

The set up

Usually I wait until after I've posted an unusual "Quote..." before I explain it. But for this particular quote I really think the explanation should set it up.
Anyways...
So I was having lunch with a few of my co-workers today and I did something that I don't usually do. I bought my lunch. A chicken sandwich with fries and a cup of Wild Cherry Pepsi. Typically I bring my own food from home and that includes the pop, so I don't usually have the leftover cup of ice after the pop is gone. And rather than let the ice go to waste I decided to "crunch" it. Even that is somewhat out of character for me, since I would normally just let the ice chunks melt into water and then drink it. But our time is limited for lunch, so I opted to expedite the process by "crunching" the ice.
As I sat there contentedly "crunching" away at my ice, one of my co-workers turned to me and said.
"You know what they say about people who crunch their ice?"

Insert today's "Quote..."

My co-workers response.
"I don't know which scares me more. The way you came up with that so quick, or the fact that I think I actually understand what you just said."

Welcome to my world!

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Quote for 3/27/06

"Yes! I'm fully aware of what "they" say. But who are "they"? And why is what "they" have to say so important to the rest of us? And if "they" are so much more enlightened than the rest of us, then would that not make them the proverbial "them" of "Us and them" or are "they" "us" and we "them"?"

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Sunday, March 26, 2006

The events of the day

That's right...

Mmmmmmmmmm... Birthday cake



Family photo. From left to right. On the edge of the photo is Mikey, then Jo (the Eventually-To-Be-EX), Haley (sitting down), Jo's sister Michelle, Cathy - the mother-in-law, and Sara in the lower right corner.



A better shot of Sara.



Missing from the first shot, Emmy

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A continuation

Trying out the new gifts


He's getting pretty good with his recurve bow. Maybe I'll get him a longbow for Christmas.



Make a wish.




This is Miss Aliesha Cross, trying not to be seen. (does anybody else remember that Monty Python bit?)

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Odds-n-ends of the day


My brother-in-law, Mike. The Redneck Wizard Mechanic.



Aaaaaaaaaahhhhh! You'd think that car makers wouldn't use such highly flamable materials in the seats of their cars. This was approximately 3 minutes after Mike started to burn his garbage. Amazing how quickly this thing blazed up.



The old car. You can tell I really needed the new one.


A nice sunset is always a great shot to get.



What a fantastic ending to a great day.

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Saturday, March 25, 2006

And a good time was had by all

This was definitely one of the best Saturdays I've had in a while. After putting in my 4 hours of OT, Me and Bob went to get haircuts. I should've done it a few months ago, but with it being the middle of winter I really wasn't looking forward to having to wear a hat to make up for the lack of hair. And my hair is so thick and coarse that I nearly destroyed my barber's clippers. They sounded like they were on the verge of death several times during my cut.
I must admit. I'm considering a career change after the haircut today. I think I want to become a barber or a hairdresser. My barber works in a salon surrounded by really beautiful women. And I mean the hairdressers and clients both are really beautiful. I think it would be really incredible to get paid to hang out with beautiful women, and maybe even run my fingers through some of their hair all day long.
But I'm getting way, way, way off-track here...
After the haircut we went to meet JT and P.Dave for our visit to the Triangle. Lunch was great. Pics of the wonderous event are available here. JT takes his camera everywhere now for the purpose of sharing his life with everyone that reads his blog. I may have to follow suit. It seems like a great way to capture those moments in life that are worth sharing with others.
Discovered that a "nephew" of mine is working at the Triangle. His name is Chase and he's my "nephew" in the sense that his mother and my Eventually-To-Be-EX-Wife were once the best of friends. They had a falling out several years ago and this is the first time I've seen him since. He's the kid on the right in the 4th photo down.
Did some shopping after that. Had to get a few items for Bob's birthday party tomorrow. Also needed a few items for the house. But I can't find the blades that I need for my razor. Which really sucks because the one blade I have left is starting to hurt.
Bumped into another lost friend while we were at Wal-Mart. Her name is Cheri, and she also used to be one of Jo's friends. Their friendship disolved a bit more recently though. Jo severed their friendship when Cheri expressed some concerns over Jo's "flirtatious" behavior whenever they went out. Cheri is also going through a divorce. We didn't have a chance to talk much, but she said she'd call me later on. I hope she does, because I'd really like to know how her and the kids are doing.
Got home and did some of my chores. Then me and Bob sat down to play a little Playstation2. We picked up a few used games for his birthday. So we had those to play with. A lot of bloodshed and violence. Punisher, LOTR: Return of the King, and Final Fantasy X. But Final Fantasy has to go back to the Game Stop because it wouldn't play. No biggy, we had plenty of fun with the other games.
And now I'm sitting here blogging my day's events for all of you to read. After this I may just go to bed. I certainly could use it. We'll see.

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Friday, March 24, 2006

I thought you all should know

I'm somewhat disappointed that none of you wished my son a belated happy birthday. Wasn't my mentioning of it obvious enough, or what?
That's all...

Just kidding. I'm sure that all of you would've liked to wish him a happy birthday. You merely found yourselves sidetracked by my enthralling tale. Right?

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Thursday, March 23, 2006

The week in review, so far

I realize that the week isn't over yet, but I figured I'd go ahead and fill everyone in on what's been happening in my life thus far. And I might even include some of my plans for the up-coming weekend, as well as for the not too distant future.
Well...
As I'm sure you've all observed already, I bought a new car on Monday. It was the deal that nearly didn't happen. I'd been looking for nearly a month, since my car died and I had to resort to using Aliesha's car. But after I had taken the test drives and told my salesman how much I planned on putting down, the interest rate didn't look very good to me. Especially since I could've gotten a better rate from an online service. And I made it clear to my salesman that he had to beat that number. There was also a substantial delay in the dealership getting back to me with any alternative numbers. So I was about to give up on the deal altogether, and try another dealership, when I got a phone call on Saturday. One of the finacial wizards at the dealership managed to offer me a better rate than the online service was giving me so I took it. We arranged to do the paperwork on Monday evening and I spent my Saturday night hyped over the whole situation.
Then Monday rolled around. I left work early so I could call my insurance agent and set everything up for the deal. When I got home Aliesha told me that the dealership had called to confirm our appointment. Since I had everything moving right along, I thought it might be possible to do the paperwork a little bit earlier than originally scheduled. So I called to see if it was possible, which it was, but the even better news was that I was going to get an even better rate than the one we agreed to on Saturday. WOOHOO!!! More proof that Jesus loves me!
The rest of Monday evening was the boring details of the paperwork. No need to discuss that here. Instead I'll move on to Tuesday.
Tuesday was Bob's 15th birthday. We did most of our normal Tuesday stuff, church and all. But we also went out to dinner afterwards to our favorite chinese buffet. We were joined by JT, JD (our assistant pastor and worship leader), and Julian (JD's son). It was a most enjoyable time of fellowship.
Wednesday was bit of a mix. A friend of mine, who was also a co-worker, was let go from work on Wednesday. Several of us are somewhat upset about why it happened, but I'm not going to discuss it any further. In the afternoon we went over to my mother's house for Bob's birthday dinner with my family. Also to show everyone my new car, and to take mom out for a little ride in it. It was quite pleasant.
Today, nothing of any significance occurred, which is perhaps the reason why I have time to fill everyone in on what's been going on for me. And to share some of my plans for the rest of the week, and beyond.
Tomorrow I have a few expenses to take care of after I leave work. So I will take care of those before going home. After that I suspect that I'll be going out for dinner with the kids. But I also have to go back to work at midnight (not really "have to", but I really want to get my 8 hours in and done with) so I won't have to alter my plans for Saturday.
As for Saturday, Me and the Boy have plans to go to the Triangle with JT and P.Dave. I haven't had a chance to just hang out with P.Dave for some time now, so I'm really looking forward to this. And that's why I didn't want to alter my plans. Oh... for those of you who don't know, and if you're not from th'burgh you wouldn't know, the Triangle is a seedy little bar in a town called Swissvale that is locally famous for it's 29" hoagies. These things are incredible, even if they're not as impressive as a pizza from Vincents.
Moving on to Sunday. My orginal plans for Bob's birthday were to have everyone meet at my mother-in-law's apartment building last Sunday. They have recreational rooms that are available to tenants for such functions. But none of my in-laws could make it, so they took it upon themselves to reschedule it. Fortunately they informed me of this before I spent any money on a party that wasn't happening. Instead, the party has been moved to my sister-in-law's house. The one where Aliesha, and Jo (the Eventually-To-Be-EX-Wife) are currently staying.
I'm really looking forward to this party. I'm getting the cake, ice cream and pop (that would be "soda" to some of you). I'm also planning on getting the Boy a few really good presents. Arrows for his recurve bow, targets for the arrows, and some jeans. I'm sure he'll be happy about it.
Then there's the downside. At least, I think it's a downside. Jo is supposed to be bringing her current boyfriend to the party. Of course, she's been saying that she's bringing her boyfriend to every family gathering since she left me, but none of them have ever shown up. So we'll see if one shows up this time.
However, I am looking forward to letting everyone see my new car. Especially, Jo. I'm not going to rub it in or anything. But I do want her to see just how well things are going for me now, in spite of the fact that she nearly bankrupted me before she finally took off.

And last, but not least. I'm planning a road-trip for the new car in two weeks (next pay). I don't know where I'm going to go, and it really doesn't matter to me where I end up. I just want to get out and drive for the weekend. I'm so looking forward to this.
Anybody wanna come with...?

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

So much to say

I just don't have the time, nor the ambition, to share it all right now. I'm tired, and it's been a very busy week so far. So you can expect a substantial post about what's going on in my life (besides the new car) fairly soon. I'm hoping tomorrow... but don't hold me to that.

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Monday, March 20, 2006

"A new car!"

- Johnny Olsen (the original announcer for The Price Is Right)



Pretty nice, huh?
Considering the fact that my Eventually-To-Be-EX-Wife managed to destroy my credit before she left me, I still got a decent interest rate on the financing. Thanks to my efforts to clear up as much of the damage as I possibly could over the last year. And my insurance rates aren't going to jump too much either. The whole deal is very affordable to me.
But more importantly, I'm so thankful to Jesus. Everything just seemed to fall into place with this deal. And I know that I didn't have anything to do with that. So now I'm going to trust Him to provide a sufficient amount of overtime to help me make the payments each month.

I feel a road-trip coming on soon...

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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Round and round it goes

Tag! I'm it! At least that's what Alison says in her latest post. So here goes...

Four jobs you have had in your life:
1) Paperboy
2) Dishwasher/Cook
3) Courier/Driver
4) Electro-Mechanical Assembler (current occupation)

Four movies you would watch over and over:
1) Lord of the Rings (yes, the entire trilogy!)
2) Star Wars (yes, both entire trilogies!)
3) The Boondock Saints ("We could kill everyone!")
4) Highlander ("There can be only one!")

Four places you have lived:
1) Columbus, Oh
2) Plum, Pa
3) North Braddock, Pa
4) Monroeville, Pa

Four TV shows you love to watch:
1) The Simpsons
2) Smallville
3) Mythbusters
4) practically anything on the History Channel

Four places you have been on vacation to or visited:
1) Bermuda
2) Fort Recovery, Ohio
3) Denver, Colorado
4) Virginia Beach, Virginia

Four websites I visit daily:
1) Netscape (for my e-mail, and some news)
2) Brainy Quote (do I really need to say what for?)
3) One Long Tale (more commonly known as JT's blog)
4) Glenn Beck (for other news and commentary)

Four of my favourite foods:
1) Seafood in Alfredo sauce over pasta (my very own recipe, no less)
2) Steak (medium rare)
3) Pizza (pepperoni, mushroom and sausage. Especially if it's Vincents!)
4) Ribs (in a spicy honey BBQ sauce)

Four places I would rather be right now:
1) Sitting on Jesus' lap
2) In bed (if possible, not alone)
3) In a cabin in the woods
4) On an empty stretch of beach

And last, but certainly not least...
Four bloggers I am tagging:
1) JT. You had to know it was going to happen.
2) Faith. Because I figure you won't mind.
3) Flomblog. Because you were so distraught over the last time when I skipped over you.
4) Amie. Because you love this kind of stuff.

And for anyone who didn't get tagged, feel free to take this and run with it anyway.

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Friday, March 17, 2006

Keeping my promise

Well, before I went off-line I had posted a little blurb with a link to an interesting article regarding one man's lawsuit to avoid having to pay child support for an unexpected, and unwanted child that resulted from his relationship with a woman who claimed she couldn't get pregnant. And I also promised to share some of my own thoughts on this whole issue. So here I am to keep that promise.
First off, I really don't want to spend a whole lot of time discussing the abortion issue over this particular situation. For those of you who aren't already familiar with my thoughts on abortion, you can read them in my sidebar essay on the topic. Otherwise, I don't plan on saying much about it here.
As for the case in question, I have to admit that it's a creative application of both the Roe v. Wade ruling and the XIVth Article of the Constitution. If a woman can abdicate her responsibility to raising an unexpected child, by means of a legal ruling that allows her to have an abortion, then why can't a man also abdicate his responsibility to an unexpected child by that same legal ruling? That would be an equal application of the law to both parties. And that's what the XIVth Article guarentees us; "equal protection of the law.".
But I really hate having to take the man's side on this one. Because I fear that it could encourage more women to have abortions. Especially those who might not normally consider one, but who find themselves pregnant to a man who will use this ruling to avoid paying child support for an unexpected child.
However, the thing that bothers me the most about this whole thing is the fact that it is just one more step downward into the continuing decay of our society. 30 years ago, about the time that Roe v. Wade was decided by the Supreme Court, this case would've been unthinkable. At that time, a man would have known that society expected him to take personal responsibility for the child and either marry the woman or pay child support. But we've had 30 years of being told that we don't have to take personal responsibility for anything, especially not for the consequences of having sex. And this is where it's brought us.
Consider how many frivolous lawsuits have passed through our courts and the ridiculous rulings that they've wrought. A woman spills coffee on her lap and is awarded millions of dollars because McDonalds didn't warn her that it was hot. A burgular breaks into a home and finds himself trapped in the garage for a week then sues the homeowners for the pain and suffering of having to survive on dog food and Pepsi, and wins! Oh, don't get me started on the tabacco lawsuits! And all because we, as a society, have decided that nobody must be forced to accept personal responsibility for their own actions.
For decades we've been telling people that it's OK to ignore their responsibility. We've been telling people that we can have all of the rights that we want, but we don't have to take any of the responsibilities that come with those rights. You don't want to be stuck in a difficult marriage, we have no-fault divorce. Don't want the unexpected child, we have abortion. Don't want to go to work, we have welfare. Can't control you finances, we have personal bankruptcy. And on and on it goes.
And it only gets worse because everytime we turn around some politician is declaring something else to be a right. You have a right to free healthcare. You have a right to internet access. You have a right to high definition TV. You have a right to not be offended by someone who has a differing opinion from yours.
No you don't!
Life is not fair... deal with it! There is not always someone to blame for the things that go wrong in life. Whatever rights you do have come with responsibilities. Act like it!

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

This is so coooool

I love my DSL! Everything loads so much faster now. It was especially refreshing to see how quickly Singledom and Amiething Goes came up. They used to take forever, but not anymore. And the intro at Gunny Ermey was awesome to watch again.
Can ya tell I'm really geeked about this?
I'll post more later on, but for now I'm gonna go do some high-speed surfing. It's been so long...

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Quote for 3/16/06

"History shows us that people don't learn a damn thing from history."
Sandy Ankney

It just came up as part of a conversation today.

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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Wow! That was fast!

"Is there anybody out there?"
Pink Floyd

OK...
I'm back online! WOOHOO!!!
That didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would. I'll post more later, but for now I just wanted to let everyone know that I'm here if you need me...
or even if you don't.

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Monday, March 13, 2006

Hold that thought

I may be off-line for a little while. I'm in the process of switching back to DSL (yeah!), and that means cancelling my current dial-up service. So, if you don't hear from me for a few days, fret not. I'll be returning in just a little while.
And if you do continue to hear from me...
You're hallucinating.
Later.

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Quote for 3/13/06

"Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival."
C. S. Lewis

Ponder over this while I'm away.

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I just couldn't resist

Well...
Before I go, I thought I'd share this article with everyone.
Talk about the Law of Unintended Consequences.
I'll save my own thoughts on this until I return, but please feel free to leave your own comments. I'll be looking forward to what yinz have to say.

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Saturday, March 11, 2006

Quote for 3/11/06

"Faith is a living, daring confidence in God's grace, so sure and certain that a man could stake his life on it a thousand times."
Martin Luther

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Thursday, March 09, 2006

OK... You've got my attention.

NASA has released this very intriguing discovery.
So I'm curious about what it's supposed to mean. There's water on one of Saturn's moons, and this means the possibility of life. They don't know if it means that life does exist there, or if it means that life may have existed there at one time, or if it just demonstrates the possibility that life could exist there someday. And everybody at NASA seems pretty excited about it.
OK... You've got my attention. Now, please explain to me why this is such a big deal. I understand the scientific significance of discovering water somewhere else in the solar system. I get it, really! But how do these scientists plan on doing the additional research to find out which of the 3 above scenarios we have here?
But for me the more important questions are these:
If we discover that life does, or did exist there, what does it really mean to us here on good ol' terra-firma? Do we expect this to prove evolution and disprove creation? If so, then why hasn't that life evolved past whatever stage it's in? Surely, any lifeform which could exist in such an extreme enviroment would also evolve into something that could survive in that enviroment? Isn't that what evolution is supposed to do?
All of that aside, there is a certain aspect to the possible exisitence of extraterrestrial life that has always puzzled me. And it's not the possibility that puzzles me, it's the supposed implications of that possibility that always seem to get to me. And the one in particular is the notion that proof of life on other planets would be proof positive of evolution and that there is no God. But the only way you can come to that conclusion is if you really don't understand the Bible.
For some odd reason, people are under the impression that because the Bible doesn't say anything about certain subjects, it can't be true. Or, for many Christians, if it's not mentioned, then it can't be real.
People fail to understand that while the Bible is applicable to all of our life situations. It is not the end-all-be-all to what we ought to know about the world around us. It is a book that deals very specifically with a particular group of people (the Jews, and subsequently Christians). And how God expects those people to act and interact in this world as a part of His plan and purpose. So why should it mention those things which have no real bearing on how we ought to act towards our fellow man?
From my own perspective, I have always believed that there's life on other planets. It only stands to reason that any God who is creative enough to make the world that we live in would be more than creative enough to want to do so elsewhere in the vast universe. So why wouldn't He? Especially when we see the intricacies of our world in it's atomic, and sub-atomic levels. As well as the magnificence of the vastness, and wonder of the rest of the universe. It's as if He wrote Himself into the mysteries that surround us. Any God who is creative enough to put so much detail into a single world would surely not lack the desire, or creativity, to do so in others. And I find this all very comforting, and quite encouraging, too.
As for the rest of it. It doesn't affect the way I live my life. I know what the Bible teaches me about the way I ought to live my life, how I should interact with God, and with the people around me. So whether or not we ever discover life in the rest of the universe, doesn't matter to me. It won't change my perspective. I'll continue to live the way I do. But the universe might seem just a little bit smaller then.

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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Quote for 3/8/06

"We're not buying anymore drinks unless they're free!"
Joanne

The story is told in two parts. Part one is at Joanne's, but the rest of the story and the quote are found at Lemony-Fresh

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I have a plan

I just spent about an hour on the phone having my Eventually-To-Be-EX wife's name removed from all of the household bills. Something I should've done a long time ago, but just never got around to. So as a part of my overall plan to get my life in order I finally took care of it.
Now for the rest of my plan...
On Friday I'm going to look at a few options for a new car. I've finally gotten to the point with the Olds that if I continue to repair each of the little problems that seem to pop up, it'll nickel-n-dime me to death. And I can't afford that. Instead, from what I've been able to calculate, the money I would spend on repairs, gas for the guzzler, and other general preventive maintenance each month, would probably cover a car payment.
I've already made arrangements for budget amounts on my gas and electric bills so I won't have the highs and lows as the seasons change. None of my other bills fluctuate, so this way I'll know just how much my bills are each month. And I've already been able to calculate a car payment into the budget. It's just a matter of finding the right car for a price that works into that budget.
I'm also blessed to have a ludicrous amount of overtime available. And that will make paying off some of my peripheral bills (Dr's, taxes, etc...) easier to manage before I assume the car payment. It also means more money available for the down payment. I might even be able to work towards keeping a substantial balance in my savings account.
This all sounds pretty good to me. It seems very do-able. And I haven't been this confident about my finacial situation in years. Which leads me to wonder...

Is God laughing at me?

Actually, I know better. I'm confident that He's the one who brought me to this point. And I trust Him to not abandon me now. Not after all of the other stuff He's carried me through.

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Monday, March 06, 2006

Quote for 3/6/06

"A man who won't die for something is not fit to live."
Martin Luther King, Jr.

See some of my own thoughts on this statement below.

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Worth dying for

Some thoughts about the above "Quote..."

I have held to this conviction for a very long time. And yet, in recent years, I've met so many who think this idea an outdated notion. And their numbers seem to be growing.
How sad it must be to either not believe in anything strongly enough to be willing to die for that belief. Or worse, to live a life without such firmly grounded convictions about anything. Of what value can such a persons beliefs be? Or are they merely useless conventions of their own personal likes and dislikes? And how can such people defend those conventions when they are challenged?
If you're not willing to die for what you believe in, then why believe in it at all?

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Sunday, March 05, 2006

Boooooring...

Woke up much too early for a Sunday morning. So, I figured I'd waste a little time online doing some Blogthings.

Your Values Profile

Loyalty:

You value loyalty highly.
You're completely devoted to your friends and family.
Even if they totally screw up, you're still there for them.
Just make sure they're equally loyal to you!

Honesty:

You value honesty a fair amount.
You're honest when you can be, but you aren't a stickler for it.
If a little white lie will make a situation more comfortable, you'll go for it.
In the end, you mostly care about "situational integrity."

Generosity:

You value generosity a fair amount.
You are all about giving, as long as there's some give and take.
Supportive and kind, you don't mind helping out a friend in need.
But you know when you've given too much. You have no problem saying "no"!

Humility:

You value humility highly.
You have the self-confidence to be happy with who you are.
And you don't need to seek praise to make yourself feel better.
You're very modest, and you're keep the drama factor low.

Tolerance:

You value tolerance a fair amount.
You are open to new cultures, beliefs, and ideas.
You have very few prejudices that you're aware of.
And while you are tolerant, you do stand true to what you believe.


OR...

You Are 64% Open Minded

You are a very open minded person, but you're also well grounded.
Tolerant and flexible, you appreciate most lifestyles and viewpoints.
But you also know where you stand firm, and you can draw that line.
You're open to considering every possibility - but in the end, you stand true to yourself.


And, strangely enough, I can relate to this...

You Are Homer Simpson

You're just an ordinary, all-American working Joe...

With a special fondness for pork rinds and donuts.

You will be remembered for: your little "isms" and philosophies on life

Your life philosophy: "Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It's what separates us from the animals ... except the weasel."


I think that's enough for now.

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Saturday, March 04, 2006

Quote for 3/4/06

"To be satisfied with a little, is the greatest wisdom; and he that increaseth his riches, increaseth his cares; but a contented mind is a hidden treasure, and trouble findeth it not."
Akhenaton

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Quotes from 2/2006

Thursday, March 02, 2006

A little help here

I was a little bit curious about this when I saw it. So, I figured I'd click on it and see what it had to say. And now I'm curious about whether or not it's true.
Well... I know I have a few single ladies that visit on a somewhat regular basis. And those of you who aren't, might have your own insights into it as well. But I'd really like to know if it's really that simple.
I'm all ears...
or... eyes, as the case maybe.

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

This really scares me

I heard about this poll's results earlier and couldn't believe it. And the thing I find to be so frightening about it is that a fair percentage of these people probably vote.
I have always held to the conviction that people ought to have to pass the same Citizenship Test that immigrants have to take before they're allowed to vote. This cinches it for me.
I don't like the idea that people who don't know what rights are contained within the First Amendment are making decisions on who will hold office in this country. Especially when some of them think that owning a pet is one of those rights. I wonder what these people think about the Second Amendment and my guns?
I'd be willing to bet that many of these people agree with the bumper stickers that say "Wouldn't it be great if our schools were fully funded, and the military had to have a bake sale to buy a bomber." I'd hate to disappoint them with the fact that our Constitution covers the funding of our military, but doesn't mention anything about education at any level of government. It's one of those personal responsibility issues that we seem to have forgotten about. In part, because we've never known a time when our government didn't take care of it for us. But also because socialism has been creeping into our culture for the last 40 years.
And here's another piece of frightening information that I read a few years ago, and I don't think the numbers have changed since then. If anything, they've probably increased. But when last I heard (read) nearly 70% of college students placed the following statement in our Constitution;
"From each according to his ability unto each according to his needs."
That's not where it came from. Anybody know where it did come from, or who said?

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And yet, you keep asking me...

Every year it's the same. You'd think that my co-workers would've learned by now, considering that I've been at this job for nearly 10 years. And most of them have been there just as long, if not longer. Still, they insist on asking me the same question every year on Ash Wednesday.
This is the conversation that I have with at least 5 people every Ash Wednesday:
CW(co-workers): "So, are you going to get ashes on your head tonight?"
M+: "No."
CW: "Why not?"
M+: "Because I don't do that."
CW: "Huh... I just thought, because you're, like, real religious..."
M+: (lowers head and sighs) "I am not "real religious", I am a Christian. What is your point."
CW: "Well, I just thought, because you're always doin' stuff with your church, you might do the ash thing."
M+: "My church does, but I do not."
CW: "Why not?"
M+: (smiling) "Do you go to church?"
CW: "Sometimes. Why?"
M+: "Does your church do the ash thing?"
CW: "Yeah. But, why do you ask?"
M+: "Are you going to get the ashes smeared on your forehead tonight?"
CW: "Maybe."
M+: "Why?"
CW: "I dunno."
M+: "Then, why do it?"
CW: "I guess, cuz it's what we're supposed to do."
M+: "Why are you supposed to do it? Do you know what it means, what it respresents?"
CW: "Something about forgiveness, I think."
M+: "It's about repentance, not forgiveness. Do you repent of your sins when you go to get the ashes?"
CW: "Yeah, I guess."
M+: "I don't. (CW jaw hits the floor at this point) This is the season of Lent, when every church and firehall across the land will be having a fish-fry every Friday. And then of course there are all of the restaurants that will be having their seafood specials and all-you-can-eat fish, shrimp or crab-legs. This is the best time in the world for a glutton like me. Why would I want to repent of a sin that I'm just getting ready to commit. I'm better off waiting until after Good Friday to repent. That's when I'll really need it."
CW: (stunned silence)
M+: "You do realize that I'm only kidding?"
CW: (uneasy laughter)
M+: "Seriously, one ought to repent on a daily basis. If you really believe what your church teaches, then you should be repenting of your sins every day, not just once a year. That's why I don't do the ash thing. I do the repentance thing everyday, because I need the forgiveness everyday."
CW: "So what are you, I mean... besides a Christian... like, what church do you go to?"
M+: "Do you mean, what denomination am I?"
CW: "Yeah."
M+: "I'm a Cathapentabaptheran."
CW: "A what?"
M+: "Cathapentabaptheran. And I'll give you $5 if you can figure out what that means."

Nobody's been able to get it yet. At least not completely. The offer stands to anyone who's willing to give it a try. Except you JT, since you're one too.
Now that I think about it, I really don't mind having this conversation every year. It's just another chance for me to discuss matters of faith with my co-workers.

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