Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Today should be my 19th wedding anniversary. I guess that technically, it still is, but nobody's celebrating it. Which is fine by me - no reason to buy a gift!
Anyways, just to make things interesting, my darling daughter has just informed me that Jo and "cowboy" are planning on getting married soon. Which will be quite difficult if she and I aren't divorced yet.
So, I guess that someone's going to be paying for the divorce pretty soon. I know it's not going to be me. And I know that she's not working yet, so it won't be her. I wonder?
I'll keep checking my mailbox for the papers to sign.


Why not?

I just thought I'd repost this for everyone's entertainment.

You Are Scary

You even scare scary people sometimes!

Hey! Go ahead and take the quiz. Have a little fun tonight. It's Halloween!

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Monday, October 30, 2006

Quote for 10/30/06

"Worry is a misuse of imagination."
Dan Zadra

Keep reading below...


Wouldn't you? (pt. 2)

Now that I've taken the time to express to everyone the comfortable and relaxed atmosphere of my church, allow me to discuss the rather uncomfortable side of it.
It is a great thing that the atmosphere of the church can be comforting, but the message ought not to be. And P.Dave is usually pretty good at that. The thing that makes P.Dave so good is that he's not afraid to challenge us or make us feel uncomfortable in our spiritual walk. In part, because he freely admits to having many of the same struggles that the rest of us do, but also because it's his responsibility to his flock and his calling to push us.
While the fellowship of going to church ought to be uplifting and encouraging, the message ought to be one that inspires us to strive for doing better in our faith and our spiritual walk. There's certainly nothing wrong with a message that soothes us in our times of struggle, but not every message should be that way. If we're not challenged occasionally, then we won't grow spiritually. And if we're not growing then our faith will become weak. So we all need a little discomfort every now and then.
Yesterday's sermon was one of those discomforting messages. The message itself was about Worry and it's counterproductive nature, hence the Quote for today. And something that stuck with me was how we tend to hold onto our worries, as if we can change anything about our situation by worrying about it. But even more than that was the way in which P.Dave demonstrated this to us.
Perhaps you noticed, in the picture, the pile of stones on the altar. And in front of the altar a basin of water. What P.Dave had us do was pick up a stone for each Worry we were struggling with and hold onto it until we were ready to let it go. When we decided that we were ready to let go, ready to give it to God, we dropped each one into the basin of water.

Now, I have to say that P.Dave was pretty upfront about the fact that he was holding onto a stone that he was not ready to let go of. It's a worry that he has confessed to us before. So he was not shy about telling us that we were also free to hold onto any of our own worries for as long as we wanted to, or as long as we feel we need to. And that would be between us and God.
So this is my Worry...

I'll be completely honest with you, this isn't really a worry of mine so much as a situation that I don't like being involved in. And God knows it. All of the other stones I picked up went into the water without hesitation. So what I'm really holding onto is a little bit of anger at God for leaving me in the situation. I'm not worried about it. As with all things, I know He will work it for good in my life, but it will be in His own time and not mine. But I'm keeping the stone until He's done with whatever He's trying to bring me through.
Now, it's just a matter of time.

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What I've been up to

You may remember that I said I had in mind something new that I wanted to try. Well, I've already started it.
I noticed some time ago that my prayer life has been really lacking over the last few months. And that could be part of the reason why some of the issues I've been dealing with seem to be hitting me so hard. Under such circumstances I usually turn to the Psalms to find comfort and refuge from myself. That's what I've decided to do this time, only this time I'm going to take a different approach to reading them.
I have created a new blog that I'm using as a catalyst for improving my prayer life. I'm taking the Psalms, one at a time, and going through them one verse at a time and meditating on each verse to seek out what the Holy Spirit would guide me to pray for. So I've named the blog Praying Thru The Psalms. This is not something that I'm rushing through. I'm taking serious time to reflect and meditate on each verse. So I don't expect to post more than one each week. After all, such an endeavor deserves to be given such attention.
If you are so inclined to visit I hope you will find it beneficial to you as well.

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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Wouldn't you?

I know that I've said it before, and I will say it again. In fact, I'm going to say it right now; I love my church. And who wouldn't love a church that's as comfortable as mine?
By design, our church is meant to be a much more relaxed atmosphere than most traditional churches. We wanted it to be that way. And so far it seems to be going just as we planned.
We still retain some of the traditional trappings of church, even if we do poke a little fun at them. Hence, our Anachronistic Pew.

P.Dave's humor at work here.

But we also do try to instill a sense of appreciation for the traditional aspects of what church should be. The altar is still adorned with the colors that represent whichever season of the "church calander" we're currently celebrating. And we do have the elements for the traditional Communion.

Even if we do administer them in a method which is somewhat different than most are used to.

And, of course, we have a few additions to our sanctuary that most churches would never consider. Yes, that's a cappuccino maker. But we think it enhances the the comfort and intimacy of the whole setting. It's a gathering of friends, not just church. It's a place where we mutually explore our common faith, not just pay the premium on our "fire insurance". It's a place where people like to come, enjoy being there and don't mind sticking around after the actual service has ended. Isn't that what church ought to be?

Wouldn't you love it if your church were so enjoyable to attend?

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Your mission;

OK, all you Steeler fans!
Here's what you need to do.
Go to this link:


...and vote for the Steelers!

Yes, Faith, I know you're gonna vote for the Eagles, but that's OK. I trust the rest of my regular readers to stick with the Black-n-Gold.
Just so you know, it's free. You can vote once a day. There is a word verification that you have to go through to submit your vote, but there's nothing to sign up for.
Remember people, vote early and vote often.

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Just waking up

Not that there's much to tell, But I figured since I mentioned it yesterday I'd let everyone know how last night went. It was good to get out of the house, be among people and spend time with a friend.
JT and I didn't have any solid plans, we were just sorta "wingin'-it". P.Dave wasn't with us so strippers weren't totally out of the question. Still, we opted for the next best thing; Hooters!
Now, I have to admit, I'm not a real big fan of Hooters...
Let me rephrase that!
I'm not generally a big fan of any business that operates on the "lowest common denomenator" business model; one that appeals to our baser instincts - sex being the most common of these business plans. But I figured that this was a safe way of getting out without having to deal with all of the stupidity that usually comes with hanging out in a bar somewhere, or going to the same old restaurants. Besides, the wings were really good.
And Bob had a good time at his friends Halloween Party.
So all is well in the world this morning.

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Saturday, October 28, 2006

Quote for 10/28/06

"It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

See below


A rare opportunity

In case you're wondering why I chose the above Quote;
JT and I get to go out for awhile tonight. Not our typical "Movie Night", either. We're actually going to go out into public and do something - we don't know just what yet, but we'll come up with something entertaining. We've even invited P.Dave to join us. So you know there won't be any strippers involved...
Unless P.Dave recommends it!

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Quote for 10/26/06

"Old age isn't so bad when you consider the alternatives."

See below


Happy Anniversary

Yes, today is my birthday. But unlike so many others who seem intent on being perpetually 29, or even 39, I have decided to embrace my 40th birthday.
Of course, I actually did that last year. So this year I'm celebrating the first anniversary of my 40th birthday...
It isn't that I'm afraid of growing old, but I know that people are expected to take aging with some difficulty. But I'm not like that, this whole "anniversary" thing is purely for laughs.
For me, every day is just one more day within eternity. Eventually I will shed this mortal flesh and become that which I truly am; the spirit which God is perfecting within this decaying shell. How can I fear that? I may be "Shorter of breath, and one day closer to death." (as Pink Floyd puts it), but I am also one day closer to eternal glory. And this is true everyday.

Now, all of that being said, allow me to share with you a picture of the birthday gift that Bob picked-up for me over the weekend.

This is sooooo cool!

It looks even better in my hand...

And this pic because one of my friends, and a regular visitor, once asked me about my batlh'eth.
Well this is it!

This, too, is sooooo cool!

OK, I'm off to find something entertaining to do for the rest of the evening. After all, it is my birthday.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Quote for 10/25/06

"So, are you gonna get custody of this one too?"

Bonus quote:
"I wish I'd thought of that one"

In reference to the Eventually-To-Be-EX-Wife's bun-in-the-oven.
Perhaps it's a bit inappropriate, but it's still worth the laugh.

What I should've said, but didn't;
"Not even if you sacrificed a virgin to me!"
(another bonus quote)


Something else that's new

As much as this is not the something new which I mentioned previously, it is something else that is new in my life. A writers group. A workshop, if you will, that has been organized by my dear friend Becca (who no longer blogs or else I'd have a link to her site).
She contacted JT last week, who in turn contacted me to see if I'd be interested. Of course, being the big fan of language and writing that I am, I agreed. And tonight was our first meeting.
There were only 4 of us, but that's OK because we want it to be a smaller, more intimate setting. There was Becca, JT, myself and a gentleman friend of Becca's named Rick. We each took turns reading something that we had written prior to the evening. Afterwards we pondered over a few brief topics and spent a little bit of time writing something new. All in all, a rather productive evening spent with friends.
Below you will find the poem that I wrote prior to the evening. The rest of what was written tonight has already been posted here, in a somewhat different format. I suspect that I'll continue to post these items as I write them. So you can look forward to having something "fresh" to read every Wednesday or Thursday. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do.

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Write Away

Write here write now
Pour myself out on paper with pen
Let ink flow like the blood in my veins
Like the sweat of my labors
Like the tears of my anguish
Tell the story they tell
Paper to hold my heart
The depth of my soul
The fire of my passions
The pain of my trials
Is it enough to share them all?

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The weight of it all

I've had a few days to digest all of the information that I mentioned discussing with Jo last week.
First off, I have to say that the news of her condition didn't really take me by surprise, but it did leave me with a certain sense of "huh?". Even though I knew that she must've been having sex with "cowboy" all this time, I never really gave it too much thought until now. In any event I thought for sure that they must be taking some sort of precautions. And the reason why I thought this was because my insurance had been paying for her birth-control pills for a few months. I just assumed that she was still on them.

Now we know why one must never assume...
("ass/u/me" - Benny Hill. it looks better on the chalkboard)

Of course, something else that ran through my mind was "Isn't this the same guy that gave my son a condom? Doesn't he think to use them himself, the moron?". So needless to say, neither of them must've been thinking about the consequences of their actions.
Then came the re-opening of the old wound; that sense of betrayal that I had felt when Jo told me that she wanted a divorce. It didn't last very long, maybe a day or two, because I also remembered that the last time I had gotten Jo pregnant was after we had both had a bit too much to drink. Neither of us had been thinking very clearly that night and birth-control was the furthest thing from our minds then. So I suspect this was the result of some celebration last month. The 10th was Jo's birthday, after all. What a strange gift to give a woman on her 41st birthday...
Anyways, there was more to our conversation than just her telling me that she's pregnant. I had been wanting to talk to her for my own reasons as well. And now I had the opportunity.
I started by asking her about the progress of our pending divorce. I knew that there hasn't been any progress because she still hasn't filed the papers yet. Mostly because she hasn't worked since December of last year. So she hasn't had the money to pay for the filing costs. And I still refuse to pay for something that I didn't want - even though I'm all for it now!
Then I had to inform her of some bad news. As a matter of policy I have to drop her from my medical insurance. To be completely honest, I should've dropped her from my insurance 6 months after she left me. But I was under the impression that I should keep her on until the divorce was finalized, just in case a court order forced me to keep her on it - since she didn't have any of her own. I never suspected that the whole proceeding would drag out this long. But now that it has, I have no choice. Especially since Aliesha turned 18 and is not a full-time student, I have to drop her, too. And there's nothing I can do about it.
And this is what is making things even more complicated; Jo can't get a job because she has no car. She can't get a car because she has no money. Also, she can't get insurance because she has a suspended license (long story, don't ask!). So even if she could get a car, she can't get insurance. No car, no job, no money - no divorce.
That's where I am.
If ever I had a reason to pay for the divorce this should be it. But I still refuse. It's not just a matter of principle either. I truly look at this and say "Why should I bail her out of this situation?", and make no mistake, if I pay now I will be bailing her out of this predicament. And she needs to face the consequences of her own actions.
I'm not doing this to be vindictive. I'm not trying to screw her over. But she needs to realize just how much she has messed up her own life, and she needs to figure out how to fix it on her own. I have my own life, and my kid's, to figure out. It hasn't been easy for me to hold things together over the last year or so. There have been challenges of all sorts, from financial to emotional to spiritual, and I've had to deal with them all without any help from her. I no longer have the strength to lend to her.
I hate that it has to be this way. I don't wish her any ill-will. I do hope for the best for her and "cowboy" and for their baby. But I just can't give anything more than hopes and prayers. I just don't have it in me anymore.
Is this what it means to be truly "over" someone?

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Monday, October 23, 2006

Just thinking out loud

I've been pondering over trying something "different" with blogging for awhile now. Something new altogether. Not that I plan on quitting or anything, or even making drastic changes to this blog, but something that I would like to try in addition to what I already do.
I'm not going to say just what I'm up to yet, but when I'm ready I'll be sure to let everyone know.

The plot thickens...


Saturday, October 21, 2006

Quote for 10/21/06

"You know why Jesus loves me? Because I'm so sexy."
Rob Bruce

It just sorta came up today while we were celebrating


And you missed it!

Not just the Quote, but the entire evening.
Of course you may remember that everyone was invited to join us at Red Lobster today. Well, here's who showed up; JT, his son Rob, his brother-in-law, Elmer, myself, Bob and Aliesha.
We had a fairly cute, and quite friendly server named Patti. She had this wonderful knack for reaching over me, and occasionally brushing against me, as she was serving us. It's the most excitement I've had in some time. I felt like I should've been giving her a dollar each time it happened (Yes, JT, I stole your joke! Again! And I'm sure you'll post about what a wretched "joke thief" I am.).
Afterwards, Aliesha headed off to work, Elmer headed home, and Bob and I joined JT and Rob at JT's to watch V For Vendetta. A decent movie. The action was good. The story was well written. But I find the premise to be confused and distorted by a political agenda that is just as confused and distorted. But I won't get into that now - maybe some other time.
And now the evening is winding down as I sit here telling you about the pleasant celebration that you missed. Oh well, there's always next year, when JT will be celebrating his 39th and I will be celebrating the 2nd anniversary of my 40th. Start planning for it now!

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

You're not gonna believe this

Actually, yes you are...
I just got off the phone with the Eventually-To-Be-EX-Wife and guess what she just told me.

She's pregnant!

She must be riding her "cowboy" pretty hard...
I'm not gonna say anything else just yet since I still need some time to digest all of the information that we discussed.


Another celebration

And everyone's invited !!!

That's right. If you're reading this you're invited to join JT and I as we engage in a joint celebration.
The occassion:
JT's 38th birthday, which passed us on Tuesday. And the first anniversary of my 40th birthday next Thursday.
When and where?
Red Lobster (for the Endless Shrimp) in Monroeville, Saturday at 3:30.

No presents necessary. But, as JT mentioned in one of his recent posts, cash and/or strippers will be accepted.

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Quote for 10/19/06

"Nothing is miserable unless you think it is so."


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Didja miss me?

For those of you who didn't already know, I was away for the weekend. Left on Thrusday, right after work, and came home yesterday evening. That would explain the lack of posting here over the last 5 days.
So now that I'm back I wanted to let everyone know.

Posts and pics are below.

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So begins the weekend

The trip began on Thursday afternoon. We (my mother and I) were heading to Fort Recovery, Ohio for a wedding; one of my cousins.
Typically, I get most of the driving behind me before nightfall, and this time it was no different. One thing, however, that was different was the fact that I had my camera with me. Quite often there's a great deal of really nice scenery that I would like to get pics of, this time I did.
The landscape shots didn't turn out because of the motion involved. But I love this sunset.

You'll have to excuse the "bug-splat", I had no choice but to take the photo through the windshield.

Nothing eventful for Friday. I took a nap while mom and aunt Kathleen joined all of the other ladies who were invloved with the wedding, and reception, at the hall to decorate and prepare the food. Yes, all of the food was "homemade", so to speak, by the families of the bride and groom - the groom being my cousin.
Below are some shots of the decorations. I was impressed with them since they too were "homemade".

None of the arrangements were purchased or professionally made.

Everything that was used was bought as material and was done by the bridesmaids and by my other cousins.

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The Big Event

Saturday came, and I had to dress myself up for the wedding.

You can stop laughing now...
The only thing missing is an Uzi, right?
This isn't quite the image most people get when one says "quiet, little, country church", but that's what this is.

I've always been impressed by how ornate some of the churches in these small towns can be. Simplicity seems to be the norm in the lives of nearly everyone in these parts, but their churches often reflect a deeper sense of extravagance.

For some odd reason I was drawn to this stained glass window.

No pics were permitted during the Mass.

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The Reception

Mmmmmmmmmmm... Wedding Cake.

The Bridal Party.

Mom with her brothers and sisters. Back row (left to right) are my uncles; "Bus", "Boots", "Fritz", and Jim. I do know their real names, but I forget which ones are which. Front row are my aunts; Ethel, Ginny (Virginia, also the Mother of the Groom), Kathleen, and Mom.

More decorations. I just thought they looked better with the candles lit.

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The rest of the weekend

Something was climbing on my car.

If I'm not mistaken, these are racoon prints. Now I can't help but wonder what the little bugger was after?

Here's something you don't see everyday.

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Quote for 10/11/06

"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent."
Victor Hugo

See below


I hear music

I couldn't help posting the above Quote after reading this article.
It has really led me to ponder just how important music is to society. And I can't help but think that music, the love of it and the desire to create it, truly is a part of the image of God in us. Is it any wonder that the Psalms are such an important book of the Bible?

So, I think about this in terms of many conversations I've had over the years as to why I have such an affection for Christian music. There have been many times that I've been asked why I rarely listen to "normal" (secular) music. And I've always responded with the same answer:

"If God created everything, and music is included in everything, then music must exist to serve His purpose for it. And what music would serve His purpose more than music that either praises or encourages devotion to Him? So how is it that people can consider music that exalts sex, drugs, violence, or some other aspect of our own selfishness to be "normal"? It would seem to me, by this standard, that I listen to "normal" music, and those of you who don't are listening to the abberant and perverted distortion of something that was beautiful when God created it - but has since been corrupted by our own fallenness."

Of course that's just a head game that I like to play with people when they act as if my Christian music is somehow inferior to whatever music they prefer to listen to. But I do believe that the point I have always been trying to make with that response is now pretty much reaffirmed by the research noted in the article. Music is a part us that has no reasonable explanation for it's existence without a God.
We are obviously meant for praise...

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Monday, October 09, 2006

Quote 10/9/06

"The eternal quest of the individual human being is to shatter his loneliness."
Norman Cousins


I know the feeling well

I have to say that I can truly sympathize with JT regarding one of his recent posts. And it stirred in me some things that I've been struggling with lately.
As most of you are aware, I've been dating for a few months now. I've been in a relationship or two, however short-lived they may have been. I've been on several dates with more than just a few nice ladies. I've enjoyed meeting and spending time with them. Some of them have become my friends, others not so much, and a few read my blog regularly. And I've really seen myself grow as a person as a result of it all. But still, I struggle with my situation.
Some of you may recall my lamentations regarding an ongoing argument that I've been having with God. And this is the topic with which He and I have been having such contention. My dating.
It would seem that He doesn't want me to be dating yet. He has brought it to my attention that I am still married. Which is not to say that I wasn't already aware of that fact - but when I made my decision to start dating, I didn't take enough prayerful consideration in making that decision. And while my Eventually-To-Be-EX doesn't seem to have any problem with this minor technicality. God seems intent on holding me to the vows that I made before Him.
And still I argue with Him. Because I hate my situation. And I don't understand why I have to wait. I don't understand why I can't be with someone who cares for me. Why I can't have the warm, softness of someone who enjoys my company as much as I do theirs. And I take little comfort in knowing that He has a plan for me.
Yet, I know that He is right. So I will do what He asks me to do. I don't have to like it, but I'll do it just the same. And I will pray that all of the frustration and waiting are worthwhile. He's not disappointed me yet.

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Saturday, October 07, 2006

Taking a ride

Preparing for what may be our last organized ride of the season. Nobody else was able to join us for this one.

Not quite The Three Musketeers, maybe more like The Three Amigos - or even The Three Stooges "nyuk, nyuk". But we're ready to roll.

"Saddle Up!" - John Wayne.
My first ride in awhile. It's just been too hectic for me to get out onto the trail. So I was pretty happy to get out today.

The backpack added a few extra pounds of weight to me. It didn't make a huge difference, but I certainly started to feel it as we got close to the end of the ride. Made it so my whole body felt the ride, and not just my legs.

Of Course JT had to do a little showing off. But then again, I'm the one taking the picture while still pedaling right behind him. So I guess we're both doing our fair share of showing off.

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Scenes from the trail

I love being this close to the river. At one point we were close enough, and the water clear enough, that we could see some of the fish that were near the shore. Bob gets the credit for that.

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More scenery

Some decent shots of the landscape as the trees are just starting to change colors. I hope I can come back in another week or so to get some more shots of these areas when the colors are at their peak.

I just liked the "Big Sky" look of this shot.

And, of course, the reward for our labors - Ice Cream!

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Some miscellaneous stuff

Bob captured this sunset the other day, and I've been dying to get it posted. I just didn't want to put it up here all alone, so I've given it some company to share it's post with.

Saw the full moon last night and decided I'd try to get a good shot of it. Having the branches in the foreground gives it enough scale to show that it's the moon - and not just a blob of white light on a black background. I only wish the clouds were visible in the shot.

Imagine riding this on the trails. You could make a family outing of it!

This is the "controversial" mural that graces East Pittsburgh. You can read JT's post about it. I don't get what the big deal is. Some people just don't have a clue.

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Friday, October 06, 2006

This could get painful

I just signed up for the Beta Blogger format. Perhaps you've noticed the "labels" at the bottom of the posts. It's a cool feature that I hope to fully utilize. But I find myself facing the daunting task of going through my entire blog to add the "labels" to each individual post.
Of course, I don't intend on doing it all at once. I'm not that obsessed with my blog. But when I'm done I'll be able to eliminate most of my Side-Bar junk in favor of the "labels".


Hey! That's us!

This is awesome! An article about non-traditional churches in the Tribune Review that features our church, Revolution Church. Go check it out if you're so inclined.

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Quote for 10/6/06

"Trust no future, however pleasant! Let the dead past bury its dead! Act - act in the living Present! Heart within and God overhead."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Thursday, October 05, 2006

The lighter side of my life

It had to happen eventually...
Having a conversation today with a friend, at work when one of our co-workers overheard me mention that my Eventually-To-Be-Ex-Wife's boyfriend's nickname is "cowboy". Typically I just refer to him as "her boyfriend".
Anyways, this individual just happens to turn around and say: "So, she's saving a horse!"
M+: "Huh?"
Co-Worker: "Saving a horse?"
M+: "Uuuuuuhh..."
C-W: "You know, Save A Horse Ride A Cowboy?"
M+:(blink) pause (blink) uncomfortable silence...
C-W: "I'm sorry. That was out of line wasn't it?"
M+: "No. I just wish I'd come up with it first."

Now I have to face the idea that anytime I see the two of them together I'm going to get that song stuck in my head. Or else I'll laugh uncontrollably at them...


This one is special

Another intriguing article! It says so much of what I've been seeing lately in the media. I think I'll forego my own comments and simply suggest, very strongly, that you go ahead and read the article.
For some odd reason, I can't help thinking about you, Faith, and our most recent conversations. Or, given the topic, perhaps I should link to your other site?

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Ignorance is bliss?

Having read this article today, makes me wish I had seen it yesterday. Especially since yesterday's Quote... is right there in the context of the article - at the top of the second page.
While I think that it's hideous that our colleges are apparently un-teaching students about our history, I have to ask where are the parents on this issue? Aren't they paying any attention to what they're paying for? Do they not care? Or worse, do they not know themselves?
I realize that our public schools leave something to be desired of late. Something that John Stossel (who I am big fan of) writes about quite often. But is it really this bad? Have things gone down-hill so much since I graduated?
Personally, I'd like to see the actual survey. I'm curious about how well I would do on it. And I do know that there have been other recent findings, along a similar thread, that are reinforced by this survey. Our future does not look very bright if things don't change in our education system, both public and higher.
But this is also a cultural thing. Somewhere between the Baby-boomers and the Post-Moderns we've created an entitlement mentality that says if we want something then our government ought to provide it for us. Or at least subsidize it. And all because we've been un-taught that liberty, freedom and our pursuit of happiness do not carry implicit guarantees that everything will turn out for the better. We have forgotten that failure is a very real possibility and it is not the responsibility of the government to bail us out.
Likewise, in a world that has become so small via the internet, we are much less of a community than we used to be. There was a time when people looked out for their neighbors, when being a part of a community meant watching out for the people that lived next door, or down the street. But now we seem to think that our charity for our countrymen comes in the form of taxes that we pay to a government that must have a program to help those in need.
This same attitude has become the pervasive thought regarding education as well. People pay their taxes, so they want to let the government take care of the problem. We're not looking out for each other's kids anymore. We've abandoned them to the whims of bureaucrats and activists who have no desire to tell them the truth. Don't they deserve better?
If we lose our sense of history, our future will be lost as well.

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Yesterday I picked up the new release from Evanescence, The Open Door. I'm quite impressed by it.
Some recent conversations between myself and Merry (my friend and co-worker) have revolved around this CD. We've both been waiting for it since we found out that they were in the studio months ago. We also had some reservations about it since their debut CD was such an amazing piece of work. We weren't sure they'd be able to produce something on par with Fallen, which I have long considered to be one of my all-time best CD purchases. Especially since half of the original songwriting duo (Ben Moody) left the band mid-way through the second leg of their North American tour in 2003. But they have maintained the "ethereal" sound which made their style so unique. And all is well with us and our shared musical tastes.
Also picked up the new Skillet CD, Comatose. Quite impressed by this one also. Very "crunchy" with a hint of goth/industrial to some of the songs.
All-in-all, money well spent.

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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Quote for 10/3/06

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."
Thomas Jefferson


Sunday, October 01, 2006

Talkin' 'bout my congregation

With all due respect to The Who's "My Generation"
Just out of curiosity, would you welcome these people into your church? Would you feel comfortable with them being there? Would you feel comfortable being with them in theirs?

Passing the Sign of Peace

P.Dave being his normal, geeky self

Reflecting on today's message, I was all but too happy to post these pics, because it really emphasizes the way in which the Church can be it's own worst enemy.
Many churchgoing Christians would look at these young people and immediately assume the worst of them. And if they ever showed up on the doorstep of many churches they might easily be turned away. But isn't the Church the place that they need to be, even if they already have a relationship with Christ? If Christ is willing to accept them - and, He is! - then shouldn't we?
The Church is not a social club. Nor is Christianity a birthright, or a heritage. The Church exists to act as a living representative of Jesus Christ. We are not meant to keep His truth, love or grace to ourselves. We are meant to share it with all those that we meet. We are not born into His family, His body. We have to make a conscious decision to submit our will to His in order to become a Christian.
And it is certainly not up to us to judge anyone by their appearance, or even by their favorite sins. None of us are perfect. We all have our own favorite sins to face. We all need the grace that Christ has offered us. And it is not ours to withold from anyone, no matter what color their hair is, or how many tatoos or piercings they have, or what their favorite sin is. That's not what Church is about. We need to get past all of the externals. Whether they be a matter of physical appearance, our style of worship, or our particular denomination. God cares nothing for these things.
So why do we let such things become such a stumbling block for us?
Just something to think about.

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Quote for 10/1/06

"Morality is the realm of the church, and legality should be the realm of the state."


Quotes from 9/2006

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