Saturday, October 31, 2009

I love Halloween and so should you!

Happy Halloween everybody!
I just wanted to say that because I know several people who won't have anything to do with Halloween because of it's pagan, wiccan and satanic orgins. I feel sorry for them.
Yes, I realize that this is a high holy day for individuals who practice the pagan, wiccan or satanic religions. And there will be worship of "false gods" being done tonight. And it will happen all over the world. But I have to wonder why that should stop any of us from dressing up in a costume and going out to have some fun? Or why should we prevent our kids from getting dressed up and going trick-or-treating? How do these things contribute to the worship of the devil?

I have a few points that I'd like to make about this foolishness.
First, I don't understand how some of the various symbols of Halloween can be considered evil in and of themselves. Is a black cat really evil? Or what about a full moon being viewed through the bare trees? How about bats or wolves or any of the natural creatures that are associated with Halloween? How can we call them evil? How can people associate them with devil worship? Don't these people realize that they're acting in rebellion to the Word of God by implying such things?
Oh, yes, I did say that!
The voice spoke to him a second time, "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean." (Acts 10:15)
Peter had a vision of a sheet full of animals being lowered out of Heaven and God told him to eat them. But Peter refused because they were considered to be "impure" by the Jewish laws and traditions. But if Christ redeemed all of creation by His death and resurrection, then every animal that God has created is now "clean". And that was indicated to Peter by the vision he had.
So, for anyone to consider black cats, bats or wolves to be "evil" because of their association with Halloween, they're rebelling against God's word.
If anything, such people are actually giving glory to the devil by attributing some sphere of influence to him that does not belong to him. And it steals glory from God by diminishing His redemptive work.

My other point is even more pressing.
We all know that Halloween has it's origins in pagan, wiccan and satanic religious practices and some people refuse to celebrate because of that.
Really? And how many people understand that Christmas also has it's roots in the pagan, wiccan and satanic religions? There is absolutely no scriptural reason for celebrating the birth of Christ. Especially not in December. This is all just a sanitized expression of pagan culture. But it's OK because we like this pagan high holy day. All we did was change the name.
Christmas trees, evergreen wreaths and stringing up lights (candles originally) were all ways in which the pagan and wiccan celebrants of the winter solstice expressed their faith. And now we've "christianized" them and pretend that makes Christmas OK to celebrate, while Halloween is off limits.
What monumental hypocrisy!

I've ranted enough about this. But I want to close on one last thought.

"4) So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one. 5) For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords"), 6) yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live."

If Paul can recognize that the so-called gods of the pagan religions are not really gods at all, then why can't these others see that?
I don't mind if they choose not to take part in Halloween celebrations. But I think it's horribly wrong of them to condemn anyone else for doing so. People ought to live according to their own conscience. Isn't that what Paul is really trying to tell us in his passage?

OK, I have to put my Punisher T-shirt on for the Harvest Party at church tonight - it's a Halloween Party, but some of our members don't like to celebrate Halloween...

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Friday, October 30, 2009

I'm tired

It's been a long week!
I've been working overtime since Tuesday this week and while I like that fact that the money will be coming in at the most opportune time, I'm feeling rather wiped out by it. Getting up at 3:30 in the morning is not something I'm used to doing anymore. And I fear that if I stay on this schedule for more than a week or so it'll become a habit that I won't be able to break.
Still, it's been a good week. I'm excited about the fact that God has used me a few times this week to share some wisdom and encouragement with some of my co-workers. It's amazing how far an encouraging word goes with someone who usually has to deal with other people's problems. And of course, most of my "disciples" have turned to me at one point or another to seek some advice, guidance or prayer. Even though these things are kinda typical for me in any given week, they just seem to stand out more when I'm feeling tired. It's like the Holy Spirit is reminding me that no matter what I still have a job to do. I still have to remain true to my calling.

But I'd still appreciate all of your prayers. Aside from the work and being tired there is some stuff going on in my life that I'm not ready to talk about yet, and I really need some guidance for myself with it.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Do you believe this?

I found something out completely by accident that has me kinda geeked today.

As I was checking my Sitemeter I saw that I had a visit via a horror film website called Horror Fan Zine. The link came from their report on the Monroeville Zombie Walk, which just happened to feature some of the pictures that I had posted about my little excursion to World Zombie Day. The front page picture for the article was this shot. And since they used my photos they linked back to my blog post and gave me credit at the end of the article.

How cool is that?
I'm almost famous!

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Quote for 10/26/09

"It is not by the gray of the hair that one knows the age of the heart."
Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

I'm not feeling any older today. Just a little wiser...

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Kronicles

Well people, last night was another one of mine and JT's little adventures to The Net in Butler. We went to see Kronicles and to set up my very first, self-initiated Compassion event (that wasn't a simple one-on-one).

I have to start by saying that things didn't go quite as planned. For one, neither of the two opening acts was able to make it. The first band had a scheduling conflict, which they apologized for. And the second band didn't know that they were supposed to be promoting the show themselves to their fan-base. Which would seem like something you would just want to do anyways. Esepcially if you had a band and were just starting out, that is. I know I would, and I have in the past (and expect to do so in the future as Chocolate Sundae Jesus begins to actually do more than exist in name only...).
As a result, the audience was somewhat limited in size. But I'll come back to that.

So, anyways, JT and I showed up a little before 5:30 so I could get my Compassion materials in and set up. We managed to do that in just a few minutes. And here I am...



I didn't bring a whole lot with me. 5 child packets, the stand-up display and the table cover. And I made sure to bring my own child's pictures, info and the letters she's sent me. I wanted to be able to share those with anyone who might be interested in knowing more about that aspect of being a Compassion sponsor.

Crystal, who is one of the people who runs this little venue/outreach, came over to talk to us and explained the whole audience thing. We felt really bad about it, but we're always glad to see one another. And JT and I just love what they're doing with this place as an outeach. So we made sure to tell her how much we like coming to their shows and how much of a high-point it is for us when we do. Even if the audience is small.
Crystal also apologized to me that there wasn't a larger audience for us to appeal to on behalf of Compassion. But I told her I was just happy to have a presence at their shows. I also told her that I'm looking forward to doing more of them, and thanked her for allowing me to set up the table. And because her family is already involved with Compassion as sponsors, she was still excited to have me there.

After this JT and I got to talk to the guys from Kronicles while they were wrapping up their sound check. They understood the whole audience situation and were glad that we showed up to check them out. I told their lead singer, Danny, that I was glad to come to see them because I missed them at other shows/festivals. So this was my first time since adding them as friends on my Myspace page.
Now, about the audience. Typically, when JT and I go to one of these shows, there's a crowd of 50, at least, and sometimes a lot more. Last night's crowd was 12, and that included JT and I. But it didn't stop us from having a good time.
Kronicle is another one of those little known bands who are just beginning to grow in their popularity. And with last night's show, I can see why.



They have a lot of energy and the message is clear in their music.







There was a mosh pit! Yes, I did jump into it, even though there were only 6 of us. I hesitated at first because the kids who had started it all knew one another and I didn't want to impose myself on their fun. But they kinda pulled me into the fray as I was standing so close to them. After the show I introduced myself to them and they were glad I jumped in. That's when two of them told me that they were already Compassion sponsors. So that was great to know.

We all got to meet and hang out with the guys from Kronicles too. The beauty of having a small audience is that everyone gets to hang out with the band afterwards. And They were practically giving away their CDs for $5. So I grabbed a CD and threw a dollar into their "Gas donations" jar, as well.
They were a great bunch of guys, and I know I say that about all of the bands that we see at The Net, but this was a little bit different. It's easy to say a band is a great bunch of guys when they've just played a decent sized show and their feeling good from the mutual energetic exchange that happens at such events. But these guys came here knowing the crowd would be small and they did their best to give the audience a great show. And they encouraged everyone to support the ministry and outreach of The Net, because they know that a lot of places like this are failing in our current economy. That is so unselfish - and one more reason why I'm so impressed by these guys and so many other Cristian artists these days. Tey have a heart for the ministry that is partnered with them.
Speaking of which. JT and I also spoke more to Crystal about the things that they have going on at this place when they aren't doing shows. It's amazing what God has dropped into their hands. I don't remember it all, but I do remember that they have several Butler County initiatives taking place that revolve around teen-education on drugs and alcohol. It's so cool.
But Crystal also told us about some of the opposition that they face. It's hard to believe that almost all of it comes from churches. As if they're trying to "steal" the young people from other churches. But, then again, JT and I are already familiar with such opposition because of what our church has done and faced as a result of trying to be an outreach to unchurched people. Why do so many churches feel such a greeat need to protect their little fiefdoms? This only reinforces my convictions of late regarding the destructive nature of the institutional church and organized religion in general. But that's a topic for another day.
So we wrapped things up and said our goodbyes to everyone and headed for home. Another adventure lived well!

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Quote for 10/23/09

"We love to expect, and when expectation is either disappointed or gratified, we want to be again expecting."
Samuel Johnson

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Quote for 10/22/09

"It is a myth, not a mandate, a fable not a logic, and symbol rather than a reason by which men are moved."
Irwin Edman

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ladybug, ladybug, fly away home...

Holy crap !!!
Has anyone else been swarmed by ladybugs over the last few days? It's absolutely insane !!! There are dozens of ladybugs flitting about and climbing all over my front door. Then any time I open it, to come in or go out, half of them fly inside. They're everywhere. And I don't want to just swat them like I would any other insect, because they're supposed to be beneficial to the plants or something - especially roses. But this is nuts !!!
Any suggestions?

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Quote for 10/19/09

"Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen."
Mark Twain

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Update

At the moment, it looks like 6:00 PM is the official time for mine and JT's joint birthday celebration tomorrow.
Once again, it will be at the Red Lobster in Monroeville, and anyone who is reading this is invited. No RSVP needed, but please be punctual as we'll need to tell the hostess exactly how many people are in our party before we can be seated.
So far I know it's JT, P.Dave, myself and my son. Patrick has some kind of charity event to go to, and my daughter made previous plans as well. But two of Bob's friends, Andrea and Judah, may show up. So we'll see way happens.

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Guess who came for a visit yesterday



That's right, my grandson CJ!
He's getting so big. Crawls a little bit, stands and wishes he could walk.
Aliesha had called to ask what I was doing and since the only thing I had planned was laundry (isn't that a sad commentary on my life?) I said to bring him on over. She just needed a litle break to get some things done and the little guy was being fussy, that's all.
We played with his toys but he seemed most amused with my empty Pepsi bottle.



While CJ was there Bob's friend, Andrea came over with her baby, Jack. So we let the two little guys hang out together.



They got along just fine. And then CJ decided that he wanted to get up and move around, but he couldn't do it in the bean-bag. So he fussed a little for me.

It was a wonderful afternoon for us!

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Friday, October 16, 2009

An open invitation

OK, it's that time of year again. JT and I will be having our joint birthday celebration on Monday evening, the 19th. Yes, everyone who is reading this is invited to join us.
The where is once again going to be Red Lobster in Monroeville. Endless Shrimp, you know !?! The exact when is currently undecided. P.Dave is still waiting to hear back from Patrick. I'll be sure to post the time before Monday.
So, if you're feeling up to the challenge, or even if you just want to come hang out with us, please do. We'd enjoy your company.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Quote for 10/13/09

"Do the best you can, and don't take life too serious."
Will Rogers

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Monday, October 12, 2009

World Zombie Day

This was a lot of fun!
I'm not gonna write a whole lot about the whole event. I'll let the pictures do most of the talking. But I will make a few comments to some of them just to give you a better feel for the overall festivities.
We did our make-up and left right from Church.
JT and I didn't do much make-up. We slapped on a couple of temporay tattoos and said we'd be "freshly infected" victims.





Jen, however, looks rather undead.



Chris looks even more undead.



The walking dead were everywhere!







Ken Foree, from the original Dawn of the Dead, and the MC for the Walk - whose name escapes me.









Now who bled all over the parking lot?







This was cool! A booth where we could sign up to be extras in a purposed TV series that will be filmed here in Pittsburgh - THE zombie capital of the world!



There was un-live music. This is Cult of the Psychic Fetus. They're an awesome punk band! Old School!



Zombie punks were out in fullforce to enjoy the tunes.



Brain eating contest!





Fun for the entire family.



These two were amazing.



Supercharged Suicide. A rock-a-billy punk band. Pretty good!



And, of course, you can never have a public event without the protesters showing up to cause problems...



A Gene Simmons look-a-like.



JT and I had to leave before the actual Walk of the Dead. But it was still a blast to be a part of World Zombie Day at Monroeville Mall.

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Let's go Pitt

I really enjoyed the Pitt game with P.Dave. Got to see the Great Hall again, but none of the trophies were on display.



There was a pretty decent sized crowd for the game.



You'll see more people in some of the later pics.
Had a blast with the people around us. They've gotten to know P.Dave and Ella over the last few years as they've all had season tix and have been in the same seats each year. Every time Pitt did something good there'd be high fives and chest bumps and all kinds of screaming.
Something you don't see at the Steelers games is cheerleaders.



Pretty girls are always a pleasant distraction...

Pitt came out strong, but couldn't get it in the end zone. They settled for a field goal in the first quarter, and that was the only score until U Conn scored in the second quarter.



It got a little scary after that since Pitt wasn't doing well offensively, or defensively. In the third Quarter U Conn scored twice more - once on an interception, and Pitt did nothing. But in the fourth quarter Pitt took control and scored twice to bring the game within reach. Then in the last 3 seconds of the game they kicked the winning field goal.



It was so sweet. And the crowd went wild!

After the game P.Dave and I headed over to visit his grandmother briefly. She's 102 years old. And she's in great shape! Very sharp and fairly active. I was quite pleased to finally meet her. And I joked with P.Dave about knowing what to expect now for when my mother gets to that age.
Yes, I suspect that woman will outlive many of us...
Wrapped things up and headed home to get ready for my date. Unfortunately, she called to postpone since she was tired from working all weekend. So I'll have more to share about that some other time.

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

We'll talk about it later

Hey! It was a good weekend. Can't talk about it right now, though. I've got a lot of good pics to download from yesterday's Pitt game and today's Zombie Walk. Check back tomorrow evening.

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

The days are just packed

I've been a busy boy! And it's not slowing down yet, either.
A lot going on at work. Training someone to do my previous assembly work as I prepare to move into my new postion with the Lifeline products. Still a work in progress, on both counts.
I had some great conversations with my "disciples". One of which was exceptionally encouraging. For those of you who remember my various discussions with one of our manufacturing engineers, we had another great conversation yesterday. And I ended it by asking her if she had ever suspected (prior to us having these talks) that she'd be able to havesuch deep spiritual exchanges with me. Surprisingly she said "Yes. I've always found your attitude to be so much better, more postive, than nearly everyone else here." Believe it or not, that's the first time anyone has ever said that too me.
Today I have some big plans. I'll be heading over to P.Dave's shortly. We're going to the Pitt game this afternoon. So that will be cool.
Then comes the something I'm kinda reluctant to talk about; I've got a date tonight. Actually met her earlier in the week and things went well. But that's all I'm gonna say about it for now.
OK, that's how my life is shaping up recently.
Oh, before I go, Zombie Walk tomorrow !!! I'll get pics.

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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Quote for 10/7/09

"Nothing is so wretched or foolish as to anticipate misfortunes. What madness is it to be expecting evil before it comes."
Lucius Annaeus Seneca

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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Another one of those nights

Went to church tonight for a little youth event that we were having. It was a puppet show like the ones we've had before. And I was in the kitchen taking care of the hot dogs and chips.
It was a lot fun. There were about 70 kids with parents and they were all well behaved. P.Dave and I played one song to set the atmosphere. But there was also one song that was played from a CD that was used during our summer Kidz Klub. And the thing that tells me that the end of the world is near is the fact that P.Dave - who is probably THE whitest man I've ever known - was trying to teach a bunch of kids (predominantely african-american) how to dance to it...

I don't care if that sounded racist.

In any event this was a precursor to our upcoming Harvest Party. I've volunteered for it again because I had so much fun last year. And the kids that come to our events lately just seem to be so much more pleasant than the ones we've had in years past. I think this is God's way of blessing us for having persevered for so long through the troublesome kids that used to come to our events. And maybe we're having an impact in the community after all of these years, as well.

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Saturday, October 03, 2009

Braaaaains...

Zombie Walk next Sunday at Monroeville Mall!

Bob and I sooooo want to do this. And I know a few people from church who would probably love it as well. How about you? Anybody else feel like smearing on the make-up, dressing down and shambling around the Mall for a few hours with us?
Bob is going to talk to some of his friends about this too. And keep in mind, there is a World Record at stake here...

Should be a lot of fun!

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Friday, October 02, 2009

Quote for 10/2/09

"Before you say it, consider the fact that I have an industrial razor in my hand."
M+

It's OK! I didn't have to hurt anyone, but you can read the story below.

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My aren't we clever

The Lifeline work-benches and equipment arrived from Boston the other day. Since I was a part of the whole transition, the powers-that-be thought it'd be a good idea for me to be involved in setting things up on our production floor. So I've been spending some time re-assembling them. But I've also been on clean-up detail.
Ya know, it's amazing how much junk accumulates on a work-bench - unused labels, tape, stickers, etc... - over the years. And it fell upon me to scrape it all off and scrub the benches down. Which is not one of my favorite activities, but I'm getting paid well for it. Besides, they gave me a really cool industrial razor blade to work with. And you all know how much I enjoy a nice, edged "untensil".
Of course, as some of my co-workers would pass by they would invariably look over at me - scraping and scrubbing away - and say "When you're done there you can come over to my house."

Yeah, it got old real fast...

It got to the point that as I would see the ones who know me well enough to get away with saying it coming my way, I would just hold up my hand and tell them the Quote... for today. And since all of them also know how much I love a nice, edged "utensils", they would chuckle and walk by without saying anything.

All in all, everything worked out well. The work area looks great. Almost all of the equipment is set up, and we'll be starting our pilot run in another week or so.
I'm geeked!

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Quotes from 9/2009

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