Friday, November 21, 2008

Dead...

to sin, but alive in Christ. I don't know why, but lately I've been terribly attracted to the writings of Paul. The first thing that comes to my mind is because I want to know Jesus. That sounds weird, because, well, wouldn't the Gospel's be a better place for that? Maybe, maybe not. The Gospels are indeed invaluable to us, as they give account to part of what Jesus did. But it has been estimated that they contain approximately 52-53 days of Christ's life in total. This certainly does not discount them, as what a man does reflects truly who He is. But what good has anyone's life been (Christ or not) if it does not leave a permanent mark on those around Him? Where should one look for this, perhaps those closest to Him. After all, when we eulogize someone, those closest to him/her talk about how they were affected by the deceased's life. I'm most certainly not suggesting that Christ is dead, as I know well that He is very much alive. Knowing that, we should also know that He is very much not here presently, if not in us. In fact, we are His representation on earth, until He comes again. Oh, the weight of glory. It is on this basis that I should approach reading the writings of Paul, or any of the Apostles. For if Christ left no impression on those who walked with Him, perhaps He should not be very good for any of us. So I look to those closest to Him, to see His life, teaching, and who He was/is. Again, it is important to state here, that we are not neglecting the importance of the Gospels, only finding a proper use for the other parts of the New Testament, after all, what good is it if we don't learn from it properly?
Wow, all of that to say, I've been reading in Romans, one of my favourite books, and tonight I was reading Romans 6:1-14. I got through 3 verses. What struck me was the word that is used for death in verse 3. Do you not know that all of us owho have been baptized pinto Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? θανατον (thanatos) is the Greek word used for death here. It appears only one verse later, and evokes a much stronger, more vivid picture than what is typically called to my mind when I think of the word. Literally translated it means "plague, pestilence, pandemic disease, associated with the punishment of God". Whoa, hang on there...there's a whole plethora of issues in just the definition. This seems to challenge the whole "American" way of thinking. Sin here is being described as death, and sin also leads to death. Death is being describe as a plague, not a simple "Hey, look at me, I got hit by a car, I'm dead" death. A plague, a pestilence, like leprosy, that reeks throughout the body tearing it apart, piece by rotted piece. It is also of note, that plagues are never content to stay put, they must also infect those within their vicinity. After all, it is not really a plague if it affects only the one here and the one there. Again, we see the Apostle cutting like a skillful surgeon, separating bone from marrow (which is what the Word does). Here he chooses the word Thanatos, and if we take the dual meaning of the word in context, we see that it has a spiritual meaning that only makes itself very obvious in the Greek. Associated with punishment from God. What is the worst punishment anyone could possibly receive? Though I believe there is a measure of God's grace even in this punishment, most Christians would say Hell is the worst punishment for an individual. What is Hell in essence? Seperation from God. Thanatos...what a brilliant word.
What we have seen thus far is that a) sin is likened unto a disease, and affects everyone around us our sins are not simply our own, while they are our own, they affect the whole. Hence, the reason Adam and Eve's sin affected all of humanity, it spread, and not for a single generation. More like AIDS, if we are to be modern, it can be passed from generation to generation. b) That the finality of death's meaning is seperation from God, that this is ultimate punishment, though it is always punishment that we choose. What I would like to suggest from here is what may challenge our way of thinking. And it hurts. Can we be truly alive in Christ, if we are not fully dead to sin? If the plague is everspreading throughout us, do we really say that we are already fully healed? No, it would be proposterous. So then what hope do we have? The Apostle tell us our hope in Colossians 1:27 "...Christ in you, the hope of glory." He goes on in verses 28 and 29 to say "We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me." The ESV says "Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me"
There are 3 words I would like to bring to the forefront, before making my supposition. εστιν is the first, perhaps we have seen this word before, we find it we are seeking in John 4:26, Isaiah 52:6, and 6 other verses. The word is emie. It is the verb of "being or existing" in English, it's the first verb you learn in any language; but in all these verses, Christ is either saying that He is the "I AM" (ego emie), or be spoken of as the "I AM", as in Isaiah. Again, our English does no justice to the implications of this word. This word implies something different in our text, because this word uses a touchstone to refer back to something that we have long forgotten. It means to "BE itentical", well be identical to what??? It means to be itentical...let it sink in. We are created in the image of God. And moderns, even good theologians assume a priori that God doesn't make a good image, because we were created just "kind of like God". God is perfect! He can't just make something "kind of like Him" and call it His image. God isn't a K5-6th grade art teacher who never really could hang in there with the "real" art students. (I know that there are many very talented art teachers out there, it's really not a slam). God makes PERFECT IMAGES, we fouled it up! What is being referred to in the "BE" is to BE itentical to God. And they knew this! We've lost the plot! That's why the Pharisees were up in arms when Jesus claimed to be the "I AM". He was claiming identity with God, a shared but unique identity. It was identity theft in the highest order to the Pharisees! And perhaps all of the Sanhedrin. God did not call us to be mere fuzzy pixelated images, He called us to be images of Jesus, to reflect Himself, but of our own free will. We need only to decide to have faces. And until we decide this, we will not see our world changed.
Second word, κοπιω, it appears in Colossians 1:29 and it means to be weary, to work, to give effort, or to labour. Paul says "for this I toil", what does this evoke in the mind? He did not say "I pitter patter here, take a 2 hour lunch, play with the foosball table in the office and call it work..." He said it's hard work! It sucks sometimes, it doesn't even necessarily get easier! It even goes on (the definition) to say that is also means to be "emotionally fatigued or discouraged". It means you have to fight, and it takes everything sometimes, and more, but the Apostle tells us that it is indeed not on our own for he says "struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works in me." It is not on our own strength that we should toil, Jesus sent us a helper, the Holy Spirit, we need not toil on our own. Paul said "struggling" not "striving". The important difference there is thus, we struggle with principalities and powers of darkness, not flesh and blood. Striving is our flesh, striving gets us nowhere because taking a physical tool to a spiritual battle leaves us useless. The Holy Spirit is that helper, He is that ever present help in our time of need, when we are at our end, when we are broken to pieces, and our hearts grow faint because we don't understand. He is our Helper when there is nothing to rake from the ashes of our lives, and we cannot seem to draw nigh, or walk onto the fields of praise. It is there indeed, that we are taken by Him, head bowed, but no longer in surrender, but to kiss the feet of the Son.
It will always be a war, a fight, a battle until the day of glory, but it is never alone. The last word I would like to explore before wrapping this up (this one is gonna be at least 2 parts), appears in Colossians 1:29 as well, it is αγωνιζομενος (agōnizomai). It is where we get our word agonize. It is a present tense verb, meaning it is not for the past or future, it is for the now. It means to compete, to fight, to struggle, with an emphasis on EFFORT. Effort counts, ask any coach, ask anyone who has ever tried to have a friendship with someone. Ask anyone. Will we fall? Yes...simply yes. Where do our efforts lie? Where is our struggle? I love the beautiful martial war imagery contained in this word. To do with intesity and effort.
We are still called to "be perfect even as I am perfect". I would like to submit that as much of that perfection as possible should be worked out on earth, while we are here, while there is time. If for no other reason (which there are quite a few other reasons), then simply to make it easier for Father God to recognise us, and make it quicker for Him to say "Well done..." to instantly recognise us, not for who we are, but for who He is in us, to see His reflection in His creation. What an incredible image this should paint...

Monday, November 17, 2008

In Earthen Vessels...

"We have this treasure in earthen vessels,..."

I'm not sure that the full weight of this verse has really sunk in yet, but it dominated me today, while I was walking through the church. I know that kinda sounds "holy", but it wasn't, I was just grabbing a ladder so I could reset the internet access in the building, b/c I needed to get online, I have work to do too.
I don't know why I was even thinking of this verse, in fact, I wasn't, I was thinking about work, but it hit me like a 747 in a nosedive from 30,000 ft looking for a seat in the Crystal Cathedral, minus the horrific sound and impending doom.
The language of the verse resounded in my ears for the first time, as if I had never heard it before. Every other time I can recall in my life, this verse has always struck me as some sort of beautiful prose, that I supposed Paul must have written in some blissful state of metaphor that the Holy Spirit gifted him as he was writing. And it struck me as I was pondering it, that Paul was indeed no playwright, nor poetic. He was a lawyer, and from the strictest order of Judaism. He was trained to say what he meant, and mean what he said. A wordsmith, who had spent much of his life being trained to surgically assemble sentences, that they might land on captive ears in full force.
With that established, I submit that Paul was not merely comparing us to simple jars of clay. He was saying quite literally, that we are simple jars of clay, form and fashioned by God even from our beginnings in Adam. He was referencing Genesis 2:4-25, and his forefather's divine creation from the clay of the newly formed earth. He was recalling Ecclesiastes 12:7, "...the dust shall return to the earth as is was, and the spirit to God who gave it." Remember here, as a Pharisee (and a part of the Sanhedrin), and the son of a Pharisee (Acts 23:6), Paul had memorized the ENTIRE Old Testament, and was well able to quote it and give its history in vivid detail. He was amongst the elite when he was Sha'ul (Saul), and was obligated to be among the smartest in the culture in order to achieve his position. Paul was not simply telling us "oh hey guys, God wants you to be like an empty vessel, so He can fill you up...won't that be nice and happy...." He was literally telling us that without God, we are simply dust, and when we die we will return to simply dust. We are but jars of clay, our lives fragile and short. Desiring to be used for only for the finest substances and highest callings. However, many mistake their highest calling and finest substance, by trying to fill the jar with the best they can find. This is an easy and crucial mistake. The highest calling of an jar is to be filled with what it was created for.
"But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us." 2 cor 4:7
Now, it is outside of the jar's realm to be able to know what it was created for, as it did not create itself. Who would best know what the jar was intended to do? The Creator certainly! If we can walk this line of reasoning out, then we quickly arrive at Paul's conclusion. If we cannot know in our present state what we are to be filled with, and The Creator does, then what does this produce that we should take wisdom from? The knowledge "that the surpassing power belonds to God and not to us." What is the practical application of that knowledge? Trust in Our Father. Wasn't it nice for The Holy Spirit (via Paul) to leave us all the space, room, free will, and life experience to figure out what lay between the words "clay" and "to show that"? How long will we be content filling our jars with sand from our boxes, pretending it for gold, before we allow God to fill us with something truly substantial?
It is only when we allow God to fill us that we can move onto the next verses (8-10). "We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies." It is only when we put to death ourselves that we can be filled with what our Creator intended us for, and only then can we properly obey verses 11 and 12. "For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you." The substantiation of our fragile jars is the life, death, and resurrection of Christ.

I'll try and finish this later...my eyes are shutting involuntarily, still recovering from Origins.

Restlessness...

is something I have not been able to shake lately. Nor am I altogether sure I have even properly identified it correctly, as it is probably very easily mistaken for anticipation, which disturbs me more than I would like to think about. It doesn't scare me, it just puts me on guard a little bit. I start looking at things with slightly different eyes. I'm not even sure why I'm writing this next part, except no one really reads this anyway, so why not? Haha...my blog is turning into a journal, how sad. And yet somehow...life goes on.
Restlessness isn't much fun, but anticipation is far worse in present. Restlessness involves constant activity or motion, whether physical of emotional, and may be directed at nothing in particular. Anticipation, though it sounds similar and we sometimes (improperly) use them interchangably, is wholly different. Anticipation implies expectation, and even to regard something as probable. Now, had I not had 11 different people (and some of those people I deeply respect) tell me scarily similar things over the past two months, then I would simply disregard any premonitions I had as silly and superstitious. But for some reason everyone keeps telling me I'm getting married soon...its all very confusing to me. A single guy can't get married can he? Haha...like I said, saying that if people read it would probably bother me a bit, but now it seems like I can just look back later in life and see how I was feeling at the time, and I don't have to keep up with a document or a program or whatever, it's just right here.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

When You Called My Name...

I want to preach the Word
they want massages
I check chapter and verse
they check their watches
I spy another yawn
I might as well be gone
let's stand and say "Amen"
some days I must admit
I still don't get this
could be it's time to quit
when days get like this
I slip into the night
then stumble towards the light
wake up and try again

when You called my name
I didn't know how far the calling went
when You called my name
I didn't know what that word really meant
when I recall Your call
I feel so small

could be I'm losing touch
could be they don't care
Lord knows I don't know much
Lord knows I've been there
I trip toward my retreat
I fall down at Your feet
get up and try again

Lord, what did you see
when you called out for me?

I start losing heart
and then
it comes again
lifted from despair
by the prayers of someone

Saturday, November 15, 2008

An Old Foe...

I often question myself, my motives, where my heart is, what things I should be changing, how my responses could be better, and if I'm being who I should be. This is a 2 tiered question for me right now. What I mean to say is, Christian or not, everyone can ask themselves these things, and most probably should. I ask myself am walking in and becoming who God created me to be, my destiny. And then, the next thought seems to be unrelenting and terribly sobering. I then ask, "Am I a good person?", almost as if it is something far aside from my Christianity. What is so disturbing is that, in Christ, really, truly, in Christ, this question should not even be possible. Even more disturbing, is that if this question is indeed possible, was I ever really in Christ? Of course the swift answer is yes, but what of the truth? Is the question itself basically selfish? I question the whole thing because "Am I a good person?" so generously lends itself to such base self indulgence, that mask themselves as "spiritual, God pleasing, and reflective questions". What I mean by this is that as soon as I begin asking this, I am also asking things like, "Am I being effective in the Kingdom?", "Is anything I'M doing having any effect on anyone's life?", "Can I bring change to where I am at?" It is not that these questions are always selfish, it is that my heart in asking them is not always right. It is that I, as I am, cannot do anything to effect anything positively for godly change. I am but a wretched man, who needs be but transformed by the awesome, holy, and transformative power of Almighty God.
It is here that the apostle Paul's word have rung their clearest...for me to live, this is Christ, and for me to die is gain. And it connects here because it is not I that lives, but Christ in me. For me to live, I should be showing the world in vivid detail, Christ, as He was...and is. His manhood, His divinity, His life, in the simplest terms...through my own. For me to die, it is gain, in physical death, I have but one destination, Heaven, for it is my home, where in all finality our humanity is fulfilled and restored to its original intention. But to die...now, to me, to myself, this is not only personal gain, but profitable for all around me. Because it is only through this death, that not only I, but other might have life, and more abundantly. It is only through a putting down of my flesh, that other's may see Christ in me.
There is no small task in the subjugation of one's self. The physical and spiritual collide more than we care to notice, either because we are desensitized, or because we don't care. Putting down one's self to me, appears to be no different than one wrestling himself, or wrestling when no one else is to be seen around. To anyone that does see, who does not have the proper eyes, it appears to be a fool fighting with himself. But those in the know, understand that the more they practice, the better they get.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Just War...

I was in the presence of a very influential and public Christian figure recently, and while having a discussion, he mentioned that under the New Covenant, or New Testament, he did not see how there could possibly be a "Just War". He had spent considerable time citing the Catholic church on things like abortion and gay marriage, on which we agreed. Several things we did not completely agree on, which is cool. But I was taking my Contemporary International Problems midterm, and we were questioned about the "Just War" Doctrine, that is accepted by the Catholic church and originally came from St. Thomas Aquinas. Here they are:

The war must be started and controlled by the authority of state or ruler.

This means that for a war to be just, only the head of the nation can start it. It rules out civil war and rebellion.

There must be a just cause.

This means that anyone and everyone being fought against must truly deserve it. A just cause would not include greed, revenge or pride, but it would include protection, self-defence and prevention of a worse evil.

The war must be for good, or against evil. Law and order must always be restored.

This means that no one should ever find themselves on the side of evil for any reason, whatever the politics involved. It also means that there is a duty to return to a life of normality after the war is over.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/alabaster/A644672

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Few Quotes on Heaven...

If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.

- Mere Christianity (Chap. 10, Para. 5, Page 120)

"Then those people are right when they say that Heaven and Hell are only states of mind?"
"Hush," said he sternly. "Do not blaspheme. Hell is a state of mind - ye never said a truer word. And every state of mind, left to itself, every shutting up of the creature within the dungeon of its own mind - is, in the end, Hell. But Heaven is not a state of mind. Heaven is Reality itself. All that is fully real is Heavenly. For all that can be shaken will be shaken and only the unshakable remains."

- The Great Divorce (Chap. 9, Pages 68-69)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Prayer...

Prayer...very deep and contemplative, very spiritual if we allow it be so, by removing the unreal us, so that the one who needs changing can be. Yet, very simple; so much so that it is almost inconceivable that something so simple could be so perplexing to figure out how to do "properly". Many times we are like actors on the stage of our lives, presenting something so "not" as if it very much "were". I am as guilty as the next, and perhaps we are all guilty at some point of this trespass. But like actors, we must also learn to be in character, and by that, I mean in our humanity, to let our true character exist, not to cover it over, which is a bit counter intuitive, for if we were actors, we would call it being out of character. An analogy:

The dramatic person could not tread the stage unless he concealed a real person; unless the real and unknown I existed, I would not even make mistakes about the imagined me. And in prayer this real I struggles to speak, for once, from its real being, and to address for once, not the other actors, but - what shall I call Him? The Author, for He invented us all? The Producer, for He controls all? Or the Audience, for He watches, and will judge, the performance?

The attempt is not to escape from space and time and from my creaturely situation as a subject facing objects. It is more modest: to re-awake the awareness of that situation. If that can be done, there is no need to go anywhere else. This situation itself, at the moment, a possible theophany. Here is the holy ground: the Bush is now burning.

The prayer preceding all my prayers is "May it be the real I who speaks. May it be the real You that I speak to." Infinitely various are the levels from which we pray. Emotional intensity is in itself no proof of spiritual depth. If we pray in terror or happiness we pray earnestly; it only proves that terror and happiness are earnest emotions. Only God Himself can let down the bucket down to the depths in us. And on the other side, He must constantly work as the iconoclast. Every idea of Him we form, He must in mercy shatter. The most blessed eresult of prayer would be to rise thinking "But I never knew before, I never dreamed..." I suppose it was at such a moment that Thomas Aquinas said of all his own theology "It reminds me of straw."

Prayer is either a sheer illusion or a personal contact between embryonic, incomplete persons (ourselves) and the utterly concrete Person. Prayer in the sense of petition, asking for things, is a small part of it; confession and penitence are its threshold, adoration its sanctuary, the presence and vision and enjoyment of God its bread and milk. In it God shows Himself to us. That He answers prayers is a corollary - not necessarily the most important one - from that revelation. What He does is learned from what He is. We must lay before Him what is in us, not what ought to be in us.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Bulverism...

The modern method of argument is to assume without discussion that your opponent is wrong and then distract his attention from this (the only real issue) by busily explaining how he became so silly. In the course of the last 80 years, I have found this vice so common that I have had to invent a name for it. I call it Bulverism.... Bulver assures us..."that refutation is no necessary part of argument. Assume that your opponent is wrong, and then explain his error, and the world will be at your feet. Attempt to prove that he is wrong, and then explain his error, and the world will be at your feet. Attempt to prove that he is wrong or (worse still) try to find out whether he is wrong or right, and the national dynamism of our age will thrust you to the wall."
...Bulverism is a truly democratic game in the sense that all can play it all day long, and that it gives no unfair privilege to the small and offensive who reason.

- Adapted from C.S. Lewis (only modernised)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Month, 3 Weeks, and a Watchman...

It's been a full month since my last post...wow. I've been reading and studying, and mostly getting ready for Origins. I'll also begin re-reading Watchman Nee books in a few days, so I thought I would go over some of my favourite quotes of his. Let 'em sink in and encourage you.

"It is important to receive God's arrangement in the circumstances. This arrangement is the discipline of the Holy Spirit. To escape God's arrangement just one time is to lose an opportunity to have our capacity enlarged. A believer can never be the same after passing through suffering."

"He can only keep those who have handed themselves over to Him."

"The breaking of the alabaster box and the anointing of the Lord filled the house with the odour, with the sweetest odour. Everyone could smell it. Whenever you meet someone who has really suffered; been limited, gone through things for the Lord, willing to be imprisoned by the Lord, just being satisfied with Him and nothing else, immediately you scent the fragrance. There is a savour of the Lord. Something has been crushed, something has been broken, and there is a resulting odour. of sweetness."

"A person who wholly follows the Lord is one who believes that the promises of God are trustworthy, that He is with His people, and that they are well able to overcome."

"The Blood deals with what we have done, whereas the Cross deals with what we are. The Blood disposes of our sins, while the Cross strikes at the root of our capacity for sin...."

"Outside of Christ, I am only a sinner, but in Christ, I am saved. Outside of Christ, I am empty; in Christ, I am full. Outside of Christ, I am weak; in Christ, I am strong. Outside of Christ, I cannot; in Christ, I am more than able. Outside of Christ, I have been defeated; in Christ, I am already victorious. How meaningful are the words, "in Christ."

"Our prayers lay the track down on which God's power can come. Like a mighty locomotive, his power is irresistible, but it cannot reach us without rails."

"What is meant by "follow"? To follow signifies that the way I tread and the place where I go are all decided by someone else. We are following the Lord; therefore we have no authority to decide our own path. The body in its relation to the Head can only obey and follow. If we wish to live out the life of the body of Christ we must cover our own head; that is to say, we must not have our personal opinion, egoistic will or selfish thought. We can only obey the Lord and let Him be the Head."

- Watchman Nee

Words for America...

When you come back again
would you bring me something from the fridge?
Heard a rumour that the end is near
but I just got comfortable here.
sigh.
Let's be blunt.
I'm a little distracted.
What do you want?

Headaches and bad faith
are all that I've got.
First I misplaced the ending
then I lost the plot.

Out among the free-range sheep
while the big birds sharpen their claws.
For a time we stuck with the shepherd
but you wouldn't play Santa Claus.

sigh.
Let's be blunt.
We're a little distracted.
What do you want?

Once we could follow,
now we cannot.
You would not fit our image,
so we lost the plot.

Once we could hear you,
now our senses are shot.
We've forgotten our first love.
We have lost the plot.

When I saw you for the first time
you were hanging with a thief
And I knew my hands were dirty,
and I dropped my gaze.
Then you said I was forgiven
and you welcomed me with laughter.
I was happy ever after.
I was counting the days
when you'd come back again.
we'll be waiting for you
When you comin' back again?
we'll be ready for you
Maybe we'll wake up when...
maybe we'll wake up when
you come back again.

lies.
Let's be blunt.
We're a little unfaithful.
What do you want?

Are you still listening?
`Cause we're obviously not
We've forgotten our first love
We have lost the plot.

And why are you still calling?
You forgave, we forgot.
We're such experts at stalling
that we've lost the plot.
lost the plot

When you come back again
would you bring me something from the fridge?
Heard a rumour that the end is near
but I just got comfortable here.


This song was so prophetic when it was written, and even more so now I think. It's pretty
amazing, so thanks to Peter Furler and Steve Taylor.

Sarah "Cougar" Palin

John and I went to the Sarah Palin rally in Richmond, Va about a week ago. Here's the pictures of Sarah "Cougar" Palin, we were about 15-20ft back, and I was shooting with my Canon 40D and 28-135 IS Lens. Hope they look okay, this isn't all of them, but just a few, I took about 1,500 or so that day. Oh yeah, you can click on them too and see the hi-res versions.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Grizzlyman Diaries

Funniest hippie EVER...dead or alive. I watched this tonight and it is the funniest things I've EVER seen!!! He thinks he can speak "fox language" hahahahahahahahahahaha. Sorry, I know this must sound cruel, but this is hippism at its finest. I'll write more later...i'm too tired and laughing too hard.

Yasu...

Check out some pictures of Yasu

You can click "Yasu" or you can just check out the slideshow below or even click the slideshow...there are quite a few options. I hope this years pictures come out even better @ GU!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Approval Ratings...

There has been much talk of President Bush speaking at the Republican National Convention, and dispute because he has a 28% approval rating as of today. They're saying things like "you don't want him speaking bc his approval rating is so bad." Well, Congress has a 9% approval rating. And Nancy Pelosi spoke at the DNC. Either way you look at this, whether you decide to divide the 9% between the 535 members of Congress and give Congresswoman Pelosi her share, which is roughly .0168 of 1%. Or if you give her the full 9%...one still finds her decidedly lacking. Why shouldn't President Bush speak?

On a side note...why is it that the DNC can have their convention in relative peace and the RNC can't have theirs without liberals rioting?

Monday, September 1, 2008

Who wants to...

shave a buffalo's butt and dance naked with a wolverine...? Cuz it makes about as much sense as the movie Babylon AD. If you do have a desire to shave the bum of a semi-violent animal, or dance naked with an animal who will eat just about anything, then you probably need counseling. Likewise, if you go see Babylon AD, you will probably then need counseling. It has officially made my top 10 list for worst movies ever. Right up there with Gigli, From Justin To Kelly, and Manos: Hands of Fate. I would also like to say, that though people may disagree, any movie with Vin Deisel in it almost automatically makes it sucky. And as uncyclopedia makes note of, any movie with Rutger Hauer pretty much means its gonna be at least a decent movie, and probably good.
Well, Vin Deisel does not disappoint. The 41 year old actor is at his mind-numbingly suckiest. I don't know how any of the people in this movie could have taken these roles after reading the script. Michelle Yeoh and Gerard Depardieu both really botched up being in this. I can't even talk about this now...its so bad i want to...I'll finish this later.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Americans...

They're fat, lazy, stupid...and the overall Olympic medal winners for 4 straight Olympics!! Whoop! And we didn't even cheat by using 14 year olds ::cough cough:: China ::cough cough::. After all, if you're a 14 year old girl in China (assuming you've managed to survive that long), shouldn't you be working? I guess the government figured they would put them to work one way or the other, especially since they let them live.

Dang it, I'm sick of communism...

On a brighter note...Olympics in London 2012...I'm so there. Hopefully I'll be there a few years before that. :)

Monday, June 30, 2008

Holiday at Sea with St. Francis of Assisi

Preach The Gospel at all times, use words when necessary.

- St. Francis of Assisi

Son of a wealthy cloth merchant, and described as a "lover of pleasure" and a "brawler" in his youth, Giovanni Francesco Bernardone's (aka St Francis) life took a significant turn in 1204, when he became seriously ill. This began something of a spiritual crisis, and by reading the above, one can see easily what it produced in St. Francis' life. By allowing God to break his world down, and his response to that breaking. Are we willing to let God really break our world down, strip us of what we foolishly believe to be "ours"? In the words of C.S. Lewis, "we are like children who would rather go on making mud pies in the slums because they can’t understand what it means to have a holiday at sea". Sometimes we childishly hold onto our sin and pride, instead of letting God take our world apart, so that we can live The Gospel without so many words.

“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." (Quote courtesy of Jesus, in Matthew 5:16 NASV)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Watch this...its pretty disturbing...

http://www.eyeblast.tv/public/video.aspx?RsrcID=2036

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Blogging...

nuff said...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

On Apple's Superiority Complex...

I will the first to admit that Apple commercials are pretty funny in their sarcastic comments on the PC. However, Apple (in VERY typical Steve Jobs style, if you don't believe me watch "The Pirates of Silicon Valley" or read about Jobs' life) pretty arrogantly implies that their operating system (and implicitly their hardware) are superior, and render all others mostly useless. I say implicitly their hardware because Apple's commercials all refer to specifically Windows (understandably, bc that's their biggest competition that has been dominating them for the past 23 years), but they seem to prey upon the public general ignorance to the fact that a PC could easily be running a much more stable implementation of Linux or Unix...you know, the place where Apple got its ideas and based its OS off of? Yeah...that one (or many). They also do not take into account that they, as a manufacturer have had many of the same issues that most PC manufacturers experience. Example, exploding batteries (MacBook Pro, Sony and more famously Dell also had this issue), batteries that expire LONG before their expected date (iPod, again, Dell in some machines and less known HP had this happen in laptops).
Apple's market share before the release of the "new" Intel-based Macs was somewhere around the 2% marker. Catering mainly to desing and video houses. Then they made a move PCs had been with for...hmmmm...years, many years. Some as early as 1985 in personal computers, http://www.intel.com/museum/online/hist_micro/hof/index.htm. To Apple's credit, as of January 1, 2008 that same market share peaked at 7.31% (http://www.macrumors.com/2008/01/01/mac-market-share-over-7-in-december/). Now, you can't do this because it doesn't work, but EVEN if you combine the previous market share of the Mac with their current market share, it is STILL under 10%. The reality is that it is significantly less than 10% @ 7.31%. Now, I don't claim to have all the answers, but I know if I'm playing a sport, and I lose (giving them the 0.69% increase) to the competition 92% of the time, I wouldn't be talking trash about them. Apple (and Linux) have been on the rise for the 6 months preceding the article, but I think its a little bit premature to be acting like the "big guy".
So what has Apple done to increase their market share, and does that really make them better? Well, with the introduction of the MacBook Pro (the "new" Macs, 2 years ago) they made two very smart decisions, in my opinion. Decision one was the introduction of Intel-based processors. This meant cross-platforms applications (ones that run on Windows and Mac) could be more easily programmed, using one common codebase. They also introduced the EFI BIOS, which, in short (it could get very technical, but it won't in this post) allows a user to run their operating system(s) of choice. Windows, Mac, Linux, Unix, both or all. Briefly, this means Intel Mac users can enjoy both OS X (Mac) and Windows (XP SP2+ or Vista) should they so choose through the use of an application called Boot Camp, which ships with Macs now, or can be downloaded from Apple.com. This effectively eliminates a few reasons to buy a PC. It is notable that the investment is entirely not worth it if one only plans on running windows in my estimation.
Apple also has been aggressively marketing, hence the reason I'm writing this. And their presentation has been typical Steve Jobs style, which seems to basically consist of attacking the competition or pretending they are irrelevant. Either Steve hasn't seen the number in market share (which I can't imagine, as the CEO) or just doesn't like them and prefers not to address them. Last time I checked almost every small or large business was using PCs. Outside the scope of this post though...
I would also like to address the OS itself, advertised as being far more secure and less vulnerable than PCs. Try hacked in under 30 minutes...: http://www.zdnet.com.au/ads/interstitial/interstitial.htm?redirect=/news/security/soa/Mac-OS-X-hacked-under-30-minutes/0,130061744,139241748,00.htm?omnRef=http://www.google.com/search?q=OS%20X%20hacked%20in%2010%20minutes It's not that OS X is "more secure", it more like it's "less attacked", when you have 7% market share that's what happens, people don't waste their time attacking your OS or writing viruses that won't affect lots of people. That's kinda the point of the virus...:) Also, http://www.informationweek.com/news/security/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=207000434
Basically that's where the MacBook Air was hacked in two minutes...nuff said.
I say all this as a proud owner of 5 Macs (3 currently MacPro, MacBook Pro, MacBook, and used to have a G4 laptop, and an old Apple II...yes! haha), and I really like(d) all of them! But even after reformatting (with updates and without), my applications still crash, and the OS still has issues, and they still release service packs (340+ megs (OS X 10.5.2) is not just an "update", thats bigger than the download for XP SP2 or SP3). Just like almost everyone else. Jobs and his crew have made a great, quality product, and certainly have the right, and SHOULD market it in a way beneficial to them. But do they have to do it with so much implicit arrogance, superiority, and "I'm better than you" attitude? Why not just tell people the benefits of their product in a more straightforward manner instead of bashing the competition until the consumer feels stupid and as if they have no choice? Oh yeah...marketing...got it. I'm not entirely sure this post is finished.

Monday, June 2, 2008

@ 1:35...1:38 am

What do people write about after having very little sleep all week and finishing mind numbing work @ 1:38 am? Do they write on philosophy, or emotion, or literature, or love, or poetry...? No no...they write on and like this (or very similarly) :

jvnew[ovjn4e;ovbjn34vij13nvo13jnvlvnskv blah blah oevnelvnelvnlb lvkenfv;owejnvjndleqvnelkvl ndel n blah nonsense...
vjkn4 voj3no3nvo4jnvo3jfno3jknvorjbmnlekemwl'kmwr'objnofjn w2o;djnebjnwrlfknqdlmqwnrgvlrenbleknfqwlkjnr;4jbn24jn.em...e.v.evn3v;loj4nvo24jnvo2n34b! !!!!!!
c##c3fc3f3fj3nfoqjndlwnf3oghn2o3dufn3ofnononceojrnvowjnmelkmwclkmwclkewmclwmljnnlonjncoeknclowmnc
eorvneorbun2obvnwojn turns out asthma doesn't go away ouenvenvwjnedlkqnlxknqlcjnwvojwbnv..!??

wjnxowjbcvojwwbeojwbvoeb tourette's....vioenvowjbcnejvbwjbnjvberivb3 stonehenge. envevjbnevjbnwvjbevjbeenvj van down by the river evheovhoejn lewknvleknvelknvelknrelbjnr oenvejvnekvjnkjnr4bjenvw.s,mdlkwnvieojfklqDOCIEHBPVOEPWQJS stewardesses is the longest english word that can be properly typed on a standard keyboard. ifv bneivnwcojnevojenvoejnven tigers have striped skin too...not just striped fur....evoevneqjnekjvbneqkjvnejvneqkjvnekvjnevjejvneovnelvkm a U.S. dime (ten cents) has 118 ridges around the edge...neojvbneojvneqjvnelkjnveljkvnelvjneljkvnejvne;jnv;ejcn qewkjcnwek;vj

So yeah...that's how people sometime write this late...that's how i write this late. Weird thing is, i usually write best really late. Guess i'm tired...Peace. Wow...just reread my post to be, i'm REAAAALLY tired. Goodnight Everyone!! :)

Friday, May 30, 2008

Blogging and Life

There's something that's just occurred to me over the past few months about one of the many oddities of people. I don't think there is one person, who if they gave it much thought, wouldn't agree that humans are very unique, individualistic (though many claim not to be everyone wants to be the only one of themselves, and they are), and very odd. I cannot speak for other cultures, (so Laura, if you read this maybe you can help me!) but in America at least before the rampant spread of the internet, boys and girls would very commonly keep journals and diaries. Many still do. Now, though the contents of the diary can be contested (they could hold anything from everyday occurrences to your most sacred thoughts), it is generally accepted that whatever it held, they were your private thoughts intended to be known only to you and the Almighty (and occasionally your little brother of sister that wanted to know who you liked so they stole it).
That said, I find it terribly odd that now through websites like facebook, myspace, and our blogs we openly share our thoughts, troubles, poetry, prose, ramblings, disappointments, and joys. Now, I'm not condemning nor condoning either practice; the lock and key of the diary, or the publishing for the world to read. I just find it very odd, and am unsure of what to attribute this dynamic shift in thought and practice to. Are we simply more mature creatures who obviously didn't know what we were doing as children? Is the idea of a blog so impersonal that we don't think it matters what we write? Have our lives become so busy and are we so yearning for friendships that we write in hopes of filling our desperate need for attention and companionship? Was it simply a stage of life? I think we well understood the idea of a diary as children, heck, that's why we locked it! I think as adults we understand that what we post is important, if to no one else, than simply to us, the reason we post! No doubt our lives are busy, but most certainly not too busy, for we've found time to write something on a web page that we could have easily said in conversation in far less time! We also often blog about what we are doing and friends are typically a part of that. Hmmmm...Perhaps not a stage of life either, for many still keep a diary, unwilling to share their most hopeful hopes, disappointing disappointments, and joyous joys. Yet still blog...!
So why then do we blog?? Why do you blog? Truly, we are the most awkward of creatures...perhaps Ryan and I more than others...:P

Unspoken Sermons - Obedience

To put off obeying Him till we find a credible theory concerning Him, is to set aside the potion we know it our duty to drink, for the study of the various schools of therapy. You know what Christ requires of you is right --- much of it as least you believe to be right, and your duty to do, whether He said it or not: do it. If you do not do what you know of the truth, I do not wonder that you seek intellectually, for that kind of search may well be, as Milton represents it, a solace even to the fallen angels. But do not call anything that may be so gained, The Truth. How can you, not caring to be true, judge concerning him whose life was to do for very love the things you confess your duty, yet do them not? Obey the truth, I say, and let theory wait. Theory may spring from life, but never life from theory.

Believe Not Do?

"He is a well-meaning man," she said to herself, "but dreadfully mistaken: the Bible says believe not do!"
The poor girl, though she read her Bible regularly, was so blinded by the dust and ashes of her teaching, that she knew very little of what was actually in it. The most significant things slipped from her as if they were merest words without shadow of meaning of intent: they did not support the doctrines she had be taught, and therefore said nothing to her. The story of Christ and the appeals of those who had handled the Word of Life had another end in view than making people understand how God arranged matters to save them. God would have us live: if we live we cannot but know; all the knowledge in the universe could not make us live. Obedience is the road to all things --- the only way in which to grow able to trust Him. Love and faith and obedience are sides of the same prism.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Valtrex

Did you know 1 in 5 American adults has genital herpes? I didn't...a Valtrex commercial told me. You can check it out too...http://www.valtrex.com/aboutherpes/howcommon_herpes.html says that a person who only has 1 partner can get herpes...true. But that doesn't seem to be dealing with the real problem.
Some actor dressed up like a doctor (or an actual doctor) goes on to say "It's because so few people know they're spreading it." If this guy is an actual doctor...well...we may as well just give up on health care tomorrow, because they're obviously not teaching anything in medical school anymore. Again...not dealing with the problem.
As far as I know and have read...herpes (HSV-2) didn't come from 1 man and women having an intimate relationship. Actually, most read implies that it comes from multiple partners having promiscuous sex. Maybe the problem isn't the disease...maybe it's our morals.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

A Prayer for My Life

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

-St. Francis of Assisi

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Unspoken Sermons

If there be a God, and I am his creature, there may be, there should be, there must be some open communication between He and I. If anyone allow a God, but one scarce good enough to care about his creatures, I will yield him that it were foolish to pray to such a God; but the notion that, with all the good impulses in us, we are the offspring of a cold-hearted devil, is so horrible in its inconsistency, that I would ask that man what hideous and cold-hearted disrregard to the truth makes him capable of the supposition! To such a one God's terrors, or, if not His terrors, then God's sorrows yet will speak; the divine something in him will love, and the love be left moaning.
If i find my position, my consciousness, that of one from home nay, that of one from some sort of prison; if I find that I can neither rule the world in which I live nor my own thoughts or desires; that I cannot quiet my own passions, order my likings, determine my ends, will my growth, forget when I would, or recall what I forget; that I cannot love where I would, or hate where I would; that I am no king over myself; that I cannot supply my own needs, do not even always know which of my seeming needs are to be supplied, and which treated as impostersl if, in a word, my own being is everyway too much for mel if I can neither understand it, be satisfied with it, nor better it --- may it not well give me a pause --- the pause that ends in prayer?
When my own scale seems too large for my management; when I reflect that I cannot account for my existence, have had no poorest hand in it, neither, should I like it, can do anything towards causing it to cease; when I think that I can do nothing to make up to those I love, any more than to those I hate, for evils I have done them and sorrows I have caused them; that in my worst moments I disbelieve in my best, in my best loathe my worst; that there is in me no wholeness, no unity; that life is not a good to me, for I scorn myself --- when I think all or any such things, can it be strange if I think also that surely there ought to be somewhere a being to account for me, one to account for himself, and make the round of my existence just; one whose very being accounts and is necessary to account for mine; whose presence in my being is imperative, not merely to supplement it, but to make myself my existence a good?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Unspoken

Love is one, and love is changeless.
For love loves unto purity. Love have ever in view the absolute loveliness of that which it beholds. Where loveliness is incomplete, and love cannot love its fill of loving, it spends itself to make more lovely, that it may love more; it strives for perfection, even that itself may be perfected -- not in itself, but in the object. As it was love that first created humanity, so even human love, in proportion to its divinity, will go on creating the beautiful for its own outpouring. There is nothing eternal but that which loves and can be loved, and love is ever climbing towards the consummation when such shall be the universe, imperishable, divine.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Trust...and its Repeated Violations...

A man who doesn't trust himself can never truly trust anyone else. -Cardinal de Retz, Memoires

I guess that's partially true, and partially utter rubbish. I would say that the quote may work in certain situations, or perhaps even as a rule of thumb, but in many, many situations that come to mind, I find this to be inaccurate at best. I trust myself in almost every situation to do what I believe to be right. At the same time, I find that every time I extend that same trust to others, it always come back repeatedly violated. It doesn't matter how close the friend, or what our relationship may be, it always come back very nearly destroyed. It makes me so sad. And every time it happens, I feel my heart sink deeply into my chest, feel as if it were about to burst, then the blood in my face drains (at least it feels so), and disappointment clouds my mind swiftly and without regard for my emotions. I know people are human, and I realize that they make mistakes, repeated and intentional lies and offenses are too much.
It must sound horrible to say, but it seems as though the more decide to trust people, the more you learn that you can't trust people. Sadly, it typically gets thrown back in your face, and what you end up thinking is that no one is safe and everyone suspect. It's a terrible position, I feel forced into. I think over the course of my life what I have learned is that I can trust God, my family, my pastors, and almost no one else, aside from a very select few friends (and their numbers seem to be dwindling quickly). I feel like crying. Perhaps it's my fault, maybe I trust to easily.
Do not trust all men, but trust men of worth; the former course is silly, the latter a mark of prudence.
Democritus (460 BC - 370 BC)

Anyone who goes through life trusting people without making sure they are worthy of trust is a fool. Yet there are people who may be trusted, men as well as women. There are are as many difference in their natures as there are flowers in these meadows.
Elizabeth Aston, The Exploits & Adventures of Miss Alethea Darcy, 2005

You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you do not trust enough.
Frank Crane

It is better to suffer wrong than to do it, and happier to be sometimes cheated than not to trust.
Samuel Johnson (1709 - 1784)