Friday, December 31, 2010

Awkward New Year

Folks, we have a interesting decision ahead of us and only hours to make up our minds. What are we going to call the coming year? Will we say two thousand and eleven? Will we say twenty-eleven? Will we simply call it Steve?


I have been at a loss since the year two thousand on what to call the times we are living in. My childhood was simple. We just said the 80's or 90's. What do you call the 00's anyway? But now we are entering into the pre-teens of this milennia and its time we make a change don't you think? Something that proves we are a bit more grown up. Two thousand and eleven reminds me of writing a check and that is so 90's and out-dated! Oh and don't even get in front of me with a checkbook in hand trying to pay for your groceries.  I will tackle you, drag you down to your local banking branch, make you get a Visa Debit Card, teach you how to use it, sock you in the eye, then take you back to the store and let you pay for your items and it WILL STILL be faster than having let you write that check. But never mind writing out the year...its long and awkward to say as well. One risks being tongue tied halfway through and that's if our A.D.D. doesn't kick in first and make us forget what we were talking about in the first place.

Twenty-eleven is an ok way to go but it's borrowing too heavily from twenty-ten and we want to show progression and growth here don't we? So I am hereby suggesting and (yes I must admit I got the idea from another source) that we just call it Eleven.  In some ways it will be a throw-back to the days when we would just say '86 or '92.  But like all good fads and styles, good things come back around.  Let's face it...we've spent ten years into this new milennia and its about time we stop having to remind ourselves that the 90's are over.  So join with me in our pre-teen, Jusin-Bierber loving, pimply-faced, voice-cracking, not-so-grown-up-but-no-longer-a-child, awkward-and-socially-challenged phase of time...and just call it eleven with me!

Who's in???


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Theological Battleship

Atheists and Christians seem to be at a stalemate. Or at least in my personal experience of sharing my faith online, it seems that way. Both sides articulate their world view and both offer their arguments for consideration. Whether you stumble upon an exchange that has stooped to pot-shots and name calling or on a great, respectable debate…you eventually see the stalemate.

This is not to say that atheists never convert to Christianity or that theists haven’t lost faith in their religious beliefs. Actually both happen, the latter much to my dismay and sadness. The brick wall in question is with the discussion itself.

Christians, like me, argue with as much reason and proof as we can despite the false claims that there isn’t any. But there comes a point of realization where we let go of that and urge our audience to do as Scripture commands by just taking that leap of faith. God does not bow to our demands for Him to show up or prove Himself. Therefore we must approach Him as He has instructed…faithfully. Not blind faith mind you but faith nonetheless.

The atheist cries foul! “We will not take this leap until evidence is shown by which we can determine the leap worth taking.” And there’s the rub. What is required by God in order that He reveal Himself to the individual is rejected by the individual until God moves first. And round and round we go.

As frustrating and exhausting as these discussions can be, I do enjoy them. I love that I have an opportunity to witness and share my faith and the Gospel with others. And many an atheist is out to challenge every belief I hold to. The way I look at it is…at one time I had huge doubts, questions, and a skeptical attitude. Had I not received the answers I was looking for, who knows what path I might have wondered down?

But I am not so far removed from my previous world view that I cannot step back and remember my own struggles with Christianity. And I have a good enough sense of humor to poke fun at both sides. That is exactly what my brother, Jon and I did this morning in the following video. I will caution you that some of the back and forth may not make much sense unless you are privy to theological debates. Other parts are quite obvious and self explanatory. In either case, enjoy!




Monday, December 27, 2010

Evil Toymakers!

So I Googled the words "toy packaging nightmare" and found the image adorning this page.  It seems I am not alone nor am I crazy in coming to the conclusion that children's toys are harder to open than Fort Knox.  Five years!  I've spent five years helping my children open the Birthday, Christmas, and random acts of kindness Gifts.  You would think in this amount of time I might have developed a finely tuned technique or at least callouses on my hands to prevent all the small cuts...which really don't hurt until I need to wash my hands, which is actually a lot...IT HURTS!


If you are like me, it takes an average of twenty full minutes to open a simple toy for your child.  And in that time you have lots of time to think about the people that manufacture, ship, and ultimately sell these precious little FRUSTRATINGBOOBYTRAPSFROMHELL!  Excuse me, I must've slipped on the keyboard and I am too exhausted from opening FRUSTRATINGBOOBYTRAPSFROMHELL to hit the backspace button.  Anyway...back to the thinking.  While removing all the tape, unwinding all the WIRE, cutting all the invisible, plastic (but stretchy) bindings, and otherwise ripping all the packaging to shreds but somehow trying not tear the actual toys apart I let my thoughts wander.  I ask myself questions like:


Who makes these toys?


Where do they live?


Can I barrow your car and will you provide me with an reliable alibi?


Or...ultimately WHAT IS THE POSSIBLE PURPOSE FOR THIS MAYHEM!!!??


Theory 1 - This stuff must somehow protect the toys and allow for less damage in the shipping process. Sounds reasonable.  But I'm not buying it.  There are plenty of shipping materials these days that cushion merchandise gently despite the UPS guy kicking it down the ramps of planes, trucks, and Hub containers.  I know...I used to work for them and kicking was standard practice...or was that just me?


Theory 2 - This is an anti-theft measure.  If this theory is true, then I cannot argue.  The amount of time and effort it would take in order to get a simple GI Joe or Barbie free in order to make a run for it would render me an exhausted, bloody heap in the middle of the toy isle before I could even fathom of a mad dash toward the exit.  And ultimately I don't buy this theory either.  Most toys have a device taped to the inside of the box that will set off the exit alarm in the event you choose to steal it OR if you have a checker who forgets to deactivate it as they ring you up.  We also have an ENTIRE loss prevention team monitoring a camera system ready to tackle you at first hint of suspicious, theft-like behavior. 


Conclusion - So with all the time I've had to think this over the only feasible conclusion one can come to is that toy manufacturers are evil, parent hating, retired secret agents formally assigned to the water-boarding division of the interrogation unit with ties to Al' Quieda.


Now please excuse me while I wipe down my bloody keyboard and start opening Michael's second present.



Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Distracted Much?

A few years back I wrote a blog post on what an awesome evening I had when the power went out. Everything was quiet. No television, radio, or electronic vibration. No telephone service, computer games, or Internet podcasts. Rachael and I actually had to entertain ourselves and figure out how to do life for a few hours unplugged. At first we were both annoyed and fearful of boredom.  But soon we took stock of our situation and realized how nice it actually was to share in one another's full attention.

I learned a valuable lesson that night that I have not forgotten but have failed to fully implement.  If you are anything like us, you are quite "plugged in".  Perhaps to an unhealthy level.  In my situation I spend my entire work day on email, the Internet, in our software database, on the VOiP phone system, or my cell phone.  You might think upon driving home I would happily set aside all electronic gadgets and take a breather.  Yet most often I sit in front of a television or I play on my iPhone or I check Facebook, or I change my Fantasy Football roster just one more time.  When television is boring, the Wii takes center stage.  When that gets old we might play computer games or watch some funny YouTube videos.

Don't get me wrong, there are some advantages to the high tech world we live in.  In fact, some of the time I DO spend with my kids is playing these very games or teaching them how to use the aforementioned computer.  Facebook in some ways keeps us connected to friends and family.  In fact I have reconnected with several that live out of state or that I had not seen for years and lost track of.  Like anything, I believe some type of balance needs to be obtained.  So where do we draw the lines?

For a while I tried an experiment in my home that had some decent results. I would come home and put my iPhone away and intentionally not pick it up until after the kids were asleep. No checking email, no Words with Friends, no App hunting, no Angry Birds, no checking on Status Updates...nothing. It was harder than I expected. Without even thinking there were several times where I would just instinctively reach for my phone or have the urge to check my inbox. But in holding to my resolve I spend several evenings really engaged with the kids, playing, laughing, and really connecting.

When is the last time you turned everything off and went "unplugged"?  Do you sit down as a family and eat meals together?  Do venture outside while the kids run around playing with the neighborhood children?  Are you reading a good book?  Do you and your spouse get the chance to talk with one another about anything other than the next bill that is due or what's going on with the kids?  Do you play catch with your son or have tea parties with your daughter? 

To illustrate my point even further, here is a short video I put together.  In it I read a brief article that was quite convicting for me.  I pray that it blesses you and encourages you to find that balance in your homes!



Thursday, December 16, 2010

Reindeer Poop

Yes I know this is the second post in a row with some variation of toilet humor.  On one hand I feel obligated to apologize.  I am sorry.  On the other, you should just know that my sense of humor is largely based on this topic and has not matured much since third grade.  In this case we have a photo of Rachael's latest Chex Mix creation.  Not having an official name for it, we brainstormed and came up with Reindeer Poop.  My third grade humor is very much appreciated by our five year olds'...what can I say?  I need to take full advantage of this because quite soon I will be found out as a dork and get an "eye rolling" instead of a laugh.

So the name of our new dessert got me to thinking about the time of year and the secular myths surrounding Christmas.  A Reindeer, after all goes with Santa, elves, and jingle bells...not the birth of Jesus. So I begin asking myself why as a Christian do I even entertain such secular mythology?  How does this glorify Christ, if at all?  Why do Christians in America celebrate TWO different stories with our children, one of which we know is a lie?  This internal dialog is not new for me. I've asked myself questions like this since the twins were first born and I am looking forward to a day when we can just celebrate Christ and not think all that much about Santa. 

I have very fond memories of the Santa storyline.  The tree all lit up, the excitement of hanging stockings, and putting out cookies.  Hardly being able to sleep but knowing that he would not come and give me presents until I was dreaming of sugar plumbs.  (What are sugar plumbs anyway?)  And even when I discovered the truth of the mythology, it was fun helping my parents continue to keep the story alive for my brother.  In many ways my parenting style is a direct result of my desire to give my children the same awesomeness that my childhood contained.  As such, they don't have a clue about my dogmatic desires to crush Santa beneath my boot.  Instead they are (at least at this point) fully immersed in the story of Jesus birth AND Santa's workshop.  And I bet you can guess which story line is a bit more exciting for them thus far??

So...what are your thoughts?  How do you maintain balance in your home?  Do you toss the Reindeer Poop aside or grab a bowl and merrily consume your fill?  There will come a day when the mythology of fairies, bunnies, and elves is discovered. I just don't want to provide any temptation to throw out "The Baby" with the secular bathwater when that time comes..


Thursday, December 09, 2010

A Disservice?

So this is one of those posts where I need some advice. I realize to some degree we are all more comfortable at home. Willing to let the hair down and the top button of our jeans loose. We do things in the comfort of our own homes that don’t translate well into REAL life. I am quite certain a list of items just popped into your head making the list I was about to give you…unnecessary.

 
I was raised by a very prim and proper mother. If I was not acting prim, I better be acting proper…and vice versa or both at the same time. Bathroom humor and flatulent-loving fun for instance just didn’t exist. Boogers were to be picked using tissue paper. Private parts were to be called by their scientific names. And any and all bleeding not requiring immediate medical attention must be done in the garage or outside so as to keep the carpets clean.

Mom…if you are reading this (and why wouldn’t you be, I always was your favorite) I am not complaining. Just pointing out factual information so as to lay a foundation for this blog post. Now I have to stop talking to you directly because I am alienating all of the rest of my readers. Yes, I know my only other readers are dad and my wife but cut me some slack, I need their advice.


Anyway…where was I? Ah yes, please fast forward to modern day. Perhaps in direct rebellion to my upbringing our home does not function like the one I was raised in. I took meticulous notes of all the things I would change when I was finally in charge. And though I have violated over 75% of those promises to myself I have managed to have a home in which carefree flatulent based fun is welcome and had by all…except Rachael. That’s what she told me to say anyway.


So here is the concern. As I laugh hysterically when my kids let one fly, loud and proud at the dinner table just after offering me their pointer finger to be pulled so as to help them launch said air biscuit I let images of their near future enter my mind. I imagine my daughter for instance spending the night for the first time at a slumber party or perhaps even later in life when she is eating dinner with her first boyfriend and his family. Suddenly she decides to belch like a truck driver or offer her finger to be pulled by his little sister. And upon doing so, she notices the horrified faces, wondering why no one is laughing or offering their own explosive sounds; it occurs to her. "Oh…this game isn’t played over here!"


I am sure that there will be a time and day where we explain social etiquette's finer nuances and how some behaviors are only appropriate in certain settings. Until then, I need to work with them a bit more on how to make the armpit fart sound. They don’t quite grasp the technique and air exchange ratio to the leverage applied. I am teaching a class on it tonight.

Present your critiques and advice of this child rearing disservice in the comment section OR make confessions as to how you’ve done a disservice to your offspring!


Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Atheists! Why Evangelize?

Every year around this time most Americans are exposed to some type of negative reaction to Christmas. Whether its the secular cry to call it Happy Holidays or a Billboard spouting atheist propaganda...we have become conditioned to expect some push back as we celebrate the birth of our proclaimed Savior. Perhaps I am only now more aware of it than in years past BUT it seems that this push back is growing stronger, more vocal, and directed. It's as if the voice of atheism isn't just crying foul for the ways in which our beliefs violate their world view.  NO! It seems that they actually WANT to change your mind.  It's no longer enough to take prayer out of schools...you should just stop praying all together.


And it's this new attitude that puzzles me.  I might understand why a staunch atheist would take offense to my proselytizing and take time out of his/her day to try and set me straight.  However, it is quite another thing to spend time, effort, and money seeking out believer's in attempt to "de-convert" them.  Yet that is exactly what is going on by my estimation.  These efforts hit the newsstands during Christmas but spend any time on YouTube proclaiming Christ and you will find out that its a year-round effort. 


I would be a hypocrite if I didn't make ANY allowances for people with alternative beliefs to attempt a sales pitch in my direction.  So when Mormon's come knocking, I will engage them a bit.  When Muslim's speak of Allah, I will kindly dialog and move on.  It is consistent with a theistic world view to share faith tenants since so much is riding on your earthly decisions and eternal rewards and/or consequences are at stake.  So the reason for my confusion over the atheist attempts is NOT because I CANNOT allow for equal opportunity proselytizing but rather because I see NO reason within their world view to do so.  Their world view screams "Live & Let Live" because tomorrow we die.  The Scripture verse that goes well with this is found in 1 Corinthians 15:29-32 as Paul make the point:  IF he is wrong about these things he is preaching, we might as well have a big party and live our lives without concern.  After all life is fleeting and the mark we make is but a flash in the pan of human history.  I ask you why anyone with this world view would care that me and my family serve the Lord?


I stumbled across a talk given by Dinesh D'Souza.  In it he covers much of the various issues that divide believer from unbeliever but in his conclusion he offers a hypothesis as to why the atheist takes it upon him or herself to evangelize.  The entire talk can be found here if you are interested and can spare 50 minutes.  But the portion that goes best with this post is contained in the 10 minute video below by yours truly:



Monday, December 06, 2010

It's A Goy!

Prayer Request: As of the date of this post our family has suffered from one kind of illness or another for the past three weeks. Both of my kids have had the stomach bug and yesterday Rachael fell victim to it as well. All of us have also been exchanging colds which are especially difficult for Michael as it requires several breathing treatments per day to get him healthy again and avoid severe bronchitis.



In Training? I am starting to think God might be preparing me mentally and physically for a newborn in the house again. The twins, who are almost five years old, have been uncharacteristically waking up in the middle of the night with issues ranging from a bad dream, to illness, to just needing to visit the bathroom. Never (since they were infants to age 2) have the woken me up so frequently for such a consistent length of time. I have prayerfully asked God to forgo the training, if that’s His intent with this, as I would much rather the sleep…BUT His will be done, not my own!


What’s Up with The Title? It’s just a combo name of “boy” and “girl”. We could have just as well used the title, It’s a Birl, but I didn’t like that one as much. Essentially my wife and I are keeping the baby’s gender under wraps for now.


Why Keep This Secret? We have already met with resistance from a couple of friends/family that really do not like our idea of keeping the gender of our baby a secret. But believe it or not this is not a clever scheme where we derive any joy out of frustrating you. Instead we are trying to have fun with being able to surprise everyone on Christmas. Rachael and I have always required fertility treatments in order to get pregnant in the first place. We’ve never had the joy of “surprising” family and friends because the process we undergo is so extensive that everyone ends up finding out what we are up to. So forgive us for this selfish indulgence if you will and consider this a Christmas gift as we reveal our baby’s gender to you at that time.


In the meantime, please enjoy Episode 1 of this climactic saga…




Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Good without God?

Last night as my wife and I were watching the local news, a particular story caught our attention. It seems that a group of atheists in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex have purchased ad space on a busline with the intention of delivering this message:


“Millions of Americans are GOOD WITHOUT GOD.”

Never mind for a moment that your God-given conscience is very mechanism by which a person can distinguish right from wrong in the first place and the irony that this phrase is loaded with. At best and more accurately the claim might best be put:

“Millions of Americans choose to use their God-given moral compass BUT reject a relationship with Him.”

Not as catchy…I know! I doubt they will be hiring me anytime soon to write for them. I digress however because the point of this particular post is to examine the reactions that my wife and I experienced.

I was a bit floored, no doubt. Blatant rejection of God doesn’t sit well with me. I see a direct relationship between the blessings this country experiences to the number of faithful in its population. I don’t think there is any coincidence that our blessings are much fewer these days (and continuing to decline) and the number of atheists is on a huge rise. God created us as free-will agents. As such He willingly allows us to go our own way and removes Himself from the equation. Things are not very pretty when this happens. The entire history of Israel illustrates my point.

My wife’s reaction was a bit more horrified than mine. I forget sometimes that my experiences on YouTube are not the norm for most people. For now, I am grateful to STILL be able to say that. However I see a not-so-distant-day when this will become commonplace.

Here are just two recent examples of the insanity that comes my way on a daily basis:

1. An atheist named Thuderf00t created a video where he shared footage of Jupiter making its way across our nighttime skyline. For once he didn’t really add any commentary about Christians or his disdain for theistic leanings. He simply shared his footage and made very scientific observations of his experience. In the comment section beneath this video I see the following:

I did not respond to BlameRepublicans because his blood tasting set off some discernment alarms that perhaps he isn't such a stable person. However, previous to his hatred and bloody comments he seems to believe that somehow Christian's can (a) keep you from viewing the midnight sky (b) do not personally persue knowledge or value intellectual endeavors and (c) thusly we we do our best to prevent others from getting edu-ma-cated. Code red...he's on to us!!


2. A Christian friend of mine (ChristioferL on YouTube) made a video expressing his confusion over how it is that an atheist can reject what he deems to be an obvious spiritual component in their lives. Again…in the comment section we find the following insanity:



Granted these are just two atheists out of the Millions that the ad campaign boasts of. However, these kinds of comments are far from the exceptions.


Your thoughts?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Tonight's Going To Be A...

Thanksgiving morning I sat with my children in front of our television continuing a long-standing tradition of watching the parades. As we flipped from one to the next, avoiding commercials like the plague...we listened to a high school marching band playing a familiar tune.

My son said, "Hey, I know that song. It's Tonight's Going to be A Good Night."


I was proud of him for recognizing the instrumental version as played by a high school band on national television especially since I couldn't quite put my finger on it. I knew it sounded familiar but it was his sharp mental acuity that identified the tune. I am getting somewhat used to his amazing 4 year old intellect but it still shocks me sometimes as to what he picks up on and recalls!


That was the last we heard of the song for the rest of the day until about 8:15PM. We spent a great day at my in-laws home celebrating Thanksgiving, stuffing our bellies, and watching the Cowboys (er, um Roy Williams) lose to the Saints. Now at home, with the kids bathed and in bed, my wife and I were settling into our living room for some down time. As we stared mindlessly at the random HGTV program I heard what sounded like loud singing. I paused the Tivo. There it was again.


"Honey, do you hear that?"


"Yes. It's probably just Mackenzie. She always sings, don't worry about it."


"No. That's not her. I think its Michael!!"


"No way! He doesn't do that."


"I know but that's definitely him. I am going to grab my camera and see if I can catch him in the act."


Watch the video below for the rest...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Living Out Loud

So what’s the BIG idea? Well with all the various transitions my blog has taken over the years, my hope is that this will be one that injects energy, fun, and value that keeps readers coming back for more.


Living out loud is the new title and as it implies, I intend to live my life as transparently as possible. St. Francis of Assisi once said, “Preach the Gospel always and when necessary use words.” One of the struggles I have had with my online dealings is how to properly blend all of my interests and all of my circles of friends. For years now I have had a YouTube channel dedicated to amateur apologetics, a Facebook page where I shared a bit more details about me AND my family, and this blog where the two worlds would occasionally collide. Well if my goal is met, the collision will now be a bit more intentional as I will attempt to marry both worlds instead of continuing to compartmentalize the two.


Secondly I’ve come to a point in my witnessing online where I’ve had to re-evaluate my strategy. My conversion story is heavily emphasized by researching the topic of Jesus Christ and the evidence for or against the narrative told to me throughout my childhood. I found the case so much more compelling than I ever expected which not only led to my salvation BUT also got me excited about trying to put that same information into everyone else’s hands. So my original intent was to apologetically CONVINCE people into a relationship with Christ. Somewhere along the journey I figured out that (a) I am not smart enough to do that (b) there are already many others that are much more gifted than I doing a better job at it and (c) sometimes the best way to evangelize is to live out your faith and show by example.

So what if anything will change?

• Firstly, I hope to be writing more often. I tend to be a better writer than I am a videographer but really enjoy doing both.

• Secondly, I will be back to producing ideas on a wide variety of topics. My “life” lived out loud includes family, business, friends, church, political topics, etc. My born again status certainly affects all areas but that doesn’t mean every post will be a new sermon-ette.

• The inclusion of my family and more personal stuff. In effort to be more transparent I plan on capturing moments that normally would not have made it to YouTube or here. I plan on continuing to hold to some level of privacy, of course, but there is much I can share that thus far, I just haven’t.

• Regular posts – A new post twice per week is the goal.

• I will be asking for your feedback and participation. Subscribe to my blog and/or my YouTube channel to receive notifications of the new additions AND comment on my posts with your thoughts!



Well, what are you waiting for? You READ that last bullet point, didn’t you!!??

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

God's Way or Yours?

Originally created and uploaded to my YouTube channel here is my latest video. While the overall intent is to challenge the atheist world view...I believe that many Christians are also guilty of placing expectations on God.


Description details: There is a universal desire within humankind for God to interact with us AND reveal Himself to us. In this video I am challenging you to let go of YOUR expectations/criteria and instead let Him speak to you in His way. Stop expecting God to adhere to your terms!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Book On Order

I had a good friend recommend the book "The Invisible War" by Chip Ingram.  I've ordered it and am waiting on its arrival.  Good or bad I will probably give a review or a series of reviews on the content of the narrative as I read through it.  In the meantime I did find a few videos on YouTube that the author appears in.  I must say if the book I've ordered is anywhere near "on par" with these two clips...I am very extied about what I may learn and utlize for my own spiritual growth.  Check out the two videos below and let me know your thoughts!



Thursday, August 26, 2010

Circles & Rectangles Don't Matter

I thought a visual demonstration of Romans 14:1 was well overdue. Please do not misunderstand from this that I think all competing doctrines are equally valid. Also...do not use the comment section as a forum to argue about your competing doctrines. Rather, take the words of Paul and the illustration shown here and apply them to your ministry and subsequent behavior.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Garbage In, Garbage Out

I was curious about this phrase as it pertains to the topic I want to write about and therefore gather some of your commentary on. So I “googled it” to see where it originated from and this is the Wikipedia entry:


Garbage In, Garbage Out (abbreviated to GIGO, coined as a pun on the phrase First-In, First-Out) is a phrase in the field of computer science or information and communication technology. It is used primarily to call attention to the fact that computers will unquestioningly process the most nonsensical of input data (Garbage in) and produce nonsensical output (Garbage out). It was most popular in the early days of computing, but applies even more today, when powerful computers can spew out mountains of erroneous information in a short time.


If you have parents like mine or perhaps a teacher you’ve had this technological phrase used to bolster the idea that this is also applicable to us as humans. I used to laugh at this assertion. Whether Rock N Roll was being blamed for violent behavior or Video Games were blamed for increased bullying or suicide, I would call foul. I mean…don’t we have direct control over our own decisions? Isn’t passing the buck just another way to frivolous lawsuits and to dodge personal accountability?

Perhaps.

Fast forward to parenthood as my children are now watching a decent amount of television and combine that with the continuation of maturing in my faith. TV has reached a point where it appalls me more than it entertains. I still believe we are accountable for our own actions and that music and games don’t force people to misbehave. But I constantly have to turn the channel for my kid’s sake and often times for my own. Honestly I don’t know what impact all the garbage that has entered into my brain may have actually had. At best it still distracts me from family, friends, and much more important priorities. At the very worst it may have molded and shaped my ideals or even influenced some of my decisions.

I don’t want to cross that line of Grace over into Legalism. But for me personally I want to try and “clean out” (perhaps debug) my system. And I have some favorite shows that probably need to go. I will prayerfully consider a solution. In the meantime I would love your two cents and even some examples of how your family has tackled this issue.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Attempted Napping – A Personal Phenomenon

I find it rather easy to classify people into one of two categories.


1. Those that enjoy and do take naps.

2. Those that would rather not and subsequently torture those of us that do.

I will give you a guess as to which category I fall into? Yes…I do enjoy taking naps but in my home there is a strange phenomenon that occurs 99.9% of the time that any attempts on my part to make such a lovely thing occur. I would love some feedback in the comment section so that I might know if this is just unique to my household or a commonly experienced occurrence.

It all starts with me stretching out on the comforter of my bed. It is at this point that I am quite certain all nap-killers are informed of my whereabouts and my deep desire for a bit of slumber. I am not certain how the message is sent out or why so many secret agents work for this undercover group but this cannot be a coincidence.

Normally I get to that beautiful place between conscious thought and unconsciousness precariously dangling over its edge, ready for a swan dive into some good rest when one of the following nap-killing techniques is employed. Another interesting but difficult to determine fact is how they always know when it is that I am at this important part of the “falling asleep” process.

Usually ALL of the following happen in ONE nap attempt. The order of things may change and occasionally not every item will occur. It also seems to depend upon what point I decided to give up…though I am rather stubborn and determined.

1. My Wife – we must start with her because I am certain she is the agent that sends out the memo to all nap-killing operatives that I am at it again. She falls into category 2 from above and has zero sympathy for a person trying to enjoy a bit of slumber. That is unless you are one of her children. She has three methods that she likes to employ to kill all nappage.

a. Walk loudly through the room. She won’t say anything but she also won’t make any effort to imitate a mouse either. Being on the second story her intentionally emphasized steps are even more accentuated by the creaking of floor boards. This is often accompanied by a loud sigh intended to communicate her displeasure with my choice.

b. Spontaneously decide to work. My wife works from home and takes care of the books for our business. For some reason she often chooses to tap away at the key board, file papers loudly, and get work done when I decide to nap. Keep in mind that our office is attached to the master bedroom, functioning as a nook to the room…not a separate room unto itself down the hall.

c. Engage me in conversation. Yes, folks when all else fails…she will decide to ask me a question. “Honey, I am balancing the operating account but don’t see the deposit you supposedly made on Friday. Any idea why that is?” I guess that is the part where I am supposed to act like we’ve been in conversation for five minutes and that its perfectly natural for this question to pop up. And yes…she times these when I am at that precipice and about to plunge into bliss.

2. My Kids – They only have two methods of nap killing but both are rather effective and one borrows from their mother’s method. Technique one is to play in the playroom as loudly as possible with the television at least ten notches above normal. Another variation of this is when they decide to engage one another in a very loud argument. I consider both techniques the same though with the only variety being which loud activity will work best. The second method is to march into my room, stand next to my bed, and say “Daddy. What are you doing?”

3. My Cats – Our cats are as lazy as they come. They get pretty active at night but hardly ever during the daytime. They are usually laying on our favorite piece of furniture coating it with a fine film of cat hair or too busy rolling around in a sunbeam to bother anyone. But they are part of this covert effort to kill my naps and they must receive their memo at the appropriate time as they will typically run through my room imitating the sound of a herd of cattle, pouncing on one another, and meowing their dominance as they fight it out.

4. Friends & Family Phone Calls – It is more difficult to know if they are truly in on the conspiracy or not. However, during a Saturday or Sunday (which are the most likely of days for me to even have the chance at a nap) we can go without a phone call ALL DAY LONG until I lay down and begin the descent.

5. Door Chime. On the rare occasion that it does not strike my wife to spontaneously do the business books whilst I nap, she may attempt to go out back with the kids so they can play outside as she reads a book. Sounds wonderfully considerate of her doesn’t it? Don’t be fooled…she is still in nap-killing agent mode. Our doors are set to chime every time they open. For some reason between my twins and my wife, they feel the need to open and close the door repeatedly. One has to go pee, another needs a drink of water, and still another needs to come back in briefly for a snack. The more reasons to go in and out the better.

6. Text Message. Last but not least and akin to the phone call situation we have the loud text notifications that burst through my phone speakers as if to say WAKE UP you silly napper! And when I do remember to turn off the sound, I assure you my wife’s phone is somewhere close by to take its place.

Methinks I might need to rent a hotel room just to get a thirty minute, uninterrupted, slice of shut-eye.

Your thoughts?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

It’s a Relationship, Not a Religion

Matthew 7:13-29 is perhaps the toughest passage of Scripture for a Christian to read. No matter your maturity or immaturity in Christ, you will be challenged as you read the words that declare you saved or unsaved. Even more challenging from the text you will see that God is speaking to those that call Him Lord…not the unbelieving atheists and worshippers of other gods…though He does address them in Scripture as well.

For me this passage describes a time when I was ignorant of the Salvation Message. It describes me before I not only accepted Christ into my heart with a prayer but took Him up on an invitation to “walk with Him.” Ever go on a walk with a person? What about a really long, daily walk? If you have you know that a relationship blooms from that. Perhaps you already had a relationship with this person but I’ll bet you it grows deeper as you walk with them. It comes natural to us as we walk to speak with one another, share intimate details of our lives, and have a growing respect, love, and admiration that this person is doing life with us.

If you have ever been convicted by The Holy Spirit through a powerful sermon, book, or personal revelation that prompted you to accept Christ into your life…that is wonderful. I am not here to begrudge that event or the power of that moment. But if you acted in that moment and have not gone on a walk with Him since…I want you to consider this piece of Scripture. It seems clear that there exist those in this world that will call Jesus their Lord but God will still declare that He did not know them. Take Him up on His invitation to have a personal, daily, real relationship. It will be the best experience you will ever have!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Big Belly


Last night’s dinner conversation went a little something like this:


At the conclusion of saying Grace…


My Son: Daddy why do we say God is Great?


Me: Because He is Great. He made everything including you and me. Isn’t that Great?

My Son: Yes, but why do we thank Him for our food. Mommy makes our food.

Me: Well, mommy cooks and prepares our food but God gives it to us to cook.


His inquisitive nature was satisfied for a while as we all enjoyed our chicken, rice, and green beans. As I proudly cleared my plate with barely a crumb left over he had one more question for me:

My Son: Dad?


Me: Yeah?


My Son: How did you get such a Big Belly?

In a flash of mere seconds several things ran through my mind that I intend on sharing with you. But rather immediately I laughed, pointed to my plate, and told him it was because I love mommy’s cooking a little too much sometimes. I then invited him and his sister to help me make my tummy smaller as I plan on starting a workout regimen again.

What ran through my mind?
My first instinct was denial. I thought to myself everything about me is bigger than my four year old son. My hands, fingers, legs, muscles, etc. So he must mean to point out my belly as just another thing I have that is bigger than his, right? Well maybe…but probably not.

As acceptance entered my realm I had a smirk begin to form as I realized the truth and innocence a child has when social rules of politeness have not yet been honed. My son held up a mirror for me to look in unapologetically but also with no malice or disdain. Had I become angry it would not have been with him but with the image in the mirror. But all too often we blame the person(s) holding the mirror, don’t we? That is SO much easier than taking accountability for our short-comings and formulating a plan for change, isn’t it?

Well I have decided to stare into that mirror a bit longer. I will take this opportunity to start reducing my calories, cutting out the late night snacking, and getting more active. However, I might as well take a good look at everything about me that needs attention. God will, like my son has proven, tell me the truth about what He sees. And He will do so without malice, without disdain…but in pure love and truth. It is my job to take accountability and then action toward fixing the problems.

Look in your mirror. What needs to change?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Broken

So what is the BIG DEAL about humility and brokenness in the Christian life? We hear about it all the time but what does it mean? I continue to find out as I am a work-in-progress. But previous to accepting Christ as my Lord and Savior this message offended me. Self help books taught me to take pride in my abilities, to pick myself up by the boot-straps, to overcome, and to be my own master. It was the weak, low self-esteem types that needed medications and psycho therapy to deal with life.

My first humility lesson came the day of my salvation. When I realized that I, like Peter had been fully aware and even following some of the teachings of this cool dude Jesus but never truly got Him or what He was all about. I, like Peter even got to a point where I denied Him because He wasn’t as politically correct as would keep me well liked and popular. As the reality of Jesus smacked me in the face and I realized how I had treated Him and His name…humility and disgrace took on new meaning for me. Thankfully the overwhelming Joy of Salvation immediately begins to remedy the self inflicted wounds of shame!

But I never truly understood being broken until I went through a year long bout with anxiety. Suddenly no amount of self esteem and pride could help me. No family member or friend. No doctor and no amount of suffering or anguish gave me healing from this inexplicable and uninvited guest into my life. My very identity changed. My newly wedded wife was probably wondering who she had married and what had happened to the Jim she once knew. I had to force myself to get out of bed in the morning and go to work after night terrors had kept me from a good nights rest. What did work even matter? I was being tortured physically, mentally, and spiritually and by what? Something called Anxiety?

It was only when I completely surrendered even unto the possibility of God taking my life that I was delivered from this suffering and able to get on my feet again. I don’t pretend to know why I went through this crazy episode but I cannot deny the lessons learned and the extreme humility it taught me. Perhaps one of the biggest lessons besides realizing many of the errors I had taken from the self help section of Barnes and Noble was that God is willing that we should learn His ways either through the easy process of humble obedience OR…the hard way of kicking and screaming. Much like raising children of my own my twins have a choice: They can obey the rules and allow harmony to ring through the household and keep all their privileges with little discipline OR they can rebel, scream, kick, and create disharmony only to find the rules intact and their rights to certain privileges taken away.

This morning God used an old pair of broken sunglasses to drive home what I have learned and continue to learn in my walk with Christ. Below is a video I made about what He showed me. I pray that it impacts you in the same way it did me!

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Bit of HR Advice...

There are unlimited tips and tricks that an HR professional with any length to his/her career can give you but I am moved in this moment to share some that are fresh on my mind. I am recruiting for two new clients of mine. Two openings are warehouse positions and one is a Customer Service Coordinator. After posting some ads, I am literally sifting through hundreds of resumes. For every five I view, one might get called. For every ten I call, two might get through my phone screening. It’s a tedious process but that I why client companies hire us to do the prescreening evaluations.


As I have been calling qualified candidates over the past few days I have had a consistency of issues that you as a job seeker might want to consider. I assume that most of this is common sense and laughable…which is partly why I decided to go on a blog-rant about it. But for those of you that are guilty of any of these, please take note and do yourself a favor.

1. The music ringer – Do you have a cell phone that lets you select a song for your callers to hear instead of a traditional ring? If so, please carefully select what song you want potential employers to hear and therefore judge you by. Gangsta Rap with a slew of cuss words and racial slurs is NOT a good idea. Can’t tell you how many of these I’ve heard and hung up on.

2. Your email address – I know, I know…we all have one listed with google, hotmail, and yahoo. In addition we normally have one like joe@mcdonalds.com for our employer or previous employer. The temptation to get creative and to leave your personal name out of the content is understandable. But if you have a stellar resume, awesome credentials, and just as I decide to click on the email hotlink to inform you that I’ve selected you for a telephone interview I notice that you are crackdealerpimpboy666@yahoo.com...I’m probably going to pass.

3. The voicemail message – I just called a customer service candidate who sent her resume to indicate her interest in our ad. Upon calling her it went to voicemail. She had a pleasant, professional sounding, even soothing tone of voice. But here is what her message said:

YOU KNOW WHO YOU CALLED! LEAVE A MESSAGE AND I WILL GET BACK WITH YOU. IF YOU DON’T LEAVE A MESSAGE THEN YOU NEVER CALLED!!

What is impossible to show in text is the inflection of her voice as she delivered that last line. I am sure that was primarily meant for friends and family that frustrate her when they call and fail to leave messages but once again…we forget about the impression a potential employer might get. I know without even having spoken to this particular candidate that she is quite capable of copping a big attitude.

4. Salary Negotiations – One of the men I recently brought in was quite sharp and very qualified for the customer service role. In his interview with me the subject of pay came up and that is quite normal. I am used to candidates doing their best to get the top dollar available and even challenging whether or not the listed top dollar actually is or isn’t. I am used to a list of reasons why a person is worth a dollar more per hour or $5K more per year. But this guy decided to let me know that he deserved two more dollars per hour because he has court-ordered child support that takes half of his paycheck. The only way he can support himself is if employers pay him $13 per hour or more. I actually liked this guy and did not end the interview. But I did advise him that when he sits in front of my client and talks about money, that he really needs to come up with a better negotiation tactic.

5. Testing – This one is perhaps the most frustrating and the least funny. We ask over the phone about a persons criminal background, their typing speed, their willingness to take and pass drug tests. Without fail, people tell us what we want to hear.

“I don’t have a background.”

“I can pass a drug test.”

“I can type 40 words per minute.”

Guess what? We are asking, not because we are going to take your word for it. It is our job to actually confirm what you are reporting. We are asking so that you don’t waste our time or yours if indeed you have issues in any one area. Yet countless numbers of people claim they have skills or lack negative marks only for our investigation to prove otherwise. The most common phrase said to me upon confronting a person that claims to not have any criminal charges but does?

“Well…I didn’t think that would show up.”

Keep in mind we didn’t ask them if they had criminal history that would or would not show up. We asked if they had any at all.

Ahh…gotta love my job!

Share your interviewing/employment/do’s or don’ts with us in the comment section…

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Tomb IS Empty

I was pleasantly surprised and overwhelmed by the message this Sunday at church. Most times, Easter Sunday puts a cap on the buildup to the Christian remembrance of His sacrificial atonement of our sins and we move into our next study. Pastor Mike had a different idea and spoke beautifully as he presented a sermon called "What Now?".


As he spoke I became convicted. Convicted of concentrating on the cross and not paying much mind or weighing the true implications of the empty tomb. I mean…that part is VERY important…don’t get me wrong. Otherwise all we have is a story of an innocent Jew that was wrongly put to death. And while that is tragic, it would not be all that compelling or different from a multitude of people that have walked this earth only to one day meet their deaths. Yes…Jesus would still be interesting and the stuff of legend. Many a lesser man has been remembered throughout history and hailed a prophet or religious guru. But without the Resurrection…without an Empty tomb…this thing called Christianity is worthless.

All of our claims hinge on this fact. Only one has ever come and conquered death. Only one has done so and by His accomplishment invited us to also join Him in an eternity of life! As Paul writes:

17And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.

Did you get that? Without the empty tomb a Christian’s faith is not only useless but Paul admits that we should be pitied above all other men. Thanks be that:

He.


Is.


Risen.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

An Important Throw Away Post

Often a blogger or vlogger will take a time out to inform you of some changes that he or she is about to make. It may be a new direction, theme, and sometimes it’s just to let people know that they will be taking a break for a while. I call these "throw away posts" because they don’t really contribute to the body of work normally produced by said person.

But I must admit that these posts are often helpful and necessary…so here is mine:

Since 2006 when this page first came to be published I have tried a great many types of essays on a wide variety of topics. In 2007 I started a YouTube channel that all but killed my desire to write. I finally figured out a way to have balance and even let the two mirror or support one another. But now, even that has been rather infrequent. So as I have been thinking about what I should do, I have come to conclude that some changes will now be implemented.

1. Name Change – I started off as Poser Rantings. The term poser was coined in my generation to describe someone that was a “wanna be”. At that time I “wanted-to-be” a good writer but had no delusions of gradure. The name seemed appropriate. When I stopped being multi-topical and focused on the Christian Faith exclusively…being a poser/wanna-be suddenly made zero sense. So, even though I kept my URL…the blog’s name changed to Humble Offerings. If you haven’t already noticed I have my third and most likely final name – Living On The Edge. Why? Many of you already know that TheEdge, TheEdge12, and even TheEdge012 have been my “screen name” on the internet for years. And there is an explanation for why I came up with this but I will let you dig through my archives to find out if you are even that curious. Essentially here is the main reason I am sticking with it and finally applying it to this blog…even changing the URL once and for all:  If being a business owning, father of twins, married, Christian man doesn’t qualify as living on the edge…then what does? This leads me to the next change…or throwback, depending on how old or new you are to my essays.

2. Topics – Though I will still have a heavy emphasis on all things Christianity, I do miss some of my humorous posts, my current events critiques, and my updates on the twins. Expect to see more variety again. And by covering a variety of topics this might possibly help with…

3. Frequency – I tend to go through ups and downs with motivation and inspiration for contributions. If my friend Bob did not constantly remind me that he is in need of a new post…I might have let this part of my life die on the vine. So if you like my stuff…thank Bob for keeping me going. If you hate my stuff…blame Bob for keeping me going.

4. Email Notifications – There are 10 of you that I have added to my notifications list. You either already follow me and this is my way of informing you of the new url address and changes or you are related to me and should follow me (hint, hint). How’s that for expanding my audience? And I might include more than 10 but that is what my blog website limits me to.

5. Less Videos, More Writing – I will still repost my best Vlogs over here but will not use this as a secondary dumping ground for my YouTube Channel. I will actually be publishing essays again.

6. A Request – I am not sure how much traffic will get driven here from Facebook or YouTube but I am going to post my URL on both sites. If you are from Facebook you know personal things about me. My name, where I live, where I went to high school, where I work…etc. Most people from YouTube know me as TheEdge or just Jim. That is how I would like to keep it. If you want to truly understand why all you need to do is understand that I get some very hate-filled and nasty comments from those that oppose my world view. I doubt there are many critics out there truly looking for people on the internet to track down but lets just play it safe…shall we?

7. Lastly – Something I really like to encourage and even intentionally build up to with posts is a dialog. Please participate in the discussion by clicking on the comment button after each post and giving everyone your two cents.

Now print this page out and literally throw it away.  No really.  Do it!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Debate Debacle

My friend James recently left the faith and started a new channel. On it he recently posted a debate series that pits atheists against theists. My issue? The theist panel consists of New Agers that hold no beliefs or doctrines that the opposing side seem to be most concerned with. IF the concern is legitimately about the Christian God, then why are Deepak Chopra and Jean Houston sitting on the side expected to defend such criticisms? This appears to be deliberate. The only other thing I can conclude is that those organizing the debates are just severely naive.


Friday, February 19, 2010

RSVP to a Non-Invitation

** Authors Note *** It may be helpful to know two things before reading this newest product of my wacky mind:
1. I am a self-styled amateur apologist on YouTube. I get a TON of atheist attempts to "de-convert" me hoping that I will see the light of truth that they've discovered. Yet in their next breath they will try to claim they have no agenda and don't have a stake in the game of changing my mind.
2. I've been reading some GK Chesterton. If you have read him before, you will very likely see how influenced this is by his style. If you have not read him...do so without delay!!!______________________________________________________

This is to RSVP to the Invitation that was not really an invitation. I know to state this because on the invitation that I received in the mail it was clearly stamped “This is not an invitation but please RSVP so we can have an accurate head count.”

I suppose this statement's irony is not singular nor is it any more powerful than the other irony’s employed in this mind game you propose but let me spend a moment on it anyway. I gather by claiming this is not an invitation that you are trying to negate an agenda, possibly even trying to distinguish yourself from me because you certainly don’t want to be considered a person interested in proselytizing. That is only for the whacko Christian fundamentalists whom you diligently fight against. While in doing so I am here to report you look a fool. For what do you get so passionate about if not the possibility of “de-converting” me from my indoctrinated, mythological legend that has me so trapped and an inch from delusion? Why vehemently argue about something that you do not believe exists? If you are right, you make us both fools to engage in the very conversation. After all who gains anything to sit and argue whether Santa really comes down the chimney or uses the front door? Your passion betrays you just as much as the stamp making a claim that an invitation isn’t one. You have an agenda, you have a stance, and you believe yourself correct to the point of righteousness though it be self made and based in worldly pride. Why else waste your time looking to cure me from the mental hospital lest you believe your world view be the better choice and mine the source of the illness? If all things were equal and this were not an invitation it would satisfy you that I not be bothered at all to come. And if I did show up you might give me a nod so much as embrace me…it would not matter. But you would love nothing more than to have evidence that you do have power to persuade and to heal the sick. Yet this revelation brings you nausea as it renders you a hypocrite. I digress at this point though because the main object of this RSVP is not to “expose” your failure to cloak the invitation or your excitement that I might join you but rather explain to you why I cannot come to the Free Thinkers Party. In fact, I cannot make it to this one or any other event of its kind down the road…which leads me to the next point of irony.

I would rather you have called this party by another name just so it would be less absurd and embarrassing to have to correct you about. You see I really do like you. In fact, by the work God has done in me, I’ve learned to fancy you to the point of love. So in a loving fashion let me beg of you to at least change the name of your party when the next round of invitations go out to at least help you save face. That is of course if you don’t finally relent to my proselytizing and fall on your face to surrender once and for all. You may as well have a small victory if you choose not to have final victory…though I doubt it will bring you comfort in eternity. Your error is simple dear friend. You have invited me to get inside a box that your invitation describes to be opposite of its function. This box is a “freedom box” if I understand you correctly. To get inside of it will “free me” from my delusions, my mythology, and my failure to see life for what it is. Yet the boundaries of a box quite simply reveal a lack of freedom do they not? So perhaps the problem is you have left your bifocals behind and are pointing at a box thinking it a vast endless space where freedom can truly be experienced. That is what I must believe or else it is you headed to the funny farm not me.

So with this in mind I will help you find your corrective lenses or at the very least help you touch and see that this box has edges and boundaries that preclude the very claim you are making of it. How can one be free to think when some things are forbidden to think about? Right now I sit outside your freedom container fully able to think about all the naturalist, materialist elements in your box. Yet I am also free to fathom the supernatural. Sure this can include unicorns, fairies, and flying pasta but I have tested them all and found their taste to be bland, empty, and without full body. Yet I can still go on dealing with them if I want to torture myself.

Side Note: That reason above many others is why I fail to understand your lack in desire to join me out here. After all you seem to enjoy the self torture and fruitless pursuits.

But alas you are not free to think on these things. They simply don’t fit in the box. So you’ve thrown out The Baby with the bathwater and allowed there to be no fulfilling, tried, and truly tested fanciful thing to enter your world though there may be MANY examples to speak of. I speak all the time of the ultimate example when I tell you of my Father in heaven. But since that is the “leap” of grand canyon proportions that your box renders impossible, let me first suggest one that only requires a bit of a hop…perhaps just an energetic wiggle.

LOVE cannot fully exist in your box my friend. Oh sure you have a word in there that describes the chemical reaction in a brain that results in hormone stimulation, leading a subject to select a mate and procreate. This word is spelled the same way and its observable symptoms seem to be the same. But in my world friend, love is hardly contained by a brain, chemicals, or any human language. Love is a thing of beauty and yet it’s not a thing at all. It is the strongest of bonds and connects worlds where no logic can fathom the pairing. It brings men to their knees and wills them to bleed on battlefields. It is hardly described even by the best of Shakespeare’s efforts. The limits of love and the definitions only scratch at the magic, the majesty, and the truth of love. Yet I am free to love, free to understand it well beyond the chemical reaction and therefore am better suited to experience it and understand the layers. I am well aware of course that you do have love in your life with those that receive it from and give it to you. I am just letting the cat out of the bag and “freeing” you to understand its magical properties so that you (again) save some embarrassment. I don’t think your wife will fancy the Valentine card that has the periodic table on it as an expression of your feelings toward her. So in some ways your box is not so hard bound that it prevents love or God for that matter from entering in. It restricts only how you are allowed to process or think on such a thing. That my friend is a limitation not a freedom. So long as you want me to get in a box and close the lid…at least do me the favor of calling it a box lest you desire to insult my intelligence.

My apologies. I probably just gave you a bit of hope that I might one day, under the right conditions come to your box party where freedom rings in its very limited way. I have a habit of exuding hope for it’s another trait of this place where I dwell. It is SO hard to operate under your rules of engagement when I am only limited by them out of consideration to hurting your feelings. So pardon my ignorance of how limited freedom works and the ways in which I may have violated the natural law you so cling to. It is not for me to ever join you but rather for you to join me. Free thinking will not get you here though. In fact thinking is part of the boundary you’ve placed yourself under. If human thought was such an awesome thing as compared to a god…it would pale in comparison and hardly be worthy of worship. Yet this is exactly what you bow to and yet another irony that renders you silly and foolish. For you see “thinking” is another supernatural element that can enter your box but you are only allowed to understand its properties much in the way you limit love to a chemical reaction. You never question why it is you have a thought to begin with? Nor do you empirically test whether the products of your brain are worth much by measure of quality control. So…like a gambler on the Vegas strip you put everything on black and let it ride without regard to the consequences. And despite the gamblers best intentions, hopes and dreams that his risky bet will pay off and have no dire cost to him…it often does. And the house didn’t care that he was well intended or chose in that brief moment to ignore the possibility that a penalty might have to be paid.

I know this is much to consider. Think freely on it later. Give my regards and regrets to your lovely wife!

Friday, January 08, 2010

Hear My Plea

This was triggered by the pain of some devestating news about another brother that has lost his faith. But it has spurred me to ask ALL of you to take a look at your efforts to have (or not have) the promised relationship that God offeres to each of us. It is my belief that you CANNOT have a close personal relationship and then deny Him. The reality of that relationship should be so staggering that nothing else is able to convince you to reject faith. So if you don't have this relationship...why not? You don't owe me any answers. You owe yourself some.

Please pardon the rough draft nature of this letter and for reading throughout the video. The urgency and compulsion to give this message outweighed any desire I may have to make a good quality, entertaining video.