Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Time Lapse (In Judgment)?


Not too long ago, I wrote about the upcoming legislation that may allow our Government to censor the Internet as we know it.  The bill is ever closer to being passed as many other censoring issues are coming to light.  For instance...Occupy Wall Street was going on for WEEKS before any mainstream media source thought it pertinent (or more likely unavoidable) to cover.  Just a few days ago Governor Sam Brownback was caught trying to stifle the free speech of an 18 year old high school girl who was very critical of him on Twitter.  But more on that story tomorrow.

Today I want to bring another example to your attention and get your feedback regarding Time Magazine.  It's apparently no secret that this publication releases issues throughout the world.  And as such they often change the covers to reflect what might interest a particular country or region.  For instance they ran stories about the movie TinTin in Europe that they didn't run in the US because the interest level for Americans was quite low.

However, the photo above shows the covers of  Time's next release and it tells a more concerning story.  In fact if you click THIS LINK and scroll through several covers in the past, you will see more often than not...that American covers are almost never what the rest of the world gets to read about.  While the rest of the world reads about Revolution, a very timely and relevant topic even here, we get to learn about how Anxiety is actually GOOD for us.  You know?  The anxiety you have over the economic and political status of our country and the uncertainty of your employment?  Yeah, that anxiety.  Turns out its good for you and in some ways these conditions are doing you a favor.  Be sure to say "thank you and may I have some more?"

Is this another form of Censorship?  Are they afraid to release the Revolution Redux issue to Americans?  If so, why?

What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Something's Wrong...

video


Movies and television programs often astound me with their ability to get things so right at times and then so wrong the rest of the time.  I am willing to bet if you have air in your lungs and a pulse that the clip you just watched resonates with you.  Either because you were once propelled by the unexplainable urge to seek truth as I was until you found it or because you still are.

We are seekers from birth.  It's as if our Creator installed programming that allows us to somehow KNOW that this world is NOT as it should be.  That there is something behind the veil and that its up to us to figure out the puzzle.  The Matrix offers another kind of Messiah with that of Neo.  A mere mortal with super human capabilities to free us from this FAKE and FALLEN world and into the salvation of Zion.  Remind you of anyone?

If you have found the real Messiah in that of Jesus Christ, then I gladly embrace you as my eternal family member.  We may as well start getting to know one another more deeply now and encourage one another.  But if you are still seeking and have tried everything from false religions to chemical substances to fill this God-shaped vacuum as I once did...I invite you to "disconnect" from man's way of doing things and humbly embrace God through His one and only Son.  That is an easy sentence to type but possibly more difficult in practice...so I leave you with an offer.

If you want to know how to get the journey started, leave me a comment or send me an email.  I would love to begin a dialog.

capturedimage@hotmail.com

Monday, November 28, 2011

Here Is The Church?

WARNING: This message may ultimately offend you.  That is not my goal, although I recognize the possibility and think the risk is worth it.  I also know that I am being OVERLY cynical.  That is by design. I would rather make my point, even in matters that may not really be as problematic as I present them, than lose the point by under-emphasizing them.

EXPLANATION: As a dad of Kindergartner's I am seeing things through a new pair of eyes. Partly because its my job to scrutinize what they are being exposed to and hopefully its also in part due to my continued spiritual growth.  What I see on an almost daily basis is concerning in the least and at times quite horrifying.  The only saving grace with some of the worldly fallen-ness smacking them in the face is that they are naive to it in many ways. 

Not too long ago I wrote a post called GIGO, using the common computer terminology Garbage In, Garbage Out...to pose a question about how to best protect our kids from worldly programming and lies.  I can imagine responses all over the map ranging from over protective measures to "Hey Jim, chill out...you are being ridiculous."  But my favorite response and therefore my adopted mode of operation comes from Brent McKinney.  He has been the Youth Pastor of my church for the last 15 years and knows a thing or two about what kids are exposed to.

His advice both as a Pastor and fellow dad is to let your children be in the world but not of it.  In order to accomplish this, exposure must happen.  But it is our job to come along-side and teach them discernment.  To teach them what it is about this movie, or that cartoon, or this music that is in error and a contradiction to our faith.  Even then I can easily have the tendency to OVER-DO the discernment lessons.  Rachael has already had to hold me back a few times and help me maintain a healthy balance in our home.

So here is the first of what will probably be a series of installments where I speak about these issues and inaccuracies.  I would love to say the church is immune to the scrutiny and its only TV and secular sources that have their issues.  But to prove just how pervasive the errors can be even in what seems to be an innocent childhood rhyme learned in church...I give you my quick dissection of Here's The Church.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Boba Fett / My Little Pony WIN

Before I even get started I must confess for having to Google "Boba Fett" in order to be accurate.  My southern roots had me wanting to spell it as Buba...but I digress.

The photo adorning this post pretty well describes the last five, almost six years of my life as the dad to a set of boy/girl twins.  If I had only had girls, it would be pretty easy for me to stay in Tea Party and Barbie mode.  Had I only had boys, it would be video games and light saber battles all day long.  But I've always had the challenge of switching gears.

Often that is easiest to do when I select an hour of the day to just play with one of the two and then devote the next hour to whomever got left out.  In this scenario the only challenge is to get the noggin ready for completely different kinds of play, reasoning, and definitions of fun.  But life doesn't always work out where we can have our own dedicated time with Daddy.

So the compromise is Boba Fett riding My Lil Pony as he enters The Joker's hideout to save Barbie from a ticking time bomb.  With mission complete, a celebratory Tea Party and High Five session then commences.  So here's to all the Dad's (and Mom's) out there that can relate and go the creative distances necessary to make it all work!  I salute you!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Photo Friday Frenzy - 43

Category: Thanksgiving

Instructions: Vote on your favorite photos of these eight in the right margin of this page. You have from Friday (today) until Monday morning to make your selection.

Vote closed. Winner: SPF 50

Should have used SPF 50

"Where'd he go?"

"Anyone seen Big Bird?"

Football Turkey

Blind Farmer

A Misunderstanding

Artistic License

Family Fun

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Government Controlled Internet

I have heard ramblings here and there for years now about the Internet being shut down or censored or possibly even modified into something called Internet2.  A few years ago a bunch of teens and young adults made videos where they wept over the possibility and pleaded with their audience to NOT let this happen.  And nothing ever did.

But it seems several years later we are now looking at actual legislation that may prove these earlier freak-out sessions semi-prophetic.  Take a look at the following video and take a stab at some questions I have for you below.



1. Do you think there is any REAL threat to the Internet?
2. If the threat is real...do you care?
3. What, if any, Government involvement should be warranted on the Internet?
4. Why do you think the Government wants to have this control?
5. Do you think messing with the Internet might be the cause of Terminator, Rise of the Machines?

My answers to these questions is in the comment section.  Add yours by clicking the word "COMMENTS" below.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Social Boundaries

Lindsey Miller
At the bottom of this post is a trending video from Youtube where a beautiful 26 year old girl suffering from cancer asks the star of recently released movie, 50/50 out on a date.  Perhaps this young lady is bold naturally.  Perhaps she, like me, doesn't really see celebrity as all that impressive a trait.  But my guess is that her illness has given her this perspective and emboldened her to make such a move.  She has come to realize that life is fleeting and short and can only be lived once.  Why not ask out a movie star?

There are some social boundaries that exist for good reason and should not be broken.  But this invisible line between common man and celebrity is rather ridiculous.  Here are just a few reasons why:

  • They are just people. 
  • Fame is fleeting. The saying goes, we all get our fifteen minutes.  Granted most have the spotlight stay on them longer than a literal fifteen but public admiration changes with the wind.
  • You are just as important as a celebrity.  The amount of people that know who you are does not change this.  The only valuable distinction or possible advantage is having a larger circle of influence.
  • You never know what impact you will have in the History books.  David was just a sheep herding, snot-nosed, last born child of seven bringing food to his brothers while they were serving the Israelite army before he decided to take on Goliath!
  • Celebrity admiration can lead to celebrity worship if left unchecked.  This can easily become a distraction that God warns us about in Scripture as a form of idolatry.
So I say, why not make a video and ask out your favorite actor?  Odds are that there exists someone better for you that is likely not well known...BUT you never know.  Please join me in praying for Lindsey now that she is on our radar.  Over an above getting a date with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, my prayer is for her relationship with God, her healing, and to be introduced to the man God has hand picked for her.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Today's Mailbag 10.0

SENIOR MOMENTS

A little silver-haired lady calls her neighbor and says, "Please come over here and help me. I have a killer jigsaw puzzle, and I can't figure out how to get started."

Her neighbor asks, "What is it supposed to be when it's finished?"

The little silver haired lady says, "According to the picture on the box, it's a rooster."

Her neighbor decides to go over and help with the puzzle.  She lets him in and shows him where she has the pieces spread all over the table. 

He studies the puzzle for a moment, then looks at the box, the turns to her and says, "First of all, no matter what we do, we're not going to be able to assemble these pieces into anything resembling a rooster."

He takes her and and says, "Secondly, I want you to relax.  Let's have a nice cup of tea, and then, "he said with a deep sigh...

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"Let's put the Corn Flakes back in the box."

Send your contributions to Today's Mailbag to capturedimage@hotmail.com




Monday, November 14, 2011

Mr. Fix-It

Look! I fixed it.
I dare not embrace the label "Handyman".  However home ownership for any length of time beyond three years will force the male mind to eventually have to face FIXING something.  The only thing I hate worse than fixing something is admitting I can't.  Therefore I rarely call in the experts.  And besides...did you know those people want your money?  Pffft.  I can make the problem worse for free.

I digress.  This weekend was just repair 352 and 353 consecutively as I unclogged the plumbing in the kids bathroom and FINALLY figured out why the dishwasher drain pipes kept backing up and spraying my kitchen with molten hot water.  Yes after practically dismantling the guts of both the dishwasher itself and several pipes under the sink...I figured it out.

In the recesses of my brain information about disposals exists since I used to work in the Plumbing department at Sears.  After wracking said brain for hours and multiple attempts to figure out the problem, I remembered that most new disposals come with a plastic piece BLOCKING the entry point for the water to enter the device and therefor exit into the septic system. And guess what we had just recently installed?  Yes...a new disposal!

Sure enough upon removing the hose and feeling with my finger...there it was.  A plastic piece that simply needed a flat head screw driver and hammer to knock out.  As humbling and humiliating as it is to grasp the sacrifice of effort, time, and bloody knuckles from trying to solve a relatively easy problem...I was even more upset at the absurdity that such a piece exists in the first place.

I have to believe there is SOME reason for it to be there.  Like maybe there exists a home where people use the disposals as a blender and don't want the food and liquids shooting out the side and into the septic system.  But for now I remain baffled.  Baffled but thankful that my Sears data was finally and successfully retrieved from the archives of my brain.  I better quit now before I start ranting on about owners manuals or those that write them!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Photo Friday Frenzy - 42

Category: It's Criminal!

Instructions: Vote on your favorite photos of these eight in the right margin of this page. You have from Friday (today) until Monday morning to make your selection.

Vote closed. Winner(s): Reasonable Request & Super Sizing Americans.

HUGE Reward!

R3a$onable R3qu3$t

Rebel Kitteh

Fashion Police Do Exist!

Species Profiling

A REALLY good joke.

Aflac Duck goes bad.

Charged with Super Sizing Americans

Thursday, November 10, 2011

It Could End Badly



What you just watched is a sermon clip from Matt Chandler.  He is a pastor just down the road from my church and the father of a boy that is friends with my twins.  I can't be sure when this event took place but Matt is one that would KNOW this concept to be completely true having suffered through brain cancer for the past several years.

Whether we meet with suffering because of the cause of Christ or because its just how the world works...the fact is, it comes.  But we as Christians often exercise the erroneous thinking that we SHOULD be exempt somehow. 

"God is good, I am His, give me Mine (blessings, health, etc.)." 

These things are true.  God is indeed good, as reborn followers of Christ...you are His, and you will be blessed because of it.  However, I am here to completely contradict the Prosperity Preaching of Joel Osteen and others of his ilk.

You are NOT guaranteed health, wealth, and security! In fact God may choose to "bless you" with an illness or maybe even job loss.  As counter-intuitive as that may sound, I guarantee that you will learn more, grow more, and draw closer to Him and those around you when the storms of life come than when you are comfortably getting by. 

Preaching anything else is not only directly refuted in Scripture but its dangerous and damaging.  There is nothing worse I can think of than telling sick, hurting, desperate people that true Christians don't suffer such things!  If they do belong to Christ, they begin doubting their faith.  If they don't belong to Christ, you are enticing them with the WRONG "good news".

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Bonnie's CVS Is Scary!

Of all the current commercials on TV that annoy me, this definitely ranks in my top ten...possibly my top three.  CVS has a series of these meant to show that each location can cater to the Bonnie's, Joe's, and Sarah's of this world.  So much so, that you can actually call it YOUR store.  I get that.  I also get that with each commercial spot they have an opportunity to appeal to a different demographic.

In this monstrosity of an example I guess they are trying to reach you "Senior Folk" out there.  Perhaps the problem is that I am not yet a Senior and just cannot relate.  But I suspect many that do have their AARP cards handy also take issue here.  First let's watch this train wreck and then I will make a few points afterwards:



  • Let's start with the obvious.  A Granny on a Segway wearing a Helmet.  Are you kidding me? 
  • "I don't have time for the Flu, that's why I am knocking things off my TO-DO list."  Worst and possibly most confusing line of commercial dialog ever.
  • See the picture below and you have my third and fourth gripe combined.  Apparently this Segway is the shoppers delight fully equipped with baskets for all your purchases. 
  • Then we have the annoyed REGULAR shopper whom Granny almost clips with her speedy vehicle.  If you can't even get the other actors in the spot to pretend Bonnie isn't annoying, what are the chances any of us will be able to do it?

  •  In the next screen capture we have delightful Pharmacist, Eric.  When Bonnie first intrudes on him we have his initial reaction (as seen below) of annoyance.  I can just hear his thoughts..."Oh NO...it's BONNIE!  Pretend to be happy.  Pretend its ok for her to interrupt me AGAIN!"

His initial look of dread!
  • If I were Eric and Bonnie was sorry for not making an appointment I would tell her, "I am sorry too because I am all booked up for today Bonnie.  Go to Sarah's CVS and see if they will help you out!"
  • Last but not in any way the least.  If any of you Seniors get caught looking like this last photo of Bonnie, I give you fair warning that you are BEGGING those of us that are younger and still sane...to put you in a home, POST HASTE.
A cry for HELP!
I hereby demand that CVS tell me where this woman's store is so I can avoid it at all costs!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Sterling's Question

Sterling Hayden
I know nothing of this author other than what one might be able to glean from the quote below.  I share it with you because it speaks to several current issues both in the life of the individual as well as the greater community. I offer it to you in hopes of generating discussion about his claims..


A QUOTE FROM STERLING HAYDEN'S BOOK, WANDERER

To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise, you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their boats at sea... "cruising" it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about.

"I've always wanted to sail to the south seas, but I can't afford it." What these men can't afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of "security." And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine - and before we know it our lives are gone.

What does a man need - really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in - and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That's all - in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade.

The years thunder by, The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed.

Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?

Monday, November 07, 2011

A Morning Chuckle...

I take the kids to school each morning.  As such we have routines and fun little songs and such that are a regular part of the commute.  One of the first things I do is ask them for some coffee.  They each make sound effects like stirring and whip cream foam and hand me the pretend cups.  I then pour the mixture into my real cup of already made coffee and take my first sip.

Michael often claims he made the WARM part of the mix and Mackenzie takes credit for the SWEET flavoring.  They seem to enjoy watching their pretend fantasy become real as I take the first sip of my actual coffee and report to them how good it is!  Both of them beam with pride as if they really did provide me with my caffinated treat.

One day last week I decided to throw them a curve ball and asked them if they wanted some.  Mackenzie said yes, so I handed her a pretend cup and without missing a beat she began making sipping noises. 

Upon asking Michael if he would like some too, he replied, "No thanks!"

Baffled by his refusal to drink a pretend cup of coffee, I said, "Are you sure?"

He said, "Yeah, I am sure.  I am just not much of a coffee drinker!"

Friday, November 04, 2011

Photo Friday Frenzy - 41

Category: Parenting

Instructions: Vote on your favorite photos of these eight in the right margin of this page. You have from Friday (today) until Monday morning to make your selection.

Vote closed.  Winner(s): Last Shoulder Ride & Text Motivation


Awesome Maneuver

Like father, like son.

Kitty-Tude!

For. The. Win.

Multi-Tasking

"Pleasant dreams son!"

Her last shoulder ride.

Text Motivation

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Politics As Usual?

An argument might could be made that our system, with all its checks and balances, ensures that no one person or branch of government could effect extreme changes.  That, in fact, small moves have to happen over the course of several administrations before major movements can be detected. I'll buy that to some degree.

But the reason I found this photo rather funny and/or interesting is because of the underlying message it conveys...and I think its a common one.  That no matter who you elect, the government is still going to have the same problems, probably not do much to correct them, and if anything...possibly make things worse.

Let's face it...Obama's BEST marketing appeal was that he wasn't George Bush.  We (the proverbial people) didn't want "W" anymore so lets pick the guy that couldn't be more his opposite, right?  And how has that worked out for us? 

I have contended for several years now that our two party system is not only broken but a huge joke.  The campaign donations from corporate conglomerates and special interests get Republicans and Democrats alike elected.  They expect, and most often do get, what they want out of either side in return for their investments.

But what do you think?  Am I just being too skeptical?  Do you still believe our system works?

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Medical Madness

One of these two statements HAS to be true...so help me out with this!!

1.  Either doctors and medical professionals from my childhood era used to really know their stuff and be able to diagnose and mend people MUCH, MUCH better than today's generation...

OR...

2. They never really knew what they were doing and today's generation is finally willing to admit it!

Between our fertility issues, Michael's cranium restructuring, Mackenzie's heart valve procedure, Joshua's urology surgery, and a whole host of virus and bacteria laden illness that didn't hospitalize one of my family members...we have been through the wringer.  And we have been to a MULTITUDE of doctors offices, specialists, labs, pharmacies, hospitals, and urgent care facilities.

In EVERY case we are met with a lab-coat wearing, doctorate degree earning, stethoscope toting, highly-paid medical professional who's Modus Operandi is NOT to diagnose the problem and fix it but rather to speculate, theorize, and test you endlessly until every feasible option in their medical text books are eliminated except the one thing you actually do have which is now gone due to the body naturally fighting it off during the long period of time you were waiting for an answer, and yes I know this is a run-on sentence!! 

My dad and aunt have been suffering with some kind of strange stomach condition that has caused both of them to lose enormous amounts of weight, have difficulty in maintaining an appetite, energy, or to even focus on their jobs.  And after an ENTIRE year of testing both of them, I am still not sure either has ever received a definitive answer as to what they had or maybe still have!  They, like us, got treated for their symptoms instead of the root cause of the unknown mystery problem.

My Grandmother just endured a hip replacement surgery and is struggling every day to regain her strength with Physical Therapy and has been warned that ALL of that effort might STILL be for nothing since the pain that drove her to this procedure in the first place could have originated in one of several places...the hip being the MOST LIKELY.

Anyone sensing I could go on forever?  Anyone sensing my frustrations?

Congratulations.  You just did a better job of diagnosing me than most doctors! And humanitarian that you are, you didn't charge me thousands of dollars either!