Monday, March 30, 2009


It seems like an eternity since I last blogged, but I must admit that a week off may have helped me more than I thought that it would. I still feel as if I may be getting a little stale. And I refuse to use the excuse, "I blog three times a week versus the three fourths times a week that most bloggers produce." I do apologize to the loyal readers who have grown tired of my ranting on the same issues. And thanks for your continued support of this blog and my ego.

I also must admit that I have backed off on the news a bit over the last couple weeks, so I may not be as current on some of the news stories or issues at hand. Every now and then I have to take a few steps back away from the news to "get my bearings" as my four-year old likes to say. Those who know me, know that I tend to get worked up into a good lather fairly quickly. Then I tend to lose focus on things that are often more important than the things that I read on the news sites and random blogs.

But I am "refreshed" for lack of a better word, and ready to tackle a few more issues than last week, and with a clearer head.

I am not "refreshed" in the goings on of our government. As I have stated several times, I am against large government. I want to make my own decisions and spend my own money in manners that I choose; not to be babysat by a bureaucratic gargantuan. Especially a behemoth as inept as our current government.

One of the issues that troubles me is the fact that President Obama is considering deleting the charitable contributions from our tax code. While I do not tithe to church or give to those in need so that I may write it off on my taxes, there are those who do. Take away the write-off incentive and the money will just stay in their pockets. But that isn't even my biggest concern. God can out give Bill Gates and there is no substitution for heart in philanthropy, but the underlying purpose of deleting the charitable contributions is very troublesome. It is for the purpose that the government receive the tax money instead of nonprofit organizations; and in turn the government decides how to best spend the money to better those in need. In other words, instead of giving to the church or soup kitchen so that they can distribute 95% of the received contributions to the needy in our communities, the government will now decide who is needy and how they can best spend the 22% of the donated funds to those they deem the neediest, wherever they may be. The concept stinks! The government doesn't believe that we, as individuals, have the sense, or the right, to donate to and how we see fit. And granted, our churches do a pretty lousy job of meeting the needs of our communities too often, I still prefer to deal with a more direct means of philanthropy/charity rather than funnel it through our government. Some say that doing away with charitable contributions will hurt the church, but I figure those people don't have any faith beyond what they can see. I am not concerned for the church in this manner; my faith in God will not allow it. But my faith in government and my belief in more power and freedom for the people instead of the government causes me to be adamantly against ridding us of the burden of our charitable contributions, to put it politically.

I am also concerned about the power that the government is gaining from the bailouts and such. It seems as if people are all to willing to sell their freedom and their conscious for a few bucks. That will only lead to a soulless nation when the money runs out. And a bigger, more powerful government. I was against Bush and Paulson when they initiated this bailout/handout stuff and I am against all of those who want to continue down this misguided road. Nothing is free, and someone will have to pay the piper at some point. Look at the AIG scandal and decide how well the bailout/handout money works. Now "The Government" has forced Rick Wagoner, CEO of GM to step down. I am not defending Wagoner, but I do feel that the stockholders and officers of General Motors should decide when and if Wagoner gets the boot, not the bureaucratic and out of touch government of borrow and spend. It is merely more power into the hands of the inept, and out of the hands of the people. Wagoner was only a red herring or a scapegoat or whatever animal cliche fits this scenario.

And now there is pressure for Chrysler to merge with Italian car company, Fiat, if they are to "earn" any more federal "aid". And they have thirty days in which to comply. Does this sound like an economic principle on which our country was formed? Is this a business practice that has helped make us a great economic powerhouse? I am certain that this is not the model of free enterprise or a free market. Our mixed economy is becoming less mixed and more socialized. Tim Geitner cannot master Turbo tax, but is asking for more broader powers for his branch of the government. As the government begins to own more interest in banks, insurance companies, auto makers, etc. they will begin to apply more pressure to mold those sectors and businesses into a shape that appears to be more like the image of themselves; and that image is inept, out of touch, and corrupt. But it will be done under the guise of helping the people. And it will be done with the understanding that the people aren't moral enough or smart enough to make their own decisions with their own money or for their own businesses. And so many people seem to be willing to sell our freedoms and our rights to make our own decsions, for a handful of dollars. I've seen junkies refuse to give up a lot less for a quick fix. And so we become fiscal junkies dependant on the drug of government money...not a good thing...

And this is a bipartisan effort to thwart individual freedom of choice. Bush started this mess with giving Hank Paulson an empty checkbook and fewer ideas. Congress went along for fear of losing votes in an election year. And most everyone else turned a blind eye, in order to save a few pennies. About a hundred years ago, G.K. Chesterton said,"The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of the Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected."

But I am reminded of a quote that I use all too often lately," A government big enough to give you all you want, is big enough to take away everything that you have." Thomas Jefferson, who is probably rolling in his grave.

And if these quotes don't ring true enough to concern you, read "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand. And prepare to be disturbed by the common rhetoric.

But whatever you do, stand up for your freedoms. Fight against big government. Write your elected officials. Bloom where you are planted. Hold each other accountable. And remember that God is always in control. Doing these things will ease your conscious and build real strength. And there will be no piper to pay later.

Friday, March 27, 2009


I have been out of town for a few days, and have business to attend to today so there will be no blog posts this week, obviously, right?!!?

Thanks for reading and God willing, things will get back to normal on Monday.

Have a Good Weekend!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Thoughts on AIG and Other Stuff

Just some random thoughts :

This AIG scandal is a mess. This is a scandal that never should have happened. This is a scandal that shows why the government should not be allowed ANY ownership in business in the private sector. This shows that the bailouts do not work. It exposes the corruption of government and industry, and that the LOVE of money is truly the ROOT of all evil.

But to tax AIG as means of punishment is not the answer. Look at what taxing the tobacco companies has done, only hurt the consumer while the companies and government bring in the money.

Using taxes as punishment opens a box that may have things in it that we may not be willing to accept, but will be thrust upon us anyway. Especially if we continue to have a congress that will not represent it's people as it has been for a few years now; and getting worse every day. And didn't we have a tea party in Boston a couple of hundred years ago for the same thing, taxation without representation?

Biden called taxes "patriotic". Obama considers them redistribution. Now taxes are considered punishment. Maybe we should determine what taxes are and how they will help the people; then stick to that philosophy through thick and thin.

I have little pity for AIG. Regardless of their size or "importance", I think they should have been allowed to sink or swim on their own merits. But now Aig is being made a scapegoat. The Bush administration started this mess. The Obama administration is pushing this mess forward. Both congresses have a large amount of blame in the AIG scandal. But now, everyone wants to point fingers to another person in an effort to shift blame. I doubt there would have been any finger pointing if things went in a better and improved direction. All people political would be taking credit for helping solve the crisis and better the people.

I am concerned about taking away the deduction for charitable contributions. This is an effort to have more money channelled through the government, as they know and have proven, that they are best suited to tell us how our money will be spent. And considering that Biden gives a whopping 2% of his income to charity, and Obama just recently was raised to that percentile, I am guessing that this will be a done deal; neither man cares much about philanthropy or tithing. I guess the government is better suited for that also. But what do I know? And this is a topic for another day, I guess...

This is not a new quote, but none the less still disturbing: "There is no God who condones taking the life of an innocent human being. This much we know." These are words Obama used to pander to pro-life citizens during a national prayer breakfast. If this quote is honest, and if his actions are honest, then Obama doesn't view an unborn child as a innocent human. My question is, "When do we develop a soul?" Is it at inception, as I believe? If it isn't, then someone needs to tell everyone family that has endured a miscarriage that they didn't lose a life, just some protein and jello. If we cannot prove when the soul is formed in a human, then we should not allow murder of the unborn. Unless we view humans as soulless creatures. And if that is the case, then just start the killing, because we have nothing to lose.

I hope that the "liberation of science" will reach into evolution. I wish that evolution would be treated as the theory that it is and not as a scientific fact to build other sciences upon. And let me say that this is not a religious thing for me. I have no problem believing that God used evolution to make the Earth and life on it if that is how he chose to do it. But He made man in His own image, therefore I do not believe humans have evolved. Adapted and changed, yes. But a man is a man is a man. And the fossil record doesn't support evolution. There are more questions considering evolution than creationism. If all things evolve into a higher order, then why do we have so many diverse species? Wouldn't everything evolve into just a handful of species? And why do we not find half-species? And why do some species have a soul and other species do not? Why didn't apes take the place of humans? Why aren't they running the planet? Why do no animals build altars to their gods?

And if the world is billions and billions of years old as science says, and I have no problem with that, there still wouldn't be enough time passed to allow the evolution of even a single cell into the many species that there are now. There simply hasn't been enough time for all of these mutations to occur. Even if they could be explained as to how.

But what do I know? Besides that it is a beautiful Friday and maybe heavier topics are better suited for a rainy Monday.

Have a good weekend! May God Bless!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My Life, The Contradiction

President Obama speaks of maintaining our, whoever our is, "fundamental values" when dealing with the AIG fiasco/scandal, yet when it comes to the repeal on the use of new embryonic stem cell lines, he say that we have "liberated" science...and I thought it was LIFE, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And even if happiness means money, it is supposed to be in third place, behind life and liberty. But what do I know?

While on Obama, here's the quote made while campaigning and trying to appear moderate," While abortion is a sensitive and often divisive issue, no matter what our views, we are united in our determination to prevent unintended pregnancies, reduce the need for abortion, and support women and families in the choices they make." Then after his glorious election, came The Mexico City Policy which increases abortions worldwide. Then the Prevention Act, which would FORCE hospitals receiving federal money to perform abortions. Then The Stem Cell research repeal, which saddens me too much to type today. Even though his initial words are deceptive, yet revealing of an agenda, they still remain a contradiction to those who trusted him.

Peter Singer of Princeton University openly advocates infanticide, euthanasia, and 4th quarter abortions, which is aborting an already born child up to the age of 28 days old. Singer also is a major believer in animal rights, saying that humans should be removed from the top of the species list; and that most animals should have more rights than humans, due to evolutionary processes.

Richard Dawkins, one of the most renowned atheists, believes that there is a god and calls himself a "cultural christian".

Women's libbers who support "any female running for office" so that equality may be reached and justice achieved, then turn and crucify Sarah Palin for her religious views.

We see contradictions in people's words and actions everywhere we look. Seldom do we see people back up their words with their actions. We are often disappointed and outraged at the insincerity and apathetic apologies of those in our government and on the news channels. We like our neighbors and most of those around us, but we know when push comes to shove, that talk is cheap and trust is difficult to place where contradictions occur.

Many of us blame those around us for this state of distrust and contradictions. Most of us are quick to fault others for not backing up their words with their actions. But how many of us look at ourselves and our own actions, then use the same scale of judgement on ourselves as we do others?

It is easy to criticise legislators, celebrities, and neighbors. But how often do we breed contradictions in our own lives?

How often do we tell our children that they are the most important thing in our life, then we tell them to go find something else to do while we watch the ballgame or work on a business account for work? How often do we tell people that we love them and appreciate all that they have done for us, yet we place them way down on the list of our priorities? How many times do we tell someone, "Let's do lunch", only to find that years have passed and friendships have decayed?

We desire nicer things in life, but we don't tend to what is already in our possession. We hope for greener yards without planting grass seed. We want a higher position at work, but less responsibility and effort. Many of us desire for our children to live better than we do, yet we save only a few pennies to help them do so.

We want things one way, then we vote for things to go the other way.

Most importantly, as Christians, we are to imitate Christ. But the only imitations we have is our wives fur and jewelry. We claim Jesus to be Lord, but we follow our own desires and give in to our own personal thoughts and philosophies. We follow God when we need or want something and keep the Holy Spirit in a "break in case of emergency only" type of glass box.

We don't walk the walk, but we talk the talk. And as we try to look around us, we realize that our heads are in the sand. And we wonder why so few come by the way of the Cross anymore.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Monday List of Lists

I trust that everyone had a good weekend. And I am certain that the weekend was too short for most of us. But here we are again on this glorious Monday.

We haven't had a list of lists in some time, so I have decided to spare everyone my opinions today and begin the week a little different:

CDs I've Listened to Lately (in no particular order):
Tourniquet - Vanishing Lessons
Galactic Cowboys - Space In Your Face
Iron Maiden - Powerslave
Tourniquet - Crawl to China
Galactic Cowboys - Machine Fish
Pandora Radio - a lot of 80s rock (technicaly, not a CD)

Movies I Have Watched Recently; or at least pieces of movies I have watched:
First Men In the Moon
Enemy of the State
Monsters Inc.
The Lord of the Rings;Fellowship of the Ring
Road to Morocco

Teams That Will Make NHL Playoffs in the Western Conference:
San Jose
Detroit (followed by the sound of spitting)

Latest Books I Have Read:
Atlas Shrugged - Ayn Rand
The Screwtape Letters - C.S. Lewis
The Bible (not cover to cover) - God
Intellectuals - Paul Johnson

Books On My "Read Soon" List:
Orthodoxy - G.K. Chesterton
Way of the Pilgrim - Anonymous
Guns, Germs, and Steel - Jared Diamond
Thurber Carnival - James Thurber

Good Things About Our President:
He is visible
He cant be president forever

Things I Plan To Do on St. Pats Day:
Tell my son, Happy Birthday!!!
Eat corned beef and cabbage till it comes out of my ears
Watch Darby O'Gill and the Little People
Wear green

And that is it for Monday. Feel free to contribute your own lists in the comment section! Have a good Monday!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday, Spring Fever, and Little More


The spring fever has hit me very hard this week. Of course it has turned out to be 30 degrees following the nearly 80 degree weather that brought on the fever. But such is life and there are more important things to fuss about.

And you know how I like to fuss. It is basically the only reason I vote or am active in anything that I do; so that I can complain with a relatively guilt-free conscious. And with that note, here goes the blog for Friday the Thirteenth.

Speaking of Friday the Thirteenth, I was fortunate enough to catch the last minute or two of "Jason Vs. Freddy" or something like that, last night. And what a jewel it was. Wow! It reminded me of another golden moment in cinema, "Alien Vs. Predator:Requiem." Don't get me wrong, I love some cheese with my horror/sci-fi movies, but these two were heavier than a hundred pound block of Velveeta. And as a child of the 80's, I know me some cheese. I also grew up watching Friday the Thirteenth, Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, and Alien, to name a few. And it amazes me that the movies are still being made with the characters from those movies, in some form or another. It tells me that Hollywood is either out of ideas or that too many movies are being made...I sure loved watching those campy movies in a theater full of friends when I was younger...

On a more serious note, I think, here is a direct quote from Barak Obama on the legislation/budget/fiscal spending bonanza: " Let there be no doubt, this piece of legislation must mark an end to the old way of doing business and the beginning of a new era of responsibility and accountability." Where do I start on my complaints...How about Campaigning on the reform and no pork platform, then passing a bill with 8,570 earmarks. Both happening within six months of each other. At least Bush waited three years to spend like a drunken sailor after campaigning as a Frugal Freddy...and how about just admitting to the American people that you are aware of all of the wasteful spending in the legislation yet you feel o.k. with signing on anyway. Especially in this economy...and what is with the "this is the last time" thing. It's kind of like me and my diet, "This is the last Monster burger that I am gonna eat. This week. Or right now. Until I eat the nest one." Then I wonder why I am gaining weight when my words are saying that I am on a diet...Honestly, i would be embarrassed if I were Obama. And i would be afraid that I just tipped my hand and showed that Pelosi and Reid actually run this country as I sit back and produce a bunch of empty words...I will say it again, Obama will be worse than Jimmy Carter. And Lyndon Johnson.

While I am on the issue of politics, I would like to ask, "Where are the leaders of the Republican party?" As the media paints Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh as the future of conservatives, the real conservative people in this country have to wonder where is our next Reagan and when will they walk onto the scene? Maybe all of the political focus is on celebrities, since the American people just elected a celebrity instead of a leader, maybe the media is just following suit. And you have to admit, it is more exciting to cover pseudo/celebrity leaders rather than following a true leader who may not tickle our ears. If any such person still exists.

And a word to the evangelical demographic group, We had better start looking to God, as we should have been doing all along, instead of Republicans or Democrats. Because the evangelical demographic group is about to be in the same boat as they were before Reagan. Evangelicals have been catered to in order to receive votes for the last several election cycles. Nearly thirty years of cycles, I suppose. But I am afraid that is coming to en end. But on a positive note, maybe evangelical Christians will look to God first now and that our churches will becoming more active in our communities instead of relying on our faith in government or our confidence that someone else will do ministry so all we need to do is take care of the building.

I may write on the culture wars more next week. I am torn between how I view my role in the culture wars and if I am fanning the flames or offering an alternative outlook. But I am trying to keep it light this week...

And my Blues are 2 points away from the final playoff spot, for the 3 people who still follow hockey.

I am beginning to think that today's blog is beginning to look like Wednesday's blog.

Maybe it is the incessant droning of my children in the background. Maybe it is the having to stop after typing every three words and yell at someone. Maybe it is the sensation, no reality, of trying to focus on my thoughts while a 23 month old monkey-child is climbing my back. Whatever it is, I feel like I have been here before. Deja Vu all over again.

And on that note, I am out of time, patience, and thoughts for the moment. The kids and spring fever have won today, I will end here.

Have a great weekend! And if you need a place to go to Sunday morning, there are a handful of people trying to have a different kind of Sunday School if you are interested. I can even tell you where the side door is, so you can sneak inside and won't have to go through a lot of formalities so early in the morning. God Bless!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Random Thoughts on a Wednesday

I only have a handful of sporadic thoughts for today:

The more that I learn in life, the less I understand. I have heard this saying my entire life, but I am only recently beginning to really know what it means. I am finding it to be a very true statement.

I don't know how often I mention my family in this blog, but I love my wife and kids more than I ever thought would be humanly possible.

Today is the day that President, or Presidente, Obama signs the budget for this fiscal year. And there is no logic in dealing with the budget. There was no logic in the budget dealings during Bush's years. But I do not understand how so many people can complain about the amount of spending in Bush's budgets, then turn around and sign off on a budget that increase the amount of government spending. I guess I misunderstood the complaints against Bush; I though people wanted less spending.

The temperature dropped almost 50 degrees in 10 hours. I don't know if that is any kind of a record, but it reinforces the old adage about Southeast Missouri weather," If you don't like the weather, stick around a few minutes, it will change."

I am glad that the current economic crisis is over. Phew! Now that the Dow has risen almost 400 points, we can all go back to business as usual; CHARGE!!! On a more serious note, I do hope that the market recovers so that those near retirement can recover some of their losses. What a nightmare it must be for some people.

My beloved Blues are 3 points out of a playoff spot! I remain skeptical of their chances for a berth, but hopeful that I am wrong. And for those in the Kansas City area there is good news and bad news concerning the NHL. The good news is that there is more than just the usual talk about a franchise relocating to K.C. The bad news is that the word is that the team may be the New York Islanders. More good news is that the local high school hockey teams will have someone to beat up on in scrimmage games.

I may write more on this on a later date, but Obama's changing the policy on stem cell research is appalling. There is absolutely no necessity in this move, other than to show who is boss and to appease the far left. With the advancements made in adult cells and pluripotent stem cells, there is no need to destroy human life to harvest cells that may or may not cure some disease. And it is killing human life. We are not 30 days from curing cancer and Parkinsons as the scientists' claim. We will be no closer in a year; at least not due to embryonic stem cell research. The advancements are being made in non-embryonic stem cell research. But scientists have to stretch the truth in order to get grants and headlines. But remember that science is cold hard facts, not politics. Do some reading on stem cell research and on the funding of stem cell research, if you can find any unbiased or honest reporting on it. The research on stem cells was being funded, the President plainly lied when he said otherwise. There was just no funding to kill more embryos. And I guess the stem cell research doesn't fall under the category of protecting innocent life, as Obama stated that he was for during his campaign. Kind of like the UN funding that pays for abortions in foreign countries. Once again, I must have misunderstood the terminology. I just thought that when someone said they would be for bills that lessened abortion and killing innocents that these two policies would never see the light of day.

On that note, I cannot believe how dishonest Obama is. I knew he would be inept, but I honestly had little idea he was so evil. And spiteful.

I rarely agree with Rush Limbaugh, but I do hope that Obama fails. I think George Washington would have wanted Obama to fail. Don't get me wrong, I do not want the U.S. to fail. But Obama's policies and such will not help our country to succeed. I realize that I am opinionated and the worse kind of know-it-all, but ask me again in three years if I am wrong...I hope Obama fails miserably. As well as Pelosi and Reid. But people will have to wake up and shake off the apathy in order for this to happen.

Speaking of Rush Limbaugh, I guess he is believing the polls and trying to become the leader of the Republican party. This may be the step that pushes me to the Libertarian Party; if it weren't for the isolationism and ideas about the war on drugs...

Does anyone else feel like a conservative individual without a party? Where is Reagan and George H.W. Bush when you need them?

I also feel like a Christian without a church, so to speak. I guess without a congregation is more accurate than church. But people have forgotten who the church is. Does anyone else have this problem?

I don't think that I write often enough of how much I appreciate our military. You guys do a job that I am not man enough to perform. Thank God for you and I urge all of us to continue to pray for your safety.

Why is there no good, hard rock music anymore? At least nothing that I can listen to with a clear conscious.

And that is about all of the random, and at least printable, thoughts for the moment. Have a wonderful Humpday! And remember that Spring is coming soon!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Three Questions

We deal with a lot of hypothetical questions and simulated situations these days. Economists give us thousands of estimated outcomes based loosely on our fiscal habits or predict gains and losses by factoring in yet to be determined numbers of spending and future production of goods and services.

The news media can do similar instances of predicting outcomes of elections, passage of legislature, future wars between states, so on and so forth. By using polls and hypothetical scenarios, we can better guess our future.

Many of us watch the weather forecasts to see how to dress for the week or what our plans will be according to Mother Nature's compliance; only to complain about the meteorological predictions when they are amiss by degrees and millimeters of rainfall.

Even the rag-mags and tabloids like to predict who wears what while being seen with who at which place.

And we eat all of it up. Whether we are living vicariously through the future or just using an estimated guess as to what the future brings so we escape the reality of the here and now, we like to "think ahead". We like to play "pretend" in a more grown-up fashion; with stocks, wars, economics, politics, etc instead of our make believing to be cowboys, indians, Han Solo, or pirates; but we still deal in terms of make-believe.

Thinking along these lines brought up some age old questions and scenarios to my often child-like mind. And though the scenarios and forecasts mentioned already in today's blog have some a priori facts and happenings, they still remain guesses, however educated that they are to be. The following questions are purely hypothetical, but can be very real in the telling of how we think and very revealing of the issues close to our heart. And though they are not "serious" questions, I would ask that we examine our answers very closely, at least for today.

The first questions is the obligatory, " What would you do with a million dollars?" Of course this used to be more straightforward, but now we have to ask if it is tax free and if not, what tax bracket are we in, and if that bracket were to change what would the governments percentage be? Is this considered windfall? Has it been gifted? How much is considered income, so on and so forth. Even our make-believe has gotten more complex. But let's fore go all of that and just say that it is one million dollars, tax free and complete. What would you do with it? What is your first thought on a million dollars? My initial thought is usually one of the "takin' the kids to Disneyland" variety. But what about the rest of the million? How many of us consider tithing first? And do we give it all to one "church"? Do we think about how we would help others before or after we pay all of our own debts? Would we consider helping just any one in need or only those we deem "worthy"? And would it be before or after we buy a new car for ourselves? Ignoring the new politics of the evils of wealth, would we let a million dollars change us for the better or for the worse? How many hungry people would we feed? How many homeless people would you shelter? What about the sick and dying? Or just the regular old people who are down on their luck, with no fantastic story or character traits? I could write down a list of things, right now, that would help better my fellow man and how I could do that before bettering myself; but my attempt at gallantry would be a lie. Sure I would do a lot of good for others, but it would probably be after my house and my yard are too my liking. I may not buy a new truck, but I would have toys and luxuries that I would rationalize needing to have, so that my spirit is in a better condition so that I could then, and only then, help my fellow man. I wish I could say things would be otherwise, but I know how I am.

The second question is the old, " If you had a dinner party and could invite ten people, who would be on the guest list?" Ten people of your choosing to have a meal and a discussion of your fancy with. Where to start the list? As a Christian, I would like to invite Jesus. I would ask Him to moderate so that all is kept moral and in check. My favorite hockey player is Brian Sutter so he's on the list. J.D. Salinger would keep things interesting. Ronald Reagan is a for sure. Grace Kelly just because she is Grace Kelly. My wife, so I could share/brag about my dinner party. Carey Grant would be invited for my wife's sake. Then add in some random philosophers and scientists, politicians and celebrities, people of historical significance and those with a pioneer spirit to keep it all lively. It would be difficult to invite only ten. But I would invite those who I have an interest in and those who I stand to gain something from. The invitees stature would elevate my own ranking in the world. I would feel brighter and bolder just by sharing space with these people of my choosing. I would be in the catbird seat over people of considerable greatness and fame. But as I think of my list of who's who at my dinner table, I think that all of these people, except Jesus, were always well fed and sheltered. These people made their marks upon the world, but how many were affected by the marks of others? If I invited Jesus, why wouldn't I invite Hitler or Pol Pot or any random rapist or murderer? As a Christian, wouldn't I want Jesus to share His message, personally, to those who seemingly need it the most? Didn't he die for the sinners all alike? And why wouldn't I invite a homeless or a hungry person? Would I assume that they are homeless and hungry for a reason and that I would only be interfering with God's plan/punishment in their lives? Couldn't I just pray for the sick and heartbroken? And doesn't my faith express itself better by words? And can't my Christianity be suspended for just one fantasy dinner with ten people of my choosing? I know the answer but hesitate to type it; and I am afraid Jesus would be disappointed in the favoritism I exhibit at my dinner party.

Finally, the question of, "If you had the answers to three questions, what would they be?" How to cure cancer? Is there life on other planets? What is the formula for a new metal? Where is Jimmy Hoffa? And what would I do with the answers to these questions? Patent formulas and recipes as to make money for myself and my family? Flaunt my knowledge so that people find me to be brighter than anyone else they know? Boost my self-esteem by knowing something that no one else on earth knows? I'm sure that I would make good use of my questions and answers. I would solve a couple of curiosities. I would do something to better mankind, if for nothing except ego. But what are the questions that would be the most beneficial to my neighbors? Shouldn't I ask how to better witness to those who don't know Jesus? Would I ask how to better explain the Trinity so I could teach those who can't comprehend or those weaker in their faith? Should I ask how to more effectively take God's plan of salvation to the world? How can I help those who are depressed and in need? Shouldn't I ask how to best spend a fictitious million dollars for the most glory for God or who would best be served by attending a make-believe dinner party?

Luckily, the third question could be spent on curiosities and formulas because all of our answers to the rest is covered in the Bible, and as Christians we have the Holy Spirit empowering us to ask things to our Heavenly Father through Jesus name. But we should still practice the faith we proclaim to have and not suspend our beliefs in any circumstance.

It is not my intention to sound preachy or goody-goody. I only want to give us something to think about on a Monday, besides material things. We get enough of that in the news and in the "real world". I am not trying to rain on anyone's parade or ruin a handful of hypothetical questions meant for casual conversation. I like to pretend and escape as much as the next person, and I have to admit that it is not my nature to initially desire to help strangers. I am painfully loyal and my interests are usually to help those I care about and those I deem worthy. And as the Bible says, even pagans do this. This doesn't require much faith or character.

I hope that this does give us some food for thought and that it doesn't come across as preachy. You can do whatever you want to do with your hypothetical questions and with your life; God gives us freewill and i have no desire to manipulate that will. And I know that my search for the truth, and for purpose, may be seen by many as fictitious as the three questions posted here in this blog; and I can only speak for myself and my opinions. But I am finding that material things don't last, regardless of forecasts and predictions. I am finding that faith cannot be bought, except through sometimes difficult lessons. I am finding that more people blow a lot more smoke about nothing than they used to. I am discovering that questions I ask myself, intended for escape and enjoyment, have began to lead me back toward the path of materialism and smack-dab back into the real world.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Product of Too Much Cold-Medicine

Before I get to my random ranting and raving, I would like to thank my wife for doing the blog on Wednesday. I'm sure that those who read noticed that there was some style and substance on Wednesday, something that seems to be lacking normally here at The Self-Inflicted Blog. And those who read may have noticed that she didn't even mention the stimulus package.

But I am back today, albeit in a cold medicine induced haze. And I am gonna mention the lousy stimulus package. It looks like only a miracle can prevent this earmark laden, thrown together, 1100 pages of toilet paper they call legislation, from becoming a done deal. I have signed a petition and complained to my congress person, as I hope many others have; but I fear it may bee too little too late. I honestly believe that only an act of God can stop this nonsensical package from becoming real law.

I have ranted and raved about all of the pork. An independent and non-partisan group, Taxpayers For Common Sense estimates that there are 8,570 disclosed earmarks coming in at about $7.7 billion. There is a database available to check there findings. And this number includes a $200 million "green" bridge literally going to nowhere, in the Florida Everglades. No, I don't know what a "green bridge" is either. But it is proposed so it will help the local native American tribe living in this region; even though the native American people in this tribe do not want this bridge and did not ask for this bridge. And I say this to make a point that this stimulus package is another bridge that very few people want. Most every poll shows that almost seventy percent, and the number is rising, of the American people do not want this stimulus package passed. That number shows that people aren't thinking in terms of partisan politics, but that the vast majority of the American people do not want this package; yet our government feels they know better what we need in our lives than we do. So it's full speed ahead in the name of the interest of the people...We are losing our representation in our government.

And that's what this stimulus package is bridging. Just as a bridge in the everglades or a remote part of Alaska, it serves little real purpose of, for, or to the people it is built in the name of. This is the same thing that our government is doing now; in the form of stimulus packages and soon to be health care and education. I know that I rant about this a lot, but the passing of this stimulus legislation is crucial to how we do government for many years ahead. That is my concern, not partisan politics.

But enough of that today. It is Friday and many have had a long, grueling week. So lets keep it light. And to make you smile, here's a couple of words for you...Tim Geitner...See?!!? Didn't that little chuckle make you feel better? I always giggle when I hear those words...

On a serious note, I guess, I read that a mall in Wellington, New Zealand has a plan to pacify, subdue, and possibly drive off unruly teens. And the plan is to play Barry Manilow music for all to hear. I kid you not! I read it on the Internet, so it must be true. Maybe some of you are Manilow fans and are offended, but I got a kick out of this concept. Heck, I may start playing some of Barry's music to subdue my own children here at home.

I read a little of another article titled, "Five Post Layoff Tips". It had all kinds of little pithy sayings and chestnuts of wisdom for all of those who have lost their jobs. Ways to bolster your resume and how to sell yourself and all kinds of things like that. I'm certain that it helped to create jobs so that people could actually become hired and paid. I felt that any employer who was reading realized that the reason they had to lay off many workers or close their manufacturing plants was not because of economic hardships or things financial, but due to the fact that no one has really sent in a nice looking resume for some time. If the employers of business who are losing their investments in the market or are preparing for the heavy taxation that is coming in the next few months would only realize that a firm handshake and a fresh, double spaced resume is all that is needed for inspiration to push forward in these tense economic times...must have been a slow news day.

What about all of this Rush Limbaugh stuff? Judging by the amount of coverage all things Rush garnered this week, I would say that times can't be all that bad. And who really listens to what he says anyway? Who really takes him as a serious political figure? I think all of the hoopla shows negligent coverage by the media in portraying Rush as the face of conservatives. Or it points to the fact that the Republican party is in real trouble; and that there are no fresh ideas coming down the pike. And the truth is probably a little of both and more of the latter.

I have some other notes I have scribbled down on some scratch paper, but nothing I can imagine to be very fruitful on a cold-medicine induced, hazy Friday. I do hope that everyone has a good weekend!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The "Winds" of Life

I don't know about you all, but I am tired of being cold and even more tired of WIND! I really do not remember a time when we have had more wind than we have over the past few months. I am tired of being blown around and fighting to pull myself through what sometimes seems like gale force winds. As I was meditating about being physically blown to and fro, I was reminded that sometimes the circumstances of life make me feel as though I am enduring the same "gale force winds" mentally and spiritually. Whether it is weather, work, economy, politics, people, or even my children, life can, at times, be "forceful". Do you ever have those moments when you want to "stay inside" from the "winds of life"...those moments when you just aren't sure that you can pull yourself through...those moments when you aren't sure why the "forces" that push against you are pushing against you and if they will ever stop?

In listening to conversations from numerous individuals in diverse settings and situations, it seems that now more than ever, people are simply tired. Life, in whatever realm, has worn them down. People are more concerned about their jobs, their retirement, their savings, and their future than I have ever seen in my lifetime. Talk of Biblical prophecy regarding end times seems rampant. I find myself wondering what struggles may loom in our own futures and for our children. And just when those "winds" of life begin to wear me down once again, I hear a still, small voice full of reassurance...not reassurance that life will always be full of happiness...or easy...or understandable...but reassurance that no matter how hard or long those winds matter what they bring matter what they blow away...there is "Force" even greater...a "Force" that has withstood and will continue to withstand any and all circumstances that life can bring.

I don't know about you, but there is a new "wind" in my sail today...a new outlook toward the realities of life...a new strength to combat the intricate forces of life. His name is Jesus, and He is THE FORCE! He will never fail you...He will never leave you...He always keeps His promises...and He loves you more than you could ever imagine.

Life may bring a plethora of problems...there may be times when you wonder where He is and why He won't step in...when you wonder why everything seems to be harder for you than for everyone else...when you wonder when even the simple things of life will get easier...but those are the moments when we must stand even more on faith and His promises.

"The Lord is faithful to all his promises"...Psalm 145:13