Category Archives: life

Resurrection of Animals – you ask?

For my Christian friends:

I’m a logical person, I eat animals as much as I have them as pets, I won’t hold to false hopes, but I didn’t hear any logical, biblical, or otherwise, facts offered in the video below that a friend posted.

Do animals go to Heaven?

I think a more complete treatment can be found here:  

Will Spot be in Heaven?

Short version,  man and animal are different, but the bible is (mostly) silent to resurrection of animals.

I would say that I can’t tell what Paul is up to when he claims all of creation groans for resurrection and redemption, especially if it only means complete and utter annihilation and destruction for all created things but humans.

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently

What do you think?

Blessings in disguise

Today, I had the opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus; and I hesitated, and I lost out. I was left with a feeling of love, and wonder and shame.  Here is the story.

You need to have this background first:  I work in an area that is quite a bit run down, in the two years I have been here, there have been stabbings and shootings in the parking lot.

I have recently taken to walking through the parking lot to a gas station half a block over to a Subway.  It’s not the cleanest looking gas station, I feel a little out of place in my dress clothes; but the people are polite, and nice, and the food area is clean and well kept.

Today, as I was walking through, there was a fella outside picking through trash cans; as I walked by, he stood up and started shuffling his way behind me.  Given my background, I have a heightened level of situational awareness; so I watched him closely out of the corner of my eye, and then through the reflection of windows and cars.  No issues.

After I ordered, inside, and had a pleasant and familiar discussion with the ladies behind the counter, this same fella came stomping in.  Once again, my level of awareness increased. He stomped to the back of the store to grab a drink, and then over to the sandwich counter.

To the reply of the lady behind the counter he very gruffly said “I want a sandwich with everything on it”.  It seemed clear he was slightly intoxicated.

As I walked over to pay, racing through my mind was the fact that I knew this fella couldn’t pay for his own food.  Once I ascertained there seemed to be no immediate threat, I tried to rationalize how he went from picking out of the trash to buying a sandwich and drink.  Slowly, in my mind, crept the thought that I could pay for his sandwich, I had the means, and I could see a storm brewing.

As I started thinking through all the ways I could do it, without becoming ‘personally involved’, in less than the couple minutes that I stood there trying to rationalize what I was going to do, and how, an elderly lady came through the door and said over my shoulders to the cashier, “I’m going to pay for his sandwich”.

I was immediately overwhelmed with various emotions.  First, love and compassion for someone who would see a random stranger picking through trash, and instead of immediately viewing them as a threat, and running through scenarios on how to contain that threat, she went over and asked if she could help.

Then, shame, that as a young, relatively healthy human, with means, I would stand there contemplating for so long whether or not I should help, and he had a clear need. The book I bought on Amazon this morning cost more than the price of his meal.  I was rationalizing, because I didn’t want the “messiness” of dealing with the humanity of the situation.

In the end, I lost the opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus, but I got to witness someone, whether in Christ or not, was faithful to their fellow human, to part of the Message.  It was a blessing in disguise.

Perhaps, next time, I’ll stop thinking, and start doing.

35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.

 

I must go down to the sea again

There is something indescribable and wondrous about the vast and endless sea.  The call of the ocean, echoing in history, throughout the future.  I cannot recall physically going into the ocean for the past 30 years.  It is an amazing feeling, a feeling of both insignificance and of fortitude: insignificance in the realization of how tiny and insubstantial I am, but strength in realizing that of all creatures in creation this world was made for me.

I, as human, represent the pinnacle of crowning achievement for creation; the most complex, the most intriguing of all creatures with my abilities to think and love and reason in unique ways: being granted the blessing (or curse) of being one of the few known reasoning creatures that will spend most of my lifetime contemplating my own mortality.

I started this weak on Cocoa Beach officiating the wedding of my brother-in-law, and new sister-in-law: Jeremy and Rebecca Jewers.  It was an honor and a privilege to be asked to perform the ceremony, it is the second time in my life I have been called upon to do such an amazing thing.  Marriage is as wonderful as birth, and baptism; both representing a transition, a newness, a transformation from old to new; from form to form.

2014 Cocoa beach

2014 Cocoa beach

The wedding started with the scene from the Princess Bride:  Mawage, Mawage is what bwings us togethwer today.  It was the perfect fit, a perfect couple: a farm boy turned pirate and a princess.  Two people, that were meant to be together.

Cocoa beach wedding 2014

Cocoa beach wedding 2014

On our last night on the beach, Amanda and I were taking a walk down the beach in the moonlight and we ran into a majestic but ominous looking foot long crab.  We were in awe at his size and amazed at his beauty, until we saw that he held in his claw a baby hatchling loggerhead turtle.

We immediately went into rescue mode.  I took on the crab (and he was vicious!) and encouraged him to drop the turtle (ok, I might have kicked him in the rear with my bare foot while Amanda kept his attention). Then, while I kept the crab occupied (he continued coming after me), Amanda guarded the baby turtle as it made it to the water.

In the end, we both were able to watch the turtle swim out to sea, and we then returned to the crab to take a picture of him.  He belongs on the wall of shame! This was one of the most amazing things I have experienced in nature.

Being saved from Crab

Being saved from Monster Crab

Attempting to eat a Loggerhead

Wall of Shame: Attempting to eat a baby Loggerhead

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are now preparing, after a full week of God’s beautiful nature to head back to the city of San Antonio.  We miss friends there, but honestly, we are not overly excited to go back; we miss the nature, the openness, the sea breeze of the east coast.  It’s hard to say what the future will hold for us, but one thing for sure.  Home is where the heart is, and there is no place like home.

Amanda and Jediah August 2014

Amanda and Jediah August 2014

Little house in the Big Woods

When we were children there wasn’t much for entertainment; we had dirt, rocks, sticks and water.  Mix them together and you could make some mighty fine toys.  The closest store was probably 10+ miles away – that doesn’t seem that far by today’s standards, but on bikes or by foot – it was.

The water came from a hand pump well; you’d have to pump and prime it over and over to get anything out – but the water was ice, ice cold, and had a very slight taste of iron… it was a good taste.  Showering involved heating water over a hot stove, and pouring it out of “showering cans”.  I always thought everyone in the world knew what a showering can is – but I’m not so sure now.

The bathroom was a hole in the ground, covered at least by  four walls and a roof – but in the winter or at night it was a daunting, cold or scary undertaking.  At the same time, in summer evenings, it was a great opportunity to sneak out into the night and catch fireflies or raid the garden, although the coyotes, bears, moose and other wild critters that frequently were heard stalking through the night requires great courage to venture forth.

There was very little that we ate that wasn’t grown or raised, that’s just how it was.  The planting, the tilling the weeding the gathering, and the canning.  The vegetables, the rabbits, the chickens, the turkeys, the wild berries, apples, elderberries, blueberries, strawberries.  They were all handpicked, or raked.  I had to help in the butchering, it was part of life.

When it was 20 below outside, it was 20 below inside.  The layers and layers of blankets, cast off when needing to make a run outside to the outhouse; but there was always a warm stove burning in the center of the house built with slat boards and no insulation.

The single pane of glass, frosted over in the winter with cold air creeping through the cracks around the door, around the window, through the wall boards and up through the floor boards.  But the sound of crickets in the summer, like they were sitting in the same room… they probably were.

The root cellar full of fresh vegetables, and lizards; damp, cold, dirt.  Just a whole in the floor of the closet, and a whole dug into the earth.

Life is so much different now than it was then.  Was it better?  It’s hard to say.  You worked hard every day of your life, you slept hard each night.  Our world is a very different place now.  My kids will never understand what life WAS like.  Which brings me to the topic at hand.

I have started reading Little House on the Prairie to my children.  It is amazing the number of emotions it stirs in me, not only as I recall it being read to me when I was a child – we had no other entertainment at night when the sticks and rocks and dirt and water were put away.  But, I remember what it was like to live off the land – Jeremiah Johnson style, I remember what it was like to live in a house that was made of drafty slats, to live in the wild woods, I even, to some extent, remember how hard it was to live – none of the high tech, drive over to the store and run a piece of plastic through a machine and they bring out food prepared and ready to eat.

Not that life today is bad; I’m not sure I could go back to the “good ‘ole days” – but I wonder, sometimes I even yearn for those more simple days.

I am going to love reading this series to my children it makes me homesick for childhood, nostalgic – and perhaps, just perhaps, they will get a small amount of vision as to what life used to be like.

 

 

 

 

Can you afford an education?

I received notification that my graduation was approved: 4.0 GPA – I finished in just about 4 years, while working a full time job, adopting 2 children, running two businesses and juggling many other responsibilities including life.

Almost immediately after receiving notification I received an email saying that it was time to start talking about paying back the school loans. I knew it was going to be tough to pay back the loans I had to take to go to school, I just didn’t realize it would be this tough. Almost 7% interest, the payments for 10 years are going to be close to $600 a month.  WHAT?!?  I haven’t seen any tangible income earning potential as a result of this new found degree, and I certainly won’t see $600 dollars a month worth – probably EVER.  So what am I supposed to do, where am I supposed to find this new found income?

Even worse, is that I know I received my degree with about 40% less debt than most college students, first, I didn’t stay on campus, second after 17+ years in the field of Information Technology, I was able to petition out of a lot of courses, showing a mastery of expertise in many various and sundry topics, while saving almost 1/4 the price of many of the classes.

So, I spent 4 years paying the university to approve my learning as I was teaching myself; and for it, I no better job, no better job opportunities, no more income coming in; but somehow, I have to come up with another $600 a month.  Where?  It’s not there…  It’s going to be like squeezing blood from a stone.

 

Two days till Graduation

I am two days away from stepping into a position as the first of my immediate family to have completed a Bachelor’s degree.

I have loved learning since the first moment I came into my awareness as a sentient being. I seek understanding; I court knowledge as a lover, and exalt wisdom as a best friend. I live to the maxim of Socrates understanding, that the unexamined life is indeed not worth living.

This university, Capella University, and my professors over the last four years have brought and laid before my feet the gift of knowledge; but laying in there, and not handing it to me. Acting, more properly in description as a road sign, standing and pointing the way, but never offering what I would not myself take. And so I have taken hold of the direction, I have mothered it, I have caressed and succored it, allowed it to germinate inside of me, with enthusiasm, with determination, with distinction.

Every class I have digested, every person I have met, are now entwined into my experiences of life; my soul – if you will. From the amazement of the exterior world as far reaching as astronomy can unveil, to the wonderment of the internal world full of philosophical debate and psychological prose.

I have sat on the deathbed with Ivan Ilyich, and have peered into the mind of hallucinogenic madness working with discrete math, I have been pulled, and I have stretched like taffy in the maker’s hands. I am new.

I have learned, as penultimate in my undertaking of life, that it is within me and of myself to accomplish anything I am willing to work for – and the same for you! Time is my only enemy.

 

Photo on 1 31 12 at 8 49 AM

Happy Birthday Jesus

Sitting in church tonight, I was thinking that the advent means so much more than I’ve ever thought of before. Our King and Creator came in such a strange way, to be born as a servant, to die, not a hero’s death as most Kings of renown, but to die a death most often of slaves, only then to triumph and be triumphant in His death… But, His advent was for my children, and my children’s children… He opened the door of salvation for them – and as a parent, I could never have asked or expected for anything more amazing than that. To know that the light of the world came in to overcome the darkness, to infiltrate and win back the hearts of his rebellious creation and in so doing, He gave me hope in that whatever life brings, there is hope for my children that goes beyond the hardships of this life alone. Regardless of the time of year Christ was really born: Happy Birthday Jesus, and thank you for such a wonderful gift – the gift of life for my children.

Deleting your Facebook account (again?)

 

A good friend just posted this as an important reminder to people on their privacy on Facebook; however, I think we must dig further into the problem to understand it.  Point being:  Facebook is not the problem.  Pop over and read this article, then come back and see what I have to say.

I deleted my Facebook account

Postman is still on my to read list along with a is for ox, once I finish the Gutenberg elegies, but I think our culture is far worse off than postman indicates, it is both Orwellian and Huxleyan to the extreme.

What people cannot forget is that it is not FBs fault, they are providing a service that is filling a void in the culture.

Deleting your Facebook account will accomplish nothing. Being conscious of how our consumerism is used against us and acting accordingly is more appropriate.

How many of us tag our restaurants, link the movie we just finished watching, follow our favorite author or sports team all on Facebook?

Now the real question is, how many of you do so remembering that every button you click, link you follow and picture you view is stored and sold to the highest bidder?

Understand that Facebook is facilitating what the mass is asking for, it is not stealing your data, you are willingly providing it because of the benefits you receive.

Boycotting, deleting or complaining is not going to do you a lick of good; being informed however and acting intelligently on that information is where you will find the most value.

In fact, if you do delete it, I’ll give you less than 6 months before you come back, as we are all slaves to our culture in one way or another.