Category Archives: religion

My Complaints about Thanksgiving!

 

Thanks for all the Hardships

 

Today, I was awoken by my children,

Screaming, yelling and hitting each other.

But far too many children have been silenced,

Far too many parents wake up to the nightmare of longing for

What was lost.

Today, I winced as I climbed out of bed.

My back was sore and my head stuffed with a cold of pure agony.

But reading the prayer requests from church,

there are far too many people who likely wake up and long for

my aches and pains.

Today, we had to go grab groceries (again).

I realized that the dwindling money and rising bills cannot be escaped.

But I remembered bringing turkeys to the food banks yesterday.

There are far too many families who can’t

Go and get groceries.

Today, the calendar glared at me relentlessly.

I know that my vacation was over before it even started, and work comes in three days.

But millions of people have no jobs,

While some might be lazy, or unskilled, or uncaring, too many

Are just like me.

Today, I am thankful for all I have, and all I have been given,

The aches, and pains, and worries, and problems, and suffering and sadness

Because I can’t truly see what I have to be thankful for

Until I have experienced life face-to-face: Nor can you.

Not until we have faces.

 

© 2010 Jediah Logiodice

To Express Anger for Ignorance

In regards to HR5283, just so we understand the expectations here:  These children WILL become citizens whether or not the law passes.  The law on the floor will just make it so they don’t have to wait the 2 years to become a citizen, due to the way they came into the country to complete their adoption. 

It means that if their parents were to die, they would be treated like their siblings in guardianship transferring to those named in a will, rather than immediately becoming wards of the state.  It just means that they can travel freely in and out of the country without fear of harassment, and that they will be treated with the same respect and value and dignity that we, as American citizens, often give to no others, unless they are "Americans".  I’m all for becoming a citizen legally, and if we have to wait, we have to wait.

However, as a family that adopted children from another country, I can’t tell you how surprising it is when we hear people express anger or consternation at us or towards us for helping people in another country instead of helping people here at home.

Little do they know that our family is very active in doing both, as are most every family that has opened up to a foreign adoption.  And, more than that, I guarantee, GUARANTEE, that probably 90% of the people that make statements in anger over people helping people in other countries, first, live such sheltered lives, that they truly speak only out of ignorance, and second, are likely to be doing nothing to help anybody, but themselves. 

When people start to become in tune with the destitution of their own community and country, it’s a natural progression of maturity to begin to see past borders, past gender, past race and color.

The Christmas Gift…

In Haiti, a little girl died today, it happens every day, all around the world, and it leaves a feeling of sadness and emptiness and hurt, and pain, and often even anger.  Why should children die, why should anyone die?  This isn’t the way God began his creation, so why?

Rom 8:20-21 NIV
(20)  For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope
(21)  that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

But Jesus overcame death, and with His final triumph on the cross that began with a journey some 2000 years ago, with the incarnation of our God, comes the hope of victory.

1Co 15:55-57 NIV
(55)  "Where, O death, is your victory?
    Where, O death, is your sting?"
(56)  The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
(57)  But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

So let my weeping heart be comforted, let me find rejoicing in the Lord, let me celebrate his great love, celebrate his birth. 

For while this little girl has been separated from God’s creation, from her body, from those who love her, yet only for a little while, and with Jesus, she now has the hope and expectation that she shall come again to be reunited to all the things she was intended to enjoy from the beginning of creation.

The day in which she returns in the company of her Lord, she will be made new – all things will be made new, and this was all made possible by the gift from God that we celebrate every December 25th.

Isn’t that the greatest Christmas gift of all… Thank you Lord Jesus!

 

Gaelle

 

 

“Today was her second birthday, so I am sure that she is celebrating that as well! Just so you know, Schella’s real name is also Gaelle, and Baby Gaelle was her assigned little sister. Schella loved her SO much and spent a lot of her time rocking her on the balcony, helping her eat, and spoiling her. Baby Gaelle loved her! Baby Gaelle woke me up at 2AM, and I sat up with her. As sick as she was, I couldn’t understand why she would not give up, until Schella came up to say goodbye this morning. With Schella stroking her hands and tears running down Schella’s cheeks, Baby Gaelle finally was ready to go. What a touching scene! Such compassion and love! Please be praying for Schella, as she will miss Gaelle…

Gaelle went to Heaven to spend CHRISTmas with Jesus this morning around 7 A.M.”

Help needed for HIS Home for Children Orphanage

I typically do not like to do anything like this; but I realized that when we don’t know of needs, then there is no way we can help if we are able, and if we aren’t able to help financially, prayers are always sought on behalf of the Children and directors and staff of HIS Home.

As you all know, our family is in the process of adopting two children from an Orphanage in Haiti.  This Orphanage – HIS Home For Children – has been down significantly in their financial giving this year, and as a result, they are currently at risk of losing one of their two children’s homes. 

The result of losing their boys home will cause them to combine approximately 130 children (teenage boys and teenage girls and all the toddlers and babies) into one house which is barely big enough for the just the girls toddlers and babies.  While there are some natural potential adverse reactions to combining teenage boys and teenage girls into a single home, there are also concerns for the health and stability of having so many children under one roof. 

Additionally, the boys house which is in jeopardy of closing is where the school for the orphanage is too – so that will be a significant loss to the children as well.

In response to a final notice for rent, HIS Home has written a post-dated check for 8600$ (the remaining balance of this year’s rent) for next Wednesday, and have placed their trust in the Lord that if it is His will that he will provide for this great need.  However, good Stewarts know that prayer is only one piece of the arsenal that God has given us to accomplish His will on this earth; God works through the hands and hearts of His people.

A couple donators have offered to match dollar for dollar up to $2,000 for donations that are received prior to next Wednesday November 4th.  This means that if you are able to donate $25, then it will become $50 towards the necessary goal. 

Donations are tax deductible, and as you all know me, I can attest that I have seen firsthand this money being used in service to God and the families and children of Haiti. 

For information on Donations, you can visit the His Home Website – http://www.hishomeforchildren.com/ – under the Donations link.  Donations can be sent through PayPal from that site, or you can send donations to the Lima OH address listed under the Contact Us page.  However, donations must be received by Nov 4th to take advantage of the generosity of the matching fund.

Above all please take a few moments in prayer, routine prayer, that God will continue to bless the work that Chris and Hal are doing to help the families and children of Haiti, and that His name will be honored in everything that they do.

Jediah Logiodice

(Jas 1:27)  Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Trusting & Working

Today in Church we were talking about “trusting in the Lord” and “not worrying”; but understanding the biblical idea of trust: trust with works. 

Jesus said:

"Consider the birds of the air, they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?" (Matt. 6:26).

Take for example our adoption.  Some people we know love their children as much as we do, and want their children to come home as much as we do; and yet, they have chosen to sit back and let the Lord do all the work – in His time and in His way.

On the surface, that seems to be the more ‘spiritual’ approach – trusting the Lord in everything; however, when I read Matt 6:26 – I think the bible is expecting a lot more out of us than just trust.

Consider the birds of the air’ they don’t plant, they don’t store up, and yet God feeds them.  However, it’s not as if God brings them breakfast in their nest – they have to go out and work and gather to survive.  God expects them to work for what He has promised them.

And so, I believe it is with our adoption.  God has put it in our heart to help needy children; we met and have fallen in love with our son and daughter, and God has given us the direction that He wants us to open our hearts and homes (It’s amazing how easy this comes once you set down that path).  Yet, God doesn’t want us ‘waiting around on Him’ – He wants us to recognize and realize that He is in control, and things work all in His timing; He wants us to rely on His love and mercy, and give Him the Glory – but He wants us out their working, toiling, committing and investing our hearts, our minds, our finances, and our abilities that He has given us to accomplish what He has directed us in.

So, for that reason, I wrote a quick verse during church today; I think it says everything that needs to be said:

 

A Call to Arms!

I trust in the Lord with all my might,

So I take up my armor to engage in the fight!

No standard for morals?

Should you argue about morality with someone that doesn’t believe in Morality?

if you ever meet up with someone who holds to the philosophical idea that we don’t really exist except in our mind (like the ideas of George Berkeley) – what point is there in even arguing (except for sophistry which is indeed fun).

In the same vein, if you find someone that doesn’t believe in a standard of morality they have nothing to offer in any discussions on morality, for all they can offer is the idea that there is no such thing as a standard for morality; which is indeed a statement of a standard for morality, and therefore it is self-defeating.

It’s like saying out loud "There is no such thing as sound"…

Can there be a universal morality

In my course of Ethics and Technology; and in my previous blog; i note that many ethical frameworks are coming to the conclusion that ethics in Information Technology are based on individualistic morals (due to the nature of technology), and that in order to have a governing ethical framework in technology, there must be universals (not unlike in real life). 

The question was asked “How does one find the standards for the universal” – I can’t answer that question in a 250-500 word essay; therefore – I provided only hints to my answer, without giving my answer.

C.S. Lewis writes in book one of Mere Christianity:

“Everyone has heard people quarrelling. Sometimes it sounds funny and sometimes it sounds merely unpleasant… They say things like this: ‘How’d you like it if anyone did the same to you?’ – ‘Come on you promised.’ People say things like that every day, educated … as well as uneducated… children… [and] grown-ups.”

“Now what interests me… is that the man who makes [these statements] is not merely saying that the other man’s behavior does not … please him. He is appealing to some kind of standard… and the other man seldom replies: ‘To hell with your standard.’” (Lewis, 2009, p. 257)

Lewis later states:

“Now this Law or Rule about Right and Wrong used to be called the Law of Nature… because people thought that everyone knew it by nature and did not need to be taught it… I know that some people say the idea of a Law of Nature … is unsound… but the most remarkable thing is this. Whenever you find a man who says he does not believe in a real Right and Wrong, you will find the same man going back on this a moment later… if you try breaking [a promise] to him, he will be complaining ‘It’s not fair’ (Lewis, 2009, p. 285).”

On the idea of whether or not there are universal laws, Lewis concludes:

“It seems, then, we are forced to believe in a real Right and Wrong (Lewis, 2009, p. 300).”

For me, I agree with Lewis, as he continues further on in book one: that in order to come to a conclusion of a universal set of right and wrong; one must find a standard to measure against. This standard must also exist necessarily outside of oneself in order to be appealed to universally. Therefore, I believe one of the most important decisions that can be made to help move towards a global view of Right and Wrong must first start with a common standard.

This of course, is where the difficulty begins; as all discussions of morality begin in trying to lay a foundation of moral framework (i.e. what is the standard to be considered right or wrong). Some more common frameworks are deontological, utilitarian and existential, all of which have their supporters and their oppositions.

As this topic is very complex; and cannot be addressed by anything short than a doctoral thesis; I will briefly say that I would have to state that a good starting point is the “Golden Rule”: Treat others as you want to be treated. This, I believe, at least points us in the right direction.

References

Lewis, C. S. (2009). Mere Christianity. HarperCollins e-books (Kindle Edition).

Information Ethics.. an interesting discussion

 

Where does one actually draw the line of what is right and wrong in technology ethics, and how does one make the decisions.  Are things really black and white?

What if, let’s say, you were asked by your employer to steal data from another organization to give it a competitive advantage?  I think most of us would say that it is unethical.  Now, what if your employer is the NSA or the CIA and you’re a covert operative, and you are being asked to steal information from an enemy that can give your country a competitive edge, or protect the safety and welfare of your country. 

Now, in this case, and in many respects, we’re starting to get into territory that isn’t as black and white, I think many more people would be divided over this question than the original one.  But what is so different between the two scenarios that makes one so different than the other?

For example, in my job sometimes I am asked by an organization to execute penetration tests against their own organizational body.  So when when executing a risk assessment through penetration testing I call up the company, get a sweet gal on the other line of the phone, I make up some fictitious name, fictitious problem, and basically lie to her to deceive her into giving me secret and protected information. 

In so doing, I then build a report that outlines to the members of the organization where their weaknesses are, so that they can protect their systems against real hackers that would be out to deceive and retrieve real data for real harm.  But in this case, was it o.k. that I was lying and deceiving and breaking laws to prevent other bad people from lying and deceiving and breaking laws?

These questions in ethics aren’t necessary tied to Information Technology either; what about policemen that speed down the road so that they can get to the speed trap and catch speeders that are speeding down the road?

The intrigue of all these types of discussions is what so tightly draws me to questions of Information Ethics, and ethics as a whole.

Why Missions work is so enthralling to me…

In the past two months I have read 9 books; 8 of which have been books on missions:

  • Lords of the Earth
  • Peace Child
  • Eternity In their Hearts
  • Bruchko: The Astonishing True Story Of A Nineteen-Year-Old’s…
  • Mountains Beyond Mountains
  • Through Gates of Splendor
  • End of the Spear
  • Let the Nations Be Glad

I have been amazed at the dedication and willingness of the men and women discussed in these books to put their own comfort aside and subjugate their bodies into the harsh realities of Stone-Age tribal living, willingly and selflessly for the love of people they have never met, people that don’t understand that love and sacrifice, people who often only know hatred and fear and killing, people that in many cases kill those brining the gospel of the good news. 

Add to that the lack of want for revenge of deaths, how the families just get up and carry on, once again trying to reach the stone age tribes that have tried to kill them, or have successfully killed spouses or children – it’s humbling and convicting.  They truly understand Matt 10:39:

“If you don’t go all the way with me, through thick and thin, you don’t deserve me. If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you’ll find both yourself and me.”

But tonight, while talking with a friend, I realized there was even more to it that I found so enthralling.  I thought I would share some of my thoughts that I shared with him during our discussion on why missions work is so enthralling to me…

“I watched the EE TAOW video you referenced [on youtube]; it was pretty amazing.  Growing up in a Christian family (and in some ways, I’m sure not complaining), however, I missed out on the amazing experience of reading the gospel story as an unfolding book from start to finish.  As an adult, I have read many, many life-changing books, and I can appreciate the thrill of turning the next page to find out what happens next – but the bible is truly the most amazing story ever told. 

In my early life, and in so many children and teen lives, I see that they are or have been underwhelmed with the story due to the over-indulgence of the terse repetition in a mundane and monotonous way.  When the story is not a living and breathing story, but a bedtime story used to frighten people into moral submission.

It sadly seems that in a luke-warm “Christian based” society (Of course being most familiar with western Culture, I would say especially in the western culture), there is a lot of inoculation of the gospel that occurs in young lives by the way media, technology and advancements make passé the bible stories and take awe out of the unimaginable – that story that shows how the Creator would empty himself and take on our just penalty due to us in our own bodies for our own transgressions. 

I think that is one thing that inspires me deeply when reading these books of missionaries reaching tribes that have never been exposed to the gospel – these people haven’t had their “Christian vaccination” yet. 

I think the other thing is seeing people actually put their lives and actions in line with their convictions (something I think we all continue to try and struggle to do).”

Because of my experience with my “Christian vaccination” while growing up, where I turned the bible from the living and breathing word of God into a bunch of stories used to tell us the parameters of our moral imperatives.. I have always been afraid that I would inoculate my children against the Word as I was inoculated (innocently but detrimentally).  I found that I was not really in love with the stories of the bible, but only respecting them for the knowledge that can be found within. 

In the past I’ve read the bible to be smarter, but not to live better, I’ve read the bible so that I could teach others but I did not let it’s awe and wonder sink into my own flesh and bones, but I can feel that slowly changing…

In reading these stories of the missionaries that have died for Christ, but harder still, who also lived Christ – and hearing and seeing the joy and amazement being brought to the minds and hearts of people throughout the world by the revelation made known through the Word, I’ve realized, that within the right framework of a relationship with God, instead of a series of rules that must be followed – that through reading this book myself and to my children just the opposite is what will happen. 

If this book is so precious it’s worth dying over; how much more so is it worth living over!