Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A metaphor for life....

I'll leave off the cynical commentary and let it be what it is....He's cute, and he got to live his dream.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Yes, I have to make mention....

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One of the few bright spots that have occurred in my life in the last several weeks happened yesterday.

UNC fell to Georgetown in the NCAA tournament.

So many people tell me I need to be "loyal" to the ACC....sorry, I just can't bring myself to ever enjoy a Tarheel victory. And my big fear was seeing UNC take the whole thing.

I know, I have a lot bigger things to worry about than this....but it did make my day yesterday. That, and IHOP after church :)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

I guess I'm in a blogging mood tonight

Occasionally I'll get into these moods where I just want to blog.

I love blogging. I really wish I did a better job of keeping up with mine. I think after this week my lunches will be freed up and I can start blogging like I used to.

Speaking of this week, I'm ready for it to be over. This Friday we go to Acquire the Fire in Winston-Salem. Back in November, I agreed that we would purchase 40 tickets for the event. I think my church has 25 of them spoken for, so I'm looking for homes for 15 of them. I don't think I'll have problems finding a home for them, but with the event looming near, I'd feel better if I had definite takers. Admittedly, in the course of the last month, I haven't focused on it the way I should've.

I've just eaten about 11 peanut butter cookies. I was proud of myself -- I had thought about making them earlier today, but Wife mentioned she wasn't going to eat much as she wanted to drop a little weight for her dance showcase this coming weekend, so I spared her by not making them. Well, later tonight she ended up making them. So I've had a bunch of cookies and 3 glasses of milk on top of that. I need to go back to starving myself.

Today I worked all day on the house. Well, not all day. Earlier this morning I had to do some things on the computer. I worked on the house till 2, then decided I wanted to go to the dump and then to Wal-Mart(tm). For ages I've had an icemaker that we haven't used, because when I turn on the water, it goes shooting all over the place. So, I thought I would buy plumber's putty for it. Found some threading tape or something and thought that would do the trick. Long story short, I spent an hour on it tonight and realized that the water wasn't coming out where I thought it was, and there was nothing I could do about it. Not only that, but realized that not only was water coming out of the wall, but it was also leaking at the refrigerator as well. So, after learning that, I decided to give up and pay for my frozen water. Or dig out the ice trays.

After I gave up on that, I worked on the house some more. Given that I did so much today, you'd think the house would be spotless. Sadly, no.

OK, so that's pretty much it for me. I discovered a new Google(tm) product -- Google(tm) Base(tm). It allows you to advertise stuff you want to get rid of. I put the ATF tickets up there. I wish I'd discovered it a week ago. We'll find someone to take them, I'm sure of it.

OK, that's really it. I need to go to bed. It's been a long day.

Til then.

Well, here I am....

28 Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”

29 Then God said, "Look! I have given you every seed-bearing plant throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food.30 And I have given every green plant as food for all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, and the small animals that scurry along the ground—everything that has life.” And that is what happened.
31 Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good!
And evening passed and morning came, marking the sixth day. (Genesis 1:28-31, NLT)

It's a Saturday night, and I'm sitting at home, not doing much of anything. I just got done posting a rash of articles regarding the Global Warming debate. I guess, since I have nothing else too in depth to talk about at the moment, I could address that.

Truth be known, I'm tired of hearing about it. I remember hearing all about it when I was in school. I was younger and more apt to give into the hype; I remember telling my friend that we shouldn't use cans that have CFC's....then proceeded to tell him that "chloroflorocarbons" were harmful to the atmosphere and would destroy the ozone! I believe hairspray was the biggest user of CFCs....and, back in the 80's, many women were distraught over the choice -- save the planet, or have GREAT looking Cyndi Lauper hair?

I digress. I'm not a climatologist....I don't know all the facts, either for or against the idea of man-made global warming. What I DO know, however, is that God has placed us on the earth, which He created, and we share it with a lot of other things: trees, plants, mosquitoes, bunnies, deer, mountain lions, and of course, penguins. That's just a few. But we're here on the earth, and there's only one. While I used to want to believe that there were other earth-like planets out there, I don't anymore. We're the only ones.

So, that being said, like everything else God has given us, we should be good stewards of our planet. I don't believe that we should be out there actively destroying the planet. I don't think we should strip mine just for fun, or dump our garbage in the ocean (heck, it really makes me mad when someone flicks a cigarette butt out the window of their car -- I HATE litterers!), or dump oil over otters in Alaska because we have nothing else to do on a Saturday night. But the fact of the matter is, we have as much of a right to the earth as any other creature does, and, just like they have to build homes and such, we do to. But, we must do it in responsible ways. So, I have no problems recycling, if the recycling actually does less damage than just throwing things away, or driving a hybrid (although there is this "inconvenient truth"...) (and, when I went looking for a new car in May of 2005, I did try to get an Escape Hybrid....).

The problem is, man-made Global Warming is a religion, and Algore is its high priest. The same folks who denounce Christianity, Judaism, and the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (I've always wanted to say that!) are the same ones going around pushing the "facts" of man-made Global Warming, while shutting up their opponents.

It just amuses me.

The schools ARE teaching something!


Global warming on trial

Sixth-graders decide that humans aren’t to blame

I enjoyed this article immensely....not just because it shows that 6th graders are smarter than Al Gore, but it also shows that there is still free, creative thinking in our schools and that not all the teachers are swallowing the global warming tripe that Al's trying to push down everyone's throat....

Some other tasty articles on the subject:

Conclusion: Links between Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Severe Climate Impacts Are Tenuous

Al Gore Challenged to International Global Warming Debate

And then my favorites:

Gore's home uses 20 times the national average, yet Gore refuses to take energy pledge.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

I find the hyposcrisy from the priests of the religion of Human-caused Global Warming.....

...simply asounding!

March 21, 2007

MATT DEMPSEY 202-224-9797
WASHINGTON, DC Former Vice President Al Gore refused to take a “Personal Energy Ethics Pledge” today to consume no more energy than the average American household. The pledge was presented to Gore by Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, during today’s global warming hearing.
Senator Inhofe showed Gore a film frame from “An Inconvenient Truth” where it asks viewers: “Are you ready to change the way you live?”
Gore has been criticized for excessive home energy usage at his residence in Tennessee. His electricity usage is reportedly 20 times higher than the average American household.
It has been reported that many of these so-called carbon offset projects would have been done anyway. Also, carbon offset projects such as planting trees can take decades or even a century to sequester the carbon emitted today. So energy usage today results in greenhouse gases remaining in the atmosphere for decades, even with the purchase of so-called carbon offsets.
“There are hundreds of thousands of people who adore you and would follow your example by reducing their energy usage if you did. Don’t give us the run-around on carbon offsets or the gimmicks the wealthy do,” Senator Inhofe told Gore.
“Are you willing to make a commitment here today by taking this pledge to consume no more energy for use in your residence than the average American household by one year from today?” Senator Inhofe asked.
Senator Inhofe then presented Vice President Gore with the following "Personal Energy Ethics Pledge:
As a believer:
· that human-caused global warming is a moral, ethical, and spiritual issue affecting our survival;
· that home energy use is a key component of overall energy use;
· that reducing my fossil fuel-based home energy usage will lead to lower greenhouse gas emissions; and
· that leaders on moral issues should lead by example;
I pledge to consume no more energy for use in my residence than the average American household by March 21, 2008.”
Gore refused to take the pledge.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

It's 11:15....I'm sitting in front of the TV, XM Satellite radio through DirecTV is being played on the TV. Wife isn't home. The warm, white glow of the laptop monitor before me.

I went to church tonight. Not surprising; it's a Wednesday. But, tonight was business meeting night. Since Wed. nights that we didn't have worship, I was in Youth On Mission, I'd never been to a business meeting. Tonight I went, as I need to really step back from the youth and let the interim leaders do their thing, which I, and others, don't think will happen if I'm there.

Business meetings aren't fun. I guess they're necessary, but....they aren't fun. I guess it's a good thing they only happen once a month :)

After the meeting, I met with some of the youth to discuss Acquire the Fire. We're going to the Winston-Salem event next weekend (March 30-31). I'm excited, but, admittedly, haven't focused on it like I should've. With recent events, both personal and with the youth, it's been difficult to do what I need to do. But, it's coming together, and next weekend we should be taking about 20 people from our church and selling the other 20 tickets to someone else. We'll be staying at a church in the general area, which'll be fun. I had a good time doing that last year in Charlotte.

After Acquire the Fire, though, that's it for me....I've got to give everything I have to my home life.

After the business meeting, I met up with Children's_Minister. He and I had a good talk. He was asking how I was doing, and I told him. When we went to the NC Baptist State Convention, he and I shared a hotel room. I shared a lot of stuff with him, and he asked me if my present circumstances was because of what we discussed at the BSC. I told him no, and proceeded to tell him the WHOLE story. I had wanted to for some time (Pastor told me I should share with the whole staff, and at the time he was at the beach), but it was difficult finding a good time to do it. So, when he asked, I felt like that was my opening. We had a good discussion afterward.

So that's church. Things are continuing. Last Wednesday was a disaster, but I think this Wednesday was MUCH better. Children's_Minister took the guys this afternoon, while the regular female leaders took the girls.

Work is going OK -- I'm very excited that Co-Worker has a great shot at another job on campus. I've really enjoyed working with him for 8 years, and I'm going to miss him so much. He gave me a hug yesterday. It took me by surprise. He denied it ever happened today, though :)

Spent a good deal of time working on my laptop yesterday. Got it working, fortunately. Not necessarily where I want it to be, but I can use it. Today, though, I struggled greatly with the wireless card. That seems to be working again with an older kernel. I hope it stays that way. I was about to throw the stinking thing at the wall today.

Somebody mentioned they wanted a burger earlier today. I'm just thinking, a burger would be swell.....I need a Waffle House out my way!

39 When Moses reported the Lord’s words to all the Israelites, the people were filled with grief. 40 Then they got up early the next morning and went to the top of the range of hills. “Let’s go,” they said. “We realize that we have sinned, but now we are ready to enter the land the Lord has promised us.” (Numbers 14:39-40, NLT)

Have you ever read the Bible, and when reading a particular verse, recognized yourself in it? Well, this is one of those times for me.

I'm continuing in the book of Numbers, and I'm at the point where the Israelites have reached the Promised Land. God commands them to send the leaders from each tribe of Israel into Canaan and scout out the land. They're told to bring back fruit and tell what they've seen. And so, the 12 leaders set out for the land that God had promised them.

I know my readership knows how it ended....the "spies" came back and told what they saw. Ten of them came back and talked about how large its inhabitants were, how the Israelites were grasshoppers in comparison, and how they didn't stand a chance. Only Joshua, the leader of Ephraim, and Caleb, the leader of Judah, came back with the right response....the Lord would lead them to victory. Unfortunately, the report of the other ten persuaded the Israelites not to obey God. They decided they didn't stand a chance. In response, God was angry at their disobedience and killed the ten leaders who gave a negative report.

That's where we find the verses above. After seeing God's anger and what He did to the ten leaders, they then decide, "hey, we should obey God....we'll go take that land that He promised us now!" The problem is, they were too late. I'm sure it's been said many times by many church staffers, but "delayed obedience is disobedience". This is what the Israelites learned. They had the opportunity to do the right thing and obey God. God had promised them the land, and He had been faithful to His promises in the past. And they didn't trust Him! They continued to doubt Him. So God kills the ten leaders and tells the Israelites that they would wander in the desert until everyone 20 and older died out, with the exception of Joshua and Caleb. And it was then they realized they'd realized they'd goofed in a major way.....

Wow, can I see myself in them! I know times when I've disobeyed, and when I got "caught" and reprimanded, that was when I decided to be obedient. The problem was, it was too late; the damage had been done. I wonder how much pain and time I could've saved myself if I was obedient from the beginning. God promises us blessings when we obey! And yet, so often, I'm disobedient.

So, I definitely think I'm in the wilderness now....it's not fun! The Israelites spent 40 years in the wilderness, Jonah spent 3 days in the belly of a giant fish (*cough*not whale*cough*). It stinks, but it's the price of disobedience. The good news is, after the wilderness and the fish, God did great things! The Israelites did make it to the Promised Land; Jonah preached and saw 100,000+ people turn to God! I know that after my "wilderness experience", God has something awesome in store....

I just pray it doesn't take 40 years.

Friday, March 16, 2007

As a commercial for the nationally acclaimed Boston College web soap "The BC", this video shows 5 real jesuit priests at boston college in a music video of the popular Bon Jovi hit.

Those crazy Catholics!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Still love it to this day....

I remember growing up, Dad would sing this and "The Gambler" to me at bed time. This was my favorite, and I would still list it as one of my favorites to this day (though nothing can beat Bon Jovi's "Living on a Prayer").

I also remember it from my "Urban Chipmunk" record. They edited it, though, and talked about Tommy's best friend instead of the horror that befell Becky. I don't know what Dad sang, if it was edited, or if I was too young to understand the song, but it's a powerful song. A song that reminds us that "sometimes you have to fight, when you're a man"....

I spend a lot of time bemoaning the fact that Spring has come. I spend a lot of time complaining about Daylight Savings Time and the extension of daylight in the evening. But, if the truth must be known....I've kind of liked the last few days.

I think Tuesday and Wednesday it got into the 80's, and I think the same is supposed to happen today. I decided that I was going to get away from my desk and actually enjoy the nice weather. So, I grabbed my laptop, and cup of grits for lunch, and came outside.

Man, does it feel nice. I'm under the water tower here at work, down by the water. I love the sound of the water. As a child, there was a subdivision that had been started but never got finished (it actually did after I went away to college). I would go down to that area, and, off in the woods, there was a creek. I would sit at the creek in a spot where the water went over rocks and read, or just sit and enjoy the peace.

Just to my left is a bike. It reminds me that I'd like to get mine in good working order and bring it with me (or keep it here), so that during my lunch breaks I can get it out and take it around Durham. I need to start doing more exercise, and I really enjoy bike riding.

While I was outside, I read my Scripture for today:

18 “If you want to live securely in the land, follow my decrees and obey my regulations. 19 Then the land will yield large crops, and you will eat your fill and live securely in it. 20 But you might ask, ‘What will we eat during the seventh year, since we are not allowed to plant or harvest crops that year?’ 21 Be assured that I will send my blessing for you in the sixth year, so the land will produce a crop large enough for three years. 22 When you plant your fields in the eighth year, you will still be eating from the large crop of the sixth year. In fact, you will still be eating from that large crop when the new crop is harvested in the ninth year. Leviticus 25:18-22, NLT
Still working through Leviticus (well, actually finished it today), but this is where God is telling His people about the Sabbath. Not only were they supposed to recognize the 7th day of the week, but they were to give the land rest every 7 years. In the Scripture above, He tells the Israelites that, if they follow His decrees and instructions, during the 7th year, when the ground is resting, God will provide for them. We see this when God provided the manna for the Israelites in the wilderness. They would go out and get food for the first 6 days, but on the 7th, they would rest. So, to provide for them, God told them to get double portions on the 6th day, keep half for the 7th, and they would have food to eat. It was about trusting God to provide for their needs.

What's different, however, is during the time of the manna, God would only allow the Israelites enough food for the 7th day; when the 1st came around, they were to go back to collecting their food again. In this case, though, God tells them that the crops that are yielded in the 6th year are not only enough to take them through the 7th, but all the way through the 9th! What a loving God we serve. This Scripture shows us that God loves us so much, that not only does he want to MEET our needs, but He wants to EXCEED them! He wants us to rest in Him and be secure in Him. Verse 18 even says, "If you want to live SECURELY...." I want God to be my security!

So, continuing.....

A couple of notes from yesterday:
  1. Google Talk "Gadget" over to the right hand side (/me points ----->), you'll see a new "gadget". That's an interface for "Google Talk", Google's instant messaging service. If you have a Google Account (which you should have if you use BloggerTM to keep a blog), then you can use your Google Account username and password to log in, and you can chat to me! (I believe it will automatically add me as a Buddy....). It's really quite cool, and I'm trying to encourage others to use it. Go to Google Talk to find out more!
  2. Group Launches Post-Abortion E-Cards I'll be honest....I really don't know what to say about this. I HATE abortion! And this just sickens and saddens me to read this. But, I love people. We're all sinners and we all make poor choices. I don't really understand the logic behind this. I just....don't.

Well, it looks like my lunchtime is just about over. I'm going to snap another low-quality picture with my phone and head in and post. I will probably write more later.

1As the deer longs for streams of water,so I long for you, O God. Psalm 42:1, NLT
One day I'm going to start using a real digital camera. However, I imagine if I'd gone and gotten my real camera, by the time I got it, loaded it with batteries, and gotten ready to take the picture, the opportunity would've been missed. Add on top of that the fact that I'm NOTORIOUS for leaving pictures on my memory card forever, so if I'd done that, it probably would've never made it this far.

This is a picture from the window in my living room. One of the reasons I was excited about moving out to the country was because I envisioned looking out my window and seeing deer in the yard. I've been in the house for 9 years this July. Apart from a brief glimpse of a deer running through our back yard once, this is the only time I've seen deer in our yard.

As I looked out, I thought about the oft-quoted verse above, spoken a long time ago by King David. Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible has this to say on Psalm 42:
The title does not tell us who was the penman of this psalm, but most probably it was David, and
we may conjecture that it was penned by him at a time when, either by Saul's persecution or
Absalom's rebellion, he was driven from the sanctuary and cut off from the privilege of waiting
upon God in public ordinances.

Whether during persecution from Saul during his son Absalom's rebellion, David was going through a rough time. Matthew Henry says he was "cut off from the privilege of waiting upon God in public ordinance".

The image of a deer "panting" for the water gives the image of need....dire need. I was watching "SurvivorMan" last night (great show, by the way), where he tried to spend a week in the canyons of Southern Utah. He talked about the 5 W's that someone can judge their odds of survival -- Weather, Widowmakers, Wigglies, Wood, and....Water. There was not a steady supply of water for him to drink, and you could tell his desperate need for it, and his fear that he wouldn't last.

That's how I want my desire for God.....to be so desperate for Him that, when I'm away, I can't survive.

Maybe that's why I'm where I am now.....
34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
Matthew 6:34, NLT
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus took time to talk about worry. And, when he talked about it, he made it pretty clear that we are not to worry. It's not a suggestion, but a command (it comes across like that in the English; I'm sure the Hebrew scholars out there on the internets could say more on it....I've got a great collection of books that YFCRED gave me that are up at Church, which does me no good....). Obviously, to do what we've been told not to do, ie, worry, is a sin.

Although, it does say in the last part of the verse, "Today's trouble is enough for today". And today did see its share of troubles.

I actually thought today was a good day. I felt like Pastor, Wife, and I had a pretty productive discussion last night over ribs and fries. While nothing miraculous occurred, we did talk and I felt like we got to some things that I have to deal with. So this morning I was actually feeling pretty good.

Later in the day, I had a good talk with YFCRED. He called to ask about some stuff that happened Sunday night. We had a good talk. But I knew that this "stuff" that we were talking about was one more thing on his already full plate of things going on. That saddened me. It also saddened me that, for my part in it, I could've handled it a lot differently, which would've put less strain on him. Praise God, at least half of it's taken care of, and possibly the rest of it as of this publishing, as I didn't stay for the worship service so I don't know what happened after I left.

Which brings me to the worship service. Well, Church supper. WONDERFUL supper. I'm mad that I didn't buy any for home. I digress. About half-way through supper, I get a call from Wife who won't be in nursery because she's not doing well. Long story short, I finish my supper and come home.

Being at home was as much fun as it has been in the last 3 weeks....it's pretty much the reason I'm up at 1:20am putting together a blog entry. Get a call at 10:30 from Pastor wondering where I was. He mentioned that the youth didn't go to the worship service tonight, and, while he and another member were standing outside after worship, one of my^H^H the youth were doing stupid things in the parking lot with a multi-ton rubber-and-metal death machine, and when he made mention to them to stop acting the fool (my words), they got out and screamed at him.

So, this is where I revisit what I told YFCRED earlier this afternoon. I love the youth. God has given me a heart for teenagers. I want to see their lives transformed and I want them to grab hold of Christ and never let go. I want to be a mentor to them and help them grow. I think that's where my strength lies. I think back to Minion_1 and Minion_3. I think about how blessed I was to work with teenagers who actually care. They're not perfect, but they do care, and I feel like that's where my true ministry is. Although, at this point, I don't know if I'll be able to continue even that....

However, I'm not going to miss being a Youth Pastor. I HATE saying that, but honestly, I'm not. Wife originally said, and Pastor, I think, ultimately came to agree (and perhaps YFCRED as well) that more likely than not, it wasn't God calling me to youth work, but it was my wanting to stay a youth and not grow up. I think to be an effective leader, it takes a lot of qualities that, quite frankly, I'm lacking. This is honest reflection and NOT self-deprecation....I'm OK with that, but it would've been a lot better for the youth and the church if I'd admitted that 2 years ago.

That does remind me, however, that I've been thinking more and more about the role I'll be playing in the church going forward. My primary ministry is being a husband to a hurting Wife. But I do NOT want to just go back to being a Sunday morning pew warmer. I don't want to do that. I want to be active in some way, in some ministry. I do want to continue to work with the youth, but I'm trying to think of other things. I want to start a Bible Study/Prayer Time in our department at work. I've talked to another member of our church that works on my floor, and he's talked to 2 others. I know of 2 others who might be interested. I would like to see us do that. Someone else was talking about prison ministry. While I'd actually be very interested in that, I don't know if I have the personality for that. I'm seriously considering being involved in a church plant. I guess, though, in the short term, 1) I have to focus on being a husband first and 2) I have enough "loose ends", such as the basement renovation and Acquire the Fire at the end of the month, plus trying to make as smooth a transition as possible with the youth, to keep me busy for a while.

And I think I've rambled on for a good while....

Friday, March 09, 2007

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21 The twelve gates were made of pearls—each gate from a single pearl! And the main street was pure gold, as clear as glass. 22 I saw no temple in the city, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. (Revelation 20:21-22, NLT)
Even before becoming a Christian, I was fascinated by the Book of Revelation. I believe it's the first book of the Bible I read all the way through. I read a good post by "He Lives" regarding Revelation; take a look at my "Shared Feeds" to the right to see it (titled "Doesn't Soon Mean Soon?"). He mentioned that teenage men tend to want to learn about Revelation.

Why do we find Revelation so fascinating? I think, for one, it's a mystery. I think, as far as my own fascination goes, this incredible mystery surrounding it. While there have been many people who've tried to understand and share exactly what John's vision means, you won't find much agreement on what the exact meaning behind the various symbolism and imagery in it. You have dragons and beasts and creatures with many horns and mouths, locusts that have the heads of men and tails of scorpions that are allowed to sting the people on earth. It's unlike any other book of the Bible, and I think that's why there's such a draw there. That, and it talks of future events. For me, that was another draw.

But for the Christian, Revelation is much greater than just an interesting study in future events. As I've read it through several times, I've come to realize that the images in Revelation will probably never be "decoded" -- no one will ever be able to say what the images mean. BUT, to focus on those things is not seeing the forest for the trees. That is, we shouldn't be so focused on the little details, but instead should focus on the larger picture. And, the larger picture is 1) there is a spiritual battle going on and 2) Christ has, is, and will always be the ultimate Victor! It doesn't matter what the Beasts are, what the mark means, or who the 144,000 are, what matters is, which side of the battle are you on? One day all the things of the world will burn and go away, but the things of Christ's Kingdom will last forever! It doesn't matter what happens, Christ and His followers will be victorious and we will share in His inheritance when He comes to claim His bride!

20He that testifieth these things saith, "Surely I come quickly." Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. THAT'S hope!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Liu Shuping, a farmer specializing in raising pigs, presents a newly-born piglet with one head, two mouths, two noses and three eyes, for photographers in Xi'an, northwest China on  March 6, 2007.

I've spent most of the morning trying to figure out how to post this picture. I thought I'd found the best way, but no, it's broken. So, I'm doing it the old fashioned way.

This picture makes me sad. I don't think it was the result of anything more than an abnormality in nature. At least I hope so. Poor piggy.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Again, not the best picture in the world taken with my camera, but, it hit home with me. It was after a particularly stormy night. The clouds that morning were thick and gray, seemingly impenetrable to any light....

But, just over the top of the clouds....you could catch a glimmer of the light that waits on the other side.

Now, it's just a matter of making it through the clouds.
13 “If the entire Israelite community sins by violating one of the Lord’s commands, but the people don’t realize it, they are still guilty. 14 When they become aware of their sin, the people must bring a young bull as an offering for their sin and present it before the Tabernacle. (Leviticus 4:13-14, NLT)

I started in Leviticus this morning. I actually enjoy reading Leviticus, though sometimes it can be a little difficult to read. But, the sacrificial system and the Law intrigue me, and so I sincerely enjoy reading it.

As I started in Chapter 4, where it talks about the sin offerings, there was a phrase that was repeated at the beginning of each section...."but insert group here don't realize it, they are still guilty".

Unfortunately, I'm not the best at actually studying my Bible like I should....I'm a reader, and I enjoy reading. Taking the time to sit down and study, however, is difficult, and so I often overlook important details. But, I remember in a staff meeting not too long ago, when Pastor was going through Leviticus, he made mention of the fact that the sacrificial system was for unintentional sins, that there is no atonement for those done on purpose. This goes right along with Hebrews 10:26 where the author says, "Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins." The price that Christ paid on our behalf wasn't so we could continue in sin, but so we could deny our fleshly selves, turn away from our sins, and be forgiven of those that we do unintentionally.

This....is a scary thought. This is scary because, as I look back on the last 14 years, I recognize that a lot of the sin I committed was intentional. While some might argue that my problems stem from circumstances beyond my control, living a life of lying and deception and keeping stuff from Wife was intentional.

I don't like that that's the life I've led for so long. I don't like that I've hurt someone I love and care so much about. I don't like that things can't be fixed with "I'm sorry, give me another chance". I know that time is over.

Truthfully, I don't know what can be done that could fix it. I know lots of prayer is necessary. I know that I need to let go and let God be God. I know that, no matter what, if everything else falls apart, I have God's grace, and that should be enough for me.

I don't like uncertainty.

Monday, March 05, 2007

The post where I whine....a lot

so·ci·o·path Pronunciation (ss--pth, -sh-)

One who is affected with a personality disorder marked by antisocial behavior.

From www.thefreedictionary.com

Truth be known, I don't know why I'm blogging. I know I want to. I haven't for a while. But, I have a whole mess of other things I need to be doing.

I posted the definition of "sociopath" because I half-jokingly told Pastor I thought I was one. I don't really think that's the right definition of one, though. I think it goes deeper than that. I think it basically means someone who can't have healthy relationships with others.

As I look back on my life, I've figured out that I really don't have any healthy relationships. My parents, my sister, Wife...all of them are dysfunctional to some degree (and, truth be known, to a severe degree in those cases). So, then I look at my friends....Pastor, YFCRED, Minion_1, Minion_3. I love these people. But....how close do I get to them? And how close do I let them get?

I'm scared. I really think I'm at a point where I will lose everything. This past weekend I "stepped down" from my ministries at church to focus on my marriage. But, since that time, I'm coming to realize that it doesn't matter, as I probably won't have my marriage that much longer.

I really do wonder why I'm so screwed up....and before anyone comments and tells me that I'm not that screwed up....I am. I KNOW I have good qualities. I'm not saying I'm completely messed up and there's nothing good about me....but honestly, I'm pretty messed up. And I know the psychological people out there want to say that it's cause my father's emotionally walled off or my parents didn't hug me or because my dog died in the seventh grade or because I was sexually molested by a babysitter. I hate that. To me, it sounds like excuses.

All my life I've neglected responsibility. I've joked about it. Somehow I've managed to coast through life and be OK without putting forth too much effort. Sure, there were scary times, like in High School, when I was scared to death I wouldn't graduate. But I made it. I made it through college and got a wonderful job. I got married and have a house and mortgage and 2 cars. Somehow I've managed to do all this without a whole lot of effort. But, as I've grown older, I've realized that that quality that I was once so proud of has ended up hurting a lot of people. Not only that, but it makes me a not-very trustworthy, dependable person.

I have no ambition.
I have no motivation.
I have no energy.

I just coast along. And have for all my life.

And while I was coasting along, I've managed to kill the wonderful spirit of a wonderful young lady that I took for granted for 14 years. While I was coasting along, I neglected to invest in and build relationships with a group of youth that I really do love and enjoyed being with. Although, that may just go back to the emotional distance I seem to have with other people. While I've coasted along, I've got a mother who outright told me that talking to me is like talking to a stranger, that I'm so guarded.

I just want to be fixed.

No....I want to be fixed, and I want to go back and undo this massive mess that I seem to have created for a lot of people I love. And I can't. And so all these people are now victims of the consequences of my sin.

Yes, I've whined a lot. Yes, I'm depressed and feeling sorry for myself.

This is where the rubber meets the road. If everything I hold so dear goes away, can I truly say that God's Grace is sufficient for me? Because honestly, that may really be what I'm left with.