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Showing posts from 2004

Legalism and Morality

Legalism and MoralityOooh.Those are some hefty words.For some easy reading, check out funnystuff.com.Someone asked me why I don’t feel free to marry again if my ex had cheated on me.(Because Jesus did say divorce was excusable in that circumstance.)And my answer surprised me somewhat.I said, “Because I’m not a legalist.”You see, when you think about legalism, you think of a set of rules.DO’s and DO NOT’s.New Testament writerssaid God gave us those laws because we needed to be aware of our inability to attain perfection in ourselves.To show that in order for God to be God, He must be perfect.And to be joined with Him, we also must be perfect.Jesus said His coming was changing all that.He came to fulfill the law.That is, to bring it to it’s natural conclusion.God illustrated through His chosen people that no one could stick to His standards.Not a single hero of the Bible was even close to perfect.Union with God required a solution.Jesus is that solution.Love has destroyed the Law.Theref…

I am a cuddle slut

I’m reflecting on my interaction with women over the past couple of months. Well, two in particular. I have just procured the rights to share my recent story. The one I have been vaguely alluding too in the past couple of entries. This situation is particularly thought provoking because it is so similar to the scenario with ‘my new best friend’. Speaking of which, let me add a little side bar about her… She has purposely distanced herself from me to keep things from getting too hot. I kept inviting her to do stuff over the past several weeks, but there are usually reasons that she couldn’t. We were talking at our church group Christmas party about it and she told me she felt that she had to avoid me for the common good. I guess she’s right.
So back to my current mess. I’ll set the stage with a little history and personality profile. So there is this woman at work. I got the impression she might be attracted to me, mainly from my nosy coworker who sits behind me - we all cal…

Failure

I am stupefied.I am appalled.I am completely taken aback at my foolishness.It’s times like these I am very glad I serve a loving and forgiving God.You know that last entry I made?Yeah, the one from a couple of days ago.I hurt someone.I said I was going to be so much more careful now…Well I did something that was so diametrically opposed to ‘careful’ that I don’t even know what to call it.It’s amazing to me.I would much rather hurt myself than someone else.Yet I’ve managed to get myself into a situation where I’m hurting someone again.Worse this time.What a horrible example I’m being of one who has God in their life.How ruthlessly I suppressed His guidance in order to put myself in this position.Although now that I know I can’t trust myself in this area, I will make sure to never, ever put myself there again.It’s a balance, I think, to keep yourself from sin.There are two ways I know to do it.One is to cut off any possibility of it happening.Like not going to strip clubs because you kn…

Complications

As predicted, the mold-making process on my Christmas present sculpture is starting off on a botched foot.I made a latex mold that got all distorted because it had not set long enough.But that was a good experimental mold, so I poured some clear resin into it a couple of days ago.I pulled it out a day or so ago and it’s still sticky.Last night I tried making a master mold from the main piece again using some really expensive stuff.It looks like it may be permanently embedded in there.Grrrr!I really wish I knew someone with experience in this area who could sit down with me and walk me through it.I’ve got a week left to finish!Panic, panic, panic!!!In other complicated news… this week I really hurt someone I like.I wasn’t careful enough about the way I communicated with her.I can’t really go into any more detail out of respect for the injured party, but suffice it to say the ordeal really made me take a long hard look at how I communicate.It’s one of those things that is really hard fo…

Praise report

Justin has been doing really well at school.This is despite the fact that he has been talking to his mom more, and thus been let down time and time again by her.Normally he would be getting suspended again.But instead he is flourishing.Praise God for His answers to prayer.Here is what his teacher wrote me today:~“I just wanted to write you a short note to let you know how great Justin has been doing over the last couple weeks. He is very focused and is taking more responsibility for his behavior in the classroom. Even his handwriting has improved over the last two weeks. He is doing a wonderful job of expressing his ideas and showing me what he knows and understands. Great job Justin! “~Two things are happening that could account for this.The Ancient Paths thing, with the prayer for breaking curses is one.Another is a double prayer-chain-attack.I’ve got my church on call, and my parents have theirs.Whatever it is, ultimately, God is showing mercy and compassion on my family, and I…

Driven

I’m quite overburdened on the sculpture side right now.I always have a backlog of projects that are a quarter done.I always hope to get back to them, but most of them languish on the shelf until they get dusty and cracked.Super Sculpy (My preferred medium) only stays workable for a couple of months.I’m happy that I was able to complete a project for my dad recently.He wrote and preformed in a play that was recorded to CD and I made a sculpture to photograph for the cover.Now I’m feverishly working on one for Christmas presents.I hope to make a mold from it and cast multiple copies so I can spread the joy.But I have never had a mold work for me before.Either it doesn’t set, or breaks, or stick to the sculpture, or breaks the sculpture, etc.I’m keeping my fingers crossed on this one.Besides that one, I’ve got several in the planning stages.For some reason they are all based on songs.Then I have the pieces I started in that sculpture class back in October.Beyond that, I’m still wanting t…

Alexander: A review

The longest, gayest movie ever. Ok, technically it was just bi-sexual. There are some interesting things Christians can pull from the viewing of this movie. The prominent one being the total depravity of man. Anyone complaining about the state of our society, or bitching about George Bush being a ‘tyrant’ should see what a real conquering marauder was. One thing the movie attempts to answer is the Why? Why was Alexander driven to slaughter his way across the known world? What kind of mindset and worldview would glorify that? There is a scene where his father is leading a young Alexander through some catacombs with horrendous painting of mortals being tormented by their Grecian gods. Oedipus ripping his eyes out, the guy getting his liver eaten out by crows, etc. His father tells him that it doesn’t matter how great you are, the gods will have you. Pain is inevitable. In another scene, Aristotle is teaching Alexander about the inherent superiority of the Greeks over their Persian neigh…

A tightrope

My ex has been around a bit more lately.She has seen the kids twice in the past 3 weeks.So I have spent more time with her than before.(As she was just gone for half a year.)I felt like I should tell her that I was waiting for her, should she decide to turn her life around.After a week or so, she asked me what that would entail.And also would it mean she could come back and live with me.(I don’t think her current situation is very fun.)I told her she could not, and that a reunion would be a long, arduous process.She told me that she was surprised that I made the offer; she thought I had shut that door.I was surprised that she was surprised since I spent the last year and a half or our marriage begging her not to leave her family.Anyway; she wants me to put in writing what I think would be required to get back together.So in a since, my worst fear is coming true.I really wanted her to want nothing to do with me again so the onus for our break-up would be hers completely. The fact that …

The token conservative

I just signed onto a board for underground-music-loving Christians.I’ve been around the board long enough to see my beliefs are in the minority.So I wrote this little introduction for myself and thought is was kind of interesting; so here it is…I’m the one who believes the Bible is the indisputable Word of God, thinks we should all go to church, and typically votes republican.I believe in absolute truth.That some ideas, philosophies, religions are right, and others are wrong.I also believe it is totally possible to believe this AND maintain a loving, compassionate outlook on life and towards others without yielding any ground.I am open-minded in the sense that I love to learn, listen to other people’s issues and ideas, and exchange my own.I am close-minded in the sense that I am completely convinced that Christ is risen and His Spirit dwells in me.I have come to this conclusion through a triangulation of a variety of data.There are the existential aspects.(Those that can be denied thr…

How it came to be that I own a Charlotte Church CD

For some reason I was buying a Chevelle CD at Wallmart… Oh yes, I was buying socks and underwear for my boys…So anyway, I find the Chevelle CD, pull it out, and there waiting behind my intended purchase were the big, sweet puppydog eyes of 14-year-old Charlotte.My eyes did that anime thing where they get really big and the pupils dilate and highlights overwhelm the surface area.“Awwwwww!”I said.“It’s SO cuuuuute.”I said “it” because even in the stupor that was overcoming me I could recognize that this was a cleverly fabricated product dressed in the peach wood-nymph dress; not a human.I turned the CD over and found an ivy-festooned glen replete with dappled light dancing across the cherubic face of the sweet little girl who reclined on the almost-real-looking log. Her dainty head atilt and comfortable in all her pulchritude.
“NO!” My rational side yelled at me.“You came for Chevelle!Remember your anger.Tap into your testosterone induced rage to resist the seductive powers of the aesthe…

Ancient Paths

I attended a seminar at my church over the weekend called Ancient Paths.It’s a ministry started by a guy named Craig Hill.The theme is about how our society - church included - has abandoned the way God wanted people to live, and the consequences we are suffering as a result.The part I attended mainly covered family and interpersonal relationship issues.We examined modern American culture and mores through the lens of ancient Jewish society.(Which is our best example of how God wanted us to live since it was a theocracy with all the laws coming straight from Him.)We looked at the power of blessings and curses, how they are applied and the generational effect they have.Then the importance of ceremonies to cement these blessings at important times in life, and the roles that the family and community play in those as well.I’m pretty skeptical about this sort of thing generally.Especially the whole curses and demons and related themes.Not that I don’t believe they exist.But the amount of …

The debate in my head rages on

Well, raging is probably too strong a verb.I’m going to lay out the two sides of my current thinking regarding the whole remarriage issue.I’ve been thinking and praying about it for several months now, and don’t feel any closer to a conclusion than I was in the beginning.Side One:God’s consistent example to us is one of patience that endures long periods of unrequited love.The Bible recounts many such examples.The story of God’s relationship with the people of Israel, and with the rest of humanity is the most obvious one.There are iterations like Hosea, who was told by God to marry a prostitute.Hosea had to suffer through many of the feelings of rejection, and ingratitude that God must feel as we perpetually defy Him and defile ourselves.Then there is my own personal spiritual walk.Where would I be if God decided I wasn’t worth it anymore during the decade I ignored Him?What if He had done the equivalent to moving on and marrying another?But He didn’t do that.That is not His nature.An…

Football as a self-analysis tool

For some reason I can’t catch a football without jamming a finger.Maybe it’s the delicate artist hands.Maybe I’m just not tough enough.But this condition really makes football a lot less fun.You know what else makes it not fun?People who really, really care a lot about winning.Winning is apparently a very necessary component of the game for these guys to have fun.And by ‘these guys’ I mean just about everyone but me.I can’t have fun either way since my fingers keep jamming.So it makes me wonder why I’m different than most other guys.When they say things like, “I don’t know about you guys, but I’m out here to win!” I just think to myself, “No, I’m out here wishing someone would throw me the ball so I can jam another finger.”But seriously, despite the pain-riddled digits, I really like catching the ball and running with it.I’ve gotten to do that exactly once this whole season.Why?Because I’m not as good as the other players.So naturally it makes good since for the quarterback to throw i…

I'm SO sick of life right now!

Justin got suspended from school for a day because he apparently threatened to kill another student for not sharing their food.And, you know, you have to take an 8-year-olds death threats seriously.After all, one in every 500 million may actually mean it!I was talking to my councilor about how I’m at the end of my rope, and how this may be the most important time in Justin’s life right now.He could turn it all around, or drive himself into the ground based on how I handle him right now.No pressure there.In addition to this; the election is done and my group of old buddies from my job in Michigan are venting their grief and frustration over Kerry’s loss on our Ex-Outrage employee web board.Of course the way they are doing it is by exclaiming what a country of morons we are.“How could anyone be so stupid as to vote for Bush?!?”“Are we truly a nation of idiots?”Their language is a lot more colorful than that though.Normally I don’t care about people who insult my beliefs.But these are so…

I need more rope

It’s been a ruff couple of days for me.My mood is affected greatly by several things.One of the biggest is my children.It used to be my wife.I was generally happy unless she was unhappy.Which was most of the time.Now that she is gone I’m happy most of the time.But I’m finding my mood is now a prisoner to my son’s behavior.I am just so worried about him.My youngest is generally really easy.Of course he has the typical 5-year-old mood swings and whining.But overall he doesn’t seem to be effected by life the same way my older son is.I think that’s because Justin has had more time with his mom over the course of his life.His concept of normalcy involves her presence.Whereas with Shane; his mom was already inconsistent figure from the age of 3.So the absence and rejection from mom has had a bigger impact on Justin.Which makes his acting out so hard for me to deal with.He is the sweetest little kid you could know.His mom and I worked very hard to teach him good manners and graciousness.He a…
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ZAO!!!

I did something right!

Since this blog is supposed to be functioning as a journal, I’m going to throw some random stuff in here that happened over the past week or so.I went to a Zao show in Seattle.Their star guitarist was in the ER, so the set wasn’t that great.Oh well.Their last album was amazing!A conceptual record called ‘The Funeral of God’.It’s a hypothetical look at what would happen if God gave humanity what they wanted and went away.Very scary stuff.It reminds me of C.S. Lewis’s ‘Between Heaven and Hell’ in that the horror is not in the form of torment from demons and fire, but the torment of being completely enslaved to our own natures.“As we pray on His grave, our words fall and decay”I also love the cover art and logo design.I painted the logo on the back of my spare tire cover.Oh, and the thing I did right was during football last Saturday.I actually made a touchdown.It doesn’t mean much since everyone else on the team has made dozens.But it was exciting for me.It was one of those near disaste…

Explanation

Here is a little insight into the meaning behind the image below.This picture applies only to how I feel about my romantic life.Not life in general.I’m mostly very thankful and happy about my life and all the things in it.So here I am standing on the tombstone of my marriage.It’s got our initials and dates for how long it lived.It is flanked by thistles; a traditional Christian symbol for sin and sadness.Laying in the shallow grave is my heart.Again, I’m only referencing my romantic heart.I’m holding my eyes to keep myself from looking at women ‘that way’, while I contemplate whether I should finish the burial of my heart, or drop the shovel and pick it up.It’s night time.Time for me to sleep and renew.But my confusion keeps me awake.Finally, there are seven stars behind me.Seven has a plethora of meanings from scripture.One of those is the reference to forgiveness.God has forgiven me for the part I played in the death of the marriage, and reminds me to forgive the other responsible p…