Showing posts from 2005

Ethics and God

Here is an ethical dilemma I head on a radio talks how hosted by a Rabbi:You are a subway control station operator.There are construction workers in two tunnels that are non operating, but a runaway train is headed down one of the tunnels.If you do nothing it will go down the tunnel and kill 5 workers.But if you divert it, it will go down the other tunnel and kill only one worker.The Rabbi who was posing the problem said that the proper response, according to a deistic viewpoint, is to do nothing because action on your part would mean a lack of faith and dictating to God who lives and who dies.He compared it to this scenario:There are 5 people who will die if they don't get organ transplants.All the organs could come from one person but harvesting the organs will obviously kill him.So, choosing the lives of the 5 over the single person would be the same as sending the runaway train down the tunnel with one guy.I disagree.For two reason.First of all the analogy between the first an…

Being thankful

I learned how to be grateful a couple of years ago.I think it may have had a lot to do with who I was spending time with.(Or NOT spending time with.)Attitudes are infectious, and I'm embarrassed how easily I was infected by so many bad ones.In retrospect I can see that ungratefulness is the result of a basic outlook on life, and I think it's impossible to be grateful while one holds that outlook.It goes like this…"Life is so unfair to me.I never get what I deserve.People always treat me unfairly.No one is looking out for me."Having been in a house that was saturated with those thoughts, and having come out of it into a better attitude, I can see some big advantages to being thankful.Here are the ones I have recognized. The single most important part of being thankful is that is points to God.Once one gives thanks, the question must be asked: to whom are we giving our thanks?It keeps us humble.If we are thankful for what we have, that means we are …

People and purpose

Here is one of those verses that polite Christians always skim by and try not to think too hard about:Romans 9:21Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?It's been several weeks since my ex wife has called.That always puts me a little on edge.I get to wondering what it would be like if she never called again.I think of the relative peace that my boys experience without the crying on the other end of the line, and broken promises made again and again.Empty proclamations of love with no action to back them up.I don't see how that can be good for my sons.But then, there are a lot of things I can't see, and isn't that what faith is all about?It brings to mind the scene in Lord of the Rings where Frodo first finds out that Gollum is tracking them…Frodo: [Frodo sees something some distance away. He hurries towards Gandalf, and sits beside him.] [To Gandalf]: There's something down there! Gandalf:…

The times we live in

Here's what I find most interesting about the times we live in.No, it's not the moral decline or scary political climate.History has seen far worse before.It's the information availability and its societal distribution.In other words, who has the info and who doesn't and why.Here's the weird part: anyone with internet access has access to a virtually unlimited supply of information.And yet, with this overwhelming supply comes an interesting reaction.Rather than absorbing as much of it as we can we tend to ignore it because take it for granted.I don't know how a T.V. works, but I know I could find out in less than a minute.Exacerbating this issue is the fact that no one could conceivably learn even a fraction of what there is to know about so many fields of study.So we rely on experts to tell us what to think about any particular field.Our technology has grown so immense that we have no other choice.Food production, medicine, psychology, politics, religion, cons…

Aesthetic taste and maturity

Preface to my dear, gentle readers:I feel the need to give a warning to any who would dare to enter the twisted labyrinth that this post is.It was written mostly in 5 minute spurts over the course of a week… and it reads just like you imagine it would.Were I a professional writer with an intended audience wider than myself and my mom, I would go over this again and completely rewrite it.It starts with an issue that has been rolling around in my head for some time, but addressing it took me on so many side-tracks that it fails to present any sort of cogent argument.Rather, it's a record of my thought process when fragmented by the constraints of a job and an inadequate art education. _____________________________________________________I'm 30 now, and sometimes I wonder why I still like some of the stuff I did when I was in high school, or even younger.My dad told me I would grow out of the heavy metal growling music.Never happened.I still watch almost every movie that comes ou…

Back and better than ever

Well, I've been back from my honeymoon for almost a week now.We are still enjoying our early wedded bliss.This, despite our cramped 2-bedroom apartment that we are sharing with my brother.The boys used to sleep with me on my bed, but now that I have a wife I've kicked them out into the living room to sleep.So our living room is now not only the T.V. room, dining room, art room, and toy/play room, it is also a bedroom for two.I really wish I could have given my new bride a better home to move into, but this is what we have right now and it will have to do.It's weird the considerations we guys don't even think about when we aren't trying to accommodate a woman.Suddenly I care so much more that the floors are stained and dingy, and there's no matching furniture, and my art supplies are always spilling out into the living room and kitchen counter, and no table to eat at.But my wife is so sweet.When we pray together she thanks God for what He has given us, even our …

Reflections on the day before my wedding

I've spent all week making a giant, paper mache tree.And a 4 foot wide moon.Then setting them up at church to be the backdrop for my wedding ceremony.It's the day before my wedding.(My second and last wedding.)And I'm really thankful for what God has been doing in me.Everyone keeps asking me if I'm excited.Well, for starters, I don't usually get excited before an exciting thing, just during.I am certainly anticipating the event with joy.And I guess that makes me happier than excitement.Because joy, true joy is full of peace.I'm quite calm, content, and worry free.(I wish I could say the same for Heather!)And it's not because I'm disengaged from the process of preparing for the wedding.Like I said, I've been heavily involved in the decoration and such.I simply know in my heart of hearts that this is meant to be, so I'm not worried about what-ifs and could-bes.My fantastic church is showing what it truly means to work together as a body, giving ou…

Feel'n it

It be September 19th matey.It's the official Talk Like A Pirate Day.Arrrrgh!So this may be the most annoying post I've ever done….So I was stand'n thar in church yesterdee.The music was play'n the jigs be about worship'n God n' all.I be appreciat'n the lyrics but not feelin' them the same way I feel the cold, salt-stained steel of me cutlass.Not the same way I did last year when the storms of life was at their worst.Then the thought struck me like a 2 pound load of grapeshot.I remembered the talk me pastor was giving me and me bride-to-be in our second pre-marital counseling session.He told tale of a sailing ship.I suppose it could be a pirate ship if one were so inclined…He says thar be two kinds of people in a relationship: sails, and anchors.These types that are like sails tend to catch the wind and drive a relationship.They tend to make decisions faster and go with change easier.This makes them flexible and open, but more prone to crashing onto rock…

Practical application of Calvinism

I have been reading C.S. Lewis's 'The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe' to my sons in preparation for the film coming out this Christmas.We just got to the chapter where the children are in the beaver's home and are being told that they need to meet Aslan.When they find out that Aslan is a lion, (symbolic of Christ) they are freighted.They ask, "Is he a safe lion?"Mr. Beaver chuckles, and says nothing to allay their fears.I don't think many Christians are comfortable with an un-safe God either.I think that is why Calvinism is not very popular.There are some problems I see with Calvinism.Not so much the doctrine, as the application, and even more problematic, it can be a huge downer on Christian apologetic work.In other words, the concept can scare people away from Christianity faster than topics like abortion, gay marriage, and hell.Now this could be because it's totally wrong, and people's reactions to it are based on a natural revulsion.Or it c…

Am I a Calvinist?

I don't know.I might be.But since I don't have any schooling in theology I really can't say for certain.One thing I love about the internet is that it can be very educational.I love forums where people debate things and post links to articles and Bible verses and such.I wish I could sit down and read a book by Thomas Aquinas or St. Augustine or Jonathan Edwards.But I can't do that right now.So I learn by reading articles about such books.Which is why I can't satisfactorily determine any sort of alignment with their thinking, which is why I can't say if I'm truly a Calvinist or not.I've been frustrated recently by my inability to really get into some serious study of theology.It fascinates me, and as I learn more about it, I realize how important it is in shaping the way Christians interact with God and the world around them.And when I read debates about ideas like Calvin's, I can't help but wonder what process brought my protestant, evangelical,…

A story of bountiful luck, grand coincidences, or divine interaction on an intimate level

One thing I always wanted to do when I got married was to create the engagement and wedding rings.I figure that since God gave me the gift of being able to sculpt, that this was a natural conclusion.The last time I got married I didn't have the time, money, or ability to do so.This time I just barely pulled it off, but only because of a series of fortunate events.You see, I've never made a real piece of jewelry before.I don't have the supplies and tools necessary, or the experience.I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do for the engagement ring, and knew a few of the things my fiancĂ© wanted.She likes white gold and solitary stones.I wanted a triangle-cut diamond since that represents something important to me.(It's a picture of man and wife at the bottom corners, and God at the top corner.As the husband and wife get closer to God, they become closer to one another as well.)But I know nothing about jewelry, diamonds, gold, etc.How does one go about buying a diamond, a…
The ring I made
Page 35 (The ring was in the bottom of the ?)
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Because your faith inspires me.Because you drift through my thoughts constantly.Because your love for my children stands alone.Because you put God's will before your own.Because you put God's will before me.Because our hands fit together perfectly.Because when you aren’t with me I wish you were.Because you wrestle with my kids even when you know you'll get hurt.Because you help me put my kids to bed.Because we are saving our kisses for after we are wed.Because we share one meal at restaurants.Because I can carry you wherever I want.Because us being together is not an accident.Because you really like my parents.Because my parents really like you.Because even when it's hard you tell the truth.Because our love is not based on Eros which always flies away.Because we love what's inside, and that will never fade.Because you skip when you are happy.Because you still do what needs to be done even when you feel crappy.Because I want to grow old and decrepit with you.Because…