Word of the Day

Tuesday, September 30, 2008
The word of the day is Quibble.


An end to this madness

Saturday, September 27, 2008
So I ranted the other day about the government spending $700 BILLION to bail out bad debt. If you feel the same way (and even if you don't, or even if you don't care, or even if you have no idea what is going on), then this is a must see:


The above link is to a site that may just have the answer. Dave Ramsey the other day talked for 30 minutes, explaining WHY all of this is going on, and one option to fix it (and that one option has nothing to do with $700,000,000,000). In the link above there is an audio version of the discussion (IE: it's original format), and a transcript for those that are time challenged.

I HIGHLY recommend that EVERYONE listens to or reads what he said. He does a great job of explaining simply what all is going on, and how it can be fixed. Even if you don't have 5 minutes to spare today, change your plans to read what he has to say!

What are you waiting for? GO!


Address book...

Friday, September 26, 2008
Well today I sent out lots of e-mails. Today is my annual Address Book Cleanup Day. I e-mailed everyone in my address book to make sure that I have their correct and up-to-date information. Also included in the e-mail was my current information, in case anyone had lost it.

Anywho, if you didn't get an e-mail from me, that is because I don't have your e-mail address. If you want one of these e-mails, feel free to just ask for one and I will send it your way.

That is all for now.



Thursday, September 25, 2008
When I made my "I Like Ike" post, I not only posted it here, I also posted it on a forum... and I quickly regretted it. People slammed me for finding something good in something so bad. People flat out told me "You should hate the cool weather because others are hurting because of the hurricane" [not a direct quote]. Granted, I should have been more respectable in my posting (that is why I took the "I Like Ike" button off of my post), but I still stand by what I said.

In the days following, I thought more about it, and it didn't make sense that I should suffer simply because others are suffering. How many people are homeless in my town alone? Should I not find beauty and love in this world while there are people on the streets? (Yes, Christ calls us to serve the poor and needy, but I don't think that the message is "You can't find any sort of happiness in life until every person in the world is not suffering".)

Anywho, after that I was reading "Prentice Alvin" by Orson Scott Card, and a passage caught my attention:

(Some background: it is the early 1800's, and Alvin is trying to rescue a child who has been kidnapped and is on his way to slavery.)

Alvin stood beside Horace, masked by shadows at the riverbank, waiting for a well-lighted riverboat to pass. Out on the boat, musicians were playing, and people danced a fancy quadrille on the decks. It made Alvin angry, to see them playing like children when a real child was being carried off to slavery tonight. Still, he knew they meant no harm, and knew it wasn't fair to blame others for being happy while somebody they didn't even know might be grieving. By that measure, there'd be no happiness in all the world, Alvin figured. Life being how it is, Alvin thought, there's not a moment in the day when there ain't at least a few hundred people grieving about something.

So yes, I feel bad about the hurricane, and I empathize with those that are hurting and suffering, but that doesn't mean that I can't find beauty and love in the cool weather that the hurricane brought.

(Yes, I am being defensive about this... but even while I sound strong in the post, I still wonder if I am viewing this wrong. What is your thought? Am I in the right for seeing beauty while others are hurting, or should I understand that the horrific nature of the event drowns out the beauty I see?)


=: <

I don't want to live in a socialist country.

And yet I do. Yesterday Bush said that he wants to give 700 billion dollars to help bail out a few key companies. That is to say, my money is going to pay for other companies to not fail. This is socialism.

I am sorry, but I don't want my hard earned money going to bail out companies that have been loaning money to people that can't afford a loan. These companies are bankrupt FOR A REASON! These companies have been making bad decisions for a long time, and we, the tax payers, are now going to flat out give them money for making bad decisions? GIVE ME A BREAK!

Yes, if the companies fail, it will lead to an economic downturn, or as Dave Ramsey puts it, "a cold winter for many." But maybe this is something that we need. It is proven that forests need forest fires to live. The longer a forest lives without a forest fire, the more it NEEDS a forest fire. The National Park Service understands this, and will periodically set fires to old forests.

Just like forests, our economy needs to be reset every once in a while. The 1920s are known as a decade of decadent spending, of people having lots of money without knowing what to do with it. So what happened in the '30s? There was a crash in the economy, and the economy reset. Now, again, in the past 20 years, people have spent more money than ever, most of which isn't theirs (they loaded it). Now, the economy is suffering because millions of people spent more money than they could afford to. Our economy needs to reset, and people need to learn the lesson that you can only spend what you make!

And let's look at the 700 BILLION DOLLAR figure. From this blog, here are some facts about $700,000,000,000:

It is one third of the total amount of money received by the federal government in 2007, including social security, income tax, corporate tax, and all other receipts.
It is $140 billion more than has been spent on the Iraq war since the invasion.
It is nine times the amount spent on education in 2007.
It is 35 times the amount spent on all foreign aid in most years.
Its over twice the amount of all money given to all charitalbe organizations in the United States in any given year.
It is more than $100 for every person in the world.

And, if you do the math, it is $2,300 per man woman, and child in America today. Think about it this way: earlier this year the government gave most tax payers $300 to stimulate the economy. What would happen if the government gave every person in America $2,300. You think THAT would stimulate the economy?

So on this point, I disagree with President Bush. His plan is socialism, pure and simple. There are MANY more problems with this situation than just the $700 billion, but that number itself is reason enough to be frustrated with the government.


I Like Ike

Sunday, September 14, 2008
I am going to say something that will be controversial, but "I like Ike". There, I said it.

I don't mean to be disrespectful to those in the path of Hurricane Ike. I feel bad for those that have lost their lives, their homes, their dreams, their everything. I wish that Ike didn't have to hurt anyone.

But I see more than the destruction and the loss. I see the beauty of the storm also. Ike has brought cool weather to end our hot summer. I haven't closed my windows since Ike blew threw, and my A/C in my house and my car have stayed off! And while the rain brought flooding to many areas, it also brought water to many thirsty regions. Ike has pushed Summer away and has invited Fall to come in.

So while the chaos and grieving are not lost on me, I also see the beauty and the benefits that Ike has brought to many of us.


Seen and Unseen

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.... So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
~ 2 Corinthians 4:16, 18

On a completely related topic, I am fully in love with the song "Angelise" by Russell Martin. Link (on the right hand side, click on "Angelise")


More Quotes please

Thursday, September 11, 2008
Best quote of the week:

"This is what it is to be a Mythbuster: You see this car behind me and you think 'Ahh, it's some Classified Ad piece of crap.' I see a flying water jet car."
~ Adam on Mythbusters


One more reason...

I couldn't sleep tonight, so instead I thought I would go computer shopping. In a few months our church will need to purchase a new computer for the sound booth in the new sanctuary, so I thought I would go out and see what was out there...

...and now I remember one of the biggest reasons I like Macs: choices. Apple gives you plenty of choices, and lets you customize your computer, which is great. Dell, on the other hand, gives you so many choices that your head explodes before you even get to the third line.

For example, I pulled up their OptiPlex 740 Mini-Tower (whatever that means). Under "Processor", here are the choices:
AMD PHENOM™ 9600B (2.3GHz,512KBX4) [add $457]
AMD PHENOM™ 9550 (2.2GHz,512KBX4) [add $404]
AMD PHENOM™ 8750 (2.4GHz,512KBX3) [add $337]
AMD PHENOM™ 8600B (2.3GHz,512KBX3) [add $291]
AMD ATHLON™ 64 X2 5600+ (2.9GHz, 512KBX2) [add $168]
AMD ATHLON™ 5400B (2.8GHz,512KBX2) [add $143]
AMD ATHLON™ 64 X2 5200+ (2.7GHz, 512KBX2) [add $133]
AMD ATHLON™ 5000B (2.6GHz,512KBX2) [add $108]
AMD ATHLON™ 4850e (2.5GHz, 512KBx2) [add $83]
AMD ATHLON™ X2 4800+ (2.5GHZ,512KBX2) [add $68]
AMD ATHLON™ 4450B (2.3GHz, 512KBx2) [add $63]
AMD ATHLON™ X2 4400+ (2.3GHZ,512KBX2) [add $43]
AMD ATHLON™ 1640B (2.7GHz, 512KB) [Included in Price]

And this is just one computer out of DOZENS of Dell configurations.

Looking at that list, I honestly couldn't tell you how each processor is different. I consider myself tech-savvy, at least more tech-savvy than your Average Joe, but to me, that list is just a big grouping of letters and numbers. I couldn't even tell you which AMD line is better, Athlon or Phenom.

I am sorry, but this is ridiculous. Can we not find a better way to buy computers? Instead of offering 50 different computers each offering 50 different options at 50 different points, why not offer a few good computers and let people customize it from there. (Oh wait, Apple already does that!)

At least I am on the business side of Dell.com... the home side is even more confusing! *sigh* Buying a computer shouldn't be this hard.

Oh, and most of their business computers come with both Vista and "downgrade XP"... Some people say that the whole "Vista Sucks" mentality is just because of Apple's smear adds, but this proves otherwise.

EDIT: So I went and looked at their "XPS One", which is an all-in-one computer (although there are other XPS computers that aren't all-in-one... I still haven't figured that one out). Anywho, there are three pre-built models, so I click on "Customize It" under one of them. This takes me to a page where I can customize the computer. There are two options:

20 widescreen display with Intel® Core™2 Duo E4500 [Included in Price]

Operating System
Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium [Included in Price]

Yup, when you click "Customize It" you can't customize anything. SHOCKER! Buying a PC is one of the most asinine things I have ever seen. In leet speek, this could be called "EPIC FAIL!"


1 Corinthians 15:58

Monday, September 08, 2008
I never would have guessed last night when I posted 1 Corinthians 15:58 how much it would mean to me today. I posted it last night because I happened to read it, and I thought it was cool, so I posted it. But today it changed everything...

This story starts a few weeks ago when Kory (the pastor at the church that I work for) saw a YouTube Video about a pastor having an interview with Satan. Kory wanted to copy the idea and do it ourselves, but talking about issues that we are dealing with (hard hitting issues like parking!).

Anywho, Kory wanted to show the video this weekend, so Thursday we went up to the parsonage and taped Kory talking to Joe (the choir director), who was dressed as Satan. It went great. It was funny, and it made its point. Over the next few days I edited the video and had it ready to run for today's service. I wasn't running the service this morning, so I came to the 11:15 service (the only reason I came was to see people's reaction to the video... I am only half kidding...). Anywho, they didn't play the video during the announcements like I thought that they would. They didn't play it before the sermon, or during the sermon. I started getting worried. "Was the DVD bad, did they not like it?"

During communion, I was able to push aside my worries, and I thought about the passage in 1st Corinthians, so I opened a pew Bible and I found it:

Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
~ 1 Corinthians 15:58

(Notice that this quote is from the NRSV, what we have as pew Bibles, while the one I posted last night was from the NIV)

I love how Paul uses the word "immoveable". "Be steadfast, be immoveable, always excel in the work of the Lord." It is a beautiful passage, and may just become my favorite verse in the Bible... no, wait, I have just made an executive decision, it is now my favorite verse in the Bible (my favorite chapter is Psalm 73... look it up and read it!).

Anywho, after communion we sang a song and the service was over. No video. Not happy. I went and talked to Carter who was running the sound booth and he said "They hadn't seen it yet and decided to not show it." I got a little peeved because I had e-mailed Kory three versions of the video on Friday and Saturday, but apparently he hadn't checked his e-mail to see it before Sunday.

On the way home I was getting pretty angry. They didn't show a video even when I drove all the way out there just to see people's reaction to it (ha). We taped on Thursday so that we could get it done by Sunday, I worked all day Friday and Saturday just to get it done by Sunday... All of this in vain, because they didn't show it. I was feeding my anger and it just grew. I knew that it shouldn't anger me, but it still did!

I was getting all worked up about it, until I remembered the verse in 1st Corinthians. The first half of the verse says "Be steadfast, be immoveable", but the second half says "...you know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain." And I just became peaceful about the whole situation. Sure they didn't show the video today, but they still plan on showing it next week. And sure I hurried to get it done by this Sunday, but I had nothing better to those days, so it worked out well that I was forced to work on it, while it was completely possible that otherwise I would have procrastinated and pushed editing the video until last minute later this week.

But all of the above reasons were selfish reasons to be angry in the first place. It made me realize that I was editing the video because I wanted to see people's reaction to it, I wanted the self-gratification of my work. Remembering the verse reminded me that I didn't do that work for myself, I did the work for God, thus no matter the outcome, the work by definition was not in vain. Even if this video is never shown, the work was still worth it, because I was working for the Lord.

So if you ever volunteer, or give money to an organization, or help out God's kingdom in any way and it doesn't turn out like you thought it would, don't despair, don't get angry, mad, or upset, remember that the work that you did was for the Lord, THUS it was not in vain.


Stand Firm

Sunday, September 07, 2008
Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
~ 1 Corinthians 15:58


Running the Race

Thursday, September 04, 2008
A few days ago I was reading the Bible, and I came across this passage:

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
~ 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Now I know that I am not the first person to talk on this passage, to use the analogy "Run the Race for God". But when I read this, I internalized it. When I hear a sermon, too often I just listen, I just hear what he says and leave it at that. But when I read this, I stopped and thought, "What does this really mean?"

The analogy is simple: Our life is a race, and as in a race, you want to get the prize. But beyond the simple analogy, lets break down what Paul says.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize?

This part is confusing to me. The closest I can decipher it is: "Many people will try to get into Heaven, but few will," a paraphrase of what Jesus said. I think that Paul is trying to remind us that even those that ran, gave it their all, and got second, still didn't get the gold.

Run in such a way as to get the prize.

This is the motivational part for me. When you run a race, you don't ever let up. Even if you are ahead of everyone else, you don't slow down, because one of them could speed up at any moment and pass you. You run as hard as you can until the finish line so that you can get that top prize. This reminds me that I am not here to enjoy my stay on Earth. I am not here to work until I die, to have lots of babies, or to have all of my joys fulfilled. I am here to do the work of God, to run the race with all that I have, for God.

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training.

Remember that the race is not just run on the track, but in the practice field. You can't just go around your daily lives hoping to be a good Christian, you must "practice", you must pray, you must study the Word, you must spend alone time with God. Remember that when Jesus said "These demons only come out with prayer and fasting", he didn't stop to pray or fast, he cast out the demon on the spot. This means that Jesus must have done his prayer and fasting BEFORE that moment.

They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

Here, Paul reminds us that we are in this for the long haul, that our prize is not Earthbound but Heavonbound. One of the biggest themes that I find in the Bible is: "Focus on Earthly gains, and you will receive Earthly rewards. Focus on Heavenly gains, and you will receive Heavenly rewards." Frankly, I want Heavenly rewards, so that means I need to focus on Heavenly gains.

Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air.

Don't go around life with your brain turned off. Don't do anything without thinking about it first. You know how much money I have lost by buying things before thinking "Do I really need this?" Too many mistakes in life are made because we aren't thinking, we have no aim. Turn on your brain and find your focus in life.

No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

Paul is saying "I practice what I preach." Or, "I said for you to go out and practice running... look at my life, I go out and practice running. I said run the race as hard as you can... I have run the race as hard as I could. I did this so that you can follow my example, so that other's could be lead to Christ through my actions. Now, YOU go out and do as I have done: lead others by your actions and your praise to God so that others will follow your lead."

OK, that is all I have for now. This post is kinda lame (in fact, I think it is my lamest post ever), it is just a few wondering musings of a confused soul. I hope and pray that you will be motivated and refreshed with what I have posted here, and remember to constantly run the race for God.