Archive for the ‘my thoughts’ Category

questions

Posted: October 26, 2010 in faith, God, my thoughts

some questions I’ve been working through, pondering, dealing with recently…

How is it that I’ve forgotten so much of Eli’s childhood already? We’ve never had a video camera, and for his first two years, we didn’t have a digital camera either, so his baby years aren’t extremely well documented.  But even now as I try to think back to his first crawl, walk, words, etc…it’s all so fuzzy.

How can I love God so much, yet at times be such a wretched person? And knowing that David, Jacob, Solomon, and the like did bad things doesn’t help.  There are times when I can’t believe the mean, selfish, thoughtless things I do, and question my true love for God.

Do people REALLY get sent to hell? I worked for a couple of years with a guy (he was 50 yrs old at the time) who was a man of faith, and truly believed that all mankind would be in heaven, that God was a God of such deep, fierce, unimaginable love, that He would bring all peoples, past, present and future, to live for eternity with Him.  He didn’t share this thought much, because other people would break into arguments with him.  But when he and I talked about it a couple of times, I have to say he made a convincing argument.

At what point will scientific breakthroughs and discoveries cease? Is it possible, that at some point, we will have discovered and invented and researched all there is in the world of science?

God, can you please help me fathom the reaches and intricacies and awe of the universe?

Is God actually still active in the lives of humans today…..or does life just happen as it happens, and we sometimes attribute things to the hand of God?

What will my son be like when’s he’s 20 years old? Will he still believe, and have his own faith?  Will he be a good person or a bad person, and how much of that will have to do with my fathering?

Why is my left foot about 1/3 of a size larger than my right foot? It’s not cool, because it makes finding a good fitting pair of shoes more difficult.

Is it possible to do anything in life without some type of selfish motivation involved?

I’d really, really love to know if it was 7 literal days, 7 geological eras, 7 “God” days, or maybe even a big bang.

How old would Michael Jordan have to be before I could beat him in a game of 21?

What were some of Jesus’ favorites? Favorite food?  Color?  Time of day?  Season of the year?  Old Testament story?

Will my questions really be answered in heaven, or will I really not give a crap once I’m there?

Brett Favre is Calling Your Mom

Posted: October 11, 2010 in my thoughts

Not really, I just was reading about the Brett Favre scandel earlier, and that headline (not real, my own made up one) was stuck in my head.

I went for 2 months with no caffeine or soda of any kind.  Then I went on an 8 day work trip to Wisconsin and Indiana at the very end of July.  On that trip, I drank some authentic Wisconsin brewed Root Beer (Sprecher’s) that was amazing.  That ended my streak.  Then, for some odd reason, I started drinking an occasional cappuccino from the Pilot gas stations.  So, over the last 6 weeks or so, I’ve had several cappuccinos, and I’ve consumed a few Coke’s and sweet teas.  However, I can tell I’ve already gained back about 4 pounds, and the caffeine is noticeable in ways I do not care for, so I’m trying hard to rid myself again before it get worse.

Went camping two weekends ago with some guys from my small group.  It was our 2nd annual guys small group camping weekend.  Weather was amazing.  Ryan and Chris brought enough firewood for 2 weekends.  And I only consumed 5 hot dogs this year….as opposed to the 8 or 9 that I ate last year at the camp out.  For some reason, all I want to eat when I go camping is hot dogs.  And then all I want to do for the 2 days after camping is wish that I didn’t eat all those hot dogs.

Eli lost his first tooth (pictured).  I remember pulling loose teeth as a kid.  Don’t really remember my first, but I remember a few.  And I remember always wanting them just to dry up and fall out on their own.  I was scared to death to actually pull them out.  Eli was no different.  His little tooth was so loose I was afraid he would choke on it in his sleep.  Luckily, it fell out at home one evening while he was eating some crackers.  Fell right into his hand.  Awesome.  (I remember eating tater tots at school one year, and one of my teeth crunching in my mouth as it fell out while I was eating the tater tots)

Crossings went to three services a month ago.  9:00, 10:30, and noon.  My mind and spirit are very happy about this.  My body is not.  Spending 6 – 7 hours at church on Sundays (roughly 6:45am to 1:30pm) is more taxing than I was anticipating, especially since it’s only about 1 hour longer than I used to be there each week.  It’s sort of like eating that 9th hot dog on a camping trip, after having downed 8 already.  1 more never “sounds” that bad, right?

I’m not on Facebook.  But Threds is on Facebook.  And I’m responsible for keeping up with it.  So if you want to follow me (sort of) on Facebook…go HERE and become a fan.

I absolutely love all the hay ride / corn maze places you can go to in October!  We’ve already spent time at the Oakes Farm, Maple Lane Farms, and the Mayfield Farm….major fun!

(FYI – the picture to the right is basically an inverted bounce house at the Oakes Farm – it’s called a Bounce Pillow.  Awesome fun, and can definitely get more air-time than you can in a standard bounce house!)

A Few Questions

Posted: November 17, 2009 in God, my thoughts

I have this feeling that once Heaven is my reality, I won’t really care about those questions I’ve always wanted to ask God.  Sort of like trying to wrap your brain around how the Egyptians built the pyramids, then when you see them in person, you don’t really care….you just want to admire them for what they are.

However, if curiousity is still a valid response upon entering the pearly gates, here are just a few of the questions I would like to ask God.  I’m assuming He’ll continue to be all-present at that time, so that I won’t have to make an appointment or stand in line.  That would make this much easier.

Questions:

Which is it, really?  Nature or nurture?  And if both, what’s the percentage breakdown?

Did you allow me to break my left arm 3 times in elementary school for a purpose?  Does that purpose have anything to do with me being afraid to do anything that might cause injury ever since that time?

When my sister was in a car wreck that might should have killed her, did You actually intervene, or was it just pure luck?

Do You ever truly intervene, or do You allow things to happen the way they happen, and leave us to ponder the difference?

7 days of creation, or 7 eras/ages of creation, or instantaneous creation, or none of the above?

Why not make Your inspired Word a tad more black and white?  Wouldn’t that have made faith more attainable for all?  Why so many mysteries and grey areas?

Who really killed JFK?

Are we actually experiencing global warming in the 21st century?

If I had chosen one college over another when I was 18, how would my life have been different?

When my best friend’s heart failed and he collapsed and practically died right in front of me at the age of 25, was there anything I could have done at that moment that might have saved his life?

Did Jesus ever have a girlfriend?

Could you please quantify the size of the universe, and tell me whether or not it actually ends at some point?

Once saved, always saved?

In Your eyes, was Dennis Miller the worst Monday Night Football hire ever?

Why is life such a struggle?

Now that I’m in Heaven, what exactly do we do for the next trillion years?

At least for now, I want to continue blogging.  But for the sake of purpose and clarity, I’ve tried to think through some ground rules, a sort of blog-filter if you will.  The blogs that have lasted are the blogs that matter and have a point.  The days of everyone starting a blog and posting nothing but personal updates and you tube videos are over.  Partly because we get tired of that.  Partly because Facebook offers a much better way to communicate personal-life details.  I’m even getting a weird feeling that Twitter is going to die out soon.  Anyone who has enough time on their hands each day to keep a consistent Twitter feed going needs to re-evaluate what exactly they are doing with their time each day.  And those are are Twittering consistently are simply going to get tired of it.

So a blog needs to be thoughtful, meaningful, and provide an actual reason for a reader to return.  I know most of you that read, and you can simply become friends with Erin on Facebook to find out that Eli had a good day at kindergarten, we went on a camping trip, or that work has been rough.  So for you to stay interested, and to attract possible new readers (which I admit I want to do), there has to be more.

With that in mind, here are a few ground rules I’m going to establish.  They’re not necessarily hard and fast (and if you just said “that’s what she said” to yourself, shame on you), and I may occasionally allow myself a guilty humorous pleasure or two, but they’re ground rules nonetheless.

1. If I can create a post in two minutes or less, it’s not a post, and never deserves to be a post.

2. Blog posts shall be well thought out, and written to the best of my ability.

3. I will try to focus my content on issues, opinions, challenges, questions, admissions, hypothesis, and general diatribes that are important to my faith, worldviews, and overall life experience.

4. Because of ground rule #3, anonymous comments are both welcomed and encouraged if the commenter feels it necessary.  This gives you the freedom to question my views, give truly honest feedback, or simply bash me.

5. There shall be no established guideline to the frequency of posts.  It’s easy to post frequently if such posts are not well thought out (see ground rule #2).  That shall not be the case here.  Posting frequency shall coincide only with the time and ability I have to post thoughtfully and effectively.  Therefore, any comment asking where I am or did I disappear shall be ignored.

6. Reader comments are not only welcomed and encouraged, but shall serve as a litmus to the quality of the posts, and the overall health of the blog.  An equation might look like this:  Comments = good post & healthy blog …(or)… No comments = crappy post & dying blog.

7. The total number of “views” on this blog shall no longer mean anything (much like a pitcher’s winning record when his ERA is actually 5.23).  It is apparent that most of my 27,000 views to date have come from people who have Googled the following search terms:  “Hillary Clinton’s cankles”, “Toyota Corolla”, “Michael Jackson History”, “BVD underwear”, and “Best Worship Music.”  None of these Google searchers have either read or contributed to the blog in any way.  They are dead to me.

I hereby announce that the official Ground Rules are established.

Mountain Dew, Red Bull, & Amp will form a partership to combine their technologies into one drink….it will be called “OH HELL YEAH I’M TWEAKING BABY!”  It will be a hit.

People will still speculate whether or not Elvis and 2Pac are still alive.

All of Europe will have transitioned into a nudist continent.

Blogging, Facebook, Twitter and the rest will be replaced by ThinkWarp.  You simply think something, in your mind, and your friends will hear it in their ears.

People will think of the A-Bomb, Napalm, and Nuclear Missles the way we think of spears and slingshots…as in, “Wow, I can’t believe people back in the 21st century had such primitive means of battle.  What woosies.”

Braveheart will still stand as the movie to which all other movies are compared to in terms of overall greatness.

Cows, pigs and chickens will no longer need to be raised and killed.  All meat products will be expertly grown in labratory-factories with giant petrie dishes.  All humans will have become lactose intolerant because of 21st and 22nd century steroid enhanced milk, making dairy products obsolete.

Bill Clinton will be looked upon as one of the greatest presidents in our nations history.  George W Bush will still be the butt of presidential jokes.  Barack Obama will have paved the way for future black presidents, hispanic presidents, and eventually a gothic teenage president.

Because of increased fear and crime, Trick or Treat will devolve into “Knock and I’ll Shoot”.  Of course, shoot is such a present day term, as guns won’t exist as we know them in that time.  It will probably be more like, “Knock and I’ll Say Intruder”, at which point the voice activated home protection system will active the magnetic field under the porch (all people will be required to wear lightweight magnetic shoes, enabling law enforcement to stop an individual at any time by activating the magnetic field under the area in which they stand), causing the person to be stuck in that spot.  It will then automatically alert the local law enforcement agency with a detailed report of the both the person (through use of a retinal information scan, or RIS) and the incident.  Police will arrive within seconds through an underground tunnel system (sort of like a hyperspeed roller coaster with protective tubes that you travel in), and take the person in question to jail, where their punishment, which will actually be the uniform punishment system, will be to sit in a room for 48 hours, where they will have nothing but bread and water, and be forced to watch all 12 Seasons of the early 21st century version of ABC’s “Wife Swap”.

I was pretty much hooked on MJ back around 1983 when michael-jackson-thriller-tigerI saw my parents Thriller album and the picture of Michael with his pet tiger.  Probably the coolest thing I’d seen.  The only other vinyl album I remember at home at that time was one of John Denver….totally not cool in comparison.

I have a cousin named Dianna.  She’s a year older than me and we’ve been great friends our whole life.  We had a lot of funny moments in the months/years after the song “Dirty Diana” came out on the Bad album.  It was always funny sing because she was one of the most kind, gentle, sweet, and not-dirty people you could ever know.

I’ve lost my voice many, many times over the last 15 years or so from singing along with Michael Jackson songs in my car.  My voice seems to forget that his is about 4 octives higher.  It doesn’t care.  It must sing along.  And it must sing with the same intensity.

In fact, my favorite thing about MJ, probably the main reason I’ve been a fan of his music, is his intensity.  Heck, I don’t even know the lyrics to many of my Top 15 songs I posted about.  I’ve always found it more fun to sing along with him when I didn’t know all the words.  Ask me about this sometime, and I’ll perform for you to show you what I mean.  But his intensity is unmatched.  I’ve always felt like most of his grunts and screams basically stem from that….he’s so into the music, so into the song, that he can’t help but to scream.  It’s one of the main reasons his concerts were always so phenomenal….the dude gave everything he had at every show, the crying, the sweating, the energy.  The crowd felt like he had given them every ounce of what he had in him to make that concert great.

I was totally stoked when Invincible came out, because I had thought for a couple of years that he was probably done.  I remember sitting in the Mitsubishi car dealership where I worked at in 2001, singing along with “You Rock My World” with my sales manager.

A few years ago, I performed “The Way You Make Me Feel” at Big Mama’s Karaoke Cafe in Seymour, TN, just south of Knoxville.  Grunts, screams, dance moves and all.

One of his more popular songs – “Black or White” – is probably one of my least favorites.

It always amazed me how a person so soft, quiet, gentle, and boyish during interviews could turn into an angry, confident, energetic dancing maniac on stage.

Shocking fact – I don’t actually own the Thriller album.  Almost every song from that album is on Disc 1 of the His-tory album, so I never bought it.  Probably the only song from Thriller that’s not on the His-tory album that I actually want is “PYT” (Pretty Young Thing).

When I was a kid, the evil guy’s voice on the song “Thriller” used to really freak me out.

Intolerance.  Especially intolerance among Christians.  On my I-Google homepage, I have links to local news articles from a Knoxville area TV station.  I often cringe when reading the public comments in response to certain articles.  It’s like area Christians are using the comments forum as their own hell-fire-brimstone platforms, and it’s sickening.

I’m not thrilled to have gone through some things I’ve gone through in my life.  But some of my experiences have taught me that people are truly flawed.  All people.  ALL people.  Some hide it better than others.  Some resist better than others.  Some just don’t give a damn.  But, ultimately, we are all damaged goods who need the love of a Savior more than we could ever imagine.  And we need it every second of every day, because for some of us, that’s about how often we sin.  Instead, many in our world mistake intolerance for tough love, taking pride in the fact that they might sin just a little less than the next guy.

We’ve got to walk through life with a perspective – a world view if you prefer – that allows us to see ourselves for who/where/what we truly are.  A miniscule fish in an infinitely large ocean, who somehow is still known and loved and pursued by the God who created both the fish and the ocean.  Our lives are important, but no more important or meaningful than the lives of our neighbors.  All sin.  All do wrong.  All will continue to do wrong.  Jesus helped make our goal in life so easy for us – Love God, and love others.  Can it be that simple, yet be so difficult?  Apparently so.

Greedy Monsters.  I’m reading John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” for the first time since high school.  (I miss the half pint milk cartons)  Early in the book, there’s an amazing dialogue between the owner’s of the land, and the tenants (squatters) who work the land.  Basically, the owner’s need the squatters to move, because they’re not profitable and are behind on their loans.  The owner’s, in order to deflect their guilt and ignore their sympathies, place all the blame on these actions on the monster…the bank.

You see, a bank or a company can’t do that (just eat off the land), because those creatures don’t breathe air, don’t eat side-meat.  They breathe profits; they eat the interest on money.  If they don’t get it, they die the way you die without air, without side-meat.  It is a sad thing, but it is so.  It is just so……….The bank, the monster, has to have profits all the time.  It can’t wait.  It’ll die.  No, taxes go on.  When the monster stops growing, it dies.  It can’t stay one size.”

Later, the owner says, “We’re sorry.  It’s not us.  It’s the monster.  The bank isn’t like a man.”

The squatter/tenant replies, “Yes, but the bank is only made of men

No, you’re wrong there – quite wrong there.  The bank is something else than men.  It happens that every man in a bank hates what the bank does, and yet the bank does it.  The bank is something more than men, I tell you.  It’s the monster.  Men made it, but they can’t control it.”

This was written over 65 years ago, but is still so true.  Men made the monster, but they can’t control it.  I’m tired of the monster of government, of big business, of if-you’re-not-growing-you’re-dying economics.  It’s crap.  I’m tired of paying the monster, depending on the monster, and even (to some extent) working for the monster.  This business attitude has destroyed much of our national camaraderie, the notion that we’re all striving for a better life.  Too many people now feel like there are simply the rich people, and the poor people, and that’s just the way it’s gonna be, brother.  And the gap continues to broaden, to divide.  What’s so bad about a business taking care of the needs of its community, making a reasonable profit so that those who own it and work it can make a good living, and that being the extent of it?  Does it always have to grow, make more money, and conquer the competition?  Can’t it just provide a service to people and take pride in doing so?