Monday, April 30, 2007
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Here is how I see it. Arminianism and Calvinism are not polar opposites. The polar opposite of Calvinism (or better Hyper-Calvinism) is the belief that everything just happens by chance. I will quote one of my favorite bands, Rush.
"Why are we here, because were here
Roll The Bones
Roll The Bones
Why does it happen because it happens
Roll The Bones
Roll The Bones"
Now I dont agree with Neil Peart's assesment of life here anymore than I agree that God is in charge and controls us like little robots. Both views are polar opposites and therefor frozen.
Neil Peart doesnt believe their is a God at all and that everything happens by chance. Calvin believed that God controls everything and there is no freewill.
Arminianism is a bit too far on the "Rush" side in that it discredits God's power.
I think in between lies the truth. God is there and is in control overall, however he doesnt override free will. Some things happen just by chance. The choice of whether to follow God is up to the person
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
This was taken at a place that I felt close to God. Not in Church but rather on the banks of the beautiful fast flowing Santiam River at Cascadia State Park. The cool sound of the water rushing is soothing to the soul. I like to spend a lot of my time in the outdoors. I find it renewing to the Spirit and Mind and Body.
That is one thing I love about Oregon. Its so easy to find places where there are no people where you can enjoy
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
I have a real problem with a God that created people just to stoke up his bonfire down under. I have read the Bible many times and yes it speaks of election and I believe we cannot become Christians totally on our own. However I dont believe God made anyone to perish. Honestly I am not sure I even believe that everyone who is not a Christian in this life is automatically gonna burn. God is love. I believe he gives people second third fourth chances etc. this may sound like heresy to some but I think the Hyper-Calvinistic belief of God choosing who to save and who to roast is sick and disturbing. I honestly wouldnt want to serve a God that got pleasure out of making human marshmallows out of people for sick fun.
I believe God LOVES everyone and if there is a literal hell, everyone has the power to choose not to go there.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
I never realized how much of my thinking was shaped by them. What car to drive. What cell phone to have. What other piece of made in China crap I need. What chicken I eat. Well I am sick of it. No I am not gonna go off and grow my own food. Mainly because I wouldnt have a clue how to. As a product of consumerism, I like many lack basic skills needed to survive without an endless sea of "products" which are made to make money and nothing else.
I am however going to be more selective about companies I do business with for example, I now only drink Earth2o water. Because it has been proven legit to me. Also though I love the finger lickin good taste of the Colonel's chicken, I cannot in good conscience support a company that burns rainforest to make land to grow the chickens they so cruelly torture to death. I guess Pizza Hut is out too since they are owned by the same company. I know I know I canot take this too far. But would Jesus eat tortured chicken? Would he drink water contaminated with bromide? Would he drive a Tahoe? I think not.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
15It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.[c] 18But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.
My whole perspective has changed. I no longer want to work my way up the corporate ladder. I am not sure that my purpose in life anymore is even to switch industries.
Ministry is service. Service to what. Service to God and to your fellow people. Nothing about a corporate ladder in that.
Friday, April 20, 2007
How about Chexsystems. You get on there and for 5 years you cannot get a bank account. You have no rights to get removed and any pissed bank can report you.
I think people need to be outraged by blacklisting and band together to ban all forms of blacklisting. It is evil and must be stopped.
Even the infamous no fly lists are evil. Sure they may or may not stop a terrorist but if your name happens to be the same as a terrorist, you are fscked.
What makes a blacklist a blacklist is:
You have no right to find out why you are being denied something when you are denied
You cannot remove yourself
Poor regulation for who can put you there.
How about sex offender registries. YOu may say, they keep kids safe. Well maybe, but what they do is make it nearly impossible for a rehabilitated sex offender who wants to do things right to make a living. The ones who reoffend are likely going to not register. Blacklists only hurt the people who want to play by the rules.
What ever happend to forgiveness. Or if they are so freaking dangerous, dont let them out of prison to begin with.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
If anyone has seen the Soundgarden video Black Hole Sun they will get this reference. In the end, the Barbies will melt. Not by the hand of anyone, but just from age. Their plastic parts will fall off and they will be lonely old and sad.
I dont envy the mannequins. I pity them. I hope they get it figured out. I wish them well. Their pain is self inflicted.
I am thankful that the hand of God catches me. He carries me to the ground but not all the way. Just close enough to see the pain of those who hit it hard. Also enough to to wave at those falling and reach out a hand to them. That is if they will take it.
I am guilty of the paper mache net however I saw it before I let many fall to the ground. God has opened my eyes. What was so clear is now obscured by clouds but the fakeness is apparent. My life was like that of Truman in the movie. Now it is real. Whatever real is. I see light in the tunnel and its not from the oncoming train. And to those who lie to me, I see you.
I now wish I could provide comfort to those who have smashed into the pavement but are still alive. Broken and beaten yet alive. I want to be like duct tape for the soul. To tape up the broken wings. Heal up the crushed hearts. I cant do it because though I think I am OK, I too am broken. But not beyond repair.
This stuff is crazy but it was what I was thinking at the time. Take it for what its worth.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
It disturbs me that tragedy in other forms takes place in the world and we never hear of it, but it is still terrible.
I have to wonder what kind of world will my kids (if they ever exist) grow up in.
I have been to Blacksburg, Virginia. Its a nice little Southern town in the hills of Appalachia. Looks like a Norman Rockwell kind of place. Not a place you would expect tragedy to strike.
Maybe we should all move to the South side of Chicago to keep our kids (not that I have any) safe.
Anyway, back on track, it hits me how fragile we are and how it can all be over so quickly. Even in the safety of suburbia or smalltown America.
I want to share another story that may sound dumb but gripped me much the same way. It was way back in 1993. I was 21 (wow I am old). My mom and I were in the middle of Utah way out in the desert in a town called Salina. Its not much but there are hundreds of miles of desert in every direction so by the time you get there, its paradise.
At the truck stop just off I-70 (Its a shell now, used to be a chevron) Its the one with the big statue of the african dude if you have been there. Anyway, as I walked in, I saw the paper. The front page story was about a whole family tragically killed in a car accident. It had a picture of the smashed car on the front. Apparently the person driving fell asleep and car rolled. It was a family with kids. They were all killed. Happens every day right. Well yeah but as I walked around I noticed the police impound lot was right there. For some reason I was drawn to a car. I recognized the car from the paper. I looked inside. I saw pillows, blankets, a water jug, fast food trash, clothing, stuff that belonged to these people. The car looked very lived in. Knowing these people were dead made this creepy. Here I was looking into the lives of people. Looking at stuff that if it could talk would have witnessed the last breath of a family and heard their dying screams. It haunted me so much. I felt like I knew these people. Where did they go when they died? Did it hurt. Having been in a nearly fatal accident and knowing. Not thinking but knowing without a doubt I would be dead in a few seconds, I wonder. Did they feel what I felt?
Anyway, in my case, God miraculously saved me and my only injury was lower back problems. I should have been a human biscuit. I will share that at another time. It was many years ago.
Anyway, this tragedy at Virginia Tech made me remember Columbine and that weird day in Utah. When tragedy strikes and you somehow intersect it with at a different time. It could have been you. It could have been me.
Will I be alive tommorrow? I assume yes, but do we ever know?
A week ago monday a golf ball hit my windshield. For a few seconds, I thought I had been shot and I stopped and examined myself for holes that werent there previously. I realized it was a golfball and it shattered the windshield. If that golfball had hit me in the head instead, I would be in the same boat as these Virginia Tech students.
Just something to think.