Sunday, November 8, 2009

Free at last...

Let the bells ring out and the banners fly! Feast your eyes on me, because I am free at last! No more nurses! Yaaaaaaa!!!!!

I guess I am healed enough that I no longer need nurses visiting. No more bandages! No more packing! No more cringing! Now all I have to worry about is my wife looking at little white bumps and reaching for the tweezers. Nope, can't find them. Let me get a pin so's I can prick those little white heads... Yaaaakkkk!! I have gone from sadistic nurses to overly vengeful wife!

Maybe I ain't quite so free as I thought...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I'm in a fighting mood.

For whatever reason lately I have become obsessed with the game Battleship. I made my wife mad by downloading the game on my cell phone, and today, just for fun, I searched the Web and found one to run on my computer. I sometimes do pretty good - sometimes I just get blown out of the water (pun intended.) Now, you need to understand that this game has been around forever, and I haven't played it since I was a youngster. Shows how often I need to vent my anger on some unsuspecting object.

The problem is, now that I have the game on both the cell and computer, I play it more and more, and I am beginning to wonder why I get such pleasure from annihilating my "foe". I smile (me - smile???) when I locate and get the little guys and rejoice when the big ones turn turtle and sink, disappearing forever. Sorta' like discovering a sin in my life that the word of God disrupts, brings to the surface and blasts away by confession and repentence. Hmmmm, imagine God playing Battleship with the sins in my life. Here's hoping I lose...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Will that be one scoop or two...

Well, just back from my appointment with the surgeon. You know, I have always been impressed with the amount of small tools dentists seem to have. As a person who has experienced dentists from both a drilling/filling perspective, and a tooth-pulling perspective, it always amazed me that no matter what the condition of a particular tooth, there always seemed to be, somewhere, just THE right tool or jig for the situation at hand.

Now, so it seems, the same can be said for surgeons doing small surgery. Here I am, coaxed once more into an examination room by an over-bustled nurse and instructed to lay on the table. She gingerly removes the bandages and packing, takes a quick look and says "I'll go get the Doctor", whereupon she exits stage left. Hmmmm, thinks I, where is she off to - I mean I did have an appointment - you know what those are - definite times set for you to show up and wait for an indeterminate time for the person with whom the appointment was made to show up at HIS leisure and convenience.

Enter (after what really was not an unreasonable time) the Doctor. Grabs a set of tweezers (or some similar devilish instrument) and starts probing and digging - so much so that my dear wife, leaning in for a closer examination of the wound actually halts the doctor from digging. He pauses, just for a moment, as if to let my wife satisfy her curiosity. He then, once she has backed off, resumes his digging and scraping and jabbing, cheerfully pronouncing (I presume to my wife) the neat stuff he is dragging out of the wound. "Piece of gauze... necrotic tissue... hmmm, an old piece of vein... (I must confess that at the last one, I kinda' wondered if I wouldn't be needing that vein to help circulate blood, or if that was old school thinking) more tissue." He stops. Takes a look around the room. Rummages in a drawer here and there. Checks the cart with all the bandages and misc. stuff. Thinks for the merest of seconds. "Be right back", he says and exits stage left.

My wife is vociferous. "You wouldn't believe what he is doing! Why aren't you screaming/writhing/rolling in pain!!!??? You should see what he dug out of there!!! "

Enter the doctor, holding a several inches long, skinny instrument in his hand. "Got it", he says with no further explanation and starts to really dig into the wound, seemingly copious amounts now of whatever's coming out. I can see it in my wide-eyed wife's expression - an absolute fascination with this new "tool" the doc is using. He finishes. Packs the wound, puts a bandage over it. States "See me in two weeks", and leaves.

My wife, still wide-eyed, says, "That was an ice cream scoop he used on you, only smaller!! More like a melon-baller!! But shaped like an ice-cream scoop." She seems suitably impressed. "He went all the way around - top, bottom, sides - DIDN'T IT HURT???" Well, yeah, especially when he went deep down toward the knee - didn't you see my other leg doing its rattle/shake & roll, my eyes rolled back so far I could see (as a newfie would say) me very own arse, and hear my poor teeth (only a very few left now) grinding and wishing to be awash in pain-killers (liquid kind, from the LCBO.)

I don't know what impressed my wife more - that I wasn't (externally) screaming, or the sight of a small itsy-bitsy teeney-weeney ice-cream scoop.

The only other news is that now apparently the picture previously posted is out of date. According to my wife, the hole is now 25% bigger 'n better.

And no ice-cream in sight...

* sigh *

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Now an even BIGGER hole...

* sigh * Here I thought the last "cut" was the deepest. Wrong. Not content with the amount of DAILY suffering I was experiencing, the home-care nurses (one in particular) really started to agitate for me to see a surgeon to get the hole made even bigger (hey, with all the money wasted on e-health scandals I suppose some one figured it would be nice if all excess tax dollars ended up in the pockets of the average rank-and-file get-'er-done types instead of bureaucratic do-nothings-except over-charge and screw-up things - and oh, by the way, what about my lucrative termination-payout?)

So, off to the family Doctor (again). Except this time, he chickened out. Yup, went to the phone and called 3 surgeons (who he claims he would "let" operate on himself), one of whom was actually at the hospital in an operating room and would soon be out. So, he suggested that we remain at his (our family Doctor's office) until said surgeon was out of the operating room and could return his call so he could discuss my situation. **** pause *** After taking a breath (hence the pause) he then suggested that we (Janet and myself) spend the waiting time wisely and make haste to the hospital, go into emergency (he would call ahead to tell them we were coming) and wait THERE, at the hospital, for the surgeon to perhaps, if he had time, or was in the mood, or sensed the "emergency" of the situation, or had nothin' else to do, or was in a grouchy mood and needed to inflict further pain/indignities on human flesh to restore some humor into his life (- get the picture?) take me into a vacant room (where hopefully my brain would be in a similar state) and see my wound, evaluate it and take appropriate action/inaction with either a minimum or maximum of growling about the general incompetencies of home-care workers fresh from some conference or other so he could compare them to himself, as chopped liver.

He chose the latter course of action, all the while entertaining a "student/apprentice" with clever witicisms whilst brandishing a slicing instrument, yeah verily hacking away with said instrument into the (temporarily) quivering hunk of meat (me - or better said my leg), to the delight of Janet (ever the home-schooling Mom, she now has more knowledge than she needs about the inner structure of the leg, just behind the knee.)

What was the most telling was Janet's (almost) verbal ejaculation, "OH MY GOD!" I, having received the customary 2 injections of numbing agent, was only aware of a slight tugging while the cutter did its work. I was less prepared for the surgeon to then RAM his finger in the incision, probing into the far, far reaches of the incision into regions where there was no numbing at all. "Hmmmmm, he said. Almost feels like a foreign object in there!" Yes, you idiot! Your FINGER is a foreign object! Get IT the he** out of there!! I guess my face was pretty well contorting by then, as Janet has related to me that it did so. Well, duh...

Anyway, I now have a wound by best estimates 2 inches long, by about 1 inch deep... Ouch, it only hurts when I write, read, think about it, breath, or move in any manner, vertical, horizontal or betwixt the two. I took particular comfort (not) hearing the nurse say that the "freezing" would wear off in an hour or so, and did I have any tylenol (no) - well you'd better get some, says she. Then the final pronouncement from the surgeon to cast comfort to my soul - "See me in a week. If it isn't better, we're gonna' take a REALLY BIG PIECE out and sew the sucker up." Ya' gotta' wonder... Do surgeons get paid by the pound, or what...

Anyway, after a (what seemed to me, although I said nothing) tiny gauze covering was in place, off we went to get pain-killer (not booze, which I eluded to in an earlier blog) but tylenol, and then off we went to the Clifford's to dinner. Thankfully (mercifully?) she had chocolate cake for dessert which was desperately needed at the time it arrived because, to be frank, my leg was hurting like the dickens, blood had soaked through the gauze and into my pantleg and I could feel the odd trickle down my leg, although not as far as the ankle.

Now, to get a rough idea, put your hands behind your knee on the underside of the thigh at that area. Shake your hands. Notice how jiggly it is. Picture an open wound, all jiggly. Imagine how much it would "tingle" (which is another word for IT HURTS!) when shaken. Picture a tandem axle truck. Empty. Picture a road under the influence of "stimulus spending" - ie. small sections carved out of an otherwise (relatively) smooth service. Just to jolt some reality back into you. Picture other sections completely ripped up, exposing the nice bumpy underlaying surface. Picture a sore, stiff, just carved open leg in the (cramped) can of a truck void of any possibility of a comfy, bump-reduced ride.

Picture a young rammy driver (sorry Daniel) who delights in a pedal-to-the-metal, aim for the big-ones, my-god-will-I-make-it driving method. Ouch! Eeech! YAAAAA! HOLY MACKEREL! WHAT THE... !!! ARE WE THERE YET???? I CAN'T TAKE MUCH MORE...!!!! I WANT MY MOMMY!!! All that was just Daniel - you should have heard me...
Anyway. I survived the trip home. I survived the walk from the truck into the house, and the walk from the bathroom to the bedroom, the removing of pants down past the sore spot, the pressure of the sheet and blanket. Only one thought pulsated through my mind - tommorrow the Nurse comes. Funny, it hurts at the thought of that. More days of pain. No booze, only tylenol. No chocolate cake, only rice-cakes. Dry rice-cakes.

Now, have a look at the picture and tell me if you think that's fair. I thought so. So, bring me cake and help an old fella' cope. Thank you.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

where is it you don't wanna' go...

The problem with having a big hole in your leg is the buggers won't let you heal.

Here I was, several weeks after the thing was excised out of me, having put up with "nurses" (occasionally even my wife) stuffing the strangest of stuff into the abyss, when the hole decided to start to heal, that is, grow smaller, as in it's about time i started to close this hole because i am sick and tired of things being poked into me/myself/i... anyway, THE DECISION was made (not by me) that, perhaps, it would be better if the hole was made larger again, so MORE stuff could be packed in.

Forget any thought of personal independence on this one. Off to the cackling Doctor I went, who cheerfully cut an incision with a razor blade, and used scissors to trim the skin around the hole - to prevent any quick healing, so as to promote more pain when more stuff was packed in. At least he numbed the area with 2 shots of whatever numbing agent it is that "they", in the medical profession, use before inflicting the fore-mentioned procedure. Personally, a quart of booze ingested over ice and mixed with tonic water would have been a more patient-friendly numbing agent, but what do I know...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Democracy is NOT LIBERTY

Now, before I, or anyone else for that matter, gets too hung up on the idea of "democracy", it must be noted that democracy is not the same thing as "liberty". Democracy, in its simplest terms, is the will of the majority. Perhaps the most startling example of this is the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Was the decision to do so not based on the (some would say misguided) will of the majority? In that context was not the liberty of Jesus curtailed by democracy? Indeed, is not personal liberty at ALL TIMES, in Western Society (being understood as "democratic"), curtailed by the very notion of "democracy" in action?

The American Patrick Henry on March 23, 1775 ended a rousing speech with the famous line; " I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"

(As perhaps an interesting aside, the word "democracy" does not appear in the Bible. The word "liberty" appears 25 times, though there are several underlying meanings translated to the single word "liberty".)

Nevertheless, liberty must also have constraints! Another American, Dean Russell, said: "... personal freedom cannot exist without individual responsibility."

There's that "r" word again - responsibility! The bigger question remains - responsible to whom? Polonious belched out "This above all: To thine own self be true." (Hamlet, Act 1 scene iii)

Chew on those quotes for a while - my next blog will look at some thoughts regarding true liberty, the topic for consideration will be: true liberty is living as we should not as we please.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The radicalism of democracy

"Democracy lays its stress on personal conscience; fascism on authority and obedience." - Count Coudenhove-Kalergi.

I found this quote in a book that I am reading that is basically doing a comparative analysis between protestantism (presented as the the good guys) and catholicism (presented as the bad guys.) Nevertheless, it (the quote) has a much broader scope than simply religious evaluation, and would touch on other elements of life such as family (parents saying such things as "Do what I tell you!!",) politics/government and even, I would venture, education/science (as in evolution vs creation) as well as several other disciplines that are floating around out there.

There is a danger in attributing too much positive on "democracy", in the scope of "personal conscience", as well as too much negative on "fascism" in the scope of authority and obedience. Were it all about personal, that would be anarchy, where every one would do what he/she individually considered "right" in his or her own mind. Were it all about fascism, that would be dictatorship, where every one subserves the desires of a single person or entity - regardless of whether it is individually considered "right" or "wrong". Either position - taken to the extreme - is not "beneficial" in the broad sense, as no collaboration or exchange of thoughts and/or ideas is possible.

See what is missing in either position? Responsibility. Someone, at some point in time, has to stand up and say, "Wait a minute, who do 'you' think you are?"
This can be addressed to either the individual anarchist or the dictator/flavour of the month.

As far as Christians are concerned, that moment (from the Reformed perspective) took place when Luther took hammer in hand.

For homeschoolers, that moment took place when their children were removed from "education centres" (maybe more properly called "indoctrination centres"...) and placed in home study.

For the United States, that moment took place when a bunch of guys, dressed as native Indians (for disguise to escape punishment), threw a bunch of packaged tea into the convenient harbour.

For an average Canadian citizen, that moment took place when she recorded on her cell-phone video the lethal TASER attack by several heavily-armed Police Officers on a recently arrived Polish immigrant.

For an average Canadian family, that moment took place when an agent of the state wished to interview the children, without cause, and such request was refused.

For an average Christian worshipper that moment took place when Church Elders were questioned regarding the preaching that was going on and the subsequent behaviour of the Elders in general and one Elder in particular.

For those Chinese in Tianamin Square (spelled wrong, I know!) that moment took place when one, grocery bags in hand, defiantly stood face-to-face with a fully armed and fully armoured tank to "prevent" its advance.

3John 1:11 Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.

Think on these things, and I will continue this discussion more in part 2...

Monday, April 13, 2009

The trouble with tribbles vs radicalism (2)

Radicalism, in its loosest sense, can be defined as not doing what "everyone else" is doing. It is being apart from (not a part of) the crowd. It is independence, free-thinking, self-existing - in the sense that any gratification comes from within, and is not reliant on general approval from others. Now, it must also be stated that there is "good" radicalism, and there is "bad" radicalism.

James 4:4 says "Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God."

Colossians 2:8 says "Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ."

Colossians 2:20 says "Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations–"

Colossians 3:2 says "Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth."

So, in the context of the above mentioned verses, radicalism can be determined to be based on either "worldly" or "heavenly" values.

Christians are called to be RADICAL in their thoughts, deeds and actions! Indeed, the very thought of "democracy" stems from this foundation.

I will shortly post more to this particualr blog, but in the meantime, digest what's here so far...

Sunday, April 5, 2009

the trouble with tribbles vs radicalism

The trouble with tribbles was that they reproduced indiscriminately and they consumed all edible contents available to them. ( For those ignorant among you, "tribbles" come from Episode #42 (season 2) of the original Star Trek series, entitled "The Trouble with Tribbles".)

In the show, as I recall, they were cute n/ cuddly creatures, who cooed softly when stroked, becoming a placebo for reality in the lives of those going "where no man has gone before" (changed to where no ONE has gone before in TNG - so as to offend neither the female crew/officers in the series nor the female viewers.) Their calming effect was contagious - everyone wanted one (or more).

Only when the Captain observed the disastrous effects on his crew and ship did he take a stand, and ORDERED the "removal" of ALL said tribbles from his ship into the hands of "Cap'n Cyrano", who originally profited from the sale of these creatures to the crew of the good ship Enterprise. I do not recall how Cap'n Cy disposed of the little vile-cute creatures, other than watching the final credits roll over the screen. I seem to remember that Kirk, at the behested suggestion of Scotty, did beam them aboard a locally lurking Klingon ship (the Klingons at the time being at "peace" with earth).

The point of that particular episode, as I as a sixteen-year old understood it, was that what at first glance was appealing (want to feel good, be calm, be loving, have no stress, no strain - get a tribble) may, in fact, be and/or lead to an all consuming terror based on sex and food (tribbles, being born pregnant, were full of surprises!)

What brought that episode to mind to me today (I must confess that in truth it has several times over the last 40! years) was reading a recent article by Mark Steyn in MacLeans, where he says (or warns) that "da Canadian value is that we have no values. We value all values." He concludes the article by saying "We could use some 'Canadian values' right now."

We have, in essence, all fallen for the tribbles. If it feels good for you - then do it. This transcends and encompasses all thoughts and opinions - especially those that have to do with food and sex (are they both not defined to some extent using the term "appetite"?)

Canada was declared many years ago to be "multicultural society", a term coined in particular by the Liberals under Pierre Elliot Trudeau, in the sense that since there was no presumable "Canadian Culture", immigrants were welcome to come and retain their own uniqueness within a loose Canadian culture. Other "cultures" were subsequently recognised - that is the "invisible minorities" - in particular the so-called "gay & lesbian and trans-gendered" among us. As Steyn points out, polygamists are becoming more visible, and I would add they are doing so even to the extent that so-called reformed Christians are beginning to embrace the concept of polygamy as a legitimate culture.

You see, the idea of "equality" is the first tribble, itself pregnant with other tribbles. Equality in itself is a good thing (as I suppose a single non-pregnant tribble would be.) But I would submit that equality, without limits (in other words, self-contained limitless offspring), is dangerous. (Is that the anarchist in me speaking?) As I see it equality, in today's society, is seen as part of the warp and woof of "freedom". There is, I think, an unusual finality to the concept that "I am equal" means (and ends) with the concept that "I am free." The difficulty is that "freedom" is not the end.

"With freedom comes responsibility." This well known saying (attributed to the former U.S. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt) adds a new element, and it is a great big one that can be descibed only as the "moral" element - responsibility.

And that leads us to radicalism, which I intend to explore in a later post.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Meekster is coming (2)

Ya' know, the first time Jesus (the meek) came, He came as a shepherd - to seek and save the lost. He came to be known as a gifted teacher. Indeed, at one point He was invited to speak - and then comment on - the portion of Scripture to be read in the synagogue that day. This is recorded for us in Luke 4:16-22 which goes,
"So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: "The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD." Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, "Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing." So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth."
Jesus was, of course, quoting Isaiah 61:1-2, with the NOTABLE EXCLUSION of the last part of verse 2, which says, "And the day of vengeance of our God". This, of course, is to be fulfilled at the second coming of Jesus (yet to happen, though it is not known when...)
Do not associate meekness with weakness! Jesus was not, is not and will not be a wuss! He is the Righteous Judge, tasked with the (ultimate) judicial sentencing (vengeance) of God! As such He is worthy of our utmost repect and obedience, to the exclusion of all else in this sinful world. At His 2nd coming, He will also proclaim, "Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."
May it be so. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

It's derby day (soon)

A few weeks ago a block of wood, 4 screws (for axels), 4 plastic wheels and four washers were brought home by our youngest child to be entered into his Calvinist Cadet Corps derby race.

Now, I am not a woodworker, but our oldest child went through a similar contest about 25 years ago, and I (as Dad) had fun using my power jigsaw carving out a few different "cool" shapes (our oldest entered a car at least 2 years running). So, here I am an "experienced" shape carver as my youngest trots home the package of goodies.

"Hmmmm", I thought, "I really sucked last time using a hand-held jigsaw. What I need is a proper scroll saw." A quick trip to Canadian Tire solved that problem. Also got some spray paint (red - Critters choice), some spray lubricant, some washers (for extra weight if needed), some Gorilla wood-glue, sand paper and a sanding block. I then spent some time figuring out with Critter what basic design should we contemplate. He had a drawing book that showed several modern and concept cars. We kind of settled on one, but decided it would be better as a pick-up truck.

So then I started to hack and saw the block, taking cut off pieces, hacking and sawing them and gluing and re-aligning, and sawing some more, and drilling and re-aligning and sawing... finally ended up with something that I thought (so did everyone) looked pretty cool.

That was 2 days ago. Today, my grandson Trenton brought over something his other grandfather had made. Now, that man IS a woodworker. The thing was incredible, and makes mine look like something only a real amateur would do. *sigh*. Oh well, at least MAYBE ours will run the course fastest, even if it doesn't compete for over-all design...

I take some comfort in remembering my oldest still has her original 2 derby cars at her home somewhere. Maybe Critter will keep his for at least 25 years, too. And ya' know, maybe that's the most important part - sharing an experience. I cut, he sanded. I painted, he sanded. It's really not about "winning", because how can you lose when you share moments of joy - and the "race" isn't even on till next week.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The sinful absurdity of polygamy...

In some (thankfully only some) Christians, the mindset is that unless God directly and plainly said to an Old Testament personality something pertaining directly to their "sin" (so called today because of principles stated that magnify/clarify OT principles), that such behaviour need not be considered sinful. Their logic goes something like this regarding the practice of polygamy:

"They had a personal relationship with God and God made His will known to them, especially when it came to simple things, such as the number of wives they could have! Had he been displeased with their plural wives, He would have notified them I am positive, and we would know this today because it would be recorded in His Law-Word. It is not."

Sadly, this is faulty logic that will lead to the pits of hell. To illustrate, I want to examine a few incidents in the Bible.

1. Consider Lot and the occasion of the visit to him by 2 men (angels, directly from God, identified as so in Genesis 19:1)

We know the story, the men of Sodom came to Lot and demanded that he release the 2 so that they could have sexual relations with them. Notice Lot's response: (verse 8): "See now, I have two daughters who have not known a man; please, let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you wish; only do nothing to these men..." In other words, Lot offered to prostitute his 2 unmarried daughters. Nowhere in the following verses is it indicated that the angels objected to this offer, or gave any negative connotation to this act of Lot's.

Therefore, since the logic used by the above mentioned fools would indicate that since Lot received no (direct) condemnation, it is approved by God that fathers prostitute their daughters, especially in the light of the fact that Lot is referred to as "just" (righteous) - 2 Peter 2:7.

2. Consider Lot (again) with his 2 surviving daughters and the incest recorded in Genesis 19:31-38. Again, the logic used by the above mentioned fools would indicate that since neither Lot nor his daughters received no (direct) condemnation, it is approved by God that fathers have incestuous relationships with their daughters, especially when they are drunk (Lot received no condemnation for being drunk) and that it is also permissible to be so drunken as to be totally blotted out from knowing what is going on about you. So drunkenness is a "bonus" added in this incident, since God didn't speak to Lot about it. (Ephesians 5:18 didn't come till later, but hey, we must rely on Lot's example because we can't give any additional 'weight' to the Ephesians reference...)

3. Consider the case of Jephthah (Judges 11:29-40), who in verse 1 it is said, "Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah..." went on to make a stupid (in my humble opinion) vow. As it turned out, the vow obligated him to sacrifice his daughter by burning her to death as an offering. Now, it must be noted that commentators over the years have disputed over whether or not he actually did burn her up, or did he regulate her life in solitude. Nevertheless, using the logic of the above mentioned fools, we have an indication that since Jephthah received no (direct) condemnation, it is approved by God that fathers burn their daughters as sacrifices. (Leviticus 27:1-5) notwithstanding, because, hey, we must rely on Jephthah's example because we can't give any additional 'weight' to the Leviticus example.

Look, absurd is absurd. Twisted logic is nothing but twisted logic. It is sinful, and morally wrong. The above mentioned fools need to repent, lest they fall into the condemnation of Matthew 7:23: "And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’"

and/or the condemnation found in Jude 1:3b-7: "I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ. But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day; as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." (emphasis mine.)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Meekster is coming...

Ya' can tell - Easter Creme Eggs (available for a limited time) are now on the shelves. Chocolate bunnies, colourful egg-painting kits, the promise of spring - with its natural fever-pitched 'spring-cleaning' rites (woe the poor husbands who are on the receiving end of the honey-do list!) Oh how well is the season to be rejoiced! But, I think we do it all for the wrong reasons. It is not for the glorious feasting of chocolate. It is not for the joy of re-doing the house, or even the joy of shopping for new clothes. It is not the renewing of the earth into its multi-coloured change from drab brown. It is not from the promise of planting dead things and watching them come alive... or is it?

Monday, March 9, 2009

the meek shall inherit (3)

I was listening to the radio the other day about the launch of a telescope whose sole purpose is to examine a particular spot in the milky way to see if it could detect any earth-like planets revolving around a sun. The supposition is that if a planet similar to ours is found, perhaps there are "others like us" in the depths of space.

I was reminded then of certain "scientists" who claim that life on earth was the result of some "super-evolved aliens" somehow seeding life on this planet earth. Now I had to ask myself, in my generation, with the landing of men on the moon in 1969, and various unmanned spacecraft landing on Mars, what is the type of "seedlings" we have left on the Moon and on Mars. The short answer, of course, is garbage.

Let's face it, if aliens came to our world in eons past, they, like us, on leaving to return from whence they came, would have left excess bagage, ie garbage. Now, excuse me, but if the human race derived from alien garbage, there is something wrong with that picture. Meek is meek, but alien garbage is NOT in whose image we are made. It is only "garbage thinking" that would present such a possibility.

In the meantime, let us hope that in 100 billion years the garbage we left on the Moon and Mars doesn't come back to bite us...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The meek shall inherit... (2)

I want to quote from a theology book I am currently reading:

The sixth commandment is in these terse words: "Thou shalt not kill." Its obvious scope is the preservation of life. It forbids all that unrighteously assails our own and others' lives, and enjoins all suitable means for the preservation of both. This command is based upon these two great truths: that life is God's gift, and therefore to be abridged or taken away only at His command; and that life is of supreme value to every man. In robbing a man of life, you would virtually rob him of every valuable thing which life includes. It is committing against a fellow-man every species of robbery in one. The Scriptures also ground the prohibition of taking man's life on his likeness to God. Genesis 9:6b, "For in the image of God made He man." James 3:9 also founds the lesser sin of slander and reviling partly on the same fact. Man's rational, moral and immortal nature is the chief glory of his being; it reflects the glory of God's. Hence, to invade this being is at once the most enormous wrong against the creature, and an act of impiety against God." (end of quote.)

Let this be an advisory to those who let their lives be (overly) influenced by those who seek to tear down or attack others - in whatever guise (though I suspect that "The truth must be told!" is the most common and self-satisfying.)

Those who know me best know that from time to time I like to stir up the pot, but to the best of my knowledge I have never engaged in a personal vendetta against someone who has (for whatever reason - just or unjust) offended me. I may have quietly stewed, or may have encouraged my family not to socialize too readily but to draw back and consider, and above all else, gone to the Scripture for both solace and wisdom.

Oh, tell me the struggle to be meek! "Been there, done that" - not quite! I must confess - and note the word "confess" - that I do have a hit list, that is people on whom I do not wish God's blessings, yet I believe as my meekness grows, the list is smaller, plus I do not get as surprised anymore when others - ESPECIALLY CHRISTIANS - disappoint me.

I just hope and pray that when (not if) I disappoint THEM, they have more meekness than I...

The meek shall inherit...

Part 1

We all know the familiar conclusion to that beginning. For some reason, the beginning of this day saw me with that verse popping into my mind, and from time to time rearing itself into my thoughts throughout the day. Don't you just hate when an idea crops in and won't leave you alone? I suppose that great inventors and/or capitalists and/or terrorists and/or magistrates and/or legislators and/or educators and/or intellectuals get ideas from time-to-time that won't leave them alone either.

What is unique, however, is that the made-up list I have presented would not, generally, include the suggestion of "meek" as THE outstanding trait. Why would, in all the magnificient words of Scripture, the "meek" get it all? See Psalm 37:11, and less some think that was strictly an Old Testament opinion, see also Matthew 5:5.

Gentleness or meekness is the opposite to self-assertiveness and self-interest. It is not an outward action, but an inward behaviour. It is not concerned with self (how do I look to "them" (perhaps the unwashed masses!)) but is concerned with relationships to others.

The whole Bible Jesus boiled down to basically 2 principles: Love God; love others. The trick is to do it "meekly".

Monday, March 2, 2009

The problem with age

is that you get older and start to run down. Today the truck wouldn't start. Not because of the cold. As soon as the ignition key was turned, there was a pop, and all the lights went out and the truck was a dead thing. Turns out one of the battery terminal ends had corroded, leaving no juice available to all the things dependant on it - such things as lights, starter motor, etc.

Life is a lot like that. When I saw the corroded end, I acted very mature (for my age.) Whereas in years gone by I would have grabbed the closest available hammer and whacked the battery to pieces, and/or the hood, lights, mirrors, doors, windows - all the time vocalizing in no uncertain terms my displeasure - todays it was a mere *sigh* and a slumping shrug followed by a slow retreat into the house and a quiet request for a tea.

Now the question I have to ask myself is, what has corroded in me, and is it such a bad thing that I (generally) don't break things anymore? Is it age? Or "maturity"? Indifference? Resignation? A realization the such a thing was ordained by God - before the foundation of the world - to happen exactly at this moment - just to see how I would react?

Curve balls do get thrown into our lives - especially when we least expect (or need) it. Whether it is things breaking in inopportune moments, or people being terrible jerks (WHERE IS MY TEA THAT I ASKED FOR 35 MINUTES AGO!!!), we all must face the fact that we will react to a situation in either one of two ways. Joy or despair. Fear or hope. Rage or peace. Steadfastness or revenge. Wisdom or thoughtlessness. Make up your own contrasts that you know exist in your own life.

Then choose whom you will serve this day.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

The marvel of electricity

First, I do not know how, or even why, it works. Flick a switch, light comes on. Flick other way, light goes off. Amazing. Plug extension cord in, truck block heater works overnight to warm diesel engine so it starts in minus 20 degree weather.

Enter (nameless) son. Half-hearted attempt to plug in cord. No work. No heat. Says, "Yes, Dad, truck plugged in." Dad get up morning. Jay get up morning, try to start truck. Whirl, whirl, whirl goes engine. No like cold weather. No start 'cause no heat. Smart Jay, check cord. Plug cord in ALL way. Hmmmm. Need 1 hour to warm at least. So - back bed 1 hour. Get up. Start truck. Cough, cough, cough goes truck. Run rough, but run. Big white clouds of exhaust. Run, Jay! Run! See Jay run house! In make coffee. Dad & Mom up too, drink coffee and tea. Say mean things about (nameless) son. Frown and laugh. Phone Aunt Sandra. Her birthday today. Sing song on phone. Make laugh. Talk Uncle Bernie. Him think buy 1999 Cadillac. Almost same same car we have. Go on truck. Have long day. Brain is done. No can think how speak or write English anymore. Can you tell?

Friday, February 27, 2009

Let them eat cake

You know, I think history has been unkind to Marie Antoinette. This morning I woke up (grumpy) to a grey looking, overcast, depressing blah rainy/foggy morning. Definitely not the type that brings joy into whoville.

I wandered around aimlessly for a few minutes, then trudged up stairs to wake any errantly sleeping children to share the joy (right) of the morning. I came back down, and, being a man, immediately started looking for some kind of food to lighten the moment. I discarded the idea of toast (no jam.) I repelled at the idea of eggs (do you know where they come from!) Cereal had no attraction (had it as a snack last night.) I then started to root around in the freezer to see if there was any back-bacon (I make no apologies - I like the stuff.)

And There It Was.

A leftover hunk of chocolate fudge CAKE. A smile slowly spread across my face. The food warden was at the chiropractor and was therefore unable to defeat my purpose. I gently, reverently, almost caressingly removed the cake from its cold, cold repository, and spoke soothing words to it as I removed the top cover to expose its dark chocolatey richness. "There, there," I said, "Daddy will soon make you warm!" I turned and grabbed a fork from the drawer behind me (Hey, we do have SOME manners in this house...) Deliberately I chunked off pieces and slid them ever so gently past the lips, over the gums, look out stomach - here it comes! Ahhhhhhhhhhh! Several more forkfuls soon followed.

And then it happened.

I mellowed out. Why, I even started to smile, and began to think that maybe the day wasn't going to be so bad after all.

If only those idiot frenchmen had listened to Marie, the French Revolution may never had happened...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

There are only intelligent choices

There are no easy answers. There are only intelligent choices.

Some who read this will remember it was a line used by the Caterpillar Company in the 1970's in their advertisng.

What is is about the human condition that wants the "easy answers"? Well, as Cat reminded us, there ain't no such thing. What there is, however, are intelligent choices.

The difficulty is applying the "right" intelligence. What is it to be based on? What I think? What others think? What is the populist thought? What is the contrarian thought? For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Do I discard the "whole", or just certain parts of the "whole"?

Oh where is wisdom when it is needed most? (Hey, like the heading says - there are no easy answers!)

Isa 1:18 "Come now, and let us reason together," Says the LORD...

Hmmmm, maybe there is an "easy" answer.

Can anything good come out of Nazareth? (Jn 1:46)

Such an innocent question, yet so loaded with a negative connotation. Can anything good come from a place with such a bad reputation? Nazareth was a city out of touch - located in a big pear-shaped depression its citizens were virtually isolated from the goings-on of the "spiritual" centre of Jerusalem, yet open to the "pagan" influences of Tyre.
(see: )

It was a mean question, this one from Nathanael, based not on evidence but from prejudice. The tar-brush was too wide! How is it that "we" decide that "no good thing" can come out from (fill in the blank here - whether person, place, thing, or institution?) How much of the current tapestry of prejudice (unfounded) is weaved into our own lives?

Yet at least ONE GOOD THING came out of Nazareth - Jesus.

Something to think about.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Get with the program!

Now I am not so old fashioned as to fear the age of computers. I am old enough that while I was at university, hand-held calculators came out. I bought one. It added, subtracted, multiplied and divided. Period. It cost me the equivalent of six and a half days of work.

So advanced was it, that during one math exam I was not allowed to use it - because it would give me an unfair advantage over the other students who were limited to using slide-rules.

I explained to the exam monitor person that if the other students had used their money to buy one - instead of going on fancy vacations during spring break - there would not be an issue. Since I did not bring my slide-rule, if denied use of my calculator, the other students would have an unfair advantage over me.

Such an appeal fell on deaf ears. * sigh *

Just because "new technology" is available, does not mean that it will be - nor should it be - accepted by everyone at the earliest possible moment.