I should have read this last week!

This post by my dad was great. In all of my euphoria of the last week or so, I didn’t read his blog. The post is about how he and Mom went to Indiana, towing the jeep. It was a great story.

First Dates

How do I start? About a month back, while working an Emmaus men’s weekend, I struck up a conversation with a woman (Mary!), who I had met on a previous walk. I thought she was cute and there seemed to be a mutual attraction. Well, the following weekend, at the women’s Emmaus weekend, she was working the weekend while I was acting as part church rep and general troubleshooter (I am on the board of directors as well). We hit it off pretty well and I began wondering… I didn’t have to wonder much, because after I got back from the National Youth Worker convention, I got an email from Mary. Emails lead to instant messages and eventually she invited me to hang out with her and some friends.

Of course, the couple of times that she invited me, I couldn’t make it so we decided to go to dinner and hang out last Monday. Later, we were both wondering if we had just made a “date.” Well we went out to dinner and sat and talked for a few hours. We were both pretty nervous. It’s amazing even at 38 that I still felt like I did when I was 15 when it came to talking to her. We decided to go out again on last Friday.

So Friday, we went out to the Red Mesa Grill in Boyne City. That was pretty good, but we were still both pretty nervous. We again decided to sit and talk again and our conversation finally entered a point of no return. I began talking about trying not to do anything that would run her off or make her uncomfortable, because I was open to just being friends if that’s what it was to be, but eventually I asked if I could kiss her and she said “Yes.” !!!

So now, your humble blog writer is in the beginnings of promising, fledgling relationship. I think that a few people were trying to get ask me that before Mary and I went out, because she had commented on my blog several times, however, it wasn’t until recently that the giddy excitement of the first dates has actually happened. I’ll probably blog later about the spiritual aspects and challenges of this relationship, but right now…I’m pretty stoked!

It’s not that I don’t believe in global warming, but…

I read this article on Reason.com on global warming. I think that it was a pretty balanced piece. I have to say from my meteorological background that I am in the camp that man is not the sole contributor and that the signals and evidence are tenuous at best about the implications that we are a sizable part of the problem. At lot of this has to do with the atmospheric oscillations that we are only now finding (remember El Nino was only discovered and correlated with warm winter about 20-30 years ago and that’s just one expample) and the fact that there are so many checks and balances in the ecosystem that we can’t just oversimplify the problem to CO2 production.

With that said, I still think that we do a lousy job at stewardship with the earth that God has given us to maintain. That’s why I read blogs like Enviropundit that is listed in an earlier post.

This caught my eye

This post off of Blackfive was worth the read.

Some extras

A couple of things which have nothing to do with what I just talked

1) I’ve been typing all of this with my Dell PDA and its fold up
keyboard. I type it to an email address and it gets posted to my blog.
These are the techy things that I think are really cool.

2) The reason that I told you about my typing this on my PDA is because
I am watching my Pittsburgh Steelers destroy the Philadephia Eagles.
Typically I root for both teams being that I was born in Philadelphia,
but I have been a Steelers fan since the early 1970’s with the Steel
Curtain defense. One of the reason I also have Sunday ticket on
Directv. I can watch them any weekend. GO STILLERS!!!

Let’s try some youth ministry

When I started this blog, I wanted to talk about the things I learned in

youth ministry, not necessarily my political views. What I’ve wanted to

do is wonder out loud and see what people think.

I have to say that my theological views on one hand are orthodox and on

the other hand, can be rather radical, maybe in a nontraditional way.

Since I got back from the National Youth Workers Convention (NYWC) last

month, I have been reading the book, Mike Yaconelli//Collected Writings.

For those of you who don’t know Mike Yaconelli, he is a veteran of youth

ministry and the co-founder of Youth Specialties.

I got to see Mike talk at the convention when it was in Pittsburgh two

years ago. He definitely makes you think about the things and traditions

that you follow in the church. Not that they are bad, but that they

aren’t the things that make you a Christian. Being a Christian is your

relationship that you have with Jesus. The tradition and ritual can get

you there, but it isn’t the relationship. I see that I am getting away

from what I was talking about.

Okay, so I’ve been reading Mike Yaconelli. So my thing that I try to do

is create relationships with the kids. Trying not to be judgmental

about the things they do, but point out what the bible says and be

supportive without condoning. It was put best today by Rev. Naile in his

sermon today.

He was preaching on the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11). We all

have our baggage that we would prefer not to talk about, but we need to

lay down our stones when it comes to others. By the way, not that Rev.

Naile wasn’t doing a bad job before, but his preaching has moved up

another notch (at least in my estimation) since he came back from his

pastor exchange to England.

I’ve also been listening to and reading some of the things that Rob

Bell, the teaching pastor at Mars Hill Church in Grandville, MI, has put

out as well. His talk at the NYWC about how Truth is everywhere in the

world even outside of what we call Christian and that we need to

communicate to the youth that the things that they are challenged with

as being truth have some truth in it. It is our job to prepare them to

sort it out and claim the Truth as theirs, because if they are in the

body of Christ then it is theirs and ours.

Hard to believe

As my dad pointed out in a recent comment to one of my posts, ” The other thing is that politicians make a living at opposing each other. No opposition, no need for another party (and that would be really bad). ” I agree that a healthy opposition is needed so that we don’t stray to a leaglistic or anarchaic society. So it was hard to believe that there are some that would do this. Cry babies. Okay, I’m being hard on them, but in my estimation, we need the opposition so that we keep the politicians honest.

The vote–the day after

Well, it’s the day after the elections and W has won again. With all of the earlier back and forth by the candidates and what seemed to be the most partisan campaign in my short memory (I just realized that I am now about 2/3 my parent’s age), what do we do that makes it seem to make our version of democracy work? Watching John Kerry’s concession speech this afternoon, a co-worker remarked, “That’s what leaves other countries scratching their heads. After all of the shouting, we come back together as Americans and pick up where we left off. In other countries they might try to kill the opposition. Here we try to embrace them.” I think that I would go much further as to say why. We have done all this as Americans, because of the Christian virtue of forgive and forget still runs deep in the country.

Although, I wonder if we are beginning to see that platitude of forgive and forget beginning to show stress. The reason I say this, is because of the last 4 years. In Texas, then Gov. Bush was known as one who could easily unite the two sides and get things done. After the 2000 election, instead of letting it go, it seemed that there was a marked number of people that thought that Bush had somehow rigged election or gotten in without earning it and that he was somehow an illegitimate victor. I can understand how easy this can be to not put aside our feelings, but in politics, it seems to be a necessary thing to do.

Now follow my logic on this, as the country is now in its post-modern phase, we are beginning to see some things that, at least in my mind, are things that fly in the face of that virtue. As it seems that more people don’t tolerate other’s differences and fewer forgive and forget. I think that some ways, this seems to be the reason that the country seemed to be as polarized as it is and to some why it looks like we are fragmenting. George Will on the ABC News coverage made an interesting observation. We are becoming more like Europe in that we are becoming more hard core partisan.

My prayer is that what John Kerry said in his concession speech about waking up as Americans the next day and healing the wounds from the race takes hold. Because I would like to think that my friend at work was right. But not that we should leave the world scratching their heads, but be the example of cooperation after great division.

Lots to say that I don’t remember

This will probably be a bit on the rambling side, but I’m in a mood to write something…

Funny how you think of things that you want to say, but when you get the chance they slip away. Case in point, this blog. I’ll see something interesting or have some revelation while driving (this is pretty typical with the distances that I drive) and think, I have to write about this. Of course, by the time I get home, I forget to post it probably because I am putting away groceries or I just plain forget about it after bring my stuff in from the truck. So what am I posting this morning? The fact that I can’t remember. Some things that I really think are important, I’ll record as a voice memo in my PDA (or my electronic brain as I like to call it). That works well.

Yesterday, the vague subjects that I was thinking about posting were another musical commentary, but the song and artist I was listening to at the time escapes me, Something I read on another blog about college students, and something to do with fear and stretching out of your comfort zone.

Today is the day to vote (I think that might have been something on a post that I forgot). I was reading something from somebody that they weren’t going to vote because of how the system is a complete farce. There is some truth to what they said(I won’t go into the details, just trust me on this by following the rest of this, besides I am trying to remember what I read, since I don’t remember where I read it). There is an impression that the system doesn’t work and that it is driven by the extremely rich. That’s is true to a certain extent, but not completely. If I remember right the post by this person was pretty cynical (I just remembered my musical commentary. Artist: Five Iron Frenzy. Song: That’s How the Story Ends.). It was probably from one of our former youth group members that is in college, that’s not a surprising thing. It’s easy to get cynical in the first few years outside of the cocoon of the parents. I did. It took a while come out of. Here’s the excerpt from the song that I wanted to post on.

How distinctly I remember,

It was in a bleak December,

and each dying ember,

wrought it’s ghost about the floor.

I heard a voice that chilled my spine,

I saw what I could not define,

a sight I never could contrive,

there stood Brad at last, alive.

“Where have you been these endless years?”

I asked him, sobbing through my tears,

“I did not die by plague or prison,

what really died is cynicism.”

In a discussion that I had with someone about 10 years ago(I remember it because of the place in which the conversation took place), they thought that the US would have collapsed after 10 years(and here we are 10 years later). I thought that if the US were to collapse it would be in 50 years. As I remember the discussion the difference between us was that I had more hope and less cynicism than the other. Over the years, I see now that my cynicism was dying and is now long since dead and that hope and faith in God to guide not only me, but the nation as a whole has increased to where I don’t think this nation will collapse. I have no illusions about the political system in America, but for the most part it does work, good things get done (bad things do to, but in time most of those have gotten righted). Being selfish human beings, we corrupt a system that should work well, but we have gotten away from the way it was intended to be, all in the name of progress. So for me I will vote and pray that God’s will be done in the election. Whoever we get, I have faith that the right things will result in time. Patience and Longsuffering (parts of the fruits of the Spirit) are key in life.

Wow, I got somewhere, and posted one thing on here when I thought I had forgotten it.



Interesting thoughts from someone who lives in Iraq.