Like a Trapped Moth

Moth trapped by a windowThis is a post that I meant to write three weeks and a few days ago. Although the company I work for is great, conditions as of late have made me feel I have little control of my fate—that I am trapped by circumstances.

I am sure I could have done certain things more effectively, but am convinced I have done a good (perhaps great) job given what was on my and my department’s plate.

But, it doesn’t matter. I am trapped like the moth in this picture. I don’t really advertise all that I am accomplishing (nor my successes), and as such often cannot even put them in words. Instead, all certain people see are what I could have done better (or that they perceive I could have done better), not all I did in the background that made the incredible look mundane. [Read more…]

How Do You Treat Your Friends?

Three friends standing togetherI have a lot of concern about Christians who, in my opinion, treat others in an un-Christlike manner when calling for accountability or discernment. If they get taken to task on social media, I am less than empathetic. If anything, I enjoy them being zapped.

Then…

I developed friendships with a few of them. When those few get attacked I now want to step up and defend them (and have). What does that say about me?

That I still have a lot of opportunity for growth. Lord, please have me care as much about my opponents as I do my friends.

Cast Out

Man using his hand to tell you to stopThis is a post I really don’t want to write, but also think must be written.

Generally averse to controversy, I recently stepped foot into what might be considered unfriendly territory. Inhospitable…not because I disagree with those who hold that land (in many ways I’m entirely in sync)…but because many who inhabit its hills and valleys do not take kindly to suggestions that method/tone/whatever-you-want-to-call-it matters when it comes to biblically-mandated church discernment and discipline.

And in fairness to them, often those who call them on it seem to just be trying to change the subject (using it as a method of deflection) and never answer the core questions at hand. Not to mention, too frequently those who challenge individuals on tone exhibit extremely bad behavior themselves.

Now, I am not claiming perfection, but I think it would be fair to say I did not exhibit bad behavior (extreme or otherwise). Worst I did is commit a couple misdemeanors; definitely no felonies while strolling up and down the highways and byways of that foreign land.

However, a couple days ago I went to reenter the territory, looking forward to interacting with its residents. Oddly enough, I actually thought I may have become one of its citizens. Maybe a black sheep of sorts, but they felt like fellow countrymen. Sure, some of the conversations within that land were uncomfortable, but I was also shown great kindness and fellowship.

But, I was barred entry. [Read more…]

“The Right to Blaspheme Is the Right to Believe”

Islam symbol with weaponsThere aren’t many articles I would consider a must read, but this one by Daniel Greenfield fits that category:

“The Importance of Blasphemy”

You really should take the time to digest Greenfield’s piece, but I’ll at least share the quote that inspired how I titled this post:

In a multi-religious society, in which every religion has its own variant theological streams, the right to blaspheme is also the right to believe. Liberal theology can contrive interchangeable beliefs which do not contradict or claim special knowledge over any other religion. But traditionalist faiths are exclusive.

Everyone’s religion is someone else’s blasphemy. If we forget that, we need only look to Saudi Arabia, where no other religion is allowed, as a reminder.

Greenfield’s post also spends some important time distinguishing Islam’s expectations from other exclusive faiths…along with a lot more (including recognizing that “Egyptian President Sisi’s gesture of attending a Coptic mass was so revolutionary because it challenged the idea that Egyptian identity must be exclusively Islamic”).

It’s worth five minutes of you time, trust me. 🙂

P.S. If you are interested in this subject, please also see “It Is Wrong. Full Stop.”

Hat tip to Instapundit.

It Is Wrong. Full Stop.

Pistol with french flag pattern in handThere are times when the word “but” should never occur in a sentence. One of them is when apologizing. Just apologize. Don’t say, “I’m sorry, but…”

Well, unless you really aren’t apologizing.

Another time to not use the word “but” is when someone murders someone else. For instance, say, when radical Islamist terrorists kill 12 people at a satirical French magazine.

It is wrong. Full stop.

I do not believe in needlessly offending anyone—I am a Romans 12:18 kind of guy. But, whenever I think of this horrendous act I don’t care what they did or said or ate for breakfast.

It is wrong. Full stop. [Read more…]

An Entry from the Tone Police Manual

If you click on the image you can see a larger version of this entry from the Tone Police Manual (1 Corinthians 13:4-7):

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

You can read more about the Tone Police here. (The complete Tone Police Manual is readily available…it’s the Bible. :-))

Advice from a Beagle

Okay, okay…I know this wasn’t the intent of this “Sundays with Snoopy” strip, but…come on…doesn’t it sort of fit Proverbs 26:17? 🙂

Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own
is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears
(English Standard Version).

Snoopy in a snowball fight

If you click on the image it’ll bring you to the original Facebook post.

Christmas Album “Must Haves” (2014 Version)

Countdown2.Christmas vinyl albumAnother Thanksgiving has past, which means I can openly listen to Christmas music again!

Time now for my yearly list of Christmas album “must haves”…which is alway last year’s with some tweaks. I mean, you don’t honestly expect my taste in Christmas music to change drastically year-to-year do you?! 🙂

Now…before I unveil this year’s “winners”…I should note that if you love Christmas music as much as I do, every album listed below can be heard on my brand new Countdown2.Christmas Radio station. As of writing this post, it has only been around a couple weeks…and…for instance…at one point today we had 246 listeners all over the world. Give it a listen, will you?

Finally…I realize this list is growing…and if you are starting your collection it might be a bit much to ask you to get them all. So, this year I’m going to give you the top ten-ish in groups of five-ish. Hopefully that will be more helpful than confusing. 🙂

Top 5:

[Read more…]

Cloverton’s “Hallelujah”

ClovertonI am a traditionalist when it comes to Christmas music, but I am very proud to break that habit with the addition of five songs by Cloverton to the Countdown2.Christmas Radio playlist. I’m sure a lot of it is Lance Stafford’s unique voice, but I can’t say enough about how the whole band takes Christmas classics and…somehow…gets me to hear what I’ve never heard before in the songs’ messages.

Even though I have listened to (and have sung) them so many, many times during my 50 years on this earth.

Sadly, the tune with which I discovered them (“Hallelujah”) is not available for airplay yet, but you can enjoy it on YouTube:

May their talents bless you as they have blessed me as we all remember the reason for the season.

Cross posted on Countdown2.Christmas.

Like Christmas Music? Try radio.countdown2.christmas

Santa with treeOur sister Christmas site is countdown2.christmas, and it now has it’s own Christmas music station thanks to Radionomy! Although a bit more is mixed in, its playlist is based on our “Christmas Album Must Haves”. Trust me, it’s the best Christmas music on this planet :-), so you should give it a listen: http://radio.countdown2.christmas (Yes, there is really a .christmas domain extension now…)

countdown2.christmas

When I should have been relaxing, I grabbed a new .christmas domain and made a countdown to Christmas (countdown2.christmas) site for those of us who wish Christmas was year-round. 🙂

The Shocking Truth About the Christian God

Man with megaphoneHe exists.

Now, if you are a Christian you already believed that, so it’s not so shocking, eh?

If you aren’t a Christian, you don’t believe it anyway.

In either case, don’t you feel the article’s title makes this post bait-and-switch? You were promised something amazing and got quite the opposite. You have every reason to be annoyed.

Clickbait. [Read more…]

Getting from Point A to Point B

Winding road signThis is cross-posted on qm101.co blog…but I think it is applicable in a Christian context too…

I’ve used this analogy at home and at work to encourage people to keep their “eye on the prize.”

You want to get from point A to point B.

You should be able to go in a straight line. You have every right to be frustrated because you cannot go directly from point A to point B. It may be unfair that a straight line from point A to point B is being blocked.

The list could go on, but it all doesn’t matter, because…

Ultimately, you want to go fro point A to point B.

So, zigzag if you have to.

Odd Juxtaposition

Every weekday morning when I am home and he has school, I get Augie up and grab the next random book in the series of Arch Books Bible stories. The last article I was reading beforehand on the exercycle was about the alleged“Rape Culture in the Alaskan Wilderness”, but the book was about Jesus raising Jairus’ tween daughter…and even taking time afterward to make sure the girl got food (see Luke 8:40-42, 49-56).

Odd juxtaposition. Man’s actions. Jesus’ actions.

I choose Jesus.

Over Our Skis

Man under his skis fallingAlthough I can’t say I was a fan of much of his managerial approach, in a former job one of our parent company’s Cs had an expression, “over their skis,” for people who were in positions they were not qualified for. (I confess that I always worried that he placed me in that category, although he never said he did.)

His statement comes to mind as I continue my trek this year through the entire Bible (now in Ezekiel) and read of the harsh punishments God had for both his chosen nation and nations around them. I will admit I mentally wrestle with how our Lord could use those methods (especially if I allow myself to think about how the young suffered).  Yes, as a whole the destruction He brings is done by the hands of other humans (not directly by Him), but that doesn’t change anything, does it? God still has, at a minimum, allowed rape, pillaging, starvation, murder, etcetera as a form of discipline.

If you had the power to stop that, especially for the innocent, defenseless children…wouldn’t you?!

But God not only didn’t, He leveraged it retributively.

And then I am reminded that even though, no, I was not over my skis in that previous job…

I am over my skis in how a universe should be run and how to effectively deal with sin with an eternal perspective…just as our original parents where over their skis when it came to judging whether God was righteous in telling them not to eat of a single tree.

Who am I to judge God? Nobody. Worse. I am over my skis.